DEC seeks public input on water quality improvement plans for Lake Memphremagog watershed

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public input on three draft plans being released today to strategically improve water quality in the Lake Memphremagog watershed. A series of public meetings will be held this month to discuss the plans and hear suggestions from citizens. The waters of Lake Memphremagog are shared with the province of Quebec, but most of the ponds and rivers that feed it are located in Vermont. The watershed includes the Black, Barton and Clyde Rivers, and many lakes and ponds such as Great and Little Hosmer Lakes, Lake Parker, Crystal Lake, Lake Willoughby, Island Pond, Great and Little Averill Ponds, Norton Pond, Holland Pond and Seymour Lake.To keep these waters in a healthy condition, the State is required to write a pollution control plan known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to set limits on phosphorous pollution being contributed to the lake. The draft TMDL for Lake Memphremagog released today sets a target of 29% reduction in phosphorous flowing off the landscape into the lake. To meet that target, the Department of Environmental Conservation worked with local and regional experts to draft a Tactical Basin Plan, which outlines watershed-specific actions and projects necessary to achieve the target.A specific part of the TMDL requiring public input is the set of proposed pollution limits for wastewater treatment facilities in the Lake Memphremagog watershed, known as “wasteload allocations.”  The wasteload allocation is intended to fairly and equitably apportion allowable levels of phosphorus pollution among wastewater treatment plants in as cost-effective a manner as practical.Citizens are encouraged to attend one of the following public hearings for a presentation and the opportunity to provide comments and suggestions on projects that impact the waters they enjoy:Monday, May 22: Newport at Emory Hebard Office Building, 100 Maine Street, Room 250Tuesday, May 30: Brighton7:00pm at Brighton Town Hall, 49 Mill Street Ext.Wednesday, May 31: Craftsbury6:30pm at Sterling College, Common House, 16 Sterling DrivePublic comments on the plans will be accepted until close of business on June 16, 2017.To view a copy of draft TMDL and tactical basin plan, go to http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/map/basin-planning/basin17(link is external), or request a copy from Ben Copans at [email protected](link sends e-mail)  or (802) 751-2610. Public comments can be directed to Ben Copans by e-mail or by mail at the following address:374 Emerson Falls Road, Suite 4St. Johnsbury VT 05819last_img read more

Peck boasts $7.641 million in contracts from 10.5MW solar portfolio

first_imgSix Project Portfolio to be Completed Over the Next Two QuartersVermont Business Magazine The Peck Company Holdings, Inc (NASDAQ: PECK(link is external)), a leading commercial solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company based in South Burlington, has announced the signing of contracts totaling $7.641 million for six projects totaling 10.5 megawatts (MWs).The 10.5MW portfolio of six projects is located in Vermont and include nameplate sizes from 220kWdc to 2.7MWdc. Several of the projects have already started construction and will be completed by year-end. The entire portfolio will be complete within the next two quarters. Peck is the dominant solar EPC contractor in Vermont and has constructed over 1/3 of the 358 megawatts currently installed in Vermont.The Solar Energy Industry Association(link is external) reports that Vermont is expected to install an additional 251 megawatts of solar PV projects through 2025. Vermont has been an active participant in the energy transformation with a Renewable Energy Standard to utilize 75 percent renewable energy by 2032. Green Mountain Power, the utility that serves ¾ of the power for Vermont, announced an energy vision to have a 100 percent carbon free energy supply by 2025 and 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.The Peck Company Holdings Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Peck, commented, “We have always been proud of our roots, and Vermont has been a very supportive state to grow our business in over the past 50 years. As we diversify into other states as part of our strategic growth plan, we bring the craftsmanship and relationships that have helped us thrive. We continue to be grateful for the support as we expand into other states like Maine and Rhode Island, and coast to coast.”Peck said, “This momentum is important as we advance our efforts to close the previously announced business combination with Sunworks, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW). As detailed in the preliminary joint proxy statement/prospectus, we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 1, 2020, we believe the transaction with Sunworks will allow us to leverage the combined synergies to create a larger solar EPC platform with greater geographical reach and enhanced financial resources which will benefit our partners, customers and shareholders.”Since becoming a public company in 2019, Peck has been successfully executing its three-pronged growth strategy including:(1) Organic expansion across the Northeastern United States(2) Conducting accretive merger and acquisition transactions to expand geographically(3) Investing in company-owned solar assets that provide recurring revenueThe Peck Company Holdings is guided by the mission to facilitate the reduction of carbon emissions through the expansion of clean, renewable energy and it believes that leveraging such core values to deploy resources toward profitable business is the only sustainable strategy to achieve these objectives.About The Peck Company Holdings, Inc.Headquartered in South Burlington, VT, The Peck Company Holdings, Inc. is a 2nd-generation family business founded in 1972 and rooted in values that align people, purpose, and profitability. Ranked by Solar Power World as one of the leading commercial solar contractors in the Northeastern United States, the Company provides EPC services to solar energy customers for projects ranging in size from several kilowatts for residential properties to multi-megawatt systems for large commercial and utility scale projects. The Company has installed over 165 megawatts worth of solar systems since it started installing solar in 2012 and continues its focus on profitable growth opportunities. Please visit www.peckcompany.com(link is external) for additional information. Source: SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–The Peck Company Holdings, Inc 10.13.2020last_img read more

Women’s faces get redder at ovulation, but human eyes can’t pick up on it

first_imgShare on Twitter Previous studies have shown that men find female faces more attractive when the women are ovulating, but the visual clues that allow this are unclear. Now, new research investigating whether it might be to do with subtle changes in skin colour has shown that women’s faces do increase in redness during ovulation, but the levels of change are just under the detectable range of the human eye.Researchers say this may mean that facial redness in females was once an involuntary signal for optimal fertility, but has since been “dampened” by evolution as it is more beneficial for females to hide or control outward signs of peak fertility.Involuntarily signalling ovulation can prevent longer-term investment from males. In primate species that advertise ovulation, males only express sexual interest in females when they appear to be fertile. In humans, ovulation is less conspicuous and sexual behaviour is not restricted to the period of peak fertility. Share on Facebook Email Pinterestcenter_img The research, published today in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, is the most complete objective study of female faces during the ovulatory cycle, say researchers. Twenty-two women were photographed without make-up at the same time every working day for at least one month in the same environment and using a scientific camera modified to more accurately capture colour (usually used for studying camouflage in wildlife).A computer programme was designed to select an identical patch of cheek from each photograph. The participants also self-tested for hormone changes at key times dictated by the research team’s “period maths”.A surge in luteinising hormone told researchers that ovulation would occur in roughly the next 24 hours, so they knew which photographs were taken when the women were most fertile. The team converted the imagery into red/green/blue (RGB) values to measure colour levels and changes.They found that redness varied significantly across the ovulatory cycle, peaking at ovulation and remaining high during the latter stages of the cycle after oestrogen levels have fallen. Skin redness then dips considerably once menstruation begins. The research suggests facial redness closely maps fluctuations in body temperature during the cycle.However, when running the results through models of human visual perception, the largest average difference in redness was 0.6 units. A change of 2.2 units are needed to be detectable to the naked human eye.“Women don’t advertise ovulation, but they do seem to leak information about it, as studies have shown they are seen as more attractive by men when ovulating,” said Dr Hannah Rowland, from the University of Cambridge’s Zoology Department, who led the study with Dr Robert Burriss, a psychologist from Northumbria University.“We had thought facial skin colour might be an outward signal for ovulation, as it is in other primates, but this study shows facial redness is not what men are picking up on – although it could be a small piece of a much larger puzzle,” she said.Primates, including humans, are attracted to red, say the study’s authors. Women may subconsciously augment the naturally-occurring facial redness during ovulation through make-up such as blusher or red clothing, they say.“As far back as the 1970s, scientists were speculating that involuntary signals of fertility such as skin colour changes might be replaced with voluntary signals, such as clothing and behaviour,” said Burriss. “Some species of primate advertise their fertility through changes in the colour of their faces. Even if humans once advertised ovulation in this way, it appears that we don’t anymore.”It may be that, during ovulation, women have a greater propensity for blushing when around men they find attractive, say the researchers. “Other research has shown that when women are in the fertile phase of their cycle they are more flirtatious and their pupils dilate more readily, but only when they are thinking about or interacting with attractive men,” said Burriss. “We will need to do more research to find out if skin redness changes in the same way”.Rowland and Burriss first conceived of the experiment seven years ago, but it wasn’t until Rowland arrived at Cambridge that they were able to do the research, thanks to the University’s collegiate system. “We were able to recruit undergraduates in a number of colleges and photograph the women just before they had dinner in the college hall every evening. The collegiate routines and networks were vital to collecting data with such regularity,” said Rowland. Share LinkedInlast_img read more

DRIVEN: Cesenes vaults to gold at Tarpon Relays

first_imgBy ANAMARIA RAMIREZSpecial to the PRESSMarlyn Cesenes, a junior at Port Isabel High School (PIHS), wins gold in pole vaulting at Friday’s track and field meet, but her biggest challenge is her goal to beat her own personal best. “I got gold today, but I didn’t deserve it,” Cesenes said.In her second year of pole vaulting, Cesenes continues to challenge herself as she makes her way to regionals and hopefully state. She focuses on beating her own best heights as she trains for competition. “I am my only competition,” said Cesenes. Butthat was no idle boast. Cesenes continually pushes herself in competition with the goal of earning a college scholarship.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here. RelatedVaulter Cesenes Ready to GoBy Larry Gage Special to the PRESS Port Isabel High School senior pole vaulter Marlyn Cesenes is ready to get started on the 2020 high school track and field season. She has been making the most of the recent ideal weather and is hard at work on preparations for the…January 30, 2020In “News”Lady’s track and field off to RegionalsBy LARRY GAGE Special to the PRESS Seven Port Isabel Lady Tarpon athletes are off to next week’s regional track and field meet as a result of high finishes at this week’s area meet in La Feria. Madison Ramos, Marlyn Cesenes, Danaka Camacho, Gabby Torres, Mandy Perkins, Lora Galvan, and…April 19, 2019In “News”Lady Tarpons ready for RegionalsBy Larry Gage Special to the PRESS Seven Port Isabel Lady Tarpon athletes are competing this weekend at the UIL Region IV Track and Field Meet in Kingsville. Madison Ramos, Marlyn Cesenes, Lora Galvan, Allyson Reyes, Danaka Camacho, Gabby Torres, and Mandy Perkins all qualified for regional competition with top…April 26, 2019In “News” Sharelast_img read more

Cho in sparkling form at Emerald

first_img2nd Mike Sanders (6) 39pts3rd Neil Wilkinson (12) 38ptsDiv.2 (16+)1st Richard Talbot (16) 38pts2nd John O’Donoghue (17) 36pts3rd Kenny Hole (18) 33ptsCho Gabryoung.On Monday, with the bad weather still to arrive, the largest turnout of the week headed off to play Emerald.With the numbers playing two divisions were required and in Division 1 Cho Gabr­young had another good day.  He has been recording some excellent scores during his time in Pattaya and at Emerald he produced his best score of the lot and his 41 points was easily good enough to take home the first prize.  The guys in second and third places also recorded excellent scores.  Mike Sanders finished second with 39 points and Neil Wilkinson was third on 38.In Division 2, Richard Talbot, the Roadrunner, put in a tidy sprint to the finishing line and took the gold medal with 38 points.  He was followed home by the old chuffer, retired railwayman John O’Donoghue on 36 points and he in turn was followed home by the man who should be good at golf with a name like Kenny Hole.Tuesday, Oct. 25, Mt. Shadow – Stableford1st Seil Peter (7) 32pts2nd Cho Gabryoung (9) 32pts3rd Derek Thorogood (14) 32ptsOn Tuesday the rain started whilst we were all trying to get the better of Mountain Shadow.  I ended up playing like ten men, nine dead and one dying, and finished last.I have told you before about our mystery man who occasionally comes out of the shadows.  He goes by the name of Seil Peter and on this very damp day at Mountain Shadow he just managed to keep his head above water and beat Cho Gabryoung and Derek Thorogood on count back after all three finished on 32 pts.  After pocketing his ill-gotten gains he slunk back off to the shadows to fight SPECTRE or something.Wednesday, Oct. 26, Parichat – Stableford1st Dinga Doyle (14) 34pts2nd Ian Smith (11) 33pts3rd Billy Allen (19) 30ptsThe TRGG headed off once again to the watery grave known as Parichat on Wednesday.  As if they hadn’t seen enough water this week.  Golfers always like a challenge and occasionally like to see a water fountain where they can cast coins in the water and wish for good luck.  At Parichat they toss golf balls in and wish they had stayed in bed.Richard Talbot.It took the luck of the Irish to conquer this golfing graveyard.  Armed with his rabbit’s foot, lucky heather, four leaf clovers, leprechauns and saying ten hail Mary’s, Dinga Doyle survived to tell the tale of his winning round at Parichat.  He finished just one shot ahead of Ian Smith in second place and the man always down on his luck, Billy Allan, was third.Thursday, Oct. 27, Green Valley – Stableford1st Daryl Ottaway (8) 35pts2nd Lawrence Lee (21) 35pts3rd Mike Rushant (13) 34ptsAt Green Valley on Thursday it was all very tight at the top of the leaderboard where the players were all treading on each other’s toes.  Old Bigfoot Daryl Ottaway managed to use his size to get the better of ever-slim Lawrence Lee and the ever-small Mike Rushant.Friday, Oct. 28, Burapha – Stableford1st Richard Talbot (15) 39pts2nd Ian Smith (11) 38pts3rd Tony Gliddon (14) 37ptsOn Friday at Burapha (A and B courses) it was a case of form an orderly queue please.  Everybody did what they were told and Richard Talbot finished one point ahead of Ian Smith, who in turn finished one up on Tony Gliddon.Everybody returned to the bar where we spent hours and hours watching the torrential rain fall from blackening skies and wondered whether we would ever get home again.  I have to report that we managed to drink our way through the dilemma. Travellers Rest Golf GroupMonday, Oct. 24, The Emerald – StablefordDiv. 1 (0-15)1st Cho Gabryoung (10) 41ptslast_img read more

Nitehawks rally past Heat to take commanding lead in KIJHL Final

first_imgIf the Chase Heat need a shoulder to cry on following Game two of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Championship Series, the squad can put in a call to the Nelson Leafs.Because the Nelson Leafs are probably the only team that can relate to the heartbreaking experienced by the Heat after Beaver Valley rallied from a 4-1 deficit to edge Chase 5-4 Tuesday night at the Fruitvale Arena to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five final.Game three is Thursday in Chase.The Heat looked primed to even the series after jumping all over the Hawks in the opening period, building a 3-0 lead eight minutes into the game on timely goals by Josh Bourne, on the power play, Michael Fidanza and Cory Loring.Dylan Kent stopped the bleeding with a power play marker for Beaver Valley two minutes before the period ended.But Kolten Moore restored the three-goal advantage 10 seconds after Kent’s marker. This all happening despite the Heat being outshot 15-8 in the period.However, unlike the comeback against the Leafs during Game two of the Murdoch Division Final when Beaver Valley scored twice in the final minute of the game before winning in overtime, the Hawks had a full 40 minutes to complete this comeback.Two goals by Bradley Ross in the second period combined with a power play goal from McKoy Hauck midway through the third frame tied the game at 4-4.That set the stage for Aiden Bowell to complete the comeback with a goal seven minutes from the finish line.Beaver Valley outshot the Heat 42-21 making a winner out of Tallon Kramer, who rebounded from a shaky opening frame.Nic Bruyere was in goal for Chase.If necessary, Game four of the series goes Friday in Chase.If the series needs to go the full five games, the final contest is scheduled back in Fruitvale Sunday.For Heat fans thinking about jumping off the bus, Chase rallied from a 2-0 deficit during the Okanagan-Shuswap Conference Final to oust Osoyoos Coyotes in five games.last_img read more

Four NUIG players selected as ‘Rising Stars’

first_imgFour NUI Galway footballers will be honoured on Monday night week in Croke Park for their efforts in this year’s Sigerson Cup campaign. Goalkeeper Tadgh O’Malley (Leitir Mor), Sean Mulkerrin (Oilean Arainn), Enda Tierney (Oughterard) and Damian Comer (Annaghdown) were selected as Electric Ireland Rising Stars for their performances in the 2018 HE GAA Championships. Comhairle Ardoideachais will be inviting the four NUI Galway stars to the presentation of the Awards in the Players’ Lounge, Croke Park on Monday April 16th at 7pm. NUIGalway GAA officer Michael O Connor has congratulated the four NUI Galway players on their huge effort over the last college season in a valiant effort to bring home the Sigerson cup to the college for the first time since 2003. All four Galway students have came through the college system from fresher level up to senior level. Damian Comer is the current Galway senior football captain who qualified for the Allianz football final last Sunday.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

SOCCER: Oct. 5 Scoreboard

first_imgUIW 1, Central Arkansas 0McNeese State 1, Houston Baptist 2 (OT)Southeastern Louisiana 0, Lamar 2Sam Houston State 1, Stephen F. Austin 2 The Lumberjacks have been a tough matchup for the Bearkats, winning the last five times. SHSU hasn’t beaten SFA since 2010 and the Kats only have two wins all-time against them. McNeese State 1, Houston Baptist 2 (OT)HOUSTON, Texas – With 49 seconds left in the first overtime, the ball from a blocked shot found senior forward Natalie Hager amid all the chaos in the box and she scored far-side, as the Houston Baptist’s women’s soccer team snagged a huge conference win from visiting McNeese State, 2-1 in overtime, Sunday afternoon at Sorrels Field. There was no scoring and no shots on goal in the first half, despite HBU having a few chances to take the lead. The Huskies’ best opportunity came in the 24th minute, when Allison Abendschein’s shot hit the cross bar, the ball found Hall with Sestak out of position, but she sailed the ball high. SFA got the game-winner in the 74th minute and the Bearkats weren’t able to create many chances in the final 15 minutes. Sam Houston was outshot 14-4 in the match and Hambleton was forced to make four saves while SFA goalkeeper Morgan Glick only had to make two stops. Southeastern Louisiana 0, Lamar 2BEAUMONT, Texas – Lamar University women’s soccer coach Orlando Cervantes may have found the perfect cure for his insomnia: a huge Southland Conference victory.Cervantes is hoping Lamar’s 2-0 win over visiting Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday will help get the sleep he’s been missing since Friday’s disappointing loss to Nicholls.Lamar (4-7-1 overall, 2-2-1 Southland) got right back into the thick of the Southland Conference race with six games remaining.  With Sunday’s win the Lady Cardinals moved into sole possession of the sixth, and final, berth for next month’s Southland Conference Tournament at Lamar.Lamar goalkeeper Bailey Fontenot made 13 saves as she set a school record with her 13th shutout, eclipsing the mark set by Jennifer Gibbs. Fontenot got all of the offensive support she would need thanks to a pair of first-half goals from Kimmy Albeno, who pushed her season total to seven.Albeno opened the scoring 13:17 into the game as she took a nifty pass from Taylor Mitchell and rocketed a shot past Southeastern Louisiana goalkeeper Casey Jeanfreau.Albeno made it 2-0 when she scored on a penalty kick with 4:37 remaining in the opening half. Albeno extended her Lamar career records to 32 goals, 73 points and 10 game-winning goals.Southeastern Louisiana held a 14-12 advantage in shots in the first half, but couldn’t get the ball past Fontenot, who made seven saves.The Lady Lions (10-3-0, 3-2-0) hoped to capitalize on having the wind at their backs in the second half, as they outshot Lamar 11-3, but still couldn’t find a way to get the ball past Fontenot.Jeanfreau finished with four saves for Southeastern Louisiana, which has lost two straight games for the first time this season.The victory was Cervantes’ 22nd as Lamar coach, as the third-year coach tied the mark set by Dewi Hardman from 2008-2011.The Lady Cardinals return home to host Sam Houston State at 7 p.m. Friday in a Southland Conference showdown. The Bearkats are 3-2 in conference play following Sunday’s loss at conference-leading Stephen F. Austin.– Return to top – Gabi D’Alesandro took a match-high five shots for McNeese State (4-7-1 overall, 2-3-0 SLC), as she scored the Cowgirls’ goal, assisted by Krista Steinbeiser. Steinbeiser and Tori Lasiter each took two shots. Sophomore forward Allie Johnson put the ball into an empty net to give the Bearkats a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute. In last season’s tournament game it was Ashley Fluty that gave SHSU the lead in the eight minute. HBU outshot the Cowgirls, 8-3, in the first half, and took all three corner kick opportunities. – Return to top – UIW 1, Central Arkansas 0CONWAY, Ark. – The Central Arkansas women’s soccer team took the field at the Bill Stephens Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon against Southland Conference foe Incarnate Word. Despite dominating possession, the Bears were unable to find the net, falling to the Cardinals 1-0.Central Arkansas (5-5-2, 1-1-1 SLC) controlled the game, outshooting UIW (1-10, 1-3 SLC) 19-10 on the day, and holding the 9-3 edge in shots on goal. The Bears were unable to break through though; missing a penalty kick and seeing the Cardinals make a pair of team saves to keep Central Arkansas off the board.Incarnate Word broke the scoreless tie in the 81st minute, as Megan Baker launched a cross from the right wing to Amanda Watkins, who ran the backside of the Central Arkansas line and put the ball away from 12 yards out for the game-winner.Chele Naudin and Alex Wurst led the Central Arkansas attack, each placing two shots on goal, while Allie Coleman, Cassie Lange, Alex Moore, Stacia Carroll, and Brooke Ballard each put one shot on frame. Kathryn Mundy had two shots on target for Incarnate Word, while Watkins had one.Heather Kowalik earned the win for the Cardinals, making seven saves to earn her first clean sheet of the season, while Anna Hughes took the loss for the Bears, making two saves and allowing one goal.Central Arkansas hits the road for a pair of games this weekend, both of which will take place in Louisiana. The Bears will take on the Lady Lions of Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, Louisiana at 4:00 PM on Friday night. On Sunday, the Bears will head to Thibodaux, Louisiana to take on the Colonels of Nicholls at 1:00 PM.– Return to top – Nobody could put her team ahead as the two teams entered overtime. Lindsay Matlock came very close to ending things in the waning seconds of regulation, as her shot attempt at the 89:16-mark went just wide. HBU concludes its four-match home stand next Sunday, Oct. 12 against Incarnate Word. Kick-off is set for a 1 pm start at Sorrels Field. HBU outshot the Cowgirls, 17-11, in the match, while McNeese State had a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks. HBU continued to put pressure on the McNeese State defense and Sestak and the hard work finally paid off in the 69th minute, as Missimer tied the match, assisted by LeBlanc. – Return to top – Patty Walrath improved her record to 3-5-2, as she made two saves in 99:11. Senior Kelsey Missimer came off the bench to take a team-high three shots for HBU (3-6-3 overall, 2-1-2 SLC), as her only shot on goal was the equalizer late in regulation. Sophomores Alessia Dal Monte and Jia LeBlanc earned assists on HBU’s goals. Hager and Ellee Hall each had two shots on goal, as the former had both of her shots hit the target. McNeese State drew first blood five minutes into the second half, as Steinbeiser sent a long pass up the field to D’Alesandro, who scored near-side for a 1-0 Cowgirls lead. The Lumberjacks levelled it up before halftime, leaving it all to play for in the second half. SFA’s Hannah Barker pushed the ball through Kylie Hambleton’s legs after she failed to control the ball on her goal line. The overtime match was the fourth in fifth games for the Huskies and was the second golden-goal win in six tries (2-1-3). Late in overtime, following a McNeese State foul in its territory, the Huskies sent a free kick into the box. Pandemonium ensued and Dal Monte took a shot that was blocked by a Cowgirl defender, but the ball went right to Hager, who scored, lifting the Huskies to the win. Lauren Sestak dropped to 1-1-0 on the season, as she also made two saves in 99:11. Sam Houston State 1, Stephen F. Austin 2NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Sam Houston’s three-game winning streak was snapped as they fell just short, 2-1, to Stephen F. Austin Sunday on the road. The game was a near mirror image of last season’s game in the semifinals of the Southland tournament.last_img read more

5 bird species lose protections, more at risk in new Indonesia decree

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Forests, Human-wildlife Conflict, Illegal Trade, Law, Law Enforcement, Pet Trade, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforests, Regulations, Trade, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Crime, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Five bird species in Indonesia have lost their protected status under a new ministerial decree, issued last month in response to complaints from songbird collectors.The decree also establishes additional guidelines for birds to be granted protected status, which effectively sets the stage for any species to be dropped from the list if it is deemed of high economic value to the songbird fan community.Scientists and wildlife experts have criticized the removal of the five species from the protected list, and the new criteria for granting protected status.Indonesia is home to the largest number of threatened bird species in Asia, but their populations in the wild are severely threatened by overexploitation. JAKARTA — A new decree from Indonesian authorities drops five bird species from a newly expanded list of protected wildlife, and potentially sets the stage for more to follow by widening the scope under which protected status can be rescinded.The capture and trade of the white-rumped shama (Kittacincla malabarica), Javan pied starling (Gracupica jalla), straw-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus), Sangihe shrikethrush (Colluricincla sanghirensis) and little shrikethrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha) will remain illegal without a government permit, but the lack of protected status means violators won’t face the jail time or hefty fines prescribed in the 1990 Conservation Act.Four of the birds were among hundreds of species added to the ministry’s list of protected species this past June. The fifth bird, the little shrikethrush, was on the original list published in 1999. All five have now been removed from the list following the publication on Sept. 5 of a decree from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.The little shrikethrush. Image courtesy of Dominic Sherony/Wikimedia Commons.The capture of wild birds is to be regulated through a government permit-and-quota system that is supposed to consider recommendations from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), a state-funded think tank. Mohammad Irham, a senior ornithologist at LIPI, said his institution would reject requests to capture any of the five now-unprotected species from the wild.He criticized the rescinding of their protected status, saying it would hasten their decline in the wild. “Our decision is based on scientific data, papers and surveys on the populations of these species in the wild,” he told Mongabay.The ministerial decree also establishes additional guidelines for birds to be granted protected status, such as the popularity of a given species for breeding and for songbird competitions.Under current rules, protected status can be granted to a species that is native to Indonesia, has a limited range, and has a small and dwindling population. But the decree adds new criteria for birds alone: the popularity of a species among breeders and hobbyists, the extent to which it contributes to people’s livelihoods, and the frequency with which it appears in songbird competitions.“There’s a huge local economy aspect to the birdkeeping business,” Wiratno, the environment ministry’s director general for biodiversity conservation, told reporters on Oct. 2.A straw-headed bulbul at a bird park in western Java, Indonesia. Image by Bernard Dupont/Wikimedia Commons.Field research by LIPI between 2001 and 2014 failed to find the straw-headed bulbul in the highlighted areas that were previously known habitats for the species. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).Bird launderingBirdkeeping is a popular pastime in Indonesia, particularly on the island of Java. The practice spread widely as a government-led transmigration program, beginning in the Dutch colonial era, relocated millions of landless Javanese to other parts of the country.Songbirds are prized for their use in contests, which have spawned networks of clubs, online forums and blogs. President Joko Widodo, himself an avid songbird collector, said in March that birdkeeping contributed an estimated 1.7 trillion rupiah ($114 million) annually to the nation’s economy.The permit-and-quota system applies to all birds, whether or not they’re on the protected list. Anyone convicted of illegally catching a protected species faces up to five years in prison and 100 million rupiah ($6,600) in fines under the 1990 Conservation Act. Those who illegally catch non-protected birds face only the prospect of having the birds seized and a token administrative sanction (if they run a breeding facility).Registered breeding facilities are allowed to catch a protected species in the wild for captive-breeding purposes and sell the offspring, which, crucially, are not designated as protected. The facilities are required to release 10 percent of their captive-born stock back into the wild.But the key issue, observers say, is that captive breeders often fail to properly register either their facilities or their birds. This opens the door for wild-caught birds to be laundered through the facilities.“Some claim that their animal is [captive-bred] offspring, but it turns out to be wild-caught,” Wiratno said.Indonesia is home to the largest number of threatened bird species in Asia, according to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group. Collectors tend to prefer wild-caught birds, seen as better singers than captive-bred ones. The premium they’re willing to pay gives traders plenty of incentive to stock wild-caught birds rather than go to the trouble of breeding them in captivity.In the new decree, the environment ministry has given captive breeders and owners of newly protected species a two-year grace period to register their animals and businesses.A white-rumped shama. Image by Koshy Koshy/Flickr.Field research by LIPI between 2001 and 2014 found the white-rumped shama only in the areas highlighted in green. The areas highlighted in pink are the species’ previously known habitats. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).Shrikethrush surpriseIn September, Mongabay reported that three of the birds — the shama, starling and bulbul — had been removed from the list. Owners’ groups had specifically demanded that the protected status for these three birds be rescinded, citing the potential for loss of livelihoods among those employed in the songbird trade and large investments already made in breeding facilities. The ministry acknowledged these concerns in defending its decision last month.A further review of the latest version of the list, however, shows it also removes protections for the two shrikethrushes. The reason for their removal is unclear, especially since the little shrikethrush has been a protected species since 1999. LIPI’s Irham said the ministry had never mentioned these two birds in discussions about the protected list. Owners’ groups have not specifically asked for the pair to be taken off the list, according to Bagya Rachmadi, head of Pelestari Burung Indonesia, a bird-breeding group.“These two birds are hardly found in breeding facilities,” Bagya told Mongabay. “I don’t think they’re popular in [songbird] competitions either.”Wiratno appeared confused when asked why these two birds were removed from the list. He asked whether one of the species in question was the orange-headed thrush (Geokichla citrina), which has a similar Indonesian name to the two strikethrushes. “I will have to check again,” he said. He didn’t respond to multiple subsequent requests for comment.“These shrikethrushes were on the protected list because of their critical population in the wild,” Irham said.An illustration of the Sangihe shrikethrush. Image courtesy of Burung Indonesia.Counterproductive to bird conservation?Scientists and wildlife experts have taken issue with the new criteria for granting birds protected status.Irham called the new requirements “a compromise between the environment ministry and the songbird fan groups.”He noted that these points were not enumerated in the 1990 Conservation Act or a 1999 government regulation on wildlife conservation.“We must really ensure whether the new provisions will support conservation or become counterproductive,” Irham said.Darmawan Liswanto, a scientific adviser for the Titian Lestari Foundation, which advocates for environmental sustainability, said only the president had the authority to introduce new criteria this way.“Neither the 1990 Conservation Act nor the 1999 government regulation on wildlife conservation give the environment minister the authority to change the criteria for granting protected status,” he told Mongabay.He added the criteria were far too wide in scope; someone caught trapping a protected bird in the wild could easily justify their actions by arguing that the species was important to breeders.“The minister has made it more difficult for the people who are on the ground to enforce the law,” Darmawan said.Raynaldo Sembiring, a deputy director at the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), said the addition of the new criteria had set a bad precedent, given that it was a concession to demands from owners’ groups and not supported by scientific evidence.“I don’t think this ministerial regulation would have been issued without the push from the songbird fan groups,” Raynaldo told Mongabay.“While one is strictly for conservation and based on scientific data, the other is clearly just for the enjoyment of certain groups,” Raynaldo said of the difference between the criteria in the conservation act and the government regulation, on one hand, and the ministerial regulation on the other.A rendering of the critically endangered Javan pied starling at the bottom. Image courtesy of Joseph Smit/Wikimedia Commons.Field research by LIPI between 2001 and 2014 failed to find the Javan pied starling in the highlighted areas that were previously known habitats for the species. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).A top concern, Irham said, is the implementation of these additional factors to other bird species that are also popular in captive breeding and songbird competitions.“We’re worried that these considerations will have a stronger influence in designating protection status than prioritizing the real condition in the wild,” he said. “These bird species are not the only ones that are popular among owners and breeders.”Conservationists have called on the environment ministry to revoke the new decree and revert to the regulation it issued in June.“The ministry must understand that there has been a fundamental mistake in the [new] ministerial regulation and there isn’t any other solution except to revoke it,” Darmawan said.ICEL’s Raynaldo said the ministerial regulation could be annulled if challenged in court.“Plugging the loopholes in the ministerial regulation would be very difficult because it contradicts the prevailing government regulation and act that it’s based on,” he said.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.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

Biodiversity ‘not just an environmental issue’: Q&A with IPBES ex-chair Robert Watson

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannon Agriculture, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Climate Change, Conservation, Conservation Finance, Coral Reefs, Deforestation, Ecosystem Finance, Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Services Payments, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Finance, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Interviews, Logging, Oceans, Payments For Ecosystem Services, Plants, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Tropical Forests, United Nations, Water, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, World Bank center_img The World Bank and IMF meetings from Oct. 14-20 will include discussions on protecting biodiversity and the importance of investing in nature.A recent U.N. report found that more than 1 million species of plants and animals face extinction.In a conversation with Mongabay, Robert Watson, who chaired the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services that produced the report, discusses the economic value of biodiversity. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are holding their annual meetings this week, Oct. 14-20, in Washington, D.C. Amid the discussions around jobs, poverty reduction and value chains, one of the talks will center on a seemingly unusual topic for the bankers, economists and finance ministers in attendance: biodiversity.Myriad species of plants, animals and other forms of life support valuable services on which people and economies rely, ranging from medicines and food to clean air and water. But according to a recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, the threat of extinction looms for as many as 1 million species of plants and animals.That makes now the time to invest in protecting this “natural capital,” says Robert Watson, an environmental scientist who until recently helmed the IPBES. Not only will stemming the loss of global biodiversity benefit the world’s poor who depend on these services for daily survival — a significant ethical issue, to be sure, Watson pointed out. But bolstering protections for the wide range of life on Earth is also critical to the global economy, as well as its ability to ride out the future shocks that a changing world may bring.“Protecting biodiversity is more than an environmental issue,” he said. “It is a development and economic issue.”Mongabay spoke with Watson ahead of his Oct. 17 talk at the World Bank-IMF meetings.Robert Watson, former chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Image by Diego Noguera/IISD.Mongabay: Your presence this week seems to signify that there’s a shift, that bankers and finance ministers are paying attention to the global biodiversity crisis. Would you agree with that?Robert Watson: Yes, without any question. I was in New York a couple of weeks ago at the [United Nations climate meeting]. During that week, the World Economic Forum got together what they call [the Nature Champions], and they committed to writing a really good report about both financing and evolution of the economic system to make sure that we can conserve, protect, [and restore] biodiversity. So there seems to be a very strong interest in both the finance sector and the business community at large.A Galapagos tortoise. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Why do you think that is, and why now?While climate change has been the big environmental issue that everyone’s looked at, over the last few years, the finance sector, the business community, as well as governments, of course, have an ever-increasing interest in biodiversity. And I think the [IPBES] global assessment, which we produced in May, got incredible coverage all around the world. There are many businesses that depend on biodiversity, depend on nature. Obviously, the agricultural sector, that’s a no-brainer. But also, power plants [and] aluminum smelting plants require water. Many, many businesses rely on nature.Secondly, many businesses have a footprint on nature. I think that as the world is recognizing we need to be more sustainable, many businesses realize that they need to limit and minimize their footprint. That then brings, of course, the finance sector, who should be asking themselves, when they make a loan, will a change in climate or a loss of biodiversity, undermine the loan? And secondly, effectively, I think there is now a real demand for sustainability. And therefore, there’s an incentive to find sustainable projects in biodiversity, sustainable fisheries, sustainable agriculture, sustainable forests, et cetera. At the end of the day, it makes good business sense.A yellow anemone in Indonesia. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The big headline from the IPBES report was the million species facing extinction. Those are stark terms. But one thing that was less emphasized in the media was the decrease in the diversity of crops and livestock species that we rely on. How dependent are we on biodiversity?One of the things that’s happened is agriculturalists across the world are more and more focused on a small number of genetic species with high yields. Yet, in the long term, especially with things such as climate change, we need to be absolutely sure that we have a wide range of genetic variability of different plants and animals in case they have to adapt to change in environmental conditions. Luckily, many of the newspaper stories also did cover that we are really transforming our forests, our mangrove swamps, our grasslands, et cetera. And I think the key issue is that biodiversity is not just an environmental issue. It’s fundamentally an economic issue. It’s got both market and non-market economic value. There are many of these ecosystem services like controlling the climate, controlling pollution, controlling floods [and] purifying water which don’t have a direct value in the marketplace, but have huge non-market value as well as a lot of social value.If we lose biodiversity, and of course, if we change the climate, they both affect food security, water security [and] human health. Unfortunately, when you lose biodiversity, it tends to be poor people in poor countries who depend on biodiversity. There are examples around the world where a lack of resources or a loss of natural resources has led to tension, conflict [and] migration. It’s obviously an ethical issue that, one, we shouldn’t destroy biodiversity. Two, it’s ethical because typically, it’s the rich people in the world who have caused the problem. Poor people suffer, and it’s future generations that will suffer even more.I think governments — I’ve heard many ministers say this — realize now that climate change and biodiversity are interrelated issues. And they’re far more than environmental issues. I think the recognition they have economic implications, development [and security] implications, has raised it up. From a private sector standpoint, more and more of the public, at least middle class who can afford it, are demanding more sustainable goods. And therefore there is a market for those that can afford it for more sustainably produced goods. So it makes sense for both a government perspective and a private sector perspective.A leaf-mimicking treehopper in Madagascar. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Can you give us a sense of what your key messages of your talk will be?I’m going to point out that biodiversity is under threat due to human activity. The first [driver] is land use change. The second one is exploitation. In the oceans, it’s overexploitation of fisheries. And the third one at the moment is climate, followed by pollution and invasive alien species. But I will also say climate change is likely to be as or more important than the other drivers in the coming decades. Hence, we’ve got look at both of these things together basically.So I’ll talk about, what are the drivers for change? I point out that, by not dealing with that biodiversity loss, we will be undermining many of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals between climate change and biodiversity. They threaten food security [and] water security. There are gender issues. There are security issues. If you want to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, we do need to address both climate change and the loss of biodiversity.I’ll point out then that to deal with biodiversity, we need more inclusive governance structures. We need governments to work with the private sector, work with the NGO civil society. We need multi-sector planning. One can’t just think of an agricultural policy. One has to say, if I’m going to do something on agriculture, what are the effects on biodiversity? Or what are the effects on water? If you’ve got an energy policy or technology, what are the implications for biodiversity? We can’t do one sector at a time. And we need to evolve the economic system. We need to get rid of the perverse energy, transportation and agricultural subsidies [amounting to] over a trillion dollars a year. We need to eliminate those because most of them adversely affect biodiversity and stimulate climate change.Secondly, we need to bring the value of nature into national accounts. Three, we should embrace things like the circular economy. And we need to provide short-term incentives for sustainable production.It’s not saying we should be getting rid of capitalism, definitely not. It’s not saying we should get rid of using GDP as a measure of economic growth. But we need to complement GDP. While it’s a measure of economic growth, it is not a measure of sustainable economic growth. Obviously the time for action is not only now. It was 20, 30 years ago, but we need to act basicallyBaobabs at sunset in Madagascar. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.I understand you’re part of the Dasgupta Review in the U.K.Yeah, [Partha Dasgupta] was asked by the chancellor of the exchequer to do a review to evaluate the value of biodiversity. What he will try and show is that for an individual country, you should be looking at what are your ecosystems, your biomes, and what do they contribute in natural capital? What do they contribute to the market? What do they contribute in non-market value?Some social scientists don’t like this. They say that commoditizes nature. I personally disagree with that. I think it’s very important to show these ecosystems do have economic value, even if it’s not all in the marketplace, because that allows the environment minister to talk to the agricultural minister, the energy minister, the treasury minister. Protecting biodiversity is more than an environmental issue. It is a development and economic issue.The temperate Hoh rainforest in the U.S. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.It seems like it’s difficult to do this at a global scale. Would you say that it would be advisable for countries like the U.S. or other major players on the world economic stage to do these assessments for themselves?I would argue that, to the degree it can be done, all countries should try as much as possible. I heard quite often as we did the [IPBES] global assessment that Africa recognizes that one of the most important things they’ve got for potential economic growth is their natural capital. They’ve got a wealth of forest, wetlands, et cetera.The question is, how could you — I’ll use the IPBES term — “sustainably” use them? How could you use or exploit these systems without destroying them? In other words, how do you sustainably use a forest or a wetland or coral reef or mangrove system? So I will argue that it’s probably as or more important for poorer countries to do this evaluation because natural capital could be a larger part of their economy than a rich country like the U.S. So I don’t think it’s just an issue of rich countries doing these sort of evaluations. The challenge, however, is fairly simple. Do we have the data to do good analyses? Countries like the U.K., many in Europe [and] the U.S. have probably a much better understanding of their ecosystems, than a number of developing countries.Orbicular batfish in Komodo, Indonesia. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.We’re I think less than a year away from the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in China next year. Do you expect the value biodiversity to be a larger topic there?I would hope it would be part of the conversation. I think the meeting in China next year is very, very important. Governments met in Japan in 2010 and came up with a 20 Aichi Targets, [which are] a wide range of targets and goals to protect biodiversity [and] to raise awareness of biodiversity. One of them talks about incorporating natural capital into international accounts. To be quite honest, as we said in IPBES global assessment, we’ve made some progress on some of them, but almost none of the targets will be met, unfortunately.In my opinion, some of those are really good targets, and they could expand out for later 2025, 2035. I won’t be part of that dialogue, but I would hope that governments would talk about the economic values, the social values, the development values of why we do need to protect biodiversity, why we need to restore some of the degraded land. I would hope at that meeting, and at the Convention on Climate Change only a month later, they will also talk about how they need to think about climate change and biodiversity together, because these two issues are almost inseparable. Climate change affects biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity affects climate change.Also, when one tries to think about solutions of how to mitigate climate change, people talk about nature-based solutions, such as using bioenergy, that bioenergy could potentially be good, but it could also under certain circumstances actually lead to a loss of biodiversity. And it can also threaten food security. So one has to look at the synergies and trade-offs of some of these response options for climate change and biodiversity. So, I would hope both of the big conventions would recognize the interrelationship between the two issues and that they need to think about them together.Banner image of a blueberry grasshawk in Indonesia by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonEditor’s note: This interview was edited for clarity and length.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.last_img read more