Tag: Rainforest

Peace 4 Animals, SCIL, NRDC & FOE Introduce California Anti-Deforestation Bill To Protect Critical Rainforest Habitat & Endangered Species

Following a year of devastating fires throughout the Amazon rainforest and the forests throughout Indonesia, as well as continued degradation of boreal forests throughout North America, Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) and bill co-sponsors, Peace 4 Animals, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Counciland Social Compassion in Legislation, announced the introduction of Bill AB 416, The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act.

“By introducing this bill, we’re giving California the opportunity to take real leadership in the fight against tropical and boreal deforestation and primary forest degradation by making our purchases – and our global impact – more transparent, more sustainable, and more ethical,” Assemblymember Kalra, said in a statement sent to WAN. “AB 416 asserts our California values and extends environmental leadership to the protection of tropical and boreal forests, sending a powerful signal to global markets that illegal and destructive commodity-driven deforestation will no longer be tolerated.”

If passed, all California state contracts involving commodities that put tropical and primary boreal forests at risk, such as palm oil, soy, cattle, rubber, paper/pulp and timber, would require contractors to maintain a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy, and provide evidence that their operations in sensitive tropical and boreal regions are not linked to forest destruction and degradation or abuses of indigenous peoples’ rights.

Environmental advocates and industry leaders alike agree that such policies are the best way to prevent ongoing forest destruction. A version of the bill introduced in 2019 achieved strong bi-partisan support but failed to pass the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The world’s forests are in crisis. Tropical forests cover roughly 7% of the Earth’s surface but harbor close to half of all species on Earth. An estimated 18 million acres of forestan area one-fifth the size of California—is lost every year, largely due to the expansion of agribusiness plantations. Tropical deforestation and related land-use changes are responsible for nearly a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions, and are a major contributor to the global biodiversity crisis.

Boreal forests account for one-third of the world’s forested areas and, after mangroves, are the most carbon-dense forests on earth. The Canadian boreal forest alone stores twice as much carbon as the world’s oil reserves and is the nesting ground for billions of migratory birds. Logging in primary forests is one of the major contributors to carbon emissions and the decline of critical species. In North America, only 15 of 51 boreal caribou herds have sufficient habitat to survive long-term, primarily due to industrial logging, while 33% of boreal birds have declined in the last 50 years.

“I have seen first-hand the heartbreaking effects of tropical deforestation while traveling and filming throughout Indonesia,” stated Katie Cleary, Founder and President of Peace 4 Animals. “We will lose vital species such as endangered orangutans, tigers, and rhinos if we do not take meaningful action to end the destruction of our rainforests. The Deforestation-Free Procurement Act will help to aid in the protection of critical habitat thus preserving species and forests for future generations.”

“The loss of our forests is not just damaging for us, it’s also a loss of habitat for countless species of animals,” stated Judie Mancuso, CEO and Founder of Social Compassion in Legislation. “We caused the devastation, which means we need to do everything in our power to protect all the vulnerable and endangered species. The Deforestation-Free Procurement Act is a powerful step forward to begin the healing and end the destruction.”

“California’s Deforestation-Free Procurement Act is a visionary but extremely pragmatic and direct contribution to halting the global deforestation crisis,” said Jeff Conant, Senior International Forests Program Manager at Friends of the Earth. “This bill is not merely timely, it’s long overdue.”

“The actions of the marketplace in California and across the U.S. will critically define the fate of forests around the world, from the lush tropical rainforests to the majestic boreal,” explained Jennifer Skene, an Attorney with the Canada Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This Act recognizes that interconnectedness and moves toward ending the wasteful destruction of the forests that are the ancestral homelands of many Indigenous Peoples and play such a vital role in protecting our climate and the world’s biodiversity for future generations.”

The principal co-authors of AB 416 are Assemblymembers Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), and Alex Lee (D-San Jose), and Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), and Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles). The bill is also co-authored by Assemblymembers Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), and Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), and Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz).

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Peace 4 Animals, SCIL, NRDC & FOE Introduce California Anti-Deforestation Bill To Protect Critical Rainforest Habitat & Endangered Species appeared first on World Animal News.

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Breaking! A Generous Donor Protects 300 Acres Of South Oahu’s Rainforest To Save Native Species In Hawaii

A 300-acre parcel of rainforest in the southern Ko‘olau mountains in Oahu will now be protected indefinitely, due to a generous donation by a compassionate landowner in the Pia Valley. The Hawaiian Department of Land and Resources (DLNR) announced that Patricia Godfrey gifted the irreplaceable rainforest land to protect Hawaii’s native species.

Expected to be called the Pia Natural Area Reserve (NAR), the donation removes the land from private hands and makes it public land managed by the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). The new reserve will most-likely be accessible by foot and could be visited for recreational uses, hiking, and education.

“We hope to make this beautiful area even better by actively managing the ecosystem for native plants, birds, and animals,” DOFAW Oahu botanist, Susan Ching, said in a statement.

The land extends the summit ridge of the Ko‘olau and encompasses upper portions of Pia valley, directly upland of the Hawai‘iloa and Niu Valley subdivisions.

“This will leave an incredible legacy,” noted Christopher Miller, DOFAW’S Oahu NAR Manager. “As a Natural Area Reserve, we will strive to keep the native forest as intact as possible.”

On a recent trip up the trail and overlooking the Pia Valley, DOFAW Watershed Planner Katie Ersbak said, “The rare, threatened, and endangered species that occupy this valley are why we were very interested in protecting it. As others have commented, we hope to bring it into the Natural Area Reserve system, which is a special designation for places high in biological diversity, which has rare species in native forests, and watershed recharge value as well.”

“I am delighted to have been able to play a part in securing the future of Pia Valley as a protected wilderness,” said Godfrey. “On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank our state conservationists and all who protect and defend our vital wild lands and the sanctuary they provide for their plant and animal inhabitants.“

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Breaking! 30 Slow Lorises Reportedly Kept As ‘Pets’ Are Rescued & Released Back Into The Rainforest In Indonesia

A team of conservationists has reintroduced 30 Javan slow lorises back into their rainforest home in Indonesia. Mount Halimun Salak National Park (TNGHS) carried out the release operation, along with the Center for Natural Resources Conservation (BKSDA) and International Animal Rescue (IAR) Indonesia. 

As per Ammy Nurwati, the head of BKSDA, most of the lorises had been surrendered by members of the community to various sections of BKSDA in West Java, and had been entrusted to the IAR Indonesia Primate Center in Bogor to undergo treatment and care. Before being released back into the wild, the lorises had undergone a recovery and treatment process to stimulate their natural behavior. Starting with medical examinations and time in quarantine, they also underwent behavioral observations until they were declared healthy and ready to be translocated for habituation and then final release.

“During the habituation process, the team in the field continues to observe and record their progress every night. If, during the habituation period, all lorises are active and don’t have any abnormal behaviors, then they can be released into the wild,” Ammy shared in a statement sent to WAN. “They have to go through this long process to restore their natural instincts and ensure that they can survive and reproduce in their natural habitat.”

Ammy further explained that the slow loris release program was created to support the sustainability of ecological processes in the conservation area, as well as to maintain and increase the population of primate species whose numbers are decreasing.

Ahmad Munawir, Head of the TNGHS Office, said that the release of rehabilitated animals and conflict animals in Mount Halimun Salak National Park has become one of the most important programs in terms of saving wildlife. The slow loris is one of the wild animals that is vital to maintaining the balance of the ecosystem in the National Park. The release area has an ecosystem considered suitable as a place for the preservation and protection of slow lorises in terms of area security, availability of food and shade, habitat carrying capacity, and the level of predator threats. The hope is that with this release, the slow lorises can reproduce and thrive.

In order to minimize all risk of disease transmission, the safety procedures at IAR’s primate center in Bogor have been strengthened even further due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“The health and safety protocols in this release activity were improved to minimize the risk of disease transmission. From the animal-side, a swab-test was carried out in the laboratory facility of the Center for Study of Primates – IPB University, and the results were all negative. From the human side, the implementation of all protocols was carried out correctly,” stated Alan Knight OBE, IAR Chief Executive. “All adjustments in this release procedure are part of efforts to eliminate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 and other zoonotic infectious diseases, so that our release and other conservation activities can continue, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! 30 Slow Lorises Reportedly Kept As ‘Pets’ Are Rescued & Released Back Into The Rainforest In Indonesia appeared first on World Animal News.

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Five Orangutans Formerly Kept As “Pets” In West Borneo Are Rehabilitated & Released Back Into Their Rainforest Home

Five orangutans were released back into the wild in West Borneo after they were all rescued from captivity. Sadly, their mothers had been killed so that the babies could be captured and sold on the black market as “pets.”

Prior to their release, the orphaned orangutans had spent years undergoing rehabilitation at an orangutan center in Ketapang, West Borneo.

The release was carried out by the Natural Resources Conservation Agency for West Kailmantan (BKSDA), the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) and a team from International Animal Rescue (IAR) Indonesia.

The five orangutans consisted of three males named Jacky, Beno, and Puyol, and two females named Oscarina and Isin.

Isin was the most recent orangutan to be rescued from Kayong Utara district in 2017, while Puyol had spent the longest time in the IAR rehabilitation center, having been rescued in the Kendawangan area in 2010. Jacky was rescued from the Muara Pawan area in August 2013, Beno from the Simpang Dua area in 2015, and Oscarina was rescued from Pontianak in 2011.

The rehabilitation process is not always straightforward and can take some considerable time, depending on the circumstances and needs of the orangutan. Rehabilitation is necessary to develop the orangutans’ ability to survive in their natural habitat.

In the wild, baby orangutans will stay with their mothers until the age of 7-8 years old to learn from their mothers. Because these baby orangutans were forcibly separated from their mothers in order to be sold as “pets,” they were deprived of the opportunity to master the necessary survival skills.

The head of the TNBBBR Center, Agung Nugroho, stated that this release was carried out through a series of activities and studies. He hopes that the orangutans will be able to form new populations and maintain the existence of their species. Last February, his party also released five other orangutans.

“All these activities and studies are carried out to ensure that all orangutans who have been released can live safely and have adequate food. When a release has been carried out, it doesn’t mean our work is done. The monitoring team will continue its work to ensure that each released orangutan can adapt to its new habitat,” said Nugroho in a statement.

It can take up to three days to reach the point of release from IAR Indonesia’s orangutan rehabilitation center. However, the status of the area as a National Park will ensure the safety of critical species.

“With the release of these five orangutans, 51 orangutans have been released in the working area of the TNBBBR Center, consisting of ten wild orangutans that have been translocated and 41 rehabilitated orangutans from the Ketapang Orangutan Conservation Centre,” said Nugroho.

“It’s time for each to learn to live side by side in harmony. Humans as creatures that are considered the smartest, have the greatest responsibility to create and maintain the harmony of nature,” said the Head of the West Kalimantan BKSDA, Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta.

This wild release program has proved so successful that three baby orangutans have been born naturally in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park area to the rehabilitated orangutans released there. The birth of a new generation of orangutans has fuelled hopes that the orangutan population in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park and in West Kalimantan will be maintained and sustainable.

Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue said, “It’s always a joyful occasion when orangutans are released back into their natural habitat. It gives us all hope for the future of their species, as well as for the future of the forest as a whole and for every living creature that depends on it for survival.”

The post Five Orangutans Formerly Kept As “Pets” In West Borneo Are Rehabilitated & Released Back Into Their Rainforest Home appeared first on World Animal News.

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WAN Exclusive: Urgent Help Needed To Stop The Destruction By Martabe Goldmine Of The Rainforest Habitat Of The Last 800 Critically Endangered Tapanuli Orangutans In Sumatra

Photo of rare Tapanuli Orangutan by: Maxime Aliaga 

Tapanuli orangutans were classified as a new great ape species found in Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2017, there are now sadly fewer than 800 individuals remaining in the wild.

Forest protection is vital for the survival of this rare and critically-endangered species as they live in smaller sub-populations in an already fragmented forest landscape. Tragically, their habitat is under multiple threats including the active Martabe Goldmine, in the Batang Toru region of North Sumatra.

Martabe Goldmine and forested region in February 2020

That is why Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) is calling on British Company Jardine Matheson to URGENTLY STOP destroying Tapanuli orangutan habitat and immediately restore the forest they have already cleared.

Jardine Matheson owns the Martabe Goldmine through its subsidiary Astra International, which is Indonesia’s largest company. In 2018, after acquiring the goldmine, they made a firm commitment not to expand the mine into the Tapanuli orangutan habitat. They reportedly also told environmental organizations that they were concerned about the species and would not alter the surrounding landscape.

However, satellite imagery has now revealed the clearing of orangutan habitat adjacent to the active mine. The extent of the clearing is nearly 21.5 acres of forest. The mine already occupies an area of 67.6 acres which was formerly orangutan habitat before being cleared to allow for the extraction and processing of gold ore.

Martabe Mine with cleared forested area on June 25, 2020

“Destroying the habitat of this rare great ape cousin after claiming they would help in its conservation brings such claims into question, and makes a mockery out of the company and its subsidiaries’ commitment to sustainability in the real world,” Dr. Gary Shapiro, President of Orang Utan Republik Foundation and The Orangutan Project-USA told WAN exclusively. “Jardine Matheson needs to rectify this situation promptly. “

Jardine Matheson also owns the Mandarin Oriental Hotel chain which prides itself on environmentally sustainable practices within its hotels. Guests of the hotel would most-likely be shocked to know that its parent company owns an extractive operation that is destroying the habitat of our planet’s most critically endangered great ape, and of critically endangered Sumatran tigers and pangolins.

“Authentic Corporate Social Responsibility means acting in ways that are consistent with pledges to protect people, wildlife, and the environment. Would their clients think favorably if they knew the company was threatening the survival of our most critically endangered great ape cousin?” questioned Shapiro. “It would be hypocritical for a company to be posturing itself as an environmentally conscious business while operating contrary to those claims in remote areas of the world.”

Please join Orang Utan Republik Foundation and sign this petition urging Jardine Matheson to immediately halt any further destruction of forest adjacent to their active mine and to restore the cleared forest to its former status, HERE!

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10 Critically Endangered Javan Slow Lorises Are Rescued & Will Be Set Free In The Indonesian Rainforest

Last month, 10 Critically Endangered Javan slow lorises were transported to the Mount Sawal Wildlife Reserve (SMGS) in Ciamis, West Java, where they will undergo habituation before their complete release into the rainforest.

The lorises consist of four males and six females: Neira, Ical, Kaja, Putra, Arimbi, Switch, April, Gatotkaca, Neno, and Noku. Most of them have been surrendered by members of the local community to the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in the West Java region since 2018. They have since undergone lengthy rehabilitation at the International Animal Rescue Primate Rehabilitation Center in Bogor, West Java. The facility is the only one of its kind in Indonesia.

“The keeping of slow lorises as pets is having a devastating impact on wild populations, particularly as their natural habitat is also under threat,” Alan Knight, OBE, Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue (IAR) said in a statement sent to WAN. “The IAR Indonesia team has invested a huge amount of time and effort into helping these little primates recover and return to their wild behavior.”

Sadly, when they first arrive at the center, slow lorises are usually suffering from stress, trauma, and malnutrition, and they often display behavioral changes because their needs as wild lorises have not been met. They have been deprived of a suitable living environment and appropriate food and have been unable to behave as they would in the wild.

During the lorises’ habituation, the team in the field will continue to observe and record the changes in their behavior for two to four weeks. If during the habituation period all the lorises are active and don’t display any abnormal behaviors, then they can finally be set free.

The 10 slow lorises were confirmed to be ready to return to their natural habitat after going through treatment and recovery procedures such as quarantine, medical examinations, and behavioral observations at the rehabilitation center.

The normal treatment procedures at the center have been reinforced in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. IAR’s teams, using masks and other PPE, have limited contact with the animals even more than usual, and the number of personnel working in the field has also had to be reduced.

“During the pandemic, we have improved the health and safety protocols covering release activity to minimize the risk of disease transmission,” explained IAR Veterinarian Nur Purba Priambada. “We have ensured that the implementation of protocols such as physical distancing and using masks is carried out properly.”

All adjustments during the release procedure are part of efforts to eliminate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 and other zoonotic infectious diseases and ensure that the release and other conservation activities can still run even in the midst of the pandemic.

The slow loris conservation program in the SMGS area is a collaboration between the Central Natural Resources Conservation Agency of West Java (BBKSDA Jawa Barat) and IAR Indonesia. This program supports the survival of slow lorises and their ecological functions in the area, as well as to conserve their population when numbers continue to fall due to hunting and illegal trade.

“SMGS is a conservation area with an ecosystem that is considered suitable as a place to conserve and protect the survival of slow lorises,” said Warid, a Forest Ranger at the Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Ciamis Region. “Based on results of the survey conducted by the IAR Indonesia and BKSDA Ciamis team, the area has good potential in terms of security, availability of food, shade, and several other vital components for loris habitat.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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