Crisis in Venezuela: Caparo Experimental Station invaded by 200 farmers

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored The Caparo Forest Reserve in Barinas state, Venezuela, created in 1961, covers almost 175,000 hectares (432,000 acres). The Caparo Experimental Station, located within the reserve, encompasses 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) and has been under the administration of the Universidad de Los Andes (ULA) since 1982 for scientific research and education.The reserve has been heavily degraded in past decades, as farmers intruded and burned forest to make way for crops. But the Experimental Station’s forest has remained mostly intact. In January, 200 members of the 777 Christ Ambassadors Cooperative (Cooperativa Embajadores de Cristo 777) invaded the Experimental Station. Mongabay reports from the scene.The intruders claim to have a legitimate permit for the tract. But the courts have nullified that permit and ordered an eviction. The National Guard failed to remove the invaders, so in April on a visit to the site, the Ecosocialism minister promised the settlers new land elsewhere. At the start of May, the squatters remained in place in an apparent standoff.The ULA is concerned about the threat the invasion poses to one of the last major surviving tracts of Colombian-Venezuelan lowland forest. The ULA continues seeking the community’s eviction, with a series of protests by academics and NGOs scheduled for May in Caracas. The groups are asking that the Caparo Reserve and Experimental Station are given national park status. The Venezuelan National Guard meets with some of the illegal intruders during a court ordered inspection of the CEC 777 encampments. Image by José Rafael LozadaCAPARO, Venezuela: On January 5, 2018, around 200 people belonging to the 777 Christ Ambassadors Cooperative (Cooperativa Embajadores de Cristo 777, or CEC 777) invaded the Caparo Experimental Station within the Caparo Forest Reserve in the municipality of Ezequiel Zamora, Barinas state, close to the border with Colombia.The reserve is located on the south bank of the Caparo River, on the Interior Plain of Western Venezuela, at the base of the Andes. The Experimental Station protects one of the last major surviving tracts of Colombian-Venezuelan lowland forest. It is also home to the Critically Endangered variegated or brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), one of the 25 most threatened primates in the world.The invading cooperative immediately claimed ownership of a portion of the Experimental Station, land managed by the University of the Andes (Universidad de Los Andes, or ULA), and the most biologically intact portion of the degraded Caparo Reserve.A brown spider monkey seen close up. Researchers fear that invading farmers will destroy the critically endangered primate’s forest habitat within the station. Image by the photographer licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.A land claim asserted and deniedThe CEC 777 community justified their occupation by invoking the doctrine of “idle lands,” legislated in 2001 by the national government, which allows organized communities to seek title to disused cultivable farmlands for agricultural purposes, and to request state credits for food production there.The invaders say that their claim — which would push out ULA’s commission of professors and students, plus officials of the Venezuelan National Guard — was based on a December 2017 document requesting an occupation permit, which was allegedly signed by Venezuela’s National Land Institute (INTI).The CEC 777 community asserts that the permit allows them to enter the reserve, to build houses, and to plant coffee and cocoa crops, just so long as they do not impact the local environment, said José Rafael Lozada, a ULA ecology professor present at a visit by military and civil authorities to the occupation on February 22, and who was interviewed by Mongabay.On January 31, Barina’s First Criminal Court ordered the eviction of the CEC 777 community, an order made in response to a request by prosecutor César Mendoza Bencomo, who has national environmental jurisdiction. In the ruling, the Ministry of Ecosocialism, regional military commanders, and ULA dean Darío Garay Jérez were recognized as the legitimate controllers of the Caparo Experimental Station, and as having the right to prohibit permanent settlements there, while overseeing the conservation of flora and fauna.The biggest of the intruder encampments. Some of the invaders arrived on motorcycles. Image by José Rafael LozadaTrash, including waste motorcycle oil containers, dumped in a pit beside an invaders’ camp. Image by Diana Duque-Sandoval.Earlier, on January 8, Minister of Ecosocialism and Water Ramón Velásquez posted a confirmation on his Twitter account saying that the eviction had been accomplished. He even added photos of the alleged evacuation as carried out by the military. However, intruders remained on the land, even after the minister visited the community in late April. At that time, he promised the squatters other property if they would just vacate the Experimental Station.At present, according to officials, the squatters remain on the land and are a threat to the survival of the Experimental Station forest.Mongabay also was given access to a resolution by the INTI Regional Office, dated January 29, 2018, which denies the permit claims of the invaders. That document declares “inadmissible” the CEC 777 community’s request because the Caparo Forest has been an “Area Special Management Regime” (ABRAE in Spanish) since 1961. According to the INTI document, the community’s request was also superseded by a lease of reserve lands in 1982 to the Universidad de Los Andes for scientific research.The Caparo Experimental Station administration building. The site has been managed by the University of the Andes (ULA) since 1982. Now illegal squatters are trying to force the ULA out. Image by José Rafael LozadaA good deal of scientific research has been conducted by scientists affiliated with the Caparo Experimental Station. Here, a map showing carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation coming from the Caparo Forest Reserve between 1990 and 2015, and published in Forests 2017, 8, 291. Image by Diana Duque-Sandoval.Deforestation and degradation of the Caparo Reserve between 1990 and 2015. Today, only forest fragments remain, except within the Experimental Station overseen by the University of the Andes. Image by Diana Duque-Sandoval.A history of deforestation and degradationThe Caparo Forest Reserve was created in 1961, covering 184,100 hectares (455,000 acres) for the purpose of sustainable logging to be carried out via concessions granted by the government to private companies. However, this goal was never fulfilled.Over the years, farmers from surrounding communities invaded the reserve, and degraded it via agriculture, wildfires and the theft of wood products. A cartographic and satellite study published in 2011 by Hernán Maldonado of the Latin American Forestry Institute, along with Alexander Parra and Angnes Aldana of the Universidad de Los Andes, found that the original reserve lost 62.5 percent of its forest cover between 1987 and 2007, or an average of 4.798 hectares, or 3.2 percent, per year.The Caparo Experimental Station is located within the reserve, and encompasses 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) of continuous forest, which has been under the administration of the ULA since 1982 for the purpose of scientific research, while also allowing some logging. It continues to be the most intact portion of the reserve.Officials meet with some of the CEC 777 community farmers who have squatted within the Caparo Reserve and Experimental Station. To date, the conflict remains unresolved, and most of the invaders continue occupying the land. Image by Diana Duque-Sandoval.A critically endangered brown spider monkey spotted in the canopy near one of the illegal encampments. Image by Diana Duque-Sandoval.Professor Wilfredo Franco, the coordinator of the Experimental Station in 2012, said that at that time, 90 percent of the Caparo Forest Reserve was covered in grasslands and shrub lands, while 14,000 hectares (34,600 acres) were still covered in native forest. Half of that occurred within the Caparo Experimental Station protected by the ULA, with the rest in a hundred small scattered forest fragments, most of which are expected to disappear in ensuing years.Researchers agree that the reserve has been seriously degraded due to numerous fires and bisection by a road, which offers access to poachers and intruders. “The fires occur mainly in the dry season, January-March. Almost all are caused by farmers to clear pastures. But it is common to lose control, which has sometimes impacted the [Experimental Station] forest areas under the care of the ULA,” explained Diana Duque-Sandoval, director of the Spider Monkey Project in Caparo, which since December 2017 has received funding from the Auckland Zoo, New Zealand, and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, for a variety of research projects.Since that date, the Experimental Station has been patrolled by a park ranger with a motorcycle. It was he who gave the first warning of the CEC 777 invasion, when he spotted community members hunting a jaguar, cutting down trees as home sites, and clearing areas for conucos, small plots intended for cultivation.The invading farmers have clear cut trees and marked off conucos, small plots for growing crops. A temporary, indigenous-style shelter is seen in the background. Image by Diana Duque-Sandoval.The critically endangered variegated or brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), one of the 25 most threatened primates in the world and a resident of the Caparo Experimental Station. Image by the photographer licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.A threat to endangered speciesAs degraded as it may be, the Caparo Forest Reserve is ecologically important. The protected area, especially the Experimental Station, is home to at least 248 bird species, 30 amphibians, and 60 mammals, including the jaguar (Panthera onca), puma (Puma concolor), ocelot (leopardus pardalis), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), and tapir (Tapirus terrestris). Three species of primate live here: the variegated or brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), white-fronted capuchin (Cebus albifrons), and red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus).The CEC 777 community invasion “is very worrying for the spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), registered as Critically Endangered on the IUCN´s Red List and on Venezuela’s Red List of endangered species,” explains Duque-Sandoval.Several groups of brown spider monkeys, representing an important population for the Llanos region, are found within the Caparo Experimental Station. They occupy an area sufficient in size to sustain a viable population in the long term, say the researchers. The rest of the reserve includes small forest fragments occupied by the spider monkeys as well, but areas too small for their long-term survival.An abandoned cabin illegally taken over by squatters within Venezuela’s Caparo Forest Reserve. Image by Diana Duque-Sandoval.One of the CEC 777 intruders caught on camera cutting down a tree with a machete. Image by José Rafael Lozada.A continuing conflictWaiting for a promised new place to settle from the government, CEC 777 community members continue occupying three improvised camps and a ruined environmental ministry cabin inside the Caparo Forest Reserve and Experimental Station, with 30 to 40 individuals encamped at each site, said Lozada, who has taught ecology and Environmental Impact Assessment since 1996.Mongabay interviewed Miguel Padilla, one of the CEC 777 intruders. He claims that the community has a right to the land as established under Venezuela’s Constitution. He admits that the community continues to occupy four points at the margins of the reserve. “We know this is a protected area, but only in theory.” He argues that the land occupied is no longer dominated by native vegetation. “We have found cocoa crops, abandoned logging operations and teca trees, which are not endemic,” Padilla said.This lack of undisturbed native vegetation is a typical critique lodged against the continued administration of the Experimental Station lands by ULA researchers. Lozada replies that Caparo is a well-known and ongoing sustainable timber experiment, utilizing fast growing non-native teca trees in hopes of ecological recovery. He points to proven successful cases of restoration at Uverito and Imataca, where he did his doctorate work. The Experimental Station is also important because it is used for the education of Venezuela’s forestry students.CEC 777 community member Padilla accuses the ULA, local ministry officials, civil authorities and regional military commanders of being corrupt and conspiring against the settlers. He requests that the National Constituency Assembly send in an inspection committee to listen to the squatters’ complaints, and to revoke ULA administration over the reserve.For several years, the University Council of the ULA has carried out agroforestry projects in cooperation with previous land invaders who received ministry approval to remain on reserve lands. However, on January 26, 2018, the ULA officially requested the eviction of the CEC 777 community in order to rescue the “biodiversity of the last forest tract” within Caparo.ULA Environmental Sciences faculty dean Garay told Mongabay that, in spite of the lack of a definitive government response so far, the university and researchers will continue lobbying for a more restrictive land use designation. ULA students, faculty, and environmental NGOs launched a series of protests in early May in Caracas asking for an upgrade of the reserve’s protection status, hopefully getting it designated a national park.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Diana Duque-Sandoval of the Spider Monkey Project visits the squatters. Image by Diana Duque-Sandoval.Researcher Diana Duque-Sandoval in a field camp of the Spider Monkey Project. The ULA wants the Caparo Experimental Station to receive better protection from the Venezuelan government. Image courtesy of Diana Duque-Sandoval. Agriculture, Animals, Biodiversity Crisis, Conservation, Deforestation, Degraded Lands, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Farming, Forests, Green, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Human-wildlife Conflict, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mammals, Primates, Rainforest Conservation, Research, Subsistence Agriculture, Tropical Deforestation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Harmon to present written statement to Cabinet – President

first_imgMinister of State Joseph Harmon will today present a written statement to Cabinet on all the accusationsPresident David Granger speaking to the media on Wednesdaybeing levelled against him, when Ministers convene for a meeting, President David Granger has assured.The President, responding to questions posed by Journalists on Wednesday, said Minister Harmon already offered an oral explanation to Cabinet members on Tuesday for being in a photograph with officials of BaiShanLin.According to President Granger, the explanation given to Cabinet by Harmon related that he had to visit a number of places in China, with little time to do so.“As you know the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China was in China at that time, he had to go to three or four different cities and the Ambassador arranged the executive transport because of the distance between the cities, and the amount of time he had at his disposal. So it was arranged by the Chinese Government to enable him to travel to different cities… to conduct the business that he was there to conduct,” President Granger said, before reiterating that the trip was funded by the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL).In what appears to be a move aimed at tarnishing Harmon’s political career, Kaieteur News has been publishing a series of articles about the Minister’s decision to appoint businessman Brian Tiwari as his personal Adviser on Business Development and instructions he gave to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to halt a seizure of several vehicles from Chinese logging company BaiShanLin. The articles were skilfully designed in a manner to portray the Minister as corrupt.last_img read more