Japan Times: A special day out in Tokyo – Kompira Community Events

October 8, 2015 by

If you live in Tokyo or are visiting Hugh Paxton’s Blog has absolutely no hesitation in recommending the following events. Bowling’s always fun, a nice crowd, What the Dickens the same, but this Mount Takao beer garden Friends of the Earth hike is a must. Mount Takao “Demon mountain” has temples, tunnels, wonderful trees; old ones, huge ones. The beer garden offers unrivalled views of the city. Over to Richard.

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH HIKE ON OCTOBER 11: Fujio will be leading at hike for Friends of the Earth on October 11 to the Takao Beer Garden.
The group will meet at 9:00 a.m. in front of the ticket gate at the North exit of JR Takao Station. Starting from Takao Station, the route goes up to Mt. Takao through Ja-taki and the hanging bridge of Trail Number 4, arriving at the beer garden in the early afternoon.
This week the German Beer and Food Festival will be held. All you can eat and drink: 3,300 yen for women and 3,500 yen for men. After enjoying the beer garden, it takes about 40 minutes to walk down the paved road to Takao-san-guchi Station on the Keio Line. The hike is rated moderately easy and the total walking time is about 4.0 hours.
If the hike is canceled due to rain, a cancellation notice will be posted by 7:00 a.m. on the morning of the hike at . More information is available at the FOE websites: (in
English) / (in Japanese).

BOWLING ON OCTOBER 17: The next bowling will be held on Saturday, October 17 at Star Lanes from 8:00 p.m. as usual.

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH HIKE ON OCTOBER 25: Richard will be leading a hike for Friends of the Earth on October 25 to Momokura-yama in Yamanashi Prefecture. We will meet at 8:05 a.m. at JR Shinjuku Station at the north end of Platform 11 (front of the train) and take the Chuo Line JR Holiday Kaisoku departing at 8:14. The train arrives at JR Takao Station at 8:59 and departs at 9:05, arriving at Saruhashi Station at 9:45. (You can also meet us at either Takao Station at
8:59 or Saruhashi Station at 9:45.) Starting from Saruhashi Station, we walk through pine and mixed forests to the top of Momokura-yama, where there are fine views of the mountains of Yamanashi to the north and Tanzawa to the south. Hopefully the autumn leaves will be in full color! We follow a ridge trail back to Saruhashi Station (the FOE website says Torisawa Station, but this is wrong!), stopping off at the “Monkey Bridge” (“Saruhashi”) before taking the Chuo Line back to Hachioji for a stop at the Galway Irish pub. The hike is rated moderately hard and the walking time is about 5.5 hours. A donation of 1,000 yen to Friends of the Earth is requested. If the hike is canceled due to rain, a cancellation notice will be posted by 7:00 a.m. on the morning of the hike at .
More information is available at the FOE websites:
(in English) / (in Japanese).

KOMPIRA PICNIC ON NOVEMBER 1: The next Kompira picnic will be held on Sunday, November 1, starting at 12:00 noon. It’s potluck, so bring food and drinks both for yourself and to share.

(open-stage) event is held on the first Sunday of every month at the British pub, What the Dickens, in Ebisu from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Anyone can get up on stage to read a poem, tell a story, sing a song, play music, dance, act, do performance art, a comedy routine, a magic show–whatever! Or you can come just to listen! For more info check out the What the Dickens website, which includes a map, at:

TOKYO POETRY JOURNAL LAUNCH EVENT ON NOVEMBER 13: The first issue of the Tokyo Poetry Journal will be published soon, featuring poems from our very own Allyn Takahashi. To launch the new journal, a poetry reading featuring the work of poets who contributed to the journal will be held on November 13 at Tokyo Salon (located in the basement of Las Chicas in Omotesando). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7:30 p.m. The charge is 3,000 yen, which includes a copy of the journal and a drink ticket. In addition to the poetry, there will be comedy and live music.

YEAR-END CONCERT ON DECEMBER 27: I got an e-mail from Shuko, saying that she has already booked the cafe Oasis One on December 27 for what has become an annual year-end concert. More details to follow as they become available!

Bunyan and Classics, a 12 year old daughter and Ursula Le Guin

October 8, 2015 by

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has just read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I bought it as part of my completely unsuccessful campaign to make my daughter read classic literature.

I shall spare her Pilgrim’s Progress.

It is, without doubt, the stupidest book I have ever endured. I know it, like its author, was a product of its time and that makes me extremely glad that I am a product of the here and now.

I shall also spare her Herodotus. He’s much more amusing but will smite dead any interest in classic literature. She’ll spot all his flaws and inventions and pretenses at knowledge in a nanosecond.

Instead my beloved daughter will have to listen to and read A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. That book has stayed with me ever since I read it when I was about her age and still now remains wonderful. It is in its way about a pilgrim and progress, foolishness and growing up, overcoming adversity, achieving wisdom but it doesn’t force all that down your throat. It is a great story. That’s the way to make a young girl read more. Or so hope I.

We’ll see if this approach works! Incidentally my beloved daughter has never expressed any interest in Harry Potter. In her social circle Harry Potter is for nerds. Let us hope Ursula Le Guin’s hero, Ged, isn’t.

If he is, she and I will sit down together and she’ll be enjoying the complete works of Charles Dickens whether she likes it or not. I’ll start her off with Bleak House.


From Hugh’s library in Bangkok!

Frogg: a short story about a demented house and an unlucky man

October 8, 2015 by

Hugh Paxton’s Blog sometimes writes a short story. This one has its moments but the ending is perhaps a bit weak. Enjoy the good bits!

Cheers from Bangkok!



Corruption in UN and FW: New UN Report Details Ecosystem Services of Almost One Billion Dollars Annually in Four Pilot Countries

October 7, 2015 by

Hugh Paxton’s Blog would not describe the following as anything I’d call remotely interesting. What I call interesting is the former UN director’s just been hauled away for massive corruption and bribery. What is even more interesting is that this horrible untrustworthy piece of garbage comes from a tiny and utterly insignificant island group. Why was this horrible and childish man given a position of such authority? It makes a mockery of the UN. I regard that as a shame. And this sort of behavior makes the following good news highly questionable.

From: Tanawan Sarabuddhi [mailto:tanawan.sarabuddhi@unep.org] On Behalf Of UNEP Asia Pacific Regional News
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2015 1:14 PM
Subject: New UN Report Details Ecosystem Services of Almost One Billion Dollars Annually in Four Pilot Countries

New UN Report Details Ecosystem Services of Almost One Billion Dollars Annually in Four Pilot Countries

ProEcoServ assessed ecosystem services such as water, soil retention, shoreline protection, carbon sequestration and pollination in South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Viet Nam and Chile

Nairobi, 7 October 2015 – A project aimed at integrating the economic value of ecosystems into government policies has identified almost one billion dollars of benefits in four pilot countries, highlighting the importance of ecosystem conservation to the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The four-year ProEcoServ, the flagship project of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) focused on the valuation and mainstreaming of ecosystem services into policy design, studied four pilot countries: South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Viet Nam and Chile.

From soil retention services worth $622 million in Trinidad and Tobago to $166 million in savings through an ecosystem service-based disaster risk approach in South Africa, the project’s final report adds further weight to body of evidence proving ecosystems are crucial to sustainable development.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “The true value of ecosystems is frequently misrepresented in markets and economic decision-making. But the real economies that underpin our societies are themselves fundamentally rooted in the natural world. While ecosystems provide multiple health, scientific and aesthetic benefits, we must enhance our capacity to also reflect their economic value to national and local communities.

“As we take up the challenge of the Global Goals, capturing the ecological and economic value of healthy ecosystems enables us to speak to all three dimensions of sustainable development, including social equity and livelihoods.”

Crucially, the project developed ecosystem assessment tools and products to be used by policymakers to assess the value of ecosystems and to integrate this value into investment decisions and macro-economic models. ProEcoServ left a lasting legacy in the pilot countries in their spheres of governance, ranging from local, provincial, national and regional levels.

Some of the benefits the project uncovered are as follows:

Trinidad and Tobago

• Soil retention services worth up to $622 million annually were identified in the northern range tropical forests in northern Trinidad, equivalent to 6 per cent of governmental tax revenue.

• Coral reefs provide up to $49.6 million of shoreline protection services annually to the national economy.

South Africa

• In the Eden District of South Africa, an area affected by natural disasters of floods, wildfires and droughts, financial savings of up to $160 million were identified in the 2003-2008 public budget.

• 400,000 jobs can be created in South Africa from ecosystem restoration activities.

Viet Nam

• In the Ca Mau province, 45,523 hectares of mangroves generate ecosystem services worth up to $1,560 – 2,985 per hectare, per year

• Of this, up to $1,720 comes from carbon sequestration.


• Data from an Earth Observation System, a satellite-based information system, was combined with data on tourism flows collected from internet-based platforms to assemble information on water and ecotourism systems in Chile.

These findings, and the tools developed, ensure the project has contributed to policies integrating the value of ecosystem services.

In South Africa, for example, the role of ecosystem services is now recognized as a part of an ecological infrastructure, with an active contribution to the $93 billion National Infrastructure Development Plan.

In Trinidad and Tobago, ProEcoServ demonstrated policy intake to the Development of Land Bill before the Parliament, as well as the Spatial Development Strategy and National Development Plan.

In Viet Nam, the project’s findings were used in land-use planning at the Ca Mau province level, the National Green Growth Strategy to 2020, and the National Strategy for Environmental Protection to 2020.

In Chile, one of the results was the first-ever tourism development plan for the Municipality of San Pedro de Atacama, which clearly recognizes the role of ecosystem services in sustainable land and tourism management in one of the driest landscape in the world.

Notes to editors

The project built on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), and is part of the ongoing MA follow-up process.

Download the full report here

Download a set of infographics summarizing the key findings here

Supporting images (Wild pollinator in action, Trinidad and Tobago; Tourists enjoy the sunset at Moon Valley, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile; The Ca Mau National Park, Ca Mau Province, Viet Nam) can be downloaded here. Please credit ProEcoServ:

For further information, contact:

Shereen Zorba, Head of News and Media, UNEP
+254 788 526000, shereen.zorba

The Beagle that went too far and still has far to go!

October 7, 2015 by

Twas a dark and stormy night and a chef had laid out all the makings of a fine beef stroganoff. Thin fillet, sliced with care, red peppers, sliced with care, a few green peppers to surprise the palate, and sour cream, paprika, rice in the rice cooker aromatic and things looking good.

The dog ate the beef. Gulped it. In one Beagly go. What really pissed me off is that it didn’t even taste it! Just a great swallow!

It was a moment that made all the difference.

Buggly had just over stepped the mark.

I gave him a smacking and he managed a growl. That’s really not going to work with me. I’m not a strong man but hauling a big fat stealing beagle up and watching it trying to bite my face fills me with no fear. The beagle saw in my eyes a relentless and undying hatred and I decided then and there that Buggly, our beagle, would die.

Annabel came home and cooed and whooed about Buggly and said “Oh Daddy! You smashed his house!”

For the record I didn’t. I simply kicked it in utter frustration and repaired it immediately. Nice carpentry work on that dog house, despite its vile occupant’s attempts to eat it and break out.

That was a close one for Buggly. If Annabel hadn’t come back Buggly right now would be burning in the hell it belongs.

“Oh poor boy, Buggly!” said Annabel, “Daddy you’re so mean!” then she immediately forgot her dog (as usual) and raced upstairs to chat with the friends she’d spent all day at school with.

The dog and I had unfinished business.

I gave the thieving stinking piss over my outdoor 3D art workshop big eared brainless bastard a bash on the head with a broken Mongolian mandolin wrecked by Buggly. Great boing. Thin wood. Thick skull. No brain. In retrospect a pointless exercise!

“What was that, Daddy?” an anxious Annabel voice from upstairs.

“Me,” I explained.

I had a chat with Chang.

I had a subsequent chat with Annabel and Midi. I explained that if we were going to New York, Buggly would not be coming with us.

“New life, new home, new dog!” I said.

Annabel was heartbroken for about three minutes and talked about “abandonment”. Four minutes later she was choosing new names for her new dog in New York. She has about as much emotional attachment to her beagle as it has to her.

Chang will look after the beagle. The two of them actually like each other. Buggly’s going to Burma. And he won’t notice the difference.

Beagles are like that. But Buggly will be loved in Burma and spoiled rotten. Rather than being slaughtered violently by me in Bangkok. Or more sensibly, sold to a restaurant. It is a pedigree. And fat. Current rate 500 Baht a kilo. With a certificate of pedigree that fee could soar!

We have a degree of pedigree upstairs come to think of it.

I’ll have a rethink.


Animals, humans, stupid liberals, little snotty dying children and Nat Geo on Ivory

October 7, 2015 by

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is an animal lover but this doesn’t mean that I love all animals. My dog for example. Last night it scoffed all the ingredients for my carefully planned dinner without tasting any of them. One gulp. Gone.

I love people but that doesn’t mean I love all people.

This animal lover thing taints many of my environmental and wildlife conservation arguments with liberal people who think they love people, especially poor people, and that anybody who loves animals is missing the point. Is inhumane.

A Hugh Paxton Blog Example:

When I talked about the importance of saving tigers to a Dutch couple they looked at me and my enthusiasm with the kind of expressions that I frequently see. Then the Dutch guy said with a look of utter moral authority on his face “I would rather save a single child than all the tigers.”

“Have you?”


“Have you saved a single child? In your life?”

There was a brief silence.

We both knew the answer to that one. He hadn’t. I have saved hundreds. This ethically superior Dutch Cheese had not, I knew, ever been in a refugee camp, more to the point he’d never saved a child outside a refugee camp which to my mind is more important and helpful.

If it’s a refugee camp then there is a degree of authority and regulation. A kid there is unlikely to die unless it falls into an ineptly constructed pit toilet.

Most kids who need saving are in shit-hole huts in crummy neglected farms being raped by their uncles and neglected by everybody.

This Dutch guy had never held a snotty nosed four year old with full-blown AIDS clinging to his neck and wanting a hug and had been given a hug and a (slightly old) bear, nor had he delivered a five kilo sack of beef to help the snot nosed kid resume a bit of vigour.

He had never seen dead children lying all over the place in a fraudulent African orphanage.

But he assumed a higher moral ground over me because I was advocating tiger conservation.

I looked at this couple and knew I’d seen things that they would never see. Never understand. They’d never make the link between wildlife conservation and human well-being. It is unfair for me to assume a moral high ground?

Yes! It is! I’ve been to over 100 countries (not for beach holidays), met a lot of people, and I’ve seen the good and the bad and the potential.

Next time you meet somebody like my Dutchman and talk about elephants, and they say “I’d rather save one child than an elephant” stick the following in their face.

Grab a copy of September’s National Geographic – an extraordinary feature on ivory. If any liberal nerk ever argues that saving elephants comes second fiddle to helping starving children this will give you every possible counter-argument. The horrors of the trade far exceed slaughtered elephants!

It is probably the best Nat Geo feature I have ever seen!Search Results
Tracking the Illegal Tusk Trade | National Geographic

Elephant ivory is a key source of funding for armed groups in central Africa like the Lord’s Resistance Army. National Geographic commissioned the creation of …
The Human Toll of Ivory Poaching | National Geographic
Ivory’s Human Toll. Armed groups, rangers, villagers—meet the people who are profiting or suffering in the central African poaching frenzy. Hear National …
How Killing Elephants Finances Terror in Africa | National …
Aug 12, 2015 – Armed groups help fund operations by smuggling elephant ivory. … National Geographic needs your help to protect elephants and to continue …
Who Buys Ivory? You’d Be Surprised – National Geographic …
Aug 12, 2015 – A new international survey reveals what’s really driving the demand side of the ivory market.
Ivory Worship – National Geographic magazine
Filipinos generally display two types of ivory santos: either solid carvings or images whose heads and hands, sometimes life-size, are ivory, while the body is …
The History of the Ivory Trade – National Geographic …
This video excerpt from that film explores the history of the ivory trade and the resulting devastation of Africa’s elephant population—from 26 million elephants in …
Exposing the Illegal International Ivory Trade on World …
Posted by National Geographic Channels on August 12, 2015. (0). More ». ITHUMBA … The series opener, Explorer: Warlords of Ivory, premieres Sunday, Aug.
Watch a Ton of Ivory Get Crushed in Times Square
Jun 19, 2015 – An industrial rock crusher pulverizes a ton of raw and carved ivory tusks and statues in Times … By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic.
Explorer: Warlords of Ivory – National Geographic Channel
Investigative journalist Bryan Christy is setting out on a groundbreaking mission to expose how the ivory trade funds some of Africa’s most notorious militias and …


Brigitte’s Pick: Schönes Gedicht für Dich

October 5, 2015 by

Not a very typical Brigitte’s Pick! And not a typical Hugh Paxton’s Blog post. But Marlies wrote it, Brigitte picked it and well…here it is!

Subject: FW: Schönes Gedicht für Dich

What If?

What if there were no way to do life wrong?
What if all your missteps
And the resulting storms of shame and regret
Even in their impossibly frustrating and agonizing repetition
What if these iterations
Are each simply one less time that painful step has to be taken
Before a wiser and deeper truth is revealed to you?

And what if that relentless driver of perfection
Who clamors obsessively in your ear
Especially loud in the vulnerable moments,
Saying you have never done, and will never be enough
Is only as real as clouds are graspable by your hands?

What if it is neither possible to completely fail nor completely satisfy yourself?
What if, when all your ideas of right and wrong are stripped away
The only remaining truth is that your very choices,
Your stumblings and the mistakes you’ve made,
The risks and chances you’ve taken,
Your myriad successes and failures
All speak a simple and quiet truth
Of who you are meant to be

What if how you “should” be
Is being defined every day
And in the most exact terms
By your very being: your unique, messy and imperfectly human life

What if the “right” way to live
Could not possibly be anything other
Than exactly who you are?

Marlies Alpers – Gabriel

Owner of the African Embassy Ltd ( Hatari Lodge, Shu’mata Camp & TAE Safaris)

Founder of the MomellaFoundation & The Elephant Embassy

Cellphone: +255 754 510 195

Office: +255 752 553 456

P.O.Box 3171 Arusha Tanzania

Email: marlies

Web: theafricanembassy.com

On Oct 2, 2015, at 13:19, Brigitte Alpers <imagine2> wrote:

nein nicht wirklich, rege mich nur auf wenn er sich wischi waschi ausdrueckt, sind aber sicherlich alle Maenner so…

Kind regards

Brigitte Alpers

Tel. 061 236 716

Cel. 081 285 7255

6 Trift Street, Ausspannplatz

PO Box 9665, Windhoek, Namibia


Hm Odi deine Zeilen lesen sich als ob Du an Vertrauen in Andre verlierst?

Marlies Alpers – Gabriel

Marlies Alpers – Gabriel

Owner of the African Embassy Ltd ( Hatari Lodge, Shu’mata Camp & TAE Safaris)

Founder of the MomellaFoundation & The Elephant Embassy

Cellphone: +255 754 510 195

Office: +255 752 553 456

P.O.Box 3171 Arusha Tanzania

Email: marlies

Web: theafricanembassy.com

On Oct 2, 2015, at 12:25, Brigitte Alpers <imagine2> wrote:

ja ich werd sie dann in mein Zimmer stellen muessen, habe grad mehr Platz weil wir die couch da raus und ins studio gepackt haben..

Kind regards

Brigitte Alpers

Tel. 061 236 716

Cel. 081 285 7255

6 Trift Street, Ausspannplatz

PO Box 9665, Windhoek, Namibia


Scheisse man.

Odi sei stark und stärke Andre und nimm das mal in die Hand.

Kann man dei Bank restaurieren lassen? Könnt ihr diese auf eure Verandah stellen?


Marlies Alpers – Gabriel

Owner of the African Embassy Ltd ( Hatari Lodge, Shu’mata Camp & TAE Safaris)

Founder of the MomellaFoundation & The Elephant Embassy

Cellphone: +255 754 510 195

Office: +255 752 553 456

P.O.Box 3171 Arusha Tanzania

Email: marlies

Web: theafricanembassy.com

On Sep 29, 2015, at 13:05, Brigitte Alpers <imagine2> wrote:

hier paar huebsche Bilder vom Brand..

erwuergen will man diesen Jungen, Hoffnung fuer ihn steht nicht gross angeschrieben, sein Vater hat auch aufgegeben.

Jetzt hat er zugegeben das er die Fahrraeder geklaut hat (nachdem ers ung. 100Mal vorher verneint hatte),

(die Fahrrader mussten wir auch zurueckkaufen von denen an die er sie schon verkauft hat;

denn ist besser so, insurance wird nur minimal auszahlen)

den Brand hat er noch nicht zugegeben, das sollte noch kommen wenn er nicht arrested werden will,

dh wenn diese forensic Leute sich mal entscheiden aufzutauchen auch mal..

ja und so mekt man auch mehr und mehr was auch noch weg ist,

zB irgendein Motor von Andre, das hat dieser Junge dann heute Morgen erst zugegeben und kurz nachnach wieder verneint…(nachdem er auch nochmal heute Morgen – nach dem Klauen und anzuenden – viel Geld leihen wollte,

never mind das er sowieso noch viel Geld schuldet..)

ich kann da gar nicht mehr zuhoeren..weiss auch nicht, irgendwo zieht Andre die an und laesst sich so ausbeuten, er weiss es auch selber aber scheints nicht aendern zu koennen.

Kind regards

Andre Gast

PO Box 9665 | 6 Trift Street
Windhoek | Namibia
Tel | +264 61 236 716
Cell | +264 (0)81 251 6339
Fax2Email | 088 643 723
Fax | +264 237 252
Email | imagine1

A nice dragon poem

October 4, 2015 by

“We were talking of DRAGONS, Tolkien and I
In a Berkshire bar. The big workman
Who had sat silent and sucked his pipe
All the evening, from his empty mug
With gleaming eye glanced towards us:
“I seen ’em myself!” he said fiercely.”

E-Alert: Why did the Uncompahgre River turn orange last week?

October 2, 2015 by

Hugh Paxton’s blog is proud to associate myself with some serious greenies! They care!

That’s why I care about them!

Cheers from Bangkok where rivers routinely turn orange!

From: Colum Muccio [mailto:colum_muccio@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2015 11:37 PM
To: Tanya Ishikawa; Charlie & Kim Paxton; Hugh and Midori Paxton
Subject: RE: E-Alert: Why did the Uncompahgre River turn orange last week?

Well, this is what happens when the African Palm plantations flush their oxidation ponds.


Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association, Guatemala
Asociación Rescate y Conservación de Vida Silvestre, Guatemala
(cc502)5704-2563, 7830-1374


October 1, 2015 by

Arnold caught a trout. And put it back. Another of my neighbours in that tedious little nothing happens village in Maulds Meaburn, Cumbria. If they aren’t being busted for running a marijuana empire, they’re still being old and energetic and fishing. A beautiful fish! 20 lbs. And Arnold let it resume with its life and loves.

I reckon that’s why I like England!


From: arnold patefield
To: Hugh Paxton
Subject: Re: trout

Hi. Hugh. I noted you like trout, this one I caught last week 20 lbs.plus. I had to put it back, it would not fit in the frying pan!

this one I caught last week , just over 20 lbs. I put it back, it would not fit in the frying pan!


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