Seventeen candidates confirmed for UWP

first_imgLocalNews Seventeen candidates confirmed for UWP by: – January 3, 2014 Tweet Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img 26 Views   4 comments Share United Workers Party leader, Lennox Linton (file photo)The Opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has confirmed a slate of 17 candidates to contest the next general election constitutionally due in 2015. “We entered the New Year with 17 confirmed candidates,” UWP’s political leader Lennox Linton told Dominica Vibes on Friday January 3, 2014.The 17 candidates confirmed so far are:Jefferson James- Portsmouth, Nicholas George – Colihaut, Hector John – Salisbury, Monell Williams – St Joseph, Ronnie Isidore – Mahaut, Daniel Lugay – Roseau North, Joseph Isaac- Roseau Central, Ronald Charles- Roseau Valley, Joshua Francis-Roseau South, Hages Adams- Soufriere, James Alexander-Grand Bay, Ron Green – Laplaine, Isaac Baptiste-Castle Bruce, Claudius Sanford- Kalinago Territory, Thomson Fontaine- Grand Fond, Lennox Linton – Marigot and Ezekiel Bazil – Wesley.The UWP is working to have confirmed candidates for Cottage, Vieille Case, Petite Savanne and Paix Bouche within the first month of this year. “We have had some very good discussions in the four constituencies where the candidates have not been confirmed, we do have people who are interested and whom we are speaking with,” he said. Linton noted that the constituency association in these four constituencies will make the decision for the acceptance of these candidates. In the meantime, his party is “very ready” for the election whenever it is called.“We have done significant work on the ground, our message is very clear, our organization is in the right place at this time and we are ready and as the time goes by we get more ready,” Linton said. Regarding the party’s source for campaign funds, Linton said, several organizations and friends of the party are expected to assist in that regard. “The UWP is a people’s party and we have people who have a sincere interest in the well-being and progress of the party overseas as well”.“The UWP is also in touch with organizations in the Caribbean and around the world that will be assisting with our plans and programs going forward,” he explained. He indicated that the UWP will not have a “war chest as big as the Labour Party” but will have sufficient funds to run a proper campaign. “We are in good shape and we will attract adequate funding for us to run a proper campaign that will ensure that our message is known around the country and that we are able to get our votes on election day,” Linton stated. Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Where did the birds go?: Q&A with river tern researcher Bosco Chan

first_imgThe river tern, a bird species that nests on sandbars, seems to have gone missing in China. Once thought to be common in Yingjiang county, Yunnan province, its population there dropped to just five birds in 2018.Researchers at the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG), a Hong Kong-based NGO, are trying to protect this tiny population of a handful of birds.Mongabay spoke with Bosco Chan, head of KFBG’s Kadoorie Conservation China, about his team’s plans to save the incredibly rare species in China. The case of the river tern is a curious one. The medium-sized gray bird with a forked tail, a black cap and a white belly is quite common along rivers in India, although populations there appear to be decreasing. But move east toward China and Southeast Asia, and the tern’s fate takes a darker turn. In Cambodia, for example, there are estimated to be fewer than 50 adult river terns (Sterna aurantia), while in Laos, the bird could well be extinct, researchers say. In Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, the bird is thought to be extremely rare.River terns seem to have gone missing in China too. In 2014, bird-watchers reported seeing only 14 terns in Yingjiang county, Yunnan province, one of the last refuges of the bird in China. This number was down to only five birds in 2018.Researchers at the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG), a Hong Kong-based NGO working on biodiversity conservation in Hong Kong and south China, are trying to protect this tiny population of a handful of birds. In March this year, they conducted China’s first ever focused survey on river terns, spotting seven birds and three nests in Yingjiang.River terns have been known to nest along the Daying River in China’s Yunnan province. Image courtesy of KFBG.Why are river terns disappearing from Southeast Asia? Researchers are unsure, but they speculate that disruptions at the bird’s nesting sites on sandbars could be to blame. Multiple hydropower dams along the Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers could be threatening these nesting sites through changes in water flow and flooding, for example. Human activity along riverbanks, including sand mining, could also be disturbing the birds and their nests, while illegal fishing may be threatening the species’ food source. Predation by dogs, crows and rats is also thought to have put the bird at peril.China’s river terns are a mystery, Bosco Chan, head of KFBG’s Kadoorie Conservation China, told Mongabay. But his team wants to find out more about the birds, and then use the information to protect the species. Meanwhile, the researchers, along with local authorities, have negotiated with a hydropower company to keep the bird’s nesting sites from flooding. They have also enlisted the help of local community members to monitor the nests and protect them from human disturbance.The species is currently listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List, mostly thanks to India’s relatively large river tern population. But whether the river tern will make a comeback in China remains to be seen.Mongabay spoke with Chan about his group’s plans to save the incredibly rare species in China.Mongabay: Could you start by telling me a bit about your background?Bosco Chan: I studied freshwater fish for my Ph.D. So I’ve always had this fascination for freshwater ecosystem. After I finished my Ph.D. in 2001, I joined Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden at the Kadoorie Conservation China where I’ve been working on biodiversity conservation projects in tropical China for some 19 years now.Bosco Chan in Cambodia. Image courtesy of KFBG.Could you tell us about river terns in China? Where can one see them?The river tern is only found in two provinces. One is Yunnan, bordering Laos and Myanmar. The other is southern Tibet, I think close to Arunachal Pradesh in India.In Yunnan, it used to be found in the Mekong — when it’s in China, we call it the Lancang — and also in the Daying River (also called Dayingjiang), a tributary of the Irrawaddy from China. There were breeding records in both rivers and the species was considered to be common there, according to the authoritative monograph The Avifauna of Yunnan China (1995).But then the species just went unnoticed. Nobody ever looked at it closely, that is, until bird watching and bird photography became a very popular hobby in China. Then some photographers started to take note of the very small breeding population in Yingjiang county, along the Daying River. When they discovered the river terns in Yingjiang in 2014, the population was already down to 13 adult birds.There’s been no record from the China section of Mekong for many years. In fact, even in Laos, where the river exits China, it is almost extinct. There has been no record of the bird for many years.What conservation status does the river tern have in China?The river tern is a Class II species under the state key protection list.What does being a Class II species mean for the river tern in China in theory and in practice?In theory, you need permission from the authority to hunt it, but China hasn’t issued any hunting permit for at least a decade. In practice, the listing means that conservationists or the relevant government authorities can show people how important the river tern’s habitat is because the species is considered to be rare in the country. For example, when we need to do some negotiations with government departments, one of the very first things we say is that this is a Class II nationally protected species.River terns nest on sandbars along rivers. Image courtesy of KFBG.What prompted the river tern project now?When we started reading about the species, I realized it’s in serious decline globally. Along the whole Mekong drainage, there are estimated to be less than 100 birds and it’s the same case for the Irrawaddy. So it was a shock to me. I thought the bird was in trouble only in China because of pollution or overfishing or other disturbances. I couldn’t believe it was so rare, even in the mighty Mekong and Irrawaddy. Only in the Indian subcontinent, this species seems to be doing OK. But as soon as you step into the Irrawaddy and Mekong regions, the situation is very bad.I contacted some ornithologists and conservationists and started asking them if they think it’s even worth doing some serious conservation efforts for such a small population of river terns in China. And, you know, all my friends came back very strongly and said that every birds counts, especially in this part of the world, and they all encouraged me to do something about it.So, in last August, I got in touch with the local authority responsible for conservation in the Yingjiang region. I briefed him about the global, regional and local situation of the birds. And then I suggested we do a survey because there has never been any kind of focused survey for the species. We think there are a dozen or so birds because all the birders go to one particular spot and that’s what they regularly see. But that doesn’t mean there are no other birds elsewhere that birders don’t go to. So I suggested we do a widespread survey along the whole Yingjiang drainage.The Oriental Bird Club (OBC), which is concerned with the conservation of oriental birds or Asian birds, has a small conservation funding opportunity. Luckily, we got a small grant from the OBC conservation fund, which partially funded our surveys during this breeding season in China, which is in March. We started our first survey on March 11, then we conducted a second survey in late March, just to make sure we had covered all the potential sites in those areas. Within the Yingjiang drainage, there are two major tributaries that eventually join the Irrawaddy. One is a birding hotspot, so we knew already there are birds there. But nobody really goes and does any kind of systematic survey along the other, so we did that.What did you find?During our interview survey, everybody told us that the bird used to be very common and that it just suddenly disappeared in the last 10 or so years. But we saw seven birds, and we were also lucky to find three nests amongst the seven birds — the birds nest on sandbars, which are basically very flat sand islands along the river. We then worked with the local authority, the local forestry department, to do daily monitoring of the birds. We also organized a small task force and fenced off one of the nests. The other two nests were on the sandbar of a small island in the middle of the river, so we felt that disturbance threats were not so high for the other two nests.One nest was enclosed off to reduce disturbance. Image courtesy of KFBG.What kind of threats did you did you see during your survey?Electric fishing. Even though it is supposed to be a no-fishing season, people are illegally fishing along that section of the river. Then buffaloes. People graze the buffalo along the river. The buffaloes can wade or even swim across to the islands for fresh grass [and trample on the nests]. Also, dogs. Because the nests are quite close to villages, the nests are under threat from dogs.Overall, there are villages dotted along the whole river. And both sides of the rivers are mostly farmlands and some small fish ponds. So the birds nest with this human landscape.There’s actually a wetland park downstream of where the river terns nest, which has very low human disturbance and apparently quite a nice habitat, but the birds don’t use that. Instead, they nest amongst village landscape.I read that you’ve been negotiating with a hydropower company to protect the nests. Could you talk about that?Yes, that is very exciting. Upstream, there are quite a few hydropower companies. One of them put a notice to downstream villages, telling them that they are going to do dam maintenance, and they’re going to discharge all the water in a few days. But that would’ve definitely destroyed the three nests, and the entire breeding population of China’s river terns. Thankfully, the government there is pro-conservation because they see nature-based tourism, especially bird-watching, as a major source of revenue. So together with the local partners and the Dehong forestry department, we went and negotiated with the dam company. And surprisingly, they were quite cooperative. We agreed upon a safe discharge of volume to make sure the water doesn’t flood the nests on the islands.They complied, and happily, we will say that we got six chicks out of the three nests. The chicks grew into immatures, and then they flew off with their parents. Basically, two chicks per nest survived and fledged. After just one year of very focused efforts of conservation work, we almost doubled the China population from seven to now 13 birds.Where did the birds go?We don’t know. When I asked some of the experts, they don’t think the river terns of our regions along the Mekong and the Irrawaddy are migratory, but funnily enough, the river terns of Yingjiang disappear every year. The earliest bird comes in around December, and then disappears around June to July. Now, there are no river terns in the region.Juvenile river terns eventually flew off with the parents. Image courtesy of KFBG.Are there other conservation measures you put in place?From upstream to downstream, there were three nests, which I would say were maybe 10 kilometers [6 miles] apart. We found one villager from the closest village of that particular nest and we sponsored them to become nest protectors. One villager, one nest. They monitored the nest and the chicks for the whole breeding season, until they flew off.Because we knew nothing about the breeding ecology of river terns in China, we designed some simple forms and asked them to collect some basic ecological information for the species.People also mine the sand along the river for construction sometimes. Some of the sandbars are pretty big, like the size of a stadium, and they build a makeshift bridge to connect the mainland to the islands. We asked the village heads to help us cut off this access to reduce disturbance to the nests.What has been the biggest challenge so far?In terms of preserving the birds, I think it’s been excellent this year. But we really need to find out where they go and what is limiting their population. How come their numbers dropped so dramatically? There appear to be several questions, especially along the Mekong and Irrawaddy.When you look at the size of these two rivers, people will say the decline is because of overfishing, but when we observed the birds, whenever they hunt, they get a fish. So I don’t think food source is the limiting factor to this population. So what is killing all the birds? That’s something we need to find out. Are they migrating to an area where they are under immense threats and they never come back? We don’t know.So if possible, we plan to do some kind of GPS radio tracking next year. As soon as the birds disappeared this year, the three nest protectors informed us, ‘Oh, today, we don’t see the birds anymore.’ We were hoping the birds go down the river into Myanmar and we asked some people to check downstream, but they didn’t see any bird. So basically nobody knows where they fly off to.So you plan to radio track some birds next year?We need to explore that possibility. But since it’s a protected species, we have to get all the necessary permissions.Do you have any other future plans to protect the bird?Well, I think the first thing is to find out where they go over the winter and then try to expand our conservation network to make sure they are not hunted, or that they get as little disturbances as they can as they migrate back to breeding sites. That’s our plan next year.Also, at the moment, they are breeding at a section of the river, which is just upstream of a wetland park, which is quite extensive and over 20 kilometers [12 miles] long along the river. Maybe we can discuss with the local government to see if they want to expand the wetland park and include the known breeding sites into the wetland park, because a wetland park is better protected.Chan’s team has sponsored three “nest protectors” from the local villages. Image courtesy of KFBG.Banner image of a river tern courtesy of KFBG. Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Green, Hydropower, Interviews, Rivers, Wildlife Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_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

DiCaprio joins $5M effort to combat Amazon fires

first_imgArticle published by Rhett Butler In response to rising deforestation and fires in the Amazon, on Sunday actor Leonardo DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth announced the establishment of a $5 million fund to support indigenous communities and other first responders working to protect the Amazon.The Amazon Forest Fund is the first major initiative of the Earth Alliance, which Global Wildlife Conservation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and the Emerson Collective formed in July.The fund’s initial grants went to five Brazilian organizations: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida, the Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, Instituto Kabu, Instituto Raoni, and Instituto Socioambiental.The establishment of the fund comes amid global outcry over rising deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. After years of declining deforestation in the region, forest clearing spiked in July. Then last week, smoke from land-clearing fires blackened the skies above Sao Paulo, acting as a catalyst for worldwide awareness of the issue. In response to rising deforestation and fires in the Amazon, on Sunday actor Leonardo DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth announced the establishment of a $5 million fund to support indigenous communities and other first responders working to protect the Amazon.“The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution,” DiCaprio said in an Instagram post. “Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check.”CANDEIRAS DO JAMARI, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL: Aerial view of a large burned area in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the state of Rondônia. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)The Amazon Forest Fund is the first major initiative of the Earth Alliance, which Global Wildlife Conservation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and the Emerson Collective formed in July. The fund’s initial grants went to five Brazilian organizations: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), the Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo), and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).“We are proud to support [these] local organizations combating the fires, protecting indigenous lands, and providing relief to the communities impacted,” said Earth Alliance in an Instagram post.Three of the organizations are run by the Kayapo, an indigenous group whose territories serve as a bulwark against deforestation on Brazil’s so-called “Arc of Deforestation”.NOVA BANDEIRANTES, MATO GROSSO, BRAZIL. Aerial view of burned areas in the Amazon rainforest, in the city of Nova Bandeirantes, Mato Grosso state. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)The establishment of the fund comes amid global outcry over rising deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. After years of declining deforestation in the region, forest clearing spiked in July. Then last week, smoke from land-clearing fires blackened the skies above Sao Paulo, one of the world’s largest metropolises, acting as a catalyst for worldwide awareness of the issue. European governments and Canada have now pledged tens of millions of dollars to support fire-fighting efforts.But addressing fires in the long-run will require more than fire-fighting, say environmentalists, who have sharply criticized the Bolsonaro administration’s roll-back of environmental regulations, amnesty for illegal deforesters, and heated rhetoric against indigenous peoples, scientists, and activists.Cumulative deforestation through July for each year from 2008 according to INPE’s DETER system. Deforestation this year is on the fastest pace since 2008.Cumulative fire hotspots in the Brazilian Amazon according to INPE. Note: August 2019 data is through August 24. Fires in Amazonia are at the highest level since 2010.“The fires that are devastating the Amazon are also destroying Brazil’s image internationally,” said Márcio Astrini, Public Policy Coordinator at Greenpeace Brazil in a statement. “Even the agribusiness sectors are already admitting that the government’s anti-environmental policies can bring economic damage. In the meantime, Bolsonaro is not announcing any concrete measures to fight deforestation.”“Taking action to end deforestation must be everyone’s goal and an obligation of those who lead the country.”Related stories:Bolsonaro expresses ‘love’ for Amazon as it burns, offers no policy shift [08/26/2019]Greenpeace releases dramatic photos of Amazon fires [08/25/2019]How many fires are burning in the Amazon? [08/25/2019]Amazon fires trigger protests worldwide [08/24/2019]Satellite images from Planet reveal devastating Amazon fires in near real-time [08/22/2019]Amazon rainforest fires leave São Paulo in the dark [08/21/2019]Disclosure: Mongabay received a grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 2017, but is not an active grantee. The Foundation has no editorial influence on what we publish. Conservation, Conservation Philosophy, Deforestation, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Green, Indigenous Peoples, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, wildfires center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Companies’ solutions to global plastic crisis miss the mark: Report

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 A new report from Greenpeace contends that multinational consumer goods companies are addressing the global plastics crisis with “false solutions.”Some of those solutions, the group says, harm the environment, such as the replacement of plastic straws with paper ones.Others, such as bioplastics, amount to little more than greenwashing, the report’s author writes, as they don’t provide the purported benefits compared to conventional plastics.Greenpeace argues for the phaseout of single-use packaging and investments in developing reusable containers that would substantially cut down on plastic waste. A new report from the environmental organization Greenpeace warns that large companies are only deepening the world’s plastic crisis, even as they voice support for supposed solutions.“Due to public concern about the plastic pollution crisis worldwide, we are witnessing a parade of corporations scrambling to look greener by putting forward false solutions to justify their addiction to single-use packaging,” Graham Forbes, a global project leader with Greenpeace USA, said in a statement.Our plastic trash is swamping ecosystems around the world. Oceans, in particular, are bearing the brunt of our habit of tossing away the plastic wrappers, boxes and sleeves that hold our food and other goods. The World Economic Forum figures that, in the two minutes it’s taken to read the first paragraphs of this story, two truckloads of plastic have found their way into the world’s oceans. Once there, it snags unsuspecting marine life, releases harmful chemicals into the water, and splinters into tiny pieces that end up in our food and water sources.Gannets trapped in a nest of plastic. Image by Engelberger via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0).In response, the global companies that, according to Greenpeace, produce much of the waste that turns up on beaches and floats in the open ocean have looked for alternatives to the typical plastic that’s manufactured from fossil fuels. But the replacements fall short of the goal of cutting plastic waste, Greenpeace says, as trends show growing, not shrinking, demand for disposable packaging.“Despite the increasing scientific understanding of the irreversible damage plastic can cause to our environment and communities, plastic production is projected to dramatically increase in the coming years,” Ivy Schlegel, a senior research specialist with Greenpeace USA and the author of the Oct. 1 report, said in the statement.Some companies have moved to replace plastic cups and straws with paper versions. But to Schlegel, that’s just swapping out one unacceptable material for another.“Multinational consumer goods companies continue to promote so-called sustainable alternatives that would put unacceptable pressures on natural resources such as forests and agricultural land, which have already been overexploited,” she said.Country-by-country waste generation in kilograms per day. Image by Kaza et al., 2018, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0 igo).Bioplastics are another touted replacement for traditional plastics, but so far, there’s no agreed-upon standard for what bioplastics are, Schlegel writes. It could mean that the base material is derived from plant material like corn or sugarcane instead of fossil fuels, but that’s not always the case. Manufacturers of other plastics in these categories claim they’re biodegradable or compostable, without specifying the sometimes unusual conditions — including high temperature and specific humidity levels — necessary to break them down.Products labeled as recycled or recyclable might hide similarly involved processes necessary to convert them something usable. And China’s decision in 2018 to stop recycling plastic has meant that the U.S. and other Western countries now must grapple with what to do with all of the trash they produce, raising fears that much of it will end up in landfills or worse. According to Greenpeace, less than 10 percent of all of the plastic that’s ever been manufactured has been recycled.Other solutions, like using chemicals to break down plastic trash or burning it to produce energy, come with their own suite of problems, the report says.“Moving to bioplastic, paper, 100% ‘recyclable’ packaging, incineration and chemical recycling all but guarantee this environmental crisis will get worse,” Forbes said.Microfiber plastics found in the ocean. Image by M.Danny25 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).Cleaning up the world’s plastic problem will require a more fundamental shift by these companies, Greenpeace contends.“To solve the plastic pollution crisis, companies need to rethink how products are delivered to consumers and invest significantly in reusable and refillable delivery systems,” Schlegel said.That strategy may mean using other materials that hold up better over time or don’t come with the issues that plastic or current replacements like paper present.“We will only see real change when companies like Nestlé, Unilever, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo, which profit from single-use models, end their expanding plastic use and invest heavily in systems that prioritize reuse,” Forbes said.Banner image of plastic trash on a beach in Ghana by Muntaka Chasant via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).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 Conservation, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Role In Conservation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporations, Environment, Green, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Microplastics, Oceans, Plastic, Pollution, Recycling, Water, Water Pollution last_img read more

A Philippine community fights a lonely battle against the mine in its midst

first_imgA tribal community in the Philippines has since July maintained a blockade of a controversial gold mine whose permit has expired but whose operator insists is allowed to continue working pending a renewal.The expiration in June of the permit held by OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) for the Didipio mine has sparked a policy tangle, given that it’s the first permit of its kind in the Philippines to end, with no precedent for how the renewal application should proceed.The provincial government supports the end of mining operations, but has been largely bypassed in the permit renewal process, which existing laws place under the authority of the national government.President Rodrigo Duterte, who has criticized destructive mining practices in the past, omitted to do so in his latest state of the nation address, but has thrown the community a lifeline by requiring that OGPI seek free, prior and informed consent for its renewal application. MANILA — Tribal leader Celia Bahag no longer remembers what Mount Dinkidi looked like before the wave of mining activities washed over her barangay, or village, of Didipio in the Philippine province of Nueva Vizcaya. Beckoned by untapped gold and copper deposits, Arimco Mining Corporation made the area the center of its Philippine operations in the 1990s, bulldozing the high peak into steps of tilled land for a large-scale open-pit mine.Bahag only knows the mountain from a vicarious memory: a single black-and-white photograph unearthed with the help of nongovernmental organizations. But like her, the Ifugao community that calls Didipio home knows by heart the decades of struggle against the mining giant.Over the past two decades, the mining activities have gone from open pit to underground, and the operating permit, the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA), has been transferred from Arimco to Climax-Arimco Mining Corporation to Australasian Philippine Mining Inc., which since 2007 has been known as OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI).The 27,000-hectare (66,700-acres) Didipio mine straddles the border between the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, some 270 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of Manila. It’s believed to hold 1.41 million ounces of gold and 169,400 tons of copper, enough to keep it running for at least another 20 years. And keeping it running seems to be the operator’s plan — despite the fact that the FTAA, signed in 1994, expired this past June.Bahag, like most residents of the barangays affected by the mining operations, had hoped the expiration signaled the end — a reckoning of sorts for the Australia-based miner that demolished 187 houses here in 2008 and imposed a climate of impunity in the once sleepy town.Instead, the expiration of the country’s first mining FTAA has become a complicated tangle as the community and OGPI engage in a battle both on the streets and in the courts, revealing inherent gray areas in the agreement, the mining law itself, and the lack of standards on renewals and expirations for large-scale mining contracts.‘People’s barricade’OGPI began the process of applying for a renewal in October 2018, seeking to extend its contract for another 25 years “under the same terms and conditions.” But the renewal process dragged on until the contract expired on June 20 this year.The provincial government, headed by Governor Carlos Padilla, a staunch opponent of mining in general and OGPI in particular, issued a directive that same day. He urged local officials in the barangays of Didipio and Alimit, which host the mine, “to restrain any operations of OceanaGold upon the expiration” of the FTAA.OGPI rebuked this, saying that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), an arm of the environment department that handles mining contracts, had allowed it to continue operating pending a contract extension.Residents from three communities created a makeshift barricade to stop the entry and exit of trucks in the Didipio mines in Nueva Vizcaya. Image by Alyansa Novo Vizcayano para sa Kalikasan (ANVIK)“Whilst the renewal is being processed, OGPI has the right to continue the Didipio Mine despite the initial term of FTAA,” OGPI general manager David Way said in a letter.On June 25, Padilla issued a provincial order to stop the mine’s operations. By July 1, community members in Didipio and two nearby barangays had turned two abandoned police checkpoints into a barricade to stop trucks and service vehicles from entering or exiting the site. Armed police officers with patrol vehicles were stationed near the checkpoints, sent by the governor to support the communities.Three months on, the blockade remains, manned by locals working in shifts.“We all know that their FTAA is expired yet they insist that they have the right to continue,” Bahag says. “We’ve been fighting for 25 years because we believe that if we allow this foreign corporation to continue, there will be no environment left for the future generation.”OGPI said it was carrying out preventive maintenance to avoid skirmishes and on Oct. 15, formally suspended its operations while the renewal process is ongoing. In a letter to Mongabay, OceanaGold states that the barricade “have impeded access to and from the mine site in response to an unlawful directive from the Governor.”The resistance has snowballed into a province-wide protest, gathering support from peasant groups, farmers, indigenous peoples’ groups, and provincial organizations. Even the Catholic Diocese of Bayombong in Nueva Vizcaya called for a street demonstration on Oct. 9 against the renewal of the contract.The stuggle has also reached beyond Philippine shores. Last August, global indigenous peoples alongside national and international organizations held simultaneous rallies in Australia, El Salvador and Canada to call for the non-renewal of OGPI’s FTAA in Nueva Vizcaya.“We filed as many the petitions that we can — from the Office of the President, to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR], the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the municipal, the provincial — but nothing changes,” Bahag says.“That’s why we believe it’s time to do extralegal measures and set up a barricade … and we intend to continue this until OceanaGold leaves.”The open pit gold and copper mine in Didipio has been transformed into an underground mine in 2015 by OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI). Image by Keith SchneiderEvading a cul-de-sacThe community isn’t the only side digging in for battle. OGPI has filed five legal challenges to the blockade in the past three months. A regional court has junked two of those petitions on the grounds that the FTAA had expired. As such, the court ruled, “the right from which OGPI derives its authority to conduct mining operations ceases to exist.”The mining company, in a press release, said the provincial government has no authority over the fate of the Didipio mine and has appealed the ruling.The standoff stems from the fact that OGPI’s request for an FTAA extension is unprecedented in the Philippines.“It’s the first time that a mining contract applies for renewal so there’s no precedence,” Leon Dulce, from the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), an NGO, tells Mongabay. “It’s not clear in the IRR [implementing rules and regulations] of the mining act how the renewal process goes.”He adds that the national government’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau only has a checklist of documents as basis for renewal but “doesn’t include existing complaints and violations.”To address the current stalemate, the MGB is eyeing issuing an “interim renewal,” which would allow the company to legally continue its operations for two years while the renewal process is ongoing.The curious case of ‘FTAA 001’ and a process veiled in secrecyOceanaGold’s Didipio contract is the first in the country to expire under the oversight of the Mining Act of 1995. The FTAA, however, was signed a year before the promulgation of the act and five years before the Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997.As such, the FTAA issued to Arimco Mining Corporation in 1994 made little mention of rehabilitation and clustered it under “Work Programs,” which also includes exploration and extraction activities.“Compared to the regulations stipulated in the Mining Act, OceanaGold’s FTAA is far from the bar set by the mining act,” Dulce says. “That’s why OceanaGold has free rein over their operations.”But even the mining act itself is “fundamentally flawed,” Dulce adds, explaining that it conflicts with numerous other laws. For one, the act gives the national government the sole power to approve large-scale mining operations, which in effect snubs out the jurisdiction of local governments.Indigenous peoples groups, farmers peasant movements and environmental groups during a solidarity mission against OceanaGold’s Didipio operations. Image by Kalikasan PNETo that extent, OGPI’s ongoing renewal process has largely bypassed the provincial government, which was not furnished with copies of the MGB letter the company claims allow it to continue its operations after the expiration of its FTAA. Nor was it informed that the environment department had endorsed a renewal to the office of the president.Residents have similarly been overlooked for consultation during the renewal process. “It did not inform the local governments about its application and has not secured the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of the affected indigenous peoples,” Alyansa Tigil Mina, an anti-mining coalition, says in a statement.The position of the president’s office was the same: It returned the renewal application and mandated the company to comply with the process of obtaining FPIC from the community, a requirement by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), the MGB said.Bad blood, escalating tensions on the groundThe ongoing blockade is the second time for residents. In 2016, it hosted its first standoff against a 400-meter (1,300-foot) drilling operation. They succeeded: OGPI halted its operations and then-environment secretary Gina Lopez vowed to suspend the mining giant’s operations in the province.By 2017, the DENR under Lopez suspended five mining corporations including OceanaGold in a massive nationwide crackdown. The suspension was revoked before Lopez stepped down in the same year, and the Didipio mine was set for an assessment that didn’t go through because the FTAA expired this year.The mine, however, has long seen violence.The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) found that in 2011, OGPI was responsible for the violent evictions of residents and demolition of hundreds of community homes in 2008 through a “demolish now, pay later” scheme.However, no legal cases were filed against OceanaGold for the events of 2008, nor was its presence investigated for human rights abuses that could lead to the withdrawal of its FTAA despite the CHR’s recommendations.After the recent string of legal victories, supporters conducted a solidarity mission in July but while the mood was celebratory, the tension on the ground was palpable, Dulce says. “The rumormongering that these farmers are members of the New People’s Army resurfaced. Even personnel who work at the mines observed that they’re being tailed.”Unlike other cases of communities against mining, the local provincial government fully supports the barricade. Image by Kalikasan PNEWhen the president goes quiet over miningBahag traveled for more than eight hours to Manila last June, wearing the ancestral loincloths of the Ifugao-Tuwali, the indigenous tribe that lives in the northern border of Nueva Vizcaya, to seek support for an anti-mining petition and to rally in Mendiola, a famed site for street protests.The tribe, headhunters in centuries past, was displaced by a hydro project and a mining operation in Ifugao. They struck a blood pact with the Bungkalot, the original inhabitants in the area, and today constitute the majority of residents in the affected mining communities.Bahag felt she had good reason to go: President Rodrigo Duterte has always spoken out against destructive mining practices in his three state of the nation addresses (SONA) and upheld a ban on open-pit mining introduced in 2017.But at this year’s SONA, Bahag was left disappointed: Duterte made no statement on mining in general, and has said nothing about the standoff over OGPI’s expired FTAA.“Duterte had all the opportunities to cancel the renewal if he’s true to his word against destructive mining practices and open-pit mining,” Dulce says. “Yet he didn’t and there’s zero mention of mining in the last SONA … Instead, they became technical. That’s alarming for us because it’s possible for the president to change his tune on mining.”Despite the current atmosphere, the community is adamant about maintaining the blockade. Its fate, however, will depend on the president, whose signature will either extend the mining operation or end it for good. It’s also a decision that will reverberate far beyond the Didipio mine, groups say, as it could set the template for how existing mining permits are dealt with upon expiration.“OceanaGold is a litmus test,” Dulce says. “We’ll see if he’s going to hold this company accountable or if he’s going to reward them despite the violations and of course, the strong local resistance.”This article was updated on Oct. 16 to note that OGPI formally suspended its mining operations in the Didipio mine on Oct. 15.Banner image of a member of the Samahang pang Karapatan ng mga Katutubong Magsasaka at Manggagawa (SAPAKKMMI) overlooking the open-pit Didipio mine in the province of Nueva Vizcaya. Most members of SAPAKKMMI initially embraced the mining operations in the 1990s but unmet promises led them to become one of its biggest opposition. Image by Kalikasan PNEFEEDBACK: 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. Copper, Corporations, Gold Mining, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Law, Mining Article published by leilanicenter_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

On the front line of climate change in India’s Sundarbans

first_imgThe sea level has risen by an average of 3 centimeters a year over the past two decades in the Sundarbans, the vast mangrove delta at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal, leading to one of the fastest rates of coastal erosion in the world.Residents of the dozens of islands in the Indian part of the Sundarbans have seen their homes swallowed up by the sea and their farmland poisoned by saltwater, forcing many to relocate.The fast-encroaching sea, driven by climate change, has also eaten away at the hunting grounds of the Sundarbans’ famous Bengal tigers, pushing them to target the villagers’ livestock — and, increasingly, the villagers themselves.At the same time, villagers unable to farm and experiencing dwindling fish catches are venturing deeper into tiger territory to look for crabs and collect honey, putting them at even greater risk of being attacked by the big cats. SAGAR ISLAND, India — Saktipada Bhuinya looks out over the ocean that surrounds Sagar Island. The Indian part of the Sundarbans, the vast mangrove forest in the Bay of Bengal, consists of 102 islands, about half of them inhabited.That may not be the case for much longer. The villagers have raised a tall barrier of mud and rocks, and farther out to sea the West Bengal state government has erected a white concrete structure to prevent the vigorous erosion. But these measures haven’t stopped the approaching water from carving away large chunks of land, year after year. Saktipada tells Mongabay that the sea level often rises above the barrier at high tide, the water rushing over his floors.“I’ll give the house another year,” he says. After that, Saktipada and his family of six will have to move to a higher part of this mostly flat island, where they’ll stay under tarpaulin tents with other climate refugees.“We have no money to buy new land. We’re poor people,” Saktipada says.Saktipada Bhuinya says the sea level often rises above the barrier at high tide, and water comes rushing over his floor in the Indian Sundarbans. Image by Jonas Gratzer for Mongabay.He’s not alone. Tens of thousands have already lost their homes in the Sundarbans. Each year it becomes harder for the 160,000 people living in Sagar Island’s 43 villages to resist the rising water. Cyclones and storms, which regularly pass through the Bay of Bengal, have become more frequent.Five years ago, the high tide broke through all the barriers on the island’s eastern side, ruining thousands of houses and rendering farmland unusable through high salinity. Through centuries the tides have formed the Sundarbans; the islands vanish and reappear, in a natural rhythm. But over the last couple of decades the variations have become more extreme, and the pace of erosion here is considered to be the world’s highest.The locals have tried to adapt. Those who farm have begun cultivating salt-resistant strains of rice. For others, overfishing has made for leaner catches, and the shrinking coastline threatens the tradition of sun-drying fish on the beaches.Amina Bibi Gita fishes in the paddy fields on Dayapur Island in the Indian Sundarbans. Her work leaves her vulnerable to a tiger attack. Image by Jonas Gratzer for Mongabay.Saktipada has fished all his life, but his son won’t carry on the tradition; like many young people from the Sundarbans, he’s moved to Kolkata for work. “They don’t want to stay here. There is no future in Sundarbans,” Saktipada says.The situation on nearby Ghoramara Island is worse. The island had one of the first settlements in the delta, but thousands have been forced to move since more than half of the land area was lost. At a glance, Ghoramara appears to be a pristine paradise: no traffic congestion, as locals ride bicycles on winding paths next to ponds with diving ducks; lush forest all around; and goats and cows grazing. Yet all of this is at risk of disappearing due to climate change.“The aggressive cyclones have an impact on the rice yield, and the salinity has increased by 50 percent on our fields,” says Shankar Kayal, one of the fewer than 5,000 residents still remaining. “I have enough land to support my family. But what happens when the sea rises further?”He adds that government assistance for relocation to other islands reaches few residents. “There are just too many villagers in need of financial support.”last_img read more

Arhuaco community of Colombia allows scientists to photograph ‘lost’ toad

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Frogs, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Peoples, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img The indigenous Arhuaco people of the Sogrome community living in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta have been residing alongside the the starry night harlequin toad (Atelopus arsyecue) for generations.But the critically endangered species has remained undetected by scientists for nearly 30 years.Recently, after several years of discussions, the Sogrome community, which considers the harlequin toad sacred and an integral part of its culture, permitted researchers from a Colombian conservation group to go and photograph the toads and share it with the wider scientific community. Not all species “lost to science” are truly lost.For nearly 30 years, the starry night harlequin toad (Atelopus arsyecue), a tiny amphibian, named for its glossy black skin with white spots that resembles a starry, dark sky, remained undetected by scientists. But the indigenous Arhuaco people of the Sogrome community living in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, one of the world’s tallest coastal mountains and the only place the toad is known from, have been residing alongside the species for generations. They not only share their mountain home with the toad, but consider the animal sacred and an integral part of their culture. According to the Arhuaco people, gouna, as the toad is locally known, tells them about their environment, indicating the right time to plant crops or perform spiritual ceremonies.“The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a place that we consider sacred, and harlequin toads are guardians of water and symbols of fertility,” Kaneymaku Suarez Chaparro, a member of the Sogrome community and a biology student at the Francisco José de Cladas District University, said in a statement.Recently, the community opened its doors to some conservation biologists, allowing them to take photographs of the critically endangered toads and share them with the wider scientific community, the U.S.-based Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) announced in a press release.“With the starry night harlequin toad records, we confirm that Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is one of the most important sites for the conservation of harlequin toads in Latin America,” Luis Alberto Rueda, a professor at Universidad del Magdalena and cofounder of Fundación Atelopus, said in the statement. Fundación Atelopus is the Colombian NGO that partners with GWC and is working to document the toad.“We are tremendously grateful to the Arhuaco people for giving us this opportunity to work with them,” added Lina Valencia, Colombia conservation officer at GWC.Starry night harlequin. Image courtesy of Fundación Atelopus.Harlequin toads, a group of vibrant toads found in the American tropics, are among the world’s most threatened amphibians. Of the 96 known species of harlequin toads, 80 are endangered, critically endangered or extinct in the wild, according to the IUCN Red List. The deadly chytrid fungus in particular, which has decimated amphibian populations around the world, has hit the harlequin toads hard. And researchers were worried that the starry night harlequin toad, which hadn’t been recorded by scientists in nearly three decades, had been wiped out by the fungal disease.The researchers, however, couldn’t get easy access to the toads’ habitat on Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Fundación Atelopus, keen to record the species for the scientific community, slowly built trust with the Sogrome community, engaging in four years of discussions with the community’s representative Ruperto Chaparro Villafaña and Sogrome’s spiritual leaders called mamos.Villafaña sent the conservation group some photos of the toads during those talks. But it was finally, in April 2019, that the biologists were invited to go and see the toad for themselves, although they weren’t allowed to photograph the animals then. This was to be a “test of trust,” in which the Arhuaco people wanted to understand what the researchers’ intentions were. Eventually, following a series of meetings, the mamos allowed the scientists to visit the toads again, photograph them, and share their pictures with others.Hiking to see the starry night harlequin toad. From left to right: Jeferson Villalba Fuentes, Ruperto Chaparro Villafaña, José Luis Pérez-González. Image courtesy of Fundación Atelopus.The Fundación Atelopus team ended up seeing not one, but around 30 starry night harlequin toads.“It is an incredible honor to be entrusted with the story of the starry night harlequin toad and the story of the Sogrome community’s relationship with it,” José Luis Pérez-González, vice president of Fundación Atelopus, said in the statement. “We were hoping to find one individual of the starry night harlequin toad, and to our great surprise we found a population of 30 individuals. We were full of joy and hope as we had the chance to observe a healthy population from a genus for which very few species remain.”The conservation group now hopes to work with the Sogrome community to establish a monitoring program to track the toad’s status on Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and discussions are ongoing.“We manage our resources and conserve our home as the law of origin dictates, which means that we live in balance with Mother Earth and all of the life here,” Chaparro said. “Now we have a great opportunity to bring together two worldviews for the protection and preservation of the Sierra species: the Western scientific knowledge and the indigenous scientific, cultural and spiritual knowledge.”Starry night harlequin toad habitat. Image courtesy of Fundación Atelopus.Starry night harlequin. Image courtesy of Fundación Atelopus.last_img read more

‘Just like terrorists’: Indonesia boosts vigilance for blast fishers

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon 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 Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Fish, Fishing, Human Rights, Illegal Fishing, Law Enforcement, Marine, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Oceans, Overfishing center_img Arrests of fishermen in eastern Indonesia at the end of last year have highlighted the persistent use of explosives for fishing, a destructive practice that’s illegal under the country’s laws.Local officials say blast fishing tends to spike during public holidays, when the fishermen sense there’s less vigilance on the part of marine patrols and fellow fishermen who could report them to the authorities.The government is working to end the practice through a combination of law enforcement and financial incentives to help fishermen switch to using less destructive equipment.Authorities have called for expanded law enforcement efforts targeting not just the fishermen, but also the suppliers of the materials used to make the explosives, and others, including corrupt local officials, who continue to enable the practice. KUTA, Indonesia — In the weeks before last Christmas, marine authorities in eastern Indonesia reported separate arrests of locals using explosives to catch fish. The arrests highlighted what observers say is a routine increase in blast fishing across the archipelago ahead of long public holidays.Officers in East Nusa Tenggara province arrested eight fishermen in two separate cases on Nov. 30 and Dec. 6. They were caught using explosives to catch fish in what are some of Indonesia’s most biodiverse marine areas.Blast fishing is illegal under Indonesian law, and violators face up to five years in prison and 2 billion rupiah ($147,000) in fines if convicted. While fishermen use the method to target commercially valuable fish, marine animals such as dolphins and turtles — both protected species in Indonesia — and the fishermen themselves have often fallen victim to the dangerous practice. It typically takes place so close to shore that it also damages coral reefs.Indonesian authorities transport fishermen caught using explosives to catch fish in East Nusa Tenggara province. Image courtesy of the East Flores district administration.Indonesian authorities have worked for years to end the activity through incentives and deterrents. The combination of financial support to buy more sustainable fishing gear and the threat of arrest has seen many fishing communities abandon the practice.Local governments say they continue to urge fishermen to end blast fishing altogether, while supporting marine patrols by the coast guard, navy, and officials from the fisheries ministry and local authorities. They have also recruited fishermen to report on blast fishing in their areas.“We group some fishermen for monitoring efforts. They’re like our spies,” Ganef Wurgiyanto, the head of provincial fisheries agency in East Nusa Tenggara, told Mongabay. He said each district in the province had at least two such groups of fishermen keeping an eye out for blast fishing.But the prospect of an easy catch close to shore, without having to spend money on fuel to go farther out to sea, means blast fishing remains an attractive prospect for many fishermen. And authorities say their activities end to spike during public holidays, when they sense monitoring by the authorities and by fellow fishermen is more lax.The recently arrested fishermen “must have thought that the patrolling teams had paused their monitoring activities because it was almost the Christmas and New Year holiday,” said Apolinardus Y.L. Demoor, head of the fisheries resources monitoring department in East Flores district, East Nusa Tenggara. “So they started blast fishing again.”It’s a trend that shows up in other regions of Indonesia. Buyung Radjilun, head of the fisheries agency in North Maluku province, some 1,050 kilometers (650 miles) north of East Flores, said blast fishers in that region typically operate on Sundays and religious holidays, when much of the population goes to church.“They’re sneaky, from their silent operations to where they store their catch,” he told Mongabay. “They’re extraordinary — just like terrorists.”Buyung said blast fishing remained rampant because law enforcement had failed to create much of a deterrent effect, because it tended to be focused on just the fishermen and not the suppliers of the explosives and buyers of their catch. Buyung added that investigations into some reported cases of blast fishing indicated that corrupt local officials were involved. “They enable the blast fishers. It’s an open secret,” he said.Indonesian authorities seize explosives from a Malaysian-flagged boat. The bombs were set to be used by Indonesian fishermen for blast fishing. Image courtesy of Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.Ganef, the East Nusa Tenggara fisheries head, said he would continue campaigning against blast fishing, including by discouraging consumers from buying fish caught this way and expanding programs to provide local fishermen with sustainable fishing gear.But given that such community outreach only takes place once a year, campaigning by the authorities won’t be enough to end blast fishing, Buyung said. Instead, he called for an expanded law enforcement approach to apprehend all parties involved in supporting blast fishing. That includes choking off the supply of materials needed to make the explosive devices, which former fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti said in 2018 came mostly from Malaysia.“If we’re truly committed to eradicating blast fishing and other forms of destructive fishing, we shouldn’t just stop at arresting the fishermen,” Buyung said. “Otherwise, we won’t be able to end this problem.”Image banner of a bucket of fish at a market in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay.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

Anti-war bill may go to voters

first_img59 percent felt there should be a specific timetable for the withdrawal of troops.Republicans argued that the state should not be trying to make foreign policy for the federal government, and that such a measure would demoralize the troops in Iraq.“We have troops in harm’s way,” said Senate Republican leader Dick Ackerman, R-Irvine.“We should be supporting them 100 percent and not trying to second-guess all the efforts they are making over there.”Perata also delivered to the governor’s office about 10,000 petitions signed by Northern California residents asking for an end to the war.Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on the proposed ballot measure. He has previously given mixed messages about his stance on the Iraq war, saying that he supports it, but would like to see a timeline for withdrawal of the [email protected](916) 446-6723Anti-war bill may go to votersBy Harrison Sheppard, Sacramento BureauSACRAMENTO – California voters could become the first in the nation to formally ask President Bush to end the Iraq war under a measure approved Wednesday by the state Senate.The measure written by Senate President pro tem Don Perata would place an advisory measure on the Feb. 5 presidential primary ballot allowing Californians to ask Bush to end the war.The hotly debated bill was approved 23-11 along party lines and still must go to the Assembly and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for approval.Perata and other Democrats said it would allow Californians to pressure the federal government to bring the troops home. They also said the war has extracted too heavy a cost in human lives and funding that could have been put to better use in this country.“That war is costing California dearly,” said Perata, D-Oakland. “We have contributed the lives and blood of more than 340 Californians. Not a week goes by on this floor when a member, Republican or Democrat, stands up to memorialize a fallen soldier, sometimes as young as 18 years old.”The hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war, he added, would be put to better use improving education and health care in the United States.He said California would be the first state to send a message to the federal government on the war through a ballot measure, but he has gotten inquiries from lawmakers in at least three other states thinking about authoring similar bills.A Field Poll in April found that72 percent of California registered voters disapprove of President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war and59 percent felt there should be a specific timetable for the withdrawal of troops.Republicans argued that the state should not be trying to make foreign policy for the federal government, and that such a measure would demoralize the troops in Iraq.“We have troops in harm’s way,” said Senate Republican leader Dick Ackerman, R-Irvine.“We should be supporting them 100 percent and not trying to second-guess all the efforts they are making over there.”Perata also delivered to the governor’s office about 10,000 petitions signed by Northern California residents asking for an end to the war.Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on the proposed ballot measure. He has previously given mixed messages about his stance on the Iraq war, saying that he supports it, but would like to see a timeline for withdrawal of the [email protected](916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “That war is costing California dearly,” said Perata, D-Oakland. “We have contributed the lives and blood of more than 340 Californians. Not a week goes by on this floor when a member, Republican or Democrat, stands up to memorialize a fallen soldier, sometimes as young as 18 years old.”The hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war, he added, would be put to better use improving education and health care in the United States.He said California would be the first state to send a message to the federal government on the war through a ballot measure, but he has gotten inquiries from lawmakers in at least three other states thinking about authoring similar bills.A Field Poll in April found that72 percent of California registered voters disapprove of President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war and SACRAMENTO – California voters could become the first in the nation to formally ask President Bush to end the Iraq war under a measure approved Wednesday by the state Senate.The measure written by Senate President pro tem Don Perata would place an advisory measure on the Feb. 5 presidential primary ballot allowing Californians to ask Bush to end the war.The hotly debated bill was approved 23-11 along party lines and still must go to the Assembly and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for approval.Perata and other Democrats said it would allow Californians to pressure the federal government to bring the troops home. They also said the war has extracted too heavy a cost in human lives and funding that could have been put to better use in this country.last_img read more

Facebook IPO Power Play Reveals It’s Really a Media Company

first_imgRelated Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… antone gonsalves Tags:#Facebook#web center_img Mark Zuckerberg, SXSW, 2008When Facebook takes to the road next week to pitch its stock to investors, the soon-to-be public company will be hawking a dual-class stock structure that makes the self-proclaimed tech company act like a media company.The stock structure has become the darling of Internet companies. Google adopted the structure in its initial public offering in 2004 and was later mimicked by Groupon, LinkedIn, Zynga and now Facebook. So what’s the allure? Power.“It’s a media company with a 21st century business model twist, obtaining content free from users and then selling user time and attention to advertisers and social gaming companies.” – William Quigley, Clearstone Venture PartnersIn creating two classes of stock, one set is given far more voting rights than other, making it possible for control of the company to remain with a small group of people that typically includes the founders. In the case of Facebook, co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s shares will give him 57.1% of Facebook’s voting control after the IPO.The stock structure has Facebook acting very much like a media company, even though executives have insisted for quite awhile that it’s really a tech company. Media companies, such as The New Times and The Washington Post, have used a dual-stock structure to hand control to a small group of people whose responsibility is to maintain journalistic integrity. The rest of the shareholders hold stock with a higher price, but no right to meddle in the company’s business.Facebook will likely be classified as part of the “tech sector” when it goes public for purposes of index funds and news reporting. However, for some industry observers, it’s a misnomer. “It’s a media company with a 21st century business model twist, obtaining content free from users and then selling user time and attention to advertisers and social gaming companies,” William Quigley, venture capitalist for Clearstone Venture Partners, said in his blog.Whether media or tech company, Facebook will be taking its roadshow to investors as soon as Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. While Zuckerberg will attend some meetings on the road, the bulk of them will include Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman.While the final numbers won’t be known until the day before the IPO, Facebook could raise as much as $10 billion, which would value the company at about $100 billiion. The IPO is scheduled for May 18, but that date, along with the roadshow, could be a day or two later, the newspaper said, quoting people familiar with the matter.Despite the dual-class stock, Facebook is expected to attract lots of investors willing to trust their interests, and money, to Zuckerberg. Only time will tell if the bet is a winner.Mark Zuckerberg photo by Andrew Feinberg The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more