La Mosquitia: Dangerous territory for scarlet macaws in Honduras

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Endangered Species, Wildlife, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by Maria Salazar Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img The scarlet macaw (Ara macao), with its iconic red, blue and yellow plumes, is the national bird of Honduras. It inhabits forests from northern Central America to the southern Amazon, but the northern subspecies (A. m. cyanoptera) is particularly imperiled.“Ecotrafficking,” the term for wildlife trafficking in Honduras, is a major problem in La Mosquitia, the part of eastern Honduras, near the border with Nicaragua.Today, around 600 scarlet macaws inhabit the pine forests of Gracias a Dios, the Honduran department where Mabita is located. Anaida Panting and her family oversee 38 scarlet macaw nests and 30 great green macaw (Ara ambiguus) nests. MABITA, Honduras — When the clock strikes four in the afternoon, Anaida Panting bangs the pots full of food that she’s prepared for her scarlet macaws. Dozens of the birds descend from the pine trees when she calls them. Panting has cared for these animals for so long that she can’t remember when she started.It’s a dangerous job. “Ecotrafficking,” the term for wildlife trafficking in Honduras, is a major problem in La Mosquitia, the part of eastern Honduras, near the border with Nicaragua, where Mabita is located. The Honduran government has a light footprint here — so light, that the area has become a hub of various illegal trades, including the trade in scarlet macaws.The scarlet macaw (Ara macao), with its iconic red, blue and yellow plumes, is the national bird of Honduras. It inhabits forests from northern Central America to the southern Amazon, but the northern subspecies (A. m. cyanoptera) is particularly imperiled, classified as endangered by the IUCN. Its population has declined precipitously due to poaching. The bird is sold as a pet within Honduras and on the international market.Today, around 600 scarlet macaws inhabit the pine and broadleaf forests of Gracias a Dios, the Honduran department where Mabita is located. Anaida Panting and her family protect 38 scarlet macaw nests. The birds subsist on a diet of rice, beans and dry dog food.Panting, an indigenous Miskito woman who co-directs the Rescue and Liberation Center of Mabita along with her spouse, Santiago Lacuth, coordinates a community-led initiative to rehabilitate macaws that have been confiscated from traffickers and reintroduce them into the wild. Every day at 4 p.m., the birds come and eat from the pots and, sometimes, right from Panting’s hands.One of the macaws, her favorite, is so old that no one knows its exact age. “It’s the only one that stays after lunch,” she says after stopping a fight between her special macaw and another one that ventured too close to her. “The rest leave after they’ve eaten, but this one stays with me.”Protecting the macaws, though, also means guarding an animal sought by traffickers.“There are two types of threats: threats to the species and threats to the community,” says Héctor Portillo, a researcher with the Foundation of Science for the Study and Conservation of Biodiversity (INCEBIO), a local NGO. “Illegal trafficking often happens within the communities, and people who take the animals are locals. But traders and final consumers are outside the country, usually in Jamaica or the Cayman Islands.”Trafficking in La MosquitiaLocals in La Mosquitia are constantly waiting: waiting for help, waiting for good news. But what comes, they say, are people with bad intentions who take advantage of the neglect in this part of the country.In Mabita, locals have taken matters into their own hands, setting up patrols to guard the macaw nests. Currently, these community members receive a daily fee under a project supported by One Earth Conservation, a nonprofit.However, some members of this remote community — where school only goes to sixth grade, there is no health care center, no electricity and no drinking water — may see an opportunity in selling an animal, even if they know the buyer will flip the creature for much more on the international market.A source in the Honduran public prosecutor’s office told Mongabay that wildlife trafficking in the area generates thousands of dollars in revenues per trafficker every month. A scarlet macaw can be illicitly sold on the international market for $1,000; a great green macaw can fetch up to $3,000. The nation’s environmental prosecutor investigated illegal trade routes for timber and wildlife in the area and identified the one that starts in the nearby community of Caukira as among the most profitable. This route passes through Honduras’s Ceiba and Bay islands and ends in Jamaica.One of the scarlet macaws seized in December 2017 in Puerto Lempira. The rescued animals were relocated to Mabita. Image by anonymous.Caukira is a colorful town, visibly more developed than Mabita. Saturation divers catch lobsters and sea cucumbers, a dangerous business that has crippled more than 5,000 men in La Mosquitia due to decompression sickness from using makeshift gear. Caukira is also a hub of various illegal trades: cocaine, Jamaican marijuana and wildlife, according to a source from the prosecutor’s office.These businesses are so lucrative that trying to dismantle them can mean death for people who live in this area where, as Portillo says, the lack of state control is alarming.The risk of fighting wildlife trafficking in La MosquitiaIn December 2017, after barely 10 months in the position, an environmental prosecutor in Puerto Lempira, the Gracias a Dios capital, who had taken action against timber and wildlife traffickers, had to flee due to an attack on his house.When the prosecutor first arrived, he started to work with the military, the only clear and evident presence of the state in La Mosquitia. At one point, unidentified people shot at the gate, door and windows of the prosecutor’s apartment. For his safety, the prosecutor was transferred to another office elsewhere in the country. No one was charged over the attack.Anaida Panting’s shelter hosted the species seized in December 2017. Image by Martin Cálix/Contracorriente.“Sometimes law enforcement is not appropriate,” says Marleny Zelaya of the Institute of Forest Conservation (ICF), a government agency. “At the ICF we find ourselves between the authorities in the prosecutor’s office, the soldiers and the communities.” She added that the fact that the prosecutor’s office went from zero scrutiny actions to a heavy-handed approach against trafficking in illegal goods, including timber, without considering that many poor communities use the resources rationally, if not legally, was not the best way to enforce the law.Anaida Panting has welcomed the animals that are now recovering in Mabita, even if the community has to care for them. She says the national institutions only show up so that they see their faces and then disappear. The prosecutor’s office leaves the animals there, and the ICF assists in the transportation of the animals, but then they leave. Zelaya contends that they do their best, but sometimes they need to serve as mediators to prevent bigger problems.Panting says there will always be problems. She explained that weeks ago a young man stole a parrot egg, which can be sold in Nicaragua for 1,500 lempiras. Hunger also drives locals to become traffickers.Panting has built a strong link with the birds she looks after and tends to. Image by Martin Cálix/Contracorriente.Trafficking increases when foreigners arrive in Mabita to buy macaws. Investigations by the public prosecutor’s office show that different birds have been traded along the route that takes in the villages of Mocorón, Rus Rus and Leimus, and that a Chinese national was paying locals to steal hatchlings and eggs from the nests. The exchange means little money for locals and a lot for traffickers who sell the species in Europe, Asia and at home in Honduras. Locals who want to take care of the species are facing dangerous people.“Here if they kill a Miskito it’s as if they’d killed a chicken,” says a resident of Rus Rus, a Miskito village in Gracias a Dios. Some residents here have worked to protect the macaw, but they know that if they are threatened and killed so that trade can continue, their deaths won’t make the news.For the Maya peoples of Mesoamarica, the scarlet macaw is the forest protector, the incarnation of the sun. But today in the cities, the birds can only be seen in cages, and witnessing a macaw flying is almost a miracle. In Mabita, the miracle happens daily. Panting receives them and kisses them. Apu pauni pree palisa — “Scarlet macaw, fly free” — is written in Miskito language in signs around this community that barely receives visitors. The scarlet macaw flies free and returns to the arms of the people who rescued it.The yellow-naped parrot, the great green macaw, and the scarlet macaw find their last free territory in La Mosquitia, but wildlife trafficking in the area threatens the conservation of these species. Image by Martin Cálix/Contracorriente.Banner image: a scarlet macaw in Mabita. Image by: Martin Cálix – Contracorriente.This article was first published by Mongabay Latam. Edits by Philip Jacobson.last_img read more

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Indonesia’s president signals a transition away from coal power

first_imgAir Pollution, carbon, Carbon Emissions, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Coal, Emission Reduction, Energy, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Impact Of Climate Change, Pollution Indonesia’s president has reportedly signaled a major shift in energy policy, saying he wants to “start reducing the use of coal.”Such a policy would run counter to the administration’s previously stated long-term plans of fueling the country’s growing energy demand with coal, with 39 coal-fired plants under construction and 68 more announced.Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, and while the main culprit is deforestation and land-use change, the energy sector is poised to overtake it.Energy policy analysts have welcomed the reported change in stance from the government, noting that Indonesia has long lagged other countries in developing clean power, despite having an abundance of renewable energy sources. JAKARTA — President Joko Widodo has reportedly expressed his intention to wean Indonesia off coal, in a move that runs counter to his own administration’s stated policy of increasing the country’s reliance on the fossil fuel.The president made the announcement at a July 8 cabinet meeting, according to Siti Nurbaya Bakar, the minister of environment and forestry.“[T]he president emphasized that we must develop the energy sector with a focus on renewable energy,” Siti said at a recent event in Jakarta. “Therefore, the president has explicitly asked to ‘start reducing the use of coal.’”The reported comment comes amid a period of particularly dire air quality in the capital, Jakarta, that’s prompted a citizen lawsuit holding top officials, including the president, liable for the pollution, blamed in part on coal-fired power plants operating near the city. (The lawsuit was filed July 4, four days before the president made his remark; it’s not clear whether the latter was prompted by the former.)If the administration follows through on the statement with concrete policies to phase out coal use, this could signal the beginning of a transition to renewable energy for Indonesia, the largest energy consumer in South East Asia and one of the biggest consumers of coal in the world, analysts say.“When I heard about it, I was ecstatic, surprised and filled with hope,” Alin Halimatussadiah, head of the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the state-run University of Indonesia, told Mongabay.Adhityani Putri, executive director of Yayasan Indonesia Cerah, a local policy and communications nonprofit that advocates for clean energy transition, also welcomed the news.“This statement represents a significant step forward and one that will put Indonesia in step with the major economies of the world,” she told Mongabay.Both Alin and Adhityani said a policy shift on coal was long overdue, given that the fossil fuel has for years been falling out of favor by other major economies in favor of increasingly cost-competitive renewable energy.“We’re left behind as many other countries have committed to phase out coal, while we haven’t said anything about that,” Alin said. “This is the first step, and with the president saying that, that’s a good thing.”But any meaningful change will have to start with an overhaul of the electricity procurement plan, or RUPTL, by the state-owned utility, PLN. At present, the RUPTL calls for increasing the absolute figure for renewable power generation over the long term, but shrinking its share of the overall energy mix in favor of more coal-fired electricity.“In the RUPTL document, coal is still dominant, so we haven’t seen [any plan to phase out coal] in any planning document,” Alin said.Adhityani said the government would need “a comprehensive and just coal phase-out plan that ensures a just transition for all and accelerated deployment of renewables” in the next mid-term national development plan.The ideal plan would have to offer both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that would lower the price of renewable power to make it competitive with coal, said Elrika Hamdi, an analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).“What’s also important is that the policies taken should be consistent and in effect for a long time in order to give assurance to investors and funders,” she added.Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaks to the press accompanied by Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar on his left in April. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian government.Emissions reduction goalWith President Widodo recently winning an election that keeps him in office through 2024, an easing of Indonesia’s reliance on coal will help with the country’s carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals, said Siti, the environment minister.“I welcome that statement with joy because this truly empowers our work,” she said.Indonesia is currently one of the world’s biggest CO2 emitters, most of it from deforestation and land-use change. However, emissions from the energy sector are poised to dominate in the near future as Indonesia’s demand for electricity continues to rise.The country’s energy consumption growth is among the fastest in the world, with coal accounting for nearly 60 percent of the energy mix in 2018. Its energy policy therefore has important implications not just for the country’s climate future, but also for global efforts to achieve cuts under the Paris Agreement.Under current plans, the committed emissions from coal-fired power plants would peak only around 2035, with an eventual phase-out only by 2069; to have a shot at meeting the Paris goals, meanwhile, the Southeast Asian region will need to phase out coal by 2040, analysts agree.Falling short of the Paris Agreement commitments would be especially disastrous for tropical countries like Indonesia. A new study by the research group Crowther Lab finds that cities in the tropics are likely to see the strongest impacts from climate change, even as they experience smaller changes in average temperature.The study, looking at 520 major cities worldwide, finds that Jakarta will be among those facing “unprecedented” climate shifts by 2050, including changes in rainfall patterns that will lead to more severe flooding and droughts. It also predicts a mean annual temperature rise by then of 1.7 degrees Celsius (3.1 degrees Fahrenheit), with a rise in maximum temperatures of 3.1 degrees Celsius (5.6 degrees Fahrenheit).Switching more of Indonesia’s power generation from coal to renewable energy sources could be key to achieving the country’s emissions reduction goals, said Ruandha Agung Sugardiman, the environment ministry’s climate change chief.Indonesia has set itself the target of cutting its emissions by 29 percent from the business-as-usual scenario by 2030, or 41 percent with international assistance.Ruandha said there was more room for emissions cuts in the energy sector than in the land-use and forestry sectors. Under the current target, emissions in the latter sectors needs to go down by 70 percent, including through scaling back deforestation rate and boosting reforestation; the energy sector, meanwhile, only needs to achieve a 19 percent emissions reduction.“It’s very clear that the energy sector could be much more ambitious [in reducing emissions],” Ruandha said. “That’s in line with what the president is saying that we need to phase out coal. And this is supported by the energy and mineral resources minister, who will change our energy pattern.”Ruandha has been tasked by Siti with studying the possibility of Indonesia setting an even more ambitious emissions cut goal of 45 percent to help rein in global heating.“In recent events, including the G20 meeting, actually there’s a hope for each countries to set a target up to 45 percent,” the minister said. “I’ve asked the director-general [of climate change] to do some calculations, even though for us to meet the 41 percent target is already tough.”Siti added that she’d begun discussions with the energy minister, Ignasius Jonan, on steps to cut back on coal use and advance renewable energy during last month’s G20 summit in Japan.A coal barge in the Samarinda River estuary. The coal produced in the region is used in power plants or sold for export. Photo by Tommy Apriando/Mongabay-Indonesia.More coal-fired plantsThat a transition away from coal is even being discussed at the highest levels of government marks a major change in tone from longstanding energy policies that have relied on an abundance of cheap and available coal. In fact, Indonesia’s coal reserves have made it one of the world’s biggest exporters of the commodity over the course of the last 15 years.Policies by successive governments have helped; coal-fired power plants receive hefty subsidies, and there are no carbon disincentives to encourage investment in renewable energy. The reliance on coal hasn’t shown any sign of easing in recent years. Thirty-nine coal-fired power plants are under construction, and 68 have been announced, which will maintain coal’s dominance of the energy mix at nearly 55 percent by 2025. Three of the six new plants expected to go online this year will be fired by coal; the other three are small-capacity facilities powered by gas, hydro and solar, respectively.Over the 40 to 50 years that each plant will be in operation, it will have a devastating impact on local populations and ecosystems, activists say, polluting the air and water, and churning huge volumes of CO2 into the atmosphere.“Promising to burn massive quantities of low quality Indonesian coal may have kept some voters warm, but Indonesians will be paying a very high price for their love affair with coal,” says a report by the IEEFA. “And the younger generation will be stuck with limited options to fix a rigid system.”This heavy reliance on coal comes at the cost of growing Indonesia’s renewable energy sector, with its adoption trailing far behind most countries and short of the country’s true potential, according to a new report by the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.The government expects to generate 23 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. To date, however, renewables account for just 12 percent of the total energy mix. That proportion isn’t expected to increase by 2025.“While many countries are taking rapid strides to adopt renewable energy for power generation, the progress in Indonesia has been rather slow,” said Alessandro Gazzini, a partner at A.T. Kearney and co-author of the report. “However, the country has significant potential in renewables, including in solar and wind, and hence the stage is set for the country to leapfrog over the next few years if the policy is given a hard look.”Locals who are affected by coal power plants around Indonesia gather during a protest in front of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources office in Jakarta, Indonesia. They’re demanding the government to switch from coal to renewable energy. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Growing public awarenessPublic awareness has been growing recently about the negative impacts of the coal industry, especially during the presidential election campaign that ended in April. At various points in the campaign, Widodo and his rival, Prabowo Subianto, came under scrutiny for their lack of commitment to new, greener energy technologies. The business ties between the candidates, their political allies and the coal industry were also highlighted in a documentary called “Sexy Killers.”The documentary, viewed more than 24 million times on YouTube since it was uploaded days before the April 17 election, also highlighted the devastating impact of coal mines and power plants to local communities, including lush forests being razed in the search for more coal, and coral reefs being wrecked by coal barges.Residents living near the massive power plants in Java and Bali also pay a price. The film shows many of them being evicted to make room for the plants, while those who refuse to leave have to deal with the constant pollution.The film drew the ire of local officials, who scrambled to shut down public screenings and even accused the filmmakers of spreading “hate speech” against both candidates.Alin said it was possible Widodo had had a change of heart after the recent intense public spotlight on the coal industry, as well as the shifting global trend to renewables.“We may never know what’s inside the head of the government, but if we see recent events where the public responded to various information circulating [about the impact of the coal industry] through social media, it’s possible that the government is reacting to that,” she said. “Or the government might also be reacting to global pressure.” 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 overSponsoredcenter_img 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. Banner image: A group of locals affected by coal-fired power plants around Indonesia stages a protest in front of the headquarters of President Joko Widodo’s campaign team in Jakarta. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.last_img read more

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Orangutan habitats being cleared in areas near palm oil mills, report finds

first_imgArticle published by mongabayauthor Agriculture, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Green, Logging, Mammals, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife A new study identifies the palm oil mills in Indonesia with the most clearance of orangutan habitat happening around them.The top 10 mills are all on the island of Borneo and are producing palm oil that makes its way into the supply chains of consumer goods giants such as Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Avon, Mars, Mondelēz and more ⁠— companies that promised long ago to stop buying palm oil linked to deforestation.Just because deforestation is happening around a palm oil mill does not mean it is being done by an entity supplying that mill with palm fruits. But it is a strong red flag that this may be the case.Several of the consumer goods giants contacted by Mongabay said they were either actively investigating the deforestation or suspending trading with the mills. Others were more vague in their responses. Rainforest clearance during the month of May destroyed orangutan habitat near 144 different palm oil mills in Indonesia, according to a report by MapHubs, an open-data platform and technology company that monitors natural resources.The top 10 mills, all located on the island of Borneo, lost an average of 104 hectares (257 acres) each. Among the companies that source their palm oil from these mills are household names such as Avon, Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, PZ Cussons, Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever.“The report is a risk analysis,” said Leo Bottrill, the founder and CEO of MapHubs. It’s intended to “highlight that both major traders and buyers with NDPE [no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation] policies, are buying from mills located in high risk areas for orangutan habitat clearance.”The 10 palm oil mills in Indonesia with the most orangutan habitat being destroyed around them are circled in red. Image courtesy of MapHubs.Just because the forest clearance takes place near a palm oil mill doesn’t mean it is being done in order to supply that mill, or even to plant oil palm. While some major buyers of palm oil have mapped out their supply chains to the mill level, untangling the ever-shifting networks of farms, plantations and brokers that sell to third-party mills is something no large firm has yet managed to do. But achieving this “full traceability” is critical if palm oil users are to prove their supply chains are free of deforestation and other ills.While some of the deforestation identified in the report occurred on lands licensed out to oil palm planters, others are happening in the surrounding forests, making it difficult to track who is responsible. Many mills process palm fruits sourced from smallholder plantations where ownership and land management agreements are often unclear.However, given that palm fruits begin to spoil within 24 hours of harvest, most are processed by mills within a 25-to-50-kilometer (15-to-30-mile) radius. Therefore, there is a high degree of probability that those responsible for clearing the forest, if they are doing so to plant oil palm, are banking on being able to sell their product to nearby mills. By identifying those mills now, the entities engaged in deforestation will learn that there is no nearby market for their crop, since most major consumers purchasing from those mills have established strongly worded zero-deforestation commitments that apply to their entire supply chain.In practical application, however, the level of engagement in the process — and response to allegations — varies significantly among the companies buying palm oil from these mills. While some rely on third-party certifications, other companies have signed on with monitoring systems that give them direct oversight of their entire supply chain. This additional step, they say, allows them respond more quickly and effectively to reports like this one.A palm oil mill in Indonesia. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Colgate-Palmolive, Nestlé, PZ Cussons and Reckitt Benckiser have each signed on with Starling, a service that uses satellites and remote sensing to monitor a company’s supply chain. Each of these companies told Mongabay they were actively investigating the deforestation, using their own satellite data to directly engage suppliers and clarify what actions will be taken.Nestlé said it had suspended trading with two of the mills, and was investigating the others named in the MapHubs report. PZ Cussons said it had already stopped sourcing from two mills, and was speaking with its suppliers about the others. Both Colgate-Palmolive and Reckitt Benkiser also said they were verifying the reports, and would terminate business with any company falling short of their no-deforestation commitments.While several other companies may not have the benefit of live monitoring, they did indicate they were actively responding to the MapHubs report. Unilever said it had already suspended one of the mills as a supplier due to previous violations, and was conducting further investigations to ensure the other mills are complying with its zero-deforestation commitment. Procter & Gamble also previously ended trading with three of the mills identified by MapHubs, but said it would look more closely at the others it still deals with. PepsiCo said it would thoroughly investigate the issue.Meanwhile, Kellogg’s responded to the report by simply reaffirming its commitment to sustainable palm oil, while General Mills said that since it had no evidence that the mills it sources from owned the concessions where deforestation was occurring, it did not consider the problem to be part of its supply chain.Avon, Mars and Mondelēz did not respond to Mongabay’s inquiries, while Hershey said it needed time to look into the issue.Palm oil producers Bunge, Musim Mas and Fuji Oil confirmed they were actively investigating the areas of deforestation identified in the report, and a few had entered the concerns into their formal grievance processes.Sime Darby, Bunge and Archer Daniels Midland each told Mongabay that while they had already suspended some of the mills for previous violations, they would make sure that those in proximity to these deforestation areas were not trading with third-party suppliers who were not in their tracking systems.An adult male Sumatran orangutan in Mount Leuser National Park. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Palm oil giant Wilmar said that any deforestation activities occurring on land directly within its supply chain were already being addressed as part of Wilmar’s grievance procedure, but that the firm could not be reasonably expected to investigate deforestation occurring near its mills without a clear understanding of land ownership and management oversight of an area.“As there continues to be a leakage market,” a spokesperson for Wilmar said, “where there is no scrutiny on those purchasing these excluded volumes, we will continue to see deforestation happening. This is not something that Wilmar alone can influence or stop.”Wilmar also said MapHubs’ reliance on mill proximity was “highly erroneous and misleading,” differing from its own monitoring program provided by Aidenvironment, a nonprofit consultancy that works with large firms.Golden Agri-Resources was also skeptical of the “guilty by proximity” link, pointing out that an area with a 25-kilometer radius was nearly three times the area of Singapore.“The result is predictable,” a spokesperson for Golden Agri said, “numerous incidents of deforestation will be detected around these mills. Investigating every single incident detected is neither practical nor a productive exercise.”While this sentiment may not be shared by every company, it gets at the heart of the issue: tracing the supply chain to just the mills is not sufficient. The web of middlemen, smallholders and interconnected companies makes it difficult but vital that palm oil consumers ensure accountability for the product from seed to shelf. And although mill proximity is a useful indicator for high risk of non-certified product leaking in, using proxies can shift focus from achieving true accountability.For example, PT Jabontara Eka Karsa (PT JEK), a mill located in Indonesian Borneo that supplies nearly all of the companies named above with palm oil, has the greatest amount of orangutan habitat in its vicinity. The MapHubs report flagged PT JEK due to the 442 hectares (1,092 acres) of forest that have been cleared this year by a nearby plantation owned by the Palma Serasih Group. PT JEK’s parent company, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, stringently denies that it sources palm oil from anyone but its own concessions, which finished their forest clearing in 2015. This leaves open the question of who Palma Serasih intends to sell its fruits to.Although there are limitations to using proximity as a proxy for responsibility, Bottrill said that since some 40 percent of oil palm fruits are supplied by smallholders, establishing direct links can be virtually impossible. However, he said he wishes that more companies with source data would be transparent about where their oil palm is being grown.“Companies and their consultants such as Aidenvironment have accurate concession data,” Bottrill said, yet “few, if any, have made this concession data publicly available, citing [intellectual property] concerns.” Palm oil producers Socfin and Neste have both publicly released concession maps, a trend Bottrill hopes catches on.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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Reef fish are faring fine in eastern Indonesia, study suggests

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Coral Reefs, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Overfishing, Protected Areas, Wildlife 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 A new study examines the health of reef fish populations in the lesser Sunda-Banda seascape, a part of the Coral Triangle, which overlaps with Indonesian waters in the western Pacific.In remote areas far from large human populations, reef fish are generally doing well, the researchers found.The researchers propose turning one area in Southwest Maluku, Indonesia, into a marine protected area. The coral reefs of the lesser Sunda-Banda seascape in southeastern Indonesia host some of the planet’s most biodiverse marine ecosystems, which remain relatively untouched even as overfishing ravages sea life to the country’s west and all over the world. New research suggests reef fish inhabiting understudied sections of the lesser Sunda-Banda are doing well overall in terms of species present and total numbers.“This study seems to be the first assessment ever of all species of consumable reef fishes for this area in the peer-reviewed scientific literature,” said Hawis Madduppa, head of the Marine Biodiversity and Biosystematics Lab at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), who was not affiliated with the study.“It’s not all bad news for Indonesian marine conservation. We still have hope for good, sustainable reef fisheries.”The paper, published in IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, intends to inform reef management in the far-flung lesser Sunda-Banda seascape, which lies in the Coral Triangle, a vast region of the western Pacific that’s home to the highest diversity of corals and reef fishes anywhere on the planet.From 2014 to 2015, the researchers conducted three expeditions involving underwater surveys of reef fish communities in the Indonesian districts of East Flores, Alor and Southwest Maluku, where people catch a vast variety of fish to feed their families or sell at markets. The census covered 1,800 square kilometers (695 square miles) throughout 62 spots at a depth of 10 meters (33 feet). Divers collected and classified exploitable reef fish into 5-centimeter (2-inch) intervals of length, from 3 to more than 50 centimeters (1 to 20 inches). Then the scientists derived fish biomass figures by means of known relationships between the size and weight of the species they observed.In this way, lead author Fakhrizal Setiawan and his colleagues recorded 176 reef fish species that support the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians. More than half the fish the team encountered were plankton-eating dark-banded fusiliers (Pterocaesio tile), but they concluded that the ranges and counts of species in the reef systems were generally sound and balanced.“Southwest Maluku has the highest biomass and quite a lot of abundance, very different from Alor and East Flores because pressure in fisheries is very low there,” said Fakhrizal, who at the time of the research was working as a reef fish ecologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Fakhrizal collaborated on the study with researchers from WWF-Indonesia and the Fisheries Diving Club at IPB.“Many islands in Southwest Maluku are very remote, so fish live happy and healthy with little contact with humans,” he said.A school of dark-banded fusilier of the coast of northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Image by Bernard Dupont/Flickr.The lowest stocks occurred in East Flores, which has been subject to intensive reef fishing associated with a larger human presence. The harvested fish community in Alor looked stressed as well, a condition possibly resulting from harmful extraction methods, including potassium cyanide poisoning.The wealth of reef fish in Southwest Maluku, where fishers typically practice old-style, low-impact handlining, makes this place ecologically significant, so Fakhrizal proposed turning it into a marine protected area (MPA) to bolster biodiversity throughout the lesser Sunda-Banda. Because diversity is comparable across the three regions, he said, Southwest Maluku can “give fish to the areas with high-pressure fishing and supply spillover fish to sustain the ecosystem.” Hawis added that with MPA designation, “the important spawning and nursery area can be protected, and the degraded area can have a chance to recover.”There are, however, limits to reef fish resilience that could devastate the local fishing industry and national economy dependent on it, Fakhrizal noted.“When one area is open to more and more destructive fishing, at some point, it cannot recover from pressure,” he said. “Fishermen get more money using poison or bombing to get a lot of reef fish, but maybe their children cannot get fish from the area, move far away, then need money for fuel. An area like Southwest Maluku with small fisheries may not be high-value, but it’s economically sustainable enough for long-term opportunity. In Alor and East Flores, there could be a decrease in fisheries in a few years.”A scorpionfish in Alor, Indonesia. Image by prilfish/Flickr.Fakhrizal’s paper echoes monitoring work completed in 2017 by Reef Check Indonesia, a nonprofit based in Bali. It also determined that fusilier fish were the most abundant ones in East Flores and Alor, since upwelling transported plentiful nutrients to this species there.Altogether the current findings provide reason for optimism, said Hawis. “In Indonesia, the farther east you go, the higher the abundance and biomass due to the remoteness,” he said. “I’m very glad we still have an area with a high abundance of natural fish stock, more than 2,000 kilograms per hectare,” or about 1,800 pounds per acre.To maintain stocks, strong multi-scale laws should be established and enforced to prohibit damaging fishing equipment and the removal of breeding or developing fish, said Sila Sari, data and knowledge coordinator with Reef Check Indonesia. Alongside intensifying surveillance to reduce offenses in Southwest Maluku, she recommended enhancing rules with traditional knowledge that has for millennia moderated fishing and preserved Indonesian reefs.“Eastern Indonesia is rich with different local wisdoms that can be engaged through management and protected area regulation,” said Sari, who was not involved in the study. “It’ll be great to see changes between each area and between inside or outside the MPA and assess how effectively it works by assessing fish stocks. Each year or two, we need to repeat the same survey at the same sites.”Hawis emphasized the broad research on lesser Sunda-Banda marine biodiversity required to safeguard the target reef fish, too. To create an MPA, he said, biologists must investigate connectivity across islands or populations by harnessing molecular mechanisms, such as environmental DNA and population genetics, and evaluate the relatedness of organisms in reef ecosystems.“Mostly, people in Indonesia want faster, easier reef restoration,” Fakhrizal said. “But to be conserved effectively, coral reefs need time to recover without human disorder. We should give reefs in the lesser Sunda-Banda time to rebuild with MPAs.”Citation:Setiawan, F., Muhidin, Agustina, S., Pingkan, J., Estradivari, Tarigan, S. A., . . . Sadewa, S. (2019). Stock estimation, species composition and biodiversity of target reef fishes in the lesser Sunda-Banda Seascape (East Flores, Alor and South West Maluku regencies), Indonesia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 278, 012070. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/278/1/012070Banner: A bluestreak fusilier fish. Image by Rickard Zerpe/Flickr. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by mongabayauthorlast_img read more

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Amazon indigenous groups feel deserted by Brazil’s public health service

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 Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Controversial, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Health, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Public Health, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img Until recently, hundreds of Cuban doctors staffed many remote indigenous health facilities in the Brazilian Amazon and around the nation, an initiative funded by the More Doctors program set up by President Dilma Rousseff in 2013.But far-right President Jair Bolsonaro radically restructured the program, and Cuba — calling Bolsonaro’s demands unreasonable — pulled its doctors out.That withdrawal heavily impacted indigenous groups. Of the 372 doctors working within indigenous communities, 301 were Cuban. The Ministry of Health says 354 vacancies have since been filled by Brazilian doctors, but indigenous communities say many new doctors are unwilling to stay long in the remote posts.Bolsonaro has hindered rural health care in other ways: 13,000 indigenous health workers have remained unpaid since February or April, depending on the region, after the Brazilian Minister of Health stopped providing resources to the 8 NGOs contracted to provide health services to 34 Special Sanitary Indigenous Districts. A deadly Amazon bushmaster (Lachesis muta) showing its fangs. Poisonous snakes present one of the greatest health hazards in the Brazilian Amazon, and yet some remote indigenous health centers lack the doctors and antivenom needed to treat snakebite. Image by Dick Culbert licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.Last February, a Mongabay reporting team travelled to the Brazilian Amazon, spending time with the remote Sateré-Mawé, documenting their culture and long-time conflict with mining companies and land grabbers. This series looks at new threats imposed on the Sateré and indigenous groups across Brazil as they’re threatened by the ruralist-friendly policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. The trip was funded by the Rainforest Journalism Fund in association with the Pulitzer Center and Mongabay. It was 10 o’clock in the morning when he felt the bite. Now, 20 minutes later, Raimundo, a Sateré indigenous man, lies ill at the foot of a copaiba tree and realizes the great danger he is in. Incapacitated within the vastness of the Amazon rainforest, medical help is many miles and hours away.“He saw [the snake] out of the corner of his eye, not long enough to see it properly, but thought it was a pit viper,” a deadly venomous snake, says his father-in-law.Raimundo lives in the indigenous village of Kuruatuba, within the Andirá-Marau indigenous reserve, on the banks of the Andirá River bordering Pará and Amazonas states. Most days Raimundo is up early, awaiting the first rays of sunlight before immersing himself in the forest, carrying on his back a jamanxim, a woven straw basket.He only returns home after filling the containers in his pack-basket with amapá milk and copaiba oil — fluids tapped from trees native to the Amazon basin, Copaifera and Brosimum, respectively. Copaiba oil is used by the perfume industry as a fixative, and in alternative medicine due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Amapá milk is widely utilized regionally to treat gastritis and respiratory problems.But now Raimundo is in trouble, and could soon be dead.A boat used by an Amazon health care team. Image by Matheus Manfredini.Disappearing indigenous rural healthcareThe snakebite incident occurs deep in the forest, just as Raimundo is about to start work. The poison spreads rapidly throughout his body, making it difficult to walk. He realizes that, all alone in the forest, he may die. But, staggering down the path toward home, he is found by a relative. Together they get to the village by late afternoon.Kuruatuba is one of five villages possessing health centers along the upper reaches of the Andirá River. Cuban doctors used to staff these facilities, funded by the More Doctors program set up by the Dilma Rousseff government in 2013.But the program was radically restructured by President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in January, and Cuba pulled its doctors out.Now the only facility staff are nurses and nursing assistants. The center is also short of drugs and doesn’t have snake antivenoms, as these have to be kept refrigerated, and the energy supplied by a diesel generator is intermittent. This is the reality, despite the fact that snakebite is one of the great risks of living in the remote Amazon.The nurses treat Raimundo as best they can. Then he sets off at dark with his father-in-law, a nursing assistant, and a pilot in a fast, motorized canoe on a 10-hour trip downriver to the nearest hospital at the port of Parintins on the Amazon River.He knows he could die on the way.Passengers aboard the ambulancha transporting Raimundo downriver were forced into the water to help move the boat past a fallen tree. Image by Matheus Manfredini.A dangerous journeyThe trip doesn’t go as planned. It’s dangerous to travel at night along Amazon rivers, something only done in emergencies.The boat hits a submerged obstacle, capsizes and sinks. The men struggle ashore. While the pilot and nursing assistant set out for help in Vila Nova, the nearest village, Raimundo and his father-in-law wait in the dark on the riverbank. They’re cold, bitten by mosquitoes and fearful of further encounters with poisonous snakes.“At this time of year, when the river is in flood, snakes generally stay on river banks at night,” explains the father-in-law. Raimundo feels his odds of survival sinking.Meanwhile, the pilot and nursing assistant make slow progress. There’s no path by the river, so they tread through the shallows, and swim when the water gets too deep. They spot another pit viper, this one in the water, but luckily escape without accident.They reach Vila Nova at 6am, then rush upstream by motorized canoe to rescue Raimundo. He’s still alive. They take him to another health center, where he’s transferred to a faster boat, an ambulancha, for transport to Parintins. But even then, the journey isn’t easy; passengers must at one point jump in the water and push the boat over a fallen tree.Finally, the ambulancha arrives at the hospital. It is mid-afternoon, almost 30 hours since Raimundo was bitten.Raimundo arrived at the hospital after a harrowing journey by boat through the Brazilian Amazon. It remains to be seen if the long delay before treatment will leave him permanently disabled. Image by Matheus Manfredini.Lack of healthcare can lead to disability — and self-sufficiencyRaimundo survives, but his chances of making a full recovery are remote. “In these cases, even when patients don’t die, they usually have to have a limb amputated or lose the use of a limb,” explains Daniel dos Santos, the pilot of the motorized canoe that took Raimundo on the first leg of his journey from Vila Nova to Parintins.This is what happened to Sônia Miquiles, who lives in Campo Branco, a small village on the banks of the Mariaquã River outside the boundaries of the Andirá-Marau indigenous reserve. While working away from her village at a subsistence farm plot, Sonia was bitten by a bushmaster, one of the Amazon’s deadliest snakes. She spent two months in hospital in Parintins. Against the odds, she survived, but her right hand was permanently paralysed.In the face of her daunting disability, Sonia taught herself ingenious methods for carrying out daily activities with one hand.Midwife Sonia Miquiles shows her hand, which was paralyzed due to a bushmaster snakebite. Image by Matheus Manfredini.It was with this hand that she personally birthed Christopher, the youngest of her children. As she worked the village’s plot early one morning, the infant’s time to be born arrived. When her contractions intensified, Sonia crouched down, and pulled the baby out of her own womb, cut the umbilical cord, then walked back to the village — her sixth child in her arms.Sonia’s mother had helped her when her first child was born, and she taught Sonia indigenous tricks for facilitating childbirth. Employing this ancient knowledge, Sonia was able to deliver her other children on her own.Her fame as a midwife grew and over the years she helped many other babies — the children of nieces, neighbors, daughters-in-law and others — to enter the world. Sonia explains a few techniques: sometimes she needs to invert the baby in the womb so that its head faces down, ready to arrive. She uses warm water to gently massage a pregnant woman’s belly, then it’s just a matter of waiting, she says. “Doctors don’t know any more how to turn a baby in the womb and they don’t like waiting.” This is why so many women must have C-sections, she maintains.Sonia doesn’t need doctors for childbirth, but she fears her children will die in a health emergency.“There is no health post here, no transport.… If someone gets seriously ill or has an accident, all that can save them is good luck,” she laments.Erasmo Batista de Oliveira, president of an indigenous health association active in the upper Andirá River basin. Image by Matheus Manfredini.Bolsonaro policies impacting indigenous medical careAccording to Erasmo Batista de Oliveira, president of an indigenous health association active in the upper Andirá River, the dire healthcare situation in rural areas isn’t much different in the five villages that possess heath centers. “With the withdrawal of the Cuban doctors, it’s become very difficult to help patients,” he says.The Cubans left the More Doctors program in November of last year when president-elect Bolsonaro proposed changes to the healthcare program that Cuba refused to accept. The ending of the program was widely expected, because Bolosnaro had frequently declared during his presidential campaign that he would “expel” the doctors, whom he denounced as “communist propaganda agents.” The Cuban health ministry says that, once in office, Bolsonaro questioned the qualifications of their doctors, demanding that they all acquire Brazilian diplomas and then be contracted individually — conditions that he must have known would be unacceptable to Havana.Indigenous villages felt the impact immediately. Of the 372 doctors working within indigenous communities, 301 were Cuban. According to the Ministry of Health, 354 vacancies have now been filled by Brazilians. But the Sateré-Mawé of the upper Andirá River say this isn’t their experience, as no doctors have filled their vacant health posts.Even when Brazilian doctors take up the jobs, they find it hard to adapt to the tough Amazonian way of life. As a result, many indigenous people say that the availability of care has declined. “The Brazilian doctors who replace the Cubans won’t stay here,” says Batista de Oliveira.“The Cubans came and spent 15 to 20 days here, without leaving,” explains Daniel dos Santos, who has provided transport for patients and health professionals for eight years. The Cubans “would go out of their way, at any time of day or night, to help a sick person. The Brazilian doctors who came to replace them spend two or three days here and became desperate to leave.”Daniel is one of 13,000 indigenous health workers who have remained unpaid since February or April, depending on the region, after the Brazilian Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mendetta, stopped providing resources to the eight civil society organizations contracted to provide health services to 34 Special Sanitary Indigenous Districts (DSEIs). For a few health workers, the budget freeze occurred back in October 2018.According to the health workers, along with their inability to pay their employees’ wages, some DSEIs don’t have the money for medication, fuel, medical tests, vaccinations and patient transport.The minister justified the drastic step of freezing resources by making vague unsubstantiated references to “corruption,” claiming that a great deal of money was spent on indigenous health, compared with the outlay on the rest of the Brazilian population, and that the system had to be restructured.As a result, it is alleged that at least three children died in the space of 11 days in April due to a lack of adequate care inside the Xingu Indigenous Park, located in Mato Grosso state, according to Repórter Brasil. In a press release, the Catholic Church’s Indigenous Council (CIMI) blamed Bolsonaro directly for the deaths, saying that it was unacceptable, in the name of policy reformulation, to allow more indigenous people to die — this being the minority group who, throughout the country’s history, had suffered most from the Brazilian state’s genocidal policies.On 1 August, the health ministry finally launched a new program to replace More Doctors; the ministry says it will be contracting 18,000 doctors,13,000 of whom will be sent to inaccessible municipal districts.Some analysts say the loss of the Cuban doctors and freezing of funds are part of a government plan to dismantle existing federal indigenous healthcare programs, and point to several pieces of evidence:Since taking office, minister Mandetta has pressed for the decentralization of indigenous healthcare. As part of that process, he initially planned to shut down SESAI (The Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health), forcing municipalities to take on the responsibility for indigenous healthcare in their areas.However, he withdrew this plan after more than 30 indigenous protests erupted in different parts of the country. But, to date, Mandetta has only partly fulfilled his promise to keep SESAI alive. Decree 9,795, issued by Bolsonaro in May, restructured the body, abolishing its democratic and participatory nature.Mandetta critics note that he is a ruralist, part of the lobbying group that has historically pushed for rural elites to take over indigenous lands in order to profit from expanded agribusiness and mining. Those critics point out that the loss of healthcare services weakens indigenous communities, potentially forcing them to rely on favors from companies and landowners for services that they should have as a right.“What we are seeing is a return to the policies of assimilation of the 1960s and 1970s, when the policy was to dismantle services, leaving these people in an extremely vulnerable situation, to make it easier to open up indigenous territory to mining,” says Roberto Liebgott, CIMI’s Southern Region coordinator.Dézio Barros operates a commercial boat service running between the town of Parintins and the Sateré-Mawé reserve. Image by Matheus Manfredini.Reshuffling healthcare agencies and prioritiesCurrently, Bolsonaro adiminstration officials are touting the “integration” of SESAI with the SUS, Brazil’s national health system. As part of this integration, the responsibilities of the federal indigenous health service would potentially be handed over to municipal governments, which, according to many analysts, would cause indigenous needs to be deprioritized over other populations.The Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), one of Brazil’s leading indigenous rights organizations, believes that placing SESAI under SUS, is a government strategy for forcing municipalization of healthcare.As policy attacks by the president and minister against the indigenous health service continue, the quality of already precarious medical assistance provided to indigenous people appears to be worsening.Dézio Barros, who runs a commercial boat service from Parintins to the Sateré-Mawé reserve, is in daily contact with indigenous people. He says he has witnessed desperate situations in recent months: “Imagine what it means to remove doctors from areas like this one, where a patient has to travel in a tiny riverboat, sitting in the sun and rain for 15 hours, until he or she reaches us and then has to face a journey of at least another 15 hours to get to a city.”So it is that Raimundo’s ordeal — requiring nearly 30 hours to reach a hospital for critical care — is by no means exceptional. Instead it appears to be emblematic of unfolding Bolsonaro government policies.Health center in Vila Nova village. Remote medical facilities that serve indigenous communities were once staffed by Cuban doctors, but the far-right Bolsonaro administration was suspicious of their “Communist” influence and revamped the system causing Cuba to withdraw its physicians. Image by Matheus Manfredini.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. 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New toolkit identifies multiple species from environmental DNA

first_imgResearchers have developed a DNA analysis toolkit designed to speed the identification of the multiple species in a biological community by analyzing environmental DNA from a sample of water or soil.To confirm the presence of a species at a site, the tool compares its genetic barcode (short DNA sequence) to barcodes of known species in one of several reference databases.The toolkit’s advantage is its ability to quickly process many barcode sequences, at multiple analysis locations on the gene, that enable it to identify the species of the DNA sequences of many organisms at the same time. Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and CALeDNA have developed a toolkit designed to quickly identify the species in a biological community by simultaneously analyzing the environmental DNA (eDNA) from multiple species from a single analysis of a sample of water or soil. Their aim is to eliminate the need for researchers to sort and process multiple eDNA sequences independently, thus saving time and money.They published a description of the open-source software tool, called the Anacapa Toolkit, as well as results of a field test in the kelp forests off southern California.Kelp forest at Anacapa Island off southern California. Image by Dana Roeber Murray via Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0.eDNA is the genetic material shed by animals and plants into the surrounding ecosystem, usually water or soil, through their skin, scales, feces or pollen. eDNA has proved increasingly useful for identifying particularly aquatic species found at a given site. A single one-liter (one quart) sample of water can contain eDNA for many species and is a non-invasive means of collecting data.The software toolkit is a series of modules that can analyze DNA sequences from multiple locations (loci) on the genes extracted from the eDNA in the sample and compare them to a customized reference database of sequences of known species. It produces a spreadsheet of all the species found in the sample for which it has a known reference sequence.Lead author Emily Curd said the outputs of eDNA research in the Anacapa toolkit are standardized and eliminate many of the human steps and potential missteps that previous tools include. “When you compare our results against previous studies, we do a lot better capturing the biodiversity that’s out there,” Curd said in a statement.Scientists use genetic barcoding, analyses of short DNA sequences from a specific point on the gene, to identify a species by comparing its barcode to a database of known barcodes. Research teams have since developed metabarcording analyses that allow them to analyze the barcodes of many species at the same time and determine which species are present in the sample.A treefish, a California native, at Anacapa Island. eDNA from water samples allow researchers to detect the presence of individual species from the scales or skin they leave behind, even if the animal is no longer in the area. Image by Dana Roeber Murray via Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0.In developing the new tool, the researchers recognized three main challenges to accurately and reliably identifying species using eDNA:eDNA studies often sequence multiple loci on the genes of a given sample because plants, fungi, and various animal species are each best detected using different loci, but researchers currently must process each of these independently;a lack of curated reference databases for all of the loci the researchers want to analyze for all the potential species in a water or soil sample of a given site hinders identification;current metabarcode pipelines (a series of steps, or workflow) often discard large portions of sequence data that are potentially useful for identifying the taxon (e.g. species) of a sequence that doesn’t fully align with reference sequences.To use the toolkit, a research team first collects a water or soil sample and extracts DNA from it using standard techniques that produce genetic sequences of the various life forms in the sample.Marine invertebrates of California’s Channel Islands. The toolkit analyzes the eDNA collected in water samples of the multiple organisms that form a biological community. Image by Ed Bierman, CC 2.0.“It’s amazing how sensitive this technique is,” said co-author Zack Gold, referring to the team’s experience that DNA from fewer than a few dozen cells is enough to detect an organism’s presence in a sample.The users upload these genetic sequences of yet-unknown species to the toolkit, which compares them to a genetic reference library of sequences with known identities. This comparison allows the tool to process the barcode sequences from the eDNA in the sample and identify the species associated with each barcode.The tool customizes the reference database for each analysis using information that the research team provides on the organisms that might be in their sample.The researchers do this by inputting primers for species or higher taxa of interest. A primer is a short nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) sequence from a particular location on the gene that provides a starting point for DNA amplification and synthesis. Synthesis of this existing strand of nucleotides primes, or provides a foundation for, synthesizing the DNA collected in the study sample.The toolkit’s Creating Reference libraries Using eXisting tools (CRUX) module generates custom reference databases based on these user-defined primers by querying public databases, such as GenBank and the European Molecular Biology Lab (EMBL) nucleotide database, to find known sequences for the organisms associated with the user’s selected primers.The toolkit, which is freely available, offers access to several reference databases to complement the user-customized reference database, and users can add their own sequences to their database.The toolkit’s advantage is its ability to quickly process the many barcode sequences, at multiple analysis locations on the gene (multiple loci), that allow it to identify the species of the DNA sequences of many organisms at the same time.Environmental DNA is often dilute or partially degraded, so the toolkit trims and processes sequences, eliminating poor-quality sections and separating sequence files from the various loci within each sample. It categorizes the sequence files by quality, and its classifier identifies the species associated with each sequence by comparing them to the sequences with known identities in the reference database. It produces a spreadsheet of sequences and species, plus reports on the identification.The researchers tested the toolkit on 30 samples of seawater from southern California’s kelp forests and found it captured a greater diversity of sequences and species than published reference databases.The taxonomic assignments (identifications) from the research team’s test samples collected from seawater off southern California, highlighting the Anacapa Island kelp forest vertebrate families identified from the 12S metabarcodes (primers). Families in bold are featured in the photographs. Image is Figure 2 of Curd et al (2019).Although all components of the toolkit are open and available to the public, researchers wanting to use the toolkit must have sufficient DNA analysis experience to select appropriate primers for their research site and to use standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques to copy and extract DNA to produce the sequences that they input into the toolkit.Gold called the new tool a “really big game-changer,” though he recognized it has limitations.Using eDNA, it cannot, for example, determine how many individuals of a particular species are in a certain area, just that a species is present. “It’s not going to replace all of the surveys and monitoring efforts,” Gold said, “but doing an eDNA survey is the most sensitive method to find where species are living.”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. Article published by Sue Palminteri Animals, DNA, Fungi, Monitoring, Oceans, Open-source, Plants, Research, Software, surveys, Technology, Wildtech 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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Bolsonaro administration approves 290 new pesticide products for use

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer In just seven months, the Bolsonaro government has approved 290 new pesticide products for use, at the rate of nearly 1.4 per day. Some of the approved chemicals are banned in the EU, US, and elsewhere. Brazil is one of the largest users of pesticides in the world, with utilization on its vast soy crop especially intensive.Most of the pesticides approved are not new individual chemicals, but toxic cocktails that combine a variety of pesticides blended for various uses. However, these combinations have rarely been tested to determine their interactions or impacts on human health or nature.In addition to the new products, a new regulatory framework to assess pesticide health risks was established in July that will reduce restrictiveness of toxicological classifications. Under Bolsonaro, 1,942 registered pesticides were quickly reevaluated, with the number considered extremely toxic dropped from 702 to just 43.Pesticide poisoning is common in Brazil, and on the rise. The full impacts of chemical toxins on wildlife, plants, waterways and ecosystems are not known. Agribusiness typically sprays from the air, a process that if not conducted properly can result in wind drift of toxins into natural areas and human communities. A pesticide warning sign. Image courtesy of Austin Valley on flickr.Brazil is experiencing an explosion in the number of new pesticide registrations authorized this year. Since the Bolsonaro administration came to power on 1 January to the end of July, 290 new pesticides have been approved for use — nearly 1.4 per day. And the pace is only expected to quicken with the recent announcement of a change in the toxicological evaluation of herbicides and insecticides by Anvisa, Brazil’s health protection agency.With Brazilian agribusiness already one of the largest users of pesticides in the world, and the nation’s populace experiencing serious health concerns as a result, environmentalists and public health experts have expressed grave concern. At present, Brazil has registered 2,300 pesticides for use — some of them banned in the European Union (EU), US and elsewhere.The current authorization rate is the highest ever recorded by the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) since the agency began releasing data in 2005. In comparison to the 290 pesticides approved in the first seven months of 2019, just 45 were approved over the same period during 2010. This June and July alone, MAPA published registrations for 93 new pesticides in the Official Gazette.Contacted by Mongabay, the Ministry of Agriculture responded that the general coordinator of pesticides, Carlos Venâncio, was not available for an interview.According to a MAPA press release, the goal of releasing so many new products is “to increase market competition and lower prices. [Also] to provide new and more efficient control alternatives for the environment and human health.”The National Union of Plant Protection Products Industry (Sindiveg), which represents the pesticide industry, did not grant an interview, but sent a note through its communication office: “Regarding the number of formulated [ready-to-use] products, all registrations are new brands [whose ingredients] were already available on the [Brazilian] market. That means more options for the farmer, [but] not an increase in the amount of pesticide used on the crops.”Analysts point out that new formulations can include a toxic cocktail of various pesticides, whose interactions are rarely if ever tested or whose combined impacts on people and ecosystems are largely unknown. Also little studied is pesticide persistence on harvested crops which are consumed in Brazil or exported to the EU and other international markets.At a protest, a label reads “Pesticide kills.” The Bolsonaro administration approved 290 pesticide products for use in the first seven months of this year; analysts are concerned that the environment and public are being put at risk in the rush to put new products on the market. Image by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil.Environmentalists respondVictor Pelaez, coordinator for the Observatory of the Pesticide Industry at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), disagreed to some extent with the MAPA press release, noting that the increase in registrations will not necessarily result in a drop in prices. “This is yet to be proven,” he said. “The market has a structural characteristic, whereby competition is not determined primarily by prices, but by the degree of market concentration. The four largest pesticide companies [Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and Dow AgroSciences] occupy 70 percent to 80 percent of the Brazilian market and set the prices. They also have the most well-known brands, which generate a preference.”Pelaez, professor of economics at UFPR, remarked that of the 290 newly approved pesticides published in the Official Gazette this year, 41 percent were classified by Anvisa as extremely or highly toxic, and 32 percent are prohibited in the European Union. “How do these authorizations address a concern for the health of the population and the environment?” he asked.In addition to the wave of new products, a new regulatory framework for the assessment of health risks related to pesticides was established by Anvisa in July that will reduce the restrictiveness of toxicological classifications, with potential consequences for the future.From now on, only life-threatening pesticides — deadly when swallowed, inhaled or when coming in contact with the skin — will be classified as extremely toxic. Since 1992, a product that caused ulceration, skin corrosion or corneal opacity, for instance, fell into the extremely toxic category. That is no longer the case. Anvisa, under Bolsonaro, promptly reevaluated 1,942 previously registered pesticides, with the number considered extremely toxic dropped from 702 to just 43.“Brazil is going in the opposite direction from most developed countries, which have been reducing the use of pesticides. The Ministry of Agriculture says that the goal is to put new technologies on the market, products of less toxicity, and yet a large part of those being released are generic products of high toxicity, whose active ingredients are old. They have been on the market for years or decades,” said Luiz Claudio Meirelles, a researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).Glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup, is one of the world’s best-selling herbicides and considered a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. In the first 7 months of 2019, eleven new products containing the ingredient were approved in Brazil. Image by OSU Master Gardener licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.Changing role of AnvisaFormer Anvisa general toxicology manager, Meirelles attested to the government’s inconsistency in approving new brands whose active ingredients are being re-evaluated by the health agency due to their potential risk.One example is glyphosate — the globally popular but highly controversial Monsanto herbicide typically sold under the Roundup product name. At least 11 additional brands containing glyphosate were released this year in Brazil, despite continued studies and lawsuits demonstrating its adverse impacts. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in Brazil, but has been declared a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization.Despite the quickening pesticide evaluation and registration process carried out by Anvisa and Ibama (Brazil’s federal environmental agency), and the frequent complaints from the ruralist lobby that pesticides take too long to be approved — many registered products still end up not ever being commercialized, according to a UFPR study, mentioned by Meirelles. “They can represent up to half of all requests. Manufacturers view the registrations as a financial asset, which can be sold later to another company. And if a manufacturer goes up for sale, the registrations are part of its portfolio of products.”Recently Anvisa has undergone another major change. In recent months, it has transferred employees from other areas to pesticide analysis, apparently to speed up certifications. Contacted by Mongabay, the agency did not say how many people currently perform that work.According to Meirelles, when the agency was created, doctors, agronomists and biologists hired for the certification task had to possess a Master’s degree in Applied Toxicology. “It is a job that requires high qualification, there are many sensitive points involved, and the professionals need to be able to discuss with the manufacturing companies’ toxicologists.” The researcher said that about 60 percent of these professionals have left Anvisa since 2013.The death of millions of bees were recently recorded in Brazil, likely as a result of pesticide use by agribusiness. Newly authorized active ingredient, suxaflor, is connected to the reduction of pollinating bees. Image by paparutzi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.Half a million tons of pesticides applied per yearThe two completely new active ingredients authorized in 2019 are cause for concern, experts say. Florpirauxifen-benzyl has never been tested in the European Union, while sulfoxaflor is linked to massive bee deaths.With about 300 native bee species, Brazil is already experiencing problems in that area. Between October 2018 and March 2019, for example, 500 million honey bees (Apis mellifera) died in Rio Grande do Sul state.  A technical report by the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Laboratory detected five types of pesticides in the insects, among them fipronil, regularly used with the state’s soybean crops.Soybean plantations consume about half of all the volume of pesticides traded in Brazil. According to Ibama, Brazilian agriculture used 539,900 tons of pesticides in 2017. That amount represents US$ 8.8 billion, according to Andef, the pesticide manufacturers’ association.On its website, MAPA states that Brazil occupied 44th place in pesticide use in 2016, with a relative consumption of 4.3 kilograms (9.4 pounds) per hectare (2.4 acres), lower than the relative consumption in countries like the Netherlands, with 9.3 kilograms (20.5 pounds) per hectare, and Switzerland, with 5 kilograms (11 pounds) per hectare. These indicators were sourced from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). WorldAtlas.com ranks Brazil as the fifth largest consumer of pesticides in the world.Some experts say that MAPA’s claims are misrepresentative. “Applying an overall average with all existing crop types is misleading,” explained UFPR’s Pelaez. “The FAO indicator is inconsistent, very shallow.… MAPA omitted that soy crops in Brazil use 8.9 kilograms (19.6 pounds) of pesticides per hectare, while tomato crops reach 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and apple plantations 129 kilograms (284 pounds) of pesticides.… Not to mention that soy crops use 21 million hectares of planted areas, while tomatoes use only 62,000 hectares. ”Contacted by Mongabay, FAO did not respond before publication of this story.Pelaez criticized Brazil’s massive application of pesticides by agribusiness: “Instead of assessing the level of insect infestation in a crop and then doing corrective work, they act preventively and apply pesticides in an indiscriminate way. It is like trying to prevent a cancer that you don’t have. They don’t need to keep monitoring the crop, which is much cheaper. It’s an agriculture characterized by saturation, not precision.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Rheas, large flightless South American birds, forage on a soybean plantation in the municipality of Alto Paraíso in Goiás state, Brazil. Soybean crops consume about half of all the volume of pesticides traded in the country; the impact of agrochemicals on Brazilian ecosystems has been little studied. Image by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil. Agriculture, Agrochemicals, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Soy, Controversial, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Pesticides, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Soy, Threats To The Amazon center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Connecting an island: Traveling the Pan Borneo Highway

first_imgThe Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah are in the midst of building more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) of the Pan Borneo Highway.The goal is to boost the states’ economies and connect them with the Indonesian provinces on the island of Borneo as part of the Trans Borneo Highway.Advocates of the highway, including many politicians, say the upgraded, widened and in some places entirely new stretches of highway will link markets and provide a jolt to the promising tourism sector in Malaysian Borneo.But skeptics, including scientists and conservationists, argue that parts of the highway cut through ecologically sensitive areas and that planning prior to construction didn’t adequately account for the damage that construction could cause. This is the first article in our six-part series “Traveling the Pan Borneo Highway.”MIRI, Malaysia — Tucked under the sweep of green that blankets parts of Malaysian Borneo is a unique mix of nature, culture and outdoor adventures matched by few other places in the world. It’s true that in recent decades the country’s two states on the island, Sabah and Sarawak, have suffered significant deforestation, largely for timber and oil palm. But in a single week, a visitor can still scuba dive in the Celebes Sea, camp with Penan hunter-gatherers in the Baram River watershed, boat along the wildlife-rich Kinabatangan River, and trek through untouched primeval forests in Danum Valley and Maliau Basin.But despite those attractions, the tourism industry in these states “has not really flourished,” Malaysia’s federal works minister, Baru Bian, told Mongabay.A stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) along the Kinabatangan River in Sabah. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Baru sees the lack of “connectivity” between these sites as a brake on both the development of tourism and broader expansion of Borneo’s economies. And judging by the funding that politicians earmarked for the Pan Borneo Highway early in the project’s development — some 27 billion ringgit, or about $6.4 billion — Baru is not alone in his belief that the lack of roads is holding these states back.In 2013, Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister at the time, revived a long-nurtured plan for a Pan Borneo Highway that would connect the two states. The goal at the time was to build more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) of mostly divided four-lane highway by 2021 to spur a scale-up of tourism and other economic activities. Current projections put the final completion date in 2025. It would also link up with the Trans Borneo Highway, connecting Malaysian Borneo to the Indonesian provinces and Brunei on the world’s third-largest island, with more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) of roadway.last_img read more

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The Pan Borneo Highway brings wildlife threats to nat’l park doorstep

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannon Animals, Anti-poaching, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forest Fragmentation, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Fragmentation, Freshwater Ecosystems, freshwater turtles, Green, Hunting, Illegal Logging, Infrastructure, Logging, logging roads, Monkeys, National Parks, Parks, Poaching, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Roads, Saving Rainforests, Sea Turtles, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Tropical Forests, Turtles, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade center_img The southern terminus of the Pan Borneo Highway in Malaysia extends to the edge of Tanjung Datu National Park in Sarawak.The highway’s proponents say the road is already bringing more tourists who are eager to see the park’s wildlife to the adjacent communities, helping to boost the local economy.But one of the world’s rarest primates, the Bornean banded langur, resides in the park, raising concerns in the conservation community that increased access could bring poachers into the park. This is the second article in our six-part series “Traveling the Pan Borneo Highway.” Read Part One.TELOK SERABANG, Malaysia — At the westernmost tip of Borneo sits a dense pocket of mountainous forest, the likes of which have grown rarer in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Logging and oil palm interests have jigsawed the state’s once-unbroken green canopy into a patchwork of brown earth and slivers of forest clinging to survival. Yet, perhaps improbably, rich, old-growth forests survive here, and within them an explosion of wildlife on this promontory shared with neighboring Indonesia.Tiny Tanjung Datu National Park and the adjacent Semunsam Wildlife Sanctuary are home to critically endangered painted terrapins (Batagur borneoensis), green and hawksbill sea turtles, and six species of primate, including the critically endangered Bornean banded langur (Presbytis chrysomelas), found in only a few other places on the island.Female, top, and male Bornean banded langurs. Image by H. Schlegel via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).The recent arrival of the Pan Borneo Highway in 2019 has meant seismic changes for all life in this corner of Borneo. It has brought more tourists to the area, according to my guide, Minhad Fauzan. Meanwhile, the residents of his village, Telok Serabang, and neighboring Telok Melano, where the official “Kilometer 0.00” of Sarawak’s Pan Borneo Highway sits, have capitalized. Homestays and small kedai kopi cafes offering noodles and rice along with iced coffee have popped up all around.But Minhad also worries about what the increased access to this formerly remote corner of Borneo will mean. A self-described conservationist, he and others living near the national park have repurposed their fishing boats, shuttling visitors to see nesting sea turtles on Tanjung Datu’s pristine beaches, to trek into the forests of the national park for a chance glimpse of a langur or a gibbon, and to snorkel with the swarms of “Nemos” (anemonefish) that swarm just offshore.A blue-eyed angle-headed lizard (Gonocephalus liogaster) in Sarawak’s Tanjung Datu National Park. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.The worry among conservationists is that the highway’s arrival could also mean more hunting and poaching, as many communities in the area have long relied on meat from the forest and turtle eggs for a kick of protein in their diets. Minhad, too, grew up eating turtle eggs, often adding them to his coffee in an area conspicuously devoid of milk-bearing livestock.Before the roughly 30-kilometer (19-mile) stretch of road connected Telok Melano with the workaday town of Sematan, getting to Melano or Serabang typically required an hour-long motorboat trip (or daylong paddle) through the sometimes-choppy South China Sea. The alternative was a sweltering hike through the swampy forest — by Minhad’s estimation both a deterrent and a boon for poachers. That remoteness meant that hunters and poachers going after small game like deer, monkeys and gibbons could stalk the dense forest with little worry of being discovered by rangers. Similarly, egg collectors could track the region’s turtles and terrapins unperturbed.A sign marks the southern terminus of the Pan Borneo Highway in the village of Telok Melano. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.But Minhad says he’s optimistic the road will make it easier for forestry personnel to patrol the area and look out for poachers. His views — and his diet — have changed. He now sees himself as a protector of the sea turtles and their terrapin cousins that visit the area’s beaches to lay their eggs.As a former elected headman of Serabang, Minhad is a leader in the community, and he says he’s embarked on a campaign to “win the hearts and minds of the people.” He argues that wildlife, through the tourism dollars the animals draw, is more valuable alive than dead.Convincing people is a challenge, because “these are my friends,” he says, and egg collecting is a hard habit to break. He concedes that sometimes the best he can do is convince them to take just some, rather than all, of the eggs they find.Residents of the villages near Tanjung Datu National Park have built homestays to accommodate the rising number of tourists since the road was built in early 2019. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Scientists and conservationists from outside seem mostly concerned with the future of the Bornean banded langur. Already one of the world’s rarest primates, the critically endangered monkey now occupies less than 5 percent of the boggy peatlands and lowland forests it once inhabited, according to the IUCN. Now, the highway has wedged its way into their territory, potentially separating a cadre of family groups living where the wildlife sanctuary and the national park intersect.Minhad watches for langurs on his daily training runs into the hills around Serabang, and he thinks that they can cross the new rubber plantation that’s just popped up on one of the hillsides between the park and the wildlife sanctuary. Canopy-dwelling primates in the area, like the langurs, gibbons and proboscis monkeys, haven’t yet descended from the treetops to cross the road, at least to his knowledge, but they like the young rubber shoots that sprout on the tops of growing rubber trees.Oil palm planted within the boundary of the Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Whether agriculture will stop cropping up on the approach to the national park boundary isn’t clear. A mature rubber crop might provide a surrogate home for high-climbing monkeys. But in the early stages of growth, fledgling oil palm or rubber plantations are mostly exposed earth with wispy saplings pushing up through the soil. Along the road from Sematan, there’s a sign demarcating the edge of the wildlife sanctuary, a legally protected area meant to be set aside just for wildlife.And yet the rows of oil palms that flank the road before the sign continue well beyond it — planted by “accident,” Minhad said. The scale of the plantation suggests otherwise, as the planted rows cover a significant sweep of the view to the horizon.Further along the road toward the national park, just beyond the would-be oil palm plantation, a façade of forest returns. But behind it, charred stumps and vegetation still smolder, the result of a fire probably set by hopeful hunters. Within a few days, Minhad explains, the green sprouts that burst through the soil will be irresistible for samba and mouse deer, luring them out into the open where they’re easy prey.The highway bridge over the Samunsam River. Planners agreed to extend the bridge’s length to allow the passage underneath of wildlife between the forest and the mouth of the river, which opens into the South China Sea. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.From a construction standpoint, the Ministry of Works holds this stretch of highway up as an example of the compromises that are possible. The road is only two lanes across, not four, so it follows a narrower path through the delicate mangroves. And the bridge over the Samunsam River was extended to allow for the passage of wildlife underneath. It’s a small concession that may allow animals like painted terrapins to travel from their freshwater homes to the beaches at the river’s mouth to lay their eggs, thereby linking the inland and coastal environment.In this microcosm of the impacts of a road balanced with the needs of conservation, the short-term benefits for Serabang and Melano’s residents are hard to refute: shorter travels times, better access to goods and health care, and an economic boost in the form of more visitors. But the highway has also undeniably brought with it changes to the landscape.Minhad knows that the easier access that he and his neighbors enjoy is likely to be exploited by more than just wildlife rangers. And the hunters it brings could come after more than just the relatively numerous deer. Of still greater concern are rumors that the highway, which currently dead-ends into a traffic circle near the edge of Tanjung Datu, could be extended further into the park. However, Mongabay confirmed with Malaysia’s Ministry of Works that the federal government currently has no plans to push on further.The forests of Tanjung Datu National Park viewed from the sea. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.For now, Minhad said he would continue his work protecting the animals he can and talking to the people who might threaten them. The irony that the road, meant to bring tourism, might also help eradicate its foundations isn’t lost on him.As he tells would-be hunters and poachers, “You kill this animal, we lose our product.”A map created with Datawrapper shows the approach of the Pan Borneo Highway to Tanjung Datu National Park. Image by Willie Shubert/Mongabay.Continue to Part Three.Banner image of a stretch of the Pan Borneo Highway in southern Sarawak by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitations:Asian Turtle Trade Working Group. (2000). Batagur borneoensis (errata version published in 2016). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2000.RLTS.T163458A5608163.enNijman, V., Hon, J. & Richardson, M. (2008). Presbytis chrysomelas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. doi:https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T39803A10268236.enFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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Bid for greater protection of star tortoise, a trafficking mainstay

first_imgThe illegal trafficking of the Indian star tortoise, an IUCN-listed vulnerable species, is thriving despite its trade being restricted under CITES Appendix II and domestic legislation in all three range states.To fight this, range states Sri Lanka and India, along with other countries, have submitted a proposal for the upcoming CITES summit to move the star tortoise from Appendix II to Appendix I.The CITES Secretariat has recommended rejecting the proposal, saying that adding the star tortoise to Appendix I provides no clear benefit for its protection, but proponents say the alarming scale of the trade should be reason enough, and hope to convince the CITES parties of the value of uplisting the tortoise. In March 2019, custom officials open abandoned luggage in the halls of Manila’s international airport. In June, law enforcement agents stop a car to check four trolley bags that passengers had loaded in a rush at a railway station in Kolkata, India. In July, officers arrest a passenger at a railway station in India’s Andhra Pradesh state and inspect his suitcase.In each incident, officials find the same thing: live turtles crawling over and underneath each other, crammed into plastic bags or buckets, hidden between clothes or wrapped in duct tape. Most are no bigger than 10 centimetres (4 inches) in length. Most are Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans), the most confiscated species of freshwater tortoise in the world, according to the wildlife trade watchdog TRAFFIC.That could change after this month, at the Conference of the Parties to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, where a proposal to restrict the trade in the species significantly will be discussed.Proposal for protectionIndian star tortoises  live in grasslands, scrub forests and coastal scrublands. They’re only found in Sri Lanka, southern and eastern India, and a region in northwestern India and adjoining Pakistan.Since 1975, the species has been protected under CITES Appendix II, meaning that its trade requires registration and special permits. Appendix II allows for regulated trade of captive-bred specimens.The star tortoise is classified as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Illegal collection for the international wildlife trade is by far the biggest threat, followed by increasing habitat loss for farmland. These factors, in combination with long reproductive cycles, make it almost certain that populations in the wild are shrinking.Sri Lanka, which was meant to host the CITES CoP until the event was rescheduled in the wake of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, has joined India, Bangladesh and Senegal in proposing to move the star tortoise from Appendix II to Appendix I. Currently, only a few species of freshwater tortoise are in Appendix I, but all others are included with a family listing of Testudinidae spp. in Appendix II.However, the CITES Secretariat has recommended rejecting this proposal. According to the Secretariat, it’s “not clear what additional benefit an Appendix-I listing would provide to the conservation of the species,” which therefore “does not meet the criteria […] for its inclusion in Appendix I.”Indian star tortoises are native to Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan, where they are protected by domestic legislation, but are extensively traded through illegal channels. Image courtesy of Dhruvraj S.Tip of the icebergBut proponents of greater protection say it’s the sheer scale of the star tortoise trade that should compel an uplisting of the species. Recent studies suggest that the volume of the illegal trade has risen sharply, but it’s difficult to ascertain exact numbers.None of the three range states has permitted legal exports of live, wild-collected specimens since 1999, and since no large-scale commercial captive breeding facilities are known, the high volume of pet trade suggests that most specimens that end up in other countries are being illegally exported from Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.Nearly 5,500 star tortoises have been seized by customs officials and police in Sri Lanka alone since 1997, according to Anslem de Silva, the country’s leading herpetologist.“[This] indicates a high prevalence of smuggling activities,” he told Mongabay. “Researchers here and in India are of the view that the undetected numbers could be 10 times higher. We call for enhanced protection because the species is extremely vulnerable to smuggling and we don’t want to wait till its conservation status changes in order to start taking action to conserve it.”It’s a similar situation in India, according to Sumanth Bindumadhav, wildlife campaign manager for the Humane Society International-India.“The argument that will be made is the sheer volume of trade,” he told Mongabay. “The Indian states of Telangana and Andhra [Pradesh] alone ship out about 55,000 tortoises every year on average, and that’s a solid argument.”These tortoises wind up seized in Malaysia and the Philippines, in Singapore and Bangkok, on Indian trains, from cars, backpacks, and dinghies in the sea between India and Sri Lanka. But these seizures only form the tip of the iceberg. Most smuggling operations likely stay under the radar of customs and law enforcement, or are disguised as captive-bred trade.With new technologies, the scale and ease of illegal trading has grown, with online pet shops openly selling star tortoises in a booming e-commerce trade. Image courtesy of Sumanth Bindumadhav/Humane Society International-India.Express mail and e-commerceSince tortoises are cold-blooded, they can be transported over long distances with minimal precautions, which is why they’re found stuffed into suitcases, boxes, or bags; in other instances, they’re sent off on their own in the luggage compartments of trains and buses, or, as the CITES proposal mentions, even shipped via express mail.Like other conservationists, Bindumadhav said he’s certain the numbers have increased, and that technology has made the trade easier. “When I started doing this work back in 1999, there were few sources to procure these animals,” he said, “but now they are often listed on e-commerce websites, and WhatsApp has made transactions a lot easier.”The most common destinations are East and Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and China, but there might be considerable trade to Europe and the U.S. as well. Some of these countries don’t apply the same stringent regulations that the range states do; Thailand, for example, only regulates the wild-sourced trade.This reality gives added urgency for the proposal to uplist the star tortoise, Bindumadhav said. “A lot of countries are affected by the trade of these animals, especially with EU and U.S.A. being final destination countries in the pet trade,” he said. “Moving this species from Appendix II to I will be a huge boost for its protection in nations that have CITES legislation.”Despite the recommendation of the CITES Secretariat to reject the proposal, it’s the countries that are party to the convention that will ultimately decide on all proposals being made. That means the recommendation “is in no manner the final word,” said Manmohan Singh Negi, the director of wildlife preservation at the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.“The biggest impact of moving this species to Appendix I will be a higher level of vigilance in more countries than the current lot,” Bindumadhav said.The proponents say they believe the star tortoise meets the criteria for Appendix I inclusion. But more than that, they say it will send a strong signal to the markets and make a necessary and important statement for the future of star tortoise protection. Article published by dilrukshi 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 Banner image:Star tortoises are captured from the wild for the illegal pet trade in large numbers and exported to East Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and the U.S. Image courtesy of N.A. Naseer. Biodiversity, Cites, Conservation, Environment, Pet Trade last_img read more

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