Evergreen Makes The Princeton Review’s Best 380 Colleges

first_imgSubmitted by The Evergreen State CollegeThe Evergreen State College was named “One of the Best 380 Colleges of 2016” by The Princeton Review.The Princeton Review has named The Evergreen State College one of The Best 380 Colleges of 2016.Seven Washington colleges and universities have been included in the guide. In addition to Evergreen, Gonzaga University, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, University of Washington, Washington State University and Whitman College made the list.As part of the guide, The Princeton Review puts forth 62 ranking lists that provide students with details about campus and academic culture, size, type and quality of residence halls, dining and more. These sub-lists give college applicants, “a way to see the types of colleges that could help them achieve their future goals and dreams,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s Senior VP-Publisher. “Our goal is to help applicants choose and get into their dream college—the college best for them.”“We believe all 380 schools in the book are academically outstanding,” the guide’s editors note. “But we don’t think academics should be the exclusive reason for choosing a school—and in most cases, it isn’t. Among other crucial factors (such as location, cost and size), the campus culture is very important. The schools featured in The 380 Best Colleges—our picks of the cream of the crop colleges and universities—comprise only the top 15 percent of all four-year colleges in the nation. These are all very different schools with different and wonderful things to offer.”According to the guide’s “Inside Word” on Evergreen, “Students… are commonly some of the strongest performers from their high schools…The school’s unique and self-directed academic curriculum favors those students who can adequately handle the responsibility of creating and developing their own educational path.”The review notes that students describe Evergreen as welcoming, with a “booming extracurricular life” and a “thriving local art and music scene.”Students also gave high marks to their faculty. “My professors have been A++, if Evergreen gave grades,” one student was quoted as saying, in a reference to Evergreen’s unique narrative evaluation process in lieu of letter grades.“While no single college guide or ranking tells the whole story about a school,” said Evergreen spokesman Todd Sprague, “we’re pleased that The Princeton Review has once again cited Evergreen as one of the best colleges in the nation.” Facebook214Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Watch: Bermuda player attacks and takes out Panama manager!

first_imgImage Courtesy: Twitter(@Ernestou)Advertisement 0eqNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs5qd4pWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eapm( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) ne96oWould you ever consider trying this?😱x9oh1Can your students do this? 🌚c7kRoller skating! Powered by Firework In yesterday’s CONCACAF Nations League face off against Bermuda, Panama national team manager Américo Gallego suffered a collision with opposition player Willie Clemons in the sidelines at the Bermuda National Stadium.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Twitter(@Ernestou)The 64 year old Argentine was present at the sidelines when Clemons, the Bodens BK central midfielder ran into him, as both fell down just before other players were seen to assist them.The clip was uploaded on Twitter via user @Ernestou. Watch it below-Advertisement The 4-1 victory was Gallego’s debut match as Los Canaleros gaffer, the former Argentina international who managed clubs such as River Plate, Independiente, Tigres UANL andColo-Colo.Panama forward Gabriel Torres scored a brace in the 31st and 66th minute, in addition to fellow striker Rolando Blackburn netting one at the end of the first half. The final goal came in the 93rd minute from Adalberto Carrasquilla, who shot the ball in an open goal as the Bermuda keeper Dale Eve went up the field.Bermuda only had one satisfactory goal, and that also came in the form of an own goal, as a rebound ball coming back from the crossbar hit Panama defender Harold Cummings and went into the net, fooling their shot stopper José Calderón.Panama and Bermuda are in group B of the Nations League A, the top division of the Nations League. Gallego’s side are currently topping the group with 3 points, and will face Bermuda again this Monday at their home ground of Estadio Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez. Advertisementlast_img read more

Nerves in Can Barça: Bartomeu meets the Delegate Committee as a matter of urgency

first_imgIn this Commission, evidently apart from Bartomeu, are Vice Presidents Jordi Cardoner, Jordi Moix, Enrique Tombas, the board of directors Maria Teixidor and the CEO, Oscar Grau.In principle, Bartomeu had planned to give the Board the appropriate explanations this Friday, but after the latest events, with Gerard Piqué making public his disagreements with the current club policy and the financial director, Montserrat Font, announcing his irrevocable resignation, it seems that The Blaugrana leader has decided to take the bull by the horns and act immediately. President Josep Maria Bartomeu summoned the Delegate Committee on Wednesday in an extraordinary and urgent way to analyze the situation of FC Barcelona, ​​plunged into a real institutional crisis, as the SER chain has revealed. And it is that the Delegated Commission is one of the most important organs of the Blaugrana club, which is usually convened the previous days of the General Assembly of Committees to prepare and organize this event, one of the most important in the operation of the club.Well, Bartomeu, aware that the situation is about to escape from his hands, has decided to gather the Delegate Committee to discuss this afternoon about the current situation of the club and make the necessary decisions.last_img read more

An indigenous group reforests its corner of coastal New Guinea

first_imgArticle published by mongabayauthor Residents of Yepem on the Indonesian half of New Guinea island are undertaking a reforestation project with the local government.Respect for nature is a fundamental part of the worldview of the local Asmat people.Locals’ biggest problem is a lack of clean water. Located on the Siretsy river delta in Papua’s Asmat district is the picturesque hamlet of Yepem, the 655 residents of this coastal enclave on the shore of the Arafura Sea continue to eat traditional foods and practice cultural arts despite the rest of Asia’s gallop into the 21st century.In Yepem, meals are composed of fish, coconuts, bananas and starchy roots like cassava, taro and sago. Residents harvest shrimp at the nearby Yomot streamlet with nets and fishing poles. The village is dotted with jeuws, or traditional Asmat houses. The structures have high vaulted ceilings held up by poles planted in the earth. Mangi-mangi wood and sago leaves top the roofs. One jeuw is set aside as the town “carving studio.” The place is filled with carvers and weavers. There is even a little child learning from his dad. The leader of this initiative, Paskalis Wakat, explains that the Asmat people have a philosophy that they must be one with god, the ancestral spirits and the forest. Yepem residents young and old have a deep respect for the forest and see the duty of preserving the environment as one with respecting god and their ancestors. Kaspar Mamnak, a member of the Asmat Traditional People’s Foundation (LMAA) says locals are not allowed to debark trees. There is a ban on tree cutting along the banks of the Yomot river.  It is also forbidden to shoot – with arrow, catapult, or airgun – shore birds. “ They, like us, are utilizing nature and the forest,” he explained.Given this nature-bound worldview, it is unsurprising that Yepem residents and the local forestry office have a reforestation program going.A house in Asmat district, made from ironwood. Photo by Agapitus Batbual for MongabayA big signboard on the edge of the thicket of mangroves on the way into town announces the program. Topping the board are the insignia of two government outfits and three conservation groups: Asmat regional government, the national forestry ministry, USAID, WWF and Blue Forressis. Below are instructions to visitors: “No tree chopping. Please let us protect the mangrove and river, as per Spatial Bylaw No. 6, 2012, Article 21 on Protected Areas.”The carving teacher Wakat explains that locals have planted a variety of trees including pit trees, salt trees and mangroves. Deeper in the forest, there was also high-value ironwood. Salt and pit trees have not always existed in the vicinity of Yepem village, according to LMAA’s Mamnak said they arrived in his lifetime. Locals requested saplings of the tree species from two American catholic missionaries, Alfons Sowada and Uskup Agats. Salt and pit trees are renown for preventing soil erosion. Today, the offspring of those original saplings grow abundantly in the area.A carving from Yepem. Photo by Agapitus Batbual for MongabayYosep Ker, the Yepem village head, says that the traditional culture of the Asmat is still strong. They still understand and abide the concept of karuu or sacred ancestral sites. They mark locations that have been deforested with young sago leaves. They do not drink the water in old village sites or ironwood groves. Sacred sites are recognized and ratified by joint treaties. “Those who violate [these agreements] will die sooner or later,” says Ker.Wakat, the carving teacher, says the village plans to develop itself as a tourist destination. Yepem’s idyllic setting could be a showcase of Asmat tradition, he argues. They still have a lot of sago, forest and sealife. In the morning, ladies paddle their boats to sea with poles, nets and buckets to gather baby shrimp. On the land, guavas, rubber, rambutan, durian and papaya grow abundantly. Despite the chalky local soil the color and texture of wood pulp, the village is filled with groves of coconut, bananas, beans, eggplant, leafy greens, sugar cane and even coffee.The biggest problem in Asmat lands is the lack of a regular source of fresh water. Locals collect rainwater with 11-liter tanks. The water source for Agats city (20 miles away) is the Yomot river. A machine at the river’s headwaters sucks water out with a big pipe. “This is a restricted forest,” carving teacher Wakat explained from his speedboat during a recent visit to the intake site. The Asmat see this as a protected forest, filled with huge ironwood trees – so wide that two grown ups linking arms could not wrap their arms around a single tree. The local public works office had built a shed to store the machine. There was also a long-abandoned guardhouse next to the facility, standing on swampland. Furnaces in the house had long stood un-used. Oil from the machine spilled into the surrounding ecosystem – so much for clean water. When asked about the oil leak, the head of public works Melianus Jitmau evaded the question.This piece was first published on Mongabay’s Indonesian sister site on Oct. 30, 2016.Banner image: Paskalis Wakat, a carver from Yepem. Photo by Agapitus Batbual for Mongabay Agriculture, Community Forestry, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Ecotourism, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Peoples, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Reforestation, Tropical Forests, Water, Water Scarcity 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

Almost 1M hectares ‘missing’ from land holdings of major palm oil companies

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Agriculture, Commodity Roundtables, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Loss, Forests, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Sustainability, Transparency, Tropical Forests Citations:Banner image: Sumatra’s remaining forests are home to highly threatened animals found nowhere else, like the critically endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Photo courtesy of ZSLHansen, M.C., A. Krylov, A. Tyukavina, P.V. Potapov, S. Turubanova, B. Zutta, S. Ifo, B. Margono, F. Stolle, and R. Moore. 2016. Humid tropical forest disturbance alerts using Landsat data. Environmental Research Letters, 11 (3). Accessed through Global Forest Watch on March 29, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgMargono, B.A., P.V. Potapov, S. Turubanova, F. Stolle, and M.C. Hansen. “Indonesia primary forest.” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on March 29, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.org“Oil palm concessions.” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on March 29, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.org.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Palm oil is a major driver of tropical deforestation. The report was produced by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), which looked at information publicly disclosed by 50 of the most major palm oil production companies.Its findings indicate that while most companies disclose the area of planted land they manage, many fail to reveal the size, location, and use of many other areas in their portfolio, defying corporate accountability and concealing potential social and environmental risks.A supply chain expert says failures to disclose information don’t necessarily signal ill will on the part of the companies. Instead, it may be the result of unclear expectations, definitions, and protocols for reporting.The Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the world’s leading palm oil certification body, is reportedly working to improve the reporting process of its member companies. Nearly a million hectares are “missing” from landbanks of the world’s top palm oil producers, a new report shows. While most companies disclose the area of planted land they manage, many fail to reveal the size, location, and use of many other areas in their portfolio, defying corporate accountability and concealing potential social and environmental risks.“This misreporting potentially excludes vast areas of land at environmental and social risk – such as undeveloped land that, if converted into plantations in the future, could be at risk of environmental damage, including deforestation,” Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the non-profit that produced the report, wrote in a press release.Where information is disclosed by palm oil companies, ZSL found it’s often inconsistently reported, making it difficult for investors and certification bodies to hold them accountable.“It’s a murky world that we’re finding,” Izabela Delabre of ZSL’s Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT), told Mongabay. “In one place the companies are saying one thing and in another place they’re saying something else.”The footprint of the palm oil industry is large in many dimensions, research has shown. Plantations of palm oil trees, the fruit of which is processed to make products ranging from peanut butter to shampoo, are not only expansive – covering up to 27 million hectares globally, according to ZSL – but are also known to supplant rainforests. Indeed, palm oil is one of the leading drivers of tropical deforestation.Cross-section of an oil palm fruit. Photo by Rhett A ButlerThe demand for palm oil remains on trend to double by mid-century, the researchers write, making the “continued impacts of land use…urgent priorities that need to be addressed.” Doing so, they add, hinges on corporate transparency – accurate reporting on land that a company manages.“It is essential to understanding the current and future impacts of the industry, and an important first step in identifying and prioritising the mitigation of risks associated with specific companies,” they write.Sarah Lake, head of The Drivers of Deforestation Program at Global Canopy Program, agrees.“Without understanding what areas are set-aside for conservation versus what areas could potentially be developed, you’ll never be able to predict the potential impacts of expanding palm oil production to that land,” she said.That’s where ZSL’s analysis comes in.Using only publicly disclosed information, the researchers analyzed land owned or managed by 50 of the world’s largest palm oil producers and traders, which represent a “significant proportion of the current total land under palm oil production globally.”They found that when tallied together, the companies manage a combined 8.6 million hectares of land for palm oil production. That land area, which is a bit larger than Ireland, includes areas that are planted and unplanted, and those that are set aside for things like biodiversity conservation and infrastructure – referred to in the report as “land uses.”Graph by ZSL/SPOTTBut the researchers couldn’t determine how nearly one million hectares – around 11 percent – of that company-owned land was used. These are the so-called “missing” hectares, as dubbed by ZSL in its media release.The researchers found that 900,000 hectares of land under company ownership weren’t listed under any category of use, such as “planted” or “set aside for conservation.” The problem, the authors write, is that different land use types assume different social and environmental risks. When those risks are concealed, as they are within the missing hectares, it’s difficult to hold companies accountable to investors and various sustainability commitments, which many of these companies have made. In fact, 39 of the 50 companies are members of the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the world’s leading sustainability certification body.“If they don’t know what land they’re supposed to be stewards of, how can they actually fulfill those requirements that they’ve committed to?” Delabre said.The land holdings of the majority of the companies – 30 out of 50 – included less than 20 percent unclassified land. But one company stood out from the rest: KS Oils. Indeed, nearly all of the company’s land – some 55,000 hectares in Indonesia and Malaysia – remains unclassified. What that land is being used for is anyone’s guess.Against other metrics of transparency, KS Oils again falls to the bottom of the pack. Indeed, according to the SPOTT “scorecard,” which ranks companies based on a suite of transparency indicators, including land use, KS Oils is tied for 47th – just three spots from the bottom.Uncategorized land dominated the holdings of three other palm oil companies: Noble, Socfin, and Kencana Agri. According to ZSL’s analysis, more than half of the land managed by each of the three companies – two of which are members of RSPO – remains unclassified, amounting to well over a 300,000 hectares of missing land.Oil palm concessions occupy a large proportion of Indonesia’s land area – particularly on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo (Malaysian oil palm concessions are also shown). Socfin Group, a Luxembourg-based producer with plantations in Southeast Asia and western Africa, scored relatively low marks in ZSL’s report, with more than half of its land holdings not classified in public documentation. Data from the Global Land Analysis and Discovery (GLAD) lab at the University of Maryland show recent tree cover loss activity in one Socfin’s Sumatra concessions; another concession contains primary forest that has been degraded since 2000. Socfin is a member of the RSPO.Mongabay reached out to KS Oils, Noble, Socfin, and Kencana Agri, but did not receive responses by press time. However, company-issued publications indicate some may be working towards a more transparent future.“The Company’s philosophy on Corporate Governance envisages attainment of higher levels of transparency, accountability and equity in all facets of its operations and in all its interactions with its stakeholders,” states KS Oils’ 2015 annual report.And according to Lake, a failure to disclose information doesn’t necessarily signal ill-will. Instead, it may be the result of unclear expectations, definitions, and protocols for reporting.“There aren’t clear expectations about what companies should be disclosing,” Lake said. “There are…no standard protocols that are advising companies on exactly what types of land they should be disclosing, so it isn’t necessarily…that the companies are trying to hide the use, but simply that they don’t know that they should be disclosing this [information].”Turning to the limited data that companies do disclose, the researchers uncovered another issue: inconsistency.According to the analysis, over half of the companies – most of which are members of the RSPO – reported inconsistent figures for land use across their annual reports, sustainability reports and corporate websites. In other words, when the researchers compared figures from different sources, the numbers didn’t match up – even when they were referring to the same category of land use.Several factors might drive inconsistent reporting, according to ZSL. First, the very land that companies are trying to measure is dynamic, so measurements at different times might yield different numbers. As the ZSL researchers explain: “Continual planting results in constant change.”Young oil palm trees being planted on cleared land in West Kalimantan. Photo by Izabela Delabre / ZSLOne solution, Delabre says, is for companies to include timestamps in their reports.“We would encourage companies to disclose in a clear way dated figures,” she said. “This would allow us to know when that data is being recorded.”Inconsistent reporting may also reflect a company’s internal misalignment, Delabre says. Different departments – be they sustainability or procurement – might report different figures, due to inconsistencies in the way land use is measured and defined. A sort of “silo effect” is taking place, Lake says.“Within companies, the sustainability branches are often relatively isolated from the procurement branches and from other business units within the company, so there isn’t going to be great communication or alignment on how they’re defining the land use issues,” she said.If internal misalignment is a problem, you can imagine that alignment across the entire palm oil sector – or even across 50 companies – is a tough goal to achieve. That’s where standard-setting groups have a role to play, Lake says.“When you have this information coming from the companies, there’s never going to be alignment in the definitions or the methodologies…and it shouldn’t be on them to have to build industry wide alignment,” she said. “That comes from civil society and multi-stakeholder groups like RSPO to give those guidelines.”The Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil is working to improve the reporting process, Delabre says, and they’re well-positioned to set industry-wide standards.Indeed, all members of the RSPO are required to submit Annual Communications on Progress reports (ACOP), which must include figures of “total land area controlled and managed for oil palm cultivation,” according to a statement from the organization. Following input from groups like ZSL, the RSPO says that future reports will provide “more clarity on the definition” on land managed for palm oil, which will include specific categories for “land planted with oil palm,” “unplanted areas designated for future planting,” and all other conservation areas.“It is hoped that this will improve the reporting process considerably,” the ZSL researchers conclude. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

30 years of protecting the mysterious Okapi

first_imgAgroforestry, Animals, Biodiversity, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Interviews, Mammals, Poaching, Protected Areas, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforests, Wildlife, Wildlife Trafficking The discovery of the elusive okapi, once believed to be a mythical unicorn, was one of the most exciting taxonomic findings of the twentieth century.To protect this shy, giraffe-like animal, wildlife conservationist John Lukas founded the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) in 1987.During the past three decades, the project team has seen both successes and challenges, from political unrest to a brutal rebel attack in 2012 that killed 6 people and 14 okapis. The discovery of the elusive okapi, once believed to be a mythical unicorn, was one of the most exciting taxonomic findings of the twentieth century.This mysterious mammal lives deep inside the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and has been known to the western world only since early 1900s. Some scientists called it “donkey-like,” others thought that the animal’s stripes made it more “zebra-like.” The debate was finally put to rest when explorer Harry Johnston, together with a group of the indigenous Mbuti pygmies, acquired the first complete specimen of an okapi (skeleton and skin) from DRC’s Ituri rainforest in 1901. Scientists soon confirmed that the okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is in fact the closest living relative of the giraffe.Found only in the Ituri rainforest of northeastern DRC, the okapi is a fully protected species under Congolese law. Unfortunately, the future of this striking large-bodied mammal is severely threatened by loss of habitat from deforestation and poaching for its skin and bushmeat. The okapi is currently listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.Okapis are the only living relatives of giraffes. Photo courtesy of Okapi Conservation Foundation.To protect this shy, giraffe-like animal, wildlife conservationist John Lukas founded the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) in 1987.OCP today manages the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, a 13,700-square-kilometer (5,290-square-miles) area of wilderness, occupying one-fifth of the Ituri Forest. The reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, harboring the largest populations of forest elephants, okapi and chimpanzees in DRC, and is home to the indigenous Mbuti pygmies.OCP, managed by the non-profit Wildlife Conservation Global, trains and equips wildlife rangers in the reserve and works with the local communities to help improve their lives. It does so by helping develop sustainable incomes from agroforestry and by providing alternative sources of protein to reduce dependence on bushmeat hunting. OCP also works with local authorities to monitor and shut down illegal mines and logging operations.OCP was awarded Mongabay’s conservation award in 2012 for its instrumental work in protecting okapis.On June 1, the OCP celebrated its 30th Anniversary. During the past three decades, the project team has seen both successes and challenges, from political unrest to the death of three key staff members in a car accident and a brutal rebel attack in 2012. Mai Mai rebels, led by the notorious poacher known as Morgan, attacked the headquarters of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in 2012, killing six people and 14 captive okapis that were stationed at the headquarters as the species’ ambassadors to the local community.Mongabay interviewed John Lukas, co-founder of the OCP, to learn more about 30 years of protecting the okapi.An interview with John LukasJohn Lukas with an okapi at the OCP’s research and breeding station in Epulu DRC. Photo courtesy of Okapi Conservation Project.Mongabay: What is the status of the okapi in DRC now? How has okapi number changed over the past 30 years?John Lukas: Okapi have experienced over a 50 percent drop in estimated numbers over the last 25 years which qualified the species to be listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Because it is so difficult to census okapi in the wild we only have loose estimates of 10,000 to 15,000 okapi remaining in DRC down from around 45,000 in 1995. Habitat loss is the biggest threat, mainly caused by agricultural expansion, logging and mining. Poaching pressure varies by location, but snaring is a factor in some areas of okapi range.The Okapi Wildlife Reserve and surrounding intact habitat are home to around 3,500 okapi, and thought to be the largest density in their known range. Securing the Reserve by removing threats is key to saving a viable population of okapi and protecting the forest from exploitation is the best way to provide okapi with the resources they need to thrive.Mongabay: What have been some of OCP’s biggest wins over the past three decades with respect to conservation of the okapi?John Lukas: Our biggest win is that we have consistently provided support each day to the dedicated and brave ICCN [Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation] wildlife rangers for the past 30 years so they can be on patrol protecting the wildlife of the Reserve, and that OCP staff have continuously been in the field working with communities across a huge landscape to educate the people about the value of biodiversity and helping them meet their basic needs of food security, health care and education. These acts persevered through a 6-year-long civil war (1997-2003) and continued through the many subsequent years with a lack of government services in eastern DRC.The second most important accomplishment is the recovery from the devastating attack by Mai Mai rebels in June 2012 that destroyed ICCN headquarters and OCP offices at the Epulu Station. With generous support and encouragement from around the world, we were able to provide food and medical care for rangers and people from Epulu affected by the attack for over 6 months until they could return home and work their gardens. All facilities have been rebuilt and all protection and community programs are operating at full strength.We have had set backs over the last 5 years, but the resilience of our Congolese staff has managed to overcome many obstacles to maintain an effective presence in the reserve that directly supports the conservation of the largest population of okapi in DRC from exploitation.The Okapi Conservation Project helps train wildlife rangers. Photo courtesy of Okapi Conservation Foundation.Mongabay: What have been some of your biggest losses and/or lessons?John Lukas: The biggest loss we experienced was the death of 3 key staff members in 2003 in a tragic car accident in Uganda while they were returning from negotiating with a rebel group that was in control of Epulu at that time. Karl Ruf and Jean Nlamba co-founded the project with me in 1987 and Kambali Sambili was a rising conservation biologist. To honor their sacrifice, we carried on as best we could and intensified our efforts to save the home of wild okapi. It took time to recover, but we found talented and dedicated people to manage our programs and ensure our presence across the landscape.The next greatest loss was the killing of the 14 okapi at our education and research station in Epulu during the attack in 2012. Many of the okapi had been in residence for many years and had been ambassadors to the world for the unique beauty and grace of ‘the ghost of the forest’ that represents to the Congolese people all that is special about their natural heritage. Again, we redoubled our efforts to protect the okapi living among the giant trees of the Ituri Forest.Mongabay: How does OCP work with farmers to protect okapi habitat?John Lukas: A major threat to okapi is the loss of prime habitat through slash-and-burn agriculture. Through our agroforestry program, we work with farmers to reduce slash-and burn agriculture to protect and enhance the okapi’s rainforest habitat. By educating the farmers on the sustainable use of organic fertilizers, planting nitrogen-fixing trees on their plots of land, and providing them with the essential tools they need to grow their crops, they can utilize the same plot of land for up to ten years, thereby keeping them in the designated agricultural zones and reducing their need for expansion into the rainforest. By using sustainable fertilizers, they increase their crop yields and solidify their food security, reducing their reliance on mining, poaching and the unsustainable use of forest resources to generate income. In addition, our nurseries scattered throughout the reserve head start tree seedlings to engage villagers in reforestation efforts.OCP’s agroforestry program works with farmers to reduce slash-and burn agriculture to protect and enhance the okapi’s rainforest habitat. Photo courtesy of Okapi Conservation Foundation.Mongabay: Has the 2012 attack had an impact on how the reserve is now protected?John Lukas: The attack and subsequent security breaches caused by the armed militias has dictated that we partner with the Congolese army to have the manpower and weapons needed to patrol the Reserve and remove those involved in illegal activities. Fifty new rangers were trained in 2015 and more are scheduled to be recruited this year. Aerial surveys and on-the-ground-sourced intelligence provide information on illegal activities such as mining and poaching that are targeted by joint patrols to remove those involved from the Reserve. Checkpoints on the road through the reserve check for wildlife, mining tools and bushmeat which are all confiscated. As an added measure, the road that passes through the reserve closes at night to prevent the loading of trucks with contraband under the cover of darkness.Mongabay: What are the biggest threats to the okapi now? How does the presence of illegal armed groups in and around protected areas affect the okapi?John Lukas: The okapi is a species whose existence is under grave threat from the impact of human activities. The okapi is entirely dependent on the forest refuge for its survival, and deforestation, along with disturbances caused by poaching and mining, has led to its precipitous decline.Okapi can coexist with small-scale, low-level, transient human occupation of the forest, but disappear in areas of active settlement or disturbance. Encroachment from human settlement, illegal hunting, logging and mining, and the illicit activities of armed groups are serious threats to this important forest ecosystem. These threats coupled with the general economic and civil instability of the DRC after years of continuing interior conflict, burdens the government’s ability to support its protection forces.The armed groups interfere with and inhibit conservation actions to protect the forest by making the jobs of the rangers much more dangerous and limits where they can patrol. At this time, all armed groups are out of the reserve, patrols are carried out by ICCN rangers in all sectors of the reserve and the military is concentrating on preventing closed gold mines from being reoccupied.Okapis, or “forest giraffes,” were unknown to the western world until the twentieth century. They are only found in the forests of the DRC. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Mongabay: The IUCN listing for okapi says that “extensive parts of potential Okapi range are poorly studied.” Do you think the okapi and its habitat still remains poorly studied? If so, why?John Lukas: Okapi are extremely wary and avoid detection – their senses of hearing and smell are acute, and their feces are easily confused with that of bongo antelope, making it hard to accurately determine true numbers. Okapi occur in the most insecure region of DRC, and surveying for okapi requires walking long transects through the forest. Areas occupied by armed militias, poachers and miners are extremely dangerous and off-limits to most scientists. Additionally, okapi distribution is affected by human activities and surveys may not give accurate information on okapi population trends.Surveys have occurred in the OWR in 2006, 2011 and another is scheduled for fall of 2017. In the reserve, okapi numbers are holding steady or slightly declining because of extensive efforts to protect habitat and engage communities to value okapi. Across the entire okapi range only anecdotal information is available on the presence or absence of okapi.There are areas of the historic range of okapi where the trees are standing but due to poaching, very little wildlife survives. We are employing camera traps to document the presence of okapi in disturbed areas of the Reserve and we need to expand this monitoring technique to survey for okapi where camera traps can be safely deployed.Mongabay: What would happen if the okapi was to become extinct?John Lukas: If the okapi were to go extinct, it would be a great loss to the people of DRC, the okapi is their symbol of their bountiful biodiversity and wild places, and as a symbol of ICCN, it would be a failure that would be difficult to overcome and a foreboding for the other endangered species that require protection to survive such as gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants. For the world, it would be the loss of a living fossil that has lived on earth for 7 million years and the only living relative of the giraffe.Not many would notice its passing, but the rainforest of DRC would have lost its flagship species that has rallied the world to care about the largest intact forest and the most biodiverse country in Africa.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. Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_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

Unexamined synergies: dam building and mining go together in the Amazon

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherer Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Controversial, Corruption, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Flooding, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation center_img 40 large hydroelectric dams are slated for the Amazon basin over the next 20 years, feeding the massive electricity needs of an energy-hungry mining industry — digging, processing and exporting iron, aluminum, manganese and gold.But mining’s energy needs are rarely linked to plans for new dams or their environmental impact assessments. Amazon mining and dam building have repeatedly in the past resulted in major harmful environmental and social impacts, including displacement of indigenous and traditional communities.Transnational mining companies and consortiums are major beneficiaries of government largesse through subsidies, tax breaks and the energy obtained from newly commissioned Amazon dams.Brazilian infrastructure development in the Amazon, including dam building and mining, could — if environmental and social issues are not properly addressed — turn the Amazon into a national sacrifice zone where biological and cultural diversity are drastically diminished. The Belo Monte dam, one of the biggest hydroelectric dams in the world, is located on the Xingu River in the heart of the Amazon. It is also located adjacent to the Belo Sun mine which, if it moves forward, would be the largest gold mine in Brazil. According to mining engineer Juan Doblas, who works with the NGO environmental advocacy group Instituto SocioAmbiental (ISA), without the Belo Monte dam’s energy, the Belo Sun mine wouldn’t be feasible. Photo by Zoe SullivanIn the late 1970s, Raimunda Gomes da Silva and her husband, João Pereira da Silva, moved to Tucuruí in Pará state. João went to work on the dam being built there. With the money he earned, the couple bought a plot of land and built a home. “This same money that we bought with the dam, the dam took back,” Raimunda told Mongabay during an interview in Altamira.“Our land was flooded. Our house was flooded. So we left Tucurui and, in the 90s, landed on the island.” The island Raimunda refers to lies in the Xingu River, also in Pará state. While it offered the couple a safe haven for some twenty years, another big hydroelectric dam, Belo Monte, forced them out. This time, João suffered a stroke, which Raimunda says turned him from her husband into a child.Tragic stories of displacement and loss like this one are fairly common in the Brazilian Amazon as new dams are built. But what is little mentioned in the retelling is the intimate relationship between the hydropower boom and a thriving mining industry with its hunger for thousands of megawatts of generating capacity.Some 40 new dams with generating capacities of more than 30 megawatts (MW) are slated for the Brazilian Amazon over the next twenty years. Meanwhile the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s National Mining Plan 2030 calls Amazonia “the current frontier of expansion for mining in Brazil, which sparks optimism and, at the same time, concerns.”Bauxite mines in Paragominas, Brazil, Norsk Hydro ASA. Bauxite ore is made into aluminum using a very energy intensive production process. In the Amazon much of that energy comes from hydropower. Photo by Hydro/Halvor Molland found on flickrVictims of mining expansionOne of the central concerns identified by Brazil’s mining plan is the clash between land use and occupation (such as that experienced by Raimunda and João). Conflicts arise over widely divergent views regarding development, where the lives and livelihoods of indigenous and traditional inhabitants collide with the interests of large, export-driven, capital-intensive mega-mining and dam projects designed by corporations and supported by the government.Raimunda and João’s lives were upended twice by the mining industry’s energy demands. The link was explicit with the Tucurui dam, built on the Tocantins River primarily to power nearby aluminum production facilities. According to 1987 projections by Electronorte made three years after the dam was completed, 49.9 percent of Tucurui´s energy was destined for aluminum and alumina production at Albrás in Bacarena and Alumar in São Luis, Maranhão.Likewise with the couple’s relocation from the island on the Xingu River. Canadian gold mining firm Belo Sun plans to open the largest gold mine in Brazil adjacent to the new Belo Monte dam. The firm´s website claims more than a million ounces of gold can be garnered from the mine and that its energy will come directly from a substation at Belo Monte. Still, the website indicates there is only about 1 gram of gold per ton. According to mining engineer Juan Doblas, who works with the environmental advocacy group Instituto SocioAmbiental (ISA), without the dam’s energy, the mine wouldn’t be feasible.The boat graveyard on the edge of Altamira in Pará state. The boats were largely abandoned by traditional fisherfolk after the construction of the Belo Monte dam displaced them and their families. The conflict between the Amazon’s indigenous and traditional peoples living along rivers continues to heat up as new dams and mines are developed. Photo by Zoe SullivanTracing mining energy use on the gridWith the introduction in 1995 of Brazil´s National Interconnected System (SIN) electrical transmission grid, it has become harder to pinpoint the direct relationship between a specific new dam and foundries.Philip Fearnside, a researcher who focuses on Brazilian hydropower dams and climate change, described the change to Mongabay. “Before, with Tucuruí, there was a special transmission line that was straight from there. Two of them: one to [Albrás] and one to Alumar. Whereas now it’s all mixed in the SIN.”Still, residents along the Tapajós River are highly suspicious concerning the true purpose behind the controversial São Luiz de Tapajós mega-dam. Many believe its 10,000 MW of generating power were destined for the nearby Jurutí bauxite mine to make aluminum for export.Environmental activists, indigenous communities and traditional riverside dwellers in the Tapajós River basin recently fought successfully to halt construction of São Luiz de Tapajós. IBAMA, Brazil´s environmental regulatory agency, archived the project last year. Nonetheless, opponents are concerned that the government could re-start the project any time.Interviewed shortly after IBAMA´s decision last year, Cacique Juarez Saw Munduruku of the Sawré Muybu indigenous community, told Mongabay he wasn´t resting easy. “I worry a little. I worry because I don’t believe in the Brazilian government. They could appeal the decision on the licensing to re-start the studies. That’s my concern. So that’s why we can’t stop fighting. We’re going to keep fighting until the government abandons building anywhere on the Tapajós because the Tapajós is part of the Munduruku.”Another view of the Norsk Hydro ASA bauxite mines in Paragominas, Brazil. Photo found on flickrA spokesperson for Alcoa, which operates the Jurutí mine, countered that producing energy at the São Luiz de Tapajós dam wouldn’t necessarily benefit them. “From the energy perspective, Juruti’s connection to the grid depends on transmission infrastructure, not on new generation.”Though SIN has erased the obvious one-to-one link between a particular dam and a particular mine, that doesn’t diminish the mining industry’s urgent need for energy, which can be met by Amazon hydropower. The Pará state Mining Plan 2013-2030 issued by the Secretary of Economic Development, Mining and Energy makes clear that a lack of affordable energy stands in the way of attracting new investments. The plan affirms that a lack of energy “represents a significant challenge to the growth of the state’s industrial chain,” which ultimately “threatens the aluminum industry itself in Brazil.”Amazonian mineral wealth The northern Brazilian state of Pará, traversed by the lower Amazon River and major tributaries including the Tapajós and Xingu rivers, is one of Brazil´s leading mineral producers. It also illustrates Brazil´s mineral wealth.The state´s Secretary of Economic Development, Mining and Energy (SEDEME) told Mongabay that the mining sector makes up two-thirds of Pará´s exports and accounts for 13 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product. An overwhelming 85 percent of Brazil´s total bauxite originates in Pará, SEDEME told Mongabay.Bauxite is the essential ore needed in the highly energy-intensive process for making aluminum. Alcoa has been operating the Jurutí mine on the western edge of Pará state since 2006. Jurutí sits atop what some estimate to be the largest bauxite deposit in the world. Lucio Flavio Pinto, a recognized journalist from the region, estimates that its three strata layers hold 700 million tons of bauxite. Alcoa says there are 21.1 million bone-dry metric tons (bdmt) there. The company’s website notes that Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) has contracts for its bauxite with customers in China, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and the company estimates the value of these 2017 third-party supply agreements at nearly $665 million.This geological map shows different types of sedimentary cover as well as the main mineral deposits across Brazil. Courtesy of DPNM´s Plano de Mineração 2030Bauxite is Brazil´s second-largest mineral export, with 10.4 million tons sent abroad in 2016. Manganese is third with two million tons. In terms of market value, however, gold is Brazil’s second most important mineral. Gold exports in 2016 were valued at US $2.89 billion.Iron ore is Brazil’s largest mineral export, although price slumps halved its value from nearly US $26 billion in 2014 to just over US $13 billion in 2016. Still, the amounts mined stayed relatively stable, increasing from 344 million tons in 2014 to 373.9 million tons in 2016.Minerals such as these are critical to the world economy and ubiquitous to daily life. People across the world use aluminum in cell phones, bicycles and cars, for example. And the power from hydroelectric dams ensures that refrigerators, lights and air conditioning keep running.Still, Brazil’s citizens and environment pay for the country’s commitment to large-scale mining — and for its lack of commitment to safety and stewardship. For example, the country’s largest-ever environmental disaster occurred in 2015, when the Fundão iron mine tailings dam failed in Minas Gerais. The dam collapse killed 19 people and impacted 1.6 million people in the region. Its failure poured 50 million tons of ore and toxic waste into Brazil’s Doce River, polluting the stream and croplands, killing fish and wildlife. It also contaminated drinking water with toxic sludge for the river’s 853-kilometer (530 mile) length. People in Pará worry because the same technology is now being proposed to store waste from Belo Sun´s proposed gold mine near the Belo Monte dam.This map, reproduced from the National Department of Mineral Production’s 2016 Brazilian Annual Mineral Report, shows Brazil’s primary deposits of bauxite (aluminum), copper, tin, iron, manganese, niobium, nickel and gold.Similarly, Alcoa’s Jurutí mine has been controversial since its inception, and has seen public mobilization and protests against its negative social and environmental impacts, such as water pollution. The Tucuruí dam, which was built before Brazil passed a law requiring environmental impact assessments prior to construction, eliminated 1,783 square kilometers (688 square miles) of forested land, displaced indigenous and traditional riverside dwellers, and damaged fisheries. Fearnside argues that since so much power from the dam was committed to aluminum production, other dams had to be built to provide electricity to cities in the region. Further, like other dams in the tropics, rotting vegetation in the reservoir produces methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas.These impacts, he wrote, can only be properly assessed once it´s clear who benefits from a dam. “Unfortunately, this did not occur in the case of Tucuruí, which mainly benefits multinational aluminum companies.”The ongoing marriage of mining and dams The relationship between mining and hydropower is easily explained: the mining and processing of metals, particularly aluminum, requires vast amounts of electricity. Fearnside reports that fifty percent of Alcoa´s overhead at its Albrás and Alumar facilities stem from energy costs, that’s according to a statement by the company´s Latin America and the Caribbean Director at the 2010 International Aluminum Conference in São Paulo, Brazil.However, the abundance of rivers in the Amazon basin combined with the region’s impressive mineral wealth, have made it attractive for planners to think strategically about supplying the energy for processing ore through hydropower.The hitch, according to Doblas, is that little heed is being paid to the environmental and social consequences of this strategy. “The truth is that installing a hydropower dam provokes the installation of mining projects. This never, or extremely rarely, is integrated into the licensing process as a synergetic effect.”The Tucurui dam, built on the Tocantins River primarily to power nearby aluminum production facilities. According to 1987 projections by Electronorte, 49.9 percent of Tucurui´s electricity was destined for aluminum and alumina production at Albrás in Bacarena and Alumar in São Luis, Maranhão. Bauxite is Brazil´s second-largest mineral export, with 10.4 million tons sent abroad in 2016. Low taxes on ore exports boost corporate profits, giving exporting mining companies more political clout than domestic mining companies. Photo by Repórter do Futuro licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licenseIn Ocekadi, a book published by International Rivers last year, Daniela Fernandes Alarcon, Maurcio Torres and Natalia Ribas Guerrero highlight the financial interests — including mining — behind the infrastructure plans in the Tapajós region, pointing to evidence in Brazil´s media. For example, In 2011, the Folha de São Paulo, one of Brazil´s most respected newspapers, reported on a round of investment aimed at the Amazon region, and concluded that: “the electricity sector is the driving force behind this investment.” The report described plans for hydroelectric dams such as Belo Monte on the Xingu River, Santo Antonio on the Teles Pires River and the São Luiz de Tapajós project. It said that these dams should produce a 13-percent increase in energy from the region and thus “[become] one of the engines for growth.”The Amazon basin, and Pará state in particular, offer several clear examples of mines associated with hydropower projects. Besides the Tucuruí dam and the foundries in Bacarena and São Luis, there is also the bauxite mine at Paragominas which the Norwegian firm Hydro acquired from Alcoa last year. Although not active yet, the Belo Sun gold mine would take advantage of the Belo Monte dam´s power supply.Itaituba is a small city on the Tapajós River that has been a hub for the gold mining industry since the 1980s. Mongabay reached out to members of Itaituba’s Chamber of Commerce to get their perspective on the benefits of mining and dams to the region, but they declined to comment.Generally, proposed Amazon hydropower dams are dissociated from the mining they will support. The 2,350 MW Cachoeira Porteira dam, for example, was first proposed in the 1980s as an alternative power supply for the city of Manaus and has yet to be built. But the prospective location is in Pará on the Trombetas River near Cruz Alta, home to a large bauxite deposit that Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) aims to begin mining in 2022. Complicating matters, the bauxite lies underneath land claimed by a quilombola, a community of the descendants of escaped slaves. The slow titling process which would give a land deed to the community, and the proximity of the mining interests offer an example of simmering land rights tensions in the region.A Vale mining operation in Brazil. The country is rich in Iron, bauxite, manganese, gold, and other minerals that are exported to countries around the globe to make many of the products which are ubiquitous for modern life. However, mining is very energy intensive, and the damming of Amazon rivers is seen as a key way of providing the electricity needed for mineral extraction. Photo by Josue Marinho licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licenseMRN is a consortium made of up mining companies including Vale, Alcoa, BHP Billiton, RioTintoAlcan, CBA, and the Norwegian firm Hydro. A spokesperson for MRN said that the company has no relationship with the Cachoeira Porteira dam project or any other hydroelectric dam along the Trombetas River. He also said: “There are no conflicts between MRN and quilombola communities that seek land titling.”Yet Lúcia Andrade of the Pro-Indian Commission disputed this. “Since 2013, MRN has been expanding its extraction area inside the quilombola territories. Now, in April 2017, MRN requested a preliminary license to expand mining even further onto Quilombola land.”For Doblas, the idea that MRN has no interest in the Cachoiera Porteira dam is laughable. “The mining companies aren’t paying for these projects directly. They’re not lobbying for these projects. But they will benefit, and these projects will facilitate the arrival of more mining.”Dams are just one element in a growing infrastructure web in the Amazon. New roads, railway lines and shipping canals, facilitated by locks associated with dams, are being planned in the Tapajós basin and elsewhere to cheaply transport commodities. For Greenpeace´s Danicley Aguiar, this development is taking place without prioritizing the interests and needs of the region´s most vulnerable: “You have a construction boom, and you get a surge in job opportunities and what-not, but once the project is done, the only winners are short-term interests.”The Belo Monte dam´s reservoir showing how dry weather has reduced its water level and exposed trees that had previously been submerged. This fluctuation in water levels contributes significantly to greenhouse gas formation when new plant growth on exposed ground is covered again with water and decomposes. As a result, Amazon dams contribute to climate change, so they not only have local and regional environmental impacts, but also global ones. Photo by Zoe SullivanIndustry lobbies governmentInterests such as mining and agribusiness make their influence felt in Brasilía. Aluminum exporters, for example, have been given large breaks on their energy costs, and they pay a lower tax rate than companies that produce for the domestic market.Corporate profitability, for example, was guaranteed to Albrás in the final years of Brazil´s dictatorship. At the time, the government granted Albrás a 20-year energy contract that guaranteed the price of electricity wouldn´t exceed 20 percent of the global price of aluminum, ensuring ongoing profits. Fearnside reports that the contract was renewed in 2004 with substantial new subsidies. Norwegian firm Hydro is now the majority shareholder in Albrás, along with a consortium of Japanese companies.Aluminum exports are likewise exempt from the country’s main tax, ICMS, (Imposto sobre Circulação de Mercadorias e Serviços – Tax on Circulation of Merchandise and Services). Since aluminum produced in the Amazon is mainly for export, this has a significant impact. Fearnside says that Albrás and Alumar pay roughly 8 percent in taxes once incentives and other benefits are taken into consideration. Their colleagues in the southern part of the country, producing for the domestic market, pay a 20 percent tax rate. This corporate welfare impacts competitiveness, giving exporters a serious advantage.“Our raw materials leave without paying taxes, so we are still like a colony from the early times of our history,” Eduardo Costa told Mongabay. Costa is a physician and has been a conservative member of Pará´s state legislature since 2002. He argues that Brazil’s Kandir law, which would allow states to tax unfinished goods, needs to be implemented urgently. Since only finished goods are taxed, Costa says, the state is losing out on a significant potential stream of revenue because both ore and the energy produced by hydropower dams leaves the state untaxed.“Neither mining, which the Kandir law [neglects] and has been costing the state for years, nor our own energy production generate dividends for the state,” he told Mongabay.At the same time, he said, dams and other projects have social impacts. “There are areas of misery that were created by these mega-projects,” Costa told Mongabay, describing the dramatic increase in violence in Altamira since the construction of the nearby Belo Monte dam.An aerial view of the Serra do Carajás iron mine in Pará state near the city of Marabá. It is is run by Brazil’s Vale mining company. Mining, if not properly managed, can do significant environmental and social harm, polluting rivers and groundwater, deforesting large areas, and displacing indigenous and traditional communities. When hydroelectric dams are planned in the Brazilian Amazon, their environmental assessments do not add in the potential harm done by the mining operations that rely on the dams for energy. Image courtesy of NASAWhile some companies benefit, Brazil accumulates a series of financial, social and environmental impacts. In 2013, Brazil exported aluminum bars worth US $789.9 million, generating US $63.2 million in tax income, a figure Fearnside´s book calls “miniscule in comparison to the financial cost and the damages inflicted by the hydroelectric dams that are behind the industry.”He argues as well that substantial government subsidies for export-oriented industries end up undercutting the power of domestically-focused industries. This has shifted the balance of political influence to exporters through a feedback loop that means they are likely to see more policies enacted that benefit them, such as dam, canal and railway construction.The resource curseRaimunda and João´s story brings the human impact of mining and dam construction into focus. It is also an example of the “resource curse” — a phenomenon in which many of the world’s most mineral-wealthy countries nonetheless report staggering levels of poverty and inequality.Experiences like those of Raimunda and João are the focus for Daniel Rondinelli Roquetti´s doctoral research at the University of São Paulo. He is studying the lifestyle changes faced by people who have been displaced by hydropower dams. “Brazil generally exports people’s lives in aluminum bars,” he says. “There are a series of impacts in terms of human rights and environmental damage.” These impacts, Roquetti argues, don’t figure into costs the country shoulders to produce aluminum.The ruins of the town of Bento Rodrigues after the November 2015 iron mine tailings dam failure that killed 19 people and which did massive environmental damage along the 853 kilometer (530 mile) length of the Doce River and ultimately impacted 1.6 million people — the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history. Photo by Romerito Pontes licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licenseBefore the Belo Monte dam was built, Raimunda and João split their time between their island home where they fished, gathered fruit, and planted vegetables; and a city home that gave them access to markets to sell their produce. Their city home was a humble place in an informal community next to the river´s edge, minutes from central Altamira. The community flooded seasonally, yet was vibrant with fisherfolk and other families.Now the couple lives in a cinder block house in a resettlement community four kilometers from the river. Since there´s no public transportation, Raimunda must pay for a motorbike taxi to get from the house to the city center. The informal social network the couple once enjoyed has been disrupted because all the riverside families have been displaced.In the shady gap between their cinder block house and the concrete wall surrounding it live Raimunda’s tortoises. She feeds them tomatoes and other vegetables. She also identifies with them. “I’ve promised not to eat them,” she explains. Once she and João can return to their island, Raimunda has promised to free the creatures. “I’m going to live where I like, and they’re going to live where they need to be.”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

Chris Paul out for Game 6 vs Warriors with hamstring strain

first_imgLATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding View comments PetroGazz brings in new import to replace Kullerkann Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Paul suffered the hamstring injury in the final seconds of Houston’s 98-94 home victory in game five Thursday, which followed a 95-92 win at Golden State in the only close contests of the series so far.Paul, a 13-year NBA veteran who has never played in the NBA Finals, reached for his hamstring after missing a shot in the final minute, limped after that and left the contest with 22.4 seconds remaining and the outcome still in doubt.READ: WATCH: Chris Paul shimmies in Steph Curry’s face after draining tough 3In the contest, Paul had 20 points, all but two in the second half, plus seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.Paul has averaged 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists during the playoffs for the Rockets, who had an NBA-best 65-17 regular-season record and ousted Minnesota and Utah in five games each in the opening rounds of the playoffs.ADVERTISEMENT Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul wears the Santa Fe High School logo during the first half in Game 5 of the team’s NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors in Houston, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Ten people were killed in shootings at the school last week.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Houston Rockets star guard Chris Paul will miss the team’s crucial NBA playoff game Saturday at defending champion Golden State with a strained right hamstring, the Rockets announced Friday.The team said Paul will be re-evaluated after the Rockets return from Saturday’s Western Conference matchup against the Warriors, with Houston leading the best-of-seven series 3-2 entering game six at Oakland, California.ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls MOST READ If the Rockets win, they can await Paul’s medical update as they prepare for their first trip to the NBA Finals since winning the title in 1995.READ: Chris Paul’s status for crucial Game 6 uncertain with hamstring injuryFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownIf the Rockets lose, they will be preparing for a seventh-game showdown Monday at home, a one-game winner-takes-all contest to decide a berth in the NBA Finals that begin Thursday.Eric Gordon, who has averaged 14.7 points in the playoffs, will replace Paul in Saturday’s starting lineup, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In the regular season, Paul averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and a team-high 7.9 assists a game.Together with NBA scoring champion James Harden, who averaged 30.4 points in the regular season and has netted 28.1 a game in the playoffs, Paul had the Rockets playing as a serious championship contender.Paul had been playing with a nagging right foot injury but said the pain had diminished between games three and four at Golden State.Replacing Paul’s point production and defensive work will require greater effort from Rockets standouts Gordon, P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela.The Rockets went 15-6 this season in games without Paul when Capela and Harden were in the lineup.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operationslast_img read more

Granger shortchanges Indian Guyanese

first_imgDear Editor,I read the media reports of the speech delivered by President David Granger at the celebration of Indian Arrival Day at Highbury last weekend.The speech included in some detail, the involvement of Indo-Guyanese immigrants in all aspects of manual, physical and structural activities at the patently noticeable exclusion of their significant involvement and contribution to the equally, if not more important, mental/intellectual/scientific/managerial and investment aspects of Guyana’s development after the abolition of slavery and introduction of immigration from India.The omission is so stark, especially having regard to the President’s personal/professional background as a historian, that I am forced to wonder if the faux pas is attributable to his ‘speech-writer’ and perhaps his Excellency did not ‘proofread’ the speech before he delivered it. I would like to think so and take this opportunity to respectfully suggest to His Excellency that he might wish to confirm this in a manner he considers appropriate.Sincerely,Nowrang Persaudlast_img read more

IMF Endorses US$130M to Fight Ebola

first_imgThe Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stepped into the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, approving a total of US$130 million in emergency financial assistance to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three West African countries at the center of the epidemic. The IMF is making its presence felt as the death toll from Ebola rises in the sub-region with seriously crippling economic impact. Liberia has announced that it would need about US$375 million dollars to fight the Ebola virus and restore its economy.Finance Minister Amara Konneh told reporters Monday, September 29, that government’s development program crafted under the Agenda for Transformation (AfT) is under serious threat as it can no longer afford to finance most of the projects, due to the economic impact of the Ebola crisis. Budget revenue has already declined by about 20 percent. According to the IMF, the US$130 million emergency financing arrangements amounts  to 25 percent of each country’s quota at the IMF.  The break down is as follows: for Liberia, the Executive Board approved a US$48.3 million augmentation of an existing arrangement under the ECF-the extended credit facility. At this point Liberia is the country most affected by the epidemic, which has overwhelmed its capacity to respond. In addition to the heavy human toll, the outbreak is having a severe economic and social impact that could jeopardize gains from a decade of peace. Based on preliminary estimates, real GDP growth is projected to decline from 6 percent to 2.5 percent in 2014 as the key sectors of the economy, namely mining, services and agriculture, are all severely disrupted.As for Guinea, the Board approved US$41.4 million under the Fund’s Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The Ebola outbreak started in Guinea by end-2013 and intensified sharply from July, although it has been hit somewhat less hard than its neighbors. The country’s short-term economic outlook has deteriorated substantially, with 2014 growth expected to fall from a 4.5 percent projected at the beginning of the year to 2.4 percent. Guinea is making satisfactory progress under its existing arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) but will receive emergency funding under the RCF arrangement because the most recent review under the ECF arrangement is pending.Sierra Leone, for its part, will receive a US$39.8 million ECF augmentation. Ebola has spread to the entire country, severely affecting the social and economic fabric. Growth is slowing—from 11.3 percent to 8 percent this year.  Based on the August estimate, inflationary pressures have intensified, and new balance of payments and fiscal financing needs have emerged.The IMF Executive Board said it approved the financing on an accelerated emergency basis in order to help cover a substantial portion of the financing gap in the three countries, provisionally estimated to total some US$300 million that has emerged from the humanitarian crisis. The Fund recognized that these  countries are grappling with the Ebola outbreak with fragile institutions and ill-equipped medical systems, and are facing substantial revenue shortfalls and additional spending needs to combat the outbreak.“The involvement of the IMF in the crisis reflects the mounting macroeconomic impact of the crisis on countries that were making strides in overcoming years of fragility and instability. The additional financial assistance to help combat the epidemic fits within the Fund’s mandate to support its member countries in times of economic and social stress as they address balance of payments and fiscal financing needs,” the Fund said in a statement.Growing economic impact“The Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone has already cost too many lives,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “This humanitarian crisis could also have deep economic consequences. The governments of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone requested IMF support to enhance their efforts to contain this unprecedented epidemic that is disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable in their populations. The IMF is working hard with the authorities of the affected countries and their development partners to ensure that the outbreak is quickly brought under control and to assist the economic rebuilding effort that must follow.”“A health crisis of this magnitude inevitably will have a severe economic impact, and it is the responsibility of the IMF to assist countries to remain on their feet,” said Dr. Antoinette Sayeh, Director of the IMF African Department. “We are working closely with our counterparts in all three countries to provide the financing and advice that can make a difference in their struggle against Ebola,” the former Liberian Finance Minister added.Infection Pace QuickensThe Ebola epidemic—a hemorrhagic fever that originates in wild animals—emerged in Guinea early this year and subsequently spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 6,000 people are known to have been infected in the three countries (with a handful of cases in Nigeria and Senegal, where the virus now appears contained) and over 3,000 people have died.However, the actual toll is likely to be higher, as there is evidence of substantial under-reporting of cases and deaths. Furthermore, the pace of infection has accelerated in recent weeks, particularly in Liberia and, to a lesser extent, in Sierra Leone.The three affected countries have struggled to mount an effective defense against Ebola’s spread in large part because of extremely limited public health capabilities. An increasing number of international organizations have become involved, including the United Nations and WHO, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and leading nongovernmental organizations such as Doctors without Borders and the Red Cross. Governments as well as private local and international donors also have committed significant resources.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more