New cave catfish threatened by deforestation, mining, pollution

first_imgArticle published by Morgan Erickson-Davis The new catfish, Aspidoras mephisto, is the first completely cave-dependent member of the Callichthyidae family found in South America.The species has adaptations to living underground, including a lack of pigment and reduced eyes. Researchers think it may use tree roots for shelter and food.Surveys indicate A. mephisto is restricted to two caves in an area devoid of official protection. Deforestation and mining activities threaten the vegetation around the caves, and sewage from a nearby town may be polluting their water sources. Scientists have discovered the first entirely cave-dwelling armored catfish of the Callichthyidae family in South America. But big human pressures around its restricted habitat mean it may already be highly threatened with extinction.In 2007, researchers at Brazilian institutions were surveying the Anésio-Russão cave system, which is part of the upper Tocantins River basin in the state of Goiás, Brazil, when they found a population of strange subterranean catfish.The new catfish was “clearly different” than other Callichthyidae catfish in South America, the researchers write in a study describing their find published earlier this month in PLOS ONE. For instance, it has several adaptations that indicate it spends its life in caves, including a reduction in pigmentation and tiny eyes. Because of its differences, the researchers assigned the catfish to a new species: Aspidoras mephisto.Dorsal (a), lateral (b), and ventral (c) view of Aspidoras mephisto. Image from Tencatt and Bichuette, 2017Aspidoras mephisto in its cave habitat. Image from Tencatt and Bichuette, 2017Aspidoras mephisto prefers slow, shallow water, and “forages calmly close to small submersed roots,” the study states. These roots, the authors explain, may be a source of food and shelter for the fish. They note that the species’ breeding period did not seem to coincide with the rainy season, which is different than other cave-dwelling animals that tend to breed when rains wash more food into their underground ecosystems.When the researchers visited the region again to look for more A. mephisto individuals, they made another discovery – this entire species is likely found in just two caves comprising around six square kilometers (2.3 square miles).While the new catfish appears to be relatively abundant in these caves compared with other cave-dependent fish, danger awaits above. The researchers noticed forest loss from deforestation and mining around the cave openings, as well as water pollution due to sewer discharge from a nearby town. Satellite data from the University of Maryland also show tree cover has been lost in the area in recent years, including around eight hectares of loss very close to one of the catfish’s caves. Aspidoras mephisto was found in two caves near the municipality of Posse. Tree cover loss is common in the area, including at one of the cave sites.The researchers observed evidence of deforestation (a) and small-scale mining (b) around the caves in which Aspidoras mephisto resides. Image from Tencatt and Bichuette, 2017Because it’s found in such a small area that is facing human pressure, the researchers recommend A. mephisto be listed as Endangered by the IUCN. They also urge increased conservation attention, particularly since the entire species exists in an area with no official protections.“Aspidoras mephisto has an occupation area of approximately 6 [square kilometers], the surroundings of the cave-system (two localities) is deforested for pastures and urban growth, the drainages are suffering discharge of domestic sewage, and the Anésio-Russão cave system currently has no legal protection by Brazilian environmental laws,” the researchers write.“Therefore, the combination of these facts could lead the new species to a worst threatened status in the near future, and it must be strongly considered to propose conservation actions for the species itself (e.g. long term population studies), for the cave system as [a] whole and for the vegetation in the caves’ surroundings.”Citations:Hansen, M. C., P. V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, S. A. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, D. Thau, S. V. Stehman, S. J. Goetz, T. R. Loveland, A. Kommareddy, A. Egorov, L. Chini, C. O. Justice, and J. R. G. Townshend. 2013. “High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change.” Science 342 (15 November): 850–53. Data available on-line from:http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest. Accessed through Global Forest Watch on March 23, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgTencatt, L. F. C., & Bichuette, M. E. (2017). Aspidoras mephisto, new species: The first troglobitic Callichthyidae (Teleostei: Siluriformes) from South America. PloS one, 12(3), e0171309.Banner image: Aspidoras mephisto from Tencatt and Bichuette, 2017FEEDBACK: 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. 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 Caves, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Fish, Forest Loss, Forests, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Loss, Mining, New Species, Pollution, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Research, Tropical Forests, Water Pollution, Wildlife last_img read more

Jurisdictional certification approach aims to strengthen protections against deforestation

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 Jurisdictional certification brings together all stakeholders across all commodities within a district or state to ensure the entire region is deforestation-free.A few tropical forest regions have long used the jurisdictional approach; with proven success, more regions are now following suit.Pilot programs in Brazil and elsewhere exemplify the successes and challenges of the jurisdictional approach. Many companies that deal in commodities linked to heavy tropical deforestation, such as soy or timber, have made commitments to significantly reduce or end deforestation in their supply chains by 2020. About 82 percent of such companies rely on deforestation-free certification to ensure products meet their standards, according to CDP, a London-based NGO formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.But traditional certification methods have shortcomings. Usually, certifying bodies — like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) or Bonsucro, which certifies sugarcane — deal individually with mills or plantations. The onus is on each farmer or each company to invest in meeting the standards for certification. This is especially difficult for small-scale farmers.The jurisdictional approach streamlines some of the processes with all stakeholders involved, from local governments to large mill owners to small-scale farmers. In general, the jurisdictional approach is much broader than jurisdictional certification.For example, the government and larger companies pay for mapping and monitoring. This ensures that farms are not in protected areas and that farmers are not cutting down trees to expand their fields. It also takes the financial burden off smallholders to meet this requirement for certification. The government also helps with making permitting less costly and time-consuming.A few regions have led the way in the jurisdictional approach, including the Brazilian state of Acre, which began using it almost 20 years ago. As a result, from 2002 to 2010, Acre reduced deforestation by 60 percent while still increasing its real gross domestic product (GDP) by 62 percent, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Acre hasn’t achieved jurisdictional certification yet, though it is interested in doing so.In Peru, the San Martin region in the north is working toward being able to market its hallmark product, coffee, as deforestation-free across the district, explained Daniel Nepstad, forest ecologist and executive director of California-based non-profit Earth Innovation Institute (EII).In 2013, inspired by the successes of Acre and San Martin, EII started pilot jurisdictional programs in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state. Like Acre, Mato Grosso is interested in working toward achieving jurisdictional certification.A program has also been proposed in Indonesia’s Seruyan district, but hasn’t gotten off the ground there yet.  According to Nepstad, jurisdictional certification is most advanced in the RSPO, with pilots in Seruyan and Kotawaringin Barat Districts, Central Kalimantan, also in Indonesia. The state government of Sabah, Malaysia, also launched a jurisdictional pilot in 2015 which has progressed well. And in October 2016, the government of Ecuador announced that it would work toward jurisdictional certification for the entire country.“There are no silver bullets on this issue, it really comes down to decision-making on farms and in communities about whether to cut down trees or not,” Nepstad said. “The jurisdictional approach is basically designed to make sure that these strategies are owned by regional society and defended by regional society and not imposed from outside.”Mato Grosso, BrazilThe major agro-business state of Mato Grosso produces 27 percent of the soy in Brazil, 25 percent of the corn, and 19 percent of the beef, according to the EDF.The eagerness of the state’s governor, Pedro Taques, to improve sustainability has proven important in the jurisdictional approach, according to Nepstad. He added that in terms of government support, a history of poor performance by regional governments has often caused the sustainable development community to focus on approaches that do not depend on government.A file photo of a multi-stakeholder meeting in Confresa, Mato Grosso, Brazil, held as part of Earth Innovation Institute’s efforts to establish jurisdictional certification in the state of Mato Grosso. Photo by Joyce BrandaoDespite that, an increasing number of government leaders are factoring sustainability into their work, creating potentially the right conditions for the spread of the jurisdictional approach.That’s partially evidenced in the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, which now includes governors who represent one-third of the world’s tropical rainforests. Most of them have signed the Rio Branco Declaration of 2014, committing to reduce deforestation rates by 80 percent by 2020.A condition, however, is placed on the Rio Branco commitment that long-term performance-based funding must be available. Financial incentives are also a concern in Mato Grosso and pilot projects in other regions.BenefitsOne source of funding is the UN’s REDD+ program (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). REDD+ gives projects and districts money in exchange for the amount of carbon reduction they have achieved. That money comes from places like California, where the state government has legislated contributions to REDD+.Nepstad notes that REDD+ “is not delivered at the scope we had hoped, but there’s some hundreds of millions of dollars flowing annually to these jurisdictions to compensate their performance.”Mato Grosso does not currently have any REDD+ programs, but does have a very strong REDD law that creates the legal framework for jurisdictional sustainability. Joao Shimada, who leads EII’s work in Brazil, said that they are laying the groundwork to qualify for the programs.Another financial incentive is the market interest in sourcing from an entire region. Shimada said that a major shortcoming of traditional certification schemes is that they are limited to relatively small quantities.Mato Grosso has an advantage when dealing with large customers like the China Soybean Industry Association, which imports more than 60 percent of the global trade in soy and has been strengthening its commitments to sourcing sustainably. The Chinese association buys some 8 to 10 million tons of soy from Mato Grosso annually.“The [traditional] certification schemes use the farm-by-farm approach, so you will never achieve a huge volume, for example for the Chinese market,” Shimada said.Shimada said that Mato Grosso is also in discussion with the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, which imports some 30 million tons of soy per year. The traditional certification body Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is certifying only about 2 million tons per year globally.Unilever, a major buyer of forest-linked commodities, has agreed to source from jurisdictions EII is working with.It is this kind of financial incentive that helps get all farmers and other players within a jurisdiction on board. But these incentives still fall short, Nepstad said. He notes that it will cost Mato Grosso some $10 billion to meet its goal of reducing over 4 billion tons of CO2.“Some of that can come from existing programs, but there’s some missing money there,” he said.ChallengesThere are challenges to the jurisdictional approach that include political turnover and uniting stakeholders who have traditionally held a deep mistrust of each other.To address the problem of changing leadership, pilot programs have legislated change as much as possible so it lives on in local laws. Stringent enforcement remains a challenge even under supportive leadership and especially under future leaders who may take a different position.Kathleen McAfee, a professor of international relations at San Francisco State University, notes that government changes at a federal level in particular can jeopardize these efforts. In a post on the website REDD Monitor in May 2016, McAfee wrote: “Just yesterday the interim president appointed as Minister of Agriculture a “soy tycoon” and notorious deforester of the Amazon…Now Brazil may soon see some combination of changes in state policies for land use, soy, and other agricultural subsidies, increased export incentives in the context of the current economic recession, or changes in enforcement practices.”While NGOs, farming associations, and government officials in Mato Grosso collaboratively decided on standards, implementing them requires a tremendous amount of cooperation.“There are big issues of trust,” Nepstad said. “We spend a lot of time on…positioning ourselves so we can act as bridges between what have traditionally been warring factions, such as environmental NGOs and farm organizations.”Shimada believes that a shortcoming of the jurisdictional approach – one that is also found in traditional certification – is that it doesn’t uphold the highest standards. He said it tends to cater to the lowest common denominator in order to make it easier for the worst offenders to improve and meet the baseline standards.Stefano Savi, chief communications officer for the certifying body RSPO agreed that this is a problem of certification in general. He said that raising the standards could discourage plantations facing the greatest challenges.“Shouldn’t we get everyone to really start jumping before we move the post?” he asked.Banner image: Two Chaco Chachalacas in Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Photo by Dario Sanches via Wikimedia Commons.Tara MacIsaac is a freelance journalist based in Canada. You can find her on Twitter at @TaraMacIsaac.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 Genevieve Belmakercenter_img Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Soy, Carbon Conservation, Certification, Commodity Roundtables, Conservation, Conservation Finance, Farming, Forests, Jurisdictional Approaches, Palm Oil, Payments For Ecosystem Services, Rainforests, Redd, Rspo last_img read more

Illegal bushmeat trade threatens human health and great apes

first_imgFEEDBACK: 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.Bonobo (Pan paniscus). With most great ape species Criticially Endangered and their populations in severe decline, preventing infectious disease among them is critically important to their survival. Photo by Rhett A. Butler Article published by Glenn Scherer 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 Hunting for bushmeat impacts over 500 wild species in Africa, but is particularly harmful to great apes — gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos — whose small, endangered populations struggle to rebound from over-hunting. Along with other major stressors including habitat loss, trafficking and climate change.Bushmeat brings humans into close contact with wildlife, creating a prime path for the transmission of diseases like Ebola, as well as new emerging infectious diseases. Disease spread is especially worrisome between humans and closely related African great ape species.Bushmeat consumption today is driven by an upscale urban African market, by illegal logging that offers easy access to remote great ape habitat, plus impoverished rural hunters in need of cash livelihoods.If the bushmeat problem is to be solved, ineffective enforcement of hunting quotas and inadequate endangered species protections must be addressed. Cultural preferences for bushmeat must also change. Educational programs focused on bushmeat disease risk may be the best way to alter public perceptions. Chimpanzees in Uganda. The bushmeat trade is not only a threat to great apes, but because bushmeat can spread disease, the trade — extending across Africa into Europe and beyond — also poses a serious risk to humans. Public DomainGreat apes should be humanity’s best bet for conservation — charismatic, intelligent, strikingly familiar, with big emoting eyes. It’s hard to think of creatures with whom the public empathizes more easily, or that are perceived as more worth saving, than our closest cousins.And yet, we are failing them.Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are the most numerous of the African great apes, found across western and Central Africa, but their populations are suffering severe declines due to habitat loss and hunting. Eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei) number fewer than 5,000 individuals in the wild and already have an extremely restricted range. And although Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) are more widely distributed, only 22 percent currently live within protected areas. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are limited to small pockets of remaining habitat that have been wracked by civil war, lawlessness and violence.Together with orangutans, these great apes represent our closest living relatives on Earth. All of them are Critically Endangered, except for bonobos, which are Endangered, according to the IUCN. And they all face a daunting onslaught of threats — ranging from habitat loss and trafficking, to climate change and war.One of the most severe threats today is the thriving bushmeat trade. Bushmeat from the illegal hunting of wildlife — elephants, bats, antelope, monkeys, great apes, roughly 500 African species all together — is sold in markets across the continent, especially in economically well-off African cities, and even exported to Europe and elsewhere.Bushmeat on sale in Nigeria. Photo by Jbdodane CC-BY 2.0An old dietary habit threatens wildlifeBushmeat has certainly existed as long as Homo sapiens sapiens, but traditionally was limited to small rural communities that relied upon the meat for subsistence.Today, bushmeat has become big business, and it helps feed Africa’s booming human population. Estimates suggest that as much as 5 million tons of bushmeat is now being harvested across the Congo Basin alone, annually.This growth in the bushmeat trade has been partly prompted by the logging industry — in particular, by the roads built to transport machinery and loggers in, and timber out. Across Africa, new roads are being carved through primary forest to reach new logging concessions. Those rough byways give hunters easy access to previously remote populations of wildlife, including chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas.As a result, the bushmeat trade in Africa is “emptying the forests of wildlife faster than the timber companies can remove logs,” says Anthony Rose, director of The Bushmeat Project at California’s Biosynergy Institute. “Gorillas and other endangered species are slaughtered and stacked for transport along logging roads, to be sold in the billion dollar commercial bushmeat trade.”Ebola Virus under a transmission electron micrography. Some of the best known zoonotic diseases include HIV, the Bubonic Plague, Lassa fever, SARS, and most recently, Ebola. Public DomainBushmeat and human diseaseHumans share over 98 percent of our genome with chimpanzees and gorillas. This close genetic relationship is at the heart of a major problem facing Africa and the world today — disease transmission.Humans are so similar to great apes that it takes almost no evolutionary effort for a harmful virus or bacterium to hop the species barrier — a leap that is a two-way street, with human-to-ape, and ape-to-human transmission both possible. The common cold, which is a minor inconvenience for a human, can kill a gorilla.Disease transmission between wild animals and humans can occur whenever there is direct contact — this includes wildlife encounters with loggers, poachers and tourists, and especially with anyone who sells, buys, handles or eats bushmeat.Scientists are particularly concerned about bushmeat-borne epidemics of new diseases. “Animals are a common source for the introduction of new infectious diseases into human populations,” says Michael Jarvis, virologist at the University of Plymouth. Some of the best known zoonotic diseases include HIV, the Bubonic Plague, Lassa fever, SARS, and most recently, Ebola. “Even malaria is believed to have been originally introduced into the human population from gorillas,” he says.And this isn’t a minor risk: diseases transmitted from animals to humans represented 60 percent of all emerging infection disease events (EIDs) between 1940 and 2004.An isolation ward in Uganda during a 2000 Ebola outbreak. Despite mounting evidence that infectious diseases can be spread via the handling or eating of bushmeat, local people’s attitudes towards the risks remain relaxed. Education could help solve that problem. Photo by Daniel Bausch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDCZoonotic diseases can originate in wildlife or livestock, but over 70 percent of zoonotic EIDs come from contact with wild animals. If an existing disease in wildlife evolves the ability to infect humans, our species is seriously vulnerable because we have no pre-existing immunity.“The invasion of remaining wilderness in Africa is tapping a source of virulent new micro-organisms, bringing disease and death into urban human populations across the continent,” says Rose.Lessons from historyOne of the most devastating human epidemics in recent history was caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and evidence overwhelmingly points to an origin in great apes.Chimpanzees can carry simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs), the wild ancestors of the most common human AIDS virus, HIV-1. Some time between 1910 and 1930, an SIV in a chimpanzee in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, made the leap to humans, although it would be another 60 years before the disease would reach pandemic stage in the United States and around the world.While SIVs required genetic changes to infiltrate the human immune system, some viruses are able to infect multiple primate species at the same time. One such virus is possibly the most feared human pathogen of all, at least to date — Ebola.Ebola virus first emerged in 1976, with a few cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Sudan. Infecting humans, chimpanzees and gorillas seemingly indiscriminately, Ebola is fatal in 50 to 90 percent of cases, and has had a devastating impact on humans and wildlife across Central Africa.Infant Eastern Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, DRC. Humans share over 98 percent of their genome with chimpanzees and gorillas. This close genetic relationship is at the heart of a major problem facing Africa and the world today — disease transmission. Photo by Dave ClementSince 1976, it has re-erupted sporadically, with more than 20 outbreaks in humans and uncounted others in wild great ape populations. The human epidemic that began in West Africa in 2013 lasted more than two years and killed over 11,000 people. It also generated fear across the globe.Many of these human epidemics also saw parallel outbreaks in apes, killing thousands of gorillas and chimpanzees in Central African rainforests — shrinking the populations of these primates within their last wild strongholds, and likely wiping out one third of chimpanzees and gorillas since 1990.Searching for reservoirsZoonotic viruses and bacteria — with their ability to hide in remote regions and in a variety of unidentified species, and with their capability of jumping from one species to another — are extremely difficult to eradicate and safeguard against.Ebola, for example, lives undetected in the years between outbreaks, hiding in a host that shows no symptoms, known as a “reservoir species.” While humans and apes show very severe symptoms if infected, silent carriers supply each new outbreak. Despite their searches, scientists have yet to conclusively identify the true reservoir.The most likely Ebola reservoir candidates currently under investigation are bat species. The 2013-16 outbreak is now believed to have originated in a 2 year-old boy in Guinea, who most likely caught the virus from a fruit bat.However, many human Ebola outbreaks have been sparked not directly by reservoir species, but by contact with infected apes. “This is not just happening once, but repeatedly over time,” Jarvis emphasizes. The “handling of Ebola-infected ape carcasses is known to be responsible for about 30 percent of all previous human Ebola virus outbreaks.”Life cycle of Ebola and other viruses. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Unknown, ignored bushmeat threatsAs already mentioned, the risk of zoonotic disease is not limited to known pathogens; there is always the possibility that at any moment a new previously unknown disease will make the inter-species jump.Just last year, a team led by Fabian Leendertz at the Robert Koch Institute in Germany, announced the discovery of a new Anthrax-like pathogen in wild animals across West and Central Africa.Anthrax can be contracted by humans through contact with bacterial spores, or by consuming meat from infected animals. The bacterium infects chimpanzees and gorillas, as well as elephants and goats, and the Koch Institute team believes this variant could have already been the source of some anthrax outbreaks in humans.Despite mounting evidence — ranging from HIV, to Ebola and Anthrax — local people’s attitudes towards the risks of bushmeat in Africa remain relaxed, says Marcus Rowcliffe, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Zoology in London who has studied the socioeconomic factors influencing bushmeat marketing trends. “Surveys have generally found that the vast majority of those involved in the [bushmeat] trade do not perceive disease as a significant risk.”Scientists wear personal protective equipment during a 1995 Ebola outbreak. Africa’s wild primates have no such protections, but scientists are seeking, and finding, ways to vaccinate great apes against infectious diseases. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Seeking solutionsIt isn’t clear yet whether the most recent Ebola outbreak may have changed perceptions in Africa towards these very real wildlife disease transmission risks. Experts say that educational programs that inform local people about the dangers of contact with wild animals could be a powerful tool for reducing bushmeat consumption — and could serve as a way to not only curb disease but to conserve wildlife by reducing demand for wild meat.Another promising tool to reduce transmission of shared diseases like Ebola between humans and great apes is to vaccinate both. “A comprehensive vaccination program will be very important in protecting great apes from extinction,” says Jarvis.The first vaccines against Ebola began being developed in the early 2000s, but remained stalled in the pre-clinical phases due to a lack of funding, which seemed logical considering the relatively small number of people impacted by the disease up to that time. Then came the 2013 epidemic, where more than 11,000 people were killed in West Africa.By 2015 the Ebola vaccine had been rushed through phase III trials, where it proved 100 percent effective in humans. The good news: vaccines that act on Ebola in people can also be adapted for use with wildlife, including great apes, a goal that should be met quickly if we wish to save Africa’s primates from extinction.Silverback mountain gorilla in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda. Bushmeat brings humans into close contact with wildlife, creating a prime path for the transmission of diseases like Ebola, as well as new emerging infectious diseases. Great apes are at risk from human diseases as well; the common cold, of little threat to humans, can kill a gorilla. Photo by Joe McKenna CC-BY 2.0So, how do you vaccinate a wild great ape?While developing an effective Ebola vaccine is a crucial step for protecting humans, creating such a vaccine for great apes isn’t enough to safeguard our elusive primate cousins. “The problem for vaccinating wildlife, such as African apes, is not whether we have a functional vaccine, but rather how do we get access to the animals to vaccinate them?” says Jarvis.Of course, some apes are easier to access than others. Many great apes have now been habituated to the presence of humans, whether by tourism or by ecological and behavioral research. These apes would be the easiest to vaccinate, and should be the first targets for disease protection because of their frequent contact with humans, which puts them at greatest infection risk.Jarvis says that one way to get vaccines to less accessible wild animals is to slip it into their food. “Dropping vaccine-laden bait has proved extremely successful for control of rabies in wild carnivores in North America and Europe,” he says. However, this strategy is unlikely to work with African apes, which tend to be selective about the food they eat, and who live in hot, humid environments where bait decomposes quickly.A promising option is a self-disseminating vaccine, which spreads from individual to individual just like the virus itself. Jarvis is part of a collaborative project to develop just such a system. The team is currently trialing a single-dose vaccine in macaque monkeys that could ultimately be developed as a spreadable great ape vaccine.If successful, the approach would be a game-changer, he says, giving conservationists the “ability to control many emerging [zoonotic diseases], not just Ebola virus.” But he warns that the self-disseminating vaccine is still in the early stages of development, and may not be ready to apply to wild vaccination programs for another decade. That’s a long time to wait for Critically Endangered species.Bushmeat for sale at the roadside in Africa, including a cane rat, giant pouched rat and red-flanked duiker. African people today get between 30 percent and 85 percent of their protein from bushmeat, with commercial sales in urban areas prominent. Photo by Wikiseal CC-BY SA 3.0The continuing bushmeat problemVaccines developed for known diseases only address one aspect of the primate contagion problem. As long as great apes are hunted as bushmeat, their populations will continue to decline, and there will be a risk of unexpected epidemics — brought on by an unknown virus or bacterium jumping from ape to human, causing an outbreak of a new infectious disease.To protect our species and other species, we need to curb the trade in bushmeat, reducing it to sustainable levels, and quickly. That means much stronger great ape conservation measures as well as better protections for the roughly 500 other species regularly hunted as bushmeat across Africa. This is a goal not readily achievable by poor African countries, but it is in the interest of all nations to contribute financially to stopping new zoonotic epidemics before they start.Better monitoring and enforcement of conservation laws and regulations would be a key step forward — in the wild and at every stage of the bushmeat supply chain.But outlawing bushmeat won’t be enough. Understanding what motivates people to hunt and eat bushmeat is crucial if we are to tackle what has become not just an African problem, but a global phenomenon.Logging truck in the Central African Republic. Across Africa, new roads are being carved through primary forest to reach new logging concessions. Those rough byways give hunters easy access to previously remote populations of wildlife, including chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas.Photo courtesy of World Resources Institute CC-BY 2.0From subsistence to profit motiveFor many living in rural communities, bushmeat remains a vital source of protein, but in urban areas across Africa it has become a commonly traded commodity.“The main trend [in bushmeat consumption] has been a shift from subsistence-dominated to commercial-dominated use,” says Rowcliffe. This switch has been driven by growing numbers of wealthy urban bushmeat consumers, served by poor rural hunters, in conjunction with better transport links and well organized middlemen.Bushmeat fits this model well, being a highly tradable commodity; relatively light and easy to move, and valuable. “Cities and towns across tropical Africa have thriving markets where illegal bushmeat is sold at two to six times the price of chicken or beef,” reports Rose.Adding to entrepreneurial profitability is the fact that hunters can kill adult primates while capturing younger animals to be sold into wildlife trafficking networks — thus the bushmeat and illegal wildlife trade go hand in hand, along with drug and gun running.Which is where war and civil unrest come into the picture. The civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1990s caused many people to flee the cities and move to rural areas, leading to a massive increase in bushmeat trade and shocking declines in wild populations. Militias hiding in the forest ate bushmeat, and sold it too, while participating in wildlife-, gun- and drug-trafficking, as well as supporting illegal logging and mining operations for conflict minerals such as coltan, used in consumer electronic devices.“Conflict stimulates bushmeat trade and weakens conservation in general by breaking down existing protection and substituting a regime in which the military seek to extract rent from wildlife,” explains Rowcliffe.Between 1990 and 2000 the rate of primary forest loss in DRC was double the post-war rate, bushmeat sales increased by as much as 23 percent and great ape numbers plummeted. This was particularly bad news for bonobos, whose entire range lies within the DRC.Like other great apes, bonobos do not reproduce quickly, with a generation time of 25 years, making populations particularly vulnerable to hunting. Fewer than 20,000 are thought to remain in the wild today. They are shy and tend to avoid fragmented forests and areas of high human activity — rendering 72 percent of their historical range unusable. This puts the species in increasingly frequent contact with humans, where they risk being hunted as bushmeat or captured for the pet trade.Rowcliffe notes that cultural norms continue driving the bushmeat problem: some local people have “a strong, persistent cultural attachment to bushmeat” over alternative sources of protein, and African people today get between 30 percent and 85 percent of their protein from bushmeat. However, according to one study, only rural consumers consistently prefer bushmeat, suggesting that urban markets may be more easily curtailed if the right financial incentives, legal deterrents, and/or disease risk education programs were put in place.Temperature check at a roadblock during the African Ebola outbreak that killed 11,000 people, and unknown numbers of great apes. Disease transmission between wild animals and humans can occur whenever there is direct contact — this includes wildlife encounters with loggers, poachers and tourists, and especially with anyone who sells, buys, handles or eats bushmeat. Photo by JuliaBroska CC-BY 4.0Alternatives to the bushmeat tradeIf the bushmeat trade is to be curbed, governments and NGOs will also need to offer alternative livelihoods — including training and equipment — so poor hunters, and the middlemen who transport bushmeat, can support themselves with new jobs.A 2011 report by the Convention on Biological Diversity suggested a number of viable alternatives to hunting bushmeat, including beekeeping, arts and crafts, fair trade crops and mini-livestock such as guinea pigs, frogs and even insects. The report suggests that breadwinners diversify their income sources rather than relying solely on a single trade. For example, the Anne Kent Taylor Fund has funded a project to retrain Maasai communities reliant on bushmeat to instead sell beaded jewelry and patrol the forests and plains for illegal poachers. With the profits from selling their crafts at local markets, the Maasai beaders have been able to build a grain mill and open their own shop, which they now run as additional sources of income.Rowcliffe believes that bushmeat harvesting can become sustainable in Africa, “in theory, but it will require profound societal changes. There are many productive and resilient species in the bushmeat trade that can support sustainable hunting,” he says, but ongoing demand for bushmeat and a lack of effective government support for hunting restrictions are major barriers to this transformation.The worry is that none of these changes will come soon enough to save the great apes, whose population numbers continue to fall. As our closest cousins stagger under a pummeling attack from deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking, war and climate change, will bushmeat and human-transmitted disease be the final two straws that break the back of Africa’s great apes? Animals, Apes, Bushmeat, Chimpanzees, Conservation, Corruption, Diseases, Ebola, Ecology, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Featured, Forests, Gorillas, Great Apes, Hunting, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Law, Law Enforcement, Mammals, Over-hunting, Primates, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking, Zoonotic Diseases last_img read more

Indigenous communities resisting dams in Indonesia claim they face repression, rights abuses

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 Activism, Dams, Endangered Environmentalists, Energy, Environment, Human Rights, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, Social Conflict Article published by Isabel Estermancenter_img Developers plan to build a hydropower dam in Seko, a remote sub-district in North Luwu, Sulawesi that is home to several indigenous communities.Some residents support the project, but many others have resisted since developers arrived in 2014, launching road blockades and protests.Thirteen residents have been imprisoned for involvement in an August 2016 demonstration in which protestors dismantled tents used by company workers and took drilling samples.Villagers allege people opposed to the dam have been arrested with force, have had to flee their homes, and that even school children have been beaten. In October 2014, when developers entered Seko and Central Seko to begin preliminary work on a 480-megawatt hydroelectric dam, the communities living there say no one asked their permission.The area, in the Seko Subdistrict of North Luwu, in the southern part of Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, is home to indigenous peoples including the Pohoneang, Hoyyane and Amballong.Without seeking consent from these communities, contractors entered the area and planted stakes around the project’s borders and the survey area, locals say. This resulted in the developers having to pay a ritual fine of ten million rupiahs (around US$ 750) and a water buffalo to the local communities. This ritual-fining incident was followed by efforts by the communities to persuade the company not to pursue their activities within the villages’ traditional landholdings.Then, the situation reversed: The company reported the incident as an extortion attempt by local people.This was just the first salvo in a fierce and ongoing struggle between those who support the project and those who oppose it, fearing their land and way of life is at risk.READ ALSO: In remote Indonesian villages, indigenous communities fight a hydropower damOne of the survey pegs put in place by hydropower developers. Photo courtesy of Mahir Takaka.The dam, to be constructed by the Seko Power Prima Company, is part of a broader plan to build 1,154-megawatts of hydropower in the region. Many residents fear hydroelectric development will lead to villages being separated from each other and land being inundated.The plans have also raised fears that the dam’s construction will be the first step in bringing mining and other extractive industries into the area. Mining concessions have already cropped up in North Luwu: Iron ore mining company PT Kalla Arebamma is conducting preliminary environmental studies for a 6,812-hectare concession, while Citra Palu Mineral holds 36,382 hectares in a gold-mining area.Mongabay-Indonesia made repeated attempts to contact PT Seko Power Prima management. Finally, on April 17, 2017 project manager Ginandjar agreed to a meeting.“I see the news in various media, and it’s not balanced,” he said.  “They don’t understand the substance.”Claims the dam will inundate land or separate villages are misguided, Ginandjar said. “No one will be harmed. It’s bewildering. Work hasn’t started but it’s already being rejected.” The company is still in the survey stage, he said, and has not yet settled on a final design. Once they have, they will meet with villagers again. “Where community land will be affected, we will pay accordingly.”In his view, people who oppose the dam do so without justification. “They have only one response: refusal of hydropower. Why they refuse? That they also do not know. The important thing is to refuse,” he said.The project and associated infrastructure will bring in 2.5 trillion rupiah (around $188 million) in foreign investment, and its construction will employ 6,000 people, he said. “This hydropower plant is for the benefit of the people. Why, really, is it being blocked like this?”Seko residents protest the dam, holding a banner proclaiming that they are indigenous Pohoneang and Hoyyane Peoples opposed to the Seko Power Prima hydroelectic project. Photo courtesy of Aman Tana Luwu.A divided communitySome local groups do support the project. In August 2015, NGOs who were part of the Network Node Activities of North Luwu (abbreviated as “Sijalu” in Indonesian) organized a demonstration in front of the local House of Representatives, urging the government to speed up the construction of the hydropower plant. The district’s representatives responded positively, stating that the upcoming general assembly would give permission for the construction of the plant.Others have taken a stand against it. In October 2015, developers, guarded by around 70 members of Indonesia’s elite mobile police force headed to Seko. Community members blocked the road.In May 2016, they once again blockaded the access road to Central Seko. “We listen to our sources. If we hear that the company’s heavy equipment is coming, we block them,” said Andri Karyo, a local resident active in the resistance to the dam.Then, on May 17, the police took Karyo and another local in for questioning. “Myself and Mr. Daniel were taken to the police HQ in North Luwu. They questioned us and treated us well,” Karyo said.This police intervention made the people of Seko worried, and the blockade was abandoned. “Apparently, this was their strategy. They detained us, distracting the people, and so the heavy equipment went rolling in,” Karyo said.Poor roads make the journey to villages in Seko long, grueling and expensive. Motorcycle taxi drivers, who spend much of the trip pushing their bikes, charge passengers as much as 1.2 million rupiah ($90, a large sum in rural Indonesia) for the journey. Photo by Eko Rusdianto/Mongabay.Despite this initial setback, resistance to the project has continued. In August 2016, a handful of residents went to a site in Basseang where the company has begun exploratory drilling, dismantled the tents used by workers and used them to cover up construction machinery. They also confiscated mineral samples from the drilling.“Our brothers in Central Seko are not bad people. We don’t want to pick a fight with them. That’s why we carefully dismantled the tents and we returned the drilled samples to the earth around there, because that’s where they came from,” said Yulius Patoo, another local resident opposed to the dam.“The demonstration was very tense. There were hundreds of us, some did some destruction. That happened,” Karyo conceded.Four witnesses identified people they claimed masterminded the demonstration, twelve of whom were arrested on Oct. 20, 2016.“I know that two [of the witnesses] were workers on location. When we demonstrated in Ratte – where they were planning to build the turbine’s lodge – they were there. One other person was at the company’s base camp at that time, quite far from where things happened. The fourth was not even in Seko at the time,” said Karyo.According to Karyo, the 12 detainees were arrested with violence. On October 23, he and a lawyer made the lengthy journey to the provincial capital of Makassar to submit an official report. “At that time, they refused our report. The provincial chief of police said that our case’s dossier was incomplete,” Karyo said.On October 29, Karyo himself was arrested, making him the final member of the group now referred to as the Seko 13.In January 2017, the case was handed over to the District Attorney’s officer, and the trial commenced January 11. The charges amongst the defendants included group acts of vandalism, individual acts of vandalism, and threats with violence.  All of the Seko 13 were found guilty. On March 27, the judge handed down 7-month sentences to all of the defendants.“Nonetheless, our resistance continues. Prison is not the end of everything,” Karyo said.The Seko 13 (in orange prison vests) and their families. Photo courtesy of Desma Warty.Ongoing resistanceDespite the detentions and the ongoing trial, community protests against the dam continued unabated throughout late 2016 and early 2017.A wave of protests against the dam was organized in late December. Then, on December 28, a meeting was held between residents, the police and the hydropower company. This meeting failed to result in any resolution, with those residents who oppose the dam continuing to refuse its development.In the wake of this meeting, yet another Seko resident was detained. On Jan. 7, 39-year-old Amisandi, one of those strongly opposed to the project, set off from the village, having accepted an invitation to meet with company representatives in Massamba. On Jan. 9, he was arrested, and he has remained in detention ever since.According to Amisandi’s lawyer, Nasrum, the company filed a police report at around 11 a.m., and Amisandi was arrested just three hours later. “After the report, there should have been an investigation, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence for an arrest warrant,” said Nasrum, who is part of the Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago Defenders Association (abbreviated in Indonesian as PPMAN). He argues that Amisandi’s arrest was a violation of due process.Additional allegations of human rights abuses have emerged in a related case.Two residents of Tana Makaleang, one of the villages at the center of the resistance to the dam, began the long journey to Massamba on March 5 to serve as witnesses in Amisandi’s case. The two men — 18-year-old Ivan Stovia and 32-year-old Aris Marlon — allege they were detained en route and subject to brutal treatment by the police.“My hands were grabbed right away. We were forcibly brought into a house,” Marlon told Mongabay-Indonesia. “We were brought to the kitchen, sat on a bench, asked all sorts of questions.”According to Marlon, he was beaten during questioning, receiving strikes to his face, head and ribs before being transferred to Sae, the future dam site and location of the Seko Prima Power company basecamp. Stovia also told Mongabay he was hit three times on the back of the head.In Sae, Marlon said, they slept under police guard. “There was a mattress, and also a blanket. My hands remained tied, and my feet were also chained up. With a padlock,” he said.The following day, the men said, they were loaded into vehicles owned by the power company and transferred to the North Luwu police station, where the two were held overnight. Marlon was then locked up on charges connected to the August 2016 protests. Then, he said, a police officer offered to release him in exchange for signing a statement agreeing to take no part in future actions against the company. Marlon agreed and was released.Local police declined to comment on the case.A view of the Betue River Valley in the Sae area. Plans are underway to dam the valley for hyrdoelectric power. Photo by Eko Rusdianto/Mongabay.More fallout from December demonstrationsOn the evening of Jan. 25, 2017, contacts from Seko contacted Mongabay-Indonesia, alleging that three students at the Seko I Public High School were slapped at school after participating in the Dec. 28 demonstration.“They are still schoolchildren. Why do they have to beat them up? They were just concerned about their ancestors’ land,” said Dominggus C. Paoangan, one of the Seko residents who is now in jail“Ideally, everyone should honor this mandate [to protect the indigenous rights]. The government, the company, and all the people should sit down together. The reality now is not like this,” said Safriadi, the people’s lawyer.On Jan. 29, 2017, a group of officials and company representatives arrived in Pokap’ang village to meet with residents. The group included the North Luwu Vice Regent Thahar Rum, district police chief Dhafi, PT Seko Prima Power project manager Ginanjar, village headmen and other local officials, and dozens of police.According to Ab, a Seko resident, the meeting was conducted in the presence of about 60 police and went quietly, with residents conveying their demands: no hydropower plant, and an explanation for why the school children were hit.“The police didn’t accept it. Women who read out petitions were reprimanded, and they wanted to take the papers. But the women hid them in their bras,” Ab said.After that, the officials headed to Seko Padang, then onward to Massamba to catch a flight. However, about 40 police remained behind.On Feb. 1, a local sent a message to Mongabay-Indonesia: “The people of Seko are increasingly feeling threatened… Almost all of the adult men have taken refuge in the forest, because they are threatened with arrest.”The following day, another message came: “Seko Central is empty, even babies have been evacuated because of the officials. They really have no conscience. Only women are staying, not more than 30 remain.”Houses in the Sodangan area of Seko Padang, one of the areas affected by the project. Photo by Eko Rusdianto/Mongabay.According to Ab, villagers were chased through the forest by police and the village headman, fleeing all the way to the neighboring province of West Sulawesi. The fleeing residents said they saw flashlights in the forest and, at one point, heard a shot.In a telephone interview, North Luwu District Head Indah Putri Indriana said the delegation visited Seko because the North Luwu Police Chief is a new official and wanted to learn more about the region and the conflict over the Seko dam. The residents’ flight to the forest was due to incorrect information, she said.The police chief for North Luwu, Adjunct Commissioner Dhafi said the meeting aimed to build communication with the community. During the meeting, he said, the community was informed about the importance of developing the region. From a legal standpoint, Dhafi emphasized, the police are on the side of the community. “If companies act outside the legal framework, the police will be the front guard,” he said.However, Dhafi said the fact that the meeting was attended mostly by women and children made him suspicious. “The men were missing. From this I knew a provocateur was in action,” he said.“Initially, there was no intention of making arrests. Because information from our intel said there was a provocateur named Idris Abdullah, an outsider, I ordered a search,” he told Mongabay-Indonesia.According to Dhafi, Abdullah was responsible for spreading the rumor people who oppose the hydropower plant would be arrested. As a result, police and members of the District Military Command were stationed in the area to provide security for citizens and investors.“Hydroelectric power is a national program. Of course we will stand guard. Mainly, we want to bring comfort to the people. This is one of the requests of the citizens: that no other people, or any kind of provocateur, will approach the citizens,” he said.Idris Abdullah is part of a legal team giving advice to Seko residents about the ongoing trial.“He is part of our team,” said Syafriadi, one of the residents’ lawyers. “I, along with the people, asked him to go to Seko. That does not make him a provocateur. Essentially, it was like a field school, so that people could understand the law. That the trial takes a long time, for example.”“We are always terrorized like this,” one resident said by phone. “We will continue to resist. This will not weaken our struggle.”Women’s encampment against the hydropower project. Photo courtesy of Aman.Women continue to protestIn the weeks following the incidents in February, a group of women decided to set up a tent encampment at one of the project sites. Hundreds of women gathered there to form a blockade against the company’s activities, setting up a fence around company equipment.On March 25, police came to disband the protests, but failed when a mother of three became hysterical and started tearing off her clothes, a villager informed Mongabay-Indonesia: “It was already a shame to see these other women treated so improperly. So when this woman began undressing, the police retreated.”On March 27, the same day the verdict for the Seko 13 was handed down, police came to disperse the protest. This time, the women couldn’t resist. Their tent and fence were dismantled, their clothing thrown around in the tent, their red and white flag lowered. Even their food supplies were destroyed.“I don’t know why we, who only want peace and to defend our rights as indigenous people and our common interests, not only individual gains, are always seen as being on the wrong,” said villager Dominggus Paoangan. “It seems that whatever we do in Seko, it would always make us have troubles with the law.”This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team. A version of this article was first published on our Indonesian site on Sept. 8, 2017, with updates throughout January, February March and April.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

Guaviare: Colombia’s frontline in the country’s battle to stop deforestation in the Amazon

first_imgArticle published by Genevieve Belmaker Almost 90 percent of the municipalities that have been deemed as needing special attention post-conflict are home to national parks, forest reserves, or have other environmental restrictions within the territory.FARC jungle and mountain strongholds in the most rural parts of the country are home to what experts describe as a “significant share of the country’s natural resources.”In Chiribiquite National Park, one of the most important ecological zones in the world, human impact is starting to take its toll. SAN JOSE DEL GUAVIARE, Colombia – Flying over the gateway to the Amazon in Colombia’s Chiribiquite National Park, the scene below is a paradise of nature untouched. Rivers snake through dense forest, carving pristine beaches from the banks, while the only breaks in the treeline are from the rocks that soar up over the park.This area is one of the most important ecological zones in the world: the indigenous peoples who live here are uncontacted by the outside world and the ecosystems are so important for research that the park is always closed to visitors.Much of this region used to be as wild and as densely forested as this, but just beyond the protected park area patches of farmland that have been cut into the forest begin to appear. In some spots, the ground smolders from recent slash-and-burn clearings. On others you can see the pin-prick regularity of palm plantings, or herds of cattle.“There’s a lot of deforestation,” says pilot Samuel Nino, who from his cockpit 4,000 feet up regularly sees the clearances better than anyone on land. “They used to clear small parcels so that they would be hard to find and use them for growing coca, but now they are clearing for farming.”This is Guaviare, a province that straddles Colombia’s eastern plains and jungle regions, and part of the front line in the country’s battle to stop deforestation in the Amazon. An advancing agricultural frontier has meant this area has seen some of the worst rates of deforestation in the country in recent years, but now it is also a region facing a new threat: the withdrawal of soldiers from the left-wing FARC guerilla group.Looking over the river, you can see Macarena National Park. In the distance you can see the lighter green patches where the original forest has been cleared for agriculture. Photo by Laura Dixon for Mongabay.FARC waged war against the Colombian state for over 50 years. While the guerilla were hardly careful guardians of the forest – they too, were involved in deforestation and the clearing of jungle to grow coca for cocaine – their presence meant that huge swathes of the country were off limits to outsiders.Though counterintuitive on the surface, there are concerns that the departure of these rebels from their rural strongholds may lead to heightened deforestation and further exploitation in some of the country’s most pristine territories. With a peace deal now in place, and some 7,000 rebel soldiers demobilizing in specially-designed camps all over the country, there are concerns that while their former strongholds are now safer for local communities, these areas’ natural resources may now be at greater risk than ever.“There’s no doubt that the peace process changes things,” says Carolina Gil, the Colombia country director for the Amazon Conservation Team, a non-profit that partners with indigenous peoples to protect the Amazon. “And there are certainly threats, particularly in the Amazon, that things like illegal mining, illicit crop growing, the expansion of the agricultural frontier, and illegal logging could return.”The Guaviare region is home to a number of these ancient murals, with paintings of animals, people, and sea creatures. One theory is they were painted by the indigenous people to point the way to the Chiribiquete National Park. Photo by Laura Dixon for Mongabay.Precisely because FARC strongholds were in the jungles and mountains in the most rural parts of the country, the areas once controlled by them are home to a “significant share of the country’s natural resources,” says Lorenzo Morales, a journalist and an adjunct professor at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, who has written a report on this subject for the Inter-American Dialogue.Many of the people who live in this region came during the “coca boom” years of the 1970s and early 80s, when many forest areas were cleared for plantations to make cocaine. The owners of this ranch are hoping eco-tourism will offer them a more sustainable livelihood. Photo by Laura Dixon for Mongabay.The UN figures he quotes in his report are stark: almost 90 percent of the municipalities that have been deemed as needing special attention post-conflict are home to national parks, forest reserves, or have other environmental restrictions within the territory.He explains the apparent paradox like this: while illegal armed groups caused severe environmental damage, their presence “inadvertently fostered the conservation of areas that remain beyond the reach of legal economic development projects.”The withdrawal of FARC, however, could create complications.“The constraint that kept many areas inaccessible will be lifted, opening the way for new populations to settle former conflict zones and for infrastructure and legal industries,” Morales writes in the report. That includes opportunities for agriculture, cattle ranching, mining, and oil exploration to expand into environmentally sensitive areas.Miles of forestsForests currently cover around 52 percent of Colombian territory — or 60 million hectares — making it the country with the eighth most extensive forest coverage in the world. Some 67 percent of these forests are located in the Amazon region, making it a particularly important carbon sink for its ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.The country has set itself a lofty target: it wants to have zero net deforestation in the Amazon by 2020, and to have stopped the loss of all natural forest by 2030 but even before the peace deal, the country was battling deforestation on a number of fronts.Morales’ report quotes government figures showing that 2015 saw the loss of around 124,000 hectares (306,000 acres) of woodland, almost half of which was in the Amazon region. The main drivers include illegal mining, illicit crop cultivation, and illegal logging, all of which experts say could increase temporarily in the vacuum that follows the departure of FARC.Another big challenge is coca. Despite huge sums of money being spent trying to cut production, coca plantations land has increased in recent years, from 69,000 hectares in 2014 to 96,000 in 2015. In the savannahs, and even in areas alongside the national parks, coca planting is up. In Chiribiquete, along the Tacunema River, the distance between coca crops and the park border shrank to 10 kilometres (6 miles) in 2015. That is less than the distance from New York’s La Guardia airport to Trump Tower in Manhattan.“In the national parks the [conservation] laws are strict, but in some ways there’s no capacity of enforcement,” explains Brigitte Baptiste, a biologist and the Colombia director of the Humboldt Institute, a research institute. “There are park rangers but often very few people in charge of huge areas of woodland.”But there are also potential challenges in controlling the spread of legal developments that may hold risks for these forest regions and the people that live there.“At present, the state’s weakness in regulating economic activity — both legal and illegal — poses several risks,” writes Morales. “…[including that] legitimate economic activities might be undertaken in conflict-affected areas in a disorganized way, and at the expense of ecosystems and environmental services,” he warns in the report.“The private sector,” he adds, “is often more nimble than the state in exploiting new on-the-ground realities, impeding the government’s ability to regulate activity, and ensuring sustainable development.”Colombia is a country rich in oil and minerals: it has emeralds and coltan – a metal ore used in mobile phones and computers, oil and gold, but the report points out that “many requests for mining titles are also in areas of great environmental value, including in indigenous reserves in the Amazon.”Here too, is an area of potential conflict in a “post-conflict” Colombia. Questions abound over what resources should be exploited to benefit the nation, and which should be protected. The withdrawal of FARC in some regions could leave room for the petroleum or mining sectors to move in, and the cost for people living in those areas is unknown.A river flows through the flatland plains near San José del Guaviare. Photo by Laura Dixon for Mongabay.Juan-Carlos Altamirano, an economist at the World Resources Institute in Washington DC, recently visited Colombia. He says some communities feel under threat. “They fear there might be land grabbing, competition for resources, and they are afraid that greater stability will also bring more multinationals,” he said. “The threat is there.”People in some regions, he says, fear what is waiting to be discovered in the soil under their land and the potential money to be made from it.“The problem in Colombia is that what is underground is the property of the nation,”Altamirano said. “Gold, oil, minerals — in those cases the Colombian state can say its in the interest of developing your region because you are, literally in some cases, sitting on a gold mine.”Strategic landThe first foreign settlers to the Guaviare region were the Spanish colonizers who came seeking their wealth in the new world, but the biggest newcomer influx came about 35 years ago, during the time of the coca bonanza. Farmers were drawn here from all over the country, clearing forests and riversides for their smallholdings.“This was pure virgin forest before the colonizers arrived,” explains Arnando Lopez, an ecotourism guide and a consultant for the national parks service. “Then we had the marihuana, poppy and coca for years. For ten years or so there was a bonanza, things were good, but what came next was very bad.”This area — in a strategic position for both the guerrilla and the drug cartels — became a place known for kidnappings, murders, and drugs. Infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s mega-processing laboratory, Tranquilandia, was nearby. Locals remember when it was unsafe to go out at night, or the morning they woke up to find more than 30 people had been massacred by right-wing paramilitaries.The hills and forests surrounding San José were once roamed by FARC guerrillas and the paramilitaries who fought against them leaving villages like Bocas del Raudal, a riverside settlement where the houses are painted pink, turquoise and yellow, emptied. A population of 200 is now around 35; the others left out of fear.Economic developmentStories like this can be found all over Colombia. Nationwide there are an estimated six million internally displaced people, making Colombia second only to Syria for the number of domestic refugees. And while the peace process has brought great hope, even on this issue, there are warning sings that their return will need to be carefully managed.“If economic development is not well-planned,” warns Paulina Arroyo, the Andes-Amazon officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, “as former FARC members and victims of the conflict return home to reclaim land, these population shifts could also bring with them increased deforestation, unregulated mining and unsustainable use of resources.”But while many of the experts contacted for this story conceded this was a time for caution, they also said that if handled well, the peace process also offers a unique opportunity to implement sustainable economic development while regulating land use and protecting land rights, indigenous rights and conservation areas.Bocas del Raudal, a community hard-hit by the conflict and which lost more than a quarter of its population during the war as people who felt under threat fled for their lives. Photo by Laura Dixon for Mongabay.“There are some very big pressures in places like Caqueta, Guaviare,” the ACT’s Carolina Gil said.  “How we manage them is the challenge. But this is also an opportunity, not just for the local communities, who are the best guardians of the forests, but also for the country.”Similarly, although sounding a note of caution, Morales calls this moment “an unprecedented opportunity for sustainable rural development in Colombia”: it just needs to be handled properly.Back in Guaviare, Armando stops an open-back jeep on a steep dirt track. There is young forest in front of us, the occasional bright yellow flower of one of the local trees dotting the horizon. It is an area that was cleared by local farmers but which is now regenerating, where hunting is now banned and where they have seen the return of wild cats. Projects like these, he says, show that things can even get better.“We are in a transition,” Armando says. “For many years this area was used for coca cultivation. Now these lands are being regenerated. This is not original forest, but we are trying to help the land recover, and we’re doing it by making the families that live here the protectors.”Banner image: Rock formations near San José del Guaviare. Photo by Laura Dixon for Mongabay.Laura Dixon is a freelance journalist based in Colombia. You can find her on Twitter at @LauraDixon 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. 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 Amazon People, Amazon Rainforest, Conflict, Deforestation, Forests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabbing last_img read more

Global climate change increasing risk of crop yield losses and food insecurity in the tropical Andes

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Adaptation To Climate Change, Agriculture, Climate Change, Climate Change And Food, Environment, Food, food security, Impact Of Climate Change, Subsistence Agriculture Findings published last month in the journal Global Change Biology portend a difficult path to rural agricultural adaptation in the tropical Andes and drastically reduced crop yields at a time of growing populations and food insecurity.Researchers found that, with a temperature increase as small as 1.3 degrees C to 2.6 degrees C, nearly all corn plants died when grown at the same elevations as previous years and generations — either eaten by birds or ridden with pests.When the same crop was grown at a higher elevation in order to stay within its temperature comfort zone, the changing soils had an impact. Plants survived with fewer pests, but the crop yield and corn quality was reduced and thus the market value was diminished. Climate scientists have long observed the adverse impacts of global warming on forest tree and plant species in tropical regions, which force upslope migrations as these species struggle to repopulate and stay within their narrow temperature comfort zones.Now, a trio of tropical biologists have shifted their forest research techniques to the rural farming regions of the Peruvian tropical Andes and the warming impact on two dietary staples of Latin America — potatoes and corn. Their findings, published last month in the journal Global Change Biology, are grim, portending a difficult path to rural agricultural adaptation and drastically reduced crop yields at a time of growing populations and food insecurity.“For these crops, which are representative of other crops grown in the tropics, it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t outcome,” said Kenneth Feeley, a tropical biologist at the University of Miami and a study co-author. “If farmers ignore climate change and keep farming the same fields they always have, we find it’s going to be disastrous for these crops.”The researchers, led by biologist Richard Tito, a native Quechua Indian, found that, with a temperature increase as small as 1.3 degrees C to 2.6 degrees C, nearly all the corn plants died when grown at the same elevations as previous years and generations — either eaten by birds or ridden with pests.When the same crop was grown at a higher elevation in order to stay within its temperature comfort zone, the changing soils had an impact. Plants survived with fewer pests, but the crop yield and corn quality was reduced and thus the market value was diminished.View of the study area (Huamburque, southern Peru) showing small scale farming plots on the steep of Andean landscape. Photo by Catherine Bravo.The climate impact on potato farmers was worse. They are already farming on mountain tops, so migrating higher is not an option. With the same temperature increases, the potato plants survived, but the tuber production was greatly deformed and reduced to the point of virtually no market value.With both crops, only local fertilizers like manure were used, and no pesticides; rural farmers don’t have the funds for the agricultural tools commonly available to large-scale farming. Weed control was done by hand, also simulating the conditions of rural farmers.This field research took place over one growing season in the remote Huamburque area in the southern Peruvian department of Ayachucho in the Andean Amazon basin. Elevations ranged between 3,000 and 4,000 meters. Crops grown there support rural nearby villages, but a portion of the yield is also sold in large population centers such as Lima and Cusco.The researchers said they expected corn and potato farmers in Andean regions of Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia to experience the same challenges.More than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes grow in the Andean highlands and many Andean people rely heavily on potato production. Photo by Saúl M. Tito.“We need to do more experiments in more places with more crops,” Feeley said. “But there is no reason to think these results are unique. We’re already hearing about farmers moving their coffee and chocolate crops higher upslope because of warming temperatures.”For Tito, who grew up in the Peruvian Andes and for whom Spanish is his second language, this research held a special importance. Agricultural experiments related to climate change are often done in greenhouses under controlled conditions, but Tito was able to gain the trust of the Andean farmers and conduct the research in their fields under actual climatic conditions.“I am a member of the local community and I know the study area, the local farmers and their rich traditional knowledge,” said Tito, who recently received his PhD from the Instituto de Biologia at the Universisdade Federal de Uberlandia in Brazil. “Because the population is skyrocketing, climate is changing and the impact on food production is a real threat, a real motivation for me in this research is to recommend effective management strategies.”Severe attacks by stem-borer caterpillars on potato plants have grown under warmer temperatures. Photo by Richard Tito.Feeley said that for these rural farmers in remote Andean regions that are difficult to access, there are some options. Peru has an enormous variety of corn and potatoes, and he recommended farmers try shifting to varieties that may be more tolerant of warming temperatures. Because of limited funds, these farmers aren’t likely to buy commercial fertilizer, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds (GMOs). Irrigation is also unlikely.Peru’s international agricultural center also studies potato production and is actively looking for solutions to protect crops from climate change. Feeley said he hopes experts there will reach out to remote, rural farmers with assistance.“It’s always important to stress that climate change is having and going to have real impacts on lots of people through food,” Feeley said. “And what we found is that relatively small changes in temperature can have a huge effect on the livelihoods and health of millions of people.“If people can’t live in these rural areas because of reduced food production, they will move to the cities and you will have more urban slums. Rural farmers are going to need help adapting. We really want to avoid more climate refugees moving around within countries.”A typical potato farm where can you see different color of flowers indicating different varieties grown in the same plot. Photo by Saúl M. Tito.CitationTito, R., Vasconcelos, H. L., & Feeley, K. J. (2017). Global Climate Change Increases Risk of Crop Yield Losses and Food Insecurity in the Tropical Andes. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.13959Justin Catanoso is a regular contributor to Mongabay and a professor of journalism at Wake Forest University in North Carolina USA. Follow him on Twitter: @jcatanoso.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

Brilliant blue tarantula among potentially new species discovered in Guyana

first_imgIn the forests of the Potaro plateau of Guyana, scientists have discovered a bright blue tarantula that is likely new to science.The discovery was part of a larger biodiversity assessment survey of the Kaieteur Plateau and Upper Potaro area of Guyana, within the Pakaraima Mountains range.Overall, the team uncovered more than 30 species that are potentially new to science, and found several species that are known only from the Kaieteur Plateau-Upper Potaro region and nowhere else. While walking through the forests of Guyana’s Potaro Plateau one night in 2014, herpetologist Andrew Snyder noticed a flash of bright cobalt blue peeking out of hole in a rotting tree stump. When Snyder took a closer look, he noticed that his flashlight had illuminated a small tarantula’s blue legs. The tree stump had numerous small holes, and nearly every hole housed a similar blue tarantula.“I have spent years conducting surveys in Guyana … and I immediately knew that this one was unlike any species I have encountered before,” Snyder wrote recently. “Prior to this, I had only ever encountered individual tarantulas, either outside of a burrow like with the Goliath Bird-eaters, walking through the leaf-litter, or clinging to the sides of trees.”While the blue tarantula is yet to be formally described, it is most likely new to science, Snyder added.Forests and rivers of the Kaieteur. Photo by Andrew Snyder.The tarantula is not the only potentially new species to be discovered on the Potaro Plateau during the 2014 survey. Snyder was part of a larger Biodiversity Assessment Team (BAT) that had gone to the Kaieteur Plateau and Upper Potaro area of Guyana, within the Pakaraima Mountains range, to survey the region’s largely undocumented plant and animal diversity. The team consisted of Guyanese and international scientists, Guyanese students and local Patamona Amerindian community members.Overall, the BAT uncovered more than 30 species that are likely new to science, according to a report published last week by WWF Guianas, The University of Guyana, the Protected Areas Commission and Global Wildlife Conservation.These include three plants, six species of fish, a frog, and a few dragonflies and beetles. Many species the team recorded, such as the Kaieteur golden rocket frog (Anomaloglossus beebei) and the Groete Creek carrying frog (Stefania evansi), are known only from the Potaro plateau and nowhere else. The region is also home to several charismatic species such as the jaguar (Panthera onca), Guianan cock of the rock (Rupicola rupicola), and the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari).“This rapid inventory was able to provide an important glimpse into this special area and habitats,” Snyder wrote, “though more work is necessary to shed light on all of the region’s secrets.”The Kaieteur golden rocket frog in known only from the Kaieteur plateau region. Photo by Timothy J. Colston.The species-rich region, however, is threatened by ongoing gold and diamond mining. “Today, mining continues in the Upper Potaro region, and even within the Park [Kaieteur National Park] and its buffer zone,” the authors write in the report.The effects of gold mining are not limited to clearing of land. Mining, especially for gold, has increased turbidity levels of the Potaro river, the authors add, while the mercury used to separate gold from other materials also ends up in the river, contaminating it.“Deforestation and water pollution, which result from mining activities occurring upstream, threaten both the safe freshwater resources of the local communities, as well as habitats and biodiversity- both outside and within the park,” the report warns.Local communities heavily rely on healthy rivers and forests of the Kaieteur and Upper Potaro area in Guyana for their wellbeing. Photo by Andrew Snyder.This undescribed tarantula was found as part of a biodiversity survey in the Potaro plateau of Guyana. Photo by Andrew Snyder. Article published by Shreya Dasgupta 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 Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Frogs, Gold Mining, Illegal Mining, Invertebrates, Logging, Mammals, Mining, New Species, Plants, Rainforests, Species Discovery, Wildlife last_img read more

McCullough, San Miguel beat NLEX to pump life into flatlining playoff bid

first_imgHeavy rain brings some relief in Australia PLAY LIST 00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption Ukrainian prime minister resigns after recordings published 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Christian Standhardinger had 12 points while Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter each tossed 11 as the Beermen improved to 3-5 in the midseason conference.NLEX leaned on reinforcement Olu Ashaulu’s 31 points and 15 rebounds—most coming in a spirited run in the stretch—to go with Juami Tiongson’s 14 and two more double-digit performances off the bench in the Road Warriors’ penultimate stand in the conference.San Miguel resumes its bid of a sweep of its remaining games against  Phoenix on July 10 at the Big Dome.Now with a 2-8 card, the Road Warriors hope to tab one more victory before ending their unproductive campaign in the midseason conference when they go up against the Fuel Masters on July 12 at Cuneta Astrodome.ADVERTISEMENT Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knicks Jordan Clarkson rocks ‘Philippine basketball’ shirt during training San Miguel Beer held off hard-fighting NLEX, 109-105, to kickstart a desperation bid to save its PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign and keep a shot at a Triple Crown alive Friday night at Mall of Arena in Pasay.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted LATEST STORIEScenter_img Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists View comments Chris McCullough, the Beermen’s latest addition to their bevy cast of weapons, ignited a 16-0 run in the third period—within it a barrage of triples to go with Marcio Lassiter’s —to erect a massive cushion going into the final frame.The New York native finished with 47 points and 10 rebounds for San Miguel, just five markers short of matching the most for an import’s debut set by Eugene Phelps, then of Phoenix.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“Obviously we’re not happy with the win because we let (NLEX) recover,” coach Leo Austria, whose Beermen averted a meltdown after leading by as many as 29 in the contest.“But I have to give credit to some of my players—especially to my import because he was out there to win. He’s the key why we were able to salvage a win, something that could give us a chance to get to the second round,” he added. Taal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughinglast_img read more

A red-ink exhibit for kids

first_imgThe Children’s Museum of Los Angeles has been bogged down by poor planning, little oversight and lack of donations, raising concern that local taxpayers might get stuck with the bill, according to an audit released Wednesday. The cost has ballooned to $53 million for construction and exhibits for the San Fernando Valley’s first major museum, pitched to city leaders seven years ago as a $10 million public-private partnership. Public dollars have covered nearly 70 percent of the cost so far, and the building is expected to be completed within a few weeks. Now, the museum’s board needs to drum up $22 million in less than two years to install the exhibits for an opening by March 2009. With less than half that amount raised in seven years, the audit questions whether the museum board can find the money in time and warns that the city might have to step in again with more funds. “This audit is a wake-up call to the mayor and council to say we need to look at this,” said Controller Laura Chick, who conducted the audit. “We have not been properly overseeing this project. It’s been a hands-off approach. “We need a children’s museum in this city. The taxpayers have given a whole lot of their money to get it, and we’re in a shaky situation, and I think we have to prop up this agency more.” Chick recommends that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council develop a plan in case the museum board can’t find the money to complete and operate the museum, although a city takeover is not a prospect that would sit well with her or Villaraigosa. “It’s clearly in the city’s best interest to have a viable children’s museum in the San Fernando Valley,” said Matt Szabo, a spokesman for the mayor. “The mayor prefers that the children’s museum be run and operated by a community- based nonprofit.” Museum Executive Director Cecilia Aguilera Glassman said fundraising has accelerated recently, and next month she expects to announce the largest donation the museum has ever received. “That would go a long way to comforting people as to the financial feasibility of the museum,” said Glassman, who was hired six months ago to spark fundraising. “I do not believe the city will ever be in a position of having to take over the museum.” The audit was requested in May by Councilman Richard Alarc n after contractors threatened to walk off the job unless they were paid $3.3 million they were owed. The council approved a rare $1.75 million emergency loan from the city’s reserve fund, on the condition that the museum match the loan in 30 days, which it did. The bailout put the spotlight on the museum’s failure to attract private donations. Some $19 million of the nearly $29 million raised so far has come from city and state funds. Alarc n, who now represents the Northeast Valley, said he expects the museum will step up its fundraising efforts but agrees with Chick’s recommendation that the city needs a backup plan. “If things get bad …, I believe we certainly could consider the possibility of taking ownership and managing it,” he said, noting that the city manages the Los Angeles Zoo and other public facilities. Chick’s audit puts the blame on the museum board and city officials for the project cost. The museum board spent more than $4.8 million on project designs that were later scrapped. And board members chose an innovative, environmentally friendly design that cost $30 million when they only had $20 million available, according to the audit. Later, the city released Proposition K park funds for construction even though the board could not show it had the money or ability to operate the facility once the building was finished. The museum has been a favorite project of former City Councilman Alex Padilla. When its board closed the museum’s downtown site in 2000, he persuaded members to move the facility to the Hansen Dam Recreation Area in the Northeast Valley. The city-owned land is leased to the museum for $1 a year. City officials told auditors they were advised that the project was politically supported by Padilla and that they should take a hands-off approach and let the museum staff oversee it. “City managers in charge of the administration of the program indicated that, while they felt uncomfortable about releasing the funds to the (Children’s Museum of Los Angeles), the CMLA had significant political support that made it harder for them to withhold any funding,” the audit found. Padilla said the Proposition K oversight committee followed the rules in awarding the museum funding. “Nowhere does it say rules were broken or qualifications not met to get the funding,” Padilla said. “The fundraising challenges were certainly no news to anybody. Every time there has been a crisis or a shortfall, the museum manages to overcome.” kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Opinion: Lloris’ exit would be horrible, but please don’t treat fans like mugs

first_img1 A Tottenham fan writes…Let’s be clear: I bloody love Hugo Lloris and would like nothing more than to see him keep his no.1 spot at Spurs.But at the same time I’m pretty fed up of reading rumours he may leave the club.Remember in 2014 when we were worried he might leave? He got a new contract to keep him there until 2019 and we were over the moon. ‘It’s like a new signing’ was the cry on Twitter.But then a year later he was linked with Man United and Lloris even hinted a deal was on the cards. Thankfully David De Gea stayed put, which appeared to have stopped any transfer.Now in 2016 he has reportedly turned down the offer of a contract extension. There’s nothing wrong with that, however, I would like to say this: if he really doesn’t want to be at the club then leave. If Lloris thinks he can earn more money elsewhere then fine. I’ve got no problem with that, but don’t talk about commitment in one sentence and then say ‘we will see what will happen’ in the next.Lloris is one of football’s finest goalkeepers and easily the best I’ve seen in a Tottenham shirt in my lifetime. His presence at the back gives me and many other supporters faith in our defence. “I wouldn’t swap him for any keeper in world football,” Jan Vertonghen said about him.It’s true the relationship between fans and player is good, so let’s hope he doesn’t treat us like mugs and put us through it all again.His exit would be devastating. It would leave a massive hole, but one that can be filled. Some fans will probably disagree with me, but there are plenty of other great goalkeepers out there. I hope you stay, Hugo, but you should leave if you don’t want to be at Tottenham last_img read more