Study finds more than 350k trees illegally felled in Madagascar’s protected areas in five-year span

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Environment, Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Law Enforcement, Logging, Research, Rosewood, Timber, Timber Laws, Trees More than 350,000 trees were felled between March 2010 and March 2015, the study states, despite being in areas that have been granted official protected status.At least one million logs were illegally exported from Madagascar during those years — that’s more than 150,000 metric tons-worth of logs, per the study.The primary target of illegal loggers is rosewood and palisander, both species belonging to the genus Dalbergia, though other precious hardwood species like ebony (in the genus Diospyros) are targeted as well. A study released this month by TRAFFIC, an NGO that monitors the wildlife trade, finds that governance has been so lacking in the forests of Madagascar in recent years that hundreds of thousands of trees have been illegally cut down in protected areas.More than 350,000 trees were felled between March 2010 and March 2015, the study states, despite being in areas that have been granted official protected status. At least one million logs were illegally exported from Madagascar during those years — that’s more than 150,000 metric tons-worth of logs, per the study.The primary target of illegal loggers is rosewood and palisander, both species belonging to the genus Dalbergia, though other precious hardwood species like ebony (in the genus Diospyros) are targeted as well.“Poor governance and corruption led to an anarchic situation with no control over timber harvesting resulting in an all-out ‘timber-rush’ with widespread felling of rosewood and ebony trees in protected areas across Madagascar, from which it will take years for the environment to recover,” Roland Melisch, TRAFFIC’s Senior Programme Director for Africa, said in a statement.Madagascar’s precious hardwood timber species are in high demand in Europe and the United States, where they’re used in the manufacture of musical instruments, and in Asia, where they’re used in high-end furniture, especially in China.The TRAFFIC study cites numerous factors that contribute to the poor management of precious timber in Madagascar, including a lack of consistent regulations governing the logging of the selectively targeted species, allegations of governmental authorities colluding with traffickers of illegal timber, a general lack of laws governing forestry (and precious hardwood species in particular), and a failure to hold well-known traffickers accountable.Madagascar adopted a prohibition on the cutting, transport, and export of precious hardwood by governmental decree in 2010. In order to bolster this measure, the country’s government also requested in 2013 that its precious timber species be listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which requires that any authorized international trade be proven to not threaten the survival of the species before permits can be issued.“The application for an export permit must therefore be preceded by the issuing of a non-detriment finding (NDF),” the authors of the study note, adding that “such a finding should not be issued without having appropriate and adequate information on the status of populations in the wild, quantitative logging data, trade history and associated management systems.”Among the TRAFFIC study’s findings, however, were that information on how many rosewood and ebony trees exist in Madagascar’s forests today (what’s known as “standing timber inventories”) is “at best partial or is non-existent.” And there is no data collected by the country on timber harvests at the species level, even while data on illegal harvesting activities is “general,” meaning that the number and location of trees being cut down is not readily discernible.The study also found that “The precious timber management policy is characterized by a disconnect between management decisions (i.e. political declarations and international commitments) and their implementation on the ground.”In other words, the TRAFFIC study found that Madagascar’s precious timber management system cannot possibly guarantee that current logging activities are not a threat to the future survival of rosewood and ebony species.Mongabay’s requests for comment were not returned by Madagascar’s Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests.The study authors make a number of recommendations for how the government of Madagascar can address the situation, but there are already signs that change may be at hand. The country faced intense international pressure at the 2016 CITES meeting in South Africa, for instance. The CITES Secretariat ultimately called on Madagascar to audit stockpiles of precious timber species that have been seized by the government and to step up enforcement actions against illegal timber harvesting. If the country fails to adequately implement this “Timber Action Plan,” it could face trade sanctions.And during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in December 2015, China signaled its willingness to help by increasing its cooperation with African countries on sustainable forest management, among other measures. As the main importer of Madagascar’s timber, China’s assistance could prove crucial.But Madagascar itself appears to be well aware of the situation, as well, having joined the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and signed on to the Zanzibar Declaration on timber trade as well as the Southern African Development Community’s Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching Strategy. According to TRAFFIC, these forums will not only allow Madagascar to get financial and technical support to combat the illegal trade of its precious timber, but also represent an acknowledgement that a regional strategy to combat the illegal trade in fauna and flora is required.Still, the country has a long way to go before it can ensure logging activities aren’t threatening its rosewood and ebony stocks. “Madagascar is signalling it sees the need for reform in management of its timber resources, but such agreements need to be accompanied by hard action at the highest level of government,” Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, Country Director for WWF Madagascar, said in a statement.TRAFFIC’s Melisch said that he’s hopeful the new research will help rein in the “timber rush” underway in Madagascar’s forests: “This latest study should help the government of Madagascar to understand the issues that led to this catastrophic situation and to begin the long process of mitigating the ensuing mismanagement crisis.”Illegal rosewood stockpiles in Antalaha, Madagascar. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson calls for preserving half of Earth to save biodiversity

first_imgBiodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Books, Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Environment, Researcher Perspectives Series, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Mike Gaworecki In Half-Earth, Wilson argues that the situation facing humanity and biodiversity is so desperate that it requires a dramatic response: dedicating fully half of the planet’s surface area to nature and natural forces, an arrangement a New York Times interviewer calls “an improbable prescription for the environment.”Wilson’s proposal calls not for removing people living in and depending on the natural resources of wildlands around the world, but for managing these areas in a manner that would preserve their living legacies of biodiversity, something akin to how World Heritage Sites are managed.Through his nearly 90 years of exploration, inquiry and controversy, the visionary Wilson has taken positions and pointed toward destinations that ultimately have prevailed – that which was considered outside of accepted thinking or conventional wisdom has become mainstream.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay. Hear E.O. Wilson talk about his Half-Earth proposal in this January 2017 edition of Mongabay’s podcast.The current issue of Sierra, a magazine published by the Sierra Club, contains a bold — perhaps unrealistic — “manifesto” by the eminent Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson calling for preservation of half the planet in an undisturbed, natural condition in order to save beleaguered nonhuman life on Earth.The manifesto is based on Wilson’s impassioned book Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, published in early 2016. In Half-Earth, Wilson argues that the situation facing humanity and biodiversity is so desperate that it requires a dramatic response: dedicating fully half of the planet’s surface area to nature and natural forces, an arrangement a New York Times interviewer calls “an improbable prescription for the environment.”When asked by the Times in 2016 why he is making this urgent plea now, the 87-year-old, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for General Non-Fiction and University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard acknowledged that facing his own imminent mortality had something to do with it. But he added:[A] lifetime of research has magnified my perception that we are in a crisis with reference to the living part of the environment. We now have enough measurements of extinction rates and the likely rate in the future to know that it is approaching a thousand times the baseline of what existed before humanity came along.Edward O. Wilson. Photo by Jim Harrison – PLoS.[T]o save biodiversity, we need to set aside about half the earth’s surface as a natural reserve. I’m not suggesting we have one hemisphere for humans and the other for the rest of life. I’m talking about allocating up to one half of the surface of the land and the sea as a preserve for remaining flora and fauna.In Sierra, Wilson writes that:Only by committing half of the planet’s surface to nature can we hope to save the immensity of life-forms that compose it. Unless humanity learns a great deal more about global biodiversity and moves quickly to protect it, we will soon lose most of the species composing life on Earth. The Half-Earth proposal offers a first, emergency solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: By setting aside half the planet in reserve, we can save the living part of the environment and achieve the stabilization required for our own survival.Wilson’s proposal calls not for removing people living in and depending on the natural resources of wildlands around the world, but for managing these areas in a manner that would preserve their living legacies of biodiversity, something akin to how World Heritage Sites are managed. In his calculations, he also is including protected marine areas where no fishing is allowed.Oddly, for an entomologist and ethologist (animal behaviorist) whose happiest moments in life were spent exploring tropical rainforests and peering at amazing and bizarre insects, Wilson is no stranger to controversy. Perhaps because of his very integrity, it has stalked him like a wildcat for much of his career, reaching a zenith in the mid-1970s after he wrote the tome Sociobiology: The New Synthesis.This landmark book documented new research in evolutionary biology and psychology; it argued that both nature (instinct) and nurture (culture) determine human social behavior. The idea that any social behavior at all could be attributed to instinct and genetic inheritance — rather than to sexist and racist institutions and cultures — rocked progressive professors in the academic world, who were becoming the dominant force in humanities and liberal arts departments at universities around the country. Some of Wilson’s Harvard colleagues, including the well-known paleontologist and avowed left-winger Stephen Jay Gould, plotted to have Wilson stripped of his academic tenure and kicked out of Harvard.Yet, Wilson’s own views and his science have prevailed. Today there is widespread scientific consensus that much human behavior is indeed genetic, and the whole new field of evolutionary psychology has opened up.Wilson was one of the first scientists to be intrigued by the concept of the ecological footprint (EF) and analytical methods to calculate per capita biocapacity and EF (consumer demands for cropland, forest, grazing land, marine and inland waters, and built-up land), developed in the early 1990s at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and their potential to quantify and illustrate humanity’s aggregate loads on Planet Earth.Dr. Wilson put in a good word about EF to the most prestigious scientific body in the U.S., the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2002, he edited a scientific paper on EF by Mathis Wackernagel and co-authors entitled “Tracking the ecological overshoot of the human economy” for publication in the Academy’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). In part thanks to Wilson’s interest and efforts, in less than a decade, EF emerged from ecotopian obscurity in the Pacific Northwest to being embraced by America’s scientific establishment, and later the world’s. At the same time, EF, and a derivative, the Carbon Footprint, began to be popularly accepted and widely applied by environmental advocacy groups, national governments, the UN, news media, and the public at large.Prof. Wilson has long been concerned about the impact of human overpopulation on other living beings. In a 2002 article for Scientific American, “The Bottleneck,” he wrote:The pattern of human population growth in the 20th century was more bacterial than primate. When Homo sapiens passed the six-billion mark we had already exceeded by perhaps as much as 100 times the biomass of any large animal species that ever existed on the land. We and the rest of life cannot afford another 100 years like that.Wilson was even dragged into the bitter, internecine struggle within the Sierra Club in 1998 over whether it should return to a national population policy that once again acknowledged that immigration should be curbed to stop U.S. population growth. In January 1998, he penned a letter to then-executive director Adam Werbach that said, in part:I have come to believe that population is so salient a factor in the future of the environment, and especially of biodiversity, that it should be faced squarely and openly whenever possible. And since the issue within the Sierra Club is to be decided democratically by ballot, with supporters and arguments on both sides, and since the initiative calls for ‘reduction in net immigration’ (no slamming of doors there), it is hard to see why the membership cannot be trusted to make a wise decision with the interests of the Sierra Club in mind.In spite of his deeply held concerns, Wilson insists that he is an optimist, that he believes human beings can rally in time to save what is left of our fellow creatures from oblivion.With the deepest respect and admiration for the man, I myself think he is a bit too sanguine. He told The New York Times that global population is stabilizing and that “high tech is producing new products and ways of living that are congenial to setting aside more space for the rest of life. Instrumentation is getting smaller, using less material and energy.”Actually, while many countries are at or near population stabilization, on a global scale, the human population is growing as fast and as fiercely as ever. And whether or not technological advances can keep pace with inexorable resource depletion is not at all certain.Conservationist Hector Pastor surveys illegal deforestation in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve in Honduras, a World Heritage Site like those promoted by Professor E.O. Wilson to save Earth’s biodiversity. Photo courtesy of Leon Kolankiewicz.When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Central America, I worked on behalf of the conservation of one of the very World Heritage Sites Wilson is promoting, and I saw firsthand how little of a difference protected status declarations on paper meant to what actually occurred on the ground. There must be deeply rooted and widespread political and popular support to actually protect “protected areas.”I would like to put aside the doubts seeded from my own experience, believe in humanity’s capacity to change and take a more balanced place among all living things, and embrace the optimism Wilson feels. There is evidence for that path. Through his nearly 90 years of exploration, inquiry and controversy, the visionary Wilson has taken positions and pointed toward destinations that ultimately have prevailed – that which was considered outside of accepted thinking or conventional wisdom has become mainstream. Such indeed may be the case with Wilson’s bold Half-Earth idea, notwithstanding naysayers casting it as an “improbable prescription.”This great scientist and visionary has given us an audacious goal towards which to strive. We can only hope it inspires action by large enough numbers of people to drive the solution Wilson has envisioned to save what we’re so rapidly losing.The extinct golden toad (Incilius periglenes) formerly lived in a small area of cloud forest in Costa Rica. The last sighting was in May 1989, and it has since been officially classified as extinct. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.Leon Kolankiewicz is a wildlife biologist and environmental scientist and planner. He is the author of Where Salmon Come to Die: An Autumn on Alaska’s Raincoast, the essay “Overpopulation versus Biodiversity” in Environment and Society: A Reader and was a contributing writer to Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation. He also is an Advisory Board Member and Senior Writing Fellow with Californians for Population Stabilization.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

This new primate is a ‘giant’ among tiny bush babies

first_imgThe Angolan dwarf galago is about 17 to 20 centimeters in length (with an additional 17 to 24 centimeters long tail).It has a very distinctive call: a loud chirping crescendo of longer notes, followed by a fading twitter.Scientists have named the new species Galagoides kumbirensis after the Kumbira forest it was first observed in. In the forests of north-western Angola, scientists have discovered a new species of primate — a greyish-brown dwarf galago or bushbaby, larger than all previously known dwarf galagos.The newly described Angolan dwarf galago, named after the only country it is known to occur in, has big eyes with a distinctive white stripe between them, a long furry tail, and a slightly up-turned muzzle that merges into the dark eye-rings. Like other galagos, it is a nocturnal primate, preferring to live on tree tops.The Angolan dwarf galago is about 17 to 20 centimeters in length (with an additional 17 to 24 centimeters long tail), nearly three times the size of other known dwarf galagos, scientists report in a new study published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. This makes it a “giant among dwarfs”, the researchers say.Angolan dwarf galago (G.Kumbirensis) in Angola. Photo by Elena BersacolaAnother trait that sets the new bushbaby apart from its relatives is its distinctive call: a loud chirping crescendo of longer notes, followed by a fading twitter. In fact, the call and appearance of the Angolan dwarf galago is so different from that of other known dwarf galagos, that the researchers say that they felt no need to verify its status genetically.“When we first encountered the new species in Kumbira Forest in north-western Angola, we heard a distinctive ‘crescendo’ call similar to that of a tiny galago, but upon seeing one, we were struck by its remarkably large size,” lead author Magdalena Svensson from Oxford Brookes University said in a statement.“Until now, call types have been the most reliable way to distinguish galago species, and to find one that did not match what we expected was very exciting.”In September 2013, Svensson and her colleagues observed 36 live individuals of the new species of dwarf galago in three sites in north-west Angola: Kumbira forest, Bimbe, Northern Scarp Forest. The team took photographs of the individuals, recorded their calls and noted their behavior, and compared their measurements with museum specimens of other galagos.  Their analysis showed that the dwarf galago was indeed a new species.“This new Galago species is a very exciting discovery,” Russell Mittermeier of Conservation International said in the statement. “It is only the fifth new primate described from the African mainland since 2000 and only the second species of galago. What is more, it is from Angola, where there has been very little primate research to date.”The scientists have named the new species Galagoides kumbirensis after the Kumbira forest it was first observed in. This understudied forest, known for its bird and plant diversity that includes several endemic and globally threatened species, is under threat from commercial logging and deforestation for farming and charcoal production. According to data from the University of Maryland visualized on Global Forest Watch, the area comprising Kumbira forest lost nearly 5 percent of its tree cover between 2001 and 2014.The researchers hope that naming the new primate after this forest will draw attention to the area.Kumbira forest is an isolated tract of dense forest in west-central Angola. However, Global Forest Watch shows it has not been immune to recent tree cover loss.Satellite imagery from Urthecast captured February 13, 2017, shows forest pockmarked by human activity within the Kumbira landscape.Given that the Angolan dwarf galago’s habitat is in decline and all known locations fall outside protected areas, the researchers recommend listing the species as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.The team also believes that many more new species of primates and mammals remain to be discovered in Africa.“It is no surprise to find not only a new species, but one with such distinctive body proportions, making it really a whole new kind of bushbaby,” said co-author Anna Nekaris, Professor at Oxford Brookes University. “We have been seeing this emerging diversity in Madagascar over the last two decades, yet the nocturnal species of Africa and Asia remain still comparatively unexplored and this giant dwarf galago is just the tip of the iceberg in new discoveries.”Angolan dwarf galago (G.Kumbirensis) in Angola. Photo by Elena Bersacola.Citation:Svensson MS, Bersacola E, Mills MSL, et al. A giant among dwarfs: a new species of galago (Primates: Galagidae) from Angola. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 2017;00:1–14.doi:10.1002/ajpa.23175.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Logging, Mammals, New Species, Primates, Research, Species Discovery last_img read more

African Parks gets $65M for conservation in Rwanda and Malawi

first_imgAnimals, Conservation, Elephants, Happy-upbeat Environmental, In-situ Conservation, Lions, Parks, philanthropy, Protected Areas, Wildlife Article published by Rhett Butler African Parks will receive $65 million from the Wyss Foundation to bolster conservation efforts in Rwanda, Malawi, and beyond.The funds will go toward African Parks’ management of Liwonde National Park, Majete Wildlife Reserve and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi; Akagera National Park in Rwanda; and five still-to-be-identified protected areas in other countries.African Parks privately manages protected areas, effectively taking over operations traditionally managed by governments. African Parks, a South Africa-based organization that manages six million hectares across ten protected areas in seven African nations, will receive $65 million from the Wyss Foundation to bolster conservation efforts in Rwanda, Malawi, and beyond.According to statement released by Wyss, the funds will go toward African Parks’ management of Liwonde National Park, Majete Wildlife Reserve and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi; Akagera National Park in Rwanda; and five still-to-be-identified protected areas in other countries.“The Wyss Foundation is partnering with African Parks to safeguard more large wild landscapes in Africa from poaching and destruction,” said Hansjörg Wyss, Founder and Chairman of The Wyss Foundation, said in a press release. “African Parks has demonstrated success in cooperating with local leaders, communities and African nations in preserving ecosystems benefiting wildlife, while supporting local communities and populations. We are proud of our partnership with African Parks.”The donation builds on a 2015 grant from Wyss that enabled African Parks to reintroduce lions to Rwanda after they had been driven to extinction during the genocide of the mid-1990s. That lion population has since doubled. African Parks and Wyss are also collaborating on a massive translocation of animals to Malawi’s Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.“Up to 500 elephants are currently being moved from two parks with a surplus (Liwonde and Majete) to a third park (Nkhotakota) that until recently had been heavily poached but has since been secured and is poised to be restocked and revived as Malawi’s premier elephant sanctuary,” the statement said. “In addition to these elephants, more than 1,000 head of other animals, including sable antelope, buffalo, waterbuck and impala have also been reintroduced to Nkhotakota, re-establishing viable founder populations, and helping to restore the health of the park.”A zebra in Akagera National Park, Rwanda, which is managed by African Parks. Photo by John Dickens/African Parks.African Parks is developing proposals for the other five new protected areas in Chad, Kenya, Mozambique and Benin that could receive support in the form of “challenge grants” if matching funds are raised. The group, which privately manages protected areas from top to bottom, says it is also in discussions with the Governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia as part of its goal to manage 20 parks by 2020.“Our vision is to protect 20 parks by 2020, bringing up to 10 million hectares of wilderness under our management,” said Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks. “This historic gift, and the partnership forged with the Wyss Foundation, enables us to have a conservation impact at a scale which is globally significant.”center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Pressure over water in Brazil puts pulp industry in the spotlight

first_imgArticle published by Genevieve Belmaker Brazil is the world’s largest producer of eucalyptus-derived pulp and the state of Espírito Santo is one of its biggest production centers.More than a third of the state, which was once rich in Atlantic Forest, is at risk of becoming desert.The region faces one of the worst droughts in its history, which is causing billions in losses. CORREGO GRANDE RESERVE, Brazil – Brazil’s southeast coastal state of Espírito Santo is rapidly heading toward desertification. In just a few decades, the region has gone from being one of the last refuges for the seriously threatened Atlantic Forest, to having 36 percent of its territory officially considered susceptible to desertification, according to Brazil’s Ministry of Environment.The government has long been aware of the issue, but potential solutions are complex. A 2004 report by Brazil’s Ministry of Environment noted the desertification process in the northern part of Espírito Santo. The report pointed to the displacement of native forests by eucalyptus plantations for the pulp industry as a major driver. However, little has been done since then.“[Desertification] is a growing problem,” said Geraldo Fereguetti, president of the Society of Agronomist Engineers of Espírito Santo, by email. “But except for isolated actions by some producers and associations, nothing is being done to tackle it.”Of the 11 Brazilian states affected by desertification mentioned in the report, Espírito Santo is the only one that still hasn’t elaborated on a State Action Desertification Plan. The aim of these plans is to identify the specific problems of each region and articulate appropriate responses to tackle them.“The north of Espírito Santo was a land of plenty, rich in Atlantic Forest, full of trees and mighty rivers,” said Daniela Meirelles, a spokesperson for Brazilian non-profit FASE. Her organization works with local communities to tackle problems that come with the exploitation and use of natural resources.Meirelles believes that a large part of the problem stems from the growth of monoculture plantations.“Since the eucalyptus monocultures arrived, the rivers have dried and the region has become semi-arid,” Meirelles said. The plants were introduced to the region more than fifty years ago.Today, Brazil is the leading global producer of eucalyptus-derived cellulose, according to a January 2017 report by the Department of Research and Economic Studies of Brazil’s Bradesco Bank. The region’s climate and soil conditions, coupled with the use of selected eucalyptus clones, also makes Brazilian cellulose production one of the most competitive and efficient in the world.Eucalyptus monocultures in Espírito Santo. Photo by Ignacio Amigo for MongabayAccording to the report, the production of 1.5 million tons of pulp requires 720,000 hectares in Scandinavia and 300,000 hectares in China, but only 140,000 hectares in Brazil. In addition, the trees are suitable for harvest after only seven years, roughly half as long as in Europe.Because of these prime conditions, pulp operations are widespread in the region. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), today there are more than 280,000 hectares of eucalyptus plantations in Espírito Santo – about 6 percent of the total area of the state. The proportion is generally much higher in the north of the state, where most plantations are located. The state’s municipality of Conceição da Barra, for example, had 38,037 hectares of eucalyptus plantations back in 2010, almost 32 percent of its territory.Water crisisWith the advancement of desertification, Espírito Santo faces extreme circumstances in regards to water. CESAN, the company that provides water to most of the cities of the state, described the situation in 2015 as “the worst water crisis in the history of Espírito Santo.”Only a handful of cities have recently experienced an “emergency state” due to lack of water according to local media reports, most of them in the northern region. Rain has been meager, and rivers are running dry, but the current rainy season has helped to ease the pressure. Locals said in recent interviews that in some places their tap water has become salty, possibly due to seawater flowing upstream into rivers because of low water levels.But regional expert Fereguetti says there is a difference between the lack of rain and the water crisis, even though the former might be compounding the latter.“The lack of rain is a cyclic phenomenon which has been observed since the [1930s], when the first measurements were performed,” Fereguetti said. “On the other hand, the water crisis is a consequence of a deficient management, both by the public authorities and the users.”Desertification has heavily impacted regional agriculture. Espírito Santo’s Department of Agriculture estimated in September 2016 that the accumulated economic losses in agriculture during the last two years reached more than $1 billion. Coffee, fruits and vegetables were the crops most heavily affected.Harvesting eucalyptus. Photo by Ignacio Amigo for MongabayCritics argue that the pulp industry is partially responsible for the lack of water that is helping to fuel the region’s desertification crisis.The largest pulp company in Brazil, Espírito Santo-based pulp mill Fibria, reportedly uses 56 million gallons of water per day, according to the company’s 2015 sustainability report. The amount of consumption has been described by some local media outlets as comparable to that of the whole metropolitan region of Vitória, the capital and largest city in the state. The company has also said publicly they are worried that the water shortage could compromise its long-term viability.“It’s this model of development, with monocultures, agro-business and oil and gas extraction, the one that produces the climate changes that in turn cause the water crisis,” Meirelles said.From deforestation to desertificationThe northern region of Espírito Santo has been heavily impacted by desertification. For miles, the landscape consists solely of large fields of eucalyptus monocultures, broken up by abandoned pastures with degraded soil. Many lakes have become dry hollows overtaken by weeds and plants. Farmers complain about poor harvests. Schools are often closed due to lack of water.­­­­­­­­­­­­­The problem goes back to the late 1960s, when the Brazilian government set in motion a program to stimulate the production of pulp. The program included fiscal incentives to reforest land with eucalyptus, as well as cheap loans to the pulp companies through the government’s National Development Bank.Today, eucalyptus plantations are ubiquitous in the region. In many places, the monocultures begin only a few feet from houses.However, less than a century ago, this was home to a vast extension of Atlantic Forest. According to Warren Dean, author of a classic book on the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, logging and the expansion of the coffee industry were the main historic drivers of deforestation in the area in the 1940s and 1950s. Later, after the wood supply was exhausted and coffee prices plunged, the region suffered from economic stagnation.To Fereguetti, the deforestation of the Atlantic Forest plays an important role in today’s situation.“The removal of the natural vegetation exposed the soil and impaired its capacity to infiltrate rainwater,” Fereguetti said. Soil infiltration facilitates rainwater to be accumulated in the water table and underground aquifers, making it available during dry seasons. “Today, without infiltration, the water flows directly into rivers and streams, causing massive floods followed by periods in which the rivers are completely dry.”To Fereguetti, this low availability of water from rivers is “certainly one of the causes of the current drought” – and he adds that is was furthered by government policies.“The previous forest codes completely ignored the issue [of desertification] and deforestation was bolstered by government policies that considered it a means of inducing development,” Fereguetti said. “They did not foresee the environmental consequences that today scare environmentalists, producers and government authorities.”When eucalyptus is planted in degraded lands, the presence of trees can help retain water and protect the soil. However, their capacity to tackle desertification is rather limited compared to that of a native forest, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.A field after eucalyptus has been harvested. Photo by Ignacio Amigo for MongabayBeing industrial plantations, the raison d’être of monocultures is economic. Accordingly, the eucalyptus strains used have been selected for their fast growth, not for their ability to restore the land. Thus, similar to other fast-growing species, they require large amounts of water. And after converting it to biomass, the trees are harvested after only seven years.Monocultures can also have a social impact.In Espírito Santo’s north, the expansion of the pulp industry has created unforeseen complications. As the pulp companies acquired land for their monocultures, thousands of people were displaced, including many traditional communities. The Guarani and Tupiniquim indigenous tribes fought a 30-year legal battle to regain nearly 20,000 hectares of their land from Fibria. The expansion also affected many quilombos (hinterland communities of former slaves). Some of them are literally engulfed in eucalyptus, and experts say they are left with almost no land to plant with food crops.“Most quilombos didn’t have the titles of their lands because until recently they lacked legal recognition,” FASE’s Meirelles said, explaining that the territories officially belonged to the government. “This made it easier for the companies to take their lands from them.”Many simply left. The Sapê do Norte Quilombola Commission estimates that 90 percent of the people who lived there migrated to the outskirts of cities, according to local media.Many of those who stayed still fight for land they believe is rightfully theirs. They had a small victory in 2013 when the Federal Ministry in São Mateus filed a civil suit against Fibria, accusing the company of illegally buying tracts of land through workers who later transferred them to the company. The prosecution is now demanding that the land be reverted to public ownership, and later titled to the quilombos once their traditional occupation is confirmed. The case still hasn’t been resolved.Fibria did not respond to numerous requests for comment.Despite the role of monocultures, Fereguetti does not believe eucalyptus plantations are solely to blame. Instead, he argues that the approximately 300,000 hectares of degraded pasture in the state should be the main target of “any program that aims at reducing the effects of the desertification process.”A 2012 report about degraded soils by a local agribusiness organization CEDAGRO states that there are almost 400,000 hectares of degraded soil in the state, of which 238,943 hectares are located in degraded pasture.Almost five years on, despite the problems experts are optimistic that the worst of the drought has passed. According to some forecasts, the current rainy season may provide enough rain to ease the situation. However, the potential for desertification and similar water crises will remain a concern for years to come.Banner image: Eucalyptus tree. Photo by Bidgee/Wikimedia CommonsIgnacio Amigo is a freelance journalist based in São Paulo, Brazil. You can find him on Twitter at @Sr_Tresillo. Citations:[1] “With Broadax and Firebrand”, by Warren Dean (https://www.amazon.com/Broadax-Firebrand-Destruction-Brazilian-Centennial/dp/0520208862)Transparent World. “Tree Plantations.” 2015. Accessed through Global Forest Watch on February 25, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Deforestation, Desertification, Forests, Mata Atlantica, Monocultures, Rainforests, Water, Water Crisis, Water Scarcity last_img read more

Discovering the Congo carbon sink

first_imgAgriculture, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Ecosystems, Environment, Forests, Gorillas, Interns, Peatlands, Research Cuvette Centrale, as it is known, stores as much carbon as has been emitted by the U.S. over the last 20 years.The peatland ecosystem is home to wetland birds, forest elephants, and western lowland gorillas.Threats to the vast carbon sink include climate change and conversion to agriculture. Laden with carefully thought-out food supplies, Greta Dargie carried her heavy pack as she waded through the mud. Getting to field sites in the swampy forests of the Cuvette Centrale in the Congo Basin proved no easy task.Dargie and her team travelled by boat down one of the two main rivers of the Likouala region in the Republic of the Congo (RoC). They hiked and waded through water and mud that was sometimes waist high. But they were not alone. These forests are also filled with thousands of lowland gorillas.The UK-Congolese team traveled by boat down river, waded across swampy forests, and camped on soggy ground deep in the forests of the Cuvette Centrale. Underneath this muddy water was a discovery that would have important global implications. Photo credit: Dr. Simon Lewis.The team’s determination and sense of adventure allowed them to discover the largest peatland in the tropics. It extends 145,000 square kilometers, covering an area greater than England.Dr. Greta Dargie and Dr. Simon Lewis—affiliated with both the University of Leeds and University College London in the UK—led the expedition. They first discovered peat soils in this area in 2012, and spent three years exploring this remote region to determine its expanse.This discovery is not just important for the Cuvette Centrale region: it also has global implications. Peat soils are formed from plant material that is not completely broken down. They are important carbon storage systems—also known as carbon sinks.In their recent study, Dargie and Lewis estimate that it might hold 30.6 billion metric tons of carbon. Dargie likened this number to 20 years of carbon emissions from the United States. They also write in Nature that there is almost the same amount of carbon belowground as there is throughout the entire Congo Basin aboveground.Peatlands only fulfill their role as carbon sinks when decomposition of plant material is slowed or prevented. The waterlogging in these swampy forests helps maintain this role. However, climate change poses a potential threat to this new discovery.If rainfall decreases regionally due to warming, the water in the peatland could drain, ramping up decomposition. If this occurs, release of carbon dioxide and methane – two important greenhouse gases – could increase.“If the peat was to somehow be drained and burned, then the release of the carbon into the atmosphere would be a grave blow to the global attempts to mitigate climate change,” said Dr. Fiona Maisels, advisor for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) wildlife survey and monitoring programs in Central Africa. WCS is the Congolese government’s partner in conservation efforts.The Cuvette Centrale (shown in green) is an extensive forest and wetland system that spans both the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the continent of Africa. Although extremely remote, Dr. Greta Dargie and Dr. Simon Lewis overcame challenging conditions to discover the tropics’ largest peatland. Photo credit: Dr. Greta Dargie.Inside Cuvette Central is the DRC’s fourth largest protected area: Lac Télé Community Reserve (LTCR) covering 4,400 square kilometers. The LTCR is home to a high diversity of wetland birds, and all three Central African crocodile species. This includes two of the most threatened crocodilians in the world – the slender-snouted crocodile (Crocodylus cataphractus) and the dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis).In addition, the LTCR contains among the highest densities of Critically Endangered western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in the region.But how did a peatland the size of England go undiscovered for so long? The Congo River Basin is larger than India. Although researchers believed there might be peat here, they could not find locations mentioned in the scientific literature.“Nobody called the swamp forest in the Cuvette Centrale peat swamp forest, so we needed to go and have a look for ourselves,” said Lewis.Traversing this swamp forest is no easy task: there are few people that venture into it. Furthermore, Lewis noted that peat could only be traversed when it was not submerged at the end of the dry season. Unless you were looking for it, you were not going to find it.The UK team worked with local villagers who knew the forest and were skilled in living in the challenging environment. Accessing field sites required traveling by boat, wading through muddy, swampy terrain, and camping on saturated forest floors.The western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a critically endangered species living in the wetlands of the Cuvette Centrale. They are found in high densities in the Lac Télé Community Reserve (LTCR). Typically, they reside in drier areas that are not waterlogged, known as terra firme (“firm earth”) forests. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler.But having an effective team helped in these conditions. Dargie said local expertise was essential.“They showed us how to construct platforms to pitch our tents on when the swamp was flooded.”To map the extent and carbon storage capacity of this peatland, the UK-Congolese first collected peat samples. Determining the amount of carbon and the thickness of the peat was integral in estimating the carbon capacity. In one area, the peat soil was 5.9 meters thick – roughly the size of an adult giraffe.Peat consists of semi-decomposed plant material. Decomposition is slower in these ecosystems due the waterlogged conditions. Because of this, peat soils act as carbon storage systems. Hundreds of these samples were collected to determine the extent and amount of carbon present in this peatland. Photo credit: Dr. Simon Lewis.After collecting hundreds of samples, they noticed that the peat is regularly found under two vegetation types: hardwood swamp forests and swamp forests dominated by raphia palms (Raphia laurenttii).The team then mapped these two forest types using satellite data. They needed to figure out how far these peatlands extend within the Congo Basin. The combination of their empirical and satellite data proved that this was the largest peatland in the tropics, and stored some 30 billion metric tons of carbon.Maisels said that the government is considering expanding the LTCR to conserve a larger portion of this important ecosystem. The LTCR is both a Ramsar site and one of BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas.There are also 27 villages consisting of 17,000 people in or near the LTCR. These villagers depend on the natural resources that this habitat provides, like bushmeat, fish, construction materials, and medicine. Although traditional practices are an important part of their cultures, conservation’s presence helps make sure quotas are maintained.Unfortunately, climate change is not the only threat to this ecosystem. For wildlife, Maisels said that “hunting of animals for bushmeat is, as for much of central Africa, an important threat, where the meat is sold outside the area by commercial bushmeat operators.”Conversion to oil palm or other agricultural crops could pose a future threat to both the wildlife and the carbon within these peatlands. Such conversions are ongoing in other parts of Africa, and could happen down the line in the RoC if the peatland is not valued as a climate and wildlife protector.Citations:Dargie, G., Lewis, S.L., Lawson, I.T., Mitchard, E.T.A., Page, S.E., Bocko, Y.E., Ifo, S.A. (2017). Age, extent and carbon storage of the central Congo Basin peatland complex. Nature, 542, 86-90. Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_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

Climate change driving widespread local extinctions; tropics most at risk

first_imgCitations:BirdLife International and National Audubon Society (2015) The messengers: what birds tell us about threats from climate change and solutions for nature and people. Cambridge, UK and New York, USA: BirdLife International and National Audubon SocietyChen, I-C, Hill, JK, Shiu, H-J, Holloway, JD, Benedick, S, Chey, VK, Barlow, HS and Thomas, CD (2011) Asymmetric boundary shifts of tropical montane Lepidoptera over four decades of climate warming. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20: 34-45Forero-Medina G, Terborgh J, Socolar SJ, Pimm SL (2011) Elevational ranges of birds on a tropical montane gradient lag behind warming temperatures. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28535. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028535Freeman, BG and Freeman, AMC (2014) Rapid upslope shifts in New Guinean birds illustrate strong distributional responses of tropical montane species to global warming. PNAS 111: 4490-4494Raxworthy, CJ, Pearson, RG, Rabibisoa, N, Rakotondrazafy, AM, Ramanamanjato, J-B, Raselimanana, AP, Wu, S, Nussbaum, RA, and Stone, DA (2008) Extinction vulnerability of tropical montane endemism from warming and upslope displacement: a preliminary appraisal for the highest massif in Madagascar. Global Change Biology 14: 1703-1720Schloss, CA, Nuñez, TA and Lawler, JJ (2012) Dispersal will limit ability of mammals to track climate change in the Western Hemisphere. PNAS 109: 8606-8611Şekercioğlu, C, Schneider, SH, Fay, JP and Loarie, SR (2008) Climate change, elevational range shifts, and bird extinctions. Conservation Biology 22: 140-150Wiens JJ (2016) Climate-related local extinctions are already widespread among plant and animal species. PLoS Biol 14(12): e2001104. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2001104 Amphibian Crisis, Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Birds, Carnivores, Cats, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change And Extinction, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Science, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Extinction And Climate Change, Featured, Frogs, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Habitat, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Herps, Mammals, Mass Extinction, Monkeys, Overpopulation, Primates, Rainforest Conservation, Reptiles, Tropical Deforestation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img Climate change forces three fates on species: adapt, flee or die. A new meta-analysis compiled data from 27 studies to see how species distributions have changed over timescales of 10-159 years, and included 976 species. Almost half (47 percent) had seen some local populations disappear along the warming edge of their ranges.The tropics were especially vulnerable to climate change-driven local extinctions. The data showed that 55 percent of tropical and subtropical species experienced local extinctions, whereas the figure was only 39 percent for temperate species. Though the tropical data set was not large, this higher tropical risk concurs with past studies.Tropical species are at greater risk due to climate change because they live in some of the world’s hottest environments, so are already at the upper limit of known temperature adaptation, are restricted to small areas, particular rare habitats, and narrow temperature ranges, or have poor dispersal ability and slow reproductive rates.Scientists see multiple solutions to the problem: beyond the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions, they recommend conserving large core areas of habitat, and preserving strong connectivity between those core areas, so plants and animals can move more freely between them as required as the world warms. A red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), a species found in the western Amazon, a region where many mammal species are unlikely to be able to keep pace with climate change. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerA species has just three options in the face of environmental change: move, adapt or die. As global temperatures rise many species are shifting their ranges, particularly towards the cooler poles and upslope to higher elevations. But if they can’t adapt or move, populations can be lost along the warmer edge of their range. These local population extinctions could have major implications for individual species, ecosystems and global biodiversity.New research, published in PLOS Biology, warns that local extinctions caused by climate change are already widespread. The meta-analysis, by John Wiens of Arizona University, compiled data from 27 studies that resurveyed sites to see how species distributions had changed over time. These studies spanned a range of timescales between 10 and 159 years, and encompassed 976 species. Almost half of these (47 percent) had seen some local populations disappear along the warm edge of their range. Local extinctions were prevalent in all geographic regions and taxonomic groups.“As Yogi Berra said, it is tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said Wiens, whose research has contributed to a growing body of work that tries to forecast how biodiversity will respond to climate change. “And it is hard to tell whether your predictions are actually accurate or not. So, for this study, I changed my focus and instead asked: what has happened [due to climate change] already?”The extent of local extinctions came as a surprise, Wiens said, “given that climate has changed little relative to the much greater changes predicted in the future.”Stuart Butchart, director of science at BirdLife International expressed alarm over the results: “The fact that evidence of such population extinctions was found for about half of species, and that the pattern held across plants and animals, tropical and temperate regions, and in marine, terrestrial and freshwater systems is striking.”Keel-billed toucans (Ramphastos sulfuratus) along with other lowland species have been recorded shifting their range to higher elevations in response to rising temperatures, just one of many impacts climate change is having on biodiversity. Recent research has found that 47 percent of species studied have undergone local extinctions along the warmer edge of their range, with local extinction rates higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerA resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) in the cloud forest of Costa Rica. Tropical lowland and montane species are especially at risk from increasing temperatures due to climate change. Photo by Keith Carver on Flickr licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic licenseLocal vs. global extinctionIt’s important to note that local extinction doesn’t necessarily mean that a species is in danger of global extinction: if its range is expanding elsewhere, and it is able to move in a timely fashion, the species could be successfully responding to the changing climate.On the other hand, population extinction could indicate trouble for species that are unable to expand their range into areas with more suitable conditions — either because they can’t move quickly enough, or because there is nowhere else for them to go.So how should we interpret the widespread local extinctions that have been recorded so far?Wiens agrees that “is the big question: will these local extinctions of populations turn into global extinctions of entire species?”“The short answer is: I don’t know.” But given their prevalence, “and that global warming is predicted to increase by an additional two- to five-fold, it seems hard to think that there will not be many global extinctions also.”Trouble in the tropicsWhen Wiens compared taxonomic groups, he found that the percentage of local extinctions was higher in animals than in plants, and in freshwater over marine and terrestrial species. A geographic trend was also apparent, with 55 percent of tropical and subtropical species experiencing local extinctions, whereas the figure was lower, at 39 percent, for temperate species. This might seem counterintuitive when temperatures are rising fastest at higher latitudes — as seen in the more rapidly warming Arctic — but it is something that scientists have previously predicted based on the biology and ecology of tropical species.Tropical species live in some of the world’s hottest environments, so are already at the upper limit of known temperature adaptation. More heat means more stress, potentially beyond their ability to adapt.What’s more, tropical environments tend to be more stable throughout the year, so tropical species are adapted to a much narrower range of temperatures than their temperate counterparts.The fact that tropical species are already showing higher levels of local extinctions is especially worrying. “I think that the most important implication of this pattern is that climate-related extinctions are most likely in the part of the world that has the most species, the tropics,” said Wiens. “So, the prognosis is worse for global biodiversity than if extinctions were just spread randomly across the planet.”But others caution that more data is needed to gain a clear picture of geographic variation in local extinction rates. “A major limitation of the Wiens study is the utter lack of data from the tropics,” said Kenneth Feeley, of the University of Miami, who pointed out that once subtropical climatic regions such as Arizona were excluded, only 5 of the 27 studies that Wiens examined were from the true tropics, and only one focused on plants. “Given this lack of data it is premature to draw conclusions about local extinctions of tropical species and especially tropical plant species,” he said.Despite this caveat, Wiens’ overall conclusions tally with what Feeley and colleagues have already been observing in their own research in the forests of Central and South America. “[M]any tropical tree species in Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru are shifting their ranges to higher elevations and [..] in many cases these shifts are due primarily to species dying back, and going locally extinct, from the lower, hotter portions of their ranges.”Reptiles and amphibians such as the Tsaratanana chameleon (Calumma tsaratananensis) on Madagascar’s highest mountain may soon run out of cold-edge habitat to expand into. Photo by Christopher RaxworthyThe devil is in the detailsA great number of variables make a thorough assessment of tropical extinction potential challenging, but many factors added together tip toward higher future local extinction rates. For species in the middle of a vast lowland tropical region, such as the Amazon or Congo basins, for example, cooler temperatures, and suitable habitats, can be many hundreds of kilometers away, making a timely escape along a temperature gradient almost impossible.Common traits of tropical species don’t bode well either: “In general, species with certain characteristics, such as being restricted to small areas, restricted to particular rare habitats, having poor dispersal ability and slow reproductive rates are most extinction-prone. These are characteristics of many tropical species,” explained Jane Hill, a professor at York University, UK.“Given the long generation times and narrow niches of many tropical tree species, there is good reason to predict that many […] simply won’t be capable of tolerating hotter temperatures and will go locally extinct,” said Feeley.Though we might not see the impacts immediately, cautions Naia Morueta-Holme, an ecologist at University of California, Berkeley: species that might look as though their range is stable could be building up an “extinction debt” — a time delay in which the extinction of a species in the future is due to events in the past.“[L]ong-lived plants like trees can often survive in more extreme environments, long after they have stopped being able to reproduce,” she noted. “In such cases, it will take longer time for us to see climate-driven local extinctions.”A valley in the upper Amazon, where lowland forest begins to rise towards the Andes in southern Peru. Lowland tropical species can be challenged by distances of hundreds of kilometers between their current range and cooler regions that might offer suitable habitat in the future. Characteristics typical of many tropical species — such as poor dispersal and slow reproductive rates — exacerbate the threat. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerWho’s at risk?Aside from the trees themselves, lowland forest species at greatest risk of being left behind in the race to reach suitable habitat include understory birds, primates and small mammals.A study of nearly 500 Western Hemisphere mammal species conducted by University of Washington scientists identified the western Amazon as the region in greatest trouble, with 14.5 percent of species predicted to be unable to keep up with habitat shifts. Primates in Central and South America face average range reductions of 75 percent over the coming century, the study concluded; many of these species are already threatened with extinction, such as the Endangered white-bellied spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth), and white-nosed saki monkey (Chiropotes albinasus) — which raises another point; climate change is just one of many human-caused stressors in the tropics, ranging from soy and oil palm agribusiness expansion, to logging and wildlife trafficking.On tropical mountains, species may face another problem, even though cooler temperatures are more easily and immediately available to wildlife and plants further upslope: they might simply run out of room at the top. As the world warms, species pushed higher find themselves struggling to survive on smaller and smaller mountaintop islands of habitat.A study of moths on Borneo’s Mount Kinabalu by Hill and colleagues revealed that most species’ ranges had shifted significantly upwards over 42 years, but cool edge expansion had proceeded faster upslope than warm edge contraction. Although this has kept range sizes stable for the time being, at high elevations movement upwards is likely to be limited by the geology of the mountain, which makes it unsuitable habitat for the moths. As a result, several endemic species could be at risk of extinction with continued warming.Mount Karimui, New Guinea. Montane species may be able to shift their range upslope — as has been seen in a range of species including trees, insects and birds — but higher elevations may not always offer suitable habitat and species can also end up being “pushed off” the top of the mountain. Photo by Benjamin FreemanWhite-winged Robin (Peneothello sigillata), caught as part of a study of New Guinea birds’ responses to climate change, and identified as one of four species likely to become extinct on Mount Karimui by 2100. Photo by Benjamin FreemanBirds on New Guinea’s Mount Karimui face a similar problem. A study by Benjamin Freeman, of the University of British Columbia, found that 40 out of 64 bird species had seen range contractions at lower elevations, with four upper elevation species likely to be lost from the mountain by 2100.So far, “[t]here haven’t been many documented cases of such mountaintop extinctions,” he said. “For example, the two bird species that [renowned researcher] Jared Diamond found living only on the top of Mount Karimui in the 1960s were still living only at the top of Mount Karimui in 2012.”Freeman, whose work was included in Wiens’ study, also emphasized that “[w]hat Wiens terms a local extinction could be a population shifting upslope 50 meters, and on a steep mountain slope this might not be what we typically think of as an ‘extinction.’”Çağan Şekercioğlu, of the University of Utah, has studied how the elevational range of bird species affects their chances of extinction under climate change projections. In a study of the world’s land birds “[the] already endangered scissor-tailed hummingbird (Hylonympha macrocerca) ended up as one of the most vulnerable species,” he said, “as it is a tropical forest understory resident limited just to the Paria Mountains of Venezuela and to elevations between 530-1,200 meters [1,700-3,900 feet].” The population stands at just 3000-4000 individuals, and habitat conversion to agriculture, coupled with the relatively low height of the mountain at just 1,371 meters (4,500 feet), means the species is rapidly running out of space. Overall, the study predicted that hundreds of bird species would go extinct, and thousands would be at risk of extinction, by 2100 due to the interaction between narrow elevational range, loss of habitat and climate change.In the Peruvian Andes, the picture for some bird species is more hopeful, thanks to the availability of high quality, protected habitat, said German Forero-Medina, of the Wildlife Conservation Society Colombia.Forero-Medina’s study of birds in the Cerros del Sira of central Peru, also featured in Wiens’ analysis. He found that although upwards shifts were evident, they were smaller than predicted due to warming. “The area is protected by the Reserva Comunal El Sira and the vegetation is in good condition, so [most birds] should have space to move.” However, he highlighted the endemic Sira Tanager (Tangara phillipsi), with a narrow elevational range, as a species in need of close monitoring for population declines.The only African data in Wiens’ study was for frogs and reptiles on the highest mountain in Madagascar. For these species, living on the Tsaratanana massif in the north of the country, things are not looking good. “They have very little available cold edge habitat left for them to expand into,” explained Christopher Raxworthy, curator of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History, who led the research. “Essentially warming could push them up and off the top of the mountain,” with the same issue facing endemic species on at least 9 other mountain systems in Madagascar, he said.Madagascar giant treefrog (Cophyla alticola). Endemic species on at least 9 other mountain systems in Madagascar are also at risk. Photo by Christopher RaxworthyEcosystem impactsIt’s not just the potential loss of individual tropical species that’s a cause for great concern. Species interactions will also be disrupted as animals and plants move, adapt or die, which will irrevocably alter complex interrelationships within habitats, ecosystems, and even biomes. “It is likely that we will see considerable disruption to ecological communities, with changes in the dynamics between predators and prey, competitors, diseases and parasites and their hosts,” said Butchart.“The other worry is: what happens to tropical forests at sea level?” said Freeman. Without species coming into the lowlands from somewhere even hotter, these biodiverse regions may undergo a depopulating transformation. “Do lowland plants and animals shift up and leave sea level tropical forests impoverished (termed “biotic attrition”) or not? We really don’t know the answer yet.”Local extinctions, with or without biotic attrition, “will lead to changes in forest composition, structure and function,” said Feeley. “Given the extreme interconnectedness of tropical forest species and systems, these changes can in turn lead to more and more extinctions.”Adding to all these hazards, tropical animals will likely find their movements in response to climate change blocked by all things human: long built and newly built fences, roads, railways, soy and oil palm plantations, cities and towns all offer impediments to movement and could add to extinctions.Forest only survives along a river in an agricultural landscape in Costa Rica. Keeping habitat connected by protecting corridors, especially those spanning elevational gradients, is an urgent priority in mitigating climate impacts on biodiversity. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerConservation prioritiesWhether in the mountains or the lowlands, ever-growing barriers to movement — the result of habitat loss and deforestation, infrastructure development and industrial agriculture — will make keeping up with climate change even harder.When it comes to taking action to mitigate these impacts, there is a lot of agreement among scientists: make sure that habitat stays connected. “Overall, I would say that the highest priority is to protect corridors of intact habitat that span from the lowlands to the highest elevations,” said Wiens.Hill agrees: “[i]n more connected landscapes species can reach new areas and hence maintain their overall range size (even though the range location has shifted),” she said. “Intact rainforest plays an important role in buffering forest species from the detrimental impacts of climate change. So conserving large tracts of well-connected rainforest is key in this context.”Protecting habitat will benefit people as well as biodiversity: “Local extinctions of plant species could have devastating impacts for human populations in the developing world,” said Wiens. “Many people rely on just a few grass species to prevent starvation.”“In some cases, conserving montane forest may make a ton of sense for people-focused conservation as well,” agreed Freeman, who added that “watershed protection and forest conservation go hand-in-hand.”Morueta-Holme thinks these arguments are especially relevant in the tropics where “millions of people are highly dependent on local natural resources.”Scientists ask: what happens to tropical forests at sea level? Without species coming into the lowlands from somewhere even hotter, these biodiverse regions, like this coastal area in Brazil, may be depopulated as climate change advances. The question remains largely unstudied. But such issues urgently need to be addressed as temperatures rise. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerOther scientists emphasize the importance of getting a better handle on the specific ways in which species are responding to climate change, especially because not all species respond in the same way, or to the same environmental triggers: for some, rainfall determines habitat suitability more than temperature, for example. Sensitivity to different environmental factors may explain why, counter intuitively, some species have been recorded moving downslope rather than up, or are maintaining stable ranges, despite climate change.“The first thing is establishing monitoring programs, so that elevational shifts can be detected if they are occurring,” said Raxworthy.Feeley concurs: “In my opinion, the number one conservation priority for the tropics is collecting and collating more data. We cannot hope to protect forests from future climate change if we don’t know how species are already responding to current climate change.”“[T]here is an urgent need to better understand the mechanisms involved” in how the most threatened species respond to climate change, said Forero-Medina. “It is time to move from patterns to mechanisms, this will help guide conservation decisions for those species.”“I think that the highest priority is to reduce global warming in addition to mitigating its effects. The potential consequences for global biodiversity and humans are just too severe,” concluded ​Wiens. “Two of the biggest threats to global biodiversity are habitat destruction and climate change, and they seem to have synergistic effects,” he said.But this synergism could also be beneficial if appropriate action is taken in time. “Preserving habitats can help reduce the negative impacts of climate change,” Wiens explained. “And intact forests and other habitats can help suck up the carbon that causes global warming in the first place.” FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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

Cattle industry lags behind in addressing impact on deforestation

first_imgSupply chain transparency is especially difficult in the cattle industry because cattle frequently change hands, unlike soy or oil palm crops that remain stationary for years.While some major cattle companies have taken strides toward sustainability, they still lack sufficient support from the industry as a whole.While consumers are increasingly pushing for deforestation-free palm oil and other products, consumer pressure for change in the cattle industry hasn’t been as significant. In almost every aisle of the grocery store, you can find products from the palm oil, soy, wood, and cattle industries. Together, these industries are responsible for more than a third of tropical deforestation annually, according to the non-profit organization Forest Trends. While strides have been made by all four industries toward establishing deforestation-free commodity supply chains, the cattle industry has lagged behind the others.In a 2016 survey of more than 550 major companies with ties to these commodities, Forest Trends found that 61 percent of companies active in palm oil made commitments to cleaning up their chains, compared to only 15 percent of those active in the cattle industry. Yet cattle products are responsible for at least ten percent more deforestation than palm.Beef cattle are the largest commodity driver of deforestation globally, according to the think tank Global Canopy Programme (GCP) in its report “Sleeping Giants of Deforestation,” released in December 2016. GCP also highlighted the cattle industry’s inertia compared with other forest-linked industries. According to the report, the cattle industry remains the largest commodity driver of deforestation, but only about a quarter of companies that operate within the cattle product supply chain have policies in place regarding environmental impacts.The Union of Concerned Scientists has also pointed to the massive deforestation caused by cattle beef – more than twice as much as the other major industries of soybeans, palm oil, and wood products.According to some NGOs and industry players, this inertia may be connected to the complexity of cattle supply chains, low consumer demand for deforestation-free cattle products, and a lack of industry unity.Supply chain complexityJBS runs the world’s largest slaughterhouse and meat processing operation and is one of Brazil’s biggest beef producers. The company employs more than 230,000 people globally, according to their website. It buys cattle daily so that they’re fresh for the slaughter, choosing from a pool of about 70,000 suppliers, according to the company. Of those, 40,000 are in the Amazon. There’s a difficulty, however, in that parts of the region are connected to cattle industry-linked deforestation.Marcio Nappo, sustainability director of Brazilian beef processor JBS, explains that this is partially tied to the complexities of the cattle supply chain. In the daily shuffle of searching for cattle suppliers, slaughterhouses can lose control.Two cows graze in South America. Photo by Marcelo César Augusto Romeo via Flickr“I cannot control my raw materials; it is a pure commodity market, driven by price,” Nappo said. “I don’t have any idea who will be my supplier tomorrow.”JBS is part of the Cattle Agreement, which several major producers signed on to about seven years ago as a part of a pledge to be deforestation-free. But according to Nappo, constant uncertainty in supply chain factors make effective monitoring difficult. An assessment in 2015 of actors in the agreement found that JBS had made “substantial changes” to its procurement criteria.Simon Hall, tropical forest and agriculture program manager for the nonprofit National Wildlife Federation (NWF), agrees that this daily shuffle is a particular obstacle to the cattle industry. According to Hall, soy, paper, and palm oil companies have greater control and stability in terms of suppliers.For example, whereas soy processers often have long-term contractual relationships with farmers, the cattle industry operates largely through one-off transactions. It can be more difficult to get buy-in from producers and change practices on the ground when there aren’t strong supply chain relationships, he said.Soy, palm, or timber crops also take several months or years to grow in a stationary lot, making them a little simpler to track, but cattle frequently changes hands. That makes it harder to track its source and ensure that it is deforestation-free.“The field of soy isn’t going to up and move to the municipality next door, but cattle move around and can be transferred to different areas,” Hall said. He added that an animal is often sold for slaughter when it’s about 40 months old, yet it may have only spent the last three or four months of its life at the ranch from which the slaughterhouse bought it.According to Carlos Saviani, WWF’s vice president of sustainable food, such transfers can be numerous.“One animal… before it reaches a slaughterhouse can pass through 10 different properties,” Saviani said. “It could be born in one farm, weaned in another farm, it could be raised until a year and half in another farm, and then it could go to auction and be sold to a feedlot. You have people that buy cattle and aggregate cattle from smaller producers into a larger farm.”Supply monitoringEfforts by companies like JBS to monitor their suppliers for deforestation often only extend to direct suppliers. JBS uses satellite imagery and other geospatial tracking technologies to check up on its direct suppliers daily to make sure no new land has been cleared, according to the company. But it cannot ensure that the several different properties the cattle passed through – via indirect suppliers – have not contributed to deforestation.Though Saviani praises the work of JBS and other companies that have invested in monitoring their direct suppliers, he said that indirect suppliers may still be responsible for much deforestation. He also said that more comprehensive tracking has been accomplished in other regions, like Uruguay and North America. But it is not yet industry-wide.For example, in Uruguay, each animal is tagged with an individual chip that records every move it has made from birth to slaughterhouse. This chip links into a government-run database.NWF’s Hall notes that he is working with other NGOs and cattle industry players in Brazil to improve tracking. That includes a data tracking system currently in place nationwide to track vaccinations for hoof and mouth disease. It doesn’t track individual animals, but rather batches of animals, so it isn’t as comprehensive as the system in Uruguay.The goal is to integrate deforestation information into this vaccination tracking system. It will still take some work to figure out the technical details, but Hall is hopeful that this will soon allow companies to track the movement of cattle from birth to slaughter and to make sure each ranch the cattle passes through is deforestation-free.Lack of consumer pressurePerception also plays a role in an aspect critical for accountability: public pressure. Forest Trends found in its survey of major companies with ties to forest-linked commodities that cattle companies had less fear of losing customers due to deforestation than the companies in other commodity industries. It reported that 54 percent of timber and pulp companies fear backlash from customers if they support deforestation practices; 52 percent of palm companies expressed the same worry; 41 percent of soy companies; and 36 percent of cattle companies.Retailers have put some pressure on slaughterhouses and ranchers to prevent deforestation. For example, Walmart and other major grocers in Brazil have committed in recent years to sourcing zero-deforestation beef.Beef for sale in the grocery story. Photo by Karamo via PixabayBut compared to other forest commodities, Saviani said, various links in the cattle industry still lag behind. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has about 3,000 members, while the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has about 70 members. The RSPO was formed in 2003, while the GRSB is only four years old.Hall, from NWF, said that NGOs have also been working longer on raising awareness about deforestation in the paper industry than in the cattle industry. Cattle products are now receiving more attention in this regard, but it will take time for consumer awareness to catch up.Industry unityNeither the GRSB nor the various national roundtables on sustainable beef have started certifying products, though they have set some indicators and criteria to measure progress. The Forest Trends report noted that certification in other commodities, such as that provided by the RSPO, can help companies measure their progress and communicate it to consumers.“Certification schemes provide a turnkey option toward sustainability that many companies are pursuing,” the report states.The stand against deforestation is not an industry norm when it comes to cattle products, which makes it harder for individual cattle companies to compete when they commit to it, according to JBS’s Nappo. He said they have lost a lot of suppliers.He added that in contrast, the entire soy industry in Brazil has collectively made a zero-deforestation commitment. The trade association does the monitoring, taking the burden off individual companies. Without similar industry support, JBS is left to provide not only its own monitoring but also its own support infrastructure to help its suppliers improve.The Forest Trends report notes just that, stating that, “In spite of … criticisms [that certification criteria are sometimes inadequate], development of certification schemes may offer an opportunity for more companies with … cattle exposure to establish initial deforestation-related commitments and increase ambition over time.”Banner image: Cattle at one of the 70,000 suppliers used by JBS, one of Brazil’s largest beef producers. Photo courtesy of JBSTara MacIsaac is a freelance journalist and editor for Epoch Times. She is based in Canada and you can find her on Twitter at @TaraMacIsaacBackground Information:Forest Trends, “Tracking Corporate Commitments to Deforestation Free Supply Chains,” 2016.Gibbs, H.K., Munger, J., L’Roe, J., Barreto, P., Pereira, R., Christie, M., Amaral, T. and Walker, N.F. (2015). “Did Ranchers and Slaughterhouses Respond to Zero Deforestation Agreements in the Brazilian Amazon?” Conservation Letters.RSPA Beef RoundtableFEEDBACK: 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. Cattle, Commodity Roundtables, Deforestation, Forests, Rainforests 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 Genevieve Belmakerlast_img read more

13,000 acres of cloud forest now protected in Colombia

first_imgCacica Noría Regional Protected Area safeguards one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.The reserve will be managed by CorAntioquia, the Anorí Environmental Working Group and Proaves.Despite protection, the new park remains threatened by climate change. The cloud forest ecoregion of the Colombian Andes is arguably the most biodiverse in the world. A moist climate, varying altitudes, and high rates of endemism create idyllic conditions for life. However, cloud forests are also under siege from numerous human-related threats such as climate change, mining, commercial logging, and subsistence hunting.Though there is no foreseeable end to the epic battle between forest loss and forest conservation in South America, conservationists won a small victory in December 2016 with the creation of the 13,000 acre (5,261 hectare) Cacica Noría Regional Protected Area in Colombia.The Regional Environmental Agency, CorAntioquia, as well as the Anorí Environmental Working Group will manage the reserve.The cloud forests of the new Cacica Noría Regional Protected Area – in all its glory! Photo credit: Adolfo Correa, CorAntioquia“[Cacica Noría Regional Protected Area] is a nature reserve that will place Colombia before the eyes of the world,” said Adolfo Correa with CorAntioquia. “The intention is to widen the area from there to better create local and regional benefits, including improving water supply, climate regulation, wildlife shelter for pest-controlling species, and nesting and reproduction sites for emblematic national species. It will also be a place for visitors who are interested in conservation.”The establishment of the reserve was made possible in part by Nature and Culture International, which funded the scientific research and community outreach.Cacica Noría will protect plant species ravaged by commercial logging such as the black oak (Trigonobalanus excelsa) and the comino tree (Aniba perutilis), both endemic to Colombia.Other important species include jaguars (Panthera onca centralis) and pumas (Puma concolor), which often fall victim to retaliatory killings by local farmers. These large cats have a low population density, a far-reaching habitat range, and a low rate of reproduction, three factors which make them vulnerable to extinction on the regional and national level. According to Correa, the protected area will only act as “route of passage” within their larger habitat range, but these two feline species will still benefit from Cacica Noría; it will be a safe place for them to breed, rear their young, and temporarily escape the surrounding landscape.The Quebrada Chaquiral, a stream found within the Cacica Noría Regional Protected Area. Photo credit: Adolfo Correa, CorAntioquiaOther threatened mammals found in the reserve are the brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus hybridus), the silvery-brown tamarin (Saguinus leucopus), and the spectacled bear (Tremarctus ornatus), all of which have faced increasing rates of habitat loss and degradation. Mammals like deer and turkeys, which are under pressure from subsistence hunting, are also found in the Cacica Noría Regional Protected Area.This reserve harbors around 400 bird species, 20 of them threatened. The chestnut-capped piha (Lipaugus weberi), a species endemic to Colombia, is now considered Critically Endangered. Proaves, a Colombian non-profit, will manage a 3,270 acre (1,323 hectare) section of the reserve specifically for the preservation of this beloved bird species and others like the black tinamou (Tinamus osgoodi).Conservationists believe that protecting this vital watershed will also improve national water quality.“This area protects the head waters of the Anorí, Porce, and Nechí rivers, used by local people for drinking water, agriculture, and cattle raising,” said Felipe Serrano with Nature and Culture International. “This area also contributes water to the Porce hydroelectric project, one of the most important in Colombia.”Conservation of riparian forests, as well as aquatic and amphibian species such as the billed toad (Rhinella macrorhina) and the Murri robber frog (Pristimantis bellona), will also be important to maintaining freshwater ecosystems.The violet-crowned woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) is one of 400 bird species found within Cacica Noría Regional Protected Area. Photo credit: Adolfo Correa, CorAntioquiaAround 90 percent of the reserve will be under strict protection, leaving 10 percent for sustainable agriculture and forest restoration projects.Despite this step forward, climate change remains a threat to cloud forests that cannot be controlled by the borders of a protected area. As temperatures warm up, many cloud forest species will be forced to migrate upslope to maintain a favorable climate. However, the pace of migration often cannot keep up with the rapid environmental changes we are seeing today. As our planet’s climate systems continue to be altered, it is very likely that some or many of the species found in cloud forests will be lost. While establishing protected areas is certainly important and beneficial, truly conserving cloud forest ecosystems may also require global efforts to curb climate change.Historically, the land in the protected area was under pressure from mining, hunting, logging, and other unsustainable uses. In order to make the transition to a reserve, Correa maintains that local communities must be able to have a say in management decisions and be provided with sustainable economic alternatives such as ecotourism. Receiving benefits from the reserve and having a sense of responsibility towards its protection will be key to the success of Cacica Noría – and the many species which are considered endangered, endemic, or emblematic to the people of Colombia.Citations:Hance, J. (2013, September 18). Climate change could kill off Andean cloud forests, home to thousands of species found nowhere else. Mongabay.com. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://news.mongabay.com/2013/09/climate-change-could-kill-off-andean-cloud-forests-home-to-thousands-of-species-found-nowhere-else/Nature and Culture International. (2016, December 19). Colombia Creates a New Protected Area! [Press release]. Retrieved from https://natureandculture.org/colombia-creates-a-new-protected-area/ Article published by Maria Salazar Animals, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Cloud Forests, Conservation, Environment, Extinction, Forests, Habitat Loss, Interns, Jaguars, Monkeys, Protected Areas, Rivers, Water center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more