Rotten beef and illegal deforestation: Brazil’s largest meatpacker rocked by scandals

first_imgOn March 17, agents with Brazil’s Federal Police raided facilities belonging to JBS and another food processing giant, BRF, as well as several smaller companies.The raids were the culmination of a two-year investigation, called “Operation Weak Flesh,” into an alleged scheme by which JBS, BRF, and others were bribing government officials to look the other way as they sold and exported rotten and salmonella-tainted beef, pork, and poultry.Just four days after its plants were raided as part of the corruption probe, JBS found itself embroiled in another scandal. On March 21, as part of a three-year operation code-named “Cold Meat,” Brazil’s environmental protection agency, Ibama, raided two JBS meatpackers in the state of Pará that are accused of having purchased thousands of heads of cattle raised on illegally deforested land in the Amazon. The month of March saw the world’s largest meatpacker, Brazilian company JBS, rocked by not one but two major scandals.On March 17, agents with Brazil’s Federal Police raided facilities belonging to JBS and another food processing giant, BRF, as well as several smaller companies. The raids were the culmination of a two-year investigation, called “Operation Weak Flesh,” into an alleged scheme by which JBS, BRF, and others were bribing government officials to look the other way as they sold and exported rotten and salmonella-tainted beef, pork, and poultry.According to the New York Times, 33 federal inspectors are being investigated for accepting bribes to ignore the adulteration and expiration of processed meats and falsifying sanitary permits. Exports from 21 meatpacking plants were suspended, as well.Confidence in Brazil’s food sector took a major hit, with several key export markets, including China, the EU, Japan, and Mexico, announcing bans or restrictions on imports from Brazilian meatpacking companies (some of which have already been lifted).As a result, Brazilian meat exports fell to just $74,000 on March 21, a drastic reduction compared to the daily average for March of $63 million. JBS responded by announcing on March 27 that it was halting beef production at 33 of its 36 plants, though the company said it planned to resume operating the plants at two-thirds capacity the following week.JBS and BRF have both denied any wrongdoing.Just four days after its plants were raided as part of the corruption probe, however, JBS found itself embroiled in another scandal. On March 21, as part of a three-year operation code-named “Cold Meat,” Brazil’s environmental protection agency, Ibama, raided two JBS meatpackers in the state of Pará that are accused of having purchased thousands of heads of cattle raised on illegally deforested land in the Amazon.Cattle grazing on a deforested land in Brazil. Photo by Rhett Butler.Ibama investigators said they determined that the two JBS plants had bought some 59,000 cows from ranching operations located on 507 square kilometers (about 196 square miles) of land that is under embargo due to illegal deforestation in the area. About 90 percent of the cattle raised on the land went to the JBS plants, Climate Home reported, while the rest went to 13 other, smaller meatpackers.JBS denied the allegations in a statement issued by company spokesperson Cameron Bruett: “JBS does not currently purchase and has not purchased any animals from the suppliers on the list of areas embargoed by IBAMA. JBS prioritizes the issues of deforestation and sustainability, as evidenced by the sophisticated satellite monitoring system of cattle suppliers we deploy to verify compliance with JBS environmental and sustainability standards. Our last three independent audits resulted in social and environmental compliance rates of more than 99.9 percent. Any supplier found out of compliance with our strict standards is immediately blocked from our internal system and ineligible to sell livestock to the company.”In response to the second scandal involving JBS uncovered in the course of one week, the environmental NGO Greenpeace said it was immediately suspending negotiations with the company. The group said in a statement that the purchase of cattle from illegally deforested areas is an environmental crime and the government’s allegations against JBS constitute a breach of a Plea Agreement (“Termo de Ajuste de Conduta” in Portuguese) reached in 2009 between Brazil’s Federal Public Ministry and 69 companies, including JBS.JBS is also a signatory to the voluntary Cattle Agreement of 2009, Greenpeace noted, which means the company has committed to ensuring that its source farms are not involved in any deforestation, slave labor, or invasions of indigenous lands and protected areas.“Greenpeace considers the accusations against JBS to be extremely serious, and therefore we are suspending negotiations with the company until it can prove that the meat is free of deforestation, slave labor and conflicts with indigenous lands or protected areas,” Tica Minami, Amazon Director of Greenpeace Brazil, said in the statement.Mosaic of soy fields, forest reserves, and cattle pasture in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo by Rhett Butler.A report by Chain Reaction Research published last year found that cattle ranching is not just a main driver of deforestation in South America but the main driver. In Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, for instance, over 70 percent of combined deforestation is linked to the cattle industry.That figure is even higher in Brazil, however. The country has the largest commercial cattle herd in the world and produces more beef than any other Amazonian country — and according to the report, cattle herding accounted for more than 80 percent of the deforestation that occurred in Brazil between 1990 and 2005.Despite its outsize role in driving Amazon deforestation, the cattle industry has made relatively little progress in achieving sustainable supply chains compared to producers of other commodities like soy and palm oil. Marcio Nappo, sustainability director for JBS, told Mongabay earlier this month that the complexities of the cattle supply chain make it particularly difficult to root out links to deforestation and human rights abuses. Supply chain transparency is especially difficult for the cattle industry, he said, because cattle can change hands multiple times before making their way to a JBS plant.“I cannot control my raw materials; it is a pure commodity market, driven by price,” Nappo said. “I don’t have any idea who will be my supplier tomorrow.”JBS employees told Mongabay correspondents Sue Branford and Mauricio Torres, whose 12-part series for Mongabay in collaboration with The Intercept Brazil looks at numerous threats to the Amazon, that “cattle laundering,” in which cattle owners move animals reared on illegally cleared land to pastures that are not under embargo before taking them to the slaughterhouse, has become a widespread tactic for getting around the commitments meatpackers made in the 2009 Cattle Agreement.Ranchers are certainly one of the weak links in attempts to build a more sustainable supply chain for cattle products coming out of Brazil. According to one analysis, only a few ranchers in the country, whose combined holdings constitute a “tiny fraction” of one percent of Brazil’s total pastureland, have received certification through a system created by the Sustainable Agriculture Network to encourage the adoption of sustainable ranching practices.Cattle in Brazil. Photo by Rhett Butler.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Cattle, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Law, Forests, Law Enforcement, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Zero Deforestation Commitments center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Scientists predict tree death from drought in California’s Sierra Nevadas

first_imgArticle published by Genevieve Belmaker Drought, Dry Forests, Forests, Montane Forests, Tropical Forests A study in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California shows that remotely-measured changes in the canopy water content (CWC) of conifers can be used to forecast tree mortality.Water content in tree canopies can be remotely monitored using laser-based images from aerial surveys.Changes in the CWC in conifer forests during droughts correlate well with tree mortality.After estimating canopy water content from past years using a deep learning model, researchers were able to accurately predict tree death during a recent drought. As the world heads toward more frequent and severe droughts, forests will increasingly suffer from water scarcity. In this scenario, finding ways to predict how trees will respond to water stress is becoming increasingly important.It is now possible to look at large swaths of forests in incredible detail using aerial and satellite images. The technology goes well beyond simply monitoring deforestation. Remote sensing tools can be used to tell different tree species apart that live in the same area or to measure specifics such as the chemical composition of their leaves. Many of these features are useful to describe how droughts are impacting forests. However, we still lack models that can predict future tree mortality based on past events.In a recently published study, scientists Phil Brodrick and Greg Asner show that changes in the amount of water in the canopy of conifers in Sierra Nevada over the course of five years correlate well with tree mortality rates during the 2016 drought.“This work is unique in that we show how canopy water content can be used to anticipate tree mortality a year before it occurs,” Brodrick wrote by email. “As you might imagine, this advance warning could be of significant use to forest managers, conservation groups and policy makers that may be interested in reacting to drought effects.”Brodrick and Asner work in the Department of Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institution for Science, in Stanford. In their study they used images taken with the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, a modified aircraft equipped with laser-based sensors for remote monitoring. Flying over the conifer forests of Sierra Nevada in 2015 and 2016, these sensors allowed them to measure the water content of the canopies and to identify dead trees over an extension of more than 26,000 hectares.The Sierra Nevadas in California. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Since they lacked similar images from previous years, they had to estimate the canopy water content between 2010 and 2015. To do this, they first gathered a large data set from satellites and other geographic information systems covering the area over the whole period. Then, they used a deep learning model that compared the geographic information from 2015 and 2016 with the canopy water content measures collected during the flights. After this “training,” as it is called in the scientific jargon, the model learns how to correlate these two data sets and is able to estimate canopy water content simply by feeding it with geographic information.When the figures from the time series of canopy water content are sided with those of tree mortality during the 2016 drought, a pattern emerges: the areas where trees have less water in their canopies and where the canopies lose more water over time are also the areas with higher death rates. Several details were considered during the process. For example, locations with reported fires between 2010 and 2017 were excluded from the analysis. Also, the study focused specifically on conifers, such as pine (Pinus sp), juniper (Juniperus sp) and cypress (Family Cupressaceae).“We were careful to limit the scope of this work to conifers, as some species (several types of oaks, for example) have the potential to recover after browning or losing leaves,” Brodrick said.  These changes in the number and color of the leaves, which happen naturally over the life cycle of many trees, but not conifers, could affect the measures and confound the results.However, according to Brodrick, the approach used here could be applied to evaluate the vulnerability to drought in other types of forests, although it would be necessary to tweak some of the parameters.An interesting place to further test the model could be the Amazon Basin, which has suffered intense droughts in 2005, 2010 and 2015-2016. Asner, who has worked extensively in the area, believes that, should longer droughts occur, this methodology could be useful.“If we start getting more frequent drought in the Amazon, I am very confident that we will be able to use airborne canopy water content monitoring to track tree stress and to predict where trees will die,” Asner said, also over email.The Sierra Nevadas in California. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.For the moment, a limitation to their approach is the need to fly over the area with the Carnegie Airborne Observatory. However, that could change in the near future, as Asner is currently raising funds to put the technology to orbit, replacing aircraft with satellites.“Once in orbit, we will be able to monitor canopy water content and a wide variety of other forest properties every two weeks, everywhere on the planet,” he said.Banner image: A dead tree in California’s Sierra Nevadas. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Ignacio Amigo is a freelance journalist based in São Paulo, Brazil. You can find him on Twitter at @IgnacioAmigoH.Citation:Brodrick, P.G., Asner, G.P. (2017) Remotely sensed predictors of conifer tree mortality during severe drought. Environmental Research Letters, 12, p.115013FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

New protected area in Bolivia is nearly as large as Yellowstone in the US

first_imgConservation, Environment, Forests, Mammals, Monkeys, Protected Areas, Rainforests A new protected area in northwest Bolivia will promote wildlife conservation and sustainable development in local communities, its creators say.The municipal government of Reyes, in northwest Bolivia, approved the Municipal Park and Natural Area of Integral Management Rhukanrhuka on June 25. The protected area encompasses some 859,451 hectares or more than 2.1 million acres, making it nearly as large as Yellowstone National Park in the United States, widely regarded to be the first national park ever created.According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Rainforest Trust, which worked with the Reyes government and local communities to establish Rhukanrhuka, the municipal protected area will benefit the local economy as well as titi monkeys, river dolphins, wattled curassows and other wildlife. A new protected area in northwest Bolivia will promote wildlife conservation and sustainable development in local communities, its creators say.The municipal government of Reyes, in northwest Bolivia, approved the Municipal Park and Natural Area of Integral Management Rhukanrhuka on June 25. The protected area encompasses some 859,451 hectares or more than 2.1 million acres, making it nearly as large as Yellowstone National Park in the United States, widely regarded to be the first national park ever created.Rhukanrhuka is located in the same region as Bolivia’s Madidi National Park, which, together with several other nearby protected areas such as Peru’s Manu Biosphere Reserve, is considered one of the world´s most biodiverse and largest protected area complexes.According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Rainforest Trust, which worked with the Reyes government and local communities to establish Rhukanrhuka, the municipal protected area will benefit the local economy as well as titi monkeys, river dolphins, wattled curassows and other wildlife.“For us, partnerships like this are fundamental to the establishment of effective, sustainable protected areas,” Mark Gruin, Acting CEO of Rainforest Trust, said in a statement.The Reyesanos are proud custodians of their future. Here children show love for the titi monkeys, a conservation objective of the new the Rhukanrhuka Municipal protected area in Bolivia. Photo Credit: Andres Ramirez @WCS.Half of Rhukanrhuka is categorized as a municipal park that includes the most intact areas of tropical rainforest and natural grasslands in the protected area, while the other half of the park has been designated as a “Natural Area of Integrated Management,” which means that it will include both communal and private properties owned by local villages and cattle ranchers who are “committed to reconciling their economic activities with nature conservation through appropriate zoning and management of the protected area,” according to WCS.The new municipal law adopted by the Reyes government to create the park also establishes a management committee for the park with a number of core objectives like conserving the area of transition between the Sub Andean and Llanos de Mojos ecosystems, conserving forests and other resources, maintaining critical connectivity in the Bolivian Amazon, preserving the region’s cultural and archaeological heritage, and developing the local and regional economy through ecotourism and other opportunities.Threatened wildlife, such as Ollallae´s and Beni titi monkeys, the two species of endangered titi monkeys that are endemic to the area, as well as the wattled curassow and the Bolivian pink river dolphin, will also benefit from the creation of Rhukanrhuka. In fact, Rhukanrhuka is the name the indigenous Maropa people have given to the titi monkeys found in their lands.Dr. Lilian Painter, Country Director for WCS’s Bolivia Program, said in a statement: “We applaud the Municipal Government of Reyes, its communities and private ranchers for taking this huge step towards reconciling local livelihoods, sustainable development and cultural values; with the need to protect this vast wilderness and key species.”Olallae´s titi monkey is one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world and the new Rhukanrhuka Municipal protected area will conserve 50 percent of its habitat. Photo Credit: Jesus Martinez @WCS.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Commitments worth $63 billion pledged for ocean protection

first_imgArticle published by Rebecca Kessler Climate Activism, Climate Change And Conservation, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Activism, Global Warming, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Marine, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Protected Areas, Ocean Warming, Oceans, Oceans And Climate Change Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img The sixth annual Our Ocean conference took place in Oslo, Norway, on Oct. 23 and 24.Governments, businesses, organizations and research institutions made 370 commitments toward improving marine health and productivity that were worth more than $63 billion.The commitments, a considerable boost from the $10 billion committed last year, reflect a new level of urgency around ocean protection as its role in mitigating climate change becomes ever clearer.Focus areas of the conference included building the sustainability of the global fishing industry and reducing plastic pollution. Governments, businesses, organizations and research institutions made commitments toward improving marine health and productivity worth more than $63 billion at the Our Ocean 2019 conference in Oslo on Oct. 23 and 24.A total of 370 commitments were made at the conference, which was initiated by former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry in 2014 and has run annually ever since. Our Oceans brings together international leaders to share knowledge and experiences, and to commit to action for healthier oceans. This year, 500 people from more than 100 countries attended, as well as 100 youth delegates.“These commitments are not just empty promises,” said Norway’s minister of foreign affairs, Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, in her opening address. The conference emphasizes public accountability, and recent research by Oregon State University shows that past Our Oceans commitments have resulted, among other things, in more than one-third of the ocean area now under protected status.Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway speaks at the opening of the Our Ocean conference in Oslo on October 23. Image by Stine Østby / Medvind / MFA, Oslo.This year’s high-figure commitments, which are a considerable boost from the $10 billion committed last year, reflect a new level of focus and urgency around ocean protection, as its role in mitigating the advance and impacts of climate change becomes ever clearer. “For decades, the ocean has acted as a buffer against the impacts of global warming; but it has come at a price,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in a plenary speech discussing the ways that climate change is impacting marine biodiversity. “The ocean is the prime victim of climate change,” said Karmenu Vella, the European Union commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, in a panel discussion. “But it’s the prime solution as well.”Several speakers noted the importance of oceans for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by U.N. member states in 2015 and feeding a growing world population. “As someone who grew up by the ocean and lives in a country that derives two-thirds of its revenue from the ocean, I know that we cannot choose between ocean protection and ocean productivity,” Solberg said. “We need to achieve both. We have to recognize the connection between ocean health and ocean wealth: we need ocean resources, but the oceans can only be productive if they are healthy.”Mother and baby whale shark in Mexico. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.While high-level statements like this can seem easy to get behind, the devil is often in the details, marine scientist Elisabeth Slooten of the University of Otago in New Zealand told Mongabay. Many governments and companies continue to make economically focused decisions that contradict their apparent environmental aims, said Slooten, who did not attend the conference but followed it from afar.In the speech immediately following Solberg’s, 15-year-old climate activist and UNICEF ambassador Penelope Lea pointed out that the Norwegian government’s continued oil and gas explorations were misaligned with its professed dedication to climate-change mitigation. “My country is responsible for huge emissions,” she said. “Still we search for oil further north than ever before. I beg you, please step up and take responsibility as leaders.” Meanwhile, protestors picketed the entrance to the conference, criticizing the Norwegian government for promoting ocean health internationally while allowing mining operations to dump millions of tons of toxic waste into some of the country’s fjords.Norwegian climate activist Penelope Lea speaking at the Our Ocean conference in Oslo on October 23. Image by Werner Juvik / Medvind / Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo.As in previous years, building the sustainability of the global fishing industry was a key focus at the conference. “We are taking the fish of future generations,” said University of British Columbia researcher Ussif Rashid Sumaila as he presented a paper on how fishing less could improve ocean health in the face of climate change. “We have to end overfishing.”Lea pressed home the urgency of ending countries’ practice of subsidizing their fishing fleets, which encourages people to keep fishing even when stocks are severely depleted and favors large industrial operators over small-scale fishers. The call was echoed by many speakers at the conference, as the deadline looms for target six of SDG 14, which aims to end damaging fishing subsidies by 2020.Alexandra Cousteau, a senior adviser for international marine environmental NGO Oceana and a granddaughter of pioneering ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, questioned the paradigm of “sustainability” with regard to ocean resources. “We have already lost so much,” she said in a speech. “We need to rebuild ocean abundance — simply conserving what’s left isn’t enough. We need a new solutions pathway.”However, Manuel Barange, director of fisheries and aquaculture policy and resources for the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), pointed out the importance of considering and supporting the 10 percent of the world’s population that relies on fishing for their livelihoods. “Check your privileges — it’s easy to dismiss food systems when your life and livelihood does not depend on them,” he said in a panel discussion. “Most of the people in this room are not part of that 10 percent.”Sebastian Mathew, director of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, suggested countries should establish no-trawling zones around their coasts where artisanal fishing takes place. Aupito William Sio, New Zealand’s minister for Pacific peoples, highlighted the role of indigenous knowledge and local communities in decision-making about ocean management.A fish market in Flores, Indonesia. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Finding ways to reduce the prevalence of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, which the FAO estimates entraps up to 26 million tons of fish annually, was another hot topic in Oslo. A number of speakers identified transnational organized crime in the fisheries sector as a major threat to a healthy ocean economy. Panama announced the release of its vessel-tracking data on Global Fishing Watch’s (GFW) public map; its distant water fishing and transshipment fleet can now be observed by anyone, free of charge, in near-real-time. Indonesia and Peru have already made their vessel-tracking data available on the map, and Chile, Costa Rica and Namibia have committed to sharing theirs. GFW leaders hope to get 20 countries on the map by 2022, to increase transparency in the fishing industry and enable better management.Another long-standing focus of Our Oceans is encouraging countries to increase the expanse of ocean set aside as marine protected areas (MPAs). This year, a number of new MPAs were announced, and several countries and organizations lent their support to the Oceans Unite 30×30 initiative to place 30 percent of the world’s ocean in highly protected marine reserves by 2030. (The initiative puts the current figure at 2 percent.)That phrase “highly protected” is important, said Slooten. Policymakers often water down MPA legislation to placate interest groups: “We’re making these massive social compromises,” she said, even though decades of research have shown that “you really need those strict no-take areas for marine conservation to be effective.”That’s why Slooten was pleased to hear about the six MPAs that received the prestigious Blue Park Award at the conference. The Seattle-based Marine Conservation Institute gives the award to MPAs that meet stringent criteria for their effectiveness in safeguarding life in the sea. The award-winning MPAs are located in the Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, Italy, Costa Rica, the U.S. and Ecuador, and span a total of 146,565 square kilometers (56,590 square miles) — an area the size of Nepal or Arizona.A reef teems with fish in the Aldabra Atoll Special Reserve in the Seychelles. At the conference, the reserve earned a Blue Park Award as an outstanding marine protected area from the Seattle-based Marine Conservation Institute. Image courtesy of the Marine Conservation Institute.Reducing plastic pollution was also in the conference spotlight. “More than 8 million tons of plastic goes into the ocean every year,” Søreide said in her speech. “Unless we have more efficient waste-management systems on land, the problem will grow.” To that end, Norway, Sweden and Grenada committed to establishing and supporting a global, legally binding treaty to combat marine plastic pollution by 2023. Other countries and companies made individual commitments: Peru announced a ban on polystyrene, and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, comprised of 42 largely multinational companies, committed to investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to research toward reducing plastic production and developing better recycling techniques and cleanup efforts. The group has been criticized for focusing more on recycling than eliminating plastic, and a number of its founding members remain some of the world’s biggest investors in new plastic production plants.Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) working group II, tasked with assessing the vulnerability of human and natural systems to climate change, reminded the audience of the need to take each element of the environmental crisis seriously: “Every bit of warming matters,” he said during a panel discussion. “Each degree matters. Each choice matters. And political and social will will determine that.”“We know that what we do or what we don’t do right now will make the difference between life and death for so many species,” Lea said, “us humans being one of them.”Sea nettles. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Monica Evans is a freelance writer based in Aotearoa New Zealand who specializes in environmental and community development issues. She has a master’s degree in development studies from Victoria University of Wellington. Find her at monicaevans.org. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Facebook and Instagram posts help locate pygmy seahorses in Taiwan

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Citizen Science, Conservation, Environment, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Oceans, Research, Seahorses, Social Media, Species Discovery, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img By contacting underwater photographers and divers and searching for photos and posts on Facebook and Instagram, researchers have confirmed the presence of five species of pygmy seahorses in Taiwan.This makes Taiwan one of the world’s pygmy seahorse diversity hotspots, the researchers say.Green Island and Orchid Island, in particular, were hotspots for pygmy seahorse diversity, the researchers found, and they hope that these discoveries will help inform conservation planning. Pygmy seahorses are fascinating animals. These tiny, colorful seahorses measure less than an inch (2.7 centimeters) and match their body colors and textures to those of the vibrant corals they call home. But these diminutive masters of camoflage are also extremely hard to spot. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that very little is understood about the seven pygmy seahorse species currently known to science.So, Colin Wen, a marine biologist at Taiwan’s Tunghai University, and his colleagues got creative.Their hunt for pygmy seahorses initially started with a search for Denise’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise), a species that was first described in 2003 from Indonesia. The species hadn’t been recorded in Taiwan yet, although Wen and his colleagues had heard of rumored sightings at Orchid Island from their scuba diver friends.“By chance, shortly after asking friends in the dive industry to record sightings of pygmy seahorses for us, a photo of H. denise taken at Orchid Island surfaced on social media,” Wen told Mongabay.Encouraged by this, Wen’s wife, Qiaoling, also a marine conservation biologist, suggested that they turn to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, both very popular in Taiwan, to look for more records of pygmy seahorses in the country. The researchers began contacting underwater photographers and divers. From 2017 to 2019, they also searched for photos and posts on Facebook and Instagram using the Chinese word for pygmy seahorse as the keyword.Their searches turned up 259 social media posts, of which 75 included photographs of pygmy seahorses, the researchers report in a new study published in ZooKeys. Many of the photos had their locations listed in the posts. For others, Wen and his colleagues contacted the photographers individually to confirm where the animals had been photographed.Overall, the researchers managed to identify 78 individuals and confirm the presence of five species of pygmy seahorses in Taiwanese waters: Bargibant’s pygmy seahorse (H. bargibanti), Coleman’s pygmy seahorse (H. colemani), Pontoh’s pygmy seahorse (H. pontohi), Denise’s pygmy seahorse, and the Japanese pygmy seahorse or Japan pig (H. japapigu).“We were able to verify the majority of species from photos alone ourselves, although we contacted pygmy seahorse experts Drs. Richard Smith and Graham Short, who in addition to advising us on some of the more difficult to distinguish sightings, also led us to a photo taken in Taiwan of H. japapigu,” Wen said.In fact, the study formally documents the first ever record of the Japan pig outside of Japan, where it was first described as a new-to-science species last year. It also presents the first confirmed records of Denise’s pygmy seahorse from Taiwan. The latter finding was especially exciting, Wen said, since Joseph Heard, the lead author of the study, had been looking for this species since his arrival in Taiwan more than a year ago.Hippocampus denise in Indonesia. Image by O.J. Brett, Norway, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).Five of the seven known species of pygmy seahorses have now been confirmed in Taiwan. This makes the country one of the world’s pygmy seahorse diversity hotspots, the researchers say.“I don’t think anyone would have expected to discover that Taiwan is one of the world’s pygmy seahorse diversity hotspots, matching Japan and Indonesia, both of which are comparatively much larger countries in terms of the number of pygmy seahorse species,” Wen said.The study is also the first step toward understanding the distribution of pygmy seahorses in Taiwan. Finding out which species occur where is critical to study and conserve a country’s biodiversity, Wen said.“For example, we found that Green Island and Orchid Island in particular, were hotspots for pygmy seahorse diversity, and we hope that these discoveries can help to inform conservation planning,” he added.But a lot remains to be studied. Most species are currently listed as data deficient on the IUCN Red List, and much of the seahorses’ ecology, evolution and conservation remains unknown. Collecting some specimens from the wild and studying them in detail could help fill these information gaps, but no specimen of any pygmy seahorse species has so far been collected from Taiwan, the authors write.Wen says this could partly be because pygmy seahorses usually occur at low densities and very little is known about how quickly they replenish their populations. So taxonomists could be reluctant to collect specimens.“The rarity of some of these species in Taiwan, particularly H. denise and H. japapigu also makes collecting them very difficult, so we are thankful that ZooKeys and the reviewers of our paper were happy to accept our photos as proof of these new records,” Wen said. “It is, however, important that some specimens can eventually be collected to validate our observations and facilitate further research in Taiwan.”A Japan pig seahorse (Hippocampus japapigu) in its natural habitat at Hejie, Kenting, Taiwan. Image by Chao-Tsung Chen (CC-BY 4.0).Citation:Heard, J., Chen, J., & Wen, C. K. (2019). Citizen science yields first records of Hippocampus japapigu and Hippocampus denise (Syngnathidae) from Taiwan: A hotspot for pygmy seahorse diversity. ZooKeys, 883, 83-90. doi:10.3897/zookeys.883.39662last_img read more

Indonesian journalists critical of illegal palm plantation found dead

first_imgIndonesian journalists Maraden Sianipar and Martua Siregar were found dead with stab and cut wounds at an illegal oil palm plantation in Sumatra that they had reported on critically.Police have vowed a full investigation, but it’s not clear whether the deaths were linked to the journalists’ work or a long-running dispute with the local community.The victims were reportedly part of a community group that had been trying to gain control of the palm crop at the plantation after authorities ruled the company behind it, PT Sei Alih Berombang (SAB), had illegally cleared forested land.The deaths of Maraden and Martua occurred in the same month that environmental activist Golfrid Siregar died of severe head injuries that police say resulted from a drunken-driving crash but that his associates have linked to foul play. MEDAN, Indonesia — Two Indonesian journalists who had reported on an illegal oil palm plantation in Sumatra while also allegedly trying to gain control of the crop have been found dead at the plantation.The body of Maraden Sianipar, 55, was found on Oct. 30 in a ditch in the concession of palm grower PT Sei Alih Berombang (SAB). The body of Martua Siregar, 42, was found the next day in the bushes near a warehouse at the same site. Both men worked for a weekly publication, Pindo Merdeka, based in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province.Local media reported that Maraden had been found with his left arm hacked off and wounds to his head, while Martua appeared to have stab wounds in his abdomen, back and head.Police have launched an investigation into the case amid mounting calls from Indonesian press groups condemning the deaths and demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice. But it’s not clear whether they were killed because of their critical reporting on SAB, whose concession was sealed off by authorities a year ago after it was found to have cleared 750 hectares of forest to plant oil palms.Witnesses said the pair were also known to be part of a community group that had for years been locked in a dispute with the plantation company and had sought to take control of the oil palms once the local forestry office had ruled that the company’s expansion onto forested land was illegal.Other witnesses said Maraden and Martua had gone by motorbike to the plantation on Oct. 29 with a group of locals seeking to harvest the palm fruit. One witness said he had warned Maraden that plantation guards armed with machetes were guarding a checkpoint in anticipation of the group.“We have questioned eight witnesses, and we’re collecting as much evidence [as possible] to solve the deaths of the two victims,” Budiarto, a local police chief, told reporters on Nov. 2.An oil palm worker harvesting palm fruit at a plantation in North Sumatra. Image by Nanang Sujana for RAN/Oppuk.Locals reported that violent conflicts were common between the plantation’s security guards and people trying to take the palm fruit. The latter, who say they have just as much claim to the illegally cultivated crop as SAB, have sought assistance from environmental groups, including the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), to resolve the land dispute that has simmered since 2015.“We suspect the deaths [of the two] to be unusual,” said Khairul Buchori, who heads the advocacy and legal department at Walhi’s North Sumatra chapter.Maraden and Martua’s deaths come less than a month after the suspicious death of Walhi environmental activist Golfrid Siregar, also in North Sumatra. He was found unconscious with severe head injuries on a traffic overpass in Medan, and died in hospital three days later, on Oct. 6, without ever regaining consciousness.Golfrid was best known for his legal advocacy work for local communities ensnared in land conflicts with oil palm companies. At the time of his death he was also involved in a lawsuit against the North Sumatra government over alleged forgery in the permitting process for a controversial hydropower project in an orangutan habitat.Police, however, ruled Golfrid’s death the result of a drunken-driving crash. But his former colleagues dispute that claim, pointing to several holes in the evidence cited by police, including independent testimony from his family that he wasn’t a drinker.While the motives behind each of the recent deaths remain unclear for now, press and environmental activists agree that they ring alarm bells about the state of the free press and activism in the country.The number of reported cases of violence against journalists rose to 64 in 2018 from 60 in 2017, according to the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI). The group says the main perpetrators of abuse against journalists are companies and the state.There were also 171 recorded cases of violence against activists in Indonesia between 2010 and 2018, according to the Indonesian Human Protection Foundation (YPII), with most of the victims environmental activists.Walhi’s Khairul called for the National Police to take over the North Sumatra police’s investigations into the recent deaths, saying the latter had “failed to resolve” these cases.Golfrid Siregar, left, at a protest against the proposed Batang Toru hydropower project, which threatens the only known habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).This story was first reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and published here on our Indonesian site on Nov. 3, 2019.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Crime, Environment, Environmental Crime, Land Conflict, Murdered Journalists, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Social Conflict center_img Article published by Basten Gokkonlast_img read more

Rhino poaching in South Africa declines for fifth straight year

first_imgAnimals, Anti-poaching, Environment, Illegal Trade, Mammals, Organized Crime, Poaching, Rhinos, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Crime, Wildlife Rangers, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img South Africa reports that rhino poaching has declined for a fifth straight year in the country, with 594 rhino poached in 2019, down from the 769 rhino killed for their horns in 2018.According to an official press release from the South African government, the decline in poaching in 2019 is due to a combination of measures, including deployment of technologies that allow for better reaction times to poaching incidents, improved information collection and sharing between law enforcement agencies, greater cooperation between entities at the regional and national level, and more meaningful engagement of the private sector, NGOs, and donors.There were 2,014 incursions and poaching-related activities recorded in South Africa’s Kruger National Park in 2019, leading to 327 rhinos being lost. Some 178 alleged poachers were arrested within the Park last year, while 332 arrests were made throughout the country. South Africa reports that rhino poaching has declined for a fifth straight year in the country, with 594 rhino poached in 2019, down from the 769 rhino killed for their horns in 2018.2015 was the worst year on record for rhino poaching across Africa, with a little over 1,300 animals killed — 1,175 of them in South Africa.According to an official press release from the South African government, the decline in poaching in 2019 is due to a combination of measures, including deployment of technologies that allow for better reaction times to poaching incidents, improved information collection and sharing between law enforcement agencies, greater cooperation between entities at the regional and national level, and more meaningful engagement of the private sector, NGOs, and donors.The release also states that the South African government is taking further steps to strengthen its multidisciplinary approach to eliminating the illegal killing of rhinos. Its National Integrated Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking, which would boost law enforcement efforts to combat poaching of rhinos and other wildlife, as well, is due to be considered by the country’s Cabinet in the first half of 2020.South Africa also reported a decline in elephant poaching, from 71 in 2018 to 31 in 2019.“Because wildlife trafficking constitutes a highly sophisticated form of serious transnational organised crime that threatens national security, the aim is to establish an integrated strategic framework for an intelligence-led, well-resourced, multidisciplinary and consolidated law enforcement approach to focus and direct law enforcement’s ability supported by the whole of government and society,” South Africa’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, said in the statement.24 severed rhino horns weighing 40kg were found in Hong Kong’s largest ever seizure. Photo by Gary Yip, courtesy of WildAid.Minister Creecy also credited the rangers who patrol conservation areas on a daily basis: “A decline in poaching for five consecutive years is a reflection of the diligent work of the men and women who put their lives on the line daily to combat rhino poaching, often coming into direct contact with ruthless poachers.”There were 2,014 incursions and poaching-related activities recorded in South Africa’s Kruger National Park in 2019, leading to 327 rhinos being lost. Some 178 alleged poachers were arrested within the Park last year, while 332 arrests were made throughout the country.Despite being made of keratin, the same substance as human fingernails, and having no known medicinal properties, rhino horn is highly prized by practitioners of traditional medicine, especially in Asian countries like Vietnam and China, two of the largest markets for illegally trafficked rhino horn. But Peter Knights, CEO of the NGO WildAid, said that demand reduction efforts in these countries have led to higher levels of consumer awareness about the false claims regarding rhino horn’s health properties and caused a significant decline in rhino horn prices, from $65,000 per kilogram to around $22,000 per kilogram.“The good news is that reported poaching is down and the price of horn in Asia is down by two-thirds,” Knights said in a statement. “However, part of the poaching decline may be the most accessible rhinos have gone and there are less left to poach. We commend South African efforts, but the courts need to be prosecuting traders more effectively because corruption in Kruger Park is still a problem. We also need increased prosecutions of smugglers in neighboring Mozambique, as well as of buyers in China and Vietnam, to make the rhinos safe.”Dr. Jo Shaw, Senior Manager of the Wildlife Program for WWF-South Africa, applauded the reduction in rhino deaths and said that it was encouraging to see poaching treated as transnational organized crime, while reductions in the losses of rhinos are being connected to cooperation with rhino horn consumer countries such as China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. But she added that rhinos are still under threat from organized crime syndicates and the lack of suitable habitat in the long-term.“As noted by the [Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries], law enforcement efforts alone cannot address the complex social and economic drivers behind the long-term threats to our rhinos,” Shaw said in a statement. “What is required is a commitment to a holistic approach which considers the attitudes, opportunities and safety of people living around protected areas. The role of corruption, inevitably associated with organized crime syndicates, must also be addressed.”Southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo by Bernard Gagnon, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

VP’s Farm Produces Seed Rice for Liberian Farmers

first_imgMass harvest on the 53-acre rice farm cultivated by the Vice President (VP) of Liberia has gotten underway in Gbarma, Gbarpolu County with the farm hiring over 100 workers per day.The farm was cultivated by VP Joseph N. Boakai in order to boost the Ministry of Agriculture’s Seed Rice Multiplication Program in the country.Speaking to reporters following the tour of the farm, VP Boakai said, food security is a crucial matter for the nation and people. He added that though the nation was struck by the deadly Ebola virus disease, good things are also happening on the other side of the country.The Liberian Vice President said that the agro sector is the bedrock of any economy and the answer to Liberia’s unemployment problem lies in this sector.He said the seed rice will be given to the Ministry of Agriculture for distribution to Liberian farmers across the country to boost their rice production capacities.Vice President Boakai pointed out that following the harvest of the rice, the field will be transformed into an oil palm farm, something he said will provide long-term jobs for people in that part of Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Harris Fomba Tarnue Appointed BWI Principal

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has appointed Mr. Harris Fomba Tarnue as Principal of the Booker Washington institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County.He replaces Mr. Alexander Melvin Massey who served as Interim Principal of the institute for two years.The appointment of Mr. Tarnue is in consonance with Article Four– H of the Charter creating the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) which gives the President of Liberia, who is also the Chair /Ex-officio of the institute’s Board of Governors, the authority to nominate a principal to the Board of Governors after which the Board shall revert to the President of Liberia for a formal appointment once the Board has acted upon the nomination.On December 2, the BWI Board Governors accepted President Sirleaf’s nomination of Mr. Harris Fomba Tarnue as Principal of BWI.Mr. Tarnue’s appointment came as a result of a Civil Service Agency-coordinated competitive vetting process mandated by President Sirleaf to choose the most qualified candidate from among several examined applicants to serve as Principal of BWI. His appointment takes immediate effect, a press release said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chelsea target Kepa pays Athletic Bilbao buyout clause

first_img“At 12:02 p.m. (1002 GMT) on Wednesday, August 8, La Liga informed our club that the player, Kepa Arrizabalaga, had met the conditions to unilaterally break his contract that linked him to Athletic Club,” the Spanish side said in a statement.“The amount of the compensation established in the contract has been deposited.“Athletic thanks the player for his contribution during the time he has remained in our club.”In Spain, instead of the buying club paying the selling club the amount set by the contract, the player must buy himself out.This is done by depositing the amount of the buyout clause with La Liga to release the player. La Liga then pass the money onto the selling club.Chelsea’s move for Kepa comes with Belgium number one Courtois strongly linked with Real Madrid, having yet to report to training with the Premier League club following the World Cup.Kepa has played 53 times in La Liga for Bilbao over the last two seasons, and made his international debut in a 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in November 2017.He was also in the Spain squad for the recent World Cup in Russia as back-up to David De Gea, but did not get any playing time.Kepa signed a new long-term contract, which increased his release clause from 20 million euros, with Athletic in January to end speculation linking him with a move to Real. The European champions are instead on the verge of completing a reported 35-million-euro deal for Courtois, who was voted the best goalkeeper at the World Cup.Courtois, who spent three seasons at Atletico Madrid from 2011 to 2014, has repeatedly stated his desire to move closer to his two children in the Spanish capital.However, Real coach Julen Lopetegui refused to comment on the speculation following his team’s 2-1 victory over Roma in the final game of their US pre-season tour on Tuesday.“I always say that I’m not talking about players who’re not at Real Madrid,” said Lopetegui. “Keylor (Navas) is our goalkeeper and there are no other goalkeepers I can talk about except Keylor, Kiko (Casilla), Andriy (Lunin) and Luca (Zidane).“Keylor is phenomenal, he has our full confidence and is an extraordinary goalkeeper. He’s delighted to belong to Real Madrid and we’re delighted with him.”0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Kepa Arrizabalaga is on the verge of moving to Chelsea in a world-record deal for a goalkeeper © AFP/File / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUMadrid, Spain, Aug 8 – Athletic Bilbao said on Wednesday that Kepa Arrizabalaga has paid his 80-million-euro ($93 million) buyout clause, paving the way for the Spain international to join Chelsea as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.The 23-year-old is expected to replace Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge for a record fee that would surpass the 72.5 million euros Liverpool paid Roma for Brazilian Alisson last month.last_img read more