Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HAVING FUN WITH SINGLE-CELLED PROTISTS!

video

Here is a little video we made after watching a ciliate protist swimming around a piece of lichen from a sumac tree.  (St-Laurent Academy- Grade 6 Program- Ottawa, Canada)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The outstanding nominees for the 2012 Indianapolis Prize are:

§ Steven C. Amstrup, Ph.D.: (Polar Bears International) Directed research that led to the 2008 listing of polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act; developed infrared technology to locate polar bear dens under the snow.
§ P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D.: (University of Washington, Seattle; Center for Penguins as Ocean Sentinels) Since 1970s has studied and documented impact of global warming on penguins, and successfully stopped harmful harvesting and development through penguin colonies.
§ Markus Borner, Ph.D.: (Frankfurt Zoological Society) Champion for the Serengeti ecosystem and its endangered black rhinos through biodiversity conservation and ecologically sustainable development; established the first Community Conservation Program in the Serengeti.
§ Robert Buchanan: (Polar Bears International) Leader in polar bear conservation and champion for the Arctic; created PBI’s Tundra Connections™ educational program that broadcasts live programs over the Internet into classrooms around the world.
§ Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D.: (Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) Champion for jaguars in Mexico, conducting the first country-level jaguar census and the most comprehensive jaguar study to date; finalist for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize.
§ Lisa Dabek, Ph.D.: (Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program; Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle) Founder of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program; responsible for the first Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea; used Crittercam© technology for the first time on arboreal mammals that allows scientists to record animal behavior through mounted video cameras and transmitters.
§ Jaret Daniels, Ph.D.: (University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History; IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology) Butterfly conservationist dedicated to assisting imperiled butterfly species recovery; formed the Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network, a statewide citizen-scientist program that trains volunteers and directly engages researchers.
§ Karen L. Eckert, Ph.D.: (WIDECAST: Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network) Dedicated to research, multilateral marine resource management and the international conservation policies for sea turtles for more than three decades.
§ Lisa Hywood: (Tikki Hywood Trust) Works tirelessly to preserve Zimbabwe’s wildlife – including captive breeding, management and monitored release of endangered species and conservation education in underprivileged, rural areas.
§ Rodney Jackson, Ph.D.: (Snow Leopard Conservancy) Conducted an in-depth radio-tracking study of snow leopards in the 1980s; dedicated to building local communities’ capacity as key players in conserving the species; finalist for the 2008 and 2010 Indianapolis Prize.
§ Charlene Jendry: (Columbus Zoo and Aquarium) Responsible for numerous initiatives that have had a positive impact on survival of mountain gorillas and resulted in significantly reduced poaching and deforestation.
§ Carl Jones, Ph.D.: (Mauritian Wildlife Foundation) Biologist who pioneered the techniques of applied population management to reverse the decline of the most endangered species; instrumental in the creation of the first national park in Mauritius; involved in the recovery of five bird species coming from populations of less than ten.
§ James A. Kushlan, Ph.D.: (HeronConservation, the IUCN Heron Specialist Group) Co-founded the IUCN Heron Specialist Group; primary author of the 2004 North American Waterbird Conservation Plan which systemized the conservation needs of more than 200 species from Canada through the Caribbean.
§ Robert C. Lacy, Ph.D.: (Chicago Zoological Society; IUCN Conservation Breeding Specialist Group) Developed analytical techniques and software for optimal genetic management of wildlife populations while pioneering research on the importance of genetic diversity.
§ David W. Macdonald, D.Sc.: (WildCRU: Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford) Pioneered the scientific basis of practical conservation, establishing conservation biology as a science among European universities by founding WildCRU in 1986; specializes in wild carnivore research and was the founder and, for 25 years, chairman of the IUCN’s Canid Specialist Group.
§ Laurie Marker, D.Phil.: (Cheetah Conservation Fund) Founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund; led a conservation program from humble beginnings in rural Namibia to an unparalleled model for predator conservation; finalist for the 2008 and 2010 Indianapolis Prize.
§ Sharon Matola: (Belize Zoo) Founder of the Belize Zoo; spearheading Belize’s environmental education on behalf of jaguars.
§ Charles Mayhew, MBE: (Tusk Trust) African ecosystem conservationist who co-founded Tusk Trust in 1990; backed the launch of a collection of community-managed conservancies now covering 3 million acres in northern Kenya and instigated the acclaimed PACE, Pan African environmental education initiative.
§ Russell A. Mittermeier, Ph.D.: (Conservation International) Visionary leader able to motivate every level of conservationist to support the greater good of many species, including primates; one of the first academic primatologists to become concerned with the welfare and conservation of primates.
§ George B. Rabb, Ph.D.: (Chicago Zoological Society) Leading amphibian conservationist in halting the species’ decline; facilitated discovery of the chytrid fungus that has been called the most devastating animal disease ever recorded.
§ Alan Rabinowitz, Ph.D.: (Panthera) Large cat conservationist whose dedication to the species has led to the development of multiple protected areas across the globe; conducted the first-ever radio telemetry research on Asiatic leopards, Asian leopard cats and civets.
§ Terri Lynn Roth, Ph.D.: (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden) Tireless researcher and advocate for rhino survival worldwide; achieved the scientific breakthrough that led to successful breeding in 2001 of the first Sumatran rhino calf to be produced in human care in 112 years; founder of the Sumatran Rhino Global Management and Propagation Board.
§ Carl Safina, Ph.D.: (Blue Ocean Institute) Brought ocean conservation into the environmental mainstream by using science, art and literature to inspire a “sea ethic;” finalist for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize.
§ Joel D. Sartore: (National Geographic) Photojournalist with mission to give vanishing species and habitats a voice before they’re gone forever; co-founder of The Grassland Foundation.
§ Anne Savage, Ph.D.: (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) Blending conservation and education with innovative programs in South America, including the “eco-mochila” initiative that reduces pollution and creates jobs.
§ Claudio Sillero, Ph.D.: (University of Oxford) Founder and director of the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, keeping watch over Africa's rarest and most endangered carnivore.
§ Jim Thomas: (Tenkile Conservation Alliance) Tripled the endangered Tenkile (tree kangaroo) population from 100 to 300 animals in eight years.
§ Charlie Welch: (Duke Lemur Center) Nurtured a Madagascar forest station into a multi-faceted conservation center with long-term programs of lemur captive husbandry, environment education, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, training/capacity building and other components.
§ Patricia Wright, Ph.D.: (Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments) Discovered the golden bamboo lemur in 1986, a species that was then unknown to science, which helped to catalyze the transformation of Madagascar’s park systems, turning it into a model for global conservation efforts.

To learn more about this Award please see: http://indianapolisprize.org/SitePages/home.aspx

Saturday, November 26, 2011

BIODIVERSITY YOUTH MENTORS AT THE CANADIAN MUSEUM OF NATURE

Youth from St-Laurent Academy and St. Patrick High School presented the work of the Biodiversity Mentorship Program.  The next session is on December 3rd at the Macoun Marsh. 

Africa's Western Black Rhino declared extinct


The Western Black Rhino of Africa was declared officially extinct Thursday by a leading conservation group. The International Union for Conservation of Nature said that two other subspecies of rhinoceros were close to meeting the very same fate. The Northern White Rhino of central Africa is now "possibly extinct" in the wild and the Javan Rhino "probably extinct" in Vietnam, after poachers killed the last animal there in 2010.

The small but declining population survives on the Indonesian island of Java.  IUCN said Thursday that a quarter of all mammals are at risk of extinction, according to its updated Red List of endangered species. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

MACOUN MARSH OTTAWA, CANADA

Here are some images and video from Macoun Marsh.

The Grade 6 class of St-Laurent Academy

video
Feeding chickadees with sunflower seeds!

video
Chickadees are wonderful little birds common in our local forests. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK- INDIA

Rhino carcass was found in Kohora forest range with horn intact. Death is thought to have been caused by fighting against each other. Meanwhile, the forest guards have foiled several rhino poaching attempts in Bagori range and Kohora forest range of the park. Four poachers were arrested in the Kohora forest range.

15, 18, 19 November
bit.ly/sxrMfn
bit.ly/un6oKi
Bit.ly/u5kx5o

SNOW LEOPARDS, MUSK DEER AND RED PANDA

In west Nepal, three snow leopards have been sighted in lower areas of Mustang district and a new species of Musk deer has been reported from Manang and Mustang districts. In the other news, Two Red pandas were found dead in the community forest of Kanchenjunga Conservation area, Taplejung District, east Nepal. This is the third kill reported in the past one month.

16, 17, 20 November
The Kathmandu Post, Kantipur

Gold standard in the UK’s leading sustainable tourism certification

Livingstone's fruit bat (Richard Wainwright)

Following a recent inspection and audit Durrell is delighted to have been recognized by the Green Tourism Business Scheme and awarded Gold accreditation.

The conservation charity, headquartered at the world renowned Trinity wildlife park, is one of only three organizations in Jersey to achieve the Gold standard in the UK’s leading sustainable tourism certification scheme.

Commenting on Durrell’s green initiatives and management policies, Jon Proctor of Green Tourism said “Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust operates an innovative wildlife park which cares for endangered species from the most threatened habitats in the world. It is an iconic attraction for Jersey and supports positive community activities from recycling to species conservation, including the red-billed chough and agile frog, both locally endangered”

Discussing some of the latest initiatives at the 32 acre site he continued; “New developments have embedded and pioneered sustainable best practice from an ‘earthship’ style bat tunnel, built with old tyres, glass and straw, to a new entrance, restaurant and shop with sun pipes, LED lights and recycled furniture. The Trust does a lot of international training and development and offsets all carbon through rainforest protection and tree planting in Brazil. They have made good progress since the last assessment and are worthy Gold award winner.”

Applicants to the Green Tourism Business Scheme must demonstrate a commitment to sustainable tourism and implement a range of procedures minimising damage to the environments in which they operate. Furthermore member organisations must meet minimum standards of good practice across a range of sustainable development indicators.

Durrell Site Environmental Coordinator Gordon Hunt said “We are delighted to have achieved the Gold Award from Green Tourism. Durrell are dedicated to promoting a sustainability ethos in everything we do and hope to continue to strive to communicate this to all our stakeholders”


Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

VILLAGERS GIVE UP ARMS- NEPAL

On request of the park authority, people of the buffer zone in Bardiya National Park, west Nepal, have submitted arms to the army and park officials. In the past two decades, the area has massive wildlife killing, and more than a dozen smugglers have been killed in the crossfire with security personnel.


15 November
The Kathmandu Post

GOVT OKAYS PRIVATE TUSKERS- NEPAL

Government has approved a controversial plan to allow the entry of privately-owned tuskers into Chitwan National Park (CNP) despite of grave concern by conservation activists about the impact of uncontrolled and frequent movement of elephants in the protected area. Already 100 elephants stroll in the park area but after approval 20 more private elephants can enter the park every day.
16 November
Republica

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scientific body of global biodiversity treaty adopts eight recommendations

Montreal, 21 November 2011 – At the first meeting of the Convention’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice since the adoption of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, held last October in Nagoya,

Japan, representatives of government, indigenous and local communities, non-governmental organizations and civil society met in Montreal from 7 to 11 November 2011 to discuss a variety of scientific, technical and technological issues related to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Among the main outcomes of the meeting was the agreement on an indicator framework to monitor progress for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets contained in the Strategic Plan at both the global and national levels. Parties also agreed to initiate work on ecosystem restoration, recognizing that restoration is an essential element of the package of activities that will be required to implement the Strategic Plan. In this respect the meeting built on the success of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

During the five-day meeting the more than 400 participants also considered issues related to inland water ecosystems, such as implications of changes in the water cycles and freshwater resources, Arctic biodiversity, means of addressing the gaps related to international standards on invasive alien species introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species and as live bait and food, the sustainable use of biodiversity related to bushmeat and options for small-scale food and income alternatives, a capacity-building strategy for the Global Taxonomic Initiative, as well as ways and means to improve the effectiveness of the Subsidiary Body.

A total of eight recommendations were adopted, and they will be submitted for the consideration of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention at its eleventh meeting, to be held in Hyderabad, India, from 8 to 19 October 2012.

The next meeting of the Subsidiary Body will take place from 30 April to 4 May 2012. Among the issues that will be considered are marine and coastal biodiversity, biodiversity and climate change and the next edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook.

Homemade Organic Beauty Products!

How to make your own organic eyeshadow, lipgloss and hair dye.

Disclaimer: The Ashbury Green Club does not take responsibility for green hair, parents who get mad after you destroy their kitchen or stores that refuse to give you their entire stock of samples. Use your good judgement when following the recipe.

These crafts are so versatile that they can be tailored to anyone's life. Like science class? Think of these as chemistry tests. In World Affairs? Use them to bring down heartless multi-national corporations. In Green Club? Sell them and use the money to plant trees. On the football team? Give them to your mom/sister/girlfriend for her birthday. In {italics} are my comments and personal tips from previous attempts.

First: Containers are needed!
To store two of these projects, you're going to need sample containers. They can be found in hotels, art workshops or at store give-aways. At stores, the challenge is to obtain the maximum number of containers without purchasing anything. The creativity is endless! You can employ cute younger siblings, appear indecisive about buying a product, or unsure if you have allergies to a certain ingredient. At least one is required for each project (not the hair dye).

How to make your own eyeshadow:
What you need: container(s), mica rock(s), plastic bag, hammer
Mica rocks are rough, black with silver or gold flecks inside. They're found on the ground, on E-Bay or in your sibling's rock collection.
7 year old sister: (playing with rocks)
Me: "Hey sis, you see that ugly black rock over there, can I have it?"
Smart 7 year old sister: "Okay, $100!"
Me: "Come on, I need it to write their Blazer article on how to make your own eyeshadow, lipgloss and hair dye!"
Dumb 7 year old sister: "Hair dye? I have a better deal: I give you my rock, and you let me try the hair dye FIRST."
Me: "Okay!"

Once you have a rock or two, place them inside the plastic bag and start pounding with the hammer. Note to self: to not hammer on the fancy tile counter of a newly renovated kitchen The final result is either a grey-silver or a grey-gold powder (Mica is the base of all those expensive mineral makeups). It should remove with warm water.

How to make your own lipgloss:
What you need: container(s), virgin almond oil OR virgin coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil, cooking pot, stir stick. Note: this recipe is measured for roughly one container
Place one teaspoon (the smaller one) of almond/coconut oil, one teaspoon of beeswax and two drops of vitamin E oil ( it acts as a natural preservative and gives your concoction a 6 month shelf life) into the cooking pot and slowly heat, but don't boil. Stir slowly.
Now the fun part; Go nuts with the options! Essential oil, blueberry smoothie, green food colouring, freshly cut bananas, purple glitter...
Me: (on the phone) "Hello? Lady Gaga? I've got a new look for you!"

Wait for the mixture to cool (about 2 hours) before storing in containers.

How to make your own hair dye:
Note: due to intense cowardice the full dye job has not actually been performed on anyone the author knows, though highlights have worked, even if the brunette recipe "smells bad" according to little sister (we're against animal testing).

For Blonde Hair:
What you need: shower cap, juice from two lemons.
Pour juice into shower cap, place shower cap on head, wait 30 minutes (for highlights), 2 hours (for all over lightening). Rinse hair.

For Brunette Hair:
What you need: shower cap, quarter cup of coffee
Pour
cooled! coffee into shower cap, place shower cap on head, wait 30 minutes (for highlights and lowlights), 2 hours (for all over colour). Rinse hair.

For Red Hair:
What you need: shower cap, quarter cup of strong rose-hip tea
Pour &cooled!} tea into shower cap, place shower cap on head, wait 30 minutes (for highlights), 2 hours (for all over colour). Rinse hair.

Have fun!

Author: Clara Charron

Thursday, November 17, 2011

MACOUN MARSH- OTTAWA, CANADA

Life seen today at our favourite marsh.

Downy woodpecker

 
Gray Tree frog found in the leaf litter

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TIBET-NEPAL BORDER: ROUTE FOR ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE- CHINA

The Lhasa Customs Office confirmed that porous Tibetan borders with Nepal are being used to smuggle illicit drugs, pangolin scales, and wildlife products into China. In 2011, the Lhasa Customs Office seized many smuggling cases including 5.4 kilograms of pangolin scales, 72.3 kilograms of elephant tusks and Tibetan antelope wool. There are 128 points along the 1100 kilometer Tibetan Autonomous Region-Nepal border through which smuggling activities takes place.

8, 10 November
http://pangolins.org/2011/11/10/tibet-identified-as-significant-smuggling-route-for-illegal-wildlife-trade/

LUCRATIVE OFFER FOR RHINO HORN TRADERS- INDIA

An investigation has revealed that a Chinese arms manufacturer who is into rhino farming has approached Northeast Indian rebels to procure body parts and blood samples of rhino from Assam’s many game parks such as Kaziranga. In return the rebels will be provided with arms and ammunitions of a “comparable value”. Also, the price offered for a 2 kg horn is IRS 20 lacs, which is much higher than in the black market as revealed by the report.

11 November

Argentina becomes sixty-seventh signatory of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing

Montreal, 16 November 2011 – Yesterday, 15 November 2011, Argentina became the sixty-seventh signatory of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  The Nagoya Protocol, which was opened for signature in February 2011, will enter into force 90 days after deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “The signing of the Nagoya Protocol by Argentina is further testimony to the growing global commitment and support for efforts to secure a more sustainable future for generations to come. I call on all countries who have not yet done so to sign the Protocol as soon as soon as possible.”

The entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol will provide greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources, creating a framework that promotes the use of genetic  resources and associated traditional knowledge while strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use. Hence, the Protocol will create new incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has provided financial support for the early entry into force and effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund was established by GEF with an initial financial contribution of $12.5 million from Japan. In addition, a medium-sized project of $1 million is providing support to the ratification and early entry into force of the Protocol through a series of awareness-raising and capacity-building activities. The project is being executed by the Convention Secretariat and is now fully operational.

The list of signatories of the Nagoya Protocol is available on the Convention’s website at: www.cbd.int/abs/nagoya-protocol/signatories/

RHINO SLAYED- INDIA

In last five months, third rhino has been killed in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam. The poacher has been apprehended. Prior to these killings, this sanctuary had no poaching records for over five years.
11 November
http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=nov1111/state06

RESIN EXTRACTION CAUSES DEFORESTATION- NEPAL

The community forest of Udaypur and Khotang districts, east Nepal, are said to be degrading due to illegal resin extraction from younger pine trees. Last month, an estimated 1,500 liters of resin was extracted in 15 days. Locals are booing against the illegal extraction but the forest authorities are turning their deaf ears.

11 November
Nagarik


REVENUE UP FROM PROTECTED AREAS- NEPAL

The revenue collected from the National parks and Conservation areas has doubled this year (NPR 180 million) than previous year (NRs 95 million). The increase has been possible mainly due to the establishment of new National Parks and Conservation Areas; increase in flow of tourists and direct supervision of the revenue account by the government.

11 November
Aarthik Aviyaan

RHINO HORN TRADERS ARRESTED- NEPAL

Last month, seventeen people have been arrested by the Chitwan National Park authorities for their involvement in smuggling and trading of rhino horns. This is the “first complete chain” to be taken into custody at once. One of the arrested traders was already declared dead in 2003 as the family submitted a false death certificate then.

7 November

Monday, November 14, 2011

UNESCO launch of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity takes place in Paris

Montreal, 14 November 2011 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) joined with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to launch the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity at its headquarters in Paris.

The event took place in conjunction with the thirty-sixth session of the UNESCO General Conference and coincided with the launch of the UNESCO Biodiversity Initiative aimed at contributing to the effective implementation of the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The ceremony was presided over by Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, as well as the Deputy Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO, Minister Mr. Tsutomu Koizumi; Mr Jean-Pierre Thebault, the Ambassador for the Environment of France represented Ms Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing of France, as well as Ms Hélène Mandroux, the Mayor of Montpellier, and Mr. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Over 80 participants attended the ceremony.

Speaking on behalf of the President of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Bio, Minister Koizumi stated that: “The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties achieved historic results which included the new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity as well as two legally binding protocols. To engage the people of the world in the implementation of the Nagoya results, Japan suggested the celebration of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity and the official launch will take place in Kanazawa city, Japan in December this year.”

Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, said: “Our new Biodiversity Initiative embodies the integrated, multidisciplinary approach that is required for the sustainable, equitable conservation and use of biodiversity. We are guided by the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity crafted in Nagoya in October 2010 and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.”

Speaking on behalf of Minister Nathalie Kosciisko-Morizet, Ambassador Thebault reiterated the commitment of France to promoting the biodiversity agenda as evidenced by its recent signature of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing.

The Mayor of Monpellier, Ms Hélène Mandroux, stressed the role of cities in promoting the biodiversity agenda and announced the convening in January 2012, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, of the meeting of mayors and biodiversity of the Mediterranean region as a contribution to the convening of the second summit on cities and biodiversity to be held in Hyderabad, India, in October 2012, back to back with the high-level segment of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the Convention to Combat Desertification, highlighted the importance of mutually supportive activities to celebrate the United Nations Decade on desertification and the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. He presented the results of the first-ever high-level event on desertification convened on 20 September by the United Nations General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “Last year, UNESCO was the first international organization to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity. Today UNESCO is the first international organization to launch the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity and the first international organization to launch a biodiversity initiative aimed at the effective implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.” Mr. Djoghlaf paid tribute to Ms Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, and her team, as well as to the UNESCO member States for their unique contribution in educating and engaging the people of the world in the biodiversity agenda. He added, “I am glad to count UNESCO as a partner in our work.”

To build support and momentum for this urgent task, the United Nations General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session declared the period 2011-2020 to be “the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the period 2011-2020” (resolution 65/161).

The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity will serve to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and promote its overall vision of living in harmony with nature. Its goal is to mainstream biodiversity at different levels. Throughout the United Nations Decade, Governments are encouraged to develop, implement and communicate the results of national strategies for implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.

Regional launches have been held around the world in 2011. A global event for the Decade will be held in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan from 17 to 19 December 2011.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

3rd module of our biodiversity mentorship program- Ottawa, CANADA


Our 3rd module of our biodiversity mentorship program took place today. Here were some of the guests for the Saturday program on Politics and Biodiversity.
Jessica Walsh Moreau- Biodiversity Youth Leader- Delegate at Nagoya for COP10
David Chernushenko - City of Ottawa councillor
Yasir Naqvi - Liberal MPP for Ottawa Centre, Liberal MPP for Ottawa Centre, President of the Provincial Liberal Party and former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education
Anil Naidoo - Ottawa Centre NDP candidate
Kevin O'Donnell - Ottawa Centre Green candidate
Growing Up Organic staff person to be named
Tom Marcantonio - Food Production Co-Ordinator at Woodpark CommunIty Association, local organic farmer/consultant
Judi Varga-Toth - Founder and Owner of Credible Edibles

45 students from 12 schools have participated in the program to date with 10 students completing all the modules today.  Twenty of our ASLA Grade 6-8 students are presently involved.  Mr. L.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rothschild's Porcupine

Sleeping in a tree

Close up



This is a rare porcupine to see I was told by a guide at Canopy Tower. They apparently only see two porcupines like this one per year. The Rothschild's porcupine is in the family of new world porcupines. The spines on its back are loosely attached to its skin. They have barbs on these spines so they are easily protected. They are very small and an interesting thing to see. I hiked up a hill off the path and into the jungle to get these shots even though there can be snakes and other things I was careful and in the end it was worth it.


Mr. Panamá

PROBLEMS FOR CROCODILE BREEDING CENTER- BHUTAN

Established in 1976, the crocodile-breeding farm (3600 acres) in Phuentsholing is facing problem as they have no space for breeding gharials. It is home to 6 adult gharials, 19 young gharials and 14 mugger crocodiles.

2 November


FAMILY PLANNING FOR MONKEYS- INDIA

Wildlife wing of Himachal Pradesh government has targeted to sterilize 200,000 monkeys in the next eight months. For this the government is providing an award of IRS 500 for each monkey caught and handed over to the forest authorities. The estimated IRS 10 billion will be spent for catching 200,000 monkeys. After vasectomy, the monkey will be released in their original habitat. 

3 November

ELEPHANT- HUMAN CONFLICT- INDIA

Seven wild elephants damaged at least 10 houses and about 4680 m2 of paddy field in Karimganj District of Assam. Locals say that Elephants feel no fear of fire anymore. Meanwhile, a sub-adult female elephant died in a road-kill at the railway track in Jalpaiguri District. Agitated by the event other elephants of the herd blocked the railway track for more than an hour.

5, 6 November
Times of India

FOREST OFFICER BUSTED- NEPAL

A forest officer in Nijgadh, Bara District, central Nepal, was beaten up by a group of people led by Constituent Assembly (CA) Member. The victim tried to confiscate the tractor laden with smuggled timber belonging to CA member.  However, CA member denied the allegation and retaliated the action of the forest officer.

6 November
Kantipur


POACHERS NABBED- NEPAL

A poacher in Kaski District, west Nepal, has been caught by security personal for possessing a severely injured Himalayan Goral.  The poacher was on his way to Pokhara.

2 November
Kantipur

NEPAL RANKS 157 IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX

This year, Nepal’s human development index (HDI) is 0.458, an increment of 0.03 points from last year.  Its current ranking is 157 out of 187 countries.  The human development report published this week, places Nepal in the lowest rank among SAARC nations.

November 4    
Gorkhapatra

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

3rd module of the ASLA Biodiversity Mentorship Program- CANADA

Japan's Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto and Youth Delegate Chafic at COP10


Our 3rd module of our ASLA biodiversity mentorship program is coming together! Here are some of our guests for this Saturday's program on Politics and Biodiversity.
Jessica Walsh Moreau- Biodiversity Youth Leader- Delegate at Nagoya for COP10
Chafic Bouchakra- Biodiversity Youth Leader- Delegate at Nagoya for COP10
David Chernushenko - City of Ottawa councillor
Clive Doucet- City of Ottawa councillor, Ottawa mayoral candidate
Yasir Naqvi - Liberal MPP for Ottawa Centre, Liberal MPP for Ottawa Centre, President of the Provincial Liberal Party and former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education
Anil Naidoo - Ottawa Centre NDP candidate
Kevin O'Donnell - Ottawa Centre Green candidate
Growing Up Organic staff person to be named
Tom Marcantonio - Food Production Co-Ordinator at Woodpark CommunIty Association, local organic farmer/consultant
Judi Varga-Toth - Founder and Owner of Credible Edibles

Monday, November 7, 2011

Uruguay ratifies the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Montreal, 6 November 2011 – On 2 November 2011, Uruguay deposited its instrument of ratification of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity and will become the 162nd Party to the Protocol on 31 January 2012. The news comes at a time when the Protocol has entered a new implementation phase to be guided by a 10-year strategic plan adopted by the Parties to the Protocol at their most recent meeting, held in Nagoya, Japan, in October last year.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a legally binding international agreement governing the transboundary movement of living modified organisms (LMOs), also commonly known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), resulting from modern biotechnology. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential adverse effects of LMOs by ensuring their safe transfer, handling and use. It was adopted on 29 January 2000 and entered into force on 11 September 2003.

Uruguay, with financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and technical assistance by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has developed a draft national biosafety framework and is in the process of building its capacity to comply with the Protocol’s provisions.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “I congratulate Uruguay on its ratification of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. This will enable Uruguay to fully participate in decision-making regarding the future of the Protocol during the sixth meeting of the Parties to the Protocol in India next year. I also urge other Governments that have not yet done so to join the Protocol as soon as possible.”

The list of all Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is available on the Protocol website at: http://bch.cbd.int/protocol/parties/.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

EARTH DAY CANADA ECOMENTORS AND BIODIVERSITYMATTERS- OTTAWA

It was an honour to work with Earth Day Canada today and present our International Youth Accord.  Chafic and Jessica presented their international work in Nagoya, Japan during COP10.  We made an invitation for youth to take part in the many events leading up to COP11.   

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Climate Change Imperils Global Prosperity, U.N. Warns

A new report from the United Nations Development Program warns that if drastic measures are not taken to prepare nations for the impacts of climate change, the economic progress of the world’s developing countries could stall or even be reversed by 2050.

“Even if someone’s a climate skeptic, this report says, ‘Put that aside for a second,’ ” said William Orme, a spokesman for the United Nations agency. “If you believe in something like a moral commitment to the global community and in getting people out of poverty, we must address these environmental problems.”

Read more here: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/02/climate-change-imperils-global-prosperity-u-n-warns/

The Canadian Earth Summit Coalition

The Canadian Earth Summit Coalition submitted an input to the Zero Draft for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, most popularly known as Earth Summit 2012 or Rio+20.
Thousands of organisations around the world were racing to meet the deadline of November 1st. Preceded by meetings conducted at almost every level including provincial, national, regional and global level we can only hope that civil society is ready for the negotiations at Earth Summit 2012. The pressure on this conference is even greater after the unsuccessful negotiations of the Commission on Sustainable Development 19 in New York, this May.
In the last year the Canadian Earth Summit Coalition has been working to revitalize the Canadian leadership spirit and remind us of our own legacy. Over 20 research, academic, non-government organisations, as well as experts and people across Canada, led by One Earth Initiative Society and 40 young volunteers, kept on raising the questions: What could be Canada's role at the Earth Summit 2012?
In the discussions three Canadian priorities that relate to the topics of the Earth Summit 2012 were identified: green economy in context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and institutional framework for sustainable development. In short, the Coalition calls for three policies:
  • the adoption of new measures of progress and well-being to measure social and ecological progress towards sustainability
  • the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and putting a price on carbon
  • the implementation of national sustainable procurement policies that includes sourcing products bearing the Fairtrade Certified Mark
As Canadians, we have a legacy at the Earth Summit. Looking back at the 1972 Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, the Canadian Maurice Strong, first executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, opened up the conference with the following statement: "Man is unlikely to succeed in managing his relationship with nature unless in the course of it he learns to manage better the relations between man and man."
Twenty years after Stockholm, in 1992 in Rio De Janeiro, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held, and became known as the first Earth Summit. It was the only place where social, environmental and economic justice was discussed as integral parts of a wholesome approach to resolving our problems. People around the world will remember the Rio Earth Summit by one more Canadian. She was 12 years old and spoke before heads of state and became known as the girl who silenced the world for six minutes, Severn Cullis-Suzuki. Today, this speech is part of the program of many elementary and high schools, and remains to echo around the world as the voice of the people.
Another 20 years have passed since, and here we are, six months away from the Earth Summit 2012.
The Coalition has been bringing these ideas and raising the profile of the Earth Summit 2012 through its public campaign, We Canada. We Canada aims to engage Canadians in supporting progressive sustainable policies and demanding Canadian political actors take on a leadership role at the Earth Summit 2012 by attending the Summit.