Tag: Biodiversity

Empowering youth to protect fisheries in the Solomon Islands

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By Faye Aborina Siota | 


In the Solomon Islands, discussions and decisions on managing local fisheries mostly involve men, who are typically the elders and hold the leadership positions in communities. Yet research from across the world shows that broad community involvement and commitment is critical for equitable fisheries management.

A key challenge is to arrive at a model of community management of natural resources that integrates the voices of all community members, including youth, while also respecting traditional social hierarchy.

Spear fishing, Solomon Islands.

In the Solomon Islands, fish and fishing is important as a source of food and income and is integrated into the way of life of households and communities. Youth participate in fisheries by fishing from shore or from canoes, diving to gather invertebrates and to Spearfish, and helping to clean and prepare to catch for sale or for consumption – all of which are important contributions to the collective activities of a rural and coastal community.

Yet the strong cultural hierarchy in many rural and coastal communities limits the extent that youth can participate in discussions on fisheries governance. Respect for community chiefs, elders, religious leaders and resource owners as the decision makers sometimes restrains the ability that youth have to contribute ideas. This can mean that youth become disenfranchised, resulting in many being uninvolved and even unaware of such deliberations. The trend for youth to move away from rural communities to bigger urban centers adds to the challenge.

Encouraging the greater involvement all individuals, including youth, in fisheries management has been a focus of efforts by WorldFish in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to test, refine and promote community-based resource management (CBRM) in the Solomon Islands since 2005.

The CBRM approach involves local communities managing natural resources in partnership with government bodies and civil society groups through such mechanisms as discussing customary access rights, sharing contemporary scientific and local knowledge about marine environments and fish ecology, promoting sustainable harvesting and practicing enforcement. This approach resonates well in the Solomon Islands, where, because of customary marine tenure, communities have always managed their local fisheries with little intervention from government authorities.

CBRM training participants, Solomon Islands.

To ensure CBRM initiatives reach and involve youth, WorldFish has partnered with the regional organization Pacific Community (SPC) to run workshops on CBRM specifically targeted toward youth. Since November 2016, three youth-targeted trainings have been held involving 47 young people.

The three-day training empowers youth to increase their knowledge and confidence so as to allow them to get actively involved in, and even lead, marine resource management in their communities. It encourages young people to open up, interact and share ideas on tackling fisheries issues and solutions in their own communities. By giving them the opportunity to recognize their capabilities, youth understand that they can contribute to resource management programs, and affect a range of decisions that impact upon the future of their communities.

Look & learn trip, Solomon Islands.

The gaining of basic marine biology knowledge and a deeper understanding of the interconnection of the marine environment to us humans was an evident impact of the training. With this new knowledge, youths discussed ways that they would be able to better manage community resources and work together to improve their management when they returned home. To capture these ideas, the youths drew up action plans that outlined activities such as holding awareness talks to carry out on their return to their communities.

In the Solomon Islands, we are all resource users that depend on fisheries for food and income. If we don’t all participate in managing our natural resources and protecting our environment, then we can’t ensure the continued benefits of fisheries for the people who depend on them. Appreciating our youth and recognizing them as agents of change in our communities is therefore critical to achieving sustainable outcomes from CBRM initiatives.


AUTHOR

Faye Aborina Siota

Faye Aborina Siota

Faye Aborina Siota has been working for WorldFish as a Research Analyst since 2012. She has been involved in research on community-based resource management (CBRM), nearshore fish aggregating devices (FADs) and most recently, on food and nutrition in rural communities. She believes in community empowerment and the strength-based approach.


 


Article Disclaimer: This article was published by The Fish Tank and retrieved on 12/21/2017 and posted here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM accordingly.


 

Indigenous communities, biodiversity in focus at Global Landscapes Forum

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By Gabrielle Lipton | 20 December 2017


BONN, Germany (Landscapes News) — “We must act now,” said Robert Nasi, director general of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), kicking off the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) conference in Bonn, Germany on Tuesday, with a call to action.

GLF Bonn 2017 is not only the seventh installation of the world’s largest multi-sectoral platform focused on landscapes, which first launched in Warsaw in 2013; but it also marks the start of a new chapter for the forum, following the recent boost of an 11 million euros ($13 million) injection by the German government. GLF is now shoring up activities in anticipation of five more years of addressing landscape issues around the world, conducted in partnership with the World Bank, CIFOR, the U.N. Environment program, and the German government.

This new phase of the movement has ensured the activity can extend beyond the two-days of intense activity at the World Conference Center venue in Bonn on Dec. 19 and 20 in a concerted effort to address and combat landscape and climate change issues.

Also in its new phase, GLF aims to engage more than 1 billion people worldwide. The conference was attended on Tuesday in Bonn by more than 1,000 participants ranging from President of Mauritius Ammenah Gurib Fakim and Former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon to yogi-environmentalist and spiritual guide Sadhguru, as well as scientists, start-up entrepreneurs, leaders from non-governmental organizations, actors in the public and private sectors, and a number of students and youth. Thousands of people around the world tuned in online to watch live-stream videos of various discussions, plenaries, “TED Talk” style Landscape Talks, press conferences, and capacity-building Launchpad sessions.

The myriad items on the day’s agenda revolved around the forum’s stated five themes: landscape restoration, financing sustainable landscapes, rights and equitable development, food and livelihoods, and measuring progress toward climate change and development goals.

Stefan Schmitz, deputy director-general and commissioner of the “One World – No Hunger” Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), stated in the opening plenary, more than 70 percent of those suffering from poverty and hunger live in rural areas, and environmental degradation is largely confined to their home fronts.

“The Global Landscapes Forum creates space for innovative ideas that can then be implemented on the ground,” said Barbara Hendricks, the Federal Minister of German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). “The overarching goal is to learn from one another and take action together.”

Native Knowledge

Following on the heels of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn in November, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s “One Planet” summit earlier this month, GLF has distinguished itself by including indigenous and marginalized communities in the discussion. Ideally, GLF will offer an opportunity for more space and attention in dialogues and decision-making processes to be applied on the local, regional and global levels.

Indigenous communities play a key role in finding holistic solutions to land degradation, reforestation, food security and the future of clean water sources.

“I think that’s one of the biggest contributions that indigenous organizers and young professionals are making, in every field addressing climate change and unsustainable development—that they look at everything as its complete picture,” said Janene Yazzie, co-founder and chief executive of Sixth World Solutions and member of the U.S.’s Navajo Tribal Nation. “We look at what’s affecting our air, our father sky, our mother earth.”

The forum has quickly made evident the importance of investing in indigenous communities—both financially and culturally, as the two are inextricably linked.

Roberto Borerro, programs and communications coordinator of the International Indian Treaty Council, said that indigenous groups should be viewed as partners in a unique position to offer solutions on environmental issues.

“We’re not looking for saviors,” he said. “We can save ourselves if we’re given the right tools and the opportunity to save ourselves.”

Africa in the spotlight

“As we modernize, we must support traditional knowledge systems, which are those linked to sustainable agriculture,” Fakim said.

In a keynote speech, Fakim reiterated the crucial role of indigenous communities in tackling landscape issues. However, she contextualized this specifically in terms of Africa where threats to biodiversity are graver than on any other continent. In Mauritius alone, almost 100 species have become extinct since the 17th century, she said.

Throughout African countries, as temperatures rise, so do costs for tackling ensuing changes to the continent’s ecosystems and landscapes. As such, changes to the landscape are a crucial focus for the conservation community.

Fakim made a call for increased investment in research. She said that basing policies and government agendas on fact-based information are paramount to positive change, not just in Mauritius but everywhere.

Karin Kemper, senior director for the environment and natural resources, global practice at the World Bank, advanced this notion, saying that in order for the World Bank to achieve its twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, a combination of information, innovation and incentives are needed.

Research, technology, and finance mechanisms must be advanced in tandem, and policymaking should be incentivized to be progressive and forward thinking.


Article Disclaimer: This article was published by the Global Landscapes Forum and retrieved on 12/20/2017 and posted here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM Inc. accordingly.


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Scientists are telling BP and Total to stay away from the Amazon Reef

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137412_245872

Photo Source/Credit: GREENPEACE


By Mal Chadwick – 28 July, 2017 at 17:34


Researchers, naturalists, explorers and broadcasters are joining the call for oil companies to leave the Amazon Reef alone. The latest call to protect the reef came as an open letter highlighting the importance of this unique environment, and warning of the threat from an oil spill nearby.

BP and Total are trying to get permission to drill for oil near the Amazon Reef, but this group of experts called for the companies’ plans to be put on hold, saying that “The priority should be to protect the reef and surrounding waters in order to conduct further research.”

This letter adds more pressure on BP and Total to cancel their plans to drill. So far, over a million people have signed the petition against oil drilling near the Amazon Reef, and more than 29,000 people have written to BP’s CEO in protest.

A fascinating puzzle

One of the first images of the Amazon Reef 28 Jan, 2017  © Greenpeace

For ocean scientists, the Amazon Reef is a fascinating puzzle, full of new discoveries and surprising twists. In just a few days of exploring the reef, researchers believe to have found not only three potential new fish species , but also dozens more that had not been spotted in the area before.  Scientists believe the Amazon Reef is also home to large numbers of critically endangered fish—yet another reason why an oil spill nearby would be devastating to the environment.

This first expedition only covered a tiny fraction of the 600 mile-long reef, so with most of this ecosystem still unexplored, the biggest discoveries are likely still to come.

But BP and Total’s dangerous oil drilling plan could devastate this special place before we’ve had a chance to study it properly. There’s little evidence that the oil companies have taken the risk of a spill seriously, and they haven’t been able to show that they could deal with an accident in the strong currents and deep, murky waters near the mouth of the Amazon River.

Want to help stop BP and Total? Sign the petition to protect the Amazon Reef.

Mal Chadwick is a digital campaigner for Greenpeace UK


Article Disclaimer: This article was published by the Greenpeace and retrieved on 07/28/2017 and posted here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM accordingly.


 

 

The hunt for offshore oil is killing tiny sea creatures that are key for healthy oceans

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Zooplankton.0Zooplankton. Photo: NOAA / Wikimedia Commons


by  Jun 23, 2017, 12:15pm EDT


A widely used method to find oil and gas for offshore drilling can kill tiny sea creatures that are key for feeding many marine animals like shellfish, fish, and even whales. And the impacts on these tiny, drifting creatures — called zooplankton — are seen in an area much larger than previously thought.

The study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, adds to the body of evidence that the loud noises produced during oil and gas exploration can disrupt marine life— including whales that use sound to communicate and look for food. It also comes just a few months after President Donald Trump has signed an executive order looking to expand offshore gas and oil drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

Oil and gas companies looking for offshore natural resources use seismic airguns to blast compressed air through the water and into the seafloor. The noise produced by these airguns is louder than a Saturn V rocket during launch, according to Nature. So researchers wanted to see what the effects are on the sea’s base of the food chain, the zooplankton.

The researchers blasted airguns in the ocean off southern Tasmania, and checked zooplankton populations before and after by using sonar and nets. The abundance of these tiny creatures dropped by 64 percent within one hour of the blast, the study says. Two to three times as many zooplankton were also found dead — and the impacts were recorded as far away as 0.7 miles. Scientists previously estimated that impacts would occur only within 33 feet from the blast.

An airgun test conducted by the researchers off southern Tasmania.
 Photo by Rob McCauley

It’s not 100 percent clear how the airguns are causing the die-offs, but it’s possible the blast throws off the receptors the animals use to navigate, disorienting them and causing them to die, according to Nature. Because zooplankton is key for feeding larger marine animals, the die-offs could have serious cascading effects.

“Plankton underpin whole ocean productivity,” lead author Robert McCauley, an associate professor at Curtin University in Australia, said in a statement. “Their presence impacts right across the health of the ecosystem so it’s important we pay attention to their future.”


Article Disclaimer: This article was published by the The Verge and retrieved on 07/28/2017 and posted here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM accordingly.


 

Myanmar designates first marine areas protected by local fishing communities

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Cover.-Credit-Michangelo-Pignani-FFI

Cover.-Credit-Michangelo-Pignani-FFI


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Myanmar Department of Fisheries celebrates World Oceans Day by designating Myanmar’s first Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs).

Myeik Archipelago, once a haven for biodiverse coral reefs, seagrass areas, mangroves and pristine beaches, has experienced a dramatic decline of its fisheries in the last decade due to overfishing and illegal fishing practices such as near-shore trawling and dynamite fishing that led to the destruction of coral reefs. The decline of fish stocks has had a serious impact on the livelihood of local fishing communities who are competing with large-scale industrial fishing operations.

Over the past three years, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in collaboration with the Fisheries Department has undertaken comprehensive marine ecosystem assessments to identify and prioritise the remaining intact marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, for conservation and sustainable local fisheries management.

On World Oceans Day, the Myanmar Fisheries Department is inaugurating the country’s first three Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) to protect some of the most diverse coral reefs and marine habitats in the Myeik Archipelago.

Credit: Michangelo Pignani/FFI.

This is the first time in Myanmar’s history that long-term management of marine areas has been granted to local fishing communities. These communities receive exclusive fishing rights, while taking responsibility for protecting local marine habitats and biodiversity.

“The designation of LMMAs manged by the fishing communities of Thayawthadangyi Island and the Langan Island group will not only protect diverse coral reefs and important fish and crab nursery grounds, but also support local livelihoods,” says Robert Howard, FFI’s marine programme adviser in Myanmar.

The fishing communities will manage their local marine areas through zonation for sustainable local fisheries as well as no-take zones for the most important coral reefs, which serve as nursery grounds.

Credit: Michangelo Pignani/FFI.

According Frank Momberg, FFI’s Myanmar Country Director, “Experience from other countries such as Indonesia has shown that LMMAs with no-take zones for critical fish nursery grounds can lead to a recovery of fish stocks within two years and improve local fisheries through spill-over from the no-take zones into the surrounding coastal waters.”

According to U Zau Lunn, FFI Myanmar’s Marine Conservation Director, “Exclusive fishing rights for the local communities and collaboration with the Fisheries Department and the Myanmar Navy on law enforcement will ensure that LMMAs will be spared from destructive and unsustainable fishing practices such as near shore trawling and light boat fishing.”

FFI gratefully acknowledges the financial support for this initiative from Foundation Segré, Helmsley Charitable Trust, the European Union, Lighthouse Foundation and Nommontu Foundation, and Arcadia – a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing.


Article Disclaimer: This article was published by the Fauna & Flora International and retrieved on 06/18/2017 and posted at INDESEEM for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM accordingly.


 

Closer look: Landscape level assessment for the Central Namib Desert

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Namibia-Credit-David-Wright-FFI

Namibia-Credit-David-Wright-FFI


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The southern African country of Namibia has been high on Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) agenda since early 2007.

Both Pippa Howard and Dave Wright from FFI’s Business & Biodiversity programme have written lauding the dramatic beauty and high level of biodiversity of the Namib Desert’s varying landscapes. In these blog posts, they also outline some of the challenges to the long-term sustainability of the Central Namib in the light of short-term developments such as uranium mining.

All those who have visited this part of the world have developed their own special affinity with the place, and everyone agrees that the sustainable development of this ancient and unique desert is essential.

Supporting sustainable and responsible development in the Central Namib

In April 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, through its Strengthening Protected Areas Network programme, commissioned FFI to undertake a landscape level assessment (LLA) of key biodiversity vulnerability and land use within the uranium province in the Central Namib, in collaboration with international and local specialists.

The LLA arose out of a seminal piece of work that was completed in 2010 – the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the central Namib Uranium Rush. This assessment highlighted the multitude of positive and negative impacts associated with different development scenarios. It also provided a number of recommendations that, if implemented, will address key gaps and support sustainable and responsible development of uranium mining in the Central Namib, for the benefit of all its inhabitants.

The strategic assessment highlighted the need for a LLA of biodiversity in western Namibia’s Erongo region to identify biodiversity priority areas.

The LLA employed a systematic conservation planning approach to develop a powerful decision-support tool for:

• Identifying priority areas for biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Central Namib, based on defensible data and a robust methodology

• Supporting decision makers and stakeholders in evaluating the cumulative impacts of mining and other land-uses on biodiversity and ecosystem services

The LLA produced a series of maps and data sets that have helped us to better understand the impacts of uranium mining and other developments on the environment and identify where conservation priorities and other land uses exist within the landscape.

Building a strong case for conservation

As one of the uranium mine managers commented: “The problem with the environment is that it is such a hard sale.”

When decision makers in government are faced with a choice between short-term development initiatives (like mines or heavy industry) versus longer-term sustainable livelihoods or biodiversity conservation, we need persuasive arguments underpinned by verifiable data to guide them towards more sustainable decisions.

The outputs from this assessment, coupled with the work of the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management project, give biodiversity a stronger position in the debate and make a meaningful contribution towards the sustainable management of the Central Namib landscape for the benefit of both people and biodiversity.

Download a fact sheet about the Landscape level assessment in the Central Namib Desert (PDF).

Learn more about the Landscape level assessment of key biodiversity vulnerability and landuse in the Central Namib, Namibia (PDF).


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Pippa Howard is the Director of the Business & Biodiversity Programme. Pippa has degrees in Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Zoology and Development Management. She is a registered Professional Natural Scientist with over 20 years experience in a variety of spheres of biodiversity conservation, environmental management, impact assessment, development and sustainability. She has worked on projects in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Ecuador, Alaska, Italy, Brazil, Indonesia, Liberia, Guinea, Chile, Spain, Bulgaria, Sultanate of Oman, Indonesia and Singapore. Pippa directs and is responsible for FFI’s initiatives and partnerships with multinational corporations and all corporate affairs. She plays a key role in developing business and biodiversity strategy, business plans and financial management; provides specialist input to cross-sector partnerships and multidisciplinary programmes in biodiversity conservation; is a specialist in extractives sector environmental management, biodiversity risk assessment, action planning and management and biodiversity offsets design, management and implementation. Pippa also sits on a number of sectoral initiatives (BBOP, ICMM, GRI, IPIECA) and biodiversity advisory committees of extractive sector companies (De Beers, Rio Tinto, Nexen, Areva).

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Article Disclaimer: This article was published by the Fauna & Flora International and retrieved on 06/18/2017 and posted at INDESEEM for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM accordingly.


 

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