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Kategori: Naturvård Internationell Sida 1 av 17

Alleged gov’t-linked land grabs threaten Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains | Mongabay Nyheter

Rising across remote stretches of southeast Cambodia, the Cardamom Mountains harbor dense tropical rainforest, much of it native growth carpeting the range’s wet slopes. Due to its remoteness, the vast protected area has historically seen relatively little human activity, which helped safeguard crucial tracts of wilderness and protected hundreds of rare species. However, the Cardamoms’ status as a vital haven for wildlife is increasingly coming under threat from deforestation, land grabs, and infrastructure projects, and satellite data show an uptick in forest loss across the region in 2020 – including in protected areas. Sources say this increased clearance may be spurred by government-encouraged land grabs aimed at increasing voter confidence in the current administration of Prime Minister Hun Sen ahead of national elections in 2022. The Stung Proat river winds through the Cardamom Mountains. Image by Andyb3947 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). Unique habitat under threat The Cardamoms’ tropical broadleaf forest – some of the least explored in Southeast Asia – forms a refuge both for animals and endangered tree species. Conifers (particularly dacrydium elatum), tenasserim pine (pinus latteri), birch species (betula alnoide) and hopea pierrei – a dipterocarp canopy tree that’s rare elsewhere yet features widely here – all grow here. The region is also a vital haven for rare animal species. Pablo Sinovas, Flagship Species Manager for international conservation NGO Fauna & Flora International (FFI), an organization that works in the area, says the Cardamom Mountains “support around half of Cambodia’s known bird, reptile and amphibian species, and…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

‘Turning fear into strength’: One woman’s struggle for justice and land rights in Sulawesi | Mongabay Nyheter

This article was co-published with The Gecko Project. Read parts one and two of the series, and watch the film here.  It’s cloudy when my plane lands at the airport near Luwuk. The town feels remote and isolated. It falls toward the end of one of the four long peninsulas that form Sulawesi, an island the size of Florida in eastern Indonesia. Luwuk is hemmed into the sea, by hills that rise steeply around it. I’ve come here to meet an activist in her early 40s named Eva Susanti Hanafi Bande. In 2010, Eva was convicted of incitement and jailed after organizing farmers against a palm oil company owned by a powerful local family. She made headlines four years later, when she was pardoned by Indonesia’s newly elected president, Joko Widodo. It feels an opportune moment to reflect on Eva’s fate. Her clemency was a high-profile symbol of the president’s commitment to resolve the hundreds of conflicts between rural communities and investors eyeing their lands. But today, the hope of a new dawn for Indonesia’s farmers has not come to pass. This year, the government pushed through legislation many fear will entrench corporate power. Which means the task of pressing for agrarian reform once again falls on grassroots organizers, like Eva. By the time she was freed from prison, her case had already attracted public support from activists across Indonesia and Southeast Asia. But for many years, Eva and the farmers had fought out here alone, with no internet connection…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

The New Guinea singing dog, once thought extinct, is alive in the wild | Mongabay Nyheter

An analysis of the DNA of three wild dogs living above 4,300 meters (14,000 feet) on the island of New Guinea matches that of captive New Guinea singing dogs. These findings show that the New Guinea singing dog is not extinct in the wild, as most zoologists had assumed, researchers reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. New Guinea singing dogs are best known for their haunting and unique vocalizations, which sound like a cross between a wolf’s howl and whale song. The dogs are not listed as threatened by the IUCN, as the organization considers them to be a breed of domestic dog (Canis familiaris). The authors of the paper argue that these dogs are genetically and behaviorally distinct from their domestic cousins. “They are a kind of proto-domestic dog,” said study co-author James McIntyre. “[They have] remained frozen in time.” Wildlife biologists had thought that New Guinea singing dogs went extinct in the wild sometime in the 1970s.  A couple hundred of the animals linger on in zoos and as exotic pets. But the entire captive population has expanded from just eight original dogs, so the descendants are highly inbred. Without genetic diversity, these remnant dogs risk becoming infertile. New Guinea singing dogs are best known for their unique howl. The researchers hope that their findings will push governments and organizations to protect wild dogs. Photo credit: James McIntyre But in 2012, an ecotourist guide snapped a picture of what appeared to be a…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Ecuador’s palm oil law a boon for producers, but not people and planet, groups say | Mongabay Nyheter

*This article is a collaboration between Mongabay Latam and GK, Ecuador.   At the beginning of June 2020, Ecuador’s National Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Oil Palm Law, officially called the Law for the Promotion and Development of the Production, Commercialization, Extraction, Exportation and Industrialization of Palm Oil and its Derivatives. This is the first law that seeks to regulate economic activities related to oil palm in Ecuador. The new legislation establishes mechanisms for the commercialization of palm oil, which could include instruments of price stabilization, the creation of a technical committee to promote the sector, and a series of sanctions for noncompliance. Those sanctions could range from a fine to exclusion from the national registry of palm oil producers. The law also opens the door for damages to be assessed against palm oil companies found liable due to legal action, on top of fines that could be imposed on them by the state. Among other things, the law prohibits: the cultivation of oil palm in water protection areas, use of banned pesticides, failure to report pesticide contamination, establishment of plantations in protected areas, and failure to engage in prior consultation with communities. But critics say it doesn’t go far enough. “This law doesn’t envisage any change in the production model as we know it, which is destroying everything we have. It’s just more of the same,” says Malki Sáenz, coordinator of the Socioenvironmental Research Unit at Universidad Andina. According to Sáenz, the law ignores the environmental and social context of…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

What is a white-lipped peccary? Candid Animal Cam is in South America | Mongabay Nyheter

Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This week we’re meeting the white-lipped peccary. White-lipped peccaries (Tayassu Pecari) are known as the “pigs of the jungle.” They are recognized by their distinctive white patch or “lip” around their snout. White-lipped peccaries roam the forests of Central and South America in herds of 20 to 300 individuals. Anecdotal reports of groups of 2,000 individuals have even been recorded! Due to the large number of peccaries in a herd, they have to travel over a large range of land to find food, sometimes more than 10 km in a day. The white-lipped peccary is a classic example of an ecological engineer. First, they create and maintain wallows which create new habitats for other species. Second, as they travel over large areas they spread seeds throughout the landscape, and then with their trampling, they break the crust of the soil and help plant the seeds. And third, they also mulch the soil surface with trampled vegetation helping fertilize the landscape. White-lipped peccaries are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Their two main threats are hunting and deforestation. In some Central American countries, populations have already become locally extinct. Effective conservation measures to prevent overexploitation are needed, and as they require large areas of forest to survive, it is important to ensure the protection of their habitat. Watch the video to learn more about this species! Special thanks to San Miguelito Jaguar…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

New snail subspecies with ‘upside down shell’ found in last green frontier east of Manila | Mongabay Nyheter

MANILA — In 2017, a group of researchers surveying mollusks in a popular ecotourism site east of the Philippine capital stumbled upon a tiny land snail with a unique “upside down shell.” It was a microsnail, its shell just about the size of an ant, and it was found crawling along the jagged limestone boulders of Masungi Georeserve, looking for lichens and other vegetation to feed on.  While the snail carries its shell in a typical position when it moves, with the pointed whorl at the top, when resting in crevices it moves its shell so that the whorl is underneath. The researchers said they spotted the Hypselostoma latispira masungiensis and its unique “upside down shell position” on the first day of their survey. Photo courtesy of the University of the Philippines Los Baños research team Emmanuel Ryan de Chavez, an associate professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and curator of mollusks at the UPLB Museum of National History, and his students were initially unable to identify it. But they later found an old paper describing a similar snail, called Hypselostoma latispira, found 200 kilometers (120 miles) away in upland Baguio City. “We initially identified the Masungi snail as Hypselostoma latispira,” de Chavez tells Mongabay. The group then went to Baguio City, some 250 km (180 mi) north of Manila, to closely examine the species. “However, upon further examination of the shell morphometrics and shape, and other taxonomically important characters, the Masungi Hypselostoma is different from…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Amazon deforestation tops 11,000 sq km in Brazil, reaching 12-year high | Mongabay Nyheter

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon topped 11,000 square kilometers for the first time since 2008 reports the Brazilian government. According to data released today by Brazil’s national space research institute INPE, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon for the year ending July 31, 2020 amounted to 11,088 square kilometers, an area the size of Jamaica. The loss, which represents a 9.5 percent increase over the same period last year, is nearly triple the 3,925 square kilometer target established in the 2009 National Policy on Climate Change. The state of Pará accounted for nearly half of forest clearing in 2020 according to the data. Mata Grosso (16 percent of deforestation), Amapá (14 percent), and Rondônia (11 percent) followed. Pará, Mata Grosso, and Rondônia — states where cattle ranching and soy farming have rapidly expanded in recent decades — perennially lead the country in deforestation. The new data are preliminary. Brazil typically releases the official data a few months into the new calendar year. For example, Brazil revised the preliminary 2019 numbers up 3.8 percent this past June. The rise in Amazon deforestation was expected. Data from monitoring systems run by INPE and Imazon, an independent Brazilian NGO, had shown monthly deforestation pacing well ahead of last year’s rate. Environmentalists have blamed the rising deforestation rate on the Bolsonaro administration’s efforts to roll back forest protection, reduce environmental law enforcement and penalties for illegal forest clearing, sack career scientists from federal agencies, and demonize environmental defenders as enemies of the state. In his…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

‘Certified’ palm oil linked to worse social, ecological outcomes for Indonesian villagers | Mongabay Nyheter

While many look to sustainability certifications as a panacea for the issues surrounding oil palm plantations, a new study cautions that these programs may not be enough to prevent negative impacts on local communities. Following on previous research into the effects of oil palm development on the livelihoods and environmental well-being of nearby villages in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, an international team of researchers has assessed the socioeconomic impacts of oil palm development on 36,311 villages across Indonesia between 2000 and 2018. The researchers found that the impacts of sustainability certifications varied widely — with both positive and negative impacts — depending on where a particular plantation is located. The researchers used data from the national statistics agency’s Potensi Desa (PODES) survey that’s carried out roughly every three years. The survey assesses each village area on several parameters, including number of households with access to electricity and cooking fuels, distance to health care and school facilities, and access to financial development opportunities. Other social parameters include number of conflicts among communities and suicide rates, while environmental criteria include water and air pollution. In their previous research, the authors found that, on average, villages with new oil palm plantations showed slower growth in most well-being factors over all time scales than villages without. In the wake of oil palm plantation development, villages that had already transitioned to a market economy — which typically correlates with higher level of previous forest degradation — saw an increase in basic and financial…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Madagascar moves to reopen domestic trade in non-precious timber | Mongabay Nyheter

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar — On Oct. 21, Madagascar’s council of ministers issued a decision to reopen the domestic market for so-called ordinary wood — non-precious timber logged from natural forests. This market had been closed for nearly two years, leaving loggers with deteriorating stockpiles of wood they were unable to sell. But timber markets are a sensitive issue in Madagascar, where forests are rapidly shrinking, illegal logging is ubiquitous and most people depend on wood for fuel and building materials, and the decision sparked questions from the media. Two weeks later, on Nov. 2, the environment ministry held a press conference to clear up any confusion. Ministry personnel clarified that the government will not issue any new permits for commercial logging of ordinary wood, and that its export remains prohibited. They also confirmed that the move in no way applies to precious timber, whose stocks remain illegal to log, sell or export. The harvest and sale of exotic species, such as pine and eucalyptus, which are widely planted for timber and fuel, remains legal. Unprocessed pine wood in Moramanga district, eastern Madagascar, in November 2020. Pine, a commonly planted exotic species, is generally legal to harvest and sell. Image by Rivonala Razafison. A truck loaded with pine logs in Moramanga district in November 2020. Image by Rivonala Razafison. Trade in ordinary timber resumes In January 2019, the environment minister at the time, Alexandre Georget, issued a note suspending the legal exploitation, transport and export of ordinary wood across the island nation.…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Why did the woolly rhino go extinct? | Mongabay Nyheter

In the arctic tundra of northeastern Siberia lies a graveyard of a now-extinct species of megafauna, the woolly rhinoceros, dating back 50,000 years. Now, a new genomic analysis of the remains of 14 of these fantastical furry yellow creatures shows that climate change was the likely culprit for their disappearance—not hunting by migrating humans, as scientists had assumed. “We can say that climate probably did have a huge role in the extinction and decline of woolly rhinoceros,” said paleogeneticist Edana Lord of Stockholm University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History, lead author of the recent study in Current Biology. However, Lord and her colleagues cannot rule out human activity as a contributing factor in the rhinos’ final years. An almost whole wooly rhino found frozen by the Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia. Photo credit: Sergey Fedorov Woolly rhinos (Coelodonta antiquitatis), predecessors to the modern-day Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), roamed Siberia tens of thousands of years ago. Both the arrival of humans in their range and a climate warming period, known as the Bølling-Allerød interstadial, coincide with the disappearance of these ancient SUV-sized animals. Scientists obtained 14 specimens in the form of 12 bones, a mummified tissue biopsy, and a hair sample. By determining the full DNA sequence of one of these remains, and the maternal DNA sequence of all 14, researchers hoped to expose key parts of their history. They zeroed in on mitochondrial DNA—DNA passed through the mother—which revealed a diverse rhino family tree. However, if hunting or…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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