Agroforestry gives Kenyan indigenous community a lifeline

first_imgThe Cherangani people of Kenya were for generations reliant on the forest for hunting, gathering and agroforestry — a way of life that was curtailed by the colonial government.Today, Cherangani communities living on the edge of the forest have returned to their traditions, intercropping avocado, bean and coffee plants among trees that help reduce water runoff and soil erosion, and improve nutrient cycling.The return to agroforestry has had wide-ranging benefits, from helping the communities improve their livelihoods, to minimizing human-animal conflicts by providing a buffer of fruit trees between the farms and forest.The project has received $5 million in funding, which is expected to provide training to more than 2,000 households on forest conservation and agroforestry techniques. WEST POKOT, Kenya — The Cherangani people, an indigenous community in Kenya’s Rift Valley, have always called the Cherangani Hills Forest their ancestral home.Also known locally as the Sengwer, they were traditionally reliant on the forest for hunting and gathering, herbal medicines, honey, and sorghum and millet farming. Then the colonial government evicted them from the forest, only permitting them access to medicinal plants; gathering and hunting in the forest is still prohibited.Manasseh Cheruiyot intercrops beans with coffee among taller Grevillea robusta trees. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.Their gardening of the forest required that they regularly rotate homestead areas, about every two years, to protect them from degeneration.“The forest was our source of honey, hunting animals, and wild fruits for food. Seeds from some fruits found far away from the homesteads would be dispersed closer to the homestead to allow the children and the elderly access,” says Abraham Mworor Maina, a 94-year-old former assistant chief and father of 16.Mworor says his community, dependent on sorghum and millet, used shovels curved with stones for minimal soil disturbance, and intercropped the grains with trees in an agroforestry system. “We also farmed between trees, as [they] provided shade. We also relied on the decayed trees’ leaves for soil health.”“Agroforestry has been with us ever since before man discovered agriculture,” says Jonathan Muriuki, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) country representative for Kenya. “As a hunter-gatherer, man would harvest fruits from the forest he was living [in] and at some time started domesticating some crops and animals, and clearing space to grow these crops. That’s where it all started.”Muriuki says agroforestry tries to improve agriculture and productivity by having many components on the farm. “Several crops [like] cereals and legumes are intercropped with trees interspersed on the farm: the trees were either used for livestock fodder production, timber, fruit, [or] soil improvement, but the more species you have on the farm, the more ecologically balanced a farm becomes.”Flowering coffee plant. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.According to Muriuki, agroforestry helps reduce pests and disease, enhances nutrient cycling — since trees are deep-rooted and can draw nutrients from below the soil and bring them to the top — while decomposed leaves enrich the crop when they rot, improving soil health.Trees also improve microclimates through the capture of moisture and store carbon dioxide. Under the Paris Agreement that aims to reduce global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase further to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), Kenya has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The country aims to achieve this goal while increasing tree cover from the current 7 percent to at least 10 percent by 2030 through agroforestry.Today, the Cherangani are assimilated among communities adjacent to the Cherangani Forest, having adopted farming and the raising of livestock. They also practice their traditional agroforestry, but they must implement it outside the forest, as the government no longer recognizes their hunter-gatherer way of life.Despite a majority having settled on the farms allocated by the government, about 5,000 people on the eastern block live within the forest boundaries as squatters, with no title deeds, while the rest are distributed in the three administrative counties of Trans-Nzoia, West Pokot and Elgeyo-Marakwet, around the Cherangani Hills.Cherangani Forest looms behind a monoculture of cypress trees. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.A biodiversity hotspot and water sourceCherangani Hills Forest is a collection of 13 forest reserve blocks in western Kenya, located on the western ridge of the East African Rift. An essential biodiversity hotspot, the hills are home to birds such as the regionally threatened bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) African crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus), red-chested owlet (Glaucidium tephronotum) and thick-billed honeyguide (Indicator conirostris). The area is also home to elephants, buffaloes, leopards, otters, genets, mongooses, bushbucks, sitatunga antelopes, colobus monkeys, and a butterfly found nowhere else on Earth: Julia’s protea copper butterfly (Capys juliae).Also a critical Kenyan water recharge area, the forest feeds rivers and dams supplying water for domestic use, hydroelectric dams, irrigation, agriculture, and industrial processes downstream. The forest also supplies water to Lake Victoria — the world’s second-largest freshwater lake and a primary reservoir of the Nile River shared by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania — and to the Lake Turkana basin, the world’s largest permanent desert lake, shared by Ethiopia and Kenya.Over the years the ecosystem has been threatened by increased pressure from degazettement for settlements, encroachment and illegal logging for timber, posts, charcoal, livestock fodder, plus tree felling purportedly by honey gatherers.Peter Kyenze, assistant ecosystem conservator for West Pokot at the Kenya Forest Services, says that by 2012, the Lelan Forest Reserve within the eastern block had been reduced by 7,600 hectares (18,800 acres) from the original 32,000 hectares (79,100 acres) of gazetted forest.“Illegal logging for fuelwood, charcoal, timber, building materials, encroachments pushing the forest borders, farming [and] illegal settlements … have been a major threat,” he says.The gathering of firewood is a major source of deforestation in the area. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.Trees such as African redwood (Hagenia abyssinica), real yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius), cedars and Dombeya rotundifolia are mainly cut for wood, Kyenze says. In the lower regions, wild olive (Olea africana), acacias and Balanites aegyptiaca are exploited for charcoal.But about 200 Cherangani communities living adjacent to the forests have been planting woodlots as a source of wood, firewood and charcoal, aimed at reducing pressure on the forest resources and to improve their livelihoods.“We have been planting avocado trees and intercropping either beans [or] potatoes with coffee trees, interspersed with Grevillea robusta trees to improve [livelihoods] and nutrition,” says Solomon Cherongos, executive director of the Cherangani Multi-Purpose Development Program (CHEMUDEP), a grassroots indigenous peoples’ organization.For Manasseh Cheruiyot, a 38-year-old father of four from Tingiket village in West Pokot, agroforestry opened up an opportunity to invest in his children’s future through growing eucalyptus and coffee.Peter Ndung’u with a harvest of agroforestry-grown avocados. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.“My firstborn will be joining high school in the next five years. I intend to maintain the 500 eucalyptus [trees for] the next five years for my daughter’s high school fees,” Cheruiyot says. “In the meantime, the pruned branches will be sold as firewood and fencing materials.”Of his 1.6 hectares (4 acres), he has set aside 0.2 hectares (0.5 acres) on which he grows coffee intercropped with beans and G. robusta, also known as southern silky oak. “CHEMUDEP supplied me with about 250 trees during the dry season. I improvised a polythene bag drip irrigation system and mulching, which ensured only 10 died.”Cheruiyot’s coffee flowered for the first time this March. Though he hasn’t realized the financial benefit from the crop yet, bean yields have improved and now earn him $500, up from last year’s $350.“The area is steep, and having trees on the farm has helped reduce water runoff and soil erosion during rains. I have noted the soil is retaining water longer, and additional organic matter from the poultry dung has helped improve soil fertility,” Cheruiyot says. “I also prune and let the Grevillea tree leaves decompose, adding soil fertility.”Harvested coffee branches are used for fencing material or firewood. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.He says he expects to harvest about 720 kilograms (1,590 pounds) of coffee beans from October through December this year, with each tree producing at least 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds). “I will sell locally through the cooperative society where a kilogram sells [for] between $2.50 [and] $4. With additional maize earning us at least $1,000, and $500 from beans, these resources will ensure my young family is provided for,” Cheruiyot says.Outside funding for the forestIn 2011, a five-year, $4.5 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) project began here with an additional $500,000 in additional funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It was dubbed Strengthening the Protected Area Network within the Eastern Montane Forest Hotspot of Kenya, and was implemented by Nature Kenya in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and CHEMUDEP.The original project was geared only toward forest conservation and lacked a livelihood improvement component until 2014, says Paul Matiku, Nature Kenya’s executive director. “But since the Sengwer had unique demands compared to communities on other sites, the project was tailor-made to incorporate them, with over 200 households directly benefiting from either avocados, woodlot seedlings, or coffee,” he says. An additional 2,000 households received training on forest conservation and agroforestry techniques.CHEMUDEP’s Cherongos says coffee and woodlot plantings had 60 percent and over 90 percent survival rates respectively during the project, but less than 30 percent of the avocados survived. But he says all is not lost, as the group has been learning from Peter Ndung’u, an avocado farmer, and Lukano Enterprises, a Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service-certified nursery, which has been training 10 households on avocado management.Benjamin Lukano supplies the agroforestry projects with training and avocado seedlings. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.“These will benefit from the second batch of about 1,000 seedlings that will be distributed among 100 farmers, as the previous did not survive due to drought and lack of proper management,” Cherongos says.Ndung’u, a 29-year-old father of four from Munyaka village, planted 20 avocado trees of an early-maturing, high-yielding variety supplied by Lukano Enterprises, in addition to the family’s older trees. He harvests once or twice a year depending on the rainfall, and says the May-to-June harvest yields about 30 bags. Along with about 10 bags that he harvests in December, the avocados bring him $400 to $600 annually.“The production cost is low, it’s not affected by pests and diseases, but the fruit is highly attractive to wild animals. Older trees make good building posts, charcoal and firewood,” Ndung’u says. “I can’t remember my family sourcing firewood from the forest. We have always pruned branches from the older species to prevent them from spreading, which we use for firewood.”Bordering the forest, Ndung’u says the avocados act as a buffer for other crops, as they provide food for wild animals.Cherangani farmer Kongolel Masai Kangonyei with his intercropped coffee trees. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.“Since the forest has been extensively damaged, the animals come in search of food at the farms. I believe it’s a noble idea to plant fruit trees for conservation, to minimize human-wildlife conflict, as the forest has shrubs remaining without any berries for the animals to eat. If they have natural fruits, they will not have to come to the farms in search of it,” Ndung’u says.Apart from protecting the forests by growing forest products right on their farms, ICRAF’s Muriuki feels that as forests shrink, agroforestry practices will protect forests by safeguarding tree species’ genes from further loss.“We are losing some tree species to deforestation, and the genes that are needed to keep them producing. When these trees are allowed to [grow] on the farm, we can create gene corridors where pollinators of various species can move across landscapes and get diverse pollens, which keep genes flowing,” he says.Muriuki says he believes agroforestry also protects the forest due to community management. “Acknowledging that a landscape is a continuum of life, and some human beings’ needs come from the forest, you allow a few human activities inside the forest, and as communities get access to the forest, they allow what should be grown in the forest to grow within their farmlands,” he says. This results in better landscapes, better air, and an improved water system, Muriuki adds.Cherangani traditional healer Richard Kiplagat holds roots harvested in the forest. Chepkresmeywo, at right, is used to treat typhoid, and kasisit is said to treat sexually transmitted diseases. Image by Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay.Still, village elder Mworor is sad that traditions the Cherangani still hold are not acknowledged more widely to protect the forest. “The forest was believed to be a living thing, Cheranganis never cut a tree! It’s unfortunate our conservation traditions are no longer considered important,” he says.For his part, Cheruiyot is keen to expand his agroforestry efforts by planting coffee under trees intercropped with beans on an additional 0.2 hectares to maximize profits. “I used to plant maize and beans alone,” he says. “I never knew the land could hold this many crops and earn my family the better return.”This feature is part of an ongoing series about the global implementation of agroforestry, see all the articles in the series here. Agriculture, Agroforestry, Archive, Biodiversity, Community Development, Community Forests, Conservation And Poverty, Conservation Solutions, Featured, Forests, Human-wildlife Conflict, Indigenous Peoples, Poverty Alleviation, Wildlife 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 Article published by Erik Hoffnerlast_img read more

Mangroves and their deforestation may emit more methane than we thought

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A recently published study finds mangroves release more methane than previously estimated.Methane packs much more of a global warming punch than carbon dioxide, and the study indicates this methane could be offsetting around 20 percent of a mangrove’s soil carbon storage rate.Deforestation of mangroves releases much of the carbon stored by mangroves, including methane. Mangroves, the dense tangled forests that buffer land from sea in many coastal areas of the tropics, are renowned for their ability to store carbon and help fight climate change. But new research finds mangroves may emit more carbon as methane than previously estimated – emissions made even worse by deforestation.The ability of mangroves to sequester carbon in the ground – termed “blue carbon” – is unparalleled, with previous research finding a tract of mangrove can bury 40 times more carbon than a similarly sized area of rainforest.But what exactly happens to this carbon once it’s in the ground has been something of a mystery. So scientists at universities in Australia decided to find out by examining the soil carbon stored beneath mangroves in Queensland.Dr. Judith Rosentreter, a coauthor of the study, in a mangrove creek in North Queensland, Australia. Her research interest are in carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions from mangrove ecosystems. Photo by Jacob YeoTheir results, published in Science Advances, reveal that mangrove soil carbon doesn’t remain stored in perpetuity. Some of it is transformed from carbon dioxide (CO2) to methane (CH4) by tiny microorganisims called archea, and is then released back into the atmosphere. Methane has a much bigger warming impact than carbon dioxide – 34 to 86 times more powerful – so even a bit of methane has the potential to offset mangrove CO2 storage.Ultimately, the team found that the methane released from mangrove soil carbon offsets blue carbon burial rates by an average of 20 percent. They say their results show that methane emissions should be factored into carbon accounting when evaluating the carbon storage potential of mangrove forests.The researchers say that deforestation has the potential to increase these emissions. Zooming in, their study reveals that more methane was lost when mangrove soil was above-water than below. Clearing mangroves generally involves first draining them, which exposes their sediment to the air. This is exacerbated further when the trees themselves are uprooted, effectively releasing their carbon stores into the atmosphere.“Mangrove loss/deforestation would result in decreased carbon sequestration rates and decreased burial efficiency combined with increased decomposition of organic carbon in disturbed sediments, which would enhance methane (and carbon dioxide) emissions and thus carbon burial offsets,” said Judith Rosentreter, a researcher at Southern Cross University and co-author of the study.Mangrove forests provide habitat for many animals, such as this snake that lives in a mangrove in Malaysia.Mangroves around the world are being deforested at a fast clip, with between 30 and 50 percent lost over the past half-century to agriculture, aquaculture and infrastructure development. A study published earlier this year in Nature Climate Change found mangrove deforestation that happened between 2000 and 2012 released an amount of carbon equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of Poland.Overall, researchers estimate the loss of soil carbon from the destruction of mangroves and other coastal ecosystems contributes at least 3 to 19 percent of global deforestation-caused CO2 emissions (one study pegged it even higher). Economically, this costs the world somewhere between $6 billion and $42 billion every year, and does not include the loss of the other important ecosystem services that mangroves provide, such as flood mitigation and nurseries for fish stocks.In now, in addition to deforestation releasing more CO2 from mangroves, it also seems likely that it releases more climate-punching methane. According to Rosentreter, “based on the CO2 emission[s] from disturbed blue carbon systems, a 10-30% estimate sounds reasonable.” Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Banner image: The Fitzroy mangrove creek field site at dusk and during low tide. This is one of the three mangrove creeks where methane emissions were determined in 24-hour time series in the wet and in the dry season. The Fitzroy mangrove creek is located in tropical North Queensland, Australia. Photo by Ashly McMahonCitation: Rosentreter, J. A., Maher, D. T., Erler, D. V., Murray, R. H., & Eyre, B. D. (2018). Methane emissions partially offset “blue carbon” burial in mangroves. Science advances, 4(6), eaao4985.Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Agriculture, Aquaculture, carbon, Carbon Dioxide, Climate, Climate Change, Coastal Ecosystems, Dams, Deforestation, Ecosystem Services, Forests, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Infrastructure, Mangroves, Methane, Oceans, Rainforests, Tropical Forests last_img read more

COP24: Fossil Fuel Inc.’s outsize presence at talks reflects its influence

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A confrontation between activists and an oil executive at the U.N. climate talks has highlighted just how much influence fossil fuel producers continue to have over global climate policies.The confrontation involved the same Shell executive who, days earlier, boasted about the company influencing one of the key provisions in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.Fossil fuel companies, from oil producers to coal operations, are enjoying a prominent presence at the climate talks in Poland, including as sponsors and as speakers at events throughout the summit.Activists have blasted the U.N. for giving the companies such an important platform, saying that it only confirms their long-held suspicions that the very corporations contributing to the climate crisis are the same ones pushing supposed solutions to the problem. KATOWICE, Poland — “How did you get here?” asked the angry fossil fuel company executive.“Have you ever been to Nigeria?” responded the agitated environmental activist.This was part of an exchange between Swedish environmental activists and a senior executive from oil-and-gas giant Royal Dutch Shell at the ongoing United Nations climate summit in Katowice, Poland.Not exactly fighting words, but not a friendly conversation either.What it exposed, though, was just how deeply entrenched parties with a vested interest in fossil fuels are in influencing the global climate pact.It started after Shell, among the top 10 fossil fuel companies in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, presented its future scenario on climate change, called SKY, during a side event at the climate talks on Dec. 11. Shell’s chief climate change adviser, David Hone, and its projects and technology director, Harry Brekelmans, said solutions ranging from carbon capture technology to hydrogen fuel and market-based mechanisms would be essential to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), as targeted by the Paris Climate Agreement.Brekelmans responded to charges that Shell had willfully withheld since 1988 knowledge that its fossil fuels were contributing to climate change, saying that no one company was responsible for the current climate situation.“So we are all responsible for this,” he said. “We can’t be pointing fingers at each other to say that you are unilaterally causing [climate change]. Because we are all enjoying the energy in this room with electricity powered by fossil fuel. There’s no way to say it’s only one party and one actor.”After the event, Anna Bokström and Johanna Norrbo, environmentalists from Sweden, confronted Hone about Shell’s responsibility for climate change and its operations in the Niger Delta, which have resulted in decades of oil spills that have ruined the homes of more than 40,000 people.Hone responded that fossil fuels had brought more benefits than they did harm, then turned the argument on Bokström and Norrbo, saying they were complicit by benefiting from the fossil fuel industry themselves.“How did you get here?” Hone asked Bokström during the 10-minute exchange witnessed by Mongabay.By train, she replied. Hone pointed out that trains in Poland run on electricity; 80 percent of the country’s electricity comes from burning coal.“I know I am part of the system,” Bokström told Mongabay later when recounting the exchange. “I don’t want to be a part of the system anymore … killing other people. I think we have to move to something else, and they [Shell] are so into this [fossil fuels], so they never want to do it.”She added she hadn’t intended to confront Hone at first, “but I felt so frustrated because I’ve been talking to people from Nigeria and they told me about the situation there in the Niger Delta.”Shell’s 200 gas flares operating in the region have been declared illegal, but continue to burn 24 hours a day. The resultant air pollution and constant spills has caused health problems such as skin irritations and respiratory issues, and affected farming and fishing.“In the Niger Delta where I come from, we’ve endured 60 years of gross oil pollution and human rights abuse,” said Nnimmo Bassey, from the environmental alliance Health of Mother Earth Foundation.Bokström asked Hone whether he had ever been to Nigeria to see the devastating impacts that Shell had wrought upon the people living in the Niger Delta, to which he answered that he’d never been to the country.“Well, maybe you should,” Bokström replied.She later told Mongabay that the exchange had sent chills down her spine.“It’s scary, I think, because it’s like you can’t get into their hearts,” she said. “If you could get into their hearts, they wouldn’t be able to do what they’re doing. But their hearts are closed.”Two Swedish activists, Anna Bokström and Johanna Norrbo (left) talk to Shell’s chief climate change adviser, David Hone (right) at the 24th U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.‘Polluters in the COP’Mohamed Nasheed, a former president of the Maldives and the head of the island nation’s negotiating team at this year’s climate talks, said that begging polluters to stop destroying the environment based on ethical grounds wasn’t effective.“The problem is we keep asking polluters to take the ethical route, but they never listen to us,” he said. “We should ask the big emitters to invest so much in clean energy that they will stop using fossil fuel. We need to reframe what we’re demanding. Let’s demand something positive rather than demanding negative.”That a massive oil company like Shell gets a platform to promote its policies at the U.N. climate talks is confounding, Bassey said.“Today oil, gas and coal companies populate the corridors of the negotiation halls of COP24,” he said. “They have the guts to claim that they have the right solution to the weak Paris Agreement. They are proud to claim that their wordings are in the Paris rulebook. Shameful to have these polluters in the COP.”He was referring to a statement by Hone on Dec. 7, at another event at the summit, when he said Shell could take credit for a provision in the 2015 Paris Agreement that identifies carbon markets as one of the chief ways for oil companies and other major polluters to offset in their emissions.The Paris Agreement, a landmark global pact to tackle climate change, has been signed by 195 countries. Only state actors can negotiate the text of the agreement, while companies and civil society groups act as observers.Hone, though, was candid about the extent to which Shell likely influenced the final outcome of the Paris Agreement.“We have had a process running for four years for the need of carbon unit trading to be part of the Paris agreement. We can take some credit for the fact that Article 6 [of the Paris Agreement] is even there at all,” he said as quoted by The Intercept.“We put together a straw proposal. Many of the elements of that straw proposal appear in the Paris Agreement. We put together another straw proposal for the rulebook, and we saw some of that appear in the text,” he added.The provision in question allows companies to offset their carbon emissions by buying credit elsewhere instead of actually reducing them. Carbon-trading schemes have been criticized for not actually doing anything to reduce the local impacts of a company’s emissions-producing activities.Jesse Bragg, media director of the watchdog group Corporate Accountability, said Hone’s statement proved what campaigners had suspected for a long time: that the very corporations contributing to the climate crisis are the same ones pushing the supposed solutions to the problem.“It’s what we’ve always known, but the shocking thing is how honest and sort of arrogant he [Hone] was when he said, ‘Yeah, we influenced the Paris Agreement,’” Bragg told Mongabay. “All of that points to what we’ve been saying for a long time: that these guys are writing the rules by which we’re supposed to solve climate change. It’s the first time we’re seeing them admit it publicly.”Members of civil society demonstrate in the hallway, calling for an ambitious outcome at the 24th UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Image by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth‘Economic interests over climate’Fossil fuel producers may also have been influential at the current climate talks in Poland. Bassey, the Nigerian activist, said they were responsible for getting the delegations from the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to block the conference’s adoption of a key report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).The IPCC report warned that the world has just 12 years left in which to cut global carbon emissions by half to prevent catastrophic global warming that will have severe impacts on populations, food supplies and natural systems.According to the investigative media outlet DeSmog UK, at least 35 delegates from the four countries have ties to the oil, gas and mining industries. They are either currently employed or used to work for companies and organizations involved in the petrochemical and mining industries or lobbying on behalf of those industries.Of these 35 delegates, 12 represent Saudi Arabia and nine represent Russia, according to DeSmog UK. The NGO Climate Tracker previously identified 13 delegates representing Kuwait who worked for the fossil fuel industry.Pascoe Sabido, a researcher and campaigner at the nonprofit Corporate Europe Observatory, said having delegates with ties to fossil fuel companies at the climate talks was unacceptable.“What it shows is how blatantly economic interests come before the climate. Gulf states know exactly what these talks mean for their economy,” he told Mongabay.But Pascoe added that these individuals didn’t necessarily have to be in the official delegations at Poland to influence the climate policies coming out of the talks.“Let’s not pretend that just because the U.S. and EU don’t have them on their delegations, they’re not influencing,” he said. “They don’t need to be on their delegations, because they’ve already written their governments’ positions back home in the national capitals. With the U.S., you had the CEO of Exxon going straight into government. He wasn’t on the delegation. But [it was] clearly worse!”Protesters march towards the venue of the 24th U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.A platform at the pavilionsActivists like Bokström, Bassey and the others are a part of a growing civil movement taking on the U.N. for allowing big polluters to be involved in its annual climate conferences, where politicians are supposed to negotiate solutions to climate change.Since the start of the talks in Poland, protesters have been chanting the slogan “Polluters out, people in,” in reference to what they see as unfettered access for the fossil fuel industry and to lobby world leaders. Nor have the protesters overlooked the heavy corporate sponsorship of the conference.The summit carries a hefty price tag of nearly $67 million, and is being sponsored in part by fossil fuel companies, including three state-run coal giants as well as a gas company — a decision that has caused an uproar among activists.Climate Tracker found at least 30 events hosted at numerous countries’ pavilions that gave fossil fuel companies a platform to promote themselves. The South African pavilion, for instance, showcased just one company, Exxaro Resources, under the theme “How a mining company is contributing to sustainable food.”The Russian pavilion also highlighted just one company, the energy and mining outfit EN+ Group, under “EN+ Group climate responsibility.”Taylor Billings from Corporate Accountability said that it was clear fossil fuel corporations saw the climate talks as a one stop shop to obstruct the negotiations and sell their products.“While countries may be arguing in the negotiations, it’s clear many of them agree on promoting oil, gas and coal corporations at their exhibits,” she said. “This means that the negotiations are playing second fiddle to the corporate trade show happening just down the halls.”The Indonesian pavilion is sponsored by the oil major Chevron and Adaro, an Indonesian coal mining operation. The pavilion hosted two sessions: one where Chevron representatives talked about the role of the private sector in achieving the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, and another, also courtesy of the oil company, on “corporate responsibility on environmental management.”Yuyun Harmono, a climate campaigner from Indonesia’s largest green NGO, Walhi, said both Chevron and Adaro were major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Carbon Majors Report 2017, Chevron was the 12th-biggest emitter among fossil fuel producers; Adaro was 78th.The top 100 fossil fuel companies have since 1988 accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the report says.“By accepting money from these companies, the Indonesian government has contradicted its own climate policies,” Yuyun told Mongabay. “It’s a conflict of interest because our main goal here is to reduce the use of fossil fuels. So why accept money from companies whose core businesses are in fossil fuels?”A list of sponsors displayed at the pavilion of Indonesia during the 24th U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Speaking opportunities for supportAgus Justianto, the official in charge of the Indonesian pavilion, said there was nothing wrong in accepting financial support from private companies to cover the minimum 240,000 euro ($272,500) cost of the pavilion.He added that fossil fuel companies needed to be given an opportunity to work with other stakeholders, including the government, on ways to tackle climate change. That’s why their sponsorship of the pavilion doesn’t contradict Indonesia’s climate policies, Agus said.“The government’s task is to bridge the gap between private companies and civil society,” he told Mongabay. “We can’t side with either one of them. We have to stand in the middle.”He added the government preferred to use the term “supporters” rather than “sponsors,” and that in exchange for their “support,” these companies would get opportunities to speak during the many side events at the pavilion. The more “support,” the more opportunities, Agus said.Walhi spokeswoman Khalisah Khalid said the Indonesian government could still facilitate dialogue between companies and civil society without having to take their money.“If the government indeed considers climate change a serious issue, then it should have allocated funding for the pavilion in the state budget,” she said. “This way, the government wouldn’t have to rely on corporations. When they do that, there’s a conflict of interest and the government is facilitating these companies in their greenwashing.”Baby Tapanuli orangutan in Indonesia. Photo by Maxime Aliaga.Orangutan threatAnother of the pavilion’s sponsors is North Sumatra Hydro Energy, the developer of a dam in Sumatra that scientists almost universally agree poses a severe threat to the survival of the world’s most endangered great ape.The $1.6 billion hydropower project calls for the partial flooding of the only known habitat of the recently described Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), as well as the cutting of roads through the ape’s forest.With a population of no more than 800 individuals, the Tapanuli orangutan is already teetering on the brink of extinction, as its habitat in Sumatra’s Batang Toru ecosystem continues to be fragmented by infrastructure projects. And the hydropower project threatens to exacerbate an already precarious situation, with a group of orangutans already being driven out of their habitat due to preconstruction activity for the dam and power plant.Yet the developer’s ads play on a loop at the Indonesian pavilion in Katowice, touting the project as “a socially and environmentally responsible development” and describing efforts — building a wildlife research center, putting up animal signs, and restoring land — meant to mitigate the environmental impacts.An ads by PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (NSHE) on the Batang Toru hydropower project displayed at the Indonesian pavilion during the 24th U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Dana Prima Tarigan, who heads the Walhi chapter in North Sumatra, called the display an embarrassment for the Indonesian government because it highlighted the state’s powerlessness to protect its own environment and biodiversity.“The government should be promoting Batang Toru as a national asset, not as an investment in destroying the ecosystem itself,” he said. “And remember: who was in Batang Toru first? The orangutans or the company?” Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Climate, Climate Activism, Climate Change, Climate Change Negotiations, Climate Change Policy, Climate Change Politics, Coal, Controversial, Corporate Responsibility, Corporations, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Gas, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, greenhouse gases, Oil, Pollution Banner image: A group of protesters demand fossil fuel companies to be kicked out of the 24th U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. 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