Hackers take bite out of Pizza Hut card customers

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Americans may soon need to change their eating habits or how they pay for meals following another restaurant chain breach, this time Pizza Hut, which took two weeks to alert customers.The Plano, Texas-based chain sent out notice last weekend to about 60,000 customers they advised should start canceling their credit cards due to a security intrusion, which lasted for about 28 hours, from the a.m. of October 1 to midday on October 2. Data stolen included names, delivery addresses, email addresses, and payment card information including the number, expiration date, and the CVV number.In its statement to consumers, Pizza Hut said: “Pizza Hut U.S. experienced a brief third-party security intrusion on our website and mobile app that compromised the information of a limited number of customers. Pizza Hut quickly detected the intrusion and immediately took steps to halt it and remediate the security issue. We estimate that less than one percent of the week’s traffic was affected. We take the information security of our customers very seriously and invest in resources to protect the customer information in our care. We value the trust our customers place in us, regret that this happened, and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.” continue reading »last_img read more

An Indonesian forest community grapples with the arrival of the outside world

first_imgSiberut Island, part of the Mentawai archipelago in western Indonesia, is recognized as a U.N. Biosphere Reserve due to its outstanding cultural and ecological value.The traditions of the indigenous Mentawai people, including agroforestry and customary land tenure, have allowed the people of the island live off the forest without depleting it.Roughly half of the island is protected as a national park. The rest, however, has been parceled out for timber and biomass plantations, road building, and the development of a special economic zone including a yacht marina and luxury resort. DOROGOT, Indonesia — Toikot rises as the golden light of dawn begins to shine on the heavy mist that cloaks the rainforest canopy outside his home in Indonesia’s Siberut Island. The pigs leave their sleeping place under his traditional uma clan house and set out to forage in the forest. Later they will return to the farmstead to eat sago.An elderly indigenous Mentawai traditional healer, or sekerei, Toikot’s first task of the day is to gather “something beautiful from nature” with which to adorn himself. Today he plucks two red flowers and places one behind each ear. A loincloth, elaborate tattoos and headdress complete the distinctive customary dress for which the sekerei are known.Toikot’s home, the farming community of Dorogot, is a cluster of forest farmsteads on the eastern side of Siberut, around three hours’ walk from the nearest village, mostly through arduous lowland swamp forest.Siberut is the largest island in the Mentawai archipelago, which lies 140 kilometers (87 miles) west of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The rainforest-swathed island has been isolated from the rest of Indonesia for half a million years, leading to an unusually high level of endemism. Two-thirds of the animals here are thought to be unique to the island.This unique biological and cultural diversity was recognized in 1981 when UNESCO designated the island a Biosphere Reserve. This was consolidated in 1993 when Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry established Siberut National Park, spanning 1,905 square kilometers (736 square miles) and covering most of the island’s western half.Now, though, both Siberut’s traditional lifestyles and its biodiversity are under pressure from a spate of development projects. While the western half of the island is largely protected, the northeast is already home to a sizable timber concession and a biomass forestry concession. The central government also has big plans to develop a special economic zone in the south, and a highway linking it to the forest concessions in the north. The local government and a private company also plan to bring electricity to villages via a biomass project.last_img read more

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, July 19, 2019

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsSmall oil palm farmers in Peru are supplying huge companies like Nestlé with their product (Swissinfo.ch).More than three-quarters of commodity suppliers haven’t made deforestation commitments (Supply Chain Dive).Fewer forest elephants means more carbon in the atmosphere, research shows (ZME Science, Gizmodo).The Catholic Church is involved in conservation efforts in the Congo Basin (Crux Now).Poaching and habitat loss have cut the numbers of the Masai subspecies of giraffe by 50 percent, and they’re now considered endangered (National Geographic).Authorities arrested Hawaiian elders protesting the construction of a telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea (The New York Times).Bornean orangutans are holding steady in protected areas in northern Borneo, but aren’t faring as well in areas with oil palm plantations (PLOS ONE/EurekAlert).Other newsA U.S. climate scientist talks about her faith as an evangelical Christian (The Washington Post).U.S. officials say that several Asian countries are to blame for plastic in the world’s oceans, without acknowledging the United States’ own contributions to the problem (Pacific Standard).Iron particles released by human activity could be changing the ocean’s geochemistry (Scientific American).Images of an orphaned dugong in Thailand have gone viral, drawing conservation attention to the species (Smithsonian).China is working to get a handle on “rogue” CFC emissions (Nature).Loggerhead sea turtles are laying eggs at a record pace in the southern U.S. (Associated Press).Climate change has increased the size of California’s wildfires by 500 percent (The Atlantic).Natural disasters unleash a slurry of harmful chemicals (The New York Times).Not all bioplastics are biodegradable (Ensia).A tanker has spilled thousands of tons of bauxite into a bay in the Solomon Islands, just months after an oil spill hit the same area (The Guardian).The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency won’t outlaw the use of a pesticide that may cause problems for children, questioning the “significance” of the data (The Washington Post).Banner image of a loggerhead sea turtle by ukanda via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0 ).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update last_img read more

Norway freezes support for Amazon Fund; EU/Brazil trade deal at risk?

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation On Thursday, Norway announced a freeze on US$33.2 million, Amazon Fund donations slated for projects aimed at curbing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The REDD+ Amazon Fund was launched in 2008, and was expected to continue indefinitely.However, the anti-environmental policies of Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro have put the Fund’s future in grave doubt. Norway’s freeze came as the direct result of the Bolsonaro administration’s unilateral action to drastically alter the rules for administering the fund, even as monthly deforestation rates shot up in Brazil.Bolsonaro seems not to care about the loss of funding. However, some analysts warn that Norway’s decision could lead to a refusal by the European Union to ratify the recently concluded EU/Mercosur Latin American trading bloc agreement. Brazil’s troubled economy badly needs the pact to be activated.Other Bolsonaro critics have raised the prospect that the Amazon Fund freeze could be a first step toward a global consumer boycott of Brazilian commodities. Meanwhile, state governments in Brazil are scrambling to step up and accept deforestation reduction funding from international donors. Trucks loaded with trees illegally harvested within an indigenous reserve. The rhetoric and policies of the Bolsonaro administration are increasingly viewed as putting thriving Amazon ecosystems at risk from agribusiness and mining expansion. Photo by Sue Branford / Mongabay.Ola Elvestrun, Norway’s environment minister, announced Thursday that it is freezing its contributions to the Amazon Fund, and will no longer be transferring 300 million Norwegian Krone (US$33.2 million) to Brazil. In a press release, the Norwegian embassy in Brazil stated: “Given the present circumstances, Norway does not have either the legal or the technical basis for making its annual contribution to the Amazon Fund.”Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reacted with sarcasm to Norway’s decision, which had been widely expected. After an official event, he commented: “Isn’t Norway the country that kills whales at the North Pole? Doesn’t it also produce oil? It has no basis for telling us what to do. It should give the money to Angela Merkel [the German Chancellor] to reforest Germany.”According to its website, the Amazon Fund is a “REDD+ mechanism created to raise donations for non-reimbursable investments in efforts to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as to promote the preservation and sustainable use in the Brazilian Amazon.” The bulk of funding comes from Norway and Germany.The annual transfer of funds from developed world donors to the Amazon Fund depends on a report from the Fund’s technical committee. This committee meets after INPE (the National Institute of Space Research), which gathers official Amazon deforestation data, publishes its annual report with the definitive figures for deforestation in the previous year.But this year the Amazon Fund’s technical committee, along with its steering committee, COFA, were abolished by the Bolsonaro government on 11 April as part of a sweeping move to dissolve some 600 bodies, most of which had NGO involvement. The Bolsonaro government views NGO work in Brazil as a conspiracy to undermine Brazil’s sovereignty.The Brazilian government then demanded far-reaching changes in the way the Fund is managed, as documented in a previous article. As a result, the Amazon Fund’s technical committee has been unable to meet; Norway says it therefore cannot continue making donations without a favorable report from the committee.Archer Daniels Midland soy silos in Mato Grosso along the BR-163 highway, where Amazon rainforest has largely been replaced by soy destined for the EU, UK, China and other international markets. Photo by Thaís Borges.An uncertain futureThe Amazon Fund was announced during the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, during a period when environmentalists were alarmed at the rocketing rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. It was created as a way of encouraging Brazil to continue bringing down the rate of forest conversion to pastures and croplands.Government agencies, such as IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, and NGOs shared Amazon Fund donations. IBAMA used the money primarily to enforce deforestation laws, while the NGOs oversaw projects to support sustainable communities and livelihoods in the Amazon.There has been some controversy as to whether the Fund has actually achieved its goals:  in the three years before the deal, the rate of deforestation fell dramatically but, after money from the Fund started pouring into the Amazon, the rate remained fairly stationary until 2014, when it began to rise once again. But, in general, the international donors have been pleased with the Fund’s performance, and until the Bolsonaro government came to office, the program was expected to continue indefinitely.Norway has been the main donor (94 percent) to the Amazon Fund, followed by Germany (5 percent), and Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobrás (1 percent). Over the past 11 years, the Norwegians have made, by far, the biggest contribution: R$ 3.2 billion (US$ 855 million) out of the total of R$ 3.4 billion (US$ 903 million).Up till now the Fund has approved 103 projects, with the dispersal of R$1.8 billion (US$ 478 million). These projects will not be affected by Norway’s funding freeze because the donors have already provided the funding and Brazil’s national development bank, BNDES, is contractually obliged to disburse the money until the end of the projects. But there are another 54 projects, currently being analysed, whose future is far less secure.One of the projects left stranded by the dissolution of the Fund’s committees is Projeto Frutificar, which should be a three-year project, with a budget of R$29 million (US$7.3 million), for the production of açai and cacao by 1,000 small-scale farmers in the states of Amapá and Pará. The project was drawn up by the Brazilian NGO IPAM (Institute of Environmental research in Amazonia).Paulo Moutinho, an IPAM researcher, told Globo newspaper: “Our program was ready to go when the [Brazilian] government asked for changes in the Fund. It’s now stuck in the BNDES. Without funding from Norway, we don’t know what will happen to it.”Norway is not the only European nation to be reconsidering the way it funds environmental projects in Brazil. Germany has many environmental projects in the Latin American country, apart from its small contribution to the Amazon Fund, and is deeply concerned about the way the rate of deforestation has been soaring this year.The German environment ministry told Mongabay that its minister, Svenja Schulze, had decided to put financial support for forest and biodiversity projects in Brazil on hold, with 35 million euros (US$39 million) for various projects now frozen.The ministry explained why: “The Brazilian government’s policy in the Amazon raises doubts whether a consistent reduction in deforestation rates is still being pursued. Only when clarity is restored, can project collaboration be continued.”Bauxite mines in Paragominas, Brazil. The Bolsonaro administration is urging new laws that would allow large-scale mining within Brazil’s indigenous reserves. Photo by Hydro/Halvor Molland found on flickr.Alternative Amazon fundingAlthough there will certainly be disruption in the short-term as a result of the paralysis in the Amazon Fund, the governors of Brazil’s Amazon states, which rely on international funding for their environmental projects, are already scrambling to create alternative channels.In a press release issued yesterday Helder Barbalho, the governor of Pará, the state with the highest number of projects financed by the Fund, said that he will do all he can to maintain and increase his state partnership with Norway.Barbalho had announced earlier that his state would be receiving 12.5 million euros (US$11.1 million) to run deforestation monitoring centers in five regions of Pará. Barbalho said: “The state governments’ monitoring systems are recording a high level of deforestation in Pará, as in the other Amazon states. The money will be made available to those who want to help [the Pará government reduce deforestation] without this being seen as international intervention.”Amazonas state has funding partnerships with Germany and is negotiating deals with France. “I am talking with countries, mainly European, that are interested in investing in projects in the Amazon,” said Amazonas governor Wilson Miranda Lima. “It is important to look at Amazônia, not only from the point of view of conservation, but also — and this is even more important — from the point of view of its citizens. It’s impossible to preserve Amazônia if its inhabitants are poor.”Signing of the EU/Mercusor Latin American trading agreement earlier this year. The pact still needs to be ratified. Image courtesy of the Council of Hemispheric Affairs.Looming international difficultiesThe Bolsonaro government’s perceived reluctance to take effective measures to curb deforestation may in the longer-term lead to a far more serious problem than the paralysis of the Amazon Fund.In June, the European Union and Mercosur, the South American trade bloc, reached an agreement to create the largest trading bloc in the world. If all goes ahead as planned, the pact would account for a quarter of the world’s economy, involving 780 million people, and remove import tariffs on 90 percent of the goods traded between the two blocs. The Brazilian government has predicted that the deal will lead to an increase of almost US$100 billion in Brazilian exports, particularly agricultural products, by 2035.But the huge surge this year in Amazon deforestation is leading some European countries to think twice about ratifying the deal. In an interview with Mongabay, the German environment ministry made it very clear that Germany is very worried about events in the Amazon: “We are deeply concerned given the pace of destruction in Brazil … The Amazon Forest is vital for the atmospheric circulation and considered as one of the tipping points of the climate system.”The ministry stated that, for the trade deal to go ahead, Brazil must carry out its commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent below the 2005 level by 2030. The German environment ministry said: If the trade deal is to go ahead, “It is necessary that Brazil is effectively implementing its climate change objectives adopted under the [Paris] Agreement. It is precisely this commitment that is expressly confirmed in the text of the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement.”Blairo Maggi, Brazil agriculture minister under the Temer administration, and a major shareholder in Amaggi, the largest Brazilian-owned commodities trading company, has said very little in public since Bolsonaro came to power; he’s been “in a voluntary retreat,” as he puts it. But Maggi is so concerned about the damage Bolsonaro’s off the cuff remarks and policies are doing to international relationships he decided to speak out earlier this week.Former Brazil Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi, who has broken a self-imposed silence to criticize the Bolsonaro government, saying that its rhetoric and policies could threaten Brazil’s international commodities trade. Photo credit: Senado Federal via Visualhunt / CC BY.Maggi, a ruralista who strongly supports agribusiness, told  the newspaper, Valor Econômico, that, even if the European Union doesn’t get to the point of tearing up a deal that has taken 20 years to negotiate, there could be long delays. “These environmental confusions could create a situation in which the EU says that Brazil isn’t sticking to the rules.” Maggi speculated. “France doesn’t want the deal and perhaps it is taking advantage of the situation to tear it up. Or the deal could take much longer to ratify — three, five years.”Such a delay could have severe repercussions for Brazil’s struggling economy which relies heavily on its commodities trade with the EU. Analysists say that Bolsonaro’s fears over such an outcome could be one reason for his recently announced October meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, another key trading partner.Maggi is worried about another, even more alarming, potential consequence of Bolsonaro’s failure to stem illegal deforestation — Brazil could be hit by a boycott by its foreign customers. “I don’t buy this idea that the world needs Brazil … We are only a player and, worse still, replaceable.” Maggi warns, “As an exporter, I’m telling you: things are getting very difficult. Brazil has been saying for years that it is possible to produce and preserve, but with this [Bolsonaro administration] rhetoric, we are going back to square one … We could find markets closed to us.”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. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Indonesian court cancels dam project in last stronghold of tigers, rhinos

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Basten Gokkon Alternative Energy, Animals, Conservation, Dams, Energy, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Infrastructure, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife center_img A court in Indonesia’s Aceh province has ordered an end to a planned hydroelectric project in Sumatra’s unique Leuser Ecosystem.Environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Aceh government and the dam’s developer earlier this year over potential environmental destruction and violation of zoning laws.The area is the last place on Earth that’s home to wild tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants — all critically endangered species whose habitat would be flooded and fragmented by the dam and its roads and power lines.Villagers in the region were also widely opposed to the project, which they say would have dammed up the river on which they depend and forced them to relocate to make way for the reservoir. BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — A court in Indonesia has annulled a permit allowing the development of a $3 billion hydropower plant in a forest that’s home to critically endangered tigers, rhinos and orangutans.The court in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra, issued the ruling Aug. 28, in a lawsuit filed in March by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country’s biggest green NGO. The respondents in the suit are the Aceh provincial government, which issued the permit, and PT Kamirzu, the Indonesian subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Prosperity International Holding, the recipient of the permit.Lesten village in Gayo Lues district, part of the planned site of the Tampur dam. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia.The ruling orders the developer and the provincial government to stop the project to build a 443-megawatt plant on 4,407 hectares (10,890 acres) straddling the three districts of Gayo Lues, Aceh Tamiang and East Aceh. The Aceh government violated prevailing regulations, the court found, by permitting the development of forest land greater than 5 hectares (12 acres). Earlier during the hearings, the judges visited the site of the planned Tampur hydropower plant.Walhi welcomed the court’s decision.“This means that, besides being objective in assessing and making the decision, the presiding judge has given a new legal lesson for the people of Indonesia,” said Muhammad Reza Maulana, the legal counsel for Walhi’s Aceh chapter.Residents of Aceh Tamiang and East Aceh who would have been affected by the dam also welcomed the ruling. Damming the upstream section of the Tamiang River would have adversely affected the livelihoods of several communities that rely on the river downstream. It would also have forced the relocation of villages in areas set to be flooded by the dam’s reservoir.The project was widely opposed by residents on these grounds, while environmentalists have criticized the lack of nature protection and conservation. They note that the required environmental impact assessment carried out by the developer failed to evaluate natural risks, such as earthquakes and flash floods.The latter is already a serious problem here, where the annual rainfall exceeds 2,300 millimeters (91 inches) — double the amount of precipitation that falls in Portland, Oregon. In 2006, heavy downpours triggered a flash flood in Aceh Tamiang district, killing 28 people and displacing more than 200,000 from their homes. Damming the river could make similar flooding events upstream even more destructive, activists say.One of the villages in the Leuser Ecosystem at risk from the development of Tampur hydropower plant. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia.Hornbills flock in the Leuser Ecosystem where the dam was to have been built. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia.Critics also highlighted the lack of wildlife protections in the environmental impact analysis — a key oversight, given the dam’s location in the Leuser Ecosystem. The heavily forested region is highly biodiverse, and is the last place on Earth where Sumatran tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants — all critically endangered species on the brink of extinction — still coexist. Another criticism of PT Kamirzu’s permit is that it remains unclear whether the developer has finished mapping the forest areas that would be affected by the project.Maksum, a resident of Aceh Tamiang, said he was opposed to the dam because the developer had failed to engage with the community. He also said he was concerned the dam would exacerbate environmental disasters in the region.“We don’t want it, especially with the dam’s location being very close to people’s settlements,” he said at a discussion with the environmental NGO Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh (HaKA) in Banda Aceh in late 2017.Officials from the Aceh provincial government visited a village in Gayo Lues on Aug. 19 this year that was expected to be affected by the dam development. During the visit, the officials expressed their support for the project as long as it used the most advanced technology and didn’t damage the environment.“What we must monitor is the methods which [the developer] apply to the project,” said Nova Iriansyah, the interim Aceh governor. “There will be an agency to monitor it. The hydropower plant has more benefits than disadvantages.”Nova said the current electricity supply in Aceh was sufficient to meet demand, but that would increase in the future. “This hydropower plant is important, and the biggest in Sumatra,” Nova said.But the statement met with disappointment from residents of East Aceh district.“The development will damage the environment,” said Mahmud, a resident, adding that he didn’t know of any hydropower project that didn’t harm the environment. “They’re going to build a dam and flood more than 4,000 hectares of forest. That is the problem.”Residents of the region rely on the river for their livelihoods. They say they fear the damming of the river will affect them adversely. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia.A hearing in the lawsuit takes place at the site of the planned hydropower plant. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia.This story was first reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and published here on our Indonesian site on Aug. 29, 2019.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Misuse of wildlife trade data jeopardizes efforts to protect species and combat trafficking (commentary)

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Biodiversity, Commentary, data, Editorials, Environment, Research, Researcher Perspective Series, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Oversimplification of the interpretation of wildlife trade data jeopardizes the ability of policy makers to prioritize aiming limited resources towards those species that truly require protection from unsustainable trade and wildlife trafficking, which threaten species with extinction.In a recent study published in Science, the authors expressed a series of conclusions that are based on a gross misinterpretation of wildlife trade data.Wildlife conservation policy decisions should rely on the best available analyses of threats in order to respond most efficiently. The interpretation of data presented in this study show numerous flaws that may interfere with perceptions about where unsustainable and illegal trade is actually occurring and where limited resources should be directed to prevent wildlife extinction.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. This commentary is in response to Scheffers et al. (2019). Global wildlife trade across the tree of life, published in Science this month. A response to this commentary from the Science authors was published on November 8, 2019.Oversimplification of the interpretation of wildlife trade data jeopardizes the ability of policy makers to prioritize aiming limited resources towards those species that truly require protection from unsustainable trade and wildlife trafficking, which threaten species with extinction.In a recent study published in Science, the authors expressed a series of conclusions that are based on a gross misinterpretation of wildlife trade data.The authors stated that, “~18% (N = 5579) of terrestrial bird, mammal, amphibian, and squamate reptile species, are traded globally.” They further state that, “Traded species are in higher categories of threat compared with nontraded species, confirming wildlife trade as a driver of extinction risk.”Unfortunately, the methods described to reach these conclusions reflect an incomplete understanding of the many nuances of wildlife trade data and I urge readers to approach their conclusions with caution, until the data are corrected. I offer some insights from my experience of working with wildlife trade data for nearly two decades, which I hope will help to ensure that these common mistakes are corrected in future studies.Bullfrog trade. Photo by Jonathan Kolby.First, the authors assumed that all CITES-listed species are “traded” (see supplementary Table S10 in the study), but it is incorrect to assume that inclusion in the CITES Appendices automatically means that the species is being traded. There are species in the Appendices that are included for “look-alike” reasons or under a higher taxonomic listing, for which trade has never been recorded, and therefore should not have been reported by the authors as “in trade.”An example of this is the inclusion of Osgood’s Ethiopian toad (Altiphrynoides osgoodi). I examined the CITES trade database records, which are based on annual submissions of reports on trade in CITES-listed species submitted by the 183 Parties to CITES, and no records of trade exist for this species. In addition, the IUCN Red List assessment likewise states that this species is not present in international trade. A. osgoodi is listed in CITES Appendix I, which includes species that are threatened with extinction that are or may be affected by international trade. Many of the species have been included in Appendix I as a precautionary measure to prevent the emergence of commercial trade. Therefore, rather than looking at the list of species in the CITES Appendices and asserting that they are all traded, as described in the methods, the authors should have instead looked at the actual CITES trade data and only considered those species that are actually traded.I am also concerned that species that are possibly extinct are included in Table S10 as being present in trade. For instance, the Peru Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus peruensis) was included in this table based on the IUCN Red List assessment, which states that, “It has previously been reported in the pet trade, although this appears to have ceased.” The assessment further states that this species has not been seen after 1998 and is possibly extinct, likely due to an outbreak of disease from chytrid fungus. Species with only an anecdotal mention of trade in IUCN Red List assessments should not be considered as “in trade” with equal weight as current verifiable trade records in the CITES trade database. Including species in Table S10 that have not been seen or traded in 20+ years exaggerates the total number of species in international trade that are in need of attention as a result of illegal or unsustainable trade.I also note that the authors reference throughout the paper the need to develop strategies to “combat trade,” when in fact, they should be referring to illegal and/or unsustainable trade. If species are to be represented as “in trade,” then it is important to explicitly describe how far back the data goes and clarify whether they’re talking about present or historical trends or something in between. Is there value to including a species in Table S10 and reflecting it as being in trade, if it has not in fact been traded in 10, 20, or 30 years?Pangolin scale burn in Cameroon. Photo Credit: Kenneth Cameron/USFWS.Similarly, the same question of intent could be posed for the decision to include species where only one specimen has ever been recorded in trade, or where only specimens for scientific or conservation purposes have been traded. There are a multitude of ways that these data can be interpreted and expressed to help show different trends or threats, but when all data in CITES-listed species are lumped together and these nuances ignored, the conclusions are likely to spread misinformation. This study caused alarm because the authors stated that trade is a leading cause for extinction and “the proportion of traded animals is 40–60% higher than previous estimates had suggested,” but this fails to inform the public that species traded only to benefit conservation were also lumped into these figures.It’s disappointing to see that the purpose of trade was often mis-categorized by the authors despite the fact that the CITES trade database includes detailed information about the purpose and type of trade associated with every record. For example, the authors state that Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are traded as pets and products. A more careful examination of the CITES trade records for this species show that these transactions involved the trade in diagnostic samples or live animals moved between zoological institutions for conservation or zoological purposes. By creating new categories and criteria for characterizing trade, the authors have misused the data attached to CITES trade records to assert the presence of activities that would be cause for conservation alarm.Lastly, any comprehensive study of the international wildlife trade should consider data from the trade database maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, known as the Law Enforcement Management Information System (LEMIS). This database contains hundreds of thousands of records of international wildlife trade involving the United States, which are made publicly available upon request. A large proportion of these records document international trade in species that are not regulated under CITES. By stating that “Traded species are in higher categories of threat compared with nontraded species, confirming wildlife trade as a driver of extinction risk,” and not incorporating LEMIS information or other verified information on trade in non-CITES-listed species into the overall list of species considered, it remains possible that in this larger dataset, you may instead detect the opposite trend. Relying so heavily on the CITES Appendices and the array of species chosen to be evaluated by the IUCN, it appears as though the data are inherently biased toward species already in higher categories of threat.A more thorough review of the data in Table S10 may identify additional errors or misinterpretations included in this published work, despite passing peer review by Science.The concerns expressed in this commentary are neutral regarding the science and ethics underpinning the trade in wildlife. The single greatest point I wish to make is that wildlife conservation policy decisions should rely on the best available analyses of threats in order to respond most efficiently. The interpretation of data presented in this study show numerous flaws that may interfere with perceptions about where unsustainable and illegal trade is actually occurring and where limited resources should be directed to prevent wildlife extinction.Madagascar bright eyed frog. Photo by Jonathan Kolby.Editor’s note: A response to this commentary from the Science authors was published on November 8, 2019CITATIONS• IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Atelopus peruensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T54539A89196220. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T54539A89196220.en. Downloaded on 15 October 2019.• Scheffers, B. R., Oliveira, B. F., Lamb, I., & Edwards, D. P. (2019). Global wildlife trade across the tree of life. Science, 366(6461), 71-76. doi:10.1126/science.aav5327Jonathan Kolby is a CITES Policy Specialist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service* and has nearly two decades of experience in wildlife trade data interpretation and analysis. He obtained his PhD at James Cook University and studied the international spread of amphibian chytrid fungus and the global amphibian extinction crisis. Jonathan is a conservation biologist, National Geographic Explorer, and founding Director of the Honduras Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center (HARCC). He is also an active science communicator (@MyFrogCroaked) and produces films about wildlife disease and conservation.*The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.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.center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Emperor penguins could disappear by 2100 if nations don’t cap emissions

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Birds, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Penguins, Research, Sea Ice, Wildlife Researchers have combined a global climate model that projects where and when sea ice forms and a model of penguin populations to predict how penguin colonies would react to changing sea ice under future climate scenarios.The models found that under the business-as-usual scenario, where countries fail to halt climate change, emperor penguin numbers will decline by around 86 percent by 2100.However, if countries meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, limiting the global increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, then emperor penguin numbers would decline by about 31 percent, giving them a fighting chance at survival. If the climate continues to change at its current pace, most emperor penguins could become extinct by the end of this century, a new study predicts. However, if countries meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, limiting the global increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, then that would give penguins a fighting chance, with one-third of their population still projected to decline, researchers say.“If global climate keeps warming at the current rate, we expect emperor penguins in Antarctica to experience an 86 percent decline by the year 2100,” Stéphanie Jenouvrier, a seabird ecologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and lead author on the study, said in a statement. “At that point, it is very unlikely for them to bounce back.”Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri), the largest of all living penguins, need stable sea ice in Antarctica to thrive. They use the ice as a breeding platform, to rear chicks, to molt, feed, and protect themselves from predators. Sea ice also influences the food that the penguins rely on, such as the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and Antarctic silverfish (Pleuragramma antarctica). So fluctuations in sea ice directly affect the birds’ survival: if the sea ice breaks up early, then the chicks could struggle to live; if the sea ice cover is higher than usual, then the penguins have to move farther to get food.Jenouvrier, who has spent more than two decades studying emperor penguins’ lives on the harsh Antarctic sea ice, and her colleagues wanted to see how all known 54 colonies of emperor penguins would respond to changing sea ice conditions under three future climate scenarios: where no action is taken and greenhouse gas emissions continue at their present rates; where the global temperature rise is restricted to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels; and one where global temperature rise is capped at 1.5 degrees Celsius.To get these estimates, the researchers combined a global climate model that projects sea ice formation under different climate scenarios and a model of penguin populations that predicts how penguin colonies would react to changing sea ice.“We’ve been developing that penguin model for 10 years,” Jenouvrier said. “It can give a very detailed account of how sea ice affects the life cycle of emperor penguins, their reproduction, and their mortality.”The model suggests that under the business-as-usual scenario, where countries fail to halt climate change, penguin numbers will decline by around 86 percent by 2100. However, if nations manage to limit emissions and the rise in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius, then emperor penguin numbers would decline by about 44 percent. If the global temperature rise is further limited, to 1.5 degrees Celsius, that would result in a 31 percent decline in the penguin population, the model predicts.“Our model indicates that these population declines will occur predominately in the first half of this century,” Jenouvrier wrote in the Conversation. “Nonetheless, in a scenario in which the world meets the Paris climate targets, we project that the global Emperor Penguin population would nearly stabilize by 2100, and that viable refuges would remain available to support some colonies.“Our findings starkly illustrate the far-reaching implications of national climate policy decisions,” she added. “Curbing carbon dioxide emissions has critical implications for Emperor Penguins and an untold number of other species for which science has yet to document such a plain-spoken warning.”Emperor penguins need intact sea ice until the chicks are ready to leave their nesting grounds. Image by Christopher Michel via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).Banner image of emperor penguins by Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA (Public domain).Citation:Jenouvrier, S., Holland, M., Iles, D., Labrousse, S., Landrum, L., Garnier, J., … Barbraud, C. (2019). The Paris Agreement objectives will likely halt future declines of emperor penguins. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.14864center_img Article published by Shreya Dasguptalast_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

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

Ghana’s government faces pushback in bid to mine biodiversity haven for bauxite

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