first_imgEDITORS’ PICK Due to UFC lightheavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s injury, the promotion was forced to tab Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis in the main event of UFC 206, in a battle for the interim Featherweight title.The gold was previously held by McGregor after winning it last year, but the company announced that his former foe Jose Aldo would be awarded the championship in his stead.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliThe confusing scenario certainly leaves a cloud of uncertainty over the 145-lb. division, and McGregor’s fellow fighter and Irishman Neil Seery took to Twitter to state the obvious.Don’t think Aldo or any of the featherweights will feel like a champion as long as Conor is still active— Neil 2 Tap Seery (@NeilSeeryMMA) November 27, 2016Retired UFC veteran Stephan Bonnar seemingly took a dig at McGregor’s earlier proclamation that “it would take an army” to take the belt away from him.Screen Grab from Twitter/@StephanBonnarThe two fighters who seemed to gain the most out of the situation, Pettis and Holloway, also took to Twitter to hype their fight.ADVERTISEMENT Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town PBA to play Christmas Day games at Philippine Arena View comments We are young As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Senators to proceed with review of VFA News is official Dec 10 I’ll be fighting for the @ufc interim 145 title thank you all for the support #ufc206 #maxforgold pic.twitter.com/1XoWVzPM1s— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) November 27, 2016 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH among economies most vulnerable to virus McGregor, meanwhile, will reportedly be sidelined until May to take care of his pregnant wife.Despite his lengthy absence, the 28-year-old champion will keep his lightweight belt, as contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are waiting in the wings for his return. Khristian IbarrolaSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH MOST READ Success is when preparation and opportunity meet. You WILL be entertained. #UFC206 #TeamPettis @BlessedMMA #Mex #Boricua #SiSePuede pic.twitter.com/4jQ5KCZMlt— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) November 27, 2016ADVERTISEMENT Conor McGregor’s reign as a simultaneous multi-division champion didn’t last long, and the rest of the UFC roster had mixed reactions about the announcement.READ: McGregor gives up UFC featherweight beltADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

first_imgBiodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, China And Energy, China’s Demand For Resources, Climate, Conservation, Dams, Drinking Water, Ecology, Ecosystems, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Fossil Fuels, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Trade, Global Warming, Globalization, Green, Habitat Degradation, Infrastructure, Land Use Change, Law, Overconsumption, Pollution, Roads, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Trade, Water Pollution, 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 Basten Gokkoncenter_img Governments across Southeast Asia have embraced billions of dollars in construction projects backed by China as they rely on infrastructure-building to drive their economic growth.But there are worries that this building spree, under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), makes no concessions for environmental protections, and even deliberately targets host countries with a weak regulatory climate.Beijing has also been accused of going on a debt-driven grab for natural resources and geopolitical clout, through the terms under which it lends money to other governments for the infrastructure projects.In parallel, China is also building up its green finance system, potentially as a means to channel more funding into its Belt and Road Initiative. KUCHING, Malaysia —  As governments in Southeast Asia target economic growth through infrastructure development, China, the world’s second-largest economy, has emerged as a ready funder for some of the most ambitious and expensive projects.Regional leaders have been quick to seize the opportunity offered by Beijing, but environmental experts warn that many of these projects could cause irreversible environmental damage in highly biodiverse areas.The infrastructure push has come in two waves this past decade, both aimed at establishing new roads, ports and railways across the region in pursuit of improved trade and logistics. In 2010, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) announced its Master Plan for Connectivity, which seeks to boost regional integration among the 10 member countries of the bloc through infrastructure projects. Three years later, China inaugurated its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a $1 trillion transportation and energy infrastructure construction juggernaut aimed to give Beijing a strong presence in markets across the region as well as Africa and Europe. The initiative is slated for completion in 2049.Representatives of governments pose for a photo at the Belt and Road International Forum in May 2017 in Beijing. The BRI has the backing of dozens of nations that are home to billions of people. Image courtesy of the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office (by CC 4.0).China’s Belt and Road Initiative, showing China in Red the members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in orange. The BRI comprises six proposed corridors of the Silk Road Economic Belt, a land transportation route running from China to southern Europe via Central Asia and the Middle East; and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, a sea route connecting the port of Shanghai to Venice, via India and Africa. Image by Lommes (by CC 4.0).Overall, these and other initiatives would see paved roads in Asia’s developing nations double in length in the next few years, according to a 2017 report.Asean is one of China’s largest trading partners, and given its vast natural resources and geographical proximity to China, the association of fast-growing nations is a key priority for the BRI.More than 60 percent of Chinese overseas direct investment (ODI) to BRI countries from 2013 to 2015 went to Asean member states, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. China’s total ODI in BRI countries was $21.4 billion in 2015, up from $13.6 billion in 2014 and $12.6 billion in 2013. Much of this money has gone to finance large, and often highly controversial, infrastructure projects.One of them, for instance, is a high-speed rail line in Indonesia, which the government in Jakarta shelved due to a lack of proper environmental impact studies and conflicts with local zoning plans. Also in Indonesia, a massive dam project supported by the Bank of China and Sinohydro, China’s hydropower authority, has been widely criticized for threatening the only known habitat of the world’s rarest great ape, the Tapanuli orangutan.There have also been complaints in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia about potential damage to the environment and communities from Chinese-backed hydropower projects along the Mekong River.What’s at stake?The BRI may appear to be an ambitious take on globalization, by covering 68 countries through trade and commerce and linking them to China, but there’s more to it than that, says Mason Campbell, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science at James Cook University in Australia.“It’s basically under the guise of internationalizing China, but it’s more about resource extraction and attaining materials,” Campbell told Mongabay on the sidelines of the 2018 conference of the Association for Tropical Biodiversity Conservation in Kuching, Malaysia, in early July.Wood that was cut for charcoal production near Katha, northern Myanmar. Villages in this area used to cut teak and other valuable trees for export, but have since started producing charcoal. The charcoal being exported to China can be made from any tree, regardless of size or species. This amount of trees would produce about 150 bags of charcoal. Image by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.Campbell, whose work has focused on the Pan Borneo Highway — a project to linking the two Malaysian states on the island with the nation of Brunei — said China’s way of asserting its influence in most infrastructure projects was typically by pushing for Chinese companies to work abroad or finance a development project in a foreign country that would eventually benefit China.China has pursued minerals, fossil fuels, agricultural commodities and timber from other nations under this model. As a net importer of coal, Chinese firms have 700 plants scheduled to be built by 2027, a fifth of which will be located abroad, including in Southeast Asia. The country is also investing $100 billion annually in Africa for extractive mineral industries and the associated transportation and energy infrastructure. The effort to secure these resources has spawned its own infrastructure boom that typically involves building large-scale roads, railways and other infrastructure to transport commodities from interior areas to coastal ports for export.In an analysis that only considers the backbone BRI projects, and not these various side projects, the WWF estimates that the Chinese initiative will directly impact 265 threatened species, including endangered tigers, giant pandas, gorillas, orangutans and Saiga antelopes.“There is significant potential overlap between the terrestrial BRI corridors and areas that are important for biodiversity conservation and for the provision of social and economic benefits to people,” the wildlife NGO wrote in the report. “These overlaps indicate risk areas for potentially negative impacts of infrastructure development.”It said the major BRI corridors would cut through or broadly overlap with 1,739 Important Bird Areas or Key Biodiversity Areas, as well as 46 biodiversity hotspots or Global 200 Ecoregions.“It’s huge. It’s as big as oil palm,” Alex Lechner, a researcher from the School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, told Mongabay.In a report published earlier this year, Lechner highlighted the rampant biodiversity loss in Asia from the BRI, which crosses several terrestrial and marine biodiversity hotspots, wilderness areas and other key conservation areas, such as Southeast Asia’s Coral Triangle.Road development, the report said, will create direct and indirect impacts, such as habitat loss, fragmentation, and illegal activities such as poaching and logging. In the marine environment, increased sea traffic exacerbates the movement of invasive species and pollution. Poorly planned infrastructure has the risk of locking in undesirable environmental practices for decades to come, it added.“BRI could have disastrous consequences for biodiversity,” Lechner wrote in the report.This map provides an overview of the land areas slated for infrastructure development, and likely to be at highest environmental risk, as a result of the BRI corridors. According to a WWF analysis, the BRI is likely to impact threatened species, environmentally important areas, protected areas, water-related ecosystem services, and areas with important wilderness characteristics. Image by WWF.New player, old gameChina is not the only nation promoting its own economic interests over those of other countries and their environmental health. It’s a story that has played out going back to the colonial period and earlier, when European nations ruthlessly exploited the resources and people of Africa, Asia and the Americas.The difference with China is both scale and speed, says William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University, whose work in the past two decades has primarily focused on infrastructure projects and their impact on the environment.“No nation has ever changed the planet so rapidly, on such a large scale, and with such single-minded determination,” Laurance wrote in an op-ed last year. “It is difficult to find a corner of the developing world where China is not having a significant environmental impact.”He also noted that China currently lacks other key factors that would make it easier to track and mitigate the impacts of projects, such as a free press or laws regulating the practice of Chinese businesses abroad.According to a major World Bank analysis of nearly 3,000 projects, Chinese foreign investors and companies often predominate in poorer nations with weak environmental regulations and controls. This, Laurance said, makes those nations prime “pollution havens” for China and Chinese enterprises, as the latter wouldn’t take any blame for the environmental damage wrought by their activities in the host countries.Mohammed Alamgir, an environmental scientist at James Cook University, described China’s BRI as also a way of buying long-term political influence across the globe.“In this arena of political economy, this huge investment from China, they’re the only player in that field,” he said.Campbell said the political favors sought by China would become clearer once the country receiving the funding for infrastructure projects struggled to pay back the money. A prominent case is that of the $1.5 billion Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. With the host government overleveraging itself to finance the project, it has had to give China a 99-year lease on the port in exchange for debt relief.The scale of China’s international resource exploitation is only likely to increase. The Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the primary investor in BRI projects, is heavily capitalized and moving rapidly to fund overseas projects with “streamlined” environmental and social safeguards. However, the host nations can, in theory, negotiate for much stringent standards for individual projects.In the meantime, the World Bank in 2016 announced new environmental and social safeguards to remain competitive with the AIIB. But those new standards have been described by some experts, including Laurance, as weaker than the lender’s previous framework.Laurance said the AIIB and other Chinese development banks could force a “race to the bottom” among multilateral lenders — with potentially grave consequences for the global environment.A logging road cuts through a tropical forest in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a “green, healthy, intelligent and peaceful” Silk Road. He said the participating countries should “deepen cooperation in environmental protection, intensify ecological preservation and build a green Silk Road.” Over the past decade, Chinese government ministries have released a series of “green papers” outlining lofty environmental and social guidelines for China’s overseas ventures and corporations.But researchers remain skeptical about this commitment.“The Chinese government readily admits that compliance with its guidelines is poor, but accepts no blame for this. Instead, it insists that it has little control over its corporations and blames the host nations themselves for not controlling Chinese corporations more carefully,” Laurance said.“If China really wanted to reign in its freewheeling corporations, it could easily do so by making some strong official statements and visibly punishing a few extravagant sinners. It hasn’t done this for one simple reason: Despite their often-egregious environmental activities, China’s corporations operating overseas are enormously profitable.”Alamgir said there was still hope for China to improve its environmental commitment by imposing more stringent strategic environmental assessments throughout the project development and funding processes.“At the end of the day, it’s political will,” he said. “If the Chinese government had the political will to do that.”Lechner called for more scientists from the global conservation community to look into the environmental impacts of the BRI, and conduct joint research with colleagues in China to better understand the dynamics of the initiative. He said researchers in China had produced about 90 papers reviewing the BRI, but they were in Chinese and only a small percentage were related to environmental aspects.“I think there’s a lot to be learned about what’s happening internally [in China], because maybe we think [that] it’s a vacuum because it’s not in English, but maybe there are things going on internally,” Lechner said.Green finance frameworkIn parallel with the BRI push, China appears to be developing its green financing system. A discussion involving 120 policymakers, financial regulators and practitioners from more than 35 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America took place in China in May.The six-day event was also attended by experts from more than 50 international organizations and commercial entities, including the Asian Development Bank, the Climate Bonds Initiative and the Commercial Bank of China. It highlighted Chinese roadmaps for green financial systems and the barriers related to regulatory policies, green definitions, raising awareness, building capacity, and collecting data.“It was extremely important for senior government leaders at the highest level to send a strong policy signal to regulators and market participants on the importance of green finance to the economy,” said Ma Jun, director of the Center for Finance and Development at Tsinghua University in Beijing, who also led the drafting of China’s green finance guidelines in 2015-2016.Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bond Initiatives, said the green bond market has taken off in the past couple of years, with China and the United States leading the global market.The Chinese experience, Kidney said, demonstrates that developing a clear green bond taxonomy, verifiers, and disclosure rules will help avoid the problem of greenwashing and also paves the way for smooth accreditation and verification of bond issuances and proceeds management.Financial institutions based in Shanghai are also seen driving green finance through product innovation, according to Clair Liu, head of international business at the Shanghai Stock Exchange. She cited the exchange’s experience in promoting environmental information disclosure, green bonds, and a green index development.To achieve a successful green financial system, Ma called on governments to do more to encourage private capital, and to train and develop human resources in the sector.“Policy coordination among ministries, development of taxonomies, and information disclosure are also key to success,” said Ma, whose current research priorities include investment in the BRI.Clarification: This article has been updated to amend an incorrect figure. It previously stated that Chinese companies would build 1,600 coal plants by 2027. We apologize for the error.Editor’s note: William Laurance is a member of Mongabay’s advisory board.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

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 A 14-year study following 134 tagged mountain lions north of Jackson, Wyoming, found a 48 percent reduction in their numbers.The researchers found that the combination of the reintroduction of wolves and increases in elk and mountain lion hunting led to the precipitous drop.Lead study author and Panthera biologist Mark Elbroch recommends suspending puma hunting for three years in the region to allow the population to recover. Several decades of seemingly unrelated policies, ranging from increases in elk hunting to the reintroduction of wolves, have combined to cut a population of mountain lions in the western United States by 48 percent, a recent study has found.Over a span of 14 years, a team of biologists tracked the movements of 134 pumas (Puma concolor) fitted with radio or GPS collars in a 2,300-square-kilometer (888-square-mile) area north of Jackson, Wyoming, and arrived at that conclusion. They reported their findings on June 25 in the journal Ecology and Evolution.Panthera biologist Mark Elbroch recommends suspending mountain lion hunting for three years in and around the study area. Image by Duncan Parker/Panthera.Like many places in the American West, the region is a patchwork of land that’s under the control of different government agencies with differing opinions and management goals.“It makes that part of our country really unique,” Mark Elbroch, a biologist with the wild cat conservation group Panthera and one of the study’s lead authors, said in an interview.But the decisions taken by those groups can sometimes result in unintended consequences. In the case of this study, the combination of the reintroduction of wolves in nearby Yellowstone National Park in 1995, a decision to reduce the population of elk (a favorite prey species of the puma) through hunting, and increased hunting of pumas themselves formed what Elbroch called a “perfect storm” that nearly halved the mountain lion population in the study area.The study followed the movements of 134 tagged mountain lions for 14 years. Image by Mark Elbroch/Panthera.Each of those factors hit different segments of the population. By 1999, a pair of wolves had moved outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park and taken up residence in the study area; over the next decade and a half, their numbers exploded to nearly 70 animals by 2015.To have such a formidable competitor return to the pumas’ hunting grounds no doubt forced some of the mountain lions to retreat to more rugged terrain, Elbroch said; he and his colleagues are currently working on an analysis of the data to come up with more concrete answers on that front. Wolves will also steal pumas’ prey if they can, he said, and they can block adults from physically reaching the deer and elk they need to survive. But the most noticeable impact the wolves had was on the lions’ kittens, killing 18 percent or more of the ones the researchers tracked in the study.The team also looked at a decision in 2000 to reduce the elk population in the Jackson area by about one-third. Over the course of the study, relaxed hunting restrictions saw elk numbers drop from 16,000 to 11,000. Elbroch said he initially didn’t think that would have played a role in the decline of pumas that they witnessed.A puma with a recent kill. Image by Neal Wight/Panthera.“My goodness — 11,000 elk,” Elbroch said. “That’s plenty of food, right?”It turned out not to be.“It’s not just 11,000 elk sprinkled on the landscape evenly,” he said. The elk instead gathered together in clumps throughout the area. A large group of elk started spending winters in broad valleys — not a great spot for pumas to hunt because of the likelihood that they would come across humans or wolves there. On the elk’s native range outside the National Elk Refuge, where lions would have access to them, the researchers found that elk numbers had tumbled by around 70 percent.“That’s huge,” Elbroch said, “and I had never considered it.”This irregular distribution of such a vital puma prey species took even the elk managers by surprise, and it led to higher starvation rates for the cougars across all age classes, the researchers concluded.A tagged mountain lion in the study area. Image courtesy of Panthera.Elbroch said the impact puma hunting had on numbers of adults was also not surprising.“It is the greatest cause of mortality for mountain lions throughout the West,” Elbroch said.Now, with the Jackson puma population around 20 animals, his recommendation is to stop hunting them for three years, not just in the study areas, but in the adjoining slices of habitat as well, to allow the numbers to recover.Perhaps also unsurprisingly, that’s a controversial opinion, as the state’s human residents worry about their safety and that of their livestock. (Elbroch said the threats are often a question of perception, as there’s never been a recorded case in which a puma has killed a human in Wyoming, and grizzly bears and wolves pose a greater danger to cattle and sheep.)Many hunters, on the other hand, have joined the call to limit mountain lion hunting in Wyoming, which state agencies have done by about 70 percent in recent years. Elbroch and his colleagues often partner with local hunters, who, along with their hounds, help the researchers track down and catch the cats for tagging. While on the surface they might seem to be unlikely allies, Elbroch said the dip in lion numbers had concerned hunters as well.“They want science-based management,” Elbroch said.The researchers found that the decline of pumas closely tracked the rise in wolves and diminished numbers of elk available for the pumas to hunt. Image by Elbroch et al., 2018.He said the science now pointed toward the need to let the population recover. And it’s difficult to know whether the decline this research has tracked has stopped and the population is now stable.“I hope so,” Elbroch added, “but we don’t know.”What’s worrying beyond the current challenges that cougars in the Jackson area face is the potential for catastrophic hits to their numbers, such as a disease outbreak, a wildfire or a rash of collisions with vehicles on the region’s highways. A population with fewer pumas will be less likely to bounce back after these shocks, Elbroch said.For those same reasons, Panthera has come out against a proposed 20 percent increase in mountain lion hunting in Nebraska, one of Wyoming’s neighbors to the east. This relatively new population has about 60 animals, Elbroch said in a blog post. Just as with the Jackson mountain lions, he advises proceeding with “extreme caution.”“Based on science, you’ve got this tiny, little population. Why would you hunt it?” Elbroch said. “It just makes no sense.”He added, “We’re not saying that hunting mountain lions is off the table, but hunting mountain lions when they only exist in small numbers should be off the table and never discussed.”Banner image of a tagged puma by Mark Elbroch/Panthera. John Cannon is a Mongabay staff writer based in the Middle East. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitations Elbroch, L. M., Marescot, L., Quigley, H., Craighead, D., & Wittmer, H. U. (2018). Multiple anthropogenic interventions drive puma survival following wolf recovery in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Ecology and Evolution.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Animal Behavior, Animals, Big Cats, Biodiversity, Cats, Cattle, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Human-wildlife Conflict, Hunting, Livestock, Mammals, National Parks, Parks, Predators, Protected Areas, Reintroductions, Research, Tagging, Top Predators, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wolves last_img read more

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Small holder farmers from 6,000 Malian households have restored 320 hectares of land through a combination of on-farm natural tree regeneration, water harvesting, moisture retention technologies, improved soil filtration, and enhanced soil humus.This is just one of many efforts currently underway to restore Africa’s dryland forests. There are many obstacles left to overcome, but as the Mali example clearly shows, there are successes to celebrate and build upon, as well.In sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of charcoal and firewood used by about 2.4 million people is harvested in woodlands found in the dryland areas. Experts say it’s time to start packaging these fragile yet rich and highly adaptive ecosystems into investment opportunities. About 10 years ago, the average millet farmer in Boromdougou village along the Niger River in Mali produced about 170 kilograms of cereals per hectare per season, according to Pierre Dembele, executive secretary of Malian NGO Sahel Eco.Lack of wind breakers, however, eventually led to heavy losses. A decade ago, the practice of slash and burn agriculture in the Sahel region had left the soil exposed. When farmers planted seeds, ferocious desert winds, unimpeded by trees, would sweep them away. There was no shade, so every time it rained the water quickly evaporated in the hot sun, even as the rainwater carried away the top layer of soil. Because the soil couldn’t hold water, many of the seeds not blown away simply died. This meant very low yields for farmers.But today efforts by small holder farmers from 6,000 households have brought about a turnaround, restoring 320 hectares of land through a combination of on-farm natural tree regeneration, water harvesting, moisture retention technologies, improved soil filtration, and enhanced soil humus.This is just one of many efforts currently underway to restore Africa’s dryland forests. There are many obstacles left to overcome, but as the Mali example clearly shows, there are successes to celebrate and build upon, as well.“Drylands are fragile ecosystems. You do not just go out and plant a tree without harvesting and retaining water. They will all die! Water is key to restoration,” said Dembele, who serves as executive secretary of Sahel Eco, which works with farmers to restore degraded landscapes in the Sahel.Farmers dig planting pits (called zai pits) with a diameter of 15-30 centimeter and a depth of 10-15 centimeters to harvest rainfall and water runoff. According to Dembele, this measure “helps more water infiltrate into the ground and hence enough to aid germination.” He adds that farmers also use organic manure from their livestock and practice mulching to reduce water evaporation. As a result, Sahel farmers can now harvest 1,500 kilograms of cereals from a single hectare of land.Due to water stress, Wahabou Benao, a small-scale farmer at Vrassan village in southern Burkina Faso, has had to use bottle drip irrigation to support his farming. Photo by Sophie Mbugua.Local communities depend on forest productsMali lies within a geographic formation called the Sahelian Acacia Savanna that stretches across the African continent from northern Senegal and Mauritania on the Atlantic coast to Sudan on the Red Sea. Apart from the wooded shrublands, the area is home to Lake Chad and the Niger River, which are critical ecosystems supporting agriculture, pastoralism, and wildlife.Typical woody species like the baobab, tamarind, and shea are intercropped with millet and sorghum and farmed for their fruits and vegetables. Winter thorn — a leguminous, nitrogen-fixing, acacia-like species — and sabara tree, which has medicinal value, together with African mesquite, are farmed for fodder.In the Sahel, these indigenous woody plants function as reserves, ensuring the continued existence of people and livestock throughout the long dry season, when stored crops and grazing pasture are lacking. Over 700 women in four regions of Mali — Bamako, Gao, Mopti, and Ségouorganized — have been organized into 33 groups by Sahel Eco for the processing and selling of tamarind juice, beauty products, cakes, and syrup processed from the tamarind and shea trees, chinese dates, and desert dates, among other species.“Community livelihood is dependent on the forest products, as trees are more resilient to droughts and less water. If they earn a living from the trees, they will cater for it,” Dembele told Mongabay. “The women earn about $6000 annually after harvesting fruits in the farm and in the forests, which they add value [to] and sell as syrup, soap, beauty products, and cake.”Having established a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), the women save 20 cents of every dollar they make selling their products and, since this money belongs to them all, any one in need of money — say for school fees or buying a cow — can come to the group and ask for a loan, which they return with interest within an agreed timeframe.To ensure availability of fruits around the homesteads, 100 trees are left to naturally regenerate on every hectare of land. Leaves that fall to the ground are left to decompose, adding humus to the soil.Despite the challenges they face and their importance to local livelihoods, Africa’s dryland forests don’t receive much conservation attention. At the Global Landscape Forum (GLF) Africa Conference, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya earlier this month, Phosiso Sola, East Africa program coordinator for the World Agroforestry Drylands Development Programme (DryDev), noted that drylands within sub-Saharan Africa are essential and yet neglected. Despite the fact that more than 50 percent of the local population is located in and dependent on drylands, these ecosystems are not attracting anywhere near the level of conservation funds as do, say, tropical forests, she said.As a result, Sola added, dryland forests and woodlands have been rapidly declining due to harvesting of wood for commercial and domestic purposes.Repackaging dryland forestsHome to an estimated 2 billion people and supporting 25 percent of the world’s endangered species, more than a quarter (about 25-35 percent) of global drylands are degraded, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).In sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of charcoal and firewood used by about 2.4 million people is harvested in woodlands found in the dryland areas. Sola believes it’s about time researchers started packaging these fragile yet rich and highly adaptive ecosystems into investment opportunities.“The few trees found in many drylands have high economic value, but such studies translating the tones of wood and charcoal harvested from the dry land forests and consumed by households and industries into megawatts of energy saved from generated electricity or the amount of money that baobab trees can generate are not there,” Sola explains. “Dry lands are seen as empty places, where only a few communities live with very little economic benefits. If we are to capture the mind of the investors and government, we need to translate drylands into investment opportunities.”Tafera Mengitsu, an adviser to Ethiopia’s state minister of forests at the country’s Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, told Mongabay that Ethiopia has successfully commercialized restoration of drylands degraded by over-harvesting of gums and resins, excessive wood harvesting for charcoal, overgrazing by livestock, agricultural expansion, recurrent fires, and settlements.Africa’s dryland forests and woodlands have been rapidly declining due to harvesting of wood for commercial and domestic purposes. Photo by Sophie Mbugua.“We must balance between the biodiversity conservation needs of the country and economic needs of the communities. Therefore, we are mixing between 30 percent indigenous species for biodiversity conservation, 35 percent fruit trees for nutritious benefits, and 35 percent exotic species to meet the economic demand,” Mengitsu explains.Mengitsu acknowledges that, despite Ethiopia’s biodiversity being tremendous, it’s not well studied or documented. “We know we have close to 7,000 tree species in Ethiopia, 4 million hectares of tropical forest, and 24 million hectares of drylands forests scattered everywhere in the country,” he said, “but we need to understand the key biodiversity hotspots before it is all converted into farming areas.”Nonetheless, over the last 15 years Ethiopia has rehabilitated 12 to 15 million hectares at $350-600 per hectare. Mengitsu says the goal is to restore an additional 20 million hectares of forests and degraded landscapes by 2030.In 2016, Ethiopia committed to restore 15 million hectares as its contribution to the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) — an effort led by African countries to restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030.A win for the climatePhosiso Sola of DryDev maintains that restoring the drylands would not only ensure resilience for the communities dependent on those ecosystems but would also be a win for the climate, though there is a lack of knowledge of the carbon density of the woodlands.“Dryland trees invest in underground growth before it starts investing in upper ground growth, it must have long roots to reach for the water farther down,” Sola said. “Drylands are relevant for climate change: the trees might be slow growing but they invest in a lot of underground carbon.”A report published in Nature this past August indicates that carbon losses from degradation and deforestation in African savannas are between three and six times higher than previously thought. Data from all southern African countries with savanna woodlands – Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Angola, and the southern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo – indicate high degradation rates along the transport corridors and areas close to developing urban towns as trees are harvested for charcoal and timber.The researchers also found that Tanzania’s Miombo woodland soils contain considerable amounts of organic matter, forming a large below-ground pool of carbon. The Miombo is seasonally dry, deciduous woodland and the largest vegetation formation in central, eastern, and southern Africa. The destruction of these woodlands therefore has dire implications for both the global carbon cycle and local livelihoods, as over 150 million people depend on the ecosystem services provided by the woodlands and forests.An IUCN report finds that dryland soils represent roughly one-third of global soil organic carbon and that the global stocks of soil biodiversity contribute strongly to global food production and climate change mitigation.“Drylands are particularly valuable for carbon storage due to their high degree of permanence — the duration that carbon is stored in the soil — compared to humid areas,” the IUCN report notes. “Most biodiversity in the Sahel, the Middle East, and Australia is found beneath the soil’s surface and conserving it is crucial for water and food security.”The constraint and cost of restorationDembele believes that restoration requires investing time, energy, resources, and skills — from both the communities and the government. For the communities to invest their time and energy to restoration, there needs to be some assurance that they can benefit from the years of nurturing the natural environment. But lack of land tenure has been a major setback, he said.Trees in Africa’s drylands, especially acacias, are heavily exploited for wood and charcoal that is used in nearby towns. Photo by Sophie Mbugua.What’s more, Dembele notes that conflict, drought, and land degradation sometimes cause communities to migrate in search of arable land, not only in Mali but within the greater Sahel region, as well. In some cases, this creates new sources of tension. “Restoration takes a long time. After the land starts yielding better, the owners who had initially leased the land to the migrants, demand it back.”In Ethiopia, where Sola and DryDev have been implementing a restoration program, younger generation are finding it hard to fit into the traditional systems of livelihoods.“They would like to adopt new farming technologies or new way of rearing animals, but they do not own land as the older generation is yet to release land ownership to the younger generations,” she said. “The youth are pushed out overseas in search of jobs and alternative livelihoods because the system that supported them as children can no longer accommodate them.”Tim Christorpheren, chair of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration — a partnership network initiated in 2003 by the IUCN to unite governments, organizations, communities, and individuals working towards the restoration of degraded and deforested lands — insists that clear land tenure and land rights is the precondition for achieving landscape restoration in Africa.“The small holder farmers are the constituency that will make the difference,” Christorpheren told Mongabay. “Many of the trees we need for forest and landscape restoration will be the trees on farms — the fruit trees, fertilizer trees, shade trees, nitrogen-fixing trees, trees to curb erosion, and small woodlots. Governments must create an enabling environment for investors and hence land rights must be clear.”Christorpheren added that it’s essential for African governments to help better organize small holder farmers as cooperatives and associations. He says knowledge flows easily when farmers are organized, and their access to finance technologies and good quality seeds is improved. Additionally, they can negotiate better offtake agreements and systematically invest in value chains for forest-based commodities for community economic benefits, since land restoration must make economic sense.“I do not think there is a shortage of money in terms of investment, once these enabling conditions are there, we are clear about the restoration opportunities, where are they, who can do it,” Christorpheren said. “Money will flow once we can make a good business case.”While Sahel Eco is pushing the Mali government to come up with a policy to address land tenure problems, Ethiopia’s government designed a Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy that aims to achieve carbon-neutral status before 2025.Forestry and rehabilitation of degraded lands are two of the main pillars of Ethiopia’s strategy. As a result, communities involved in landscape restoration are awarded certificates of land ownership and given free seedlings. Mengitsu says this allows them to manage rehabilitation sites, harvest tree products (such as poles, which are exported to Sudan), and keep the benefits. Communities rehabilitating communally owned land share benefits after harvesting and selling the forest products with the government through clearly outlined benefit-sharing mechanisms.Sola says that there is growing evidence that dry forest ecosystem services help increase adaptive capacity of the poorest households and communities and insulate more carbon if left intact. Governments must be prepared to address land tenure and land rights, she says, since a high perception of land tenure among communities is likely to reduce land degradation.For Dembele, involving women is key: “They are the ones who interact with the land and trees every day. Once they see benefits, they will care for the trees.”Through Village Saving & Loan Associations, women can take a loan and buy livestock or educate children. Photo by Sophie Mbugua.CITATION• McNicol, I. M., Ryan, C. M., & Mitchard, E. T. (2018). Carbon losses from deforestation and widespread degradation offset by extensive growth in African woodlands. Nature communications, 9(1), 3045. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05386-z Agriculture, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change Policy, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Dry Forests, Ecological Restoration, Ecosystem Restoration, Environment, Farming, Forest Carbon, Forests, Restoration, Soil Carbon 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