WATCH: NBA stars, Popovich celebrate Duncan’s stellar career

first_imgIn a legendary career that spanned 19 years, Tim Duncan certainly put San Antonio basketball on the map.The ever stoic big man from the Virgin Islands was an instrumental figure to the franchise’s consistent dominance which yielded five championship titles, two regular season Most Valuable Player awards and three Finals MVPs.ADVERTISEMENT After blowing away the visiting New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday (Monday in Manila), the Texas-based organization paid homage to arguably their greatest player ever by retiring his number 21 jersey high up the rafters of the AT&T center.READ: Spurs celebrate Duncan, beat Pelicans in fundamental fashionFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSeveral notable personalities from Duncan’s illustrious career gathered at center court to share their greatest stories of the retired superstar—highlighted by an emotional and hysterical speech by non-other than his beloved mentor, Gregg Popovich.Coach Pop on his twenty years with Tim Duncan! #ThankYouTD pic.twitter.com/MTxaJ6LayQ Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. EDITORS’ PICK — NBA (@NBA) December 19, 2016The usually calm and composed Spurs head coach choked up a few times and was visibly holding back tears as he fondly recalled the greatest moments he shared with ‘The Big Fundamental’, whom he called as his ‘soul mate’.“To Mr. and Mrs. Duncan who have passed,” Coach Pop referred to Duncan’s deceased parents. “That man right there is exactly the same person now as he was when he walked in the door.”Tony Parker, who served as Duncan’s primary playmaker for the past 15 seasons, referred to the 15-time All-star as a “superstar-plus-plus,” adding, “He’s by himself in his own league.”Tony Parker on what made Tim Duncan so special! #ThankYouTD pic.twitter.com/TqpyCnvQLp — NBA (@NBA) December 19, 2016ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ 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 Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise We are young Ramos gives Hotshots lift in endgame PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter The Frenchman guard also lauded Duncan as a teammate who cared on a personal level and showed genuine interests on issues off the court. “He wanted to win. But off the court, he was the best”.“I will always look at you as the great example to follow, except for the clothing,” Parker joked to end his speech.Continuing the hilarious mood of the ceremony was Parker’s backcourt ally Manu Ginobili, who comically suggested that perhaps Duncan’s many pats on Ginobili’s head caused the latter’s male pattern baldness.“So many pats in the head, you know what happened up there,” the Argentine pointed at his bald spot much to the delight of everyone in attendance.“So many pats on the head. You know what happened there.”😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/O9xnkVA8l8— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 19, 2016Also present in the ceremony were Duncan’s retired teammates from the early 2000s, namely David Robinson and Bruce Bowen. Timmy’s college coach at Wake Forest University Dave Odom, San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, and Duncan’s children and girlfriend were there as well. Khristian Ibarrola/rga Senators to proceed with review of VFA View commentslast_img read more

Bat Week: the super powers of bats (photos)

first_imgPale Spear-nosed Bats, Phylbostomus discolorPowers: Omnivory and Speaking BatThe pale spear-nosed bat is widely distributed from Mexico to Brazil. They like to mix up their diet, eating nectar, fruit, flowers, pollen, insects, and even frogs. These bats also communicate with each other displaying vocal learning and turn taking, which are fundamental hallmarks of human language, with sonic and ultrasonic vocalizations.Pale Spear-nosed Bats, Phyllostomus discolor. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher Animals, Bats, Environment, Mammals, Photos, Wildlife This photo post comes via Mongabay’s partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Wild View blog.Under this partnership, we publish occasional original contributions from Wild View that highlights an animal species or group.In this post, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Sarah H. Olson and Julie Larsen Maher write about bats on the occasion of Bat Week, which runs from October 24-31. Sure, you may know that bats echolocate to control insect populations, but bats have other offbeat super powers. According to fossil records, bats have been around for at least 50 million years, and over that time, they evolved different survival strategies and abilities.Currently bats represent 20% of all mammal species known on earth, but they are increasingly being threatened by human activities. For example, an introduced fungal disease, white-nose syndrome, affects hibernating bats and can destroy entire colonies. Conservationists are exploring ways to protect the world’s only flying mammal by preserving rural and urban bat habitat and using scientific studies to gain new insights.When bats inevitably come up in conversation this Halloween, you can help spread the word about unsung bat super powers – and be a hero for bats.Celebrate Bat Week 2018 from October 24-31.Hammer-headed Bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus. Photo: Sarah OlsonHammer-headed Bat, Hypsignathus monstrosusPowers: Sonic Attraction The males of this species tend to gather at a lek, a site in the forest canopy where they compete for females, attracting them with their honking calls. Their moose-like nose and lip-folds help create the harmonics of love for this species and also illicit human adoration.Hammer-headed Bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus. Photo: Sarah OlsonIndian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteusPower: Supersize VegetarianAs the species name suggests, this giant of a bat has a wingspan that can reach nearly five feet across. Despite their size, these bats are frugivorous (fruit-eaters) or nectivorous (nectar-eaters) and in India, they’ve documented these bats help propagate 21 species of plants.Indian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteus. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherIndian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteus. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherRodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensisPower: Immovable Endemic to a small, isolated island in the Indian Ocean, this bat has survived on Rodrigues since its arrival hundreds of thousands of years ago. Deforestation and overhunting exacerbated natural population declines from cyclones leading to a tiny population of about 70 bats in 1970s. Thanks to conservation efforts to restore habitat and captive zoo populations, the bat population on the island has recovered to 20,000 individuals, and is hopefully here to stay.Rodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherRodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherRodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherRodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherProboscis Bats, Rhynchonycteris nasoPower: CamouflageThese bats range through Central and South America. When roosting, they form a line and are hidden against the bark of trees.Proboscis Bats, Rhynchonycteris naso. Photo: Julie Larsen MaherProboscis Bats, Rhynchonycteris naso. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Corynorhinus townsendiiPowers: Arial Acrobat This bat has an unusually small mass to wing surface area ratio making it highly maneuverable in its pursuit of moths and other insects. Young pups can fly within a few weeks of birth in early summer. As adults, this agile bat can hover in a stationary position and fly at speeds of 12 mph to capture prey. Their gigantic ears are pointed forward during flight, providing highly sensitive directional echolocation, and possibly contribute to aerodynamic lift.Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Corynorhinus townsendii. Photo: Nathan FullerMore information at www.science4bats.orgAuthor biosSarah H. Olson, PhD, is an Associate Director of Wildlife Health for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Julie Larsen Maher is WCS Staff Photographer and editor of Wild View. She takes photos at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s five New York-based wildlife parks and global field locations.Editor’s note: Sharp-eyed readers caught a few errors in the original version of this post, including misspellings of Pteropus giganteus, Desmodus rotundus, and Phyllostomus discolor as well as Rhynchonycteris naso being identified as Balantiopteryx infusca. These have been corrected. Additionally, there was considerable debate over the first photo captioned “common vampire bats” — mammalogists and biologists suggested no less than five different species, so we changed the photo to a bat we know is a vampire. 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 Madagascan Rousette Bats, Rousettus madagascariensisPowers: Aerial Seed Bombing This fruit bat eats forest figs, seeds and all. Combine that with a fast gut transit time of around 30 minutes that doesn’t appear to affect the germination rate of the seeds, and an ability to poop midflight, and this bat is a talented Johnny Figseed. They are near-threatened on the IUCN Red List.Madagascan Rousette Bats, Rousettus madagascariensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherMadagascan Rousette Bats, Rousettus madagascariensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherAfrican Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvumPower: First-class Flyer Straw-colored fruit bats hang out in huge colonies. They are tireless travelers when foraging with a tendency to fly beyond local food sources to find their favorite fruits and flowers. Near-threatened on the IUCN Red List, their numbers are decreasing in some areas due to heavy harvesting for bushmeat.African Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvum. Photo: Julie Larsen MaherAfrican Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvum. Photo: Julie Larsen MaherAfrican Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvum. Photo: Julie Larsen MaherAfrican Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvum. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher Article published by Rhett Butler Common Vampire Bat, Desmodus rotundusPower: Super-powered Saliva The saliva of this cave-dwelling bat contains proteins that stop blood from clotting while it is feeding on a host. One of the major anticoagulants in the saliva of this bat also reduces inflammation. Researchers are investigating properties of vampire bat saliva to help inform the development of therapies for stroke patients.Vampire bat. Photo courtesy of WCSlast_img read more

Plastics found in dolphins, seals, and whales in UK waters

first_imgDolphins, Environment, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Mammals, Microplastics, Oceans, Plastic, Pollution, Research, Whales In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports last month, a research team from the UK’s University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory detailed their findings after studying the digestive tracts of 50 individuals from 10 species of dolphins, seals, and whales that had been stranded on the coast of Britain.“Microplastics were ubiquitous with particles detected in every animal examined,” the authors of the study write.Just 5.5 microplastic particles were found in each animal, on average, which suggests that the particles might be simply passing through the marine mammals’ bodies, the researchers said. But the animals’ stomachs were found to contain more microplastics than their intestines, pointing to “a potential site of temporary retention,” they added. Researchers who examined 50 marine mammals that had washed up on Britain’s shores say they found microplastics in the guts of every single animal.In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports last month, a research team from the UK’s University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory detailed their findings after studying the digestive tracts of 50 individuals from 10 species of dolphins, seals, and whales that had been stranded on the coast of Britain. The researchers sought to determine the amount of microplastics and polymers the animals might have ingested as well as whether plastics are expelled from their bodies (via defecation, for instance) or if they are retained within their digestive tracts.“Microplastics were ubiquitous with particles detected in every animal examined,” the authors of the study write. Just 5.5 microplastic particles were found in each animal, on average, which suggests that the particles might be simply passing through the marine mammals’ bodies, the researchers said. But the animals’ stomachs were found to contain more microplastics than their intestines, pointing to “a potential site of temporary retention,” they added.“It’s shocking — but not surprising — that every animal had ingested microplastics,” the study’s lead author, Sarah Nelms of the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said in a statement. “The number of particles in each animal was relatively low (average of 5.5 particles per animal), suggesting they eventually pass through the digestive system, or are regurgitated. We don’t yet know what effects the microplastics, or the chemicals on and in them, might have on marine mammals.”The vast majority of the particles discovered in the marine mammals’ guts — 84 percent — were fibers, which come from sources like clothes, fishing nets, and toothbrushes. The other 16 percent were plastic fragments, which could have possibly come from food packaging and plastic bottles.“Microplastics in the marine environment originate from a variety of sources, including fragmentation of larger macro-plastic debris, pre-production pellets (nurdles) spilled during transportation and fabrication, outflow of wastewater containing microbeads from cosmetics and fibres from the washing of synthetic textiles, as well as road-run-off containing fragments of vehicle tyres and marking paint,” Nelms and co-authors note in the study.Nelms and team also write that they found a possible correlation between cause of death and microplastic abundance, as the animals included in the study that had died due to infectious diseases “had a slightly higher number of particles than those that died of trauma and other drivers of mortality.”It’s not possible to reach any firm conclusions regarding the significance of this observation, according to Professor Brendan Godley of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, a co-author of the study. Still, he said, “Our findings are not good news.”Godley continued: “We are at the very early stages of understanding this ubiquitous pollutant. We now have a benchmark that future studies can be compared with. Marine mammals are ideal sentinels of our impacts on the marine environment, as they are generally long lived and many feed high up in the food chain.”The researchers write in the study that “further research is required to better understand the potential chronic effects of microplastic exposure on animal health, particularly as marine mammals are widely considered important sentinels for the implications of pollution for the marine environment.”It’s been estimated that as much as 8 million metric tons of plastic waste makes its way from land into Earth’s oceans every year. Previous studies have shown that filter-feeding marine megafauna like baleen whales, manta rays, and whale sharks are particularly susceptible to microplastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Researchers have also previously found microplastics in the guts of humans around the globe.Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign, said of the present study’s findings: “It is ominous that every single marine mammal tested was found to have microplastics in their digestive system, and it shows the scale of plastic pollution in our seas. This is yet more evidence that governments and big businesses need to focus their efforts on drastically reducing the use and waste of plastics, to stem the flow of plastic pollution into our rivers and oceans and into the mouths of marine wildlife.” Greenpeace Research Laboratories provided support to the research team behind the study.Study co-author Dr. Penelope Lindeque, head of the marine plastics research group at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said it was “disconcerting” that microplastics were found in the gut of every single animal included in the study and echoed the call for reducing the amount of plastic waste dumped into Earth’s oceans.“Indeed, from our work over the years we have found microplastic in nearly all the species of marine animals we have looked at; from tiny zooplankton at the base of the marine food web to fish larvae, turtles and now dolphins, seals and whales,” Lindeque said.“We don’t yet know the effects of these particles on marine mammals. Their small size means they may easily be expelled, but while microplastics are unlikely to be the main threat to these species, we are still concerned by the impact of the bacteria, viruses and contaminants carried on the plastic. This study provides more evidence that we all need to help reduce the amount of plastic waste released to our seas and maintain clean, healthy and productive oceans for future generations.”Plastic litter on a beach. Image licensed under CC0 – Public Domain.CITATIONS• Germanov, E. S., Marshall, A. D., Bejder, L., Fossi, M. C., & Loneragan, N. R. (2018). Microplastics: No small problem for filter-feeding megafauna. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2018.01.005• Jambeck, J. R., Geyer, R., Wilcox, C., Siegler, T. R., Perryman, M., Andrady, A., … & Law, K. L. (2015). Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science, 347(6223), 768-771. doi:10.1126/science.1260352• Nelms, S. E., Barnett, J., Brownlow, A., Davison, N. J., Deaville, R., Galloway, T. S., … & Godley, B. J. (2019). Microplastics in marine mammals stranded around the British coast: ubiquitous but transitory?. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1075. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37428-3FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_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

Indonesia’s threat to exit Paris accord over palm oil seen as cynical ploy

first_imgBanner image: An oil palm plantation adjacent to tropical forest in Borneo. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Amazon Soy, Biodiesel, Bioenergy, Biofuels, carbon, Carbon Credits, Carbon Emissions, carbon markets, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change Negotiations, Deforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forests, Haze, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Palm Oil And Biodiversity, Peatlands, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Southeast Asian Haze, Soy, Sustainability Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A top Indonesian minister says the country may consider pulling out of the Paris climate agreement in retaliation for a European policy to phase out palm oil from biofuels by 2030.Luhut Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister for maritime affairs, says Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, can follow in the footsteps of the United States, which has declared its withdrawal from the climate pact, and Brazil, which is considering doing the same.The threat is the latest escalation in a diplomatic spat that has also seen Indonesia and Malaysia, the No. 2 palm oil producer, threaten retaliatory trade measures against the European Union.The EU says its policy is driven by growing consumer concerns about the sustainability of palm oil, which in Indonesia is often grown on plantations for which vast swaths of rainforest have had to be cleared. JAKARTA — Environmental activists have blasted threats by a senior Indonesian minister that the country will withdraw from the Paris climate accord over a European plan to phase out palm oil from renewable biofuels.The statements by Luhut Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister for maritime affairs, who oversees the palm oil industry in the world’s biggest producer of the commodity, have been likened to the nationalist rhetoric employed by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull his country out of the agreement.“If Trump exited the Paris Agreement to defend the coal industry, Luhut is defending the palm oil industry to his last breath,” said Yuyun Harmono, a climate justice campaigner with the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi). “Both are commodities that destroy the environment and exacerbate climate change. If Luhut is proud to be associated with Trump, then go ahead.”The war of words marks the latest escalation stemming from a decision by the European Union to phase out the use of palm oil in biofuels by 2030, over concerns that production of the crop, often on land cleared of rainforest, contributes to global carbon emissions and thus exacerbates climate change.Indonesia and Malaysia, which together supply 85 percent of the world’s palm oil, have threatened a host of retaliatory measures, including filing complaints with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and restricting imports of goods from the EU.The most drastic option on the table is Indonesia withdrawing from the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. Indonesia has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent (and up to 41 percent with international assistance) by 2030, mainly through reduced deforestation and increased reforestation.Luhut, one of President Joko Widodo’s closest advisers and the owner of a string of palm oil companies himself, said the government might follow in the footsteps of the U.S. and Brazil. The new president of the latter, Jair Bolsonaro, promised during his campaign last year to abandon the Paris Agreement.“If we’re talking about environmental issues, the U.S. was able to exit the climate change [agreement] and Brazil could potentially do so as well,” Luhut said in Jakarta recently as reported by The Jakarta Post. “So, we could consider withdrawing from the deal also. Why not?”He also framed the issue as one of economic development, telling online outlet Kumparan that the EU was “thinking only about [saving] orangutans” while he was concerned with the livelihoods of the 17 million Indonesians employed in the palm oil industry.Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesian coordinating ministry of maritime affairs. Image by the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Politics, Law and Human Rights/wikimedia.‘Bargaining chip’“We all agree [on the Paris Agreement] and we all respect it,” Luhut said as quoted by Liputan 6. “But if you don’t respect our people, then I have to ask what it is that we’re getting from climate change [deal]. They talk about carbon [payments] but where are [they]?”Walhi’s Yuyun questioned the argument that the climate accord needed to be financially beneficial to be meaningful. “Did we join the Paris agreement just to make money from carbon trading?” he said.“Luhut is using our involvement in the agreement as a bargaining chip for economic interests and to defend the interests of the palm oil industry,” he added. “That’s just not right.”Dechen Tsering, the Bangkok-based Asia-Pacific director for the United Nations Environment Programme, called on Indonesia to stay in the Paris climate deal, saying the agreement would be undermined if it left.“We need countries like Indonesia in the Paris Agreement, taking forward their commitments quite seriously,” she told Reuters.Indonesia is the world’s fourth-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, due largely to deforestation and forest fires. These activities, in turn, are carried out for the most part to clear land for plantations and logging concessions.The country is home to the third-biggest expanse of tropical forest left on the planet, after the Amazon and the Congo Basin, making it a globally significant carbon sink. Indonesia’s peatlands alone hold at least 57 billion tons of carbon. If all of it were released into the atmosphere, it would account for a third of all the CO2 the world is projected to emit between now and 2050.A Bornean orangutan in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. The endangered species, the ape is threatened by the unbridled expansion of oil palm plantations into their forest homes. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Political supportIn Jakarta, however, the importance of keeping Indonesia within the Paris Agreement hasn’t resonated as strongly as the nationalist fervor to take a stand for palm oil, with both the Foreign Ministry and the House of Representatives backing Luhut.Peter F. Gontha, a policy adviser to the ministry, said Indonesia could learn from Brazil’s plan to exit the Paris accord. He said that Brazil wanted to withdraw so that it could open up large tracts of its land for sugarcane plantations to produce ethanol for biofuel and for cattle ranching. The latter activity accounts for 80 percent of new deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.“This could be a reference for Indonesia,” Peter said. “If Indonesia is merely a victim of the Paris Agreement, then we [will] exit [the agreement] just like what Brazil and the U.S. do, Since the beginning, Indonesia isn’t obligated to join the Paris Agreement because our emission is still low.”He added that the decision by the EU to phase out palm oil from its biofuel mix constituted a form of discrimination that advantaged European producers of other types of vegetable oils.“We’ve implemented a moratorium [on new palm oil plantation permits] and we’ve said no more land [clearing], but we’re still discriminated against,” he said.Firman Subagyo, one of the most vocal proponents of the palm oil industry in the House of Representatives, who previously criticized the permit moratorium as the result of foreign meddling, welcomed Luhut’s statements.“Our stance is if they boycott us, we boycott them,” he said as reported by Bisnis. “So even though it’s a bit late [for the government to adopt it], I appreciate and support the step they’ve taken.”An aerial view of Sulawesi Island in Indonesia. Low-lying areas are expected to be swamped by the end of the century due to rising sea levels. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Sinking islandsBoth Luhut and Peter, who previously served as the Indonesian ambassador to Poland, said Indonesia had shown good faith in global efforts to mitigate climate change, as seen during the U.N. climate talks in Poland last year. Luhut said a large part of Indonesia’s commitment centered on promoting palm oil-based biodiesel and reducing coal consumption.The minister has argued that while Indonesia has done much in recent years to tackle emissions from the palm oil industry, including imposing the nationwide moratorium on new permits, implementing a one-map policy to address land claims, and devising its own certification scheme called Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO). The EU, Luhut said, had failed to fully recognize these efforts.“So Indonesia is very aware,” he said in a statement on his ministry’s website. “Don’t perceive us as being not aware about the environment, because we understand that if we don’t handle [climate change] well, then the next generation is going to be the one that feels the impact.”Peter agreed that environmental protection required sustainable development.“Economic growth has to be coupled with an increase in the quality of life as well as environmental sustainability,” he told Indonesian media at the climate talks in Katowice last December. “This is a herculean task. This is Indonesia’s task looking ahead.”But that commitment to improving the livelihoods of everyday Indonesians seems to be lacking, Yuyun suggested. He cited cases of coastal villages and islands being drowned by rising sea levels, and said it was ironic that Luhut, nominally in charge of maritime affairs, neglected to address this very issue.“Some villages have disappeared, same with small islands. There’s such a big threat hanging over this country, which has more than 17,000 islands,” Yuyun said.“It’s such a contradiction for a maritime minister to not work to save coastal people,” he added, “but instead fight for palm oil companies that are among the industries that contribute to climate change.”A Malaysian oil palm plantation with adjoining forest patches. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Retaliatory measuresWhile withdrawing from the climate accord is the most drastic option raised by Indonesia in response to the EU biofuel policy (and the worst one, by Luhut’s own admission), Jakarta has threatened a host of other retaliatory measures.This includes possibly cancelling an order for 300 Swedish-made buses for Jakarta’s public bus network. “We whispered to the Swedish ambassador to Indonesia that we’re afraid their buses aren’t allowed to come in,” Foreign Ministry adviser Peter said.Last month, Peter wrote on his Facebook page that it would be better to buy buses from Japan or Australia rather than Sweden, a member of a union that, by his account, was discriminating against Indonesia’s palm oil.While that threat hasn’t been carried through, European spirits makers may have become the first casualty in the looming trade war.Reuters reported last week that members of SpiritsEurope, which represents major liquor producers and national associations, were suffering delays in securing approval to bring EU products into Indonesia — something that non-EU liquors had no trouble with.The Indonesian government has denied this is linked to the palm oil spat, saying the domestic market simply prefers spirits from the U.S.Diplomatic disputes have also flared up between Indonesia and individual European countries considering imposing their own restrictions on palm oil.Last December, Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita threatened to block market access for Norwegian salmon under a trade deal with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) if its members — Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein — restricted access for palm oil.The threat came after the Norwegian parliament asked the government to develop measures to exclude biofuels with a high risk of deforestation in their production.France has also been looking to restrict imports of palm oil, first through a plan to tax unsustainable palm oil in 2016. The plan was eventually scrapped after Indonesia reportedly insinuated it would execute a French citizen on a death row for drug trafficking if France went ahead with the tax.The Indonesian Foreign Ministry has denied the report.Malaysia, too, has threatened its own tit-for-tat measures. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last month said Malaysia might retaliate by purchasing new fighter jets from China instead of Europe.“If they keep on taking action against us, we will think of buying airplanes from China or any other country,” he said as quoted by the official Bernama news agency.Smoke from fires burning on drained peatlands cleared for oil palm in East Kalimantan, Indonesia in 2018. Photo courtesy of Linus.Reassessment windowThere’s still a chance the EU might walk back the planned phase-out, enshrined in a so-called delegated act. The delegated act passes into law after a two-month scrutiny period, but there’s a reassessment period in 2021 during which European authorities will consider the latest data from palm oil producers to determine anew the deforestation risk.“The European Commission will reassess the data and, if appropriate, the methodology in 2021 and will carry out a revision of the delegated regulation in 2023,” the EU says. “At that moment, any efforts undertaken by Indonesia will be taken into account.”President Widodo and Prime Minister Mahathir have both sent official letters to the EU asking for it to reconsider its policy on palm oil.“Both our governments’ view this as a deliberate, calculated and adverse economic and political strategy to remove palm oil from the EU marketplace,” they said. “Should this delegated regulation enter into force, our governments shall review our relationship with the EU as a whole, as well as its member states.”For its part, the EU denies it is engaged in a campaign to smear the reputation of palm oil to advantage its own vegetable oil producers.“What is frequently described here as a ‘black campaign’ against palm oil is an expression of the genuine environmental concerns of consumers as well as manufacturers,” EU Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Guérend said in a press statement. “Informed consumers (in the EU and elsewhere) increasingly favor healthier, fairer and more-sustainable consumption patterns: recycling waste, using canvas rather than plastic bags, buying locally grown produce and so on. Preserving our planet for future generations is at the core of these patterns.”An oil palm plantation in Malaysia. Agribusiness, with its conversion of forests to croplands ¬(including oil palm, soy, cotton, corn, sugarcane and rubber crops to feed global markets) is a major contributor to climate change and to changes in tropical rainfall patterns. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.To-do listActivists see the reassessment period as a window of opportunity for Indonesia and Malaysia to address the environmental concerns raised by the EU, including deforestation. For Indonesia, one of the most pressing matters to attend to is the lack of definitive data on oil palm plantations.Dono Boestami, the head of the Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP-KS), a Finance Ministry initiative to develop sustainable palm oil, said there were at least three sets of official data about how much land was dedicated to oil palm concessions.According to figures from the Agriculture Ministry, the oil palm land bank spans 140,000 square kilometers (54,000 square miles); the Central Statistics Agency puts it at between 120,000 and 300,000 square kilometers (46,300 and 115,800 square miles); and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which has increased its scrutiny of graft in the palm oil sector, records total plantation area at 200,000 square kilometers (77,200 square miles).“How can we get a valid figure of our palm oil total production when we still don’t know the exact total area of our plantations?” Dono said as quoted by The Jakarta Post. “It’s unsurprising if we get criticized for our lack of valid data.”Edi Sutrisno, executive director of TuK Indonesia, an NGO that advocates for social justice in the agribusiness sector, said there was no way to achieve sustainable palm oil without a transparent and accurate data set.“That’s a huge challenge which makes it difficult for the government to determine the potential revenue [from palm oil taxes],” he told Mongabay. “If the data is clear, then I think the efforts to push for sustainability will be clear as well. How can you plan something without clear data?”The lack of clear data has given rise to problems such as tax avoidance and financial irregularities, according to Muhammad Teguh Surya, executive director of the environmental NGO Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan.Many palm oil companies aren’t paying their taxes, with a compliance rate of only 6 to 7 percent, according to the tax office. That’s because the government doesn’t know how many taxpaying entities there are in the palm oil industry.A recent study by the Jakarta-based think tank Perkumpulan Prakarsa shows a flow of illicit money from the palm oil industry in Indonesia to other countries, including Finland, which doesn’t import palm oil from Indonesia, totaling more than $40 billion.“So if the government is arguing that it’s defending the palm oil industry because it’s a national interest, why doesn’t it address these problems?” Teguh said. “It’s impossible to argue that this is a national interest if the government allows millions of dollars of money from the palm oil industry to pour out of the country for years.”And while Indonesia has its own sustainability criteria, the ISPO, it only covers 41,100 square kilometers (15,900 square miles) of plantations, a fraction of the total figures listed above.Edi said other items on Indonesia’s long to-do list to achieve sustainability include resolving land conflicts between plantation companies and residents, and the looming threat of industrial-scale deforestation in previously untouched regions such as Papua.In the end, he said, Jakarta has to realize that the biggest enemy of Indonesia’s palm oil industry isn’t the EU.“There are still many land conflicts, and the expansion of palm oil in Papua continues despite the moratorium,” Edi said. “[And yet] our stance is to be defensive. We’re not being honest about the facts [on the ground]. Regardless of the diplomatic challenge with the EU, our biggest challenge is actually our own nation.” Article published by Hans Nicholas Jonglast_img read more