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Thursday, May 26, 2011

bird doll made from socks and tweezers feeds endangered heron chick

The baby white bellied heron will need another two months of the puppet mum’s care before it can be released into the wild

When a White Bellied Heron egg taken into captivity by the Royal Society of Protection of Nature (RSPN) hatched, the staff there found an ingenious method of feed the chick.
A homemade White Bellied Heron puppet, made from a gray sock with small eyes and a pair of tweezers as a beak now feeds the 14 day-old chick.
The chick is fed thrice a day using the puppet so that the chick doesn’t get used to human contact. “We are using a puppet to feed the chick so that when the time comes for the chick to be released into the wild it will not be attached to humans,” said Ecologist Rebecca Pradhan of RSPN.
The chick was born on May 7 at the hatchery house by Phochu in Punakha at around 5:50 am. It weighed 54.9 grams.  Today the chick weighs around 212.1 grams and is growing fast. “The chick is growing very well and healthy and this is a good sign,” said Rebecca Pradhan.
The chick will need another two months of puppet nursing care before it can be released into the wild.
“After 71 to 73 days of rearing of the chick it will be released into the wild. It has been 14 days as of today since the chick was born,” said Rebecca Pradhan.
The gender of the chick is not known as little research has been done on the bird’s gender. It will take another two years to confirm whether it’s a male or a female.
The white bellied heron is a critically endangered species as per the IUCN’s category (2007). With the current global population estimated to be less than 200 of which Bhutan has 26 numbers. Bhutan is the first country in the world to initiate such a project to save the White Bellied Heron from extinction.
In a hope to recover the decreasing population of the bird,  RSPN in collaboration with the Department of Livestock and Department of Forests and Park Services have undertaken this captive-rearing. This is also expected to address the high mortality rates at its infant period due to predation and other calamities such as forest fires
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park in USA which is well known for recovery of similar kind of endangered species is helping RSPN in the project.

Monday, May 16, 2011

poor countries slam the rich for not contributing enough to climate change

The cost of adapting to climate change for the LDCs would rise to US$ 17bn by 2030 and the commitments of developed countries is making it an almost unachievable target
Developed countries were slammed for not doing enough to combat the impacts of climate change at the fourth UN’s summit of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that concluded yesterday in the Turkish capital of Istanbul.
For the first time ever, climate change was included in the agenda of the once-in-a-decade summit but nothing concrete or different came out of the summit on the issue.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech that developed countries ignoring global concerns were being seriously unfair to both their countries’ peoples and to all people in the world. He said, “There are problems that have no borders today, including environmental issues, climate change, poverty, terror and migration, which threaten not only certain countries or regions, but the whole world.”
Nepal Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal said the impact of climate change has affected LDCs severely. He called for all countries to take real action in addressing such major global challenges.
About 1,700 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attending the summit also criticized developed countries for not doing enough to fight climate change.
The developed countries are stuck with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commitments on climate change. They agreed to replenish and expedite disbursement of funds for adaptation under the UNFCCC negotiations like the LDC fund, adaptation fund, green climate fund and other funds.
Developed countries agreed to facilitate technology transfer and help LDCs address issues related to livelihood, food and health of people affected by climate change.
For disaster risk reduction, developed countries promised to provide financial and technical assistance to LDCs for emergency preparedness and post-disaster reconstruction efforts. LDCs will also get support to strengthen its capacity to reduce its vulnerability to natural disaster and benefit from regional and international early warning systems.
It was also revealed during the summit that the annual cost of climate change adaptation programs facing the LDCs at US$ 4bn will rise to US$ 17bn by 2030.
The LDC Fund meant to help LDCs with adaptation programs earlier saw 22 donor countries pledging US$ 221.5mn to the fund while only US$ 169.1mn have been deposited so far. The amount received can only be described as meager and insufficient showcasing that the developed countries are not taking the issue seriously.
Figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that LDCs received only US$ 358mn in climate change-related official development assistance (ODA) in 2008, constituting only 0.8% of LDC-bound ODA in 2008.
The UNFCCC in 2008 estimated annual worldwide adaptation costs of between US$ 50bn and US$ 170bn by 2030.
The 2007-08 Human Development Report of the UN said annual adaptation investment needs would reach US$ 86bn globally by 2015.
The LDCs produce the lowest levels of greenhouse gas emissions but is bearing the brunt of climate change. Bhutan has made dedicated effort for environmental sustainability and has received global recognition for its conservation activities.  But Bhutan is highly vulnerable and exposed to extreme risk from natural hazards due to climate change. The receding Himalayan glacier has made countries like Bhutan and Nepal very vulnerable to Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

agriculture minister vows to switch off lights during earth hour

Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho’s house will be one of the millions to go dark for one hour today night as he participates in the Earth Hour
Today, as people around the world participate in the Earth Hour, the agriculture minister, Lyonpo Dr Pema Gamtsho, will also switch off the lights at his home from 8:30pm to 9:30 pm to mark the Earth Hour.
Speaking to Business Bhutan, the minister said he will join the international community in participating in the Earth Hour.
“Yes! I will switch off the lights during the earth hour. We have only one earth and it is the responsibility of everyone to do whatever we can to save the earth,” he said.
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where individuals, businesses, governments and communities around the world are invited to turn out their lights for one hour to show their support for a environmentally sustainable action.
“The gesture of switching of the lights for one hour and save energy will expand the life of our planet earth,” said Lyonpo Dr Pema Gyamtsho.
Lyonpo Dr Pema Gyamtsho joins Australian Prime Minister Gillard, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and a group of other international leaders on board for this year’s event including, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos and Honduran President Porfirio Lobo.
A press release from the United Nations office in Thimphu said that the UN staff in Bhutan will also join hundreds and millions of people around the world to observe the Earth Hour by switching off their lights for 60 minutes.
“This is being done to send a powerful message to show support for ecological sustainability and action on climate change,” stated the press release.
However, many in Bhutan are still yet to grasp the idea of Earth Hour as many are not aware of the initiative. A 20-year-old student, Sonam Dorji, asked what earth hour is. And when explained, he says “I can’t switch off the electricity at home, I need to study.”
Like Sonam, there are many who are unaware of the Earth Hour and its importance. The assistant communications officer, Yangchi Pema of the WWF Bhutan office said the organization will mark the day with awareness campaigns.
She said WWF will coordinate with the media and inform the Bhutanese people about Earth Hour.  “Earth Hour is a new thing to Bhutan and this year it will be only limited to spreading awareness through various forms of channels like Facebook, blogs and the print media” said Yangchi Pema.
“Next year we might do something interesting,” she added.
The event began in Sydney in 2007, through a partnership between WWF Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media, when 2mn people in one city switched off their lights.
Last year, Earth Hour had created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 128 countries and territories and every continent, including the world’s most recognized man-made marvels and natural wonders in a major environmental action.
This year, Earth Hour 2011 has reached record participation, with 131 countries and territories registered to take part, on all seven continents, with all G20 countries, thousands of cities, and iconic landmarks and public figures set to join with hundreds of millions across the world to celebrate action for the planet.