Indonesia agrees to attempt Sumatran rhino IVF with eggs from Malaysia

first_imgConservationists have welcomed a long-awaited agreement by Indonesia and Malaysia to move ahead with assisted reproductive technology for the captive breeding of the nearly extinct Sumatran rhino.Indonesia has long balked at sending rhino sperm to Malaysia for use in artificial insemination, but has now agreed to accept eggs from Malaysia to carry out in vitro fertilization.If successful, the program would give the species a much-needed boost in genetic diversity.Scientists in Germany last year used IVF to successfully produced embryos — though not a baby — of white rhinos, an African species. JAKARTA — The governments of Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to carry out in vitro fertilization of Sumatran rhinos, heralding a breakthrough in a decades-long effort to breed the nearly extinct species in captivity.The procedure will take place in Indonesia, which has long balked at requests to send sperm to Malaysia for artificial insemination efforts there.Conservationists in both countries and abroad had been pushing for some kind of assisted reproductive technology for the species, whether through artificial insemination (introducing sperm taken from a male rhino into a female) or IVF, in which an egg extracted from a female is fertilized in a lab and implanted in a surrogate female.Indonesia is home to an estimated 30 to 80 Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), at most, while Malaysia now has just one — a female — after its last male died in May. Under the newly announced plan, researchers hope to use sperm from one of Indonesia’s captive male rhinos to fertilize eggs sent from the lone female of the species in Malaysia.“Originally the plan was to bring sperm [of the rhinos in Indonesia] there [to Malaysia], but after discussions and negotiations, it’s eventually decided to bring the eggs here [to Indonesia],” Indra Exploitasia, the director of biodiversity conservation at Indonesia’s environment ministry, told reporters in Jakarta on July 31.“We have actually agreed on this at lower levels,” she said, adding that both Indonesian and Malaysian governments were completing the administrative process. These include requirements under the Nagoya Protocol, which governs the international sharing of genetic material.Zulfi Arsan, head veterinarian at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, hand feeds Andalas, the first Sumatran rhino bred and born in captivity in over a century. Image by Jeremy Hance/Mongabay.Indra said the IVF procedure would be performed by Indonesian experts, with funding from the Indonesian government.“We would pick the best sperm from all of the male rhinos we have here,” she said, referring to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.Should the procedure prove successful, resulting in a viable embryo, Indra said it would be implanted in the uterus of a surrogate mother from one of the captive female rhinos in Indonesia. Indra said Indonesia and Malaysia had not yet agreed on ownership of any offspring resulting from the IVF program.Despite this last sticking point, conservationists from both countries have welcomed the advance in this long-awaited collaboration, noting that producing a viable Sumatran rhino embryo through IVF would add much-needed diversity to the captive population.Four of the seven rhinos at the Indonesian SRS, including all of the males, are closely related. Iman, the Malaysian female, comes from a population in Borneo that was once considered a separate subspecies, and which has been genetically separated from the Sumatran populations for thousands of years.The journey toward collaboration between the two countries has been a fraught one, with Indonesia for years reluctant to heed Malaysian requests for a transfer of sperm to attempt artificial insemination in Malaysia. Last October, Indonesia’s conservation chief, Wiratno, said the IVF program had been postponed because Iman, who was being treated for a uterine tumor, had ceased to produce viable eggs.Officials from the Sabah Wildlife Department, in Malaysian Borneo, reported last December that Iman had suffered a ruptured tumor in her uterus, leading to massive bleeding. Since then, however, an intensive regimen of medical treatment and feeding has raised hopes about her prospects for recovery.The team caring for Iman, believed to still be fertile, says the rhino is recovering and produces viable oocytes with assistance.John Payne, the head of the Borne Rhino Alliance, said that collecting eggs from Iman would be very challenging and would require a highly skilled and coordinated team of veterinarians and anesthetists.“This is not a time for training or capacity building. It is a time to get on the best experts,” he told Mongabay in an email.Iman is the last Sumatran rhino left in Malaysia. A tumor in her uterus ruptured in 2017, and while scientists don’t believe she can carry a baby to term, they’re confident her eggs can still be used for in vitro fertilization. Image courtesy of the Sabah Wildlife Department.He said the rhino would be put under general anesthesia, which entailed some degree of risk, particularly inadvertent puncturing of a blood vessel if the animal moved slightly but suddenly during the egg extraction process.“This is even more dangerous in a rhino with large fibroids in the uterus, like Iman,” he said. “Great skill and rapid performance are both of the essence.”After the successful collection, Payne said the eggs had to be taken in a buffer solution, kept at the rhino’s body temperature, to where the IVF would be conducted.“Essentially, the quicker this is done the better, within a 24 hour time frame,” he said. “However, if the eggs are found to be still immature, they will need to be kept in a specialist laboratory for maturation, which could take up to a few days.”Payne suggested the collection be carried out by Thomas Hildebrandt, a professor from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, who has successfully extracted eggs from Iman since 2014. He added that Zainal Zahari Zainuddin, Iman’s Malaysian veterinarian, should also be involved in the process.For the IVF, Payne suggested Arief Boediono, an Indonesian professor who is an expert in the practice.Widodo Ramono, the executive director of the Indonesian Rhino Foundation (YABI), said his team was ready to help with getting the sperm needed to fertilize the collected eggs. “This would be an opportunity for our experts to perform IVF,” he said.Payne said his pick for the best sperm donor would be Andalas, a male at the SRS who was born in a captive-breeding program at Cincinnati Zoo in 2001 and has since sired two calves.“[H]e is a proven father, and the spontaneous method should ideally be used” to collect the specimen, Payne said.Widodo said the experts needed to ensure the availability of a healthy surrogate rhino mother before performing the IVF. “Right now, there’s only one: Ratu, who is currently going under a natural breeding program,” he said noting that experts hoped she would achieve more natural pregnancies. (Ratu is the mother of the two calves conceived naturally with Andalas.)“If there is an embryo [resulting from the IVF], it should be kept until a surrogate mother is available,” Widodo said, suggesting that Ratu, a proven natural breeder, should be kept in that role.There’s a growing urgency to step up the captive-breeding program for the critically endangered species. With such a small population to draw from in Indonesia, the risk of genetic defects being passed on through captive breeding are high — which makes the need for the Indonesia-Malaysia collaboration all the more important.Scientists in Germany reported success in producing embryos — but not yet a baby — of an African species, the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), through IVF. Before this, this form of assisted reproductive technology remained unproven in rhinos, and some experts were skeptical it could be perfected in time to stall the extinction of a species.Earlier this year, a 7-year-old greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) gave birth following a combination of induced ovulation and artificial insemination.“This is the very first attempt at IVF using eggs from an aging and sick female with the sperm of an aging and fit male,” Payne said. “The chances of getting offspring at the first attempt is close to zero. What we are seeing here is the beginning of a process of refining techniques and protocols with a goal of success after several attempts.”Ratu, right, with her daughter, Delilah. Ratu and Andalas are parents to Andatu, a male born in 2012, and Delilah, a female born in 2016. Image by Jeremy Hance/Mongabay.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. Animals, Biodiversity, Captive Breeding, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Environment, Ex-situ Conservation, Extinction, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Megafauna, Rainforest Animals, Rhinos, Saving Species From Extinction, Sumatran Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Basten Gokkoncenter_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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New app tracks down forest fires in Bolivia

first_imgAmazon, Conservation, Conservation Technology, Deforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Logging, Rainforests, Research, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Saving Rainforests, Technology, Technology And Conservation, technology development, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Tropical Forests, wildfires, Wildtech Article published by John Cannon A new app uses aerosol data and recent satellite images to find fires in the forests of Bolivia in real time.The application’s creators, from the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, say the novel use of the aerosol data, originally intended to monitor air quality, represents a significant advance over traditional, temperature-related alerts.According to the NGO Friends of Nature Foundation, more than 41,000 square kilometers (15,800 square miles) of Bolivia has burned in 2019. A new app aimed at tracking forest fires in Bolivia could shake up the way authorities and firefighters battle fires, allowing them to pinpoint their locations more accurately and safely.Called “Amazon Fires — Bolivia,” the application pulls in data on the pollutant particles that get trapped in the air above a fire from a sensor on the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5 satellite. By combining that “aerosol” data with recent satellite images using Google Earth Engine, app users can plot out the locations of fires in “near real time.” Researchers from the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, or MAAP, which is run by the Amazon Conservation Association, created the app and published a description on Sept. 25.A recent fire in the dry forests of the Bolivian Amazon. Image courtesy of MAAP with data from Planet.Typically, authorities use differences in temperatures measured by satellites to locate fires. But ecologist Matt Finer, director of MAAP and one of the app’s developers, said this method often entails filtering through “a thousand red dots” with a lot of noise that may or may not indicate a fire that’s currently active.“At the same time, we discovered this new tool that’s just blowing our minds, which is this new [aerosol] data from the European Space Agency,” Finer said.The Sentinel-5 satellite’s Tropomi sensor uses the behavior of ultraviolet light in the atmosphere to detect the emissions of pollutants from fires, volcanic eruptions and swirling dust, helping scientists forecast possible public health problems related to air quality.But this new application has the potential to help firefighters react much more quickly — which is critical when natural forests are burning, Finer said.Fires burning near the border of Bolivia and Paraguay. Image courtesy of MAAP with data from Planet.More than 41,000 square kilometers (15,800 square miles) of land have burned in Bolivia in 2019, according to the NGO Friends of Nature Foundation. Thousands of hectares of standing dry forest in Bolivia’s Chiquitanía and Chaco regions have gone up in smoke this year, Finer said. (In contrast, Finer and his colleagues demonstrated that many of the fires that have thrust the Brazilian Amazon into the news recently have occurred taken place on previously deforested land.)In Bolivia, “There arose this need to get information to firefighters and government officials of where the active fires are,” he said, “because you do have these scenarios of fires raging through natural ecosystems.”The app allows users to drag a virtual curtain of the aerosol data over recent satellite imagery. A color gradient from the lowest (black) to the highest (red) aerosol levels indicates the intensity of the emissions in a particular area.Lucio Villa of the NGO Conservación Amazónica in Peru, who led the app’s design, said they used the traditional fire alerts to test how well the aerosol data allowed them to zero in on the largest and most persistent fires. They found that the aerosol data allows more accurate, real-time monitoring. What’s more, clouds don’t interfere with the calculations behind the UV aerosol index.A soy plantation abuts forest in the Bolivian Chaco. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.“You can see in an instant that there are major fires,” Finer said, calling the application a “major advance.”Marcos Terán, executive director of Conservación Amazónica, said he had shared this new tool with park managers in Bolivia.“They are noticing the importance of this kind of tool to try to move the park rangers and the other stakeholders in the area to fight the fire in an effective way,” Terán told Mongabay, both to save forests and the people in charge of protecting them.“The firefighters are really heroes in this case,” Terán said, “and we try to support with some tools … to improve the safety.”Banner image of the Chaco in Bolivia by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitation:Villa L. & Finer M. (2019). Fires in the Bolivian Amazon — Using Google Earth Engine to Monitor. MAAP: 111.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Nearly extinct vaquita mothers with calves spotted in recent expeditions

first_imgAnimals, China wildlife trade, China’s Demand For Resources, Conservation, Crime, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Crime, Fish, Fishing, Gillnets, Green, Illegal Fishing, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Mammals, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Overexploitation, Overfishing, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Medicine, Wildlife Crime In 1997, surveys estimated that there were some 560 vaquitas in the northern part of the Gulf of California, the only place they’re known to occur. Their numbers more than halved in a decade, and by 2015 it was estimated there were fewer than 60 individuals left.The catastrophic decrease in vaquita numbers is linked to the decline of yet another critically endangered fish called the totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi). Dried totoaba swim bladders, also called maws and dubbed “aquatic cocaine,” are highly sought after for their purported medicinal value in Asia. These maws fetch high prices in mainland China and Hong Kong, and can earn up to $47,000 in local black markets, according to the investigative NGO Elephant Action League (EAL).Commercial totoaba fishery was banned in Mexico in 1975, but illegal fishing using gillnets continues. Vaquita are collateral damage in this illegal trade, getting entangled and drowning in gillnets laid out for totoabas as well as other fish and shrimps that are sold in Mexico and the U.S.To protect the vaquita, the Mexican government established a vaquita refuge in the core part of vaquita range in the northern Gulf of California and banned gillnets in the refuge starting in 2015. But the ban isn’t being strictly enforced, researchers say.“There are laws on the books, but there’s no serious protection,” Robert Pitman, a retired marine biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the San Diego Union Tribune.The gillnet ban has, however, affected local fishermen who used the fishing gear to catch other species. They were supposed to receive compensation from the Mexican government, but the payments reportedly stopped by early 2019, Mongabay reported last month.As a result law-abiding fishers are frustrated, since those who flout the rules continue to profit from gillnet fishing, Carlos Tirado, the leader of a regional group of fishing cooperatives, said in a statement in October 2019.“We are between a rock and a hard place: between organized crime and the problems derived from illegal activities in the area, and pressure towards the commercial fishing sector by the government,” Tirado said. “Those most affected are our fishing organizations that stick to the rules. Those who most benefit are the illegal fishers.”A vaquita swims in the Gulf of California. Image by Paula Olson/NOAA via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain). Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored The latest expeditions in the Gulf of California, Mexico, to survey the vaquita, the world’s smallest cetacean, have yielded sightings of both vaquita mothers and calves. This, researchers say, indicates that the mammals are still reproducing despite threats.In a survey carried out between August and September, researchers spotted what they say were likely six distinct individual vaquitas.During a subsequent expedition in October, researchers say they spotted vaquitas several times, including six different vaquitas in two groups, and three pairs of mothers and calves.This news is hopeful, but the mammal’s future is still perilous due to the continued use of illegal fishing nets in its habitat, experts say. There may be a glimmer of hope for the extremely rare vaquita porpoise, the world’s smallest cetacean, a group that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. The vaquita is also the most threatened marine mammal in the world, nearly extinct because of entanglement in fishing nets.The latest expeditions to survey the mammal in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico, have yielded sightings of both vaquita mothers and calves. This, researchers say, indicates that the small porpoises are still reproducing despite threats.“So the good news is they are producing calves,” Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, who leads marine mammal research at Mexico’s National Commission on Protected Areas (CONANP), told the San Diego Union Tribune. “And we have the survivors who have been able to survive all these years, and it’s important to protect them, because the survival of vaquita depends on these individuals we have now.”During the summer of 2018, fewer than 19 vaquitas (Phocoena sinus) were estimated to survive in the Gulf of California, according to a recent study. This year, in a survey carried out between August and September, researchers spotted what they say are likely six distinct individual vaquitas. During a subsequent expedition in October, researchers say that they spotted vaquitas several times, including six different vaquitas in two groups. They also sighted three pairs of mothers and calves, said Rojas-Bracho.In 2017 and 2018, too, the researchers had observed vaquita mothers and babies. In fact, they saw the same female with two separate calves in 2017 and 2018, suggesting that vaquitas may be capable of producing calves every year. Scientists previously thought that vaquitas give birth every other year.This news is hopeful, but the mammal’s future is still perilous due to the continued use of illegal fishing nets in its habitat, the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) said in a report published earlier this year. Article published by Shreya Dasguptalast_img read more

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Amazon primates face barriers in responding to climate change

first_imgClimate change will make the current ranges of most Amazon primates uninhabitable in the coming decades, forcing them to move.But primates face barriers to dispersal, such as rivers and deforestation, which can limit their ability to migrate.If species aren’t able to find new habitats, the populations, as well as the habitat they support, will suffer. New research shows that without healthy forest corridors that allow animals to find new habitat, primates native to the Amazon basin will suffer as the impacts of climate change worsen.Brazilian ecologists focused on 80 species of primates found only in the Amazon. They modeled the ability of these primates to move among habitats under different forest management conditions. Their results highlighted how important it is to preserve migration routes to ensure the survival of these species.“Even if we start taking actions now to mitigate, prevent or avoid climate change, species will still need to move,” said Lilian Sales, an ecologist at the University of Campinas in Brazil and lead author of the study, published recently in Ecography.Goeldi’s monkeys (Callimico goeldii) are among the primates that will lose a large amount of habitat without policy intervention. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe Amazon rainforest supports an astounding amount of biodiversity, and primates help maintain the species richness. By spreading the seeds of trees, primates facilitate the growth of forests that affect global processes like carbon storage and temperature regulation.For decades, deforestation for cattle ranches and soya plantations has threatened the Amazon. Now, the added pressures of climate change endangers the existence of several Amazon primates. “It’s a deadly mixture,” said Sales.A few of the species most at risk include Roosmalens’ dwarf marmosets (Callibella humilis), pied tamarins (Saguinus bicolor) and Maués marmosets (Mico mauesi).To understand how the ranges of these species might shift, Sales and her colleagues created a model combining several factors: the current IUCN ranges of 80 primate species; predictions of habitat shifts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the ability of each species to migrate; and two Amazon basin land-management scenarios.The team modeled four different dispersal scenarios. The first scenario assumed that primates could migrate freely without barriers. The second assumed that large rivers block certain species, especially smaller primates, from accessing new areas. The third and most realistic scenario combined the limitations of rivers with the barriers of deforestation. The fourth showed how the ranges of primates would grow or shrink if they were prevented from moving at all.Deforestation for soy plantations and cattle ranches endanger the habitats of Amazon primates and prevent their movement to new locations. Rivers further limit the ability of small primates to move. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerFor each of these projections, the researchers modeled two outcomes that depend heavily on conservation policy: a “mitigation” development plan, in which deforestation halts and protected areas grow; and a “business-as-usual” plan, in which current development trends continue.Without the ability to migrate, the current ranges of all 80 primate species shrank in both the mitigation and the business-as-usual models. When limited by both rivers and deforestation, the business-as-usual scenario led to decreased habitat ranges for 65 of the 80 species. In the mitigation scenario, the habitats of 47 species would still shrink.Not all species will necessarily suffer, however. A few, such as Bolivian red howler monkeys (Alouatta sara) and Peruvian night monkeys (Aotus miconax), might actually increase their current ranges if allowed to move. Sales said the finding surprised her, “but also gave me a feeling of hope that maybe not everything is lost.”A white-nosed saki (Chiropotes albinasus) in the Amazon rainforest canopy. Climate change will shrink the habitat of these endangered primates and deforestation may limit their ability to find new homes, a new study reports. Photo by João Paulo Krajewski.Rafael Reyna-Hurtado, an ecologist at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur in Campeche, Mexico, who was not involved in the research, called the study “a great contribution.” The team’s modeling makes assumptions, Reyna said, but he thinks it points to an important conservation lesson. “Many times we are concerned with the species and conserving the species,” he said, “but we also need to preserve their ability to disperse.”Most of the regions that primates will need to move through to reach suitable habitats are not protected. With deforestation rates accelerating and plans for wildlife corridors nearly nonexistent, the projected fates of Amazonian primates range from unclear to grim.Sales urged decision makers to take climate change and habitat loss into account when discussing how best to conserve these rainforest residents. “The main message of this paper,” she said, “is that we need to think of landscapes that allow species to move.”Citation:Sales, L. P., Ribeiro, B. R., Pires, M. M., Chapman, C. A., & Loyola, R. (2019). Recalculating route: dispersal constraints will drive the redistribution of Amazon primates in the Anthropocene. Ecography, 42(10), 1789-1801.Erin Malsbury (@erinmalsbury) is a graduate student in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Other Mongabay stories produced by UCSC students can be found at https://news.mongabay.com/list/ucsc/. 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 Rhett Butlercenter_img Animal Behavior, Animals, Biodiversity, Forest Fragmentation, Impact Of Climate Change, Mammals, Monkeys, Primates, Rainforests, UCSC, Wildlife last_img read more

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Malaysia to let RSPO publish oil palm concession maps

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Banner image: Deforestation for an oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysia. Activists have called on Indonesia to follow Malaysia’s footsteps in allowing RSPO to publish plantation maps if it doesn’t want to have the image of its oil palm products further tarnished compared to Malaysia. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay. Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that RSPO has made maps of its members in Indonesia available on GeoRSPO, but Greenpeace calls for the publication of a complete set of the maps that’s downloadable. The Malaysian government has decided to allow the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to publish concession maps for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak of its members in a bid to boost transparency in the sector.The RSPO has described the move as a “milestone” and it could leave neighboring Indonesia — currently the world’s largest palm oil producer and exporter — further behind in the pursuit of transparency in the palm oil sector.Activists have called on Indonesia to follow Malaysia’s footsteps if it doesn’t want to have the image of its oil palm products further tarnished compared to Malaysia. JAKARTA — The Malaysian government has decided to allow the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to publish maps of corporate land concessions for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, in a bid to boost transparency.The RSPO, which is the world’s largest association for ethical palm oil production, called the move a “milestone” that could leave top palm oil producer Indonesia further behind in the pursuit of transparency in the sector.The RSPO, a voluntary certification scheme whose members include producers, traders and buyers of the commodity, as well as NGOs, in about 90 countries, initially committed to publishing the maps in 2013.But concerns over the legality of doing so prevented the RSPO from doing so, the group has said.In Malaysia — the world’s second-largest palm oil producer — only the maps for Sabah state had been published in RSPO’s interactive map application, GeoRSPO.But now all oil palm concession boundaries of RSPO members in the country are publicly available through GeoRSPO after the roundtable received the legal go-ahead from the Malaysian government. The RSPO published the latest maps on Dec. 12.These maps display relevant data including active hotspots, tree cover loss, tree cover gain and more.“It is a great step forward for transparency and accountability,” said Darrel Webber, chief executive of the Kuala Lumpur-based RSPO. “We hope this move will bring greater objectivity to discussions on fires and other topics that have sometimes been attributed to the palm oil sector.”Denise Westerhout, a markets specialist at WWF, called the move “a true game-changer.” Andika Putraditama, sustainable commodities and business manager at think tank the World Resources Institute, said it “would go a long way to accelerate the transformation of the palm oil industry to be more sustainable.”Greenpeace forest campaigner Annisa Rahmawati, however, said the move was “too little, too late.”For one, she said, the data doesn’t include RSPO members’ third-party suppliers, which make up much of production.“It’s too little because the RSPO’s definition of group ownership is not sufficient and is poorly implemented,” Annisa said. “It’s too little because the data isn’t downloadable as shapefile or other geodata format permitting analysis. And it’s five years too late because the RSPO resolved to do this in 2013, setting a 2014 deadline for publication.”A palm oil plantation in Sabah, Malaysia. The Malaysian government has decided to allow the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to publish maps of corporate land concessions for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, in a bid to boost transparency. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Nationwide map publicationThe RSPO’s move could be followed by the publication of all plantation maps in Malaysia, not only those of RSPO members, as Malaysian Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok has pledged to make the maps available for public access.“The future or palm oil is through its sustainable production traced throughout its supply chain,” Kok said in November.The Malaysian government, through its own certification scheme, the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard, is targeting 100% traceability right to the plantation level nationwide by 2025.To meet the target, the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC), which manages the MSPO, recently launched an app for identifying the locations of oil palm plantations and palm oil processing facilities that have obtained sustainability certification in the country.“These efforts are crucial in convincing the international community that CPO produced in Malaysia is guaranteed in terms of sustainability and quality, especially to deny accusations that link palm oil to deforestation, exploitation of workers, violation of rights of Orang Asli and others,” MPOCC CEO Chew Jit Seng said.The app, called MSPO Trace, is akin to GeoRSPO.“The initiatives by MSPO Trace and GeoRSPO will assist the country in encouraging mapping transparency of palm oil area in the country to ensure the sustainability of the industry and the responsibility of all shareholders in the country’s palm oil industry,” Chew added.Palm oil plantations stretching out across Malaysian hills.Indonesia falling behindMalaysian’s move towards greater transparency is a stark contrast against the Indonesian government’s stance in the matter.Proponents of transparency have for years tried to obtain access to Indonesia’s plantation maps, locally known as HGUs.The prevailing lack of transparency, they argue, has fueled the problems associated with Indonesian palm oil, including deforestation, overlapping concessions, land grabbing, and labor rights abuses.Despite the Indonesian government’s repeated rhetoric on the importance of transparency, top officials have balked at making plantation data public, on the grounds that the information is proprietary and of strategic national interest.This continued refusal to publish the data goes against a ruling by Indonesia’s Supreme Court that detailed maps and related documents on plantation companies operating in the country must be made public.And in May, the government issued a letter to the nation’s powerful palm oil lobby advising its member companies not to share plantation data with other parties, including external consultants, NGOs and multilateral and foreign agencies.The Indonesian chapter of RSPO has criticized the government’s decision to keep the plantation maps out of the public’s reach, saying that it renders the policy to improve sustainability in the oil palm sector through a moratorium on new licenses ineffective.With no transparency, it’ll be impossible to measure the progress and the effectiveness of the moratorium, according to RSPO Indonesia country director Tiur Rumondang.Greenpeace Indonesia’s Annisa said even if the Indonesian government continued to refuse making its plantation maps publicly available, the RSPO should go ahead and publish a complete set of its members’ maps in Indonesia because of the Supreme Court ruling that oil palm plantation concession data is public information.RSPO said GeoRSPO website already includes Indonesian member concessions, but Annisa said the maps were incomplete as they didn’t cover all concessions that should be belong or defined as a group and third party suppliers.“Have all RSPO members and their suppliers, including third party ones, submitted their maps [to RSPO]?” she said. “Who haven’t submitted their maps? And is there any sanction for non compliance?”Annisa also pointed out that the maps on GeoRSPO weren’t downloadable in a format that could be analyzed by stakeholders.“The data is only accessible for visualization on-line right now and not downloadable as shapefile or other geodata format which permits the evaluation and analysis of the data by other stakeholders,” she said.Agung Ady Setiawan, a campaigner at Forest Watch Indonesia, which challenged the Indonesian government’s refusal to disclose the plantation maps and won at the Supreme Court, said Malaysia’s transparency pledge should serve as a wake-up call for Indonesia.“We are falling far behind,” he told Mongabay. “Our government should be courageous like Malaysia. We’ve always been defensive whenever there are allegations of deforestation and fires, but at the same time we hide our data. If we open our data to the public, people will be able to monitor [plantations] in real time if there are fires or deforestation.” 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. Certification, data, data collection, Deforestation, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forestry, Forests, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Rspo, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Transparency, Tropical Forests last_img read more

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Wise use and wetlands: Why we need to nurture nature (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Rainforests grab the headlines, but with 87% of wetlands lost globally, it is time to nurture these immensely productive and diverse ecosystems.Wetlands are some of the planet’s most productive ecosystems, supporting immense biodiversity. These relatively small areas are often home to hundreds, if not thousands, of individual plant, fish, bird, reptile, and mammal species. Wetland ecosystems also provide more social benefits, per unit area, than other ecosystems, including support for farming, recreation, culture, and urban flood control. And they play a vital role in climate change mitigation and adaptation.We lose wetlands three times faster than natural forests, but wise use of wetlands could help reverse this trend. The central idea behind wise use is that all the benefits wetlands provide must be considered and incorporated when people make decisions that affect them.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. In the past, wetlands — marshes, fens, peatlands, flooded forests, mangroves — were widely considered unproductive wastelands full of disease and danger. In a world where the human instinct was to try and tame, the only good wetland was a drained wetland.Today, however, we have evolved to understand that natural ecosystems are an essential component of sustainable societies and that biodiversity is critical for human well-being. We need to nurture nature, including wetlands, to survive and thrive.But even as this realization dawns, biodiversity is undergoing a dangerous decline, species extinction rates are accelerating, and wetlands are fast disappearing.Shrimp harvester showing freshly caught shrimp from a shrimp farming tank located in the Anawilundawa wetland. Photo by Shaoyu Liu / IWMI.The value of wetlandsWetlands are some of the planet’s most productive ecosystems, supporting immense biodiversity. These relatively small areas are often home to hundreds, if not thousands, of individual plant, fish, bird, reptile, and mammal species — a natural richness comparable to that of rainforests and coral reefs.But unlike burning rainforests, the decline of wetlands globally receives relatively little attention. This despite the fact that we lose wetlands three times faster than natural forests.Our lack of attention is a mistake because wetlands benefit people in a large number of ways. These benefits, so-called “ecosystem services,” are a direct function of biodiversity. They are essential to our survival and are of huge economic value. Water purification and waste treatment, flood control and storm protection, carbon storage and sequestration, fisheries, and recreational opportunities provided by wetlands are globally valued at $47 trillion annually.Man picking flowers in the Anawilundawa wetlands of Sri Lanka. Photo by Shaoyu Liu / IWMI.Wetlands are also important for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Mangroves and coastal wetlands sequester carbon, while peatlands are huge carbon stores that need to be preserved to prevent the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Overall, wetlands cover 6% of the Earth’s surface, but “lock in” significant amounts of carbon.Some wetlands regulate water flows, reducing flooding. Others may provide water during dry periods and droughts. Wetlands may also provide vital natural resources such as food and building materials in the aftermath of natural calamities when governments often struggle to support communities. Not all wetlands will provide all of these benefits, but they each provide their own unique set of opportunities to society and thus contribute to the resilience of communities, particularly in the face of climate change. Indeed, the services provided by wetlands are considered critical for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Nurturing natureDespite their immense value, we are losing wetlands at an alarming rate. Up to 87% of global wetlands have been lost since 1700, with the largest proportion lost during the 20th and early 21st centuries. Agriculture, urban and industrial development, introduction of invasive species, pollution, and over-exploitation all contribute to ongoing degradation of wetlands.Lake Elementaita, Kenya. Photo by Lisa-Maria Rebelo, IWMI.So what can be done to protect wetlands? There is no single solution, but the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, provides guidance on the wise use of wetlands. “Wise use” was a highly progressive term when coined by the Convention’s founders in 1973, long before sustainable development was mainstream, and it continues to be useful today.The central idea behind wise use is that all the benefits wetlands provide must be considered and incorporated when people make decisions that affect them.Examples of ways to facilitate wise use of wetlands include when the city of Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, recognized that wetlands help prevent flooding and therefore prioritized the protection of these urban spaces for flood defense and other benefits. India provides another example, with the development of guidelines on the preservation of wetlands to protect the role they play in the provision of food, fish, and other goods to many poor communities. In East Africa, researchers have worked with communities to develop approaches to help sustainably manage wetlands in a way that improves food security and enhances livelihoods, a step on the way towards wise use.Still, despite all the efforts of the Ramsar Convention and other initiatives, wetland losses continue apace. This continuous loss is an under-appreciated risk to people’s well-being, flourishing societies and, ultimately, human survival.A new relationship with natureOur relationship with nature is complex and evolving. Past perceptions of nature largely as a threat are understandable, but now we realize that we damage nature and degrade wetlands at our peril.On this World Wetlands Day 2020, we call on fellow scientists, policy makers, and agents of change to increase awareness on the importance of wetlands and to help find ways to motivate wise use. The imperative now is to nurture, not battle, nature. Protecting wetlands is vital for the rich biodiversity they support and for our own survival.Women washing clothes with lake water. Photo by Shaoyu Liu / IWMI.CITATIONS• Carrie, R., & Dixon, A. (2015, April). The ‘Functional Landscape Approach’: Building a socio-ecological evidence base for its contribution to adaptation and resilience in wetland catchments. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 17).• Mitsch, W. J., Bernal, B., Nahlik, A. M., Mander, Ü., Zhang, L., Anderson, C. J., … & Brix, H. (2013). Wetlands, carbon, and climate change. Landscape Ecology, 28(4), 583-597. doi:10.1007/s10980-012-9758-8Matthew McCartney is the Research Group Leader for Sustainable Infrastructure and Ecosystems and Chris Dickens is principal water scientist at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), working with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Environment, Freshwater Ecosystems, Mangroves, Peatlands, Researcher Perspective Series, Wetlands last_img read more

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In Fizdale, Knicks get coach LeBron likes and players praise

first_imgMOST READ Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Curry ‘off the leash’ in leading Warriors past Pelicans Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident “I can’t really speak on free agency,” Fizdale said. “I just know that if we build this thing right together with the guys we have here, who I’m focused on here, people will want to come.”Fizdale wanted to come, despite how quickly coaches get eaten up in New York.Perry and team president Steve Mills interviewed 10 other candidates during their search, and also spoke with players and executives from around the league to gain information about the men they were considering as the replacement for Jeff Hornacek.One of them was Pat Riley, Fizdale’s boss in Miami when the Heat won two NBA titles while he was an assistant to Erik Spoelstra. Riley had kept in contact with Fizdale after he was fired early last season in Memphis after clashing with star center Marc Gasol.“No one was more happy when he got the news … to see one of his guys be here, coming back and doing this and taking this challenge,” Fizdale said. “I’m sure right now he’s pretty proud.”Even the failure with Gasol after the Grizzlies had gone to the playoffs in Fizdale’s first season impressed the Knicks during their discussions. Fizdale didn’t hide from his share of the responsibility, acknowledging that maybe he pushed too hard on a team whose window to contend for a title he believed was shrinking.“When someone owns an issue like that, we all hit adversity, but it’s how you deal with it and how you learn from it,” Mills said, “and that’s one of the things that really impressed us about David.”Fizdale had spent eight seasons before going to Memphis in Miami, where the Heat reached four straight NBA Finals. Fizdale said his relationship with their stars developed by spending time with them, talking honestly about important things like family matters, and of course by winning championships.The last one will be difficult in New York.He is the 11th Knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in the 2001-02 season. Fizdale said he couldn’t pass up the chance to coach at Madison Square Garden, even though he was a candidate for jobs where there is more stability. Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’center_img And while Knicks fans can dream of Fizdale’s relationship with James giving them a shot when the superstar enters free agency as expected, a team building from the bottom can’t focus on one player — even the best one in the game.New York needed a coach that can bring out the best in everyone on the roster, and that’s what the Knicks believe they have in Fizdale.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe Knicks agreed to a deal with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week and introduced him Tuesday at a news conference at Madison Square Garden.“I think the big thing that we found — and that’s obviously terrific that some of the game’s greats recognized David for who he is as a man and as a coach — but the players that are not that, just the guys 1 through 15, the reviews coming back on him were all very consistently similar,” general manager Scott Perry said. Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames “The risk/reward thing was, I just said to hell with it,” Fizdale said. “It’s the Knicks, what are we talking about here?”Mills said management will help Fizdale navigate the turbulence, joking that he’s seen not only brush fires but forest fires around the organization. Fizdale isn’t concerned, either by that or the expectations that still surround a team because of the success it had long ago.“I think you’ve either got to go after it or you’re afraid, and I’ve never been afraid,” Fizdale said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “That he invested in us, that he’s going to develop you, he’s going to challenge you, he’s going to hold you accountable. And so I think that’s the important thing, that David has shown the ability to relate to a number of players across the board, not just the star players.”Still, Fizdale’s relationship with James gives New Yorkers a slither of hope.Though that hope is based more in fantasy than reality.While James could become a free agent this summer, the Knicks would be unlikely to afford him and even less likely to impress him, given the long climb they face to contention. They have missed the playoffs five straight seasons and will be without All-Star Kristaps Porzingis when the Fizdale era begins as he recovers from a torn left knee ligament.Fizdale said he is only focused for now on who will be playing for him.ADVERTISEMENT New York Knicks NBA basketball team new head coach David Fizdale speaks during an introductory news conference, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in New York. The Knicks announced the hiring Monday after agreeing to terms with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)NEW YORK — The more Knicks management asked about David Fizdale, the more they heard how much players respect him.It can’t hurt that one of them is LeBron James.ADVERTISEMENT P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMClast_img read more

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Liberian ICT professionals Develop Local Software to Help Fight Ebola: Introducing the I-RAMP Software…

first_imgOver the years, there has been a recurring discourse about the lack of capacity in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector of Liberia, especially in software development. This discourse and what appears to be the prevailingperception have led many, even the Government, to contractforeign skills/consultants to perform needed ICT services or outsource ICT projects,which could otherwise be done in Liberia.The “prevailing perception”hitherto this article, hashelped hinderlocal software development initiatives, thus strangulating much needed progress in the sector.Despite this perception and the many challenges that “plague” the ICT sector, Liberian ICT professionals have not been deterred. In fact, both the perception and the challenges have kindled an influx of ICT professionals from abroad and motivated many of those who are considered locals or locally-based, to be even more motivated. What the advent/influx of Liberian ICT “brain gain” and motivation of the “locals” have done is ignite a new level of enthusiasm that has enabled the rewriting of Liberian ICT culture, removing dependence (consumers) on foreign-made software to becoming producers and consumers (Prosumers) of their own software. And this “PROSUMER-driven”mentality has ignited a new wave of innovation.  A product of this “new wave of innovation” is the newly developedEbola response application, the work of a consortium local ICT firms. In this article, I introduce and explain to you the Incident Response And Management Program or I-RAMP, a locally developed application.The I-RAMP applicationis proof that Liberia indeed has the capacity to develop innovative software solutions, and that, that “capacity” had been here but ignored for reasons beyond my comprehension. I-RAMP is designed and developed by the Liberia IT Consortium (LitC). The software integrates computer, web and mobile technologies making it a tool that can be used anywhere, anytime, by anyone, and from any place that has internet connectivity and a web browser. The software allows the public to report Ebola-related cases and allows incident responders to collect and efficiently handle data for information gathering and subsequent dissemination to the public, decision makers and other stakeholders. It has the capability to provide all necessary information for crisis responders to respond more effectively using tools to facilitate Ebola or future crises.I-RAMP is a Web-based application that provides a multitude of features and functionalities making it not only a robust application but a much needed solution at a time the country continues to experience challenges in the fight against Ebola. The application is developed in a way that the business functionality and design requirements are influenced by crisis responders and the existing situation.What’s more, I-RAMP was developed using OPEN SOURCE programming languages (PHP, MySQL, etc) and it can easily be integrated into other systems and platforms(works with all browsers). Below are screen shots of I-RAMP’s dashboard and a graphical overview of the software.Local software production and development can spur economic growth in Liberia and other developing countries. This has even been confirmed at UN Conferences on Trade and Development as well as in reports from those conferences. A vibrant software development industry can create jobs and other opportunities for Liberians. Currently, software and services are dominated by the developed world but developing economies are catching up as well. In Liberia, our dependence on imported and proprietary software has stymied innovation and forced us become a repository of pirated software. Worst of all, lack of support for local software developmenthas caused aspiring local software developers to lose motivation while others are simplytoo lazy to learn how to develop software. But I am confident that the development of I-RAMP will lead to a software ecosystem and ultimately to a vibrant software industry that will kindle a new form of youth employment.For such an industry to exist and thrive, the Government of Liberia (GoL), a significant buyer of software will need to provide support. The GoL can help promote local software development by ensuring that at least 50 percent of GoL software and ICT projects procurement are sourced from local software developers and other solutions providers. GoL also needs to launchgrant programs to support the development of local digital content. A grant that provides seed funding for companies entering new media and ICT; that supports internet and mobile phone product and service delivery; should be offered by the GoL. Applicants for these grants should be Liberia citizens over eighteen or Liberian-registered companies/organizations.Other ways GoL could support this initiative is to sponsor software competitions which will enhance innovation and creativity. In addition, GoL should identify ways to encourage software multinational firms like Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, and Oracle, to offer special incentives such as free development tools, training, certification and marketing support to local software developers. Moreover, a robust and full integration of Open Source Software should be seriously considered by the GoL since it (Open Source Software) allows innovation and competition.The private sector and academia also have roles to play in supporting and ensuring that a vibrant software development industry exists. Providing funding for research, investing in startups or innovative ideas and solutions, are roles the private sector can play. Academia must ensure that quality education is provided and the environment for research is made available. This is WHY I continue to advocate the integration of OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE in academia. With open source software source code made available, students can learn to develop new and innovative solutions.While we continue to make progress in the ICT sector, there are still barriers that may stagnate if not strangulate the achievement of a vibrant software industry. Some of them include: software piracy (inadequate protection of intellectual propertyrights), no access to venture capital and poor ICT infrastructure. The entertainment­–­especially the music industry- can bear me out on this one. They have been victims of “piracy” for quite some time and so far, this problem still persists. We look forward to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Justice to be vehement in instituting and implementing measures to protect Intellectual Property (IP).Finally, the debate that Liberians lack the capacity to develop their own systems and software has been put to rest. I-RAMP is here and plans to be here for good! No more should or must Liberians rely on international consultants or outsource software or other ICT projects when the local capacity exists. This local capacity consists of both internationally trained professionals with extensive background and experience in ICTs as well as locally trained and motivated ICT professionals. To ensure this capacity remains, support must be provided by all stakeholders.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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5 Arrested with over L$100,000 Narcotic Drugs

first_imgThe Grand Bassa County Detachment of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has arrested five persons for allegedly possessing illegal substances with a street value of L$100,000.The County DEA Commander, Major Joseph Tageddine, made the disclosure last Wednesday during an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer at his Buchanan office.Maj. Tageddine explained that the suspects were arrested between August and October 3 from various localities in the county, and were in possession of huge quantities of prohibited substances. He disclosed that the dangerous substances included dozens of kilograms of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and Thai white, among others.During the DEA’s preliminary interrogations, the suspects admitted to their involvement in the unlawful possession of the banned drugs.After conducting his investigations, the DEA delivered the individuals to the Buchanan Magisterial Court for prosecution.When contacted, Senior Stipendiary Magistrate Richard Brown acknowledged receipt of the illegal drugs from the DEA.“I have detained the suspects at the upper Buchanan Central prison pending court trial shortly,” he said. Those sent to court are Amos Diggs, 28, Nyonduyu Doegar, 30, Muirphy Chadyu, 38, Mark Verdier, 29, and Elvis Vorjlah, 33.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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AFC set to host ‘FIT & PROPPA’ Candidates Conference today

first_imgThe youngest slate in Local Government Elections (LGE) will be on full display today when hundreds of candidates will invade the Centre For Change as the Alliance For Change (AFC) hosts its LGE Candidates Conference at its headquarters at Railway Embankment, Kitty, Georgetown.The Candidates Conference will see AFC constituency candidates for the upcoming November 12 Local Government polls travelling from as far as Bartica, Corentyne, Kwakwani, Leguan and Linden to attend the conference.According to a statement from the party on Friday, candidates from Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are expected to be in attendance. The party said it will be hosting similar events in other regions on upcoming dates.During the one-day Conference, candidates will be briefed on Local Government Election rules and procedures and will receive a charge by party elder, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.Furthermore, several candidates will also deliver presentations in addition to presentations by party Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan, Vice Chair Cathy Hughes and Campaign Director David Patterson.The event will also see the launch of campaign jingles and the LGE edition of ‘The Key’, the party’s newspaper.“This event is designed to both energise and educate our candidates. We look forward to the legendary AFC camaraderie and energy tomorrow as the candidates swarm in from all over the country,” party leader Raphael Trotman said.Meanwhile, AFC’s Campaign Director David Patterson said, “It has taken a considerable amount of planning and logistical work to put together this conference but all has gone smoothly and the final arrangements are being put in place for a successful event.”Following failed negotiations with its majority coalition partner, the AFC announced back in August it will be contesting the November 12 LGE separately from the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).The minority party in the coalition Government had said the decision was reached following the inconclusive negotiations with APNU but noted that the separation applies only for the 2018 Local Government polls and “does not, in any way, affect the APNU/AFC coalition Government, nor does it, in any way, change the AFC’s position on coalition politics at the national level. The AFC remains, and reaffirms that it is, committed to the APNU/AFC coalition.”On February 14 last, the APNU and AFC celebrated their three-year anniversary since signing the “lovers’ deal”. However, the AFC of recent has come under fire for the submissive role it has been playing since joining forces with the APNU. In fact, the top leadership of the AFC had decided back mid-November to revise its governing agreement with its majority coalition partner.The Cummingsburg Accord has a lifespan of a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years, and was focused primarily on the General and Regional Elections. To this end, the AFC had proposed as part of the nine points up for negotiation with its coalition partner that an agreement on LGE be crafted. In fact, the minority coalition partner detailed some of its positions for negotiation in the LGE Accord.The AFC’s National Executive Committee, after a May 1 meeting, had allowed additional time for the two coalition partners to have a definitive written agreement in the form of a Local Government Elections Accord but this was never done.last_img read more

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