Kategori: Naturvård Internationell Sida 1 av 54

Slash-and-burn farming eats away at a Madagascar haven for endangered lemurs, frogs | Mongabay Nyheter

Deforestation is so rampant throughout Madagascar, an island far larger than California, that it’s easy to forget the impact of tree clearance in any one specific area of the country — the lemurs that lose their habitats, the orchids that no longer bloom, the people whose land becomes barren. But recent activity in the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor (CAZ), a large protected area in central eastern Madagascar, has raised concerns that one of the country’s most important tropical rainforests is being lost. Over the past five months, CAZ has seen a number of spikes in deforestation activity, according to satellite data from the University of Maryland (UMD) visualized on Global Forest Watch. This isn’t a new problem — CAZ has faced high levels of tree clearance for several years — but preliminary data indicate that it’s getting worse. Local sources say the forests are being lost primarily to swidden agriculture (slash-and-burn), a practice that can increase during times of economic difficulty. With less income during the pandemic, local people have sought to increase their rice yields by using more forestland. The trend spells major trouble for the 15 lemur species that live in CAZ as well as endangered amphibians endemic to CAZ, such as the black-eared mantella frog (Mantella milotympanum), the Scaphiophryne boribory frog, and the Paroedura masobe gecko. The masobe gecko (Paroedura masobe) is endangered. Image by Jaine via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). The black-eared mantella frog (Mantella milotympanum) is critically endangered. Its main threat is habitat loss. Image by…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Getting hands-on with pollination can boost cocoa yields, study shows | Mongabay Nyheter

Dark, milk, or somewhere in between, chocolate is a favorite treat all over the world. The Theobroma tree, the genus responsible for our cravings, thrives in shady, tropical regions. But cocoa trees are a finicky sort. Producing the rugby ball-shaped fruits rests on the pollination of a tiny, centimeter-sized flower. And in natural conditions, a scant number of flowers are pollinated by insect visitors. “I would say for the cocoa system, it is pretty normal that pollination of flowers is below 5 to 10%,” said Manuel Toledo-Hernández, an agroforester at Westlake University in China. Small-scale farms produce the majority of cocoa and provide a major source of income for people in West Africa, the Amazon region, and Indonesia. To boost cocoa yields, farmers have traditionally turned to mainstream farming practices, which includes fertilizing the trees and spraying with insecticides. But are these methods increasing cocoa yields? In a new study in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, led by Toledo-Hernández, researchers compared yields from agrochemical treatments to hand-pollination efforts on cocoa trees in Indonesia. The team found the painstaking, hands-on approach not only increased cocoa yields, but also led to a boost in farmer income, even after the cost of labor was factored in. Hand pollination of a cocoa flower carried out by student of Tadulako University in Palu, Indonesia. Image courtesy of Manuel Toledo-Hernández. Taking to the trees In conventional cocoa farming, fertilizers and insecticides are used to encourage more pollination, and therefore higher cocoa yields. But Toledo-Hernández and his colleagues…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Amazon’s Belo Monte dam cuts Xingu River flow 85%; a crime, Indigenous say | Mongabay Nyheter

Bel Juruna, of the Juruna (Yudjá) Indigenous people, points her camera at the Xingu River, beside which she lives in Mïratu village in the Paciçamba Indigenous Territory on the 130-kilometer (81-mile) Volta Grande (Big Bend), in Pará state, Brazil. The video shows a shoulder-high, light-colored waterline streaking a dark exposed boulder. Just days before, that boulder was mostly submerged and the river ran at a much higher level, but its flow has been drastically, suddenly, intentionally, and possibly illegally, reduced — threatening the Xingu’s fishery and the people who depend on it for food and livelihoods. On February 8, Belo Monte mega-dam operator Norte Energia received permission from IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, to immediately reduce river flows to less than 13% of normal — shifting the water to the dam’s electricity-producing turbines. This dramatic flow reduction was completely unanticipated by riverine Indigenous and traditional peoples, Bel’s video shows the effects: canoes with outboard motors stranded on dry rocks, aquatic vegetation exposed to the air. “These plants are usually on the bottom [of the river]; they are water plants. And because the water won’t come [here] any more, they’re all going to die,” Bel says. Norte Energia’s action comes during the piracema, a time of year when fish should be traveling on seasonally rising waters, deep into the flooded forest to feed and spawn. The government’s water reduction decision effectively closes the door on this reproductive window — an opportunity that comes but once a year. “The Volta Grande will turn…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Mongabay’s most popular posts in February 2021 | Mongabay Nyheter

Last month Mongabay’s readership was up 24% over a year earlier to 13.3 million pageviews. Aggregate time spent on these articles was up 300%. The following are the most popular articles on news.mongabay.com during February 2021. Note: the traffic data presented below is only for the month of February and therefore doesn’t include traffic in prior months for stories published earlier than February. Southeast Asian wild pigs confront deadly African swine fever epidemic (12 Feb 2021) Written by John C. Cannon – 113,047 pageviews A recent study in the journal Conservation Letters warns that African swine fever, responsible for millions of pig deaths in mainland Asia since 2018, now endangers 11 wild pig species living in Southeast Asia. These pig species generally have low populations naturally, and their numbers have dwindled further due to hunting and loss of habitat. The authors of the study contend that losing these species could hurt local economies and food security. Southeast Asia’s wild pigs are also important ecosystem engineers that till the soil and encourage plant life, and they are prey for critically endangered predators such as the Sumatran tiger and the Javan leopard. Visayan warty pigs (Sus cebifrons) at a wallow in the Philippines. Image by Shukran888 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). It’s not too late – yet – to save the Philippine pangolin, study finds (27 Jan 2021) Written by Leilani Chavez – 106,356 pageviews Philippine pangolins, found only in the island province of Palawan, are among the most heavily trafficked…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Mongabay-India editor recognized among ‘16 Women Restoring the Earth’ | Mongabay Nyheter

Across the globe, women are leading the charge to protect and restore the environment. Today, on International Women’s Day, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) honors 16 Women Restoring the Earth through music, science, policy, journalism, land rights, finance, and many other creative and effective avenues. Among the honorees this year is Sahana Ghosh, a contributing editor at Mongabay-India. Ghosh’s reporting focuses on gender, climate, biodiversity, and environmental health. She also edits Mongabay’s Beyond Protected Areas series, in which 43% of the stories are by women and feature women. Environmental journalist Sahana Ghosh reporting on women in the Sundarban’s mangroves in the Bay of Bengal in 2018. Photo courtesy of Ghosh. “[This recognition] is a shot in the arm for journalists who continue to report on women’s agency in the environment/biodiversity sector,” Ghosh said. “I am deeply appreciative of the fact that Mongabay bureaus (including Mongabay-India and Mongabay-Hindi) are committed to reporting on such crucial issues and continue to highlight them despite challenges in the media sector. Thank you, Global Landscapes Forum, for having me on the list of 16 Women Restoring the Earth.” Currently, Ghosh is working to add more content to Mongabay’s coverage of India and South Asia-specific paleoclimate research, extreme weather events, One Health, and northeast India. She also plans to scale up reporting for Mongabay-India’s Environment and Her series, launched in 2019, which explores how the environment impacts women uniquely and how women are driving climate and environmental solutions. Sahana Ghosh reporting on fragmented forest patches in Rajasthan, West India in January, 2020. Photo courtesy of Ghosh. “Journalism,…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

A million hectares of Papuan forest licensed for clearing, report shows | Mongabay Nyheter

JAKARTA — “Birds might fall as they’re not strong since there’s no more trees standing.” This is how Jemris Nikolas characterizes the response of many in Sorong, a district in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua, to the deforestation unfolding in their area. Jemris is an environmental activist based in Papua, home to the last great expanse of rainforest in Southeast Asia. Indonesia’s commodities boom of recent decades — from palm oil to coal to pulpwood —razed much of the forests on the western islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Now, those same industries are moving into Papua, where authorities have issued licenses that could result in the clearing of an area the size of Sydney. That’s the finding from a new report by a coalition of 11 NGOs in Indonesia, which shows that most of the 1.1 million hectares (2.7 million acres) of natural forest that the government has authorized for clearing will be converted into oil palm plantations. These licenses are known as forest conversion permits, which are required by law to allow plantations and infrastructure projects to be established in forest areas. Dedy Sukmara, a researcher at the environmental NGO Auriga, a member of the coalition, said the issuance of these permits effectively legitimizes large-scale forest clearing. “According to the law, this is legal deforestation,” he said. And this could spell disaster for the region’s wildlife and plants. Papua’s forests are among the most biodiverse on Earth, home to at least 20,000 plant species, 602 birds, 125 mammals and…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

In Japan, scientists look to the past to save the future of grasslands | Mongabay Nyheter

On the wide-open plains of the Sugadaira and Minenohara highlands, red-budded great burnets dot the landscape amid lavender hues of Japanese lady bell flowers, relics of the last Ice Age that persist on the rolling hills of modern-day Japan. A century ago, rich grasslands accounted for about 13% of the country’s land area, but that number dwindled to just 1% by the early 2000s. A recent study conducted on Japan’s main island of Honshu suggests the key to conserving these vulnerable ecosystems may lie in their past. By comparing Japan’s old and new grasslands, the study published in Ecological Research finds it may be worth prioritizing the conservation of older grasslands because they have more biodiversity. In the study, scientists define new grasslands as less than 70 years old while the old grasslands can be anywhere from 160 to thousands of years old. Great burnets (Sanguisorba officinalis) are indicator species in central Japan’s grasslands, meaning their presence tells researchers this grassland could be hundreds or thousands of years old. Researchers did not find any such indicator species in new, or younger, grasslands. Image courtesy of Kenta Tanaka. The researchers found Japanese lady bell (Adenophora triphylla) in all old grasslands included in the study, but not in new grasslands or forests. They attribute this to the flowering plant’s inefficient seed dispersal. Image courtesy of Kenta Tanaka. “Oldness is an irretrievable factor,” said Taiki Inoue, a conservation ecologist at the University of Tsukuba and the study’s lead author. “Showing the value of…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

“Our identity is non negotiable”, says Gwich’in leader Bernadette Demientieff | Mongabay Nyheter

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a 19 million acre reserve in the northeastern corner of Alaska that’s renowned for its beauty and wildlife. ANWR also holds great cultural significance to the Native peoples of the region, including the Gwich’in Nation, who for generations have depended on the migratory caribou herd that births and calves its young in the coastal plain of the refuge. The Gwich’in have thus been some of the staunchest opponents of opening up ANWR to oil drilling. But in 2017, over the objections of many Indigenous leaders and environmental groups, Congress passed legislation authorizing drilling in ANWR. In January 2021, just days before Joe Biden was to take office, the Trump administration held an auction for the right to drill in the refuge. Interest however was tepid: the sale raised less than $15 million. No oil major participated in the auction. A view of the Brooks Range Mountains in the Arctic Refuge Wilderness. Photo credit: USFWS Of the reasons the oil auction was a bust, the campaign by the Gwich’in was arguably among the most compelling, helping broaden the issue into one of human rights, traditional Indigenous culture, and reverence for wildlife and the landscape. As the Executive Director of Gwich’in Steering Committee, a body established in 1988 in response to proposals to drill in ANWR, Bernadette Demientieff has had a leadership role in the campaign against drilling. Demientieff is of the Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in, a Gwich’in tribe that lives in and around Fort Yukon,…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Mongabay’s 15 most popular conservation posts in January 2021 | Mongabay Nyheter

Mongabay’s site-wide traffic in January 2021 amounted to 14.3 million pageviews, a 28% increase over January 2020. The most read posts on Mongabay’s global English news site in January 2021 were 2020 year-in-review wrap-ups, including a list of our 2020 investigations, the December 2020 most popular, and the 2020 most popular. Below is a list of the 15 most read posts for January 2021. Traffic totals are for the month of January only. Mongabay’s environmental investigations in 2020 (12/31/20) Written by Mongabay.com – 186,674 pageviews Over the course of 2020, Mongabay published more than 5,200 stories, which collectively had on-site readership of 140 million pageviews. The reach of this content was further amplified by readership within social media and by the many third party outlets that syndicate our stories. This post reviews some of the investigations we undertook in 2020. Some of these investigations were collaborative efforts with other news outlets and agencies. Mongabay’s most popular conservation news posts in December 2020 (1/4/21) Written by Mongabay.com – 143,303 pageviews Mongabay’s site-wide traffic in December 2020 amounted to 12.3 million pageviews, a 55% increase over December 2019. Aggregate time on the site in December set a new all-time high, surpassing the previous peak from the initial pandemic lockdown period form April-June 2020. For the year Mongabay attracted 142 million pageviews, a 40% increase over 2019. Below is a list of the 25 most popular articles for December 2020. Traffic totals are for the month of December only. Mongabay’s 10 most popular…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

Amid pollution and COVID-19, a quilombolas’ Amazon sanctuary turns hostile | Mongabay Nyheter

Sonia Castro says her family stayed in self-isolation for two months in the Jambuaçu Territory in Brazil’s Pará state. She recounts how they eventually fell ill, their condition worsening bit by bit without proper medical attention. “[They were] one in each house, and after 30 days there was no way they could stay there any longer,” she says. “That’s when I had to call an ambulance, and they were transferred to Belém,” the state capital. Castro is speaking in front of her wooden house, a solid structure painted forest green with white trim, located in the middle of the community of Ribeira. It’s one of Jambuaçu’s many quilombos, communities of quilombolas, the descendants of African slaves who settled in remote parts of Brazil to flee their oppressors starting in the 1500s. Quilombos are found throughout Brazil, including vast stretches of the Amazon Basin. But even though they often reside in remote, forested portions of the country, the quilombolas of Jambuaçu do not inhabit a bucolic landscape: they are surrounded by mining and processing activities, as well as large agribusiness ventures. The presence of which has been aggravated by the arrival of the novel coronavirus. The other residents of her quilombo feared being infected with COVID-19, Castro says, so she had to fetch her kids sitting and waiting on a bridge on her way out of the community via motorboat — a daunting undertaking meant to prevent interaction with outsiders, but a far cry from the tight-knit nature of a community…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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