@NOAA tightens bluefin tuna management plan. (via @pewtrusts)

Via @theWCS: 17 Rare Siamese Crocodiles Released in Lao PDR by WCS and Partners / Fewer than 1,000 critically endangered Siamese crocodiles remain in the wild.
 
NEW YORK (August 28, 2014) – The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today the successful release of 17 juvenile critically endangered Siamese crocodiles into a protected wetland in Lao PDR.
 
The one-to-two-year-old crocodiles, which range between 50-100 cm (20-39 inches) in length, were raised in facilities managed by local communities working with WCS to protect the endangered reptiles and their habitat.

The juvenile crocodiles were released this week into the Xe Champhone wetland, Than Soum village, Savannakhet Province.  This is one of two RAMSAR wetland sites in the country. Lao PDR became a signatory to the RAMSAR convention in 2010.

A ceremony observing cultural traditions was held prior to the release and involved participants from local communities, government and WCS staff.  Local communities have traditional beliefs about Siamese crocodiles, and events on the day included welcoming the crocodiles to the village area and wishing both them and community residents good luck in the future.

Following the completion of the release ceremony, the crocodiles were transported by boat into the heart of the wetland complex that is managed by local communities to provide habitat and protect the species.

It is estimated that there may be fewer than 1000 Siamese crocodiles remaining in the wild, with a significant proportion of this population located in Lao PDR.

The release of these crocodiles is the culmination of several years of conservation action implemented by WCS, local communities, and the Government of Lao PDR, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Forest Resources and Environment.

Alex McWilliam of the WCS’s Lao PDR Program said: “We are extremely pleased with the success of this collaborative program and believe it is an important step in contributing to the conservation of the species by involving local communities in long term wetland and species management.”

Classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, the Siamese crocodile grows up to 10 feet in length. The species has been eliminated from much of its former range through Southeast Asia and parts of Indonesia by overhunting and habitat degradation and loss.

WCS’s Lao PDR Program designed and implemented the Community-based Crocodile Recovery and Livelihood Improvement Project, whose goal is the recovery of the local Siamese crocodile population and restoration of associated wetlands, linked by socio-economic incentives that improve local livelihoods. 

The program has three key objectives: contributing to local livelihoods by improving coordination of water resource use and zoning of lands used in local agriculture; conserving and restoring crocodile wetland habitat important for local livelihoods, crocodiles, and other species; and replenishing the crocodile population in the wetland complex and surveying and monitoring the current population.

The program has worked with nine villages – each village has a “Village Crocodile Conservation Group” (VCCG) to coordinate implementation of program activities in the Xe Champone wetland complex and surrounding areas.

The program has received extensive financial support from MMG Lane Xang Minerals Limited Sepon. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and IUCN support ongoing components of the program. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Francaise de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.  A fundamental goal is to ensure society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. 
 

Via @theWCS: 17 Rare Siamese Crocodiles Released in Lao PDR by WCS and Partners / Fewer than 1,000 critically endangered Siamese crocodiles remain in the wild.

 

NEW YORK (August 28, 2014) – The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today the successful release of 17 juvenile critically endangered Siamese crocodiles into a protected wetland in Lao PDR.

 

The one-to-two-year-old crocodiles, which range between 50-100 cm (20-39 inches) in length, were raised in facilities managed by local communities working with WCS to protect the endangered reptiles and their habitat.

The juvenile crocodiles were released this week into the Xe Champhone wetland, Than Soum village, Savannakhet Province.  This is one of two RAMSAR wetland sites in the country. Lao PDR became a signatory to the RAMSAR convention in 2010.

A ceremony observing cultural traditions was held prior to the release and involved participants from local communities, government and WCS staff.  Local communities have traditional beliefs about Siamese crocodiles, and events on the day included welcoming the crocodiles to the village area and wishing both them and community residents good luck in the future.

Following the completion of the release ceremony, the crocodiles were transported by boat into the heart of the wetland complex that is managed by local communities to provide habitat and protect the species.

It is estimated that there may be fewer than 1000 Siamese crocodiles remaining in the wild, with a significant proportion of this population located in Lao PDR.

The release of these crocodiles is the culmination of several years of conservation action implemented by WCS, local communities, and the Government of Lao PDR, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Forest Resources and Environment.

Alex McWilliam of the WCS’s Lao PDR Program said: “We are extremely pleased with the success of this collaborative program and believe it is an important step in contributing to the conservation of the species by involving local communities in long term wetland and species management.”

Classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, the Siamese crocodile grows up to 10 feet in length. The species has been eliminated from much of its former range through Southeast Asia and parts of Indonesia by overhunting and habitat degradation and loss.

WCS’s Lao PDR Program designed and implemented the Community-based Crocodile Recovery and Livelihood Improvement Project, whose goal is the recovery of the local Siamese crocodile population and restoration of associated wetlands, linked by socio-economic incentives that improve local livelihoods. 

The program has three key objectives: contributing to local livelihoods by improving coordination of water resource use and zoning of lands used in local agriculture; conserving and restoring crocodile wetland habitat important for local livelihoods, crocodiles, and other species; and replenishing the crocodile population in the wetland complex and surveying and monitoring the current population.

The program has worked with nine villages – each village has a “Village Crocodile Conservation Group” (VCCG) to coordinate implementation of program activities in the Xe Champone wetland complex and surrounding areas.

The program has received extensive financial support from MMG Lane Xang Minerals Limited Sepon. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and IUCN support ongoing components of the program. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Francaise de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.  A fundamental goal is to ensure society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. 

 

2014 @BuckyFullerInst Challenge Semi-Finalists Include:

  • Algal Turf Scrubbing generates a fast growing, easily harvested, filamentous polyculture of hundreds of natural, locally adapted algae species over a new, highly efficient 3D screen surface beneath a shallow flow of water to oxygenate and purify water, produce biomass for biofuel and organic fertilizer, mitigate pollution from agricultural run-off, improve freshwater and coastal habitats, and sequester carbon and reduce fossil fuel dependency.
  • AskNature is an immense, web-based interactive database, learning tool, and living Biomimicry encyclopedia, which seeks to catalog and propagate solutions to the most pressing human challenges by drawing from time-tested strategies evolved by nature. AskNature aspires to make biomimetic solutions widely accessible for educational and industrial applications.
  • Bonobo Peace Forest is growing a network of community-managed and protected forests in remote, immense swaths of rainforest in the Congo Basin, using a “viral” conservation strategy that partners with local indigenous peoples and the government to engender sustainable prosperity while preserving the habitat of our closest genetic relative, the endangered Bonobo.
  • Earth Roofs for the Sahel trains members of impoverished communities in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel region to build long-lasting, passively cooled earth buildings. The codified, traditional Egyptian Nubian Vault design creates an affordable, locally sourced, environmentally sustainable built environment; the construction training generates a self-replicating cadre of skilled masons throughout the region and engenders entrepreneurship. A self-sustaining, virally expanding market results, transforming the quality of life and economic capacity of communities.
  • Ecosoftt is an emerging Singapore and India-based social enterprise that is the first to develop decentralized, adaptable, chemical-free, cost-effective water systems that combine rainwater harvesting, wastewater recycling, groundwater replenishment and other technological innovations in Asia. Their systems are adaptable to both poor rural and prosperous urban contexts. They aim to revolutionize water systems throughout Asia and beyond, bring clean water to underserved communities and offer an inspiring model of social enterprise as an alternative to government or privately run water systems.
  • Finance Innovation Lab is a UK-based non-profit that aims to strategically shift the existing financial paradigm to one that values sustainability and resilience. The Lab works on the system from the bottom up by convening gatherings of innovators, nurturing entrepreneurs, encouraging alternative business models, and seeking to influence economic policies and financial regulation.
  • The Food Commons aims to transform local and regional food systems by creating larger, more highly organized and coordinated physical, financial, and organizational infrastructures for specific regions and connecting them to the global economy in order to boost and facilitate investments, encourage partnerships and cooperative ownership, and create a genuinely sustainable model of a local and global food economy.
  • The Force Majeure, a bold, large-scale vision of the deeply beloved and respected, world-renowned artists Helen and Newton Harrison, aims to reduce the entropy of planetary ecosystems in the face of human-induced climate change. Four sites have been proposed in which the Harrisons and scientists will experiment with methods to assist nature in its response to massive system disturbance.
  • Fuego Del Sol Haiti is a social enterprise that confronts Haiti’s deadly charcoal addiction through development, introduction and adoption of innovative ecological fuel briquettes, presses, stoves, and the training and empowerment of women. Fuego Del Sol, the largest upcycler in Haiti, also collects and separates a wide range of waste materials into sustainable products and plans to include farming, green building, and land reclamation.
  • Gardens for Health International, an NGO pioneering the integration of nutrition-based agriculture into the clinical care of malnutrition, partners with rural Rwandan health clinics to implement healthcare strategies that include nutritional education and the nurturing of home gardens of nutrient rich foods for each family. They are seeking to expand this program throughout Rwanda and into Uganda, Burundi, and beyond. This elegant model could be replicated globally to address malnutrition.
  • Health Promoter Practitioners seeks to transform conventional healthcare by training and empowering community members in the most remote, disrupted and underserved locales to take prevention and healing into their own hands and virally spread training in their regions. Disrupting the hegemonic concept of institutionally recognized healthcare, the organization has built local capacity, demonstrating that HPP-trained practitioners can treat 80% of primary medical cases. HPP is finalizing training manuals of best practices developed over four decades to disseminate their model.
  • International Bridges to Justice works tirelessly to abolish torture and assure fair judicial processes by strengthening existing legal systems worldwide. They offer in person and web-based trainings in international and local best practices and legal skills for attorneys, judges, and law enforcement officials, seek to nurture a global legal community that can be supportive and protective of lawyers and officials working in difficult contexts, and develop training modules in many languages to help propagate solid human rights-based legal knowledge.
  • International Youth Network for Food Security and Sovereignty trains rural youth in Mexico and Central America in a highly participatory process to develop sustainable food systems in their communities through social, ecological and technological innovation. With a broader goal of agro-ecological transformation across Central America and beyond, the network seeks to re-imbue communities with traditional ecological values while drawing from modern best practices. Trained and empowered youth leaders are the ideal vectors to propagate genuine sustainability.
  • Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic seeks to address the logistical problems of providing healthcare to communities in the highly underserved, infrastructure-poor Lake Tanganyika Basin region by building and deploying a floating medical and research facility. Through the growth of a radio network, collaboration with local partners, healthcare training, ecological education and more, the clinic will serve as a mobile hub of communication and cooperation between remote, vulnerable communities in one of the earth’s richest freshwater ecosystems.
  • Living Breakwaters is a comprehensive design for coastal resiliency along the Northeastern Seaboard of the United States and beyond. This approach to climate change adaptation and flood mitigation includes the deployment of innovative, layered ecologically-engineered concrete underwater breakwaters, the strengthening of biodiversity and coastal habitats, the nurturing and resuscitation of fisheries, and deep community engagement through diverse partnerships and innovative educational programs.
  • Makoko/Iwaya Waterfront Restoration Plan, a comprehensive, detailed regeneration plan for the Makoko/Iwaya community in Lagos, Nigeria, which was threatened with being razed, seeks to preserve local culture and social relationships, revitalize the built environment, increase economic opportunities, and ensure disaster resilience for over 40,000 residents. Its implementation revolves around community inclusion and local leadership and the empowering of women and youth. The plan holds the preservation of traditional lagoon-front culture as a core value, presenting a compelling vision of a floating economy based on sustainable aquaculture and tourism.
  • Multifunctional Membrane: Self-Active Building Cells, Not Building Blocks are the centerpieces of a technology that could potentially provide inexpensive, biodegradable, living, breathing “skins” for buildings that would auto-regulate in response to heat, light and humidity and provide climate control, ventilation and lighting without mechanical systems, thereby radically reducing energy use and costs, especially in tropical regions under critical environmental and socio-economic stresses.
  • Sistema Biobolsa provides farmers in Mexico, Central America and Haiti with an on-site waste-to-nutrient ecosystem: a biomimetic, modular advanced geo-membrane anaerobic biodigester that converts organic waste into biogas and fertilizer, increasing local capacity and resiliency and boosting health and livelihoods as it provides safe, non-toxic thermal, mechanical, and electrical generation not previously affordable to small farmers. Distributed through innovative micro-financing mechanisms and entrepreneurial capacity building, this project has great potential to boost sustainable farming globally.
  • Slow Money catalyzes the flow of investment capital into local food economies and place-based enterprises in North America and Europe, seeking to “bring money back down to earth” through communications, education, convenings, investment clubs, liaison services, and shared learning networks. This integrated effort to restore fiduciary responsibility and nurture sustainable enterprises aims for a systemic transformation of food systems and local economies.
  • Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Plan, born of a collective vision, has created a comprehensive plan to build a locally owned and operated development in the geographic center of the Oglala Lakota Nation, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, one of the poorest and most disenfranchised parts of the country. The goal is to resuscitate the local economy and traditional culture and provide attractive, culturally appropriate affordable housing in the context of a deeply sustainable community with a net-zero built environment that could serve as a compelling, dynamic model for the rest of Indian country and the world.

Beautiful radar & on-ground views of tens of thousands of tree swallows erupting from overnight roost on Connecticut River island.

It took this long? Ford to market Prius rival in 2018. (via @thedailyclimate) Ford Motor Co. plans to introduce a new hybrid vehicle in 2018 that would compete against the Toyota Prius and help Ford meet strict federal mandated mileage standards. An executive at Troy-based LMC Automotive said the firm expects Ford to introduce a “Prius-like family of vehicles eventually.” Detroit News, Michigan

Air traffic growth set to outpace CO2 reduction efforts Carbon reduction efforts in the airline industry will be outweighed by growth in air-traffic, even if the most contentious mitigation measures are implemented, according to new research by the University of Southampton.

Ancient shellfish remains rewrite 10,000-year history of El Nino cycles
Piles of ancient shells provide the first reliable long-term record for the powerful driver of year-to-year climate changes. Results show that the El Niños 10,000 years ago were as strong and frequent as they are today.

MIT ocean scientist clarifies findings on small net deep ocean cooling in a warming climate (in letter to editor following news story):

Understanding the ocean

THE article by Graham Lloyd will likely leave a mis-impression with many of your readers concerning the substance of our paper that will appear in the Journal of Physical Oceanography (“Puzzle of deep ocean cooling”, 25/7).

We never assert that global warming and warming of the oceans are not occurring — we do find an ocean warming, particularly in the upper regions.

Contrary to the implications of Lloyd’s article, parts of the deep ocean are warming, parts are cooling, and although the global abyssal average is negative, the value is tiny in a global warming context.

Those parts of the abyss that are warming are most directly linked to the surface (as pointed out by Andy Hogg from the ANU).

Scientifically, we need to better understand what is going on everywhere, and that is an issue oceanographers must address over the next few years — a challenging observational problem that our paper is intended to raise.

Carl Wunsch, Harvard University and Massachusetts, Institute of Technology

He drove out, to the western sky. Didn’t know where, and he didn’t know why… New demo of a song I wrote in the early 90s. More on my music here and here. Coverage in Consequence of Sound, Review on Relix Magazine Jambands website.

Three years ago this weekend, during a rigorous run up a steep hill with a fit son, I started having symptoms of a condition presaging a stroke. Time wasted = brain lost. The dark spots are dead brain tissue. Make sure you know the signs: http://stroke.nih.gov My lucky story: http://j.mp/dotstroke I discussed my learning curve with Carol Alt on “A Healthy You.” One good result of this midlife jolt was that it prompted me to take my songwriting side seriously.

Three years ago this weekend, during a rigorous run up a steep hill with a fit son, I started having symptoms of a condition presaging a stroke. Time wasted = brain lost. The dark spots are dead brain tissue. Make sure you know the signs: http://stroke.nih.gov My lucky story: http://j.mp/dotstroke I discussed my learning curve with Carol Alt on “A Healthy You.” One good result of this midlife jolt was that it prompted me to take my songwriting side seriously.