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)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Companies Not Buying Enough ‘Green’ Palm Oil: WWF

Jakarta Globe, November 22, 2011

A worker collects oil palm fruits at the state-owned palm oil plantation in Luwu,
 Indonesia's South Sulawesi province in this file photo. Major retailers and
manufacturers  are not doing enough to honor commitments to use sustainable
palm oil to help protect virgin rainforests from destruction, WWF said on Tuesday.
(Reuters Photo/Yusuf Ahmad)
              
Related articles 

Kuala Lumpur. Major retailers and manufacturers are not doing enough to honor commitments to use sustainable palm oil to help protect virgin rainforests from destruction, WWF said on Tuesday.

The conservation group’s latest report on palm oil use, released for this week’s annual meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), shows only half of palm oil used by surveyed companies came from sustainable sources.

The report said companies in Europe, Australia and Japan were buying more sustainable palm oil than ever before and noted that 87 of the 132 companies surveyed have pledged to use only eco-friendly oil by 2015.

But it said 17 of the 43 retailers and 15 out of the 89 manufacturers assessed scored poorly in the survey.

Palm plantations are considered one of the biggest threats to rainforests in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia — the source of 85 percent of world palm oil supply — as virgin forests are typically cleared to make way for them.

“It’s never been easier for companies to be responsible about the palm oil they use,” Adam Harrison, an agriculture policy specialist with WWF, said in a statement accompanying the Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard for 2011.

“So it is clear that some manufacturers and retailers have fallen behind on their commitments to 100 percent sustainable palm oil, while others haven’t even started at all.”

The scorecard focuses on major companies in Europe, Australia and Japan, the world’s biggest palm oil markets.

About 5.2 million tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil was produced last year — roughly 10 percent of world supply — but only 56 percent was purchased, the WWF said.

Growers must meet numerous criteria like refraining from clearing virgin forests and adhering to fair land acquisition policies to gain the “sustainable” label.

But higher production costs, weak demand for eco-friendly palm oil, and other factors discourage farmers from going green, environmentalists say.

The WWF singled out major companies like Nestle, Unilever, IKEA, Cadbury and Carrefour for praise, saying they scored highly in the survey.

Palm oil represents about 35 percent of the global vegetable oil market but its production is expected to soar due to its versatility, relatively high oil yields, and economic importance to local communities.

Launched in 2004, the RSPO brought together producers, manufacturers and other stakeholders to create global standards for sustainable palm oil. Its meeting is being held this week in the Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu.

Agence France-Presse

Friday, November 18, 2011

Deforestation threatens planet, economies and communities, UN chief warns

UN News Centre, 17 November 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) visits an indigenous community
affected by deforestation in Borneo, Indonesia

17 November 2011 – Deforestation not only threatens the planet’s climate and national economic development, but also communities whose income, culture and way of life depend on healthy forests, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed today on a visit to Indonesia.

Mr. Ban was in the Central Kalimantan region of Borneo, which has been chosen by the Indonesian Government for a pilot programme of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative.

The initiative aims to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, and provides added incentive for governments and local communities to preserve and sustainably manage them.

“REDD+ can be a win-win-win for local communities, for Indonesia and the world,” said the Secretary-General.

“But let me be clear: While REDD+ can play an effective role in engaging developing countries in the global fight against climate change, it is not a substitute for deep greenhouse emissions reductions in developed countries. It is complementary.”

Globally, deforestation accounts for some 17 per cent of global carbon emissions – the second largest source after the energy sector, Mr. Ban pointed out. Each hectare of forest lost or degraded contributes to global greenhouse emissions.

“As we move ahead with REDD+, and for the initiative to be a success, it will be crucial to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the communities who depend on forest resources,” he said, adding that he is aware that there is misunderstanding, apprehension and opposition about REDD+.

“Indigenous people, in particular, are concerned that REDD+ is associated with unsustainable extractive industries that harm their well-being. Making REDD+ a success here in Kalimantan, and elsewhere, will require the commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders,” he stated.

“We must ensure that all have a voice. This is a crucial test for REDD+ and for Indonesia.”

He added that the UN will do its part to help this groundbreaking partnership realize its potential, beginning with the establishment of the UN Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia (UNORCID), whose opening the Secretary-General attended today.

The UN is also consulting with government and civil society on improving forest governance and anti-corruption, as well as working to measure and understand the physical environment and the social implications of REDD+ to adjust efforts as they unfold.

“We will facilitate environmental and social safeguards,” said Mr. Ban. “And we will help to establish Green Schools, and work on forest fire prevention and sustainable plantations.

“In sum, our work will benefit local people while helping to address the global problem of climate change.”

He noted that Kalimantan has extensive forest cover and peatland, and that many of its inhabitants are custodians of an invaluable wealth of forest-based knowledge.

“Yet these men and women – and these precious ecosystems – are under threat from the global demand for palm oil, timber, minerals and other commodities,” said Mr. Ban, who met with representatives of communities affected by deforestation in the village of Kalampangan.

According to a report issued in September by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), conserving key forests in Indonesia under the REDD+ programme could generate billions of dollars in revenue, up to three times more than felling them for palm oil plantations.

The report recommended designating new forested areas for REDD+, taking into account the multiple benefits for carbon storage, orangutan habitat conservation and the protection of ecosystem services, while expanding palm oil plantations on land with low current use value and avoiding agricultural and timber concessions where conservation value is high.

While in Kalimantan, Mr. Ban also visited a health clinic, where he immunized a child against polio and met with pregnant women and health workers. The Secretary-General is now in Bali, where he will take part in, among other events, the fourth summit between the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Major Illegal Logging Operation Disrupted

Jakarta Globe, November 16, 2011

There have been few convictions among hundreds of cases since the
president’s first call to stamp out illegal logging in 2005. (Antara Photo)
 

Related articles

The National Police’s special crimes unit says it has disrupted an illegal logging syndicate with the potential to cause significant damage in the Kubu Raya district of West Kalimantan.

Police say the operation, under way since Monday, has resulted in the seizure of thousands of mahang hardwood logs.

“The timber was still in the form of raw logs, numbering 1,869. We are in the process of measuring and counting them with expert witnesses from the Forestry Ministry,” a police officer taking part in the investigation said on Wednesday.

“The suspect is an individual with the initials A.I. He is not a forestry license holder but a local businessman from Pontianak,” said the source, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

A.I. will be charged with illegal logging under the Law on Forestry. He could face up to 10 years in prison or a Rp 5 billion ($555,000) fine if convicted.

Mahang is a “pioneer” species that tends to colonize logged areas. It is used by local residents for temporary structures that are not in direct contact with the ground, as well as for interior moldings. For export it is usually combined with other timber pulp to make particleboard and plywood.

When contacted on Wednesday, the director of the special crimes unit, Brig. Gen. Anas Yusuf, declined to confirm the details of the operation.

Last April, a joint team from the West Kalimantan Police’s criminal investigations unit and their National Police counterparts seized thousands of cubic meters of timber belonging to logging company Wana Bangun Agung.

The timber, believed to have been logged illegally, was found in the possession of a plywood company in Arang Limbung, which, as with the location of this week’s seized logs, is also in Kubu Raya district.

In that earlier operation, the police found numerous logs that were not of the 21 species that are legally allowed to be felled under a 2007 Forestry Ministry regulation. The logs were felled from near Putussibau, in the Kapuas Hulu district of West Kalimantan. Farouk Arnaz

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Indonesian Police Finally Act in Alleged Orangutan Torture, Killing Cases

Jakarta Globe, November 16, 2011

A photo of an orangutan being tortured before it was killed in a
palm-oil plantation in East Kalimantan. (Photo courtesy of RCTI)
  

Related articles

Indonesian police have questioned a researcher who uncovered the alleged torture and killing of orangutans in a palm oil plantation area in East Kalimantan.

Yaya Rayadin, a researcher from state-owned Mulawarman University in Samarinda, told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday that the questioning took place at Kutai Kartanegara Police headquarters on Monday.

“They asked me about the bones of an orangutan that were taken to my lab for analysis,” Yaya said, adding that the remains were found by locals at a plantation area in Puan Cepak, Muara Kaman district.

“I told them that based on forensic examinations, the bones belonged to an adult orangutan and that it died from unnatural causes. The bones showed marks of sharp weapons,” he said, adding that he had handed remains to the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) for evidence purposes.

It was the first time police have questioned anyone in relation to the alleged killing of the protected animals.

The shocking allegations were first made public in September, though police at the time said they needed more proof before an investigation could be launched.

“We need evidence. Can anyone show us the location of the killing, who did it?” Kutai Kartanegara Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. I Gusti Harryarsama told RCTI recently. “If there are graves, we can exhume the bodies and take photos.”

The TV station has aired chilling images of people torturing and killing the primates, including the plate number of a motorcycle that was used by one of the alleged killers.

The practice of killing orangutans had taken place since 2008, Yaya said.

“The forests are the natural habit of orangutans, including the forests that were later converted into palm-oil plantation,” he said.

“However, they adapt to changes very well and they survive by observing and learning from the environment around them. The only food available is palm so they eat it,” Yaya said.

One orangutan could eat up to 30 to 40 palm trees a day, he said.

“Therefore, plantation firms consider them as pests that must be controlled to prevent losses.”

Meanwhile, RCTI interviewed a former plantation employee who claimed that plantation firms offered rewards for anyone who could capture orangutans dead or alive.

“The order was to capture orangutans and monkeys, bring them to the office. If we brought three, we’ll get Rp 3 million ($333),” the anonymous source said.

The captured orangutans would be caged, beaten and buried.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ASEAN to form partnerships to promote traditional medicine

Antara News, Sat, November 5 2011

Related News

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - ASEAN member countries have agreed to establish partnerships to promote traditional medicine through among other things information exchange, research, and the scientization of traditional cures to guarantee their safety.

The agreement was reached at the Third Conference on ASEAN Traditional Medicine in Solo, Central Java, on Saturday, President Director of PT Deltomed Laboratories Nyoto Wardoyo said in a press statement here on Saturday.

The conference was attended by representatives of Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, and Indonesia as the host.

The meeting`s participants on the sidelines of the conference visited the factory of PT Deltomed Laboratories in Wonogiri, Central Java.

They made a comparative study on the modernization and standardization process of traditional medicine production, and the herbal material extraction carried out in the factory.

PT Deltomed, a national herbal medicine producer, has established cooperation with the health ministry`s Traditional Medicine and Herbal Medicine Development and Research Center (B2P2TO-OT).

Since 2009, the company has met the Good Manufacturing Product Standard and received a National Sanitation Foundation certificate on September 14, 2011, as a prerequisite for herbal medicine exports to countries in the American continent.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Embattled Greenpeace Gets Help From Activists

Jakarta Globe, Ulma Haryanto, November 12, 2011

Related articles

Legal aid activists and supporters showed on Friday their backing for under-fire environmental group Greenpeace, which is being evicted from its office by the Jakarta administration for alleged zoning violations.

“YLBHI [the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation] and other NGOs have pledged to back up Greenpeace and give our support to them,” said Alvon Kurnia Palma, deputy chairman of YLBHI.

The Jakarta Building Control and Monitoring Office (P2B) said it served notice to Greenpeace on Wednesday about the closure and would proceed with sealing off its headquarters on Jalan Kemang Utara in South Jakarta on Monday. It said the office had been built in an area designated for residential buildings only.

The YLBHI said the Jakarta administration’s move was just a small part of a more widespread problem of discrimination against local NGOs.

Alvon cited an incident on Wednesday, when the YLBHI’s headquarters was surrounded by dozens of troops from the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) when it was holding a public discussion on Freeport.

“Other NGOs such as ICW [Indonesia Corruption Watch] also had to face scrutiny when it was revealed they received funding from abroad,” Alvon said.

Alvon also said the eviction letter P2B had been using was legally flawed.

“It did not mention what bylaw the letter was issued on,” Alvon said. “The letter only said, ‘based on a DKI bylaw.’ ”

Berry Nahdian Furqan, executive director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), urged other activists to back up Greenpeace.

“Greenpeace has been campaigning for our forests and environment. Don’t let environmental criminals win,” Berry said, adding that Walhi and the YLBHI have agreed to temporarily accommodate Greenpeace should the sealing off take place.

“We are ready to back up Greenpeace politically and concretely,” he added.

Widyo Dwiyono, head of the South Jakarta P2B office, said his agency had given Greenpeace an extra 24 hours for the organization to relocate.

“According to the notice, the relocation should actually take place on Sunday,” he said.

“This is part of our regular law enforcement ­­— all buildings in the area that violate zoning regulations will face the same thing,” he added. Widyo could not detail how many buildings his office planned to cite in the area.

Kemang is also home to scores of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops, few of which have ever been sealed off or cited for zoning violations.

The eviction follows several months of uneasy relations between Greenpeace and government officials.

Greenpeace’s Southeast Asia media campaigner Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya claimed the group had been unfairly targeted after it launched a global campaign against Asia Pulp and Paper.

Last month, a Greenpeace UK forest campaigner was deported from Indonesia for reasons that were never made clear. That incident took place less than a week after the Greenpeace UK director was denied entry into the country despite arriving with a valid entry visa.


Related Article:


Friday, November 11, 2011

Councilor denounces palm oil plantation conversion

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 11/11/2011

The plan to convert tea plantations in North Sumatra to palm oil plantations could be detrimental to local economies and the environment, a local councilor said.

Councilor Irwansyah Damanik said the conversion would adversely affect the livelihoods of many people in the province, particularly those living in Simalungun and Pematangsiantar regencies, where most plantations are located.

Land conversions also affect the Earth’s natural ability to absorb rain, thus posing the threat of flooding, he said. In contrast, water scarcity is also another threat because palm oil plantations consume more water, he said.

Damanik said that he had already discussed his concerns regarding the plan, which was proposed by state agriculture company PT Perkebunan Nusantara IV with Pematangsiantar Regional Development Board (Bappeda) chief Herowhin Sinaga, who also expressed objections to the plan.

Damanik said that the city government had serious doubts about the conversion plan due to potential impacts on water supply for the region.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Brazil exports satellite rainforest monitoring

Deutsche Welle, 10 Nov 2011 

Satellite technology can pinpoint at
risk areas in remote regions
Brazil has been monitoring illegal logging in the Amazon with satellite technology for 23 years. Now, interest in this pioneering know-how is growing in other countries that are struggling to deal with deforestation.

For more than two decades, Brazil has been using satellite images to monitor the rainforest. An important task, since deforestation releases more than a fifth of greenhouse gases worldwide, making it a significant contributor to climate change.

Illegal logging is a rampant problem
in Indonesia
Pressure to better protect forests is growing especially in developing countries with large swaths of tropical rainforest, such as Brazil, Indonesia or the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Brazil has plenty of experience with such digital monitoring, since the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) established the world's first rainforest surveillance system, called "Terra Amazon," in 1988.

"We have a method that's established, mature and sufficient for export," said Alessandra Gomes, who works with INPE on the Amazon. "Our goal is to enable other countries in need of a strong system to watch over their forest cover," Gomes told Deutsche Welle.

Several international partners are involved in the initiative, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Together with the Brazilian government, they've developed training programs that are allowing countries such as Mexico, Gabon, Guiana, Congo, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam to adopt Brazil's monitoring system.

Inge Jonckheere of the FAO described the system as fully operational, scientifically solid and backed internationally.

"Many countries see it as an example, and would like to adopt it in their own contexts," Jonckheere said, adding that the system is being tailored to the specific needs of interested countries.

Out of the Amazon

Six international delegations have already been trained. Representatives from Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador participated in a training this month in Belem, on the mouth of the Amazon River in northeast Brazil.

Slash-and-burn continues to be a
common method of clearing
tropical forest
African countries are also involved. Apart from the Democratic Republic of Congo – the country with the second-largest rainforest in the world, and which suffers greatly from illegal timber extraction – Mozambique and Angola also sent representatives to Brazil.

Participants learned how to download satellite photos, and transform these into hard figures that indicate where logging is taking place.

"The goal is to get other countries working to detect deforestation, degradation and destruction of carbon storage in their own territories," Jonckheere told Deutsche Welle.

Carbon credits

The technique is particularly attractive, Jonckheere said, because the countries stand a better chance of promoting their interests at UN climate negotiations.

As decided at the 2010 climate conference in Mexico, nations can profit by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from logging through a program known as REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

But in order to receive credit for saving forests, participating countries must present verifiable data.

"There are two ways nations can guard their forests: They can start from zero and invent their own system, or use existing know-how. That's where Brazil can help," Jonckheere said.

Long- and short-term

Terra Amazon collects and processes photos from the North American satellite Landsat. Out of this, scientists get maps and data on rainforest regions where logging occurs.

In the digital age, the system is made up of various elements: the "prodes" module checks the yearly clear-cutting patterns, while "deter" takes quick measurements and sends distress signals to the main station.

Felled trees along a stretch of ancient forest in the Amazon region of Brazil

The data is made available to the Brazilian environmental agency Ibama "within 15 days," Gomes explained, triggering on-site visits to see what has happening.

André Muggiati of Greenpeace sees the system as pioneering.

"It's a base for measuring the progress or regression in public policy of the Amazon region," Muggiati told Deutsche Welle.

"Without the satellite monitoring, it wouldn't be possible to assess what's happening."

Muggiati said the Brazilian government had so far acted to contain logging based on observations conducted by the satellite technology.

"We're seeing how logging has decreased. And what's interesting, is how the data are publicly accessible to all, how society is being alerted and can pressure the government to react," Muggiati said.

Author: Nadia Pontes / sad
Editor: Nathan Witkop

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tiger kills five-year-old girl in Bengkulu

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Mon, 11/07/2011

Fitria binti Judin, 5, was found dead on Saturday after a Sumatran tiger attacked and dragged her from a small plantation run by her parents near Cirebon Baru village in Kepahiang regency, Bengkulu.

“The incident took place on Saturday morning. The victim was playing with her two elder siblings outside their house when suddenly a tiger emerged from the wood and attacked her,” Bengkulu Natural Resources Conservancy Agency (BKSDA) head Supartono said on Monday in Bengkulu.

He said that upon the attack, Fitria’s siblings immediately ran to the nearest village, Cirebon Baru, which was seven kilometers away from the plantation, seeking help from villagers as their parents’ whereabouts were unknown.

The victim was found dead, about 20 meters from where the attack had taken place, with her left leg missing, believed to have been eaten by the tiger.

“She was already lifeless when found, while the tiger had retreated to the woods. The residents immediately evacuated the victim and brought her to their village for burial,” Supartono said, as quoted by tribunnews.com.

He added that six BKSDA officers had been tasked with investigating the incident.

Supartono said the plantation may be located inside the Bukit Daun protected forest. If the plantation is found to be outside the forest, officers will be told to capture the tiger and take it to a conservation area.

In 2011, Bengkulu recorded seven incidents between humans and tigers in five of its regencies, including Lebong, Seluma and North Bengkulu.

Supartono said the number of the cases had been increasing over the years due to forest destruction in the province, mostly because of illegal logging.