Local fishers oppose $2.7 billion deal opening Madagascar to Chinese fishing

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 Two months ago, a little-known private Malagasy association signed a 10-year, $2.7 billion fishing deal — the largest in the country’s history — with a group of Chinese companies that plans to send 330 fishing vessels to Madagascar.Critics of the deal include the country’s fisheries minister, who said he learned about it in the newspaper; environmental and government watchdog groups; and local fishers, who are already struggling with foreign competition for Madagascar’s dwindling marine stocks.Critics say no draft of the deal has been made public and the association that signed it did not conduct an environmental impact assessment or any public consultation.The issue has drawn media attention in the run-up to the presidential election on Wednesday. The incumbent and a leading candidate, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, was present at the fisheries deal’s signing, although he later claimed not to be familiar with it. Life on the coast of Madagascar is increasingly precarious. In recent decades, the overexploitation of marine life has made it difficult for hundreds of thousands of small-scale fishers to make a living. So it’s no surprise that they are vocally opposing a new agreement to bring hundreds of additional Chinese vessels into their waters.Two months ago, a little-known and ostensibly private Malagasy association signed a 10-year, $2.7 billion fishing deal — the largest in the country’s history — with a group of Chinese companies that plans to send 330 fishing vessels to Madagascar. Madagascar’s president at the time, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, was in the room when the deal was signed in Beijing on Sept. 5, although he later claimed not to be familiar with it. No draft of the deal has been made public, and its opacity has drawn media attention in the run-up to the presidential election on Wednesday. Rajaonarimampianina stepped down as president on Sept. 7, two days after the deal was signed, to comply with Malagasy law that requires a sitting president to leave office 60 days before an election in which he is running. He is a leading candidate in the election.On the Madagascar side, the Agence Malagasy de Développement économique et de Promotion d’entreprises (AMDP) made the deal, which the group says was designed to promote the country’s “blue economy.” It did so without consulting the fisheries ministry, the national environment office, or civil society groups, many of which are now calling for the deal to be scrapped. These critics say the AMDP failed to set up an open bidding process and did not conduct an environmental impact assessment or any public consultation. They also note that there’s limited information on fishing efforts and catches in Madagascar’s waters, so any new projects should be taken on with extreme caution.“I can’t help but wonder how 330 vessels in our coastal zone would contribute to a blue economy. Not everything that happens in the ocean is ‘blue,’” Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, country director for the international NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), wrote in an op-ed in one of Madagascar’s leading newspapers.Activists have started an online petition to revoke the agreement, and some members of the government are equally concerned. Augustin Andriamananoro, the minister of fisheries, went on national television to voice his opposition to the deal, which he said he first read about in a newspaper.“This could bring about discord and, if we are not careful, it will cause our ocean to be overexploited,” he told TV Plus Madagascar on Oct. 5. “Madagascar’s natural resources are in danger, especially the fish. The fishers are shocked and concerned.”A cartoon that ran on the Malagasy news site 2424.mg. The caption reads “Blue Economy = 10-year fishing deal with China.” Image courtesy of 2424.mg.A deal without detailsThe AMDP signed what it describes as a “framework agreement” with a consortium of seven unidentified Chinese companies known as Taihe Century (Beijing) Investment Development Co., Ltd. The AMDP has said in public statements that the agreement will be a boon to the local economy, and said in a press release from Beijing when the deal was signed that it would create 10,000 jobs over the next three years.“As a civil society actor, we heard the needs of traditional fishers,” Hugues Ratsiferana, the AMDP’s CEO, wrote in an email to Mongabay. He said that Malagasy people would operate 300 of the fishing vessels, and that these would all be new, 14-meter (46-foot) vessels with 1,200-kilogram-capacity (2,646-pound) iceboxes. The new equipment will allow Malagasy fishers to modernize and professionalize their fishing practices, he said. The remaining 30 vessels will be 28 meters (92 feet) in length and used for surveillance, rescue and collection of catch.Though there has been a slow trickle of information regarding the deal, the lack of transparency has concerned observers. “The scale of this investment is unprecedented in the island’s history,” reads an Oct. 12 statement on the website of Mihari, a network of locally managed marine associations in Madagascar. “It is a great source of concern for our Network members and the entire fishing industry, especially as we have little information about the content of the agreement or the manner in which it will be implemented.”Last week, AMDP representatives met with civil society groups and explained a bit more about the agreement. The first phase of the project, worth $700 million over three years, will include investments in fishing, aquaculture, shipyards and technical training, according to slides from the AMDP’s presentation. The second phase, worth $2 billion, will include more fishing, an aquaculture “base” and unspecified logistical services.The AMDP representatives did not specify where the vessels would be based, the fishing would be done, or the projects would take place — not even for a planned pilot project. Nor did they present a complete breakdown of how the $2.7 billion would be spent.In an apparent attempt to mollify critics, AMDP representatives said at the meeting that Malagasy people would have first access to the catch and only the surplus would be shipped to China. (It is unclear how Taihe would make money by selling the fish in Madagascar, a low-income country, and Ratsiferana did not reply to a question from Mongabay on this subject.) They also said that each individual project within the framework agreement would be subject to an environmental impact assessment.However, civil society groups are still not satisfied that the deal was made in a fair and transparent manner. “The AMDP failed to answer our most important questions,” Frédéric Lesné, head of advocacy at Transparency International (TI) – Madagascar Initiative, told Mongabay after attending the meeting.On Friday, TI and other civil society groups announced their ongoing opposition to the deal, saying the AMDP had no experience in the fisheries sector, had refused to disclose information about Taihe, and had not made any social or environmental impact studies public.The AMDP’s Ratsiferana told Mongabay that critical civil society groups had shown “great naïveté” and that opposition to the deal was politically motivated. “During the electoral period in Madagascar, the [online petition] signatories, and first and foremost Transparency International (TI), were manipulated by interests and political issues that go beyond them,” Ratsiferana told Mongabay, referring to the upcoming presidential elections. (TI declined to respond to this claim, saying it had no basis in fact.)Fishermen in southwestern Madagascar carry a pirogue to the sea. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.What is the AMDP?Critics of the deal have also expressed concern about the AMDP’s unusual structure and unclear relationship to the Madagascar government and to then-president and current candidate Rajaonarimampianina.As president, Rajaonarimampianina officially launched the AMDP at the headquarters of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie in Paris in September 2016. Soon after, Madagascar hosted an international francophone summit, where the AMDP acted on behalf of the government to facilitate economic partnerships with other French-speaking countries. The group’s name, which identifies it as an “agency,” also implies that it is a government body.In the AMDP’s press release from Beijing in September, Rajaonarimampianina voiced his support for the fisheries deal — “the new silk roads run through Madagascar!” he said — and was one of a handful of people in the room when the deal was signed. The AMDP attached a photograph of the hand-shaking scene to the release, and Rajaonarimampianina can be seen at the back, in the middle.When questioned about the deal by Radio France Internationale (RFI), Rajaonarimampianina claimed not to know about it.Rajaonarimampianina has another tie to the AMDP: His son, Lovatiana Mickaël Rakotoarimanana, was on the AMDP’s board of directors when it was founded in 2016. (In an email to Mongabay, the AMDP’s Ratsiferana said Rakotoarimanana was no longer on the board.)Despite the AMDP’s work on behalf of the government and connections to the presidency, Ratsiferana said it was a “private association” and thus had no legal obligation to release a copy of the fisheries deal to the public.“[N]ot being a state-to-state agreement, but a protocol between private sectors and companies, we are bound to an obligation of confidentiality and private business secrecy,” Ratsiferana told Mongabay. “Have you ever seen in the press a publication of the agreement between Exxon and Aramco in the oil sector?” (Aramco, a state-owned oil company in Saudi Arabia, is notorious for its opacity.)But without a governmental mandate, it’s unclear how a private association like the AMDP could sign a deal of this scope, which will require, at the very least, a series of permits from the national environment office and licenses from the fisheries ministry. In response to a question regarding the AMDP’s authority to make such a sweeping international deal, Ratsiferana said, “The reality on the ground confirms a socio-economic backwardness in Madagascar and the need of the Malagasy population is clear: a better life. The AMDP is responding to this need.”The deal has drawn a lot of attention in local media and on social-media platforms, with many observers assuming corruption was a factor, or that the AMDP sold access to the president’s office. However, there is no direct evidence for either of these claims, and the AMDP has vigorously denied them. “I have not touched a single dollar,” Ratsiferana told RFI. “Neither me, nor the AMDP, nor Hery Rajaonarimampianina. I give you my word.”The president’s office, occupied in the interim by Rivo Rakotovao, a Rajaonarimampianina ally, declined to comment for this article. The AMDP declined to provide contact information for Taihe, and Mongabay was unable to reach the Beijing-based company, which has no online presence.Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who is running for reelection in this week’s presidential elections in Madagascar, spoke in London in 2015. Image courtesy of Chatham House via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).Foreign pressure on local fisheriesGlobally, China has the world’s largest fishing fleet. Chinese fishing companies, heavily subsidized by the government, have developed a reputation for overexploiting stocks and signing deals that lack transparency, or just not signing them at all. The vast majority of fishing by Chinese vessels goes unreported, amounting to about 2.5 million tons of catch per year around Africa alone, according to a 2012 European Union report.The Chinese fishing industry already had a presence in Madagascar prior to the signing of the agreement with the AMDP. Six Chinese vessels have been trawling for demersal and pelagic fish off southwest Madagascar since October 2017, according to the fisheries ministry. Small-scale fishers in the area say they feel the impact of the trawling on their catches, even from this relatively small fleet.“We mustn’t forget that with the arrival of just six industrial fishing boats in the Toliara region this year, some communities are already struggling to make ends meet,” Hermany Emoantra, a small-scale fisher in southwest Madagascar and Mihari’s president, said in the group’s statement. “So, imagine what could happen with 330 boats — how will these people live, where will they go?”Officially, these six are the only Chinese vessels working Madagascar’s waters, but the real number is believed to be much higher. Reports in the news and from local observers indicate that a large number of Chinese ships are working there illegally, sometimes using highly destructive fishing methods and strong-arm tactics to muscle local fishers off the water.But Madagascar’s small-scale fishers also face competition beyond the Chinese, for example from domestic and foreign industrial shrimp trawling and long-line tuna fishing by vessels from South Korea, Seychelles and Europe.Indeed, civil society groups are closely scrutinizing renegotiations of an EU fishing deal with Madagascar, which is due to expire at the end of the year. Fisheries experts have criticized past deals for prioritizing the profits of private EU companies over the interests of Malagasy people, and for lacking transparency. Late last month, Mihari and TI sent an open letter to both the Madagascar fisheries ministry and the EU asking for greater transparency and more cooperation with civil society groups during this round of negotiations.The fisheries deals with both the Europeans and the Chinese will be subject to at least an implicit approval by an incoming administration, which could quash them by denying foreign companies the necessary permits or licenses. So for Malagasy fishers, as for other sectors of society, much will depend on the results of the presidential election.A fishing boat in the town of Beheloke in southwestern Madagascar. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Banner image: A fishing boat in the town of Beheloke in southwestern Madagascar. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Rebecca Kesslercenter_img Biodiversity Hotspots, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Corporate Responsibility, Corporations, Developing Countries, Environment, Environmental Economics, Finance, Fish, Fishing, Governance, Green, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Oceans, Poverty last_img read more

Docherty and McGinn can fill Brown’s shoes, says Canning

first_imgCanning said: “It’s an opportunity for Greg again, I’m sure they’ll be people looking at Scott Brown’s retirement and thinking that’s an opportunity for them and rightly so. “If you are Greg or John McGinn you wouldn’t be filled with the correct ambition if you weren’t looking at that and thinking I can make that slot my own.“Good luck to Greg, who’s moved on from here, McGinn or whoever takes that spot because they’ve got big shoes to fill as Scott Brown was definitely a Scotland legend.”Antonio Rojano earned Accies a point the last time the two sides met, despite Hibs dominating large periods of play. The result led Neil Lennon to slam Canning’s “caveman” style of play.His counterpart shrugged off the comments though, insisting it’s just frustration on Lennon’s part at two points dropped.Canning said: “That was just frustration after the game from Neil, they were obviously very good that day and didn’t manage to win the game.“For us, I’d expect the same again. If we are not at our best, I’d expect us to compete and make it as hard for the opposition as possible. We done that on that day, fortunately for us the chance we had we took.“I don’t think there was anything wrong with our tactics, we weren’t overly aggressive, we just competed.”Freezing conditions caused by the “beast from the east” have put SPFL fixtures under threat.Canning, for one, hopes Accies game is on as injury concerns mount up with Alex Gogic set to be out for the rest of the season.He added: “We don’t want to backlog any more. It’s easy to look at the table and say we’ve got two games to in hand but when they come thick and fast you pick up niggles and knocks so can’t be at full strength.“Gogo (Alex Gogic) is out for rest of season, he’s hurt his knee. Georgios Sarris will be back in a fortnight but Sean Want is back for the weekend match with St Johnstone.” Hamilton boss Martin Canning says Accies could be coming up against Scott Brown’s heir apparent in John McGinn, although he believes Greg Docherty will also fancy his chances of claiming the vacant Scotland jersey.Accies travel to take on Hibs on Wednesday looking to build on their dramatic weekend win over fellow relegation battlers Partick Thistle.Canning says that in Easter Road playmaker McGinn his side face a player with international credentials.He also believes his former star Docherty should hold Scotland ambitions following Brown’s retirement from international duty.last_img read more

Walt Disney World Preview — Week of November 4

first_imgWeatherFor the most current weather conditions, click here.Crowd LevelsFor more information about crowd levels, click here.Park Hours Share This!The holiday season is already here at Walt Disney World! For all the holly jolly news, keep reading!Special EventsThe Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is this weekend. Will you be participating?Now until November 13th, Annual Passholders can get reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Check out Rikki’s article for more details.Jingle Cruise is returning to Magic Kingdom park on November 2nd. This holiday overlay includes Christmas decorations, Santa hats, and lots of festive puns.Beginning November 10th, Disney Springs will look more like the North Pole than a shopping district. View 25 stunning holiday trees on the Christmas Tree Trail, bring your Christmas list (and check it twice!) to Santa’s Chalet, and take a picture with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear. Attractions Closed For RefurbishmentsMagic Kingdom:The Hall of PresidentsSplash MountainStitch’s Great Escape!Blizzard Beach: Closed for refurbishmentAre you venturing to Walt Disney World this week? What are you looking forward to?last_img read more

My Silicon Valley Fortune Cookie

first_imgWhile pondering my Midblog Crisis, I remembered a fortune cookie I received during the spicy noodles dinner in Palo Alto on 12 October (when I was in the US for the Web 2.0 Conference). Present at the meal were Dave Winer, Mike Arrington, Fred Oliveira, Gabe Rivera and myself. At the end of the delicious meal, we all got a fortune cookie. Here’s what mine said:“Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril.”I thought it was quite appropriate then – and especially so now given my post yesterday about re-focusing my blog. btw thanks to the people who left encouraging comments on that post! From left to right: Gabe, Dave, me, Mike, FredI miss Silicon Valley. But at least my blog is in the right place. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting richard macmanus Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

With 802.11ax, the Evolution of Wi-Fi Brings Us Closer to a 5G Future

first_imgImagine a future where there are 3.5X more devices and wireless connections than there are people on earth. It’s coming, and it’s coming soon. With mobile data traffic growing at a CAGR of 47%, operators are transforming their networks to meet the demand for ultra-low latency wireless connectivity, delivered at 10s of Gbps and a high-degree of reliability, for an increasingly densified number of users and devices.5G promises to meet, and potentially exceed, the demands of a wide range of use cases—but a wholesale transformation of wireless networks and technologies is no easy feat. The evolution to the next generation of wireless, and to the 5G new radio standard will take time and significant investments to make a commercial reality.A new paper by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), titled “Enhanced Wi-Fi- 802.11ax: Overview, Features, Use Cases, 5G Context,” chaired and co-authored by Intel, explores how the latest Wi-Fi standard can step into the gap, delivering upgraded capabilities to support 5G services, with a faster time-to-market and lower total cost of ownership for wireless operators. Intel participates in more than 250 standards groups worldwide, holding leadership positions in the ITU, 3GPP, IEEE, WFA, and WBA. This paper is one of many we’ve co-authored in conjunction with the WBA exploring the vital role Wi-Fi has to play in addressing the business challenges of operators, and the technical requirements of 5G applications.It’s widely understood that licensed spectral resources are finite, and some might say approaching their limit. Network capacity is an ongoing challenge for wireless operators trying to keep pace with the rapid growth of mobile data, driven by consumer thirst for streaming content and bandwidth-intensive applications. As such, unlicensed spectrum and Wi-Fi are already integral components of most operators’ strategies, carrying the bulk of the world’s offloaded mobile traffic.With 5G promising to bring billions of new devices online, all with varying requirements, the importance of Wi-Fi cannot be discounted, particularly when evaluating how to best support enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) scenarios. We also cannot forget about its relevance to the massive machine type communications (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) usages—both have needs that can be best served by Wi-Fi—connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices connecting to the Edge for increased demands.Wi-Fi evolution is the logical path forward, and the 802.11ax standard is a major step in that direction. “Enhanced Wi-Fi – 802.11ax: Overview, Features, Use Cases, 5G Context” decodes the new standard and explores its practical impact.802.11ax is an evolution of 802.11ac. It delivers an improved experience (higher speeds, lower latency) for more users and devices in outdoor or dense environments, even when using high-bandwidth applications (like Virtual Reality), while also providing flexible support for the differing requirements (low power, wide area) of the IoT. In aggregate, 802.11ax can deliver up to 40% higher peak data rates for a single device, and improve average throughput per user by at least four times in dense or congested environments. It also can increase network efficiency and extend the battery life of devices.802.11ax is expected to be ratified in late 2019, and multiple WBA members will deliver forward-compatible products prior to ratification for faster time-to-market. For our part, Intel will deliver 802.11ax Wi-Fi solutions for both client devices and home infrastructure. Our 802.11ax chipsets for home routers and gateways are designed for digital lifestyles. Incredibly, the chipsets allow up to 256 devices to share bandwidth simultaneously and deliver enhanced throughput rates for a mix of small and large packet sizes. This helps ensure optimal device performance, as well as low latency for common applications.Alongside, Intel 802.11ax client chipsets are designed to support multi-GB throughput, DL/UL OFDMA and DL/UL MU-MIMO, among other advanced features to deliver high efficiency performance in dense environments. With the new capabilities of 802.11ax in place, Intel and its partners can further lay the groundwork for full-scale commercial 5G deployment in trials around the globe.802.11ax marks an important step in our 5G journey. Thank you to all of the WBA members who contributed to the development of “Enhanced Wi-Fi – 802.11ax: Overview, Features, Use Cases, 5G Context”—this paper is a great resource to help break down the implications of the 802.11ax standard, and the opportunities at hand.last_img read more