Big cat trade driven by demand for traditional Asian medicine, according to report

first_imgAnimal Cruelty, Animal Welfare, Animals, Big Cats, Captive Breeding, Cats, Environment, Illegal Trade, Lions, Mammals, Research, Tigers, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Medicine, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by Mike Gaworecki Bones, blood, and other body parts of big cats are made into products such as balms, capsules, gels, and wines that practitioners of traditional Asian medicine believe to be able to cure ailments ranging from arthritis to meningitis, though in fact they’ve been found to have no provable health benefits.Even before farmed big cats are killed to feed the demand for traditional Asian medicine, however, they’re treated more like products than living, breathing creatures, according to a report released last month by the London-based NGO World Animal Protection.China and South Africa are the world’s biggest breeders of captive cats. China alone is estimated to have between 5,000 and 6,000 tigers in captive breeding facilities, while South African facilities are holding between 6,000 and 8,000 lions and another 300 tigers. Traditional Asian medicine is driving the growing international trade in big cat products and leading to the mistreatment of thousands of animals, according to a recent report.Bones, blood, and other body parts of big cats are made into products such as balms, capsules, gels, and wines that practitioners of traditional Asian medicine believe to be able to cure ailments ranging from arthritis to meningitis, though in fact they’ve been found to have no provable health benefits. Even before the cats are killed, however, they’re treated more like products than living, breathing creatures, according to the report, released last month by the London-based NGO World Animal Protection.In the report, the group says that its researchers discovered “an expanding, lucrative and largely hidden industry responsible for the appalling treatment of some of the world’s most iconic wild animals.” The report goes on to state: “Thousands of big cats, mostly lions and tigers, are being farmed in intensely cruel conditions and then traded both legally and illegally to fuel the highly lucrative global market for traditional Asian medicine products.”Severely cross-eyed male lion held captive in South Africa. The disability is suffered by this lion and his brothers due to intense inbreeding. Photo Credit: Anonymous, Blood Lions.In China, for instance, World Animal Protection’s researchers observed “industrial-style” cat farms that feature rows of 13-by-23-foot cells housing lions and tigers who are fed the bare minimum food and water necessary to keep them alive. In the wild, these animals would range across territories that extend for miles.“Many were clearly emaciated with their ribs and back bones highly visible,” per the report. “The cruel, restrictive conditions caused the animals such distress that many were pacing backwards and forwards along in their shockingly small enclosures for hours. Pacing and self-harming (usually the biting of limbs and tails) in big cats are abnormal behaviours. They are reactions to confinement and stress that do not happen in the wild.”China and South Africa are the world’s biggest breeders of captive cats. China alone is estimated to have between 5,000 and 6,000 tigers in captive breeding facilities, while South African facilities are holding between 6,000 and 8,000 lions and another 280 tigers. Due to inbreeding at these facilities, many lion and tiger cubs are still-born or born with missing limbs, the researchers found.Lions kept in substandard and barren facilities, so different from their natural, wild homes, are vulnerable to mange and other diseases that cause them great discomfort and suffering. Photo Credit: Anonymous, Blood Lions.South Africa’s big cat farms are sometimes stocked with animals taken from the wild, but mostly they house cats birthed at “speed breeding facilities,” where females are forced to produce four or five more litters than they would in the wild. The resulting cubs often spend their early years on petting farms, and when they’re juveniles they’re frequently made to participate in “walking with lions” experiences popular with tourists. Later in life, they’ll be sent to game farms offering canned hunts to customers willing to pay as much as $15,000 per kill. The cats’ skins and heads are taken as trophies by the hunters, while the bones are legally exported as part of South Africa’s unique “skeleton quota.”Other countries involved in the big cat trade at a smaller scale include Thailand, which is estimated to hold around 1,500 tigers. Laos and Vietnam have facilities that keep smaller numbers of lions and tigers, as well, while Laos is also an important receiving and processing hub for lion bones from South Africa, World Animal Protection’s researchers determined.Lion cubs born with deformed paws through captive in-breeding at unscrupulous facilities. In-breeding can also result in other body deformities and sight and hearing problems. Photo Credit: Anonymous, Blood Lions.All big cat species other than lions are listed on CITES Appendix I, meaning they are threatened with extinction in the wild and thus all international commercial trade of those species or their body parts is prohibited. As the only big cat listed on Appendix II of CITES, African lions and their parts can be legally traded as long as the proper export permits are secured and the exports do not threaten the health of the wild lion population. While South Africa’s lion exports are therefore purportedly legal, the researchers say there is reason to suspect that the country’s permitting system has been corrupted.“Between 2007 and 2016, South Africa was the biggest exporter of lion products — at least 70 metric tonnes of bone products were shipped between 2008-2016,” they write in the report. “The government operates a quota system where the trade and export of lion bones is legal; the annual quota relates to the number of lion skeletons that can be exported. However, a 2018 study highlighted discrepancies between the weight of exported lion carcasses and the declared number of skeletons. It indicated that two to three times as many lions as allowed per the legal quota are being exported through false declaration of how many skeletons a shipment contains.”World Animal Protection’s researchers also found some troubling trends at the other end of the supply chain. A survey of consumer attitudes found that more than 40 percent of Chinese consumers have used medicines or products containing big cat ingredients, and that more than 55 percent of those consumers prefer big cat products sourced from the wild — 72 percent said they believed that wild products are more potent than farmed varieties. Similar numbers were found in Vietnam, where one in four consumers surveyed said they use wildlife products like “big cat plasters” and “tiger bone wine,” and more than 80 percent said they believe these products have medical benefits despite the lack of scientific evidence for those benefits. Some 84 percent of Vietnamese consumers said they prefer big cat products from animals caught in the wild.These lion cubs range in age from three months to a year. In the wild, lion cubs stay with their mothers until they are around two years old. At facilities in South Africa, cubs are often taken from their mothers at only a few weeks old, and used to provide tourists with holding, stroking, bottle feeding, and walking experiences until they get too big. They may then be killed for the traditional Asian medicine trade. Photo Credit: Anonymous, Blood Lions.There were also some results from the consumer attitude research that could help point to solutions. Between 60 and 70 percent of Vietnamese and Chinese respondents said they would not buy big cat products that are illegal or that were detrimental to the animals’ conservation status. And some 68 percent of big cat consumers in both countries said they would be willing to try herbal alternatives if they were cheaper. 54 percent of Vietnamese consumers said the best way to reduce trafficking of big cats is to raise awareness of the cruelty involved in how they’re raised and killed. More than 30 percent of Chinese consumers said there should be stricter laws and more than 20 percent favor raising awareness of substitutes.“These big cats are exploited for greed and money — and for what? For medicine that’s never been proven to have any curative properties whatsoever,” Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, Global Wildlife Advisor at World Animal Protection, said in a statement. “For that reason alone, it’s unacceptable. But given that at each stage of their lives they suffer immensely — this makes it an absolute outrage. Many of these animals will only ever see the world through metal bars, they will only ever feel hard concrete beneath their paws, and they will never get to experience their most basic predatory instinct — a hunt.”Schmidt-Burbach added: “These animals are majestic apex predators — they are not playthings — nor are they medicine. Big cats are wild animals and they deserve a life worth living.”Larger, but still inadequate, enclosures are available for public viewing. Photo courtesy of World Animal Protection.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Indonesia’s ex-fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti leaves big shoes to fill

first_imgCoastal Ecosystems, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Fisheries, Fishing, Governance, Illegal Fishing, Marine, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Oceans, Overfishing, Politics Article published by Basten Gokkon Susi Pudjiastuti, Indonesia’s popular and highly regarded fisheries minister, has been replaced in the new cabinet unveiled by President Joko Widodo for his second and final term in office.Maritime and fisheries observers have criticized the move to drop Susi, who has a proven track record in the sector, in favor of a transparently political appointee with only tangential exposure to fisheries.The move signals a loosening of protections for coastal and marine ecosystems and fishing communities as the president seeks to ramp up investments and development projects, the observers warn.Susi has called on her successor, Edhy Prabowo, to maintain the pace of reforms already achieved and to ensure the protection of the environment and coastal communities from extractive industries. JAKARTA — Maritime experts have slammed the decision by Indonesia’s president to replace his experienced and internationally praised fisheries minister with a political appointee.Susi Pudjiastuti, the country’s fisheries minister for the past five years, was one of the high-profile omissions from the new cabinet announced on Oct. 23 by President Joko Widodo as he starts his second and final term. Widodo instead named as the new minister Edhy Prabowo, the longtime right-hand man to Prabowo Subianto — Widodo’s rival in the last two elections.That prompted a popular backlash on social media and spawned the trending hashtag #WeWantSusi. Ahmad Marthin Hadiwinata, the head of the legal department at the Indonesian Traditional Fishermen’s Union, said Edhy’s appointment was nothing less than a political transaction by Widodo.“It proves that he no longer considers fisheries a top priority [for reform],” Marthin said.Indonesia’s fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, on board the Viking fishing vessel prior to its destruction. Image by Gary Stokes/Sea Shepherd Global.Widodo’s supporters have defended the president’s decision as part of efforts to create a unity government after a particularly divisive election campaign earlier this year. By embracing Prabowo, whom he also named to his cabinet as the new defense minister, Widodo is seen to be consolidating support in parliament for his agenda of massive deregulation and increased investment.But critics say this single-minded focus on growth at all costs threatens to unravel already tenuous protections for the environment and for small-scale fishers, who contribute 80 percent of Indonesia’s fisheries output.“It puts capital interests at top of the agenda, above the welfare of maritime communities,” Susan Herawati, the secretary-general of the NGO People’s Coalition for Justice in Fisheries, said in a statement.Susan added that the government’s plan to establish several strategic economic and tourism zones would force the relocation of many coastal communities. “The government of Joko Widodo only sees the ocean, coasts and small islands as objects for investment — as objects for exploitation, even,” she said.There have also been suggestions that Susi was not retained because of her frequent clashes with the coordinating minister for maritime affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Luhut, Widodo’s closest aide in government and longtime business partner, was one of the highest-profile critics of Susi’s policy of sinking seized illegal foreign fishing boats, saying she should focus instead on increasing fish exports and redistributing the captured vessels to small-scale fishers.Most recently, the pair fell out over the fate of Bali’s Benoa Bay, where the local government and residents have for years protested against a planned reclamation project that would raze the mangrove-rich ecosystem for a tourism development. Susi earlier this month issued a decree designating the bay as a maritime conservation zone, effectively nixing the development plan. But Luhut insisted soon after that the project could still continue despite the decree.Luhut’s expanded role in the new cabinet overseeing investment flows into the country, including for projects with potentially damaging impacts on marine ecosystems and/or coastal communities, may have also been a factor in Widodo’s decision not to retain Susi, observers said.Susi Pudjiastuti leads an Indonesian Coast Guard-assisted capture of an illegal fishing boat in the Natuna waters. Image courtesy of Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.Susi was arguably the most popular minister during Widodo’s first term in office. Within a month of her inauguration in 2014, she ordered the detonation of dozens of seized foreign fishing vessels. She said at the time that she wanted to send a clear message to the poachers who had for years been plundering Indonesia’s waters. Many foreign observers, particularly in other Southeast Asian countries from where many of the vessels originated, saw this “seize and sink” policy as “wrong” and “disturbing.” But domestically there was overwhelming support for Susi who insisted that it was about ensuring a sustainable fishery. By the end of 2018, her ministry, with help from the navy, had scuttled nearly 500 illegal fishing vessels.Besides the show of force, Susi also issued two pieces of regulation in 2014: one imposed a moratorium on the issuance of fishing licenses for foreign vessels, while the other banned the mid-ocean transfer of fish catches between boats, known as transshipment.In 2015, Susi banned the use of trawl and seine nets in a bid to protect coastal areas where many species of indigenous fish spawn. But this particular regulation drew fierce criticism from many fishers, particularly along the northern coast of Java who largely depended on these types of nets, known locally as cantrang. Three years later, Susi relented and gave the fishers of that region a grace period, and financial aid, to gradually switch to more sustainable fishing gear.Susi’s policies to protect the ocean also included targeting the establishment of 200,000 square kilometers (77,200 square miles) of marine protected areas (MPAs) across the archipelago by 2020 (the ministry claimed to have achieved this by 2018). In 2017, Susi led Indonesia to become the first country to publish its proprietary Vessel Monitoring System data, which track the location and activities of commercial fishing boats, in a bid to improve transparency in the country’s fisheries sector.She went even further and called for a global pushback against the practice of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which is estimated to cost countries $10 billion to $23.5 billion annually. Susi also planned to go after the owners of illegal fishing vessels under a new bill, which remains in parliament.Susi’s tough, no-nonsense approach to tackle IUU fishing paid off, according to a study, with foreign fishing activity in Indonesia declining by more than 90 percent since 2014, while fish stocks reportedly surged to 12.5 million tons in 2017 from 7.3 million tons in 2013.The minister was also keen to tackle Indonesia’s marine pollution problem; the country is the number two contributor to the plastic waste crisis in the oceans, after China. Susi campaigned for Indonesians to stop buying goods packaged in single-use plastics and also led beach cleanup events.Susi Pudjiastuti and her successor, Edhy Prabowo, at a handover ceremony on Oct. 23 in Jakarta. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.The new fisheries minister, Edhy Prabowo, appears to have only tangential exposure to the industry. He was kicked out of the military for disciplinary reasons and taken under Prabowo’s wing. He went on to serve on the board of one of Prabowo’s paper companies, and from 2014 to 2019 sat in parliament as a member of the ex-general’s Gerindra party. There, he chaired the committee overseeing agriculture and fisheries affairs.Observers have also called on him to use his new post to improve the welfare of fishers through programs such as access to life and health insurance for all fishers, establishing more marine protected areas, and tackling the marine plastic pollution problem in Indonesia.In response, Edhy said he would continue to fight for traditional fishers and businesses in the marine and fisheries sector. He said the president had also tasked him with improving aquaculture fisheries.Hours after the announcement of the new cabinet on Oct. 23, the fisheries ministry held an official handover ceremony from Susi to Edhy. The outgoing minister called on her successor to continue ensuring that Indonesia’s fisheries and maritime sector benefited Indonesians, including by maintaining the ban on foreign fishing vessels and foreign investment in the fisheries industry. Susi also asked Edhy to continue the phase-out of unsustainable fishing gear and techniques, to allow fish stocks to recover to sustainable levels.Lastly, she asked Edhy to protect marine and coastal ecosystems from the extractive industries.“Mining and the likes require huge capital, and not every Indonesian can afford that,” Susi said. “Fisheries are the source of our protein [and] a source of livelihood that’s still accessible for many people. That’s what I hope you will maintain.”Susi Pudjiastuti aboard the U.S. Navy’s amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans. Image by Brandon Cyr/U.S. Navy via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img 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

Ayahuasca tourism an overlooked driver of trade in jaguar body parts, researchers say

first_imgAnimals, Big Cats, Cats, China wildlife trade, Environment, Illegal Trade, Jaguars, Research, Tourism, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking According to research published in the journal Conservation Science and Practice earlier this month, the booming ayahuasca tourism industry may be an overlooked threat facing jaguars, a most iconic species that is listed as Nearly Threatened on the IUCN Red List.Through discussions with street vendors, shamans, and individuals working in the tourism industry, researchers found that jaguar canine pendants, jaguar skin bracelets, and other jaguar products are being sold to tourists under the pretense that they somehow enhance the ayahuasca experience.The researchers suggest that one way to effectively halt this growing illicit trade is to more formally regulate ayahuasca tourism and educate both tourists and tour operators. Jaguars face a number of threats, from habitat destruction and fragmentation for agriculture to poaching, trophy hunting, and retaliatory killings by ranchers. The cats are estimated to have lost nearly half of their historic range and to have declined by as much as 20 to 25 percent over the past three generations, which is why the species is listed as Nearly Threatened on the IUCN Red List.According to research published in the journal Conservation Science and Practice earlier this month, there may be an overlooked threat facing this most iconic of species: the booming ayahuasca tourism industry.The trade in jaguar body parts is growing across Latin America, particularly in Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, and Suriname. Over the past few years, the most serious new threat to jaguars that has emerged is the illegal trade in jaguar fangs for the Chinese market. But according to a team of researchers led by Alexander Braczkowski of Australia’s University of Queensland, “commercialized ayahuasca tourism may be an undervalued contributor to the trade” in jaguar body parts.Jaguar skin for sale in the Passage Paquito section of Belen market, Iquitos. Photo Credit: Steve Winter/National Geographic.“In Southeast Asia, jaguar claws and teeth are worn as jewellery; their skins are bought for home decor; and a glue paste (made from boiled jaguar parts) is consumed to heal various ailments,” Braczkowski and co-authors write in the paper. “Most organized trafficking appears to be by contractors working for foreign companies hired to hunt cats to export body parts. With Latin America’s current ayahuasca and shamanic tourist boom there are additional demands for jaguar products.”Braczkowski and team conducted an investigation between August 2016 and August 2019 into the jaguar parts trade in markets in three Peruvian cities that are considered top ayahuasca tourism destinations: Lima, Iquitos, and Pucallpa. They found jaguar skins for sale at prices ranging from $49 to $152, paws that could be purchased for $9, jaguar skin purses available for $6, and stuffed jaguars heads for which the asking price was anywhere from $30 to $91. Jaguar canines can fetch between $61 and $122 each.“Every single place we went to look for jaguar skins, jaguar teeth, we found them,” Sharon Guynup, a co-author of the paper, told Mongabay.Jaguar teeth for sale in the Passage Paquito section of Belen market, Iquitos. Photo Credit: Steve Winter/National Geographic.Through discussions with street vendors, shamans, and people working in the tourism industry, the researchers found that jaguar canine pendants, jaguar skin bracelets, and other jaguar products are being sold to tourists under the pretense that they somehow enhance the ayahuasca experience. Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew made from the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and chakruna leaves (Psychotria viridis). It has traditionally been used for spiritual and physical healing in ritual shamanic ceremonies, but has also become popular among recreational users in recent decades.“This appears to be a case of rebranding, specifically using ‘ayahuasca marketing’ for sellers to charge a premium on jaguar parts,” the researchers write in the paper. “Local indigenous shamans and healers from the Pucallpa area (Shipibo, Conibo, and Ashaninka ethnicities) denied the notion that jaguar parts enhance the ayahuasca experience for visiting tourists, and suggested that this practice is being marketed by ‘charlatan shamans’ seeking financial gain from the ayahuasca boom.”The researchers suggest that one way to effectively halt this growing illicit trade is to more formally regulate ayahuasca tourism and educate both tourists and tour operators. “The shamans we encountered in Iquitos and Pucallpa stressed the importance of the jaguar to the Amazon ecosystem and as a powerful totem in the spiritual world,” they write in the paper. “The leadership of ayahuasca retreats could be important champions for jaguar conservation in Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, and other regions where ayahuasca is used, and they could discourage tourists from using jaguar parts.”Jaguar teeth and a jaguar skull for sale in a craft market in Yarinacocha Market, Pucallpa. Photo Credit: Alex Braczkowski.Peru already has a national anti‐wildlife trafficking policy in place that punishes traffickers with a prison sentence of 3 to 5 years. Guynup said that, during their investigation of local markets, the researchers found a number of purveyors of jaguar products who exercised caution in their dealings with would-be buyers, suggesting that there has been some enforcement of anti-wildlife trafficking laws. But she called for the government of Peru to be more aggressive in enforcing its laws.“The Peruvian government needs to recognize that this is happening and address it. There are good wildlife laws in Peru, I think they need to be better enforced and if they’re not, there’s very little reason for this trade to end,” Guynup said.“A big factor here is also education, for ayahuasca tourists and for tourists in general, not only on the plight of jaguars but the plight of endangered species in general. It’s not that this trade is specifically [due to] ayahuasca tourism, there’s a much broader trade that does include trade to Asia. But this is a piece of the puzzle and it’s really important for potential consumers to be aware of this and not participate.”Jaguars in Mato Grosso Sur, Brazil. Photo Credit: Steve Winter/National Geographic.A jaguar in Mato Grosso Sur, Brazil. Photo Credit: Steve Winter/National Geographic.CITATIONS• Braczkowski, A., Ruzo, A., Sanchez, F., Castagnino, R., Brown, C., Guynup, S., … & O’Bryan, C. (2019). The ayahuasca tourism boom: An undervalued demand driver for jaguar body parts?. Conservation Science and Practice. doi:10.1111/csp2.126• Quigley, H., Foster, R., Petracca, L., Payan, E., Salom, R. & Harmsen, B. 2017. Panthera onca (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T15953A123791436. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T15953A50658693.en. Downloaded on 30 October 2019.Editor’s Note: A co-author of the paper, Romi Castagnino, works for Mongabay LatAm. She had no editorial input on this article.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 overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Indigenous communities ‘robbed’ as land grabbers lay waste to Brazilian rainforest

first_imgArticle published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Animals, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Governance, Green, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Land Grabbing, Mining, Old Growth Forests, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Ranching, Tropical Forests, Uncontacted Tribes, Wildlife Banner image: A deforested area of Ituna/Itatá, courtesy of Rede Xingu+.Data citation: Hansen, M.C., A. Krylov, A. Tyukavina, P.V. Potapov, S. Turubanova, B. Zutta, S. Ifo, B. Margono, F. Stolle, and R. Moore. 2016. Humid tropical forest disturbance alerts using Landsat data. Environmental Research Letters, 11 (3). Accessed through Global Forest Watch on October 23, 2019. www.globalforestwatch.orgEditor’s note: This story was powered by Places to Watch, a Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative designed to quickly identify concerning forest loss around the world and catalyze further investigation of these areas. Places to Watch draws on a combination of near-real-time satellite data, automated algorithms and field intelligence to identify new areas on a monthly basis. In partnership with Mongabay, GFW is supporting data-driven journalism by providing data and maps generated by Places to Watch. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data.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. Terra Indígena Ituna/Itatá in northern Brazil is home to several groups of uncontacted peoples who are dependent on the surrounding forest for survival.But outsiders have been increasingly moving in and clearing land for agriculture and mining. Brazilian authorities estimate that about 10 percent of the territory has been illegally invaded and destroyed this year alone, and satellite data show deforestation is still ramping up. Because of the scale of these incursions, Ituna/Itatá is now believed to be the most deforested indigenous territory in Brazil.While assaults on indigenous territories in Brazil have been happening for decades, activists say the sharp rise in deforestation and land-grabbing in Ituna/Itatá this year has been closely linked to the country’s controversial new president Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has also launched an open attack on Funai, the government agency tasked with protecting indigenous interests in Brazil. The president signed a decree curbing Funai’s powers earlier this year, dealing a further blow to an agency already weakened by the previous government’s move to slash its funding in half.Ibama, Brazil’s environment agency, has responded to the assault on Ituna/Itatá with at least five operations in the area in 2018 and 2019. Yet the long-term impact appears to be limited: just weeks after the latest crackdown, activists and local sources report that land-grabbers have gone back to clearing the forest. All that is left of the lush forest that once covered this patch of land in the Terra Indígena Ituna/Itatá in northern Brazil are a few dried branches and the occasional tree stump. On one side, a massive excavator stands abandoned, gathering dust in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon. Further out, dense, untouched jungle stretches for miles.The scene, captured by federal authorities in late August, is just one glimpse of the surge in recent invasions of Ituna/Itatá, an indigenous territory spanning some 142,000 hectares (548 square miles) in the northern Brazilian state of Pará. The land is a vast expanse of dense, virgin forest, more than 900 kilometers (560 miles) from the state capital of Belém. By law, it should be home to indigenous people who live in voluntary isolation from the outside world – and no one else.The presence of these uncontacted peoples was first detected during the planning of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, a massive project that opened up the region around Rio Xingu to a flood of business and labor. Outsiders have been banned from Ituna/Itatá since 2011, with the aim of protecting these isolated tribes, which are particularly vulnerable to common disease brought in from elsewhere.Yet this hasn’t stopped invaders from razing increasingly large swaths of forest within Ituna/Itatá, with the area last year earning the somber title of the most deforested indigenous territory in Brazil, according to Rede Xingu+, a network of environmental and indigenous groups working in the Xingu Basin. And more recently, it seems the deforestation may be ramping up further: Satellite data from the University of Maryland recorded around 57,000 tree cover loss alerts between Jan. 1 and Oct. 21, with nearly 70 percent occurring since the beginning of August. Brazilian authorities estimate that about 10 percent of the territory has been illegally invaded and destroyed this year alone.Satellite data show Ituna/Itatá indigenous territory was covered in pristine, old growth rainforest in 2001. However, much its forest has been cleared since then, with the deforestation rate increasing in 2019. Source: GLAD/UMD, accessed through Global Forest Watch.Deforestation has been intensifying over the past few months. Imagery from Planet labs.“There’s a big concern because the uncontacted tribes living in that area may not be able to defend themselves,” Mikaela Weisse, manager of World Resources Institute’s forest monitoring platform Global Forest Watch, told Mongabay in an interview.The path into the territory was first opened up by illegal timber exploitation going back at least to 2016, says one local advocacy source who asked to remain anonymous due to security concerns. Soon, ranchers, miners and land-grabbers also began invading the region.Recently, there have been signs that some of these invaders may be there to stay. Many are registering the land they have illegally cleared within Ituna/Itatá and some have been building settlements in the middle of the jungle. Local sources report movement of pickup trucks deep into the forest, which are believed to be helping clear stretches of land to make way for cattle pastures. “It’s a type of speculation,” the advocacy source said. “They are going there as if the land will not be indigenous anymore in the future. And they are rushing to grab it for themselves, to secure it now.”Toxic rhetoricWhile assaults on indigenous territories in Brazil have been happening for decades, activists say the sharp rise in deforestation and land-grabbing in Ituna/Itatá this year has been closely linked to the country’s controversial new president Jair Bolsonaro.The far-right leader, who was sworn into office earlier this year, has stated that indigenous people should be integrated into society, while railing against land protections as an “obstacle” to mining and development. Repeatedly, he has vowed not to demarcate a centimeter of additional land for indigenous people.“They don’t speak our language, but they have somehow managed to get 14 percent of our national territory,” Bolsonaro said in August, while suggesting demarcation of indigenous land is the result of an international conspiracy.Bolsonaro has also launched an open attack on Funai, the government agency tasked with protecting indigenous interests in Brazil. The president signed a decree curbing Funai’s powers earlier this year, dealing a further blow to an agency already weakened by the previous government’s move to slash its funding in half. Recently, Bolsonaro also went on to appoint a former police chief with strong ruralist links as head of the organization.Deforestation for cattle pasture is one of the main drivers behind deforestation in Terra Indígena Ituna/Itatá. Image by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.The enforcement of environmental law has also been hard-hit. Earlier this year, Bolsonaro stripped Ibama of some of its powers, handing over final say on environmental sanctions to a newly established court. Environmental fines have also plummeted since the president assumed office in January.Critics say all of this has emboldened invaders to illegally grab more land in indigenous territories – in Ituna/Itatá and elsewhere across Brazil – without fear of repercussions. Meanwhile, dwindling resources have meant many Funai and Ibama posts in more remote parts of Brazil have shut down in recent years, leaving land-grabbers free to invade indigenous territories.“There’s a general air of impunity, which has allowed this situation to get so out of control,” said Jonathan Mazower, spokesperson for Survival International, a nonprofit organization that campaigns for the rights of indigenous people. “The system of protection for indigenous territories is unquestionably not working at all.”The impact has been particularly acute in territories like Ituna/Itatá, which remains under fragile government protection. While the land is under some federal preservation, it is still not fully demarcated as an indigenous territory. In January, Funai renewed its restricted status for another three years – but activists in the region say land-grabbers are betting this may not be the case for long.“Landgrabbers that support Bolsonaro believe that those lands will not be demarcated,” said Danicley Aguiar, a senior campaigner with Greenpeace Brazil, who is based in Belém and works in the region. “He has promised that they won’t be demarcated. And this creates, in these land-grabbers, an expectation that these lands are not valid.”Despite the fact that this territory is federally owned and set aside for indigenous peoples, as much as 87 percent has been claimed illegally by invaders through the national system of rural land registration, known as Sistema de Cadastro Ambiental Rural (CAR), according to Rede Xingu+.  Some plots have even been registered several times by different invaders declaring themselves as the rightful owners, highlighting the mad scramble to lay claim to this territory.The impact on the people who call this region home, meanwhile, has been profound. Fearing for their lives, uncontacted indigenous people are fleeing from Ituna/Itatá and deeper into the forest, human rights advocates say. As larger stretches of the territory are cleared, some also worry indigenous groups will not be able to continue their nomadic lifestyles.“Isolated peoples are probably the most vulnerable people we see in the Brazilian Amazon today,” said Christian Poirier, program director at Amazon Watch, a nonprofit working to protect the rainforest and the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. “Where you have increasing pressure on the land, imagine how that affects this particular community. It’s devastating for them.”Satellite imagery show an area of Ituna/Itatá indigenous territory that was largely undisturbed in July 2019 had large swaths of clearance by September. Imagery from Planet Labs.This could have the precise impact that land-grabbers are after: as deforestation drives uncontacted communities out of the territory, the chances that Ituna/Itatá will hang onto its protected status are diminishing. This is because, in order to renew the area’s status every few years, Funai must find signs of uncontacted indigenous people still living there.“These indigenous territories are in the process of being demarcated,” said Aguiar of Greenpeace. “The more the forest is robbed, the higher the chance that these isolated people will flee. And the forest will be left for the ranchers and the land-grabbers.”The encroachment into Ituna/Itatá is also placing additional pressure on smaller indigenous territories in the surrounding area, local advocates say. As the surrounding forest shrinks and the jungle is chopped up into smaller pieces, neighboring territories like Paquitamba and Arara da Volta Grande do Xingu are becoming increasingly isolated. This means it’s becoming ever more difficult for the forest-dependent indigenous people who live there to survive off the remaining slices of land.Constant battleThe scene resembled an action film: heavily armed federal agents moved deep into the Brazilian jungle, exchanging fire with land-grabbers. In a dramatic moment during their operation, they discovered and shut down an illegal airstrip that was likely being used to bring chainsaws, fuel and workers to the middle of the jungle.It was late August and the entourage – which included agents from Brazil’s National Public Security Force and the country’s environmental agency, Ibama – was there to crack down on the rampant deforestation swallowing up large swaths of the Ituna/Itatá indigenous territory, which had been intensifying since the beginning of the month.Image courtesy of Rede Xingu+.The operation, which drew ample attention and media coverage, was not the Brazilian state’s first attempt to curb deforestation in Ituna/Itatá. While clearing within the territory has surged to new and dramatic levels this year, it is really over the course of 2018 that invaders have grown ever bolder in their take-over of this land, after seeing that authorities can do little to stop them.Ibama has responded to the assault on Ituna/Itatá with at least five operations in the area in 2018 and 2019, advocacy sources estimate. Yet the long-term impact appears to be limited: just weeks after the latest crackdown, activists and local sources report that land-grabbers have gone back to clearing the forest.The issue lies with a toxic cocktail of factors, which simultaneously enable deforestation and ensure the culprits rarely face punishment. For one, the territory – and the broader region – lies in the heart of the so-called deforestation arc, a crescent-shaped area running along the southern and eastern edges of the Amazon where agricultural development is displacing forest at particularly fast clips. As more and more of the surrounding area has been deforested over the last few decades, the pressure has increased on areas like Ituna/Itatá.“The deforestation and the pressure is coming from the development border,” the local advocacy source said. “And the indigenous protected areas are the only ones where forest remains.”The remote location of Ituna/Itatá has also helped shield invaders. The territory is only accessible either by helicopter or by ferry from the city of Altamira, followed by about a five-hour drive along a rough road through dense jungle. The isolated location of the region makes it that much easier for the razing of forest to go unnoticed.Enforcing environmental law across Ituna/Itatá also remains difficult. Ibama, faced with an intensifying shortage of resources, has no permanent post in the region and can only act in a knee-jerk response to a fraction of the rampant clearing taking place in Ituna/Itatá. Even when authorities have held invaders accountable, it’s mostly been a Band-aid effort targeting a few individual invaders rather than the large enterprises behind the deforestation, Aguiar says.In a recent report, Human Rights Watch found that illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is largely driven by criminal networks who coordinate large-scale illegal logging operations, while deploying armed men to intimidate forest defenders and indigenous people.“You can destroy an airstrip or close a ranch,” he said. “But when you return to the city or to Brasilia, the land-grabber will just restart everything. You need to dig deeper to really stop this.” 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

How cities can lead the fight against climate change using urban forestry and trees (commentary)

first_imgComprehensive urban forestry planning can influence the everyday lives of citydwellers by reducing storm water runoff, decreasing wildfire risk and severity, reducing urban heat islands, decreasing utility costs, increasing economic growth, and providing clean drinking water.Urban trees also have the ability to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and serve as long-term carbon sinks. However, cities seem to be lacking in language and planning to link together various mitigation and adaptation strategies specifically to sequester and store CO2 within urban trees.While there are examples of cities incorporating forest carbon storage and sequestration policies into their planning, these are limited, and often only in our largest cities. Many cities have excellent programming to encourage tree plantings and green space but are not quite comfortable taking a leap into climate mitigation claims and calculations. Here’s a look at what cities are doing.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. After the United States pulled out of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, combating climate change at local scales in the U.S. has become increasingly important to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals.Luckily, cities and local municipalities are beginning to recognize the important linkages between urban resiliency, human well-being, and climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. They have important opportunities to leverage their urban forests to fight climate change.There are plenty of examples of cities leading the way on climate by joining activities such as the C40 Cities for Climate Leadership Groups, US Climate Mayors, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, Carbon Climate Registry, and the Under2 Coalition. Cities and municipalities already focus on GHG emission reductions, increasing green spaces, green building certification, green infrastructure development, the reduction of transportation emissions, increased energy efficiencies, energy saving initiatives, and smart city planning, and even carbon taxes in some cases. Using these tools, local governments and city planners can create resilient urban areas that can counteract the negative effects of climate change.Another area where cities are increasingly enacting policies is by managing urban forests for climate. Comprehensive urban forestry planning can influence the everyday lives of citydwellers by reducing storm water runoff, decreasing wildfire risk and severity, reducing urban heat islands, decreasing utility costs, increasing economic growth, and providing clean drinking water.Urban trees also have the ability to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and serve as long-term carbon sinks. However, cities seem to be lacking in language and planning to link together various mitigation and adaptation strategies specifically to sequester and store CO2 within urban trees.Urban trees. Photo Credit: MSU Forestry Department.So, why aren’t more cities explicitly linking the CO2 sequestration benefits with their urban forests?With varying city size and capacity, the answer is not simple. While there are examples of cities incorporating forest carbon storage and sequestration policies into their planning, these are limited, and often only in our largest cities. Many cities have excellent programming to encourage tree plantings and green space but are not quite comfortable taking a leap into climate mitigation claims and calculations.There is no one size fits all strategy for cities to undertake climate mitigation activities. Local policy makers must identify and create specific local strategies that fit within a regional context, but expertise to do this can be lacking in terms of climate mitigation and adaptation. Studies have shown that organizing and coordinating between various stakeholders is quite difficult, especially when urban forests span multiple jurisdictions. Additionally, finding the political support to pass ordinances remains elusive even in places where public support for urban tree management is strong.Insufficient funding and professional knowledge are probably the largest barriers preventing cities from accomplishing such a task. Upfront costs of training professional staff and establishing a network for monitoring and assessing urban forest health can quickly surpass the capabilities of local governments. Sustainable funding for management assistance and tree care remains a formidable obstacle, as well. Diversifying and securing stable sources of funding is needed to increase awareness in areas without proactive approaches to urban forest management.Now, let’s look at what cities are doing:Looking at urban forestry plans across the country, there are three main examples of ways cities use urban forestry to store more carbon: 1) tree plantings; 2) percent canopy cover targets; and 3) urban forest management strategies.Urban trees. Photo Credit: MSU Forestry Department.Tree plantings are the most common local policy that provides carbon storage. Cities across the US have programs to provide free trees, request plantings, access educational materials, and receive tree maintenance. Cities can see benefits such as being a part of programs through the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forest Program or the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA. Examples of government-funded tree planting initiatives are Seattle, Washington; Sarasota, Florida; and San Jose, California.Cities often target increasing tree canopy cover to reduce urban heat island temperatures or to reduce storm water runoff. However, increasing canopy cover provides additional benefits through carbon storage, sequestration, habitat derivation, and biodiversity. Cities such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio; Orlando, Florida; and Long Beach, California have efforts underway to increase percent tree canopy cover. Many of these initiatives are aimed at increasing tree cover in lower-income urban areas, as these areas are disproportionately affected by tree loss and generally more likely to suffer the adverse effects of climate change.The most progressive forest carbon policies are comprehensive urban forest management plans. San Francisco has implemented such a plan in three phases: Phase 1 focuses on the management of street trees to highlight their benefits (completed in 2014); Phase 2 focuses on a vision and strategy for trees in parks and opens spaces to address policy, management, and financing of park trees; and Phase 3 will develop recommendations for trees on private property and guidelines for green roofs and walls. According to its annual report, San Francisco’s urban forest stores 196,000 metric tons of carbon (MtC) and sequesters 5,200 MtC per year. Overall, the plan highlights that trees are valuable infrastructure to urban areas and necessary for ecological functions and benefits within urban settings.While cities of all sizes have an opportunity to lead when it comes to combating climate change, plenty of challenges remain. With tight municipal budgets, funding for such initiatives remains a crucial challenge to achieving climate mitigation goals. Although long-term funding, like US Forest Service or non-profit grants, can be elusive, many municipalities can achieve promising outcomes with spurts of funds, for example for tree plantings and educational initiatives. Urban forests could receive financial support from linkages to carbon markets and other carbon project financing mechanisms, if they develop.Overall, cities remain an important piece of the puzzle to meeting global climate change goals. As more cities begin to link their current climate change activities to the benefits of carbon sequestration and storage through the management of urban forests, the climate benefits provided by trees will only continue to increase.We have an opportunity to boost understanding of climate mitigation and adaptation with tools and training so urban planners, foresters, officials, council members, and others are able to value and communicate climate mitigation benefits of forests. Programs such as Michigan State University’s Forest Carbon and Climate Program (where the authors work) and the Forest-Climate Working Group continue to educate future leaders, planners, and managers of urban forests to work towards climate change solutions.The Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, California. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY 2.0.CITATIONS• Driscoll A.N., Ries, P.D., Tilt, H.J., Ganio, L.M. (2015). Needs and barriers to expanding urban forestry programs: An assessment of community officials and program managers in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. 14(1):48-55. doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2014.11.004• Elmqvist, T., Setälä, H., Handel, S. N., Van Der Ploeg, S., Aronson, J., Blignaut, J. N., … & De Groot, R. (2015). Benefits of restoring ecosystem services in urban areas. Current opinion in environmental sustainability, 14, 101-108. doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2015.05.001• Escobedo, F. J., Kroeger, T., & Wagner, J. E. (2011). Urban forests and pollution mitigation: Analyzing ecosystem services and disservices. Environmental pollution, 159(8-9), 2078-2087. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2011.01.010• Haaland, C., & van den Bosch, C. K. (2015). Challenges and strategies for urban green-space planning in cities undergoing densification: A review. Urban forestry & urban greening, 14(4), 760-771. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2015.07.009• Nowak, D. J., & Crane, D. E. (2002). Carbon storage and sequestration by urban trees in the USA. Environmental pollution, 116(3), 381-389. doi: 10.1016/S0269-7491(01)00214-7• Schadler, E., Danks, C., & McDermott, M. (2012). Carbon Markets for US Urban Forestry: Attracting Funds by offering local value. AAG Meeting: February, 28th, 2019.• Stevenson, T.R., Gerhold, H.D., & Elmendorf, W.F., (2008). Attitudes of Municipal Officials Toward Street Tree Programs in Pensylvania, U.S. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 34(3):144-151.• Treiman, T., & Gartner, J., (2004) Community forestry in Missouri, U.S.: Attitudes and knowledge of local officials. Journal of Arboriculture 30(4):205-2013.• Wolch, J. R., Byrne, J., & Newell, J. P. (2014). Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’. Landscape and urban planning, 125, 234-244. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.01.017Chad Papa is a PhD student in the Forestry Department at Michigan State University (MSU) where he researches how environmental factors influence carbon cycling and carbon uptake in West African woodlands. Additionally, he serves as a research assistant for the Forest Carbon and Climate Program at MSU, helping create learning materials for land managers and stakeholders to better understand forest carbon management. He is also an avid orchid grower.Lauren Cooper directs the Forest Carbon and Climate Program for Michigan State University Forestry Department and has experience in forest carbon project development and wood utilization linkages to sustainability. Her current research looking at socio-ecological carbon cycling, conservation incentives, and linking development and conservation. Her expertise is in policy implementation, impact assessment, stakeholder engagement, knowledge transfer, and forestry.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. Adaptation To Climate Change, Cities, Climate Change, Commentary, Editorials, Environment, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Mitigation, Researcher Perspective Series, Trees, Urban Planning Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Belo Monte boondoggle: Brazil’s biggest, costliest dam may be unviable

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 The controversial Belo Monte mega-dam in Pará state has done significant socio environmental harm to the Xingu River and the indigenous and traditional people living beside it. Now it appears the dam may not be able to produce the electricity totals promised by its builders — an eventuality critics had long warned about.Project designers appear to have seriously misestimated the Xingu River’s flow rates and fluctuations between wet and dry seasons, while also not accounting for reductions in flow due to deforestation caused by rapidly expanding cattle ranches and soy plantations far upriver in Mato Grosso state.Climate change-induced droughts are also decreasing Xingu River flows and generating capacity. In 2013, an important Brazilian Panel on Climate Change report warned that global warming could drop water levels all across the Amazon basin, putting hydropower in serious jeopardy.As deforestation due to agribusiness and mining spreads across the basin, now driven by the development-friendly policies of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the future for Amazon hydroelectric dams, their generating capacity and investment potential looks increasingly bleak. On November 27, 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, with wife Michelle Bolsonaro beside him (to left of plaque), celebrated the official end of Belo Monte mega-dam construction as its last turbine was installed. To the right of the plaque is Pará state governor Helder Barbalho and head of the Mines and Energy Ministry, Bento Albuquerque. The banner reads, “Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant: Brazilian Giant, Fully Operational.” Photo credit: Palácio do Planalto on VisualHunt / CC BYDesigners of the Belo Monte hydroelectric project built their Amazon mega-dam on Brazil’s Xingu River with an installed capacity of 11,233 MW averaged monthly over a year. That’s what the turbines technically could spin — that is, if there weren’t this organic being called a river, with its own seasonal rhythms, rising, falling, spreading, mounting, and dropping again. Add to that reduced Xingu flows due to regional deforestation and climate change-induced drought, further cutting power generation.Opened in 2016 in Pará state, Belo Monte was slated to operate at a level where it would generate 4,571 MW monthly over 12 months. This is what’s called “firm energy,” an approximation of actual electricity produced. But now even that amount looks high.In 2019, the Xingu’s flow dropped drastically during the July to November dry season, and even with all but one of its 18 turbines operational, the plant produced a monthly average of just 568 MW in August, 361 in September, 276 in October, and 583 in November, according to Brazilian authorities. Norte Energia, the dam’s operator, was forced to shut down the turbines multiple times to prevent their being damaged.But even in the high water season, the dam never came close to producing the 11,233 MW monthly “full operational capacity,” which Norte Energia’s press release touts to investors. The highest value last year was 6,882 MW produced in February.For all the hyped hydroelectric efficiency pledges dished up during planning and construction between 2011 and 2016, Belo Monte has shown itself to be the very opposite of efficiency — a project that not only did huge socio environmental harm, but which now seems unlikely to ever turn a profit. These days, some locals call it not Belo Monte, “Beautiful Hill” (from the Portuguese) but Belo Monstro, “Beautiful Monster.”The Pimental dam, part of the Belo Monte hydroelectric project, and the dam that was in danger of eroding during Norte Energia’s “water emergency.” The Pimental dam diverts the Xingu River’s natural flow into a constructed channel, then into a reservoir and to the main electricity-producing Belo Monte dam. Image courtesy of Palácio do Planalto on Visual hunt / CC BYNorte Energia declares emergency amidst viability doubtsSo it was that on October 11, Norte Energia sent an official letter to the federal government that, paradoxically, asked the Bolsonaro administration to allow the firm to produce even less energy.In the letter, the company declared its own “water emergency,” saying that levels in one reservoir had dropped so low that an unreinforced dam’s earthen base would be exposed to waves and at risk of “structural damage.” In order to avert such harm, Norte Energia said it needed to reduce even further the flows going from the upstream dam down to the energy-producing dam.The Brazilian press responded quickly with criticism of Norte Energia’s failure to plan for the operation of a dam into which R$40 billion (roughly US$9.5 billion) has been invested — with much of that funded by Brazilian taxpayers through the BNDES, Brazil’s giant development bank.Then in November, Norte Energia formally asked Brazil’s National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) for authorization to build thermoelectric plants alongside the Belo Monte dams — plants that would likely use fossil fuels. The company denied it was trying to make up for the hydro project’s electricity shortfalls, as the press inferred, stating only that electricity companies often diversify their portfolios.If allowed to build thermoelectric plants, Norte Energia could at least make more use of its two R$15 billion (US$3.6 billion) transmission lines, owned by Chinese company State Grid, which transmit electricity to Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais states — power lines that are underused for five months of the year.Construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric project required the cutting of a channel to divert 80% of the Xingu River’s flow away from the river’s Volta Grande (Big Bend), populated by the Juruna indigenous people and other traditional fisherfolk. Photo credit: Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC) on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA.Investors bet on dam’s construction, not its operationExperts today attribute Belo Monte’s stunning inefficiency to a variety of factors, including poor design, poor siting on a seasonally variable river, plus dramatic increases in regional deforestation that are drawing down Xingu River water levels, and finally, global climate change, which is bringing more drought — factors that were recognized by dam opponents and business analysts alike in the planning stages.In addition, analysis from many corners predicted that controversial Belo Monte would never produce the amounts of electricity predicted, nor would it ever be economically viable — forecasts ignored by Norte Energia, the government, and BNDES.So why did the company press forward with the R$40 billion (US$10 billion) mega-project? The answer: mega-profits to be made from taxpayer dollars during construction.“I think what was driving it was basically the huge amount of money that flows around these projects in the construction phase,” said Brent Millikan of International Rivers, an environmental NGO. “There were big construction companies and political interests connecting to them through patronage networks, kickback schemes, and so forth, that stood to just make huge amounts of money from [building it]. I think part of the evidence for that is that all of those big construction companies all migrated away from Belo Monte’s [energy generation] investors.”Smaller companies like Queiroz Galvão and Galvão Engenharia, for example, originally invested in a minor way in the Norte Energia energy utility company, but then pulled their money out, instead joining the Belo Monte Construction Consortium (CCBM).Meanwhile, some of Brazil’s big construction companies, including Odebrecht and Camargo Corrêa, never even joined Norte Energia at all and chose only to invest their money in the Belo Monte construction consortium. Through their actions, these firms were protected from the speculative risk the electric company posed, while profiting from the huge influx of BNDES construction cash, which saw limited public oversight.As a result, only public sector entity investments — coming from Brazilian pension funds and the state-owned Eletrobras energy company — went into the Norte Energia energy utility. And it is exactly those public entities that may be left holding the bag if Belo Monte never produces significant amounts of electricity.So it was that the Belo Monte construction consortium partners profited hugely. But Norte Energia, the electric company, is increasingly troubled. Today, it owes R$25.4 million (US$6.25 million) to the BNDES development bank.Norte Energia did not respond to requests for comment for this story.Rainforest converted to soy in Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Image by Mayangdi Inzaulgarat / Mongabay.Rising deforestation imperils Amazon dam projectsNorte Energia’s thermoelectric licensing request, countering its lack of hydroelectric generating capability, isn’t only a local trend. In that single action, the fate of dams throughout the Amazon may be writ large, as the spread of pastures and soy plantations dramatically increases regional deforestation, and as global climate change worsens — both taken together reducing Amazon rainfall and making river levels drop.“[T]he problem is that there’s just not enough water in the Xingu River,” said Millikan, something that is typical of other Amazon basin waterways. The Xingu River “is a seasonally variable river. We already knew that from historical data, and the trend is just going to get worse.”That problem is worsening for two reasons: “Number one: you’ve got [major] deforestation in the Xingu River basin, and that’s [negatively] affecting the hydrology of the basin.” Deforestation in the Xingu basin jumped 81% from 2018 to 2019, and that in turn reduced river flows.“Number two, climate change, both regional and global climate change, is reducing rainfall,” said Millikan. “So you’re having less water and less ability to capture water in the watershed and to release it slowly in the rainy season. As a result, they’ve got the problem of the turbines being shut off completely for several months of the year.” Basin-wide, the burning of vegetation and the release of climate-warming gases into the atmosphere are combining to dry out the Amazon rainforest, leading to deepening drought, according to a new NASA study.André Oliveira Sawakuchi, a Geosciences Institute professor at the University of São Paulo, agrees that deforestation, particularly caused by agribusiness, is making Amazon hydropower economically inviable: “Soy and pasture expansion in the southeastern Amazon is the enemy of the Belo Monte dam in the decades to come,” he said.But none of these effects should come as a surprise to Norte Energia, BNDES or the Brazilian government, said both Millikan and Sawakuchi. As far back as September 9, 2013, an important Brazilian Panel on Climate Change issued a report warning that global warming could drop Amazon water levels, putting hydropower in jeopardy.The Xingu River flows into the Xingu Reservoir where the Pimental dam diverts 80 percent of the river’s flow into a channel and on into the Belo Monte Reservoir, then finally to the electrical turbines of the Belo Monte dam. The Volte Grande do Xingu, deprived of water, has seen significant fish kills. The proposed Canadian Belo Sun gold mine, if allowed to go ahead, could do more environmental harm. Image by Ricardo Abad / Instituto Socioambiental (text translated from Portuguese by Tiffany Higgins).Immediate origins of the “water emergency”Besides the problem with falling water levels, Norte Energia’s declared “water emergency” points to hidden deficiencies built into Belo Monte.According to the letter sent to the National Water Agency (ANA) from Norte Energia Director-President Paulo Roberto Ribeiro Pinto, the October 2019 drought had lowered the level in one of Belo Monte’s two reservoirs, called the Xingu Reservoir, far enough to put the Pimental dam at risk of structural harm. High winds in the reservoir, he wrote, could create waves that would erode the base of the earthen, unreinforced dam.The situation was serious enough, the company said, that it had also asked Brazil’s National Electric Systems Operator (ONS) to temporarily release the company from its obligation to deliver promised energy output to customers throughout Brazil.Millikan speculates that the economic hit Norte Energia takes when it fails to meet these energy generating agreements with Brazil’s National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) explains why the company wants to construct thermoelectric plants next to Belo Monte: “I think this financial emergency thing is, ‘Oh, let’s just build some thermoelectric plants and that will save us,’” said Millikan. If Norte Energia fails to supply enough energy, then its government contract says it must buy electricity on the spot market to make up the difference, which is expensive. The thermoelectric plants could help reduce that loss.On November 8, journalist Eliane Brum reported in El País on the Norte Energia emergency declaration, saying it revealed an error in the original dam’s construction. The very same day, Norte Energia fired back that there was no error and no risk to the dam’s structure, even though their own letter said waves driven by high winds could “cause structural damages.”The fundamental problem leading to the October “water emergency”: Norte Energia needs a total of 1,000 cubic meters per second (m3/s) in Xingu River flow to meet its government agreed requirements, supplying sufficient water to the reservoirs and dams, and to the Volta Grande — a gigantic bend in the Xingu River bypassed by the Belo Monte project, with a shoreline populated by fishermen who rely on the horseshoe bend as their fishery and livelihood.But due to 2019’s drought and regional deforestation, “the river wasn’t able to supply 300 m3/s to the intermediate reservoir and the [mandated] 700 m3/s [flow] to the Volta Grande,” explained Professor Sawakuchi.With Xingu River water flow dipping down to just 750 m3/s, the company issued its emergency letter and reduced to 100 m3/s the amount flowing through the channel that connects the Xingu Reservoir to the intermediate reservoir, in an attempt to avert the risk of “structural damages” to the dam.In so doing, the firm also chose to supply roughly the flow required to meet its obligation to the Volta Grande, an amount the company and the government determined is the very minimum to safeguard life and navigability (though locals say even that is insufficient),This image from the Earth Observation Unit of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) illustrates the diversion of the Xingu River into a man-made channel (at center), resulting in lower water levels in the Big Bend (pictured on the right in red). Photo credit: Coordenação-Geral de Observação da Terra/INPE on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA.Norte Energia disputes environmentally needed reservoir flowCritics argue that Norte Energia’s October flow decision is environmentally risky. Previous agreements with IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, established that at least 300 m3/s must be maintained in the intermediate reservoir to avoid harming its water quality. But Norte Energia contracted with EnvEx Engineering to run mathematical modelling and concluded that even at 100 m3/s — the drastically low flow rate set in October — there would be no water quality damage.Sawakuchi questions this claim: “There can be problems with mathematical modeling” versus real life water quality sampling. When water flows get that low, algae can proliferate and accumulate, negatively impacting the whole system.The problem isn’t merely theoretical or localized. Sawakuchi warns that a water quality decline in the intermediate reservoir wouldn’t stay there, but could spread to the Xingu River, and from there to the Volta Grande, where the Juruna and Arara indigenous peoples drink, bathe and fish. Norte Energia’s October letter promised to do water quality tests three times daily to address this “exceptional situation.”Rainforest and savanna converted to cattle pasture in Mato Grosso state, Brazil are acting to reduce downstream flows in the Xingu River. Image © Henrique Manreza courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.“Soy and pasture expansion is the enemy of Belo Monte” The really bad news: October 2019 isn’t likely an outlier. “Studies predict that in the next thirty years, the water in the Xingu basin will be reduced by 20-30%,” says Sawakuchi. “Some studies even predict a more than 40% drop in water in the river basin within fifty years,” bringing even worse outcomes for the Xingu River and for Belo Monte.The professor — who investigates interactions between climate change and river systems — points out that when industry and government formulated the original flow rule “they considered the amount of water in the last sixty or seventy years. But now that’s changing,” and is likely to go on changing for the foreseeable future.He concludes that advancing deforestation and climate change will cause the “company to have to modify their way of operating the dam” to meet minimum flow requirements for generating electricity, protecting structural integrity, while meeting needs on the Volta Grande. Reduced Xingu flows, divided between Belo Monte and the Volta Grande, could be an environmental disaster waiting to happen.Sawakuchi explains further that the Xingu River and its tributaries have their sources in Mato Grosso, and depend on forest cover for dependable water flow. But much of Mato Grosso, part of the Amazon and Cerrado biomes, has seen its rainforest and savanna converted to water-hungry soy plantations.Amazon forests, with their high humidity, help generate their own rain, and locally replenish moisture in the Xingu basin. “When you have more rain, you have more consistent river flows throughout the year. When there’s less rain, it makes river levels more inconsistent,” Sawakuchi said. Put simply, the drying effect of the vast upstream soy plantations makes it hard to run a downstream hydroelectric dam that’s promising energy at consistently high levels.With the further expected expansion of agribusiness and cattle production — two industries that Brazilians lump together into one word, agropecuaria, “it intensifies and concentrates rain in some parts of the year, but as a whole reduces rain over the course of the year.” Overall, “agribusiness and cattle production in Mato Grosso removes water from all the tributaries,” drying the river system even before it arrives in the Lower Xingu River basin, so the water doesn’t reach the Belo Monte dam, explains Sawakuchi.“The expansion of soy and pasture means less water in the Upper Xingu basin. The expansion of soy and pasture is the enemy of Belo Monte.”Brazil plans new dams on the Tapajós River (seen here), the  Trombetas River, and at dozens of other places across the Amazon basin. Image © Teresa Moreira / The Nature Conservancy.More dams planned, less water comingBelo Monte won’t likely be Brazil’s last big dam. The government is planning more on the Tapajós River, the Trombetas River and other rivers across the Amazon basin.Those projects ignore the warnings of scientists, including Carlos Nobre and Tom Lovejoy, who in December 2019 declared that a long modeled Amazon tipping point from rainforest-to-degraded-savanna “is here, it is now.” If these researchers are correct, the prospects for Amazon rainfall, river flows, and existing and proposed Amazon hydroelectric dams will grow bleaker.Sawakuchi calls into question the viability of Amazon hydroelectric projects: “The dam companies always expect to make their most energy in the highwater season from January through July,” he says. “But they’ll have less water in July,” as climate change intensifies and shortens the wet season. “This isn’t being factored in” as the government lines up more dam projects across the Amazon basin.“This can [mean shortages and] intensify conflicts for water,” he said, as riverine indigenous and traditional peoples compete for dwindling supplies with old and new dams, industrial mining operations, agribusiness and cities in need of drinking water.Looking at Belo Monte specifically, Sawakuchi says, “80-90% of the Xingu River water will be used to produce energy.” And it’s the people and aquatic animals on the Volta Grande who will suffer.The Tucuruí hydroelectric dam in Pará state. Deforestation due to agribusiness, combined with climate change-induced drought, could reduce river flows throughout the Amazon, making existing and future dams less viable. Image by PPGEDAM (NUMA/UFPA) -Visualhunt.com – CC BY-NC.A future of Amazon water shortagesOn November, 27, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, to much fanfare and media coverage, unveiled a plaque as the eighteenth and last Belo Monte turbine went into operation. That event also signaled Norte Energia’s lowering of flows to the Volta Grande, with likely huge impacts on fish and local food security. It’s an even lower flow regime than the initial flows negotiated between Norte Energia and Brazil’s government. Local people have been clamoring for years to prevent this new, lower flow regime from going into effect on the Volta Grande.“Things are already really bad, but they’ll get worse,” predicts MillikanIf Norte Energia manages to get approval to build thermoelectric plants alongside its dams, as well as alongside a Canadian company’s planned Belo Sun mine — the largest open-pit gold mine in the world — then life-giving water levels in the Volta Grande, which Norte Energia pledged to maintain, will probably dwindle to a trickle.And if Brazil continues to pursue policies like those implemented to nurture Belo Monte while starving the Xingu, then it isn’t difficult to predict the future losers: “Up until now, it’s always the dam companies that have won. Not the people,” says Sawakuchi.Banner image caption: Principal Belo Monte dam, as it looked on December 27, 2019. Each of the descending tubes marks one of the eighteen electricity producing turbines. Photo credit: Palácio do Planalto on Visualhunt.com / CC BYFEEDBACK: 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. Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Conservation, Controversial, Corruption, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, Featured, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Transparency, Tropical Deforestation center_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Guyana has a cash-flow problem – Minister Jordon should resign

first_imgI wondered if the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government is broke when, a few days ago, public servants were advised that salaries for November and December will be late. This followed late salary payments for hundreds of public servants in October. Simultaneously, many contractors are complaining that they are owed hundreds of millions and their payments are being deferred. Meanwhile, sugar workers who have been owed severance for at least one year and even for more than two years are still awaiting payments, even after the President promised them more than two months ago that they would be paid. Parliament approved payment more than one month ago and a Judge ordered immediate payment for sugar workers about a month ago. Are these late payments coincidences or symptoms that APNU/AFC have a cash-flow problem?The suspicion of a cash-flow problem was heightened on Monday after the Finance Minister presented Budget 2019, a budget of more than $300 billion, with a record-breaking deficit. Budget 2019, reveals a $58 billion (US$288 million) current account deficit in 2018 and expected to increase to $93 billion in 2019. This is in spite of collecting more than $88 billion more in taxes in 2018 than the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government collected in 2014. Tax revenues in 2014 under the PPP amounted to about $135 billion. In 2018, tax revenues, under APNU/AFC, amount to more than $223 billion, largely because of more than 200 increased or new taxes. Jordon plans to increase tax revenues by another $31 billion in 2019. Even with the largest revenue-base in history, Guyana is also now running record-breaking deficits. Something is amiss.Even after collecting record amount of taxes from people, APNU/AFC have binged-borrowed and the Minister is adamant that APNU/AFC must borrow even more. In Budget 2019, Minister Winston Jordan recklessly urged Guyanese not to worry about the huge, record-breaking deficits because he plans to draw down even more of the foreign currency and gold reserves at the Bank of Guyana and to increase borrowing and taxation. Already, the foreign currency reserve is depleted by more than US$260 million, falling from US$650 million in May 2015 and the gold reserve which stood at $25 billion in May 2015 is now standing at $3 billion. Given Minister Jordan’s cavalier attitude about the reserve and borrowing, we can now expect further deterioration in the foreign currency and the gold reserves at the Bank of Guyana. It is nothing short of a reckless assault on Guyana’s financial stability.Jordan plans significant domestic and international borrowing in his reckless financial malfeasance, heaping further risks on the fragile financial stability. The Minister shamelessly bragged that domestic borrowing increased by $34 billion in 2018. In fact, since May 2015, APNU/AFC used up the total of $11 billion in deposits and has borrowed another $55 billion from the Bank of Guyana. In the meantime, the Government’s international debt has increased from US$1.1 billion in May 2015 to now US$1.68 billion, an increase of more than 53 per cent in less than four years. Guyana’s national debt is now increasing faster than our economy. Between 1992 and May 2015, Guyana’s national debt progressively decreased, while the economy grew. Under the PPP, Guyana’s national debt reduced from more than 900 per cent to less than 45 per cent GDP. Since May 2015, APNU/AFC has squandered this commendable record, with debt increasing faster than the economy again, approaching 60 per cent. Debt servicing increased to almost US$78 million this year from about US$40 million in 2015.There is no mystery why APNU/AFC is dependent on Guyana’s reserve, borrowing and taxation. The economy is struggling. Local businesses complain everyday about “business slow bad”. Many small businesses are closing their doors, going out of business. Vendors are struggling to put food on the table. More than 30,000 jobs have been lost. Traditional industries are desperate. Guyana’s exports in 2018 will earn US$168 million less than in 2017, US$200 million less than 2014. Sugar’s export earnings will be US$50 million less this year. Rice, the lone bright spot in the economy since May 2015, will be US$16 million less in 2018. Forestry will lose US$38 million and bauxite US$87 million in export earnings for 2018. No wonder Minister Jordan had to confess the economy will not achieve the projected 3.8 per cent GDP growth.Minister Jordan spent almost five painful hours trying desperately to paint a positive picture. In the end, Minister Jordan only heightened the suspicion of experts and ordinary citizens that Guyana is, at the minimum, experiencing a serious cash-flow problem, or more seriously, the country is broke. Either of these possibilities means that APNU/AFC has managed our country’s economy and finances recklessly. The Local Government Elections 2018 showed the Guyanese people know this. President Granger must ask Minister Jordan to resign.last_img read more

Passing of a Tollywood Film icon once loved in Guyana

first_imgDear Editor,Popular Indian actress, Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister (CM) of the state of Tamil Nadu (TN), where many Guyanese trace their ancestry, died on Monday night from cardiac arrest; she was hospitalised for over two months having won re-election by a landslide earlier this year. Ms Jayalalithaa had a huge (Bollywood/Tollywood) cadre of cinema fans abroad and was well known among cinema goers in Guyana during the late 1960s and 1970s for her role in religious films. The older generation Guyanese Americans also remember her and spoke well of her acting; they remember her films very fondly, describing her as a religious Goddess or Devi portraying such characters in the holy Hindu scriptures.They say she was most gorgeous and displayed some of the finest acting talent in Indian cinema. She was an iconic figure in India, as well as among Tamils overseas, including Guyanese in the diaspora, as well as in Guyana. Guyanese crowded to see her films when she ruled the Indian film industry. Hundreds of thousands of Tamils (Madrassis as they are called in Guyana) took to the streets in mourning the passing of their political leader, beating their chests and screaming. Bollywood and Tollywood stars also came out to pay rich tributes to her acting and her role in making Indian cinema popular abroad. Her films and serials were seen all over Asia and the former east bloc countries.Jayalalithaa co-starred in several films opposite the great actor MG Ramachandran who was also made famous in films depicting Hindu Gods in epics like the Ramayana. He was described as extremely handsome in his youth, and she was among the most beautiful actresses to come out of India. MG Ramachandran left acting and took up active politics, defeating the popular Congress Party of Indira Gandhi. He became Chief Minister.Jayalalithaa joined him. And when he passed away two decades ago, she succeeded him as Chief Minister. She was in and out of the Chief Minister position. She defeated the Congress led Alliance over five years ago and won re-election three months ago, defeating the same alliance. She is supportive of Modi, though her party is not part of the central government.Politicians from across the political aisle showered glowing praises on the popular politician. Prime Minister Narendra Modi (from BJP), as well as his cabinet colleagues and the President Pranab Mukherjee (Congress Party) and the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul all showered accolades on Jayalalithaa. Government institutions will be closed for three days as a mark of respect for her. And there will be seven days of mourning. Schools and colleges will also be closed for the rest of the week.I had the rare occasion to see her once when I visited Madras some fifteen years ago when she was Chief Minister. She was a huge magnet for Tamils. They stormed her public appearances to see her. Her meetings usually attracted tens, if not hundreds of thousands of followers. A survey I conducted on her performance and re-election chance showed her heading for defeat; she lost re-election. She would make a come-back. During her rule, she courted Tamils abroad to visit TN and to invest in their ancestral state. She had set up a diaspora office in her administration.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo (of Tamil descent) recently (last October) visited Chennai, the state capital, but he said he regretted he did not meet the popular CM. However, Nagamootoo told me that he recognised the popularity of the great CM and her acting credentials. He said the CM’s office treated him like a head of state according him all protocols for such an office. Guyanese who visited Madras and holy cities (like Rameshwaram – where Lord Rama first landed in India after returning from Sri Lanka where he defeated the evil Rawan) say they were treated with respect and love in visits there. Jayalalithaa was making her state friendly to visiting overseas-based Indians.Jayalalithaa contributed enormously to the transformation of TN and helped to reduce the poverty level in the state. It was the second best governed state (first being Modi’s Gujarat) under her watch. In TN, she introduced a number of safety net schemes to help the poor, providing them with free or close to free basic rations like rice, flour, oil, grains, etc. She also offered free education to all and free, safe drinking water in the state and protection and rights to girl children. She will long be remembered for the progress and development of TN earning the pride and respect of Tamils overseas, including Guyanese of Tamil descent.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Diamond man pleads guilty to manslaughter

first_img2012 fatal stabbingChristopher DaSilva, formerly of Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD), will spend the next six years behind bars after he changed his plea to guilty at his High Court trial for murder on Tuesday.DaSilva pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter just days after he initially denied that he was responsible for the June 28, 2012 murder of Rayaad Khan, who was fatally stabbed to his chest with a broken glass bottle, after an altercation.Christopher DaSilva was sentenced to six years for killing Rayaad KhanDaSilva’s Defence Attorney, Maxwell McKay appealed for a reasonable sentence, noting that his client took up boxing in jail as a form of anger management. State Prosecutor Siand Dhurjon, however, posited that the court should issue a prison term commensurate with DaSilva’s actions, further noting that Khan was only 17 at the time, handsome, a top student and was “full of potential”.After DaSilva had disclosed his intentions through his Attorney, Justice Navindra Singh re-arraigned the accused. The Judge later told him that it was unfortunate that the incident occurred, but noted that the court could not allow the crime to go unpunished.As such, he directed the jury foreman to return a guilty verdict. In handing down the sentence, the presiding Judge took into consideration that the trial had already started, and the accused spent time on remand awaiting trial and showed genuine remorse. Justice Singh started the sentence at 11 years, but took off five years for time spent incarcerated, so DaSilva would serve a six-year prison term, with the possibility of parole.Moments before the six-year sentence was handed down, DaSilva broke down in tears when he addressed the court. He first apologised to the deceased’s father, Azeem Khan, saying that he was very sorry for what happened. He further noted that his mother was a single parent who had been finding it hard to support him while he was behind bars.After breaking down in the courtroom, DaSilva emerged somewhat calmer into the corridors, explaining that the sentence was indeed fair.“It would be a fair sentence, because sometimes you go trial, get [found] guilty and it would just be worse than this,” DaSilva told Guyana Times, pointing out that he would continue boxing.A post-mortem had revealed that Khan died from shock and haemorrhage owing to a single stab wound to the chest. After the sentencing, Khan’s father stated that while “the sentence was small”, he did feel sorry for DaSilva. He, however, explained that the ruling did not bring closure for him.“There’s no way that I could get back him and I still miss him a lot, but I hope that the young man redeems himself,” the senior Khan expressed.The man also highlighted that his only son was an ambitious and hard-working individual.“He owned his own business even while he was going to school and many times he financed himself when he was going to travel when he was going to the States, Canada or around the Caribbean; even though I have, he told me, “Pops, I have my own money”,” the still grieving father recalled.DaSilva was 18 years old at the time he stabbed Khan, who resided at Section C, Golden Grove, EBD at the time of his demise. The prosecution’s team, which was assisted by Tuanna Hardy, contended that the stabbing occurred about 20:00h on June 28, 2012 at 17th Avenue, Diamond New Housing Scheme. At the time of the incident, reports were the two young men argued over the attention which DaSilva’s girlfriend had paid to Khan.last_img read more

Draw will be enough for Stars as Ethiopia crash out

first_imgAdane Gebreyes gave the Walya Antelopes the lead from the spot in the 16th minute after defender Zoya Siyeni stopped a goal bound shot with his hands.It took Malawi only 11 minutes to level matters when Henry Kabicchi equalized for with a thundering free-kick, a contender of the goal of the tournament.Both sides struck the cross bar in the second half but at the final whistle, Malawi top the group on five points after a win and two draws with Stars on three and Sudan on one following in that order as winless Ethiopia crashed out.Stars will take on to the pitch from 1:55pm local time (+3GMT) where another victory will confirm them the pool winners having begun their CECAFA campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Malawi.Kimanzi made three changes in the Ethiopian game and they repaid his faith by getting Kenya’s first win with Bob Mugalia and Victor Ochieng debut goals sealing a 2-0 win over Ethiopia in pouring rain.He is expected to keep faith with the likes of Victor Ochieng, Titus Mulama, Kevin Kimani, Jamal Mohammed while at the back Pascal Ochieng, Brian Mandela, Mulinge Munandi and Yusuf Juma will hold fort.Sudan are fielding a largely experimental side but though they have drawn both their matches, they have shown flashes of brilliance with Mohammed Osman at the heart of some of their best moves. They beat Kenya 2-1 in an LG Cup friendly match in June so will be psychologically ready for the task at hand.Elsewhere, Rwanda ended their Group A commitments with a perfect run when captain Olivier Karekezi came off the bench to lead his side to a come-from-behind 5-2 victory with a quick fire hat-trickKarekezi netted in the 78th, 80th and 86th minutes to complete the rout after Jean Claude Mugiraneza had levelled the tie at 2-2 as hopes of the biggest upset in the tournament faded.Djibouti, who have never won a CECAFA Senior Challenge tie had taken a shock 2-1 lead to the break.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, December 2- Harambee Stars need only a draw to advance to the CECAFA Senior Challenge quarters after Group C rivals Malawi and Ethiopia played out a 1-1 stalemate on Friday.The result meant the Walya Antelopes will pack their bags for Addis Ababa and Francis Kimanzi’s side will book a place in the last eight by holding 2012 Africa Nations Cup finalists Sudan where a win could also see them top the group.last_img read more