Madagascar mine ignites protests, community division

first_imgAn Australian mining company, Base Resources, plans to break ground soon on a mineral sands mining project in southwestern Madagascar.Base Resources says the project represents a development opportunity for the region. It has the support of most government officials and local mayors.But local opposition groups have called for an end to the project, citing the negative environmental impact it could have and insisting that it’s been made possible only through corrupt land deals.The battle over the project has played out in the Malagasy media for several years and is reaching a fever pitch as the project nears fruition. In the latest development, a Madagascar court released nine community members held for six weeks on accusations of participating in the destruction of Base Resources’ exploration campsite. FIANARANTSOA, Madagascar — Last month, a Madagascar court ended a six-week saga for people in the southwestern village of Benetse, near the city of Toliara. Nine members of the community had been detained without trial for several weeks following an act of civil disobedience against an Australian mining company, Base Resources, that plans to break ground soon on a mineral sands project in the area.Their friends and family in Benetse went to great lengths, literally, to support the nine after they were detained. In late May, more than a dozen villagers traveled for the first time to Fianarantsoa, a city hundreds of miles away on the country’s high plateau. But they weren’t able to enjoy the red gullied landscape of the highlands, so unlike the spiny forests and baobob trees back home in the dry, flat southwest. They were in Fianarantsoa to see their loved ones — small-scale farmers who had lately become known as the “Toliara 9” — stand trial.Emma Vazonandrasana and others in a bush taxi on the way home to the village of Benetse. They’d gone to Fianarantsoa, a city in the country’s central highlands, to support nine friends and family members who’d been detained for their alleged role in the destruction of Base Resources’s property. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.The nine men were apparently part of a group of around 40 community members that burned and vandalized Base Resources’ exploration campsite in April. In early May, authorities arrested the nine, charged them with arson, destruction of property, and forming a mob, and transferred them to prison in Fianarantsoa. They were scheduled to go before a judge on May 24, but at the last moment the trial was postponed for two weeks.“We are disappointed,” Emma Vazonandrasana, who was among those who made the 12-hour taxi-bus trip to Fianarantsoa, and whose brother and father were among the nine, told Mongabay the next day. “We spent so much time and money to be there. We are tired, tired of worrying, tired of the travel. We thought they would be released today.”However, Vazonandrasana’s side received welcome news on June 13, when the nine men were released. They were convicted of unarmed gathering without permission and given six-month prison sentences, but the sentences were suspended. The court gave the nine the benefit of the doubt with regard to arson and destruction of property.Civil society groups in Madagascar rejoiced at the verdict, even if they deemed the conviction and suspended sentence unfair. “It’s nice to see that this system works from time to time!” Ketakandriana Rafitoson, executive director of Transparency International Initiative Madagascar, wrote in response to an emailed communiqué from civil society groups that Mongabay received.The battle over the mineral sands project has played out in the Malagasy media for several years and is reaching a fever pitch as the project nears fruition. Base Resources plans to start construction this year and says the project represents a development opportunity for the region. It has the support of most government officials and local mayors. The company calls its deposit near Toliara “world class” and has indicated, in a televised interview, that it will have the highest profit margins of any mineral sands project in the world. But opposition groups based in Toliara, Benetse and nearby villages have called for an end to the project, citing the negative environmental impact it could have and insisting that it’s been made possible only through corrupt land deals.The prison in Fianarantsoa where the “Toliara 9” were held from early May until June 13. The prosecutor denied Mongabay access to the nine men while they were detained, saying that such visits weren’t allowed before the trial. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Demand for whitenessThe ultimate cause of the controversy is consumer demand for whiteness. Ilmenite, the main mineral in the deposit, yields titanium dioxide, which helps make paint, toothpaste and sunscreen white. The deposit also contains exploitable levels of rutile and zircon, which have similar uses as pigments. Another large mineral sands project, run by a subsidiary of London-based mining giant Rio Tinto, has been operating in Madagascar for about a decade, and has also faced opposition and scrutiny from local groups.Though mineral sands deposits exist in coastal areas the world over, they are most often exploited in the developing world, where environmental regulations are lax or difficult to enforce, Steven Emerman, a Utah-based geophysicist and consultant who has studied Rio Tinto’s Madagascar project, told Mongabay. (Australia, where mineral sands projects are better regulated, might be considered an exception.)One of the risks of mineral sands mining is exposure of both workers and the public to uranium and thorium, both radioactive metals. Uranium and thorium can get into local water supplies or be inhaled as dust. Thorium levels are especially high at the proposed mining site near Toliara, and “serious radioprotection measures” will be required to make the project safe, a 2014 study by chemists at the University of Antananarivo found. The zircon at the Toliara deposit is so high in uranium and thorium that Base Resources will not be able to sell it in the United States, Japan or the European Union, which will treat it as radioactive waste.“Who are they planning on selling this radioactive zircon to?” Emerman asked.Base Resources declined to share its environmental and social impact assessment with Mongabay. “The ESIA summary is currently very extensive and we do not currently have a shortened version for distribution,” Jean Bruno Ramahefarivo, the  company’s general manager for external affairs in Madagascar, said in a written statement to Mongabay. The statement was part of a long email exchange with company representatives, who did not respond to requests for clarification as to why the length of the impact assessment prevented it from being shared publicly.Base Resources is a small company compared to the likes of Rio Tinto. It made its name developing the Kwale mineral sands project in southern Kenya over the last decade. Looking for a second project, the company acquired Base Toliara, as its local subsidiary is now known, in January 2018. The company expects to create more than 850 permanent jobs, almost all for Malagasy nationals, and to pay the Madagascar government about $28 million in taxes and royalties each year from 2022 to 2054. There would also be knock-on employment and tax benefits as local suppliers did business with Base Toliara.The village of Tsianisiha, west of the proposed mining site. The population is divided about the project. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Base Toliara plans to use a “dry mining” technique. After removing the vegetation and stripping the topsoil, the company will excavate the sand to 20 meters (66 feet) below the surface. Bulldozers will push sand into “dozer mining units” that mix it with water, forming a slurry that will then be pumped to a plant where heavy mineral concentrate — the useful bit, making up about 6 percent of the original sand — is pulled out. This concentrate will be piped to a second plant and separated into ilmenite, rutile and zircon. The minerals will then be trucked via a private road to a small shipping terminal in Toliara.Plans for the road and terminal are particularly controversial. The road, exclusively for use by company vehicles, would cut through pastoral land and divide some farmers from the land they work, although the communities are being consulted on where crossing points can be built. The terminal would be built on Andaboy Beach, which many local people consider sacred. The site of spiritual rites, it is sometimes littered with coins, and there are taboos about eating pork before going there. Large crowds gather around Andaboy on holidays such as Easter, and local fishers use it as a base of operations.A group called Zanadriake (meaning “Children of the sea”) has opposed the terminal construction plans for many years. A middle-aged member named Gano told Mongabay that he was proud to have earned his living as a Vezo — an ethnic identification associated with living off the sea. He has been a fisher and sea-cucumber diver for 37 years, earning enough to send his children to school. Like others in the group, he said he regards any agreement to lease the land at Andaboy to a foreign company as a betrayal of Vezo tradition, and one that will only benefit white-collar workers.“If Base Toliara occupies it for its mineral sands project, where will we earn our living from?” Gano asked. “Are we not human beings? They at Base Toliara have skills, so they are human beings. But we that do not have skills, we are not [treated like] human beings.”Base Toliara told Mongabay that its terminal will take up only 2 hectares (5 acres) of a large beach area, and that the jetty will be high enough for pirogues to sail under, between the pillars. The company plans to build an artificial reef to increase the catch for local fishers.Gano (in red cap), a member of Zanadriake, an organization of fishers and divers that opposes Base Resources’s plan to build a small port at the beach near Toliara, looks on as his friend Gentsy shows a video of the beach during a crowded holiday. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Fears of displacementDemonstrations against the project have become commonplace in recent years. The leading faces of the opposition are Théo Rakotovao, a well-known Malagasy musician who comes from the region and has sung about the mining controversy, and Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, a member of parliament from a neighboring area who has given rousing speeches about the mine. They have led protests at the beach and in the streets over the past two years. Representatives of community opposition groups have also traveled to the capital Antananarivo to register their discontent with the central government.In addition to concerns over environmental impact, the protests are about land rights, including cultural and economic displacement. The first thing many local people point out is that there are tombs on the land (91 of them, according to Base Toliara). The company says the families have agreed to have the tombs moved and will be given three zebu cattle as compensation, in line with Malagasy tradition.Twenty households live on the deposit itself, some of whose members work for the company and have agreed to move. However, the project will impact the livelihoods of many more people who farm and raise animals on that land. The company acknowledges this “resource utilization” and says it will compensate them for the loss, probably by the end of July, in accordance with Madagascar law and International Finance Corporation Performance Standard 5, which deals with involuntary resettlement.As a foreign-owned company, Base Toliara can’t own land; it must lease it from the national government. The government is currently in the process of buying or otherwise taking possession of the necessary land. This creates conflict because many local people don’t have formal deeds to the land they live on, let alone the land they farm or graze their animals on. Even without deeds, they have land rights under Madagascar law, but in practice these are not always honored.Even if a company such as Base Toliara does everything above board, the lack of transparent governance in Madagascar can open the door for unscrupulous mayors and regional officials to abuse their power. They decide who owns untitled land — land that has suddenly become very valuable — and this can create a great deal of resentment among community members.Manantsoa Ratsimaro, a Mazoto supporter and 61-year-old farmer in the village of Tsianisiha, stands outside his house next to campaign material for President Andry Rajoelina. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.A people divided The mayors of the five affected communes, each containing many villages, support Base Toliara. Jean Manantena Mahatokisa, the mayor of Tsianisiha, told Mongabay the mining project will bring jobs and progress as he fixed the ink cartridge on an old typewriter in his office. Although he was mildly critical of the company’s communication strategy, he said he’d seen no corruption, and he claimed that 95 percent of his constituents supported the project.The mayor’s math seemed well off the mark. Many residents of Tsianisiha and the other communes adamantly oppose the mining project. Most people stopped at random by Mongabay proudly declared their affiliation with the main opposition group, Mazoto (meaning “motivated” or “eager”).Manantsoa Ratsimaro, a Mazoto supporter and 61-year-old farmer in Tsianisiha, called the mayors of the five communes “traitors.” Standing near his thatch-roofed house, he pointed out the plums, cassavas and twining plants growing in his yard. “I’ll never agree to let Base Toliara exploit my land because my descendants need to live off of it,” he told Mongabay. “Without the land, they will suffer. They did not finish school. I will not accept the project even in exchange for a billion ariary [around $275,000]. I would spend that money quickly and it wouldn’t have any effect on my descendants. However, things that we eat here are abundant and will last even after I’m gone. [My descendants] can grow old with them.”Manantsoa Ratsimaro sits outside his house with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “I’ll never agree to let Base Toliara exploit my land because my descendants need to live off it,” he said. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.However, there is debate about what people such as Ratsimaro can legitimately call their land, and there is a current of local support for the mining project. Some people, especially those with more schooling, are excited by the job opportunities it presents. “Young people will work for them [Base Toliara]. Older people will work for them,” Alexis, a resident of Ranobe, a village near the proposed mining site and the father of several children, told Mongabay. “This will put an end to crime because criminals will find jobs. Robberies result from hunger and poverty. If Base Toliara comes to life, robbery and poverty will be no more, and the area will develop.”Some villagers told Mongabay that they think of Base Toliara in the same way they think of charities that have worked in the area. The company has already spent $400,000 on social projects, such as the construction of three deep wells. If exploitation commences, Base Toliara will be required by Madagascar law to spend $500,000 annually on social projects; the company says it plans to go beyond that and spend at least $1 million to $2 million.Alexis, a resident of Ranobe, one of the villages closest to the proposed mining site, supports the project, mainly for the jobs it will create and the security this will provide. “Robberies result from hunger and poverty. If Base Toliara comes to life, robbery and poverty will be no more, and the area will develop.” Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Madagascar’s mining minister visited the Base Toliara concession area in March and said he would report on the issue to President Andry Rajoelina, who has remained silent on the project but tends to support the extractive industries. The president’s communications team declined to comment for this article. Madagascar’s mining ministry did not respond to requests for comment.Base Toliara’s exploitation permit is of questionable validity. The Madagascar government that issued the 40-year permit in 2012 may not have had the authority to do so. It was a “transition” government led by Rajoelina, who had come to power following a 2009 coup d’état. Rajoelina is now the country’s legitimate president, having won the 2018 election, but his earlier administration had, under international pressure, agreed not to make such far-reaching deals. “The Transitional Government shall be responsible for administering the day-to-day affairs of the country…It will refrain from making new long-term commitments,” reads the Roadmap for Ending the Crisis in Madagascar signed by Rajoelina in September 2011, which became Malagasy law later that year. (It was Rajoelina’s signing of this agreement that allowed him to receive some official recognition by the United Nations, which had previously shunned him.) When Mongabay questioned Base Resources about this issue in an email, Ramahefarivo replied: “The exploitation permit was acquired by the previous owners and is considered valid.”Base Toliara has exploration rights — but not exploitation permits — at three other large concessions in southwest Madagascar. Few people in the region seem to know about these. Base Resources representatives told Mongabay that it has done no research in those three areas and does not know if Malagasy people live there. However, an anthropologist who works in the region told Mongabay that the sites are “absolutely” inhabited; that there are a number of villages and hamlets in and around the concessions, including many that are visible on maps; that the concession areas are important for rice production; and that it was puzzling that Base Resources would deny knowing that.Gano (in red cap) and other members of Zanadriake look at a map of Base Resources’s concessions in the region. One man points at the blue dot that represents Toliara, the city where many of the group’s members live, and where the company is planning to build a small port that they object to. The company plans to begin construction on the concession nearest to Toliara this year. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Banditry or protest?Ramahefarivo referred to the people who burned the company’s campsite as “bandits” in an email to Mongabay, and he told a Malagasy journalist that the idea that the Toliara 9 were defending their rights was a “pure lie”. However, the event was orchestrated in the manner of civil disobedience. About 40 protesters took action together, both men and women, in the light of day. They did not injure anyone; they invited television crews, who recorded the event; and they vandalized property, including samples of ilmenite and zircon, directly in front of gendarmes, who were also filming.The people of Benetse did not feel anyone should be imprisoned for the action. “They are innocent people who protected the tanindraza [the land of the ancestors]” Emma Vazonandrasana, the young woman who tried to see the trial in Fianarantsoa, said of the nine who were arrested, using the Malagasy word for one’s family or community land.Children in a coastal village west of Base Resource’s main mining concession stand near a campaign poster for Théo Rakotovao, a musician who opposes the mining project. Rakotovao ran unsuccessfully for parliament in May. “I entered into politics in order to protect people,” he said. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Even with the Toliara 9 now free, the controversy surrounding the project is likely to continue. The company hopes to ship the first ilmenite in 2021. Opposition groups such as Mazoto have no clear-cut plan to stop the project and seem to be running out of time, but are hoping that their determination will somehow pay off.“If the people don’t agree, the mining company should go home,” said Rakotovao, the musician and opposition leader. “They can exploit mineral sands in Australia.”last_img read more

Audio: David Quammen on ecological restoration, emerging diseases, evolutionary science, and more

first_imgIn a recent piece for National Geographic, where he is a regular contributor, Quammen profiles Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique — once touted by none other than E.O. Wilson himself, in an interview with Mongabay, as a place where successful restoration efforts were underway and benefitting nature, wildlife, and humans.Another recent focus of Quammen’s work has been emerging diseases — his 2014 book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, for instance, looks at the science, history, and human impacts of emerging diseases, especially viral diseases like ebola. That made his appearance on the Newscast particularly well-timed, because the day before taping the interview, the World Health Organization announced that an ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become a global health emergency, only the fifth time the WHO has ever made such a declaration.Quammen’s most recent book, 2018’s The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life, explores the revolution in how scientists understand the history of evolution on Earth sparked by the work of Carl Woese.David Quammen appears on the Mongabay Newscast to discuss all of the above as well as what gives him hope that biodiversity loss and destruction of the natural world can be halted.Here’s this episode’s top news:From over 100,000 species assessments in IUCN update, zero improvementsJune 2019 was the hottest on record: NOAAU.S. Virgin Islands bans coral-damaging sunscreensWould you like to hear how Mongabay grew out of its founder’s childhood adventures in rainforests and a fascination with frogs? Or how a Mongabay editor reacted to meeting one of the world’s last Bornean rhinos? We now offer Insider Content that delivers behind-the-scenes reporting and stories like these from our team. For a small monthly donation, you’ll get exclusive access and support our work in a new way. Visit mongabay.com/insider to learn more and join the growing community of Mongabay readers on the inside track.If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at patreon.com/mongabay. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.The lion population in Gorongosa National Park is on the rebound thanks to the Gorongosa Restoration Project. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY 2.0.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. Article published by Mike Gaworecki 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 Today we speak with award-winning science writer, author, and journalist David Quammen about some of the most promising and fascinating trends in conservation and evolutionary science.In a recent piece for National Geographic, where he is a regular contributor, Quammen profiles Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. His 2014 book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, looks at the science, history, and human impacts of emerging diseases. Quammen’s most recent book, 2018’s The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life, explores the revolution in how scientists understand the history of evolution on Earth sparked by the work of Carl Woese.David Quammen appears on the Mongabay Newscast to discuss all of the above as well as what gives him hope that biodiversity loss and destruction of the natural world can be halted. Today we speak with award-winning science writer, author, and journalist David Quammen about some of the most promising and fascinating trends in conservation and evolutionary science.Listen here: Books, Diseases, Ecological Restoration, Ecosystem Restoration, Environment, Environmental Journalism, Evolution, Interviews, Interviews With Environmental Journalists, Journalism, National Parks, Podcast, Protected Areas, Restoration, Science last_img read more

DiCaprio joins $5M effort to combat Amazon fires

first_imgArticle published by Rhett Butler In response to rising deforestation and fires in the Amazon, on Sunday actor Leonardo DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth announced the establishment of a $5 million fund to support indigenous communities and other first responders working to protect the Amazon.The Amazon Forest Fund is the first major initiative of the Earth Alliance, which Global Wildlife Conservation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and the Emerson Collective formed in July.The fund’s initial grants went to five Brazilian organizations: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida, the Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, Instituto Kabu, Instituto Raoni, and Instituto Socioambiental.The establishment of the fund comes amid global outcry over rising deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. After years of declining deforestation in the region, forest clearing spiked in July. Then last week, smoke from land-clearing fires blackened the skies above Sao Paulo, acting as a catalyst for worldwide awareness of the issue. In response to rising deforestation and fires in the Amazon, on Sunday actor Leonardo DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth announced the establishment of a $5 million fund to support indigenous communities and other first responders working to protect the Amazon.“The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution,” DiCaprio said in an Instagram post. “Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check.”CANDEIRAS DO JAMARI, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL: Aerial view of a large burned area in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the state of Rondônia. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)The Amazon Forest Fund is the first major initiative of the Earth Alliance, which Global Wildlife Conservation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and the Emerson Collective formed in July. The fund’s initial grants went to five Brazilian organizations: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), the Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo), and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).“We are proud to support [these] local organizations combating the fires, protecting indigenous lands, and providing relief to the communities impacted,” said Earth Alliance in an Instagram post.Three of the organizations are run by the Kayapo, an indigenous group whose territories serve as a bulwark against deforestation on Brazil’s so-called “Arc of Deforestation”.NOVA BANDEIRANTES, MATO GROSSO, BRAZIL. Aerial view of burned areas in the Amazon rainforest, in the city of Nova Bandeirantes, Mato Grosso state. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)The establishment of the fund comes amid global outcry over rising deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. After years of declining deforestation in the region, forest clearing spiked in July. Then last week, smoke from land-clearing fires blackened the skies above Sao Paulo, one of the world’s largest metropolises, acting as a catalyst for worldwide awareness of the issue. European governments and Canada have now pledged tens of millions of dollars to support fire-fighting efforts.But addressing fires in the long-run will require more than fire-fighting, say environmentalists, who have sharply criticized the Bolsonaro administration’s roll-back of environmental regulations, amnesty for illegal deforesters, and heated rhetoric against indigenous peoples, scientists, and activists.Cumulative deforestation through July for each year from 2008 according to INPE’s DETER system. Deforestation this year is on the fastest pace since 2008.Cumulative fire hotspots in the Brazilian Amazon according to INPE. Note: August 2019 data is through August 24. Fires in Amazonia are at the highest level since 2010.“The fires that are devastating the Amazon are also destroying Brazil’s image internationally,” said Márcio Astrini, Public Policy Coordinator at Greenpeace Brazil in a statement. “Even the agribusiness sectors are already admitting that the government’s anti-environmental policies can bring economic damage. In the meantime, Bolsonaro is not announcing any concrete measures to fight deforestation.”“Taking action to end deforestation must be everyone’s goal and an obligation of those who lead the country.”Related stories:Bolsonaro expresses ‘love’ for Amazon as it burns, offers no policy shift [08/26/2019]Greenpeace releases dramatic photos of Amazon fires [08/25/2019]How many fires are burning in the Amazon? [08/25/2019]Amazon fires trigger protests worldwide [08/24/2019]Satellite images from Planet reveal devastating Amazon fires in near real-time [08/22/2019]Amazon rainforest fires leave São Paulo in the dark [08/21/2019]Disclosure: Mongabay received a grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 2017, but is not an active grantee. The Foundation has no editorial influence on what we publish. Conservation, Conservation Philosophy, Deforestation, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Green, Indigenous Peoples, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, wildfires 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

Gravely injured orangutan rescued near site of controversial hydropower project

first_imgA severely injured and malnourished Tapanuli orangutan has been rescued from a plantation near the site of a controversial hydropower project in Sumatra.The animal was found to have deep, infected gashes on its head and under its arm, which rescuers say were likely inflicted by humans.The orangutan may have been fleeing forest-clearing activity near the project site, which is located in the Batang Toru forest, the only known habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan.This is not the first instance of orangutans apparently being driven out of their habitat by the project, which environmental activists and scientists say must be put on hold to protect the rarest great ape species in the world. JAKARTA — A severely injured and malnourished orangutan has been rescued from a plantation near a Sumatra forest where a hydropower project threatens the only known habitat of this particular species of great ape.Locals spotted the male Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), believed to be about 30 years old, inside a plantation in Aek Batang Paya village, South Tapanuli district, on the edge of the Batang Toru forest. They reported it to the local conservation department, known as the BKSDA, which then enlisted the Orangutan Information Center (OIC), a conservation NGO, to help confirm the finding.Officials from the BKSDA and OIC traveled to the site on the night of Sept. 18 and found the badly injured orangutan in the plantation the next morning.“Our medical team found injuries that are very critical because there is a gash on his head,” OIC head Panut Hadisiswoyo told Mongabay. “There is also a big stab wound under his left armpit.“Our team suspects that the wounds were caused by sharp weapons. If the injuries were a result of the orangutan fighting with other animals, then there should be scratch wounds, not stab wounds,” he said, emphasizing that the orangutan had most likely been attacked by humans.The attack appears to have occurred several days earlier, given the condition of the wounds, Panut said.“His wounds were already infested with maggots,” he said.The BKSDA and OIC officials immediately evacuated the orangutan to a quarantine center managed by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) for medical treatment.It’s not immediately clear who could have attacked the orangutan, although it’s common for the animals to be shot at and hacked by farmers who consider them a pest.A deep gash is clearly visible above the left eye of the male Tapanuli orangutan found in a plantation in northern Sumatra, Indonesia.Wake-up callThis isn’t the first time a Tapanuli orangutan has been found outside the Batang Toru ecosystem, the only known habitat of the critically endangered species but also the site of a controversial hydroelectric power plant project.A year ago, Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry reported that preconstruction activity for the dam and power plant had driven a group of Tapanuli orangutans out of their habitat and into nearby plantations.“So it’s already proven that the project has already dealt an impact,” Wiratno, the ministry’s director general for conservation, told Mongabay at the time. “While there’s no casualty yet, it’s an indication that the project must have had an impact [on the orangutans].”Panut said this latest discovery — in a plantation just 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles) from the hydropower project site — should serve as a wake-up call for the government to protect the ape’s habitat by designating the Batang Toru ecosystem a protected forest. The Tapanuli orangutan, described in 2017 and already teetering on the brink of extinction, lives in pockets of the 1,338-square-kilometer (516-square-mile) Batang Toru ecosystem. The habitat has been fragmented by infrastructure projects such as roads, causing the population of the orangutans to plummet by 83 percent over the course of three generations.Fewer than 800 individuals are believed to survive in a tiny tract of forest less than one-fifth the size of the metropolitan area that comprises Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.Some of the orangutans live in areas zoned for conversion, also known as APL. These areas cover 100 to 150 square kilometers (39 to 58 square miles), or 15 percent of the Tapanuli orangutans’ habitats. They also have the highest biodiversity of the entire Batang Toru ecosystem and also the highest densities of Tapanuli orangutans, with more than 10 percent of the population residing in these APL areas.Due to this APL designation, these areas aren’t protected and thus are at risk of encroachment or being cleared for industrial purposes, including the $1.6 billion hydroelectric plant and dam. The 510-megawatt plant was announced in 2012 and will be the largest in Sumatra if completed as planned by 2022.The Indonesian government considers it a priority project under President Joko Widodo’s wider infrastructure-building push. The government argues that the plant is needed to provide electricity from renewable sources in the region and to mitigate climate change. The project’s developer, PT North Sumatera Hydro Energy (NSHE) says the plant will prevent the release of up to 1.6 million tons of CO2 every year from Indonesia’s coal-reliant grid.Panut said it was possible that the injured ape had been fleeing from forest-clearing activity around the project site.“Maybe there’s a connection with forest clearing, whether it’s because of agriculture or because of the hydropower plant,” he said.That gives added urgency to designate the area as protected, he added.“Even though the area has an APL designation, it’s still the habitat of the orangutan,” Panut said. “More and more forests are being cleared in the area because of the APL designation, when it should be a protected forest area.”In response to the discovery of the injured orangutan, PT NSHE spokesman Firman Taufick said it wasn’t unusual for the apes to wander into nearby plantations in search of foods. He added that such behavior was known even before construction of the dam began.“Based on observations by locals since decades ago, when it is fruit season, like the current durian season, orangutans always come to locals’ plantations,” he told Mongabay. “So it’s not only this time an orangutan enters a local’s plantation.”Firman added that the company condemned the injuries to the animal and would continue its conservation program to protect the orangutans.“We see that the locals of South Tapanuli have local wisdoms in protecting the environment and wildlife,” he said. “In this case, we have empowered the locals with a conservation program, including wildlife, by conducting training and by forming conservation groups based on local wisdoms. The efforts to protect wildlife in the Batang Toru ecosystem are the responsibility of all parties, not only the government and the private sector.”Rescuers check the extent of the orangutan’s injuries in preparation to evacuate the animal for medical treatment. Image courtesy of the Orangutan Information Center (OIC).Call for moratoriumEarlier this year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for a halt to all projects that threaten the Tapanuli orangutan.“IUCN is deeply concerned about ongoing and new threats to the Critically Endangered Tapanuli orangutan in Sumatra, Indonesia,” the organization said on its website.While the IUCN didn’t specifically mention the hydropower project in its statement, it recommended that all projects affecting the apes should be halted to allow time to formulate a plan to save the Tapanuli orangutan. Such a plan, the IUCN added, should be based on an independent and objective population- and habitat-viability assessment.Primatologist Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University, who discussed the dam project with the IUCN before the latter issued its statement, urged PT NSHE to follow the IUCN’s recommendation.“But the company never agreed to that,” Wich, who is also the co-vice chair of the section on great apes of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, told Mongabay. “For me, the fact that the company doesn’t want that is a clear indication that they’re not interested in mitigation. They just want to go ahead with the project and secure financing.”NSHE’s Firman said the company had fulfilled all the requirements to proceed with the project. He added the company had not engaged with the IUCN but was open to communicating with it.Clarification 9/23/2019: This article originally ran with the headline ‘Orangutan found injured in apparent escape from site of hydropower project’. It has been changed to reflect that injury during escape from the hydropower project site is just one possible explanation for the ape’s injuries.Banner image of an injured Tapanuli orangutan being rescued from a plantation in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Image courtesy of the Orangutan Information Center (OIC).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 Hans Nicholas Jong Animal Cruelty, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Critically Endangered Species, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Endangered Species, Energy, Environment, Forest Destruction, Forests, Great Apes, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Infrastructure, New Species, Orangutans, Primates, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests 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

Tradition and taboo keep Guinea-Bissau’s forests standing

first_imgGuinea-Bissau is home to countless sacred forests, where cutting down a tree is strictly prohibited by the community.Efforts are also underway to develop community forests in communities that don’t recognize the concept of sacred forests, and imbue them with a similar understanding and reverence for the environment.Despite these efforts, the country experienced a spate of illegal logging following a coup in 2012, prompting a logging ban to be imposed in 2015.With the ban expiring in March 2020 and elections taking place this November, it’s unclear whether or how the government’s stance on the issue will change. COBIANA, Guinea Bissau – He remembers the first time he heard the voice of Mama Djombo.Albino Moreira Mendes was sleeping in his bed in Cobiana, a small town in rural northern Guinea-Bissau, when the messages, which he can only describe as coded noises, came to him. They told him how to perform a ceremony in Cobiana’s sacred forest, and that it was his turn take charge of the forest, to become what is known as the baloberu.“Without the forest, a man like me … I am nothing,” says Mendes, who since that night 10 years ago has been the interlocutor between Mama Djombo, the spirit or iran of the sacred forest in Cobiana, and anyone who wishes to speak to it.Most societies value something so strongly that the icon or resource becomes intertwined with the very definition of their community. For the residents of Cobiana, the trees — and more specifically their sacred forest — are their roots. Even a hypothetical offer of a million dollars to buy the trees in their sacred forest is met with simultaneous gasps of terror and incredulous laughter. To destroy the forest is to destroy them. “It is our identity,” Mendes says.There is bright green vegetation on both sides of the winding, single lane of dirt road that leads to the town of Cobiana (the forest and village share the same name). The countryside’s natural colors mirror the colors of its national flag: red earth, neon-green vegetation, and a bright yellow, unforgiving sun. The only respite from the heat is either when the clouds break for rain, or under the canopy of the trees.Along one side of the road are occasional areas of brush that have been cleared for future planting, but the other side of the road is overgrown and untouched.On that side of the road lies the sacred forest whose rules are both clear-cut and shrouded in secrecy. What happens in this forest? Coming-of-age rituals for men, prayers for a new marriage, or asking Mama Djombo for various blessings (a baby, a new job). How are these rituals conducted? This information is secret. The more it is shared, the less sacred it becomes. Who can go into the forest? Men who have been initiated. No women, certainly no outsiders.Mendes insists if you cut down a tree in the sacred forest, you will die.Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually, Mendes says.Killing a tree is a crime punishable by death. It’s not a crime punished through the courts, but the iran will decide how and when.For the residents of Cobiana, the forest does not have a monetary value. “We prefer to die in poverty than to take money from someone to sell a portion of this sacred land,” Mendes says. “We cannot do it. This is something we learned from our ancestors, and even the children who come, they know they cannot sell this land.”Cobiana also holds historical significance in Guinea-Bissau. During the country’s 11-year independence war against the Portuguese, soldiers fighting for independence would come to Cobiana and ask Mendes’s father, who was the baloberu at the time, to take them into the sacred forest to ask for Mama Djombo’s protection. Mama Djombo was regarded as the protector of the independence fighters. Mendes remembers these days, and he says sometimes swarms of bees would attack Portuguese outposts, thanks to Mama Djombo. “Even the colonialists knew that and didn’t come this way,” he says.Sacred forests like Cobiana are scattered throughout Guinea-Bissau, particularly in the northwest region and across the 88 islands of the Bijagos archipelago.Sacred forests like Cobiana were among the few areas untouched during a surge in illegal logging that followed a 2012 coup. Image by Ricci Shryock for Mongabay.No one has surveyed the country to determine exactly how many there are, or the total area they cover, but Miguel de Barros, an activist and sociologist in Guinea-Bissau, says there are hundreds of sacred forests. Some are designated for women only, some are for men. Each one has specific characteristics that depend on the group protecting it, but they all share one hard and fast rule: absolutely no one may cut down a tree in a sacred forest.De Barros says sacred forests are a powerful force for conservation because they are “a crucial identity element of socialization, knowledge production, and economics … an element that reinforces the identity of the place and also the governing power of spaces and resources.”Following a coup in 2012, central government authority was weakened and illegal loggers, including some military officials, seized the opportunity to pillage the country’s forests. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, an NGO, “timber exports from Guinea-Bissau to China, the world’s largest importer of illegal rosewood, surged from 61 tons in 2007 to 98,000 tons in 2014 — an equivalent of 255,000 trees exported in just one year.”During that time, sacred forests remained untouched.In 2015, as a reaction to the pillaging, a moratorium on logging was put in place. But the crisis showed how Guinea-Bissau’s government has often failed to protect the country’s forests.Since gaining independence in 1974, after 11 years of war against the Portuguese colonizers, Guinea Bissau’s central government has struggled for stability.There have been at least a dozen successful or attempted coup d’états, and amid this, effective environmental protection for the forests of this small but biodiverse country has suffered. Conservationists and park officials say the cultural and spiritual power of sacred forests in some regions of the country has been a unique key to preserving certain areas, and conservation efforts have often been built around them.It is no accident that Cobiana sits inside the 88,615-hectare (218,972-acre) Cacheu River Mangroves National Park. The Guinea-Bissau authorities have often included sacred spaces when drawing boundaries of national protected areas, because they know the population within these areas already conserve the forests in their own way, as they have for generations.“That helps us,” says Luis Mendes, a park agent at Cacheu. “Everyone in the community respects that, and this helps us do our work. Each village has its forest reserve, and its tradition. It’s these traditions that allow us to preserve the forest.”He added that most of the villages within the park have not only a sacred forest, but also a community forest reserve where they harvest wild fruit and practice responsible, regulated slash-and-burn agriculture.Mendes and other officials at the country’s park services and in the Department of Forests and Water are working against a ticking clock to protect Guinea-Bissau’s forests: the 2015 moratorium that banned logging in the country is set to expire in March 2020, and with national elections on the horizon this November, they are unsure what logging laws will look like in the months to come.“Even with the moratorium there are still threats to the forest,” says Danilson Coreira, an official at the Department of Forests and Water. “It’s certain those will increase if the moratorium expires.”After the current government under President José Mário Vaz took power in 2014, it put in place the moratorium on all logging until March 2020. Nelvina Barreto, who served as minister of agriculture and forests until an abrupt government overhaul in late October, said she would have liked to extend the ban beyond the 2020 deadline, for at least another three years so that enhanced community defense mechanisms could be put in place, such as a working hotline that residents can call to alert authorities to logging, as well as better-trained forest rangers.“There are a lot of concerns about this moratorium, that’s why we have to analyze it very well,” Barreto said. “The decision was taken in 2015 during a crisis and emergency to fight the environmental crimes that were taking place. So now we are not under this pressure, and we need to consider all the economic and social aspects. There are national economic needs, and wood is not only used for exportation. There are a lot of internal uses, and with this moratorium, at the internal level, we have many problems furnishing wood for the internal market.“It’s this precarious equilibrium we have to find, and we are looking for,” she added. “We need to know what areas we need to continue prohibiting, because there are forests in certain areas that are more affected than others.”With the central government once again in flux in the country, it’s unclear who will be making and enforcing the logging laws in the near future.One of Vaz’s leading opponents in the November presidential elections is Domingoes Simões Pereira, known as DSP. Pereira was prime minister when the moratorium was imposed, and says he supports extending the ban if elected.Barreto was part of the government formed under a coalition including Pereira’s party, and could very well return to helm of the agriculture and forestry ministry if DSP wins the November polls.last_img read more

Goldman Prize winner launches new environmental foundation in the Cook Islands

first_imgActivism, Conservation, conservation players, Environment, Environmental Activism, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Oceans, philanthropy Article published by Erik Hoffner Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img A Goldman Prize winner from the Cook Islands who was fired for speaking out against mining the floor of the Pacific Ocean has launched a new foundation to support environmental stewardship and social action.Jacqueline Evans won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2019 for her central role in establishing Marae Moana in her country: it is the largest multiple-use marine park in the world.“This will give our local organizations the independence they need to speak openly when they believe an injustice has been done,” Evans said in a statement.Evans used about $66,000 of the funds awarded to her by the Goldman Prize to launch the new foundation. Goldman Environmental Prize winner Jacqueline Evans has launched the Moana Foundation to advance environmental and social activism in her home country of the Cook Islands.Evans won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2019 for her central role in establishing Marae Moana, the largest multiple-use marine park in the world, and has now established the foundation to support the work of Cook Islands NGOs working on environmental and social issues.“This will give our local organizations the independence they need to speak openly when they believe an injustice has been done,” Evans said in a statement.Despite the global recognition of Evans’s environmental leadership, she lost her job as director of Marae Moana later in 2019 for speaking out in support of a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining across the Pacific Ocean.Evans hopes that the fund will enable grantees to focus on local priorities, which is sometimes more difficult when funding comes from entities located overseas, an issue that environmental leaders in Papua New Guinea, another Pacific nation, have also discussed with Mongabay.“We will build the fund up over time to address the pressing needs of future generations of Cook Islanders,” Evans said. “My profound hope is that, one day, it will become a significant resource to protect our environment and look after our people.”Evans is seeding the fund with NZ$100,000 (about $66,000) she received from the Goldman Prize in order to establish the foundation. (Recipients of the Goldman Prize are each awarded $200,000.)An aerial view of Penrhyn, the Cook Islands’ northernmost island, taken in 1995. Image by Ewan Smith via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).Banner image of Jacqueline Evans, courtesy of Goldman Environmental Prize.last_img read more

Dimension Data expands into Angola

first_img3 October 2008Dimension Data has acquired a 51% stake in Angolan IT company Sistemas Redes e Communicaçoes (SRC), enabling the multinational IT solutions and services provider to expand its Middle East and Africa operations.The Middle East and Africa region is key to Dimension Data’s expansion strategy, and the company already has 25 offices in 12 countries. SRC meanwhile, has been providing technology and communications solutions in the Angolan market for the past 12 years.The acquisition also marks the launch of Dimension Data Angola, which will be based in the capital Luanda.According to the Johannesburg-based company, seeking local partners provides them with best practice, expertise and local market knowledge, enabling the company to deliver specialised offerings to their clients.“Dimension Data has an established track record of delivering world-class technology services and solutions that enable Africans to do great things,” said Dimension Data Angola MD Bruno de Carvalho in a company statement this week.“By combining this with SRC’s strong client base and local knowledge and skills, Dimension Data Angola is able to provide more comprehensive services and solutions ideally tailored to the local, Angolan market.”Natural resource wealthDe Carvalho said that the Angolan economy had undergone a period of transformation in recent times, and had emerged as the fastest growing economy in Africa, growth which could be partly attributed to the wealth of its natural resources.With oil being one of the country’s greatest exports, there are many multinational organisations based in Angola, some of which are existing customers of Dimension Data.“Global businesses require globally linked technology solutions and Dimension Data with its network and experience is able to deliver and take advantage of these market opportunities,” said De Carvalho.He believed that the company could use technology solutions to help Angola improve its competitiveness, promote local economic growth, ensure skills development, and encourage investment in initiatives to improve access to technology.“Our vision is to bring social and economic opportunities to the millions of people across Africa and the Middle East that are not yet realising the benefits of technology,” said De Carvalho.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

How to Hire Humble People

first_imgHumility is one of the ten crucial qualities of employees of high character, and smart businesses seek out people with humility to work for them. These employees inspire their coworkers, instill confidence in their supervisors, and move up quickly in their organizations.Humble people are generally not disposed to call attention to their humility. Still, the discerning interviewer might use the following questions to discover the degree to which a job candidate or employee is truly humble or merely pretending to be.Tell me about one of your proudest accomplishments. What was it, and how did you pull it off?Janice Piacente, the chief risk and compliance officer for a global beverage company, came up with a novel way of getting employees to have the ethics hotline at their fingertips. But she gave the credit for it to her team, because they were the ones who took her idea and made it a reality. It’s not that she denies the role she played in the project’s development, but simply that her humility dictated that she also acknowledge the contributions of others.Astute interviewers listen carefully to how the candidate or employee answers this question. Does he focus primarily or exclusively on his own role in the achievement? Or does he, like Janice, talk about how others contributed to his success? Where have you seen examples of humility in action?When I came up with this question, my mind turned to Emily, a woman I knew when I worked at Lox, Stock and Bagels, a deli in San Antonio, Texas, during my senior year of high school. Emily’s job was to keep the restaurant clean, which she did tirelessly and cheerfully. I can’t recall her ever complaining about her job, even though it was far from glamorous and couldn’t have paid very well either. When Keith, the owner of the restaurant, decided to return to Chicago, he chose Emily to replace him as the manager.Emily didn’t have extensive formal education or any job experience beyond janitorial work, so Keith would have to teach her how to run the business. It would have been easier for him to train a more experienced person, or to hire someone who already knew the job. But Emily was trustworthy, and she was good with people. The day after Keith offered her the job, she was the same humble person as a manager that she’d been as the janitor. I didn’t get the feeling that she viewed herself as any more important in her new role than she did before. She treated me in exactly the same way: with kindness.I hadn’t thought about Emily for a long time until this question prompted me to remember her. It’s a good idea for interviewers to allow applicants some extra time of their own, if necessary, to think about the humble employees they’ve known. You never know what inspiring stories await.When Janice Piacente told me about how she gives credit to her team, even though her ideas often begin with her, I was surprised. “Isn’t leadership about generating ideas?” I asked her.“Not to me,” she replied. “Leadership is about bringing out the best in people.”This is the seventh in a series of blog posts on how to hire high-character people. The first six were How to Hire Honest People, How to Hire Accountable People, How to Hire Caring People, How to Hire Courageous People, How to Hire Fair People, and How to Hire Grateful People. Next time, we’ll look at what it means to be a loyal person and how to evaluate this quality in job applicants.  Dr. Bruce Weinstein is on Twitter @TheEthicsGuy. A more in-depth version of this post, including details about Janice Piacente’s inspiring story, appears on The Ethics Guy Blog.last_img read more

Innovating Public Safety with Intel® Technology

first_imgThis year extreme weather has struck across the globe, placing increased strain on civil protection. Devastating wildfires have wreaked havoc in California and Greece; floods have swept away homes in parts of North America and Japan; and temperatures in India, Pakistan, and parts of the Middle East have topped 50o C for the first time.To compound matters, populations are soaring. The UN predicts 68% of people will live in cities by 2050, up from 55% today. Combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, this means there will be another 2.5 billion people living in cities by the middle of century.In the face of such environmental extremes and rising population density, more agile and effective public safety and emergency response is needed to keep the population safe. With this in mind, Intel has been working closely with the ecosystem to develop an innovative civil protection system.Solution: Digital Technologies to Enhance Decision MakingSharing data—gathered by cameras and sensors in city-wide infrastructure—over a communications service provider (CoSP) network provides those in charge of public safety with real-time information on situations unfolding around the city. Processed and analyzed by Intel® technology and viewed through a mixed-reality monitoring system, this information allows civil protection officers to improve decision making and better co-ordinate emergency response on the ground.Intel supplies the end-to-end building blocks of the solution—from the back-end cloud through to the edge cloud and the client. The CoSP provides the transportation network and, together with a TEM partner, builds the wrap around business case to sell to the customer.Intel is already demoing the solution in partnership with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) software specialist Skydome and a Nordic CoSP using its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network. This 360 video demonstrates the features of the system and the benefits it brings to civil protection officers.5G and Network SlicingWhen 5G becomes commercially available around 2020, enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-reliable, low latency communications will boost the capabilities of the system even further.Through network slicing, CoSPs will be able to prioritize traffic and provide individual end customers with guaranteed service level agreements (SLAs). For example, if a fire chief arrives at the scene of an accident and opens up the app, the nearest base station will automatically recognize their SIM card and IMEI as priority numbers. Through network slicing, the CoSP is then be able to guarantee bandwidth. Emergency services will no longer need their own proprietary communications network, as the CoSP will be able to assure service to individual users on the public communications network.Back-end Cloud TechnologyThe data center technology stack comprises processors, networking products, artificial intelligence (AI), solid state drives (SSDs), and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). From this foundation, the CoSP can tailor the user experience to individual customers’ needs and evolve it as needed.Intel® Xeon® Scalable processorThe public safety system requires a powerful backend cloud to process and analyze the vast amount of data gathered by thousands of cameras and sensors. Optimized for the cloud, Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors are highly responsive and automated to support rapid and secure delivery of 5G services. The next generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor will also include specific instruction sets built into the CPU to accelerate AI and machine learning.Intel®10 Gigabit Ethernet Connection X722On the networking side, the Intel® 10 Gigabit Ethernet Connection X722, built into the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor, supports remote direct memory access (RDMA) to boost performance for machine learning and software-defined storage. The Internet Wide-Area RDMA Protocol (iWARP) automatically implements RDMA for efficient data transfer, so there’s no need for CoSPs to configure switches as with competitor technologies.Intel® Optane™ SSDsIntel® Optane™ SSDs keep up with the high storage demands of the public safety system. Built on Intel® 3D XPoint™ non-volatile memory (NVM) technology, they deliver a combination of low latency, high endurance, quality of service and high throughput. Intel® Optane™ SSDs are optimized to break through storage bottlenecks by providing a new data tier, accelerating applications for fast caching, storage and analytics.Intel® Arria® 10 and Intel® Stratix® 10 FPGAsIntel® FPGAs like the Intel® Arria® 10 FPGA and Intel® Stratix® 10 FPGA allow CoSPs to increase system performance by off-loading and accelerating functions to CPUs—for example they can be used to speed up facial or number plate recognition in machine-learning frameworks. Programmability at the silicon level gives CoSPs the flexibility to change FPGA functionality quickly and cost-effectively as needed.Edge Cloud TechnologyEdge computing allows the CoSP to bring compute and storage power closer to the customer at the network edge. The CoSP can free up bandwidth by processing applications at the edge rather than routing this traffic back to the core network which slows the process and increases cost. Customers benefit from a better user experience, since latency is lower.In a large city with many customers, more applications, and more connections, the CoSP needs an Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor to power the edge cloud. Whereas in more rural areas, with less traffic, Intel® Xeon® D processors will suffice.Client TechnologyThe Intel® NUC8i7HVK mini PC serves as a portable client for use in the field by emergency services and safety executives. Running on the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8809G processor with four cores, the Intel® NUC8i7HVK provides the advanced processing and graphics performance needed to run the mixed reality monitoring system software. With a thermal design point (TDP) of 100W, it is highly power efficient.In time, Intel plans to move more functionality from the client to run on the edge cloud. Making the client software less heavy allows for smaller and more portable machines, and even greater convenience for emergency services and public safety executives working in the field.For more information about Intel® technology and detail of further example use cases for the 5G era, visit https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-network/future-of-5g-technology.html.last_img read more

Road Warriors: Durant’s 32 leads NBA champions past Cavs

first_imgPH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View comments Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims OIC Marcial reaffirms PBA’s commitment to Gilas program Cleveland was home after going 1-4 on a road trip that included blowout losses in Minnesota and Toronto.For three quarters, the Cavs matched the Warriors shot for shot. But with Durant and Curry on the bench, a Golden State lineup of Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, David West, Klay Thompson and Shaun Livingston stretched the lead.“That unit, they won us the game with their energy and their effort,” Durant said. “They pushed the basketball and they set us up well to kind of end the game in the last three or four minutes. That’s what a well-rounded team does.”Despite their recent struggles, the Cavs remain a confident bunch, and they showed some early swagger. After he and his teammates were introduced to “Gloves Are Comin’ Off” by rapper 7kingZ, James came out swinging.He was in attack mode from the start, scoring 16 points in the first quarter and setting the tone for the Cavs.Later in the half, James retreated down the lane for a huge block on Durant, blasting the ball off the glass to trigger memories for Cleveland fans of his famous chase down on Iguodala in the closing minutes of Game 7 of the 2016 Finals.DUNK CITYCurry threw down a two-handed dunk in the third quarter that surprised his teammates.“It was like a dream,” Curry said. “I thought I was going to wake up and I was going to be back in my bed in the hotel, but it actually happened. Somebody said it was like a unicorn sighting. It was pretty cool for me to get a dunk in that situation.”After being asked several times about the play, Curry said, “Seven dunk questions. This is crazy.”BETTER THOMASThomas came away from his most extensive court time feeling good. Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto LATEST STORIES ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives MOST READ “I’ve just got to get in shape,” he said. “I’ve got to get my legs back. I’ve got to keep pushing, keep working and it’ll come back.”TIP-INSWarriors: Their franchise record for consecutive road wins is 14 set in 2015-16. … Recorded 33 assists on 41 made field goals. … Kerr smiled when reminded that James recently said his best basketball is still to come. “I know he’s better now than he was four years ago,” Kerr said. “That’s insane when you think about that because that should have been his prime, four years ago, and he was already an MVP and a champion. He’s better — better shooter, better player. He keeps getting better. So I believe him.”Cavaliers: James needs 41 points to become the seventh player to score 30,000 career points. … Coach Tyronn Lue still believes the Cavs are the Eastern Conference’s best team “because we’ve got the best player in the world.” … While Thomas remains on a minutes restriction, Lue said he expected the All-Star guard to struggle as he works himself into game shape after being sidelined seven months. “He’s moving pretty good,” Lue said. “It’s just mental.”UP NEXTWarriors: Continue five-game trip on Wednesday in Chicago.Cavaliers: Host Orlando on Thursday. The Magic beat the Cavs earlier this season in Cleveland.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Durant scored 32 points, Stephen Curry added 23 and Golden State extended its road winning streak to 13 with a 118-108 Martin Luther King holiday victory Monday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, their struggling NBA Finals foes.Durant scored 16 in the third quarter for the defending champions, who clamped down on defense and pulled away in the fourth to remain unbeaten outside Oracle Arena since Nov. 22. It’s not that they play poorly at home, but Durant said the Dubs take a different identity when they travel.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting“At home, we just relax a little bit,” Durant said. “This is who we are when we’re on the road.”LeBron James scored 32 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, which had its home winning streak stopped at 13. Isaiah Thomas, getting his first taste of the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry, had 19 points in 32 minutes — his most in five games as he returns from a hip injury. Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jae Crowder, left, knocks the ball loose from Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND — Once the lead swelled to 14, Kevin Durant waved both arms like a boxing referee stopping a fight.Another knockout on the road for these Warriors.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim It was Golden State’s second straight win over Cleveland, which has dropped eight of 10 dating to a loss to the Warriors on Christmas Day. The Cavs were down just 93-91 entering the fourth, but missed 17 of 19 shots to open the period, and Golden State throttled away.“It seemed like the rim just got smaller and smaller,” James said. “But I like our effort. If we continue that going into our next few games, then I like where we are.”The teams have met in the Finals each of the past three years. And while there’s no guarantee there will be a fourth matchup, at this point only one of them looks prepared in January for June.Durant, though, expects the Cavs to improve as they incorporate Thomas.“Everyone knows it’s going to take a while to get into a comfortable groove here,” he said. “It’s a new system, so I don’t think this game was any indication of what’s going to happen with this team down the line. They’ll be much better than they are right now — and we all know that.”ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thaislast_img read more