A week of Papua: butterfly with eyespots

October 31st, 2010

Stunning orange butterfly with eyespots

An unidentified butterfly in Indonesian New Guinea. We haven’t been able to identify this image. If you have ideas, please contact us. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

This week we’ll be posting photos from Rhett Butler’s (mongabay.com founder) recent trip to western New Guinea, one of the world’s most biodiverse and culturally diverse place in the world. To see more photos of Papua.

The middle road to address deforestation in Indonesia – conservation links for Oct 28, 2010

October 28th, 2010

A Middle Way The Jakarta Globe
As much as big business is a threat to forests, it is also a likely source of lasting solutions. Governments generally have been ineffective in reducing deforestation, even inside many protected areas. Non-governmental organizations are largely powerless to act at the scales necessary, although they can influence public opinion. Small businesses such as local farmers are numerous, but lack power and coordination. Vast areas of tropical forest are legally under the control of large companies. Improving ways these companies manage forest landscapes could have a significant impact on deforestation.

Madagascar Villager to Put $10K Prize to Saving Forest OneWorld US
A self-educated naturalist from Madagascar has been awarded a prestigious international prize after spending almost all the money he’s ever earned to purchase and protect endangered tropical forest.

Lessons from the palm oil showdown The Guardian
Study on Greenpeace’s campaign against Sinar Mas highlights importance of social media and engagement with parties on both sides of the fence.

Brazil elections: Campaigners criticise weak environment pledges of presidential candidates The Guardian
None of the candidates has concrete proposals to tackle Amazon deforestation and carbon emissions.

Biodiversity loss seen as greater financial risk than terrorism, says UN The Guardian
Loss of ecosystems perceived by banks and insurance companies to be a greater economic risk than terrorism, finds UN report.

British Columbia Sees Largest Salmon Run In A Century, 34 Million Strong Environmental News Network
Sockeye salmon are making their run up the Fraser River in numbers not seen since 1913. More than 34 million salmon are reportedly in the British Columbia river system, befuddling scientists who last year tallied less than 2 million fish.

World Bank launches scheme to green government accounts Reuters
The World Bank on Thursday launched a program to help nations put a value on nature just like GDP in a bid to stop the destruction of forests, wetlands and reefs that underpin businesses and economies.

Energizer Plans More Talks in China on Vanadium Mine Bloomberg
Energizer Resources Inc., the Canadian mineral-exploration company, will hold a second round of talks with a Chinese company about becoming a strategic partner in a vanadium project in Madagascar. Energizer expects to announce “in coming weeks” that its Green Giant project in the south of the Indian Ocean island has estimated resources of as much as 60 million metric tons of vanadium pentoxide, Brent Nykoliation, vice president of business development at the Toronto-based company, said in a phone interview on Oct. 26.

A week of Papua: Dani elder

October 28th, 2010

Dani elder in traditional dress

Dani elder in traditional dress in Indonesian New Guinea. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

This week we’ll be posting photos from Rhett Butler’s (mongabay.com founder) recent trip to western New Guinea, one of the world’s most biodiverse and culturally diverse place in the world. To see more photos of Papua.

A week of Papua: bowerbird bower

October 27th, 2010

Vogelkop Bowerbird bower with red fruit and other items to attract females

The elaborate bower of a male Vogelkop bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata) is artistically arranged with colorful items from the forest to attract a mate. Female Vogelkop bowerbirds select males based, not on size or strength, but on the best bower. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

This week we’ll be posting photos from Rhett Butler’s (mongabay.com founder) recent trip to western New Guinea, one of the world’s most biodiverse and culturally diverse place in the world. To see more photos of Papua.

Little progress at biodiversity talks – conservation links for Oct 26, 2010

October 26th, 2010

Leading scientists accuse thinktanks of being logging lobbyists
Open letter accuses two ‘independent’ groups of distorting facts and having close associations with multinational logging corporations.

Industrial farming puts ecosystems at risk of collapse, warns Prince Charles The Guardian (UK)
Farming methods must be low-impact, organic and low-carbon to protect natural resources for the long term.

Nagoya summit shows parallels with Copenhagen The Guardian
Nagoya is another ill-tempered bout between the global haves and wanna-haves in which the fiercest blows are landing on the natural world.

Air of defeat at Japan’s biodiversity summit New Scientist
Could this be a failure to rival last year’s Copenhagen climate summit? In its final days, a conference aimed at giving teeth to the 18-year-old international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is stuck. The talk in the corridors at the biodiversity summit in Nagoya, Japan, is that it could be going the way of the climate change talks in Denmark in December 2009.

Crisis forecast as prices reach record highs The Guardian
Cost of meat, sugar, rice, wheat and maize soars as World Bank predicts five years of price volatility.

Costa Rica recognised for biodiversity protection The Guardian
Central American nation wins 2010 Future Policy award for pioneering legal protection of natural wealth.

A week of Papua: domestic life

October 26th, 2010

Children in a Dani village

Domestic life in a Dani village: children, pig, and village. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

This week we’ll be posting photos from Rhett Butler’s (mongabay.com founder) recent trip to western New Guinea, one of the world’s most biodiverse and culturally diverse place in the world. To see more photos of Papua.

Low carbon growth strategy documents for Indonesia

October 25th, 2010

Earlier this year the Indonesian government released draft documents for low carbon growth strategies. While these documents are posted on the web, the file size is such that few people in Indonesia are able to download them. Therefore mongabay has posted reduced file size versions below.

* Central Kalimantan Report – low carbon growth strategy (draft) [3.6 MB]
* East Kalimantan – low carbon growth strategy (draft) [7 MB]
* Jambi – low carbon growth strategy (draft) [2.4 MB]
* Indonesia GHG Abatement Cost Curve [2.5 MB]

The documents look at scenarios for forest carbon finance (REDD), expansion of industrial plantations, and other sources of greenhouse emissions.

Mongabay.com has posted these documents at the request of a policy analyst in Indonesia.

A week of Papua: black-capped lory

October 25th, 2010

Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory)

A black-capped lory (Lorius lory) in Indonesian New Guinea. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

This week we’ll be posting photos from Rhett Butler’s (mongabay.com founder) recent trip to western New Guinea, one of the world’s most biodiverse and culturally diverse place in the world. To see more photos of Papua.

GDP is poor indicator of well-being – conservation links for Oct 25, 2010

October 25th, 2010

Disingenuity: The Worst of all Greenwashing Print Leadership
In a presentation at Graph Expo 2010, I spoke about how greenwashing tends to fall into three categories: intentional, accidental, and just plain asinine. Fully aware that it may be a subset of both the first and third of these categories, I’d like to posit one more– “disingenuous.” Of the four, this is the most insidious, the most reckless, and the most dangerous.

Wolves in sheep’s clothing: industrial lobbyists and the destruction of tropical forests Conservation Bytes
As of this morning, a group of distinguished scientists (which I have had the honour of being invited to join) has released an Open Letter to be published in various media outlets worldwide. The letter addresses some of our major concerns over the misinterpretation of facts, and openly misleading statements, by proponents of deforestation in the Asian tropical region. Professor Bill Laurance, an old favourite on ConservationBytes.com, has led the charge and organised a most impressive and shocking list of assertions. I produce the letter below – I encourage all my readers to distribute it as far and wide as possible in the social media-verse.

Green Column: Calculating Commitment to the Climate New York Times
The amounts being pledged to help poor countries adapt to climate change are much lower than many experts say is necessary.

Biodiversity, dollars and social sense Guardian
GDP is too narrow a measure of national wealth. Environmental and social progress should be included too

Butterflies and moths mimic snakes and foxes to fool predators, claims researcher CBC
Butterflies and moths mascarade as snakes, toads and even mammals such as foxes to avoid being eaten by predators, according to research by a leading entomologist.

Elephant damage ‘good for frogs’ BBC News
Areas heavily damaged by elephants are home to more species of amphibians and reptiles than areas when the beasts are excluded, a study suggests.

Environmental crime costs billions – conservation links for Oct. 24, 2010

October 24th, 2010

Borneo’s majestic rainforest is being killed by the timber mafia The Guardian
Felling trees to meet British demand for garden furniture is devastating villages, livelihoods and food supplies, and threatening endangered species

Solid Ground Needed for UN Forest Fix to Take Root The Jakarta Post
Experts are at odds over whether Indonesia is prepared to implement United Nations-mandated forest protection projects to reduce carbon emissions.

Green crime cost is billions, report says Sydney Morning Herald
POLLUTION, illegal logging and wildlife smuggling are now parts of a multibillion-dollar international crime problem almost as lucrative as the drugs and illegal arms trades, a report says.

Len’s statements on logjam said to be misleading The Borneo Post
The local people reacted angrily when they read the article ‘Massive debris not due to logging activities – Len’ on page five of The Borneo Post yesterday. Since the arrival of the newspapers around 9am, many concerned civil servants, community leaders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and even ordinary citizens called The Borneo Post insisting that the article was misleading the public. They all had one common request – the incorrect must be corrected.