Top seed Foton not looking too far ahead

first_imgPH among economies most vulnerable to virus As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine But Usher is confident they will still end up where they want to.“Heading? To the championship.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Foton Tornadoes. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOWith the first seed in the bag, Ariel Usher and Foton Tornadoes are not looking that far ahead yet.Usher downplayed the team’s league-best, saying it’s the championship that will cement their status as the best club in the tournament.ADVERTISEMENT PBA: Globalport toys with Mahindra for first season opener win Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. We are young MOST READ Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 EDITORS’ PICK “We keep on saying we haven’t won anything yet, we got the no.1 spot but we haven’t won anything yet, so we’re focused on the semifinals and the finals,” said Usher.The Tornadoes stopped Petron in four sets, 22-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-14, on Thursday to finish the elimination round with a 9-1 slate while the Blaze Spikers settled for second with an 8-2 card.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliFoton awaits the winner of the sudden death match between RC Cola Army and Generika.“We have a good chance against either of them and we are focused on that game first,” said Usher. 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas View commentslast_img read more

Response to critique on Conservation Effectiveness series (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Environment, Research, Researcher Perspective Series Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img The team behind Mongabay’s Conservation Effectiveness series appreciates the feedback on our series offered by Madeleine McKinnon and her colleagues. We believe that we and the authors of the commentary share the common goals of encouraging and enabling conservation actions based on the available scientific evidence, and increasing the standard of scientific studies that evaluate the impact of conservation.Importantly, our goal was not to carry out a systematic review — an intensive, sometimes years-long process beyond the scope of our resources. We believe that systematic reviews are invaluable and crucial for answering specific, relatively narrow research questions. At the same time, they are not suitable for providing an overview of evidence of a wide range of outcomes, across a broad spectrum of evidence types, as we have tried to do with this series.We cannot identify an example of our series challenging the findings of existing systematic reviews, as McKinnon and co-authors imply it does. We strongly agree that there are opportunities for improvement. One of the main improvements we hope to make next is turning our database into a dynamic, growing, open contribution platform. The other members of the team behind Mongabay’s Conservation Effectiveness series and I appreciate the feedback on our series offered by Madeleine McKinnon and her colleagues. We believe that we and the authors of the commentary share the common goals of encouraging and enabling conservation actions based on the available scientific evidence, and increasing the standard of scientific studies that evaluate the impact of conservation.Before addressing the specific points made by McKinnon and her co-authors, we would also like to emphasize that our series and visualizations have additional goals:• To make scientific evidence accessible to non-scientists.• To increase the ease with which practitioners can orient themselves in and interact with scientific evidence in order to make informed opinions given the limited time they have.• To demonstrate to a broad audience the complexity of scientific evidence and the different ways in which conservation success can be viewed.• To inspire discussion about what conservation success means for different stakeholders, beyond scientists.Importantly, our goal was not to carry out a systematic review — an intensive, sometimes years-long process beyond the scope of our resources. We believe that systematic reviews are invaluable and crucial for answering specific, relatively narrow research questions. At the same time, they are not suitable for providing an overview of evidence of a wide range of outcomes, across a broad spectrum of evidence types, as we have tried to do with this series.BiasFirst, we disagree that the alternative to a systematic review is “cherry-picking results to fit a desired narrative.” There are many known and unknown biases in scientific research and publication; some can be addressed, others cannot. Reviews, including systematic ones, can suffer from different degrees of bias. Our series is absolutely not a collection of studies cherry-picked to fit a certain narrative. When we did go beyond our review methodology and subjectively selected specific studies to include, such as in the story on Environmental Advocacy, we acknowledged it openly and clearly conveyed our reasons for doing so. One of the main conclusions of all pieces in the series was that “more evidence is needed.”The authors of the commentary highlight the non-exhaustiveness of our database as a bias. Our approach of sampling the literature rather than attempting to gather every last relevant study — that is, our non-exhaustiveness — does not equal being biased per se, although it, like any other sampling, can introduce biases. For example, as we acknowledge on our methods page, we may have introduced bias by only including English-language and peer-reviewed publications. Smaller samples are more prone to biases than larger ones, and we believe that our target of 1,000 search results was a reasonable sample size that would lead to an acceptable level of bias. Moreover our goal was not to carry out systematic, exhaustive reviews, and we’ve clearly stated that our databases are not exhaustive in all of our stories.Amazon rainforest tree in Peru. Photo by Rhett Butler.It’s worth pointing out that even an exhaustive review of all literature is still likely to suffer from biases. For example, publication bias — where journals tend to publish studies with highly significant results rather than ones that, equally importantly, find no substantial change — can be quantified, but not truly eliminated.Our criteria for inclusion of individual studies are described on the methods page. They included things like the study being peer-reviewed; the methodology being clearly described so that the study can be classified as one of the seven types of evidence; the study containing information on the country it examined, the outcomes it measured, what the outcomes were, what it compared the intervention in question to, etc.; the study fitting within our geographic scope; and others.We have read the systematic review on decentralized forest management (DFM) that the McKinnon et. al. commentary suggests our methodological bias may have led us to overlook (Samii et al. 2015). However, this systematic review appears to be, in many parts of the text, a word-by-word copy of an earlier systematic review on payments for ecosystem services, apart from the acronym PES being replaced by DFM. The authors even failed to correct the number of studies found, leaving incorrect numbers in their abstract that did not correspond to the main text. We appreciate the work that went into this review, but we were worried about its rigor given the copy-and-paste warning signs. Nevertheless, we did go through this study in detail and included relevant individual studies that fit our inclusion criteria.TransparencyWe detail our methodology and criteria for including studies here. When two researchers reached different conclusions about whether to include a study, we mentioned it in the infographic within the squares corresponding to the study in question.We acknowledge that Google Scholar is not an ideal search platform, due to the lack of transparency in its search algorithm and the recent change with regard to the use of Boolean operators. Until Google Scholar clarifies its search processes, we would recommend that researchers, scholars and journalists use additional databases, providing they have access to them. If they use Google Scholar, we recommend using “private” or “incognito” search settings to avoid potential biases.We are hoping to open our platform to contributions by researchers, so that our database can be dynamic and grow at the same pace as the evidence base. We have already tested the platform’s documentation for making contributions on several scientists, and will continue to improve it so that anyone can transparently contribute.SubjectivityWe agree that research synthesis is useful for translating large bodies of data into broad insights. Before we respond to the comments on the infographic, we want to emphasize that an important capability of our infographic is the ability to convey specific, geographically local insights. For example, for an NGO in Indonesia hoping to implement a PES project, it’s useful to consult a systematic review to see whether PES has worked overall. But it’s also important to be able to quickly access regional evidence, for example just from Malaysia and Indonesia, or evidence on a particular outcome of PES projects, for example the effect on biodiversity. Our infographic allows both of these functions.We thank the authors for their comments on the visualization. It is difficult to represent conservation evidence and there are numerous pitfalls to avoid. The commentary raises two important points that we will address separately, one about interpreting outcomes as positive, neutral, or negative; the other about evidence types.In our visualization, “vote counting” by adding up the number of green/positive, yellow/neutral, and red/negative squares is discouraged: at no point in the series do we engage in “vote counting,” the unequal weights of individual studies is emphasized in the caveats section in the methods, and we specifically warn against vote counting in the summary PDF documents:“The majority of extracted data points do not imply causation, only correlation. Studies vary in the rigor of design, sample size, methodology, and scope. Therefore, data points (individual squares) cannot be summed or used to calculate overall effect! One red square does NOT cancel out one green square. Please use as a non-exhaustive map of existing scientific evidence rather than as a final verdict on whether PES is effective.”That is indeed why we chose to portray each outcome as an individual square, rather than something like a bar chart or percentage, which would imply that vote counting or averaging were possible. We hope to encourage readers to explore individual results by clicking on squares, which should further bring home the message that not all squares are equal.Additionally, the authors imply that we ignore “the wide array of impacts occurring within and between populations and time frames within a single study.” We do not. Where a single study examined different populations or different time frames, it is represented as multiple outcomes in our database and visualization. We emphasize again that this leads to individual squares in the visualization not being independent and underscores the inappropriateness of vote counting.Finally, the authors argue that we are “giving equal weight to studies whether poorly designed or rigorously executed.” We do not. An important function of our visualization is to communicate that there are different types of evidence, and that these need to be treated and interpreted differently.Rainforest in Borneo. Photo by Rhett Butler.One level of distinction is represented by the light and dark shades of the squares (see legend). At a finer level, the drop-down menu “Select type of evidence” lets users separate different types of evidence within the visualization based on the rigor of the study design. However, our “types of evidence” categories capture only two aspects of the study design variability (the ability to show correlation versus causation, and the ability to generalize). It was beyond our scope to also distinguish between different sample sizes, durations, geographic areas, funding sources, etc.Our visualization is not perfect. However, we hope that it is a step toward better communication of science to a broad audience, and we will continue improving and testing it.False confidenceOne of the main concerns the commentary raises is that we are overly and falsely confident in our results. In all our articles, we conclude that there is either not enough rigorous evidence, or not enough evidence overall, while acknowledging the different levels of rigor with which individual studies have been designed. Even so, we believe that potential overconfidence in this particular conclusion could lead to productive channeling of funding and research effort to fill these knowledge gaps.Again, we do not do vote counting anywhere in the series, and we discourage readers from vote counting using our database. In terms of the forest certification example, we disagree that the article or visualization make conclusions that would be substantially different to conclusions made by the individual, rigorously designed studies mentioned in the critique. The handful of quasi-experimental studies (which can be displayed separately by selecting “Study III” in the “Select types of evidence” drop-down menu) find some positive and some neutral environmental and social outcomes. This reflects very well the findings of less-rigorous studies, which find some positive, some neutral, and very few negative environmental and social outcomes of certification and reduced impact logging.Opportunities for improvementWe cannot identify an example of our series challenging the findings of existing systematic reviews, as McKinnon and co-authors imply it does. We strongly agree that there are opportunities for improvement. One of the main improvements we hope to make next is turning our database into a dynamic, growing, open contribution platform. We will certainly keep in mind the potential biases and pitfalls that such approaches present and will continue informing users about the limitations, with the vision of further narrowing the gap between science and practice in conservation in a rigorous and transparent way.last_img read more

Cool birds don’t sing: Study automates acoustic monitoring of songbird migration

first_imgResearchers have developed machine learning techniques to identify bird song from thousands of hours of field recordings, using the information to uncover variations in migratory songbirds’ arrival to their Arctic breeding grounds.They deployed automated listening devices during spring over five years, analyzed vocal activity to estimate when birds arrived at their breeding sites, and assessed relationships between vocal activity and environmental conditions.They found that the acoustically derived estimates of the birds’ arrival dates were similar to those determined using standard field surveys.Temperature and presence of snow affected the birds’ calling patterns, suggesting that collecting corresponding weather data could help avoid bias in using acoustic monitoring to assess population dynamics. It’s June, and migratory songbirds in the northern hemisphere are at their summer breeding grounds, having traveled thousands of miles from their warm-weather overwintering areas.Birds migrate as far north as the Arctic to take advantage of its large but short-lived surge in insect food and its few predators. The timing of their arrival is critical because their breeding cycles must match seasonal food availability for their chicks to survive.Migratory Lapland longspurs endure the cold en route to their breeding grounds. Image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, CC 2.0Scientists have shown that as spring temperatures rise, many bird populations are, in fact, migrating north and arriving earlier in the season at their breeding sites, where climate-related shifts in breeding-ground conditions, including environmental conditions and food availability, may help or hinder reproduction of individual species.Most songbirds are too small to carry GPS tracking tags scientists would typically use to follow their migrations north, but they do call intensely once they arrive there in preparation for breeding.To study trends in migration timing, scientists have begun setting out microphones to listen for particular species or the bird diversity at specific sites. Placing numerous relatively inexpensive acoustic listening devices in the field allows researchers to better monitor wildlife communities in remote places and across larger scales than field surveys typically can.Gambel’s white-crowned sparrows, like this one, prefer woody shrubs. As the Arctic continues to warm, shrubs on Alaska’s North Slope are expected to overtake open grasslands. That could create conditions for sparrows to outcompete longspurs and other migratory birds. Image by John WingfieldA multi-institutional research team deployed automated listening devices over five spring breeding seasons at sites in Alaska to capture the vocalizations of two common breeding songbird species. White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) and Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) both fly to these sites each spring to mate and raise their young.Autonomous recorders in the field can collect data 24/7, and their use has relied on trained experts to listen to the recordings and detect a target species or tally the species present at a given site. However, automated recordings of whole bird communities over hours or days produce data sets too large to review manually.Automating analysis of birdsong patternsTo facilitate the use of acoustic devices in studying whole communities of breeding birds, the researchers developed automated signal processing and machine learning algorithms adapted from human speech research to estimate from acoustic signals when songbird communities arrived each spring at four breeding sites in Alaska. For five seasons (2010 to 2014), the research team recorded songbird vocalizations at the sites at regular intervals from early May through July.An acoustic recording unit near Toolik Field Station in arctic Alaska. Image by Heather GreavesThey developed and trained a supervised machine learning algorithm, one that includes human input, to pick out calls of target songbirds from thousands of hours of field recordings that also contained noise from trucks, wind, rain, mosquitos and other bird species. They used the call data to produce a daily community Vocal Activity Index (VAI), a relative measure of the abundance of bird vocalizations at each site. They analyzed the daily VAI values to estimate the dates that the bulk of these birds had arrived at their breeding sites and any relationships between the VAI and environmental conditions, including temperature, wind and snow cover.The researchers also analyzed the sound data using an unsupervised classification, which does not use listener input but classifies data into groups that represent like items, to see if it could pick out the bird songs on its own and use them to estimate the arrival date.Cool birds don’t singThe researchers found that songbird vocal activity varied both in time (days, weeks and years) and the surrounding environment.They state in their paper, “We found that daily fluctuations in snow cover, air temperature, wind speed, atmospheric pressure, and precipitation had a significant impact on the VAI and explained a large proportion of variance.”A Lapland longspur singing near Toolik Field Station in arctic Alaska. Image by John WingfieldIn particular, they found calling activity increased noticeably on snow-free days, and they suggest that birds rely on snow-free patches of tundra for food and shelter. Singing takes energy, even more so on colder days; the songbirds in this study either moved on or remained quiet during unfavorable weather.They also found that both the supervised and the unsupervised arrival date estimates closely approximated what human observers recorded at the sites.Tools to study a range of calling creatures The success of the automated analyses is good news for researchers studying animal movements and population dynamics and could help scientists better understand patterns of migration and how they may be adapting to changes in climate patterns.“These tools could speed up the analysis of acoustic datasets packed with biodiversity information valuable to conservationists and others,” Andrew Farnsworth, a researcher at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement. “Understanding the dynamics of songbird arrival and breeding timing is the doorway to thinking about climate change and how temperature, weather and snowfall are affecting various species.”Listen to a Gambel’s white-crowned sparrow singing near Toolik Field Station in arctic Alaska. Audio credit: Oliver et al. 2018Audio Playerhttps://imgs.mongabay.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2018/06/22175149/oliver6AUDIO.wav00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.A functional unsupervised machine learning method could potentially be extended to any dataset of animal vocalizations. An unsupervised automated analysis does not need to be trained with a reference database of calls, as it does not need to be told what it is hearing.“Our methods could be retooled to detect the arrival of birds and other vocal animals in highly seasonal habitats,” said the study’s lead author, Ruth Oliver, a graduate student at Columbia University. “This could allow us to track large-scale changes in how animals are responding to climate change.”The study also showed that acoustic monitoring must consider environmental factors, such as temperature, that may influence how much animals call and thus lead to biased conclusions, as the listening devices cannot distinguish silence from absence.“Our findings demonstrate that the correct interpretation of avian vocal activity to estimate relative songbird abundance requires pairing of acoustic data collection with meteorological data, as well as consideration of the study communities’ breeding phenology [breeding stage].”“It’s still unclear how songbirds will cope if spring comes even earlier or later than it did during our study period,” said co-author Natalie Boelman. “Species also time their migration and breeding with day length, which isn’t shifting with climate change. Species whose migratory response is hard-wired to day length alone may not adapt as well to a changing environment.”CitationOliver, R., Ellis, D., Chmura, H., Krause, J.S., Pérez, J.H., Sweet, K.S., Gough, L., S. K., Wingfield, & J. Boelman, N.. (2018). Eavesdropping on the Arctic: Automated bioacoustics reveal dynamics in songbird breeding phenology. Science Advances 20 Jun 2018: Vol. 4, no. 6, eaaq1084 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaq1084FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Acoustic, Adaptation To Climate Change, Analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Birds, Climate Change, data, Migration, Monitoring, Research, Sensors Article published by Sue Palmintericenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Protests flare as pressure mounts on dam project in orangutan habitat

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Critically Endangered Species, Dams, Deforestation, Endangered, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Orangutans, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Tropical Forests Activists in Jakarta and cities around the world staged protests outside Bank of China branches and Chinese diplomatic missions on March 1.They called on state-owned BOC to end its funding for a hydroelectric project in Sumatra that threatens the only known habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan, the world’s rarest great ape.A lawsuit is pending in an Indonesian court, and a verdict due on March 4 could see the developer’s environmental permit rescinded, essentially halting the project.The protests come amid a revelation, first reported by Mongabay, that the signature of a scientist involved in the environmental impact analysis was forged to obtain the permit. JAKARTA — Activists in Indonesia and abroad staged a coordinated protest on March 1 to draw attention to a controversial hydroelectric project in Sumatra funded by China that threatens the world’s rarest great ape, the Tapanuli orangutan.The activists protested out Chinese diplomatic missions and branches of state-owned Bank of China, which is funding the planned dam through loans, in cities including Jakarta, New York, Hong Kong, Manila and Johannesburg.Ghana activists delivered an open letter to the Chinese Embassy in Ghana to protest against the Batang Toru hydropower project. Image by Walhi.In Indonesia, where the $1.6 billion project is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, activists from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) and other NGOs called on BOC to rescind its loans, saying that allowing the project to proceed would devastate the Batang Toru ecosystem, the only known habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).Dwi Sawung, the chief campaigner for energy issues at Walhi, said BOC had acknowledged last May receiving an open letter from Walhi, which called on it to withdraw from the project, and said it would investigate on the matter.“But there hasn’t been any news from them since then,” Dwi told Mongabay at the demonstration in Jakarta.He said that prompted Walhi to stage the latest series of protests and send another open letter to BOC branches and Chinese embassies and consulates.“Despite many attempts to convey our concerns since May 2018, we still have not received a meaningful response from Bank of China,” the new letter says. “If built, the dam will likely doom the newly discovered Tapanuli orangutan species to extinction. Less than 800 of them are left.”Walhi also launched an online petition at Change.org to call BOC to stop funding the project.Activists from Walhi staged a protest outside the Bank of China office in Jakarta, Indonesia. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Forest fragmentationThe project to build the 510-megawatt hydropower plant has been controversial from the outset because of concerns about its environmental impact. Key among them is the fate of the Tapanuli orangutan, a species only described in 2017, yet already declared critically endangered and the world’s rarest great ape.Gabriella Fredriksson, a wildlife biologist with the Sumatran Orangutan Conversation Programme (SOCP), said there were so few Tapanuli orangutans that “this species can’t afford even an offtake of a few individuals.”But the project developer, PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (NSHE), says the impact on the ape and its habitat will be minimal. It says building the reservoir for the power plant will flood just 90 hectares (220 acres) of its total 6,500-hectare (16,000-acre) concession in the Batang Toru ecosystem. The total area taken up by the project, once complete, will be 122 hectares (300 acres), says NHSE spokesman Firman Taufick.William F. Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Australia who led a major study of the Tapanuli orangutan, said while the area occupied by the dam might not seem all that large, its supporting infrastructure, especially service roads, would still threaten the survival of the orangutans by splitting the already disjointed orangutan populations into smaller and smaller pieces.That would increase the chances of problems like inbreeding, accelerating the species’ slide toward extinction. The roads will also create openings into previously inaccessible parts of the forest that will be prone to exploitation by farmers and poachers.“Using NSHE’s logic, someone could cut off your head and there would be only minor damage, because far less than 1 percent of your tissue would be destroyed,” Laurance said. (Editor’s note: Laurance is a member of Mongabay’s advisory board.)Agus Djoko Ismanto, NSHE’s senior environmental adviser, said the company planned to minimize the fragmentation problem by building its service roads along riverbanks in Batang Toru. “So these roads won’t splice up the forest,” he said at a media briefing in Jakarta the day before the protests.An adult female Tapanuli orangutan. Image by Tim Laman/Wikimedia Commons.Questionable study, permitThe developer has also called into question the presence of orangutans in its project area, citing a study by a local government agency. The study says orangutans had largely left that part of the forest before construction of the project began because of the spread of farms and settlements in the area.Laurance has rebutted the study, saying that “field research by my colleagues in Sumatra has shown their findings to be woefully inaccurate.”Fredriksson of the SOCP said her team had carried out an extensive biodiversity study of the hydropower project area in 2015, under contracted by a consultancy, ERM.“The nest surveys showed that the lowland area along the Batang Toru River has the highest density of orangutans compared to any of the other locations in the Batang Toru Ecosystem that we have surveyed since 2003,” she told Mongabay.Laurance and Fredriksson have also questioned the credibility of Aek Nauli, the government agency that issued the study.Laurance said it was “notorious for producing unreliable research to aid industry,” while Fredriksson said “they have gone commercial on various fronts and are indeed hired by NSHE to counter any data from other sources on the importance of the area for orangutans or other wildlife.”NSHE’s Firman has rebutted the accusation, saying the company didn’t fund the study done by Aek Nauli.Even major development funders such as the World Bank have steered clear of the project because of the environmental concerns. Fredriksson said it might have been her team’s findings that spooked them. She said the findings were used by ERM for an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), a standard widely applied internationally to identify and mitigate impacts of major projects on biodiversity.“This report probably scared the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation [IFC] and the Asian Development Bank [ADB] away,” Fredriksson said.NSHE, though, said it had never approached the IFC or the ADB to seek funding for the project.WALHI’s Sawung said it was critically important, for a project in such a biodiverse area, to undergo a strict environmental impact assessment before construction. But that doesn’t appear to be the case for the locally conducted assessment, known as an Amdal, for which NHSE received its environmental permit to start building.Map of the Batang Toru ecosystem, home to the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Sumatra.Lawsuit verdict dueOne of the independent scientists employed to catalog the biodiversity of the ecosystem told Mongabay recently that his findings were omitted from the Amdal submitted to regulators, and that his signature on the document was forged.Onrizal Onrizal, a forestry researcher at North Sumatra University, said he worked on the Amdal in 2013, but that the final version was issued in 2016. He said he wasn’t even aware that the 2016 version existed until late last year.The revelation casts doubt on the integrity of the licensing process for a project already mired in controversy. Sawung said he hoped it would be the determining factor in Walhi’s lawsuit seeking to revoke the environmental permit for NSHE, which was issued by the North Sumatra provincial government based on the Amdal.Sawung said the only rational outcome would be for the court to rule in Walhi’s favor, given that a forged signature would render the Amdal, and by extension the environmental permit, invalid.The court is scheduled to deliver its verdict March 4.Besides the alleged forgery of Onrizal’s signature, environmentalists have also questioned the Amdal’s omission of eight endangered species from the list of wildlife found in the Batang Toru forest.The previous version compiled by Onrizal listed 23 species, while the final one has 15. Those missing include the Tapanuli orangutan, Sumatran tiger, sun bear, and Sumatran lar gibbon.NSHE’s Agus said the list was changed because the location of the project’s quarry was also changed in the revised Amdal. As a result, the new document only listed species found in the location of the new quarry. Agus said the company would ensure that no species, whether named on the list or not, would be harmed in the process of building the hydropower plant.Sawung rejected this explanation, saying all species from throughout the project site, and not just the quarry, should have been listed.“The whole project entails other infrastructure, not only the quarry,” he said. “Maybe they limited the scope to just the quarry, but we’re talking about a whole ecosystem here.” Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Banner image: Indonesian activists staged a protest outside the Bank of China office in Jakarta, Indonesia. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Bolsonaro draws battle lines in fight over Amazon indigenous lands

first_imgParintins, site of Brazil’s big annual indigenous festival, is typical of towns in the Brazilian Amazon. The Sateré, and other indigenous groups living or working there, often endure discrimination and work analogous to slavery. Civil rights are few and indigenous populations inhabit the bottom rung of the economic ladder.Now more than ever, indigenous groups fear the loss of their cultural heritage and land rights as guaranteed under the 1988 Brazilian Constitution. New president Jair Bolsonaro wants to achieve indigenous societal “assimilation,” a process by which an ethnic minority group’s traditional way of life and livelihoods is erased.The strongest advocates of indigenous assimilation are the ruralistas, rural wealthy elites and agribusiness producers, who have the most to gain via access to the timber, land and mineral wealth found within indigenous territories. The bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby is strong in Congress, and it supports Bolsonaro.The Sateré, along with other indigenous groups, have endured a long history marked by extermination and exploitation. Brazil’s 900,000 indigenous people are increasingly joining together to fight the anti-indigenous policies proposed by the Bolsonaro administration and supported by the ruralists. Benito Miquiles, a Sateré man. Image by Matheus ManfrediniIn February, a Mongabay reporting team travelled to the Brazilian Amazon, spending time with the remote Sateré-Mawé, documenting their culture and long-time conflict with mining companies and land grabbers. This series looks at new threats imposed on the Sateré and indigenous groups across Brazil as they’re threatened by the ruralist-friendly policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. The trip was funded by the Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund in association with the Pulitzer Center and Mongabay.PARINTINS, BRAZIL – On the banks of the Amazon River, in the Parintins municipal district of Amazonas state, Benito Miquiles, a young Sateré indigenous man watches boats come and go. Francesa, the port where he stands, is located in a small bay where the district’s untreated sewage flows into the river. It’s also here that boats travelling to and from the state’s interior stop to unload, with Indians and fisherfolk hefting heavy bags of manioc flour, copaíba oil and guarana, then forced to walk down a narrow 15-foot-long plank and on into town to sell their wares.Benito, who accompanied and guided the Mongabay reporting team throughout its trip, knows better than most the happenings, sounds and smells of Francesa. He lived here, out in the open, slinging his hammock among the boats, for two years while studying for a college degree in Parintins. Now age 25, he recently earned a diploma in intercultural indigenous studies from the Federal University of Amazonas.“It was a big achievement,” the young Sateré-Mawé acknowledges.Benito is proud to be Sateré, but people in Parintins frequently comment that he doesn’t look like a “real Indian.” His hair is stylishly coiffed, he owns a smart phone, takes “selfies” and wears a cap and sunglasses, but for Benito indigenous identity is something that comes from inside himself, irrespective of what he is wearing: “I was born Sateré, I grew up Sateré, and wherever I go I am Sateré. I can use a coat and tie, trainers, smart clothes, but I will always be Sateré.”last_img read more

Mbala: Archers will repeat

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely LATEST STORIES Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos MOST READ DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal View comments “We would like to make it back-to-back with coach Aldin (Ayo),” Mbala said Thursday after receiving the Smart Collegiate Player of the Year award from the UAAP and NCAA Press Corps during the Collegiate Basketball Awards at Montgomery Place in Quezon City.Ayo and Jamike Jarin, the new National U coach who led San Beda to the NCAA crown, shared the Coach of the Year award.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ La Salle’s Ben Mbala (Mighty Sports Mythical Five/Smart Player of the Year). Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThere will be no let up in Ben Mbala’s quest for glory for the La Salle Green Archers.Having bagged almost every individual and team honor last year, the 6-foot-7 Cameroonian vowed to take his game to the next level as the Green Archers try to retain their UAAP championship in Season 80 late this year.ADVERTISEMENT Kramer welcome addition to Phoenix in playoffs pushlast_img read more

TNT outlasts Mahindra for fourth straight win

first_imgJayson Castro. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netTNT notched its fourth straight victory but not after surviving Mahindra, 86-84, Sunday in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.Donte Greene carried the KaTropa with 24 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks, while Troy Rosario got 11 markers and four boards.ADVERTISEMENT Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Lausa loses to Bibulatov in UFC 210 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town MOST READ Roger Pogoy kept the door open with a split from the free throw line with 12.0 ticks left, but Alex Mallari failed to acknowledge the situation and badly missed the layup late, paving the way for Greene to seal the victory.Keith Wright topped the Floodbuster with 26 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while LA Revilla had 20.Unfortunately for the Floodbuster, their efforts still weren’t enough as they dropped their third straight game and fell to 1-5.The scores:TNT 86 – Greene 24, Rosario 11, Castro 10, Tautuaa 9, Rosales 8, Pogoy 6, Fonacier 5, De Ocampo 5, Williams 4, Reyes 3, Carey 1, Tamsi 0.ADVERTISEMENT On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcoscenter_img Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out Greene and Rosario came up big but n the end, it was still Jayson Castro, who orchestrated the escape act, tallying 10 points, seven assists, and five rebounds as TNT improved to a 4-1 slate.TNT head coach Nash Racela looked at the game against the Floodbuster as a chance for his team to correct its miscues. But with a few sloppy plays, TNT found itself in another dogfight to the finish.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“We were leading all the way and during the half, I was telling the team that this is the time to build and develop good habits during the game. Obviously today, we weren’t able to do that and we still had a lot of mistakes. It’s just good that we’re getting wins despite playing that way,” he said.With TNT holding a slim 83-81 lead, Mahindra still had a chance to pull ahead, but Jason Deutchmann muffed his trey with 31 seconds left. Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government LATEST STORIES SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test MAHINDRA 84 – Wright 26, Revilla 20, Mallari 17, Elorde 6, Salva 5, Paniamogan 4, Deutchman 3, Caperal 2, Yee 1, Ballesteros 0, Corpuz 0, Celda 0, Guevarra 0, Galanza 0.Quarters: 18-17, 47-38, 65-62, 86-84. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos View commentslast_img read more

Favourites Cavs open East finals on road vs underdogs Celtics

first_imgBOSTON (AP):The Celtics are heading to the Eastern Conference finals with the No. 1 seed and home court advantage. But they are still very much underdogs to the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers.That’s because throughout this season the conversation hasn’t so much been about which team would come out of the East, as much as how much resistance any team could offer the Cavs.So far it hasn’t been much, with Cleveland posting back-to-back sweeps in the first two rounds.After waiting more than a week for an opponent, the Cavs have their latest challenger. It’s a Boston team that many wrote off after the Celtics fell into a 0-2, first-round hole against the Bulls.Now, fresh off a Game 7 semi-final win over the Washington Wizards, the Celtics in many ways find themselves playing with house money as they prepare to host a LeBron James-led Cleveland team carrying all the expectations into Wednesday’s Game 1 in Boston.”We’ve been counted out since I’ve been here, so it’s nothing new,” Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said. “We’re not really focused on the outside noise and what they think we’re going to … . We’re just going to take care of business as we go.”That’s easier said than done.Boston have yet to beat the Cavs this season with Cleveland at full strength. The Celtics’ lone victory came on March 1, with Kevin Love out after minor left knee surgery. Cleveland won the other games by a combined 35 points, including a 114-91 romp on April 5.Thomas has spoken several times this post-season about wanting to experience the make or break moments that only the playoffs can provide. He has his chance against a team that both he and coach Brad Stevens have acknowledged is better than it was even in April.”That’s where LeBron is so good,” Stevens said. “I think that you can’t throw him one look, because he will eventually pick that look apart.”BAD BLOODThere were major fireworks the last time the Cavaliers and Celtics met in the playoffs.In Game 4 of their 2015 first-round series, which was swept by Cleveland, Boston’s Kelly Olynyk and Love got tangled up, and Love was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Cavs forward J.R. Smith delivered a backhand punch to the face of Boston’s Jae Crowder and former Cavs enforcer Kendrick Perkins delivered a crushing blindside screen on Crowder.Smith earned a two-game suspension, Perkins was fined and Love missed the rest of his first post-season after undergoing surgery.Olynyk was branded Public Enemy No. 1 in Cleveland, but James wouldn’t bite when asked if he thought Boston’s physical forward was a dirty player.”I’m not about story lines,” he said. “I’m just going to play basketball.”The Cavs are 15-3 in road playoff games over the past three seasons.last_img read more

Biggest opening weekend for World Para Athletics Champs

first_img BROKEN RECORDS EXPECTED The World Para Athletics Championships kicks off the Summer of World Athletics today with 10 days of action at the London Stadium. On the morning of the first day of action from the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017, organisers have confirmed that the event will enjoy the biggest audience in World Para Sport championship history. Tonight’s session at the London Stadium will open with 20,000, before a Saturday night attendance expected to exceed 27,000. With tomorrow night set for at least 31,000 spectators, athletes will experience the best support ever experienced outside of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The excitement will be further heightened in the early part of the week as the Mayor of London-backed schools’ ticketing pro-gramme will see tens of thousands of schoolchildren attend the Championships – 70,000 of whom will help fill the stadium on Monday and Tuesday’s morning sessions alone. In addition, records are set to be broken in terms of broadcasting, with TV pictures set to be beamed to more than 20 countries around the world. The final days before the Championships have also garnered royal support to #FillTheStadium, with Prince Harry joining forces with T42 sprinter and Paralympic bronze medallist Dave Henson to encourage people to show their support for the world’s best Para athletes. Niels de Vos, championship director, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce a record-opening weekend for a World Para Sport championship as well as the amazing global reach of the broadcast figures. We wanted to make this the most watched World Para Athletics Championships in history for the sport.” Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee president, said: “Even before London 2017 begins, it is record breaking in pretty much all areas. Not only has the event shattered all records in terms of spectator attendance and commercial support for a Para Sport championships, the global reach of the event will also make history. “With TV pictures set to be beamed to more than 20 countries and over 800 media accredited, the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 will reach more people than ever before around the world. Just like London 2012, this is going to be an event not to be missed.” The World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 kick off the Summer of World Athletics and the biggest sporting event in the world in 2017 with the IAAF World Championships following at the London Stadium, August 4-13.last_img read more

Brazil’s Thiago Silva back to his best

first_img BATTLE WITH ILLNESS KAZAN, Russia (AP): Four years after Brazil’s humiliation at its home World Cup, Thiago Silva is back to his best in Russia, a country where his then-burgeoning career was almost tragically cut short years ago. The 33-year-old Brazil centre back – who is nicknamed “O Monstro” for his exceptional physical abilities – is probably playing in his final World Cup, and he has been enjoying a perfect tournament so far. While forward Neymar attracted negative comments for his antics on the field, Silva has been irreproachable. The captain arguably has been the best centre back of the tournament, alongside Uruguay captain Diego Godin. Like Uruguay, Brazil have conceded only one goal in Russia so far from a set piece in its opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland. And the Selecao’s rivals have managed only five shots on target in their four matches against the five-time champions. Silva has been playing a key role in helping Brazil achieve those impressive statistics, anchoring the defence with authority and class. During the 2-0 win against Mexico that guaranteed Brazil advanced to the quarterfinals for the seventh consecutive time, Silva was decisive both in the air and on the ground, blocked several shots, and made two clearances. “It’s a huge joy to be doing an excellent cup and to be growing with every game,” Silva said. “I’m happy about my performance and the performance of the team.” Happiness and joy have been hard to come by during some stretches of Silva’s career. The native of Rio de Janeiro went through hard times after Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany at the last World Cup. Silva did not play in that game because he was suspended, but he was harshly criticised and branded a crybaby for his emotional outbursts as he was pictured in tears before a penalty shoot-out against Chile in the round of 16. After the tournament, he was stripped of the team’s captaincy by new coach Dunga then left off the regular roster after the 2015 Copa AmÈrica. He returned from exile in September 2016 for World Cup qualifiers after being called up by Dunga’s successor, Tite. Those professional ups and downs are nothing compared to the ordeal Silva went through back in 2005, when he spent about six months in a Moscow hospital after he contracted tuberculosis. Regarded at the time as one of the world’s most promising defenders, Silva had been sent on loan from Porto to Dynamo Moscow alongside several teammates. “It was probably the worst episode of my life,” Silva said. It was during a training camp in Portugal that doctor Yuri Vassilkov, who had travelled along with the team, noticed that Silva had a persistent cough. “He had a temperature and we thought it was a simple cold,” Vassilkov said in an interview with L’Equipe newspaper this week. “I gave him some medication, but he did not improve. I was a bit worried, and I sent him for exams at the British hospital in Lisbon. The diagnosis was terrible: tuberculosis. It was a shock.” Vassilkov believes that the diagnosis was so late that Silva was weeks away from dying. Silva was brought back to Moscow where he was hospitalised in a centre specialising in tuberculosis treatment. At the time, Silva did not speak English or Russian and went through a bout of depression. “The cold, the lack of natural light, the fact that I could not speak to anybody … All this was very difficult to handle,” Silva remembered in an interview with Belgian Sport/Foot magazine. After Russian doctors at one point considered removing part of his lungs, Silva survived and fully recovered. He never played a game for Dynamo, and these painful events are just bad memories now. AGE – 33 HEIGHT – 1.83m APPEARANCES – 75 GOALS – 6 NUMBER – 2last_img read more