Empowering communities fighting new mines: an interview with filmmaker Jessie Landerman

first_imgConservation, Environment, Gold Mining, Human Rights, Interns, Interviews, Mining, Water Local communities often suffer from environmental degradation and human rights abuses when mining companies move into their territories.A new series of videos shows local communities that they are not alone by sharing stories of how other communities have combatted, with some success, mining giants.The organization is screening the films for various impacted communities worldwide. It is no secret that mining destroys environments and communities throughout the world. But, beneath the surface there are specific details that are not as widely known. Communities affected by mining sometimes suffer a myriad of human rights abuses. And communities often confront mining companies not knowing how other impacted communities have protected or supported themselves.New Media Advocacy Project (N-Map) saw an opportunity to help communities stand up for themselves. N-Map is a non-profit organization that employs video-based storytelling to advocate for human rights. In its recent series “Beneath the Surface,” they highlight stories of communities that suffered from mining.The goal is to use these stories as a tool to connect communities. Communities targeted by mining companies can screen these videos, get training, and turn screening sessions into action. This way they can get information before companies come in and break the cycle.Jessie Landerman (left) interviews one of the local residents in Luhwindja, Democratic Republic of Congo, where people have lost their land and businesses because of the arrival of BanRo Gold Mining. Photo Credit: Megan Chapman.For example, communities can see how Nigeria’s Bodo community collected baseline data to prove that two Shell oil spills caused significant environmental damage. Or how the Tacana community in Bolivia took control in negotiating an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) when a Bolivian oil company wanted to drill on their land. An EIA measures what impact a project will have on the environment, and outlines what the company will do to reduce this impact.“We see communities have small successes. They are never as grand or perfect as you like them to be. They are often very painful,” Landerman says.The stories show that unity and knowledge are extremely important in breaking this cycle. Targeted communities can see that “they do have options and should come together as a community to decide what is the best strategy for them and become active players in that strategy,” Landerman explained.In an interview with Mongabay, Landerman discusses the impacts of mining, how targeted communities can advocate for themselves, and how New Media Advocacy Project uses video-based storytelling to advance human rights (watch the videos in English, French, Swahili, or Creole).Contaminated water from BanRo’s gold mine outside Luhwindja, Democratic Republic of Congo in South Kivu. Nearby residents have complained of many health problems since mining operations began, and they believe it is linked to the contaminated water. Photo Credit: Jessie Landerman.AN INTERVIEW WITH JESSIE LANDERMANCaitlin Looby for Mongabay: Will you tell us about New Media Advocacy Project? Jessie Landerman: New Media Advocacy Project is a non-profit that is dedicated to using storytelling to advance human rights. What that looks like is creating very targeted audience-focused media or videos that are aimed at supporting specific pursuits of human rights.That could look like any number of issues. We don’t really narrow ourselves based on the issues. We have a very broad definition of human rights, and the same goes for geography…What we offer to people who are already working on the human rights challenge or a human rights campaign is to partner with them to strategically use video.One of the first steps to our process is to identify who the target audience is – not necessarily for video, but for change in general – in order for there to be a just outcome for the human rights challenge. Sometimes that target is at the top of the power pyramid like a judge or legislature. Sometimes it is the base of the pyramid itself, like in “Beneath the Surface.” [This series] is about a community audience, and empowering them through legal and other tactical information about how to defend their human rights.Mongabay: What led you to explore the issue of mining around the world? Jessie Landerman: In part mining is a cornucopia of human rights abuses. Almost any type of human rights abuse is affiliated with mining…The reason we got interested is from working with partners who worked around the world, hearing the articulation of the problems related to communities. There are a lot of stakeholders you can focus on when it comes to abuses related to mining. We really liked the idea that you could focus on communities as the main stakeholders of mining.The problem is communities are facing off against these multinational mining companies alone without access and support, and without knowledge of what other communities in their position have done before.We saw a fantastic opportunity to use video-based storytelling to solve that problem for communities that were targeted for mining. That is what drew us to it – that sense of opportunity and demand. We are really a demand driven organization in terms of solving problems using video. In this case, there were communities out there that were extremely hungry for information about what these mining companies done in other places and what have other communities done to protect their rights.When we started researching it more, we saw there is a playbook that companies play by when they go from community to community. They get what they want, and communities really get screwed. There was an opportunity to use video-based storytelling to provide information to communities in advance, and help them stand up for themselves and break that cycle.Madeleine May of New Media Advocacy (right) produces a video shoot in Bodo, Nigeria, where residents of a fishing city were devastated by an oil spill from a Shell pipeline just off the coast. Because citizens collected environmental samples of soil and water before the spill, the community’s legal representatives were able to definitively prove that Shell had contributed to the massive pollution of the coastal ecosystem. Photo Credit: Andrew Maki.Mongabay: In “Beneath the Surface: The Impacts of Mining,” subjects mention that they were deceived. They thought that mining would be a “blessing.” How do mining companies convince communities to sign on?Jessie Landerman: Based on the stories we have learned and read, companies offer all sorts of economic benefits directly and indirectly. They will often offer people jobs. They will often offer people direct money, saying they will get direct payouts. They say that they will have to relocate, and their new home will be a lot better than their old home. The idea is that people are offered development for their area; they are offered roads, schools, hospitals, and new jobs. And a sense that there is going to be a general rush of prosperity, which logically makes sense. When communities are aware that they have a valuable mineral, it is hard to imagine that you wouldn’t benefit from that. That mineral is under your house or your field. It is hard to think about all this wealth being extracted from where you live and not getting to see any of it.No community that we met and talked to felt that those promises had been realized or that they were better off after mining. Every community that we talked to had suffered and were much worse off after mining. That includes communities that had sued for damages afterwards, and got cash payouts afterwards.Mongabay: Do communities ever benefit? What about from artisanal mining? Jessie Landerman: Industrial mining usually displaces artisanal mining. Also, as in the video from Ghana, if the community is not already mining artisanally, and a company comes in and starts finding indication that there are minerals people will come along before the industrial mine and start mining artisanally. This also has negative impacts on the social fabric and the environment.Mongabay: Broadly, what are the environmental impacts of mining, both on local communities and biodiversity? Jessie Landerman: One of the impacts of gold mining that we focus on the most is water. It is the most immediate and one of the most pressing problems environmentally that results from mining. Mining is bad for both the quantity and quality of water sources.Gold mines use huge amounts of water in all of their processing. Communities have much less water than they used to. Also, water sources are very often contaminated by mining. Mercury and cyanide are frequently used in gold mining. People get very sick and there is tragedy after tragedy with people getting sick from contaminated water… Water [sources] can [also] be destroyed by oil.One of the other cases that we looked at was diamond mining, and people [dying] from water-borne illnesses. Contaminated water is one of the deadliest and most serious impacts of gold mining, and other types of mining.Mariana, an indigenous community leader in the Bolivian Amazon, reviews a summary of the Environmental Impact Assessment for a proposed oil and gas project in her community. Mariana and her neighbors fought hard against the project and forced the company to agree to specific environmental protections in their project plan. Photo credit: Jessie LandermanMongabay: In the second video, the project discusses the importance of collecting baseline data. Why is this so valuable? Jessie Landerman: It gets people to recognize, value, and evaluate their own resources. If a company comes in, and says that they want to use your water you will react differently if you take it for granted than if you are actively engaged in valuing and thinking about all the ways to use that resource.There is also a lot of policy-based processes, there are agreements that are signed and studies that are conducted. Communities are largely blocked from that process. It is very difficult for them to engage in part because it is to the benefit of companies to not engage communities. Getting communities confident and armed with their own data can really shift those scales. It can help them from getting steamrolled in a lot of these processes.We also think the data that they collect is a tool that they can deploy at various points both before mining occurs and if it does happen and there is an accident, like contamination.Mongabay: In “Beneath the Surface: Community Mapping and Resistance to Mining in Ghana,” it is mentioned that people become disconnected from their culture. How does mining do this? How is it impacting culture and society? Jessie Landerman: The presence of outsiders. A lot of times mines are created in communities that are small and close-knit. The influx of outsiders, like workers at the mine can really devastate communities. Mining areas are very highly correlated with sex work and with drugs because there is a lot of transient migrant workers. Often times people working at the mines are not people from the community. When you have a large influx of outsiders, many of whom are migrant male workers, you end up with a lot of new dynamics in a community that can really change the social fabric.Also, because mining is so damaging to land and to water, people often can’t farm anymore. When you disrupt an economic pillar of society everything else starts to shift. And what we see is that it doesn’t shift for the better.Villagers in the Democratic Republic of Congo who were relocated to make way for BanRo’s Twangiza gold mine watch N-Map’s video The Impacts of Mining. The video features interviews with members of their community describing the suffering and unfulfilled promises caused by the company. Following the screening, the community engaged in a discussion about how it has been affected by the mine. Photo Credit: Jessie Landerman.Mongabay: What are some of the challenges you face in producing videos like this?Jessie Landerman: Mining is often done in very remote areas. It is a challenge to plan a video production that is several days long in a remote place where you may not have electricity. One of the cases that we highlight in the series is filmed in Bolivia, and it is about an Environmental Impact Assessment. To get there took at least three days. Flying from New York to Lima, flying to the Peruvian Amazon, getting on a boat to the Bolivian Amazon, and your boat breaks down. Then someone from the community shows up with their small boat, and you put all your equipment in it. Every night you are charging your batteries on a generator at someone’s house. You have to bring all of your food and water with you.One of the other challenges is if a community has already been affected by an industrial mining company there is a level of distrust and trauma of outsiders who come in with an agenda. Not only to hear their stories, but to partner with them is a commitment.At New Media Advocacy Project’s core is a commitment to partner with communities, civil society organizations, and NGOs. We would never show up in the Bolivian Amazon with our gear and try to solicit their testimony. We spend weeks and months building relationships with people explaining what we want to do and why, and also learning from them how it can be a reciprocal process. Sometimes knowing they are sharing their story with others is very valuable to communities. A lot of times the video itself is a tool that they can use to sustain their goals or for their own advocacy.Mongabay: What stories in this series will you be producing next? Jessie Landerman: We have two forthcoming videos in this series that we just filmed. One is from the Philippines that is a resistance movement that has a lot of strong female leadership. That is one angle that we wanted to focus on: the role of women in community-based human rights defense and organizing.Mongabay: Do you ever reach out to the miners or companies, like Shell and Azumah, involved in destroying these environments?Jessie Landerman: In the scope of this project, no. That is really not our goal because there is so much need in addressing mining abuses and human rights we had to be more rigid on where we focus our energy. We are focused on communicating with communities and between communities, and connecting them with each other. There is temptation to do that. There is a role for advocacy to these companies. That is not our role in this particular project. But, I recognize that it is an important part of human rights advocacy to mining.Mongabay: What are the best methods for communities to resist mining companies from coming in? What can they learn from other communities who have successfully repelled mining companies?Jessie Landerman: One of the biggest lessons is somewhat abstract, but it has to do with unity and communicating and information sharing within the community. Divide and conquer is one of the rules of the playbook for mining companies. If communities fall prey to that it is going to be very difficult for them to recover and implement any other tactical strategy. Whether it is doing a baseline water survey or creating a community-based organization in order to speak with one voice, the first step is unity and communication within the community itself.Mongabay: Can areas recover from mining? If so, how long does it take for an ecosystem to recover? Jessie Landerman: We haven’t researched thoroughly what happens after a mine closes. I know that it is still a huge problem area, and in many aspects after a mine closes the water system doesn’t support the community anymore. There [are] abandoned materials and pits scattered all over the globe.One of the biggest and uplifting success stories has been the continuation of the story in Bolivia. A community was getting an oil and gas project forced on them and in order to fight back they took a very active role in all of the institutional processes around the mine, like permitting and studies that were conducted. Those are conversations that very often happen at the higher levels of government and the mining company, and people on the ground are left out. They seized the opportunity to insert themselves into that process. As a result, they were able to negotiate specific protections into the project plan that were so inconvenient for the project that the project was abandoned.We see communities have small successes. They are never as grand or perfect as you like them to be. They are often very painful. These communities are in pain. But, there are these successes, but they are much more complex and nuanced. That has been a huge learning experience for me because as a video storyteller sometimes we seek these ideal, grand stories. The stories are grand, but they are also very complicated.At a workshop with New Media Advocacy, community organizers in Northern Haiti view N-Map’s “Impacts of Mining” video and plan how to use the “Beneath the Surface” series to educate and empower their own communities. Photo Credit: Karen Heredia.Mongabay: What is the big take home message you want a viewer to walk away with?Jessie Landerman: Our strategy for distribution of the films is to provide projection equipment and training to community advocates so that they can screen the films in their own communities. We’ve identified partners in several target countries where there is an interest in mining.We provide them with equipment for a battery powered screening for up to 200 people. We provide them with a projector, a speaker, a screen, and the videos in the appropriate language. And most importantly, customized training and support on who their audiences are, how to gather those audiences, and how to facilitate a discussion. Essentially, how to turn a video screening into community-based action.In that sense, the target audiences are the communities themselves. We want them to walk away with a sense that their unity matters. They do have options and should come together as a community to decide what is the best strategy for them and become active players in that strategy. Rather than having far away elected representatives in the capital city decide on their behalf. Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_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

Major Dutch timber company found guilty of dealing in illegal teak

first_imgArticle published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Deforestation, Environment, Forest Loss, Forests, Habitat Loss, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Rainforests, Timber, Timber Laws, Trade, Tropical Forests The Dutch Food and Safety Authority has ruled Dutch company Boogaerdt Hout in violation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) for placing illegal Burmese teak on the EU market. The company has two months in which to clear its supply chain of illegal wood.The EUTR is part of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan and aims to reduce illegal logging by banning the sale of illicitly sourced timber and timber products in the EU.While most teak on the market today comes from plantations, some is still illegally sourced from Myanmar.The extraction of Burmese teak has been denounced by conservationists, who say its trade is helping fuel rampant illegal logging in the country. An investigation has revealed a major Dutch timber company placed illegally sourced teak from Myanmar on the European market, prompting the Dutch Food and Safety Authority to rule the company in breach of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).A second company, not yet named, was also found guilty of violating EUTR requirements.Under the EUTR, companies must conduct due diligence to ensure they don’t allow illegally sourced timber into their supply chains and onto the market. The Dutch Food and Safety Authority found Boogaerdt Hout violated these due diligence requirements when bringing Burmese teak into the European market.The Dutch government has given Boogaerdt Houta two months in which to clear its supply chain of Burmese teak. If after that time the company has still not complied, it will be fined 20,000 euros ($23,000) per cubic meter of illegal timber.Teak (Tectona grandis) is native to South and Southeast Asia, and its wood is prized for use in high-end furniture and boats. While most teak on the market today comes from plantations, some is still illegally sourced from Myanmar. The extraction of this Burmese teak has been denounced by conservationists, who say its trade is helping fuel rampant illegal logging in the country.Myanmar’s forests are still home to around 80 Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti), which are listed as Endangered by the IUCN. (Photo shown is of a Malaya tiger, which is similar in appearance to the Indochinese subspecies.)The investigation that provided evidence toward the ruling against Boogaerdt Hout was conducted by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a London-based organization. According to the EIA, Boogaerdt Hout joins the ranks of at least 17 companies that have been found guilty of violating EUTR requirements by trading in Burmese teak. Boogaerdt Hout did not respond to requests for comment.The EUTR is part of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan and aims to reduce illegal logging by banning the sale of illicitly sourced timber and timber products in the EU. But while the EUTR is applied EU-wide, member countries are responsible for defining what timber is and isn’t legal. With this ruling, the Netherlands joins Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and the U.K. in defining teak imported from Myanmar as an illegal wood.A teak tree in West Bengal, India. Photo by J.M. Garg via Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0)However, the status of Burmese teak in Italy and Spain remains in limbo.“Myanmar’s forests are in crisis, with a timber industry that has long been plagued by corruption and overharvesting,” said Faith Doherty, head of EIA’s Forests Campaign. “Two EU member states, Italy and Spain, are dragging their feet on enforcement and continue to allow clearly non-compliant timber to enter their markets. This is undermining support for reform in Myanmar and providing an uneven playing field for companies in EU countries that are enforcing the law.”The EIA commended the Myanmar Forest Department for gains made in recent years, including enacting national and regional logging bans, as well as new timber laws. However, the organization says more needs to be done to reform the country’s timber industry and reduce illegal logging, specifically calling for greater transparency. This, the NGO says, would go a long way toward independent monitoring and assurance that any teak entering the EU market did not come from a Myanmar rainforest.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.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

Study tracks first incursion of poachers into ‘pristine’ African forest

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon Researchers logged the first evidence of elephant poaching in a remote, pristine section of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the northern Republic of Congo.The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, also revealed unique behavior changes between gorillas and chimpanzees as a result of selective logging.The research highlights the need to incorporate the results of biodiversity surveys into plotting out the locations of areas set aside for conservation. Elephant poachers are using logging roads to infiltrate some of the last remaining pristine forests in Central Africa, according to a study published in July.The study’s authors also revealed that logging, even done selectively under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines, alters wildlife habitat and behavior. The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, examined how these changes altered the habitat for western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes).It turns out that the impacts are “quite different” for each ape, said David Morgan, a conservation scientist at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and the paper’s lead author.Chimpanzees build their nests closer to the ground in logged forests, the study found. Image by Chi King via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0).Working with the logging companies and local officials, Morgan and his colleagues picked out the intact forest landscapes (IFLs) — defined as areas 500 square kilometers (193 square miles) or larger without signs of human use — on satellite maps in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and an adjacent, FSC-certified logging concession in the northern Republic of Congo. They then identified, counted and measured the sizes of plants in plots both inside intact forest landscapes and in logged areas.The team also estimated how easy it was for humans to access the study area based on the roads cutting through it, and they incorporated the observations of the presence of humans from local research teams and wildlife patrols.The goal was to provide a window into the current state of the habitat for gorillas and chimpanzees as well as changes coming down the road.“With this type of data, we can start to think about distance from roads, what the tree resources are and how those changes are going to affect them long term,” Morgan said in an interview. The IUCN lists western gorillas as critically endangered and central chimpanzees as endangered.A western lowland gorilla forages in a Central African forest. Image by Ivonne Kienast/WCS.Central Africa’s once-vast tracts of unbroken rainforest have dwindled precipitously in recent decades, primarily due to logging. A 2017 study found that Central Africa lost about a tenth of its IFLs between 2000 and 2013. Alongside the thinning and clearance of these forests has been a startling uptick in the expansion of logging roads throughout the area. Ecologists calculated in a 2019 paper that the length of roads in the Congo Basin in 2018 was more than two-and-a-half times what it was in 2003.The comparisons of logged areas and IFLs revealed little difference in the numbers of chimpanzees and gorillas between the two habitats. However, they found that the shift in the mix of plant species present did change the apes’ foraging tendencies.Their analysis provided further evidence that these changes to the forest affect the animals differently. Previous research led by Morgan suggested that gorillas stand a better chance of coping with selectively logged forests than chimpanzees because their diets are more flexible and they aren’t as territorial.In this case, Morgan and his colleagues learned that chimps built their nests closer to the ground in logged areas than they did in IFLs, a change not observed in gorillas. That could, Morgan speculated, increase the chance of spreading disease in a population, though that wasn’t something the team looked at in this study.A logging road cuts through a forest in Central Africa. Image courtesy of WCS.Most concerning was the discovery that elephant poachers had begun to make their way into the dense IFLs in the logging concession and in the park, likely aided by a proliferation of logging roads nearby. The illicit ivory trade has pushed the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) population in the Congo Basin into a nosedive. Between 2002 and 2011, researchers tracked a 62 percent drop in the numbers of the smaller cousin to Africa’s savanna elephants, which many scientists now recognize as a distinct species.Morgan and other ape researchers have been studying this area since the late 1990s, especially the Goualougo Triangle, which forms the southern tip of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park.When the research first started, Morgan said, “There were no signs of people in that area.”“That was kind of the red line,” he said of the Goualougo Triangle. “You can’t let places like this become open to poachers. We have to do all we can to protect that.”A mother gorilla and baby. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.To do that, the authors highlight the need to incorporate these types of biodiversity assessments that look at the long-term changes to habitats and the impacts on wildlife when plotting out where to set aside land for conservation or protected areas. Such forward-thinking planning is particularly important in places that don’t have the level of protection that Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park does.It appears that even the park, which is part of the Sangha Trinational UNESCO World Heritage site stretching across the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Cameroon, may face further challenges: in 2018, the government of the Republic of Congo invited oil companies to bid on exploration rights in a block of land overlapping with the park.Oil exploitation “doesn’t fit” with the region’s World Heritage status, Morgan said.Still, he added, “This one of the most well-protected, well-funded parks in Central Africa,” but the team’s research demonstrates that it’s still susceptible to poachers. “If it’s occurring here, it’s going to be occurring in other areas that aren’t being monitored as much.”Banner image of forest elephants by Richard Ruggiero/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain). John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitations:Maisels, F., Bergl, R.A., & Williamson, E.A. (2018). Gorilla gorilla (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T9404A136250858. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T9404A136250858.en. Downloaded on 02 October 2019.Maisels, F., Strindberg, S., Greer, D., Jeffery, K., Morgan, D.L., & Sanz, C. (2016). Pan troglodytes ssp. troglodytes (errata version published in 2016). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15936A102332276. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T15936A17990042.en. Downloaded on 02 October 2019.Morgan, D., Strindberg, S., Winston, W., Stephens, C. R., Traub, C., Ayina, C. E., … Sanz, C. M. (2019). Impacts of Selective Logging and Associated Anthropogenic Disturbance on Intact Forest Landscapes and Apes of Northern Congo. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 2, 28. doi:10.3389/ffgc.2019.00028FEEDBACK: 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 overSponsoredcenter_img Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecology, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Forest Elephants, Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Iucn, Ivory, Ivory Trade, Logging, logging roads, Mammals, Plants, Poaching, Primates, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Research, Roads, Saving Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Tropical Forests, Wcs, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade last_img read more

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, November 22, 2019

first_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 overSponsored Article published by John Cannon There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsYouth activists came together in the Amazon to strategize on how to combat climate change (The Guardian).The loss of rainforests means that we’re also losing a source of important medicines (Undark, The Hour).Brazil’s environment minister says that improving economic opportunities for people in the Amazon will slow deforestation (Yahoo News).The largest ape ever to live trod the Earth almost 2 million years ago, and its closest living relative is the orangutan (Smithsonian).A Brazilian tribe has successfully pushed back against development plans by a Portuguese corporation that sought to build a hotel on the country’s coast (The New York Times).Other newsClimate change may put many toxic waste sites at risk in the U.S. (The Washington Post).Communities are restricting building permits to stem the risk from climate change in the United States (The New York Times).A team of researchers says that their new method to replicate rhinoceros horn could help save the animals from extinction (The Guardian, The Economist) …… While some question whether a “new” replacement will alter the odds for threatened rhino species (The Revelator).Surfers in California were treated to a visit from a gray whale (Adventure Sports Network).A long-standing law backstops an effort to get rid of plastics in the U.S. (The Revelator).Researchers believe that drought-resistant trees could be key to forests in the western U.S. surviving climate change (Los Angeles Times).There’s a newly discovered species of animal that lives in a public park in the Netherlands (Deutsche Welle).The wasted cuts from fish could be used to make biodegradable plastic (Smithsonian).North America lost roaming ecosystem engineers when bison were wiped out of most of their range in the 1800s (The Atlantic).Banner image of bison in Yellowstone National Park by Arturo de Frias Marques via Wikimedia Commons (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.center_img Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update last_img read more

Habitat loss, climate change make for an uncertain cricket harvest in Uganda

first_imgBush crickets are an important source of food – and income – in Uganda.Loss of forest and wetland habitat, as well as intensified harvesting, may lead to overexploitation.Entomologists at Makerere University are studying techniques to farm the insects. MASAKA, Uganda — “The harvest season was good when the forests were not yet cut down, but now they don’t have any food,” says John Mulindwa, 58, sitting behind a timber frame stacked with empty oil drums and metal sheeting. The roadside is crowded with similar structures for catching nsenene — crickets — a delicacy across Uganda, but especially here in the small city of Masaka.Twice a year, the rains bring swarms of nsenene, primarily Ruspolia differens — a bush cricket or katydid but commonly referred to as a grasshopper — migrating in search of food and a mate; and twice a year, traditionally, people across the country would painstakingly catch nsenene by hand. “During that time we were capturing them in bedsheets and using reeds that we could shake so that the nsenene follow,” Mulindwa says.Then, in the mid-1990s, some residents of Masaka had the bright idea of using powerful electric lights as a trap, attracting vast swarms of nsenene and a new source of income. But in recent years, with the loss of the crickets’ habitat and a rapidly changing climate, Masaka’s fortunes are also turning.“The cutting down of trees reduced the catch in Masaka, especially around Kalangala where they have oil palm plantations,” says Tom Lubega, 42, chairman of the country’s biggest nsenene market, in the Katwe neighborhood of the capital, Kampala. He said that this year the swarms are coming mostly from the west of the country, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, where natural water bodies and tropical forests are still intact.“The wetlands and lake shores are an important habitat for grasshoppers as they lay their eggs in these areas,” says Jeconious Musingwire, an environmental scientist at the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA). “The habitats which are nearer to us have been destroyed. It’s worrying us.”Uganda’s wetlands coverage has shrunk by more than 40% since 1994. Near Masaka, sand mines, rice paddy fields and construction projects have gradually encroached on the surrounding wetlands. Smallholders, too, are seeking out new fertile land as climate extremes harm crop harvests. “The weather is changing,” says Rose Nakyejjwe, the Masaka district manager for NEMA. “People are moving onto the wetlands in order to cultivate for survival.”On the island of Bugala, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Masaka and the largest island in Kalangala district, tropical high forest cover fell from 57 percent in 1990 to 20 percent in 2017. In the same period, grassland cover was reduced from 27 percent to 6 percent. “In Kalangala they removed the tropical forest and planted palms. This uses chemicals and fertilizers which kills the young ones and the eggs,” says Nakyejjwe, noting the importance of these environments as a source of food for nsenene.Buying nsenene in Mbarara. Image by Thomas Lewton for Mongabay.Everyone likes the taste of nsenene“Oh, aha! Everyone likes the taste of grasshoppers,” says Fadson Mugisha, 33, a harvester who prefers to eat his nsenene fried with onions and a little salt. Mugisha began catching nsenene as a child. “When our exams started, we knew that grasshoppers were going to come. We used to climb in the hills and the mountains to catch them,” he remembers.Soon powerful electric lights also arrived in his home city of Mbarara. “These lights, the bulbs are not the ones we use at home. The rays move very far and attract insects. Even the old people were excited,” he laughs. Through most of his school years Mugisha helped a local businessman to work his nsenene sites, and after graduating he started out on his own.Now Mugisha is the leader of 200 local cricket harvesters, and owns seven sites spread across the region. Despite the changing migration patterns, this year’s season has been good to him, with the wind carrying swarms to his sites from the far west of Uganda. “It’s my favorite food, my favorite business. I love nsenene so much,” he says.Since the 1990s, the biannual nsenene harvest has become a vital business to an increasing number of Ugandans. Impressed by Masaka’s bumper harvests, entrepreneurs began to build light traps wherever they could find nsenene. “In Uganda there is no job that makes the profits like grasshopper catching,” Lubega, the chairman of the Katwe nsenene market, says with a smile.“When the season has been good we become so happy,” Mulindwa says. “They provide jobs: from the ones catching them, to the ones preparing them and the ones selling. People get to pay off their debts and school fees.” But in recent years, with a changing environment and a growing number of nsenene harvesters competing for the same catch, it’s become harder and harder for harvesters to make a profit on their investment.The sun sets at one of Mugisha’s sites in Mbarara. Weaver birds perch on a nearby fence and pick off the first few crickets to arrive; even now they are attracted by the silver reflection of iron sheeting. Then darkness falls, and the bulbs hum into life.To catch nsenene, the conditions have to be just right. “When we get rain and then we receive some little sunshine, our hopes of getting a good catch are very high,” Mugisha says. But if the wind blows in the wrong direction, more rain falls, or the moon is too visible, then all this can change in an instant. Crickets navigate by the moon, and on clear nights its luminous glow outshines the electric bulbs on the ground.The hours tick by, and hundreds of crickets become thousands — and then hundreds of thousands. A thick cloud hovers above the bulbs. The space echoes with a sound like large raindrops hitting a tin roof as crickets fly into the sheeting and then slide into open oil drums.“It is not easy to harvest grasshoppers,” Mugisha says. “Installing all these drums and iron sheets, eh eh, it takes a lot of labor, and you have to invest a lot of money. But if you are determined, you can harvest.”Looking to the skies, Mugisha estimates he’ll catch about 30 sacks tonight, worth three million shillings ($800) in total. Workers wear sunglasses to shield their eyes against the lights as they scoop nsenene out of the oil drums by the bucketful. Their arms and faces are scarred by the corrosive juices of Nairobi flies, beetles that are also drawn to the lights.last_img read more

De Ocampo jokes as challenge on LeBron goes viral: I made him popular

first_imgPBA: San Miguel snaps skid, downs Rain or Shine Break new ground Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend “If you look at it, I made a lot of people laugh. I’m sure my face was able to reach different places in the world and I think I made LeBron popular,” De Ocampo added in jest. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ In the video that went viral, de Ocampo was seen trying to give James a dose of his own medicine as he attempted a chasedown block on the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar’s patented Statue-of-Liberty dunk during an exhibition game.“Actually, I really wanted to challenge him, but I had already jumped when I realized that I won’t be able to get to him. But at the same time, I was okay to be included on his poster,” said the veteran forward.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Winning startcenter_img A costly, catty dispute finally settled Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ MOST READ Even de Ocampo’s former longtime teammate with TNT, Jimmy Alapag made fun out of it.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonRanidel de Ocampo is already a household name in basketball crazy Philippines.Then he went global over the weekend after taking part in LeBron James’ highlight video during his Strive For Greatness Show in Manila.ADVERTISEMENT Aside from the video that was shared by top websites in the US, a photo taken by the Inquirer’s Sherwin Vardeleon also made rounds on social media.Almost got it Del!!😂 @jutaca33 https://t.co/ZzfkDS0Ltg— Jimmy Alapag (@JAlapag3) September 2, 2017The picture appears to show de Ocampo mirroring James from behind as the three-time NBA champion went for lift off.ADVERTISEMENT End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacsonlast_img read more

PPP Commissioners muzzled at GECOM’s statuary meeting

first_imgChairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Retired Justice James Patterson has been accused of muzzling Commissioners of the People’s Progressive Party.At Tuesday’s statutory meeting, PPP Commissioners, Robson Benn, Sase Gunraj and Bibi Shadick walked out of the meeting after Patterson refused to allow Benn to make remarks at the beginning of the meeting which was held at GECOM’s High Street, Kingston, Georgetown office.Speaking with Guyana Times after walking out of the meeting, Commissioner Benn expressed dissatisfaction with the operations of the Commission. He stated that among the issues he intended to raise during the intervening period were the Ethnic Relations Commission’s (ERC) report and a legal letter against GECOM among other matters.“It has been two weeks since a full meeting has taken place and we were still not allowed to say anything,” Benn remarked.“We have a democratic right to make comments at the beginning of the meeting and there is clear intention to have us not so do,” he added.At the previous meeting held on March 12, the three PPP Commissioners walked out after realising that the matters on the agenda for the statutory meeting had nothing to do with Regional and General Elections but rather, house-to-house registration.PPP Commissioner Sase Gunraj had told the media that the house-to-house registration is a policy that was taken from time to time by GECOM while the requirement to hold general elections is mandated by the Constitution of Guyana.He had noted that he along with the other PPP Commissioners, could not “sit there and suborn the violation of the Constitution” by engaging in any discussion that does not countenance the holding of elections in the constitutionally-mandated timeline.Meanwhile, Commissioner Benn had said that he requested that GECOM cease and desist from undertakings relating to house-to-house registration and to take account of the constitutional imperatives based on the no-confidence motion passed in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018.The PPP Commissioners have maintained that the only way of “going forward” would be to have all Commissioners at GECOM commence discussions on the pressing issue of Regional and General Elections in Guyana as is constitutionally mandated.On December 21, 2018, the no-confidence motion brought by the parliamentary Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) against the Government succeeded when former AFC Member of Parliament Charrandas Persaud broke ranks and made a conscience vote in favour of the motion.GECOM Commissioners, including the Chair, have been advocating for house-to-house registration to sanitise the voters’ list. On Monday, GECOM’s Public Relations Officer, Yolanda Ward, in an invited comment said that the necessary training for election officials has begun in several areas across the country in a bid to hold house-to-house registration.“The Secretariat has commenced its preparations for the conduct of house-to-house registration and so I think it was the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of March training for the trainers commenced. Subsequently, there was the training in Georgetown I think at 16 locations on the weekend of the 30th and 31st [of March] and of as at yesterday [Sunday] training continued on the East Coast and on the East Bank [of Demerara],” Ward explained.She said that once the training has concluded, a proposal has been made for the house-to-house registration to commence in June.Since the passage of the no-confidence resolution, GECOM has been accused of dragging its feet with respect to elections preparation.last_img read more

November 29th Community Events Photos

first_imgThe Fort St. John Legion held the Peace Country Craftman’s Sale for the third day in a row.                                                                                                                   Picture: Amber DavyMany people go to the Peace Country Craftmans Sale to do some shopping, especially with Christmas right around the corner.                                                                                    Picture: Amber Davy Fort St. John and the surrounding area has been lucky to have very nice weather during the past week.                                                                                                                Picture: Amber Davy- Advertisement –last_img read more

Science Fair today at North Peace Secondary School

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – North Peace Secondary School is holding a Science Fair today, Tuesday.This event is hosted by the Youth Science Canada’s Northern British Columbia region and showcases the work of aspiring young scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.According to Youth Science Canada, this event is in partnership with Rogers, who recently provided a $50,000 national community grant in support of this initiative.- Advertisement -Youth from grades 7 to 12 have the opportunity to present a project that focuses on an important issue in society such as health, the environment, innovation, and energy.Executive Director of Youth Science Canada, Reni Barlow, says the science fair allows students to apply their skills and knowledge to solve everyday issues.“Science fairs challenge youth to apply their STEM ( science, technology, engineering and math) skills and knowledge to solve everyday issues through projects.”Advertisement Since 1962, Youth Science Canada has committed over 50 years to support the growth and development of youth who have a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math.For more information on Youth Science Canada, you can visit Youthscience.ca.last_img read more

John Terry: Chelsea’s Premier League title success just the start of a new era of dominance

first_img John Terry 1 Chelsea captain John Terry insists the Blues are on the cusp of a new era of dominance after securing their first Premier League title since 2010 on Sunday.Jose Mourinho’s side wrapped up a fully deserved league crown with a typically professional 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, meaning they have an unassailable lead with three games left.Terry has lifted all four of Chelsea’s Premier League titles as captain and spearheaded the era of success in Mourinho’s first spell at the club, and the 34-year-old is anticipating more trophies in the coming years.“This is the start of a new group, a new era and for sure this current group are going to go on to win many more trophies for the club,” Terry told Chelsea TV.“We’ve showed great strength and character this year to come and do it.”The two Manchester clubs have enjoyed four years of superiority in England’s top flight, and Terry admitted reclaiming the title has been a difficult task after years of relative underachievement at Stamford Bridge.He said: “This is a tough trophy to win. It’s been five years since we won it. It will take a few days to sink in.“It’s been a long time. We’ve been great this season and fully deserve it. I’m absolutely delighted to get it.”last_img read more