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)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Singapore Urges SEA Lenders to Implement Eco-Friendly Policies

Jakarta Globe, Erwida Maulia, May 17, 2015

Palm oil plantations in Indragiri Hulu district in Sumatra's Riau province.
(EPA Photo/Bagus Indahono)

Singapore. The Singaporean government has called on financial institutions operating in Southeast Asia to exercise caution in funneling funds to palm oil producers, saying scrutiny on the sector continues to intensify with recurring problems in transboundary haze.

Banks have acted as an important source of capital for the region’s palm oil industry, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said last week.

Citing a 2010 report by BankTrack, he said lenders provided an estimated 24 percent of the total financing needed for the sector globally, with more than $50 billion invested in the Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil sectors alone during the decade prior to the release of the study.

“The number has grown significantly since then. And this includes local sources of capital from within Indonesia and Malaysia,” Balakrishnan said in a keynote speech during the second annual Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources held last Wednesday.

With the recurring issue of transboundary haze, he added, calls have intensified for companies and individuals “all the way down” the supply chain to be held accountable for deforestation — the main culprit behind recurring forest fires in Indonesia and haze affecting neighbors Singapore and Malaysia.

“Due to the environmental scrutiny and the campaigns by environmental NGOs, banks have now also become part of the watch list,” the minister said.

“And my plea to you, therefore, is please pay attention to this and remember the questions will be asked not only of the companies involved, but also of the financiers and the banks behind the industry.”

Balakrishnan added that lenders and other financial institutions are now expected to be more responsible in conducting background checks on palm oil companies. It is not enough to merely see whether their clients would be able to pay their loans and interest rates, he said.

How the companies derive their resources, their methods of production, the environmental, social and even political risks they face all must be assessed before banks decide whether they should invest in the business.

“These [steps] have to become part and parcel of standard due diligence,” Balakrishnan said.

Financial institutions, including banks and investors, have significant influence over the market and the proper behavior of producers, he added.

Representatives from the financial sector speaking at Wednesday’s dialogue conceded that more banks are gradually recognizing the opportunities in sustainable financing. They are also beginning to understand the need to assess their clients’ environmental and governance records to protect themselves from potential reputation damage.

“It makes good business sense, not just from a reputational perspective, but also from a credit prospective. Generally, a company that actually does good from an environmental perspective would be in better financial health,” said Vincent Choo, chief risk officer of OCBC Bank.

However, Jeanne Stampe, the Asian finance and commodities specialist of environmental group WWF International, sees  domestic banks from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations lagging behind in implementing environmental, social and governance standards.

Both bank management and shareholders simply don’t see the need or urgency to take action, she said.

Stampe added that she also recognizes a lack of senior-level prioritization, a lack of capacity and lack of pressure coming from both regulators and company stakeholders to take the issue seriously.

The Singapore dialogue raised concerns that sustainability, which should be a new basis for growth in the region, has instead become a greater challenge amid falling commodities prices across the globe, as well as the constant need to create more jobs in Southeast Asia.

However Simon Tay, the chairman of Singapore Institute of International Affairs, the organizer of the event, said there was still hope for a better outcome.

“If we look at the industry itself, we see signs of change,” Tay said during his opening speech.

“More larger and leading companies among us here today recognize and are responding more strongly to the sustainable challenge as a business issue; not merely as public relations.”

Minister Balakrishnan added that there was an increasing trend among consumers to demand for environmentally friendly products — and that this was not just a phenomenon in developed countries.

He cited a Nielsen survey conducted last year, which reported that 55 percent of the online consumers across 60 different countries said they were willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to providing positive social and environmental impacts.

“This propensity of willingness to buy socially responsible brands is actually strongest in the Asia-Pacific region, where 64 percent of respondents [had] this preference. And I believe this preference will stay, with their wallets that will grow stronger in the years to come,” Balakrishnan said.

“The industry sectors that can first develop standards and labels on sustainable products will have a head start,” the minister added.

Arief Yuwono, the Indonesian Environment Ministry’s deputy for environment degradation control and climate change, said promoting sustainability would also be a key priority for President Joko Widodo and his administration.

The Indonesian government is currently seeking to extend the moratorium on granting new land concessions for plantations and mining activities, which expired on Wednesday.

“We’re working on the final draft, and we hope it will be issued very soon,” said Arief, who also addressed the audience at Wednesday’s dialogue.

He conceded that several issues still needed to be addressed before the new moratorium draft could be finalized, including law enforcement, synchronization with other related, existing regulations  and the one-map reference issue.

Overlapping maps of concessions, community forests and protected forests have caused problems in implementing the deforestation moratorium since it was first introduced by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2011.

Joko has agreed to extend the moratorium, Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya revealed after a meeting with the president at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday.

“Proposals to strengthen [clauses in the moratorium] from Walhi, Kemitraan, Sawit Watch, WRI and others are very much appreciated and will be summarized by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for a follow-up,” ministry spokesman Eka W. Soegiri said in a press statement on Wednesday, naming Indonesia’s leading environmental groups.

No comments: