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)

Friday, May 2, 2014

With Loss of Indonesia’s Forests, a Litany of Problems

Jakarta Globe, Josua Gantan, May 02, 2014

The rate of deforestation has doubled since the start of the century,
according to one group of researchers. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)

Jakarta. In November 2013, a group of researchers who partnered with Google and NASA noted that there was an alarming increase in the rate of deforestation in Indonesia. Through satellite mapping technologies, the researchers found that the rate of deforestation in Indonesia had doubled between 2000 and 2012.

Indeed, the deforestation rate in Indonesia has increased from about 10,000 square kilometers per year in 2000-03, to nearly 20,000 square kilometers per year between by 2011-12.

The group of scientists who conducted the study consisted of researchers from 15 universities, led by Matthew Hansen, a professor of geographical science from the University of Maryland. Their observations were published in the journal Science last year.

The issue of deforestation in Indonesia has grown more serious than ever before. The environmental damage that deforestation has caused and continues to cause in Indonesia has given rise to more frequent floods, permanent land subsidence and the demise of endangered animals. Increased deforestation also contributes to rising temperatures in the archipelago.

“The argument is always … we need economic development. But the damage, the costs, are generally ignored. Indonesia stands to lose,” Erik Meijaard, a researcher with the organization People and Nature Consulting International, said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Deforestation in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, has given rise to the higher frequency of flooding in the region, which impacts the people who live there.

“The floods are getting more severe. Every year 500,000 people in Kalimantan are displaced by floods,” Meijaard said.

He added there was also a steep increase in temperatures in places where the forest had been cleared away.

“[When] you degrade the forest, your average temperature rises by 10 degrees,” Meijaard said.

He said that as a result of rising temperatures due to the deforestation, agricultural yields in the region were lower.

Meijaard said the consulting firm he represented had interviewed more than 8,000 people from villages across Kalimantan to try to understand how deforestation was affecting them.

One major problem is the subsidence and severe degradation of land, as floods and the absence of vegetation to hold the topsoil in place leads to erosion.

“I’m baffled. People tell me that Indonesia can lose 10 percent of its land if it keeps developing its peat at today’s rate,” Meijaard said.

The clearing of forests and peatlands through slash-and-burn methods to make way for agricultural land has regularly generated choking haze that has spread as far as Singapore and Malaysia and prompted international outrage and condemnation.

The burning of trees and beat swamps also releases millions of tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, exacerbating the effects of global warming and climate change.

International gathering

The Bogor-based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) will on Monday and Tuesday host the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta, one of the biggest gatherings of its kind in recent years, bringing together government officials, business executives, civil society leaders, development experts and the world’s top scientists.

CIFOR says the meeting will allow participants “to share knowledge on how the region can accelerate the shift toward a green economy by better managing its forests and landscapes.”

As an archipelago, Indonesia’s biodiversity is unique. Islands like the Galapagos have distinct species, and Indonesia is the same in this respect, boasting animal and plant species that are found nowhere else on Earth.

Among these is the orangutan, which today faces the threat of extinction as its forest habitats in Sumatra and Kalimantan are razed by palm oil and pulp and paper companies.

Ian Singleton from the Orangutan Project, an organization working to conserve the endangered ape, says deforestation in Indonesia is responsible for the deaths of countless endangered species such as the orangutan, the Sumatran elephants, the tiger and the Sumatran rhino.

He said the process of converting natural forests to oil palm plantations through slash-and-burn clearing had proven deadly for the animals.

“Almost nothing survives the conversion process. Not even the smallest lizards,” Singleton said.

He showed photographs of dead orangutans, their limbs disfigured, and said they were victims of Indonesia’s relentless deforestation drive.

With the country’s natural forests dwindling, iconic species like the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger also risk disappearing from the face of the Earth, conservationists warn.

Bali and Java were once home to their own tiger sub-species, but hunting and the clearing of forests led to their extinction. The Sumatran tiger, the last sub-species of the big cat remaining in Indonesia, numbers only around 400 in the wild, but continues to be driven out of its natural habitat.

Singleton also showed photos of chained orangutans, kept as pets. Despite the poor conditions in which many are kept, including running the risk of exposure to infectious diseases from humans, Singleton says these are the “lucky ones” because they are still alive.

He says many of the people and companies involved in the clearing of forests and killing of orangutans — seen as pests by oil palm farmers — have little regard for the country’s laws on environmental and wildlife conservation.

He argues that law enforcement in this respect is deficient, pointing out that the few offenders who are caught never go to court to face charges.

“Despite all the coverage, it hasn’t made one bit of difference. Nobody has been prosecuted. Loose law enforcement is business as usual,” Singleton said.

BeritaSatu Media Holdings, with which Jakarta Globe is affiliated, is a media partner of the Forests Asia Summit.

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