There is a world somewhere between reality and fiction. Although ignored by many, it is very real and so are those living in it. This forum is about the natural world. Here, wild animals will be heard and respected. The forum offers a glimpse into an unknown world as well as a room with a view on the present and the future. Anyone able to speak on behalf of those living in the emerald forest and the deep blue sea is invited to join.
--- Peter Broekhuijsen ---

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Policies & Politics

Netherlands peter Online
Expert & Researcher
( This post was last modified: 11-08-2018, 06:35 PM by peter )


Excellent and very interesting info, which is appreciated by many. Keep it coming.
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Sanju Offline
Senior member
( This post was last modified: 11-19-2018, 04:52 PM by Sanju )

Coming to Panthera leo domesticus. Our Gujarat govt is trying all the ways available to prevent this national level conservation project(which is actually political Project literally) like radio collaring lions for the first time, vaccination (which is done to pets, no wild conservation dept of any county will not interfere in the nature), relocation to Barda (within Gujarat) etc.., you name it. These are some of the proving tactics to deceive all people around the world that lions are safe. Even if they are safe, who asked for that! The thing is to expand Lion range for not just species conservation it is for survival of Grassland flora and fauna almost in edge of extinction that is grassland ecosystems diminished naturally from 20 kya and artificially by anthropocentric influence by human occupation and hunting exponentially lion and cheetah and even grey wolf which all of are protectors and maintainers of the sole grassland ecosystems.
Leopard doesn't count as it is mesopredator mostly except in absence of superior and versatile of almost all ecosystems. Tiger is apex and protector of forest type closed ecosystems. Note that all these animals and may survive in each other ecosystems but that doesn't fill that niche. Forests ecosystem continued to replace naturally and supported by human usage of grasslands. even making things worse Since 1973 project tiger and leopard(maybe) contributed in helping forest ecosystem replace grassland ecosystem. making the now grassland ecosystem threatened and rare in India with dominant forest types. At least one respective apex of grassland ecosystem is needed to stop this collapse, restore and expand them to once vintage.

Cheetah thing is ruined by Gujju from Iran coz of disagreement for exchange making them both extinct in few years( if happened Muslim country after exchange might have lost both of them, India saved both of them in its own land). So, NaMo is not only extincting Lion but also whole Indian grassland fauna and flora by not allowing keystone species cheetah and Lion.

Everybody knows how safe lions are... keeping that aspect aside. assume that lions are safe. What's the problem (besides losing political majority among people towards that particular culprit BJP, Tourism revenue which is a lot unofficially directly and indirectly) relocation to other states that are potential i.e. Rajasthan, Kuno and even Gujarat itself. They are too afraid to even relocate them inside to Barda(80 km away this is not even a distance for them as they are already in Barda) as in case there is a chance of them escape to park or Rajasthan and eastwards towards Maharashtra or other. Hence, they are concentrating them severely in the middle part of southern Gujarat even towards seashore and beach as there is no contiguous landmass there for natural migration.

Barda is selected by PHVA in 1990's as to increase them range wise that doesn't mitigate the risk anyway. As they already two lions frequently were seen in and out of Barda. there is no translocation to Barda as they are already residing there.
Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo leo) is never a "population", it is called subpopulation. Once after 2015 census at one point lions touched 700 at that instant. The various so-called meta pops are not really meta pops. even is entire Gujarat is vacated and left to the lions. they are still in the risk. The egg basket is still a basket no matter how big that basket is so-called Gujarat basket. There is needed to be separate basket separated completely! A single male lion in Barda can reach gir overnight and mate all females in Gir (No Joke).
Inbreeding continues in Gir cloning centre/Breeding centre. Ironically Gujarat has breeding centres and zoos even lion landscape itself is a cloning centre from 200 yrs. 2 bottlenecks, incest between family members from 200 yrs descendants from 12 individual founder stock in 9+ districts of Saurashtra in 2500+ villages, cities farms, mills you name it in 30000 km2+ lion landscape and expanding. not less than cloning. 

Kuno is the best choice thousand times better than Barda and Gir in regard to competition Prey, Landscape, food(prey base) and water sources as Chambal river tributary Kuno river is there and whooping space is there and lowest competition. and its best in Asiatic lion historical range or maybe some are there outside the country in Iran and north Africa-leave about them even wit as cheetah will be extinct there in 2 or more few years for an agreement. so inside India Kuno is the best.
We know that lion came to India about 25-10 kya I mean 2nd lion wave. bengal tiger might not have coexisted with primitive leo much long but then after with Asiatic lion coexisted controversially till 19th century except in south India as Tiger habitat is dominant in India and already occupied by Tiger(arrived 20-12 kya) south, east, north and central except some part of the west.

Even Gujarat want to drag this vital Project to save them and all grassland ecosystem as a whole by saying temperature in Kuno(dumbest choice to argue as they don't know about wildlife as they made a tropical animal extremely adaptable to hot and dry conditions including deserts lion to polar bear and made rumoured Kuno(45 celsius max) as "sun's core" or "magma", even tiger, all other flora and fauna, even people live there), Tiger-animal conflict(even dumber as they made two living things to two super beings want to die- almost every animal literally every organism can distinguish their own species from other species and territorial animals fight for mate and land for their own species. They don't fight for those with other species. They see another type of animals as prey/competitor/threat. Tiger is not food, neither threat to a pride or juveniles guarded by the pack but a competitor for food and resources in that case lion pride chase tiger and at all costs avoid each other. even they don't even try to meet as they prefer diff habitat in an ecoregion and in case of Kuno buffer is created based on tiger migration to other tiger reserves. The possibility is almost negligible for confrontation, even that happened the thing likely will be happening is that. Expert opinion is this but Gujarat people apply that maybe they don't even know lion and tiger separate or pretending so. [as they do this to advertise African lion for Asiatic lion-they don't know Asiatic and African lion when replaced too!] They always apply tiger-tiger;lion-lion conflict with tiger-lion conflict. when solitary-solitary competition arises in which competitive exclusion happens whereas pack-solitary;pack-pack coexist. Tiger-Dhole, Lion-Dhole in the past, Lion-Hyena, Lion-African wild dog, Brown Bear-Wolf, smilodon-American lion, lion-cheetah, short-faced bear-dire wolf etc Oh god you name it.)

Even Gujarat want to deceive by saying that tiger-animal conflict as a major arrow even after the fulfilment of IUCN guidelines in past(already happened once) and present(all requirements fulfilled by MP govt). Then why Kuno? Translocate them elsewhere i.e.., Khumbhalgarh, Darrah, Sita which are a lot better than Barda the worst(not against to translocate Barda, they should be spread where ever there is possibility 1,2,3,4 and 5 homes inc Barda). if they can translocate them to Barda too why not those places where tiger conflict not there. Tiger will come to Gujarat too its natural.
Even Knowing all this experts, people etc.., keep silent and can't question (except ridiculously and fearless daring people like Ajay Dubey) coz even supreme court and constitution law and order can't do not even question the country's utmost legal corrupt (in the aspect of nature and related things s far as I know in rest aspects this govt is the best and I admire them) monarch power (biggest political Party in the world) NaMo and his gang. Indian Politics can crush laws always anywhere anytime.
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Brazil Matias Offline
Regular Member

Deforested, degraded land restoration a top priority for African leaders
by on 19 November 2018

  • African leaders met at a summit to discuss land restoration across the continent on Nov. 13, ahead of the U.N. Biodiversity Conference in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • Representatives from several African countries shared their countries’ pledges to restore hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of degraded and deforested land in the coming decades.
  • The summit’s leaders said they hoped the deliberations during the day-long summit would help African countries in both their contributions to international targets and to the improvement of their natural ecosystems for the benefit of their citizens.
African leaders came together on Nov. 13 to back the restoration of hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of degraded ecosystems ahead of the start of the U.N. Biodiversity Conference.

The day-long summit in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, which included some 100 government ministers, ambassadors and partner staff from across Africa, culminated in support for the Pan-African Action Agenda on Ecosystem Restoration for Increased Resilience, which the summit’s leaders say will aid in both achieving international targets and improving the resiliency of African countries for the people who call them home.

*This image is copyright of its original author
A farmer walks through the Sahel in Niger. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay

Cristiana Pașca Palmer, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said in a statement that the commitments would help Africa contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, aimed at stemming biodiversity loss. Paşca Palmer also highlighted the importance of the effort in the “New Deal for Nature and People,” which makes a case for biodiversity protection and the essential role that healthy ecosystems play for humanity.

“No region of the world has a more important role to play in protecting the future of humanity and the future of the planet than Africa,” she said in her remarks at the summit. “The Secretariat of the Convention stands ready to further support this work.”

*This image is copyright of its original author
Cameroon plans to restore 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) of forest like that pictured here. 
Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.

The commitments to bolstering natural ecosystems came from across the continent. In the Sahara and the Sahel, representatives from Niger, Burkina Faso and Algeria said their countries would restore thousands of square kilometers of degraded land. Uganda, Cameroon and Madagascar all plan to restore large areas of forest. And Ethiopia detailed its efforts to engage farmers in bringing back 150,000 square kilometers (58,000 square miles) of forest.

Delegates to the summit endorsed the Pan-African Agenda, with its formal adoption contingent on the support of leaders at the African Union meeting coming up in January 2019. The United Nations Environment Programme said in the release that the pledges would serve as a foundation for further restoration on the continent.

*This image is copyright of its original author
Land cleared for farming in Madagascar. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

“I am honoured to have hosted this first African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity which I am convinced will lead the way to promoting natured-based solutions for increased resilience and wellbeing of people in Africa,” Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s environment minister, said in the statement.

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Brazil Matias Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-19-2018, 09:45 PM by Matias )

RSPO adopts total ban on deforestation under sweeping new standards
by Hans Nicholas Jong on 16 November 2018

  • The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has adopted new standards that will prohibit its member companies from clearing any type of forest for palm plantations.
  • RSPO-certified companies were previously permitted to clear secondary forests and peat forests with a peat layer no deeper than 3 meters (10 feet).
  • The move comes amid a growing consumer backlash that has prompted companies to make zero-deforestation commitments.
  • Environmental activists have welcomed the RSPO’s deforestation ban with cautious optimism, noting that enforcement of the certification body’s standards has historically been lax.
JAKARTA — The world’s leading certification body for ethically sourced palm oil has ordered a total ban on deforestation by its members, amid growing pressure from both companies and consumers.

Members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) voted overwhelmingly in favor of the ban at the group’s annual general assembly in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, on Nov. 15. The ban is now part of the RSPO’s new core standards, the Principles and Criteria (P&C), which member companies must comply with for their product to be certified “sustainable.”

While the RSPO’s previous standards prohibited the clearing of primary, or virgin, forest to make way for palm plantations, they did allow for the cutting of secondary forests and peat forests with a peat layer less than 3 meters (10 feet) deep.

While not as thick and lush as primary forests, secondary forests are still vital for wildlife, carbon storage, and the livelihoods of local and indigenous communities.

Peatlands, meanwhile, are rich in carbon, and their destruction by palm oil companies in Indonesia, the world’s top producer of the commodity, releases significant quantities of greenhouse gases. Annual greenhouse gas emissions from converting a single hectare (2.5 acres) of peatland to oil palm plantation equal those from driving six times around the world in the average passenger vehicle.

The RSPO’s new standards mean palm oil growers must ensure future land clearing doesn’t cause deforestation or damage areas especially rich in carbon, including peatlands and high carbon stock (HCS) forests. This means no more planting of oil palms in peat of any depth.

The new standards also purport to strengthen labor rights protections.

The RSPO’s chief executive, Datuk Darrel Webber, welcomed the newly adopted set of standards, calling it “the most inclusive review of its kind, to date, and for that we are proud.”

*This image is copyright of its original author

A Bornean orangutan in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. The critically endangered species is threatened by the unbridled expansion of oil palm plantations into its forest home. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

Growing consumer awareness about the conversion of tropical rainforest for palm plantations has prompted many companies that use palm oil in their products — which range from cosmetics and snack foods, to detergents and biofuels — to make “no deforestation” pledges. For many of these companies, these pledges have taken the form of so-called NDPE commitments: no deforestation, no peat, and no exploitation of indigenous communities.
Other companies, like the U.K. supermarket chain Iceland Foods, have banned palm oil from their supply chains altogether over deforestation concerns.

More than 90 institutional investors, managing more than $6.7 trillion in assets, have also called on the RSPO to improve its standards by banning deforestation outright.

Call for immediate action
Environmental activists have reacted with cautious optimism to the RSPO’s new standards, saying they won’t amount to much if they’re not implemented — as is the case with many of the companies that have already pledged to not commit any deforestation.

new report by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) shows that many palm oil companies with zero-deforestation policies are falling short of properly enforcing their commitments. The report, which assessed 70 of the world’s most significant palm oil producers and traders, found that many of the companies’ zero-deforestation targets lacked scope and on-the-ground verification.

This has limited their effectiveness in addressing deforestation and left significant areas of tropical forests at risk of destruction to produce palm oil, the report says.

Of the companies studied, only 26 expected all their suppliers to also match their commitments, and just 24 gave any evidence of how they monitored forest cover across their supply chains to ensure no deforestation was taking place.

This lack of supplier oversight and on-the-ground monitoring means companies can claim to meet their zero-deforestation commitments while still contributing to forest loss. And the forests that continue to be razed for new plantations include some of the last habitats of vanishingly rare species such as Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) and orangutans (Pongo abelii).

“Without companies monitoring deforestation on the ground and extending their commitments to their entire operations, company pledges to be deforestation-free carry little weight,” said Michael Guindon, the ZSL’s palm oil technical adviser.

The zero-deforestation pledges also vary in strength among the companies.

Only 34 of those studied have already committed to no planting of oil palm on peat of any depth, while a further 16 have weak or unclear commitments that fail to specify all depths of peat. Twenty companies have no commitment prohibiting development on peat at all.

In terms of HCS assessment, only 34 companies have committed to the HCS Approach methodology expected under the new RSPO criteria, while 25 have no HCS commitments currently in place.

If these companies want to meet the updated RSPO requirements, they have to improve their own policies and implementation, according to the ZSL.

And while the 2018 standards take effect immediately, existing RSPO grower members get a one-year transition period to implement the new standards.

Kiki Taufik, head of the global forest campaign at Greenpeace Indonesia, said the new standards should be enforced immediately, without a grace period.

“Adopting no-deforestation into the RSPO’s standards is an important step toward breaking the links between certified palm oil and forest destruction,” he said. “However, the new rules will take at least two years to come into effect, and right now numerous RSPO members are destroying rainforests with impunity. The RSPO must address this immediately if it is to make a real difference on the ground.”

*This image is copyright of its original author

An oil palm worker harvesting palm fruit at a PT London Sumatra Indonesia (Lonsum) plantation in North Sumatra province. 
Image by Nanang Sujana for RAN/Oppuk.

Lack of enforcement

The effectiveness of the new RSPO standards has also been called into question by the U.S.-based advocacy group Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which says the RSPO had for years failed to enforce its old standards.

“It’s important to remember that a strong certification standard is meaningless without enforcement,” said Robin Averbeck, RAN’s agribusiness campaign director.

The group cited the case of Indofood, one of the biggest companies in Indonesia and a subsidiary of the Salim Group, owned by one of the country’s richest individuals. A 2016 exposé by RAN, Indonesian workers’ rights watchdog OPPUK and the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) found Indofood in violation of more than 20 of the RSPO’s existing standards, as well as 10 Indonesian labor statutes.

The report documented serious labor rights abuses on Indofood-owned plantations, including cases of child labor, workers going unpaid, precarious employment, and hazardous working conditions.

An RSPO audit of Indofood’s RSPO-certified unit, which includes one palm oil mill and three palm oil estates, confirmed the NGOs’ allegations. The RSPO subsequently sanctioned PT London Sumatra Indonesia (Lonsom), the Indofood subsidiary in charge of the audited mill and plantations, by revoking its sustainability certificate for selling palm oil and calling for audits at the company’s sites.

Yet units of Lonsom not subject to the original complaint remain free to sell RSPO-certified palm oil; they will only be audited within the next three months. Indofood’s RSPO membership also remains intact — proof that the RSPO’s standards aren’t being properly implemented, according to RAN.

“The RSPO’s recent decision to not suspend Indofood — a RSPO ‘sustainably’ certified company proven to be systematically and illegally violating workers’ rights for over two years — is evidence of the failures of the RSPO system,” Averbeck said.

She called on the RSPO to reform its auditing, compliance and grievance systems to better enforce its new standards.

“If the RSPO wants to build its reputation in the marketplace, and show strong enforcement of its newly revised standard, it must suspend Indofood’s RSPO membership and certification until independently verified corrective actions are undertaken to remedy the systemic labor violations across Indofood’s plantations,” Averbeck said.

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Sanju Offline
Senior member
( This post was last modified: 12-01-2018, 02:31 PM by Sanju )

Dilip Sanghani: Shabash Rupani! you will be honoured by the lioness

BJP leader Dilip Sanghani reached the jail to meet a young man who attacked the lioness recently with an axe for killing his grazing livestock. Dilip Sanghani gave him a shawl as an honour.

[b]Vijay Singh Parmar[/b] has been a lion's defence policy in the last few years, saying, 'Tell the thief and tell the master what to do.' In Gujarat, wildlife is sitting and the government is looking at becoming a pioneer. 

On one hand, State's Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the Gir is safe and the Lions need not be sent anywhere else, and on the other hand, the top leader of his own party talks about honouring the accused, who had attacked a lioness with an axe, and inciting/encouraging people to attack the animals.
The day, it is said that the risk is increasing on the lions and the government has no long-term policy. Bharatiya Janata Party's gigantic leader, former Cabinet Minister Dilip Sanghani has given evidence of this by giving a statement.

It is said that, a few days ago, the man attacked the lioness, with an axe, for killing a goat in a Tulsi Shyam range in the Gir-East forest area. The forest department had arrested him under various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) for the attack on lionesses and he's currently in jail. 

BJP leader Dilip Sanghani reached the jail to meet this young man accused of attacking the lioness and also gave a statement that the government should change the law and when the wild animals attack people, they should be allowed to kill wild animals in unprotected areas. 

Dilip Sanghani has been giving anti-wildlife statements for many years and says that "if a man kills the lion or other wildlife for saving lives, then there is nothing wrong with it. The government should allow it. If a man kills or poisons a Lion then the man will be accused under wildlife act but if annually people killed by lions, no action being taken and the government is forcing people to live with wild animals by sandwiching both of them leading to human loss and man-animal conflict. The situation is different outside the protected forest areas in which the people are unwilling to coexist with wild animals unlike maldhari ". 

Just a few days ago, 23 lions of Gir lions died in the Dalkhnia range of Gir Sanctuary coz of a viral infection, 36 lions died till then and the whole country was shaken. After this, 31 lions have been taken out of Samrad and taken to rescue centre. The government has given reasons for the death of the lions together, that the lions were killed by a variant of the canine distemper virus. 

At one place, after the death of so many lions, the government undertook a process to stop the illegal lion show and sealed illegal hotels and guesthouses around Sasan.

It is noteworthy that there is a growing conflict between the wildlife and the people in the areas under the Gir forests like Dhari, Amreli, Khambha, Jasadhar and Savarkundla. According to an estimate, more than 300 lions thought of are in the reef regions outside the Gir sanctuary. All these lions have one type or another type of risks. 

In the Gir sanctuary, the government is not helping the forest department in the lion defence and the local leaders do not take action against the anti-fertile provocative speeches on the other. 

The Wildlife Protection Act (1972) provides that an offence can be registered against someone if they incite to kill wild animals.

If Vijay Rupani government wants to protect wildlife and lions, then the government should file an offence against Dilip Sanghani for inciting people against the lions. 

So one instance can sit and people get consolation that the government is determined to protect the lions and will not bow to anybody. But if the government does not do this and does not deny Dilip Sanghani's statement, then the government policy will become challenging for people working in the field of wildlife protection and it will be brazened that the government's lion defence policy is poor and adopts double standards. 

When Dilip Sanghani was a law minister, he has violated forest laws. During the visit to Gir Sanctuary, he was photographed with the lions descending and placed on social media. Legally prohibited in the wild from jeeps during Safari.

Will the Forest Department take any action against Dilip Sanghani in this matter? Contacting the Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Akshay Kumar Saxena, from News 18, Gujarat, he said, "The details of what Dilip Sanghani has actually given is not present about what statement he has given and how it can be seen in the context of the law".

Ex Minister Dilip Sanghani reaction on Maldhar who attack on lion at Gir
Giri is the first time a tourist guide for women for a lioness

A total of 50 guides have been recruited this year. There are 25 local women. First-time women were admitted as a guide to women.

News18 Gujarati 

Updated: November 6, 2018, 12:50 PM IST
Vijay Singh Parmar 

This time you will not be surprised if you look at women as a guide when going to Deolia Park near Sasan for lion darshan in Gir Jaggal during Diwali vacation. 

Women have been recruited as a tourist guide for the first time in Gir. A new chapter has been started in the tourism sector of Gir. The important thing is that all these ladies guides are local, residents of Sasan village. As a part of an effort to provide employment to local people along with tourism, women have been recruited as a guide.

Deputy Conservator of Forests (Sasan-Wildlife Department), Dr Mohan Rama told the News 18 Gujarati, "A total of 50 guides have been recruited this year as a guide for tourists coming to Deolia Park for lion darshan. There are 25 local women. This is the first time the women's guide has been recruited. This is a new experience for us, but we are getting good reviews from women guides and tourists. Our main objective is to empower women and get employment locally. "

There are two places for lion darshan at Sasan. One is the Gir Tourism Zone in the Gir Sanctuary in which the pilgrims go to the forest and the lion darshan and the second place is the Deolia Interpretation Zone. A lion darshan takes place on the tourist bus and now open gipsy in Devlia Park.

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

Dr Mohan Ram said that before the recruitment as a guide, an examination was organized and the success of this examination was recruited as a guide. After this, two training days for the selected guide and two days after seven days have been organized. Experts from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh were called for the training needed for the guidance. What is the role of guides in the tourism sector and tourists have been informed of what kind of information and behaviour one guides have, and they begin to prepare as a professional guide. Since October 16, women are working as a tourist guide. And we also take feedback from travellers. Women's guide and tourism experience are good. In the coming days, we will organize training that will be needed for women's guidance. "In Devlia Park, 70 gipsy goes in and out with the tourists and there is a guide with every gipsy. The guide gets 400 rupees one time.
Nasim Pala, who was selected as a resident of Sasan village and a lady guide, told News 18 Gujarati that she was very much pleased with this work and found her house-to-house employment.

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Brazil Matias Offline
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Splintered Warfare II: How Foreign Interference is Fueling Kleptocracy, Warlordism, and an Escalating Violent Crisis in the Central African Republic:
November 6, 2018
By Nathalia Dukhan
Executive Summary
Five years after war broke out in the Central African Republic (CAR), the conflict has no end in sight.[i] The country has become ungovernable over time and is sinking into a structural crisis. Despite being branded a low-intensity conflict, it is brutal and bloody. Entire communities are regularly targeted in carefully orchestrated military operations. Politico-military groups and various armed factions that effectively rule the country are held responsible for the chaos.[ii] Since 2014, the proliferation of these armed groups across the country[iii] has confirmed how deeply rooted politico-criminal entrepreneurship has become. In fact, it is now a booming business sector. In rural areas, these groups are the main source of employment for disillusioned youths. They also offer outlets for violent mercenaries from neighboring countries, especially Chad and Sudan.[iv] The proliferation of these groups, along with the transnational trafficking of weapons and natural resources, presents high stakes for the entire Central African region.


Full Report
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Brazil Matias Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-23-2018, 06:00 PM by Matias )


Fear, Inc.
War Profiteering in the Central African Republic and the Bloody Rise of Abdoulaye Hissène.
Since 2013, the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) has repeatedly made international headlines, with alarms being raised over the escalating violence and even precursors to genocide in the country. Ethnic purges and other mass atrocities continue to take place on a near-daily basis against entire communities. A great, but unknown, number of civilians have died in the conflict and the instability has led to a major humanitarian crisis. In May 2018, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that an unprecedented 1.27 million people have been internally displaced or forced to flee the country.

Over the past 20 years, there have been a growing number of initiatives aimed at ending the CAR conflict, but these have had little impact. The country has seen a series of peace, disarmament and amnesty agreements; long-term UN peacekeeping missions and humanitarian assistance; foreign military operations; and elections. Billions of dollars have been spent in an attempt to restore stability and compensate for the lack of state control. Since 2014, the UN mission in CAR, also known as MINUSCA, has cost more than $3.2 billion. The European Union, a long-term and major development partner in CAR, has also disbursed nearly $200 million during the same period. Despite these efforts, the various mediation initiatives have failed to obtain a political compromise sufficient to manage the simple respect of a ceasefire. Today, there are multiple armed gangs, self-defense and politico-military groups that control or exercise influence across the entire national territory. Worse yet, the perpetrators of atrocities are recognized by regional and international actors as legitimate political interlocutors with whom dialogue is necessary and peace must be negotiated.

In August 2018 the African Union announced the end of a series of meetings with representatives of 14 armed groups to record their claims, even though some of the leaders have been placed under sanctions by the United Nations (UN) and the United-States (US). The African Union presented a list of more than 100 demands made by armed groups, including power sharing and amnesty. At the same time, a parallel dialogue was initiated by the Russian government, which invited to Khartoum the military leaders of the most violent armed groups active in the CAR conflict for almost a decade. Today, these so-called dialogues aimed at ending the deadly war have been captured by the agenda of perpetrators of mass atrocities who have shown no intention of making peace. Between 2016 and 2018, The Sentry investigated one such armed group representative, Abdoulaye Hissène, a notorious warlord involved in CAR’s conflict for almost a decade. Formerly a diamond and gold trader, and since 2009 the leader of various politico-military groups, Hissène has been recognized as being responsible for an attempted coup in late 2015 and for targeted violence against UN and humanitarian staff. Since 2017, the United States, then followed by the full UN Security Council, have decided to impose sanctions through an asset freeze and travel ban. Chad announced it had implemented these sanctions, and the CAR government issued an international arrest warrant for him in 2016. Despite these measures and several attempts to arrest him, he remains a free man.
The Sentry’s investigation also reveals that Hissène has been successful building a profitable business and even since he has been under sanctions. He has amassed a fortune out of devastating sectarian violence. By inciting hatred and sowing divisions between ethnic and religious communities, he has gradually become a central player in the country’s conflict. Hissène’s rise has been possible thanks to strong ties he has developed over time with national and regional heads of state, their close allies, and with foreign business partners. In 2014, amid the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population in CAR, Hissène enjoyed diplomatic status and traveled abroad, notably to Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Chad, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, and France. During these travels, he expanded his list of partners and created lucrative business opportunities. At the end of 2014, after being fired from office and formally joining the armed opposition movement, he declared to the Chadian and Congolese heads of state that “what we want is to destroy everything to rebuild the country.” He also convinced a Swiss oil company that he would be able to secure an oil contract with the Chadian national oil petroleum company. Acting as a “minister” and a leader of armed groups, and advertising his control of rich mining sites, Hissène has also developed an illicit trade in diamond and gold, particularly in Cameroon and in Kenya.

Hissène’s rise illustrates a violent system endemic in CAR, and similar to other countries in east and central Africa, that incentivizes conflict over peace. War profiteers and their allies hamper political and peace efforts, since conflict and state collapse are seen as lucrative business and smart politics. Sectarian violence is used as a political negotiation tool and actors who chose to pursue peace are largely kept out of negotiations. In this system, the greater the perpetrators of atrocities and their accomplices represent a threat to the central power, the more they will become essential political interlocutors and increase their financial gain. In 2015, the UN Security Council took a strong step when It decided to impose sanctions on a diamond company, Badica/Kardiam, accused of financing armed groups at the peak of the 2014 crisis. Despite this positive step, no other entities or businessmen faced any consequences for their role in the financing of the deadly conflict. By focusing on Hissène to illustrate war profiteering, this report calls for an in-depth reassessment of the strategy to support the emergence of CAR from its crisis. As long as violence is profitable for those behind the atrocities and their business networks both inside and outside the country, long-term peace in CAR and the rest of the Central African region will remain an illusion. It is time to send a strong signal to war profiteers so that their crimes will be less lucrative and bear increasingly costly consequences.

The full report is very interesting, a competent diagnosis. Wildlife in the CAR was one of the most diverse, as a driver overlapping forest biomes with the wooded savanna. Not long ago it was one of the best hunting destinations in Africa. As hope, the Chinko project is your best chance, one of the largest employers of local labor throughout the CAR.
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Rishi Offline

Reinforce rules in tiger corridors, buffer zones: NTCA 

After Maharastra's Chief Wildlife Warden had been bypassed in a road development projects in corridor and buffer of six tiger reserves in Vidarbha. There are already protests against road development around Bandipur reserve in Karnataka.

Both, NTCA, the topmost authority monitoring tigers reserves in the country, and CWLWs are being ignored while implementing these linear projects. A CWLW is the deciding authority in every state on wildlife matters.

Of the 1,697 road, irrigation, and railway projects, 399 projects worth Rs1.3 lakh crore are coming up in the tiger landscape of Central India and Eastern Ghats, spread over 8 states & home to 688 (31%) of the country's tigers.

Significantly, proposers of 345 of the 399 projects are not aware of the tiger corridor status of forestland patches that they seek to divert. Such unplanned development threatens the future of tigers in the country, says a report — ‘Policy framework for connectivity conservation and smart green linear infrastructure development in the Central Indian & Eastern Ghats Tiger Landscape’. The report has been prepared by Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) researchers Milind Pariwakam, Aditya Joshi, Sheetal Sheetal Navgire and Srinivas Vaidyanathan.

Realising that linear projects like roads and railways and powers lines are proving detrimental for tigers, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has directed all the chief wildlife wardens (CWLWs) in tiger ranging states to strongly comply with existing statutory provisions, by asserting assert on Section 38 (O) (1) (b) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 which says, “Evaluate and assess various aspects of sustainable ecology and disallow any ecologically unsustainable and use such as, mining, industry and other projects within the tiger reserve.”

Secondly, NTCA said, Section 38 (O) (1) (g) of the WPA states, “Ensure that the tiger reserves and areas linking one protected area or tiger reserve with another protected area or tiger reserve are not diverted for ecologically unsustainable uses, except in public interest and with the approval of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and on the advice of the NTCA.”

In respect of projects falling within a notified tiger reserve be it core or buffer, irrespective of area involved, the project proposal needs wildlife clearance.

“Therefore, the proponents will have to submit proposal to the CWLW of the state concerned and if found sustainable, it shall be placed before the state board for wildlife (SBWL). The proposal, if agreed upon shall be forwarded for consideration of the standing committee (SC) of NBWL, who shall refer it to NTCA for advice.
Even for non-forest lands within the buffers, Section 38(O) (1)(b) shall be invoked and the CWLW can refer the matter directly to NTCA.”

In case of proposals involving corridor/linking area, irrespective of legal status of land, the proponents may have to seek wildlife or forest clearance or both. The latter clearance shall be necessitated in case legal status of the land is forest.

“We have asked the states to follow statutory provisions in letter and spirit in respect of all projects falling within the notified tiger reserves and its corridors for wildlife clearance irrespective of area involved and requirements of obtaining forest clearance or not,” said NTCA officials.

Read more at:
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Sanju Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-23-2019, 06:54 PM by Sanju )

India orders ‘staggering’ eviction of 1 million indigenous people. Some environmentalists are cheering

India's Supreme Court has ordered its government to evict a million people from their homes - for the good of the country's wildlife. Lol

The ruling, issued Wednesday, was a startling conclusion to a decade-long case that has pitted the rights of some of India's most vulnerable citizens against the preservation of its forests.

The court told the government to evict over a million people - mostly members of indigenous tribes - from their homes in public forest land because they had not met the legal criterion to live there.

With over 700 tribal groups, India is home to over 100 million indigenous people. While the forest land is legally controlled by the government, people have lived in such areas for centuries.

A landmark law passed in 2006 gave legal rights over forest land and its produce to tribes and forest-dwelling communities provided they could prove that their families have stayed there for at least three generations.

The battle for mineral-rich forest land is not new in India. The ruling is the latest flash point in the competing interests of industry, wildlife conservationists and forest communities.

Quote:In the last 30 years, the government has diverted 5,400 square miles of forest land, the size of Connecticut, for industrial projects - many of which were opposed by the indigenous people.

Wildlife groups contend that granting "wide-ranging" rights to people on forest land leads to fragmentation of forests at a time when the country's forest cover is shrinking.

Critics, however, say that neither accounts for the rights of the indigenous people who rely on the forest for daily needs and for their livelihood.

Now the court says that those whose claims were rejected must go - by July 27.

The number of affected people is estimated to go up to 1.89 million when more states comply with the order.
Human rights groups and activists were stunned by the ruling. Nicholas Dawes, the acting managing director of Human Rights Watch, wrote that it had "staggering" implications for India's most marginalized.

Forest Rights Alliance, a grassroots advocacy group, called the judgment "draconian." Another group advocating for the rights of forest dwellers, the Campaign for Survival and Dignity, called the order a "major blow." It also noted that thousands of claims for land rights under the law - the Forest Rights Act - get "wrongly rejected."

Wildlife groups first challenged the law back in 2008, arguing that it threatened "long-term conservation of forests and biodiversity." Praveen Bhargav of Wildlife First issued a statement on behalf of the petitioners welcoming Wednesday's ruling as an "extremely important order." The statement noted that "ineligible" and "bogus" claimants under the Forest Rights Act "continue to occupy a huge area of forestland."

C.R. Bijoy of the Campaign for Survival and Dignity fired back. He said that the environmental groups which brought the case represent a "vanishing" way of thinking about conservation which excludes people from the process.

The ruling comes just weeks before India is slated to begin national elections, putting state governments in the highly awkward position of being instructed to evict voters from their homes. As a result, few believe the order will be carried out in the mandated time frame - plus it will almost certainly face an additional legal challenge.

One big question mark is the Indian government's own position on the issue. It failed to defend its own law in the current court case. The result was a lopsided proceeding where judges heard arguments in favor of the wildlife groups.

Rahul Gandhi, leader of the Indian National Congress, the country's main opposition party, criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government last week for being a "silent spectator" in court. Gandhi also asked three states governed by the Congress party to re-look at cases where land claims had been rejected.

Back in 2002, the government had ordered evictions of unauthorized dwellings on a similar directive from the top court, sparking large-scale protests by indigenous people and forest rights groups.

@Lycaon @Rishi
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Lycaon Offline
أسد الأطلس


We need to have unbiased research on weather or not these tribes people are keeping the forests healthy. We also need to question if the government has ordered this evictions to gain the natural resources.
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Sanju Offline
Senior member
( This post was last modified: 02-23-2019, 07:08 PM by Sanju )

(02-23-2019, 06:55 PM)Lycaon Wrote: @Sanju 

We need to have unbiased research on weather or not these tribes people are keeping the forests healthy. We also need to question if the government has ordered this evictions to gain the natural resources.

IMO, this Human- nature coexistence is nothing but unscientific but ethical and human centric proposal. I don't believe in these. It is always harmful to nature. This is good decision by SC. Human can only become a part of nature's cycle when he turns uncivilized again (I mean like before Homo genus ancestors, australopithecians like forms) which is impossible. Cognitive skills, intelligence, reasoning abilities, speech and language due to relative enlargement of brain after cooking food technology had change the brain capabilities of Homo genus which are boon as well as curse.

And by this decision tribals can get better livelihood in civilised world.
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Lycaon Offline
أسد الأطلس


Well said!
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Rishi Offline

There WILL be protests & counter activsm, which might succeed in repealing this...1 million is a lot of people's future at stake!

In the long run the process of relocating villages from sanctuary's & reserves may get harder. Already atleast 3 tiger reserve (Ratapani, Nandhaur, Dibang) proposals are hanging in limbo beside locals think they'll get evicted.
2 rejected (Bhoramdeo & Kudremukh) before of it. And now there might be nationwide mass movement!

Too late to discuss these now. Pandora's box have been opened. Let's see what the future holds.
I doubt some ruling party would commit a political suicide by trying to implement this.
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Sanju Offline
Senior member
( This post was last modified: 02-23-2019, 10:11 PM by Sanju )

@Rishi, 10 lakh people means, lot of compensation needed. Let's see how the govt reacts, such complications and agitations before national elections will be a blow to ruling party's voters number.

Rishi Offline
( This post was last modified: 02-23-2019, 11:27 PM by Rishi )

(02-23-2019, 10:04 PM)Sanju Wrote: @Rishi, 10 lakh people means, lot of compensation needed. Let's see how the govt reacts, such complications and agitations before national elections will be a blow to ruling party's voters number.

They people to be removed are the ones officially designated as "encroachers into forest land". But is a lot of its percentage could be clerical information deficiency or simply not being in the records. That's where the complication lies... Otherwise you don't need computation to evict encroachers.
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