Rivers are the world’s heritage. Time to treat them as such (commentary)

first_imgAmazon Dams, Commentary, Dams, Editorials, Environment, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Mekong Dams, Researcher Perspective Series, Rivers, UNESCO World Heritage Site, World Heritage Convention Article published by Mike Gaworecki This July represents a critical opportunity to protect rivers and the World Heritage sites that depend on them. Key government leaders will converge on Baku, Azerbaijan for the 43rd annual meeting of the World Heritage Committee this week.Established under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Committee is charged with protecting sites around the world deemed of the highest cultural and natural values. But oddly, no river has yet been directly protected by the Committee.Beyond protecting existing sites from harm, the World Heritage Committee needs to broaden its conception of what constitutes a natural site to recognize the intrinsic value of rivers, particularly free-flowing rivers, and the critical role they play in sustaining life.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. This July represents a critical opportunity to protect rivers and the World Heritage sites that depend on them.Key government leaders will converge on Baku, Azerbaijan for the 43rd annual meeting of the World Heritage Committee this week. Established under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Committee is charged with protecting sites around the world deemed of the highest cultural and natural values. From Machu Picchu to the Great Barrier Reef, these sites represent some of our most precious common treasures. But oddly, no river has yet been directly protected by the Committee.That said, a key underlying theme of the meeting is the growing threat that dams pose to some of the world’s irreplaceable sites. This is the subject of a new report, “Heritage Dammed,” prepared by the Rivers Without Boundaries coalition with contributions from International Rivers (where I work as policy director) and many others. The report finds that over one-quarter of all natural World Heritage sites, including the iconic Lake Baikal in Russia and Serengeti National Park, are being impacted or threatened by water infrastructure such as dams.In recognition of this worsening trend, the World Heritage Committee passed a resolution in 2016 calling for the prohibition on dams within the boundaries of World Heritage sites, as well as for any dams indirectly impacting these sites to be “rigorously assessed.” While a welcome step, this has not prevented key sites from the worst impacts: Last year, Kenya’s Lake Turkana was finally added to the official list of sites in danger only after Ethiopia’s Gibe III Dam cut off flows into the lake, causing lake levels to drop precipitously and leading to extreme food insecurity for the hundreds of thousands of people subsisting off the lake.The sacred waterfalls on the Teles Pires River, Brazil. Photo by Christopher Borges, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.Against this backdrop, the issue of dams has come back into focus as a number of critical sites, profiled in the Heritage Dammed report, face renewed threats. These include:• The fate of the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania — a world class biodiversity hotspot for African wildlife, including endangered species — that is set to be inundated by the planned Rufiji Dam. The plans have provoked an international outcry, prompting one of the world’s largest dam builders, China Three Gorges, to state publicly that it would not pursue the project because it would be located within a World Heritage site.• The future of the Mesopotamian Marshes in Iraq, which sustain important freshwater fisheries and a vibrant local culture, after the government of Turkey announced the completion of the Ilisu Dam near the headwaters of the Tigris River. Opponents around the world have rallied to contest plans to begin filling the reservoir, which would submerge the town of Hasankeyf — renowned for being continuously inhabited for the past 12,000 years — in the process. Filling of the reservoir has been postponed as a result, but the threat remains.• The Sumatran Rainforest site in Indonesia, officially listed as “In Danger” since 2011 over the construction of dams and other developments. The site has again emerged as a flashpoint in light of the discovery of the newly identified species, the Tapanuli orangutan, with only 800 remaining and at risk of extinction with a dam proposed in the middle of its only habitat. Plans to build the 510-megawatt Batang Toru Dam have been cast into doubt, however, as the Bank of China announced it would reevaluate its plans to finance the dam in light of sustained protest.Selous Game Reserve World Heritage Site, Tanzania. Photo by Greg Armfield.To proactively address the growing threat of dams, the report makes specific recommendations for how the Committee can improve the protection of rivers, including the use of preemptive strategic environmental assessments, among other precautionary measures.But beyond protecting existing sites from harm, the World Heritage Committee needs to broaden its conception of what constitutes a natural site to recognize the intrinsic value of rivers, particularly free-flowing rivers, and the critical role they play in sustaining life. Free-flowing rivers form the bedrock for local cultures and communities and have huge ecological significance, serving as the world’s last bastion of dwindling freshwater biodiversity. Indeed, a recent study by WWF found that dams are the biggest culprit in the 83 percent decline in freshwater biodiversity experienced globally between 1970 and 2014. Yet of the world’s 177 largest rivers, only one-third are free flowing, and just 21 rivers longer than 1000 kilometers retain an unobstructed connection to the sea.Many free-flowing rivers sit adjacent to existing World Heritage sites, but their values are not recognized or protected. For example, the actual river ecosystems of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan heritage site in China are deliberately excluded from the protected area. They are now threatened again by the construction of mega-dams on all three rivers, including one of Asia’s last free-flowing rivers, the Nu-Salween, which originates in the Tibetan Plateau and flows through China and Myanmar. Still more of the world’s threatened rivers have no world heritage designation, from the mighty Congo River in Central Africa to the Karnali River, Nepal’s last, most pristine free-flowing river.While the world’s last free-flowing rivers are often subjected to reckless plans to harness them for their hydropower potential, the Baku meeting is also coming at a time of positive momentum as countries have begun to recognize the rights of rivers and river advocates lead campaigns to secure permanent legal protections for rivers. The World Heritage Committee should join this growing movement and take the lead in calling for free-flowing rivers to be protected and the nomination of iconic rivers as World Heritage sites.The Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in the United States. Photo by Christian Mehlführer, licensed under CC BY 2.5.Josh Klemm is Policy Director for International Rivers.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 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

Travelogue: Visiting an indigenous rainforest tribe in Borneo (Insider)

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 Rhett Butler Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler writes about his visit to Sungai Utik, a Penan Iban community in Indonesian Borneo last month.Rhett visited Sungai Utik to see how the community has protected their customary forest from logging and deforestation.Sungai Utik was recognized for their efforts with the prestigious U.N. Equator Prize last month.This post is insider content, which is available to paying subscribers. In 2007, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched the Heart of Borneo, an initiative that aimed to conserve 22 million hectares (54 million acres) in the transboundary area of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The agreement was signed between the three countries in February of that year. “HOB” conferences have been held on a… This content is for Monthly, Annual and Lifetime members only.Membership offers a way for readers to directly support Mongabay’s non-profit conservation news reporting, while getting a first-hand, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce these stories. Every few weeks, we’ll publish a new member article that tells the story behind the reporting: the trials and tribulations of field reporting, personal travel accounts, photo essays, and more.You can sign up for membership Here If you’re already a member: Log InMembers getExclusive, behind-the-scenes articles.Access to our members-only newsletter.Access to periodic conversations with Mongabay journalists.center_img Archive, Conservation, Conservation Drones, Environment, Featured, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Peoples, Insider, Land Rights, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Tropical Forests last_img read more

Popular pesticide linked to weight loss and delayed migration in songbird

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta In a new study, wild white-crowned sparrows that were exposed to seeds treated with imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, suffered considerable weight loss and delayed the timing of their migration.The delayed migration could in turn be affecting the birds’ survival and reproduction, the researchers say.The findings suggest that neonicotinoids could have partly contributed to the decline of several farmland-dependent bird species in North America as seen in the past few decades, the researchers add. A popular group of pesticides linked to huge declines in bees around the globe could be adversely affecting migratory birds making pit stops on farmlands, according to new research.In the study, wild white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) exposed to seeds treated with imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, suffered considerable weight loss and delayed the timing of their migration. The delayed migration could in turn be affecting the birds’ survival and reproduction, the researchers say.For a long time, the toxic effects of neonicotinoids, which are often applied to seeds as a coating, were thought to be limited to insects. But there is growing evidence the chemicals may be affecting birds as well.Margaret Eng, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, and colleagues had previously showed that exposing captive white-crowned sparrows to imidacloprid caused dramatic declines in their weight and fat stores and disoriented the birds. Now, for the first time, the researchers have demonstrated the effects of the pesticides in wild birds.In the spring of 2017, the team caught 36 white-crowned sparrows at a stopover site in Ontario, Canada, during the birds’ migration from the U.S. to Canada’s boreal region. The birds, temporarily held in cages before release, were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: one group of 12 birds was fed seeds with a low dose of imidacloprid, a second group of 12 birds was fed seeds with a slightly higher, but sub-lethal, dose of imidacloprid, and the third group of 12 birds was given untreated seeds with no pesticides at all. The researchers measured each bird’s weight and body composition before and after exposure, and attached a lightweight radio transmitter to the bird’s back to track them after releasing them into the wild.Margaret Eng in the field. Image by Amy Wilson.Birds that ate the insecticide-free seeds did not lose much weight when weighed six hours after they were fed. Those fed on seeds with lower dose of the pesticide, however, had lost around 3 percent of their body weight and 9 percent of body fat, while those that were exposed to the higher dosage lost 6 percent of their body weight and 17 percent of body fat on average.The effects of the pesticides seemed to linger after the birds were released. While the birds eventually recovered, those that had been exposed to higher doses of imidacloprid stayed about 3.5 days longer at the stopover site after release before continuing on their migratory path compared to birds that were given untreated seeds.“Both of these results seem to be associated with the appetite suppression effect of imidacloprid,” Eng, lead author of the study, said in a statement. “The dosed birds ate less food, and it’s likely that they delayed their flight because they needed more time to recover and regain their fuel stores. We saw these effects using doses well within the range of what a bird could realistically consume in the wild — equivalent to eating just a few treated seeds.”The researchers say that the findings suggest that neonicotinoids could have partly contributed to the decline of several bird species in North America that depend on agriculture fields. More than three-quarters of bird species that rely on farmlands have declined in North America since 1966.“Migration is a critical period for birds and timing matters,” study co-author Christy A. Morrissey, an ecotoxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan, said in the statement. “Any delays can seriously hinder their success in finding mates and nesting, so this may help explain, in part, why migrant and farmland bird species are declining so dramatically worldwide.”A white-crowned sparrow. Image by Wolfgang Wander via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).Citation:Eng, M. L., Stutchbury, B. J. M., & Morrissey, C. A. (2019). A neonicotinoid insecticide reduces fueling and delays migration in songbirds. Science, 365(6458), 1177-1180. doi:10.1126/science.aaw9419 Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Environment, Green, Migration, Pesticides, Research, 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

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

A newborn dies amid Indonesia fire crisis, as parents fear for their kids’ health

first_imgA newborn child in Indonesia’s Riau province has become one of the latest fatalities of the haze blanketing large swaths of the region as a result of fires burning through Sumatra’s forests.Nearly 30,000 people in Riau alone have suffered from acute respiratory infections during this year’s fires, and nearly 310,000 have been affected by eye and skin irritation, dizziness and vomiting.Among those reporting worrying symptoms are pregnant women, one of whom said she’d miscarried five years earlier during a similar haze crisis.The fires burn nearly every year, emitting huge amounts of greenhouse gases that have helped keep Indonesia among the top carbon polluters worldwide and spreading haze as far as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. PEKANBARU, Indonesia — September 16 was a happy day for Evan Zendrato and Lasma Yani Zega. The young couple gave birth to a boy weighing 2.8 kilograms (6.1 pounds). They spent the night at a midwife’s house in Pekanbaru, the capital of Indonesia’s Riau province.Two days later, they began to worry. Their baby became gravely ill, as thick smoke from wildfires burning across the region blanketed the city.On the morning of Sept. 18, their baby came down with a high fever, vomiting and hacking up phlegm, and crying like he was having difficulty breathing.The midwife, Kristina, came immediately to treat the baby with paracetamol and a wet towel. Some of the couple’s friends and family came by to pray for the child’s health. Slowly, his temperature began to fall. The fever began to subside.In the evening, things took a turn for the worse. The baby’s body turned blue. Evan threw his plate of rice at the wall in frustration. He and Lasma took the baby to hospital. Kristina, who went with them, could feel the baby’s halting breaths as they rushed there in a car.There wasn’t much the doctor could do. He said the baby had gotten sick from breathing the smoke, which had inflamed his upper and lower respiratory tracts. The baby died, three days after he was born.The next day, friends and family returned to Evan and Lasma’s house, this time for a funeral.Evan and Lasma with their newborn baby after he passed away. Image by Suryadi for Mongabay.Evan and Lasma’s baby is not the only casualty of the fires burning across Sumatra’s vast peat swamp zones, which have been widely drained and dried for oil palm and pulpwood operations, rendering the soil highly flammable. Fire is also commonly used as a cheap land-clearing tool, though the practice is generally illegal.In August, a 59-year-old man was found lifeless in his garden in Rimbo Panjang, a village outside Pekanbaru. His son, Shadik Helmi, who flew to the city from Jakarta when he heard the news, said he thought his father died from breathing in the smoke.In Sungai Lala, another haze-choked Riau village, a 5-month-old baby died of a high fever and shortness of breath on Sept. 19, the same day as Evan and Lasma’s baby.According to the Riau Health Office, 29,528 people in the province have suffered from acute respiratory infections during this year’s wildfires. A total of 309,883 people have been affected by eye and skin irritation, dizziness and vomiting.Indonesia’s Riau province. Image by TUBS/Wikimedia Commons.The smoke from the Indonesian fires has also spread into Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. In some parts of Indonesia, skies have turned an eerie red color from the haze.The fires burn nearly every year, emitting huge amounts of greenhouse gases that have helped keep Indonesia among the top carbon polluters worldwide. While the precise health impacts of the fires have yet to be pinned down, scientists agree that smoke from the fires is a deadly threat whose victims number in the thousands.On Sept. 23, Riau Governor Syamsuar declared an air pollution emergency in the province. He instructed the Riau Health Office to open a health post and shelter for residents affected by the fires. The posts provide medicine and mattresses for people to sleep on.The post at Jiwa Tampan Hospital is treating dozens of people who have fallen ill from the haze, some of them staying overnight at the hospital.At a shelter set up at the provincial public works office, only a few people had come for a health check, complaining of bad coughs and shortness of breath. A clerk was available around the clock. On hand were some hospital staff and a doctor.Similar complaints have been received by the Health Training Center at the Riau Health Office. The facility was only operating until 9 p.m. It provided mats for haze victims to sleep on if needed.In July, the Supreme Court ordered that the government carry out measures to mitigate wildfires in the country, following a citizen lawsuit filed in the wake of the devastating 2015 fires. The health ministry and regional governments are required to open health posts for people as a result of the ruling in the lawsuit.Mukhlis, the father of a little girl who died in Riau during the 2015 fire and haze crisis, was among those who testified in the suit. During his testimony, he recalled how his daughter, Muhanum Anggriawat, had had to be treated with oxygen and then a defibrillator after a mild cough worsened to the point where she was hacking up a yellowish-black liquid.A picture of Mukhlis’ daughter playing the piano hangs on the wall of her family’s home. Image by Made Ali.According to the settlement, the Riau government must provide the necessary health facilities for victims of wildfires, including pulmonary service units at local hospitals. They also have to prepare evacuation instructions, set up an evacuation site if the air pollution index exceeds 400 (anything above 100 is considered unhealthy, and above 300 hazardous), and provide emergency health posts at seaports and oxygen supplies at people’s homes. The government has to waive medical expenses for haze victims.The opposition Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) opened a health post in Pekanbaru on Sept. 13, treating hundreds of people since then.Dozens of people have been hospitalized at the post, including 41 adults, 49 children and 27 infants. They are staying in sterile rooms with air purifiers and provided with food free of charge.The post has nurses, pharmacists, pulmonary specialists and six general practitioners. It’s staffed by volunteers 24 hours a day. “They are ready to be called at any time,” said Susilo, the commander of the post.Patients also receive counseling on how to clean their nose from the effects of breathing in smoke from the fires. Children are entertained with fairy tales by a troupe of storytellers.Based on data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the air quality in Riau has reached dangerous levels this month, with API readings surpassing 1,000.Nila, who is four months pregnant, visited the PKS health post this week with her husband and first child. She reported coughing and difficulty breathing, and said her stomach felt tense and cramped. The doctor said the baby was lacking oxygen.Another evacuee, Novi, has been staying at the post with her husband and children since it opened. She came in the middle of the night because her baby was experiencing shortness of breath. A doctor had previously checked the baby and diagnosed it with a respiratory tract infection.Rainfall that started on Sept. 23 has stifled the fires somewhat, but many are still burning.On Sept. 24, the Indonesia Move Coalition, a group of NGOs, said the fires had endangered the health of residents.“The haze that people inhaled in parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan has eliminated the most basic right of human existence to breathe safely and comfortably,” the group said in a statement.The repeated incidents of haze over the years, they said, demonstrated the failure of the government to manage the country’s natural resources. “This stagnation in the handling of the haze also shows the failure of the government to anticipate repeated incidents of burning of forests and land, which should have been expected beforehand.”Haze blankets Pekanbaru on Sept. 20. Image courtesy of Riko Kurniawan/Walhi.Nila’s sister, Susi, is also pregnant, though at a more advanced stage. She arrived at the PKS post with her husband at 10 p.m. one night seeking treatment for the shortness of breath she had been experiencing at home for several days.Susi said she hadn’t felt her baby move since 3 a.m. that day.She was given oxygen for an hour, and the baby showed signs of being active again.“I’m traumatized,” she said. “Five years ago I also miscarried because of the haze.”This story was first reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and published here on our Indonesian site on Sept. 26, 2019.Banner: Smoke rises from an oil palm plantation on a peatland in Sumatra. Image by Rhett A. Butler/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 mongabayauthor Agriculture, Crime, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Featured, Fires, Forest Fires, Governance, Haze, Health, Law Enforcement, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Southeast Asian Haze 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

New maps show where giraffes live — mostly outside protected areas

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 Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Giraffes, Green, Mammals, Research, Wildlife center_img By combining the latest data from on ground and aerial surveys, following movements of GPS-tagged animals, consultation with experts, and reviewing the scientific literature, researchers have produced a series of maps that they say represent the most comprehensive and accurate picture of where giraffes live in Africa.While the IUCN recognizes only one species of giraffe and nine subspecies, the study’s authors decided to use the taxonomy suggested by recent studies that recognize the giraffe as not one but four distinct species — northern, southern, reticulated, and Masai giraffe — and five subspecies.The new range maps will serve as a baseline from which conservationists can now start monitoring changes in giraffe distribution in the future, the researchers say.The range maps show that around 70 percent of the giraffe’s range occurs outside government-managed protected areas. You know a giraffe when you see one. But where in Africa can you see one?Unlike lions and rhinos, the world’s tallest animal is grossly understudied, with very little known about it, including its distribution in Africa. Until recently, maps of where giraffes occurred had been based largely on crude estimates and some guesswork.Now, by combining the latest data from on-the-ground and aerial surveys, following movements of GPS-tagged animals, consultation with experts, and reviewing the scientific literature, researchers have produced a series of giraffe distribution maps in a new study, which they say presents a more accurate picture of where the giraffe lives. As it turns out, around 70 percent of the giraffe’s range occurs outside government-managed protected areas, the study found.The previous giraffe range maps were published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2016. Although recent, those maps weren’t based on the most up-to-date and accurate data on the animals, Jenna Stacey-Dawes, a co-author of the study and researcher at San Diego Zoo Global, told Mongabay.“Just looking at the range maps that existed for reticulated giraffe, which is the species that our project focuses on in northern Kenya, we realized that the IUCN maps weren’t showing exactly where giraffes are occurring in northern Kenya,” Stacey-Dawes said. “Historic maps for giraffe vary wildly from source; they’re just really inconsistent. So as a group, we decided that for giraffe conservation to move forward, it’s really critical to have these updated and accurate range maps to understand where giraffes are occurring, and if their range is decreasing in the future, or if they’re moving into new areas.”Formally, the IUCN recognizes only one species of giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis, and nine subspecies. But recent studies have suggested that the giraffe is not one but four distinct species — northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), southern giraffe (G. giraffa), reticulated giraffe (G. reticulata), and Masai giraffe (G. tippelskirchi) — and five subspecies. To make the updated giraffe distribution maps, the researchers decided to use the latter taxonomy.“Why the taxonomy hasn’t been accepted by IUCN has more to do with people and politics than it has to do with science,” Julian Fennessy, co-author of the study and co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, who also co-authored the studies revising giraffe taxonomy, told Mongabay. “We look at the best science to support our conservation actions on the ground and we’re pretty confident that the science says it all.”Considering the giraffe as four separate species matters for conservation.“Conservation is done at a species level, so by identifying the different species, we can escalate them to the proper conservation level that they deserve,” Fennessy said. “If we or the IUCN was to undertake a new assessment, looking at four species, three of the four species [northern, reticulated and Masai] would be listed as endangered or critically endangered.”Updated geographic range maps for giraffe in sub-Saharan Africa. Image courtesy of O’connor et al. (2019).The researchers used a variety of data, including those from large-scale aerial surveys such as the Great Elephant Census (GEC) designed to count African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) and other large mammals, including giraffe. By doing so, they produced what they call the “most comprehensive and accurate” maps for where giraffe populations live in sub‐Saharan Africa to date.Since the new maps depend on more reliable and rigorously collected data, they cannot be compared with previous known distributions. The updated maps will, however, serve as a baseline from which conservationists can now start monitoring changes in giraffe distribution in the future, the researchers say.The latest maps, for example, show that the northern giraffe’s populations occur in small, fragmented populations. Their decline, the researchers say, has been driven largely by the loss of habitat. The maps also show an expansion in the distribution of the reticulated giraffe than previously thought, but this is probably because of improved monitoring and data collection.The maps also reveal that, on average, around 70 percent of giraffe distribution occurs outside of what the researchers term as “government managed protected areas,” or formally protected areas like national parks. This means that most giraffe populations live on community lands, sharing space with livestock and people.“Government managed protected areas setting aside pieces of land for wildlife is critical, and that’s really helpful for preserving habitat, but to really conserve giraffe we will have to work directly with the people that are living alongside these animals,” Stacey-Dawes said. “That’s kind of the model that we’re working with in northern Kenya with reticulated giraffe where over 95 percent of their distribution occurs outside these formerly protected areas.”For four countries, including eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Namibia, Somalia and South Africa, the researchers weren’t able to get sufficient data. In Somalia, this is because there hasn’t been any systematic survey on giraffes due to ongoing conflict and insecurity, Fennessy said. In Namibia and South Africa, which have some of the largest populations of giraffe, there is another challenge: most giraffes live outside protected areas on private land, from where getting an accurate count is especially hard.“There is a whole bunch of reasons behind that,” Fennessy said. “In these countries, giraffe is physically owned by owners of those private land and they don’t want to expose all of their assets. Some people feel there is a sense of spying on them, there are tax implications … they just don’t want to share all that information. We’ve been trying to slowly get a little bit of information and extrapolate but it is definitely challenging.”There is greater attention on the giraffe today, and the researchers hope that through more monitoring and collaborative efforts, they will be able to better understand the tall mammal and help conserve it.“It almost feels like you’re building from zero,” Stacey-Dawes said. “There’s not much existing literature on giraffe, so a lot of the research that’s being done right now is just to answer those basic ecological questions about giraffe social structure, habitat preference. There are things that we still just don’t know about some giraffe populations.”Giraffe in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Image by Udayan Dasgupta.Citation:O’connor, D., Stacy‐Dawes, J., Muneza, A., Fennessy, J., Gobush, K., Chase, M. J., … Mueller, T. (2019). Updated geographic range maps for giraffe, Giraffa spp., throughout sub‐Saharan Africa, and implications of changing distributions for conservation. Mammal Review, 49(4), 285-299. doi:10.1111/mam.12165last_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

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

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

‘Science prevails’ as suspension of award for herbicide research is reversed

first_imgArticle published by dilrukshi 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 Banner image of a rice field in Sri Lanka by Upali Kohomban via Wikipedia Activism, Agriculture, Agrochemicals, Environment, Research The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has formally named Sri Lankan scientists Channa Jayasumana and Sarath Gunatilake the recipients of its 2019 Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility.The pair had been named the recipients in February for their work linking glyphosate, the main chemical in the weed killer Roundup, to chronic kidney disease, but the decision was suspended before the award ceremony over concerns raised by other scientists.Jayasumana said at the time he suspected there had been pressure from the agrochemical lobby to undermine their research.He told Mongabay that the lengthy peer review ordered by the AAAS following the suspension had vindicated his and Gunatilake’s work and showed that “science has prevailed.” COLOMBO — Science prevailing over politics: That’s how a researcher who was snubbed for a high-profile award earlier this year has characterized the decision to finally recognize his achievements in highlighting a deadly public health problem in rural Sri Lanka.Channa Jayasumana and Sarath Gunatilake were to have been conferred the 2019 Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in February. But two days after it announced them as the award recipients, the AAAS suspended its decision, citing concerns raised by other scientists about the pair’s work linking the use of a popular weed killer to chronic kidney disease.At the time, the AAAS said it would address those concerns through a peer review and subsequently evaluate the award status.That lengthy process has now concluded, Jayasumana told Mongabay on Nov. 15, and has vindicated him and Gunatilake, who are now formally listed on the AAAS website as the recipients of the 2019 award.Jayasumana said the AAAS had written to him informing him of the review committee’s findings and “considered us suitable to be justly recognized.” He and Gunatilake have long made the case that the chemical glyphosate, best known as the main ingredient in the widely used herbicide Roundup, plays a key role in transporting heavy metals to the kidneys of those drinking contaminated water, leading to high rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in farming communities.At the time of the snub, Jayasumana told Mongabay he suspected that the agrochemical lobby had “negatively influence[d] the emerging scientific evidence linking one of Sri Lanka’s worst public health problems to the agrochemical industry.”This latest reversal, he said, showed that the research was sound.“Science has prevailed,” Jayasumana said. “That’s why, after certain groups opposed our selection and undermined our professional work, the research work has been upheld as credible.”He added the pair might only be presented with the award next year, but that what mattered was the vote of confidence from their fellow scientists.“It’s important to us because we highlighted a public health issue of immense importance to Sri Lanka, and that has been recognized by AAAS as deserving the scientific freedom and responsibility award,” Jayasumana said.On its website, the AAAS said, “The 2019 award was given to Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana who investigated a possible connection between glyphosate and chronic kidney disease under challenging circumstances.”The language is more cautious that in its initial announcement on Feb. 4 (now inaccessible but archived elsewhere), where the AAAS referred to the Sri Lankan scientists as “public health researchers who battled powerful corporate interests to uncover the deadly effects of industrial herbicides.”The award is handed out annually to individuals and organizations “whose exemplary actions have demonstrated scientific freedom and/or responsibility in challenging circumstances,” and comes with a $5,000 prize.last_img read more

‘The tipping point is here, it is now,’ top Amazon scientists warn

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Sequestration, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Change Policy, Climate Modeling, Climate Science, Conservation, Controversial, Deforestation, Drought, Environment, Forest Carbon, Forests, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Green, Impact Of Climate Change, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Saving The Amazon, Temperatures, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation 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 Glenn Scherercenter_img In the past, climate modelling has indicated an approaching Amazon tipping point when global climate change, combined with increasing deforestation, could result in a rapid Amazon shift from rainforest to degraded savanna and shrubland, releasing massive amounts of carbon to the atmosphere when the world can least afford it.Now, scientists Carlos Nobre and Thomas Lovejoy report that researchers are seeing evidence in both the atmosphere and on the ground that this tipping point has been reached and will worsen if no action is taken immediately to reverse the situation.They reference a NASA satellite study revealing an increasingly dry Amazon over time, which space agency scientists say is one of “the first indications of positive climate feedback mechanisms.” A 2018 study found that Amazon tree species adapted to wet climates were dying at record rates while dry-adapted trees thrived.It is urgent, the scientists say, that Brazil move away from unsustainable agribusiness monocultures of cattle, soy, and sugarcane, while launching a major reforestation project on already degraded lands in the southern and eastern Amazon, actions that could help Brazil keep its Paris Climate Agreement commitment. A healthy intact portion of the Amazon rainforest in Pará state, Brazil. Image courtesy of Ideflor-Bio/Fotos Públicas.The Amazon Tipping Point is here, say leading climate scientist Carlos Nobre and renowned conservation biologist Thomas Lovejoy in a new science policy editorial published today, December 20. The tipping point’s arrival could mean a rapid rainforest die-off — releasing massive amounts of carbon to the atmosphere at a time when the world most needs carbon reductions.For more than a half century, write the researchers, scientists have known that the Amazon creates its own hydrological cycle: rainforest trees regulate the region’s evaporation, transpiration and rainfall. However, the more tree cover loss there is, the more droughts are intensified. And when the rainforest no longer receives enough rain to sustain itself, trees begin to die back into a form of degraded savanna or shrubland.It’s the Amazon on self-destruct mode, and an event whose arrival has been quickened not only by rising deforestation rates over recent years, but by global climate change as well.Researchers Nobre and Lovejoy have been alerting the scientific community about the Amazon tipping point for years, but now they’ve upgraded that warning: “Current deforestation is substantial and frightening: 17% across the entire Amazon basin and approaching 20% in the Brazilian Amazon,” they wrote in Science Advances. “We are scientists who have been studying the Amazon and all its wondrous assets for many decades. Today, we stand exactly in a moment of destiny: The tipping point is here, it is now.”Ambitious reforestation, raising the quality of life in Amazonian cities, and developing a bioeconomy based on a standing forest, they say, hold the key to barring these permanent changes. That and moving away from unsustainable agribusiness monocultures of cattle, soybeans, and sugarcane.NASA satellite image of smoke rising from Amazon fires on August 24, 2019. As the Amazon becomes dryer over time, fires are becoming more common and intense. Image by astronaut Luca Parmitano courtesy of ESA / NASA / Fotos Públicas.In the past, Amazon tipping point predictions were based on mathematical climate models. But the real-life manifestations of the shifting Amazon biome are beginning to show. Recent scientific research has detected signs of the tipping point happening on the ground and in the atmosphere.“What we predicted is now being observed in real life. It’s no longer a theoretical forecast about the future.” Carlos Nobre, one of Brazil’s top climate scientists and a researcher at the University of São Paulo, told Mongabay.In October, NASA Scientists led by Armineh Barhordarian recorded an increasingly dry Amazon via satellite, calling it one of “the first indications of positive climate feedback mechanisms.”Another study from 2018 combined the findings of 103 scientists, revealing that tree species adapted to wet climates were dying at record rates while dry-adapted trees thrived. “A slow shift to a more dry-affiliated Amazonia is underway,” the report stated. Fire-resistant trees with thicker bark were among the more successful species seen under current conditions, as compared to an intact Amazon in the past where trees were resistant to the spread of flames because of the region’s natural high humidity. “The forest’s vulnerability to fire is increasing. Undisturbed, it is almost impenetrable,” says Nobre.“The periodic droughts. The longer dry season. Higher temperatures in the dry season — it’s all unprecedented,” says Lovejoy, an ecologist who has studied the Amazon since 1965 and who coined the term biodiversity, “Once there is more dry area, you get more fire, and it begins to be cumulative. Now is the time to do something, not later.”A year ago, the pair published an update on their 2007 study, halving their previously predicted 40% deforestation estimate at which the Amazon Tipping Point would occur, reducing that to 20-25% deforestation.The consequences of the rainforest-to-degraded-savanna shift, Lovejoy and Nobre told Mongabay, are grave: a sudden crash in biodiversity, the release of huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere due to tree death (making the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees impossible), and a drastic regional upset in the natural water cycle — likely heavily impacting Brazilian aquifers, agribusiness, and the water supply of major urban areas.Biomes have changed in the past, says Lovejoy, but changes historically happen on a lengthier timescale, occurring over hundreds of thousands, to millions of years. Species, therefore, have time to adapt as the climatic paradigm shifts. But under this tipping point scenario, if nothing is done, the shift is likely to occur over a few decades — it will be like the snap of a finger in geological time, he concludes.As Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro launches repeated assaults on environmental protections, hopes for the future of the Amazon are on the line. Experts now agree that Brazil is unlikely to achieve its Paris Agreement goals under this administration.“Bolsonaro isn’t giving this any attention and is completely aligned with climate change deniers,“ says Monica deBolle, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.According to the Climate Observatory, “the worst is yet to come” under Brazil’s current president. The NGO points to the country’s deforestation rate between 2018-19, the highest in a decade — totaling 9,762 square kilometers (3,769 square miles), with a 65% deforestation increase seen within indigenous territories.Conserved Amazon rainforest in Pará state, Brazil. Scientists argue that better management of the Amazon could potentially prevent the forest-to-savanna tipping point from occurring. Image courtesy of Ideflor-Bio/Fotos Públicas.Nobre and Lovejoy offer solutions: “The good news is we can build back a margin of safety through immediate, active, and ambitious reforestation particularly in the deforested regions that are largely abandoned cattle ranches and croplands, about 23% of destroyed forest territory.” They add that, “The only sensible way forward is to launch a major reforestation project especially in the southern and eastern Amazon, actions that could be part of Brazil’s implementing its commitments under the Paris Agreement.”Other scientists too are calling urgently for a reversal in government policy. “We really have to ramp down [forest] clearing, start fighting fires and ramp up recovery,” says Daniel Nepstad, president of the Earth Innovation Institute. “We have everything we need to know to act now, urgently, to prevent a large-scale fire and drought driven dieback.” With fires now often going undetected beneath the Amazon tree canopy, monitoring and detection systems for Amazon fires need to improve immediately, he says.Nepstad does worry that the tipping point forecast may send “the wrong message,” causing people to believe there is no turning back. “I don’t think there’s a point beyond which the whole Amazon collapses,” he told Mongabay. “It is all a question of how frequent and intense those really severe droughts are. And when [fires] hit, are there sources of ignition” that can be quickly located and combatted. He stressed the importance of effective firefighting in the Amazon. Under Bolsonaro and previous president Michel Temer, funding to IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency charged with fighting forest fires, was drastically reduced.Having declared arrival at the tipping point, both Nobre and Lovejoy note that the future is not carved in stone: “The peoples and leaders of the Amazon countries together have the power, the science, and the tools to avoid a continental-scale, indeed, a global environmental disaster. Together, we need the will and imagination to tip the direction of change in favor of a sustainable Amazon,” they wrote.Does the world have time enough to successfully respond? No one knows how rapidly things can change when a critical point is tipped, says Lovejoy: “Will it be a long slide, or will the kinds of changes that are already being seen start happening with greater magnitude?” he asks. “Let’s not find out by tipping it.”Banner image caption: The Brazilian Amazon on fire in August 2019 in Candeiras do Jamari municipality, Rondônia state. Image by Victor Moriyama / 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.last_img read more