Murray, Djokovic set up shootout at ATP Finals

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first_imgSerbia’s Novak Djokovic plays a return to Japan’s Kei Nishikori during their ATP World Tour Finals doubles semifinal tennis match at the O2 arena in London, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. APLONDON — Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic set up a Sunday shootout for both the ATP finals title and the year-end No. 1 ranking.The world’s top two players had contrasting wins in the semifinals at O2 Arena on Saturday, with Murray surviving a match point to beat Milos Raonic 5-7, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9) in 3 hours, 38 minutes, the longest ever three-setter in the ATP finals.ADVERTISEMENT PH among economies most vulnerable to virus MOST READ Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine NXT TakeOver Toronto: Joe becomes 2-time champ Murray had won all six of his meetings with Raonic this year, including a straight-sets victory in the Wimbledon final.Murray just needs one last push at the end of a stunning second half to 2016, when he has won Wimbledon and the Olympics before topping the rankings for the first time.“I’m tired,” Murray said. “I’ve played so much tennis the last few months. I’ll just give my best effort tomorrow. It’s going to be tough, obviously, but I’ll give my best shot.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Djokovic needed just 66 minutes to dispatch Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1.Murray arrived at the tournament simply needing to do better than Djokovic to finish the year at No. 1, a position he has held since winning the Paris Masters two weeks ago.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentNow, that means winning the final.“This has never happened in the history of tennis,” Djokovic said of the winner-takes-all match on Sunday. “I’m privileged to be part of the history. This is one of the biggest matches we will ever play against each other.” Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Djokovic might just be in better shape after overwhelming Nishikori, who held his serve only once all match.“I pretty much executed everything I tactically planned to do,” Djokovic said.“My level had been going in the right direction. I’m very glad I get to experience this feeling on the court. Now it’s coming up to the last match of the year, the match everybody anticipated.”After squandering chances while serving for the match twice in the final set, Murray converted on his fourth match point during the tiebreaker to finally come through.“It was unbelievably tough,” Murray said. “I had to fight very, very hard. Being broken twice serving for the match was frustrating. It was one of the harder matches I’ve played indoors. They are never this long.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol towncenter_img 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes 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 As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 We are young EDITORS’ PICK View commentslast_img read more

MMA: Nunes predicts win ahead of Rousey comeback fight

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first_imgFriday’s UFC women’s contest will be just the 14th of her career while Nunes has fought 17 times, including four losses.Rousey, a former Olympic judo medalist, is one of MMA’s biggest stars who has helped widen the sport’s global appeal.So it is no surprise that her return after a protracted absence has created a huge buzz with organizers predicting record pay per view buys.She was battered by Holm when the two met in Melbourne in November 2015 in what is seen as the biggest upset in women’s MMA history.Rousey’s rise through the ranks of MMA earned her comparisons to Mike Tyson’s emergence in boxing’s heavyweight division during the 1980s, with the fighter generating excitement after a string of whirlwind knockouts.ADVERTISEMENT EDITORS’ PICK Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine However, unlike Tyson, who had fought 37 times before suffering his first loss, Rousey had fought just a dozen times as her boxing inexperience was woefully apparent when she was beaten by Holm. CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town We are young 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Following the loss, Rousey went into seclusion and kept a low profile in the build up to the Nunes fight by declining to do interviews.READ: Amanda Nunes becomes UFC’s first gay champion with upset win | Rousey storms off stage after staredown with NunesFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad Ali“I am very focused and I know how I am going to stop her. I can’t wait,” Nunes, of Brazil, told the Los Angeles Times.The Holm loss also shattered the mystique that Rousey had developed during the 12 straight wins that kickstarted her career. UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes faces off with Ronda Rousey in preparation for their UFC 207 fight that will take place on December 30, 2016. AFPLOS ANGELES, United States — Mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey will seek to reclaim the bantamweight title when she steps into the octagon for the first time in more than a year to battle Amanda Nunes in Las Vegas.The 29-year-old from Los Angeles has not fought since she was pummeled to an upset defeat by Holly Holm in 2015.ADVERTISEMENT Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PHcenter_img As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Senators to proceed with review of VFA Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Meralco coach Black sees no positives in SMB loss Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports MOST READ PH among economies most vulnerable to virus View commentslast_img read more

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, April 27, 2018

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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 Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update Article published by John Cannoncenter_img There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments. Tropical forestsScientists are taking advantage of Colombia’s peace deal to investigate areas that used to be off-limits (Science Magazine).Protecting Africa’s forest elephants will encourage plant diversity, a new study finds (Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign/EurekAlert).Urbanization could mean relief for the world’s threatened wildlife species if we can ferry them through the next century (The New York Times).Six conservationists are new Whitley Award winners (The Guardian).CIFOR offers a roundup of the news from the 2018 Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit (CIFOR Forests News).Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will give $4.5 million to compensate for the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord (BBC News).A Chinese-funded dam in Indonesia could split the dwindling population of a new orangutan species in two (The Guardian).Pakistan plants more than 1 million mangrove trees in 24 hours and breaks its own record (The Express Tribune).Hosting August’s Asian Games spurs Indonesia to limit forest fires (Reuters).Young activists in Colombia win a court victory to hold their government responsible for addressing climate change (Pacific Standard).Colombia is becoming the hottest destination to see the Amazon rainforest (Conde Nast Traveler).The Kenyan government now has a rapid response team to protect the country’s forests (Hivisasa).West Africa’s cocoa farmers don’t see the benefits of big companies’ efforts at more ethical sourcing (Times of Oman).The Indian government says the country’s forest cover is up more than 6,700 square kilometers (2,600 square miles) thanks to conservation (Business Standard, LiveMint).Forests anchor life on Earth (Treehugger).Selective logging may not be enough to save the diversity of plants and animals in the forest (European Scientist).Other newsA park established in 2012 helped to nearly triple the number of critically endangered Amur leopards (The Revelator).A 27-year-old polar bear living in Singapore Zoo, the first born in the tropics, has died (The Hindu).Warmer water in the Gulf of California could lead to declines in seabird numbers (American Ornithological Society Publications Office/EurekAlert).A study from University College London reveals that climate change hasn’t played a central role in human conflict in East Africa over the past 50 years (EurekAlert).Biologists are concerned that orcas off the West Coast of the United States may be inbreeding, after recent genetic analysis (NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region/EurekAlert).Scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute measured a whale shark’s migration, and it’s the longest ever recorded (EurekAlert).Coral reefs that have adapted to deal with temperature fluctuations are the most likely to survive in the face of climate change (Bangor University/Phys.Org).How to tackle the massive problem of plastic pollution (Mother Jones).Thousands of islands are likely to be swamped by sea level rise as a result of climate change, a new study finds (Mother Jones).Citizen science in Kenya helps to check water quality (CIFOR Forests News).French president tells U.S. Congress, “There is no Planet B” (BBC News).Scientists warn that a warmer Arctic will translate into rougher weather (Vox/Pulitzer Center).Kelp forests could be key to minimizing ocean acidification (News Deeply).Banner image of forest elephants. Image by Richard Ruggiero/USFWS via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) or Public Domain.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

Mexico: pipeline divides Yaqui communities and triggers wave of violence

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first_imgThe construction of a section of the Sonora gas pipeline in northern Mexico has resulted in confrontations between members of different Yaqui indigenous communities, the most recent one in May.The confrontations have left two people dead, more than 10 injured, 11 burned vehicles, and a section of gas pipe uprooted from the ground.Members of the Yaqui community in the town of Loma de Bácum made a legal request to suspend the construction of the Guaymas-El Oro section of the pipeline, and a court sided with them: the project cannot be resumed until all eight affected Yaqui communities approve it. LOMA DE BÁCUM, Mexico — October 21, 2016, is a date that the Yaqui community in the town of Loma de Bácum will never forget. That’s when the community’s inhabitants, riven into two factions over the imminent construction of a gas pipeline planned to cross straight through their territory, turned on each other.One part of the community saw the pipeline as a threat to the 20,000 members of the Yaqui indigenous group and the environment they depend on. The other part welcomed the pipeline as a source of development, and also because seven other Yaqui communities had already voiced their approval of it.Hundreds of people took part in the conflict. By the end of the day, a group of armed people had attacked the Guardia Tradicional station where Loma de Bácum’s Yaqui authorities usually meet, and dozens of children had been caught in the middle of a violent exchange upon leaving school. One person was dead and 11 vehicles were torched.The events have left deep scars in the community, and an uncertain path forward.A still shot from a video captured Oct. 21, 2016, when the confrontation began. Image courtesy of La Marabunta Filmadora (“The Crowd Filmer”).The root of the problemWhen it’s finished, the Guaymas-El Oro gas pipeline will run 330 kilometers (205 miles), 18 kilometers (11 miles) of it through Yaqui land in Loma de Bácum. This pipeline, together with the 505-kilometer (314-mile) Guaymas-El Sásabe pipeline, are intended to form a larger project known as the Sonora pipeline. The entire project is being developed by Gasoducto de Aguaprieta, a branch of the Mexico City-based company IEnova, itself a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy.Loma de Bácum is one of eight communities that form the Yaqui nation in the state of Sonora in northwestern Mexico. The majority of the families in Loma de Bácum oppose the pipeline crossing their territory, according to the town’s Yaqui authorities consulted by Mongabay Latam. The authorities claim Gasoducto de Aguaprieta persuaded the majority of the Yaqui communities with payments of sums of money and the use of force by Sonoran authorities.“From our viewpoint, we saw our territory being colonized by that industry, colonized by people outside of the Yaqui tribe,” said Yaqui lawyer Anabela Carlón, a leader in the movement to stop the pipeline.In April 2016, the anti-pipeline faction made a legal request to stop the pipeline’s construction. The district judge in the city of Obregón sided with them, ordering that construction of the pipeline could not continue without the consent of all eight Yaqui communities.After the judge’s decision, Loma de Bácum became a stone in the shoe of the other seven Yaqui communities, of the company constructing the pipeline, and of the government.A still shot from a video captured Oct. 21, 2016, of vehicles that have been burned. Image courtesy of La Marabunta Filmadora.Mexico’s secretary of energy carried out a prior consultation with all eight Yaqui communities on Sept. 14, 2016, but the result was the same: seven communities accepted the construction of the pipeline, but Loma de Bácum did not. The town expressed its “decisive and categorical rejection of the construction and operation of the Guaymas-El Oro section of the Sonora pipeline, within the segment located in the territory corresponding to this town,” according to a statement published by the secretary’s office.A panorama of Loma de Bácum showing the burned vehicles. Image courtesy of La Marabunta Filmadora.However, the lack of a unanimous favorable vote did not stop the government from giving the project a green light.The dispute reached a head on Oct. 21, 2016. As the Yaqui in Loma de Bácum tell it, community members in favor of the pipeline, supported by people from the pro-pipeline Yaqui town of Loma de Guamúchil as well as outsiders (called Yoris) sent by the company and the government, tried to oust Loma de Bácum’s traditional Yaqui authorities in order to appoint others who favored the pipeline. In response, the anti-pipeline contingent rose up and denounced what they called an “attempted coup d’état.”A conflict ensued that spun out around a local school. Children, upon leaving school for the day, found themselves surrounded by gunfire, hurled stones, and the complaints of the wounded. Several children and adults fainted in shock. The violence lasted about two hours before the Sonora police and the Mexican navy broke it up.After the incidents that day, the state secretary of Sonora, Miguel Pompa Corella, told local media outlets that the Sonoran government was waiting for the Yaqui nation to resolve its conflicts so that the project could continue without setbacks, since, according to him, all the necessary permissions were in order.Enduring scarsSome of the traces of the violent episode involving the Yaquis and Yoris can still be seen in the center of Loma de Bácum more than a year and a half later. Eleven burned vehicles remind residents and visitors of the carnage that took place.Martín Valencia and Higinio Ochoa point out the 11 vehicles that were burned during the violent conflict on Oct. 21, 2016. Image by Rodrigo Soberanes for Mongabay Latam.The twisted remains of the vehicles will stay where they are because residents opposed to the pipeline consider them a symbol of an achievement. “This is going to stay here because it serves as a warning for those who want to invade: think twice,” said resident Higinio Ochoa Vega.Less visible remnants of the incident are the memories of the children and their teachers caught up in the violence. Some children have returned to school, but others have not wanted to. It’s the same with the teachers.“They had never seen anything like it,” said Martín Valencia Cruz, chief of Loma de Bácum’s Yaqui authority. That makes sense, because nothing like it had ever happened in the community before.One person died from a .22-caliber gunshot wound to the chest: Cruz Buitimea Piñas, who was part of the group defending the construction of the pipeline. Fidencio Valencia, a Yaqui volunteer fireman who was assisting the Guardia Tradicional that day, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder, even though he was armed with a .45-caliber weapon, according to Loma de Bácum’s traditional authorities.Martín Valencia, the cousin of the victim, Buitimea, mourns his cousin’s death, but says the worst part of the ordeal is that children were placed in the middle of a conflict between hundreds of adults. He and many other pipeline opponents claim the pro-pipeline faction did so deliberately.A still shot from a video captured Oct. 21, 2016, when authorities arrived to intervene. Image courtesy of La Marabunta Filmadora.“It was very serious for us to have used children from the community as human shields; that was very terrible and that is something that isn’t forgiven here,” Valencia said. “They attacked sacred things.”The spokesperson for the seven Yaqui communities in favor of the pipeline, Tomás Rojo Valencia, told media outlets the day after the conflict that they hoped for a resolution from the government, since, according to him, the groups he represents were not armed during the conflict.Uprooting the pipelineFive months after the confrontation, the Mexican Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights visited Sonora, first in February 2017 and then in March 2017, to “discuss” the right to prior consultation that the Yaqui communities have. “The delegation from the UN emphasized the right of the indigenous communities to express their prior consent, free and informed, to the infrastructure projects that concern them,” the office said in a statement.On June 30, 2017, a federal tribunal directed the secretary of energy to comply with the judge’s order halting construction of the pipeline that the Yaquis of Loma de Bácum had won in 2016.The companies constructing the pipeline responded by continuing the project.And the Yaqui community responded by digging out a section of the pipeline.The incident was reported by local media outlets as an act of vandalism on the part of the Yaqui people.The gap that was left behind after the removal of a section of the pipeline. Image by Rodrigo Soberanes for Mongabay Latam.Less than a kilometer from the center of Loma de Bácum, a path runs toward the desert that reaches some signage for the pipeline work. To get there, one has to pass in front of a Sonoran police station that maintains constant surveillance. A little past that, there is a hole in the ground that used to hold a 10-meter section of the pipeline.Next to the hole, on a recent day, was Higinio Ochoa, the same man who was proud of the 11 vehicles that were burned. He agreed to go with Mongabay Latam back to the location where the pipeline was removed.Higinio Ochoa, a Yaqui from Loma de Bácum, on a walk around the section of the Guaymas-El Oro pipeline that was cut. Image by Rodrigo Soberanes for Mongabay Latam.“This land has to be defended, even at the cost of our lives, because that is what our Yaqui oath says; it’s why we’re here,” said Ochoa, a native of Loma de Bácum, under the midday desert sun. He spoke with the energy of a boxer in the corner of a ring in the middle of a fight.The hole remains the same as when the Yaqui dug it, and there is no evidence of any personnel from the pipeline company in the area. As for the green section of pipe dug out of the ground, it is kept behind the Guardia Tradicional police station, in plain sight of anyone who passes through the town.The violence continuesThis spring new violence erupted. On May 4, 2018, a piece of land belonging to the community was set on fire. The Yaqui people in Loma de Bácum, viewing it as an act of aggression, went to ask for an explanation from the suspects, residents of Loma de Guamúchil. This sparked a new confrontation, and once again shots were fired and houses and vehicles burned.The worst part is that there was a second fatality: Víctor Adolfo Molina Vázquez, an 18-year-old Yaqui. Saturnina Buitimea Piñas, a resident of Loma de Bácum, was injured.Pompa, Sonora’s state secretary, was questioned about the confrontations in Loma de Bácum a few days after Vázquez’s death. He said the confrontations were unrelated to the pipeline.The section of the Guaymas-El Oro pipeline that some Yaqui community members dug out of the ground, behind the Yaqui Guardia Tradicional police station. Image by Rodrigo Soberanes for Mongabay Latam.One of the most upsetting things about the whole situation for many Yaqui in Loma de Bácum is that the bonds between the communities have been weakened so much that it resulted in violence and death.For many, it’s crucial that there be a consensus between the eight communities, said a community member named Guadalupe Flores. “This is communal, not majority. Everyone or no one.”Gasoducto de Aguaprieta did not respond to requests for information by Mongabay Latam. However, statements to the press given by Juan Rodríguez Castañeda, a company representative, state that “the construction has been following strict quality procedures and is under the supervision of specialists. [The company] remains in continuous contact with the entire community and authorities from the Civil Protection Agency.”The project’s executive summary maintains that the pipeline is necessary because energy demands in Mexico have grown more than the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and that in 2020 the country will have an energy “deficit.” The summary says the pipeline is intended to connect northeastern Mexico to the National Pipeline System — a goal outlined in the country’s National Energy Strategy 2013-2027, and one reason the Mexican government supports the project.For now, the pipeline remains incomplete and work on the Yaqui section has stopped.Community members walk in Loma de Bácum. Image by Rodrigo Soberanes for Mongabay Latam.Ties to the landA Yaqui person with no money is not poor, but a Yaqui person with no land is poor, according to Carlón, the Yaqui lawyer opposed to the project. “We defend our territory because without land, there is no life; we would disappear and as Yaquis, we would just be one more poor population in Mexico,” she said.She also explained the relationship between her community and the environment. “We live to understand the language of nature, to communicate with it, to be able to go to other dimensions inside of our beliefs. Nature takes us to other worlds,” Carlón said.Anabela Carlón, Yaqui activist and lawyer, during an interview with Mongabay Latam in Loma de Bácum. Image by Rodrigo Soberanes for Mongabay Latam.According to Julio César Montané Martí, an investigator from the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Sonora, “indigenous people from Sonora created not only a relationship with nature, but also a transformed nature, and they learned to use all their resources, and because of that, no Indian died of thirst while crossing the desert.”Where a Yori person might not see anything, the Yaqui people take a simple mesquite and turn it into flour, and can harvest prickly pears, pitayas and other wild fruits. They take advantage of honey and agave, as well as more than 100 medicinal plants in the area.The relationship between the Yaqui tribe and the environment was one of the arguments used by the legal team against the construction of the pipeline, and was what allowed them to obtain the order suspending the project in 2016. The attorney representing the anti-pipeline group from Loma de Bácum argued that those deciding whether or not to allow the pipeline’s construction must consider “the direct harms generated towards their material and immaterial assets.”For Rojo, the representative of the seven pro-pipeline Yaqui communities, “infrastructure is very important.”Beyond the lawsuit and the violence, the Yaqui tribe has a plan to return to pre-colonial times when, according to Carlón, they had food sovereignty.The traditional authorities from Loma de Bácum plan to plant 4,000 hectares (almost 9,890 acres) of diverse organic crops, in order to feed their families. “We want our children to be well-developed, more intelligent, and stronger, with their own identity and culture. It is the vision we have,” said Guadalupe Flores.For the Yaqui in Loma de Bácum, that vision is better than the one of their children in the middle of an armed conflict.Banner image courtesy of Canal Sonora Mexico. Article published by Maria Salazar Conflict, Development, Energy, Environment, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure 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

Chinese / Western financing of roads, dams led to major Andes Amazon deforestation

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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 Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, China And Energy, China’s Demand For Resources, Controversial, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Flooding, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Infrastructure, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rivers, Roads, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img International development finance institutions (DFIs) invested heavily in large-scale infrastructure projects that triggered significant deforestation in the Andes Amazon especially within the nations of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia between 2000 and 2015, according to recent research published by Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center.Using satellite data, the study analyzed 84 large infrastructure projects and determined that the area around them experienced tree cover loss at a rate of over four times the average seen in comparable areas without such projects in those countries. That’s a forest carbon-sink loss equivalent to the combined annual CO2 emissions of Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.Infrastructure now accounts for 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet DFIs want to increase future lending from billions to trillions to meet global demand. This could imperil national Paris Climate Agreement goals (which in countries like Brazil are linked to preventing deforestation), and also could add to potentially catastrophic global carbon emission levels.The study isn’t merely academic: More than $70 billion in infrastructure projects, supported by development banks and the private sector, are planned for the Amazon basin between now and 2020. The researchers hope lessons learned from past infrastructure projects and highlighted in their study will improve future project oversight to help curb deforestation. The Santa Cruz – Puerto Suárez highway in Bolivia, built with support from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), among other financiers not covered in the Boston University study. The study associates the project with more than 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles) of deforestation. Image found on Twitter.International development finance institutions (DFIs) have enabled large-scale deforestation in the Amazon, with no sign the trend is abating, according to recent research published by Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center. Instead, say lead authors Rebecca Ray, Kevin Gallagher and Cynthia Sanborn, “evidence suggests that [environmental risks and costs] will accelerate.”DFI-financed projects triggered significant deforestation in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia between 2000 and 2015, according to the study. Using satellite data, the authors analyzed 84 projects, and determined that the area around them “experienced tree cover loss at a rate of over four times the average in comparable areas without projects in these countries.” That’s a forest carbon-sink loss equivalent to the annual emissions of Colombia, Chile, and Ecuador, combined.Andean Amazon nations are currently “experiencing a surge in infrastructure projects,” the authors report, with DFI-backed projects increasingly pushing into the Amazon basin itself. Just under half of the 60 DFI-financed projects carried out in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia from 2000-2015 were located in the Amazon basin. But 45 out of the 57 DFI-backed projects completed since 2015, or currently planned, are, or will be, located there.The analyses provide critical grounds for caution: infrastructure currently accounts for 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and yet, some international DFIs seek to increase their lending from “billions to trillions” in order to address massive global infrastructure demand – forecast to be as high as $97 trillion by 2040. This could be very bad news for South American nations trying to meet their targeted Paris Climate Agreement goals (which in countries like Brazil are linked to preventing deforestation), and for the international community as it tries to curb potentially catastrophic greenhouse gas emissions.DFI-financed infrastructure projects in the Amazon basin countries, 2000-2015. Image courtesy of Ray, et al. 2018.Amazon infrastructure project overviewInternational DFIs financed roughly 100 infrastructure projects in Amazon-basin countries between 2000 and 2015. The majority of them (84) were built in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, so Ray and her co-authors focused their study there.DFIs examined in the Boston University study included the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Development Bank of Latin America, Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES), China Development Bank, and Export-Import Bank of China. A few other international DFIs have been active in financing infrastructure in the Amazon, said Ray, “but in much more minor ways and primarily by co-financing with DFIs that have a deeper history in the region.”During the 15 year period studied, international DFIs primarily supported highway construction and improvement, and also new hydroelectric dams – the latter once seen as carbon neutral, but increasingly coming under scrutiny as a large source of greenhouse gas emissions, independent of the deforestation that can result from dam construction. Other projects included ports, renewable energy plants, and thermoelectric plants.Most of the construction included in the study occurred on the edge of the Ecuadorian Amazon, the Pacific coast of Peru, and in Southern Bolivia. Notably, of the projects that international DFIs financed in Brazil during this period, none were in the Amazon basin. Excluded were Brazilian projects financed domestically by BNDES, such as the heavily criticized Belo Monte Dam. The reason for this, says Ray, was that the study focused only on cross-border finance in order to hone in on the relationship between local communities, national governments, and external lenders.Tree cover change near and without international DFI-financed infrastructure projects in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, 2000-2015. Image courtesy of Ray, et al. 2018.Substandard environmental performance among DFIsMost of the deforestation, say the study authors, can be attributed to “the direct impacts of the projects, as well as indirect impacts such as illegal mining that can follow official opening of the forest.”Peru’s Southern Interoceanic Highway was one of the most damaging. By 2015, more than 15 percent of the forested area within 10 kilometers (roughly 6 miles) of the 403-kilometer (250 mile) road had been deforested. The highway was financed by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).The Riberalta-Guayamerín highway in northern Bolivia was also particularly impactful. Nearly half the tree cover within one kilometer (0.6 miles) of the road was lost by 2015. Over the same period, areas in Bolivia not near an international DFI-financed infrastructure project experienced a seven percent tree cover loss. The Riberalta-Guayamerín highway was also financed by CAF.Such findings came as little surprise to Scott Edwards, Executive Director of Conservation Strategy Fund, a Washington D.C.-base international environmental NGO: “In CSF’s 20 years of experience working on infrastructure development issues, we have come to some similar conclusions.”However, Edwards believes the environmental performance of some DFIs has significantly improved over the last few decades. “I think that there has been a more concerted effort by the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank to respond to public pressure for greater and more stringent safeguards,” he said. “I don’t believe the same level of performance can be applied to the other banks.”The Boston University study disagreed with that more positive view, finding that, “there is no one model or bank that performs the best,” said Gallagher. What did appear to matter, rather, was whether or not projects were “conducted under regulatory regimes (from either national governments or DFIs) that require prior consultation with affected indigenous communities.”This discovery regarding indigenous consultation was especially salient in Bolivia. There, areas near DFI-financed infrastructure projects which did not require prior consultation experienced a 36.5 percent decline in tree cover. When projects did require prior consultation, the decline was only 21.1 percent.This finding is especially significant as DFIs begin to trend toward funding major projects in the Brazilian basin, where the national government has long been accused of not fulfilling its legal obligation to the National Labour Organization’s Convention 169, which requires indigenous consultation before major infrastructure projects get underway – projects such as mega-dams and railways. Brazil and other Amazon countries are all signatories to this international agreement.In Colombia, areas near DFI-financed projects experienced a similar rate of deforestation as areas without DFI projects – roughly three percent. All of the projects there had formal prior indigenous consultation processes.Deforestation surrounding Peru’s Southern Inter-Oceanic Highway. The Boston University study found that a Development Bank of Latin America (CAF)-funded paving project, approved in 2005, was associated with an 18.1 percent deforestation rate, relative to 3 percent for the rest of the country. Image by Diego Perez.DFIs lack sufficient self-regulationGallagher noted the difficulties in obtaining a precise measure of the social and environmental impacts of DFIs’ Amazon infrastructure activities. “The DFIs lack measurement and monitoring systems that allow themselves, outside experts, and civil society to measure, monitor, and make projects accountable to their stated goals,” he said. “DFIs are now part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and have to align their policies with them and measure progress.”But progress towards that accountability is questionable. “While the DFI lenders have changed over time, and standards on paper have improved, little has changed on the ground,” said Kevin Koenig, Ecuador Program Director for Amazon Watch, an environmental NGO. “We are seeing some of the same manifest destiny-style development schemes that characterized the region decades ago. It is rapidly turning the Amazon from carbon sink to carbon source at the time the climate ­– and planet – can least afford it.”The linking of DFIs to global efforts to combat climate change is critical, analysts emphasized. The Boston University study is not the only one to highlight the continuing carbon-intensity of DFI-supported infrastructure projects. The climate change think tank E3G found that, as of 2017, fossil fuel investments of multilateral development banks such as the World Bank Group and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development still outpaced these institutions’ climate finance activities. A recent World Bank report found that, out of all the infrastructure projects in which both private financiers and multilateral DFIs were involved between 2002-2017, DFIs spent 75 percent more on conventional projects than on low-carbon projects.Of the six DFIs examined in the Boston University study, only the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) responded to Mongabay’s request for comment.Janine Ferretti, Chief of the IDB’s Environmental and Social Safeguards unit, noted that the IDB is “aware of the findings report” and met with the authors earlier this year to discuss “some pioneering approaches to Environmental and Social Risk Management.” She said the IDB “welcomes efforts to examine relationships between project finance and land use change,” calling the study “an important contribution.”However, Ferretti also said that “it is important to recognize the methodological challenges to doing this kind of research, arguing that “there is a need to more clearly establish the timeframe of the actual investment and deforestation that occurred during the period of 2000-2015.”She referred specifically to the Montero-Yapacaní Road in Bolivia, the widening of which the IDB is currently financing, and one of the case studies featured in the report. Ferretti pointed out that the existing road “goes back five decades as a two-lane road” and that deforestation in the area “occurred during the course of several decades prior to IDB’s financing of the upgrade due to the clearing of land for the production of sugar cane and other agricultural products.”While the Boston University study does qualitatively link IDB financing to deforestation in the area – in addition to reporting that social conflict related to unpaid workers has accompanied the project – it does not count this deforestation in its qualitative analysis of the link between international DFI finance and deforestation.Ferreti added that protecting the environment and the livelihoods of IDB’s stakeholders is the core principle of IDB’s safeguard policies. “We are ready to apply the mitigation hierarchy and a range of other strategies to identify and solve challenges that may arise during Bank projects and programs,” she said.The Coca River, downstream from the Coca Codo Sinclair dam in August 2018. Among the environmental and social harms done by the project, critics say dam construction, financed by the Export-Import Bank of China (CHEXIM), caused deforestation and lowered downstream water levels, impacting natural habitats and fishing livelihoods. Image by Max Nathanson.China’s rising influenceMore than $70 billion worth of infrastructure projects, supported by both development banks and the private sector, are currently planned for the Amazon basin region between now and 2020, according to the Boston University study.These include the Rurrenbaque-Riberalta highway in Bolivia (financed by CHEXIM), the San Gabán III dam in Peru (CDB), the Simon Bolivar dam rehabilitation project in Venezeula (CAF), and the Hidroituago dam in Colombia, financed by the IDB, the Chinese fund associated with the Inter-American Investment Corporation, and private banks.A scramble for resources is driving the surge, says Gallagher. “The Amazon basin is home to oil, timber, soybeans, cattle, and waterways for energy. Countries want to exploit these resources, and they want to build infrastructure to facilitate getting these goods to market,” he said.The Chinese policy banks – the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export-Import Bank of China (CHEXIM) – have financed, or are expected to finance, roughly one third of DFI infrastructure projects currently planned for the Amazon basin.China’s dominance as a Latin American infrastructure financier is directly linked to its policy of rapidly growing its influence over agricultural and mining commodities there. Lending commitments to the Latin America-Caribbean region from the China Development Bank, alone, have far outpaced those of any other DFI operating in the region – reaching more than $33 billion in 2010. According to the Inter-American Dialogue, between 2005 and 2017, CDB and CHEXIM provided the region with more than $150 billion, surpassing support from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), combined.CDB and CHEXIM have four existing regional funds with Latin America. These include the China-LAC Industrial Cooperation Investment Fund and China-Brazil Fund (both $20 billion), as well as two funds known as the “Special Loan Program for China-LAC Infrastructure Projects,” launched in 2014 and 2015, with $10-15 billion and $10 billion, respectively.Importantly, China’s infrastructure construction record at home, across Asia and in South America with respect to environmental and social responsibility and transparency has been poor.DFI investments in Amazon dams add to deforestation not only via tree loss due to reservoirs. Transmission lines running from dams to distant cities or mining facilities cause additional deforestation, while the roads built to facilitate dam construction improve access for illegal loggers, land thieves, ranchers, farmers and settlers who then cause more deforestation. Image by Jonathan Palma.Western hemisphere DFIs investWestern-led DFIs are looking to step up their infrastructure financing, as well. Multilateral development banks such as the World Bank – recognizing that they will not be able to muster the funds to fill the multi-trillion dollar gap between global supply of infrastructure finance and global demand in its entirety – are attempting to draw in private-sector partners. The goal, the banks say, is to increase development financing “from billions to trillions.”In a recent op-ed, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim argued that “the reality is, we won’t come close to achieving [Sustainable Development Goals] unless we work to attract private sector investment.”The World Bank recently approved a $13 billion capital increase, which will double the institution’s current lending levels by 2030. In addition, a U.S. effort to consolidate multiple agencies providing investment to developing countries – termed the BUILD Act – is quickly progressing through Congress. The legislation would create a new International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) that would put the USAID Credit Authority, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise under one roof, with more capital and financial instruments at IDFC’s disposal than the separate entities had before.However, even as international infrastructure investment increases, critics argue that efforts to ensure that this new capital goes toward socially and environmentally sustainable projects have lagged. Writing for Project Syndicate, Gallagher pointed out that “the current financing pattern of the MDBs [multilateral development banks] – and particularly the World Bank Group – is highly carbon intensive.” As it stands, the BULID Act lacks strong social-environmental standards, such as human rights provisions and greenhouse gas caps and accounting processes.“As the World Bank tries to increase private investment from billions to trillions, it should make a proportional commitment to safeguards and accountability,” urged Natalie Bridgeman Fields, founder and executive director of the Accountability Counsel and a lecturer at Stanford Law School.Whether or not DFI activity results in fewer social-environmental impacts may depend on the extent to which recipient governments set and enforce their own social-environmental standards, said Alfonso Malky, Latin America Technical Director for the Conservation Strategy Fund. “Protection from governments themselves will be the only way to guarantee a significant social and environmental impact reduction in the long term,” he added.However, Latin American governments in Amazon countries including Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia have relatively poor records for environmental and social safeguards during the planning and implementation of large-scale infrastructure.A portion of the Area Natural Río Grande Valles Cruceños that the Rositas dam will submerge. The Export-Import Bank of China (CHEXIM) will provide the majority of financing for the project. Image by Eduardo Franco Berton.Projects to watch: the Rositas dam system, BoliviaAs already mentioned, most of the projects in the Boston study were located in the Andes headwaters region. How rising international financing levels for infrastructure will play out in the Amazon basin remains to be seen. One concerning planned project, said Ray, is the Rositas hydroelectric project in Bolivia. The dam would flood a large, biodiverse area, while affecting more than ten local communities.If built, the 156-meter high, 400 megawatt (MW) hydroelectric dam would sit on the Grande and Rositas Rivers in the Rio Grande Basin. Planned since the 1970s, the project has only relatively recently attracted financing. According to the China Global Dams Database, the Export-Import Bank of China will provide $850 million for the project, while Bolivia’s national electricity company, Empresa Nacional de Electricidad Bolivia (ENDE), will contribute the remaining $150 million.Most of the electricity that the Rosita dam generates appears destined for export. The project is part of a larger hydropower development scheme, consisting of eight mega-dams in the Rio Grande Basin. Taken together, government forecasts say, the eight projects will produce approximately 3,000 MW, roughly twice Bolivia’s maximum national demand.However, Rositas will flood approximately 45,000 hectares (174 square miles) of mostly forested area, according to a 2018 report by Mongabay – equivalent in size to more than half of New York City. Forest loss due to flooding will result in the elimination of a large carbon sink, while leaving underlying vegetation to rot, releasing large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Recent analyses performed using the Conservation Strategy Fund’s HydroCalculator tool – open-source software that utilizes user input data to perform cost-benefit analyses of hydroelectric dams – estimated that the Rositas dam and reservoir will ultimately result in roughly 70 million tons of CO2-equivalent emissions – more than the state of South Carolina emits annually.In addition, local indigenous communities who stand to be affected by the dam claim that they haven’t been adequately consulted, as required by Bolivian law, and also by the International Labour Organization’s Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (No. 169), to which Bolivia is a signatory. The indigenous communities have filed a lawsuit against Bolvia’s ENDE.“CHEXIM may not be aware that it has been asked to finance a project that could not attract financing elsewhere, which is not necessarily beneficial from a climate perspective, and which carries a risk of serious [indigenous] conflict,” said Ray.Peru’s Southern Inter-Oceanic Highway at the Peru-Brazil border. By 2015, more than 15 percent of the forested area within roughly 6 miles of the highway was deforested. The 250-mile highway segment was financed by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF). Image by Diego Perez.Projects to watch: the Inter-Oceanic Railroad, Brazil / PeruWhile Rositas may be one of the most environmentally-threatening dams on the Amazon basin agenda, a Brazil-Peru Inter-Oceanic Railway, aimed at linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, is perhaps the most hotly-debated planned project.The rail line would traverse between 3,000 and 5,000 kilometers (1,800-3,100 miles) – depending on which route is chosen – offering a more efficient, less costly, means of transporting commodities from Brazil and other Amazonian countries to China and the rest of Asia. Some expect the railway will decrease the cost of shipping grain from Brazil to China by $30 per ton. Among other likely cargo are iron ore and soybeans from Brazil and gold and copper from Peru.The project has moved forward slowly since its initial announcement, with mixed signals from government to the media. In February, Brazilian Vice Planning Minister for International Affairs Jorge Arbache told Reuters that planning for the transcontinental railway had “stopped, because it was extremely costly and the feasibility study was very unsatisfactory.” He added that, “The engineering challenges were absurd.” But the Chinese Embassy in Brazil refuted the statement soon after, stating that China, Brazil, and Peru had reached an agreement. In late April, Railway Technology reported that “talks have been intensifying in recent months.”Vast environmental and social costs are expected to accompany such connectivity. According to Ray, two potential routes are chiefly under consideration. “One crosses through un-contacted, or voluntarily isolated indigenous territory, along the central Peru-Brazil border.… The other crosses into southern Peru in the Madre de Dios watershed, in an area that has already been hit by tremendous deforestation linked to informal gold mining that has been made possible due to the CVIS highway in Peru.” A report by the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure noted that, out of five possible routes for the railway, four traverse protected areas or indigenous reserves.Paulina Garzón, Director of the Bank Information Center’s China-Latin America Sustainable Investment Initiative, told The Guardian that “this project is iconic and is likely to become center-stage for Latin America civil society organizations. It will be tremendously controversial on both environmental and social fronts.”A transcontinental railroad that decreases the cost of, and shortens the trade route for, commodities transported between the resource-rich Brazilian and Peruvian interiors to rapidly expanding Asian markets, could open the Amazon basin to massive deforestation. The region’s rainforests will be poised to turn into sites of lucrative beef, soy, corn, cotton, sugarcane, and palm oil production; as well as large-scale iron, gold, copper, and aluminum mining.Financing and contracting details for the railway remain uncertain. Chinese, Czech, French, German, Spanish, and Swiss investors and construction companies have all expressed interest, an indication of the assumed profit potential of the project. In 2016, the Inter-American Dialogue speculated that Chinese support would likely come from the CDB-managed Special Loan Program for Chinese-LAC Infrastructure Projects and an already approved credit line to the Bolivian government. According to Railway Technology, Spanish and Swiss-German consortiums, numbering more than 70 companies in total, have been involved in recent discussions.The railway does more than endanger the basin’s rainforests: it also puts global climate stability at risk. With around 17-18 percent of the entire Amazon deforested already, scientists warn that a further increase to 20-25 percent could result in a sudden regional shift in rainfall patterns toward widespread drought and past a tipping point where large swathes of rainforest could rapidly convert to savannah. The loss of the massive carbon storage capacity of Amazon basin forests could result in a large increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases and to intensified global warming past the 2 degree Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit) danger zone recognized by the Paris Climate accord.“Opening up the Amazon to further road building, dam construction, and resource extraction will push the Amazon past its tipping point,” said Koenig. “We need to have a basin-wide approach for protecting the ecosystems of the Amazon that respects indigenous rights and territories.”Citation:Ray, K. P. Gallagher, and C. Sanborn, Standardizing Sustainable Development? Development Banks in the Andean Amazon. (2018) Sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Published by the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, Center for China and Asia-Pacific Studies- Universidad del Pacífico. http://www.bu.edu/gdp/files/2018/04/Development-Banks-in-the-Andean-Amazon.pdfGus Greenstein is an incoming PhD student at Stanford University’s Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. His current research focuses on the evolution of development finance institutions and their social-environmental standards. Follow him on Twitter @GusGreenstein.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

Illegal logging poised to wipe Cambodian wildlife sanctuary off the map

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first_imgAnimals, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Industry, Logging, Plantations, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Rosewood, Rubber, Tropical Forests, Wildlife *Name changed to protect the individual’s identity.Banner image: Workers load wooden furniture into a van. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Editor’s Note: This story was powered by Places to Watch, a Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative designed to quickly identify concerning forest loss around the world and catalyze further investigation of these areas. Places to Watch draws on a combination of near-real-time satellite data, automated algorithms and field intelligence to identify new areas on a monthly basis. In partnership with Mongabay, GFW is supporting data-driven journalism by providing data and maps generated by Places to Watch. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data.Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Chris Humphrey is the Managing Editor of Urbanist Hanoi and a Vietnam-based freelance journalist. You can find him on Twitter at @ChrisMHumphrey  Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary has lost more than 60 percent of its forest cover since it was established in 1993, with most of the loss occurring since 2010.A big driver behind the deforestation in Beng Per and in many other Cambodian protected areas was Economic Land Concessions (ELCs), which are areas of land – often in protected areas – allocated by the government to corporations aiming to invest in agriculture for short-term financial gains. Large areas of Beng Per were carved out for ELCs in 2011.While the Cambodian government stopped officially allocating ELCs in 2012, deforestation is still hitting the park hard as small-scale illegal logging gobbles up remaining forest outside ELC areas. And once the land is denuded, it’s considered fair game for new plantation development.Experts working on the ground say corruption is fuelling the widespread destruction of Cambodia’s forests, and is deeply entrenched in many different sectors including the federal government and local forest protection agencies. As you approach Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary, five hours north of Phnom Penh, it’s difficult to tell exactly where the park begins. There is no audience of trees to greet you, no sign to welcome you. In many areas, there are no trees at all, the land more reminiscent of parched African savannah than Southeast Asian rainforest. Where trees do appear, they stand in uniform rows, with vessels taped to their trunks — archetypal features of rubber plantations.While each area of terrain differs from the other, they typify the decimation of protected forest that’s ravaged the once great Beng Per for more than a decade. Vigilante groups and land defenders are going against the grain and doing what they can to protect the jungle, but they’re exceptional cases in a wider tale of loss. When first established in 1993, the park covered 2,425 square kilometers (940 square miles), nearly all of it forest and much of it old growth. By 2000, 1,990 square kilometers (770 square miles) of forest remained, of which more than half — 1,020 square kilometers (390 square miles) — was lost between 2001 and 2018, with the heaviest damage occurring from 2010 onward.This trend shows no sign of slowing. The Global Land Analysis and Discovery lab at the University of Maryland detected more than 27,000 deforestation alerts between Jan. 1 and April 25 this year. The consequences are dire, affecting not only native tree and animal species, but also the communities that call the forest their home.It doesn’t take long to discover part of what’s causing this. Shortly after dawn, truck after truck, each packed full of freshly cut logs, trundle down the main highway heading south from the sanctuary. Outside every home lie vast piles of timber, comprised of various species.Cashing in forests for rubber and bedpostsBeng Per’s deforestation can be traced back to the introduction of Cambodia’s highly controversial economic land concessions (ELCs). These ELCs are areas of land, often in protected areas, allocated by the government to corporations aiming to invest in agriculture for short-term financial gains. Some of the most notorious companies that now run ELCs in Beng Per include Try Pheap (named after a prominent businessman), numerous Chinese businesses, and five companies belonging to Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG). The government began allocating these concessions in 1996. The practice was officially ended in 2012, although proposals for concessions made that year were allowed to go ahead. The Cambodian Ministry of Environment, Try Pheap and Na Marady did not respond to requests for comment.Before ELCs were issued for the area in 2011, the sanctuary was a crucial haven for wildlife. A photo taken in July that year shows forest clearance ordered by Na Marady, business tycoon and CEO of the agro-development firm TTY, on the west side of Pheap’s concession near O Pou. Thriving forest is clearly visible in the background, which was once home to some of Cambodia’s rarest and most endangered species, including banteng (Bos javanicus), pileated gibbons (Hylobates pileatus), silvery langurs (Trachypithecus cristatus), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).The beginning of An Marady’s ELC clearing on the west side of Try Pheap’s concession near Ou Pou. This photo, taken in July 2011, shows the forest in Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary before the mass deforestation began. Photo courtesy of Chris Humphrey.The forest also contained highly valuable Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) and dry dipterocarp tree species. The timber from these trees is highly sought after in China, where a single carved rosewood bedpost can fetch $1 million. Sources in the region say that because of this demand, several species of rosewood have been logged to local extinction in Beng Per and other areas of Cambodia. As rosewood continues to get rarer and harder to find, prices rise, which further feeds an already insatiable logging industry.Cambodia’s prime minister and former Khmer Rouge member, Hun Sen, has repeatedly gone on record about trying to protect the forest and clamp down on illegal logging. Yet media reports continue to chronicle suspected links between illegal logging and those in the highest levels of his government, including his own office. Meanwhile, independent, critical press has been crushed in the country over the last few years, with criticism from the Cambodia Daily silenced, the Phnom Penh Post taken over by a Malaysian PR company loyal to Sen, and advocacy group Global Witness exiled from the nation following an exposé that described Pheap as a man running “an all-encompassing illegal logging network that relies on the collusion of state officials and supposed enforcement agencies.”Pheap, an increasingly prominent figure in Cambodia, remains closely tied to Sen, whose administration has held onto power for 21 years. Pheap holds the title Oknha, a term reserved only for those who have donated more than $100,000 to the government. His company owns a 100-square-kilometer (39-square-mile) rubber plantation in Beng Per.The entrance archway to Try Pheap’s rubber plantation and office in Beng Per. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Inside one of Try Pheap’s rubber plantations. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Sap collected from a rubber tree. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.According to Cambodian law, ELC companies are limited to 100 square kilometers each, but regularly get around this restriction by registering as multiple entities under slightly different names; a resident in Ankrong Village said one new plantation in Beng Per was simply called “China Company.” This creates a loophole and means businesses can legally grab another 100 square kilometers.Over time, however, the market became saturated and rubber prices fell. When the Cambodian government first proposed ELCs, rubber prices were high – a ton of raw latex sold for around $5,000 in 2010. Now, that figure is closer to $1,800 per ton. Exploring the park today, one can clearly see many plantation owners have shifted to cashew farms to increase their earnings, despite investing thousands of dollars per hectare setting up rubber plantations in the first place.Cashew trees with native forest in the background. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.New drivers, same problemMeas Nhim, the park director of Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary, has worked in forests for 25 years. “Law enforcement,” he said, “is our main duty here.” In the yard outside his office lie piles of confiscated timber and furniture loaded into the back of a pickup truck that his rangers seized from the border with Thailand. In this case, the loggers used trucks made to resemble military vehicles.“We work for the community,” Meas said. “We’ve set up nine Community Protected Areas, which cover around 20,000 hectares [200 square kilometers, or 77 square miles]. We’ve also been reforesting areas. Since last year, we’ve planted around 400,000 luxury timber trees. We work with rangers first to try and stop illegal activity, deal with complaints in the court, and some offenders end up in jail.”A pile of processed rosewood lying outside a house. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Despite the scale of the deforestation and the arrests made by the park authorities, Meas says large-scale illegal logging is not the major driver behind Beng Per’s forest loss. “There is just logging from the normal communities — local people cutting for their daily use only.”Exploring the sanctuary’s western stretches, however, tells a different story. While logging is legal within the bounds of ELCs, forest outside of them is also being cleared. The sound of chainsaws is ubiquitous, while vehicles that the locals call “mechanical cows” often rattle past with cut logs. The landscape feels more like a timber-processing yard than a sanctuary. The skeletal frames of recently felled trees litter the ground for miles, some with wilted leaves, others still adorned with fresh foliage, evidently cut down earlier that day. Many have sections sawn out, the rest of the trunk abandoned.Loggers using what is known as a “mechanical cow” to transport timber. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.A drone shot in the west of the sanctuary reveals mass forest clearances. Photo courtesy of Chris Humphrey.While the government stopped officially allocating ELCs in 2012, extensive illegal logging and expansion of plantations continues. Darany*, a senior resident in Beng Per’s Ankrong village, said people from neighboring provinces such as Siem Reap or Kampong Thom move in and set up basic wooden houses to claim and gain access to the land. They then cut down all nearby trees.What’s more, this is occurring in a plethora of locations across the park. Once forest is cleared and the land degraded, these swathes of wasteland are seen as fair game for plantation expansion. According to Meas, though, this form of expansion remains illegal.Mom Seth, a security guard at a Chinese plantation in Sangkom Thmei, said he has “caught a lot of illegal loggers, but they don’t log anymore because the plantation is finished.”A resident of Svay Patt village, who asked to remain anonymous, said some companies are still directly logging and establishing plantations — and displacing the people who live there in the process.“The Chinese companies go in at night, cut down the trees and grab the land,” the resident said. “Sometimes they pay the villagers to leave. It’s not much, maybe $1,000. But people here have no money and are desperate so accept it and leave. Then the companies log the area and build plantations.”A sign posted to a tree reads “if you protect the forest, it will protect you.” Behind it, hundreds of acres of forest beside a rubber plantation have been burnt to cinders. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Bamboo structures, devoid of any tarpaulin that might make them resemble homes, regularly appear beside the dusty track that leads deep inside the sanctuary’s western reaches, to Ankrong village. According to Danary*, an Ankrong resident, 60 families have lived in the area for decades; but recent arrivals have massively expanded the local population.“People from Kampong Thom province moved here, so just last month a new village area was made for them,” he said. “They come from Kampong Thom and from Sangkom Thmei and cut down the trees here. I don’t think they do it for the Vietnamese company, they cut it for themselves and sell it.”Residents say outsiders come to the sanctuary and set up “homes” in order to claim the land and cut down nearby trees. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Danary said 200 new families have moved in just west of Ankrong. He said all high-value trees have been removed, so these new residents have resorted to cutting down fruit trees.“They asked the village chief if they could settle here,” he said. “They came here and started planting cashew trees. And now the original villagers in Ankrong, we work for these newcomers. But really, we work like slaves for these people.”As Danary spoke, he sat with a group of young men, women and children from his village. On a TV in the house behind them, a wildlife documentary played. “There are no more animals here now,” he said, gesturing toward the TV. “Back in 2017 and 2018, I used to see banteng, but not anymore. The children here, if they ever saw a tiger outside, I think they would be confused or think it’s another animal, because they only see it on TV.” (The last verified sighting of a tiger in Cambodia was in 2007.)Areas of the sanctuary are more reminiscent of an African savannah than a protected forest. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Some of the most recent plantation expansion has occurred near O Pou, only a few kilometers from the main highway that crosses the sanctuary.Sothea*, a community forest leader from Preah Vihear province, said the nearby plantations are operated by Cambodian companies owned by Na Marady and Try Pheap. “The companies around here, they expand their land without any agreement,” he said. “They hire migrant people from nearby provinces to come and carry out clearances. They pose as landless people and set up homes. These people also invade the forest to find land and create houses. On the way here, I saw many new arrivals.”Loggers cut out sections of the tree that they can easily transport and sell, and discard what’s left. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Community residents say promises of employment made to them by rubber companies remain unfulfilled. That’s the case for Mealea*, a villager in O Pou, who said the situation today is markedly different than what the companies initially promised her. In addition to a lack of employment, she said the companies established plantations in areas without the consent of those to whom the land belonged.“Many people living in my community lost their farmland,” she said. “Around 2 to 10 hectares [5 to 25 acres] each, because their land is in the community area the companies expanded their plantations into. They just went in and grabbed the land. We tried to sue the companies and get our land back, but it didn’t work. We received no compensation.“I still have a small area of forest left, next to my farm. I don’t want them to cut it down, but they threaten that if our community doesn’t allow them to, they will bulldoze it anyway.”Protecting what remainsSeveral initiatives have had some success protecting the forest, such as Betreed Adventures, an ecotourism operation in neighboring Phnom Tnout Wildlife Sanctuary. At first sight, it appears much of the wildlife from Beng Per has fled to this newly protected area. Macaque monkeys move among nearby branches, peacocks flurry around, and a wild gibbon swings from the rafters of the building that serves as Betreed’s office. A huge sign hangs on display, highlighting the support received from the Cambodian government.A macaque monkey in the trees in Phnom Tnout Community Forest. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Betreed has been operating in the area for six years. After initially trying to establish a presence in Beng Per, it ultimately set up a community forest further north in an area that had more intact native forest and a bigger wildlife presence. It’s now officially a wildlife sanctuary, with a core area of around 70 square kilometers (27 square miles) and a wider conservation area of 420 square kilometers (162 square miles), which was officially established in 2017. It has not, however, been an easy transition.“The first five years we basically just cooperated with the villagers,” said co-founder Ben Davis. “We organized a team of rangers to patrol the forest. The first year, we were pretty easygoing with the loggers. We made signs, spoke to them, told them we’re protecting the area now. But they didn’t understand. It was a bit tough convincing them we wanted to protect the forest and that we’re not just trying to raise the price.”Ben Davis and his wife Sharyn, who run ecotourism business Betreed. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Eventually, Davis and his colleagues had to resort to more severe measures to deter logging. He said hunting is also taking a toll on the wildlife of the area.“We actually had to catch a couple and get them put in jail to get that point across,” he said. “That stopped the logging in its tracks for a while. We’ve had 17 arrests this year, but even with that much law enforcement, there was a gunshot this morning. We saw dog tracks. One of the workers came and blocked the road and saw a dog coming from the forest, so [that means] people are hunting. They’re prepared to catch anything they come across — monitor lizards, deer, civet cats, banteng, peacocks, pangolin … The more endangered, the more valuable they are.”Davis said they’ve run education workshops for local residents on the advantages of protecting the forest; but when people believe companies are going to keep buying up the forest anyway, they want to log it before it’s all gone. He told of how, last year, villagers cut down the largest remaining rosewood tree in the area, which was worth around $100,000. Davis reported it to the police, and the government tried to confiscate it, but it was eventually cut up and sold. The event, however, led to around 400 villagers protesting outside Betreed and calling for its eviction, with local people feeling their right to use the forest was being infringed upon.A recently logged rosewood tree. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Tensions have eased since then. Betreed offers the local community a percentage of its profits from ecotourism projects, which could amount to between $5,000 and $10,000 a year. Yet Davis acknowledged the lucrative value of logging remains hard to resist.“It would take 10 or 15 years for us to give as much as that tree was worth,” he said. “So ecotourism seems to be getting less and less possible. Mainly because the price of forest products is skyrocketing. Five years ago, a piece of rosewood was worth $50, and now it’s worth $2,000 or $3,000. Once they’ve cleared out the valuable trees, maybe then you could do ecotourism with what’s left.”Meanwhile, the risks involved for those protecting the forest are grave. Sothea, who last month caught two people cutting down trees, said they threatened him verbally before firing a warning shot from an air rifle. Even park director Meas Nhim’s rangers have faced threats. “Our rangers get attacked,” Meas said. “The violators use a local-made gun, and so our rangers go in as groups of at least four, five or six and bring their own guns too.” Just over a year ago, a forest ranger, military police officer and staff member of the Wildlife Conservation Society were shot dead while trying to defend Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Beng Per.In Bang Khanphal, a remote village in Beng Per, the indigenous community has taken matters into its own hands by creating a vigilante group that camps out in its Community Protected Area each night to deter timber looters. Sieng Ra, a member of the Bang Khanphal security system, said all villagers are involved and take shifts to protect the land.Two members Bang Khanphal’s vigilante group show the weapon they use when protecting their community forest. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Inside a rare remaining area of genuine native forest in Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.“Over the last five months, there has been no illegal logging because our villagers stay there and keep watching,” Sieng said. “Before we took action, there were around two or three cases per day of people going to the forest to cut down trees. Hundreds were cut down.“We’ve been trying to protect the forest for 10 years,” he said. “Normally, illegal logging only takes place at night. As long as our community has enough people, it is OK. If we have just a few people, the illegal loggers will fight us, and it is dangerous. We do it because we are afraid the next generation won’t see trees anymore, and local people won’t be able to build houses.”‘A rat race for a share of the loot’Jago Wadley, senior forests campaigner at the U.K.-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said the issue continues to be exacerbated via trade with neighboring Vietnam.“Massive trade of illegal timber across the border from Cambodia into Vietnam has been one of the principle drivers for illegal logging in Cambodia in recent years,” Wadley said. “The trade spiked from 2014, and peaked in 2016/17, but remains a significant issue.“While some illegally exported timber is harvested in ELCs in the country – many of which are illegitimately located in protected areas – much of the timber is actually illegally cut outside formal logging areas but laundered through them prior to illegal exportation,” Wadley added. “This results in the ongoing degradation of large swathes of forests, including community protected areas in Cambodia, setting the scene for further conversion of large areas of degraded forests to agriculture.”Hundreds of acres of recent logged and burned forest. The uniform line of trees on the horizon marks the boundary of a rubber plantation. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Although some Southeast Asian nations have turned a corner — Laos saw a 90 percent drop in the export of logs to Vietnam in 2016 — the same cannot be said for Cambodia. As long as the voracious demand for luxury timber persists and the border with Vietnam remains porous, it’s hard to see an end in sight to the razing of Cambodia’s forests.The tale of Beng Per isn’t just that of one sanctuary, but rather the narrative of an entire nation. Last year, two areas of protected forest, including Snoul Wildlife Sanctuary, were dissolved by royal decree after being almost entirely stripped of forest. Illegal logging is also taking a heavy toll on nearby Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. A look at Global Forest Watch shows large portions of Cambodia covered in the bright pink that denotes extensive tree cover loss, much of it supplanting the dark green that signifies primary forest.Marcus Hardtke, an expert who’s worked on forest issues in Cambodia since 1996 with a number of NGOs and who has spent the last five years with the international watchdog organization Global Witness, is unflinchingly frank in his description of the wider issue.“The Ministry of Environment has been rapidly adding new protected areas to the map since 2016,” he said. “By now, basically all the remaining natural forests of the country are under some form of official protection. Unfortunately, illegal logging continues at all levels, from village level to industrial-size operations by the entrenched timber mafia.”A chainsaw resting outside Bang Khanphal village. Photo by Chris Humphrey for Mongabay.Hardtke said the corruption fueling the destruction of Cambodia’s forests is widespread and deeply entrenched in many different sectors.“Law enforcement efforts are rather exercises in extortion,” he said. “All levels of government agencies are involved in this: forestry officials and park rangers, police and military units, local and provincial authorities and even groups of local journalists.“It’s not about forest protection, it’s a rat race for a share of the loot.”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 overSponsored Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

Houston Rockets retire trail blazing Yao Ming’s jersey

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first_imgMotorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely 15 Taal towns now under total lockdown Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Serious warning to Sen. Manny Pacquiao Harden’s step-back jumper tied the score at 108-108 with 27.3 left in regulation, but he was unable to make another at the buzzer.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Rockets were up 60-49 at halftime, but they had to put in extra time to make sure the celebratory night didn’t end with a deflating defeat.Harden shines James Harden scored 42 points, including the deciding free throws in the final 36 seconds of overtime.Michael Carter-Williams’ layup with 2:19 to play in the extra session had brought Chicago back within 115-113, and he knotted the score when he grabbed the rebound after his own missed free throw and drained a jump shot.Harden then converted one of two free-throw attempts to push the Rockets back in front at 116-115, but Dwyane Wade’s turnaround jump shot with 1:28 to go saw the Bulls edge ahead.Harden responded with a contested jump shot. He was fouled on the play and made the free throw also, and after Chicago came up empty on their next possession Harden made another brace of free throws to make it 121-117.Harden also grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out nine assists for the Rockets, who got 21 points off the bench from Eric Gordon.The Bulls were led by Carter-Williams’ 23 points, while Taj Gibson added 20 and Wade chipped in 19.Brook Lopez pulled down 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who were without Jimmy Butler because of a right heel contusion.The Bulls came out firing in the third, using a 14-4 scoring run to narrow the gap and eventually take a slim lead into the fourth. Municipal councilor nabbed for indiscriminate firing in Leyte READ: Number 11 strikes a cord with both Yi and Yao“I remember the first time I watched (an) NBA game, randomly saw a shot the cameras gave on those retired jerseys,” Yao said. “After I read stories, I know that (is) the highest honor a player can reach for himself and an accomplishment for the team. Today I think I’ll always ask myself what is the story behind it.“I hope people see the jersey there and remember the story, not only about myself, but also my teammates, my opponents. We created the story together, just like the other jerseys created the story for (us.)”Retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming speaks during his jersey number retirement ceremony at halftime of an NBA basketball game between the Rockets and the Chicago Bulls, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Houston. AP PhotoThe halftime ceremony began with a video celebrating Yao’s career. It included appearances by Olajuwon, Steve Francis, Dikembe Mutombo, Shane Battier, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Rockets owner Leslie Alexander.“Tonight is about thank you,” Battier said on behalf of Yao’s teammates. “Thank you for your humility. Thank you for your work ethic. Thank you for your humor. Thank you for your dominance. You are a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word. Thank you for allowing all of us to be a part of your journey.”ADVERTISEMENT Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town LATEST STORIEScenter_img 98% of residents in Taal Volcano’s 14-kilometer danger zone evacuated – DILG Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming’s retired jersey number is revealed in the rafters at halftime of an NBA basketball game between the Rockets and the Chicago Bulls, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Houston. AP PhotoLOS ANGELES—The Houston Rockets feted Hall of Famer Yao Ming on Friday, retiring the ground-breaking Chinese star’s jersey in an emotional halftime ceremony during their 121-117 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls.Yao was the first overall draft selection in 2002 and the first player drafted number one who didn’t play collegiately in the United States.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ The 7-foot-6 (2.29m) Chinese giant averaged 19.2 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets and became a global ambassador for the sport during his eight NBA seasons.He continued promoting the game after he was forced into retirement in 2011 by repeated foot injuries.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnBACKSTORY: Chinese star Yao Ming retires after eight NBA seasonsOn Friday his number 11 was raised to the rafters alongside those of Clyde Drexler (22), Moses Malone (24), Calvin Murphy (23), Hakeem Olajuwon (34) and Rudy Tomjanovich. Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Poe chides LTFRB exec over termination of motorcycle taxi pilot study Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

‘If you can play, play’: Chris Bosh speaks on rest debate

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first_imgHe’s spent about a month working with Turner on its “Players Only” Monday night broadcasts, something that gets him back around some NBA peers and into a setting where a locker-room type camaraderie reigns. The last of those five broadcasts is next week, and Bosh hasn’t ruled out more television work in the future.“They have a very candid bunch of guys, champions, guys who have made their names in their own ways in so many different generations in the league,” Bosh said. “Being in there with Chris Webber and Isiah Thomas, Kevin Garnett, a big-brother type guy in Baron Davis, it’s cool. It has been therapeutic because you don’t realize how much you miss that locker-room aspect until you’re away from it.”Bosh remains under contract with the Miami Heat, though the team is likely to begin a process of waiving him and getting salary-cap relief from the final two years of his deal. He’ll be owed about $52.1 million for 2017-18 and 2018-19, money he is guaranteed to receive but dollars that may not count against the Heat books.He is reticent to discuss his playing future, though acknowledged again that planning to play this season but not being able to because of a failed physical “was a challenge.”“I’m still a basketball player at heart,” Bosh said. “I can’t help it.”ADVERTISEMENT Ray Allen gets no invitation to ’08 Celtics team reunion LATEST STORIES Having the game taken away from him for what will amount to the last season-and-a-half — and counting, maybe for good — because of issues related to blood clots is still not an easy pill for Bosh to swallow. Now working as an analyst for Turner Sports, he’s seeing the game in a different way than he was just a year or so ago.He gets the players’ side. He understands the fans’ frustration. He’s acutely aware of the demands that come with playing 82 games in 170 days, and how it’s been an even hotter-than-usual talking point in the NBA of late with teams like Golden State and Cleveland — the last two NBA champions — electing to rest superstars in recent nationally televised games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“I can see it in some instances,” Bosh said in an interview with The Associated Press. “But then at the same time, if you can play, play. When there’s so much work to do, it’s kind of hard to see why guys would take time off. With that said, from a player’s side, the schedule is intense. But I guess that’s part of being in the NBA. And I think what happened was when young guys start saying ‘Oh, rest,’ that kind of brought it to a tipping point a little bit.”These days, Bosh isn’t playing, nor is he resting. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite ‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Bosh was sidelined by a blood clot at the All-Star break in 2015, met the same fate at the same time in last season’s schedule, and hasn’t played since.“I’m a little bit more adjusted now,” Bosh said. “But before, you’re going 100 mph and the brakes are slammed on and now you’re not moving at all. It’s definitely an adjustment, just being able to get used to things and finding that purpose that I think we all need to succeed and have good mental health. It’s been a challenge. Things happen for a reason, I guess.”The TV gig, for now, is part-time.The five kids at home, that’s full-time. And they’re used to having their dad at home when they arrive back from school in the afternoon, something Bosh — who is playing some basketball in workouts — has happily gotten used to as well.“People are so concerned and I appreciate it, but I’m doing fine,” Bosh said. “I’m very happy. I’m getting to do other things that I have never been able to do. I’m a beginner in a lot of things. But I’ve learned to like it, and just look at the nice new picture I have of the world.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town FILE – In this Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, file photo, Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh smiles during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Miami and Duke in Coral Gables, Fla. Bosh never wanted to take games off as a player, and would give anything to be playing right now. So he has a very simple perspective on the NBA’s rest-or-play debate. “If you can play,” Bosh said, “go out there and play.” (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald via AP, File)MIAMI — Chris Bosh never wanted to take games off as a player and would give anything to be playing right now. So he has a very simple perspective on the NBA’s rest-or-play debate .“If you can play,” Bosh said, “go out there and play.”ADVERTISEMENT Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home MOST READ ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Rondina leads UST’s return to UAAP Final Four

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first_imgOn the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Holding fort against the Lady Bulldogs in the fifth set, Rondina finished off a combo play to give her team a 10-7 lead.UST then replicated the same play with Rondina capping off the trick as Ria Meneses played bait to give UST a 12-8 edge.Rondina then put the Golden Tigresses at match point, 14-12, before she gave way to Dimdim Pacres, who played closer for UST.“I asserted my authority and it always starts with yourself, that’s why I was the first one to say that we will win,” said Rondina who had 22 points in the game. “I did that because as the leader I want to lead them.”ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ UST did own the big moment as it returned to the semifinals after foiling National University in five sets, 20-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-12, and during the game Rondina imposed herself as the team’s undisputed leader.With UST falling in the first two sets, and NU superstar Jaja Santiago firing on all cylinders, Rondina told her team she will not let the year end without them challenging for the title.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“I gathered them in a huddle, and I told them to think about our goal for the team, all the sacrifices, the hard work,” said Rondina Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “I was the first one to tell them that, I told them that this game was ours.”Rondina then backed up her words with stellar play down the stretch. MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test LATEST STORIES Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWith University of Santo Tomas on the verge of returning to the Final Four after four years, skipper Cherry Rondina asserted her authority and told the rest of the Golden Tigresses a few choice words.“This game is ours.” ADVERTISEMENT Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite View comments Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government Rookie Samonte earns praise of Ateneo teammateslast_img read more

UFC creates 4th weight class for women, adding 125-pounders

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first_imgBulacan town gears up for biggest cookie jar MOST READ LIST: Jan. 20 class suspensions due to Taal Volcano eruption UFC president Dana White. APLAS VEGAS — The UFC is creating a new division for 125-pound women, and its first champion will be crowned during the upcoming season of the promotion’s long-running reality television show.The UFC announced plans for a women’s flyweight division Wednesday (Thursday Manila time).ADVERTISEMENT View comments Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Clippers, Doc Rivers bracing for wild offseason Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home LATEST STORIES Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead UFC President Dana White had downplayed the possibility of adding a 125-pound division in recent months, suggesting the promotion wasn’t ready to add another group of fighters to its large roster.But numerous fighters already under UFC contract, including high-profile strawweight Paige VanZant, have requested the addition in recent years, hoping to compete closer to their natural weight instead of fighting at 135 or 115 pounds.The UFC already staged its first stand-alone flyweight fight last June, when Joanne Calderwood beat Valerie Letourneau by third-round stoppage.The UFC has eight men’s weight classes.The Invicta Fighting Championships, an all-women’s promotional company with ties to the UFC, has five women’s weight classes, including a 105-pound atomweight division.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Flyweight will be the fourth weight class for women in the UFC, which only began promoting women’s fights in early 2013. The popularity of women’s mixed martial arts grew swiftly with the rise of former 135-pound bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, prompting the UFC to expand its roster dramatically.The first 125-pound champion will emerge from the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which will begin filming in July. The UFC is inviting professionals from around the world to compete alongside anyone on its current roster who can make the weight.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe UFC is holding open tryouts for the reality show May 23 in Las Vegas.The UFC added a 115-pound strawweight division in 2014 and a 145-pound bantamweight division this year. The promotion also crowned its first strawweight champion during a season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more