[LINK] Prenup rule for mixed marriages abolished

[LINK] Prenup rule for mixed marriages abolished

jp-logoLocal spouses of foreigners can now purchase a plot of land or a building without having to create a prenuptial agreement separating the ownership of their property, a 42-year-old policy that has just been declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.

Read more here.

Mysterious giant Celtic cross growing in Irish forest (Drone view)

Mysterious giant Celtic cross growing in Irish forest (Drone view)

A giant Celtic cross design, only visible from the sky, has been discovered growing in an Irish forest. The 100-meter (330ft) long religious symbol remained undetected for years until airline passengers noticed it while flying overhead. The cross in Killea forest in county Donegal caused much confusion until an investigation revealed it was a very creative and talented forester Liam Emmery who created it.

[LINK] Company poised to destroy critical orangutan habitat in breach of Indonesia’s moratorium

[LINK] Company poised to destroy critical orangutan habitat in breach of Indonesia’s moratorium

Global Forest Watch Commodities showing PT Mohairson Pawan Khatulistiwa’s concession in Sungai Putri, including the concession area and peat depth. Courtesy of World Resources Institute
Global Forest Watch Commodities showing PT Mohairson Pawan Khatulistiwa’s concession in Sungai Putri, including the concession area and peat depth. Courtesy of World Resources Institute

Sungai Putri is a beautiful natural forest area in West Kalimantan that is home to between 750 and 1750 orangutans.This makes it the third largest population of this Critically Endangered species in the province. Sungai Putri has extensive deep peat areas, up to 14.5 meters deep in places. A company named PT Mohairson Pawan Khatulistiwa apparently plans to clear more than half of their license area for conversion into an industrial tree plantation.

Read more here.

[LINK] Effectiveness of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for reducing fires on oil palm concessions in Indonesia from 2012 to 2015

[LINK] Effectiveness of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for reducing fires on oil palm concessions in Indonesia from 2012 to 2015

The study area: oil palm concessions on Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Inset: details of two portions of the study area displaying non-exhaustive locations of oil palm concessions, including those that are RSPO certified, those that are non-RSPO certified, and those forwhom certification status is unknown, as well as the distribution of peatland. See Data and Processing for a description of categorization of oil palm concessions into those that are RSPO certified and those that are non-RSPO certified.
The study area: oil palm concessions on Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Inset: details of two portions of the study area
displaying non-exhaustive locations of oil palm concessions, including those that are RSPO certified, those that are non-RSPO
certified, and those forwhom certification status is unknown, as well as the distribution of peatland. See Data and Processing for a
description of categorization of oil palm concessions into those that are RSPO certified and those that are non-RSPO certified.

Fire is a common tool for land conversion and management associated with oil palm production. Fires can cause biodiversity and carbon losses, emit pollutants that deteriorate air quality and harm human health, and damage property. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) prohibits the use of fire on certified concessions. However, efforts to suppress fires are more difficult during El Niño conditions and on peatlands. In this paper, we address the following questions for oil palm concessions developed prior to 2012 in Sumatra and Kalimantan, the leading producers of oil palm both within Indonesia and globally: (1) for the period 2012–2015, did RSPO-certified concessions have a lower density of fire detections, fire ignitions, or ‘escaped’ fires compared with those concessions that are not certified? and (2) did this pattern change with increasing likelihood of fires in concessions located on peatland and in dry years? These questions are particularly critical in fuel-rich peatlands, of which approximately 46% of the area was designated as oil palm concession as of 2010. We conducted propensity scoring to balance covariate distributions between certified and non-certified concessions, and we compare the density of fires in certified and non-certified concessions using Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests based on moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer Active Fire Detections from 2012–2015 clustered into unique fire events. We find that fire activity is significantly lower on RSPO certified concessions than non-RSPO certified concessions when the likelihood of fire is low (i.e., on non-peatlands in wetter years), but not when the likelihood of fire is high (i.e., on non-peatlands in dry years or on peatlands). Our results provide evidence that RSPO has the potential to reduce fires, though it is currently only effective when fire likelihood is relatively low. These results imply that, in order for this mechanism to reduce fire, additional strategies will be needed to control fires in oil palm plantations in dry years and on peatlands.

Read more here.

 

 

[LINK] World’s mammals being eaten into extinction, report warns

[LINK] World’s mammals being eaten into extinction, report warns

Hundreds of mammal species – from chimpanzees to hippos to bats – are being eaten into extinction by people, according to the first global assessment of the impact of human hunting.

Bushmeat has long been a traditional source of food for many rural people, but as roads have been driven into remote areas, large-scale commercial hunting is leaving forests and other habitats devoid of wildlife.

Read more here.