Amazon indigenous groups and truckers ally to oppose Brazil’s Grainrail by Sue Branford and Maurício Torres [12/06/2018]

– It is well documented that the construction of new transportation infrastructure in the Amazon leads to an invasion by illegal loggers, illicit ranchers, and other land grabbers. Which is why indigenous people are opposed to Grainrail, a new railroad that, if approved, will penetrate the Tapajós basin threatening 20 indigenous territories.
– The Baú Indigenous Territory has already been reduced in size by the government which gave into pressure from invading land grabbers. Now, the Kayapó people worry that the construction of Grainrail will bring an onslaught of new land invaders and further reductions of their territory.
– This concern is especially strong as Jair Bolsonaro comes to power. He has made it known that he is opposed to the concept of indigenous preserves, while also being on the side of Amazon development and in favour of the fast tracking of environmental licensing for infrastructure projects – which means Grainrail could go forward quickly.
– Indigneous groups have found an unusual ally against Grainrail: truckers who fear they will lose their livelihoods if the planned railroad goes forward. Indigenous groups and truckers are both known for their use of direct actions, such as roadblocks and strikes, to get their views heard – methods that could lead to conflict with Bolsonaro.

For Ugandan villagers, tradition and tourism help keep the peace with gorillas by Deusdedit Ruhangariyo [12/05/2018]

– Uganda is home to around half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas; thanks to conservation efforts the global population is now slightly above 1,000 and the species has recently been re-graded by the IUCN as “endangered’ rather than “critically endangered.”
– Many indigenous groups in Uganda have traditional beliefs that encourage ape conservation. However, rapid population growth in the 20th century increasingly brought humans and gorillas into conflict.
– Today, conservation groups are working to harness traditional knowledge to protect apes, and to develop new techniques that allow humans and gorillas to peacefully coexist.

Agroforestry ‘home gardens’ build community resilience in southern Ethiopia by Tesfa-Alem Tekle [12/04/2018]

– The village of Bule is believed to be the birthplace of traditional “home garden” agroforestry in Ethiopia.
– Farmers here practice this ancient multi-storied agroforestry system — the growing of trees, shrubs and annual crops together in a forest-mimicking system — around their homesteads, hence the name home garden.
– Trees provide fruit, timber, fodder or soil-building properties and shade for mid-story crops like coffee and enset, with vegetable and medicinal herbs growing on the forest floor.
– Farm families are more food secure, because the system provides economic, ecological and environmental attributes and provide year-round and marketable harvests.

Santo Antônio mega-dam on Brazil’s Madeira River disrupts local lives by Sonya Cunningham [12/03/2018]

– The Santo Antônio mega-dam built in the Amazon has heavily impacted the traditional communities displaced from their homes on the Madeira River. Many local residents were relocated from the riverside to cities, and seriously uprooted from their lifestyles, livelihoods and cultures.
– These local communities say that neither the Santo Antônio Energia Consortium, which built the dam, nor the government have been responsive to their allegations of polluted water, lost fisheries, lack of jobs and difficult urban living conditions.
– Analysts agree that the close relationship between the Brazilian government and large dam building consortiums, energy firms, mining companies and agribusiness – all profiting heavily from new dams – has resulted in local concerns being poorly addressed or ignored in the past.
– Experts also say that the Amazon dam building surge of the past few decades is likely to continue as Brazilian funding sources like the BNDES development bank dry up, but China steps in to fund mega-dams, and smaller hydro projects. Socio-environmental harm could easily escalate.

COP24: World’s nations gather to grapple with looming climate disaster by Justin Catanoso [12/03/2018]

– Representatives from nearly 200 nations gathered in Katowice, Poland on Sunday for COP24, the annual meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to move forward on climate action. The goal: keep global temperatures from rising less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.
– Unfortunately for the planet, the COP mechanism has stalled since its 2015 triumph in Paris when the world’s nations agreed to work together to cut carbon emissions. To date, just seven nations, most of them tiny, are on track to reduce emissions to meet the 2 degree Celsius goal, while the U.S. is on track to withdraw from the accord by 2020.
– Today, subnationals – cities, states, regions, businesses, faith organizations, indigenous groups, and NGOs – are providing much of the initiative and impetus for cutting emissions. They are working together in a variety of ways, to reduce deforestation and improve agricultural land use, for example. They will have a major presence at COP24.
– But while subnational efforts are commendable and important, they are not near enough, experts say. With the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and other scientific organizations, publishing increasingly dire forecasts, urgently calling for climate action, it is vital that nations prioritize climate action and move quickly to decarbonize their economies.

Photos: Indian tribe revives heirloom seeds for health and climate security by Sonali Prasad [11/30/2018]

– The Dongria Kondhs, devotees of their mountain gods in the remote hills of eastern India, are custodians of dozens of vanishing seed varieties.
– With the region in an agrarian crisis due to recurrent droughts and erratic rainfall, the tribe is on a mission to return to its farming roots and resuscitate long-lost heirloom crops.
– The tribe hopes the effort will help it overcome malnutrition and climate distress.
– Journalist Sonali Prasad and photographer Indrajeet Rajkhowa captured a glimpse of this effort for Mongabay.

For Kenya’s Yiaku, medicinal herbs are their forest’s blessing and curse by Shadrack Kavilu [11/30/2018]

– The Yiaku, hunter-gatherers turned herders who live deep inside Mukogodo Forest in central Kenya, have relied on herbal remedies for ages, with knowledge passed orally from one generation to the next.
– However, high demand for the herbs from neighboring communities is exposing the forest to new threats — a trend mirrored across the country.
– Recognizing that traditional knowledge is crucial to forest conservation, the government has taken steps to protect it, at least on paper. However, the Yiaku have received little support, even as their most knowledgeable elders pass on and their community becomes increasingly assimilated to their pastoral neighbors.
– This is the third story in Mongabay’s three-part profile of the Yiaku’s management of their ancestral forest.


Climate’s last stand: Why Extinction Rebellion protesters are breaking the law (commentary) by Claire Wordley [12/06/2018]
– The latest IPCC reports predict that, unless we decarbonize rapidly, we could face ecosystem and even societal collapse by the end of the century.
– In response, disruptive climate protests in the UK are blocking roads, bridges, and buildings, in an attempt to get the UK government to declare a climate emergency and commit to a carbon neutral Britain by 2025.
– The protest group responsible — Extinction Rebellion — has sprung from apparently nowhere in a matter of months, and aims for nothing less than global civil disobedience to pressure governments across the world to act on climate breakdown and species extinctions.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.

Vast palm oil project in Papua must be investigated by government, watchdogs say by Philip Jacobson [12/06/2018]
– Last week, Mongabay, Tempo, Malaysiakini and Earthsight’s The Gecko Project published an investigation into the story behind the Tanah Merah project, an enormous palm oil development in Papua, Indonesia, whose owners remain shrouded in secrecy.
– Observers say what while Papuans have a right to development, the Tanah Merah project is clearly intended to benefit the wealthy and connected individuals who have coalesced around it.
– Watchdog groups want Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s administration to investigate the permits underpinning the project with an eye toward cancelling them. They have also called on authorities to implement a new regulation requiring companies to disclose their beneficial owners.

Peru’s Brazil nut harvesters learn to monitor forests with drones by Yvette Sierra Praeli [12/06/2018]
– Brazil nut and ecotourism concessions in the Amazon maintain intact rainforest, but deforestation by illegal loggers, miners, and agriculturalists threaten the integrity of these lands and the Brazil nut industry.
– The Peruvian NGO Conservación Amazónica – ACCA is training concessionaires and forestry officials in southeastern Peru to fly drones and monitor the properties they manage using drone-based cameras.
– The resulting high-resolution aerial images enable concessionaires to detect and quantify deforestation within their Brazil nut, ecotourism, and other forest concessions and support their claims of illegal activity to the authorities.

As the mammal tree of life suffers hits, should we prioritize which species to save? by Erika K. Carlson [12/06/2018]
– More than 300 mammal species have gone extinct since shortly before the last ice age, a loss of more than 2.5 billion years of evolutionary history across all ancestral lines, a sweeping study reports.
– Even in the best-case scenario — we completely stop climate change and extinctions within 50 years — evolution would need at least three million years to redevelop that lost biodiversity.
– Choosing to save the most distinct at-risk species is one way to minimize ongoing damage to the mammal tree of life.

Tiny bits of ocean plastic threaten the survival of sea turtle hatchlings by Katie Brown [12/05/2018]
– Smaller and smaller pieces of single-use plastic are ending up in the stomachs of juvenile sea turtles off the coast of Florida.
– Of 96 stranded sea turtle hatchlings collected in a study, more than half died, while all the survivors passed plastic fragments through their bodies.
– Increasing amounts of plastic entering the ocean and disintegrating into microscopic bits have increased the risk that sea turtles will choke on or struggle to pass plastic debris, making it harder for them to reach adulthood.

Extreme floods on the rise in the Amazon: study by Claire Asher [12/05/2018]
– Scientists and the media have documented deepening drought in the Amazon basin. But a new study finds that flood events are significantly intensifying too, becoming five times more common over the last century.
– The effect is caused by a combination of factors, including an increase in strength of the Walker circulation – an ocean-driven pattern of air circulation that carries warm moist air from the tropical Atlantic across South America towards the Pacific, resulting in Amazon precipitation.
– Human-driven climate change is a major contributing factor to this increased Amazon basin flooding. Intensifying flood events result in lives and property lost, and significant harm to croplands, pastures and livestock.
– A better understanding of flood and drought dynamics, and better predictability due partly to this study, could help reduce this damage. How escalating changes in precipitation occurrence and intensity might be altering Amazon flora and fauna is uncertain, though new research shows that tree species composition is altering.

Culls push endangered fruit bat closer to extinction in Mauritius by Mongabay.com [12/05/2018]
– The government of Mauritius plans to cull 20 percent of the population of Mauritian flying foxes (Pteropus niger) in 2018 to protect farmers’ fruit trees.
– Culls in prior years led to the extermination of tens of thousands of the bats, and the IUCN now lists the species, which lives only in Mauritius and perhaps a few nearby islands, as endangered.
– A recent study found that, while bats (along with birds) do take a toll on farmers’ orchards, nets over the trees when the fruit ripens can dramatically diminish the damage they do.

7 convicted of killing Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres by Mongabay.com [12/05/2018]
– A Honduran court has convicted seven men of the murder of indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres in 2016.
– Until her death on March 2, 2016, Cáceres had been leading a fierce campaign against the Agua Zarca dam, a project of the Honduran company DESA, in western Honduras. The hydropower project threatened to displace thousands of people from the Lenca indigenous community.
– Nine people have been arrested in connection with Cáceres’s murder to date. Seven men were found guilty in the latest verdict and one defendant was acquitted.
– David Castillo Mejía, the executive president of DESA who was charged with being the mastermind of the murder in March this year, will face a separate trial.

COP24: Coal casts a shadow over U.N. climate talks in Poland by Hans Nicholas Jong [12/05/2018]
– Activists have questioned the integrity and effectiveness of the U.N. climate talks in Poland, in light of its close associations with the coal industry.
– Among the event’s sponsors are three Polish coal companies, and in his opening speech, the Polish president said his country’s continued use of coal did not go against efforts to tackle climate change.
– Activists say the influence of the coal lobby at the conference amounts to greenwashing and could undermine the effectiveness of any outcome from the discussions.

Deadly parrot virus found in native birds from Asia and Africa by Erin I. Garcia de Jesus [12/05/2018]
– Researchers have found beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) in wild parrots from eight new countries.
– BFDV spreads through captive parrots worldwide, but its prevalence in wild species is unknown. Infected escapees could threaten native parrots, especially small populations.
– Parrots in West Africa carried viruses that probably spread from other countries, showing that the human pet trade market has made the BFDV epidemic worse.
– New regulations of live parrot trades are essential to protect susceptible species, researchers say.

Mosses could help rapidly detect pollution by Bailey Bedford [12/05/2018]
– Researchers have developed a method that uses mosses to rapidly and cheaply detect sulfur dioxide, a common pollutant from burning fossil fuels.
– The method uses a camera to monitor the change of moss leaves from green toward yellow that is triggered by sulfur dioxide within 10 seconds.
– Scientists envision using mosses to monitor harmful gases in both indoor and outdoor environments.
– Mosses have advantages over traditional sensors, such as not needing to be replaced after detecting the gas.

Agroforestry ‘home gardens’ build community resilience in southern Ethiopia by Tesfa-Alem Tekle [12/04/2018]
– The village of Bule is believed to be the birthplace of traditional “home garden” agroforestry in Ethiopia.
– Farmers here practice this ancient multi-storied agroforestry system — the growing of trees, shrubs and annual crops together in a forest-mimicking system — around their homesteads, hence the name home garden.
– Trees provide fruit, timber, fodder or soil-building properties and shade for mid-story crops like coffee and enset, with vegetable and medicinal herbs growing on the forest floor.
– Farm families are more food secure, because the system provides economic, ecological and environmental attributes and provide year-round and marketable harvests.

Top U.S. flooring retailer linked to Brazilian firm snagged in timber bust by John C. Cannon [12/04/2018]
– An investigation by Brazil’s environmental enforcement agency and the federal police led to allegations that Indusparquet, a prominent supplier of tropical wood flooring, was using fraudulent permits to hide illegally harvested wood.
– Government authorities fined the company, made the largest seizure of timber ever in the state of Sãa Paulo, and shut down Indusparquet’s primary warehouse for three weeks.
– Indusparquet has denied wrongdoing and appealed the sanctions, and U.S.-based flooring retailer Floor & Decor has continued to source tropical wood flooring from the company.
– Timberleaks, which first reported the link between Indusparquet and Floor & Decor, contends that the Lacey Act requires companies like Floor & Decor to go beyond the documentation provided by their suppliers — which in this case was alleged to be fraudulent — to ensure the source of those products is legal.

Tracing the safeguards against illegal logging in Vietnam by Chris Humphrey [12/04/2018]
– The groundwork for obtaining and verifying legally-sourced timber in Vietnam is being laid with a new agreement between Vietnam and the EU.
– The agreement comes at a time when the timber industry in Vietnam remains blighted by cases of corruption, theft and illegal logging.
– An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 forest violations are reported every year in the Southeast Asian country.

The nature of conservation evidence: Imperfect, but good enough (commentary) by David Wilkie and Michael Painter [12/04/2018]
– Today’s conservationists in the field often must decide quickly what actions to take based on whatever evidence is available at the time. There typically isn’t the luxury to engage in a more formal information-gathering process.
– Now, however, there is a push within the conservation community to move further toward a more extensive investigative process in order to prioritize what works and avoid funding failure. This is not a bad idea. But, if we are to be successful at this most urgent time for wildlife, we can’t lose sight of the fact that evidence is lots of things, and when it comes to conservation, it should not be solely interpreted as randomized control trials and rigorous statistical analyses.
– Conservation field staff would urge us all to understand the environments in which they work and the need for quick decision-making. Constraining them from doing what they do best, discounting decades of experience and the local knowledge they’ve accrued, would be a real crime.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay.

In the belly of the beast: journalist delves into wildlife trafficking by Gloria Dickie [12/04/2018]
– Rachel Nuwer, who has written for Mongabay, Smithsonian, the New York Times and other publications, published a new book in September, “Poached,” which delves deeply into the global wildlife trafficking epidemic.
– Her book looks into the origins of the wildlife trade, its mechanisms, markets, and solutions. It covers charismatic mammals (elephants, rhinos and tigers), as well as the non-charismatic (pangolins and snakes).
– In this exclusive Mongabay Q&A, the author shares some of her most harrowing moments on the trail of global wildlife traffickers. The scariest thing of all: how accepting people can often be to the slaughter of millions of wild animals, and to the extermination of species, so as to be served a rare meat or a bogus cure.
– Still, Nuwer finds hope in the courageous individuals who fight the trade.

Bits of DNA in ocean water can reveal white sharks swimming nearby by Sofie Bates [12/04/2018]
– Environmental DNA in small samples of seawater can show whether white sharks are in an area.
– In a pilot study, researchers found genetic material from white sharks along two southern California beaches where drones and tagging data indicated white sharks were present.
– Refining this technique could minimize dangerous human-shark interactions and improve shark conservation efforts.

A carbon bomb in Papua: 7 takeaways from our investigation by The Gecko Project and Mongabay [12/04/2018]
Last week, The Gecko Project, Mongabay, Tempo and Malaysiakini published an investigation into the story behind the Tanah Merah project, a giant oil palm plantation under development in Papua, Indonesia. The article is long, so here are seven key takeaways from it, including a brief analysis of what could happen next: 1. The project poses […]

For elusive Javan rhinos, camera traps are a benevolent Big Brother by Nuswantoro [12/03/2018]
– Camera traps in an Indonesian park have recorded the first ever video of Javan rhinos mating in the wild.
– The critically endangered species, with an estimated population of just 68 individuals, is notoriously elusive, evading even the conservationists and rangers responsible for studying and protecting it.
– The network of 120 camera traps, introduced in 2010, has given researchers and park officials valuable insights into the rhinos’ biology and behavior, and helped inform conservation strategies for the species.

‘Drifters of opportunity’: Seabirds track energy in tidal currents by Mongabay.com [12/03/2018]
– A recent study used location data from GPS-tagged seabirds called razorbills to track currents in the Irish Sea.
– When a team of biologists compared the movements of resting birds on the surface of the water with a mathematical model that lays out the currents, they found that the birds provided solid information on the speed and direction of the flow of water.
– The researchers suggest that similar research using data from resting seabirds could help identify areas for the harvest of renewable tidal energy.

PHOTOS: Here are the winners of the 2018 British Ecological Society photo contest by Mongabay.com [12/03/2018]
– Chris Oosthuizen of South Africa’s University of Pretoria won the top prize in the British Ecological Society’s “Capturing Ecology” photo competition this year with an image of a single colorful adult king penguin amidst a crowd of brown-colored chicks on Marion Island, part of the Prince Edward Islands in the Indian Ocean.
– Oosthuizen is hopeful that the prize-winning photo might help draw attention to the challenges king penguins face due to the impacts of human activities. “Although the global population of king penguins is large, populations inhabiting islands around the Antarctic face an uncertain future,” he said.
– In total, some 16 images were recognized this year by the British Ecological Society. “Capturing flora and fauna from across the planet, subjects range from African wild dog research to an artistic take on Galapagos iguanas to images exploring the relationships between people and nature,” the group said in a statement.

For the birds: Innovations enable tracking of even small flying animals by Sue Palminteri [12/03/2018]
– Advances in satellite communications have revolutionized wildlife telemetry, yet tracking the movements of small animals, especially ones that fly, and marine species, which rarely break the ocean’s surface, has remained a challenge.
– In a November 20th virtual meetup on next-generation wildlife tracking, three speakers introduced developments that have broadened telemetry’s reach to new species and new types of data being collected.
– Recent innovations — including the ICARUS tracking system, hybridization of communications platforms, and miniaturization of sensors — are producing tiny solar-powered tracking tags and tags carrying various environmental sensors that function within private networks flexible enough to use the most efficient of several communications technologies available at a given site.

Global biodiversity treaty still searches for its moment in the spotlight by Isabel Esterman [12/03/2018]
– Government delegates and conservationists from across the globe gathered last month in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, for the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 14).
– Experts say the biodiversity convention is just as important as that on climate change, whose latest conference is now underway in Poland, but receives a fraction of the attention.
– The Sharm el Sheikh COP largely focused on preparations for 2020, the deadline for achieving current biodiversity targets, and the date of the next biodiversity COP.
– Outcomes of the 2018 COP include progress on a framework for developing a new global biodiversity plan, as well as agreements about the links between health, gender and biodiversity.

Singapore proposes total ivory ban, calls for public feedback by Mongabay.com [12/03/2018]
– Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has proposed a total ban on the sale and purchase of all forms of elephant ivory products in Singapore.
– Display of elephant ivory in public would also be banned, except when used for educational purposes, such as in museums or zoos.
– AVA has opened its proposal to public comments until Dec. 27 this year.

Guam’s invasive bird-destroying snake less unique than thought by Helen Santoro [12/03/2018]
– Researchers had previously blamed Guam’s devastating brown tree snake invasion on the snake’s uniquely toxic venom.
– This venom, irditoxin, is actually present in all snakes within the cat-eye family, a new study shows, leading researchers to re-evaluate the brown tree snake’s success.
– The snake has killed most of the island’s native bird species, threatening the ecological future of this tropical island.

Tropical trees grow most easily where they are rare by Tom Garlinghouse [12/03/2018]
– Researchers have long puzzled over why tropical forests contain such diverse species of plants and animals.
– A new study, examining the distribution of a common flowering tree in Panama, found confirmation for a decades-old hypothesis.
– This hypothesis maintains that as a species becomes more common, its natural predators limit its spread, thereby creating diversity.
– Satellite images over a 10-year period provided the evidence needed to prove the validity of this idea.

Group helps illegal bird traders transition into different lines of business by Nadine Freischlad [12/03/2018]
– Instead of focusing on putting bird poachers and illegal traders behind bars, an NGO in Indonesian Borneo is creating incentives for them to stop.
– It’s a unique approach in the Southeast Asian country, where conservation efforts have tended to focus on calls for tighter law enforcement and more rigorous punishment.
– The group, Planet Indonesia, has identified more than 100 small bird shops in and around Pontianak, the biggest city in western Borneo, and says many of them are pondering changing professions. It’s know-how and capital that’s holding them back.

Virtual meetup highlights networked sensor technology for parks by Sue Palminteri [11/30/2018]
– To encourage communication between the conservation community and technology developers, the WILDLABS platform began a series of virtual meetups earlier this month.
– Speakers in the first meetup represented three groups developing and deploying networked sensors for improving wildlife security and reducing human-wildlife conflict.
– The three tech developers described lessons they’ve learned on meeting the needs of rangers and reserve managers, using drones to fight poaching, and adapting technology to function in remote areas under difficult conditions.

Trump Admin moves closer to authorizing oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast by Mongabay.com [11/30/2018]
– The Trump Administration announced today that it will issue five Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) for airgun blasting off the Atlantic coast. Seismic airgun blasting is used to search for oil and gas deposits deep beneath the floor of the ocean.
– Seismic surveying involves ships towing airgun arrays that continually blast intense bursts of compressed air into the water every 10 to 12 seconds as a means of determining what resources might lie beneath the ocean floor. These seismic airguns are so loud that the noise can travel as many as 2,500 miles underwater.
– Environmentalists were quick to decry the Administration’s decision to issue the IHAs on the grounds that marine mammals will face severe threats as a result of seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.

Latam Eco Review: Microbial memories of Venezuela’s lost glaciers by Mongabay.com [11/30/2018]
Microbiomes of Venezuela’s lost glaciers, mile-high Andean lizards, and starving baby seals are among the recent top stories from Mongabay Latam, our Spanish-language service. The abandoned microbes of Venezuela’s last glaciers Venezuela will be the first country where glaciers disappear. In 30 years, from 1978 to 2008, its glaciers lost 9 vertical meters a year […]

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, November 30, 2018 by Mongabay.com [11/30/2018]
– There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.
– Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.
– If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.

Information-based solutions for forest conservation projects by Mongabay.com [11/29/2018]
– Many conservationists and foresters continue to struggle with aspects of forest management, whether it’s translating data into actionable information or communicating the results of their work.
– In 2011 Alexander Watson, Stefan Haas, and Patrick Ribeiro founded OpenForests, which provides forest managers with a set of tools to improve data collection, processing, and analysis.
– OpenForests CEO Watson spoke with Mongabay.com ahead of his appearance at the Global Landscape Forum in Bonn, Germany where he is presenting Sunday, 2 December 2018 from 09:00-10:30.

Mega-dam costs outweigh benefits, global building spree should end: experts by Claire Asher [11/29/2018]
– The environmental and social costs of hydroelectric mega-dams have been grossly underestimated, and will continue to grow further as climate change escalates, a new report finds. Dams have been linked to habitat degradation, harm to biodiversity and migrating aquatic species, and to negative changes in river ecology.
– More problems: dams rarely live up to promoter pledges. Costs are often underestimated, and once built, big dams rarely generate the huge energy amounts promised. River sediment flow estimates are commonly downplayed in plans, and builders rarely take climate change, with its intensifying droughts, into consideration.
– Despite evidence of harmful impacts and disappointing outputs, many more mega-dams are planned in developing nations in Asia, Africa and South America. But when mega-dam environmental and social impact assessments are conducted, they often underestimate harm, and their findings tend to be overlooked.
– A re-vamp of an age-old technology – the water wheel – could offer a reliable energy supply to local communities. Instream Energy Generation (IEG) uses clusters of small turbines, enabling fish and sediments to pass freely while generating power. Wind and solar offer other alternatives to mega-dams.


The Bangladeshi tribe that’s guarding turtles, co-authoring research papers by Shreya Dasgupta [11/29/2018]
Kenya: Bees help indigenous Yiaku defend and monitor their ancestral forest by Shadrack Kavilu [11/28/2018]
The secret deal to destroy paradise by Malaysiakini, Mongabay, Tempo, The Gecko Project [11/28/2018]
Extinction by omission: Peru’s disappearing ancient shihuahuaco trees by Vanessa Romo [11/28/2018]
A forest of their own: The Yiaku as Kenya’s model forest stewards by Shadrack Kavilu [11/26/2018]


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