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FR Indigenous peoples and local communities key in combatting illegal wildlife trade

GFIS - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 09:55

FR Involving and supporting Indigenous peoples and local communities in the fight against wildlife trafficking is essential, yet often overlooked, writes Rosie Cooney, Chair of IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, following a meeting held in Cameroon to address the issue.

On 19 January, the IUCN Oceania Regional Office gathered in Pacific Harbour, Suva, for its annual staff retreat.  After two days of reflection and renewal, a small get-together was organised for staff and families. Not only was it a time to remind staff on the importance of maintaining focus on quality and efficiency in our work practise, but also the importance of IUCN’s role in the Oceania region was reiterated. The region needs IUCN’s diverse and powerful Union, now more than ever. 

Photo: Sereana Narayan

FR  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo
consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

White rhinos near Lake Nakuru, Kenya - Globally, poaching and associated illegal wildlife trade is devastating populations of iconic wildlife species such as rhinos and elephants, as well as a host of lesser-known ones. Across West and Central Africa, wildlife crime is impacting elephants, timber, great apes, pangolins, birds, reptiles and medicinal plants.

However, despite high-level recognition of the problem, the emphasis in solutions to date has been largely on strengthening law enforcement efforts and reducing consumer demand for illicitly sourced wildlife commodities. Considerably less emphasis has been placed on the role of the Indigenous peoples and local communities who live with wildlife.

Yet illegal wildlife trade has an enormous impact on such people, who are affected by insecurity and the depletion of important livelihood and economic assets, while often being excluded from the benefits of conservation. They can also be impacted by heavy-handed, militarised responses to wildlife crime that frequently make little distinction between the illegal activities driven by large-scale profits – crimes of greed – versus those driven by poverty – crimes of need.

Topic: Human-wildlife conflictFood securityWater

FR How citizen science can help science and monitor data cold spots 2

GFIS - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 09:53

FR Effective conservation of the oceans relies largely on long-term monitoring of key species and habitats over wide geographical areas. This is notoriously difficult due to the high cost of such programs. As a consequence, we find ourselves with data ‘cold-spots’, areas for which we have little or no information. Citizen science, aka the involvement of volunteers or non-specialised people in science, is an increasingly popular way of conducting monitoring of species and ecosystems over a large geographical scale and time periods, therefore reducing the number of cold-spots.

Photo: Participants are discussing at the consultation workshop © IUCN Myanmar

Photo: The status and distribution of freshwater fish endemic to the Mediterranean basin (2006)

FR In the Red Sea, citizen science is helping scientists collect information on endangered marine turtles.

This approach is particularly useful in countries and areas for which limited human and economic resources are available for conservation.

Aware of the potential of citizen science, over the last few years several institutions in the Mediterranean launched projects such as MedMISInfoMedusaPERSEUS Marine LitterWatchMEDOBS-SUBProject Thalassa or the Alboran Geoportal, to name but a few. These projects aim to collect important information on invasive species, jellyfish blooms, endangered species, human impact and marine spatial planning, relying on the collaboration and support of a network of concerned citizens.

Some on-going marine citizen science projects around the world. © freepik from Faticon

While the value and potential of citizen participation in data collection is well understood, it is also important to consider some of the challenges that collaborative science projects present, including how to keep people interested and informed about project progress, how to assess data quality, or how to best collect data.

Using the above mentioned projects as starting point for discussion, the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) in cooperation with the Spanish IUCN National Committee and some experts from the Species Survival Commission will host an event during the upcoming World Conservation Congress to talk about the potential of citizen science to obtain high-quality data from understudied regions and to improve our knowledge of marine species and ecosystems.

For more information on this event, please see our event page.

Do you know of more citizen science projects? Please let us know by filing in our online survey available here.

Contact Lourdes Lazaro from the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation or Agnese Mancini from IUCN’s Species Survival Commission Marine Turtle Specialist Group for further information.

Topic: BiodiversityOceans

Budget undercuts Trump focus on mental health, school safety

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 06:43

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is calling for a focus on mental health and school safety in response to shootings like the one that took 17 lives in Florida, but his budget would cut funding in both areas.

Drinking water protected through utility rate program

GFIS - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 06:35

When an entire city relies on drinking water from one reservoir, that resource should be actively protected.

State of America’s Forests adds interactive content to website

GFIS - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 06:22

Building on the successful launch of State of America’s Forests in December of 2017, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities released three new packets of content on the interactive website, www.usaforests.org.

The War on the West, Part II

GFIS - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 04:21

The bottom line here is that the War on the West will continue in the halls of Congress for as long as we allow it - and for as long as we allow it to fester, the West’s publicly treasured National Forests will continue to die and burn to the ground.

'Dreamers' left in limbo as Senate rejects immigration bills

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 04:01

The Senate left hundreds of thousands of "Dreamer" immigrants in limbo Thursday, rejecting rival plans that would have spared them from deportation and strengthened the nation's border security. ...

DOJ’s Bruce Ohr hid wife’s Fusion GPS payments from ethics officials: Report

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 02:50

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton on the report that demoted Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr didn’t document his wife’s Fusion GPS payments on ethics forms.

Smith & Wesson Made the Assault Rifle Used in Florida School Massacre

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 02:43

Seventeen were killed and 14 injured in the attack.

These are the lives lost in the Florida high school shooting

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 02:43

When a gunman opened fire with an AR-15 at a large high school in south Florida, the 17 dead included students and school workers, young and old. Here is a look at the 17 confirmed dead by authorities ...

Trump cites mental health _ not guns _ in speech on shooting

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 01:32

Declaring the nation united and grieving with "one heavy heart," President Donald Trump promised Thursday to tackle school safety and "the difficult issue of mental health" in response ...

Bannon interviewed in Mueller's Russia investigation

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 16/02/2018 - 00:07

Steve Bannon, the combative former chief strategist for President Donald Trump, was interrogated for 20 hours over two days this week as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, according ...

Wynn Resorts' $5 billion problem

Forest Products IIII - Do, 15/02/2018 - 23:18

Japanese pachinko king Kazuo Okada's lawsuit could add to the company's woes.

ForestGEO welcomes a new postdoc at SCBI!

GFIS - Do, 15/02/2018 - 22:28

We are pleased to welcome a new postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Norbert (Nobby) Kunert, who will be working on a new ForestGEO project at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI)!
Dr. Norbert Kunert
Nobby’s project will focus on plant-water relations and tropical forest function measuring leaf hydraulic and functional traits in species-rich tropical forests. Specifically, he will be conducting fieldwork in the forest dynamics sites at Barro Colorado (BCI) in Panama and at the Lambir/Pasohsites in Malaysia. The aim is to identify key hydraulic, physiological, anatomical, and functional traits and to parameterize these traits for the use of tree growth models in response to climate change. Nobby will combine the collected data with forest plot census data to test the extent that trait variation is driving tree growth as well as how these traits can predict drought responses in growth and mortality. The specific research questions that he will be addressing are:
  • Can hydraulic, physiological, anatomical and functional traits be combined to predict growth and mortality?
  • Can this relationship be used to predict climate sensitivity, drought vulnerability, and habitat filtering?
  • How does tree size affect hydraulically traits? 
Nobby will be based at SCBI in the Forest Ecosystems and Climate Lab with staff scientist Kristina Anderson-Teixeira. Nobby comes to ForestGEO after his time as associate lecturer of tropical forest ecology at the University of Freiburg in Germany. He has previously worked as a post-doc in Brazil and Panama and received his PhD in Forest Science and Wood Ecology at the University of Göttingen. Please join us in welcoming Nobby to ForestGEO!  Publications by Dr. Norbert KunertGoogle Scholar - ResearchGate - Publons

Shooting renews questions about preventing school carnage

Forest Products IIII - Do, 15/02/2018 - 22:25

Families in a South Florida suburb grieved for their slain children Thursday after one of the nation's deadliest school shootings, while students, Florida's governor and President Donald Trump asked: How ...

Enbridge to double 2018 asset sales, targets about C$8 bln -sources

Forest Products IIII - Do, 15/02/2018 - 22:21

NEW YORK/TORONTO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc , Canada's biggest pipeline operator, plans to accelerate its divestment program by selling assets valued at about C$8 billion ($6.4 billion) in 2018, more than twice its initial sale target, according to people familiar with the situation. Under pressure from both investors and rating agencies, the Calgary, Alberta-based firm wants to ramp up the sale of non-core assets from the previous C$3 billion it forecast in November, the people said on condition of anonymity because the process is private. Enbridge is trying to take advantage of favorable selling conditions to rid itself of unwanted units and pay down its C$61.4 billion long-term debt, the people said.

Here is a map of all the shootings on school grounds since 2013

Forest Products IIII - Do, 15/02/2018 - 22:20

The tragedy in Florida is just the latest in a series of hundreds of events over the last five years. Here are details of the other school shootings.

President will not support the massive cash grab on the m...

Forest Products IIII - Do, 15/02/2018 - 22:20

Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform president & founder, discusses whether President Trump would impose a higher gas tax.

Maduro Blames Colombia for Response to Venezuela Refugee Crisis

Forest Products IIII - Do, 15/02/2018 - 21:43

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rebuked his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, for tightening controls along the South American nations’ shared border amid a growing refugee crisis.


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by Dr. Radut