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Canada: Forestry workers, environmentalists call for ban on log exports
Forestry workers and environmentalists gathered in Port Alberni on Friday to call for a ban on log exports and for a transition to “sustainable” second-growth harvests.
But an industry representative says a ban could destroy the coastal forest industry.
Arnold Bercov, president of the Public and Private Workers of Canada, said raw-log exports have resulted in thousands of lost jobs, with more than half of coastal mills closing since the 1990s.
He said existing mills should be retooled for second-growth lumber, which he called the future of forestry in the province.
“Of the 18 mills on the coast, 14 are really tooled for old-growth, even though that is not the majority of wood being cut on the coast. At some point, that is just a recipe for disaster,” he said.
“We’re talking about taking young people’s future and putting it on a boat and moving it off-shore to other countries.”
Bercov said he would like to see forestry companies be required to build mills, as well as legislation limiting log exports.
Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island campaigner for the Wilderness Committee, said B.C. is the only province that exports logs on a large scale.
Exports of second-growth logs are directly linked with threats to old-growth forests, he said.
“Because we’re sending these logs away rather than to mills on the coast, the mills are closing. To keep them open, we have to cut into sensitive areas like the Walbran.”
Sierra Club B.C. warned last week that high and increasing old-growth logging rates on Vancouver Island would lead to an ecological and economic collapse.
Full story at www.timescolonist.com/news/local/forestry-workers-environmentalists-call-for-ban-on-log-exports-1...
#Canada #forests #timber #deforestation
Image: A sprawling clearcut of old-growth forest stretches down a hillside in the Upper Walbran Valley, Canada, by TJ Watt ... See MoreSee Less
15 hours ago ·
South Africa: SANParks plans to lob grenades at rhino poachers
The war against rhino poachers in the Kruger National Park is intensifying – grenade launchers are now part of the South African National Parks’ armoury.
A weapons design and manufacturing company handed over a 40mm under barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) in Pretoria on Friday. Milkor’s chief executive‚ Marius Roos‚ said this would enable field rangers to handle different situations with different types of ammunition.
"We have identified ourselves as concerned citizens of South Africa and that we need to do something for rhino poaching. We know the problem for the last few years and we therefore approached SANParks‚" said Roos.
"The solution that we offer today is a UBGL‚ which will complement the main weapon system … SANParks will be able to deploy these weapon systems as part of rangers’ arsenal of weapons to combat poaching activities nationally‚" he said while demonstrating how it functions.
The grenade launcher consists of diverse less-lethal and lethal applications such as “flash bangs”‚ flares‚ smoke and rubber bullets. Roos did not say how many units were given to SANParks.
Full story at www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/stnews/2016/07/22/SANParks-plans-to-lob-grenades-at-rhino-poachers
#Africa #SouthAfrica #rhinos #Kruger South African National Parks
Image: Rhino, Kruger Park, South Africa, by Esculapio ... See MoreSee Less
15 hours ago ·
Illegal wildlife supermarkets: The 'lawless' playgrounds of Laos
... Kings Romans is the glitzy centrepiece of the 10,000-hectare Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, a joint venture between the Laotian government and the Hong Kong-registered Kings Romans Group.
Since signing a 99-year lease in 2007, Kings Romans says it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars transforming this remote corner of northern Laos into an oasis of hotels, shops, massage parlours and banquet halls, all dominated by the casino's colossal golden crown.
* Learn more in Sin City, the EIA report that first threw the international spotlight on the Kings Romans complex, at ht.ly/q1T9302znYQ
According to local press reports, Kings Romans plans to add shopping malls, industrial zones, and an international airport, all in the hope of boosting economic growth in this impoverished nation of seven million. But critics say the enclave - three times the size of Macau - has instead become a semi-lawless zone where gambling (the legal status of which is ambiguous as there is a ban on "forbidden gambling"), prostitution, and other illicit trades flourish ...
Environmentalists allege that the area is also home to a flourishing market in endangered animal products.
In a 2015 report, the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) described the zone as "a lawless playground" and a free-for-all "illegal wildlife supermarket".
The report described wildlife boutiques stocking items such as ivory and tiger skins, and a restaurant that sold tiger meat and Hu Gu Jiu - tiger-bone wine - from a liquor-filled tank holding a complete tiger skeleton.
Read in full at www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/05/lawless-playgrounds-laos-160504120318409.html
#Laos #China #tigers #ivory #pangolins #bears #corruption #tigerfarming #tigerbonewine
Image: Big cat skeleton in a vat of tiger bone wine, from Kings Romans brochure ... See MoreSee Less
17 hours ago ·