Illegal logging has been practically eliminated in the western Mexico wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly, according to a research report released Wednesday, and Mexican officials now hope to use the successful program of antilogging patrols and payments to rural residents to resolve other forestry conflicts.
The government, environmental groups and private donors have spent millions to get forest communities in the butterfly reserve to plant trees and start ecotourism businesses to benefit from the interest in the monarchs’ yearly multigenerational migration through Canada, the United States and Mexico. They hope a similar solution can work in areas where illegal logging has caused deadly armed conflicts.
Ecotourism appeals to ecologically and socially conscious individuals. Also known as ecological tourism, it involves travel to pristine and protected areas, where flora, fauna and cultural heritage are the main attractions.
Fishermen representing five Cambodian communities will publicly express their support for a ban on gillnet use in a ceremony highlighting the importance of the Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin.
The event organised by the Commission for Dolphin Conservation and Development of the Mekong River Dolphin Eco-tourism Zone, the fishing Administration and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is expected to attract government officials, NGO’s, monks and locals and will see Cambodian fisherman commit to the protection of the critically endangered dolphin, the ceremony will also celebrate the importance of the Mekong dolphin as a national treasure.
His Excellency Touch Seang Tana, Chairman of the Commission for Dolphin Conservation and Development of the Mekong River Dolphin Eco-Tourism Zone, says that the Government recognizes the urgent need to protect the remaining population from extinction.
“The dolphins in the Mekong are sacred to the people of Cambodia and are an important source of income for communities involved in dolphin-watching tourism. The Royal Government of Cambodia promotes poverty alleviation through conservation activities,” he said.
“Dear communities along the Mekong River, the Irrawaddy dolphin needs your support for its survival. Commit to protecting dolphins and do not use gillnets within their habitat,” he added.
The dolphin population in the Mekong River has been declining due to human activities in the last few decades especially due to modern fishing practices. Gillnets are particularly dangerous to dolphins and could cause the extinction of this species in the Mekong in the near future.
In an effort to save the Irrawaddy dolphin, the Cambodian government issued a sub-decree in September banning the use of gillnets within the dolphin’s habitat, a 180-km stretch of river between Kratie town and the Laos border.
Meas Min, Chief of Koh Pdao Village, intends to inform people in his village about the ban on the use of gillnets in dolphin habitat and encourage good fishing practices outside the habitat to avoid accidental catching of dolphins.
“Villagers must be aware that using gillnets in the dolphin habitat is against the sub-decree and can cause serious danger to the remaining dolphins that we need to protect for the benefit of our future generations,” he said.
The Cambodian Rural Development Team in partnership with the Cambodian Government and WWF has implemented an alternative livelihoods programme to reduce the dependence of local communities on fishery resources, in favour of activities such as aquaculture, livestock-raising, vegetable growing and community based ecotourism.
A TOURIST DRAW: 201 landings at Penarik and Telaga Papan beaches last year
SETIU: TURTLE landings at the Penarik and Telaga Papan beaches here have been increasing over the years and they have the potential to become major tourist attractions as industry players come up with a multitude of ecotourism products.
Although the 201 turtle landings on the beaches here last year were not much compared with those recorded at the Rantau Abang beach in Dungun in the 1970s, they are significant as the turtles have made a comeback to areas with heavy human presence.
Setiu Fisheries Department officer Rosli Abdul Rahman said turtles had returned to lay eggs at the Penarik beach although street lighting had been installed at the area a few years ago.
He said turtles would normally be jittery when there were human presence and would shun areas with bright lights.
Rosli added that in the first few years after the street lighting was installed, turtles had stopped coming to the beach.
"However, after about five years, the turtles have returned despite the bright lights at the pedestrian walkway there.
"Maybe, they have gotten used to the lights and human presence."
Rosli was speaking after the opening of a turtles' mini gallery by World Wildlife Fund Malaysia and Hijau Group at Penarik Inn Beach Chalet here yesterday.
The gallery was an initiative by Penarik Inn, with the support and technical assistance from WWF, and will serve as an information centre about sea turtles and painted terrapins (Batagur affinis) to visitors.
Terengganu Fisheries Department director Abdul Khalil Abdul Karim lauded Penarik Inn's initiative to set up the gallery as an example of a forward-looking ecotourism product.
He added that besides attracting tourists, it could help educate the public about turtle conservation.
"The state government had allocated RM500,000 a year for turtle conservation efforts in Terengganu and private initiatives like this can boost public awareness of the endangered species, which are part of our natural heritage."
In a press release for the gallery's opening, WWF-Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said community involvement was the key to success in championing the survival of endangered species.
He said the project to create an information centre on sea turtles and painted terrapins in Setiu was started in August last year.
He added that 90 per cent of the gallery's designs used recycled materials and were developed in collaboration with four arts and design students from Universiti Teknologi Mara.
By Adam James, via the Center for American Progress America in the 21st century will look radically different than it did in the 20th century. There are two interesting trends worth noting that will account for at least part of this difference.
WASHINGTON, Mar 20 (IPS) - As countries in the Middle East and North Africa adjust to profound political changes and economic difficulties, development experts on the region have increasingly turned their attention to the social and economic potential of incorporating more female workers into the labour market.
International Literacy Day is one of the first ‘days’ declared by the UN, going as far back as 1965. September 8th is the day that seeks to focus public opinion on the major global problem of illiteracy. This is vitally important in least-developed and developing countries where large percentages of the population do not even have basic reading and writing skills. Literacy is seen as a human right, and a means of personal and social development – it makes an essential contribution to wide variety of goals like maintaining peace and promoting democracy, eradicating poverty, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, is the main organization behind the concept of International Literacy Day, and every year it reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. According to statistics as of 2011, some 793 million adults still lack minimum literacy skills, nearly two-thirds of whom are women, which means that about one in six adults is still not literate. 67.4 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. UNESCO provides support to member states of the United Nations to promote literacy in varied ways, from technical expertise, strategic policy-making, capacity-building programs, research, monitoring and evaluation as well as advocacy. International Literacy Day is one small cog in this literacy machine, drawing attention to the plight of millions who are unable to rise out of the depths of extreme poverty, to claim their lives and full potential.
On this day every year UNESCO awards international literacy prizes to the most innovative and inspiring literacy programs. The prizes reward exceptional work in the fight against illiteracy, including supporting literacy in multilingual contexts and supporting literacy in rural areas. There is a declared theme for each year and themes in the past have included “The Power of Women's Literacy”, “Literacy and Health” and for 2011 “Literacy for Peace”. Some supporters of International Literacy Day include the Global Development Research Center, Montblanc, the National Institute for Literacy, and Rotary International.
At the national and local level, International Literacy Day is c
The health benefits of watermelon are astounding, with the fruit shown to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer, and help you lose weight.
According to researchers on the team, watermelon, native to South Africa, contains a number of influential substances including citrulline, a compound thought to protect against atherosclerosis. This high water content fruit is also touted for its ability to help with weight management. Watermelon is just another fruit, in a long line of researched fruits, including berries and apples that have proven effective in the promotion of health and protection from cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke.
You probably already know that one of the benefits of organic food is that it helps protect your family from toxic pesticide residues commonly found on fruit and veggie skins. But there are much broader benefits to choosing organic, too, including feeding the world. In fact, in 2008, the United Nations found that African farmers who switched from chemical to organic systems enjoyed double the yield in many instances. Last year, the Rodale Institute, a nonprofit organic research institution, wrapped up a 30-year, side-by-side trial of chemical and organic crops. In normal years, both types of farming created about the same amount of food. In years of drought, though, organic came out on top.
Organic also makes perfect sense when it comes to your household dinners. If you’re dealing with family members who don’t see the benefits of eating organic—or if you still don’t see the point—read on for some inspiration.
One strategy to help protect and research sharks is ecotourism. A recent study around Costa Rica’s Cocos Island, estimated the value of a Hammerhead shark at US $1.6 million each for tourism purposes, compared to less than $200 it could sell for. A 2011 study by the Australian Institute of Marine Science had an even bigger difference, estimating a lifetime value of nearly US $2 million dollars for a Reef shark in Palau vs. only $108 for it’s sale in a fish market. Governments are starting to take notice of this economic value; countries including Australia, Palau, as well as the Cook Islands have recently created large marine areas to protect sharks and other ocean life.
The GuardianChina's green shoots of ecotourismThe GuardianExamples of smaller scale ecotourism resorts in China include the Red Capital Ranch (redcapitalclub.com.cn), which offers guests a private entrance to a wild section of the Great Wall and...
In the village of Contepec, in Michoacán, a few hours northwest of Mexico City, every winter day, rivers of orange and black butterflies would stream through the streets in search of water, swooping down from the Oyamel fir forest on Altamirano Hill. One of us, Homero, grew up with the monarch butterflies. The other, Lincoln, saw them for the first time in 1977, also in Michoacán, on a mountain called Sierra Chincua, where the branches of hundreds of fir trees were covered with butterflies that exploded into glorious flight when warmed by the sun.
Today the winter monarch colonies, which are found west of Mexico City, in an area of about 60 miles by 60 miles, are a pitiful remnant of their former splendor. The aggregate area covered by the colonies dwindled from an average of 22 acres between 1994 and 2003 to 12 acres between 2003 and 2012. This year’s area, which was reported on Wednesday, hit a record low of 2.9 acres.
Reasons for the decline are multiple, including: out-of-control ecotourism, extreme weather and diversion of water. Two threats loom above all others: the destruction of breeding habitat in the United States because of the widespread use of powerful herbicides and genetically engineered crops, and illegal logging in Mexico’s high-elevation Oyamel fir forests.
Deforestation has always been a dark shadow lurking in these beautiful mountains, and it has never been adequately dealt with by the Mexican government. In the 1980s, horrified television viewers watched footage of loggers armed with chain saws felling trees covered with butterflies and log-laden trucks crushing butterflies as they drove down the mountains. That led to the establishment, in 1986, of the Monarch Butterfly Special Biosphere Reserve, within which logging was outlawed. But still it continued.
You may be asking, how can a faceless multi-national corporation display signs of empathy for their fellow humans. Good question, and it starts with deeply engraining a sense of society into the work and family culture as well as the educational system. The Nordic Countries of Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway have consistently ranked the highest in the field of corporate citizenship mainly due to the integration of social and environments concerns that are at the core of the Nordic culture into the company culture.
The empathetic values of gender equality, equality and fair usage of natural resources are engrained into the Nordic corporation’s business model. The problem isn’t just the corporation – it’s the society that we live in that has allowed most corporations to take over the destiny of our planet and to disregard the humanness of doing business. The first step in reversing this trend starts with ourselves, recognizing that we are all interconnected and we all suffer when there is suffering. We all pay when one doesn’t pay. The second step is more practical, and that entails and overhaul of the traditional business model: putting an end to the unaccounted and unsustainable usage of natural resources by which corporations are undermining the health of our planet.
The theme of International Literacy Day 2012 is Literacy and Peace. This theme was adopted by the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD) to demonstrate the multiple uses and value that literacy brings to people.
Literacy contributes to peace as it brings people closer to attaining individual freedoms and better understanding the world, as well as preventing or resolving conflict. The connection between literacy and peace can be seen by the fact that in unstable democracies or in conflict-affected countries it is harder to establish or sustain a literate environment.
Too often marginalised, women living in rural settings face steep challenges to the exercise of their human rights, their personal development and the pursuit of their aspirations..
Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General
About the Day
For over 40 years now, UNESCO has been celebrating International Literacy Day by reminding the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning.
Why is Literacy important?
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.
Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All (EFA).
A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.