Georgia spa murders: Suspect charged with 8 counts of murder

first_imgCherokee Sheriff’s Office GeorgiaBy IVAN PEREIRA, MATT FOSTER and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(ATLANTA) — The man suspected of killing eight people in three separate shootings at spas in the Atlanta area on Tuesday has allegedly admitted to the killings and blamed his “addiction to sex” as the motive, authorities said.The suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Georgia, was taken into custody Tuesday night following a police pursuit, authorities said.The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said, “Long confessed to the shootings in Cherokee County and Atlanta.”He was charged Wednesday afternoon with four counts of murder by the Atlanta Police Department and four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.“Long told investigators that he blames the massage parlors for providing an outlet for his addiction to sex,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.He may have “frequented these places in the past,” Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said.“Long told investigators the crimes were not racially motivated,” the sheriff’s office added.The first shooting was reported at about 5 p.m. at Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth, Georgia. Deputies found two people shot dead and three others injured, according to a spokesman from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. The three injured were taken to a hospital, where two died, said Capt. Jay Baker, director of communications from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.About 47 minutes after that incident, Atlanta police responded to a 911 call of a robbery in progress at Gold Spa on Piedmont Road and found three women dead from gunshot wounds, a spokesman told ABC News in a statement.While on the scene, the officers were advised of shots fired at a spa across the street, identified as Aromatherapy Spa. When they went to investigate, police found a woman inside dead from a gunshot wound, Sgt. John Chafee of the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement.All four deaths in the Atlanta shooting were identified as women and “it appears that they may be Asian,” police said at a press conference.Several victims in the Acworth shooting were Asian. The Acworth victims were identified by authorities as: Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Yan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44.Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, was shot and injured in the Acworth shooting and was the sole survivor, authorities said.Rita Barron, owner of Gabby’s Boutique, which is next door to the location of the first shooting, told ABC News that she first heard one loud pop between the businesses’ shared wall and became concerned.“I have two customers in my store and I heard what sounded like a pop and I thought, ‘Oh my god, something is wrong,’” Barron said.Long’s phone was tracked to find his location, authorities said. His car was spotted around 8 p.m. in Crisp County, which is about three hours south of Atlanta, and deputies performed a PIT maneuver to spin out the car, the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office said. Long was arrested without incident. A 9mm gun was recovered at the traffic stop, authorities said.Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the suspect was allegedly trying to flee to Florida. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said “there was some type of porn industry in that state” and Long allegedly “wanted to do some similar act in that location.”Prior to Long’s arrest, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office had shared photos of the suspect leaving Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth.In Cherokee County, Long is charged with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault, the sheriff’s office said.Authorities said it appeared the suspect acted alone.Stop AAPI Hate said in a statement Tuesday, “The reported shootings of multiple Asian American women today in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy — for the families of the victims first and foremost, but also for the Asian American community, which has been reeling from high levels of racist attacks over the course of the past year. Few details about these shootings have been released, including whether or not they were motivated by hate.”“Not enough has been done to protect Asian Americans from heightened levels of hate, discrimination and violence,” the statement continued. “Concrete action must be taken now. Anything else is unacceptable. As further details of this tragedy unfold, our hearts go out to the loved ones of the victims and to the Asian American community in Atlanta.”In the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville, the police department said Wednesday that it’s providing “extra patrols in and around Asian businesses, particularly spas,” in the wake of Tuesday’s shootings.“Although there are no known threats at this time, these patrols will continue for the foreseeable future for the safety and comfort of the community,” police said.After a briefing with Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, President Joe Biden said Wednesday, “[T]he investigation is ongoing and the question of motivation is still to be determined. But whatever the motivation here … I have been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple of months and it is very, very troublesome.”Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday, “Our prayers are extended to the families of those who have been killed.”“We’re not yet clear about the motive,” Harris said. “But I do want to say to our Asian American community that we stand with you and understand how this has frightened and shocked and outraged all people, but knowing the increasing level of hate crime against our Asian American brothers and sisters, we also want to speak out in solidarity with them and acknowledge that none of us should ever be silent in the face of any form of hate.”Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock told ABC News Wednesday, “It’s a tragic set of events in Atlanta that has taken the precious lives of eight people, mostly women, and largely in the Asian community. My heart goes out to that community.”He went on, “I weep, even as they weep, because while it is the case that it’s these eight families that are suffering, all of us are part of the same family. And I think that that kind of sentiment must drive us to create peace in the world — the kind of active peace that makes these kinds of tragic incidents a thing of the past.”Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff said in a statement Wednesday, “I’m heartbroken for the victims of last night’s horrific shootings in Georgia, and for the victims’ families.”“While the motive for last night’s terrible violence remains under investigation, I express my love and support for and stand in solidarity with the Asian-American community, which has endured a shocking increase in violence and harassment over the last year,” Ossoff said.ABC News’ Mark Osborne, Rachel Katz and Darren Reynolds contributed to this report. Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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World Council working to establish credit unions in Cuba

first_img 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr As the U.S. and Cuba normalize relations, World Council of Credit Unions is planting the seeds for the movement’s development.World Council leaders visited the island nation in July to investigate the current state of financial services. Brian Branch, World Council president/CEO, writes about the trip at makingadifference.squarespace.com.A World Council delegation plans to return to Cuba this month to meet with Cuban officials and engage in a government policy dialog to establish a legal framework for credit unions.World Council’s work in Cuba backs the organization’s Vision 2020 initiative to extend credit union services to at least 50 million new people by the year 2020. The initiative targets the two billion unbanked people worldwide.Credit unions for Cuba’s 11 million residents would bring World Council one large step closer to meeting their goal. continue reading »last_img read more

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Stylish jumping spider named after late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld

first_imgResearchers have named a previously undescribed species of black-and-white jumping spider Jotus karllagerfeldi, after the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, known for his signature black-and-white style.In addition to Karl Lagerfeld’s jumping spider, researchers have described four more new-to-science species of jumping spiders in the new paper, including J. albimanus, J. fortiniae, J. moonensis and J. newtoni.All five newly described species belong to a group of miniscule spiders called the brushed jumping spiders, males of which can be extremely colorful and are known to perform elaborate mating dances using a brush of long, colorful bristles on their legs to wave to the females.Despite being colorful and charismatic, very little is known about brushed jumping spiders, researchers say, urging amateurs who photograph these spiders to lodge their specimens with museums so that more new species can be described. If there’s an iconic image of the late Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel and Fendi, it’s his signature black-and-white style: white ponytail, black sunglasses, black-and-white suit with high, detachable white-collared shirts.That’s also the look being sported by a tiny black-and-white jumping spider species from Australia, according to a new study.The arachnid, named Jotus karllagerfeldi after the style czar, has large black eyes that resemble sunglasses, and short black-and-white appendages called pedipalps next to its jaw, which resemble a Kent collar.“Karl Lagerfeld inspired us with his unique sense of design and this new spider with big black eyes and white kent collar reminds us of his later looks — a fashion icon in black and white,” researchers write in the paper.A newly described brushed jumping spider species, Jotus karllagerfeldi. Image by Mark Newton/CeNak.In addition to Karl Lagerfeld’s jumping spider, Barbara Baehr, an arachnologist at Queensland Museum, and her colleagues described four more new-to-science species of jumping spiders, including J. albimanus, J. fortiniae, J. moonensis and J. newtoni. The specimens of all five species were drawn from museum collections.All five newly described species belong to a group of miniscule spiders called brushed jumping spiders. The males of these spiders can be black-and-white or extremely colorful, with iridescent turquoise and orange patterns, and are known to perform elaborate mating dances using a brush of long, colorful bristles, known as setae, on their legs to wave to the females.“The males perform unique dance rituals with their brilliantly decorated first pair of legs to attract females,” co-author Joseph Schubert, a jumping-spider taxonomist at Monash University, said in a statement. “These five new species are close relatives of the Australian peacock spiders which also perform courtship dances for females. This courtship behaviour makes them a crowd favourite and has popularised jumping spiders worldwide.”Despite being colorful and charismatic, “almost nothing is known about their diversity and taxonomic identity,” Baehr said.The researchers add that while museum collections tend to have few specimens of brushed jumping spiders, these arachnids are often photographed and posted online by naturalists. “We make a first effort here by re-illustrating old species and revising the specimens available at the Queensland Museum but we urge amateurs to lodge their specimens with museums so that the countless new species that are already photographed and available online can be described,” the authors write. “This is also important because large series of specimens are needed to match males and females in these sexually dimorphic spiders.”Members of the jumping spider genus Jotus can be very colorful. Images by Robert Whyte (Jotus fortiniae sp. nov., top row) and Michael Doe (unidentified species, bottom row)/CeNak.Banner image of Jotus karllagerfeldi and late Karl Lagerfeld by Mark Newton, CeNak, and Siebbi (modification by CeNak), respectively.Citation:Baehr, B. C., Schubert, J., & Harms, D. (2019). The Brushed Jumping Spiders (Araneae, Salticidae, Jotus L. Koch, 1881) from Eastern Australia. Evolutionary Systematics, 3, 53. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Animals, Arachnids, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, New Species, Research, Species Discovery, Spiders, Wildlife last_img read more

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‘Vulture restaurants’ provide lifeline for critically endangered species

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 Animals, Birds, Conservation Solutions, Critically Endangered Species, Ecotourism, Endangered Species, Human-wildlife Conflict, Vultures, Wildlife Rehabilitation Article published by Sue Palmintericenter_img After a crash in vulture populations in South Asia in the 1990s, several species are rebounding in Nepal thanks to a ban on the drug diclofenac along with community efforts.“Vulture restaurants” have been opened to save the birds from extinction by providing them with safe food and building awareness of their imperiled status.Conservationists say broader efforts, such as regular monitoring of the remaining population and conservation of their habitat, are needed to save vultures. PITHAULI, Nepal — A quiet cattle grazing ground on the fringes of the Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal suddenly burst into life. Tall trees wearing shades of green after overnight rain were abuzz with around 150 vultures of various species. And within a matter of minutes, almost all of them darted towards the ground to pounce on food literally laid on a platter.Vultures from surrounding areas, some of which are tagged, feed on a carcass provided at a vulture restaurant in southern Nepal. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.Around half a dozen tourists, university students and local researchers watched in awe as one of nature’s most prolific ‘cleaners’ devoured a dead cow.“The food we offer to them is free from diclofenac, and hence it is safe,” says Ankit Bilash Joshi, a field biologist. The drug diclofenac began killing vultures during the late 1990s. This drug relieved old or sick cattle of their discomfort, but it poisoned vultures.“Once a cow died,” said ornithologist Hem Sagar Baral, who is now the Country Representative of ZSL in Nepal, “herders would dump them next to a river, and vultures would eat the carcass. Food was super-abundant for vultures back then.”The introduction of diclofenac changed that. When an animal full of the pain-killing drug died, vultures fed on the carcass, ingesting the medicine, which remained in the body of cattle for up to a week.The drug spikes uric acid levels in the blood and develops visceral gout in vultures, which prevents the kidney from filtering uric acid and kills the bird. According to Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN), a contaminated carcass can kill around 350-800 individuals.Until this period, vultures lacked protected status because they were relatively common. “Those days, we had a vulture crisis in South Asia, including Nepal,” remembers Baral, who worked on campaigns to rid the region of the drug. Of the around 1-1.6 million vultures that roamed the sky in Nepal, only 20,000 survive at present, according to Bird Conservation Nepal.A critically endangered white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) showing some of its characteristic white ruff and leg feathers approaches the carcass. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.Vultures typically lay just one egg every year, so their populations could not keep up with the rapid loss of adults.  “The population of vultures (mainly the white-rumped [Gyps bengalensis] and slender-billed [Gyps tenuirostris], two species now categorized as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List) that remained was a decimated one,” Baral told Mongabay.While international scientists suggested that a ban on the killer drug could help the population recover (the government did ban the drug in 2006), Baral, who has been studying vultures in Nepal for two decades, had a hunch that changing cattle rearing practices in the sub-continent could have contributed to the crisis in many ways. “First, cows native to Nepal and other parts of South Asia are very unproductive. People had to raise a lot of cows, for a few litres of milk.”But as new hybrids were introduced, productivity shot up–one hybrid cow could produce more milk than 10 local cows. This led to a decline in the population of cattle, which had been a vital source of food for vultures, Baral explained. “To add to that, people started burying dead cattle because of changes in sanitary behavior, which further decreased the vultures’ food supply.A local solutionBaral, then CEO of BCN, wanted to provide safe food for vultures. He and DB Chaudhary, a local resident of Pithauli who was also monitoring vultures, came up with an idea that unwittingly resembled the ‘vulture restaurant’ model developed in Africa in the mid-1960s.But there was a caveat. “Vultures in India and Nepal are more reliant on dead livestock than their cousins in Africa that get plenty of dead wild ungulates to feed on,” Baral said.“The problem with cattle is that when they get old, they become a burden for farmers. They want to get rid of them, but due to religious reasons, they can’t do so—Hindus revere cows,” explained Chaudhary, who has been working in the field of conservation and biodiversity for over 25 years. “So we’d buy the old cattle from farmers and feed them to the vultures,” he added.Members of the community prepare a carcass to feed the vultures. The community manages the restaurant. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.With support from BCN, the idea finally broke ground and a ‘vulture feeding zone’ was established in 2006. Some of their early challenges included local perception of the project.Word soon spread that Chaudhary was killing cows and feeding them to vultures. “Rumors had it that I slaughtered cows—doing so is illegal in Nepal—and fed them to the vultures,” Chaudhary said. “One day, top army and police officers from the area came to visit and asked me to explain what I was doing. Everyone in the community was certain that I would be arrested,” he added. But the security officers loved his idea and asked him if he needed any support. “We don’t kill cows, we look after them. We feed them well,” said Chaudhary, a proud founder of the Jatayu Vulture Restaurant. “And when they die due to old age, we feed them to the vultures, who don’t eat living beings,” said Baral.There were skeptics who said that the feeding program would make vultures lazy and they would lose skills to look for food in the wild. Others argued that if vultures got better food in India, they would migrate south of the border and all activities designed around the restaurant would fail. “Fortunately, none of that has happened,” Chaudhary said. In fact, a satellite tagging project showed that vultures that ‘dined’ at the restaurant have traveled as far as Pakistan.To start the restaurant, BCN teamed with the local community forest user group. “This helped the cause a lot as the local people took ownership of the project,” Baral said. “When we came up with the idea, I didn’t know that vulture restaurants were already popular in different parts of the world,” said Chaudhary. “Vulture restaurants were already in operation in various parts of Africa and Europe when we started it in Nepal. But what sets our restaurant apart is that the local community, not a business, manages it.”Diclofenac poisoning killed thousands of vultures in South Asia in the late 1990s. A campaign to stop the use of the drug still goes on.There were other factors that led BCN and Chaudhary to choose the village of Pithauli, Nawalparasi for the restaurant. “We decided to base the safe feeding zone, which we renamed as ‘restaurant’ because it sounded more trendy, because the area had a remnant colony that could be revived Baral said. “The bonus for us was that the area was close to Chitwan National Park, which welcomes thousands of tourists every year. We did not have to ‘create’ new tourists to come visit the restaurant.”Baral and Chaudhary, along with the local community, decided to brand it as ‘Jatayu’, the most famous vulture in Hindu mythology. They also decided to build a shed from which tourists could watch the vultures safely and an information center where people could come to learn about vultures. Preparing funding proposal for the UNDP small grants program in 2007 helped them refine their idea.While the grant and support from other organizations such as the International Trust for Nature Conservation and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds would help set up the basic infrastructure for the restaurant, the community would run the restaurant using revenue generated by various means, including selling cattle skin and excreta (for compost), and potentially, homestay units for tourists and scientists coming to the restaurant. The restaurant would be managed by a sub-committee of the local community forest user group.Impacts of the programThirteen years after its establishment, the program exceeds expectations. While tourist numbers have been encouraging, selling of bones and hide has not yielded a lot of revenue as it takes time for the bones and the hide to pile up to a quantity that can be sold in bulk. A recent survey by BCN showed that 31 percent of the people in Pithauli agreed that ecotourism has brought changes to their economic status. Similarly, 83 percent of the respondents said their lives would be affected by a decline in vulture population. Around 97 percent agreed that use of chemical medicine for livestock treatment killed the vultures.A red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), also a critically endangered species, is seen along with the white-rumped vultures feeding on a carcass at the vulture restaurant in Nawalpur. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.“We saw that the restaurant’s location near the Chitwan National Park was critical, as it helped bring in tourists, who would not have otherwise gone there just for the restaurant,” said Baral. “Our experience has been similar in Ghachok, where we have established another vulture restaurant near the resort town of Pokhara,” he said. “Other vulture restaurants that lack the tourism angle have had limited success,” he explained.Nevertheless, there are now more than half a dozen vulture restaurants around Nepal that run on similar models. Around Pithauli, the number of vulture nests has increased exponentially. Recent vulture population estimates in Nepal are around 80 percent of the population recorded in 2002.A Google search of the term ‘vulture restaurant’ throws up results from more than 10 different countries where the idea is either being discussed or is already implemented. For example, the South Asia Vulture Recovery Action Plan (2006) stressed using vulture restaurants to provide safe food and augment existing food sources. In Cambodia, where diclofenac was banned only in July 2019, the Vulture Action Plan (2016-2025), recognizes the contribution of six vulture restaurants, first of which was established in 2004, and calls for sustainable finance to support such feeding sites.ChallengesChaudhary and his community members face a host of challenges running the restaurant. “We wanted to run a homestay facility here, but that did not work out well” he said. “In addition to that, diclofenac is still in use in various parts of India, and vultures that get safe food in Nepal may die across the border.” He added, “after the recent local elections in Nepal after more than two decades, new representatives have taken office, and it is difficult to explain to them why what we are doing is important.”But these are challenges that can be overcome with time, Chaudhary said. His advice for other projects looking to emulate the success of the restaurant: get the community on board. “The project would not have been this successful without community ownership,” he said. Linking conservation with means of livelihood (such as tourism) is important, added Baral because it gives people the incentive to conserve the species in question.After the vultures are done eating, they visit a pond nearby to quench their thirst. They then bask in the sun to warm their feathers. Image by Abhaya Raj Joshi for Mongabay.Meanwhile, the vultures finish their meal turn-by-turn. The ones that were satiated first return from a nearby lake, where they drink water and spread their wings in the sun. They don’t have to worry about food for at least a week.But for conservationists like Baral, the vultures are not out of the woods yet. “Measures such as vulture restaurants only provide a shot in the arm for conservation efforts, broader efforts are needed to save vultures from extinction.” Monitoring of the population and detection of new threats (such as power transmission lines where they are electrocuted) along with conservation of their habitat is important, he adds.last_img read more

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Indonesian official at center of licensing scandal charged in new case

first_imgCorruption, Crime, Development, Environment, Environmental Crime, Forests, Governance, Infrastructure, Law, Law Enforcement, Palm Oil, Plantations Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency has charged a former district head from Borneo in connection with a port development project.Darwan Ali, who was the head of Seruyan district in Central Kalimantan province from 2003 to 2013, is accused of conspiring to inflate the budget to build the Segintung seaport, allegedly causing losses to the state of $1.48 million.Investigators also allege that Darwan steered the contract for the project to a developer in exchange for the company’s support for his election campaign.Environmental activists say they hope the investigation will lead the way to probing other, more serious allegations against Darwan, who was the subject of a 2017 investigative report by Mongabay and The Gecko Project into a massive scheme to flip permits for oil palm plantations to multinational firms. JAKARTA — Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency has charged a former politician from Borneo in connection with a port development project, in a move that could shed light on an earlier scandal involving permits for oil palm plantations.Darwan Ali, who was the head of Seruyan district in Central Kalimantan province from 2003 to 2013, is accused of conspiring to inflate the budget for a seaport in Segintung Bay between 2007 and 2012. Investigators at the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said the scheme incurred 20.84 billion rupiah ($1.48 million) in losses to the state during that period.Indonesia’s Seruyan district on the island of Borneo.The KPK also alleges that Darwan steered the contract for the project to developer PT Swa Karya Jaya, in exchange for the company backing his 2003 election bid. “It’s believed that the director at PT SKJ is a close friend of [Darwan’s],” Febri Diansyah, a spokesman for the KPK, told reporters in Jakarta on Oct. 14.Febri said the decision to charge Darwan was made after investigators questioned 32 witnesses and raided his home in Jakarta. The KPK has also applied for a travel ban to prevent Darwan leaving the country.Environmental activists have called on the agency to expand its investigation and root out other individuals involved in the project. “The KPK must also go after those that benefited from this project,” said Zenzi Suhadi, the head of advocacy at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).Zenzi added that this case could also be a stepping stone to probe other, more serious corruption allegations against Darwan.The politician was the subject of an extensive investigative report by Mongabay and the Gecko Project in 2017. Part of the award-winning “Indonesia for Sale” series, the report uncovered how Darwan, while head of Seruyan district, presided over an elaborate scheme to use shell companies as vehicles for selling oil palm plantation permits to firms owned by the billionaire Kuok and Rachmat families for millions of dollars.The scheme threatened to turn the southern reaches of Seruyan into a sea of oil palm. Local activists reported Darwan to the KPK in this case, and the agency investigated him but never pressed charges.Darwan Ali provided licenses to 18 companies owned by his family and cronies. Almost all of them were sold to Triputra Agro Persada and to the Kuok Group’s oil palm arm, PPB Oil Palms, which was later merged with Wilmar International. Source: Bursa Malaysia, Ditjen AHU, Nordin Abah, Marianto Sumarto and others.Below is a promotional video from the Segintung seaport agency in Seruyan district.Correction 10/18/19: A previous version of this story said Darwan took office in 2005, rather than in 2003.This story was first reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and published here on our Indonesian site on Oct. 15, 2019.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. 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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‘Timebomb’: Fires devastate tiger and elephant habitat in Sumatra

first_imgBanner image: Elephant habitat on this peatland is threatened due to fire and land conversion. Photo by Rifky/CIFOR.Editor’s note: This story was powered by Places to Watch, a Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative designed to quickly identify concerning forest loss around the world and catalyze further investigation of these areas. Places to Watch draws on a combination of near-real-time satellite data, automated algorithms and field intelligence to identify new areas on a monthly basis. In partnership with Mongabay, GFW is supporting data-driven journalism by providing data and maps generated by Places to Watch. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data.Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. 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, Animals, Big Cats, Deforestation, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Green, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Mammals, National Parks, Oil Palm, Old Growth Forests, Palm Oil, Plantations, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tigers, Tropical Forests, wildfires, Wildlife Another heavy fire season in Indonesia has taken a toll on the country’s remaining forest. In Sembilang National Park, on the island of Sumatra, fires raged into primary forest that provides vital habitat for critically endangered Sumatran tigers and elephants.Satellite data and imagery indicate the fires may have had a big impact on tigers in the park. In total, around 30 percent of tiger habitat in Sembilang burned between August and September. The fires also encroached into the park’s elephant habitat.Fires have also reportedly ravaged elephant habitat in Padang Sugihan Sebokor Wildlife Reserve, which lies southeast of Sembilang and serves as a corridor for wild elephants in South Sumatra. One report estimates that half of the reserve has suffered fire damage.Researchers say slash-and-burn clearing techniques likely started most of fires in the area, which were then exacerbated by drier-than-usual conditions and underground peat stores left unprotected by policy rollbacks.s Recent dry-season fires that raged across Indonesia in September and October have taken a toll on forests, even in protected areas. Fires were particularly destructive in southern Sumatra, burning around 8 percent of Sembilang National Park, according to satellite data and local observers.The fires, along with illegal logging in the area and the conversion of secondary forest and shrub land to oil palm plantations, continue to threaten critically endangered wildlife such as the Sumatran elephant, a subspecies of the Asian elephant, and the Sumatran tiger. Endangered Malay tapir, as well as several common primate species, are also known to inhabit the park area.Until recently no known elephant populations existed in Sembilang National Park, but a study published in May in the journal Biovalentia: Biological Research uncovered four individual elephants in the park over six days of observation early early 2019.The study estimates that there are between six and 10 individual elephants in the park area, ranging from north of the Sembilang River to south of the Bungin River and inland toward the west where the park borders the PT Raja Palma oil palm plantation.Wild elephant group in Sebokor Village Forest, part of Padang Sugihan Wildlife Reserve – Sebokor, which is located near Sembilang National Forest. Photo by Faizal Abdul Aziz/CIFOR.Donny Gunaryadi, secretary of the Indonesia Elephant Forum, told Mongabay that the government is currently in the process of finalizing a new 10-year action plan for Sumatran elephant protection that is expected to start next year.The plan will likely concentrate on preserving populations in the provinces of Aceh at the northern tip of Sumatra, Riau in the island’s center, and Jambi, which lies south of Riau and north of the South Sumatra province that is home to Sembilang National Park.“The population is decreasing,” said Gunaryadi, who has been advising on the draft of the policy, estimating that there are now 1,400 elephants in Sumatra, down from 2,400 a decade ago.In the 1980s, when Indonesia launched its massive transmigration program to resettle people from more populous areas of Java to other islands in the archipelago such as Sumatra, there were estimated to be as many as 4,000 elephants still on the island. However, conflicts between humans and elephants over land increased with the influx of settlers, and elephants have been on the decline ever since.“This is a very serious decrease within 10 years,” Gunaryadi said. “Some of the problems are from poaching, but also [the elephant] doesn’t have a secure habitat in many areas.”Tiger, elephant habitat likely affected by recent firesJust how Sembilang’s tiger populations fared during the fires is not exactly known just yet. The Zoological Society of London has staff that follow tiger populations in the region, but they were not prepared to accept an interview at this time.“Though we work on the ground and were impacted by the forest fires like many others, [the staff there] haven’t conducted any specific analysis or monitoring on the forest fires in Berbak Sembilang,” Emma Ackerley, a press officer with ZSL, told Mongabay.However, satellite data and imagery indicate the fires may have had a big impact on tigers in the park. In total, approximately 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) — around 30 percent — of tiger habitat in Sembilang burned between August and September, according to data from the University of Maryland, NASA, and NGOs WWF and RESOLVE, and imagery from Planet Labs.Satellite data show large areas of fire-caused deforestation at either end of Sembilang National Park. The northern fires have wiped out a portion of its remaining primary forest, which is habitat for critically endangered Sumatran tigers and elephants. Source: GLAD/UMD, accessed through Global Forest WatchSatellite imagery shows fires had advanced well into primary forest as of late October. Source: Planet Labs.The Berbak Sembilang National Park Authority did not respond to several requests to comment on the situation.Yoga Travolindra, one of the researchers for the study that identified elephants in the park from the conservation group Forum Konservasi Gajah, has been on the ground near the park in recent weeks. He told Mongabay that the fires were unlikely to have killed any elephants since they mostly occurred in mangrove areas, which is not the elephants’ primary habitat.Travolindra said that while tigers did use the mangrove area there was no evidence of deaths in recent field observations of that animal either.“The [primary] problem for the Sumatran elephant today is that their habitat and ecosystems are disturbed from the conversion of land from secondary forests and shrubs into oil palm plantations by several companies located around the national park,” Travolindra said.“At the moment the problems in the national park are mainly area encroachment, illegal logging, and use of large trawlers in fishing,” he said.However, satellite data show that while fires were concentrated in and around mangroves earlier in the year, later burns moved into inland forests — including an area that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations considers elephant habitat.Drier than usual and getting drier stillTravolindra said the fires likely stemmed from fires set intentionally to open up land for farming. Propelled by a drier-than-usual dry season and underground peat reserves, these fires spread out of control, affecting areas much larger than was intended.“In general this year had been much drier compared to the past few years,” Arief Wijaya from World Resources Institute Indonesia told Mongabay. “These areas in South Sumatra host a vast amount of peatlands and are very susceptible to fires, and both [Sembilang and Berbak National Park to the north] are quite dominated by peatlands.”Part of South Sumatra’s Padang Sugihan wildlife reserve area has been damaged by illegal logging and forest fires. Photo by Faizal Abdul Aziz/CIFORIndonesia has vast unground stores of peat, which have built up over hundreds to thousands of years as vegetation died. Normally waterlogged and restricted to swamps, countrywide efforts to drain swamps and make them suitable for farming and logging has dried out many of Indonesia’s peatlands. And when it’s dry, peat is extremely combustible — and peat fires are very hard to control. Indonesia’s 2015 fire crisis that contributed to the premature deaths of more than 100,000 people is largely blamed on wildfires on drained peatlands caused by slash-and-burn agriculture.Bukti Bagja, a land-use accountability manager at World Resources Institute Indonesia, said there was a strong correlation between the recent fires and illegal deforestation activity in and near Sembilang National Park.“The pattern for these fire cases in that area is that it usually happens one or two months before the peak rainy season comes,” Bagja said. “To me this shows that people are preparing the land for the rainy season [when it wouldn’t be possible to clear].”Bagja said the government had been trying to restore those peatlands after the devastating 2015 fires that burned throughout Indonesia, but that restoration has proven difficult. Blocking of drainage canals that had been dug throughout the area had not restored water levels sufficiently due to the particularly intense dry season, and some peatlands had already been claimed and cleared by locals for agriculture and other uses, Bagja said.Fewer than 1,000 Sumatran tigers are living on Sumatra today, with estimates as low as 330. Photo by Steve Wilson via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).“The main problem is that during the dry season, from what we understand, there is a continuous decrease in the water table,” Bagja said. “When the area faces a long dry season, then the water table decreases 1 or 2 cm per day, and with the current canal system, the question is how to keep the peat area and the cultivation area moist.”Vital habitat corridors under threatFires have also reportedly ravaged elephant habitat in Padang Sugihan Sebokor Wildlife Reserve, which lies southeast of Sembilang and serves as a corridor for wild elephants in South Sumatra.One report estimates that half of the reserve has suffered fire damage. Since elephants in South Sumatra have such wide ranges it can be difficult to determine exactly how populations were impacted by the most recent fires.As with Sembilang, Padang Sugihan is experiencing issues related to peatland draining and forest encroachment by industry and communities. In the past it has been well protected for the most part, even with limited budgets for conservation, according to Michael Allen Brady, principal scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).This elephant is named Ken. He was born in Padang Sugihan Wildlife Reserve and enjoys swimming in peat swamps, which are threatened due to fire and land conversion. Photo by Rifky/CIFOR.This protection, however, has not helped prevent this year’s damaging fires.“We’re able to confirm there has been a lot of burning in the [Padang Sugihan] reserve the past two months,” Brady said.“One of the reasons it is burning frequently is that they dug canals through it, seven major canals, and hundreds of tertiary canals,” he said. “It was logged over in the 70s and converted to transmigration lands and then they decided not to develop it and turned it back to the forestry ministry. Unfortunately they drained it but they had not cleared the forest, so it was essentially a timebomb, a standing peat forest that had been drained.”Once the area was designated a wildlife reserve, the military herded elephants into the area in the early 1980s and the government recognized the reserve as elephant habitat. Brady said that following this, the government designated an elephant management unit, built an office complex on the border of the park and encouraged public visitation, but the situation “has deteriorated” in recent years to the point where the unit is non-functioning.“Unfortunately there’s been no systematic monitoring of the [elephant] population in the reserve, but clearly it has gone from a population of about 400 to around a dozen,” Brady said.Yusuf Samsudin, an elephant specialist with CIFOR, agrees: “Local rangers say there are only 12 left now.”Two potential steps forward, one definite step backRegulations enacted after the 2015 fire crisis broadly protected carbon-rich peatlands in the hopes of stopping it from happening again. But these were revised in April this year, limiting protection to “peat domes,” or areas where peat layers protrude higher topographically than the edges of the surrounding peatland. Sources say peatland exploitation and fires intensified after the policy rollback.Morning view of South Sumatra’s Sebokor River, sheathed in mist and trees. Photo by Faizal Abdul Aziz/CIFOR.According to Wijaya, longer-term land-use governance issues need to be addressed in areas affected by fires, including increasing clarity about access to protected lands, resolving issues involving overlapping claims, and strengthening spatial planning policies.Bagja recommends educational outreach. He says local communities and law enforcement have been slow to adapt to changing conditions, and need to be more aware that the peatlands are much drier now than they were just two or three years ago.“Our hope in Indonesia is to bring awareness and knowledge about avoiding fires, to bring it to every household all over the country,” Bagja said. “They should understand it and the cost of using fires is much higher than the intangible cost, the externalities are much higher. The fact is that there are still big gaps in that understanding and knowledge.“They think they can control it but this statement is not valid because the situation has changed.” Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

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Bringing back extinct plants to life: Q&A with ‘plant messiah’ Carlos Magdalena

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Carlos Magdalena, a botanical horticulturalist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K., who’s been labeled the “plant messiah” by the media, has figured out how to get some of the world’s rarest plant species to grow.Magdalena travels around the world collecting seeds and cuttings of extremely rare plant species, then brings them back to the Royal Botanic Gardens, where, together with his colleagues, he sets about trying to propagate them.But the clock is ticking, he tells Mongabay. Tropical forests with high biodiversity are being razed around the world and plants are going extinct by the hour.Mongabay chatted with Magdalena over the phone about what it takes to save rare plants and what drives him. Carlos Magdalena lives and breathes plants. He’s obsessed with them. But he also understands why many people aren’t.“Plants are not as obvious as animals,” he tells Mongabay. “You see an animal and it’s very easy for you to feel empathy for the animal because you’re an animal too. But you cannot see a plant truly until you know it well, until you know the facts surrounding it, what pollinates it, what magic tricks it can do.”Magdalena, a botanical horticulturalist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K., has figured out many of these tricks. He’s especially drawn to plants that are extremely endangered and down to their last or just a handful of individuals in the wild. He travels around the world collecting seeds and cuttings of such extremely rare plant species, then brings them back to the Royal Botanic Gardens, where, together with his colleagues, he sets about trying to unravel the plants’ mysteries. Take Nymphaea thermarum, the world’s smallest known water lily, for example. After the species went extinct in its only habitat in Rwanda in 2008, Magdalena managed to crack the code and germinate the plant’s seeds at Kew after several failed attempts.As in the case of the lily, sometimes making a rare species grow is a struggle that can span decades. Other times it’s surprisingly easy. So there’s hope, Magdalena says, that some of the plants that we are losing could be very easily propagated and saved.For his efforts to give life to near-extinct and extinct plant species, Magdalena, born in Gijón, Asturias, in northern Spain, was labeled “El Mesias de las Plantas” (The Messiah of Plants) in a Spanish newspaper in 2010. That label has stuck.“I suspect the name was partly inspired by my post-biblical (though pre-hipster) beard and long hair, and also because I was spending a lot of my time trying to save plants on the brink of extinction,” he writes in his book, The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species.He doesn’t have a messiah complex, he quickly adds in the book. What he does want to be, though, is a messenger who makes people aware of how important plants are, and how critical they are for our survival.But the clock is ticking, he tells Mongabay. Tropical forests with high biodiversity are being razed around the world and plants are going extinct every hour. In fact, one in five plant species in the world is estimated to be threatened with extinction.“None of us has the authority or the right to destroy the forests at this scale,” he says. “Who owns the oxygen we breathe? Nobody does, and it is only produced in a few places like the oceans and rainforests of our precious planet.”Mongabay chatted with Magdalena over the phone about what it takes to save rare plants and what drives him.Carlos Magdalena. Image courtesy of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.Mongabay: How did you get interested in plants and what excites you about them the most?Carlos Magdalena: I was always interested in wildlife and nature. From a very early age I was helping my mother who had some flower shops and liked to grow lots of different things — some because they were beautiful, others because they were strange. But as I got older, I started liking plants more and more because I think plants are not as obvious as animals. You see an animal and it’s very easy for you to feel empathy for the animal because you’re an animal too. But you need to know plants. You cannot see a plant truly until you know it well, until you know the facts surrounding it, what pollinates it, what magic tricks it can do.Plants do things on a different scale of time. Even if you see a plant doing nothing, it is doing something very deep and at many levels: at the soil level, at the root level, at the stem level, at the flower level. I will say that many of us don’t love plants because we don’t know them.What kind of work do you do at Kew?I work with Kew’s living collections of plants, more precisely in the glasshouse department where we cultivate tropical plants like tropical trees, shrubs, climbers and aquatics like water lilies. We also work with a huge variety of species from tropical crops to plants that have interesting biology or an economic value, plants that are simply beautiful and fascinating. We work with many different countries. We have many examples of flora from islands because islands are fragile ecosystems and they have their own sets of plants that are very unique. For example, I work with lots of species from the Mascarene archipelago in the Indian Ocean. We also have plants from other islands such as Hawaii and the Canary Islands.The work sits on different levels, both saving individual species but also understanding the genes of different species because taxonomy is key to protect species. You can only protect what you know exists. If you don’t understand that, you don’t know whether it’s endangered or not.At Kew there are more than 27,000 plant species, and more than 68,000 accessions [different plant materials collected from the same species, or the same species collected from different places] and the nursery where I work has 8,000 to 9,000 species. It’s currently estimated that there are about 400,000 plant species in the world, and one in five species is threatened with extinction. That means that over 70,000 species are threatened with extinction. There are more plant species threatened with extinction than all threatened bird and mammal species put together. It’s a huge problem.Could you give an example of a rare plant species that you’re working on now?We are trying to work with a plant in the family Podostemaceae, which is a group of plants that grows in fast-moving rivers. Trying to figure out the conditions in which it grows has been very difficult.How do you decide which plant species is worth saving, since there are so many of them?I try to work with whatever I can. A plant species may be endangered but if you don’t have any links with the country where it grows, and you don’t have any funding, then it’s difficult to work on that species. Sometimes I try to chase planet alignment, where I know that there is a case, and I know that somebody is willing to help and where I can justify the use of resources for them. Of course the more endangered a plant is, the more desperate the situation is and the more interested I become. For example, for animals, if I tell you that there are 300 specimens left, people will be like “Oh my god, this is terrible.” In Mauritius, plants species that have 300 specimens will be considered of least concern.There are 70 species of plants that we know of that have less than 10 individuals left. In some cases, there is just the last individual plant left, or there are the last three individuals left, those will probably be more of a priority because the clock is ticking, and these specimens might have only few minutes left. These last individuals could disappear by the end of this week. Maybe the individuals could disappear with the next cyclone, or when the next pest gets introduced.Nymphaea thermarum, the world’s smallest known water lily, went extinct in the wild in 2008. Image courtesy of Carlos Magdalena/Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.Once you zero in on a species, how do you go about looking for them in the wild?It’s important to have someone help you at the other end. If I go to Mauritius by myself, it will take me forever to find the plant I want. But if you work with people who are on the island and know where the plants are, in one day I can take cuttings from maybe 30 to 40 species. Rather than reinvent the wheel you need to work with whatever help you can get. Local knowledge is key.Also, we all have specialties and I step in only when people are having difficulty. For example, if there is a plant species that’s threatened and if people within the country are already growing it from seeds, it’s not relevant for me to help. But if they have tried to grow it and don’t know what to do next, that is when I usually try to step in, when there’s some kind of difficulty.How hard is it to navigate permits and bureaucracy in order to take seeds or cuttings back to Kew?It depends. Kew works in partnerships in over 100 countries worldwide. Seeds, for example, can be relatively easy to bring in provided we comply with global conventions and protocols. We seek approvals from the countries of origin, and a copy of all seeds we collect for the Millennium Seed Bank are stored in their country of origin too so we don’t do anything against the will of any government and always make sure everyone is benefiting equally.When you bring materials like cuttings, or living plants, then you need more permits and documentation as well as a period of quarantine. Even at Kew, to save our collection, anything we bring from abroad, we put in quarantine.Once you’ve brought the seeds or cuttings, what’s your process in trying to figure out how to grow them?Sometimes it can be very tricky to grow these rare plants. But amazingly, sometimes it can be very easy too. So there is hope.Sometimes there is a single tree in the world, and maybe it’s not growing in the country, and I bring a cutting, and then it roots using normal techniques that you use for any plant without much drama. So in a way, some of the plants that we are losing could be very easily propagated and saved.Sometimes, though, it gets more complicated. The more endangered a plant is the more specialized it is. When they are very specialized to a particular type of soil, particular type of climate, that is when there is a challenge. Then you spend a lot of time thinking about what you could do.It’s like working in a hospital. A patient might come in, but you don’t know what happened to that person, you don’t know much about the history of that person. All you know is that he is sick, and he can’t speak to you. How do you go about it? You try to react to what you’re seeing. For example, if the person has low blood pressure, then you try to raise the pressure. If he has signs of infection, you may try some general antibiotics. If that doesn’t work, you think about what you can do next. With plants, you need to think similarly, often think out of the box, and use your sixth sense, if you like.  It can become very personalized for every plant.If your memory is good, you can look at a plant and realize that yesterday the plant was a little greener or was facing up. And that enables you to react quicker than if you don’t notice anything.Sometimes things can also work differently in cultivation. You could try to replicate the conditions in which a plant species grows in the wild, and sometimes that doesn’t work. That’s because in cultivation they may like something different. For example, a plant that lives in running water, you may think it would like to sit in water. But actually, it’s different. In the wild, the water is flowing, the water has higher oxygen. In cultivation, it may do better out of the water. Then sometimes you think that because you collected your specimen from a place that was very, very hot, that’s what your plant likes. But maybe it was hot at midday and at night the temperature drops, so in cultivation it grows in a cooler temperature than you think it’s going to be.Hyophorbe amaricaulis is only known from a single, so far impossible to reproduce specimen, in Curepipe, Mauritius. Image courtesy of Carlos Magdalena/Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.You mentioned that some species are surprisingly easy to grow. Could you give an example?There is a plant in Mauritius called Elaeocarpus bojeri. There were only two trees left, and they told me that they tried to propagate it but it didn’t grow. I took some cuttings and seeds. The seeds didn’t germinate straight away, but I did something called nicking, which is cutting a bit of the outer hard shell of the seed, which it allows some water to go in, and all the seeds germinated.In 2014, a rare water lily was stolen from Kew. You have so many rare species there. Is theft a big concern?It depends on how you look at it. While it happens and while we take it seriously, it doesn’t happen that often. We all try to balance the line between protecting our collections and also allowing people to see plants up close. We don’t want to keep the plants out of public eye all the time or put them in glass boxes or put CCTV cameras in every single corner. So it is a concern, but 99 percent of the people are really well behaved.What do you think of the current rate of forest loss across the tropics and the rate at which plants are going extinct?Plants are going extinct every single day, probably every single hour. It’s like killing all your golden-egg hens systematically. It is so nonsensical. We really need to realize that protecting the forests is not optional. This is not something that’s just idealistic. This is at the very core of our survival.We cannot stabilize the planet’s climate if there is no tropical forest. We cannot ensure that we will have resources to support humankind in terms of medicines, food, water and more without protecting these forests. Sometimes we destroy tropical forests for unnecessary reasons like palm oil production in parts of tropical Asia, for example.Being Spanish, I cannot think of any single traditional food recipe that has been used for last maybe 30 years that has used palm oil as an ingredient. Then why do we have palm oil in nearly every single piece of food we eat now? Many farmers rely on this production for their livelihoods and at the end of the day people need feeding too, so it’s important to find more sustainable uses for the land that still support local communities.We’re also destroying tropical forests of very high diversity to produce very low quality meat. You need to think on a deeper timescale. What annoys me the most about tropical forest destruction is how unnecessary much of it has been. We also need to learn from the mistakes of past generations so that we don’t replicate those mistakes.None of us has the authority or the right to destroy the forests at this scale. Who owns the oxygen we breathe? Nobody does, and it is only produced in a few places like the oceans and rainforests of our precious planet.Is there anything else that you would like to add?I want to finally repeat that many of us don’t like plants only because we don’t know them well. One of the things I find most fascinating about plants is that the more I know about them, the less I know about them. I never get bored observing a plant. Everyday there’s something new that I learn. And every day I find yet another plant that’s even more interesting than the previous one.All you have to do is just keep watching them, understand them. That’s a very healthy thing to do.Banner image of Carlos Magdalena courtesy of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Green, Plants, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Research, Threats To Rainforests, Trees, Tropical Forests, Wildlife 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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As hurricane season ends, now is the time to take local action to rebuild and recover (commentary)

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

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Illegal hunting a greater threat to wildlife than forest degradation

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 In a recent study, researchers used camera-trapping records to show that illegal hunting may be a bigger threat mammals and ground-dwelling birds than forest degradation in Southeast Asia.They chose Borneo and the Annamite Mountains on the Southeast Asian mainland, two rainforest study sites that have similar habitats.While widespread logging has degraded many forests in Borneo, the island has faced less hunting.By contrast, the Annamites have experienced exceedingly high illegal hunting, but its forests are structurally more intact. The world has long associated plummeting populations of Southeast Asian wildlife with news of forest degradation and poignant images of deforested lands. Recent studies, however, bring to light another human practice that’s been driving the decline of wildlife numbers in these ecosystems.Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) in Berlin, in cooperation with WWF-Vietnam, WWF-Laos and the forestry department of the state of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, carried out a study showing that illegal hunting may be a bigger threat to mammals and ground-dwelling birds than forest degradation. The research, published Oct. 30 in the journal Communications Biology, compares camera-trapping records from logged forests in Malaysian Borneo with a protected eco-region in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos where illegal hunting is rampant. The results show a more precipitous loss of species and wildlife populations in the Annamites than in Borneo.Researchers chose the two rainforest study sites as they have similar habitats. Their recent history, however, has a few noteworthy differences. While widespread logging has degraded many forests in Borneo, the island has faced less hunting. By contrast, the Annamites have experienced exceedingly high illegal hunting, but its forests are structurally more intact.A forest ranger removes a snare in central Vietnam. Hunters are increasingly using easy-to-construct snares to hunt mammals and ground-dwelling birds in the Annamite Mountains in Vietnam and Laos. Image by Andrew Tilker.Both forest degradation and hunting threaten wildlife, but the latter has reached extreme heights in recent years.“In one protected area complex, the Hue and Quang Nam Saola Nature Reserves, in central Vietnam, forest rangers collected more than 110,000 wire snares over the course of a few years,” Andrew Tilker, one of the lead authors of the study, a Ph.D. student at Leibniz-IZW and Asian species officer at the NGO Global Wildlife Conservation, said in an email.“[T]his didn’t lead to any noticeable reduction in the overall snaring pressure. It is possible to collect hundreds of snares in a single day’s walk through the forest. In one protected area that we worked in, people have hunted out almost all mammals larger than a rat or squirrel and now busy taking out the last small mammals. It is complete faunal collapse.”Snaring has pushed many species that live only in the Annamite Range, such as the antelope-like saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) and the Annamite striped rabbit (Nesolagus timminsi), to the brink of extinction.Snares are as rife as they are easy to construct, most commonly using cheaply available material like motorbike and bicycle brake cables. Hunters come from local communities, larger regional towns and the bigger cities alike to supply the thriving illegal wildlife trade in the region.“There is little, if any, subsistence hunting in the Annamites,” Tilker said.Hunters and wildlife traders may send a few high-value species, like pangolins, to major cities or export them to foreign markets. But most of the animals that are captured go to local wildlife markets or are sold directly to restaurants as bushmeat.“Bushmeat is something of a status symbol in Vietnam and Laos,” Tilker added. “Put simply, if you are a wealthy upper- or middle-class person in Vietnam, and you want to show off to your friends, you go to a bushmeat restaurant and order wild meat.”Researchers say that hundreds of snares can be collected in a single day’s walk through the Annamite forest. Through snaring alone, the Annamites are facing grave defaunation. By comparison, Borneo’s forest lands that come under logging concessions are safer for similar species. Image by Andrew Tilker.Confirming and adding to related studiesPrevious research in Southeast Asia has similarly warned that hunting is a more severe threat than deforestation and that the use of snares is driving species to extinction. The current study, in which the researchers quantified the severity of the threats, confirms these results.“Our camera-trapping effort, which scales across 1,000 square kilometers [386 square miles] in both [the Annamite Mountain and the Bornean] landscapes, is much larger than the spatial scale of earlier studies,” Andreas Wilting, a scientist at Leibniz-IZW and co-author of the study, said in an email. “[T]his really helped us to assess biodiversity across entire forest reserves and protected areas.”Data from such large areas allowed the researchers to estimate which species are either completely missing in a region or occur at such low numbers that they could be considered locally extinct. Wilting added that the study also shows that species that are more resistant to hunting have lower populations in the hunted landscapes than in the logged landscapes.“From an ecological perspective,” Wilting said, “both findings are equally important as they show that it is impossible for more resistant species to take over the ecological role of the ones which disappeared, as the resistant species are also negatively impacted by the hunting.”In addition, the study also shows that habitat-related elements that are observed for comparison, such as canopy cover, are not accurate predictors for species occurrences in hunted regions. That means that some species might occur even in habitats for which they’re only marginally suited — if they are protected from hunting, Wilting said.Forest degradation in Deramakot, Malaysian Borneo, one of the study sites. Researchers gathered data from large areas in both the Annamites and Borneo. Image by Andrew Tilker.“Conceptually and scientifically, this is an important finding,” he said, “as we often assess species distributions based on suitable habitat (that is, forest cover) and hunting related factors are ignored, partly because they are very difficult to capture and are region specific.”“These results show that logging concessions can be safe havens for mammal and bird communities, particularly if sustainable forest management protocols are applied, following principles of forest certification standards,” Mashor Mohamad Jaini, director of the Sabah Forestry Department, said in a statement.Equal attention to deforestation and huntingCo-author Benjamin Rawson, conservation director of WWF-Vietnam, advocates an immediate reduction of anthropogenic pressure on wildlife, especially snaring.“Clear policy directions and high-level political commitment in relation to wildlife crime, be it high-value wildlife products such as ivory and rhino horn for international trade, or bushmeat trade within the country, needs to be secured to ensure long-term persistence of these species,” Rawson said in an email.Tilker said the complex problem of snaring needs to be addressed from multiple angles. The crisis calls for a reduction in demand for wildlife products, strengthening enforcement in protected areas, and conducting education and outreach activities to raise awareness among the general public.Snaring has pushed many species endemic to the Annamite Range, such as the antelope-like saola and the Annamite striped rabbit, to the brink of extinction. It is common to find the heads of animals, like the Annamite muntjac (Muntiacus truongsonensis) pictured here, hanging in houses in villages around the region. Image by Andrew Tilker.“However, I believe that an argument could be made for a fundamental paradigm shift within the conservation community, in which combating poaching is treated with the same level of urgency as protecting tropical forest habitat,” he said. “For decades, the conservation community has emphasized protecting tropical rainforest habitat as a primary means of protecting biodiversity.“[O]bviously, this is important,” Tilker added. “But maintaining forest cover is, by itself, not enough. It is possible to have pristine but nonetheless empty tropical rainforest.”Wilting agrees. “We need to see a shift within the large-scale development aid and governmental funds from ‘forests/habitat protection’ to actual biodiversity protection,” he said.Banner image of forest degradation through selective logging by Andrew Tilker.  Nanditha Chandraprakash is a writer with a passion for wildlife, climate change and environmental conservation. Find her on Instagram: @ayellowmoon.Citation:Tilker, A., Abrams, J. F., Mohamed, A., Nguyen, A., Wong, S. T., Sollmann, R., … Wilting, A. (2019). Habitat degradation and indiscriminate hunting differentially impact faunal communities in the Southeast Asian tropical biodiversity hotspot. Communications Biology, 2(1), 396. doi:10.1038/s42003-019-0640-yFEEDBACK: 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 Animals, Biodiversity, Bushmeat, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Hunting, Illegal Logging, Illegal Trade, Logging, Over-hunting, Poaching, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests, Snares, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking last_img read more

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

first_imgBanner image: A Tapanuli orangutan in the Batang Toru forest in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Image by Matt Senior.  Animals, Climate, Climate Change, Conservation, Deforestation, electricity, Endangered Species, Energy, Environment, Forests, Gas, Great Apes, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hydroelectric Power, Natural Gas, Primates, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. A controversial hydropower dam that threatens the only known habitat of the world’s rarest orangutan species is unnecessary from both climate and economic aspects, a new report says.The report, commissioned by a group campaigning against the Batang Toru dam in Indonesia but drawing on official government data, says the dam will do little to connect the few remaining isolated communities in the region to the grid.It also says the region’s power needs will be better met, and at lower cost, by a slate of other projects already in the works, including expansion of existing gas turbine plants.The report says the dam developer’s claims of an overall reduction in Indonesia’s CO2 emissions are “significantly overstated,” and that builder Sinohydro has a track record of faulty dam construction in other countries. JAKARTA — Proponents of a hydropower plant to be built in the only known habitat of a critically endangered orangutan species say it’s important for meeting the future energy needs of northern Sumatra. But a new report says this region of Indonesia is already almost fully electrified, and that the new plant will do virtually nothing to improve that.The report from energy consultancy Brown Brothers Energy and Environment (B2E2) was commissioned by various NGOs, including environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth, which has been a vocal opponent of the dam. It cites official data to show that North Sumatra province, home to the Batang Toru forest where the dam and power plant are to be built, already has one of the highest electrification rates in Indonesia: nearly 96% of the population had basic and stable access to electricity in 2016, compared to the more developed major provinces of East Java (89%) and Bali (92%).Of the 319 wards in North Sumatra still without grid electricity, nearly half are on the island of Nias. The island’s electricity infrastructure was knocked out by a series of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis in 2004 and 2005, and authorities continue to struggle to get it running properly. Without a working grid, any power generated by the dam project would be immaterial to Nias, the new report says.Residents of Nias “will remain unaffected no matter how much power generation is added in the mainland of North Sumatra,” David Brown, the report’s author, said in Jakarta.Tapanuli Orangutans found near YEL’s orangutan study camp in the Batang Toru forest. Image by Aditya Sumitra/Mighty Earth.‘Inflated’ emissions reductionConstruction is already underway on the 510-megawatt Batang Toru dam. The project site falls within the habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), a species that was only described in 2017, and was immediately declared critically endangered and the world’s rarest great ape species.Only 800 of the animals survive in a tiny tract of forest less than one-fifth the size of the metropolitan area that comprises Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. Conservationists estimate that a loss of more than 1 percent of the population per year will be disastrous for the species, which has a low reproduction rate and is highly sensitive to disruptions in its habitat. Construction activity for the dam has already driven some of the orangutans out of the project area and into nearby oil palm plantations.When the project was proposed in 2012, North Sumatra was experiencing frequent power shortages and rolling blackouts. But that changed just a few years later.“The availability of electricity began to surpass peak demand in 2017,” Brown said. “And this new surplus greatly reduced the number of blackouts.”A major factor in that turnaround was the arrival of a ship-mounted power plant, or powership, that the Indonesian government rented from Turkish company Karadeniz. The ship, featuring a 240 MW gas-fired generator, has been contracted to power Medan, the North Sumatra capital, through 2022.The B2E2 report also identifies 80 other power plants — ranging from geothermal to coal to mini hydro — planned for North Sumatra province alone that would render the $1.6 billion Batang Toru plant “wholly unnecessary to meet North Sumatra’s electricity demand in the future.”These other projects include three new turbines at a planned gas-fired power plant that are expected to come online between 2022 and 2028, and that will generate a combined 800 MW.Proponents, including project developer PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (PT NSHE), say bringing the Batang Toru plant online will cut Indonesia’s carbon dioxide emissions reduce emissions by 1.6 million to 2.2 million tons per year. But the report says that “even the smallest estimate of greenhouse gas reductions promised by Batang Toru’s backers are inflated on the order of 33 to 55 percent.”Brown said the claim was based on the assumption that the hydropower dam would replace the average carbon output of all utilities nationwide. “The problem is that the idea of Batang Toru replacing an average of all power plants in Indonesia is an imaginary construction,” he said. “What is real is that Batang Toru, if built, would replace specific power plants in North Sumatra.”“My report contends that it is better for PLN to build or expand any of these other 80 because, in contrast to Batang Toru, these other 80 do not directly threaten the low elevation nursery forest of the Tapanuli orangutan.”The three new gas turbines, in particular, would cost a third the price of the dam to build, produce more peak power, not harm orangutan habitat, and keep CO2 emissions low through more efficient turbine technology, the report says.“Bottom line,” it says, “Batang Toru’s backers are significantly overstating its greenhouse gas emissions benefits.”The Batang Toru River, the proposed power source for a Chinese-funded hydroelectric dam. Image by Ayat S. Karokaro/Mongabay-Indonesia.‘Plagued with faulty construction’The report also highlights the track record of Sinohydro, the Chinese state-owned company contracted to build the dam.“Dams built by them have been plagued with faulty construction,” Brown said. “Sinohydro was caught on film watering down cement when constructing the Bakun dam in Sarawak, Malaysia.”The Coca Codo Sinclair dam that it built in Ecuador also had construction problems, with more than 7,000 cracks appearing in its machinery within months of completion. An official report by the Ecuadoran government was critical of Sinohydro’s “irresponsible and incomprehensible” use of substandard building materials and construction methods.“The Chinese used bad-quality steel and fired inspectors who said to change it,” Ecuador’s former energy minister, Fernando Santos, said in 2018.Part of the structure may have to be demolished and rebuilt, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Santos said the $2.8 billion dam was overpriced and of poor quality, and had left the country in debt to China.The Coca Codo Sinclair dam is also located near an active volcano, and geologists warn an earthquake in the area could have devastating effects.In Indonesia, activists and scientists have raised similar alarms about the Batang Toru project, which sits near a known tectonic fault. Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Indonesia generally, and in northern Sumatra in particular. In 2008, a magnitude 6 quake struck just 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the site of the dam.Officials from developer PT NSHE have acknowledged the earthquake risk, but critics say there are no mitigation plans based on this risk included in the environmental impact analysis submitted to authorities.Map of the Batang Toru ecosystem, home to the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Sumatra.‘Huge waste of money’PT NSHE has responded to the report by questioning Brown’s credibility, saying he isn’t an expert in Indonesia’s energy sector. (Brown served as an adviser to BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, when it operated in Indonesia; was the World Bank’s senior adviser on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, or EITI; and has consulted on Indonesia’s natural and extractive resource sectors for the Asian Development Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, among others.)“He’s only asked to voice the opinion of his client, Mighty Earth,” PT NSHE spokesman Firman Taufick said as quoted by local media. Firman also criticized Mighty Earth, saying the campaign group did not have Indonesia’s best interests at heart.“Anyone knows who they are, their motivation and interest … What’s clear is that their interest is not for Indonesia,” he said.Mighty Earth great apes program director Amanda Hurowitz refuted the claim, saying it has worked for years to highlight the importance of protecting Indonesia’s environment and supporting the development of its economy. She said the Batang Toru dam, however, was “a huge waste of money that threatens local communities and would primarily … benefit a Chinese construction company with a terrible record.”With the dam being such a risky project, the hydropower plant would not only be bad for the Tapanuli orangutan, but also for Indonesia’s reputation, Hurowitz added.“The dam company is out of arguments to defend this wasteful project, so the only thing it can do is attack those who expose the disingenuous marketing behind this project,” she said.Brown, meanwhile, defended his report by saying he relied on official Indonesian government data, primarily from state-owned utility PLN, to analyze the claims of the dam’s proponents.“My report would not have been possible if I had not been able to use PLN’s plans to see into North Sumatra’s energy future,” he said. “The findings of my report are built almost entirely upon PLN’s most recent 10-year planning document, the 2019 RUPTL.“My report says, in essence, that PLN got it almost entirely right, and that out of the 81 power plants that PLN has proposed for construction or expansion in North Sumatra in the coming decade, only one needs to be removed from that list: Batang Toru.”center_img Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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