In rare move, Brazil’s Temer ups conserved lands by 282,000 hectares

first_imgPresident Temer announced the expansion of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, Goiás; the Taim Ecological Station, Rio Grande do Sul; and the Biological Reservation Union, in Rio de Janeiro; along with the creation of Ferruginous Fields National Park, Pará — increasing conserved lands by more than 282,000 hectares.Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park sees the biggest expansion, increasing from 65,000 hectares (251 square miles) to 240,000 hectares (927 square miles). Its protection is seen as vital to the preservation of biodiversity in the Cerrado, where only 3 percent of land is federally protected.The protection of 282,000 hectares comes as Temer and Congress finalize plans to reduce the National Park of Jamanxim and National Forest of Jamanxim by 587,000 hectares (2,266 square miles) — an Amazon land deal criticized by conservationists and expected to benefit the agribusiness lobby that helped put Temer in power. Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in December 2016. The expanded park will protect unique upland Cerrado flora and fauna. Photo by Marcelo Camargo / Agência BrasilIn the midst of a delicate political moment, Brazilian president Michel Temer signed a decree last Monday, on World Environment Day, expanding three federally protected parks, and creating a new one — the Ferruginous Fields National Park, in Pará state.Conservation gains total 282,000 hectares (1,089 square miles) for Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, in Goiás state; the Taim Ecological Station, located on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul; and the Biological Reservation Union, in Rio de Janeiro.“The adopted measures reveal that our government holds fiscal, social and environmental responsibilities as part of its values,” said Temer during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia. “We even increased the forest concessions [slated] for sustainable management and partnered with the private sector to promote tourism in these areas.”Applause by conservationists for the enlarged public lands is likely to be tempered by two provisional measures forwarded by Temer (MP756 and MP758) and passed by Congress in May to reduce the National Park of Jamanxim and National Forest of Jamanxim by 587,000 hectares (2,266 square miles) — an Amazon land deal expected to benefit the bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby that helped put Temer in power. The President has yet to make a final decision on these park reductions.President Michel Temer during a ceremony in celebration of World Environment Day, in Brasília, June 5, 2017. Photo by Antônio Cruz courtesy of Agência BrasilConservation gains for the CerradoChapada dos Veadeiros National Park will see the biggest expansion according to Temer’s declaration, increasing from 65,000 hectares (251 square miles) to 240,000 hectares (927 square miles). This represents a positive historical reversal for the park; it was created in 1961 with 625,000 hectares (2,413 square miles), but suffered successive reductions over the decades.The national park’s enlargement comes at an opportune time: The Cerrado where it is located is one of the most threatened Brazilian biomes, with the least federally protected land — only about 3 percent.“It is an achievement that must be celebrated in the face of the numerous proposals to reduce the country’s biodiversity today,” said Mariana Napolitano, WWF-Brazil sciences coordinator, to Mongabay.The park’s expansion comes after considerable work. “It was a five-year negotiation between different spheres of government, including the Public Ministry’s office, as well as representatives of civil society and agribusiness entities,” revealed Napolitano. In December, WWF-Brazil started a campaign with the Pro-Conservation Unit Coalition for the immediate expansion of the park. A petition with 7,000 signatures was delivered to president Temer last week, just before his decision to approve the expansion.Map showing the current size, and the expansion of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park. Graphic courtesy of WWF-BrazilWhile the final decision belonged with the federal government, state endorsement was required too. And at first, Goiás resisted, wanting only 90,000 hectares (347 square miles) to be added to the park. “It was a very fragmented proposal; the park would have [had] a discontinuous design, with holes and patches,” said Napolitano. “The state’s idea didn’t make ecological sense and would [have resulted in] difficulties for the conservation of the biome.”The unit’s new configuration, as approved by Temer, will be for a continuous 222,000 hectares (857 square miles), which includes the previous area enclosed by the park, as well as a smaller piece of 18,000 hectares (69 square miles) in the Monkey River region. Both are divided by the BR-239 highway.The new territories of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park have no agribusiness potential, and so their preservation was not seriously resisted by the agribusiness lobby which holds strong sway over the Temer government. “There was more interest from the real estate sector; residents of Brasília [143 miles away] wanted to build vacation homes in the region,” said the WWF-Brazil coordinator.The park expansion is expected to not only help protect the Cerrado, but to also offer a boost to the local economy via tourism — Veadeiros saw 60,000 visitors in 2016, and is one of the most visited parks in Goiás. The area is home to endangered species, such as the Near Threatened jaguar (Panthera onca) and Critically Endangered Brazilian merganser (Mergus octosetaceus); it’s also an important water source with hundreds of springs and rivers.A glittering-bellied emerald hummingbird (Chlorostilbon lucidus) near the Taim Ecological Station. Photo by Scheridon licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licenseMore protected landsCreated in 1979, the coastal Taim Ecological Station, on the border with Uruguay, will be expanded by 22,000 hectares (85 square miles), and grow to 32,700 hectares (126 square miles) in total. The preserve is an important stopover for migratory birds traveling between the Northern Hemisphere and Patagonia.In Rio de Janeiro, the Biological Reservation Union, established in 1998, had its area increased from 2,500 hectares (9.6 square miles) to 8,600 hectares (33 square miles). The preserve includes small remnants of the Atlantic Forest, home to the endangered golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), but the park is far from pristine; It is crossed by the BR-101 highway, a railroad and Petrobras pipelines.The new Ferruginous Fields National Park, in Pará state, was born last Monday with 79,029 hectares (305 square miles) in the municipalities of Parauapebas and Canaã dos Carajás. The region possesses one of the largest mineral reserves on the planet and the park is covered by forest and savanna. The creation and protection of the park will be supported by the Vale mining company, which operates in the area.At his World Environment Day presentation, President Temer also signed a resolution affirming the Paris Climate Agreement as now being part of the rule of law in Brazil. According to the Ministry of Environment, the Brazilian government is working, with the possibility of concluding this year, an initial draft of its national implementation and financing strategy for the Paris Agreement.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.A Golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia). Photo by su neko under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license Article published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Avoided Deforestation, Biodiversity, Conservation, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Protected Areas, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

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Panama: the ranching industry has moved into Darién National Park

first_imgCattle Ranching, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Protected Areas Darién is known as the “forgotten province” in Panama. There is very little presence of government institutions in the province, which borders Colombia.Conservationists, as well as Panama’s Ministry of the Environment, are especially concerned about Darién National Park in light of the fact that the ranching industry has expanded to some parts of the park, such as Punta Garachiné.One cause of the expansion is related to settlement by small farmers who convert the land into pastures in order to later sell them to landowners.The Ministry of the Environment has drafted a bill that proposes the creation of forestry incentives to promote conservation. The legislative initiative establishes a fund of 15 million dollars annually to incentivize the development of conservation or recuperation projects for damaged areas DARIÉN PROVINCE, Panama – David Ramos’ ranch is in the community of Salodio, in Darién Province, in the eastern part of Panama.  From there, one can observe Darién National Park, a natural reserve that has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).A one-lane cobblestone street, originating in Garachiné, brings you towards Ramos’ ranch.  Garachiné, a town bordering the Pacific Ocean, can only be accessed via boat or air travel.  It is a town of fishers and ranchers, and some of them have ranches that share a border with the protected area.The drive from Garachiné to Salodio takes about 40 minutes. It’s a repetitive trip; both sides of the road are filled with endless pastures. Some of the pastures are filled with cattle, and others are just improved pasture or weeds that have evolved in relation to the use of genetically modified seeds.Ramos, who is almost 70 years old, came to Darién 30 years ago from Veraguas, in central Panama, where he had five hectares of land and nine children to support. Thirty years ago, the country was governed by a military dictatorship; since then, large landowners have begun to take control of the country, with the exception of Darién. “There was no longer any land to work with,” remembers Ramos.  In 1987, he decided to move to Darién Province. He now owns 219 hectares and 130 cattle.David Ramos is one of the small ranchers of the community of Salodio, in Garachiné.  Darién National Park can be seen from his ranch.  Photo by José Arcia for Mongabay“I needed land that I could farm in order to feed my children, because in Veraguas, there wasn’t any,” he says.  Darién has become the destination for small farmers who haven’t been able to find enough land to farm in central Panama.  Ramos started with 19 hectares, which were cultivated and later converted into pastures for cattle. Over time, he acquired more land until he eventually reached the 219 hectares that he currently owns, 40 of which are still forested. Ramos says that, at the moment, he hasn’t thought about converting those 40 hectares into pastures, but he also doesn’t guarantee that the forest will not be cut down in the future.“My ranch doesn’t affect [Darién National Park] because it’s far away,” he says. Ramos’ land borders other ranches that, in turn, are inside the protected area’s buffer zone.However, the small farmer recognizes that in recent years, deforestation in the agricultural area has increased —and that ranching has moved into Darién National Park.A ranch in the community of Salodio, Garachiné, with Darién National Park in the background.  Photo by José Arcia for MongabayThe ranching industry in numbersDarién is known as the “forgotten province” in Panama. There is very little presence of government institutions in the province, which also borders Colombia. This longstanding absence has allowed the hoarding of wooded areas and their subsequent devastation. With time, protected areas like Canglón and Filo del Tallo —which form part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, which also includes Darién National Park— were converted into pastures.Conservationists, as well as Panama’s Ministry of the Environment, are especially concerned about Darién National Park in light of the fact that the ranching industry has expanded to some parts of the park, such as Punta Garachiné.An aerial view of Punta Garachiné, one of the areas of Darién National Park affected by the devastation caused by ranching.  Photo by Líder Sucre.Historically, the majority of ranching development in Panama has been in the western central region.  Until 2000, the primary sector, which includes agricultural activity, was one of the most important sectors in Panama; small farmers have been displaced by large landowners. In Darién Province, many small farmers, like Ramos, saw an opportunity to obtain land for agricultural development as well as ranching. Because of this, Darién has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of cattle in the last few decades.The latest figures from the Comptroller General of the Republic of Panama, the organization responsible for processing the country’s statistics, date back to 2011. That year, the number of head of cattle more than doubled in Darién Province, reaching 184,000. This represents a 118.6 percent increase compared to the figure from 10 years prior (2001), when there were only around 84,000 cattle. In other words, during this period, the number of cattle in Darién Province increased by over 100,000, demonstrating the largest increase in ranching activity in the country. Meanwhile, in the central provinces of Los Santos and Herrera, ranching activity diminished. Historically, these provinces had some of the highest numbers of ranches in the country.  In fact, those native to the region were known as the “great devastators of the country.”A cloud of smoke near Darién National Park. The farmers from the communities bordering the protected area use slash-and-burn agriculture, and later convert the land into pastures. Photo by José Arcia for Mongabay“About 15 years ago, the ranching industry began to develop extensively in Darién. Before, families had small parcels and a few cattle,” remarked Rogelio Sambrano, president of the Alliance for a Better Darién (AMEDAR).Government entities don’t have data about the number of hectares that have been converted to pastures. However, experts believe that the number of hectares is large compared to the number of cattle. The government has begun to look for an alternative to the expansion of ranching in the region.The number of hectares that Ramos has compared to the number of cattle brings us close to this reality.  If his 40 forested hectares are subtracted from his total of 219 , Ramos has 179 hectares of pasture. This means that he has about 1.4 cattle per hectare, taking into account that he owns 130 cattle in all.For the ranchers of the area, there is nothing sinful about maintaining that enormous difference between the number of hectares of pastures versus the number of heads of cattle. However, for conservationists, it represents a danger for Darién National Park. “The farmers make pastures to rent out because they know that that means economic income,” says Sambrano.Part of the cause of the expansion of the ranching industry is related to the settlement of the land by small farmers, who convert the land into pastures in order to later sell them to landowners. Manuel Zárate is an environmental hydraulic engineer and social activist who has analyzed the agricultural history of the country. He explains that this phenomenon has caused the devastation of forested areas and, specifically in Darién, the penetration of the protected area.Land settlement by small farmers is the starting point for deforestation in Darién Province.  Photo by José Arcia for MongabayThe government recognizes possessory rights —that is, the farmers work the land and have the right to the use of that land, which the landowners take advantage of because they stop buying those possessory rights, which are later turned into property rights. This way, the farmer leads the way cutting down the forest while the big ranchers are accumulating the land. That vicious cycle of colonization has caused ranchers to move on into Darién National Park, says Zárate.“In the end it’s a process of landowner settlement because the farmers only have the possessory right, but the big [landowners] acquire the property rights,” he claims.Additionally, it has sometimes been the case that small farmers convert the land into pastures in order to rent them out to large ranchers and later stop selling them, and the deforestation continues.  This is a reality that is accepted by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of the Environment, Félix Wing.“It has been a historic practice in the country, and in the specific case of Darién, it’s worse because this ancestral practice has damaged the park,” said the official.What needs to be done in Darién Province?Environmentalists worry even more because those native to the Emberá Wounaan region, which borders Darién National Park, have also begun to take up ranching, claims Líder Sucre, an environmental activist who has traveled throughout the protected area.The Comptroller General’s statistics reaffirm the fears of conservationists. The natives—to whom property rights do not apply, but rather the principle of collective land—went from owning 637 cattle in 2001 to owning 1,369 in 2011. This is an increase of 114.9 percent, according to the state.“The natives have gotten into ranching—not on a large scale, but they are doing it,” says Didier Martínez, a rancher native to Garachiné.Didier Martínez is a rancher from Garachiné. He says that his ranch is distant from the protected area, but he recognizes that the ranching industry’s growth puts the area at risk. Photo by José Arcia for MongabayWing recognizes that because the ranching industry has been able to expand into the protected area, it is one of the factors that has had the greatest effect on Darién National Park. This “was the fault” of past administrations, especially between 2009 and 2014, when former entrepreneur Ricardo Martinelli was president.Wing added that Darién National Park has not had enough forest rangers to supervise the entire forest reserve. Additionally, there isn’t enough communication equipment throughout the entire park, nor is there an appropriate uniform.When Panama’s current president, Juan Carlos Varela, took office in July 2014, there were 190 forest rangers who covered all of Panama’s protected areas. In the almost three years since then, that number has increased to 255. Twenty-three of them are in Darién National Park, which covers 575,000 hectares. While the Ministry of the Environment could not specify exactly how many forest rangers controlled the protected area up until July 2014, Wing points out that the number “had been reduced to its very lowest.”It’s evident, he added, that because of the lack of presence of forest rangers, people have taken advantage of the protected area. “Not all farmers have the conscience to protect the park,” concluded Ramos.Darién National Park extends over 579,000 hectares. Photo courtesy of the Panama’s Ministry of the EnvironmentThe Ministry of the Environment was created during the current administration, replacing the National Authority of the Environment (ANAM), an organization that was affiliated with the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.“We know that ANAM lost its strength during the previous administration and this allowed the devastation of protected areas not only in Darién, but also in other parts of the country,” said Wing. Before his position in the Ministry of the Environment, he was a lawyer with ties to environmental groups.Wing also mentioned structural problems that have allowed for the expansion of ranching, to the detriment of the forests. “The transformation of forests into agricultural land for ranching guarantees that big and small farmers will have access to loans from [the National Bank of Panama and the Bank of Agricultural Development],” says Wing.Only when forested areas are turned into pastures do they become valuable for financial institutions.  Photo by José Arcia for MongabayThis problem came to light during the consultations that the Ministry of the Environment has held for Darién’s management plan. The problem is rooted in the fact that the banks don’t recognize the value of forests when they’re giving out loans to agriculturalists and ranchers, Wing says. He stresses that funding the agricultural sector is conditioned to the production of land, whether it be for cultivating agricultural products or for ranching.Bank managers, added Wing, claim that the “deformation” [referring to the structural problems of the banking system that allowed cattle expansion] is in the system in order to award loans, because in the bank’s process of evaluating land for a loan, forests barely have any value. “The problem is that forests don’t guarantee the return of the loan,” says Wing.The old Agricultural Code of the country even considered forests to be idle or uncultivated land, added Wing amusedly.Banks generally assume that the only lands that do guarantee value are those that have been transformed. By this perspective, forests just don’t have that value to assure the return of the loan, explains Zárate, the environmental engineer and agricultural expert. “A farmer with possessory rights [to the land] has more opportunity to agree to a financing than someone who owns land covered in forest, because the land is going to produce more,” added Zárate.This is the type of practice that conservationists and the Ministry of the Environment want to put the brakes on in order to guarantee that the ranching industry doesn’t keep encroaching on protected areas like Darién National Park—especially Punta Garachiné. This is the home of the last dry forest relict in the protected area, which is the most important in the country. Punta Garachiné is an entrance to the park via the ocean. According to environmentalist Líder Sucre, it’s where the reserve’s protection efforts should be focused because there, the tropical dry forest ecosystem and the coastal marine ecosystem mix together.The ranching industry has reached this area. Evaristo Lay is one of two general medical doctors who works at Garachiné Health Center, and is native to the province. In 1976—after having studied medicine in Mexico—he acquired 150 hectares of land to develop a ranch. Four years later in 1980, Darién National Park was established; according to UNESCO, it is the largest protected area in Panama as well as the most valuable in Central America.Evaristo Lay is one of two doctors at Garachiné Health Center.  Photo by José Arcia for MongabayThe international organization describes the protected area of Darién National Park as a “property with an exceptional variety of ecosystems and habitats—coastal, lowland, and mountainous.” The protected area also includes a beach, located on Punta Garachiné.Lay’s ranch reaches the beach; however, he claims that he has only been able to take advantage of half of his ranch (about 77 hectares) given that the other half of the property is situated within the national park.Lay claims that he respects the protected area, but he also regrets that he hasn’t been able to use the rest of his land. Because his land borders Punta Garachiné’s beach, he not only wanted to develop his ranch, but also inspire a project to promote tourism.The auction and the proposal to incentivize the forestsMartínez, one of Garachiné’s other ranchers, recognizes that the ranching industry is developing in all the communities that border the national park. He focuses on the community of Cerro Naipe, where he claims that 80 percent of inhabitants are ranchers.A farmer’s home in a weakening area of Darién National Park. Photo by José Arcia for MongabayMartínez owns 21 hectares and 30 cattle, but he claims that his ranch doesn’t affect the park because it’s far away. He explains that in the past few years, meat consumption has increased because Garachiné’s population has gotten bigger. Ranchers have a secure market for putting their cattle up for sale, compared to previous decades.He is referring to the cattle auction that takes place in Metetí, an area that has been converted into the “economic capital” of Darién because of the urban growth of the past few years. From Metetí, Garachiné can only be reached by boat. Ranchers who take their cattle to the auction come together in order to defray the cost of the trip. In Martínez’s opinion, there are about 70 ranchers in Garachiné —which is a small village in Chepigana District—and, as a group, the ranchers sacrifice up to three cattle each week for the local market in Garachiné. The price of cattle at the auction varies depending on the type of animal: bulls sell for up to $2.20 per pound, cows sell for up to $1.90 per pound and calves sell for up to $2.80 per pound. The price for the consumer can exceed four dollars per pound.“Our best market is the cattle auction in Metetí. Lots of ranchers come together in order to move the cattle in a barge that can fit up to 100 cattle,” says Martínez. The boat ride goes up to Puerto Quimba, at which point the people spread out to different water routes in order to get to the islands or other communities in Darién Province that aren’t accessible via land. Puerto Quimba is half an hour away from Metetí.Sucre, the environmental activist, expressed his concern about Punta Garachiné upon considering the fact that “it plays a fundamental role in the ecological balance of the entire park.”Dry forests, like those in Punta Garachiné, have the distinctive feature of being areas filled with food for predatory animals, like the puma. Also, they have ecosystems that are rich in plant life, with some species yet to be discovered.“If the forested area of [Punta Garachiné] were in another part of the country, it wouldn’t have the same ecological value because it wouldn’t be connected to other types of forests, like humid forests.  That characteristic can only be found in Darién National Park,” explains Sucre.The runway in the town of Garachiné. In the background is a mountain that forms part of Darién National Park. From this town, different parts of the protected area can be accessed. Photo by José Arcia for MongabayVarious environmental groups have worked to conserve the area’s forests, plus the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which has allocated funds to kickstart conservation projects. Ranchers like Martínez recognize that the work of non-governmental organizations and people has had a positive effect. They have helped improve ranching production systems and helped people to understand the importance of conserving the park.The Ministry of the Environment has drafted a bill that proposes the creation of forestry incentives to promote conservation. The proposal was presented before the National Assembly (Congress) on March 10th; however, at this point it has not yet been discussed in the Assembly.The legislative initiative establishes a fund of $15 million annually to incentivize the development of conservation or recuperation projects for damaged areas. “With this fund, producers will have a source of income to conserve forested areas and recuperate other areas,” says Wing.Darién National Park, Boca de Cupe. Photo courtesy of the Panama’s Ministry of the EnvironmentThis story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on May 07, 2017. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Romina Castagninolast_img read more

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First ‘intrusions’ into unbroken forests drive pulses of biodiversity loss

first_imgThe study examined ‘initial intrusions’ into tropical forests and their effect on the threat status of species.The researchers found that deforestation at current rates in high-priority areas such as Borneo, the Congo Basin, and the Amazon could push 121 to 219 species closer to extinction in the next 30 years.While the authors point out that their conclusions are not a call to protect only intact landscapes, the data could help policymakers working with limited resources to decide where to place new protected areas. The first bursts of deforestation in tropical areas can push a lot of species – more so than previously though – closer to extinction due to the loss of habitat, as well as activities that often follow such as hunting, farming, and mining.That’s the conclusion of a study led by Matthew Betts, a landscape ecologist at Oregon State University. Betts and his team looked at how rates of forest loss impact the threat status of amphibians, birds, and mammals, and their conclusions point to the importance of safeguarding “intact landscapes.”“Our results show that some of the first places we should be trying to slow those rates are in landscapes that are quite contiguous,” Betts said in an interview. The team published their research in the July 27 issue of the journal Nature.The Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah together lost around 66,800 hectares (258 square miles) from their intact forest landscapes between 2000 and 2013. The results of this study identified the island of Borneo, along with the Congo Basin and the Amazon, as high-priority areas where the loss of biodiversity from continued deforestation could be substantial. Data from the University of Maryland visualized on Global Forest Watch.The findings run counter to what many biologists have figured about the way deforestation rates impact species.“A lot of the theory would indicate that, really, we should be most concerned about habitat loss when the total amount of forest or habitat drops below some critical threshold,” he said, often indicated as a percentage of forest loss. “Generally, it’s thought that that threshold is pretty low.”In other words, the focus is often on protecting areas that already bear the signs of human use. The thought is that many species can survive mild losses of habitat, so long as their homes don’t disappear altogether.But when Betts and his colleagues looked at how the species’ threat statuses had changed since 2000, they found that the “initial intrusion” into places with 90 percent or more forest cover was more destructive than anticipated. In those areas, the chance that a species would become more threatened as a result of the loss was much higher than in areas with middling amounts of forest.That discovery is evidence that the first pulses of destruction force many species through what scientists call an “extinction filter,” Betts said.“In hindsight, it makes sense,” he added, “in that the first species we lose are the ones that are the most specialized and the most sensitive to development.”A rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros), an IUCN-listed Near Threatened species in Malaysia. The researchers found that the initial forest loss from intact forests increases the chances that threat levels for birds, amphibians and mammals will rise. Photo by John C. Cannon.The team leveraged the data from satellite imagery on tree cover loss and gain compiled by ecologist Matt Hansen’s team at the University of Maryland, focusing on intact forest landscapes. IFLs, for short, are “unbroken” areas of forest at least 500 square kilometers (193 square miles) in size that are visibly devoid of signs of human use.To track wildlife populations, Betts and his colleagues looked at the ranges of nearly 19,500 animals, about 23 percent of which are listed as threatened, using IUCN’s Red List and databases compiled by Birdlife International and NatureServe.The analysis revealed several hotspots – notably the central Amazon, the Congo Basin and the island of Borneo – as places where 121 to 219 species could become threatened in the next 30 years if we continue to lose forests at current rates.For Malaysian Borneo in particular, satellite data from the University of Maryland show few IFLs were left as of 2000. And many of those that do remain were heavily degraded between 2000 and 2013.Betts said his presentation of the research on Monday at the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Cartagena, Colombia, “raised eyebrows” – which isn’t too far from his own initial reaction to the findings.“It was a little surprising to me to see that rapid rates of forest loss at the high end of forest amount were far more important,” he said.A Critically Endangered bonobo (Pan paniscus) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Early deforestation from high-forest cover areas puts pressure on biodiversity, the research shows. Photo by John C. Cannon.Still, Betts cautioned against drawing simple conclusions from these results.“It should not be, ‘Let’s just maintain intact forest landscapes and let the rest go to hell,’” he said.Wiping out all of the habitat in degraded areas would also predictably send species tumbling toward extinction, Betts said.This research could, however, provide additional information that might help conservationists and policymakers with the tough decisions they face about where to protect forested habitats.It also shows that opportunities exist for protection that could result in saving more species. The researchers report that less than 18 percent of the high-priority areas they identified in South America, Africa, and Asia are protected at all, and only about 9 percent qualify as having “strict protection” under IUCN guidelines.“The ideal would just be to do that across the world, everywhere,” Betts said. “But given limited resources and the need for forest products, we need to think about where we should be trying to slow those rates of forest loss.”CITATIONSBetts, M. G., Wolf, C., Ripple, W. J., Phalan, B., Millers, K. A., Duarte, A., … & Levi, T. (2017). Global forest loss disproportionately erodes biodiversity in intact landscapes. Nature.Greenpeace, University of Maryland, World Resources Institute and Transparent World. “Intact Forest Landscapes. 2000/2013” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on 27 July 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgBanner image of Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) in Peru by Rhett A. Butler.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannon Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Adaptation, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Rainforest, Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Birds, Conservation, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forest Loss, Forests, Gfrn, Global Forest Reporting Network, Global Forest Watch, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Hunting, Iucn, Logging, Mammals, Mining, Old Growth Forests, Parks, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforests, Remote Sensing, Satellite Imagery, Threats To Rainforests, Threats To The Amazon, Trees, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

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Four new toads discovered in Sumatra

first_imgPhilautus ventrimaculatus. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs. Scientists discovered four new species of toads who, unlike their cousins, live isolated in the highlands of Sumatra.The four toads are distinguishable from one another by their skin patterns, limb shapes and voices.In the wake of the discovery, one of the researchers called on the Indonesian government to strengthen the monitoring of harvesting quotas for toad exports so that scientists can keep track of its population in the wild. BOGOR, Indonesia — Scientists described four new toads from the hills of Sumatra, adding to the island’s already astounding biodiversity.The discoveries mark the first Sumatran additions to the Philautus genus of shrub frogs since the early 20th century. Several were described in the Western Ghats of India in 2009.The researchers published their findings in Herpetological Monographs last month. They hail from the University of Brawijaya in Indonesia, and the University of Texas at Arlington and Broward College in the U.S.Specimens of the newly described species — Philautus amabilis, Philautus polymorphus, Philautus thamyridion and Philautus ventrimaculatus — were collected from 2013 to 2015 in jungles over 1,000 meters above sea level.As in the rest of Indonesia, the forests of Sumatra are full of unknown creatures, but are rapidly dwindling as industry expands, especially in the agriculture and mining sectors. Globally, scientists believe that more than 80 percent of species remain undiscovered.Maps showing the distribution of the Sumatran Philautus genus. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs.The four toads differ from one another in their skin patterns, limb shapes and voices.The last name of Philautus amabilis derives from a Latin word meaning “charming” or “pretty.” For the scientists, this defines the toad’s bright brown back and the dark lines that appear on its arms, thighs, hind legs and outer fingers.The name Philautus polymorphus was inspired by its variety of colors and patterns, but the animal is recognizable by the cone-shaped bumps on its eyelids. Article published by Basten Gokkon Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, New Species, Rainforests, Species Discovery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Philautus thamyridion. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs. Philautus amabilis. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs. 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 1234 read more

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Indonesian president recognizes land rights of nine more indigenous groups

first_imgCommunity Development, Community Forestry, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Reform, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforests Indonesian President Joko Widodo last month gave several indigenous communities back the land rights to the forests they have called home for generations.The total amount of customary forests relinquished to local groups under this initiative remains far short of what the government has promised, and looks unlikely to be fulfilled before the next presidential election in 2019.At a recent conference in Jakarta, a senior government official said the president would sign a decree to help more communities secure rights. JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has relinquished control over nine tracts of forest to the indigenous communities that have lived there for generations, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced at a recent conference on land tenure in Jakarta.The move follows the government’s recognition last December of nine other communities’ rights to their ancestral forests, in line with a 2013 decision by Indonesia’s highest court that removed indigenous peoples’ customary forests from under state control.“The spirit of agrarian reform and community forestry program is how lands and forests, as part of natural resources in Indonesia, can be accessed by the people, and provide economic justice and welfare for the people,” the president said in a speech to open the conference on Oct. 25.President Jokowi hands over a land certificate to a representative of an indigenous group on Oct. 25. Photo courtesy of Indonesia’s Cabinet Secretary.The nine newly designated “customary forests,” or hutan adat in Indonesian, cover a combined 33.4 square kilometers (13 square miles), on the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi.The move is consistent with Jokowi’s campaign pledge to give indigenous and other rural communities greater control over 127,000 square kilometers of land, which helped him earn the first-ever presidential endorsement of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) ahead of the 2014 election.Three years into his presidency, however, the program is running behind schedule. The administration has rezoned just 10,800 square kilometers of community forests, of which 164 square kilometers are customary forests, according to data from the Presidential Staff Office. The latter figure includes the nine customary forests the administration recognized at the beginning of the year and the nine last month.Dozens of other indigenous communities are hoping to secure rights to their ancestral lands, too. The day after Jokowi’s speech, three groups from Enrekang district in South Sulawesi province submitted their own proposals to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The proposed customary forests there would cover 4.04 square kilometers.“The government hasn’t really been performing in making this promise happen,” AMAN researcher Arman Mohammad said.Indigenous groups in Enrekang district, South Sulawesi province, submitted on Oct. 26 a proposal to the Indonesian government to obtain rights to their forests. Photo by Wahyu Chandra/Mongabay Indonesia.AMAN has mapped out 19,000 square kilometers of land, home to 607 indigenous communities, which it says must be rezoned as customary forests. These groups have already obtained the required documents from district and provincial governments for state recognition of their rights, Arman said.The official recognition last month represented just a fraction of what AMAN had proposed, he said.As the agrarian reform conference wrapped up, a senior official said the president would issue a decree by year’s end to help indigenous groups like that in Enrekang obtain control of their forests. Yanuar Nugroho, a deputy at the Presidential Staff Office, told reporters that the decree would lay out the framework for regulation, bureaucracy and accountability.Details of the decree were not immediately available. However, Yanuar said at the time that one of the key points was to iron out overlapping authorities between related ministries.For instance, he said, the environment ministry would concentrate on recognizing land rights inside forests, while the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning would oversee those outside forests. Currently, the matter is handled by those two ministries as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Villages, Underdeveloped Regions and Transmigration.“The country is returning sovereignty to the people, and I believe this program for community forestry and agrarian reform is the spearhead,” Yanuar said.Some observers welcomed the promise of a decree, saying it would help streamline the process for indigenous communities in obtaining state approval of their land rights.“There should be a single agency focusing on the land reform program so that the people don’t get confused,” said Dewi Kartika, general secretary of the Agrarian Reform Consortium, an NGO.Arman called on the government to involve NGOs in drawing up the decree in order for it to be effective once implemented on the ground.Momonus, chief of the Dayak Iban indigenous group in West Kalimantan province. For years, the group has been in conflict with a major oil palm company in Indonesia. Photo by Basten Gokkon/Mongabay.But even with a decree in place, the government may miss its target.Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar noted at the conference that the government would only realistically be able to approve a total 43,800 square kilometers, just over a third of the promised total, for community forestry schemes by 2019, when President Jokowi will stand for re-election.To achieve even that pared-down goal, the minister called on local governments to accommodate indigenous groups, who depend on district chiefs and local legislatures to issue decrees that recognize them as indigenous.“We must now push for getting more areas that will potentially be appointed as customary lands in order to reduce conflicts,” Siti said on the sidelines of the conference.Observers say the Jokowi administration’s actions and policies in general have failed to resolve land conflicts, which have led to the wrongful eviction of indigenous communities from their homes over the years.“The locations that the government has been targeting so far are not the ones with agrarian conflicts or where there are overlapping claims between local communities,” Dewi said.She added that policies issued by the federal government often failed to be implemented at the local level.“A clean and just bureaucracy is our top concern,” said Rukka Sombolinggi, AMAN’s general secretary. “We have trust in the president and the ministries, but not quite in [officials at] the regional levels.”Others also highlighted land conflicts resulting from other government programs, including its flagship infrastructure development projects and issuance of plantation permits. Efforts at land reform have also been criticized for overlooking communities in coastal areas.“The president must take groundbreaking actions so that land reform will truly happen, otherwise it’s just a fake agrarian reform,” Rukka said.A list of the new customary forests, per the Presidential Staff Office:Hutan Adat Tawang Panyai (Sekadau district, West Kalimantan province, 0.4 square kilometers)Hutan Adat Marena (Sigi district, Central Sulawesi province, 7.6 square kilometers)Hutan Adat Batu Kerbau (Bungo district, Jambi province, 3.2 square kilometers)Hutan Adat Belukar Panjang (Bungo district, Jambi province, 3.3 square kilometers)Hutan Adat Bukit Bujang (Bungo district, Jambi province, 2.2 square kilometers)Hutan Adat Hemaq Beniung (West Kutai district, East Kalimantan province, 0.5 square kilometers)Hutan Adat Baru Pelepat (Bungo district, Jambi province, 8.2 square kilometers)Hutan Adat Bukit Pintu Koto (Merangin district, Jambi province, 2.8 square kilometers)Hutan Adat Rimbo Penghulu Depati Gento Rajo (Merangin district, Jambi province, 5.3 square kilometers)Banner image: An indigenous Dani man in Indonesia’s Papua region, one of the most linguistically diverse regions in the world. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Basten Gokkoncenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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On a Philippine island, indigenous groups take the fight to big palm oil

first_imgAgriculture, Environment, Featured, Forests, Green, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations Banner image: Larry Arcuyo, Chairman of the Aramaywan Farmer’s multi-purpose cooperative, holds up a handful of palm oil kernel. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay. Please contact the author if you’re interested in republishing any images in this story: rod.harbinson@yahoo.comFeedback: 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. Many Palawan indigenous communities say they have suffered unfair land acquisition or lease arrangements for oil palm plantations. The situation hit a peak around 2007, when palm oil company Agumil Philippines promoted palm oil around the island as a miracle get-rich-quick crop.Many tribal landowners leased or sold parcels of land to Agumil. Those who leased said they were provided loans from the government-run Land Bank of the Philippines, negotiated by Agumil, to clear the land and plant oil palm saplings. Title deeds to the leased land were lodged with the bank as collateral against the loans, where they remain.Today the plantations are producing plentiful bunches of oil palm fruit. Still, landowners say they have yet to see any financial returns on their leased land. The problem all cite is that the loans came with crippling 14 percent annual interest rates, which left the original loan amounts inflating out of control. The terms of the lease contracts also stipulate that ongoing operational and managements costs be subtracted from the loan and harvest income.Now tribal groups are fighting back on multiple fronts. A tribal representative in the municipality of Rizal recently won a mayoral election. The re-elected mayor of neighboring Brooke’s Point has also pledged a halt to more oil palm plantations. Three of the seven municipalities in southern Palawan have now placed limitations on oil palm cultivation. The sandy path from the village of bamboo houses winds down through the coconut palms, which gives way to mangroves growing along the muddy shoreline. The seven elders inspect their fishing boats. Hand-built using timber from their communal forest, the small craft have bamboo outriggers to keep them stable in the open sea.The Sarong community on the island of Palawan in the Philippines has for generations been living a similar way of life from the forest, cultivated fields, stands of coconut and fishing. But a few years ago, in 2012, their lives were turned upside down when they noticed that their communal forest was being logged and cleared without any consultation, let alone their permission.“A contractor coming from another barangay [village] was clearing the land,” says Romeo L. Japson, who grew up in the community.Community members say the company responsible then went on to plant oil palm saplings on 200 hectares (500 acres) of their ancestral land. They add that now, every time they pass by the plantation, they’re reminded of how their community forest was razed. To this day they are bitter that the situation persists and they have no redress.Sarong community members chatting on the porch of a village house, in Southern Palawan. Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.They are not alone, as many other Palawan indigenous communities have also suffered what they see as unfair land acquisition or lease arrangements for oil palm plantations. The situation hit a peak around 2007, when palm oil company Agumil Philippines promoted palm oil around the island as a miracle get-rich-quick crop. Twenty-five percent Filipino- and 75 percent Malaysian-owned, Agumil is a subsidiary of Agusan Plantations (API) and operates the only palm oil processing plant on Palawan.Now tribal groups are fighting back on multiple fronts. A tribal representative in the municipality of Rizal recently won a mayoral election. The re-elected mayor of neighboring Brooke’s Point has also pledged a halt to more oil palm plantations. Three of the seven municipalities in southern Palawan have now placed limitations on oil palm cultivation.Meanwhile, a growing number of communities are responding to threats to their ancestral domains by pursuing legal recognition of their community land and water resources. Two communities celebrated success in 2018, and at least 12 more claims are in process.Tribal land appropriationMany tribal landowners leased or sold parcels of land to Agumil. Those who leased said they were provided loans from the government-run Land Bank of the Philippines, negotiated by Agumil, to clear the land and plant oil palm saplings. Title deeds to the leased land were lodged with the bank as collateral against the loans, where they remain.“Until now I am riding only in my thongs,” said Mily Saya, landowner and member of the village cooperative in the barangay of Aramaywan. He explains how early company promises of a car and stone house failed to materialize. He says he “has no idea how to get back the land title” for his 4.7 hectares (11.6 acres) from the Land Bank.“I don’t know how big the loan is from the Land Bank,” he says, explaining how the company planted oil palm seedlings on 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of his land but abandoned the rest with no explanation.Mily Saya Landowner and member of the Aramaywan cooperative, leased most of his land to Agumil but has yet to realize any return. Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.In time, the saplings matured and today the plantations are producing plentiful bunches of oil palm fruit. Still, members of the landowner cooperatives say they have yet to see any financial returns on their leased land. The problem all cite is that the loans came with crippling 14 percent annual interest rates, which left the original loan amounts inflating out of control. The terms of the lease contracts also stipulate that ongoing operational and managements costs be subtracted from the loan and harvest income.“You will become a rich man,” Larry Arcuyo says he and other landowners were promised, “before entering into contracts” with Agumil. Arcuyo chairs the Aramaywan farmers’ cooperative, one of 14 such growers’ cooperatives on the island. He says Aramaywan has 26 members who have leased land to Agumil. “There are rich men in Palawan — rich of debt,” he says. “We are praying that someone helps us to resolve that problem.“From the start almost 11 years [ago], the landowners have never seen any money even through the harvesting started eight years ago … Some landowners already died in the meantime,” Arcuyo says. He adds that the price per kilo of palm fruit set by Agumil “is already very low.” Even then, he says, this payment never reaches the farmers who have leased their land to the company; instead, “it is given to the Land Bank for settling the debt,” including for preparation of the land and the initial seedlings. “All decisions regarding finances are controlled by the company,” Arcuyo says.Palm oil fruit harvested from a plantation in Aramaywan community awaits transport to the Agumil processing plant. Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.According to the Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG), a local indigenous organization campaigning for indigenous people’s rights, 9,000 hectares (22,200 acres) in Palawan have been cleared for oil palm plantations, and the government is inviting foreign investors to develop more. Agumil spokesman Eric Ang told Mongabay, “We intend to expand our business in the oil palm industry but for now we are consolidating in Palawan.”CALG says that if rules and regulations had been implemented properly, Agumil would never have been able to develop its plantations in the first place. It claims the Philippines’ Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA Law) has been ignored, and that the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) has failed to implement its Strategic Environmental Plan as required under a 1992 act. The group also says that environmental compliance certificates should never have been issued to palm oil companies by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The department did not respond to an email request to comment from Mongabay.Arbitration between tribes and companyThe Palawan Palm Oil Industry Development Council (PPOIDC), a multi-stakeholder industry body, is seeking a solution to the ongoing disagreements. However, four meetings “resulted in deadlock,” according to the minutes of the most recent meeting, held last November, and an agreement has still not been reached.According to lease agreements obtained by Mongabay, Agumil offered a land rental rate of 17,000 pesos ($333) per hectare for a 10-year period, amounting to 1,000 to 2,000 pesos ($20 to $40) per hectare per year to each landowner. In addition, it offered 200 pesos ($4) per ton for harvested palm fruit.The price of processed palm oil has been dropping in recent months, and on May 31 stood at $563 per metric ton, the sixth-lowest monthly valuation in the past five years.Palm oil from the Agumil processing plant at Maasin is trucked to the port at Brookes Point from where it is shipped to other parts of the Philippines and abroad. Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.It was noted at the PPOIDC meeting that the estimated tonnage of palm oil per hectare was well below that promised to farmers by Agumil at the project initiation. In contrast, the palm oil cooperatives demanded a signing bonus of 20,000 pesos ($400), production sharing of 400 pesos ($8) per metric ton, and land lease rental of 10,000 pesos ($200) per hectare per year.The meeting recommended that Agumil reconsider its offer to the cooperatives and if still no agreement could be reached, the committee should “render a report to the committee on Cooperatives, House of Representatives, and recommend/request Congress to provide legal assistance to the Palm Oil Cooperatives for the filing of appropriate case, a class suit against Agumil.”It also recommended that the “Top management of the Landbank of the Philippines conduct a thorough investigation on the various accounts of the Oil Palm Cooperatives and possibly cooperate with the Oil Palm Cooperatives in filing appropriate legal charges against Agumil.”Back in 2015, only one co-op had already repaid its loan and four were up-to-date with payments and on course for full repayment by 2023. Seven, however, needed loan restructuring and two had defaulted on their repayments. Restructuring in previous meetings had involved interest rate reductions from 14 percent to 7 percent, and the management fee charged by Agumil reduced from 10 percent to between 2.5 and 5 percent.Summing up, board member B.M. Rama said that, “with what had happened to this industry, somebody must be [held] responsible and liable to this problem and that this case should be brought to the proper forum which is the court.”Workers load bunches of palm oil fruit onto a truck bound for the Agumil processing plant at Brookes Point, Palawan. Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.Asked by Mongabay whether Agumil would be improving terms to co-ops in future, Ang said: “There is no change in the terms and conditions of the Lease Agreement entered between the Coops and the Company.” He maintained that the coops are still liable for a start-up 20 percent equity advance, a matter hotly disputed in the meeting. “We are agreeable to an independent audit of the 20 percent equity advance,” Ang said, adding that none of the co-ops had yet initiated the auditing process.The idea that the capital debt of the co-ops be assumed by another entity was recommended by a study commissioned by the government’s Cooperative Development Authority. Ang says this “was explored by the Land Bank of Philippines (LBP) and Agumil.” Such a restructuring scheme has yet to be implemented, and according to Ang, would entail a new company assuming the capital debt and a further loan from the Land Bank along with a “processing agreement with Agumil.”Moratoria stop palm oil plantationsThese days, the tribes are getting organized and pursuing ways to seek justice for their lost earnings. Mobilizing to stem the spread of oil palm plantations in Palawan, groups such as CALG have networked with Palawan’s tribal groups to explain the risks of leasing their land. According to CALG chairman Kemil Motalib, the lessons have been learned and nobody is leasing land to Agumil any longer, though some are selling plots in areas where cultivation is still permitted.There’s another cause for celebration among Palawan’s indigenous communities: the planting of oil palm has been banned in two other provinces in the Philippines, a trend others may follow in the coming months.“No to expansion of palm oil planting in Rizal for five years,” says Kemil, explaining the substance of the moratorium declared by the Rizal municipal government in October 2018. Kemil, who is from the Tagbanwa tribe, said that a year of painstaking lobbying that included frequent meetings with government officials by CALG members and local indigenous people had finally paid off: “After one year the moratorium was signed by the Municipal Mayor of Rizal,” he says. “Agumil cannot question it because that is ordinance. That is the law made by the municipal government.”This sense of victory was reinforced by the election of Rizal’s first indigenous mayor. Otol Odi, a member of the Palaw’an tribe, was won the May 13 election, polling nearly twice his nearest rival. Odi, now in his seventies, attracted widespread support among Rizal’s population of 50,000 with his platform of defending the area’s natural resources from big business.The municipality of Quezon was the first in the Philippines to declare a moratorium on oil palm cultivation, back in 2014. After recent victories, CALG is now pressing for similar moves in the municipalities of Española and Bataraza. When asked by Mongabay whether Agumil would respect the moratoria, Ang said, “We will abide by any rules and regulations imposed by the Government.”Youth and children from Brookes Point hang out on a shipping buoy at the edge of the harbor where palm oil is exported. Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.A further challenge to palm oil companies came from the May 16 re-election of Mary Jean Feliciano as mayor of Brooke’s Point. Despite Agumil being headquartered at Maasin near Brooke’s Point, where its processing plant is located, and using the town’s port facilities for exporting palm oil, Mayor Feliciano has pledged no new oil palm plantations in her region. (She says the two existing plantations can stay for now.) When asked what impact this would have on Agumil’s business, Ang said the company was “not aware of Mayor Feliciano’s pledge.”Recognizing ancestral domain landIn an August 2018 ceremony, ancestral domain titles were awarded to the Tagbanwa tribes in the barangays of Berong and Aramaywan. In all, the titles awarded by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) covered 31,000 hectares (76,600 acres) of territory, comprising 23,000 hectares (56,800 acres) of land and 8,000 hectares (19,800 acres) of ancestral waters.“The forest land is inside the ancestral domain because the forest provides many things, such as honey, rattan, and almaciga [Agathis philippinensis] tree resin,” says Sarong resident Romeo Japson. “They are hunting grounds and provide clean water to drink. There are also natural medicines in the forest that can prevent and cure many illnesses.”A tribal elder from Sarong community in Southern Palawan. Photo by Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.After an application has been filed, it is assessed by the NCIP at the national office in Manila. Here the order is issued for a survey of the area to determine parcel size and boundaries.“Ancestral domain land is the common land of the indigenous peoples. So the indigenous people are claiming their land, no limits to the thousands of hectares that they claimed. They can own that but only communally, not in the name of one person,” Japson says. He adds that marine and mangrove areas can also be applied for under ancestral domain.However, there are hurdles. According to Kemil, it takes at least five years to process an application, with the domains granted to Berong and Aramaywan the result of “12 years hard work.” Part of this is due to the average cost per application of around 1 million pesos ($19,500), which can take a while to amass. Then there’s the issue of capacity.“The NCIP is very stretched as there is only one office in the whole of Palawan and only a few staff,” Kemil says.An indigenous community member from Aramaywan village, Palawan. Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.Despite the obstacles, the number of ancestral domain applications has grown, with 12 currently in the pipeline. CALG has an ambitious program in the works that intends to support three barangays each in the municipalities of Batarazza and Matarazza and six in Quezon, according to Kemil.After years of struggling against the odds for the rights to their land, the indigenous peoples of Palawan appear to be making progress.“Ancestral domain is the only way the Katutubo [indigenous peoples] can protect their rights, their land,” Japson says. “It will decide whether they live freely and whether they maintain their own traditions and culture.“Indigenous people believe if there is a forest, there is food, there is medicine, there is everything else.” Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis 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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Ghana’s government faces pushback in bid to mine biodiversity haven for bauxite

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Governance, Insects, Mammals, Mining, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by terna gyusecenter_img Ghana’s Atewa Forest Reserve is home to dozens of endangered species — as well as a substantial bauxite deposit.Environmental impact assessments have not been completed, and conservationists and local communities reject the plan as a threat to the reserve, which is a noted biodiversity hotspot.The government claims it can mine the forest with minimal damage, yielding 150 million metric tons of bauxite that it will use to pay for a national infrastructure program. ACCRA — “Beginning now, the full-scale exploitation of Ghanaian bauxite resources will commence,” Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said last June. “I am satisfied by what I have been told and what has been demonstrated to me that it is possible for us to get that red matter out without disturbing the wildlife that there is in the Atewa mountains.” The president may be satisfied, but environmentalists and concerned residents in and around Atewa are not.On Jan. 13, Ghanaian environmental NGO A Rocha Ghana went to court in a bid to stop the mining project. Supported by 20 other civil society organizations, A Rocha’s suit claims that mining bauxite in Atewa will violate Ghanaians’ rights to a clean and healthy environment and the protection of the environment for future generations.Chocolate-backed Kingfisher: one of 155 bird species found in the Atewa Forest Reserver. Image by Nik Borrow via Flickr (CC BY-NC-2.0)A treasure of biodiversityThe Atewa forest, 95 kilometers (59 miles) northeast of the capital, Accra, spans 725 square kilometers (280 square miles). Ranging in elevation from 230 to 845 meters (750 to 2,700 feet), the reserve supports a variety of different habitats, including more than 650 species of plants and a rare upland forest ecosystem. The forest is also the source for the Birim, Densu and Ayensu rivers, which provide water for some 5 million people, including residents of the capital.Though Atewa is designated a production forest and has been logged in the past, it is home to many vulnerable and endangered species. The white-naped mangabey (Cercocebus lunulatus) is found here, and what may be the last viable population of the critically endangered Togo slippery frog (Conraua derooi). Among 155 bird species recorded in the reserve are the brown-cheeked hornbill (Bycanistes cylindricus) and the Nimba flycatcher (Melaenornis annamarulae). The reserve also hosts 17 species of rare butterflies, half of which are found nowhere else in Ghana, including the African giant swallowtail (Papilio antimachus), with a wingspan of up to 23 centimeters (9 inches). New species continue to be found here, such as the endemic Atewa dotted border (Mylothris atewa), a butterfly recorded nowhere else, and a new species of hooded spider, Ricinoides atewa.There are about 30 communities — around 50,000 people — in the area. Most residents grow cacao alongside food crops. They also enter the forest in search of bushmeat, snails, honey, mushrooms, and wild fruit.This is where the state-owned Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) is determined to develop a bauxite mine as part of a massive $2 billion infrastructure deal.Hollow promises of protectionIn July 2018, Ghana’s parliament approved an agreement with China’s Sinohydro Corporation Limited to build infrastructure projects including roads, hospitals, landfill sites, and industrial parks. The Master Project Support Agreement will also see the electricity grid extended to more rural communities. Ghana is to pay for these with $2 billion worth of refined bauxite.Thirty-five kilometers of roads have already been constructed in Atewa, linking 53 test drill sites. Map courtesy Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape.In June 2019, GIADEC started clearing access roads to the summit of the Atewa forest to allow test drilling for bauxite deposits it believes amounts to 150 million to 180 million metric tons.The plan to mine in Atewa has been strenuously opposed by environmentalists and local communities. In 2018, NGOs and faith groups walked the 95 km from the forest to the capital to protest the mining plans. More recently, a group calling itself the Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape organized a shorter march. Carrying placards reading “Save Atewa Forest Now” and “Atewa is our heritage,” the protesters marched 9.5 km (6 mi) from the forest to the local municipal seat in Kyebi on Jan. 21.“GIADEC had entered the forest to explore and had drilled 53 points where the mining will take place, with the claim that the mining would take place in the northern part of the forest which will not affect the southern part,” Oteng Adjei, the leader of the group, told journalists. “Interestingly, the water table at the specific place being referred to is such that when you dig 3 meters [10 feet] deep, you will meet water. The bauxite is 6 meters deep [20 feet] and beyond, so the obvious conclusion is that the water will be reached before the bauxite is extracted.”The company insists it will mine the bauxite in such a way that the forest will not be damaged.At a press conference in Accra on Dec. 4 last year, GIADEC’s chief executive officer, Michael Ansah, said a “strip mining approach” would help to reduce noise, dust and the mining footprint.“There are examples of industry best practices where forest reserves have been mined and successfully rehabilitated and GIADEC will draw upon these examples to ensure minimal impact to the environment and the local communities,” he said. “One example where the bauxite mining has been done in a sustainable manner is the jarrah forest in Western Australia.”He said GIADEC would restrict mining near water bodies in the Atewa forest, as well as carefully remove and preserve topsoil for the preservation of the flora and fauna for later rehabilitation of the mining site.Asked about an environmental and social impact assessment for the proposed mine, Ansah told Mongabay that companies that would be awarded the contract to mine the bauxite would be engaging with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ghana Water Resources Commission to do the impact assessment — a key requirement before mining can begin. He confirmed that test drilling has been done and that he expects the companies that will be contracted to mine the forest to be selected before the end of March 2020.“So, who gave GIADEC the permission to enter the Atewa forest and conduct the test drilling?” said Francis Emmanuel Awotwi, a lecturer at the University College of Agricultural and Environmental studies at Bunso, also in the Atewa enclave. Under Ghanaian law, one has to submit a work plan, site and concession plan before a prospecting permit can be granted.Awotwi said he was also unconvinced by GIADEC’s claim that strip mining will protect ecosystems in Atewa.He said the same approach is currently being used at Awaso, in western Ghana, and the outcome has been devastating. There, Awotwi said, the Awa River has been destroyed by the bauxite operations in the area, and people there can’t harvest rainwater because of the dust, adding that many of them are also suffering from respiratory diseases.Regarding the reference to mining in Australia’s jarrah forest, protest leader Adjei pointed out that the rehabilitation model from Western Australia is irrelevant here. “There are hundreds of different type of tree species and animals in the Atewa forest which can only survive in a natural habitat and GIADEC hasn’t shown any effort or roadmap towards preserving them, while it prepares to start the mining operation,” he added.The state-owned aluminium company says it can mine Atewa with damaging it, but conservationists are unconvinced. Image courtesy A Rocha Ghana.Unnecessary sacrificeAwotwi says the estimated 700 million metric tons of bauxite deposits at the Nhyinahin forest reserve alone could produce the $2 billion needed for the Sinohydro deal, without touching the Atewa forest. “We have always known that there is bauxite at Atewa, but governments have come and gone and nobody has touched Atewa because it is a very sensitive area ecologically.”Nhyinahin is part of the Tano-Offin Forest Reserve, in the Ashanti Region. But here, too, there is resistance to bauxite mining. Traditional leaders in the district have petitioned President Akufo-Addo to halt the proposed mining operations, citing lack of consultation from GIADEC.Communities around Atewa have also rejected the assurances being given by GIADEC.“We don’t live in a dreamland anymore and we are not 17th-century Ghanaians,” said Emmanuel Tabi, a local assembly representative. “Where is the environmental impact assessment? What is the roadmap? Let them be serious so that we will take them serious. They can’t just throw anything at us.”Tabi said he fears the worst for people whose livelihoods depend on the forest. “The Atewa Forest Reserve defines our livelihood. So, if anything should happen to the forest, the rainfall pattern will change and our livelihood also change. It will affect everybody living along the line and it is therefore important that the forest is reserved,” he said.Tabi has called on the president, who also comes from the Atewa area, to cancel the proposed mining project and instead turn the forest into a national park.“Nobody is saying that bauxite mining is not good or it won’t give employment or it won’t give Ghana government money,” he said, “but we believe that whatever we will get out of bauxite mining as at today, we equally beg that if we do the alternative, we will get several times what we will get and that will help Ghana today and Ghana tomorrow.”Local assembly representative Emmanuel Tabi: ‘if anything should happen to the forest, the rainfall pattern will change and our livelihoods will also change.’ Image Awudu Salami for Mongabay.Banner image: Foothills of the Atewa forest range. Image by Ahtziri Gonzalez/CIFOR via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)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.last_img read more

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Bob Bertemes a son billet pour les JO de Tokyo

first_imgCes quelques mots ont sûrement résonné dans son esprit, puisque Bob Bertemes va réaliser le plus gros jet de sa jeune carrière. En propulsant son poids à 21,29 m, il frappe un énorme coup. Non seulement il remporte le concours, non seulement il pulvérise son record national (21 m aux championnats d’Europe de Berlin, l’an passé). Mais surtout, en dépassant les 21,10 m demandés par la fédération internationale, il devient le premier athlète luxembourgeois à décrocher son billet pour les prochains JO de Tokyo. Partager Énorme coup En lançant son poids à 21,29m, mercredi à Zenica, Bob Bertemes est devenu le premier Luxembourgeois officiellement qualifié pour les JO. De notre correspondant, Matthieu Bebon Justement, la veille du concours, son entraîneur, Khalid Alqwatti, lui glissait : «Tu peux être huitième pendant le concours, mais il faut se battre jusqu’au dernier jet, car tu peux encore gagner !» Quelle incroyable saison pour Bob Bertemes ! Alors qu’on n’est qu’au début de la période estivale, le lanceur de Belvaux avait déjà remporté l’or aux JPEE au Monténégro avec un très solide 20,57 m avant de faire encore mieux aux Interclubs ce week-end, à Grevenmacher (20,76 m). Avant d’effectuer sa dernière tentative, le cinquième des derniers championnats d’Europe indoor à Glasgow n’avait pas à rougir de sa performance (x – 20,90 m – x – 20,78 m – x). Alors troisième du concours, Bob Bertemes a littéralement lâché les chevaux sur son dernier jet. Sur sa lancée, l’athlète qui s’entraîne désormais à Mannheim, avait choisi de se tester face à une forte concurrence internationale, à l’occasion du meeting de Zenica, en Bosnie. Sur le papier, le Luxembourgeois n’était que le quatrième performeur, mais il lui en fallait bien plus pour se laisser intimider par ses adversaires.last_img read more

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Tour de France : la revanche pour les sprinteurs en Lorraine

first_img“Sur la ligne d’arrivée, les meilleurs devraient être chronométrés à 70 km/h”, prévoit le directeur de course Thierry Gouvenou. Le dernier vainqueur “nancéien” est présent dans le peloton 2019. L’Italien Matteo Trentin avait devancé en 2014 Peter Sagan et Tony Gallopin après un final tumultueux. Le Néerlandais Dylan Groenewegen, pris dans une chute à Bruxelles où son coéquipier Mike Teunissen s’est imposé, l’Italien Elia Viviani, débordé dans le final, et surtout l’Australien Caleb Ewan, très en jambes mais enfermé au mauvais moment le premier jour, sont attendus dans la préfecture de la Meurthe-et-Moselle, ville-étape pour la 18e fois. Le parcours plat de 213,5 kilomètres à travers la Champagne et la Lorraine, hormis deux petites côtes de quatrième catégorie, augure d’une échappée et, sans doute, d’un sprint massif. L’arrivée, jugée près des rives de la Meurthe, est installée au bout d’une ligne droite de 1400 mètres, avec une courbe aux 280 mètres. L’heure de la revanche : trois jours après la première occasion manquée à Bruxelles, les spécialistes du sprint retrouvent une opportunité dans la 4e étape du Tour de France qui relie mardi Reims à Nancy. center_img Départ de Reims à 12h10, lancé à 12h25, arrivée à Nancy prévue vers 17h23 (moyenne calculée à 43 km/h). LQ/AFP Partagerlast_img read more

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Coupe Davis : le Luxembourg se maintient

first_img Partager En battant le Monténégro 2-1 au bout du suspense dans le double décisif, le Luxembourg du capitaine Gilles Muller s’est maintenu dans le Groupe III de la zone Europe.Après ses trois défaites encourues depuis mercredi dans son très difficile groupe A (qui comprenait aussi la Grèce de Stefanos Tsitsipas, une forte équipe de Pologne et Monaco), le Luxembourg jouait sa survie dans le Groupe III de la zone Europe de la Coupe Davis ce samedi dans un match de barrage face au Monténégro. Une rencontre pleine de suspense.Car si Chris Rodesch l’avait emporté 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 pour débuter face au n°2 monténégrin, Rrezart Cungu (ATP 1609), le Monténégro avait égalisé avec le succès 6-3, 6-1 de Ljubomir Celebic (ATP 833) sur Ugo Nastasi. Tout s’est donc joué dans un double décisif. Et ce dernier a été gagné 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 par la paire Rodesch – Nastasi face à Celebic – Saveljic. Un succès qui permettra donc au Luxembourg de toujours évoluer au même échelon en 2020.J.C.last_img read more

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