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Indonesia: Two more Sumatran elephants found dead in Aceh
Two critically endangered Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) were found dead this month in Indonesia's Aceh province, just the latest casualties for a species that has been brought into increasing conflict with humans amid the country's oil palm boom.
First, on April 13 in Kareung Hampa village, West Aceh regency, a bull elephant was found with its tusks missing and trunk severed about 150 meters from an oil palm estate belonging to Agro Sinergi Nusantara. It was thought to have perished a week earlier.
An autopsy revealed a bullet hole in the elephant's head, likely the work of poachers in search of ivory, according to Genman Suhefti Hasibuan, the head of Aceh's Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) ...
Then, on April 20 in Seumah Jaya village, East Aceh regency, residents alerted the authorities when they saw an injured elephant hobbling near their fields. Its right leg had been injured in a snare trap ... The creature perished shortly thereafter.
Since 2012, around 200 Sumatran elephants have died out of a population of 1,700, according to the Indonesia Elephant Forum (FGI). Aceh alone has seen 36 casualties.
Environmentalists cited weak law enforcement as a major culprit.
Read the full story on Mongabay.com at news.mongabay.com/2015/0427-jacobson-two-more-sumatran-elephants-dead-aceh.html
#Indonesia #Aceh #elephants #palmoil #ivory
Image: Bull elephant found dead in West Aceh, Indonesia, on April 13, 2015. Its tusks were missing and trunk severed (c) Khaidar ... See MoreSee Less
2 hours ago ·
Latest from our colleagues at EIA US ...
'Austrian company exposed offering bonuses for illegal Romanian timber'
BUCHAREST—The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has released a new video exposing the leadership of the largest forest products company in Romania, the Austrian-based Holzindustrie Schweighofer, willingly and knowingly accepting illegally harvested timber and incentivizing additional cutting through a bonus system.
This evidence comes as Schweighofer has been identified in Romanian media as playing a central role in efforts to stop a new forest law from being approved by the Romanian Government. The forest law is currently under debate in the Romanian parliament.
In the video, undercover EIA investigators posed as foreign investors who had acquired the rights to cut a specified amount of timber on land owned by communities in Romania. Speaking to Romanian and Austrian Schweighofer officials, the investigators stated multiple times they intended to cut more than was permitted under contract and they needed assurances from Schweighofer that the company would accept the wood. On all occasions, Schweighofer officials confirmed they would buy the wood and further offered a bonus for any additional wood delivered.
On March 23, 2015, the President of Romania sent the proposed forest law back to the parliament for amendment and debate. Soon after, Romanian media released a leaked letter from the CEO of Schweighofer to the Romanian Prime Minister demanding the proposed law be amended, threatening consequences to trade relations between Austria and Romania if not.
Another leaked letter from the Austrian Embassy in Bucharest demanded the Romanian government meet with Schweighofer to reach an agreement on the proposed forest law. One provision of particular concern limits any one company from utilizing more than 30 percent of a given species of wood in Romania.
“Romania is in the middle of a critical effort to combat the illegal exploitation of its amazing, unique forests,” said Alexander von Bismarck, Executive Director of the EIA U.S. office. “This fight against illegal logging in Romania cannot be won if powerful companies like Schweighofer knowingly buy, and offer bonuses for, illegal wood.”
Read today's press release in full at eia-global.org/news-media/austrian-company-exposed
#Romania #Austria #forests #timber ... See MoreSee Less
22 hours ago ·
Thailand: Customs makes new seizure of three tonnes of ivory from Kenya
More than three tonnes of elephant ivory has been found at a Thai port stashed in a container shipped from Kenya, custom officials said on Monday.
It is the second huge haul of tusks from Africa in less than a week.
The discovery, which would be worth millions of dollars on the black market, was destined for Laos where the illegal ivory trade flourishes.
Some 511 pieces of ivory were found on April 25 in a container "marked as tea leaves transported from Mombasa, Kenya, and on to Laos", Thailand customs said in a statement.
Scores of whole tusks - some nearly two metres long - were among the pieces seized.
A record four tonnes of African elephant ivory was seized at Bangkok's main port on April 20, in a container that arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo and was also destined for Laos.
Once in neighbouring Laos, authorities believe the ivory would likely be sold to buyers from China, Vietnam or back into Thailand.
Full story at www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-27/thailand-customs-make-new-three-tonne-ivory-seizure/6425846
#Thailand #Kenya #Africa #elephants #ivory
Image: Thai customs officers inspect confiscated elephant tusks during a press conference at the Customs Bureau in Bangkok (c) AFP/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul ... See MoreSee Less
1 day ago ·