first_imgEcology, Environment, Environmental Policy, Fish, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Ecosystems, Microplastics, Oceans, Plastic, Pollution, Recycling, Sea Turtles, Sustainability, Waste, Water Pollution, Wildlife Conservation 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 In January, the Flipflopi, a boat built of recycled plastic, set sail on a 500-kilometer (310-mile) voyage along the East African coast.The purpose? To raise awareness about ocean pollution and call for the repurposing of, and a possible ban on, single-use plastics.Globally, research on and attention to marine plastic pollution is mounting, showing that microplastics travel up the food chain, and that marine life and people alike are being exposed to microplastics through their food. WATAMU, Kenya — One Saturday mid-morning in late January, close to 100 people descended on the narrow streets of Watamu village along Kenya’s north coast to clean up the streets.Local beach cleaners in their white and blue T-shirts, children in school uniforms and ordinary villagers defied the sweltering heat. They picked up plastic bottles, bags and wrappers; glass bottles; old clothes and other litter from doorsteps, alleys, hedges, tree branches, gaping manholes and abandoned houses. By the time they approached the Watamu beach more than three hours later, they had collected tons of plastics.Despite being sweaty and tired, the children still had energy to play. They sorted the different types of plastics and used them to create images of marine life on the sandy beach. The plastics were later taken away to a local organization for recycling into construction bricks and works of art.Watamu school children help clean their village. Image by Anthony Langat for Mongabay.Just off the beach bobbed the Flipflopi, a colorful 10-meter-long (33-foot-long) boat built exclusively out of recycled plastics. Its multicolored hull, clad in patches made from discarded flip-flops, set it apart from the other boats nearby. Its builders cum crew sat aboard offering short rides and explaining its materials, building process, strength and stability at sea to groups of curious visitors, who were ferried from shore by a smaller boat.The Flipflopi had set sail from the town of Lamu a day before, embarking on a 14-day, 500-kilometer (310-mile) expedition along the East African coast to Stone Town in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The purpose of the voyage was to show the possibilities of recycling single-use plastics and to educate people on the effects of marine plastic pollution.The plastic problem in Watamu, a popular tourist destination, reflects the situation not only in Africa but also globally. In a 2017 paper in Science Advances researchers estimate that as of 2015 the world was producing 400 million metric tons of plastics annually and discarding 300 million metric tons. A 2017 study in Environmental Science & Technology estimated that 88 to 95 percent of plastic pollution in the oceans comes from just 10 rivers, eight in Asia and two in Africa.Garbage, mainly plastics, collected during the Watamu village cleanup. Image by Anthony Langat for Mongabay.Plastics choke Kenyan marine lifeThe Tana is Kenya’s longest river, flowing about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the central part of the country to the Indian Ocean, enough distance to collect tons of plastics. It empties into the sea about 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Watamu.In a study published last year, Charles Kosore, a researcher at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in Mombasa, documented the presence of microplastics in Kenyan waters and their ingestion by zooplankton, tiny microscopic animals. It found that “microplastics have the potential to enter pelagic food webs and cause pollution in the study area.”Globally, research on and attention to marine plastic pollution is mounting, showing that microplastics travel up the food chain, and that marine life and people alike are being exposed to microplastics through their food. A doctoral student at the University of Bern in Switzerland calculated that plastic pollution causes $13 billion in financial damages to marine ecosystems per year, according to World Finance magazine.Hassan Shaffir, a fisherman and boat builder from Lamu, aboard the FlipFlopi in Watamu, Kenya. Image by Anthony Langat for Mongabay.Kenyan fishers are certainly aware of the cost. Hassan Shaffir, a fisherman from Lamu, said plastics in the ocean have made him poorer in recent years. While fishing at sea, Shaffir said, he and his colleagues regularly encounter long rows of plastics dumped in by the rivers. These break their fishing nets, requiring repairs that cost money and take valuable time away from fishing.“There are a lot of plastics in the sea and for those of us who fish using nets, we find it harder to catch fish,” he said. “If the plastic bottle attaches to the net it makes a sound, frightening the fish and instead of catching fish we catch plastic.”Shaffir added that the fish eat plastic, mistaking it for food. Mohamed Ali, a Watamu fisherman, observed the same. “The most affected are the sea turtles,” he said. “We find that they are mostly choked by the plastics, which they find at sea.”Jane Gitau, a senior warden with Kenya Wildlife Service in charge of Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve, acknowledged the problem. “We have seen deaths of endangered species, particularly the sea turtle,” which sometimes mistakes plastics for jellyfish, its main food, she said. “We have collected many carcasses of sea turtles due to this problem.”A Watamu resident during the village cleanup. Image by Anthony Langat for Mongabay.A boat made of flip-flopsThe Flipflopi’s builders aim to show that recycling can help clean the seas. But, they say, a ban on single-use plastics is what’s needed to put an end to ocean plastic pollution.“We all know that we have reached a tipping point,” Dipesh Pabari, one of the project’s initiators, told Mongabay. “There has to be change. You’ve got the waste that exists and there is too much of it. And we can put it to a second life but ultimately we have to find a way to end it.”The Flipflopi is the brainchild of Ben Morison, an Anglo-Ethiopian who spent his early years in Kenya. Seeing a small dhow made of flip-flops in Zanzibar inspired him to build his own boat out of plastics. Together with Pabari, his Kenyan childhood friend, he set out to achieve the dream in 2015.It wasn’t easy building the boat. “A lot of research and development went into the design of the materials, some of which were made in Malindi [a town near Watamu] and others in Nairobi,” said Pabari.The Flipflopi under sail from Watamu to Kilifi, Kenya. Image by Anthony Langat for Mongabay.They sent samples of the materials, molded bricks or planks made from compressed bottles and other plastics, to Northumbria University in England for tests several times until they arrived at a desired combination of strength and weight. It took three years to complete the boat because they were doing everything for the first time.Ali Skanda, Flipflopi’s chief boat builder and captain, was ecstatic about having completed the boat and being able to sail it. “It is my hope that with this boat we are going to inspire more people to stop littering and start recycling plastics so that we can have a cleaner ocean for everyone,” he said.The United Nations Environment Programme sponsored the Flipflopi’s Lamu-to-Zanzibar expedition through its Clean Seas Campaign. Between stops on the voyage, passengers collected samples of sea water to be analyzed later for microplastics, macrofibers and microfibers.“We have got various kinds of scientific equipment and a lot of it is for citizen science, the results of which we will make available to the world,” said Simon Scott-Harden, a lecturer in product design at Northumbria University who oversaw the sampling. “We are very interested to find out about the microfibers that we find in the ocean … This comes from clothing and it is a big problem that we need to address,” he said.Art works made of flipflops at the Watamu Marine Association office. In the background, recycled bottles are visible as a component of the office walls. Image by Anthony Langat for Mongabay.While most African countries recycle plastics, they don’t do it on a scale big enough to curb pollution. In 2015, South Africa, one of the biggest economies in Africa, recycled approximately 293,000 metric tons through more than 200 recycling companies.Kenya has far fewer companies recycling plastics. There are organizations like EcoPost, which makes recycled-plastic lumber; Ocean Sole, which turns old flip-flops into art and functional products; and Alternative Energy Systems, which converts waste plastic into fuels like synthetic oil. In 2018, a non-profit called PETCO Kenya launched to promote recycling of plastic bottles; it has the modest goal of recycling 14,000 tons by 2025.Steve Trott, director of Ecoworld, the Watamu Marine Association’s plastic recycling project, holds a discarded bottle at the organization’s collection yard. Image by Anthony Langat for Mongabay.EcoWorld, a Watamu-based project whose members and employees helped out with the cleanup, collects plastics from the beach and major tourist hotels and recycles them into construction bricks and art materials. The project is planning to expand its operations to more towns along the Kenyan coast. “We would like to collect more plastics because the companies that we sell to for further recycling have the capacity to recycle as much as we can offer,” said Steve Trott, EcoWorld’s director.For her part, park warden Gitau called for an increase in the recycling of plastics in the region. “The more we recycle means less plastics getting into the ocean and we will have a clean sea and healthy fish,” she said.Trash clutters the shore of Mombasa, Kenya. The Flipflopi made a stopover in Mombasa and other coastal towns on its voyage from Lamu, Kenya, to Zanzibar, Tanzania. Image by Anthony Langat for Mongabay.Anthony Langat is a Kenyan freelance journalist who writes about climate change, the environment, development and human rights. He contributes to Mongabay, Al Jazeera, Devex, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Equal Times among other publications. CitationsGeyner, R., Jambeck, J.R., Lavender Law, K. (2017). Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made Science Advances Vol. 3, no. 7, e1700782.Schmidt, C., Krauth, T., Wagner, S. (2017). Export of Plastic Debris by Rivers into the Sea. Environmental Science & Technology 51(21), 12246-12253.Kosore, C., Ojwang, L., Maghanga, J., Kamau, J., Kimeli, A., Omukoto, J., Ngisiag’e, N., Mwaluma, J., Ong’ada, H., Magori, C., Ndirui, E. (2018). Occurrence and ingestion of microplastics by zooplankton in Kenya’s marine environment: first documented evidence. African Journal of Marine Science 40:3, 225-234, DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2018.1492969FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by Rebecca Kesslerlast_img

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