1 Tahrcountry Musings: June 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pipedreams? Interbasin transfers and water shortages

A new WWF report titled Pipedreams? Interbasin transfers and water shortages shows that water transfers between rivers damage the natural environment, interrupting flows between rivers compromising their ability to provide food and water. It also involves cost overruns, insufficient transparency, irreversible damage to rivers, lack of stakeholder consultation, displacement of communities, planned benefits falling short, and a lack of exploration of alternative sustainable options. Less than 40 per cent of the world’s rivers over 1,000km long remain free flowing WWF advocates a commitment to healthy rivers and wetlands as the first step to water conservation, complemented by other methods as sustainable as possible and only if necessary. The reports conclude that Basin transfers must be the last resort after all other sustainable approaches have been explored.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Albino Mountain Goat Sighted

The Italian Wildlife Rangers have finally manged to take photos of the elusive Albino Mountain Goat(capra ibex). in the the Les Laures valley in the northwestern Val d'Aosta region. Hikers had been reporting seeing a white animal at higher elevations for months.This is the only case of Albinism ever documented.among the capra ibex.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Europe – Brown Bears Facing Extinction

Brown Bears are facing extinction in European Alps. Environmentalists assess only 38 animals in the entire Alps, and Germany does not have even one. The small size makes them critically endangered. Unless efforts at conservation move on a war footing the days of the Brown Bears are numbered.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Algeria - Threat To Wetland

Environmentalists are worried about the imminent threat to ecologically significant El Kala coastal park of marshes and forests in Algeria. The proposed 1,200 km road intended to link Algeria to Tunisia and Morocco poses the threat. The alignment passes through the park. The park is home of, fox, lynx, tortoise wildcat and many species of predator birds. The park contains one site that Algeria has undertaken to protect under the 1971 Ramsar Convention. When the park was formed under the Algerian laws the government had made a firm commitment to protect the area from environmental damage. Environmentalists worldwide are crying foul.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

CITES Support For Coral

In an effort to augment conservation initiatives for Red, pink and other coral species in the genus Corallium, delegates attending a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES ) at The Hague have adopted a US proposal to list the genus in Appendix II of the convention. Appendix II allows trade in a species under strict conditions. Red and pink corals are found throughout the world’s tropical and temperate seas and are used mainly for the manufacture of jewellery. Corallium populations off parts of the Italian, French and Spanish coasts are no longer commercially viable, while in the Western Pacific they have been depleted alarmingly.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Good News – Japan’s Bid To Reopen Trade In Whale Products Rebuffed.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has refused the request by Japan to reopen trade in whale products. CITES delegates meeting in The Hague from June 3 to 15 have rejected Japan's proposal by an overwhelming majority. Conservation groups worldwide have hailed the decision.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

US – A Thriving Market For Illegal Ivory

Care for the Wild International, which surveyed thousands of retail outlets in 14 cities in US last year and this year has come out with shocking details. US is indeed a thriving market for worked ivory next only to Hong Kong. The findings were presented at The Hague meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), The poaching of elephants have reached unprecedented levels in Africa.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hope For Threatened Eels

There is fresh hope for the threatened Eels in Europe. EU governments have reached an agreement imposing strict limits on catching eels to prevent the species from becoming extinct. The agreement stipulates to reserve a percentage of catch to restock Europe's rivers. Till now the stumbling block was restocking percentage, which prevented exporting much of the juvenile eel catch called glass eels to Asian markets, where it fetches fabulous prices. The spawning of Eels in European waters is still a mystery.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Virgin To Fund Elephant Corridor In Kenya

Chairman of the Virgin, Richard Branson has promised aid for construction of a corridor that will allow about 2,000 elephants follow their natural migratory path north of Mount Kenya. Small farms that have come up in innumerable numbers around Mount Kenya, has cut off centuries-old migratory routes threatening lives, damaging crops and antagonizing people. Mr. Branson made his offer on the occasion of the launch of London Nairobi flight of Virgin Atlantic


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spain Abandons Motorway Plan To Save Lynx

Heeding to the views of environmentalists, Spain has decided to abandon a motorway plan linking the ancient capital of Toledo with the southern city of Cordoba, passing through Sierra Morena mountains,.the last refuge of the endangered Iberian Lynx.250 to 350 Iberian lynxes remain in the world, all of them in Spain.

EU Imports Threatens Widlife

EU happens to be the world's biggest importer of wildlife. This has been highlighted in a report by TRAFFIC titled Opportunity or threat: The role of the European Union in the global wildlife trade.The legal trade of wildlife products into the EU was worth an estimated €93 billion in 2005. Between 2003 and 2004, EU enforcement authorities made over 7,000 seizures of shipments without legal permits, totaling over 3.5 million specimens listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).Conservationists fear that under the guise of legal imports several attempts at smuggling also happens. Conservationists are demanding that EU should provide external assistance to countries where wildlife products originate and ensure that their trade is sustainable. A carefully drafted policy can bring in benefits on sustainable basis.For example, the EU imports 95 per cent of vicuña wool, providing significant income for 700,000 people in impoverished Andean communities.

Hi Guys I am back on the net

Hi Guys,
Due to some personal constraints I have not been able to update for some time now.I have got several emails from regular readers. I will try to update regularly now.