Secondary forests in Costa Rica are re-cleared within decades

first_imgArticle published by Rhett Butler Secondary forests in Costa Rica, which are important for the country’s reforestation and climate change goals, don’t last long enough to recover previously lost biomass and biodiversity, a new study shows.Within 20 years, half of the secondary forest in a region of Coto Brus was cleared. After 54 years, 85 percent of these young forests were gone. The results contradict national reports of increasing forest coverage.Costa Rica should shift from its current commitment to restore 1 million hectares of degraded land by 2020 to longer-term commitments to ensure the persistence of young forests, researchers propose. Secondary forests — those that regrow naturally after being cleared or degraded — constitute more than half of existing tropical forests. When they are old enough, they support a wide range of species and store carbon at a higher rate than old-growth forest because the trees grow more rapidly.But in southern Costa Rica, a country with strong environmental commitments, young forests are ephemeral, a new study claims.When Leighton Reid, a restoration ecologist at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, and his colleagues studied the history of secondary forests in a region of Coto Brus canton, Costa Rica, they found that half of them were re-cleared within 20 years. And within 54 years, 85 percent of these young forests were gone, the team reported recently in Conservation Letters.“I wasn’t expecting this at all,” said Reid, who has worked in Costa Rica for more than a decade studying tropical forest restoration. “I was shocked.”A trail through secondary forest at the Las Cruces Biological Station in southern Costa Rica. Photo by J. Leighton Reid.Previous estimates have suggested that 20 years is not enough time for a secondary forest to regain old-growth levels of biomass and biodiversity.To study the persistence of these young forests, researchers used aerial photographs taken from 1947 through 2014 across a 320 square kilometer (123.5 square miles) area in Coto Brus. The photos have a spatial resolution of 10 meters, sharper than the 30-meter resolution of Landsat satellite data other scientists have used to assess forest persistence.Detailed analysis of images from five time points revealed that young forests in the area vanished again at a rate of 2.2 percent to 3.5 percent per year. Similar research has shown even higher clearance rates in northern Costa Rica and in other Latin American forests — for instance, as high as 23 percent per year in central Peru, according to a 2017 study.Naomi Schwartz, a forest ecologist at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the Peru study, is not surprised by the Costa Rica results. “The general finding is consistent with what we found,” she said. “You can’t just assume that a new forest that emerges will be still there in 10, 20, or 50 years.”The forests might be cleared primarily for agriculture and livestock, Reid said. However, his team would like to collaborate with social scientists in Costa Rica to study why the forests are destroyed again so quickly. “It’s an important missing component of our study,” he said. He did note one positive finding: Secondary forests near rivers in the study area were left untouched.The results are not universally accepted within Costa Rica. “The study is restricted to a very small portion of the area of the country, which might not be representative of reality,” wrote Luis Guillermo Acosta Vargas, a forest engineer at the Costa Rica Institute of Technology, in an email to Mongabay. He added that the results also contradict the country’s data of overall recovery of forest coverage, which indicates that Costa Rica has increased its forest area since the mid 1980s.Changes in forest cover. Image by Rodrigo RuizReid agreed with Acosta Vargas’ remarks, but he stood by his findings: “We do need more data, but so far two out of two studies show that secondary forests in Costa Rica are often cleared when they are still young.”The country implemented a ban on deforestation of mature forests in 1996. However, secondary forests were not protected until 2016, two years after the study’s time series ended. Landowners might have cut down the forests before they reached maturity to keep using the land, according to Reid. “Time will tell whether this legislation changes the decades-long pattern of rapid re-clearing,” he said.An isolated forest fragment surrounded by cattle pastures in southern Costa Rica. Photo by J. Leighton Reid.Costa Rica made an international commitment to restore 1 million hectares of degraded land by 2020, according to the Bonn Challenge. But in light of the new results, Reid would like to see those commitments reshaped into long-term compromises through 2120 to help secondary forests persist.Schwartz agrees. “Countries need to work hard to make sure that reforestation, forest restoration and natural regeneration are a big part of their effort to mitigate climate change,” she said. “They need to make sure these forests stick around.”Citation: Reid, J. L., Fagan, M. E., Lucas, J., Slaughter, J., & Zahawi, R. A. (2018). The ephemerality of secondary forests in southern Costa Rica. Conservation Letters, e12607.Rodrigo Pérez Ortega (@rpocisv) is a graduate student in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Other Mongabay stories produced by UCSC students can be found here. Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Recovery, Forests, Rainforests, Remote Sensing, Secondary Forests, Tropical Forests, UCSC center_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

SA’s burgeoning berry industry

first_imgSouth African producers are becoming known for their ability to deliver blueberries of a more consistent quality. (Image: Trevor McKenzie) Lead time to the market is critical for raspberries, and South Africa is ideally located to supply the international demand. (Image: Wikimedia) MEDIA CONTACTS • Trevor McKenzie  SABPA Chairperson   +27 21 808 6641RELATED ARTICLES • Quality inputs for Kenya’s farmers • New centre to enhance food security • SAB first with UV purification • Paying it forward with goat farming • SA’s women farmers root out hungerWilma den HartighSouth Africa’s berry farmers, recognised internationally for producing some of the best quality berries in the world, have joined forces to establish a new organisation that will represent their interests.The South African Berry Producers Association (SABPA) is the berry sector’s first successful attempt to coordinate the various activities of the industry. “The industry decided to work together to achieve more and solve its common challenges,” says Trevor McKenzie, chairperson of the SABPA.McKenzie says that the association can play a major role in growing the local berry industry, promoting South Africa’s reputation as a top berry producer and increasing the sale and consumption of this high-end fruit.The South African berry industry is considered one of the smaller fruit sectors in the country, yet it is very successful. Berries are considered to be high-value crops, and since the many health benefits of berries have become more widely publicised, worldwide the demand for berries is growing.The new association is inviting membership to growers of perennial berries such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. McKenzie explains that although strawberries and gooseberries are also classified as berries, they are annual crops.The Industrial Development Corporation, which has been a driving force in developing the berry sector in recent years by funding various projects across the country, encouraged the establishment of the new industry association.Industry representation in the form of the SABPA will ensure that the industry remains sustainable and economically viable and establishes uniform grading regulations for berries produced in South Africa.The association will also facilitate research, exchange industry information between local and international berry groups, look at ways to promote sales and consumption of berries locally and internationally, and liaise with government about issues affecting the industry.Industry challenges“From a grower point of view, the registration of chemicals is a big challenge because the industry is small,” McKenzie says. Many chemical companies are reluctant to register certain chemicals as it is not economically viable.With the help of the South African Pesticide Initiative Programme (SAPIP), some of the major berry companies such as Eurafruit and Haygrove have been leading various initiatives to register chemicals for the industry.Advertising and marketing of berries are also a major focus of the industry. “We are doing a lot of work in the form of in-store promotions and tastings to increase the number of people who eat berries, and so far the industry’s efforts are proving successful,” he says.The marketing of berries’ health benefits is also helping increase local consumption.Berries are big businessSouth Africa has the advantage of counter-cyclical seasonality to the northern hemisphere markets. Local berries are in demand, particularly during the northern hemisphere winter when the market has a gap for southern hemisphere fruit.There are approximately 40 to 50 berry growers across the country, of which 12 to 15 are responsible for 98% of fresh production. The majority of South Africa’s blueberries and raspberries are exported to Europe and the UK, and the industry is also looking to increase its exports to new markets.The industry has also noted an increase in annual exports. A few years ago, only a few hundred tons of blueberries and raspberries were harvested, but McKenzie says that in 2011 about 1 000 tons of both berry types will be exported.Blackberries are produced mainly for local consumption. He explains that the reason for this is that South Africa does not grow blackberry varieties that can withstand the export process. However, this is changing. “Blackberry growers are in the process of planting new varieties which will hopefully make it possible to export blackberries in the future,” he adds.South Africa’s main competitor for blueberries is Argentina, but McKenzie says that South African producers are becoming known for their ability to deliver berries of a more consistent quality. This is strengthening South Africa’s reputation as a top blueberry producer, which is helping increase the country’s market share, particularly in the UK.Sean Tager, managing director of Haygrove Heaven, a berry production company, says South Africa produces a good quality raspberry that is in demand in high-end retailers overseas. “South Africa has been building a good reputation for its raspberries,” Tager says.South Africa’s main competitors in the raspberry market are Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Mexico.Lead time to the market is critical for a highly perishable product such as raspberries, and South Africa is ideally located to supply the international demand. Other competitor countries rely on overland trucking to transport berries, but the South African product is transported directly to the market on overnight flights.Membership of the association would be limited to producers and both annual membership fees and a levy will be charged based on the area under production to fund various projects identified as high priorities for the berry industry.last_img read more

While Facebook & Twitter Sit on Sidelines, MySpace Jumps Into Bulk User Data Sales

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#MySpace#news#NYT#social networks#web Related Posts The 22 sets of data being made available are cheap. Prices range from $10 for raw dumps from the MySpace API to $300 for everything broken out by latitude and longitude. Subsequently derived data sets can be put on sale by InfoChimps users as well, with a revenue split.Analysis coming from the data could include things like music trends per zipcode, popular URLs being shared, etc. MySpace is generally thought of as a social network on the decline, but if it is able to position itself as the place to do music still then its hundreds of millions of users could remain engaged. Will data scientists want this data, though? Time will tell, but MySpace has long done cooler things with data than competitors Facebook and Twitter and people haven’t gotten terribly excited about it yet.Related: See today’s coverage of the cancelation of the Netflix Challenge due to privacy concerns.Bulk user data has tremendous analytical potential and both Facebook and Twitter have thrown the breaks on 3rd parties offering up their user data more than once. We covered InfoChimps’ offering of bulk Twitter data in depth this Fall, but the marketplace quietly removed that data after Twitter asked them to “wait” for a second time.In February we profiled Pete Warden (The Man Who Looked Into Facebook’s Soul), a developer who planned on putting a huge pile of Facebook user data online for academic analysis. As we wrote in that article:If what people call Web 2.0 was all about creating new technologies that made it easy for everyday people to publish their thoughts, social connections and activities, then the next stage of innovation online may be services like recommendations, self and group awareness, and other features made possible by software developers building on top of the huge mass of data that Web 2.0 made public.Days later Facebook contacted Warden days later and asked him to hold off on release of that data as well. Last week Warden posted open source code for harvesting the same type of bulk user data from Google Profiles, so the game’s not up yet, not by a long shot.Why is this kind of big data interesting? This rational may be less applicable in the case of MySpace given its focus on music, or it may be more applicable given the allegedly poorer user demographics on the site compared to Facebook, but here’s how I explained my interest in big social network data analysis in general, as part of a discussion about an excellent special report on big data in the Economist this month.I think in big data there lies a lot of hidden patterns that represent both opportunities for action and for reflection. At RWW we’re working on trying to find ways to mine data to find news first (we’ve got some interesting methods employed already) and personally, I think the world is an awfully unfair mess and I’m hoping that data analysis will help illuminate some of the hows and the whys. Like the way that real-estate redlining was exposed back in the day by cross referencing census data around racial demographics and housing loan data. That illuminated systematic discrimination against black families in applying for home loans in certain parts of town. So too I think we’ll find a lot of undeniable proof of injustices and clues for how we might deal with them in big data today.What will we see come out of MySpace’s bulk data? What could we see come from Facebook and Twitter data if only they would let people get their hands on it? Time will tell. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification MySpace has taken a bold step and allowed a large quantity of bulk user data to be put up for sale on startup data marketplace InfoChimps. Data offered includes user playlists, mood updates, mobile updates, photos, vents, reviews, blog posts, names and zipcodes. Friend lists are not included. Remember, Facebook and Twitter may be the name of the game these days in tech circles, but MySpace still sees 1 billion user status updates posted every month. Those updates will now be available for bulk analysis.This user data is intended for crunching by everyone from academic researchers to music industry information scientists. Will people buy the data and make interesting use of it? Will MySpace users be ok with that? Is this something Facebook and Twitter ought to do? The MySpace announcement raises a number of interesting questions. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

DOOM Ported to JavaScript and HTML5

first_img7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Tags:#hack#Hack of the Day Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Zakai compiled the DOOM source code from C to JavaScript using Emscripten and Clang and optimized it with Closure Compiler. The video output is handled by Canvas. You can find more technical details here and the source code here.I remember when I first read about 3D games on cell phones. Now running Quake on a smart phone is old hat. I wonder what sort of games we’ll be seeing in the browser a year from now. klint finley Why You Love Online Quizzes How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Related Posts OK, we’ve seen Linux and a GameBoy Color emulator running on JavaScript. What’s next? The original DOOM, apparently. Alon Zakai has ported DOOM to the browser. You can play it here. It works in Firefox and Safari.According to Zakai, “Loading and saving games do work, but only until you leave the page. TODO: Use IndexedDB for persistent storage.”last_img read more

Apple Is Blacklisting European Users Who Game Its App-Refund System

first_imgRelated Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#app refunds#App Store#Apple Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Apple is striking back at users who’ve figured out how to abuse its new refund policy for digital purchases in Europe—by blacklisting them from future reimbursements.To conform with the EU’s consumer protection laws, Apple rolled out a new policy last month that lets European users who purchase apps, songs, ebooks or other digital media claim refunds within 14 days of purchase. But some customers have discovered they can demand their money back on repeated purchases—apparently even if they keep the downloads. See also: How Apple’s New App-Refund Policy Could Hurt DevelopersIt may be tough to police everyone, but Apple’s ready to put the kibosh on at least the worst offenders who try to game the system. In other words, ask for too many refunds in a short time period, and the company will flag the behavior and revoke your refund privileges, iDownloadBlog reports. Apple has already sent messages to users through the App Store, alerting flagged users with the following prompt: “I acknowledge that if I download this app within fourteen days of tapping ‘Buy,’ I will no longer be eligible to cancel this purchase.” The user then has the choice of canceling the download or acknowledging the message to proceed while waiving the right to any refund. the company doesn’t want users treating the refund policy like a trial period for paid apps or to let unscrupulous types get away with shady practices. Its latest move seems designed to nip that in the bud. While the refund policy and its woes remain limited to Europe for now, the company could be eyeing it as a test of sorts for more universal changes down the road. In that way, how Apple handles refunds abroad could influence the way it approaches its App Store policies at home, which can directly affect the developers who stock its digital shelves everywhere. Photo by Ben Husmann; screenshot courtesy of Twitter user Rosynacenter_img adriana lee Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

The well, the mom and the baby: Breathing life into work that’s indirect or technical

first_imgI got this email today:Hi Katya – I subscribe to your blog and get your great tips every morning! I’m wondering if you could give any advice on marketing a non-direct service organization? My agency’s mission is to provide training and technical assistance to community clinics and hospitals to improve access to and the quality of perinatal care for underserved women. Perinatal is the period from conception to one year after birth. Some projects we are currently working on include increasing health literacy among underserved expecting women to empower them in taking a proactive role in their prenatal care, working with community clinics to implement more evidence based perinatal services and programs and emphasizing the importance of healthy living for moms-to-be and new moms. My challenges are:– Our work is highly technical and so it has been difficult to reach donors outside of the health community i.e. corporations and individuals– We are not direct service so people have a hard time understanding what we do– We don’t have a way of holding events or site visits because we are not direct service Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I’m posting this question on the blog, because it’s a theme I commonly hear. Many organizations feel they are providing a service that’s technical and removed from feel-good outcomes. Here’s my advice:1. MAKE IT ABOUT THE WELL – OR IN THIS CASE, THE BABIES. While I was living in Ukraine, the government tax authority launched a campaign to motivate taxpayers to stay honest and continue paying their taxes. The tax authority developed several ads. One was a cartoon illustration of a bee in front of a hive with a slogan celebrating the fruits of a collective contribution to the government. It looked like an ad for Honey Nut Cheerios with worker bees starring as the cereal mascot. Another was a photograph of a new well and water pump where city residents could fill containers with fresh water from the well. An accompanying slogan thanked taxpayers for making the well and other city improvements possible. In one of my trainings, I placed the ads side by side and asked a roomful of Ukrainians which was more effective given the tax authority’s marketing goals. Not surprisingly, they were unanimous in their judgment that access to fresh water was far more personally relevant, and therefore motivating, than a role in building a metaphorical hive. This example seems obvious, yet in our communication we often focus more on hives than on wells. We talk about saving the earth, ending poverty, or creating a great society. Every day, we have to remind ourselves that the hive is what we’re building; the well is what our audience needs to see. Here’s what I mean about how this applies to babies: If you are helping to train people who help mothers, and the end result is healthier babies, tell the story of the babies. It is why you do the highly technical, complex work in the first place — healthier babies. People don’t need to understand the ins and outs of your work — they need to be able to relate to its RESULTS. So tell those stories and your role in making them happen. 2. USE HUMAN LANGUAGE.When I worked for a big nonprofits years ago, the program department would talk about “lactating women.” The marketing department would translate that to human terms: “nursing moms.”You used a lot of technical language in your email — “health literacy,” “perinatal,” “underserved women.” When you’re talking about your work outside your peer network, try to avoid terms like this. They get between the heart of your work and the heart of the donor.3. FIND ONE GOOD STORY.If I were you and meeting with a corporation, I’d tell the story of your work through one baby. Or one mom. Tell me all about that mom. What was her struggle? What was in the way of her hopes and dreams of a healthy child? How did you help her take care of the baby in her belly so it came into the world screaming with strength and life? How did you help that mom those first sleep-deprived months, till she saw her son take his first ever steps? When you translate your work to what it meant for a real person, people will relate.It’s okay if you trained the nurse that helped the mother. Or set up the program she visited. You can make all that clear – but keep the focus of the story on the person who makes your work matter.You could also tell one great story about a nurse you trained. Make her the hero of your tale – why did she get into nursing — to help moms and babies? How have you made her better able to do the work that inspired her in the first place? What great day did she have with a mom or baby, and how did you make that possible?At the end of the day, think about it this way. The makers of Kleenex don’t talk about snot, they show people weeping over big moments in life, clutching a Kleenex (just ask my friend Alia). Car makers don’t talk about how they made that rack and pinion steering, they say how it keeps your family safe. Good causes should do the same — don’t tell the tale of your technical programs. Show how they make someone’s life better. Own and tell the story of one person who can make your “product” come alive.Good luck!last_img read more

Hiking reservations pitched for parks in danger of being loved to death

first_imgVANCOUVER – With its turquoise glacial lakes and proximity to Metro Vancouver, it was only a matter of time before Joffre Lakes provincial park became a social media darling.But once the secret was out, it was out in a big way.The main trail of the once tranquil natural paradise now hosts a procession line of hikers, whose cars overflow from the designated parking lot and line dozens of metres of highway.Local politicians and conservationists say the park, like many ecological destinations before it, could be in danger of being “loved to death.”It’s prompting them to push for new ways — including a proposed hiking reservation system — to balance ecological protection with the benefits of tourism and encouraging people to get outside.“The word is out that this is the best place in the world,” said Jack Crompton, chairman of the Squamish-Lillouet Regional District.Crompton grew up in the area and has witnessed its quick transformation first hand. The first time he hiked up to Joffre Lakes, he camped there for four days and saw no one.Last year, the park attracted 120,000 visitors, he said, adding information travels fast.“Five to seven years ago, very few people knew about Joffre Lakes. A couple of cover photos and some social media has meant that it has become a major destination for tourists.”Both the regional district and village of Pemberton are calling for increased management of the region’s backcountry destinations through resolutions at the Union of B.C. Municipalities, an annual gathering of municipal politicians from across the province.In addition to Joffre Lakes, the regional district also named Strawberry Point recreation area along Lillouet Lake and Porteau Cove between Vancouver and Squamish as areas of concern.While both the local governments are calling for provincial park management funding to match the money that goes into marketing, the regional district is also asking the province to create more recreation destinations so that visitors can be spread over a larger area. Pemberton is asking the province to investigate a trail booking and reservation system fee structure.Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman said one of the big concerns is that people aren’t educated about safety, including obeying fire bans and keeping campsites clean.He pointed to Keyhole Falls as a casualty, which had to be shut down last year for the season because food and garbage attracted too many bears.Richman said the municipality doesn’t want to discourage adventure or backcountry tourism.“We welcome it, we thrive on it, it’s a big part of our local economy,” he said.Instead, it wants to see the province invest more in managing the parks, now that marketing has proven successful.Provincial data shows day use of its parks has increased to 21.5 million in 2017 from 17.5 million in 2009. It’s more acute in the south coast region, which includes Metro Vancouver. In 2017, there were 8.3 million day-visits to parks on the south coast, compared with 6.6 million in 2009.“Balancing increased visitation with our conservation mandate is a delicate balance,” BC Parks said in a statement.The province committed to create 1,900 more campsites in the 2018-19 budget. So far, 431 new campsites are open to the public this year.More visitors than ever are coming to parks during the period between the high and low times of the tourism seasons, when parks are on reduced service levels or even closed, it said.BC Parks has taken measures to address the over-capacity issues in the Sea-to-Sky corridor north of Vancouver, including developing and redesigning parking lots, campgrounds and trails and employing the reservation system for popular campgrounds, it said.It introduced a year-round reservation system at Garibaldi provincial park and has hired new full-time senior park rangers to carry out backcountry patrols. It also added an auxiliary ranger at Joffre for summer patrols.BC Parks will be developing a long-term strategic plan to manage public use of parks in the corridor, it said.The problem isn’t specific to British Columbia.An international study published in the journal Science in May looked at 50,000 protected areas worldwide. It found one-third of the area is under intense pressure from activities like road building, logging and urbanization.While most of the degradation was in Asia, Europe and Africa, it’s also occurring in Canada.One of the study’s authors, Oscar Venter, associate professor of forestry at the University of Northern British Columbia, said at the time that Banff and Jasper are examples of iconic parks in Canada where a high number of visitors pose a challenge to maintaining healthy populations of some endangered species.Tori Ball, terrestrial campaigner for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, said places like Joffre Lakes show that parks systems in Canada are underfunded. The organization is advocating for the creation of new recreation areas and trail upgrades so that traffic can be spread out.“The overcrowding of that park, part of it has to do with there not being similar examples (nearby),” she said.But staffing also needs to increase, so that parks can be monitored and people can be educated not to leave garbage or food out, to pick up after their dogs and to be prepared for interactions with wildlife, she said.“It’s definitely not unique to B.C. I think it’s something other park systems are struggling with. That’s why it’s an opportunity for B.C. to be a leader.”last_img read more

Police investigators actions under the spotlight at Dennis Oland murder trial

first_imgSAINT JOHN, N.B. — The activities of police officers at the Richard Oland murder scene will be under close scrutiny as his son’s retrial moves into its second week, resuming Tuesday.Dennis Oland’s defence lawyers describe the conduct of the murder investigation by the Saint John Police Force as “inadequate” and they have made it clear police activities will be a focal point of the defence strategy.Failure to properly preserve the crime scene and a rush to judgement in deciding Dennis Oland, a financial planner, was the one and only suspect in the killing are among the chief issues.“In this case, an issue will be the manner in which the Saint John police force handled the investigation of the homicide and their conduct in performing that crucial police function,” defence lawyer Alan Gold told the court last week.“Dennis was the last known person to see Richard Oland alive but to the police, that word ‘known’ evaporated very quickly.”Within hours of Richard Oland’s body being discovered on July 7, 2011, Dennis was identified by police as their prime suspect.Already two police officers have told the court about the numerous officers who visited the murder scene. About 20 police officers made their way to Oland’s uptown Saint John office on the day his beaten body was discovered on the floor by his desk.Gold suggested during cross examination of Const. Duane Squires it was like a sightseeing tour. In addition to the steady stream of police officers, there were also paramedics, the coroner and funeral home workers who assisted with removal of the body.The defence is raising questions about objects that may have been moved at the crime scene, the lack of attention paid to a possible back door escape route and the failure to protect the scene from contamination.Gold named a number of the officers who visited the bloody scene that day, noting their various ranks. They included Deputy Chief Glen McCloskey, whose attendance at the crime scene raised questions during Oland’s first trial.Another officer said McCloskey suggested he not tell the court about McCloskey’s visits to the murder scene.This was supposed to be the subject of a hearing before the New Brunswick Police Commission, but McCloskey retired before it could be held. The commission only investigates officers on active duty.In the coming days, there will be questions about police use of a bathroom at the crime scene before it was forensically tested.Squires said he was relatively new to police work and homicide investigations in 2011. He said he would do things differently today in terms of protecting such a scene.Oland, 50, was charged in 2013 with the second-degree murder of his father, a multi-millionaire businessman and member of the prominent Maritime beer-brewing family. Oland was found guilty after a 2015 jury trial, but the conviction was set aside on appeal and a new trial ordered.Even before testimony began at the retrial, the conduct of the Saint John police was called into question after it was learned an officer accessed an internal police database to search the background of prospective jurors. This was in violation of a 2012 directive from the Supreme Court of Canada and resulted in a mistrial and dismissal of the jury.The Oland trial now is being heard before judge alone.The New Brunswick Police Commission says it will investigate police involvement in the mistrial, but not until the current trial is over.Chris Morris, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

SOCAN Confirms Recordsetting Royalty Collections and Distributions to Music Creators and Publishers

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement 2 SOCAN is one of very few music rights organizations worldwide that returns 100% of royalties collected from international sources to its members, with no administration percentage applied. “We are delighted to deliver to our members a record overall amount of royalties in 2017, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that Canada’s music creators and publishers receive what they rightfully have earned and deserve a larger piece of the pie for their extraordinary work,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “Today, SOCAN is accessing, creating and harnessing technology so that we can even more fully and completely identify, license, track, match and distribute more for our members. SOCAN continues to fight for the rights of our members to receive a fair portion from businesses that use music to help their bottom line.”An example of SOCAN’s increasing use of technology is the company’s work with the University of Toronto’s Department of Computer Science & Innovation Lab. At the annual general meeting, SOCAN Vice President of Information Technology Janice Scott led a special session with Adjunct Professor of Music Technology & Digital Media Catherine Moore. The technology leaders discussed the two organizations’ exclusive work together, including in artificial intelligence and machine learning, providing a snapshot of technology-driven projects designed to find and match more music performances with even better volume and accuracy.At the meeting, SOCAN also announced that it surpassed the 150,000-members milestone when songwriter Ariel Goldof Toronto joined Canada’s largest organization in the Canadian music ecosystem. This summer, Ariel is planning to release her next single, “Weather,” from her upcoming album of the same name.The company also introduced its board of directors for the 2018-’21 term. The new 18-member SOCAN board now counts eight women, improving gender balance, reflecting the balance and diversity long enjoyed in the organization’s management team and overall staff.For full financial statements and an overview of 2017, please visit SOCANSOCAN connects more than four-million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers are its direct members, and more than 100,000 organizations are Licensed To Play music across Canada. With a concerted use of progressive technology and unique data as well as a commitment to lead the global transformation of music rights, with wholly-owned companies Audiam and MediaNet, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music has value and music creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: ______________________ 1 As always, SOCAN’s revenue information is subject to pending decisions of the Copyright Board and the courts and such potential changes are discussed in SOCAN’s audited financial statements in accordance with applicable accounting standards.  Advertisement Twitter Highlighted by a 44 percent increase in revenue from Internet sources to just less than $49-million, and a 13 percent surge of $76-million in royalties from countries outside of Canada, a record $295-million was distributed to music creators and publishers.SOCAN 2017 Financial Highlights:Record total revenue – approximately $352-million in overall revenue in 2017, an 8% year-over-year increase.$49-million from Internet collections – while growing with the popularity of music from digital sources, the reality is that because of the dynamics of digital services and the relatively poor discoverability of Canadian content, the average SOCAN creator-member who earned royalties from digital sources collected only a few pennies more than $37 in 2017.Nearly $300-million sent to members – SOCAN’s administration rate is one of the smallest of the world’s top-10 performing rights organizations.A 48% increase in foreign royalties2 since 2013 – royalties identified, collected and distributed to SOCAN members from international radio, television, online, on-stage and other public performance uses came to $76-million, an all-time high and SOCAN members’ #1 royalty source. TORONTO, June 19, 2018 – SOCAN confirmed today at its annual general meeting in Toronto that a record $352-million1 in total royalties from the use of music by its songwriter, composer, and music publisher members were collected in fiscal year 2017, continuing a seven-year trend, surpassing the previous record set in 2016 by eight percent. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more