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)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Indonesia’s Forest Communities Victims of ‘Legal Land Grabs’

Jakarta Globe, Silvia Giannelli, November 16, 2013

Sesaot, where a village committee has managed a forest reserve extending 3,600
hectares for over 50 years. (IPS Photo/Amantha Perera)

Indonesia’s rainforests are facing “legal land grabs,” nongovernmental organizations have alleged. Its ancient communities are finding that ancestral lands are slipping into the hands of foreign companies for oil palm cultivation, as demand for the product grows in Europe, India and China.

“There are 33,000 villages in Indonesia’s forest zone and many thousand more in areas marked for agriculture,” said Marcus Colchester, a senior policy adviser at Forest Peoples Program, an international NGO.

“The government allocates these areas to companies without even consulting the communities. So concessions have been handed out over lands where these communities have lived for hundreds or even thousands of years,” he told IPS.

On Friday, Colchester flew to Medan to present the findings of his research, carried out in conjunction with two local organizations, on the impact oil palm cultivation has on the lives of Indonesian communities.

“It is being left to the conscience of the companies — whether they want to give a fair deal to the communities and recognize their rights or not,” Colchester said.

“What our study shows is that the communities’ rights are not being adequately recognized. The people lose access to the land they have traditionally depended on for forest produce, for hunting, fishing, medicines, agriculture and many other purposes.”

According to Sawit Watch, an Indonesian network against palm oil plantations, the country already has 3.2 million hectares of oil palm plantations, mainly located in Sumatra.

Oil palm is known as ‘Sawit’ in Indonesia. Every year, 330,000 hectares of forest is targeted for conversion into new plantations and 650 investors, 75 percent of which are foreign companies, apply to convert forests into oil palm plantations, according to the network.

Palm oil companies and the government are both involved, alleges Augustin Karlo Lumban of Sawit Watch.

Companies first ask communities to release their lands, saying they are taking it [to] rent, he said. But later, when the same people want the land back, they are told it belongs to the state. The government, in turn, puts a business permit on the land and gives it to companies.

“This is land grab[ing] by legal means,” Lumban told IPS.

For some time, the palm oil industry has been criticized by human rights and environmental organizations for its operations in Indonesia.

It has also triggered a debate in the scientific and political arena.

Mark Winslow, communication consultant at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics, an organization that works on sustainable ecological farming, says there are many ways of producing palm oil.

“Palm oil is generally considered the most energy-efficient biofuel and has the highest yield per unit of land area. The problem is that its cultivation is carried out in a very sensitive ecological area — Indonesia and Malaysia,” Winslow told IPS.

But there are alternatives to land grabbing, Winslow said. Data from the World Resources Institute shows that there is at least six million hectares of degraded land in Indonesia.

“These lands are not used at all because they are covered in dense grass called ‘alang alang,’ but if you use herbicides to kill it, you could then plant oil palms there without clearing any new forest,” he said.

Also, rainforests are not the only option for oil palm plantations. “The oil palm is a forest tree by nature, but it has potential to expand into drier areas which have a lot of rivers, or underground water, especially in Africa,” Winslow said.

Oil palm is an edible crop. Its cultivation has gone up vastly over the last decade, reaching 50 million tons in 2012 to become the leading vegetable oil in terms of production and trade, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

In 2011, Indonesia and Malaysia accounted for 85 percent of worldwide palm oil production.

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, 80 percent of palm oil is used for food, the rest is used in oleochemistry, for products like cosmetics and soaps, and increasingly, for biofuels.

After India and China, Europe is the third top importer of palm oil, according to FAO data for 2011.

As part of the so-called “20-20-20″ climate and energy targets, the European Union aims to raise the share of its energy consumption from renewable sources to 20 percent by 2020, out of which 10 percent is for the transport sector, according to European Commission data.

While this directive has made the projection for future palm oil import higher, signs of a course reversal are coming from the European Parliament.

“In September, the European Parliament adopted a position that caps first-generation biofuels, stating that within the 10 percent target of renewable source, only six percent can come from first-generation biofuels,” Bas Eickhout, a member of the European Parliament with the Greens, told IPS.

But no measure is in sight as far the social impact of biofuels like palm oil is concerned.

“As far as including social standards in the sustainability criteria goes, unfortunately the European Union is not moving at all,” Eickhout said.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an organization that represents all stakeholders throughout the industry supply chain.

“RSPO is not yet ready to show that palm oil is sustainable in climate terms,” said Colchester.

When it comes to the social dimension, RSPO certification should be enough to prevent human rights abuses.

“It would, if they were complying,” Colchester said. “=Our report shows that even companies that are members of the RSPO and are certified still have problems in the way they deal with the communities,” he said. “And that’s what is so shocking.”

Inter Press Service

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