A fight to control chainsaws in Myanmar could turn the tide on illegal logging

first_imgForests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Law Enforcement, Logging, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforests, Tropical Deforestation In remote areas where illegal logging is most rampant, officials struggle with outreach to poor villagers about recently implemented laws that make most chainsaws illegal.Many times faster and more efficient than traditional handsaws and axes, chainsaws are also dangerous tools that can cause serious injury or death.Unregulated chainsaw use is nearly impossible for forestry officials to track or regulate, as most illegal logging is taking place in remote areas that are extremely difficult to reach. ALAUNGDAW KATHAPA NATIONAL PARK, Myanmar – Pyar Aung still remembers the first time he saw a chainsaw. It was a German-made number being used by one of the logging companies operating in the forest around his remote village in Myanmar’s northwest Sagaing region in 2013.“It was so powerful and fast!” recalls 50 year-old Aung, who lives in the tiny village of Mahu. It wasn’t until August 2016 that he got one himself, and today he owns three. Each cost him around $124, though cheaper versions can be purchased in urban centers for about 7 times less. In spite of the law, he said he was never asked to show paperwork to buy the chainsaws, nor were any of his fellow villagers.The claim is surprising given the fact that logging is practically a cottage industry in his community. Among 37 households they own 70 chainsaws. On a recent visit there, they also said they weren’t aware of the fairly new regulation implemented in 2016 that requires them to register their chainsaws with Myanmar’s Forestry Department.Remote locales like this are at the heart of a struggling government campaign to turn the tide on illegal chainsaw use and logging.A villager from Mahu poses with his chainsaw in front of one other source of meager local income: a mat made of dry bamboo. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Mahu is a stark case in point of difficulties the Burmese government faces in educating disconnected rural populations about chainsaw ownership and use. The village is an isolated island of homes deep in the Patolon Forest Reserve, part of Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park in Myanmar’s Sagaing region. An ASEAN Heritage Park, it is Myanmar’s largest national park, at 1,605 square kilometers (619 square miles).Despite almost non-existent knowledge of safety equipment, training, and protocols, chainsaws are gaining in popularity as the logging tool of choice in Myanmar’s rich forests. The country is the largest supplier of natural teak (Tectona grandis) in the world. Forestry officials say they began to see an uptick in imported chainsaws between 2013 and 2014. That increase, with numbers that are very difficult to track and verify, is likely in the hundreds to thousands per year.That’s bad news for Myanmar’s forests. A chainsaw can cut down a tree four times faster than the more traditional methods of an axe or a handsaw.The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which tracks forest cover globally, notes that between 1990 and 2015, the country already lost nearly 15 million hectares of forest and other wooded land. There’s no official data yet on whether a national logging ban in place from mid-2016 to April 2017 had an impact on forest loss.The geography of locales like Mahu — incredibly remote with limited options for income — contributes to illegal logging. It is completely cut off from the outside world for the 4-month rainy season due to bad roads. The national education system only arrived in the village five years ago, and there is still no electricity nor cell signal. Villagers are motivated by basic economics to own chainsaws for logging to expedite their work.There’s also a demand.Brokers from nearby villages started to show up in Mahu in 2016 in search of wood for sale, around the time that the Burmese government instituted regulations for buying and owning a chainsaw.Freshly cut trees, illegally logged, wait on the riverside wait to be transported from the forest to Mahu for sale. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Aung says that he can make about $95 per ton of logs. He typically collects 1.5 to 2 tons of wood per week to sell. If the rest of the village logs at a similar pace, they can cut down about 46 tons of wood every week, or over 180 tons per month. If they sell what they log at the rate Aung notes, the village can make at least $17,500 a month. A conservative estimate of annual village income from illegal logging — minus the rainy season — is about $140,000 annually.For generations, villagers here have eked out an existence on meager profit from rice farming and other activities like selling handmade bamboo mats. Logging represents a chance to diversify and amplify income streams.“If we only grow rice, it’s not enough to make a living and that’s why we started cutting trees, but we mostly only log teak,” Aung said. Teak is one of the most valuable tropical hardwood species in the world. “The demand (for wood) is so high.”Regulations and enforcementVillagers in Mahu might claim ignorance about their illegal chainsaws and logging activity, but their actions suggest otherwise. On a recent day in February, everyone stopped logging, disassembled their chainsaws, and hid the parts deep in the forest upon word of an impending Forestry Department inspection.Altered to an inspection by the Forestry Department, villagers from Mahu take a chainsaw apart to hide parts in different locations in the forest. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Kyaw Minn Htut, founder of Thuriya Sandra Environmental Watch Group, has kept track of Mahu’s chainsaws, which he confirms aren’t registered and were not purchased legally. He has a complex relationship with the villagers.“It was me who reported this village to the forestry department,” Htut said while sitting with residents at their monastery, which also functions as a community hall.  “But I asked the forestry department officers to forgive them, because they have no money to be fined and if you take away their chainsaw, they will have no way of surviving.”Htut is a native of Sagaing state in his early 40s, and has been doing conservation work in Sagaing region since 2003. He is incredibly persistent when it comes to finding and reporting illegal logging. He once spent 10 days in the forest counting unmarked stumps in an area that had been logged and found that the company (whose name he didn’t disclose) had logged 572 extra trees.“Four MTE [Myanma Timber Enterprise] officers and three FD [Forestry Department] officers were fired because of my report,” he claims. Htut’s philosophy is that deforestation is not caused by individual loggers, but by logging companies approved by the MTE, which regulates the industry domestically.“Chainsaws are not the problem, the root of the problem is the policy and the law,” Htut said. “The current one is set up for organizations that are involved in mass production, but not for the people.”When it comes to the activity in Mahu, he wants to help them to legitimately earn income from logging. With his assistance, the villagers have applied to manage the forest surrounding their village, but have not heard back from the forestry department. It’s unlikely they ever will.It’s also just as unlikely that they will stop cutting down trees.“The villagers here at Mahu only cut what they need to survive, they don’t do it to get rich,” Htut said. “Besides what will the villagers feel, if the people not related to this area come and harvest all the valuable wood, but they themselves can’t even do that?”In Mandalay, the nearest urban center for the timber market and commercial goods, people are a bit more savvy about the rules for selling and owning a chainsaw. Along Mandalay’s so-called “iron street” of machinery and tool shops, out of a randomly selected seven shops along a 40-block stretch, only one displayed chainsaws. Others wouldn’t even discuss a sale without proper paperwork. Fears of plainclothes police officers pretending to be customers are top of mind.A vendor shows a chainsaw hidden behind other commercial products in a hardware shop in Mandalay, Myanmar. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Many other shops take a more subdued approach. Some put the chainsaw blades in the corner, but the rest of the equipment stays hidden in back storage rooms and are only presented on request.“There is a crackdown on chainsaws,” said Ko Ko Win, who manages one such machinery shop. “If you want to sell chainsaws, you need a license, if you want to buy a chainsaw, you also need a license from the forestry department.”Win adds that a obtaining a license to buy a chainsaw involves answering a list of questions such as reasons for the purchase, which trees will be cut down, and the locations where the tool will be used.“It’s a very complicated procedure, I don’t understand the reason behind all this madness,” he said. “But I guess it’s the new government, and it comes with new rules.” The country held its first democratic election in decades in 2015 and brought human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy, to power.In June 2016 Myanmar’s Forestry Department amended its forestry laws include a policy on chainsaw registration: Whoever uses a chainsaw without permission can be sued, face up to two years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $15. They also created a committee with police officers, local and regional forestry department officers, and township administrators to enforce chainsaw rules and regulations. That includes monthly reports from forestry departments in each township, district, division and state to headquarters in Naypyidaw.Combating the myriad aspects of illegal logging in Myanmar is already a huge job for authorities. Just as the national ban lifted in mid-April, officials announced that in the past year they seized 55,000 tons of illegal timber and 2,600 vehicles and pieces of machinery. Arrests of timber smugglers included 11 foreigners and 8,310 Burmese nationals.Import headachesMyanmar is still in the early stages of regulating chainsaws, especially when it comes to import rules.Officer Phyo Zin Mon Naing is assistant director of Myanmar’s Forestry Department at Naypyidaw and oversees chainsaw registration. He said in an interview that he’s been working on issues regarding chainsaw registration since 2013, but prior to that there were simply no laws or regulations for chainsaws. In 2014, the government started to ask chainsaw users to register equipment, but the system was inefficient and difficult to enforce.The current procedure, which includes import laws, was put into place after discussion with various departments and the central government.A villager from Mahu cuts down a tree using a midsize chainsaw. A chainsaw can cut down a tree four times faster than an axe and handsaw. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.The complex procedure requires importers to submit an inquiry for a permit to import chainsaws and present their import license and company registration to the Ministry of Commerce. The Ministry of Commerce then submits it to the forestry department for a recommendation letter. In order to issue a recommendation letter, the forestry department has to first check the chainsaw type, country of origin, import method, the number of chainsaws in the current stock, a list of chainsaw distributors by the company and other detailed information. The importer isn’t technically allowed to sell their chainsaws if they don’t agree to monthly reports on their distribution and stock.Naing believes that this system, which targets importers, distributors, and users of chainsaws, is feasible. For example, they once received an application from a machinery shop that wanted to import 20,000 chainsaws. The request was rejected.“Currently, there are a total of 1,281 legal chainsaws in the country,” Naing said from the most recently available chart in January 2017. “Sagaing has the most registered chainsaw at 423 units, the second is Mon State with 178 units.”The numbers clearly aren’t exact, though. For example, the number of known chainsaws in the Sagaing region alone would be 16 percent higher if the units in Mahu village were registered.Yet despite known pockets of lawlessness like Mahu, Naing is confident.“Now we have control over chainsaws in this country,” he said, adding that between 2014 to the end of 2016, they seized a total of 746 illegal chainsaws. Most of those come from individuals owners and are handed over to the MTE.Problems with enforcementA major problem with monitoring illegal chainsaws is lack of control in insurgency areas, especially Kachin state in Northern Myanmar. Kachin shares a long border with China and is largely controlled by Kachin Independence organization (KIO) and its armed group Kachin Independent Army (KIA). They have an estimated 8,000 troops and are believed to be involved in illegal logging.“We believe they have a large logging problem, but we don’t have details,” Naing said, adding that they have no communication regarding chainsaw registry with members of KIO. “But we work with the Myanmar military to seize illegal timber in those areas.”They face myriad challenges, some of which could be life and death.“This work is difficult and very dangerous, officers at the forestry department don’t have guns, we have no security, how do we protect ourselves?” said Naing. “We just have our pen.”In fact, Naing doesn’t think there is a clear connection between seized timber and registered chainsaws, especially since the registry is so new. The forestry department is also still in the process of getting its staff and other government agencies up to speed on the registry’s use.If it proves effective, it could have an impact.“If we control chainsaws, it will reduce illegal logging in the future,” Naing said. He added that one way they are doing this is through outreach programs, which include group information sessions on how to register chainsaws and the impact to the environment from illegal logging. In January 2017, he said they held 286 chainsaw registry outreach sessions across the country.Despite complaints over the complicated procedure to obtain a chainsaw, Naing sees the approach as standard.“If you import a car from a foreign country you have to submit paperwork, so importing chainsaws should be treated the same way,” he said. He added that he thinks the forest coverage rate is directly related to number of chainsaws. “There are so few officers at the forestry department but so many loggers in Myanmar, how do we control the situation?” he asked. “We must do it, we must register the chainsaws.”A hopeful future, at a costIn Mahu, logging is slowly transforming the lives of the villagers, although not everyone can yet afford to purchase a chainsaw. Khin Mg Htwe is 32 years old, tan and lean from years of rice farming before he turned to working as a timber porter.“I don’t know how to operate a chainsaw, and I can’t afford one yet, but I’m happy they are cutting wood so I can make some income by transporting the timber out of our village,” Htwe said.Transporting logs with cows that are usually for farming near Mahu. The porter can usually earn almost $4 per pair haul with a pair of cows. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.The 4-hour round trip by foot to the nearest village involves tying the timber to his two cows and a two-day rest after each trip. He makes a mere $4 each time.Thar Kyi is a 32-year-old father of four, and is recognized as a chainsaw expert by other villagers, who joke that he cuts the straightest line with chainsaws. Like Htwe, Kyi doesn’t own a chainsaw and is hired by chainsaw owners for $4 per day to operate their machinery. He said that part of his motivation is based on family obligations.“I have to pay $5 for my kids [per child] to go to school per month,” Kyi said. Though primary education is free in Myanmar, teachers often ask for extra money in rural areas to offset the cost of uniforms and books.A villager from Mahu poses with his chainsaw in front of one other source of meager local income: a mat made of dry bamboo. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Even though activist Htut is devoted to conservation and to preventing illegal logging, he is sympathetic to the villagers.“I will never ask them to stop logging, because I have no other money-making options to offer them yet,” Htut said. “Before they used to focus more on cultivating rice, now they spend more time on logging and they have to buy rice to eat during the rainy season.”He doesn’t believe that stricter enforcement of chainsaw regulations will stop the loggers.“They will just go back to using axes and handsaws, the illegal logging will continue and so will the bribery to related governmental officials,” he said.Banner image: A villager from Mahu cuts down a tree using a midsize chainsaw. A chainsaw can cut down a tree four times faster than an axe and handsaw. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Ann Wang is a foreign correspondent and photojournalist based in Myanmar. You can find her on Instagram at AnnWang077.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Genevieve Belmakercenter_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

Study finds hundreds of thousands of tropical species at risk of extinction due to deforestation

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Scientists have long believed that the rate at which we are destroying tropical forests, and the habitat those forests represent, could drive a global mass extinction event, but the extent of the potential losses has never been fully understood.John Alroy, a professor of biological sciences at Australia’s Macquarie University, examined local-scale ecological data in order to forecast potential global extinction rates and found that hundreds of thousands of species are at risk if humans disturb all pristine forests remaining in the tropics.Mass extinction will occur primarily in tropical forests because Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity is so heavily concentrated in those ecosystems, Alroy notes in the study. A 2015 study found that humans activities are driving species loss at a rate 100 times faster than historical baseline levels — which the researchers behind the study characterized as a conservative estimate. This finding fueled speculation that we’re currently witnessing a sixth global mass extinction event.New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) provides further evidence that, even if we haven’t already entered a sixth era of mass species loss on a global scale, it may yet be imminent.John Alroy, a professor of biological sciences at Australia’s Macquarie University, examined local-scale ecological data in order to forecast potential global extinction rates and found that hundreds of thousands of species are at risk if humans disturb all pristine forests remaining in the tropics. “Disturbance is no small matter, because roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of all the world’s species are found in tropical forests even though tropical forests only cover about 10 percent of the entire Earth’s continental area,” Alroy said in a statement.Scientists have long believed that the rate at which we are destroying tropical forests, and the habitat those forests represent, could drive a global mass extinction event, but the extent of the potential losses has never been fully understood.Mass extinction will occur primarily in tropical forests because Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity is so heavily concentrated in those ecosystems, Alroy notes in the study. In order to examine just how severe the impacts might be, he applied a highly accurate method of estimating species richness to data from 875 ecological samples of trees and 10 other groups of organisms “of keen ecological interest,” including bats, insects (ants, butterflies, mosquitoes, and scarabs), large and small mammals, and other vertebrates (birds, frogs, and lizards). The samples were collected in a variety of habitat types in tropical zones that were originally forested, from primary and fragmented forests to plantations and pasturelands.“About 41% of the tree and animal species in this dataset are absent from disturbed habitats, even though most samples do still represent forests of some kind,” Alroy writes in the study.Image Credit: Alroy, J. (2017). doi:10.1073/pnas.1611855114Alroy projects that, if Earth’s remaining tropical forests are completely disturbed, more than 18 percent of species will be lost in every group studied except large mammals and mosquitoes. Seven of the groups he examined will lose greater than 28 percent of species. Trees, for instance, stand to lose as much as 30 percent of species, while ants could lose as much as 65 percent.“The overall implication of this research is that any substantial loss of primary forests will result in numerous extinctions across many groups,” Alroy said. He added that there is good reason to regard his estimates as conservative, as well, and that the full impacts of human activities on species survival could be more severe than he has predicted: “Even if we preserve forests of some kind in many places, unless we protect them from ever being logged, those forests may end up being empty.”Alroy’s findings also suggest that numerous rare tropical species may have already disappeared. “The most important point, however, is that many species may have already gone extinct because their ranges are now entirely deforested,” he writes in the study. “Furthermore, many species in otherwise pristine forests may have already gone extinct because of stressors not related to habitat destruction, such as hunting, interactions with invasive species, introduced epidemic diseases, pollution, and the direct effects of climate change.”Given how rapidly deforestation has occurred throughout the tropics, Alroy adds, it’s “conceivable that an event on the scale of a true mass extinction has already taken place” and that these losses simply went unnoticed by mankind.“A mass extinction could have happened right under our noses because we just don’t know much about the many rare species that are most vulnerable to extinction,” Alroy said. “To figure out whether this is true, a lot more field work needs to be done in the tropics. The time to do it is now.”There is reason to hope that we can still prevent such large-scale loss of life. Previous research has shown that protecting 50 percent of the planet’s land area is a sort of baseline for ensuring the health of ecosystems and, in turn, the survival of life on Earth. This concept, often referred to as “Nature Needs Half,” is widely regarded as not just valid but feasible by conservationists. In fact, a study released last month suggests that even though many ecosystems functions have already been highly compromised by human activities, we can still achieve the 50 percent protection goal by scaling up current conservation efforts and targeting those habitat types that are most crucial for preserving biodiversity.A Jaguar (Panthera onca). Large mammals stand to lose more than 10 percent of species if tropical forests are completely disturbed, new research finds. Photo by Rhett Butler.CITATIONSAlroy, J. (2017). Effects of habitat disturbance on tropical forest biodiversity. PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611855114Ceballos, G., Ehrlich, P. R., Barnosky, A. D., García, A., Pringle, R. M., & Palmer, T. M. (2015). Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction. Science advances, 1(5), e1400253. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1400253Dinerstein, E., Olson, D., Joshi, A., Vynne, C., Burgess, N. D., Wikramanayake, E., … & Hansen, M. (2017). An ecoregion-based approach to protecting half the terrestrial realm. BioScience. doi:10.1093/biosci/bix014Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animals, Ants, Beetles, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Butterflies, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extinction, Deforestation, Environment, Extinction, Forest Fragmentation, Forests, Frogs, Insects, Lizards, Mammals, Mass Extinction, Mosquitoes, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforests, Research, Saving Species From Extinction, Sixth Mass Extinction, Trees, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Wildlife center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Industry-NGO coalition releases toolkit for making ‘No Deforestation’ commitments a reality on the ground

first_imgAgriculture, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Role In Conservation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporations, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Policy, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Palm Oil, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests, Soil Carbon, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Deforestation, Zero Deforestation Commitments Numerous companies involved in the global palm oil supply chain, from producers and traders to consumer companies that use the commodity in their products, have adopted Zero Deforestation commitments — but pledging to address the deforestation and human rights abuses associated with palm oil supply chains is one thing, while making those commitments a reality on the ground is another.Companies have said they need more support from governments of tropical forest nations to make their Zero Deforestation commitments a reality, citing a maze of administrative and regulatory frameworks across palm oil producing countries as hampering their efforts.The new HCS Approach Toolkit might help address this very issue, however, as it is intended to standardize the methodology for protecting tropical forests and identifying suitable landscapes for the sustainable production of palm oil.The revised HCS Approach Toolkit lays out the fundamental elements of a methodology for protecting high carbon stock (HCS) forests and other high conservation value (HCV) areas such as peatlands. Simply achieving “no deforestation” is not the only goal of the revised HCS Approach, though. There is now one set of guidelines, agreed upon by both industry and civil society, for palm oil companies to use when implementing their commitments to address the deforestation associated with their operations.As demand for palm oil has skyrocketed in recent years, production of the commodity has often been associated with massive deforestation and the destruction of vital wildlife habitat as well as human and labor rights abuses, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, which collectively produce the vast majority of the world’s palm oil.There have been a variety of responses to the impacts of palm oil production on tropical forests, from local protests by impacted forest peoples and international pressure campaigns launched against palm oil companies to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the world’s largest certification body for the palm oil sector (which has often been at the center of controversy), and national-level initiatives such as the pledge to protect tropical forests by prioritizing sustainable palm oil production signed by seven African nations that are widely viewed as the next big expansion opportunity for the industry.Numerous companies involved in the global palm oil supply chain, from producers and traders to consumer companies that use the commodity in their products, have adopted Zero Deforestation Commitments, as well. But pledging to address the deforestation and human rights abuses associated with palm oil supply chains is one thing, while making those commitments a reality on the ground is another.Recent research has shown that companies routinely underestimate their exposure to deforestation and are not making swift progress in implementing their deforestation pledges. This has not only raised doubts that these companies can meet their own goals but has also fueled speculation that the deforestation targets for 2020 and 2030 adopted by the Consumer Goods Forum, a global network of over 400 companies, and signatories to the UN’s New York Declaration on Forests, which include dozens of national and sub-national governments, multinational companies, indigenous groups, and civil society organizations, are unlikely to be met.Companies have said they need more support from governments of tropical forest nations to make their Zero Deforestation Commitments a reality, citing a maze of administrative and regulatory frameworks across palm oil producing countries as hampering their efforts.The new HCS Approach Toolkit might help address this very issue, however, as it is intended to standardize the methodology for protecting tropical forests and identifying suitable landscapes for the sustainable production of palm oil.New oil palm development near the boundary of Gunung Leuser National Park in Sumatra, an Indonesian island. Photo by Rhett Butler.Until late last year, there were two competing methodologies for determining what constitutes a “High Carbon Stock” landscape and guiding conversion of land to oil palm plantations in a sustainable manner: The High Carbon Stock Approach (HCS Approach), which was first developed in 2010 by a coalition of businesses and civil society groups (the first HCS Approach Toolkit was released in 2015); and HCS+, put forward in 2015 by a group called the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto (SPOM).It was announced in November 2016 that a body called the HCS Convergence Working Group, which includes major producers and traders of palm oil as well as forest conservation and human rights NGOs, were working on a revised HCS Approach Toolkit that would represent convergence between the two approaches.The newly updated HCS Approach Toolkit lays out the fundamental elements of a methodology for protecting high carbon stock (HCS) forests and other high conservation value (HCV) areas such as peatlands. But achieving “Zero Deforestation” is not the only goal of the revised HCS Approach, as the role forests play in regulating the global climate by sequestering carbon and the implementation of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) for indigenous and other forest communities are also factored into the toolkit. Other issues, such as forest stratification, preservation of below-ground carbon stocks, and decision-making around regenerating and secondary forests, which were central to the disagreement between the HCSA and HCS+ approaches, are also dealt with in the new methodology.Grant Rosoman, a forest campaigner with Greenpeace who also serves as co-chair of the High Carbon Stock Steering Group, the multi-stakeholder membership organization created specifically to govern the HCS Approach, said that the revised, open-source toolkit provides a practical and “scientifically robust” technical guide for identifying and protecting tropical forests.After two years of working to craft one single approach for putting “No Deforestation” commitments into practice, Rosoman said in a statement, “The resulting methodology has expanded social requirements, a wider recognition and application of carbon stock data, incorporates new technology including the use of LiDAR, optimises conservation and production outcomes and includes adaptations for smallholders.”Nitrogen-fixing cover crop and integrated pest management-friendly flowers in an oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo. Photo by Rhett Butler.The hope is that having one set of guidelines agreed upon by industry and civil society will finally provide the necessary tools to clean up the global palm oil supply chain.“With the launch of the new toolkit we now have an agreed methodology that will reach deep into the supply chains of key commodities to halt tropical deforestation, in particular palm oil and in Asia Pacific and Africa,” Rosoman said. “The HCS Approach is preventing the clearance of millions of hectares of forest, and will help ensure that the many products on supermarket shelves that have palm oil ingredients or made from paper, are not contributing to deforestation, peatland destruction or exploitation.”Rosoman added that there is yet work to be done to expand the scope and impact of the HCS Approach. “Support for the HCS Approach continues to grow and expand to other commodities such as rubber and cocoa, as well as into the finance sector,” he said. “Going forward we still have work to do to adapt HCSA for smallholders, to field test draft social requirements, bring the HCS forest carbon estimates into national level carbon accounting, and progress how No Deforestation is implemented in regions with high forest cover.”Now that the HCS Approach Toolkit Version 2.0 is out, the High Carbon Stock Steering Group will focus on pilot initiatives that will apply the revised methodology and strengthened social requirements to smallholders and larger farming operations.“The HCSA is now a well-established benchmark for responsible production,” Deborah Lapidus, campaign director for Mighty Earth, a new member of the High Carbon Stock Steering Group, told Mongabay. “With over 100 major palm oil companies signed up to the HCSA, and clear guidelines on how to implement it contained within the Toolkit, there are no more excuses for companies like POSCO Daewoo and Korindo that continue to destroy rainforests.”Adherence to the HCS Approach Toolkit’s standards will not only benefit forests, wildlife, and forest peoples, but will also be good for business, as “global consumers and investors are increasingly seeking out business from responsible supply chain actors and excluding those who can’t meet sustainability performance standards,” Lapidus said.“Looking forward, we urge global commodity traders and producers to bring the successes of HCSA in Southeast Asia to Africa and Latin America to ensure global forest conservation and climate change mitigation,” she added. “And we urge RSPO to view the widespread adoption of HCSA as a signal that it’s finally time they recognize the value of secondary forests and peatlands when they review their principles and criteria this year.”Oil palm estate and rainforest in Malaysian Borneo. Photo by Rhett Butler.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: 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 overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Slight bumps in protected areas could be a boon for biodiversity

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Birds, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Elephants, Environment, Mammals, Megafauna, Protected Areas, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforests, Remote Sensing, Rhinos, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by John Cannon 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 Increasing protected areas by 5 percent in strategic locations could boost biodiversity protection by a factor of three.The study examined global protected areas and evaluated how well they safeguard species, functional and evolutionary biodiversity.More than a quarter of species live mostly outside protected areas.The new strategy from the research leverages the functional and evolutionary biodiversity found in certain spots and could help conservation planners pinpoint areas for protection that maximize all three types of biodiversity. Sometimes small changes in the right place can make a big difference. That’s what a team of scientists found when they looked at how parks, sanctuaries and reserves might better protect the birds and mammals that inhabit them.In a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, lead author Laura Pollock and her colleagues found that if we upped the land area under protection by just 5 percent in strategic locations, the number of safeguarded species could triple.Research by Yale and the University of Grenoble documents where additional conservation efforts globally could most effectively support the safeguarding of species (some examples shown here) that are particularly distinct in their functions or their position in the family tree of life. Image and caption by Yale University/University of GrenobleFor their research, they mapped out the parts of the world currently under protection and tabulated the numbers of known mammal and bird species in those places. They also figured in the protection of two other “facets” of biodiversity – the functional roles that different animals play in their ecosystems and the amount of unique evolution, often measured in millions of years, that those animals represent.Just like the number of species, both facets would be much better protected with that targeted 5 percent bump in conservation lands.“Most conservation looks at species,” said Pollock, an ecologist at France’s Grenoble Alpes University, in an interview. The approach typically hinges on seeking out threatened areas that are hotspots of wildlife biodiversity and focusing energy on protecting them. Still, the researchers report, 26 percent of bird and mammal species don’t show up in most protected areas.“Just targeting a biodiversity hotspot is not going to be the most efficient,” she said. “You’re potentially overlooking some really important species.”They also found serious gaps in the protection of functional and evolutionary diversity.A black rhino, which is listed as an EDGE species because of its unique evolutionary history and endangered status, pictured here in East Africa. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe team looked at what would happen if they nudged the boundaries of protected areas to encompass carefully selected stretches of land important for those other facets of biodiversity. Pollock said she was “surprised” to see how much overlap there was between the three facets, “which means that you can choose some very key areas of the world, and you’re capturing a whole bunch of different types of diversity.”And it’s not just about protecting animals for their own sake. “Those species are key to functioning ecosystems,” she added. Often, the “ecosystem services” they provide are critical for our own existence.For example, birds might distribute seeds that contribute to the health of a carbon-siphoning forest. Or, hungry bats might keep pesky – and potentially disease-carrying – mosquito numbers low.Some of these animals also represent millions of years of evolutionary history, which we only know because of the boom in genetic data that’s taken place recently.“We would not have been able to do this analysis 10 years ago,” Pollock said.Echidnas, related to the platypus, are monotremes, a group that split from the rest of the mammals about 130 million years ago. Photo by Ester Inbar via WikimediaSpecies that harbor these exclusive genetic storehouses and that also face threats to their survival make the EDGE list, maintained by the Zoological Society of London. ‘EDGE’ is short for ‘evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered.’Poster-species for conservation like the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) are EDGE species. Topping the mammal list are spine-sporting echidnas (Zaglossus spp.). These egg-layers related to the platypus splintered away from the rest of us mammals on the tree of life a staggering 160 million years ago. Two of the three echidna species are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.Though they might escape the attention of most conservation efforts, Pollock said that such animals are “key to genetic diversity and our ancestral heritage,” and her research shows that protecting their homes might be beneficial to the diversity of life on Earth.“The current set of protected areas is not located in an optimal way,” she said. “It could be much, much better.”That doesn’t mean that Pollock wants to see current conservation plans to deal with the current biodiversity crisis scrapped, she said.“It’s just saying, for a little bit extra, can we capture a few other species?” she said. “It’s admitting that we can’t do everything, but maybe we can tweak our current conservation based on this new information about what’s important to a global biodiversity pool.”And while it might not be realistic to expect a 5-percent expansion in protected lands globally, their methods apply to smaller scales.“You could still use the same approach,” Pollock said. Their data has just been added to the Map of Life website hosted by Yale University. Employing this approach at local levels could mean better-placed reserves and substantial gains in how much biodiversity they protect.“You don’t need a tripling of biodiversity necessarily,” she added. “Ten percent more would be much better than what we have right now.”CITATIONPollock, L. J., Thuiller, W., & Jetz, W. (2017). Large conservation gains possible for global biodiversity facets. Nature, advance online publication. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature22368Banner image of an Asian elephant in Sri Lanka 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.last_img read more

Citizen scientists use mobile apps to help “green” the ocean

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri Marine debris litters beaches and underwater habitats across the globe, even in remote areas, where it harms hundreds of animal species, from corals to whales.Mobile phone apps have launched to encourage and assist volunteers in cleaning up marine habitats by facilitating the recording and sharing of their efforts via social media.Volunteers also become citizen scientists, as the apps compile data from thousands of clean-ups into global databases to permit analysis of trends in trash composition and distribution and to bring to light the damage being done by debris to marine creatures and systems. Few people get to witness the breadth and wonder of underwater life, from coral to kelp to fish and sea anemones. SCUBA divers gain a unique view of not only the beauty but also the condition of underwater communities. Unfortunately, they are increasingly seeing non-biodegradable trash—mostly plastic but also metal, glass, rubber, cloth, ceramic, and cardboard— on reefs and other marine habitats.Divers have the unique opportunity to observe sea life underwater, such as these sea goldies (anthias) at Little Brother, Red Sea, Egypt. Photo credit: Derek Keats, CC 2.0According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), marine debris “injures and kills marine life, interferes with navigation safety, and poses a threat to human health.” Some animals become entangled in ropes or fishing gear; others mistake debris for food, which can damage their tissues or cause them to starve. Plastics degrade very slowly and can leach harmful chemicals into the ocean. Fish and shellfish consume the waste particles and chemicals and are then caught and sold in our fish markets, causing concern about harmful substances in our food.A 2015 study calculated that 192 coastal countries worldwide generated 275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste in 2010, 5–13 million MT of which found its way to the ocean. Marine debris litters beaches across the globe, even those with little local human activity, as currents move trash across oceans.A sea turtle entangled in a “ghost net,” abandoned fishing nets that drift with ocean currents and harm corals and larger marine species. Photo credit: NOAAtomach contents of a dead albatross chick on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific include plastic marine debris fed the chick by its parents. Photo credit: Chris Jordon/USFWS , CC 2.0Government agencies, such as NOAA, and environmental organizations coordinate volunteers through programs and clean-up events to help remove some of the waste from beaches and coastal waterways.The annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), which took place September 16th, brings hundreds of thousands of volunteers to help clean the coasts each year. In 2016, more than half a million volunteers removed over 18 million pounds (over 8 million kg) of trash from beaches, coasts and waterways in 112 countries. Most trash is small—think cigarette butts, food wrappers and plastic straws— but volunteers have reported TV sets, toilets, bicycles, and refrigerators, as well as some specialty items like a tennis racket in South Africa, Christmas tree lights in Belize, and a blender in Jamaica.International Coastal Cleanup volunteers collect beach debris in Westport, Oregon. Photo credit: NOAAThese larger items are a big problem underwater as well, where they harm plants, corals and other structures yet remain invisible to most people. Underwater, “ghost” fishing nets and gear drift, tangle, and get caught on reefs, where they break or smother corals.“Sea” your results through mobile technologyMobile phone applications are now helping to encourage volunteers and use their widespread efforts to better understand the nature of marine debris. Two such apps are free to download for either Android or iOS systems. Dive Against DebrisIn response to demand from concerned SCUBA divers, Project Aware designed a new app to make its Dive Against Debris (DAD) dive site surveys more fun and more useful. The new  Dive Against Debris app aims to help divers to record and communicate marine debris found underwater, as well as its impacts on marine life.Launched in 2011 and coordinated by Project Aware, Dive Against Debris (DAD) surveys aim not only to reduce the amount of debris found at dive sites. They also help build a global dataset of the types and quantities of debris found in the ocean, in order to show trends and advocate for change.The Dive Against Debris survey locations in an interactive map. Since 2011, more than 25,000 survey divers 50+ countries have reported some 500,000 pieces of trash. Image credit: Project AwareIn 2015, more than 4,000 scuba divers participated in 454 DAD surveys at dive sites across the globe. They removed and reported over 32,000 kg (70,000 lbs) over 90,000 pieces of debris, over half of them  plastic, and over 1,000 marine creatures either entangled in debris or dead. In 2016, divers removed more than 157,000 pieces of trash during 1,122 DAD surveys, as well as logging 1,624 entangled marine animals.Some dive shops require divemaster trainees to complete a Project Aware reef survey during their training to ensure they grasp and care about the condition of their local dive sites.Joanne Marston, Project Aware’s Campaign Manager, said in an email to Mongabay-Wildtech, “The app includes a list of common debris items and uses geo-location for quick and easy reporting. The data reported becomes part of a global dataset used by conservationists and scientists to help drive long-term change.”“Divers bring their phones to the dive site,” explained Marston. “Once they remove trash and bring it to dry land, they sort, weigh, record and report the rubbish they have found onto their mobile device.”Sample screens of the Dive Against Debris app show survey sites, data entry for plastic trash, and mapping the survey site. The app also requests the number of volunteers assisting to estimate the effort expended to find the trash. Image credit: Project AwareA review of the new app by the Deeper Blue dive news platform wrote, “The new app is intuitive and easy to use, and includes a list of common types of marine debris, as well as the ability to use the smartphones’ inbuilt geolocation function to better report the whereabouts of the debris.”The app makes it easier for divers to record the location, estimate the area surveyed, types and quantities of trash items found underwater, and any entangled or dead wildlife. It also makes clean-ups more like a game or competition by encouraging users to view their contributions to the global debris dataset, upload images of their hauls, and share their impact via social media.“For surveys conducted in the same location and survey area, divers have the ability to duplicate core survey details from a previous approved survey,” said Marston. “This helps to quicken the process of data submission for our repeated surveys.  Divers also like seeing all their surveys in one place – they are able to see exactly how much impact they are making to clean our ocean.”Clean corals and reef fish in the Gulf of Eilat in the Red Sea (from 1969). Less than 10% of dives sites surveyed since 2011 are debris-free. Photo credit: Daviddarom CCMarston said, “Data collected by divers helps bridge a gap in knowledge of the types and quantity of marine debris found on the seafloor, as well as the impacts that debris has on marine life and habitats. Project AWARE works with a number of organizations and alliances to share the data we collect.” Clean SwellOcean buffs on land can generate marine debris distribution data through the Clean Swell app, created in 2016 by Ocean Conservancy (OC).A beach at Msasani Bay Dar es Salaam, Tanzania shows the extent of mainly-plastic marine debris littering the world’s beaches. Photo credit: Loranchet, CC-3.0The Clean Swell app aims to encourage beach clean-up volunteers by highlighting the value of their efforts and making it easier to log the trash they collect. Volunteers participating in clean-ups input the amounts and types of trash they remove from a given beach or coastal waterway into the app by clicking on trash categories. The app compiles the information and can tally results for a given clean-up or user immediately, as well as show off their achievements (number of clean-ups, distance cleaned, weight of trash collected) to others via email and social media.Sample screens of the Clean Swell app show categories of trash and amounts collected of each by an active volunteer. Image credit: Ocean ConservancyLike the Dive Against Debris app, Clean Swell converts user inputs into data on the amounts of each type of trash found and disposed at each clean-up site. The data are immediately added to the OC’s global ocean trash database, which makes data on debris trends available to researchers and policy makers.The organizations  hope that making clean-up a more fun and social activity will encourage more concerned citizens to clean trash from coastal and marine ecosystems, avoid tossing away single-use plastics, and feel ownership for their newly cleaned surroundings. For example, one user requested that the app add a place to record the brand of each item, so that the resulting data will show which companies produce the most commonly tossed items.Such comments are welcome, said Project Aware’s Marston. “There are so many opportunities to scale up the app to help identify gaps in our knowledge of marine debris. For now we’ll seek feedback from our community on ways we can improve the data submission process.”Fish spy the camera on a reef in Sabah, Malaysia. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri Citizen Science, Mapping, Marine, Marine Conservation, Mobile, Technology, Wildtech 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

‘Then they shot me’: Land conflict and murder in Ucayali, Peru

first_imgArticle published by Morgan Erickson-Davis In September, six people were murdered in Bajo Rayal, Peru.A conflict over the possession of 450 hectares of forest appears to be the motive behind the killings.Mongabay Latam went to Bajo Rayal to investigate, and discovered around 300,000 hectares of forest in the region are under dispute and being considered for agricultural conversion. NUEVA REQUENA DISTRICT, Peru — “We are going to let you pass through these lands,” was the message Segundo Gamarra Alvarado said he was told two months ago by representatives from the Agriculture and Forestry Association of Campo Verde. They have reclaimed 450 acres of land that Gamarra has occupied for more than 10 years in the municipality of Bajo Rayal in the Nueva Requena district of Ucayali, Peru.Gamarra considered their response a threat, since it was given after he had been called on to help resolve the conflict over the possession of the territory, and after he asked for 30,000 Peruvian soles (about $9,180) as payment for abandoning the land he considered his. After that conversation, he was convinced that there wouldn’t be any negotiation and that his life was also being threatened.The disputed land forms part of the more than 7,600 hectares that have been reclaimed for the state by 125 members of the Association of Agroforestry Producers of El Encanto de Santa Rosa. The land is located in an area of permanent production forests (BPP in Spanish), near Cordillera Azul National Park.According to Peru’s Forests and Wildlife Law, approved in July 2011, permanent production forests are set aside for the “permanent production of wood and other forestry products aside from wood, as well as wildlife and the provision of ecosystem services.” Therefore, these forests can’t be used for agricultural means since changing their usage is prohibited. Additionally, the law prohibits the “granting of property titles, certificates, or certificates of possession for any lands in the public domain that are capable of forestry use, or of protection with or without forest cover.” This law is outlined in the report “Deforestation for agroindustrial crops of palm oil and cocoa. Between the illegality and the inefficiency of the State,” published by the Office of the Public Defender of Peru in June 2017.In a phone interview with Mongabay Latam, Gamarra claimed that the land he is now disputing was sold while he was being held in prison for a land invasion problem in Pucallpa. “My neighbors sold my land to the rice farmers without my consent. Now I am trying to recover the land, and I’ve handed over part of my land to my friends so that they can use it.”To take possession of the land, Gamarra turned to 45 people —his friends, he says— each of whom he gave between 20 and 40 hectares of land. These people, who mostly came from other regions, also formed a farming association in the area along with Gamarra.Six of them were murdered on September 1.“That day, they were lining the ground to build the annex; they were building the communal house. They were killed there. They’ve fulfilled their threat, everything was planned, and they came to kill,” he said. It took place in the Motelillo sector of the area El Encanto de Santa Rosa, in Bajo Rayal, in the Nueva Requena district of the Coronel Portillo province of Ucayali, Peru.Deforested land near Bajo Rayal. Photo by Yvette Sierra PraeliAs the rules dictate that disputed land cannot be entrusted under any method of possession; however, those who reclaim areas categorized as permanent production forests are convinced that the region’s authorities will change the law so that they can keep their land. What happened on September 1?In an incident that appears to have been an organized crime, six people were killed: Elías Gamonal Mozombite, Jorge Calderón Campos, Orlando Murillo Mendoza, Feliciano Córdova Abad, Alcides Córdova López, and José Edil Córdova López. They were reportedly tortured and then killed with a shotgun. They weren’t the only ones in the area that day, but they were the only ones who stayed after their workday in the disputed territory.Nuevo Piura, a village at the shores of the Aguaytía River, close to the area where the September 1 murders took place. Photo by Yvette Sierra PraeliOn Thursday, September 14, two weeks after the murders, Edgar Royser Tineo Sánchez spoke of what happened on September 1 while at a restaurant located on the entrance road to Campo Verde, about 40 minutes from the municipality of Pucallpa.He recalled how he escaped death that day. With a gunshot wound to the thigh and another to his arm, he ran for cover from his pursuers and hid between the bushes. He said he hid for hours, from 7 p.m. in the evening until the sun began to rise.“They followed me for about two kilometers. There was moonlight and I’ve run before; I know how to run through the forest,” he said.Edgar Royser Tineo Sánchez, a survivor of the Massacre of Motelillo. Photo by Yvette Sierra Praeli“We were working, it was about 5:30 in the afternoon and [those who were killed] had to return to their campsite on the river. The rest of us left toward Campo Verde when we heard gunshots; then, I sent two people so they could see what was happening. Peña came back and told us: they have killed [them].” Royser said around 13 armed people were responsible for the shooting.Royser, along with another day laborer, decided to return in order to help the injured. They waited until 7:30 in the evening before getting close to the campsite.“On the boundary there’s a curve,” Royser said. “There were people —‘How are the people?’ they asked me. I keep going and with a ‘pum,’ they put the gun to my head. I push it and run; then they shot me, they shot me in the head, everywhere.” His companion was not able to escape and ultimately became one of the six killed. Disappearing forestsThe motives behind the murders – dubbed the “Massacre of Motelillo” – appear linked to the tangled web of Amazon land trafficking. Conflicts over the possession of land have multiplied in Ucayali, with claims of double sales and misappropriation of land commonplace, as well as invasions of primary and secondary forests and indigenous territories and reserved areas.“Here there’s a lot of land trafficking,” and “the authorities are corrupt” are phrases that were often heard when Mongabay Latam interviewed local residents about territorial conflicts.September’s muders have also been linked to land trafficking. But this time the scheme points to corporate associations and front companies that are formed in order to acquire land, according to the District Attorney of the Environment and regional authorities.This issue is repeating in the dispute between Gamarra and the Agriculture and Forestry Association of Campo Verde over the possession of 450 hectares of land. However, because it is located within a permanent production forest, the land in question cannot be bought or sold, even using a proof of possession. Certificates of possession are often used in invaded or deforested land in Ucayali and elsewhere in the Peruvian Amazon region.Gamarra doesn’t have documents that prove him as the owner or holder of the land; therefore, he can’t sell it. The agroforestry company that wants to claim the land also doesn’t have a way of accessing a title or certificate of possession that confirms its acquisition. Neither of the parties involved in the dispute is able to access documents confirming ownership because zoning regulations prohibit the sale or transfer of this particular piece of land to private entities. Regional Director of Agriculture Isaac Huamán Pérez confirmed to Mongabay Latam that “they knew that this land is prohibited from agricultural uses.”However, the Agriculture and Forestry Association of Campo Verde was able to obtain a certificate of possession by turning to the Courts of Peace in Nueva Requena district to legalize possession of the land. On February 20, 2017, Justice of the Peace Víctor Rojas Maldonado signed the “Certificate of possession of Land in Motelillo, Nuevo Edén Hamlet, Nueva Requena District,” according to a figure in a document obtained by Mongabay Latam.The certificate of possession signed by the Justice of the Peace of Nueva Requena, Víctor Rojas Maldonado.Peru’s Forests and Wildlife Law “prohibits the granting of property titles, certificates, or certificates of possession for any lands in the public domain that are capable of forestry use or of protection with or without forest cover.” Yet, it appears an agroforestry company was able to obtain a certificate of possession to the disputed land.The certificate of possession lists much more than the 450 hectares that Gamarra reclaimed as his own, and which were at the center of the dispute that ended in the massacre. In total, the Justice of the Peace handed over a certificate of possession for 2,498 hectares in the Motelillo sector. This land included the 450 hectares that Gamarra reclaimed plus another 2,000 adjacent hectares in the Nuevo Edén hamlet. Clearing has begun in almost 3,000 hectares of permanent production forest.Peru’s Rural Property Registry law mandates that certificates of possession must be turned in by the regional departments of the Ministry of Agriculture, which are the decentralized agencies of the Regional Directorate of Agriculture.Justice of the Peace Víctor Rojas Maldonado told Mongabay Latam that he was surprised by the association’s representative and said he had made a mistake. In a subsequent interview, he added that he had issued a resolution to cancel the proof of possession.“This man, José Zapata Picón, came with notarized documents and his association was enrolled in public registries. But the land was in an intangible place, in a national forest that can’t be entered just like that,” Rojas Maldonado said.According to Peru’s Justice of the Peace Law, Justices of the Peace are authorized to complete notarial functions in populated areas that have no other notary public. Under that role, they can issue “proofs of possession, domicile or cohabitation, and others that the population requires and that the Justice of the Peace can personally verify.” However, this guideline does not authorize them to make permanent production forests available for use. “I was surprised, and I made a mistake,” Rojas Maldonado said.According to the registration record of the Agriculture and Forestry Association of Campo Verde in the National Superintendent of Public Registries, dated June 2, 2016, the association is dedicated to “promoting the production and commercialization of rice, as well as that of cereals.” Other parts of the document indicate that it will also be dedicated “to the cultivation of palm oil, livestock, agroforestry, social, sporting, cultural, and agroindustrial or other related activities.” In other words, the forests could be converted into large expanses of rice or oil palm plantations.Palm oil plantations. Photo by Yvette Sierra PraeliMongabay Latam tried to contact Lucas Quiliche Durán, Vice President of Peru’s National Superintendent of Public Registries (SUNARP), but calls were not returned.An interview also also requested with the National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) to discuss the invasion and deforestation of permanent production forests in the Ucayali region, but those requests had not been answered by press time.Promised landThe family of Orlando Murillo Mendoza, one of the victims of the September first killings, arrived from San Martín. They invited me to a house in Pucallpa where I met his sisters, Euralia and Maruja, his widow, Amalia Peña, and his daughter, Estrella Murillo Peña. With them, I waited for Edgar Royser Tineo Sánchez, and Juan Carlos Ruiz Burillo — who had been settled into the conflict zone to take possession of Gamarra’s land— and Óscar Antonio Vásquez Vásquez, the latest District Coordinator of the group Rural Farmers in Nueva Requena.The sisters, widow, and daughter of Orlando Murillo Mendoza, one of the six victims in Motelillo. Photo by Yvette Sierra PraeliEuralia told me that they came to Uchiza, in the San Martín Department, in search of land to work on. José Castillo interrupted her to explain that they were invited by Gamarra in order to help him recover the land that was taken from him. They said they came four months ago and settled into the conflict zone.“We’ve entered a land reversion project,” explained José. “We are 19 associations reunited in a land reversion federation. The purpose is to revert the permanent production forests to use them in agriculture; this way, we can have certificates of possession or property titles,” claimed Castillo, who was referring to the Bello Paraíso Association, a group of 60 people who want to reclaim this part of the forest.A few hours later, in his office, Isaac Huamán Pérez, Ucayali’s Regional Director of Agriculture, confirmed his plans to stop at least 300,000 hectares of Amazonian forests in Ucayali from being considered permanent production forests. He wants them to be declared suitable for agriculture, ranching, or agroforestry.Huamán Pérez’s explanation is based on the fact that before the State defined which Amazonian territories had to be permanent production forests, parts of them were already occupied. In 2002, more than 3.5 million hectares of permanent production forests were delimited in Ucayali. Therefore, his proposal is that all permanent production forestland occupied before 2002 should be excluded from this category and transformed into land used for agriculture, ranching or agroforestry. Additionally, he proposes that the forests that have been occupied since 2002 should be delivered in the form of a concession for at least 40 years.The goal of winning back forested land appears to be a coordinated one. The proposal for the reversion of forests on the part of the Regional Directorate of Agriculture of Ucayali (DRAU) has already been presented to the Regional Government of Ucayali, according to Huamán, and should be sent on to the Congress of the Republic.Deforested land in Bajo Rayal. Photo by Yvette Sierra PraeliCurrently, 300,000 hectares of forest in the Ucayali region are at risk of deforestation, and sources say regional authorities are promoting the invasion of their forests.“If this proposed law advances, the beneficiaries won’t be these pseudo-communities, but whoever wants to take control of the forests, either for palm or for rice or for whatever they want. That is the danger; they’re going to destroy our jungle,” said worried regional advisor Rómulo Javier Bonilla Pomachari.Regional advisor Rómulo Javier Bonilla Pomachari opposes a proposal to convert forests into agricultural land. Photo by Yvette Sierra PraeliBonilla said that although the locals’ possession of the land is not legally recognized, they are protecting their forest under the assumption that they will someday own it or receive a concession that they can later use to negotiate in the lucrative business of land commercialization.This scheme of land-grabbing is presented under the intention of favoring small farmers, but critics like Bonila say the main purpose would be the appropriation of large sections of forest for commodity companies.“They are propelling the hoarding of lands for the multinational corporations. In the end, [the lands] will be in very few hands,” Bonilla said.Between rice paddies and oil palm treesConflicts and complains over misappropriation and unequal acquisition of land have been occurring for many years. Some that date back to 2012 arise from two companies owned by American businessman Dennis Melka: Ocho Sur S.A.C. (formerly Ucayali Plantations S.A.C.) and Ocho Sur P.S.A.C. (formerly Pucallpa Plantations S.A.C.).Recent photos of oil palm plantations owned by Ocho Sur S.A.C. (formerly Ucayali Plantations S.A.C.) and Ocho Sur P.S.A.C. (formerly Pucallpa Plantations S.A.C.). Photos courtesy of the Ucayali District Attorney of Environmental Materials.The companies charged with the cultivation of oil oil have found themselves involved in the deforestation of at least 13,000 hectares of Amazonian forests in Ucayali. They have also been involved in a series of judicial investigations surrounding alleged forest crimes, including the illegal trafficking of timber products.“Dennis Melka’s companies had planned to plant 80,000 hectares in the region, but they have kept the plantations they own, although the land trafficking continues and single-crop farming keeps advancing,” said regional advisor Bonilla Pomachari. “There are lots of ghost associations. They form farming communities to obtain land, but the purpose is to sell it to the palm company.”Photos from 2014 to 2016 of oil palm plantations owned by Ocho Sur S.A.C. (formerly Ucayali Plantations S.A.C.) and Ocho Sur P.S.A.C. (formerly Pucallpa Plantations S.A.C.). Photos courtesy of the Ucayali District Attorney of Environmental Materials.In the midst of these confrontations over Amazonian land, a new crop is rising: rice. However, many are concerned that it is a cover-up industry to allow palm oil expansion to continue in Peru.Rice fields near the entrance road to Bajo Rayal, which is now in the midst of land disputes. Photo by Yvette Sierra Praeli District Attorney José Guzmán, the First District Attorney Specializing in the Environment of Pucallpa, pointed out that those who were in this territory agreed to an opportunity presented by the region’s agricultural authorities to be titleholders to the land.“This office has confirmed that in Agriculture, in the cabinet, the forests are being parceled out,” José Guzmán said. “What is being investigated is if this is being linked with the palm business, because according to the locals, the areas are industrially transformed with machinery. Everything indicates that there is a ‘modus operandi’ in the palm business, since because they are primary forests and they’re not going to give a different use, they do these simulations with people who say that they do domestic agriculture.”Deforested land in Nueva Requena. Photo by Iván FloresAccording to Regional Director of Agriculture Huamán Pérez, what happened in Motelillo “is a problem between two organized mafias with interests in a particular territory to put in a type of crop that is in vogue and is highly profitable: the cultivation of irrigated rice.”Percy Summers of Conservation International doubts that these lands are destined to be rice crops.“I’d find it difficult to do rice because it requires a lot of investment and it’s not going to be too profitable. I believe that palm is behind it. Currently, there is a lot of demand for palm in the world and it’s a very profitable crop — much more profitable than rice.”Jorge Ulises Saldaña Bardales, spokesperson of the Ocho Sur companies, categorically denies a link between the companies and the violence over land acquisition in the area. Over the phone, he mentioned that the disputed area is located eight kilometers from one of the companies’ plantations, which he says is a very long distance in that area, and that the area is 40 kilometers away from the Ocho Sur companies’ other plantation.Prudencio Muñoz Maraví walks down the road that divides his land from the palm oil plantations in Ocho Sur.Saldaña Bardales, who is also the former mayor of the Provincial Municipality of Coronel Portillo, claims that the companies he represents are not buying more land, that they have no plans for expansion, and that the disputed land can become flooded and therefore isn’t suitable for growing palm. During the interview, two things were commonly mentioned: that the people disputing the land are not from Ucayali but instead come mostly from San Martín, and that the land is destined to be used for rice crops.On the entrance road from the Campo Verde district towards Bajo Rayal, rice crops could be seen on both sides of the highway, in areas adjacent to the river. There were also coca plantations.Rice fields near the entrance road to Bajo Rayal. Photo by Yvette Sierra Praeli Agroforestry, Crime, Deforestation, Environment, Featured, Forests, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Oil Palm, Organized Crime, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Rice, 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 Moreover, as I waited for a ferry in Nuevo Piura, at the shores of the Aguaytía River, the conversation turned to issues of land invasions. As I shopped in a store, the proprietors offered me 200 hectares of land – including an ownership title. When I called the person in charge of the sale, he mentioned that the price ranges from about $2,450 to $3,060 per hectare; in other words, the 200 hectares would be about $612,650. The person indicated that the land was “highly productive, suitable for the cultivation of irrigated rice and of cacao.” He added that unworked land is offered for about $1,835 per hectare.This is the way things seem to be in Ucayali: land sales that can encourage confrontations, invasions and even death.Land for everyoneThose who work in the area where the murders occurred as well as the families of the victims are migrants. They came from other regions, such as San Martín and Cajamarca. They are in Ucayali in search of land, they say, and have settled in the area in the hopes of being given forested land.They mention that those responsible for the murders also did not live in Ucayali; they, too, came from other regions such as San Martín and the northern coast of Peru. Julio César Guzmán Mendoza, a public lawyer who specializes in environmental crimes, does not reject the idea that the recent events are linked to palm oil.However, he said there may be other possibilities. The first is that there is a pseudo-association supposedly dedicated to cultivating rice, whose members know that the land corresponds to a strategic cultivation locations and that large monoculture companies could i buy the land from them. According to Guzmán Mendoza, “in that area they are paying [$1,531] per hectare.”The second possibility suggested by Guzmán Mendoza is that Dennis Melka’s companies have organized this strategy of land appropriation, since he claims “it has been one of their methods in Asia.” He said the formation of associations is one of their tactics. “In Malaysia, Melka’s companies utilized various schemes: they would buy possessions or take people from their lands, bribe civil servants, get groups of possessors on paper, from people who didn’t even know they were listed there, and then make sales, one after another, to break the chain of responsibility. But they also formed armed groups that went to put pressure on people so they would give up their lands,” Guzmán Mendoza said.He said that beyond the recent crime, no one seems to be very worried about the situation. “ ‘What is happening with the land?’ should be the question,” he says. “What happened, the murders, reveals a whole situation of crime around the lands of the Amazon and how the jungle is being taken. It’s a case of land trafficking in the Amazon. The investigations should come to find out if we are facing the rice farmers or not.”The end of the roadDuring an improvised assembly, around 15 farmers and reforestation workers from Bajo Rayal tried not to bring up the murders. However, they confess that they’re afraid of losing their land, especially now that they know that part of their land is located within the borders of the permanent production forest.“We don’t know what can happen if they take away our lands,” said one. What they are sure of is that they don’t want to sell their land or be associated with land traffickers.On a motorcycle ride from Bajo Rayal back to Campo Verde, I once again see crops of oil palm, rice, coca, papaya and plantains. I cross a road that still has enormous trees on both sides, with a road into it that seems to have been opened up very recently, but no one knows anything about it.Knocked-down trees and recently-removed forests are still visible near the sides of a new road that crosses the entrance to Bajo Rayal. Photo by Yvette Sierra PraeliThere are almost no cars that use this route. There are just a few motorcycles, moto-taxis and people walking between the small farms. These places are difficult to access, without phone service or electric lights. That day, heavy rain fell on the muddy road for almost two hours. “The jungle is a paradise” is often said when people see photos of the Peruvian Amazon. But deep inside, between destroyed forests and conflicts over land, life in the jungle can be far from idyllic.This story first appeared on Mongabay Latam on September 30, 2017.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Corrupt police caught in bust of Peruvian Amazon drug gang

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Three policemen were arrested after a year-long investigation into narco-trafficking in Peru’s Manú Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and top global biodiversity hotspot.The operation in late June seized over $38,000, more than 290 kilograms (about 640 pounds) of cocaine, a small airplane, and two firearms. A total of 15 people have been arrested for their involvement.Within the Kosñipata district of Manú, production of coca increased from 338 hectares (835 acres) in 2010 to 1,322 hectares (3,267 acres) in 2014. Coca production throughout this Amazon region has increased by 52 percent. On June 23, three police officers in Peru were arrested and now stand accused of providing security and information to narco-traffickers who are part of an international criminal organization.The policemen, Pedro Eber Pocohuanca, Julio Javier Muñoz Meza, and Jhano Guzmán Valer, worked in Pillcopata in the Kosñipata district of Manú province, where coca production has escalated in recent years.The drugs bust, involving 100 police officers and 12 prosecutors, resulted in 15 arrests and spanned three different regions of Peru: Cusco and Madre de Dios within the Manú Biosphere Reserve, and Ayacucho in the Andes. The alleged ringleader of the drugs gang, Julio César Sánchez Tello, is originally from Ayacucho and was arrested along with many others from this Andean region.The narcotics operation highlights how opening up the Manú Biosphere Reserve to the outside world has caused environmental destruction and social injustice. Since the 1950s, the one main road into Manú has steadily been advancing into the rainforest, causing indigenous communities to suffer cultural assimilation, land grabbing and resource exploitation within their native territories.The Diamante native community believes the road is the only route to socio-economic improvements, yet they fear the negative impacts and increased threat of narco traffickers. Photo by Bethan John.Farmers from the Andes, known as “colonists,” were offered various incentives by the state to encourage them to populate the biosphere reserve. The government was keen to exploit the Amazon’s untapped natural resources, and this continues unchecked. The government has created a situation in Manú and the surrounding Amazon region that has given rise to a black market economy: logging, wildlife trafficking, gold mining and cocaine production. There’s little to no control over these illegal activities that are facilitated by corruption within the police.The government has green-lighted the construction of numerous new roads across the Madre de Dios region, declaring them to be “a national priority.” If the status quo continues, then the issues impacting Manú are expected to spread along these new roads, increasing environmental and human rights abuses.Native community’s narco threatThe community of Diamante, in the middle of the Manú rainforest and home to the indigenous Yine people, has become embroiled in this latest narcotics operation. The president of the community, Gloria Palma Mormontoy, is one of the 15 detained. A 43-year-old mother, Palma is originally from the Andes but has been living in the native community for 28 years. She allegedly took payments totaling more than $6,000 from the narco-traffickers in return for allowing them to use the community’s airfield.Along with many local politicians, Palma has spent the past three years campaigning for the Manú road to be extended and built through the community, which currently can only be reached by boat. Most community members are desperate for the road, as they believe it will drastically improve their livelihoods and living standards.It’s expensive and dangerous to navigate the Madre de Dios river, so many communities living in isolated regions of the jungle have been demanding a road. Photo by Eilidh Munro.“We urgently need the road,” said Miryam Lupaca Medina, a primary school teacher living in Diamante. “We are human beings that need a quality of life. And that is what we ask, a quality of life.” She added: “We suffer a lot. We suffer a lot for [the lack of] water here.”Despite the widespread popularity of the road, when asked about the potential impacts, community members were matter-of-fact. “Negatives?” asked Waldir Gomez Zorrillo. “It could be what always happens, no? Narco-trafficking. … It’s already happening. That’s why we are afraid at this moment. How can I defend myself? How can the community?”Indigenous people fear they will become scapegoats. “The ones that work, they run and they escape,” said Gomez. “Because the police aren’t able to catch them, they come in and they blame us. It’s us that pay for it.” Locals claim that when the military are sent in by the state to crack down on narco-trafficking, the soldiers kill innocent people. “This is a red zone. We are in danger. But nobody says anything,” said Adrian Valles Vela. “There have already been three deaths and now there is another. Three dead. Yeah, that’s how it is.”Despite the threats posed by this extension of the Manú road, its construction was approved by the national government in November 2018 and the road will be built through Diamante this summer.A road from logging to coca productionThe Manú road has always facilitated illegal logging, which is rampant and uncontrolled within the biosphere reserve. “I think it is very clear that the road is going to serve the interests of logging,” said Eduardo Salazar Moreira, a Ph.D. student who is studying the impact of the road. “The timber industry is going to continue to follow the road in the same way that it has been following it so far.” It is widely known that the majority of timber traded inside Peru and exported to the rest of the world is logged illegally, laundered with documents that appear official but contain fraudulent information.Illegal logging is uncontrolled throughout Manu and native communities are often scammed into selling logging rights to their land at a very low price due to their desperate economic situation. Photo by Bethan John.Logging is a boom-and-bust activity. Once all the valuable timber has been removed, there’s no more work. Locals say the high-value tree species within Manú are now extremely scarce. “From our Western perspective,” said Salazar Moreira, “it’s very easy to say: ‘Oh, how bad are the loggers that go to destroy the forest.’ But they’re people who are simply looking to get out of their own poverty, to improve the well-being of their family.” He added: “They’ve had a lot of incentives from the government to go and work the land, right? To log and to farm.”Typically, once they’ve logged the valuable trees, they burn the land and plant a monoculture of bananas that are highly dependent on pesticides. The agricultural market is extremely insecure in Manú and generates little profit due to the low price paid by intermediaries. “All of these [agricultural] programs fail simply because of the market,” said Pedro Juan Rey Fernández, the region’s Catholic priest. “There’s no control on the part of the Ministry of Agriculture. The market in Cusco becomes saturated; there are many bananas, the prices drop, and people get discouraged.”People have been encouraged to move to this remote area of the rainforest, where very few economic opportunities are realistically accessible without capital or well-planned, long-standing state support. “We have a state that doesn’t worry about the employment of people,” said Oscar Guadalupe Zevallos, director of a human rights organization. “It doesn’t have a vision for the future. It is taking care of nothing. The poor Peruvians continue being so poor.”Struggling to generate a secure income, many farmers in Manú turn to growing coca as an alternative cash crop. Peru’s cultivation of coca leaves, the source of cocaine, is second in volume only to Colombia. Although permitted in some quantity for traditional use, as it is extremely important culturally in Peru, it is mostly illegal. Cocaine production is rife throughout the Manú Biosphere Reserve, and narco-traffickers, connected to an international network, have infiltrated many communities.After a three year campaign by the regional government and local communities, the national government approved the new road and construction began on 15 November 2018. Photo by Bethan John.Much of this production is destined for Bolivia or Brazil, the world’s second-largest market for cocaine. Both these neighboring countries are accessed easily by the newly built Interoceanic Highway. Although yet to be approved, the plan is to extend the Manú road to connect with the Interoceanic Highway. This could have a dramatic impact on illicit coca production and cocaine trafficking within the biosphere reserve, according to research led by Geoffrey Gallice of the University of Florida.Politicians’ empty promisesThe extension of the Manú road has been a source of prolonged conflict between the regional government and conservationists, especially the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP). It is predicted to cause 12,399 hectares (30,640 acres) of deforestation by next year, increasing to 43,347 hectares (107,110 acres) by 2040, according to SePerú. It is cutting through the buffer zone of Manú National Park — declared the world’s top biodiversity hotspot — and Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, co-owned by indigenous communities.The former regional governor, Luis Otsuka Salazar, has promised native communities that the road will bring improved livelihoods and living standards: “This road will serve so that you can bring bread, a book, a notebook, a shoe for your children,” Otsuka said.Communities in Manu, who have had a road for over 50 years, warn that connection has destroyed their way of life and has not brought the improved living conditions promised by politicians. Photo by Bethan John.Yet some question the true motivation behind its construction. “The road is not for the benefit of communities,” said Victoria Corisepa Dreve, a Harakmbut indigenous woman from the Shintuya native community. “It’s for the benefit of big businesses, for illegal activities.” Many in Shintuya, a few hours upriver from Diamante, say the road has brought cultural assimilation, land grabbing and resource exploitation within their native territory.Some argue that indigenous communities living far from the road are being manipulated; their desperation to improve their living standards is being used as a political tool to force through infrastructure development in the Amazon.“It is very human to desire to be interconnected, to have a road,” said Guadalupe. “So they play with people’s natural desire and they sell us roads, but they’re not selling us development. How are we going to use that development tool, the road, to improve the family economically, to improve the education of children? We are going to witness families destroyed. Natural resources destroyed. And if we summarize, we are talking about the development of the country!”Manu Biosphere Reserve, in the remote south-eastern Peru, is a UNSECO World Heritage Site and home to diversity of indigenous communities, including those living in voluntary isolation. Photo by Bethan John.Citation:Gallice, G. R., Larrea-Gallegos, G., & Vázquez-Rowe, I. (2017). The threat of road expansion in the Peruvian Amazon. Oryx, 53(2), 284-292. doi:10.1017/s0030605317000412Bethan John is a freelance multimedia journalist specializing in biodiversity conservation and social justice. Her team spent two months on a film expedition to Manú, interviewing communities about the social, economic and environmental issues they face. They’re producing a documentary, Voices on the Road, which will be released later this year. To discover more, visit voicesontheroadfilm.com or follow the story on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Amazon Rainforest, Corruption, Drug Trade, Environment, Forests, Gold Mining, Illegal Logging, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Reserves, Law Enforcement, Logging, Mining, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Roads, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Trafficking 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

Expedition finds new humpback breeding ground and sends first deep divers to Amazon Reef

first_imgA number of marine species, from whales and dolphins to sea turtles and sharks, are known to migrate through the waters off the coast of French Guiana, the same biodiversity-rich waters that harbor the Amazon Reef, which was discovered in 2016.Scientists with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) onboard the Greenpeace ship Esperanza discovered and documented humpbacks as well as tropical whale species feeding and breeding in the area, which they say is a first.As part of the same expedition, the first dives down to the Amazon Reef were undertaken in order to document the reef ecosystem via high-resolution photography and collect biological samples. A scientific expedition launched by environmental NGO Greenpeace has discovered a new humpback breeding ground off the coast of French Guiana and sent the first-ever deep divers down to the Amazon Reef.A number of marine species, from whales and dolphins to sea turtles and sharks, are known to migrate through the waters off the coast of French Guiana, the same biodiversity-rich waters that harbor the Amazon Reef, which was discovered in 2016. Scientists with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) onboard the Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza observed several different species of marine megafauna during the expedition, including Bryde’s Rorquals, false and pygmy killer whales, silky sharks, Melon Head dolphins, and spotted dolphins.The scientists also discovered and documented humpbacks as well as tropical whale species feeding and breeding in the area, which they say is a first.A school of fish in the Amazon Reef. To study marine life in the area, French scientists from the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) are with Greenpeace during the Amazon Reef leg of the Protect the Oceans year-long tour. Photo © Pierre Baelen / Greenpeace.“This expedition confirms that the region is more than a migratory route for some species; for the first time, we have seen tropical whales feeding in this area,” Olivier Van Canneyt, a marine biologist with CNRS, said in a statement. “We also observed humpback whales with their young; their presence confirms that it is also a vital place of breeding and breastfeeding. French Guiana waters are a crucial place for the survival of many cetacean species.”Humpback whale in the Amazon Reef, seen from the MY Esperanza. Photo © Pierre Baelen / Greenpeace.Melon-headed Dolphins in the Amazon Reef. Whales, sharks, and dolphins live or travel through the Amazon Reef area. Photo © Pierre Baelen / Greenpeace.As part of the same expedition, the first dives down to the Amazon Reef were undertaken in order to document the reef ecosystem via high-resolution photography and collect biological samples.Stretching across 9,500 square kilometers (or nearly 3,700 square miles) and extending all the way from French Guiana’s waters south to Maranhão State in northern Brazil, the Amazon Reef is a reef system located where the Amazon River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon River carries a lot of mud and sediment by the time it empties into the Atlantic, which makes the ocean surface waters nutrient-rich and well-suited to supporting life, but also quite turbid, allowing little to no light to penetrate.Mesophotic coral of the Caryophylliidae family. Photo taken at 100 meters depth on the Amazon Reef. Photo © Alexis Rosenfeld / Greenpeace.“These dives are particularly challenging: the water is loaded with sediments from the Amazon river, currents are very strong and we have no visibility when we start descending,” Alexis Rosenfeld, a photographer and one of six professional deep divers who participated in the dives, said in a statement. “But it’s totally worth it when the halo of my light beams reveals the Amazon Reef. This is a haven of life, a treasure of biodiversity explored for the first time by humans and whose mystery is only just being revealed.”The Brazilian National Petroleum Agency has estimated that as many as 14 billion barrels of oil may lie under the ocean floor near the Amazon Reef. The Brazilian government is looking to open the area to oil exploration, which prompted Greenpeace to launch a campaign in 2017 aimed at protecting the Amazon Reef. That same year, Greenpeace released the first-ever underwater photos of the reef system, taken by crew aboard a submarine launched from the Esperanza.First HD picture in the Amazon Reef, showing Mesophotic coral of the Caryophylliidae family. Photo taken at 100 meters depth. Photo © Alexis Rosenfeld / Greenpeace.Amazon Reef, captured during a deep dive. This photo of mesophotic reef was taken at a depth of 100 meters on the Amazon Reef. Photo © Alexis Rosenfeld / Olivier Bianchimani / Greenpeace.You can listen to John Hocevar, a marine biologist and director of Greenpeace USA’s oceans campaigns, discuss what it was like to pilot the submersible vehicle and be one of the first humans to ever see the Amazon Reef with their own eyes on a June 2017 episode of the Mongabay Newscast.British oil giant BP is currently seeking the environmental licenses it needs to drill off the northern coast of Brazil. Brazilian regulators denied French company Total the licenses it needed to drill near the Amazon Reef last year, but Greenpeace says that BP could start drilling as soon as this year.“We’re in a climate emergency: we just can’t afford to drill and burn more oil. As a comparison, even if deforestation in the Amazon forest ended tomorrow, if we burn the estimated reserves of the Amazon Reef region, it would be the same as continuing to deforest the Amazon for another eight years,” François Chartier of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign said in a statement. “It’s clear that the climate crisis is also an ocean crisis. Healthy oceans are critical in tackling climate change, and drilling for oil here could be ruinous for both our oceans and for our climate.”Divers return from an exploration in the 100 meter zone. The water is loaded with sediments but the visibility is still good. They reach the surface in three hours. Photo Photo © Alexis Rosenfeld / Greenpeace.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki Climate Change And Coral Reefs, Coral Reefs, Environment, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Mammals, Oceans, Whales 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

Mongabay editor arrested in Indonesia

first_imgEndangered Environmentalists, Environmental Journalism, Featured, Human Rights, press release Article published by mongabayauthor Mongabay editor Philip Jacobson was detained in Indonesia on December 17, 2019 over an alleged issue with his business visa.Jacobson was formally arrested on January 21 and is currently incarcerated in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.This is a press release from Mongabay about a developing situation and may be updated.As of January 29, Jacobson is still under ‘city arrest’. [UPDATE] 1/31/2020 – Philip Jacobson was deported from Indonesia today, with the original charge against him dismissed. Read more here. Philip Jacobson, an award-winning editor for the environmental science news outlet Mongabay, has been arrested for an alleged visa violation in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, on Tuesday after being put under city arrest for a month.Jacobson, 30, was first detained on December 17, 2019 after attending a hearing between the Central Kalimantan parliament and the local chapter of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), Indonesia’s largest indigenous rights advocacy group.He had travelled to the city shortly after entering Indonesia on a business visa for a series of meetings. The day he was due to leave, immigration authorities seized his passport, interrogated him for four hours and ordered him to remain in the city pending their investigation.On January 21, more than a month later, Jacobson was formally arrested and taken into custody. He was informed that he faces charges of violating the 2011 immigration law and a prison sentence of up to five years. He is now being held at a prison in Palangkaraya.Phillip Jacobson with his mother Elizabeth (left).“We are supporting Philip in this on-going case and making every effort to comply with Indonesia’s immigration authorities,” said Mongabay Founder and CEO Rhett A. Butler. “I am surprised that immigration officials have taken such punitive action against Philip for what is an administrative matter.”Jacobson’s arrest comes shortly after Human Rights Watch issued a report documenting rising violence against activists and environmentalists in Indonesia, and amid a growing sense that critical voices are being suppressed.“Journalists and people employed by journalism organizations should be free to work in Indonesia without fear of arbitrary detention,” said Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch, who knows Jacobson and understands his case. “Philip Jacobson’s treatment is a worrying sign that the government is cracking down on the kind of work that is essential to the health of Indonesian democracy.”Last month The Indonesian Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) issued a report documenting 53 incidents of abuse against journalists, including five criminal cases, in 2019.Press contactsAryo Nugroho (Indonesia)LBH Palangkaraya+62 852-5296-0916Rhett Butler (United States)press@mongabay.com+1 6502604018Phillip Jacobson on a beach in Indonesia.Chronology of Phil Jacobson immigration caseSummary: Philip Jacobson is an employee of Mongabay, a non-profit environmental science news organization. Jacobson is an editor for Mongabay and splits his time between Indonesia and his native U.S. This document outlines events culminating in Jacobson’s detention in the Indonesian city of Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.December 14: Jacobson, traveling on a multiple-entry business visa, arrived in Palangkaraya, the capital city of Central Kalimantan province, to meet with the local chapter of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), an indigenous rights advocacy group.December 16: Jacobson attended a dialogue at the parliament building between the Central Kalimantan parliament and the local chapter of AMAN.December 17: Jacobson was scheduled on a flight out of Palangkaraya, but before he could leave for the airport, immigration officers went to his guesthouse and confiscated his passport. The officials ordered Jacobson to come in the next day for questioning. It later became clear that someone had photographed Jacobson at the parliament building and reported him to immigration.December 18: Jacobson was interrogated about his activities at the immigration office. Authorities took an official statement, known as a BAP, and ordered Jacobson to remain in Palangkaraya while they continued their investigation.December 20: The US embassy called the immigration office, which would not provide a timeline for the investigation or administrative process.December 24: Jacobson missed his international flight out of Indonesia for the Christmas and New Years holiday.December 26-January 7: Immigration continues to be evasive about the timeline for the administrative process.January 9: Jacobson was summoned to the immigration office, where he received a formal letter saying he is suspected of committing a visa violation and is being investigated. Authorities state that as long as Jacobson remained cooperative, he would remain under city arrest, rather than detained in an immigration cell.January 21 (Day 36): Immigration officers appear at Jacobson’s guesthouse room and instruct him to pack his belongings and come with them. He is taken into custody and transferred to a detention center.Press contactsAryo Nugroho (Indonesia)LBH Palangkaraya+62 852-5296-0916Rhett Butler (United States)press@mongabay.com+1 6502604018center_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

Frayeur pour les Roud Léiwen lors de leur vol pour la Lituanie

first_imgJ.M. Un problème assez vite maîtrisé, qui proviendrait d’un problème de ventilation. L’avion était visiblement trop chargé. Petit coup de panique pour la sélection nationale de football, qui a atterri jeudi midi à Vilnius, en Lituanie, où l’attend vendredi un match des éliminatoires de l’Euro-2020. Partager tweet Plus de peur que de mal pour les Roud Léiwen, tant mieux ! Trente minutes après le décollage de leur avion du Findel, de la compagnie Carpatair, une épaisse fumée à commencé de s’échapper du plancher, sur le devant de l’appareil. last_img read more