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Thursday, 25 January

02:40

680000 acres of Amazon rainforest may be lost to Perus new roads "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Late last year, the Peruvian government gave the go-ahead for the construction of new roads along its border with Brazil in the Ucayali and Madre de Dios regions. The main road would span 172 miles, connecting the towns of Puerto Esperanza and Iapari. But such development has a cost. A new analysis finds around 680,000 acres (2,750 square kilometers) of primary rainforest will be put at risk from the road construction including forest in protected areas and indigenous reserves. The analysis was conducted by Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), a research program of Amazon Conservation Association and Conservacin Amaznica. The MAAP team examined satellite data compiled by the University of Maryland to determine the extent of primary forest in the region and used the deforestation along the Interoceanic Highway as a proxy to estimate how much may be lost if these new roads are built. They found that the Interoceanic Highway has an area of substantial deforestation (80 percent forest loss) 10 kilometers wide along its route. If this pattern holds true for the new batch of proposed roads, the analysts write that at least 680,000 acres an area the size of the country of Samoa may be lost due to associated deforestation activities. The main road would span 172 miles from Puerto Esperanza and Iapari and cross several protected areas. Image courtesy of MAAP; data source: GLCF/GSFC 2014, Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA, UMD/GLAD, PNCB/MINAM, UAC/ProPurs, SERNANP The MAAP team measured deforestation along the Interoceanic Highway to estimate the probably

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: January 10 - 16, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

New activity/unrest was reported for 4 volcanoes between January 10 - 16, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 8 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Kadovar, Papua New Guinea | Mayon, Luzon (Philippines) | Nevados de Chillan, Chile | San...... Read more

Islands around Kadovar evacuating amid fears of a new eruption of Bam volcano, P.N.G. "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's East Sepik province has ordered the evacuation of 5 000 people from islands of Ruprup (Blup Blup) and Biem (Bam) to the mainland, including those already evacuated from Kadovar. The decision was made due to a tsunami risk to...... Read more

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Saturday, 20 January

20:39

Indias Pink City gears up to host the worlds largest free literary festival "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The 11th edition of Indias renowned Jaipur Literature Festival will get underway in the Pink City next week, with more than 350 speakers on the programme and nearly 200 sessions spanning a extremely diverse range of topics and genres.

The five-day event, which is held at the Diggi Palace Hotel, and this year runs from January 25 to 29, is the largest free literary festival in the world. This year the speakers hail from more than 35 different countries.

Novelists, poets, playwrights, screenplay writers, translators, and filmmakers will be taking the stage along with environmentalists, politicians, journalists, academics and popular cultural icons.

...

04:13

Dog Left Alone In Park Wouldn't Let Anyone Help Her For Days "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The community in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, noticed a very skittish collie-like dog hanging around a local park this week. She was all alone in the chilly weather and she also wouldn't let anyone near her.

Credit: Janine Guido

Worried for the poor dog, people contacted Janine Guido, founder of Speranza Animal Rescue, a well-known animal rescue organization based in the town.

"She was staying in the same spot as if waiting for her family to return. But they never did," Guido told The Dodo. Guido was relying on the community's help to find and save the dog. People reported sightings to her to help Guido track the dog down.

But it wasn't easy.

Credit: Janine Guido

"On the first and second day I went out I was able to hand-feed her," Guido said. "However, if I went to loop her with the leash she would back up."

Guido got so close only to then have the dog, whom she called Carla, get spooked and dart away into the woods.

Speranza's Facebook page, meanwhile, helped spread the story so that locals could help locate the scared dog. "Ever wonder what a dog dumped by her owners does?" Speranza Animal Rescue wrote on Facebook. "Sits and watches. Waiting for her family to come back."

Credit: Janin...

02:31

Raccoon Found 'Paralyzed' Was Actually Just Very, Very High "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

As much as raccoons may like trash, they really should not get trashed.

Hopefully the animal at the center of this story has now gotten the message.

Credit: Pixabay

One morning last week, a concerned citizen in the town of Gibsons, British Columbia, spotted something in her yard that she couldnt ignore. There, lying curled up and seemingly paralyzed, was a raccoon in distress.

Fearing that the animal had been injured, she called the Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre a rescue facility run by Irene Davy and her husband, Clint. Soon, help was on the way.

We thought he mightve been hit by a vehicle, Irene told The Dodo. Clint went to check on him. He found him lying dazed; the raccoon could open its eyes, but he couldnt move, stand or walk.

Believing the raccoon may have suffered a serious spinal injury, Clint transported him to the Sechelt Animal Hospital. But after an examination, vets came to a surprising conclusion: The raccoon wasnt injured. He was stoned.

Credit: Sechelt Animal Hospital

Sure enough, tests had come back positive for marijuana and benzodiazepines a class of drugs that includes anxiety medications like Xanax.

"He was fine. He was just rather high on drugs," Irene said. "Theres no way of us knowing how he got ahold of the drugs, but Ive heard of dogs picking things up while on walks. It could have been a pot cookie or muffin that someone threw out. Who knows?"

This is the first time the rescue center has had to deal with a drug-intoxicated wild animal before, but fortunately, the treatment was rather simple.

"All that we could do for the raccoon was bring him back to the center and put him a dark, quiet place. He recovere...

00:35

Captive Chimp Sees Open Sky For The First Time In His Life "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Bo the chimpanzee had never been outside before. He was 13 years old, and hed spent most of his life inside of a cage at a research laboratory. 

In May, everything changed for Bo and 30 other chimpanzees whod been used in the labs at New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana they were moved to a sanctuary run by Project Chimps in Blue Ridge, Georgia, where theyd get to spend their remaining years in retirement. 

Credit: Project Chimps

The sanctuary team had built the chimps special villas, where theyd lived for the last several months but the grand plan was to give them access to a huge, 236-acre outdoor habitat. After a lot of hard work, the outdoor habitat was finally ready this month. 

When the villa door magically opened on Bos villa, which he shared with five other chimps, and exposed a vast field with grass and trees, Bo didnt know what to do. He stood at the doorway, hesitating. Eventually, another chimpanzee named Lance pushed Bo aside and leapt out himself. Once outside, Lance spun around, looking both curious and bewildered.

Credit: Crystal Alba

Obviously, we dont know what hes thinking, but [based on] our perception of his facial expressions and the way he was posturing, he [Lance] was definitely confused, probably wondering where the bars were, Ali Crumpacker, executive director of Project Chimps, told The Dodo. And being able to see an unobstructed view of the sky that would be the first time that they had the ability to do that.

The other male chimps followed Lances lead they each stepped outside, feeling grass under their feet for the first time, and gazing up at the trees.

...

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Thursday, 18 January

23:33

Nautilus in crisis as another exec resigns "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Adam Wright is jumping off the sinking Nautilus

Wright resigns from Nautilus

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | January 18, 2018

Nautilus Minerals vice president of PNG Operations, Adam Wright, has resigned. The Company announced last night that Wrights resignation is effective as February 26th 2018.

CEO Mike Johnston said Wright played a significant role over the last three and a half years in the areas of project management, stakeholder and government engagement and corporate social responsibility.

We would like to thank him for the valuable contributions he has made to Nautilus progress to date and wish him well in his future endeavours, said Johnston.

Wrights resignation comes at a time when the company is struggling to secure financing to fund its capital working requirements and the completion of its...

20:40

Two Paychecks Podcast: Blockade Against McKenzie Forest Logging "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

From Its Going Down

In Oregon, Cascadia Forest Defenders are resisting the logging of public lands of the McKenzie Forest by by setting up blockades and occupying treesits. Logging the McKenzie would be harmful to the water table for surrounding communities, it is also one of the last bits of unlogged forest. Resistance to this is crucial. We got to talk to Cooper who was on the ground at the occupation.

Listen to the podcast here!

12:21

Lawyers in the US continue their battle to win a writ of habeas corpus for elephants "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Lawyers from the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) in the United States have filed a motion to reargue in their battle to obtain a writ of habeas corpus for three elephants held in captivity for decades as part of a travelling circus.

The lawyers are asking the Connecticut Superior Court to reverse its dismissal of the habeas corpus petition, which the NhRP filed in November last year on behalf of three elephants Beulah, Minnie, and Karen who are in captivity at the Commerford Zoo in Goshen, Connecticut.

In its new motion, filed on January 16, the NhRP argues that the superior court made significant errors in its dismissal of the habeas corpus petition, which is the first lawsuit in the world to seek personhood for elephants.

The NhRP  say that in accordance with state common law and sci...

00:55

New watchdog to investigate Canadian companies for human rights abuses "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Hilary Beaumont | Vice News | January 18, 2018

The Canadian government is creating a new watchdog to investigate human rights abuses by Canadian companies operating overseas, fulfilling a Liberal campaign promise.

Canadian companies have long faced accusations of human rights abuses abroad, including gang rapes by security guards at a mine in Papua New Guinea operated by Toronto-based Barrick Gold, and the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 workers who were making clothes for Joe Fresh, a brand owned by Canadian company Loblaws.

Canadian companies employ workers in developing countries to make clothing and mine materials that end up in electronics, but these mines and factories are often subject to lax regulations. When human rights abuses aris...

00:16

The writing is on the wall for Solwara 1 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Former Attorney General of Papua New Guinea:

The writing is on the wall for Solwara 1 PNG should withdraw its investment before its too late.

Deep Sea Mining Campaign | Scoop NZ | 17 January 2018

Amid financial strife and looming litigation, Sir Arnold Amet, former Papua New Guinean Attorney General and Minister for Justice advises the PNG Government to terminate its joint partnership agreement with Nautilus, recoup its 15% stake in the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project and decline to renew the licences for Solwara 1.

For Nautilus Minerals a miserable Christmas has just flowed into an unhappy new year. A series of gloomy end of year investor updates confirmed Nautilus is unable to raise the funds necessary to complete equipment for its Solwara 1 deep sea...

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Wednesday, 17 January

23:22

Police Officers shot at Porgera "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

George Kakas

TWO reservists from the police unit at Porgera in Enga Province are in hospital after they were ambushed and shot by gunmen on Sunday, police said.

PNG Industry News | 17 January 2018 

The National newspaper reported that Engas acting police commander chief superintendent George Kakas said one of the reservists was shot in the leg while the other suffered a stroke when they were attacked near Wali Creek, a few kilometres from the Porgera gold mines township.

The reservists in five patrol cars were going to investigate the aftermath of a violent confrontation between two tribes when they were attacked with automatic weapons, but no major injuries or fatalities were reported, Kakas said.

He said a bullet presumably fired from a high-powered rifle penetrated a patrol car and injured the officers leg. The other...

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Tuesday, 16 January

23:56

Chatham has plans for new seabed mining consent "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Waitangi, the main town on the Chatham Islands.

Simon Hartley | Otago Daily Times | 16 January 2018

Would-be seabed miner Chatham Rock Phosphate says it is on track to resubmit a marine consent application to the Environmental Protection Authority, by the end of the year.

Since November, Chatham Rock has sought to recapitalise. A rights issue to existing shareholders raised $549,000 and it is in the the process of seeking a private placement, in stages, for up to a further $C1.2million ($NZ1.33million), chief executive Chris Castle said in a recent NZX update.

Chatham has held a mining licence since since December 2012, but the EPA turned down its first application in February 2015, after Chatham had spent about $33million on research, development and application costs.

Chatham wants to suction up 1.5million tonnes of phosphate nodules annual...

19:17

Fukushima Unit 2 Inspection Happens Friday "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The scope inspection of unit 2 will take place Friday. TEPCO is planning one day for this work. The scope

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00:17

Mercury kit study work for small-scale miners "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

alluvial miners at work

Alluvial miners at work on Bougainville

ONE PNG  | 15 January 2018

A recent mercury research study conducted at the small scale mining branch in Wau, Morobe Province is a collaborative work between the mining engineering department of Papua New Guineas University of Technology, the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) through its small scale mining branch and the University of Kyoto-Japan through the leadership of Professor Takaiku Yamamoto, has released its findings.

The use of mercury has become very popular among artisanal and small scale miners because amalgamation is known to efficiently extract fine particles of gold from concentrates obtained by panning and sluicing operations. Gold alloys with mercury to form an amalgam from which the gold can subsequently be separated by evaporating the mercury.

The simplicity of the technique, low investment costs and its comparatively high gold recovery rate has made the mercury amalgam method an integral part of the artisanal and small scale gold mining operations.

...

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Monday, 15 January

23:22

Mining exploration in Bougainville led by LOs "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | January 15, 2018

Landowners in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville are partnering with investors to conduct mineral exploration in areas sanctioned by the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Prospecting has started since the introduction of legislation allowing landowners complete ownership of customary land, and the lifting of the moratorium on specific localities for mineral exploration.

However, the ABG is making sure the exploration is done in the best interest of the people.

ABG Treasury and Finance Minister, Robin Wilson, said currently there is a moratorium on Panguna Mine due to its history and sensitive nature, which is being carefully addressed.

However, exploration has been allowed in other parts of the island.

So far we have lifted the moratorium on three areas in Bougainville. Thats Mt Ore, Isina in Central Bougainville and the Arawa-Panguna area, said the Minister.

...

21:53

More settled science Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Some nitrogen-fixing microorganisms contain an enzyme for the simultaneous production of ammonia and methane UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON HEALTH SCIENCES/UW MEDICINE An unexpected source of methane in the environment has been inadvertently discovered. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are the chief means by which nitrogen gas in the air is changed into a form that plants and animals can

15:58

Coal seam gas expansion in Australia is linked to a dramatic rise in hospital admissions "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

LookThe rapid expansion of the coal seam gas industry in Queenslands Darling Downs has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in local hospital admissions for circulatory and respiratory conditions, according to report by a local GP, published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies.

The GP, Geralyn McCarron, has called for a comprehensive investigation of the health impacts of the unconventional gas industry in Australia.

McCarron found that, between 2007 and 2014, hospital admissions for acute circulatory conditions increased by 133 percent in the Darling Downs area, rising from 2,198 to 5,141, and admissions for acute respiratory problems increased by 142 percent, from 1,257 to 3,051.

The GP reports that, over the same period, there was a huge increase in the amount of polluta...

Saturday, 13 January

06:14

Zoo Kills 9 Baby Lions Because Just They Were 'Surplus' "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Update 1/16/2018: A spokesperson for Bors Djurpark recently contacted The Dodo with the following statement: "We follow EAZAs Code of Ethics and the Culling Statement, which are also reflected in the WAZA policy for the same issue. The euthanasia takes place at a biologically relevant junction, such as weaning, leaving the family unit or any other social group. We are very transparent about this concept, both in our communication with our visiting guests and students, as well as in our communication with the media."

In August 2012, four healthy lion cubs Simba, Nala, Sarabi and Rafiki were born at Bors Djurpark, a zoo in southern Sweden, after the zoo let their parents breed. By fall 2013, the zoo had killed all four cubs for a reason many people are now calling unacceptable.

According to Swedish media site SVT, zoo documents reveal that the four cubs were in excellent health at the times of their death, but the zoo simply considered them to be "surplus" animals. 

Credit: Facebook/Bors Djurpark

The cubs werent alone. The following year, in 2014, the zoo allowed three more cubs to be born: Kiara, Banzai and Kovu. The zoo killed them, too, a year later. 

Inn August 2016, the zoo announced the birth of four more lion cubs Potter, Weasley, Granger and Dolores. While Granger and Dolores were eventually relocated to an unnamed zoo in England, Potter and Weasley were killed this past Tuesday.
 

Credit: Facebook/Bors Djurpark

In total, the Bors zoo has killed nine healthy lion cubs in the last six years. 

"We had tried to divest them to other zoos for a long time, but...

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