In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, July 5, 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 Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update 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 forestsIllegal logging in Mozambique has exposed the country to potential devastation as a result of cyclones (The Epoch Times).As policy turns away from palm oil-based biofuels in the European Union, it’s still powering a lot of vehicles (Financial Times).A new law in Côte d’Ivoire aimed at stopping deforestation could lead to the eviction of as many as 2 million cocoa farmers (Africa Times).Paraguay is investing in silvopastoral systems to raise livestock, which proponents argue will help meet the global demand for food while protecting forest (Inter Press Service).Poachers intent on ivory are operating in Botswana, home to Africa’s largest population of elephants (The New York Times).A new dam could derail the UNESCO World Heritage Status of Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve (Devdiscourse).Other newsResearchers track an Arctic fox’s trek of more than 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles) (The New York Times).The G20 is in near-unanimous agreement — with one notable dissenter in U.S. President Donald Trump — to address climate change (The Washington Post).Threatened salmon in California may benefit from access to flooded fields (Biographic).Rehabilitating confiscated pangolins takes a special touch (Biographic).A black rhino died on his way from the U.K. to the Serengeti (The Mirror, The Independent).Canada’s new fisheries act has promise, but some wonder if it’s coming too late (Hakai Magazine).Experts offer guidance on helping children understand climate change (The New York Times).The Netherlands is raising dairy cattle out at sea in a bid for increased sustainability (Hakai Magazine).European meteorologists peg June 2019 as the hottest June on record (The New York Times).Predators and the impacts they have on people present a tricky problem for conservation biologists (The Atlantic).Greenland’s melting ice sheet could have an unexpected benefit: freeing up sand to meet worldwide demand (The New York Times).Improving batteries could catalyze a shift to hybrid jets (The Economist).The 10 million people of Chennai no longer have enough water (NPR).Climate change could have a price tag of nearly $70 trillion by 2100, according to the consulting firm Moody’s Analytics (The Washington Post).A new species of fly shares its name with a Game of Thrones character (Fox News).Crews at a golf course owned by U.S. President Donald Trump in Scotland destroyed protected sand dunes — and then the government stripped the ecosystem’s protected status (E&E News).A perplexing surge in seaweed growth in the Caribbean is threatening marine life and fisheries (The Atlantic).Climate change is increasing conflicts over fisheries (Hakai Magazine).China could spearhead a conservation movement for the world’s oceans (World Economic Forum).Farmers are raising flies and beetles to be fodder for farmed fish (The Economist).Banner image of an Arctic fox by Rama via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0 fr). 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 John Cannonlast_img read more

A Philippine tribe that defeated a dam prepares to fight its reincarnation

first_imgThe Dumagat-Remontado indigenous group has ancestral domain claims in an area where the Philippine government plans to build a dam to supply water to Metro Manila and nearby urban areas.The Kaliwa Dam is part of the New Centennial Water Source (NCWS), a project for which President Rodrigo Duterte has secured with a $235.9 million loan deal from China.The indigenous community defeated a previous iteration of this project, when a much larger dam was proposed in 2009, but the project has since been revised to call for nine smaller dams — an approach that observers say will undermine the resistance to the project.Five out of six community clusters voted to reject the Kaliwa Dam project, but the environment department still issued an environmental compliance certificate to the contractors; Duterte has also warned of the use of “extraordinary powers” to push the project through, raising the prospect of another show of mass resistance. This article is the last of a two-part series on the Kaliwa Dam project. Part One: Controversial dam gets greenlight to flood a Philippine protected areaGENERAL NAKAR, Philippines — On Nov. 5, 2009, Kapitan, a leader of the Dumagat-Remontado indigenous group, came down from his mountain village. “Dumagats don’t leave the mountains,” he told Mongabay. “When taga-patag [lowland] people come up, we go further up where we won’t be bothered. But we left the mountains to fight.”The fight that Kapitan joined that day 10 years ago was against a hydropower dam that threatened to inundate more than 28,000 hectares (70,000 acres) of forestland in the indigenous group’s ancestral domain and to displace 11,000 families. On that same day, around 200 community members offered up a native chicken sacrifice to Bobo Makedepit, their supreme deity, before marching 150 kilometers (92 miles) on foot, in their loincloths, on a journey that would last nine days.“I left my wife here because my children are still young,” Kapitan said, recalling how the sun scorched their bare backs and the asphalt burned their feet as rubber slippers disintegrated in the heat. “I broke two slippers but we didn’t care — we marched to Manila, rain or shine.”The Pimuhan community in the village of Lumutan, like all other Dumagat communities, is nestled in the verdant forest landscape of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Image by Leilani Chavez/MongabayThey relied on the goodwill of people in towns they passed, and sheltered in parks and churches. When they reached the capital, they trooped to the presidential palace in Malacañang before camping out at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, right across from the environment department. “We even appeared in Congress,” Kapitan remembered wistfully. “We wore our traditional clothes of course — and boy, it was cold. Our teeth chattered nonstop.” But when they spoke out at the plenary, their voice was strong and unwavering.The tribe’s opposition to the Laiban Dam project was part of growing public unease over controversies involving the government’s deal with the San Miguel Corporation, the biggest company by revenue in the Philippines, which had submitted an unsolicited proposal to build the dam. For one, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) was criticized for not publicizing the bidding, which led the government to pursue San Miguel’s sole proposal. Concessionaires and government officials also criticized the contract discussions for its alleged “take or pay” scheme, which would have obliged the water authority to pay for a specified supply volume from Laiban even if the water was unused — a scheme they warned could jack up water prices. San Miguel denied this, but the issue raged on, fed also by the tribe’s vocal resistance to the project.The tribe’s persistence paid off. San Miguel backed out after talks between the government and San Miguel broke off for undisclosed reasons. The tribe regarded it as a victory borne of the march, a story they passed down to their children.But the victory was short-lived; they had successfully blocked the massive Laiban Dam project, but the threat made a hydra-like return. In early 2019, repackaged as a “smaller” 113-hectare (279-acre) initiative under the New Centennial Water Source (NCWS) program, President Rodrigo Duterte secured a $283.2 million loan deal from China for the Kaliwa Dam and earmarked it as a flagship project of his administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.The Kaliwa Dam project is set to submerge the villages of Daraitan in Rizal province and Queborosa in Quezon province. Source: Pakisama advocacy mapsUnderplaying the scope of the project appears to have worked: some of the communities opposed to the bigger dam a decade ago now say they feel this new project will not have a direct impact on them. “Times have changed,” Kapitan whispered, his sullen expression partly lit up by the pale moonlight and partly veiled in a sea of cigarette smoke. “Because of China’s involvement … This time, I feel that this project will push through.”Fighting a ‘done deal’Kaliwa means “left” in Tagalog, and the river gets its name from its geography. Running along the eastern border of Quezon province, it meets the Kanan (right) River before uniting with the mighty Agos River that carves a labyrinthine path through farmlands and fishing grounds in the downstream municipality of Infanta before eventually emptying out into the Pacific. The riverine system is renowned for its untouched beauty, massive volume of water, and tremendous potential — factors that have made it a prime target for national development projects.The Laiban Dam was at the heart of the Manila Water Project III, conceived in 1979. But grave human rights abuses during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos, coupled with civil unrest, halted its construction. It languished until 2007, when the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won Chinese funding for it. But it was quickly shelved again, part of the fallout from a corruption scandal linked to Chinese funding for a separate infrastructure project. From 2013 to 2015, Macapagal-Arroyo’s successor, Benigno Aquino III, commissioned a feasibility study, and the Laiban project was reborn as the New Centennial Water Source, with the original plan for a single massive dam revised down to nine smaller ones, including Kaliwa.This Dumagat-Remontado tribe in the village of Lumutan is one of those fighting against the dam for forty years. Image by Leilani Chavez/MongabayCompared to Laiban, everything about Kaliwa is smaller in scale: its reservoir will flood 113 hectares of forestland as opposed to 28,000, and it will only directly affect eight villages and 1,465 families, rather than the 11,000 families that would have been impacted by Laiban. Duterte’s blueprint also ditches the hydropower initiative attached to Laiban and focuses on Kaliwa’s water potential, with the option of expanding its capacity by diverting water from future dam projects on the Kanan and Agos rivers that have yet to be awarded. But critics say these figures undercount the number of affected communities, as the stretch of the nine-dam project will affect a total of 11 villages and 39 indigenous communities.Do you know why they’re pushing for Kaliwa Dam?” Joan Jaime of the Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Katribu), a coalition of indigenous groups, told Mongabay. “Because in that 2015 feasibility study, the communities in Kaliwa have the weakest opposition.” Kaliwa is the gateway, she said; the sharp end of the wedge with which to cut through resistance built up over the decades. “The government wants this project to appear small because … it becomes easier for the community to accept this. Kaliwa is crucial … if we allow Kaliwa, what’s stopping the government from building the rest?”Laiban itself isn’t exactly dead and buried. While the national government says the country’s National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board has “abandoned” the Laiban project for its massive relocation costs and only approved Kaliwa, Manila’s water authority has yet to confirm which among the proposed Laiban or Kanan dams would feed Kaliwa should its capacity be expanded under the deal with China Energy, Beijing’s state-owned energy conglomerate. (In both the 1979 and 2015 feasibility studies, only Laiban has an attached hydropower potential.) As it stands, Kaliwa will have the capacity to handle 2,400 million liters (634 million gallons) of water per day, “and is designed to accommodate additional raw water of 1,800 MLD [476 million gallons per day] coming from either Laiban Dam or Kanan Dam which is already included in the contract cost with China Energy,” the MWSS stated.Dumagat-Remontados are prolific upland farmers. Image by Leilani Chavez/MongabayBut there’s a key obstacle that stands in the path of all this: the site of the proposed Kaliwa Dam falls within an ancestral domain whose title is held by the Dumagat-Remontados. By law, the contractors are required to secure a certificate of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from the title holders before beginning construction. Local resistance, supported by a general mistrust of China’s burgeoning involvement in large-scale infrastructure projects, has delayed Kaliwa’s groundbreaking. But the government remains adamant. In March, MWSS administrator Reynaldo Velasco told Congress that the project had been awarded and that “it will push through.” He added: “We cannot delay this. The government already committed to this project. This is a done deal.” Velasco was fired from the water agency on the same month, the peak of Manila’s water crisis heralded by the coming summer season, and replaced by Ricardo Morales, another retired general, only to be reappointed back into the MWSS board by July and assume chairmanship by August.When Velasco was out of the water agency, the project had stalled for want of two important government-issued certificates: one acknowledging the contractors have obtained the FPIC of the affected indigenous communities, and an environmental compliance certificate. That was a relief for the Dumagat-Remontados, who had voted overwhelmingly against the project in September. But this changed in late October, when the environment department issued the environmental compliance certificate, setting up an even fiercer battle for the last remaining requirement: the consent of the indigenous peoples.last_img read more

Aston Villa hit by big injury blow

first_img1 Ashley Westwood Aston Villa will be without Ashley Westwood for up to four weeks with medial ligament damage, the club has announced.The midfielder was stretchered off during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Leicester City following a strong tackle from striker Jamie Vardy.The Villans were confident the injury was not going to be as bad as first feared but the former Crewe man will still miss up to five games, starting with Saturday’s derby at West Bromwich Albion.Westwood, who has impressed with his exceptional range of passing at Villa Park, will also be absent for clashes with Manchester United, Swansea City, Sunderland and Crystal Palace.last_img read more