The africa wild dog, Lycaon pictus to be exact, live in packs. They require a large territory and therfore are becomming extremely rare. There are only 3 000 left in the wild (dropped from 500 000). They are listed as the second most endangered carnivore. The national parks are not large enough to sustain natural poulations and due to the habitat loss these creatures might face a bleak future. However people are increasingly aware of the urgency of protection has Painted Dog Conservation or PDC has been established to ensure that the current population is maintained. This pack was filmed in the summer of 2005 in the Selinda reserve in Botswana. Wild dogs have dissapeared from 19 coutries.
Yahoo is looking for a new "green" icon. For this they have asked users to design a new icon. It might not be news news, but I do think it is worth pointing out to you all! (The icon has to be 28 by 28 pixels)
Assesment of CO2 emissions from drained peatlands in South-east Asia.
This report presents shocking figures on CO2 emissions from drained peatland areas. These areas were once swamp forests. Due to extensive drainage for logging, palm oil plantations and pulp wood, the peat oxidates into huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2).
A study of Delft Hydraulics in cooperation with Wetlands International and Alterra.
Forested tropical peatlands in SE Asia store at least 42,000 Megatonnes of soil carbon (twice the total yearly annual emissions). This carbon is increasingly released to the atmosphere due to drainage and fires associated with plantation development and logging. Emissions from South-east Asian peatlands count now already for 8% of the global emissions.
One important crop in drained peatlands is palm oil, which is increasingly used as a biofuel in Europe. Especially the drainage for this crop is intense and leads to emissions between 70 a 100 tonne carbon dioxide a year for each hectare.
In the PEAT-CO2 project, present and future emissions from drained peatlands were quantified using the latest data on peat extent and depth, present and projected land use and water management practice, decomposition rates and fire emissions.
Out of 27 million hectares of South-eas Asian peatland, 12 million hectares (45%) are currently deforested and mostly drained. Peatlands are drained to enable forestry. After deforestation, drainage is in many areas intensified to establish large scale plantations (oil palm, acacia wood, etcetera). Especially the emissions from these plantations are very high, up to a hundred tonne CO2 per hectare a year, compared to only a few tonnes from recently logged areas. Natural peatlands do not release any carbon dioxide.
It was found that current likely CO2 emissions of drained peatlands caused by decomposition only, amounts to 632 Mt/y (between 355 and 874 Mt/y). This emission will increase in coming decades unless land management practices and peatland development plans are changed, and will continue well beyond the 21st century.
In addition, over 1997-2006 an estimated average of 1400 Mt/y in CO2 emissions was caused by peatland fires that are also associated with drainage and degradation. The current total peatland CO2 emission of 2000 Mt/y equals almost 8% of global emissions from fossil fuel burning. These emissions have been rapidly increasing since 1985 and will further increase unless action is taken. Over 90% of this emission originates from Indonesia, which puts the country in 3rd place (after the USA and China) in the global CO2 emission ranking.
It is concluded that deforested and drained peatlands in SE Asia are a globally significant source of CO2 emissions and a major obstacle to meeting the aim of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions, as expressed by the international community. It is therefore recommended that international action is taken to help SE Asian countries, especially Indonesia, to better conserve their peat resources through forest conservation and through water management improvements aiming to restore high water tables.
Nederhorst den Berg, 27 mei 2005 - Bijna tien jaar geleden kwam hij breeduit in het wereldnieuws met een schokkende, sensationele bewering. Ratten gevoed met genetisch gemodificeerde (GM) aardappelen krijgen na een tijdje grote afwijkingen in hun immuunsysteem, lever en nieren. Nu lijkt dr. Arpad Pusztai nog gelijk te krijgen ook. Ratten op een dieet van gentech-mais ontwikkelen tumoren.
Vorige week wist de Britse krant ‘The Independent on Sunday’ de hand te leggen op de samenvatting van een geheim rapport van de biotech gigant Monsanto. Ratten op een dieet van genetisch gewijzigde MON 863-maïs vertonen abnormale veranderingen, duidend op verminderde immuniteit of groei van tumoren. Details van het 1.139 pagina’s tellende verslag wilde Monsanto uit commerciële overwegingen niet prijsgeven.
“MON 863-maïs is helemaal niet nieuw. Volgens negen instanties is het al sinds 2003 even veilig als gewone maïs”, zo haastte een Monsanto-woordvoerder te verklaren.
Dr. Pusztai, medici en andere wetenschappers betwijfelen dat. “Onafhankelijk klinisch onderzoek naar de giftigheid van GM gewassen schittert door afwezigheid. Ook studies op zoogdieren zijn schaars”, aldus Pusztai.
En als dat wél wordt gedaan, gaan controlerende instanties van de aanname uit dat giftigheid van gentech-gewassen vergelijkbaar is met die van natuurlijke giffen.
“MON 863-maïs bevat bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), een biopesticide tegen wortelrot”, zegt dr. Mae-Wan Ho, een autoriteit op gebied van moleculaire genetica. “Bt-genen in gewassen zorgen voor belangrijke veranderingen ten opzichte van natuurlijke bacteriële genen. Giftigheidstesten blijven echter zich richten op natuurlijke giffen, niet op giffen die GM gewassen produceren.”
Maar de belangrijkste kritiek is wel dat genetische ingenieurs met een kanonskogel op een mug schieten. “Vreemde genen komen op een willekeurige plaats in het chromosoom terecht. Zo kan de plant allergenen, giffen en andere stoffen aanmaken die bij de mens de groei van tumoren veroorzaken”, meent prof. dr. Brian Goodwin. Hij is een vooraanstaand theoretisch bioloog die sinds jaar en dag verbonden is aan het ‘Schumacher College’ in het Zuid-Engelse Devon.
Canada en de VS hebben de gentech-maïs inmiddels voor menselijke consumptie toegestaan. In Europa is het nog niet zo ver. Vorige week werd net geen overeenstemming bereikt over toelating van de teelt van MON-863. Frankrijk en Italië zijn tegen. Engeland, Duitsland, België en ook Nederland zijn voor.
Amsterdam, Nederland — Het controle- en veiligheidssysteem voor genetisch gemanipuleerd voedsel vertoont grote lekken, in Europa en ook in Nederland. Dat blijkt uit nieuw wetenschappelijk onderzoek. Zo hebben ratten nier- en leverschade opgelopen van gentechmais die volop in veevoer en levensmiddelen wordt gebruikt.
Op 13 maart zijn de verontrustende resultaten gepubliceerd van de nieuwe risicoanalyse van de proeven met de gemanipuleerde mais MON863 in het wetenschappelijke tijdschrift Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (AECT). De wetenschappers stellen in het artikel dat met de huidige resultaten niet geconcludeerd kan worden dat de GM-mais MON863 een veilig product is. Desondanks zit deze gentechmais al volop in veevoer en ook in levensmiddelen.
Onder 't tapijt geveegd Uit deze eerste onafhankelijke analyse van de effecten van de gentechmais MON863 van Monsanto blijkt dat ratten, die deze mais kregen, schade hebben opgelopen in nieren en lever. Ook zijn er significante verschillen in het gewicht van de ratten die gevoed zijn met de Monsanto-mais.
Monsanto wist van de effecten, maar veegde die onder het tapijt. De Europese Voedselveiligheid Autoriteit (EFSA), nam de conclusie van Monsanto onverkort over en zo heeft Brussel de genmais simpelweg als veilig bestempeld op 13 januari 2006. De Nederlandse autoriteiten volgden Brussel blindelings.
Achter slot en grendel “Door nieuw onderzoek komen steeds meer schandalen boven tafel, die de industrie geheim probeert te houden,“ stelt Sandra Schalk, campagneleider Genetische Manipulatie van Greenpeace “Ondertussen kijken overheden de andere kant op.”
Keer op keer blijkt dat genetische gemanipuleerde producten onveiliger en onvoorspelbaarder zijn dan men dacht. Ook blijkt steeds opnieuw dat belanghebbenden en bedrijven testresultaten naar hun hand zetten. Dat is allemaal mogelijk omdat overheden hun controlerende taak niet serieus nemen.
De overheid moet ervoor zorgen dat onvoorspelbare en onbetrouwbare genetisch gemanipuleerde gewassen niet op ons bord en in de natuur terechtkomen, vindt Greenpeace. Totdat ze werkelijk veilig zijn voor mens en milieu en dit door onafhankelijke proeven en risicoanalyses kan worden bewezen, horen genetisch gemanipuleerde gewassen achter slot en grendel.
Even proeven? De overheid neemt te veel risico’s met genetisch gemanipuleerde gewassen op Nederlandse akkers en schappen. Het ministerie van Landbouw heeft opdracht gegeven aan de Universiteit Wageningen om dit jaar weer zes proeven in open veld uit te voeren met de genetisch gemanipuleerde mais MON810 van chemiebedrijf Monsanto.
Greenpeace Nederland roept de overheid op om alle gentechgewassen in het laboratorium te houden, totdat er betrouwbare risicobeoordelingen kunnen worden gemaakt van genetisch gemanipuleerde gewassen.
The high level two day conference will be THE event of the year for the European bioplastics industry. European Bioplastics will make this event a platform for business matching and dialogue. Sufficient time will be provided to meet and encourage the development of collaborative relationships amongst participants. Attendees will be representatives from the industry and related areas. Politicians and media representatives will be our invited guests.
The conference will highlight the progress made in the manufacturing, processing and marketing of bioplastics. It will examine the role of bioplastics in the development of a biobased economy with reduced dependency on fossil resources, and the required framework. The programme committee will select from a call for papers those which report on substantial progress most recently made in
the marketing and use of bioplastic products (market area)
biotechnology, manufacture or processing of bioplastics (technology area)
European framework conditions and policies
The European Bioplastics Conference is being organised by European Bioplastics, the former IBAW. This representation of the European bioplastics industry comprises companies from the agricultural feedstock, chemical and plastics industries, together with industrial users and recycling companies.
THE WASHINGTON POST The disclosure last month that American long-grain rice has become widely contaminated with traces of an experimental, gene-altered rice has provoked an economic crisis for farmers and reignited a long-smoldering debate over the adequacy of U.S. oversight of biotech food.
Already, Japan has banned U.S. long-grain imports, noting, as have other countries, that the genetically altered variety never passed regulatory muster. Stores in Germany, Switzerland and France have pulled American rice off their shelves. At least one ship last week remained quarantined in Rotterdam, awaiting word of whether its contents would be diverted or destroyed.
''Until this happened, it looked like rice farmers were finally going to make a profit this year,'' said Greg Yielding, executive director of the Arkansas Rice Growers Association. Instead, U.S. rice prices have slumped about 10 percent, and some expect market losses to reach $150 million.
Scientists are just now figuring out how LLRICE601 made its way into the nation's commercial rice supply. The company that developed it, Bayer CropScience of Research Triangle Park, N.C., says it abandoned the project in 2001.
The unapproved rice poses no threat to human or animal health, federal officials have assured the public. And the level of contamination is minuscule.
But the growing economic fallout from LL601's unwanted and illegal reappearance - including a handful of lawsuits against Bayer - is a reminder that when it comes to food, public perception is as important as scientific assurances.
''We've been warning for years that something like this could happen,'' Yielding said, citing a 2005 report from the Agriculture Department's inspector general that lambasted the government for not keeping a closer eye on companies developing new crops.
Genetically engineered crops are common in the United States. Most of the added genes allow the plants to make their own insecticides.
But motivated by scientific, cultural and economic concerns, most countries around the world are finicky about biotech crops and allow relatively few in.
(Published: September 22, 2006)
Contaminated Chinese rice found in Europe
Health risks require immediate recall and import ban
06 September 2006
Products found to contain illegal and untested genetically engineered rice.
London, United Kingdom — The genetic engineering industry sank to a new low when it was revealed recently that US company Bayer's field trials of genetically engineered (GE) rice had contaminated rice exports. Japan moved fast and banned the US rice from coming into its ports. The EU quickly followed and placed import restrictions and testing regimes in place. Now, Greenpeace research has uncovered a new example of contamination of the world's most important staple food.
We recently uncovered, and independently verified, that illegal GE rice from China has contaminated food products in France, Germany and the UK. We've notified authorities that the illegal GE rice poses serious health risks and we're calling upon European governments to take immediate action to protect consumers.
Greenpeace offices and Friends of the Earth in the UK tested samples of rice products such as vermicelli, rice sticks and other processed foods. Five positive samples were found containing an illegal GE organism not approved anywhere in the world. However this may only be the tip of the iceberg. Rice products are included in everything from baby food to yoghurt.
"These findings are shocking and should trigger high-level responses", said Jeremy Tager, GE rice campaigner, Greenpeace International. "Consumers should not be left swallowing experimental GE rice that is risky to their health."
Greenpeace International is calling for immediate worldwide recall, measures to ensure no further contaminated rice enters the EU and the urgent implementation of a preventative screening system for countries with high contamination risks. Demanding GE-free certification for food from countries that grow and produce GE crops is reasonable, cost effective, and necessary to protect Europe's consumers.
Like Bayer's illegal GE rice in the US, this recent rice contamination in China began with field trials; the rice is not currently approved for commercial growing because of mounting concerns over its safety.
"Innocent consumers again become the victims," says Tager. "Once illegal GE crops are in the food chain, removing them takes enormous effort and cost. It is easier to prevent contamination in the first place," he concluded.
Greenpeace campaigns for GE-free crop and food production that is grounded in the principles of sustainability, protection of biodiversity and providing all people to have access to safe and nutritious food. Genetic engineering is an unnecessary and unwanted technology that contaminates the environment, threatens biodiversity and poses unacceptable risks to health.
Dr. Jane Goodallkomt weer naar Nederland !! Op donderdag 7 september geeft Jane Goodall een publiekslezing in de aula van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Tijdens deze avond zult u, naast de inspirerende lezing van Jane Goodall, zeer interessante bijdragen horen van:
prof. Jan van Hooff, emeritus hoogleraar en primatoloog, verbonden aan de Universiteit Utrecht; prof. Ab Osterhaus, hoogleraar virologie, verbonden aan de Erasmus MC Rotterdam.
De lezing begint om 19.30 uur en is voor iedereen toegankelijk. Na de lezing zal er ruim de tijd zijn voor de gebruikelijke signeersessie door Jane.
The ‘Oil for Ape Scandal', published today September 23 by Friends of the Earth and the world's leading orang-utan conservation groups, concludes that without urgent intervention the palm oil trade could cause the extinction of Asia's only great ape within 12 years .
Palm oil is found in many products on supermarket shelves, from bread to margarine, lipstick and soap. Despite being warned for years by environmental groups that oil-palm plantations are associated with rainforest destruction and human rights abuses, the report finds that most UK companies don't even know where their palm oil comes from.
The report finds that almost 90 percent of orang-utan habitat in Indonesia and Malaysia has now been destroyed. Some experts estimate that 5,000 orang-utan perish as a result every year. The researchers found that oil-palm plantations have now become the primary cause of the orang-utans' decline, wiping out its rainforest home in Borneo and Sumatra .
New evidence shows that orang-utan rescue centres in Indonesia are over-flowing with orphaned baby orang-utans rescued from forests being cleared to make way for oil-palm plantations. The Indonesian Government is now planning to convert a large part of Tanjung Puting National Park , the world's most famous protected area for orang-utan, into an oil-palm plantation.
Research in the UK by Friends of the Earth found that at least 84 per cent of UK companies are failing to take effective action to ensure they do not buy palm oil from destructive sources and not one single UK supermarket knows where the palm oil originates in the products it sells. The story of corporate failure on palm oil is repeated across Europe . The European Union is the world's biggest buyer of palm oil.
Two weeks ago the United Nations published the Kinshasa Declaration, an action plan backed by the UK Government to save the world's great apes from extinction . The Indonesian Government signed on to this agreement but so far the Malaysian Government has failed to do so. Friends of the Earth and the orang-utan conservation groups are urging both governments to adopt and implement the declaration and end the conversion of orang-utan habitat into oil-palm plantations.
They also say that the failure of European companies to take action shows that they cannot be trusted to act responsibly. They are calling on European Governments and the European Commission to legislate to stop European companies acting in such a damaging way.
Ian Redmond, Chairman of the Ape Alliance, said: “Governments that provide a market for palm oil must legislate to make their corporations responsible and accountable for their impacts. If not, it is we who will have to explain to our children that the orang-utan became extinct, not because of a lack of knowledge, but because of corporate greed and a lack of political will.”
Rully Syumanda of WALHI/friends of the earth Indonesia said: "We cannot win the battle to save the Indonesian rainforest while companies in consuming countries continue to buy palm oil from sources linked to human rights abuse and species extinction. The Governments of these countries must legislate and force these companies to stop acting so destructively."
Research by Friends of the Earth shows that the forest fires which ravaged the island of Sumatra in August, and continue to burn today, were mostly set by palm oil companies clearing land to set up their plantations. It is estimated that one third of the orang-utan population on Borneo was killed by the forest fires of 1998.
Dr Willie Smits, Founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, aid: “The rate of loss of orang-utan has never been greater than in the last three years, and oil- palm plantations are mostly to blame.”
Professor Biruté Galdikas, founder of the Orangutan Foundation International, said: “The orang-utan is endangered because of habitat loss. Today the greatest threat to orang-utan habitat is the continued expansion of oil-palm plantations. Palm oil is the greatest enemy of orang-utan and their continued survival in the wild."
Dr Ian Singleton, Scientific Director for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, said: “We have already lost huge areas of orang-utan habitat and tens of thousands of orang-utan to the palm oil industry. Now there are reports of an “oil-palm fence” which will stretch 845 kilometres along the border with Malaysia in Borneo , crossing through orang-utan habitat. The problem is truly immense.”
for more information:
In Jakarta, Indonesia, Rully Syumanda of WALHI/Friends of the Earth Indonesia, Tel: +62 21 794 1672 Mobile: +62 813 1771 2909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In London, UK, press office of Friends of the Earth: +44-20 7566 1649 or email email: email@example.com
PICTURES of orang-utan can be downloaded from: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/images/orangutan_report/
FOOTAGE (Broadcast quality) of orang-utans and oil palm plantations is available from the press office at Friends of the Earth with thanks to the Orangutan Foundation.
Interviews with leading orang-utan scientists and campaigners are available.
 The report, The Oil for Ape Scandal – How palm oil is threatening the orang-utan, is published by Friends of the Earth together with the Orangutan Foundation, the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and the Sumatran Orangutan Society as members of the Ape Alliance. For a copy of the summary or full report please go to: Summary: www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/oil_for_ape_summary.pdf Full report: www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/oil_for_ape_full.pdf
 The Kinshasa Declaration on Great Apes was signed on 9th September 2005 . The signatories included range states for great apes as well as the European Commission and the following donor countries: Belgium , France , Italy , Sweden , United Kingdom and the United States
The plants themselves will be available in late March-early April 2006. The vouchers are $55.00 (150 mm plant) and $95.00 (200 mm plant). The plants themselves will be available in late March-early April 2006. The vouchers are $55.00 (150 mm plant) and $95.00 (200 mm plant). http://www.care2.com/news/member/329809086/40326
The Wollemi Pine will be available for sale in 2006. This date has been set to allow sufficient time for horticulturalists and scientists to research and cultivate the plant so as to secure the ongoing survival of this rare species. http://www.wollemipine.com/
In popular literature, the tree has been named "Wollemi Pine", though this is a misnomer, as it is not a pine.
Wollemia is an evergreentree reaching 25-40 m tall. The bark is very distinctive, dark brown and knobbly, quoted as resembling chocolate-coated Rice Krispies. The tree coppices readily, and most specimens comprise multi-trunk clumps of trunks thought to derive from old coppice growth. The branching is unique in that nearly all of the side branches never have further branching; after a few years, each branch either terminates in a cone (either male or female) or ceases growth; after this or the cone is mature, the branch dies. New branches then arise from dormant buds on the main trunk. Rarely, a side branch will turn erect and develop into a secondary trunk, this then bears a new set of side branches.
The leaves are flat linear, 3-8 cm long and 2-5 mm broad; they are arranged spirally on the shoot but twisted at the base to appear in two or four flattened ranks. The seed cones are green, 6-12 cm long and 5-10 cm in diameter, and mature in about 18-20 months after pollination; they disintegrate at maturity to release the seeds. The male (pollen) cones are slender conic, 5-11 cm long and 1-2 cm broad.
The discovery, by David Noble, a field officer of the Wollemi National Park in Wentworth Falls, in the Blue Mountains, only occurred because of his adventurous bushwalking and rock climbing abilities. Luckily, he had good botanical knowledge and quickly recognised the trees as unusual and worthy of further investigation. Noble returned with specimens that he expected someone would be able to identify. However, it was soon found to be new to science. Further study would be needed to establish its relationship to other conifers. All that was at first suspected by the botanists was that it had certain characteristics of the 200-million-year-old family Araucariaceae, but was not the same as any living species in the family. For this reason the species is described as a living fossil.
Comparison with living and fossilised Araucariaceae proved that it was a member of that family, and it was placed into a new genus with the other extant genera Agathis and Araucaria. Fossils resembling Wollemia and possibly related to it are widespread in Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica, but Wollemia nobilis is the sole living member of its genus.
Fewer than a hundred trees are known to be growing wild, in three localities not far apart. Genetic testing has revealed that all the specimens are genetically indistinguishable, suggesting that the species has been through a genetic bottleneck in which its population became so low (possibly just one or two individuals) that all genetic variability was lost.
In November 2005, wild-growing trees were found to be infected with Phytophthora cinnamomi. New South Wales park rangers believe the virulent fungus was introduced by unauthorised visitors to the site, whose location is still undisclosed to the public.
Cultivation and uses
A propagation programme is underway with the first commercial release of this plant worldwide scheduled for 2006, with sales in Australia and elsewhere. It may prove to be a valuable tree for ornament, either planted in open ground or for tubs and planters. It is also proving to be more adaptable and cold-hardy than its restricted subtropical distribution would suggest, tolerating temperatures down to -5°C, with one unverified report of a young plant surviving a temperature of -12°C. Like many other Australian trees, Wollemia is susceptible to the pathogenic fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi, so this may limit its potential as a timber tree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wollemi_Pine
Wollemi Pine Gift Certificates
The perfect conservation Christmas gift.
Wollemi Pines are easy to grow and maintain.
Ideal as a feature tree or patio/indoor plant.
Every Wollemi Pine comes with:
Certificate of authenticity
First release in April 2006
Order your Wollemi Pine from the Gardens Shops at
Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, Ph: 4567 3010
Royal Botanic Gardens Ph: 9231 8125
Mount Annan Botanic Garden Ph: 4634 7935
40 cm Wollemi Pine in 15 cm pot $54.95. 60 cm Wollemi Pine in 20 cm pot $94.95.
Proceeds from the sale helps the Botanic Gardens Trust in its continued work with the conservation of this rare tree and other plants in the wild.
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