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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Conservation tech prize with invasive species focus announces finalists

first_imgAcoustic, Agriculture, algae, Artificial Intelligence, cameras, Conservation Technology, Drones, early warning, Frogs, Insects, Invasive Species, Monitoring, Oceans, Sensors, surveys, Technology, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildtech The Con X Tech Prize announced its second round will fund 20 finalists, selected from 150 applications, each with $3,500 to create their first prototypes of designs that use technology to address a conservation challenge.Seven of the 20 teams focused their designs on reducing impacts from invasive species, while the others addressed a range of conservation issues, from wildlife trafficking to acoustic monitoring to capturing freshwater plastic waste in locally-built bamboo traps.Conservation X Labs (CXL), which offers the prize, says the process provides winners with very early-stage funding, a rare commodity, and recognition of external approval, each of which has potential to motivate finalists and translate into further funding.Finalists can also compete for a grand prize of $20,000 and product support from CXL. The Con X Tech Prize just announced its second round will be funding 20 finalists each with $3,500 to create their first prototypes. Some 150 teams submitted ideas that use technology to address a conservation challenge. The 20 winners of this first stage of the competition will also compete for a grand prize of $20,000, plus support from CXL on product development and attracting investment.The prize accepts ideas for any conservation problem, with a particular focus on addressing threats from a specific theme. This second round of the prize focused on reducing impacts from invasive species to native species and ecosystems. The first round, sponsored in 2018, focused on ocean conservation.Biotech Steve Orwig removes an invasive Mexican weeping pine (Pinus patula) from the crater of Hawai’i’s Haleakalā National Park. Pines like these grow rapidly, are spread by wind from nearby forest plantings, and disrupt native ecosystems by shading out native shrubs and taking up water and nutrients. Image courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.“We have a range of hardware and software solutions we are funding, including tools in aquatic invasive species, camera traps, ag-tech, human-wildlife conflict, marine acoustics, and many more,” said Tom Quigley, who manages the digital makerspace community at Conservation X Labs, which offers the prize. “It’s a really exciting cohort.”Seven of the 20 finalists focused specifically on designs to address invasive species, while the remaining 13 teams sought to address a range of conservation issues, from wildlife trafficking to acoustic monitoring to capturing freshwater plastic waste in locally-built bamboo traps.The projects specifically addressing invasive species proposed a wide range of ideas to address an equally wide range of associated problems. They include:1. Pig-finding drone-based thermal cameras to conserve critically endangered giant tortoises on Santa Cruz island in the Galápagos by finding feral pigs that dig up tortoise nests and eat their eggs, which has prevented hatching of new generations of tortoises. The camera, equipped with machine learning algorithms, would also detect tortoise nests to help Galápagos National Park rangers find and protect them on the ground.Santa Cruz giant tortoise (Chelonoidis porteri) in Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos National Park, Ecuador. Invasive pigs and dogs destroy nests of giant tortoises, hindering recovery of tortoise populations from prior hunting and habitat loss. Image by Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons, CC 4.0.2. A mobile machine unit to remove invasive plants that have taken over grasslands in India’s protected areas, facilitated by local wood harvest, leaving elephants in parks without food and thus more likely to approach adjacent human crop fields, causing conflict. The repurposed commercially available charcoal producer would pick invasive plants, crush them into sawdust, and form usable charcoal briquettes from the dust to reduce the demand for fuelwood.3. Helping reduce the lionfish population off the Florida coast by connecting divers with fish processors through an online platform to facilitate processing of the small volumes of this highly invasive predatory fish caught by divers. Demand for the fish beyond Florida exceeds production, so the platform would also encourage more local processors.4. Remote amphibian refuges in Guatemala to attract frogs, using call playbacks, to a small tube-shaped container with a tiny pool and an Arduino computing unit inside. The unit has sensors that notify nearby researchers they’ve caught a frog, so they can identify it and determine if it carries invasive chytrid fungus.A Guatemalan spikethumb frog (Plectrohyla guatemalensis). Finding frogs at night when they are active is difficult, so researchers are seeking to attract them to tiny refuges where they can be identified and checked for invasive chytrid fungus. Image by Josiah H. Townsend, http://calphotos.berkeley.edu, CC 3.0.5. Find that plant, a machine-learning algorithm to detect individual invasive plants from drone-based images and produce geographic coordinates of the locations of plants identified as invasives to inform management decisions.6. Early insect pest detection system integrates low-cost sensors that record images, sounds, and environmental conditions, pheromone and light lures, and species identification algorithms to monitor invasive insect pests of agriculture and forests.7. Floating robots detect invasive marine algae species using image classification algorithms that identify the species and record its location while navigating. The automated identification from images would facilitate monitoring and help researchers detect and eradicate invasive plants before they become well-established.Why focus on invasive species?Humans transport non-native plants and animals from their homes on one continent to new places that often lack the predators or other mechanisms keeping populations of the species under control. Some of these non-native species become invasive, meaning they spread and outcompete or harm native plants and animals or destroy native habitat.The caterpillar of the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), which has invaded Africa and Asia from the Americas, destroying maize, sorghum, millet, rice, and other crops. Image by Frank Peairs, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org, CC 3.0.The accelerated spread of invasive species over the past few decades has led to severe reductions, and even extinctions, of some native species, especially on islands.“Over 30 percent of the IUCN Red List species extinctions were caused or impacted by invasives,” Quigley said. “As the world’s population grows and globalization increases, the risk of invasive species introductions increases dramatically. Innovation and new technology solutions are needed to prevent the spread of invasive species and novel emerging pathogens.”Role of tech prizes in conservationQuigley told Mongabay that the early funding and recognition that they have received a prize have been “transformative” for some first-round finalists.“The process provides winners with very early-stage funding, a rare commodity, and recognition of external approval,” Quigley said, “each of which has potential to motivate finalists and translate into further funding.”He added that the opportunity to compete for the prize with a submission deadline can motivate groups who’ve perhaps been considering an idea or design to address a conservation problem to actually develop it into a prototype.A common lionfish (Pterois miles) from the Red Sea. These carnivorous fish native to the western Indo-Pacific region and the related P. volitans invaded the western Atlantic in the 1980s. There, their populations have exploded as they reproduce rapidly, consume more than 50 native fish species, and have no predators in their new home. Image by Magnus Kjaergaard via Wikimedia Commons, CC 3.0.Quigley identified three features that he thought help teams advance their prototype development most effectively:  keeping a strong focus on a discrete problem; partnering with a group that actually faces the problem; and including team members from different disciplines, such as an oceanographer partnering with a camera tech expert and a fundraiser or an engineer with a web developer and a project manager.The Con X Prize strives to bring people from a variety of disciplines to apply their skills to solving conservation challenges and broadening the conservation community.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. Article published by Sue Palmintericenter_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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Audio: Environmental justice and urban rat infestations

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Today we speak with Dawn Biehler, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, whose research focuses on the history and public health impacts of rats and other pest species in Baltimore.The issue of urban pests like rats in Baltimore has been in the news lately due to tweets sent by US President Donald Trump about the city being “rat and rodent infested.” Trump isn’t the first American politician to use this kind of rhetoric to target communities that are predominantly made up of people of color, while ignoring the fact that policies deliberately designed to marginalize communities of color are at the root of the pest problems in many cities.Biehler, who is also the author of the 2013 book Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats, joins us on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast to discuss how rat infestations in cities are actually an environmental justice issue and how they can be dealt with in an environmentally sustainable manner. Today we speak with Dawn Biehler, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, whose research focuses on the history and public health impacts of rats and other pest species in Baltimore.Listen here: Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Environment, environmental justice, Interviews, Pesticides, Podcast, Rodents, Urban Planning, Urbanization The issue of urban pests like rats in Baltimore has been in the news lately due to tweets sent by US President Donald Trump about the city being “rat and rodent infested.” Trump isn’t the first American politician to use this kind of rhetoric to demean communities that are predominantly made up of people of color while ignoring the fact that policies deliberately designed to marginalize communities of color are at the root of the pest problems in many cities.Unlike Trump, Dawn Biehler actually knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the root causes of rodent infestations in cities like Baltimore. She has just penned an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun newspaper that looks at how racial segregation and inequitable funding for urban housing and infrastructure contributes to rat infestations.Biehler, who is also the author of the 2013 book Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats, joins us on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast to discuss how rat infestations in cities are actually an environmental justice issue and how they can be dealt with in an environmentally sustainable manner.Here’s this episode’s top news:July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on EarthAs Amazon deforestation in Brazil rises, Bolsonaro administration attacks the messenger (commentary)In Indonesia, a court victory for Bali’s ban on single-use plasticsWould you like to hear how Mongabay grew out of its founder’s childhood adventures in rainforests and a fascination with frogs? Or how a Mongabay editor reacted to meeting one of the world’s last Bornean rhinos? We now offer Insider Content that delivers behind-the-scenes reporting and stories like these from our team. For a small monthly donation, you’ll get exclusive access and support our work in a new way. Visit mongabay.com/insider to learn more and join the growing community of Mongabay readers on the inside track.If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at patreon.com/mongabay. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), also known as the common rat, street rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Norwegian rat, Parisian rat, water rat, or wharf rat, is one of the most common rats found in urban environments. Photo by Jean-Jacques Boujot, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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Newly described giant extinct penguin and parrot once lived in New Zealand

first_imgAnimals, Birds, Environment, Extinction, Forests, Fossils, Green, Research, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Paleontologists have found fossils of two extinct giant birds in New Zealand: an enormous penguin that would have been nearly as tall as an average adult human, and the largest parrot ever known to have existed.The new species of extinct giant penguin, formally named Crossvallia waiparensis, was described from leg bones found at the Waipara Greensand fossil site in the North Canterbury region in 2018.The extinct parrot, Heracles inexpectatus, was likely double the size of the previously largest known parrot species, the kakapo. The fossils of the parrot were first recovered from near St. Bathans in Central Otago in 2008. Millions of years ago, giant birds roamed ancient New Zealand. There was the moa, an extinct flightless bird, thought to weigh up to 230 kilogram (510 pounds). Then there was the now-extinct Haast’s eagle, the largest eagle known to have ever lived, as well as several species of extinct giant penguins like the Kumimanu biceae.Now, paleontologists have found fossils of two more extinct giant birds in New Zealand: an enormous penguin that would have been nearly as tall as an average adult human, and a parrot that would have been the largest known parrot to have ever existed. Researchers have described both species in two separate studies published this month.Giant penguinThe new species of extinct giant penguin, formally named Crossvallia waiparensis, was described from leg bones found at the Waipara Greensand fossil site in the North Canterbury region in 2018. The penguin would have lived during the Paleocene epoch, or between 66 million and 56 million years ago, the researchers say in a new study.From the length of the leg bones, they also conclude that the bird would have been 1.6 meters (5 feet, 3 inches) tall and would have weighed around 80 kilograms (176 pounds). For comparison, an emperor penguin, the tallest and heaviest of living penguin species, can reach heights of up to 1.3 meters (4 feet, 3 inches) and weigh up to 45 kilograms (99 pounds).The extinct species of giant penguin Crossvallia waiparensis would have been nearly as tall as an average adult human. Image courtesy of Canterbury Museum.The closest relative of C. waiparensis is not another penguin from New Zealand, but a Paleocene penguin species C. unienwillia, described from a fossilized partial skeleton recovered from the Cross Valley in Antarctica in 2000, the researchers conclude.“When the Crossvallia species were alive, New Zealand and Antarctica were very different from today — Antarctica was covered in forest and both had much warmer climates,” Paul Scofield, co-author of the study and senior curator at Canterbury Museum, said in a statement.The Waipara Greensand site has been a gold mine for extinct penguin fossils. C. waiparensis is the fifth ancient penguin species to be described from fossils found there, and “there’s more to come, too,” said Gerald Mayr, co-author of the study and a paleontologist at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt. “More fossils which we think represent new species are still awaiting description.”World’s largest known parrotUntil recently, the kakapo, a flightless, critically endangered parrot in New Zealand, was the largest known parrot in the world. But the newly described species of extinct parrot Heracles inexpectatus, named after the hero of Greek mythology, was likely double its size, researchers say in another study published earlier this month.H. inexpectatus would have weighed around 7 kilograms (15 pounds) and reached a height of about 1 meter (3 feet, 3 inches). It also likely had a massive beak that it may have used to “crack wide open anything it fancied … perhaps even other parrots,” Michael Archer, co-author of the study and paleontologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said in a statement.An artist’s rendering of the extinct species of giant parrot Heracles inexpectatus. Image by Brian Choo/Flinders University.The fossils of the giant parrot were first recovered from near St. Bathans in Central Otago, New Zealand, in 2008. For a long time, the researchers thought the bones belonged to an extinct species of eagle. But after further analysis, they concluded that the fossils were from a parrot species that had lived around 19 million years ago.“New Zealand is well known for its giant birds,” said Trevor Worthy, lead author of the study and an associate professor at Flinders University in Adelaide. “Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies. But until now, no-one has ever found an extinct giant parrot — anywhere.”Graphic showing the Heracles inexpectatus, right, in silhouette next to an average-height person and a common magpie. Image by Paul Scofield/Canterbury Museum.Citations:Mayr, G., De Pietri V. L., Love, L., Mannering, A., & Scofield, R. P. (2019) Leg bones of a new penguin species from the Waipara Greensand add to the diversity of very large-sized Sphenisciformes in the Paleocene of New Zealand. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. doi: 10.1080/03115518.2019.1641619Worthy, T. H., Hand, S. J., Archer, M., Scofield, R. P., & De Pietri, V. L. (2019). Evidence for a giant parrot from the Early Miocene of New Zealand. Biology letters, 15(8), 20190467. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0467last_img read more

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Can camera traps diagnose the severity of a mystery giraffe skin disease?

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Diseases, Endangered Species, Environment, Giraffes, Green, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Mammals, Protected Areas, Research, Technology, Wildlife center_img Giraffe skin disease, a mystery condition that inflicts crusty lesions on the world’s tallest animal, has been recorded in 13 giraffe populations in seven African countries. It is particularly widespread in Tanzania.Researchers used camera trap images to quantify how severe the disease was among giraffe populations in Tanzania’s Serengeti and Ruaha national parks.They found that most cases of the infections that the camera traps detected were “mild” or “moderate” according to a scale they devised, suggesting that the disease, although widespread, is likely not life-threatening at the moment.The researchers have, however, observed that giraffes with more severe infections tend to move with difficulty, which could make them more vulnerable to lion predation — a hypothesis they are now investigating with data from Ruaha National Park. Giraffes have many problems to deal with. There’s habitat loss and poaching. Then there’s a mysterious skin disease that’s been recorded in 13 giraffe populations in seven African countries.The condition, termed simply the giraffe skin disease, starts off as small nodules on the animal’s skin. The nodules can develop into dry, scaly patches, which then turn into large crusty, grayish-brown lesions filled with blood or pus. Researchers are only beginning to wrap their heads around the little-understood disease. Arthur Muneza, a doctoral student at Michigan State University and East Africa coordinator of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, is one of them.Giraffe skin disease can start off as small nodules on the skin that turn into large crusty lesions. Images by Michael Brown, courtesy of Arthur Muneza.Muneza has been studying the disease in Tanzania, where it’s widespread, affecting the giraffe’s long limbs. About a quarter of the giraffes in Serengeti National Park show signs of the disease. In Tarangire National Park, some 63 percent of giraffes suffer from it, while in Ruaha National Park, around 86 percent of the giraffe population sport the characteristic skin lesions.“To go to an area and see almost all the animals with signs of this disease is quite surprising,” Muneza told Mongabay.The high prevalence of the disease in Tanzania sparked a question in Muneza’s mind. How severe is the infection among Tanzania’s giraffes?A few studies have tried to answer this question in the past, but their classifications of giraffe skin disease severity were very subjective, Muneza said. “There is no standard way of defining what a mild giraffe skin disease is, what moderate giraffe skin disease is, and what constitutes severe giraffe skin disease.”To develop a classification that’s less arbitrary, Muneza and his colleagues turned to camera traps in a new study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases.The researchers selected all giraffe photos that had been captured during extensive camera trap surveys in Ruaha and Serengeti, then whittled down the list to those that showed the full extent of all four legs of the giraffes, from shoulder joints to hooves.The team then used photogrammetry techniques on the final 405 photos to quantify giraffe skin disease in the animals. They measured the vertical length of both the lesions and the legs visible in the photos, determined the proportion of the leg that was affected by the lesions, then statistically grouped these numbers to get three different categories of lesion severity.Giraffes with less than 16 percent of their legs covered by lesions were classified as having mild giraffe skin disease, those with 16 to 25 percent of the legs covered had a moderate form of the disease, and individuals with more than a quarter of their leg covered by lesions had severe skin disease, according to the study.“At the moment, we know very little about the disease, so our assumption is that the external and physical manifestation of the disease is the indicator we can use to categorise the severity of the disease,” Muneza told Mongabay.While the cameras usually captured photos of giraffe limbs, it’s the animals’ upper bodies that have unique coat patterns. This meant that the researchers couldn’t identify individual animals from the camera trap photos alone. This could potentially bring in bias if the disease severity classifications had been estimated from multiple photos of just a few giraffes. To see if this was the case, the researchers compared the severity rates estimated by the camera trap images with those obtained from another technique: photographs of 305 individually recognized giraffes that the researchers had taken using digital cameras during vehicle-based surveys in both parks. Both techniques produced similar results.Giraffe with skin disease in Ruaha National Park. Image courtesy of Arthur Muneza.The photos revealed that lesions of giraffe skin disease were, in general, more common on the front legs of the animals than the back legs. Moreover, most cases of the disease that the camera traps in Ruaha and Serengeti detected were considered “mild,” followed by “moderate” forms.“What this means is that there’s no need to overreact at the moment, and that the disease is not as severe as we would like to think,” Muneza said. “Externally it looks uncomfortable, it looks bad. But it’s still the mild and moderate forms of the disease.”Previously, researchers relied on close observations of the animals to describe the severity of giraffe skin disease. But such a technique is not only laborious, it also limits the spatial extent one can cover, Muneza and his colleagues write in the paper. Camera traps, on the other hand, are “noninvasive, can be rapidly deployable, and are applicable to a variety of species,” they add.Miranda Sadar, an assistant professor at Colorado State University, who’s been investigating the cause of giraffe skin disease and was not involved in the study, said that photogrammetry is indeed becoming a more widely used tool “to monitor the size of injuries in animals in a non-invasive way.”Not everyone is convinced, however.“This was a laudable attempt to use camera trap images to quantify giraffe skin disease, but the method is significantly less useful than active observations,” Monica Bond, a wildlife biologist at the U.S.-based Wild Nature Institute who studies giraffes in Tanzania and was not involved in the study, told Mongabay.Observing giraffes directly is easy, she said, because the animals are calm and vehicles can drive up close to them, allowing easy examination using binoculars. This way, researchers can also identify giraffes individually, and inspect the animals’ bodies from multiple angles to understand how and where the disease has spread, Bond added. The camera trap images at the moment don’t allow for both individual identification and a thorough whole-body examination of the giraffes, she said.Muneza agreed that camera trap images have some challenges. For example, the data set would be more useful had the cameras been placed higher. “We could have used the camera trap data to identify individual giraffes, and that could have given us a more robust dataset to quantify the categories of giraffe skin disease,” he said. “We were able to use only use photos of the legs.”The lesions also don’t always appear on the legs. In Uganda, for example, giraffes more commonly get infections on their neck and shoulders.In Uganda, giraffe skin disease lesions more commonly appear on neck and shoulder, while in Tanzania, the disease mostly affects the animals’ legs. Image courtesy of Arthur Muneza.Muneza’s study, however, adds to the growing evidence that giraffe skin disease is probably not life-threatening for the animals in the studied parks — at least for now. Bond, too, in a study published in 2016, found that giraffes with lesions in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park had similar survival rates as those without lesions.That doesn’t mean that researchers should stop studying the disease, Muneza said.His team has observed, for instance, that giraffes with more severe infections tend to move with difficulty, which could make them more vulnerable to lion predation. The researchers are now investigating this hypothesis with data from Ruaha National Park.Muneza’s team is also working with Tanzanian authorities to figure out what exactly causes giraffe skin disease. Some preliminary studies suggest that a filarial worm could be transmitting the disease, with secondary fungal infections worsening it. But researchers are yet to pin down the actual causative agent and how the disease spreads.“One of the biggest concerns is that if it is a filarial worm, then we need to see if it crosses over to cattle,” Muneza said. “Given that you have communities that live near parks, and some of them graze their cattle near and around the giraffe areas, there is potential for the disease to cross over to livestock. And if it does, that will then affect the perceptions that people have towards sharing landscapes with wildlife, which is a big challenge in East Africa.”Citation:Muneza, A. B., Ortiz-Calo, W., Packer, C., Cusack, J. J., Jones, T., Palmer, M. S., … Montgomery, R. A. (2019). Quantifying the severity of giraffe skin disease via photogrammetry analysis of camera trap data. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 55(4), 770-781. doi:10.7589/2018-06-149last_img read more

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Encoded in the genes: Scientists devise a ‘lifespan clock’ for vertebrates

first_imgA genetic tool described in the journal Scientific Reports allows scientists to predict the maximum lifespans of vertebrates, including mammals, whether long extinct or still alive today.Using the “lifespan clock,” the team from Australia predicted that Neanderthals could live until nearly 40 years, and woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) could survive up to 60 years.They identified 42 genes that are linked to longevity and developed a model in which the genetic information for a species can be inputted and an estimate for the maximum lifespan obtained.The model can help evaluate extinction risk to a species, gauge the threat posed by invasive species, and be used in sustainable fisheries management. There’s some uncertainty about his exact age at death, but it’s now been confirmed that “Nandy,” who suffered a crushing blow to his head as a youth, lived to a ripe old age: somewhere between 35 and 45 years old. A Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) like Nandy, new research shows, could only hope to last 37.8 years if they weren’t struck down by a carnivore or disease first.A genetic tool described in the journal Scientific Reports allows scientists to predict the maximum lifespans of vertebrates, including mammals, whether extinct or still around today. “Lifespans and ageing is of interest as it is fundamental for better understanding the ecology and population dynamics of wild animals,” Benjamin Mayne, the first author of the paper, told Mongabay in an email, adding that “lifespan estimates can be used to determine the risk of animal extinction or to monitor invasive species.”Using the “lifespan clock,” the team from Australia predicted that woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) could live up to 60 years. Although the oldest-known bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) died at 211 years, the study showed that the species, believed to be the longest-living mammals, can push up to 268.Lifespans across species run a wide range: the pygmy goby fish (Eviota sigillata) live for only eight weeks, while the greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) can live for more than 400 years. For species that outlast humans by decades, if not centuries, pinning down lifespans can be tricky. It’s even more challenging for animals that aren’t amenable to captivity, since the longevity of many species is determined by studying sufficiently large captive populations.Basing their estimate on genetic determinants means scientists don’t need to rely on data from many specimens of a species. The genome is the full DNA sequence of a species, which serves as a kind blueprint for the species. Thanks to rapid advances in genome sequencing in the past decade and the availability of sequences for many species, there is now enough data to develop models with predictive powers.“I find it to be a big advance in our understanding of aging through comparative genomics,” Christopher Faulk, a specialist in the field at the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the research, said in an email. “They studied genomes and lifespan, not by looking at overall genetic variation, but by focusing on regions of the genome that host epigenetic changes during the lifespan of a single animal.”This involved some reverse sleuthing. Mayne and his team analyzed 252 whole genomes of species whose lifespans are already known through conventional methods. They identified 42 genes that are linked to how long an organism can live before it experiences a natural death. Genes are not disparate pieces of genetic material; they refer to a particular sequence of base pairs on the DNA molecule.“They mined hundreds of genomes to detect a surprisingly small number of gene regions that are comparable across an incredible diversity of animal life that provide a highly accurate estimate of lifespan,” Faulk said. Because the relationship between these particular genes and maximum lifespans is modeled, lifespans of species for which only the genome data is available can be predicted.Its most important applications, the authors argue, will be for extinct animals and for those about which scant data are available. Some species meet both the criteria, for example, the Pinta Island tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii), the last of which, evocatively named Lonesome George, died in 2012. Even though he was believed to be about 100 years old when he died, the lifespan clock predicated that members of this species could live up to 120 years.A model of an adult Neanderthal male head and shoulders on display in the Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Image courtesy Wikimedia CommonsNeanderthals, by contrast, are long extinct — they lived 40,000 to 400,000 years ago — and are the closest extinct relatives of present-day humans (Homo sapiens). Neanderthal DNA is difficult to obtain, even from fossilized remains, because it degrades over time. The Neanderthal nicknamed Nandy was found from a site in Iraq in 1957. The new study relied on a genome sequence assembled from DNA samples of another specimen found in Croatia in the 1970s. By plugging their genetic information into the model, the researchers arrived at the figure of 37.8 years.Surprisingly, the lifespan clock pegged the human lifespan at 38 years, which is almost half the lifespan the average person enjoys today: somewhere between 60 and 87 years. “The lifespan clock estimate may be more reflective of human lifespan prior to advances in medicine. On the other hand, it might be that humans may be the exception to this study,” Mayne said. Though lifespans are believed to be primarily controlled by genes, to what extent is debatable. But humans have manipulated their lifespans to a degree that would be impossible for any species in the wild.There is another class of organisms for whom the tool cannot be used: invertebrates, organisms that do not have a vertebral column, such as insects or mollusks. Of all described animal species, more than 95% are invertebrates, but research on them is sparse compared to research on invertebrates, which include mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes and amphibians.Despite this limitation, the model is expected to be a valuable addition to the arsenal of conservation tools. Knowing its lifespan can help determine the extinction risk to a species, point to environmental factors that cut short the lives of organisms, and help ascertain the viability of threatened species populations as well as gauge the threat posed by an invasive species. It could also be used in sustainable fisheries management.Banner Image: A mural from the American Museum of Natural History depicting woolly mammoths. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Charles R. KnightCitation:Mayne, B., Berry, O., Davies, C., Farley, J., & Jarman, S. (2019). A genomic predictor of lifespan in vertebrates. Scientific Reports, 9 (17866). doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54447-wMalavika Vyawahare is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVyFEEDBACK: 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. Article published by malavikavyawahare 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 Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Extinction, Fisheries, Genetics, Mammals, Saving Species From Extinction last_img read more

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Dam that threatens orangutan habitat is ‘wholly unnecessary’: Report

first_imgBanner image: A Tapanuli orangutan in the Batang Toru forest in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Image by Matt Senior.  Animals, Climate, Climate Change, Conservation, Deforestation, electricity, Endangered Species, Energy, Environment, Forests, Gas, Great Apes, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hydroelectric Power, Natural Gas, Primates, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife 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. A controversial hydropower dam that threatens the only known habitat of the world’s rarest orangutan species is unnecessary from both climate and economic aspects, a new report says.The report, commissioned by a group campaigning against the Batang Toru dam in Indonesia but drawing on official government data, says the dam will do little to connect the few remaining isolated communities in the region to the grid.It also says the region’s power needs will be better met, and at lower cost, by a slate of other projects already in the works, including expansion of existing gas turbine plants.The report says the dam developer’s claims of an overall reduction in Indonesia’s CO2 emissions are “significantly overstated,” and that builder Sinohydro has a track record of faulty dam construction in other countries. JAKARTA — Proponents of a hydropower plant to be built in the only known habitat of a critically endangered orangutan species say it’s important for meeting the future energy needs of northern Sumatra. But a new report says this region of Indonesia is already almost fully electrified, and that the new plant will do virtually nothing to improve that.The report from energy consultancy Brown Brothers Energy and Environment (B2E2) was commissioned by various NGOs, including environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth, which has been a vocal opponent of the dam. It cites official data to show that North Sumatra province, home to the Batang Toru forest where the dam and power plant are to be built, already has one of the highest electrification rates in Indonesia: nearly 96% of the population had basic and stable access to electricity in 2016, compared to the more developed major provinces of East Java (89%) and Bali (92%).Of the 319 wards in North Sumatra still without grid electricity, nearly half are on the island of Nias. The island’s electricity infrastructure was knocked out by a series of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis in 2004 and 2005, and authorities continue to struggle to get it running properly. Without a working grid, any power generated by the dam project would be immaterial to Nias, the new report says.Residents of Nias “will remain unaffected no matter how much power generation is added in the mainland of North Sumatra,” David Brown, the report’s author, said in Jakarta.Tapanuli Orangutans found near YEL’s orangutan study camp in the Batang Toru forest. Image by Aditya Sumitra/Mighty Earth.‘Inflated’ emissions reductionConstruction is already underway on the 510-megawatt Batang Toru dam. The project site falls within the habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), a species that was only described in 2017, and was immediately declared critically endangered and the world’s rarest great ape species.Only 800 of the animals survive in a tiny tract of forest less than one-fifth the size of the metropolitan area that comprises Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. Conservationists estimate that a loss of more than 1 percent of the population per year will be disastrous for the species, which has a low reproduction rate and is highly sensitive to disruptions in its habitat. Construction activity for the dam has already driven some of the orangutans out of the project area and into nearby oil palm plantations.When the project was proposed in 2012, North Sumatra was experiencing frequent power shortages and rolling blackouts. But that changed just a few years later.“The availability of electricity began to surpass peak demand in 2017,” Brown said. “And this new surplus greatly reduced the number of blackouts.”A major factor in that turnaround was the arrival of a ship-mounted power plant, or powership, that the Indonesian government rented from Turkish company Karadeniz. The ship, featuring a 240 MW gas-fired generator, has been contracted to power Medan, the North Sumatra capital, through 2022.The B2E2 report also identifies 80 other power plants — ranging from geothermal to coal to mini hydro — planned for North Sumatra province alone that would render the $1.6 billion Batang Toru plant “wholly unnecessary to meet North Sumatra’s electricity demand in the future.”These other projects include three new turbines at a planned gas-fired power plant that are expected to come online between 2022 and 2028, and that will generate a combined 800 MW.Proponents, including project developer PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (PT NSHE), say bringing the Batang Toru plant online will cut Indonesia’s carbon dioxide emissions reduce emissions by 1.6 million to 2.2 million tons per year. But the report says that “even the smallest estimate of greenhouse gas reductions promised by Batang Toru’s backers are inflated on the order of 33 to 55 percent.”Brown said the claim was based on the assumption that the hydropower dam would replace the average carbon output of all utilities nationwide. “The problem is that the idea of Batang Toru replacing an average of all power plants in Indonesia is an imaginary construction,” he said. “What is real is that Batang Toru, if built, would replace specific power plants in North Sumatra.”“My report contends that it is better for PLN to build or expand any of these other 80 because, in contrast to Batang Toru, these other 80 do not directly threaten the low elevation nursery forest of the Tapanuli orangutan.”The three new gas turbines, in particular, would cost a third the price of the dam to build, produce more peak power, not harm orangutan habitat, and keep CO2 emissions low through more efficient turbine technology, the report says.“Bottom line,” it says, “Batang Toru’s backers are significantly overstating its greenhouse gas emissions benefits.”The Batang Toru River, the proposed power source for a Chinese-funded hydroelectric dam. Image by Ayat S. Karokaro/Mongabay-Indonesia.‘Plagued with faulty construction’The report also highlights the track record of Sinohydro, the Chinese state-owned company contracted to build the dam.“Dams built by them have been plagued with faulty construction,” Brown said. “Sinohydro was caught on film watering down cement when constructing the Bakun dam in Sarawak, Malaysia.”The Coca Codo Sinclair dam that it built in Ecuador also had construction problems, with more than 7,000 cracks appearing in its machinery within months of completion. An official report by the Ecuadoran government was critical of Sinohydro’s “irresponsible and incomprehensible” use of substandard building materials and construction methods.“The Chinese used bad-quality steel and fired inspectors who said to change it,” Ecuador’s former energy minister, Fernando Santos, said in 2018.Part of the structure may have to be demolished and rebuilt, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Santos said the $2.8 billion dam was overpriced and of poor quality, and had left the country in debt to China.The Coca Codo Sinclair dam is also located near an active volcano, and geologists warn an earthquake in the area could have devastating effects.In Indonesia, activists and scientists have raised similar alarms about the Batang Toru project, which sits near a known tectonic fault. Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Indonesia generally, and in northern Sumatra in particular. In 2008, a magnitude 6 quake struck just 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the site of the dam.Officials from developer PT NSHE have acknowledged the earthquake risk, but critics say there are no mitigation plans based on this risk included in the environmental impact analysis submitted to authorities.Map of the Batang Toru ecosystem, home to the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Sumatra.‘Huge waste of money’PT NSHE has responded to the report by questioning Brown’s credibility, saying he isn’t an expert in Indonesia’s energy sector. (Brown served as an adviser to BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, when it operated in Indonesia; was the World Bank’s senior adviser on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, or EITI; and has consulted on Indonesia’s natural and extractive resource sectors for the Asian Development Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, among others.)“He’s only asked to voice the opinion of his client, Mighty Earth,” PT NSHE spokesman Firman Taufick said as quoted by local media. Firman also criticized Mighty Earth, saying the campaign group did not have Indonesia’s best interests at heart.“Anyone knows who they are, their motivation and interest … What’s clear is that their interest is not for Indonesia,” he said.Mighty Earth great apes program director Amanda Hurowitz refuted the claim, saying it has worked for years to highlight the importance of protecting Indonesia’s environment and supporting the development of its economy. She said the Batang Toru dam, however, was “a huge waste of money that threatens local communities and would primarily … benefit a Chinese construction company with a terrible record.”With the dam being such a risky project, the hydropower plant would not only be bad for the Tapanuli orangutan, but also for Indonesia’s reputation, Hurowitz added.“The dam company is out of arguments to defend this wasteful project, so the only thing it can do is attack those who expose the disingenuous marketing behind this project,” she said.Brown, meanwhile, defended his report by saying he relied on official Indonesian government data, primarily from state-owned utility PLN, to analyze the claims of the dam’s proponents.“My report would not have been possible if I had not been able to use PLN’s plans to see into North Sumatra’s energy future,” he said. “The findings of my report are built almost entirely upon PLN’s most recent 10-year planning document, the 2019 RUPTL.“My report says, in essence, that PLN got it almost entirely right, and that out of the 81 power plants that PLN has proposed for construction or expansion in North Sumatra in the coming decade, only one needs to be removed from that list: Batang Toru.”center_img 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 overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Hughes discusses Joey Barton and ‘exceptional’ Arsenal

first_imgClick here for the QPR v Arsenal quizQPR manager Mark Hughes discusses his team’s clash with in-form Arsenal and dismisses claims that Rangers’ massive wage bill will be a problem for them if they go down, insisting: “If I feel players need to stay, then that’s what will happen.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

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Nestle to invest R300m in SA

first_img27 July 2006Nestle SA plans to invest a further R300-million in South Africa over the next three years, the local arm of the Swiss-based company announced on the eve of its 90th anniversary in the country.The world’s largest food and beverage firm was registered as a company in South Africa in 1916, 44 years after its first products arrived in 1872. Nestle has 13 factories in the country, employing over 4 000 people.Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Nestle SA chairman and managing director Yves Manghardt said the company also planned to extend its business in southern and eastern Africa.At present, about 85% of its R6-billion regional turnover comes from South Africa alone. “We shall start to balance the 85:15 equilibrium to make it 50:50, but not at the cost of South Africa,” Manghardt told the SA Press Association (Sapa).On black economic empowerment (BEE), Manghardt said his company was waiting for the BEE the charter for the food and beverages sector to be finalised.At the same time, he noted that Nestle has long been involved in empowerment-related activities in South Africa, such as setting up small businesses and other social responsibility programmes, especially in agriculture.In its recently published “Nestle Commitment to Africa Report”, the company notes that it supports “a number of major projects in Africa aimed at reducing diseases such as HIV/Aids, also at reducing malnutrition and poverty.“But Nestle’s greatest contribution to Africa is through the impact of our core business, with responsible, sustainable operations that create jobs and catalyse entrepreneurship.”SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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What Apple Didn’t Announce At WWDC 2014

first_imgAt this point, just a few hours after Apple wraps its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, the post-publicity depression usually sets in.Not that there should be a lot to get angsty about; Apple threw a truckload of new features at both developers and consumers today. iOS 8 has more than 4,000 new application programming interfaces and a new version of Mac OS X, dubbed Yosemite, offers a slew of cool-looking functions. Apple even released its very own programming language called Swift for iOS 8 developers. It’s definitely laid the groundwork for a busy summer ahead of an expected iPhone 6 release later this year.See also: 6 Things Apple Should Fix In iOS 8But expectations rarely fail to run ahead of reality where Apple is concerned. Here are seven rumored developments that failed to materialize as some pundits, consumers and developers expected.1. An iWatch Or Wearable FrameworkPeople have been talking about the possibility of an iWatch from Apple for nearly two years now. Given the time and attention Apple’s rivals are devoting to wearable technology these days, you might reasonably have expected Apple to announce a framework or software development kit for wearables development. But Apple officials didn’t once say the word “watch” during the WWDC keynote, let alone announce any new hardware.Apple did lay some groundwork for possible future smartwatch features. Its new Health app and HealthKit framework could make it easier for fitness-related app makers to build for a possible iWatch later this year.2. New Macs Or MacBooksApple sometimes announces new hardware at WWDC. Last year it announced the Mac Pro along with newer versions of MacBooks. This year, however, hardware was completely left by the wayside at WWDC 2014, which maintained a relentless focus on iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite.At this point, it’s hard to tell when Apple will refresh its PCs this year. It may tuck them into the iPad or iPhone announcements, or even just issue a press release at some point.3. Maps Features And FunctionalityA lot of people thought that Apple would go heavily into new mapping features in iOS 8, but the Maps app was hardly mentioned. In China, Apple is releasing new vector maps (along with a couple other China-related maps features), but the main version of Maps didn’t get much play at WWDC 2014.In retrospect, the lack of Maps at WWDC makes sense, as Apple released a fairly robust series of new developer features and functions to Maps with iOS 7.1 earlier this year. (It still doesn’t offer transit directions, though.)4. iBeaconsRumors persisted ahead of WWDC this year that Apple’s developer conference would, more or less, be the year of the iBeacon—Apple’s proximity-sensor, announced last year, which promises to support a new range of location based services in places such as retail stores. But Apple didn’t mention iBeacons once at the WWDC keynote.Of course, that doesn’t mean Apple is abandoning the iBeacon project or that it won’t have plenty of developers working on iBeacons during the WWDC sessions this week. The most we can tell, in fact, is simply that Apple didn’t have anything new to announce about iBeacon support.5. iTunes, Beats, MusicApple’s senior VP Craig Federighi was the star of the show at WWDC, announcing all the new features (except for the new Swift programming language) and showing them off. He even gave Dr. Dre a call with the new calling app shared between Mac OS X and iOS. But other than Dre’s slightly surly phone call with Federighi, music was notably missing from the WWDC keynote. Apple didn’t have any Beats news during the keynote, nor did it have an update to iTunes or anything music-related in iOS 8 or Mac OS X Yosemite. For a company whose executives said last week that “music is dying,” that’s a bit surprising. 6. Apple TVApple’s set top streaming box normally gets short shrift at events. It hardly ever rates a mention outside of download numbers and the software for it is hardly ever publically updated.See also: Apple TV: The Fun Little Experiment Is Getting SeriousThis year might have been different; there were signs that Apple was putting more effort into the device and giving it a higher profile on its website. But Apple TV was basically a no-show at WWDC 2014, although it may still be waiting for its day in the sun—perhaps later this year, closer to the holiday shopping season.7. Dual-Screen iPad SupportOne of the biggest arguments against the iPad over the years is how hard it is to use two different apps at once. Samsung offers dual-screen app support and app switching for its bigger tablets and smartphones; Microsoft has made using several apps on a single screen a central philosophy in Windows 8.Rumors said Apple may announce dual-screen apps at WWDC, but if the company is working on that feature—and it probably is—apparently it’s not yet ready for prime time.What did you want to see at WWDC 2014 that Apple neglected? Let us know in the comments. Lead image by Flickr user z287marc, CC 2.0 dan rowinski Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#apple maps#Apple TV#Beacons#iBeacons#imac#iPad#iWatch#MacBook#MacBook Air#maps#wearables#WWDC#WWDC 2014 last_img read more

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