Doc Rivers on Trump’s election: ‘We’re all going to be OK’

first_imgPH among economies most vulnerable to virus Thousands of protesters took to the streets to denounce Trump’s election.“Don’t be mad,” Rivers said. “Go do something about it if you want change. Run for office or vote.”On Monday, Rivers had encouraged people to vote during his pre- and postgame comments. He said he had already voted in Florida, where the Chicago native remains a resident despite living much of the year in Los Angeles. He didn’t disclose his choice for president.Portland coach Terry Stotts didn’t mince words, saying, “I was very disappointed. It wasn’t my choice. I hope the country is going to be OK.”ADVERTISEMENT Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports We are young 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 EDITORS’ PICK Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol towncenter_img 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rivers said one of sports’ maxims applied to Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton: never underestimate your opponent.“He was underestimated from the beginning,” the coach said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentRivers noted that much of Trump’s support came from rural areas, while inner-city voters didn’t go to the polls as strongly as they did in re-electing Barack Obama four years ago.“The one thing this thing taught me was how powerful the vote is,” he said. MOST READ Clippers roll past Blazers, improve to NBA-best 7-1 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Head coach Doc Rivers reacts during the basketball game against Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center November 2, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. The Thunder won, 85-83. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFPLOS ANGELES — Clippers coach Doc Rivers is striking a reassuring tone a day after Donald Trump was elected U.S. president in a result that took millions of Americans and the world by surprise.“We’re all going to be OK everyone,” he said Wednesday night before the Clippers hosted Portland. “Donald Trump is going to be president and that’s something I never thought I’d have to say. I believe overall America works.”ADVERTISEMENT As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise View commentslast_img read more

Adamson stays in twice-to-beat hunt, rips NU

first_img30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas View comments MOST READ Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine 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 We are young Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next EDITORS’ PICK For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRERAdamson University kept its bid for a twice-to-beat edge going after embarrassing National University, 77-53, in its penultimate game in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Smart Araneta Colisuem.The Soaring Falcons are tied in third place with defending champions Far Eastern University at 8-5, just a game behind the current second seed Ateneo that has a 9-4 record.ADVERTISEMENT Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Jay Alejandro led the 5-9 Bulldogs with 15 points while the graduating Alfred Aroga had nine points and 12 boards. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Written off at first, Folayang pens own story with ONE title win Adamson was quick to establish its offensive rhythm in the game outscoring the Bulldogs 35-19, 21-6 in the second quarter, in the first half that eventually became its foundation in the latter stages of the match.“We can’t have a flat start and we have to establish ourselves early,” said Falcons head coach Franz Pumaren, whose team is riding a four-game winning streak. “We’re aiming to at least getting that twice-to-beat advantage and the scenario is we have to beat Ateneo and we can create some sort of a tie.” FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentAdamson held NU to a horrible shooting performance of 16-of-54 while doubling the output on its end of the court with a 32-of-62 clip. Papi Sarr had a 22-point, 15-rebound double-double to lead the Falcons while Jonathan Espeleta added 15 points.last_img read more

Chelsea make it 12, Toure sends Man City second

first_imgChelsea’s Eden Hazard, left, is fouled by Bournemouth’s Simon Francis during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)Pedro Rodriguez scored twice as red-hot Premier League leaders Chelsea crushed Bournemouth 3-0 on Monday to register a club-record 12th consecutive league victory.Pedro struck either side of Eden Hazard’s 50th English league goal at Stamford Bridge to give Antonio Conte’s side a provisional seven-point lead at the summit following the Boxing Day action.ADVERTISEMENT Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one goal and set up two more as Manchester United drew level with fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur by beating Sunderland 3-1, while champions Leicester City lost again.Chelsea’s victory, which came in the absence of suspended duo Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante, left them one win short of Arsenal’s 2002 record of 13 successive victories within the same top-flight season.Pedro broke the deadlock in the 24th minute, curling a left-foot shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.Hazard made it 2-0 four minutes into the second half, rolling a penalty into the bottom-right corner after he had drawn a foul from Simon Francis, with Pedro adding a deflected shot in stoppage time.City lost the recalled John Stones to an early injury and were made to sweat before three second-half goals secured victory at Hull.ADVERTISEMENT Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next EDITORS’ PICK 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 “To win 12 games in a row is not easy in this league,” Chelsea manager Conte told the BBC.“It’s a fantastic run, but it’s important to continue that now. In four days we have another tough game (against Stoke City) and we have to prepare very well. Because now, every team wants to beat you.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliWith Liverpool not in action until Tuesday, when they host Stoke, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City stole past them into second place by winning 3-0 at bottom club Hull City.Olivier Giroud prevented Arsenal losing more ground, his 86th-minute header snatching a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion to keep Arsene Wenger’s side in fourth place, nine points off the pace. Neymar says not obsessed with winning Ballon d’Or Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. United are now level on points with Tottenham, who visit Southampton on Wednesday.Fabio Borini replied for the visitors, but it was a return to forget for Sunderland manager David Moyes, sacked by United in April 2014.“I didn’t like the first-half performance. I like the result,” said Mourinho.“The players know the principles of how we play and they are comfortable, but we need to improve.”Sam Allardyce was denied victory in his first game as Crystal Palace manager after Troy Deeney’s 100th Watford goal earned his side a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.Ex-England manager Allardyce saw Yohan Cabaye put Palace ahead, but Christian Benteke had a penalty saved by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes before Deeney equalised from the spot in the 71st minute.Champions Leicester’s woes continued as they were condemned to a ninth defeat of the campaign as Everton claimed a 2-0 win.Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku scored to leave Leicester three points above the relegation zone in 16th place.West Ham United eased their relegation fears by winning 4-1 at second-bottom Swansea City, while Andre Gray’s late effort gave Burnley a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.center_img Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Yaya Toure scored a 72nd-minute penalty after Andrew Robertson fouled Raheem Sterling, with a Kelechi Iheanacho tap-in and a Curtis Davies own goal completing the win.“There is always pressure for us because the top of the league is tough and the other teams at the top had won today,” said Guardiola.“Every game we play is like a final.”Beaten 2-1 by Everton and then City on their two previous outings, Arsenal narrowly avoided going three league games without winning for the first time since January 2012.Opening draw for AllardyceAlexis Sanchez’s shot against the post looked to be the closest Arsenal would come until Giroud marked his return to the starting XI by looping a header over Ben Foster with four minutes to play.“In the end we had to be patient against a well-organized West Brom side. When you don’t score early, you can’t rush,” said Wenger.“We knew we had to win today after two disappointing defeats.”Manchester United sank Sunderland to record a fourth successive league win for the first time under manager Jose Mourinho.Ibrahimovic teed up Daley Blind to open the scoring in the 39th minute before Paul Pogba freed him to run through and net his 17th goal of the season.Ibrahimovic turned provider again late on, crossing for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to seal victory with a stunning ‘scorpion kick’ volley that was allowed to stand despite a suspicion of offside. MOST READ We are young View comments As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Senators to proceed with review of VFAlast_img read more

NBA: Westbrook, Harden spark triple-doubles to record pace

first_imgChinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Harden ranks fourth among NBA scorers with 28.4 points a game but has a league-best 11.9 assists and 8.2 rebounds a game.Westbrook is on pace for 36 triple-doubles, which would fall short of the single-season record of 41 achieved by Robertson in 1961-62. Wilt Chamberlain is second with 31 in the 1967-68 season.Only two more triple-doubles this season would allow Westbrook to match his total from last season of 18, level eighth in NBA history. His 53 career triple-doubles rank sixth in NBA history and top all active players.Westbrook’s Thunder are 21-15 this season with 46 games remaining, sixth in the Western Conference, while Harden’s Rockets are 27-9 and third overall in the West.Harden, who has 18 career triple-doubles, and Westbrook have each scored 50 points this season in a triple-double effort, a feat that had not been done since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar achieved it in 1975.ADVERTISEMENT Sweet! Indian bakers make world’s ‘longest’ cake PLAY LIST 00:49Sweet! Indian bakers make world’s ‘longest’ cake00:50Trending Articles01:38GCTA mess: BuCor given til March to review records of PDL returnees01:31Taiwan 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 Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes That’s on pace for 97 for the full season, well ahead of the NBA record of 78 set in the 1988-89 campaign and last season’s second-best total of 75.Westbrook leads the NBA this season with 16 triple-doubles while Harden is second with nine and Cleveland star LeBron James ranks a distant third with three this season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSWe are youngThe most recent for Westbrook came December 31 when he finished with 17 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds. But he reached a triple-double in only 19 minutes, just off the fastest triple-double ever record in NBA history, Jim Tucker’s 17-minute effort in 1955.Westbrook is averaging 30.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.5 assists a game in a bid to become only the second player in NBA history with a triple-double season average. Hall of Fame legend Oscar Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists a game in the 1961-62 campaign for the Cincinnati Royals, now the Sacramento Kings. EDITORS’ PICK Tiger impressed with how far Trump can hit at 70center_img MOST READ PH among economies most vulnerable to virus js/rcwSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next We are young Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Houston Rockets’ James Harden (13) hugs his former teammate, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook after an NBA basketball game in Houston, Thursday Jan. 5, 2017. The Rockets defeated the Thunder 118-116. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)NBA scoring leader Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City and assists leader James Harden of Houston are leading the league on a record-shattering pace for triple-doubles in a season.So far this season, there have been 42 triple-doubles — double-digit production in three statistical categories in a single game.ADVERTISEMENT Senators to proceed with review of VFA View commentslast_img read more

Rousey quotes JK Rowling about hitting rock bottom on Instagram

first_imgChinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Senators to proceed with review of VFA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NBA: Westbrook’s Thunder roll over Bulls, Davis paces Pelicans It read: “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”Rowling, the acclaimed author of the Harry Potter series, delivered the quote in her 2008 speech at Harvard, recounting her struggles writing the book while being broke, jobless and recently divorced.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSWe are youngThe 29-year-old Rousey, meanwhile, has been in a seclusion after her shock defeat to Holly Holm back at UFC 193 in 2015, where she lost for the first time in UFC as well as her title.Amanda Nunes also knocked her out in 48 seconds in Rousey’s return at UFC 207 last December 30. Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH We are young Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:15Sinas: 2,500 NCRPO cops poised to support Taal eruption relief ops00:50Trending Articles01:31Taiwan 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 Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town PH among economies most vulnerable to virus MOST READ Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next EDITORS’ PICK View comments (L-R) Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes of Brazil face off in their UFC women’s bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 207 event on December 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPDefeated UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey broke her silence on social media after her latest loss with an Instagram post on Tuesday.The UFC women’s legend posted a quoter from a J.K. Rowling about bouncing back after hitting rock bottom.ADVERTISEMENT Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantinelast_img read more

In Brazil, an island laboratory for Atlantic Forest restoration

first_imgAtlantic Forest, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Ecosystem Restoration, Forest Recovery, Forest Regeneration, Forests, Rainforests, Restoration, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests Article published by Genevieve Belmaker Anchieta Island, just off the coast of Brazil near São Paulo, has seen the worst side of humans. Now, scientists and local authorities are laboring to restore its biodiversity.The island is located 800 meters (about 874 yards) from the municipality of Ubatuba, in one of the few regions of Brazil where the Atlantic Forest still thrives.Most of the island’s original forest was devastated over a long period of human habitation, and more recent attempts to introduce foreign mammal species have also had a significant ecological impact.Scientists are now studying the complex interactions at play during environmental restoration, including removing some invasive species, as they embark on an intensive reforestation program. ANCHIETA ISLAND, Brazil – From a distance, Anchieta Island is a mosaic of different shades of green. The lighter ones correspond to areas where ferns and a handful of broad-range species reign. In the darker patches, shrubs and trees have taken the place of the ferns. This verdant patchwork is a picture of some of the different stages a degraded area goes through as it spontaneously restores its biodiversity. Biologists call this process “ecological succession,” and Anchieta has been experiencing it for several decades, since the island became a protected area and its devastated forests were left unbothered.But lack of biodiversity is not the same as lack of life. Anchieta Island has the highest density of mammals in all the Atlantic Forest, the highly threatened biome that covers much of the Brazilian coast. The reason for this unusual concentration of large animals is that 35 years ago, 95 mammals from 14 different species were released onto the island to try to repopulate it.“The animals that were introduced in the island all have high reproductive rates. There were too many of them in the zoo of São Paulo, which seems to be one of the reasons why they were released here,” says Mauro Galetti, an ecologist from São Paulo State University, who’s been studying the biodiversity of the island for more than 20 years.A rufous-collared sparrow in Anchieta. Photo by Ignacio Amigo/Mongabay.The introduction of the animals was made without any scientific overview whatsoever. And while some of the species failed to adapt to their new habitat, others thrived. In the absence of predators and with food readily available, they increased in number exponentially.  According to a census performed by Galetti and his team, in 2005 there were 486.77 mammal specimens per square kilometer. That’s about 16 times higher than on Bela Island, located 28 kilometers (17miles) from Anchieta.Go on a short stroll in Anchieta and you’re likely to spot some relatively large animals, particularly blacked-tufted marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) and agoutis (genus Dasyprocta), which are the most abundant. Other introduced species, such as the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), the capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) and the coati (Nasua nasua), are also present in high numbers. This draws tourists to the island, but it also represents an important setback to the regeneration process of the local ecosystem, as the foreign animals disturb local species, causing an ecological imbalance.“We are using Anchieta Island as a living laboratory. We are learning how difficult it is to restore a degraded land,” Galetti says. “You can’t just plant the trees, put the animals and leave, you have to monitor them. And in many cases we don’t have enough biological information about who will eat who.”Complex interactionsWhen the boat docks at the small pier on Anchieta, the first thing visitors find is a white, rectangular building that used to be a high-security prison. Built in 1908, the prison was operational until 1955, when a bloody riot forced the authorities to shut it down. During those 47 years when hundreds of people lived on the island, the local biodiversity suffered immensely. A large part of the original forest was destroyed, which in turn caused a great decline in the number and diversity of animal species. The introduction of the non-native wildlife poses the latest disruption to the local ecosystem.Take birds, for example. Although birds of different shapes and colors abound on the island, there are substantially fewer species than on the mainland. In particular, there is a shortage of birds that nest in tree holes and on the forest floor. Using artificial nests with quail eggs and camera traps, Galetti and his team have determined that these nests suffer a predation rate three times higher on the island than on the mainland, and that coatis, agoutis and opossums are to blame.“Many of these birds spread seeds, so we have a domino effect where a few species affect the regeneration of the whole forest,” Galetti says.Flowers in Anchieta in Brazil. Photo by Ignacio Amigo/Mongabay.However, the impact of the introduced species isn’t wholly negative. Some may even help in the regeneration process, provided their population levels are kept low.“Agoutis, for example, are important seed spreaders. About 70 percent of all palm-tree species of the Atlantic Forest depend on them,” Galetti says. “They also help to keep under control foreign species such as the jackfruit [Artocarpus heterophyllus]. If you go to nearby places such as Ilha Grande, Ilha Bela or Tijuca, you will see that the jackfruits are taking over the forest, and this is not happening in Anchieta.”This means that removing the agoutis from the island could help increase the diversity of birds, which in turn would help some tree species to multiply and spread. But at the same time, in the absence of agoutis, the jackfruits could invade new areas, hindering the spread of other plant species.Restoring the forestSince 1977, the whole of Anchieta Island has been protected in the form of a state park. There are no hotels or houses in the island, so the human impact has decreased significantly since the prison days. Accordingly, the vegetation is re-emerging.“If you compare [aerial] images from today and 15 years ago, you will see that there has been an important regeneration,” says Priscila Saviolo, the park manager. “And in a short period I think we are going to advance even more in the restoration of these areas.”The reason for her optimism is a reforestation program funded by Petrobras, the Brazilian state oil company, that will be rolled out in the next few months. The program is part of an environmental compensation scheme, a legal instrument that obliges companies that exert a significant impact on the environment to earmark part of the value of each undertaking for protected areas.“The program will last four to five years. During that time we will have periods of planting, but we will also monitor everything to see how the plants respond and to replace some of them if necessary,” Saviolo says.These ferns, called samambaia in Portuguese, are markers of early-stage regeneration. Ignacio Amigo/Mongabay.Monitoring will be critical, especially to see if the introduced animals are feeding on the seedlings. If so, it is also likely that some actions regarding the foreign species will be taken in the coming years. For now, Galetti’s team is finishing a new mammal census. Their preliminary data suggest that some of the species may have reached a population plateau.“With those figures in hand we will start discussing what to do. Regarding the capybaras, that discussion is a bit more advanced and we are considering [sterilizing them],” Saviolo says. “In the long term they will stop existing in the island.”One of the reasons for eradicating the capybaras is that they tend to carry ticks, which can potentially transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever. According to Saviolo, the capybaras on Anchieta are tick-free.Galetti shares the view that the island would be better off without these large rodents, which he says do more harm than good. He also says the marmosets should be removed, as there are too many of them and they have a high rate of nest predation.Although restoring the original biodiversity of the island will take time, and the project will likely face difficulties, these steps seem to point in the right direction. There’s a deeper lesson, though, as Galetti puts it: “Destroying a piece of land is easy, but rebuilding nature is very complicated.”Banner image: Flowers in Anchieta in Brazil. Photo by Ignacio Amigo/Mongabay.Ignacio Amigo is a freelance journalist based in São Paulo, Brazil. You can find him on Twitter at @IgnacioAmigoH.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.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

Ethiopia: Khat farming threatens food security, biodiversity, women, and agroforestry

first_imgArticle published by Erik Hoffner Agriculture, Agroforestry, Archive, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Community Development, Conservation, Development, food security, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Poverty Alleviation, Sustainable Development Southern Ethiopia has long been a stronghold of an ecologically sound version of agriculture, agroforestry, which yields food and medicine crops year round while benefiting a diversity of wild species.In recent decades farmers have moved toward growing only khat, a drug banned in most countries but still legal in Ethiopia and neighboring countries, on their small farms.The transition has led to greater farmer incomes but also declines in food security, biodiversity, soil health, and women’s empowerment.Researchers and activists are advocating for returning such farms at least to modified agroforestry systems of khat intercropped with food crops in the event of a massive crop failure or outright ban of the drug. WONDO GENET, Ethiopia – Agroforestry has been the major agricultural farming system in southern Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regional state for millennia, passed on from generation to generation.For centuries, diverse ‘home gardens’ of trees, shrubs, and vegetables like enset and coffee grown in close combination have enabled millions of smallholder farmers to maintain household food security while benefiting environmental conservation and sustainable rural development.However, this traditional land use is facing a huge challenge in the region as a new cash crop farming economy has grown: farmers who previously practiced agroforestry are increasingly converting to monocultures of a semi-legal, somewhat narcotic drug called khat.The dawn of khat monocultureIn the 1960s and 70s, khat (Catha edulis) cultivation was widely practiced in the eastern part of the country because of high consumption in the area and for export to neighboring Djibouti and Somalia. An article published in 1973 clearly showed that khat was replacing the high quality harrar coffee there, but its expansion in southern Ethiopia as well as northern and western parts of the country is a recent development, where it is expanding at a high rate.A monoculture of khat in Wondo Genet. Image by Tesfa Alem-Tekle for Mongabay.“Khat cultivation in SNNP region has a recent history, although it varies from place to place,” says Dr. Beyene Teklu, a researcher at Hawassa University. Farmers used to grow it in very small plots in the southern SNNP zone of Sidama, but since the 1990s, most of the farming communities in the mid-highlands of the area are growing khat extensively as a cash crop, as demand has grown tremendously domestically as well as for export.However, in the Sidama district of Wondo Genet, there is one farmer who began khat cultivation nearly a decade earlier. Seventy-eight-year old Gujun Aramu started growing khat in 1981, he claims. “I have remained [a] khat grower because income returns [are] a lot higher than incomes I used to earn from cultivating other food crops combined [in agroforestry],” Aramu told Mongabay.Mr. Aramu used to cultivate coffee, enset, maize, wheat, cereals, cabbage, potato, teff and fruits. But at present, his 1.5 hectare farm is covered with khat, with a little bit of maize and enset for household consumption. Assisted by irrigation during the dry season, he now harvests four times a year and earns up to 70,000 Birr (roughly $2,500) per harvest.Aramu’s experience growing only khat persuaded other farmers, too. Now 37 years later, the area has witnessed a near complete transition to a monoculture of the drug. “When my living conditions continued to improve from its trade, other farmers here [were] convinced,” he said. He readily agrees with the concerns of agriculture scholars that the traditional home garden agroforestry practices could be headed toward extinction here.“To my knowledge, presently there [are] no such home gardening practices. Every farmer here is a khat grower. There are no farmers who cultivate annual food crops for market,” Aramu said.For his PhD, Dr. Teklu studied why farmers in this particular area began intensive khat culitvation years earlier than elsewhere in Sidama. “Wondo area is proximate to the SNNP regional capital city, Hawassa, and there is high market availability and access to transport, so khat was introduced in this area earlier,” he said.According to him, aggressive agricultural system change in Sidama has led to near complete local loss of crop species, including arabica coffee. Other previously dominant fruit trees such as Cordia africana and ‘birbira’ (Millettia ferruginea) are also on the verge.System shiftDr. Teklu blames two major factors for the transition: increasing population pressure resulting in farmland fragmentation, and access to markets.Aerial view of a typical farm planted largely to khat. Image courtesy of Dr. Beyene Teklu, Hawassa UniversitySince the mid-1970s, the Ethiopian government hasn’t distributed land in the region, so individual farm sizes continue to decline, as parents divide their land to their sons. So the new generation is inheriting smaller farms at the same time khat’s more lucrative monocultures have become popular.For young farmers like Mengustu Mele, farming here is all about khat. “I don’t have much knowledge about the traditional home garden agroforestry practices. There is no such a practice here. Every farmer here is dependent only on khat,” he said.“In the past, agricultural agents have tried to teach us about this traditional home garden farming systems, but no one has shown the interest to return,” Mele added, citing the greater financial income khat brings.Increasing infrastructure such as roads and telecommunications are also among the driving factors. Over the past two decades, road density in the SNNP region has increased three or fourfold, allowing farmers greater access to markets. This is key because khat is perishable and has to be transported to market a few hours after harvest.Eyuel Werba, 39, is a farmer in Wondo area who started growing khat seven years ago. “I used to make an average income of 40,000 Birr ($1,500) annually from production of food crops, but now I earn up to 200,000 Birr ($7,200) from khat I cultivate on that same plot of land,” he claimed. “Khat is easily harvestable with a small amount of rainfall. I harvest four times a year,” he added.Farmers here aren’t even interested to cultivate food crops during the dry season, as they have increasing access to irrigation, so they grow khat instead.Wife of a khat grower collecting dried maize for livestock feed. Women here have very little to do on khat farms, unlike in the agroforestry-dominated past, thereby shrinking their traditional role in agriculture. Image by Tesfa-Alem Tekle for Mongabay.Government policy and ultimate implicationsThe question of what sort of measures should be taken to control the spread of khat has become a critical question in the region. This is mainly because the Ethiopian government insists that food security of small farmers be attained by any means, disregarding the long-term socioeconomic and ecological impacts of systems like khat monoculture.“The policy of the Ethiopian government toward the expansion of khat monoculture is neither encouraging nor discouraging,” said Dr. Teklu. “They are even afraid of talking about it because households are getting higher financial income and are changing their lives,” he added.But according to the scientist, the conversion to khat has negative implications for the future, and not just ecologically. Currently, SNNP has over 200,000 farmers who depend on khat, but, Dr. Teklu says, “My fear is, if something happened to the production of khat in the future, these people will then be completely food-aid dependent, because they won’t have any alternative food source from other kinds of crops.”Khat’s negative effect on land and water resources, plus detrimental effects upon crop diversity and natural biodiversity, could be consequential. Observers say there could be a loss of production due to pests or unfavorable climatic conditions, or khat could be declared illegal in more places than where it is banned already.While it is difficult for the Ethiopian government to take decisions against khat since every farmer has the right to grow the types of crops he wants, this neutrality is also despite the drug being said to have negative social, psychological, economic, and some say moral impacts on citizens, particularly young people. While its cultivation and consumption is legal in Ethiopia, concerned scientists and scholars have begun to caution the government to take steps in a bid to avert a catastrophic situation.A good example is the mostly Orthodox Christian region of Amhara in the northern part of the country, which has recently moved to ban khat. As a result, farmers have begun to reduce the amount of the drug on their farms.Decline in women’s roleThe shift from subsistence food crops to khat monoculture in SNNP has also affected the division of labor in households, altering the traditional role of women. Home garden agroforestry produces food for household consumption, and less so for market, so in Wondo the shift has noticeably decreased women’s participation in agriculture.In a mature, traditional agroforestry home garden in the neighboring area of Gedeo, women are seen collecting different food products. Image by Tesfa-Alem Tekle for Mongabay.Kefele Roba, a 32-year old mother of six, says women like her are no longer responsible of cultivating, managing and processing subsistence food crops such as the major household food enset, but rather purchase food from the market.“Since my husband started cultivating khat, I don’t actively participate in the agricultural practices, nor do I sell surplus food crops like I used to [like] enset, vegetables, fruits or other food crops,” said Roba.This has implications for food access, family nutrition, and diet, but also results in a decrease in women’s agricultural knowledge, leaving a sizable portion of the population without the tools to grow food.Is agroforestry on the brink of extinction?According to recent research at Hawassa University, every year six to seven percent of enset and coffee-based home garden agroforestry in southern Ethiopia is replaced by khat. Based on this, some have warned that in two to three decades, the whole region will be drug dependent.In a pilot study, researchers are approaching farmers to create awareness of khat’s problems, rather than forcing them to stop its cultivation. They’ve started teaching farmers to intercrop it with food crops in a bid to increase food production and slowly return more farms to traditional home garden practices.However, most farmers had been refusing to do so because intercropping khat with food crops is seen as taboo, and other farmers believe such practices won’t yield well. Nevertheless, some farmers in Wondo are trying to intercrop maize and legumes with it.“In the short term, attempts are made by our researchers to develop appropriate intercropping practices of cereals, pulses, vegetables and enset in monoculture khat plots,” Dr. Tesfaye Abebe, Associate Professor of Agroforestry and Vice President of Hawassa University, told Mongabay. “Promising results are obtained that could increase the overall productivity of land by producing additional food crops [that] improve food security of households, without affecting yield of khat,” he added.“In the long term, research and policy interventions are required to reverse the expansion of khat by focusing on improving the productivity of the traditional agroforestry systems that [traditionally supported a] very large population while maintaining ecological sustainability,” Dr. Abebe added.Dr. Teshome Tesema, Director of Plantation and Agroforestry Research Directorate at Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI) agreed, saying, “Khat as a crop is not a basic necessity like food, fuelwood, or construction wood. It is just a stimulant which rather negatively affects the wellbeing of society. Khat is being cultivated only for short term economic benefits, replacing the sustainable and economical and ecologically viable multi-strata agroforestry systems. Converting such resilient systems [to a] monocultural system by itself is devastating.”Khat farm with some enset and maize partially intercropped. Image by Tesfa-Alem Tekle for Mongabay.However, he has seen some benefits from khat being intercropped with maize and coffee. “Of course, when farmers plant khat on contour bunds (as in nearby West Hararge), it has the effect of anchoring the soil against erosion, but as it is not a leguminous species, it has no soil amelioration effect,” he stated.“Moreover, as it is susceptible [to] pests and diseases, farmers [must] apply pesticides and insecticides which will have an adverse effect on the health of the human being and on apiculture,” since pesticides applied to khat kill bees, Dr. Tesema continued. “Short term economic benefits that could be gained from khat can’t be comparable with long term advantages of sustainable production gained from the practice of agroforestry,” he stressed.And according to experts like him, communities like those in nearby Gedeo continue to benefit from the ancient agroforestry traditions, at the same time that research and extension activities being carried out by institutions like his are spreading new agroforestry models for improving farmers’ futures, including those who may be tempted by khat.This article is part of Mongabay’s ongoing series on agroforestry worldwide.Banner image: Gujun Aramu, the farmer who introduced khat in Wondo. Image by Tesfa-Alem Tekle for Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post.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

PNG farmers use agroforestry to fight crop diseases and reduce labor

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 Agriculture, Agroforestry, Archive, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Community Development, Conservation, Conservation Solutions, Development, food security, Forests, Poverty Alleviation, Sustainable Development Papua New Guinea’s predominantly agricultural society practices agroforestry — the cropping of useful fruit and nut trees with understory vines, shrubs and vegetables in a forest-mimicking system — widely.The practice produces a wide array of products for farmers, from areca nuts to coconuts and cacao, and is seen as a tool to address the country’s issues of rapid population growth and shrinking land resources.Farmers in the eastern province of Morobe are experimenting with different combinations of cash crops and trees to deal with disease challenges and to reduce labor.Agroforestry also sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and provides homes and forage for wild creatures here, ranging from boars to bandicoots. LAE, Papua New Guinea — Across the more than 600 islands that make up Papua New Guinea, the majority of the country’s culturally diverse population relies on agriculture for both food and income.But issues ranging from global market competition for cash crops such as coffee, to a shortage of manual labor, to waves of diseases that have heavily impacted important crops, have left many communities striving to diversify and improve what they grow.To do this, farmers in both the country’s rural highlands and lowlands, where 85 percent of the population live, are leaning on a traditional subsistence practice to improve their livelihoods: agroforestry.Bokson Kilau surveys his cacao crop, planted next to a series of gliricidia shade trees and the odd banana palm. Image by Camilo Mejia Giraldo for Mongabay.A sustainable systemAlready used by many communities around the world, agroforestry is seen as an increasingly important method of farming as it combines food crops and trees in a single area of land. By allowing for the production of food as well as things like timber, agroforestry can have a number of positive economic and environmental impacts. The practice supports biodiversity by mimicking natural forests, improves soil quality and diversifies the use of its nutrients, and sequesters far more carbon dioxide than monoculture crops.PNG’s traditional agroforestry is applied differently across the country and is shaped by a number of factors. These include geography, weather, tribal groups, types of crops grown, and, of course, amount of land available. Historically, more than 95 percent of the land in PNG has been under the control of traditional clans — a number that international organizations say has dropped to 85 percent as the government continues to grant special agricultural and business leases, or SABLs, to international companies.Despite these ongoing challenges, clans continue to distribute traditionally owned land through culturally diverse systems to members for their subsistence needs.These rich agricultural systems can generally be seen as intensely intercropped kai kai, or food, gardens, growing sustenance crops from yams to corn, taro, pineapples, bananas and peanuts, as well as income-generating cash crops species like coconut trees (Cocos nucifera) planted alongside cacao (Theobroma cacao), vanilla, and areca palms (Areca catechu), among many others.While traditional crops and staple foods remain, many have diversified these densely intercropped systems to increase their socioeconomic standing and deal with both external and internal pressures.In the mountains of the Eastern Highlands province, for example, farmers who previously relied on growing mostly coffee for a living are now cultivating citrus trees and strawberries next to casuarina trees; the latter provide important shade for seedlings in the short term and can be cut for construction material and firewood in the long term.In the northern Madang province, clans are increasingly looking to their established agroforestry systems to help alleviate growing population pressure on their food security and land, and to conserve their local environment.Cacao being dried in the Markham Valley. Image by Camilo Mejia Giraldo for Mongabay.But beyond easing the impact of social and dynamic market pressures, agroforestry has also helped communities in certain parts of the country deal with the impacts from nature.Disease strikes profitable cropsIn the vast savanna of Markham Valley, in PNG’s Morobe province, a disease that began sweeping the region in the early 2000s saw many communities lose their most profitable cash crop, the areca nut.“Back in 2007, insects just came and wiped them out,” says Jim Kelly, a farmer from the small village of Bampu.From his mother’s home garden, known in Bampu as a gom gain, Kelly points to a struggling areca palm growing next to a banana tree, a papaya tree, and over a series of cucumbers, pumpkins, and leafy greens known as aibika (Abelmoschus manihot).“We planted [the areca palm] to see how it would go, but I can already see that the nuts at the top of the palm are small. They still get sick,” he says.Commonly known in PNG as buai, the areca nut is a widely used traditional stimulant that can stave off hunger, increase focus, and impart a mild sense of euphoria. Apart from being linked to the rapid rise of mouth cancers throughout the country by the World Health Organization, the plant’s drupe, which is chewed in combination with a daka “mustard stick” dipped in crushed seashells, is arguably one of PNG’s most lucrative cash crops.Since the demise of the areca nut in Markham, Bampu and other communities in the area have turned their efforts toward harvesting coconuts, which sell at local markets for around 1 kina (about 30 U.S. cents) each, and cacao for chocolate, sold as either wet beans ($90 per bag) or as the more expensive fermented dry beans to local exporters for the equivalent of $180 a bag.In Bampu, both of these income-generating species can be found growing either alongside or within dense food crop systems that can include banana and mango trees, taro, corn, tomatoes, pumpkins and watermelons, as well as a fast-growing tree called gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium).Pineapples grow next to taro, pumpkins and banana trees in a Markham Valley agroforestry system. Image by Camilo Mejia Giraldo for Mongabay.According to Kelly, this agroforestry system has a number of tangible advantages that help the community maintain their incomes and ensure food security.The shade provided by gliricidia, he says, is vital for the development of young cacao seedlings. Once a cacao tree has matured, the gliricidia is cut down and used for firewood. Because of the time and energy required to manage the cash crops and the shade trees, the understory of pumpkins and watermelons also helps farmers keep down problematic weeds.The numerous home gardens and cash crop blocks also reflect the few forested areas that remain on the community’s land. The ones located further from the village tend to attract wild pigs, bandicoots and large birds of prey commonly found in the mountains that flank the valley floor.More importantly, Kelly says, planting different types of crops together ensures a good level of food security throughout the year, even during the intense dry seasons experienced in the 160-kilometer-long (100-mile) valley.“We like to plant everything in one block. When there is drought one crop dies but others survive,” he says.A cacao drying oven (“fermentary”). Image by Camilo Mejia Giraldo for Mongabay.Limits for small-scale farmersPNG exports its cacao largely to countries like Malaysia, the United States and Singapore, but it also supplies important chocolate-producing markets like Belgium. Although still far behind large producers in Africa, PNG has steadily increased its output of cacao to the world market over the past three years, fueled mostly by small-scale farmers across the country.“There has been an increase in cacao farming [in the Markham] area, both because of the price as well as the availability of buyers in the valley,” says Nathan Wampe, a forest environment researcher at Ramu Agri-Industries Ltd (RAIL). “There are about three new mayor buyers and previously there was only one.”Although Bampu and other communities across the Markham Valley have managed to maintain a relatively stable level of income by effectively bringing cacao into their agroforestry mix, their ability to further increase profits is limited as farming is still a largely manual task carried out by the family unit.According to Wampe, farmers in areas like Markham and the nearby Ramu Valley who are increasingly reliant on their cacao yields can be hindered by the gliricidia shade trees they use.“Gliricidia provides a good canopy of shade, but one of the issues with [this species] here is the labor. It grows really fast and you have to constantly prune it,” says Wampe, who is undertaking a community forestry project alongside the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the University of Sunshine Coast in the Ramu and Marhkham valleys.“If you are just one person looking after this area [of cacao], during the rainy season [gliricidia] just grows out of proportion. You have to trim it continuously,” he says, adding that one of the aims of the ACIAR project — in partnership with RAIL —  will be to promote the use of eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus pellita) in combination with cacao crops.An Atzunas community member scrapes away bark from the gliricidia, which dries out the tree and helps farmers manage the fast-growing species. Image by Camilo Mejia Giraldo for Mongabay.This, he says, can ease the pressure on the communities in a number of ways.“If you look at [eucalyptus], you multiply the benefits of it. You have shade, materials for housing construction, and it’s a good fuel for firewood,” he says.Both the Ramu and Markham valleys have been heavily impacted by community and large-scale agriculture, including sugarcane, palm oil, and coconut plantations. With forested areas in the valleys and the surrounding mountains on the decline, communities are having to venture further into their remaining forest to gather materials traditionally used for housing.Buksong Kilau, a community leader from the village of  Atzunas in the Markham Valley, is hopeful that projects like the ACIAR one can help his and other villages in the region develop their agroforestry systems and, in turn, improve their livelihoods.“Most of our income is from cacao, and [combining] with these new species of trees can help our future,” he says. He adds that members of his community have to walk for an entire day to get strong posts for their houses, while still needing to constantly tend to their food gardens and cash crops.For Wampe, one of the main challenges of agroforestry projects comes down to understanding the complex dynamics between communities and forestry, in order for adequate systems to be promoted that will provide both short- and long-term benefits.Jim Kelly in his mother’s diverse food garden. Image by Camilo Mejia Giraldo for Mongabay.“There are two issues: the communities would like income and they want posts [for construction]. The options are there, but the turnover time is quite long [for some tree species], it may take up to 10 years,” he says.“That’s one of the reasons we are trying out pellita [eucalyptus] with cacao. In a way, that does address both issues.”This article is part of Mongabay’s ongoing series on agroforestry worldwide.Banner image: Jim Kelly in the community of Bampu stands next to a young cacao tree within his mother’s food garden. Image by Camilo Mejia Giraldo for Mongabay.Editor’s note: While both the Ramu and Markham valleys have been heavily impacted by large-scale cultivation of sugarcane, palm oil, and coconut, the initial deforestation occurred due to a large population increase and subsequent heavy use of trees for firewood and construction materials.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post.center_img Article published by Erik Hoffnerlast_img read more