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)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Indonesia's loggers scrutinized ahead of climate summit

Reuters, Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:30pm EST

Burnt trees in a peatland area of Teluk Meranti village in Pelalawan, in Indonesia's Riau province November 10, 2009. Home to about 10 percent of the world's rainforests, deforestation in Indonesia occurred at an average rate of 1.08 million hectares a year between 2000 and 2005, according to the Ministry of Forestry. (REUTERS/Beawiharta)

TELUK MERANTI, Indonesia (Reuters) - Logging in Indonesia can be a murky business involving navigating government bureaucracy to get permits and land concessions in one of the world's most corrupt countries, to winning the hearts and minds of villagers living near the rainforests.

As the issue of deforestation gets set to take center-stage at a global climate change conference in Copenhagen next month, the rapid decline of Indonesia's rainforests has come into the spotlight following heated protests by Greenpeace at the site of a carbon-rich rainforest in Sumatra that is slated for logging.

Indonesia's government has pledged to slow down deforestation, but the process of granting concessions is far from transparent in a country where bribe-taking by officials is common and local governments actively seek investment by logging firms, as well as palm oil plantations on cleared forests.

"There's a long legacy of concerns about the integrity of decision-making in the zoning process and the concession-granting process," said Frances Seymour, director general of the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research.

Home to about 10 percent of the world's rainforests, deforestation in Indonesia occurred at an average rate of 1.08 million hectares a year between 2000 and 2005, according to the Ministry of Forestry. A 2007 World Bank report found Indonesia to be the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind the United States and China, largely due to massive fires to clear peatland forests. The government rejected the report.

Aside from the risk of corruption tainting the permit granting process, conservationists say that a lack of a coherent government policy on logging rights has led to the granting of concessions in some of the country's most fragile forests.

The Forestry Ministry last week temporarily suspended operations by Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) in Kampar Peninsula, a stretch of rainforest with a rich and rare flora and fauna, including the endangered Sumatran tiger.

The ministry issued the three-month permit review to "see whether it was appropriate to grant this permit," according to Wandojo Siswanto, a senior adviser to the Forestry Minister.

"We in the Ministry of Forestry have a program to examine permits being given on peatland areas to determine optimal management of these areas," he said.

Given that APRIL's logging camps were set up months ago, some conservationists wonder why this process was not done before APRIL was awarded the 56,000 hectare government peatland concession. Peatlands are 50 to 60 percent carbon and when they are exposed from logging or dredging, they release massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The permit review followed a high profile campaign by Greenpeace activists who camped outside APRIL's concession in dengue-infested rainforest. Protestors chained themselves to APRIL's bulldozers, leading to the arrest and deportation of several activists and foreign journalists.

The process in which logging permits are granted in Indonesia is far from transparent. To obtain a permit, a company must have its application documents, including recommendations from local government officials and environmental reports, processed by the Ministry of Forestry.

"Corruption can happen at any stage of the process. You can pay for any report or letter you need and there often is falsification of documents," said Bambang Setiono, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Economic Institute and one Indonesia's foremost experts on money laundering in the forestry sector.

"It would be very easy for the Minister or the department to check that the documents match conditions on the ground but often they do not."

Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission has launched several probes relating to the Forestry Ministry which processes permit applications, but, so far, no major heads have rolled.


After the permits are obtained, the logging companies all too frequently turn their sights on winning the hearts and minds of villagers living near their concession, offering them gifts and assistance for their support.

"I don't think these activities are just for the sake of the local people. If they don't do this, the local people will not cooperate. They are buying the support of the local people," said Setiono.

Often the logging companies bring services and infrastructure to sorely neglected villages such as Teluk Meranti, an 800-family fishing hamlet on the fringe of APRIL's Kampar concession, which suffers daily power cuts and has just a mudslick of a main road.

"Really, the government should be fixing our road and mosque, not APRIL," said Hendrizal, a 23-year-old unemployed villager. "Of course APRIL wants something from us! That's why they are helping us. But if they don't help us, who will?"

He was among thousands of locals who were courted by APRIL after it received its Riau concession.

The company sent social workers to Hendrizal's village to woo the locals with promises of jobs, scholarships, free circumcisions for boys in keeping with Islamic law, and a renovation of the local mosque -- all in exchange for co-operation and permission to log their forest.

"If a paper company wants to give us money and compensation, they can take our forest, as far as I am concerned. Global warming is not our business. The most important thing for us is having enough to get by," said Hendrizal.


There are over 500 logging companies operating in Indonesia. APRIL and Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) are the biggest. Other firms include Kiani Lestari, Kiani Kertas, Tanjung Enim Lestari Pulp and Paper and Sumalindo Lestari Jaya.

In the wake of the Greenpeace protests at APRIL's Riau concession, Finland's UPM-Kymmene, the world's third largest paper manufacturer, ended its pulp purchase contract with APRIL in November. It cited better access to pulp thanks to its raised stake in a mill in Uruguay.

The Finnish firm stressed in a press release its commitment to "forest management and forest harvesting practices based on the principles of sustainable development," and said this also applied to its use of external pulp suppliers, but declined to comment on whether its decision to drop APRIL was also triggered by the firm's forest management practices.

APRIL says it always acts within the law and takes a sustainable approach to logging, including by declaring part of its concession a protected area.

"APRIL is committed to ethical business practices and does not condone any action that is against this principle," the company said in an official statement to Reuters.

Meanwhile, APRIL's efforts to win support by Teluk Meranti villagers for its operation have caused a split in the community, with half the village tempted to support the logging and the other half fighting to protect their trees.

"This forest belongs to the people. What would happen to our grandchildren if there was no forest? Where would they get wood for the houses?" said Muhamad Nasir, 54, a farmer who makes about 34.8 million rupiah ($3,696) a year from his 13 hectares of farmland, where he grows corn and palm oil.

Nasir said he fears that if APRIL gets access to the forest, the wild pigs and monkeys driven out by the logging will eat his crops. His neighbor, Hariyono, 38, worries that if the peatbogs are drained to make way for acacia trees, the water that leaks into the river will kill the fish stocks.

For its part, faced with vocal and unwanted publicity from Greenpeace's protest, APRIL is ready with its own campaign.

"We have spent more than a million euro ($1.49 million) on research on how we manage the peatland concession to reduce carbon emissions," said APRIL's Sustainability Director, Neil Franklin, who added that 15,000 hectares of the firm's concession will be protected and another 5,300 hectares set aside for community use.

"We want to maintain, to manage Kampar properly."

Franklin also said that the peatbogs would not be drained and that the firm would actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 55 percent by repairing peatlands damaged by previous farming practices.

Bustar Maitar, a Greenpeace forest campaigner involved in the protests at Kampar, is skeptical of APRIL's efforts to present its logging plan as environmentally friendly.

"It's clearly green-washing," he said. "What they really must do is to stop their expansion right now, which will destroy natural forest and peat."

($1 = 9,415 Rupiah)

(Additional reporting by Aloysius Bhui in Jakarta; Editing by Sara Webb and Megan Goldin)

Related Article:

Deforestation is a disaster for the environment

Riau police stop Greenpeace forest protest

Chained protest: Employees from Indah Kiat Pupl and Paper try to force two Greenpeace activists to end their protest against deforestation. The activists chained themselves to cranes at the paper company's port in Siak, Riau, on Wednesday. The police broke up the protest on Thursday. Antara/FB Anggoro

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