Extreme mouth-sewing protest in Indonesia leads to logging inquiry

A protest in which 28 Indonesian sewed their mouths shut has led to an inquiry into a logging concession on Padang Island. The Ministry of Forestry has formed a mediation team to look into the controversial concession, reports Kompas. Around a hundred natives of Padang Island rallied for weeks against the logging concession held by PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), which covers 37 percent of the island’s total land.

The team will be selected from Indonesia’s Presidium of the National Forestry Council (DKN) including a mix of government officials, scientists, NGO, and business people. The inquiry will not have decision-making powers, but will report their recommendation to the Ministry.

The protesting islanders argue that the 2009 concession occurs on customary lands, threatening both the environment and the small-scale agriculture on which they depend. They demand that the Indonesian government revoke the logging concession, which is largely located on peatland rainforests, from RAPP.

For its part, RAPP says they have seen no proof that the concession is on customary land, but they will abandon the concession if proof comes forward. The logging company says it secured approval from 14 village chiefs, though three have since bolted from the agreement.

"We’re not even sure if the protesters are actually from Pulau Padang or not," RAPP president commissioner, Tony Wenas, said as reported by the Jakarta Post. "For all we know, there are ex-cons among the protesters."

An Indonesian NGO, Greenomics, has released a report alleging that RAPP’s parent company, Asian Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), has wrongly claimed it has set aside 4,102 hectares of the Padang Island concession (around 10 percent of the total) for conservation. Greenomics argues that the touted “protected areas” were not such at all, since Indonesian law required the land to be set aside.

"None of the land set aside for conservation […] was set aside at the company’s own initiative. Rather, all the land was required to be set aside under Indonesian law," the report reads. The report further argues that one of the main reasons behind the concession is a corporate need for raw materials taken from clearing the standing forest, garnering between 1.43 and 2.15 million square meters of materials for APRIL’s paper mills.

Earlier this year, RAPP was accused of clearing high conservation value forest in Riau province on Sumatra. The forest was a known wildlife corridor for the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, among many other species.

APRIL did not respond to requests for comment.


Indonesian plantation workers arrested over orangutan deaths

Two Indonesian plantation workers have been arrested for allegedly killing at least 20 endangered orangutans and proboscis monkeys as a means of “pest control”, police have said.
Colonel Antonius Wisnu Sutirta, a police spokesman, said the suspects had admitted chasing the primates with dogs before shooting, stabbing or hacking them to death.
The men allegedly told the authorities that the owners of several palm oil plantations on Borneo island, keen to protect their lucrative crops from being raided, offered a reward for every orangutan and long-nosed proboscis monkey killed.

Indonesian plantation workers arrested over orangutan deaths

Two Indonesian plantation workers have been arrested for allegedly killing at least 20 endangered orangutans and proboscis monkeys as a means of “pest control”, police have said.

Colonel Antonius Wisnu Sutirta, a police spokesman, said the suspects had admitted chasing the primates with dogs before shooting, stabbing or hacking them to death.

The men allegedly told the authorities that the owners of several palm oil plantations on Borneo island, keen to protect their lucrative crops from being raided, offered a reward for every orangutan and long-nosed proboscis monkey killed.

 
Markets drive conservation in Central Africa
Certification has shown that commercial forestry can co-exist with conservation objectives in the Congo Basin, according to conclusions reached at an international seminar “Forest management as a tool for cooperation and rural development in Central Africa”, organized yesterday in Madrid by WWF/Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs of Spain. Many studies show that best practices, such as certified forests, can contribute to the conservation of key species and the integrity of ecosystems, although there is still room for improvement to ensure that certified forests always reach the best conservation standards. “Growth in certification is the best social, economic and environmental option for the development of forestry across the region. It offers a transparent model that drives improvements in standards and addresses key issues through a multi-stakeholder process. As such, certification of forests in the Congo Basin should at least treble within the next five years to reach 15 million hectares,” said George White, Head of GFTN.Much has been achieved since the first seminar that took place in 2006.  Certification has grown in the Congo Basin from around 41,000 hectares in 2006 to almost 5.2 million hectares today. That’s the equivalent expansion in size from the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena (41,000 ha) to a nation roughly the size of Costa Rica (5.11 million ha). In recent years, legislative processes both in the Congo Basin and Europe to combat illegal trade of forest products also started to change the market landscape, increasing focus on legality in the region and boosting public procurement in favour of legal and certified forest products. Yet many challenges still remain. Felix Romero, Head of Forest Programme, WWF Spain: “Strong market signals to increase the demand for FSC, or at least for “legal timber, are even more important as they were in 2006.  The market remains an important driver and is a key condition for both legality and certification. But market demand within Europe generally, and in Spain specifically, needs to further increase. There is a need for more private sector involvement and more international cooperation in responsible forest management and trade. “The Congo Basin is the second largest tropical forest after the Amazon, representing 180 million hectares – more than 15% of all the worldwide tropical forests . As a main consumer and second biggest European importer of African tropical wood, Spain has a major trading relationship with Congo Basin forest industries, with the volume of timber trade between Spain and the Congo Basin reaching 0.8 million m3 per year. That’s a volume a few stories shorter than the 102-story Empire State building, which measures in at just over 1 million cubic meters.  The event was opened with a speech by Mr. Henri Djombo, Minister of Sustainable Development, Forestry Economy and the Environment of the Republic of Congo, Ms. Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International and Ms. Felicidad Montero Pleite, Under-secretary of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs of Spain. Interventions were made, amongst others, by the German Development Bank, the Central African Forest Commission, the London Zoological Society and the Interafrican Forest Industries Association.  

 

Markets drive conservation in Central Africa

Certification has shown that commercial forestry can co-exist with conservation objectives in the Congo Basin, according to conclusions reached at an international seminar “Forest management as a tool for cooperation and rural development in Central Africa”, organized yesterday in Madrid by WWF/Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs of Spain. 

Many studies show that best practices, such as certified forests, can contribute to the conservation of key species and the integrity of ecosystems, although there is still room for improvement to ensure that certified forests always reach the best conservation standards. 

“Growth in certification is the best social, economic and environmental option for the development of forestry across the region. It offers a transparent model that drives improvements in standards and addresses key issues through a multi-stakeholder process. As such, certification of forests in the Congo Basin should at least treble within the next five years to reach 15 million hectares,” said George White, Head of GFTN.

Much has been achieved since the first seminar that took place in 2006.  Certification has grown in the Congo Basin from around 41,000 hectares in 2006 to almost 5.2 million hectares today. That’s the equivalent expansion in size from the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena (41,000 ha) to a nation roughly the size of Costa Rica (5.11 million ha). 

In recent years, legislative processes both in the Congo Basin and Europe to combat illegal trade of forest products also started to change the market landscape, increasing focus on legality in the region and boosting public procurement in favour of legal and certified forest products. 

Yet many challenges still remain. Felix Romero, Head of Forest Programme, WWF Spain: “Strong market signals to increase the demand for FSC, or at least for “legal timber, are even more important as they were in 2006.  The market remains an important driver and is a key condition for both legality and certification. But market demand within Europe generally, and in Spain specifically, needs to further increase. There is a need for more private sector involvement and more international cooperation in responsible forest management and trade. “

The Congo Basin is the second largest tropical forest after the Amazon, representing 180 million hectares – more than 15% of all the worldwide tropical forests . As a main consumer and second biggest European importer of African tropical wood, Spain has a major trading relationship with Congo Basin forest industries, with the volume of timber trade between Spain and the Congo Basin reaching 0.8 million m3 per year. That’s a volume a few stories shorter than the 102-story Empire State building, which measures in at just over 1 million cubic meters.  

The event was opened with a speech by Mr. Henri Djombo, Minister of Sustainable Development, Forestry Economy and the Environment of the Republic of Congo, Ms. Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International and Ms. Felicidad Montero Pleite, Under-secretary of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs of Spain. Interventions were made, amongst others, by the German Development Bank, the Central African Forest Commission, the London Zoological Society and the Interafrican Forest Industries Association.  

sexyactionplanet:

 
Javan rhino ‘now extinct in Vietnam’
 
A critically endangered species of rhino is now extinct in Vietnam, according to a report by conservation groups.
The WWF and the International Rhino Foundation said the country’s last Javan rhino was probably killed by poachers, as its horn had been cut off.
Fewer than 50 individuals are now estimated to remain in the wild.

sexyactionplanet:

Javan rhino ‘now extinct in Vietnam’

A critically endangered species of rhino is now extinct in Vietnam, according to a report by conservation groups.

The WWF and the International Rhino Foundation said the country’s last Javan rhino was probably killed by poachers, as its horn had been cut off.

Fewer than 50 individuals are now estimated to remain in the wild.

Big Damage reveals the human face of logging in Papua New Guinea. 

It is a short version of the film Bikpela Bagarap. Film Website - bikpelabagarap.com

It is a tale of exploitation and broken promises, where local people are treated as second-rate citizens in their own country by Malaysian logging companies and corrupt politicians.

Customary landowners are forced into signing documents they don’t understand, for the promise of “development” - fresh water, health and education, but these essential services are rarely provided. Instead, their traditional hunting ground is destroyed, waterways polluted, and their way of life ruined forever.

This film is so sad

One of world’s rarest cats caught on video for the first time
Africa is known as a continent of felines: leopards, cheetahs, servals, caracals, and of course the one who wears the crown, the lion. But, few people travel to Africa to see, or have probably ever heard of, the African golden cat. Native to the rainforests of central Africa (from Kenya to Cameroon) with a separate population in West Africa, the African golden cat (Caracal aurata) is considered the continent’s least-studied feline. However, a team of researchers is hoping to change this: using camera traps scientists have taken the first ever public video of the African golden cat. 

Bloody video won’t work! go to the site instead :(


Scientists discover new monkey species in Amazon

Scientists on an expedition backed by WWF-Brazil to one of the last unexplored areas in the Brazilian Mid-west have discovered a new species of monkey.The monkey belonging to the Callicebus genus was found in the northwest of Mato Grosso State and is one of the great results from the studies undertaken during an expedition in December 2010 to the Guariba-Roosevelt Extractive Reserve. 

Scientists discover new monkey species in Amazon

Scientists on an expedition backed by WWF-Brazil to one of the last unexplored areas in the Brazilian Mid-west have discovered a new species of monkey.

The monkey belonging to the Callicebus genus was found in the northwest of Mato Grosso State and is one of the great results from the studies undertaken during an expedition in December 2010 to the Guariba-Roosevelt Extractive Reserve. 

Indigenous protestors embark on 300-mile walk to protest Amazon road in BoliviaIndigenous protesters are targeting a new road in the Bolivian Amazon, reports the BBC. The 190-mile highway under construction in the Bolivian Amazon will pass through the Isiboro-Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park (Tipnis), a 4,600-square mile (11,900 square kilometers) preserve which boasts exceptional levels of rainforest biodiversity, including endangered blue macaws and fresh-water dolphins. Indigenous peoples who live in Tipnis are participating in a month-long protest march against the road, which they claim violates their right to self-governance. 

Indigenous protestors embark on 300-mile walk to protest Amazon road in Bolivia
Indigenous protesters are targeting a new road in the Bolivian Amazon, reports the BBC. The 190-mile highway under construction in the Bolivian Amazon will pass through the Isiboro-Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park (Tipnis), a 4,600-square mile (11,900 square kilometers) preserve which boasts exceptional levels of rainforest biodiversity, including endangered blue macaws and fresh-water dolphins. Indigenous peoples who live in Tipnis are participating in a month-long protest march against the road, which they claim violates their right to self-governance. 


Forest fears as Paraguay’s Chaco region sees land rush


The area of forest described by David Attenborough  as “one of the last great wilderness areas left in the world” is being destroyed to make grazing land for beef bought in Europe and North America. 

Forest fears as Paraguay’s Chaco region sees land rush