Collateral damage: Snow leopards and trophy hunting in Kyrgyzstan

first_imgBOKONBAYEVO, Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyz folklore is laden with stories that warn its adherents against the over-hunting of animals. In one foreboding tale, Kodzhodzash, the leader of the Ak-Bars tribe, brutally ignores the wish of a female ibex, shooting dead her child and her mate. “May your father cry over you as I cry over my murdered children and for the loss of my kind,” the ibex curses, before luring the hunter to his death.Despite these admonitions, trophy hunting has become a lucrative industry in Kyrgyzstan, drawing tourists from across the world with its low prices and lax hunting laws. Until last year, a license to kill Kyrgyzstan’s most prized trophy, a Marco Polo sheep, was $3,600 while a Siberian ibex could be shot for just $500. The fees have almost doubled in the last year, yet remain regionally and globally competitive.Both the Marco Polo sheep, a subspecies of the argali (Ovis ammon), and the Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica) can be found on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, with the former listed as Near Threatened. The existing law in Kyrgyzstan does not prohibit the hunting of rare, threatened or endangered species. Instead, it states that animals listed in the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan, including the Marco Polo sheep, can be pursued by those in possession of a special license.A camera trap captures a snow leopard in Shamshy Wildlife Sanctuary, Kyrgyzstan. Photo courtesy of the Snow Leopard Trust.According to the IUCN, there may be as few as 1,500 snow leopards reproducing in the wild. Photo courtesy of the Snow Leopard Trust.Argali numbers have suffered accordingly, alongside those of its predator – the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncial). The population of this high-altitude predator has been in rapid decline over the last 20 years, with between 4,000 and 7,000 thought to remain as of the last census in 2003. According to the IUCN, major threats to the snow leopard include the overhunting of its prey – ungulates like the Marco Polo sheep and ibex – and the rapid loss of its habitat.Scientists say preserving Kyrgyzstan’s snow leopard territory is key to the survival of the species as the country’s Tien Shan mountain range serves as a corridor between the northern snow leopard populations in Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, and the more southerly groups in the Karakoram and Hindu Kush.Yet despite its strategic location, 6 percent of the country has been given protected status by the government while 70 percent is classified as a hunting concession. As a result, local ecologists estimate that half of the country’s ecosystems have been affected over the last 25 years. The mountains of Kyrgyzstan provide important connective habitat for endangered snow leopards.Government-supported hunting of Marco Polo sheep and Siberian ibex is being blamed for depleting the food supply of snow leopards and driving their numbers down.Ecologists say more animals are being hunted than can naturally reproduce, while government representatives contend the harvest is sustainable.A bill that would have banned hunting until 2030 was narrowly defeated earlier this year. Update: Since the publication of this story, the IUCN has downgraded the conservation status of snow leopards from Endangered to Vulnerable.We are also interested in hearing informed arguments in favor of trophy hunting in Kyrgyzstan. If you’re interested in participating in this discussion, feel free to send us a note via this form about how you think the industry is benefitting conservation in the country. Please include any credentials you may have, as well as your information sources.last_img read more

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Conservation in a weak state: Madagascar struggles with enforcement

first_imgFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Flowers near the Soarano wetland in Ranomafana National Park. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay. An abandoned lean-to used by gold miners in a wetland called Soarano, in Ranomafana National Park. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay. Gold miners dig pits as deep as 15 feet to reach the ore deposited in stream beds and wetlands, and they cut down trees to reinforce the mud walls. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay. Archive, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Community Development, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Corruption, Crime, Ecosystems, Environment, Environmental Crime, Featured, Forest Fragmentation, Forests, Fragmentation, Gold Mining, Governance, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Illegal Mining, Law Enforcement, Poverty, Poverty Alleviation, Protected Areas, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Wildlife Article published by Rebecca Kessler In the years since Madagascar’s 2009 coup d’état, the area around Ranomafana National Park has faced security threats from illegal gold miners, armed cattle rustlers, and bandits that have made it increasingly difficult to operate parts of the park.Elsewhere in the country illegal logging and mining, corruption, impunity and other breaches threaten to undermine conservation efforts, and limited funds make enforcement difficult.The problem underscores a broad challenge for conservationists across Madagascar: how to make progress on a set of environmental goals that depend fundamentally on the rule of law?This is the second story in Mongabay’s multi-part series “Conservation in Madagascar.” RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK, Madagascar — Late in the afternoon on June third of this year, Pierette Razafiandravao was at home getting ready for a church outing the following day when she heard gunshots in the distance. At the time, she didn’t think much of it. Armed cattle rustlers have become a disturbingly common presence in her corner of southern Madagascar, and that morning she’d gotten word of a standoff between soldiers on patrol and a group of bandits a few miles north of her house.It was only later that she realized she’d heard the bullets that killed her husband.When police arrived at the scene, they found his motorcycle neatly parked, leaning on its kickstand, along with his cell phone and his wallet, which still had money in it. This was not a robbery: it was a hit.Elysé Arsène Ratsimbazafy was mayor of Ambalakindresy, a small town on the western flank of Ranomafana National Park.He’d run for office on a platform to rid the town of “dahalo,” the bandits who had made off with so many of his neighbors’ livestock, but some people wondered if his death might also be tied to his cooperation with efforts to stop gold mining inside the national park. Razafiandravao thinks some of the people behind cattle rustling and gold mining are one and the same. “If the dahalo are there in the forest, the security here is quiet,” she told Mongabay in an interview. “If they are not there, people attack the village.”Ratsimbazafy’s death had an undeniable chilling effect on his colleagues. José Manarinsoa, the mayor of the town of Ranomafana, on the opposite side of the park, made a point of skipping the funeral. “I’m afraid, so I stayed away,” he said. Manarinsoa has been an outspoken critic of illegal gold mining in the past, going on national television to denounce incursions into the park. But he said his friend’s death had made him rethink being so public in his criticism. “I stopped,” he told Mongabay, “because, I had a feeling that if the gang heard me, is the same thing going to happen to me?”Elysé Arsène Ratsimbazafy, the mayor of Ambalakindresy, was murdered in June in the midst of his efforts to curb organized livestock theft in the area. Photo courtesy of Pierette Razafiandravao.In the years since Madagascar’s 2009 coup d’état, the area around Ranomafana has faced a series of security threats that have made it increasingly difficult to operate parts of the park. Gold panning has constrained community-led patrols and local cooperation with park rangers, interfered with long-term ecological research, and made it harder to organize development programs on the periphery of the park, destroying protected wetlands in the process.Illegal gold mining is both a symptom and a cause of the rise in crime in the area, as people living in poor communities beset by livestock theft are drawn to take part.“It’s a vicious cycle,” said Ranomafana National Park’s director, Josiane Rakotonirina. “Without alternative livelihood [programs], the threats to the community will only go up, but without better security, it’s harder to put those activities in place.”Earlier this year, security concerns led a pharmaceutical company to scrap plans for a plantation of Artemisia annua, a plant used in anti-malarial medication, near Ambalakindresy.Ranomafana’s security problem underscores a much broader challenge for conservationists across Madagascar: how to make progress on a set of environmental goals that depend fundamentally on the rule of law? In 2016, when USAID unveiled a “request for information” [pdf] for its first new environmental program in the country in nearly a decade, it included a long list of what the agency called critical assumptions — “conditions beyond the scope of the program to fully control” that are nevertheless crucial for the success of USAID-funded projects. (A request for information is usually a pre-cursor to a “request for proposal,” an early step in the agency’s funding process)Three of the assumptions focused on the rule of law: In terms of law enforcement efforts to curb illegal activities such as illicit logging, overfishing, and wildlife trafficking, it is assumed that fear of retribution will not overly deter community participation in advocacy and judicial processes Increased reporting and advocacy may serve [to] deter corruption by local and national officials who might otherwise be complicit in illicit activities Coalitions formed between interested groups such as communities, protected area managers, conservation organizations, other donors, and civil society increasingly serve as some counterweight to illegal actors.Announcing these critical assumptions publicly serves as a hedge against the messy reality of trying to implement effective conservation programs in Madagascar. It also raises questions about the kinds of approaches donors seek to fund: if corruption and illegal activity are such central concerns that they threaten to derail conservation goals, is it realistic to rely on the assumption that they won’t?Daniel Whyner, who oversees USAID’s environmental programs in Madagascar, said the critical assumptions arise partly from congressional restrictions on how “biodiversity conservation dollars” can be spent. They also serve as a signal to groups seeking grants. “How can we address these things beyond the scope of the funding we have?” he said in an interview. “I think we want offerers to understand that context when they…write their proposals. So we’re telling them to be mindful of these issues, and to reach out to the right kinds of partners to address them.”Challenges to the rule of law have constrained conservation efforts throughout the country. At the national level, the 2009 coup led the U.S. and other donors, including Germany, the European Union, and the World Bank to reduce funding for biodiversity conservation in Madagascar, over the objections of NGOs who pleaded for continued support. That reduced funding, in turn, led Madagascar National Parks to suspend royalty payments from park entrance fees to local communities, a decision Ranomafana’s mayor, Manarinsoa, sees as contributing to continued poverty and resentment of the park locally.Illegal rosewood logging in parks throughout Madagascar’s humid eastern forests has threatened their collective status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and eroded local norms that protect against fires and woodcutting. As security worsened in the southeast following the 2009 coup, the Missouri Botanical Garden was forced to withdraw from one protected area for several years. Staff at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the conservation NGO with the largest footprint in Madagascar, went through long periods when they were unable to visit parts of protected areas under their supervision in the southeast.“What can we do there, really, if our field staff cannot go in the forest, in the village where we’re supposed to work?” recalled Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, WWF’s country director in Madagascar. “We had to tell the donors ‘everything is on standby, we can’t work there.’”Pierette Razafiandravao, right, with her youngest daughter, at home in July. Razafiandravao was home in June when she heard the gunshots that killed her husband, her town’s mayor, on his way back from an event in the countryside. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Ambalakindresy, a small town on the western flank of Ranomafana National Park whose mayor was murdered in June. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Enforcement in RanomafanaRanomafana is one of the country’s most-traveled and best-funded national parks, with more than 20,000 annual visitors and a research station, the Centre ValBio, that hosts teams of scientists throughout the year. (Rhett Butler, the founder and CEO of Mongabay, is a member of Centre ValBio’s advisory board.) This intense interest, and the funding that comes with it, both insulates Ranomafana from fallout over poor security and makes it uniquely vulnerable to perceptions of risk or illegal activity.As Mamy Rakotoarijaona, the director of operations for Madagascar National Parks, put it, referring to tourism in Madagascar as a whole, “This is a very sensitive industry. A little typhoid in the Indian Ocean, a little terrorism in Paris, and we’re screwed.”A view of the Ranomafana river from the road that passes through the national park. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.In July, a convoy of taxis-brousse was ambushed by gunmen in Vohiparara, a community along the road that bisects Ranomafana National Park. Dozens of passengers in seven vehicles were held at gunpoint and stripped of their belongings, as rocks dragged onto the road blocked their path.The attack prompted Manarinsoa, Ranomafana’s mayor, to convene a meeting with the hotel operators who host tourists along the road between Ranomafana and Vohiparara to address security concerns and discuss possible solutions. “We can’t wait for [the bandits] to get to Ranomafana,” he explained.Raymond Razafindratsira, who oversees the western section of the park, where gold mining and robberies on the park’s periphery are most pronounced, had already directed his staff to stop traveling to the villages where their community patrol agents live. To receive their stipends, agents would meet them in Vohiparara, instead. After the attack in Vohiparara, Razafindratsira said, “We started paying them here in Ranomafana,” a few blocks from the park headquarters, but a full day’s walk for many of the agents.Razafindratsira said the mining has also affected his ability to get tips about illegal activity from locals. “Some people have stopped talking,” he said. Others “talk silently,” with text messages and calls.Rather than risk a trip to the remote towns and villages where some of Ranomafana National Park’s community patrol agents live, a series of security incidents has prompted Raymond Razafindratsira, left, who oversees a section of the park, to pay out their stipends at an office a few blocks from park headquarters. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Long before it was a national park, Ranomafana had been the site of a commercial gold mining operation during the colonial era. According to park managers, small-scale miners have operated in Ranomafana intermittently since 2003. After the coup, they began to enter the forest in increasingly large numbers.One of the areas of Ranomafana where the negative effects of gold mining are most apparent is called Soarano, meaning “good water,” a vast, high-elevation wetland known for palm-like Pandanus trees where long-leaved Eulophiella roempleriana orchids unfurl during the rainy season. Hikers approaching from the west encounter a series of successively larger holes a guide called “soil tests” for miners, eventually reaching a stream where the forest has been cleared along both banks. The wetland itself has been turned into a kind of swiss cheese, with thousands of deep mining pits separated by stretches of tall grass, extending in a quarter-mile band for more than two miles. A thick tangle of vines and palms along either side is the only hint that most of the marsh was covered with dense vegetation and 30 foot Pandanus trees just a few years ago. Miners cut them down to shore up the walls of each new hole so they can lift buckets of sandy ore to the surface.Miners have dug thousands of pits and cleared most trees along a two-mile stretch of Soarano, a vast wetland in Ranomafana known for Pandanus trees and colorful orchids. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Claude Jacquot Ralazampirenena supervises fieldwork for a long-term ecological monitoring program through Centre ValBio, which requires him to spend as much as two months at a time in remote areas of the park. Once he came across 40 dead frogs of the same species in a single day, walking along a stream eroded by gold miners. At times, he said, “it’s like a market, there in the forest. There are people everythwere. If you stay still, you can hear people talking.”In 2014, he returned to a vegetation sampling plot near a spot where he’d gone to try and talk with miners the previous year. “We came back, and all the tree tags had been removed. All the ropes we’d used to divide it into subplots were gone, many trees were cut down,” he said. We spent another 20 days sorting it out.” Now, Ralazampirenena says, he never makes his camp in the same place two years in a row.During a visit to Soarano in July, the closest this reporter came to miners was to make out a quartet of young men in the distance, working long-handled shovels back and forth in the mud. As soon as the group noticed an interloper, they picked up their tools and hightailed it across the swamp.In addition to the risk of hunting and fire raised by the presence of people living in sensitive areas, mining can cause rapid erosion that has effects throughout the watershed. In 2015, constituents from the village of Bevoahazo, downstream from Soarano, approached Ranomafana’s mayor, Manarinsoa, to complain that the local water supply had turned a cloudy brown. Two days later, he said, dahalos raided Bevoahazo and stole 100 oxen, a move widely seen as retaliation for going to the authorities.Some fear miners in Madagascar may soon resort to using mercury to separate the gold from the ore, a technique that is responsible for extensive environmental damage and health problems in other parts of the world.In 2011, a wave of illegal mining destroyed nearly 50 hectares of wetlands in part of the park near Ambalakindresy, prompting a joint enforcement operation by Madagascar National Parks (MNP) and the forest service, along with government law enforcement agencies. Fifteen people were arrested and 50 miners were expelled from the park. Similar enforcement actions have been repeated sporadically in response to surges in gold mining.center_img Mamonjy Ralaisoa, a guide who works on a long-term ecological monitoring project at Centre ValBio, watches the back-and-forth of gold miners’ long-handled shovels in the distance in the Soarano wetland in Ranomafana National Park. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay. Miners use hand-carved wooden bowls to separate gold flakes from the sand they dig up. They spin the bowls and pour off sediment until gold collects at the bottom. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay. A pair of sandals left by a group of miners who fled as soon as this reporter got close enough to greet them. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay. 123456 read more

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Indonesia to miss carbon emissions target under existing climate policies: study

first_imgArticle published by Hans Nicholas Jong Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Climate Science, Deforestation, Emission Reduction, Energy, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forest Carbon, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Impact Of Climate Change, Indonesia, Indonesia^s Forest Moratorium, Plantations, Protected Areas, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Tropical Forests Banner image: A burned peat swamp on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra. Tropical rainforests rarely burned in the past, but are seeing serious wildfires as climate change worsens. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Unless Indonesia takes more drastic measures, it will miss the emission reduction target it has set for itself.Current policies are a decent starting point, but they could be strengthened to meet or even surpass the emissions-reduction target.The best thing Indonesia can do is strengthen forest licensing moratorium, which has done little to curb deforestation in off-limits areas. Indonesia, a top carbon polluter, has a plan to cut its emissions.But unless it takes more drastic measures, it will miss the target it has set for itself, according to a new analysis by the World Resources Institute, a think tank.Indonesia has pledged to reduce its emissions growth by at least 29 percent over business-as-usual levels by 2030. That means it can emit no more than 2 gigatons of carbon dioxide that year.But even if it follows through on existing policies aimed at reducing emissions, Indonesia will emit 2.3 gigatons of carbon in 2030, just a 19 percent drop, according to the WRI.Indonesia produced an estimated 1.8 gigatons in 2005, and 1.4 gigatons in 2000.“We need mitigation actions that are more ambitious than the current ones,” Arief Wijaya, climate and forests senior manager at WRI Indonesia, told reporters in Jakarta.Indonesia’s prolific output of greenhouse gases is due less to the burning of fossil fuels than to the conversion of its rainforests and peatlands for agriculture. At the same time, coal consumption is rapidly increasing in the archipelago country.Together, the land-use and energy sectors account for four-fifths of Indonesia’s emissions.To cut emissions, Indonesia has declared a moratorium on new licenses to clear “primary” forests and peat swamps; made plans to restore some 2 million hectares of degraded peat swamps; and taken other measures to conserve these carbon-rich environments. It has also set various renewable-energy goals.While these policies are a decent starting point, they could be strengthened to meet or even surpass the 2030 target, the WRI found.Options include strengthening the licensing moratorium, restoring an additional 4.6 million hectares of degraded forest and peat, and implementing energy conservation policies. Doing all of this would reduce total emissions to 1.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide, surpassing Indonesia’s current commitment.The best thing Indonesia can do is strengthen the moratorium, which has done little to curb deforestation in off-limits areas, said Hanny Chrysolite, forest and climate program officer for WRI Indonesia.In 2015, forest loss in moratorium areas continued to increase in all regions except Sumatra, suggesting that the policy has done little to protect forests, according to 2015 tree cover loss data from the Global Land Analysis & Discovery (GLAD) lab at the University of Maryland.Critics of the moratorium say it is poorly enforced and that it should also cover all forests, not just primary forests. A primary forest is an ancient forest, as opposed to a “secondary” regenerating one.Improving enforcement and renewing the moratorium through 2030 “could reduce emissions by 188 million tons of CO2,” Chrysolite said.Expanding the moratorium to include both secondary forest and forested areas already licensed out to developers could further reduce emissions by 427 million tons of CO2 in 2030.A coal barge floats down the Mahakam River in Indonesian Borneo. Photo by Philip Jacobson/Mongabay.While the moratorium has the largest mitigation potential, Wijaya said the government should not neglect the energy sector, which is on pace to overtake the land-use sector as Indonesia’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter.He said the energy sector would contribute 50 percent of emissions in 2030, up from 28 percent in 2010, as demand for energy increases.“Indonesia is very focused on climate change mitigation in the land-use sector,” Wijaya said. “But this study shows that the government should be wiser. They shouldn’t just focus on the land-use sector, but also the energy sector as it would overtake the land-use sector in less than 15 years from now.”Therefore, Wijaya said, the government should strengthen its energy policies by promoting energy conservation.“We know that demand for energy keeps growing. So it will be very important that we have an energy policy that is more efficient. Maybe we need carbon tax policies or vehicles that are more fuel efficient,” he said.Nur Masripatin, climate change director-general at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, who leads Indonesia’s efforts in climate change, declined to comment, saying she would first have to study the WRI report. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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As Amazon deforestation in Brazil rises, Bolsonaro administration attacks the messenger (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Rhett Butler Officials in the Bolsonaro administration have attacked the credibility of the National Institute for Space Research’s system for tracking deforestation.But an analysis indicates their criticism of INPE is flawed.Nonetheless, the Bolsonaro administration is taking measures against the agency, including firing INPE’s director Ricardo Galvão on Friday.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. On July 31, Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles tried to explain the data showing a huge deforestation outbreak detected in June this year, but his success was essentially zero. The following day, on August 1, he held a press conference with President Jair Bolsonaro, the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Ernesto Araújo), and the head of the Institutional Security Office (General Augusto Heleno). Minister Salles made a presentation questioning the data produced by INPE (National Institute for Space Research) from its DETER (Deforestation Detection in Real Time) system. These data pointed to an 88% increase in the deforestation detected in June 2019, compared to the same month in 2018. The minister alleged that INPE’s data contained two flaws that supposedly rendered the numbers “untrue”:Deforestation carried out in previous monthsThe first criticism was that some of the 3250 polygons (the outlines on satellite imagery around deforestation areas) that were detected in June contained deforestation that had “started” in the months prior to June without being registered by the DETER system. He highlighted some of these polygons where deforestation had begun before January 1, 2019, when Jair Bolsonaro took office as president. Some polygons contained deforestation that had occurred between August and December 2018 and one polygon had started in 2017. The minister argued that the area of these polygons should be subtracted from the 978 km2 clearcut that had been reported in June 2019, which would reduce the percentage increase from June 2018.The monthly data produced by DETER do not record deforestation performed in the nominal month (as Minister Salles assumed), but rather deforestation that was detected in that month. Of course, polygons detected on the first day of the month will be entirely composed of deforestation done in previous months, while those detected on the last day of the month will have a larger proportion cleared within the nominal month itself. Even if the deforestation that had occurred before the Bolsonaro presidency were subtracted, it is unlikely that the result for June 2019 would be anything other than a large increase. The basic fact is that deforestation erupted explosively in the Bolsonaro presidential administration, and the data confirm this. It is also good to remember that the deforestation detected in June 2019 that was carried out in 2018 had an important contribution from the effect of Bolsonaro as a candidate and later as president-elect. Between June and September 2018, which were the last months of the election campaign when it was evident that candidate Bolsonaro was going to win, deforestation increased by 36% over the same months in 2017, which is believed to be a result of the presumption of impunity generated by the candidate’s rhetoric.The way DETER works is a necessity because each clearing needs to reach a relatively large size before it is detected, making it only natural for each clearing to take some time to grow to the minimum detection size. This does not mean that deforestation prior to the month of polygon detection should be discarded, much less that the entire polygon should be discarded as suggested by the minister. The same methodology that DETER applied in June 2019 was used to generate estimates for June 2018, and the 2018 number should contain a similar percentage of detected deforestation that began in previous months, as would be the case for all monthly data. Minister Salles only spoke of subtracting the polygons where deforestation began in previous months in the case of June 2019. However, to have a valid comparison the same would have to be done for the polygons detected in June 2018. With the June values for both years lowered by a similar percentage, the increase from the new value for June 2018 to the new value for June 2019 would be similar to the 88% shown by the current data.Google Earth image showing deforestation around Parakanã in the state of Pará in the Brazilian Amazon.OverlapThe second alleged failure pointed out by Salles was that there were some partial overlaps between polygons detected in June 2019 and polygons that had already been detected and accounted for and in previous months, according to high-definition images being sold by Planet. Minister Salles wants to hire this company (or a potential competitor) to monitor deforestation for the Ministry of the Environment, a move that has been interpreted as having the purpose of removing INPE’s autonomy with regard to deforestation studies. Polygon overlays on the Planet imagery indicate that there was double counting of the overlapping parts. The inaccuracy of the locations in the DETER system that this reflects should, in fact, lead to some (small) overestimation of the deforested area. However, this does not invalidate the estimated 88% increase in deforestation that DETER detected in June 2019 compared with June 2018 — the increase percentage would have no systematic bias because a similar overlap percentage should also exist in the 2018 data. Of course, as with any estimate, there is a range of uncertainty both below and above the calculated value, but this does not mean that the estimate is invalid. In the case of DETER, the sum of the areas detected from August of one year to July of the next year is almost always smaller than the deforestation recorded every year for this same interval by INPE’s most precise monitoring system: PRODES (Monitoring Program for Deforestation in the Amazon). This means that the net effect of bias in DETER is downward, not upward.President Bolsonaro commented that he believes the high number for deforestation detected in June is the result of “bad faith” on the part of someone inside INPE, and implied that such a person must be producing false data to undermine Brazil’s image abroad. The president has been attacking INPE for several weeks because of bad news about deforestation. At the August 1 news conference, the president said there would be “summary dismissal” of the person or persons if bad faith were confirmed. However, nothing that was presented indicates any kind of bad faith.General Heleno commented that letting data into the public domain indicating a large increase in deforestation indicates a lack of “love for the fatherland,” and that even if the numbers were true, the numbers should be “treated internally”. Unfortunately, what the data indicate is that there really is a big deforestation surge in the first dry season of the Bolsonaro government. The following day, on August 2, the director of INPE was informed of his removal from office.Banner Image: Google Earth image of the Brazilian Amazon overlaid with Global Forest Watch GLAD alert data for January-July 2019 and INPE monthly deforestation data. 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. Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Remote Sensing, Satellite Imagery, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Indigenous communities, nat’l parks suffer as Malaysia razes its reserves

first_imgForest loss appears to be accelerating in peninsular Malaysia in 2019. Much of this deforestation is happening in “permanent forest reserves,” which are supposed to be under official protection. However, Malaysian state governments have the authority to spontaneously degazette forest reserves for development. Sources say this has created a free-for-all, with loggers rushing to clear forest and sell timber.Satellite imagery shows logging happening right up to the border of Taman Negara National Park, which lacks the buffer zone typical around national parks in other countries. Researchers say this is likely to have detrimental impacts on the parks’ wildlife.Sources on the ground say deforestation is also affecting forest-dependent indigenous communities. Residents of one such community say mining – which often follows on the heels of logging in Malaysia – is also harming them.Earlier this year, 15 Batek residents of the village of Kuala Koh died and more than 100 others were hospitalized due to mysterious illnesses. The government claims the deaths were caused by a measles outbreak, but outside experts say extremely high and unhealthy levels of manganese in their drinking water due to nearby mining may also be to blame. Advocates say the loss of their forests make indigenous communities more vulnerable to disease and illness, referring to the deforestation of their homes as “structural genocide.” KUALA KOH, Malaysia — On a daytime flight into Kuala Lumpur airport, it’s hard not to feel a certain sense of despair. The land, at times adorned by jungle-clad mountains, all too often descends into rows as uniform as those on a corduroy jacket. These endless green lines, comprised of the unmistakable presence of oil palm plantations, represent agriculture that’s systematically stripped away native jungle.Many plantations appear in Malaysia’s forest reserves, which, in theory, should protect high conservation-value jungle. Yet malleable laws and vague government structures mean they are regularly degazetted. This leads to widespread deforestation and, thanks to a lack of buffer zones, harms nearby national parks. Malaysia’s marginalized indigenous people, known as Orang Asli, also live in these areas and depend on the forest to maintain their traditional way of life. When it’s cut down, they are left in poverty, stripped of their means of survival and increasingly susceptible to deadly illnesses. Some even say this amounts to a form of structural genocide.A group of Batek children living in the village of Kuala Koh. The Batek is a tribe of the Orang Asli. While widespread throughout peninsular Malaysia up to the 1970s, logging has confined Batek communities today to Taman Negara National Park and the area surrounding it. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Kelantan state, four hours northeast of Kuala Lumpur, provides a typical example. Around one-third of Taman Negara, peninsular Malaysia’s largest national park, fills the state’s southern stretches. At 130 million years old, it’s considered one of the world’s oldest rainforests, and is a vital haven for endangered species — vast, sprawling tropical jungle forms a home for tigers, macaques and rare birdlife. It’s also considered customary land for a number of Malaysia’s Orang Asli. Although the area remains protected, timber criminals still hack away at bordering forest, and the rest of the state has faced rampant deforestation over the last 20 years. Between 2001 and 2018, Kelantan lost around 28 percent of its tree cover, according to data from the University of Maryland (UMD). Two regions — Tanah Merah and Gua Musang — accounted for 71 percent of the state’s tree cover loss during this time.This trend shows no sign of slowing, and only appears to be getting worse. UMD detected more than 33,000 deforestation alerts in Kelantan in July this year, which was higher than in July 2018 — but not to be eclipsed by August. With more than a week left in the month, UMD has detected around 45,000 deforestation alerts in the state. Of these, some 33,500 occurred in the Gua Musang region, with many alert hotspots occurring very close to Taman Negara National Park. There, satellite imagery shows plantation expansion and logging roads denuding large areas right up to the park boundary.Satellite data from the University of Maryland show large areas of recent tree cover loss in forest reserves that border Taman Negara National Park. Source: GLAD/UMD, accessed through Global Forest Watch; forest reserve boundaries are from Forest Trends.This area of clearcutting in a forest reserve directly abuts the park and is actively expanding. Imagery from Planet Labs.Logging roads and deforestation have proliferated right up against the park border. Imagery from Planet Labs.Satellite images show this area is in the process of being cleared. Imagery from Planet Labs.The problem with forest reservesBeside the road leading to one of Taman Negara National Park’s northern entrances, an ochre dirt track peels away to the left. At its base, a huge tree trunk has been dumped to prevent access to vehicles. Walking up the muddy road behind it, however, leads to a storage area for timber cut down during recent clear-cutting in Lebir Permanent Forest Reserve that stretches north of the village of Kuala Koh. Behind these piles, the track stretches beyond sight into the hills, leading to the deforested area.Tan Dok Fung supervises the Syabas Tiara mine in the area. He said that his company’s mining concession comprises 100 hectares (250 acres) adjacent to a 200-hectare (500-acre) logging concession. According to Tan, loggers are clearing forest within the concessions where it’s allowed, as well as illegally outside of concession bounds.“My boss was offered the opportunity to mine within a 1,000-acre [400-hectare] area outside the National Park,” he said. “However, because a licence hasn’t been issued, my boss refused to mine without a permit. The 1,000 acres hasn’t been cleared but they have furtively gone in and [started logging] in a 500-acre area… Next to this 1,000-acre area outside the park, 500 acres has already been logged.”A long dirt road connects the storage site with the logging area. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.The trunk of a recently felled tree in Kelantan State. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Tan said that government intervention to stop the logging has been largely unsuccessful.“When the government officials turn up, the [logging company] staff do the disappearing act — they have informants … They have gone beyond the 500-acre concession area and they have trespassed into the 1,000-acre zone,” he said.During a recent visit, Mongabay asked Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji, the deputy minister for water, land and natural resources, if he knew about the recent logging.“Might be; sorry, not sure,” he said and laughed. “In Malaysia, we have two powers. One is federal power, another is state power. To allow them to make the mining or timber is under state power. It’s not under federal power. But my side is under federal power. We just can only give guideline[s] to them. Whether they want to follow or not is up to them.”The lack of authority of top-level ministers highlights a growing issue with Malaysia’s “Permanent Forest Reserves,” which cover a large portion of the country’s land area, including about half of Kelantan. Malaysian governance is divided into federal and state powers, and state governments have the power to degazette reserves without any approval from the federal government, experts or the general public. And they do so seemingly at a whim.The legal flexibility of forest reserves means deforestation has become commonplace. Land is covered instead by oil palm and rubber plantations or, increasingly, durian farms. Forests have become heavily fragmented due to timber exploitation and conversion for agriculture. At times, the federal government has stepped in. Earlier this year, it sued the state of Kelantan after the state gave logging licenses to companies that were establishing plantations on indigenous people’s customary land. Yet, more often than not, the federal government’s lack of power over such matters means that most state decisions to relax protections for forest reserves go unchecked and unchallenged.last_img read more

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Indigenous communities, wildlife under threat as farms invade Nicaraguan reserve

first_imgNicaragua’s Bosawás Biosphere Reserve straddles the country’s border with Honduras and was declared a UNESCO site in 1997. It comprises one of the largest contiguous rainforest regions in Latin America north of the Amazon Basin and includes 21 ecosystems and six types of forest that are home to a multitude of species, several of which are threatened with extinction.According to a report by the Nicaraguan environmental agency MARENA, a little more than 15 percent of the Bosawás reserve had been cleared and converted for agricultural use in 2000. But today, that number stands at nearly 31 percent. Satellite data show deforestation reached the heart of the reserve’s core zone earlier this year.Deforestation in Bosawás stems mainly from migration, as people in other parts of the country move to the region looking for fertile land and space to raise cattle and grow crops.Indigenous communities are allowed to own land within Bosawás. But sources say land traffickers are selling plots of land to non-indigenous farmers and ranchers, creating conflicts that have caused death on both sides. Torrential rain creates a deafening roar as it strikes the metal roof of community leader Ubence Zelaya’s two-bedroom home on the southern border of the Mayagna indigenous territory. Zelaya lives in the community of Wisoh alongside the Bocay River within the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve in northern Nicaragua. Outside his open door, a mountainous green landscape disappears behind a solid wall of water.“I was born and created on this river,” Zelaya told Mongabay as the rains die down. “My mother, my father, my grandfather, my grandmother, here they were born and here they died. [The Mayagna] are the owners of everything you see here, of this we are created, and we are the owners.”Zelaya’s eyes fill with tears as he explained the dire situation facing his community and his people. “The Mayagna have a tradition of protecting the reserve, the forests and the animals. Today, the mestizos have come bringing different traditions. They negotiate the land, the reserve, and they cut down the forests to make pastures and raise cattle.”Mestizo is a Spanish term for people who form the ethnic majority population of Nicaragua and other Latin American countries, who speak Spanish, and do not ascribe to a particular Indigenous culture or tribe. In Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, the non-indigenous mestizo settlers are expanding into the Bosawás reserve’s core zone, settling ancestral lands that the Nicaraguan government has recognized as collective territory titled to the Mayagna and Miskito people.The rainforest in Bosawás Biosphere Reserve is particularly biodiverse. Photo by Taran Volckhausen for Mongabay.Nicaragua’s Bosawás Biosphere Reserve sits within the Mosquitia region that straddles the border of Honduras with Nicaragua, comprising one of the largest contiguous rainforest regions in Latin America north of the Amazon Basin. Bosawás, covering some 2.2 million hectares (4.4 million acres), is part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor that ensures the free movement of wildlife between Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Mexico.Nicaragua holds about one-quarter of Central America’s remaining forest cover. Since the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve covers around 14 percent of Nicaragua’s land area, it holds a large amount of valuable habitat for the region’s widlife. Comprising 21 ecosystems and six types of forest, the reserve is home to 370 plant, 215 bird, 85 mammal, 15 snake, 11 fish, and 200,000 insect species. Several of these species are already threatened with extinction, such as Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), which are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.‘They’re coming after me next’The reserve, declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1997, is made up of two parts: a buffer and core zone. The buffer zone is intended to act as a containment area where regulated human activities could occur in an effort to limit impacts on the core zone, and for decades has been settled by small-scale farmers and cattle ranchers who have converted the forests to grow annual food staples such as corn, rice and beans, as well as raise livestock.According to a report by the Nicaraguan environmental agency MARENA, a little more than 15 percent of the Bosawás reserve had been cleared and converted for agricultural use in 2000. But today, that number stands at nearly 31 percent.Satellite data show incursions cut deep into the heart of the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve between June and September, 2019. The reserve’s core zone surrounds one of Nicaragua’s last remaining intact forest landscapes, which are areas of old growth forest that are undisturbed and connected enough to retain their original biodiversity levels. Source: GLAD/UMD, accessed through Global Forest WatchDeforestation in Bosawás stems mainly from migration, as people in other parts of the country move to the region looking for fertile land and space to raise cattle and grow crops. And this pressure is no longer relegated to the buffer zone. Zelaya told Mongabay that in 2018, colonists have started to extend roads and buy up land within the reserve’s core zone where the Mayagna indigenous people have lived for thousands of years. One of these new developments is an informal road that follows the Bocay River from the town of Ayapal into the reserve’s core.The forest isn’t the only victim of this expansion. Zelaya claims that 11 indigenous people have been murdered at the hands of the colonists since 2011. Last month, he said the colonists killed one of his townspeople, and that the colonists “are celebrating the month anniversary, saying that the killing was a triumph for them.”“The threats continue, I can no longer live here because I’ve been told that they’re coming after me next,” he said. “These people know the military has authority here. If they were to tell them to leave, they would go.”Zelaya said that the Mayagna have not been able to speak directly with the government about the problems that have arisen due to the colonists penetrating the reserve. “Why doesn’t [the government] talk to us? Is it because they don’t see us as human beings? I don’t know.”An informal road that residents say is promoting non-indigenous settlement. Photo by Taran Volckhausen for Mongabay.Jesus Demasio is on the governing board of the Bosawás Territorial Indigenous Government comprised of both Mayagna and Miskito ethnic groups. Even though the Mayagna’s collective lands cannot legally be sold by any single person, even a member of an indigenous group to whom the land is titled, Demasio explained that land traffickers still sold plots of land to non-indigenous farmers and ranchers, creating conflicts that have caused death on both sides.“The land conflicts have created personal conflicts with threats and killings of indigenous and non-indigenous people within the reserve,” Demasio said. “A man from the indigenous community began selling lands to the colonists, but now the colonists don’t want to leave unless their money is returned.”Demasio suggested that the government should determine how many colonists have illegally settled in Mayagna ancestral territory, and then persuade them to leave peacefully by offering compensation for the money they spent for the land.Vanishing resourcesMayagna community member Rioberto Delgado lives further north along the Bocay River in the Samaska community near the border with Honduras.“The communal living system of the indigenous communities is disappearing. The animals we used to hunt, the fish we used to take from the river, they’re all going away, they’re disappearing,” Delgado said. “With the colonists, another system is replacing ours and the indigenous are suffering. Our system requires lots of land, fish, animals, the ability to work calmly without [agricultural] chemicals.”The Mayagna people were officially recognized by Nicaragua’s state constitution in the late 1980s. Delgado said that even though the government officially granted land titles to indigenous communities in Bosawás, the laws protecting those titles have not been effectively implemented or enforced.Delgado said that municipal and regional governments are interfering with indigenous laws, and promoting road construction, colonization and development that is pushing the agricultural frontier further into the reserve. This, he said, is increasing deforestation and land conflicts between the indigenous communities and the colonists.Zelaya said the Mayagna lack access to the authorities, who have allegedly done little to stop the colonists from illegally settling on indigenous lands. “The government, who has the police, the army, the authorities behind them, needs to put a hand on their chests and make a concerted decision to stop the invasions.”With every passing year, deforestation within the core zone is increasing. Delgado said that a 2016 survey counted 21 non-indigenous families situated within the Mayagna territory, but that the problem has become more acute since then.“There could be 100 families or there could 500, I don’t know. Our reserve is in agony, we are not free, many lives are threatened,” Delgado said. “Some of the lands were taken over without anyone’s permission and others were sold, illegally.”last_img read more

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Moon and Earth’s magnetic field guide European eels on their epic migration

first_imgArticle published by Rhett Butler European eels use an electromagnetic “sixth sense” to navigate during their long migration, two new studies propose.The electrical “shadow” of a new moon may help eels cross the continental shelf of Europe to shore. Then, in the brackish waters of an estuary, young eels can imprint on the unique magnetic signature to navigate upstream.Piecing together the eels’ directional cues could help fisheries managers create more effective conservation plans for this critically endangered species. Far out in a featureless sea, the light of the moon is a beacon for migrating eels. They’re aiming for coastal estuaries, gateways to freshwater rivers where they will live for decades. When visibility becomes poor, eels can read an estuary’s unique magnetic map to navigate upstream.New research led by Alessandro Cresci, a Ph.D. candidate in biological oceanography at the University of Miami in Florida, is highlighting two key stages in the migration of European eels (Anguilla anguilla), an IUCN Critically Endangered species.“There’s a lot of work on how eels respond to patchy stimuli like light,” Cresci said of past research. “But we wanted to look into more stable navigational cues.”Glass eels are one phase in the complex life history of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Figure adapted from Cresci et al. (2019a).The first study, published in a recent issue of Communications Biology, describes eel navigation using magnetic fields in brackish waters. The second, published in Royal Society Open Science, identifies lunar cues that guide eels at sea.European eels begin as leaf-shaped larvae riding the Gulf Stream across the Atlantic Ocean, from the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda to the continental shelf off western Europe. Over the two-year crossing, they metamorphose into transparent glass eels just 7 centimeters (3 inches) long. Hundreds of millions arrive each year at coastlines from Scandinavia to Morocco.Navigating up estuaries toward inland rivers, glass eels turn a camouflaging brown. They live for 5 to 30 years in the same river, growing from immature yellow adults into silver eels up to 1 meter (3 feet) long. Finally, these mature eels return to the Sargasso Sea to spawn and die. Their lifelong migratory loop tops 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles).Passing from open ocean into murky rivers, eels must rely on all of their senses to navigate. Scientists have shown that eels use smell, temperature and tides to find rivers close to shore, and many are thought to respond to the lunar cycle.However, while magnetic and lunar navigation has been studied heavily in other species like salmon, according to Cresci, “the marine phase of the eel migration is really a black box.”A single eel swims in a transparent observation chamber during an experiment. Photo courtesy of Alessandro Cresci.To study their navigation in the open ocean, Cresci and his team collected 203 glass eels from the Austevoll Archipelago in Norway. Drifting over the continental shelf, they deployed a transparent chamber that mimicked natural conditions for the eel inside while compasses logged its preferred swimming direction. Tests were run in daylight during the four phases of the moon: new, first quarter, full and third quarter.Most eels swam in a purposeful, non-random direction. The trend was strongest during the new moon, when 96 percent of all eels swam quickly towards the moon’s position above the horizon.This caused the eels to generally swim southward, the average direction of the moon’s path across the sky from east to west. Glass eels are pulled northward by the powerful Gulf Stream, and while they can’t overcome this current, angling in a southern direction makes it more likely they will land somewhere favorable.However, the new moon rises with the sun and casts very little light. Cresci and his colleagues think eels follow the moon’s electrical signal, not its faint glow.Positioned between Earth and the sun, a new moon is exposed to solar winds that blow negative electrical charges to Earth’s surface. In effect, said Cresci, this forms a “shadow” that the eels’ sensitive receptors can detect.It’s likely, he added, that the light of the full moon helps orient the eels as well. They are preparing to conduct the same tests at night, when the full moon rises above the horizon.But once eels reach the muddy bends of an estuary, the moon isn’t useful. Estuaries flow with tidal rhythms, and the motion of sea water across Earth’s magnetic field creates small electric currents that are also detectable by fish.Because European eels settle in one river, Cresci thought young eels might imprint that river’s specific electromagnetic signature to form a lifelong, rudimentary map to navigate back to the Sargasso Sea as adults.Cresci and his team collected another 222 eels from estuaries in Norway flowing along different compass axes. In a remote facility designed to study magnetic orientation in aquatic organisms, they manipulated electric coils to randomize the magnetic field and recorded how eels oriented in the invisible magnetic current.About 70 percent of eels oriented to the tidal conditions taking place in their home estuary at that moment. If the tide was ebbing, eels oriented one way; if the tide was flowing, they shifted their bearing by 180 degrees, a response to the change in the electric field caused by the reversal of flowing water. Glass eels remembered the tidal signature of their estuary and responded to it even when removed.Together, these studies paint eels as multifaceted navigators.“I think they can sense a lot, but they use specific cues at each step depending on the environment,” Cresci said.The work is “good research by good scientists,” said Paul Coulson, Director of Operations for the UK-based Institute of Fisheries Management, who was not involved in either study.A recent report highlights a sharp increase in international smuggling of glass eels. The left figure shows kilograms of fish smuggled (visualized by thickness of the line) between 2013-2017, while the right shows only the period between 2017-2019. Graphic courtesy of TRAFFIC.Understanding eel navigation is essential to their conservation, Coulson said. Overfishing has reduced European eels to less than 10 percent of their historical population. The European Union ended international commercial trading in 2010, but the wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC recently reported a surge in glass eel smuggling. Coulson calls it “by volume, the largest wildlife crime of animals on the planet.”The EU is also implementing a restocking program. Countries like France with large glass eel fisheries must retain 60 percent of their catch to help repopulate the eels’ historic range. Cresci’s results suggest that moving eels from their home rivers could disorient them.“We relocate millions of animals each year, so the imprinting results are quite important,” Coulson said. “Keeping them on the same migratory track is something we should consider.”As each link creates a fuller picture of how eels navigate a shifting environment, Cresci says he feels confident in their resilience: “Nature can be surprising, and this ancient and mysterious creature of a few inches can accomplish incredible things.”Glass eels are a juvenile form of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla), a species that undergoes an incredible 10,000 kilometer (6,200 mile) migration. Photo courtesy of Alessandro Cresci.CITATIONSCresci, A., Durif, C.M., Paris, C.B., Thompson, C., Shema, S., Skiftesvik, A.B. & Browman, H.I. (2019a) The relationship between the moon cycle and the orientation of glass eels (Anguilla anguilla) at sea. Royal Society Open Science 6(10). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190812Cresci, A., Durif, C.M., Paris, C.B., Shema, S., Thompson, C., Bjelland, R., Skiftesvik, A.B. & Browman, H.I. (2019b). Glass eels (Anguilla anguilla) imprint the magnetic direction of tidal currents from their juvenile estuaries. Nature Communications Biology 2(366). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0619-8Amanda Heidt (@Scatter_Cushion) is a graduate student in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Other news stories by UCSC students can be found at https://news.mongabay.com/list/ucsc/. Animal Behavior, Animals, Ecological Beauty, Fish, Fishing, Illegal Fishing, Oceans, UCSC, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Indonesia’s fires burned mostly abandoned and degraded land, not forests

first_imgFEEDBACK: 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. Carbon Emissions, Climate, Climate Change, Deforestation, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forestry, Forests, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, wildfires More than three-quarters of the area burned during this year’s fire season in Indonesia were idle or abandoned lands, and not rainforest, a new analysis shows.Only 3 to 3.6 percent of the total burned area constituted forested landscapes, according to the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).The findings highlight the importance of protecting these areas and restoring them to prevent future recurrences of fires, CIFOR says.Much of these areas used to be peatlands, which according to a new report by Greenpeace continue to be burned by oil palm and pulpwood companies supplying some of the biggest household brands in the world. JAKARTA — It was large swaths of degraded and idle land, and not forested land, that accounted for much of the burned area during this year’s fire season in Indonesia, according to new findings.The preliminary analysis by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) contradicts the prevailing narrative that rainforests accounted for the landscape hardest hit by the fires in Indonesia.“There was no hard evidence to support that notion,” said CIFOR landscape ecologist David Gaveau.Instead, the fires took the biggest toll on abandoned lands, highlighting the importance of immediate protection for these areas to prevent a recurrence of intense and wide-scale burning in the future.Using high-resolution satellite images from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31 over seven provinces, CIFOR found that 76 percent of the burning occurred on idle lands, and only 3 to 3.6 percent in forested landscapes. That chimes with earlier statements by the governors of the Sumatran provinces of Riau and South Sumatra, the two regions that were among the most affected by this year’s fires. They said that abandoned lands, including areas for which concessions had been granted but which had been neglected by the concession holders, accounted for much of the fires in those jurisdictions.“There are still lands whose status is unclear and they’re not managed, making them prone to fires,” South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru said recently in Jakarta. “Most of the fires burn these abandoned lands. So there aren’t many fires in [plantation] companies’ [active] concessions. They’re mostly on abandoned lands.”Gaveau said these were areas that used to be forests several years ago, but had been cleared and experienced cycles of burning and recovery, turning them into scrublands peppered with low trees and bushes.“Though locally present for centuries, forest fires have become a large-scale cause of forest loss since the El Niño drought of 1983,” Gaveau told Mongabay. “Once the forest has burned, the increased risk of subsequent fires leads many forests to cycles of repeated burns.”And once these closed-canopy evergreen forests turn into scrublands, they become much more prone to fires.“Such cycles have replaced millions of hectares of forest with invasive species of easily flammable scrubs, ferns and grasses, the source of today’s fires,” Gaveau said. “Villagers living on peatlands will tell you that abandoned land is prone to fires.”As a result, fires that start from industrial plantations, including oil palm and pulpwood, can easily spread beyond the intended area of burning because of the large surrounding areas of flammable idle and degraded lands.CIFOR’s analysis shows only 3 percent of the total burned lands were inside oil palm plantations, and 0.4 percent in acacia or rubber plantations or rice paddy fields.The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has disputed the figure for total burned area derived in CIFOR’s analysis, but not the proportion of affected forest versus abandoned/idle land. CIFOR has acknowledged the need for further peer review on the matter of the total burned area, which its initial analysis put at 16,000 square kilometers (6,200 square miles) across seven provinces — almost triple the official figure released by the ministry of just under 6,500 km2 (2,500 mi2).On Dec. 6 CIFOR took down a blog post on its website, citing the need for peer review.Fires in peat land in South Sumatra’s Ogan Komering Ilir district. Image by Nopri Isim/Mongabay-Indonesia.Peat restorationThe findings present a strong case for mass restoration of degraded idle peatlands back into fire-resistant ecosystems, according to CIFOR.In 2016, President Joko Widodo launched an ambitious program to restore 26,700 square kilometers (10,300 square miles) of degraded peatlands across the country to prevent a recurrence of the particularly devastating fires in 2015. Ideally, this would mean phasing out large swaths of existing oil palm and acacia plantations on drained deep peatlands.However, the industry has pushed back against this notion, arguing that what’s important is to maintain the water table in peatlands by blocking off drainage canals — something that can be done without changing the current dominant land use of oil palm and acacia cultivation.At the same time, the government and some companies have explored “peat-friendly” cultivation alternatives that don’t require intensive draining, including sago and pineapple, as well as agroforestry. But these have been largely written off as far less profitable than palm oil or pulpwood.CIFOR said there’s a need to create an “economy of restoration” to jump-start efforts to restore degraded peatlands.“We need a paradigm shift,” the organization said. “Massive investments in restoration, massive investments from banks to create an economy of restoration. Only by considering nature as part of a vital green infrastructure that must be rebuilt and maintained with adequate investment in tandem with other infrastructures, can we begin to see significant changes.”Anggalia Putri Permatasari, a researcher at the NGO Madani Foundation for Sustainability, said one solution to restoring idle degraded peatlands while also developing the local economy is through the government’s social forestry program, which aims to give local communities greater control over lands.The Ministry of Environment and Forestry recently issued a regulation that allows local communities to cultivate peatlands through the social forestry program. There are 2,590 km2 (1,000 mi2) of peat areas that can be distributed to local communities under this scheme.“The social forestry program can be a way to solve the problem of open access to land,” Anggalia said. “Because even if the lands are clearly concessions that are the responsibility of companies, the problem of open access remains. There are even concessions that are in conflict with local people.”Burning in Jambi’s protected peat forest Lorendang where restoration efforts by WWF-Indonesia and the Peat Restoration Agency take place. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia.Emissions from burningThe fires in Indonesia this year pumped out at least 708 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to data from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) — nearly double the 366 million tons generated from the burning in the Brazilian Amazon.A major factor is the burning of carbon-rich peatlands, and in particular the burning of peatlands within the concessions of oil palm and pulpwood companies.A new report by Greenpeace shows that Indonesia’s plantation industries — principally palm oil and pulpwood — were responsible for 41.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of peatlands in the country from 2015 to 2018.Their share of emissions amounted to 427 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent during this four-year period — the same as the average annual emissions from 110 coal-fired power plants or 91 million cars, and more than half the annual emissions of the whole of Germany.And these plantations supply palm oil and paper products to some of the world’s best-known brands, including Unilever, Nestlé, Mondelēz and Procter & Gamble, according to the report.For instance, between 2015 and 2018, Unilever’s suppliers were responsible for accumulated greenhouse gas emissions as a result of peatland fires on their Indonesian concessions that amounted to a quarter of the total emissions produced by the Netherlands in a year, the report says.Similarly, Nestlé’s suppliers during this period were responsible for more emissions than Switzerland produces in a year; for Mondelēz, it was an amount greater than the annual emissions of New Zealand; and for P&G it was double the emissions produced by Norway.Greenpeace Indonesia senior forest campaigner Annisa Rahmawati said the findings were a reminder of the toll that many of the consumer products people use daily can take on the climate.“On Forest Day at the Madrid Climate talks, people around the world will be horrified to learn of the damage the makers of Kit-Kats, Oreos, Head & Shoulders shampoo, Dove soap and Paseo tissue are doing to our climate,” she said.Annisa called on the brands mentioned in the report to stop sourcing from plantations linked to fires.“Companies parading as ‘climate champions,’ such as Unilever, are linked to massive greenhouse gas emissions from peatland fires,” she said. “These brands need to cut ties with all traders and supplier groups whose fires continue to trade our future for cheap commodities like palm oil.” Article published by Hans Nicholas Jongcenter_img Banner image: Fires raze Jambi’s protected peat forest Londerang. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia. 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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Rainforests in 2020: 10 things to watch

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 Biodiversity, Biofuels, Carbon Market, Conservation, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Drought, Environment, Featured, Forest Carbon, Forests, Palm Oil, Rainforests, Redd, Remote Sensing, Satellite Imagery, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Zero Deforestation Commitments This is Mongabay founder Rhett Butler’s annual look ahead at the year in rainforests.After a decade of increased deforestation, broken commitments, and hundreds of murders of rainforest defenders, the 2020s open as a dark moment for the world’s rainforests.Here are some key things to watch for the coming year: Brazil, destabilization of tropical forests, U.S. elections, the global economy, Jokowi’s new administration in Indonesia, market-based conservation initiatives, zero deforestation commitments, ambition on addressing the biodiversity crisis, Congo Basin, and assessment of 2019’s damage.Share your thoughts via the comment function at the bottom of the post. After a decade of increased deforestation, broken commitments, and hundreds of murders of rainforest defenders, the 2020s open as a dark moment for the world’s rainforests. Here are some key things to watch for the coming year.BrazilDeforestation in the Brazilian Amazon hit an 11 year high for the year ended July 31, 2019. But forest clearing has rapidly accelerated since then, setting up 2020 as a significantly worse year for the Amazon rainforest. With the world fast forgetting about what transpired in the Amazon the past few months, look for the Bolsonaro administration to continue rolling back environmental regulation and law enforcement, opening up more of the Amazon to conversion by ranchers and farmers, and questioning the motives and integrity of those working to protect the environment. The situation in the Amazon looks to get far worse before it gets better.Pushback against some Bolsonaro policies will probably continue in 2020 from Brazil’s court system, independent public prosecutors at both the federal and state level, and Congress. With civil society increasingly marginalized in Brazil under the current administration, the most likely near-term catalyst for halting or reversing the recent deterioration of the situation in the Amazon would be pressure from constituencies that support Bolsonaro: farmers and ranchers concerned about the impact of drought or lawlessness on their productivity; Brazilian companies with exposure in eco-conscious markets, especially Western Europe; or religious leaders, especially evangelical Protestants. And large-scale public protest — especially around corruption, abuse of power, or economic malaise — is always a possibility.Tree cover loss and primary forest loss in Brazil from 2002 to 2018 according to data from Hansen et al 2019.A decade of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon according to Brazil’s National Space Research Institute INPE. Note: the annual data goes through Jul 31, 2019, whereas the monthly data goes through Nov 30, 2019.Destabilization of tropical forestsIn a commentary published this month in Science Advances, Carlos Nobre and Thomas Lovejoy warned that the Amazon rainforest has reached a critical tipping point where the biome is showing signs of shifting from humid tropical forest with well-developed canopy structure toward wooded savanna similar to that found in the Chaco and Cerrado. But the Amazon isn’t alone. Studies in Borneo, Sumatra, and the Congo Basin show that these great rainforests are also experiencing drying trends and higher incidence of fire. We shouldn’t expect to see a big change in 2020—especially given that we’re coming out of an El Niño event—but we can expect to see the publication of more data on how forests are changing.A forest dying due to Rapid ‘Ōhi’a Death. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerU.S. electionsBy eviscerating laws to protect wildlife and habitat, abandoning climate leadership, and encouraging leaders who back deforestation and attack environmental defenders, the Trump administration has done substantial damage to conservation efforts globally, including efforts to protect tropical forests. Accordingly, the U.S. election in November 2020 will likely be meaningful for setting the course for conservation agenda globally through mid-decade.The global economyFor 2020 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting the slowest growth of the global economy since 2008-2009, while the World Bank is expecting softer demand for commodities, translating to lower prices. If those projections hold true, it could affect key tropical commodities that are important drivers of deforestation. That said, there are other macroeconomic factors that can influence deforestation including trade tensions (e.g. tariffs on U.S. soybeans can make soy from Brazil and Bolivia more profitable), the relative profitability of different types of land use (e.g. even at a depressed palm oil price, conversion of forests for oil palm plantations can still be an attractive investment), government incentives (e.g. biofuel mandates in Malaysia and Indonesia to increase demand for palm oil), and currency exchange rates, among others.Deforestation for gold mining in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerJokowi’s new administration in IndonesiaJoko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, was re-elected last year as president of Indonesia. He switched up his cabinet, bringing in some new members who generally aren’t seen as supportive of environment policies. Civil society groups have voiced concern that Jokowi’s cabinet may stall social and environmental reforms, while pushing forward on projects and initiatives that endanger forests. Some key issues to watch in Indonesia in 2020: the B30 (fuel with 30% biodiesel) target which would drive up demand for palm oil; progress on land rights reform, including recognition of customary forests; large-scale infrastructure projects like the Trans-Papua highway and the Batang Toru dam; the government’s appetite for addressing persistent problems with peat fires and deforestation; and the climate for journalists and activists after recent detainments and violence.Market-based conservation initiativesWith the failure of climate talks in Madrid to produce anything of substance, the near-term outlook for government-led progress on addressing climate change at an international scale is bleak. But some countries, sub-national entities, and corporate entities are moving ahead on efforts to curb emissions. For example, after years of debate, California approved the Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) which could see polluters in the state offset a portion of their emissions by supporting conservation projects in tropical countries. Observers will be watching California closely: Success could lead others to follow its path, hiccups could ripple through the forest carbon market for years.Forest canopy in Volcano on the big island of Hawaii. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerZero deforestation commitments2020 is the year many companies set for achieving zero deforestation in their commodity supply chains, but some of the biggest agribusiness players are signaling they won’t meet that goal. Activist groups will be monitoring this sector carefully to see whether it looks like these companies are still working toward eliminating deforestation or slipping back toward business-as-usual approaches on forests.Ambition on addressing the biodiversity crisisChina is slated to host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2020. As host, China’s impact on biodiversity globally—from the wildlife trade to resource extraction abroad—will be in the spotlight. NGOs are pushing for a stronger framework to stave off the sixth great extinction currently underway, but recent signs hint that China may be downscaling its ambitions for the meeting. Look for some unconventional actors — especially religious and business leaders — to weigh in on the importance of biodiversity in 2020. The climate protest movement could apply its growing prominence to the issue as well.A mushroom in China. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Congo BasinCentral Africa is experiencing the highest acceleration in deforestation of any region on Earth. The forests of the Congo Basin face myriad threats: increased interest from industrial agriculture, proliferating road networks, new oil and gas exploration, and a regional drying trend. But foreign governments have also recently pledged more aid to Congo forest conservation.Assessment of 2019’s damage2019 seemed like a catastrophic year for the world’s tropical forests but we won’t have comprehensive data on the damage until sometime in 2020. Brazil will release its official estimate for 2018-2019 Amazon deforestation sometime in the spring and its August 2019-July 2020 preliminary estimate in the fall, while Global Forest Watch and Matthew Hansen of the University of Maryland should publish tree cover loss data in the second quarter of 2020.global tropical_forest_loss_2010s_2000s All data Hansen et al 2019 same data used on Global Forest WatchLast year’s rainforest stories to watchReview: Rainforests in the 2010s10 years of annual reviews: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2009center_img Article published by Rhett Butlerlast_img read more

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Le nouveau coach du Progrès compte bien “déloger” le F91 de son trône

first_imgQuel style de jeu prône-t-il ? «J’aime la possession de balle, être dominant sur un terrain. Tous les entraînements, toute la préparation ira en ce sens. On va travailler avec ça en tête», a encore expliqué le technicien allemand, qui a évoqué un 4-1-4-1 avec un losange au milieu ou un système avec un «dix» et deux attaquants devant. «Après, il faudra voir ce qui est possible avec notre groupe. Ce sera à nous d’être flexibles en fonction des armes que nous avons sous la main.» Julien Carette S’il n’a pas vraiment pu mettre sa patte sur le cadre qu’il aura sous la main au Progrès, Roland Vrabec a, par contre, évoqué le style de jeu qu’il prône. Il ne le cache pas, il a eu des contacts de l’autre côté de la frontière allemande mais… «n’est-ce pas plus intéressant de tenter ce challenge qui se présente à moi plutôt que de jouer la 10e position dans un club de 3e Bundesliga ? L’ambition est de venir titiller Dudelange. Il est peut-être temps de déloger ce champion qui a multiplié les titres ces dernières saisons. Je ne pense pas que ce que je vais trouver ici soit du foot amateur. Nous allons travailler de manière professionnelle.» Le successeur de Cyril Serredszum a paraphé un contrat d’une saison (avec option) au stade Jos-Haupert. Celui-ci sera automatiquement reconduit en cas de qualification européenne. L’Allemand Roland Vrabec est bien le nouvel entraîneur du Progrès Niederkorn. Il était le choix n°1 du club et s’est quelque peu livré lors de sa présentation. Pourquoi arrive-t-il chez nous ? «J’ai entraîné en Allemagne et en Suisse. Surtout chez les jeunes. Mais aussi dans le milieu professionnel. Et à la fédération allemande également.» center_img Une théorie qu’il faudra mettre en pratique dans les prochaines semaines, avec comme premier examen de passage la rencontre aller du tour préliminaire de l’Europa League face aux Gallois du Cardiff Metropolitan University FC prévue déjà le 27 juin… «Ces différentes expériences m’ont permis de faire la connaissance de toutes les facettes du foot», souriait le natif de Francfort, âgé de 45 ans. Et c’est justement ce qui plaisait chez lui au Progrès. «Il a travaillé dans la formation et a également connu le haut niveau. C’était le choix idéal dans notre envie de passer un cap», glissait Thomas Gilgemann, le directeur niederkornois, qui avouait qu’il était le choix n°1 du club. Découvrant quelques semaines la D1 suisse, puis la D2, passant un tour en Europa League (la saison dernière), avant de finalement être poussé vers la sortie en septembre 2018. Voici ce qu’expliquait Roland Vrabec lorsqu’on lui a demandé mercredi de se présenter. Omettant donc volontairement, par modestie sans doute, de préciser qu’il avait été entraîneur adjoint des U18 et U19 allemands, avant de passer notamment en tant qu’entraîneur principal par St. Pauli (D2 allemande), d’être adjoint de l’ancien international allemand Markus Babbel à Lucerne en D1 suisse, de passer une saison cauchemardesque sur le banc du FSV Francfort en 3e Bundesliga et, enfin, de connaître une expérience mi-figue mi-raisin à Vaduz. «J’ai appris à connaître le nom du Progrès Niederkorn via ses résultats sur la scène européenne. Cela m’a laissé une impression positive, que ses dirigeants ont encore fait fructifier lors des rendez-vous que nous avons eus. Depuis, je me suis renseigné au mieux sur l’équipe. Et je vais profiter des semaines à venir pour compléter l’image que j’en ai», reprenait, au moment de parler de son nouveau club, celui qui a fait des études en lien avec la science et la médecine du sport à l’université de Francfort. Partager Qui est-il ?last_img read more

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