Friday, November 30, 2012
BEIJING: China, emergent superpower and the world’s second biggest economy, is effectively standing on the sidelines as its exponential growth devastates forests in a trade worth billions of dollars a year.
In the new report Appetite for Destruction: China's Trade in Illegal Timber, launched today in Beijing, the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reveals that China is now the single largest international consumer of illegal timber, importing wood stolen by organised criminal syndicates on a massive scale.
In the past 10 years, significant progress has been made to protect shrinking forests around the world from the devastating impacts of illegal logging. As major timber-consumers, the United States the European Union and Australia have now taken legislative steps to exclude stolen timber from their markets, while key producer countries such as Indonesia have dramatically improved enforcement against illegal logging.
Yet although China has taken vigorous and laudable steps to protect and re-grow its own forests, it has simultaneously nurtured a vast and ravenous wood processing industry reliant on importing most of its raw materials.
“China is now effectively exporting deforestation around the world,” said Faith Doherty, head of EIA’s Forests Campaign.
“Any further meaningful progress to safeguard the forests of the world is being undermined unless the Chinese Government acts swiftly and decisively to significantly strengthen its enforcement and ensure that illegal timber is barred from its markets.”
EIA investigators has been conducting field investigations into flows of illicit timber, including working undercover and posing as timber buyers, since 2004 in China, Indonesia, Laos, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, the Russian Far East and Vietnam.
Appetite for Destruction examines the extent and impacts on these countries of China’s voracious consumption, and features several case studies from countries whose forests are being severely depleted.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), for the first time in the country, has launched an expedition to attach radio collar to four common leopards in Ayubia National Park to monitor movement and activities of common leopards. Common leopards in Pakistan, has been declared endangered species because its population has shrunk due to the loss of habitats and conflict between local population and the animal.
People in Chamdo Prefecture, in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region will be able to cross the region's deep ravines and rivers more safely through bridges instead of ropeways. Statistics from Chamdo Prefecture Poverty Alleviation Office show that over 28,000 people from 61 villages of 29 towns and townships in 11 counties in Chamdo relied on ropeways to cross rivers in the past. Likewise Tibetans in Yushu are expected to observe end of electricity shortage after construction of Yushu-Qinghai main 330 kw electronic power grid transmission project.
17, 20 November
China Tibet Online
WWF-India Network report has revealed that Leh and Kargil regions of Jammu and Kashmir were poorly studied in terms of biodiversity and potential impacts of climate change on the wetlands and local population in the area. The regions are threatened by unsustainable tourism, overgrazing, unsustainable resource extraction and increase in infrastructure. Ladakh, the report reads, is a breeding ground of the black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis)—“a vulnerable species—also found in China and Bhutan.”
The Reserve that had turned into a desert due to the devastating Saptakoshi floods that occurred at Kushaha-4, in the northern part of Sunsari district some four years back is gradually transforming into a green land, and thereby increasing the number of wild buffaloes. Last year, some 219 buffaloes were counted in the reserve, this year the count is 259. The number of migrant birds is also reported to have been increasing in the area.
The Himalayan Times