Connect with us

Animals

“Huge Win for Wildlife”: Peru Vows to End Deforestation Driven by Palm Oil

Peru has vowed to put an end to palm oil-driven deforestation by 2021.

Elias Marat

Published

on

Peru End Deforestation Palm Oil
Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

(TMU) — Peru has vowed to put an end to palm oil-driven deforestation by 2021, according to reports, in a move that is being hailed as a “momentous win” for wildlife and sustainable agriculture by conservationist group the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

The Andean nation joins Colombia in its pledge to produce the oil without deforestation. Palm oil cultivation has been a booming crop across Latin America, but has also been one of the foremost drivers of deforestation in rural regions.

The NWF partnered with local conservationist group Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo, as well as the Peruvian government and national palm oil Producers’ Association (JUNPALMA) for two years before making the announcement.

Kiryssa Kasprzyk, who led the federation’s campaign, said in a statement:

“This commitment is a momentous development for the people of Peru and the global effort to confront climate change. It underscores that we can feed the world without hurting biodiversity or clear-cutting tropical forests.”

https://twitter.com/NWF/status/1162448018269978624

Palm oil is a vegetable oil that is extracted from the fruits and seeds of the oil palm, also known as the African palm, and is a common additive on supermarket shelves across the globe.

Oil extracted from the fruit of the palm is not only used in foods like instant noodles, yogurt, ice cream, and wine, but is also used in biofuel and a range of household products including laundry detergents, shampoo and cosmetic goods like lipstick.

Roughly 66 million tons of palm oil are produced each year, driving a trend that has seen forests burned and land robbed to make room for plantations, contributing greatly to global deforestation and the displacement of rural populations.

Since 2000, the production of palm oil in Latin America has more than doubled, according to Al Jazeera.

In Peru this translated to 140,000 hectares (or 540 square miles) of lost forest land in 2018 alone, putting the South American nation in seventh place in terms of forest loss, according to Global Forest Watch.

https://twitter.com/GreenAwakening/status/1082262034278805506

The expansion of palm oil production across Latin America has also driven land, labor and environmental conflicts in rural regions, with armed conflicts, water shortages and mass displacement resulting from the growth of oil palm plantations. This, in turn, has been a driver of indigenous migration from the Global South to the north in countries like Guatemala.

Campaigners have also sought to shed light on the need to curb deforestation, which is toppling one of the world’s most important defenses against greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Deforestation is responsible for 10 percent of carbon emissions worldwide.

Palm oil production has also driven orangutans to the brink of extinction, with the species now classified as critically endangered. Bornean orangutan populations have fallen by more than half between 1999 and 2015.

The announcement by the federation comes amid increasing global awareness and sensitivity over the importance of responsibly managing, utilizing, growing and defending sensitive habitats in South America and throughout the globe, including the Amazon rainforest, given forests’ importance in the fight to preserve biodiversity and combat rampant climate change.

https://twitter.com/SierraClub/status/1079406783590998017

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Animals

As Marine Life Flees the Equator, Global Mass Extinction is Imminent: Scientists

Elias Marat

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

The waters surrounding the equator are one of the most biodiverse areas in the globe, with the tropical area rich in marine life including rare sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, and other creatures.

However, rampant rises in temperate have led to a mass exodus of marine species from the sensitive region – with grave implications for life on earth.

While ecologists have long seen the thriving biodiversity of equatorial species holding constant in the past few centuries, a new study by Australian researchers published in The Conversation has found that warming global temperatures are now hitting the equator hard, potentially leading to an unprecedented mass extinction event.

The researchers from the Universities of Auckland, Queensland, and the Sunshine Coast found that as waters surrounding the equator continue to heat up, the ecosystem is being disrupted and forcing species to flee toward the cooler water of the South and North Pole.

The massive changes in marine ecosystems that this entails will have a grave impact not only on ocean life – essentially becoming invasive species in their new homes –  but also on the human livelihoods that depend on it.

“When the same thing happened 252 million years ago, 90 percent of all marine species died,” the researchers wrote.

To see where marine life is headed, the researchers tracked the distribution of about 49,000 different species to see what their trajectory was. The global distribution of ocean life typically resembles a bell curve, with far fewer species near the poles and more near the equator.

However, the vast alteration of the curve is already in motion as creatures flee to the poles, according to a study they published in the journal PNAS.

These changes augur major disruptions to global ecosystem as marine life scrambles in a chaotic fight for food, space, and resources – with a mass die-off and extinction of creatures likely resulting.

The research underscores the dire need for human societies to control rampant climate change before the biodiversity and ecological health of the planet is pushed past the point of no return.

Continue Reading

Animals

Rare Creature Photographed Alive In The Wild For The First Time Ever

Elias Marat

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Advances in the methods used by researchers to watch wildlife have allowed for the photographing of a rare creature whose image had never been captured in the wild before.

Researchers in the West African nation of Togo were able to spot the rare Walter’s duiker, a rare species of petite African antelope, for the first time in the wild thanks to camera traps equipped with motion sensors.

In addition to the Walter’s duiker, the camera traps were also able to discover rare species of aardvarks and a mongoose, reports Gizmodo.

At a time when the extinction of entire species is becoming more common worldwide, such devices should help conservationists not only preserve creatures sought by bushmeat hunters but also spot rare animals whose presence is elusive for human observers. In the past, biologists were forced to rely on the same hunters for information.

“Camera traps are a game changer when it comes to biodiversity survey fieldwork,” said University of Oxford wildlife biologist Neil D’Cruze.

“I’ve spent weeks roughing it in tropical forests seemingly devoid of any large mammal species,” D’Cruze continued. “Yet when you fire up the laptop and stick in the memory card from camera traps that have been sitting there patiently during the entire trip—and see species that were there with you the entire time —it’s like being given a glimpse into a parallel world.”

The Walter’s duiker was discovered in 2010 when specimens of bushmeat were compared to other duiker specimens. The new images of the creature are the first to have been seen.

Rare species like Walter’s duiker are often not listed as “endangered” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a lack of data.

Continue Reading

Animals

‘Horrific’ Swarms of Spiders, Snakes Invade Australian Homes Amid Devastating Floods

Elias Marat

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

In recent years, Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) has faced everything from drought to brushfires, a pandemic, a recent all-consuming plague of mice and now, devastating floods and massive hordes of spiders.

In videos shared across social media, hundreds if not thousands of spiders can be seen scrambling through people’s homes and garages prior to an evacuation order being issued on early Saturday in expectation of the floods.

In one video posted to Facebook by Melanie Williams, the arachnids of all sizes can be seen scrambling about in search of shelter from the coming deluge.

“Check these spiders out, oh my god, oh my god! Look at them all,” Williams said in the video. “No! No! Oh my god.”

The Guardian reports that Kinchela resident Matt Lovenfosse was pulling up to his home on Monday morning when he witnessed what appeared to be a sea of “millions” of spiders climbing about to escape the floodwaters.

“So I went out to have a look and it was millions of spiders,” Lovenfosse said.

“It’s amazing. It’s crazy,” he continued. “The spiders all crawled up on to the house, on to fences and whatever they can get on to.”

The flooding has resulted in some 18,000 residents fleeing their homes since last week, with authorities warning that the cleanup could last until April.

The floods have also seen thousands of snakes and insects of every kind scrambling to flee from the floods, with some snakes even leaping into rescue boats to avoid being drowned.

“There were also skinks, ants, basically every insect, crickets – all just trying to get away from the flood waters,” vistor Shenae Varley told Guardian Australia.

It’s just the latest reminder that Australia isn’t just another country – it may be its own entirely different world.

Continue Reading

Trending