Troubled Musical Rebecca Now Eyeing Winter Premiere on the Great White Way

first_img View Comments The Rebecca creative team will feature musical staging by Graciela Daniele, scenic design by Peter J. Davidson, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Mark McCullough, sound by Peter Fitzgerald and musical direction by Kevin Stites. The now notoriously troubled musical Rebecca may finally be heading to the Main Stem. After a series of delays reported to be the result of fraud by a producer no longer associated with the production, it has been announced that the show is expected to make a Broadway bow winter 2014. The new musical features a book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book adaptation by Christopher Hampton and English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze. Rebecca is set to be directed by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello. Based on Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, Rebecca is a romantic thriller that follows Maxim de Winter, who brings his new wife (“I”) home to his estate of Manderley. There she meets the threatening housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who had a very special relationship with Maxim’s first wife, Rebecca, who died a year earlier in a boating accident. The young woman discovers Manderley is a house of secrets, and the mystery of Rebecca may be the greatest of them all as she finds the strength to challenge Mrs. Danvers and save her marriage.last_img read more

Mr Green appoints Mattias Wedar as new Tech Chief

first_img Submit Maxima Compliance – ‘Mastering technical compliance to grow your global footprint’ June 9, 2020 Mr Green has announced that Mattias Wedar will replace Stefan Gustafsson as Chief Executive of its technology development subsidiary, Mr Green & Technology.Having previously held the role of Chief Information Officer and Chief Executive Officer at Swedish search portal Eniro, Wedar will bring with him a wealth of experience when he takes up his new role in September.   Mr Green Chief Executive Per Norman said: “We are very happy that Mattias Wedar joins Mr Green, he has a solid background in the digital industry and a thorough experience from technology development as well as marketing and products.“Wedar will be key in our further implementation of the business strategy Mr Green 2.0 and the continuous development of our technology platform which we launched last year.“Our strategy encompasses a clear plan to develop an even stronger customer experience, based on digital technology and our customers’ individual preferences” added Norman.The appointment follows on from the news that Mr Green recorded a successful H1 for 2017, in which the company declared “its most successful quarter in business.” Share StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Aspire builds Q1 momentum through regulated market focus May 5, 2020 Kambi takes full control of LeoVegas sportsbook portfolio August 26, 2020last_img read more

Heart of Ecuador’s Yasuni, home to uncontacted tribes, opens for oil drilling

first_imgEcuador’s environment ministry has approved the environmental assessment plans to drill for oil in Ishpingo, the last field of the controversial ITT (Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini) project in Yasuni National Park.Saving Yasuni from oil extraction has long been a priority for conservationists, since former president Rafael Correa launched the ITT initiative in 2007, asking for international donations in return for keeping oil in the ground. The initiative failed in 2013.Ishpingo is the most controversial of the three ITT fields as it overlaps with the Intangible Zone, home to two uncontacted indigenous communities, the Tagaeri and Taromenane; the government claims it will not expand into this area.The Ecuadoran government also signed a new decree that now allows oil platforms to be constructed within the Intangible Zone’s buffer area, which was previously forbidden. QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park sits in a unique position on the equator, between the Andes mountain range and the Amazon rainforest, which has allowed a rich and distinct biodiversity to flourish. The region is surrounded by towering ceibo and mahogany trees, emblematic of the area, as well as hundreds of endemic birds, mammals and amphibians. Traveling down the Yasuni River at the far east of the park, it’s hard to really fathom this diversity that surrounds you, as lush green jungle extends for miles on either side.Yet conservationists are worried. Earlier this year, the Ecuadoran government approved two new controversial plans to drill for oil farther into Yasuni National Park, which will also encroach on the Intangible Zone (known by its Spanish acronym ZITT), a special area within the park created to protect the two uncontacted indigenous nations that live there, the Tagaeri and Taromenane.In April, the Ministry of Environment approved plans to open two platforms of the Ishpingo oil field, the third phase of the controversial Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) project. Ishpingo is the most contentious field in the ITT project as it is the largest and overlaps with the ZITT and its buffer zone, an area 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide that surrounds the ZITT.Then in May, President Lenín Moreno signed a new decree that allows oil platforms to be constructed within the Intangible Zone’s buffer area, which was previously forbidden.Yasuni National Park has long been controversial for being an area rich in biodiversity that also has some of Ecuador’s largest oil reserves, in a country that is highly dependent on oil revenue. Activists say these recent decisions will have major environmental repercussions in a region that was once a beacon of hope for global conservation, and on the two indigenous nations that live in voluntary isolation there.last_img read more

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: [email protected]: 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

Gabonese timber linked to illegal logging seized in Antwerp

first_imgCorruption, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Law, Forest Loss, Forests, Governance, Government, Habitat Loss, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Logging, Rainforests, Timber, Timber Laws, timber trade, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Tropical hardwoods In 2016 and 2017, EIA investigators posed as timber merchants and met with WCTS’s deputy general manager, Chen Wixing. They secretly filmed a series of meetings with Chen and other WCTS employees.“His business model is essentially structural over-harvesting, tax evasion, money laundering and, covering all that, corruption,” Handy said.According to Handy, WCTS was extracting between two and three times its legal quota. When the EIA spoke to Chen in 2016, Handy says WCTS was already cutting down forest in areas it was not supposed to have reached until 2030.In the videos, published by the EIA in May this year, Chen also describes evading tax through transfer pricing and channeling his exports through smaller companies to avoid the attention of the authorities in Gabon.Following the EIA’s exposé, WCTS is now under investigation in Gabon.As part of its commitment to reduce illegal logging, the European Union introduced the EUTR in 2013, making it an offense to import illegally logged timber into the bloc. A key part of the regulation is a requirement that European companies importing timber must conduct thorough due diligence on their timber sources.Guidance documents produced by the European Commission in 2016 to assist timber traders in interpreting the EUTR state, “In cases where the risk of corruption is not negligible, even official documents issued by authorities cannot be considered reliable.” It is on this basis that Greenpeace believes Compagnie de Bois Anvers failed to conduct due diligence.In a statement responding to inquiries from Mongabay, Compagnie du Bois Anvers said, “We were of course shocked to see the set of movies that was released by EIA on 22/5/2019. We have immediately suspended our relationship with WCTS until the outcome of further investigations.”It declined to comment further until the Belgian investigation is complete.Allegations of illegal activities by WCTS have been aired publicly since 2017. WCTS was fined by the Gabonese authorities in 2017 following an investigation. It is also the subject of a civil complaint by Conservation and Justice, a Gabonese NGO. Verbelen said he believes the availability of this information means that Compaigne du Bois Anvers had clearly failed in its due diligence obligation.“There are more than enough indications if you are a timber trader in Belgium that there is a high risk of dealing with illegal timber when you’re buying from this company,” he said. “[Compagnie du Bois Anvers] needs to be investigated and, in our opinion, sanctioned.”Compagnie du Bois Anvers and Greenpeace are now awaiting the outcome of the Belgian government’s investigation.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Banner image: Timber exported by Wan Chuan Timber SARL currently blocked at the port of Antwerp, Belgium. Image courtesy of Philippe Verbelen/Greenpeace Belgian authorities have blocked a shipment of tropical timber from Gabon after a tip-off by Greenpeace.Under the EU Timber Regulation, European companies have an obligation to conduct proper due diligence on the source of the timber they import.Greenpeace says this due diligence requirement was not met in this case, as the wood was exported by a Chinese logging firm with previous allegations of illegal logging. On July 8, Greenpeace forest campaigner Philippe Verbelen was conducting routine monitoring at the Belgian port of Antwerp when he noticed a familiar name attached to a timber shipment: Wan Chuan Timber SARL (WCTS), a company that has been exposed and fined for a series of grave offenses in Gabon.Verbelen alerted customs officials at the port, who moved quickly moved to block the shipment of padoek, a tropical timber. The Belgian government is now investigating the company receiving the shipment, Antwerp-based Compagnie de Bois Anvers, for a possible breach of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).The shipment in question came from Gabon, a country that currently still has 85 percent coverage of incredibly biodiverse rainforest. In May this year, Pierre Moussavou, Gabon’s then-vice president and minister of state for forests and the environment, was fired in connection with a timber scandal.“[Gabon] is a country with a high level of corruption linked to the forestry sector,” Verbelen said. “European timber companies clearly need to identify companies active in Gabon as a high risk for doing business.”WCTS, which exported the timber, is a Chinese logging company operating in Gabon. Verbelen recognized its name from an undercover probe by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an NGO based in Washington, D.C. The EIA came across WCTS in 2016 while investigating illegal logging activity in Gabon.“We were asking who the really bad guys were, who were the people or the companies that were just breaking all the rules with no respect,” said Lisa Handy, the EIA’s director of forest campaigns, “and several times everybody was referring back to WCTS.” Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by terna gyuselast_img read more

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

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

Bolsonaro expresses ‘love’ for Amazon as it burns, offers no policy shift

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer The number of fires in the Amazon biome topped 41,858 in 2019 as of August 24 (up from 22,000 this time last year). Scientists are especially concerned about wildfires raging inside protected areas, such as Jamanxim National Forest in Pará state and Mato Grosso’s Serra de Ricardo Franco Park.While the Bolsonaro government blames hot weather for the Amazon blazes, others disagree. They point to the link between fires and their use to illegally clear rainforest by land speculators, who — emboldened by Bolsonaro’s lax enforcement policies —sell cleared land for 100-200 times more money than it would sell for with trees covering it.Preliminary data shows deforestation rising under Bolsonaro. The rate in June 2019 was 88 percent higher than in June 2018; deforestation soared by 278 percent in July 2019 as compared with July 2018. The rise, analysts say, is due in part to the dismantling of IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental enforcement agency.Bolsonaro has pledged to bring in the army to fight the Amazon blazes and deployed the first units over the weekend, while on Monday the G7 nations promised an emergency $20 million in aid to help Amazon countries fight wildfires and launch a long-term global initiative to protect the rainforest. Aerial view of burning Amazon rainforest, near the city of Porto Velho, Rondônia state. Image by Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace.On Friday night, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro appeared on national television, expressing his “profound love” for Amazônia and saying that his government had “zero tolerance” for environmental crimes. He also pledged to send in the armed forces to end illegal burning of the Amazon rainforest.Bolsonaro, who, unusually for him, read from a prepared text, timed his address to influence world leaders, gathering at that moment in the French resort of Biarritz ahead of the G7 summit. Some, including French President Emmanuel Macron, called for an international response to force Brazil into decisive action to protect the rainforest. The Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said on Friday that the EU should rethink whether to ratify the huge trade deal just concluded with the South American free trade area, Mercosur, saying that Bolsonaro’s attempt to blame the fires on NGOs and environmental groups was “Orwellian.”The possibility that the trade deal, which took 20-years to negotiate, will be wrecked and that Brazil could also face a trade boycott, has greatly alarmed some in the Brazilian agribusiness sector, including former agriculture minister, Blairo Maggi, who has called for the government to change policies, warning that Brazil’s agricultural exports are “replaceable” on the world market.Bolsonaro said that “forest fires, unfortunately, happen each year” and that the number of fires was “within the average of the last 15 years,” a figure provided by NASA. But, as analysts pointed out, this figure, though true, is misleading. In 2004 and 2005 — years when Amazon deforestation was peaking — there was also an alarming rise in annual fires, which topped 70,000. After that, thanks to impressive efforts by authorities, the number of fires generally fell, to 24,000 in 2017 and under 16,000 in 2018.What is alarming observers is the resurgence this year: 41,858 Amazon fires by August 24, according to INPE (the National Institute of Space Research), which uses NASA images. The the neighboring Cerrado savanna has seen 23,000 fires (up from 20,000 last year).Fire map showing active fires for the week starting Aug. 13, 2019, in the Brazilian Amazon using VIIRS and MODIS satellite data. Image courtesy of Global Forest Watch (GFW).These fires sent “rivers of smoke” to Brazil’s urban south last week, causing the skies of São Paulo, the country’s largest city, situated 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) from the Amazon, to become unusually dark. It was only then that this year’s Amazon’s fires became a big news story for the Brazilian press, and for the rest of the world.But by that time, all the Amazon states, except Amapá in the north, had been feeling the  effects of the infernos for several weeks; some since July. “The consequences for the [local] population are immense. The air pollution makes people ill and the economic impact can be high,” said Paulo Moutinho, senior researcher for IPAM (the Amazon Environmental Research Institute), a non-profit organization.Those impacts flow far beyond Brazil’s borders, as the thousands of fires spew large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, intensifying the global climate crisis.As of Saturday, the first Brazilian troops were reportedly being hastily deployed to fight the Amazon blazes, while on Monday, the G7 nations pledged $20 million in emergency aid to help Amazon countries fight wildfires and to launch a long-term global initiative to protect the rainforest. Bolsonaro has not yet accepted the assistance.2019 fires burning within a protected area in Amazonas state, Brazil. Image courtesy of the MAAP Project, data courtesy of ESA.Fires burning inside protected areasOne of the worst affected Amazon states is Rondônia in the western part of the basin. On August 16, a wall of smoke forced a plane approaching Porto Velho, the state capital, to reroute to Manaus. One Rondônia fire has raged unchecked for three weeks inside the Margarida Alves Environmental Reserve in Nova União. About 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) have burnt. “It’s hard to breathe,” said journalist Evans Fitz. “Rondônia is dying, suffocated.”The neighboring state of Acre saw 366 fires in July. Because of the high level of airborne carbon monoxide, way above those considered safe by the World Health Organization, the state health secretariat issued an August 9 epidemiological alert.But it is Mato Grosso that has registered more fires than any other state; 12,990 from  January 1 to August 15. Even the municipality of Colniza in the state’s northwest, which had managed to preserve much of its biodiversity and its forests, has been seriously affected; 1,049 fires have been detected there since July 15. Mato Grosso is located along the so-called “Arc of Deforestation,” the line differentiating rainforest from encroaching agribusiness.Mato Grosso’s Serra de Ricardo Franco Park, on the border with Bolivia, is also burning. It has exceptional biodiversity, because it is located transitionally between three biomes — Amazonia, the Cerrado and Pantanal. The Bolivian section of the park is so valued it has been declared a Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO.In Amazonas state, the municipality of Apuí, in the southern region has registered 673 fires. Importantly, eight of them are inside conservation areas protected by the federal government. Amazonas declared a state of emergency back on August 9, well before the rest of the world awoke to the Amazon crisis.A 2019 fire that appears to be being utilized to expand an existing plantation into neighboring forest in Amazonas state, Brazil. Image courtesy of the MAAP Project, data courtesy of Planet.Fire, the biggest tool in the illegal deforestation toolbox In his speech, Bolsonaro attributed the spike in fires to unusually hot weather. But this is not how scientists see it, especially since 2019 has not seen severe drought. “There is no such thing as a natural fire in Amazonia,” said Ane Alencar, IPAM’s director of science. “What happens is that people cut down the vegetation and burn it.” This has been the traditional way of clearing land in the Amazon and, when practiced on a small scale or done on existing farmlands to prepare for new crops, does little harm.But over the last few months, deforestation — and the fires used to accomplish it – has run at an alarmingly high rate. The deforestation rate in June 2019 was 88 percent higher than during the corresponding month in 2018, reported INPE. Deforestation soared to more than 278 percent in July as compared with the same month a year ago, according to IPAM.Much of this burning, especially on federal lands, say analysts, is likely driven by land grabbers who frequently use fire as a means of clearing forest in preparation for land sales to ranchers and farmers. They recognize that the Bolsonaro administration has largely disarmed the government’s environmental agencies, that no longer have budgets with which to fight fires, nor possess the authority to arrest perpetrators.Scientists are especially concerned by fire-driven deforestation this year, as the blazes are spreading into várzea and igapó, areas flooded during the rainy season but within which can be found islands of unflooded forest. Normally, deforesters don’t venture into these protected areas, but Carlos Durigan, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Brasil (WCS), told Amazônia Real that this changed in 2019, with distressing results. “This situation has caused irreparable damage to aquatic biodiversity, since areas of unflooded forest, which serve as a refuge and feeding areas for many species when the river is in flood, don’t exist anymore,” he explained.According to environmentalists, deforestation had been held in check under previous governments by a coalition of forces — including federal and state agencies, NGO partners, indigenous and traditional communities, academics and scientists. That coalition has now collapsed. The implosion of the Amazon Fund earlier this month, which had curbed deforestation and backed sustainability in Amazon communities for more than a decade is an example of the systemic administrative failure underway.“The position of the current government is to confront the efforts that for decades have been trying to construct a positive socio-environmental agenda for Amazonia,” said Durigan. “These efforts have stemmed from the mobilization of civil society, government agencies, universities and the private sector.” Durigan is now extremely worried that the situation “can deteriorate at a fast rate.”Alejandro Fonseca Duarte, a Federal University of Acre professor, agrees: “Public policies have clearly changed [since Bolsonaro took over]. The government’s discourse and its policies now favor the lifting of protection over indigenous land, the promotion of mining, the extension of soy farming from Mato Grosso to Acre, the discrediting of the indicators of deforestation and the weakening of international support for the protection of the Amazon. This is the reality we are living. And we are beginning to see what it leads to.”Six of the nine state governors in Amazonia are Bolsonaro backers, and have endorsed his policies; some have rejected the rule of law regarding the environment. In late May, Gladson Cameli, Acre’s governor, openly encouraged ruralists not to pay fines resulting from environmental crimes for which they’d been found guilty. “If IMAC [the Institute of the Environment in Acre] fines someone, tell me,” he said “And don’t pay any fine, because I’m in charge now.”Cameli was elected last year after the left-leaning Workers’ Party which had governed Acre for 20 years, was voted out. When asked why he was encouraging ruralists to break the law, he replied: “Before, our farmers were traumatized by the excessively tough [environmental] measures taken by previous governments. They went further than they were required to by law.” Cameli is now promoting the spread of soy plantations across Acre.A blurred photo used by the Folha do Progresso newspaper to report on the “Day of Fire,” an event the ruralist-supported newspaper itself promoted. Image by Folha do Progresso.Ruralists declare “A Day of Fire”INPE data shows that, of all the deforestation occurring across Amazônia between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019, an estimated 59 percent took place in Brazil’s Pará state. Importantly, most of that (71 percent) occurred on federal lands. Pará is an epicenter of the struggle between Amazon conservationists and ruralists who strongly support agribusiness expansion.It also appears that Bolsonaro is working to tip the balance in favor of deforesters in Pará. Although the president has been in office for nearly eight months, IBAMA, the federal environmental agency, has yet to appoint a superintendent for the state. In response to questions about the federal government’s failure to combat environmental crime, Mauro de Almeida, Pará’s environmental secretary, said on August 16 that the lack of an IBAMA chain of command is harming state efforts to battle deforestation.Not surprisingly, Pará land grabbers now act as if they are above the law. Some proof of that came on August 5 in Novo Progresso, a town on the BR-163 highway dominated by ruralists. On that day they announced in A Folha de Novo Progresso, the local newspaper which they control, that they would be holding a “Day of Fire” on August 10. They called on all those who had cut forest in 2019, to set fire to it simultaneously. The cry was also taken up in Altamira, the largest municipal district in Brazil.On August 10, more than 120 fires were registered in Novo Progresso, the highest number this year. But that record didn’t stand: the following day there were even more – 203 fires. No one was arrested or fined. Altamira recorded 194 fires, a 743 percent increase over the previous day, which then jumped to 237 the following day. According to the Queimadas Program, run by INPE, Novo Progresso and Altamira were national champions for forest fires over that weekend.The residents said they felt “supported by the words of Jair Bolsonaro,” and were keen, as they told the local newspaper, “to show the President that we want to work.”  They have little reason to fear reprisals. Normally, during the dry season, IBAMA opens a base in Novo Progresso to curb environmental crimes. But this year Helder Barbalho, the governor of Pará state, refused to authorize Military Police participation in IBAMA’s operations. Without the help of the Military Police, or the National Force (a law enforcement agency run by the Justice Ministry), IBAMA’s team would have found itself unprotected from violent reprisals, so cancelled its 2019 Novo Progresso operation.A firefighter combats an Amazon fire in a past year. In 2019, under Bolsonaro, IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, has been largely stripped of money and authority to fight forest fires. Photo courtesy of IBAMA.Now, with no more IBAMA environmental monitoring money coming from Norway through the Amazon Fund, the chance of the agency’s deforestation enforcement activities restarting is increasingly remote.The agribusiness frontier continues advancing rapidly in southwest Pará, and that advance occurs by fairly predictable steps. First, loggers extract the most valuable timber, then land speculators send in local workers, commonly held in slave-like conditions, to cut down and burn the remaining forest. The deforesters, who in many cases are wealthy land speculators, do not farm the land themselves, but sell the cleared forest land to cattle ranchers at high prices. In the bizarre economy of the Amazon frontier, speculators generally get 100, or even 200 times, more money for an acre of cleared land — denuded of its exuberant native vegetation and vibrant wildlife — than they would get for that same acre if forested. Finally, when cattle have grazed the land even further, it is resold for conversion to soy or other cash crops for export.One of the areas that loggers and speculators are targeting most aggressively near Novo Progresso is the Jamanxim National Forest. Of all Brazil’s protected areas, it is the one most heavily devastated this year. The preserve lost 3 percent of its forest cover — 44,800 hectares (110,700 acres) — in May alone. Now loggers have paid for an illegal bridge to be built over the Jamanxim River, which will make it far easier to transport timber to the port of Itaituba on the Tapajós river. When the bridge is finished, probably by October, a threefold increase in traffic is expected. At the moment logging trucks have to be barged across the river. If Bolsonaro is sincere about his pledge to send in large numbers of troops to save the Amazon, this might be a place to start.Bridge under construction by illegal loggers over the Jamanxim River. The Bolsonaro administration has so far done nothing to stop its building. Image by Jeso Carneiro.After a group of independent public litigators from Pará state’s federal public ministry (MPF) travelled to Novo Progresso to investigate the “day of fire,” they published a statement expressing alarm at IBAMA’s inability to carry out its legal function there. “Confronting illegal deforestation is a state policy,” imposed under the Brazilian Constitution, the MPF said. “Public Power does not have the right to decide whether or not it implements this policy. It is its duty!”Most Brazilian seem to agree with the public prosecutors. A recent poll showed that 96 percent of the population, including many Bolsonaro supporters, partially or completely backed the statement that “President Bolsonaro and the Federal government should increase monitoring to prevent illegal deforestation in Amazônia.”Going by last Friday’s speech and the army’s deployment, the president seemed to be listening. But for many people living in the Amazon, a better measure of Bolsonaro’s commitment would be the rebuilding of dismantled regulatory bodies, particularly IBAMA, as a means of protecting their homes and forest livelihoods from growing lawlessness, conflict and violence.Meanwhile, Brazil’s dry season is ongoing and the Amazon continues burning.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Banner image and above image: Forest fire burning out of control in the municipality of Colniza, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Image by Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace. Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Cattle Ranching, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

A healthy and productive Amazon is the foundation of Brazil’s sovereignty (commentary)

first_imgBrazilian President Jair Bolsonaro likes to assert that foreigners deserve no say over the fate of the Amazon because it is a national sovereignty issue. In making the argument, Bolsonaro at times lays out a grand conspiracy under which a body like the U.N. tries to “internationalize” the Amazon, claiming it as the domain of the world.As fires rage, some on social media are raising the idea of the Amazon being the domain of the world. But this discussion plays directly into Bolsonaro’s narrative, strengthening his hand.Instead, concerned people of the world should talk about how a healthy and productive Amazon actually underpins Brazil’s sovereignty by strengthening food, water, and energy security, while supporting good relations with its neighbors.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro likes to assert that foreigners deserve no say over the fate of the Amazon because it is a national sovereignty issue. His logic: Brazilian Amazon is Brazil’s sovereign territory and therefore it has the right to do what it wants with it, whether that be clearing it for cattle pasture and soy fields or making the decision to conserve it.In making the argument, Bolsonaro at times lays out a grand conspiracy under which a body like the U.N. tries to “internationalize” the Amazon, claiming it as the domain of the world. This conspiracy theory is not new — it was a common refrain under Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964-1985 and is still frequently used by opponents of Amazon conservation efforts.With worldwide attention now on the fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon, Bolsonaro is again using this rhetoric. For example, today he cited Brazil’s sovereignty (as well as perceived “insults” from French President Emmanuel Macron after Bolsonaro slighted Macron’s wife) as the reason for rejecting a $20 million G7 contribution toward firefighting efforts.Aerial view of a large burned area in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the state of Rondônia on August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)As fires rage, some on social media are raising the idea of the Amazon being the domain of the world. But this discussion plays directly into Bolsonaro’s narrative, strengthening his hand. This strategy is the wrong approach for those concerned about the future of the Amazon. Instead, concerned people of the world should talk about how a healthy and productive Amazon actually underpins Brazil’s sovereignty by strengthening food, water, and energy security, while supporting good relations with its neighbors.This argument is straightforward and grounded in good science — science by Brazilian scientists.Water security: Through the process of transpiration, the trees of the Amazon are responsible for generating much of the ecosystem’s rainfall. As a whole, the Amazon rainforest acts as a “water pump” that delivers precipitation across much of South America by creating a cycle that pulls moisture from soils and off the tropical Atlantic and delivers it far inland, beyond the borders of the Amazon. Antonio Donato Nobre, a Brazilian scientist who is famed for talks about the “flying rivers” above the Amazon, says the Amazon keeps southern South America much greener than areas at similar latitudes on other continents and also diminishes hurricane activity along the Brazilian coast. Disrupting this function could be catastrophic for water security in Brazil and beyond. Scientists warn that scarcity of water supplies is a real possibility if the combination of rising temperatures and deforestation push the rainforest ecosystem toward a tipping point where it shifts toward a drier, less-forested landscape similar to the adjacent Cerrado, a woody savanna that covers more than 20 percent of Brazil. Such a transition could even shift the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which circulates moisture around the world near the equator, exacerbating droughts from the Southern Amazon down to Argentina.A rain storm over the Amazon. There are many other reasons beyond ecosystem services why a healthy and productive Amazon is valuable to Brazil, none the least of which is around a million indigenous peoples live in the Amazon. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / MongabayFood security: The vast majority of agriculture in Brazil — and South America as a whole — is produced in areas that receive direct rainfall or runoff from the Amazon. South America’s agricultural heartland across Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina is especially dependent on the Amazon. Should the Amazon tip toward a drier savanna-like ecosystem, South America’s agricultural powerhouses would be challenged to identify other viable sources of water.Energy security: More than 70 percent of Brazil’s electricity comes from hydropower. Any extended disruption of rainfall potentially affects the country’s grid with knock-on effects for rural and city dwellers alike. Replacement with other renewables or fossil fuels is a long-term investment. Good relations with neighbors / National security: Brazil’s neighbors benefit from the services afforded by a healthy and productive Amazon. If degradation of the Amazon reaches the point where it starts to affect water availability, drive smoke and haze over population centers, or trigger outflows of refugees, it could become a source of friction between Brazil and its neighbors.In summary, disrupting the ecological function of the Amazon risks disrupting the economic foundation of Brazil. In other words, a healthy and productive Amazon is necessary for a healthy and productive Brazilian economy.Satellite view of the Juruá River as seen via Google Earth using Landsat / Copernicus imagery. This commentary only looks at the value of the Amazon for its water services. It leaves aside carbon storage, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services as well as the fact the biome sustains roughly a million indigenous peoples.When Bolsonaro rallies his base by talking about opening up the Amazon to deforestation, he’s taking a very short-term approach. Farmers and ranchers will be among the biggest losers in the long-run if the Amazon rainforest tips toward something drier.Instead of talking about internationalizing the Amazon, critics of Bolsonaro and his policies would be wise to look for opportunities to find common ground with his supporters. The economic well-being of Brazil seems like a good place to start.Header image: Satellite view of the Amazon Basin as seen via Google Earth using Landsat / Copernicus imagery. Agriculture, Commentary, Conservation, Deforestation, Drought, Ecosystem Services, Editorials, Environmental Economics, Forests, Green, Impact Of Climate Change, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Water 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 Rhett Butlerlast_img read more

The Arctic and climate change (1979 – 2019): What the ice record tells us

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Climate Science, Earth Science, Global Warming, Impact Of Climate Change, Monitoring, Oceans And Climate Change, Research, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Science, Sea Ice Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img This story has been updated: 2019’s Arctic ice melt season started out with record heat and rapid ice loss. Though cooler weather prevailed in August, stalling the fall, by mid-September ice extent was dropping dramatically once again. Then this week, 2019 raced from fourth to second place — now behind only 2012, the record minimum.With 2019 providing no reversal over past years, scientists continue to document and view the Arctic Death Spiral with increasing alarm. This story reviews the 40-year satellite record, along with some of the recent findings as to how Arctic ice declines are impacting the global climate.Researchers are increasingly certain that melting ice and a warming Arctic are prime factors altering the northern jet stream, a river of air that circles the Arctic. A more erratic jet stream — with increased waviness and prone to stalling — is now thought to be driving the increasingly dire, extreme global weather seen in recent years.The 40-year satellite record of rapidly vanishing Arctic ice — as seen in a new NASA video embedded within this article — is one of the most visible indicators of the intensifying climate crisis, and a loud warning to world leaders meeting at the UN in New York next week, of the urgent need to drastically cut carbon emissions. Arctic sea ice in eastern Greenland. What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. Scientists theorize that large-scale ice loss up north may be altering, and stalling, the northern jet stream, which can result in drought or storms hovering over one locale for long time periods. Image by mariusz kluzniak, Flickr.Arctic melt season watchers had a wild ride this year, with sea ice extent plummeting, and tracking with all previous record lows for time-of-year from March through mid-August, as 2019 appeared on course to challenge 2012 — the lowest minimum in the 1979-2019 forty-year satellite record.Then, once again proving the Arctic’s unpredictability, 2019’s melt slowed dramatically in late August and early September, only to take off again in a race to the bottom. As recently as Monday, extent appeared to be heading toward a fourth place finish behind 2016 and 2007, but overnight 2019 surpassed both, placing second only to 2012. And final results still aren’t in.“This year what we’re seeing is a good example of the natural variability of the system,” says Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). In the spring, it looked like we were heading for a new record low, but then, in August, the loss rate suddenly slowed.2019 now ranks among the lowest ice minimums in the 40-year satellite record. More importantly, during the four-decade time frame, the world has witnessed monumental declines in ice extent and volume in the Arctic. “In all months, sea ice extent is going down,” reports Serreze, with the biggest changes seen at the end of the summer melt season. Compared to when the satellite record began in 1979, sea ice extent is down about 40 percent in September. “It’s a big loss,” he says.By the numbers, the 1979 extent minimum, according to NSIDC, came in at 6.895 million square kilometers (2.662 million square miles), whereas by 2012 the September ice locked in at just 3.340 million square kilometers (1.289 million square miles). This year, as of September 17, sea ice extent sank to 4.100 million square kilometers (1.583 million square miles), shifting its ranking overnight from fourth to second place, surpassing 2007 at 4.147 square kilometers (1,601 square miles) and 2016 at 4.145 square kilometers (1.600 square miles).In recent years, we’re starting to see more significant losses in other seasons, too, says Julienne Stroeve, a senior research scientist with NSIDC. “The changes in summer have been dramatic, but it’s starting to manifest in other seasons as well, with later freeze-up and earlier melt. We’re lengthening the [progressively] ice-free season.”And sea ice isn’t only covering far less extent, it’s also getting thinner causing the volume of Arctic ice to drop precipitously, making the sea ice far more vulnerable to warming Arctic waters and atmosphere. With less thick, multiyear ice hanging around much of the sea ice in the Arctic is forming and melting away every year.In 1979, the daily minimum for sea ice volume was 17,065 cubic kilometers (4,094 cubic miles). While 2019 has likely not yet reached its lowest point, at the end of August, volume had fallen to just 4,170 cubic kilometers (1,000 cubic miles), putting it in close second place behind 2012, and already 75 percent lower than the 1979 minimum.Such dramatic changes in the ice are being driven by warmer air and water temperatures which eat away at the ice from all sides. Summers are longer than they used to be, and winters are warmer. “You put that together and you have a pretty strong formula for getting rid of ice,” says Serreze.Still, that doesn’t mean ice loss has followed a clear downward trajectory with every year lower than the one that came before. Rather, based on the natural variability of the climate and summer weather patterns, the trend of sea ice extent creates a kind of “sawtooth pattern,” where year-to-year extent and volume vary, but the long-term trend is ever downward, in what has been dramatically dubbed “the Arctic Death Spiral.”Thus far, 2012 has experienced the lowest September sea ice cover in the satellite record. “It sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb,” says Serreze. But low years are increasingly more frequent and recent, with the top ten all occurring after 2007. And if global temperatures continue to rise — as expected in a world where nearly no nations are currently expected to meet their Paris Climate Agreement goals — that melting trend is bound to spiral downward.How ice loss affects us all With so few long-term climate data sets, the importance of the sea ice record is hard to overstate. Sea ice is an extremely sensitive indicator of changes in the global climate, and it’s also very visual — unlike, say, changes in the global average air temperature. “You look at satellite data and you can very well see what’s happening,” says Serreze. And then there are those stunning pictures of beleaguered polar bears whose feeding habits are impacted by sea ice loss — with other polar species seriously affected too.However, climate change is now becoming increasingly visual beyond the Arctic, with impacts ranging from devastating hurricanes to long-term droughts and raging wildfires. One metaphor says that the polar regions act as the Earth’s air conditioners, while also helping to set up many of the basic weather patterns that we have come to expect around the globe in the past. But as the Arctic grows out of sync, so goes the rest of the planet,“A strongly warming Arctic could influence weather patterns in the mid-latitudes,” says Serreze. As the saying goes: what starts in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic.Researchers are increasingly certain that the strong temperature differentials between the Arctic and the temperate zone are one of the primary factors that create and propel the northern jet stream — a fast-moving river of air in the Northern Hemisphere that circles the Arctic. As sea ice vanishes and Arctic temperatures increase, the temperature variant between these regions is getting smaller. That means there’s less force driving the winds in the jet stream from west to east, and the weakened jet stream starts to swing wildly, deviating from its typical polar path into lower latitudes (even as far south as the Gulf of Mexico) which can also cause temperate weather patterns to stall in place — bringing punishing bouts of extreme weather.This spring saw one of the waviest jet streams in recent history, and in turn, severe weather slammed into much of the mid-latitudes. Bomb cyclones, severe thunderstorms, heavy rain and catastrophic flooding in the Mississippi River basin were all possibly born out of this year’s deeply askew jet stream. One possible impact could be the stalling of major storms, such as Hurricane Harvey over Houston, Texas; that storm’s stuck-in-place rainfall totals topped 60 inches in some locales.The unprecedented melting of sea ice has other serious ramifications. Less ice means the Arctic is now open for business. The world’s superpowers are paying increasingly more attention to northern economic opportunities, and the region is now considered to be of significant geopolitical importance. US President Donald Trump’s sudden interest in Greenland is just one example. That country made headlines this summer for another reason, seeing a huge amount of glacial melt into the North Atlantic. Scientists now estimate that ice loss in Greenland this year alone was enough to raise the average global sea level by more than a millimeter — glacial melt that is only expected to escalate, unless the world’s nations and corporations act aggressively to limit greenhouse gas emissions.The Arctic has large deposits of natural gas, oil and rare earth minerals, as well as methane hydrates, that if mined, would likely be game over for reestablishing a stable global climate. Moreover, the loss of ice has opened up shipping routes, such as the Northern Sea Route over Russia, and the Northwest Passage in Canada. “Right now, both [routes] are open. It’s pretty much clean sailing,” says Serreze. “I’ve been studying the Arctic years, but now I’ve unavoidably been drawn into issues of climate change and geopolitics.”PIOMAS Arctic Sea Ice Volume Death Spiral 1979-2019. Image © Andy Lee Robinson @ahaveland.Future of forecastingDespite the 40-year record, it’s still difficult for ice scientists to know how the melt season will shake out each year. Ice predictions are constrained by limited forecasting abilities for the natural variations in weather.Scientists like Stroeve are working on ways to improve measurements of sea ice thickness, which helps to inform ice forecasts. Currently, researchers aren’t able to directly map sea ice thickness in summer (relying on modeling for their statistical analysis), and are limited by how much snow lies atop the ice in other months. “That’s something we don’t observe well from satellites. Our understanding is pretty rudimentary. We have to make assumptions based on snow depths,” she says.The other big barrier in predicting sea ice outcomes is the accuracy of long-term weather forecasts. Right now, scientists can’t predict how natural variations in weather will impact the ice in the long run. Stroeve calls this the “spring predictability barrier,” which means that any ice forecast made before May isn’t very accurate. “Once you get to June, things get better.”In a sense, long range forecasts are easier. Without governmental and corporate action to curb carbon emissions, the global trend in Arctic sea ice will almost certainly be downward — with impacts both seen and as yet unforeseen, for us all.Note: This story was updated on September 19 to reflect further loss of Arctic sea ice in 2019, with new data showing that this year moved from fourth to second place in just 24 hours.Banner image caption: Pack ice after sunset in East Greenland near Kulusuk. Image by Markus Trienke, FlickrThis story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 300 news outlets worldwide to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, October 11, 2019

first_imgConservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update 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 There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsA rainforest in Mexico is home to a newly discovered antibiotic (Science Alert).Researchers call for a coordinated effort to stamp out cocaine trafficking and deforestation in Central and South America (The Verge).An app shows farmers where they can plant crops without cutting down forest in the West African country of Côte d’Ivoire (Deutsche Welle).Researchers discover two species of wasps in Africa that were previously unknown to science (UPI).The head of a Malaysian state says that damage to the environment and wildlife populations by timber and oil palm plantations is hurting the industries’ reputations (The Star).Tanzania’s president halts further moves to reallocate protected areas to local communities (News Ghana).Major supermarkets in the U.K. reveal that they’ve been selling products from soy grown on recently deforested lands (The Guardian).Scientists argue for a more prominent role for the “blue carbon” found in mangroves and wetlands (CIFOR Forests News).Other newsA scientist has trained ravens to avoid threatened tortoises (The Atlantic).Climate policies are gaining traction in the U.S. (The Atlantic).A new fish species turned up in a well in India (The Hindu BusinessLine).The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their role in developing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (The Washington Post).Poachers are stealing maple trees in U.S. national forests (Travel and Leisure).Wealthy countries get more funding to deal with climate-related risks, according to a new study (The New York Times).A new interactive map reveals “road by road” emissions from automobiles (The New York Times).Birds in North America are losing their habitat to climate change (The New York Times).A researcher rebuts recent claims in the journal Science about trophy hunting’s sustainability (The Ecologist).The challenges of moving rhinos may be worth the benefits to conservation, say the scientists involved (Conde Nast Traveler).The rising popularity of mountain biking in U.S. parks threatens people and wildlife (The New York Times).The United States Environmental Protection Agency overhauls lead testing in water for the first time in decades (The Washington Post).Banner image of a grizzly bear in Alberta by Dwayne Reilander via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).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