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Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate change

This is where you can talk about every subject (previously it was called shout room)

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:37 am

All-female tote bag factory

Image

A recently established tote bag factory has created jobs for 25 women in the Kurdistan Region's Halabja and aims aims to raise awareness on dangers of plastic on health, environment

The tote bag production is part of the "Green City Halabja" campaign, run by the NWE NGO and partially funded by the German Consulate and WADI organization

Altogether, the women sew 50 to 100 tote bags on a daily basis.

"We are a group of 25 women who decided to establish this little factory sewing tote bags with different designs," Gashaw Saeed who is in charge of the factory, told Rudaw on Saturday.

According to Saeed, the idea to establish the factory stemmed from attempts to reduce the use of plastic bags, nylons and other materials which damage the environment.

"Halabja is a friend of the environment" is the main motto adorning their tote bags, which are distributed at seminars run across Halabja. 2000 free tote bags have been distributed so far.

In coordination with non-governmental organizations, factory staff run awareness campaigns across kindergartens, schools, government offices, refugee camps and remote areas across the province, reminding locals of how they can protect the environment.

" I hope through those people take part in the seminars, more people are acquainted with the usefulness of the tote bags," said Sara Salam, head of the environmental department of NWE.

Hiwa Salahaddin, a government employee who has taken part in a seminar said that that he will now use tote bags instead of plastic ones.

The factory initiative is "a great step forward," he added.

Plastic bags are widely used across the Kurdistan Region for daily needs, especially food items.

In May 2019, the Sulaimani province, the first across the Kurdistan Region, decided to ban the use of plastic bags across bakeries ordering them to switch to paper bags, citing health concerns.

Such measures have, however, not taken place in Erbil despite calls from local residents.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/business/19012020
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:18 pm

Milan car ban:

Drivers ignore anti-pollution measure

Italian police have handed out 162 fines in less than three hours to people ignoring a driving ban in Milan.

The temporary ban started at 10:00 local time (09:00 GMT) and will last until the early evening in an attempt to curb the city's smog problem.

But within just two and a half hours, police were handing out fines of 164 euros (£137) to those flouting the ban.

Milan was named Europe's most polluted city in 2008 and smog remains a recurring problem.

By 12:30 local time on Sunday, there had been 621 checks on people not adhering to the "Sunday walk" day, local media reported.

Image

The ban does not apply to electric vehicles or the disabled. Some streets have remained open, in particular to allow access to AC Milan's San Siro Stadium.

It is not the first time cars have been banned from within city limits and it has not proved popular with everyone. Regional counsellor for the environment Raffaele Cattaneo called it "demagogy with a green sauce".

Last month, several Italian cities, including Rome as well as Milan, temporarily banned diesel vehicles after pollution levels soared.

Vehicle emissions are the most common source of microparticles hazardous to health, known as PM10s and PM 2.5s.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51350604
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:26 pm

Deforested Amazon areas
net emitters of CO2


Up to one fifth of the Amazon rainforest is emitting more CO2 than it absorbs, new research suggests

Results from a decade-long study of greenhouse gases over the Amazon basin appear to show around 20% of the total area has become a net source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

One of the main causes is deforestation

While trees are growing they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; dead trees release it again.

Millions of trees have been lost to logging and fires in recent years.

The results of the study, which have not yet been published, have implications for the effort to combat climate change.

They suggest that the Amazon rainforest - a vital carbon store, or "sink", that slows the pace of global warming - may be turning into a carbon source faster than previously thought.

Every two weeks for the past 10 years, a team of scientists led by Prof Luciana Gatti, a researcher at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), has been measuring greenhouse gases by flying aircraft fitted with sensors over different parts of the Amazon basin.

What the group found was startling: while most of the rainforest still retains its ability to absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide - especially in wetter years - one portion of the forest, which is especially heavily deforested, appears to have lost that capacity.

Gatti's research suggests this south-eastern part of the forest, about 20% of the total area, has become a carbon source.

"Each year is worse," she told Newsnight.

"We observed that this area in the south-east is an important source of carbon. And it doesn't matter whether it is a wet year or a dry year. 2017-18 was a wet year, but it didn't make any difference."

A forest can become a source of carbon rather than a store, or sink, when trees die and emit carbon into the atmosphere.

Areas of deforestation also contribute to the Amazon's inability to absorb carbon.

Carlos Nobre, who co-authored Prof Gatti's study, called the observation "very worrying" because "it could be showing the beginnings of a major tipping point".

He believes the new findings suggest that in the next 30 years, more than half of the Amazon could transform from rainforest into savanna.

For decades, scientists have warned of an "Amazon tipping-point": the point at which the forest loses its ability to renew itself and begins to emit more carbon than it absorbs.

"[The Amazon] used to be, in the 1980s and 90s, a very strong carbon sink, perhaps extracting two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from the atmosphere," says Prof Nobre, who is also a researcher at the University of Sao Paulo's Institute for Advanced Studies and Brazil's leading expert on the Amazon.

"Today, that strength is reduced perhaps to 1-1.2bn tonnes of carbon dioxide a year."

To put that in context, a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is almost three times what the UK said it officially emitted in 2018.

But that figure does not take into account the amount of carbon dioxide released through deforestation and forest fires.

And after almost a decade going down, deforestation in the Amazon has increased significantly in recent years. 2019 was a particularly bad year.

Between July and September last year, destruction was above 1,000 sq km (386 sq mi) per month.

"In our calculations, if we exceed that 20-25% of deforestation, and global warming continues unabated with high emission scenarios, then the tipping point would be reached," says Prof Nobre, one of the first proponents of the tipping point theory. "Today we are at about 17%," he adds.

Opinions on when this tipping point could occur differs among scientists.

"Some people think that it won't be until three-degrees warming - so towards the end of the century, whereas other people think that we could get [it with] deforestation up above 20% or so and that might happen in the next decade or two. So it's really, really uncertain," explained Simon Lewis, professor of global change science at UCL.

However Prof Lewis called the results of Nobre's research "shocking". "It says to me that perhaps this is more near-term than perhaps I was initially thinking."

Prof Nobre's theory was based on climate models. The new study is based on real-life observations, which produce more accurate results.

Prof Gatti told Newsnight she wanted to see a moratorium on deforestation in the Amazon to establish whether the trend could be reversed. But that looks unlikely.

Brazil's president has made his priority for the rainforest very clear: development over conservation.

Saving the Amazon is, for now, a question of political choice. But the science suggests that choice may not be on offer for very much longer.

You can watch Newsnight on BBC Two at 22:30 on weekdays. Catch up on iPlayer, subscribe to the programme on YouTube and follow it on Twitter.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51464694
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:45 pm

Greta Thunberg in Bristol

Greta Thunberg to speak to young activists as she joins climate strike in Bristol

Image

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is set to travel to the UK to take part in a youth protest in Bristol.

The 17-year-old Swede will be joining the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate on College Green on Friday, February 28.

One of the organisers, Milly Sibson, also 17, from Bristol, said: “We are all just so excited — everyone is so excited about the thought of hearing her talk.

“I would love the chance to meet her because she is the founder of this movement and she is so important to it — she is an idol even though she is younger than me.

“We really hope loads of people join us to welcome her to Bristol.”

Ms Thunberg is expected to travel by train to the strike where she will make a speech before joining a samba band-acocompanied march.

Izzy Smitheson, 17, from BYS4C, told the BBC Ms Thunberg had contacted the group because she "wanted to strike with us".

She added: "We didn't have a strike planned, so it's a lot of last-minute organisation.

"The whole Bristol community has come together to make it happen. We think Greta's presence will make it very big and bring a lot of energy to the strike."

Milly said Greta had originally planned to visit London, but as the area planned for the protest in the capital was too small the organisers had recommended Bristol instead.

The city was awarded the title of European Green Capital in 2015.

Ms Thunberg started missing lessons most Fridays two years ago so she could protest outside the Swedish parliament building.

This turned out to be the beginning of a huge environmental movement around the world.
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:35 pm

We will fight to death
to save the Amazon


Image

Young girls from the Arara-Karo tribe offer a prayer to an old tree in the Amazon rainforest

Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is advancing at worrying levels. In January, the area lost was double that in the same month in 2019, according to official figures.

This after a catastrophic dry season last year in which fires destroyed large swathes of the rainforest, a carbon store which is seen as key in slowing down the pace of global warming.

There was outrage around the world as fire destroyed trees and killed wildlife at a rate not seen in years.

Six months on, Nomia Iqbal went to the Brazilian Amazon for a new BBC programme, My World, to ask young people how they see the future of this crucial region.

'We will fight to the death'

Image

Maristela is a member of the Arara-Karo indigenous community in the Amazon rainforest
Image caption Maristela is a member of the Arara-Karo indigenous community in the Amazon rainforest

Maristela Clediane Uapa Arara is 14 years old and a member of the Arara-Karo indigenous group. The hunter-gatherers are one of about 900,000 groups which have lived in the rainforest for thousands of years.

But now their specially protected territories are under threat from loggers and miners. "We are worried because the forest is very important to us," Maristela says.

"The forest is our mother, she takes care of us, so we must take care of her because that's where everything comes from."

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said that indigenous people's special land and cultural rights should be scrapped X(

He has promised to "integrate" them into the rest of the population and open some of their lands to agriculture and mining.

It is a policy which worries Maristela: "This new government hates indigenous people but I am really proud to be indigenous, and as women it is our role to fight for our land."

Image

Maristela's cousin, 22-year-old Juliana Tuiti Arara, says it is not just the president and his plans that concerns them but also attacks on the forest by fellow indigenous people.

"It was very sad for us, people from outside are co-opting our indigenous people to log the forest," she explains as she fights back tears. "In the last years, we saw our relatives killing the trees, they came in with bulldozers."

Both girls say it has strengthened their determination to protect the land which their ancestors fought for. "'Act' for me is a very strong word. We must act, we cannot stop and stand with our arms crossed."

How far will they go to fight for their lands? Without missing a beat, Maristela and Juliana both say "até à morte" (to the death).

'We all have the same rights to use the land'

It is not just the indigenous people that believe the land is theirs. In a different region, 16-year-old Carina de Faria and her brother Rodrigo, 18, are the next generation of farmers.

They are spending the day herding cattle with their father Gerson leading the way. They want to follow in his footsteps.

"Everyone, absolutely everyone, needs the land," says Carina. "Many farmers need the land to produce for themselves and for others, globally or locally. So I think everyone has that right and it should just be divided equally."

They have 100 hectares (1 sq km) of farmland, which used to be rainforest, where they grow much of their own vegetables and rear cattle.

But they are also worried about the effects of deforestation. "I think that enough has been destroyed and what remains, should be left alone," says Rodrigo.

"Many of the people who are deforesting the woods are much older, but us young people realise that climate change is already happening," Carina adds.

"Young people are very connected through technology so we should work together. And also it is government's duty to find a solution for everyone."

'Many farmers are close-minded'

Gustavo's family farm was hit by an illegal fire last August

A few minutes' car drive away lives 18-year-old Gustavo, who is good friends with Rodrigo. Last August his family farm was hit by a fire.

Fires are common during the dry season and often caused by naturally occurring events, but this time it was different. "We are very sad with this situation because someone illegally set fire to the land to clear it for himself," he says.

"We had 70% of the property burned and we had to treat our cattle, we lost animals too.... we lost a lot."

Even though Gustavo is from a farming family himself, he says it is other farmers who are putting the Amazon's future at risk.

"The rainforest won't survive - many farmers are closed-minded about environmental issues. They just want to clear the land for more profit."

'What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!'

School children raising awareness of climate change on the streets of Manaus
Image caption Ana (middle) and Bruno (right) with a sign that reads "There is hope in us"

These are the chants that can be heard on the busy streets of Manaus, the capital of Brazil's Amazonas state. In this city of two million people, right in the middle of the rainforest, 15-year-old Bruno Rodrigues and his classmates have started a group called Conscious Next.

They stop strangers to highlight the dangers of climate change. "We tell them why it is so urgent," Bruno explains, adding that not all of those they stop approve. "There will be some people that will never want to listen to what young activists are saying," he says.

They are part of a movement of young people which gets together every Friday to protest, under the "Fridays For Future" banner launched by teenaged climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Fifteen-year-old Ana Beatriz says her family was affected by the Amazon fires. Her sister has breathing problems and had to be taken to hospital because of the smog caused by the fires.

"I was also very sad because of the trees and the animals burned there, it was shocking to me," she recalls. The Amazon is home to one in 10 species on earth and experts say the fires killed more than two million creatures, including jaguars, snakes, sloths and insects.

Despite the devastation caused by the fires, Bruno remains optimistic. "There is still hope in us - we live in action. The politicians need to take practical action and with thousands of us young people on the streets, it will be impossible for them to ignore us."

Watch: Can the Amazon Rainforest Survive? on BBC My World - a brand new programme for teenagers who want to know about the issues shaping our world.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-51489961
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:12 am

250 whales massacred

Their bodies lie beached on the dark shore, large slash marks penetrate the neck and sides of the whale as the blood mixes with the cold water

Known as the grindadráp, the brutal slaughtering of pilots whales in the Danish owned Faroe Islands took place yesterday. As many as 250 whales were reportedly massacred on two beaches in Bøur and Tórshavn as locals used spinal lances to slay all of the pilot whales.

Image

Killing: Locals wade out in wetsuits and use ropes to
catch the whales before stabbing them with spinal lances


Image
Prepared: Running down the beaches, the locals
prepare to drag the whales in and kill them


Image
Witnesses: Slain on the beaches, hundreds of
locals come down to watch the brutal slaughter


The horrific scenes were filmed by activists from Sea Shepherd, who describe themselves as a non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation.

As the innocent whales are forced to swim towards the beaches, the locals begin to run down from the jetty towards the sea.

Realising they are unable to escape, the whales slow down as the fishermen in their power boats and dinghies begin to close in on the large school of whales.

The locals, many of whom are dressed in full wetsuits and bobble hats, wade into the water and begin to violently drag the distressed animals up the beach.

No escape: After funneling the whales towards the beach, some of the fishermen use ropes to drag the remaining animals towards the waiting locals

Follow ling below for more shocking pictures and full story

Me, I would kill every single person involved in this disgusting slaughter


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ayer_click
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:37 pm

World is on fire
Greta warns climate strike


Image

Greta Thunberg has warned "those in power" she will "not be silenced when the world is on fire"

The teenager was welcomed by chants of "Greta, Greta" as she addressed some 15,000 people at the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (BYS4C) event.

She accused politicians and the media of ignoring the climate emergency and "sweeping their mess under the rug".

"We are the change, and change is coming whether you like it or not," the Swedish environmentalist said.

Greta was speaking at the climate strike event on College Green, before leading a march through the city.

"Activism works so I'm telling you to act," she said. "We are being betrayed by those in power."

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Greta led the march in Bristol after making her speech

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Greta Thunberg tweeted a photo of the crowds gathered to see her

Wet weather failed to deter thousands of people turning out for the 17-year-old, who appeared on stage

"Our leaders behave like children so it falls to us to be the adults in the room. They are failing us but we will not back down," Greta told the crowds.

"It should not be this way but we have to tell the uncomfortable truth. They sweep their mess under the rug and ask children to clean up for them.

"This emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media and those in power.

"Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from our elected officials.

"So what did you do during this crucial time? I will not be silenced when the world is on fire."

Greta walked at the front of the crowds behind a green banner reading Skolstrejk for Klimatet, which translates from Swedish as School Strike for Climate.

Protesters of all ages, including youngsters dressed as the activist, waved flags, placards and banners throughout the march.

Annie, a 21-year-old Bristol University student, was of the many people who turned out to hear the headline speaker and took a day off from her studies to participate.

"This is probably one of the most important things that we should be focussing on right now. Showing support and that you want change will make people higher up realise that as well.

"One day off school is a good enough sacrifice for what this is standing for. It's just one day, it's not going to do any harm."

"What an absolutely wonderful experience. Everyone was really respectful and there were loads of lovely teens passionate about climate."

Sisters Alannah and Lottie Hoey, 10 and eight, travelled from Henleaze with family to be part of the day.

"I wanted to go and see Greta because she's very inspirational and does so much good for the planet," said Lana.

Lottie added: "We want a nice planet when we grow up so it's important to do things like Greta."

Greta had originally intended to visit London, but the area planned for the protest in the capital was considered too small so organisers recommended Bristol instead.

Police said 15,000 are in attendance, although organisers believe the figure is closer to 30,000.

BYS4C said it had drafted in more than 80 stewards and has a sectioned-off a "safe zone" for young children as well as an accessibility area.

Mya-Rose Craig, the youngest person to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bristol, spoke to the crowd before Greta's arrival on stage.

She said: "Greta, welcome to our amazing city and thank you for being with us today. We have to engage with all of our communities in order to properly fight climate change.

"An unequal world can never be a sustainable one."

Two years ago, Ms Thunberg started missing lessons on Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament building, in what turned out to be the beginning of a huge environmental movement.

She has since become a leading voice for action on climate change, inspiring millions of students to join protests around the world.

Protesters began gathering just after first light and by the time Greta walked onstage, it was hard to see the floor of College Green.

People were clinging to any vantage point they could find; the balcony at the front of the Marriott Royal and on tiptoes in front of the cathedral.

The roar when Greta stepped in front of the microphone echoed across the green and her speech was regularly punctuated with roars of approval, especially when she mentioned the decision not to grant Bristol Airport planning permission to expand.

There were plenty of parents and adults who had come to hear Greta speak but the vast majority of the crowd were young and not at school- a reflection, perhaps, of the teenager's own decision to stop attending school to continue her campaign.

Clutching homemade signs and chanting, the crowd then took over the heart of the shopping quarter.
Grey presentational line

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-51663632
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:40 pm

Badger culling to be
replaced by vaccine use


Image

Badger culling to tackle the spread of TB in livestock is to be phased out to be replaced with a cattle vaccine, the government has announced

Defra, the environment department, said trials of a vaccine will take place over the next five years, and there are plans to vaccinate more badgers.

Opponents of the badger cull have said it is inhumane and ineffective, but the government backed the policy.

The first cull zones were created in 2013 in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

In September, badger culling was extended to 40 areas including Bristol, Cheshire, Devon, Cornwall, Staffordshire, Dorset, Herefordshire and Wiltshire.

Farmers said it was necessary to control the disease that devastates the beef and dairy industries, while the government claimed it had led to reductions in the incidence of TB.

Now Defra plans to gradually phase out "intensive culling" following a breakthrough by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha).

Previously it was not possible to vaccinate cattle as tests for the disease could not differentiate between vaccinated animals and those infected by bovine TB, but Apha has developed an "effective" test which can be trialled alongside the BCG vaccine.

Policy shift or complete U-turn?
Analysis box by Pallab Ghosh, science correspondent

Defra is selling the shift to vaccination as the next phase in its policy to eradicate cattle TB. Opponents of the cull are calling it a U-turn.

Animal welfare campaigners believe culling to be cruel and many scientists suspect it may be ineffective and actually increase the spread of the infection in cattle. On the day Defra unveiled its culling policy in 2012 one of its most senior scientific advisors described it as a "crazy scheme".

The department's own independent expert group's review of the first year of the culls concluded that they were ineffective and inhumane and a member of that group told BBC News he believed that the government was "wilfully ignoring the science". Another senior researcher said ministers were using "fake science" to justify the culling policy.

Defra's response was to disband the independent expert group and relax the strict scientific rules that were in place to minimise the spread of infection to cattle from badger movement. They were modified in subsequent culls in order to ensure more badgers were killed. Ministers justified their perseverance with the policy as wanting to use "every tool in the box".

But there has been no clear cut drop in cattle TB since the culls began so Defra has decided to begin to put one of its tools away.

UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said Apha's "ground-breaking research" meant it could now start on the "field trials required to license the cattle vaccine and test it".

"Whilst there is no single way to combat this damaging and complex disease, cattle vaccination will be a new tool for our multi-pronged approach to tackle it," she said.

Environment Secretary George Eustice claimed: "The badger cull has led to a significant reduction in the disease as demonstrated by recent academic research and past studies.

"But no-one wants to continue the cull of this protected species indefinitely so, once the weight of disease in wildlife has been addressed, we will accelerate other elements of our strategy, including improved diagnostics and cattle vaccination."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-51753393
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:50 pm

Deer rips off hunter’s FACE as it
charges him while trying to escape


    Vincent Saubion, 36, of French Basque Country, was struck when the deer fled

    Despite significant blood loss he wanted to continue hunting with his friends

    A helicopter flew him to Pellegrin Hospital in Bordeaux for emergency surgery
A hunter had to have 50 stitches to his face after the deer he was stalking charged him down while trying to escape.

Vincent Saubion, 36, had to be airlifted to hospital for surgery when a deer fleeing from his cross hairs ran into him during a hunting expedition in Lesperon, France.

The frightened 150 kilogramme (330-lb) deer tore a long, sweeping flap of skin all along Saubion's cheek beneath his eye and across his nose.

Saubion, who is of Basque origin, told local media he felt 'drunk' after the impact, adding: 'It actually took half my face off.'

Image

    I hope this piece of scum is in agony
Despite the enormous wound to his face and significant blood loss, Saubion said he wanted to continue hunting with his friends.

But a concerned fellow hunter said he should stop.

Unluckily, a firefighter who was part of Saubion's hunting party was able to give first aid.

But his injuries were so serious that he had to be choppered to Pellegrin Hospital in Bordeaux where he had emergency surgery.

Local reports say the 36 year old had some 50 stitches :ymparty:

Image
Deer are truly beautiful creatures and need to be protected from savage humans

Saubion told media in the area he was grateful the injury was not worse than it was, and that his biggest concern was feeling afraid.

No bones in Saubion's face were broken.

Shortly afterwards, the chipper hunter told local reporters: 'I feel as good as I can be.'

Despite his close encounter and shocking injury, Saubion has vowed to return to the forest to hunt again.

'I am still crazy about hunting,' he said.

'I have nothing but respect for the game and the owners who let us hunt on their grounds,' he added.

The incident happened in January and has only become public now.

It is unknown if the deer that injured Saubion survived :((

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... -deer.html
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:09 pm

Rare white giraffes killed
by poachers in Kenya


Two extremely rare white giraffes have been killed by poachers in north-eastern Kenya, conservationists say

Image

Rangers had found the carcasses of the female and her calf in a village in north-eastern Kenya's Garissa County.

A third white giraffe is still alive. It is thought to be the only remaining one in the world, the conservationists added.

Their white appearance is due to a rare condition called leucism, which causes skin cells to have no pigmentation.

News of the white giraffes spread across the world after they were photographed in 2017.

The manager of the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, Mohammed Ahmednoor, said the two killed giraffes were last spotted more than three months ago.

"This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole. We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe," Mr Ahmednoor said in a statement.

"Its killing is a blow to the tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species and a wake-up call for continued support to conservation efforts," he added.

The poachers have not yet been identified, and their motive is still unclear.

The Kenya Wildlife Society, the main conservation body in the East African state, said it was investigating the killings.

What is leucism?

    Leucism inhibits pigmentation in some skin cells
    It is different to albinism where no melanin is produced at all
    Animals with leucism may have darker pigment in their soft tissue
    Giraffes with leucism retain their dark eyes, whereas animals with albinism have pink eyes
    Birds, lions, fish, peacocks, penguins, eagles, hippos, moose and snakes have all displayed traits of leucism
The conservancy is in a vast unfenced area. There are also villages within the conservancy.

White giraffes were first spotted in Kenya in March 2016, about two months after a sighting in neighbouring Tanzania, the conservancy says on its website.

Some 40% of the giraffe population has disappeared in the last 30 years and poaching for meat and skin continues, according to the Africa Wildlife Foundation .

The population went from around 155,000 in 1985 to 97,000 in 2015, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-51816083
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:09 am

Planting trees

Image

From Greta Thunberg to Donald Trump and airlines to oil companies, everyone is suddenly going crazy for trees

The UK government has pledged to plant millions a year while other countries have schemes running into billions.

But are these grand ambitions achievable? How much carbon dioxide do trees really pull in from the atmosphere? And what happens to a forest, planted amid a fanfare, over the following decades?

How many will the UK plant?

Last year's UK general election became a contest to look green.

The Conservatives' pledge of planting 30 million trees a year, confirmed in the Budget this week, is a big step up on current rates. Critics wonder whether it's possible given that earlier targets were far easier and weren't met.

If the new planting rate is achieved, it would lead to something like 17% of the UK becoming forested, as opposed to 13% now.

Tree planting is a popular idea because forests are not only beautiful but also useful: they support wildlife, help with holding back floodwater and provide timber.

Image

At top speed, Canadian Shelby Barber can plant more than 4,000 trees a day

And trees absorb carbon dioxide - the main gas heating the planet - so planting more of them is seen by many as a climate change solution.

At the moment, the UK's forests pull in about 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year but the hope is to more than double that.

It would involve potentially sensitive decisions about where to turn fields into forests: for example, should trees be planted where crops are grown or where cattle or sheep are grazed?

And because it can take decades to get a financial return from trees, many farmers and landowners are waiting for the government to announce new incentives.

Can you plant that many?
    Yes, with the right people
.
I watched a team of people in their 20s working on a project for the Forestry Commission, in Norfolk, and their speed was phenomenal. When they got going, I timed each of them planting a tree roughly every four seconds.

During the course of a day, they could plant between 2,000 and 4,000 trees, piercing the soil with a shovel, stooping down to bury the roots of a tiny Douglas Fir, pressing the sapling in with a boot, and then pacing out the gap to the next one.

There are machines that can do the job - and even drones - but people power is the tried and tested method. And good money can be earned - about 7p for every tree.

For years, it's been popular among students in Canada as a summer job. But inspiring the same enthusiasm among British people is a different story.

Liz Boivin, whose company Tomorrow's Forests employs the team I visited, finds it is Canadians, Australians and eastern Europeans who most regularly sign up for a season's work.

She doubts whether there are enough trained staff in Britain to support the government's plans for a huge increase in planting.

"You need to have the workforce to hit those numbers, which at the moment you don't have," she says.
What problems could there be?

Trees grow very slowly so it's not enough just to plant them and then walk away.

In their early years, saplings are extremely vulnerable to a long list of threats: droughts, storms, pests and diseases. So it's possible that around a quarter of a newly-planted forest will die young.

Only when the survivors make it to an age of 20-30 years do they draw in significant amounts of carbon dioxide. By this stage, the forest will only thrive if some trees are removed or "thinned" to allow more room for others to develop.

If the timber from the cleared trees is then used in buildings, the carbon will remain locked up for as long as the structure stands. But if the trees are left unattended and end up dying and rotting, all the carbon that had been stored will then be released.

Many of Britain's tree planters come from countries like Canada and Australia

So the key is a plan for careful management, according to Stuart Goodall, who runs Confor, a forest industries association. He's worried that the mania for trees may turn out to be a passing fashion, with investors excited by the planting but not by the long years that follow.

"We don't want to be rushed by others who have taken a sudden interest and may run away in 5-10 years' time," he says.

For a big increase in tree planting, Mr Goodall says there will need to be far greater supply of saplings but British nurseries are wary of scaling up until they're sure the government is serious.

Can trees stop climate change?
    The answer is more complicated than you might think
Trees use carbon dioxide as part of the process of photosynthesis - with the carbon ending up in the branches, trunk and roots. But at the same time they rely on respiration, which releases some carbon dioxide.

That's why, over the years, people have described trees as "breathing" - inhaling and exhaling a flow of gases. And it turns out that understanding exactly how that flow works is extremely hard.

Prof Rob MacKenzie, of the University of Birmingham, is honest about the lack of knowledge. "There are lots of things we don't know about the precise movement of carbon."

We're in a hi-tech outdoor laboratory that he runs in a forest in Staffordshire.

Instruments are mounted on tree trunks and on the ground to measure every aspect of how the trees are functioning. Research so far has shown that every square metre draws in about 1,700g of CO2 every year - while also releasing up to 1,200g.

And as a forest gets older, those flows are likely to become more balanced. Prof MacKenzie says it would be a "disaster" if governments and companies rely on forests to "clear up the mess" of carbon pollution.

And he paints a grim picture of what could go wrong. "We plant lot of trees, we think we've done the job, we forget about them, and what we're left with is a really desolate dying diseased landscape that no one cares about."

So what are the solutions?

Partly, they involve choosing the right trees and partly it's about making sure that local people benefit.

In the sprawling forest of Thetford, in Norfolk, much of it planted in a rush after the First World War, Eleanor Tew has researched the best options.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, a government-encouraged rash of planting ended up with regimented rows of the same species of conifers - which meant they were susceptible to the same pests and diseases.

For Eleanor, it's important to make sure that future forests are more resilient.

"It's a bit like making sure you don't put all your eggs in one basket," she says. "It may seem that the obvious thing is to plant one species that's really good for timber or another species that's good for carbon but if they don't cope with a disease, then the whole forest fails."

And for Nathalie Seddon, professor of biodiversity at the University of Oxford, it's vital that forestry schemes, particularly in developing countries, aren't imposed on the people there, but instead involve them.

She points to a project in the Humbo region of Ethiopia where farmers were encouraged to regenerate woodland by being given legal rights over the trees and also by getting training in forest management.

By contrast, a forestry scheme in northwest China successfully protected people living there from dust storms - a positive development - but the growth of the trees then led to water shortages in villages downstream.

She says: "There is an idea that you can just buy land and plant trees but that's too simplistic - there is a risk of doing more harm than good."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51633560
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:00 am

Morrisons only selling
free range eggs


UK supermarket giant Morrisons will sell only free range eggs from now on

The company which has 492 UK stores sells over 10m eggs a week

The move to stop the sale of caged eggs comes five years ahead of the retailer's original target.

They have doubled the number of farmers they work with and their supply will cone from hens that have had been outdoors at least eight hours a day.

Morrisons originally committed to move away from caged eggs by 2025 after listening to a consumer campaign spearheaded by teenager Lucy Gavaghan in 2016 .

The commitment will mean all Morrisons eggs will come from hens that have outdoor access for at least eight hours each day, as well as nest boxes with wide perches and spaces for scratching and dust bathing.

Image

Free range eggs are the only ones that will be on sale at Morrisons. Hens will spend at least eight hours a day outdoors.

Morrisons is also continuing to work on ensuring that 100% of eggs used as ingredients in products are from free range eggs by 2025.

The chain is also dropping the price of a pack of six free range eggs from 80p to 75p to make them even more affordable.

Robert Hofmann, Morrisons Egg Buyer, said: “Improving animal welfare is very important to customers and it’s very important to us. We source our eggs directly from farms and have worked hard to help them all move to free range."

None of the UK’s six biggest retailers have previously gone free range only.

“From now, all our eggs will come from free-range hens that are able to roam freely outdoors – typically during daylight hours - and then return to nest boxes in the evening.”

Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming, says: “It’s great to see Morrisons achieving their commitment to be 100% free range on shell eggs ahead of their 2022 target.

"Momentum on ending the use of cages for laying hens is growing and Morrisons are leading the way. Importantly, they also have a 2025 cage-free commitment on the eggs that go into processed and ingredient foods.”

In 2018 Morrisons introduced a popular Pick Your Own Eggs service enabling customers to choose and pack their own free-range eggs in recycled boxes – choosing from one single egg to a tray of 30.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk ... e-17774356
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:24 pm

How to predict threats
to animals from plastic


Whale shark made of plastic bottles in Rizhao Ocean Park in Rizhao, China

Image

Hosepipes inside a sperm whale, plastic banana bags eaten by green turtles and a shotgun cartridge inside a True's beaked whale.

Just some of the examples of plastic found inside wildlife that have been documented in scientific reports.

Researchers went through records of plastic eaten by aquatic creatures to find out more about the risks.

They say the length of an animal can be used to estimate how big a piece of plastic it might accidentally consume.

This amounts to about a 20th of the size of the animal.

They hope the data can be used to find out more about the risks. More than 700 species of marine and freshwater animals are known to ingest plastic, but study researcher Dr Ifan Jâms of Cardiff University said it was difficult to figure out how much plastic they could be eating.

"This information gives us a way to start measuring the extent of the plastic pollution problem," he said. "We hope this study lays a foundation for including the 'ingestibility' of plastics into global risk assessments."

Plastic waste has a variety of detrimental effects on the environment

Image

Dr Jâms and colleagues at Cardiff trawled through published data to examine records of plastic found inside more than 2,000 marine and freshwater species, including mammals, reptiles, fish and invertebrates, from tiny fish larvae to 10-metre-long whales.

They created an equation to predict the maximum size of plastic item an animal can swallow, based on the length of its body.

The new equation could help determine the risk of plastics to any species - and the amount of plastic that may be moving into oceans and rivers, and entering food chains.

Project leader Prof Isabelle Durance said: "All of us will have seen distressing, often heart-breaking, images of animals affected by plastic, but a great many more interactions between animals and plastic are never witnessed. This study gives us a new way of visualising those many, many unseen events."

The research is published in Nature Communications.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52062158
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:21 pm

Thunberg in isolation:

Rapid action needed to curb climate change

Climate activist Greta Thunberg said the swift and far-ranging economic and social shifts being brought in to stem the coronavirus pandemic showed that the rapid action needed to curb climate change was also possible.

Thunberg wrote in a social media post that she and her father had both shown symptoms of COVID-19 infection. "It’s extremely likely that I’ve had it, given the combined symptoms and circumstances," she wrote.

She added on Instagram that she stayed inside and self-isolated for the past two weeks, though she had not been tested for the virus.

"The coronavirus is a terrible event … there is no positive to come out of it," the Swedish teenager told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an online interview.

Thunberg added: "But it also shows one thing: That once we are in a crisis, we can act to do something quickly, act fast. Though it must be in a different way to how we have acted in this case, we can act fast and change our habits and treat a crisis like a crisis."
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:00 pm

Thai elephants face starvation

More than 1,000 elephants face starvation in Thailand because the coronavirus crisis has slashed revenue from tourism, conservationists say

Image

An almost total absence of visitors means that many caretakers are struggling to afford food for Thailand's 4,000 captive elephants.

The animals can eat up to 200kg (440lb) of food a day.

Lek Chailert, founder of the Save Elephant Foundation, told the BBC: "If there is no support forthcoming to keep them safe, these elephants, some of whom are pregnant, will either starve to death or may be put on to the streets to beg."
Elephant trekking camp in Chiang Mai province Image copyright Save the Elephants

Alternatively, some elephants may be sold to zoos or they may be returned to the illicit logging business, which officially banned the use of elephants in 1989.

"It's a very bleak outlook unless some financial help is received immediately," Lek Chailert adds.

It's a challenge to keep the animals fed and healthy at the best of times but now it's the dry season, which makes the situation even more extreme.

Kerri McCrae, who manages the Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary in Mae Chaem, in northern Thailand, said the villagers who live near her had brought approximately seven elephants back to her area because they were not receiving any money from tourism anymore.

"Feeding elephants is a priority but the issue is that there's not enough forest left to feed them," she explains.

Elephants no longer show happy behaviours, such as playing or swinging tails

Image

Ms McCrae, who originally comes from Northern Ireland and is also a co-founder of the sanctuary, has to drive up to three hours a day to find enough grasses and corn stalks to feed the five elephants in her care.

She says local elephant caretakers are forced to do the same.

The country, which normally relies on tourism for a large portion of its economic growth, has been forced to close its borders to all tourists and much of the country is in lockdown.

Happy elephants, Kerri McCrae says, are usually swinging their tails or flapping their ears or even giving themselves dust baths to keep cool. But elephants get depressed when they're hungry, and none of that happy behaviour would be on display.

"The worst case scenario is that owners will have to chose between themselves and their elephants," Ms McCrae says. "The people here don't have much, but they're doing what it takes to keep the elephants alive for now."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-52110551
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