Endangered rhino population up 1000% in Tanzania following poaching crackdown

July 15, 2019 by  
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The president of Tanzania reported that since his election, the population of endangered rhinos has increased by 1000 percent. Following years of out-of-control poaching, President John Magufuli fulfilled his promise to crack down on wildlife trafficking and went so far as to use his own government security task force to arrest poachers. The president’s office stated that in 2015, there were only 15 surviving rhinos left in the country. Within the first year as head of state, Magufuli had arrested major Chinese smugglers and sentenced them to 15 to 20 years in prison each. According to government reports, the arrests set a strong example to poaching gangs that regardless of status within the Chinese elite class, Magufuli meant business. Related: Ivory Queen sentenced to 15 years for illegal ivory smuggling In addition to cracking down on poachers , the government has supported a park ranger program to collar and track elephants, which enables them to monitor and protect the species better. Four years later, the current rhino population is estimated to be about 167. Similarly, the elephant population is estimated to have risen 50 percent due to legal efforts against endangered wildlife crimes. “As a result of the work of a special taskforce launched in 2016 to fight wildlife poaching, elephant populations have increased from 43,330 to 60,000 presently,” an official from the Tanzanian government said. Foreign conservationists are skeptical about the president’s claims, arguing that the majority of rhino newcomers are imported and the increase is not thanks to effective breeding or protection measures. CITES also shows that Tanzania had 133 rhinos four years ago, not 15 as the government has stated. “This sounds like very good news, but we should view these figures with caution until there’s verification — there’s no way that has occurred through breeding and protection alone,” said Mark Jones, the policy lead at Born Free Foundation, a wildlife charity . According to environmentalists, the breeding and gestation period is too long for the population to have grown through natural biological processes in just four years. “They mature late, have long gestation periods and don’t produce many young,” Jones said. “Both species take a long time biologically to reproduce.” Via The Independent Image via René Mayorga

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Endangered rhino population up 1000% in Tanzania following poaching crackdown

Bamboo Luum Temple preaches sustainable development in Tulum

July 15, 2019 by  
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Unchecked development in the rapidly growing Mexican beach town of Tulum is threatening to destroy the region’s environment. In hopes of inspiring more sustainable growth, local architectural firm CO-LAB Design Office created Luum Temple, an eco-friendly bamboo structure for a new conservation-minded residential development called Luum Zama. Located in a conserved area of native jungle in Tulum, the bamboo community structure features five catenary arches, the shapes of which were informed by parametric modeling. Inspired by the concrete curves of legendary Spanish and Mexican architect Felix Candela, CO-LAB Design Office crafted a five-sided catenary structure that uses bamboo sustainably grown in the neighboring Chiapas state. Flat sections of bamboo were bent on site, cold molded on the ground, then screwed and strapped together to create the arched beams. For structural stability, the architects wove the beams together with a structural triangular pattern along with two continuous layers of tightly woven bamboo lattice. Local zacate (straw thatch) was used as roofing to protect the structure from rain and heat gain. Related: Beautiful bamboo pavilion in Bali translates the flexibility of yoga into architecture “Luum Temple is a show case for sustainable development, it combines innovative design and engineering with artisanal building and organic sustainable materials,” explain the architects. “The arched vaults support each other, co-existing in structural dependency, serving as a reminder to the community of our interdependence and the accomplishments we can achieve when we work together.” The Luum Temple will be used to host “healing programs” such as yoga , meditation workshops, and community gatherings. CO-LAB Design Office also designed the master plan for the Luum Zama residential development. Unlike developers in Tulum that clear cut existing jungle to maximize sellable land, Luum Zama has set aside half of its 8-hectare are for conservation of existing vegetation while also adding a reforestation program with endemic plants from the region. The architects hope that the project will help raise awareness for the urgency of conservation and regulation of construction in Tulum. + CO-LAB Design Office Images by CO-LAB Design Office, Cesar Bejar, and Pakal Egger Tonatiuh Egger

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Bamboo Luum Temple preaches sustainable development in Tulum

DoneGood challenges Amazon Prime Days with rival discounts that help the planet

July 15, 2019 by  
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DoneGood, an e-commerce platform, is taking the ‘high road’ by offering exclusively ethical brands, but it isn’t above aiming to steal the loyalty of its competitor’s customers on the highly anticipated Amazon Prime Day. On July 15 and 16 — the same days that Amazon will offer major Prime discounts — DoneGood is hosting “Better Days.” According to DoneGood representatives, using this site instead of Amazon is a no-brainer. The sales are “better than Prime Day — you get great deals and create ‘Better Days’ for people and the planet.” DoneGood is an e-commerce platform that only includes socially responsible brands that have been vetted and tagged for searchable categories like environmentally friendly, vegan or women’s empowerment. The site conveniently knocks out hours of due diligence and research that well-intended customers have had to do in order to find eco-friendly brands that pay fair wages and treat workers with respect. The site contains hundreds of brands and a wide variety of projects, including sunglasses made from ocean plastic and candles that give refugees a fair wage. By contrast, workers at Amazon have filed lawsuits for mistreatment, including long hours and limited water breaks. Some Amazon workers are planning a strike during Amazon’s Prime Days. Related: Carbon footprint breakdown: Pros and cons of online versus in-store shopping DoneGood also offers a downloadable plugin that users can run simultaneously with their regular searches on Google, Amazon or other major retailer sites. The plugin will highlight the items within the user’s search that are approved as ethical, mission-driven items. “The dollars we all spend are the world’s most powerful force for change ,” Cullen Schwarz, founder of DoneGood, said. “Americans donated $400 billion to charity last year but spent $130 trillion buying stuff. If even a fraction of that spending is diverted to brands that are reducing poverty, protecting the environment, making the world better, the impact of that is huge.” + DoneGood Image via PhotoMix

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DoneGood challenges Amazon Prime Days with rival discounts that help the planet

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