What happens to an ecotourism town when the wildlife doesn’t show?

first_imgArticle published by Rebecca Kessler Animals, Biodiversity, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Ecotourism, Endangered Species, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Migration, Oceans, Sharks, Sharks And Rays, Tagging, Tourism, Whale Sharks, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Since the mid-1990s, the town of Donsol in the Philippines has based its economy around tourists viewing whale sharks.Whale sharks are migratory fish. And while they showed up in reliable numbers during the first decade of Donsol’s venture into shark tourism, their numbers have become highly unpredictable in the past decade for reasons still unknown.Tourism has declined as well, with 2018 registering the fewest visitor arrivals since whale shark tourism started. The local economy, which it had buoyed, is now flagging, although 2019 seems off to a strong start for both whale sharks and tourists.Wildlife tourism, by nature, is susceptible to biodiversity loss and changes in animal behavior; it places host communities on a thin line between profit and loss. DONSOL, Philippines — Omar Nepomuceno is looking for the whale sharks, as he has for over 20 years. Ask him what the odds are of finding one, and he’ll answer with “Swertehan”: a Filipino word for “a game of luck.”On the boat, it doesn’t present as luck, but as labor. He uses one forearm to protect his eyes from the sun, the other to level his vision. He peers through the sliver of space in between like binoculars. The whites of his eyes have darkened over the years, likely from sun damage.As a butanding (whale shark) interaction officer with the local government, Nepomuceno’s job is to guide tourists and protect the sharks, so that they can swim together in Donsol, a coastal town on Luzon, the Philippines’ main island.Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are only observed here during certain months of the year. But “swertehan” is always Nepomuceno’s answer, even when the sightings in his hometown take steep falls, affecting his — and the entire community’s — income. According to records from the Philippine office of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines), sightings in Donsol fell from 1,790 in 2017 to 589 in 2018, a 68 percent drop. Whale sharks are highly mobile, so sightings tend to be erratic, but the discrepancies year on year (sometimes even month on month) have gotten increasingly unpredictable for Donsol, a town that in 1998 had more shark sightings than they could care to count.Omar Nepomuceno, a butanding (whale shark) interaction officer employed by the Donsol government. Image by Nina Unlay.The sharks can be seen by eye in silhouette when they are within 3 meters (10 feet) of the water’s surface. At tourist sites with more developed infrastructure, like Australia’s Ningaloo Reef, technology alleviates the hard labor of searching for them: scouts in planes spot sharks from above. Here, though, the roof of the boat is the highest viewing point, where a second spotter has fashioned a T-shirt into a mask protecting his head from the heat and wind. Only his eyes remain uncovered.On this day, luck isn’t present. A single shark comes and goes within the span of 10 minutes. Nine other boats, all carrying tourists, come swarming from all directions. The shark dives deeper than the eye can see.Wildlife tourism can be a lucrative industry, when it works as expected. Whale sharks make up around one-third of the $300 million global shark-viewing industry, which is growing globally. Even so, luck remains its mistress. There are fewer than 10,000 whale sharks in the world, with a declining population trend, and entire communities like Donsol depend on them to show up.Unpredictable whale sharksWWF-Philippines reports that at least 653 known individual whale sharks have been documented off Donsol since 2007, the largest concentration of the endangered animal in Southeast Asia.The town’s decline in sightings from 2017 was steep, but not a unique occurrence. Whereas whale sharks showed up in reliable numbers during the first decade of Donsol’s venture into shark tourism, which started in the mid-1990s, numbers have proven highly unpredictable in the past decade.In 2013, there were only 53 sightings the entire year, an anomaly that has yet to be explained. That started a steep decline in tourist arrivals, impacting the community’s then-steady stream of revenue: an estimated $300,000 annually from whale shark interactions alone, at its peak.A spotter looks out for whale sharks aboard a tourist boat in Donsol, the Philippines. Image by Nina Unlay.As a coastal town, fishing is a primary source of income in Donsol. But a fisherman’s daily wage ranges anywhere from a few dollars to nothing at all. An interaction officer can make $10 on a single three-hour boat trip, plus tips.“We had the highest number of tourists in 2012,” Desiree Abetria, the town’s tourism officer, told Mongabay. “But that was also when the decline in sightings started. So, the following year, the tourist arrivals declined as well. 2018 was our lowest record for arrivals.”The impact is felt throughout the town.“So many things changed because of tourism. It uplifted this town. Before the tourists, we had no roads. We rode boats to get to the city center. Now, even the wives of the fishermen have jobs,” said Imelda Montaño, who has lived in Donsol all her life. She works as a cook in a backpacker’s hostel. “Things have changed again,” she added, referring to the town’s economy.Those who previously shifted to tourism as a sole source of income have started going back to old jobs; they take on part-time work as fishermen, construction workers or drivers.Fishing boats at rest on a Donsol beach. Image by Nina Unlay.The whale shark capital of the Philippines“I don’t need to be a scientist to know that things are not right,” Nepomuceno said, referring to more than the day at hand. He claimed the water is much colder now than it was when they started two decades ago; the tide, not right for sharks.There isn’t a lot of scientific data to prove or disprove his observations. Back in 1998, when Donsol’s tourism industry was just starting, the whale sharks’ status on the IUCN Red List was “data deficient.” No one had reason to keep tabs on the sharks; only the fishermen, who considered the big fish pests for breaking their nets and ramming into their boats.WWF-Philippines, the sole NGO that has an official partnership with the local government, only began monitoring sightings in 2007.But the counting had begun, unofficially, in 1998. Carina Escudero, a marine cinematographer based in the Philippines, was pursuing a book project about Philippine marine life and received the tip about the large population of whale sharks in Donsol. She started calling the office of the local government every day to ask for the number of sightings, and kept a log of what she heard. According to Escudero, the numbers back then could go up to 23 sightings in a single day.“During that point in history, a whale shark was a really rare thing,” she said. “No one [in Donsol] believed me at the time, but I knew what I was seeing was earth-shattering. To them, it was just normal.”Escudero is credited with pushing the development of the tourism industry in Donsol; many interaction officers still refer to her as their “mother.” “It’s a miracle that the sharks even survived,” she said. “People were offering 600,000 Philippine pesos [$11,700 at current rates] for three dead sharks in a place where people are earning less than 100 pesos [$2] a day.”A mural in Donsol, the Philippines, shows some of the benefits of whale shark tourism. Photo taken in 2012. Image by 533338 via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).In 1998, a national ban on whale shark hunting took effect almost simultaneously with the burst of tourism in Donsol. Unlike the sudden ban, the transition on the ground was slow.“No one was interested in tourism,” Nepomuceno said. “They didn’t understand what it was.”But in time, through a partnership with WWF-Philippines and with support from other organizations, the local government trained the community to believe whale sharks were worth more to them alive than dead. Rules and guidelines, such as how close tourist boats could get to whale sharks or how many tourists could swim near them, were established to ensure the influx of visitors didn’t harm the sharks, and the interaction officers were charged with upholding them.Luck, gambles and guaranteesThe recent scarcity of whale shark sightings has had a profound, almost existential, effect on the community, one with a learned pride in its sharks. Most of those who work in tourism (vendors, tour officers, boatmen, and the like) gather in the mornings to send tourists off, promising to keep their fingers crossed for sharks or, in some instances, keep them in their prayers.But, like Nepomuceno with his principle of answering with “swertehan,” they make no guarantees. It’s a well-integrated standard, as dictated by the ethics of responsible wildlife tourism.“We can’t give an advisory that declares sharks are present in our waters, until such time that there have been sightings for three days straight,” said Abetria, the tourism officer. “That’s when we inform the Department of Tourism that they can start ‘advertising’ that our season is open. We don’t want to give a ‘false’ tourism, we don’t guarantee. It’s a wild animal.”Tourism dominates Donsol’s economy. Image by Nina Unlay.It’s when times are hard that the principles become blurry: “The interaction officers feel a sense of ownership over the sharks because they are the ones in the water with them every day,” said Alessandro Ponzo, executive director of the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE). “It’s good, but it also means they regulate one another. And right now, the interaction officers are the ones pulling the tourists closer to see the shark.”Rules are broken more often when the sightings are scarce and the money thin. And not just by the interaction officers and boatmen; Sali Salahudin, 61, migrated with his son from a southern island to sell pearls to tourists. On average, he said, he makes roughly $14 a week, usually selling only one or two items. Salahudin said it’s not enough.He has started making guarantees, adapting to a system that no longer works for him, selling his intuition along with his wares. “Just make sure you go out the time I tell you to,” he said, “then there will be one.”Sali Salahudin, a migrant to Donsol, earns about $14 a week selling pearls to tourists. Image by Nina Unlay.These changes happened, not at once, but over time, in the face of a decline in income from tourism. But wildlife tourism, by nature, is susceptible to biodiversity loss and changes in animal behavior; it places host communities on a thin line between profit and loss. Though they make no guarantees, making apologies to tourists for these losses has become a part of their job.Donsol’s new normalNo one has figured out why the number of whale sharks in Donsol has been fluctuating so greatly of late. Researchers only have theories: the plankton they feed on may have been affected by changes in the water, luring them outside the designated interaction areas; they might also be lurking deeper underwater for some reason.The lapses in information are many, including where the sharks go when they’re not in Donsol. WWF uses a global archive of photos, Wildbook.org, to give the community some idea of where its sharks have been. Every time a shark is discovered or re-encountered, it’s registered. But the record is far from complete, because not all tourism sites participate. A shark can “disappear” for years if it migrates to an area where people aren’t looking; worse, to an area that still practices hunting.A whale shark in Mexico. Image by MarAlliance2018 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).“You can’t just protect whale sharks from your backyard,” Escudero said. “You have to protect the whole world.”In Donsol, at least, they continue to be looked for, beloved, even prayed for. There’s too much at stake.“This should be a good year because sightings started early, but we never know for certain,” Abetria said. She’s working on a plan to entice tourists to stay even if there are no sharks. At the moment, the only other attraction is firefly watching and diving in waters much farther out.Tourist arrivals have begun to increase: this year’s number has already surpassed last year’s.It is impossible to say for certain if this will last. For better or worse, though, Nepomuceno refuses to leave Donsol, despite the offers he receives for better-paying jobs abroad. “I am happy here. In the beginning, people thought we were crazy for believing in tourism. But now, I make good money. I make people happy,” he said.He remains hopeful, as always, for the next year. In 2019, already 104 new sharks have been registered in the archive. It’s a strong start, but still a gamble, a game of luck.Formerly the features editor for travel magazine GRID in the Philippines, Nina Unlay is currently based in London as a business reporter for IntraFish Media. She tweets at @ninabiscuit.Banner image: A tourist boat in Donsol joins several others in search of whale sharks. Image by Nina Unlay. A tour boat crew member, left, on the look out for whale sharks. Image by Nina Unlay.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.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Microplastic waste fouls up beaches on Sri Lanka’s southern tourism coast

first_imgMicroplastics Beaches along Sri Lanka’s southern coast, a tourism hotspot, are increasingly being contaminated with microplastic pollution, a survey has found.The study found that 60 percent of sand samples and 70 percent of surface water samples from 10 survey sites contained an abundance of microplastics up to 4.5 millimeters (0.18 inches) in size.The researchers have called for meticulous waste management initiatives, regulating the use of plastics, and further studies to ascertain the magnitude of the pollution caused by plastic waste. Sri Lanka’s southern coastline is dotted with popular resorts and beaches, but this once pristine landscape hasn’t been spared by the global plastic waste crisis, a study finds.The authors of the paper, published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin, studied 10 locations along a 91-kilometer (57-mile) stretch of the Indian Ocean island’s southern coast to assess the magnitude of the problem.They found that 60 percent of the sand samples and 70 percent of the surface water samples they collected contained an abundance of microplastics, or MPs, compounding the environmental pressure on a coastline ravaged by the 2004 tsunami and constantly battling against coastal erosion.The problem is just the tip of the iceberg, says lead author J.  Bimali Koongolla, a marine scientist at the  University of Ruhuna in Sri Lanka.“Microplastic waste is becoming a serious environmental problem in Sri Lanka, once considered an island state with unblemished pristine beaches,” she told Mongabay. “The seas are getting contaminated, and beyond environmental, this poses a severe health hazard as it impacts food chains.”She attributed the rising levels of microplastics in the seas and beaches to be poor waste management and an inability to break away from age-old littering practices.“The use of plastics is increasing non-biodegradable waste production. These plastics eventually get washed into the seas, polluting the very environment [local communities] depend on for sustenance,” Koongolla said.The sand sampling sites for the study on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Image by Earth View Maps.Recreational beaches under threatThe sites worst affected by plastic pollution were Dondra, Weligama and Ambalangoda, all in Southern province, due to significant recreational activity as well as fishing.While recreational beaches had high levels of MPs, more remote beaches and fishing ports also exhibited large amounts of microplastic pollution as well as plastic debris, the researchers found.The size of MPs in surface water and beaches ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 millimeters (0.06 to 0.1 inches) and 3 to 4.5 millimeters (0.12 to 0.18 inches), respectively. Most were identified as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), with some polystyrene (PS) foam being also being discovered at a few sites.Researchers found an overall higher abundance of MPs on the beaches than in the waters, while samples from the ports indicated higher levels of MP pollution in the surface water.When sediments were analyzed, the popular and congested recreational beaches appeared to have more microplastic litter. The busy public beach of Weligama was the most polluted by count (157 microplastic items per square meter) as well as weight (5.98 grams per square meter).Though busy recreational beaches like Weligama are cleaned routinely, the process only removes the larger debris and risks burying microplastics even deeper in the sand.The fishing ports in Dondra and Ambalangoda also showed high concentration of MPs by count and weight in the surface water. “This is due to high levels of gear handling and other activities,” Koongolla said.She added that at the three sites classified as remote beaches, there was little or no polystyrene found, and only one of them yielded high counts of MPs in the sand. “This is largely due to storm activity depositing water-borne and land-based debris via runoff,” Koongolla said.Researcher J. Bimali Koongolla conducts a beach survey near the Dondra Harbor. Image courtesy of Kasun Indika.Role of riversKoongolla said that while tourism had flourished in Sri Lanka’s south, good waste management practices have not been introduced.“South has traditionally had a high density of tourist activity, along its coast,” she said. “While we cannot confirm if any MP samples we collected originated in the sea from fisheries or commercial vessels or on land, we can confirm that these beaches are used heavily due to increased tourist activity and tend to leave a lot of visible plastic debris.”Researchers also say there is a dire need to identify the sources of microplastic pollution. This includes determining the role of rivers in transporting MPs into the ocean. “Once we narrow down the localities that are particularly polluting, it is easier to introduce waste management initiatives and to take other preventive action. These can vary from restriction of single-use plastics to having better recycling centers,” Koongolla said.The study came out just before findings from a 2018 survey — commissioned by the National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) and supported by Norway’s Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and carried out on the Norwegian research vessel Fridtjof Nansen — were published in January.The survey, the first of its kind in 40 years, found that nearly four-fifths of small pieces of the plastic waste in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters arrived via rivers and canals, said Terney Pradeep Kumara, general manager of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA).“This means only about one fifth of waste is sea-originated microsplastic wastage, caused by fishermen dumping plastic in mid-sea and oil spills from ships,” said Kumara, also a co-author of the southern coastal study.Following the Nansen survey, Kumara called for collective and effective waste management mechanisms and stricter laws to prevent extensive marine pollution.The polluted Dondra Harbor, a place that converges communities and faiths, but now also microplastic waste. Image courtesy of J. Bimali Koongolla.Further studies neededThe team of researchers point to the absence of sufficient coastal studies as a key reason for selecting the south, a top tourist destination.So far, only two studies have looked at microplastic pollution in the island’s coastal regions. A 2018 study looked at three beaches in Western province, while a 2016 study focused on the north coast.Koongolla said this new study offers only a glimpse of the microplastic problem in Sri Lanka. Ideally, she said, research should be conducted over different seasons and across several years. Sampling volumes should also be much larger to improve the quality of the data, she said.Banner image of a harbor in southern Sri Lanka studded with microplastics, an emerging environmental problem in the Indian Ocean island, once known for its pristine beaches, courtesy of J. Bimali Koongolla.Citation:Koongolla, J. B., Andrady, A. L, Terney Pradeep Kumara, P. B., & Gangabadage, C. S. (2018). Evidence of microplastics pollution in coastal beaches and waters in southern Sri Lanka. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 137, 277-284. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.10.031 Article published by dilrukshicenter_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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In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, September 13, 2019

first_imgThere are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsIndigenous hunting could help the sustainability of forests (The Revelator).Experts say that climate change has played a part in the exodus of people from Central America (Undark).Companies and scientists are working together toward sustainability in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s timber industry (CIFOR Forests News).New research contends that we need to overhaul how forestry works for the world’s poor (CIFOR Forests News).California’s plan to save tropical forests could be a game changer (Los Angeles Times).Other newsNine black rhinos from South Africa have a new home in Tanzania’s Serengeti (RTL Today).Tanzanian officials confiscated the tusks of 117 elephants (New York Post).Seven million people had to move out of the way of extreme weather in the first six months of 2019 (The New York Times).Beekeepers are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after it OK’d the use of a pesticide known to be harmful to bee colonies (The New York Times).The Maui dolphin is down to just a few dozen animals (Hakai Magazine).Europe’s marine protected areas aren’t adequately protected (Euronews).Young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will picket with other activists in front of the White House on Sept. 20 (The Hill) …… While activists have a major climate protest planned for Sept. 23 in Washington, D.C. (Reuters).Wetlands and streams will once again be managed under a 1986 law after Trump repeals a more recent rule (The Washington Post).Engineers have developed a prototype bioreactor to take nitrates out of the waters that flow into wetlands (Hakai Magazine).More Americans now believe that climate change is a crisis, and a majority believe the current administration isn’t doing enough to address it (The Washington Post).Banner image of a black rhino in Namibia by Olga Ernst via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by John Cannonlast_img read more

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Palm oil giant Korindo silences critical report with cease-and-desist letter

first_imgArticle published by Hans Nicholas Jong Korindo, a major palm oil operator in Indonesia’s Papua region, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to delay the publication of a report highlighting its various violations there.The report was to have been published Sept. 5 by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), but the organization says it’s had to postpone publication indefinitely.Mighty Earth, the campaign group whose focus on Korindo’s operations prompted the two-year FSC investigation, says Korindo effectively robbed local communities of hundreds of millions of dollars in land, natural resources and livelihoods.Korindo says it issued the letter to seek more time to address some points, and denies that it’s threatening litigation over the report. It also says it’s working to address the findings of violations. JAKARTA — The Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s foremost body certifying the sustainable forestry industry, has delayed the publication of its findings into a palm oil company’s operations in Indonesia, following a cease-and-desist letter.The FSC found earlier this year that subsidiaries of Korindo, an Indonesian-South Korean joint venture that’s an FSC associate, had violated the terms of that association by clearing valuable tracts of rainforest in the Papua region. It also found that the companies failed to properly consult local communities about plans to convert their land into oil palm plantations.The full findings of the two-year investigation, compiled into three investigative reports, had been set for publication on Sept. 5. However, Korindo, one of the biggest palm oil companies operating in Papua, sent a letter to the FSC ordering it not to publish further information specific to the findings, in a move perceived as a legal threat.As a result, the FSC has decided to postpone the release of the reports indefinitely, according to FSC Indonesia country manager Hartono Prabowo.“As a standard legal precautionary measure derived from cease-and-desist orders, FSC has postponed publication of further information concerning the Korindo PfA [policy for association] to allow time for our legal team to analyze in full detail the specific requirements included in the document,” he told Mongabay. Hartono added that the FSC’s international secretariat was currently discussing the matter with the organization’s board of directors.Despite the legal threat, he said the FSC remained committed to transparency, without specifying whether the organization would eventually release the reports.“FSC is committed to transparency and the timely release of relevant information on all of its PfA cases and will provide updated and relevant information on the Korindo PfA as soon as this is made possible,” Hartono said.Speakers from various NGOs and campaign organizations pose together with Papuan indigenous peoples during a press conference about Korindo’s cease-and-desist letter in Jakarta, Indonesia. Daniel Sim Ayomi (second from right), the spokesperson of Korindo Papua, takes issue with Mighty Earth’s claim about the company’s operation in Papua, saying that the organization should go to the field and ask all indigenous peoples, not just one or two people. Image courtesy of Mighty Earth.‘Something to hide’The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by Mighty Earth, a campaign group that has highlighted Korindo’s practices in Papua. In response to the latest development, Mighty Earth lambasted Korindo for sending the cease-and-desist letter to the FSC.“Korindo is using the threat of legal action to bury the FSC’s findings and suppress evidence of its wrongdoing,” Mighty Earth senior campaign director Deborah Lapidus said. “These are not the actions of an innocent party. Korindo’s willing embrace of bullying tactics is proof they have something to hide.”Anselmus Amo, a pastor with the Papuan indigenous rights organization SKP-KAMe Merauke, which has been advocating for some of the communities affected by Korindo’s operations, said he was surprised about the letter to the FSC. He said the company had previously shown a willingness to remedy its mistakes.“I was surprised because why did the company threaten [the FSC] using the cease-and-desist letter?” he told Mongabay. “Actually this harms Korindo itself. The more these problems remain, the more harmful they are.”Luwy Leunufna, Korindo’s senior manager for resources management, denied that the company was threatening litigation against the FCS if it released the reports.“That’s the perception of Mighty Earth,” he said. “I don’t know that they have made a conclusion like that.”Luwy said the company had only asked the FSC to hold off on publishing the reports so that the company could clarify some points, without specifying what those points were.“We just want to be given space for us to clarify,” he said. “If FSC ended up publishing [the reports], we’re not in a position [to forbid them]. We just told [the FSC] that we needed time to clarify.”Luwy added that Korindo had nothing to hide. “We don’t close off any information. All information [that’s] needed, we’re open to submit them.”A pile of wood that has been prepared to be burned in land controlled by Korindo in Papua. Photo courtesy of Mighty EarthAdmission of ‘guilt’Following its investigation, the FSC announced in July that Korindo would continue to be associated with the certification body, but that it must “secure remedy” for the damage it had done in Papua or else face expulsion from the organization.It said it would “closely monitor Korindo’s progress of the measures and conditions stipulated by FSC. Failure to satisfactorily meet these conditions would be the basis for FSC to end its association with the company.”After the announcement, Korindo acknowledged that some of its activities were not in full compliance with the certification body’s policies, including the “destruction of high conservation values in forestry operations” and “significant conversion of forests to plantations or non-forest use.” Korindo also said that its practice of obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of local communities might not have met FSC standards. The company said it would fix its mistakes to meet those standards.“The Korindo Group agrees to collaborate in good faith and work with FSC in a constructive way and in a safe environment to implement appropriate measures and to take necessary actions in order to mitigate any past negative impacts,” the company said on its website.Mighty Earth campaign director Phil Aikman said Korindo’s statement was a sign that it had “accepted its guilt.” However, Korindo’s letter contradicts that good will, he said, which might lead to the termination of Korindo’s association with the FSC.“So on one hand, they want to work collaboratively with all stakeholders,” Aikman said. “On the other hand, they want to sue the investigators. So Korindo remains at risk of being disassociated and dispelled from FSC. If Korindo fails to solve these problems, then FSC executive board will cut ties [with Korindo].”As such, Aikman said, Korindo must “remove the legal threats against FSC, and support FSC in publishing these reports. They need to accept their responsibilities for their wrongdoings.”Aikman also urged Korindo to return customary lands, resolve social conflicts and grievances, and pay fair compensation to local communities for lost land, natural resources and livelihoods.“I will say that having foreknowledge of these reports, the amount that they had effectively robbed from the communities run [into] hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. “They also need to restore areas equivalent to how much they destroyed. So if Korindo wants to remain with FSC, all of its operation has to comply with FSC standards.”An access road into one of Korindo’s concessions in Papua. Photo courtesy of Mighty EarthFixing the mistakesAmo said publishing the reports would be a key step toward resolving the problems.“It’s better to publish these investigative reports by FSC so that we can know where we have to solve,” he said.Responding to the activists’ demand, the FSC’s Hartono said stakeholders didn’t have to wait for the reports to be published to start making changes.“Tangible and meaningful progress in Korindo’s future operations can be achieved with or without publication of FSC’s investigation reports,” he said. “FSC is fully committed to continue the improvement process with Korindo for the benefit of Indonesia’s forests and its local Indigenous Communities as agreed by Korindo and presented by FSC in its conclusion on the case.”Hartono said Korindo had started taking steps to fix its mistakes, but it’s too early to say whether there’s been progress on the ground yet.“Apart from the disagreement on the publication of FSC’s investigation reports, Korindo are so far following the steps expected to prepare the improvements expected of them,” he said. “However, in terms of progress in the field, it is still too early in the process to expect specific progress. A roadmap, designed through a multi-stakeholder consultation, must first be designed and implemented for any initial progress to materialize.” Banner image: Forest in West Papua. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Clarification 9/27/2019:  The caption of the first photo in this article previously misidentified one of the people in the photo, and it has been updated to say he’s from Korindo.  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 Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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Seeking justice against palm oil firms, victims call out banks behind them

first_imgIndividuals from Indonesia and Liberia embroiled in land disputes with oil palm plantations have visited the Netherlands to call on the Dutch banks facilitating these companies’ operations to take action.The companies in question are PT Astra Agro Lestari in Indonesia and Golden Veroleum Liberia, both of which are owned by conglomerates based in secrecy jurisdictions and which have financial links to Dutch banks ABN AMRO and Rabobank.The banks say their relationship with the companies is only indirect, and as such they say there is little they can do to influence them.Friends of the Earth, which arranged for the affected individuals to go to the Netherlands, is pushing for the European Union to adopt more stringent regulations that would disincentivize banks and other institutions from investing in environmentally and socially unsustainable businesses. AMSTERDAM — Hemsi has been in jail three times since 2006 and filed pleas with 13 government institutions in Indonesia during that period — all in an effort to fight off the oil palm company he alleges is stealing his land.A farmer from Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province, Hemsi has also traveled to the capital, Jakarta, three times to call on the government to protect him and his family. Each time, his pleas have gone unanswered.His last arrest was in December, a day after his wife gave birth to their third child, when he was detained for allegedly stealing palm fruit from his own land — land that PT Mamuang, a subsidiary of plantation giant PT Astra Agro Lestari (AALI), claims as its own.“I’m terribly disappointed with the government because I’ve reported my case with complete evidence and yet they’ve ignored my case and I got sent to jail again,” Hemsi told Mongabay. “I’m frustrated but I’ll keep fighting for my rights because it’s my only hope to provide a livelihood for my family.”Hemsi’s remarks came during a trip to the Netherlands in early October, facilitated by the Dutch environmental NGO Milieudefensie, the Dutch chapter of Friends of the Earth. He reckons that since he can’t get justice back home, he’ll hit the company where it hurts: its funding. In AALI’s case, these would be the Dutch banks ABN AMRO and Rabobank, both of which have financial ties to the Indonesian company.ABN AMRO was the underwriter for AALI’s initial public offering in 1997. More recently, according to Milieudefensie, in 2018 the bank sold shares in PT Astra International, the parent company of AALI and the largest listed company in Indonesia. PT Astra International is in turn a subsidiary of Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited, a conglomerate based in the secrecy jurisdiction of Bermuda and listed on the Singapore exchange.Milieudefensie says Rabobank twice facilitated syndicated loans for PT Astra International in 2010 — loans provided by a group of lenders that Rabobank organized but may not necessarily have contributed to. Milieudefensie says the Dutch banks aren’t informing customers about all the companies whose operations they’re facilitating, with some of that activity labeled as “sustainable” despite benefiting companies with a track record of environmental and social violations.“I’m asking them to stop funding PT Astra Agro Lestari, which is operating in my village, because that company has criminalized me and sent me to prison three times,” Hemsi said. “The company has robbed me of my land, the only hope for my family. I hope my rights can be restored and there’s no more criminalization.” Activism, african palm oil, Conflict, Environment, Finance, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Social Conflict Banner image of  Hemsi, a farmer from Indonesia (right), and activists from Liberia embroiled in land disputes with oil palm plantations standing in front of ABN AMRO headquarters in Amsterdam before filing their complaints with the bank. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Editor’s note: The reporter traveled to the Netherlands as a guest of Milieudefensie. Milieudefensie does not have any editorial influence on this or any other story Mongabay produces.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. Hemsi, a farmer from Central Sulawesi, accompanied by activists from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), in front of ABN AMRO headquarters in Amsterdam. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.‘Enough is enough’Hemsi isn’t the only one who feels aggrieved by the disruptions wrought by the Dutch banks’ links with a palm oil company. Also making the trip to the Netherlands were Terry Doegmah Panyonnoh and Harriet Sayee Saylee, Liberian activists who have also lodged complaints to ABN AMRO and Rabobank over their financial ties to Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL). They allege the palm oil company is involved in land grabbing in the Liberian counties of Sinoe and Grand Kru.Their activism earned them the same fate as Hemsi: Panyonnoh and 16 other young members of his community were jailed for a year after they protested against GVL.“GVL came with big promises for development, but today we lost our land and we ended up in poverty,” Panyonnoh said. “Farming is difficult. Almost no jobs. The forest we used to find medicine, fish and clean water is destroyed. People are intimidated and harassed with the support from GVL.”GVL is owned by Verdant Fund, based in the Cayman Islands, another secrecy jurisdiction. The sole investor in the fund is Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources Limited (GAR), the world’s second-biggest palm oil producer, whose subsidiaries have received loans from both ABN AMRO and Rabobank in recent years.Evert Hassink, from Milieudefensie, told Mongabay that the decision to bring these community members over to the Netherlands to confront the banks directly was in response to a statement by ABN AMRO earlier this year.“ABN AMRO called on the victims of their clients this February to come and report about the abuses,” he said. “Well, here we are. Even though it is of course crazy that they have to come all the way to make their point.”Hassink added that, “After years of challenging and bringing complaints to the companies in Liberia and Indonesia, these land rights defenders say ‘enough is enough.’ Today, Terry, Harriet and Hemsi are here to confront the banks in the Netherlands and hear what they really do to get their clients to improve.”An area cleared of trees at the GVL concession in Tajuowon district. Photo by Jennifer O’Mahony for Mongabay.A responsibility to actThe banks say there’s little they can do about companies with which they’re not directly connected.“The link is often very, very indirect,” said Johan Verburg, an official in Rabobank’s sustainability department. “Where we can, we try to indirectly influence. There is a much, much higher leverage in a direct relation. Indirectly, we can talk, but there’s not much pressure we can put otherwise.”Verburg said Rabobank steers clear of directly financing any problematic companies. He added that Rabobank’s direct clients in the palm oil industry, of which there are around 20 worldwide, must be members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the leading certification body for the industry. (GAR is an RSPO member company; AALI is not.)“We would ensure that concern is on the radar of other stakeholders, companies, banks, roundtables, who can put direct pressure on that case,” Verburg said. “So in this particular case, and similar cases, we will monitor what the RSPO monitor panel is doing, and what the RSPO member in this case is doing. It’s typically a situation where we will be very cautious to have a direct investment relation at all.”Richard Kooloos, the head of sustainable banking at ABN AMRO, said he couldn’t immediately confirm Milieudefensie’s claim that the bank sold PT Astra International shares, but that even if true, it’s an indirect relationship. (ABN AMRO was the underwriter for PT Astra Agro Lestari’s initial public offering in 1997.)“I don’t know it by heart. The fact that they say the relationship with ABN AMRO is through stock, for me that indicates that there’s only this relationship,” Kooloos said.But if the finding is confirmed, and Hemsi’s case is deemed severe enough, then ABN AMRO will engage with the company, Kooloos said.“If we are aware of misdoing, not minor, but major misdoings over a long period of time, [and] if that happen from thousands of companies globally that our clients can invest in, then we will start engaging,” he said.“And if this is not addressed, then we can remove that company from our universe, that means that our clients cannot buy that stock anymore through us. That’s the ultimate step. But you usually see the issue is being addressed indeed and your influence has an impact.”Similar to Rabobank’s Verburg, Kooloos said ABN AMRO would have more influence in the matter if PT Astra International was a direct client of the bank, such as being a loan recipient.“It’s a different type of influence because we don’t have a relationship with this company. We don’t know the company, we haven’t analyzed the company,” Kooloos says. “But if a company is a client of us, we know everything. We also have private information. But if it’s through this stockholding, we only have public information. But nevertheless, we are linked in our value chain to that company, so we have a responsibility to act.”Protesters demand farmers from Polanto Jaya village in Donggala district, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, to be released from jail during a rally. The farmers were jailed after they were accused by PT Mamuang, a subsidiary of PT Astra Agro Lestari, of stealing palm fruit. Photo courtesy of Walhi Central Sulawesi.More stringent financing rulesBeyond the PT Astra Agro Lestari and Golden Veroleum Liberia cases, Milieudefensie wants rules in place that would prevent banks and investors from profiting off the destruction of forests, human rights violations, climate-polluting oil extraction, and child labor.The organization launched a petition three months ago calling on the Dutch finance minister to raise the issue before the new European Commission.The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country’s largest green group and an advocate for Hemsi, says the European Union should have a regulation that holds financial institutions such as banks accountable for the impact of their financing to palm oil companies.Walhi climate justice campaigner Yuyun Harmono, accompanying Hemsi to the Netherlands, said Dutch banks were far too reliant on existing sustainability certification schemes such as the RSPO, and also lack a mechanism to remedy the impact of companies whose operations have been facilitated, directly or indirectly, by the banks.He cited the case of Rabobank, which he said provided loans to PT Astra Agro Lestari at a time when the company was already embroiled in the land dispute with Hemsi.“These financial institutions seemingly wash their hands clean after these companies are no longer their clients,” Yuyun said. “There’s no accountability for their past mistakes.”He said the EU had a responsibility to better regulate its financial institutions in light of its decision to phase out palm oil-based biodiesel by 2030.“On one hand, they want to phase out palm oil because of climate change,” Yuyun said. “But on the other hand, they also keep investing in Indonesia’s palm oil industry. It’s a double standard.”Bas Eickhout, a member of the European Parliament for the Netherlands, said he was fully aware of this conundrum.“We have to make sure that that [financial] policy is consistent with what we are doing with our policies on palm oil for example,” he told reporters at the European Parliament in Brussels. “And that’s not fully consistent yet. I’m fully aware [of] that, so there’s work that needs to be done also on the financial rule. But that’s the next discussion we’re having, absolutely.”Yuyun said Walhi had approached Indonesia’s financial regulator, the OJK, to call for stronger regulations on sustainable financing. But progress has been slow, he said. Abdul Haris, the head of the Walhi chapter in Central Sulawesi, Hemsi’s home province, said he had filed a report on Hemsi’s case to the OJK in 2016.“But to date there hasn’t been any follow-up,” he said.As for Hemsi himself, the fight is far from over. While he was in the Netherlands, the Indonesian police questioned his family back home.“My parents were visited by the local police asking for information. My wife was also visited by police at night. She was asked to take them to the site where I was accused of stealing [palm fruit],” he said.He added he believed the police visits were linked to his trip to the Netherlands — an effort to “hinder the process of the filing of my complaints.”But Hemsi said he wouldn’t be intimidated into giving up.“Even if I have to go to jail again, I’ll do that, as long as my land rights are acknowledged,” Hemsi said. “I want to show other farmers who are criminalized that we can’t afford to stop fighting and that we should fight together.”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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As hurricane season ends, now is the time to take local action to rebuild and recover (commentary)

first_imgAs the 2019 hurricane season comes to an end, now is the time to consider action on the local scale, in spite of the helplessness we may feel in the face of global change.It’s no coincidence that the islands most devastated by Hurricanes Matthew and Dorian were Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, and New Providence. Recently published coastal risk maps show these are the islands most exposed to flooding and erosion — which is critical information for recovery and rebuilding efforts.In our built world, we often forget about the natural defenses that kept us safe before we started tearing them down. Mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass beds naturally envelop islands, weakening waves and storm surges. Protections are needed for coastal habitats that are still intact, and restoration is needed for degraded shorelines. As developed countries like the United States have learned, it costs millions of dollars more to restore natural defenses than to conserve them wisely in the first place.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Most of us have places where we feel safe — a tree in our backyard, a den in our house, a beach in our town. But these days, some “safe places” may no longer be safe.Recent events, such as the unprecedented destruction of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, are grim verification of what climate science predicted. Fortunately, this same science also holds the key to changing our trajectory.As the 2019 hurricane season comes to an end, now is the time to consider action on the local scale, in spite of the helplessness we may feel in the face of global change.In 2016, I saw firsthand how the devastation of a hurricane challenges our assumptions about safe places. I was in the Bahamas just after Hurricane Matthew, visiting my Bahamian colleagues and conducting fieldwork on coastal resilience. Community members showed me their flattened homes, saying, “We thought the shallow water meant we were safe.” But what the community had assumed about their safety could not have been further from the truth. Living nearby shallow waters actually put them more at risk, not less.It’s no coincidence that the islands most devastated by Matthew and now Dorian were Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, and New Providence. Recently published coastal risk maps by Stanford’s Natural Capital Project in collaboration with Bahamian scientists, government partners, The Nature Conservancy, and the Inter-American Development Bank, show these are the islands most exposed to flooding and erosion. Their low-lying shorelines are situated along wide, shallow expanses of the continental shelf. Water doesn’t stay put, like it does within the steep walls of a bathtub. Instead, when a storm rolls in, the ocean piles high onto shore. There’s nowhere else for the water to go.Mangroves buffer the shoreline of the Bahamian islands from storm waves and surge. The shallow water of the Bahama banks can be especially dangerous during a storm; with nowhere else to go, the ocean piles high onto shore. Photo courtesy of Jaclyn Mandoske.In our built world, we often forget about the natural defenses that kept us safe before we started tearing them down. Mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass beds naturally envelop islands, weakening waves and storm surges. Years before Hurricane Matthew, a coastal road was built on Andros. Coastal development cleared the mangroves that had once lined the shore, securing sediments and buffering the coast from pounding waves. In place of these natural bulwarks, a one-and-a-half-foot seawall was constructed. It was no match for Hurricane Matthew.After Dorian, a Bahamian friend shared a story of how mangroves provided safe haven for two brothers during the hurricane. They anchored their fishing boat in the heart of a mangrove forest and waited out the storm. While the remaining forests and reefs were not enough to fully protect Grand Bahama and Abaco, recent research suggests that, without them, the destruction would have been much worse. Even more sobering is that without the healthy natural barriers that do exist, the number of people at risk from coastal hazards in The Bahamas would triple. Degradation of ecosystems is happening at a rapid rate around the globe, with more than half the mangroves disappearing from some regions.As Bahamians move into the next stage of recovery, I am hopeful that this small island country will show the rest of the world how rebuilding can be done better, for greater safety and greater resilience. There is a Bahamian saying: “It’s always better in The Bahamas.” But what does that look like after a storm?For one, protections are needed for coastal habitats that are still intact, and restoration is needed for degraded shorelines. As developed countries like the United States have learned, it costs millions of dollars more to restore natural defenses than to conserve them wisely in the first place. Protecting ecosystems that can reduce risk also makes logistical and economic sense for a country of more than 700 islands; rather than building and maintaining expensive seawalls, The Bahamas can leverage natural defenses already at hand.These natural defenses are also a source of local sustenance and economic recovery. Healthy coastal habitats support abundant fisheries — a resource especially important in the aftermath of a storm, when food supplies are low and shipments unavailable. Beautiful marine areas can also help communities get back their financial footing by supporting key industries like tourism and commercial fishing. Cutting-edge data and software, from institutions like the World Resources Institute, the Natural Capital Project, and NASA, are now available to estimate nature’s value to coastal communities.Mangroves and other types of coastal forest serve as natural buffers for vulnerable shorelines and communities. Their roots trap sediments to prevent shorelines from eroding and their trunks and canopy attenuate waves, reducing flood waters. Photo courtesy of Jaclyn Mandoske.Bahamians are using these new technologies to inform recovery and rebuilding efforts. A Bahamian colleague texted me on the Monday night of Dorian: “Our northern islands are underwater. Didn’t you model this?” We had. With a pit in my stomach, I sent her the data showing Grand Bahama and Abaco are two of the islands most at-risk from coastal hazards — not only because of low elevation and the wide continental shelf, but because of the islands’ high populations.Other countries are successfully implementing programs that avoid development in the most flood- and erosion-prone places. In the Netherlands, the Room for the River program is buying out communities along high-risk riverbeds. Densely populated urban areas such as Boston, San Francisco, and New York are siting recreational parks and open spaces along shorelines to buffer storm waves and accommodate intermittent flooding. With strategic and smarter recovery, Bahamians can rebuild away from the extensive shallow banks and recover alongside nature.Fortunately, some of the pieces to these solutions are already in place. In 2017, the Inter-American Development Bank and Bahamian government agreed on an innovative loan for $3 million to fund a green infrastructure approach to coastal resilience. This loan came out of a development planning process on Andros to strategically direct investments in roads and infrastructure to low-risk areas and to safeguard natural defenses. More finance mechanisms like this are needed for inclusive green growth. Integrated planning efforts can be conducted throughout the Bahamas and beyond.When I was last in the islands, I stopped to ask some construction workers what they were doing. “Digging culverts,” they said, pointing to big pipes under the road. When I asked them why, they explained that they were making pathways for clean ocean water to get to mangroves on the other side of the road. The small act of installing culverts so mangroves can thrive represents a shift in consciousness that can lead to big changes. And these changes are urgently needed before the 2020 hurricane season begins.I imagine a future road in Andros, or Abaco, or Grand Bahama: This road is set back from shore, elevated to allow room for flood waters and to ensure water circulates to mangroves that stabilize sediments and shield homes. Homes are set back too, up small hills or on stilts, away from shallow coastal waters, and following the advanced building codes Bahamians have already put in place. In this future, the global community has put the brakes on climate change through meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In this future, communities are much, much safer. It can be better in the Bahamas.Damaged homes in the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Photo Credit: Iain Mill, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.CITATION• Silver, J. M., Arkema, K. K., Griffin, R. M., Lashley, B., Lemay, M., Maldonado, S., … & Verutes, G. (2019). Advancing Coastal Risk Reduction Science and Implementation by Accounting for Climate, Ecosystems, and People. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 556. doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00556Katie Arkema, PhD, is Lead Scientist of the Natural Capital Project, Stanford University. Adaptation, Adaptation To Climate Change, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Commentary, Editorials, Environment, Extreme Weather, Flooding, Global Warming, Impact Of Climate Change, Infrastructure, Mangroves, Researcher Perspective Series, Roads Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Ancient Sri Lankans used ‘flexible’ quartz tools to hunt primates in rainforests

first_imgAncient hunter-gatherers from Sri Lanka’s western rainforests used a quartz-containing “flexible toolkit” to hunt small mammals, new research shows.The researchers discovered South Asia’s oldest recorded, human-made hunting tools in Fa-Hien Lena Cave, an ancient rock shelter in a patch of lowland rainforest on the Indian Ocean island.While similar tools have been used in Europe and Africa, the hunters’ targets in those locations had been large- or medium-size animals, not primates or giant squirrels, as in Sri Lanka. Some 45,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers in the rainforests of Sri Lanka hunted down small tree-dwelling animals like monkeys and giant squirrels using small stone tools called microliths, a new study shows.These hunters are the oldest recorded users of human-made hunting tools in all of South Asia, according to the research paper published Oct. 2 in PLOS ONE.A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany have unearthed how efficient hunting strategies were used by these rainforest dwellers, allowing them to adapt to their environment.Microliths are small tools that were shaped by flaking away bits of the face of a piece of stone — what scientists call “retouching.” They are recognized as efficient hunting implements or parts of projectile weapons, and in the capable hands of Sri Lanka’s rainforest hunters, they were used to kill primates for food.Similar tools have been used in Africa and Europe. But in these places, they were used exclusively to kill large- or medium-size animals in savannas and woodlands, but never monkeys, according to the paper.These environments were once thought to pose significant barriers to human foragers, impeding their movement and thermoregulation. Also, these locations had few carbohydrate-rich plants and fat- and protein-rich animals.Ancient yet crystal clear: Refined microlithic tools of white quartz unearthed from Fa-Hien Lena Cave. Image courtesy of Oshan Wedage et al.A quartz toolkit for huntingFa-Hien Lena Cave in western Sri Lanka is the island’s largest cave and among Asia’s largest rock formations. From the depths of this cave, which is surrounded by tropical evergreen rainforest, evidence has now emerged showing the wide use of different ecosystems by humans, indicating how their adaptability helped populations spread.The new research builds on an earlier multidisciplinary analysis of the Fa Hien Lena Cave and offers the first detailed analysis of lithic technology from the cave site based on excavations conducted in 2009, 2010 and 2012.The paper identifies lithic technology — the production of usable tools using various types of stones — within as an indicator of a successful, stable technological adaptation to the tropics and highlights how these microliths were an important part of what allowed Homo sapiens to colonize a diversity of ecological settings during its expansion within and beyond Africa.In the past 10 years, increasing archaeological as well as pre-historic evidence had shown the use of tropical rainforest resources by Homo sapiens at several locations in South Asia and Southeast Asia tens of thousands of years ago.Several of the quartz tools discovered from the excavations conducted at the Fa-Hien Lena Cave in Sri Lanka. Image courtesy of Oshan Wedage et al.Human adaptationBut archaeological evidence of regular exploitation of tropical rainforests indicates the role played by environment in human adaptation.Preliminary studies of collections of lithic tools within the cave totaled 9,216 artefacts, many of which were made from quartz from river pebbles.Sri Lanka has also emerged as a particularly important area in which unique prehistoric hunter-gatherer adaptations and technological strategies used in tropical rainforest ecosystems developed.The earliest human fossils of South Asia were found in Sri Lanka’s caves and rock shelters dating from 45,000-36,000 years, with archaeological analyses of ancient plants and animals showing the reliance on rainforest resources for their survival, between 36,000-3,000 years.“What is less clear, however, is the range of technological strategies that these populations used to enable their dedicated rainforest subsistence practices, and how adaptations may have varied through time,” the authors write.Citation:Wedage, O., Picin, A., Blinkhorn, J., Douka, K., Deraniyagala, S., Kourampas, N., … Roberts, P. (2019). Microliths in the South Asian rainforest ~45-4 ka: New insights from Fa-Hien Lena Cave, Sri Lanka. PLOS ONE, 14(10), e0222606. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0222606Banner image of the ancient Fa Hien Lena Cave surrounded by a lush patch of rainforest in western Sri Lanka, courtesy of Max Planck Institute, Germany. 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 dilrukshilast_img read more

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Youngsters impress at JGA Junior Series finale

first_imgThe fifth and final game of the 2016-17 Jamaica Golf Association Juniors Series climaxed with much excitement, where 17 of the island’s top juniors stamped their class on the competition, taking top prizes at the Caymanas Golf Club, in St Catherine on Saturday. Last Saturday’s curtain-closer of the national junior series also signalled new and upcoming young talents in the classes of Beginners, Intermediate, Semi-Advanced, Red Tees, White Tees and Blue Tees. The youngsters were awarded 100 points for each match won in the series, 90 for second, while third place got 85, and participants earned 50 points for competing. After the five games, a confident Adrian Barnes emerged as the overall winner in the Beginners Class with a score of 365 points, while Cillian Hall (340 points) and Kemari Morris (325) were second and third, respectively. IN PHOTO: Bjorne Dennis takes a practice swing before teeing off The Intermediate Class went to the consistent Lek Drummond, who scored 490 points, to finish ahead of second placed Mattea Issa (445) and Samantha Azan (440) who took home a third-place finish. EXCITING PLAY-OFF In Semi Advanced, Brady Holmes showed his abilities in finishing with a score of 430 points – 40 more than second placed Sebastian Azan, who cleverly nudged Bjorne Dennis into third place in an exciting play-off after he too tallied 390 points. The Red Tees was highlighted by the brilliance of Tristan Brown. Brown won all five games with maximum 500 points, while Rocco Lopez finished a close second with 450. Emily Mayne was third with 385 points. SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE: http://bit.do/JuniorGolfers The White Tees category was won by Tajay Loban with 345 points. Luke Chin copped second with a score of 275, and Elric Li scored 150 for third. The Blue Tees competition went to standout Justin Burrows, who scored 365 points, while Navarra Nelson copped the runner-up spot with 200 points. Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) president Peter Chin praised the junior golf programme for how well it is doing locally, while noting Jamaica could very soon have a championship team in the juniors in the Caribbean. “You are going to lead that charge,” Chin told the youngsters. Game number five class winners Beginners: Cillian Hall 46 Adrian Barnes 47 Kemari Morris 48 Intermediate: Lek Drummond 39 Mattea Issa 39 Samantha Azan 44 Semi-Advanced: Sebastian Azan 86 Trey Williams 88 Bjorne Dennis 99 Red Tees: Tristan Brown 77 Rocco Lopez 81 Emily Mayne 94 White Tees: Luke Chin 77 Kei Harris 81 Tajay Loban 87 Blue Tees: Justin Burrows 85 Navarra Nelson 117last_img read more

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Baron, Dy save the day for La Salle vs FEU

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award And that fifth set was when Dy and Baron switched from Lady Spikers to superheroes and led La Salle to a 25-17, 21-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-5 victory.The Lady Spikers scored 10 of their own in the fifth, five came off FEU’s errors, and seven of those were the handiwork of the partnership between Dy and Baron.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“The mindset we had coming into the fifth was that we had to strike first,” said Dy in Filipino Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre. “FEU is a very aggressive team and if they can close the gap it would be difficult for us.”“So the game plan was to really attack first,” added Dy. Both Dy and Baron finished with 18 points and it was in the fifth set that their scoring proved to be of optimal effectiveness.Dy had four points in the fifth while Baron had three.“Us veterans took the responsibility that we will play harder than anyone else in the fifth set,” said Baron in Filipino. “We had to show our character in the fifth set, and we also saw our teammates’ efforts and we really played with teamwork.”ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLike a couple of caped heroines, Kianna Dy and Mary Joy heeded the De La Salle’s pleas of desperation.The Lady Spikers scrapped it out against Far Eastern University in the first four sets of their second round matchup in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament, and needed one more set to finish of the Lady Tamaraws.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims View comments MOST READ In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown UAAP football: UP advances to Final Four, downs NU Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikinalast_img read more

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Agricola community outreach tackles youth unemployment, health services

first_imgThe newly-formed Agricola Development Association has already embarked on a thriving path, as it recently organised and hosted its first community outreach in the Greater Georgetown village.President of Agricola Development Association, Timothy BlairSome of the agencies which provided support and made the outreach a reality include the Ministry of the Presidency; the Culture, Youth and Sport Department; the Public Health Ministry and several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).During the outreach held last weekend, a number of youths in the community were made aware of job opportunities as they were given the chance to interact with agencies such as Gafoors; Courts; the Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC) and the Guyana Prison Service among others on possible future related careers.Meanwhile, free health services were offered at the Agricola Health Centre conducted by the Guyana Cancer Foundation, whose team provided free clinical breast examinations, glucose testing, blood pressure testing, and education on cervical cancer.The Agricola Development Association was recently established to make Agricola sustainable for the youths and to educate and engage villagers about plans to develop the community.At the outreach, Association President Timothy Blair underscored that youths within the community should be sensitised on available opportunities in order to take advantage of them.“We want our young people in the community to be sensitised on the opportunities that are available. [This outreach] offers educational opportunities for the youths that might be interested in learning a skill, but don’t know how to access these services, and those who are looking to have jobs,” Blair stated.Apart from these opportunities, residents of the community participated in a clean-up campaign coordinated by the Association. Blair noted, “This is a community thing and we want people in the community to recognise and understand that it is their role to participate in changing the face of this community.”last_img read more

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