Gabonese timber linked to illegal logging seized in Antwerp

first_imgCorruption, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Law, Forest Loss, Forests, Governance, Government, Habitat Loss, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Logging, Rainforests, Timber, Timber Laws, timber trade, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Tropical hardwoods In 2016 and 2017, EIA investigators posed as timber merchants and met with WCTS’s deputy general manager, Chen Wixing. They secretly filmed a series of meetings with Chen and other WCTS employees.“His business model is essentially structural over-harvesting, tax evasion, money laundering and, covering all that, corruption,” Handy said.According to Handy, WCTS was extracting between two and three times its legal quota. When the EIA spoke to Chen in 2016, Handy says WCTS was already cutting down forest in areas it was not supposed to have reached until 2030.In the videos, published by the EIA in May this year, Chen also describes evading tax through transfer pricing and channeling his exports through smaller companies to avoid the attention of the authorities in Gabon.Following the EIA’s exposé, WCTS is now under investigation in Gabon.As part of its commitment to reduce illegal logging, the European Union introduced the EUTR in 2013, making it an offense to import illegally logged timber into the bloc. A key part of the regulation is a requirement that European companies importing timber must conduct thorough due diligence on their timber sources.Guidance documents produced by the European Commission in 2016 to assist timber traders in interpreting the EUTR state, “In cases where the risk of corruption is not negligible, even official documents issued by authorities cannot be considered reliable.” It is on this basis that Greenpeace believes Compagnie de Bois Anvers failed to conduct due diligence.In a statement responding to inquiries from Mongabay, Compagnie du Bois Anvers said, “We were of course shocked to see the set of movies that was released by EIA on 22/5/2019. We have immediately suspended our relationship with WCTS until the outcome of further investigations.”It declined to comment further until the Belgian investigation is complete.Allegations of illegal activities by WCTS have been aired publicly since 2017. WCTS was fined by the Gabonese authorities in 2017 following an investigation. It is also the subject of a civil complaint by Conservation and Justice, a Gabonese NGO. Verbelen said he believes the availability of this information means that Compaigne du Bois Anvers had clearly failed in its due diligence obligation.“There are more than enough indications if you are a timber trader in Belgium that there is a high risk of dealing with illegal timber when you’re buying from this company,” he said. “[Compagnie du Bois Anvers] needs to be investigated and, in our opinion, sanctioned.”Compagnie du Bois Anvers and Greenpeace are now awaiting the outcome of the Belgian government’s investigation.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: Timber exported by Wan Chuan Timber SARL currently blocked at the port of Antwerp, Belgium. Image courtesy of Philippe Verbelen/Greenpeace Belgian authorities have blocked a shipment of tropical timber from Gabon after a tip-off by Greenpeace.Under the EU Timber Regulation, European companies have an obligation to conduct proper due diligence on the source of the timber they import.Greenpeace says this due diligence requirement was not met in this case, as the wood was exported by a Chinese logging firm with previous allegations of illegal logging. On July 8, Greenpeace forest campaigner Philippe Verbelen was conducting routine monitoring at the Belgian port of Antwerp when he noticed a familiar name attached to a timber shipment: Wan Chuan Timber SARL (WCTS), a company that has been exposed and fined for a series of grave offenses in Gabon.Verbelen alerted customs officials at the port, who moved quickly moved to block the shipment of padoek, a tropical timber. The Belgian government is now investigating the company receiving the shipment, Antwerp-based Compagnie de Bois Anvers, for a possible breach of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).The shipment in question came from Gabon, a country that currently still has 85 percent coverage of incredibly biodiverse rainforest. In May this year, Pierre Moussavou, Gabon’s then-vice president and minister of state for forests and the environment, was fired in connection with a timber scandal.“[Gabon] is a country with a high level of corruption linked to the forestry sector,” Verbelen said. “European timber companies clearly need to identify companies active in Gabon as a high risk for doing business.”WCTS, which exported the timber, is a Chinese logging company operating in Gabon. Verbelen recognized its name from an undercover probe by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an NGO based in Washington, D.C. The EIA came across WCTS in 2016 while investigating illegal logging activity in Gabon.“We were asking who the really bad guys were, who were the people or the companies that were just breaking all the rules with no respect,” said Lisa Handy, the EIA’s director of forest campaigns, “and several times everybody was referring back to WCTS.” 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 terna gyuselast_img read more

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Norway freezes support for Amazon Fund; EU/Brazil trade deal at risk?

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation On Thursday, Norway announced a freeze on US$33.2 million, Amazon Fund donations slated for projects aimed at curbing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The REDD+ Amazon Fund was launched in 2008, and was expected to continue indefinitely.However, the anti-environmental policies of Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro have put the Fund’s future in grave doubt. Norway’s freeze came as the direct result of the Bolsonaro administration’s unilateral action to drastically alter the rules for administering the fund, even as monthly deforestation rates shot up in Brazil.Bolsonaro seems not to care about the loss of funding. However, some analysts warn that Norway’s decision could lead to a refusal by the European Union to ratify the recently concluded EU/Mercosur Latin American trading bloc agreement. Brazil’s troubled economy badly needs the pact to be activated.Other Bolsonaro critics have raised the prospect that the Amazon Fund freeze could be a first step toward a global consumer boycott of Brazilian commodities. Meanwhile, state governments in Brazil are scrambling to step up and accept deforestation reduction funding from international donors. Trucks loaded with trees illegally harvested within an indigenous reserve. The rhetoric and policies of the Bolsonaro administration are increasingly viewed as putting thriving Amazon ecosystems at risk from agribusiness and mining expansion. Photo by Sue Branford / Mongabay.Ola Elvestrun, Norway’s environment minister, announced Thursday that it is freezing its contributions to the Amazon Fund, and will no longer be transferring 300 million Norwegian Krone (US$33.2 million) to Brazil. In a press release, the Norwegian embassy in Brazil stated: “Given the present circumstances, Norway does not have either the legal or the technical basis for making its annual contribution to the Amazon Fund.”Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reacted with sarcasm to Norway’s decision, which had been widely expected. After an official event, he commented: “Isn’t Norway the country that kills whales at the North Pole? Doesn’t it also produce oil? It has no basis for telling us what to do. It should give the money to Angela Merkel [the German Chancellor] to reforest Germany.”According to its website, the Amazon Fund is a “REDD+ mechanism created to raise donations for non-reimbursable investments in efforts to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as to promote the preservation and sustainable use in the Brazilian Amazon.” The bulk of funding comes from Norway and Germany.The annual transfer of funds from developed world donors to the Amazon Fund depends on a report from the Fund’s technical committee. This committee meets after INPE (the National Institute of Space Research), which gathers official Amazon deforestation data, publishes its annual report with the definitive figures for deforestation in the previous year.But this year the Amazon Fund’s technical committee, along with its steering committee, COFA, were abolished by the Bolsonaro government on 11 April as part of a sweeping move to dissolve some 600 bodies, most of which had NGO involvement. The Bolsonaro government views NGO work in Brazil as a conspiracy to undermine Brazil’s sovereignty.The Brazilian government then demanded far-reaching changes in the way the Fund is managed, as documented in a previous article. As a result, the Amazon Fund’s technical committee has been unable to meet; Norway says it therefore cannot continue making donations without a favorable report from the committee.Archer Daniels Midland soy silos in Mato Grosso along the BR-163 highway, where Amazon rainforest has largely been replaced by soy destined for the EU, UK, China and other international markets. Photo by Thaís Borges.An uncertain futureThe Amazon Fund was announced during the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, during a period when environmentalists were alarmed at the rocketing rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. It was created as a way of encouraging Brazil to continue bringing down the rate of forest conversion to pastures and croplands.Government agencies, such as IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, and NGOs shared Amazon Fund donations. IBAMA used the money primarily to enforce deforestation laws, while the NGOs oversaw projects to support sustainable communities and livelihoods in the Amazon.There has been some controversy as to whether the Fund has actually achieved its goals:  in the three years before the deal, the rate of deforestation fell dramatically but, after money from the Fund started pouring into the Amazon, the rate remained fairly stationary until 2014, when it began to rise once again. But, in general, the international donors have been pleased with the Fund’s performance, and until the Bolsonaro government came to office, the program was expected to continue indefinitely.Norway has been the main donor (94 percent) to the Amazon Fund, followed by Germany (5 percent), and Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobrás (1 percent). Over the past 11 years, the Norwegians have made, by far, the biggest contribution: R$ 3.2 billion (US$ 855 million) out of the total of R$ 3.4 billion (US$ 903 million).Up till now the Fund has approved 103 projects, with the dispersal of R$1.8 billion (US$ 478 million). These projects will not be affected by Norway’s funding freeze because the donors have already provided the funding and Brazil’s national development bank, BNDES, is contractually obliged to disburse the money until the end of the projects. But there are another 54 projects, currently being analysed, whose future is far less secure.One of the projects left stranded by the dissolution of the Fund’s committees is Projeto Frutificar, which should be a three-year project, with a budget of R$29 million (US$7.3 million), for the production of açai and cacao by 1,000 small-scale farmers in the states of Amapá and Pará. The project was drawn up by the Brazilian NGO IPAM (Institute of Environmental research in Amazonia).Paulo Moutinho, an IPAM researcher, told Globo newspaper: “Our program was ready to go when the [Brazilian] government asked for changes in the Fund. It’s now stuck in the BNDES. Without funding from Norway, we don’t know what will happen to it.”Norway is not the only European nation to be reconsidering the way it funds environmental projects in Brazil. Germany has many environmental projects in the Latin American country, apart from its small contribution to the Amazon Fund, and is deeply concerned about the way the rate of deforestation has been soaring this year.The German environment ministry told Mongabay that its minister, Svenja Schulze, had decided to put financial support for forest and biodiversity projects in Brazil on hold, with 35 million euros (US$39 million) for various projects now frozen.The ministry explained why: “The Brazilian government’s policy in the Amazon raises doubts whether a consistent reduction in deforestation rates is still being pursued. Only when clarity is restored, can project collaboration be continued.”Bauxite mines in Paragominas, Brazil. The Bolsonaro administration is urging new laws that would allow large-scale mining within Brazil’s indigenous reserves. Photo by Hydro/Halvor Molland found on flickr.Alternative Amazon fundingAlthough there will certainly be disruption in the short-term as a result of the paralysis in the Amazon Fund, the governors of Brazil’s Amazon states, which rely on international funding for their environmental projects, are already scrambling to create alternative channels.In a press release issued yesterday Helder Barbalho, the governor of Pará, the state with the highest number of projects financed by the Fund, said that he will do all he can to maintain and increase his state partnership with Norway.Barbalho had announced earlier that his state would be receiving 12.5 million euros (US$11.1 million) to run deforestation monitoring centers in five regions of Pará. Barbalho said: “The state governments’ monitoring systems are recording a high level of deforestation in Pará, as in the other Amazon states. The money will be made available to those who want to help [the Pará government reduce deforestation] without this being seen as international intervention.”Amazonas state has funding partnerships with Germany and is negotiating deals with France. “I am talking with countries, mainly European, that are interested in investing in projects in the Amazon,” said Amazonas governor Wilson Miranda Lima. “It is important to look at Amazônia, not only from the point of view of conservation, but also — and this is even more important — from the point of view of its citizens. It’s impossible to preserve Amazônia if its inhabitants are poor.”Signing of the EU/Mercusor Latin American trading agreement earlier this year. The pact still needs to be ratified. Image courtesy of the Council of Hemispheric Affairs.Looming international difficultiesThe Bolsonaro government’s perceived reluctance to take effective measures to curb deforestation may in the longer-term lead to a far more serious problem than the paralysis of the Amazon Fund.In June, the European Union and Mercosur, the South American trade bloc, reached an agreement to create the largest trading bloc in the world. If all goes ahead as planned, the pact would account for a quarter of the world’s economy, involving 780 million people, and remove import tariffs on 90 percent of the goods traded between the two blocs. The Brazilian government has predicted that the deal will lead to an increase of almost US$100 billion in Brazilian exports, particularly agricultural products, by 2035.But the huge surge this year in Amazon deforestation is leading some European countries to think twice about ratifying the deal. In an interview with Mongabay, the German environment ministry made it very clear that Germany is very worried about events in the Amazon: “We are deeply concerned given the pace of destruction in Brazil … The Amazon Forest is vital for the atmospheric circulation and considered as one of the tipping points of the climate system.”The ministry stated that, for the trade deal to go ahead, Brazil must carry out its commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent below the 2005 level by 2030. The German environment ministry said: If the trade deal is to go ahead, “It is necessary that Brazil is effectively implementing its climate change objectives adopted under the [Paris] Agreement. It is precisely this commitment that is expressly confirmed in the text of the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement.”Blairo Maggi, Brazil agriculture minister under the Temer administration, and a major shareholder in Amaggi, the largest Brazilian-owned commodities trading company, has said very little in public since Bolsonaro came to power; he’s been “in a voluntary retreat,” as he puts it. But Maggi is so concerned about the damage Bolsonaro’s off the cuff remarks and policies are doing to international relationships he decided to speak out earlier this week.Former Brazil Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi, who has broken a self-imposed silence to criticize the Bolsonaro government, saying that its rhetoric and policies could threaten Brazil’s international commodities trade. Photo credit: Senado Federal via Visualhunt / CC BY.Maggi, a ruralista who strongly supports agribusiness, told  the newspaper, Valor Econômico, that, even if the European Union doesn’t get to the point of tearing up a deal that has taken 20 years to negotiate, there could be long delays. “These environmental confusions could create a situation in which the EU says that Brazil isn’t sticking to the rules.” Maggi speculated. “France doesn’t want the deal and perhaps it is taking advantage of the situation to tear it up. Or the deal could take much longer to ratify — three, five years.”Such a delay could have severe repercussions for Brazil’s struggling economy which relies heavily on its commodities trade with the EU. Analysists say that Bolsonaro’s fears over such an outcome could be one reason for his recently announced October meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, another key trading partner.Maggi is worried about another, even more alarming, potential consequence of Bolsonaro’s failure to stem illegal deforestation — Brazil could be hit by a boycott by its foreign customers. “I don’t buy this idea that the world needs Brazil … We are only a player and, worse still, replaceable.” Maggi warns, “As an exporter, I’m telling you: things are getting very difficult. Brazil has been saying for years that it is possible to produce and preserve, but with this [Bolsonaro administration] rhetoric, we are going back to square one … We could find markets closed to us.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

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CITES appeals to countries to watch out for trafficked Malagasy rosewood

first_imgBiodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Politics, Illegal Timber Trade, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Rosewood, Timber, timber trade, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking International wildlife trade regulator CITES has issued an advisory warning that $50 million in Madagascar rosewood logs being held in Singapore could find its way back into the black market.The timber was seized in 2014 in Singapore, but a local court earlier this year acquitted the trader responsible for it on charges of trafficking, and ordered the release of the 30,000 logs.Trade in rosewood from Madagascar has been banned by CITES since 2013 and under Malagasy law since 2010, but enforcing the embargo has proved difficult.The Singapore case highlights the pitfalls in implementing the ban, with observers faulting the Malagasy government’s flip-flop during court proceedings as to whether the seized precious wood was legal. International wildlife trade regulators have issued an advisory drawing attention to $50 million worth of Malagasy rosewood logs seized in 2014 in Singapore that could potentially end up in the black market again. A Singapore court ordered the precious wood to be released from custody this April after it acquitted the trader who shipped it into the country.The advisory from the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), issued Sept. 26, calls on signatories to the treaty, which includes almost all nations, to be on the alert and take action if the contraband finds its way to their shores.The call came in the wake of discussions about the status of illegal rosewood originating from Madagascar at the convention’s 18th Conference of Parties in Geneva this past August. In 2013 CITES banned the export of Malagasy rosewood (genus Dalbergia) and ebony (genus Diospyros), but the ban has been difficult to enforce.Madagascar entered a period of political instability following a coup in 2009, when the state of law-and-order deteriorated dramatically. Illegal logging of rosewood was widespread, including inside national parks, and timber barons stockpiled the precious wood. In 2010, the country banned the export of rosewood, which is highly prized in countries like China, where it is used to manufacture high-end furniture. However, old and freshly cut logs alike continue to enter the illegal market. Coordination among countries through which the rosewood is channeled to its final destination is weak.In March 2014, the CITES Management Authority of Singapore seized about 30,000 rosewood logs from a businessman named Wong Wee Keong and his Singapore-based company, Kong Hoo, one of the largest rosewood confiscations on record. The subsequent attempt to bring the traders to justice ended with Wong’s acquittal in April, illustrating the shortcomings in the implementation of the trade embargo.A court initially found Wong and Kong Hoo not guilty in 2015, citing evidence that the rosewood was in transit in Singapore and that the country was not the final destination. This ruling was reversed in 2017 when the court sentenced Wong to three months in jail and slapped him and his company with the maximum fine of $500,000 each. On appeal, Singapore’s highest court found the defendants not guilty earlier this year and directed the authorities to release the precious wood to Kong Hoo.The case hinged on proving that the wood was exported from Madagascar illegally and that Singapore was the final destination rather than a transit point. The Malagasy government flip-flopped as to the legality of the seized timber. After initially presenting documents to the court that appeared to show the logs were legally procured in Madagascar, it later withdrew them, claiming they were false.“Singapore has failed to prosecute the defendants successfully twice due to the Malagasy government’s interference or failure to cooperate,” said Mark W. Roberts, a Massachusetts-based environmental lawyer and consultant who has supported efforts to hold Kong Hoo responsible for rosewood trafficking.Securing the cooperation of other countries, even those like Singapore, a signatory to CITES, may not be straightforward. The Singapore court’s acquittal of Wong could stem from the risk that convicting him would pose to Singapore’s own interests as the world’s biggest transhipment hub, an intermediate stop for cargo heading to other destinations. “If the verdict had stood, it potentially would subject trans-shipped goods to Singapore’s internal laws, which would potentially impact trade and Singapore’s economy,” Roberts said.The costs for storing the cargo for the last five years at a private port storage facility, which could run into millions of dollars, will be borne by the Singapore government.However, the ruling also places Wong in a bind. To move the wood out of Singapore legally would require producing CITES documents from Madagascar. Without them, almost every country in the world will treat the wood as contraband.At the CITES CoP in Geneva, Malagasy officials categorically stated that the logs had been illegally exported from the island. This could potentially strengthen the hand of countries that might prosecute parties attempting to import the wood. Lala Ranaivomanana, secretary-general of Madagascar’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, told delegates that the Singapore case was a priority for the Malagasy government, adding that Madagascar had sought the Chinese government’s help to intercept boats shipping the illegal timber.“Potential destination countries of shipments of illegal specimens of Dalbergia spp. and Diospyros spp. from Madagascar should take appropriate measures to ensure that such timber is not illegally transported or traded, including prohibiting entry, seizing such specimens upon arrival,” the CITES advisory said.However, there is concern that it might be too little too late, and that the wood will be transshipped, moved from one vessel to another on the open seas to circumvent border controls and never be heard of again.For more on Madagascar’s rosewood:Banner Image: Illegal rosewood stockpiles in Antalaha in north Madagascar. Image courtesy: Wikimedia CommonsMalavika Vyawahare is the Madagascar staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVyFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by malavikavyawaharecenter_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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Study finds massive reorganization of life across Earth’s ecosystems

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon A new study pulls together data from 239 studies that looked at more than 50,000 biodiversity time series.The research reveals that almost 30 percent of all species are being swapped out for other species every 10 years.The scientists found that the reorganization and loss of species are happening much more quickly in some environments than in others, a finding that could help inform future conservation. Life is reshuffling itself at an unsettling clip across Earth’s surface and in its oceans, a new study has found.The research, published Oct. 18 in the journal Science, drills into data from 239 studies that looked at changes in biodiversity over time. It reveals that almost 30 percent of all species are being swapped out for other species every 10 years.Fish swim near a coral reef. Image by Maria Dornelas.The sweeping hemorrhage of species across the planet continues to rattle scientists and conservationists. A recent report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services revealed that a million species or more could go extinct.But squaring that global trend with what’s happening at local levels has been difficult. At this level, research shows that the sheer number of species in many spots are holding steady or even going up. That’s led some scientists to believe that species richness, an oft-used measure of biodiversity that tabulates the number of species living in a given area, provides an incomplete understanding of how life on Earth is changing.“It is increasingly recognized that species richness alone cannot fully describe how biodiversity is changing,” Shane Blowes, the paper’s co-lead author and a postdoctoral researcher at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Halle-Jena-Leipzig, said in an email. “Species richness will continue to play an important role in our understanding of taxonomic diversity, but a more complete, nuanced picture of biodiversity change emerges when it is combined with other metrics.”The researchers found that 28 percent of species are being replaced each decade. Image by Maria Dornelas.Blowes teamed up with ecologist Maria Dornelas and more than 20 other scientists from around the world to map changes in species richness as well as the composition of those local species groups across Earth’s surface and oceans with an open-source database called BioTIME. Developed by Dornelas and her colleagues at the U.K.’s University of St. Andrews, the BioTIME database gave the team access to more than 50,000 sets of data collected over time, known as time series, in nearly all of the world’s ecosystems.In 2014, Dornelas led a study revealing that the relative constancy of species numbers at local levels masked furtive changes in the identities of those species, which they referred to as reorganization. In the current research, the team found that this reorganization happens as species from elsewhere move in and replace the original inhabitants. As a result, the absolute number of species — captured as species richness — remains relatively constant, or might even go up.“Their study thus highlights that the global biodiversity crisis, at least for now, is not primarily about decline but, rather, about large-scale reorganization,” Britas Klemens Eriksson and Helmut Hillebrand wrote in a related commentary also in Science. Eriksson is an associate professor of marine ecology at the Netherlands’ University of Groningen, and Hillebrand is a biologist at the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany.Tropical marine ecosystems had the highest rates of reorganization in the study. Image by Maria Dornelas.Blowes, Dornelas and their colleagues also showed that reorganization isn’t uniform. Indeed, it’s happening much faster in certain “hotspots” around the globe, like tropical marine ecosystems. In the most volatile spots, turnover in species is happening twice as fast as it is on land. Blowes said that marine species are more sensitive to swings in temperature and they live in a relatively continuous ocean environment with few hurdles to their movement, which could explain the quicker turnover. But, he added, they needed more data to know why for sure.On one hand, the variability of reorganization provides a measure of hope, at least in parts of the world.“Our study shows biodiversity is changing everywhere, but we are not losing biodiversity everywhere,” Dornelas said in a statement. “Some places are recovering and adapting.”However, the maps also show where the most worrying trends in species replacement are occurring.The study found that species turnover in some marine environments was twice as high as turnover in terrestrial environments. Image by Maria Dornelas.“High rates of species losses are particularly concerning for tropical latitudes, because in the context of climate change there are likely fewer species capable of replacing species lost,” Blowes said, “as tropical zones entering even warmer-temperature regimes have no current day equivalents.”Clarifying the differences in current biodiversity change across Earth’s ecosystems could prove invaluable in conservation planning, the authors write.“Mapping biodiversity change allowed us to identify regions of the world where rates of either species richness or compositional change are highest,” Blowes said. “And our results should help refine hypotheses of where different drivers of biodiversity change might be most important.”Banner image of a coral reef by Maria Dornelas.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitations:Blowes, S. A., Supp, S. R., Antão, L. H., Bates, A., Bruelheide, H., Chase, J. M., … Dornelas, M. (2019). The geography of biodiversity change in marine and terrestrial assemblages. Science, 366(6463), 339 LP – 345. doi:10.1126/science.aaw1620Dornelas, M., Antão Laura, H., Moyes, F., Bates Amanda, E., Magurran Anne, E., Adam, D., … Zettler Michael, L. (2018). BioTIME: A database of biodiversity time series for the Anthropocene. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27(7), 760-786. doi:10.1111/geb.12729Dornelas, M., Gotelli, N. J., McGill, B., Shimadzu, H., Moyes, F., Sievers, C., & Magurran, A. E. (2014). Assemblage Time Series Reveal Biodiversity Change but Not Systematic Loss. Science, 344(6181), 296 LP – 299. doi:10.1126/science.1248484Eriksson, B. K., & Hillebrand, H. (2019). Rapid reorganization of global biodiversity. Science, 366(6463), 308 LP – 309. doi:10.1126/science.aaz4520FEEDBACK: 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. Adaptation To Climate Change, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Biogeography, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Conservation, Coral Reefs, Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Green, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Oceans And Climate Change, Protected Areas, Rainforest Biodiversity, Research, Species, Tropics, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation 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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Pangolins top the charts while climate stories lag: Insights on our 2019 reporting (insider)

first_imgArticle published by Rhett Butler Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Environment, Insider center_img Mongabay’s traffic hit a new record in 2019, with pageviews increasing 34% to 102 million and monthly active users climbing 50% to 4.3 million. But the high level numbers don’t reveal much, so here are some more interesting insights on how various topics performed and how our articles fared across geographies.Given Mongabay’s bureaus in Indonesia and India, it’s not surprising that those countries represent two of our three biggest markets. The Philippines, where we hired a staff writer in 2019, ranks fourth. Mongabay has especially high readership on a per capita basis in certain Latin American and Asian countries, led by Bolivia, Indonesia, and Paraguay.Wildlife-related stories attracted the most readers in 2019, while climate science stories were the least read.This post is insider content, which is available to paying subscribers. Mongabay’s traffic hit a new record in 2019, with pageviews increasing 34% to 102 million and monthly active users climbing 50% to 4.3 million. But the high level numbers don’t reveal much, so here are some more interesting insights on how various topics performed and how our articles fared across geographies. In summary: wildlife stories… This content is for Monthly, Annual and Lifetime members only.Membership offers a way for readers to directly support Mongabay’s non-profit conservation news reporting, while getting a first-hand, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce these stories. Every few weeks, we’ll publish a new member article that tells the story behind the reporting: the trials and tribulations of field reporting, personal travel accounts, photo essays, and more.You can sign up for membership Here If you’re already a member: Log InMembers getExclusive, behind-the-scenes articles.Access to our members-only newsletter.Access to periodic conversations with Mongabay journalists.last_img read more

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SA, Mozambique to discuss rhinos

first_img13 June 2013 Rhino poaching is expected to top the agenda when Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa meets with Mozambican Minister of Tourism Carvalho Muaria in Maputo on Friday. The talks between the two comes as the number of rhinos poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year has risen to 408. Environmental Affairs spokesperson Albie Modise said in a statement on Wednesday that the meeting between the two ministers was expected to focus on the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area which was established in 2002, “with an emphasis on the scourge of rhino poaching presently affecting South Africa”. Modise said of all the rhino poached since the beginning of the year, the most came from the Kruger National Park, where the number of rhino poached has gone up to 265. He also said that the number of people who have been arrested for rhino poaching in Kruger had risen to 56. “Three suspected poachers were arrested in the Pretoriuskop region [on Tuesday] following an intelligence-driven operation by the SA Police Service, South African National Parks rangers and the park’s environmental crimes investigation unit,” Modise said. “The group were allegedly involved in five poaching incidents in the Pretoriuskop region, as well as several armed robberies in Hazyview, Mpumalanga. “The number of people arrested on rhino poaching-related charges countrywide totals 121. A total of 27 alleged poachers have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, 21 in Limpopo, 8 in North West, 6 in Mpumalanga and 3 in Gauteng. Of these, five are alleged couriers.” Modise called on South Africans to report incidents of poaching or to tip off the authorities through the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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South Africa defends Africa Zone VI golf title

first_img22 April 2014 South Africa successfully defended the Africa Zone VI team golf title at Devonvale Golf and Wine Estate from 15 to 17 April, with the home nations’ golfers dominating the event. The South African team retained the title with 23 points, finishing four points ahead of Zimbabwe, with Namibia taking third on 15.5 points in the final standings. Swaziland took fourth with 14.5 points, while Kenya finished in fifth place on 13 points.Clean sweep South Africa began their title defence with a clean sweep in the first round of singles and won all four points on offer in the second round foursomes. However, their momentum took a knock when Zimbabwe’s Stuart Krogg and Jack Allard defeated Zander Lombard and Louis Taylor 3 and 2. Rather than lament the loss, the players rallied to deliver another commanding performance in the final round of singles to secure South Africa’s 19th victory since 1995. Lombard led the way with an 8 and 6 win against John Fakudze from Swaziland. New cap Stefan Cronje dispatched Rasheed Osman from Lesotho 8 and 7 and fellow debutant Jason Smith downed Fernando Manhica from Mozambique 6 and 5 to score the side’s third point. NJ Arnoldi took their tally to four points with a 6 and 5 result against Mukuka Mwango from Zambia, and Taylor made it five out of five when he defeated Ludovic Bax from Mauritius 3 and 2. Gerlou Roux emerged from an epic battle against 18-year-old Ketshephaone Madikane from Botswana with a 2 and 1 victory and two-time Sanlam SA Amateur champion Thriston Lawrence kept up the winning run when he thumped Uganda’s Lawrence Muhenda 5 and 3. Bezuidenhout tidied up the clean sweep, prompting South African Golf Association president Andre Pieterse to praise the team’s efforts to bring the victory home.‘An outstanding job’ “It is tough to compete at this level and remain unbeaten, but our team did an outstanding job to collect 23 out of a possible 24 points,” Pieterse said. “A lot of games were a lot closer than the results indicate and this signifies just how much the standard of this competition has improved in the last few years. “The South African team were determined to score a full house after the four-ball loss and their determination was outstanding. Every member of the team stood up to be counted. “South Africa has a proud history in this tournament, and we are very pleased with the way this year’s team conducted themselves and played the game with great sportsmanship and commitment,” he concluded.‘Fantastic competitive experience’ National coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen was equally impressed with the talent on show. “The Africa Zone VI Golf Tournament goes a long way in giving these players a platform to compete on, to showcase their talent and to gain fantastic competitive experience against players from the different countries,” he said. “The talent on show here this week has been impressive and we really should find a way to tap into this and develop these players, along with the coaches. “I am very proud of our team and the way they rallied, especially in the final round. We have dominated this event, but we know the standard increases each year and this year it was especially tough. “The team did an outstanding job of flying the flag for our country.”FINAL LOG STANDINGS 23 South Africa19 Zimbabwe15.5 Namibia14.5 Swaziland13 Kenya12 Malawi11.5 Mauritius9 Zambia; Uganda8.5 Lesotho; Botswana0.5 Mozambique SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Attorney: E15 Rule on Solid Ground

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd NeeleyDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — Predicting how a legal case plays out can be dangerous territory, but an attorney representing ethanol interests in an expected petroleum industry challenge to EPA’s final E15 rule said the agency appears to be on solid ground with the rule.In a Renewable Fuels Association news call on Monday, Bryan Stockton, an attorney with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Washington, D.C., said the rule will be challenged in court. The American Petroleum Institute said publicly, in the months leading up to the EPA finalizing the rule, the industry would file a lawsuit.As of Monday afternoon, a lawsuit had not been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where a challenge would be filed. API did not respond to DTN’s request for comment.“EPA drafted the rule to withstand a challenge,” Stockton told reporters. “EPA has the authority to revise its interpretations. EPA has an advantage. It just needs to be a reasonable interpretation. Courts generally defer to the agency. The changed circumstances provides a basis for a change in regulations. Here EPA determined the regulation was out of date.”In previous court cases, he said, the opposition has had a difficult time in challenging or proving harm caused by EPA rules. There has been discussion about the possibility of someone asking a court for an injunction to prevent the agency from implementing year-round E15.“Seeking an injunction is a high bar,” Stockton said.Parties seeking injunctions have to prove they would experience “irreparable harm” if a regulation is implemented.If an injunction is sought, Stockton said, it usually comes with a rapid briefing schedule. Any legal action could create uncertainty for retailers wanting to expand E15 offerings.He said the change in the E15 rule was to account for regulatory and marketplace changes. The final rule determined that E15 is substantially similar to E10.“Under the Clean Air Act, if a fuel is similar to another fuel in the market, it may be introduced into commerce,” Stockton said.E15 MARKET EXPANSION SLOWRFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said the industry is not under the illusion that allowing year-round E15 sales across the country will lead to instant market expansion.Cooper said the RFA has always said the immediate impact of the final E15 rule would be somewhat modest. “What this does is break down the door to longer-term growth,” he said.Without the new rule, Cooper said, it was expected that stations across the country would sell about 400 million gallons of E15 in 2019. Now, he said, the industry can expect to sell at least 700 million gallons to 800 million gallons of E15 in 2019 — still a small percentage of all transportation fuel sales.“It finally gives regulatory certainty to the supply chain that it has been looking for,” Cooper said, pointing to three to five years down the road when the rule will have a “big impact” on domestic demand for E15.Steve Walk, chief operations officer at Protec Fuel, said customers at his company’s 700-plus stations that offer ethanol blends in 18 states “will get what they want” as a result of the final rule.“We’ve been told repeatedly they want clean fuel that’s good for the car and a good value,” he said. “E15 is priced equal or less compared to gasoline. We’re not replacing fuel, we’re just giving consumers options.”Walk said allowing year-round sales means the E15 market will continue to grow many years down the road.“With existing stores with E15, it comes down to what consumers want and demand and make business decisions accordingly,” he said.Protec typically sees E15 account for 30% to 35% of overall regular gasoline sales. The company has some stores where E15 accounts for as much as 60% of overall regular gasoline sales.“Now, with all (E15 sales) year-round, we’ll see that go up,” Walk said. “Large retailers likely are not going to put E15 in all their stores on day one but will introduce the product then eventually roll out longer-term.”Cooper said EPA’s ability to complete the rule by June 1 came as a surprise.“It was absolutely down to the wire,” he said. “It was an incredibly heavy lift. I am happy to eat some crow. I didn’t think EPA would finish the rule on time. It is the one time I’m really happy to be wrong. This rule is really nine years in the making. It doesn’t mean the work on E15 is done.”CASE TO EXPAND E15Also on Monday, Growth Energy and Casey’s General Store announced the retailer will expand its E15 offering to more than 60 new sites this summer as a result of the agency’s actions.E15 is best known to consumers as unleaded 88, which is approved for all cars 2001 and newer.“The summertime E15 restrictions have been a major concern for us for a long time and would typically slow down our E15 expansion,” Casey’s Director of Fuels Nathaniel Doddridge said in a statement. “Now that we know we can provide our guests with a consistent experience at the fuel pump year-round, we are expanding E15 at a faster pace to stay ahead of our competition.”Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said Casey’s action is just the beginning for E15 expansion.“We are thrilled that Casey’s will be rolling out E15 at dozens of new sites this summer and know from conversations with retailers all over the country that they will soon be joined by others who’ve been waiting for this day,” she said.E15 currently is sold at 1,807 stations in 31 states, still a small percentage of the more than 150,000 stations across the country.Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN(BAS/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Security operations to continue in J&K

first_imgThe anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir will not be slowed down because of the appointment of the former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Dineshwar Sharma as the Centre’s Special Representative to carry forward the dialogue, a senior official said on Wednesday.The directive came after a high-level meeting to review the security situation in the State. The meeting was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and was attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, IB Director Rajiv Jain, Army chief Bipin Rawat and NIA Director-General Yogesh Chander Modi. Mr. Sharma, who was also present, made a presentation on his recent visit to Srinagar and Jammu where he had met over 80 delegations. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was to have attended the meeting, but for some other engagement, an official said.‘Decrease in protests’“It was a meeting of the core group of Ministers to review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Though the number of protests has come down, sustained operations have been going on against militants. Mr. Modi spoke about the status of the investigation in the terror-funding cases against separatists,” said a senior official of the Home Ministry. Jammu and Kashmir Director-General of Police S.P. Vaid said recently around 170 militants were gunned down by security forces in the State this year.last_img read more

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SEA Games: Kayla Richardson skips 100m dash, targets 200m gold

first_imgPH Volcanoes off to hot start in SEA Games View comments Kayla, according to her father Jeffrey, has a personal best of 23.60 seconds in 200m but ran 23.45 “with a little tailwind.”Her expected opponent in 200m is Singaporean champion Shanti Perreira, who won it with a time of 23.60 seconds two years ago in her backyard. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago LATEST STORIES MOST READcenter_img LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games “I don’t really want to say that I am giving it up, but this is not the event I have been training for,” said Richardson, who snared silver in 200m right after her century dash triumph two years ago.The team is looking at finally clinching the 200m gold this time and save the University of Southern California sophomore for possible golds in 4X100 and 4×400  relays.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: With a heart for old people, Richardson twins hope to run to golden finishShe will be running in the relays with twin sister Kyla, Katherine Santos and either Eloisa Luzon or another Fil-American Zion Nelson Corrales. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Read Next Kayla Anise Richardson of the Philippines (center) finishes first for the gold medal at the 28th SEA Games Women’s 100m finals held at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMAKUALA LUMPUR — In an apparent strategic shift, reigning century dash queen Kayla Richardson won’t defend her Southeast Asian Games crown and instead will concentrate on 200-meter and the relays.The 17-year-old Richardson said she didn’t train for the 100m dash — easily the showcase event of centrepiece sport of athletics.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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