Two new projects for the Ministry of Social Services

first_img Share 25 Views   no discussions LocalNews Two new projects for the Ministry of Social Services by: – August 7, 2014 Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share Tweet Minister of Social Services, Gloria Shillingford (file photo)The Ministry of Social Services has identified two additional initiatives which will take off in the new fiscal year.In the area of Adult Education, the Honourable Minister, Gloria Shillingford, revealed that a ‘Yes, I Can’ programme is on the cards with support from the Cuban Government.“The ‘Yes I Can’ programme is really to boost literacy in the country,” the Minister explained. “A well read country is also a well developed country and this is one of the things that the Cuban Government would like to help us with.”Assistance from the Cuban Government will be in the form of the provision of literature as well as money to enable the employment of persons under that programme. The Hon. Social Services Minister informed that a team from Cuba has already been on island and has worked with individuals in the Adult Education Division; a workshop was held to prepare those individuals specifically for the new programme.According to Hon. Shillingford, “We are at the stage where they have already gone back to Cuba and there are monies made available, we just have to do whatever we can to ensure that the programme is taken forward.”The Minister stated that her Ministry hopes that this project will take full flight by next year.A centre for the care of children with disabilities is also among top agenda items for the Ministry of Social Services.“This is a centre where children with disabilities can be placed, a day-care centre, so as to give some sort of respite to the parents who normally take care of them,” the Hon. Minister said.Hon. Shillingford explained further, “It can be very tiring for parents who have to take care of children with disabilities and if they are not given some sort of help or break, this can really take a toll on their health.”The centre will be established in the community of Chance in Portsmouth.At this point, Hon. Shillingford says details are still under discussion. However, the Minister informed that plans for this project have been approved by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and that the Ministry of Social Services is working very closely with CDB to see progress with this venture.Hon. Shillingford was reporting on her Ministry’s plans and achievements in the House of Parliament on Monday July 28th.Government Information Servicelast_img read more

Manchester City ready to pay £40m for 20-year-old Brazilian, we take…

first_imgThat’s the words we’ve read when the reports got to England tonight. They were first claimed in Brazil, more specifically in the +90 show, from Esporte Interativo.First of all, it was never said that the Premier League champions are ‘ready’ to do it, or even ‘on the move’. That wasn’t claimed on the show, neither written or in their tweet.Not making a big deal out of it, journalist Ricardo Martins said: “I receive information here from Flamengo. That begins to pop in England. That Manchester City can come to Brazil and pay the clause of Paquetá, something around 200 million reais.”Embed from Getty ImagesSo he received information from or of Flamengo (the word ‘do’, in Portuguese, doesn’t make it clear) about the some gossip that is ‘popping up’ in England. No direct sources, then.We’re not here to say if it’s true or false, but we better hold ourselves before reporting that Manchester City are going to pay the release clause.Esporte Interativo do some excellent job with correspondents, such as Marcelo Bechler breaking Neymar’s transfer to PSG, and Isabela Pagliari reporting Dani Alves’ injury. But their night shows aren’t as great. Earlier today, reliable outlet UOL claimed that Lucas Paquetá’s agent has recently listened to offers from European giants in London. One of the strongest pretenders would be an English club.That may mean Esporte Interativo’s information could be true, or maybe they’re just jumping on the bandwagon.Paquetá is one of the most talented Brazilian players of his generation. After his teammate Vinícius Junior left to Real Madrid and Santos’ Rodrygo also seems close to doing the same, there’s no doubt the 20-year-old is the next one to be making a move to Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksTrending TodayForge of Empires – Free Online GameIf You Like to Play, this City-Building Game is a Must Have.Forge of Empires – Free Online GameUndoRaid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadEven Non-Gamers Are Obsessed With This RPG Game (It’s Worth Installing!)Raid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadUndoPremier Diamond BoutiqueHong Kong’s first lab-grown diamond empirePremier Diamond BoutiqueUndo聽多多 Hearmore.asia1969年前出生的香港居民現可免費試戴頂尖的歐洲助聽器聽多多 Hearmore.asiaUndoStanChart by CNBC CatalystDigitization in Banks Is No Longer About Efficiency, but Business Resilience. Don’t Get Left Behind.StanChart by CNBC CatalystUndoCNN with DBS BankThe New Role Banks Are PlayingCNN with DBS BankUndo熱門話題小心會瘦過快…網友推爆:「真的瘦的超誇張!」熱門話題UndoSmart Tech TrendOver 60? You Have to Try Those Revolutionary Glasses!Smart Tech TrendUndoSingles50Hong Kong: A 40+ Dating Site That Actually Works!Singles50Undo Let’s take it easy before saying that Manchester City are ‘ready’ to pay £40m to take Lucas Paquetá from Flamengo.last_img read more

“Sun” design on back of mid-90s MLB hat?

first_img 231 1,005 Members Posted September 22, 2012 Posted September 25, 2012 “Sun” design on back of mid-90s MLB hat? Posted September 25, 2012 4,356 sc49erfan15 Location:Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania USA Posted September 22, 2012 Lights Out 231 sc49erfan15 1,005 Sports Logos 1,005 Go To Topic Listing Sign in to follow this   231 Mascot Turned Announcer I recently bought a lot of hats from Ebay, included was a white (navy bill) mid-90s Houston Astros hat. It has this sun design over the MLB logo on the back:Here are the only possibilities I can think of so far – it’s a Spring Training hat, a Venezuelan or Dominican Summer League hat, or a hat from an Astros promotion. As you can see, the sun is teal and gold, not Astros colors.The only thing with the Venezuelan/Dominican league is I’d assume those hats would have the MiLB logo on the back, not the MLB. But who knows, I’ve never seen a VSL/DSL hat.Anybody seen this before and can verify what it is? Link to post Share this post 5,835 posts Share on other sites 0 Members Location:West Coast BRice16 4,356 Members 0 10,038 posts Posted September 24, 2012 Recommended Posts Followers 0 1,962 posts Link to post All Activity 5,835 posts 2,271 Ok, making some headway here:The sun design looks like the logo for the Grapefruit League. That pretty much seals the deal, but I can’t find any other examples of the design on any other hats. Sign in to follow this   Share on other sites Share this post phutmasterflex 73 BRice16 sc49erfan15 No…. the sun in that A’s logo has different rays, and they also used that in the regular season on their batting practice hats.Which also was used during spring training. Well, whatever. To me that A’s logo is underrated 0 Share on other sites 0 Link to post mjrbaseball Posted September 24, 2012 Share this post 8,685 No…. the sun in that A’s logo has different rays, and they also used that in the regular season on their batting practice hats.Which also was used during spring training. Well, whatever. To me that A’s logo is underratedThe Spring Training logos are actually compasses, with sun rays filling in the 22.5 degree diagonals. The overall idea is kinda like the Mariners’ compass. The A’s sun logo is just a sun. Great logo though. 1,005 12,366 posts mjrbaseball Location:Greensboro, NC SportsLogos.Net 2,271 Does that explain the origin of this then? 0 Sports Logo News Link to post 2,139 10,038 posts Link to post This topic is now closed to further replies. 2,139 WSU151 Location:Greensboro, NC Share on other sites Favourite Logos:*Devil Rays alternate cap logo, 1998*Red Sox cap logo*Chargers primary logo*Lake Elsinore Storm cap logo Favourite Logos: • Interlocking NY• Maple Leafs• Birmingham Biscuits Members Share on other sites Posted September 23, 2012 Forums Home 0 phutmasterflex raysox Posted September 23, 2012 2,139 26,359 posts $1 Cans of PBR phutmasterflex Share this post Share on other sites Forums Home sc49erfan15 Members 0 Share this post Share this post raysox phutmasterflex Link to post Location:DC area No…. the sun in that A’s logo has different rays, and they also used that in the regular season on their batting practice hats. Members “Sun” design on back of mid-90s MLB hat? 73 Location:West Coast I believe that is a hat from the Arizona Fall League. Over the years, rather than spending money on jerseys and hats, players have worn uniforms and hats (sometimes both, sometimes one or the other, sometimes a variation of one or both) from the club that sent them there with accents like these added. Share this post Share this post Members Similar logo for the Cactus League:And the Mothership gives us this team-specific version, and states it is from 1998: Share on other sites 2,139 It has to be a hat from the Grapefruit League. They play in Kissimmee, and I’m assuming they did back then too. Posted September 24, 2012 Members 2,139 Link to post 17,487 posts Members 2,353 posts By sc49erfan15, September 22, 2012 in Sports Logo News SportsLogos.Net 2,271 Share on other sites 0 73 2,139 Link to post 8,685 Volunteer Fan Share on other sites Board Man + Young Trece Sports Logos Just me. “Sun” design on back of mid-90s MLB hat? 1,005 4,356 8,685 WSU151 Lights Out Link to post Followers 0 0 All Activity Share this post Location:St. Petersburg, FL Mascot Turned Announcer Sports Logo News 1,005last_img read more

FIBA World Cup 2019: Full schedule, scores, TV channels, live stream for every USA basketball game

first_imgWhile the U.S. was the favorite to win the tournament, the loss did not come as a major surprise considering how many American stars had declined invitations to play in this year’s FIBA World Cup. Team USA will now drop to the classification bracket as France battles the other three finalists (Argentina, Australia and Spain) for the gold medal.Here’s a breakdown of Team USA’s FIBA World Cup run as well as the daily tournament schedule.FIBA World Cup 2019 schedule, scores for USA basketballMatchupDateTimeFinal scoreUSA vs. Czech RepublicSept. 18:30 a.m. ETUSA 88, Czech Republic 67USA vs. TurkeySept. 38:30 a.m. ETUSA 93, Turkey 92 (OT)USA vs. JapanSept. 58:30 a.m. ETUSA 98, Japan 45USA vs. GreeceSept. 78:30 a.m. ETUSA 69, Greece 53USA vs. BrazilSept. 98:30 a.m. ETUSA 89, Brazil 73USA vs. FranceSept. 117 a.m. ETFrance 89, USA 79USA vs. Serbia (Classification Game)Sept. 127 a.m. ETSerbia 94, USA 89USA vs. Poland (Classification Game)Sept. 144 a.m. ETTBDHow to live stream FIBA World Cup games in the United StatesYou can stream FIBA World Cup games exclusively on ESPN+. More information about the sign-up process can be found here.Team USA roster for FIBA World CupPlayerPositionNBA TeamHarrison BarnesForwardSacramento KingsJaylen BrownForwardBoston CelticsJoe HarrisGuardBrooklyn NetsBrook LopezCenterMilwaukee BucksKhris MiddletonGuard/ForwardMilwaukee BucksDonovan MitchellGuardUtah JazzMason PlumleeCenterDenver NuggetsMarcus SmartGuardBoston CelticsJayson TatumForwardBoston CelticsMyles TurnerCenterIndiana PacersKemba WalkerGuardBoston CelticsDerrick WhiteGuardSan Antonio Spurs2019 FIBA World Cup scheduleThursday, Sept. 12MatchupTimeSerbia vs. USA7 a.m. ETPoland vs. Czech Republic9 a.m. ETFriday, Sept. 13MatchupTimeSpain vs. Australia4 a.m. ETArgentina vs. France8 a.m. ETSaturday, Sept. 14MatchupTimeUSA vs. Poland4 a.m. ETSerbia vs. Czech Republic8 a.m. ETSunday, Sept. 15MatchupTimeThird Place Game4 a.m. ETFinal8 a.m. ET USA AIRBALL: Players who passed on FIBA will miss out on performance bump after Team USA will not be completing a FIBA World Cup three-peat in China.The Americans fell to France in the quarterfinals by a final score of 89-79, ending a 58-game winning streak in international competition. French center Rudy Gobert, the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, led his team to victory with 21 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks.last_img read more

Park seeks a helping hand

first_imgTHERE’S always something to do at the Bayles Fauna Park – and the management committee urgently need volunteers to help…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Galway United manager search continues after McParland U-turn

first_imgGalway United’s search for a manager to replace Tommy Dunne will continue this week as the man hotly tipped to be unveiled as his successor has suddenly done a u-turn and withdrawn from the position. 55 year old Scot Ian McParland had emerged in recent days as the preferred choice of the club, but even though he had apparently agreed terms to take over at Eamon Deacy Park, complications over the make up of his back room staff have arisen and the former Notts County boss has opted not to take up the role. McParland had reportedly been recommended by Roy Keane for the job, as the two had worked together at Ipswich Town. United will now return to the appointment process and consider the likes of U19 manager Johnny Glynn, who led the clubs youth side to the league final last week and will always be considered a legend in Terryland for leading the Tribesmen to FAI Cup glory in 1991, Galway native Ollie Horgan, the current Finn Harps manager, and Johnny McDonnell who previously managed St Pats and Drogheda.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Connacht GAA Club Championship Fixtures

first_imgAIB Connacht Club Intermediate Football Championship 2016:Quarter final: Monivea Abbey 1-16 Kilmore (Roscommon) 0-9Semi Final 1: Ballinamore (Leitrim) v St Molaise Gaels (Sligo); Sunday, Nov 6th 2.30pm Carrick on ShannonSemi Final 2: Monivea Abbey v Kiltimagh/Westport/Shrule Glencorrib (Mayo); Sunday, Nov 6th 2.30pm MacHale Park, Castlebar 2.30pmFinal: Sunday, Nov 20th Connacht GAA AIB Club Junior Football Championship 2016:Semi Final 1: Creggs (Roscommon) v St Michaels (Sligo); Sunday, Nov 6th 2.30pm Markiewicz ParkSemi Final 2: Oranmore Maree v Louisburgh (Mayo); Sunday, Nov 6th 2.30pm Tuam StadiumFinal: Sunday, Nov 19th Quarter final: Tourlestrane v Castlebar Mitchells or Knockmore; Saturday, Nov 5th 2.30pm Markiewicz ParkSemi Final 1: Corofin v Tourlestrane/Castlebar or Knockmore; Sunday, Nov 13th 2.30pm MacHale Park, Castlebar (or Galway venue if Tourlestrane win)Semi Final 2: St Brigids (Roscommon) v Aughawillan (Leitrim); Sunday, Nov 13th 2.30pm Venue TBCFinal: Sunday, Nov 27th AIB Connacht Club Senior Football Championship 2016: With the Galway county finals now completed in hurling and football, 5 clubs will now look forward to participating in the upcoming Connacht Club Championships, while senior hurling champions St Thomas’ go straight into the All Ireland semi finals in February. Senior football champions Corofin, Intermediate football champions Monivea Abbey and Junior football winners Oranmore Maree are joined by Intermediate Hurling champions Ahascragh Fohenagh and Junior Hurling winners Micheal Breathnachs in provincial action over the next few weeks, all hoping to make it all the way to Croke Park in early 2017! Connacht GAA AIB Club Junior Hurling Championship 2016:Semi Final: Calry St Josephs (Sligo) v Cluainín (Leitrim); Monday, Oct 31st 2.30pm Leitrim VenueFinal: Micheal Breathnach v Calry St Josephs or Cluainín; Sat Nov 5th Connacht GAA CentreAll Ireland Quarter Final: Connacht Winners v Britain; Nov 19th/20thprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Connacht GAA AIB Club Intermediate Hurling Championship 2016:Semi Final: Tooreen or Ballyhaunis (Mayo) v Oran or Four Roads (Roscommon); Monday, Oct 31st 2.30pm AthleagueFinal: Ahascragh Fohenagh v Tooreen/Ballyhaunis or Oran/Four Roads; Sunday, Nov 6th Athleaguelast_img read more

‘Everyone seems to be flying’ – Galway star McDonagh

first_imgby Conor McKenna  Galway are aiming for a third successive crown – anda seventh in eight seasons – against their arch-rivals. “Thankfully we’ve no injury worries. Everyone’sactually back. We’ve had a couple of girls come back from injury so everyoneseems to be flying it now which is a real positive,” said McDonagh. “Trainings are getting very intense and everyone’strying to get their foot into that starting 15 so it’s encouraging getting allthe girls back,” added McDonagh, speaking in Dublin as the Ladies GaelicFootball Association’s new Insurance partner AIG announced exclusive discountson car and home insurance for LGFA members and their families. McDonagh is hoping that her side can deliver abetter performance than their male counterparts did last week – and she’sexcited ahead of Sunday’s clash with Mayo at Elvery’s MacHale Park, which willbe shown LIVE on the LGFA’s Facebook Page (4pm). “I’m looking forward to it and I’m excited for thegame. The last game we played was the League final. Bit of a disappointmentafter that game so we’re looking forward to getting going again and facing Mayoon Sunday.“Hopefully we can put on a bit of a betterperformance than the Galway men’s footballers did,” she said.McDonagh was happy with her sides Lidl National Leaguecampaign, as Galway finished top of the table but suffered defeat against Corkin the showpiece Division 1 decider at Parnell Park. “I thought it was quite an encouraging campaign.We’ve a lot of positives to take out of it. We did reach the final, we hadquite a respectable couple of games. We finished top of the table so there wasdefinitely plenty of positives to take from it,” said McDonagh. Stephen Glennon left his position as Galway manager atthe end of the 2018 campaign, with Tim Rabbitt replacing him, although McDonaghconfirmed that Glennon was the only member of the management team to vacatetheir position. “Stephen was the only one that stepped down. TimRabbitt was a selector on the panel and he stepped up and the rest of themanagement have stayed the same. I think the management in place now areabsolutely brilliant and anything that we ask for they give it to us.“Everyone is on the same page and has been now forthe past three years so it’s definitely positive. Everyone has the one focusand we all know how we’re going to get there. Everyone’s on board and everyoneis of the same similar mindset,” she said.McDonagh is pleased with the new championshipformat, as it replaces the long gap after the provincial final which she wasnot a fan of.“For the likes of us that only have one game in theprovincials it gives us those extra couple of games that you have instead ofjumping straight into a quarter final.“I think in 2017 we had something like an eight-week layover which in my opinion is way too long to keep the girls focused and motivated so I definitely think those couple of games are really of benefit to us,” she added.LGFA players from left, Niamh Carr of Donegal, Áine McDonagh of Galway, Ciara Trant of Dublin and Eimear Scally of Cork were at today’s announcement of AIG’s exclusive insurance offers to LGFA members. As Official Insurance Partner of the LGFA, AIG revealed exclusive 15% off car insurance & 25% off home insurance for all LGFA members and their families. All adult Intercounty LGFA players receive 25% off car insurance. Find out more about these exclusive LGFA insurance deals on Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Galway footballer Aine McDonagh has revealed thatthe Tribeswomen will be at full strength for next Sunday’s TG4 Connacht SeniorFinal against Mayo. last_img read more

Madagascar: Is NGO-led conservation too conservative to conserve much?

first_imgArticle published by Rebecca Kessler Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Conservation Finance, Deforestation, Developing Countries, Endangered Environmentalists, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Activism, Environmental Economics, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Forests, Governance, Green, NGOs, Poverty, Protected Areas International environmental NGOs working in Madagascar assume a relatively narrow role of supporting local conservation and development in line with government strategy.The nature of the NGOs’ legal relationship with the Malagasy government, which has close ties to the extractive industries, and the restrictions that come with international funding make it difficult for them to take a broader role or push for systemic environmental reforms.The result, some critics say, is that international NGOs fail to address the country’s most serious conservation challenges.Homegrown civil society groups have more room to operate in Madagascar and do some of the most important conservation work. ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar — Madagascar’s natural resources are under threat. Local people use some for food, fuel and shelter, but foreign capital drives the most intense exploitation. Gem dealers oversee the destruction of wide swaths of brush in the south and forests in the east. Multinational mining companies target nickel, ilmenite and oil. Industrial trawlers vacuum up much of the fish and shrimp that villagers along the west coast rely on for food and income. And the local activists who challenge all this are frequently imprisoned.Yet international conservation NGOs remain largely silent about commercial resource extraction, focusing their work at the community level. For example, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) works in and around the rainforests of northeastern Madagascar where precious rosewood has been heavily and illegally logged for the past decade, but aside from issuing the occasional press release and signing a few petitions, the group has barely commented on the logging in public.“We played it safe,” Alison Clausen, WCS’s former country director in Madagascar, told Mongabay. WCS has focused on scientific research, local conservation work, and patrolling protected areas rather than lobbying the government to stop the logging, Clausen said. “We didn’t lead a strong criticism of the government.”A stockpile of illegally harvested rosewood at the port of Rantabe, Madagascar, circa 2010. The port lies near Makira Natural Park, which the Wildlife Conservation Society manages. Image by Erik Patel via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).Engaging in such criticism would have put the New York-based conservation group at risk of being kicked out of the country. International NGOs can work in Madagascar only with the government’s permission, and the government is closely linked with the extractive industries, including the illegal trade in precious timber. This makes natural resources a touchy subject. Journalists witness the sensitivity firsthand, in Madagascar as elsewhere. Most staff members at big international NGOs, the so-called BINGOs, won’t speak on the record about extraction issues in Madagascar. Though this might be prudent in individual cases, the cumulative effect is an eerie silence.“In a way, such BINGOs and other related structures work here without really being here (in terms of involvement) and I think things won’t really change as long as they maintain this kind of detachment (or voluntary disconnection) from local realities,” Ketakandriana Rafitoson, executive director of Transparency International–Initiative Madagascar, wrote in an email to Mongabay. “[I]f they deny themselves the right to act accordingly and really ‘fight’ for what matters to them, they are just complicit — albeit indirectly — in the perpetration of well-known environmental malpractices.”NGO leaders respond to such criticism by pointing out that their organizations’ role is to support local conservation and development, in line with government strategy, and to provide policy expertise at the invitation of the government. They are consigned to this relatively narrow role largely because of the nature of their legal relationship with the Malagasy government and the restrictions that come with international funding. The result, some critics say, is that despite the soaring language of their public communications and the ambitious targets set out in their grant proposals, the most serious conservation challenges remain outside of their remit.Common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus), a species that resides in Makira Natual Park. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Agreeing to a straitjacketMadagascar’s dazzling biodiversity — it has “more genetic information per surface unit” than anywhere else, as one paper put it — draws in conservation groups from across the world. Yet there’s little they can do when well-funded businesses or trafficking networks threaten the country’s environment.The most straightforward reason that leaders of international NGOs do not speak out is that they want to keep their “seat” in the country. They are required to apply for and operate under an accord de siège, an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that declares that the government has “a permanent right to control the progress of the various works and actions as well as the technical and financial management of all the personnel resources made available to [NGO] projects,” according to a template accord de siège obtained by Mongabay.The language of the agreement makes the power dynamics clear. “[T]he whole spirit of the accord de siège is in general that [Madagascar’s government] controls NGOs,” Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, country director for the international NGO WWF, told Mongabay in an email.The accord de siège does not explicitly prevent lobbying or political activity, but it establishes NGOs as partners of the government, requiring that they “collaborate” with ministries to ensure their programs fit with government priorities. NGOs must renew their accord de siège every two years and submit regular reports on projects and expenditures.In practice, collaborating with the government can mean partnering with resource extractors. Some bureaucrats and elected representatives benefit from business activities through official channels, such as taxes and permit fees that go to government ministries. But others benefit through bribes, kickbacks, and even sometimes direct involvement in the trade. “Madagascar has entered a phase of ‘criminalization of the state’ in which … the border between the illegal and the legal has become blurred,” wrote a researcher from the Institut Français des Relations Internationales, a Paris-based think tank, with regard to the extractive industries in Madagascar, in a 2017 report submitted to France’s ministry of defense.The close ties between government and industry make it difficult for NGOs to critique ill-advised projects or address illicit resource extraction, said Ndranto Razakamanarina, president of Alliance Voahary Gasy (AVG), a consortium of environmental civil society groups in Madagascar. “If [NGOs] do advocacy, they are afraid of [losing] their accord de siège,” he told Mongabay. “They will be thrown out of Madagascar. We, the Malagasy, we will only be thrown in prison, but they can’t exclude us from the country.”So far, the government has not removed any conservation groups from the country and rarely if ever makes explicit threats to do so. It usually opts to take less drastic action against NGOs, such as simply voicing displeasure or not offering them management of a desirable protected area, said WWF’s Ratsifandrihamanana. When WWF started a petition to stop rosewood logging in 2009, members of the government called the WWF office in a “very angry” mood, she told Mongabay.The lopsided relationship is not unique to Madagascar. Many countries in the Global South require foreign organizations to sign such agreements, and Russia and China have stringent requirements for foreign NGOs. Countries in the Global North, on the other hand, often take a different approach. Within the U.S. and the European Union, foreign NGOs operate as freely as domestic NGOs, without special reporting requirements, and are allowed to engage in advocacy and lobbying. The U.S. State Department holds that this is crucial to developing a “robust civil society.”A common fody (Foudia madagascariensis), a species native to Madgascar. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.The other global gag ruleDespite their purported interest in protecting civil society, governments in the Global North do try to influence the activities of international NGOs. For example, President Donald Trump’s much-discussed “global gag rule” prevents U.S. government funds from being disbursed to any organization that provides abortions or abortion counseling, or that advocates to decriminalize abortions, regardless of whether the money would have been used for that purpose. Last year, The Washington Post ran a long feature showing how the rule has affected health programs in Madagascar.But a much broader global gag rule — or, more precisely, a set of rules — that predates Trump’s tenure receives far less scrutiny, despite its influence on conservation and development work in Madagascar and beyond. U.S. laws restrict lobbying by charities (including NGOs), private foundations, and government agencies. Some other countries and major international donors also have rules on lobbying and advocacy, but U.S. funds tend to be particularly restrictive — and a large portion of Madagascar’s conservation funding comes from the U.S.NGOs registered as charities in the U.S. are subject to strict lobbying rules. They can’t make lobbying a “substantial” part of their activities — not more than 3 to 5 percent, experts say. Some NGOs file their taxes in such a way that they have hard limits of $1 million or less per year on lobbying for all of their programs in all countries combined.The rules, which apply anywhere in the world, become even stricter when NGOs accept grant funding from private foundations, as international NGOs in Madagascar do. NGOs that accept foundation funding can’t use it to suggest, draft or take a public position on proposed or enacted legislation. They also can’t attempt to influence the Malagasy public on such legislation, and they can’t support political candidates.The rules can prevent international NGOs from having a level playing field with the extractive industries, which face no such restrictions. For example, they made it difficult for NGOs to advocate for changes to Madagascar’s mining code, which were openly debated in recent years. Several Malagasy civil society groups regard the code, which was passed by parliament in 2005, as overly friendly to investors and lacking in social and environmental protections. But the mining industry, which faces no limits on the amount of money it can use to lobby the government, pushed back against proposed reforms. International NGOs remained silent on the matter, and in 2017 then-President Hery Rajaonarimampianina announced that there would be no change to the code.Some experts, mindful of such cases, believe the lobbying rules, while sensible on a surface level, end up limiting NGOs’ freedom to participate in public debate. “[T]his particular set of restrictions is strikingly discriminatory. No other sector of the interest group universe is as constrained in its advocacy as are 501(c)(3)s,” Jeffrey Berry, a political scientist at Tufts University, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2003. “This creates a huge imbalance.” (Private foundations and public charities are often called 501(c)(3)s after the U.S. tax code that applies to them.)A meeting of a village chapter of Mazoto, a group opposed to Base Resources’s mineral sands mining project in southwestern Madagascar, earlier this year. The Madagascar government has since suspended the mine project. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Pushing for change within the rules Nevertheless, some international NGOs do their best to put pressure on Madagascar’s government. WWF is the most politically engaged BINGO in the country, at least in public. Advocacy makes up roughly one-quarter or one-third of WWF’s work in Madagascar, Ratsifandrihamanana estimated during an interview with Mongabay. She said she would like to see the figure increase, but it’s tricky “especially with funding from U.S. foundations.” Even when donors do allow advocacy, it usually isn’t a priority. “Advocacy is difficult to fund,” she said. “It’s easier to raise money for conservation on the ground with local communities.”The rules do allow NGOs to engage in some types of advocacy, even when they receive foundation funding. For example, they can make general calls for, say, better anti-pollution laws so long as they don’t advocate for a specific law. They can address specific policy as technical advisers if their advice is sought in writing by Madagascar’s government. And they can try to influence the way laws are implemented by, for example, assisting Madagascar’s environment ministry in converting laws into regulations.Such allowances are not always exploited. Berry, the Tufts political scientist, argues that the leaders of charities should try harder to take advantage of the types of lobbying and advocacy they can do. But the legal environment is complicated and difficult for NGOs to navigate. In practice, NGOs that receive foundation grants rarely take advantage of the fact that they can still lobby by using special safe-harbor laws or simply by using other types of funding, said Chelsey Ziegler, a lawyer for the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, which until recently was a major global conservation donor, funding several NGO projects in Madagascar. It can be an administrative burden on an NGO to ring-fence the funds and report on the activities separately, so most NGOs keep it simple and opt not to delve into advocacy and lobbying. Ziegler said that a conversation between funders and grantees is essential to supporting advocacy within the rules. “It makes people nervous to say, ‘yeah, we lobby,’” she told Mongabay.A culture of cautionThese constraints mean that many NGO staff members never learn to flex their advocacy muscles. Acquiescence to resource extraction becomes routine. “It becomes a habit,” Charlie Gardner, a conservation scientist at the University of Kent who worked in Madagascar for 10 years, told Mongabay. “They become self-censoring. Even if there isn’t specific legislation preventing them from advocacy work, they become used to watching what they do.”Some NGOs not only self-censor but actively partner with extractive industries. In 2015, Conservation International (CI), which aims to “protect Africa’s ‘natural capital,’” made a deal with Ambatovy, a nickel and cobalt mining company owned by three multinational corporations that represents the largest financial investment ever in Madagascar. CI accepted $1.5 million from Ambatovy to help set up a protected area near the company’s plant in eastern Madagascar. Neither side released much information about the deal aside from a short press release. CI has never publicly criticized the company, despite some evidence of poor social and environmental practices, including its possible role in introducing an invasive toad that threatens to disrupt local ecosystems. In a recent email, Jenny Parker McCloskey, a CI spokesperson, told Mongabay that CI was a science-based organization that would not engage in advocacy whether or not the Ambatovy deal was in place.An Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), a poisonous invasive species spreading in northeastern Madagascar that may have been introduced by the Ambatovy mine. Image by Lokionly via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).Another reason NGOs are not more outspoken is cultural. “The Malagasy, we are not very confrontational,” Ratsifandrihamanana said. “We do it in more indirect ways. Sometimes we would be better off if we could be more straightforward with one another.”It can be difficult for Malagasy professionals to take risks. Madagascar is a low-income country where white-collar jobs are precious, and the BINGOs offer some of the best white-collar jobs, with high salaries and good benefits.For Malagasy or foreign staff wanting to keep working in the country, the importance of keeping a job or career advancement can lead to tunnel vision and silence on controversial topics. “There’s an incentive to keep your head down and just get on with your work,” Gardner said.Malagasy conservationists tend to rotate between work for NGOs, industry and government. An NGO staff member may be reluctant to challenge a mining company when she might one day apply for a job with that company or a government ministry that regulates it. Some people in Madagascar are conscious of the impact this “revolving door” can have. For example, AVG’s Razakamanarina tries to protect the integrity of his civil society organization by not allowing people who leave AVG for government posts to return.Still, the small, tightly knit professional world makes dissent difficult.“If you [as an NGO staff member] see the minister on Monday, you’re not going to mount a campaign against him on Tuesday,” Marcus Schneider, former Madagascar country director for Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a foundation affiliated with Germany’s Social Democratic Party, told Mongabay. Schneider said that he did not believe it was the role of NGOs to mount such campaigns, but he wondered if they would be better off changing their approach.“There is a lot of money going into conservation and environmental work in Madagascar,” he said. “The question some people in the German development community ask is: would it be maybe more intelligent to fund education or political consciousness building? In the long run, the effect might be better on the environment. The degradation of the environment is caused by the difficult socio-economic and political situation.”NGO practitioners are quick to acknowledge that economic, health and environmental outcomes are connected, and that holistic approaches are needed to improve them. But NGOs have to design their programs to match the priorities of funders and the Malagasy government. They usually opt for “capacity building” or “behavior change” at the community level rather than advocating for structural change. And so key drivers of resource degradation and biodiversity loss, including wildlife trafficking and industrial-scale exploitation, are left to others to challenge.Backroom dealing Because of these constraints, NGOs end up doing most of their advocacy work — if they do any at all — behind closed doors. This can be seen in the approach taken by Mihari, a network of small-scale fishers that is facilitated by NGOs. Mihari’s most ambitious goal, declared in 2017, is to establish an exclusive access zone for small-scale fishers along Madagascar’s coast. This is a sensitive political topic because it would seriously impact, if not end, industrial shrimp trawling in the country: 85 percent of the trawling takes place within 3 kilometers (2 miles) of the shore, the same area many of the fishers want designated a no-trawl zone.Mihari was established in 2012 by several international NGOs, including the U.K.-based marine conservation group Blue Ventures, and is considered a breath of fresh air in Madagascar’s conservation circles. Many NGO leaders proudly tout their support for the group’s community organizing and advocacy work, which has received international attention. Mihari’s coordinator recently won a Whitley Award, a prestigious prize for grassroots conservation leaders in the Global South.Shrimp from Madagascar on sale for £45 per kilogram (about $27 per pound) at Borough Market in London last month. Industrial trawlers that serve European markets compete with small-scale fishers for Madagascar’s marine resources. Image by Edward Carver.Mihari does have grassroots members — thousands of small-scale fishers across the country — who speak forcefully about the impact of industrial fishing on their livelihoods when given the opportunity. However, its NGO members are bound by the requirements of international funders and the Malagasy government, so Mihari, as a network, can’t speak with the same force. Mihari’s 2017 declaration [pdf] did not specify how much marine area should be reserved for local fishers — possibly to avoid advocating for specific legislation due to funding rules.And since then, Mihari has not engaged in much public-facing advocacy. For example, Mihari and Blue Ventures chose not to speak publicly when this reporter inquired about issues that directly affect small-scale fishers. Last year, Madagascar’s government announced the sale of offshore oil blocks comprising 63,296 square kilometers (24,440 square miles) along the country’s west coast, where most small-scale fishers are based. More recently, Madagascar has negotiated for a new fisheries deal with the European Union, which has been accused of unfair exploitation of marine resources in past deals. In these cases and others, staff members at Mihari and Blue Ventures avoided on-the-record comments and expressed a preference for behind-the-scenes negotiations with members of government or industry, citing a need to maintain good relationships.A woman displays her family’s catch in the village of Andavadoaka in southwestern Madagascar. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Critics caution that there are potential downsides to this approach, even if it’s effective in the short term. Such advocacy can ultimately disempower its purported beneficiaries by taking the debate out of the public sphere. Quiet, backroom advocacy is often aimed at industry or government elites who, though Madagascar is ostensibly a democracy, do not necessarily represent the interests of small-scale fishers or the broader Malagasy public. It can muffle the powerful voices of Malagasy fishers in favor of the cautious, if well-meaning, voices of NGO representatives. And without a strong popular movement to keep pressure on government and industry, any gains achieved in backroom deals could easily be rolled back in the future, observers caution.Some gains in Madagascar have already proved fragile. International NGOs pushed the conservation agenda in Madagascar in the 2000s, working with the government to more than triple the land coverage of protected areas — the fulfillment of the so-called Durban Vision. Amid a scramble for funding, NGOs competed to manage sites across the country. Although the effort was successful in quantitative terms, the impact was not always positive or enduring. Researchers say that decision-makers were overly accommodating to foreign mining interests and, though some progress was made in establishing community management, NGOs failed to fully consult or engage local people, many of whom ended up feeling disenfranchised and still log illegally, hunt bushmeat, and engage in artisanal mining in the parks. Some protected areas have no active management and are considered “paper parks,” while others were “orphaned,” never receiving NGO support or having it withdrawn due to lack of funding.“The lobbying work in the 2000s was too dependent on influential individuals from certain NGOs and their relationships with certain government officials,” Nadia Rabesahala Horning, a political scientist at Middlebury College in Vermont who comes from Madagascar and researched the country’s environmental aid sector during that period, told Mongabay. “The efforts were never institutionalized. When those people left their positions, they left a vacuum.”Blue Ventures and Mihari are working to address some of these issues, starting with strengthening the dialogue between small-scale fishers and government officials. Alasdair Harris, Blue Ventures’ executive director, told Mongabay that Mihari started as a peer-to-peer network and, per the wishes of its grassroots members, has increasingly focused on policy. “We are now working with MIHARI’s members and partners to help the network gain its own independent legal status and the necessary leadership, operational systems, and governance needed to thrive as a credible national civil society organization,” he wrote in an email.Fire burning through Kirindy Forest in western Madagascar in July, 2019. People set fires in the region to convert forest into corn and peanut cropland, including inside protected areas like Kirindy Forest. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Ingredients for changeIf international NGOs in Madagascar find it difficult to push for specific policy changes or government reform, homegrown groups have more scope to operate. With no need for an accord de siège, these groups do some of the most challenging and important conservation work in the country.AVG campaigns against rosewood and other wildlife trafficking, and helps bust criminals illegally trading endangered tortoises. Just last month, groups within the network publicly called for legislation on investments that better protects the environment and strengthens the voice of local people. Razakamanarina, its president, keeps the consortium local. He has, for example, declined to integrate Mihari or WWF into the AVG network because of their foreign status, he said. Transparency International–Initiative Madagascar speaks out forcefully against corruption and environmental injustice, regularly publishing articles on these subjects in Madagascar’s newspapers. It’s locally registered as its existence predates the TI name: Transparency International allows civil society groups in countries such as Madagascar to take on its name but remain independent. CRAAD-OI, a civil society group based in Antananarivo, teaches people in rural Madagascar about land rights and acts as a watchdog against illicit activity by the extractive industries. CRAAD-OI is locally registered and deliberately avoids accepting money from the U.S. government, U.S. foundations, the World Bank, or the European Union, its coordinator told Mongabay.Such groups are advocating for more robust environmental policies and a fairer distribution of Madagascar’s natural resource wealth. Will this be enough to protect Madagascar from large-scale resource extraction for the benefit of a select few? If there’s one thing that’s sure, it’s that the BINGOs, at least as they are currently set up, won’t have much to say about it.A child inspects her father’s catch after he arrives home to the village of Andavadoaka in southwestern Madagascar. Image by Edward Carver for Mongabay.Banner image: Baobab trees in western Madagascar. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Disclosure: This reporter worked for Blue Ventures from 2014 to 2015.Clarification 12/19/19: The story was amended to clarify the lobbying rules for U.S. charities and foundations.Clarification 12/24/19: WCS sent the following response to this story: WCS has worked in partnership with the Malagasy government and local communities to protect Madagascar’s biodiversity for over 25 years. This includes landscapes such as Makira Natural Park, an area renowned for its intact forests and high biodiversity, but which has also been the target of illegal logging, including for rosewood. WCS worked to create the park and secure resource use rights for over 75 community-managed forest zones within the buffer zone of the park. By supporting local community patrols, bringing in law enforcement authorities when offenders are identified, and supporting sustainable development activities for communities, deforestation levels have been significantly reduced. Rates of deforestation today are three times lower than those that were originally predicted at the start of the project, saving an estimated 70,000 hectares of forest over the course of 15 years. At the national level, the Malagasy government also recently took the ground-breaking decision to withdraw its request to CITES to sell its rosewood stocks. These successes suggest that a constructive, pro-active approach is often the most effective way to ensure long-term conservation of some of the world’s most threatened biodiversity.Citation:Aymoz, B. G., Randrianjafy, V. R., Randrianjafy, Z. J., & Khasa, D. P. (2013). Community management of natural resources: A case study from Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. Ambio, 42(6), 767-775.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.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

New low-cost airline for rural South Africa

first_imgThe South African National Taxi Council’snew low-cost airline is due to officiallylaunch on 16 September, and will startoperating in November. (Image: MEDIA CONTACTS • AJ Mthembu Santaco +27 12 321 1043 RELATED ARTICLES • Green airline goes greener • 1time to start flying from Lanseria • Zambezi Airlines lands in SA • Mango starts flying from LanseriaNosimilo RamelaThe South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) plans to launch a new low-cost airline to accommodate the scores of people from rural areas who work in the main cities and are forced to make their frequent trips home via bus or taxi, as they cannot afford plane tickets.Santaco’s business development officer Nkululeko Buthelezi said the airline would be called the Santaco Express. The service is due to officially launch on 16 September, and will start operating in November.Buthelezi said the airline would focus on routes untouched by other domestic airlines – going into more rural areas of the country.“We specialise in awkward areas because that’s where our business is,” said Santaco president AJ Mthembu.Buthelezi named local company AirQuarius Aviation, which works with other domestic airlines in the country including SA Express and SA Airlink, as the initial managers of the airline. Once the venture is up and running AirQuarius will hand over all management to Santaco, most likely within 18 to 24 months.AirQuarius Aviation is based at Lanseria Airport and provides services such as aircraft management; training and development of pilots and crew; aircraft sales, leasing and charters; and aircraft maintenance.According to Buthelezi, the company will initially supply Santaco Express with a 100-seater craft and a crew, as well as the necessary aviation licences.The airline is planning to operate one or two flights a day between Lanseria International Airport in Gauteng and Bhisho in the Eastern Cape, with a stop thereafter at Cape Town International.Mthembu said the ticket will include transport from the taxi rank to the airport, and then a transfer to a taxi rank at the destination.“We will be building everything into one price in the affordable sector.”He added that the final cost of a ticket had not yet been decided, but that Santaco was considering prices ranging between R500 (US$74) and R600 ($89) for a one way ticket.“The sky is the limit”Commuters welcomed the announcement.“We are so excited about this airline,” said Luthando Nyawuza from Bhisho. “I work in Johannesburg but my family lives in the Eastern Cape, I try to visit home every two months which is a long taxi trip taking 14 to 15 hours. This is usually over a weekend, which means I spend a whole day travelling there spend one day with my family before having to travel another full day back to Johannesburg.”Nyawuza said that the new airline would cut down on travelling, and allow for more family time.He added that the high cost of air travel and the long distances between airports and residential areas made it difficult for him to afford a plane ticket home.“I appreciate what the taxi drivers are doing for us. They are really looking out for us people from the rural areas because they come from there and are considerate to our needs. I never thought this kind of service would be possible for us. Clearly only the sky is the limit.”He said that the proposed air ticket prices compare favourably to what commuters already pay to travel in buses or taxis.Repositioning the taxi industrySantaco CEO Bongani Msimang said Santaco planned to transform the taxi industry, and the airline was but one of many initiatives in the pipeline. He said Santaco aims to become a leader in mass affordable, safe, and reliable transportation.Another of Santaco’s goals, said Msimang, was to move away from an informal structure, and become a body that was appropriately organised and run like a corporate business at all levels.“This would involve redefining the scope of the industry to include other transport modes such as bus and rail to ensure we don’t lose our market share,” he said.last_img read more