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.

Eye-popping bug photos

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 31, 2008

Kadin calls for food sustainability measures

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 03/31/2008 12:12 AM  |  Business

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) held its first-ever National Food Coordination meeting on Saturday, aiming to formulate recommendations for the government to improve food security amid rising global food prices.

"The government must place food sustainability on top of its priority list, higher than the need to pursue energy availability or to improve the quality of infrastructure," Kadin chairman Mohammad Hidayat said.

He said the country's food security policies must be able to meet the demands of the entire population, which grows on average by 1.5 percent every year, and to resist the influence of global food price inflation.

"Biofuel manufacturers have required a very large amount of food resulting in a massive decrease in food supply and higher international food commodity prices," Hidayat said.

Hidayat said the meeting was aimed at centering perception on the importance of food sustainability as well as advising the government on several issues, including how to improve food production and distribution.

Citingresearch by the Food and Agriculture Organization, Wheat Flour Producers Association chairman Franciscus Welirang said during the meeting that global food prices were likely to increase further.

He said the price of flour had risen 20 percent, or from about US$500 to $600 per ton, in the middle of the month despite a decrease in the price of wheat in February.

"Almost all flour producing countries have implemented various types of fiscal policies to limit exports," Franky said.

The solution to the problem, he said, is to increase production capacity "through food diversification".

He said flour producers must develop other sources of raw materials as production composite.

Commenting on the challenges for Indonesia to attain food security, Muhammad Chatib Basri from the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the University of Indonesia said the main problem lay in the low productivity of Indonesia's agriculture sector.

"It has worsened because the government always considers trade-related methods the best way to solve the problem, rather than repairing the factors that can improve the productivity of Indonesia's agriculture sector," he told The Jakarta Post.

He said an example was the government's tendency to ban rice imports whenever the price of domestic rice improved, rather than improving national rice production.

"To overcome farmers' low productivity, the government should make several structural improvements, including to agricultural technology and infrastructure, expanding irrigation systems and developing more productive rice strains.

"Protecting farmers is one thing, improving productivity is quite another," he said. (uwi)


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sumatran tiger population in Seblat park down to 136

Muko Muko, Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - The population of the Sumatran Tiger (Phantera Tigris Sumaterae) in the Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS) has continued to decline, a foreign nature conservation worker said.

The tiger population in the park now was only 136, down from 150 spotted in 2007, coordinator for Sumatra of Flora Fauna International (FFI), Debby Martin, said in a report on the results of her research here Thursday.

Hunting and land clearing had become the main threat to the rare animal`s population, she said.

The research was conducted by FFI in coordination with the TNKS administration and some universities in a Sumatran Tigers` Monitoring (MHS) project.

The research had also shown that conflicts between humans and tigers which ended in the tigers` death had also reduced the population of the endemic species.

"Based on our last research, the current tiger population is not more than 136 or some 25 percent of the total number of existing Sumatran tigers. Land clearing and conflicts will become the main threat after hunting has been stopped," she said.

Debby said land clearing for plantations had recently triggered conflicts between tigers and local residents.

Land clearing activity had narrowed the territory where the tigers usually hunt for prey and forced them to encroach on farmers` lands.

"Recently in South Lebong, Lebong District, a tiger was seen in a farmer`s rubber plantation. We tried to make sure that both the tiger and the farmer remained safe," the British researcher said in fluent Bahasa Indonesia.

According to Debby, her team had helped to settle more than 20 conflicts between tigers and humans in the region.

Usually, she said, a tiger appears in a village to prey on livestock.

An FFI official, Agung Nugraha, said the FFI had monitored Sumatran tigers` movements in four provinces within the national park, namely Jambi, West Sumatra, Bengkulu and South Sumatra.

Since 2004, the monitoring team had installed tracking cameras in 88 sample areas.

Based on the survey, 90 percent of Sumatran tigers` activity was taking place inside TNKS conservation forests.

"Currently we are focusing on four locations in the southern coast of West Sumatra to Musi Rawas, Lubuk Linggau," he said.

Taking part in the research were students from Dice University of Kent, UK as well as local students and institutions.


Monday, March 24, 2008

International Paper to invest $4b in pulp factory

The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Mon, 03/24/2008 1:10 AM  


A giant U.S.-based paper and pulp company, International Paper, plans to invest more than US$4 billion in a pulp factory and industrial forest.


Director general for forest product management at the Forestry Ministry, Hadi S. Pasaribu, said the pulp factory would have the capacity to produce 1.5 million tons of pulp per year.


"They are planning to establish a 500,000-hectare plantation forest to support the pulp factory," he said, as quoted by Antara.


Hadi said Central Kalimantan and Papua had been chosen as the investment locations despite a lack of supporting infrastructure because no similar businesses operated there.


International Paper revealed their interest directly to Forestry Minister MS Kaban last month. Representative president of International Paper Asia, Thomas Gestrich, and the company's director for strategic planning and development in Asia, Aaron Yu, met with Hadi last week to discuss their plans.


International Paper is currently rated among the three largest pulp and paper producers in the world. They operate two factories in Brazil and Canada.


The company chose Indonesia for its business expansion, Hadi said, after conducting a six-month feasibility survey in a number of Asian countries.


He said the company planned to use 25 percent of its forest for biodiversity conservation.


"They plan to allocate a further 25 percent of the forest to be managed in partnership with the community or small-scale domestic enterprises. The company will manage the remaining 50 percent," Hadi said.


The government offered International Paper two options: to develop a new forest or to acquire existing forests owned by other companies.


Hadi said he had requested International Paper follow Indonesian investment regulations by establishing a local company here.


By 2007, Indonesia had 84 integrated pulp and paper mills, with a total production capacity of 6.5 million tonnes.


Two of its largest pulp and paper companies are PT Indah Kiat, a unit of Asia Pulp and Paper, and PT Riau Andalan, a subsidiary of APRIL, which is part of the Raja Garuda Mas International group.


These two companies produce more than 65 percent of Indonesia's total pulp output. The companies require a total of 9 million tonnes of wood each year.


Some raw material suppliers for the two companies have been banned by the police from logging since last year, because of illegal logging cases, making it difficult for the companies to obtain raw materials.


"If the bans continue to be enforced throughout this year, the factories may need to import wood chips," said president of the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association HM Mansur.


He said the situation could result in a total loss of 4 billion tonnes of wood production, worth at least $3 billion. (lva)


Activists plant trees as part of anti-global warming campaigns

Luwuk, C Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Tens of environmental activists planted trees on arid and barren land on the outskirts of Luwuk town in Central Sulawesi province on Sunday as a manifestation of anti-global warming campaigns.

The activists grouped in the Savana Nature Lovers Association (KPA) earlier marched from the heart of the capital of Banggai district to the arid and barren land where they later planted mahogany trees.

KPA spokesman Irman Budahu said the activity was aimed at encouraging people from all walks of life to join efforts of preventing the impact of global warming, such as a rise in sea water level and bad weather coupled with floods and landslides.

"Preserving the environment involves not only NGO activities but the general public as well," he said.

He expressed regret over the absence of clear program on the part of the provincial and district governments to address the issue of global warming.

Flash floods which frequently hit Toili and Bunta plains in the district were an example of the impact of global warming, he said.

The association further called on all elements of the public, the district administration in particular, to care about preserving the environment by reforesting arid and barren land caused by illegal logging activities in the past 30 years.

"Don`t wait until a disaster strikes," he said.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

RI actually already self-sufficient in rice : official


Banjarnegara, C Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is now self-sufficient in rice as in 2007 it enjoyed a rice production surplus of over one million tons, an agriculture ministry official said.

"Having a surplus of more than one million tons from the 2007 rice harvest, Indonesia now can be categorized as a country self-sufficient in rice," the ministry`s director general of food crop plantation affairs, Sutarto Alimoeso, said here Saturday.

In this context, the national 2008 paddy production was expected to reach 61 million tons or five percent over the 2007 figure, he said.

Thus, he expressed optimism that the government would no longer conduct rice import this year because with last year`s rice procurement drive, Indonesia now had more than one million tons in stock.

Apart from that the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) now had the capacity to buy 1.6 milllion tons of farmers` rice.

"We hope Bulog will be able to absorb more farmers` rice if it works well," he said, hoping that through the 2008 procurement or collecting effort, Indonesia would have some 2 million tons of rice.

Referring to the increased food prices, Sutarto said farmers should be informed about the matter so they would be motivated to increase their production.

In addition, Media Indonesia daily in its headlines Saturday said world rice prices had continued to increase up to US$700 per ton, the highest level in the last 20 years.

The high price would threaten Asia, including Indonesia and other developing countries whose population of more than 2.5 billion depend on rice as their daily food, the daily said.

Indonesia lacks agribusiness players, minister says

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said Indonesia lacked agribusiness players despite the fact that it is a big agrarian country.

"The number of people willing to do agribusiness in Indonesia is even smaller than that of Singapore which has a large number of agribusiness investors," the minister said when he opened the "Agrinex Expo 2008" here on Friday.

He said that the number of players in the agribusiness sector in Indonesia was small although the agribusiness sector in the country had bright prospect as it was predicted that the need for agricultural products, particularly food and energy, in the future would continue to increase.

"I guarantee that the agribusiness sector will become a promising business in the furue because demand for agricultural products in times to come would not decline," the minister said.

Unluckily, the number of businesspeople who wanted to do business in the agricultural sector in the country is small so that efforts to encourage businessmen to do business in that sector are needed, he said.

"Many people still consider that agricultural sector is a losing and outdated business," Anton said adding that the assumption was wrong because there was no other business sectors which could provide profit more than 100 percent in four months than the agricultural sector.

But he acknowledged that agricultural land in Indonesia was still too small, namely only 20 million hectares while the number of farmers reached 25 million.

He said that many farmers in Indonesia only owned 0.3 hectare of agricultural land so that it was difficult for them to increase national agricultural production.

"That is why we need to use a correct technology and to optimize the use of land to increase the country`s agricultural production," he added.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

RI resolved to become leading coffee producer by 2025

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Agriculture Ministry is resolved to make Indonesia a leading prime coffee and coffee product producer in the world by 2025, the ministry`s plantation affairs director, Achmad Mangga Barani, said here Wednesday.

He said Indonesia now ranked fourth in the world as a coffee producer and exporter although its coffee plantation area was the second largest in the world.

With a production of 792 kilograms of coffee per hectare annually, Indonesia is still under Columbia (1,220 kg/ha/year), Brazil (1,000 kg/ha/year) and Vietnam (1,540 kg/ha/year).

"Under the national coffee policy, a strategy is needed to make Indonesia a leading producer of prime coffee and coffee products in 2025," he said.

Coffee is one of Indonesia`s premier export commodities, a source of farmers` income and raw material for industries, he said, adding that coffee plantation had created job opportunities and helped develop areas where coffee was grown.

Of the 1.30 million hectares of coffee plantation in Indonesia in 2006, 95.9 percent was developed as people-based plantation business and the remaining 4.10 percent was managed by state plantation companies and private enterprises.

Data at the Plantation Director General showed Indonesia was currenly growing Robusta coffee on 1,30 million hectares of land and Arabica coffee on 177,100 hectares of land with a total production of 682,158 tons, 413,500 tons of the volume for exports valued at US$586,877 in 2006.

In 2007, national coffee production was recorded at 686,763 tons from 1.31 million hectares of land.

Barani said in the long term policy until 2025, the government was to raise the volume of the commodity for export and increase the added value of national coffee production in the hope it would have competitive power in the international market.

Indonesia no longer exports coffee as raw material but processed products of a quality as expected by consumers, he said.

The government had decided to maintain the area of 1.23 million hectares for Robusta coffee plantation and increase production to 865,000 tons and planting productivity of 1,000 kilograms/ha/year until 2025.

The government had also decided to increase the export volume to 505,000 tons and raise coffee farmers` income to US$3,000.

The government was expected to enlarge the plantation area for Arabica coffee to 236,000 hectares and increase production to 193,000 tons from 81,000 tons and planting productivity to 1,200 kg/ha/year and export of 135,000 tons.

For the purpose, the government was ready to issue investment policies which support the development of facilities and infrastructures including roads, bridges and ports as well as, transportation and communication means and guarantee availibity of energy sources.

For national coffee development, the government would also guarantee financial support both from banks and non-banking institutions.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Miracle plant heals wounds and economies

Trisha Sertori , Contributor The Jakarta Post , Gianyar | Wed, 03/19/2008 12:19 AM

Long polysaccharides in the North African aloe vera plant could help reduce illness in HIV/AIDS and cancer patients. At the same time the cactus plant may also help reduce poverty in some of Bali's dry areas.

Bali is currently producing around 15,000 liters of aloe vera weekly for the European market, according to Floris Schaaper, an engineer with aloe vera producer, PT Alove Bali. That volume, harvested on 80 hectares, is expected to grow to more than 30,000 liters weekly in the coming months.

"By 2012 the plan is to have 500 hectares of aloe vera producing 20 million liters per year. That can be processed at this existing factory," said Schaaper of the PT Alove Bali factory in Blahbatuh, Gianyar. The modern factory will be formally opened April 5.

Employing more than 200 people across its aloe vera farming and processing system, Alove Bali is having a positive economic impact on the families of Blahbatuh and other areas under aloe vera cultivation.

"We are planting in areas where rice is no longer a viable farm crop due to a dropping water table. The move to aloe vera means farmers can continue to work their lands," said PT Alove Bali coordinator, Made Karang. He points out aloe vera provides farmers an income three times higher than rice grown on marginal lands.

"PT ALove Bali was started by Hank and Peter Zwanenberg from Holland some years ago. They built a villa here in 1999 and saw the local people did not have jobs. They wanted to find a way to create employment. They saw the employment situation grow even worse after the Bali bomb in 2002," explains Karang of the beginnings of aloe vera in Bali.

With rice fields in their immediate areas lying fallow due to lack of water, the Zwanenberg's turned their attention to low water farming. A worldwide shortage of aloe vera and strong European markets suggested the hardy cactus could be the ideal product that would offer sustainable farming into the future for Bali's dry land farmers.

"That was three years ago. We now have 30 hectares under lease and a further 50 hectares being farmed cooperatively," said Karang.

The cooperative farming system offers farmers the opportunity to shift from marginal rice growing in areas of low water to aloe vera farming at no cost.

"We give farmers the initial aloe vera plants and they are also paid four million rupiah per hectare every six months to maintain the plants until they are old enough to harvest. From that time on they are paid per kilo," said Karang.

Schaaper adds that once aloe vera has been planted it reproduces so new plants are always available for farmers. Only the five to nine largest leaves of aloe vera are harvested and the plant continues to produce for 10 to 15 years. Farmers can plant out young aloe vera taken from mature plants so they have a continuous crop.

With increased production, PT Alove Bali hopes to export into the lucrative Asian market, as well as other countries such as the United States. Aloe vera is used worldwide in cosmetics, shampoos, health drinks and medical products. Its use in treating burns is also well documented.

According to Schaaper, it is the very long Alverose polysaccharides in aloe vera that are doing the miracle work. Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates made up of many monosaccharides, however, only aloe vera has the Alverose polysaccharide that is believed to stimulate the reproduction of white blood cells. White blood cells are responsible for healthy immune systems and wound healing.

Recent scientific studies on rats established a 40 percent faster wound healing rate using aloe vera. Netherlands-based aloe vera company Bioclin is currently running aloe vera trials on HIV and oral wound patients in South Africa.

"Bioclin is setting up research projects in South Africa to research HIV/AIDS treatments using aloe vera," said Schaaper.

However, Schaaper warns that people claiming miracle cures with aloe vera raise concerns. "I am very skeptical -- some people claim they can heal people with serious diseases with aloe vera. But you must be very careful and use the proper research. But aloe vera is a very old treatment. People say Alexander the Great used aloe vera and even invaded a country to get aloe vera as a treatment for his soldiers,"

To aloe vera's farming families, the cactus is already proving to be a miracle, offering them a growing and sustainable economy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sumatran tigers on brink of extinction

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - The Leuser International Foundation (YLI) said, according to its data, Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris Sumatrae) still exist in the Leuser ecosystem area (KEL) but they were very endangered.

Poaching and human encroachment on their habitat had pushed the Sumatran tigers to the brink of extinction, Chik Rini, a YLI spokesperson said here on Tuesday.

In 2007, 10 tigers had been caught by local people in Labuhan Haji Timur, Meukek, Samadua and Kluet Timur, in South Aceh district alone, she said.

The residents caught and shot the tigers because the animals had killed 6 people, she said.

Sumatran tigers were the largest terrestrial carnivores in Asia and have a good reproduction capability if they live in favorable condition, she said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had put Sumatran tigers in the endangered species category in its Red List of Threatened Species.

During monitoring in 2007, researchers found 142 signs of the Sumatran tiger`s presence in the Leuser ecosystem area, consisting of 53 signs found in South Aceh District, 67 signs in Southeast Asia, 18 in Gayo Lues District and four signs in East Aceh, she said.

The 142 signs included four scratches of Sumatran tigers, 51 heaps of excrement, 40 foot prints, a piece of leftover food , one direct encounter.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The friendly animal


The Times of india - Sumatran elephant, the smallest of the Asian elephants, is facing serious pressures due to illegal logging and rapid forests conversion to palm oil plantations. As forests shrink, elephants are increasingly closer to fields and cultivated land, generating conflict with humans that often result in the death of the elephants by poisoning or capture. The Minas Elephant Training Centre in Indonesia protects more than 40 elephants from around 200 elephants in Riau's forests. (Reuters Photo)

Wild elephants destroy hundreds of hectares of people`s plantation

Tapaktuan (ANTARA News) - Three of wild elephants were reported to have trampled down hundreds of hectares of plantation area belonging to the residents of Kapa Sesak and Naca villages in Trumon sub-district, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD).

"Since the last one week, the wild giant animals have destroyed hundreds of hectares of residential plantation in some villages," head of the Trumon sub-district administration H Lahmudin said here on Sunday.

According to him, a band of wild elephants destroyed hundreds of hectares of crops, paddy, palm tree and patchouli farming areas.

He hoped that such troubles caused by wild elephants could be addressed by encumbent power elite as a wayout to stop further material losses inflicting local residents.

Such conflict between the elephants and human beings at the foot of Mount Leuser subsided after the wild elephants` trouble shooter team from the Natural Resources Conservation Agency in early January this year went to the location.

Kapa Sesak Village Head Alfandi and Pinto Rimba village Head Zakaria said a band of protected wild elephants attacked the plantation area in the afternoon till the evening.

"Much material losses suffered by the local residents and we hope a wild elephants` trouble shooter team could immediately go to the field to overcome the menace," Alfandi said.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

More protected forests up for grabs

Ika Krismantari , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta ,Sat, 03/01/2008 3:26 AM

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told hundreds of mining investors on Friday they would soon be able to apply to operate in productive as well as protected forests.

Purnomo cited a newly issued forestry regulation and said, "Under the new government regulation, we will allow you to mine in productive and protected forests, subject to you giving us compensation".

At present, there are 13 mining companies operating in protected forests.

The companies were granted an exception by the government in 2004 via a presidential decree, despite the fact their operations would violate a forestry regulation completely banning all mining activities in protected forest areas.

The exemption was allowed despite intense public opposition that said the mining operations jeopardized the nation's already depleted forests.

Those 13 companies include PT Aneka Tambang (Antam), PT Inco, PT Freeport McMoran Indonesia, PT Nusa Halmahera, PT Nataran Mining and PT Indominco Mandiri.

Beyond the 13, Purnomo said there would soon be another presidential decree indicating other mining firms could join the group.

Mining companies allowed to operate would be required to pay at most Rp 3 million per hectare per year for operating in a protected forest.

"We need a presidential decree to include all mining firms (not just the 13)," Purnomo said.

"They should pay compensation if they want to mine in protected and productive forestry."

Simon Sembiring, the ministry's director general for coal, mineral and geothermal, confirmed the presidential decree would soon be introduced.

But he said before the issuance of the decree, the government would coordinate with the Forestry Ministry and various research agencies to ensure a level of sustainability in the firms' mining operations.

"We will be very selective, however, all mining companies can submit their request for permits and we will decide which ones are selected," Simon said.

He said the 13 firms currently operating in protected forests had been selected from 150 submitted proposals.

He said the selection process applied only for applications to mine in protected forests and not in productive forests.

The Indonesian Mining Association (IMA) said the plan was a good arrangement and would improve the country's investments in the mining sector.

"What we need is certainty," IMA chairman Arif S. Siregar said.

"He hope that with this, things will be clearer and the energy and mineral resources ministry can finally resolve its endless dispute with the forestry ministry," he said.