Thousands of endangered snails raised in captivity returned to natural habitat in Bermuda

first_imgDue mostly to predation by invasive species of carnivorous snails and flatworms, greater Bermuda land snails (Poecilozonites bermudensis) were driven nearly to extinction in their native habitat on the oceanic islands of Bermuda over the past several decades. In fact, the snails were believed to have disappeared altogether until 2014, when a small population was discovered.It’s believed that there are less than 200 of the snails remaining in the wild, but that population has now been joined by 4,000 individuals bred in captivity in the UK and reintroduced on Bermuda’s Nonsuch Island — a nature reserve with strict quarantine protocols designed to ensure that alien species detrimental to the snails will not be introduced to the island.Following the 2014 rediscovery of the greater Bermuda land snail, scientists at the UK’s Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London launched a collaborative captive breeding program for the snails at the request of the Bermudian government. Over the past three years, the breeding program has built up a population of the snails with sufficient numbers to begin reintroductions in the wild. Thousands of captive-bred greater Bermuda land snails are heading home.Due mostly to predation by invasive species of carnivorous snails and flatworms, greater Bermuda land snails (Poecilozonites bermudensis) were driven nearly to extinction in their native habitat on the oceanic islands of Bermuda over the past several decades. In fact, the snails were believed to have disappeared altogether until 2014, when a small population was discovered.It’s estimated that there are less than 200 of the snails remaining in the wild, but that population has now been joined by 4,000 individuals bred in captivity in the UK and reintroduced on Bermuda’s Nonsuch Island — a nature reserve with strict quarantine protocols designed to ensure that alien species detrimental to the snails will not be introduced to the island.Following the 2014 rediscovery of the greater Bermuda land snail, scientists at the UK’s Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London launched a collaborative captive breeding program for the snails at the request of the Bermudian government. Over the past three years, the breeding program has built up a population of the snails with sufficient numbers to begin reintroductions in the wild.Thousands of the rare snails have been returned to the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.“It’s incredible to be involved in a project that has prevented the extinction of a species,” Gerardo Garcia, Chester Zoo’s curator for lower vertebrates and invertebrates, said in a statement.Garcia described the greater Bermuda land snail as “one of Bermuda’s oldest endemic animal inhabitants.” He added that “It has survived radical changes to the landscape and ecology on the remote oceanic islands of Bermuda over a million years but, since the 1950s and 60s, it has declined rapidly. Its demise is mainly due to changes to their habitat and the introduction of several predatory snails. Indeed, in the early 1990s, it was actually believed to be extinct until it was discovered again in one remote location in 2014.”Mark Outerbridge, a wildlife ecologist with the Bermudian government, joined Chester Zoo zookeeper Heather Prince and snail specialist Kristiina Ovaska in transporting the snails back to Bermuda for release. A select number of the snails were outfitted with fluorescent tags, a technique for tracking the snails that was tested by Ovaska and the team at the Chester Zoo. The tags will allow scientists to observe the snails’ dispersal across Nonsuch Island, as well as their growth rates, activity patterns, and population size — all of which will help monitor the snails’ success at adapting to and, hopefully, proliferating in their new home.Fluorescent tags will allow scientists to track the reintroduced snails’ progress in adapting to their new life in the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.Further releases of the greater Bermuda snail and the lesser Bermuda snail, another species of land snail that is being bred at the Chester Zoo, are planned in the near future, following work to restore critical habitat on many of Bermuda’s offshore islands.“It has been tremendously gratifying for me to see [the snails] return to Bermuda for reintroduction,” Outerbridge said in a statement. “We have identified a number of isolated places that are free of their main predators and I am looking forward to watching them proliferate at these release sites.”Four thousand greater Bermuda snails, which have been bred at Chester Zoo, are being returned to the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.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 Mike Gaworecki Captive Breeding, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Invertebrates, Molluscs, Reintroductions, Saving Species From Extinction, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

For Ecuador’s Sápara, saving the forest means saving their language

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 The Sápara people of Ecuador, who live in one of the most biodiverse forests in the world, are fighting to retain their traditional language, spoken today by only a handful of native speakers.Tropical rainforests around the world and especially in Latin America are at the forefront of a rapid decline in linguistic diversity, and the traditional ecological knowledge encoded in it.Half of the world’s languages, many spoken by only a few dozen or a few hundred people, are kept alive by only 0.1 percent of the world’s population, and constitute some of the most threatened languages.2019 has been declared the “year of indigenous languages” by the U.N., in recognition of the importance of linguistic diversity around the world and its rapid decline. NAPO, Ecuador — Gloria Ushigua, president of the Sápara women’s association, stops by a large, thin, spindly tree that looks almost dead, and breaks off a thin branch. Running her fingers along it, she finds a small, almost invisible inch-long raised groove and bites into it. Tiny ants swarm out, which she picks off with her teeth. “Ormigas acidas,” or sour ants, she explains in Spanish. “Before my grandparents even heard of limes or lemons, we used these ants to season our dishes when we wanted a sour taste.”This is just one of many examples of how the Sápara, who have inhabited the eastern part of the Ecuadoran Amazon in the Napo eco-region around Yasuni National Park for centuries, have developed a deep local understanding and language for the rainforest they call home — a rainforest that happens to also be one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. But that knowledge is threatened on multiple levels.Gloria shows a fungi commonly used for ear-ache. The cultural and oral traditions of the Sapara are considered an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” by UNESCO because of the depth of ecological and medicinal knowledge the Sapara have. Image by Sarah Sax for MongabayCurrently, only 400 Sápara, considered the smallest of the Ecuadoran indigenous nations, remain, and only a handful of elders speak Sápara fluently; when they die, many of the stories and traditional ecological knowledge encoded in the language is at risk of extinction. The nation also faces external pressure: their roughly 400,000-hectare (990,000-acre) territory sits on top of six oil concessions, two of which the Ecuadoran government has repeatedly tried to auction off.“It’s a dangerous situation for us, the Sápara,” Ushigua says. “There are so few of us in our territory and there is also petroleum in our territory. We know that if we allowed oil extraction in our territory it would be the end of us for good.”The story of the Sápara’s decline isn’t dissimilar to that of other nations and tribes in the Amazon Basin. Once a nation of around 200,000 people, the Sápara were decimated after contact with outsiders through the rubber trade, enslavement and disease. Now they’re in a race against time to revitalize their dying language. And they’re not alone. At least a quarter of the world’s languages are threatened with extinction, according to a WWF report in 2014, and most of them are indigenous.Language losses in forests worldwideA recent U.N. report on the state of global biodiversity warns that as many as a million species could be at risk from extinction in the coming decades. The U.N. has also designated 2019 the “year of indigenous languages,” to draw attention to the rapid decline in indigenous languages worldwide. Even though indigenous people constitute less than 5 percent of the world’s population, they conserve an estimated 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity.Globally, areas of high biological diversity, largely tropical rainforests, are also areas of high cultural-linguistic diversity. In fact, the three core areas of biocultural diversity are situated in the three largest, most intact tropical rainforests: the Amazon, the Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia.“When you look at distribution of languages around the world, tropical forests really show up as hotspots of linguistic diversity, and overlap with trends in biological diversity,” says Jonathan Loh, an honorary research fellow at the School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, U.K. “They are also the areas where decline is happening the fastest.”Half of the world’s languages, many spoken by only a few dozen or a few hundred people, are kept alive by only 0.1 percent of the world’s population, according to the WWF report. These are some of the most threatened languages.A young girl participates in the traditional “mono gordo” Sapara festival, which was celebrated for the first time in 30 years in June 2019. Image by Sarah Sax for Mongabay“Most of the world’s 7,000 languages are spoken by indigenous people. When the language is lost, the traditional and ecological knowledge that are encoded in the language [are] also lost,” says Loh, who co-authored the WWF report. “We could be losing a lot of potentially valuable knowledge. Who understands the species and the relationships to the ecosystem better than the people who have lived there for centuries?”The central idea of biocultural diversity is that the diversity of life on Earth is comprised not only of biodiversity but also of cultural and linguistic diversity, “all of which are interrelated (and possibly coevolved), within a complex socioecological adaptive system,” according to The Oxford Handbook of Endangered Languages.“People became interested in biocultural diversity for the same reasons people became interested in global biodiversity: It was starting to decline rapidly,” Loh says. A conservation biologist turned biocultural scientist, Loh became interested in the connection between biological and linguistic diversity when he became aware of the fact that thousands of languages worldwide were spoken by just a few people, largely in the tropics. “It very much reminded me of rare, endemic species distribution. So I started to do research. And here I am.”Biocultural diversity and the SáparaIn 2001, UNESCO recognized the language and traditions of the Sápara as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” in large part because of their complex oral culture, which is deeply marked by their environment and reflects a profound knowledge of the Amazonian jungle.Walking through the rainforest with a hunting party of Sápara, their deep knowledge of the forest is never far from sight. They bring no water or food with them. A large curuarawangu liana is cut, and from it flows sweet, filtered water. A midday snack of chonta palm and tuco, a grub that lives in the roots of the palm, is produced. A paca, a large forest rodent, is killed, and from the dozens of vines surrounding the hunting party, the sturdiest and most flexible are expertly chosen to tie up the heavy animal and carry it back to the community.The tuco grub, which lives in the roots of the chonta palm is a staple for the Sapara. Image by Sarah Sax for Mongabay.By far the most rapid losses in linguistic diversity have occurred in the Americas, where 60 percent of languages are threatened or have gone extinct since 1970.“There is so much to learn about the different Amazonian languages,” Bernat Bardagil Mas, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in Amazonian indigenous languages, tells Mongabay. “What little we do know is this: How rich Amazonian linguistic diversity is, and how endangered most of the languages are.”According to Loh, most of the languages threatened with extinction are evolutionarily quite distinct from the few dominant world languages; they also represent very different cultures and knowledge systems. If trends continue as they have, this vast store of knowledge could largely be lost by the end of this century.“Conservation biologists sadly in the past have just focused on biological diversity,” he says. “But particularly in those biodiversity hotspots that are also linguistic and cultural hotspots, conservation really needs to take into consideration and conserve the whole of biocultural diversity, instead of just the biological diversity.”The Sápara now have a language revitalization plan in place, which includes teaching children the language at school, and developing pedagogical tools to help both children and adults relearn the language. For Ushigua, there is no doubt in her mind that any attempt to revitalize the language will directly impact the Sápara’s ability to also protect their forest.“Years ago I made the point that protecting the integrity of our forest and protecting our culture and language went hand in hand, but there were no spaces to do both, so I chose to fight for our territory,” she says. “But if the forest goes extinct, we as a people are done. And if we were not here, the forest would not exist in the same way it does today. It’s that simple.”The Sapara control 400,000 hectares of rainforest in the Ecuadorian Amazon, most of which sits on top of oil reserves that the Ecuadorian government is considering exploiting. Image by Sarah Sax for Mongabay.Banner Image Caption: The Sapara have been living in the Ecuadorian Amazon for centuries; their language and traditions reflect a deep knowledge of their environment. Image by Sarah Sax for Mongabay.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 Willie Shubertcenter_img Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Anthropology, Biocultural Diversity, Culture, Food, Forests, Human Rights, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Rights, Language last_img read more

Critiques of carbon credits aren’t asking the right question (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 Carbon Credits, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Commentary, Editorials, Environment, Forest Carbon, Forests, Global Warming, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Researcher Perspective Series Rather than dwelling too much on the conclusions that critiques of carbon credit schemes seem to put forward with such conviction, we should step back and consider, “Are they asking the right question to begin with?”Ultimately, these critiques are premised on the question of whether carbon credits have, to date, delivered all the benefits they’ve promised. Their answer: A decisive “no.” The problem is that such a question, and the response, will leave many readers with the impression that carbon credits are simply a bad option, and we’ll have to look elsewhere for solutions to climate change. Unfortunately, we no longer have such a luxury.So, instead, let’s ask this: “Is there any way to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement without protecting the world’s forests?” The answer here is another resounding “no,” but this one with much more serious implications.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. fFor those of us who have worked in the world of carbon credits for many years, the criticisms raised in articles like “An (Even More) Inconvenient Truth,” published by ProPublica last month, are nothing new. The idea of allowing polluters to offset their emissions, including by paying to protect or restore forests, has been around for decades, and we’ve heard it all before.Rather than dwelling too much on the conclusions these critiques seem to put forward with such conviction, we should step back and consider, “Are they asking the right question to begin with?”Ultimately, these critiques are premised on the question of whether carbon credits have, to date, delivered all the benefits they’ve promised. Their answer: A decisive “no.” While the recent ProPublica article is not without fault, there is no doubt that many carbon offset programs have failed to live up to expectations over the years, including some profiled in that story.The problem is that such a question, and the response, will leave many readers with the impression that carbon credits are simply a bad option, and we’ll have to look elsewhere for solutions to climate change. Unfortunately, we no longer have such a luxury. We are not in a position to pick and choose our responses to the climate emergency as we would items on a menu. The fact is, we need every solution on the table.So, instead, let’s ask this: “Is there any way to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement without protecting the world’s forests?” The answer here is another resounding “no,” but this one with much more serious implications. The fact is emission reductions alone — however significant — will not be able to limit global warming to 1.5 or even 2 degrees above that of the pre-industrial age. We must also invest in nature. And to do that, carbon credits have a central role to play.By framing the discussion this way, rather than bemoaning past failures, we quickly come to understand just how important it is to learn from these missteps and move forward.The good news is this is already happening, and the diagnosis on carbon credits is not nearly as dire as the ProPublica article suggests. When designed and implemented well, they are an extremely effective response to climate change.The main problem is that ProPublica’s reporter, and many others, still look at the UN’s program for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, known as REDD+, solely as a project-level effort. It’s certainly true that the first generation of initiatives to prevent deforestation were implemented on a project-by-project basis. And, as you would expect, the quality and impact of isolated projects has varied greatly, many succumbing to the failings elaborated in the article. Unfortunately, this legacy of isolated projects has stuck with REDD+ and is perpetuated through articles like ProPublica’s.In reality, though, we’ve come a long way in our understanding since then. In fact, over seven years of negotiations, the United Nations developed a framework to incentivize and implement activities to reduce deforestation. By 2015, it was already clear that the project-level response was not sufficient, and, to be effective, efforts needed to be led at the sub-national or national level. Indeed, this is how REDD+ was written into the Paris Agreement.To give just one example: the Bujang Raba Community PES Project, coordinated by KKI Warsi in Jambi, Indonesia. Facilitated by the Indonesian REDD+ Management Agency, the project conserves 5,339 hectares (about 13,193 acres) of endangered primary rainforest in Sumatera’s Bukit Barisan forest. It involves five indigenous communities. The site is managed by the communities under a “hutan desa” (village forest) program that recognizes and secures land tenure and allows community members to sustainably manage the forest. By engaging local communities, the project reduces forest fires, illegal poaching, and unsustainable harvesting of forest products.According to Planvivo, which established the carbon standard used by the project, the project produces a 40,000-tons-of-CO2-per-year carbon benefit, and conserves the home of threatened species such as the Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus), Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), and the critically-endangered Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). It also diversifies income for participating communities by introducing high-value crops such as cardamom, cocoa, and other non-timber products. Bamboo and rattan processing facilities will also open other income streams for the communities. And this is just one example.In short, it’s far too early to call time of death on carbon credits. It’s encouraging to see momentum growing among countries, sub-national actors, and the private sector to ratchet up efforts to the scale needed. But there’s a lot of work still to be done. At the country level, more can be done to include natural climate solutions in national climate targets, which would help drive demand for finance. And, similarly, at the international level, more can be done to use the flexibility allowed by the Paris Agreement for countries to develop natural climate solutions partnerships to increase emission reductions. The upcoming Climate Summit hosted by the UN Secretary-General this September offers a wonderful opportunity to make progress on these fronts.No one says this is going to be easy, but let’s start by asking the right questions. And then let’s work together to move forward.A juvenile sun bear at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Malaysia. The Bujang Raba Community PES Project in Jambi, Indonesia conserves crucial habitat for the bears. Photo Credit: Siew Te Wong, Thye Lim Tee, and Lin May Chiew, BSBCC.Agus Sari is CEO of Landscape Indonesia. He was Deputy Minister / Deputy Chair of the Indonesian REDD+ Management Agency. He was Co-Chair of the Working Group and Negotiating Contact Group on REDD+ Financing leading up to and at the 2013 UNFCCC COP19.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

From over 100,000 species assessments in IUCN update, zero improvements

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 Shreya Dasgupta The latest IUCN Red List update, which includes assessments of 105,732 species, lists more than 28,000 species as threatened with extinction.The declines of many of these species can be attributed to human overexploitation, according to the IUCN. The red-capped mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus), for example, has moved from vulnerable to endangered in 2019, largely because of threats from illegal hunting for bushmeat and conversion of much of the monkey’s Atlantic coast forest habitat in West Africa to agriculture.More than 5,000 trees from 180 countries, and 500 deep-sea bony fish species like the bioluminescent lanternfishes, were also added to the Red List this year.No species was assessed as having genuinely improved in status enough to earn it a place in a lower threat category, according to the IUCN. From rays to deep-sea snails, primates to rosewood trees, the latest IUCN Red List update paints a gloomy picture for our world’s species.The update, which includes assessments of 105,732 animal and plant species to date, lists more than 28,000 species as threatened with extinction, attributing much of the declines to human overexploitation.The red-capped mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus), for instance, a monkey previously listed as vulnerable, has now been moved to endangered, largely because of declining numbers driven by illegal hunting for bushmeat and conversion of much of its Atlantic coast forest habitat in West Africa to agriculture.In East Africa, the pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri) is fighting a losing battle against the global pet trade. Thanks to overexploitation for this trade, along with destruction of its preferred rock habitats, the reptile has moved from being listed as vulnerable to critically endangered.More than 90 percent of all the rosewood and palissander (Dalbergia) tree species assessed on the Red List, too, are now threatened, mostly because of illegal trafficking and habitat loss. Freshwater fish seem to be struggling as well, with the loss of free-flowing rivers and increasing pollution driving more than half of Japan’s endemic freshwater fish and over a third of freshwater fish in Mexico toward extinction, according to a press release from the IUCN.No species was assessed as having “genuinely improved in status enough” to earn them a place in a lower threat category for this update, the IUCN said.“With more than 100,000 species now assessed for the IUCN Red List, this update clearly shows how much humans around the world are overexploiting wildlife,” Grethel Aguilar, acting director general of the IUCN, said in the statement. “States, businesses and civil society must urgently act to halt the overexploitation of nature, and must respect and support local communities and Indigenous Peoples in strengthening sustainable livelihoods.”Pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri). Image by Dick Culbert via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).According to the latest update, 873 species are now extinct, while 73 species are extinct in the wild. Some 6,127 species are at the edge of extinction, assessed as critically endangered. These include species of wedgefishes and giant guitarfishes, also referred to as rhino rays because of their elongated snouts, which are now among the most threatened marine fish families in the world. Fifteen of the 16 species assessed are critically endangered. Two species in particular, the clown wedgefish (Rhynchobatus cooki) of the Indo-Malay archipelago and the false shark ray (Rhynchorhina mauritaniensis) of Mauritania, are likely very close to extinction. Living in shallow ocean waters, these rays are caught frequently as bycatch, and overexploited by fisheries, with their meat sold locally and fins traded for shark-fin soup.“The alarm bell has been sounding again and again concerning the unravelling crisis in freshwater and marine wildlife around the world and it’s time we pay attention,” said Andrew Terry, director of conservation and policy at the Zoological Society of London.The latest Red List update lists 9,754 species as endangered, 12,457 as vulnerable and 6,435 species as near threatened. More than 15,000 species are listed as data deficient, which means there’s insufficient information to assess their conservation status.Giant guitarfish (Rhynchobatus djiddensis). Image by Peter Giger via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).There are thousands of new entries in the IUCN Red List this year. These include a West African evergreen tree, Allophylus samoritourei, that grows up to 18 meters (59 feet) tall. It’s listed as endangered, with fewer than 250 mature individuals estimated throughout its range, including 180 mature trees in Guinea. The species is on the decline because of habitat loss from mining, agriculture and urban expansion.The Lake Oku puddle frog (Phrynobatrachus njiomock), a species known only from the Kilum-Ijim Forest in Cameroon, debuts on the list as critically endangered (possibly extinct). Once the most abundant frog at Lake Oku, it hasn’t been seen since 2010. Researchers say the frog population has likely declined or disappeared mainly because of chytridiomycosis, a deadly fungal disease caused by the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) that has devastated amphibian populations across the world.More than 5,000 trees from 180 countries have also been added to the Red List this year. The American elm (Ulmus americana), once found across Canada and the United States, for example, enters the Red List as endangered, its populations declining over decades due to Dutch elm disease, an invasive fungal pathogen.“The implications for people are that we lose valuable resources such as rosewoods and elms, and we also lose ecosystem resilience, undermining the essential ecosystem services that forests provide,” Paul Smith, secretary general of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, said in the statement.In addition to trees, several deep-sea species also make their appearance on the updated list, including 500 deep-sea bony fish species like the bioluminescent lanternfishes. A deep-sea hydrothermal vent mollusc, the scaly-foot snail (Chrysomallon squamiferum), debuts as endangered as well. The snail is known from only three locations on hydrothermal vents at depths of down to 2,900 meters (9,500 feet) in the Indian Ocean. With the prospect of future development of deep-sea mining in two of these areas, the snail’s habitat could be destroyed, the press release says. Some 20 percent of all the deep-sea assessments are, however, data-deficient, raising the need for studies on these species.“As many of the world’s deep sea species are being assessed for the first time, we are just starting to understand the impact of threats to this mostly unexplored and unmanaged frontier,” Beth Polidoro, a marine toxicologist at Arizona State University and co-chair of the Marine Fishes Red List Authority, said in the statement. “As such, the importance of the IUCN Red List process for deep sea species is increasingly evident, as it is one of the only indicators on the status of deep sea biodiversity across the globe.”The scaly-foot snail is known from just three locations in the deep sea. Image by Chong Chen.Banner image of red-capped mangabey by BeKay via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).center_img Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forests, Green, Iucn, Plants, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife last_img read more

Indigenous-managed lands found to harbor more biodiversity than protected areas

first_imgAmphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Conservation, Environment, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Mammals, Protected Areas, Reptiles, Research, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Mike Gaworecki Researchers say they found that amphibian, bird, mammal, and reptile abundance in Australia, Brazil, and Canada is highest on lands managed or co-managed by indigenous communities — higher even than on protected areas like parks and wildlife reserves, which were found to have the second highest levels of biodiversity.Both indigenous-managed lands and protected areas harbored more biodiversity than unprotected areas included in the study that the researchers selected at random. The researchers also determined that the size and geographical location of any particular area had no effect on levels of species diversity, suggesting that it’s the land-management practices of indigenous communities that are conserving biodiversity.The researchers said their results demonstrate the importance of expanding the boundaries of traditional conservation strategies, which frequently rely on establishing protected areas to conserve critical habitat for biodiversity. New research bolsters the case for indigenous-led land management as a crucial conservation solution.The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Policy last month, focused on land and species data from more than 15,000 distinct geographical regions in Australia, Brazil, and Canada. After analyzing the data, the researchers behind the study say they found that amphibian, bird, mammal, and reptile abundance is highest on lands managed or co-managed by indigenous communities — higher even than on protected areas like parks and wildlife reserves, which were found to have the second highest levels of biodiversity.Both indigenous-managed lands and protected areas harbored more biodiversity than unprotected areas included in the study that the researchers selected at random. The researchers also determined that the size and geographical location of any particular area had no effect on levels of species diversity.“This suggests that it’s the land-management practices of many Indigenous communities that are keeping species numbers high,” Richard Schuster, who led the research while at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University in Canada, said in a statement. He added that a key takeaway of the study is that “Going forward, collaborating with Indigenous land stewards will likely be essential in ensuring that species survive and thrive.”Schuster and co-authors say that their study is the first to look at land management practices and their impact on biodiversity at such a large geographic scale. “We looked at three countries with very different climates and species, to see if the pattern held true across these different regions — and it did,” study co-author Ryan Germain, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University in the US, said in a statement. “From frogs and songbirds right up to large mammals like grizzly bears, jaguars and kangaroos, biodiversity was richest in Indigenous-managed lands.”UBC forestry professor Peter Arcese, who served as senior author for the study, said that the results demonstrate the importance of expanding the boundaries of traditional conservation strategies, which frequently rely on establishing protected areas to conserve critical habitat for biodiversity.A 2018 study found that the amount of land afforded some sort of protected status has roughly doubled globally since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More than 202,000 protected areas now cover nearly 15 percent of the world’s terrestrial areas, according to the study, but one-third of those protected areas are facing “intense human pressure.” Given these findings, conservationists have argued that indigenous stewardship is vital to the success of the world’s protected areas, as well.Yet many protected areas established in the past intentionally excluded indigenous peoples from using the land they had relied on for generations. This was not only harmful to those local indigenous communities, it also meant that the protected areas frequently failed to achieve their conservation goals, Arcese and team noted.“Protected areas are a cornerstone of biodiversity conservation globally, but current levels of protection will be insufficient to halt the planetary extinction crisis,” Arcese said. “We must manage a larger fraction of world’s area in ways that protect species and leads to positive outcomes for people and the species they’ve relied on for millennia.”Another study released last year determined that indigenous peoples have ownership and use or management rights over more than one-fourth of Earth’s land surface (close to 38 million square kilometers or about 14.6 million square miles) across 87 countries. The study, which mapped all of the terrestrial lands managed or owned by indigenous peoples across the globe, also found that about 40 percent of all terrestrial protected areas on Earth overlap with indigenous-controlled land — and that about two-thirds of indigenous lands are still essentially in their natural state, more than double the proportion of intactness found on other types of land.“Indigenous-managed lands represent an important repository of biodiversity in three of the largest countries on Earth, and Indigenous peoples currently manage or have tenure to roughly one-quarter of the planet’s land area,” Nick Reo, an associate professor at Dartmouth College in the US and co-author of the present study, said in a statement.“In light of this, collaborating with Indigenous governments, communities and organizations can help to conserve biodiversity as well as support Indigenous rights to land, sustainable resource use and well-being.”The Maasai people in Kenya pass down environmental knowledge through storytelling. Photo by Joan de la Malla.CITATIONS• Garnett, S. T. et al. (2018). A spatial overview of the global importance of Indigenous lands for conservation. Nature Sustainability. doi:10.1038/s41893-018-0100-6• Jones, K. R., Venter, O., Fuller, R. A., Allan, J. R., Maxwell, S. L., Negret, P. J., & Watson, J. E. (2018). One-third of global protected land is under intense human pressure. Science, 360(6390), 788-791. doi:10.1126/science.aap9565• Schuster, R., Germain, R. R., Bennett, J. R., Reo, N. J., & Arcese, P. (2019). Vertebrate biodiversity on indigenous-managed lands in Australia, Brazil, and Canada equals that in protected areas. Environmental Science & Policy, 101, 1-6. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2019.07.002FEEDBACK: 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 Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Madagascar no longer insisting on selling its seized rosewood, for now

first_imgMadagascar has withdrawn its demand to be allowed to sell illegally harvested rosewood timber that it had previously seized.The move aligns Madagascar’s position more closely with that of the international community, which wants the country to crack down on the illegal logging and timber trade before a relaxation or lifting of the ban is even considered.However, the government hasn’t ruled out seeking permission for a sale in the future, raising concern among observers about the message this could send to illegal traders and to other countries also seeking to offload stockpiles of trafficked contraband. A ban on the international trade in rosewood, a prized timber, remains intact following the close this week of a global summit on the trade in wild animals and plants.What did change at the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was that Madagascar, a key source country for illegal precious wood, withdrew its demand to be allowed to sell rosewood stocks that it had previously seized in the international market.“I reiterate once again a paradigm shift that Madagascar will not consider marketing,” Lala Ranaivomanana, secretary-general of Madagascar’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, said at the CITES summit in Geneva. He added that the country would hold off on any plans to try and sell the stockpile until it had resolved issues surrounding inventory management and control.While selling the rosewood remains an option in the future, the latest decision aligns Madagascar’s position more closely with that of CITES: that the country needs to do more to crack down on the illegal logging and timber trade before a relaxation or lifting of the ban is even considered.“The first thing they need to address is the enforcement issue. The potential conversation on exports and sustainable management will come after that,” said Isabel Camarena, an official with the CITES Secretariat who tracked the discussions.In a July interview Alexandre Georget, Madagascar’s environment minister, told Mongabay that they would not allow any exports of rosewood. In the past, the country has repeatedly sought permission for a one-time sale of illegal rosewood that lies in government custody, a move that many fear would send the wrong signal to illegal traders and to other countries pushing for similar sales of trafficked commodities.“WCS commends Madagascar for announcing that they are no longer seeking permission from CITES for an international sale of seized stocks of rosewood,” Janice Weatherley-Singh, a director at the Wildlife Conservation Society-EU, said in a statement. “Allowing even just a one-off international sale of such a highly prized wood would provide an opportunity for increased illegal trade.”A 2009 coup led by the current president, Andry Rajoelina, fueled unprecedented destruction of Madagascar’s forests and rosewood extraction. The 2013 CITES ban led to a government roundup of illegally harvested rosewood. To date, however, Madagascar still doesn’t have a clear idea of how much illegal rosewood exists in the country, because some stocks have been declared by traffickers but aren’t in government custody, while others have been stashed away by timber traders.Without this baseline, the CITES committee is unwilling to consider any move to dispose of it. Madagascar said domestic use would be prioritized rather than allowing the wood to enter the global market, ending up largely in China.Wood from species in two genera found in Madagascar, Dalbergia (rosewood and palisander) and Diospyros (ebony), is considered precious timber. It’s coveted for its rich hues and fragrance and used in the production of fine furniture and musical instruments.During the 2013 CITES summit, in Bangkok, rosewood, ebony and palisander from Madagascar were placed in Appendix II of the convention. That means that while trade isn’t banned, it’s subject to strict regulation. An embargo was placed on trade in the precious timber, and an action plan approved to create an inventory of stockpiles and assess standing trees.Since then, CITES has extended the embargo and rejected iterations of the “Stockpile Verification Mechanism and Business Plan” presented by the Malagasy government for auditing and ultimately legally exporting the stock of precious wood in its custody.The justification offered by the government was that selling the confiscated timber would help it achieve “stock zero” and make it easier to track any new logging. But without accurate and reliable information about the volume of confiscated timber, there’s no knowing how much would have to be sold off to arrive at “stock zero.” There’s the added concern that timber traffickers could freely remove and sell logs from the cache that’s not fully under government control.The Malagasy government has been criticized for trying to take control of the inventory by compensating timber barons who control a substantial portion of the illegal stocks.At the CITES summit in Geneva, it was decided that Madagascar would account for all the stocks, not only a third of them as was previously required , including the undeclared and hidden ones, according to Susanne Breitkopf, forest policy manager at the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Environmental Investigations Agency, which participated as an observer at the meeting. Madagascar also committed to enforce the law and prosecute offenders at all levels.The shift in the government’s stance is being hailed by some, while others are more cautious in their optimism.“They did not present a new business plan here, also nothing about compensating traffickers. Per CoP decision they should submit a new use plan (not business plan), to the next Standing Committee, which is based on transparency and independent oversight mechanism,” Breitkopf said.However, government officials did not categorically rule out seeking permission for a future sale of the stockpile. “We continue working on the business plan taking account on these new recommendations,” Herizo Rakotovololonalimanana, the director-general of environment and forests and one of Madagascar’s delegates at CoP18, said in an email to Mongabay.Ranaivomanana, in his speech at the CITES meeting, noted that the decision on what to do would come after the government had secured all the stocks, the risks of illegal exploitation were fully understood, and it was able to deal with offenders more effectively.Camarena from the CITES Secretariat said the international community was still worried that once Madagascar did that, they might seek to sell the rosewood. “The use plan has not been approved, only the part about making the inventory,” she said. “The idea of the inventory management was well received but nobody wanted anything to do with sale.”The conference did amend the status of small finished items such as musical instruments, parts and accessories, exempting them from requiring CITES permits to cross borders. Madagascar’s plan to use some of the stock domestically to produce handicrafts could potentially benefit from this.However, it would only be part of the solution to the problem of what to do with the seized wood. “The needs for local handcrafts will be very small compared to the total size of the current stockpile, so this to me does not solve much of the situation and it does not mean that the stock is safe,” said Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, the country director for WWF Madagascar, adding that “there has been no information shared on the status of the inventory so I suppose it is still at the same status as it was last year.”At the discussion, parties felt no progress could be made by pushing Madagascar into a corner and the need was to support them, Camarena said, a theme emphasized in the decisions taken during the meeting.“The challenge is still huge and Madagascar cannot solve the rosewood trafficking crisis in isolation,” Weatherley-Singh of WCS said. “The international trade suspension needs to be kept in place. Other countries also need to be ready to refuse imports of illegal stocks and provide financial support.”Banner Image: A file photo by Rhett A. Butler of rosewood being transported in Maroantsetra in northwest MadagascarMalavika Vyawahare is the Madagascar staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVyFEEDBACK: 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. Cites, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Illegal Timber Trade, Rainforest Deforestation, Rosewood, Timber, timber trade, Tropical Forests Article published by malavikavyawaharecenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Newly described Chinese giant salamander may be world’s largest amphibian

first_imgThe critically endangered Chinese giant salamander is not just one, but three distinct species, researchers have now confirmed in a new study.One of the newly recognized species, the South China giant salamander (Andrias sligoi), could be largest amphibian on the planet, the researchers say.The researchers say they hope the recognition of the Chinese giant salamanders as three species will help the amphibians’ conservation by triggering separate management plans for the species. The Chinese giant salamander, which reaches lengths of more than 5 feet (1.6 meters), enjoys the title of being the world’s largest living species of amphibian. However, the critically endangered salamander is not just one, but three distinct species, researchers have now confirmed in a new study.One of the newly recognized species, the South China giant salamander (Andrias sligoi), could be largest amphibian on the planet, the researchers say.“These findings come at a time where urgent interventions are required to save Chinese giant salamanders in the wild,” Melissa Marr, a doctoral researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “Our results indicate that tailored conservation measures should be put in place that preserve the genetic integrity of each distinct species.”A. sligoi painting. Image courtesy of ZSL.The Chinese giant salamander was once widespread across central, eastern and southern China. But habitat loss, poaching, and illegal collection for farming as luxury food items wiped out most animals, making them incredibly rare in the wild today. Millions of these salamanders live on farms, though.In a study published last year, Samuel Turvey, a conservation scientist at the Zoological Society of London, and colleagues who spent four years surveying the salamander’s preferred river habitats across 97 counties in China reported finding only 24 wild individuals at four sites. But even those were likely farmed animals, the researchers said, ones that had either escaped or had been released as part of government-sponsored conservation initiatives.For a long time, all Chinese giant salamanders were considered to be a single species, Andrias davidianus. Some researchers did suspect that the salamander likely comprised more than just the one species, and another study by Turvey and team published last year found just that: analysis of tissue samples from 70 wild-caught and 1,034 farm-bred salamanders showed that the Chinese giant salamander once included least five genetically distinct lineages. Today’s salamanders, however, show extensive hybridization as a consequence of mixing of the species through farming, the researchers said.These genetic studies, however, relied on samples collected in recent decades, when the salamanders had already been moved extensively for farming, making conclusions about distinct species difficult. In the latest study, Turvey and his colleagues analyzed samples from a series of historical museum specimens of the salamanders to see what the wild local populations of the Chinese giant salamander may have been like before the onset of widespread farming and movement of the animals by humans.In the end, the team identified three distinct genetic lineages, sufficiently different enough to represent separate species, each associated with a different river drainage system. These include A. davidianus, A. sligoi, and a third, yet-to-be-named species. The different species of Chinese giant salamanders began to diverge 3.1 million years ago, Turvey said, corresponding to a period of mountain formation in China, as the Tibetan Plateau rose rapidly.Of the three recognized species, the South China giant salamander (A. sligoi) is most likely the largest, reaching 2 meters (6 feet) in length, the researchers say. The third species, which is known only from tissue samples and not any complete specimen, hasn’t yet been formally described.The researchers say they hope that the recognition of the Chinese giant salamanders as three species will help the amphibians’ conservation by triggering separate management plans for the species. The team also urges that efforts be made to identify and protect sites where wild populations of the three different Chinese giant salamander species may still occur.“Salamanders are currently moved widely around China, for conservation translocation and to stock farms that cater for China’s luxury food market,” Turvey said. “Conservation plans must now be updated to recognise the existence of multiple giant salamander species, and movement of these animals should be prohibited to reduce the risk of disease transfer, competition, and genetic hybridisation.”A wild Chinese giant salamander. Image by Ben Tapley.Citation:Turvey, S. T., Marr, M. M., Barnes, I., Brace, S., Tapley, B., Murphy, R. W., … & Cunningham, A. A. (2019). Historical museum collections clarify the evolutionary history of cryptic species radiation in the world’s largest amphibians. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.5257 Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Green, New Species, Research, Salamanders, Species Discovery, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Shreya Dasguptalast_img read more

‘Witnessing extinction in the flames’ as the Amazon burns for agribusiness

first_imgThe vast and biodiverse Triunfo do Xingu protected area in the Brazilian Amazon lost 22 percent of its forest cover between 2007 and 2018, with figures this year indicating the rate of deforestation is accelerating.The surge in deforestation, driven largely by cattle ranching, is part of a wider trend of encroachment into protected areas across the Brazilian Amazon under the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro, according to conservationists.With the widespread clearing slicing up the larger protected area into smaller fragments of forest, human rights advocates worry that it will become increasingly difficult for forest-dependent indigenous communities to survive within it.The deforestation is likely to have a far-reaching impact on the biodiversity of the region, which is home to countless species of plants and animals not adapted to living in areas with higher temperatures and less vegetation. TRIUNFO DO XINGU, Brazil — The rolling hills of the Triunfo do Xingu protected area in northern Brazil are a patchwork of vibrant emerald green and deep burnt orange. Dark plumes of smoke dot the jungle landscape stretching beyond the sprawling pastures, where cattle graze. Alongside the dirt roads crisscrossing the region, tree stumps jut out from the charred ground amid dried-up vegetation.The Área de Proteção Ambiental (APA) Triunfo do Xingu is a vast region spanning some ​​1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres) across the municipalities of São Félix do Xingu and Altamira, in the heart of Brazil’s northern state of Pará. The area is an ecological treasure, housing various types of forest and a rich tapestry of plant and animal species. It is also home to indigenous groups and traditional peoples, who rely on the forest to survive while preserving their way of life.The Triunfo do Xingu area has been under state protection for more than a decade, although some land development is legally permitted. In 2006, Pará granted the area a conservation status aimed at preserving its biodiversity and ensuring sustainable use of its natural resources. Under this type of designation, some clearing is allowed on a small part of the territory while the remainder is supposed to be earmarked for environmental preservation.Yet satellite data from the University of Maryland (UMD) show that Triunfo do Xingu lost around 22 percent of its forest cover between 2007 and 2018, despite its protected status. Preliminary figures for 2019 indicate the deforestation rate may be rising even higher. Between January and October, UMD picked up more than half a million deforestation alerts in the protected area — more than half of those in August alone.Triunfo do Xingu’s was nearly completely covered in primary forest less than 20 years ago. However, much has been lost as land is cleared for agriculture. Source: GLAD/UMD, accessed through Global Forest WatchSatellite imagery shows ongoing, large-scale forest loss throughout Triunfo do Xingu. At this site in the western part of the protected area, around 6 square kilometers (2.3 square miles) was cleared between May and September. Source: Planet Labs.At this southern site, the forest showed signs of recent burning when Mongabay visited in September. Source: Planet Labs.Most of those who have been clearing land in recent months are doing so without the licensing needed to legally develop the territory for industrial activity, sources in the region say. They also appear to be carving out chunks of forest that are far larger than what is permitted within the Triunfo do Xingu area under its protected status.“Eighty percent of the area has to be preserved,” said one public official in the region, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter. “But in reality, of course, that’s not the case. It’s the reverse — the majority is being deforested and developed, all illegally. It’s a land without law here.”Deeper into the forestThe surge in illegal deforestation in Triunfo do Xingu is part of a larger, deeply worrying trend of encroachment into protected areas seen across the Brazilian Amazon, said Ricardo Abad. Abad works as an analyst at the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), an NGO that defends environmental diversity and the rights of indigenous and traditional people.“Not only is there a rise in deforestation but most of it is happening inside protected areas, which have traditionally served as a shield stopping this deforestation,” said Abad, whose work is focused on the Xingu basin. “But, just in the last few months, we have seen a very big concentration of the kind of leakage, from outside of the protected areas to inside of the protected areas.”In Triunfo do Xingu, most of the recent deforestation has been driven by cattle ranching, as farmers convert more land for their livestock. São Félix do Xingu, a municipality of about 125,000 in which about two-thirds of the protected area lies, is the largest cattle-producing municipality in Brazil and is home to nearly 20 times more livestock than people. Some smaller patches of deforestation, mostly in the northern part of the APA, are also the result of mining, logging and land-grabbing, sources say.What once was rainforest now is cattle pasture in APA Triunfo do Xingu. Photo by Ana Ionova for Mongabay.The rhetoric of President Jair Bolsonaro seems to have played a role in the deforestation surge in this region, where support for the controversial leader is strong and the yellow football shirt that has become a symbol of far-right politics is a common sight. Bolsonaro has repeatedly vowed to loosen restrictions on development in the Amazon, a message that has deeply resonated with farmers and ranchers here. Meanwhile, fines for environmental crimes have dropped sharply since he took office at the start of this year, which critics say has helped create a climate of impunity.As a result, both large and small agricultural producers have been emboldened to deforest more land across the region, local sources say. In August, Pará state made headlines when it emerged that growers and ranchers were hatching a plan over Whatsapp to set coordinated fires in support of Bolsonaro. Authorities caught wind of the plot but were too slow to act, and data show that the number of fires tripled on that date compared to a year earlier.“The political rhetoric is encouraging crimes against our Amazon,” Ananza Mara Rabello, a professor at the Universidade Federal do Sul e Sudeste do Pará, told an audience gathered in São Félix do Xingu’s legislative building in early September. “Because the fire in the Amazon is not natural.”The remote location of Triunfo do Xingu, meanwhile, has made it easier to deforest without fear of facing penalties. The protected area lies across the river from the town of São Félix do Xingu, only accessible by the boats that periodically carry over anything from trucks and motorcycles to cattle and consumer goods.On the opposite bank of the Xingu River, a massive billboard advertising an upcoming cattle fair loomed over the makeshift port during a recent visit. From this informal entrance to the protected Triunfo do Xingu area, a web of haphazard dirt roads stretched through the vast territory. Our four-wheel-drive truck snaked through rough, narrow paths dented by gaping holes for hours to reach freshly cleared patches of forest. We passed large swaths of forest burned within the last few weeks and, deep into the territory, encountered a blaze that was actively engulfing virgin forest. The landscape was dotted with the occasional farm or ranch, but, for the most part, the area was deserted.A road winds through protected land, flanked by the charred remains of forest. Photo by Ana Ionova for Mongabay.An active fire consumes forest in Triunfo do Xingu. Photo by Ana Ionova for Mongabay.The region is struggling with lax enforcement of environmental regulations, said Danilo Antônio Lago, a pastor with the Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) in São Félix do Xingu, an arm of the Catholic Church that works to advance human rights in rural communities across Brazil. In the Xingu region, the CPT works with small farmers to find alternatives to clearing land and runs projects that aim to regenerate degraded forests.“They act with impunity because they feel protected,” Lago told Mongabay in an interview. “It’s so remote, that people know nobody will come to fine them, nothing will happen to them.”Local, state and federal authorities have tried to crack down on illegal deforestation in Triunfo do Xingu in recent weeks amid global panic over a surge in burning across the broader Brazilian Amazon, which is on course to experience its worst fire season since 2010. There have been operations by Brazil’s environmental agency, known as IBAMA, as well as state environmental police, the military’s jungle battalion, the air force, and the municipal and state environmental secretariats.Yet sources say that the operations have been a symbolic Band-aid effort, with limited scope to curb deforestation in the Triunfo do Xingu region in the longer term. With no headquarters in São Félix do Xingu and few agents in the sprawling broader area, IBAMA doesn’t have the capacity to uniformly enforce the law across the region. And while the greater presence of authorities in recent weeks has helped temporarily slow the clearing, most expect it to resume with full force as attention shifts elsewhere.last_img read more

Activists call for stronger environmental laws in Widodo’s second term

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 Indonesian President Joko Widodo has kicked off his second and final term in office with a pledge to boost investment and economic growth, largely through deregulation.Environmental activists say they fear this focus on investment at all costs will strip away the already scant environmental protections in the country.They say that, if anything, the government must strengthen regulations protecting the environment and vulnerable groups.Doing so will ultimately also benefit the economy, they argue, by ensuring that the country attracts high-quality investments. JAKARTA — Environmental activists in Indonesia have called on President Joko Widodo to use his second-five-year term to strengthen protections of the country’s rich natural resources, after he failed to mention the environment in his inauguration speech this week.Widodo was sworn in for his second and final term on Oct. 20, and used the occasion to emphasize ramping up his earlier program of developing infrastructure across the country. He also vowed to “simplify all forms of regulatory constraints” and revise laws that hamper job creation in the country. He promised a “large-scale simplification of the bureaucracy” to spur investments for job creation, and said Indonesia would reduce its dependence on natural resources to power the economy.Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, previously pledged to revise at least 74 laws considered to be hampering investment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, which has seen sluggish growth during his presidency.Indonesian President Joko Widodo gives a speech at his inauguration ceremony in Jakarta on Oct. 20. Image courtesy of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.Environmental defenders have criticized what they deem a narrow focus on investment and economic development, saying they fear it could mean scaling back of regulations meant to protect the environment and vulnerable groups for the sake of making it easier for companies to do business.“Investment in the land sector remains very attractive,” said Arie Rompas, a forest campaigner at Greenpeace Indonesia, adding that some of the laws considered a hindrance to investment in this sector included those pertaining to the environment.A series of massive protests broke out in September following the passage of a revised anti-corruption law that many say would weaken the country’s anti-graft agency, the KPK. The protests, led largely by university students, also demanded that parliament end deliberations on the passage of bills that many say would undermine democracy, individual freedoms, and environmental protection in Indonesia, such as draft laws on the penal code, mining, and land.The protests succeeded in halting the passage of those bills, but the new batch of legislators sworn in earlier this month may resume the deliberations at any time; nearly half of them are affiliated with more than 1,000 businesses, including palm oil and mining, according to an analysis by the investigative magazine Tempo.“The next government seems set to expand deforestation and increase forest fires on peatland,” Rompas said at a discussion in Jakarta on Oct. 17.He was referring to massive fires that broke out in 2015 and again this year, most of them set in order to clear land for plantations, primarily oil palms. In the wake of the 2015 fires, Widodo rolled out a series of regulations, including a moratorium on peatland clearing, to prevent a recurrence. However, the disaster has flared up again this year, razing at least 328,000 hectares (810,500 acres) of land and generating clouds of haze that have sickened hundreds of thousands of people. Several of the companies whose concessions have been burning this year were also at the heart of the 2015 fires.Deforestation for oil palm plantations in Indonesia. Image by Rhett A. Butler.The fact that there’s been a recurrence of fires despite the regulations rolled out after 2015 indicate that environmental and social protections must be strengthened, environmental activists say.“There’s no benefit in pushing for investment if the social and environmental impacts aren’t reduced — the push must go in line with tightening up environmental standards, so there won’t be any social and ecological conflicts,” said Henri Subagiyo, executive director of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law.“Deregulation is fair, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing environmental standards and social protection,” Henri added.Instead of curbing environmental regulations, the government must establish more stringent standards as a way to attract more investment in the country, activists say.“We’re worried that when environmental standards are reduced, transparency and accountability will decrease as well, and that would open up Indonesia to a flow of dirty money,” said Ariyanto, advocacy and networking manager at Publish What You Pay Indonesia.Environmentalists are also closely watching Widodo’s cabinet picks for any ministers affiliated with political parties and/or businesses. The NGO Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) reported earlier this year that Widodo’s presidential campaign was heavily funded by donations linked to the mining and palm oil industries, while his top campaign officials also have business holdings in these sectors.Merah Johansyah, the executive director of Jatam, said there was a risk the new Widodo administration would drag Indonesia back into authoritarian territory, “backed by black [dirty] investment and funded by the oligarchs of the mining and extractive industries.”“Our message to the president is that the economy won’t grow on a damaged planet,” Merah said, adding that Widodo’s policies over the next five years must reflect the country’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest emitters, has vowed to cut its emissions by 29 percent by 2030, or 41 percent with international assistance. Most of its emissions come from land use changes, including deforestation and forest fires.“We call on the president to make environmental protection the backbone for his policies,” Merah said.A coal mine in Indonesian Borneo. Image courtesy of Daniel Beltran/Greenpeace.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 Basten Gokkoncenter_img Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Governance, Mining, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Politics, Rainforests last_img read more

Beach clean-ups, community visits, and compensation to fishers build environmental awareness in Nigeria

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 FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Ogunye said she and her team of staff and volunteers were troubled to always find far more bottle caps than anything else — not even seashells — on the shoreline during beach clean-ups.This spurred them to launch an awareness-raising campaign known as “Kids4Clean Seas” to visit schools and coastal communities to promote proper waste management.The project staff and volunteers take turns to explain waste sorting and recycling using demonstrations. Local companies collaborating with the project often hire and pay dancers and actors to use dance and drama presentations to explain recycling and plastic pollution to the audience. Parents and community leaders also try to support this campaign, which uses a mix of the local Yoruba language as well as pidgin, which is widely spoken across West Africa.The project works with local companies to inject drama and dance during awareness campaigns. Image by Linus Unah for Mongabay.“I was very excited to listen to them when they visited our school because we didn’t know about these things before,” said Adegbuyi Emmanuel, a 17-year-old secondary school student on the outskirts of Lagos.Most residents of these communities are fishermen, and most women there sell fish. In the past, the fishermen and their families buried their waste or simply threw it into the ocean. As part of the Kids4Clean Seas project, residents in some coastal communities received trash bins and disposable bags and are taught how to separate waste. The project staff and volunteers often collect recyclables during awareness rounds, while the Lagos waste agency is now working in some of these communities to pick up bagged trash.So far, the “Kids4Clean Seas” has reached 80 public and private schools across Lagos, including 20 schools and five coastal communities in the city this year.Sea turtle protectionOgunye and her team are also protecting, conserving and rehabilitating sea turtles, which are highly susceptible during their nesting season.A green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) rests on the sea floor near sea grass. Image by Alexander Vasenin via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.Of the five species of sea turtle commonly found in Nigeria’s waters, loggerhead, olive ridley and leatherback are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Vulnerable, the green turtle as Endangered, and the hawksbill as Critically Endangered.Nigeria is signatory to several international treaties protecting these turtles and offers them additional protection under the Sea Fisheries Decree (No 17) of 1992.However, poachers collect eggs and kill the turtles for their meat, skin, and scutes to sell for food or medicine. Destruction of nesting beaches for development and accidental capture largely by artisanal fishermen, complemented by poor awareness about their conservation status and weak law enforcement, also threaten the turtles’ survival.Ogunye tells communities and students how the turtles might be entangled by marine debris or might mistake plastic waste for food, leading to harm or death. The litter and shrubs along the coastline could prevent hatchlings from reaching the ocean, she emphasizes to the students and community members.She and her team explain how killing sea turtles could result in a spike in jellyfish populations and how this could affect the fishing industry their communities rely on. Leatherback turtles, in particular, primarily feed on jellies, so their presence helps prevent a jellyfish boom that could lead jellies consuming larvae of more commercial fish.The goal is to make the message simple yet compelling enough to spur action.“Sometimes I tell a story of a pregnant woman that is about to deliver and then she gets kidnapped on her way and gets killed,” Ogunye told Mongabay. “When I tell that story, a lot of people are like ‘Oh! that’s really disheartening’ and I say ‘that’s exactly what you do to sea turtles because they come ashore to lay their eggs.’”Doyinsola Ogunye, founder of MEDIC, has been working to raise awareness about plastic pollution and recycling since 2009. Here, she tells students about plastic pollution and how to recycle plastics. Image by Linus Unah for Mongabay.The Kids’ Beach Garden usually buys new fishing nets for fishermen who report bycatch and agree to cut their net to let an accidentally captured turtle back into the sea. The project has rescued hatchlings and more than a dozen sea turtles about to be sold across Lagos.Working on landTo further improve beach conditions, Ogunye and her team of over 50 volunteers and twelve staff run a tree-planting project to restore coconut trees that have been removed due to development pressures and population expansion.Under its “Tree Adoption Sustainability Plan,” parents, businesses, schools, and even the kids can adopt and name a tree by funding its maintenance. Fees range from $42 to $196 (15,000 to 70,000 naira). Funds raised from this model have helped the team to hire four gardeners and build a borehole that now supplies water to nearby communities. Dozens of Lagosians and businesses have signed up for this project.Today, about 400 trees dot the shoreline. More than 30 trees have grown well above the colorful tires that surround and protect them from wind and livestock grazing around the area.Some of the coconut trees planted by project staff and volunteers have grown above the tires. Image by Linus Unah for Mongabay.Positive impactsGrowing awareness about recycling, plastic pollution and their threat to sea turtles has resulted in “huge behavioural change,” Ogunye said, adding that they receive phone calls from local communities and residents asking them to come and rescue sea turtles.In September, Lagos state authorities started a recycling and waste sorting initiative – the Blue Box Programme — and has worked with Kids’ Beach Garden to raise environmental awareness and distribute disposable bags for waste separation.Nigeria lacks both marine reserves and a nationwide sea turtle recovery plan, which makes Ogunye’s work an uphill task.Nonetheless, Ogunye says they are happy to work with children to spearhead the “revolution.”“I have learned a lot about our environment and aquatic animals like sea turtles,” said 14-year-old Joseph Nwachukwu, a member of Kids’ Beach Garden. “I am happy to be coming here always.”Schools in Lagos and from neighboring states often visit to learn about the group’s work. Ogunye also organizes paid summer camp programs for teenagers who want to spend some nights by the sea, while taking lessons from the volunteers.“It’s important to catch them young, to let them understand these things in their formative years when behavior is formed, changed or corrected,” Ogunye said.“It’s easy to be inspired by a child,” she added. “If you see a child recycling and championing environmental causes, you will be moved to act.” Article published by Sue Palminteri Community-based Conservation, Conservation Solutions, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Education, Fishing, Marine Animals, Oceans, Sea Turtles, Waste Trash collected by the Kids’ Beach Garden project, such as the plastic bottles on left and flip-flops on right, gets sorted before removal. Images by Linus Unah for Mongabay. Children visit the Kids’ Beach Garden in Lagos, Nigeria, every week to learn about aquatic creatures, oceans, plastic pollution, recycling, and the environment while they help clean the beach.The project staff and volunteers bring families to join the beach clean-ups; they also visit schools and communities and introduce these themes using demonstrations, activities, and dance and drama presentations.In addition, the team works with fishers to reduce sea turtle hunting and bycatch and build awareness of the importance of turtles to fish lifecycles and the local ecosystem. Around 400 people spread out across the coastline of a beach in the Lekki neighborhood of Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos. Hands in gloves and some faces partly covered by disposable nose masks, they burrow garden rakes into the sandy shores of the beach, unearthing plastic bottle caps, PET bottles, flip-flops, syringes, styrofoam containers, toys, lollipop sticks, earbuds, toothbrushes, discarded nets, and beer bottles.The roar of waves eclipses the chattering among the crowd of students, environmentalists, residents, government officials, and staff of local companies. The din of the crowd rises again once the wave dissolves into a cloud of tiny bubbles.In addition to weekly kid-focused beach cleanups, the Kids’ Beach Garden project organizes cleanup exercises for adults and families every last week of the month. Image by Linus Unah for Mongabay.It was the International Coastal Cleanup Day (September 21), and the crowd gathered at the behest of the Kids’ Beach Garden, an initiative of the Lagos-based Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC). MEDIC aims to rid Lagos beaches of marine debris, build a generation of young activists, and save vulnerable sea turtles.“Waste pollution is a very serious issue in Lagos,” said Millicent Adeyoju, communications manager for Green Hub Africa, an environmental sustainability and advocacy platform.  “It’s up to us to minimize the waste they generate.”But it is not only on special occasions that this sort of crowd comes to clean the beach.Doyinsola Ogunye, founder of MEDIC, has been working to raise awareness about plastic pollution and recycling since 2009. Her passion for the environment started after her family moved to Ajah neighborhood in 2002. She was astounded to find people living amid litter and cluttered waterways.“Nobody was paying attention; it was just like a norm in that area,” recalled Ogunye, who studied to become a lawyer.Building kids’ involvementThe desire to make a difference prompted her to start Kids’ Clean Club in November 2009 to build an impassioned group of children who would push for change by visiting churches, mosques, schools, and coastal communities to talk about waste management and how improper disposal harms marine life.The children and project staff and volunteers pose for a photo after one of their weekly cleanup exercises. Image by Linus Unah for Mongabay.At the same time, Ogunye, who often spends time around the coastline, felt they needed to gravitate towards littered beaches.She noticed that a portion of the shoreline in the Elegushi Beach, on the Atlantic Ocean, was abandoned. Garbage sprawled across the beach surface. Shrubs covered nearly the entire bank.She and her team of about a dozen volunteers sprang into action and began to clean the beach occasionally. But they realized that maintaining a clean, healthy shoreline required a broader solution.In 2015, Ogunye leased and named that strip of this sandy beach, an area that spans over 7.2 hectares on the seashore, the Kids’ Beach Garden. Here, some 30 children visit every week to learn about aquatic creatures, oceans, plastic pollution, recycling, and the environment.The Kids Beach Garden, surrounded by coconut tree saplings peeking out from the colorful tires. Image by Linus Unah for Mongabay.The project injects a lot of games and fun into its activities to keep the children animated as they learn and clean the beach. Sometimes they sing, jog and clap, make kites, or build sand castles. Often the children engage in the ‘Ultimate Plastic Search,’ a game in which they divide into small teams to scour for bottle caps. The team with the most bottle caps wins.Every last week of the month, the Kids’ Beach Garden invites Lagosians to join the children in cleaning the beach. Hundreds of residents often show up. On these days, the cleanup exercise is combined with other activities, such as aerobic exercise, volleyball, beachside photography, family sandcastle building, and picnics.At the end of the day, project staff and volunteers collect the waste and move it to the garden’s recycling and sorting hub for separation, counting, and weighing before it is collected by recycling firms who pay for the recyclables. They usually collect at least 40 bags of trash per cleanup exercise. The project also pays residents who bring recyclables to the hub.last_img read more