Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Indonesia on the edge of an ecological disaster, says Walhi

The Indonesian ecosystem is at stake, with both the country's land and sea resources being dangerously exploited for business purposes, threatening all efforts to preserve them for future generations. Chalid Muhammad, national executive director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), recently spoke with The Jakarta Post's Agustina Wayansari about the issue.

Question: How would you portray environmental conditions in Indonesia? Answer: We are at the edge of ecological disaster because rapid environmental destruction is occurring everywhere in the country. Our forests have been exploited through destructive logging, industrial timber plantations and massive conversion of forest land into palm oil plantations, as well as through massive coal mining exploration. In coastal areas, the land has been converted into fishponds and shopping centers. Most of the rivers in places like Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara are in very critical condition, with a high level of pollution and decreasing volume of water because of the exploitation of water catchment areas.

Our sea is also facing a huge threat, with only 6 percent of the country's total of 60,000 square kilometers of coral reef in good condition. While only 30 percent of mangrove forests are in good condition. Coastal erosion, which is occurring in more than 60 locations throughout 17 provinces in Indonesia, is also a big problem.

Is it the legal system or the law enforcement that is contributing to the environmental destruction in Indonesia?

I believe that the current exploitative policy has contributed to the damage. We also haven't seen any political will from the government, especially from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to enforce environmental restoration programs, which I believe can reduce the number of ecological disasters in the country. In 2006, we had 135 ecological disasters such as flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, forest fires and harvest failures. The disasters have taken more than 10,000 lives, and left more than one million people homeless. The total loss reaches tens or even hundreds of trillions rupiah.

Our law enforcement is also very weak. The authorities still haven't charged any of the key people in the top management levels of offending companies or organizations, but are just targeting the operational level. Even worse, courts have set illegal loggers free in more than 70 percent of total cases.

I think the government needs to carry out fundamental corrections in its forestry policy in order to eradicate illegal logging. Currently, there is a huge gap between supply and demand. While our forest capacity to supply industrial needs is very limited, there is a high demand from the industry. Illegal loggers will exploit the weak legal system and court mafia in order to take the opportunity to supply industrial needs.

In this situation, the government needs to reduce demand and restructure the forestry sector. It should start with recalculating the total real need for wood in the country. Then stop exporting wood. Our domestic needs should be fulfilled from the remaining industrial plantations, and from imports if needed. Then carry out a logging moratorium in the forests for about 15-20 years. A moratorium would allow the forests a chance to grow back. I understand it would be a shock at first, but learning from China's experience, the shock will not last long. The moratorium would bring many benefits in the long run, including reducing the number of ecological disasters and the amount of state budget needed to overcome the disasters.

How about the involvement of the authorities in illegal logging? In some places, illegal loggers are those holding political authority and power, including the state apparatus and military officers. Political pressure sometimes occurs during the process, making it hard for law enforcers to eradicate these practices.

Is it possible to apply a moratorium here? How about its economic impact?

I believe there won't be any major impact if the government has an integrated plan. If the domestic supply isn't enough for the forestry industry, many companies will be closed down and their employees will lose their jobs. But jobs can then be allocated in ecological restoration projects, which I think will need many people.

The budget should not be a problem as currently we have trillions of rupiah for reforestation programs.

How much forest area do we still have? How much of it is damaged?

I couldn't say exactly. But the most important thing is that the level of forest destruction in this country has reached 3.4 million hectares per year since 2002. This year, it is predicted to decrease to 2.8 million hectares. It's not because the awareness among government officials or illegal loggers is improving, but simply because the forest area we still have is decreasing.

Illegal logging has cost the country around Rp 60 trillion, which does not include illegal fishing and illegal mining. That figure is far higher than our state budget.

Why do you think it is hard for the government to settle the environmental problems?

It is hard to answer this question. My hypothesis is that if the government imposes a breakthrough policy, it will have to deal with a "political power base" that has made natural resources their major source of income, either through their companies or "fees" they get from companies.

Also, industrialized countries have major control over Indonesia because many multinational corporations and transnational companies come from these countries depend on Indonesia's natural resources.

Government officials also lack awareness of environmental issues.

Could you explain the potential of our marine resources? What has the government done to manage the marine potential, or to prevent pollution?

So far, we have benefited from 60 percent of our fishery potential. Our sea is the center for the world's biodiversity, with more than 30 percent of the total mangrove and coal reefs existing here. Most of them are in very critical condition though and we have more than five million people living in poverty in coastal areas. Our sea is currently threatened by waste from industrial pollution, as mining companies seem to target the sea to dispose their waste.

We have seen the conversion of coastal areas into fish hatcheries, mostly owned by big companies, which have the potential to destroy the environment and raise conflicts among the people. We are also facing destructive fishing practices, some of which are believed to have backing from political authorities at both the local and national levels. Yet, we still have a chance if the government takes immediate action and enforces the law. And we are pleased that finally the government has banned the export of sand to Singapore.

The environment is also a global problem. How do you see the international role in Indonesia's case?

Indonesia has contributed a lot to carbon emission pollution in the world, particularly from forest fires. ASEAN countries have complained about the forest fires, but many of them are not fair to Indonesia. Malaysia and Singapore, for example, protest a lot about forest fires, but they say nothing when several islands in Indonesia sink due to the exporting of the sand to Singapore.

I think Indonesia should improve its foreign diplomacy to enforce an agreement on environmental issues. Indonesia, indeed, needs to fix something internally, but those countries benefiting from Indonesia's resources should also take part, such as by refusing to benefit from Indonesia's environmental destruction. Like Malaysia, some of the wood they get from Indonesia is the result of illegal logging, which also contributes to forest fires.

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