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.

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, December 5, 2009

Can REDD Keep Indonesia’s Forests Green?

The Jakarta Globe, Joe Cochrane

It’s the hottest acronym going in the world of climate change. The UN-backed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation is being touted as both the savior of rain forests and a new natural resource commodity that will bring untold riches to the developing world.

The concept, also known as REDD, is both simple and ingenious: Countries can sell credits on the amount of carbon their forests and rain forests soak up to industrialized nations that need to reduce emissions, thereby protecting their environment, stopping global warming and ensuring a sustainable future income without having to chop down the trees.

The reality is more complicated. The proposed UN carbon trading scheme remains just that, a proposal. It’s also very complex, would be open to abuse and corruption and can leave local forest-based communities with nothing.

“If I can save forests and get paid for it, that’s much better than not saving forests,” said Timothy H Brown, senior natural resources management specialist at the World Bank in Jakarta. “If you want to save the forests, make some money out of it. Don’t just encourage somebody to love biodiversity. That doesn’t pay the bills.”

Indeed, a key facet of the REDD scheme is to provide a new and lasting source of revenue for developing nations, in particular regional administrations and local populations. Any new international protocol on climate change, whether it’s reached in Copenhagen this month, or sometime in 2010, is likely also to produce a comprehensive agreement on REDD — in effect, making carbon a commodity on a par with oil, natural gas or coal.

The rain forests of Indonesia, which has several pilot REDD projects currently under way, and those in Brazil, are being touted as the future of carbon trading. But that’s not necessarily a good thing, according to experts and environmental activists.

“Indonesia hasn’t shown the ability to prevent deforestation,” Brown said, adding that 1.1 million hectares of Indonesian forests vanish each year.

A Human Rights Watch report released on Tuesday said Indonesia lost up to $2 billion annually between 2003 and 2006 due to illegal logging, unpaid taxes and royalties from forestry and hidden subsidies for timber companies. That figure did not include the billions likely lost each year from unreported timber smuggled abroad.

The report questioned Indonesia’s ability to set up what might be the world’s largest carbon trading market to protect forests, given huge corruption in the industry. “In the absence of safeguards, the carbon finance market will simply inject more money into an already corrupt system, short-cutting needed reforms and exacerbating the situation,” the report said.

Among the biggest fears is manipulation by foreign carbon brokers who wave cash in the faces of provincial and district government leaders. Called “carbon cowboys,” they can sign deals that give Indonesian districts only a fraction of what they should be getting.

Fitrian Ardiansyah, program director for climate and energy at World Wildlife Fund Indonesia, said carbon brokers have already signed deals or made approaches in East Kalimantan, Papua and Aceh.

“They say, ‘Sign this. For 100,000 hectares for REDD, you will get $2 per hectare,’ ” Fitrian said. “But you’re not supposed to count the hectares, you count the carbon.”

That’s where it gets tricky. The mathematical and scientific calculations to determine how much carbon a given area of forest absorbs are extremely complex, likely far beyond the educational level of a local district chief, experts say. And although they can receive as much as $2,500 per hectare of protected forest, local communities must first invest millions of dollars or more up front to establish an internationally verifiable way to show that their preserved forests aren’t still being chopped down or otherwise misused.

“To have an international commodity, you have to have this scientific basis and certification process, because you’re selling something that doesn’t exist,” Brown said

Another major issue, especially for Indonesia, is who owns the forests in which carbon is stored, and thus has the right to sell the credits. Local communities from Sumatra to Papua are ingrained with the belief that the forest belongs to them, while local, provincial and even the national government have the legal right to lease the land to companies.

“There’s no recognition of indigenous people’s rights,” said M Teguh Surya, head of advocacy at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).

Walhi, which is arguably the country’s leading environmental group, has lobbied against REDD, saying the current scheme needs to be amended to require prior consent from indigenous populations before any deals are struck. The group is also calling for a ban on market-based trading of carbon credits — meaning no public selling on stock exchanges — and an international agreement on reducing developed nations’ demand for raw materials such as timber.

“REDD is CO2 colonialism,” Surya said. “We still need a long debate before we decide anything.”

The Ministry of Forestry has a lot to answer for in its woeful management of the nation’s forests over the decades. But it has received kudos for its ongoing preparation for REDD, which wouldn’t go into effect until 2013 at the earliest.

The ministry has, among other things, developed a national carbon accounting system, a strategic development plan, a monitoring plan and a forest resource inventory system. The oversight must be in place, experts say, to prevent Indonesia’s carbon from going the way of its depleted forests.

“It’s a difficult, arcane subject matter. The science, the policy, the economics of it. It’s a daunting task,” said Todd Lemons, from Infinite Earth, a Hong Kong-based company going through a government certification process to sell REDD options on an orangutan sanctuary in Central Kalimantan.

Nur Masripatin, head of social, economic and forestry policy at the Forestry Ministry, said the government was also preparing programs aimed at “improving the management of national forests, and not encouraging the conversion of forest land to palm oil.”

Commodity prices, specifically those of palm oil, could be the spanner in the works for REDD. Given that carbon credits will eventually be traded publicly on international markets, the scheme is at the mercy of crude palm oil prices.

If the price of palm oil goes higher than the price of carbon credits, all bets could be off and the REDD scheme could be quickly consigned to the dust bin of history — along with the forests it is meant to protect.

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