‘We can save life on Earth’: study reveals how to stop mass extinction

first_imgResearchers analyzed 846 regional ecosystem types in 14 biomes in respect to the “Nature Needs Half” scientific concept that states proper functioning of an ecosystem requires at least half of it to be there.They found 12 percent of ecoregions had half their land areas protected while 24 percent had protected areas and native vegetation that together covered less than 20 percent.The study indicates the tropical dry forest biome is the most endangered. Closely behind it are two others: the tropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, and the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome. All are highly biodiverse, providing habitat for many species.The researchers say while many ecosystems have been highly degraded, achieving 50 percent protection is still possible – if current conservation goals are scaled up. The Earth is losing species at a rate about a hundred times faster than historical (also called “background”) levels. For specific groups, that number is higher still, with research indicating amphibians are going extinct about 211 times faster than they normally should be. This phenomenon is so widespread and profound that scientists think it may be the beginning of the planet’s sixth mass extinction. And, it seems, we humans are driving it.But a new study is aiming to provide a bit of hope. Published last week in BioScience along with an accompanying interactive map, the study was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of scientists that analyzed regional ecosystem types (or “ecoregions”), land cover changes, and protected area extent around the world. Their aim was to figure out just how much land needs to be protected – and where protection efforts would best be focused – if half the world’s habitat is to be safeguarded.Why half? Previous research indicates that around 50 percent of the planet’s land areas need to be conserved to ensure proper functioning of an ecosystem and, consequentially, the survival of the plants, animals and human communities that depend on that ecosystem. Termed “Nature Needs Half,” this concept has been embraced by many in the conservation science community.The 846 ecoregions examined by the study are nested within the planet’s 14 terrestrial biomes. Image from Dinerstein et al., 2017To see how the planet’s faring in respect to that 50 percent conservation goal, the researchers assessed the protection statuses and health of its major ecoregions and assigned them to four categories: “Half Protected” if they had more than 50 percent protection; “Nature Could Reach Half” if they didn’t have 50 percent protection but could achieve that mark through additional conservation efforts. Ecoregions that had between 20 and 50 percent protection and would need restoration to reach 50 percent were assigned “Nature Could Recover.” The group for the poorest-scoring ecoregions was “Nature Imperiled” – these areas had protected areas and natural habitat that together covered less than 20 percent of their land areas.In all, the researchers looked at 846 ecoregions over the planet’s 14 biomes. Overall, they found 12 percent of ecoregions qualified as Half Protected, 37 percent as Nature Could Reach Half, 27 percent as Nature Could Recover, and 24 percent as Nature Imperiled.Their results turned up a few surprises, both good and bad, according to the researchers.First, the good news: Almost 100 of the planet’s ecoregions stand at Half Protected, with another 40 close behind at the upper end of Nature Could Reach Half.“I think the greatest surprise is that at the outset, we already have 98 ecoregions with at least 50% protected–that is 98 success stories,” study coauthor Eric Dinerstein told Mongabay. “Another 40 are very close to that target and a small effort will boost them past that threshold.”Image courtesy of Dinerstein et al, 2017But while Dinerstein, who is Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions at the environmental NGO RESOLVE, said that there were more well-protected ecoregions than he and his colleagues expected, they also found the same thing when it came to the lowest-scoring group.“I did not expect that we would have 207 ecoregions as Nature Imperiled; I thought that number would be more like 150,” said Dinerstein, adding that these poorly protected, degraded areas double as Biodiversity Hotspots – regions home to diverse arrays of plants and animals, but which are highly threatened by destruction. “More alarming is that…the average amount of remaining habitat outside that protected is only 4% of the ecoregion.  So it will take a concerted effort to push these to even 20% protected–a minimum threshold.”Yet even for these areas, Dinerstein expressed a bit of rallying optimism.“But we must do it where we can,” he said. “It’s Easter, a good time to think about ecological resurrection!”And where this ecological resurrection should be aimed, the researchers say, depends on more than just how degraded and unprotected an ecosystem is. They urge that biodiversity be a considered a big part of the equation.The study singles out the tropical dry forest biome as the most endangered, in that it contains the most Nature Imperiled ecoregions. Closely behind it are two others: the tropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, and the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome. All are highly biodiverse, providing habitat for many species.Tropical dry forests are found in places like southern India, where they provide important habitat for endangered wildlife like tigers, dholes, and elephants. The dry forests of northern Madagascar have been extensively logged and cleared for agriculture, and many of their endemic lemurs are threatened with extinction. The tropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome includes the Cerrado in South America, considered the biologically richest savanna in the world; however, most of the Cerrado has been converted for agriculture and only around 1 percent is officially protected. The Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome includes South Africa’s fynbos ecosystem, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet – and of which less than 10 percent remained as of 1999.“In these places, we need to be focused on saving the last remnants in the short term and then massive restoration over the next 30 years,” Dinerstein said in a press release.The study finds only one of Madagascar’s ecoregions is not Nature Imperiled. Image via Ecoregions2017 The golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis) inhabits northern Madagascar’s dwindling dry forests. It is listed by the IUCN as Endangered due primarily to habitat loss. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe researchers write that conservation efforts should focus on these tropical Nature Imperiled ecoregions rather than on those in temperate regions because they, along with the most tropical forests biome, are the planet’s most biodiverse areas. In other words, more species stand to become extinct if these areas continue to be converted.“In contrast, most of the species in temperate grasslands are widespread across those ecoregions and within the [biogeographic] realm within that same biome,” Dinerstein said, adding that “losing 5% more of fynbos habitat in [South] Africa or 5% more of Madagascar moist forests, or 5% more of Cerrado, or 5% more of [Madagascar] or New Caledonia dry forests, would be far more consequential for biodiversity than losing another 5% of the southern shortgrass prairie in the U.S. or Durian steppe.”Currently, around 15 percent of the Earth’s land area is protected, and the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity is aiming to up that to 17 percent by 2020. But Dinerstein and his colleagues say this is not enough. They are calling on world leaders to protect half the terrestrial realm by 2050, proposing a plan called “A Global Deal for Nature” that has four major pillars: expanding habitat protection, respecting indigenous conservation, emphasizing large mammal conservation, and developing technology that would allow for more ecologically conscientious infrastructure expansion.“There is one Earth,” Dinerstein wrote in an accompanying blog post. “We must honor a new-found commitment to save the space necessary to conserve most all of nature’s species, and the processes that sustain life on it—we must create a global safety net for the web of life.“It took 3.8 billion years to create the world we live in; we are now called upon to change course in order to keep it healthy. With enough public support we can generate the political will for governments and local communities to ensure that the 21st century becomes the most hopeful for nature and humanity.”The researchers write that at current rates, the amount of land under official protection increases 4 percent per decade. To achieve 50 percent protection by 2050, they say this rate needs to be doubled to 8 percent. They estimate that increasing protections and restoring degraded land would cost somewhere between $8 billion and $80 billion per year, and could employ people in underemployed rural communities.While this may sound like a lofty goal, the study’s authors and other conservationists maintain it’s a necessary one if important ecological processes are to be maintained and mass extinction avoided.“For the survival of the chimpanzees of Gombe and the rest of life around the world we need to dramatically scale up conservation,” Jane Goodall, renowned primate researcher, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, said in a press release. “This paper provides hope for it not only recognizes that Nature Needs Half it also shows how it is possible.”Dinerstein echoes the sentiment of possibility, saying that “with some restoration– needed for biospheric function as much as biodiversity conservation–the goal by 2050 is still possible.“We can save life on Earth.” Citations:Dinerstein, E., Olson, D., Joshi, A., Vynne, C., Burgess, N. D., Wikramanayake, E., … & Hansen, M. An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm. BioScience.Banner image of a Bornean orangutan by Rhett A. ButlerFEEDBACK: 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 Amphibians, Animals, Deforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Extinction, Forest Destruction, Forests, Grasslands, Habitat Loss, Mammals, Mapping, Mass Extinction, Plants, Rainforest Destruction, Research, Tigers, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

It’s time for the insurance industry to unfriend coal (commentary)

first_imgClimate Change, Coal, Commentary, Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Social Responsibility, Editorials, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Researcher Perspective Series Insurance companies are supposed to protect us from catastrophic risks, and climate change is certainly the most serious risk that human society is facing. In spite of this, the insurance industry plays a critical role in enabling climate-destroying coal projects.Burning coal for energy is the single biggest contributor to manmade climate change, yet more than 1,000 coal-fired power plants are currently in the planning cycle or under construction around the world.In spite of their climate awareness and self-interest, insurance companies continue to be highly involved in financing coal and other fossil fuel projects.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. You can’t drive a car or buy a house without insurance. Likewise, the coal industry can’t get its mines and power plants funded without insurance coverage.Insurance companies are supposed to protect us from catastrophic risks, and climate change is certainly the most serious risk that human society is facing. In spite of this, the insurance industry plays a critical role in enabling climate-destroying coal projects.Every year, coal kills millions of people through air pollution, accidents, and black lung disease. Burning coal for energy is also the single biggest contributor to manmade climate change. Even though better solutions are available, more than 1,000 coal-fired power plants are currently in the planning cycle or under construction around the world. None of these projects can go ahead if average temperature increases are to stay below two degrees Celsius.Insurance companies have a long-term self-interest in avoiding runaway climate chaos, which would make catastrophic weather events completely unpredictable. British insurer Aviva spelled out this threat most bluntly, saying that runaway climate change, if left unchecked, will “render significant portions of the economy uninsurable, shrinking our addressable market.”In spite of their climate awareness and self-interest, insurance companies continue to be highly involved in financing coal and other fossil fuel projects. With assets of $29 trillion under management, insurers belong to the world’s biggest investors. According to a new report by Profundo, a research and advisory firm, Europe’s 15 biggest insurers and reinsurers have invested at least $131 billion in fossil fuel companies.A separate report from Ceres, a group promoting responsible investment, found that the 40 largest insurance groups in the U.S. had invested at least $459 billion in fossil fuels at the end of 2014. U.S. insurers were on average even more strongly invested in the fossil fuel economy than other bondholders.In a rapidly growing movement, more than 700 institutional investors have divested from fossil fuels in recent years, and at least 24 international banks have committed to no longer finance coal projects. The insurance industry is now also waking up to the threat. Seven insurance companies from Europe and Australia — but none from the U.S. — have divested from coal over the past two years.Of course, the core business of insurers is not the investment of their premiums but the underwriting of risk through insurance coverage. In this they are also closely embedded with the fossil fuel industry. According to the new Profundo report, 11 of the 15 biggest European insurance and reinsurance companies continue to be “highly involved” in underwriting fossil fuel projects. Australia’s QBE is underwriting the Adani Group, for instance, which is currently trying to develop one of the world’s largest coal mines in the country.On April 26, France’s AXA was the first insurance company to stop enabling coal projects. The world’s largest insurer announced at its annual general meeting that it would no longer offer property and casualty insurance to coal companies. AXA argued that no longer underwriting coal would be consistent with its divestment from the coal sector.After AXA’s announcement, activists pressed other major fossil fuel underwriters to take the same step. Allianz, the world’s second largest insurer, indicated that it might stop underwriting coal companies in the future, and Italy’s Generali announced that it had sold off most of its $100 million stake in Duke Energy, a major U.S. coal company.When AXA pioneered divesting from the coal sector in May 2015, several major insurance companies followed suit. If AXA’s new underwriting policy can again create momentum in the industry, the climate-destroying coal projects that are still in the pipeline may become uninsurable. Then it would be game over for the coal industry. Coal companies, power utilities, and their investors should take note.Unfriend Coal, a new civil society alliance that includes the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth France, and Greenpeace Switzerland, among others, plans to accelerate the transition away from coal in the insurance sector by asking insurers to adopt policies not to underwrite any new coal projects, to divest any assets from coal companies, and to scale up their investments in clean-job-creating energy companies, instead.Insurance companies have warned about the risks of climate change for more than 20 years, and it is time for them to walk the walk. The world is moving away from coal, and insurance companies need to follow suit. By doing so, they can contribute to their fundamental business purpose: to protect society from catastrophic risks.Cholla Power Plant, a major coal-fired power plant near Joseph City, Arizona. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY 2.0.Peter Bosshard is director of the Finance Program at The Sunrise Project. Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_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

Fighting climate change with compassion, one letter at a time

first_imgDearTomorrow cofounders hope to inspire climate action today by having people write letters their children will open in 2050.The initiative seeks to make climate change more pressing by imagining what the world will be like in three decades.Anyone can write a letter – and Kubit and Shrum have made sure their program accepts people with different political, religious or cultural beliefs. What can you do that transcends climate policy and unites us all in a better, more resilient future? Imagine writing a letter to your children about climate change that they’ll open in the year 2050. What would you want them to know about this pivotal moment in history?Jill Kubit and Trisha Shrum are moms, environmentalists, and cofounders of DearTomorrow, a project that invites people to compose letters, photos, or videos to the children in their lives, to be made available for them to read when they grow up. Anyone can participate.As Kubit says, “I like to think that in 2050 the world looks very different, but it’s not just negative, it’s also positive in terms of better health outcomes, switching away from fossil fuels, livable cities…” In addition to letters written to kids and grandkids, they have letters that are written to “future selves” and also sometimes to nieces, nephews, students, future generations, communities, and more (see Jill’s TED Talk here).Shrum and Kubit co-founded DearTomorrow with the goal of engaging people on the topic of climate change through the universal values of family, love, and legacy, and hope to generate 10,000 messages that reach more than 20 million people.AN INTERVIEW WITH TRISHA SHRUM AND JILL KUBITKayla Walsh for Mongabay: What motivated you to start DearTomorrow?Trisha Shrum: Two and a half years ago, I went to a climate and energy conference in Iceland to give a talk on how to leverage insights from behavioral economics to broaden support for climate change policies: how do we get beyond the idea that climate change is distant, vague, and unconnected with our day-to-day lives?With those ideas swimming in my head, the words from another talk sparked the idea of DearTomorrow. Christiana Figueres, the head of the UNFCCC climate negotiations, ended her speech with a powerful story of a dream she had where the children of the future look at her and ask, “You knew about climate change. What did you do about it?” On the plane ride home, I wondered what I would someday tell my own daughter, who was ten.Jill Kubit, cofounder and director of DearTomorrow (left) and cofounder Trisha Shrum (right). Photo Credits: Mustafa Onder and Matt Nager respectively.On the flight home, this question echoed in my mind. I wanted my daughter to know what I did. And how I felt. And what I had not yet done. So I opened my laptop and wrote her a letter. When I wrote that letter, I realized that to my daughter, I am not small and powerless. To her, I am the most powerful person in the world and it is my job to protect her. While I wrote, it hit me. This could be the answer to my question I explored in my talk. Looking back from the future might reduce our problem of global procrastination. Parental love is a universal value with a uniquely empowering frame. Writing and sharing letters like these could reach and activate millions.When I got back home, I met Jill Kubit and together we created DearTomorrow. We’ve gained amazing traction as people feel the unique power of this project.Jill Kubit: I’ve been working on climate change since around 2006 and for the first seven or eight years I basically worked in the trade union movement on climate change… A lot of the work was around building bridges between organizations, doing coalition building…. I’ve always had this sort of people-centered understanding of climate change. I would hear that we need to make this [energy] transition by the year 2020 or 2030 or 2050 but I always thought those years or timeframes were really far in the future – until I had my own kids.I have a son; he was born in 2013 and when I had him I really started to think about those years and the transitions we have to make in a much more personal way. I got involved in [DearTomorrow] at the end of 2014 and I wrote my letter to my son in the spring of 2015.  In 2020 he would be in first grade. In 2030 he would graduate high school and then in 2050 he would be about the age that I was when I started this project. I thought about the types of changes we needed to make and the short timescale in which we needed to make them…In thinking about climate change through my own son’s life and what his life was going to look like when he grew up, I had a different experience in terms of how I thought about the issue…I really started to think about if other people who were parents and grandparents and teachers, or people who had nieces and nephews, and if they started thinking about the issue in terms of people who they loved who were younger than them – could that motivate them to be more engaged and take more action on the issue?Trisha Shrum at a demonstration in Paris during the Paris Climate Talks in December 2015.Mongabay: How many letters have you received? Jill: We have 609 messages published, including 453 letters, 144 photos, and 12 videos.The archive is a very important part of the project and we want to make the entire collection of letters, photos and videos publicly available in the years 2030 and 2050. But, since we don’t know how people will receive and share information during those years and what kind of technology will be available, we are working with archivists to think through how we are going to store the data and transition it from now until 2050. We are also working to identify an institution or multiple institutions that are interested in holding the collection, as we believe it will be a historical documentation of how people thought about climate change during this important period of time (2015-2020). We want to preserve this collection for the year 2050 and beyond.Mongabay: Why are you concerned about climate change, personally? Trisha: One of the most terrifying courses you can take in college is Introduction to Environmental Science. It is eye-opening and frankly quite depressing to learn about the massive impact we are having on the planet that is here to support the only future we have. So I am concerned because I’ve spent the last 15 years studying climate change and I know that literally everything is at stake.Now that I am a parent, this concern is crystallized: my daughters will inherit that future. I want to give them the best possible chance at a happy, healthy life. I hope they can someday snorkel in vibrant coral reefs and not worry about how the air they are breathing might be harming their unborn child. But at a minimum, I want them to have the resources they need to live.Jill: I understand where we’re headed. I’m not a scientist, but I’ve worked in the field long enough to understand what kinds of negative implications are happening, actually right now in places, but are also projected to happen in the future. Understanding that through the lens of my own kids has been very personally motivating for me. Having my own child and thinking about it through his life, moves thinking about the problem in an intellectual way to thinking about it in an emotional way and that’s very powerful. It changes it from something in your head in terms of data, statistics and science to thinking of it in terms of the heart, in terms of emotions and why this is important.Mongabay: How old will you be in 2050 and what do you think the climate will look like? Trisha: In 2050 I will be 68 years old. My daughters will be 36 and 33. Long before 2050, I think any trace of doubt in whether climate change is real will be erased by the world we see around us. But I hope that I’ll live to see the other side: when the climate begins to grow more stable. If we take strong actions today, then we can start to reverse the damage and bring the climate back into a safe zone for our kids and grandkids.Jill: In 2050 I will be 74. It’s hard to predict what the world will look like, because I think we know what it will look like if we continue business as usual. We’re pretty much on course to pass [a two degree Celsius global temperature increase] by 2050. If that happens, scientists predict increased storms, drought, floods, and more severe weather…If people can’t farm and live in the places they currently live in then people will be forced to move to other countries or locations within their countries. People often think one degree or two degrees…that’s not really big, but we’re talking about changing our water systems, the amount of food that’s available, having land where people can no longer live. I think the bigger problems are around water and mass migrations. And that creates bigger questions around political instability.We actually do have the solutions that we can be putting in place to make a transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and we’re in a period of time right now where we’re making a choice to either continue business as usual (which we know is kind of scary) or take this amazing opportunity to make a transition and put the policy and practices in place to make this transition.I like to think that in 2050 the world looks very different, but it’s not just negative, it’s also positive in terms of better health outcomes, switching away from fossil fuels, livable cities…We don’t spend enough time really envisioning what a positive 2050 could look like. Part of the [DearTomorrow] project is to get people to put themselves in the year 2050 and to look back on the present and imagine having a conversation with your own child in the year 2050 and having them ask you, “What did you do?” And instead of asking the question, like, “Why didn’t you do anything?” I envision my own child would ask me: “What was it like in a world where there was fossil fuels? What was it like to live before this massive transition that we took and what role did you play in making this happen?” or “What did the world look like when people used gasoline and what did a gas station look like?”Mongabay: Do you feel that since you’ve started this project you’ve had a more hopeful outlook on where we could be in 2050?Jill: It has changed my perspective in terms of meeting so many interesting and engaged people who are not only leading organizations, but I’ve met so many people who have day jobs who volunteer their time on climate change. They’re so passionate about the issue… They’ve opened up and expressed in a very personal way how they feel and that’s kind of what keeps me very hopeful – the depth that people feel when they really understand the choices that we’re making now… It really motivates me to continue this project. I think I’ve been most surprised by the relationships I’ve formed with people who’ve participated.Screenshots of letters posted at DearTomorrowMongabay: Trisha, you told Grist, “When people write to their own children, instead of envisioning the apocalypse, they envision a better path – a future I would want to leave for my kids.” Why is this positivity important? What can it do for the climate movement? Trisha: If you want to grab someone’s attention, fear works. But if you want to hold someone’s attention, you must also have hope. When we build a tangible vision from today’s polluted world run by fossil fuels to a future run by clean energy, then we can get people to walk down that path with hope and an understanding that they are fighting a winnable fight.Mongabay: How can DearTomorrow reach people who aren’t impacted by climate change or don’t perceive themselves to be impacted by climate change? Jill: There are people currently impacted by fossil fuel development or by climate change and those people have important stories to tell – either about living in areas that have drought, or living on coasts that are impacted by storms, or living next to a fossil fuel plant, or in Appalachia by mountaintop removal. Those stories are all very important. But, I think it’s important for us to understand that we can’t wait for everybody to be impacted before we take action. It’s really important to address this distance that most people feel around climate change. Most people in the U.S. understand it as an issue that is happening, but happening somewhere else in another place or in the future. It’s hard to connect their everyday actions and political beliefs to something that feels very distant from them.The DearTomorrow project is trying to address this distance that people feel by getting people to think about it in terms about their own children and grandchildren. I think the power of the project is not to necessarily ask people to become environmentalists, but to ask people to build off the beliefs and values they already have. People care about their children, families, legacy and climate change is part of that. We’re trying to connect the values of protecting your family, protecting their kids, and protecting their future (and their future is really at risk because of climate change). Therefore, part of protecting the people that we love – that are younger than us – is putting in place the policies and practices that provide for a safe and stable future for them, and that’s the value that DearTomorrow has.Mongabay: Let’s get political – How does the Trump Administration – particularly pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord – inform your work at DearTomorrow? Jill: It doesn’t have an impact on the day to day of DearTomorrow because we’re not a political organization that’s responding to policies that are being passed. But, it does point to the need for us to have a conversation about why climate change is important and to get past the political divide that we’ve created in this country. We support the Paris Agreement, but our project is trying to address the underlying problem – that this issue has been politicized and that we continue to argue about whether or not this is a problem. The Paris Agreement is important because it recognizes the need to make a transition away from fossil fuels and to keep [global] warming well below two degrees. The decision made by President Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Agreement is only possible because the issue of climate change has become so polarized that it is often still seen as a liberal issue.For me, this decision underscores the need to reframe climate change not as a political issue, but as a personal one. We think our project can help tell the story about why climate change is important for people regardless of ideology or political affiliation, because ultimately we have shared values – parenting and family – that can reach across political and social boundaries. We think the values we connect to around parenting and family and legacy – those are values that exist in all communities. This is a project that people from all different communities can participate in and connect to.Mongabay: How do we talk about climate change to conservatives, skeptics, or religious groups? Trisha: Traditional environmental messaging about pandas and polar bears has been effective with the small segment of the population that identifies as environmentalists. Fear-based messaging works for a short time to get the rest of the population to pay attention, but eventually that fear turns to denial or apathy unless there is also a pathway of hope.If you try to get people to set aside their deeply held identities and values and take on your own, your outreach will backfire. But if instead you work to understand where they are coming from and understand what motivates them and gives their lives meaning – then you can start to build bridges. DearTomorrow appeals to universal values of legacy, family, and love, those values across social, political and geopolitical boundaries. And the love a parent has for their child is the most powerful force on the planet.The other unique power of DearTomorrow is that it helps to amplify the stories of hundreds of different people who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and belief systems. Those messages resonate with different people for different reasons. But the connection to a trusted messenger helps motivate those who have not yet viewed themselves as the kind of person who takes action on climate change.Jill: I would start by saying that there’s already a lot of great organizations and visionary leaders doing work around climate change in those communities. There’s faith-based efforts, business efforts, Republican efforts [to] change how their communities think about climate change. I think the value of DearTomorrow is not to tell people what the correct way to talk about climate change is, but to give people a platform to create their own narrative and share their own stories within their own communities. We want to provide a place where Catholics, Evangelicals, business leaders, environmentalists, environmental justice people, Republicans and Democrats can create their own stories and share those stories within their own communities – instead of creating a prescriptive narrative for everyone to follow. I think it’s more empowering to give people the tools to create and share their own narrative. I think our project is something that’s very easy for people to use and organizations to use, because it’s an idea and a place where people can write stories, read stories, and post their own. Really anybody with a computer or smartphone can do the project.Mongabay: How does the Voter Pledge Work? Jill: People want to take action. Our basic philosophy is that people should take on a commitment that’s important to them in their own lives, so we don’t have any parameters over what people should do. In the photo part, we ask people to take pictures of themselves, write down one commitment that they’re willing to make – something new for the next year, like installing solar panels, eating less meat, riding your bike more, attending community meetings, or calling representatives. They commit to taking this action by writing it down and they take a picture.Jill makes a pledge for DearTomorrow’s archive.At the same time, the changes that we have to make are profound, so we do need major changes in terms of policy and business practices. So, when we’re offering people one suggested action, we’re saying that voting is actually a really important action to help make these major policy changes.On the site, we identify one thing we think it’s unanimously important for people to do, and that is [to] vote. We partnered with the Environmental Voter Project (EVP) which…gives people information about the elections in their area. It gives reminders for midterm elections and local elections where people might actually be less inclined to vote. The reason why voting is really important is because climate change in the past is considered to be a very low priority voting issue and the EVP has identified that there are 15 million environmentalists out there who don’t vote.Mongabay: What’s on the horizon for DearTomorrow?Jill: Our goal for 2017 is to have 2,000 participants and in 2020 our goal overall is to have 10,000 participants but then to reach more than 20 million people through those 10,000 messages. We’re generating this very rich content that we then want to distribute in a variety of different channels through art, radio, newspapers, public events, and exhibits that get the word out to a larger group of people.Mongabay: What’s one letter that really resonated with you? Trisha: I love this letter because it is so honest and so normal. This guy seems like a great dad. But he isn’t a superhero Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist. He’s a regular guy who has a vision for the future he wants for his kids and he is willing to stand up to do the simple things in his life to make the future a reality.Jill: I read all of the letters and there’s so many of them that are really moving. One of my favorite parts of my job is to actually go through the material and read people’s stories. It’s super motivating to understand the depth of how they care about climate change. One of my new favorite letters was written by a coral reef researcher in Australia…she witnessed all the coral bleaching that’s been taking place and she had this realization that because her son is only three years old – and he has to be ten before he can scuba dive with her – she isn’t sure where she will actually be able to take him SCUBA diving.And so she’s telling me this story – she’s almost crying – and I’m getting emotional because our sons are close to the same age. It’s the idea that this is something in her life that’s so important to her and she doesn’t know if she’ll get to share that with her son because of climate change. I connected with her because both our kids are about the same age, but also with this idea of passing down memories and places and things that we love about life, and there’s a question of if we will be able to do that.The whole point of the project is to get people to think about climate change in a much more emotional and relevant way. I think that there’s a power to if we all have experience growing up and things that we love – and those are things that we want to share with our kids and our grandkids that are disappearing or changing. When we think about climate change in that way, it actually does impact us. And in addition to scary projections of “what the world could look like if we don’t take action,” we’re forgetting about the memories or places we love that potentially are lost or at risk… and I think those things are very important to us as we define our lives.Read messages to the future and submit your own at http://www.deartomorrow.org 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 Maria Salazarcenter_img Climate Activism, Climate Change, Conservation, Environment, Extreme Weather, Food, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming, Impact Of Climate Change, Interns, Interviews last_img read more

Animated animals: can games engage an audience with a conservation message?

first_imganimal tracking, data, Education, Funding, GPS, handheld, Technology, Video Games, Wildtech Video games that incorporate new data visualization technologies offer an alternative channel to communicate the ecology and the plight of wildlife to an otherwise untapped audience.An online game called Safari Central will combine real tracking data from animals in the wild with augmented reality, creating virtual avatars of these namesakes.Though still unproven, games also offer an unconventional business model to support wildlife conservation programs through small in-game purchases by a potentially huge audience. As technology for data analysis and visualization improves, online gaming could turn out to be a valuable tool for conservation education, advocacy, and funding. Its role in promoting positive change for nature and humanity has been debated, and its potential in helping biodiversity conservation even formally researched. However, this potential has not yet been fully realized, despite games’ global popularity.The games market is enormous: more than 2 billion people play video games worldwide. Newzoo’s latest Global Games Market Report estimates that game revenues reached nearly US $100 billion in 2016, mostly from digital games. The report expects mobile (smartphone and tablet) gaming alone to generate $46 billion in 2017.Pokémon Go screenshot showing Doduo character superimposed on a city park. Image credit: Pokémon GoIn the United States, consumers spent more than $23 billion in 2015 on games, $16 billion in content alone, despite the relative low cost of digital games, which often cost less than $5. Over 150 million Americans play video games, yet fewer than one-third of adult millennials in a Pew Research Center survey considered themselves environmentalists.Digital games and real nature Astute citizen science fan Morgan Jackson saw the potential in the globally successful Pokémon Go game in getting people outdoors looking around their environment. Pokémon Go encourages players to find and collect computer-generated augmented reality (AR) figures (the Pokémon) that are superimposed into their smartphone camera views at specific places and in certain environments.He developed #PokeBlitz, a Twitter hashtag that has connected players searching for the cartoon Pokémon who also encounter and photograph real wildlife with qualified experts who have identified these real animals.Similarly, existing online apps, such as iSpot and iNaturalist, encourage users to post photo observations of animals and plants that the greater community helps to identify, with kudos given to those who respond and identify reliably.Playing #PokeBlitz, a Twitter hashtag that encourages people to share photos of the real animals they find while playing Pokemon Go to inspire interest in the natural world. Photo credit: Melissa in San Diego through #PokeBiltzA 2014 study of games’ potential for biodiversity conservation concluded that “there is great potential for conservation to take more advantage of digital games, provided that conservation games are developed in collaboration with game design specialists, have specific rather than general aims, target a specific and conservation-relevant audience, and (above all) are fun to play.”Fun is key. Youth in America today are far more likely to spend leisure hours playing online or on their mobile phone than outdoors.Merging high technology with human’s love of animalsFor many people, the colorful, larger-than-life nature of cartoon Pokémon monsters are more exciting and accessible than real animals. Moreover, the data that wildlife scientists painstakingly collect on animal movements and behavior are generally accessible only in published scientific papers or short news articles, often years after they were collected.To tap into the online games craze on behalf of wildlife, the Internet of Elephants (IoE) is creating games that combine AR technology, data analysis tools, and real animal tracking data with the animals’ personal stories and the active participation inherent in games to engage this hitherto untapped audience.Video Playerhttps://imgs.mongabay.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2017/07/19110731/5e5649e6d8e22d18ad198678096bf260_h264_high.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Lola, on the left, the real rhino from Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, inspired the creation of Lola the augmented reality rhino, on the right. Video credit: Internet of ElephantsIoE’s first game, called Safari Central, maps out the movement data of the tagged wild animals in a player’s own city. AR experts created Safari Central’s virtual animals, which mimic real ones and allow players to follow the seasonal travel routes of their living namesakes, without having to leave their home town.Similar to Pokémon Go, as a player, you try to locate the virtual location of one or more animals by physically moving to where they are, or where you anticipate they will be, and following clues that appear in the app. You can then spot and photograph the AR animated animals through the mobile phone app.An augmented reality elephant parades down a real city street using the Safari Central app. Image credit: Internet of ElephantsUnlike Pokémon, the AR animals move around based on the tracked movements of their counterparts in the wild. The better you understand how they move in the wild and how that relates to how they move in your city, the better you will get at knowing where to find them.IoE’s objective in this and future games is to use data visualization technologies such as AR to bring to life the animal movement data contributed by scientists and, as Gautam Shah, founder of the IoE, said, “to connect millions of people currently not engaged in conservation with wildlife projects across the world.” Article published by Sue Palminteri 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 Players track movements of real animals, superimposed into their own city, and use clues to find them in the augmented reality mobile game, Safari Central. Image credits: Internet of Elephants“Most people simply read about poaching epidemics or loss of habitat thousands of miles away from where it is actually happening,” explained Shah. “They react with sadness but rarely stay actively engaged or understand what is in their power to impact. Our intention is to change that through the use of interactive games and education that take advantage of already existing data on real wild animals.”Naming the individual animals creates empathy for their well-being, as demonstrated by the outpouring of emotion and outrage regarding the death of Cecil the Lion.In using games to introduce a huge audience to individual animals with personalities,” said Shah, “We see an opportunity to use [field] data to keep people more engaged with these same animals, to create a vested interest in their lives, and in the process generate publicity and revenues for the conservation organizations conducting the research.”“This is just the first game. There are many other ways that the data can be used,” he added.Video Playerhttps://imgs.mongabay.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2017/07/19113336/Lola-meet-Lola.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Lola the animated rhino can walk in and out of a laptop computer screen to meet her wild counterpart. Video credit: Internet of ElephantsIoE has developed the initial set of animated animals that will star in a preview app launching in August 2017.  The preview app is free to explore, photograph, and “meet” the animals. The group is launching a crowdfunding campaign to fund the full Safari Central game, which is expected in mid-2018.Fundraising potentialDeveloping and selling new commercial games could potentially generate huge returns from new conservation donors, but development requires specialized design and programming skills and marketing know-how that come at a high cost (US$1-$60 million, Kotaku 2014). Moreover, the market is extremely competitive, limiting the likelihood of success for a given new game.Online games, which are often played by many users at once, can host markets for virtual goods and services that players purchase with real or virtual currency. Games may be able to raise funds through an invitation to make a charitable donation or through in-game purchases of virtual items that are useful for the game, such as clothing or accessories for a character to improve his or her chances for success.Augmented reality characters such as Amelie the elephant could serve as both species ambassadors and fundraising agents. Photo credit: Internet of ElephantsIn the case of Safari Central, a player may want to pay for clues on where the animal has been recently, with larger payments offering information on movement patterns that is more recent or over a longer period.Another option would be the chance to chat with an expert on a given species or to learn enough about the species to build a following and offer clues on where one might find it.Players could even pay to customize the spatial scale of their experience, from the expert version of the game that covers the hundreds of hectares of a given animal’s movements to a condensed version that fits the movement patterns within a neighborhood park for children or for a specific event.A potential downside of this approach is if the purchase suggestions interrupt play or generate funds without transparency of what they will be supporting. IoE partners with several conservation groups that study and monitor the various tagged animals. These and other groups that contribute tracking data receive donations from the in-game purchases players make on behalf of their respective animals.30 days of elephant movement data, in the Kenyan savanna and in the urban jungle of Chicago, U.S.A. Image credit: Internet of ElephantsCan tech make learning fun and inspire change?Games and other applications that encourage participation have been used as alternative teaching tools.A small but growing cadre of ‘serious’ games encourage learning about real-world issues, promoting positive change, and consequences of decision-making under various scenarios.Schools are increasingly using games for teaching: a survey of school teachers found that in 2015, 48 percent used games in the classroom, an increase from the 23 percent that said they did so in 2010. Environmentally oriented games exist that challenge kids to clean up a city, find lost animals, or protect baby tortoises.“Games are great at immersing the user into the experience because s/he participates in, and not just watches, the action,” said IoE’s Shah in an interview with Mongabay-Wildtech.Nevertheless, he continued, “It’s your choice whether you want to be educated or not….You’re playing the game because it’s an awesome game, not because you’re trying to do good. The do-good is an added bonus.”In Clim’way, you create a climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through alternative energy sources and changes in consumption.In Monkey Mayhem, you find fruit and guests for a monkey’s party while staying out of trouble. Screenshot credit: Kratt Brothers Company, Ltd.Several conservation groups have developed nature-themed games for kids to promote ecological and conservation awareness, without commercial expectation, including:Defenders of Wildlife Kids’ PlanetNational Wildlife Federation’s Games for KidsWorldwide Fund for Nature games and appsPublic Broadcasting Systems Wild KrattsScience Game Center’s games for schoolsDespite admiration for several of these games and various citizen science efforts, such as Snapshot Serengeti, Shah lamented that conservation-inspired games have not seen commercial success. “Other non-conservation-related commercial games are who we are really competing against.”“With the right mechanism for hooking and engaging the audience, we believe we can multiply the number of wildlife enthusiasts around the world, and at the minimum provide new, fun ways to be entertained while contributing to wildlife conservation at the same time,” Shah said.Some real elephants at a water hole in Botswana. Games may help non-scientist players better understand wildlife resource needs and movement behavior. Photo credit: Sue Palminterilast_img read more

Mothers vs. loggers: the destruction of Białowieża Forest splits Poland

first_imgReferences:Schama, S. (1995). Landscape and Memory. New York, New York: Vintage Books.Six, D. L., Biber, E., & Long, E. (2014). Management for mountain pine beetle outbreak suppression: Does relevant science support current policy? Forests, 5(1), 103-133. Article published by Maria Salazar Activism, Biodiversity, Bison, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecosystem Services, Ecosystems, Environment, Forests, Hunting, Interns, Logging, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A bark beetle outbreak has led Polish officials to begin large-scale logging across old-growth Białowieża Forest, home to bison, wolves and a rich cultural history.The logging is opposed by everyone from scientists to the UN to the European Commission to a group of mothers concerned about the world their children will inherit.The European Commission has recently declared that all logging should cease. In a recently logged clearing outside Krakow, Poland, a woman sits on a tree stump, nursing her child. She looks down affectionately, her purple knitted cap and magenta jacket vividly defined against the subdued brown hues of the surrounding arboreal graveyard. She is not alone. Several other women are dotted about the clearing, sitting on tree stumps of their own. Each mother holds a child in her arms. These are the women who speak for the trees.Matki Polki na wyrębie or “Polish Mothers at the Felling” is a grassroots group of local mothers formed earlier this year to protest newly intensified logging practices that are slashing their way across the Eastern European country.The Polish Mothers at the Felling protest deforestation by feeding their children on tree stumps in recently-logged clearings. Photo credit: Tomasz Wiech.In March 2016, Polish environment minister Jan Szyszko green-lighted a three-fold logging increase in Białowieża, the largest of Europe’s last old-growth forests. This January, a logging amendment nicknamed “Szyszko’s Law” went into effect, allowing private landowners to cut down any tree on their property without giving permission or notice of any kind.“[Forests are] part of our culture and our heritage, and our pride,” said Daria Gosek of Polish Mothers at the Felling. “Sadly instead of preserving them, foresters more and more often are pursuing profit and a wish to earn money from selling timber, and cutting them down.”Logging now continues at breakneck speed, threatening to snuff out all but the 17 percent of Białowieża currently protected as a national park. Szyszko has shown no sign of slowing down, saying that “man has not only the right, but the duty, to use natural resources.”The European Commission, the United Nations, and many Polish citizens, scientists, and NGOs disagree, at least in this case. Białowieża is a UNESCO World Heritage site, protected as a Natura 2000 site, and has been labeled as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. UNESCO describes the forest as “an irreplaceable area for biodiversity conservation, due in particular to its size, protection status, and substantially undisturbed nature.”Logged woodpiles within the Białowieża UNESCO World Heritage site in April. Photo credit: Metselaar, J. & Grishchenko, M. via Wikimedia Commons.In the Spring of 2016, the non-profit environmental law organization ClientEarth lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission against the logging in Białowieża. The Commission found that Poland was in breach of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, and gave the country one month to respond to a final warning this April.On July 13, the Commissions deemed Poland’s response insufficient and recommended an immediate ban on logging in Białowieża, referring the case to the EU Court of Justice.Local citizens and NGOs are turning up the heat as well. Throughout May and June, protestors from Greenpeace and Wild Poland have chained themselves to logging equipment. On June 7, the Polish Mothers at the Felling hand-delivered a report outlining their concerns to the Pope in Rome. On June 24, over 5,000 people marched against logging in Warsaw.The forest is an invaluable site of biodiversity, ecosystem services and a living time capsule of Polish culture and tradition spanning hundreds of years. Time and again, through war, occupation, and hardship, the forest has emerged with its ancient ecosystem and essential identity intact. Białowieża’s iconic megafauna, the European bison (Bison bonasus), was brought back from the brink of extinction thanks to the animal’s unique connection to Polish nobility. Now, this more than 10,000-year-old forest is facing potentially its biggest threat yet.Founder Cecylia Malik (left) and other members of Polish Mothers at the Felling travelled to Rome, children and tree stumps in tow, to deliver a report on environmental degradation in Poland to the Pope. Photo credit: Matki Polki na wyrębie.Journey to the land of treesEuropean history is taught as a story of human development. A tale of power struggles settled with swords and gunpowder on the battlefield or waged in whispers behind castle walls. We learn of plagues and death, of scholars and enlightenment. We learn of formidable fortresses and expansive cathedrals, and of tentacles of power that creep out to the south, east, and west.However, all these stories of expansion, discovery, and conflict do not exist in a vacuum. They have been set on a stage green with trees. While forests are never cast in leading roles, they have always been there. Europeans sailed their trees across the sea, used their branches to keep warm through harsh winters, and built cities full of wooden houses. Royal families developed elaborate hunting rituals under their canopies, and villagers gathered mushrooms, nuts, and berries to nourish their families. Many of the fairytales and myths we know today emerged from somewhere deep in the heart of a European forest.Of course, as land changed hands and wars were fought, Europe’s carpet of forest has changed shape and form. No landscape has a truly static character, and Europe’s forests have gone through many transformations, both natural and man-made. The Middle Ages were particularly hard on forests, as many were converted to farmland. During World War I, pockets of forest were squeezed and wrung out, as desperate armies stripped the land for food and fuel.Where fragments of forest remain, however, a woodland landscape can replenish over time. The trees might be smaller and more homogenous, the animals they shelter diminished, but they will recolonize the land given the chance.One particular European forest, however, has not simply recolonized, but persisted and even flourished. The near-pristine interior of Poland’s Białowieża Forest, with towering 500-year-old trees, toppled trunks carpeted with mosses and lichens, and lurking lynx (Lynx lynx) and wolves (Canis lupus lupus) is like something out of a Brothers Grimm fairytale. It owes its near-magical state, in part, to Polish nobles, who fancied themselves as wild and untamable as the forest itself.Białowieża: a fairytale land ruled by human hubrisThere is a crisp chill in the air. It is autumn in Białowieża, and leaves crunch underfoot as a hunting party trudges forward, picking its way around fallen oaks and and soggy bogs. After a time, the trees give way. The party has reached its destination: a natural clearing at the heart of the wood, where an artfully designed hunting pavilion awaits. One thousand “beaters,” encircling the clearing, have already fanned out on all sides. They now move purposefully inwards, doing the work of spooking today’s targets out from amongst the tree trunks. Silence descends, and exhilarated breaths steam the air. Then, suddenly, a snorting, hump-backed beast lumbers into the clearing. There is a distinct crack. Maria Josepha, Queen of Poland, has just shot her first bison of the day.Such a scene occurred on September 27, 1752, when King Augustus III and his queen visited Poland, and was a common one for this period of Polish history. In retreating to their wooden hunting lodge deep in the wild forest, Polish nobility could cast themselves as the fierce warriors of old.The Polish love affair with bison, in particular, can be traced at least as far back as the 16th century. Writings from the time depicted the bison as a wild and ferocious beasts harking back to prehistoric times. The bison, and the dark and unruly forest it called home, were both feared and revered for their tenacity.As time went on, and courtly manners and lavish dwellings became the norm in 18th century Europe, the forest and its mysterious denizens became a favorite retreat. In Western Europe, the royal hunt was increasingly regulated by a variety of rules and ornamental trimmings, using dogs specially bred for tracking or attack. In unruly Białowieża, however, each hunting party stuck to the basics: a gun, a hunting horn, and a pack of loyal hounds.Because of Białowieża’s near-sacred quality and importance to these hunting rituals, the mythology of its untamable nature was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Many forests at the time were developed, but Białowieża remained as wild as ever – minus a substantial number of bison and elk.Then, at the turn of the 19th century, foresters turned their gaze to the primeval woodland. Baron von Brincken was the man put in charge of the forest in the early 1800s, and though he had ambitious plans to turn it into a grand timber plantation, the writings he left behind betrayed his awe of the forest. He fell hardest, of course, for the bison. He showed his love like a scientist, by observing, counting, measuring, and dissecting them. He even tried to move a population out of the forest, but finally determined that only Białowieża’s unique ecology was suitable to the reclusive beast.Artist’s depiction of a bison in Białowieża, as displayed in the 1828 memoir of forester Baron von Brincken. It was common to depict bison as fierce and unpredictable. Public Domain.Somehow, with logging and development closing in on all sides, the very heart of Białowieża remained untouched through the 19th century. Then came World War I.The global conflict was especially hard on Białowieża. The forest was stripped for parts, partitioned into firewood, building materials, and game; all romantic notions were crushed by desperation and scarcity. The European bison, the forest’s fierce protector, went extinct in the wild in 1921, after limping along for a few final years after the war. But Poland was proud of its bison, and had been gifting them to zoos for years. A biologist reintroduced the animals to Białowieża in 1929, and soon after, part of Białowieża was declared a national park. The forest had survived its first brush with total annihilation.Artist’s depiction of a successful bison hunt in Białowieża in 1894. Bison were hunted in the forest up until their extinction in 1921. Photo credit: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.Białowieża’s second brush with annihilationToday, about ten percent of the spruce trees in Białowieża Forest’s UNESCO world heritage site are infected with a bark beetle outbreak. Bark beetles are known throughout the world as a scourge on forests, eating their way through the bark of trees, laying their eggs, and leaving death and destruction in their wake.Polish environment minister Jan Szyszko has claimed that those speaking out against the current three-fold logging increase in Białowieża don’t understand that it is necessary to save the forest from the beetles. Recently, Szyszko publicly declared that the forest’s UNESCO status was illegal and detrimental to forest management objectives. Another member of the Law and Justice Party, Jadwiga Wisniewska, has called Poland’s ecologists and environmental NGOs “false defenders, who would allow the forest to rot away before our eyes.”However, only half of the trees being targeted for logging are spruce. And some scientists argue that bark beetles can actually be highly beneficial to forest ecosystems.“The forest has continuously existed here for 11,800 years, and experienced tens or hundreds of bark beetle outbreaks,” said Rafal Kowalczyk, director of Poland’s Mammal Research Institute. In fact, an outbreak is “one of the natural processes that speed adaption of the forest to climate change.”Diana Six, one of the world’s foremost bark beetle experts, agreed.Pygmy owl in Białowieża. Photo credit: Cezary Korkosz.“I don’t know of any instances where logging has actually shut down an outbreak,” she said. “You have to get between 85-90 percent of the beetles to have any impact, and that turns out to be logistically impossible.”One of the main issues in attempting to manage an outbreak is that bark beetles are a symptom of a wider problem. In the case of Białowieża, drought conditions have weakened the trees, lowering their natural defenses and giving the beetles an opportunity to move in.“It is scary to me that people are suggesting that in order to protect a place like this [old growth forest] they have to go in and begin to manage [it],” Six said. “It doesn’t sound to me like the entire focus here is on trying to protect the forest.”A European Commission fact-finding mission came to that precise conclusion before issuing their final warning. A Commission spokesperson stated that the Polish government’s new measures “exceed those necessary for ensuring the safe use of the forest and are not compatible with the conservation objectives.”Over 40 percent of the logging is currently taking place within the Białowieża UNESCO World Heritage site, in which many animals, lichens, mosses, and fungi are dependent on dead and rotting wood for survival. The three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) and white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) can only live in old-growth forests with plenty of dead wood to nest in and bark beetles to eat. Predators rely on dead wood littering the forest floor to slow their prey, and bats rely on old trees for shelter.“The forest is characterized by high biodiversity thanks to dead wood,” said Kowalcyzyk. “Logging dead spruce and taking them out will destroy habitat for many organisms…and take out millions of invertebrates.”Dead and decaying wood is a crucial part of the old-growth forest ecosystem of Białowieża. Photo credit: Jarosław Krogulec.Along with bark beetles, Catholicism has played a major role in shaping the rhetoric around increasing forest management. Szyszko has advocated for management in accordance with what he sees as man’s God-given right, as stated in the Book of Genesis, to “fill the Earth and subdue it.”At a conference co-hosted by the Ministry of Environment this May, Tadeusz Guz of the Catholic University of Lublin called environmentalism “atheistic, materialistic and nihilistic neo-communism” and compared environmentalists to Nazis.This is why, in June, the Polish Mothers at the Felling traveled to Rome.“We wanted to show that Catholicism is caring for nature, not chopping down trees ­– because [Pope] Francis wrote about this in his environmental encyclical,” sad Gosek. “We waited along with our children in St. Peter’s Square and the Pope drove up to us, blessed our children, and took the report.”The Mothers are desperate to try anything that might save their country’s forests. “We are on the threshold of an environmental disaster,” said Gosek. “Polish towns are already among the most polluted in Europe, and we have a huge problem with smog. Trees are our most important allies.”Today, primeval forests no longer stretch across the European continent, casting comforting shadows that hold the promise of food, shelter, fuel, and fresh, clean air. The few remaining are holed up, fenced in, driven back to small pockets of land. Here, they make a final stand. The same notion of human progress they made possible is now slashing and burning them out of existence. If these forests are destroyed, their memories and vast wealth of biodiversity and ecosystem benefits will vanish forever.“The Białowieża Forest is the last European island of primevality, it is our great heritage and responsibility,” said Kowalczyk. “We have to protect it.”European bison were protected as “royal beasts” by the kings of Poland until the late 18th century. Today, about 800 bison call the forest home. Photo credit: Jarosław Krogulec.A three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) in Białowieża. This species of woodpecker, along with the white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), is highly dependent on dead and decaying wood. Photo credit: Frank Vassen via Wikimedia Commons.last_img read more

HydroCalculator: new, free, online tool helps citizens assess dams

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer 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 Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, China And Energy, Climate Change and Dams, Community-based Conservation, Conservation Technology, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, electricity, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Flooding, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mekong Dams, Monitoring, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Research, Rivers, satellite data, Saving The Amazon, Technology, Technology And Conservation, technology development, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation, Wildtech center_img With mega-dams planned globally, especially in the Amazon and Mekong, the Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF), an NGO, has developed a new free tool for evaluating a planned dam’s economic viability, greenhouse gas emissions and more.The HydroCalculator estimates the net economic value of a proposed dam, with and without the cost of greenhouse gas emissions factored in, number of years required before a project generates a profit, and years until net emissions become negative.The tool has been used by CSF, International Rivers, and a development bank and found to be very useful. Its forecasts have been tested against the economic viability and carbon emissions of existing dams, and found accurate.The HydroCalculator is meant for use by communities, researchers and activists who are often closed out of the technical dam planning process. It is available free online. Belo Monte dam under construction in 2015. A new tool, developed by the NGO Conservation Strategy Fund, aims to make the decision-making process behind dam construction more transparent. Photo by Pascalg622 used under a CC BY 3.0 licenseMega-dam construction is booming around the world, with promoters hyping hydropower as a green, renewable source of energy and a means of curbing climate change. But as these dams are built in the Amazon, Mekong and elsewhere, they’re doing great environmental and social damage and their green credentials are no longer adding up.For example, high quantities of greenhouse gases are released from submerged soil and rotting vegetation, and from turbines and spillways, especially in the tropics, meaning that dam projects are often not the environmentally-friendly option they seem. But assessing the various impacts of dams, alongside their economic viability, is a complex task, and the decision-making process behind a dam is rarely transparent.Now, a new tool has been developed with the aim of making this kind of assessment more open and available to all. The free HydroCalculator tool, developed by the NGO Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF), is accessible online and is easy to use. The tool’s developers, CSF founder John Reid and CSF researcher Thaís Vilela, hope it will allow “a broad group of citizens, researchers and policymakers, to foresee and monitor the economic and environmental consequences of hydropower projects.”The HydroCalculator’s end output offers a clear presentation of the net economic value of the dam under consideration, with and without the cost of greenhouse gas emissions factored in; the number of years required before the project generates a profit; and the number of years until net carbon emissions become negative.Thousand Island Lake in China, the result of a dam built in the 1950s on the Xin’an River. Greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs are substantial, and the newly available HydroCalculator tool incorporates the cost of carbon emissions into calculations of dam economic feasibility. Photo by Bryan Ong on Flickr, under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licenseReid was inspired to develop the HydroCalculator tool after carrying out numerous cost-benefit analyses of dams, and finding that many such projects “threatened ecosystems and didn’t deliver much economic benefit,” he said. “I wanted to make it easy for other people to do this sort of analysis.“For too long, environmentalists had tacitly accepted that it was none of their business to weigh in on the economic merits of big construction projects. That’s nonsense,” he continued. “The tool is part of a bigger effort to make nature’s advocates real players in large public investment decisions.”Vilela says the number of projects which aren’t financially feasible “is surprising,” and that “transparency in the decision-making process is our main goal.”To use the tool, accessed via CSF’s website, the user inputs key project data, including the size of the area to be flooded, the vegetation types that will be submerged, projected costs, dam generating capacity, and the price at which the electricity will be sold.Default values for several factors, such as vegetation carbon content, the wholesale price of energy, and the energy discount rate, are available online if specific details are unknown. All of the dam project analyses that have previously been carried out can also be consulted on the website.A graphic depiction of major factors influencing greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric dams. Dams and their reservoirs are a major source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Figure from Vilela and Reid (2017) under a CC BY 4.0 licenseReid and Vilela validated the tool against in-depth, peer-reviewed studies of Amazonian dam impacts, and found that their simplified methodology produced comparable results. Although the precise results varied, the relative costs and benefits of different existing Amazon dams, and their economic feasibility, was similar. The inclusion of the cost of greenhouse gas emissions had both positive and negative effects on the economic feasibility of different dams, they found, but did not change the overall feasibility for any of them.Recent scientific studies have shown how important hydropower dams are as a source of methane, something largely overlooked in dam impact assessments. Methane is far more potent than CO2, but it also degrades more quickly: over 100 years, methane has an effect more than 30 times stronger than CO2, but this increases to 86 times stronger when considered over a period of 20 years. This shorter timeframe is what really counts, scientists say, given the urgency with which CO2 emissions need to be curbed to prevent catastrophic global warming.As a result, the incorporation of accurate greenhouse gas emissions estimates was key to the creation of the HyroCalculator. That “required installing a global map of carbon density, figuring out the emissions from each country’s electricity mix, and finding a formula for reservoir-based emissions that can work for any project,” said Reid. “The difficulty with emissions points to the central challenge with any web-based analytical tool: precision versus practicality.”The Tucuruí dam spillway on Brazil’s Tocantins River. Greenhouse gas emissions from dams include amounts released when water is aerated in turbines and spillways, but this carbon source has not yet been figured into the HydroCalculator, making the tool’s current emissions estimates conservative. Photo courtesy of International Rivers on flickr under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licenseIn the name of practicality and ease of use, the Hydrocalculator does make some minor concessions to accuracy. Emissions from turbines and spillways, for example, were excluded from this version of the tool, because there’s greater uncertainty around these sources, said Vilela. As a result, the calculator’s emission estimates will be conservative, for now, but CSF is planning to add these additional sources into future versions.The HydroCalculator has been well tested. It has been used by CSF for some time, and other organizations, including a development bank and International Rivers, an environmental NGO, have also employed the tool in their research.Sarah Bardeen, of International Rivers, said their staff has “found the HydroCalculator to be useful in assessing a [dam’s] economic viability when we have limited information about a project.”“The HydroCalculator shows that hydropower is far from carbon-neutral, and helps users calculate a ballpark estimate of greenhouse gas emissions from a dam’s reservoir,” Bardeen added. “This is important, because it puts information about reservoir emissions into the hands of affected communities, who are often shut out of the opaque planning processes around hydropower projects.”The Santo Antônio dam on the Madeira River in Brazil, part of the Madeira Hydroelectric Complex. A wave of dam development across the Amazon basin, if carried forward, could do irreparable harm to freshwater and forest ecosystems, say scientists. Large dams obstruct the flow of sediments and nutrients from headwaters to lowland floodplains, disrupt natural flood cycles, impede animal movement and migration along river channels, and drive deforestation. These impacts are currently beyond the HydroCalculator’s ability for assessment, though all figure into the ultimate cost of any dam. Photo by the Brazil’s Growth Acceleration Program (Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC)) on flickr, used under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licenseBoth Bardeen and the CSF team emphasize that the tool should not be used in isolation, but as part of a broader assessment process. “Hydropower is a notoriously complex and risky power source to build, and there really isn’t a tool that can capture and show all the environmental, social and economic consequences of building a dam,” Bardeen explained.Assessing the tradeoffs of hydropower development should be done through “deep analysis of primary data and listening to the people who would be affected,” agreed Reid. “The HydroCalculator just lets you take a first step along that path.”Major environmental risks of dams — such as the direct and indirect impacts to biodiversity, effects on aquatic and terrestrial wildlife connectivity, and reduction in a waterway’s nutrient and sediment flow — along with the consequences to local communities, must all be carefully weighed against the benefits of a proposed dam. Though, at present, none of these risks are tallied by the Hydrocalculator. Still, the tool goes a long way toward empowering dam project-impacted communities, the experts said.The Tucuruí dam as seen from the air. The new free Hydrocalculator offers a useful technical tool for communities, scientists, academics, and activists who are assessing proposed dams in the Amazon, Mekong and around the world. Photo by Bruno Huberman courtesy of Repórter do Futuro under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licenseIn the Amazon, where mega-dam projects are slated for many of the basin’s rivers, scientists fear that harm from dams will be irreversible. There, Indigenous people and traditional river communities are fighting to protect their sacred lands and livelihoods. And untold numbers of species still not described by science are at risk.“Communities protecting their lands and waters need all the help they can get to evaluate the impacts of proposed hydropower projects. In the Amazonian context, this tool is another arrow in their quiver,” Bardeen said. “But bad hydropower projects go forward for many reasons — and in Brazil, corruption, graft and authoritarianism have the tendency to steamroll reason and science.”The global debate around hydropower “is likely to intensify as pressure grows to meet expanding electricity demand and rein in greenhouse gas emissions,” Reid and Vilela conclude in their paper. Tools such as the HydroCalculator can help provide the knowledge needed to navigate that debate.Citation:Vilela, T. and Reid, J. (2017) Improving hydropower choices via an online and open access tool. PLOS One 12: e0179393FEEDBACK: 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

Protecting Antarctica beyond 2041: an interview with polar explorer Robert Swan

first_imgExplorer Robert Swan is the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles unassisted.Those expeditions inspired him to dedicate his life advocating for the protection of polar landscapes, with a special focus on the preservation of the Antarctic as the planet’s last great wilderness.Swan institutionalized that ambition with the founding of 2041, a foundation named for the year in which the Madrid Protocol comes up for renewal.Mongabay caught up with him in Singapore where he was speaking at Temasek’s Ecosperity Week ahead of his next expedition to the Arctic. Explorer Robert Swan is the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles unassisted. Those expeditions inspired him to dedicate his life advocating for the protection of polar landscapes, with a special focus on the preservation of the Antarctic as the planet’s last great wilderness. Swan institutionalized that ambition with the founding of 2041 (2041foundation.org), a foundation named for the year in which the Madrid Protocol comes up for renewal. The Madrid Protocol designated Antarctica as “a Natural Reserve Land for Science and Peace” and barred mining and mineral exploration on the icy continent until 2041.Swan now travels the world introducing audiences to the wonders of the Antarctic. Mongabay caught up with him in Singapore where he was speaking at Temasek’s Ecosperity Week ahead of his next expedition to the Arctic.Robert Swan during the 2017-18 South Pole Energy Challenge. Courtesy of the 2041 Foundation.AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT SWANMongabay: What prompted your passion for wild places? Robert Swan: This all began for me at the age of 11 as a school boy. I recall watching films of the real polar explorers during the Heroic Age of Exploration at the end of the 19th Century. These explorers were the equivalent of superheroes for me.Mongabay: What brings you to Singapore? What are your plans for ClimateForce: Arctic 2019? Robert Swan: My objective for being in Singapore was to deliver two keynotes at Ecosperity 2019: from Ambition to Action and in support of Temasek. Many years ago I became the first person in history to walk to both the North & South Poles unassisted. My firsthand experiences inspired me to dedicate my life to the Polar Regions, with a special emphasis on the Antarctic. For the ClimateForce: Arctic 2019 Expedition, I really tried to focus on having Team Members walk away with an unforgettable and hand-on experience. One of our main goals is to provide unique and academically stimulating opportunities to visit some of Earth’s most remote and at risk regions. Perhaps most importantly, we educate and empower to build champions of change. It is so important to return home and continue the momentum… these Regions need our help. Quite interestingly this paralleled the conference theme entirely ‘from Ambition to Action’.With the finalists of the CDL E-Generation Challenge. The two winners went on the recent expedition with him. Courtesy of Temasek.Robert at a fireside chat with Anthea Ong during the Ecosperity Dinner. Anthea went on last year’s Antarctica expedition with Robert. Courtesy of Temasek.Mongabay: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen over the course of your expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica? Robert Swan: Changes will continue to occur but there’s nothing more profound than literally witnessing the firsthand effects of climate change: melting ice caps and walking under a hole in the ozone layer before it was even discovered. These experiences changed my life forever and inspired me to found the 2041 Foundation.Robert sharing about his journey at the Ecosperity Conversations session on 6 June. Courtesy of Temasek.The group photo is from the International Antarctic Expedition (2015) dockside in Ushuaia before heading south for the Antarctic peninsula. Courtesy of the 2041 Foundation.Mongabay: The trends from the poles to the tropics to the world’s deepest trenches seem pretty dire. What gives you hope? Robert Swan: The youth of today continue to inspire me and teach me new lessons. In fact, one of the most intimidating lecture one can ever deliver is to a classroom of school children… nevertheless, I’m continuously impressed by the youth and their relentless fight for our planet’s wellbeing.Trekking during the 2017-18 South Pole Energy Challenge. Courtesy of the 2041 Foundation.Mongabay: What is the message you most want people to take away from your exploration and advocacy? Robert Swan: People need to recognize that dreams can come true and that small actions together can result in mass change and movement.Mongabay: Do you have any advice for young people who may wish to follow in your footsteps? Robert Swan: My biggest piece of advice for people of all ages and at all company positions is that: only full commitment will really make anything happen. It’s really that simple.Robert Swan is on Twitter at @robertswan2041. His TED Talk.Portrait of Robert Swan, OBE. Courtesy of the 2041 Foundation. Article published by Rhett Butler Climate Change, Environment, Green, Impact Of Climate Change, Interviews center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

New roads in Papua New Guinea may cause ‘quantum leap’ in forest loss

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon Animals, Biodiversity, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Community Development, Conservation, Deforestation, Development, Economics, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forest Carbon, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Global Warming, Green, Hunting, Illegal Logging, Infrastructure, Logging, Over-hunting, Poaching, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Communities, Roads, Saving Rainforests, Sustainable Development, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation 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 Papua New Guinea intends to nearly double its existing network of roads between now and 2022.A new study raises concerns about the impacts of building these roads through tropical forest environments on local communities, sensitive habitats and vulnerable species.The authors of the paper, published July 24 in the journal PLOS ONE, suggest that the country would reap more benefits and avoid future debt by investing in existing roads, many of which are largely unusable because of flagging maintenance. Papua New Guinea hopes to nearly double the length of its road network by 2022, posing grave threats to more than 50 parks and biodiversity-rich areas, according to a new analysis.The country, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and a smattering of islands in the South Pacific, is home to a vast bank of tropical rainforest that covers some 328,000 square kilometers (127,000 square miles) — an area about half the size of Texas. These forests seethe with species found nowhere else on Earth, such as the hedgehog-like eastern long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bartoni) and several species of tree kangaroos — along with massive amounts of carbon locked in the lush vegetation and soil.But Papua New Guinea’s plans to add more than 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) of roads in the next few years, as part of broader efforts to lift the country out of poverty, could seriously endanger that natural wealth, a team of scientists cautions in a new paper published July 24 in the journal PLOS ONE.Road construction in a mountainous area of New Guinea. Image by William Laurance.“That’s fair enough. They need roads. They need economic development,” Mohammed Alamgir, the paper’s lead author, said at the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Kuala Lumpur ahead of the paper’s publication.But, “The new roads will create many deforestation hotspots for rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands, sharply increasing greenhouse-gas emissions,” Alamgir, an environmental scientist at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, said in a statement.Research has shown that roads open up previously remote areas to logging, agriculture and hunting, leading to dwindling carbon stocks and pushing vulnerable species closer to extinction.To understand the impacts of Papua New Guinea’s push for road construction, Alamgir and his colleagues compared the government’s development plans with satellite maps showing areas of intact and degraded forest in the country. They also plotted out the locations of parks and reserves, peatlands, and potential or current mining sites, along with the steepness of the slopes throughout the still mostly forested highlands.Much of Papua New Guinea contains steep, wet areas where roads are exceptionally expensive to build and maintain. Image by William Laurance.The team found that Papua New Guinea stands to lose 3,080 square kilometers (1,190 square miles) of the large blocks called core forests because they’re more than 600 meters (1,970 feet) from the forest edge. The roads will also carve out another 3,740 square kilometers (1440 square miles) of “connectivity forests,” which form critical corridors that allow the movement of species faced with threats such as impacts from climate change.More than 300 kilometers (186 miles) of the planned roads will also traverse around 680 square kilometers (263 square miles) of peatlands, around half of which stretch 4 or more meters (13 feet) down — in other words, they’re the most carbon-rich of Papua New Guinea’s swampy carbon sponge.The project “will lead to a quantum leap in forest loss and loss of connectivity, and substantial areas of peatland forest,” tropical ecologist and co-author William Laurance, also of James Cook University, told Mongabay.That’s concerning, Alamgir said, because so many of Papua New Guinea’s 8 million people depend on forests in some way. As with many such infrastructure projects, he said, the roads are unlikely to benefit the majority of the population.New Guinea is home to a great diversity of unique wildlife, including cassowaries. Image by John Manger.“A few politicians and land developers are getting very rich, but the rest of the country suffers — with traditional communities potentially losing their forests, fisheries, and clean water,” Alamgir said in the statement.Indeed, he said, the team’s work shows that several of the roads will go to areas nearly devoid of people. Instead, proposed mining concessions lie along some stretches, hinting at the value of these conduits to companies involved in extracting resources like gold and copper from the country’s interior.One specific stretch, known as the Epo-Kikori “missing link,” slices through dense-canopy forest. It alone would, by the team’s calculations, lead to the loss of nearly half of the core forest associated with the project. It also cuts across one of the last blocks of relatively undisturbed lowland rainforest known as Kamula Doso. The researchers argue that leveraging the high levels of carbon that this rainforest contains through a scheme such as REDD+ — short for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation — could benefit local communities while keeping the forest standing.Road in steep terrain in New Guinea, which is highly prone to landslides. Image by William Laurance.Additionally, many of the roads will be built in Papua New Guinea’s highlands, where steep slopes and copious annual rainfall will drive up the amount of investment required for construction and upkeep. Alamgir and his colleagues suggest that investment might be more prudently directed toward repairing and upgrading rather than expanding the existing road network.As things stand, many of the roads that already exist in Papua New Guinea aren’t currently well maintained, raising serious questions about the value of expanding the network so aggressively.“Two-thirds of PNG’s existing roads are nearly unusable,” Laurance said. “Why spend a fortune building new roads that you can’t maintain? If history is a guide, they’ll be big money-losers and will create years of social and environmental crises.”Banner image of a Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) at Melbourne Zoo in Australia by Richard Ashurst via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonEditor’s note: William Laurance is a member of Mongabay’s advisory board.Citation: Alamgir, M., Sloan, S., Campbell, M. J., Engert, J., Kiele, R., Porolak, G., … Laurance, W. F. (2019). Infrastructure expansion challenges sustainable development in Papua New Guinea. PLOS ONE, 14(7), e0219408. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0219408FEEDBACK: 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

Chilean band Newen Afrobeat sings of a future it hopes to see

first_imgActivism, Archive, Arts, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Interviews Article published by Erik Hoffner 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 Santiago, Chile-based band Newen Afrobeat’s songs are infused with themes to do with ecology, indigenous and women’s rights, and cultural understanding.Heavily influenced by Afrobeat, the musical style made famous by Nigeria’s Fela Kuti, Newen is fronted by a powerful trio of women singer/songwriters.Mongabay interviewed percussionist and Newen co-founder Tomas Pavez from his home in Santiago. The music of the Chilean band Newen Afrobeat is a vibrant mix of musical cultures, an energetic take on the Afrobeat musical style made famous by Nigerian star Fela Kuti with a Chilean sensibility that’s supported by a large horn section and an array of percussionists.The group has collaborated with members of Kuti’s extended family and toured around the Americas, with a recent highlight being a “stunning” set at this summer’s Montreal International Jazz Festival, as noted in a wide ranging interview with award-winning National Public Radio show Afropop Worldwide.Their three albums released to date celebrate the environment, indigenous rights, women’s empowerment, and multiculturalism with incredible energy, soaring vocals, and tight musical direction, which piqued the interest of Mongabay, so we reached out to percussionist Tomás Pavez to learn more.Pavez was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1987. A self-taught musician, he plays clave (jam blocks, wood blocks, and cowbell), Kpalongo-style Nigerian drums, and shekere. A co-founder of the band with Chilean composer/singer Nicolas Urbina in 2009, he has seen the band develop into the inspired unit we see today.The band enjoys shooting videos in nature and is known for costumery that’s both symbolic and whimsical, both in videos and on stage. Still image from video for Newen Afrobeat’s song Cantaros. Screenshot from Cantaros music video by Alejandro Espinoza and Marcela Toledo.Mongabay: You combine influences like Fela Kuti and Afrobeat with your Chilean sound and style, why is that cultural celebration important?Tomás Pavez: It is so important because of the times we are currently living in, where everything merges. We have to carefully embrace culture as a whole rather than creating separation. Things happening in Chile are not in reality apart from what essentially goes on in the rest of the world.Indigenous peoples and their struggle for rights are referenced in songs like Chaltumay, whose video was made at a historic conflict zone between the Mapuche people and the Chilean government. Why?Yes indeed, it is an ongoing struggle since colonial times. Back then it was about Spaniards conquering the land, nowadays it’s about territorial and cultural respect, so traditions aren’t lost because of private interests overtaking beautiful landscapes, as featured in the Chaltumay video.Chileufú eternal river land of poets / this land breathes ancestral wisdom / by force of hand and rifle / they snatch these territories / According to supposed favorable agreements / For whom? we asked / And why? / When did ambition devour the root?How has the Chilean State treated the Mapuche?They don’t recognize limits, and sacred lands where families have lived through centuries are taken away to make way for hydroelectric dams or logging companies.Why does Newen Afrobeat talk about ecology in its music?We see nature as a getaway from the fast city life, we really need it as a connection to our roots and as a reminder that we have to be awake to make changes for a better quality of life.Why did you personally become interested in the environment?When I was little I always liked to go hiking with my father, and as I grew up I got to appreciate nature more by learning how to grow food, learning about plants and their needs as living beings.The song Cántaros is a celebration of feminine energy and water as a life-giving element. Why was the video recorded by the dry Copiapó River?There is an environmental issue with the Copiapó River. The mining business is a big thing throughout Chile, mostly in the north, but it needs too much water. So this river is starting to dry up.We are pitchers that sing / we are crock pitchers that dazzle / mammalian fireflies, biological nature / Little ivory light that dances with the moon / magic goldfish of fresh and pure water / fertile garden rose / seed that gives life / Blood delirious with passion / trace of rebellionOther themes in your music are equality, migration, and women’s empowerment. Are your fans supportive of these issues?Yes they are, it’s the reality around the world. Everyone has a right to live without feeling discriminated against, and women have always fought for better and equal conditions. Sharing knowledge of this is [about] revolution.Do activists use your music to raise awareness?Some do give recognition to certain song lyrics, and most people like very much our first album’s opening audio track, where José ‘Pepe’ Mujica, the former president of Uruguay, talks about having a futurist outlook on our actual human conditions.What are other important themes of your music?Taking a good look at us as human race, recognizing what the past has taught us, so we do not keep doing the same things over and over.See more videos at Newen Afrobeat’s Youtube channel and hear more music at their Bandcamp page. Tomás Pavez, percussionist with Newen Afrobeat. Image courtesy of Leonardo Benavente.Banner image: the band during shooting of the Chaltumay video, image by Alejandro Espinoza and Marcela Toledo.last_img read more

Une alpiniste française gravit l’Everest et le Lothse à la suite

first_img“Zone de la mort”L’alpiniste originaire de la Drôme (sud-est de la France) redescend actuellement du camp 3 et devrait être de retour samedi au camp de base de l’Everest. Au moins deux sherpas l’accompagnent.Le grand public avait découvert Élisabeth Revol l’année dernière à l’occasion d’une opération de sauvetage haletante sur le Nanga Parbat, un 8 000 pakistanais réputé pour sa dangerosité, dont elle tentait de réaliser une ascension hivernale. Son compagnon de cordée polonais Tomasz Mackiewicz y avait perdu la vie. De retour en France, elle avait été soignée intensivement pour tenter d’éviter une amputation, notamment du pied gauche, due aux gelures. La Française avait exprimé sa “colère” contre la lenteur des secours, difficiles à organiser au Pakistan.Sept personnes ont perdu la vie ces derniers jours sur l’Everest, où le grand nombre d’alpinistes provoque de dangereux embouteillages de plusieurs heures en “zone de la mort”.LQ/AFP L’alpiniste française Élisabeth Revol, rescapée d’une expédition hivernale tragique au Nanga Parbat l’an dernier, a grimpé l’Everest et le Lothse à la suite, a annoncé vendredi l’organisateur de son expédition.“Elle est parvenue au sommet de l’Everest hier et a atteint le haut du Lhotse ce matin”, a déclaré Rishi Ram Bhandari de l’agence Satori Adventures. Quatrième sommet du monde, culminant à 8 516 mètres d’altitude, le Lhotse est adjacent à l’Everest.La Française comptait effectuer ces ascensions sans recourir à des bouteilles d’oxygène, mais son opérateur ignorait dans l’immédiat si elle avait été en mesure de le faire. “Il est possible qu’en raison de l’affluence sur l’Everest (qui a provoqué des embouteillages), elle ait eu besoin d’en utiliser dans la descente du sommet de l’Everest. Je ne suis pas en mesure de confirmer pour le moment”, a-t-il indiqué. Partagerlast_img read more