‘Much deeper than we expected’: Huge peatland offers up more surprises

first_imgcarbon, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change, Climate Change Negotiations, Deforestation, Featured, Forest Loss, Forests, Global Warming, Habitat, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Primary Forests, Rainforests, Research, Roads, Tropical Forests Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Morgan Erickson-Daviscenter_img Scientists recently discovered the world’s biggest tropical peatland in the Congo Basin rainforest of Central Africa. The peatland straddles the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo.Roughly the size of England, the massive peatland is estimated to contain more than 30 billion metric tons of carbon — equivalent to three years of global fossil fuel emissions.When the scientists went back to investigate the peatland further, they discovered the peat along its edges is deeper than they thought. This means it may contain more peat — and, thus, more carbon — than they originally thought.The scientists are racing to learn more about the peatland as loggers move to fell and drain the forests above it to make way for roads and developments like palm oil plantations. Meanwhile, local communities are hoping for greater protection of the region as government officials try to drum up more support for conservation initiatives at this week’s UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Lokolama barely registers on atlases and maps. The small Pygmy village, home to a few hundred people, lies deep in the Congo Basin rainforest 48 kilometers (30 miles) south of the equator. It has a dilapidated church that doubles as a primary school, a single television set, a few rice and vegetable fields, and a dirt track that is impassable when it rains.But last week the remote community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was put on the world map when international scientists, government officials and forest campaigners from three continents camped for two nights on its edge in order to conduct research and confirm the presence of one of the world’s most important carbon sinks.Fieldwork in the swamps of the Cuvette Centrale region in the neighboring Republic of Congo (ROC), and four years of analysis of satellite imagery by Leeds University scientists Simon Lewis and Gretta Dargie revealed that Lokolama sits on the edge of what is now believed to be the world’s biggest tropical peatland. Their study mapping the extent of the peatland was published in the journal Nature earlier this year.The recently discovered peatland is believed to be the largest tropical peatland in the world. Image courtesy of Dargie et al., 2017.View from the village of Lokolama at sunset. A team from Greenpeace Africa are working with local partners to conduct scientific research in the village of Lokolama, 45 kilometers from Mbandaka. The team aims to identify the presence of the tropical peatland in the region, and to measure its depth. Photo by Kevin McElvaney/Greenpeace.The newly discovered peat deposits lie below the vast swamp that begins just a few hundred meters from Lokolama and stretch nearly 322 kilometers (200 miles) north and both sides of the Congo River. Covering an area of around 155,000 square kilometers (59,800 square miles), the peatland is around the size of England. Lewis and Dargie estimate it may store 30.6 billion metric tons of carbon, equivalent to around three years of global carbon emissions.Their discovery has been welcomed by scientists, environmentalists, governments and local communities. They say that the peatland’s huge store of carbon increases the urgency to protect its overlying rainforest, and could also give two of the poorest countries in the world access to global climate funds.Deeper than expectedPeat forms in the tropics over thousands of years because plant matter like leaves and roots cannot decompose in permanently waterlogged ground. It is a carbon storage powerhouse, sequestering up to 20 times more carbon than other types of rainforest soil.Despite its vast size, the peatland shared between the DRC and ROC was barely known to science even five years ago. Now, scientists are racing to learn more about it as loggers move to fell and drain the forests above it to make way for roads and developments like palm oil plantations.“We know that this vast new ecosystem exists; now we’d like to know how it works,” said Lewis, who with Dargie and Congolese botanist Corneille Ewango went to Lokolama to take samples from the forest floor to gauge the depth of the peat.Congo Basin Experts from the UK and DRC take samples from the peatland. Photo by Kevin McElvaney/Greenpeace.After collecting samples, the team measured their lengths to determine the peatland’s depth. Photo by Kevin McElvaney/Greenpeace.After two days of probing, the three scientists announced that the peat was 3.7 meters (12 feet) deep at the peatland’s edge — nearly as deep as its center in the ROC. This could mean there is much more peat than was thought, but more field research is needed to know for certain.“It is much deeper than we expected so close to the swamp edge,” Lewis said. “It confirms the satellite maps and models and shows the need to do more research in DRC. We now need to spend more time on the ground to get more data.”The scientists are hoping to learn more than just how deep the peat is. Even basic information about the formation and nature of the peatland is lacking, and they say its carbon storage capacity needs to be investigated more thoroughly.“There are so many questions still to answer,” Dargie said. “We don’t know how the hydrology of the swamps works or where the water comes from. We suspect it comes from rainfall but don’t know the depth of the peat deposits, or how much methane and CO2 they hold.  We think, but we don’t know, that these deposits [in the DRC] are more carbon rich, but less deep than those north of the river [in the ROC].”Lewis, a professor of global change science, wants to raise around $5 million to research the peatlands more fully. He says time is of the essence.“This is a precious moment because the peatlands are practically intact. They are so vulnerable to logging, roads, large-scale agriculture,” he said.Lewis said he and his team would like to involve paleoecologists and climatologists in the next round of research, as well as DRC universities and local PhD students.“Peat is a record of what has happened and they could build a mathematical model of how it has developed over 10,000 years and then predict its future with different climates and temperatures.”More peatland, more protection?The discovery has also excited the DRC government. Under constant pressure from environmental groups like Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation in Britain to better protect the second-largest rainforest in the world, after the Amazon, the revelation that some of its remotest lands are vital to the global effort to avoid climate change is a source of national pride and gives the country added leverage in ongoing climate change negotiations.A proposal to protect a much smaller area of Peruvian Amazon peatland has already attracted attention from the UN’s Green Climate Fund. However, a DRC government official told Mongabay that a transboundary application by the DRC and ROC to protect and sustainably develop their more extensive peatlands could attract much more money from conservation groups, governments and the UN.As a measure of the peatland’s importance to the DRC, President Joseph Kabila last week sent Joseph Katenga, his forests adviser, to Lokolama with Greenpeace campaigners and the scientists. Within days, Environment Minister Amy Ambatobe proposed setting up an official unit to oversee future management of the peatland.“The management of the peatland will become very important. It will determine how [it] will be managed and who would be involved,” Ambatobe said. “This work is to be done with technical partners and donors, civil society and local community.”Joseph Katenga, forest adviser to the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, accompanied scientists to Lokolama. Photo by Kevin McElvaney/Greenpeace.Meanwhile, in the Republic of Congo, the government has said it plans to extend the area of protected swamp by expanding the Lac Tele Community Reserve by up to 50,000 square kilometers (19,300 square miles).But protection alone is not enough, Ambatobe warns. He said it must be balanced with responsible development that will help ensure local communities aren’t adversely affected.“When we talk about protecting forest, we should not only talk about climate change; but also about protecting the forest for the benefit of communities [who] live in the forest,” Ambatobe said.The structure of the management unit has already been established, according to Ambatobe, and it will be presented at the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) taking place this week in Bonn, Germany. But he and Katenga stress that funding is still needed to make it functional.“This is very important to us. But it all comes down to money,” Katenga said. “We need partners. Its existence can change everything.”Illegal logging and other threatsAll central African countries have laws protecting their forests and peatlands. However, logging companies working in remote locations commonly bribe authorities and fell forests at will. Greenpeace, which identified several illegal logging operations in 2016, doubts whether the DRC government has the resources or ability to protect its peatland.“There is a huge lack of transparency and accountability,” says Raoul Iyaba, Greenpeace Africa coordinator. “I would say that all the concessions that include peat lands are illegal.”The DRC government, backed by the French Development Agency (AFD), is currently seeking to lift a 15-year moratorium on new logging concessions and increase the pace of commercial logging.This, say Greenpeace and other environmental groups, directly threatens the just-discovered peatland. According to the Rainforest Foundation U.K. (RFUK), most of the DRC’s logging concessions are illegal and many overlap the peat swamp forest. The organization warns that if the moratorium were lifted, it would open more than 10,000 square kilometers (3,860 square miles) of forest to logging. And if this area is logged, the RFUK estimates it could release around 2.8 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere.Photo by Kevin McElvaney/Greenpeace.Greenpeace says around half of the DRC’s currently allocated logging concessions are in breach of the law and is calling for them to be shut down and returned to the state.“Legally, forestry concessions contracts are automatically terminated if, within four years of its signature, the concession does not have a management plan approved,” said Matt Daggett, Greenpeace International forest campaigner. “This has been extended by one year, but in March 2017, 29 out of 57 had exceeded their deadline.”But not all see logging as incompatible with conservation of the DRC’s forests. The Norwegian government maintains legal commercial logging can go hand in hand with protection of the peatlands, and that banning logging would not be enough to stop it.“It would be ideal if the banning of commercial logging was sufficient to save DRC’s forests,” the Norwegian government said in a recent statement. “However, according to the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), an estimated 90% of all logging occurs illegally in the informal sector outside of the logging concessions.“How can DRC, a poor nation abundant with natural resources, meet its growing demand for timber, food and charcoal in a sustainable manner, short of importing expensive wood from Europe? A solution must be comprehensive and include efforts against illegal logging while simultaneously promoting sustainable forestry.”Norway is committing $200 million in funding to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), which seeks to protect the region’s rainforest and is backed by the governments of the EU, U.K., Brazil and other countries. However, the CAFI has come under fire by conservation organizations like the RFUK and Greenpeace, which say it is promoting the establishment of more logging concessions on DRC peatland.“We urge [the DRC] government not to issue logging concessions which have peatland areas inside,” said Greenpeace’s Daggett. “If they are destroyed as a result of land use change or drainage, the carbon would be released as billions of [metric tons] of CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.”Residents of Lokolama welcome the international expedition team on their arrival.  Photo by Kevin McElvaney/Greenpeace.For Lokolama and other communities living close to the peatland, the discovery of a colossal carbon sink on their doorstep offers some hope of much-needed development and recognition of their land rights.“We protect the forest and depend on the swamp for fish and fuel,” said Lokolama community spokesperson Valentin Egobo. “We had no idea that the peat deposits were there, but as indigenous people, peatlands are part of our heritage and their discovery for the world to see represents a great hope for future generations.“We hope our government will support us in our role as guardians of this ancient forest and provide us with the needed support to safeguard peatlands for our children and for the world.”Correction (09/10/17): This article previously stated the estimated carbon contained in the peatland to be equivalent to two years of global carbon emissions, when scientists estimate it to be equivalent to three years.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. 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MCSS to Focus on School Feeding Program

first_imgThe Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) has disclosed a plan to focus on a school feeding program in the coming academic year as a means of attracting more students and keeping them in school.MCSS Superintendent, Benjamin Adolphus Jacobs, made the disclosure on Thursday at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular Ebola Hour press briefing.According to him, MCSS will prioritize the school feeding program to help increase students attendance at school.“The school-feeding program in the upcoming year,” he said, “will to help boost the reflection of learning for the children at the various MCSS campuses as well as increase   enrollment.”“No one can learn on an empty stomach, especially the little ones. Many of them will come to school in the morning hungry and weak and cannot respond to their teachers, even at question time. Many of them will not ask questions and sometimes leave campus during recess and run home because of food, Mr. Jacobs stressed.He explained that, many of the school going children were appearing in the classroom without eating anything at home, which he said was causing serious problems in keeping them focused on learning.The MCSS Superintendent further explained that, “due to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus and the issue of breaking the transmission, his administration is hoping to run three shifts, morning, evening and night, as a mean of reducing over crowdedness in the classroom.“We will also have Thermometers testing students and teachers on campus.”He continued, “We are securing vehicles for the three region, Central Monrovia, Sinkor and Bushrod Island, to help in carrying any sick person, both teachers and students, for treatment. “We will have one room reserved on each campus to have the person there before hospital attention is provided.”According to him, they will conduct workshops for teachers and students before the official opening of school and will also observe all Ebola preventive measures on campuses and will have rooms reserved for any outbreak of the disease. He further explained, “We are training guidance counselors for most of our schools that will help to guide many of our students in their learning process. We are also hoping to construct hand-pumps on some of our campuses as a way of improving sanitation.The MCSS Superintendent also disclosed that the counselors will be helping students who are not academically sound and will be guiding them and making sure that such students attend vocational institutions.He disclosed that schools might open in late January or February and close in the late August or September. “We are also working on classes running from Monday to Saturday if all goes well and the Ministry of Education will come up with a position.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgLabour Senator Jimmy Harte has challenged Sinn Fein Deputy Pearse Doherty to give up his Senate pension after he lobbied to have it closed.Senator Jimmy HarteIn a scathing attack, Senator Harte said Sinn Fein are now trying to blame the Government for the Senate Referendum’s failure.“Sinn Fein trying to blame the government and take no responsibility for their poor judgement is a predictable reaction to their flip flopping attitude to electoral reform,” he said. He said that whilst Sinn Fein senators in Dublin were voting against the holding of a referendum, Deputy Doherty was calling for its abolition as in his own words “it’s an affront to democracy.”“As Gerry Adams was describing the actions of Enda Kenny as a power grab and Mary Lou Mc Donald wanted a second chamber in the future, Deputy Doherty was off on his solo run but forgot to take the ball with him.“He’s now blaming the other players on the team and trying to get off the pitch.“I would call on Deputy Doherty to forego his Senate pension entitlements if he says the institution is undemocratic. “Otherwise he is in the same camp as the FF ministers of the last government who refused to give up their pensions and collect salaries.” HARTE CHALLENGES PEARSE DOHERTY TO GIVE UP HIS SENATE PENSION was last modified: October 7th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:jimmy hartePearse DohertySENATElast_img read more

No winning ticket for Saturday nights 30 million Lotto 649 jackpot

first_imgTORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $30 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.However, the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Quebec.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Aug. 29 will be approximately $33 million.last_img