Helterbrand to sign one-year extension with Ginebra

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. We are young Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town 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 Team ‘Trabaho’ scores championship title at the last leg of Smart Siklab Saya Manila WATCH: Damian Lillard debuts rap album with single ‘Growth Spurt’ BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise “He will be back. He will sign for another year,” said coach Tim Cone on Friday.Seldom used throughout the season, the 2009 Most Valuable Player reminded everyone his worth to the team in the Governors’ Cup Finals, proving to be a vital cog in Ginebra’s memorable series against Meralco.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentAnd Cone believes the 40-year Helterbrand still has some gas left in his tank.“He is ready to play. I think he is going to help in the build up for next season,” he said. Ginebra’s Jayjay Helterbrand. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAfter helping end Ginebra’s eight-year title drought, Jayjay Helterbrand gets one more crack at it before he calls it a career.Helterbrand, the other half of the Fast and the Furious duo, is set to extend his career for one more season to help the Gin Kings sustain the breakthrough they had in the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ EDITORS’ PICK 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Cone shared that Helterbrand and the management is yet to talk about the extension, but he expects to see his veteran point guard on the hardcourt once the preparations for the 2017 season begin on the second week of November.“The intention on both sides is the same so I expect the deal to be done,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Brad Pitt wins his first acting Oscar as awards get underway View commentslast_img read more

US athletes jumping into heated presidential race

first_imgWhere did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lakers legends Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also back Clinton’s bid to become the first female US president, as does the owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban.Martina NavratilovaOnce one of the world’s top tennis players and a gay rights activist, Navratilova has made no secret of her support for Clinton. She regularly praises Clinton and disparages Trump on her Twitter account.Another female tennis legend, Billie Jean King, also supports the Democratic candidate.Hope SoloThe US women’s football goalie considers Clinton “the best candidate, the best leader, the best diplomat.”Solo especially has high praise for Clinton’s agenda to close the gender pay gap. The football star is one of several members of the US women’s team to file a complaint against US Soccer in March 2016 alleging wage discrimination.Team Trump Mike TysonThe heavyweight boxing champion has thrown his heft behind Trump, saying he and the billionaire are “really good friends.” MOST READ Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports READ: NBA: LeBron James backs Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid“Only one person running truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty,” James wrote.“And when I think about the kinds of policies and the ideas the kids in my foundation need from our government, the choice is clear. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.”Stephen CurryAsked in an interview whom he would support in the 2016 election, the two-time reigning NBA Most Valuable Player replied, “Hillary.”ADVERTISEMENT 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 Brad Pitt wins his first acting Oscar as awards get underway Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol towncenter_img Here is a rundown of some of the famous US sports figures who have entered the campaign fray:Team Clinton FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentLeBron JamesThe NBA superstar — who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the key swing state of Ohio — voiced support for Clinton in early October in a piece that ran in the Akron Beacon Journal, his hometown newspaper. 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Westbrook gets another triple-double, Thunder beat Lakers We are young Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. AP FILE PHOTOSLOS ANGELES—As the presidential candidates sprint the final leg of the race for the White House, sports luminaries are lining up behind their preferred candidates.LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Martina Navratilova have said they will vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton on November 8, while Republican candidate Donald Trump has the support of Mike Tyson, Jack Nicklaus and Dennis Rodman.ADVERTISEMENT READ: Caitlyn Jenner: Easier to come out as trans than Republican“Our best hope to get back to a constitutional government… is in the Republican Party,” said Jenner.Dennis RodmanThe former Chicago Bulls teammate of basketball legend Michael Jordan is hoping for a Trump victory.“@realDonaldTrump has been a great friend for many years,” the eccentric former NBA player tweeted. “We don’t need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016.”Besides his basketball talents, Rodman is also known for his many piercings and tattoos, as well as his controversial travels to North Korea.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Boxing promoter Don King has also stepped out in favor of Trump.Jack NicklausThe former top golfer who has 18 career major championships to his name voiced admiration for Trump in May.“I like what Donald has done,” he said in a network television interview. “I like that he’s turning America upside down.John Daly, winner of two major titles in the 90s, also praised Trump’s candidacy on Twitter: “That’s y I luv my friend @realDonaldTrump he’s not politics he’s business! It’s what our country needs.”Tom BradyBrady, the star quarterback of the New England Patriots, has called Trump a friend but has not publicly endorsed him for president.Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson have offered their support to the real estate mogul.Caitlyn JennerJenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion once known as Bruce, is an avowed Republican who defended transgender rights on the sidelines of the Republican convention that nominated Trump to run for president. PH among economies most vulnerable to virus EDITORS’ PICK View commentslast_img read more

No Ateneo-La Salle rivalry in PBA as Pessumal learns from ex-Archers

first_imgShanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Pessumal, who had eight points in his Globalport debut, is now under former La Salle head coach Franz Pumaren and is teamed up with former Green Archers Rico Maierhofer and Mike Cortez.Despite their rival schools in the UAAP, the rookie said the two have been nothing short of buddies for him.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad Ali“I grew up watching coach Franz coach La Salle, Mike Cortez is there, Rico Maierhofer is there,” said Pessumal, who was with Ateneo since his formative years. “But these guys, they’re the nicest guys you’d meet. I feel like they welcomed me so well… I think the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry doesn’t carry over to the PBA because we’re all pros.”“They made it a point that I’d feel comfortable with them. I’m learning a lot especially from coach Franz, Mike and the guys I never thought I’d talk to.” EDITORS’ PICK Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports We are young 10 teams eyed for 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup MOST READ 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercisecenter_img PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Globalport rookie Von Pessumal. PBA IMAGESVon Pessumal may have played just 19 minutes in the PBA, but the former Ateneo gunner seems to have acclimated to the league’s culture.His collegiate experiences, including the fierce rivalries, are now in his rearview mirror.ADVERTISEMENT Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Pessumal, though, has one small problem.Being with Ateneo for practically all his life, he’s never worn any green and joining a team which shares a similar color with La Salle forced Pessumal to do a lot of shopping.“I never played in a green jersey, and when I got drafted by Globalport, I had to retool my wardrobe,” said Pessumal, laughing. “Everything is blue, but it’s all good.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Amber deposits yield oldest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests

first_imgScientists have found the oldest frog fossils known to have been preserved in amber, from deposits in northern Myanmar.These fossils, together with other fossils of mosses and bamboo-like plants recovered from the same amber deposits, provide the first definitive evidence that the amber-trapped frogs lived in wet, tropical forests alongside dinosaurs some 99 million years ago, researchers say.One of the four frogs, which was trapped in sap alongside an unidentified beetle, has a nearly intact skeleton, and has been described as a new, extinct species, Electrorana limoae. Tropical rainforests are home to the vast majority of the world’s frog species today. Yet frog fossils from these moist environments have been incredibly rare, largely because the small animals have tiny bones, which make preservation difficult, and the wet conditions usually lead to their quick decomposition. This lack of frog fossil records has made it hard for researchers to build a picture of the earlier ecosystems the amphibians may have occupied.But now, within amber deposits in northern Myanmar, scientists have found four tiny frogs that they estimate became trapped within sticky tree resin some 99 million years ago. These are the oldest frog fossils known to have been preserved in amber, according to the team led by Lida Xing, an associate professor at the China University of Geosciences.These fossils, together with other fossils of mosses, bamboo-like plants, aquatic spiders, velvet worms and a dinosaur tail, recovered from these Myanmar deposits, provide the first definitive evidence that the amber-trapped frogs were living in wet, tropical forests alongside dinosaurs some 99 million years ago. The Cretaceous ecosystem they occupied resembles the moist, tropical rainforests of today, the researchers report in a study published in Scientific Reports.Amber fossils dating back 99 million years provide the earliest direct evidence of frogs living in wet, tropical forests. Image by Lida Xing/China University of Geosciences.One of the four frogs, which was trapped in sap alongside an unidentified beetle, has a nearly intact skeleton: its skull, forelimbs, part of its backbone, and a partial hind limb are clearly visible in the amber. By using CT scans, the team created a 3D visualization of the frog, based on which they described it as a new, extinct species. They named it Electrorana limoae, its genus name derived from the Latin words electrum, meaning amber, and rana, meaning frog, while they named the species in honor of Mo Li, the woman who purchased the specimens and provided them for the study, the authors write.“It’s almost unheard of to get a fossil frog from this time period that is small, has preservation of small bones and is mostly three-dimensional. This is pretty special,” co-author David Blackburn, the associate curator of herpetology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, U.S., said in a statement. “But what’s most exciting about this animal is its context. These frogs were part of a tropical ecosystem that, in some ways, might not have been that different to what we find today – minus the dinosaurs.”The best-preserved fossil of the group includes a nearly intact frog with an unidentified beetle. Image by Lida Xing/China University of Geosciences.Citation:Xing, L., Stanley, E. L., Bai, M., & Blackburn, D. C. (2018). The earliest direct evidence of frogs in wet tropical forests from Cretaceous Burmese amber. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 8770. Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Rainforests, Research, Tropical Forests, Wildlife last_img read more

Study warns of dire ecological, social fallout from Sumatran dam

first_imgAlternative Energy, Animals, Conservation, Dams, Energy, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Infrastructure, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong A new study warns that the environmental impact of a planned hydroelectric plant in Sumatra’s unique Leuser Ecosystem will be much greater than initially thought.The area is the last place on Earth that’s home to wild tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants — all critically endangered species whose habitat would be flooded and fragmented by the dam and its roads and power lines, activists say.They also warn of the dam exacerbating disaster risks to local communities, in a region already prone to flooding, landslides and earthquakes.Activists are mulling a lawsuit to void the project permit, but the developer says it has done everything by the book and that the new study is based on an outdated environmental impact analysis. JAKARTA — The last place on Earth that’s home to wild tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants may lose these and countless other species to make way for a $3 billion hydropower project.That’s the warning from a new study looking at the potential impact of the plant on the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island, an ecological hotspot and one of the world’s largest remaining expanses of pristine tropical rainforest.The 428-megawatt Tampur dam and power plant is still in pre-construction phase, with several feasibility studies having been carried out. Its environmental impact assessment, or Amdal, calls for flooding 40 square kilometers (15 square miles) of land in the Leuser Ecosystem.Activists say this will wreak havoc on the ecosystem and local livelihoods. But the affected area could be much greater than that, according to a new spatial analysis carried out by the Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation (YEL), an NGO.The analysis shows the project’s ecological impact stretching to more than 300 square kilometers (116 square miles) of forest, two-thirds of it untouched by human activity. That’s because in addition to the dam, the project will also require infrastructure such as buildings, roads and power lines, which will cut through the Leuser Ecosystem, says YEL spatial analyst Riswan Zein.Four-fifths of the dam’s reservoir will occupy what is currently primary forest, along with nearly the entire length of the road network, Riswan said.“All these will destroy the ecosystem’s remaining forest, whether located in the flooded area or along the route of the power lines,” he said.Aerial view of Lesten Village in Gayo Lues regency, the planned site of the Tampur Dam. Photo by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay-Indonesia.Wildlife habitatYEL’s findings come from overlaying the map of the project onto a map of existing forest in the ecosystem. The potentially affected area consists largely of protected land, including primary forest.Under Indonesian law, protected forests are typically set aside for purposes like watershed management and erosion control, but permits for development projects within these areas may be granted by officials. (Protected forests differ from conservation forests, which are strictly off-limits to any kind of development and usually found inside national parks.)Primary forest, meanwhile, is used to designate natural forest with no clearly visible indications of human activity, and therefore with intact tree cover.“Most of the dam will eat away at Leuser’s production forest and protected forest,” Riswan said.The affected area is the only known habitat of four of Indonesia’s most iconic and threatened species: Sumatran tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants, all of which are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to high rates of habitat loss and fragmentation as well as killing.“If the forest is cleared then these animals’ habitats will be destroyed,” Riswan said, adding that the location of the project was particularly important for elephants.“We see elephants there very frequently. The Tampur region is the only corridor for the elephants to go from the northern part of the ecosystem to the south. So if the corridor is cut, then it will also impact the genetic line of the Sumatran elephants,” he said, warning of “fatal consequences” for the species.The Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia’s westernmost Aceh province. The area contains Mount Leuser National Park. Image by Agungdwinurcahya/Wikimedia CommonsEnvironmental impact assessmentThe planned dam and power plant will straddle the border region between the districts of Aceh Tamiang, Gayo Lues and East Aceh, in the province of Aceh at the northern tip of Sumatra. The project developer is PT Kamirzu, the Indonesian subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Prosperity International Holding (HK) Limited.Environmental activists have launched an online petition calling on the Aceh provincial government to halt the project, and also plan to challenge the developers’ permit in court.Dedi Setiadi, Kamirzu’s project manager, refuted YEL’s statements about the potential scale of the dam’s impact on the environment. He said the spatial analysis conducted by the NGO was based on an earlier version of the company’s environmental impact assessment.“What they analyzed was an Amdal document that wasn’t approved, it was a draft,” he told Mongabay.The revised and approved Amdal, Dedi said, included the company’s assessments about the environmental impact that the project might cause, and addressed all of them.For instance, he said, the company had taken into account a map of known species habitats provided by the Aceh wildlife conservation agency. “We’ve overlaid the location of our dam’s flooding area with the map of elephant and orangutan habitats and found that we’re outside their habitat,” Dedi said. “I’ve been working on the site of the project for two years now and I haven’t seen any endangered species once.”YEL’s Riswan said separately that Kamirzu should have published the approved Amdal if it had nothing to hide. “Where’s the final document?” he said. “It’s difficult to get hold of it.”Asked why Kamirzu had not released the approved Amdal to NGOs for scrutiny, Dedi said the company was not obliged to do so, though it has shared it with the relevant government agencies.A Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), one of the Leuser’s iconic species. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Disaster riskOpposition to the project has stemmed not just from its potential impact on local wildlife, but also on the risk of catastrophic damage from landslides and earthquakes — natural disasters that are relatively common in the region.YEL’s study shows that most of the project and its infrastructure will be located in areas that are prone to erosion, including almost the entire dam. The topography of the region features steep slopes, with 87 percent of the proposed roads of the project cutting through areas with a grade of more than 50 percent. Heavy rains or earthquakes could easily trigger landslides, Riswan said.“The land is very fragile. Many landslides occur naturally [there]. And now they want to manipulate the land [to build the power plant],” he said.The project site also lies in a region east of a tectonic fault line called the Great Sumatran Fault, which runs the entire length of the island and making it a highly prone to seismic activity.Dedi said Kamirzu had studied the risk of earthquakes but did not include the findings in its Amdal. He said the locally sourced rocks to be used to build the dam would make it strong enough to withstand earthquakes.He also said the project site was more than 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the fault line. “And in our construction planning, we’re using a technology that can withstand earthquakes up to 3.9 in magnitude,” he said.Riswan said several earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 6 had occurred in the area around the project site in the past. He added that even if it didn’t sit right atop the primary fault line, it was still located near secondary fault lines.“So the risk is still there,” he said. “But I appreciate the company for admitting that they didn’t include the earthquake risk assessment into the Amdal document. They should have done that but they didn’t.”Dedi said the project’s earthquake risk still had to be assessed by the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing. Construction can only begin after it passes the ministry’s certification, which Dedi called the developer’s biggest challenge.Flooding is another risk that critics say the construction of the dam will exacerbate. The project site lies in a region that experiences more than 2,300 millimeters (91 inches) of annual rainfall — twice the amount of rain that falls in Portland, Oregon.In 2006, heavy downpours triggered a flash flood in Aceh Tamiang district, killing 28 people and displacing more than 200,000 from their homes. Damming the river could make similar flooding events upstream even more destructive, activists say.Dedi said Kamirzu had monitoring devices in place to check rainfall and fluctuations in the river flow. “We’re analyzing the data every month to plan our construction because we really want to be safe,” he said.But Riswan said the monitoring efforts were insufficient without measures to mitigate the risk of flooding. “There’s no mention in the Amdal of what the company will do during heavy rain and how they will address soil erosion,” he said. “If they say they installed rainfall monitoring devices, then that’s not preventive measures, that’s just monitoring.”Maksum, an Aceh Tamiang resident who lost his fish-cracker factory and saw his home submerged in the 2006 flood, said the provincial government should reconsider allowing the Tampur project to go ahead.“If the government proceeds, it means the governor of Aceh is killing the people of Aceh Tamiang,” he said. “We’re just waiting for the dam to collapse. We haven’t even fully recovered from the 2006 flash flood.”Maksum initiated the Change.org petition calling on the governor to scrap the project. To date, it has collected more than 60,000 signatures.Red and pink ginger flower in Mount Leuser National Park. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Lawsuit in the worksActivists are also fighting the project through legal avenues. A lawsuit is in the works that seeks to declare null and void the forest conversion permit issued in June last year by the Aceh governor at the time, Zaini Abdullah, as one of his last acts in office.M. Fahmi, a member of the legal team at Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh (HaKA), a local NGO, said Zaini had no authority to issue such a permit. Under a 2016 ministerial guideline on forest conversion and the 2014 regulation on vesting authority to governors, a forest conversion permit may only be issued by the minister of environment and forestry upon request from a company.In certain cases, specifically for building non-commercial public facilities such as roads, cemeteries or houses of worship, the regulations allow a governor to issue a forest conversion permit. Even then, the size of the area for conversion is capped at 5 hectares (12 acres); the reservoir for the Tampur power plant is 800 times larger.Crucially, Fahmi said, the project is a commercial development, and thus should have obtained its permit from the minister, not the governor.“So based on these two national regulations, it’s clear that the governor overstepped his authority by issuing the forest conversion permit,” Fahmi said.Dedi said no regulations were violated in the obtaining of the permit, citing the special autonomy enjoyed by the government of Aceh.This autonomy is best known for allowing the local government to impose partial sharia law in the staunchly Islamic province. A lesser-known aspect of it, however, is a 2016 bylaw on forestry, which Dedi said gave the governor full authority to issue the necessary forest conversion permit.Dedi said Kamirzu had subsequently asked the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to approve the permit issued by Zaini, which it did.But HAkA’s Fahmi took issue with the sequence of events. According to the NGO, the governor issued the forest conversion permit in June 2017 — before the administration of the new governor, Irwandi Yusuf, signed a memorandum of understanding with Kamirzu’s Hong Kong parent company, Prosperity International.“This is strange. The MOU should have been signed first, before the governor issued the permit,” Fahmi said. He called on the developer to publish the letter from the forestry ministry approving of the permit issued by the governor.Fahmi also questioned the need for the power plant, saying the 2016 forestry bylaw under which the permit was issued covered only developments of an urgent nature.“Aceh has enough electricity,” he said. Peak electricity demand in the province is 496 megawatts, while total generating capacity is 601 megawatts, Fahmi said, citing data from the state-owned power utility, PLN. “That means there’s already an excess of electricity and there’s no electricity shortage that calls for building a new power plant,” he said.Activists hold posters to protest against the development of Tampur dam during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Permit pointsAnother criticism of Kamirzu’s permit is that it remains unclear whether the developer has finished mapping the affected forest area.Under the terms of the permit, the company has a year from its issuance to complete the mapping, said Muhammad Reza Maulana, a member of P2LH, a coalition of environmental lawyers opposed to the project.Reza said local government officials were unaware of whether the mapping had been completed by the June 2018 deadline.Dedi said Kamirzu had fulfilled all its obligations as laid out in the permit, including the mapping. He said the provincial forestry agency had also approved the results of the mapping.HAkA’s Fahmi said he doubted this. He said his organization had asked the forest gazettement agency in Aceh about the status of the forest mapping and they referred HAkA to the provincial forestry agency instead.“That means Kamirzu hasn’t coordinated the mapping effort with the forest gazettement agency,” he said. “So we can conclude they haven’t done the mapping.”The permit also obliges the developer to relocate residents from the village of Lesten, where the dam’s reservoir will sit.Dedi said Kamirzu had drawn up plans to move the villagers, but was awaiting a decision by local authorities on where to move them. “Basically the villagers have agreed to be relocated. But we’re not the ones who will decide where they will go. The Gayo Lues district head has established a team to scout new locations and to inform the villagers about them,” he said.“But the villagers still haven’t been relocated,” Reza said. Fahmi said having a relocation plan wasn’t the same as doing the actual relocating, as required by the permit.Failure to fulfill any part of the terms of the permit, Reza said, would render the permit null and void.“When the company didn’t fulfill its obligations, the provincial investment board should have given the company a warning, but they didn’t do that,” Reza said. “There’s been no attempt by the government to evaluate [the company’s adherence to] the permit.”Fahmi said HAkA was awaiting a responses from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry before proceeding with filing a lawsuit to challenge the permit.“We’ve sent a letter to the ministry for clarification on whether they’re aware that the former governor of Aceh issued a permit that he wasn’t supposed to,” he said. “We haven’t gotten a reply yet. So we’re still waiting for a response from the ministry.”Reza said P2LH needed to study all the material relating to the project before bringing a case to court.“We will launch legal action if we still find forest clearing or heavy equipment” operating at the site before construction is allowed to begin, he said.Rainforest in the Gunung Leuser ecosystem. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Economy or environmentDedi said critics of the Tampur project failed to see the benefits of the 2016 forestry bylaw, which made it easier for companies like Kamirzu to invest in Aceh. He said the Tampur case had set a precedent for the Aceh government to issue forest conversion permits for four other infrastructure projects, including a toll road.“Aceh has been given the authority to issue permits, so why would you want to reverse that [progress]?” he said. “The investment process will take longer” if that authority is revoked, he said.He also pointed to the long-term benefits of the Tampur project for the people of Aceh.“After we build the dam, we can use the water in the reservoir to irrigate local plantations, for fish farms, and to develop tourism,” Dedi said. “But they don’t see that. They can only criticize a single [Amdal] document.”YEL’s Riswan, though, said proponents of the project failed to see the uniqueness and ecological importance of the Leuser Ecosystem. He cited a 2016 study that identified at least 12 environmental functions served by the ecosystem, such as maintaining a regular water supply for local communities.The Leuser Ecosystem accounts for half of the forested area in Aceh. The value of the ecosystem services obtained from maintaining it would amount to billions of dollars over the long term, Riswan said.“These are the functions that we have to see to make sure that we’re not blinded by temporary [economic] benefit,” he said.“All 26,000 square kilometers [10,000 square miles] of the Leuser Ecosystem are unique. Don’t treat it the same way as other areas.”Banner image: A Sumatran orangutan relaxing in a tree. A new study warns that the environmental impact of a planned hydroelectric plant in Sumatra’s unique Leuser Ecosystem will be much greater than initially thought, threatening the critically-endangered Sumatran orangutans who live there. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.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

‘Conservation never ends’: 40 years in the kingdom of gorillas

first_imgArticle published by Isabel Esterman While studying Rwanda’s critically endangered mountain gorillas in the 1970s, newlywed graduate students Amy Vedder and Bill Weber learned that the government was considering converting gorilla habitat into a cattle ranch.At the time, conventional wisdom held that the mountain gorillas would inevitably go extinct. But Vedder and Weber believed the species could be saved, and proposed a then-revolutionary ecotourism scheme to the Rwandan government.Forty years later, that scheme has proved its worth. Mountain gorilla populations have rebounded, and tourism generates hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Vedder and Weber now work to inspire the next generation of conservationists both in Rwanda and abroad.In a series of interviews with Mongabay, Vedder and Weber reflect on a life in conservation. December 1978A year into an 18-month research project on the critically endangered mountain gorilla in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Amy Vedder and Bill Weber, newlywed graduate students from the University of Wisconsin, stumbled upon a plan that would destroy the very populations they hoped to save.By the late 1970s, poaching and habitat loss had reduced the population of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) to just 260 individuals, and conventional wisdom held that the great ape was destined for extinction. But Vedder and Weber, who were working out of Dian Fossey’s world-renowned Karisoke Research Center, believed they had enough data to question the inevitability of the species’ demise.Instead, based on what was at the time a groundbreaking interdisciplinary approach, they believed that if local people were given the right tools and incentives, this steep decline in population could be reversed.Mother and baby mountain gorilla, part of the Sabyinyo group in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. The species was once viewed as doomed, but its population is now on an upswing. Image by Kwita Izina via Flickr CC BY 2.0.Then one day an acquaintance casually lamented, “It’s so sad what’s happening in the park.”“What’s going on in the park?” Weber asked.They soon learned that the European Development Fund (EDF) had advised the Rwandan government to raze one-third of the 160-square-kilometer (62-square-mile) park for a cattle project, estimated to generate $70,000 a year. Compared with the $7,000 in annual entry fees raised by the park, swapping “useless” forest for income-producing cattle in one of the world’s most densely populated and impoverished nations appeared justifiable.Not to Vedder and Weber. They canceled their planned return to the U.S., deciding to stay in Rwanda and find a way to transform their research into a project that would earn more revenue than milk and beef.“It had been written by a number of knowledgeable people, ‘they’re going extinct. It’s too small a population. You can’t rescue them,’” Vedder says. But she believed otherwise.“Amy’s research showed that the habitat was viable. The demographics revealed that the gorillas were reproducing. And my surveys and discussions with local people, academics and national officials indicated they were not anti-gorilla,” Weber tells Mongabay in an interview at Yale’s Graduate School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences in New Haven, Connecticut, where they now teach.The EDF-backed plan threatened to scuttle any hopes of a recovery. Ten years earlier, the development agency had already convinced the government to convert 105 square kilometers (40 square miles) of the park, considered one of the most biodiverse on the planet, to farm pyrethrum, a plant from which an insecticide compound is extracted. Human habitation and agriculture were driving the apes further up the mountain, depleting the vegetation they depended upon for food, and further shrinking their habitat. Vedder and Weber were certain that the gorillas could not survive another reckless plunder of their precious resources.“It was time for action,” Weber says.People on the road outside Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Once threatened by a cattle ranching project, the park is now both a haven for mountain gorillas and an economic engine for the country. Image by Derek Keats via Flickr CC BY 2.0.Amy Vedder and Bill Weber grew up in upstate New York and met at Swarthmore College, outside Philadelphia. Vedder, who excelled in math and science, dreamed of working in a realm where there would be puzzles to solve and something new to discover each day. Biology, she concluded, offered all those things. Weber was majoring in psychology with a minor in English.“He liked weighing big ideas,” Vedder, 67, says. “His friends and he were real jokesters and jocks. It was a nice counterpoint for me, and provided a respite to studying hard.”“She was already thinking professionally about something to do with wildlife and animal behavior,” says Weber, 68, who was already imagining spending a lifetime together. “I thought environmental law could be an interesting complement.” They married the summer after graduation. When they didn’t get accepted to nearby graduate schools, they decided to serve as Peace Corps volunteer teachers in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).Working within an African institution, they became proficient in French and Swahili and immersed themselves in local life. During their time off, they traveled to the great savanna parklands of Kenya and Tanzania: Serengeti, Amboseli, Tarangire and Ngorongoro. That cemented their desire to pursue conservation together.Amy Vedder and Bill Weber, photographed in 2015. The couple has been working in conservation together for more than 40 years. Image by Harvey Locke.A visit to Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the DRC, home to one of the last groups of eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) convinced them to focus their work on great apes. “That was the start of the gorilla itch,” Vedder says. “We saw them there twice with the warden. I asked him if there was something we could do to help the park.” They were shocked when Adrien de Schryver, the chief warden, invited them to assist him conduct a census and help with a gorilla tourism initiative.When their teaching duty ended, Vedder and Weber returned to the U.S. to secure affiliation with the University of Wisconsin and make plans to return to the DRC to work with the gorillas. Vedder switched her field of study from animal behavior to field biology. “I realized if we wanted to make a difference for endangered species, we needed to know basic ecological requirements. What foods do they eat, where were they found, and was there enough,” she says.Moved by the human poverty he observed on the fringes of the parks they had visited, Weber wanted to investigate how conservation and tourism might benefit local people. Wisconsin offered a new interdisciplinary Ph.D. in applied conservation science that fit his interests in social science and wildlife.When a fellow graduate student connected them with a primatologist who initiated an invitation from Fossey, they headed for Rwanda.After months observing gorilla families and conducting ecological analysis at Volcanoes National Park, Vedder concluded that the gorillas carefully selected the vegetation they ate to balance their vitamins and minerals. She discovered more than 100 additional plants and shrubs that they fed on that were not formerly known. “There were resources there. They didn’t have to go extinct,” she says.Amy Vedder with a Park Ranger in Nyungwe National Park. Home to 13 primate species including chimpanzees, Nyungwe was gazetted as a national park and protected area in 2005. Image by Laura Calderón.Weber cultivated relationships with leaders in the national and local governments and the bureaus of parks and forestry. He got to know the local community and school officials. “It was about learning who the decision-makers were and having influence on them to help set a legal framework,” he says.Savanna park “safari” tourism was the model in the 1970s, which meant going to see lions, elephants and zebras from the comfort of a Land Rover, then heading back to the lodge for a gin and tonic. Ecotourism was not yet a concept. Weber and Vedder came up with an approach that was radical at the time but seems visionary now. They envisioned people setting out on foot, following elephant and buffalo trails, to eventually find and observe gorillas deep in the forest. Weber trained knowledgeable, local guides to lead small groups of no more than eight visitors for an hour spent with a primate family.“There were several European tourism advisers in Rwanda that said ‘People don’t want to get wet, muddy and cold. You’re just graduate students. This can’t work,’” Vedder says. “When the local government said, ‘Try it,’ we had the opportunity to find out.”They proposed a three-part approach — education, tourism and anti-poaching — drawing on lessons learned from their biology and social science studies. Their plan, they argued, could bring in far more revenue, on a sustainable basis, than the EDF’s cattle project, and without the huge capital investment that ranching required.With the government’s green light, they co-founded the Mountain Gorilla Project in the summer of 1979. Known today as the International Gorilla Conservation Program, the project has evolved into a conservation consortium supported by Flora & Fauna International and the WWF. (The African Wildlife Foundation, one of the original funders, dropped out of the coalition in 2017.)Their proposal developed into a three-part project. The AWF oversaw the anti-poaching work, while Vedder and Weber led the tourism and education components, hiring and training Rwandans to eventually take over.Introducing tourism and working in a partnership with Rwandans meant a break with Fossey, who argued that daily human visitation would upset the primates and could hasten what she felt was their inevitable demise. The brutal killing a year earlier of Digit, a gorilla she cherished, had soured her view on the future for gorillas. She expressed skepticism that Rwandans were capable of managing gorilla conservation efforts.A group of eco-tourists hikes through Volcanoes National Park. Weber and Vedder correctly predicted that nature-loving tourists would be willing to pay hundreds of dollars a day to trek through the forest in search of gorillas. Photo by Derek Keats via Flickr CC BY 2.0.By the mid-1980s, each component of the project was demonstrating visible progress, according to Vedder, with Rwandans working on the ground and at the helm. The preservation of gorilla habitat proved to be as profitable as clearing land for cattle grazing.Vedder and Weber shuttled back and forth between field work in Rwanda and completing their doctorates. They built on their experience in the mountain gorilla project, taking on larger projects. Weber helped develop a watershed management program for the human population surrounding Volcanoes National Park. Vedder led projects in other comparable mountain ecosystems, such as Rwanda’s Nyungwe forest, and in Uganda, Burundi and eastern DRC.When Weber was appointed director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa Program in 1988, the couple moved to New York, visiting Rwanda annually. Two years later, the Rwandan civil war erupted, then escalated into the cataclysmic 1994 genocide of more than 800,000 people in 100 days. A census conducted after recovery revealed a continued uptick in the gorilla population. “Both sides had agreed not to fight within the park because they had recognized by then the tremendous economic value of the park and tourism,” said Vedder.“Amy and Bill are pragmatic conservationists who understood the socio, political and economic context of Rwanda and developed a conservation model that fits our unique circumstances and integrates local need and conservation objectives,” Michel Masozera, 50, deputy leader of wildlife practice for WWF International and an award-winning conservationist, wrote in an email.Vedder and Weber’s vision, dedication and pioneering work for wild lands and wildlife in Rwanda continues to reap rewards. In November, the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the iconic “silverback” apes roaming the Virunga Mountains which straddle Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda, as well as a small population that inhabits Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, have seen their conservation status improve from “critically endangered” to “endangered.”You could say Vedder envisioned this after the census she conducted in 1986 revealed 293 gorillas, the first increase in a decade. It prompted her to predict that by 2010, the Virunga population could theoretically return to the 450 individuals recorded in a 1960 census. The population, in fact, rose to 480 and continued to grow. Today, the total mountain gorilla population exceeds 1,000 individuals, with 604 in the Virungas.Muganga and baby, part of the Isabukuru gorilla group in Volcanoes National Park. Tourists pay as much as $1,500 for a permit to visit the park’s gorillas. Image by Kwita Izina via Flickr CC BY 2.0.December 2018Mountain gorillas have become a national treasure in Rwanda. A silverback appears on the 5,000 -franc bill. There’s an annual baby gorilla-naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, which celebrates each year’s new batch of gorilla infants. Gorilla images adorn an array of Rwandan brands, from hotels to coffee.Each day, up to 96 visitors, in groups of eight at the most, spend 60 strictly monitored minutes with one of the country’s 12 habituated primate families at Volcanoes National Park. For this, they pay up to $1,500 each. Tourism in Rwanda today generates more than $400 million annually, more than coffee, tea and minerals combined, according to the Rwanda Development Board. And the most popular tourist activity is tracking mountain gorillas.Plans for a $200 million expansion of Volcanoes National Park and a project to reforest the habitat that was parceled for pyrethrum were announced earlier this year. “It will be a huge challenge, both ecologically and socially,” Weber says. “It’s going to engender some controversy on the part of people who support conservation but also want to make sure that local people are dealt with properly.”“Conservation never ends,” Vedder says. “The issues evolve and change. Fresh challenges arise. There’s always a new set of ideas to attend to.”Yasin Hamdan (left) and Bill Weber scouting for animals on the open plain of Akagera National Park. Image by Andy Lee.A few years ago, Vedder tells me, she and Weber began thinking about how their decades-long life work might be useful to young people beginning careers in conservation. They felt compelled to impress upon students that it’s not a straight line from here to there. “You wander, wobble and fall. Then pick yourself up again. Conservation is a long-term process,” she says.In 2013, Yale invited the couple to lecture about their experience as practitioners of conservation for a semester. The students responded positively, and Vedder and Weber found themselves equally enthusiastic about the exchange. They returned the following year, and that evolved into two popular conservation courses they teach every spring.Each May, Vedder and Weber take turns accompanying five students, selected with academic and cultural diversity in mind, for a monthlong study tour through Rwanda. The tour is structured to expose the students to a range of perspectives. They meet with NGOs, government officials and community members. They visit local cooperatives and museums. They track gorillas at Volcanoes and visit two other Rwandan national parks: Nyungwe, a mid-altitude montane forest, and Akagera, a savanna wetland, near the border with Tanzania.Amy Vedder with Yale students Ana Lambert and Martin Becker, and park ranger Christoph Nshimiyimana in Nyungwe National Park during an annual study tour Vedder and Weber take turns leading. Image by Laura Calderón.Students gain perspective about the challenges that presented themselves to Vedder and Weber 40 years ago, and see how their solutions have evolved. “Reading the theories of this and the principles of that is great in a perfect world,” Vedder says. It’s another thing, however, to “live in a village for three days and talk to people about what it’s like living next to a park.”Bethany Linton, 27, a second-year master’s student in environmental science, says she was most impressed by the candidness of the conversations and the nuanced viewpoints and perspectives from leaders in management, government and residents in the area, many of whom had had years of relationships and trust with Vedder and Weber. “Conversations about human rights, community income generators and revenue-sharing programs that the park management and government have promised and organized were the most compelling for me personally,” she says. “I think it’s so important to work through genuine relationships even when you’re doing global work, and that’s exemplified by Amy and Bill.”For Andy Lee, 26, a first-year master’s student, it was disagreements about the land expansion that made the biggest impression. “We talked to NGOs, a park head, and government officials in Kigali,” he says, adding that heated debates around political and human-wildlife conflicts characterized most discussions. “We tried to imagine the possible outcomes of the expansion, drawing experience from our own countries and other part of Africa,” he says.Cross-border coordination is a challenge for conservation of the mountain gorilla, which lives only in high-altitude rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Photo by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.How do you make conservation happen when the gorilla population moves around the boundaries of three countries was a question that fascinated Martin Becker, 33, who received his master’s degree in environmental management from Yale in 2017 and went on to co-found Tepual Conservacion, a consultancy for privately owned protected areas in Chile. “The coordination of a three-nation conservation program, each with different priorities and levels of political stability was one of the discussions that impressed me the most,” he says.For Vedder and Weber, the ability to spend their lives working together on important, global projects that have improved the world has been a gift. “It’s given me an optimistic view on life. Here’s something we worked really hard at that has shown tangible results. That sense that one can make a difference permeates a lot of my life,” Vedder says.Weber concurs: “It’s hard to be completely optimistic about conservation these days but it shows that if you make an effort you can make a difference. Cooperation is a powerful tool. We weren’t the people who stayed and did all this. We did help get it started. A lot of people have worked together to make the mountain gorilla story what it is today.”Banda village kids at school. Working with local people and organizations has been a key part of Weber and Vedder’s strategy from the beginning. Image by Laura Calderón.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.Editor’s note: this story was updated Jan. 1 to correct the spelling of Bethany Linton’s last name. Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Conservation, Ecotourism, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Gorillas, Great Apes, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Protected Areas, Tourism, Wildlife 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