June 2019 was the hottest on record: NOAA

first_imgJune 2019 was the hottest June recorded in the 140 years since the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began collecting global temperature data, the agency announced yesterday.On land, June’s global average surface temperature was 2.41 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average of 55.9°F, the highest June land temperature on record, beating the previous record set in 2015. At sea, average surface temperatures were 1.46 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century monthly average of 61.5 degrees Fahrenheit, tying June 2016 as the highest global average ocean temperature on record for June.2019 also saw the second-smallest Arctic sea ice extent for the month of June in the 41-year record, according to an analysis of NOAA and NASA data by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. For the fourth consecutive June, Antarctic sea ice extent was also lower than average, reaching a mark 425,000 square miles, or 8.5 percent, below the 1981-2010 average. June 2019 was the hottest June recorded in the 140 years since the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began collecting global temperature data, the agency announced yesterday.Global land and ocean surface temperatures were 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average of 59.9 degrees Fahrenheit last month, “the highest for June in the 1880-2019 record,” NOAA reported. The month was 0.04 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the previous record, set in 2016.That makes June 2019 the 43rd consecutive June and the 414th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average. Year to date, 2019 has been the second warmest January-June ever recorded.According to NOAA data, the biggest departures from average temperatures in June 2019 occurred in central and eastern Europe, north-central Russia, northeastern Canada, and southern parts of South America, where temperatures were 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1981-2010 average or higher. Many of those same regions, as well as parts of Asia, Africa, and the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans, experienced record warm temperatures. No land or ocean areas experienced record cold temperatures in June.Credit: NOAA.The most notable cooler-than-average temperatures were found in parts of western Asia and Antarctica, where temperatures were at least 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit below the 1981-2010 average.On land, June’s global average surface temperature was 2.41 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average of 55.9°F, the highest June land temperature on record, beating the previous record set in 2015. At sea, average surface temperatures were 1.46 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century monthly average of 61.5 degrees Fahrenheit, tying June 2016 as the highest global average ocean temperature on record for June. The 10 months with the biggest departures from average global ocean monthly temperatures have all occurred since September 2015.2019 also saw the second-smallest Arctic sea ice extent for the month of June in the 41-year record, according to an analysis of NOAA and NASA data by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. At 475,000 square miles, or 10.5 percent, below the 1981-2010 average, June 2019 was the 20th consecutive June with Arctic sea ice extent below average.Credit: NOAA.For the fourth consecutive June, Antarctic sea ice extent was also lower than average, reaching a mark 425,000 square miles, or 8.5 percent, below the 1981-2010 average. That’s the smallest June extent for Antarctic sea ice in the 41-year record, surpassing the previous record, set in 2002, by 62,000 square miles.Nine of the 10 warmest Junes have occurred since 2010. June 1998 is the only entry on the list of the 10 warmest Junes on record that occurred in the previous century.Credit: NOAA.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. Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming, Oceans, Oceans And Climate Change, Research, Sea Ice, Temperatures 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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Bolsonaro administration approves 290 new pesticide products for use

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer In just seven months, the Bolsonaro government has approved 290 new pesticide products for use, at the rate of nearly 1.4 per day. Some of the approved chemicals are banned in the EU, US, and elsewhere. Brazil is one of the largest users of pesticides in the world, with utilization on its vast soy crop especially intensive.Most of the pesticides approved are not new individual chemicals, but toxic cocktails that combine a variety of pesticides blended for various uses. However, these combinations have rarely been tested to determine their interactions or impacts on human health or nature.In addition to the new products, a new regulatory framework to assess pesticide health risks was established in July that will reduce restrictiveness of toxicological classifications. Under Bolsonaro, 1,942 registered pesticides were quickly reevaluated, with the number considered extremely toxic dropped from 702 to just 43.Pesticide poisoning is common in Brazil, and on the rise. The full impacts of chemical toxins on wildlife, plants, waterways and ecosystems are not known. Agribusiness typically sprays from the air, a process that if not conducted properly can result in wind drift of toxins into natural areas and human communities. A pesticide warning sign. Image courtesy of Austin Valley on flickr.Brazil is experiencing an explosion in the number of new pesticide registrations authorized this year. Since the Bolsonaro administration came to power on 1 January to the end of July, 290 new pesticides have been approved for use — nearly 1.4 per day. And the pace is only expected to quicken with the recent announcement of a change in the toxicological evaluation of herbicides and insecticides by Anvisa, Brazil’s health protection agency.With Brazilian agribusiness already one of the largest users of pesticides in the world, and the nation’s populace experiencing serious health concerns as a result, environmentalists and public health experts have expressed grave concern. At present, Brazil has registered 2,300 pesticides for use — some of them banned in the European Union (EU), US and elsewhere.The current authorization rate is the highest ever recorded by the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) since the agency began releasing data in 2005. In comparison to the 290 pesticides approved in the first seven months of 2019, just 45 were approved over the same period during 2010. This June and July alone, MAPA published registrations for 93 new pesticides in the Official Gazette.Contacted by Mongabay, the Ministry of Agriculture responded that the general coordinator of pesticides, Carlos Venâncio, was not available for an interview.According to a MAPA press release, the goal of releasing so many new products is “to increase market competition and lower prices. [Also] to provide new and more efficient control alternatives for the environment and human health.”The National Union of Plant Protection Products Industry (Sindiveg), which represents the pesticide industry, did not grant an interview, but sent a note through its communication office: “Regarding the number of formulated [ready-to-use] products, all registrations are new brands [whose ingredients] were already available on the [Brazilian] market. That means more options for the farmer, [but] not an increase in the amount of pesticide used on the crops.”Analysts point out that new formulations can include a toxic cocktail of various pesticides, whose interactions are rarely if ever tested or whose combined impacts on people and ecosystems are largely unknown. Also little studied is pesticide persistence on harvested crops which are consumed in Brazil or exported to the EU and other international markets.At a protest, a label reads “Pesticide kills.” The Bolsonaro administration approved 290 pesticide products for use in the first seven months of this year; analysts are concerned that the environment and public are being put at risk in the rush to put new products on the market. Image by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil.Environmentalists respondVictor Pelaez, coordinator for the Observatory of the Pesticide Industry at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), disagreed to some extent with the MAPA press release, noting that the increase in registrations will not necessarily result in a drop in prices. “This is yet to be proven,” he said. “The market has a structural characteristic, whereby competition is not determined primarily by prices, but by the degree of market concentration. The four largest pesticide companies [Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and Dow AgroSciences] occupy 70 percent to 80 percent of the Brazilian market and set the prices. They also have the most well-known brands, which generate a preference.”Pelaez, professor of economics at UFPR, remarked that of the 290 newly approved pesticides published in the Official Gazette this year, 41 percent were classified by Anvisa as extremely or highly toxic, and 32 percent are prohibited in the European Union. “How do these authorizations address a concern for the health of the population and the environment?” he asked.In addition to the wave of new products, a new regulatory framework for the assessment of health risks related to pesticides was established by Anvisa in July that will reduce the restrictiveness of toxicological classifications, with potential consequences for the future.From now on, only life-threatening pesticides — deadly when swallowed, inhaled or when coming in contact with the skin — will be classified as extremely toxic. Since 1992, a product that caused ulceration, skin corrosion or corneal opacity, for instance, fell into the extremely toxic category. That is no longer the case. Anvisa, under Bolsonaro, promptly reevaluated 1,942 previously registered pesticides, with the number considered extremely toxic dropped from 702 to just 43.“Brazil is going in the opposite direction from most developed countries, which have been reducing the use of pesticides. The Ministry of Agriculture says that the goal is to put new technologies on the market, products of less toxicity, and yet a large part of those being released are generic products of high toxicity, whose active ingredients are old. They have been on the market for years or decades,” said Luiz Claudio Meirelles, a researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).Glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup, is one of the world’s best-selling herbicides and considered a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. In the first 7 months of 2019, eleven new products containing the ingredient were approved in Brazil. Image by OSU Master Gardener licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.Changing role of AnvisaFormer Anvisa general toxicology manager, Meirelles attested to the government’s inconsistency in approving new brands whose active ingredients are being re-evaluated by the health agency due to their potential risk.One example is glyphosate — the globally popular but highly controversial Monsanto herbicide typically sold under the Roundup product name. At least 11 additional brands containing glyphosate were released this year in Brazil, despite continued studies and lawsuits demonstrating its adverse impacts. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in Brazil, but has been declared a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization.Despite the quickening pesticide evaluation and registration process carried out by Anvisa and Ibama (Brazil’s federal environmental agency), and the frequent complaints from the ruralist lobby that pesticides take too long to be approved — many registered products still end up not ever being commercialized, according to a UFPR study, mentioned by Meirelles. “They can represent up to half of all requests. Manufacturers view the registrations as a financial asset, which can be sold later to another company. And if a manufacturer goes up for sale, the registrations are part of its portfolio of products.”Recently Anvisa has undergone another major change. In recent months, it has transferred employees from other areas to pesticide analysis, apparently to speed up certifications. Contacted by Mongabay, the agency did not say how many people currently perform that work.According to Meirelles, when the agency was created, doctors, agronomists and biologists hired for the certification task had to possess a Master’s degree in Applied Toxicology. “It is a job that requires high qualification, there are many sensitive points involved, and the professionals need to be able to discuss with the manufacturing companies’ toxicologists.” The researcher said that about 60 percent of these professionals have left Anvisa since 2013.The death of millions of bees were recently recorded in Brazil, likely as a result of pesticide use by agribusiness. Newly authorized active ingredient, suxaflor, is connected to the reduction of pollinating bees. Image by paparutzi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.Half a million tons of pesticides applied per yearThe two completely new active ingredients authorized in 2019 are cause for concern, experts say. Florpirauxifen-benzyl has never been tested in the European Union, while sulfoxaflor is linked to massive bee deaths.With about 300 native bee species, Brazil is already experiencing problems in that area. Between October 2018 and March 2019, for example, 500 million honey bees (Apis mellifera) died in Rio Grande do Sul state.  A technical report by the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Laboratory detected five types of pesticides in the insects, among them fipronil, regularly used with the state’s soybean crops.Soybean plantations consume about half of all the volume of pesticides traded in Brazil. According to Ibama, Brazilian agriculture used 539,900 tons of pesticides in 2017. That amount represents US$ 8.8 billion, according to Andef, the pesticide manufacturers’ association.On its website, MAPA states that Brazil occupied 44th place in pesticide use in 2016, with a relative consumption of 4.3 kilograms (9.4 pounds) per hectare (2.4 acres), lower than the relative consumption in countries like the Netherlands, with 9.3 kilograms (20.5 pounds) per hectare, and Switzerland, with 5 kilograms (11 pounds) per hectare. These indicators were sourced from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). WorldAtlas.com ranks Brazil as the fifth largest consumer of pesticides in the world.Some experts say that MAPA’s claims are misrepresentative. “Applying an overall average with all existing crop types is misleading,” explained UFPR’s Pelaez. “The FAO indicator is inconsistent, very shallow.… MAPA omitted that soy crops in Brazil use 8.9 kilograms (19.6 pounds) of pesticides per hectare, while tomato crops reach 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and apple plantations 129 kilograms (284 pounds) of pesticides.… Not to mention that soy crops use 21 million hectares of planted areas, while tomatoes use only 62,000 hectares. ”Contacted by Mongabay, FAO did not respond before publication of this story.Pelaez criticized Brazil’s massive application of pesticides by agribusiness: “Instead of assessing the level of insect infestation in a crop and then doing corrective work, they act preventively and apply pesticides in an indiscriminate way. It is like trying to prevent a cancer that you don’t have. They don’t need to keep monitoring the crop, which is much cheaper. It’s an agriculture characterized by saturation, not precision.”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.Rheas, large flightless South American birds, forage on a soybean plantation in the municipality of Alto Paraíso in Goiás state, Brazil. Soybean crops consume about half of all the volume of pesticides traded in the country; the impact of agrochemicals on Brazilian ecosystems has been little studied. Image by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil. Agriculture, Agrochemicals, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Soy, Controversial, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Pesticides, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Soy, Threats To The Amazon 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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Wild orchid trade in China is huge, overlooked and ‘devastating,’ study finds

first_imgIn just one year of survey, researchers recorded more than 400 species of wild-caught orchids, involving 1.2 million individual plants worth potentially more than $14.6 million, being traded at markets in southern China.At least some of the trade is illegal and in breach of CITES regulations, the study found.Traders frequently sell non-native species of orchids. Moreover, native species that either have very small populations or have probably gone extinct in China also appear in the markets, suggesting they are likely being sourced from neighboring countries. If you’re looking to buy orchids from plant markets in southern China, chances are you’ll find plenty of orchids that have been collected from the wild, sometimes illegally. And these vibrant wild orchids are usually priced much cheaper than those grown in nurseries, according to a new study.Researchers have found trade in more than 400 species of orchids collected from the wild, involving more than 1.2 million individuals, potentially worth more than $14.6 million — all in just one year of survey.“The results of this study are devastating,” Jacob Phelps, a lecturer at Lancaster University and co-chair of the IUCN SSC Orchid Specialist Group – Global Trade Programme, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay. “We already knew that there was illegal trade of wild orchids in China, but this is our first real insight into the huge scale and richness of that trade.”Orchids, popular as ornamental plants and used in traditional medicine and food, are traded widely across the world. They also represent the single largest group of flora or fauna for which international trade is regulated: all 29,000-odd species of known orchids have been listed on Appendix I or Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).According to official data reported to the CITES, nearly all global commercial orchid trade involves artificially propagated plants. However, a number of studies have revealed that the trade in wild-sourced orchids, mostly undeclared and undocumented, may in fact be much greater than currently estimated.Stephan W. Gale, an orchid specialist at the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Hong Kong, frequently came across orchids on sale in markets in China that he was sure had been collected from the wild.“Often, the plants that I can no longer find in the wild, I can see in the markets, so there is a huge imbalance,” Gale, the lead author of the study, told Mongabay. “There was also very little attention on this, either from policymakers or from scientists.”Southern China’s plant markets sell wild-sourced slipper orchids like Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum. Image by Orchi via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).So Gale and his colleagues decided to look into the scale of the wild orchid trade in China for the first time ever. They focused on southern China, a region that’s especially rich in orchids.Through field visits and by talking to experts, the researchers zeroed in on the major markets selling orchids in the provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi and Guangdong, as well as the special administrative region of Hong Kong. Then, over the course of one year from June 2015 to May 2016, they regularly surveyed stalls in five big markets that sold wild orchids, identifying species that were on sale, noting the prices they were being sold for, and estimating the weight and number of individuals of the species on display.The team could differentiate the wild orchids from the artificially grown ones from several subtle telltale signs.“Products coming from nurseries are usually very uniform in size, appearance, they’re all packaged in the same way, they’re potted in the same way, they’ve got a very standard medium in the pot. So they’re much more uniform,” Gale said. “Whereas plants coming from the wild are usually damaged because they’ve been pulled off trees, or they’ve been pulled out of the ground or rocks. They have damaged roots, they’ve often been subject to herbivory, so the leaves could be pockmarked, there will be lichens growing on the leaves, moss on the roots. To be honest, the average person would never even think [about] looking at these small telltale signs, and this is a problem because they don’t know what they’re buying.”In just one year, the researchers recorded nearly 140 stalls selling up to 440 species of wild orchids.Wild orchids in a market in southern China. Image courtesy of Stephan Gale.The study also uncovered some surprising trends.In the wild, the diversity of native orchid species in southern China declines from west to east, with Yunnan having the richest mix of species, followed by Guangxi, Guangdong and Hong Kong. Yet the team found that the diversity of orchids in the markets increased eastward, suggesting that traders were transporting orchids over large distances to sell. This, Gale said, could be because the markets in Yunnan may have a lower customer base with fewer people wanting to buy orchids.“I think the vendors know there’s more money to be made in the big cities, with the larger markets where there’s more money to be made there and people are willing to pay more money for more unusual things,” Gale said.The mean price of orchids per stem also increased eastward, the study found. But wild orchids in general were priced considerably lower than those coming from nurseries.This finding is alarming, Phelps said.“Many policy-makers, including within China, hope that the legal production of greenhouse-grown plants will provide a sustainable alternative to the illegal trade of wild plants,” he said in an email. “This study shows that this is unlikely to happen for most orchid species: many consumers are concerned with price, and wild plants are cheaper than the farmed ones. Unless farmed plants become dramatically cheaper, or enforcement against the trade in wild plants increases, this study anticipate a status quo for orchid exploitation.”Cheap pricing of wild orchids is not entirely surprising though, Gale said. Nurseries can have huge overheads in terms of business setup and infrastructure, which translates into higher sticker prices.While sourcing orchids from the wild would also require paying people to go into forests and collecting the plants, many of the orchids seem to be coming from countries like Laos and Myanmar, where labor is cheap, Gale said. “Traders go there, and they’ll pay villagers to climb up into the mountains, paying them extremely low labor costs for kilograms or tons of orchids. So the value of the wild orchids is still far too low, and doesn’t price in the ecological damage that’s being done,” he added.In fact, the researchers found that some 100 species of orchids being sold in the southern China markets were not native. There were also no declared imports in the CITES trade database for the majority of the species, which meant that the trade was in breach of CITES regulations.“Things are definitely coming from across the borders, and not being properly regulated,” Gale said. “Although we don’t have direct evidence, my co-authors and I are very confident that the numbers that we put in the paper are a vast underestimate, because it’s illegal trade and difficult to prove. But the kinds of species and amounts that we’re seeing suggest that a far greater proportion are coming from across the borders.”Even native species that appear in the markets could be coming from neighboring countries, Gale said, especially species that either have very small populations or have probably gone extinct in China, such as several species of Dendrobium and Paphiopedilum.Despite being traded widely, orchids aren’t protected by law in mainland China. And despite orchids making up more than 70 percent of all CITES-listed species, the trade of these plants rarely makes it onto the agenda of discussions on illegal trade, Gale said. This includes the ongoing 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP18) in Geneva.“Parties and the [CITES] Secretariat should be responding to research that documents such widespread, blatant non-compliance with the Convention,” Phelps said. “I am not suggesting that this is an easy challenge, particularly along porous international borders. But we cannot afford to simply ignore the problem.”Dendrobium aphyllum is a commonly sold orchid in southern China’s plant markets. Image by lienyuan lee via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)Citation:Gale, S. W., Kumar, P., Hinsley, A., Cheuk, M. L., Gao, J., Liu, H., … & Williams, S. J. (2019). Quantifying the trade in wild-collected ornamental orchids in South China: Diversity, volume and value gradients underscore the primacy of supply. Biological Conservation, 238, 108204. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108204 Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Green, Illegal Trade, Orchids, Plants, Research, Trade, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_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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Encoded in the genes: Scientists devise a ‘lifespan clock’ for vertebrates

first_imgA genetic tool described in the journal Scientific Reports allows scientists to predict the maximum lifespans of vertebrates, including mammals, whether long extinct or still alive today.Using the “lifespan clock,” the team from Australia predicted that Neanderthals could live until nearly 40 years, and woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) could survive up to 60 years.They identified 42 genes that are linked to longevity and developed a model in which the genetic information for a species can be inputted and an estimate for the maximum lifespan obtained.The model can help evaluate extinction risk to a species, gauge the threat posed by invasive species, and be used in sustainable fisheries management. There’s some uncertainty about his exact age at death, but it’s now been confirmed that “Nandy,” who suffered a crushing blow to his head as a youth, lived to a ripe old age: somewhere between 35 and 45 years old. A Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) like Nandy, new research shows, could only hope to last 37.8 years if they weren’t struck down by a carnivore or disease first.A genetic tool described in the journal Scientific Reports allows scientists to predict the maximum lifespans of vertebrates, including mammals, whether extinct or still around today. “Lifespans and ageing is of interest as it is fundamental for better understanding the ecology and population dynamics of wild animals,” Benjamin Mayne, the first author of the paper, told Mongabay in an email, adding that “lifespan estimates can be used to determine the risk of animal extinction or to monitor invasive species.”Using the “lifespan clock,” the team from Australia predicted that woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) could live up to 60 years. Although the oldest-known bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) died at 211 years, the study showed that the species, believed to be the longest-living mammals, can push up to 268.Lifespans across species run a wide range: the pygmy goby fish (Eviota sigillata) live for only eight weeks, while the greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) can live for more than 400 years. For species that outlast humans by decades, if not centuries, pinning down lifespans can be tricky. It’s even more challenging for animals that aren’t amenable to captivity, since the longevity of many species is determined by studying sufficiently large captive populations.Basing their estimate on genetic determinants means scientists don’t need to rely on data from many specimens of a species. The genome is the full DNA sequence of a species, which serves as a kind blueprint for the species. Thanks to rapid advances in genome sequencing in the past decade and the availability of sequences for many species, there is now enough data to develop models with predictive powers.“I find it to be a big advance in our understanding of aging through comparative genomics,” Christopher Faulk, a specialist in the field at the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the research, said in an email. “They studied genomes and lifespan, not by looking at overall genetic variation, but by focusing on regions of the genome that host epigenetic changes during the lifespan of a single animal.”This involved some reverse sleuthing. Mayne and his team analyzed 252 whole genomes of species whose lifespans are already known through conventional methods. They identified 42 genes that are linked to how long an organism can live before it experiences a natural death. Genes are not disparate pieces of genetic material; they refer to a particular sequence of base pairs on the DNA molecule.“They mined hundreds of genomes to detect a surprisingly small number of gene regions that are comparable across an incredible diversity of animal life that provide a highly accurate estimate of lifespan,” Faulk said. Because the relationship between these particular genes and maximum lifespans is modeled, lifespans of species for which only the genome data is available can be predicted.Its most important applications, the authors argue, will be for extinct animals and for those about which scant data are available. Some species meet both the criteria, for example, the Pinta Island tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii), the last of which, evocatively named Lonesome George, died in 2012. Even though he was believed to be about 100 years old when he died, the lifespan clock predicated that members of this species could live up to 120 years.A model of an adult Neanderthal male head and shoulders on display in the Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Image courtesy Wikimedia CommonsNeanderthals, by contrast, are long extinct — they lived 40,000 to 400,000 years ago — and are the closest extinct relatives of present-day humans (Homo sapiens). Neanderthal DNA is difficult to obtain, even from fossilized remains, because it degrades over time. The Neanderthal nicknamed Nandy was found from a site in Iraq in 1957. The new study relied on a genome sequence assembled from DNA samples of another specimen found in Croatia in the 1970s. By plugging their genetic information into the model, the researchers arrived at the figure of 37.8 years.Surprisingly, the lifespan clock pegged the human lifespan at 38 years, which is almost half the lifespan the average person enjoys today: somewhere between 60 and 87 years. “The lifespan clock estimate may be more reflective of human lifespan prior to advances in medicine. On the other hand, it might be that humans may be the exception to this study,” Mayne said. Though lifespans are believed to be primarily controlled by genes, to what extent is debatable. But humans have manipulated their lifespans to a degree that would be impossible for any species in the wild.There is another class of organisms for whom the tool cannot be used: invertebrates, organisms that do not have a vertebral column, such as insects or mollusks. Of all described animal species, more than 95% are invertebrates, but research on them is sparse compared to research on invertebrates, which include mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes and amphibians.Despite this limitation, the model is expected to be a valuable addition to the arsenal of conservation tools. Knowing its lifespan can help determine the extinction risk to a species, point to environmental factors that cut short the lives of organisms, and help ascertain the viability of threatened species populations as well as gauge the threat posed by an invasive species. It could also be used in sustainable fisheries management.Banner Image: A mural from the American Museum of Natural History depicting woolly mammoths. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Charles R. KnightCitation:Mayne, B., Berry, O., Davies, C., Farley, J., & Jarman, S. (2019). A genomic predictor of lifespan in vertebrates. Scientific Reports, 9 (17866). doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54447-wMalavika Vyawahare is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVyFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by malavikavyawahare Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Extinction, Fisheries, Genetics, Mammals, Saving Species From Extinction last_img read more

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Young farmers apply ancient agroforestry practices in the heart of Sardinia

first_imgThe forested mountains of interior Sardinia have seen high rates of migration to cities in recent years, particularly among young people.But some young people are finding a new way to stay here and succeed, by using an ancient agricultural method to create better-quality products like goat cheese, by grazing their flocks under trees.Called silvopasture, it’s a form of agroforestry that has a long history here, and the variety of forage and abundant shade create cheeses with unique flavors. Another side benefit in this arid landscape is reduced forest fire danger due to the goats’ grazing activities.Like agroforestry, silvopasture effectively sequesters large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere while keeping forested landscapes intact and providing habitat for a variety of creatures. DESULO, Italy — In a late 1990s photo, a little girl with a ponytail and white apron poses at the corner of a cheese-making machine. Two decades later, with the same smile, Fatima Todde, 31, is one of the few casara, or female cheesemakers, in all of Sardinia.“The photo was shot when I was 10. I was in this laboratory trying to do ricotta. It started as a childhood game, and, after the university, cheesemaking became my profession,” Fatima says. “A lot of young people move away from these mountains, but we choose to remain.”She lives in Desulo, in the middle of the island of Sardinia. A town of 2,000 inhabitants, it perches under the highest peak on the island that reaches 1,834 meters (6,017 feet). Named Gennargentu, meaning “silver door,” the color reminds one of the reflections of the silica-rich rocks, its shimmering light filtering through the woods.Fatima Todde and her brother Pietro in the goat stable. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay.It’s here that Caseificio Todde has for 30 years produced different types of cheese, including pecorino, casu agedu, casu e murgia, caprino, and ricotta. Started by her parents, who now spend their days selling the farm’s cheese at local markets, the farm is innovating its way into a new era with fresh ideas and new products, thanks in part to agroforestry.Ancient grazing, young farmersClose to the mountaintop, the operation’s tireless goats speed up the slope, grazing in an ancient system called silvopasture. A kind of agroforestry — the growing of beneficial trees and woody plants in combination with annual crops and herbs — silvopasture combines trees with forage plants and grazing livestock in an integrated system where the trees benefit from free fertilizer and pruning. Like other agroforestry systems, silvopasture holds great potential for sequestering carbon dioxide, and livestock such as these goats enjoy the fallen fruits and lush greenery of the forest floor, luxuriating in cool shade that reduces their stress from heat, thereby boosting milk production.Acorns are happily eaten by goats in the silvopasture system. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay.Towering chestnut trees (Castanea sativa) dominate the forested landscape, merging their intricate branches with wild cherry (Prunus avium) and holm oak (Quercus ilex). The goats eat fallen chestnuts, cherries and acorns, depending on the season, plus herbs, grasses, legumes and shrubs. The understory canvas melts into a brown-and-green color palette that the goats keep clean, fattening up while lessening the chance of forest fires.An hour’s drive on winding roads from Nuoro, the nearest city, Desulo is a remote area affected by a population drain, a problem shared with similar areas of internal Europe. While animal husbandry and dairy businesses wrote the story at the heart of Sardinia, these crafts now struggle to survive.But silvopasture now provides a new way for people to remain on the land, as these ancient businesses are diversified by a new generation.Pietro Todde, 28, Fatima’s youngest brother, has just finished university and is pursuing exams to qualify as a professional agronomist. He works with his sister and her fiance, Roberto Nonnis, a shepherd with a flock of a hundred goats, in the family business.“Currently, we aim to produce the entire forage for our farm,” Pietro says. “Three years ago, I started to crop alfalfa to be economically self-sufficient and improve the quality of our graze.” This morning he is helping Nonnis take care of the animals, and is followed by Teresa, the friendliest goat of the flock.A thirsty crop, alfalfa grows well among the trees’s shade in their silvopasture system. Pietro produces more than 30% of the goat kids’ forage this way; over the past year, that saved their operation approximately 4,000 euros ($4,400). Alfalfa crop waste also decomposes with chestnut and oak leaves, generating a fertile compost for soil that lessens erosion and retains water.Alfalfa grows well among the trees and is a favorite forage for the goat kids. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay.In the past, especially during droughts, they bought all the farm’s hay, especially alfalfa, usually grown in lowland monocultures. Sardinian farms in general import a large amount of such forage, often from the nearby Campidano plain, or from elsewhere in Italy and as far away as Latin America.Pietro aims to put his agronomy studies into practice by expanding their hay production with clover in nearby fields, to provide hay for the entire flock and supplement the forage they find in the trees. Most of these neighboring fields are now abandoned and fragmented into little plots, owned by neighbors who’ve migrated to cities.‘In our chestnut forest, everything is useful’Nonnis, 29, met Fatima in Desulo when they were children: five years ago they started to share the work of the family business. He starts his day at 7 a.m., feeding and milking goats in the stable while the kids jump about, bouncing upon invisible clouds, before he releases the flock of 100 to graze their 15 hectares (37 acres) of silvopasture woods.Fallen chestnuts litter the ground where goats can find them. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay.In just a few minutes, the goats climb the steep slope to an enormous chestnut tree overlooking the woods. Fatima jokes with her brother about the possible age of the tree, and all the things it has seen over time. “Who knows who sat below this tree during the Middle Ages?” she wonders about the majestic tree. “I think this chestnut may have 800 years,” her brother replies.These old chestnuts have likely witnessed many ancient welcome rituals for spring: recalling typical Sardinian animals, mamutzones dressed in fur and horn and resembling sheep and goats still dance for fertility in the region.Chestnut wood has also historically been used as a construction material; Nonnis built the goat stable with timber collected from the surrounding forest. “Everything [from] our chestnut forest is useful,” he says. “We sell the fruits and we use the wood for construction and as timber for firewood.”The goats play an important role in the forest’s maintenance and safety from wildfire, he continues: “Thanks to the goats we don’t need maintenance for the forest or herbicides and fertilizer, they are a natural ‘weed whacker.’ A lot of farmers ask me to bring my flocks to their fields.”Mamutzones. Image courtesy of Associazione Culturale Mamutzones de Samugheo.Sardinia to lead the European agroforestry conversation As with the Toddes, the population of Sardinia’s internal areas has traditionally relied on forest products. Half of Sardinia is covered by trees, an area of 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres). In 2018, the European Forest Institute named Sardinia a European Forests Island in recognition of that bond to the landscape.Despite this deep relationship, thousands leave the mountains for the cities each year, either within Sardinia or abroad, due to the island’s lack of economic opportunities and poor infrastructure relative to the rest of Italy and Europe generally. In this regard, Desulo offers a ray of hope.“Desulo is an exemplary case of how agroforestry can avoid depopulation in the Mediterranean internal zone,” says Antonello Franca of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and coordinator of the project AgForward-Sardinia. “Here in Sardinia, silvopastoral systems have a strong tradition: they must be supported by national laws and economic incentives. Shepherds have to be recognized as the guardians of these territories,” he says, adding that they keep the landscape alive “thanks to the great potential offered by the agroforestry system’s self-production of forage.”Roberto Nonnis starts the day milking some of his 100 goats for the Toddes’ cheesemaking enterprise, before turning them out to graze in the surrounding woods. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay.From May 18-20 this year, the city of Nuoro will showcase this by hosting the 5th European Agroforestry Conference, organized by the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF). “We bring the EURAF conference to Sardinia because the agroforestry system is still alive, an ancient practice abandoned in other European territories with the arrival of monoculture,” says Francesca Camilli, the EURAF delegate for Italy and a researcher at CNR. “Southern Europe represents agroforestry in all [its] value. Especially in Sardinia, agroforestry contributes to the productivity of the region, giving a chance to young generations to start a business.”Sardinia could be seen as a laboratory for the potential of agroforestry for the whole Mediterranean coast, says Franca, who is one of the organizers of the EURAF conference. “The Toddes’ family story is an example of how agroforestry can help people to remain in these lands,” he says, adding that “something has to change to push the people to take care of these zones, or this heritage may be lost forever. Agroforestry integrated with silvopasture makes the pieces fit in a complex system [and] this can be the key: animals and people who supervise these territories against forest fires and the consequences of the climate emergency.”Women and agroforestry bring new flavors to cheeses Ms. Todde making cheese. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay.Becoming a cheesemaker was a natural evolution from Fatima Todde’s childhood games, which led her to the University of Food Technology and then to a role innovating the family’s production from traditional local cheeses like casu agedu, casu e murgia, and caprino, to new ones like stracchino. However, the main product remains the renowned pecorino, often used in seadas, a traditional dessert in Sardinia: little pastries filled with cheese and lemon zest, then deep-fried and drizzled with honey.“This work is my passion and doesn’t matter if I need to stir the curd until midnight,” Fatima says. “Five years ago I [took] over the family business, and thanks to the university studies, I started to commercialize innovative products.” And providing forage via the agroforestry system brings special flavors to their cheeses, she says, “thanks to the essential and medicinal herbs eaten by goats.”She is among the few women cheesemakers on the island. “Women are central in pastoralism but no one talks about them,” says Giulia Simula from the University of Sussex’s Institute of Development Studies, who’s involved in the Pastres project on pastoralism. However, she adds, “A new generation of women [such] as Fatima Todde is changing the narrative.”Goats, guardians of the forestThe blue hour is coming, and only a few sunny brushstrokes blend into the ultramarine horizon; the winter days are short and goat grazing time is already over. Fatima and Pietro arrive home to Desulo, park the car and look at the horizon. A light shining in another part of the mountains, like a star moving through the woods, draws their attention.Concerned that it could be a fire near their cheesemaking operation, they phone and ask about the lights. Suddenly, the lights disappear; it was only a car, stopping briefly among the woods with its headlights blazing. The forests here remain safe, thanks in no small part to the grazing of goats under the care of their shepherds.Monica Pelliccia is an independent multimedia journalist based in Italy: this is her third article about agroforestry for Mongabay, see them all here and follow her work on Twitter via @monicapelliccia.This report is part of Mongabay’s ongoing coverage of trends in global agroforestry, view the full series here.Mr. Todde moves a group out to graze in the agroforestry system, where they eat acorns, chestnuts, brush, brambles, and herbs. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay.Banner image: Goats enjoy the shade and forage under the oaks and chestnut trees of Sardinia. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay. 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 Agriculture, Agroforestry, Archive, Community Development, Conservation, Featured, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Human Migration center_img Article published by Erik Hoffnerlast_img read more

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Organisers expect exciting Gibson McCook Relays

first_imgGibson McCook Relays organising committee chairman, Professor Rainford Wilks, believes this year’s 40th renewal is set to be one of the biggest, most exciting, and well-attended while revealing that they are hoping to make it an international staple, and calendar affair using the new media, broadcast and communication platforms of their sponsors.The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 27, at the National Stadium with the organisers making plans to stream and broadcast the event to audiences outside of Jamaica. Entries will close on January 31.The event’s main sponsors include the Wisynco Group, clothing/apparel partner PUMA and communications partner Digicel.The event is expected to attract as many as 4,000 athletes while a total of 37 billed sponsors, returning and new, have snapped up 42 events for the day’s action which will begin at 9 a.m.”We are hoping we can fill the National Stadium and that’s one of the reasons we have tried to keep the entrance fees low for the past two to three years. We feel it’s an Olympic year, so we are going to get a little boost out of that, and it’s two weeks before Champs and everybody will be in Champs mode,” Wilks outlined in an interview with The Gleaner.The chairman revealed that gate receipts are expected to be in the vicinity of $10 million, at the event which he thinks is “comparable to anywhere in the world because our senior athletes are going to be there”.This year, the meet has attracted sponsorship valued at approximately $5 million, which Wilks calls a “substantial amount of money”.”We feel that we will be able to make it an international staple and calendar event not just in Jamaica, but worldwide,” Wilks said.According to Wilks, all the top athletes in Jamaica will compete once available.”We see all of them performing. I expect Shelly (Fraser-Pryce) to be here this year. We can’t give any commitment that there will be star athletes, but we know that because they feel loyal and because they see Gibson as part of their nurturing and development, they always come to Gibson and give back, unless they have some good reason not to,” he told The Gleaner.last_img read more

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Smith, Griffin help Pistons beat Hawks to end 3-game skid

first_imgPBA greenlights Jericho Cruz trade to TNT Detroit led by 30 points midway through the third quarter, but was outscored 59-35 in the final 17 minutes as Atlanta got as close as four before the Pistons held on for a 104-98 victory on Wednesday night in their final game before the All-Star break.“We gave our bench a 30-point lead, and they didn’t even try at either end of the floor,” he said. “We should have been able to shut down our starters, but we had to bring them back, and they didn’t bring anything either.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“We left 15 minutes early for the break, but I’ll take the win and move on.”Blake Griffin narrowly missed his first triple-double with the Pistons, finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, but agreed with his coach that the end of the game wasn’t acceptable. “We moved the ball and we played great defense to build the lead to 30,” he said. “But there’s no excuse for the way we played defense for the rest of the game. We were still OK on offense, but we missed a lot of open shots.”Van Gundy thought his team’s poor shooting — 26.3 percent in the fourth quarter — cost Griffin his milestone.“He probably should have had 14 or 15 assists, but we kept missing wide-open looks and layups,” Van Gundy said. “He was doing a great job of passing.”Ish Smith had 22 points and nine assists, while Andre Drummond added 13 points and 15 rebounds. Detroit had seven players in double figures.Andrew White III had 15 points for the Hawks in his NBA debut, while John Collins had 11 points and 10 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends PLAY LIST 08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends05:05SEA Games 2019: Rubilen Amit finally beats Chezka Centeno for 9-ball gold (HIGHLIGHTS)03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)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 Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano MOST READ Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Muscala (31) and Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) battle for a rebound in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. Detroit won 104-98. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)DETROIT — Ending a three-game losing streak wasn’t enough to make Stan Van Gundy happy.Not after the Pistons made it much harder than necessary.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings “I’ve only had two shootarounds with the team, so I’ve been trying to memorize the video playbook they gave me,” White said. “I’ve worked as hard as I’ve ever worked over the last three days, just to get ready for the minute or two I thought I might play.”The Hawks, who beat the Pistons 118-115 on Sunday, were missing three key players, including leading scorers Dennis Schroder (lower back) and Kent Bazemore (rest). Former Piston Ersan Ilyasova (shoulder) also sat out.“It is pretty obvious that this was a night that didn’t look like it was going to go well for us as a group,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It looked like they were going to pull away on us, but it is a credit to the character of these guys that they fought back and made it a game.”Detroit led by 12 points at the half, then started the third quarter with its second 17-2 run of the game. That put the Pistons ahead by 25, and the margin was 30 before the Hawks finally broke 40 points with 5:20 left in the third.Detroit still led 82-61 at quarter’s end, but Van Gundy called a timeout after the Hawks cut the margin to 89-74 with 6:58 to play. Atlanta got the lead to single figures, 94-86, with 2:58 left, forcing another timeout. The Pistons fouled two 3-point shots in the final minute along with allowing a three-point play, much to Van Gundy’s disgust.That made it 100-96 with 10 seconds to play, but Smith hit two free throws to clinch the game.“That was an embarrassing fourth quarter,” Van Gundy said. “We played well for about 35 minutes, but we didn’t bring anything after that.”The undermanned Hawks got off to a quick lead, but Detroit finished the first quarter on a 17-2 run to lead 22-14. The offenses continued to struggle in the second, with the Pistons outscoring Atlanta 23-19 to take a 45-33 lead at the half.“I thought we were playing decent basketball, but we just couldn’t get a shot to go in the basket in the first half,” Budenholzer said.Detroit shot 38 percent in the half, led by 12 points from Smith, and held Atlanta to 33.3 percent. Dewayne Dedmon led the Hawks with eight points and seven rebounds in the half, but didn’t have a basket or a rebound in 11 second-half minutes.TIP-INS UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer LATEST STORIES View comments Hawks: Atlanta missed 20 of its first 22 3-pointers. . Taurean Prince has started all 59 of Atlanta’s games, but the other four starters — Dedmon, John Collins, Tyler Dorsey and Malcolm Delaney — had 29 starts combined before Wednesday.Pistons: Detroit is now 5-3 with Griffin in the lineup. . Drummond led the Pistons in rebounds for the 19th straight game.GRIFFIN GETS COMFORTABLEGriffin felt it was his best offensive performance since joining the Pistons, despite going 4 for 10 from the floor and missing his only three shots from inside the 3-point line.“We had a good flow going, and that was a big reason we jumped out to that big lead,” he said. “It is definitely getting easier to recognize what we’re doing in the offensive sets.”UP NEXTHawks: Host the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 23 after an eight-day All-Star break.Pistons: Host the Boston Celtics on Feb. 23 after an eight-day All-Star break. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacsonlast_img read more

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‘Withdraw Tweah’s Appointment’

first_imgThe president of the University of Liberia Alumni Association (ULAA), Mr. James Davis, II, is calling on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to withdraw the appointment of Mr. Norris Tweah as the new Vice President for UL Relations.Mr. Davis, II told this newspaper that as president of ULAA, he thinks Mr. Tweah’s appointment by the President undermines the university’s by-laws.According to him, Article III Section 2 of the institution’s by-laws “clearly states that Officers of Administration and Instruction of the University of Liberia shall be nominated by the President of the University of Liberia for Approval by the Board of Trustees. Therefore, the appointment of Mr. Norris Tweah by the President of Liberia and Visitor to the University of Liberia is in violation of the by-laws or Charter of the University of Liberia.”Mr. Davis, II, who is also a member of the UL Board of Trustees, stated that one of the tenets of good governance is the respect for rule of laws. “I’m convinced that President Sirleaf is an adherent of the rules of law.  She will adhere to this call to withdraw the appointment of Mr. Tweah as Vice President to the flagship state University of Liberia.” He clarified that he and others are not against Mr. Tweah serving their alma mater; instead, “We are against the procedural error that has characterized his appointment.”Davis, described Mr. Tweah as an astute individual with a wealth of experience and credibility, who could immensely contribute to the UL. “BUT his appointment by the Visitor contravenes the University of Liberia by-laws or Charter.”He emphasized that, as enshrined in the UL Charter, the UL president, who is presently Dr. Emmet Dennis, is the only person with that authority to nominate a Vice President for approval by the UL Board of Trustees. “President Sirleaf and the president of the University of Liberia should now begin a constitution about Mr. Tweah’s appointment, and if possible, the president of UL should nominate Mr. Tweah to the UL Board of Trustee for approval to avoid any further attempt to undermine the University of Liberia By-Laws or Charter,” Davis said, suggesting a way forward.Dr. Dennis could not be reached for comments as his mobile phone rang endlessly.Mr. Tweah replaces Prof. Dr. S. Momolu Getaweh, who is now the Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs of UL.Prior to his appointment, Mr. Tweah served as Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism.  He served for more than seven years at the Ministry and had received three appointments from President Sirleaf.As part of his core responsibilities at UL, Mr. Tweah is to establish an effective public relations system and strategy that will promote the goals of the University  and create the most positive image and branding of the nation’s premier University; engage in lobbying exercises on behalf of the University;  articulate the values of the University to the developmental needs of the local and external community, testify, when necessary, on behalf of the university before Government and Non-Government agencies and bodies, both foreign and national, as well as assume oversight of the UL Public Affairs, UL Postal Office and the UL Protocol Activities.He holds a Master’s Degree in Development Administration (MDA) and a Bachelor’s in Communication from the Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.  He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB) from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia. He was admitted to the Liberian Bar Association in August 2014 to practice law in Liberia.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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200 Staff of Defeated, Ex-Senators Jobless

first_imgThe inauguration of 12 Senators yesterday in the Chambers of the Liberian Senate was colorful and filled with good cheer, but for 200 support staffers of ousted lawmakers, it was a mournful event that formally marked their dismissal.These now jobless staffers of the 10 defeated Senators in last month’s Special Senatorial Elections and three (3) other Senators, who failed to contest, having quitted electorate politics are anxiously vying for positions with the incoming lawmakers.The defeated Senators whose staffers are hoping to be reemployed are Sen. Lahai G. Lansanah (Bomi); Sen. J.S.B. Theodore Momo, Jr. (Gbapolu); Sen. Gbehzohngar M. Findley (Grand Bassa) and Sen. Abel Massaley (Grand Cape Mount). Others are Sen. Sumo G. Kupee (Lofa); Sen. Clarice Jah (Margibi); Sen. John a. Ballout (Maryland); Sen. Joyce Musu Sumo-Freeman (Montserrado); Sen. J. Jonathan Banney (Rivercess) and Sen. Mobutu V. Nyenpan (Sinoe).Also in the hunt for work are the staffs of three Senators who did not contest the Special Senatorial Election namely Senator Cletus Wotorson (Grand Kru); Sen. Frederick Cherue (River Gee) and Sen. Isaac Nyenabo (Grand Gedeh).Each Senator is entitled to 15 staffers while the heads of the eight (8) Statutory Committees are statutorily entitled to a staff of 16. The same goes for the House of Representatives. The Speaker and the President Pro Tempore get at least 20 staffers each.Scores of saddened staffers were seen lingering in their to-be vacated offices looking depressed.  Some later moved into the courtyards and Rotunda of the Capitol Building in the frame of mind to do anything to be reemployed.“Most of us are here not really to help our (former) bosses to pack up; we are here to beg for inclusion,” Mr. Jasper Togbah said.“With the number of family I have, I can even work as a yard girl,” declared Madam Klubo Kerkulah. “I cannot bear it without a job.”The former Chief of Office Staff of out-going Grand Kru County Senator Cletus Wotorson, Mr. Jenkins Pelenah said he was blessed to be reemployed with Senator Dr. Peter Coleman.“We welcome the 12 Senators happily, but it’s painful to see over 200 of the support staffers in the hunt for reemployment,” Mr. Pelenah said. “And presumably, each of the more than 200 staffers, have at least five persons to feed, so it means about 1,000 persons have been added to the scourge of poverty.”“I feel very depressed,” Mr. Joe Saah sobbed. “It was a very depressing evening. I thought I would be included. What will become of us?” he wondered sadly.An expatriate who begged anonymity, said the dismissal of a huge number of people in the society has adverse effects. She stressed that unemployment and poverty are the two major challenges that are facing the world economy at present.Madam Roberts said unemployment leads to financial crisis, as well as underemployment which lie at the core of poverty.However, staffers of Senator Chief Jewel Howard Taylor (Bong) and Senator Prince Y. Johnson (Nimba) were in high spirits and comforted by the reelection of their bosses.It is believed that 95% of the employees of the new Senators will also be newcomers.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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Pacers humble Clippers

first_imgThe younger Dunleavy, Troy Murphy and Ike Diogu came to Indiana as part of an eight-player trade between the Pacers and Warriors last month. “I have mixed emotions,” Dunleavy said of playing against his father’s team. “I wanted to beat him real bad, but I also want to see them do well. I hope they win the rest of their games, but the most important thing is our team.” The Clippers, losing for the 22nd time in their past 26 games against the Pacers, were led by Cuttino Mobley with 23 points while Elton Brand and Sam Cassell added 14 each. “We missed easy shots, easy threes,” Mobley said. “We didn’t play any defense. When the offense is stagnant like it was, we allowed them to tip balls, get easy lay-ins and let them run their offense and get easy fast breaks.” The Clippers did not score over the final 4:14 of the secondquarter, when the Pacers took control with a 16-0 run at the end of the second quarter and built their lead to 23 points early in the third quarter. INDIANAPOLIS – Take that, Pops. Mike Dunleavy, playing against his father’s Clippers for the first time since he was traded from Golden State to Indiana last month, hit nine of 12shots, scored 20 points and had three steals in the Pacers’ 94-80 victory on Sunday. “He’s playing comfortably in this (Pacers) system,” said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy Sr., who has won nine of 14matchup against his son’s teams. “It used to be the worst thing there was, playing against your son, because it’s the first time in your life you don’t want him to win,” the elder Dunleavy said. “Now that part has gotten a little bit easier, and it’s just a game.” center_img Cassell scored 11 points in the third quarter as the Clippers cut the lead to seven, but a basket by Dunleavy started another 8-0 run that pushed the Pacers’ lead to 77-62 starting the finalperiod. The Clippers rallied within seven points midway through the final quarter, but Jermaine O’Neal then hit two straight baskets and Dunleavy added another to push Indiana’s lead to 89-76. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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