Indonesia races against time to save new orangutan species

first_imgBanner image: A Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Sumatra. Photo by Maxime Aliaga. 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 With an estimated population of less than 800, the newly described Tapanuli orangutan is already at risk of extinction due to habitat destruction and fragmentation.The Indonesian government will come up with a strategy to protect the orangutan, including the establishment of protected forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries.The government will also review a plan to build a hydroelectric plant in an area with the highest known density of Tapanuli orangutans. The Indonesian government is rushing to protect the newly described Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), a species already regarded as the most endangered great ape on the planet.The discovery that this isolated population of an estimated 800 orangutans in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, is a distinct species from both the Sumatran and Bornean orangutans has been hailed as a major breakthrough. The Tapanuli orangutan is the first new great ape species to be described since the bonobo in the Congo Basin in 1929, and its total estimated population makes it the world’s rarest.Despite the initial elation of the new discovery, the Tapanuli orangutan is already in trouble as it is under threat from the expansion of human development, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology, which first described the new orangutan species.Map of the Batang Toru ecosystem, home to the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Sumatra.The species lives in pockets of the 1,338-square-kilometer (516-square-mile) Batang Toru ecosystem, in North Sumatra province. While the mountainous topography of the area makes it unsuitable for farming, large swaths of the orangutans’ habitat are at threat from other forms of exploitation.Chief among these is the development of a 510-megawatt hydroelectric plant in an area with the highest known density of Tapanuli orangutans. The researchers who described the new species say the project could potentially affect 8 percent of the ape’s habitat if completed.More importantly, it will thwart the last chance to build forest corridors connecting the fragmented habitats, which might lead to inbreeding among the isolated groups of orangutans and the eventual extinction of the species.That fragmentation has already cut off a group of around 17 orangutans in a small patch of forest south of the larger eastern and western blocks of the Batang Toru carved up by roads.“These 17 orangutans could go extinct as time goes by,” said Ian Singleton, director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP) and co-author of the Current Biology paper. “There should be more than 250 orangutans [in a single population] for them to stand a chance to survive in the long run. Less than that, they could go extinct.”The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry has acknowledged the issues and vowed an assessment of the potential impact from the power plant project on the orangutan habitat. A top official said the ministry would also be more judicious about approving future development projects in the region.Wiratno, the ministry’s director general for ecosystem and natural resource conservation, said that to prevent further defragmentation of the habitat, he would try to ensure there were no more “big-scale investment developments which clear land in a massive way.”As for the power plant, Wiratno said, “We’ll see the impact first, whether there is direct impact or not,” before deciding on whether to allow it to proceed.Baby Tapanuli orangutan in Indonesia. Photo by Maxime Aliaga.The ministry, which oversees conservation efforts nationwide, will review all spatial planning maps in the Batang Toru ecosystem, Wiratno told reporters on the sideline of a press conference in Jakarta. “We will make a very detailed land-use planning there,” he said.The review aims to assess the impact of any economic activities and development projects in order to create a conservation strategy that might include the creation of protected forest areas or wildlife sanctuaries for the Tapanuli orangutan.Some of the orangutans live in areas zoned for conversion, also known as APL. These areas cover 100 to 150 square kilometers (39 to 58 square miles), or 15 percent of the Tapanuli orangutans’ habitat. Because of their APL designation, these areas are not protected and thus are at risk of encroachment or being cleared for industrial purposes.“These habitats are not secure yet because they’re still zoned for conversion,” Singleton said. “So each hectare and each individual is important [to protect].”Wiratno said the ministry was considering whether to convert these areas into either protected forest areas or wildlife sanctuaries to ensure the protection of the orangutans. He added that once protected, they would exempt from any logging activity.Changing the designation would require spatial planning revision, which Wiratno said would be processed soon through meetings between the ministry and the North Sumatra provincial government.A Tapanuli orangutan in Sumatra. Photo by Maxime Aliaga.In addition to a spatial planning overview, the ministry will also come up with a conservation plan that involves all stakeholders in the region. This will include a community patrol to ensure there is no poaching in the habitat, as well as looking at the possibility of implanting tracking chips into the orangutans’ teeth to monitor them, Wiratno said.Singleton agreed that it was important to have a plan in place that all parties could agree on.“The status of the habitat, whether it’s a sanctuary, an APL area or a protected forest, is not that important,” he said. “What’s important is there’s a system that’s supported by all stakeholders.”The provincial government has also chimed in, with North Sumatra Governor Tengku Erry Nuradi saying his administration would soon issue a local regulation for the protection of the Tapanuli orangutan. Animals, Apes, Archive, Conservation, Dams, Deforestation, Energy, Environment, Featured, Forests, Great Apes, Habitat Loss, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indonesia, Infrastructure, Logging, Mammals, New Species, Orangutans, Pet Trade, Poaching, Primary Forests, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Research, Roads, Wildlife Article published by Hans Nicholas Jonglast_img read more

Some turtle embryos can influence their own sex, study finds

first_imgThe sex of some turtle species is influenced not by genes but by the temperatures they experience in the nests. Embryos of the Chinese pond turtle, however, can move inside the eggs toward cooler or hotter spots and influence their own sex, at least to some extent, a new study has found.This is good news because it means that, at least in theory, the turtles might be able to buffer some of the predicted shifts in the sex ratio because of climate change.But while the embryos seem to be influencing their sex under ideal conditions, researchers say that it may not be enough to counter the rapidly changing climate brought about by human activities. The sex of some turtle species is influenced not by genes but by the temperatures they experience in the nest. Eggs incubated at cooler temperatures develop into males, while those that face warmer temperatures turn out to be females. When temperatures fluctuate between cool and warm, the eggs produce a mix of male and female babies.The Chinese three-keeled pond turtle (also called the Chinese pond turtle) is one such species. But its embryos seem to have some control over their own sexual fate, according to a new study.The embryos can move inside the eggs toward cooler or hotter spots, researchers have found, influencing their own sex to some extent. This is good news because it means that, at least in theory, the turtles might be able to buffer some of the predicted shifts in sex ratio because of climate change. Since hotter temperatures produce only female babies, rising temperatures due to climate change could end up creating populations of mostly female turtles, scientists say, leading to population declines.“Our research shows that a reptile embryo is not just a passive victim of global warming, but may control their own sex fate to some degree,” Du Wei-Guo, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and corresponding author of the study, told Mongabay.A turtle embryo. Image by Ye et al./Current Biology.In previous research, Du and his colleagues had shown that embryos of the freshwater Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii), an endangered species, move inside eggs in response to temperatures. The significance of this behavior, though, remained unclear.To find out more, the researchers conducted experiments on Chinese pond turtle eggs both in the laboratory — using eggs collected from a private commercial turtle farm in China’s Zhejiang province — and in an outdoor pond where farm turtles had laid some eggs.When incubation temperatures are cooler than 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit), the turtle’s eggs all hatch male babies. When the temperature rises above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), every embryo is a female. At 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit), or the pivotal temperature, the eggs are known to produce a 50:50 sex ratio.The researchers used capsazepine, a chemical that blocks the eggs from sensing temperature, on half of both the laboratory and outdoor eggs, and monitored the embryos throughout their development. When the eggs hatched, the team found that the embryos inside the eggs treated with capsazepine did not move as much compared to those in eggs that hadn’t been treated. The treated eggs also produced all male babies when the incubation temperature was low, and all females when the temperature was high. Embryos in the untreated eggs, meanwhile, had moved around inside the eggs and hatched into a 50:50 mix of male and female turtles.“Until a few years ago, we thought that even given the choice, turtles would not be able to choose among temperatures in the egg,” Rory Telemeco, an assistant professor at California State University, Fresno, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay in an email. “Then, thanks to earlier work by this laboratory, as well as myself and other colleagues, we thought that [embryos] could choose among temperatures, but may never be given the opportunity in nature. This study confirms that, at least in this species of turtle, both the choice of thermal environment and ability to choose among them can be available for embryos. Moreover, when available, embryos appear able to make the ‘good’ choice and choose the environment that will result in a more 50:50 sex ratio.”But a turtle embryo likely has very limited control over its own sex in the wild, researchers say. “The sexes of the baby turtles are most sensitive to conditions available in the environment and the mother’s nesting choices,” Telemeco said.The extent to which the embryos can counteract the effects of climate change also remains unclear.Telemeco said that while the embryos seem to be influencing their sex under ideal conditions, those conditions “might not be available much of the time, especially given climate change predictions.”“For embryos to meaningfully alter their temperatures within the egg, eggs must be large, near the surface, and average temperature during a 1-month window must be very close to the pivotal temperature for sex determination,” Telemeco said. “This study confirmed that this behavior only works under those conditions.“Most reptiles produce eggs that are too small, or buried too deep, or exposed to too extreme of average conditions for this behavioral response to have any effect. Therefore, we cannot consider embryo behavioral thermoregulation to be a panacea allowing this species or others to respond to climate change,” he added.Ideal conditions aside, Du agreed that the embryos’ power over their own sex may not be enough to counter the rapidly changing climate brought about by human activities.“However, the discovery of this surprising level of control in such a tiny organism suggests that in at least some cases, evolution has conferred an ability to deal with such challenges,” Du said.Chinese pond turtle. Image by Σ64 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0).Citation:Ye, Y., Ma, L., Sun, B., Li, T., Wang, Y., Shine, R., and Du, W. (2019) The embryos of turtles can influence their own sexual destinies. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.038 Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, freshwater turtles, Green, Herps, Reptiles, Research, Turtles, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Forests and forest communities critical to climate change solutions

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Mining, Biodiversity, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Climate Science, Conservation, Deforestation, Earth Science, Environment, Forest Carbon, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Gold Mining, Green, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Human Rights, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, IPCC, Land Rights, Logging, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Traditional People, Tribal Groups, Tropical Forests 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 John Cannoncenter_img A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights the importance of land use in addressing climate change.The restoration and protection of forests could be a critical component in strategies to mitigate climate change, say experts, but governments must halt deforestation and forest degradation to make way for farms and ranches.The IPCC report also acknowledges the role that indigenous communities could play.The forests under indigenous management often have lower deforestation and emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. How we use the planet’s land, including forests, will make a huge difference in determining the path of climate change in the future, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.The IPCC released a summary of its special report on climate change and land on Aug. 8. Experts say the report reinforces the importance of taking land use into account as a front-line strategy for dealing with rising global temperatures as a result of increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.“Our options in terms of protecting, restoring and expanding forests are immediately available, proven at scale, and often very cost-effective, while also providing benefits for clean air, water, biodiversity, soil health, climate resilience — you name it,” Katharine Mach, a climate researcher and associate professor at the University of Miami, said in a press briefing on Aug. 1.Forest and terraced hillsides in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Forests collectively pull out roughly a third of global CO2 emissions, and the potential for keeping a lid on climate change is even higher with the right restoration and protection plans in place, Mach said. That emphasis on keeping forests standing and bringing them back in places where they once stood dovetails with the need to cut the amount of fossil fuels we burn for energy.“This relationship between fossil fuels and forests is a ‘yes-and’ relationship,” she added.A banana plantation in the village of San Jose in the Philippines. Image by Jeoffrey Maitem/Global Witness.But holding back the tide of deforestation against interests intent on short-term financial gains has proven difficult.“That is why we need to ensure tropical forests are worth more standing than when they are cut down for grazing livestock, growing crops or harvesting timber,” David Festa, senior vice president for ecosystems with the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement.The sentiment echoes a remark from noted biologist E.O. Wilson during an interview with the BBC: “Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.”Residents playing basketball in the village of San Jose in the Philippines. Image by Jeoffrey Maitem/Global Witness.That’s particularly true in the Brazilian Amazon, Carlos Nobre, a senior climate scientist at Brazil’s University of São Paolo, said at the briefing. The push for timber, agriculture, ranching and mining in the largest block of rainforest left on Earth has led to a surge in deforestation rates of 40 percent in the past three years.“That’s very worrying,” Nobre said. He added that continued deforestation in the Amazon could permanently turn the rainforest into a savanna that releases tens of billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.“The Amazon forest may be closer to a tipping point than we assumed before,” Nobre said.Protecting forests because of their potential to mitigate climate change can have other positive effects, such as protecting biodiversity. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Part of the solution could come from overhauling the way we produce food, Charlotte Streck, founder of the think tank Climate Focus, said during the briefing. Streck pointed out that raising livestock to satisfy the global appetite for meat accounts for 15 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the majority of emissions from the global agricultural sector.“All this means that one of the most effective climate actions that we can take as individuals is to improve our diets,” she said. “The good news is that we are already seeing diet changes in the United States and Europe. The consumption of red meat is falling, in particular, in urban centers.”But for lasting changes to protect forests, we must take into account — and indeed, enlist the experience, knowledge and expertise — of the people who call them home, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said at the briefing.A local farmer in the Philippines. Image by Jeoffrey Maitem/Global Witness.“No one understands the value of forests better than indigenous and local communities,” she said. “As experts, often guided by hundreds of years of knowledge, we are uniquely suited to manage, protect and restore the world’s forests.”Research has shown that forests managed by indigenous communities have lower deforestation rates and release less CO2 than those managed by governments, and the new IPCC report recognizes for the first time the role these peoples could play in addressing climate change.“Finally, the world’s top scientists recognize what we have always known,” a group of community and indigenous organizations from 42 countries said in their response to the report released on Aug. 8.A member of a group resisting a hydropower dam in Guatemala. Image by James Rodriguez/Global Witness.But critical to nurturing that beneficial relationship is acknowledging indigenous land rights around the world. The statement’s authors point out that these communities customarily take care of more than half the world’s surface. But governments only recognize their ownership of about a tenth of global land. Furthermore, the signatories to the response argue, these groups must be involved in decision-making processes about what happens to the land they hold — what’s known as free, prior and informed consent, or FPIC.But standing up for the right to have a say over what happens to a piece of land is often contentious and dangerous. On July 30, Global Witness released a report documenting the deaths of 164 “land and environmental defenders” in 2018 — an average of more than three a week.Another study, published Aug. 5 in the journal Nature Sustainability, found that more than one-third of killings between 2014 and 2017 over natural resources involved either agriculture or mining interests.“No one knows the conflicts playing out among food, fuel and forests better than indigenous peoples and local communities,” Tauli-Corpuz said. “We’re often in the cross-hairs of conflicts over land, especially forests.”The number of environmental and land defenders killed by country in 2018. Image courtesy of Global Witness.Banner image of a farmer looking over the new oil palm plantation abutting his land in Peru, by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitation:Butt, N., Lambrick, F., Menton, M., & Renwick, A. (2019). The supply chain of violence. Nature Sustainability, 2(8), 742-747. doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0349-4FEEDBACK: 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

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

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

Beehive fences can help mitigate human-elephant conflict

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri 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 Crop-raiding by elephants can devastate small farmers, leading to food insecurity, lost opportunity costs, and even death, as well as negative attitudes towards elephants, but finding effective and inexpensive solutions has proven extremely difficult.Beehive fences—surrounding crops fields with beehives attached to fence posts and strung together with wires—may serve as a humane and eco-friendly way to protect crops from elephants.Repeated farm-level trials have demonstrated benefits to farmers of using beehive fences, including fewer elephants approaching their fields and, for communities willing to manage the bees, production of “elephant-friendly” honey. However, the strategy doesn’t work everywhere: it requires management by farmers and willingness of bees to occupy at least some of the hives, and appropriate length and positioning to dissuade elephants from just walking around them.Beehive fences have benefited farmers in several East African countries, and projects elsewhere have begun to test them as well, but several uncertainties, including their success at a scale that doesn’t just displace the elephants to the first unfenced farm, suggest they should still be used with other techniques as part of a toolkit to reduce human-elephant conflict. Human-elephant conflict poses major threats to the well-being of both humans and animals. Crop-raiding by elephants across Asia and Africa can be devastating for small farmers, leading to food insecurity, lost opportunity costs, and even death. Crop-raiding and property damage can also result in negative attitudes towards elephant conservation and retaliatory killings of elephants.A camera trap photo captured after midnight of an elephant bull turning away from the beehive fence (one of the hives is on the left). Image courtesy of Southern Tanzania Elephant Program (STEP).Finding effective and inexpensive solutions has proven extremely difficult. Farmers guarding their fields at night lose sleep and put themselves in potentially close proximity to hungry elephants. Killing “problem” elephants is not only inhumane, but is also ineffective at reducing human-elephant conflict. Electric fences, while effective in theory, often fail in practice because they are costly and difficult to maintain.Bees to the rescueMore recently, conservationists have explored the use of beehive fences as a humane and eco-friendly way to protect crops from elephants. Zoologist Lucy King of the NGO Save the Elephants told Mongabay the idea came from Kenyan farmers, who noticed that elephants avoided foraging in trees that contained beehives.A beehive fence under Sagalla Mountain in Kenya. Hives are supported by posts and connected by wires, so that pressure on the wire disturbs the nearest occupied hives along the fence. Thatched roofs protect the hives from direct sunlight. The NGO Save The Elephants has experimented with various designs, including units that are not occupied hives but that contribute to the technique. A higher percentage of occupied hives gives a better chance of success in discouraging elephants from approaching further. Image by Lucy King.In the late 2000s, King and several Save the Elephants colleagues conducted a pilot study to determine if beehive fences could protect farms in Kenya. They placed locally constructed beehives on fence posts every 8 meters (about 26 feet) and connected them with wires. If an elephant tried to enter between the hives, it would knock into the wires, causing the hives to sway and disturbing the bees. In this study, the researchers found that elephant raids were reduced by almost half on a farm with a beehive fence compared to an unprotected farm.Since then, King and her colleagues have conducted two sets of field trials in Kenya. The first set of trials, published in 2011, found that beehive fences were better at protecting crops than traditional thorn bush barriers. The second set of trials, published in 2017, reported that 80 percent of elephants that approached the beehive fences were deterred from entering the farms. However, this second study did not report data from control farms – those not protected with beehive fences – so we cannot know if this represents a significant improvement.Currently, King and her colleagues at Save the Elephants are studying or implementing beehive fences for crop protection in 15 countries in Africa and four countries in Asia. The beehive fence concept has generated high levels of interest and acceptance among farmers in Africa and Asia. In Kenya, participating farms more than doubled over the course of field trials as farmers requested to join, and in Thailand, over 80 percent of cassava and sugar cane plantation owners reported that they were interested in trying beehive fences.However, comparatively few studies on beehive fences have been performed in Asia. One small study in India observed that elephants were less likely to enter agricultural areas through areas with beehive fences, although statistical evaluations were not performed.Kennedy holding jar of elephant-friendly honey produced by his community from management of the bees in the beehives. Image courtesy of Jane Wynyard / Save the Elephants.Beehive fences can provide many benefits to a community. In addition to humanely deterring elephants from entering farms, bees provide pollination services (which could increase crop yields) and honey (which farmers can sell to diversify their income). King and colleagues also found that even long-term use of beehive fences does not seem to negatively impact wild bee diversity.Problems and solutionsAlthough these trials seem to show great success overall, beehive fences have yet to be implemented at a broad scale. Wildlife veterinarian Richard Hoare, a member of the IUCN Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force states that, “the sample sizes of farms in bee fence projects claiming success are too small to be extrapolated to general use.”Furthermore, beehive fences don’t work everywhere, and several factors can decrease their efficacy, including the design of the fences, the species of bee, and bee activity. A trial in Zimbabwe did not find any difference in crop damage between farms with beehives and those without. However, this may be because hives were hung on poles and not connected with wire. In other words, elephants could easily pass between the hives without disturbing the bees.The STEP team in southern Tanzania discussing the beehive fence including the costs and benefits of shielding hives from direct sun in the form of makuti thatch roofs. Image courtesy of STEP.Efficacy may also be affected by the species of bees that live in different regions. King says that the honey bees kept in many parts of Asia – called Apis cerana indica – are much less aggressive than African bee species and are less effective at deterring elephants.Even for beehives inhabited by the same species, not all hives deter elephants equally. A trial in Gabon found that while high-activity hives were very effective at protecting fruit trees from elephants, low-activity hives (and empty hives) were less effective. Unfortunately, this same study found that bees in very high-activity hives may produce less honey and be more aggressive than bees in low-activity hives.Challenges inherent to beekeeping have affected the effectiveness of some beehive fence projects. Conservationist and biological anthropologist Katarzyna Nowak told Mongabay that in many places in Africa, beekeepers simply provide hives and must wait for bees to come colonize them, sometimes resulting in low hive occupancy and consequently, less effective beehive fences. Furthermore, it can be hazardous to work with hundreds of stinging insects. African bees can be very aggressive – during one trial, two goats were stung to death, and people could not work in nearby fields when a hive was knocked down.Beehive fence in Kenya protecting maize (corn) from elephants that approach looking for a high-calorie meal. Image by Lucy King.Due to hazards like these, Hoare notes that the beehive fence technique, “will most likely only work in rural communities with a previous culture of beekeeping.” Indeed, Nowak says that it’s very important to take community history and preferences into account on these projects. “It’s as much about how people receive the particular deterrent method – and therefore maintain it – as it is about the efficacy of it,” she says.Farmers extracting honey from hives in the beehive fence. Communities with beekeeping interest are good candidates for beehive fence programs. Image courtesy of STEP.Another problem is that hives and the honey within them are subject to theft – sometimes by other humans, but often by honey badgers. Colonies often abandon a hive after a honey badger attack. However, simple additions like cages or motion-activated lights have shown promise in reducing honey badger impact on beehives.King says one of the biggest threats to beehive fence projects in more arid areas is actually climate change. “With climate change, the rainfall has become so erratic that we’re getting erratic flowering seasons, so the bees are being affected,” she says. “We’re losing colonies because they’re not holding on through the dry seasons…I don’t know what it means for our project long-term.”A line of beehives designed to protect crops on in northern Kenya. As dry seasons lengthen, bees may not be able to support themselves inside hives throughout the year, a concern for beehive fence farmers. Image by Lucy King.Some of the challenges of keeping bees — like hive maintenance, attacks by honey badgers, bee stings, and problems with hive occupation during the dry season — could be solved by using a stimulus that mimics bees rather than actual bees.Some trials have shown that buzzing bee sounds seemed to disturb elephants – one study found that 94 percent of African elephant families quickly left the area when the sound of disturbed bees was played. In India, news reports have detailed minor reductions in elephant fatalities in train collisions by using bee noises near the train tracks (although it’s unclear if this small decrease merely represents random variation that occurs year-to-year). Another study found that chemicals contained in bee alarm pheromones seemed to cause elephants to hesitate or retreat.But these bee-mimickers aren’t universally applicable either. A study in South Africa noted that elephants appeared, at most, mildly disturbed or attentive in response to bee noises alone. Another study found that Asian elephants did not retreat from beehive noises significantly more than they moved away from control noises (although they did move farther away when movement occurred).The human-elephant conflict toolboxThe moral of the story is that no single technique is 100 percent effective. Researchers acknowledge that several strategies should be used to foster the peaceful coexistence of elephants and people. “I’m a huge fan of what we call the human-elephant conflict toolbox,” says King. “There’s a variety of options you can use to keep elephants out of your farm and to live better with elephants. Without question, beehive fences should be one of those tools, but it’s not necessarily a silver bullet for the entire problem, nor are any of the others.”A remote camera captures an elephant approaching a beehive fence and deciding its next move. Image courtesy of Lucy King.Several other strategies have been determined to be at least partially effective, including setting off small handheld fireworks  putting chili oil on fences surrounding crops. King says her team is experimenting with growing crops that are regionally appropriate but less palatable for elephants. These include tea, ginger, sunflowers, and chilis.Overall, King says that beehive fences have been quite successful and word of that success has spread. “We have people queuing up for beehive fences, literally coming to the research center and emailing me from all over the world, requesting these.”An example of combining techniques to reduct human-elephant conflict: fences made of chili-oil (left) and beehives (right) between the Udzungwa Mountains National Park boundary and adjacent farms in Tanzania. Image courtesy of STEP.CitationsGubbi, S., Swaminath, M. H., Poornesha, H. C., Bhat, R., & Raghunath, R. (2014). An elephantine challenge: human–elephant conflict distribution in the largest Asian elephant population, southern India. Biodiversity and conservation, 23(3), 633-647.Hoare, R. (2012). Lessons from 15 years of human–elephant conflict mitigation: management considerations involving biological, physical and governance issues in Africa. Pachyderm, 51, 60-74.Johnson, Abigail S., “The Effects of Tactile and Visual Deterrents on Honey Badger Predation of Beehives” (2019). CUNY Academic Works.https://academicworks.cuny.edu/hc_sas_etds/409Karidozo, M., & Osborn, F. V. (2005). Can bees deter elephants from raiding crops? An experiment in the communal lands of Zimbabwe. Pachyderm, (39), 26-32.King, L. E., Douglas-Hamilton, I., & Vollrath, F. (2007). African elephants run from the sound of disturbed bees. Current Biology, 17(19), R832-R833.King, L. E., Lawrence, A., Douglas‐Hamilton, I., & Vollrath, F. (2009). Beehive fence deters crop‐raiding elephants. African Journal of Ecology, 47(2), 131-137.King, L. E., Douglas‐Hamilton, I., & Vollrath, F. (2011). Beehive fences as effective deterrents for crop‐raiding elephants: field trials in northern Kenya. African Journal of Ecology, 49(4), 431-439.King, L. E., Lala, F., Nzumu, H., Mwambingu, E., & Douglas‐Hamilton, I. (2017). Beehive fences as a multidimensional conflict‐mitigation tool for farmers coexisting with elephants. Conservation Biology, 31(4), 743-752.King, L. E., Serem, E., & Russo, L. (2018). Minimal effect of honey beehive fences on native bee diversity and abundance at the farm scale during the dry season in southern Kenya. Apidologie, 49(6), 862-871.King, L., Pardo, M., Weerathunga, S., Kumara, T. V., Jayasena, N., Soltis, J., & de Silva, S. (2018). Wild Sri Lankan elephants retreat from the sound of disturbed Asian honey bees. Current Biology, 28(2), R64-R65.Mackenzie, C. A., & Ahabyona, P. (2012). Elephants in the garden: Financial and social costs of crop raiding. Ecological Economics, 75, 72-82.Nair, R. P., & Jayson, E. A. (2016). Effectiveness of beehive fences to deter crop raiding elephants in Kerala, India. Int. Res. J. Nat. Appl. Sci, 3, 14-19.Ndlovu, M., Devereux, E., Chieffe, M., Asklof, K., & Russo, A. (2016). Responses of African elephants towards a bee threat: Its application in mitigating human-elephant conflict. South African Journal of Science, 112(1-2), 01-05.Ngama, S., Korte, L., Bindelle, J., Vermeulen, C., & Poulsen, J. R. (2016). How bees deter elephants: beehive trials with forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in Gabon. PloS one, 11(5), e0155690.Sitati, N. W., & Walpole, M. J. (2006). Assessing farm-based measures for mitigating human-elephant conflict in Transmara District, Kenya. Oryx, 40(3), 279-286.van de Water, A., & Matteson, K. (2018). Human-elephant conflict in western Thailand: Socio-economic drivers and potential mitigation strategies. PloS one, 13(6), e0194736.Wright, M. G., Spencer, C., Cook, R. M., Henley, M. D., North, W., & Mafra-Neto, A. (2018). African bush elephants respond to a honeybee alarm pheromone blend. Current Biology, 28(14), R778-R780.Disney has supported the beehive fence research, including on this farm in Kenya. Image by Lucy King.FEEDBACK: 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.center_img Agriculture, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Conservation Solutions, Elephants, human-elephant conflict, Human-wildlife Conflict, low-tech, Subsistence Agriculture last_img read more

Indonesian palm oil firm hit with $1.8m fine for 2015 fires

first_imgDeforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Environmental Crime, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forests, Law, Law Enforcement, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Banner image: Fires raze Jambi’s protected peat forest Londerang. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia. Indonesia’s environment ministry has won a long-awaited court judgment and $1.8 million fine from a palm oil company that experienced fires on its concession in 2015.The company, PT Kaswari Unggul, had challenged the initial administrative sanctions issued in the wake of the burning, and continued to stonewall against the ministry’s efforts to hold it responsible for the burning.Ironically, the company’s resistance to the sanctions, which would have compelled it to introduce fire-prevention measures on its land, may have contributed to fires flaring up on the same concession again this year.The ministry has welcomed the recent judgment, but has yet to collect on any of the combined $224 million it’s been awarded in similar cases, thanks to legal stonewalling and a Byzantine court bureaucracy. JAKARTA — An Indonesian court has fined an palm oil company $1.8 million for fires that occurred on its concession in 2015, capping a four-year ordeal by the government to bring the firm to justice.The South Jakarta District Court ruled on Dec. 10 that PT Kaswari Unggul, a subsidiary of Jakarta-listed Bakrie Sumatera Plantations, was responsible for the fires that burned 129 hectares (319 acres) of its land in Sumatra’s Jambi province in 2015, and ordered it to pay a fine of 25.5 billion rupiah.“We see the verdict as evidence that land and forest fires constitute an extraordinary crime,” said Rasio Ridho Sani, the head of law enforcement at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, which brought the case against the company.The ruling and fine mark the latest chapter in a long-running battle between the ministry and Kaswari. Shortly after the 2015 fires, the ministry imposed administrative sanctions on the company and several others. But Kaswari challenged the sanctions by reporting the ministry to various government agencies, including the national ombudsman and the office of the president, according to Jasmin Ragil Utomo, the ministry’s director of civil litigation.“Kaswari is a company that’s naughty,” Jasmin said. “Instead of carrying out the administrative sanction, they reported [us] everywhere.”The company’s resistance culminated with a complaint filed at the State Administrative Court in May 2017, seeking to nullify the administrative sanctions. Kaswari argued that it was the victim of the 2015 fires, which it said had started in an unlicensed forest area more than a mile from its plantation and had spread out of control.“There’s no reason whatsoever for PT Kaswari Unggul to burn its oil palm plantation that’s still very productive,” the company said in a statement in 2016. “In fact, PT Kaswari Unggul suffered a lot because of the fires that destroyed oil palm trees that were still very productive. There’s no economic benefit at all, such as insurance claim, because [the plantation] wasn’t insured.”The administrative court rejected the company’s complaint in October 2017.For flouting the administrative sanctions, the environment ministry proceeded to bring a civil lawsuit against the company, as well as a criminal complaint. The criminal case is currently being heard at court.“If they had just complied with the administrative sanctions [in 2015], they wouldn’t be facing these heavier [fines],” Jasmin said.Burning in Jambi’s protected peat forest Lorendang where restoration efforts by WWF-Indonesia and the Peat Restoration Agency take place. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia.Burning againThose initial sanctions, which called for, among other things, rehabilitation of the burned area and introduction of fire-prevention measures, could also have prevented a repeat of the disaster.Instead, the same concession experienced fires across 11.6 ha (29 acres) this year, prompting the environment ministry to seal off parts of the concession and put Kaswari on a list of repeat offenders.As it did with the earlier fires, Kaswari blamed this year’s burning on fires that spread from outside its concession. Sugeng Rahayu, the company’s head of agronomy, said the fires originated from the nearby Londerang protected peat forest, where WWF and the government’s Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) have been working to restore degraded peat areas.The Londerang peat forest is surrounded by five oil palm plantations and two logging concessions.Rasio said all concession holders in Indonesia, including Kaswari, are liable for fires in their concessions, regardless of where the burning started. That same concept was adopted by the Jakarta court in its recent ruling against Kaswari.Rasio said the environment ministry would continue going after companies with fires on their land, regardless of how long ago the burning occurred.“We can trace trails and evidence of previous fires with the support of experts and technology,” he said. “Land and forest fires are a serious crime because they directly affect the public health, economy, ecosystem degradation over a long period of time.”The ministry has to date taken 17 companies to court over fires, winning judgments against nine of them with combined fines of 3.15 trillion rupiah ($224 million), Jasmin said. He added more lawsuits were planned in 2020 over this year’s fires, which were the worst since 2015.However, the government has yet to collect any of the fines, thanks to a combination of legal stonewalling by the companies and a Byzantine court bureaucracy that renders rulings practically unenforceable.last_img read more

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

first_imgActivism, Animals, Apes, Conservation, Dams, Deforestation, Endangered Environmentalists, Energy, Environment, Environmental Activism, Featured, Forests, Great Apes, Greenwashing, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Orangutans, Primates, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Activists and academics have attempted to stop the construction of the Batang Toru hydropower plant in North Sumatra, which is currently being built in the sole known habitat of the Tapanuli Orangutan.Critics of the dam have faced defamation charges, visits from intelligence officers, abrupt termination from conservation jobs and warnings that they could lose the right to work in Indonesia. One prominent opponent of the dam died in suspicious circumstances in October.Activists in North Sumatra say they feel constantly under threat. Dam developer PT NSHE denies any efforts to silence or intimidate critics, saying the company is “always open to inputs and to collaborate with various stakeholders.” JAKARTA — Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, the only known habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), has proven to be a precarious place for the ape. Just 800 individuals survive in a rapidly shrinking habitat, and the orangutans, which were only described as a new species in 2017, are already listed as a critically endangered by the IUCN.In recent months, the people involved in efforts to protect these orangutans have also been feeling endangered. Activists fighting a hydropower dam planned for the orangutan’s habitat describe an atmosphere of fear and threats, both subtle and direct.Indonesia is a dangerous place for activists, and North Sumatra is no exception. In October 2019, the office of a human rights NGO and a coffee shop popular with activists were firebombed in the provincial capital, Medan. Early November saw the grisly murder of two activists-cum-journalists on an oil palm plantation in the province, allegedly by hitmen hired by the plantation owner.“The tension is high,” says Dana Tarigan, the head of the North Sumatra chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi). “In the past, we were only threatened verbally or intimidated, but now the threats are becoming real. And that makes us more cautious.”Most chilling for activists campaigning against the hydropower dam is the recent death of Golfrid Siregar, a 34-year-old environmental activist and legal aide. Formerly a Walhi staffer, Golfrid resigned shortly before his death to focus on a lawsuit aimed at forcing the North Sumatra government to revoke the environmental permit for the dam being built in the orangutans’ habitat. The lawsuit alleges that a crucial signature was forged during the permit process for the project, known as the Batang Toru hydropower project. In August, Golfrid had also reported three local police officers to the national police for allegedly stopping a related investigation into licensing irregularities.On Oct. 3, Golfrid was found critically injured on a traffic overpass in Medan. He died three days later in the hospital. Officials ruled the death to be the result of a drunken motorcycle accident. But his friends and family are unconvinced by the explanation: They say he wasn’t a drinker and that his injuries were not consistent with a motorcycle crash. Moreover, they point to death threats made against Golfrid over his activism, which included campaigns against oil palm plantations and sand mines in addition to his work to stop the Batang Toru dam.While there’s no hard evidence linking Golfrid’s death to his work on the dam, it still sent a chilling message to other activists in the region, says Ronald M. Siahaan, the national head of Walhi’s legal department. Ronald says Golfrid’s death, and the fear it has instilled, has also dealt a blow to the lawsuit against the dam: Another lawyer working on the case has since backed out in fear.“That’s how scared we are in Sumatra right now,” says Ronald. “These threats have turned out not to be just empty words.”Golfrid Siregar, center, and his team submit a lawsuit against the North Sumatra government over alleged irregularities in the permitting process for the Batang Toru hydropower project. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).A controversial projectThe dam developer, PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (NSHE), has denied any involvement in the death threats against Golfrid.“We’re actually supporting the police to shine light on [Golfrid’s] death so that the dam project won’t be tied to the incident,” says PT NSHE spokesperson Firman Taufick.The dam, currently under construction and scheduled to start operating in 2022, has been under scrutiny because environmentalists fear it will bring about the extinction of the Tapanuli orangutan by destroying the only forest where it lives.According to a 2018 study published in the journal Current Biology, the dam would alter at least 8 percent (96 square kilometers or 37 square miles) of the orangutan’s habitat by 2022, further fragmenting an already disjointed population into smaller groups. Scientists say this will increase the chances of problems like inbreeding and accelerate the species’ demise.PT NSHE, however, says it only holds a permit to work within a 70 km2 (27 mi2) area, and the company will clear less than 6 km2 (2.3 mi2) of forest. The company also argues that a river and a provincial road have already splintered the orangutan habitat.Despite global concern and ongoing campaigns against the dam’s construction, the project enjoys the government’s full-throated endorsement. It is listed as part of the government’s official electricity procurement plan and has also been given prominent billing as part of the country’s emissions reduction strategy. PT NSHE was even a sponsor for Indonesia’s pavilion at both the 2018 and 2019 U.N. climate talks.An investigation by leading Indonesian newsmagazine Tempo into the Dharmawangsa Group, PT NSHE’s majority stakeholder, found that the group has connections in high places. Subroto, the group’s founder, is a former minister of energy and mineral resources. During a graft case unrelated to the dam, another former energy minister, Jero Wacik testified in court that he enjoyed free services from the group’s Dharmawangsa Hotel.Tempo also tracked connections between PT NSHE and the government of South Tapanuli District, where the dam project is located. The district head, who in 2011 issued a location permit for PT NSHE, is Syahrul Martua Pasaribu. His brother, Panusunan Pasaribu, served as a PT NSHE commissioner from 2012 to 2016. Another brother, Gus Irawan Pasaribu, was the head of the parliamentary commission overseeing energy and environment from 2016 to 2019.The Batang Toru hydropower project also gained an endorsement from Emmy Hafild, the former head of Walhi who has now become a politician and a member of the National Democratic political party, a part of the President’s ruling coalition. Emmy now serves as an advisor to PT NHSE’s chairman.The project is also backed by a substantial public relations campaign led by Intermatrix, a firm owned by Wimar Witoelar, the well-connected spokesman of former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid.But multiple activists and conservationists have told Mongabay that the efforts made by the proponents of the dam go much further than just a PR campaign.center_img FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. A Tapanuli orangutan in the Batang Toru forest, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Image by Matt Senior.Defamation casesAccording to Walhi’s Ronald Siahaan, journalists, activists and academics speaking against the dam have been systematically targeted.Ronald notes that police reports filed by companies affiliated with the project have resulted in at least two defamation cases, one against a local news outlet and one against an academic.On June 14, 2019, PT NHSE filed a report against trubus.id, an online environmental publication based in the city of Depok, alleging that trubus.id had defamed the company in two articles published in August 2018 that criticized the project. Rudi H. Paeru, the director of the publication, was summoned by the police in early November.Onrizal Onrizal, a forestry researcher at North Sumatra University, also faces criminal defamation charges. In 2013, the dam’s developers hired Onrizal to catalog the biodiversity of the Batang Toru ecosystem as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. Several years later, Onrizal told reporters he discovered that his findings were omitted from the EIA. He also found his signature appended to the final document, even though, he says, he never signed or even reviewed it. This allegation launched the lawsuit led by Golfrid Siregar before his death.Onrizal was separately reported to the police for defamation in July by A+ Digital PR agency, one of the PR companies hired by PT NSHE. The alleged defamation came in a statementoriginally published in August 2018 on the website of conservation advocacy group ALERT.The statement contained a quote from Onrizal, which has since been removed, accusing the PR firm of misleading the public. In July 2019, Onrizal posted a screenshot of the statement to Instagram, prompting the A+ Digital’s director, Myrna Irawaty, to file the police report.In an interview with Mongabay, Myrna confirmed that she had personally reported Onrizal for defamation, saying the scientist had “caused both material and immaterial damage to our company.”She added that her report was the extent of the company’s involvement in the matter. “We respect the ongoing legal process and completely entrust this case to the authorities.”The dam was subject to local protests even before the description of the Tapanuli Orangutan as a new species. In this 2017 image, a scuffle breaks out during protests led by indigenous peoples protesting the establishment of the hyrdopower project on land they hold sacred. Image by Ayat S. Karokaro/Mongabay-Indonesia.Scrutiny from intelligenceIn addition to facing threats of violence and legal action, some conservationists report being monitored by Indonesia’s State Intelligence Agency (BIN)According to Ronald, BIN officers visited an orangutan rehabilitation center in North Sumatra, which is run by the NGO Foundation for Sustainable Ecosystems, known by the acronym YEL in Indonesian. During the visit, Ronald says, BIN showed YEL staff email exchanges between other YEL employees and Walhi activists. The emails revealed that YEL had provided data that Walhi has used in its campaign against the dam.“The intelligence members knew about the communication between YEL and Walhi, and they were asking for clarification about the email exchanges,” Ronald said. “So everyone was scared and broke into a cold sweat.”YEL spokesperson Delfi Saragih declined to comment on the matter, saying she wasn’t aware of any visit by the intelligence agency.And it’s not just local organizations feeling pressured. PanEco, a Swiss-based NGO that partners with YEL to manage the orangutan rehabilitation center and also does research on orangutans in the Batang Toru area, also got a visit from BIN earlier this year.In early 2019, international activists began staging protests against the dam, including a series of small demonstrations in London. According to PanEco president Regina Frey, the protests rattled officials. Though Frey says PanEco had no involvement with the London activists, the organization came under scrutiny because the protests were an international event and PanEco is an international organization.In April 2019, BIN visited the foundation’s environmental education center in Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra. During the visit, Frey says her passport and visa were inspected. “I guess it was primarily to check my document,” Frey says. “There was no consequence. When you do such things [campaigning against the dam project], of course the intelligence is on your back. We are guests in your country.”A group of protesters urging the Indonesian government to save the Tapanuli orangutan in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London. Image courtesy of Protests for Orangutans Facebook page.Pressure on international groupsWhile local activists worry about violence, international organizations like PanEco face lesser-but-still-serious vulnerabilities. This reality came into focus in August 2019 after PanEco, which had initially described the dam as “the greatest threat to the long-term future of the Tapanuli orangutan,” announced it had formed a partnership with PT NSHE.Foreign organizations like PanEco operate only with permission from the Indonesian government, via memoranda of understanding with bodies like the Environment and Forestry Ministry.These memoranda can be abruptly terminated — as the international conservation NGO WWF recently discovered. On Oct. 5, the environment ministry terminated a two-decade-long partnership with the conservation group, following an internal evaluation concluding that WWF had been overstepping its authority in Indonesia.PanEco was put on notice that the group could face a similar outcome during a May 6 meeting with eco-activist turned-PT NHSE advocate Emmy Haflid. Frey and Emmy have known each other since the early 1980s, when Emmy worked for an environmental group run by Frey.The meeting, which took place at a street side durian stall in Medan, was also attended by representatives of PT NSHE and several officials from the environment ministry.In an interview with Mongabay, Emmy said that during the meeting she reminded Frey that PanEco’s work in Indonesia, and the memorandum dictating the terms of its partnership with the government, could be terminated if the organization and its staff members continued to criticize the dam.According to Frey, two specific PanEco staffers were mentioned by name: researchers Graham Usher and Gabriella Fredriksson, co-authors of a commentary on the dam published April 2019 in the journal Conservation Science and Practice that named the hydropower project as one of the threats to the survival of the Tapanuli orangutan.Emmy said speaking out against the dam amounted to campaigning, while PanEco’s memorandum with the environment ministry only allowed the organization to engage in research, conservation, ecotourism and fundraising.“People said I threatened [Regina]. I didn’t threaten her,” Emmy told Mongabay. “I just reminded her as a friend that this [campaigning] was already outside the activities permitted.”PT NSHE also denied pressuring PanEco.“NSHE is always open to inputs and to collaborate with various stakeholders in order to give as much positive impact as possible to the public,” the company told Mongabay. “There’s never pressure given to any parties because we really respect the freedom of speech of every stakeholders.”The Batang Toru River, the proposed power source for the hydroelectric project. Image by Ayat S. Karokaro/Mongabay-Indonesia.Police reportsPanEco staffers Usher and Fredriksson, and their colleague Ian Singleton, were also reported to the police by local community members for campaigning against the dam project.“They were accused of causing civil unrest, which is a very severe thing to do in Indonesia and probably other countries as well,” Frey told Mongabay. “So that was just like a bomb. This was very threatening. So I was just thinking, How we can appease the situation?”In addition to the police report, locals also staged a series of protests in front of PanEco office, demanding the deportation of the organization’s foreign staff members. A person familiar with the situation described the protests as “scary,” causing everybody in PanEco to be “constantly worried about what’s going to happen.”PanEco researchers, including Usher, Fredriksson and Singleton, had worked in Batang Toru for over a decade without previous problems with local residents. Their work figured prominently in the description of the Tapanuli orangutan. However, in May, Frey fired Usher and Fredriksson, communicating the decision by WhatsApp message.Three months later, PanEco signed a deal with PT NSHE to work together to protect the Tapanuli orangutan and minimize the dam’s impact on the apes. Frey says that teaming up with the developer was the best way to move forward, given the inevitability of the dam and the existence of other pressing threats to the species.“What’s more detrimental to the ecosystem is the gold mine, which is never mentioned,” she says, referring to the nearby Martabe gold mine operated by PT Agincourt Resources. “It’s a very huge company. There are also palm oil plantations and illegal encroachment.”She added, “NSHE has given us a lot of indications that this is what they want, to protect the whole place and help us convince the other stakeholders to do something.”Frey said she knew the deal would be controversial but that she’s willing to risk condemnation from other activists and the loss of donor funding because she believes working with PT NSHE is the best way to help the orangutan. “I don’t care about me being blamed,” she says. “You can’t make decisions based on self-consideration. We want to protect the Batang Toru ecosystem.”An ad for the Batang Toru hydropower project, describing it as “a socially and environmentally responsible developlment,” displayed at the Indonesian pavilion during the 24th U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Greenwashing concernsPrimatologist Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University describes PanEco’s decision to team up with PT NSHE as “disturbing.” Wich, who has carried out a spatial analysis showing forest loss due to the development of the dam and the power plant, believes the dam is the biggest threat to the Batang Toru ecosystem. And he dismisses the idea that the orangutan is more likely to survive if groups like PanEco agree to work with the developer.“That’s absurd,” he says.Wich also said he fears the memorandum with PanEco might play an important role in PT NSHE’s bid to secure funding for the project.The project is estimated to cost $1.68 billion, and it will be financed by equity and loans. Before the discovery of a new orangutan species was announced, PT NHSE was working to put in place the policies and documentation necessary to apply for loans from funders like World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).In response to the groundswell of global concern over the future of the Tapanuli orangutan, the IFC and ADB distanced themselves from the project. And in March 2019, the Bank of China, which is also involved in financing the project, said it had “noted the concerns expressed by some environmental organizations” and would carefully review the project. It has not issued any further public updates, leaving the funding for the project uncertain.In a recent interview with Mongabay, Hafild confirmed that the project’s funding was in doubt as a result of campaigns against the dam. “With the bad reputation we’ve received, I’m afraid banks are wary,” she said.The Batang Toru River, the proposed power source the dam, winds through the forest in North Sumatra province. Image by Ayat S. Karokaro/Mongabay-Indonesia.While PT NHSE works to burnish its image and secure funding for the dam, activists in North Sumatra face a difficult choice.Golfrid’s death, coupled with the legal threats connected to the dam project, has deterred some people from the fight against the dam. But others vow to continue campaigning.“We understand the risks that come with being human rights and environmental activists,” Dana, chapter head of Walhi North Sumatra, says. “We are cautious for sure because the threats are real, but truths still have to be revealed. So we won’t stop.”Banner Image: Tapanuli Orangutans found near YEL’s orangutan study camp in the Batang Toru forest, by Aditya Sumitra/Mighty Earth.last_img read more

Rare plant species are especially vulnerable to climate change, and rarity is more common than previously understood

first_imgResearchers from around the world spent 10 years compiling a database that now includes 20 million observational records of plant species occurrence, which they say is the largest dataset on botanical biodiversity ever created.They found that there are about 435,000 unique land plant species on planet Earth, and that a large fraction of them, 36.5% or some 158,535 species, can be considered “exceedingly rare,” meaning that they have only been observed and recorded anywhere in the world up to five times. In fact, 28.3% of the world’s plants, or 123,149 species, have been observed just three times or less, per the study.The research team found that rare species are clustered in a handful of rarity hotspots, and that global warming and the impacts of human land use are already disproportionately impacting the regions that harbor most of these rare plant species. Rare plant species are far more likely to go extinct than common species, yet we know surprisingly little about global species abundance.Most efforts to quantify species abundance focus on local communities, according to the authors of a study published late last year in the journal Science Advances, which limits our ability to accurately assess plant rarity.“Fortunately, with the rapid development of biodiversity databases and networks in the past decade, it is becoming increasingly possible to quantify continental and global patterns of biodiversity and test competing models for the origin and maintenance of these patterns at a global scale,” according to the authors of the study, a research team led by Brian Enquist, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona.The study was published to coincide with the UN climate negotiations that took place in Madrid, Spain last month.Enquist and co-authors from around the world spent 10 years compiling a database that now includes 20 million observational records of plant species occurrence, which they say is the largest dataset on botanical biodiversity ever created. Their goal is for that information to be used to inform conservation strategies that take the effects of climate change into account and help reduce global biodiversity loss.The researchers found that there are about 435,000 unique land plant species on planet Earth, and that a large fraction of them, 36.5% or some 158,535 species, can be considered “exceedingly rare,” meaning that they have only been observed and recorded anywhere in the world up to five times. In fact, 28.3% of the world’s plants, or 123,149 species, have been observed just three times or less, per the study.Credit: Patrick R. Roehrdanz, Moore Center for Science, Conservation International Data. From Enquist et al. (2019). doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaz0414“According to ecological and evolutionary theory, we’d expect many species to be rare, but the actual observed number we found was actually pretty startling,” Enquist said in a statement. “There are many more rare species than we expected.”The research team found that rare species are clustered in a handful of rarity hotspots, including Costa Rica, Madagascar, the Northern Andes in South America, South Africa, and Southeast Asia. From a climatological perspective, these regions remained relatively stable as Earth’s last ice age ended, the researchers found, which is what allowed rare species to survive in those locations.However, a stable climate past is no guarantee of a stable climate future. Enquist and team discovered that global warming and the impacts of human land use are already disproportionately impacting the regions that harbor most of these rare plant species. Thus, their estimates of global species abundance distributions have important implications for assessing extinction risks and planning conservation interventions.“Ultimately, rare species, by definition, are more prone to reductions in population size and extinction and should be high priorities for conservation,” the researchers write in the study. “Our results suggest that redoubling global efforts to conserve rare species is needed and that we have a closing window to do so. The tools to ensure that these rare species are maintained are area-based conservation and solutions to climate change.”Specifically, the researchers suggest that the Convention on Biological Diversity should recognize these areas as critical to conserving all life on Earth and target rarity hotspots for conservation as protected areas are expanded post-2020. They add that, because the UN climate convention “seeks to avoid extinctions due to the exceedance of species’ natural ability to adapt to climate change,” and regions with high numbers of rare species also appear to have “very high future-to-historic velocities of climate change,” conserving rarity hotspots is “yet another reason” we need to aggressively rein in global greenhouse gas emissions.The researchers conclude: “Joint climate and biodiversity efforts should be made to ensure that these numerous but little-known species, living in unusual climatic circumstances, persist into the future.”A hybrid of Encephalartos woodii, a rare species that is extinct in the wild, with E. natalensis. Photo by tato grasso, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5.CITATION• Enquist, B. J., Feng, X., Boyle, B., Maitner, B., Newman, E. A., Jørgensen, P. M., … & Couvreur, T. L. (2019). The commonness of rarity: Global and future distribution of rarity across land plants. Science Advances, 5(11), eaaz0414. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaz0414FEEDBACK: 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. 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 Big Data, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extinction, Environment, Global Warming, Mapping, Plants, Research, Saving Species From Extinction, Technology And Conservation center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Black-market anchovies: Report details Peru’s illegal fish meal industry

first_imgConservation, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Overfishing Peru is the world’s leading producer of fish meal, made from anchovetas (Engraulis ringens) and used primarily as feed for aquaculture and livestock.It’s unclear precisely how much of the substance it makes because a sizeable portion appears to be off the books.Some 22,000 tons of fish meal are produced annually by illegal factories located in the Pisco province of southern Peru, according to a report by the NGO Oceana.The report identified three illegal mechanisms currently operating in Peru to produce fish meal for export and domestic use. Peru is the world’s leading producer of fish meal, but it’s unclear precisely how much of the substance it makes, given that a sizeable portion appears to be off the books. The industry is based on the anchoveta (Engraulis ringens), a silvery little member of the anchovy family that teems in massive schools in Peruvian waters. The fish, subject to natural boom-and-bust population cycles compounded by overfishing, support on their tiny backs the world’s largest single-species fishery, Peru’s $1.5 billion fish meal industry and tens of thousands of jobs.Official figures showing that Peru exports more fish meal than it produces hint at the fishy production. The country exported 867,000 tons but produced just 800,000 tons, on average, each year between 2012 and 2016, according to 2016’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistical Yearbook, put out by the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE).The scale of this illegal trade is substantial: Recently, producers in Peru have each year churned out around 90,000 tons of fish meal worth $130 million, according to a report by Apoyo Consultoría, a Lima-based consulting firm, for the country’s National Bank and Insurance Inspectorate.“Since much of the harvest used in this way is not declared, even though the volume in relation to the anchoveta population isn’t very big, it does represent an important distortion to the monitoring and biological management of this species,” Juan Carlos Sueiro, director of fisheries for the Peruvian branch of the international marine conservation NGO Oceana, told Mongabay via email.Sueiro co-authored an investigation for Oceana released in February 2019 that identified three illegal mechanisms currently operating in Peru to produce fish meal for export and domestic use. These are factories operating without installation permits or appropriate operating licenses; businesses that claim to produce food for human consumption but instead systematically divert anchovetas to fish meal factories; and drying fields, where anchoveta remains are dried in the sun in a labor-intensive, unsanitary and highly illegal way.The global market for aquaculture and livestock feed is driving increased production of fish meal and fish oil in places like Peru, West Africa, and India. But critics say the sector encourages the indiscriminate harvest of marine life without regard for ecological impact and takes seafood out of domestic food supplies, often in very poor and food-insecure countries. The use of fish meal in aquaculture has drawn particular fire as an inefficient use of marine resources. The cultivation of salmon or shrimp, for instance, requires more than six times as much wild fish, pound per pound, according to a recent report by the Netherlands-based Changing Markets Foundation.The aquaculture industry counters that there is little demand for wild forage fish like Peruvian anchoveta, so it makes sense to feed them to more marketable fish like salmon. Numerous efforts are afoot to develop alternative feeds and markets for species, such as tilapia, that require less fish in their diets. For the moment, however, global demand for fish meal is only rising.Mechanism one: Illegal fish meal factoriesThe Oceana investigation identified 10 illegal fish meal factories in the coastal province of Pisco in southern Peru. With no installation permits or operating licenses, these unmarked factories are located in agricultural areas and are difficult to access. They each process between 10 and 90 tons of mainly fresh anchovetas every day, or other species if necessary. Illegal fish meal factories in Pisco, according to the marine conservation NGO Oceana. Image courtesy of Oceana.The fish are brought directly from the artisanal fishing docks in the district of San Andrés and La Puntilla Fishing Complex 11 kilometers (7 miles) to the south, passing through around 10 different intermediaries along the way. “That’s where we lose track of them,” said Renato Gozzer, a fisheries engineer with the Peruvian NGO REDES and a co-author of the investigation. “The intermediaries’ world is pretty closed and dangerous. They are very territorial, dividing up the ports and acting like the Mafia,” he said.Since 2000, industrial fish meal factories have modernized their equipment in line with new environmental norms. The owners sold off the old machinery as scrap. “This equipment hasn’t been destroyed; it has been recycled and that’s what these illegal factories are using,” Gozzer said. Even with out-of-date machinery, the illegal factories can process up to 15 tons of feedstock per hour, three times more than a legal residual fish meal factory (one that processes otherwise unusable fish or fish parts) is authorized to process.The illegal factories use machinery discarded by the legal factories. Image courtesy of Oceana.Oceana estimates that each year these plants produce 22,000 tons of high-protein fish meal and 5,000 tons of fish oil with a total value of $32 million. And this is just a portion of Peru’s black-market fish meal industry.Mechanism two: Diverting anchoviesWhen an anchoveta is caught in Peruvian waters, its destination depends on the type of boat that catches it. If an artisanal fishing vessel catches it, it goes to a factory that handles fish categorized for “direct human consumption” to be processed and preserved by freezing or canning. The head, tail and intestines are removed and only part of its body will end up on the dinner table.The leftovers, which can legally comprise up to three-quarters of an anchoveta’s body, go to the so-called residual fish meal factories. This fish meal is of much lower quality than conventional fish meal made by factories that process whole anchovetas caught by industrial vessels.Anchoveta-fishing vessels along the Peruvian coast. Image by Andre Baertschi/Oceana.Oceana’s investigation found that whole anchovetas destined for the direct human consumption plants are systematically diverted to the residual fish meal plants. “[A] truck simply enters [an unmarked garage], holds the anchovetas for a while until they are no longer fit for human consumption and must be sent to the fish meal factories,” Sueiro said. A direct human consumption factory suspected of diverting whole anchovetas to residual fish meal plants, which are only supposed to process fish heads, intestines, and other discarded parts. Image courtesy of Oceana.Oceana compared the official export and production volumes of cured anchovetas, known as curados. Exports were marginal, so most of the production, some 5,200 tons annually, should be available for consumption within Peru. The strange thing, according to Sueiro, is that “in Peru, we don’t eat anchovetas; we export them.”Despite the lack of a domestic market to consume the curados that are allegedly available, the number of factories that produce curados has increased recently, from 61 in 2011 to 73 today. Moreover, together only five of them produced nearly half of the country’s curado exports over the last five years. For Sueiro, this doesn’t make sense, especially given that they did so while possessing less than 6 percent of the total curado-processing capacity. One possible explanation, according to the Oceana report, is that some of the other 68 curado factories “systematically divert fresh anchovetas to factories that make illegal fish meal.”A comparison of catches (orange), production (gray) and exports (yellow) of cured anchovetas known as curados for the Peruvian department of Ancash. Exports of curados are marginal and there is no domestic market that justifies such high production rates. Image by Mongabay Latam based on official data from PRODUCE.Mongabay Latam asked PRODUCE and the Ancash regional government why they continue to award operating permits to curado factories if there is no market that justifies their production. However, neither organization responded by the time of this story’s original publication last February. According to the report, the residual fish meal factories, when processing complete anchovetas and not the leftovers, produce high-quality fish meal that is mainly sold internationally. The report identified two pathways for these sales: Conventional fish meal plants, the ones that process the catch from the industrial fishing fleet, purchase the fish meal and sell it as their own product. Or the residual fish meal plants, which export it directly through brokers who specialize in taking this fish meal abroad. A representative of the National Fishing Society (SNP by its Spanish acronym) told Mongabay Latam that it has “ensured that all factories that are associated [with it] comply with the IFFO RS certification so the customer has a guarantee for the traceability and origin of their products.” The SNP recommends that buyers only purchase fish meal from factories that hold that certification, one of the most common standards, which was set up by the Marine Ingredients Organisation, a London-based trade group for the fish meal and fish oil industry.But in Peru, the official records of the quantity of primary material received and the quantity produced from it are based on legal declarations that the factories send to the Ministry for Production. According to the Oceana investigators, that means there is no real-time system of traceability that would allow the correlation between the amount of fish received and the quantity of fish meal produced to be checked against concrete evidence. Fishing boats. Image by Andre Baertschi/Oceana.“[T]his weakness in controlling fish production statistics leaves a loophole for the directors of the factories for Direct Human Consumption that are engaged in the illicit diversion of anchovetas to illegal fish meal production to declare fictitious production quantities so the records show they are making the products they are authorized to produce,” the report states. The SNP representative confirmed that the group is aware of the problem and is implementing the Anchoveta Fishing Improvement Project “through which we aim to encourage scientific investigation and the management of this fishery,” including improving the traceability of anchoveta fishing by artisanal and small-scale fishers.Mechanism three: The drying plainsSince the residual fish meal plants are not processing the leftovers from the direct human consumption factories, drying plains have proliferated to fulfill this demand. Here anchoveta leftovers are spread out on the ground to dry in the sun; then they are ground by hand in a process that is both illegal and unsanitary.The drying plains also receive waste from the local markets and the fishing boats, as well as fish from the artisanal boats that is not accepted by the factories due to its advanced state of decomposition. When there is an excess anchoveta catch they also take fish that the factories lack the capacity to accept. Oceana identified more than 25 drying plains in the departments of Ica, Ancash and Piura.Fish leftovers drying in the sun on the drying plains. Image courtesy of Oceana.The product is often sold to residual or illegal factories, which use it to top up their stocks and lower costs. “The quality of the production on the fields is too low to be sold on its own, but if two tons of this fish meal is mixed with 20 tons of a better-quality fish meal, it’s fine,” Sueiro said.In Peru, the production of fish, poultry and livestock species that require a balanced diet is growing, and “fish meal is the main ingredient and one of the most important sources of protein in making these foods,” according to the Oceana report. However, the legally produced fish meal and the fish oils are almost entirely exported, leaving the growing domestic demand for fish meal unmet and incentivizing illegal production, the report says.Sueiro outlined to Mongabay several ways the illegal production of fish meal complicates sound management of the Peruvian anchoveta fishery and raises economic and nutritional issues for the country: it prevents managers from knowing the true volume of anchovetas removed from the sea; the illegal businesses pay no taxes and provide only precarious employment; illegal fish meal has no sanitary control, presenting a health risk to the animals that eat it; the sector also inhibits innovation in efforts to encourage people to eat anchoveta directly. The latter, Sueiro said, is something that groups like Oceana are keen to do to improve nutrition and develop more ecologically efficient uses for the fish. “[N]either the State, nor PRODUCE, nor the NGOs, nor the fisherman know where this is heading,” Sueiro said. “[W]hat we have done is shed light on the problem so we can understand how it works. Now the competent bodies need to do their work.”Mongabay Latam sought responses to questions from PRODUCE, but the agency did not respond. This story was first published in Spanish on Mongabay Latam on Feb. 12, 2019. Additional reporting by Rebecca Kessler. Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_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

Colombia’s ‘Heart of the World’: Mining, megaprojects overrun indigenous land

first_imgThe Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is an isolated group of mountains situated along Colombia’s northern coast, which has the unique distinction of harboring more threatened endemic species than anywhere else in the world.Agricultural expansion has come at the expense of vital habitat over the past several decades. Now, resource exploitation and infrastructure projects planned for the region are further threatening the mountains’ ecosystems, according to scientists and local activists.Four indigenous groups inhabit the region: the Kogui, Arhuaco, Wiwa, and Kankuamo. Since 1973, the Colombian government has recognized a ring of sacred sites extending around the base of the mountain range. Collectively known as the “Black Line,” indigenous communities claim them as their ancestral territory.Three years ago, the indigenous councils filed a legal action with the Constitutional Court, arguing that their constitutional rights were violated by legal and illegal mining taking place inside the Black Line. In addition to the mining, the councils denounced large-scale infrastructure projects such as the development of a coal-shipping port, hydroelectric dam, and hotel that had been carried out inside the Black Line without indigenous consent. The court has yet to issue a ruling. Jaime Luis Arias grew up on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. An isolated coastal pyramid-shaped massif in northern Colombia, the Sierra Nevada is one of the highest coastal mountains on the planet, with the snow-capped peaks rising from the Caribbean Sea to a mystifying 5,800 meters (19,000 feet).The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta’s dramatic changes in elevation have created a vibrant reflection of Colombia’s many ecosystems — rainforests, savannas, tropical dry forests, tropical alpine tundra, glaciers, deserts and coral reefs — with more threatened endemic species than anywhere else in the world.“I grew up of the Kankuamo people, in the mid-highlands of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta,” Arias said. “For us, growing up there is a great privilege, this is why we call it ‘the heart of the world.’”Glaciers gather like clouds around the peaks of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Image courtesy of Fundacion Antelopus.Four indigenous groups inhabit the region: the Kogui, Arhuaco, Wiwa, and Kankuamo. In their spiritual beliefs, the Sierra Nevada is considered to be the heart of the world, where every element, object and organism, from the soaring peak to the gentle stream, forms an indispensable part of an interconnected body.“For us, there is life in all the elements. The peaks, rivers, animals, plants, stones and planets are all in constant interaction to achieve harmony and balance in nature and with ourselves,” Arias said. “What affects one, affects the entire ecosystem.”The Sierra Nevada covers some 17,000 square kilometers (6,560 square miles). The remote highlands and midlands are protected by a national park along with three indigenous reserves that overlap and exceed the land covered by the park. The indigenous communities that inhabit the remote mountain region, however, consider themselves defenders of a far more extensive territory than what is officially protected.The Black LineSince 1973, the Colombian government has recognized a ring of sacred sites extending around the base of the mountain range. Collectively known as the “Black Line,” indigenous communities claim them as their ancestral territory.The Territorial Indigenous Council of Governors of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (CTC) describes the Black Line as “a grand system of interconnected land, sea and air nodes. Considered sacred as a whole, it is the space from which the culture of the four indigenous peoples of the Sierra Nevada arises, and where it is recreated.”But with valuable resources underfoot, such as oil and gold, there are competing visions for the future of the Black Line. Arias said pressure from mining interests inside the Black Line escalated 15 years ago under the administration of former President Álvaro Uribe, whose government undertook a series of large-scale infrastructure projects in the region.“There has always been pressure on the Sierra Nevada, but it was under Uribe when the number of mining applications and concessions exploded,” Arias said. “Now, legislative negligence presents us with 132 mining titles and 260 mining applications to exploit minerals and carbon.”The Black Line encircles the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which has lost nearly all of its lowland primary forest due to agriculture. Satellite data indicate the region’s deforestation rate increased in 2019. Source: GLAD/UMD, accessed through Global Forest Watch.Colombia’s 1991 Constitution guarantees ethnic minorities the right to prior consultation on projects that have an environmental or social impact on collective territories. In 2014, the country’s Constitutional Court ordered the suspension of a mining title inside the Black Line because it had failed to undergo a prior consultation with indigenous communities.Following the court order, the government of former President Juan Manuel Santos cited the indigenous communities with nearly 400 consultation procedures for largely small-scale mining projects. The indigenous communities pushed back, saying the exercise was “exhausting and counterproductive” until clear rules were set to order the process.Three years ago, the indigenous councils filed a legal action known as a tutela with the Constitutional Court, arguing that their constitutional rights were violated by legal and illegal mining taking place inside the Black Line. In addition to the mining, the councils denounced large-scale infrastructure projects such as the coal-shipping port Puerto Brisa, the hydroelectric dam Ranchería, and the hotel Los Ciruelos that had been carried out inside the Black Line without indigenous consent. The court has yet to issue a ruling.After years of waiting for a ruling from the courts, indigenous authorities, known as mamos, descended from high up in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, traveling more than 800 km (500 mi) to the county’s capital, Bogotá, to send a message to the Colombian public and put pressure on the government, calling on the Constitutional Court to protect the Black Line boundary.“The Heart of the World is at risk of physical and cultural extermination,” the CTC said in a press statement. “The extractionist model of development, particularly mining and megaprojects, threatens the survival of the four indigenous peoples, and the unique ecosystem of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.”The indigenous leaders called on the central government to respect and protect the ancestral territory of the Sierra Nevada, and suspend the mining and megaproject concessions granted inside the Black Line.Private property owners and trade groups have spoken out against the court’s recognition of indigenous ancestral claims to the Black Line. In conversations with local media, the trade groups have said they fear the indigenous groups will create legal obstacles for private property owners, urban expansion, and put the future of infrastructure and development projects in “limbo.”Arias rejected the argument that the indigenous communities pose “an obstacle” to economic development, saying that he envisions a path for regional development in harmony with nature. He said indigenous residents of the area “want to have coexistence with other social sectors, but without losing the fundamental, which is the territory.”Violence past and presentThe Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta has been plagued by hundreds of years of political violence and colonization, presenting an existential threat to indigenous inhabitants’ cultural survival and the region’s fragile ecosystems. The Kogui, Arhauco, Wiwa and Kankuamo are believed to be descendants of the Tairona people who escaped Spanish colonization by moving their settlements to the remote high mountains.By the turn of the 20th century, much of the western side of the Sierra Nevada had been converted for banana plantations by U.S.-based United Fruit Company, which built railways and residential villages, administrative areas, service areas and workers’ camps following American models. Campesinos, farmers who came from Colombia’s interior regions, settled in the mid-highlands to grow commercial crops, especially coffee and cocoa, on rich agricultural lands.last_img read more