Chelsea advance in Champions League with 2-1 win over Lille

first_imgChelsea clinched their place in the knock-out stage of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Lille on Tuesday, secured by first-half goals from Tammy Abraham and captain Cesar Azpilicueta.Chelsea, who needed a win to make sure of qualification, had gone five Champions League games at Stamford Bridge without a victory, their longest such run at home in the competition.They were in charge for almost the entire game against Lille who were already condemned to the bottom spot of Group H and fielded an under-strength side.After dominating the opening proceedings under a downpour, Chelsea took the lead in the 19th minute when U.S. striker Christian Pulisic darted forward to feed Willian and the Brazilian’s cut-back cross was turned in by Abraham.The Londoners doubled their lead in the 35th minute when Azpilicueta shook off his marker to score with a close-range header from a corner by Emerson.Former Chelsea striker Loic Remy pulled a goal back for Lille in the 78th minute when his shot went in off the under-side of the bar, setting up a nervous finish for the hosts. Remy wasted a chance to equalise when he shot straight at Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in injury time.The result meant all four English teams in this season’s Champions League – Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Chelsea – have reached the last 16 of the competition.There was further good news for Chelsea as they welcomed back central defender Antonio Rudiger who had previously played only 45 minutes this season due to injuries.last_img read more

In Ecuador, progress stalls on mining dispute between government and indigenous Shuar people

first_imgAmazon Rainforest, Conflict, Environment, Mining Questions abound over how the livelihoods of the Shuar community and the community landholders who live in a militarized space are faringCommunity demands from the Ecuadorian government are numerousShuar people have said they feel besieged by the presence of the military SAN CARLOS DE LIMON, Ecuador – To get to the community of San Carlos de Limón in Ecuador’s southeastern province of Morona Santiago requires traveling on a narrow, zigzagging dirt road for 90 minutes. The trip ends with a brief cable car ride over the Zamora River. En route one can contemplate the majesty of the Cordillera del Cóndor, a mountain range in the south of the Ecuadorian Amazon with an intact forest on the border with Peru.This area will soon become a large open-pit copper mine. The site is part of the 41,760 hectares granted to the Chinese mining company Explorcobres S.A. (EXSA) for the development of the San Carlos-Panantza project. The project has been hampered by the opposition of Shuar communities in the area, who, supported by indigenous, regional and national organizations, claim the ancestry of the land.Tension began last August when a massive police and military operation evicted eight families, a total of 32 people. The group formed the Shuar community of Nankints on land purchased by EXSA to establish their camp. Since then, a series of confrontations, raids and detentions have been unleashed, one police officer has died, and the area has been militarized. The area was declared as a “State of Exception” by the government in mid-December but they have failed to close the NGO Acción Ecológica, which was accused by the government of supporting violent actions.A small checkpoint at the entrance of San Carlos de Limón. Photo by Lalo CalleOverview of the Chinese EXSA mining camp, based on the Nankints community. Photo by Lalo CalleThe main structure of the small town center of San Carlos de Limón – a town near the community of Nankints taken by the Shuar indigenous people for a few days in December to try to stop the advance of the police force – is a multipurpose concrete court with a roof. Today, 50 soldiers have set up tents there to sleep in at night. Another approximately 50 police officers have remained in the area and have occupied some of the community houses and the health center.Captain Garzón (who declined to give his first name), who is in charge of the soldiers temporarily in the area, local residents are at risk. According to Garzón, were it not for the military and police contingents sent by the government to prevent confrontations and mobilizations, San Carlos de Limón would look as desolate as the Shuar communities of Tsuntsuim and Kutukus, located several hours by foot.Each day, a squad of 34 soldiers explores the perimeter for six hours, passing through the more remote communities to take note of the abandoned houses and schools. They also use drones and helicopters. The objective of the operations is to maintain order and keep a register of the settlers “so that there is no strange personnel around,” according to Garzón. He added that during the last weeks of January, under his watch the situation was completely calm. However, since the State of Exception was declared on December 14, the indigenous leadership warned about the displacement of several indigenous populations due to the presence of military and police forces.According to Captain Garzón, if it were not for the military presence, the community of San Carlos de Limón would look desolate. Photo by Lalo CalleIn the absence of a suitable place, soldiers who remain in San Carlos use the football goal to dry their clothes. Photo by Lalo CalleIn the first week of February, a group of Shuar women arrived in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito and gave a press conference explaining the conditions in which they left their homes. They were backed by the women’s leadership of The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Confeniae).One of them was 18-year-old Claudia Chumpi from the Tsuntsuim community, who said that police and military squad had fired shots, raided their homes and broke their doors. With her infant in her arms, Chumpi said that women and children fled to the mountains. Two of her aunts who were pregnant gave birth in the mountains.“I want to ask Rafael Correa to give us our territory back because it is our life, our land,” Chumpi said during the press conference, demanding that Ecuador’s president demilitarize the area. Chumpi added that after walking for days they arrived at the community of Tink where they are taking refuge for now – a place where they endure hardships daily hardships. Ruperto Tsanimp, the president in charge of the Inter-Provincial Federation of Shuar Centers (FISCH), reported that 80 people in that community are displaced.A team of Mongabay reporters attempted to reach Tink but the conditions of the dirt road prevented access.A group of Shuar women arrived in Quito to ask the president to demilitarize the San Carlos-Panantza project area. Photo courtesy of Zambra RadioChumpi said that residents of San Carlos de Limón stole their cookers and gas cylinders during the operation that displaced them. In contrast, the president of San Carlos, Franklin Domínguez, blamed a group of settlers and Shuar indigenous people from Chumpi’s community of causing outrage and attempting to extort some of their fellow locals. He did not give names.Community landholders worried To reach San Carlos de Limón, six police and military controls must be crossed, including one in the Santiago de Panantza parish, which can be accessed only by a secondary road. Although things in Panantza, a community inhabited by settlers who are mostly opposed to the mining operation, appear to be calm now, there were disruptions in the area recently. A few weeks ago the police raided several houses in the town and arrested and jailed four members of the parish committee.The local prosecutor’s office tried to incriminate the parish members for the death of police officer José Mejía in an alleged confrontation in the Esperanza mining camp, established on the land that was once of the Nankints community, according to statements from the prosecution and the Ministry of the Interior.Afterward, in mid-December, President Correa said that Mejía was shot in the head during the ambush of a military truck by a Shuar group.In the absence of evidence, the Provincial Court of Morona Santiago released the community landholders on January 13.“They treated him worse than a criminal, and they pushed him inside the car,” said Julio Reinoso, father of one of the detainees. “These people have no soul.” Reinoso spoke not only of the unpleasant experience his family had to go through due to the unjust detention of his son, but also to the growing concern of the copper exploitation that will develop in the area.“When the mining starts, we will have to leave; nothing will be left […] There are springs of water everywhere, and they will all be contaminated.” He added that he fears that Santiago de Panantza will disappear since the mineral reserve is just below the town center. “We have nowhere to go.”Reinoso’s son, Milton Reinoso, is vice president of the Parish Board of Panantza and was detained for a month. He shares his father’s concern. He explained that the information they have about the mining project is minimal and although most of the inhabitants are against large-scale mining, they are not well-organized enough to oppose it. Father and son also agreed when talking about the peaceful coexistence they have had for years with the Shuar communities that inhabit the area.They also dispute reports of violence from the Shuar side. In interviews with Mongabay they both said that in recent months they knew of no Shuar armed group causing riots, as has been broadcast by the national government on radio and television.Milton Reinoso, vice president of the Parish Board of Santiago de Panantza. Photo by Lalo CalleMilton Reinoso also spoke about his arrest and alleged police mistreatment during his transfer to the maximum security prison in Latacunga, Cotopaxi province. According to him, on the day that the clashes took place, took the life of the police and caused the declaration of State of Exception, he was not in town.“As a precaution, I took my children to San Juan Bosco, with my father and wife…people were afraid that there would be a stray bullet,” he said. However, a few days later the police burst into his home and took him in handcuffs. “They took everybody from the parish board that they managed to find.”He said they handcuffed everybody’s hands behind their backs and locked them in a kind of windowless steel box located in the hopper of a van.“The worst thing was the transfer from Macas (provincial capital) to Latacunga in a car where they take the most terrible criminals.” With nothing to hold onto, they made a 270 kilometer (167 miles) journey at full speed along a bumpy, winding road. “They never stopped when passing through the speed bumps. We all bumped from side to side. We hit our heads; we bled from the nose and also vomited.”Reinoso added that the policemen who transported them pressured them to confess their participation in the death of the police officer. The version is corroborated by John Marín, brother of the president of the Parish Board who was also arrested, 29-year-old Danny Marín. He said that the whole family suffered during the arrest, especially his pregnant sister-in-law.The concern of the community landholders of Santiago de Panantza is shared by the inhabitants of San Carlos de Limón. To reach San Carlos de Limón you have to cross the collapsed community of Nankints, now converted into the La Esperanza camp of the EXSA mining company. It is a fenced perimeter surrounded by threads of barbed wire with several surveillance points, elevated and sheltered by sandbags. Several policemen wearing helmets and armed with rifles inspect every vehicle and its occupants.One of the concerned landholders is Oswaldo Domínguez, uncle of the president of the community. Domínguez said in an interview that he was a supporter of mining in the area for years because he mistakenly thought that it would bring improvements in health and education and work opportunities.“Unfortunately the mining company used me,” Domínguez said. “They never gave us any information and never helped us with projects with innovative visions of the future. They only gave us chickens.” Domínguez added that there was a lack of communication about the San Carlos-Panantza mining project.“They have not said where the tailing pit [dumping area] is, where they are going to put the tailings or the dimensions of the cut,” he said. He said he is also worried about the precedent set in Tundayme, a village in the neighboring province where the subsidiary of EXSA, EcuaCorriente, executed several mining easements that led to the eviction of the community of San Marcos.“My main concern is, fifteen years from now, where are they going to relocate us?” Domínguez asked. Banner photo by Lalo CalleThis story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on February 2, 2017. Article published by Romina Castagninocenter_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

Scientists launch global search for 25 ‘lost’ species

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 Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Interviews, Oceans, Plants, Rainforests, Tropical Forests Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img The first phase of the this campaign, launched today by the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), will see groups of scientists spreading out across the world in search of “25 most wanted lost species”.Collectively, these 25 species have not been seen in more than 1,500 years.The top 25 species include 10 mammals, three birds, three reptiles, two amphibians, three fish, one insect, one crustacean, one coral and one plant, found across 18 countries. Unseen for decades in the wild, many species are now feared extinct. Some exist only as museum specimens, others are only known from old drawings or photographs.But some of these missing species may still be out there, lurking in remote, unexplored regions of our planet. And to find them, scientists are embarking on what is believed to be the largest-ever global quest for our world’s forgotten animals and plants — the Search for Lost Species campaign.The Top 25 Lost Species. Poster by Global Wildlife Conservation (click on the image to enlarge).The first phase of the this campaign, launched today by the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), will see groups of scientists spreading out across the world in search of “25 most wanted lost species”. These include the the tiny bullneck seahorse from Australia that has never been seen in the wild; the Himalayan quail that was last recorded 141 years ago in India; the Wondiwoi tree kangaroo, known only from a single specimen collected in 1928 in Indonesia; the pink-headed duck, once-widespread across India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, but last seen in 1949; and the Fernandina Galápagos tortoise, last seen in 1906 on the Galápagos’s youngest and least-explored island.“These species include quirky, charismatic animals and plants that also represent tremendous opportunities for conservation,” Robin Moore, GWC communications director and conservation biologist, said in a statement. “While we’re not sure how many of our target species we’ll be able to find, for many of these forgotten species this is likely their last chance to be saved from extinction.”The top 25 species in GWC’s long list of more than 1,200 lost animals and plants, include 10 mammals, three birds, three reptiles, two amphibians, three fish, one insect, one crustacean, one coral and one plant, distributed across 18 countries. Together, these 25 species have not been seen in more than 1,500 years, GWC said in the statement.While some of these species are listed as critically endangered (and may even be possibly extinct) by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, others are listed as endangered, vulnerable or data deficient.Mongabay interviewed Robin Moore, the brain behind the exciting Search for Lost Frogs initiative in 2010, to learn more about the Search for Lost Species campaign.An interview with Robin Moore:Mongabay: Why look for lost species? What do you hope to achieve?Robin Moore: Put simply, to create flagships for conservation. To engage people in the protection of endangered species and critical habitats by raising the profile of some of the world’s forgotten species.Rediscovery is such a powerful vehicle of hope — and hope is a much more powerful motivator than despair. I know I have gotten pretty used to talking to people about what we are losing, because I see it and live it every day, but we also need to be reminded that there is still an incredible, diverse world out there that is worth fighting for. I hope that by inviting people to join us on this quest — from its inception — we can rekindle those embers of curiosity and inspire people to connect with the wonder and awe of the natural world on a deeper level.Pink headed duck. Photo courtesy of Global Wildlife Conservation.Mongabay: How did you shortlist the 25 ‘most wanted’ lost species?Robin Moore: We invited experts from over 100 Specialist Groups of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to nominate candidate species. We took these nominations — over 1,200 species in total — and applied a number of criteria to determine the top 25 — a few of which are outlined below:Firstly, we selected species representing a diversity of taxonomic groups — from mammals, birds and reptiles to corals, crustaceans and plants.Secondly, we tried to achieve a good geographic spread to represent many of the biodiverse but imperiled habitats around the world.Third, we assessed the likelihood that a species could be found. We took into account previous search effort and expert opinion on the added value of further searches. We omitted any species classified by the IUCN Red List as Extinct, instead focusing on species that are possibly extinct or simply too little known to gauge.Fourth, we assessed the scientific and conservation importance of a rediscovery, reaching out to partners on the ground to assess possible follow-up conservation actions to protect the species and its habitat.Finally, species with a compelling back story made strong candidates for the Top 25, because it is easier for people to connect with species whose story draws them in. It’s hard to overstate the power of a good story.Mongabay: Why do mammals form the bulk of the top 25 species?Robin Moore: Ten out of our Top 25 Lost Species are mammals, largely because we had fuller back stories on many of these species, which helped elevate them to candidates for poster species of the campaign. People generally connect more easily with mammals than they do with species further away from us on the evolutionary tree. There is a reason that most flagships for conservation are large-bodied mammals. But we want to use the “charisma” of a lost colobus monkey and tree kangaroo to draw people in, and to learn more about the Sierra Leone Crab, Wellington’s Solitary Coral, and Velvet Pitcher Plant, for instance. But we have to get our foot in the door with people’s attention first.The Namdapha flying squirrel is known only from a single specimen collected in Namdapha National Park in 1981. Photo from Zoological Survey of India (CC BY-SA 3.0).Mongabay: How does the campaign work with local partners? How many scientists and organizations are likely to be involved in this?Robin Moore: We have collaborated with more than 100 scientists and conservation partners around the world to compile the list and develop searches. Our aim is to make this a truly collaborative campaign, and to work with as many local partners as possible, as this is our model at Global Wildlife Conservation. Our aim is to establish long-term partnerships that will lead to the protection of these species and their habitats. We also want to engage people beyond our conservation and scientific partners in the search, and have created a project within iNaturalist so that anyone can submit observations of lost species. We also invite people to nominate lost species that may be missing from our list.Mongabay: How do you fund such an expansive search?Robin Moore: Creatively! We will be adopting a number of approaches to raise the funds for expeditions, from an auction of lost species artwork by renowned artists, to enticing individuals and companies to sponsor expeditions, to crowdfunding.A live bullneck seahorse has never been seen in the wild. Image by Sara A. Lourie.Mongabay: Shouldn’t we be focusing our efforts and funds on saving species that we know are out there and are imperiled?Robin Moore: We definitely should. But it is also not a zero sum game. One of the primary goals of this campaign is to raise support for conservation that would otherwise not be available, by inspiring people to become engaged in the cause.Global Wildlife Conservation has worked with partners around the world to create more than 20 new nature reserves, home to more than 100 threatened species. And we continue to do this important work. But there is a reason I am being asked about this campaign instead — it taps into something very different inside of us. It is a promise to bring people with us on an odyssey of exploration and discovery to uncharted lost worlds, to feel the tingle of excitement at the first glimpse of an animal that has not been sighted in 100 years, and never before photographed.Mongabay referred to our Search for Lost Frogs as “one of conservation’s most exciting expeditions”. It is this excitement that I think we need to connect with more deeply, as this is what we feel when we first fell in love with the natural world, and it is what is going to inspire a new generation of conservationists. We are also tapping into our innate tendency to value more what we have lost than what is right in front of us to create novel flagships for conservation and inspire action.It’s important to note that species rediscoveries often result in conservation efforts that benefit not just the species but also their habitats and other wildlife. Take the Jamaican Iguana — after four decades without trace it was rediscovered and brought back from the brink of extinction by an international consortium — it is now a flagship for the conservation of an imperiled dry forest habitat in Jamaica.Mongabay: What are some of the hurdles you foresee in your search?Robin Moore: Many of the places in which these species live are extremely remote, and the species themselves are elusive and poorly known. Take the Bullneck Seahorse — it has never been seen in the wild, and so it is unclear exactly where to target a search. Also, as we discovered during the Search for Lost Frogs, the weather does not always cooperate with the best laid plans, and in one instance torrential rains and mudslides forced a team back before they really got going. It’s hard to plan to find something that hasn’t been seen for 100+ years — but if it weren’t so challenging, it wouldn’t all be so tantalizing.Fernandina Galápagos tortoise was last seen alive in 1906 on the Galápagos’s youngest and least-explored island. Image by John Van Denburgh courtesy of Global Wildlife Conservation.The Himalayan quail was last seen 141 years ago in India. Photo from ARKive of the Himalayan quail (Ophrysia superciliosa) – http://www.arkive.org/himalayan-quail/ophrysia-superciliosa/image-G66137.htmllast_img read more

As forests disappear, human-elephant conflict escalates in Nepal

first_imgArticle published by Maria Salazar Agriculture, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Elephants, Forest Destruction, Forests, Habitat, Habitat Loss, human-elephant conflict, Interns, Mammals, Wildlife Asian elephants are responsible for destroying crops, buildings, and even injuring or killing local people in Nepal.A new study argues that Nepal’s government has not done enough to help villages in elephant areas.Researchers measured the willingness-to-pay of villagers in offsetting elephant damage. Farmers in the Terai region of Nepal face jumbo threats on a day-to-day basis, resulting in damage to crop yields, destruction of their homes, and, in some cases, even a death in the family. The source of this destruction comes from a persistent and increasingly problematic pest, though also one of the world’s most beloved, charismatic mammals: the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).Human-elephant conflict is a significant issue for a number of Nepalese, according to a paper recently published in the Journal for Nature Conservation. Conducted in the agricultural region of Terai, the study aimed to determine the residents’ willingness to pay (WTP) to alleviate human-elephant conflict. In other words, residents were asked how much money they would agree to contribute to better address human-elephant conflict in their community. “Our study has provided a new approach for funding to mitigate human-elephant conflict in the region by the Nepalese government,” said Dinesh Neupane, a PhD candidate at Arkansas State University and co-author of the study.Forests and grasslands are disappearing at an ever-increasing rate to accommodate Nepal’s growing population. Land that was once critical habitat for Asian elephants, the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and thousands of other species has now been converted to farmland. Though some forests remain intact and protected areas have been established, large mammals often leave their preferred habitats to search for food in human-dominated areas, sometimes leading to destruction and even human fatalities. According to Neupane, retaliatory killings of elephants occur at a rate of two per year. In short, both humans and elephants are harmed when conflict occurs.Of all large mammals found in Nepal, the Asian elephant is the most troublesome species and is the source of the most human-wildlife conflict: the study points out that in 70 percent of cases, elephants are the culprit. In addition, the Asian elephant population declined by 50 percent in the twentieth century, according to a 2014 CITES report. Elephants are responsible for 70% of human-wildlife conflict in Nepal. Photo credit: Rhett A. ButlerThough this problem is widespread and detrimental to the safety and productivity of the residents of Nepal, the study argues that the Nepalese government has not done enough or does not have adequate financial resources to reduce conflict. Compensation for damage or casualties is often inconsistent and insufficient, according to the researchers. Based on testimonies from villagers, the study also finds that the government has failed to implement a long-term management plan that involves input from local residents. Neupane and his colleagues interviewed 242 people, asking how they value elephant conservation, how they feel about the existing compensation system, and if they had experienced any property damage, injuries, or deaths from elephants in the past.Based on the interviews, two-thirds of households had experienced property damage due to elephants and one-in-ten suffered an injury or death in their family due to elephants.The survey also questioned residents about the potential establishment of a trust fund, which would require that residents pay a monthly contribution that could be pooled and used in the event of destruction by elephants. In this way, residents could potentially be more involved in decision-making and compensation improved.The results of the study showed that 99 percent of respondents were willing to pay a monthly fee to mitigate human-elephant conflict, but only if current strategies were improved.Willingness-to-pay increased if a person had experienced an injury themselves or a death in the family. A higher level of education also correlated with a greater willingness-to-pay, according to the study. “When the public is aware of how elephants are managed for their conservation, it tends to improve attitudes towards mitigation techniques and thus it will help with support for conservation,” said Neupane. Nepalese culture and history may also contribute to a high level of respect for elephants, though this has changed slightly as a result of persistent human-elephant conflict. “Asian elephants have religious significance in South Asia, especially in Hinduism and Buddhism, where they have been worshipped as gods for thousands of years,” said Neupane. “Although elephants are seen as gods, the high esteem that wild elephants are held in has eroded as a result of human-elephant conflict and these changes are reflected in villagers’ attitudes and actions towards elephant conservation.”Even so, there are fewer instances of elephant poaching in Nepal compared to other parts of the world such as Africa and India, which may be the result of such religious and cultural values.Willingness to pay declined in areas where the government had already established a mitigation strategy, which the authors of the study conclude may reflect dissatisfaction with government strategies, lack of government trust, or frustration about their lack of involvement in making management decisions.The establishment of a trust fund could greatly reduce human-elephant conflict in Nepal, according to the paper, and pooled resources for mitigation could be matched not only by the government, but also by NGOs such as World Wildlife Fund or the International Elephant Foundation. Implementing early warning systems, improving existing electric fencing and fence maintenance, and expanding the presence of connectivity corridors between protected areas could also drastically improve the lives of the people of Nepal and protect dwindling Asian elephant populations. Citations:CITES (2004). WWF factsheet. (13th meeting of the conference of the parties to CITES). Switzerland : Global Species Programme, WWF. Neupane, D., Kunwar, S., Bohara, A., Risch, T., & Johnson, R. (2017). Willingness to pay for mitigating human-elephant conflict by residents of Nepal. Journal for Nature Conservation,36, 65-76. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1617138117300638center_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

International action a must to stop irreversible harm of Amazon dams, say experts

first_imgA study, published in Nature and led by Edgardo Latrubesse of the University of Texas at Austin, went beyond local impacts of individual dams to assess cumulative, basin-wide impacts that planned dams are bringing to 19 major Amazon sub-basins.The team developed a new metric: the Dam Environmental Vulnerability Index (DEVI) which includes assessments of basin integrity (vulnerability to land use change and erosion, etc.); fluvial dynamics (influence of sediment fluxes and flood pulses); and the extent of the river affected by dams.A score for each sub-basin from 0-100 was assigned, with higher values indicating greater vulnerability. The Madeira, Ucayali, Marañon and Tapajós sub-basins were found to be most threatened; all had DEVI totals higher than 60.The researchers say that a collective, cooperative, multi-country Amazon region assessment of dams and their cumulative impacts is urgently needed to get a handle on the true magnitude of the threat to the Amazon, as well as means to a solution. A rainforest valley in the upper Amazon. The Amazon basin’s watershed extends to over 6 million square kilometers (more than 2.3 million square miles), but its network of free flowing rivers is facing a hydroelectric dam-building boom, with 428 dams built, planned, or under construction. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / MongabayThe Amazon basin faces irreversible environmental disturbance on an enormous scale due to hydroelectric dam development. Hundreds of existing and planned dams in both the Amazonian lowlands and the Andean headwaters are already impacting, and will continue affecting, waterways, floodplains and the estuary by disrupting sediment and nutrient flows.This is the message of a new study, published in Nature, which quantified the impacts of dams on the hydrology and geography of each of the Amazon’s 19 major sub-basins.The study, led by Edgardo Latrubesse of the University of Texas at Austin, aimed to go beyond previous work, which typically focused on local impacts of individual dams. Instead, his team developed a new metric: the Dam Environmental Vulnerability Index (DEVI) to assess the possible cumulative, basin-wide impacts that planned dams would bring.The DEVI metric incorporates assessments of the integrity of the basin, including its vulnerability to land use change and erosion; fluvial dynamics, such as the influence of sediment fluxes and flood pulses; and the extent of the river that would be affected by dams. Taken together, these factors allowed the researchers to score each sub-basin on a scale from 0-100, with higher values indicating greater vulnerability.In total, the study accounted for the potential impacts of 428 built and planned dams generating more than 1 megawatt; 140 of these are already under construction or operational. Four sub-basins — the Madeira, Ucayali, Marañon, and Tapajós — had DEVI scores higher than 60, indicating serious vulnerability.The Tucuruí dam was built in the 1980s. Located on the Tocantins River in the State of Pará, Brazil, it is one of the world’s largest. 428 Amazon dams are in operation, being built, or planned, all likely with consequences for forests, terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity, and indigenous and traditional people, and even rainfall patterns. Very few studies have looked at the cumulative impacts of so many dams. Photo courtesy of International Rivers on flickrCompulsory reading for policymakers The research was welcomed as “exciting and long-awaited,” by Alexander Lees, of Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Lees, who has studied the impacts of dams on the region’s biodiversity, but was not involved with this latest study, said it “should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in making environmental policy decisions in the Amazon region.”Sarah Bardeen, of International Rivers, said the study “outlines the very real threats facing the region, and persuasively argues for the urgent need for basin-wide planning.”The Madeira River received the highest DEVI score under existing conditions (77), which worsens (to 83) when projected impacts of planned dams are factored in. The Madeira basin scored highly for all three component indices, due to its sediment-rich Andean tributaries (with the highest sediment yields in the Andes-Amazon watershed), and due to the Madeira River Hydroelectric complex, encompassing the recently built Santo Antônio and Jirau mega-dams. This complex will intercept sediment from 80 percent of the Madeira watershed.The impacts that dam development would bring to the Tapajós basin have been referred to as “a crisis in the making,” and the new study bears that out. With 90 dams planned, and 28 already in place, “the Tapajós River itself and all its major tributaries will be impounded,” the scientists write.For the Amazon mainstem and its associated floodplains, the consequences of disruption to sediment flows will have “major impacts” on the dynamics and ecology of the region. “500 million tons of sediment per year are exchanged between the Amazon River and its floodplain,” said Latrubesse, who has studied the Amazon for more than 20 years.The new study quantified the impacts of current and future dams on the Amazon’s 19 major sub-basins. Four — the Madeira, Ucayali, Marañon and Tapajós — were found to be highly vulnerable to dam developments, with “massive hydrophysical and biotic disturbances” predicted. Here, sub-basins are color-coded according to their level of vulnerability for three indices, which were combined to calculate their overall Dam Environmental Vulnerability Index (DEVI). The higher the value, the more vulnerable the basin. The Madeira sub-basin is most threatened (shaded red), while the Ucayali, Marañon, and Tapajós sub-basins are seriously but somewhat less threatened (shaded orange). Basins at lowest risk are shaded blue. Dams are represented by circles (green = existing and under construction; yellow = planned), with the size of each circle correlating to relative dam size. Figure courtesy of E. LatrubesseWhy sediment matters“[S]ediments are a key factor,” Latrubesse explained. “[T]hey carry nutrients and feed the ecosystems, build landforms and contribute to river morphodynamics by triggering processes of erosion and deposition and the regeneration of forest,” which ultimately increases the diversity of habitats and species found in the “mosaic of the floodplains.”Adverse impacts won’t end there: Amazon sediments discharged into the ocean play a role in marine and coastal ecosystems too, including mangrove forests and a recently discovered Atlantic Ocean coral reef. The Amazon’s freshwater plume — that Latrubesse describes as extending to an area of 1.3 million square kilometers (more than 500,000 square miles), or twice the size of Texas — also influences ocean temperature. Change in sediment discharge therefore “has the potential to trigger climatic impacts at regional and even at inter-hemispheric scale,” he said.As physical and hydrological changes take place, the diversity of habitats that make up the Amazon ecosystem, and the species that rely upon them, will be put at risk. “[T]he current dam-building regime will likely result in myriad species extinctions in this the most biodiverse freshwater ecosystem on the planet,” said Lees.A storm over the upper Amazon River. According to the study, the sediment-rich water will be heavily impacted by proposed dams, changing the hydrology and geography of the Amazon river system. In addition to the hydrophysical impacts, endangered species are also at risk from dam development, as habitats are degraded and lost. The study team suggests that collective action of Amazon nations is urgently needed to assess and plan for future development, taking into account all costs and benefits associated with dam construction. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / MongabayLatrubesse emphasized the importance of recognizing connections between the physical processes shaping the river, and the ecology and diversity that the river system supports. “We found a strong correlation between DEVI and potential impacts on aquatic ecosystems,” he said.“There is still an urgent need to quantify cumulative impacts on species… throughout the basin,” Lees added. “It seems preposterous that no such study exists, but to get to that point we need to have fully described the basin’s biodiversity,” which is still a long way off.“We urgently need the volumes of data collected in the numerous environmental impact assessments [for individual dams] to be made public so that results can be synthesized and full catchment trade-off analyses undertaken,” to avoid as many extinctions as possible, Lees concluded.The impacts of dams on the territories, livelihoods and rights of indigenous people and traditional communities in the Amazon basin should also not be overlooked, noted Bardeen. “Many of these rivers are indigenous rivers in indigenous lands, and this runaway development has occurred without their consent.”Latrubesse acknowledged that social concerns were “another important issue that has to be considered,” and said the study team was “confident” that DEVI will “enrich the discussion on socio-economic aspects, particularly social conflicts in the basin.”The giant Amazonian catfish is a valuable commercial species, an apex predator, and the world’s long distance freshwater fish migration record holder. Dams put Amazonian catfish and other commercially valuable species at risk, threatening local and regional economies, and the livelihoods of indigenous and traditional riverine communities. Photo courtesy of the USGS Columbia Environmental Research CenterCollective basin-wide management the way forwardWith seven of the ten largest mega-dams still in the planning stages, the scientists say that immediate, collective action between all Amazon nations is needed, particularly as dams will have impacts that extend hundreds of miles downstream.The team points to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), which exists to promote sustainable development, as a possible “catalyst to build new international actions, policies and plans for river management.”“We are promoting here the generation of a plan for basin management by using existing institutional and legal capabilities,” Latrubesse said.Participative strategies, that include all sectors and involve multidisciplinary scientists, should be instituted for assessing future development, while new conservation units should be established, the researchers argue: “These conservation units could be explicitly designed to recognize and protect watersheds, main channels, floodplains and eco-hydro-geomorphological services; and to assess sites of important natural, cultural, scenic and economic value to local communities.”Freshwater ecosystems cover 1 million square kilometers of the Amazon basin. The movement of water — and the matter, nutrients and organisms it carries — between the headwaters and the ocean, the rivers and the forest, and the earth and the atmosphere is vital for ecosystem function; the hydrological connectivity that allows this movement is under threat. Photo © NeiI Palmer/CIAT for CIFOR on Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic licenseBardeen agrees that legislation should be improved, but in addition, “bodies like the UN should also be looking at creating a global initiative to protect rivers,” she commented.Bardeen also strikes a note of caution. “We welcome recommendations for transboundary legal frameworks for dam development. But it’s important to remember two things: First, institutions like ACTO have traditionally been very bureaucratic, and they’ve never engaged meaningfully with affected communities, indigenous peoples, and other actors in civil society. To be effective, these institutions would need to embrace transparency, and overcome longstanding practices of ignoring the rights of local communities.”“Second, though transboundary legal frameworks are very useful, they’ll need to go hand-in-hand with anti-corruption efforts,” she said, citing corruption as exposed by Brazil’s Lava Jato scandal, for example, as a key driving force behind dam-building.“Corruption has also led [Brazil] to neglect its enormous potential for truly sustainable renewables, especially solar power, which would render the construction of new Amazonian dams unnecessary,” Bardeen concluded. Alternative energy implementation is also championed by Latrubesse and his co-authors.The Belo Monte dam under construction in 2015. Belo Monte, the third largest dam on earth, has seen major fish kills and fisheries declines since its construction, along with major disruptions of indigenous and traditional communities. Large dams obstruct the flow of sediments and nutrients from headwaters to lowland floodplains, disrupt natural flood cycles, and impede animal movement and migration along river channels. Photo by Pascalg622 used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licenseBroader damage of damsThe study’s authors note that dam-related disruption of sediment and nutrient flows isn’t the only source of environmental and social harm. The high-risk nature of many dam projects causes them to run significantly over budget and to then suffer from reduced electrical outputs as land use and climate change alter the hydrology and reduce the river flow at dam locations. This seriously undermines the economic viability of Amazon dams.Hydropower’s green credentials have also been overturned by studies demonstrating that dams are net contributors to greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime. Biodiversity also suffers extensively from Amazon dams, other research shows, including harm done to forests, important commercial fisheries, and aquatic migratory species such as Amazonian catfish and freshwater dolphins. All of which calls into question the value of continued hydropower development in the region.Weighing up all the costs and benefits that dam-building incurs requires a comprehensive understanding of whole-basin impacts, the scientists argue, something they hope the DEVI metric will help make possible. They conclude that if “decisions are made within the context of a comprehensive understanding of the fluvial system as a whole, the many benefits the rivers provide to humans and the environment could be retained.”Citation:Latrubesse, E. M., Arima, E. Y, Dunne, T. et al. (2017). Damming the rivers of the Amazon basin. Nature, 546: 363-369FEEDBACK: 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.Sunset over the Amazon River. The ecological and economic services provided by the rivers and streams of the Amazon basin are enormous, though they have never been fully enumerated — many species of plant and animal remain as yet undiscovered and undescribed by science. Destruction of that biodiversity and those services by dams could do incalculable harm to the Amazon basin, South America and even to the regional and global climate. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay 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 overSponsoredcenter_img Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Climate Change and Dams, Controversial, Corruption, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Flooding, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Use Change, Nutrient Pollution, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Sedimentation, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation last_img read more

To feed a growing population, farms chew away at Madagascar’s forests

first_imgIn Madagascar, farmers are cutting down forests and burning them to make way for rice cultivation.The practice is traditional but now illegal because of the harm it causes to natural areas. Many species are already threatened with extinction due to forest loss.With the country’s population expected to double by 2060, the pressure is likely to intensify. SAVA REGION, Madagascar – Squatting barefoot in a field of mud on the outskirts of Marojejy National Park, easing rice seedlings from the earth, Paul Tiozen shrugged out one of Madagascar’s most pressing conundrums: how to get more rice? He looked bitter.“Rice is the source of Malagasy life. It’s so difficult to work the rice, because we need the shovel, and water to work it. I need more land. I have a big family, so I need more. What I want is half a hectare,” he said.Therein lies the catch. Madagascar’s population is about to boom. The International Futures center at the University of Denver estimates that by 2060 Madagascar will have close to 60 million people, up from 25.5 million today. And yet, only 1.2 million hectares of land are used for rice cultivation, a tiny proportion of the island’s total size. To feed its people, agricultural productivity must rise.Rice farmer Paul Tiozen says he needs half a hectare of land to grow enough rice for his family, more farmland than he currently has. Photo by Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor for Mongabay.But population growth in this largely rural and agrarian country is giving birth to a piece-by-piece land grab of plots, often in the worst possible way for the environment. In the hilly tracks off the mountain road to the town of Andapa in the country’s northeastern Sava region, one can see the plot problem written onto the sides of hills and around the corners of dirt roads. Farmers have slashed all the trees in certain areas and set fire to the land in their scramble to turn forests into fertile rice farms.This classic application of “slash and burn” agriculture to clear mountainous areas for farming is known locally as tavy. After burning off the vegetation, farmers mix the nutrient-rich ash into the soil, which allows them to cultivate rice well. But the benefits are short-lived. Not only does tavy yield less rice than more productive and sustainable legal forms of rice farming, but it ultimately leads to nitrogen depletion in the soil. After initial cultivation, farmers must leave the plot fallow, often for more than five years, before planting rice again. Worse, the loss of trees irreversibly harms the soil. With no roots binding it, the ground erodes and fertility disappears. It creates an exhausting cycle. In time, the farmer gives up on his or her tavy patch and moves on to new land, speeding up the cycle of poverty and destruction.An illegal tavy clearing near the city of Sambava in Madagascar’s northeastern Sava region. The remaining vegetation will be burned and the former forest converted to a farm. Tavy often causes such bad soil erosion that the land is rendered useless. Photo by Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor for Mongabay.“They do it at the same place two or three times. So after they do it there’s no fertility in the soil. You can’t plant anything. And they move to another part of the forest. So the expansion is really bad for the protected area,” explained Manantsoa Andriatahima, a landscape manager with the international NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Madagascar.Tavy has long been illegal, but it still goes on.Madagascar with Sava region outlined in red. Map courtesy of Google Maps.Lost landscapesMadagascar holds some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes on earth. The whole of tropical Africa has less than 35,000 species of plants and at least one third of them live only in Madagascar. Animal species found nowhere else on Earth find refuge in its jungles: the blue-billed helmet vanga (Euryceros prevostii), the camouflaged leaf-tail gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus), and dozens of iconic species of lemurs, to name a few.Those species lived undisturbed until roughly 2,000 years ago. Since mankind arrived then, 90 percent of the original forest cover has gone; 40 percent of it disappeared in the last 60 years alone. While the pace of destruction has arguably slowed, Global Forest Watch found that 2016 was the second-worst year for forest loss in the last 15, with nearly 400,000 hectares cut down. Island-wide statistics on tavy are hard to come by, but scientists regard the practice as a main cause of the island’s ongoing deforestation.For the most part, it is unprotected forests that are at risk, places outside of national parks where nature and mankind co-exist with little enforceable regulation. As those landscapes are lost, the animals in and around them become threatened: 90 percent of all lemur species on the island are threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.But the hunger for rice, coupled with aggressive tavy, is pinning nature back into smaller and smaller pockets.A lowland streaked tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus), a resident of the Sava region. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Carrot or stick?The government has been aware of the problems with tavy for years, and has tried numerous potential solutions. It says it has invested in research, better fertilizers, and irrigation, all to improve the farming productivity of land already cleared, along with outlining a strategy to make more land available for rice cultivation.It has also tried encouraging people to protect the forests. According to the World Bank, between 1996 and 2004, it rolled out 1,248 Community Forestry Management (CFM) units, administrative areas in which local communities manage their own forests. The idea is to give communities the right to make decisions about tracts of land and to reap the rewards from the natural resources there. Earlier pioneers of this model hoped CFM would be more popular than protected national parks, as it would allow people to continue to use local forests and, theoretically, improve their livelihoods. NGOs and government officials were tasked with making sure the areas were used in a sustainable way.But recent reports suggest that CFM has had little success in stopping deforestation. A 2015 paper in the journal Biological Conservation could not detect an effect of CFM on the rate of deforestation in Madagascar between 2000 and 2010. In a 2015 report the World Bank noted that a confusing regulatory framework, piecemeal law enforcement, and a lack of training and resources meant that many CFM units failed.Even around national parks, non-tavy rice paddies like this are spreading. This paddy lies just outside Marojejy National Park, where forest once stood. Photo by Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor for Mongabay.Alongside CFM, Madagascar continues to use protected areas, which now comprise 5 percent of the island’s land, including a stunning array of national parks. These areas cannot be used or farmed by communities unless agreed with the authorities. In its recent submission [pdf] to the standing committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, aka CITES, the government highlights that in early 2017 it began hiring new Judicial Forestry Police officers to “ensure protection against illegal land clearing.”But Arsonina Bera, director of forestry in Sava, admits that it is hard to stop local people from trespassing into protected areas to take precious natural resources.“We are rich in forest coverage. But at this point in time, this amount is degrading time after time, day after day, because the number of people is rising,” he said. “If you apply some legislation, the people will come to you and try to create a debate with you, saying ‘Why are you doing this? Our ancestors have used wood for years? How will we live?’ ”Bera believes that when it comes to stopping the onward march of rice, the carrot is mightier than the stick. He argues that only by engaging and winning agreement from local communities is lasting change possible. “I know the dialect. I know the people. Most of my family live here. I come from here. It is partly an education problem. Most of the people are illiterate. It’s difficult if you try to invent some technology to teach them; that would be very difficult. Better to find a solution by using the local dialect and talking to them,” he said.Not long ago, he recounted, one of the region’s top officials wanted to send in the military to prevent people from destroying the forest for tavy. “But we stopped him,” Bera said. “We preferred to use the local member of parliament to find a community solution. If you need military or the police, it’s never going to be the best.”Marojejy National Park, one of the country’s reknowned protected areas. Photo by Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor for Mongabay.Addressing the root causeThat is why NGOs are increasingly turning to a development approach known as “Population, Health, and Environment” (PHE) that involves promoting conservation in tandem with improving health care and access to family planning for local communities.“PHE is a holistic approach that reflects the interconnected challenges of poor community health, unmet family planning needs, food insecurity, environmental degradation and vulnerability to climate change,” said Laura Robson, the Antananarivo-based health-environment partnerships manager for the conservation group Blue Ventures, which helps coordinate a nationwide network of organizations that run PHE projects.But the “P” in PHE is the most controversial of all: population. In a country with deep-rooted Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam, could the idea of sustainable family planning prove unpopular? Robson said the network’s members are committed to providing contraception to communities, but that they respect the rights of people in those communities to make their own decisions. “These PHE initiatives aren’t aiming to bring about any demographic changes but rather to allow couples to achieve their own family planning goals,” she said.Robson claims this listen-first approach is spreading: the PHE network now involves more than 40 organizations and reaches 135,000 people across Madagascar. It is bringing about some unlikely partnerships. After communities around the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve in Sava requested increased access to family planning services, the Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF) teamed up with the reproductive healthcare NGO Marie Stopes Madagascar. The latter brought in its trademark “Marie Stopes Ladies” to offer long-acting reversible contraceptive methods, including implants, Robson said. “At the same time LCF is engaging with communities in that area on reforestation, sustainable agriculture training, fuel-efficient stoves, ecotourism development and environmental education initiatives,” she said. The groups hope to create more value for the communities in keeping the forests alive than in burning them down for tavy.But Madagascar may not have decades to test out approaches like PHE. Its population still looks set to boom, and its forests are fast running out.Watch Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor’s video about tavy for China Global Television Network’s Africa Live program, which contributed travel funding to this story.Making rice workUpon the mountains of Marojejy, groups of men work the forested slopes, offering lemur tracking, trekking, portering, and cooking services to tourists and scientists. But all of them have one thing in common. Even first thing in the morning, there is only one thing on their breakfast menu: rice.Franco Rajaonarison pours on spoonful after spoonful, until he has a huge, steaming mound. He’ll repeat the ritual at least two more times that day. Some communities even make drinks out of rice. By some estimates, the average Madagascan eats 140 kilograms (309 pounds) of rice each year. Consumption has more than tripled in the last 30 years, and continues to rise.Later, down by the river, while skimming a stone across the water, he laughs. “When we were children, we believed the number of times your stones bounced off the water would reveal how many cans of rice you’d get by the end of the day,” he said. “We love rice.”The increased need for rice will put untold pressure on Madagascar’s forests in the years ahead. Because in the next 30 years, tens of millions more Madagascans will come of age. The survival of thousands of hectares of unique rainforest and wooded areas will depend on how they get the food they need.Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor are East Africa correspondents for the global news agency Feature Story News, based in Tanzania. Their investigations into wildlife trafficking, the ivory trade, poaching and blast fishing have been published by numerous international channels, and their work has previously been nominated for Royal Television Society and One World Media awards. Follow them on Twitter: @danielashby and @lucytaylor.A baby silky sifaka lemur (Propithecus candidus) in Marojejy National Park. Photo by Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor for Mongabay.CitationsRasolofoson R.A., et al. (2015). Effectiveness of Community Forest Management at reducing deforestation in Madagascar. Biological Conservation 184: 271-277.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Agriculture, Biodiversity, Community Forestry, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Policy, Featured, Fires, Food, Forests, Law Enforcement, Nature And Health, Population, Public Health, Rainforests, Slash-and-burn, Tropical Forests 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 Article published by Rebecca Kesslerlast_img read more

Ronaldo accused of evading millions in taxes

first_imgAi-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite In addition, they say he only declared 11.5 million euros of Spanish-related income from 2011 to 2014, while what he really earned during that time was close to 43 million euros.And finally, they accuse him of “voluntarily” refusing to include 28.4 million euros in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.Ronaldo’s lawyer said the four-time World Player of the Year was stunned by the accusations.“It’s a total surprise for the player who feels wronged, which gives me a special responsibility to speak in his name of his feeling of sadness and injustice,” Antonio Lobo Xavier told Portuguese television.“Ronaldo declared his income in relation to his image rights in 2014, which also included the three previous years.”ADVERTISEMENT In a television interview last month when it was revealed that tax authorities had sent a report to prosecutors on Ronaldo’s alleged fiscal evasion, Ronaldo had said he was “very serene.”“I know these things will be resolved with the best decision, so I’m fine,” he had said.Football scandals The football world in Spain has been rocked by charges of tax evasion or corruption pressed against some of its top stars.Messi was sentenced to a 21-month jail sentence and 2.09-million-euro fine last year for tax fraud.The prison term will be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years.The 29-year-old and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were found guilty of using companies in Belize, Britain, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros of Messi’s income earned from his image rights from 2007-09.The income related to Messi’s image rights that was hidden includes endorsement deals with Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company.In its statement, Gestha said the most favourable scenario for Ronaldo would be that he is also given a 21-month prison sentence.Former Barca defender Javier Mascherano also agreed a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud last year. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working MOST READ Meanwhile Brazil star and Barcelona forward Neymar and his parents are due to stand trial for alleged corruption over his transfer from Santos in 2013.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyercenter_img View comments For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte If he too is put on trial and found guilty, he risks “a fine of at least 28 million” euros ($31.3 million) and could potentially be jailed for three-and-a-half years, the Gestha union of experts at Spain’s Inland Revenue said in a statement.Ronaldo is accused of “four crimes against the public treasury between 2011-14… which involves tax fraud of 14,768,897 euros ($16.5m, £12.9m)”, Madrid’s public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new ground“The accused took advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities, which is a ‘voluntary’ and ‘conscious’ breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain,” it said.Prosecutors accuse the Portugal international of evading tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known for its low corporate tax rate. LATEST STORIES Azkals survive Tajiks in thriller, firm up hold of top spot in Group F Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Christiano Ronaldo warms up during a training session at Mitsuzawa stadium in Yokohama on December 13, 2016 ahead of their Club World Cup football match against Club America of Mexico on December 15. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGISpanish prosecutors on Tuesday accused Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo of evading 14.7 million euros in tax through offshore companies, the latest footballer to fall foul of fiscal authorities.The 32-year-old — the world’s highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine — follows in the steps of Barcelona forward and Argentina star Lionel Messi, who was found guilty of the same offense last year although the sums involved were allegedly smaller.ADVERTISEMENT End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendlast_img read more

KaTropa rout Elite, notch playoff bonus; Kings thump Hotshots

first_imgTaal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughing Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ukrainian prime minister resigns after recordings published Team Nos. 3 and 6 will clash and Nos. 4 and 5 will battle in separate best-of-five series to determine the other two semifinalists.Only NLEX has so far bombed out of contention, with Columbian Dyip within another loss of joining the Road Warriors.Troy Rosario and four more locals tossed in twin digits for TNT, something which Jones said could be attributed to their ever-improving chemistry.“[We’re] building chemistry. I know where my guys are going to be with those up and down shots. That’s all I could ask from them: be aggressive and shoot the ball,” he said.Rookie Ray Parks Jr. scored 21 to pace the Elite.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball00:56Heavy 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 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Lanterns show more cohesion in nipping Kuyas; Risers triumph Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knickscenter_img PBA IMAGESTentative at first, TNT turned to its defense to thwart Blackwater, 115-97, and capture the other twice-to-beat incentive while extending its sterling run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.The KaTropa cranked it up in the second quarter and took everything the Elite could muster, marching to a tournament-best seventh-straight win for 9-1 overall that assured them of the playoff bonus in the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted The Hotshots dropped to 5-4.“[Defense] got us tonight’s game—it started for us in the first half with a lot of stops and then we get it in transition where everybody can score and be aggressive,” he said in a televised interview.Jones’ view was echoed by coach Bong Ravena: “We really planned to lock in on defense—to be consistent with it. We didn’t take them (Elite) for granted.”The KaTropa close out against Magnolia on July 17, and a win would give them No. 1 ranking and the lowest-ranked foe in the quarterfinals. TNT would need to beat that team just once to make the Final Four.Idle NorthPort secured No. 2 seeding as early as last week and will face the No. 7 seed, also needing to win just once.ADVERTISEMENT Terrence Jones had a big night once again, completing a third triple-double with 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 14 assists.But he still stressed that it was TNT’s defensive might that took the fight out of Blackwater, which fell to 6-4 but still remained in good position heading into the playoffs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsBarangay Ginebra, packing so much firepower, broke away in the third quarter later in the night to rout Magnolia, 102-81, and remain in the upper half of the playoff draw.Justin Brownlee had 49 points, 20 rebounds and missed a triple-double by just three assists in leading the Gin Kings to their sixth win in 10 games.last_img read more

An appeal to His Excellency

first_imgDear Editor,Please publish this letter as an appeal to His Excellency, President David Granger, to review the performance and conduct of some ministers of Government, and take appropriate actions to engender national confidence in the economy and security of the people and nation. The buck stops with you, Mr President, as the Executive Leader of Guyana.Citizens are aware of the widespread perception and belief that the situation in Guyana is deteriorating. This is causing much anguish for the people, who look for redress through active and timely interventions. There is also the widespread perception and belief that the performance of some ministers is at best third rate and mediocre. This must be a source of grave embarrassment to you, as President.The conduct, behaviour, and performance of some ministers leave much to be desired.One can point to several recent examples in words and actions of some ministers, including the following: attacks and intimidation of the Judiciary, and direct attacks on judges; financial management of the economy relating to actions by the Ministry of Finance; rising crime rates, which are engendering fear and anxiety for the security of citizens and the business community, relating to actions/inactions by the Ministry of Public Security; the unsatisfactory and wasteful expenditure in the health sector under the Ministry of Public Health; and the unsatisfactory situation in the agriculture sector under the Ministry of Agriculture.Some ministers appear not to understand their constitutional functions, and they micro-manage and get involved in management/administration of operational matters, instead of concentrating on their policy direction role. Article 115 of the Constitution of Guyana defines the responsibilities and functions of ministers and permanent secretaries, the accounting heads of ministries.The view is widespread that there should be radical changes in the Cabinet – a cabinet reshuffle, dropping some ministers and bringing in some high-level technocratic skills into the Cabinet and Government.Yours faithfully,Joshua Singhlast_img read more

$1 million milestone

first_imgNewcomer said that the money has allowed the city to use funds it would have earmarked for the libraries to other projects and programs that benefit the community. And for Francis Minard, the manager of the Friends bookstore, located on the corner of Comstock Avenue and Bailey Street, the Friends of the Library is all about community. “It truly is a community service to take books that people don’t want anymore and provide them to those who do,” he explained Tuesday while he helped the other dozen or so volunteers sort through books and file them to eventually sell at the store. Since 1957, the Friends of the Library has raised money by selling used books, accepting donations, membership dues and silent auctions. But by far, the most money, Minard said, has come from sales at the bookstore, which is truly remarkable since many people don’t know of its existence. WHITTIER – The Friends of the Whittier Public Library has reached a major milestone in its fundraising efforts. When members present a $75,000 check to the City Council on July 10, they will have given more than $1 million to the city for its two libraries. “It’s fantastic,” said Mayor Owen Newcomer. “It’s unbelievable the support they have given us over the years.” In the last decade alone, the organization has given the city $650,000. “People walk in here and say `I didn’t know you were here,”‘ Minard said. “But once they find us, they become regulars.” Friends President Nancy Stewart concurred and added that people seldomly leave empty-handed. “Some people have treasure hunt fever,” Stewart explained as she cleaned books before they were placed on the shelves. One of the store’s regulars is DeeDee Dearing, who used to work at the defunct Bookland store on Greenleaf Avenue. On this particular Tuesday she bought four hardcover books by a favorite author for $11. Other customers, like Yelena Shemyakina of Chino Hills, are book buyers who resell their findings on the Internet. “I usually buy something,” she said. “They have a good selection here, and the people here are so friendly.” Minard, who has been a member with his wife, Selma, for about 11 years, attributes the store’s friendly atmosphere to Friends members who volunteer their time to stock the shelves and sell the books. “These are the best people,” he said. “It’s a fun place to work,” said Stewart, whose hours at the store gradually grew because she had so much fun with the people. Selma, who calls herself a “professional volunteer,” said that one of the things she loves about working in the bookstore is the relationships that blossom with the customers. “It’s so neat when we recommend to one another books, and we learn about new authors,” she said. And there is a lot to find and share at the store. It is filled with books of all genres, in hardback and paperback, and all are in very good shape despite being used. They are priced from a quarter and up depending on how new they are – rarer books are priced higher. For the members of the Friends of the Library, there is no price that can be put on the relationships they have made sharing a love of books while also giving back to the community. “We truly are a family,” Minard said. The bookstore is open from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to noon Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. sandra.molina@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img