‘Dangerous’ new regulation puts Indonesia’s carbon-rich peatlands at risk

first_imgBanner image: Road running through drained and burned peatlands. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong 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 The Indonesian government has effectively rescinded protection for much of its carbon-rich peatlands by issuing a new regulation that limits protection to the area of a peatland ecosystem where the peat is the thickest.Concession holders will now be allowed to exploit areas outside these “peat domes,” as long as they maintain the water table, in a mechanism seemingly borrowed straight out of the pulpwood industry playbook.Under previous regulations, areas with a layer of peat 3 meters (10 feet) or deeper were off-limits for exploitation, and any companies with such areas in their concessions were obliged to restore and protect them. These areas are now open to exploitation, as long as they’re not considered part of the peat dome.Activists warn the new regulation will encourage greater exploitation of Indonesia’s fast-diminishing peatlands, increasing the risks of fire, carbon emissions, and failure to meet the government’s own emissions reduction and peat restoration goals. JAKARTA — A new Indonesian government regulation that restricts the types of carbon-rich peat landscapes that must be protected has raised concerns among environmentalists about a backslide in forest protection policies.Existing regulations, issued in the wake of devastating fires in 2015, require that plantation companies and other concession holders whose land includes areas with peat layers 3 meters (10 feet) or deeper must restore and conserve those areas.Subsequent policies and restrictions have tended to support this prohibition on clearing deep peat. However, a new regulation issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry redefines the area that must be protected, essentially opening up large areas of peatlands to exploitation.Under the regulation, concession holders are now only required to only protect peat domes, landscapes where the peat layer is so thick that the center is topographically higher than the edges. Areas beyond these domes will once again be open for exploitation, even if they meet the 3-meter peat layer requirement that would have qualified them for protection under the previous regulations.Drained, cleared, and burned peat forest in Indonesian Borneo. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.‘It’s going to be dangerous’“If the new regulation is used by concession owners to keep operating, then it’s going to be dangerous,” Irwansyah Reza Lubis, the program coordinator for community, biodiversity and climate change at Wetlands International Indonesia, told Mongabay. “Local governments can also use this as a weapon to legitimize [continued peat clearing].”To ensure peatlands are protected and the carbon dioxide they hold isn’t released into the atmosphere, entire peat landscapes must be conserved and not drained, Reza said, especially if they’re bounded by rivers.“The general understanding in the scientific world is that peat [protection] has to have a scope of an entire landscape,” he added.Peat landscapes, or peat hydrological areas, are abundant in Indonesia. They constitute permanently waterlogged forests, where leaf litter and other dead vegetation can’t fully decompose, instead forming a layer of soil organic matter that serves a major CO2 sink. They also play a crucial role in maintaining the water table across the entire landscape, and draining them, as concession holders typically do in preparation for planting, can result in widespread subsidence and massive carbon emissions, as well as leave behind a tinder-dry and highly flammable peat layer.Protecting only the domes of these landscapes isn’t enough to prevent the entire peat hydrological areas from being drained, Reza said. He called this new policy a recipe for disaster.Peatland in Indonesia drained to prepare the land for agriculture. Peatlands accumulate their rich carbon stores over thousands of years, but begin to decompose once they lose their moisture. Carbon release is further accelerated due to fire, when “carbon goes out much faster than it went in. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Unproven approachIt’s also a recipe that appears to have been cooked up in part by the very plantation and pulpwood companies that hold concessions in peat areas.The government’s rationale for protecting only the tops of the peat domes is that they will act as natural “water towers” to help keep water levels in lower-lying plantations from falling too low during the dry season. An identical approach known as “eko-hidro” is already in use by companies such as Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), Indonesia’s second-largest pulp and paper firm.The idea behind eko-hidro is that companies can still drain peatlands as long as they protect the top of the peat dome in their concession and manage the water level using a controlled drainage system to minimize peat loss and reduce carbon emissions and land subsidence.“It looks like [the new regulation] is drawn from the eko-hidro approach, which says that as long as there’s [sustainable] water management, then [draining peatlands] can still be tolerated,” Reza said.The expert view, however, is that an approach like eko-hidro can’t prevent the long-term impacts of peatland drainage. Wetlands International has likened the policy to “allowing smoking in the left side of a plane and forbidding it on the right side.”A 2016 report by Wetlands International and Tropenbos International assessing the effectiveness of the approach finds that draining peatlands will always lead to land subsidence, even if the water table is managed at a level deemed “sustainable.” At best, it only slows down the process of subsidence and partially reduces emissions from peat oxidation and the risk of fires, according to the report.“Subsidence is an inevitability of peatland drainage regardless of whether the water table is managed at 40cm” — about 16 inches, the Indonesian government’s definition of a sustainable level — “or 50-80cm,” the report says. “The only truly sustainable peatland water management and production system is one that is based on undrained or rewetted peat where water levels will be close to the surface and subsidence will be close to zero.”The report says the eko-hidro approach is flawed from the outset because it’s based on the assumption that protecting the top of the peat dome will be enough to ensure the whole peatland hydrological area remains wet and less prone to fires.In reality, the groundwater flow from the top of peat dome yields less than 5 percent of the water volume required to significantly mitigate the fall in dry season water levels in surrounding plantations.A much larger area than the government-mandated 30 percent of the peat hydrological area centered around the dome “must be protected in order to meet the goal of this approach,” the report says.Carbon-rich and biodiversity-rich peat forest in Sumatra, cleared for a pulp and paper plantation. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.‘Sponsored’ compromiseThe new regulation marks a regression from even the eko-hidro approach, by allowing companies to continue to exploit the peat dome in their concessions if there’s more than one “top” or peak.This will be offset through the conservation of any other peaks or tops within the same peat hydrological area to ensure the entire domes remains moist, according to an environment ministry official.For Reza, though, this looks “really bad because it looks like it’s requested or sponsored.” It comes off, he said, like “a compromise with plantation and pulpwood industries so that they still have extra room to keep exploiting concessions within protected areas.”He questioned the science behind the ministry’s rationale that the hydrological function of a peat dome top could be replaced with that of another. “What’s the technical consideration? We don’t have access to the academic paper” stating as much, Reza said.Azwar Maas, a soil scientist and swampland specialist at Gadjah Mada University, said there was no science to back the government’s reasoning.“A top or a peat dome is independent and thus can’t be replaced by another. The water table has to be based on each peat dome or its top if a peat dome has more than one top,” he said.The government, though, is sticking to its guns. Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said the new peat regulation didn’t weaken peat protection in the country.“There’s no such thing as weaker [peat protection],” she told Mongabay, adding that this was likely a misperception. “The core [of peat protection] still exists. There won’t be loosening peat protection and the monitoring will continue.”Bambang Hendroyono, the ministry’s secretary-general, said that even if peat areas with protected status were opened for exploitation, the entire peat landscape could still be protected and restored as long as the water table was properly managed.Among measures the government will require companies to take to ensure this are the construction of spillways to control the release of groundwater flows from peat domes, and the monitoring and reporting of groundwater and rainfall levels.“The spillways will be closed [during rainy season] to store rainwater,” Bambang told reporters in Jakarta. “That’s an instrument to restore [degraded peatlands]. So during dry season, [rainwater] will be distributed [to wet the entire landscape].”Yet that mechanism goes against existing government policy on draining peatlands, said Anggalia Putri, a researcher at the environmental NGO Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan. She pointed to a 2016 presidential regulation that states that if there are drainage canals in protected peat areas, then the peat there is considered to be damaged. That makes it impossible for companies to drain protected peat areas to make way for plantations without rendering them degraded, by the government’s own definition, Anggalia said.Twenty-four companies have reportedly revised their concession maps as part of the process to start exploiting areas of protected deep peat on their land. But the administrative process has been far from transparent, with NGOs and even the presidentially appointed Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) unable to access the documents despite multiple requests.That leaves activists without a way to independently verify whether the companies are meeting their obligations. For its part, the government is preparing guidelines for the BRG and NGOs to monitor the companies’ activities.A scorched peat forest in Riau province, Indonesia. Image by Suryadi/Mongabay Indonesia.Fuzzy frameworkThe government has framed the new peat regulation as an improvement over previous regulations. It says that carbon-rich peatlands, including those on peat domes, were actually left unprotected following a 2017 court ruling that overturned a ban on forestry companies from cultivating protected peat areas.Following that ruling, according to Karliansyah, the environment ministry’s director-general for environmental degradation mitigation and control, the remaining regulations technically allowed the exploitation of peat areas, depending on the kind of industry — whether timber (pulpwood) or oil palm.But Reza of Wetlands International disputed this interpretation of the prevailing legal framework, saying the new regulation constituted a blatant violation of the existing peat regulations. He said those regulations defined protected peat areas under several categories — such as deep peat, those that contain high biodiversity, and peat domes — but make no distinctions with regard to the kinds of concessions granted.“The previous presidential regulations and ministerial regulations say there are certain criteria for protected peat areas,” he said. “There’s no mention of timber and palm oil plantations.”Fire set for peatland clearing in Riau Province, Indonesia in July 2015. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Increased risk of fireActivists say any weakening of peat protection efforts could encourage concession holders to drain even more peatland, raising the risk of intensifying peat fires across Indonesia. During the disastrous 2015 season, fires raged across 26,100 square kilometers (10,100 square miles) of land, much of it peat forest that had been drained for agriculture and rendered highly combustible.The resultant haze sickened hundreds of thousands of people, shut down airports, and spread to neighboring countries, inflaming long-running diplomatic spats.At the height of the disaster, the daily emissions of carbon dioxide as a result of the burning exceeded those from all U.S. economic activity. According to a study by Indonesia’s planning ministry, peat fires accounted for 23 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, releasing up to 1.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or double the emissions from the energy sector that same year.Giving concession holders the leeway to exploit peatlands, as the new regulation does, makes it increasingly likely that Indonesia will see further degradation of peatlands and severe fire episodes ahead, according to Muhammad Teguh Surya, the executive director of Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan. This will make it even more difficult for Indonesia to meet its emissions reduction target, he said.Environmentalists are also concerned the new regulation will hamper the Peatland Restoration Agency’s goal of restoring 24,000 square kilometers (9,300 square miles) of peat forest, an area the size of 4.5 million football fields, across the country by the end of 2020.The idea is that restoring degraded peatland — by blocking drainage canals and rewetting the dried-out peat soil — will make these areas less prone to burning. And even if they do catch fire, it should be easier to contain the fires and extinguish them.Under the peat-restoration initiative, companies whose concessions include peatlands are responsible for restoring those areas, which amount to 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles) of the total 24,000 square kilometers. That means the success of the initiative depends heavily on whether companies hold up their end of the bargain — a vanishingly unlikely prospect, activists say, in the wake of the new regulation.Another challenge posed by the new regulation will be how to ensure that a peat hydrological area is fully protected and restored, given that it might straddle multiple concessions and/or community areas.This will call for restoration work outside concessions carried out by the BRG and NGOs to be complemented by and linked to the work done by concession holders, according to Reza. But this will be difficult to achieve under the government’s current approach, he said, which requires companies to map only their own concessions and limits the BRG’s work to areas outside those concessions.“If each company makes its own map, then it won’t be connected,” Reza said. “Can you imagine if company A and B each make their own maps and they’re not connected? It’s very possible, especially if there’s an error in the survey.”center_img carbon, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecosystem Restoration, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Landscape Restoration, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Protected Areas, Pulp And Paper, Restoration, Timber FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

In Indonesia, a court victory for Bali’s ban on single-use plastics

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon Indonesia’s top court has rejected a challenge to a ban on single-use plastics on the island of Bali.The ban was proposed last December and was subsequently challenged by plastic-recycling industry, which argued it would harm the livelihoods of manufacturers, recyclers, and trash pickers.The ruling potentially paves the way for other local governments around Indonesia to impose their own bans on plastic.The country is the number two source of the plastic waste that ends up in the oceans, behind only China, and has set itself the target of reducing that waste output by 70 percent by 2025. JAKARTA — A ban on single-use plastics on the Indonesian island of Bali will stay in place, after the country’s top court rejected a challenge by the plastic-recycling industry.The Bali provincial government rolled out regulation last December calling for a prohibition on the use of plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam, in an effort to combat the plastic waste littering the island, including the seas around it.While the ban was widely welcomed, the Indonesian Plastic Recyclers Association filed a legal challenge in March with the Supreme Court, arguing the policy would harm manufacturers and recyclers of single-use plastics, as well as the trash pickers who make a living from scavenging plastic waste. The association branded the ban discriminatory and a violation of human rights.But in its ruling on May 23, which was only published July 9, the Supreme Court rejected the challenge. It said the ban, which came into effect on July 2, did not violate Indonesian laws.Plastic waste that’s washed up on Kuta Beach, one of the most popular tourist sites on the Indonesian island of Bali. Image by Luh De Suriyani/Mongabay Indonesia.Environmentalists have welcomed the ruling, calling it a positive precedent for other local governments dealing with a plastic waste problem and considering issuing their own bans on single-use plastics.“This decision provides significant legal support for efforts to reduce plastic waste in Indonesia,” said Andri Gunawan Wibisana, a lecturer in environmental law at the University of Indonesia.Bali generates 1.6 million tonnes of waste a year, nearly a fifth of which is plastic, according to recent research by the provincial government. Some 33,000 tonnes of plastic ends up in the island’s waterways and seas every year.In justifying the ban, Balinese authorities say that plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam can’t be recycled in an economically feasible way, and that trash pickers typically don’t even collect these kinds of plastics to sell to recycling facilities.“I’m calling on other regional governments to implement a similar policy so Indonesia can be free from single-use plastic waste,” said Bali Governor I Wayan Koster. He has also pledged to expand the policy to include banning a wider range of polluting materials.Indonesia is the number two source of the plastic waste that ends up in the ocean, behind only China, and has set itself the target of reducing that waste output by 70 percent by 2025.The court ruling comes amid a growing resistance to plastic waste in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia. Indonesia is among the countries in the region that recently sent back cargo containers of plastic household waste from the U.S., Canada and Europe. Malaysia and the Philippines have done likewise.Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including some of the biggest producers of the plastic waste in the oceans, have declared their commitment to addressing the trash crisis.Environmentalists have welcomed the ASEAN declaration, but there are worries that implementation will be a challenge, because the group has a code of non-interference that would leave necessary policymaking in the hands of individual member countries.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. Environment, Environmental Law, Law, Law Enforcement, Marine, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Ecosystems, Microplastics, Ocean Crisis, Oceans, Plastic, Pollution, Waste, Water Pollution 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

Nepal to conduct, self-fund, rhino census in March 2020

first_imgArticle published by Isabel Esterman 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 In 2019 a planned rhino census in Nepal was called off after wildlife officials failed to raise the necessary funds from donors.The country’s finance ministry recently announced that will support a new rhino census, to be held in March 2020. The government has allocated 11 million rupees of the total 16 million rupees ($140,000) the census is estimated to cost.Nepal has succeeded in virtually eliminating rhino poaching, but large numbers of rhinos have died of unknown or natural causes in the country’s sanctuaries, adding urgency to calls for a new census to be held.The decision to self-fund the census comes as the government is promoting a variety of populist, nationalist projects. KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s government plans to conduct a census of greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) in March 2020, a year after postponing the count due to lack of funds.The count will be funded by the government, unlike previous years when authorities relied on donors to fund the census, which is expected to cost around 16 million rupees ($140,000).The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation lobbied for the government to allocate money for the count after it failed to raise the funds necessary to conduct a planned count earlier this year. As a result, during the recent budget speech for the new fiscal year, Finance Minister Yubraj Khatiwada announced, “A conservation action plan will be prepared, and a census of rare wildlife species and those on the verge of extinction will be carried out.”The government has allocated 11 million rupees ($96,400) for the count and will request that NGOs contribute the remaining 5 million rupees, Ram Chandra Kandel, assistant director general of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, told Mongabay.The government announcement comes as significant numbers of Nepal’s rhinos have been dying due to unknown or natural causes. Since mid-July 2018, 45 rhinos have been found dead in and around Chitwan National Park, the country’s main rhino sanctuary.The deaths have prompted calls to assess whether Chitwan is hosting more rhinos than its ecosystem is able to support. Officials say the new census is important as it will provide a clear picture of the population and its habitat and an indication of the park’s carrying capacity.Until recently, department officials relied entirely on various conservation-related NGOs to finance the census. Although Chitwan National Park brought in 290 million rupees ($2.5 million) in revenue last fiscal year, park authorities do not have control over those funds. Half of the park’s revenue is allocated to support local communities, while the other half goes into the central government’s general budget.The planned census of Nepal’s greater one-horned rhinoceroses had to be called off last year as only 60 percent of the 10 million rupees ($87,600) necessary were raised with support from donors.The wildlife department tries to conduct a rhino census every four to five years to take stock of the population and devise conservation strategies. The last census was conducted between April 11 and May 2, 2015, and counted 605 rhinos in Chitwan National Park, 29 in Bardia National Park, eight in Suklaphanta National Park and three in Parsa National Park.Greater one-horned rhino in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park. Photo by Dhilung Kirat via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).Rhino nationalismThe government’s decision to conduct the rhino census with its own money fits in with a broader trend of the government attempting to strike a populist, nationalist chord with the people. It comes as Nepali surveyors are on the verge of completing the re-measurement of Everest, another nationalist favorite.Recent remarks by Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, who came to power in 2018 riding a popular nationalist wave, suggest that the rhino count is part of this push. Despite the apparent problems in Chitwan, expectations are high, as the prime minister has already announced that the country has doubled the population of rhinos in the past decade, a feat last achieved between 1978 and 2000, when the population rose to 612 from 310.At a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Kathmandu, Oli told participants from around the world how he felt about rhinos and Everest. “In the past ten years, we’ve doubled tigers,” he said (Nepal has indeed doubled its tiger population in the past decade). “We have similarly doubled gaidas. Do you know what gaida is? You people know gaida as rhino. But rhinos are not rhinos, they are gaida. I request you to remember this word, gaida.” The prime minister also urged the delegates to call Everest by its Nepali name, Sagarmatha.According to the 2015 census, 605 one-horned rhinoceros lived in Chitwan National Park, out of a total of 645 in Nepal. Photo by Nomad Tales via Flickr .‘Nepali conservationists are now more capable’But nationalism may not be the only reason Nepal’s government decided to self-fund the census for the first time since systematic counting began. Zoologist Mukesh Chalise, who has been actively involved in conservation for more than three decades, says that Nepali conservationists now have the experience and training necessary to manage the census. “In the past, we did not have the expertise to conduct the count, now we can do it on our own,” he says.Chalise says he was skeptical about donors funding the census: “When donors finance the census, they want to show that the population has increased and this raises questions about the whole counting process.” That is why it is important for the government funded the census, he says.  But members of the conservation community also point their fingers at government officials who fear any reduction in numbers would make them look bad.When field work for the count is completed in April next year, officials are certain to work under pressure to make the number public.Chalise also cautions that the funds should be used properly. “The department should use the funds not only to count heads, but to promote the scientific understanding of the species,” he says. “We don’t want the money to be spent on housing dignitaries who come to witness the count, nor do we want the money to be spent on paying incentives to park staffers.”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 Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Governance, Mammals, One-horned Rhinos, Rhinos, Wildlife last_img read more

Martial law in Mindanao takes deadly toll on land, environmental defenders

first_imgagribusiness, Coal, Endangered Environmentalists, Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, Mining, Plantations 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 The island of Mindanao has long been the deadliest place in the Philippines for individuals defending their land and environment from extractives and agribusiness interests.The threat to these defenders escalated with the imposition in 2017 of a state of martial law across Mindanao, meant to help the government root out terrorists who had seized the city of Marawi.Under the pretext of security operations, however, the military has ramped up its targeting of land and environmental defenders, according to the watchdog group Global Witness.Global Witness named the Philippines the deadliest country in the world for environmental defenders in 2018, recording at least 30 killings that year. MINDANAO, Philippines — In September 2006, Victor Danyan looked out over the corporate coffee plantation that had taken over his tribe’s land in the village of Ned, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.Danyan, the datu, or chief of his community, told me the tribe’s members weren’t afraid to sacrifice their lives to reclaim their land. “We are ready to die for our ancestral land if push comes to shove,” he said.He’d anticipated the worst, and when it came, the shove was an armed assault: On the morning of Dec. 3, 2017, the military attacked, raining down bombs and bullets on the community members carrying out their routine farming and household chores.When the smoked cleared, eight tribal members were dead, including Danyan, killed by a single shot believed to have been fired by a military sniper, and his two sons.The military described the attack as a legitimate security operation conducted against the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which the government has designated a terrorist group. The victims’ families and activists from church-based, human rights and environmental groups have vehemently denied that those slain were communist rebels or sympathizers.Martial lawThe killings of Danyan and the seven others took place while Mindanao is under martial law that President Rodigo Duterte imposed across the island on May 23, 2017.The move came hours after Islamic State-aligned militants seized the city of Marawi and triggered a grinding five-month urban war that displaced more than 350,000 civilians and left more than 1,000 people dead, most of them militants.But while the heightened state of security under martial law likely contributed to the defeat of the militants, it has also intensified the already serious threats faced by land and environmental defenders.“Mindanao is currently the deadliest place in the country for environmental defenders,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), an NGO. At least 112 environmental defenders were killed in Mindanao from 2001 to 2018, half of the total 223 killings monitored across the country during that period.Since Duterte declared martial two years ago in Mindanao, at least 28 land and environmental defenders were killed across the island, according to data from the Kalikasan PNE. Dulce stressed the military rule severely “restricted the operational spaces of defenders.”Female relatives of the slain Datu Victor Danyan weep as they recall what happened on that fateful day in South Cotabato, Mindanao. Image by Bong S. Sarmiento“Martial law in Mindanao is seen as one of the vilest ‘investment guarantees’ that the Duterte government has implemented to pave the way for extractive and destructive big businesses,” Dulce said.Under the current climate of fear, he said, environmental defenders in Mindanao have been muzzled, vilified, threatened, intimidated, and ultimately subjected to unspeakable violence by both private security groups and state armed forces. He lamented what he called an alarming trend of environmental defenders painted as supporters or members of the NPA.The Philippine Congress has extended the period of martial law in Mindanao three times, the latest extension keeping it in place until Dec. 31 this year, upon request from Duterte. In that last request, Duterte cited as justification the ongoing communist rebellion and security threats from Islamist terror groups. The United States also classifies the NPA, which is waging one of the longest-running insurgencies in the world, as a terrorist organization.The Philippine military has also justified the continued presence of soldiers in remote communities under its Community Support Program, part of “Oplan Kapayapaan” (Operation Peace), the military’s strategy for bringing peace and development to areas affected by the communist armed conflict.‘Red-tagging’Branding Danyan as a communist rebel or supporter was part of the plot to silence him, his family and activists allege. He was carrying a homemade firearm at the time, which his relatives said he used to defend himself and the community. But he didn’t fire it on the day of what his sister, Lita Wali, called the “massacre.”“I was cooking for lunch. We heard volleys of gunshots and my brother rushed out of the house to see what’s happening. He was gunned down. There was no exchange of gunfire,” she said tearfully.Danyan was believed to have been killed to stifle the tribe’s opposition to the coffee plantation and a proposed coal mining project in their ancestral domain.In the Philippines, half of the land and environmental defenders murdered last year were opposed to agribusiness ventures, according to the watchdog NGO Global Witness. Mindanao accounted for a third of those killed in 2018, and two-thirds of those killed in 2017, Global Witness said.The military is suspected of being responsible for more than a third of the killings of land and environmental defenders recorded by Global Witness in the Philippines since 2002. Paramilitary groups are accused of carrying out 11 percent of the killings.Almost half of the more than 100 killings of defenders since Duterte rose to power in mid-2016 occurred in Mindanao, with 75 percent of these killings reportedly perpetrated by either the military or paramilitary groups, Global Witness said.Mountains destroyed by mining operations loom large from a mining company’s base camp in Surigao del Sur, Mindanao. Mining is the biggest contributor to environmental defenders deaths in the Philippines in 2018. Image by Bong S. SarmientoIn its latest report, published Sept. 23 and titled “Defending the Philippines: How broken promises are leaving land and environmental defenders at the mercy of business at all cost,” Global Witness cites the case of Danyan and his seven companions as a chilling example of what defenders face at the hands of a “military that is in cahoots with business interests.”“The imposition of martial law on the island of Mindanao has empowered an army already known for protecting business projects and attacking those who oppose them,” the watchdog said.In a July report titled “Enemies of the State?,” Global Witness described the Philippines as the “world’s deadliest country” in 2018 for land and environmental defenders. It recorded 30 defenders killed in the Philippines that year, followed by Colombia with 24 and India with 23. It documented a total of 164 killings in 19 countries, or a rate of three deaths each week.Global Witness says that the so-called red-tagging of land or environmental defenders “is an accusation that can amount to a death sentence under Duterte’s martial law.” Among those who have branded as such is Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.In March 2018, Tauli-Corpuz, a Filipina, was included on a list of 600 alleged communist guerillas that the government wants declared as terrorists. Three months before, she had slammed the militarization of some indigenous peoples’ communities in Mindanao.“They are suffering massive abuses of their human rights, some of which are potentially irreversible. We fear the situation could deteriorate further if the extension of martial law until the end of 2018 results in even greater militarization,” she said in a statement co-issued with compatriot Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.Gunned downIn the Philippines, Mindanao environmental defenders have proven the most effective in fighting for their causes, said Dulce from the Kalikasan PNE.The peasant movements and the lumad, the collective term for Mindanao’s indigenous peoples, have sustained their defense of their ancestral lands in the mountain ranges of Pantaron, Daguma, Kitanglad and the Andap Valley from big mines, agribusiness plantations, and timber plantations, Dulce said.But those victories have come at the ultimate price. Rodrigo Timoteo was a member of the Compostela Farmers Association (CFA), a group opposed to a gold-mining project by Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corp., a firm allegedly financed by business tycoon Ramon Ang, the president of Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp. and a friend of Duterte’s.On Nov. 29, 2017, Timoteo was shot in the head by two gunmen while out walking in the Compostela Valley province in Southern Mindanao region. Martial law had been imposed several months earlier.Rene Pamplona, recipient of the 2018 Soros Foundation award, during a fieldwork in the mountains of South Cotabato, Mindanao. Image by Bong S. SarmientoMore than a year before, on Oct. 10, 2016, Jimmy Saypan, the CFA secretary-general, was shot by two gunmen on a motorcycle while returning to his farm in Compostela Valley. He died a day later in hospital.In the face of martial law, the New York-based Alexander Soros Foundation awarded a Mindanao-based defender, Rene Pamplona, as its champion for 2018. Established by the son of the billionaire philanthropist George Soros, the foundation recognizes outstanding activists working at the nexus of environmentalism and human rights. (Alexander Soros also sits on the board of Global Witness.)“I received death threats and experienced intimidation because of my work to protect the environment and the human rights of indigenous peoples,” Pamplona told Mongabay. In a Twitter post, Soros said that Pamplona, a father of seven, was honored for “his tireless effort to seek justice for indigenous communities.”‘Defending their way of life’Based in Mindanao’s South Cotabato province, some 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) south of Manila, Pamplona, 50, has been at the forefront of the opposition to mining and agribusiness ventures that have encroached onto ancestral lands in the province and nearby areas. He also shared in the struggles of Danyan, the slain tribal chief.Pamplona recalled seeing hundreds of empty and live shells from high-powered rifles during a fact-finding mission to the tribal community following the deaths of Danyan and the seven others.“All these indigenous people wanted were to be able to reclaim their ancestral land and live in peace,” he said. “They rely on this land for their livelihoods and traditions, and I will not just stand by while indigenous communities are brutally cut down for defending their way of life.”Even before martial law was declared in Mindanao, Pamplona moved around with caution, always scouring the horizon and looking over his back for suspicious individuals. People he worked with expressed fears that Pamplona could be on the hit list because of his work to protect the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples. Pamplona worked with the local Catholic Church in South Cotabato province as its environmental advocacy campaigner for 15 years, after which he founded the local nonprofit Convergence of Initiatives for Environmental Justice.Militant groups and indigenous peoples conduct a lighting rally to protest the killings of eight lumads in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato in front of the 27th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Tupi, South Cotabato on December 10, 2017, Human Rights Day. Image by Bong S. SarmientoWith the declaration of martial law and Duterte’s suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus, Pamplona said he had gone “low-profile,” apparently to avoid drawing the ire of the military, and was being even more cautious while moving around.The Duterte administration says the deaths of land and environmental defenders are due to alleged “rivalry between claimants.”“That happens if there are conflicts among claimants to a particular land. Killings occur because of the viciousness of the rivalry between the claimants,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing.To date, Duterte has been silent to appeals by land and environmental defenders to end martial law. While many acknowledge the current security situation is “vastly different” from the martial law enforced under former president Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 to 1981 — when thousands of activists were either killed, tortured or illegally arrested by the military and the police — it still needs to be lifted to ease the pressure on Mindanao’s defenders and indigenous communities, Dulce said.These are people who, he noted, remained at risk with or without the shadow of martial law. Large-scale mining and agribusiness plantations now cover hundreds of thousands of hectares of land in Mindanao, Dulce said. They have dispossessed the lumad and other rural communities of their lands, caused pollution and environmental destruction, and increased the vulnerability of populations to disasters and climate disruption, he added.For the family and community grieving Danyan’s death, there’s been little in the way of justice. Complaints were filed against the military commanders responsible for the operation, in which two soldiers also died. The officers insisted that Danyan and the others were supporters or members of the communist movement and that they were killed in a legitimate military operation.For Pamplona, though, the story doesn’t end there. He said he would continue assisting the tribe in their struggle to reclaim their ancestral land. Businesses and the government, he said, must be held to account for cases like that of Victor Danyan, his sons and their companions.Banner image of indigenous peoples rallying against Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao. Image by Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-DeterminationFEEDBACK: 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 Article published by leilanilast_img read more

Palm oil, fire pushing protected areas in Honduras to the ‘point of no return’

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Agriculture, Animals, Deforestation, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Green, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Industrial Agriculture, Oil Palm, Old Growth Forests, Palm Oil, Plantations, Pollution, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Water Pollution, Wildlife This is a translated and adapted version of a story that was produced by Mongabay Latam and first published on October 8, 2019.Banner image by Lesly Frazier..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. According to the Honduran Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), 190,000 hectares of oil palm are being cultivated in Honduras. They extend from the Cortés department to the Colón department along the country’s Atlantic coast.African oil palm has taken over 20 and 30 percent of the land in Punta Izopo National Park and Jeanette Kawas National Park, respectively.In 2016, a fire in Jeanette Kawas National Park consumed 412 hectares of land. Fire also damaged Punta Izopo National Park in August 2019. Residents of the community of París de Leán in Honduras say they have been dealing with dirty water for a decade. To demonstrate this, Concepción Aguilera dips a dish into the well that he built outside his house. Instead of fresh water, a rotten yellow liquid fills the container.Even the public well that was built by the community only provides dirty water. París de Leán residents say they need to transport water into their community from other areas in order to survive.Surprisingly, París de Leán, which is located in the Atlántida department in northern Honduras, is in a fertile valley with abundant water reserves. However, although water is naturally plentiful around París de Leán, the growth of the oil palm industry in the area has sparked concerns about water scarcity and land use. Aguilera pointed out extensive oil palm crops on land that he said once held a green forest filled with animals. The crops are owned by the Dinant Corporation, a Honduran company founded in 1960 by Miguel Facussé Barjum.The well that Concepción Aguilera built at his family’s home. Image by Lesly Frazier.The beginningAbout forty years ago, Concepción Aguilera’s father, José Aguilera, heard that northern Honduras had abundant sources of water, which made it easy to grow rice and corn. With high expectations that were mostly fulfilled, their family moved to northern Honduras from the southern part of the country. José Aguilera joined a small cooperative that owned the land. His family had access to housing, work, food, and education.In 1990, Rafael Leonardo Callejas became the president of Honduras. In 1992, the Law for the Modernization and Development of the Agricultural Sector (LMDSA) was approved. The LMDSA stripped the benefits of the Agrarian Reform Law of 1962, which had previously protected farmers.Due to reported contamination and a lack of groundwater, the public well in París de Leán is seldom used. Image by Lesly Frazier.Concepción Aguilera recalled that the new law weakened the cooperative to which his father had belonged, since farmers could now sell their plots. This allowed landowners from Asia and elsewhere in Central America to expand their businesses into Honduras.Aguilera said some members of the cooperative refused to give up their land, despite daily visits from a representative of the Dinant Corporation who tried to convince them to sell. He added that the corporation had already bought about 550 hectares in the area, but they wanted more.According to members of the cooperative, the Dinant Corporation allied with the government and announced it was going to fumigate fields by plane. Afraid that their crops would be contaminated and destroyed, the farmers decided to sell their land.Eleuterio Gámez is one of the founders of París de Leán. He said that it has been difficult for the farmers to organize to prevent the oil palm industry from expanding due to a general lack of information and the farmers’ fear of confronting large corporations. Bunches of oil palm fruit sit in trucks, waiting to be processed into oil. Image by Lesly Frazier.Invaded and burnedIn the Atlántida department, which encompasses París de Leán, oil palm plantations extend for miles. Those who live in the department, especially young people, must decide between two main livelihood options: either harvest palm fruit in the plantations or leave to live elsewhere.According to the Honduran Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), 190,000 hectares of oil palm are currently cultivated in Honduras. Plantations extend from the Cortés department to the Colón department along the country’s Atlantic coast.The Atlántida department is considered one of the main water sources in Honduras. More than half of the department is protected land, including the department’s four national parks: Jeanette Kawas, Pico Bonito, Nombre de Dios and Punta Izopo. These parks protect and sustain multitudes of animal and plant species, as well as many human communities.Tela Bay, also located in the Atlántida department, is an important part of the Honduran Caribbean biological corridor, and plays a key role in maintaining ecological balance along the country’s Atlantic coast. However, according to research by the Foundation for the Protection of the Lancetilla, Punta Sal, Punta Izopo, and Texiguat National Parks (PROLANSATE), this area is seriously threatened by public policies that favor economic growth and the advancement of agriculture. PROLANSATE warns that Tela Bay is being impacted by slash-and-burn farming, the draining of wetlands, and by the agricultural chemicals used in oil palm cultivation. Hundreds of hectares of oil palm are cultivated in the Leán Valley. Image by Lesly Frazier.According to Ferdinand Florentino, president of PROLANSATE, the Honduran government has granted 157 hectares of land in Atlántida to agricultural corporations. Additionally, oil palm plantations have taken over 20 and 30 percent of the land in Punta Izopo National Park and Jeanette Kawas National Park, respectively. Other protected areas of Honduras, including the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge, have also been invaded for agriculture.Florentino claimed there is a network of corruption that is, in effect, working with the approval of the Honduran government. He said that his office delivers information to the Environmental Prosecutor of Honduras, but that nothing is corrected in the end.Since 2009, Honduras has been experiencing increasing “institutional weakness” due, in part, to the coup d’état in the country, according to attorney Martín Fernández of the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice. For example, Fernández said that illegal fires are sometimes started in national parks so that the forested areas are cleared, which can then be used to justify oil palm cultivation.Two protected areas that have been damaged by fires are Punta Izopo National Park and Jeanette Kawas National Park, the latter of which lost 412 acres in during the 2016 fire season. Shortly afterwards, non-government researchers found freshly planted oil palm and bottles of gasoline where the fires originated.Honduras experienced another heavy fire season in 2019. In this photo, firefighters work to extinguish a fire that tore through Punta Izopo National Park in August. Image by Francois Ligeard.Concepción Aguilera says that when he and his neighbors speak out against this burning, they are threatened.According to Florentino, illegal fires have reached the center of Jeanette Kawas National Park. “We are reaching a point of no return,” Florentino said. “There are no clear government policies on environmental matters.”Mongabay Latam contacted the Dinant Corporation through its office located in the city of San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras. However, there was no response.No consequences for those involvedFlorentino urges investigation of the identities of the business owners, politicians, and powerful families who own property titles to land in Honduran protected areas and who, he says, have contributed to their destruction.According to Francois Ligeard, an environmental activist and local government leader from the municipality of Tela, “there are politicians and business owners who have invaded and want to continue invading. It seems that they are given a green light by the Honduran government to burn, cultivate, and destroy natural resources.”Oil palm plantations are invading protected areas and displacing forests that safeguard and replenish water sources. Image by Lesly Frazier.Through his municipal management position, Ligeard has attempted to obtain an emergency declaration with the objective of safeguarding these natural reserves. But he says his attempts have not been successful.In early 2019, the municipality of Tela requested that President Juan Orlando Hernández immediately intervene to stop the destruction of national parks and prevent the establishment of additional oil palm plantations. However, municipality representatives say there was no response.According to Ligeard, “the impact [on the national parks] has been such that not only has water disappeared, but lagoon and marine species have been reduced as well.”Iris Aquino, the director of the Forest Region of Atlántida within the Institute for Forest Conservation (ICF) of Honduras, confirmed that population growth, illegal logging, the commercialization of wildlife, and monoculture plantations are all affecting the country’s national parks and other protected areas.“In the last few decades, there has been an increase in monocultures, predominantly along the northern coast. As a national institution, we are not opposed to [oil] palm. Our work is to regulate its cultivation and ensure that it is not planted in protected areas,” Aquino said. She added that the Honduran government has begun to work with the oil palm industry to establish crops in safer areas. Aquino also acknowledged that many institutions are responsible for the problem and that “there is a large delay in the prosecution of cases.”According to Juan Mejía, an engineer who focuses on ecology and sustainable development, one 12-year-old oil palm tree consumes 10 to 13 gallons of water per day. “The amount of water extracted by the palm cannot be replenished,” Mejía said. He added that the rainfall the plantations receive does not soak deep into the ground and often discharges straight into the ocean, rivers and other water sources.Central America experienced one of its driest years in recent decades in 2019. Extensive monocultures taking up excessive amounts of water exacerbated the water shortage, according to the NGO Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice. Furthermore, according to the National Risk Management Advocacy Organization, droughts reduced grains crop yields to the point at which many Hondurans are forced to pay higher prices for basic commodities because of the lack of supply. Fires destroyed portions of Punta Izopo National Park in 2019. Image by Lesly Frazier.According to the Organized Social Movement (MOSO), an NGO based in the city of La Ceiba, 95% of La Ceiba households did not have water as of October 2019. Osman Suazo, coordinator of MOSO, said that “the cultivation of [oil] palm continues to expand uncontrollably, which increases forest devastation. This threatens food sovereignty, countless communities’ access to drinking water, and the biodiversity of forested areas.”A new organization called the Atlántida Movement for Life and Dignity is urging the government to declare a ban on oil palm expansion in the Atlántida department.For Concepción Aguilera, that possible declaration could not come soon enough. With a nostalgic smile, he shares his hope that greener days of fruit, fish and abundant clean water will someday return.last_img read more

Taylor falls again in ICC rankings

first_imgLONDON, (CMC): West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor has continued her slide in the international rankings as the fallout continues from her side’s wretched outing at the recent ICC Women’s World Cup in England. In the latest One-Day International (ODI) rankings released yesterday, Jamaican Taylor fell one place in the batting to 10th spot, with Indian Harmanpreet Kaur the biggest mover, jumping seven places to sixth. Deandra Dottin, who struck her maiden ODI hundred during the tournament, has fallen three places to 17th. Taylor and Dottin are the only two West Indies players in the top 20, with Hayley Matthews the next best-ranked Caribbean player at 32nd. Dottin was the leading Windies run-getter with 185 runs, with Taylor ending with 179. Australian Meg Lanning leads an unchanged top five. In the bowling, meanwhile, Taylor slipped one place to fourth in the rankings headed by South African Marizanne Kapp, with Indian seamer Jhulan Goswami jumping four places to second. Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, who ended the tournament with seven wickets, is ranked 13th. Taylor, who managed just five wickets with her off-spin, remained number two in the all-rounders list after being knocked off the top earlier this month by Australian Ellyse Perry.last_img read more

Samuels defends Windies youngsters, hails Test side’s fightback

first_img The young Windies side came under heavy criticism following the first Test defeat, when they lost 19 wickets on the third day to be dismissed for 168 and 137. “West Indies are not on top and playing the best but the media is too critical, they need to give these youngsters a chance because not every player starts out at the top of their game,” Samuels said. “In history there are greats who started slow, and players who started fast and never last,” the 36-year-old Jamaican said. West Indies face England in the decisive third Test at Lord’s starting Thursday. Samuels, who played the last of his 71 Tests last November, will be a part of the Windies one-day side who arrive here later this month for a five-match series. LONDON, (CMC): Experienced Jamaican batsman Marlon Samuels was full of praise for the West Indies team following their recent win in their Test series against England and also came to the defence of the players.  Samuels believes the squad came in for unfair criticism following their heavy defeat in the opening Test but feels the players should be given time to show their quality. The Windies got off to a terrible start in their series after being destroyed inside three days by an innings and 209 runs in the opening Test at Edgbaston. They bounced back to surprise the hosts by five wickets in the second Test at Headingley last week, after remarkably chasing down 322 on the final day. It was their first Test match win against England in that country in 17 years.last_img read more

Why the secrecy for prisoner pardons and why is the Speaker part of the…

first_imgThe Speaker of Parliament has again jumped to the defence of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) when he rejected questions relating to the pardoning of prisoners. The Opposition has a constitutional right to ask these questions on behalf of their supporters and on behalf of the people of Guyana. When governments act in secrecy, they have something to hide and it is the role of Parliament to remove the veil of secrecy when governments stonewall people’s right to know.When a Speaker of Parliament restrict and remove the right of parliamentarians to ask legitimate questions, the Speaker becomes a part of the conspiracy to deny people their right to know. It is wrong when pardoning of prisoners are done in absolute secret. It becomes a scandal when the Parliament of that country becomes complicit in reinforcing the secrecy of the President’s prisoner pardon frenzy.It is widely known that some of the beneficiaries of this initiative have recommitted crimes in their communities within days or weeks of being pardoned. Some of the persons pardoned were convicted of violent crimes and they are back in police custody for other violent crimes committed since they were pardoned.These are the reasons why ordinary Guyanese have concerns and that prompted the Opposition People’s Progressive Party to seek information about the Prisoner Pardoning Initiative. Failing to get information from the Minister of Public Security or from the Office of the President, the PPP made petition to have answers in Parliament. The Constitution and the Standing Order of Parliament make provisions for such move.The President’s power of clemency, to either commute a sentence or shorten it through a pardon, comes from the Constitution. But pardoning convicted criminals has to be used to remedy some of the fault lines inherent within the justice system, such as mandatory prison sentences for lesser crimes. It is done so as to relieve the over-crowding of prisons and to provide a second chance for persons who lost their way. But the first stop in addressing these issues is the parole system that is built into the criminal justice system. Prisoner pardoning by presidential fiat is supplementary to the parole system in addressing these fault lines.Some of the strongest democracies have seen prisoner pardoning by Presidential fiat become common place. President Obama in America has taken a lot of flak for pardoning prisoners. The truth is that he has used it less than Presidents such as Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Lyndon Johnson and John F Kennedy. But in America and other strong democracies, there are strict legal frameworks that guide the pardoning process.Pardoning is done within well-constructed and approved policy guidelines that are empowered by comprehensive legislation and social rehabilitation programmes. For example, in the USA, prisoners convicted of violent crimes do not benefit from Presidential pardoning. Such prisoners can seek shortening of their sentences through the parole system.In part, presidential pardoning has been driven by increasing applications from prisoners in over-crowded environments in countries like the US and a major reason for the over-crowdedness is the more draconian laws that have led to increase mandatory sentences for crimes like illicit drug possession. A salient point here is that prisoners must make an application and that only certain prisoners can appeal for pardoning – non-violent prisoners.In America, for instance, prisoners seeking pardons will have to have served at least a certain proportion of their sentences, have no significant criminal history, and no connection to gangs, cartels or organised crime. Applicants also must be inmates who probably would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offence under more recent justice reformed systems. And to be eligible, they must have demonstrated good conduct in prison.The process needs clear standards, with reasoned explanations of why an application is granted. Someone has to be in charge of making recommendations to the President and that person has to be independent, have real authority, and the confidence of the President. The pardon process must be accessible and responsive to people of all walks of life and take into account the likelihood that many deserving pardon applicants will not have skilled counsel or well-connected supporters to advocate on their behalf. The system for clemency has to be fair and transparent for everyone.The Speaker of the Parliament by refusing the questions from the Opposition on the prisoners pardoning has launched another attack on the people’s rights and on our democracy. It is another signal that we have entered a period of authoritarianism and that the Speaker is a part of the conspiracy to suffocate democracy.(Send comments to doc_ram@hotmail.com)last_img read more

Why does M&CC need a PR Department?

first_imgDear Editor,It is no coincidence or should come as no surprise to anyone that the new Mayor of Georgetown has described the Public Relations Department of the Georgetown municipality as an utter waste of time and waste of the slender financial resources of the Council.Why does the Georgetown City Council need a Public Relations Department when there are much larger cities around the world doing just fine without one? Why does the Georgetown City Council need a Public Relations Department to do window dressing now that the Garden City has become a ‘Garbage City’, when they do not weed our parapets or fog our yards? Now that the City Council has closed day-care centres, allowed the Stabroek Market wharf to collapse and the clock has stopped working. Why does the Georgetown City Council need a Public Relations Department now that the City Hall building, the municipal Abattoir and the City Police Training School and others are in such a ruinous state; the Kitty Market taking years to build and not yet completed? Is the Council more interested in ‘froth’ and ‘fluff’ than in substance?I say to the Mayor, close that department, send the staff on their way and save millions of dollars per month in salaries and other operational costs and divert that money to repairing roads and replacing defective street lights in the city. That would be much beret PR.Recall a former Mayor who served for an unprecedented 21-year term had pleaded with the Local Government Ministry, had pleaded with the City Council to get rid of the useless Public Relations Department and its head for years but nothing happened. Recall many persons expressed concern about the indolence of the staff of that department who could be seen idling all day long, taking selfies, manicuring themselves, reading novels and even sleeping.It is time that the Council stops featherbedding and finding jobs for the boys. They need to become a lean, clean and mean working machine, shedding all unnecessary load and return to serving the citizens and advancing the nation.Regards,Kwasi Sandersonlast_img read more

Govt still on course for constitutional reform – Trotman

first_imgDespite the delay, Government is insisting that it remains committed to constitutional reform. This is according to Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman.Trotman, who was at the time addressing attendees at the recent University of Guyana’s ninth round of Tain and Turkeyen Talks, affirmed that it was a campaign promise the Government intended to keep.“The Government of Guyana has made efforts to keep this matter on the front burner; we did make a manifesto promise for constitutional reform. We have worked on the Constitutional Reform Consultative Commission Bill, which is a large measure taken from the 1998 bill which was crafted during the Seventh Parliament,” Minister Trotman explained.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman“I believe that it is all of our responsibility – Government, Opposition, civil society, academia, youth, women – all of us, we all have that equal responsibility. And (the Bill) is now with the review committee of Parliament,” he continued.The move to have the Bill debated at a Parliamentary Select Committee level is seen as a major step to assist with constitutional reform, something that the coalition Government promised during its election campaign, to deliver.According to the draft bill, the Consultative Commission will be made up of 15 members. The establishment of this Commission will allow for some 100 countrywide public consultations.The Bill allows for President David Granger to appoint two constitutional law experts. Eleven of the other members will be nominated by the parliamentary parties; trade union movement; organisations representing Guyanese youths; the Guyana Bar Association; the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers; Christian, Muslim, and Hindu organisations; and the National Toshaos’ Council.Cummingsburg AccordThe agreement made in the Cummingsburg Accord regarding constitutional reform was bolder, affirming that: the President should be elected by a majority of electors; there should be separate elections for the presidency and National Assembly; executive powers should be shared between the President, Prime Minister and the Cabinet.The political Opposition, led by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, as well as British High Commissioner Gregory Quinn have been critical of the slow pace of enacting constitutional reform.last_img read more