Durant’s 37 lifts Warriors past pesky Suns

first_imgBREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise T.J. Warren scored 26 points and Eric Bledsoe had 21 for the winless Suns, who took the Thunder into overtime in Oklahoma City on Friday night. Tyson Chandler grabbed 18 rebounds for Phoenix.The Suns led by as many as 13 in the first half. The Warriors finally took somewhat shaky control midway through the final quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentThe game looked well in hand for the reigning Western Conference champs when Durant took a lob pass from Andre Iguodala, dunked and was fouled. The three-point play put the Warriors up 102-94 — their biggest lead of the day — with 1:19 to play.But Phoenix got consecutive driving layups from Bledsoe, Warren and Jared Dudley to cut it to 102-100 with 14.8 seconds remaining. The Suns had to foul Curry, and arguably the best free throw shooter in the game made them both to put away Golden State’s second victory after a loss in its home opener. The Suns used a 22-2 run to take the big early lead. Durant scored five points in the final 30 seconds of the first half to cut Phoenix’s lead to 57-55 at the break.Phoenix’s last lead was 84-83 on Alex Len’s inside basket with 10:15 to playSUNS RUNPhoenix scored 16 straight points in what became that 22-2 run to lead 30-17 when Alex Len sank a pair of free throws with 38.4 seconds left in the first quarter. Six Suns scored in the run.TEENAGE FAREWELL,ADVERTISEMENT 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas The Suns’ Devin Booker had a rough day on the court on his 20th birthday, but he did some serious damage in the NBA as a teenager.Booker scored 1,078 points in 78 games as a teen. The only teens to score more are LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmello Anthony, Durant and Dwight Howard. Booker had six 30-point games as a teenager, one fewer than Durant.He missed six of his first seven shots Sunday and wound up 3-for-12 for seven points.TIP-INSWarriors: Curry drew his fourth foul with 7:51 left in the third quarter but didn’t get his fifth until there was 3:22 to play. … Golden State beat the Suns for the eighth straight time. … Golden State swept the four-game series with the Suns two of the last three years.Suns: Warren has 56 points in his last two games. … Rookie Marquese Chriss drew his third technical foul of the season. He had two and was tossed from the previous game at Oklahoma City. … Booker was 0 for 6 from the field before sinking a 3 at the shot clock buzzer to tie it at 62.UP NEXTSuns: Play at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.Warriors: Play at Portland on Tuesday night Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Brad Pitt wins his first acting Oscar as awards get underway Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 30: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after scoring against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 30, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Warriors defeated the Suns, 106 -100. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPPHOENIX — Kevin Durant scored 37 points, Stephen Curry added 28 and the Golden State Warriors held off the pesky Phoenix Suns 106-100 on Sunday.The Warriors didn’t seal the victory until Curry’s two free throws with 12.9 seconds to play. Durant added a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to provide the final margin.ADVERTISEMENT Murray beats Tsonga in Vienna for 3rd straight ATP title PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 View comments Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town EDITORS’ PICK Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH MOST READ Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. We are younglast_img read more

GALLERY: 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony

first_imgMOST READ EDITORS’ PICK 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agent Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH PH among economies most vulnerable to virus 4th Impact, a Filipino girl group which made the semifinals of X-Factor UK, sings the Philippine national anthem during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlaska Aces governor Dickie Bachmann with daughter Ciarra during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSan Miguel governor with the Beermen’s muse Yassi Pressman during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlaska Aces with muse Ciarra Bachmann during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBarangay Ginebra Kings with muse Kim Domingo during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBlackwater Elite with muses Daiana Menezes and Janelle Olafson during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netGlobalPort Batang Pier with muse Valeen Montenegro during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMahindra Floodbuster with muse and 2015 Miss Global England Sophia Rankin during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMeralco Bolts with Bb. Pilipinas Universe Maxine Medina during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNLEX Road Warriors with muse Margo Midwinter during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoenix Fuel Masters with muses Elisse Joson and Sofia Andres during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRain or Shine Elasto Painters with muse and Mutya ng Pilipinas Miss Tourism International Justin Mae San Jose during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSan Miguel Beermen with muse Yassi Pressman during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netStar Hotshots with muse and Bb. Pilipinas Miss international 2016 Kylie Versoza during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTNT KaTropa with muse and Bb. Pilipinas first runner-up Angelica Alita during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net2017 PBA Season opening ceremony. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRERPhilippine Cup trophy. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBarangay Ginebra Kings guard Jayjay Helterbrand during the 2017 PBA Season opening ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netStar Hotshots rookie Jio Jalalon. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRain or Shine Elasto Painters swingman James Yap. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netADVERTISEMENT Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 We are young Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Panaga, Lady Blazers survive Lady Knights in NCAA volleyball Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

NLEX holds off Alaska in OT thriller

first_imgPH among economies most vulnerable to virus Dondon Hontiveros had the ball after the mad scramble but his two attempts also missed the basket as the buzzer sounded.It was Carlo Lastimosa who gave the Red Warriors the final score line when he split his free throws 10.2 seconds earlier.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliRoad Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao, who was the main man in the bench for Rain or Shine for five years before moving to NLEX, said thrillers like their season opener are vital for the development of his team.“It’s a good way to start the season, we need games like this to build the character for this team,” said Guiao. “We’re lucky they missed four shots and we’re lucky Calvin Abueva is not playing.” “Better to be lucky than good.”Abueva missed Alaska’s opening game due to tonsillitis.NLEX had a 98-94 lead late in the overtime period but Chris Banchero cut it to 98-97 with a triple.Sean Anthony led NLEX with 21 points and 14 rebounds while sophomore big man Bradwyn Guinto also had a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards.Rookie Carl Bryan Cruz had an impressive debut for the Aces with 20 points and 14 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise We are young MOST READcenter_img Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town EDITORS’ PICK 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas PBA IMAGES.NLEX survived with a 99-97 nail-biting overtime win over Alaska to open its campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The Aces had several chances to tie the game anew down the stretch but RJ Jazul’s layup clanked off the basket while JP Mendoza’s tip-in suffered the same fate.ADVERTISEMENT Indonesia punches ticket to Suzuki Cup semis Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esportslast_img read more

A most unlikely hope: How the companies that destroyed the world’s forests can save them (commentary)

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Palm Oil, Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Cocoa, Commentary, Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Role In Conservation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Editorials, Environment, Forests, Palm Oil, Rainforests, Researcher Perspective Series, Soy, Tropical Deforestation Article published by Mike Gaworecki In the age of Trump, lamenting the lassitude of governments may be satisfying, but it does little to solve our planet’s foremost existential crisis. It is for this reason that the hopes of billions of people now depend on the very companies most responsible for environmental destruction.We’ve come to a pretty sorry pass if we’re depending in significant measure on these corporations to get us out of this mess. But it’s the pass we’re at, and there’s actually reason to hope that the same companies that got us into this mess can get us out.In this commentary, Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz writes that he feels confident these companies can make a difference because they’ve done it before.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Deep in the forest of the Bolivian Amazon, fire burns through thousands of acres of ancient Amazon rainforest. It’s a crude way to destroy an ecosystem. The scene offers no hint of all the technology that’s supposed to be transforming our world according to our Twitter feeds and thought leaders on Wall Street and Silicon Valley. But make no mistake: this simple act of destruction, prehistoric in its origins though modern in its scale, is shaping our world as much or more than every iPhone, missile, or the Internet of Things.This is the frontier where ‘modern’ agriculture meets nature, and it’s not a pretty sight. This is where millions of years of accumulated carbon get turned into the poison that is making our atmosphere hot, and where sloths and jaguars are pushed into ever-smaller corners of the once vast rainforest.Of course, once the forest is cleared and the indigenous people pushed off, the modernity of this scene becomes more apparent. Commercial farming companies financed by huge global agricultural behemoths like the American soy traders Cargill and Bunge plant the land with high-tech soy once it’s cleared; in many cases, they use tractors loaded with hundreds of thousands of dollars of computing equipment to monitor every square meter of soy fields that can be 100 km2 in extent. The commercial farmers are proud of their technology, and this part of the process of growing soy makes them feel like they’re on the cutting edge of society. Cargill, Bunge, and their ilk boast about efficiency — but all ignore the barbarity at the root of the entire process.The deforestation that paved the way for these vast soy operations is pure barbarity. Even on its own terms — Cargill claims the purpose of their operations is to ‘nourish a growing planet’ — it’s unnecessary. There are 1.25 million km2 of previously deforested and degraded lands across the tropics where agriculture can be expanded without sacrificing forests.Nonetheless, Cargill, Bunge, and other unscrupulous companies have continued to purchase soy and other commodities that have their origins in vast fires like those in Bolivia, which are common in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay — as well as in Southeast Asia’s Paradise Forests, which are being cleared for palm oil.Government: Responsible But AbsentWhy is this deforestation still happening when agriculture can be expanded without the horrible effects? Part of the blame lies with governments. Too many rainforest nation governments — and the societies they represent — continue to tolerate corruption, and let big companies like Cargill expropriate their natural resources for the benefit of their foreign owners. In Ivory Coast, for example, Mighty Earth has recently conducted an investigation that showed how the country let cocoa farmers who supply cocoa to big chocolate companies like Cadbury, Nestle, and Mars destroy national parks and protected forest areas.Palm fruit in an oil palm plantation. Photo by Rhett Butler.It’s not like developed countries are immune. Both Europe and the United States have extremely unwise biofuel mandates propping up segments of their domestic agribusiness industry that require a certain percentage of the gasoline burned in automobile fuel tanks to come from biofuels — palm oil, soy biodiesel, and corn ethanol. Forests were already being hammered just by ordinary market demand for cattle and soy; these kinds of mandates are making them worse — which is part of the reason why viable efforts are underway on both continents to end the obscene practice of burning food in fuel tanks.In the age of Trump, lamenting the lassitude of governments may be satisfying, but it does little to solve our planet’s foremost existential crisis. It is for this reason that the hopes of billions of people now depend on the very companies most responsible for environmental destruction. I suppose we’ve come to a pretty sorry pass if we’re depending in significant measure on these corporations to get us out of this mess. But it’s the pass we’re at, and there’s actually reason to hope that the same companies that got us into this mess can get us out.The Proven Potential of the Private SectorI feel this confidence because they’ve done it before. The Brazilian Amazon used to be one of the big new frontiers for soy plantations after scientists developed new varieties that could for the first time be grown in the tropics. By 2004, Brazil was clearing almost 30,000 km2 of forest every year — equivalent to wiping a pristine forest the size of Belgium of all its native vegetation. In response, environmental campaigns around the world demanded that companies like McDonald’s and Tesco stop sourcing beef and other meat raised on soy from the Amazon. These brands turned to their soy suppliers, Cargill, Bunge, ADM, and Louis Dreyfus, and told them they couldn’t sell their deforestation-based soy anymore.Although those companies had long made excuses for environmental problems, once they faced real market pressure, they acted quickly, and announced a strict moratorium on deforestation for soy. Within three years, deforestation for soy in the Brazilian Amazon had plummeted to zero. A few years later, major leather and beef customers in Brazil and around the world put similar pressure on the cattle industry, and won. Deforestation to make room for cattle ranches also rapidly declined, but wasn’t eliminated. To be sure, government measures like the creation of new national parks and indigenous reserves helped, but the majority of progress seems to have been delivered by the private sector. A 2015 study in the journal Science found that compliance with the voluntary private sector soy moratorium was five times greater than with the Brazilian Forest Code.Remarkably, despite the plunge in deforestation, Brazilian agriculture didn’t stop growing: soy and cattle production have doubled since the soy moratorium went into force. Brazilian soy farmers have been able to expand their planted area in the Amazon by 25,000 km2 — without deforestation.Spreading SuccessThis is the success we must emulate, but too many of the very companies that participated in that success have resisted its duplication. Just over the border from Cargill and Bunge’s great success in the Brazilian Amazon, forests continue to burn in the Bolivian Amazon – an ecosystem no different from the one they’re protecting in Brazil. Why the Brazilian Amazon is worthy of protection when the Bolivian Amazon is not is an indictment of the morality and energy of the corporations causing this deforestation. In Brazil’s vast biodiverse forest savannah, it’s the same story: Cargill and Bunge are directly financing and buying soy from farms that are bulldozing and burning this unique place that provides habitat for Giant Anteater, the endangered Maned Wolf, and the huge hyacinth macaw. Indeed, Rainforest Foundation Norway and Mighty Earth conducted an investigation into deforestation in these two ecosystems that was covered in major media around the globe; a few months later, we again investigated the same locations we had gone to the first time, and found that farms linked to Cargill and Bunge had cleared an area the size of 10,000 football fields just since our first investigation!Of course, Cargill and Bunge bear direct responsibility for the actions of those who they finance and from whom they purchase soy and other commodities. The egregiousness of their actions is especially stark when one considers that their competitors ADM and Louis Dreyfus have expressed very strong support for duplicating the success.Cargill and Bunge are getting away with their continued deforestation because their customers are still willing to use their soy as the raw material that feeds the chicken, pork, and beef they serve, even though they know it has involved deforestation.McDonald’s, Burger King, the supermarket giants Ahold Delhaize, Tesco and Marks & Spencer, and many others have all said they support an extension of the success of the Brazilian soy moratorium to other ecosystems, but their stated support hasn’t translated into action. More than a year ago, these companies saw videos, photos, and satellite evidence showing that Cargill and Bunge have for years been driving deforestation in South America for soy at a mass level. Ten years ago, presented with similar evidence, these companies forced Cargill and Bunge and other soy companies to act and create the enormous success of the Brazilian Soy Moratorium.But the leadership of companies like McDonald’s, Marks & Spencer, and Ahold Delhaize is not what it once was. Marks & Spencer and Ahold Delhaize have even had the gall to say that while they support an extension of the Brazilian Soy Moratorium ‘in principle,’ they are unwilling to actually do anything about it until the traders and soy growers — in other words, the deforesters themselves — call for it themselves. In other words, they won’t ask deforesters to stop deforestation unless the deforesters want to do it themselves. And McDonald’s, Cargill’s largest customer, has continued to purchase Chicken McNuggets and other products from Cargill despite the company’s refusal to meaningfully address its enormous contribution to deforestation. That gives the lie to McDonald’s and other companies’ stated commitments.Oil palm estate and rainforest in Malaysian Borneo. Photo by Rhett Butler.In particular, Cargill, McDonald’s, and dozens of the world’s other leading food and agriculture companies all committed several years ago to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains by 2020. Unfortunately, these companies aren’t taking the deadline seriously. If they were, they wouldn’t be continuing to buy raw materials from companies like Cargill and Bunge that have continued to finance deforestation on a vast scale. Because in order to hit that deadline, companies will need to set up mechanisms like the expansion of the Soy Moratorium in Latin America, and press their palm-oil, paper, and beef suppliers to take action in other areas. Unless they do, 2020 will come and go with massive private sector-driven deforestation still underway. Pressing companies to meet the 2020 deadline is one of the most powerful levers that consumers, investors, governments and activists must persuade companies to act with urgency.Industry-Wide ChangeThe problems of insufficient commitment are not crop-specific. All come back to the same companies that buy palm oil, soy, beef, paper, cocoa, and rubber — the top commodities driving deforestation.The palm-oil industry has in many ways made extraordinary progress; the largest traders have all adopted strict forest and human rights policies, and have agreed to support conservation of all high carbon stock landscapes according to the same criteria (even Cargill has supported this action). But there are limits to what companies can do individually through corporate sustainability policies. Suppliers to the leaders of the palm-oil industry — and through them, the world’s biggest consumer companies — have continued with deforestation. In Papua, Indonesia’s largest intact rainforest frontier and home to extraordinary wildlife like tree kangaroos and birds of paradise, Korean conglomerates like Korindo and Posco Daewoo have destroyed 500 km2 of rainforest. When presented with the evidence, all the big palm-oil companies announced almost immediately that they wouldn’t buy from these rogue actors. But it shouldn’t have required activist NGOs like ours to come along and tell these giant companies about obvious deforestation within their own supply chains. With their $50 billion in annual revenues, the leaders of the palm-oil industry should have the collective wherewithal to monitor deforestation across Southeast Asia and automatically cut off ties with any company that fails to comply with their own policies immediately — before deforestation gets to even 1 km2, let alone 500 km2.It’s essentially the same story in the other industries driving deforestation. The opportunity to eliminate deforestation rapidly exists, but too many companies have failed to treat the issue with the urgency required. In the rubber industry, only Michelin has adopted a strict forest conservation and human rights policy. Bridgestone, Continental, and Goodyear have continued to deal with deforestation by covering their eyes and failing to ask questions. Indeed, the rubber industry association charged with dealing with sustainability requires its suppliers only to comply with the laws in the countries in which they operate, which in many cases means no sustainability criteria whatsoever.However, there are some positive examples. After decades of mass-scale deforestation, the Southeast Asian paper giants Asia Pulp and Paper and APRIL have adopted forest conservation policies which they seem to be implementing rigorously. They have even gone one step further, by committing to the restoration of previously destroyed forests and carbon-rich peatlands.One example of hope for rapid progress is the chocolate industry. In some ways, the big chocolate players have acted even worse than those in other industries. These companies have been knowingly sourcing cocoa from within national parks and other protected areas in Ivory Coast and Ghana’s once-lush rainforest for decades. In Ivory Coast, the country is now only 4 percent densely forested, and cocoa has almost entirely taken over several of the country’s protected areas. In Ghana, the situation is not much better.But in response to a call from rainforest champion Prince Charles and the Dutch sustainability organization IDH, the chocolate industry is participating in a process to identify collective actions they can take to end deforestation and human rights abuse once and for all. They seem not to be fiddling around with the illusory notion that individual companies can change much on their own, or that they can just slough off their obligations to ensure a sustainable future for the countries in which they operate on governments. The proof will be in the (chocolate) pudding – but the process as it currently stands is a model for how industries should address urgent forest issues.An Honest and Liberating ApproachAt the end of the day, even the worst deforesters can be persuaded to stop and act effectively — if they hear enough from their customers and investors. These companies know that it’s kind of hard to enjoy a Big Mac if you’re worrying that McDonald’s beef was raised through the destruction of an ancient forest; or to luxuriate under a hot shower if you’re worried that your soap was made with palm oil produced by driving orangutans to the brink of extinction.That’s why increasing activism is the single most important thing needed. That means speaking up with the companies from which you buy your products, it means protesting outside supermarkets, and it means posting messages in a targeted way on social media. Investors have an at least equal opportunity to drive change. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund’s divestment from 23 palm oil companies in 2013 told the entire palm-oil industry that investors were no longer going to ask them politely to stop destroying the rainforest: there would be consequences if they didn’t heed the calls for action. As a result, palm-oil companies started taking the urgings of other institutional investors far more seriously. Investors, just like consumers, need to use their clout to aggressively and clearly call for specific change, through engagement and shareholder resolutions. But they must be willing to go farther. The reality is that many irresponsible companies engaged in deforestation don’t actually think investors will pull their money out because of sustainability concerns. When companies fail to respond, divestment can be the only option: it can make companies realize that these concerns have an immediate financial impact.These are simple tactics, but they work. Unfortunately, there has been too little of this. In Latin America, the Rainforest Foundation Norway and the Norwegian government are the only major funders who have been willing to support the kind of hard-hitting activism that the private sector responds to. More is needed.The world is in a race against time — and our governments are either not acting, or are moving in the wrong direction. Paradoxically, due to political factors, even in nominally democratic societies, decent citizens have more opportunities to have their voices heard through the companies from which they purchase goods than from the governments they have elected to act in their interest — an upside-down world, but it’s the world we live in. That knowledge, while upsetting, can also prove liberating — and it could pave the way for agriculture to expand, without sacrificing the rainforests our planet needs to survive.Canopy of an oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Photo by Rhett Butler.Glenn Hurowitz is CEO of Mighty Earth.This article originally appeared in a report released today by the Rainforest Foundation Norway, “Saving Rainforests 2.0: Next steps and better solutions forefforts to protect the rainforest.”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.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

As climate change takes its toll, world leaders call for adaptation

first_imgAdaptation To Climate Change, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Climate Change And Food, Climate Change Denial, Climate Change Policy, Climate Change Politics, climate finance, Climate Science, Environment, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Impact Of Climate Change Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong 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 A new global initiative led by former U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon aims to help the world adapt to the fallout from a changing climate.The Global Commission on Adaptation differs from current climate initiatives, which focus largely on mitigation, i.e. efforts to slow the emissions of greenhouse gases.The launch of the commission comes in the shadow of a new U.N. report warning of dire consequences from climate change affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world unless the global temperature rise is kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).But even if this is achieved, Ban says, irreversible changes have been made that are already manifesting as unseasonal heat waves, more destructive storms, and other extreme weather events — which will require adaptation rather than mitigation by countries worldwide. Leaders from 17 countries, including China and India, have joined a new initiative aimed at helping vulnerable nations deal with the fallout from climate change.The Global Commission on Adaptation, launched at The Hague on Oct. 16, is led by Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations secretary-general; Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates; and Kristalina Georgieva, chief executive of the World Bank.The commission is looking beyond measures to rein in global warming and grapple instead with the question of how to help countries adapt to the threats posed by a changing climate.The launch of the global commission comes on the heels of a landmark report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warns that humanity only has 12 years to keep the global temperature increase to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Failure to do so, the report predicts, will have catastrophic consequences: Up to 10 million more people would be exposed to permanent inundation, and several hundred million more to climate-related risks, rendering them susceptible to poverty. Malaria and dengue fever would be more widespread, and yields of crops like maize, rice and wheat would diminish, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America.“It’s challenging but it’s feasible to stay below 1.5 [degrees Celsius],” Ban said on a press call. “There’s no question, reducing emission remains a priority and we must do all we can to prevent [global warming]. But even if emission reduction efforts succeed, the changes already locked into [the] planetary system will bring hard-core heat waves, bigger storms, and acidic seas. So we have to do all actions to prepare for climate impacts.”Extreme weather events linked to climate change have wrought immense damage this summer, one of the hottest on records. There have been devastating hurricanes in the United States, an unprecedented heat wave in Japan, record drought in Cape Town, and forest fires in the Arctic.Gates said what vulnerable populations needed to adapt to climate change was strong policies.“And we need to ensure that governments and other stakeholders are supporting innovation and helping deliver those breakthroughs to the people and places that need them most,” he said on the press call. “If everyone does their part, we can reduce carbon emissions, increase access to affordable energy, and help farmers everywhere grow more productive crops.”Georgieva said failure to adapt to climate change would hurt the most vulnerable communities in the world.“Our analysis indicates that already extreme poverty in a number of countries is on the rise because of changing climate,” she said. “Most likely we’ll see 100 million people falling back in extreme poverty [by] 2030 as a result of climate change, extreme weather that’s affecting lives and destroying livelihoods.“It is a cruel irony that those who have least contributed to climate change are the ones who are affected and least able to prepare,” she said. “We face a choice: business as usual and hope for the best; or we act now and build for a resilient future.”Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon speaks during the launching of the Global Commission on Adaptation in The Hague. Image by Global Commission on Adaptation.Race against timeThere’s a growing sense of urgency for meaningful measures to adapt to climate change, underscored by the findings of the recent IPCC report. To date, policymakers have focused largely on mitigation — initiatives to slow the emissions of greenhouse gases. But they’ve had little to show for their efforts: energy-related carbon emissions hit an all-time high last year, according to the International Energy Agency.Meanwhile, countries are nowhere near prepared for the new climate reality, one where dramatic weather events and volatile seasons have grown more frequent.While some cities and countries like New York and Bangladesh have been trying to adapt to climate change, the majority, including small-island states and developing nations, remain highly vulnerable. For them, faster rates of sea-level rise allow much less time to adapt, such as by restoring natural coastal ecosystems and reinforcing infrastructure.At the U.N. climate talks in 2010, developed nations promised to contribute as much as $100 billion collectively, or 1 percent of their combined GDP, to developing nations by 2020 to help with the transition to a low-carbon economy and with adapting to climate impacts they already experienced.But the rich nations have not followed through on that promise. Through the end of July this year, only $10.3 billion had been pledged, and only $3.5 billion of it collected, of which $1.4 billion was for adaptation projects.This year, both the United States and Australia declared that they would no longer contribute any money at all.“The world has clearly dropped the ball on adaptation,” said Andrew Steer, chief executive of the World Resources Institute (WRI), which is one of the managing partners for the Global Commission on Adaptation.Ban said financing for climate mitigation amounted to $382 billion in 2015 and 2016, about $140 billion of which was from the public sector. In the same period, the public sector contributed just $22 billion toward climate adaptation financing. (Very little data are available about private financing for adaptation.)There’s a similar disparity in climate funding from development organizations, with about three-quarters going to climate mitigation and the rest to adaptation, according to Georgieva. Likewise, studies on the costs and benefits of climate adaptation efforts are scant compared to studies on mitigation.The global commission is looking to change all this.In its first year, it plans to oversee the preparation of a flagship report, whose findings and recommendations will be presented at the 2019 U.N. climate summit. The report will take into account input from the world’s leading scientific, economic and policy analysis institutes; and will set out why adapting to climate risks and accelerated action is essential, what new actions are needed and what must be done differently, and how governments, companies and citizens can start working today to make the world a safer and better place.This focus on more detailed research into climate adaptation is what will set the commission apart from other types of climate initiatives, according to Ban.“The global commission is going beyond the business-as-usual research that is typically associated with this type of initiative,” he said. “The report is going to be significant because for the first time, we will set out what new actions are needed, what must be done differently and how the public and private sector and civil society can work together. And this report will particularly focus on the benefit of adaptation action where previous analysis mainly focused on the cost.”Ban said the commission’s strength lay in the involvement of the 17 convening countries and 28 commissioners, representing all regions of the globe and all sectors of development and industry.The convening countries include developing those that are major carbon emitters, such as China, India and Indonesia, as well as developed countries such as Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain.“What makes this effort so unique is we believe political will can be a game changer that’s needed to mobilize action on adaptation on a scale that’s needed,” Ban said. “We have the support of [an] unprecedented convening 15 countries and 23 global commissioners” — at the time of the press call — “that can capitalize and mobilize political will like never before.”In the past, environmental activists tended to reject the idea of adapting to climate change as an easy out, with Al Gore, the former U.S. vice president and Nobel Prize winner, saying calling it a “kind of laziness, an arrogant faith in our ability to react in time to save our skins,” in his 1992 book Earth in the Balance.Georgieva said adapting to climate change was not the same as accepting defeat in the fight against climate change.“The straightforward truth here is that we’re already facing the consequences of a changing climate,” she said. “Even with 1 degree of increase in temperature, the consequences are already significant. So it is not a defeat, it is a reality that we face.”Members of the South Carolina’s Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SC-HART) perform rescue operations in Port Arthur, Texas, August 31, 2017. The SC-HART team consists of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the South Carolina Army National Guard with four Soldiers who are partnered with three rescue swimmers from the State Task Force and provide hoist rescue capabilities. Multiple states and agencies nationwide were called to assist citizens impacted by the epic amount of rainfall in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez)Political holdoutsEfforts to limit that temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius look increasingly unlikely, as the gap between science and politics has widened.U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn his country, the world’s biggest source of historical emissions, from the Paris climate agreement. The Trump Administration has also rolled back measures designed to slow climate change.In a recent interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Trump said he didn’t believe climate change was a hoax — an about-face from his previous stance of climate denial — but continued to question whether it was driven by human activity, something that scientists have answered definitively.“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” he said in the interview. “I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man-made. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”The Trump Administration is hardly alone in dashing hopes of keeping to the 1.5-degree limit. In Brazil, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is the strong favorite to win the presidential election in a runoff after a convincing first-round victory. Like Trump, Bolsonaro has threatened to pull Brazil from the Paris Agreement. He has also vowed to abolish the country’s environment ministry and open up the Amazon rainforest, whose ability to absorb carbon dioxide is already declining, to the country’s powerful agribusiness industry. Banner image: Large farms made of water hyacinth keep the farms afloat and safe from floods, a simple method to adapt to climate change. Image by Katia Nicolova.last_img read more

‘To save a forest you have to destroy a nicer one’: U.S. Marines target forest in Guam

first_imgBirds, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forest Loss, Forests, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Indigenous Peoples, Interns, Plants, Snakes, Trees, Wildlife 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 The U.S. Marine Corps is building a base on Guam that will destroy 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of limestone forest, habitat for numerous endangered species.As mitigation, the military is funding forest “enhancement” to remove invasive species from fenced zones and restore seed dispersal by native birds.The fence’s success depends on maintenance into perpetuity, but biologists on Guam question how long funding will really last. Ritidian, a cliff-top refuge on the island of Guam, is one of the last places in the Pacific where you can find the mossy pillars and plunging crevices of a limestone forest. It is one of the only places you can still hear the wingbeats of an endangered Mariana fruit bat and the very last place on the island to brush against the feathery leaves of Guam’s single mature hayun lågu tree. But Ritidian is also the site of a proposed U.S. Marines firing range, part of an $87 billion construction project known as the Guam Build-Up.Over the next five years, 5,000 Marines and their families are scheduled to relocate from Okinawa, Japan, to the new base, which will include housing and firing ranges. The project is slated to bulldoze 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of limestone forest, which the military reports as 8 percent of the remaining limestone forest left on Guam.Alternative sites ignoredSienna Hiebert, a Navy-contracted botanist on Guam, says the ecological impact of the construction will be far greater than the 8 percent of forest directly lost. The condemned forest comprises two large, continuous parcels of “pristine” limestone forest, according to Hiebert, while the remaining forest elsewhere is “so patchy.”The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) concurs. It describes the condemned land as primary limestone forest with greater biodiversity and more carbon sequestration than degraded forest elsewhere on Guam.“The primary limestone forest on [Andersen Air Force Base] is considered some of the best native limestone forest left on Guam to serve as habitat for listed [threatened and endangered] species,” the agency wrote. “The removal and degradation of habitat includes some of the best remaining primary forest on Guam.”The agency warned that “the majority of remaining limestone forests on Guam” are located on military land, putting them at risk for future development.Hiebert says she believes the military could have picked a site requiring far less destruction. “There is plenty of land that could have been used. Half of the deforestation [will be] for housing, and there are plenty of sites that have old housing on them,” she says.She says the military should have considered building on the southern half of the island, where grazing, wildfires and World War II bombing have already converted the landscape to a grassy savanna.A ufa hålomtåno tree (Heritiera longipetiolata), listed by the USFWS as endangered, grows on limestone karst 60 meters (200 feet) outside the U.S. Marine Corps construction footprint. Image courtesy of Sienna HiebertJoni Quenga Kerr, an associate professor of science at Guam Community College, also says she fears the development will undo years of conservation work. As mitigation for a previous project, the military spent $1.1 million to fence off a portion of Ritidian.“The fence was meant to keep out invasive ungulates (wild pigs and deer) and serve as critical habitat for endangered species,” Kerr wrote in an e-mail. “The million-dollar fence will be torn down to build the firing range.”In its Biological Opinion, the USFWS strongly encouraged an alternative location. “The [Department of the Navy] should replace the proposed project footprint for the [Live-Fire Training Range Complex] with an alternative that does not clear the primary limestone forest at Ritidian Point, does not demolish the ungulate fence at Ritidian Point, and does not put a [Surface Danger Zone] over the [Guam National Wildlife Refuge],” the agency wrote. The military did not heed this advice.Guam’s limestone forest formed when tectonic forces pushed coral reefs above the ocean’s surface. Over millions of years, plants evolved to sink their roots into the sharp calcium-carbonate formations in search of water. Image courtesy of Joni Quenga Kerr.Limestone wonderKerr has spent her career studying this ecosystem. “Limestone forests were once submerged tropical reefs made by corals and other organisms that produced calcium carbonate skeletons,” she says. “Upon walking into a pristine limestone forest, one that has never been cleared or leveled for farming or development, one has to walk carefully to avoid tripping and falling onto uneven, sharp-edged karst.”The limestone forest threatened by construction is habitat for dozens of endemic and endangered species of bats, birds, butterflies, geckos, skinks, tree snails, cycads, trees, ferns and orchids. The list includes the critically endangered Mariana crow (Corvus kubaryi), fragile tree snail (Samoana fragilis) and Guam tree snail (Partula radiolata).But no species will more affected than the hayun lågu (Serianthes nelsonii), the tallest tree in the Marianas Islands and one of the most endangered species in the world. Its flowers, sprays of magenta threads dipped in gold, bloom from only one tree on Guam and 30 or so others on the neighboring island of Rota. The proposed firing range at Ritidian will envelop the last mature hayun lågu on Guam. The military has promised the tree will be left standing surrounded by a 30-meter (100-foot) buffer and, beyond that, according to plans, a practice area for machine gunners. The USFWS has nurtured and transplanted seedlings from the adult tree throughout Ritidian. These seedlings “constitute much of the entire Guam genetic lineage of S. nelsonii,” the agency wrote, “and all are within the proposed project’s footprint.”Guam has been a strategic U.S. territory since its liberation from Japanese occupation in 1944. But Kerr says Guam “really belongs” to its indigenous people, the CHamoru, who have lived here for 4,000 years.“I am a CHamoru and I care deeply about our limestone forests,” Kerr says. “Tearing down the trees and flattening the karst in a pristine area, just to have a place for marines to practice, is not worth it. Once destroyed, the character, essence, and beauty of a limestone forest are gone forever.”Construction of U.S. Marine Corps family housing on Finegayan Plateau, Guam, in September 2018. This site alone will clear 315 hectares (780 acres) of limestone rainforest. Image courtesy of Sienna Hiebert.A fence for a forestTo mitigate the construction damage, the Marine Corps has committed to “enhance” 400 hectares of limestone forest elsewhere on Guam.Al Borja, environmental director of the Marine Corps Activity Guam Public Works Department, says this enhancement is a chance to tackle invasive species.The brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) arrived on Guam in the late 1940s, probably on the landing gear of a U.S. military plane. The snake, which eats eggs, has nearly eradicated the island’s bird life. Of Guam’s 13 native forest bird species, three have gone entirely extinct. Two exist only in captivity. Five persist on neighboring islands. And only three species remain on Guam, and these are barely hanging on. Two male Mariana crows persist in the north, Mariana swiftlets (Aerodramus bartschi) nest in a few caves, and one small population of Micronesian starlings (Aplonis opaca guami) lives among the military housing on Andersen Air Force Base.Without birds, the spider population has spiked to 40 times higher than in adjacent islands, and seed dispersal of native fruit trees has declined by up to 92 percent. Guam is the only place in the world where all fruit-eating wildlife species are functionally extinct. As a result, the majority of seedlings sprout directly beneath their parent trees, and many tree species are producing no viable offspring.Meanwhile, invasive Philippine deer (Rusa marianna) and feral pigs (Sus scrofa) nibble most of the saplings that do manage to sprout. The limestone forest has become a silent canopy of aging trees, largely devoid of the next generation.Spiderwebs lace the limestone forest. Since the invasive brown tree snake nearly wiped out 13 species of native forest bird, Guam’s spider population has spiked 40 times higher than in adjacent islands. Image courtesy of Sienna Hiebert.The military’s mitigation plan hinges on excluding invasive species from pockets of forest and planting native saplings, grown from seeds salvaged from the construction zone.At a cost of $40 million, biologists are fencing off a patchwork of “enhancement” sites within Guam’s remaining forest. An ungulate-exclusion fence will encircle a total of 400 hectares, while sharpshooters will pick off any deer and pigs trapped inside.The military also plans to erect a snake-proof fence around 65 hectares (160 acres) of forest, with an additional 121 hectares (300 acres) if the test site succeeds. Biologists plan to helicopter-drop dead mice stuffed with acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, to attract and poison any brown tree snakes inside the fence.In the future, these patches of snake-free forest could serve as habitat for native forest birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to reintroduce the locally extinct Guam rail (Gallirallus owstoni) and Guam kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus), while Iowa State University biologist Haldre Rogers is propping up the Micronesian starling. If these and other fruit-eaters return to Guam, they could potentially disperse tree seeds across the island and restore the limestone forest’s ability to regenerate itself.The U.S. Marine Corps advertises this acre-for-acre trade — one acre enhanced for every acre developed — as a positive for Guam’s ecosystem.“Taken as a whole, the implementation of natural resource conservation measures and other restoration offsets that are part of the Marine Corps relocation would have a net-positive benefit to all protected species habitats affected by development,” Borja told the Pacific Daily News.Military-contracted botanist Sienna Hiebert collects berries from the endemic åplokhateng tree (Psychotria mariana) for germination and eventual transplantation into U.S. Marine Corps forest enhancement sites. Image courtesy of Sienna Hiebert.Seeds of the åplokhateng tree (Psychotria mariana) await germination, as mitigation for the Guam Build-Up. Since the brown tree snake eradicated Guam’s forest birds, this tree has struggled to disperse its seeds and reproduce. Image courtesy of Sienna Hiebert.Kerr, on the other hand, sees the trade-off as a bad deal for Guam.She says that although invasive species have altered the island’s ecology, “development is the primary reason that limestone forests are one of the most endangered forest types in the world.”Part of the mitigation involves salvaging hundreds of plants from the construction zone, including three kinds of epiphytic orchid and the only two known host species for the endangered Mariana eight-spot butterfly (Hypolimnas octocula marianensis). But Guam’s biologists find flaw with the plan’s execution.The host plants will be moved “from the area most populated by the endangered eight spot butterfly, to an area where few if any butterflies are found,” according to Kerr. And the orchids have been relocated to a site above Haputo Beach, where the military recently announced plans to expand a small-arms firing range, said Hiebert.Many species extirpated on Guam survive on its smaller neighbors, the Northern Mariana Islands, which remain free of brown tree snakes. Here, an endangered, ground-dwelling bird called the Micronesian megapode (Megapodius laperouse) still incubates its eggs with volcanic heat. The critically endangered Mariana skink (Emoia slevini) still congregates in social groups. The endangered Mariana fruit dove (Ptilinopus roseicapilla) still disperses seeds, the endangered Mariana wandering butterfly (Vagrans egistina), listed by the Endangered Species Act, still emerges from black-spiked caterpillars, and the endangered Pacific sheath-tailed bat (Emballonura semicaudata) still roosts colonially in forest caves.However, the military now intends to use two of these islands, Tinian and Pågan, for training. The military will acquire the northern two-thirds of Tinian and the entirety of Pågan for war simulation exercises, including high-impact bombardment, helicopter and sea landings, and firing of mortars, grenades, rockets and bombs.The proposal to turn these two islands into mock war zones prompted a lawsuit by indigenous and conservation groups, who argued that the training would destroy native forests, coral reefs, and CHamoru lands. The groups accused the military of obscuring its cumulative impact on the Mariana Islands ecosystem.“There isn’t any comprehensive document that shows all of these areas where [the military has] proposed to destroy the forest and put in all these training areas, housing, and firing ranges. I think they’ve done this on purpose to make them seem like small things, [but] they’re all clearly part of the same relocation of the Marines,” Hiebert says.An endangered cycad (Cycas micronesica), known as fadang in the CHamoru language, grows inside the U.S. Marine Corps construction footprint on Guam. Image courtesy of Sienna Hiebert.Construction crews cleared this limestone forest in April 2019 to build a pistol range for U.S. Marines training. The crews are required by law to save endangered species, such as this fadang cycad, but the stress of direct sunlight may kill it anyway. Image courtesy of Sienna Hiebert.Hiebert plays a key role in the forest enhancement project. As a military-contracted botanist, she is responsible for salvaging seeds from the condemned forest, germinating them in a shade-cloth nursery, and planting hundreds of thousands of native saplings within the fenced zones.Hiebert would prefer to restore all of Guam, without sacrificing any forest, but she doesn’t think anyone will pay for conservation on that scale.“Most people that are on the remediation side think that this [trade-off] is Guam’s only hope in saving the native forest. This is the only way that funding could possibly get procured,” Hiebert says. “I wish it were different, but for some reason, to save a forest you have to destroy a nicer one.”Botanists are using this newly built nursery to germinate seeds salvaged from the U.S. Marine Corps construction on Guam. They will transplant the saplings into forest enhancement sites as mitigation. Image courtesy of Sienna Hiebert.Hiebert describes maintaining the fences as “a forever goal.” One gap in the fence would compromise its function.“If the snakes do come back in, they will eventually wipe out the bird population which, again, affects [seed] dispersal,” she says. “And if the ungulates come back in, then they eat all the seedlings again.”According to Borja, the military is “committed to the long-term maintenance of these [forest enhancement] sites, subject to Congressional authorization.”Yet Hiebert says she expects funding to last for only 30 years. She worries about the long-term maintenance of the fence.“Who’s actually going to fund it after 30 years?” she says. “Is all of this work going to be for naught, and … in 30 years, all the fence is going to decay, all the snakes are going to come back in, all the deer are going to eat all the seedlings, and the birds are all going to die?”Hiebert views her work as a gamble. The “ultimate question” is whether the trade-off — 400 hectares of limestone forest lost in exchange for 400 hectares enhanced — will turn out to be a good deal for Guam’s ecosystem as a whole.“If it works, it was worth it,” Hiebert says. “But if it doesn’t, then it was a huge catastrophe.”Banner image: Limestone forest within the construction footprint of a proposed U.S. Marine Corps base and firing-range complex on the Pacific island of Guam. Image courtesy of Sienna Hiebert.center_img Article published by Maria Salazarlast_img read more