California utilities seek net metering 2.0 changes, repeal

first_imgCalifornia utilities seek net metering 2.0 changes, repealLess than six weeks after regulators approved a successor program to net metering, California’s three big IOUs are already seeking to modify or overturn the decision. March 11, 2016 Christian Roselund Legal Markets Markets & Policy Share Privately owned utilities in the United States are not passively accepting the ongoing existence of retail-rate net metering for PV system owners, or anything that looks resembles it. In fact, while the ink is still drying on California’s successor policy to net metering, the state’s three large investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have already submitted a legal challenge. On Tuesday, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) formally requested that California regulators cancel the decision. On the same day, Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) petitioned for changes to the program which the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CalSEIA) says would “put solar out of reach for a majority of customers”. Specifically, SCE and SDG&E are asking for a rehearing, and for the commission to include the cost of transmission in its “non-bypassable” charges imposed on electricity exported to the grid by PV customers. They are also calling for elimination of a 20-year grandfathering provision for customers taking service under the new policy. PG&E and SCE note that the commission did not conduct a full analysis of the costs and benefits of distributed PV, which it put off until 2019. Additionally, they argue that the sustainable growth of the solar industry was privileged over other factors including evaluation of costs and benefits in the net metering 2.0 decision.The request to include the transmission costs in “non-bypassable” charges was already rejected during the proceeding before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) which resulted in a final policy on January 28. CalSEIA notes that this process lasted 22 months and extended one month past a deadline imposed by the state legislature. However, the final decision also came down 3-2, which indicates a degree of vulnerability. The ball is now in CPUC’s court. CalSEIA Executive Director Bernadette Del Chiaro says that CPUC counsel will now review these requests, and make a recommendation whether or not to consider them.“(The) big question is whether utilities will be happy enough with small changes or if they will pursue this with all of their legal might,” Del Chiaro told pv magazine. “If they are not satisfied with what the Commission does, they can appeal to the Court of Appeals.” Del Chiaro also notes that these appeals are filed using ratepayer funds. This is a point of contention for many solar advocates, as the regulatory compact grants IOUs their monopoly position, a position which they are defending using customer money.This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: [email protected] content ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. The re… Submarine cable to connect 10.5 GW wind-solar complex in Morocco to the UK grid Emiliano Bellini 22 April 2021 pv-magazine.com UK-based Xlinks is planning to build 10.5 GW of wind and solar in Morocco and sell the power generated by the huge plant in the UK. 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In the Europea… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. The re… 123456iAbout these recommendationsShare Christian Roselund Christian Roselund served as US editor at pv magazine from 2014 to 2019. Prior to this he covered global solar policy, markets and technology for Solar Server, and has written about renewable energy for CleanTechnica, German Energy Transition, Truthout, The Guardian (UK), and IEEE Spectrum.More articles from Christian Roselund [email protected] Related content The weekend read: PV feed in, certified pv magazine 1 May 2021 pv-magazine.com As more renewable energy capacity is built, commissioned, and connected, grid stability concerns are driving rapid regulatory changes. 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Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 pv-magazine-australia.com Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… iAbout these recommendations Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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For more information please see our Data Protection Policy. Subscribe to our global magazine SubscribeOur events and webinars Household solutions for maximizing self-consumption using smart contro… , pv-magazine.com Discussion participantsRobert van Keulen, Technical Manager, GrowattGautham Ram, Assistant Professor and Researcher, D… Reducing solar project risk for extreme weather 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Discussion participantsDaniel H.S. Chang, VP of Business Development | RETCGreg Beardsworth, Sr. Director of Product M… Virtual Roundtables USA 17 November 2020 pv-magazine.com We will be hosting the second edition of our successful Virtual Roundtables this year in November. The program will be f… iAbout these recommendations pv magazine print Polysilicon from Xinjiang: a balanced view pv magazine 7 April 2021 pv-magazine.com As of March, the United States and Europe were considering sanctions on polysilicon from Xinjiang, China, due to concerns over forced labor. 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Super featherweight Miura to defend WBC crown against Vargas in November

first_imgTakashi Miura will make the fifth defense of his WBC super featherweight crown against top-ranked Mexican Francisco Vargas in Las Vegas on Nov. 21, his Teiken Gym announced on Friday.“It will be a like dream fighting on such a big stage,” Miura told a news conference at the Teiken Gym in Tokyo. “My opponent is top-ranked and a strong fighter that is unbeaten. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” added the southpaw.Right-hander Vargas has a record of 22-0-1 (16 knockouts).“From what I have seen (of Vargas) on video, he is aggressive and he will come at me,” Miura said. “If that is the case, it will be a great fight (for spectators to watch).”Miura defeated Australian Billy Dib with a third-round TKO in his last title defense on May 1 in Tokyo, improving to 29-2-2 (22 knockouts). Takashi Miura | KYODO RELATED PHOTOS GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img KEYWORDS Takashi Miura, WBC super featherweight title, Francisco Vargas IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

Utah Utes soccer: Team leaning on youth

first_imgIn his six seasons at Utah, Rich Manning has built a strong soccer program that consistently challenges for the league championship (3 titles) and plays in the postseason (5 of 6 in NCAAs).This season, thanks to a combination of graduations, defections and injuries, the Utes will have their youngest and most inexperienced team of Manning’s tenure.”Of all the teams I’ve had, this one is the least I know about,” said Manning. “We’re definitely a work in progress.”Not only did the Utes lose top players such as Kiley Jones, Melissa Crespo and Chelsea Card to graduation, they were shocked when leading scorer Adele Letro and goalkeeper Lynzee Lee both decided to transfer during the offseason.Then during the summer, two Ute forwards who were expected to start, senior Jen Christoffers and sophomore Erin Dalley, both suffered serious knee injuries leaving the Utes thin up front. Dalley is out for the season, while Christoffers could be out much of the year.The Utes opened the season on the road in North Carolina last week, losing to Wake Forest in overtime and defeating UNC-Greensboro also in overtime. They open the home season this weekend with games against Arizona tonight (7:30 p.m.) and Georgia Sunday (1 p.m.) at Ute Field.Sixteen Ute players are freshmen and sophomores. Of the 10 freshmen, five have already seen extensive action for the Utes, including midfielders Kelly Martinez (Colorado), Chelsea Forbes (Bountiful), Kelly Woodfield (Timpview) and defenders Lauren Porter (East) and Lauren Dudley (Las Vegas).Manning is happy to have a few experienced players and believes senior Katy Reineke, junior Kelly Isleib and sophomore Lauren Hair, all local players, are some of the best in the Mountain West Conference. Reineke and Isleib are midfielders, who can move up to forward, while Hair plays forward exclusively.Reineke (East) was the Utes’ second-leading scorer in 2007 with nine goals and seven assists. Isleib (Park City) set a Ute season record for assists with 13, but with Letro gone, is expected to increase her goal-scoring this year. Hair (Lone Peak) scored four goals as a freshman and will take on much of the scoring load as the lone forward in some Ute schemes.Other experienced players for Utah include Amanda Sanchez in the midfield and Nicole Cardon and Morgan Skeen in the back.”We need to stick together, defend real well and rely on certain people to make plays,” Manning said. “I like this group, they have good character.”Emalee Rogers, a junior from Viewmont High, had an excellent summer playing in an Arizona league and has earned the starting goalkeeper job. But Manning said he also expects to use senior Amy Edman and freshman Hannah Turpen in the goal this year.Manning always likes to play tough preseason games to prepare for the MWC season and this year is no exception. Next week the Utes play at Oregon and Oregon State and also have road games at Washington, Loyola Marymount and Cal Poly. Other home games are against Utah State, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton. Utah opens the MWC season Oct. 4 against BYU at home. UTAH SOCCER SCHEDULEAug. 29 — Arizona, 7:30 p.m.Aug. 31 — Georgia, 1 p.m.Sept. 5 — at OregonSept. 7 — at Oregon StateSept. 12 — Utah State, 7:30 p.m.Sept. 14 — at Loyola MarymountSept. 19 — Long Beach State, 7:30 p.m.Sept. 21 — Cal State Marymount,1 p.m.Sept. 26 — at WashingtonSept. 28 — at Cal PolyOct. 4 — BYU, 7 p.m.Oct. 9 — San Deigo State, 7 p.m.Oct. 11 — UNLV, 7 p.m.Oct. 16 — at New MexicoOct. 18 — at TCUOct. 24 — Seattle University, 7 p.m.Oct. 31 — at Air Force Nov. 5-7 — MWC Championship at Las Vegas E-mail: [email protected]last_img read more

Gravely injured orangutan rescued near site of controversial hydropower project

first_imgA severely injured and malnourished Tapanuli orangutan has been rescued from a plantation near the site of a controversial hydropower project in Sumatra.The animal was found to have deep, infected gashes on its head and under its arm, which rescuers say were likely inflicted by humans.The orangutan may have been fleeing forest-clearing activity near the project site, which is located in the Batang Toru forest, the only known habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan.This is not the first instance of orangutans apparently being driven out of their habitat by the project, which environmental activists and scientists say must be put on hold to protect the rarest great ape species in the world. JAKARTA — A severely injured and malnourished orangutan has been rescued from a plantation near a Sumatra forest where a hydropower project threatens the only known habitat of this particular species of great ape.Locals spotted the male Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), believed to be about 30 years old, inside a plantation in Aek Batang Paya village, South Tapanuli district, on the edge of the Batang Toru forest. They reported it to the local conservation department, known as the BKSDA, which then enlisted the Orangutan Information Center (OIC), a conservation NGO, to help confirm the finding.Officials from the BKSDA and OIC traveled to the site on the night of Sept. 18 and found the badly injured orangutan in the plantation the next morning.“Our medical team found injuries that are very critical because there is a gash on his head,” OIC head Panut Hadisiswoyo told Mongabay. “There is also a big stab wound under his left armpit.“Our team suspects that the wounds were caused by sharp weapons. If the injuries were a result of the orangutan fighting with other animals, then there should be scratch wounds, not stab wounds,” he said, emphasizing that the orangutan had most likely been attacked by humans.The attack appears to have occurred several days earlier, given the condition of the wounds, Panut said.“His wounds were already infested with maggots,” he said.The BKSDA and OIC officials immediately evacuated the orangutan to a quarantine center managed by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) for medical treatment.It’s not immediately clear who could have attacked the orangutan, although it’s common for the animals to be shot at and hacked by farmers who consider them a pest.A deep gash is clearly visible above the left eye of the male Tapanuli orangutan found in a plantation in northern Sumatra, Indonesia.Wake-up callThis isn’t the first time a Tapanuli orangutan has been found outside the Batang Toru ecosystem, the only known habitat of the critically endangered species but also the site of a controversial hydroelectric power plant project.A year ago, Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry reported that preconstruction activity for the dam and power plant had driven a group of Tapanuli orangutans out of their habitat and into nearby plantations.“So it’s already proven that the project has already dealt an impact,” Wiratno, the ministry’s director general for conservation, told Mongabay at the time. “While there’s no casualty yet, it’s an indication that the project must have had an impact [on the orangutans].”Panut said this latest discovery — in a plantation just 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles) from the hydropower project site — should serve as a wake-up call for the government to protect the ape’s habitat by designating the Batang Toru ecosystem a protected forest. The Tapanuli orangutan, described in 2017 and already teetering on the brink of extinction, lives in pockets of the 1,338-square-kilometer (516-square-mile) Batang Toru ecosystem. The habitat has been fragmented by infrastructure projects such as roads, causing the population of the orangutans to plummet by 83 percent over the course of three generations.Fewer than 800 individuals are believed to survive in a tiny tract of forest less than one-fifth the size of the metropolitan area that comprises Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.Some of the orangutans live in areas zoned for conversion, also known as APL. These areas cover 100 to 150 square kilometers (39 to 58 square miles), or 15 percent of the Tapanuli orangutans’ habitats. They also have the highest biodiversity of the entire Batang Toru ecosystem and also the highest densities of Tapanuli orangutans, with more than 10 percent of the population residing in these APL areas.Due to this APL designation, these areas aren’t protected and thus are at risk of encroachment or being cleared for industrial purposes, including the $1.6 billion hydroelectric plant and dam. The 510-megawatt plant was announced in 2012 and will be the largest in Sumatra if completed as planned by 2022.The Indonesian government considers it a priority project under President Joko Widodo’s wider infrastructure-building push. The government argues that the plant is needed to provide electricity from renewable sources in the region and to mitigate climate change. The project’s developer, PT North Sumatera Hydro Energy (NSHE) says the plant will prevent the release of up to 1.6 million tons of CO2 every year from Indonesia’s coal-reliant grid.Panut said it was possible that the injured ape had been fleeing from forest-clearing activity around the project site.“Maybe there’s a connection with forest clearing, whether it’s because of agriculture or because of the hydropower plant,” he said.That gives added urgency to designate the area as protected, he added.“Even though the area has an APL designation, it’s still the habitat of the orangutan,” Panut said. “More and more forests are being cleared in the area because of the APL designation, when it should be a protected forest area.”In response to the discovery of the injured orangutan, PT NSHE spokesman Firman Taufick said it wasn’t unusual for the apes to wander into nearby plantations in search of foods. He added that such behavior was known even before construction of the dam began.“Based on observations by locals since decades ago, when it is fruit season, like the current durian season, orangutans always come to locals’ plantations,” he told Mongabay. “So it’s not only this time an orangutan enters a local’s plantation.”Firman added that the company condemned the injuries to the animal and would continue its conservation program to protect the orangutans.“We see that the locals of South Tapanuli have local wisdoms in protecting the environment and wildlife,” he said. “In this case, we have empowered the locals with a conservation program, including wildlife, by conducting training and by forming conservation groups based on local wisdoms. The efforts to protect wildlife in the Batang Toru ecosystem are the responsibility of all parties, not only the government and the private sector.”Rescuers check the extent of the orangutan’s injuries in preparation to evacuate the animal for medical treatment. Image courtesy of the Orangutan Information Center (OIC).Call for moratoriumEarlier this year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for a halt to all projects that threaten the Tapanuli orangutan.“IUCN is deeply concerned about ongoing and new threats to the Critically Endangered Tapanuli orangutan in Sumatra, Indonesia,” the organization said on its website.While the IUCN didn’t specifically mention the hydropower project in its statement, it recommended that all projects affecting the apes should be halted to allow time to formulate a plan to save the Tapanuli orangutan. Such a plan, the IUCN added, should be based on an independent and objective population- and habitat-viability assessment.Primatologist Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University, who discussed the dam project with the IUCN before the latter issued its statement, urged PT NSHE to follow the IUCN’s recommendation.“But the company never agreed to that,” Wich, who is also the co-vice chair of the section on great apes of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, told Mongabay. “For me, the fact that the company doesn’t want that is a clear indication that they’re not interested in mitigation. They just want to go ahead with the project and secure financing.”NSHE’s Firman said the company had fulfilled all the requirements to proceed with the project. He added the company had not engaged with the IUCN but was open to communicating with it.Clarification 9/23/2019: This article originally ran with the headline ‘Orangutan found injured in apparent escape from site of hydropower project’. It has been changed to reflect that injury during escape from the hydropower project site is just one possible explanation for the ape’s injuries.Banner image of an injured Tapanuli orangutan being rescued from a plantation in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Image courtesy of the Orangutan Information Center (OIC).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Animal Cruelty, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Critically Endangered Species, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Endangered Species, Energy, Environment, Forest Destruction, Forests, Great Apes, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Infrastructure, New Species, Orangutans, Primates, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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

Female gorillas recognize and respond to contagious disease

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 Animal Behavior, Animals, Gorillas, Great Apes, Mammals, Primates, UCSC, Wildlife Article published by Rhett Butlercenter_img An infectious skin disease causing bright red facial lesions affects how female gorillas decide to change social groups, researchers have shown.Decade-long observations of nearly 600 gorillas in the Republic of the Congo revealed females are more likely to leave groups with severely diseased females or an infected silverback male.By reducing contact with sick individuals, females can decrease the risk of being contaminated and prevent further spread of the infection in the population. Salt clearings deep in the Congo basin host numerous breeding groups of Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). These intelligent social mammals usually reside in groups of two to eight females defended by a single silverback male. Now, long-term studies of these populations show that female gorillas can identify a disfiguring disease in one another, and they consciously avoid it through informed social dispersal to other groups.A team led by Nelly Ménard of the ECOBIO laboratory at CNRS/University of Rennes 1 used a decade of observations to conclude that gorillas recognize a contagious skin infection called yaws in other individuals. Female members of a breeding group take the disease into account when deciding whether to migrate to another group.The findings, published recently in Ecology, suggest that females are more likely to change groups when the red facial lesions caused by yaws are visible either in the silverback or among multiple females in their breeding group. They also avoid joining groups with a high prevalence of the disease.Odzala-Kokua National Park in the Republic of Congo. Photo by A. Lavandier/CNRS-University of Rennes 1When Ménard first visited the Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of the Congo nearly 20 years ago, she recognized that the frequent visits by gorilla social groups provided access to exceptional data on the demographic structure of their populations – as well as their dispersal patterns. During their years in the field, her team identified 593 individuals, divided into 59 breeding groups and 50 unmated units, clustered within two distinct populations of gorillas.Females move between breeding groups several times during their lifespan. The researchers recorded dozens of instances when females left their own groups or joined new ones. Both of the studied populations live in the same dense tropical forest with overlapping home ranges, so habitat was not a factor in the females’ decisions to change groups. In all cases where both the old and new groups were known, females moved to new groups with fewer numbers of severely infected gorillas.A female was more likely to leave her breeding group when there were more severely diseased individuals, when her breeding group was older, or when the male silverback was infected, the team’s observations showed.“We suspected that females were able to take the disease risk into account in their decision to leave or to join a group,” said Ménard. These perceptive apes most likely associate the visual cues of red facial lesions with the worsening effects of the disease, like deformities and handicaps, she said.This infant was likely contaminated through contact with its mother. Photo by Peggy Motsch and Guillaume Le Flohic/CNRS-University of Rennes 1Close contact with its mother may have led to the infection of this infant at a young age. Photo by Peggy Motsch and Guillaume Le Flohic/CNRS-University of Rennes 1Other studies have shown that spiny lobster, ants, mosquitofish, and house mice avoid others of their species who are visibly sick, said Dieter Lukas, a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany, who was not involved in the study. Among primates, mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) will avoid grooming others who are infected with endoparasites. However, the finding by Ménard’s team appears to be the first case of social mammals “choosing which group to join according to the disease status of the other group members,” Lukas said.There is still a social toll when females leave familiar breeding groups, such as lower status in new groups or delayed mating opportunities. Females also hesitate to migrate if they have an unweaned infant, fearing infanticide. The animals weigh these risks, Lukas noted: “The interesting observation is that female gorillas might be willing to pay a short-term cost… in order to potentially avoid a long-term cost associated with contracting a disease.”Ménard is curious whether other primates, such as chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), show similar behaviors. “The few [chimpanzees] who visited the study clearings did not show any signs of this disease,” she said. However, a chimpanzee population being studied in Uganda displays facial deformities due to ingesting pesticides, offering a research opportunity: “It would be very interesting to test whether these [deformities] impact social relationships.”A yaws-infected adult gorilla with red lesions mainly located on its face. Photo by Céline Genton/Université de Rennes 1Citation: Baudouin, A., Gatti, S., Levréro, F., Genton, C., Cristescu, R. H., Billy, V., … Ménard, N. (2019). Disease avoidance, and breeding group age and size condition the dispersal patterns of western lowland gorilla females. Ecology, 100(9). https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2786Lara Streiff (@LaraGStreiff) is a graduate student in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Other Mongabay stories produced by UCSC students can be found at news.mongabay.com/list/ucsc.last_img read more

‘Tainted timber’ from Myanmar widely used in yachts seized in the Netherlands

first_imgArticle published by malavikavyawahare Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Forests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Law Enforcement, Supply Chain, Timber Laws, timber trade, Tropical hardwoods Dutch police led raids in six locations in the Netherlands this month, where they seized teak originating from Myanmar.The EU does not allow timber that is illegally logged or obtained through overexploitation of forests to enter its markets.The seized teak allegedly entered Europe through the Czech Republic, where the enforcement of regulations is weak and was subsequently brought to the Netherlands.It is effectively impossible to import Myanmar teak into Europe because there is a high risk of the timber being illegally logged and difficulty in obtaining adequate and credible documentation to prove provenance. Dutch authorities carried out raids in six locations in the Netherlands seizing teak, widely used in luxury yachts, this month. The wood, originating from Myanmar, arrived in the Czech Republic from where it was funneled to the Netherlands.  The European Union tightly controls imports of Myanmar teak because of concerns about illegal extraction and overexploitation of natural forests.The seizure was carried out by the Dutch police, working with the Netherlands food and consumer product safety authority as part of a broader investigation into the illegal trade, which persists despite strict EU rules implemented in 2013 to excise illicit timber from EU markets.  “We suspect the companies involved that they deliberately circumvent the rules to still trade this wood within the Netherlands,” Arno Paas, a detective with the Dutch police said in a statement.In the past five years, several European companies have been taken to court for importing Myanmar teak without doing due diligence. No companies have been named yet in connection with the raids.  “As long as the investigation is ongoing, no charges have been filed,” Valentine Hoen, a spokeswoman for the Dutch prosecutor’s office responsible for the investigation, told Mongabay. Hoen declined to share details about the investigation including which companies or individuals could be charged.Teak (Tectona grandis) is a tropical tree species native to South and Southeast Asia. Its wood is used to make high-end furniture and is favored for making boat decks because it is highly durable.  India, Indonesia, and Myanmar are the biggest suppliers of teak to the global market.  Myanmar hosts about half of all natural teak forests in the world but also has public and private teak plantations.However,  growing global demand for timber, poor enforcement of laws, and conflicts in border areas have led to significant illegal logging and overharvesting in the country, driving deforestation, especially in teak-rich natural forests. Myanmar lost 3.38 million hectares (over 13,000 square miles) of tree cover between 2001 and 2018, according to Global Forest Watch. In the past five years, almost all of the tree cover loss occurred within natural forests, the data shows.The Bago mountain range in south-central Myanmar is known as the “home of teak,” but has, over the years, emerged as a hub for illegal logging. A study covering four reserved forests in the region found that forest area had declined by over 40% between 2000 and 2017. Despite a 10-year logging ban in place since 2016, local reports suggest illegal timber extraction continues.All categories of forests in Myanmar are managed by the state. The government-controlled Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) has a monopoly over logging in these forests, which is supposed to be done sustainably. The forest department sets quotas for the amount of teak that can be sustainably harvested every year. But, MTE has historically not respected the limits and continues to overexploit forests a recent investigation by the U.K.-based NGO, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), found. Teak obtained through illegal logging is barred from EU markets, but because the legality of the wood supplied by the MTE is also suspect, the entire trade appears to be tainted.While neighboring China and India are the largest importers of Myanmar’s teak, there is substantial demand in the EU and the U.S., where it is used for furniture manufacture and in boat-building, especially yachts and superyachts, for which the finest quality teak is sought. “Yacht makers display an almost ideological obsession with the questionable narrative that only Myanmar teak will suffice,” the 2019 EIA report noted.The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) that aims to curb illegal logging by banning the import of illegally harvested timber came into force in 2013. With rapid forest loss and growing concerns about unlawful timber exports, the Myanmar government imposed a ban on the export of raw timber in the form of round logs in 2014 and slashed the annual allowable cuts. Then in 2016, all logging was temporarily banned for a year. The ban on exports of raw timber, including teak logs, from public and private plantations, was lifted earlier this year, but not for those sourced from natural forests.The Myanmar government said it was working towards ensuring that only legally verifiable teak from the country enters the international market. However, in the absence of an airtight system to do that, effectively no Myanmar teak can be brought to the EU because of the high risk of it being illegally sourced. MTE documentation certifying legality is not enough because they are still not considered credible.The recently-seized timber was channeled through Slovenia and the Czech Republic because the implementation of EUTR is weak there, according to the EIA. The crackdown included a raid in the Czech Republic. “This is an example of companies trying to evade EUTR enforcement by using third countries as landing points for timber that does not comply with the requirements of the EUTR,” Alec Dawson, a forests campaigner with EIA, said.U Than Soe director of the Department of Forestry told the Myanmar Times that the government was reviewing its 2016 forest policy to deal with persistent deforestation. He added that the review would look into “what areas should be demarcated as watershed forests, which areas should be allowed for timber extraction and which areas should be conserved and protected.” The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry had not responded to Mongabay’s requests for comment at the time of publishing.Citation:Kyaw, T. Y., Germain, R. H., Stehman, S. V., & Quackenbush, L. J. (2019). Quantifying forest loss and forest degradation in Myanmar’s “home of teak.” Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 89–101. doi: 10.1139/cjfr-2018-0508(Banner Image: Seized teak in the Netherlands. Image courtesy: Dutch Police)Malavika Vyawahare is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVyFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overlast_img read more

Illegal tin mining leaves trail of ruin in protected Brazilian rainforest

first_imgFloresta Nacional de Altamira (Flona de Altamira) spans some 724,965 hectares in the state of Pará, and is home to a rich diversity of plants and animals, including several species threatened with extinction.Recently, an influx of illegal mining has led to rampant deforestation and the sullying of rivers. The miners are targeting the mineral cassiterite, the main ore of tin. Illegal ranching and road construction are also causing deforestation in Flona de Altamira.The government intervened earlier this year to put a stop to the mining, but satellite imagery shows deforestation around mining sites has picked back up since October.Conservationists and activists worry the rhetoric and policy changes of the Bolsonaro administration are encouraging the invasions of Flona de Altamira and other protected areas that provide important refuges for Brazil’s wildlife and indigenous communities. The damage only became clear once the rain stopped and the clouds parted over Altamira National Forest in northern Brazil. Instead of dense jungle, large patches of bare land now flanked the banks of the rivers snaking through this protected stretch of the Amazon rainforest.“When we got a clean satellite image, we just saw devastation,” said one source at a government environmental agency, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the matter. “We never saw anything like that in Altamira.”Floresta Nacional de Altamira (Flona de Altamira) spans some 724,965 hectares in the northern state of Pará, with the bulk of the territory stretching across the municipality of Altamira. It is home to a rich diversity of plants and animals, including several species threatened with extinction such as the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and the Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis).The area was once a hallmark of sustainable forestry, in a region of the Brazilian Amazon where haphazard clearing and illegal deforestation are the norm. Under federal protection since 1998, Flona de Altamira holds a status that only allows regulated activities like licensed logging. Over the years, it became home to the largest area of forest concessions in the country. The goal was to boost the local economy, while minimizing the impact on biodiversity. “It used to be our example of how things could work here, how we could create jobs, how we could use the Amazon rainforest in a sustainable way,” the government agent said. “And then everything fell apart.”Escalating deforestationSatellite data and imagery from the University of Maryland (UMD) show illegal deforestation has surged in Flona de Altamira over the past year, with local sources pointing to illegal mines, known as garimpos, as the key culprit in most of the protected area.Satellite date from the University of Maryland indicate Flona de Altamira lost more tree cover in 2019 than during the previous 18 years combined. Mining is the major driver of deforestation in most of the protected area, with the exception of the southern portion where illegal clearing for ranching is intensifying. Source: Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA, accessed through Global Forest Watch.About 300 hectares were deforested between January and October 2019 just for mining, according to Thaise Rodrigues, a remote sensing specialist with Rede Xingu+, a network of environmental and indigenous groups working in the Xingu Basin.This represents an increase of 85 percent over the prior year, Rede Xingu+ data show. Part of the pressure has come from a large clearing in its western frontier of the territory, “where a clandestine airstrip was built between May and June 2019,” Rodrigues noted.Miners – or garimpeiros – often carve out makeshift airstrips deep in the Amazon, allowing supplies and equipment to be flown into densely forested areas by plane. Many also come with heavy machinery, including excavators, that can clear large chunks of forest easily.Local sources say most of the miners invading Flona de Altamira are scouring for the mineral cassiterite, the main ore of tin. Gold miners, cattle ranchers and loggers in search of valuable tree varieties are also present in the area. Some of the invaders have also been carving out clandestine roads to help with the transport of minerals and timber out of the forest.Cassiterite mining in Flona de Altamira. Photo courtesy of Daniel Paranayba/Rede Xingu +Authorities first detected the increase in mining activity in April, the government source said. But, faced with dwindling resources and a surge in forest clearing across the Amazon this year, federal agents only made their first raid on the area in late August. They destroyed some of the mining equipment and handed out fines – but, by that point, extensive and irreversible damage had already been done, according to the enforcement source.Yet, following this initial crackdown, the forest clearing in Flona de Altamira resumed with force, with UMD data and imagery from Planet Labs showing a particularly dramatic increase in deforestation at several mining sites between October and November. This prompted authorities to go back twice more in November and December.Flona de Altamira’s major sites of active mining (circled in red) show ongoing deforestation. Imagery from Planet Labs accessed through Global Forest Watch.“Now that we have a government that is way more hostile to the environment, the garimpeiros feel more powerful, they feel they can be successful,” said the enforcement source.Mounting pressureLike in much of Brazil, the mining fever gripping Flona de Altamira has its roots in the broader development of the Amazon region in the 1970s and 1980s. The construction of the BR-163, a behemoth highway stretching thousands of kilometers from the south of Brazil through the heart of the Amazon Basin, served as a catalyst: the eventual paving of the road in the 1990s brought a flood of people scouring the unexplored region for gold and other minerals.“All of the deforestation started when we created a road,” said Antônio Victor Fonseca, an environmental engineer and researcher at Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia (Imazon). “So the government had this idea that we need to protect this area or we will lose all the forest here.”The Flona de Altamira protected area was formed mostly to guard against such encroachment. The territory was also seen by Funai, the federal agency responsible for protecting the interests of indigenous people, as a crucial buffer for the neighboring Xipaya and Kuruayá indigenous lands.But now, far-right president Jair Bolsonaro is sending much more encouraging signals to invaders – and local sources say this is emboldening illegal miners. The controversial new leader has been sharply critical of land protections, casting them as an “obstacle” to development and mining.Bolsonaro – who has his own history of illegal mining in the Amazon – has also repeatedly vowed not to demarcate a centimeter of additional land for indigenous people. Currently, his administration is pushing forward a bill that would permit mining on indigenous land.The president also supports reducing the boundaries of some protected areas and opening up the 4.6-million hectare Renca reserve to miners, a move that his predecessor Michel Temer abandoned following an international outcry and a federal court ruling.“The interest in the Amazon isn’t in the Indian or the [expletive] tree – it’s in the mining,” Bolsonaro said in an impromptu speech to miners in October, referring to foreign investment interest.last_img read more

Reaction to Falcao’s goal and performance for Man United at Stoke

first_img Falcao scored at Stoke for Man United 1 Radamel Falcao scored to draw Manchester United level at half-time, away to Stoke on New Year’s Day.The Colombian’s career in English football has taken a while to get going due to injury, but he demonstrated his poaching skills at the Britannia Stadium.Here is what Manchester United fans and ex-pros made of Falcao’s first half performance at Stoke…What do you think of Falcao at Manchester United so far? Comment below…last_img

N.C. National Guard Engineers and Communications Team in Puerto Rico to aid in recovery

first_imgOver 120 N.C. Guard soldiers assigned to the 105th Engineer Battalion “Task Force Rhino”, headquartered in Raeford, and a Joint NC Air and Army National Guard communications team have been in Puerto Rico for over two-weeks supporting recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Another 45 NC Guardsmen with the 105th are on their way this week to augment Task Force Rhino.Puerto Rico requested assistance from NC Guard through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request with NC Emergency Management to aid in recovery.“We bring a lot to the fight,” said Lt. Col. Cale Moody, commander of the 105th Engineer Battalion. “We train for domestic operations as well as war-time [missions].”Due to widespread storm damage from wind and rain, much of the island’s infrastructure has been damaged, to include homes, businesses, government buildings, and road and communications networks.“What is different about Hurricane Maria is that it affected 100 percent of the Puerto Rico territory,” said Lt. Col. Juan Alvarez with the Puerto Rican National Guard.Task Force Rhino, working mostly in the town of Salinas, is clearing debris from roads and making hasty road repairs to allow aid to reach areas cut off from the storm as well as distributing food and water to local civilians.A NCNG Joint Incident Site Communication Capability team (JISCC) comprised of four Army Guard and four Air Guard personnel are in Puerto Rico to augment civilian first responders, and bridge the communications gap between military and civilian agencies.Each JISCC team is equipped to establish remote internet, telephone and radio capabilities at locations with a damaged or nonexistent communications infrastructure.“This is going to be a long recovery effort, but we are here,” stated an officer with the 105th.last_img read more