Hugh Grant receives Honorary Fellowship

first_imgHugh Grant has been elected Honorary Fellow at New College. Limited to 40 people, this is the ‘College’s highest award and is bestowed upon distinguished Old Members.’ It is presented to those with a sustained achievement in their chosen field.The Dean of New College, Michael Burden, said, ‘There is no particular reason why the election was made at this time, and there are no expectations that an Honorary Fellow will do anything for the college. They may do so, but this is not a condition of election.’Last Tuesday, Grant attended a Fellows’ Dinner, for purposes linked to his appointment. He then accompanied students to the JCR college bar, much to the delight of many undergraduates. A New College first year described Grant as ‘swamped’ with a group of fans.The student continued, ‘I think it was really nice of him to come to the bar, and so many of us were waiting for him there! This has exceeded my expectations of Oxford – meeting abona fide celebrity in the first few weeks of being here!’Not all students were equally impressed, however. Second year Classicist Poppy Rimington-Pounder commented, ‘He took so long to actually come to the bar to meet us. He’s not really quite good-looking enough to make us wait that long – I left.’During the visit he joined the rugby team for a drink, and was presented with a club tie. Unlike on some of his previous trips to Oxford, he did not continue the party with New College students at a nightclub afterwards.Few students have strong feelings about Grant receiving the Honorary Fellowship. JCR Vice-President Alexander May, speaking, on behalf of the undergraduate body, said, “I would say that the general feel was that it was a nice novelty, but not massively important.’Sam Sharpe, a second year New College PPE-ist said, “I don’t really care about him being an Honorary Fellow or not. He did seem like a nice guy, and it’s good of him to come back. That, and About a Boy is a good movie.’Leah Lazar, a second year classicist at New, added, ‘If his fellowship means he will be in the New College bar on a regular basis, then I’m all for it!’Grant won the Galsworthy scholarship to study English at New College in 1979. He graduated in 1981 with a 2:1.According to the New College website, Grant ‘abandoned doctoral studies in art history and soon became one of the most preeminent and successful actors of his generation.’Indeed, Grant was involved in acting during his time at Oxford, with a part in his first film, Privileged, produced by the Oxford University Film Foundation, when he was a member of OUDS.Nor did Grant go unnoticed by this publication during his undergraduate career: in 1981, Hugh Grant was described in Cherwell’s John Evelyn’s gossip column as ‘New College’s answer to Brooke Shields.’last_img read more

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Dominica’s children at risk of obesity

first_img Share Nurse Helen RoyerCoordinator of Health Promotions Helen Royer has disclosed that the island’s children are at risk of obesity based on statistics derived from a recent health survey.Royer, who addressed a Health Promoting School Initiative workshop on Monday, told primary school principals that there is urgent need for measures to address this issue of obesity among children. She said based on a global school health survey which was conducted in Dominica in 2007 there is a need to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets and physical inactivity among children particularly those of an early age.“The survey indicated that 26.3% students were at risk for becoming overweight, 105 were overweight and only 26.5% ate fruits and vegetables five or more times per day for the past thirty days,” she added.According to Royer, the number of reported cases of non chronic communicable diseases is rising rapidly and is becoming a major challenge for global development. “The World Health Organization 2002 World Health report stated that mortality, disability and morbidity attributed by CNCD accounts for 60% death and 47% of the disease burden. Roughly 60% of the world’s population is estimated not to get enough of physical activity,” she added.Royer believes that the schools can make a difference in the lives of children by imparting knowledge relating to healthy foods and lifestyles.“We are aware that the school can continue to play a pivotal role in transmitting health messages to school children, and a capable of facilitating short term or medium term and long-term effects on audience,” she explained.Royer admonished the principals of the need for the implementation of an aggressive and rigorous approach to health in order to reduce the rate of obesity among students. The workshop is also geared at creating a network and alliance for implementing the concept.Domincia Vibes News Share LocalNews Dominica’s children at risk of obesity by: – March 6, 2012 Sharecenter_img Tweet 21 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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Rebels ride Zubick to 3-1 victory over Leafs

first_imgIt’s an Achilles Heel that keeps on haunting the Nelson Leafs — goal scoring.For the second straight game all the Green and White could manage was a single goal en route to dropping a 3-1 decision to the Castlegar Rebels Friday night in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action at the NDCC Arena.The win by the Rebels evens the season series between the two Murdoch Division rivals a 1-1-1.Despite being out shot 11-9 by the visitors, it was the Leafs getting on the scoreboard first as Nolan Percival combined with Tim Nichols and Matt MacDonald to open the scoring five minutes into the first period.However, Castlegar tied up the game catching the Leafs on the power play with a shorthanded tally by Mike Bhatoa midway through the frame.In the second Cal Owens scored what proved to be the winner, scoring on Nelson netminder Adam Maida. Lindan Calliou scored into an empty net in the third to seal the win for the Rebels.Nelson out shot Castlegar 32-29 but Patrick Zubick, named the Away Star, came up big throughout the game to silence the Leafs offence.Zubick held Nelson to a single goal last weekend in a 1-1 overtime tie between the two teams.Nelson now drops into a tie with the red-hot Beaver Valley Nitehawks for top spot in the Murdoch Division.Beaver Valley, winners of three straight games, edged Kimberley Dynamiters 4-3 in Fruitvale.Kimberley suffered its second consecutive loss after starting the season 6-0.Nelson returns to action Saturday when Spokane visits the NDCC Arena for a 7 p.m. puck drop.The Leafs conclude the weekend Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Castlegar against the Rebels.Meanwhile Castlegar host Revelstoke Grizzlies at 7 p.m. in the Castlegar Complex.last_img read more

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La Mosquitia: Dangerous territory for scarlet macaws in Honduras

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Endangered Species, Wildlife, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by Maria Salazar 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 The scarlet macaw (Ara macao), with its iconic red, blue and yellow plumes, is the national bird of Honduras. It inhabits forests from northern Central America to the southern Amazon, but the northern subspecies (A. m. cyanoptera) is particularly imperiled.“Ecotrafficking,” the term for wildlife trafficking in Honduras, is a major problem in La Mosquitia, the part of eastern Honduras, near the border with Nicaragua.Today, around 600 scarlet macaws inhabit the pine forests of Gracias a Dios, the Honduran department where Mabita is located. Anaida Panting and her family oversee 38 scarlet macaw nests and 30 great green macaw (Ara ambiguus) nests. MABITA, Honduras — When the clock strikes four in the afternoon, Anaida Panting bangs the pots full of food that she’s prepared for her scarlet macaws. Dozens of the birds descend from the pine trees when she calls them. Panting has cared for these animals for so long that she can’t remember when she started.It’s a dangerous job. “Ecotrafficking,” the term for wildlife trafficking in Honduras, is a major problem in La Mosquitia, the part of eastern Honduras, near the border with Nicaragua, where Mabita is located. The Honduran government has a light footprint here — so light, that the area has become a hub of various illegal trades, including the trade in scarlet macaws.The scarlet macaw (Ara macao), with its iconic red, blue and yellow plumes, is the national bird of Honduras. It inhabits forests from northern Central America to the southern Amazon, but the northern subspecies (A. m. cyanoptera) is particularly imperiled, classified as endangered by the IUCN. Its population has declined precipitously due to poaching. The bird is sold as a pet within Honduras and on the international market.Today, around 600 scarlet macaws inhabit the pine and broadleaf forests of Gracias a Dios, the Honduran department where Mabita is located. Anaida Panting and her family protect 38 scarlet macaw nests. The birds subsist on a diet of rice, beans and dry dog food.Panting, an indigenous Miskito woman who co-directs the Rescue and Liberation Center of Mabita along with her spouse, Santiago Lacuth, coordinates a community-led initiative to rehabilitate macaws that have been confiscated from traffickers and reintroduce them into the wild. Every day at 4 p.m., the birds come and eat from the pots and, sometimes, right from Panting’s hands.One of the macaws, her favorite, is so old that no one knows its exact age. “It’s the only one that stays after lunch,” she says after stopping a fight between her special macaw and another one that ventured too close to her. “The rest leave after they’ve eaten, but this one stays with me.”Protecting the macaws, though, also means guarding an animal sought by traffickers.“There are two types of threats: threats to the species and threats to the community,” says Héctor Portillo, a researcher with the Foundation of Science for the Study and Conservation of Biodiversity (INCEBIO), a local NGO. “Illegal trafficking often happens within the communities, and people who take the animals are locals. But traders and final consumers are outside the country, usually in Jamaica or the Cayman Islands.”Trafficking in La MosquitiaLocals in La Mosquitia are constantly waiting: waiting for help, waiting for good news. But what comes, they say, are people with bad intentions who take advantage of the neglect in this part of the country.In Mabita, locals have taken matters into their own hands, setting up patrols to guard the macaw nests. Currently, these community members receive a daily fee under a project supported by One Earth Conservation, a nonprofit.However, some members of this remote community — where school only goes to sixth grade, there is no health care center, no electricity and no drinking water — may see an opportunity in selling an animal, even if they know the buyer will flip the creature for much more on the international market.A source in the Honduran public prosecutor’s office told Mongabay that wildlife trafficking in the area generates thousands of dollars in revenues per trafficker every month. A scarlet macaw can be illicitly sold on the international market for $1,000; a great green macaw can fetch up to $3,000. The nation’s environmental prosecutor investigated illegal trade routes for timber and wildlife in the area and identified the one that starts in the nearby community of Caukira as among the most profitable. This route passes through Honduras’s Ceiba and Bay islands and ends in Jamaica.One of the scarlet macaws seized in December 2017 in Puerto Lempira. The rescued animals were relocated to Mabita. Image by anonymous.Caukira is a colorful town, visibly more developed than Mabita. Saturation divers catch lobsters and sea cucumbers, a dangerous business that has crippled more than 5,000 men in La Mosquitia due to decompression sickness from using makeshift gear. Caukira is also a hub of various illegal trades: cocaine, Jamaican marijuana and wildlife, according to a source from the prosecutor’s office.These businesses are so lucrative that trying to dismantle them can mean death for people who live in this area where, as Portillo says, the lack of state control is alarming.The risk of fighting wildlife trafficking in La MosquitiaIn December 2017, after barely 10 months in the position, an environmental prosecutor in Puerto Lempira, the Gracias a Dios capital, who had taken action against timber and wildlife traffickers, had to flee due to an attack on his house.When the prosecutor first arrived, he started to work with the military, the only clear and evident presence of the state in La Mosquitia. At one point, unidentified people shot at the gate, door and windows of the prosecutor’s apartment. For his safety, the prosecutor was transferred to another office elsewhere in the country. No one was charged over the attack.Anaida Panting’s shelter hosted the species seized in December 2017. Image by Martin Cálix/Contracorriente.“Sometimes law enforcement is not appropriate,” says Marleny Zelaya of the Institute of Forest Conservation (ICF), a government agency. “At the ICF we find ourselves between the authorities in the prosecutor’s office, the soldiers and the communities.” She added that the fact that the prosecutor’s office went from zero scrutiny actions to a heavy-handed approach against trafficking in illegal goods, including timber, without considering that many poor communities use the resources rationally, if not legally, was not the best way to enforce the law.Anaida Panting has welcomed the animals that are now recovering in Mabita, even if the community has to care for them. She says the national institutions only show up so that they see their faces and then disappear. The prosecutor’s office leaves the animals there, and the ICF assists in the transportation of the animals, but then they leave. Zelaya contends that they do their best, but sometimes they need to serve as mediators to prevent bigger problems.Panting says there will always be problems. She explained that weeks ago a young man stole a parrot egg, which can be sold in Nicaragua for 1,500 lempiras. Hunger also drives locals to become traffickers.Panting has built a strong link with the birds she looks after and tends to. Image by Martin Cálix/Contracorriente.Trafficking increases when foreigners arrive in Mabita to buy macaws. Investigations by the public prosecutor’s office show that different birds have been traded along the route that takes in the villages of Mocorón, Rus Rus and Leimus, and that a Chinese national was paying locals to steal hatchlings and eggs from the nests. The exchange means little money for locals and a lot for traffickers who sell the species in Europe, Asia and at home in Honduras. Locals who want to take care of the species are facing dangerous people.“Here if they kill a Miskito it’s as if they’d killed a chicken,” says a resident of Rus Rus, a Miskito village in Gracias a Dios. Some residents here have worked to protect the macaw, but they know that if they are threatened and killed so that trade can continue, their deaths won’t make the news.For the Maya peoples of Mesoamarica, the scarlet macaw is the forest protector, the incarnation of the sun. But today in the cities, the birds can only be seen in cages, and witnessing a macaw flying is almost a miracle. In Mabita, the miracle happens daily. Panting receives them and kisses them. Apu pauni pree palisa — “Scarlet macaw, fly free” — is written in Miskito language in signs around this community that barely receives visitors. The scarlet macaw flies free and returns to the arms of the people who rescued it.The yellow-naped parrot, the great green macaw, and the scarlet macaw find their last free territory in La Mosquitia, but wildlife trafficking in the area threatens the conservation of these species. Image by Martin Cálix/Contracorriente.Banner image: a scarlet macaw in Mabita. Image by: Martin Cálix – Contracorriente.This article was first published by Mongabay Latam. Edits by Philip Jacobson.last_img read more

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Audio: Environmental justice and urban rat infestations

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

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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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In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, August 9, 2019

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 John Cannon There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsAn anthropologist tried to fight off poachers’ dogs going after chimpanzees in Uganda (The Atlantic).Agri-giant Chiquita says it will take steps to protect biodiversity (Produce News).Lawmakers in California are considering a rule that would penalize companies for not standing in the way of forest destruction (ProPublica).Forest communities and conservation efforts stand to lose if India’s Forest Rights Act isn’t passed, says wildlife biologist Ravi Chellam (The Hindu).Rainforests can only hold so much carbon dioxide, new research shows (UPI).Mozambique’s Gorongosa has African wild dogs once again (The New York Times).Other newsA water shortage is devastating herders in western India (Al Jazeera).The combination of fire and destructive elephants may not be as harmful to savanna trees as once thought, scientists have found (The Economist).Sixteen black rhinos were successfully moved to Swaziland in July from South Africa (The Maravi Post).Canada has two new ocean sanctuaries aimed at protecting sea ice and wildlife in the Arctic (Mother Nature Network).The new report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns about the dangers of climate change to water and food security (The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic, The Guardian).More young conservatives in the U.S. see climate change as a priority (The New York Times).Climate change could cause a global financial meltdown (The Atlantic).Fires in Siberia were set by illegal loggers, authorities say (The Irish Times, Reuters, The Moscow Times).Mercury concentrations in fish are rising, despite decades of emissions reductions through regulation (The Atlantic).Banner image of a chimpanzee in Uganda by Rhett A. Butler/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.center_img Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update last_img read more

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Pan Borneo Highway development endangers the Heart of Borneo

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation, Deforestation, Development, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Infrastructure, Logging, Mammals, Mining, Poaching, Poverty, Rainforests, Roads, Saving Rainforests, Sustainable Development, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation The construction of the Pan Borneo Highway in the Malaysian state of Sabah could disrupt the connections between wildlife populations and appears to run counter to the state’s conservation commitments, according to a new study.Passages under the highway and the rehabilitation of key forest corridors could lessen the impacts of the road, but the authors of the study caution that these interventions are expensive and may not be effective.They argue that planners should consider canceling certain sections of the road with the greatest potential for damaging the surrounding forest. A planned highway network in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo threatens the forests protected as part of the Heart of Borneo agreement made with Indonesia and Brunei, a new study has found.The goal of the agreement was to ensure the survival of continuous rainforest in central Borneo that houses wildlife populations, helps to mitigate climate change and fosters the island’s unique biology. But the construction and expansion of roads for the Pan Borneo Highway project could carve up the core of this ecosystem, the researchers who wrote the paper say.“We just know that these [roads] are going to have really severe effects in some of the last, sizable intact tracts of forest in Borneo and in the world,” William Laurance, a tropical ecologist at James Cook University in Australia and the study’s senior author, said in an interview.Construction for the Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.The team’s research, published Sept. 18 in the journal PLOS ONE, plotted out the series of new and expanded roadway construction that’s part of the multi-year Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah. The researchers compared these plans with the locations of intact forests, parks and reserves in the state, and then they modeled the repercussions on surrounding forests.“Some of the planned highways are relatively benign, but several are flat-out dangerous,” Sean Sloan, the study’s lead author and an ecologist at James Cook University, said in a statement. “The worst roads, in southern Sabah, would chop up and isolate Sabah’s forests from the rest of those in Borneo.”In particular, a planned stretch between the towns of Kalabakan and Sapulut near Sabah’s southern border with the Indonesian province of North Kalimantan would slice through the Heart of Borneo conservation area.The cross-border initiative covers some 220,000 square kilometers (85,000 square miles), and since its inception in 2007, Sabah has more than doubled the area of forests protected under state law. But to succeed, the Heart of Borneo requires transnational cooperation, as it spans parts the three countries with territory on the island.Constructing parts of the highway in sensitive areas of Sabah is tantamount to “plunging a dagger into the heart of Borneo’s endangered forests and wildlife,” Laurance said. In the researchers’ view, plans for the Pan Borneo Highway project should incorporate not just the impacts on parts of Sabah, but on the broader — and still relatively intact — ecosystem that the Heart of Borneo was designed to protect.The incursion of roads into previously untouched or lightly used forest often leads to a rise in deforestation, hunting, illegal mining and other damaging effects to the surrounding ecosystem.A Bornean elephant in the Kinabatangan River in central Sabah. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Borneo is home to some of the oldest rainforests on the planet, which have existed for 130 million years. In that time, the island’s unique species have flourished, evolving alongside a unique set of ecological dynamics.Laurance pointed to the mast fruiting of the towering dipterocarp trees that anchor the island’s forest ecosystems. Every few years, bunches of these trees fruit in a synchronized pulse, resulting in a cornucopia of food for bearded pigs (Sus barbatus), sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and a host of other hungry species. Some animals track these migrations across routes that extend for hundreds of kilometers.Sun bears follow the mast fruiting of dipterocarp trees on the island of Borneo. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.“That is a really important part of the Borneo story,” Laurance told Mongabay. “The migration was absolutely critical to Borneo.”But the construction and expansion of roads throw up potential hurdles to these migrations, as well as the movement of animals like Borneo’s dwarf variety of elephant, that are integral to the biology of the island, he said.Planners have proposed stitching together patches of rehabilitated forest to serve as corridors and building underpasses that would allow animals to move from one side of the road to another without endangering themselves or motorists. But Laurance and his colleagues question how effective they’ll be in maintaining meaningful connections between populations.“These proposed mitigation measures for these highways are very likely to be grossly inadequate,” Laurance said.Bearded pigs historically migrate to take advantage of mast fruiting. Image by Rufus46 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).Forest rehabilitation and underpass construction are expensive, the researchers note. They calculated that a set of underpasses at eight proposed sites along the highway’s routes could cost $38 million or more, a figure that’s larger than the state’s annual budget for the Heart of Borneo initiative.The team’s analysis also suggests that Sabah’s plans miss crucial corridors that would help secure the links that are vitally important to the health of wildlife populations — if the animals choose to go along with these remedies, that is.“We also know that wildlife are often doggedly uncooperative in using these things,” Laurance said.Whether these strategies are successful also hinges upon the quality of the habitat that the corridors or underpasses stitch together.“When you build a new road you typically get a lot of forest destruction and fires, along with poaching, and that means vulnerable wildlife will largely avoid the area,” Mohammed Alamgir, an ecologist at James Cook and one of the paper’s authors, said in the statement. “Relying on underpasses to reduce road impacts is like trying to treat cancer with a band-aid.”Highway construction cuts through a mangrove in northwestern Sabah. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.The researchers suggest rethinking or canceling the parts of the highway with the most potential for causing damage, especially the Sapulut-Kalabakan section. If the Pan Borneo Highway goes forward there as planned, it’s likely to “cut off the head of the Heart of Borneo,” Laurance said, irreversibly altering one of the world’s critical repositories of biodiversity.“This a very obvious and dramatic existential threat to some of the last surviving intact forests” in Borneo, he said.Banner image of a Bornean orangutan by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonEditor’s note: William Laurance is a member of Mongabay’s advisory board.Citation:Sloan, S., Campbell, M. J., Alamgir, M., Lechner, A. M., Engert, J., & Laurance, W. F. (2019). Trans-national conservation and infrastructure development in the Heart of Borneo. PLOS ONE, 14(9), e0221947. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0221947FEEDBACK: 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 John Cannoncenter_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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Climate justice advocates at UN: ‘Come with plans not speeches’

first_imgActivism, Climate Activism, Climate Change, Corporate Responsibility, Human Rights, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Rights Article published by Genevieve Belmaker As the Peoples’ Summit on Climate, Rights and Human Survival convened in New York last weekend, leaders had a call to action for attendees: bring solutions.The climate justice movement meeting brought human rights and climate leaders together for one of the most prominent such gathering to date.The meetings came amid debates over aggressively gutted environmental safeguards by the US, including its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. The UN special envoy for this year’s climate summit, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, opened the September 19-20 Peoples’ Summit on Climate, Rights and Human Survival with an admonition for nations the coming week: “This will not be a traditional summit.” The time for addressing linkages between climate and human rights has passed, de Alba said and concentration should shift to individual and collective action.The meeting integrating human rights and climate leaders was the most prominent and clearest representation of the climate justice movement to date. According to Amnesty International, one of the event’s organizers, the meeting aimed to galvanize the human rights community to urgently scale-up its efforts on climate justice, creating the most diverse movement ever assembled to tackle the climate crisis.The gathering preceded this week’s Climate Action Summit at UN headquarters in New York City, where leaders from approximately 60 nations are gathered to form a plan of action to address the climate emergency.The UN secretary general wants ambitious new commitments at the pace and scale required to significantly reduce emissions. The climate justice group made clear that generalized rhetoric is no longer welcome.“There needs to be a multi-front response to the emergency of climate change,” said Craig Mokhiber, director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “[That] includes legal strategies that the various communities can bring, social and political strategies that includes looking at aspects of economic decisions that have led us to where we are now, and the full spectrum of tactics that goes from action in court to action to civil disobedience in the streets, because that’s where we are in terms of crisis.”The earth’s rapid warming as a result of humankind’s activities has created what panelist and UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, described as a “climate apartheid,” where the disproportionate effects of the climate crisis are borne by colored populations.“When you tell people there’s a leak in the boat, they’ll believe you when they’re up to their knees in water,” said Mokhiber on the importance of bringing together the voices of those who have already been dramatically affected and those who will be without meaningful immediate action. “That’s where we are now.”Much of what has been done to address the climate crisis thus far has been described as “rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic.” As world leaders gathered in New York this month, he puts special blame on the US. “Worse than that,” Mokhiber said, “the US is buttressing the iceberg.”President Donald Trump, who made a surprise 14-minute appearance on the opening day of the climate summit before departing for a meeting on religious freedom, has aggressively gutted environmental safeguards since taking office and is leading the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. According to human rights leaders, such negligence might constitute a human rights violation.Jennifer Morgan is the executive director of Greenpeace International. “While we all recognize [climate and human rights] linkages, and they are more and more prevalent every single day, I don’t believe that corporations and states have truly understood that their lack of action on climate change is a violation of their human rights obligations.”Kumi Naidoo is the current Secretary-General of Amnesty International. “I just have one message to the leadership of the fossil fuel companies of the world,” Naidoo said. “They need to understand that we are now going to be using the full weight of human rights law. They need to understand that any decision they make now to invest one cent more in new fossil fuel projects is an investment in the death of our children and their children.”A number of countries have not been selected to speak at the climate summit, including coal-supporting nations like Japan and South Africa. According to Financial Times, also excluded will be the US, as well as Brazil and Saudi Arabia.The energy in New York was undeniably positive as the imperative for action seems to be gaining traction, if just in the public’s consciousness.Ellen Dorsey is the executive director of the Wallace Global Fund, a private foundation focused on progressive social change in the fields of environment, democracy, human rights and corporate accountability. “The real measure of success of this summit is that it unleashes the process where we have built such power and collaborative action so strong and so clear that the fossil fuel companies will tender plans consistent with a 1.5-degree world,” Dorsey said.What does that mean for corporations and governments?“That means they must wind down or fundamentally transform themselves and they must stop their capital expenditures now – no new fossil fuels,” said Dorsey, whose organization seeks to put the rights of people at the center of climate solutions. “We will ensure that as we move into the new energy economy that it is a rights-respecting economy and the solutions out people not profit at the center and that the renewable energy companies themselves are held accountable to human rights as well as environmental standards. That power is building and it is time that we show that power in very clear ways.”At the end of the first day of the Climate Action Summit, Nemonte Nenquimo, of the Waorani Nation in Ecuador and one of the founding members of the indigenous organization Ceibo Alliance, delivered a rousing speech at an indigenous community event hosted by the Ford Foundation. “We must respect the right to live well, to conserve air, water, and land,” she said. “This is my fight. Not just for my country, for the indigenous, this work is for the world. This is a fight for all.”Lavetanalagi Seru is a co-founder of the Alliance for Future Generations, a youth-led voluntary organization working for education and climate justice, who traveled from Fiji. “There is very little time left now for systems change,” Seru urged in his closing remarks to last week’s indigenous peoples’ summit.“Let us use our moral voice to call on our governments to take ambitious climate action, demanding corporate accountability and also by playing our part in the current unsustainable consumption, production and distribution patterns. Let us rise to the challenge this planet seeks of us––or we shall all be judged for our inaction by a jury that is yet to be born.”This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 300 outlets worldwide to strengthen coverage of the climate story.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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Saving Aru: The epic battle to save the islands that inspired the theory of evolution

first_imgIn the mid-1800s, the extraordinary biodiversity of the Aru Islands helped inspire the theory of evolution by natural selection.Several years ago, however, a corrupt politician granted a single company permission to convert most of the islands’ rainforests into a vast sugar plantation.The people of Aru fought back. Today, the story of their grassroots campaign resonates across the world as a growing global movement seeks to force governments to act on climate change. This story was co-published with The Gecko Project. Additional support was provided by Earthsight.I. The movement beginsLate one rainy night in August 2013, a college student named Collin Leppuy arrived at the doorstep of Father Jacky Manuputty, a church minister in the coastal city of Ambon, Indonesia. He had come to ask for help; his homeland was under threat.Collin, then 23, had grown up in the Aru Islands, a heavily forested archipelago in the eastern margins of the world’s largest island nation. He was studying social welfare policy at a university in Ambon, the capital of Maluku province. Collin had recently organized rallies in the city against a corrupt politician who had governed Aru for nearly a decade. Convicted of siphoning off millions of dollars in state funds, the politician had absconded before law enforcers finally caught up with him. Collin had felt proud of the outcome, but this gave way to a renewed sense of urgency when he discovered what else the politician had done before his arrest.For decades, Aru had escaped the attention of the companies clearing Indonesia’s rainforests. But as the jungles of Java, Sumatra and Borneo dwindled, those in search of timber and agricultural land began to look east. Aru now lay in the sights of a company called the Menara Group. Collin had learned that before he was ousted from office, the politician had secretly approved a plan by Menara to plant sugarcane across nearly two-thirds of Aru. If it went ahead, the firm would reap billions of dollars by logging Aru’s forests and replacing them with what could be the world’s biggest sugar plantation. But it would destroy the existing livelihoods and food supplies of tens of thousands of people, including Collin’s friends and family. It would ruin the habitats of Aru’s unique wildlife, of animals like the ethereal birds-of-paradise, and the natural world from which the Aruese drew their identity.Male greater birds-of-paradise (Paradisaea apoda) display their plumage in the Aru Islands. Image by Tim Laman/courtesy of Tim Laman and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.Jacky welcomed Collin into his house and listened to his appeal for help. Then in his late 40s, with closely cropped, curly black hair, a thick mustache and a gentle but stern demeanor, Jacky held a senior position in the Protestant Church of Maluku, which had more than 700 parishes across the region. As a younger man, Jacky had been inspired by the ideas of liberation theology, a Christian movement that emerged in Latin America to aid the poor and oppressed, and by popular uprisings against authoritarianism. He had spent decades helping rural communities in eastern Indonesia fend off unsolicited advances from extractive companies. Now Collin wanted Jacky to do the same for the Aruese.Jacky was wary. He knew how fraught things could get for indigenous groups who resisted government-backed projects. On his home island of Haruku, a short boat ride from Ambon, his own community had fractured when a mining firm tried to gain a foothold. Clashes between neighboring villages for and against the project had turned violent. Jacky’s side had tried to sue the company, but the conflict reached a decisive end only when villagers burned the firm’s camp to the ground. Now, Jacky wondered if the Aruese would be strongly united in their opposition to the sugar plantation, or if he might be walking into a situation that could spiral out of control.As the rain pattered down, Jacky and Collin formed a plan. They would invite Aruese students in Ambon to a candlelight vigil as an act of solidarity. Collin would gather his peers in a classroom at his school, and Jacky would lead them in prayer. Then they would all discuss how best to proceed.The Aru Islands’ total area is 8,570 square kilometers (3,310 square miles), about the size of Puerto Rico.The following night, Collin arrived with a dozen students. During Jacky’s service, they asked if they could sing a folk song that told the origin myth of Aru’s people. Jacky listened as they murmured the lyrics, recounting a quarrel between two brothers over a golden spear with supernatural powers for catching fish. The brothers’ infighting prompted God to strike their island with an earthquake and tidal wave, splitting it in two and forcing its inhabitants to set sail for the archipelago known today as Aru.But Jacky soon cut them off. The song had a deep cultural resonance, but the students sung it as if they were ashamed of their heritage. To Jacky, it spoke of a lack of spirit — spirit that would be direly needed if they were to confront the forces ranged against Aru.“Don’t start this struggle if you’re not proud of your identity as Aruese,” he warned. “If you are not, then the company will come and pay you, and pick you off one by one.“Sing it again,” he said. “More dynamic than you sing the national anthem.”They did, this time with more verve.At the end of the evening, they wrote two words on pieces of paper: SOS ARU.Jacky, center, stands with Collin, third from right, and the other students at the candlelight vigil in August 2013. The signs say, “Pray for Aru!”Over the coming months this phrase, and others like it, would become a clarion call for a grassroots movement that reverberated from Aru to Ambon, to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, and far beyond.It brought together indigenous men and women of all ages, a cast of outsiders who rallied to their cause, and supporters from around the globe. At stake were competing visions of development. The company and its political backers told the Aruese they were backward and poor, and that the only way out was to trust their fate to a faceless conglomerate. But the people of Aru took stock of the natural world that surrounded them, and they said no.It would soon become clear they were fighting not just against a plantation, but for something more fundamental — to make government accountable to the people, in a country where business interests have widely co-opted the levers of state power. It was a battle whose outcome would decide the fate of one of the world’s last great tracts of rainforest, and of the people whose lives and culture were entwined with it. Today their struggle resonates across the planet, as a growing global movement seeks to confront the same binary choice between prosperity and the environment that the Aruese decided, to profound effect, was false.But at first, it was just a dozen students, a priest and two words on paper.“That’s the movement starting,” Jacky would later say. “In that room.”II. ‘In the end, it comes down to power’last_img read more

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