The ball’s in our court

first_imgThree games into its debut season, Alab has been drawing packed crowds from Biñan, Laguna, to the Olivarez College Gym in Parañaque, where only last Sunday former two-time UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. exploded for a record 41 points in a 93-87 victory over the Kaohsiung Truth. Alab will also hold stops in Davao and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, for future home games as they continue to bring the team closer to the fans.Philippine teams have won the ABL twice, but the league has gone under the radar in what was supposed to be the hotbed of basketball in the region, following a forgettable season by the MX3 Kings last year. The Philippine Patriots ruled the inaugural season of the league in 2009, while the Beermen matched the feat in 2013. There was no Philippine team in the ABL in 2014.“We’ve been amazed by the turnout,” said Alab Pilipinas co-owner Charlie Dy. “The ABL has been around for seven years, but the turnout for Philippine [representative] teams wasn’t always like this.”Alab attracted 5,000 fans to its home opener at Alonte Gym in Biñan that ended with a 66-71 loss to the Singapore Slingers, before luring 3,000 at Baliwag Star Arena in Baliuag, Bulacan, for the second game—a 91-82 win over the Kaohsiung Truth.“We had to call in additional security because some fans destroyed the barriers outside the arena in Baliuag just to get in,” says Dy. “We are very happy with the support.”ADVERTISEMENT PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town MOST READ Parks has been the star of the show for Alab, averaging 30 points an outing in his first three games, a year after playing for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League. “He’s helped us get the fans because a lot of people are interested in how much he has improved since his UAAP playing days,” Dy says of Parks.Dy admits getting sponsors to back the team is still a tough task, but they take solace in the fact that they’ve been able to establish strong links with the local government units where they play their games. Alab holds basketball clinics a day before each game for children in the community where they play. In return, the LGU allows the team to use the gym for free for their games.All of the Alab games are also shown live on ABS Sports and Action. “It’s a huge factor,” Dy says of the television aspect.While the league’s main thrust is to make basketball grow in the region, Ilagan says the presence of Alab as the Philippines’ representative has been a boost to the league. “The Philippines is always the barometer in terms of basketball in Southeast Asia,” says Ilagan, who is fresh off his first full season running the league.As the players of Alab obliged fans with selfies and autographs last Sunday, Ilagan can’t help but feel a sense of pride as the league finally made strides in his own country, after witnessing how it has impacted other teams in the region.“A turnout like this in the Philippines is really heartwarming,” says Ilagan. “A lot of credit goes to Alab and their approach [in getting fans].”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports LOOK: The first half Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Tropang TNT’s Mo Tautuaa, GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle and Alaska’s Chris Banchero boosted their stock in the ABL, before joining the PBA, while Kris Rosales parlayed an impressive stint with the Singapore Slingers last season to make the Tropang Texters squad.Leo Avenido never really fulfilled his potential in the PBA, but the former Far Eastern U gunner was a regular fixture in the ABL, winning the Most Valuable Player award in 2012 with the Beermen and playing as an import for several teams, the last for the Saigon Heat two years ago. It was also in the Vietnamese capital where former Ateneo star Jai Reyes made a name for himself as the “Saigon Mamba” for his explosive game, in reference to retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad Ali“The ABL is always about opportunities,” says ABL CEO Jericho Ilagan. “Countless players in the PBA either started or revived their careers in the ABL.”This season, however, the league has become more than just a springboard to careers for Filipino players. Following the entry of Alab Pilipinas, the league is slowly but surely gaining a solid fan base—even outside Metro Manila. Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PHcenter_img We are young Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. EDITORS’ PICK Senators to proceed with review of VFA As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter Photo from ASEAN Basketball League Facebook/Onvisa ThewphaingarmIt was always known as a league where players kickstart or revive their careers in a bid to get bigger and better opportunities.Long before June Mar Fajardo became a dominant force in the PBA, he toiled as a raw, back-up center for the San Miguel Beermen in the Asean Basketball League (ABL). The same league also gave center Asi Taulava a new lease on his career after his stint in the PBA was stalled.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more


Tough fight

first_imgPH among economies most vulnerable to virus EDITORS’ PICK The seven-time trainer of the year feels Pacquiao, the eight-division world champion and current World Boxing Organization welterweight titlist, will be thoroughly tested by the unbeaten Crawford (30-0 with 21 knockouts), the unified light welterweight king.“It’s a tough fight, yes,” Roach told badlefthook.com. “But it’s one that we have to say yes to… because we don’t wanna just be fighting nobodies. We still want to be the best.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSWe are youngCrawford, nine years younger than Pacquiao at 29, is certainly one of the best.  He is favored to be named 2016 Fighter of the Year after defending his 140-pound crown thrice this year, the last via an eight-round stoppage of the overweight John Molina Jr. in April.Roach even likened Crawford to a “young Mayweather but he probably has a better punch than Mayweather.”  Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford is declared winner over John Molina Jr. after a WBO junior welterweight boxing bout at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Crawford won by TKO in the eighth round. APWhen Manny Pacquiao fought against Jessie Vargas last November, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach felt certain of a dominant victory. He was right.Now that Terence Crawford looms as a prime candidate to tangle with Pacquiao this year, Roach has some reservations.ADVERTISEMENT Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town MOST READ Senators to proceed with review of VFA This week’s #KicksStalker pick: Jio Jalalon’s Lillard 2 Easter Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement PLAY LIST 00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement00:50Trending Articles01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine View comments As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. We are younglast_img read more


A river restored breathes new life into Kuala Lumpur

first_imgInspired by a global trend of urban river restorations, then-prime minister Najib Razak in 2012 launched a megaproject to clean up the Kuala Lumpur’s rivers and beautify riverfront areas.Ridiculed at first, the River of Life project has made notable strides towards its goals, and officials say it is on track to be completed on time and below budget.The initiative is part of a complex legacy left by Najib, who was swept out of power amid a corruption scandal and is currently awaiting trial for breach of trust and abuse of power.This is the third article in a six-part series about infrastructure projects in Peninsular Malaysia. KUALA LUMPUR — By 2012, when then-prime minister Najib Razak formally launched the River of Life project to improve water quality and restore the aesthetic virtue of the Klang River, France had already demolished obsolete dams in the magnificent headwaters of the Loire River.Oakland, California, was busy jackhammering the concrete culverts that served for decades as straitjackets on streams flowing from its coastal hills. Seoul, South Korea, had spent $384 million to demolish a central city highway and construct wastewater treatment plants that turned the Cheonggyecheon River into a promenade of reedy banks and tranquil pools of clean water.In short, the 21st-century idea of mending rivers dirtied and damaged by the 20th century’s industrial hydraulics and waste was taking hold around the world. In forward-thinking cities, the old principle of harnessing flowing water for the unbridled use and convenience of man was being replaced by a new operating program. Restoring river habitat and ecological processes not only enhanced the quality of the human experience, it also added resilience to local economies.“I believe there will be a drastic change to Kuala Lumpur’s image,” Najib said in a downtown Kuala Lumpur ceremony. “This is what Kuala Lumpur folks have been waiting for. The Klang River has all the elements to become an attractive waterfront bustling with daily activities. I visited the Cheonggyechoen River project in Seoul. The project is the best example of the transformation of a polluted and dirty river into a model river complete with beautiful walkways, bridges and fountains.”Once notoriously smelly, Kuala Lumpur’s urban riverfront has been transformed into an attractive destination for dining and strolling. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.At the time, in his third year as prime minister, Najib was building a reputation in Southeast Asia for developing national economic development strategies that kept environmental goals in mind. It was well before a corruption scandal in the 1MDB national infrastructure development fund cost him re-election in May of 2018. Najib’s overarching Economic Transformation Program, a national strategy published in 2010 to make Malaysia a “top 20 nation” by 2020, included among its foremost priorities a commitment to “meeting present needs without compromising those of future generations.”“In economic terms, growth will have to be achieved without running down Malaysia’s natural resources,” wrote the plan’s authors. “Malaysia will not achieve high-income status simply through the income derived from extracting Malaysia’s natural resources. In environmental terms, the government is committed to the stewardship and preservation of our natural environment and non-renewable resources. The government will ensure that environmental resources are properly priced and that the full costs of development are understood before investment decisions are made.”Projects to expand and build new wastewater treatment plants were included in the transformation program. Big projects to add new lines to electric rail transit in Kuala Lumpur, and intercity fast electric trains, also were part of the plan. Najib promoted these and other nation-building projects as positive steps in clearing the water and air of damaging pollutants.The River of Life project met those objectives. The $1.3 billion redevelopment of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the Klang River in central Kuala Lumpur, and the cleanup of its waters and shoreline running 100 kilometers upriver, ranks as one of the hardest and most expensive urban river restoration projects ever undertaken.Najib’s stated aim with the River of Life and other mega infrastructure projects was to turn the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan region into a competitor to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore as an efficient, inviting and ecologically sensitive place to live and do business. Najib included the River of Life in national budgets supported by parliament, and recruited pledges from state and local treasuries to also finance the project.Kuala Lumpur is following a formula that works elsewhere – replenishing the ecological functions of the Klang; improving water quality; and creating safe, interesting, and well-lit spaces for strolling. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.By any measure it was a political advance. The two most important steps in successful infrastructure development are sound planning and firm funding. On paper, it sounds pretty straightforward. But in the realpolitik of too many democracies, every aspect of project design, finance, management, contracts and public acceptance can be a dispiriting battle of competing ideas. Conflict often leads to long and costly delays that frequently disable and generally kill big infrastructure projects.The file cabinets and hard drives of government agencies all over the world are filled with infrastructure development plans that cost a fortune to draw up and turned out to be a waste of time. That was not the case with Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Program.Almost a decade after Najib’s initiative was launched, Kuala Lumpur is a different city than it was when he took office in 2009. Fast-rail transit lines cross the metropolitan region. A huge new financial center is under construction in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The metro region’s population, now almost 7.5 million and growing by nearly 195,000 new residents annually, is also getting more prosperous, according to government economic data. Some of the world’s largest and most elegant retail malls are here, packed with shoppers.The River of Life project, moreover, is 90 percent complete, and on time and within budget, say its government managers. Its primary shoreline promenade and parks, striking fountains and misty cobalt-blue nighttime light shows are now among Kuala Lumpur’s most noted and visited destinations.Kuala Lumpur turned the River of Life into a nighttime cobalt blue promenade. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.Successful as it may have been in Kuala Lumpur, the Economic Transformation Program is, arguably, the principal reason that Najib lost his bid for a third term as Malaysia’s prime minister. The plan included vastly expanding Malaysia’s intercity rail transit network, investing in fossil fuel infrastructure and electricity generation, and enormous real-estate developments, among them a big mixed-use office, housing and retail district on Kuala Lumpur’s periphery.The flood of investment, a sizable share coming from China, contributed to more than a doubling of Malaysia’s national debt during Najib’s term to $250 billion, or 80 percent of the country’s gross national product. A corruption scandal erupted in 2015 inside 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the national development fund that Najib started and directed. 1MDB financed a number of the real-estate and energy transformation projects; its debt now stands at an estimated $13 billion.An investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation found that $4.5 billion is missing from 1MDB. Najib is accused of directing $731 million into his personal accounts, a charge he denies. After being arrested in July, Najib is currently on bail awaiting trial on three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power.It is not yet clear if the cost of Najib’s infrastructure program, and the 1MDB scandal, will hurt confidence in Malaysia’s planning infrastructure. It likely will not. Since 1966, nine years after it gained independence from Britain, Malaysia has devoted considerable government time and expense to preparing successive five-year plans aimed at stabilizing its democracy and directing its economy.The River of Life, one of the most expensive river restoration projects every undertaken, has transformed the Klang River shoreline in Kuala Lumpur. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Najib’s one-time mentor, is also a loyal advocate of infrastructure planning and investment as tools for economic development. Economists in and outside the country credit Malaysia’s emergence as a modern contemporary state to infrastructure development during Mahathir’s first administration from 1981 to 2003. During those years he recruited Japanese, South Korean, U.S. and European financiers and institutions to invest in transportation, manufacturing and real-estate projects, many of them identified in five-year plans.Mahathir’s most visible monuments from that era are the iconic 452-meter (1,483-foot) Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the country’s most famous landmark. For five years after Mahathir dedicated them in August 1999, the towers were the tallest buildings in the world.Not all of Mahathir’s ideas were as triumphal. Another of his big infrastructure projects was the Love Our Rivers campaign, launched in 1993 to clean up the Klang and several more of Malaysia’s most polluted rivers. The project is largely viewed as an expensive failure.When it was launched by Najib, the River of Life project also received its share of public criticism over the projected cost and the government’s capacity to restore a river that has been grossly mistreated for over 150 years.Much of the criticism has quieted. The River of Life project, well on its way to being finished in 2020, appears to have skittered past the current political disruption. In the post-election fallout, questions have been raised about waste management and public awareness efforts related to the project, but the riverfront itself is steadily ascending the stairway to prominence as one of Kuala Lumpur’s most attractive and recognizable landmarks.The confluence of the Klang and Gombak River is where the impressive Masid Jamek Mosque was finished in 1907, and includes some of the city’s most historic government buildings and market areas. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.Getting there has been a feat of management, hydrology and engineering.The Klang River flows west to east for 120 kilometers (75 miles) from its headwaters in the highlands outside the city to the Strait of Malacca. The Department of Environment —now a unit of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change — maintains nearly 1,000 water-quality monitoring stations on the country’s 477 rivers. More than half, according to the most recent report, from 2016, are classified as “clean.”  The agency classified the Klang as one of Malaysia’s five most polluted rivers.The Klang drains a 1,288-square-kilometer (497-square-mile) basin that produces all manner of sewage, grease, farm chemicals, and thousands of tons of paper and plastic trash and food garbage, dumped into its fetid brown waters. Decades ago, people, businesses and neighborhoods turned their backs on the filthy river. Parcels of land were vacated only to become new informal neighborhoods for squatter households.“Doing this project involves a hard approach and a soft approach,” said Mohamad Nasir Bin Mohamad Noh, director general of the water ministry’s Department of Irrigation and Drainage, the lead agency charged with stemming pollution and trash in the Klang. “Most rivers in Malaysia have good water quality. A few years after we finish, this river will have good water quality, too.”One of the primary goals of the River of Life project is to turn water quality from class 5, a designation that makes it dangerous to approach, to class 2b, or clean enough to swim in. The idea is to do the same thing Shanghai did with its Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze that flows through the city’s center, and was once one of the smelliest and dirtiest rivers in the world.Shanghai constructed a network of new sewage treatment plants that eliminated the odor, cleaned up the water, and compelled the city to build the Bund, a shoreline promenade to showcase the cascades of light, like shimmering waterfalls, that tumble down the sides of Shanghai’s skyscrapers.Mohamad Nasir Bin Mohamad Noh, the director general of the Malaysia Department of Irrigation and Drainage, the lead agency charged with stemming pollution and trash in the Klang and managing the River of Life project. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.Three-quarters of the budget for the River of Life project is dedicated to improving water quality. Two new wastewater treatment plants are nearing completion. Fifteen smaller plants are being expanded and modernized. A 748-hectare (1,848-acre) area in central Kuala Lumpur was torn up to build or replace miles of sewer lines to serve the plants. Several informal neighborhoods of squatters, some 1,300 households in all, were moved to new public housing.Under the supervision of the Department of Drainage and Irrigation, project contractors also built five small wastewater treatment plants for wet markets, installed 460 traps to capture floating rubbish, and 231 grease traps at restaurants and food courts. A public education campaign to help city residents and business owners understand the value of the river and the usefulness of keeping it free of garbage and grease accompanies the construction.The balance of the project budget, $337 million, was devoted to redeveloping the near-shore neighborhoods where the Klang meets the Gombak River, where Kuala Lumpur was founded in 1857. The confluence of the Klang and Gombak is also where the impressive Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque was finished in 1909, and includes some of the city’s most historic government buildings and market areas.The confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers gave Kuala Lumpur its name, which literally means “muddy confluence.” The river restoration project has breathed new life into the area. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.In 2011, AECOM, a U.S. engineering and construction firm, was awarded the contract to tie the 10.7-kilometer stretch of central city river to neighborhoods. AECOM remodeled the grounds around the mosque to include new public spaces. It designed an inviting promenade along the river and several shady parks filled with flowers. These parks, with their views of the mosque and close proximity to a transit station on one of the city’s popular metro lines, add immeasurably to the beauty of this city’s birthplace.These and other beautification steps set what AECOM calls a “strategic framework” for attracting more residents, businesses and visitors to the river. The company projects that the restored Klang will generate 35,000 new affordable residences, 1 million square meters (10.8 million square feet) of commercial space, and enough new businesses to employ 27,000 workers.“Cities transform over time,” says Scott Dunn, one of the company’s senior executives, in a promotional video. “There are certain critical times that really spur a lot of transformation. This project will really be the catalyst for the city to change.”In other cities, river restoration has proved to be a seminal feature of urban revitalization. Kuala Lumpur is following a formula that works elsewhere: replenishing the ecological functions of the Klang; improving water quality; and creating safe, interesting and well-lit spaces for strolling. The goal is to produce an urban asset from a long-neglected river that has never served that purpose except to carry away a tide of metropolitan waste.Can the Klang River be contextually integrated into the quality of life and economic prosperity that Kuala Lumpur seeks? Judging from the stream of people strolling along its promenade by day and admiring its blue mist by night, the River of Life displays every indication of getting there.This is the second in a six-article series on infrastructure in Peninsular Malaysia. Read the first article here and the second here.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. Cities, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Governance, Infrastructure, Pollution, Rivers, Tropical Rivers, Urban Planning, Water Pollution Article published by Isabel Estermancenter_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 overSponsoredlast_img read more


Satellites and citizen science pinpoint migratory bird refueling stops

first_imgCitationReiter, M. E., Elliott, N. K., Jongsomjit, D., Golet, G. H., & Reynolds, M. D. (2018). Impact of extreme drought and incentive programs on flooded agriculture and wetlands in California’s Central Valley. PeerJ, 6, e5147. Agriculture, Birds, Citizen Science, Freshwater Animals, Migration, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Technology, Wildtech Article published by Sue Palminteri 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 Researchers used satellite images to assess the effectiveness of financial incentive programs for farmers in creating habitat for waterbirds, including ducks, geese, and shorebirds, in California’s Central Valley, where nearly all natural wetlands have been converted to agriculture.Observations of 25 waterbird species by hundreds of citizen scientists helped to identify the target zones for water management and to verify the birds’ use of managed areas.The satellite data indicated that a severe drought substantially reduced the birds’ open-water habitat and that the incentive programs created more than 60 percent of available habitat on specific days during the migrations.The researchers state that remotely sensed data can be used effectively to track water availability and regularly update water and wetland managers on how much habitat is available and where, so they can coordinate water management activities. The millions of waterbirds that migrate each spring from South America to as far as the Arctic can’t do it in one trip. They stop to rest and refuel several times along the way to survive the grueling journey.But widespread land-use change has shrunk the area of stopover habitat available to ducks, geese, shorebirds, and other migratory species. In central California, concerned citizens, scientists, and conservation groups have joined forces to protect what remains.A flock of dowitchers glide above the water. Image by T Grey.Scientists from Point Blue Conservation Science and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) combined satellite imagery and statistical models with farmer incentive programs and the efforts of hundreds of volunteers contributing data through a citizen science app to pinpoint the areas of central California with the greatest potential for providing migratory bird habitat. They recently published their analysis of the success of these incentive programs in maintaining bird habitat during an extreme drought sustained between 2013 and 2015 across the western United States.“Before this research was completed, we had a sense that these programs were succeeding in offsetting the impacts of the drought on wildlife, but now we know exactly how critical they are in providing bird habitat in the Central Valley,” lead author Matt Reiter, principal scientist and quantitative ecologist at Point Blue, said in a statement.Retaining habitat in a transformed landscapeShorebirds, including sandpipers and stilts, dunlins and dowitchers, feed on aquatic invertebrates that live in mud or wet sand, so they seek wetlands during their stopovers.California’s Central Valley, once home to a vast system of about 16,200 square kilometers (6,250 square miles) of wetlands, is one such key stopover region for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl  along the Pacific migratory flyway.A gathering of marbled godwits, dowitchers, willets, and other shorebirds at Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland, California. Image by Ingrid Taylar, CC 2.0.The valley extends more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) north to south and up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) east to west. Massive agricultural development has eliminated more than 90 percent of the naturally occurring wetlands, leaving the birds dependent on flooded agricultural fields for food during their stopovers.California’s water is highly managed, so anthropogenic factors play a large role in determining when and where the impacts of drought appear on the landscape. A pair of financial assistance programs provided farmers in the birds’ flight paths with incentive payments to flood their fields at key times during the 2013-2015 drought to create habitat for migrating waterbirds.The area’s rice growers flood their fields each fall with 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) of water in preparation for the next year’s harvest. The flooding converts the paddies into ideal migratory shorebird habitat, so TNC’s BirdReturns and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program (WHEP) offer farmers financial incentives to flood their fields for one to two additional months, to coincide with the bird migration.Avid birdwatchers across the Central Valley helped the partners to identify the areas to target for habitat management and confirm these areas’ use by target species. Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird online platform encouraged birdwatchers in the region to submit their bird observations to its database, before and after the incentive programs began.Spotted sandpipers are another shorebird species found in the study region. Image by J. Gehling, CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.eBird statisticians compiled the observations from hundreds of birders to build models that predicted where 25 species of shorebirds would likely be present across the Central Valley during their spring and fall migrations. The models generated maps that showed when and where the target species were expected to gather. Overlaying maps of bird concentrations with the distribution of surface water indicated mismatches — areas where management action, in the form of flooding, was most needed.Seeing water from spaceTo assess the success of these programs, the researchers used satellite imagery to examine the impact of the drought on the timing and extent of surface water in the Central Valley.“By using satellites to track habitats regularly,” Reiter told Mongabay, “we can look for hotspots of change and use that information to help prioritize conservation actions.”They analyzed Landsat images from 2013 to 2015 to identify areas of open water (more than 30 percent vegetated) across the Central Valley and to measure the distribution of open water habitat in managed wetlands and fields of rice, corn and other crops between July and May.Using data from ground and aerial surveys, they developed predictive models to identify open water, separate from saturated soil underneath thick vegetation. “We will probably not get moist soil without some ponded water with our model,” Reiter said. “That said, because we track water year round, we can identify those places that maintain some open water across months.”A longbilled dowitcher foraging. Standing water is considered critical habitat for these and other shorebirds, as well as waterfowl such as ducks and geese. Image by T. Grey.The models quantified the influence of drought, precipitation, season, region, and protected status on the proportion of open water in each land cover type between July and May of the following year.The scientists then calculated the relative contribution to available habitat during that period of the two farmer incentive programs. They used the image data to estimate the daily proportion of flooded habitat in each type of field (e.g. rice, corn, etc.) that was provided by these programs. They multiplied that proportion by the total amount of the crop planted in each year (2,161 square kilometers, or 834 square miles, in 2013 and, 1,696 square kilometers, or 655 square miles, in 2014) to get the area of open water habitat made available by the programs each day. Footage courtesy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Joy Ng.“We [then] combined predicted shorebird abundance values with predicted wetland extent to identify times and locations where temporary wetlands could deliver potentially high-value shorebird habitat,” said co-author Mark Reynolds, lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s California Migratory Bird Program.The analysis showed that the drought substantially reduced the availability of open water habitats across the Central Valley’s fields and wetlands, both spatially and temporally. During the drought, the amount of open water habitat decreased by 40 to 80 percent, compared to non-drought years, and the decline varied by land cover type, time of year, and region. For example, corn and wetlands in the San Joaquin Basin dried out more than rice and wetlands in the Sacramento Valley. Protected wetlands retained more water than unprotected, privately owned wetlands.Wetlands in central California’s otherwise dry environment. Image by R. Digaudio.It also revealed that the incentive programs provided a large portion of the open water in rice fields during the fall and spring waterbird migrations in the drought years.“BirdReturns provided 39 percent of the post-harvest flooded rice during the fall, when flooded habitat is at its lowest and waterbirds are in high abundance,” Reiter said in a publication summary. “And WHEP created 64 percent of the habitat during the winter. Overall, incentive programs provided 35 percent of the habitat on the landscape October through March.”Possibly more important for hungry migratory birds during a drought, the BirdReturns program provided up to 61 percent of all available flooded rice habitat on certain fall days and WHEP created up to 100 percent of available habitat on some days during the winter.Do birds use the managed wetlands?The crowd-sourced eBird observations collected after the incentive programs began helped to verify the use by the birds of different types of managed areas. The data showed that crop fields participating in BirdReturns pilot program, for example, hosted far more target migratory waterbirds than control fields (with no additional flooding).“This new approach to rent habitat on demand promises to engage more farmers to provide habitat in a flexible manner that can be tailored to ever-changing weather patterns and farming practices,” Reynolds said.A long-billed curlew moves between fields in central California. Image by TJ Gehling, CC BY NC 2.0.The birdwatchers recorded more than 220,000 birds representing 57 species in the BirdReturns fields, with February-March shorebird densities 20 times higher than on non-participating fields. These totals included more than 20,000 dunlins, representing roughly 20 percent of the entire overwintering dunlin population in the Central Valley.“The study highlights the role incentive programs can play in species conservation,” Reiter said. “Program managers should place a high priority on maintaining incentive programs in the face of more frequent severe droughts in order to sustain waterbirds in the Central Valley and the Pacific Flyway.”The survival of millions of migratory birds in increasingly modified landscapes now depends on human intervention, so assessing the success of specific actions can help managers apply them elsewhere.“Open water and wetlands are critical habitat resources across the world and have seen some of the greatest losses to human development,” Reiter said. “Our models could be used in other landscapes where water and wetlands play a key role in supporting wildlife habitat to prioritize those places and times when we need to make sure to sustain those water dependent ecosystems and habitats on the landscape.”This video offers more detailed information about the project. 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