“Endangered species to declare?” Europe’s understudied bushmeat trade

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Bushmeat, Chimpanzees, Conservation, Corruption, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Featured, Great Apes, Law, Law Enforcement, Mammals, Pangolins, Primates, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Bushmeat can be purchased in Europe’s capital cities, with the meat of endangered species such as primates and pangolins available. But the scale of the problem is not fully understood as few studies have been undertaken at airports and other points of entry to determine its scope.In a Paris airport study, 134 passengers arriving from Africa were searched over a period of 17 days; nine were found to be carrying a total of 188 kilograms (414 pounds) of bushmeat. A more recent study of bushmeat arriving from Africa at two Swiss airports found that one third of meat seized was from threatened CITES species including pangolins, small carnivores and primates.Based on what evidence there is of the trade, some appears to be organized for profit, with traffickers transporting suitcases full of bushmeat to sell on the black market. Africans who reside in Europe also sometimes bring back bushmeat from Africa as a “taste of home,” potentially contributing to the risk of spreading diseases that may be found in the meat.Researchers are urging that DNA analysis tools be used more widely to learn what species are being transported as bushmeat into Europe, and to bring about more prosecutions of bushmeat traffickers who are dealing in endangered species. But with customs officials already stretched, and bushmeat a low priority, the technology is rarely utilized at present. A pangolin carcass confiscated by Swiss customs. Last year CITES placed a total ban on the trade of all pangolin species as they are in rapid decline in the wild due to their poaching to feed Asian markets. Pangolins are also being trafficked for consumption in Europe. Photo courtesy of the Tengwood OrganizationSwitzerland is home to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. But that doesn’t mean it is immune from wildlife trafficking, or that some of its citizens haven’t developed a taste for bushmeat.“I’ve checked in on flights in Cameroon, which are going straight to Switzerland. I’ve been in line with people in front of me who have had big cool boxes in front of them, and they have checked them in without any problems,” says Karl Amman, who is credited with first exposing the bushmeat trade in the 90s and who continues studying the problem.An estimated 40 tons of bushmeat is flown into Geneva and Zurich airports every year, with a similar story likely unfolding in other European capitals, where poached, wild caught meat — including endangered species — is illegally being traded and served on urban dinner plates. The problem could be serious, and some trafficking could be well organized, but only a few surveys in a couple of countries have been done so far to determine what’s happening at European points of entry.While most of the wildlife trade occurring around the world remains in-country — whether in Africa, Southeast Asia or the Americas — experts are absolutely certain that bushmeat is finding its way to Europe’s biggest cities, where demand for exotic delicacies or a “taste of home” drives a trade which has yet to be quantified. Among the endangered species being served as bushmeat in Europe may be endangered great apes, though no one knows how many and how often.The head of a monkey from the Cercopithecus family, also known as guenons, and an assortment of other bushmeat confiscated in Switzerland. Because all charred meat looks largely the same to customs inspectors, seized bushmeat is often destroyed without identifying what species it came from. As a result, researchers are unsure what percentage of transported bushmeat comes from endangered species. Photo courtesy of the Tengwood OrganizationKnow your bushmeat species To the untrained eye, bushmeat — particularly when chopped up and smoked — is unrecognizable as to its species of origin. Herein lies the key problem regarding customs enforcement, with already harried officials facing a long list of perceived threats ranging from terrorists to illegal immigrants, and likely untrained in bushmeat species identification — no less, spotting the meat of endangered species. As a result, the charred remains being transported into Europe that are sometimes confiscated are often at best categorized as “bushmeat” or “wildmeat,” or more typically just as “products of animal origin” (which includes domestic meat or fish).This lack of data makes the work of researchers like Noëlle Kümpel of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and chair of the U.K. Bushmeat Working Group, all the more difficult. “In the UK, [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] publishes annual reports of confiscations of products of animal origin,” she told mongabay.com. But there is no specific account of bushmeat quantities.Another problem: due to the potential health hazards posed by the inadequate handling of poorly slaughtered meat, confiscated bushmeat is often disposed of or incinerated immediately, without species documentation.That is not to say that bushmeat does not carry health risks, as slaughtered meat has been linked to a wide range of diseases, including HIV, Marberg, and E.coli. It has been suggested that the U.K.’s foot and mouth epidemic at the beginning of the last decade originated with bushmeat imports. It is also suspected that the 2013 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa was spread via the consumption of infected fruit bats.In the wake of these epidemics, there have been fears that illegally imported bushmeat could be a gateway for such viruses to enter European cities. In March 2015, Kümpel and her colleagues released a review entitled “Bushmeat and Ebola: Myth and Reality,” in an attempt to clarify some of the confusion regarding claims that the bushmeat trade was behind the 2013 Ebola outbreak and could cause a global pandemic.Ebola can be active in untreated bushmeat for only up to 3-4 days, the researchers wrote, and given that much of the trafficked meat is smoked, the chances of the virus surviving the journey to Europe or the U.S. is low. “The risk of spread to new areas lies with the movement of infected people, not infected meat.”Still, the potential threat of disease is why bushmeat is rarely stored for analysis — unlike ivory, rhino horn, great ape skulls or other identifiable wildlife parts. The fear of infectious disease being transmitted via bushmeat to humans and/or livestock, and the resulting rapid destruction of trafficked meat, continues to hamper scientific evaluation of European trafficking patterns.Even when bushmeat specimens are preserved for examination, experts can still miss the mark. “We call ourselves bushmeat specialists, and we believe we can recognize it. But many times we were wrong,” Bruno Tenger says of past analyses. He is part of the Tengwood Organization and a member of the team that studied bushmeat entry in Switzerland. DNA analysis is the only sure way to identify the species of origin with certainty.“So really that DNA step is critical,” Tenger’s research partner Kathy Wood adds. This is not, however, a test currently being conducted on bushmeat seizures at international airports and at other points of entry.A blue duiker (Cephalophus monticola). Widely consumed as bushmeat, blue duikers are listed on CITES Appendix II, meaning that trade is controlled. Blue duikers and rodents made up 75 percent of carcasses found in the Paris airport study. Photo by Derek Keats, Flickr Creative CommonsEurope as destination for the bushmeat tradeAlthough authorities have long known that bushmeat is turning up on European plates, one of the first significant insights into the trade occurred only eight years ago in Paris. Researchers from ZSL and Toulouse’s École Nationale Vétérinaire and Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle surveyed bushmeat confiscated at Charles de Gaulle airport on flights arriving from Africa. Over a period of 17 days, a total of 134 passengers were searched; nine were found to be carrying a total of 188 kilograms (414 pounds) of bushmeat.Extrapolating the figures, the researchers say around 270 tons could pass through this one airport every year. Multiplying these totals by all of Europe’s major airports, the scale of trafficking came as a big shock to researchers. “People knew that bushmeat was being traded, but they didn’t know to what extent,” said Anne-Lise Chaber, who led the research.Chaber notes that the team studied Charles de Gaulle in part because of other airports’ unwillingness to open their doors to scrutiny. “I’m sure that if we were to conduct the study in other capitals, we would find a similar trend… most of the big cities are likely to be impacted by the bushmeat trade.”Four years later this hypothesis was given greater credence in Switzerland.Tenger and Wood of the Tengwood Organization studied bushmeat arriving at Geneva and Zurich airports. The 40 tons per year that they believe is being smuggled into the country may not sound like a large number, in comparison to the thousands of tons poached for local and urban consumption in African states, but for the researchers it came as a shock.African brush tailed porcupine corpse. Although considered a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, its widespread consumption is considered a conservation problem. Photo courtesy of the Tengwood OrganizationThe scientists believe their study was only likely green lighted because customs authorities assumed there was nothing, or very little, to find. “They thought they had a very small problem. The surprising things were, first of all, that [bushmeat] was coming in, and in some volume,” Wood told Mongabay.The Swiss study added new detail to the trade: DNA analysis was used to pinpoint exactly which species were being trafficked. One-third of the meat was found to be from threatened CITES species including pangolins, small carnivores and primates. Three species of guenon (African monkeys) were found, all being trafficked from Cameroon.“If it’s coming into Switzerland, which is a tiny country and the seat of CITES, then it’s obviously coming into lots of other places,” Wood concludes.To raise awareness of the bushmeat issue, the Tengwood Organization collaborated with the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary authority to produce a brochure featuring graphic images of charred bushmeat to help customs officials identify trafficked species.According to the Swiss CITES biannual report covering 2013/14, seven confiscations of identified bushmeat weighing a total of 83.3 kilograms (183 pounds) took place over that period, with 8,500 Swiss Francs (US $8,431) in fines handed out. The steepest penalty, totalling 3,000 Swiss Francs was charged for the smuggling of 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of bushmeat, which encompassed a wide range of species such as Near Threatened bay duikers (Cephalophus dorsalis), the African brush tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus), and endangered pangolins.“Switzerland faces the same challenges as any other country: it is not possible to have a control that covers every incoming passenger, and therefore there will always be imports that go undetected,” says Lisa Bradbury, a scientist with the Swiss CITES Management Authority. “The study has not had any direct impact on [confiscations] within Switzerland that we could measure or quantify.”The Swiss study and the brochure have, however, “hopefully” assisted customs officers along with CITES officials to identify which species are CITES listed and so warrant a fine. Non-CITES species trafficked as bushmeat are destroyed with no further action taken, Bradbury reports.Whether great apes are coming into Europe or not as bushmeat in any amount, is difficult to say without significantly more research. But “whether it’s a great ape or other primates, it’s still a real concern; many, many primates are on the IUCN Red List,” says Michael Bruford, a molecular ecologist at Cardiff University. He urges the regular use of inexpensive DNA analysis at points of entry to gather data. Photo of captive chimpanzee by Rhett A. ButlerGreat apes on the menu, or an urban myth?Great ape meat is making the journey across the world’s oceans to Europe too — though the seriousness and scope of this trafficking is largely unknown with little recent data. In a 2006 study 27 gorilla and chimpanzee parts were recorded in bushmeat markets in cities in North America and Western Europe.There are stories told of great ape bushmeat being found in New York and Toronto; and claims that it’s also been sold in Paris, Brussels, and even in the English midlands. But researchers haven’t quantified how much is being trafficked and what proportion of the bushmeat trade it constitutes — if any at all. This lack of knowledge isn’t a reason to feel reassured, but is rather a cause for concern. Research is needed to see whether rumors are the only thing being spread, or whether great ape bushmeat is flowing into European markets.In Africa itself, great apes make up just a sliver of the entire bushmeat trade. But while apes are not usually targeted by hunters, poaching is still cited as one of the main drivers of their decline. Other endangered species are eaten in far greater quantities, but even a few great apes poached can pose great risk to these highly threatened species: Last year the Eastern Lowland gorilla, also known as Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) was classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and it is thought as few as 5,000 remain in the wild. Three other great apes, the Western Lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) are also listed as Critically Endangered; chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus), meanwhile, are listed as Endangered, with their numbers dwindling year on year.During his career, Tom de Meulenaer, Chief of Science at the CITES Secretariat in Geneva, has heard many rumors of ape meat being available in European cities. He says that the scarcity of evidence suggests the trade is likely little more than an urban myth. “We would hear about it,” he asserts. “It’s like with rhinos, you hear about it, and there are confiscations. In the case of primates, it’s extremely rare that any consumption is reported taking place outside of Africa.”However, not all bushmeat researchers agree with this view: Chaber points out that her study was quite small in scale and scope, and just because it did not identify any great ape bushmeat, does not mean the primates are not being trafficked.Tenger notes that, because customs officials are not analyzing seized meat, it is very possible that great apes are among the smuggled bushmeat: “You don’t even know what you have, you could be throwing out a piece of great ape and you wouldn’t even know that it happened.”“[T]here is no serious effort to identify the smoked meat that comes to Europe from central Africa. It can be from any animal… That is the reality,” de Meulenaer concedes.A pangolin about to be turned into bushmeat in Cameroon. One question facing European investigators is how much of the bushmeat trade is being carried out by criminal traffickers to feed a hunger for exotic delicacies, or being done by Africans wanting to serve up a “taste of home” to relatives in Europe. Photo by Eric Freyssinge licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licenseThe need for certaintyIn light of this lack of data, researchers are urging much more DNA sampling. And according to Michael Bruford, a molecular ecologist at Cardiff University, DNA analysis of smoked bushmeat could be pretty easily accomplished at national points of entry.In a 2011 study conducted in Guinea-Bissau, Bruford and a team of researchers used DNA barcoding to identify species from various lumps of charred meat available at local markets. They were looking for evidence of great ape consumption, but found instead that vendors were regularly misidentifying the meat they were selling. They discovered that warthog meat was being sold as baboon — one of the most expensive meats in Guinea-Bissau — and also that Campbell’s mona monkey (Cercopithecus campebelli), an IUCN species of Least Concern, was the second most traded species, contrary to local belief.Bruford says it’s a pity that such a DNA sampling tool isn’t used more widely, especially with international customs, as it’s cheap and simple to use. He believes that its implementation could help to both identify bushmeat species and narrow down the country of origin, potentially facilitating prosecutions, similarly to the Rhino DNA Indexing System used to catch rhino poachers.Despite being available since 2009, he says that wider use of this technology “has never really come onto the radar” of border inspection agents, likely because the identification of bushmeat is far from being a top priority.As to whether great apes would be found coming into Europe or not, Bruford can’t say, but he argues that “whether it’s a great ape or other primates, it’s still a real concern; many, many primates are on the IUCN Red List.”“Taste of home” or organized crime?One important question still largely unanswered is whether the global bushmeat trade is primarily conducted by individuals, or is part of larger underworld criminal trafficking networks.In the 1990s, diplomatic couriers were known to be traveling from Africa to Europe with bags packed with bushmeat, according to de Meulenaer. He believes that these sophisticated trafficking rings no longer exist, but admits the numbers gleaned from the few available studies speak for themselves: “Bushmeat doesn’t come in by itself,” he says. “There must be some regular back and forth. Otherwise you don’t bring in these quantities of meat.”It is known that some Africans traveling between their home states and new residences in Europe, do bring back a little meat, in much the same way that a Frenchman traveling to a new home in New York might stuff a bag with a few wheels of premium French cheese. This practice, known as bringing back a “taste of home” is common among West Africans, where bushmeat has a long tradition.Importantly, this practice doesn’t necessarily involve the trafficking of endangered species; cane rats are commonly consumed in West Africa, and are often found in bushmeat confiscations. In 2013, rodents made up half of 543 bushmeat confiscations in a U.S. study.African brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) being sold for meat in Cameroon’s East Province. This species was detected among confiscated bushmeat coming into Europe. Photo by Anonymous. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2However, other people travel with nothing but bushmeat packed into their bags, suggesting that the meat is being trafficked simply to be sold to market dealers. Smuggling profits can be lucrative. A four kilogram (8.8 pound) monkey can cost around €100 (or around US$105) in Paris, compared to €5 for the same (around US$5.37) meat in Cameroon.Amman states that this trade is “specialized,” and run by people who are aware of where enforcement is strictest. He notes that unlike other wildlife products, such as ivory or rhino horn, which have limited trade routes, “bushmeat is distributed wherever you go.” In Europe this may be wherever there are migrant populations of Africans. To what extent the trade may also extend to gourmet or delicacy markets is unknown, as is the involvement of organized crime in transport.The tip of the icebergWhat is known with some certainty is that Europe’s struggle with an influx of bushmeat is small compared to the far greater crisis unfolding in Africa.“One thing we are all concerned about is the massive impact of bushmeat markets in Central Africa and Western Africa,” de Meulenaer says. “There are estimates that the annual harvest of wild animals is six times what the forest can sustain. Actually, Africa is eating its forests and we are looking at empty forest syndrome — like what we have in Southeast Asia — in a very short time.”“There is very little that is being done” to staunch this escalating crisis, he warns.The European bushmeat market does play an important role, however. It represents a lucrative end point for African traffickers, and it is a place where they can get high prices for increasingly rare African species, making transport of illegal meat worth the potential risks, which appear to be minimal at present due to lax enforcement. This could mean that as African species get rarer still, and fetch a higher price abroad, Europe and the U.S. could turn into burgeoning bushmeat markets.As de Meulenaer points out, the “entire subsistence aspect of the bushmeat trade has changed.” Whereas many remote local people still rely upon bushmeat for their daily protein intake and livelihood, there is also a thriving market for endangered species concentrated in African cities. “It’s become an industry to supply the market, the megacities that are the capitals of these countries.” And it’s only a small step for traders to seek the bigger profits to be made by trafficking across the Mediterranean.In light of this potential threat, researchers urge that important questions be resolved soon regarding Europe’s role in the international bushmeat trade. Regulators and law enforcement need to know: how much meat is being trafficked? Is great ape bushmeat being smuggled along with numerous endangered, and non-endangered, species? If so, in what quantities? And are the amounts of meat being transported increasing?Kümpel urges that research be done to quantify the scale of the problem, then create mechanisms to monitor the trade. The former must happen before enforcement measures can be applied, she says. “At the moment we just have the confiscation data, and it doesn’t single out bushmeat [by species], so we can’t see whether this is an increasing or decreasing problem,” she says.Until the quantity of bushmeat being trafficked into Europe is accurately known, and what species are being traded, the threat to endangered species, including primates, will remain a mystery.You are what you eatExperts say that still another piece in this complex trade puzzle needs to be examined: consumers.Analysis of bushmeat eating habits and trends in African immigrant communities in Europe is essential for developing an understanding of the trade, the health risks involved, and the conservation issues which arise from it. At the moment there is “very little” of this kind of data, or engagement with migrant communities to get it, according to de Meulenaer.When looking at Africa-to-Europe trafficking, it is important not to demonize the trade, Kümpel cautions, noting that headlines denouncing those who eat rats or monkeys are not helpful, they provoke horror in some people because “we are more detached from those traditional lifestyles” in the West. “I have no problem with hunting and consumption and the trade of bushmeat, the concern is where there are conservation and health risks to it,” she concludes.While charismatic species such as elephants and rhinos remain at the forefront of the battle against wildlife trafficking, beyond the ivory tusks, tiger bones and leopard skins may lie a potentially large international trade in exotic meat from threatened species which could be steady, or may be increasing — we just don’t know. It may also turn out to be a traffic predominantly made up by less threatened species, but such a trade may not be sustainable, and potentially devastating in the long term.That’s why enhanced, and on-going, monitoring is needed now at points of entry to discover just how much bushmeat is coming into Europe, what species are being trafficked, and whether trends are going up or down. What we find may be shocking, but no matter what, thorough study will provide vital actionable data. 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 FEEDBACK: 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.last_img read more

UN launches campaign to take out ocean trash

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki UNEP launched a global campaign last month aimed at eliminating two of the chief sources of ocean trash by 2022: microplastics frequently used in cosmetics and single-use plastic products like shopping bags.Ten different countries had already joined the campaign at the time of its launch, according to UNEP. Indonesia, for instance, pledged to reduce marine litter by 70 percent by 2025, while Uruguay announced a tax on single-use plastic bags slated to take effect later this year.It’s estimated that more than 600 marine species are impacted by marine litter in the oceans, and that 15 percent of those species that are harmed by ingesting or becoming entangled in ocean trash are already endangered. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a global campaign last month aimed at eliminating two of the chief sources of ocean trash by 2022: microplastics frequently used in cosmetics and single-use plastic products like shopping bags.According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released last year, more than eight million metric tons of plastic finds its way into the oceans annually, which is roughly equivalent to dumping an entire garbage truck of plastic into the oceans every minute. If we continue with business as usual, the report found, the amount of plastic waste finding its way into Earth’s oceans could jump to two garbage trucks per minute by 2030, and four per minute by 2050 — at which point the plastic in our oceans would weigh more than all fish combined and some 99 percent of seabirds will have ingested some plastic trash they found bobbing in the ocean.UNEP launched its Clean Seas campaign to try and reverse that trend by pushing governments to adopt policies that reduce consumption of plastic products, urging companies to minimize their use of plastic packaging, and working to change the consumer habits that lead to so much plastic being dumped into our seas.It’s not just seabirds’ health at stake. More than 600 marine wildlife species are impacted by litter in the oceans, per UNEP. Fifteen percent of those species that are harmed by ingesting or becoming entangled in ocean trash are already endangered.#DYK marine litter harms over 600 marine species? It’s time to commit to action for #CleanSeas & protect them: https://t.co/hrtZ7oWWU3 pic.twitter.com/o5dtJCaU4i— UN Environment (@UNEP) February 24, 2017Ten different countries had already joined the campaign at the time of its launch, UNEP said. Indonesia, for instance, pledged to reduce marine litter by 70 percent by 2025, while Uruguay announced a tax on single-use plastic bags slated to take effect later this year. Costa Rica, for its part, said it planned to reduce single-use plastic through better waste management and education.“Costa Rica recognizes the risks and damage caused by the effects of single-use plastic and non-recoverable micro plastics on the marine environment,” Edgar Gutiérrez-Espeleta, the country’s Minister of Environment and Energy, said in a statement. “We strongly favour the engagement of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, private sector and all citizens to support national and global efforts. Only through a real and active engagement of all of us, with the help of dynamic partnerships, we will be able to effectively combat marine litter.”The other countries already onboard with the Clean Seas campaign include Belgium, France, Grenada, Norway, Panama, Saint Lucia, and Sierra Leone.Some private sector actors have also committed to tackling the issue by addressing the contribution made by their supply chains. The most prominent example is DELL Computers, which has created a commercial-scale program to use plastic removed from the sea near Haiti in its product packaging. “DELL is committed to putting technology and expertise to work for a plastic-free ocean,” DELL Vice President for Global Operations Piyush Bhargava said in a statement. “Our new supply chain brings us one step closer to UN Environment’s vision of Clean Seas by proving that recycled ocean plastic can be commercially re-used.”Tiny particles of plastic are washed down the drain when we wash clothing made from synthetic materials: https://t.co/OI0F2tdaUL #CleanSeas pic.twitter.com/IQuEmPwdkK— UN Environment (@UNEP) March 29, 2017Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson is one of several celebrities pledging their support for the Clean Seas campaign. Johnson said he will encourage venues he’s playing as part of a 2017 summer tour to reduce single-use plastics, and he’s also promoting a new documentary called The Smog of the Sea, which looks at the impacts of the more than 50 trillion microplastic particles currently polluting our oceans.As the campaign progresses, UNEP plans to continue to highlight initiatives undertaken by countries and businesses to rein in the rate at which our plastic pollution is entering the world’s oceans. There have already been a number of ambitious measures promoted by the campaign since its launch, such as the ban on single-use plastic bags announced by the governments of Kenya and Tunisia, and the prohibition on the use of plastic microbeads in all cosmetics and personal care items announced by the environment minister of New Zealand.“It is past time that we tackle the plastic problem that blights our oceans,” UNEP head Erik Solheim said in a statement. “Plastic pollution is surfing onto Indonesian beaches, settling onto the ocean floor at the North Pole, and rising through the food chain onto our dinner tables. We’ve stood by too long as the problem has gotten worse. It must stop.”Erik Solheim, head of UNEP, participates in the largest beach clean-up in history at Versova Beach Clean-Up in Mumbai, India. (C) RedBox Filmers.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: 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. Activism, Conservation, Environment, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Ocean Crisis, Oceans, Pollution center_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

Peru lost more than 1 million hectares of Amazon forest over a period of 15 years

first_imgArticle published by Genevieve Belmaker 1.8 million hectares of Amazonian forests were lost between 2001 and 2015 with peaks of loss occurring in 2005, 2009 and 2014.The main causes of forest loss are deforestation and soil degradation, small and medium scale agriculture, large-scale agriculture, pasture for livestock, gold mining, coca cultivation and road construction, according to a MAAP report.Deforestation hotspots are concentrated in Peru’s central Amazon, in Huánuco and Ucayali, but there are also other important hotspots located in Madre de Dios and San Martín, according to a MAAP. Technology has become a headache for those who indiscriminately clear forest in the Peruvian Amazon. Until a few years ago, it was thought that deforesting an area of primary forest in a secluded, remote area could not be discovered by authorities or experts. Today the use of high-resolution satellite images confirms that it is possible to detect in real time where forests are being cleared. You can even determine the main drivers. The Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), through more than 50 reports published between April 2015 and November 2016, has contributed to the use of the technology and updated the data of the historical record of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. The total figure is enough to send a cold chill down the spine: 1.8 million hectares of Amazonian forests were lost between 2001 and 2015.Peaks of loss occurred in 2005, 2009 and 2014. While official figures show a decline in deforestation levels, a preliminary estimate for 2016 by MAAP indicates that the problem has not changed much compared to 2014, the year in which one of the highest levels of forest loss was recorded —more than 177,000 hectares.In February, MAAP presented a second report called Synthesis #2 “Patterns and drivers of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon,” in which it outlined six of the main causes of forest loss: deforestation and soil degradation, small and medium-scale agriculture, large-scale agriculture, pasture for livestock, gold mining, coca cultivation and road construction.Map showing the main causes of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. Data: MAAP, SERNANPSmall-scale agriculture, which develops in areas with less than 5 hectares, is responsible for 80 percent of the deforestation recorded in the Peruvian Amazon, between 2001 and 2015. Meanwhile, medium-scale agriculture can occupy between 5 and 50 hectares and represents 16 percent. According to Matt Finer, MAAP’s forestry researcher, “The trend for deforestation remains problematic; we are at an interesting time when deforestation dropped in 2015 compared to 2014, it’s good news, but the bad news is that this level is still very high, the second highest in the historical record.”Data: PNCB/MINAM, UMD/GLAD. *Estimation based on GLAD alertsAccording to Finer, controlling small and medium-sized agriculture will be a challenge for the government. Some of the cases that have been detected are small and medium-scale oil palm plantations in Huánuco, Ucayali and Loreto; cacao crops east of Madre de Dios; and the fields of papaya, corn and rice along the Interoceanic Highway, also in Madre de Dios.“The vast majority (of deforestation) is of small and medium scale, which is difficult to control. It is the first time we understand that this is the pattern and I think it will take time to develop policies to tackle it. Usually it is easier to focus on large-scale deforestation because there is a company behind and we can focus on them,” Finer continued. He added that this does not mean that large-scale agriculture should be overlooked. It should not be forgotten that in 2013, according to reports, new large-scale oil palm plantations were detected, including those managed by the controversial Group Melka.The technology that MAAP uses and that has allowed to detect in real time, in recent months, the progress of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon, is part of a methodology that combines several tools. On one side is the assessment of GLAD Early Forest Loss Alerts (Landsat images taken with 30 meters resolution) and on the other side the analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery (Planet and Digital Globe), both sources of information have helped establish patterns, define the main drivers of deforestation, and look at the “hotspots” where deforestation is occurring.HotspotsTo date, according to Synthesis #2 presented by MAAP, eight deforestation hotspots have been identified in the Peruvian Amazon. It is known, for example, that the areas of greatest intensity are concentrated in the central Amazon, in Huánuco and Ucayali, but there are also other important hotspots located in Madre de Dios and San Martín.The map below shows how the causes of deforestation can change over the years. In the case of the central Amazon, where the highest intensity hotspots (A and B) are located, it can be seen (zone A on the map) that two large-scale oil palm projects were identified as main drivers of deforestation in the northwest of the Ucayali region between 2012 and 2014. This trend varied between 2015 and 2016, years in which the greatest intensity of deforestation ran westward, where cattle grazing and small-scale oil palm became the main threat.Map of hotspots. Data: PNCB/MINAM, GLAD/UMD.In the case of the Huánuco region (zone B on the map), cattle ranching was the main cause of deforestation in both periods of time.Deforestation in protected natural areasAccording to Finer, one of the main advantages of using technology to monitor deforestation lies in the possibility of controlling protected natural areas.“When we detect illegal deforestation, gold mining within a protected area for example, we can report it to the authorities,” he said. “They have the ability to act.” He explained that it is the easiest way to detect and react to an illegal activity. “It is clear that deforestation is illegal and there is a government entity that knows that it is their responsibility to intervene. We have seen it in Amarakaeri and Tambopata.”In the first case, MAAP monitors the construction of a controversial road that would cross the buffer zone of the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and the Manu National Park. And in the second, in the Tambopata National Reserve, it follows the steps of the illegal miners and denounces its activities with the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP).Illegal mining activity alters the course of the Malinowski River, Tambopata National Reserve. Data: Planet Labs, Digital Globe (Nextview)What to do with the information?Both MAAP and the Ministry of the Environment’s (MINAM) National Forest Conservation Program —which preserves the historical records of deforestation and receives and analyzes GLAD Alerts—generates relevant information every day, but the question is what to do with it?According to Finer, the problem of forest loss remains latent, as well as the question of “what to do with the deforestation that is everywhere and in small patches?” He said that this question must be resolved by the Peruvian government and proposes to disseminate a message that warns violators that “with technology there are eyes watching… we can see. In five years this can make a big difference.”Rolando Vivanco, an official of the National Forest Conservation Program, argued that the information already exists and in large quantities, what is needed now is to train regional governments and especially the Special Attorney for Environmental Matters (FEMA) in the use of deforestation monitoring tools.“Sernanp can only act legally within protected natural areas, Serfor can only act within its concessions or properties, but FEMA can act everywhere, the prosecution can enter any area. They are the ones who have to empower themselves with the tool,” Vivanco said.Banner photo courtesy of EIAThis story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on February 17, 2017.FEEDBACK: 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. Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Rainforest, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Forests center_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

Windies eye fresh start against confident England

first_img Holder said the series against England would mark a reset for West Indies, as the side attempted to put the recent disappointments behind them, especially in the wake of the Champions Trophy debacle. And with the 2019 World Cup looming in the distance, the 25-year-old all-rounder said his unit was aware of the need to string together strong performances, but stressed that the process began with a productive outing against the English. “We’re not in the Champions Trophy [but] it gives us more time to reflect, gives us more time to get things in order in moving forward and then we look obviously towards the World Cup,” he explained. Holder put the Tri-Nations struggles down to inexperience and said this could be only addressed by continuing to play together a unit. “I think one of the major factors which hurt us probably was the inexperience, and it’s just a situation where the more cricket we play together, I think the better we become.” What West Indies lack in experience, they will make up for in talent with the likes of Evin Lewis, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, Alzarri Joseph all with less than 10 ODIs included in the 13-man squad. SQUADS: WEST INDIES: Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope (wkp), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell. ENGLAND: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wkp), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes. Reset from disappointment ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC: West Indies will attempt to turn the page on their recent ordinary form and make a bright start to their first series of the year, when they take on favourites England in the first One-Day International (ODI) of a three-match tour here today. The Caribbean side enter the contest at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium with a pretty dismal record in recent months, with just a single win in their last seven outings and four in 14 ODIs last year. Not surprisingly, they lie ninth in the ICC one-day rankings, a factor that caused them to miss out for the first time on qualification for this year’s Champions Trophy. In contrast, England are ranked fifth, and arrive in the Caribbean with just four defeats in their last 16 outings. They will also be seeking to reinforce their recent dominance over West Indies, which has seen them win every bilateral series over the last 10 years. West Indies captain Jason Holder told reporters yesterday that while there was a gap between the two teams, his side would be focused on executing and making consistent steps forward as they sought to rebuild. “They are ranked higher than us. We’ve obviously got some way to go in terms of catching up and going up in the rankings,” Holder pointed out. “We just want to tick off our process boxes in terms of what we set out to achieve as a group. Our main thing is to be a lot more consistent than we have been in the past, and I think once we do that, we could be moving in the right direction.”last_img read more

‘Liberia Ready for Effective Electricity Supply’

first_imgThe executive director of the World Bank Africa Group One, Mr. Louis Rene Peter Larose, says he is taking the message, after his visit to Liberia, to inform the international community that the country is ready for full energy capacity.Speaking to journalists after visiting the Liberia Electricity Corporation’s Bushrod Island office and a tour of the Mount Coffee Hydro in White Plains yesterday, he said Liberia deserves full support to generate electricity supply to build the country’s economy.“Energy is the lifeblood of every economy and with what I have observed so far, I’m convinced that Liberia should be helped by the international community to regain its pre-war status of 200 megawats,” he said.Mr. Larose, who is responsible for 21 African countries, including Liberia, admitted that Africa suffers from energy deficit, which contributes to the economic downturn, and as a result increases poverty in the country.Accompanied by Mr. Henry G. R. Kerali, Country Director for Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, Mr. Larose said, “I’m taking the message to appeal to the international community to provide the support Liberia needs to regain its pre-war energy capacity to get the country running again.“One of the reasons I am in Liberia is to find out Liberia’s energy challenges and what can the World Bank do to provide support for the economy to reduce poverty.” He said when Liberia enjoys full energy capacity it will reduce poverty and encourage economic prosperity.Among the 21 countries that Mr. Larose is responsible for, others include Swaziland, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gambia, Namibia, Rwanda, Malawi and Somalia.Country Director Kerali said he is impressed with development in the energy sector, after the tour and a power-point presentation by a member of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) at Mount Coffee Hydro station. He hoped that by the end of next year Liberians would enjoy full energy capacity.LEC officials informed the Daily Observer that it presently operates below 28 megawatts but that by next month, September, an additional 10 megawatts will be in operation through the Japanese Government.“And by mid-December this year, there will be additional 22 megawatts to make it a total of 60 megawatts to boost the country’s energy capacity,” an LEC official said.He said the LEC is aiming at a total of 88 megawatts, an increase of 24 megawatts over pre-war status. The World Bank Group is funding 18 communities to benefit more than 8,000 consumers and additional 5,000 at the LEC sub-station in Kakata, Margibi County, to include areas in Weala.It is also funding 10 megawatts and the Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Light Fuel Oil (LFO) storage facilities at the LEC Bushrod Island station.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Did Bility Pay US$23K against Tax Fraud?

first_imgMusa Bility accusing Tasx Court of being behind his missing US$23,000 as tax obligation payment -Supreme Court to Probe Case A legal contention as to whether or not Srimex, an oil and gas company owned by Musa Bility, actually made a payment of US$23,000 against its tax fraud/obligation of US$300,130.68 and L$37,768,444.77 is to shortly be investigated by the Supreme Court.The Supreme Court’s probe arises from Bility’s argument that he made a payment of US$23,000 of the US$117, 710 that should have reduced his tax obligation to US$94,710. But the alleged US$23,000 payment did not reflect on his debt records at the Tax Court.Bility has made several payments through the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), including a check dated June 17, 2017, in the amount of US$28,590 that was paid on June 20, 2017, excluding the US$23,000.Bility had even raised serious concern before the Supreme Court with regards to Judge Chesson’s alleged increment of his tax obligation from US$94,710 to US$300,130.68 and L$37,768,444.77 which the Supreme Court will also look into.Judge Mozart Chesson refutes Bility’s US$23,000 payment claimsThough Chesson had consistently refused to speak to the Daily Observer on the matter of Bility’s alleged US$23,000 payment, some of his staffers, who want to remain anonymous, admitted that Bility’s then lead lawyer, Cllr. Theophilus Gould, in 2016 presented the check of US$23,000 to the court.Later it was reported that Chesson returned the check to Gould, who is now deceased, with a reservation that he should encash it (check) and subsequently bring the cash to the court because the court was interested in the cash and not in the check.“Since the check was given to Gould nothing has been heard about it. So, how Bility expects the court to record that US$23,000 as some of the payments he had made against the judgment debt,” the court staffer(name withheld) wondered.Another staff said,“We are just waiting for the Supreme Court to start the investigation so that we can see the truthfulness about Bility’s US$23,000 payment.”In August 2012, Judge Eva Mappy Morgan held Srimex liable for evading government taxes to the tune of US$190,800 and subsequently ordered the company’s management to make an immediate payment of 25 percent, which is US$47,700, within 24 hours of her ruling.Judge Morgan further threatened to shut down the company if it refused to comply with her decision at that time. Her decision came immediately after Srimex’s legal team, headed by Cllr. Gould, admitted that their client evaded government taxes.After Gould admitted that his client had not paid taxes for some years, he hurriedly proceeded to the Supreme Court, pleading with then Chamber Justice Kabineh Ja’neh to stop Judge Morgan from enforcing her decision, which Justice Ja’neh accepted.Judge Morgan had not enforced her ruling when, in early 2013, she was reassigned by the Full Bench of the Supreme Court to head the Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice.In line with his predecessor’s decision, Judge Chesson after several attempts to persuade Bility to pay his due taxes failed, he (Chesson) also issued an order to enforce his judgment by seizing Bility’s properties, to auction them to raise the money.Judge Chesson’s action came after five years of negotiating with Bility, to see the reason to settle his tax evasion obligation, which Bility refused to do, arguing that he made a payment of US$23,000 that was not recorded by the court.Chesson’s ruling against Bility, dated October 23, 2017, declared Bility liable to pay the government US$396,220.58 which includes a monthly compounded interest of US$205,420.68 for 63 months at an interest of 14% as of July 2012 plus the initial tax judgment amount of US$190,800. Enforcement of that ruling has also been stalled by the Supreme Court based on Bility’s argument that it was illegal.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Amazon Warriors mentor differently abled students

first_imgBy Ashraf DabieJust hours after the Guyana Amazon Warriors swept their way to the first home victory in this year’s CPL tournament, the local team on Monday morning took on the role of ‘Big Brothers’ to a batch of students attached to the Diamond Special Needs School.A group of young sport fanatics currently enrolled at the Diamond Special Needs School were afforded the opportunity of their lifetime as they met with, and were mentored by, players of the Guyana Amazon Warriors cricket team.Fresh off their victory following a record breaking win against the Barbados Tridents at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday, the local squad kicked off their week by sharing lights moments with students who are living with various forms of disabilities.The Guyana Amazon Warriors while meeting with students of the Diamond Special Needs School on MondayThe event, hosted at the Georgetown Marriott on Monday, was the result of a partnership between Digicel and the CPL organisation. Vidya Sanichara, Digicel’s Communications Manager, expressed delight at being part of the Big Brother programme, and even outlined the objectives of this collaborative initiative.She noted that following the tiresome efforts to secure a win within the past few days, “We are giving them (the players) the opportunity to meet some of the real hearts of Guyana, so that’s why we are doing this activity; to bring the players and Digicel a little closer to the people….”Moreover, she indicated that given some of the students have never been exposed to the true wonders of the game, Digicel is happy to bring the CPL experience to the students.On that note, the Digicel spokesperson relayed, “The guys won yesterday (Sunday), we know that. But today they are winning even bigger, because they are winning the hearts of the kids here from the Diamond Special Needs School.”Adding to that, Sanichara pointed out that this is not the first time an event of such nature was being executed, as it is customary for Digicel to bring the sport festivities to children within the various CPL destinations throughout the Region.Sharing in the excitement of participating in the meet-and-greet between the students and international cricketers was West Indian all-rounder Rayad Emrit, who is currently enlisted on the Amazon Warriors squad.Emrit relayed the team’s experience in Guyana thus far, pin pointing their time with the children as one of their highlights.“Being in Guyana is always a good experience for us. The people in Guyana always treat us well. It’s always a pleasure to be there,” the Trinidadian conveyed.Zooming in on the experience of sharing their morning with the students, the Amazon Warrior continued, “It’s always good to share our knowledge with the kids. Having played last night and coming out with a victory, the guys are excited to be here with the kids.”Meanwhile, conveying her gratitude to both Digicel and the Amazon Warriors for taking the time out of their schedule to socialise with the students was Tracey Michael, a teacher attached the Diamond Special Needs School.Michael relayed that for many of the students, meeting the local and international cricket stars is a dream come true.“I think they find this is a great opportunity to get to meet the Warriors, because some of them are really interested in cricket,” stated the teacher.The Diamond Special Needs School is an educational institution that currently caters for 58 students of varying disabilities.The school has, over the years, seen the support of Digicel, with CPL now coming on board to add to their work of developing the young minds.However, this is the second time the Guyana Amazon Warriors have taken the cricket cheer to the lesser fortunate Guyanese youth as a part of their home tour in this year’s CPL tournament.last_img read more

Huskies snap losing streak as offense comes to play

first_imgSaturday’s game was a busy one for both goaltenders, who each faced close to 40 shots on the evening.Following the game, Huskies head coach Gary Alexander said despite the win, he still feels his team needs to perform better in the third period.“We’ve jumped up into the lead and lost games in the third period, just because we lose our focus. These teams aren’t beating us, we’re beating ourselves. And the same thing tonight, we wondered right back into that poor discipline in the third period and luckily we came out ahead tonight.”Alexander added he was happy with the effort his team put out for the majority of the game, and said he was glad the team was able to get the win.Advertisement The game began just as a home team would want it to, by scoring first. At 6:22 of the first, a Huskies power-play allowed some skating room for Robbie Sidhu, who passed the put to a streaking Taylor Greatrex entering the Blades zone with speed, making a nice move around a defender and shooting low blocker for the 1-0 lead.The lead was doubled as the period hit the 16:25 marker when Sidhu once again helped his team on the scoreboard, this time putting the puck past Blades goalie Emile Kappo on a nice deke to his backhand after undressing the blades defense on a great solo effort.With the Huskies leading 2-0, an entertaining second produced four goals for the home team, while the opposing Blades also managed to get on the scoreboard, scoring twice in the middle frame.- Advertisement -After Beaverlodge got on the scoreboard at 3:32 of the second, cutting the Huskies lead in half 2-1, Cody Hildebrand scored another power-play goal for Fort St. John, once again providing a two goal lead 3-1.Another Beaverlodge goal at 6:33 once again brought the Blades within one, but an offensive explosion produced a significant cushion for the Huskies. Hildebrand got the ball rolling at 10:52 by scoring his second of the period, followed by a power-play goal from Daylen Pearson, and capped off by Cayle Bell, scoring in a nice breakaway move, wrapping up the second with the Huskies leading 6-2.Third periods haven’t been the kindest to the Fort St. John Huskies as of late, and while the Blades were able to score three goals on Ty Gullickson in the third, the team’s solid lead, combined with another two third period goals scored by the Huskies, was enough to secure the win on home ice 8-5.Advertisement The Huskies will only have a few days off, and then it’s right back to business, as the team hits the road for a rare Wednesday evening game, taking place November 14, when they travel to Sexsmith to take on the Vipers.last_img read more

Looking forward to 2016 – Irene Lanzinger

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The President of the BC Federation of Labour sees poverty as one of the province’s key concerns to be addressed in 2016, and Irene Lanzinger is holding firm in her belief that a $15 an hour minimum wage is the best way to start doing it.She believes another key B.C. concern is what she calls the ‘astronomical cost of child care.’- Advertisement –last_img

Watch: Five FA Cup crackers, starring Eden Hazard

first_imgCheck out this video of the best ever goals scored in the sixth round of the FA Cup, including a cracker from Chelsea star Eden Hazard and THAT strike against Barnsley from Tottenham legend David Ginola.last_img