Patricia An Lavergne

first_imgPatricia An Lavergne was called home April 12, 2016 at 7:47pm at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. She resided at a local home in Port Arthur, TX. Cherishing her memories are her mother, father and brother; 3 daughters Tiffany, Lashae and Lashawn; 6 grandkids and her spouse of 23 yrs, Kari Leday. Services will be held Saturday, April 23, 2016 visitation at 11am. Services 1pm. Mt. Calvary Baptist Church under the direction of Moody-Harris Funeral Home.last_img

DEXIA spearheads contingent to Martinique expo

first_imgBusinessLocalNews DEXIA spearheads contingent to Martinique expo by: – December 17, 2015 Tweet 110 Views   no discussions Share Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Samples of products of interest by High End BoutiqueThe Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) spearheaded a contingent of ten (10) participants from different sectors of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in Dominica, to participate in a two (2) day Expo in Martinique. The visit consisted of two components, a market research component which commenced on arrival of December 3rd, 2015 and the second component The Créateurs et Ateliers d’Arts Caribéen Expo which was held during the 5th-6th of December and took the form of a weekend-long activity in Martinique. The contingent included DEXIA’s Export Development Officer/ Services and coordinator, Mr. Craig Stedman, Members of Dominica Herbal Business Association (DHBA) Mrs. Gail Defoe and Mr. Nyai Scott, Mr. Joey Peltier, Mr. Claxton Shillingford and Mr. Allan Napier; Members of Dominica Association of Craft Producers Association (DACPA) : Vanesa Winston and Julien James, Artists: Earl Etienne and Petros Meaza. During the visit to Martinique, the team took the opportunity to dialogue with the Chamber of Commerce in Martinique, several super and hyper-supermarkets with particular focus on gaining acceptance into the market. In addition, specific high-end niche outlets were visited and arrangements made based on products discussed.The two day exposition served as a perfect opportunity for Dominica producers of new and/or existing products, to gauge the response of the wider public of Martinique, obtain information on the quality and standards that are expected and the prices consumers are prepared to pay. Feedback from consumers was very positive and this augers well for Dominican producers and artisans. The meetings with the potential buyers also provided participants with useful information on the buyers and suppliers who are the movers and shakers in this very complex market. The mission proved to be a success based on the willingness and proposed commitment obtained from the various business companies, with over ten (10) agro-processed products being demanded from two (2) high-end luxury souvenir boutiques, two (2) Super Marché Groupe l’Espace Santé” and “Carrefour Market” offering a section for only Dominican products and full exclusivity for two producers.Within the Creative industries two (2) boutiques owners selling Italian clothes and jewelries purchased creole hats, belts and jewelries and have committed to buy more creole hats and bags, leather belts, necklaces and fashionable earrings. One of the most prestigious galleries in Martinique “La Galerie” accepted three (3) painting for display and proposed an art exhibition for a well-known artist, with the possibility of collaborating to exhibit Dominican and other Caribbean artists.Initial contact has been made with three (3) radio and television stations for airing and showing Dominican artists music and/or music videos.DEXIA continues to provide support to our manufacturers, agro-processors and artisans to ensure that they gain access to the French markets which shows excellent potential. Sharelast_img read more

The charcoal hunters

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Investigative reporter Emmanuel Freudenthal and photographer and videographer Nathan Siegel take you behind the scenes of their reporting.The report is one of a multi-part series on illegal logging in Myanmar, published this week by Mongabay.More reporting, photography, and a short docu-video in this series can be found at Mongabay.com. KATHA, Myanmar – The train rocked from side to side like a sketchy funhouse. It was the rainy season in northern Myanmar and we had been traveling for nearly a week. For the next couple of weeks, we would follow the colossal Irrawaddy River upstream until it bent to lick the Chinese border. We had come to document Myanmar’s export of timber to China, an illegal trade that has been depleting the country’s forests over decades.Our team comprised the usual journalism trinity: a fixer-translator, Mary*; photographer Nathan; and a writer, Emmanuel. Our first target was the forest near Katha, a quiet town bordering the Irrawaddy, where we thought it would be easy to find loggers and then follow the logs to China.Searching for loggersAfter a night in Katha, early in the morning, we set out enthusiastically on a day trip to the forest. It’s just a little bit farther, our guide said, but it seemed like we never got any closer. After shaking across bumpy roads for hours on tiny motorbikes, breaking down twice, and driving over a suicidal chicken (RIP), we were exhausted, but we had finally made it to the forest!Charcoal near Katha, Myanmar. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.A local contact of our fixer introduced us to a logger whom we followed to his forest work site. Surrounded by trees, we chatted with him, feet in ensconced in mud, hands swatting mosquitoes and skin sweating. Our first interviewee, and the only person around, turned out to be more of a heroin addict and small-time laborer than the chainsaw-wielding serial logger we had hoped for.Nevertheless, he told us something crucial: virtually nobody logs during the monsoon season. You can see why, he said, motioning to the swarms of mosquitoes around us. Somehow none of the dozen researchers and fixers we’d talked to before our trip had mentioned that logging comes to halt with the seasonal rains.The story we had spent months researching and planning had just gotten severely and literally bogged down. With night quickly falling, we scooped up what remained of our crushed spirits and headed back to Katha. The headlight of the bike rented by Emmanuel and Mary was broken, so they used the flashlight app on  a smartphone to find their way back to the hotel through the freezing night.“Our bad luck is all because you murdered that chicken,” Nathan said to Emmanuel at one point.Our spirits had hit rock bottom.We were just about to leave Katha in anger to try our luck elsewhere. But the next day, we talked to a local farmer and NGO member who would set our journey on a new direction.A new focusAs the farmer smiled and quietly puffed on a cigarette (all environmentalists smoke, he jokingly explained), he told us that charcoal was exported from Myanmar to China to produce metal. This sounded odd, but promising. Glancing at each other, we tried to contain our excitement. Was this the break we were looking for? Or another dead end?Emmanuel, a calming and even force on the trip, seemed to allow himself a bit of hope.“I forgot how much reporting is like a rollercoaster,” he said. Hopefully we would start climbing to something promising – and exit before the hair-raising fall that inevitably follows.A local woman pulls charcoal from an earth kiln near Katha, a town in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. Producers in the area around Katha are often farmers who make charcoal to supplement their income. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.That night after Nathan made the dubious claim that the soup noodles were “the best we’ve had so far,” we furiously searched the internet for any mentions of this charcoal trade. Nothing turned up apart from a brief paragraph in a December 2014 Forest Trends report which stated that “charcoal now represents 32 percent of Myanmar’s total timber product exports to China.” And that this “is likely prohibited by Myanmar law.”Emmanuel noted he wasn’t sure whether we had set upon a great story or a wild goose chase.The following week, we met with dozens of charcoal producers and traders scattered along the riverbank near Katha. All the producers were small-scale farmers who said they sought to supplement their income by smoking wood in large kilns in their backyard. Many had logged teak and other valuable hardwood species in years past, but greater restrictions and the exhaustion of these trees made the business unviable.Instead, villagers were cutting the trees that remained after companies had cleared the forests for huge profits. That confirmed that the charcoal production is real. But does it go to China’s factories, or just feed local cooking stoves?We had to follow the charcoal trail. We became obsessed with spotting the pale green bags filled with those lumpy chunks of charred wood.The businessSeveral traders near Katha explained that they load the bags on large boats that then fight the current of the mighty Irrawaddy River by going upstream to a town called Bhamo, near the Chinese border. From there, it seemed logical to guess that the charcoal is then loaded onto trucks and smuggled into China.Following these bags to China was not straightforward because it crossed areas where an armed conflict had been simmering since the 1960s, pitting the Kachin ethnic group against Burmese government forces.The Kachin Independence Army and its political wing are incredibly well-organized for a non-state armed group. They have a nice website, trendy Facebook page, decent schools, healthcare and the other trimmings of an established state. At the time we visited the area, it was rather quiet and foreigners were not being targeted by the Kachin army. But despite the appearance of order and normalcy, the government strictly controls the movement of visitors, which meant that many places were out of our reach.To follow the green bags, we needed to jump on a boat to Bhamo. A port official told us that this was not allowed for foreigners. He advised we take the funhouse train ride back to Mandalay and then fly to Bhamo, which would have lost us at least two days.Charcoal bags from Myanmar bound for China. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.Luckily, we were stubborn enough to inquire elsewhere, until we found a boat operator who agreed to take us. The boat was large with wooden seats that were inexplicably suspended so high above the hull that our feet dangled when we sat. The toilets at the back were a couple of planks suspended above the churning water.Yet the stunning landscape of the Irrawaddy River with its alternating pastures and steep, forested banks offered up one of those days where journalism mingles with tourism.Following the charcoal trailBhamo is a bustling riverside town 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Myanmar’s border with China, and was born out of the trade between the two countries. Every day, trucks leave with raw products such as rice, pineapple or charcoal. They head to Lwegel, a town which straddles the border between the two countries. Once they’ve dropped their load, the trucks return filled to the brim with electronics, motorbikes and a flurry of consumer goods.In Bhamo, we spoke with the transporters of the charcoal trade: truck and boat drivers, who confirmed that exporting charcoal was illegal. We estimated the bribes to military officials, police and forest officers as potentially adding up to millions of dollars.Once we had established that Bhamo was a crucial nexus of the charcoal route to China, and had elected our favorite street-side restaurant, it was time to follow the green bags to their next stop: China.We knew that the road from Bhamo to a town straddling the border with China called Lwegel, it was off limits to foreigners. But we decided to see how far we could go before being stopped – we hoped to witness a checkpoint where truck drivers must pay bribes to officials. Riding motorbikes, we trailed a truck and sped through the first checkpoint just fast enough to catch bewildered stares from the police.The second checkpoint was our goal because we had been told the trucks had to queue there. Less than two kilometers from our target, Mary, who was on her own bike, suddenly slowed down. She talked with two men dressed casually, who turned out to be plainclothes officers. Unsure, we continued. With the checkpoint in sight, we were passed by a motorbike mounted by a bitter-faced military officer in a green uniform. He was yelling, “Hey! Hey! Stop!” As it was hard to ignore him, we pulled over. The officer continued to berate us: “Not allowed! Turn around!” We did as we were told – adventure over.Well, adventure diverted.The borderAfter four days of arduous travel, we would arrive just 60 kilometers (40 miles) from where the officer had stopped us, while Mary stayed in Myanmar. To see the next step in the charcoal’s journey, we had to fly back to Mandalay, stay there overnight, then fly to Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province. From Kunming, we still had to drive over 750 kilometers (655 miles), which would take us two long days.Charcoal bags on a boat near Katha, Myanmar. The boat is bound for Bhamo, where the charcoal will be taken by trucks over the order to China. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.In Kunming, we rented motorcycles. As we set out, the rain started falling harder and harder, drenching us. The first day riding was spent soaking in the rain – when Nathan spoke to his girlfriend on the phone, he described it as “taking a four-hour cold shower in a wind tunnel … while not moving an inch.”Nevertheless, this was probably the most beautiful wind tunnel in the world. We slid along rolling hills and impressive canyons, carpeted with lush green forest.We had nearly reached our stop for the first night, the tourist city of Dali, when Emmanuel’s bike broke down at a gas station. The rollercoaster was heading steeply downward. Despite the valiant efforts of a random passerby at a gas station, intermediated by a translation app on our smartphones, we had to call the guy who rented us the bikes. We waited for him in the gas station restaurant, trying to dry and warm up a little bit.The rental guy became our knight in shining armor, riding to us in his white minivan, with his trusty mechanic in tow. After three hours, the knight and his sidekick fixed the motorbike. With daylight long gone, we were back on the road. It was still raining and the wind tunnel hadn’t been shut down, but we managed to make it to Dali. The next day, we reached Ruili, a town hosting the main border crossing between Myanmar and China.Trucks like this are loaded with charcoal for the 50-mile drive to China. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.For a few days, we rode our motorbikes around to small border towns. The border was sometimes just a ditch, and we found a road were trucks freely passed from one country to the other, some of them loaded with charcoal. Armed with a smartphone at the end of a pink selfie stick – embodying a tourist’s caricature – we filmed charcoal warehouses. We saw 10-meter-high (nearly 40 feet) piles of the pale green bags we were hunting for.Then we rode farther inland to find smelting factories, whose GPS coordinates we had marked on the map. There, we filmed the charcoal being thrown into burning ovens. That was the final step of the charcoal’s journey that we wanted to document.After all this, we made the two-day ride back to Kunming to return the bikes. The final day, the rain poured down as we pulled into town. It was a fitting end to a reporting trip during monsoon season, we said.Despite the foul weather, we were smiling, having gathered all the facts and photos we needed for our story. We were back on top of the roller coaster – our final stop.Banner image: A boat travels along a tributary to the Irrawaddy River. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.*Name has been changed for the safety of the individual.Emmanuel Freudenthal is an investigative reporter whose work has appeared internationally and he can be found on Twitter at @EmmanuelFreuden. Nathan Siegel is a photographer and videographer focusing on international environmental issues. He can be found on Instagram at @npsiegel.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. charcoal, Deforestation, Forests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Tropical Forests center_img Article published by Genevieve Belmakerlast_img read more

Biofuel project near India’s rhino heartland sparks protests

first_imgActivism, Animals, Biodiversity, Biofuels, Conservation, Elephants, Environment, Environmental Activism, Environmental Politics, Mammals, One-horned Rhinos, Protected Areas, Rhinos, Wildlife Article published by Isabel Esterman India’s state-owned Numaligarh Refinery Limited and Finnish firm Chempolis Oy plan to build a bioethanol refinery near Kaziranga National Park in India’s Assam State.The project is touted as green and sustainable, but faces opposition from local activists who fear it will cause pollution, increase human-wildlife conflict, and negatively impact the habitat of elephants, rhinos and other wildlife.Activists also cite concerns about the project’s environmental impact assessment process, and its proposed location in an officially designated “no-development zone.” On July 15 this year, activist Soneswar Narah stepped up to express his views in a public hearing on an upcoming bioethanol refinery. The project, a joint venture between India’s state-owned Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Finland’s Chempolis Oy, is slated to be built near Kaziranga National Park in India’s northeastern Assam state.Many locals like Narah oppose the project, saying it will have harmful impacts on Kaziranga’s fragile ecosystem and is likely to intensify human-wildlife conflicts in the Numaligarh area, given its proximity to an elephant corridor.During the public hearing, Narah said, the microphone was cut off before he could say “anything provocative,” and police barged in, dragging him away.Narah was arrested by the Assam state police and charged with multiple crimes, including “attempt to murder,” “assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty,” and “criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.”There are two starkly different versions of what exactly sparked Narah’s arrest.According to the official minutes of the public hearing, approved by the local government and pollution control board, Narah, an adviser to the Kaziranga-based farmers’ and tribal rights advocacy group Jeepal Krishak Shramik Sangha, “comes to stage and started speaking against the project. After that he took out the container containing combustible material which he tried to lit [sic] up in the stage which was protested by the public present and during the commotion police whisked him out of the venue as the situation became tense because of his act.”Narah refutes the allegation, calling it “an attempt to muzzle dissent.”“If I recall correctly, as Narah started expressing his concerns regarding the potential negative effects of the plant, police forcefully carried him offstage,” said Suchil Saikia, president of the local farmers’ organization Ponka Gramya Pothar Porichalona Samiti, who was also at the public hearing and corroborated Narah’s account.A wild elephant crosses a busy national highway that passes through the Deopahar Proposed Reserve Forest. Locals fear further encroachment in the forest will escalate human-wildlife conflicts. Photo by Rubul Ahmed.Wherever the truth lies, the incident at the July public hearing highlights the tensions this project has created in one of India’s most politically and ecologically sensitive regions.Jeepal has criticized the proposed biofuel plant on several grounds: potential negative impacts on the nearby Deopahar Proposed Reserve Forest and the greater Kaziranga ecosystem, as well as pollution-related hazards in nearby residential areas; irregularities in obtaining environmental clearance for the project; and the blocking of a critical elephant corridor.The public hearing on the project was initially scheduled for May, but was delayed following a public outcry after NRL and the Assam State Pollution Control Board failed to adhere to statutory guidelines on conducting public hearings. The meeting was originally scheduled for a working day without sufficient prior notice, and was not advertised in at least two major local newspapers, as required by India’s environmental law. Narah described the timing and lack of notice as “a bid to keep critics at bay.”NRL’s public relations officials declined to comment to Mongabay about the scheduling of the meeting or other issues regarding the bioethanol plant.The spot where it is said the bioethanol project plant will be located. Photo by Rohit Choudhury.Deopahar: “an integral part of Kaziranga ecosystem”Conservationists fear the NRL-Chempolis bioethanol project will be ecologically disastrous. The proposed refinery site is in the village of Owguri Chapori, just outside the Deopahar forest and only about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site that is the global stronghold of the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), and home to Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris), wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) and numerous other threatened and endangered species.The Deopahar forest is a 133-hectare (329-acre) patch of woodland hosting elephants and several rare species of felines, reptiles and butterflies. Though officially recognized in 1999 as a “proposed reserve forest” by the Assam State Forest Department , it has still not been granted fully protected status.“Deopahar is an integral part of the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong ecosystem,” said Manoj Gogoi, a local conservationist and founder of Naturalists for Rehabilitation of Snakes and Birds (NRSB). He said the Kaziranga and Deopahar forests were all “one ecosystem” before human intervention led to fragmentation.Gogoi said further habitat fragmentation and loss of forest cover in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape must be stopped. During monsoon floods, when Kaziranga’s swampy lowlands are inundated, the park’s marooned wildlife seeks refuge in the neighboring Karbi hills, and sometimes migrates as far as the Deopahar wilderness.“Deopahar forest provides shelter for the wildlife fleeing flood-affected Kaziranga National Park. There are instances when rhinos strayed out of Kaziranga [and] took shelter in Deopahar,” Gogoi said. “Deopahar is a crucial temporary habitat for Kaziranga’s wandering wildlife.”Rohini Ballav Saikia, a Kaziranga divisional forest officer, denies that the project will have a direct impact on Kaziranga’s rhino population, saying Deopahar is not known to host rhinos; but he concedes such projects are not desirable in the proximity of a critical wildlife habitat.A patch of Deopahar forest land cleared by to build a golf course. Photo by Rohit Choudhury.Claims NRL “flouts environmental laws”Although efforts to secure fully protected “reserve forest” status for Deopahar have not yet succeeded, there are regulations restricting encroachment in the forest.In 1996, when NRL was allocated land for a petroleum refinery in the area, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) expressed grave concern over its establishment near Kaziranga. “[A] Petroleum Refinery at Numaligarh (East of Kaziranga) and the developmental activities for said refinery is likely to cause tremendous pressure on the natural resources and the wild-life habitat in the Kaziranga National Park and its surroundings,” the ministry said in an official notice. The same notification declared a prohibition on any development activities within 15 kilometers (9 miles) of the Numaligarh oil refinery.The NRL-Chempolis bioethanol plant falls within that zone. “Hence locating the biofuel plant here in Owguri is in direct violation of the 1996 MoEF directive,” Narah said.If the project is built, it won’t be the first time NRL has breached the “no-development zone.” The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has cited the company for a 2004 expansion of its township that violated the NDZ, as well as the construction of a pipeline through the forest without prior approval. In 2014, NRL illegally cleared a patch of Deopahar forest for a golf course, drawing the ire of the National Green Tribunal, India’s specialized forum for expediting environmental justice.Conservationists argue that the implementation of environmental laws in India has always been weak. Enforcement has taken a further downturn under the present Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, which aggressively promotes industry and has facilitated the steamrolling of environmental clearance processes for ambitious national developmental projects like the controversial Ken-Betwa river-linking project.The NRL-Chempolis bioethanol plant, enthusiastically promoted by Prime Minister Naredra Modi, has similarly “razed through the environmental clearance process,” according to a pamphlet issued by Jeepal this July.Among the issues cited is the project’s environmental impact assessment, viewed by Mongabay, which fails to mention the presence of the Deopahar Proposed Reserve Forest near the plant. “Concealing such critical information is a serious offense, and this means obviously the EIA didn’t consider the project’s potential impacts on Deopahar forest,” Jeepal asserts.A view of Deopahar forest from afar. Photo by Suryya Chetia.The Finnish connection: “eco-friendly Finnish technology”On its website, Chempolis says the technology to be used in the plant, called Formicobio, is an environmentally sustainable and low-emission technology for processing bamboo into cellulosic ethanol.But local residents are skeptical that the process will be entirely pollution-free.“The NRL authorities here have been preaching that the technology involved in the bioethanol refinery is an eco-friendly Finnish technology,” Gautom Tanti, a resident, told Mongabay. “But we aren’t convinced. The existing NRL oil refinery has already created enough pollution-related problems in the nearby villages. The waterways in our village got contaminated after the NRL refinery came up. Particularly the wastewater and rainwater spilled from the refinery during monsoon pollutes water sources.”Tanti and other villagers believe the establishment of the proposed bioethanol plant will aggravate this problem.But while NRL has been trying hard to win over the locals by touting the “Finnish connection” in the bioethanol joint venture, Chempolis has itself gotten mired in a controversy over potential conflicts of interest. Last month, Finland’s Iltalehti newspaper reported that Chempolis has business ties to Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s family, and that the PM lobbied for the company during a February 2016 visit to India, when the NRL-Chempolis joint venture was mooted.A one-horned rhino grazes in Kaziranga National Park, which home to the world’s largest population of the species and  is located only around 12 kilometers from the proposed project site. Photo by Satish Krishnamurthy/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.Local resistanceOn May 22, residents of Owguri Chapori organized a massive protest against the bioethanol refinery. Tanti, who took part in the protest, says they are against the project because it will have harmful impacts on both the people and the wildlife. Locals fear it will also aggravate the already severe human-elephant conflict in the area, he added, as it verges on the Deopahar elephant corridor.As he told Mongabay how the area had turned into ground zero for human-elephant conflicts after the NRL cleared part of an elephant habitat, Tanti pulled out a worn-out placard he said was displayed at the rally in May. It reads: “Stop building biofuel plant near Deopahar, Stop making Numaligarh a battleground of man and the wild.”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

SA cracks down on tax offenders

first_imgThe South African Revenue Service (Sars) has unveiled a string of new penalties as it moves to crack down on non-compliant taxpayers. The penalties come into effect on 23 November 2009. The new regulations will see taxpayers who fail to submit their tax returns receive penalties ranging from R250 to R16 000 a month, depending on the individual’s salary. Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula said the new penalty regulations had been communicated and explained to all the relevant stakeholders, including professional bodies representing tax practitioners. Zero tolerance Source: BuaNews 14 October 2009 This means a person earning about R300 000 a year who fails to submit a tax return for 35 months could end up paying a penalty of close to R500 000. The implementation will be phased in over a period, beginning on 23 November for taxpayers with outstanding income tax returns. “We are very serious about making sure that we improve the level of compliance in our country. We want people to understand the implications of not filing on time and failure to meet their obligations.” Penalties The penalties will recur each month for as long as the income tax return remains outstanding. The regulation allows for penalties to be applied for up to 35 months, and for penalties to be doubled monthly. Repeat offenders In effect, taxpayers have until 20 November – the final deadline for the 2009 tax season – to submit any outstanding returns in order to avoid being penalised under the new regime. As part of the collection process, Sars will approach employers to act as agents in terms of the relevant tax legislation. According to Magashula, the number currently stands at just over 3-million. “If we continue to tolerate this non-compliance, that is when we will see our tax system falling flat and the legitimacy of the state undermined,” he said. The penalties cover a range of non-compliance, including failure to register as a taxpayer, failure to inform Sars of a change of address and other personal particulars, and failure to submit tax returns and other documents to Sars. A Sars report reveals that a staggering 5.3-million returns due to the institution were outstanding in the financial year 2007/08, and that legal action had to be taken against 81 000 taxpayers. According to Sars’ head of legal and policy affairs, Kosie Louw, Sars could appoint an agency to collect the money during that 35-month period. In extreme cases, a repeat offender could even be criminally charged. Magashula described the current penalty regime as “ineffective”, saying Sars would not be tolerant of tax offenders under the new regime. Sars delayed implementing the new penalties to give taxpayers time to rectify their affairs and to enable Sars to develop its own systems to automatically issue penalties. In the interest of fairness, Sars will first impose the new penalties against repeat offenders – taxpayers who have failed to submit returns for multiple years.last_img read more

Chalk Talk: How Cowboys Exploited WVU with One Route

first_imgThere were many times when Oklahoma State moved the ball at will in their 37-20 win over West Virginia. And while it was partly due to their talent on offense, most of it was because of an outstanding game plan.Some teams get caught grasping at straws when facing a unique defense like the 3-3-5, a defense that WVU has used for a long time. But the Cowboys went a with different route, both literally and figuratively (what an excellent segue, right?)The Cowboys used a new wrinkle in their uptempo package — one that actually came from West Virginia. OSU frequently stacked receivers wide. On their run concepts, the receiver off the line ran a ‘now’ route while the other receiver blocked. But offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich frequently called a change-up, a now-post combination, that gave Rudolph a vertical run-pass option outlet.nowpostThis new wrinkle had the first receiver run the now route and the other run a hard-breaking post route to the inside. If there was a deep-half safety over the top, the quarterback handed the ball off; but if there was no safety, or in this case one high, the quarterback aborted the handoff and threw to his receiver in man coverage.This play attacked the outside deep third, a weakness of the 3-3-5. With the Cowboys going so fast, combined with the how linebackers played so close to the line, Washington was frequently left one-on-one with seven yards of cushion. This led to easy completions like this.nowbangthrowThe Cowboys attacked this void in the defense over and over, whether it be to the weak side.bang_throwTo the strong side.slot_skinnyOr even in trips here.trips_now_curlsAnd here.now_slants_incThey also attacked the defense with other inside-breaking routes, like the slant, in blitz situations. On many third downs, the Cowboys isolated Washington on the weak side and ran a play they don’t run much anymore.stick-slantThis play is called stick, and it has a tagged slant-flat combination on the back side. Against man or man blitz, the weak-side receiver is isolated on his slant route. The Cowboys knew that WVU would bring pressure, and they used stick to convert on on a big third down on two separate instances.slantThe Cowboys used these concepts repeatedly, but they did a good job of disguising and altering them to make them look different every time. In the post-game press conference, head coach Mike Gundy talked about their simple game plan worked against the Mountaineers.“I felt like the last few years that in a short period of time … when we’ve played them, we’ve tried to reinvent the wheel based on the 3-3-5,” Gundy told the Oklahoman. “And then we get into the game and then we’re not any good at anything.“And we didn’t do that today. We ran the same plays that we’ve always run, we just tried to adjust them a little bit based on what they do. And I thought that was a smart move … We had good stuff today. We stayed within our box of what we do and it worked.”The game plan was genius. It didn’t try and be too different, yet it perfectly found ways to attack the defense’s weaknesses. The biggest strength of the 3-3-5 is how it brings pressure. The formation is excellent in the way that it disguises pressure and forces turnovers.But the Cowboys frequently used uptempo and it forced the Mountaineers into their base defense, which then gave OSU an opportunity to pick them apart. The players might have won this game, but the coaches had a huge hand in it.How do you think the offense performed? Leave your opinions below in the comments! While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Kansas State Does Not Turn The Ball Over Which Could Be a Problem

first_imgOklahoma State heads to its’ proverbial house of horrors on Saturday, where the Cowboys will take on Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats. The Cowboys haven’t come home with a win at Bill Snyder Family Stadium since 2010, including a brutal 48-14 pounding in 2014 the last time the Pokes came to town.This year’s Kansas State team is very similar to your typical Bill Snyder-coached group- they run the ball, they stop the run, and they refuse to turn the ball over. The Wildcats sit at 5-3 (3-2 in Big 12 play) and come off of a close shave against Iowa State in Farmageddon.They held a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter only to give up 16 unanswered and needed to recover an onside kick at the end to hang on for the win.But the style that Kansas State plays may spell doom for a Cowboys defense that relies heavily on turnovers and struggles to get stops without them. Let’s take a look at a few numbers to know for Kansas State.Kansas State will not give the ball upAs mentioned above, Kansas State has turned over the ball just seven times all season! This ranks eighth in the country, and will mean many long, slow drives up and down the field. QB Jesse Ertz facilitates an interesting spread offense, but executes more like a Big 10 offense than a Big 12.Running backs Justin Silmon and Charles Thomas are a two headed monster out of the backfield that run hard and run often. The Cowboys defense should expect to be on the field more than almost any other game this season, and will need to stop the run against the Wildcats if they want to get off the field.Oklahoma State will face the best run defense they’ve faced all yearK-State is elite at stopping the run. They give up just 102.3 yards per game, which is fifth in the entire country. OSU has improved quite a bit in the past few games running the football, but will face the toughest test of their season on the ground in Manhattan.If the Pokes can’t run the ball and establish the ground game early, they will be in big trouble on the road.The Cowboys continue to be road warriors in the Big 12A stat that may surprise Cowboys fans — Oklahoma State is 7-1 in their last 8 true road games, dating back to 2014. Despite Mason Rudolph’s struggles on the road (10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions in his career), OSU has come up big this year and last year away from Stillwater, especially in the Big 12.Kansas State has won the last two meetings in Manhattan, but this Oklahoma State team is riding high after the West Virginia win last week. If the Cowboys can get a win on the road this weekend, they will be in the driver’s seat to play for the Big 12 title in Norman the final day of the season. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Video: Kentucky Basketball Players Baked John Calipari’s Wife Brownies For Her Birthday

first_imgA closeup of Coach Cal pointing.LEXINGTON, KY – NOVEMBER 21: John Calipari the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to his team during the game against the Boston Terriers at Rupp Arena on November 21, 2014 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)John Calipari draws the best high school basketball players to Lexington every season, but it is clear that his wife Ellen makes an impact on the young Wildcats as well. According to SEC Country‘s Alex Martin Smith, she bakes players brownies for their birthdays every year. Well, today is her birthday, so the Wildcats decided to flip the script, and bring her dessert ahead of tonight’s game against Illinois State.Brownies for the bday girl! Nice gesture from the players, who usually receive the same from Mrs. Cal on their bday pic.twitter.com/cFT40YxbOP— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 30, 2015Well done, Kentucky. We’re sure Coach Cal appreciates the hand in helping make his wife’s birthday a special one.[SEC Country]last_img read more

Michigan’s Maurice Ways Unveils Team’s New Jumpman Cleats On Twitter

first_imgA Michigan player holding new Jordan Brand cleats.Twitter/Maurice WaysAt midnight, Michigan and Nike officially became partners – kicking off an 11-year deal worth $173 million. Fans, as we noted earlier, flooded The M Den overnight to get their hands on new merchandise for the Wolverines. It looks like the Michigan football players have also gotten a look at some of the gear they’ll be wearing on the field this year.Two players – wide receiver Maurice Ways and safety Khaleke Hudson – have posted short videos of Jumpman cleats decked out in Michigan logos. Check them out:??? thank you for blessing us @Jumpman23 ?? pic.twitter.com/EmaDCvCBJu— Moe Ways (@MoeWays) August 1, 2016? pic.twitter.com/ahdKefUojR— Khaleke Hudson (@KhalekeHudson) August 1, 2016Michigan’s full uniforms have yet to be unveiled. We imagine there will be great interest when that happens.last_img read more