Redknapp resigns as QPR manager

first_imgBy Martyn HermanHarry Redknapp has resigned as manager of Premier League Queens Park Rangers, the club said on Tuesday.The 67-year-old spent just over two years in charge of the London side, gaining promotion to the top flight last season.Redknapp said ill-health had been a factor in his decision.“Sadly I need immediate surgery on my knee which is going to stop me from doing my job in the coming weeks,” he said in a statement.“It means I won’t be able to be out on the training pitch every day, and if I can’t give 100 per cent I feel it’s better for someone else to take over the reins.”QPR are second from bottom of the Premier League.last_img read more

On public interest in conservation and internet data (commentary)

first_imgConservationists can capture data and use it to generate useful insights for conservation on the relationship between humans and nature. Research in this area falls within the scope of the field of conservation culturomics, the study of human culture through the quantitative analysis of digital data.Several studies have used internet search-engine data to evaluate public interest in conservation. These studies were subjected to a few criticisms, however, including the fact that raw data are unavailable due to proprietary constraints. In response to these criticisms, a recent study proposed a methodological work-around — an important contribution that merits praise but should be interpreted with caution.Does this mean we should forfeit any hopes that internet data and digital methods can provide useful insights for conservation? Certainly not! The application of digital methods to conservation has immense potential, but also faces challenges inherent to any new development.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Conservationists are increasingly looking toward technology for aid. We are now better able to monitor forest change as result of deforestation or climate change, survey inaccessible areas for rare species using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) or track endangered animals in their journeys across the globe with tracking devices, and use the knowledge obtained through these technologies to improve conservation action.But the contribution of technology to conservation doesn’t end there: it is also helping conservationists to better understand human-nature interactions. As access to information and communication technologies (e.g. the Internet, smartphones, social media, etc.) increases across the world, so do records of the interactions between humans and nature in the digital realm.Conservationists can capture these data and use it to generate useful insights for conservation on the relationship between humans and nature, including estimating protected area visitation, exploring how different groups of people engage in recreational activities such as hunting and fishing, and monitoring the trade of endangered species on the internet. Research in this area falls within the scope of the field of conservation culturomics, the study of human culture through the quantitative analysis of digital data, recently highlighted as one of the key emerging topics in conservation.Several studies have used internet search-engine data to evaluate public interest in conservation. The number of internet searches for conservation and biodiversity-related topics can be regarded as a proxy of interest in these topics, and by collecting such data from internet searches engines — the most prominent example being Google — it may be possible to evaluate how interest changes over time. Some of the earliest studies exploring internet search data with this aim (see here and here, for instance) reported severe declines in global interest for conservation-related topics since the early 2000s (when search engine data started becoming available). These studies were subjected to a few criticisms, however, including the fact that raw data are unavailable due to proprietary constraints. Internet search data are usually provided only in pre-analyzed format, in the form of an index representing relative search interest, and this makes it difficult to evaluate how the actual volume of searches has changed over time.In response to these criticisms, a recent study proposed a methodological work-around that accounts for how the total number of internet searches has changed over time, making it possible to infer how the absolute volume of searches for a given topic has changed over time. Applying this method to a range of conservation and climate change-related topics, the authors reached the conclusion that the number of searches for this topic has greatly increased in recent years. Not only that, the study also suggests that conservation topics generate similar levels of interest to environmental change topics, such as climate change and global warming, in contrast to what has been previously claimed.Digital technologies provide new possibilities for the study of human-nature interactions and to develop conservation applications. Photo courtesy of the the Conservation Culturomics Working Group.The authors argue that their results have important consequences for how conservation science is communicated to the public, particularly in relation to other topics of concern such as climate change, and the positive outlook provided by this study was quickly picked up and publicized by various news media, including an article in Mongabay. The methodology proposed by this study is certainly an important contribution that merits praise, but its results should be interpreted with caution.Specifically, an increase in the total number of internet searches should be expected for any topic in recent years because search engine usage has increased exponentially in this period. Access to the internet is increasing worldwide and ever more people are taking advantage of search engines to retrieve information for the web. Internet search trends may therefore be affected by factors such as the growth in internet access, search engine usage, time spent online, and the changing nature of internet usage. Furthermore, the reported similarity between public interest in biodiversity and climate change topics failed to account for differences in absolute search volume between topics and short-term variations in public interest that, when accounted for, suggest interest in these topics is less similar and more dynamic than reported. Clearly, scientists aiming to extract inferences on public interest in conservation (or any other topic) from internet data are faced with important methodological challenges because results and interpretations may differ depending on which factors are considered and accounted for.Does this mean we should forfeit any hopes that internet data and digital methods can provide useful insights for conservation? Certainly not! The application of digital methods to conservation has immense potential, but also faces challenges inherent to any new development. Conservationists need to recognize the limitations and challenges associated with digital data and methods and collaborate with colleagues, both within and outside the field, to develop innovative ways to overcome them if we are to take full advantage of the opportunities such methods provide. More studies like these are needed to advance the field — one possible way forward is to combine data from multiple digital data sources (e.g. search engines, social media, Wikipedia, etc.) to validate results across platforms, but other solutions may emerge.To help in these developments, the Society for Conservation Biology has recently approved the establishment of a Conservation Culturomics working group, which hopes to bring together scientists, practitioners and decision-makers interested in advancing the application of digital methods to conservation problems. The group aims to facilitate discussions, knowledge-sharing, and collaborative efforts through a welcoming, supportive, and stimulating environment. The group is already organizing several activities, including a symposium in the upcoming International Conference on Conservation Biology and a proposed special section in Conservation Biology dedicated to the topic. As one of the founding members of the group, I would like to encourage all interested parties to join this endeavor and work together toward advancing digital methods for conservation.Response to Correia et al from the authors of “Analyzing Google search data to debunk myths about the public’s interest in conservation”.CITATIONS• Burivalova, Z., Butler, R. A., & Wilcove, D. S. (2018). Analyzing Google search data to debunk myths about the public’s interest in conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16(9), 509-514. doi:10.1002/fee.1962• Correia, R. A., Di Minin, E., Jarić, I., Jepson, P., Ladle, R., Mittermeier, J., … & Veríssimo, D. (2019). Inferring public interest from search engine data requires caution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17(5), 254-255. doi:10.1002/fee.2048• Di Minin, E., Fink, C., Hiippala, T., & Tenkanen, H. (2019). A framework for investigating illegal wildlife trade on social media with machine learning. Conservation biology. doi:10.1111/cobi.13104• Ladle, R. J., Correia, R. A., Do, Y., Joo, G. J., Malhado, A. C., Proulx, R., … & Jepson, P. (2016). Conservation culturomics. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(5), 269-275. doi:10.1002/fee.1260• Mccallum, M. L., & Bury, G. W. (2013). Google search patterns suggest declining interest in the environment. Biodiversity and conservation, 22(6-7), 1355-1367. doi:10.1007/s10531-013-0476-6• Sbragaglia, V., Correia, R. A., Coco, S., & Arlinghaus, R. (2019). Data mining on YouTube reveals fisher group-specific harvesting patterns and social engagement in recreational anglers and spearfishers. ICES Journal of Marine Science. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsz100• Sutherland, W. J., Butchart, S. H., Connor, B., Culshaw, C., Dicks, L. V., Dinsdale, J., … & Jiang, Z. (2018). A 2018 horizon scan of emerging issues for global conservation and biological diversity. Trends in ecology & evolution, 33(1), 47-58. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2017.11.006• Tenkanen, H., Di Minin, E., Heikinheimo, V., Hausmann, A., Herbst, M., Kajala, L., & Toivonen, T. (2017). Instagram, Flickr, or Twitter: Assessing the usability of social media data for visitor monitoring in protected areas. Scientific reports, 7(1), 17615. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18007-4• Troumbis, A. Y. (2017). Declining Google Trends of public interest in biodiversity: semantics, statistics or traceability of changing priorities?. Biodiversity and Conservation, 26(6), 1495-1505. doi:10.1007/s10531-017-1294-zRicardo Correia is a researcher based at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and the Federal University of Alagoas (Brazil). His research focuses on the use of novel technologies for conservation applications, including the study of human-nature interactions from internet data. Ricardo is also one of the members of the Conservation Culturomics working group steering committee.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Big Data, Commentary, Conservation Technology, Editorials, Environment, Internet, Researcher Perspective Series, Technology, Technology And Conservation center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, November 1, 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 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 forestsThe Solomon Islands government has deemed the lease of an island to China illegal (The New York Times, Reuters).Research shows that glacial rivers pull in carbon faster than tropical forests (The Guardian).Scientists argue that maintaining the genetic diversity of coffee is key to ensuring its survival in the face of climate change (Scientific American).Illegal logging is easing up in the Mexican forests where monarch butterflies spend the winter (The Washington Post).Mountain gorillas are responding to a “concerted conservation campaign” (The Washington Post).Deforestation as a result of cocoa farming in West Africa continues to rise (The Washington Post).Macaques help control rats in oil palm plantations (The Economist).Support for Predict, a decade-long environmental health research project funded by the U.S. government, has tapered off (The New York Times).A group of Catholic leaders has resolved to help protect the Amazon’s 34 million inhabitants (America Magazine).Tyson Foods is evaluating the risk of deforestation in its supply chains (Global Meat News).A foundation in Tanzania is urging the government to require improved cookstoves to halt deforestation (IPP Media).Other newsA bacterial parasite could be causing problems for corals (Hakai Magazine).Most Americans would prefer to avoid further drilling for oil and gas, according to a recent poll (The Washington Post).California condors now number more than 100, nearly 30 years after disappearing in the wild (Hakai Magazine).Scientists on a clean-air panel that was disbanded in 2018 by the U.S. government have continued to meet independently with the goal of benefiting public health (The Revelator).Scientists who received funding from hunting organizations signed a letter opposing a trophy-hunting ban that appeared in the journal Science (The Times).Climate activist Greta Thunberg won’t accept an environmental award (The Washington Post).A campaign against hyenas in Lebanon based on fear and legend is threatening the country’s national animal (The New York Times).Text message roaming charges from GPS-tracked eagles cost Russian researchers more than they’d bargained for (HuffPost).Researchers named a species of beetle that’s new to science Nelloptodes gretae, after Greta Thunberg (The Natural History Museum).Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO and U.S. secretary of state, testified about allegations of fraud by the company (The New York Times).Some 150 million people worldwide could be living below the high-tide line by 2050 as a result of sea-level change (The Washington Post).A new documentary, Anthropocene, heats up the discussion of human impact on the environment (The Revelator).Banner image of a striped hyena by Vickey Chauhan 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. Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update center_img Article published by John Cannonlast_img read more

Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worried

first_imgA plan to plant 2.42 billion trees by the Isha Foundation along the Cauvery River has attracted the chagrin of some scientists.While scientists say the project is well-meaning, they don’t believe it will cure the Cauvery River’s ills as promised.The Isha Foundation has yet to announce a number of details of the project, including what tree species will be planted.India’s rivers are suffering from numerous issues, but researchers contend mass tree planting is too simplistic to fix them all. The Isha Foundation, a spiritual organization headquartered in south India, is taking on the cause of revitalizing India’s imperiled rivers. With government and public support, it says it has successfully raised enough money to plant more than 46 million trees in its test project site, the Cauvery River basin. However, some ecologists and scientists oppose the methods of the planned project. While they say they appreciate the sentiment behind the idea, they add that mass tree planting will not solve the real issues and may even cause new problems.Despite the criticism, on Sept. 3 last year the organization commenced its Rally for Cauvery. Isha Foundation head Jaggi Vasudev, more commonly referred to as Sadhguru, kicked off the 3,500-kilometer (2,200-mile) rally with a motorcycle convoy to raise awareness of the cause.Sadhguru is a well-known yogi, mystic, teacher and author in India, and his fame has helped his cause. Support has come from leading Indian politicians and movie stars, and even influential personalities like Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as millions of Indian citizens.On its website, the Isha Foundation says the project will “support farmers to plant 2.42 billion trees through agroforestry.” It is raising funds through government and public donations of 42 rupees per sapling, or about 60 U.S. cents. To date, it has collected enough to buy more than 46 million saplings.But many ecologists are skeptical, citing the vagueness of the Isha Foundation’s plans and its numbers: for the trees, the area, and the required funds.“Restoring riparian vegetation is no doubt important but without addressing the root causes of river degradation, Rally for Rivers is completely missing the point,” says Shishir Rao, an ecologist who studied tropical river ecology in the Western Ghats, the headwaters of the Cauvery River, and is now a doctoral student at the University of Georgia. “A major reason for the Cauvery’s degradation is it has five to six large dams for hydropower, irrigation and drinking water provision. The operation of these large dams drastically changes the river’s hydrology and sediment transport.”The Cauvery originates in the Kodagu hills of the Western Ghats in Karnataka state, flows east across the subcontinent, and drains into the Bay of Bengal in Tamil Nadu state. Along its 805-km (500-mi) course, the Cauvery is flanked by forests, grasslands, farms, cities and rural settlements, with several dams interrupting its natural flow. Millions of people along its course depend on its water for agriculture, industry and daily use, leading to frequent water disputes over the last few decades.A crucial river in southern India, the Cauvery was once perennial. But every year now it gets reduced to wide dry stretches at several points for several months prior to the monsoon rains.Led by Sadhguru, the motorcycle rally last September toured districts along the Cauvery, from its source in Kodagu district to the city of Coimbatore, visiting farmers and local communities to spread awareness about the health of the river and the need for its revitalization.Troubled watersThe Cauvery is not alone. Almost every river in India is in trouble, hit by multiple impacts including climate change, pollution, overexploitation, river-interlinking, mining, and damming. For the Isha Foundation, the solution to the declining health of India’s rivers centers on tree planting.In an October 2017 draft policy recommendation, the foundation listed six “knots that need to be untied” for the successful revitalization of Indian rivers: the colonial British legacy of river management; deforestation; overexploitation of groundwater; increase in human population; pollution; and climate change. The document then described the scientific and social issues concerning each knot in detail.The initial plan, according to the draft policy recommendation, was to plant trees along a kilometer-wide ribbon of buffer zones either side of the Cauvery, and half a kilometer wide along its tributaries. Such an endeavor would call for planting nearly 2.5 billion trees, covering one-third of the river basin.Responding to the debate with some scientists, the Foundation has recently made changes to include the catchment area of the Cauvery River in Kodagu, too.The total impacted area will span 10 districts in Karnataka state and 18 in Tamil Nadu, according to a spokesperson for the Isha Foundation. “The project entails encouraging farmers to plant trees on their own private agricultural lands,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.The idea is that the increased tree cover will lead to greater water transpiration and moisture cycling, and hence more rainfall, bringing an end to the seasonal drying-up of sections of the Cauvery.But water sustainability experts from the Bengaluru-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), alongside other ecologists, say that although the campaign’s arguments are correct in theory, the major causes for the Cauvery’s woes lie elsewhere.ATREE fellows Veena Srinivasan, Sharad Lele, Jagdish Krishnaswamy and Priyanka Jamwal spelled out the science behind their concerns in an article published in the Economic Times in 2017. In it, they said planting trees along a river is unlikely to impact local rainfall patterns.They said that while there is evidence that large forests contribute to rainfall, changes can be expected to occur only at regional or continental scales. The same logic applies to trees being planted in the river basin.Rao attributed the decrease in water in the Cauvery to urbanization and groundwater depletion.“The Cauvery’s catchment area is experiencing rapid urbanization, especially in the hilly areas of Western Ghats. Loss of forest cover in catchment decreases groundwater recharge,” he said. “If groundwater supply is not stable, rivers tend to dry out during summers and flow only during monsoon, essentially changing the river from perennial to seasonal.”The best chance for groundwater stabilization, according to the scientists, is through afforestation to suit the landscape and not through monoculture plantations.The campaign also says that tree cover will reduce soil erosion during heavy rains, resulting in a more controlled flow of water instead of floods. The trees will also trap sediments and pollutants, preventing them from entering the river, according to the foundation’s plan.The ATREE researchers, however, pointed out that the real reasons for the erosion along riverbanks is not due solely to the absence of trees. Instead, rampant sand mining and dams that divert water for irrigation and cities have led directly to erosion.Water conservation here also depends on employing more sustainable practices, they added.“The only solution is to release water for ecological needs. To make this possible, upstream farmers and urban users will need to make their practices less water-intensive,” the ATREE researchers wrote.They attributed the disappearance of streams to groundwater overexploitation. Streams are being sucked dry due to a drop in groundwater levels — in other words, aquifers are running dry and unable to feed the streams. Watershed development, including rainwater harvesting, building small check dams and tanks, and tree planting, has been embraced as a set of solutions. But while it recharges the groundwater, it doesn’t introduce new water into the streams.Finally, the researchers addressed the social and ecological impacts of tree planting at such a grand scale. Traditionally, village common lands serve as grazing grounds for the landless groups in a society, most often people of lower castes. Reforesting these lands and natural grasslands with their own unique ecosystems would create problems both social and ecological.The Cauvery is an important river in south India and its water is used by millions of people across the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Image by NaanCoder via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).The Cauvery is a rich and important river both ecologically and for millions of people. Overexploitation has reduced this once-perennial river to dry stretches for several months of the year. Image by Neeti Mahesh.But the Isha Foundation’s campaign website promises that the Cauvery Calling project “will initiate the revitalization of Cauvery River and transform the lives of 84 million people.”A question of treesThe Isha Foundation says it will help farmers and rural residents by planting trees on private farmland. It says the project will increase farmers’ incomes by 300 to 800% over five to seven years.“The planting will start from next sowing season in June-July 2020. A list of high value timber trees is under discussion with the government,” said the foundation spokesperson.But the ATREE researchers have warned against planting certain species.“Moreover, tree planting is not necessarily benign. Deep-rooted, fast-growing species like eucalyptus have been shown to consume a lot of water and decrease groundwater recharge,” they wrote. Eucalyptus, commonly used for pulpwood, is not native to India, but remains a popular tree for monoculture plantations in the country.The Cauvery Calling campaign proposes to plant 2.42 billion trees in the river’s catchment area through agroforestry. Proponents say the project will increase both rainfall and farmers’ incomes. Image by Arati Kumar-Rao.“We’ve been having meetings with the [Karnataka] Forest Department. We haven’t yet finalized what trees we’ll be planting,” a member of the campaign’s technical team said. “We’ve been working with the Institute of Agroforestry Farmers & Technologists and the Institute of Agricultural Technologists. These mainly include retired foresters and agricultural scientists who are giving us inputs.”Even as the Isha Foundation says it won’t plant monoculture plantations, the vagueness of the project has left it open for criticism.For instance, the total number of trees planned for the area covering a third of the Cauvery basin — about 5.9 million acres, or 2.4 million hectares — gives a planting density of 400 trees per acre. But accounting for agricultural land and forest area, the planting density would be approximately 140 trees per acre. This can only be achieved through tampering with existing landscapes, including grassland ecosystems, experts say.“Sadhguru mentions that the strict laws that don’t allow trees to be felled is a complication,” said Neethi Mahesh, an independent researcher and riparian habitat conservationist along the Cauvery in Kodagu.The Isha Foundation claims that it would need to get certain permissions from the government, and that takes a long time. As Sadhguru met farmers during the rally, he told them that whatever they grow on their land through agroforestry, they need to be able to harvest it.“However, there are laws that exist already that the farmers can apply to harvest certain species of trees. It’s important to know what trees will be planted through the campaign,” Mahesh added. “They haven’t disclosed what trees they’ve chosen and there doesn’t seem to be awareness about the required tree species; however, they’re raising money anyway. There’s no clarity on how the project will be implemented and there are no guidelines they are following that we are aware of.”Existing and planned dams along the Cauvery remain the major reason for the degradation of the river and its surrounding environment. The upcoming Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir threatens to submerge forest land and affect the river’s flow further. Image by A.M. Shudhagar.Suggested solutionsEcologists and environmental activists say the Isha Foundation is not paying enough attention to the real problems and is instead focused on the one-stop solution of planting trees, which however well-meaning, may not deliver as expected.The Karnataka state government, which has embraced the campaign and donated 20 million saplings, is continuing to plan road and rail projects in Kodagu district, which would clear another 400,000 trees in the catchment area.It is also planning another major dam at Mekedatu, at the confluence of the Arkavathy and the Cauvery. The reservoir for this dam would submerge more than 4,000 ha (10,000 acres) of forest. Sand mining, too, is a rampant yet unchecked problem along the Cauvery. Researchers have suggested several solutions they say are just as important, if not more so, than planting trees.“Bring big polluters in cities to book. Invest in sewage treatment and solid waste management in urban centers,” the ATREE researchers said. Instead of focusing solely on tree planting, they suggested the restoration of riparian and flood-plain ecosystems that include a mix of grasslands, scrublands and wetlands. They also recommended that watershed development funds be tied to measures taken to reduce groundwater and canal water abstraction. Growing less water-intensive crops or using drip irrigation will make a drastic difference here, they said. “If one wants to plant trees anywhere, one needs to do the research, find out what species are native to that stretch of the river depending on the elevation and vegetation type, raise nurseries for those feasible trees, and only do restoration where it’s required,” Mahesh said. “With urbanization increasing all over Kodagu, the plantation owners also need to be made aware of the fact that the solution to the crisis depends on their cooperation with conservationists.”Essentially, the ecologists’ argument is that it’s unsound, unscientific and unethical to dedicate such a large amount of money and publicity to only the popular, attention-grabbing solution of tree planting. Instead, the Isha Foundation, which has the advantage of popularity and immense support from both the public and the government, needs to pay equal attention to all the other “knots” that it already understands but has neglected to address. Environmentalists have raised concerns and ecologists published articles; the Isha Foundation has responded with its own articles and open letters. But there seems, to date, little direct communication between the concerned scientists and the Isha Foundation. “Direct communication is not a problem for us if we are approached directly,” said the Isha spokesperson. “We too approach environmental and agricultural scientists directly. If queries are posed through media, we respond through media.”Mahesh, however, told Mongabay that her approaches to Isha Founation the Cauvery Calling organizers was mostly met by silence and vague responses; she got in touch with the technical team only when she attended an Isha event in Kodagu. Conservation, Dams, Ecology, Environment, Erosion, Interns, Plants, Rivers, Trees, Water 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.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Maria Salazarlast_img read more

One of the most important issues for the coming elections: sugar or not

first_imgThe future of the sugar industry (SUGAR) and GuySuCo is a crucial, monumental issue in the upcoming general elections. The results of the elections will determine whether SUGAR is part of the future of Guyana or whether we end SUGAR. Irfaan Ali and the PPP have vigorously pledged they will reopen closed estates, diversify sugar products, including processed and packaged sugar, co-generation of electricity, and biofuel production. SUGAR is still a big part of the Guyanese economy and a major employer of Guyanese workers— a major foreign currency earner. The PPP and Bharrat Jagdeo insist SUGAR makes absolute socioeconomic sense and it is a non-negotiable proposition. Badal’s party has totally rejected the PPP’s position. The other new parties have been shamelessly silent. APNU/AFC remains adamant that closing sugar estates and firing more than 7000 sugar workers were the right things to do. For elections March 2020, the lines are firmly drawn, the PPP on one side, the side of SUGAR and the sugar workers, and all the others anti-SUGAR.It was clear since 2014, however, that APNU/AFC was determined to close sugar. When APNU/PNC held a press conference chaired by Joe Harmon and proposed ending SUGAR, replaced by tilapia, they clearly had made up their minds. When they promised just before the May 2015 general elections they would not close any sugar estate, and that “sugar was too big to fail”, they clearly were disguising their intention, knowingly making a fake promise for the purpose of the elections. Indeed, since May 2015, the Granger-led APNU/AFC has done everything to end SUGAR in Guyana, the bogus excuse being SUGAR is a “drain on the national treasury”, not financially feasible. This time around they cannot fool anyone.This year’s sugar production is likely to be the worst since the 1950s. Last year’s production was just 104,000 tonnes. This is less than half what the production was in 2015 when it was more than 231,000 tonnes. From export earnings of more than US$250M in 2015, export earnings were just US$27M last year. This year’s production will fall under 100,000 tonnes for the first time in many decades. Export earnings will fall below US$25M. As depressing as this is, there is the outstanding issue of the $30B loan GuySuCo has been saddled with. No one can explain where the money is. Supposedly, more than $17B has been dispersed. But to whom? GuySuCo has not confirmed receipt of this amount and, last time we heard from GuySuCo, they claimed they had received just about $2B. NICIL/SPU, which arranged the loan, claimed they dispersed more than $17B but neither they nor GuySuCo or the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture can explain how they expended that sum. What we do know is they have already paid almost $140M in interest and, by the end of this year, the interest payment would have exceeded $200M.In the meanwhile, the existing factories have not been maintained, with downtime at the three operating factories more than 700 hours for the second-crop. Workers have been subjected to deferred and late payments, further demoralising them. Not a single senior official from APNU/AFC has attempted to meet with workers, even though the workers have taken to peacefully public protest in front of the Office of the President. Worse, attempts have been made to prevent the workers from protesting. These workers have not had a wage increase since 2014. It is commendable that when TROY Gold Resources sent home about 200 workers a few weeks ago, Raphael Trotman quickly went to meet with them, albeit only after the PPP pressured a response. But no one has met with the 7000 fired workers and their families and no one has met with the existing workers who have been working as the only workers in Caricom who have not received a wage increase for five years.While APNU/AFC recklessly uses financial feasibility as the excuse to close SUGAR, Jagdeo and the PPP argue there are compelling socio-economic reasons for keeping SUGAR. SUGAR is the largest single employer in Guyana, after the public service. SUGAR provides the bulk of the drainage and irrigation in Regions 3, 4, 5 and 6. SUGAR plays a critical role in the viability of the NIS and contributes considerably to the Government’s income tax receipt, is a significant foreign currency earner. SUGAR also creates a whole village economy that falls like dominoes when SUGAR is not working. See what has taken place in Wales, Patentia, West Bank Demerara, Canje, Enmore and LBI. The vendors in the community markets in these areas, taxi drivers, grocery shop owners, tailors and seamstresses, jewellers and barbers and hairdressers have seen their livelihoods gone up in smokes. The economic cost of this reckless Government action is disgraceful. APNU/AFC imposed poverty on more than 40,000 innocent citizens. But the impact is being felt throughout Guyana.As the March 2020 general elections approach, SUGAR’s demise is closer. APNU/AFC has a vicious plan to close Uitvlugt and Blairmont, leaving Albion for now. A return of APNU/AFC will mean the end of SUGAR. This must not happen.last_img read more

Manchester City back atop Premier League with 2-0 win over Cardiff

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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 Sane made it 2-0 in the 43rd, driving an angled shot into the far corner after a lay-off by Gabriel Jesus.It was like shooting practice in the second half, with 18-year-old midfielder Phil Foden — making his first league start — hitting the post among City’s best chances.Guardiola was particularly impressed with Foden, who captained England to the Under-17 World Cup title in 2017 and is regarded as one of the country’s best young talents.“Phil, we know it, he’s young but he can do everything,” Guardiola said. “He can create chances, he’s incredible with his vision. It’s not easy for him with (David) Silva, Bernardo (Silva), (Ilkay) Gundogan, De Bruyne, but he wants to be here, he’s delighted to be here. I assure you next year he will play more minutes. That’s the process. He’s 18 or 19. For the next decade he will be important.”One negative for City was the sight of left back Oleksandr Zinchenko coming off with an apparent right hamstring injury. With Benjamin Mendy currently out of favor, left back could be a problem position for Guardiola for the next few weeks.ADVERTISEMENT City, which has already won the League Cup and is into the Champions League quarterfinals, resumes its quadruple bid with an FA Cup semifinal against Brighton on Saturday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Cardiff City at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, April 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City rested many of its best players and was still too strong for Cardiff in a 2-0 win that lifted the defending champions back to the top of the Premier League on Wednesday.Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane scored in the first half as City won an eighth straight league game and jumped a point clear of Liverpool with six games remaining.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Dream duel sealed Comelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs LATEST STORIES Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Amid a hectic period of fixtures for a City team chasing a quadruple of trophies, manager Pep Guardiola rested the likes of Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker while top scorer Sergio Aguero was missing because of injury.Still, it was all City at Etihad Stadium and only some brilliant saves from Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge kept the score respectable for a visiting team that is in the relegation zone and five points from safety.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“These players have helped us,” Guardiola said of his fringe players, “they are guys who did not play for two months and are not happy. We have a good squad and without it we cannot fight for the four competitions. It’s impossible. We are here in April because we have confidence in the players.”De Bruyne set City on its way in the sixth minute by running onto Aymeric Laporte’s through-ball and driving a left-footed shot into the roof of the net from an acute angle. Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far View comments Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines?last_img read more

‘Not Much Buying for Christmas’

first_imgWith barely two days left before Christmas, sellers, particularly those in Paynesville’s Red Light Marketplace, are complaining of low turnout from buyers.Our reporter who toured the markets observed that there are more sellers in the Red Light area than buyers. According to some of the Yana Boys (sellers) the July 26 Independence Day this year was well celebrated, evidenced by the huge turnout of buyers, including those from other counties.“Some of us have been selling one set of goods since last week because there are no buyers. People who have the money are keeping it. This is the first festive season that we have more sellers than buyers. This cannot only be attributed to the Ebola virus disease, but the increment of school fees that many parents are unable to handle,” one of the vendors explained.Some of the vendors disclosed that they were also selling to settle their school fees and are hoping 2016 will be a different year for business.They said if sellers in Monrovia and its environs are experiencing such poor buying from consumers, then those in rural areas must have a more serious challenge in their businesses.“Celebrating Christmas has become a tradition for us even for those that don’t go to church for a year or more. If we have free education in Liberia due to the Ebola crisis, many parents would be able to buy for their children during this season,” said a Yana Boy.“We have more people that are not working and even those that are going to school and graduating can’t find jobs easily. If people were not concerned about their children’s school fees, they will buy and make the children happy in celebrating the season,” they said. James Akoi, a Yana Boy told this newspaper that he believes that parents were deliberately choosing to pay their children’s school fees than to celebrate Christmas. “I cannot buy season clothes for my daughter when she stands no better chance of being in school. I must keep my money to send her to school than to buy Christmas clothes,” he said, expressing what the parents are thinking in holding back on Christmas shopping.Many Yana Boys are selling clothes and footwear, which they said have been their usual business during the season. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Army considering longer combat tours

first_imgWASHINGTON – The Army is considering whether it will have to extend the combat tours of troops in Iraq if President George W. Bush opts to maintain the recent buildup of forces through spring 2008. Acting Army Secretary Pete Geren testified Tuesday that the service is reviewing other options, including relying more heavily on Army reservists or Navy and Air Force personnel, so as not to put more pressure on a stretched active-duty force. Most soldiers spend 15 months in combat with a guaranteed 12 months home, a rotation plan that has infuriated Democrats because it exceeds the service’s goal of giving troops equal time home as in combat. In coming weeks, the Senate will vote on a proposal by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., that would restrict deployments. “It’s too early to look into the next year, but for the Army we have to begin to plan,” Geren told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We have to look into our options.” Army spokesman Paul Boyce said, “If the future were to require such an option, it would be the last option on the list.” Gen. David Petraeus, Iraq war commander, suggested Sunday that conditions on the ground might not be stable enough by September to justify a drop in force levels, and he predicted that stabilizing Iraq could take a decade. Earlier this year, Bush ordered the deployment of some 30,000 additional troops as part of a massive U.S.-led security push around Baghdad and the western Anbar province. There are about 156,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. When asked by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., whether maintaining the force buildup would affect soldiers’ 15-month combat schedules, Geren said he was unsure and cited “numerous options” available, including a “different utilization of the Guard and Reserve” and relying on the other services for help.last_img read more

Cesar Chavez’s son joins law firm founded by late Cochran

first_imgAmong the cases in which Chavez will take part is litigation against Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride and other large poultry processing corporations on behalf of at least 7,000 workers who are seeking back wages, according to the firm. Fernando Chavez, son of labor leader Cesar Chavez, is joining the Los Angeles law firm founded by the late Johnnie Cochran Jr. Fernando Chavez, who graduated in 1978 from the University of Santa Clara School of Law, will head a division of The Cochran Firm that serves Latino clients. In a statement, Chavez said he is “proud to continue the legacy” of his late father, who founded the United Farm Workers union. “My life has been dedicated to supporting social justice” Chavez said. “It is an honor to join The Cochran Firm.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more