Elisha Thompson from the group DONET, in Dodoma, received training and equipment in early 2009. He went on to investigate street children and their fight for survival at the bottom of the social chain amid drug and sexual abuse.. The result was a moving film called ‘Dream’. EIA connected Elisha Thompson with Haki Elimu and he was subsequently funded by the organisation to produce two TV spots urging the Government to inject TZS 60 billion into improving education and build 22,000 new homes for teachers. These were shown on TV daily, helping to build public support.Elisha received funds from EIA to document forest destruction by charcoal manufacturers, and has produced several TV spots campaigning on maternal health.Several of his films screened at the Uninhibited Muse Festival in the USA, and he is now mentoring new project participants in field investigations.
PINGOS Forum, in Arusha, received training and equipment from EIA in early 2009 and went on to produce a film highlighteing the government eviction of Maasai tribesmen to protect the operations of an influential Emirati hunting company, the OBC. The film features testimony of the associated brutalities and the burning of homes, revealing how the government is failing its people in favour of lucrative deals.A screeing at the Swedish Embassy prompted the Ambassador to launch a fact-finding mission into the evictions. The film was also shared among delegates at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in Gambia, garnering international support. Maasai communities have in turn been empowered to demonstrate and give testimony in court.In addition, PINGOS received a small grant from EIA to investigate and document the impacts of raw effluence from an oil distillery on local communities. Following a media campaign, the company was pressured to construct a treatment plant. PINGOs is now helping to open a legal case against the distillery.
Maajabu conducted a field investigation in an area in Loliondo, which the central government wanted to gazette as a National Forest Reserve. The government planned to expel Maasai communities in the area, accusing them of illegally logging and destroying the forest. Maajabu’s investigation showed outsiders were responsible for the destruction.In April 2010, Maajabu showed their film ‘Our Beloved Forests’ to the Tanzanian Director of Forests,. He agreed to accompany Maajabu to Loliondo and subsequently declared the area a ‘Village Forest Reserve’ to be managed by the Maasai communities.
TGNP, a gender-based organisation, used visuals and the media to lobby for a female Speaker in Parliament. In 2011, for the first time ever, the ruling party nominated a woman as Parliamentary Speaker.
The project has also led to the creation of a strong national network. Individuals trained by EIA have begun working cooperatively; for example, in response to the proposed construction of the Serengeti Highway, NGOs have come together to produce a campaign film calling for an alternative route less disruptive to wildlife migration. The government recently announced it would support this option instead of the original route.
Image: The sperm whale washed up at Hunstanton, UK (c) PJBayfield, via edp24.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less
17 hours ago ·
Indonesia urges France not to tax palm oil heavily, fears impact on economy
JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Government of Indonesia sent a letter to France decrying new law taxing palm oil, calling the move “discriminatory treatment.”
In a letter dated Tuesday, February 2 addressed to Minister Segolene Royal of France’s Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Indonesian Minister of Trade Tom Lembong expressed Indonesia’s “great concern” about the French Sentate’s decision to apply taxes on palm oil and palm kernel oil beginning 2017.
“For Indonesia, given the strategic role of the palm oil sector in the economy, the impact of discriminatory treatment in export markets will have a devastating impact on the hard-won economic, social and political stability that we have earned since the early 2000s,” said the letter.
The letter also said the new law would “breach the principles of national treatment and non-discrimination, and lead to disruptions both in Indonesia’s palm oil sector as well as food production and consumption in France and other EU member countries.”
Lembong then urged Royal to “take the necessary steps to make sure that the amendment is not adopted” and encouraged her “to work with Indonesia to address and issue France may have with regards to palm oil.”
On Thursday, January 21, the French Senate adopted an amendment to apply a tax of 300 euros per ton on palm oil starting next year, and 900 euros per ton by 2020, with further increases on an annual basis.
... France’s tax imposition comes in response to combat deforestation, the use of pesticides allegedly common in palm oil plantations, and to health scares associated with saturated fatty acids consumption.
Image: Palm oil plantations in Riau province, Indonesia (c) EPA ... See MoreSee Less
17 hours ago ·
Australia: Snow leopard DNA found in Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine purchased over the counter in Australia has been found to contain the DNA of endangered species.
Laboratory testing of the capsules purchased in 2012 found they contained DNA from snow leopard - and possibly tiger. Both species are listed on the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species.
Roger Byard from Adelaide University's school of medicine said a research student purchased the traditional Chinese medicine from a shop at the Adelaide Central Market.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Learn more about EIA's work to combat the commercial use of tiger and other Asian big cats products at ht.ly/XWc4f --------------------------------------------------------------------------
... "The listed ingredients are often quite different from what is in there," Professor Byard said, adding that about 13 per cent of Chinese traditional medicines contained animal species.
He said there was no evidence that snow leopard, native to the mountains of central and south Asia, had any effect on arthritis.
"You could eat a snow leopard from its nose to its tail and still have aching joints," he said.