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, April 24, 2015

In Mataram Declaration, Belated Recognition of Indigenous Rights

Jakarta Globe, Kennial Caroline Laia,  Apr 23, 2015

The government is finally getting serious about recognizing Indigenous
groups’ forest rights. (Antara Photo/Ahmad Subaidi)

Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara. Proponents of the rights of indigenous groups have hailed a pledge by the Indonesian government to do more to recognize their stewardship of forests, seen as crucial in efforts to stave off deforestation.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar made the so-called Mataram Declaration last weekend in a belated response to a May 2013 Constitutional Court ruling relinquishing the state’s default claims to forested areas settled and used by indigenous groups.

“Long before this, civil society organizations and local communities were struggling for the recognition and protection of customary land,” said Abetnego Tarigan, the executive director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, or Walhi. “Now the government has shown good faith, and we really appreciate it.”

He said the central and local governments often violated indigenous people’s land rights because the latter lacked title deeds to their land. In many cases, he noted, the people were disenfranchised of their rights, and their land given over to logging, plantation or mining operators.

“There are a few policies that regulate the rights of local communities to the land, such as the 2012 law on customary forests, but they don’t cover the recognition of people’s customary territory, so we need another framework to guarantee it,” Abetnego said. “This declaration should really be a form of political will for all stakeholders to push the recognition and protection of customary forests managed by the people.”

Civic-centered development

At the signing of the declaration on Saturday in Mataram, in West Nusa Tenggara province, Siti said the government and other stakeholders were committed to expediting the process to craft policies that improved the welfare and protection of local communities and conserved the environment.

“These policies are really important,” she said. “President Joko Widodo’s government has indicated that the citizenship concept is a democratic one, in which we seek to bring welfare to the people.”

She said the government was making efforts to involve people, especially indigenous groups, in environmental protection.

“Here, our development must be civic-centered,” Siti said. “This issue has been echoed by the people and environmental organizations, and now the government is listening.”

Under Joko’s 2015-2019 National Mid-Term Development Plan, the administration plans to designate 12.5 million hectares of land for “social forestry,” in which indigenous groups and local communities will commit to sustainable forestry practices, and nine million hectares for agriculture.

“These [social] forests can be developed as community forests, village forests and customary forests,” Siti said, adding that the agricultural land, to be staked out from former logging concessions, would go primarily to subsistence farmers.

Collaborative effort

Siti said it was important for all stakeholders — the central government, regional administrations, civil society organizations and local communities — to work closely together.

“The policy is ready to go, but we can’t do it alone. We need help from other stakeholders to cooperate. For example, I hope the Home Affairs Ministry will help us identify indigenous communities and their problems to ensure that all land is distributed rightly and fairly,” she said.

“We also need civil society organizations to work with the people on mediation, community building and others. Access to welfare for all Indonesians is our responsibility.”

Zudan Arif Fakrulloh, an adviser to the Home Affairs Ministry, said the institution was open to cooperating with the other stakeholders.

“But the identification process isn’t easy. There are a few requirements to meet before we can definitively say that a given community is an indigenous one,” he said. “The process must be really selective. And this is the task of regional leaders.”

Zudan said that for a forest community to qualify, it would have to show some kind of environmentally sustainable practice in its interactions with the forest.

“Here we need experts and help from civil society organizations,” he said.

People first

Siti said the new policy, unlike previous ones, prioritized the role of people in economic development through the exploitation of forests and other natural resources.

“I believe the system will be no longer like the past, when government didn’t put the people at the front of its development plans. Now, we must use dialogue in our approach to developing the economy of this country,” Siti said.

West East Nusa’s Deputy Governor Muhammad Amin welcomed the declaration, but said further talks on the issue were still needed between the central government and regional administrations.

“We realize there hasn’t been a regional policy that recognizes the territorial rights of indigenous people. However, with this declaration, we hope that the people will receive greater consideration in the policy-making process,” he said. “Should the synergy run smoothly, we may be able to achieve an environment-oriented development framework.”

Yansen T.P., the head of Malinau district in North Kalimantan, who was among the more than 30 regional heads attending the Mataram Declaration, said an increasing number of regions across the country were beginning to prioritize land rights protections when crafting new policies.

“We’ve been done a lot for several years now to show our support for our environment,” he said. “We have vast areas of natural resources and considerable local wisdom. The forest we have is the forest we must hold on to. We understand that people depend on the forest and they will try to maintain it. But to do that, we in the regional government have to provide them with legal certainty.”

Yansen said he hoped that future investments would “take the side of the people.”

“We don’t need to exploit all of our natural resources right away. We have to think about our children, grandchildren and our future generations,” he said. “Hopefully the central government’s policy will accelerate the recognition of indigenous people’s right to the forest.”

Test cases

Adi Rozal, the head of Kerinci district in Sumatra’s Jambi province, said his administration had designated 12 swaths of forest as customary forests.

“Now we’re waiting for coordination from the central government to issue a policy that fully mandates the forests for use by the local community,” he said.

Mathius Awoitauw, the head of Jayapura district in Papua province, agreed that while the central government had a key role to play, it was local governments that would serve as the test cases for various frameworks on the issue.

“All we need to do to establish nationwide synergy is to hold regular dialogues to test how capable regional governments and people are in managing their forests. In addition, there should be a regulation that truly guarantees the rights of each region to map its own customary forests,” he said.

In prioritizing the rights of forest-dwelling communities, the government has switched from an earlier paradigm that served large corporations, said Chalil Muhammad, the chairman of the Association for Community and Ecology-Based Law Reform, or Perkumpulan HuMa.

“There’s a need to create a scheme to build rights coordination between the central government, regional governments and the people in an effort to prevent forests from rampant exploitation,” he said. “These stakeholders need to change their mind-set. We need to increase human resource capacity and fix existing forestry policies.”

Edited by Hayat Indriyatno

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