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Ramdhani siblings dominate 2019 Canadian Badminton tournament

first_imgCONTINUED magic from Ramdhani siblings, Narayan and Priyanna, lit up things at the Yonex Alberta Series #1 Tournament held at the Sunridge Badminton Centre in Calgary Alberta, Canada.When the series, lasting October 4-5 2019, got under way, the Guyanese badminton aces bagged numerous titles. Priyanna eventually went on to capture another career Women Singles title as well as the Doubles B-Flight, bettering her brother Narayan who won just the Mixed Doubles title despite strong performances.Squaring off against some high-calibre players, some of whom are ranked number one according to Pan American rankings, Priyanna who gained a bye in the semis made light work of Calgary Winter Club’s Carol Fu in the Women’s Singles B-Flight, destroying her 21-10 and 21-13 in the finals.Priyanna then joined forces with Mary Smith as they further inflicted woes upon Fu and her club-mate Jessica Leung, thumping the duo 21-14 and 21-13 in their Doubles B-Flight encounter. The Women’s A-Flight Singles was also a lopsided event as Ivy Ung of Derrick Golf and Winter Club lost to Ramdhani 21-16 and 21-3 in the Quarter-finals. The Semi-Finals witnessed Ramdhani endure a 3-set loss 21-11, 14-21 and 21-13 to the talented Reshma Bhambhani, a No# 2 seed representing the B-Active Badminton Club. Her brother, on the other hand, found luck as Narayan teamed up with Smith to hand Archelle Ouano and Ung a two-set defeat 21-15 and 21-5 in the Mixed event which saw them win the titles.Priyanna and Smith had mixed fortunes as the tourney progressed in the latter stages, losing: 21-14 and 21-14 to No. 1 seeds Emily Chan and Samantha Hsu of The Glencoe Club & B-Active Badminton Club Semi-Finals. However, the Guyanese siblings then bounced back to defeat the Quanos, Archangelo and Archelle, in sets 21-17, 21-15.In the end, supremacy was shown by the Ramdhanis who whipped Viro Hang and Ung easily in the finals after two sets 21-12, 21-15 as the pair of Badminton masters continued to impress and represent Guyana on the international scene.last_img read more

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

Land thieves ramp up deforestation in Brazil’s Jamanxim National Forest

first_imgBanner image: Deforestation by illegal loggers in Jamanxim National Forest in Pará state, Brazil. Image courtesy of IBAMA.Editor’s note: This story was powered by Places to Watch, a Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative designed to quickly identify concerning forest loss around the world and catalyze further investigation of these areas. Places to Watch draws on a combination of near-real-time satellite data, automated algorithms and field intelligence to identify new areas on a monthly basis. In partnership with Mongabay, GFW is supporting data-driven journalism by providing data and maps generated by Places to Watch. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data.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. Agriculture, Cattle, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Land Grabbing, Politics, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Soy, Tropical Forests 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 Morgan Erickson-Davis Deforestation appears to be rising dramatically in Brazil, with satellite data showing the country’s Amazonian region lost more forest in May than during any other month in the past decade.Jamanxim National Forest, in the state of Pará, has been particularly hard hit, losing more than 3 percent of its forest cover in May. Another surge was detected during the last week of June.Residents say the pressure facing Jamanxim comes from outsiders who are looking to make a profit by logging trees and then selling the newly cleared land to ranchers.Many of those living in protected areas believe that the political climate under President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration is encouraging the invasions by loggers into Brazil’s protected areas. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has started to increase very rapidly, with 73,900 hectares (182,600 acres) of forest felled in the single month of May this year. May is always a month when deforestation rises, because it marks the end of the rainy season for much of Amazônia, but this year’s figure is a 34 percent increase over May 2018, when 55,000 hectares (135,900 acres) were felled. According to DETER (System of Detection of Deforestation in Real Time), which compiled the data, it’s the highest single-month figure in more than a decade.The DETER figure for accumulated deforestation from end of August 2018 to end of May 2019, compared with the same period in 2017/2018, shows a much more modest rise, from 348,700 hectares (836,946 acres) to 365,470 hectares (903,096 acres), an increase of 4.8 percent. The May 2019 figure supports anecdotal evidence that land thieves have become much more aggressive this year.“If this upward curve continues, we could have a bad year for the Amazon forest,” Claudio Almeida, the head of satellite monitoring at INPE, the Brazilian aerospace institute, which runs DETER, told Reuters. “It will depend on how much policing there is in the next two critical months,” he added. However, with the current state of paralysis within the country’s main environmental agencies, it seems unlikely that the authorities will be cracking down heavily on illegal deforesters in the coming months.The Jamanxim River hems the eastern side of Jamanxim National Forest, one of the most threatened protected areas in Brazil. Image by IBAMA via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).DETER recommends caution in the use of its data, because its satellite-imaging technology can’t penetrate thick cloud and so can be inaccurate. The official annual figures on how much forest has been felled in Amazônia are calculated with the use of different methodology, known as PRODES, and are published at the end of July, also by INPE.However, DETER’s data are widely regarded as a reliable indicator of trends, and the system is currently detecting high levels of deforestation in protected areas — national forests, national parks and indigenous areas. Even though under Brazilian law, these are clearly signposted as no-go areas for deforesters, land thieves and loggers have increasingly moved into them: according to figures from Imazon, the Institute for the Man and Environment in Amazonia, a nonprofit that promotes sustainability in the Amazon, deforestation in protected areas rose from 7 percent of total deforestation in 2008 to 13 percent in 2017.Many of those living in protected areas believe that the political climate under the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro is encouraging the invasions by loggers into protected areas.“All this hostile talk about the indigenous people from the new government is encouraging invasions,” Awapu Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, a leader of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, told the NGO Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA). The critical period for this people, who live in Rondônia in the west of the Brazilian Amazon, begins in April when the end of the rainy season provides a dry window for invaders, and continues until October when the rains begin to fall again. According to the Kanindé Association, a nonprofit that monitors deforestation in the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous Territory, about 180 outsiders illegally invaded the reserve in April. Ivaneide Bandeira, Kanindé’s coordinator, says that Bolsonaro’s announcement that he would be redrawing the boundaries of some indigenous reserves encouraged the illegal invasions.DETER’s data show that the protected areas under greatest pressure are in Pará state in the east of the Amazon Basin, where the economic frontier is advancing rapidly and land prices are rocketing. Of the 10 protected areas in the Amazon with the highest levels of deforestation, eight are located in Pará. The area being most heavily despoiled is Jamanxim National Forest, where 44,800 hectares (110,700 acres) of forest were illegally felled in May alone.In other words, Jamanxim lost more than 3 percent of its tree cover in just one month. Considerably less damage occurred in the next most threatened protected area — the Tapajós Area of Environmental Protection — which, proportionally, experienced less than a quarter of Jamanxim’s deforestation rate in May.While forest loss slowed somewhat in Jamanxim in June, satellite data collated by the University of Maryland recorded around 22,000 deforestation alerts. Most of these occurred in the last week of the month, indicating another hike in clearance may be in store for July.Data from the University of Maryland visualized on Global Forest Watch show the majority of June deforestation in Jamanxim National Forest was recorded at the very end of the month. This forest loss is edging into an intact forest landscape (IFL), one of the few undegraded IFLs remaining in the national forest.Area cleared within Jamanxim National Forest. Photo courtesy of OEco.Jamanxim National Forest is a dramatic example of what can happen to a protected area when it is deprived of effective policing, which is the situation that INPE’s Claudio Almeida was describing. Jamanxim National Forest was created in February 2006 as part of a package of measures to prevent deforestation along the BR-163, a 1,765-kilometer (1,097-mile) highway that links Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso state, with the port of Santarém on the Amazon River. Soy farmers from Mato Grosso, which had just become Brazil’s main soy-producing state, were pressing for the road to be asphalted so that they could export the soy along the Amazon River instead of having to send it to ports in the south of the country, which incurred heavy transport costs.The government agreed to the farmers’ demand and, to placate environmentalists who were concerned that the road would lead to high levels of deforestation, launched with considerable fanfare the Sustainable BR-163 Plan, which, it claimed, would demonstrate once and for all that the paving of roads and forest protection were compatible.But this plan was soon eclipsed by the Program for the Acceleration of Growth (PAC), announced in 2007, which, with even more publicity and far greater resources, promoted investment in infrastructure, with scant mention of environmental protection.Juan Doblas, who at the time was monitoring regional deforestation for ISA, said: “Ten years [after the Sustainable BR-163 was announced] the levels of deforestation were as bad as in our worst projections … The loss of forest was so out of control that for every year between 2004 and 2013 — except 2005 — while deforestation in Amazonia as a whole fell, it increased in the region around the BR-163.”One of the most heavily invaded areas was Jamanxim National Forest, which covers 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres). On paper, it enjoys rigorous protection; only small-scale deforestation, carried out by traditional communities and researchers, is permitted. Although officials from the environmental agency, IBAMA, tried to apprehend invaders, they didn’t have the resources to do the job properly. Land thieves continued to enter, at times threatening IBAMA officials, and they began to put pressure on federal deputies to put a bill through Congress that would remove the protected status from a large section of the national forest and reclassify it so that their occupation could become legal. In 2009 they called for 305,000 hectares (735,700 acres) of the national forest to be turned into an area of environmental protection (APA), a much less restrictive form of conservation unit where faming and mining are permitted.A white-nosed saki (Chiropotes albinasus), one of the species that lives in Jamanxim National Forest. Photo by Valdir Hobus via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).One of the main lobbyists for the reclassification was Ubiraci da Silva, known as Macarrão, the mayor of Novo Progresso, a frontier town on the BR-163 in Pará state. Founded in 1991, the town sprang up around a clandestine land strip built to promote a rapid way in and out for those engaged in illegal logging and gold mining.During the soy harvest, truck after truck trundles through the town, leaving clouds of hot dust. Macarrão says that the town needs to exploit Jamanxim’s resources in order to survive.“We are becoming nothing more than a transport corridor,” he complained to the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. “We are hemmed in on one side by an indigenous reserve and it’s only on the other side, near Jamanxim National Forest, that we can produce. If the government doesn’t give in to our demand [to reduce the size of the national forest], our town will die.”Some of the main businessmen and politicians in Novo Progresso would benefit personally from the creation of the APA. Imazon investigated and found that 71,000 hectares (175,400 acres) of the 305,00 hectares (735,700 acres) had been illegally occupied, most of it after the area had been turned into a national forest. IBAMA had issued 334 fines for illegal deforestation. Both Macarrão and Ezequiel Antonio Castanha, the owner of a large supermarket in Novo Progresso and considered by the Federal Prosecution Service (MPF) as one of the biggest land thieves in the Amazon, were fined, though it seems that the fines were never paid. In 2014, IBAMA, the Federal Police and the MPF launched Operation Castanheira (named after Castanha), an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to break up the land-stealing gang. Castanha was arrested but later released.The land thieves are not grabbing land to farm it themselves, but have realized that, by deforesting it and selling it on, they can make a vast amount of money. One resident, who preferred to speak off the record, explained to Mongabay how it works:“Land theft is part of the process of occupying the region around Novo Progresso. What is land theft? It’s an easy way of making money. The land grabber takes over an area of forest, generally forest that is worth very little, and deforests it. He doesn’t want to farm it himself but to sell it on. He deforests it very cheaply, using poorly paid labor, plants pasture and then sells it to a rancher who really wants to use the land. This process has been going for a decade or more. And the land increases in value by an absurd amount. Standing forest is almost worthless. Once it is cleared of vegetation, it increases in value 100 or 200 times.”At the end of 2016, after heavy lobbying, the administration of then President Michel Temer gave way to the demands of the land thieves. Temer sent a bill, MP 756, to Congress to reduce the size of Jamanxim National Forest. Environmentalists protested vociferously and the government withdrew the project. But Heron Martins, a researcher at Imazon, says he believes the bickering has only encouraged further illegal invasions.“Every time the government puts forward a bill or emits a sign that it is in favor of a reduction [in the size of the forest], expectations increase and the number of illegal occupations grows, [even if eventually the initiative is abandoned],” Martins said.In April 2108 the Supreme Federal Court, Brazil’s court of last resort, ruled in a unanimous vote that it was unconstitutional to reduce the size of protected areas by means of a kind of presidential decree called a provisional measure. But the decision has had little impact on the ground, with land thieves confident that eventually their exploitation of the forest will be legalized. The invasions are accelerating, as indicated by the recent figures.What is happening in Jamanxim National Forest may be particularly shocking, but it is not an isolated case. On June 5, World Environment Day, the Amazonian Network of Georeferenced Socioenvironmental Information RAISG), which brings together researchers from six Amazonian countries, published a series of maps showing that at least 69 percent of the region’s protected areas, including indigenous reserves, are under some kind of pressure. Its maps encompass the eight countries of Panamazônia, and can be found in a multimedia platform titled Amazônia at a Crossroads. Their conclusion: that the Amazon region is under pressure as never before.last_img read more

Forest loss threatens territorial gibbons in southern Borneo

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Fires, Forest Fires, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Logging, Mammals, Primates, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Tropical Forests, wildfires, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Bornean southern gibbons have the largest territories of any species in their genus, a new study has found.These large home ranges, combined with the species’ intense territoriality, puts it at particular risk of habitat loss as a result of deforestation and fire.The findings of this research demonstrate that this endangered species needs large areas of unbroken forest. Gibbons living in southern Borneo have the largest territories of any of their close relatives, according to a new study. From a conservation perspective, those large ranges are a liability, putting them at higher risk when their habitat is wiped out by fire or deforestation.The research, published July 31 in the journal PLOS ONE, draws on nearly nine years of data on four groups of Bornean southern gibbons (Hylobates albibarbis) living in the peatlands of the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. Combining the GPS locations of the groups with exhaustive observations of the apes’ behaviors, the team found that this species defends a “core range” of 21 to 52 hectares (52 to 128 acres) where they sleep and communicate with each other and other groups through hooting “duets” or “codas.”A Borneo southern gibbon at a safari park in the Netherlands. The species is also known as the white-bearded gibbon. Image by Tim Strater via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).They also ply more expansive “home ranges” of almost 150 hectares (371 acres) in search of food. Unlike the core areas, which rarely overlap with those of other groups, gibbons are more apt to share parts of their home ranges.Still, gibbons tend to stick to the ranges they’ve secured in the forest for years at a time, Susan Cheyne, a biologist with the Borneo Nature Foundation and the paper’s lead author, said in a statement. That stalwart commitment to such large territories could be a recipe for conflict with other gibbon groups if they lose parts of their forest range and are forced into a rival group’s territory. During the study, one of the groups had to shift its range to the west when fires swept through parts of Borneo in 2015.The concern is that forest loss as a result of fire, at the hands of loggers or to make way for agriculture could push this IUCN-listed endangered species into splinters of forest too small to support it.A young gibbon in Central Kalimantan. Image by Wibowo Djatmiko via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).“Gibbons need large areas to survive and linking forests,” the authors write, “and reducing fragmentation is the key to their conservation.”Cheyne and her colleagues argue that insights into the behavior of gibbons can help conservationists and land managers come up with strategies to help these animals survive.“Understanding how Gibbons use the forest is critical to their conservation,” Cheyne said in the statement. “These data can feed into creating protected areas of suitable size and habitat quality to maintain viable populations of the singing, swinging small apes.”A white-bearded gibbon, pictured here in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Image by Wibowo Djatmiko via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).Banner image of a young male gibbon courtesy of the Borneo Nature Foundation. Citation:Cheyne, S. M., Capilla, B. R., K., A., Supiansyah, Adul, Cahyaningrum, E., & Smith, D. E. (2019). Home range variation and site fidelity of Bornean southern gibbons [Hylobates albibarbis] from 2010-2018. PLOS ONE, 14(7), e0217784. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0217784Nijman, V., Richardson, M. & Geissmann, T. (2008). Hylobates albibarbis (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T39879A128972094. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T39879A10279127.en. Downloaded on 29 July 2019.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Indonesian enforcement questioned as fires flare up on the same concessions

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 author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Deforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Featured, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forests, Haze, Law, Law Enforcement, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Pulp And Paper, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Southeast Asia Haze, Southeast Asian Haze Indonesia says it plans to impose stricter punishment for plantation companies with recurring instances of fire on their concessions, including permanently revoking their permits.Several of the companies whose concessions have been burning this year were also at the heart of the 2015 fires.Activists say the fact that the problem is recurring on the same concessions highlights the government’s failure to adequately punish the companies.A Greenpeace report has found no meaningful action taken against palm oil companies guilty of burning since 2015, and inconsistent enforcement against pulpwood companies during that same period. JAKARTA — At least three companies whose concessions were burned in the 2015 fires that razed huge swaths of forest in Indonesia are also caught up in this year’s fires, prompting calls by the government for a stern crackdown on repeat offenders.The fires this year, mostly on Sumatra and Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo, have burned 328,000 hectares (810,505 acres) of forest to date. They’ve also generated huge clouds of smoke that have sickened nearly a million people and caused the deaths of several, including a 4-month-old baby and a newborn.Much of the fires are on land granted as concessions to plantation companies, which have been routinely accused of burning forests as a cheap way of clearing the land in preparation of planting. One such company is palm oil firm PT Ricky Kurniawan Kertapersada: this year, some 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of its concessions have been burned, according to Rasio Ridho Sani, the Indonesian environment ministry’s head of enforcement.In 2015, 591 hectares (1,460 acres) of the company’s land were also burned, for which it was sued by the government and ordered by a court to pay 192 billion rupiah ($13.6 million) in fines. (It has still not paid.)“And now [the company’s concession] has burned again,” Rasio told reporters in Jakarta on Oct. 1. “We’ve sealed off the concession.”At least two other companies in Sumatra have also experienced fires on their concessions this year after a similar problem in 2015, according to Rasio. He said the government would impose heavier sanctions on repeat offenders, including revoking their permits entirely. Companies with fires on their concessions typically receive a warning and have their permits suspended temporarily, but are invariably allowed to resume operations soon after.Rasio said the central government always had the option of permanently revoking the permits, but would first need to scrutinize each case with the provincial, district and municipal governments responsible for granting the permits in the first place.“We will inform them about the results of our monitoring of these companies with repeated forest fires,” he said, adding that if the local authorities refused to revoke the permits, the environment ministry had an override to do so.A patrolling team hired by oil palm company PT ATGA to douse fires in the concession. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia.Repeat offendersThe fact that many of the same companies responsible for the fires in 2015 are also implicated this time around is echoed in a recent Greenpeace report, which finds that the past offenders largely went unpunished or received only mild sanctions.It’s this lack of a deterrent that has allowed fires to burn in the same concessions almost every year, Greenpeace says in the report.Greenpeace analyzed official government data and maps to identify the concessions with the most burned area between 2015 and 2018, how often they burned during that period, and the companies or conglomerates that held these concessions.The NGO then analyzed details of the palm oil and pulpwood companies with the largest areas of burned area during that period to identify whether serious civil and/or administrative sanctions have been handed down.The analysis found that of the 10 oil palm plantation companies identified, not a single one had had its permit revoked by the government.“So none of these 10 companies received [heavy] sanctions, even though their [burned] areas were big,” Kiki Taufik, the global head of forest campaigns at Greenpeace Indonesia, said at the launch of the report in Jakarta.Greenpeace also analyzed 12 palm oil groups with the largest total burned area in their concessions between 2015 and 2018, and found that only two — Fangiono Family and Gama — had received serious sanctions from the government.This year, significant numbers of fire hotspots have been detected in seven of these companies’ concessions.Kiki said this signaled a failure by law enforcement to prevent repeat fires on these particular companies’ land. He described the law enforcement measures taken in 2015 as “weak and inconsistent.”Responding to the report, Rasio said Greenpeace should have taken a broader look at enforcement actions taken by the ministry recently by comparing them to measures taken before 2015.Since 2015, the ministry has sued 17 companies in forest fire cases and won nine of the cases. Those companies have been ordered to pay a combined 3.15 trillion rupiah ($223 million) in fines, but only one, PT Bumi Mekar Hijau, has paid its tab of 78 billion rupiah ($5.5 million).Court hearings are underway in five cases, but have yet to begin for three others.Rasio said the scale of the fines was unprecedented for any industry across Indonesia, signaling the environment ministry’s seriousness about cracking down on forestry-related violations. He also said the government had sealed off 64 concessions in Sumatra and Kalimantan, 20 of them owned by foreign companies, and had pressed criminal charges against eight of them.He acknowledged there was room to strengthen enforcement to prevent a repeat of the burning that occurs annually.“Since 2015 until now, we’ve studied the law enforcement that we’ve done [and seen that] it has just given a shock therapy effect, but not a long-term deterrent effect,” Rasio said.He said the ministry would ramp up its efforts, including punishing companies for benefits gained from burning their land. At present, companies that are fined for burning and have their licenses suspended can resume planting once the suspension ends. Rasio said the ministry was now looking at ways to fine companies that had developed plantations on land burned within the past two years.The central government is also calling on local authorities to be more vigilant about violations on concessions granted locally. Rasio said this would put local governments on the front line, as intended when the process of issuing permits was decentralized from Jakarta to the regions, and increase the scope of law enforcement against violating companies.Land burning in an oil palm concession owned by PT Agro Tumbuh Gemilang Abadi (ATGA). Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay-Indonesia.Burning paperWhile Greenpeace found that law enforcement against palm oil companies was lax, it said the government issued more serious sanctions against pulpwood companies with burned concessions, revoking three licenses between 2015 and 2018.But Greenpeace noted inconsistencies in enforcement, with the companies with the largest burned areas or more frequent fires not receiving severe punishments.For instance, the government-owned Perhutani/Inhutani and related companies had the second-largest area of burned land on their concessions during this period, but received just two serious civil and administrative sanctions.Greenpeace also found discrepancies in enforcement related to concessions owned by or affiliated with the two largest pulp and paper producers in Indonesia, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings (APRIL).These concessions are held by APP affiliates PT Bumi Andalas Permai, PT Bumi Mekar Hijau and PT Arara Abadi as well as APRIL affiliates PT Sumatera Riang Lestari and PT Sumatera Silva Lestari.According to Greenpeace, PT Bumi Andalas Permai had the single largest burned area (81,800 hectares, or 202,100 acres) of any concession in Indonesia between 2015 and 2018 across all commodities — and yet the company was only ordered by the government to not replant on the burned land.Another APP supplier, PT Bumi Mekar Hijau, was fined 78 billion rupiah by a court over fires on 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of its concessions in 2014. In 2015, another 63,000 hectares (155,700 acres) of its concession burned again. As a result, PT Bumi Mekar Hijau had the third-largest burned area of any concession in Indonesia between 2015 and 2018.“And yet, the only serious civil or administrative sanction received by the company that year was  a temporary license suspension, but that was for replanting on previously burned land, not for the fires themselves,” Kiki said.PT Arara Abadi, another APP affiliate, was found by Greenpeace to have fires flaring up on its concession every year between 2015 and 2018.“Arara Abadi had 115 square kilometers [28,400 acres] of its concession burned, but the company never received any sanctions,” Greenpeace forest campaigner Rusmadia Maharuddin said.APRIL affiliates PT Sumatera Riang Lestari and PT Sumatera Silva Lestari was also found to have fires on their land every year from 2015 to 2018. Fires were also detected on PT Sumatera Riang Lestari’s concession as recently as early 2019. The company had its permit suspended in 2015 and received a government compliance order in 2017. PT Sumatera Silva Lestari only received a government compliance order once, in 2016.The government recently sealed off part of PT Sumatera Riang Lestari’s land. “However, a criminal investigation against the company was dropped in 2016 because there was a lack of evidence,” Kiki said.Burning in Jambi’s protected peat forest Lorendang where restoration efforts by WWF-Indonesia and the Peat Restoration Agency take place. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia.Mapping accuracyBoth APP and APRIL have refuted the findings in Greenpeace’s report, saying they’re based on inaccurate data.APP said some of the companies listed in the report weren’t even its suppliers and “to ensure accuracy, fire-related data should be obtained from the authorized government agency.”Greenpeace said accurate company concession data was not readily available in Indonesia, and thus it had to compile concession data from a variety of sources. As a result, there might be some inaccuracies despite efforts to make the data as accurate as possible, Greenpeace said.APRIL questioned the accuracy of the so-called burn scar map data used by Greenpeace, based on remote-sensing analysis of freely available medium-resolution optical-based satellite imagery and hotspot detection alerts. APRIL said there were various technical factors that could skew the accuracy of the burn scar map, such the level of certainty for hotspot detection, and cloud cover and cloud shadow affecting the results.“We’ve suggested a number of ways in which the accuracy of burn scars analysis can be improved,” APRIL sustainability operations manager Craig Tribolet told Mongabay. “For example, we believe that only hotspots with a confidence level of more than 90 percent should be included, as it is only above this level that a hotspot is more likely to be an actual fire. “Given the high level of uncertainty, he said the kind of analysis that Greenpeace carried out would have to be supported by on-the-ground verification.Tribolet said APRIL had verified all the burned areas in its concessions from 2015 to 2018 and found a large difference between its final result, 1,300 hectares (3,200 acres), and the total size derived by Greenpeace, 55,600 hectares (137,400 acres).Tribolet said APRIL had been able to reduce burned area in the community land outside its forestry concession areas by 90 percent since 2014 through the company’s Fire-Free Village Program.“The accuracy of APRIL and its supplier partners’ burn area over the period under study is only a fraction of that estimated in Greenpeace’s report,” Tribolet said. “This is something we’ve offered to clarify with Greenpeace.”There’s also discrepancy between the number of hotspots in the Greenpeace’s report and the one identified by APRIL. As of the end of August, APRIL had identified 384 hotspots in its concessions, but said 245 of them were confirmed as not being related to fires and only about 30 were confirmed as fires. The Greenpeace report showed there were 483 hotspots as of Sept. 16 in PT Sumatera Riang Lestari’s concession.But that concession and that of fellow APRIL affiliate PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper are among five that have been sealed off by the environment ministry this year in Sumatra’s Riau province, according to a document obtained by Mongabay.APRIL said the sealed concessions were those of the burned areas only, both of which were community-related fires, not the entire concessions.Using remote-sensing technology to derive a figure for burned areas is less than ideal, according to David Gaveau, a landscape researcher at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). However, he said the data could be improved if APRIL were to publish its own burn scar maps.“If APRIL is questioning the ministry’s data, they should publish their burn scar maps to the public for comparison,” Gaveau told Mongabay. “At the moment APRIL does not share this information so it is impossible to compare and this casts doubts.”For more on the Indonesian fires:center_img Banner image: Fires raze Jambi’s protected peat forest Londerang. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jonglast_img read more

Meet the new parasitic wasp species named ‘Idris elba’

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki British actor Idris Elba has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards in addition to being named one of the “Sexiest Men Alive.” Now he’s been awarded an accolade that even he probably never dared aspire to: a parasitic wasp has been named in his honor.The genus Idris was first described in 1856 and today includes more than 300 species of wasp, all of which have only been known to parasitize spider eggs. Idris elba, on the other hand, was discovered in Mexico parasitizing the eggs of an invasive stink bug known as the bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris), an invasive species native to Africa.Idris elba could potentially be a valuable part of natural solutions to controlling the B. hilaris population, as opposed to the insecticides currently in use, and reining in the destruction the stink bugs do to crops. British actor Idris Elba has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards in addition to being named one of the “Sexiest Men Alive.” Now he’s been awarded an accolade that even he probably never dared aspire to: a parasitic wasp has been named in his honor.The wasp was recently discovered in Guanajuato, Mexico and described to science in a paper published in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research this week by a team of researchers with Mexico’s Colegio de Postgraduados, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Florida State Collection of Arthropods in the US.The genus Idris was first described in 1856 and today includes more than 300 species of wasp, all of which have only been known to parasitize spider eggs. Idris elba, on the other hand, was discovered in Mexico parasitizing the eggs of an invasive stink bug known as the bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris), an invasive species native to Africa that is a major pest in India, southern Europe, southern Asia, and the Middle East. Bagrada bugs made their Western Hemisphere debut in 2008 when they were first sighted in Los Angeles, California, and have since become an important pest of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and turnips in North and South America, having been spotted in Chile in 2016.Dr. Refugio Lomeli-Flores of the Colegio de Postgraduatos and his team were the first to observe an Idris elba individual emerging from a bagrada bug egg in Guanajuato, much to their surprise. Dr. Tara Gariepy of the governmental agency Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada then used molecular forensics to match the DNA of the adult wasp with the DNA it left in the bagrada bug egg to independently confirm that Lomeli-Flores and team had seen what they thought they had seen: Idris elba is a parasitoid, an insect whose larvae parasitize and eventually kill their host organism, of bagrada bug eggs.“This is the first association of an Idris species with a non-spider host, and the association is confirmed with molecular diagnostic tools that enable identification of parasitoid and host from the remains of parasitized eggs,” chief author Lomeli-Flores and co-authors write in the paper describing Idris elba to science.Non-parasitized (left) compared with a parasitized (right) bagrada bug egg, where an Idris elba wasp was observed to emerge. Photo Credi: Elijah J. Talamas.Specimens of the wasp were later sent to Dr. Elijah Talamas of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, a taxonomist who determined that the specimens did, in fact, belong to a previously unknown species.In explaining the etymology of the scientific name they chose for the wasp, Lomeli-Flores and co-authors merely write: “The epithet ‘elba’ is an arbitrary combination of letters that is to be treated as a noun in apposition.” In a statement, Talamas elaborated on the choice, somewhat, noting that were the species to be explicitly named after Idris Elba the Homo sapiens, it would then be a patronym, and thus, following Latin grammar rules, the wasp would have to be called Idris elbai. Treating the second name as merely “an arbitrary combination of letters,” however, avoided the grammar issue — and Idris elba was ready for its close up.It is uncommon for a native parasitoid species, like Idris elba, to attack a foreign organism introduced to its habitat, which makes it all the more remarkable that an Idris wasp has adapted to parasitize the eggs of bagrada bugs. The researchers believe this could simply be a happy accident: bagrada bugs, unlike other stink bugs, lay their eggs in the soil instead of on plants, and the wasps may have somehow mistaken them for spider eggs, their typical host. “This may be a case of accidental parasitism by I. elba, based on chance encounters with B. hilaris eggs in the same habitat as its typical spider host,” the researchers write.They also theorize that Idris wasps could have a broader host range than scientists knew, one that includes both spiders and insects. More research is needed to answer this question, especially since Idris elba could potentially be a valuable part of natural solutions to controlling the B. hilaris population, as opposed to the insecticides currently in use, and reining in the destruction the stink bugs do to crops.Meanwhile, there’s no word yet on when Idris Elba will be receiving his bronzed Idris elba specimen so that he can place it next to his Golden Globe.Female wasp of the newly described species Idris elba (holotype specimen). Photo Credit: Elijah J. Talamas.CITATION• Lomeli-Flores, J. R., Rodríguez-Rodríguez, S. E., Rodríguez-Levya, E., González-Hernández, H., Gariepy, T. D., & Talamas, E. J. (2019). Field studies and molecular forensics identify a new association: Idris elba Talamas, sp. nov. parasitizes the eggs of Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 73, 125. doi:10.3897/jhr.73.38025 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 Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Insects, New Species, Parasites, Research, Species Discovery last_img read more

Johnson has edge at Martinsville

first_img “You learn how to protect the car,” said Stewart. “You learn how to not beat it up. You learn it’s a lot more fun racing when you use a lot more patience. Patience seems to be the biggest variable that can hold you up at a place like Martinsville. Needless to say, after going there a couple of times, I’ve learned how to be patient – out of necessity, basically.” Stewart has posted three straight finishes of 14th or worse at Martinsville. He finished 15th last year and 26th in April. To his credit, Stewart has one victory at Martinsville, but only six top-10s in 13 races. Biffle has not fared much better. In five races at Martinsville, he has never finished better than 17th. Newman is a little better, with at least a top-five finish at Martinsville in his past four starts. Only Wallace, the king of Martinsville with seven wins in his 43 starts there, has raced there more than Martin. Martin can claim two victories there, the latest coming in 2000. Edwards has the least amount of experience at Martinsville, with two races, neither of which was very impressive. He finished 24th and 38th. Looks like little will be decided after the Martinsville race. The way things have been going, all 10 Chase drivers could still have a shot at the championship. Still, history would indicate that Johnson has the advantage. “It is really anybody’s championship at this point,” Johnson said. “After five races I am shocked just like everyone else is how close the championship race is. I think over the next five races it is only going to be more interesting, more aggressive, more stress and pressure and go down to the very end I think.”— Staff Writer Tim Haddock covers auto racing for the Daily News. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]— NASCAR NEXTEL CUP Subway 500 Site: Martinsville, Va. Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, noon); Sunday, race (NBC, 9:30 a.m.). Track: Martinsville Speedway (oval, 0.526 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns). Race distance: 263 miles, 500 laps. Next race: Bass Pro Shops MBNA 400, Oct. 30, Hampton, Ga. On the Net: www.nascar.com NASCAR BUSCH SERIES Sam’s Town 250 Site: Memphis, Tenn. Schedule: Saturday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 9 a.m.); race (TNT, 12:30 p.m.). Track: Memphis Motorsports Park (oval, .75 miles, 11 degrees banking in turns). Race distance: 187.5 miles, 250 laps. Next race: O’Reilly Challenge, Nov. 5, Fort Worth, Texas. NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES Kroger 200 Site: Martinsville, Va. Schedule: Friday, qualifying, 1:45 p.m.; Saturday, race (Speed Channel, 10 a.m.). Track: Martinsville Speedway (oval, 0.526 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns). Race distance: 105.2 miles, 200 laps. Next race: Easy Care Vehicle 200, Oct. 29, Hampton, Ga. NHRA ACDelco Nationals Site: Las Vegas. Schedule: Friday, qualifying, noon; Saturday, qualifying, noon. (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m., tape); Sunday, eliminations, 11 a.m. (ESPN2, 5 p.m., tape). Track: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Next event: Automobile Club of Southern California Finals, Nov. 6, Pomona, Calif. On the Net: www.nhra.com CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES Indy 300 Site: Surfers Paradise, Australia. Schedule: Tonight, qualifying, 9:10 p.m., Friday, qualifying, 9:10 p.m., race, 8:25 p.m. (Sunday, Speed Channel, 1:30 p.m., tape). Track: Australian Street Circuit (temporary road course, 2.795 miles, 12 turns). Race distance: 159.315 miles, 57 laps. Next race: Grand Prix of Mexico, Nov. 6, Mexico City. On the Net: www.cart.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Now that the Indy Racing League has forever left the Los Angeles area (or has it?), let’s return our attention to the Chase. When we last left our friends at NASCAR, Tony Stewart was able to regain his lead in the Chase. But a resurfaced Lowe’s Motor Speedway in North Carolina awaited. The new surface took its toll on the stock car tires, claiming Stewart as one of its many victims, and Jimmie Johnson survived to catch Stewart atop the Chase standings. It was Johnson’s fourth win a row at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the fifth of his career. But the latest win was no easy feat, given the track conditions and the Chase standings. Stewart still holds the Chase lead – he has five wins to Johnson’s four this season – with five races to go. Six drivers are within 92 points of Stewart and Johnson. All 10 are within 142. Kurt Busch, the 10th-place driver in the Chase, was able to make up 82 points with his second-place finish at Lowe’s, combined with Stewart’s 25th-place finish. If that were to happen again, Busch would jump into seventh place. More importantly, though, if that were to happen again with Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Mark Martin or Carl Edwards, there would be a new leader in the Chase. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, one of the tiniest tracks the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series visits, is next. Johnson won the October race there last year, part of his four Chase wins to end the season. Even though Stewart has the Chase lead and the tiebreaker with five wins at the moment, it would have to be advantage Johnson for the championship. At the very least, it would have to be advantage Johnson for the race at Martinsville. Not only does Johnson have momentum, he has a better track record than Stewart at Martinsville. In fact, Johnson has a better history than any driver, save perhaps Rusty Wallace, in the Chase at Martinsville. “But it’s tough to carry momentum from a mile-and-a-half track to a half-mile track. It’s totally different,” Johnson said. “Luckily, for us, it’s a track that we’ve won at before. We know how to race there and what to do.” Stewart on the other hand probably wouldn’t mind if Martinsville Speedway burned to the ground. It used to be a track Stewart hated most, but over the years he has learned how to approach it differently.last_img read more

Fossil Frog-amander Claimed to Be Missing Link

first_imgIt looks like a frog with four equal legs and a tail; is it the ancestor of frogs and amphibians?  It depends on whether you read the original paper or the popular press.    Live Science writer Jeanna Brynner is absolutely certain this puts a feather in Darwin’s cap: “the creature represents a transitional amphibian, sporting features of both frogs and salamanders.”  The “walking frog” has fused bones in the ankle characteristic of salamanders, and a wide skull and large eardrum characteristic of frogs.  She quoted Jason Anderson (U of Calgary) who described the five-inch Texas fossil, named Gerobatrachus hottoni, as “kind of an early frog-amander.”  Brynner said the fossil “provides a marker of when frogs and salamanders went their separate ways along the evolutionary path toward modern forms.”  She did, however, quote a team member who remarked that the divergence date according to the fossil’s position in the geological record occurred “much more recently than previous molecular data had suggested.”    What did the original paper in Nature claim?1  Right off the bat, Anderson et al remarked, “The origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia: frogs, salamanders and caecilians) is one of the most controversial questions in vertebrate evolution, owing to large morphological and temporal gaps in the fossil record.”  This indicates that one alleged transitional fossil could only provide a partial solution at best.  They did claim that G. hottoni “bridges the gap between other Palaeozoic amphibians and the earliest known salientians and caudatans from the Mesozoic,” but the paper revealed a number of questions and problems.  First, the specimen appears to be from a juvenile.  We don’t know what the adult form looked like.  Frogs undergo a dramatic transformation from tailed tadpole to hopping adult.  Second, only one specimen was found.  Third, frogs and salamanders already share a great many traits, both being amphibians, and a good deal of diversity exists within both groups.  Add to that the thousands of extinct species, and the result is a lot of leeway in where a specimen might fit into a big evolutionary picture.    The following excerpt illustrates the amount of wiggle room involved in inferring evolutionary relationships:If our interpretations are correct, the preaxial pattern of digital development is either independently derived in Gerobatrachus and salamanders, or primitive in batrachians but reversed in frogs.  Knowledge of development in fossil taxa is always inferential, especially when based on a single specimen, but our speculative hypothesis is testable with a more complete developmental series of either Gerobatrachus or another amphibamid.  A preaxial pattern of digital development has recently been demonstrated in branchiosaurids, which are thought to be closely related to, if not included within, Amphibamidae (Fig. 4), but branchiosaurids lack ossified carpals and tarsals and thus it remains unknown if they possessed a basale commune [fused distal tarsals].  This observation, however, may support the possibility that preaxial development is primitive for batrachians (and more basal amphibamids), and will be the subject of future research.A good deal of the interpretation was thus left to future research.    After the morphological analysis, the researchers performed a phylogenetic analysis.  Human choice also affects the inferences here: scoring and rescoring results, tossing out instances deemed irrelevant or misleading, and selecting what software and algorithm to use.  How much confidence, then, can be placed in their conclusion?  “Thus, the available morphological evidence supports the hypothesis of a diphyletic origin of extant amphibians from Palaeozoic tetrapods, with a separate origin of the limbless, largely fossorial caecilians from within the lepospondyls, whereas Batrachia originates within Temnospondyli.”    The paper ended by estimating the divergence times of frogs and amphibians, given their hypothesis.  They agreed that the fossil evidence and molecular evidence were off.1.  Anderson et al, “A stem batrachian from the Early Permian of Texas and the origin of frogs and salamanders,” Nature 453, 515-518 (22 May 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06865; Received 23 October 2007.We hope this little excursion into how evidence for Darwinism is manufactured was revealing.  The popular press (especially Darwin-loving, creation-hating sites like Live Science) stretches hypothetical possibilities into confident truths.  Get to the source; look at the raw data and see if the inference is justified.    Look how much human tinkering was required to get the data to fit their inference.  Even if one accepts their dating scheme the match is imperfect and subjective.  Without the dating assumption, the fit is almost completely arbitrary.  Any number of relationships could be hypothesized between living and extinct individuals.  Besides, this is just a claim about a missing link within the amphibians.  We don’t see transitional forms between the higher-level taxa.  Where are the clam-frogs, echino-flies, and sponge-worms?  (No fair mentioning lionfish and scorpionfish – those are just fish.)    The bottom line: data don’t jump up and draw Darwin’s tree of life.  Evolutionary trees are manufactured by certain people with biases, agendas and world views.  If you asked G. hottoni if it was a Tree frog, it would just say ribbit.(Visited 26 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

KINGSO 12 Hairdressing hairdressers Butterfly Hair Claw Salon Section Clip Clasps Clamps Barrettes : Happy with the product

first_imgWhat a rediculously excellent discount. I am actually happy with these clips and it may possibly seem hugely remarkable but they have transformed my lifetime. Only girls can realize the discomfort in the bottom condition we are confronted with on a day-to-day basis, we occur to straighten our hair and can not obtain any clips, or we want to tie our hair back whilst we do some type of menial job like washing up (i know, i am so rock and roll ideal) and we cant obtain a bobble or clip for adore nor cash grrrrrrrr. But this is no extra given that possessing these hair clips. I now have masses hanging about the place. I also have a mass of prolonged and extremely thick hair. Till you have hair like this, you cant recognize. I can hardly ever discover clips that can in fact maintain up my hair.The merchandise arrived ahead of the believed day, which i am delighted about. It was also properly packaged and it truly is just as it is on the image. They are also quite sturdy and robust and i do not believe they will break simply.KINGSO 12 Black Hairdressing hairdressers Butterfly Hair Claw Salon Section Clip Clasps Clamps Barrettes100% Brand newEveryday essentials for any hair styling collection, designed for a firm grip of your hair without causing any damage.Made for Girls and Women alike.This great value set offers you a number of quality accessories, which will help you to keep your hair under control and to create amazing hairdos every day.Definitely impressed with these hair separators. Seriously fantastic value thinking of how a lot of you get, they function nicely are not flimsy i have thick hair so essential clips that could independent my hair perfectly and not break – these do the job perfectly.Fantastic benefit for dollars bought these for my sister who has actually long hair and she claims these are great for her so im going to buy a pair for myselfthese were​ sent faster than expected which was fantastic.As i despise the kinks that hair bands/bobbles leave. I have been using them for at least two months now, to clip my hair in a messy bun about the residence, as i despise the kinks that hair bands/bobbles leave. Also observed that when i have washed my hair and it is almost dry i twist my hair into a bun and clip into position. Leave my hair to dry and enable it out of the clip and generates actually good waves and curls in my layered hair.KINGSO 12 Black Hairdressing hairdressers Butterfly Hair Claw Salon Section Clip Clasps Clamps Barrettes : Not really sure what to say, hold my hair fine during straightening. Bought this as a gift for my eleven yr aged sister and so much ive experienced no problems.These seem to be robust sohopefully they’re going to be resilient. They seem to be of truly very good excellent but i guess only time will notify.last_img read more

Gopinath Munde says he is with BJP, scotches talk of shift to Congress

first_imgAfter days of flip-flop over whether he will quit the BJP and join the Congress, Gopinath Munde on Wednesday decided to stick with the saffon party. Munde announced his decision after a meeting with leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. “I’m not leaving the party,” Munde told reporters in Delhi.  Munde also dismissed the reports that he had met Congress leader Ahmed Patel. “I never met Ahmed Patel in my entire life,” Munde said, adding, he would meet other BJP leaders as well. When asked about Munde’s grievances, Swaraj told reporters, “Grievances shouldn’t never be made public.” Swaraj added speculation about his future course pained Munde the most.Earlier, the disgrunted BJP leader from Maharashtra said “I’m in the party”, minutes before he went into a last-ditch meeting with Swaraj. Sources said the two leaders discussed the issues raised by him.Earlier, reports said Munde had held talks with Patel and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan late on Tuesday night.Union minister and former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was said to be playing a major role in trying to bring Munde into the Congress fold.Munde – the BJP’s OBC face in Maharashtra – has been unhappy after being sidelined by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is said to be a rival in the state politics.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more