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)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fungi could protect rice against climate change, researchers say

Inoculating rice seeds with fungi makes the plants tolerant of conditions which may become common as the climate changes, SciDev.Net, part of the Guardian Environment Network, Wednesday 27 July 2011

A farmer works at a rice planting field. Photograph: Guang Niu/Getty Images

Inoculating rice seeds with fungi makes the plants more tolerant of salt, drought and cold — all of which may become more common as the climate changes, according to researchers.

The researchers obtained two types of endophytic fungi, which have symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships with plants. One was from coastal dunegrass, and the other from a variety of wild strawberry that thrives in geothermal soils even in below-freezing winter temperatures.

When seeds of two commercial rice varieties were inoculated with the fungi, the resulting plants, grown in greenhouses, had increased growth and grain production, and were more tolerant of drought.

In addition, plants inoculated with fungi from coastal plants thrived under saline conditions, and those receiving fungi from wild strawberries grew well in low temperatures, according to the research published this month (5 July) in PLoS One.

"The fungus pretty much does all the work," said Russell J. Rodriguez, co-author of the research and a microbiologist with the US Geological Survey. "Within 24 hours, we saw the benefits. [Inoculated] plants were growing up to five times faster."

The technique does not change the rice plant's genetic material — its DNA — he said. "But the expression [switching on and off] of genes is modified and the plant now has the ability to resist environmental stress," he told SciDev.Net.

The researchers do not understand the mechanism but suggest that the fungi could be producing a substance that regulates plant growth.

In their symbiotic relationship with the plants, the fungi confer stress tolerance in exchange for nutrients, a phenomenon known as 'symbiogenics' because one symbiotic partner influences the expression of the other's genes.

The technique should work for different rice varieties and other crops, such as corn and peas, said Rodriguez, adding that the researchers are now trying to make rice plants heat tolerant, too.

Glenn Gregorio, who studies stress-tolerant plants at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, said the experiment on salt tolerance was "impressive and very promising".

But further experiments are needed to see if the rice thrives under field conditions, he said, because fungi usually require specific habitats, such as geothermal soils, to survive.

"In field conditions, the soil and the overall environment [are] 'contaminated' with other organisms, which may also interact with the plant and, in essence, compete with the fungi," Gregorio said.

Rodriguez said his team has been collaborating with African and Korean scientists to test the findings in the field.

Police, minister sign joint decree on environment law enforcement

Antara News, Wed, July 27 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Environmental Affairs Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta, National Police Chief General Timur Pradopo and Attorney General Basrief Arief signed a joint decree (SKB) on integrated environmental law enforcement here on Tuesday.

"The joint decree will increase the effectiveness in dealing with environmental crimes. Through this cooperation with the Police and the Attorney General, polluters and environmental destroyers will be brought to justice," Environmental Affairs Minister Gusti Muhammad said.

The newly signed SKB, which is a renewal of the SKB 2004, is considered very important because environmental destruction and pollution continue despite the government`s carefulness in implementing the development and exploiting natural resources.

The SKB covers among other things coordination among the environmental affairs ministry, the National Police and the Attorney General Office, and the harmonization of legal perception in dealing with environmental cases.

It also includes capacity building and competency of investigators from civil servants, police investigation, and the law enforcement by the attorney general, data and information exchange, and the establishment of an integrated environmental law enforcer team.

The environmental affairs ministry has filed 20 cases on environmental crimes to the courts during 2009/2010 - seven were sentenced to jail, two probation, and 11 were released.

According to the minister, the SKB would very much support the the implementation of Law No. 32/2009 on the Environmental Protection and Management.

Since the law was enacted, the ministry has tackled 44 cases, including 30 cases are in the process of data and information collection, 13 cases are still being investigated, and one case was considered by the public prosecutor as having incomplete documents.

Editor: B Kunto Wibisono

Pick of the bunch: Ingenious orang-utans grab blackberries using makeshift rope

Daily Mail, by DAILY MAIL REPORTER, 26th July 2011

These incredible pictures show the extraordinary skill and ingenuity employed by orang-utans to get the fruit they crave.

Using an old rag, almost like a zipwire, they hang from a ropeway above the bushes in their compound at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on Jersey and lower their way to the best fruits.

It's a long way down, how am I going to get there? To get to the
berries the orang-utans first pull a long piece of rag across the rope

They then use the rag to lower themselves
down to reach their quarry

They drag the rag across the distance between trees holding up a rope and once they've got to where they want to be they just hang down and take the juicy berries below.

They were pictured in their enclosure on the Channel Island which has been home to the orang-utans since 1968.

The family is made up of a dominant male, Dagu, three adult femails, Gina, Mawar and Dana an there are three youngsters, Jiwa, Jaya and Gempa.

According to Wikipedia they share their island play areas with a pair of white-handed Gibbons called George and Hazel.

This is so not a problem: Now, with the berries in their grasp
the orang-utans can pick and choose at their leisure

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Organic v. Monsanto, by Danielle Magnuson, 18 July 2011

More than 270,000 organic farmers are taking on corporate agriculture giant Monsanto in a lawsuit filed March 30. Led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, the family farmers are fighting for the right to keep a portion of the world food supply organic—and preemptively protecting themselves from accusations of stealing genetically modified seeds that drift on to their pristine crop fields.

Consumers are powerful. For more than a decade, a cultural shift has seen shoppers renounce the faster-fatter-bigger-cheaper mindset of factory farms, exposéd in the 2008 documentary Food, Inc. From heirloom tomatoes to heritage chickens, we want our food slow, sustainable, and local—healthy for the earth, healthy for animals, and healthy for our bodies.

But with patented seeds infiltrating the environment so fully, organic itself is at risk. Monsanto’s widely used Genuity® Roundup Ready® canola seed has already turned heirloom canola oil into an extinct species. The suing farmers are seeking to prevent similar contamination of organic corn, soybeans, and a host of other crops. What’s more, they’re seeking to prevent Monsanto from accusing them of unlawfully using the very seeds they’re trying to avoid.

“It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement,” says Public Patent Foundation director Dan Ravicher in a Cornucopia Institute article about the farmers’ lawsuit (May 30, 2011), “but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement.”

Even as the megacorporation enjoys soaring stock, the U.S. justice department continues to look into allegations of its fraudulent antitrust practices (The Street, June 29, 2011):

  • Monsanto, which has acquired more than 20 of the nation’s biggest seed producers and sellers over the last decade, has long pursued a strict policy with its customers, obligating them to buy its bioengineered seeds every year rather than use them in multiple planting seasons. Farmers who disobey are blacklisted forever.

It’s a wide net Monsanto has cast over the agricultural landscape. As Ravicher points out, “it’s actually in Monsanto’s financial interest to eliminate organic seed so that they can have a total monopoly over our food supply.” Imagine a world devoid of naturally vigorous traditional crops and controlled by a single business with a appetite for intellectual property. Did anyone else feel a cold wind pass through them? Now imagine a world where thousands of family farmers fight the good fight to continue giving consumers a choice in their food—and win.

Image by NatalieMaynor, licensed under Creative Commons.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ministry employs 5,000 preachers to preserve forests

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Sun, 07/17/2011

The Forestry Ministry will dispatch 5,000 Muslim preachers in its latest move to campaign against forest destruction, citing the rampant case of illegal logging involving local communities.

“Our forests don’t go up in flames on their own, but are intentionally burned because there is this tradition of burning the land after harvest and before planting, which has now also affected forest areas,” Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said Sunday in Yogyakarta.

He was speaking during the national working meeting of the propagation assembly of the central executive board of Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah.

The minister called on the Muslim scholars to support the campaign against forest burning, as well as to promote forest preservation and reforestation efforts.

The 5,000 Muslim preachers are being recruited from a number of Muslim organizations. They will be given relevant trainings and will be paid about Rp 2 million (US$234) per month.

The program is set to begin later this year and last throughout 2012.

Muhammadiyah propagation assembly committee head Agus Sukoco said 95 Muhammadiyah preachers were ready to participate in the program, reported.

Related Article:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Volcano erupts in central Indonesia

Associated Press, By ALI KOTARUMALOS, Jul 14, 2011

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- An Indonesian volcano spit lava and smoke thousands of feet into the air early Friday, sending panicked residents fleeing down its slopes. There were no immediate reports of causalities.

The first eruption at Mount Lokon occurred at 10:46 p.m., said Brian Rulrone, a disaster management agency official. It was followed by a second powerful blast just after midnight and a third at 1:10 a.m.

Darwis Sitinjak, another disaster official, told El Shinta radio from the scene that soldiers and police were helping rescuers evacuate about 500 people who live along the mountain's fertile slopes.

They join 2,000 others who fled Wednesday after being warned to stay far from the 5,741-foot (1,750-meter) volcano, which has been on high alert for nearly a week, with small eruptions daily.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 235 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanoes because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped string of faults that lines the Pacific Ocean.

Mount Lokon, in north Sulawesi province, is one of the country's 129 active volcanos.

Its last major eruption in 1991 killed a Swiss hiker and forced thousands of people to flee their homes.

Fresh from the crater: Mount Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, erupts,
 spewing hot lava and sending a towering cloud of volcanic ash 1,500 meters
 into the sky on Friday morning. Authorities have evacuated more than 2,500
residents living within a 3.5-kilometer radius of the volcano.(Antara/Jemmy)

Lost rainbow toad is rediscovered

BBC News, 14 July 2011

Prior to this sighting, the toad was last spotted in 1924

A colourful, spindly-legged toad that was believed to be extinct has been rediscovered in the forests of Borneo.

Related Articles: 

Scientists from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) found three of the missing long-legged Borneo rainbow toads up a tree during a night time search.

The team had spent months scouring remote mountain forests for the species.

Prior to these images, only illustrations of the toad had existed.

These were drawn from specimens that were collected by European explorers in the 1920s.

Conservation International, which launched its Global Search for Lost Amphibians in 2010, had listed the toad as one of the "world's top 10 most wanted frogs".

Dr Indraneil Das led a team that searched the ridges of the Gunung Penrissen range of Western Sarawak, a boundary between Malaysia's Sarawak State and Indonesia's Kalimantan Barat Province.

After several months of night-long expeditions, one of Dr Das's graduate students eventually spotted a small toad in the high branches of a tree.

Lost hope

"Thrilling discoveries like this beautiful toad, and the critical importance of amphibians to healthy ecosystems, are what fuel us to keep searching for lost species," said Dr Das.

Sketch of the Ansonia latidisca, previously
 the only image depicting what the mysterious
toad looked like
"They remind us that nature still holds precious secrets that we are still uncovering."

Dr Robin Moore of Conservation International, who launched the Global Search for Lost Amphibians, was delighted by the discovery.

He said: "To see the first pictures of a species that has been lost for almost 90 years defies belief.

"It is good to know that nature can surprise us when we are close to giving up hope, especially amidst our planet's escalating extinction crisis.

"Amphibians are at the forefront of this tragedy, so I hope that these unique species serve as flagships for conservation, inspiring pride and hope by Malaysians and people everywhere."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tribes Welcome Indonesia’s Pledge to Forest People

Jakarta Globe, July 13, 2011

Related articles

Jakarta. Forest groups on Wednesday welcomed an Indonesian commitment to protect the rights of indigenous people who have long complained that their land is being stolen in the name of conservation schemes.

With billions of dollars in foreign aid and carbon offsets potentially on the table, tribal groups have accused internationally backed efforts to tackle deforestation of pushing them off their ancestral land.

Presidential adviser Kuntoro Mangkusubroto told a forestry conference on Lombok island this week that Indonesia would address the issue by implementing a decade-old land law recognizing the rights of forest communities.

It will also develop a land tenure map identifying the location and size of forests and how they are used, as well as defining the legal status of the country’s vast forested areas.

“Indonesia is committed to longer-term forest and land tenure reform,” he said.

“All should be implemented based on the principle to recognize, to respect and to protect customary rights,” he added.

Forest groups hope the government will fulfill its obligations to inform and consult with indigenous groups whose lives could be dramatically altered by UN-backed measures to prevent deforestation.

“We are very pleased with Indonesia’s commitment,” said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a board member of Rights and Resources Initiative, a global coalition of forest research groups.

“It’s not a matter of recognizing who the indigenous people are and their rights, but developing a legal framework to recognise their ownership over forests. We are very hopeful that changes will come about.”

Indigenous Peoples Alliance Secretary-General Abdon Nababan said forest people were in danger of being forced off their land and denied their customary livelihoods in the name of conservation.

“The basic point is that if you want to protect the forests, you must protect the people who protect the forests,” he told AFP.

The alliance last month demanded a halt to conservation schemes worth billions of dollars on Borneo island, saying they could be a form of “cultural genocide” if not handled properly.

Indonesia is often cited as the world’s third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, due mainly to rampant deforestation by the palm oil, mining and paper industries.

Deforestation is estimated to account for almost 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Agence France-Presse

Friday, July 8, 2011

Indonesia to Import 180,000 Australian Cattle

Jakarta Globe, July 08, 2011

From left to right: Indonesian Agriculture Minister Siswono, Trade and
 Industry Minister Mari E. Pangestu and Finance Minister Hatta Rajasa greet
 Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd before their meeting in Jakarta on Friday.
 Indonesia will import 180,000 live cattle from Australia for the third quarter, marking
 the restart of imports after a ban on the Aus$320 million trade was lifted this week,
Hatta said on Friday. (AFP Photo)  

Related articles

Indonesia will import 180,000 live cattle from Australia for the third quarter, marking the restart of imports after a ban on the Aus$320 million trade was lifted this week, chief economics minister Hatta Rajasa said on Friday.

Australia’s government removed the month-long ban on live cattle exports to neighboring Indonesia on Wednesday, saying it was satisfied the trade could resume after a scandal over mistreatment of livestock.

Rajasa met with Australia’s foreign minister Kevin Rudd in Jakarta on Friday to agree the details of resumption of trade, which comes just as Indonesia’s demand is expected to pick up during the fasting month of Ramadan in August.

Rudd said both sides had agreed on cattle welfare, but he did not specify what improvements to standards Indonesia had made or had promised to make, after a joint team of experts toured abattoirs in the archipelago last month.

“Australia and Indonesia welcome any arrangements that industry reaches to give the sector higher standards, including the use of appropriate technical devices to meet halal standards,” Rudd said at a joint news conference in Jakarta.

Australia’s agriculture minister said this week it had revised export control orders to require ranchers to apply for permits to meet welfare requirements, and to trace cattle from farms through shipping to abattoirs with agreed standards.

The minority government had been under pressure from ranchers to overturn the ban.

Cattle producers had warned the decision was costing jobs and that domestic beef prices would fall, while some had also threatened to slaughter stock. 

Elders Ltd, one of Australia’s largest shippers of live cattle to Indonesia with up to 200,000 head annually, said it had booked a ship on Aug. 1 to take 3,200 cattle to its Indonesian abattoir.

“We expect to be up and running by Aug. 1 ... that’s the game plan at the moment,” said Malcolm Jackman, chief executive of Elders.

Elders owns a fully accredited abattoir in Indonesia and on Thursday said it was willing to provide the needed third-party certification that would be transparent and provide full traceability.

The abattoir stuns the cattle before slaughtering them, a practice that is seen as causing less distress to cattle. The ban came after television footage showed cattle being beaten, whipped and maimed prior to slaughter in some abattoirs.

Jackman said it would still take at least two months for shipments to pick up.

“It depends how quickly it can be done before the wet season starts,” he said. “Everyone is a lot happier than they were a week ago -- that’s for sure.”

Monday, July 4, 2011

Illegal Monkey Trade in Bali Raises Concerns

Jakarta Globe, Made Arya Kencana, July 04, 2011

Javan luntungs at the Bronx Zoo. (Courtesy of Creative Commons /
Stacey Greenstein)

Related articles

Denpasar. Bali is fast becoming a key hub in the illegal primate trade, with more than 200 endangered Javan lutungs trafficked through the resort island every month, animal rights activists claimed on Sunday.

In a protest at Denpasar’s Badjra Sandhi monument, activists from the group ProFauna brandished posters reading “Stop the Trade in Primates” and “We Are Not for Sale.”

Rosek Nursahid, chairman of the nongovernmental organization, said most of the endangered primate species being traded both within the country and overseas were caught in protected habitats, thus threatening the survival of many species in the wild. He said that Bali was growing in prominence as a trading hub for lutungs, which he claimed were poached from the Baluran and Meru Betiri national parks in Banyuwangi district in neighboring East Java.

More than 200 of the primates are trafficked through Bali each month, mostly for human consumption, according to ProFauna, citing research it has done.

“This is a dire threat to the survival of the species,” Rosek said. “Their meat is widely believed to be a cure for asthma, although there is no scientific evidence to support this view at all. It’s also considered to go well with the local moonshine.”

He urged a massive public awareness campaign by the Bali administration to help stop the trade in lutungs. Rosek cited the success of a similar campaign to save the green sea turtle, which had previously been threatened by poaching for food and as sacrificial animals in Balinese Hindu rites.

“We hope the Balinese authorities can do for the lutungs what they did for the turtle some years ago, when they ended the trapping and hunting of the animal for food,” Rosek said.

In addition to the lutung, he added, other species facing extinction due to the illegal wildlife trade included the Sumatran orangutan, the silvery gibbon and the Javan slow loris. All three are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which outlaws their trade. The silvery gibbon and Javan slow loris are classified as vulnerable species, while the orangutan is classified as critically endangered — just one step away from extinction.

Rosek said that despite the prohibition, these primates were being illegally exported to the Middle East, Taiwan, Hong Kong Malaysia and Singapore, fetching from Rp 200,000 ($23) for a lutung or loris to Rp 1 million for a gibbon and Rp 2 million for an orangutan.

“Our concern is that once they arrive in these importing countries, the animals are ‘laundered’ for sale in the legal pet trade, which is where the dealers make their profit,” he said.

Saving energy and making money with 'useless' crop waste

RNW, 1 July 2011, by Johan van Slooten

(Photo by Ashden Awards)

Cotton farmers in the Indian state of Gujarat are supplementing their incomes - and helping the environment - by selling once-worthless crop by-products as fuel.

A local energy company has found a novel way to turn the leftovers into small pellets which are then sold as a cheap replacement for coal. “These pellets have a positive social, economic and environmental impact,” says Abellon CleanEnergy Limited.

Pankaj Patel, president of Abellon, says most cotton farmers in the Gujarat region (which is one of the world’s largest cotton growing regions) used to simply burn the debris or let it break down on their land. The volume of by-products is relatively high in the cotton industry, which means hundreds of tonnes of material is burnt in the open air during harvesting season.

Unhealthy smoke

“The farmers need to get rid of it. They burn it in open fields, which results in unhealthy smoke and fumes. That’s not good for humans or animals who live in the region. It’s a big health and environmental problem, but most people thought it was inevitable as there’s not much you can do with the residue.”

This problem led to Abellon’s idea to turn the residue into pellets.

“We found that burning the residue produces a lot of energy, even more than coal does. It just burns better. So it’s very attractive for industries that need a lot of energy in their production process. They don’t even have to modify their energy burning systems.”

Abellon collects the cotton biomass in the many villages in the Gujarat region, where it’s shredded into small pieces. From there it’s transported to a regional processing plant where the biomass is treated and cut into small pellets. These are sold to the industry as fuel.

Local level

“We specifically operate on a small, local level,” says Mr Patel. “Our people approach the farmers in their village, on the crossroads in the village centre. There we display the price we’re paying. The farmers bring their crop residue and we pay them money – it’s as simple as that.”

Abellon's local representatives work in small zones. “No farmer has to travel more than five kilometers to bring their material,” says Mr Patel. “If they have to travel ten kilometers or more, they simply can’t be bothered. You have to make it a little easy for them to cooperate.”

Watch a video on this project here (produced by the Ashden Awards). Story continues below.


Most farmers are happy to cooperate, especially since the money is relatively good. But Mr Patel admits that the ecological benefits may be a little less important to them.

“Most of these farmers don’t know much about global warming. But they do know about local pollution. They know what it’s like if you burn this residue in the open air and what it does to the air quality. Many people suffered from respiratory illnesses.”

With that in mind, it didn’t take much for Abellon to convince the farmers to collect the residue rather than burning it.


Abellon now operates ten local collection centres, which gather the by-products for two plants. In all, it employs over 200 people.

“Currently we produce 65,000 tonnes of pellets every year. But we’d like to expand to the rest of India and possibly abroad as well. We expect to produce 500,000 tonnes of pellets in a few years time.”

The ecological benefits are big: burning one tonne of biomass pellets instead of the same volume of coal saves 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide. With the current annual production level of 65,000 tonnes of pellets, Abellon saves approximately 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.


Recently, Abellon was awarded the prestigious Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy, for achieving such a high reduction of carbon dioxide in the region.

“As a company, we focus on carbon dioxide reduction and on doing something good for the local economy. And if our work also means that farmers make a bit of money out of material that used to be rendered useless, than that’s a nice side benefit. But to us, the ecological benefits are our prime concern.”

Related Article:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thirty elephants damage plantations in W Lampung

Antara News, Sun, July 3 2011

Related News

Liwa, Lampung (ANTARA News) - A herd of 30 elephants again damaged plantations at Pemerihan village, Bengkunat sub district, Belimbing, West Lampung, Lampung Province, Sumatra Island, last Saturday.

Sumatra elephant.
(ANTARA/FB Anggoro)
"Tens of elephants entered the plantation areas in the morning, at around 4 am, and luckily they did not attack the settlement area," Head of the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Office`s national park management section Achmad Sutardy said at Bengkunat, Saturday.

The area is currently guarded by a number of the national park`s staff members.

The elephants came out of the national park to find food.

"Every year, wild elephants came out of the forest to move to location where food is available. It happens that the elephants` route is near the human settlement located next to the forest," he said.

Local villages were scared because the presence of the elephants could threatened their lives, Achmad said.

Every night, 12 national park officers and local villagers guard the plantation and settlement areas from the animals.

Conflicts between Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) and humans have increased over the past few years claiming lives among both humans and elephants but mostly among the giant animals.

At least 14 elephants were found dead during the period of 2004-2011, but who had caused their deaths has remained "not known".

Among the most tragic one occurred in May 2002, when a herd of 17 Sumatran elephants were poisoned in a community oil palm plantation on Sumatra island.

The latest deaths of Sumatran elephants were found in April 2011 when four elephants were reportedly poisoned to death in an oil palm plantation at Putri Hijau, North Bengkulu district, Bengkulu Province.

According to data from 2007-2009, there were at least 21 conflicts between elephants and local people in Indonesia which estimated to have caused Rp500 million of material losses per year.

Editor: Priyambodo RH

Indonesia, Australia need to agree on slaughterhouse standards: minister

Antara News, Sat, July 2 2011

Temanggung, Central Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Australia need to agree on minimum slaughterhouse standards, Agriculture Minister Suswono said here on Saturday.

Due to Australia`s decision to suspend export of cows to Indonesia recently upon a reason that the Indonesian slaughterhouses are below standards the minister said "I wish an agreement could be made with regard to the minimum standards for slaughterhouses. The standard needs to be agreed upon not by one but both parties."

He said after opening the 5th Soropadan Agro Expo (SAE) that four experts from Australia and four experts from Indonesia are now formulating the mininum standards.

"The team also involves independent members. We involve experts from universities and the Indonesian Association of Vets," he said.

"If the minimum standars are already available we will determine which slaugterhouses meet the standards. And this is business affairs and the government could not intervene," he said.

He said it would then be up to them to resume their business after they think they already meet the standards.

"To meet the domestic meat demand we would prioritize domestic product while imports will be done only to meet the shortage," the minister said.

He said a census had been carried out on cows and livestock in June and hopefully a picture could be seen in July that shows the real population of cows in the country.

"If the population could meet the domestic need, we thank God, but if there is still a shortage we will just decide whether we will import meat or live cattle," he said.

He said however that he would rather prioritize live cattle so that they could be fattened in the country. "At least it could help create employment as they will be slaughtered only after three months of fattening here," he said.

So far around 30 percent of meat need in the country is imported, he said. Later it will be calculated again after the census data had been counted to see whether the country still has to import up to 30 percent or not, he said.

Editor: Suryanto