Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa to feature in ESPN magazine’s Body Issue

first_imgPhoto: getty Images (Malakai Fekitoa of the Highlanders will feature in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue). The yearly publication, which began in 2009, features athletes from across the globe stripped down in an exploration of the athletic body in photographs, with only props from the athlete’s sport to cover up. Fekitoa will be the first New Zealand athlete to be featured in the magazine, and just the second rugby player in over 200 athletes to take part in the issue since 2009.United States rugby stalwart Todd Clever, who is the most capped American rugby player in their history, was in the 2015 edition. “I worked really hard with my body to get it right,” Fekitoa told ESPN.”I want to show others that you can achieve anything in what you do if you put your mind to it and your body.”Fekitoa, 25, will feature alongside two-times NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas, former women’s tennis No.1 Caroline Wozniaki, 2016 NFL rookie of the year Ezekiel Elliott and more.The ninth annual edition of the Body Issue is out on July 8.last_img read more

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Indonesia’s president signals a transition away from coal power

first_imgAir Pollution, carbon, Carbon Emissions, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Coal, Emission Reduction, Energy, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Impact Of Climate Change, Pollution Indonesia’s president has reportedly signaled a major shift in energy policy, saying he wants to “start reducing the use of coal.”Such a policy would run counter to the administration’s previously stated long-term plans of fueling the country’s growing energy demand with coal, with 39 coal-fired plants under construction and 68 more announced.Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, and while the main culprit is deforestation and land-use change, the energy sector is poised to overtake it.Energy policy analysts have welcomed the reported change in stance from the government, noting that Indonesia has long lagged other countries in developing clean power, despite having an abundance of renewable energy sources. JAKARTA — President Joko Widodo has reportedly expressed his intention to wean Indonesia off coal, in a move that runs counter to his own administration’s stated policy of increasing the country’s reliance on the fossil fuel.The president made the announcement at a July 8 cabinet meeting, according to Siti Nurbaya Bakar, the minister of environment and forestry.“[T]he president emphasized that we must develop the energy sector with a focus on renewable energy,” Siti said at a recent event in Jakarta. “Therefore, the president has explicitly asked to ‘start reducing the use of coal.’”The reported comment comes amid a period of particularly dire air quality in the capital, Jakarta, that’s prompted a citizen lawsuit holding top officials, including the president, liable for the pollution, blamed in part on coal-fired power plants operating near the city. (The lawsuit was filed July 4, four days before the president made his remark; it’s not clear whether the latter was prompted by the former.)If the administration follows through on the statement with concrete policies to phase out coal use, this could signal the beginning of a transition to renewable energy for Indonesia, the largest energy consumer in South East Asia and one of the biggest consumers of coal in the world, analysts say.“When I heard about it, I was ecstatic, surprised and filled with hope,” Alin Halimatussadiah, head of the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the state-run University of Indonesia, told Mongabay.Adhityani Putri, executive director of Yayasan Indonesia Cerah, a local policy and communications nonprofit that advocates for clean energy transition, also welcomed the news.“This statement represents a significant step forward and one that will put Indonesia in step with the major economies of the world,” she told Mongabay.Both Alin and Adhityani said a policy shift on coal was long overdue, given that the fossil fuel has for years been falling out of favor by other major economies in favor of increasingly cost-competitive renewable energy.“We’re left behind as many other countries have committed to phase out coal, while we haven’t said anything about that,” Alin said. “This is the first step, and with the president saying that, that’s a good thing.”But any meaningful change will have to start with an overhaul of the electricity procurement plan, or RUPTL, by the state-owned utility, PLN. At present, the RUPTL calls for increasing the absolute figure for renewable power generation over the long term, but shrinking its share of the overall energy mix in favor of more coal-fired electricity.“In the RUPTL document, coal is still dominant, so we haven’t seen [any plan to phase out coal] in any planning document,” Alin said.Adhityani said the government would need “a comprehensive and just coal phase-out plan that ensures a just transition for all and accelerated deployment of renewables” in the next mid-term national development plan.The ideal plan would have to offer both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that would lower the price of renewable power to make it competitive with coal, said Elrika Hamdi, an analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).“What’s also important is that the policies taken should be consistent and in effect for a long time in order to give assurance to investors and funders,” she added.Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaks to the press accompanied by Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar on his left in April. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian government.Emissions reduction goalWith President Widodo recently winning an election that keeps him in office through 2024, an easing of Indonesia’s reliance on coal will help with the country’s carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals, said Siti, the environment minister.“I welcome that statement with joy because this truly empowers our work,” she said.Indonesia is currently one of the world’s biggest CO2 emitters, most of it from deforestation and land-use change. However, emissions from the energy sector are poised to dominate in the near future as Indonesia’s demand for electricity continues to rise.The country’s energy consumption growth is among the fastest in the world, with coal accounting for nearly 60 percent of the energy mix in 2018. Its energy policy therefore has important implications not just for the country’s climate future, but also for global efforts to achieve cuts under the Paris Agreement.Under current plans, the committed emissions from coal-fired power plants would peak only around 2035, with an eventual phase-out only by 2069; to have a shot at meeting the Paris goals, meanwhile, the Southeast Asian region will need to phase out coal by 2040, analysts agree.Falling short of the Paris Agreement commitments would be especially disastrous for tropical countries like Indonesia. A new study by the research group Crowther Lab finds that cities in the tropics are likely to see the strongest impacts from climate change, even as they experience smaller changes in average temperature.The study, looking at 520 major cities worldwide, finds that Jakarta will be among those facing “unprecedented” climate shifts by 2050, including changes in rainfall patterns that will lead to more severe flooding and droughts. It also predicts a mean annual temperature rise by then of 1.7 degrees Celsius (3.1 degrees Fahrenheit), with a rise in maximum temperatures of 3.1 degrees Celsius (5.6 degrees Fahrenheit).Switching more of Indonesia’s power generation from coal to renewable energy sources could be key to achieving the country’s emissions reduction goals, said Ruandha Agung Sugardiman, the environment ministry’s climate change chief.Indonesia has set itself the target of cutting its emissions by 29 percent from the business-as-usual scenario by 2030, or 41 percent with international assistance.Ruandha said there was more room for emissions cuts in the energy sector than in the land-use and forestry sectors. Under the current target, emissions in the latter sectors needs to go down by 70 percent, including through scaling back deforestation rate and boosting reforestation; the energy sector, meanwhile, only needs to achieve a 19 percent emissions reduction.“It’s very clear that the energy sector could be much more ambitious [in reducing emissions],” Ruandha said. “That’s in line with what the president is saying that we need to phase out coal. And this is supported by the energy and mineral resources minister, who will change our energy pattern.”Ruandha has been tasked by Siti with studying the possibility of Indonesia setting an even more ambitious emissions cut goal of 45 percent to help rein in global heating.“In recent events, including the G20 meeting, actually there’s a hope for each countries to set a target up to 45 percent,” the minister said. “I’ve asked the director-general [of climate change] to do some calculations, even though for us to meet the 41 percent target is already tough.”Siti added that she’d begun discussions with the energy minister, Ignasius Jonan, on steps to cut back on coal use and advance renewable energy during last month’s G20 summit in Japan.A coal barge in the Samarinda River estuary. The coal produced in the region is used in power plants or sold for export. Photo by Tommy Apriando/Mongabay-Indonesia.More coal-fired plantsThat a transition away from coal is even being discussed at the highest levels of government marks a major change in tone from longstanding energy policies that have relied on an abundance of cheap and available coal. In fact, Indonesia’s coal reserves have made it one of the world’s biggest exporters of the commodity over the course of the last 15 years.Policies by successive governments have helped; coal-fired power plants receive hefty subsidies, and there are no carbon disincentives to encourage investment in renewable energy. The reliance on coal hasn’t shown any sign of easing in recent years. Thirty-nine coal-fired power plants are under construction, and 68 have been announced, which will maintain coal’s dominance of the energy mix at nearly 55 percent by 2025. Three of the six new plants expected to go online this year will be fired by coal; the other three are small-capacity facilities powered by gas, hydro and solar, respectively.Over the 40 to 50 years that each plant will be in operation, it will have a devastating impact on local populations and ecosystems, activists say, polluting the air and water, and churning huge volumes of CO2 into the atmosphere.“Promising to burn massive quantities of low quality Indonesian coal may have kept some voters warm, but Indonesians will be paying a very high price for their love affair with coal,” says a report by the IEEFA. “And the younger generation will be stuck with limited options to fix a rigid system.”This heavy reliance on coal comes at the cost of growing Indonesia’s renewable energy sector, with its adoption trailing far behind most countries and short of the country’s true potential, according to a new report by the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.The government expects to generate 23 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. To date, however, renewables account for just 12 percent of the total energy mix. That proportion isn’t expected to increase by 2025.“While many countries are taking rapid strides to adopt renewable energy for power generation, the progress in Indonesia has been rather slow,” said Alessandro Gazzini, a partner at A.T. Kearney and co-author of the report. “However, the country has significant potential in renewables, including in solar and wind, and hence the stage is set for the country to leapfrog over the next few years if the policy is given a hard look.”Locals who are affected by coal power plants around Indonesia gather during a protest in front of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources office in Jakarta, Indonesia. They’re demanding the government to switch from coal to renewable energy. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Growing public awarenessPublic awareness has been growing recently about the negative impacts of the coal industry, especially during the presidential election campaign that ended in April. At various points in the campaign, Widodo and his rival, Prabowo Subianto, came under scrutiny for their lack of commitment to new, greener energy technologies. The business ties between the candidates, their political allies and the coal industry were also highlighted in a documentary called “Sexy Killers.”The documentary, viewed more than 24 million times on YouTube since it was uploaded days before the April 17 election, also highlighted the devastating impact of coal mines and power plants to local communities, including lush forests being razed in the search for more coal, and coral reefs being wrecked by coal barges.Residents living near the massive power plants in Java and Bali also pay a price. The film shows many of them being evicted to make room for the plants, while those who refuse to leave have to deal with the constant pollution.The film drew the ire of local officials, who scrambled to shut down public screenings and even accused the filmmakers of spreading “hate speech” against both candidates.Alin said it was possible Widodo had had a change of heart after the recent intense public spotlight on the coal industry, as well as the shifting global trend to renewables.“We may never know what’s inside the head of the government, but if we see recent events where the public responded to various information circulating [about the impact of the coal industry] through social media, it’s possible that the government is reacting to that,” she said. “Or the government might also be reacting to global pressure.” Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img 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. Banner image: A group of locals affected by coal-fired power plants around Indonesia stages a protest in front of the headquarters of President Joko Widodo’s campaign team in Jakarta. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.last_img read more

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‘Vulture restaurants’ provide lifeline for critically endangered species

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 Animals, Birds, Conservation Solutions, Critically Endangered Species, Ecotourism, Endangered Species, Human-wildlife Conflict, Vultures, Wildlife Rehabilitation Article published by Sue Palmintericenter_img After a crash in vulture populations in South Asia in the 1990s, several species are rebounding in Nepal thanks to a ban on the drug diclofenac along with community efforts.“Vulture restaurants” have been opened to save the birds from extinction by providing them with safe food and building awareness of their imperiled status.Conservationists say broader efforts, such as regular monitoring of the remaining population and conservation of their habitat, are needed to save vultures. PITHAULI, Nepal — A quiet cattle grazing ground on the fringes of the Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal suddenly burst into life. Tall trees wearing shades of green after overnight rain were abuzz with around 150 vultures of various species. And within a matter of minutes, almost all of them darted towards the ground to pounce on food literally laid on a platter.Vultures from surrounding areas, some of which are tagged, feed on a carcass provided at a vulture restaurant in southern Nepal. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.Around half a dozen tourists, university students and local researchers watched in awe as one of nature’s most prolific ‘cleaners’ devoured a dead cow.“The food we offer to them is free from diclofenac, and hence it is safe,” says Ankit Bilash Joshi, a field biologist. The drug diclofenac began killing vultures during the late 1990s. This drug relieved old or sick cattle of their discomfort, but it poisoned vultures.“Once a cow died,” said ornithologist Hem Sagar Baral, who is now the Country Representative of ZSL in Nepal, “herders would dump them next to a river, and vultures would eat the carcass. Food was super-abundant for vultures back then.”The introduction of diclofenac changed that. When an animal full of the pain-killing drug died, vultures fed on the carcass, ingesting the medicine, which remained in the body of cattle for up to a week.The drug spikes uric acid levels in the blood and develops visceral gout in vultures, which prevents the kidney from filtering uric acid and kills the bird. According to Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN), a contaminated carcass can kill around 350-800 individuals.Until this period, vultures lacked protected status because they were relatively common. “Those days, we had a vulture crisis in South Asia, including Nepal,” remembers Baral, who worked on campaigns to rid the region of the drug. Of the around 1-1.6 million vultures that roamed the sky in Nepal, only 20,000 survive at present, according to Bird Conservation Nepal.A critically endangered white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) showing some of its characteristic white ruff and leg feathers approaches the carcass. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.Vultures typically lay just one egg every year, so their populations could not keep up with the rapid loss of adults.  “The population of vultures (mainly the white-rumped [Gyps bengalensis] and slender-billed [Gyps tenuirostris], two species now categorized as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List) that remained was a decimated one,” Baral told Mongabay.While international scientists suggested that a ban on the killer drug could help the population recover (the government did ban the drug in 2006), Baral, who has been studying vultures in Nepal for two decades, had a hunch that changing cattle rearing practices in the sub-continent could have contributed to the crisis in many ways. “First, cows native to Nepal and other parts of South Asia are very unproductive. People had to raise a lot of cows, for a few litres of milk.”But as new hybrids were introduced, productivity shot up–one hybrid cow could produce more milk than 10 local cows. This led to a decline in the population of cattle, which had been a vital source of food for vultures, Baral explained. “To add to that, people started burying dead cattle because of changes in sanitary behavior, which further decreased the vultures’ food supply.A local solutionBaral, then CEO of BCN, wanted to provide safe food for vultures. He and DB Chaudhary, a local resident of Pithauli who was also monitoring vultures, came up with an idea that unwittingly resembled the ‘vulture restaurant’ model developed in Africa in the mid-1960s.But there was a caveat. “Vultures in India and Nepal are more reliant on dead livestock than their cousins in Africa that get plenty of dead wild ungulates to feed on,” Baral said.“The problem with cattle is that when they get old, they become a burden for farmers. They want to get rid of them, but due to religious reasons, they can’t do so—Hindus revere cows,” explained Chaudhary, who has been working in the field of conservation and biodiversity for over 25 years. “So we’d buy the old cattle from farmers and feed them to the vultures,” he added.Members of the community prepare a carcass to feed the vultures. The community manages the restaurant. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.With support from BCN, the idea finally broke ground and a ‘vulture feeding zone’ was established in 2006. Some of their early challenges included local perception of the project.Word soon spread that Chaudhary was killing cows and feeding them to vultures. “Rumors had it that I slaughtered cows—doing so is illegal in Nepal—and fed them to the vultures,” Chaudhary said. “One day, top army and police officers from the area came to visit and asked me to explain what I was doing. Everyone in the community was certain that I would be arrested,” he added. But the security officers loved his idea and asked him if he needed any support. “We don’t kill cows, we look after them. We feed them well,” said Chaudhary, a proud founder of the Jatayu Vulture Restaurant. “And when they die due to old age, we feed them to the vultures, who don’t eat living beings,” said Baral.There were skeptics who said that the feeding program would make vultures lazy and they would lose skills to look for food in the wild. Others argued that if vultures got better food in India, they would migrate south of the border and all activities designed around the restaurant would fail. “Fortunately, none of that has happened,” Chaudhary said. In fact, a satellite tagging project showed that vultures that ‘dined’ at the restaurant have traveled as far as Pakistan.To start the restaurant, BCN teamed with the local community forest user group. “This helped the cause a lot as the local people took ownership of the project,” Baral said. “When we came up with the idea, I didn’t know that vulture restaurants were already popular in different parts of the world,” said Chaudhary. “Vulture restaurants were already in operation in various parts of Africa and Europe when we started it in Nepal. But what sets our restaurant apart is that the local community, not a business, manages it.”Diclofenac poisoning killed thousands of vultures in South Asia in the late 1990s. A campaign to stop the use of the drug still goes on.There were other factors that led BCN and Chaudhary to choose the village of Pithauli, Nawalparasi for the restaurant. “We decided to base the safe feeding zone, which we renamed as ‘restaurant’ because it sounded more trendy, because the area had a remnant colony that could be revived Baral said. “The bonus for us was that the area was close to Chitwan National Park, which welcomes thousands of tourists every year. We did not have to ‘create’ new tourists to come visit the restaurant.”Baral and Chaudhary, along with the local community, decided to brand it as ‘Jatayu’, the most famous vulture in Hindu mythology. They also decided to build a shed from which tourists could watch the vultures safely and an information center where people could come to learn about vultures. Preparing funding proposal for the UNDP small grants program in 2007 helped them refine their idea.While the grant and support from other organizations such as the International Trust for Nature Conservation and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds would help set up the basic infrastructure for the restaurant, the community would run the restaurant using revenue generated by various means, including selling cattle skin and excreta (for compost), and potentially, homestay units for tourists and scientists coming to the restaurant. The restaurant would be managed by a sub-committee of the local community forest user group.Impacts of the programThirteen years after its establishment, the program exceeds expectations. While tourist numbers have been encouraging, selling of bones and hide has not yielded a lot of revenue as it takes time for the bones and the hide to pile up to a quantity that can be sold in bulk. A recent survey by BCN showed that 31 percent of the people in Pithauli agreed that ecotourism has brought changes to their economic status. Similarly, 83 percent of the respondents said their lives would be affected by a decline in vulture population. Around 97 percent agreed that use of chemical medicine for livestock treatment killed the vultures.A red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), also a critically endangered species, is seen along with the white-rumped vultures feeding on a carcass at the vulture restaurant in Nawalpur. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.“We saw that the restaurant’s location near the Chitwan National Park was critical, as it helped bring in tourists, who would not have otherwise gone there just for the restaurant,” said Baral. “Our experience has been similar in Ghachok, where we have established another vulture restaurant near the resort town of Pokhara,” he said. “Other vulture restaurants that lack the tourism angle have had limited success,” he explained.Nevertheless, there are now more than half a dozen vulture restaurants around Nepal that run on similar models. Around Pithauli, the number of vulture nests has increased exponentially. Recent vulture population estimates in Nepal are around 80 percent of the population recorded in 2002.A Google search of the term ‘vulture restaurant’ throws up results from more than 10 different countries where the idea is either being discussed or is already implemented. For example, the South Asia Vulture Recovery Action Plan (2006) stressed using vulture restaurants to provide safe food and augment existing food sources. In Cambodia, where diclofenac was banned only in July 2019, the Vulture Action Plan (2016-2025), recognizes the contribution of six vulture restaurants, first of which was established in 2004, and calls for sustainable finance to support such feeding sites.ChallengesChaudhary and his community members face a host of challenges running the restaurant. “We wanted to run a homestay facility here, but that did not work out well” he said. “In addition to that, diclofenac is still in use in various parts of India, and vultures that get safe food in Nepal may die across the border.” He added, “after the recent local elections in Nepal after more than two decades, new representatives have taken office, and it is difficult to explain to them why what we are doing is important.”But these are challenges that can be overcome with time, Chaudhary said. His advice for other projects looking to emulate the success of the restaurant: get the community on board. “The project would not have been this successful without community ownership,” he said. Linking conservation with means of livelihood (such as tourism) is important, added Baral because it gives people the incentive to conserve the species in question.After the vultures are done eating, they visit a pond nearby to quench their thirst. They then bask in the sun to warm their feathers. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.Meanwhile, the vultures finish their meal turn-by-turn. The ones that were satiated first return from a nearby lake, where they drink water and spread their wings in the sun. They don’t have to worry about food for at least a week.But for conservationists like Baral, the vultures are not out of the woods yet. “Measures such as vulture restaurants only provide a shot in the arm for conservation efforts, broader efforts are needed to save vultures from extinction.” Monitoring of the population and detection of new threats (such as power transmission lines where they are electrocuted) along with conservation of their habitat is important, he adds.last_img read more

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Toxic river: Mining, mercury and murder continue to plague Colombia’s Atrato

first_imgArticle published by daniel Biodiversity, Conflict, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Environmentalists, Endangered Species, Environment, Fish, Indigenous Peoples, Logging, Mining, Pollution, Protected Areas, Rainforest Conservation, Rivers, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Rivers, Water Pollution Decades of internal conflict have fueled an unprecedented surge in illegal mining in Colombia’s Choco region, decimating the Atrato River basin and provoking an environmental and humanitarian crisis.In a landmark ruling in 2016, Colombia’s Constitutional Court granted the Atrato environmental personhood rights just as the country signed historic peace accords, but three years on a new era of conflict is plaguing the Choco region.Choco is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, with an estimated 54,850 animal species living in its dense jungle. But open-pit mining operations and large-scale deforestation are a constant threat.Mercury and cyanide contamination from industrial mining activities make it the most polluted river in Colombia and a clean-up operation promised back in 2016 has yet to materialize. Snaking its way through Colombia’s northwestern department of Choco, for centuries the Atrato River has been the lifeblood for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities living along its banks. But decades of internal conflict have fueled an unprecedented surge in illegal mining, decimating the river basin and provoking an environmental and humanitarian crisis in one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.In a landmark ruling in 2016, Colombia’s Constitutional Court granted the Atrato environmental personhood rights which bound the state to implement “protection, conservation, maintenance and restoration” of the river and its communities. The ruling came just as the country signed historic peace accords between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the state, ostensibly ending more than half a century of war and insurgency.Yet three years on, a new era of conflict is plaguing the Choco region. Violence and displacement continue to afflict river communities along the Atrato, who remain the poorest in the country. Sporadic fighting between paramilitary groups such as the Gaintanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) and the country’s largest remaining guerilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), continue to fill the void left by the FARC. Environmental defenders tasked with overseeing the implementation of the court ruling complain of a complete lack of state action and protection. With intimidation and fears of assassination for carrying out their work a constant threat, they despair of achieving even modest improvements.Mercury and cyanide contamination from industrial mining activities make Colombia’s Atrato River the most polluted in the country. Photo by Frederick Gillingham.Choco is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. An estimated 54,850 animal species live in Choco’s dense jungle. However, open-pit mining operations and large-scale deforestation are threatening this unique and precious habitat. Mercury and cyanide contamination from industrial mining activities make it the most polluted river in Colombia, but a clean-up operation promised back in 2016 has yet to materialize.One the many tributaries to the Atrato that snakes through Chocó. Photo by Bram Ebus for Mongabay.Toxic River offers us rare insight into Choco’s environmental conflict, one of Latin America’s most underreported and yet most urgent issues, through the experiences of three witnesses – a miner, a fisherman and a river guardian. New generations now face an existential threat as the state fails to fulfil its legal obligations and the ethnic communities along Choco’s main waterway fight for a river that remains central to their culture, identity and survival.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

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Rondina at loss for words after UST’s fourth straight loss

first_imgShe usually screams for joy whenever she scores a point, sometimes an angry growl, and she once sang in front of the media when University of Santo Tomas lost in the Final Four of Season 79.That energy, however, was missing when the Golden Tigresses lost to University of the East, 25-23, 18-25, 28-25, 26-24, in the second round of Season 80.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThis was the first time that UST lost to UE since Season 56, and Rondina was lost for words.“I really can’t say anything,” said Rondina in Filipino Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. “Well, we’ll just fight on whatever games we have left.” LATEST STORIES “We’ll just fight for ourselves and fight for our university.”The loss sent UST skidding to their fourth straight loss and a 2-6 record, a precarious place where one loss could ultimately eliminate the Golden Tigresses from the Final Four race.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cherry Rondina has established herself as one of the UAAP’s most animated players, be it on the floor and off of it.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Davis turns ankle, but Pelicans roll to 10th straight win View comments MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi Citycenter_img GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

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Sophia teen hospitalised after crashing motorcycle into minibus

first_imgNineteen-year-old Travis Brown of ‘A’ Field Sophia, Greater Georgetown is now a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital, after the motorcycle he was riding on Saturday collided with a minibus before crashing into a lamp pole in the vicinity of the main access road at “B” Field Sophia.Based on reports received, minibus BXX 6056 was proceeding north along the main access road in Sophia when the motorcyclist, who reportedly was speeding at the time, allegedly collided with the front of the vehicle before crashing into the lamp post.Picked up in an unconscious state with injuries about his body, Brown was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was admitted.A passenger of the minibus who sustained injuries was treated and sent away, but the driver was up to late Saturday evening in Police custody, assisting with investigations. A breathalyzer test administered on him found no trace of alcohol in his system, but investigations are ongoing.last_img read more

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Brandt Tractor Dispute

– Advertisement -It claims the BC workers aren’t seeking anything which wouldjeopardize the firm’s future and, are merely asking for wage andpension parity with company colleagues. It also argues the company is pressing for a continuation of what it calls, a two-tier wage and pension schedule.The union says it willing to negotiate around the clock, seven daysa week to get a deal, but it adds, it’s been told in writing thecompany is not willing to meet until June 26th. According to latest reports strike action continues at 13 BClocations of Brandt Tractor, including Fort St. John and Fort Nelson.The International Union of Operating Engineers reports it received a96 percent strike mandate, in a vote earlier this month, for thewalkout which began last week.It says 163 workers are involved in the contract dispute, with theJohn Deere construction and forestry equipment dealer, which operatesin all four western provinces.Advertisement read more

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Cuddling the shuttle

first_imgMolina said the shuttle service also helps relieve congestion on local freeways and streets. The 20-passenger shuttle can accommodate two wheelchairs and operates Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Service is not provided on Sundays and holidays. The shuttle will stop every hour at various locations including Avocado Heights Park, San Angelo Park, Bassett Park, Torch and Edgewood Middle Schools, Bassett High School, Sunkist Library and local shopping areas, officials said. John Huang, a civil engineer with the Department of Public Works, said the shuttle service will cost $195,000 per year to maintain and is funded through Molina’s allocation of Proposition A Local Return Transit Fund. Huang said a county study in 2003 showed a need for the shuttle service. • Video: New shuttle service AVOCADO HEIGHTS – County officials said a new shuttle servicing the county areas of Avocado Heights, Bassett and Valinda corridor communities is bridging a transportation gap. The service was launched by County Supervisor Gloria Molina on Jan. 31 to provide residents with transportation to all local parks, libraries, shopping areas and to regional transit systems. “It has improved accessibility for a lot of people,” Molina said. “It’s an issue of mobility with everyone wanting to get from point A to point B, and we are very proud to provide this kind of access for everyone, especially to our seniors and kids.” “In Avocado Heights the only major corridor is Workman Mill Road and most homes are beyond a quarter of a mile from it,” Huang said. “So this bridges that gap and goes into residential areas to pick people up and get them to a major transit bus stop.” In addition to the regular route, residents can extend shuttle service into other parts of the community by using the flexible route option. The shuttle costs riders 25 cents, but seniors 65 and older, persons with disabilities, Metro pass holders and children under 5 ride free. Children under 12 must ride with an adult. Resident Patricia Page, who works at the Bassett Senior Center, said the new shuttle will be great for the community. “It’s very important to have it especially for the seniors. Now they can get to the senior center for the free lunch we provide daily,” Page said. “This has been a dream of ours for a long time and I’m glad it’s here.” For schedule information, call (800) 439-0439. To schedule pickups with a 24-hour to one-week notice, call (626) 258-3393. nisha.gutierrez@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Chile asks Google to fix map error

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! On Saturday, Google Earth still showed Villa O’Higgins in Argentina. SANTIAGO, Chile – Chile has asked Google Inc. to correct its popular online mapping service that shows a southern Chilean town – named after a national hero – as part of neighboring Argentina. Villa O’Higgins, a town of about 400 residents near the glacier-encrusted tip of South America, was named after Bernardo O’Higgins, a revered commander of military forces that won Chile’s independence from Spain. Chile’s Foreign Ministry said it had contacted Google, and the Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine company said on Saturday that it was working on the request. “We have received the request and are working with our partners to get more precise data for the region,” Google spokeswoman Megan Quinn said. “We’re constantly working to improve the quality and accuracy of our maps. This is an ongoing process as we receive new information from third party data providers.” last_img read more

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WOODLANDS NS AND LITTLE ANGELS SPECIAL SCHOOL MAKE CHRISTMAS ROCK – PIC SPECIAL

first_imgCongratulations to Mr. Mc Gowan’s second class in Woodland National School, and to pupils from Ms Doherty’s class at Little Angels special school in Letterkenny.Both schools came together to perform their fantastic Christmas musical, ‘Hosanna Rock’, to packed audiences at Woodland School this week. Children from both schools thoroughly enjoyed collaborating on the production, and are looking forward to working together again in the future.WOODLANDS NS AND LITTLE ANGELS SPECIAL SCHOOL MAKE CHRISTMAS ROCK – PIC SPECIAL was last modified: December 16th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalletterkennyLittle Angels Special SchoolWoodlands National Schoollast_img read more

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