RSPO accused of letting palm oil firm proceed with dodgy audits in Papua

first_imgActivism, Certification, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Governance, Land Grabbing, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rspo The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is the world’s largest association for ethical production of the commodity, found in everything from chocolate to makeup and laundry detergent.The RSPO’s credibility rests on the quality of its system for ensuring its member companies actually adhere to its standards.Two years after the RSPO finally acknowledged deficiencies in its certification system, observers say the organization has done little to follow up on its commitment to address the issue. The world’s flagship certification body for the palm oil sector is undermining its own standards for plantation developments, according to a group of leading environmental and indigenous rights NGOs, who say the value of the organization is increasingly in question.Greenpeace, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Pusaka and the Forest Peoples Programme have criticized the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for allowing a member to post public notification of new planting plans, despite knowing it hadn’t met the required standards set by the body.New Planting Procedure (NPP) documents submitted by PT Nabire Baru, a subsidiary of Singapore-based palm oil company Goodhope Asia Holdings, for plantation development in West Papua are “incomplete, substandard, insufficient, and in places factually untrue,” the coalition say.Among issues reportedly highlighted by the NPP documents are extensive illegal development and ongoing non-compliance with RSPO rules.The issues highlight “failings by the certification body BSI which approved sub-standard NPP documents for submission to the RSPO, and the subsequent failings of the RSPO Secretariat to prevent the publication of the NPP notification on its website,” the NGOs said in a recent letter to the RSPO’s Board of Governors.Goodhope, an arm of Sri Lanka’s Carson Cumberbatch, has already been linked to environmental and human rights abuses in Indonesia, including complaints last year that Nabire Baru grabbed land from an indigenous community in Papua.The NGOs say the NPP submission sheds light on “fundamental failings” within an organization created to promote sustainability in an industry dogged by such issues, and are calling for “robust” action against the Secretariat, which handles the day-to-day running of the RSPO.A worker on an oil palm plantation on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra. As the industry runs out of land in the country’s western and central regions, it is increasingly expanding eastward into Papua. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for MongabayThe RSPO confirmed to Mongabay that its Secretariat commissioned an independent review of Nabire Baru’s NPP submission before it was published. The review found that its High Conservation Value assessment, required under RSPO rules, was “unsatisfactory” and should be re-done. The assessment was carried out by a team of Bogor Agricultural University lecturers led by Nyoto Santoso, whose RSPO audits have been repeatedly exposed as filled with misleading claims.However, despite its findings, the RSPO said it agreed to requests from Nabire Baru to post the NPP documents on its website.“This is in the right of the company,” said RSPO communications chief Stefano Savi.He added that the notification allows stakeholders to provide comments for 30 days after its publication, which in turn “helps the RSPO to gain more information and better understand the situation on the ground.”An oil palm plantation in Sumatra. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for MongabayGreenpeace forests campaigner Richard George urged the RSPO’s Board of Governors to “investigate, publish its secret dossier on Goodhope and sanction the Secretariat.”However, Savi said it was not possible to release the review due to “current procedure.”He maintained that the RSPO’s commissioning of the unpublished review in itself shows that the organization “fulfilled its duties in checking the quality of the assessment and identifying any shortcomings.”Edi Suhardi, Goodhope sustainability director and vice president of the RSPO, said the company was committed to meeting the necessary standards, and was beginning new independent assessments this month on its Nabire Baru concession.He denied any allegations that his position within the RSPO could influence decisions about the NPP submission.“To be perfectly honest, I am personally very much disappointed to know that the posting of the Goodhope NPP was only done in March 2017 or two years after its submission in 2015. This is concrete evidence that…I am incapable to influence neither process nor decision of the RSPO Executive Office,” he said by email.The NGOs say central to the issues with Nabire Baru is the RSPO’s apparent failure to implement a resolution adopted in 2015 to ensure the “quality, oversight and credibility” of assessments.“To date, the RSPO Secretariat has shown no coherent plan for the implementation of Resolution 6h, while simultaneously pursuing the roll-out of policies and standards that cement many of the problems Resolution 6h was intended to resolve,” the groups said in the letter.The RSPO said it was making progress with this, and would be sharing updates soon, but the coalition warned that without serious action the organization’s future could be at risk.“We are increasingly of the opinion that RSPO is in danger of losing the limited support it enjoys, due to the increasing evidence of the unreliability of RSPO certification,” they warned the Board of Governors.“We consider the debacle surrounding the NPP at [Nabire Baru] to be symptomatic of the problems undermining the RSPO.”Banner image: The stocky, flightless northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) is one of the birds-of-paradise for which Papua is famous. Photo by Rhett Butler for Mongabay Article published by mongabayauthorcenter_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

Overestimated range maps for endemic birds in India’s Western Ghats lead to underestimated threats, study finds

first_imgIn a paper published earlier this week in the journal Biological Conservation, researchers detail their findings that suggest the IUCN has “vastly” overestimated the geographic range sizes for 17 of 18 endemic birds studied in the Western Ghats.In some cases, the researchers write in the study, the range maps supplied by BirdLife International (BLI) and used by the IUCN for its threat assessments of birds in the Western Ghats included “large areas of unsuitable habitat” and were so off that the threat status should be changed “for at least 10 of the 18 species based on area metrics used by the IUCN for threat assessment.”The head of the IUCN Red List says that the study’s authors made a “fundamental error” in applying threat assessment criteria to their datasets, however, adding that just two of the 10 birds identified in the study need to be examined more closely.The key to the updated range maps created by the researchers behind the Biological Conservation study is citizen science. In particular, the researchers used data from eBird, an online checklist program created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. And on the point of the usefulness of citizen science, the researchers and the IUCN are in full agreement. New research suggests that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is overestimating the ranges of several bird species endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India, which can have major implications for determining the extinction threat faced by those species.The IUCN is an international organization that counts over 1,000 governments and NGOs amongst its members and works with more than 11,000 scientists and other experts to assess the conservation status of species around the globe. Best known to the public as the publisher of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the organization’s work is highly influential among businesses, governments, and other decisionmakers.In a paper published earlier this week in the journal Biological Conservation, researchers detail their findings that suggest the IUCN has “vastly” overestimated the geographic range sizes for 17 of 18 endemic birds studied in the Western Ghats. In some cases, the researchers write in the study, the range maps supplied by BirdLife International (BLI) and used by the IUCN for its threat assessments of birds in the Western Ghats included “large areas of unsuitable habitat” and were so off that the threat status should be changed “for at least 10 of the 18 species based on area metrics used by the IUCN for threat assessment.”Range overestimation for 18 species of Western Ghats endemic birds. White portion of pie chart shows percent suitable habitat within IUCN range, blue portion shows percent of the range where unsuitable or no habitats are predicted. Red arrows indicate species with potential need for IUCN threat status uplisting. Blue ‘equal’ signs indicate species where no uplisting is currently needed. Asterisk for Kerala Laughingthrush (KLT) indicates that it is estimated to be found in an area larger than current BLI range maps. Acronyms used in this figure: NP = Nilgiri pipit, WLT = Wynaad laughingthrush, MGH = Malabar grey hornbill, RB = rufous babbler, GFGP = grey-fronted green pigeon, WBTP = white-bellied treepie, GHB = grey-headed bulbul, MP = Malabar parakeet, NWP = Nilgiri wood pigeon, NF = Nilgiri flycatcher, BTG = broad-tailed grassbird, BRF = black and rufous flycatcher, BCLT = black-chinned laughingthrush, CBS = crimson-backed sunbird, WBS = white-bellied shortwing, NS = Nilgiri shortwing, WBBF = white-bellied blue flycatcher, KLT = Kerala laughingthrush. Image Credit: V. Ramesh et al. / Biological Conservation.“Our study highlights the importance of using a data-driven approach in estimating ranges for species,” Vijay Ramesh, the study’s lead author and a Spatial and Computational Data Manager at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York, told Mongabay. “We show that ranges have been overestimated by BirdLife International for 17 of the 18 species that we considered and are largely inaccurate. This means that the threat status designation by the IUCN is inflated and species that are in immediate need of protection are listed as species of Least Concern (we show in this study that many of the Least Concern species are actually threatened).” Many of the endemic bird species Ramesh and team looked at are highly forest-dependent and can only survive when their natural habitat remains undisturbed. One of those birds is the Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis), whose range BLI has overestimated by a “staggering” 88 percent, according to Ramesh. The bird is found in high-elevation grassland habitats in the Western Ghats that are threatened by economic development projects. But while BLI lists the Nilgiri pipit’s range as encompassing 11,558 square kilometers (4,463 square miles), Ramesh and colleagues determined that the species actually occurs in a much smaller range of less than 1,392 square kilometers (537 square miles). That means that even as the bird’s habitat is being slowly lost to deforestation and other changes caused by human activities, the species has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List instead of Endangered, which Ramesh said it would qualify for based on his team’s findings. “If you take climate change into account, which we haven’t done in this study, it paints a bleak picture for some of these species,” Ramesh added.Study co-author Don Melnick, a professor of conservation biology and the director of the Center for Environment, Economy, and Society at Columbia University, is quick to caution that the intent of the research is not to criticize the IUCN or BLI, but to improve the quality of the data being used in IUCN’s threat assessments. “IUCN does great work,” Melnick told Mongabay, “and not only that, but the criteria that they’re using for assessing whether species are endangered, threatened, vulnerable, or whatever it may be, those criteria are excellent. We’re neither criticizing the criteria that they’re using, nor are we criticizing the IUCN as an institution and the work they’re doing, because we think they’re both really good. What we’re actually disagreeing with is the basic data they’re feeding into their criteria.”Craig Hilton-Taylor, who heads up the Red List Unit at the IUCN, said that the paper does point out some issues with the data used in the IUCN’s species threat assessments: “It’s great to have that feedback, and we will look into some of those issues.”But Hilton-Taylor said that there’s a “fundamental error” in the methodology used by Ramesh and team in their study. “They’ve misunderstood the two measures we use for criteria in extinction risk assessments, they’ve misunderstood Extent of Occurrence and Area of Occupancy,” Hilton-Taylor told Mongabay. “Effectively what they’ve come up with is a maximum potential area of occupancy, and they’ve compared that to our Extent of Occurrence thresholds, which are an order of magnitude larger than the Area of Occupancy thresholds that we use. They should have compared their thresholds against our Area of Occupancy thresholds, and then they would have found that most of the species would not qualify for more threatened status, and that in fact we have them correctly listed.” (Ramesh and team used a similar approach and came to similar conclusions as researchers who published a study in the journal Science Advances in December of last year, Hilton-Taylor said. You can read IUCN’s full response to that study here.)Hilton-Taylor adds that there are two species in the list of 18 “that we do need to look at more carefully.” To be considered “Vulnerable” by the IUCN, a species has to have an Extent of Occurrence of less than 20,000 square kilometers (around 7,720 square miles) or an Area of Occupancy of less than 2,000 square kilometers (about 770 square miles). “Only five species have an Area of Occupancy, from their modeled range, less than 2,000,” he noted. “Three of those five we have listed as threatened, and they’ve listed them exactly the same way as us. So there’s just two out of the 18 where there’s some discussion to be had about who’s right and who’s wrong.”Re-evaluating those two species’ threat status will require incorporating some of the IUCN Red List sub-criteria pertaining to environmental factors like forest fragmentation and declines in habitat, Hilton-Taylor said. “And they mention in the paper that they haven’t delved into any of that at all, so they just purely used the range thresholds, and not the sub-criteria, which are a critical part of the assessment process. So they’ve used the wrong measure for extent of occurrence, and they haven’t applied that measure against area of occupancy thresholds, so that’s where they’ve gone wrong in their process.”Range maps have been overestimated by BLI and NatureServe for both high-elevation specialists such as the Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis), shown on the left, to low-elevation species such as the Malabar grey hornbill (Ocyceros griseus), shown on the right. The black outline represents the range polygon used by IUCN for threat assessment and the range in purple represents the range modeled in this study. The dust brown color represents the boundary of the Western Ghats. Image Credit: V. Ramesh et al. / Biological Conservation.Citizen science emerging as key source of data for future threat assessmentsThe key to the updated range maps created by Ramesh, Melnick, and team is citizen science. In particular, the researchers used data from eBird, an online program created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.On this point, at least, Hilton-Taylor is in full agreement — and he even says that the IUCN itself is increasingly turning to citizen science to inform its work. “We strongly support and encourage those kinds of initiatives, and we feel that that data is really good to use,” he said. “IUCN is teamed up with iNaturalist to gather citizen science data and help in some of our assessment projects. iNaturalist has an app that we use to help with some of our assessment processes. iSpot, which is another one of these initiatives, that data is used to feed into Red List assessments.”Citizen science has grown rapidly over the past several years, and the data citizen scientists are uploading to the internet is “improving at a tremendous rate,” Ramesh said. For instance, he points out that “In the period between the start of this study and its acceptance, eBird has [implemented] separate columns in their data that now show ‘APPROVED’ and ‘REVIEWED,’ which essentially means that these datapoints are being vetted thoroughly by experienced naturalists, reducing the room for error.”As it has grown in popularity, citizen science has increasingly been used in hard scientific research. It has led to the rediscovery of a snail species not seen for over 100 years, for instance, and has been called “the best way to identify and tackle the causes and to guide river restoration” in Malaysian Borneo.It’s important that citizen science data be filtered and checked by experts from the particular area being studied, Melnick says. “In other words, you don’t just dump the citizen science data in, you actually go through and filter it using experts and other kinds of filtering processes, to make sure they’re not double-counting the same bird, or that they misidentified the bird, or mis-identified where they were.” The approach used for the Biological Conservation study combined citizen science data with high-resolution, geo-referenced ecological data on biotic and abiotic factors that affect whether a species is at a particular location, all of which was run through the latest species distribution modeling software. “If you put that all together, you can come up with a more refined estimate of where a particular species is at the moment,” Melnick said. “And you can do that annually so you can not just see where they are now but you can see where they were 10 years ago, and 20 years ago — because a lot of that data still exists. And you can monitor it going forward at a fairly precise level, without necessarily having that many boots on the ground. That is a tremendous source of information for what IUCN is doing.”Melnick argues that the method used to revise bird range maps in the Western Ghats is actually the conservative approach, as opposed to how the IUCN does it now. “I say that because if we have underestimated the range, and therefore exaggerated the threat status, that can’t harm the species, it just means we’re applying extra care to the species,” he said. “However, if you overestimate the range, and therefore underestimate the threat status, that could harm the species.”Because global range size is an important factor used by the IUCN in assigning threat status for a species, the authors write in the study, “The methods used here to significantly revise range estimates have important conservation management implications not only for endemic birds in the Western Ghats, but for vertebrate and invertebrate taxa worldwide.”Ramesh adds that there are two chief implications of the study, the first being: “We are able to use an approach that uses freely-available citizen science data, along with freely-available information on climate, land cover, elevation etc. to arrive at accurate ranges that seldom exist for many endemic birds of the Western Ghats.”And Ramesh says of the second: “There are many development projects underway in the Western Ghats and by demonstrating that species in this region are already far more threatened than currently stated by the IUCN, our models could strengthen the case of those who are petitioning against development in sensitive habitats.”A Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) in the Western Ghats, a mountainous biodiversity hotspot in southern India. Photo Credit: Adesh ShivkarCITATIONSOcampo-Peñuela, N., Jenkins, C. N., Vijay, V., Li, B. V., & Pimm, S. L. (2016). Incorporating explicit geospatial data shows more species at risk of extinction than the current Red List. Science Advances, 2(11), e1601367. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601367Ramesh, V., Gopalakrishna, T., Barve, S., & Melnick, D.J. (2017). IUCN greatly underestimates threat levels of endemic birds in the Western Ghats. Biological Conservation 210(A), 205–221. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2017.03.019Follow 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. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Citizen Science, Conservation, Conservation Technology, Endangered Species, Environment, Research, Saving Species From Extinction, Technology, Technology And Conservation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

New thyroidectomy technique introduced in Guyana

first_imgNew technologies in healthcare and surgical operations have led to the introduction of sutureless thyroidectomy operations in Guyana, after successful attempts on four patients last Wednesday.Dr Cheetanand Mahadeo now equipped to conduct sutureless thyroidectomy proceduresThis was announced on Saturday during the 17th Annual Caribbean College Of Surgeons Conference, which saw over 150 surgeons converging in Guyana to improve the standard of surgical procedures in their respective fields.Plastic surgeon, Shilindra Rajkumar explained that surgeons in Guyana were allowed the opportunity to participate in a workshop, where the technique was successfully accomplished.“What we try to do is workshops in each territory to teach the local surgeons something new. This year, we had the privilege of having the Caribbean College of Surgeons run a one-day thyroidectomy workshop. That workshop was the first of its kind where they actually removed thyroid glands from persons who had diseased thyroids with a sutureless technique,” said the plastic surgeon.Thyroidectomy involves the surgical removal of the thyroid gland or part of it. It is the first time this technique has ever been attempted in Guyana and was executed without any complications.“We have managed to do four patients in one day without any complications to the benefit of the entire department of surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospital.”Surgeons in Guyana would have conducted the entire activity with guidance from the visiting faculty. Going forward, this new procedure will be conducted regularly, should the equipment and other supplies be sourced.Plastic Surgeon Shilindra Rajkumar“The first surgery was actually done with a visiting faculty, assisted by a local faculty and for the other three surgeries, the overseas faculty was just observing so the local faculty played a major role. So once the equipment is available, that’s the way surgeries are going to be done,” Rajkumar highlighted.A participant in the workshop, Dr Cheetanand Mahadeo, acknowledged that while this procedure is not new to the world, it is a first for Guyana, owing to the high costs for the ligature device used. However, the financial setback is outweighed by the satisfactory results.“The reason why we never did it is because we could never afford the device prior. So now we’re cutting down our operating time by almost a third…The patients stay less time asleep, they recover faster and go home earlier. The cost of the consumables and the machine will now be offset by shorter sleeping time and better outcomes. Overall, in terms of patient safety and getting better, it is going to benefit us regardless of the cost,” the general surgeon expressed.At the end of the workshop, four surgical experts were considered capable of conducting the technique.Apart from this field, persons were given the opportunity to give input on other surgical operations. Vice President of the organisation, Professor Shamir Cawich noted that there is a great deal of expertise in Guyana, which can significantly better the services that are provided.Cawich explained, “Our intention, along with the local organisers, is to improve the healthcare package across the Caribbean but specifically in Guyana because we have had the help of some very capable surgeons from the local organising community”.Similar sentiments emanated from General Surgeon Navindranauth Rambarran, who lauded these efforts to bridge the fellowship of surgeons in different nations.“In doing so, ideas are shared, new techniques are discussed [and] goals for the future is set. Generally, there is significant cross-fertilisation of standards and new developments in particular territories may not have had the expertise or resources,” the Guyanese surgeon shared.Other areas discussed included breast cancer, oncologic pancreatic surgery, renal transplants, congenital pseudoarthrosis, vertebral osteomyelitis, laparoscopic surgery, adult intussusception, oesophageal perforation, and Milroy disease among others.The Caribbean College of Surgeons consists of over 250 persons from every country in the region. This year, 17 individuals were inducted into the organsations, five of whom are Guyanese.last_img read more

Tigers pay a Price in loss

first_imgSOUTH PASADENA – It was your basic battle of David vs. Goliath when the South Pasadena High School boys basketball team hosted powerhouse Price in a CIF-Southern Section Division III-AA quarterfinal matchup. The Tigers (21-10) clawed and scratched, but in the end they had no answer for the Knights’ inside game. “Their big guys just went to the boards and we couldn’t battle with their height, unfortunately,” Tigers coach Ali Parvaz said. The Tigers hit three early 3-pointers to open a 13-8 lead in the first quarter and withstood a Price run to eventually take a 33-31 halftime lead. “I knew our guys were going to come out and fight and this home crowd’s been great all year,” Parvaz said. Ryan Lee sank five of the Tigers’ 12 3-pointers for a game-high 21 points. Darin Nakauchi had 13, Michael Flynn scored 11 and Amir Mohamadzadeh had 10. Price (26-4) closed out the third quarter on a 16-5 run to take a 57-48 lead. Junior center Tyreese Bresheres collected 16 points to lift Price to an 81-69 win Friday night. Bresheres dominated the paint with 12 rebounds and seven blocks as Price, winner of eight consecutive Division V titles and five state crowns, collected its 18th consecutive win. center_img scott.galetti@sgvn.com (626) 966-8811, Ext. 4456 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Arsenal stars are ‘untouched by negativity’, insists Wenger

first_img1 Arsene Wenger has claimed his stars haven’t been affected by the criticism levelled at them this week because they are so used to it.The Gunners boss and his players were given plenty to think about this week by fans and pundits as they drew 3-3, after leading 3-0, with Anderlecht in the Champions League at the Emirates on Tuesday.But the Frenchman has insisted he is used to the comments which have been directed towards him since the result and believes his squad remain positive.“If you are 3-0 up and get [pulled] back to 3-3, you always get the same [criticism],” Wenger said.“I have managed 2000 games and can anticipate what people will say. If you defend and get back to 3-3, people will ask why you defend and not continue to play a normal game. If you continue to attack, people ask why you attack. It is so predictable.“We are very positive inside the camp. We are not touched by that [the negativity]. Inside the camp we are very positive and are not touched by that. When we do not win, we are not happy. The rest, we can live with.” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger last_img read more

Memphis Depay dazzles as Manchester United take initiative in Champions League qualifier

first_img1 Memphis Depay lit up Old Trafford with two wonderfully taken goals as Manchester United edged out Club Brugge on their return to the Champions League.United got off to the worst possible start when Michael Carrick turned the ball into his own net inside 10 minutes.However, the Memphis show then began as the summer signing showed exactly why Ed Woodward parted with £25m to secure his services with a first half brace.As United continued to push for a third, Brugge’s defence buckled with Brandon Mechele given his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards, before Marouane Fellaini nodded in Memphis’ deep cross in the 94th minute.Manchester United began brightly but the crowd were stunned into silence after only eight minutes when Carrick wrong-footed Sergio Romero in the United goal to deflect the ball into his own net.Victor Vazquez fired in a low but harmless-looking free-kick from 40 yards out but the Englishman lunged towards the ball to prod in for a potentially vital away goal for the Belgian side.However, just as United fans started to contemplate yet another season without Champions League football, Memphis produced a lovely bit of skill worthy of the famous no.7 jersey on his back to level the scores after 13 minutes.The Dutchman flicked the ball past the on-rushing Dion Cools before charging past three defenders and finishing powerfully into the bottom corner to score his first competitive goal for the Red Devils.Memphis looked electric all evening on the wing as he terrorised Brugge’s right-back, making Louis van Gaal’s decision to play him through the middle against Tottenham all the more baffling.Three minutes before half-time Memphis got his second, and it was even more impressive than the first.The former PSV Eindhoven man cut inside from the left before unleashing a powerful, curling effort past the helpless Club Brugge goalkeeper.Bastian Schweinsteiger – who had scored the last Champions League goal at Old Trafford – replaced Carrick at half-time but it was Memphis who continued to impress, and a lovely link-up with Wayne Rooney should have handed the Dutchman his hat-trick.Brugge defender Mechele saw red with 10 minutes remaining for a silly challenge on Javier Hernandez which earned him his second yellow of the evening.Deep into injury time, Fellaini made the numerical advantage count, heading in a deep cross from man of the match Memphis to give United a commanding lead going into the second leg. Memphis Depay last_img read more

HARPS THROWN €20,000 LIFELINE BY COUNTY COUNCIL

first_imgDonegal County Council have agreed to throw financially troubled Finn Harps a potential life-line.The Ballybofey club needs to raise €48,000 by 21 December to meet certain debts in order to comply with the requirements for applying for a First Division licence for 2012.At a meeting tonight, local councillors backed an emergency motion to provide €20,000 for the club. Councillors spoke about the importance of the club to the county and said that it would be a tragedy if the club, which joined the League of Ireland in 1969, went out of senior soccer.HARPS THROWN €20,000 LIFELINE BY COUNTY COUNCIL was last modified: November 28th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GARDA AVOIDS CONVICTION AFTER ADMITTING ASSAULT

first_imgBy Rachel McLaughlin: A garda who admitted assaulting another man in a late night brawl has had the case against him struck out after the court heard of how he had once saved a woman’s life and prevented a rape.Garda Ian Oates sank back in his seat as Judge Paul Kelly told Letterkenny District Court that he would not record a conviction against him.Judge Paul Kelly said it would be a loss to the community if a Garda like Garda Oates were to be taken off the force. The court heard that at 3am on September 1, 2011, Richard Geraghty was assaulted by Garda Oates on the lane beside Gallagher’s Hotel Letterkenny.In his statement, Letterkenny man Geraghty said Garda Oates was standing with two friends outside Gallagher’s Hotel, when he called out to him as he walked past.Supt Jimmy Coen, who investigated the case, said witnesses had claimed that Geraghty had called Garda Oates a “f***** pig b*****.”Geraghty said that Garda Oates asked to shake his hand, and mentioned his brother who had died. He claimed that Garda Oates suggested that he follow him up Gallagher’s lane, where the assault took place.The court was shown CCTV footage of the incident.Garda Oates could be seen punching Geraghty at least four times in the footage shown in court and watched by Judge Kelly.Medical reports gave evidence to the injuries suffered by Geraghty on the night. A consultant at Letterkenny General Hospital treated a 5mm laceration on his left cheek, and cuts to both his arms and legs. Garda Oates was treated for a fractured tooth two weeks after the incident.Witnesses at Gallagher’s Hotel observed Garda Oates using his elbow to hit Geraghty in the face.The court heard how Garda Oates had served An Garda Siochana for nine years. He received two commendations for his service. He saved a woman’s life when she jumped into the River Swilly by diving in after her. On New Year’s Eve 2012 Garda Oates observed a sexual assault on CCTV, and was instrumental in stopping the crime.Garda Oates fundraising efforts were detailed in court today. He raised €60,000 for repair of the roof of St. Eunan’s Cathedral. He also volunteered for MS Ireland to raise money for Donegal Hospice and other charities.Damian Crawford, barrister for Garda Oates, said his client could lose his job as a result of the incident.He deeply regretted responding to alleged taunts from Geraghty.Garda Oates took to the witness box to offer a public apology to Mr Geraghty.He had offered €5,000 in compensation to his victim, said Mr Crawford who pleaded for leniency because of Garda Oates’ nine years service to the community.This included saving a drowning woman in the Swilly in 2008 and preventing a rape in 2012 after spotting suspicious activity on CCTV in the town.Geraghty, said Mr Crawford, had previous convictions for taunting off-duty gardai. He handed in newspaper clippings showing Geraghty’s convictions.One incident had involved two officers and their wives, he said.Judge Kelly told the court: “This is a most unfortunate case and its very troubling when a member of An Garda Siochana administering the law finds himself in court“Mr Oates has prosecuted many people possibly not unlike this case before the court. There was graphic evidence on the CCTV footage and it reflects very poorly that he succumbed to emotion and behaved the way in which he did.“Quite clearly physical force was taken by Mr Oates; Mr Geraghty suffered a very unpleasant and painful experience.“A civil claim has been resolved for the ordeal that he underwent.“Garda Oates is a man with an exemplary record and involved in two very significant incidents above and beyond the call of duty including the saving of the life of a woman.“Preventing an experience on another woman is evidence of his commitment and bravery. These are all matters which go to Mr Oates’ credit.“There has been a very diligent and careful investigation by Supt Coen.“Gardai must have trust and confidence of the public they serve and incidents like this do damage to the force.“But it would be a Draconian result if he were to lose his job as a Garda. It would be a loss to the community and so I am taking the unusual step of not recording a conviction and I will strike out the assault charge.’He ordered Garda Oates to pay €1,000 to Friends of Letterkenny Hospital.GARDA AVOIDS CONVICTION AFTER ADMITTING ASSAULT was last modified: September 5th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Garda Ian OatesJudge Paul KellyLetterkenny District CourtRichard Geraghtylast_img read more

POTHOLED DUAL CARRIAGEWAY IS AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN, SAYS WORRIED COUNCILLOR

first_imgLarge potholes have appeared on Letterkenny dual carriageway says local councillor.A Donegal councillor says urgent action is needed on Letterkenny’s dual carriageway to prevent a serious accident taking place.Letterkenny Town Councillor Gerry Mc Monagle claims recent winters have caused large potholes to develop on the road.The Sinn Fein councillor says he has received reports of several near misses by motorists swerving to avoid the potholes and has witnessed other incidents himself. Cllr Gerry McMonagleHe is now calling on Donegal County Council to examine the road and carry out the necessary repairs before it is too late.“This is one of busiest roads in the county and its importance to commerce and accessibility in and out of Letterkenny cannot be over estimated.“With so many vehicles using this road it is important that it is maintained to a high standard. Continued depreciation of this road could lead to road traffic accidents due to the poor state of the road surface.“Driving along the carriageway I have witnessed in recent days motorist swerving to miss potholes on the carriageway this is a dangerous action and I would call on motorist to drive safely at all times,” he said. He said the council also have an duty to keep the roads safe and fit for purpose.“I am therefore calling on Donegal County Council Roads Section to immediately put in place a scheme to repair the road before a serious accident happens.”POTHOLED DUAL CARRIAGEWAY IS AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN, SAYS WORRIED COUNCILLOR was last modified: April 10th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CLLR GERRY MCMONAGLEdonegaldual cariagewayletterkennypotholeslast_img read more

Franklin Barreto makes A’s Japan roster, What about Opening Day?

first_imgMESA, Ariz. — Franklin Barreto’s locker inside the clubhouse at Hohokam Stadium sits right at the entrance. A hallway separates that locker from those that are filled by A’s stars like Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Chad Pinder.It’s fitting for where Barreto currently stands at his career in relation to those three.Just a couple of years ago Barreto was not only ascending through the minor leagues alongside those three, but he was also considered the best prospect of the bunch. Barreto was …last_img