2020 Olympics postponed

first_imgThe 2020 Olympic games which were scheduled to be held in Japan, have been postponed due to growing coronavirus fears.The announcement was made Monday by USAToday after they spoke with International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.According to Pound, the committee as well as the teams are extremely concerned for the wellbeing of the athletes so the games originally scheduled for July 24th have been pushed back.Pound also stated that while the committee has made the decision to postpone the games, they are still working on the details surrounding the decision such has when the games will be played.“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” he said in a phone interview with USAToday.Pound continued saying the games may be rescheduled for 2021.last_img read more

Broward Clerk of Courts Calls Her Hitler Social Media Post a “Warning”

first_imgOne of Forman’s opponents in the upcoming election called the message “unhinged,” but Forman says it has been taken out of context. Broward Clerk of Court Brenda Forman posted a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler earlier this week on her social media account.On Wednesday, she explained her Facebook post, which has created concerns in the county, to Miami television station WPLG. “It’s not that I am for Hitler, trust me, that is not who I am,” according to Forman.The post shows a quote that is falsely attributed to Hitler next to a photo that is intended to resemble the Nazi leader.The text’s subject matter is about controlling a group of people by revoking their rights in a systematic yet subtle manner.Some Broward residents are now questioning the motives of Forman, who shared the post with no context.Paul Backman, who is running against her in November’s election, says, “I was just appalled that in the 21st century we have to go back and relive the history that has existed between any quote dealing with an individual by the name of Hitler in reference to Jews.”He adds, “Where an individual who references herself as the first female and first woman of color. . . I give her all of that credit because she was, but this is just unhinged.”Forman explains that she was not sharing the post in order to glorify the message or the man to whom it was incorrectly attributed.Courtesy: FacebookShe says that she was instead attempting to share the post’s words as a warning.According to Forman, “I don’t set out to offend people. I never will offend any group of people, race, creed, color or nationality or your religion. That is not who I am, and it was not meant to be set out there in that way.”She went on to say, “I want my African American community to know because of what’s going out there. You have people out there marching for Black Lives Matter, why is that the clerk of the courts can’t fight for you on the inside and let you know, I know what injustice is?”However, Backman responds that hate in any form is unacceptable.“I don’t care, it doesn’t matter where it comes from, everyone in this country and everyone in the world comes from the same place and we should expect each other, we should respect their religions, we should respect their beliefs, and i just don’t understand why this world can’t all play in the sandbox nicely,” he says.Facebook flagged the post for a fact check issue before it was deleted. The company’s message stated, “False information. Checked by independent fact checkers.”The issue, according to the checkers, was that it was not said by Adolph Hitler.As far as why she deleted her post, Forman says, “I deleted it because it needed to be deleted because there were a lot of negative things being said towards me and my people.”last_img read more

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

first_imgFacebook5Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Adopt-A-PetMeet Humvee.  This loyal four-year-old black Labrador Retriever was given up by his owner who could no longer give him the love and care he deserves. He’s a volunteer favorite because he walks so well on a leash.This big love of a dog is also good with other dogs, kids and even cats.  Humvee knows his basic obedience commands and greets people he meets with a friendly handshake.We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to join our crew.  You can contact Adopt-A-Pet dog shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton at www.adoptapet-wa.org or  at thedoghouse3091@hotmail.com or (360) 432-3091.last_img

Walkers Take to the Streets to Fight Suicide

first_imgFacebook71Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Eileen Bochsler for the Olympia Out of the Darkness Community WalkSuicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide is preventable. More than 200 people from throughout the Olympia area are expected to participate in the annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk at 10:0 a.m., Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Marathon Park. This fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) local and national programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide twenty percent by 2025.“We walk to support those who suffer from mental health conditions and raise the money for research and prevention programs that will save lives,” said Grace Finch, Washington State Area Director, AFSP.The Olympia Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more that 350 Out of the Darkness Community Walks being held nationwide this fall. The walks are expected to unite more that 150,000 walkers and raise millions or suicide prevention efforts.“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “Suicide is a serious problem, but it’s a problem we can solve. The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight the science is only going to get better, our culture will get smarter about mental health, and we’ll be able to save more people from dying from depression and other mental health conditions.”Local AFSP sponsors for the Olympia Out of the Darkness Walk include Providence Health and Services Southwest Washington, Good Therapy and Batdorf & Bronson.The American Foundation for Suicide PreventionThe American Foundation for Suicide Prevention leads the fights against suicide. We fund research, offer educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has 75 local chapters with programs and events nationwide. Join the national conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.last_img read more

Solomon Islands football coach impressed with PNG player

first_imgFoster played for Malaita in the semi-professional 2016 Telekom Solomon National League competition in Honiara.He is a current PNG Kapul and played for Lae City Dwellers in the 2015-2016 Telikom National Soccer League in Port Moresby.Foster is back in the country after Kingz bowed out of the competition, finishing fourth on the ladder which was the best finish for the team.Masalo said that Foster has been an outstanding player, one of the most consistent players for the Club and looks dangerous every time he touches the ball.“Michael brings a different element to the team and has been described as a real threat for opposing teams.“His wealth of experience and confidence is invaluable for a young inexperienced Kings side,” Masalo said.The coach added that Foster commands respect from his fellow Kings team mates, not through spoken words, but through his playing style and attitude to training and the match games. The Club stood tall against big teams and came very close to qualifying for the Oceans League for the first time.Unfortunately a few unlucky errors cost the team crucial games resulting in the team finishing fourth out of nine teams.   In his 15 games played, Foster scored seven goals and assisted with countless more goals playing a striker/attacking mid-fielder role.Masalo said he could have scored more but missed a few games through the PNG Kapuls training camp in Moresby and later a Kapuls tour to Malaysia for international friendlies against Iran and Malaysia.He confirmed that the Club will push hard to secure the services of Foster again for next season.last_img read more

Málaga ratifies Manolo Gaspar as sports director

first_imgMuñoz gave Manolo Gaspar full freedom of movement as soon as he landed by order of the judge at La Rosaleda. In these months of maximum difficulty and in a limit situation, the sports director has made several important decisions such as the commitment to Pellicer for the bench, the signings for the minimum wage of Tete Morente, Buenacasa and Aarón Ñíguez, the recent renewal of Hicham o the transfer of Antoñín to Granada, an option to which the reviled Al Thani and Shaheen opposed in January and which was essential to avoid the administrative descent of the club. Málaga ratifies Manolo Gaspar as sports director. After confirming Sergio Pellicer as a full-fledged coach a few weeks ago, the club also wanted to reinforce the figure of the entity’s top sports manager by announcing his ratification in a statement. These decisions, sponsored by the judicial administrator, José María Muñoz, aim to give stability to the club also in the sporting field. And currently, both Manolo Gaspar and Sergio Pellicer are two of the main foundations of the blue and white project.“The steps that the judicial administrator has taken are quite good, especially at the sports level. He has done things that we expected from the inside, such as ratifying the coach and leaning on and trusting Manolo Gaspar, who is doing a great job and has always been very close to the squad. That was necessary ”, affirmed this Thursday the captain of the squad, Adrián González.last_img read more

Singapore’s wild bird trade threatens exotic species

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Pet Trade, Trade, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking About 48 of the 108 species observed in Singapore’s bird markets were listed in either CITES Appendix I or II, which means that their international trade is restricted.Unfortunately, most birds being sold in the markets are not listed in CITES, meaning that these birds are not subject to international regulations.Information about the harvesting, breeding, and trading of animals in Singapore is very hard to obtain, making it difficult to ascertain the impact of the trade on the birds’ wild populations. Singapore has historically been a major hub for bird trade. But the trade, largely poorly managed, threatens exotic species, according to a new study.A new survey by the wildlife trade monitoring organization TRAFFIC has found that most of the birds being sold in Singapore’s bird markets are non-native species.In just four days, TRAFFIC team members recorded more than 14,000 birds for sale in just 28 pet shops — an average of over 500 birds per shop. About 80 percent of these individuals were not native to Singapore, researchers report in the new study Songsters of Singapore: An Overview of the Bird Species in Singapore Pet Shops. In fact, six of the top 10 most heavily traded species were exotic, about 35 percent originating from the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and another 31 percent originating from Central and South America.“The volume of birds in Singapore’s birds markets are comparable to those in Indonesia, although the majority in Singapore are non-native species, hence the need to be particularly vigilant about the impacts of trade elsewhere in Asia and beyond,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, Senior Program Manager for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia, said in a statement.Over 1000 Red-whiskered Bulbuls were observed in one shop. Photo by James A.Eaton.The oriental white-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus), with nearly 6,500 individuals on display, was the most commonly sold bird in these markets. This striking yellow bird with white-rimmed eyes was once native to Singapore, but has been almost wiped out due to habitat loss and trapping for the bird trade.“The presence of thousands of Oriental White-eyes in Singapore’s bird markets is a poignant reminder of the dangers of persistent over harvesting and poorly managed trade,”  Krishnasamy said. “Singapore lost its Oriental White-eyes largely through excessive trapping, which should have hoisted a red flag warning that the ongoing trade will impose the same fate on this and other species elsewhere until there are no more left.”Oriental white eye is the most commonly traded bird in Singapore. Photo by N. A. Naseer / www.nilgirimarten.com. From Wikimedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 in.Some of the birds observed were listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which means that their global trade is restricted. Seven of the 108 species observed in Singapore’s pet markets were listed in CITES Appendix I, while 41 were listed in CITES Appendix II. However, the team could not pinpoint the source of these CITES-listed species — whether they were bred in captivity or caught from the wild — making it difficult to determine if the trade in these birds is legal.Unfortunately, most birds being sold in the markets are not listed in CITES, meaning that these birds are not subject to international regulations. Moreover, information about the harvesting, breeding, and trading of animals in Singapore is very hard to obtain, the TRAFFIC team said, making it difficult to ascertain the impact of the trade on the birds’ wild populations.Among the birds observed, some are currently listed as threatened in the IUCN Red List. These include one critically endangered species, the yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), 11 near threatened species, eight vulnerable species, and four endangered species, including the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), the lilac-crowned Amazon (Amazona finschi), the straw-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus), and the sun parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis).The TRAFFIC report advocates improved transparency and availability of trade data, including details on CITES-listed species, captive breeding activities in Singapore, and any quotas that the government has set for trade.The TRAFFIC team also  calls for members of the  public to report suspected wildlife crime to Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Singapore’s CITES Management Authority, or through TRAFFIC’s Wildlife Witness App.A Grey Parrot observed in trade in Singapore in November 2015. Photo by James A.Eaton.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 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

Slave labor in the Amazon: Risking lives to cut down the rainforest

first_imgA rookie in the trade of cutting down trees, João* asked himself how life led him to this “terribly wrong” way to make ends meet. Camped out in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in the state of Pará, 90 kilometers from the Trans-Amazonian Highway, João regretted taking the job, the first to come along in months.He and his colleagues had finished cutting down the first of many massaranduba trees for the day when they heard the roar of cars. “Come on, let’s hide in the forest,” João heard from one of his more experienced colleagues, and followed. Peering through the leaves, they saw armed men appear clad in vests marked “Federal.”“Oh God, get me out of here. Don’t let me die,” João pleaded as he ran further into the woods. His fear was rooted in stories told by his more-experienced colleagues, tales of how state authorities handle workers like him: with repression, prison and even physical violence.After he was found by the inspectors, João said the idea of the state being there to protect him never crossed his mind. But this was, in fact, the goal of the team led by Ministry of Labor auditor José Marcelino and comprised of representatives of the Ministério Público do Trabalho (an independent branch of the Labor Justice Department), the Federal Public Defender’s Office and escorted by the Federal Highway Police. A team of journalists from Repórter Brasil also followed the team and interviewed the workers.The operation was trying out a new strategy for bringing the law to the frontlines of rainforest destruction. Instead of treating workers as enemies, the idea was to recognize them as victims, even as possible allies in the fight against illegal logging.When the group was finally found, João and his colleagues gave lengthy depositions, helping authorities understand how timber extraction works and unveiling myriad possible crimes committed by local sawmill owners. Because of the risks to their lives workers endured on the job and the degrading conditions in which they lived, the inspectors rescued the workers and framed the case as slave labor, in accordance with the Brazilian penal code.João talked about how he would work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., off the books and without protective equipment. Even though logging is a risky activity, with one of the highest death and amputation rates in Brazil, neither guidance nor minimal protection was given. He described fatal accidents as banal events.“There was this guy who did the same thing as me. He died. He got distracted while rolling up a cigarette. The tree fell off the truck and on top of him. He ended up in the cemetery,” João said.Neither first aid nor medicine waited back at the communal tent. Just a rifle for protection and hunting. As well as an old motorbike to take the workers to the city, more than 100 kilometers on a dirt road away, in case of an animal attack or an accident. But workers did not count on the possibility of being rescued.“There are no accidents over there, only death,” João said. “If you mess up, you’re all done for.”João is a weathered worker with a long resume at some of the toughest jobs available for migrants like him.” He left a poor region in the northeast of Brazil still young and cut his teeth in construction sites and coal mines, where his lunges hurt when he coughed. Even so, he considered logging as his worst labor experience so far.In the blue-tinged shadows of the tent, the workers had hung up their colored hammocks and backpacks with their belongings. Without walls and just a dirt floor, there was nothing kept out the cold morning wind or visiting insects and venomous snakes.“Thank God everyone was already in their hammocks,” João said. “Then one of the men turned on their flashlight. There was a huge snake there, more than two meters long, thick. This guy grabbed a piece of wood and struck it on top, killing it.” Jaguars also occur in the area, with reporters observing tracks on the ground near camps.With a nervous laugh, the group’s cook said she wasn’t scared and didn’t have anything to complain about. She described how she prepared meals on two camp stoves improvised from 18-liter cans. Rice, beans, and spaghetti were the most common meals, with occasional pieces of sun-dried beef that were hung to dry from a clothesline at the camp and frequently visited by flies. The camp water came from the city in barrels and, according to worker testimony, always had a little “grime on the bottom.”The camp’s washtub was shielded by an impromptu partition made from palm leaves and a black tarp. The cook took her bath when the workers were in the forest. For all other necessities, the forest was the only bathroom.Ministry of Labor raids have revealed that it is common for vulnerable workers in Brazil to experience serious labor violations, such as the ones described above. Based on the conditions at the camp, inspectors framed the case as slavery-like conditions in accordance with Brazilian legislation.A tarp provides the only protection from the elements for the workers at this logging camp. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoA bed at a logging camp. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoUltimately, the Ministry of Labor found the sawmill company that operated the site, M.A. de Sousa Madeireira, responsible for the criminal conditions in which its employees worked and lived. However, in his dusty office in Uruará, company owner Manoel Araújo de Sousa asserted he was not responsible for the workers. He said he was aware of the extraction of wood, but he had nothing to do with the site’s operation since it was a self-directed effort by one of his former employees. He did admit, however, that he kept a portion of the harvested wood and that he was the “owner” of the land where they were working.As proof that he could extract wood from the location, Araújo de Sousa claims to have a purchase contract, with no registered title or authorization for extracting timber.As part of its penalty, M.A. de Sousa Madeireira had pay workers’ rights fees amounting to 31,000 reais ($9,950). The sawmill’s attorney declared her disagreement with the ruling holding the company responsible for the labor violations. Araújo de Sousa and his brother are allegedly working to raise the capital.Crimes against the forest, workers and communitiesManoel de Sousa’s sawmill is a small fish in a sea of illegal activity operating in the region. The city of Uruará comprises one of the largest centers of expansion in the Amazon’s logging industry – and government investigations indicate illegal activities are growing more explicit.Trucks without license plates carrying away loads of large native tree trunks are commonly seen entering the city by way of the Trans-Amazonian Highway.Timber harvested by workers at the logging camp. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoAccording to data from the Ministry of Labor and Pastoral Land Commission, 931 workers were rescued from slave labor conditions while harvesting trees from 2003 to 2016. A relationship between employment practices analogous to slave labor and some illegal logging operations in the Amazon was uncovered by a research led by the Integrated Action Network for Fighting Slavery. The study [link to report] indicates that the conditions endured by João and his colleagues may affect many workers in the sector.Places like the logging camp from which João was rescued often do not appear on maps that track deforestation. This is because they engage in selective logging that causes changes in canopy coverage that aren’t large enough to be detected remotely. This illegal practice has been growing in the past few years, specifically because it outwits satellite monitoring, as shown by several studies conducted by Greenpeace and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)Satellite data from the Brazilian government show this area of Pará lost nearly 400,000 hectares of tree cover between 2001 and 2015. Small logging camps like that from which João and his colleagues add to this toll – but often log too selectively to show up via satellite monitoring.The illegal logging industry also takes specific measures to ensure the timber they extract isn’t traced back to where it was harvested. Previous investigations revealed that after the most market-valuable trees are cut down, the timber is taken to sawmills on trucks without license plates. At the sawmill, the illegal origin is “laundered” with handling documents that change the harvest location to legal sites.In an area south of the Trans-Amazonian Highway, days before the operation that uncovered João and his colleagues, the same rescue team discovered small roads opened up by loggers within the Cachoeira Seca Indigenous Territory, where the Arara community lives. An indigenous group only recently contacted by the outside world, the Arara report hearing chainsaws and are avoiding hunting in portions of their land for fear of encountering loggers.Along the makeshift logging roads within the indigenous territory, the inspectors and reporters saw logs piled up, swaths of scorched earth and tents just like the one João slept in – but they failed to locate any workers. When they came across someone on a motorbike going down the road, the inspectors were informed that they should give up in their search; the team’s presence had been made known through a radio system used by the loggers to communicate.The practice of worker-exploitation in the illegal logging industry appears widespread. While the inspectors were processing João and his colleagues, the team discovered another case and rescued seven more workers cutting down trees in slave labor-analogous conditions. This time, the employer was Eudemberto Sampaio de Souza (no relation to Manoel Araújo de Sousa), owner of Betel sawmill, which was found responsible for labor crimes and required to pay compensation to its workers up to 50.000 reais ($15,800).Sampaio de Souza, however, placed the blame squarely on the workers.“We ask for the documents for each supposed employee,” he told Reporter Brasil. “They say that they’ve lost them, or don’t have them, or will se about it later. You ask for their name, they give you a nickname. Plenty are boozehounds, many are drug addicts. They are people who come out of states like Mato Grosso, Maranhão, Bahia, and Pernambuco. Nobody knows their story, nobody knows their past. Many times, by taking them out to work, it’s saving their lives.” “Really scared”Days later, still more workers showed up at the hotel where the labor inspectors were staying. This time, the reports were heavier, mentioning death threats and the hiring of hit men to intimidate workers.“We came here, but we are scared. Really scared,” said one of the men who knocked on the inspectors’ hotel door. His face ticked nervously as he talked about how his boss hired a gunman after he tried to collect his payment.“If the end of the month comes and a lot is owed, they will send someone out to kill you. I’ve seen that happen. It was inside the city itself. He came to collect and they shot him. There’s plenty more stories like that.”Other workers also noted not being paid for the job, and then being threatened when attempting to collect upon what they were owed.“It’s better to pay three thousand for a gunman than five or six thousand to an employee,” said another man, quoting his boss.The entities that reportedly hired gunmen are currently under investigation, and their names could not be released at the time of publication in the interest of the investigation and for the safety of those involved.Officials arrive to extract the workers. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoAn auditor speaks to workers. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoWhile the definition of slave labor in Brazil extends beyond lack of payment, this group of workers only recognized their situation when they weren’t paid. According to one of the men, “even today slavery hasn’t ended. It just modernized itself. Back in the day you would get beaten, nowadays you don’t. But you don’t get anything for all of your work.”Another worker interviewed also alleged corruption of local authorities has had a role to play in illegal logging activities.“The military police here is dangerous,” said one of the men. “They go to his sawmill and grab money, they grab wood, both the military and civil police. If any one of us turns one of them in to the police, it’s suicide.”The workers also spoke of the total isolation of the logging camps and the impossibility of leaving them.“On election day [2016 municipal elections], we spent five days out in the woods without food,” said one of the men who worked as a tractor driver. “They didn’t come out to get us to go vote, nobody came out.”Another worker claims his employer forced him to remain on-site, and didn’t allow communication from the camp to the outside world.“There isn’t even a way to go out and come back, because the boss won’t allow it. If you don’t stay in the forest for thirty days you lose the job. Only the boss will come over and pass along messages, see how things are. We only receive news,” said the man who has young children in the city of Uruará.These complaints and the conditions discovered by investigations of logging camps have led to an ongoing investigation into slave labor in the logging sector. Ministry of Labor prosecuting attorney Allan Bruno, who was also part of the operation, received the cases and sent them along to the federal attorney general’s office, which is investigating the possible crimes of withholding salary, threatening lives, as well as for environmental, landholding, and tax issues.A meal at a logging camp in front of a stream that investigations reveal are often used for both drinking water and bathing. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoAuditor José Marcelino says labor inspectors are just beginning to understand how the illegal logging industry operates in the region. However, what is known is that it is a trade full of economic risk.“Just cutting down the trees does not guarantee selling the wood,” Marcelino said. “And, since the entrepreneur doesn’t have adequate cash flow, he doesn’t meet the costs of paying the workers what they have the right to.”This economic risk is coupled for the workers, who may have no choice but to resume working for these illegal operations. Even after receiving his compensation, João said he would go back into the woods, under the same conditions, if he could not arrange for other work in the following months.*The names of the workers have been changed in an effort to avoid further violence as interviewees remain at risk.Banner image from a video produced by Repórter Brasil; English video subtitle placement by Mike DiGirolamo.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. Investigations show conditions analogous to slave labor as defined by Brazilian law are not uncommon at small logging camps in Pará, Brazil.A recent bust of one labor camp by a team headed by the Ministry of Labor led to the rescue several men living in substandard conditions. Interviews of the men and observations by Repórter Brasil indicate their lives were forcibly put at-risk at the camp.Workers from other logging camps came forward to report instances of nonpayment, and being threatened by guns when they demanded their pay.Although the job is life threatening and illegal, and wages aren’t guaranteed, workers report often having no other choice but to work at the logging camps. This story was produced by Repórter Brasil through on-the-ground observations and interviews with local sources and labor inspectors during a one-year investigation of slave labor practices at logging camps in Pará, Brazil. Repórter Brasil’s Portuguese version of this story can be found here.This is the second story in a four-part series on the topic; click the following links to access the first, third, and fourth parts in English on Mongabay. 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 Environment, Featured, Forced labor, Forest Destruction, Forests, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Law, Law Enforcement, Logging, Modern-day slavery, Rainforests, Slavery, Timber, Trees, Tropical Forests Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

Who owns Indonesia’s deadly abandoned coal mines?

first_imgMore than 630 open-pit coal mines have been left behind by mining companies in East Kalimantan. These holes have claimed the lives of at least 27 people, mostly childrenIndonesian law requires companies to fill in their mining pits, and prohibits mining within 500 meters of houses. However, these regulations are frequently violated.Mongabay-Indonesia spent months investigating the true scope of the problem, and the individuals responsible for these violations. Hundreds of abandoned open-pit coal mines pockmark the landscape of East Kalimantan Province in Indonesian Borneo. Indonesian law requires mining companies to fill in pits that are no longer in use, and to re-vegetate and restore mining sites. However, these regulations are routinely flouted, with deadly effects.The deep pits left behind by coal mining, which fill up with acidic water, have claimed dozens of lives. Who is ultimately responsible for these violations? Working together with Tempo, Tempo Institute and Free Press Unlimited, Mongabay-Indonesia launched a months-long investigation into this question.Details about the ownership of mining companies in Indonesia remains highly secretive. Groups like the Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) have been struggling for years for to force the public release of information about mining licenses. Recently, Mongabay-Indonesia learned company registration documents could be purchased from the government, allowing the team to uncover previously unpublished details about the ownership structure of coal mining companies.This analysis was combined with weeks of interviews, field reporting and laboratory tests to reveal new information about the true number abandoned mine pits in East Kalimantan,the dangerous levels of pollution in these water-filled pits, and the companies and individuals responsible for this menace to public health.This lake has formed in a former coal mine pit, left unreclaimed by the company who excavated it. There are no warning signs or barriers around the lake, which is used by locals for fishing, aquaculture and as a source of clean water. Photo by Tommy Apriando for Mongabay-Indonesia.A vast pool of dark green water, about the size of a football field, sits roughly 25 meters from Elementary School 033 in the Loh Iput Darat district in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan.The only barrier between the school and this pond is a rusty wire fence, broken in several places.“Pit 2 belongs to PT MHU,” proclaims a red-painted sign board, indicating this pool has formed in a hole excavated and then left behind by the coal-mining company PT Multi Harapan Utama. There are no other warnings posted, let alone a guard, despite its proximity to a settlement and a school full of young children.Indonesia’s environmental regulations clearly state that mines should not be excavated within 500 meters of houses. Investigations in mining areas in East Kalimantan found multiple pits in clear violation of this law.A case from the same district sharply illustrates the dangers of having abandoned mines and children in close proximity. In December 2015, a schoolboy named Mulyadi drowned in a similar pit, also owned by PT MHU. On the day Mulyadi died, this pit was left without any guard on duty. Although the pit is only about 300 meters from the nearest house, there was no barrier and no sign banning entry. The company only installed a sign and a fence the day after East Kalimantan Governor Awang Faroek Ishak issued a December 18, 2015 decree freezing the operations of 11 coal mining companies, including PT MHU.In his decree. Ishak stated 11 companies violated rules by, among other things, not “reclaiming” and “revegetating” their mining sites— technical terms for refilling pits and reforesting the land. The companies were also considered neglectful for not supervising the pits they left behind.Suspending permits did not stop mine pits from claiming more victims. The National Commission on Human Rights found that mine pits left behind by 17 companies in East Kalimantan killed 27 people between 2011 and 2016, mostly children or teenagers.last_img read more

Mammal numbers high in logged tropical forests, study finds

first_imgThe study quantified mammal numbers in forests and landscapes with varying degrees of human impact in Malaysian Borneo.Across 57 mammal species recorded with live and camera traps, the average number of all animals combined was 28 percent higher in logged forests — where hunting wasn’t an issue — compared to old-growth forests.The findings demonstrate the importance of conserving degraded forests along with more pristine areas. Logged tropical forests have a bit of a bad reputation in the conservation community. They’re often seen as sub-standard habitats for animals, especially when compared with the robust and varied ecosystem in an old-growth forest.But a new study published this month in the journal Biological Conservation adds to the evidence demonstrating that these “degraded” forests are worth protecting from further damage.“As ecologists, we’ve known for a long time that these areas, despite being ugly to look at, actually have the potential to sustain large populations of lots of different mammal species, as long as hunting levels are low,” said Oliver Wearn of the Zoological Society of London in an email. “Pigs and deer find more food, small mammals might find more insects and fruit, and the predators of all of these species find a moving buffet.”A long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) in Malaysian Borneo. Photo by John C. Cannon / MongabaySome of Wearn’s earlier work had shown that the diversity of mammal species in logged forests was similar to what’s present in old-growth forests. He and his colleagues then wondered how changes by humans to those forests would affect the numbers of each of those species.To answer that question, they set up camera and live traps in a variety of landscapes in Malaysian Borneo, including pristine old-growth forests, reserves that have been logged multiple times, and oil palm plantations. They recorded 57 different mammal species in these areas, and based on the frequencies that each one appeared, they then estimated how abundant the animals were in each environment.They found that average abundance across all of those species actually went up by 28 percent. Small mammal numbers were 169 percent higher in logged forests than in untouched spots (though Wearn did point out that a lot of the first colonizers were invasive species, like rats and feral dogs).“What was more surprising was that this pattern was so widespread across the mammal species we looked at, including some of those that partly make their living in the treetops, like orangutans and clouded leopards,” Wearn said.The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is one of the threatened species that the study showed does reasonably well in logged forests without hunting pressure. Photo ©Charles Ryan / Sticky Rice TravelRecent research on orangutans, also in Borneo, also found that orangutans do pretty well in disturbed environments.Hunting isn’t much of a problem for the mammals who live in the study areas, which makes these forests unique. In other parts of the world, logging makes forests more accessible to hunters, which can decimate both the breadth of species and the sheer numbers that inhabit them.But in forests where hunting isn’t a problem, the question also remains about how much of the forest we can cut down before mammal populations start to dwindle.“We didn’t find evidence of a neat threshold beyond which the forest is useless,” Wearn said. “Basically, the lower the cutoff used to define forest, the more mammals that will be saved.”In the absence of that type of metric, it’s difficult to determine whether companies that make zero-deforestation pledges are following through, he added.“What does ‘zero deforestation’ actually mean for forests that have been logged?” Wearn said. “At some point, when so many trees have been removed from a hectare of forest, it effectively ceases to be a forest, and so clearing of this area doesn’t really constitute deforestation as we would normally imagine it.”Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) similarly seem to find homes in logged forests where they don’t have to contend with hunters, research has shown. Photo by John C. Cannon / MongabayOne solution that’s gaining momentum is using the amount of carbon held in a forest as a tool for land use decisions. Under these “high carbon stock” guidelines, proponents argue that carbon-rich forests are good targets for protection. That’s because they not only keep substantial amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and thus from further warming the planet, but they also are more likely to protect a greater number of species.“The currently-proposed threshold of 35-50 [metric tons] (39-55 tons) of carbon per hectare would yield really positive conservation outcomes,” Wearn said, “as long as the areas are as large and as connected as possible, and protected from hunting.”Strategies to protect biodiversity based on conserving high carbon stocks aren’t universally accepted, however. Some scientists argue that high levels of carbon and biodiversity don’t always line up.Still, Wearn’s research highlights the preference of having forests that have been heavily thinned over another type of use that requires outright clearing, such as timber plantations and oil palm plantations. In fact, the researchers found a 47 percent drop in the abundance of mammals in oil palm compared to old-growth forests.In logged forests, even threatened mammal numbers remained high, which was something Wearn and his colleagues didn’t anticipate. But their abundance on oil palm plantations was considerably lower.A red leaf monkey (Presbytis rubicunda) in Malaysian Borneo. Photo by John C. Cannon / Mongabay“We still need far more research to be done in African and South American oil palm plantations, but it’s likely to be a very poor habitat for most mammals, wherever it’s put,” Wearn said.He also cautioned that, while this specific research demonstrates that mammals can cope with some degree of relatively recent deforestation, we also need to keep an eye on how they do over the long term.“We know that there are often time-delays in ecological responses,” Wearn said. “It could be the case that some species are living on ‘borrowed time’ in this habitat.”In his view, that makes protecting old-growth forests that much more important.“This increasingly rare habitat is the absolute priority for conservation in Southeast Asia — it is the only home on Earth for species which are old-growth specialists, and is the evolutionary home for species in the region,” he said. “Cut this down and there is no going back.”CITATIONWearn, O. R., Rowcliffe, J. M., Carbone, C., Pfeifer, M., Bernard, H., & Ewers, R. M. (2017). Mammalian species abundance across a gradient of tropical land-use intensity: A hierarchical multi-species modelling approach. Biological Conservation, 212, 162-171.Banner image of a clouded leopard by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.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.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannon Agriculture, Animals, Apes, Big Cats, Biodiversity, Camera Trapping, Carbon Sequestration, Cats, Climate Change, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change And Forests, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Forest Carbon, Forests, Great Apes, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Hunting, Invasive Species, Logging, Mammals, Megafauna, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Palm Oil And Biodiversity, Plantations, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Zero Deforestation Commitments Article published by John Cannoncenter_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