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

Girl Ladies Fashion Diamante Crystal Stone Bow Hair Clip With Various Colours, It does look very pretty tho but im not sure what happened after a

first_imgI like this effectively joyful with this clip 🙂 not way too small and defo not a enormous big matter. ,its a pretty coloure of pink/pink 🙂 also arrived 2 days after ordering far too :)would advise to get this four the selling price very well really worth the money paid out 🙂 think i may possibly buy one more two/3 in change coloures 🙂 x.Really very, the ladies beloved them.Ideal but marginally more compact than i was expecting.Key specs for Girl Ladies Fashion Diamante Crystal Stone Bow Hair Clip With Various Colours:Girls Brand New Crystal Stone Bow Hair ClipSize1 : Double Bow Length Approx = 9 cm Width = 8 cmAcrylic StoneSize2 : Bow Length Approx = 11 cm Width = 8 cmExcellent Quality Hair ClipsLovely Item for ChristmasComments from buyers“Lovely. Really big, glitzy and glamorous. Just what we needed. Good quality., It does look very pretty tho but im not sure what happened after a , Just what it says on the tin”Wonderful high quality and was sent actually swift too.Ideal but marginally more compact than i was expecting.It does appear quite really tho but im not positive what transpired after a. Pretty weighty so its not really acceptable for young children with slender hair. It does seem quite very tho but im not guaranteed what transpired right after a few of months with limited usage the material turned eco-friendly. The clip is extremely durable and it didnt eliminate any of the dimontès like most issues do.Really very, the ladies beloved them.Pretty hair bow for my buddies daughter who wears them all the time. I preferred to get distinct colours for her.Wonderful merchandise but a little bit smaller than envisioned and the diamantes drop off extremely effortlessly.Arrived when stated, and my daughters loved them.I purchased a several bows from right here and two of them arrived with gems missing and the glue was actually recognizable, variety of dissatisfied but the some others came wonderful.My very little girl absoultey enjoys these bows awesome and massive quite glitterly truly stand out defo propose these i have brought various of these.Exceptional high-quality for the rate appears pretty fairly.Wonderful, i wore it in my hair for crufts & it appeared definitely beautiful :-).Exceptional high-quality for the rate appears pretty fairly.Just what it states on the tin. Attractive bow, just as in the description, fantastic price.Rather my granddaughter enjoys it.Seems charming in my daughters hair.Wonderful merchandise but a little bit smaller than envisioned and the diamantes drop off extremely effortlessly.I like this effectively joyful with this clip 🙂 not way too small and defo not a enormous big matter. ,its a pretty coloure of pink/pink 🙂 also arrived 2 days after ordering far too :)would advise to get this four the selling price very well really worth the money paid out 🙂 think i may possibly buy one more two/3 in change coloures 🙂 x.I purchased a several bows from right here and two of them arrived with gems missing and the glue was actually recognizable, variety of dissatisfied but the some others came wonderful.Arrived when stated, and my daughters loved them.Beautiful little bow which was price for cash. The clip is solid sufficient to keep in and doesn’t slide out. The only draw back is that some of the sequins have begun slipping off.My daughter extremely content this.last_img read more

API of the Week: Data Source Handbook

first_imgThis week, instead of a single API we’re spotlighting ReadWriteWeb contributor Pete Warden‘s new e-book Data Source Handbook, which was just released today. Pete covers a slew of data sources including, of course, many APIs.“These are hand-picked services that I’ve actually spent time using during my own work,” Pete writes. “And I chose them because they add insights and information to data you’re already likely to be dealing with.”He’s made a list of services and a couple excerpts available here. Here’s the full description of the book:If you’re a developer looking to supplement your own data tools and services, this concise ebook covers the most useful sources of public data available today. You’ll find useful information on APIs that offer broad coverage, tie their data to the outside world, and are either accessible online or feature downloadable bulk data. You’ll also find code and helpful links.This guide organizes APIs by the subjects they cover–such as websites, people, or places–so you can quickly locate the best resources for augmenting the data you handle in your own service. Categories include:Website tools such as WHOIS, bit.ly, and CompeteServices that use email addresses a search term, including GithubAPIs for finding information from just a name, including WhitePagesServices that help you locate people with accounts, such as KloutSearch APIs, including BOSS and WikipediaGeographical data sources, including SimpleGeo and US CensusCompany information APIs, such as CrunchBase and ZoomInfoAPIs that list IP address, such as MaxMindServices that list books, films, music, and products 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes Related Posts klint finley Tags:#APIs#hack Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

The Great Ventilation Debate, Live at the ACI Conference

first_imgHope for the future of 62.2Francisco had the best line of the day. We asked the panelists all to make a closing statement and tell us where they see things going. When it was his turn, Francisco began, “I don’t know where we’re going, but I do know how we got in this handbasket.”The debate at ACI was lively and interesting yet friendly. Lstiburek was laughing with Walker over private comments at one point, and the group found some things to agree about. The biggest point of agreement was that kitchen exhaust is really important, and we need range hoods with good capture efficiency, not just high ventilation rates. Francisco, the chair of the 62.2 committee, even called for a vote to document that agreement.Toward the end of the discussion, Lstiburek made an announcement. “I’d like to get back on the committee, if you’ll have me,” he said. “I may have to beg and grovel, but I’d like to be a member again.” RELATED ARTICLES Another Report on the Great Ventilation Rate DebateHow Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need?Ventilation Rates and Human Health Resistance May NOT Be Futile in the Residential Ventilation WarsAn Interview with Dr. Joseph Lstiburek ASHRAE 62.2 Committee Chair Defends Ventilation Standard Designing a Good Ventilation SystemHRV or ERV?Ventilation Requirements for Weatherized HomesWhat is the Deal with Ventilation Requirements? Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. A brief history of the debateI’ve written about the issue of mechanical ventilation and the ongoing debate several times over the past year and a half. Here’s the short version, with links to the articles I’ve written. The opening punchesWe opened the panel discussion by asking each of the six panelists to introduce themselves and make an opening statement. The five 62.2 members were diplomatic in their words. Lstiburek opened by saying that 62.2 isn’t based on science, costs people money they don’t need to spend, and makes homes too dry in cold climates and too humid in humid climates. Further, he said, it’s worthless because no one is adopting it.The discussion was civil throughout, although there were some pointed disagreements. Francisco talked about the justification for the rates and opened his comments by saying, “ASHRAE 62.2 is wrong 99% of the time for most homes.” He said the purpose of the standard is to recommend ventilation strategies that can do the most good for the most homes.Francisco (or was it Walker?) referred to a study from Scandinavia that would justify even higher rates than we’re using now. Lstiburek jumped in at that point and said that study was wrong and the real takeaway from it wasn’t that we need higher rates but that we need to fix moisture problems before they become indoor air quality problems.Rick Karg asked Lstiburek a few questions at one point in the discussion, one of which was, If you’re criticizing 62.2 rates for not being supported by the science, what science supports the rates you recommend? It was an excellent question, and Lstiburek didn’t have a good answer for it. (How I think he should have responded is that since there’s no health science to support either 62.2 or BSC-01 rates, we should do what causes the fewest problems.) Last week at the Affordable Comfort Conference (also known as ACI), I co-moderated a panel called The Great Ventilation Standard Debate.1 Duncan Prahl of Ibacos proposed the session and rounded up a collection of some of best building science folks in North America to be on the panel. And if you’ve been paying attention to this blog, you know who one of them was.The photo above (taken by Nate Adams) shows the cast of experts on the panel. From left to right, they are Joseph Lstiburek, PhD, PE, Iain Walker, PhD, Paul Francisco, Michael Lubliner, Rick Karg, and Don Stevens. All but Lstiburek are on the ASHRAE 62.2 committee. In addition, there were 3 or 4 other members of the 62.2 committee in the audience.And speaking of the audience, we had a great crowd. I haven’t heard an official number, but it was probably 150 to 200. The photo below (taken by Bethany Profaizer) gives you a view from the back. A serious problem with exhaust-only ventilationThe debate didn’t focus as much on the problems with exhaust-only ventilation as I thought it would, but Lstiburek did make a compelling point on that issue. In multifamily buildings, using bath fans and the kitchen range hood to satisfy 62.2 is nearly impossible to do effectively. “If the building is compartmentalized,” Lstiburek said, “good luck with makeup air. What are you going to do? Leave a window out?” WrapupIt was a great discussion at the ACI conference by some of the most expert minds on the topic of ventilation. Both sides made good points. Both sides made bad points. We also had some great comments and questions from the audience, including one from a gentleman who works in weatherization of existing homes. When he has to add a ventilation system, he said, that means less money to improve the insulation, air-sealing, and HVAC system.As he wrapped up the discussion, Duncan Prahl reminded everyone that the ASHRAE 62.2 committee members are all volunteers and that anyone can contribute to the evolution of the standard. It’s easy to criticize something you don’t like. It’s harder to get involved and make it better. My sense after this discussion is that the 62.2 standard is about to take the next steps forward and address some of the issues that led Lstiburek to go rogue last year. First, everyone agrees that airtight houses need mechanical ventilation. (Also not up for debate is that homes need to be airtight. A house does NOT need to breathe.) Since we agree that ventilation is necessary in airtight homes, we need some guidance on how to do that. “Build tight; ventilate right” is a great mantra, but that second part needs to be fleshed out.That’s where ASHRAE comes in. They’ve got a ventilation standard for homes, and it’s gone through several updates since the 1989 version. Since 2003, it’s been called ASHRAE 62.2: Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The standard covers a lot of ground, but at the heart of it is a method for determining the amount of ventilation air a home needs. And that’s where the debate begins.Joseph Lstiburek, PhD, PE, has argued loudly against the way that rate is determined. His biggest complaints about 62.2 are that:A blower door can’t tell you how much ventilation air you need in a new home, so the idea of an infiltration credit makes no sense;The 62.2 rates aren’t based on health data;The 62.2 standard doesn’t recognize the differences between different ventilation methods.So Joe introduced his own standard last year – BSC-01. (It’s really more of a set of guidelines than a standard, though, because it hasn’t gone through a consensus process like 62.2 has.) BSC-01 is for new homes only and allows systems that are balanced, that distribute the air throughout the house, and that mix the air to run at lower rates.last_img read more

After tough PBA All-Filipino conquest, June Mar Fajardo spends hard-earned break fishing

first_imgDA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. San Miguel, though, will plunge back into action in ongoing import-laden Commissioner’s Cup starting June 5 against NorthPort.It gets busier from there for  6-foot-11 Fajardo with Gilas Pilipinas duties coming up as the country braces for the 2019 Fiba World Cup.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Since winning the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup crown last May 15 in a conference where he also bagged the Best Player and Finals MVP awards, Fajardo has been spending his off days on the sea. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess It is a well-deserved respite for Fajardo, whose Beermen had just survived a tough showdown against Magnolia Hotshots in the finals which went to seven grueling games. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:42Despite decorated career, June Mar Fajardo is not yet done: ‘I don’t want to be stagnant’02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too After the Game 7 win, the Beermen star center immediately went home to his hometown Cebu, where he has been hanging out with his family doing all sorts of fun things while aboard a boat.“For the rich there is therapy pero for the rest of us there is fishing!” said Fajardo in one of his photos showing off his catch.“Not only do you have fun, you get free food too!” he added in Cebuano. MANILA, Philippines– June Mar Fajardo is making most of his hard-earned break.center_img LATEST STORIES MOST READ Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue ADVERTISEMENT View comments La Salle switches to half-court style under new coach Gian Nazario Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

Google AdWords for Nonprofits: 10 Tips About Keywords

first_imgWith a content network that reaches over 75% of unique internet users in more than 20 languages and over 100 countries, Google AdWords can be a powerful marketing tool. Though the efficiency of the program continues to be debated, Google Grants could offer your nonprofit free ads and assistance setting up an account! It should be noted, however, that while Google Adwords is one potential source of advertising for nonprofits, the volume of response from its campaigns to date have been lackluster.Google provides the reach, but it is up to you to write an ad that pulls net surfers in. Just how exactly do you go about writing an ad with a low cost and high ROI? An article from SiteProNews, by Leighton James explains 10 costly mistakes to avoid when launching your AdWords campaign.We’ve taken this advice from SiteProNews and added a nonprofit twist. If you need more detail on what not to do, make sure to check out the article. Otherwise, read on for our modified list of the do’s and don’ts of writing an ad for Google AdWords.1. Create a short list of targeted keywords: Generic terms lead to high fees and low ROI. Instead of writing a long list, take time to identify your target group beforehand and think of terms that will appeal directly to them. Online strategist Riche Zamor highlights the importance of conducting keyword research prior to launching an ad. Though you can pay someone to do this for you, MSN and Google offer free tools to do your own research. Cross checking keywords with multiple search engines to see the number of results and types of ads that it generates is also a good idea. Another aspect to consider that may not come to mind is seasonality. Google Trends allows you to see how keywords fare over time and to pinpoint when during the year searches for the keyword are most popular.2. Identify what is unique about your nonprofit: Identify your marketing strategy and highlight what sets you apart in your ad. Conduct a competitive analysis of the organizations you will compete with using the selected keywords, and look into possible variations of your selected keywords until you find a combination that places you in the first several ads that appear. If you need ideas for related keywords, Google’s Keyword Tool allows you to search for synonyms and get new keyword ideas.3. Use keywords in your ad text: Good ads spell out exactly what they are promoting. Well-placed keywords in both the title and body of the ad ensure that when people click they know what they are getting.4. Direct users to the specific area of the site, not the home page: People want to find what they are looking for without hassle. Directing potential donors to your donation landing page makes it that much easier for them to give. Links to your home page can be helpful if you are working on brand name recognition, but otherwise direct people immediately to the relevant page that matches your ad.5. Separate ad groups: Split up your keyword buys into different categories. For example, you could have one ad group devoted to recruiting activists, and another for reaching out to recruit potential donors. This distinction allows you to better track the progress of each campaign.6. Take advantage of single ad groups: Keep everything organized by creating containers to hold related ad groups. Keyword buys that relate to each other can be grouped into logical categories that will help you organize, but more importantly that allow you to track the success of each keyword.7. Use various phrase keyword-match types: Selecting various keyword types allows you to either expand or refine when your ad appears.The negative keyword option lets you select keywords for which you don’t want your ad to appear.The phrase match option allows your ad to appear only when terms are searched in the order you have specified.Broad match is less specific and targeted, and can incorporate related or relevant keywords.8. Use the AdWords ad serving service: This provides a platform that displays ads with highest click-through rates more frequently than ads with lower rates in the same ad group.9. Track your results: Which keywords were successful and which didn’t get results? Take advantage of Google Analytics to get in-depth reports on various aspects of your campaign. Use it to assess and evaluate your performance. Was it successful? Did it meet or fall short of your goals? There are many ways to track success, some more sophisticated than others. Google’s Website Optimizer is a tool used to track your progress.10. Modify bids before entering the contact network: AdWords allows advertisers to set different bids on the content network then appear on the search network. By modifying bids you can potentially pay less per click while still getting the same amount of traffic.Source: Frogloop, Care2’s nonprofit communications and marketing blog: https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/B2046/IMG10635.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Five Deadly Sins of Website Design

first_imgNonprofit organizations make many mistakes when it comes to the design, presentation and content of their websites. Here are the five deadly sins we commit:Too egotistical: The home page is too often simply an About Us page. It should not be an electronic brochure with your mission statement. It should speak to the user’s values, interests and desires. It’s not “about us,” it’s “about them.”Too meek: There is often no clear call to action on nonprofit pages. Grab a friend or relative, sit them down in front of your website home page, and count how many seconds it takes them to find and click on your Donate button or find another way to do something. If it takes them more than two seconds, you need to place your button in a far more prominent position. Make it central to the page. Make sure it is above the fold. Make it big. Make it colorful. Make it impossible to miss.Too laid-back: Too often, there’s no reason to act now – as opposed to later, or never. You want to inspire someone to act right now, but that can be hard to do if there’s not an urgent crisis to address. Create a sense of urgency for donating by creating a campaign with a goal and deadline, matching grant, or appeal for specific items or programs that are highly tangible.Too dodgy: People want to know where their resources will go if you support them. You must inspire trust. Where will the money go? What impact will result? What lives will be saved, what credible goal will be achieved?Too short-sighted:  Recognize that getting clicks requires cultivation. While you want someone to take action right away, it’s important to remember that it takes time to cultivate people.  Be sure your website includes a way to capture the email addresses of visitors so that you can build a relationship with visitors and turn them into donors in the future.  A newsletter is not very exciting; give people a more compelling reason to surrender their email addresses.last_img read more

How to raise $2,657 in 90 minutes

first_imgDisclaimer: These results are not typical. This story is the fundraising equivalent of the bikini-clad woman in the Slimfast ad – a special success story.That said, uber-networked bloggerista and social networking guru Beth Kanter did it. And in the process, she showed us how we might do it, too. Read the story here.Okay, so you may not have hundreds of Twittering friends at the ready or even know what the heck is a Gnomedexer, but there are some lessons here.The messenger is everything. If you want to raise money, get people who like you to ask their friends and family for funds on your behalf. When Beth reached out to her community – in person and online – people responded.Well-networked messengers are gold. When those fans of yours have extensive online networks, they can touch an amazing number of people.The simpler and easier the ask, the bigger the conversion. Asking people to make a $10 with a few clicks is not a big request, and so it’s hard to say no to it.People are total conformists. Once people see their peers doing something, they’ll follow. Beth got a bunch of technically inclined people to reach out to their networks in public, and that’s peer pressure on steroids. Social norms, meet social networks. Tangibility is key. Beth didn’t raise money for “girl’s education in Cambodia.” She asked people to help a specific young woman with her college education. That makes a big difference.Transparency is essential. A ticker with real-time results measured against a tangible goal makes people feel trusting – and compelled toa ct.Thank-yous are appreciated. Beth is great at thanking people, recognizing them and celebrating what their donations accomplished. That kind of gratitude is the happy ending to a fabulous fundraising campaign.Thanks Beth for the inspiration. And for all you do for Cambodia, a place very close to my heart.last_img read more

Aggressive Marketing for Recessionary Times

first_imgMeltdown an Opportunity for Marketing, Says UCLA Anderson’s Dominique Hanssens (Hat-tip: BNET Back to B-School Blog)Even when the economy looks bad your marketing doesn’t have to suffer, says Dominique Hanssens, Bud Knapp Professor of Marketing and the Marketing Area Chair at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. In fact, Hanssens, who recently served two years as the executive director of the Marketing Science Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and whose courses Andersen include Marketing Strategy & Planning and Research in Marketing Management, thinks a downturn is one of the best times for marketing to shine.I sat down with him recently to discuss the pressures marketing executives are under during scary economic conditions. Here’s what he said.Dann: What’s different about marketing during a recessionary period?Hanssens: The difference is the challenge on budgets, because many companies feel that marketing should be budgeted as a percentage of revenue, and therefore, if revenue does not look good because of the recession, marketing budgets are often the first to be cut. There’s a lack of understanding of the strategic value of good marketing, so if you work in the marketing function during a recession you get challenged more on your spending levels than other parts of the organization.Dann: What can a manager do to fight this off internally and get the resources he or she needs?Hanssens: The answer is to demonstrate the return on the marketing spending so that you don’t become a cost center where your budget is a percent of revenue, but rather a profit center where the allocations are seen as providing positive returns—especially in light of some recent findings that the impact of marketing can be stronger during recessions than during the good years.Dann: What final advice would you give to marketers who are finding it tough to manage in the current economic environment?Hanssens: It’s a wonderful opportunity to think through the mission of the [nonprofit] again and if [donations are] really is down, not just to chalk it all up to the recession. But think through the goals of the organization and look at all parts of the [organization], some of which are hurt more than others and ask yourself, “why?” You can get an indication of the true value being created by that part of the organization. It’s a good moment to sit down and reflect. In good times, that doesn’t happen because so much money is coming in and companies don’t challenge themselves.You don’t have to wait for the good economic times to be successful; you can be very proactive.last_img read more