first_imgRespecting community and indigenous rights to collective land tenure and forest management could help avert climate change — and save us billions of dollars, according to a new report from the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI).The report is based on case studies of community territories in Asia, Africa and Latin America — including indigenous territories in the Brazilian Amazon and community forest concessions in Guatemala’s Mayan Biosphere Reserve. Researchers found that forests under the groups’ control and management are better preserved, emitting less carbon and storing more than forests where local communities have weak control.In the Brazilian Amazon’s indigenous territories, which cover 13 percent of the country, the benefits from carbon capture and averted emissions amount to $161.7 billion over 20 years, according to the report. And in the Mayan Biosphere, the benefits amount to $605 million over 20 years.These findings will bolster the demands voiced by 300 indigenous women from different countries across the region who meet Tuesday in Guatemala City in the run up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), which will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11. The women want recognition of their role as key agents in the fight against global warming. They also want greater access to technology and financial resources to further that role.Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People, praised the WRI report. “[It] is very significant in terms of establishing the links between human rights and forest protection and sustainable use. It’s sending a message to governments to link respect for the rights of indigenous people to their land and resources to the climate change mitigation activities that [governments] are supposed to commit to,” she told The Tico Times.Tauli-Corpuz added that the region’s governments need to do more to ensure that community land titles are respected and that indigenous lands are not taken over by special economic interests, like mining and monoculture plantations, or even drug traffickers.“In Honduras, for example, indigenous people have collective land titles but [outside] land owners are invading their land for African palm plantations and there is invasion from other interests such as hydroelectric dams and mining,” she said.An interactive map released in conjunction with the report allows users to explore indigenous and community-owned land around the world: Community and indigenous lands in Central America and part of South America. (landmarkmap.org)Benefits of community forest tenure outweigh costsThe World Resources Institute study also found that the estimated annual cost per hectare of securing community forest tenure is low compared to the benefits from reducing carbon emissions and preventing deforestation. In Brazil, a $19 per hectare investment today would yield the equivalent of $1,473 per hectare in benefits in 20 years, WRI found. In Guatemala, a $63 per hectare investment today, would yield $1,899 per hectare in benefits, including economic benefits to communities through sustainable harvesting and the sale of forest products.Peter Viet, director of the WRI’s Land and Resources Rights Initiative, said compared to the indigenous communities in Brazil’s Amazon, communities in Guatemala’s Mayan Biosphere Reserve found it harder to comply with the government’s long list of requirements for managing the land, which includes annual audits and forest management plans. “These communities are not indigenous; they were more recent groupings of individuals so they didn’t have the social cohesion and there were conflicts internally. Also, compared to Brazil, Guatemala is more bureaucratic and as a result, there’s more costs,” he said.Overall, the figures presented in the report make a compelling case for the environmental, social and economic benefits of community forestry.“In these two case studies we found that community forestry adds the highest value; it’s not agriculture or cattle raising or the exploitation of minerals, it’s sustainable forestry,” Juan Carlos Altamirano, an economist for the WRI, told The Tico Times.Plus, community forestry can help reduce costs associated with resource conflicts that often accompany extractive industries, like mining, and others that are non-community based.A recent study by Guatemala’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office highlighted mining and hydroelectric dams as the main source of conflict in Guatemala.Community managed forests in TotonicapánIn the department of Totonicapán, located in Guatemala’s western highlands, forest land is divided into 48 cantons that have been communally owned by Maya Kiché communities since colonial times.Logging within a three-mile radius of water resources is strictly forbidden and if a family needs to fell a tree for firewood, it must seek prior consent from indigenous community leaders and only the oldest trees can be felled. The penalties for breaking these rules depends on the size of the tree that was felled and range from planting five trees to paying fines equivalent to $64 to $102.In order to ensure forest regeneration, every year in May leaders distribute tree seedlings from a community greenhouse so that every member of the community can plant five trees in an area of their choice.The communities also observe strict rules regarding the use of water from six sources in the forest. If a family wishes to build a house it must seek permission from the local water committee. Using water for activities considered superfluous, such as washing cars and motorbikes, is forbidden.According to Guatemala’s Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, Totonicapán has the lowest deforestation rate in the country.“The crucial factor in Totonicapán is communal land ownership and the establishment of strategic alliances with the government,” said Andrea Ixchiú, former president of the board of natural resources for Totonicapán’s 48 cantons. “Governance and the use of resources improves when communities coordinate actions with the state.”If the benefits of community forestry outweigh those of environmentally hazardous industries such as oil extraction, why have the region’s governments been reluctant to phase out bureaucratic hurdles, implement agrarian reforms and invest in communal land ownership programs? According to the WRI, in 2013 indigenous peoples and communities held legal rights to only about 15.5 percent of the world’s forests.Viet from WRI indicated that many governments are reluctant to cede control over natural resources to local groups because they don’t trust their ability to manage them well.“There’s a real nervousness on the part of governments to decentralize forests to communities due to a concern over capacity,” Viet from WRI said. “Over time, when governments gain more confidence and the community shows it has the capacity, it could lift some of those conditions.” Facebook Comments Related posts:US concerns grow over possible Nicaragua Canal land expropriation, ambassador says A Paris climate change talks primer for Costa Rica With COP21 underway, development banks urged to boost ‘green finance’ in Latin America US inflames debate on climate finance with plan for UN talkslast_img

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first_imgPhoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia. PBA IMAGESANTIPOLO — Phoenix has had a busy season after being involved in several trade deals.The Fuel Masters, however, aren’t done yet in revamping their roster especially after a failed campaign in the 2017 Governors’ Cup.ADVERTISEMENT The team also took part in a three-team deal that sent TNT’s Ranidel de Ocampo to Meralco on Monday where the Fuel Masters let go of rookie Norbert Torres and ended up with the Bolts’ first round pick in this year’s draft and the KaTropa’s second round pick in 2019.Phoenix had a promising start this conference, winning its first two games. But the Fuel Masters’ campaign took a turn for the worse after their explosive import Eugene Phelps suffered a foot injury last month and star swingman Matthew Wright missed five games due to national team commitments.“Honestly, we didn’t know that Eugene’s injury was a stress fracture on his left foot. He was playing with pain and he wasn’t the same,” Vanguardia recalled. “We had to make a change, and Brandon (Brown) wasn’t in shape yet. We lost that long preparation we had before the conference.”“We also didn’t get lucky with the schedule. Our national team player missed the most out of our games. He missed five games this conference. It was tough because we saw how he can deliver when he’s with us for long stretches,” Vanguardia said of Wright.Wright unleashed 36 points while Brandon Brown added 33 points and 20 rebounds, but despite their big production, Phoenix still went on to drop its eighth straight game.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Break new ground “It’s really painful, disappointing conference for us. It’s more painful knowing it’s our first time to miss the quarterfinals. A lot more sleepless nights especially that we’re going to have to wait until December for the all-Filipino before we can play again.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award A costly, catty dispute finally settled End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Winning start PVL: San Beda thwarts St. Benilde for second win MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Obviously, [we have] a need for additional big man in the draft. We don’t need just one, we need two more big men. Doug (Kramer) played well today, but we don’t have any more big man yet to complement, especially in the all-Filipino,” said Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia after a loss to Rain or Shine on Wednesday eliminated the Fuel Masters from playoff contention.“Our bigs like Willie Wilson, Eriobu are small bigs. We’re looking at the draft and of course, we are open to trades. We always discuss with management whatever comes our way that’s how we rebuild.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe Fuel Masters made several moves this season. They traded second-year playmaker Simon Enciso to Alaska for veteran guard RJ Jazul, before acquiring former national team mainstay Jeff Chan from Rain or Shine, who got Mark Borboran and a future second round pick in return.Phoenix have also unloaded flashy guard Cyrus Baguio and got Dylan Ababou and NLEX’s 2020 second round pick. A costly, catty dispute finally settled View commentslast_img

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first_img– unable to meet President in 2 years, despite numerous requestsThe Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has indicated that since its establishment in 1983 it has shared cordial and respectful relationships with the different Presidents, dating all the way back to President LFS Burnham and up to most recently, President Donald Ramotar.A typical mining operation in Guyana’s interiorHowever, the Miners Association said the incumbent President, David Granger, and his coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration has ushered in a new dispensation or cordiality, the hallmark of which is premised on neglect.According to the GGDMA, “it has been two years now that the APNU-led coalition is in Government and the Executives of the GGDMA have not been able to have a meeting with President Granger despite numerous requests to address current burning issues that are affecting the gold and diamond mining industry in Guyana.”The full text of GGDMA’s statement to the mediais published below:The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) is disappointed in the manner it has been treated by the hierarchy of the APNU-led Administration.The GGDMA was founded over thirty years ago in 1983. Since its establishment, it has been recognised by industry actors, successive Government administrations, and other stakeholders as the body representing the gold and diamond mining industry in Guyana, particularly small and medium miners.The Association has an impressive record of achievements, and has worked collaboratively with Governments at all levels dealing with mining and related hinterland issues.The GGDMA wishes to place on record that since its establishment, the Association has enjoyed excellent relations with the late President LFS Burnham. So much so that Mr Burnham had then Prime Minister Ptolemy Reid’s portfolio expanded to be responsible for mining. Mr Reid himself later became a Patron of the Association. This continued under the presidency of the late Hugh Desmond Hoyte, where President Hoyte saw it fit for the first time to have a miner serve in Parliament. Even when the administration changed in 1992, the GGDMA continued to enjoy excellent and cordial relations with Presidents Jagan, Jagdeo and Ramotar.Sad to say, it has been two years now that the APNU-led coalition is in Government and the Executives of the GGDMA have NOT been able to have a meeting with President Granger despite numerous requests to address current burning issues that are affecting the gold and diamond mining industry in Guyana.The previous leaders saw the immense contribution the Gold and Diamond Mining Sector was making to the nation’s economy. This continues to be so with the Gold and Diamond Mining Sector being the backbone of Guyana’s economy over the past 10 years with a failing agriculture sector.With oil on the horizon, this administration seems to have forgotten all about the Gold and Diamond Mining Sector. How unfortunate, when it was the gold and diamond mining sector that was the backbone of Guyana’s economy over the past 10 years. Is it a case where the Government is:1. Forsaking tried and true [Mining and Agriculture] for the shiny and new [Oil and Gas]2. Looking at all Miners as Tax Evaders3. Branding all Miners as CriminalsThe GGDMA is frustrated over the new tax regulations that are being pushed to miners. As a result of Budget 2017, the GGDMA has the following concerns on these new tax regulations, which have been communicated to the authorities but to no avail. These being:-1. Keeping of acceptable records –  all of these operations are done in the interior locations where receipts and bills are often not obtained, especially by service providers.2. Application of Threshold to Tributors –  the Association is requesting that tributors be able to benefit from this threshold provision at the time that they are paid, where a provision can be made by the operation owner to deduct the 20% Tributors tax after the person has earned in excess of the $60,000 on a monthly basis. This would allow the Tributors to immediately start to benefit from this provision.3. Tax Rate – the Association is requesting that there be a reduction of the 40% rate on the chargeable income for miners. With regard to the off-the-top payment of 5% Royalty to the GGMC along with the 2% upfront withholding tax, the GGDMA feels that a provision can be made for payments at a lower tax rate for miners and/or alternatively a sliding scale against the US Dollar off-the-top.4. Filing of Returns – the GGDMA is suggesting that the deadline for filing of returns be extended from April 30 to a convenient later date given that many miners would need to make adjustments so as to comply with the new requirements.The GGDMA continues to be frustrated in the manner in which the GGMC is conducting its business. The GGMC needs to be modernised as soon as possible. Simple information requested from this agency seems to be an uphill task. One would expect that with all the royalty that is being collected, that a modern information management system would be in place at this agency; this is far from the case. Simple information requested which in this technology era should take minutes, sometimes takes days.The GGDMA would have submitted a list of 15 miners to the GGMC for a no objection for the allocation of duty-free fuel, which was already vetted by the GRA. It has been ***one month now*** that these documents are with the GGMC with no response. The GGDMA finds this behaviour by the GGMC unacceptable and anti-business since the list of 15 was already cleared by the GRA.In addition, miners would have had to purchase their fuel outside of this concession for April operations since the month is almost finished. The GGDMA also wishes to bring to the Government’s attention that miners would have lost the fuel concession available during a period last year due to the inefficiencies of Government Agencies.The GGDMA is open to meet with President Granger to address these and many other issues that are affecting its membership and the sector as a whole.In light of the above mentioned, the GGDMA asks the question, “Is this the better life that was promised to our Miners, who make tremendous sacrifices and contribute so much to Guyana’s economy?” The GGDMA remains steadfast to promote and protect the rights, interest and welfare of all miners.last_img

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