Article published by Erik Hoffner The International Day of Women and Girls in Science highlights the achievements of female scientists, and is celebrated on February 11 this year.Here we highlight eight women contributing greatly to the conservation sciences. The study and advancement of science is one key to achieving the world’s agreed-to development goals, the UN says. Despite this, half the world’s population, women and girls, are still often excluded from fully participating in science. According to UNESCO, less than 30 percent of researchers worldwide are women.The International Day of Women and Girls in Science highlights the contributions and achievements of female scientists, and is celebrated on February 11 this year (follow along on Twitter via the hashtag #WomenInScience).Below, Mongabay presents in no particular order four inspiring female scientists who’ve been recent guests on our podcast, the Mongabay Newscast, and then four others interviewed about their research for the website:Bedazzling bioacousticsAnastasia Dalziell is an ornithologist who studies the superb lyrebird, a species whose vocal mimicry skills are amazingly precise. Female superb lyrebirds are also known to sing songs, which is unusual for birds, and they produce calls that capably mimic other species as well as sounds from their environment, such as the creaking of trees blowing in the wind. Dalziell has published her findings on lyrebirds in a series of research papers, and podcast host Mike Gaworecki spoke with her for the August 2018 show The amazing song skills of the superb lyrebird about what Dalziell’s learned, and he played some of the birds’ amazing calls she’s captured:Listen to Dalziell’s interview here: Flying for penguinsOur guest in October 2018 was Dr. Michelle LaRue, a research ecologist in the Department of Geography at the University of Canterbury who is leading a research project using satellite imagery together with ground and flight surveys to compile population estimates for each of the 54 known emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica. The project’s goal is to compile population estimates every year for an entire decade.When reached for the episode Documenting emperor penguin populations, a dispatch from Antarctica, LaRue had just arrived at McMurdo Station, a research center at the southern tip of Ross Island, on Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound.Hear about her research plans and crazy challenges here: Interviews, Research, Women In Science ‘Annihilation trawling’: Q&A with marine biologist Amanda VincentQ&A: Esther Mwangi on why voices of local community members will be featured at GLF Africa conferenceStudying human behavior to protect orangutans: Q&A with Liana ChuaRecovering conservationist: Q&A with orangutan ecologist June Mary RubisBanner image: National Park Service fisheries staff, 2016, image courtesy of U.S. National Park Service. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Drones and wildlifeFor the episode How to use drones without stressing wildlife, Gaworecki’s guest was Alicia Amerson, a marine biologist, drone user, and science communicator. She explained why it’s critical to have best practices for drones in place not only to guide hobbyists making videos of whales or birds, but especially before companies like Amazon deploy fleets of drones in our skies.Listen to Amerson’s interview here: A primatologist who also studies batsFor the October 2018 show How an African bat might help us prevent future Ebola outbreaks, Gaworecki spoke with Sarah Olson, an Associate Director of Wildlife Health for the Wildlife Conservation Society. With Ebola very much in the news lately due to a recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Olson explained to him how research into hammer-headed fruit bats might help us figure out how Ebola is transmitted from animals to humans — and potentially control or prevent future outbreaks of the viral disease.As a wildlife epidemiologist, Olson’s main focus is great ape health, animals which are just as susceptible to the Ebola virus as humans are. Her work to protect great apes has therefore drawn Olson to study the hammer-headed fruit bat, which is believed to be a potential “reservoir” for the Ebola virus.Listen to Sarah Olson here: You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.Want to hear from more women in the conservation sciences? Here are four interviews the Mongabay team recently conducted for the website:
Article published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Soy, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, China’s Demand For Resources, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Grabbing, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation The US is the world’s largest soy producer and historically has exported the majority of its soybeans to China.But after President Donald Trump’s high China tariffs resulted in a Chinese retaliation of a 25 percent import tariff on US agricultural goods last year, United States soy exports to China dropped 50 percent, and Chinese imports of Brazilian soybeans increased significantly.Soy production has been linked to large-scale deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado savanna — Brazil’s two largest and ecologically most important biomes.If the US/China trade war continues, new research suggests that the amount of land dedicated to soy production in Brazil could increase by up to 39 percent in order to fill Chinese demand, causing new deforestation by up to 13 million hectares (50,139 square miles) of forest, an area the size of Greece, researchers estimate. A single surviving tree amid a sea of soy. Photo credit: Jeff Belmonte on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SAThe ongoing US-China trade war, along with devastating floods in the US Midwest this Spring, are making it look like a bad year for soy exports from the United States. But the consequences might be felt more globally. A new Nature journal commentary suggests that the world’s second largest soybean producer — Brazil — could pick up the slack, leading to a rapid increase in deforestation in the Amazon basin.In March 2018, the Trump administration imposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on Chinese imported goods. In retaliation, the Chinese government imposed tariffs of 25 percent on $110-billion worth of US goods — including soybeans, the US’s most important agricultural export crop. Now fresh demand is being placed on China’s other major soy suppliers to provide up to 37.6 million tons of the bean — the total amount imported by China in 2016.According to researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, the most likely option is that China’s other principal supplier of soybeans, Brazil, will substantially ramp up its production.The authors estimate that if Brazil alone were to cover the demand, the amount of land dedicated to soy production in the Latin American nation could increase by up to 39 percent, with the loss of up to 13 million hectares (50,139 square miles) of forest, an area the size of Greece.Soy oil on store shelves. Global demand for soy-derived products is soaring, and Brazilian producers are responding to the demand, and with that demand has come increased conversion of forests into croplands. Photo credit: Male Gringo on Visual hunt / CC BY-NCA global rise in soy production and consumptionSince 2000, Chinese imports of soy have skyrocketed, with increases of 200 percent from Argentina, 700 percent from the United States, and 2,000 percent from Brazil in order to meet the Asian country’s demand. Much of this exported soy is used to feed China’s hog industry — the largest in the world, and likely to become larger as the Chinese increasingly consume more meat.“Soy [consumption] has risen exponentially in the last decade,” says Richard Fuchs, the lead author on the commentary. “It’s an important crop globally, but the entire system is so fragile that [distribution] can largely shift overnight.”Historically, soybeans have been the US’s largest agricultural export to China. In 2017, the US exported over $12 billion worth of soybeans to China, more than half of its total soybean exports and a third of its overall production. The next largest export — cotton — was worth $1 billion. However, since Trump’s US-China trade war began in 2018, exports of US soy beans to China fell by 50 percent. Predicting how this might ultimately impact the global soy trade is somewhat tricky however, since the US being located in the Northern Hemisphere and Brazil in the South, means their soy production seasons are opposite.“The thing you have to understand about the global soybean trade,“ said Fuchs in a Mongabay interview, “is that it is largely dominated by a few buyers, China and Europe, and only a few suppliers — Argentina, US, Brazil.”Soy grain elevators in Boa Vista Brazil loom over a transformed tropical landscape. Photo credit: michael_swan on Visualhunt / CC BY-NDSoy is now Brazil’s most profitable export, and poised to become larger if the US fades. However, soy production is also a leading driver of deforestation in the Latin American country. The Amazon Soy Moratorium, in which major traders voluntarily agreed not to buy soy grown on lands in Legal Amazonia deforested after July 2006, helped reduce tree-loss significantly in that biome. Statistics published by Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research (INPE) reported an 80 percent deforestation reduction there between 2000 and 2015.However, studies show that much of the deforestation from soy merely shifted next door from the Amazon to the Cerrado — a partly wooded grassland rich in biodiversity that covers more than 20 percent of Brazil. Over half of all Brazilian soy is now grown in the Cerrado and a recent report by Global Canopy showed a direct link between savanna municipalities in Brazil with the highest levels of deforestation and with significant soy prouction.Both the Cerrado and Amazon biomes have become increasingly threatened since the election of right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro, who ran on a platform of reducing environmental safeguards, increasing support for agribusiness, and Amazon development. The Nature commentary authors point out that the “political, legal and trade-system interventions that have prevented the expansion of soy production in the Amazon are now being weakened” by Bolsonaro.According to data from Brazilian NGO Imazon, deforestation in the South American nation increased between February and April of 2018 as compared to the year before, coinciding with President Trump’s first threat of tariffs against China made in January.Aerial view of Amazon deforestation. Forest loss in Brazil is often a multistep process, starting with access via new roads, followed by a rapid rise in land prices and land speculation, followed by illegal logging, cattle production, and conversion of pastures to soy plantations. The loss of native vegetation to soy is “part of a much more complicated picture around governance and land use patterns,” said Sarah Lake, a senior advisor at Global Canopy, a UK-based organization that advises corporations on environmental risk related to supply chain investments. Photo credit: SentinelHub on Visual Hunt / CC BYReordering the world soy marketQuestions remain as to how much the US-China trade war will reshuffle global trade partners, especially as the Trump administration put out feelers this April for an international summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease tariffs.Soy exports from the US to the European Union — another major soybean importer — hit a record high of 9 million tons in February of this year, roughly double the amount exported through the end of February 2018, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Still, most economic studies estimate that regardless of trade reallocations, the US soy market would suffer the most from a reshuffling of exports.“The US is selling fewer soybeans to China and more soybeans to the rest of the world,” said Patrick Westhoff, director of the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. “However, total US soybean exports are [being] reduced both because China is such a large part of the market, and because China has reduced its total [global] soybean imports.”A study by researchers at Purdue University in 2018, using different economic models, found that Chinese imports from Brazil and other South American countries would increase, in Brazil’s case by as much as 9–15 percent.Since then, distribution pattern shifts — likely instigated by the US-China tariff war — have begun to play out, as the US neared the end of its soy growing season. This February, the US shipped a little over 900,000 tons to China, just a fraction of last February’s 3.35 million tons. At the same time, Brazil soybean exports shot up to a record 6.1 million tons, more than twice the amount from the year before.Even if a US-China trade deal is reached in coming weeks or months, the study authors point out that such export distribution shifts are often hard to reverse, especially as China finds a stable supply of soy in Brazil, allowing it to avoid the trade volatility imposed under Trump.Cargill commodities port in Santarem, Brazil where soy grown in Mato Grosso state is transferred from trucks to barges for the journey downriver for export. Photo credit: JuhaOnTheRoad on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SAFloods, drought and swine fever are soy wildcardsThe recent floods, which have inundated much of the US Midwest came at a critical time for US farmers. But, interestingly, a US Department of Agriculture planting intentions report suggests many farmers had already planned to shift much of their cropland from soy to corn this year, in part because of the reduction of soy prices due to the trade war.“The impact on soybeans depends on if and when land dries out, “Westhoff said. “In a wetter-than-normal-but-not-catastrophic year, soybean acreage can actually increase, as farmers are forced to shift from corn to a crop like soybeans that can be planted later. Of course, if extremely wet conditions continue into mid-June, then soybean acreage will also be reduced.” Forecasts have warned that rainfall could bring more devastating floods this spring to the US Midwest, which if that occurs, could be a disaster for farmers there.While most experts agree the weather damage isn’t enough yet to significantly impact the global soy market, Fuchs believes that record seesawing of weather conditions could point to one of the largest vulnerabilities of the agricultural market.“These type of weather extremes, like floods in the United States or drought in Brazil, and the risk [of their] increase in frequency due to climate change, adds to the uncertainties in global agricultural trade and production,” Fuchs told Mongabay. “We should better prepare for those extremes and vulnerabilities, both economically and environmentally.”Where native vegetation once proliferated, a dual commodities crop of soy (right) and corn (left) now grows. Photo credit: Vini Serafim on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-NDThere are other factors that might play into China’s demand, which fell by almost 8 percent in 2018. African swine fever, which has already wiped out at least a million hogs there, could lower demand for soy, a primary means of fattening hogs.According to Fuchs, the EU, China and other nations should do more to acknowledge the direct effect their trade policies are having on exports and deforestation. This is especially true for a trading partner like the EU that prides itself on its progressive climate policies; a broader agenda would help shift discussions from a purely economic basis to include socio-environmental impacts.“The realization that Europe is often importing goods from deforested land is often a muted discussion.” Says Fuchs. “It would be a first step if China or Europe were to acknowledge the role they play in tropical deforestation.”Banner image: Soy leaves the Amazon by barge, likely for export to Europe or China. Photo credit: JuhaOnTheRoad on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.
LeBron’s Cavs, Warriors set sights on Finals rematch “With Pyongchang 2018 and Beijing 2022, winter sports will move from Europe and North American to Asia,” said Lee who is attending the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo. “We will have more sports fans among Asians because of PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022.”The PyeongChang Games will mark the second time the Olympics have been staged in South Korea, which hosted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnConstruction workers are putting the finishing touches on the 12 competition venues in PyeongChang and Gangneung, including six new facilities that organizers say are about 96 percent complete on average.The athletes and media villages, an international broadcasting center, and a pentagonal stadium that will host the opening and closing ceremonies are expected to be finished by September. Lee said he didn’t think a recent scandal at Olympic sponsor Samsung will impact the Games.A South Korean court has approved the arrest of a billionaire heir to Samsung accused of bribery and other charges in connection to a massive corruption scandal that engulfed the president and riveted the nation.“Samsung has already committed to sponsoring the IOC and the PyeongChang organizing committee,” Lee said.“Even with the recent scandal, I don’t think (the Olympic sponsorship) will be affected,” Lee added. “We already have the agreements, and Samsung has already donated and has agreed to sponsor (the Olympics). So I don’t think it will be affected.”Questioned over a lack of infrastructure at the site of alpine skiing in Jeongseon, Lee said improvements were being made.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Two new hotels are being constructed and the road to Jeongseon is being expanded from two lanes to four lanes,” Lee said. “By the Games time we will have some hotel rooms. The construction of venues is almost done so we will now focus on building roads, hotels, restaurants.”Lee also said North Korea deserved to participate in PyeongChang if they maintained the Olympic principles.“Sports are separate from politics,” Lee said. “As I continually mention, we will keep the basic principle of IOC which says peace is one of the priorities. Those who like peace should participate and can participate and North Korea is no exception, they still can participate if they maintain the Olympic spirit.”Relations between the two Koreas have worsened since North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and a string of rocket launches last year as it continues to expand its nuclear weapons and missile programs.North Korea is taking part in the ongoing Asian Winter Games which Lee cited as a promising sign.On NHL players taking part in PyeongChang, Lee said he met recently with league officials in New York and said he expected the players to be in South Korea.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Municipal councilor nabbed for indiscriminate firing in Leyte Poe chides LTFRB exec over termination of motorcycle taxi pilot study 15 Taal towns now under total lockdown Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town MOST READ LATEST STORIES Lee Hee-beom, president and CEO of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG), delivers speech during a media conference in Sapporo, northern Japan, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Lee expects the 2018 Olympics to usher in a new era for winter sports in Asia. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)SAPPORO, Japan — Lee Hee-beom, the head of the PyeongChang organizing committee, expects the 2018 Olympics to usher in a new era for winter sports in Asia.While the region has traditionally lagged behind North America and Europe in terms of winter sports competition, staging the next two Winter Olympics in Asia would significantly shift the balance, Lee said.ADVERTISEMENT Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely 98% of residents in Taal Volcano’s 14-kilometer danger zone evacuated – DILG View comments
TRACK and field fans can expect some superb performances today as the 12th staging in the Diamond League series takes place in Birmingham, England. This is the final meet before the grand finals scheduled for Zurich and Brussels and it will be the last chance for several top athletes to secure spots. Eight Jamaicans, led by sprinter Shericka Jackson, will be in action today. The other Jamaicans down to compete are Ronald Levy, Tajay Gayle, Yanique Thompson, Yohan Blake, Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Janieve Russell. Both the women’s 200 metres and the men’s 100 metres will be hot as several of the world’s leading athletes will be in action. Following her superb form at the recent European Championships in Berlin, where she ended with three gold medals, including wins in the 100 and 200m, all eyes will be on Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith in the half-lap event. She is the world leader in the 200m following her splendid 21.89 seconds in Berlin. The only sub-22-second athlete in the field this season, Asher-Smith will not have things her own way as she will come up against the likes of Shauna Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, Americans Jenna Prandini and Gabrielle Thomas, Cote d’Ivoire’s Josee Marie Ta Lou , Denmark’s Dafne Schippers and Jamaica’s Jackson. Miller, with a season’s best of 22.06, is the fastest in the field with a life time best of 21,88 and the Commonwealth Games champion will want to remain unbeaten in the half-lap event this season. Jackson is also having a great season in the 200m. She has a personal best of 22.05 and will be hoping for a big run today. Eight men with times under 10 seconds are down to compete in the 100m, where there will be preliminary round action before the grand final. National champion Tyquendo Tracey, with a season’s and personal best of 9.96 seconds, cannot advance to the Diamond League grand finals. Blake, with a best of 9.95, has a chance to do so, however, as he is sitting in eighth position on nine points. He will need a good placing here to guarantee a spot. His training partner, Zharnel Hughes, who is coming off a big win for Great Britain at the recent European Championships is in 10th position on seven points and could leapfrog Blake. Chijindu Ujah, also of Great Britain, is in ninth position on eight points. The United States look set to dominate the event today as the likes of world leader, Noah Lyles, with a best of 9.88, and teammates Michael Rodgers (9.89) and Christian Coleman (9.98) are down to contest the event. Following three defeats in a row, all to American Shamier Little, Jamaica’s Janieve Russell will get a chance to exact revenge before the grand finals when both clash in the women’s 400 metres hurdles. After two close finishes in Diamond League contests, Little scored a comprehensive victory in Canada last week at the NACAC Championships and will be hoping for another big win here but Russell may have learnt a lot from that big defeat and could return to winning ways in Birmingham.
Sports publicist Tanya Lee says there is not enough appreciation for the importance of marketability among athletes. Lee was speaking with The Gleaner about sporting teams building better partnerships with their sponsors and the importance of player endorsements in strengthening such relationships. She said that creating the right image in the media is just as vital as winning is to that athlete in his or her respective sport. “I am still surprised at how many of our sportsmen and women lack the requisite media training and, or appreciation of how much more bankable they can be by building their brands and their media and social media presence,” Lee said. “More of our athletes need to consider brand building a part of their job. Where they may not be savvy, they need to hire social media managers and publicists to enhance their brands and marketability.” However, she said that winning is also important because it increases an athlete’s popularity and fan base. From there, sponsors have a better platform to work with the athlete to promote their goods and services. “A strong social media following and social relevance is also key, as that creates significant brand value whereby an athlete can influence followers to support any brands they are aligned to,” Lee explained. “Being personable and media savvy is also a huge benefit as brands like to associate with athletes who relate well to the public and their customer base.” Some of the biggest sporting stars who have gone on to have lucrative endorsement deals such as Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jamaica’s own Usain Bolt are seen as charismatic figures. Lee said that while charisma is an important factor, athletes who lack this value can still be successful endorsers because of how relevant their athletic prowess and success is to specific brands. “Charisma is an asset to any athlete,” she shared. “Think of Usain Bolt or LeBron James – athletes who endorse some of the world’s biggest brands. But some athletes are less charismatic and still bank heavily for brands based on their skills and wins. Lionel Messi is a good example of the latter.” The discussion regarding athletes’ marketability comes at a time when many of Jamaica’s largest brands have urged sporting teams and associations to not just reach out to them seeking sponsorship without offering anything in return. One notable example is senior vice president of operations and marketing at GraceKennedy Money Services, Noel Greenland, who said last year that brands and athletes who endorse them should put more focus on selling their products in a unique way.
So this week, it has come to light that Sakima Mullings has a retina illness that has put a pause on his boxing career as he explores treatment options before making a return to the ring. In a conversation with The Gleaner at the Stanley Boxing Gym last Saturday, the World Boxing Council Caribbean Boxing Federation welterweight champion expressed that he is facing his fiercest component yet as he fights to maintain vision in his left eye. Mullings, who is best known for twice becoming the Wray & Nephew Contender Series Champion, has been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. According to the American National Eye Institute, retinitis pigmentosa is a disease which causes degeneration in the eyes, specifically in the rods and cones of the retina. It is hereditary and involves a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Common symptoms include difficulty seeing at night and a loss of peripheral vision. In the worst cases, it can cause blindness. The institute also outlines that typically, those living with the disease have difficulty seeing in dim or dark light. They also have difficulty perceiving fine visual and colour details. They may experience difficulty performing essential tasks of daily living such as reading, driving, walking without assistance, or recognising faces and objects. Mullings said that some symptoms had been with him for quite some time, but became more severe after his exhibition bout last March at the launch of the 2018 Contender series. While he doesn’t directly attribute complications of his illness to boxing, it was a tear in Mulling’s retina that signalled that he needed to seek treatment. He has since seen several specialists in different countries and hopes to have a final procedure and go through six to eight weeks of recovery before returning to the sport. Caution My research has uncovered that numerous studies point to a significantly high incidence of ocular and vision-threatening injuries that occur in the sport of boxing. With a hereditary predisposition to retina-related issues, Mullings needs to exercise extreme caution to minimise the likelihood of further ocular injury or irreversible trauma to his eye. By applying preventive measures in the ring from the onset such as, first, thorough sight-function examinations by a ringside ophthalmologist and constant use of ocular and facial protectors, he may have minimised the harsh effects of the sport on his retina. A study conducted on 74 boxers in Italy in cooperation with the New York State Athletic Commission uncovered a prevalence of ocular injuries in boxing. Titled The Ocular Complications of Boxing, the study outlined that at least one ocular trauma was found in 66 per cent of boxers. Vision-threatening injuries defined as significant damage to the angle, lens, macula, or peripheral retina occurred in 58 per cent of boxers. Nineteen per cent of boxers had angle abnormalities. Nineteen per cent of fighters had pathologic cataracts while 24 per cent had retinal tears. With this hereditary disease, very common among boxers, Mullings was always at risk for facing this issue. I hope that all athletes will use this as another example of paying keen attention to securing a good insurance policy that protects them against partial or total disability or any other risks associated with their sport. There are many instances in which injury or illness prevents many of our athletes from being able to continue in their sport, and the anxiety that results from losing the associated income may force them to make decisions that may not be in their best interest healthwise. A good insurance policy will militate against returning to a sport in the face of numerous variables, which may make this decision foolhardy. At 36 years old, and after nine solid years of entertaining local and regional boxing fans, I think Mullings has already made a significant contribution to the sport. I hope that now, his main focus is his health and safety. I wish him and his family the very best and a speedy recovery. One love. – Tanya Lee is a Caribbean sports marketer, author, and publicist. Follow her @tanyattlee on Instagram.
Style Mission, as the name so aptly suggests, is a special event concerning style, yet purposefully styled with a mission, in mind. Sonia Noel and the Sonia Noel Foundation for Creative Arts had begun this mission some years ago, featuring her fashions, all designed to support the less fortunate, the financially challenged and the underprivileged. This year, Style Mission returns with a bang…featuring a cross-section of local designers, all part of Guyana Fashion Week (GFW) 2016, under the creative direction of the Caribbean’s fashion guru, Richard Young, on September 11 at the Pegasus Hotel at 16:00h.The charity is geared towards assisting two outstanding persons in the creative field to seek further medical attention. Popular actor/comedian Henry Rodney and former lead hairstylist and makeup artist for GFW, Corin Gibson, are both in need of assistance to meet their medical expenses. Style Mission 2016 is expected to raise funds so as to enhance the life chance of the individuals.Noel, recently bestowed with an honorary doctorate and 2016 Philanthropic Leader award for her extraordinary philanthropic work, continues her style mission, as it were, by giving back to her community and elevating the ways we seek to develop nation-building confidence among our citizenry.The presentation also comes as a precursor to GFW, highlighting an eclectic range of innovative designers and showcasing stylists, hairdressers and makeup artists alike.The phenomenal Russell Lancaster will grace the proceedings with his inimitable singing style. Also featured at the event will be an auction of jewellery from King’s Jewellery World, a painting by Devina Deputron and a signature piece by Noel.Local celebrities such as Ron Robinson, Merrano Isaacs, Jennifer Thomas and Sonia Yard will also be in attendance and will add that special touch. Ras Camo will be there to entertain with his music.“Giving back is in my DNA,” Noel ecstatically said. It’s a premier event in aid of a worthy cause. Tickets cost $2500 and $4000, and are available at Nigel’s Supermarket and the Pegasus.
Last weekend, “Nothing to Laugh About” opened to sold out audiences at the National Cultural Centre. The show received high praises from patrons on Facebook, as if the uproars of laughter were not enough.Theatre fans would recall the frenzied rush for tickets last weekend when many persons were unable to get their hands on any.Holdovers are not typically associated with this production but because of the high demand for the show from patrons who were unable to acquire tickets for any of the four nights, the franchise has decided to hold one final show.As such, the show is set Saturday, June 9, at the National Cultural Centre. Tickets are available at the National Cultural Centre, Payless Variety and Sir Mars and cost $1000, $1500 and $2000.“Nothing to Laugh About” is a satirical compilation of skits which focus on the humorous aspect of societal issues such as infidelity, homosexuality, politics, corruption, marriage, etc.This year has been rich with controversial events that have all contributed to the inspiration in penning the pieces for the show.
I thought long and hard about replying to Mr Freddie Kissoon’s polemic “If Guyana cannot confront people like Ryhaan Shah and Ravi Dev, it will explode”, (KN 3-7-17) to correct some of his claims. The article repeats views the author has expressed so many times before, I doubt it will have any effect on his conclusions, but I hope he will at least check their premises.He claimed the End of Indian Immigration event at the Cultural Centre was “funded by some businessmen who accumulated vast wealth from Bharrat Jagdeo’s oligarchic rule”. This claim formed the basis of much of his polemic, such as me serving the said “oligarchs’ interest” by riling up Indians, etc. However, the event “Garv aur Izzat”/Pride and Dignity”, hosted by an ad-hoc 18-member group GIIAA, was funded by the Social Cohesion Ministry and the Indian High Commission. Both these two institutions are to be commended.PM Moses Nagamootoo, Minister George Norton, Min Cathy Hughes, and Min Jaipaul Sharma, from the Government benches, were also at the event, as was Adrian Anamayah representing the Opposition Leader. The PM and Min Norton also spoke, to an audience that included the US Ambassador and the British HC, among others. Hardly the local Indian sans cullotte, to be exhorted to revolution.Another claim was “ninety per cent of the Guyanese economy is in the hands of Guyanese Indian business people”, I would like to know the source of this titbit, since I am sure Mr Kissoon wouldn’t have made it up, even if it does seem outlandish.He then claims there are “no exclusive Amerindian, African, Chinese or European school in Guyana, but there is a huge Hindu school at Cornelia Ida owned and operated by a Hindu priest, Aksharananda”. But in so doing, he is comparing apples and oranges – national origin with the Hindu religion. There are numerous Christian Schools, and even a Bahai one, for instance.Mr Kissoon claims when I asked “Indians to rise up”, I “didn’t distinguish the ordinary Indian folks like me and hundreds of thousands like us who have nothing and got nothing under Jagdeo and Ramotar”. Yet the Chron criticised me for talking about Wales workers – which I did – who I think qualify as “ordinary Indian folks”. The Chronicle, however, parsed my statement for not talking about “African Wales workers”. You just cannot please some people.Mr Kissoon also ignored the wider context of my presentation where, according to one report, I “explained that during indentureship, Indian protests against the planters’ exploitation were actually protests against the British colonial state which underwrote sugar interests. The killings of 1939 at Plantation Leonora led to a widening of the franchise in 1947 by the Moyne Commission and the Enmore killings in 1948 to the struggle for independence and democracy. Their descendants, therefore, had a responsibility to protect democracy.“The essence of democracy must be nourished through protest and through the populace, who have earned and fought for their freedom, to guard their freedom jealously. Today, we will do our foreparents the greatest honour to maintain our garv (our pride) and our izzat (our dignity) if we were to take our responsibility, take that inheritance and to rise up and do what is necessary to protect what we have built.”Lastly, Mr Kissoon says, “Unfortunately, Black leaders did not urge Black Guyanese to do what Dev is instilling in Indians to do.” Meaning rise up and protect what they built? He really insults stalwarts, who I respect for their fidelity to the cause like David Hinds, Tacuma Ogunseye, Eric Philips, et al.He would remember he wrote a series of articles about a friend of his he dubbed the “Wild Man”, who instigated the violence emanating from Buxton for an African Resistance to overthrow the State between 2002 and 2008. On the “Black Youths” killed during that period, I would also remind him that I called at the Square of the Revolution at the Rule of Law march, for an inquiry into the then endemic violence. But, sadly, I also had to remind that audience Indians had also been killed.
The new fire station at La Grange, West Bank Demerara (WBD), is expected to be commissioned shortly. This is according to Deputy Fire Chief Compton Sparman who revealed that while he is unable to disclose the exact date of the commissioning, it is expected to be soon. Earlier this year, Fire Chief Marlon Gentle had announced that the Station would begin operations before the 50th Independence anniversary as at that time the building was close to completion.Gentle had explained that the Guyana Fire Service was awaiting fire tenders and trucks that would serve that Station. A sum of $18.6 million has been allocated for the construction of the building; however, the cost of the fire tenders has not yet been disclosed. Residents of La Grange and surrounding areas have been continuously expressing concerns over the fact that the area, which is highly populated and surrounded by developing housing schemes, was not equipped with a fire station.The closest fire station is the Leonora Fire Station located on West Coast Demerara (WCD); however, owing to the distance it cannot effectively manage fires on West Bank Demerara.As such, on most occasions when fires occur, the central fire station located in Georgetown responds as it takes a shorter time to arrive in these areas. The Wales Sugar Estate occasionally offers assistance to surrounding areas. The Estate usually deploys a pump on a Canter truck which uses water from surrounding canals and drains to extinguish the fires. Melanie Browne, a resident of La Grange explained that the commissioning of a fire station in the area would provide much relief as well as a sense of security on the occasion of a fire. “When we have fires over here, it takes a long while for the trucks to reach the house and most times when they get here the place almost completely burnt down,” the woman explained. “So we are glad that we are getting a fire station because it is something that we have been waiting for and something that we need,” she stated.Another resident was quite pessimistic about the announcement as he related that they are constantly being told that the fire station would begin operations “soon” yet to date this is not so. “Man, they always saying that they opening the fire station soon but soon never reach. Since last year abbey hear them seh them fuh start wuk it, yet it still deh close up deh,” Jailall related.