No. 4 Nicholls Survives No. 5 Islanders, Advances to Semifinal

first_imgBox Score | Photo GalleryKATY, Texas – With a trip to the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament semifinals on the line, Cassidy Barrios showed why she was named the Southland Player of the Year. Barrios scored eight of her 22 points in the fourth quarter as No. 4 Nicholls outlasted No. 5 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a 61-59 nail biter that sends the Colonels (17-13) into the semifinals for the first time in program history. They will meet top seed Lamar on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT. “I just decided we weren’t going to lose this game,” said Barrios, who added 12 rebounds and denied the Islanders’ (19-12) Dae Dae Evans a chance to put up a potential game-tying attempt as the final horn sounded. “It was a hard-fought team win, a total team effort and we just pulled through.” The Colonels took their biggest lead of the day at 45-36 with 3:33 in the third but the Islanders stormed back with a 10-1 run that featured a pair of baskets from Tiara Matthews while Mbamalu added a basket before drilling a three-pointer that tied the score at 46 entering the fourth quarter. A&M-Corpus Christi’s comeback was helped by better ballhandling as the Islanders, who committed 14 turnovers in the first half, had just two in the third. In a game dominated by defense and runs from both teams, it was Barrios’ layup with 2:56 remaining that snapped a 52-52 tie and gave Nicholls the lead for good. Free throws from Barrios and Marina Lilly helped extend the margin to 58-54 but the Islanders moved within a point following Emma Young’s basket with 13 seconds left. “The more disruptive we are on defense, that can really creative a whole lot of offense for us,” said Nicholls coach DoBee Plaisance. “We’re in our element when we are forcing turnovers and converting them. Our defense really motivates us.” Nicholls lost 76-61 to Lamar on Jan. 24, the only regular season meeting between the two. “I thought we executed the things we have to execute to win close basketball games,” said Islanders coach Royce Chadwick, “but you need a break or two here and there. It didn’t happen for us.” The Colonels were able to hang on to victory despite being outrebounded by a 55-38 margin. Corpus Christi had 25 offensive rebounds yet managed only 14 free throw attempts. Nicholls’ attack-style defense made up for their rebounding as they converted 20 Islanders turnovers into 30 points. The Colonels also did a solid job in containing Mbamalu, who scored 18 points but was held to just 6-for-16 shooting. Mbamalu had just one trey in the second half as Nicholls used a variety of zone defenses to deny the second team all-conference standout an opportunity to dictate the way she did in Wednesday’s victory over McNeese. Held to just one basket in the first quarter, Barrios found her stride in the second. After Lilly’s layup gave the Colonels a 23-22 lead, Barrios knocked down a trey, shot a pair of free throws and added another jumper that helped Nicholls take a 30-22 advantage with 3:49 before intermission. Turnovers plagued the Islanders, who went nearly five minutes without a point until Kre’Ana Henry’s basket with 2:47 left in the half. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi jumped out to an early 14-4 lead yet Nicholls closed out the first quarter with a run that brought them within 18-14 following the opening 10 minutes of play. Henry’s basket helped revive A&M-Corpus Christi, which pulled within 35-32 on Brittany Mbamalu’s third trey of the half with 22 seconds remaining but Barrios hit one of her two free throws to allow Nicholls to take a 36-32 lead at the midway point of play.last_img read more

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35 points, the indicator of permanence in 2019-20

first_imgTo get started, the 15 points that Celta scores become the lowest score of a seventeenth ranked, the one that fixes the permanence, in all the three-point leagues. The average points with the current conditions (Leagues of 38 days and with decrease of the last three), to get an idea, is in the 19. And Celta himself, who occupied last year the same position at this point, already had 21 points. This figure predicts that, unless historical milestone, this season will be a cheap stay.But how much can it be? If we stick to the points necessary to save in the previous Leagues, would stand at 39. However, it would be more reliable to calculate how many points have been needed to save between the first round and the second round. And there the result is 20 on average, a figure that in the last five years has dropped a lot. Therefore, in this case it would go from the current 15 to the final 35 as a figure for permanence. Journal As’); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>As diary The mission will not be simple, but not impossible. How to climb a high mountain, It will be a huge, epic effort, not a miracle. This is how Espanyol will face the second round after finishing the first in some numbers that certainly clash with the story: no team that added 11 points on day 19 has been saved. So far the negative, which is not little. The rest of the statistics announce that, as Cornellà-El Prat sings, “yes, you can”.center_img And the Spanish? Well here goes another great statistical news. His average points in the second laps is 24. Sure enough, they are juThese would need to reach that magical amount of 35 that could guarantee you continue in First. It would be worth it, to get an idea, emulate what he has already achieved in 11 of the last 20 seasons, beginning with the last course with Joan Francesc Ferrer ‘Rubi’ (29) and also the previous two, with Quique Sánchez Flores and David Gallego (30 and 25, in chronological order).Obviously, these are only calculations based on historical value. The only sure reality today is that it is Espanyol forced to overcome his three immediate rivals. Specifically, to trace the three points he lost against Leganés and recover the four that take him away from Mallorca (which was five until Saturday) and Celta. And some more than sure will get into the fight …last_img read more

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Crabbing gone commercial: Brazilian mangroves threatened by shift in local traditions

first_imgA new method of crabbing is bringing indigenous people a larger catch, but requires cutting mangroves and killing crabs indiscriminately.Crabbers’ dependence on intermediaries is complicating the crabbing business by shackling them to informal loans and pressuring them to achieve greater harvests.A researcher recommends further research to gauge the sustainability of new crabbing techniques for the mangroves and the local’s livelihoods. In the village of Tramataia, Brazil crab-pickers, or caranguejeiros, walk to the shoreline at night with an offering of tobacco to Father Mangrove. They ask for a bountiful hunt and seek permission to enter the mangroves safely. Father Mangrove is a revered man of great stature who smokes a pipe and carries a “sambura,” a handmade basket to fill with fish. Caranguejeiros who disrespect the spirit by using harsh words or harming mangroves consequentially suffer animal attacks, damaged canoes, unlucky hunts, or total disorientation – they can’t find their way home in the nearly-impenetrable mangrove forest.Individuals of U. cordatus in the mangrove of the Mamanguape river estuary – Paraíba, Brazil. Photo: Douglas Nascimento.Brazil lays claim to 8.5 percent of the world’s mangroves, spanning from Amapá in the north to Santa Catarina in the south and covering approximately 13,000 square kilometers. It is the second largest area of mangrove forests on the planet.Native communities here rely on these mangroves for food, building materials, and medicines. For example, most families in the village of Tramataia (population 1,100) in Paraíba State rely on large mangrove crabs (Ucides cordatus) for subsistence and also as their main source of income. Men traditionally harvest crabs, while women dissect the meat.But markets are changing, and crabbing communities in Paraiba State are not immune to the globalization of trade. Today, mangrove crab hunting is less traditional and becoming more commercialized. A recent study by Dr. Douglas Nascimento, published in Ecological Economics, explores this transformation – and its impacts – in small shoreline communities like Tramataia.A) Women dissect the crabs that are too small and cook the crab meat in boiling pots of water. / B) Crab claws are worth more money, sold by intermediaries for US $10.08/kgSteps in the processing of U. cordatus meat at the Mamanguape River estuary,Paraíba State, Brazil: A) cooking the crabs; B) dismembering the crabs; C) washing thepereiopods; and D) extracting the meat. Photos: Douglas Nascimento.Tramataia’s crabs are sold alive in regional markets or traded as processed meat to global chains. In a poor community with subpar medical care, education, and sanitation, crabbers are maximizing their income just to make a basic living. To do so, they rely on intermediaries to bring crabs to market.But this commercialization of crabbing incentivizes new harvesting techniques that damage the very mangroves locals depend on. Moreover, it drives a wedge between traditional, passive harvesters and those who adopted a newer, environmentally-harmful snaring technique called the “redhina” method.“The growing numbers of users of redinha technique is slowly eroding traditional knowledge about the MRE [Maranguape River Estuary], knowledge that involved an elaborate understanding of the mangrove ecosystem as a whole,” Nacimiento wrote in a paper published in the Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.The Redhina TechniqueHarvesters dig away at a crab burrow with a machete and insert a small net (redinha) over the mouth. The harvester then cuts off a small section of mangrove root and uses it to secure the nylon strings of the snare. Days later, the harvester will walk his trapline to gather what he’s caught.Crab harvester shredding polypropylene bags for making the tangle-netting, sometimes used for the net in the redhina method of harvesting crabs (A) and (B) tangle-netting manufactured in Tramataia community – PB. Photos: Douglas Nascimento.Crabs could die if the snares are not revisited in a few days, and caranguejeiros report pollution from the dead crabs and the plastic netting, which is habitually left in the mangroves.The states of Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte have prohibited the “redinha” trap. The regional ordinances of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) also prohibits the capture of females and any small crabs, which are often used in meat processing. But redhina traps do not discriminate among differently sized crabs.According to Nascimento’s earlier work, published in the Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the redhina snaring technique is widely popular. Eighty five percent of interviewed harvesters reported that they used redhina, despite the fact that it’s considered predatory and promotes illegal harvesting.Redhina can also lead to the destruction of mangrove habitat, according to Nascimento’s research, as well as the unsustainable overharvest of large mangrove crabs. To use the redhina, at least one root must be cut for every snare. That means an average of 49,680 roots could be cut by a single worker in one year.An endangered ecosystemThe Mangrove Action Project (MAP) says the world has already lost over half of its original mangrove forest area due to tourism development, urbanization, shrimp farming, rice paddies and climate change. The world continues to lose one percent of its mangroves or about 150,000 hectares each year. Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that mangroves now cover less than 15 million hectares worldwide, down from 19.8 million hectares in 1980.“If we can help educate the local crab harvesters on sustainable resource use and conservation, the crab harvesters could become our strongest allies, protecting the very resources they depend upon for their livelihoods,” said Alfredo Quarto of MAP. “After all, it is to their benefit that this happens. Protecting the mangrove forests is an obvious preconditioning for ensuring a viable production of crabs, shellfish, shrimp and fish.”Mangrove forests uniquely thrive where ocean and coastal communities collide, building singular ecosystems between marine and freshwater biomes. Mangroves are teeming with biodiversity between their tangled roots. In Belize, mangroves are home to over 500 species of birds. Manatees, crabs-eating monkeys, tigers, fishing cats, monitor lizards, sea turtles, and mud-skipper fish all find refuge in mangroves.Mangroves are also known as nature’s shock absorbers. They shelter local communities from powerful waves and storms. According to MAP, a one hundred foot deep forest can reduce wave height and storm strength by nearly two thirds, protecting vulnerable beach populations.Once thought to be a useless, pungent wasteland of mosquito-infested, scrawny trees, mangroves were nonchalantly deforested. Mangrove trees are commercially harvested for pulp production, wood, and charcoal. More recently, trees are being cleared to make room for industry, especially resorts and eco-tourism programs. Mangrove deforestation leads to salinization of coastal soils and loss of life and property from erosion and extreme weather events.“Mangroves are vital for the future of our planet to help combat climate change, enhance our wild fisheries, protect shorelines from rising seas and erosion, from hurricanes and tsunamis and provide life and livelihood for millions of coastal people living in the Global South,” said Quarto.Sustainable crabbing will protect the mangrove so that the mangrove can, in turn, protect the crabbers, according to conservationists. Protecting the mangroves, however, most likely necessitates a return to traditional crab harvesting.1234567 read more

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Trump’s global resorts put profit first, environment last, critics say

first_imgAdaptation To Climate Change, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change Denial, Climate Change Politics, climate policy, Climate Politics, Conservation, Conservation and Religion, Deforestation, Drinking Water, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Featured, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Globalization, Green, Green Energy, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Human-wildlife Conflict, Overconsumption, Religions, Tropical Deforestation, Water Crisis, Water Scarcity, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Glenn Scherer Donald Trump’s negative environmental record in Scotland and elsewhere has conservationists concerned in Bali, where Trump firms are developing a major resort and golf facility known as Trump International Hotel & Tower Bali.Another resort under development, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Lido, a 700-hectare facility including a six-star luxury resort, theme park, country club, spa, villas, condos and 18-hole golf course threatens the nearby Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, one of Java’s last virgin tropical forests.Mongabay looked into Trump’s claims that he is an environmentalist, winning “many, many environmental awards.” We were able to locate just two — one a local New York award, and another granted by a golf business association. The Trump Organization did not respond to requests to list Mr. Trump’s awards.Trump’s environmental record as president, and as a businessman, is abysmal, say critics. His attempt to defund the U.S. Energy Star program, they say, is typical of a compulsion to protect his self interest: Energy Star has given poor ratings to nearly all Trump’s hotels, which experts note has possibly impacted his bottom line. Trump Tower in New York City. A Mongabay review of Donald Trump’s claim that his properties have received “many, many” environmental awards only uncovered two minor awards, one of them from a golf association. The Trump organization, when requested, did not provide any information on the topic. Photo by Brad_T/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseWho doesn’t like a luxury resort and 18-hole golf course set atop a sheer cliff with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean? Revered Hindu Gods that inhabit the temple nearby, according to the local Balinese concerned over plans to open the Trump International Hotel & Tower Bali. Local environmentalists aren’t keen on the resort either.The Balinese worry that the Trump development will loom over the centuries-old Tanah Lot, a temple that sits upon a rock off the west coast of the wildly Instagrammed and oft visited Indonesian island.This particular holy site is one of the most venerated temples of the “Island of Gods.” And while the Balinese are ever welcoming to tourists — important to the island’s economy —their religion, and laws, stipulate that all non-religious buildings not exceed 15 meters, or the height of temples, and more or less the height of a coconut tree.The Tanah Lot Temple in Bali, Indonesia, which is about to become a next-door neighbor to a Trump resort. Photo by Justine Hong/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseThe Trump tower, resort and golf course, now still in the planning stage, also pose environmental concerns. Suriadi Darmoko believes the island does not need more hotel suites and jacuzzis. Darmoko is executive director of the Indonesian NGO, Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI) / the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, Eksekutif Daerah Bali.A 2010 study by Indonesia’s Culture and Tourism Ministry, he notes, found Bali had a surplus of 9,800 hotel rooms. And according to a report by the HVS consulting firm, the average occupancy of upper luxury hotels in 2013 in Bali achieved only 60 percent.Darmoko is especially worried about the Trump project’s plans to expand the property around the existing Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort. The amount of “farmland in Bali drops” when land is transferred to “becoming tourist accommodations and supporting facilities” he told Mongabay. “What Bali needs is a tourism accommodation moratorium,” during which the government could “conduct a study to calculate the supporting capacity and supporting ability of the environment in Bali.”The Trump tower project will be developed by MNC Group, Indonesia’s leading investment firm, and will be managed by the Trump Hotel Collection. As reported by Reuters last February, Herman Bunjamin — the vice president director at PT MNC Land Tbk (MNC Group’s property unit) — has assured the Balinese that the company would follow local government environmental regulations, and respect the Hindu religion.Donald Trump speaking to supporters at a rally at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. During the campaign Trump declared: “[W]e’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseHowever, this is not the first time a Trump construction project has experienced a swirl of controversy around its potential environmental impacts. And that worries local Balinese communities and conservationists, even though Trump himself has claimed many times that he is an award-winning environmentalist — a claim we’ll explore in some detail later in this article.Ever since the 70-year-old billionaire was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in January 2017, watchdog organizations have paid extra close attention to the past, and ongoing, international environmental record of Trump’s companies, especially considering that Trump has largely retained his ownership interest in his businesses.Trump: mixing politics, golf and the environmentAccording to Investopedia, before becoming president, Donald Trump had amassed a net worth of an estimated $3.5 billion. The Trump Organization LLC acts as the primary holding for Trump’s firms, and serves as an umbrella company for his investments in real estate, brands and other businesses, ranging from golf courses to hotels.Among its key executives are two of his sons: Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who last March told Forbes he will not talk business with his father in order to prevent the appearance of a conflict of interest, but will only pass financial reports to him. Ivanka Trump, the President’s elder daughter, resigned from her father’s company in January and today works as an unpaid adviser to him in the White House.Ivanka Trump speaks in Aston, PA on 13 September 2016, during the presidential campaign. The President’s elder daughter resigned from her father’s company in January 2017 and today works as an unpaid adviser to him in the White House. Photo by Michael Vadon/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseGolf is one of the many businesses that made Trump rich. According to the financial disclosure form published last June by the Office of Government Ethics, Trump’s golf courses alone reported $288 million in income from January 2016 through April 15, 2017.In recent years the sport has increased wildly in popularity, and today golf is a multi-billion dollar industry: as of year-end 2016 there were golf facilities in 208 of the 245 countries in the world. However, the perfect manicured green color of the globe’s 33,161 courses comes at a high price to the environment.A study by Kit Wheeler and John Nauright of Georgia Southern University found that golf course construction often consists in “clearing of natural vegetation, deforestation, destruction of natural landscapes and habitats and changes in local topography and hydrology” in order to roughly replicate the barren Scottish Highlands in which the game originated. That unnatural landscaping often leads to erosion and habitat loss, not to mention the fact that the maintenance of a standard 9-hole needs a great deal of synthetic chemicals — many deemed hazardous to wildlife — to keep it lush and green, including fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and fungicides.The environmental problems associated with golf, the authors note, are particularly acute in Southeast Asia due to the sudden boom of the sport there and due the fact that golf course maintenance in the tropics is far more difficult than in other parts of the world because of the higher levels of rainfall, greater numbers of pests, diseases and weeds.According to UNEP, golf course maintenance can also deplete freshwater resources — an average course in a tropical country needs 1,500 kilograms (3,307 pounds) of chemicals annually, and uses as much water as 60,000 rural villagers. This astronomical use of resources is hard to justify in the developing world where competition for water and cropland, amid soaring populations, is intense. The problem is further complicated by weak environmental regulation and enforcement plus corruption, all too typically seen in developing countries.Golf Course at the Trump International Doral Miami. Golf courses generally use tremendous amounts of chemicals to create and maintain Scottish Highland-like settings in the tropics and sub-tropics, and they can do significant harm to habitat. Photo by slgckgc/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseToday, Trump Golf boasts a portfolio of 17 courses across the globe stretching from the jagged California cliffs to the (previously) barren desert of Dubai. This empire is expanding, and 2018 will see the opening of Trump International Hotel & Tower Lido, a 700-hectare (1,730 acre) development including a six-star luxury resort, theme park, country club, spa, luxury villas, condominiums, and, of course, an 18-hole signature championship golf course.This new Trump-branded property will be set in the mountains of West Java, around 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of Jakarta and beside the Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, one of the island’s last virgin tropical forests.The project has become a major concern to RMI, the Indonesian Institute for Forest and Environment, an NGO whose goal is the promotion of community-based natural resource management and biodiversity conservation in the region.“[T]here are major concerns from the local villagers on [how much of the] water supply that will still be available to them because the project is estimated to demand [lots] of water for their luxury facilities,” RMI’s Executive Director Mardha Tillah told Mongabay, pointing out that the Trump facility will be built in an important water catchment area.2018 will see the opening in Java, Indonesia, of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Lido, a 700-hectare (1,730 acre) development including a six-star luxury resort, theme park, country club, spa, villas, condominiums, and an 18-hole championship golf course. Its location next to Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park (pictured here) has environmentalists alarmed. Photo by Lip Kee/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseAfter “a public discussion that was organized by local youth, the local sub-regency government officials stated that the environmental impact assessment was not complete yet, although some construction had been undergone — e.g. a reservoir,” she said.The Associated Press reports, that the development is causing concern among Indonesian environmentalists, who fear for the nearby national park and its threatened animals, including the Critically Endangered Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus), the Endangered Javan leaf monkey (Presbytis comata), the Vulnerable Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas), and Endangered Javan silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch).Tillah shares these fears. “I am very much keen on looking at the EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] document that shows how this resort does not affect any wildlife in this area,” she said.Considering the President’s abysmal environmental record and his anti-environmental pro-business views, it is hard not to imagine that this anti-regulatory philosophy permeates Trump’s companies. During the election, Donald Trump stated that, “[W]e’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”Both Trump’s Balinese and Javan projects will be developed in partnership with MNC Group, who is also building the new Bogor-Sukabumi toll road, scheduled for completion at the end of 2017 which will provide direct access to Lido Lakes, reducing the drive time from Jakarta.The Vulnerable Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas), seen here in a zoo, could be put more at risk by one of Trump’s new resorts in Indonesia. Photo by Vachovec1 CC BY-SA 4.0The highway, like tropical pavement around the world, is transforming the pastoral region. “The toll road has changed the landscape of rural areas of Bogor — paddy fields are replaced by the toll road projects,” said RMI’s Tillah. “If only it was not for this resort project, [the] toll road might not be constructed, because it was neglected due to lack of investors for more than a decade.”“On the other hand,” she added, “improvement in [regional] train service and an increase of [operating] frequency [could] already [have served as an alternative] solution for [moving] people.”ABC revealed that Donald Trump personally lobbied for the road with senior Indonesian politicians in September 2015 at Trump Tower in New York, when he was both in negotiations over the Lido development and running for the presidency. According to ABC, the meeting was not authorized by the Indonesian Government, and was held with the direct assistance of Trump business partner Hary Tanoesoedibjo, President Commissioner and Founder of the MNC Group.Tanoesoedibjo, a media mogul who created his own Indonesian political party in 2015, attended Trump’s inauguration last January. As the Nikkei Asian Review pointed out, he is the subject of a police investigation for allegations of intimidation and corruption, which he claims are politically motivated.A Javan Gibbon in Gunung Gede, Java, Indonesia. No one really knows with certainty what impacts the Trump resort, or the new road to it, will have on the region’s biodiversity. Photo by Francesco Veronesi/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseThe Scottish sagaOne of the best places to view the ongoing relationship between Trump’s businesses and the environment is in Scotland; the fact that golf originated there has done little to make that association run more smoothly.For more than a decade, Trump’s golf course on the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has been at the center of a heated dispute between those who support and oppose it. Trump International Golf Course Scotland won planning permission in 2008, but conservationists objected to the project because it would radically transform large parts of one of the country’s rarest coastal dune habitats.“The construction of Trump International Links has had an irreversible and unjustified impact on a fragile dune system, in particular a large area of the internationally important Foveran Links Site of Special Scientific Interest [SSSI],” Bruce Wilson, Senior Policy Officer of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, told Mongabay.“Unfortunately this planning application was approved by the Scottish Government despite evidence that it was easily possible to build two world class courses on the Menie Estate without destroying the SSSI,” he added.Trump has also been involved in a long-running row with the Scottish government over the impact of windfarms on his golf course.Before his White House campaign, he sent letters to the then first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond to urge him to withdraw his support for windfarm development. In this series of messages, obtained by the Huffington Post thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, Trump labeled windfarms as “monsters,” suggested without evidence that “wind power doesn’t work,” and told Salmond “your economy will become a third world wasteland that investors will avoid,” if the green energy alternative was embraced by Scotland.Trump Golf Course Scotland restaurant place setting. Trump has repeatedly butted heads with Scottish authorities regarding an offshore wind power facility near his golf course. Photo by Chris Hoare/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseTrump’s resistance didn’t end there. The U.S. president-elect exhorted the leader of UK Independence party (UKIP) Nigel Farage and key associates to lobby against the Scottish windfarms. However, none of this aided Trump’s crusade against the turbines, and in December 2015 he lost a Scottish Supreme Court battle against the installation of an windfarm located several miles offshore of his course.Last July the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the country’s principal environmental regulator, also raised formal objections to the Trump company’s proposals for a second 18-hole course in Aberdeenshire. Now the organization will have to revise its plans to make sure its project does not violate sewage pollution, environmental protection and groundwater conservation rules.A statement by Trump International Golf Links published by the BBC reads in part:The recent correspondence between Trump International, the local authority and statutory consultants is a normal part of the planning process and the regular ongoing dialogue conducted during the application process. SNH and Sepa always reference a range of policy considerations and factors which is standard practice and nothing out of the ordinary. Our application is making its way through the planning system and this dialogue will continue until it goes before committee for consideration. The Dr Martin Hawtree designed second golf course is located to the south of the Trump estate and does not occupy a Site of Special Scientific Interest therefore is not covered by any environmental designations.We are extremely confident in our proposal and that this process will reach a satisfactory conclusion acceptable to all parties on our world class development.Trump’s EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Pruitt is a long time enemy of the agency he now heads. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseWhat’s good for Trump is good for the U.S. and world…During his campaign Donald Trump said he wanted to get rid of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “in almost every form.” Now that he is President, Trump appears to be moving toward that goal, and some of his businesses are among the institutions that could benefit from a dramatic roll back in environmental regulations. A look at Trump’s attacks on the U.S. EPA, and the business rationale for those assaults, is enlightening when studying the actions of Trump businesses around the world.For instance, Trump issued an executive order commanding the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to review the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS) — a rule that greatly irks golf course developers.Last March, Bob Helland, director of congressional and federal affairs of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), issued a statement that makes clear why his association opposes the Clean Water Rule as written: “Under the rule, golf courses could likely be required to obtain costly federal permits for any land management activities or land use decisions in, over or near these waters, such as pesticide and fertilizer applications and stream bank restorations and the moving of dirt. The impact on golf course management could be dramatic.”In 2016, the GSCAA praised Trump as “a president who understands the value of the game of golf, both as a golfer and golf course owner,” who “is also familiar with the H-2B Visa program that a number of golf facilities utilize, including one of his own in Florida.” This visa program allows U.S. employers, or agents who meet specific regulatory requirements, to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. “This could lead to a breakthrough in the red tape that makes using the program so frustrating,” said GSCAA. These statements shine a bright light on the imbalance between the administration’s business, environmental and immigration policies.Protesting Trump’s global assets at the People’s Rally, Washington DC. Photo credit: Lorie Shaull via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SAWorld-class hotels form another cornerstone of the Trump financial empire. So when the president proposed cutting all funding to EPA’s very successful 25-year-old Energy Star Program, a program meant to save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, CNN launched an investigation to see how Trump businesses might benefit from its elimination.It turns out that the government’s Energy Star for Hotels ranking process provides an assessment of the energy performance of a property relative to its peers, taking into account local climate, weather and business activities at the property. Energy Star claims these ratings can affect the value of a property — the media investigation discovered that Trump’s properties tend to receive low ratings.According to CNN, “[t]he most recent scores from 2015 reveal that 11 of his 15 skyscrapers in New York, Chicago and San Francisco are less energy efficient than most comparable buildings. On a scale of 1 to 100 for energy efficiency, Manhattan’s old Mayfair Hotel, which Trump converted into condos, rated a 1,” the lowest rating possible.The House Appropriations Committee rejected the Trump’s administration proposal to eliminate Energy Star, but its spending bill for 2018, which came out in early July, proposed reducing funding by roughly 40 percent, a cut to $31 million.Critics say that such a deep reduction will be significantly harmful to the environment. “We appreciate that the committee has rejected the administration’s proposal… but a 40 percent cut would be crippling as well,” said the President of the Alliance to Save Energy Kateri Callahan in a press statement.In 2014, EPA estimated that Energy Star has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 billion metric tons since 1992, while also providing energy cost savings to consumers, hotels and other industries.“I have to wonder where this is coming from,” Callahan said, stressing the fact that Energy Star is one of the most popular government programs in U.S. history and has enjoyed broad bipartisan support since it was created under President George H.W. Bush.Trump’s properties have often not received good grades from the U.S. Energy Star for Hotels program, which aims at preventing energy waste. Critics say this is the likely reason that the Trump administration is now trying to defund the long-running, highly successful program. The Trump Taj Mahal, pictured here, was once considered an Atlantic City, NJ crown jewel; it went bankrupt in 2016. Photo credit: iirraa via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NCDonald Trump, award-winning environmentalist?Donald Trump has been claiming he is an environmentalist at least since 2011, when he told Fox & Friends that “I’ve received many, many environmental awards”.“I am a big believer in clean air and clean water. I’m a big believer. I have gotten so many awards for the environment,” Trump said during a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa. “I won many environmental awards, I have actually been called an environmentalist, if you believe it,” he repeated at a rally in Atkinson, New Hampshire.Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross echoed that assessment on NBC’s Today show. Trump, he said, “is an environmentalist. I’ve known him for a very long time. He’s very pro-environment.”Politifact found a grain of truth in Trump’s statements. A decade ago two local groups did award Trump for specific projects. In 2007, he received the Friends of Westchester County Parks’ inaugural Green Space Award for donating 436 acres to the New York state park system, and in the same year his Bedminster New Jersey Trump National Golf Course received the first annual environmental award of the The Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA).MGA’s press statement reads: “Through the leadership of Donald J. Trump, [director of grounds] Nicoll has implemented an environmental strategy that has resulted in the preservation of a dedicated 45 acre grassland bird habitat on the property, as well as intensive erosion control and stream stabilization management plan. The impacts of golf construction and operations on this land have resulted in a significant environmental net gain from the previous land use. Trump National has made itself readily available to Bedminster Township officials by way of monthly meetings to keep them up to date on the club’s environmental monitoring activities.”The Trump International Doral Miami. Trump’s facilities routinely replace native habitat with unnatural landscaping, including vast stretches of mown grass. However, if there is a tax break to be gained from adding a goatherd to crop high grass, as at the Bedminster, NJ, resort, or adding a little farmland for hay production as a tax write-off, then Trump’s businesses may participate. Photo by slgckgc/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseMGA also said that, while planning the construction of an additional course, the club integrated environmental awareness into their golf course maintenance and construction plans by maintaining more stringent standards than those required by state and local regulations.However, critics note, if Donald Trump is an environmentalist, he is not an orthodox one. In his tweets, he has referred to global warming as “a canard,” something “mythical,” “based on faulty science and manipulated data,” “nonexistent” or “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” and also as “a total, and very expensive, hoax,” not to mention “bullshit.”Nor does he show his environmentalism in the associates with which he surrounds himself. When choosing someone to lead his transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump picked climate science denier Myron Ebell, who believes the environmental movement is “the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world.” His EPA head is the former Oklahoma attorney Scott Pruitt, a climate change skeptic whose LinkedIn profile says he is “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” Pruitt in the past sued EPA 14 times to block clean air and water safeguards, and recently denied that carbon dioxide causes global warming.However, big business can save big bucks by being environmentally friendly, and that is something that did not go unnoticed at Trump’s environmental award-winning New Jersey golf courses. The Wall Street Journal reported that both of them qualify as a farmland because they are not only sports fields, but also home to activities associated to farming such as hay production and woodcutting. The Bedminster golf course is even home to a small goat herd that grazes overgrown grass. It is not clear exactly how much the tax breaks save Trump, but the Journal estimates the courses pay less than $1,000 in annual taxes instead of the $80,000 that would be standard for such properties.Trump’s high end real estate empire has a poor environmental reputation, and has seen regular opposition from those concerned about the impact of Trump’s golf courses and hotels on local wildlife, habit, aquifers, and even religious traditions. Photo by kellybdc/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenseStill, experts note, anyone saying that Donald Trump always puts profit and his assets ahead of the environment would be wrong. In truth, Trump’s policies could do serious harm to his businesses. As Buzz Feed News notes, Trump’s withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement likely means continuing rising sea levels and more extreme storms, which both threaten his low-lying properties, including the Trump National Doral in the Miami suburbs, a luxury golf resort that could end up submerged. Indeed, had Hurricane Irma tracked east of Florida instead of west, as originally expected, it’s likely the storm, supercharged by some of the warmest Caribbean waters on record, would have made a direct hit on Mar-A-Lago, the so-called Winter White House.Conflict of interest?The U.S. Congress has exempted the president and vice president from conflict-of-interest laws Title 18 Section 208 of the U.S. code. This decision was based on the premise that the presidency wields so much power that virtually any possible executive action might pose a potential conflict of interest (COI).Last November, during his first news conference since his election, Trump declared: “I have a no-conflict situation because I’m president, which is — I didn’t know about that until about three months ago, but it’s a nice thing to have, but I don’t want to take advantage of something.”Many watchdog organizations have been less complacent than Congress and the President concerning COIs — including those involving presidential power, the Trump companies, and the environment. These NGOs are watching to see if Trump international and domestic business deals have political implications, or if any policies promoted by his administration seem designed to benefit Trump businesses.The President’s just proposed tax reforms are a case in point — watchdog groups, the media and financial experts began looking for COIs and policy points benefiting Trump’s tax bracket and his businesses within hours of the announcement of the merest sketch of a tax reform plan.“Presidents have historically understood that there can be a conflict of interest even if the law doesn’t technically apply, and they have followed the same standards that apply to other federal employees,” Clark Pettig, American Oversight’s Communications Director, told Mongabay.American Oversight (AO) is a watchdog organization that is investigating numerous COIs across the Trump administration. For instance, it sued EPA to force the release of communications between regulators and industry groups, and to uncover the role investor Carl Icahn has played in setting policy. AO has also launched a broad investigation of the administration’s payments to Trump-owned businesses, and has submitted FOIA requests for documents related to the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.“Stop Pruitt” rally to oppose EPA nominee Scott Pruitt, Washington, DC. Pruitt, like almost all others in the Trump administration, comes from the business sector, which critics say has turned the so called “level playing field” on its head. Photo by Lorie Shaull/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licensePettig believes Trump clearly has a conflict of interest as he serves as President while also owning and profiting from a global business empire.“Rather than “draining the swamp,” the Trump administration has brought unprecedented conflicts of interests to Washington,” he said. “From rolling back environmental regulations that could impact his golf courses, to using diplomatic events to promote his own resorts, President Trump seems determined to use his power to enrich himself and his business empire,” Pettig said.Laura Friedenbach, Deputy Communications Director of Every Voice, a Washington-based watchdog organization whose aim is to reduce the influence of money in politics, is concerned as well. “When a public official is making decisions on behalf of the American people and also has a large personal stake in the outcome, it presents a conflict of interest,” she told Mongabay.“The conflicts of interest facing President Trump and his cabinet raise real questions about where the Trump administration’s priorities lie,” Friedenbach said. “Are they doing what’s best for the American people, or are they letting their own interests and the interests of their business partners get in the way?”“If President Trump and his cabinet are more concerned with boosting profits for companies they have a stake in, and personal ties with, including fossil fuel companies, then the result will be slowing down progress on combatting the effects of climate change,” she declared.The Trump Organization, Trump Hotels, Trump Golf, and MNC Land did not reply to Mongabay’s multiple requests to comment for this article; nor did they answer questions sent to them concerning their projects’ environmental impacts, Energy Star ratings, Trump’s environmental awards, and steps to reduce project carbon footprint.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.Despite protests like the March for Truth in Washington, DC, seen here, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, a move that, because of rising sea levels and intensifying hurricanes and other worsening extreme weather events, could harm his global assets. Photo by kellybdc/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licensecenter_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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An early warning system for locating forest loss

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri Viewing and managing the alertsGLAD alerts show up in your email with the geographic coordinates of each pixel where tree cover loss was detected. You can then choose to view the alerts on the GFW Interactive Map or download the data as a text file.An email notification of new alerts for a specific subscription. You can the view the pixels where forest has been lost or download the geographic and date information to a file. Image credit: Global Forest WatchColored pixels on the Map represent the areas that have likely experienced recent forest loss and triggered the alert.You can also see your subscriptions from within GFW using the My GFW person icon at the top of the screen.GFW answers Frequently Asked Questions and provides a how-to page with more details on how to subscribe to tree cover loss alerts. It also provides instructions on how to view and manage your alert subscriptions, using the My GFW person icon at the top of the Interactive Map.Forest remaining in Rwanda and elsewhere can be monitored from afar but must still coordinate with on-the-ground conservation action. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriReferencesHansen, M.C., Potapov, P.V., Moore, R., et al. (2013). High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change. Science, 342, 850-853.Hansen, M.C., Krylov, A., Tyukavina, A., et al. (2016). Humid tropical forest disturbance alerts using Landsat data. Environmental Research Letters, 11, p.034008.Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP). (2017). Amazon Conservation Association. Available at: http://maaproject.org/methodology/ and http://maaproject.org/2016/gladalerts/ A pair of forest change alert subscriptions. You can review your subscriptions by clicking the My GFW icon above the Interactive Map. Image credit: Global Forest Watch Icons and options for selecting an area to monitor using the forest change alerts. The Analyze and Subscribe tab is at the upper left. Image credit: Global Forest WatchThe Analyze and Subscribe tab showing the “Country or Region” options. Image credit: Global Forest WatchThe Analyze and Subscribe tab showing the “Other Data Layers” instructions. Image credit: Global Forest Watch The Global Land Analysis & Discovery (GLAD) alert system accessed in Global Forest Watch uses satellite imagery to detect forest loss in areas as small as 30 m x 30 m.The system accesses and analyzes Landsat imagery for a subscriber’s area of interest, every week, and sends alerts of tree cover loss via email that enable users to respond to deforestation while it is still in its early stages.The alert system is now available for 22 countries and will expand to remaining humid tropical forests in the coming months. A satellite-based alert system can now detect fine-scale deforestation in near-real time, enabling managers or rangers in tropical forests to respond to early stages of deforestation.Anyone can now register to receive free weekly alerts of tree cover loss, created by the Global Land Analysis & Discovery (GLAD) lab at the University of Maryland, through Global Forest Watch (GFW), the online forest change monitoring platform. The GLAD alerts identify areas of likely recent tree cover loss within pixels of 30 meters on each side.Western Amazon rainforest in Madre de Dios, Peru with small clearings that typically begin near rivers. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriAdvance warnings at this scale could facilitate more timely, and therefore more effective and efficient, interventions to activities such as illegal tree cutting along roads or existing clearings. They would likely help the manager of a forestry concession, ecotourism lodge, or state park quickly locate and verify a report that forest has been cut down illegally inside the area, without having to hire a plane or continuously send out patrols across the area.Near-real-time forest loss alerts can also facilitate forest monitoring by providing agency officials or NGOs with up-to-date information about patterns of deforestation for their species range, protected area, region, or country.For example, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) uses GLAD alerts as a first step in identifying deforestation hotspots in the Peruvian Amazon. The MAAP team uses new alerts of tree cover loss to investigate deforestation events. They follow up on the alerts of particular interest among thousands in the region by viewing them with other spatial data in a GIS or with high-resolution satellite imagery to help determine what caused the loss of tree cover.Images from MAAP map #69 of the tell-tale linear form of early forest clearing in the Amazon. The MAAP team first identified the new roads and small fields within national forestry lands in Ucayali, Peru (photo on right) from the alerts they received for this region. Image credits: Planet, MAAPGLAD alerts now function on GFW for 22 countries across nearly all of the Amazon basin, much of the Congo basin, and insular Southeast Asia. GLAD lab remote sensing scientist Matthew Hansen expects the alerts to be available for all humid tropical forests in the coming months.What triggers forest loss alerts?GFW provides users with open access to annually updated satellite imagery and several tools to view, download, and analyze it to better understand where forests are expanding and disappearing. Previous Mongabay-Wildtech posts have introduced some of GFW’s general features and analysis tools.As new Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 satellite images become available from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS EROS), the GLAD lab assesses them for cloud cover and data quality. It then compares the components of their signals to those over the three previous years and uses decision-making software to calculate a probability of forest disturbance for each pixel of the new image. Pixels with a loss probability greater than 50% are reported as having experienced forest loss.GLAD alerts triggered in 2016 near Boca Colorado, Peru are shown in pink. Some expand earlier deforestation; others are new clearings. Each pixel is 30m x 30m. Image credit: Global Forest WatchGLAD forest loss alerts are triggered when this threshold portion of a given 30 m x 30 m pixel (roughly 1/10 of a hectare or 1/4 of an acre) changes from forest cover to non-forest cover. At 30-meter resolution, GLAD alerts are fine enough to detect loss from activities like logging, illegal mining, and small-holder agriculture, all major drivers of deforestation that were too small-scale to be detected by previous alert systems.Alerts are triggered with every new, cloud-free Landsat image (as frequently as every eight days, depending on the location) and are updated weekly on the GFW website. If pixels within your target area lose forest, you receive an alert via email.The use of Landsat data does limit the generation of alerts to those detected by visible light and short-wave infrared, as it cannot see through clouds. Some tropical rainforests retain extensive cloud cover for months, during which the satellites cannot collect images, which could delay the detection of tree cover loss. Secondly, GLAD alerts represent deforestation, as the Landsat sensors cannot reliably detect forest degradation from activities such as fuelwood collection, that leave the forest canopy intact.Kangaroo in a Eucalyptus forest in New South Wales, Australia. Not necessarily the first animal you associate with forest, but one that reminds us that the density of the more open canopy of dry forests (with, say, 25-50% cover) will differ from that of closed-canopy wet forests, which could reach 100% cover. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriHow to receive alerts for your selected area (details for those interested)To use the system, you first need to register on the GFW website. When you sign in, you follow several drop-down menus to create a new subscription.You will select the type of area for which you want to receive alerts. You can select a country, national park, or other area from the GFW database, draw an area on the Interactive Map, or upload your own spatial data. You then “Subscribe,” which asks you to create a profile and log in, and provide the email where you would like to receive alerts.You can also enter the GFW Interactive Map and subscribe to a new area at any time, whether or not it’s in the GFW database.If the area exists as a shape in GFW (e.g. a country or protected area)For a country or region, click on the Analyze and Subscribe tab atop the menu box at the right-hand side of the map, then choose “Country or Region” and select your target country from the drop-down menu. Then skip to step 5, below.    3b) To draw the shape yourselfIf neither you nor GFW has a file with the area you want monitored, you can draw the shape yourself, by selecting the Draw option from this same menu. A map appears which you can move and zoom in to where you want to draw the shape.Clicking the Start Drawing button lets you click points in the shape of a polygon. Click on the first point or double-click to complete the polygon.Note: You can drag the points to edit your shape after you’ve finished drawing.The Analyze and Subscribe window will show the results of GFW’s quick analysis of this newly defined area. Click the Subscribe button to receive alerts for this new area, and follow the steps as shown above (logging in if you haven’t already, and describing the new subscription).center_img For other types of areas, choose “Other Data Layers” and follow instructions to click on one of the tabs above the map (e.g. Land Use, Conservation) to select the data set containing the area of interest for which you want to receive alerts. You can subscribe to a shape within any data set made up of polygons, including tree plantations, mining concessions, protected areas, and various country-specific data sets.Select the data layer and zoom in to your area of interest. The data layer will appear in the left-hand menu. Keep zooming in to get to your specific polygon.Click on the shape in the map, such as a national park or forest reserve, for which you want to receive alerts.Click the green “Subscribe” buttonin the pop-up window, and you will be prompted to Log In using your Twitter, Facebook, or Google account.You can then enter the data you’re subscribing to (click box for GLAD tree cover alerts), the email address to receive the notifications, and a name for this subscription. You’ll need to confirm the subscription by clinking on a link that gets sent to this email address.Once you provide the email address to receive updates for a particular alert subscription, you must confirm that the email is legitimate. Image credit: Global Forest WatchYou can create multiple subscriptions to receive alerts for different areas. You can view and manage each subscription once it’s been confirmed (see below). If the shape does not exist in GFW (e.g. a private concession or community reserve) You can also draw a shape or upload your own spatial data for an area not in the GFW database by following a similar process.Enter the Interactive Map as before.Turn on the Forest Change data layer you wish to subscribe to (e.g., tree cover loss), as above. You may want to set the forest density higher for rainforest and lower for dry forest. You can also set the time period of loss in the sliding bar at the bottom of the map.Select the Analyze and Subscribe icon on the right-hand side of the map, and choose “Draw or Upload Shape.”   3a) To upload your own spatial dataYou can upload a file with your area of interest in a number of formats, including text, Google Maps, JavaScript, Shapefile, and several GIS and markup languages. ESRI shapefiles must be in zipped format and include .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files. All files must contain polygon data, as the alerts tool counts hectares and alerts within polygons, and no larger than 1 MB.Click the option that says “Click to Pick a File or Drop One Here” to select a data set from your computer to upload. You can also drag a data set directly from your computer’s file manager.Your shape(s) should first show up on the map, with the analysis results appearing in the right-hand window. If your uploaded file contains more than one polygon, the analysis tool will display the summed forest change results for all the shapes in the layer.Note: You can drag the points of a shape to edit it once it’s uploaded to the map.You can then sign up to receive forest change alerts for this area by clicking the “Subscribe” You will then be prompted to enter the subscription data, as in step 6, above, or either log in if needed.The Analysis and Subscribe tab with the Draw or Upload Shape options displayed. Image credit: Global Forest Watch data, Deforestation Alert System, Forests, Mapping, Monitoring, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Technology, Wildtech 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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The Arctic and climate change (1979 – 2019): What the ice record tells us

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 Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Climate Science, Earth Science, Global Warming, Impact Of Climate Change, Monitoring, Oceans And Climate Change, Research, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Science, Sea Ice Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img This story has been updated: 2019’s Arctic ice melt season started out with record heat and rapid ice loss. Though cooler weather prevailed in August, stalling the fall, by mid-September ice extent was dropping dramatically once again. Then this week, 2019 raced from fourth to second place — now behind only 2012, the record minimum.With 2019 providing no reversal over past years, scientists continue to document and view the Arctic Death Spiral with increasing alarm. This story reviews the 40-year satellite record, along with some of the recent findings as to how Arctic ice declines are impacting the global climate.Researchers are increasingly certain that melting ice and a warming Arctic are prime factors altering the northern jet stream, a river of air that circles the Arctic. A more erratic jet stream — with increased waviness and prone to stalling — is now thought to be driving the increasingly dire, extreme global weather seen in recent years.The 40-year satellite record of rapidly vanishing Arctic ice — as seen in a new NASA video embedded within this article — is one of the most visible indicators of the intensifying climate crisis, and a loud warning to world leaders meeting at the UN in New York next week, of the urgent need to drastically cut carbon emissions. Arctic sea ice in eastern Greenland. What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. Scientists theorize that large-scale ice loss up north may be altering, and stalling, the northern jet stream, which can result in drought or storms hovering over one locale for long time periods. Image by mariusz kluzniak, Flickr.Arctic melt season watchers had a wild ride this year, with sea ice extent plummeting, and tracking with all previous record lows for time-of-year from March through mid-August, as 2019 appeared on course to challenge 2012 — the lowest minimum in the 1979-2019 forty-year satellite record.Then, once again proving the Arctic’s unpredictability, 2019’s melt slowed dramatically in late August and early September, only to take off again in a race to the bottom. As recently as Monday, extent appeared to be heading toward a fourth place finish behind 2016 and 2007, but overnight 2019 surpassed both, placing second only to 2012. And final results still aren’t in.“This year what we’re seeing is a good example of the natural variability of the system,” says Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). In the spring, it looked like we were heading for a new record low, but then, in August, the loss rate suddenly slowed.2019 now ranks among the lowest ice minimums in the 40-year satellite record. More importantly, during the four-decade time frame, the world has witnessed monumental declines in ice extent and volume in the Arctic. “In all months, sea ice extent is going down,” reports Serreze, with the biggest changes seen at the end of the summer melt season. Compared to when the satellite record began in 1979, sea ice extent is down about 40 percent in September. “It’s a big loss,” he says.By the numbers, the 1979 extent minimum, according to NSIDC, came in at 6.895 million square kilometers (2.662 million square miles), whereas by 2012 the September ice locked in at just 3.340 million square kilometers (1.289 million square miles). This year, as of September 17, sea ice extent sank to 4.100 million square kilometers (1.583 million square miles), shifting its ranking overnight from fourth to second place, surpassing 2007 at 4.147 square kilometers (1,601 square miles) and 2016 at 4.145 square kilometers (1.600 square miles).In recent years, we’re starting to see more significant losses in other seasons, too, says Julienne Stroeve, a senior research scientist with NSIDC. “The changes in summer have been dramatic, but it’s starting to manifest in other seasons as well, with later freeze-up and earlier melt. We’re lengthening the [progressively] ice-free season.”And sea ice isn’t only covering far less extent, it’s also getting thinner causing the volume of Arctic ice to drop precipitously, making the sea ice far more vulnerable to warming Arctic waters and atmosphere. With less thick, multiyear ice hanging around much of the sea ice in the Arctic is forming and melting away every year.In 1979, the daily minimum for sea ice volume was 17,065 cubic kilometers (4,094 cubic miles). While 2019 has likely not yet reached its lowest point, at the end of August, volume had fallen to just 4,170 cubic kilometers (1,000 cubic miles), putting it in close second place behind 2012, and already 75 percent lower than the 1979 minimum.Such dramatic changes in the ice are being driven by warmer air and water temperatures which eat away at the ice from all sides. Summers are longer than they used to be, and winters are warmer. “You put that together and you have a pretty strong formula for getting rid of ice,” says Serreze.Still, that doesn’t mean ice loss has followed a clear downward trajectory with every year lower than the one that came before. Rather, based on the natural variability of the climate and summer weather patterns, the trend of sea ice extent creates a kind of “sawtooth pattern,” where year-to-year extent and volume vary, but the long-term trend is ever downward, in what has been dramatically dubbed “the Arctic Death Spiral.”Thus far, 2012 has experienced the lowest September sea ice cover in the satellite record. “It sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb,” says Serreze. But low years are increasingly more frequent and recent, with the top ten all occurring after 2007. And if global temperatures continue to rise — as expected in a world where nearly no nations are currently expected to meet their Paris Climate Agreement goals — that melting trend is bound to spiral downward.How ice loss affects us all With so few long-term climate data sets, the importance of the sea ice record is hard to overstate. Sea ice is an extremely sensitive indicator of changes in the global climate, and it’s also very visual — unlike, say, changes in the global average air temperature. “You look at satellite data and you can very well see what’s happening,” says Serreze. And then there are those stunning pictures of beleaguered polar bears whose feeding habits are impacted by sea ice loss — with other polar species seriously affected too.However, climate change is now becoming increasingly visual beyond the Arctic, with impacts ranging from devastating hurricanes to long-term droughts and raging wildfires. One metaphor says that the polar regions act as the Earth’s air conditioners, while also helping to set up many of the basic weather patterns that we have come to expect around the globe in the past. But as the Arctic grows out of sync, so goes the rest of the planet,“A strongly warming Arctic could influence weather patterns in the mid-latitudes,” says Serreze. As the saying goes: what starts in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic.Researchers are increasingly certain that the strong temperature differentials between the Arctic and the temperate zone are one of the primary factors that create and propel the northern jet stream — a fast-moving river of air in the Northern Hemisphere that circles the Arctic. As sea ice vanishes and Arctic temperatures increase, the temperature variant between these regions is getting smaller. That means there’s less force driving the winds in the jet stream from west to east, and the weakened jet stream starts to swing wildly, deviating from its typical polar path into lower latitudes (even as far south as the Gulf of Mexico) which can also cause temperate weather patterns to stall in place — bringing punishing bouts of extreme weather.This spring saw one of the waviest jet streams in recent history, and in turn, severe weather slammed into much of the mid-latitudes. Bomb cyclones, severe thunderstorms, heavy rain and catastrophic flooding in the Mississippi River basin were all possibly born out of this year’s deeply askew jet stream. One possible impact could be the stalling of major storms, such as Hurricane Harvey over Houston, Texas; that storm’s stuck-in-place rainfall totals topped 60 inches in some locales.The unprecedented melting of sea ice has other serious ramifications. Less ice means the Arctic is now open for business. The world’s superpowers are paying increasingly more attention to northern economic opportunities, and the region is now considered to be of significant geopolitical importance. US President Donald Trump’s sudden interest in Greenland is just one example. That country made headlines this summer for another reason, seeing a huge amount of glacial melt into the North Atlantic. Scientists now estimate that ice loss in Greenland this year alone was enough to raise the average global sea level by more than a millimeter — glacial melt that is only expected to escalate, unless the world’s nations and corporations act aggressively to limit greenhouse gas emissions.The Arctic has large deposits of natural gas, oil and rare earth minerals, as well as methane hydrates, that if mined, would likely be game over for reestablishing a stable global climate. Moreover, the loss of ice has opened up shipping routes, such as the Northern Sea Route over Russia, and the Northwest Passage in Canada. “Right now, both [routes] are open. It’s pretty much clean sailing,” says Serreze. “I’ve been studying the Arctic years, but now I’ve unavoidably been drawn into issues of climate change and geopolitics.”PIOMAS Arctic Sea Ice Volume Death Spiral 1979-2019. Image © Andy Lee Robinson @ahaveland.Future of forecastingDespite the 40-year record, it’s still difficult for ice scientists to know how the melt season will shake out each year. Ice predictions are constrained by limited forecasting abilities for the natural variations in weather.Scientists like Stroeve are working on ways to improve measurements of sea ice thickness, which helps to inform ice forecasts. Currently, researchers aren’t able to directly map sea ice thickness in summer (relying on modeling for their statistical analysis), and are limited by how much snow lies atop the ice in other months. “That’s something we don’t observe well from satellites. Our understanding is pretty rudimentary. We have to make assumptions based on snow depths,” she says.The other big barrier in predicting sea ice outcomes is the accuracy of long-term weather forecasts. Right now, scientists can’t predict how natural variations in weather will impact the ice in the long run. Stroeve calls this the “spring predictability barrier,” which means that any ice forecast made before May isn’t very accurate. “Once you get to June, things get better.”In a sense, long range forecasts are easier. Without governmental and corporate action to curb carbon emissions, the global trend in Arctic sea ice will almost certainly be downward — with impacts both seen and as yet unforeseen, for us all.Note: This story was updated on September 19 to reflect further loss of Arctic sea ice in 2019, with new data showing that this year moved from fourth to second place in just 24 hours.Banner image caption: Pack ice after sunset in East Greenland near Kulusuk. Image by Markus Trienke, FlickrThis story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 300 news outlets worldwide to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. 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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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Paper and fast fashion fan the flames burning Indonesia’s peat: Report

first_imgBanner image: Fires in peat land in Pedamaran of South Sumatra’s Ogan Komering Ilir district. Image by Nopri Isim/Mongabay-Indonesia. carbon, Carbon Emissions, Deforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forests, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Haze, Peatlands, Plantations, Pulp And Paper, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Southeast Asia Haze 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. Pulp and paper giants APP and APRIL continue to source their raw material from plantations located on carbon-rich peatlands in Indonesia.The burning of these peat forests prior to planting accounts for much of the fires that have made Indonesia one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters, and of the toxic haze that spreads out to neighboring countries.A report by a coalition of NGOs warns that these problems could get worse under the companies’ current peat-intensive business model and a relaxing of peat-protection regulations by the government.The companies have disputed the scale of the fires attributed to their suppliers’ plantations, and say they already carry out peat conservation initiatives. JAKARTA — The toxic haze that swept across large swaths of Southeast Asia this year from forest and land fires in Indonesia could become a common phenomenon if two of the region’s biggest paper companies continue doing business as usual, a new report says.Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) get much of the wood pulp from which they make paper and other products from vast plantations run by subsidiaries or suppliers in Indonesia, largely on the island of Sumatra. APP’s suppliers manage approximately 6,000 square kilometers (2,316 square miles) of pulpwood plantations on peatland, while APRIL’s subsidiaries or long-term supplier oversee more than 2,650 square kilometers (1,023 square miles) of plantations, also on peat.It’s the burning of peat forests — areas with thick layers of moist, partially decomposed vegetation that store vast amounts of carbon dioxide — during the annual dry season that contributes to the haze and accounts for the bulk of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. And the situation is projected to only get worse, according to the report published by a coalition of NGOs.“Will this situation change? Yes — but likely not for the better,” says the coalition, which includes the U.S.-based Rainforest Action Network, the Environmental Papers Network, and Indonesian environmental NGOs Auriga and Hutan Kita Institute.That’s because both APP and APRIL have failed to sufficiently shift their operations to non-peatland areas that are less combustible than fire-prone peat, the report says. Instead, they’ve both made large capital investments in capacity expansion and new business ventures that could put further pressure on peatlands.At the same time, the government has also relaxed measures put in place after the 2015 fire and haze crisis to protect and restore peatlands. This combination, the report says, is the perfect recipe for a future disaster.APP and APRIL, it says, “are likely to perpetuate elevated levels of fire and haze risk in Indonesia for many years to come.”Fires in peat land in South Sumatra’s Ogan Komering Ilir district. Image by Nopri Isim/Mongabay-Indonesia.More carbon than the burning of the AmazonThe 2019 fires have pumped at least 708 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — almost double the emissions from the fires that swept through the Brazilian Amazon this year.And many of those fires broke out in pulpwood plantations. Of the eight worst-affected plantations in terms of the number of fire alerts, six supply APP and one supplies APRIL.Syahrul Fitra, a researcher with Auriga, one of the NGOs in the coalition, said the high number of hotspots showed that not much had changed since the 2015 fire and haze episode.“It’s been four years since the disastrous 2015 fires, and these companies said they had adopted best management practices,” he told Mongabay. “But we can see for ourselves the reality of the fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan [Indonesian Borneo]. This is because these peatlands have long been dried out. So this year’s fires are a result of this long process of peat draining.”Both APP and APRIL said the hotspots didn’t necessarily correspond to fires. APRIL said only 8 percent of the alerts corresponded to actual fires.“This is based on years of monitoring and ground verification,” the company said in a response to Mongabay. “Every hotspot is ground-truthed and reported within 24 hours to confirm the risk or incidence of fire. World Resources Institute [WRI] and NASA all issue caveats around satellite data, which is why ground-truthing is required.”Syahrul said there was no way to confirm APRIL’s data because the company didn’t share its ground-truthing hotspot findings publicly.“They just say the NASA data is wrong and expect us to believe their claims without providing evidence,” he said. “Our sense is that if their claims were accurate, they would be far more transparent with providing the documentation to support it.”He noted that unlike APRIL, APP provides daily and weekly fire reports on its website, indicating how many hotspots have been detected and how many of these have been verified as fires. The information is presented in both raw data form and on maps.“APRIL should learn from APP about how to be transparent with fire data reporting if they want people to take their claims about fires seriously,” Syahrul said.Responding specifically to the fire alerts detected on an APRIL supplier plantation in Sumatra’s Riau province, the company said the burning occurred on an undeveloped, unmanaged area that was also claimed by a local community. It added it was working to resolve the disputed claim.But Syahrul said the company was trying to shirk responsibility for the fires by blaming others.“APRIL is continuing a pattern that we have seen again and again from them of shifting blame to communities for problems to which the company has clearly contributed,” he said.Separately, APP didn’t deny the findings in the NGOs’ report when asked by Mongabay. However, the company told Al Jazeera that based on its internal data, less than 20 percent of hotspots detected were related to actual fires.Syahrul said the data on APP’s own website showed the opposite: “[B]etween October 8 and November 5 … 79 percent of hotspots were confirmed as fires, 10 percent were verified as not fires, and 11 percent had yet to be verified,” he said. “This suggests a significantly higher rate of actual fires to hotspots than either company acknowledges in their responses to the report, and it aligns pretty closely to the false positive rate that NASA indicates for the dataset.”Citing NASA’S VIIRS sensor data in the report, APP noted that hotspots on pulpwood plantations only made up a small portion of the total number of hotspots in Indonesia (41,073 fire alerts, or 11 percent of the total 389,048 fire alerts through Oct. 31).This “suggests that properly managed plantations are better able to address the problem of fires,” Elim Sritaba, the chief sustainability officer at APP, told Mongabay.Syahrul acknowledged that there were more fire alerts outside of pulpwood plantations than within them, but that the pulpwood companies still had a responsibility to tackle the problem, given the large areas of peatland included in their concessions.Fires in peat land in South Sumatra’s Ogan Komering Ilir district. Image by Nopri Isim/Mongabay-Indonesia.Balancing conservation and developmentBoth APP and APRIL say their suppliers are carrying out programs to protect the peat areas of their concessions, including restoring areas that have been drained and dried out, and conserving other areas that haven’t been cleared yet.But the NGOs say these suppliers are still cultivating large areas of drained peatland — areas that are at high risk of burning, according to the report. The report also says the companies’ efforts are focused on initiatives that will allow them to keep using the drained peatland, instead of retiring, restoring and rewetting these areas altogether.“Neither company has committed to nor begun implementing large-scale restoration measures of the hundreds of thousands of hectares of drained peatlands on which they currently grow acacia wood for pulp production,” the report says. “Without taking this fundamental step, it is doubtful these companies can significantly reduce the fire risk from their operations.”But with 43 percent of Riau province comprising peatland, it’s not economically feasible to avoid developing on peat, according to APRIL.“Development without conservation is not sustainable; conservation without development is not viable,” the company said. “The key is to ensure that peatlands are managed actively, responsibly and based on science and that there is a balance with conservation.”Fires in peat land in Cengal of South Sumatra’s Ogan Komering Ilir district. Image by Nopri Isim/Mongabay-Indonesia.Relaxing protective measuresThe notion that development on peatland is inevitable appears to have also colored the government’s softening stance on the issue.The slate of regulations rolled out after the 2015 fires were aimed at freezing the development of peatlands, including those already part of existing concessions, and rezoning them for conservation to prevent future outbreaks of fire and haze. Peatlands eligible for this protection, initially at least, were those with peat layers deeper than 3 meters (10 feet), those containing high biodiversity, and peat domes — landscapes where the peat is so deep that the center is topographically higher than the edges.These types of peat areas account for a combined 12,000 square kilometers (4,600 square miles) of concessions supplying APP and APRIL, located mostly in Sumatra. A previous spatial analysis by the NGO coalition found that banning the development of these areas for plantations would lead to a supply crunch for APP and APRIL, affecting 30 percent and 25 percent of their respective supply chains.Earlier this year, the government issued a new regulation limiting the types to peat landscapes eligible for protection to just peat domes, leaving 3-meter and high-biodiversity peat areas once again open for exploitation.According to NGOs’ report, nearly 50 percent of the fire alerts in the worst-affected pulpwood concessions through October were located within these areas previously designated as protection zones.“Shortly after the regulation was issued, we can see for ourselves that the areas that were supposed to be restored were burned instead,” Syahrul said. “While we can’t say that the regulation exacerbated the fires, we can say that fires in peat areas are still severe.”Regardless of the impact the new regulation had on the subsequent fires, it’s still a misguided policy because it caters to the interests of pulp and paper companies, Syahrul said.“We haven’t seen how the peat domes are being restored, but the regulation has already shrunk the peat location that has to be protected,” he said. “At a time when peatlands are still burning, the protection zones are being diminished.”Allowing companies to continue cultivating carbon-rich peatlands means permitting a business model that’s not sustainable, he added.“These fires are connected to these pulp and paper companies’ dependence on peatlands for their crops,” Syahrul said.Peatland in Indonesia drained to prepare the land for agriculture. Peatlands accumulate their rich carbon stores over thousands of years, but begin to decompose once they lose their moisture. Carbon release is further accelerated due to fire, when “carbon goes out much faster than it went in,” explains Guido van der Werf of the University of Amsterdam. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Peat-intensive investmentsThat dependence looks set to deepen, with both APP and APRIL investing in new projects that will likely intensify existing cultivation of peatlands.APP has since December 2016 operated one of the world’s biggest pulp mills in South Sumatra province. Operation of the mill at full capacity is expected to increase APP’s overall demand for wood fiber in Indonesia by 75 percent, according to the NGOs’ report.That increase will difficult for APP to commit to major peatland restoration initiatives, which, by their nature, would reduce the group’s pulpwood plantation base, Syahrul said.“If APP restores its peat concessions to the maximum, then it will face supply crunch,” he said.APRIL, meanwhile, has entered the textile market in a bid to become the world’s largest producer of viscose staple fiber (VSF).APRIL recently converted pulp lines at its Sumatra mill to produce the higher grade (dissolving) pulp used in VSF production. APRIL’s dissolving pulp supplies a new VSF mill in the same location owned by the company’s parent conglomerate, RGE International Group, under the name Asia Pacific Rayon, as well as other RGE-owned VSF mills in China under the Sateri Group, the world’s biggest VSF producer.Sateri’s customers include global clothing retailers Zara and H&M, according to a 2017 report by the Changing Markets Foundation.VSF is increasingly popular in the textile industry, marketed as an “eco-friendly” and less water-intensive alternative to cotton. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, RGE director Anderson Tanoto said VSF could help the fast-fashion industry become more sustainable, touting it as biodegradable and “sourced from sustainably managed tree plantations.”But VSF from Indonesian pulpwood plantations might not be quite so sustainable, Syahrul said. He noted that the pulp APRIL uses to produce VSF comes from Acacia crassicarpa, an acacia species that the company cultivates only on peatlands; Acacia mangium, the species that APRIL grows on mineral soils (i.e. non-peat areas) for its paper products, isn’t suitable for producing the type of pulp required to make VSF.APRIL said there wouldn’t be an increase in its production capacity and thus no increase in the group’s overall pulpwood requirements.Even so, the need for trees that can only be grown on peatland provides a strong incentive for APRIL to continue draining, planting, replanting, and harvesting in peatland areas rather than reducing its operational footprint there, Syahrul said.“And the possibility of them restoring their peat concessions is going even further down,” he added.The combination of the companies’ peat-intensive investments and the government’s relaxation of peat-protection policies is “evidence of the lack of commitment in restoring peatlands,” he said.“The strange thing is that the government knew that if the demand for the raw material increased [because of the new investments], the threat to peatlands would also grow,” Syahrul said. “But the government still issued licenses [for the new investments].”last_img read more

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Illegal gold rush causing ‘irreversible damage’ to rivers in the Brazilian Amazon

first_imgA surge in illegal gold mining in the Brazilian Amazon state of Pará is causing a dramatic rise in water pollution and deforestation, as speculators clear swaths of forest along the riverbanks to make way for makeshift mines known as garimpos. These mines have invaded well into Kayapó indigenous territory, a vast region home to several indigenous groups, including some that live in voluntary isolation from the outside world.Deforestation has more than doubled in the Kayapó protected area since 2000, with nonprofit groups pointing to gold mining as the key driver. FUNAI, the government agency tasked with protecting the interests of indigenous people in Brazil, has identified almost 3,000 people contaminated by mining residue in the territory.In Brazil, it is illegal to mine on indigenous lands – but local sources claim this isn’t stopping illegal miners from encroaching on the Kayapó territory. Some indigenous people who live on this land have been battling to expel the invaders in recent years. Others have reluctantly tolerated the illegal mining in exchange for a cut of the profits, which they say brings badly-needed funds to their communities.Many point to the rhetoric of Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro as a key factor that has emboldened illegal miners. The controversial far-right leader – who has his own past as a miner – has repeatedly railed against land protections as an “obstacle” to mining and development. Bolsonaro’s government is now pushing forward a controversial bill that would permit mining in indigenous territories. SÃO FÉLIX DO XINGU – As João Inácio de Assunção’s small boat sliced through the clay-colored waters of Rio Fresco in northern Brazil, he recalled a different time when the river was clearer and brimming with fish.“There used to be so many types of fish here,” said 51-year-old de Assunção as he steered the engine-powered boat. “Things have changed a lot.”De Assunção has spent 30 years working on the river, which cuts through São Félix do Xingu, a municipality in the northern state of Pará better known for its frenzied cattle production. Yet in recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for fishermen like him to survive from the river.“Now the fish are dying, they are disappearing,” he said.Environmentalists point to a surge in illegal gold mining in this corner of the Brazilian Amazon, which has brought along with it a dramatic rise in water pollution and deforestation, as speculators clear swaths of forest along the riverbanks to make way for makeshift mines known as garimpos.This activity has done “irreversible damage” to the rivers in the region, said Gilberto Santos, who works with the Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) in São Félix do Xingu, an arm of the Catholic Church that strives to advance human rights in rural communities in Brazil.“There’s always been mining speculation here – but in recent years, it has spread like a fever, ” said Santos. “And the water they are polluting is in small rivers and streams that flow directly into Rio Fresco.”Local sources say the most dramatic pollution has occurred in Rio Branco, a narrow river that snakes through the adjacent region of Ourilândia do Norte – or Northern Land of Gold – before flowing into the larger Rio Fresco.João Inácio de Assunção looks out over Rio Fresco. Photo by Ana Ionova for Mongabay.The Ourilândia do Norte municipality, most of which was still covered in lush forest a few years ago, has recently seen a sharp rise in clearing: it lost more than 5 percent of its forest cover between 2001 and 2018, according to satellite data from the University of Maryland (UMD). About half of this loss occurred in 2017 and 2018 alone, indicating deforestation in the region may be accelerating.And there are also signs that this acceleration has kept up this year: preliminary data from UMD indicate deforestation spiked in September and October to more than double the average rate for the same period over the past four years. Satellite images show the bulk of 2019 deforestation is due to mining expansion, much of it clustered around Rio Branco.Local sources say some illegal miners – known as garimpeiros – dump toxic waste directly into the river. But most of the pollution occurs because the removal of forest and topsoil has badly weakened the banks of Rio Branco, said Daniel Clemente Vieira Rêgo da Silva, adjunct professor at the Federal University of Southern and Southeastern Pará (Unifesspa) in São Félix do Xingu. This means the soil – and the toxins miners use to extract minerals – runs directly into the river when it rains.“What happens is that you remove this protection,” Rêgo da Silva said. “And we have a big problem with the use of mercury in mining. That soil that is entering the water is rich in mercury and other minerals too.”While Rêgo da Silva says it’s  difficult to establish a direct link, many environmentalists in the area believe  the mercury is likely a key contributor to the dwindling number of fish in Rio Fresco – a sentiment that some global studies echo. Across Brazil, as much as 221 metric tons of mercury are released into the environment each year due to illegal mining, preliminary studies showed in 2018.Scientific studies have also found mercury to be detrimental to human health, linking exposure to the element to skin disease, infertility and birth defects. It can also impact river-dwelling communities far beyond the immediate area around a mining site, as contamination travels downstream and the impact becomes amplified up the food chain.The region is home to many river-dependent species such as giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), which are listed as Endangered by the IUCN. Photo by www.Araguaia.org via Wikimedia Commons.In Pará, the contaminated water flows from one river into the next, eventually reaching São Félix do Xingu. In the open water where Rio Fresco meets Rio Xingu, the blue stream of one flows alongside the muddy currents of the other.“How can you use the water?” de Assunção wondered. “For whoever lives here, it’s impossible.”Decades of damageThe decline of Rio Fresco didn’t begin this year with the spike in mining activity in this part of the Brazilian Amazon. Instead, it goes back to the mining rush that gripped the broader Amazon region beginning in the 1970s.As new roads were built across the Amazon, the path into the mineral-rich lands around Ourilândia do Norte and Tucumã was opened up by miners searching for gold, nickel and iron. In the decades that followed, more and more miners moved into the area, hoping to strike it rich in the illicit gold trade.Today, there are more than 450 illegal mines in the Brazilian Amazon, according to the Rede Amazónica de Información Socioambiental Georreferenciada (RAISG), a consortium of civil society organizations. Brazilian authorities estimate that 30 metric tons of illegal gold – worth about 4.5 billion reais ($1.1 billion) – are traded each year just in the Tapajós Basin, much of which lies in Pará state.While mining accounts for  a far smaller proportion of deforestation than cattle ranching or logging, its environmental impact has become clearer – and more worrying – in recent years. A 2017 study found that mining contributed to about 10 percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between 2005 and 2015. The vast majority of mining-related clearing – about 90 percent – occurred illegally outside mining leases granted by the Brazilian government.Most often, miners come with heavy machinery, including excavators, that can raze large swaths of forest with ease. Often, they also carve out makeshift airstrips, allowing mining supplies and equipment to be flown into densely forested areas by plane. When the land begins to yield less, they move on to another patch of mineral-rich forest.Some of the mining in the region is legal but even those operations have run into controversy. Earlier this year, prosecutors suspended a nickel mine owned by mining giant Vale following contamination of a nearby river in the Xikrin indigenous territory. Vale has denied that its mine, which straddles the municipalities of Tucumã and Ourilandia do Norte, is responsible for the contamination.Meanwhile, the area where illegal miners have recently ramped up their activity overlaps with the Kayapó indigenous territory, a vast region spanning some 3.28 million hectares that is home to several indigenous groups, including some that live in voluntary isolation from the outside world.Satellite images captured in November show several large, active mining sites along rivers in and near the Kayapó indigenous territory. Imagery source: Planet Labs.In Brazil, it is illegal to mine on indigenous lands – but local sources claim this isn’t stopping illegal garimpeiros from encroaching on the Kayapó territory. Some indigenous people who live on this land have been battling to expel the invaders in recent years. Others have reluctantly tolerated the illegal mining in exchange for a cut of the profits, which they say brings badly-needed funds to their communities.Deforestation has more than doubled in the Kayapó protected area since 2000, with nonprofit groups pointing to gold mining as the key driver. FUNAI, the government agency tasked with protecting the interests of indigenous people in Brazil, has identified almost 3,000 people contaminated by mining residue in the territory.Along Rio Fresco, the long-term impacts of mining pollution have also started to become evident. A study done by researchers at Unifesspa, led by Rêgo da Silva, recently found only 21 invertebrate species still living in Rio Fresco. In contrast, there were roughly 45 species in Rio Xingu. Aquatic invertebrates – often the larvae of flying insects – are routinely used by researchers as indicators of waterbody health. “This isn’t just an environmental problem – it’s also a social problem,” said Cristian Bento da Silva, an anthropologist with the Instituto de Estudos do Xingu, who is studying the impact of water pollution on the São Félix do Xingu community. “In the early 2000s, it was still possible to fish in Rio Fresco. Now, this river is known as the ‘Dead River’ here.”As Rio Fresco became more polluted and the number of fish dwindled over the last two decades, de Assunção says many fishermen who relied on its waters have moved further along Rio Xingu in search of more plentiful catch.“The veterans, the majority have left. Because it became impossible to work as the mining picked up,” he said, noting that there’s also been instances of illness in the community, which he blames on the polluted water.last_img read more

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Fighting to save an endangered ape, Indonesian activists fear for their lives

first_imgActivism, Animals, Apes, Conservation, Dams, Deforestation, Endangered Environmentalists, Energy, Environment, Environmental Activism, Featured, Forests, Great Apes, Greenwashing, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Orangutans, Primates, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Tropical Forests, 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 Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Activists and academics have attempted to stop the construction of the Batang Toru hydropower plant in North Sumatra, which is currently being built in the sole known habitat of the Tapanuli Orangutan.Critics of the dam have faced defamation charges, visits from intelligence officers, abrupt termination from conservation jobs and warnings that they could lose the right to work in Indonesia. One prominent opponent of the dam died in suspicious circumstances in October.Activists in North Sumatra say they feel constantly under threat. Dam developer PT NSHE denies any efforts to silence or intimidate critics, saying the company is “always open to inputs and to collaborate with various stakeholders.” JAKARTA — Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, the only known habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), has proven to be a precarious place for the ape. Just 800 individuals survive in a rapidly shrinking habitat, and the orangutans, which were only described as a new species in 2017, are already listed as a critically endangered by the IUCN.In recent months, the people involved in efforts to protect these orangutans have also been feeling endangered. Activists fighting a hydropower dam planned for the orangutan’s habitat describe an atmosphere of fear and threats, both subtle and direct.Indonesia is a dangerous place for activists, and North Sumatra is no exception. In October 2019, the office of a human rights NGO and a coffee shop popular with activists were firebombed in the provincial capital, Medan. Early November saw the grisly murder of two activists-cum-journalists on an oil palm plantation in the province, allegedly by hitmen hired by the plantation owner.“The tension is high,” says Dana Tarigan, the head of the North Sumatra chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi). “In the past, we were only threatened verbally or intimidated, but now the threats are becoming real. And that makes us more cautious.”Most chilling for activists campaigning against the hydropower dam is the recent death of Golfrid Siregar, a 34-year-old environmental activist and legal aide. Formerly a Walhi staffer, Golfrid resigned shortly before his death to focus on a lawsuit aimed at forcing the North Sumatra government to revoke the environmental permit for the dam being built in the orangutans’ habitat. The lawsuit alleges that a crucial signature was forged during the permit process for the project, known as the Batang Toru hydropower project. In August, Golfrid had also reported three local police officers to the national police for allegedly stopping a related investigation into licensing irregularities.On Oct. 3, Golfrid was found critically injured on a traffic overpass in Medan. He died three days later in the hospital. Officials ruled the death to be the result of a drunken motorcycle accident. But his friends and family are unconvinced by the explanation: They say he wasn’t a drinker and that his injuries were not consistent with a motorcycle crash. Moreover, they point to death threats made against Golfrid over his activism, which included campaigns against oil palm plantations and sand mines in addition to his work to stop the Batang Toru dam.While there’s no hard evidence linking Golfrid’s death to his work on the dam, it still sent a chilling message to other activists in the region, says Ronald M. Siahaan, the national head of Walhi’s legal department. Ronald says Golfrid’s death, and the fear it has instilled, has also dealt a blow to the lawsuit against the dam: Another lawyer working on the case has since backed out in fear.“That’s how scared we are in Sumatra right now,” says Ronald. “These threats have turned out not to be just empty words.”Golfrid Siregar, center, and his team submit a lawsuit against the North Sumatra government over alleged irregularities in the permitting process for the Batang Toru hydropower project. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).A controversial projectThe dam developer, PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (NSHE), has denied any involvement in the death threats against Golfrid.“We’re actually supporting the police to shine light on [Golfrid’s] death so that the dam project won’t be tied to the incident,” says PT NSHE spokesperson Firman Taufick.The dam, currently under construction and scheduled to start operating in 2022, has been under scrutiny because environmentalists fear it will bring about the extinction of the Tapanuli orangutan by destroying the only forest where it lives.According to a 2018 study published in the journal Current Biology, the dam would alter at least 8 percent (96 square kilometers or 37 square miles) of the orangutan’s habitat by 2022, further fragmenting an already disjointed population into smaller groups. Scientists say this will increase the chances of problems like inbreeding and accelerate the species’ demise.PT NSHE, however, says it only holds a permit to work within a 70 km2 (27 mi2) area, and the company will clear less than 6 km2 (2.3 mi2) of forest. The company also argues that a river and a provincial road have already splintered the orangutan habitat.Despite global concern and ongoing campaigns against the dam’s construction, the project enjoys the government’s full-throated endorsement. It is listed as part of the government’s official electricity procurement plan and has also been given prominent billing as part of the country’s emissions reduction strategy. PT NSHE was even a sponsor for Indonesia’s pavilion at both the 2018 and 2019 U.N. climate talks.An investigation by leading Indonesian newsmagazine Tempo into the Dharmawangsa Group, PT NSHE’s majority stakeholder, found that the group has connections in high places. Subroto, the group’s founder, is a former minister of energy and mineral resources. During a graft case unrelated to the dam, another former energy minister, Jero Wacik testified in court that he enjoyed free services from the group’s Dharmawangsa Hotel.Tempo also tracked connections between PT NSHE and the government of South Tapanuli District, where the dam project is located. The district head, who in 2011 issued a location permit for PT NSHE, is Syahrul Martua Pasaribu. His brother, Panusunan Pasaribu, served as a PT NSHE commissioner from 2012 to 2016. Another brother, Gus Irawan Pasaribu, was the head of the parliamentary commission overseeing energy and environment from 2016 to 2019.The Batang Toru hydropower project also gained an endorsement from Emmy Hafild, the former head of Walhi who has now become a politician and a member of the National Democratic political party, a part of the President’s ruling coalition. Emmy now serves as an advisor to PT NHSE’s chairman.The project is also backed by a substantial public relations campaign led by Intermatrix, a firm owned by Wimar Witoelar, the well-connected spokesman of former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid.But multiple activists and conservationists have told Mongabay that the efforts made by the proponents of the dam go much further than just a PR campaign.center_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. A Tapanuli orangutan in the Batang Toru forest, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Image by Matt Senior.Defamation casesAccording to Walhi’s Ronald Siahaan, journalists, activists and academics speaking against the dam have been systematically targeted.Ronald notes that police reports filed by companies affiliated with the project have resulted in at least two defamation cases, one against a local news outlet and one against an academic.On June 14, 2019, PT NHSE filed a report against trubus.id, an online environmental publication based in the city of Depok, alleging that trubus.id had defamed the company in two articles published in August 2018 that criticized the project. Rudi H. Paeru, the director of the publication, was summoned by the police in early November.Onrizal Onrizal, a forestry researcher at North Sumatra University, also faces criminal defamation charges. In 2013, the dam’s developers hired Onrizal to catalog the biodiversity of the Batang Toru ecosystem as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. Several years later, Onrizal told reporters he discovered that his findings were omitted from the EIA. He also found his signature appended to the final document, even though, he says, he never signed or even reviewed it. This allegation launched the lawsuit led by Golfrid Siregar before his death.Onrizal was separately reported to the police for defamation in July by A+ Digital PR agency, one of the PR companies hired by PT NSHE. The alleged defamation came in a statementoriginally published in August 2018 on the website of conservation advocacy group ALERT.The statement contained a quote from Onrizal, which has since been removed, accusing the PR firm of misleading the public. In July 2019, Onrizal posted a screenshot of the statement to Instagram, prompting the A+ Digital’s director, Myrna Irawaty, to file the police report.In an interview with Mongabay, Myrna confirmed that she had personally reported Onrizal for defamation, saying the scientist had “caused both material and immaterial damage to our company.”She added that her report was the extent of the company’s involvement in the matter. “We respect the ongoing legal process and completely entrust this case to the authorities.”The dam was subject to local protests even before the description of the Tapanuli Orangutan as a new species. In this 2017 image, a scuffle breaks out during protests led by indigenous peoples protesting the establishment of the hyrdopower project on land they hold sacred. Image by Ayat S. Karokaro/Mongabay-Indonesia.Scrutiny from intelligenceIn addition to facing threats of violence and legal action, some conservationists report being monitored by Indonesia’s State Intelligence Agency (BIN)According to Ronald, BIN officers visited an orangutan rehabilitation center in North Sumatra, which is run by the NGO Foundation for Sustainable Ecosystems, known by the acronym YEL in Indonesian. During the visit, Ronald says, BIN showed YEL staff email exchanges between other YEL employees and Walhi activists. The emails revealed that YEL had provided data that Walhi has used in its campaign against the dam.“The intelligence members knew about the communication between YEL and Walhi, and they were asking for clarification about the email exchanges,” Ronald said. “So everyone was scared and broke into a cold sweat.”YEL spokesperson Delfi Saragih declined to comment on the matter, saying she wasn’t aware of any visit by the intelligence agency.And it’s not just local organizations feeling pressured. PanEco, a Swiss-based NGO that partners with YEL to manage the orangutan rehabilitation center and also does research on orangutans in the Batang Toru area, also got a visit from BIN earlier this year.In early 2019, international activists began staging protests against the dam, including a series of small demonstrations in London. According to PanEco president Regina Frey, the protests rattled officials. Though Frey says PanEco had no involvement with the London activists, the organization came under scrutiny because the protests were an international event and PanEco is an international organization.In April 2019, BIN visited the foundation’s environmental education center in Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra. During the visit, Frey says her passport and visa were inspected. “I guess it was primarily to check my document,” Frey says. “There was no consequence. When you do such things [campaigning against the dam project], of course the intelligence is on your back. We are guests in your country.”A group of protesters urging the Indonesian government to save the Tapanuli orangutan in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London. Image courtesy of Protests for Orangutans Facebook page.Pressure on international groupsWhile local activists worry about violence, international organizations like PanEco face lesser-but-still-serious vulnerabilities. This reality came into focus in August 2019 after PanEco, which had initially described the dam as “the greatest threat to the long-term future of the Tapanuli orangutan,” announced it had formed a partnership with PT NSHE.Foreign organizations like PanEco operate only with permission from the Indonesian government, via memoranda of understanding with bodies like the Environment and Forestry Ministry.These memoranda can be abruptly terminated — as the international conservation NGO WWF recently discovered. On Oct. 5, the environment ministry terminated a two-decade-long partnership with the conservation group, following an internal evaluation concluding that WWF had been overstepping its authority in Indonesia.PanEco was put on notice that the group could face a similar outcome during a May 6 meeting with eco-activist turned-PT NHSE advocate Emmy Haflid. Frey and Emmy have known each other since the early 1980s, when Emmy worked for an environmental group run by Frey.The meeting, which took place at a street side durian stall in Medan, was also attended by representatives of PT NSHE and several officials from the environment ministry.In an interview with Mongabay, Emmy said that during the meeting she reminded Frey that PanEco’s work in Indonesia, and the memorandum dictating the terms of its partnership with the government, could be terminated if the organization and its staff members continued to criticize the dam.According to Frey, two specific PanEco staffers were mentioned by name: researchers Graham Usher and Gabriella Fredriksson, co-authors of a commentary on the dam published April 2019 in the journal Conservation Science and Practice that named the hydropower project as one of the threats to the survival of the Tapanuli orangutan.Emmy said speaking out against the dam amounted to campaigning, while PanEco’s memorandum with the environment ministry only allowed the organization to engage in research, conservation, ecotourism and fundraising.“People said I threatened [Regina]. I didn’t threaten her,” Emmy told Mongabay. “I just reminded her as a friend that this [campaigning] was already outside the activities permitted.”PT NSHE also denied pressuring PanEco.“NSHE is always open to inputs and to collaborate with various stakeholders in order to give as much positive impact as possible to the public,” the company told Mongabay. “There’s never pressure given to any parties because we really respect the freedom of speech of every stakeholders.”The Batang Toru River, the proposed power source for the hydroelectric project. Image by Ayat S. Karokaro/Mongabay-Indonesia.Police reportsPanEco staffers Usher and Fredriksson, and their colleague Ian Singleton, were also reported to the police by local community members for campaigning against the dam project.“They were accused of causing civil unrest, which is a very severe thing to do in Indonesia and probably other countries as well,” Frey told Mongabay. “So that was just like a bomb. This was very threatening. So I was just thinking, How we can appease the situation?”In addition to the police report, locals also staged a series of protests in front of PanEco office, demanding the deportation of the organization’s foreign staff members. A person familiar with the situation described the protests as “scary,” causing everybody in PanEco to be “constantly worried about what’s going to happen.”PanEco researchers, including Usher, Fredriksson and Singleton, had worked in Batang Toru for over a decade without previous problems with local residents. Their work figured prominently in the description of the Tapanuli orangutan. However, in May, Frey fired Usher and Fredriksson, communicating the decision by WhatsApp message.Three months later, PanEco signed a deal with PT NSHE to work together to protect the Tapanuli orangutan and minimize the dam’s impact on the apes. Frey says that teaming up with the developer was the best way to move forward, given the inevitability of the dam and the existence of other pressing threats to the species.“What’s more detrimental to the ecosystem is the gold mine, which is never mentioned,” she says, referring to the nearby Martabe gold mine operated by PT Agincourt Resources. “It’s a very huge company. There are also palm oil plantations and illegal encroachment.”She added, “NSHE has given us a lot of indications that this is what they want, to protect the whole place and help us convince the other stakeholders to do something.”Frey said she knew the deal would be controversial but that she’s willing to risk condemnation from other activists and the loss of donor funding because she believes working with PT NSHE is the best way to help the orangutan. “I don’t care about me being blamed,” she says. “You can’t make decisions based on self-consideration. We want to protect the Batang Toru ecosystem.”An ad for the Batang Toru hydropower project, describing it as “a socially and environmentally responsible developlment,” displayed at the Indonesian pavilion during the 24th U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Greenwashing concernsPrimatologist Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University describes PanEco’s decision to team up with PT NSHE as “disturbing.” Wich, who has carried out a spatial analysis showing forest loss due to the development of the dam and the power plant, believes the dam is the biggest threat to the Batang Toru ecosystem. And he dismisses the idea that the orangutan is more likely to survive if groups like PanEco agree to work with the developer.“That’s absurd,” he says.Wich also said he fears the memorandum with PanEco might play an important role in PT NSHE’s bid to secure funding for the project.The project is estimated to cost $1.68 billion, and it will be financed by equity and loans. Before the discovery of a new orangutan species was announced, PT NHSE was working to put in place the policies and documentation necessary to apply for loans from funders like World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).In response to the groundswell of global concern over the future of the Tapanuli orangutan, the IFC and ADB distanced themselves from the project. And in March 2019, the Bank of China, which is also involved in financing the project, said it had “noted the concerns expressed by some environmental organizations” and would carefully review the project. It has not issued any further public updates, leaving the funding for the project uncertain.In a recent interview with Mongabay, Hafild confirmed that the project’s funding was in doubt as a result of campaigns against the dam. “With the bad reputation we’ve received, I’m afraid banks are wary,” she said.The Batang Toru River, the proposed power source the dam, winds through the forest in North Sumatra province. Image by Ayat S. Karokaro/Mongabay-Indonesia.While PT NHSE works to burnish its image and secure funding for the dam, activists in North Sumatra face a difficult choice.Golfrid’s death, coupled with the legal threats connected to the dam project, has deterred some people from the fight against the dam. But others vow to continue campaigning.“We understand the risks that come with being human rights and environmental activists,” Dana, chapter head of Walhi North Sumatra, says. “We are cautious for sure because the threats are real, but truths still have to be revealed. So we won’t stop.”Banner Image: Tapanuli Orangutans found near YEL’s orangutan study camp in the Batang Toru forest, by Aditya Sumitra/Mighty Earth.last_img read more

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