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Angola pledges $60m to fund landmine clearance in national parks

first_imgThe Angolan government has announced a $60 million commitment to clear landmines in Luengue-Luiana and Mavinga national parks in the country’s southeast.The region is part of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area — home to incredible natural biodiversity, but also one of the most heavily mined regions of Angola.International funding for landmine clearance has fallen by 80 percent over the last 10 years, and without new funding Angola will miss its target of clearing all landmines by 2025.The HALO Trust, a demining NGO, and the Angolan government hope that clearance of landmines will stimulate conservation in southeastern Angola and provide alternative livelihoods such as ecotourism to alleviate poverty and diversify the country’s economy away from oil. The Angolan government has pledged $60 million to clear landmines in two national parks that form part of southern Africa’s highly biodiverse Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.The country’s environment minister, Paula Coelho, made the announcement June 17 at a conference in London. The government has contracted the U.K.- and U.S.-based HALO Trust to clear 153 minefields in Luengue-Luiana and Mavinga national parks in the country’s southeastern province of Cuando Cubango.“We are enthusiastic to be part of the initiative of the protection of the elephant and to develop long-term plans for protected areas,” Coelho told the conference.Paula Coelho, Angolan Minister for the Environment, announces a $60 million commitment by the Angolan government to mine clearance at a conference at Chatham House in London. Image courtesy of the HALO TrustAngola’s wildlife was decimated during 41 years of conflict — a 14-year struggle for independence followed by 27 years of civil war — that finally ended in 2002. In southeastern Angola, displaced civilians hunted wildlife to survive, while the UNITA faction, a belligerent in both conflicts, slaughtered elephants and sold the ivory, with the backing of the apartheid government in South Africa, to buy arms.From 2004 to 2005, following the end of the civil war, aerial surveys by Michael Chase, a conservation researcher and founder of the South Africa-based group Elephants Without Borders, found signs that the elephant population in Luiana was increasing; at the same time, tracking of elephants tagged with collars in neighboring Botswana and Namibia showed they were returning to their former range in this part of Angola.The Angolan government didn’t allow any further studies until 2015, when Chase returned as part of the Great Elephant Census. The Angolan portion of the census counted 3,400 elephants and an alarming carcass ratio of 30 percent, indicating threatening levels of poaching.The civil war that followed Angolan independence was one of the many proxy battles of the Cold War, with UNITA backed by U.S. allies, and its main rival, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), supported by the Soviets. As financial and military aid poured into the country, large amounts of ivory and rhinoceros horn were flowing out, according to a 1996 South African government inquiry. Vast numbers of landmines were laid: a 1997 report by Human Rights Watch found that 51 different types of mines, manufactured in 18 different countries, had been found in Angolan soil. Southeastern Angola saw the heaviest fighting during the civil war: in Cuando Cubango province alone there are 22 square kilometers (8.5 square miles) of confirmed minefields.Seventeen years after the end of the war, landmines continue to restrict access to farmland across this part of the country, making it difficult for the government to extend development here, and deterring would-be ecotourists while at the same time creating ideal conditions for poachers, for whom the rewards offered by wildlife trafficking syndicates make the risk worthwhile.“The land mine issue is something that is very important to remove because we [need] our economic development,” said Rui Mangueira, the Angolan ambassador to the U.K. “Angola could be one of the most beautiful destinations.”Conservation, development and landmines: Interconnected issuesThe southeastern corner of Angola is a vital piece of the 520,000-square-kilometer (201,000-square-mile) Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), which includes both formal wildlife refuges and communally held land with rapidly growing populations. KAZA was set up in 2011 to manage this vast cross-border area with conservation as the primary form of land use, developing it as a sustainable tourism destination to benefit its resident communities while allowing wildlife, including megafauna such as the African elephant, to roam freely across historical ranges regardless of national borders.Clearing mines from the Angolan section of the KAZA transfrontier area is crucial to allowing wildlife like this elephant to roam freely across borders. Photo: YoungRobV/Flickr CC NC by 2.0In 2015, scientists returned to the region to explore the headwaters of the Okavango Delta, the largest freshwater wetland in southern Africa, as part of the National Geographic Society’s Okavango Wilderness Project. Navigating between the minefields with support from the HALO Trust, the team found a wealth of biodiversity, including more than 80 species new to science; to date, only 11 of them have been formally described.Also speaking at the London conference, Kai Collins, director of the Okavango Wilderness Project, described the difficulty of operating in the region: “We couldn’t even get the teams in to start the expedition … without the assistance of HALO guiding us through the most heavily mined areas.”“There is also a poverty that rises directly from the presence of these hundreds of minefields,” said James Cowan, CEO of the HALO Trust. “The communities that live in these areas cannot develop economically and become reliant on poaching and bush meat.”Clearing landmines: A mammoth taskAngola has set a target of clearing all landmines from its territory by 2025. The national mine action agency, Comissão Nacional Intersectorial de Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária (CNIDAH), has cleared 56 percent of Angola’s known minefields to date. CNIDAH’s clearance work has been supported by international groups including the Mines Advisory Group, Norwegian People’s Aid and the HALO Trust, and has been heavily reliant on foreign donors.But international funding for mine clearance in Angola has fallen drastically in recent years, from $48.1 million in 2005 to just $3.1 million in 2017. This fall was in part caused by a brief period when Angola reached middle-income status due to a rise in the price of oil, its main export. The loss of international funding has been compounded by a downturn in Angola’s economy; at current rates, Angola won’t achieve its mine-free vision until 2046.The Angolan government hopes that ecotourism in areas like Cuando Cubango can help diversify its economy, as it has in neighbouring countries like Botswana. “The Angolan government knows it needs to diversify beyond oil,” Coelho said at the conference. “Angola knows it needs outside expertise and investment to help preserve its environment.”Collins said he hopes the demining work can bring about change in southeastern Angola. “The opportunity is there of wildlife populations that just need to recover and be protected from poaching,” he said.The Okavango Wilderness Project is looking at ways to create a “conservation economy” in the hope that as local people gain access to sustainable farming practices and alternative livelihoods through ecotourism, poaching and hunting for bushmeat will decrease.The Angolan section of KAZA is also crucially important to the wider vision of an area where wildlife can roam freely across borders. In neighboring countries, instances of human-wildlife conflict are increasing as animal populations recover. KAZA’s supporters hope that a landmine-free Angola could offer important additional space for wildlife to disperse.“Elephants, they do not recognize borders, they do not have passports but move freely,” Coelho said. “I would like to … open the corridors so that the pressure in the [southern African] region can be less and elephants can return home.”Banner image: HALO Trust operatives clearing land mines in Angola. Image courtesy of the HALO TrustFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by terna gyusecenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Conservation Solutions, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Ivory, Ivory Trade, Mammals, Migration, Monitoring, Poachers, Poaching, Research, surveys, Tagging, Wildlife last_img read more

What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, location

first_imgFor the past two decades, donors and international NGOs have worked with the Malagasy government to create thousands of local associations to manage and conserve parcels of forest.Ecotourism ventures, along with farming support, are often presented as an important way to overcome the loss of income that usually accompanies new restrictions on how local people can use their land.Successful ecotourism ventures are few and far between, but a common factor is also something that’s hard to replicate: proximity to highways and other tourist destinations. ANJA COMMUNITY RESERVE, Madagascar — When the Anja Community Reserve opened in 2001 the organizers of this bite-size protected area along the highway knew they’d need to come up with some way to convince tourists that Anja was worth a stop. Or, at least, come up with a way to convince their drivers. So they put out the word that anyone who brought their passengers to Anja would earn a small incentive — around 20 cents, 10 percent of the entry fee. It was a slow start. At the time, said Victor Rahaovalahy, a co-founder of the reserve, “Only one or two tourists came here every three weeks.”Nearly 20 years later, Anja has grown into a powerhouse of community-led conservation in Madagascar. The small forest fragment that spurred the creation of the protected area remains intact, and the local association that runs Anja, Association Anja Miray, has begun to expand it by replanting native trees on the surrounding hillsides. The reserve now earns enough revenue to employ 85 guides and animal spotters and to fund a wide array of community projects, including construction of two primary school buildings and distributions of blankets for elderly residents and seeds and inputs for farmers at the start of the growing season.A granite outcrop in Anja Community Reserve, photographed in 2009. Image by Antony Stanley via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).The success has drawn international attention. Anja Miray’s president has traveled to Brazil and Australia to share lessons learned with grassroots conservationists from around the world, and in 2012 the association won the prestigious Equator Prize, part of a global U.N.-led initiative to promote “nature-based solutions for sustainable development.” A case study by the U.N. Development Programme completed the very next year calls Anja Miray “a benchmark for community-based tourism in Madagascar [that] has served as a model for replication.” But Anja’s potential as a model for similar projects is complicated by a factor that’s particularly hard to match in Madagascar: location, location, location.Anja’s ticket office sits just 50 meters (160 feet) from the highway that leads to Madagascar’s capital, Route Nationale 7 (RN7). Julia Jones, a scientist with Bangor University in the U.K. who studies the effectiveness of conservation initiatives in Madagascar, recalled being hired to accompany a group of community conservation leaders from around Madagascar to the site in 2005 as part of an effort aimed at sharing best practices. “It was just hilarious, because literally all of them arrived here and went, ‘Yeah, there’s kind of a difference between where I’m from and this,’” Jones said. “This is on the RN7: Everyone who’s anyone stops here when they’re driving south, including donors, including tourists … Where we come from, [it’s] bumpety bumpety road for three hours and then walk for two hours.”Victor Rahaovalahy is president and a co-founder of the Association Anja Miray, which runs the Anja Community Reserve. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Rahaovalahy wasn’t eager to contemplate what it might have been like to launch Anja without the benefit of a major highway passing by. “Even if the RN7 wasn’t here,” he said hopefully, “we would have worked to find a solution.”In a country where only three national parks achieved 30,000 visitors in 2018, Anja — less than one tenth the size of Manhattan’s Central Park — saw more than 12,000 last year. Those numbers may be closely related. Scan the web for vacation itineraries proposed by bloggers and tour operators, and Anja figures prominently as a pit stop halfway between Isalo National Park to the south and Ranomafana National Park to the north, both among the most visited sites in the country. It’s also en route to trekking trails in the Andringitra Mountains surrounding Madagascar’s highest peak. Crucially, the stop to look at lemurs in Anja tends to be presented as a way to break up a long travel day, which anyone who has explored Madagascar by road will take as a welcome suggestion.A Madagascar giant chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti) perches, head high, in a shrub in the Anja Community Reserve, within easy reach of tourists’ cameras. Image by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.The combination of Anja’s size and its proximity to the road make it an unusually easy place to spot wildlife. On a visit to the reserve one morning in early August, a group of French families with small children oohed and ahhed at a male Malagasy giant chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti). The squirrel-sized, black-striped lizard was balancing, head high, on a tiny branch less than a five-minute walk from the pavement. When a bus full of British exchange students reached the same spot, the French group moved along, and encountered a clutch of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) 100 meters (330 feet) down the path.Every visitor pays a 20,000 ariary entrance fee (about $5.50) along with a group fee starting at $20 for a two-hour tour of the forest, including a peek at a historical tomb. Forty percent of the revenue goes to maintaining and improving the site itself, including firebreaks and tree planting. Another 29 percent funds community and social projects, like the purchase of raw materials for association members to make handicrafts and stipends for the care of orphaned children. The remainder funds the operation of the association itself. Last year, ticket sales at Anja generated more than $30,000, even though entrance fees were half what they are now. That may not sound like much, but in a country with a per capita GDP of less than $500 a year, it’s a substantial injection of cash for a small rural community.Succulents and spiny shrubs grow from the cracks between the massive granite boulders that rise above Anja’s small forest. Images by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.At the start, Rahaovalahy said, Association Anja Miray struggled to recruit a tiny cohort of 20 supporters for its efforts to conserve the forest inside the new protected area, even with the backing of the government, which had transferred management of the forest fragment to the community in 2001 as part of a national campaign. While some people valued the forest as the source of a spring that irrigates rice fields for part of the community, others worried the protected area would deprive them of wood and farmland. “People were already farming inside the protected area,” Rahaovalahy explained. “They were very angry.”One early project that helped build more widespread support for conservation was paying for circumcisions for young men in the surrounding area, a traditional rite of passage that is now commonly done at a medical clinic. Today, the association boasts 650 members, most of the community, who pay modest annual dues in exchange for certain extra benefits like seeds and fruit tree saplings. According to the census that guides carry out annually during the low season, the lemur population has increased from 80 when the reserve was founded to roughly 350.A ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) with baby in Anja Community Reserve, Madagscar. Image by Rhett Butler / Mongabay.Dan Villar, a fourth-year Peace Corps volunteer who works with a fledgling protected area nearby, Sakaviro Community Park, said Anja’s visibility has created “an upward spiral of positive feedback, whereby it can continue to develop and gain recognition.” Villar said members of the association in Sakaviro clearly look to Anja as an example, but they’ve had trouble drawing tourists to the site without more support to promote it online. “Here, seeing is believing, and people have not really seen the park have success,” he said.As it stands, Sakaviro continues to struggle with illegal woodcutting and periodic fires. Like Anja, Sakaviro has abundant ring-tailed lemurs along with birds and reptiles. Although it’s only 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the RN7, even that distance, along a rough dirt road, gives it far less visibility and seems to discourage visitors. The park sees just one or two groups a month, with many of them booking tours by phone after visiting a Facebook page Villar set up.The legal framework that permitted so-called “transferts de gestions,” or transferals of land-management authority from the government to community groups like the ones in Anja and Sakaviro, passed in 1996. As Madagascar’s protected area network expanded beyond the footprint of traditional national parks in the late 1990s and 2000s, donors and international NGOs worked with the Malagasy government to create thousands of local forest management associations, usually with an explicit promise that conservation programs would be tied to support for rural livelihoods. But investment in these sustainable development initiatives has often come years after restrictions on local people’s use of natural resources — if at all.The Lemur Hotel sits beside the entrance to Anja Community Reserve along the RN7 highway. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Researchers in Madagascar have repeatedly demonstrated that such restrictions imposed by conservation projects have the potential to cut into household income or rural livelihoods, whether calculated in cash — one report estimated an annual hit of $1,400 per household — or lost access to bushmeat. Along with improvements in farming techniques, ecotourism is often presented as an important prong in the strategy to reverse this trend.But there’s a risk in setting up community conservation programs in Madagascar under the assumption that they can rely on ecotourism to generate meaningful local income. A 2013 analysis by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), for instance, singles out Anja alongside another well-known community ecotourism operation, the Analamazaotra Forest Station near Andasibe National Park in eastern Madagscar. “It comes as no surprise that both are situated along ingrained tourist routes, benefitting from geographic location and existing infrastructure,” the authors note.The view from Anja Community Reserve includes rice paddies irrigated by a spring originating within the reserve and, in the distance, the RN7, the main national highway that links southern Madagascar to the capital, Antananarivo. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Consider the experience of the Lemur Conservation Association, a consortium of universities and zoological gardens across Europe that has made a concerted effort to promote ecotourism in northwestern Madagascar. Despite a collaboration with an established tour operator, the initiative’s annual report offers a frank assessment of the challenges facing comparatively remote ventures like theirs: “Tourists had to walk about three hours to join the camp and many of them complained about the long walk.” Poor cellphone service and an unreliable water supply posed additional problems.Other would-be ecotourism destinations have suffered from an “if you build it, they will come” approach by government organizations and large NGOs. In a master’s thesis based on research in the region around Anja, Sam Cameron, program coordinator for the Fianarantsoa-based NGO Ny Tanintsika and a partner organization in Scotland, describes a variety of “white elephant” infrastructure built to welcome tourists who never came. In Namoly, a community near the entrance of Andringitra National Park in southeastern Madagascar, for instance, the global NGO Conservation International funded the construction of a trail network in a community-run forest that soon became overgrown. As one resident put it to Cameron, “We should really do maintenance but why bother when there’s no income from tourists? It’s like working rice-fields that have no water.”The son of Association Anja Miray president Victor Rahaovalahy, also named Victor, left, returned to the community after studying in Antananarivo and now works as one of the guides there. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Cameron said inflated hopes of income from ecotourism often backfire, and reinforce conflict in community organizations working on conservation. As a result, she said, people feel misled and end up “fighting over the really small advantages that do come.”More broadly, like so much else in conservation, ecotourism’s viability hinges on major political forces that are beyond the scope of any one destination. After a coup d’état that ousted the president in 2009, international arrivals in Madagascar fell by nearly 60 percent; a decade later, they have yet to rebound to 2008 levels.And then, of course, there are the roads. Despite the fact that the average international visit in Madagascar lasts three weeks, there’s only so much you can see when travel on the heavily potholed two-lane national highways is so slow. In the absence of better infrastructure, going off the beaten track often means giving up one or more vacations days for travel.But a good reputation helps. Barbara Vanlaere, who was visiting from the Netherlands with her husband Geert and their two grown children, said her family went out of their way to come to Anja. “We passed two days ago, and we made a detour to come back to be here in the morning,” she explained, gesturing at the massive telephoto lens around her husband’s neck. If you’re in Anja at the right time of day, they’d heard, you’re practically guaranteed to see lemurs.A rainbow milkweed locust (Phymateus saxosus) in Anja Community Reserve, Madagscar. Image by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.Banner image: A ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) with a baby in Anja Community Reserve, Madagscar. Image by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.Rowan Moore Gerety is a reporter and radio producer in New York. His work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Scientific American, and on National Public Radio, among other outlets, and he is the is the author of Go Tell the Crocodiles: Chasing Prosperity in Mozambique.Citations:Hockley, N.J., & Razafindralambo, R. (2006). A Social Cost-Benefit Analysis of Conserving the Ranomafana-Andringitra-Pic d’Ivohibe Corridor in Madagascar. Unpubl. report to USAID/Madagascar.Golden, C. D. (2009). Bushmeat hunting and use in the Makira Forest, north-eastern Madagascar: a conservation and livelihoods issue. Oryx, 43(3), 386-392.Schwitzer, C., Mittermeier, R.A., Davies, N., Johnson, S., Ratsimbazafy, J., Razafindramanana, J., Louis Jr., E.E., Rajaobelina, S. (eds) (2013). Lemurs of Madagascar: A Strategy for Their Conservation 2013–2016. [pdf] Bristol, UK: IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation, and Conservation International. 185 pp.Cameron, Samantha E., (2017). Ecotourism’s dirty laundry? Exploring the relationship between participation, equity and conservation around protected areas in Madagascar.  Master of Science by Research (MScRes) thesis, University of Kent.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. Article published by Rebecca Kessler Archive, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Community Development, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Development, Ecosystems, Ecotourism, Environment, Forest Fragmentation, Forests, Fragmentation, Habitat, Lemurs, Protected Areas, Tourism, Trees, 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.Why 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

In a flip-flop, Uganda says it’ll allow a study for a dam at Murchison Falls

first_imgArticle published by terna gyuse The Ugandan government has announced that a feasibility study for a dam near the iconic Murchison Falls will go ahead, after previously rejecting the notion.The company that has applied for a permit for the feasibility study appears to have no track record with similar development.Environmentalists and tourism operators fear construction of a dam will threaten the richly biodiverse Murchison Falls National Park.Civil society groups have written to the Ugandan president urging him to permanently block the development of hydropower in Murchison Falls National Park and strengthen protection for the reserve. The Ugandan government has announced it will let a South African company carry out a feasibility study for a dam in Murchison Falls National Park, reversing an earlier cabinet decision and prompting a strong backlash from civil society.In June, the country’s Electricity Regulatory Authority called for public comment on a permit application filed by Bonang Power and Energy to build a 360 megawatt (MW) hydropower dam in the park, where the Nile River famously plunges 45 meters (150 feet) over an escarpment. There was an immediate outcry from environmental groups, tour operators and local communities concerned about the impact a dam would have on the falls and the ecology of the national park.By the end of the month, New Vision newspaper reported that government was abandoning the plan. Evelyn Anite, the state minister for privatization and investment, said, “We don’t agree with any investor destroying our natural resources. And I don’t expect any investor to be licensed to destroy a national treasure like Murchison falls or even operate in a wetland.”In August, the tourism minister, Ephraim Kamuntu, also weighed in with an emphatic no. “Cabinet took a decision at its latest sitting that there will be no construction of the hydropower dam in Murchison Falls National Park,” he told AFP. “Definitely we still need more electricity to power our expanding economy, but this project can go elsewhere, not in the park.”And that, it seemed, was that.But at a Dec. 3 press conference, the minister of energy and mineral development, Irene Muloni, said the decision not to pursue a hydro dam in the national park had been reviewed and a memorandum of understanding signed with Bonang to conduct a feasibility study after all. “In order to make a scientifically informed decision, Cabinet reviewed its decision yesterday [Dec. 2] and agreed that a feasibility study is undertaken on the Uhuru Falls site.”She stressed that the study would examine the feasibility of a dam on Uhuru Falls, a cataract 500 meters (1,640 feet) from the better-known Murchison Falls, created when the river jumped its banks during heavy flooding in 1962.The proposed dam site is in Uganda’s leading tourist attraction, part of the larger Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) — 5,594 square kilometers (2,160 square miles) of protected area covered by a mixture of woodlands and savanna, with several high mountains rising above the canopy. It is drained by a number of small, seasonal rivers and an 80-kilometer (50-mile) stretch of the Nile.Tourists in Murchison Falls National Park. Image by Justin Raycraft via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)The MFCA has an exceptional variety of plant species and is home to hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius), elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Rothschild’s giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), as well as chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and black-and-white colobuses (Colobus spp.). More than 500 species of birds are found within the reserve, including threatened shoebills (Balaeniceps rex), saddle-billed storks (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) and lappet-faced vultures (Torgos tracheliotus).Significant numbers of people have resettled around the conservation area’s boundaries since the mid-2000s, returning from internal displacement camps following the departure of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army from the region. Still others have been drawn to the area by the promise of jobs linked to oil exploration here, putting some pressure on the park environment through hunting, farming, and gathering of fruit and wood for fuel.The government’s about-face on considering a dam in the area comes as no surprise to Sam Mucunguzi, national coordinator for the Ugandan NGO Citizens’ Concern Africa (CICOA). “The revival of the Murchison Falls dam project has been there all along, only that it has been silent to the public,” he told Mongabay. “It’s only recently when a journalist asked the minister of state for tourism about the project, that he mentioned about what government intends to do. The president is of late obsessed with power generation and I don’t think he has been briefed on alternative sources of electricity.”CICOA is one of a group of civil society organizations that wrote an open letter to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the end of November setting out their arguments against the plan for a dam.Referring to the government’s domestic and international commitments to biodiversity and conservation, the letter highlights the environmental and social significance of Murchison Falls National Park and the reserve’s vital role in protecting watersheds and nutrients, storing carbon and regulating the local climate.The CSOs also point out the purely economic value of preserving the park and adjacent forest reserves. A 2017 study by the government’s own National Environmental Management Agency calculated the total yearly value of timber and other wood for fuel; of fruit, honey and bushmeat; and of course tourism from the protected area at over 400 billion Ugandan shillings ($109 million).The Murchison Falls Conservation Area is already being encroached upon by oil exploration by France-based transnational Total. Three exploratory wells have been drilled within the boundaries of the reserve, with at least ten more expected to follow.“The impacts are immense and dangerous to ecosystems and general biodiversity. There’s the destruction of flora and fauna when constructing what are called oil roads. The opening of the roads in parks eases movement of poachers. Animals are affected because of noise from construction and have run away. The risk of an oil spill will definitely affect the water and vegetation greatly. When you read the ESIA report and see the mitigation measures in this regard, they are not specific and convincing,” said Mucunguzi.While there’s no risk of an oil spill from a hydro dam, the harm caused by new roads and construction, and eventually a reservoir and the unavoidable changes to the river’s flow will negatively impact the park.Rothschild’s giraffes are one of several threatened species found in Murchison Falls National Park. Image by Thomas Fuhrman via Wikicommons (CC BY-SA 4.0)The groups appealed directly to President Museveni to ask him to rule out construction of a dam anywhere in the MFCA and look to alternative ways to increase power generation.“Government’s desire to transform Uganda from a peasant to industrial economy within the next 22 years will require, among other things, increased power generation capacity and the consumption,” Mucunguzi said. “Government has ignored to look at … the smart and clean options of renewable energy generation for Uganda. Solar energy for instance is cheap, safe and clean, we have all year round good weather.”Meanwhile, the energy ministry has issued a statement saying Bonang Power and Energy is to lead a consortium including Norconsult, the Norwegian energy consultants, and Russia’s JSC Institute Hydro in carrying out a feasibility study for a dam on Uhuru Falls.There’s scant information about Bonang, and little evidence of any previous work on hydropower by the South African company — or indeed, evidence of any previous work at all. The South African companies’ registry reveals only that it was founded in 2014, deregistered two years later for failing to file annual returns, and re-activated in mid-2017. Its sole listed director, Ernest Moloi, is associated with more than 70 other companies, many with similarly hollow profiles. The company website appears to have been taken down, leaving only a Facebook page. The company’s listed phone number has been disconnected and emails bounced back.This has raised questions about the company’s capacity to carry out a feasibility study. The Electricity Regulation Authority told Mongabay by email that the application for a permit was “rejected on the basis of a financial evaluation of Bonang, legal conclusions, technical conclusions, and environmental and social conclusions” and it will have to apply again.Clarifying Norconsult’s role, Øystein Lilleland, the company’s head of global markets, said the Norwegian energy company had been approached as an internationally recognized independent consultant. “We can confirm that we have made a proposal and has been preferred as an independent consultant to review and update previous feasibilities and environmental & social studies for this project. The studies will eventually confirm whether the project is feasible, based on the environmental, social, technical and financial aspects.”Nalubaale Dam: hydroelectricity makes up more than three quarters of Uganda’s installed generating capacity. Image by Frederick Onyango via Wikicommons (CC BY 2.0)There are significant risks if the dam eventually goes ahead, says Enock Nimpamya of Action Coalition on Climate Change.“Once it’s constructed, it will likely affect the flow of water and the natural evolution of the site. It’s a natural process, and when you interfere with this … We had the same scenario near Jinja, when they constructed a dam near Owens Falls. We warned the government not to construct it, but immediately [after they did], the falls were affected.”Tourism operators fear the loss of an iconic site that attracts tens of thousands of visitors yearly. Nimpamya told Mongabay the dam will also affect the flow of water to Sudan and Egypt downstream, potentially provoking a diplomatic spat or even more serious conflict.“Then the other component is that adjacent communities will be affected in terms of fishing. The dam is likely to affect the movement of fish and their breeding grounds. Fishing-dependent communities will likely be affected in terms of having their incomes reduced.”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.Banner image: Murchison Falls. Image by Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) 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

Indonesia-WWF split puts rhino breeding project in Borneo in limbo

first_imgA recent decision by Indonesia’s environment ministry to abruptly cut ties with WWF Indonesia has thrown a crucial effort to conserve Sumatran rhinos into limbo.WWF Indonesia had been deeply involved in an initiative to start a captive-breeding program for the species in Indonesian Borneo.Experts agree that captive-breeding of the species is the best way to boost a birth rate that has dropped below natural replacement levels, and the capture of wild rhinos from Borneo was seen as key to boosting the available genetic pool.It’s not clear how the program will now proceed, but WWF Indonesia says it remains open to supporting the government on the conservation cause. JAKARTA — The acrimonious end to a partnership between WWF and Indonesia’s environment ministry threatens to derail a crucial program to breed Sumatran rhinos in captivity, widely seen as the only viable way to save the species from extinction, in eastern Borneo.Conservationists had been scheduled to capture a wild Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) from East Kalimantan, a province in Indonesian Borneo, last November and deliver it to a sanctuary staffed by experts from WWF Indonesia. But that plan was scrapped after the environment ministry effectively cut ties with the conservation NGO in October. The split was formally announced in January this year.WWF Indonesia had been involved in the capture of two wild rhinos in 2016 and 2018 in the province. The first one, a female named Najaq, died from injuries sustained during her capture. The second rhino, Pahu, also a female, was successfully relocated to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in the Kelian protected forest in East Kalimantan. WWF Indonesia staff have been heavily involved in attending to Pahu since her rescue.Suhandri, a director at the wildlife group, told Mongabay that WWF Indonesia decided to delay carrying out the plan after receiving letters from the environment ministry on Oct. 7 announcing the ministry’s unilateral termination of their memorandum of understanding.“We knew the routes [the rhino] would frequently pass,” Suhandri said in Jakarta on Jan. 28. “We had picked the locations for the pit traps.”The partnership had been scheduled to end in 2023, but the ministry cited alleged violations of the agreement by WWF Indonesia as justification for the early termination.Pahu, a female Sumatran rhino, was captured from the wild in East Kalimantan province, in Indonesian Borneo, in an effort to start a captive-breeding population to stave off the species’ extinction. Image courtesy of Sugeng Hendratmo/Sumatran Rhino Rescue.The ministry’s decision affects 30 out of 130 projects that WWF Indonesia administers across the country, one of them being the rhino conservation program in East Kalimantan.Conservation groups and government officials agree that bringing isolated, wild rhinos into captivity is critical for ensuring the survival of this critically endangered species. Most of the remaining wild Sumatran rhinos live in fragmented groups too small to reproduce naturally at sustainable rates, leading to fears the species will decline into extinction without human intervention.Capturing a rhino in Indonesian Borneo is seen as particularly critical to the conservation cause. The Sumatran and Bornean populations of the species have been separated for thousands of years and have grown genetically distinct during that time. Breeding between the two populations will therefore give a much-needed genetic diversity boost to the captive-breeding program, which has so far relied only on rhinos from the Sumatran population.While Malaysian Borneo no longer has any rhinos in the wild or in captivity, there is at least one, Pahu, on the Indonesian part of the island, and likely a second that WWF Indonesia had targeted for capture last year. (Indonesia’s other SRS, at Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, has seven rhinos, two of which were born there under the captive-breeding program.)Suhandri said he couldn’t confirm the sex of the wild rhino targeted for capture, but a male rhino would mean a potential mate for Pahu.In 2013, WWF Indonesia confirmed a wild population of the Sumatran rhinos in East Kalimantan that was thought to have vanished. Since then, it has worked with the government and other conservation groups — Aliansi Lestari Rimba Terpadu (ALeRT) and Komunitas Pecinta Alam Damai (KOMPAD) — on conserving the species there.WWF Indonesia has been involved in field surveys to track wild rhinos, beefing up protection of their habitats, setting up the high-security sanctuary at Kelian for the captive-breeding program, and locating and capturing rhinos from the wild. Suhandri said WWF Indonesia had spent more than $1 million on the collaborative rhino conservation program in East Kalimantan.Indra Eksploitasia, the director of biodiversity conservation director at the environment ministry, told Mongabay that her office would take over the program.Sunandar Trigunajasa Nurochmadi, the head of the East Kalimantan government’s conservation agency, declined to comment to Mongabay on WWF Indonesia’s exit from the rhino program. However, he said his office was committed to finding rhinos in the wild there and trapping them for the breeding program. He added that they had spotted three wild rhinos in the province.Suhandri said his team would meet with the provincial conservation agency and other groups to find ways in which WWF Indonesia’s rhino experts could continue to be involved in the program.“To this day our keepers and vets are still taking care of Pahu. This is such a specific task, you can’t just swap it out,” he said.Pahu was captured in 2018, two years after another female rhino was captured. The earlier capture turned tragic when the rhino, Najaq, died from injuries sustained during the capture. Image by Ridho Hafizh Zainur Ridha/WWF Indonesia.News of the end of the partnership between WWF Indonesia and the environment ministry came as a surprise to other conservation groups, according to Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the head of WWF Indonesia’s steering committee.“Everyone was asking us ‘What’s going on?’” Kuntoro said. “We’re shattered because we are a reputable organization.”WWF is a co-founder of the Sumatran Rhino Rescue global initiative established in September 2018 by the Indonesian government, the National Geographic Society, Global Wildlife Conservation, the International Rhino Foundation, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.“WWF-Indonesia has played a critical role in supporting on-the-ground work to save the Sumatran rhino,” Jon Paul Rodriguez, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, wrote in an email to Mongabay.Rodriguez said the Sumatran Rhino Rescue program would continue to support efforts to save the species and allocate resources accordingly in light of the new development. He said some of the initiative’s key objectives this year include conducting search-and-rescue operations to capture isolated rhinos from the wild, building new facilities to bolster capacity to care for and breed rhinos, and coordinating with other partners across Indonesia to collaborate on a single, countrywide breeding program.“We defer to the Government of Indonesia and WWF-Indonesia to determine the next steps for their relationship,” Rodriguez added.Following the death of Malaysia’s last Sumatran rhino last November, Indonesia is now the last refuge for the global population of the species. There are fewer than 80 individuals believed to be left in Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo. Habitat loss and poaching had depleted the population that once roamed as far as mainland Southeast Asia, but experts now say the low birthrate is the main threat to the species. Breeding efforts in captivity have been hailed as the priority for ensuring the rhinos’ survival.Lukas Adhyakso, WWF Indonesia’s acting CEO, said that while the organization respects the ministry’s decision to cut ties, the focus of all parties should be on ensuring the continued protection and care of the rhinos, whether inside or outside the sanctuary in East Kalimantan.“We must not let this animal perish,” he said. “We have the expertise. Others may have it, too, but we’re the ones that have been involved [in the rhino program] for so long.“If the government wants us, we’re ready to support them,” Lukas added.Pahu is today the sole Sumatran rhino from the Bornean population being held in captivity. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry/Sumatran Rhino Rescue Team Kalimantan.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. Animals, Biodiversity, Captive Breeding, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Ex-situ Conservation, Extinction, Mammals, Megafauna, Rainforest Animals, Rhinos, Saving Species From Extinction, Sumatran Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Basten Gokkoncenter_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

Flavio Becca en discussions ce mardi avec Kaiserslautern

first_imgL’homme d’affaires luxembourgeois pourrait racheter le stade et investir dans le club, actuel pensionnaire de 3e Bundesliga.Kaiserslautern est paralysé. Non seulement le club allemand ne s’extirpera pas de la 3e Bundesliga alors que c’était l’un de ses objectifs principaux de la saison, non seulement l’intégralité de ses équipes rateront leurs objectifs (ce qui fait s’interroger pas mal la presse de nos voisins sur la pertinence de la direction sportive), mais en plus, cette vénérable institution traverse une crise de gouvernance sans pareil. À l’heure actuelle, c’est une image désastreuse que donne Kaiserslautern à l’extérieur. L’ancien club de Jeff Strasser (il y a joué entre 1999 et 2002 et entraîné en 2017/2018) voit ses principaux dirigeants se tirer dans les pattes les uns des autres, alors que sa survie financière est en jeu.Lundi, le magazine Kicker relevait d’ailleurs que le club, sous conditions, pourrait même être déclaré en faillite cet été si rien n’est entrepris rapidement. Inutile de dire que ces conditions d’urgence pourraient bien faciliter grandement les projets de Flavio Becca, qui désire mettre un pied dans l’institution (et même les deux) depuis plusieurs mois et s’est longtemps cassé les dents sur le système du 50+1 (une règle qui empêche que l’actionnariat privé dispose de la majorité des droits de vote au sein du conseil d’administration des clubs). Selon les informations des médias allemands, l’argentier du F91 et de Virton, qui est aussi en train de prendre la main au Swift Hesperange, a rendez-vous mardi avec les dirigeants du club – en tout cas ceux qui sont officiellement en place, même s’ils sont menacés de destitution – pour faire des propositions concrètes.Flavio Becca, épaulé dans ses négociations par Klaus Toppmöller, l’ancien joueur du club (entre 1972 et 1980) et père de Dino, entraîneur du F91, souhaiterait notamment racheter le Fritz-Walter Stadion, tous sites associés compris. La somme de 20 millions d’euros est avancée.Le FC Kaiserslautern attend surtout de savoir dans quelles proportions l’homme d’affaires luxembourgeois pourrait par ailleurs avoir envie d’investir dans le club de 3e Bundesliga, qui avait il y a peu contracté un prêt de 6 millions d’euros pour tenter de se remettre sur pied et qui va bien devoir, un jour, rembourser.LQ Partagerlast_img read more

Mondial féminin : le “wine-tour” américain contre la marée Oranje

first_imgFamilial, le public américain appartient principalement aux CSP+. “Le soccer féminin est une pratique sportive appréciée des classes moyennes et supérieures américaines, ce qui se retrouve dans le public présent à Lyon, massivement blanc et privilégié”, estime le sociologue Nicolas Hourcade. Les Américains sont souvent installés dans des hôtels cossus, visitent les traboules, ces passages typiques du vieux-Lyon, et s’offrent un “wine tour” dans le Beaujolais ou en Côte-rôtie. Calvin, son épouse et leur fils Adrian, 12 ans, ont “adoré” le musée des Confluences, son architecture originale et ses expositions consacrées à l’histoire naturelle ou l’anthropologie. L’affluence au stade était moins importante pour l’inattendue demi-finale contre la Suède à Lyon, mais la télévision néerlandaise a signé un nouveau record pour du foot féminin : 5 millions de téléspectateurs, dans un pays de 17 millions d’habitants. Les journaux locaux consacrent leur Une à la buteuse Jackie Groenen et sa joie communicative, comme le Telegraaf qui savoure la “FINALE !”, pendant que l’Algemeen Dagblad célèbre une performance “HISTORIQUE”, avec cette première qualification en finale de Coupe du monde. 15% des places pour les Américains “Les Américains sont aussi des grands fans de leur équipe nationale. Historiquement, c’est une des premières équipes féminines à connaître autant de succès (avec les basketteuses) et une des premières disciplines à avoir créé une ligue professionnelle chez les femmes”, explique Calvin, originaire d’Atlanta et arrivé à Lyon lundi avec sa petite famille. LQ/AFP Aux Pays-Bas, l’engouement autour de la sélection féminine est bien plus récent. Il date de la victoire à l’Euro-2017, à domicile, un déclic. “Je crois que ce potentiel du football féminin existait mais il n’y avait pas encore les infrastructures”, a décrit la sélectionneuse Sarina Wiegman mercredi. “Les joueuses ont beaucoup progressé ces dernières années grâce aux compétitions internationales et aux transferts dans les clubs européens”. Et les supporters, aux couleurs de leur pays des pieds à la tête, s’en donnent à cœur joie, comme à Valenciennes, où les habitants se souviendront longtemps de la parade Oranje dans les rues de la ville. Pendant le Mondial, 30 759 billets ont été écoulés auprès du public néerlandais, selon les chiffres du comité d’organisation, en date du 1er juillet. En centre-ville de Lyon, on entend parler anglais partout ou presque. Avec l’accent américain. C’est que le “soccer” féminin est une tradition de longue date aux États-Unis, où sa vitalité vient notamment du système universitaire instauré en 1972 et ses programmes sportifs réservés aux étudiantes. D’un côté les cohortes d’Américains, passionnés de longue date du “soccer” féminin, de l’autre les néo-convertis néerlandais et leur défilé Oranje : la finale du Mondial s’annonce rythmée en tribunes dimanche (17h). Engouement récent mais fort aux Pays-Bas Depuis le début de Mondial, 156 191 billets ont été écoulés auprès du public américain, soit 15% des places au total. Bien sûr, à domicile, les Français font largement mieux (826 685 billets), mais la “Team USA”, triple championne du monde et quadruple médaillée d’Or aux JO, distance largement les autres nations. Le championnat nord-américain est le seul à remplir régulièrement des stades pour des matches de football féminin. “A Portland, qui est un gros club, on jouait devant 18 000 spectateurs à chaque match”, racontait la capitaine française Amandine Henry qui a tenté l’aventure américaine en 2016-2017. Partagerlast_img read more

[BGL Ligue] Le F91 coule encore

first_imgÀ ce moment du match, on peut encore penser que le F91 va maîtriser son sujet. L’histoire est tout autre : les locaux vont gagner en confiance au fil de la rencontre. Les gars de René Peters, concentrés à bloc, défendent à merveille face à un Dudelange qui a la possession de balle mais aussi beaucoup trop de déchet. «On n’a tout simplement pas bien joué, râle Mario Pokar, repositionné dans une équipe bien plus «européenne» que d’habitude. Un match merdique et à oublier.» Et un sentiment d’abattement et de lassitude que précise Jonathan Joubert : «On avait des consignes à mettre en place, chose qu’on n’a pas su faire. Si on n’arrive pas à mettre les ingrédients nécessaires pour gagner un match censé être un peu moins important, le résultat est celui d’aujourd’hui. Il y avait une plus grande envie de la part de Hostert, ils ont joué avec leurs armes.»Ferrera “pas content”Il faut dire que l’axe composé par Dervisevic et Duracak fait des merveilles face aux attaquants dudelangeois. Emilio Ferrera n’attend donc pas longtemps pour lancer Bernier au début de la deuxième période à la place d’un Natami loin de son niveau. Mais Bernier aussi va piocher. Comme tous ses coéquipiers, il est loin de son niveau européen. Va, donc, pour lancer aussi Sinani…Mais, à la surprise générale, Hostert va ouvrir la marque par Yala qui profite d’un petit cafouillage dans la surface pour tromper Joubert qui ne peut rien sur ce but. Les Hostertois sont euphoriques, mais ils parviennent à garder leur sang-froid. Notamment Marc Pleimling, qui a été le grand artisan de cette fin de partie en réalisant deux parades magistrales à dix minutes de la fin : une tête à bout portant de Cools et la frappe de Sinani.Abattus, les Dudelangeois vont devoir vite se remettre d’aplomb avant de décoller pour Chypre, vers une compétition dans laquelle ils semblent bizarrement bien plus à l’aise. Ce qui n’empêchera pas Emilio Ferrera de ruminer cette nouvelle désillusion : «Je ne suis pas content de la performance. Cela ne s’explique pas. Ça commence à la première minute, lorsqu’on rate cette grosse occasion. Certes, Hostert a gagné, mais ils n’ont pas réalisé une grosse rencontre. Ils ont gagné au courage, à l’abnégation et au caractère. On aurait pu voir un autre match si on avait marqué tôt dans la rencontre. Il faudra se poser la question de voir vers quel genre de jeu on va aller. Certains joueurs ont un travail à faire sur eux-mêmes, car ils sont confrontés à eux-mêmes lors des matches de championnat.» Ambiance.De notre correspondant Jessy FerreiraRésultats de la 6e journée :US Hostert – F91 Dudelange : 1-0Etzella Ettelbruck – Una Strassen : 3-2Racing FC Union Luxembourg – Victoria Rosport : 2-2Jeunesse Esch – Fola Esch : 0-3Titus Pétange – US Mondorf : 2-2FC Muhlenbach – FC Differdange 03 : 0-2Progrès Niederkorn – FC Rodange 91 : lundi à 20hClassement provisoire :1. FCD03 (16 points)2. Progrès (13)3. Fola Esch (12)4. Titus Pétange (12)5. US Mondorf (11)6. Jeunesse Esch (10)7. Victoria Rosport (7)8. Una Strassen (7)9. RFCU (6)10 Etzella Ettelbruck (6)11. FC Muhlenbach (6)12. F91 (4)13. US Hostert (3)14. FC Rodange (1) Mais que se passe-t-il avec cette équipe de Dudelange en championnat ?Les Dudelangeois ont-ils pris cette rencontre à la légère face à une équipe de Hostert (perdue 0-1) qui n’avait pas encore le moindre point ? Et d’ailleurs, peuvent-ils se le permettre vu leur situation au classement ? En tout cas, cela a été une défaillance collective, une de plus. Les hommes d’Emilio Ferrera n’ont jamais vraiment réussi à mettre leur jeu en place. Le rythme n’y était pas et les joueurs n’ont pas répondu présent.Mais la physionomie du match aurait pu être tout autre si Lavie, après trois minutes de jeu, avait gagné son duel face à Pleiming qui a sorti le grand jeu en parant la frappe de l’attaquant dudelangeois, d’autant plus déçu au coup de sifflet final : «Hostert a joué avec un bloc de cinq derrière et bien regroupé. On n’a pas su trouver les solutions. C’est vrai que j’ai eu une belle opportunité. Je devais la mettre au fond.» Partagerlast_img read more

Tennis : 2020 sera la dernière saison de Mandy Minella

first_imgJ.C. Partager A quelques heures du début du Luxembourg Open (du 12 au 20 octobre), le seul rendez-vous luxembourgeois du calendrier WTA, Mandy Minella a annoncé que 2020 sera sa dernière saison en tant que joueuse professionnelle.“Dernièrement, cela a été dur pour moi. Cet été, j’ai eu mal à enchaîner physiquement. Mentalement aussi. C’est dur d’arrêter du jour au lendemain” a expliqué Mandy Minella (33 ans), la n°1 luxembourgeoise, ce mardi. “J”ai donc pris la décision que 2020 serait ma dernière année sur le circuit. C’est une décision qui s’est prise petit à petit dans ma tête.”L’actuelle 168e joueuse mondiale prendra part la semaine prochaine au Luxembourg Open, où elle a reçu une wild card.last_img read more

More medals from PH gymnastics as De Guzman, Capellan bag silver, 2 bronzes

first_imgBritain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Reyland Capellan, the floor exercise champion, bagged bronze in the vault, the same output he had two years ago.All in all, the country harvested two golds, one silver and two bronzes in artistics. The Philippine gymnastics team will compete in rhythmic starting Thursday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees NBA pros, fans react to Irving-Thomas megatrade Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay MOST READcenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu LATEST STORIES Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Kaitlin de Guzman of the Philippines competes in beam event of women’s artistic gymnastics competition of the 29th Southeast Asian Games. She scored 12.3 to clinch the bronze medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES POOLKUALA LUMPUR — The Philippines hauled a silver and two more bronze medals Wednesday at the close of artistic gymnastics in the 29th Southeast Asian Games here.Kaitlin de Guzman added a silver in floor exercise and a bronze in balance beam to earlier gold medal in uneven bars to become the most productive in the entire Team Philippines so far.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

GVL Rejects Global Witness Claim

first_imgGolden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) has rejected the latest Global Witness’ Report claiming that a study undertaken by Sync Consult Limited, a Ghanaian economic consultancy, and focused on the Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) oil palm plantation in South-East Liberia, covering 2,600km2, has negatively affected the livelihoods of over 41,000 people.GVL also refuted further claims that the company rapidly expanded during the Ebola crisis of 2014 and is pressing for logging permits, and is paying for Liberia’s armed police for protection. In one of its latest reports, Global Witness said while large agriculture plantations are now growing rapidly in the country, thousands of rural Liberians are being asked to hand over the land that they rely on for their food and livelihoods to multinational companies.Global Witness said with plantation contracts lasting as long as 98 years, the lives of at least five generations of rural Liberians will be irrevocably changed and this resulted into a contract investigation by Sync Consult which found out that far more people may lose as a result of the GVL plantation than will win. “And they may lose a great deal. Approximately 14,000 people live in the area covered by the study, and these community members depend upon their land for farming, hunting, and building supplies.”Sync Consult valued these assets as being worth US$ 11.1 million per year. This income is at considerable risk of being lost if community lands are converted into an oil palm plantation.“The other side of the balance sheet doesn’t look nearly as impressive. The study found that the main benefits of the GVL concession would be experienced only by the company’s workers, of whom only 1,650 – 12% of the community – are actually employed by GVL. Sync Consult calculated that values brought by GVL to these workers, and to a much lesser extent the larger community, would be approximately US$ 3.8 million per year.”Global Witness reported a resident in Sinoe County, quoted by Sync Consult in 2015, who said, “Personally, I do not believe that working with GVL alone can bring about the kind of change and development we want to see in our community. Our land is fertile and very good for swamp farming. So rather than depend on [Golden Veroleum] for a meager salary and a 50 kg bag of rice every month which is not sustainable, we need capacity building.” Global Witness said when the report’s findings were presented to GVL in September 2016; GVL declined to provide a substantive response but stated it believed the findings were flawed, although provided little detail as to what such flaws may be. GVL did contend that it continues to believe its plantation would improve the lives of affected community members.Global Witness admitted that the results of this study are not, however, altogether surprising because oil palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia have a track record of forest destruction and forcible evictions of local communities. “They also do not have a good record of helping local communities improve their livelihoods.” They cited a 2015 study commissioned by leading community economics organization Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), which surveyed the benefits and drawbacks of Indonesian palm oil plantations. “Such plantations,” RRI found, “have led to increased inequality and have been far less economically productive than other land uses.” Summarizing such plantations’ impacts on local landowners, the RRI study concluded that: “The biggest losers in this process were locals who lost their lands and livelihoods but have not been incorporated in the new economy on advantageous terms. Indigenous peoples, subsistence farmers, and women were the most vulnerable groups.” Global Witness suggested that the Liberian government need to take immediate action. “As pointed out by Sync Consult, and backed up by RRI, alternative agriculture schemes such as production by smallholders instead of a centralized plantation generate more benefits for local communities. “On the back of a landmark 2014 agreement with Norway, the Liberian government is promoting community-focused management schemes in the forest sector, and in September 2016 Global Witness published a brief outlining the next steps the government can take to ensure communities benefit from their forests.” Global Witness further suggested that the Liberian government promote community-focused management of the agriculture sector, ensuring that smallholders are central to any new plantations, and pressing existing companies such as GVL (and the equally large Sime Darby) to switch to smallholder schemes. “The government should also immediately approve the country’s Land Rights Law, which has been sitting dormant in the Liberian legislature since early 2015 and would recognize that rural people, not companies, own the land.”Global Witness’s reported indicated that to date the Government of Liberia and its international donor partners have shown little interest in regulating the country’s many plantations persuaded that they will drive development. “As the Sync Consult study demonstrates, this assumption may not be correct, and that for local people giving up their land forever, Liberia’s new plantations are an economic drain, and not a driver of development. Armed with this data, we hope a change is possible.” However, a GVL press statement Wednesday, expressed disappointment over the Global Witness and Sync Consult’s “erroneous claims in their reports published on October 19, 2016. On multiple occasions since 2015 GVL has invited Global Witness to come and see on the ground the work we are doing to develop the business.” The release said, “Although they have not responded we still do encourage them to meet with us in Liberia and understand what is happening directly.” The Global Witness’s assertions, which also pointed specifically to the Tarjuowon community’s religious sites and towns, GVL said “are incomplete and not representative of the facts on the ground. GVL obtained community consent by conducting a full FPIC (Free Prior Informed Consent) process in 2013 and no claims of the referenced locations being religious sites were made during this process. It is also notable that these claims are refuted by the majority of the Kulu clan membership, of which the Blogbo form a part.” On the presence of police officers at GVL, the release said, “The temporary presence of the police is to protect employees and personnel following a violent attack in May 2015. The police serve in a reactive role and it is unclear how this police presence could intimidate a community that lives over 30 kilometres away. GVL pays Daily Subsistence Allowances (DSAs) in line with Government of Liberia (GOL) guidelines. Under the President’s directive, GOL deployed the unit to be based on the farm pending construction of a community police station in Butaw, which we understand is now underway.”“GVL welcomes and calls for sound economic and social research based on thorough fact-finding and proper analysis,” GVL said. “However, the report GW has commissioned from Ghanaian Sync Consult is regrettably fundamentally flawed in its facts and its analysis. For example the consultant has fundamentally misunderstood the relationships between area, employment and the economics of oil palm. The report claims that GVL will develop the full 33,000 hectares of an area of investigation, although we will only develop 4,000 ha within this zone. Similarly they claim the employment for a 33,000 ha development would require only 1,650 employees. In the oil palm business, this scale would require a minimum of 5,500 employees. There are many other errors.Regrettably, GVL was not given an opportunity to contribute substantively to the report, as we would have been able to point out these flaws. We will comment in detail on this in our full response. “In line with best practice, GVL will now address the assertions made in both reports and publish our findings. We note however that the reports contain assertions made by the same organization in 2015 and which we refuted at the time. This does underline our opinion that only by constructive dialogue will progress be made. “GVL is fully committed to building a sustainable business in Liberia including the infrastructure that underpins that development such as roads and healthcare facilities and to support the economic development of host communities. It will take many years before oil palm is produced at scale in Liberia and many more years before the investor companies may see a return on their significant investments. As with all projects, there are a number of challenges to first be overcome. As a company we do not claim to have all the answers and we have therefore committed significant time and investment to working with the many community representatives, local NGOs and sustainability advisers to benefit from their experience.”Golden Veroleum Liberia has built schools, clinics and roads in areas its operating communities, as its corporate social responsibilities to improve the livelihood of the people.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more