Archive for April, 2011

Andy Luck On The Move! And On The Movies!

April 22, 2011

Wildlife photographer and film maker, Andy Luck, is shucking off his BBC boots and is going solo.This is exciting! Andy is professional and passionate. His stuff captures the real stuff!

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has seen his just completed documentary on tiger conservation in SE Asia and rates it as formidable – sleek, perfectly crafted, balanced and a visual treat.

Check Andy’s wildopeneye website and blog for examples of his work. It is attached to my blog.  Need a film making? Give him a whirl!

Brigitte’s Pick: What would you do?

April 21, 2011

Brigittes pic

If you were around in 1919 and came upon the following poster…

I mean, seriously … wouldn’t you just keep drinking?

Wildlife crime update

April 21, 2011

News Round-Up: Wildlife Law Enforcement Actions ASEAN region March 2011

Indonesia Investigation by BKSDA leads to arrest and seizure of wildlife The Natural Resource Conservation Agency in Riau and West Sumatra Province (BKSDA), with support from WWF Indonesia’s Tiger Protection Unit, arrested a suspected tiger smuggler in West Sumatra, Indonesia, following a 3-day investigation. The arrest also resulted in the seizure of the skin of an adult male tiger, a live python, and body parts of a Serow and muntjac (barking deer). WWF, 11 March 2011 (http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?199594/Suspected-tiger-smuggler-arrested-following–WWF-BKSDA-investigation)

2 Kuwaitis arrested and 40 pythons seized in Jakarta airport Indonesian airport officials in Jakarta foiled an attempt by 2 Kuwaitis to smuggle 40 pythons in their luggage to Dubai. The 2 were arrested and could face up to 7 years in jail and a fine of USD32,000.00 upon conviction of smuggling wildlife. AFP, 25 March 2011 (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gws0qlR5plzQOJkbTZ79pWrCq-EQ?docId=CNG.8b848330a828f444a4c88f66180c8ffa.111%202.) Fly.co.uk, 28 March 2011 (http://www.fly.co.uk/news/2-men-arrested-at-soekarno%E2%80%93hatta-international-airport-for-smuggling-40-snakes-1983632.html)

Malaysia Perhilitan Pahang seize various wildlife meat and parts; Restaurant owner to face charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 On March 15, 2011, officers from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) in Pahang seized around 17 kilos of common barking deer meat, 2 skinned mouse deer, 54 Argus pheasant feathers, a White-breasted waterhen and several pieces of dried tiger parts. The restaurant owner, a second-time offender, could face RM600,000.00 in fines and time in jail for illegal possession of said wildlife meat and parts under the Malaysia Wildlife Conservation Act 2010. National Geographic Daily News, 16 March 2011 (http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/16/tiger_parts_seized_in_restaurant_raid/) Daily Independent, 23 March 2011 (http://www.independentngonline.com/DailyIndependent/Article.aspx?id=30884) Wild boar meat confiscated by Perhilitan Pahang The Perhilitan Pahang seized in March wild boar meat from 2 houses in the town of Triang. 2 local men and a woman are expected to be charged for possession of the meat without a license. National Geographic Daily News, 16 March 2011 (http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/16/tiger_parts_seized_in_restaurant_raid/) Daily Independent, 23 March 2011 (http://www.independentngonline.com/DailyIndependent/Article.aspx?id=30884)

1 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and 2 Blue-crowned Hanging-parrots seized in Janda Baik It was reported on March 15, 2011 that the Perhilitan Pahang seized in February a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and 2 Blue-crowned Hanging-parrots from a man in the town of Janda Baik. National Geographic Daily News, 16 March 2011 (http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/16/tiger_parts_seized_in_restaurant_raid/) Daily Independent, 23 March 2011 (http://www.independentngonline.com/DailyIndependent/Article.aspx?id=30884)

5 Arrested for possession of 2 kilos of pangolin meat and scales On March 23, 2011, the Terengganu Wildlife and National Parks rangers arrested 4 Vietnamese and 1 Cambodian for possessing 2 kilos of pangolin meat and scales. Under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, the offenders can be fined not more than RM100,000, or jailed not more than 3 years, or both. Bernama.com, 24 March 2011 (http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=573484)

Philippines Truckload of corals seized in Lapu-Lapu City by Central Visayas operatives On March 10, 2011, the Central Visayas operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) seized a truckload of corals abandoned in barangay Punta Engano in Lapu-Lapu City. It was reported that a charge of dereliction of duty would be filed against Punta Engano barangay officials for failing to detect illegally harvested corals in the area. Inquirer, 10 March 2011 (http://globalnation.inquirer.net/cebudailynews/news/view/20110310-324523/Seized-corals-point-to-Punta-Engao-officials)

6 Chinese poachers arrested in Balabac, Palawan; 7 live turtles and 2 dead turtles recovered Philippine authorities arrested 6 Chinese poachers who were caught poaching in a reef area near the coastline of Balabac, Palawan. 7 live sea turtles and 2 dead marine turtles were recovered. Inquirer, 25 March 2011 (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view/20110325-327567/Six-Chinese-poachers-nabbed-in-Palawan)

Thailand Royal Thai Police arrests 2 suspected major ivory dealers On March 29, 2011, the Royal Thai Police raided and searched 2 underground carving factories and depots, which resulted in the seizure of an undisclosed amount of ivory, including large pieces of African elephant tusks, hippo incisors and other bones. The operation also led to the arrest of 2 Thai citizens associated with the factories. The 2 suspects face charges under various laws including Thailand’s Wild Animal Reservation and Preservation Act B.E. 2535. FREELAND Foundation, 30 March 2011 (http://freeland.org/eng/news/press-release/231-suspected-major-ivory-dealer-nabbed-in-thailand-police-bust-traffickers-and-illegal-carving-factories)

Viet Nam 2 northern white-cheeked gibbons seized in Binh Duong Through the cooperation of the provincial Environmental Police and FPD, 2 northern white-cheeked gibbons (Hylobates concolor leucogennys) were rescued from a private business establishment in Binh Duong. The owner could not present any certificate of origin for the animals, which are listed as a rare species in group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP – a group of wild animals forbidden to be exploited or used for commercial purposes. Education for Nature – Vietnam, 2 March, 2011, (http://www.envietnam.org/E_News/E_406/Binh%20Duong-Seizure-of-two-northern-white-cheeked-gibbons.html)

Nghe An Environmental Police seize a total of 193kg. of wildlife On March 7, 2011, Nghe An Environmental Police seized a shipment containing 17kg. of porcupines, 9kg. of monitor lizards and 167kg. of turtles, being transported in a van that was registered in Laos, and planned to be sold in Dien Chau district of Nghe An province.

Education for Nature – Vietnam Newsletter (April 2011) 1 Asiatic black bear cub seized by Viet Nam authorities On March 7, 2011, cooperation between the Police and the Sy Kon district FPD resulted in the seizure of an Asiatic black bear cub (Selenarctos thibetanus), weighing approximately 2kg., while being transported in a bus from Laos. The suspect was temporarily detained by authorities. Education for Nature – Vietnam News Brief, 17 March 2011 (http://www.envietnam.org/E_News/E_408/E_408.html)

1 Northern white-cheeked gibbon confiscated in Ho Chi Minh City On March 10, 2011, local police in Ho Chi Minh City confiscated a northern white-cheeked gibbon (Hylobates concolor leucogennys) from a local resident. The gibbon was transferred to the Cu Chi Rescue Center. Education for Nature – Vietnam Newsletter (April 2011) 2 Asiatic black bear cubs confiscated by Kon Tum FPD On March 14, 2011, Kon Tum FPD confiscated 2 Asiatic black bear cubs (Selenarctos thibetanus) from local residents. The bears were transferred to the Tam Dao Bear Sanctuary. Education for Nature – Vietnam Newsletter (April 2011) Suspect in Van Ninh fined for illegal possession of various wildlife seized by the local Van Ninh FPD The local Van Ninh FPD seized 4 monitor lizards (Varanus sp.), 2 brush-tailed porcupines (Atherurus macrourus), 2 turtles, 35 snakes, and 3 civets illegally stored at a residence in Van Ninh district, Khanh Hoa province. The suspect received an administrative fine.

Education for Nature – Vietnam News Brief, 25 March 2011 (http://www.envietnam.org/E_News/E_409/E_409.html) 3 King Cobras seized by Hanoi authorities Hanoi authorities seized a sack containing 3 King Cobras (Ophiophagus Hannah), weighing a total of 27kg., inside a car. The snakes were purchased by the owner in Lao Cai province to sell in Hanoi. King cobras, being under group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP, are forbidden to be in captivity, hunted, traded or killed.

Education for Nature – Vietnam News Brief, 31 March 2011 (http://www.envietnam.org/E_News/E_410/E_410.html) Binh Duong courts sentence 15 suspects involved in illegal selling of tigers Binh Duong courts sentenced Mr. Huynh Van Hai, owner of the Than Canh Tourism Park in Binh Duong province, to 3 years in prison for illegally selling tigers. 14 others, including his son, linked to the illegal activities received sentences ranging from 18 months probation to 30 months in prison. In addition to imprisonment, Hai and 2 others were fined more than VND 1.4 billion (approximately USD70,000.00). Education for Nature – Vietnam, 25 March 2011 (http://www.envietnam.org/E_News/E_409/Statement-tiger-bust-Thanh-Canh-March-25-2011.pdf) Education for Nature – Vietnam, 26 March 2011 (http://www.envietnam.org/library/Articles%20for%20news%20media%20section/Vietnam-zoo-owner-jailed-for-tiger-sales.html)

Relevant Wildlife Enforcement News March 2011

Brunei Darussalam Brunei Forestry Department to Recruit More Rangers “The Forestry Department, which is currently running short of forest rangers to fully enforce the Sultanate’s Forestry Laws, received a slight boost after a budget has been approved to increase the department’s present number of 13 forest rangers to 20…” Brunei Times, 9 March 2011 (http://www.asean-wen.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=286:brunei-forestry-department-to-recruit-more-rangers&catid=46:network-news&Itemid=85)

Brunei Wildlife Department Idea Welcomed “The budget to establish a Wildlife Department that will be responsible for the preservation of the country’s flora and fauna may be proposed next year, said the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources yesterday…” Brunei Times, 9 March 2011 (http://www.asean-wen.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=287:brunei-wildlife-department-idea-welcomed&catid=46:network-news&Itemid=85)

Brunei: “Heart of Borneo won’t hamper development “Although Brunei is committed to the ‘Heart of Borneo’ initiative, it does not mean that certain areas in Brunei are not allowed to be developed, said the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources yesterday…” Brunei Times, 9 March 2011 (http://www.asean-wen.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=288:brunei-heart-of-borneo-wont-hamper-development&catid=46:network-news&Itemid=85)

Indonesia Indonesia’s risky gecko trade “For some small farmers in Indonesia, gecko hunting has become big business…” Aljazeera, 6 March 2011 (http://english.aljazeera.net/video/asia-pacific/2011/03/2011361010222310.html)

Spotted! The elusive Sunda clouded leopard of Sumatra is caught on film for the first time “A rare and elusive big cat discovered just four years ago has been filmed in Sumatra for the first time…” Dailymail.co.uk, 7 March 2011 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1363099/Newest-big-cat-species-Sunda-clouded-leopard-Sumatra-filmed-time.html)

Critically endangered Javan Rhinos and Calves captured on video “Dramatic new video footage of two critically endangered Javan rhinos and their calves was released today by Wordl Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Indonesia’s National Park Authority. The footage, from a motion-activated video camera in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park, is a huge boost to efforts to save this almost extinct species that is threatened by poaching, disease, and the possibility of a tsunami or volcanic eruption…” Vadvert.co.uk, 4 March 2011 (http://www.vadvert.co.uk/science/10353-critically-endangered-javan-rhinos-and-calves-captured-on-video.html)

Komodos hot items on black market: activist “Baby komodo dragons can fetch more than Rp 30 million (USD3,500) on the black market, an animal conservationist says…” Jakarta Globe, 22 March 2011 (http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/komodos-hot-items-on-black-market-activist/430850) The danger of orangutan extinction “The orangutan – or ‘man of the forest’ in Malay – is Asia’s only great ape. It ranks among the world’s most endangered species, confined mostly to the forests of Sumatra and Borneo. For more than four decades, Orangutan have attracted scientists from all over the world, generating a wealth of information on the primate’s behavior, genetics and culture…” Jakarta Post, 23 March 2011 (http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/23/the-danger-orangutan-extinction.html)

Myanmar Myanmar to enforce ban on illegal ivory business “Tourists who buy ivory souvenirs in Myanmar risk having them confiscated as part of a crackdown on the often brazen illegal trade, media reported Friday…” Businessweek, 4 March 2011 (http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9LOCAL02.htm)

Philippines DENR battles invasion of alien creatures “These suckermouth catfish from South America are just one of a growing number of foreign species that are spreading in local waterways and forests, threatening to edge out the country’s indigenous plants and animals…” Inquirer, 10 March 2011 (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20110310-324480/DENR-battles-invasion-of-alien-creatures)

Local forest turtle getting extinct “No wonder Pong Pagong is rarely seen these days. The Philippine Forest Turtle (Siebenrockiella leytensis), commonly found in Palawan, is now among the 25 endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles in the world, with an extremely high risk of getting extinct, international experts said…” Manila Bulletin, 28 March 2011 (http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/311756/local-forest-turtle-getting-extinct)

Singapore Wildlife Reserves Singapore hosts regional workshop on turtle conservation “Turtles are the oldest reptiles left on Earth, with the earliest species found almost 300 million years ago, but many species alive today may not live to see the next century. That is why conservation groups across the world are meeting here this week to discuss pressing plans to ensure their survival in the wild…” PRUrgent, 31 March 2011 (http://www.prurgent.com/2011-03-31/pressrelease160766.htm)

Thailand Reptile and amphibian reporting needs tightening: new study “Wide discrepancies in the numbers of live reptiles and amphibians reported in the pet trade to Thailand indicate misreporting or deliberate violation of international trade rules, according to a paper just published in PLoS One…” Scoop, 31 March 2011 (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1103/S01079/reptile-and-amphibian-reporting-needs-tightening-new-study.htm)

Viet Nam Turtle in Hanoi escapes would-be rescuers “Rescuers in Vietnam began an urgent effort on Tuesday to capture and treat an old and ailing turtle that lives in a landmark lake in Hanoi and is revered as the city’s spiritual symbol…” The New York Times, 8 March 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/world/asia/09hanoi.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss)

Animals: source of  three-fourth of infectious diseases “The international experts has warned that animals are the source of nearly three fourth of the infectious disease in humans. The warning was issued at seminar on situation of diseases and wild animals, organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society in Vietnam, the US Agency of International Development and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development collaboratively…” Topnews.net.nz, 16 March 2011 (http://topnews.net.nz/content/212809-animals-source-three-fourth-infectious-diseases)

Crackdown on bear-bile tours in Vietnam welcomed “The illegality of bear-bile farming in Vietnam has failed to stamp out the practice in the past six years, but a renewed government push to crack down on bear-bile tourism has hope rising at an animal protection organization…” Monsters&Critics, 24 March 2011 (http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/news/article_1628348.php/Crackdown-on-bear-bile-tours-in-Vietnam-welcomed)

// //

RODEL’S BIT: USA taxes – Charley Reese’s Final Column

April 21, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s Blog got this in from Rodel Rivera. Thanks Rodel!

OVER TO RODEL

Truly worth reading! Especially the poem at the end! This is just an eye-opener – not meant to be political at all! It’s interesting how things have changed …. that’s why you need to read this whole e-mail!

“Peace – There’s an election in about 19 months. Might oughta watch what they do instead of listening to what they say. A very interesting column. COMPLETELY NEUTRAL Be sure to Read the Poem at the end.

Charley Reese’s final column for the Orlando Sentinel… He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN. Be sure to read the Tax List at the end. This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be.

The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It’s a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

“545 vs. 300,000,000 People – By Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does. You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank. I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.

No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist. If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red. If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan … If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way. There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They and they alone, have the power. They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees… We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess! Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it… is up to you. This might be funny if it weren’t so true. Be sure to read all the way to the end:
Tax his land, Tax his bed, Tax the table, At which he’s fed.
Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes Are the rule.
Tax his work, Tax his pay, He works for peanuts anyway!
Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat.
Tax his ties, Tax his shirt, Tax his work, Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he Tries to think.
Tax his cigars, Tax his beers, If he cries Tax his tears.
Tax his car, Tax his gas, Find other ways To tax his ass.
Tax all he has Then let him know That you won’t be done Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers; Then tax him some more, Tax him till He’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in Which he’s laid…
Put these words Upon his tomb, ‘Taxes drove me to my doom…’
When he’s gone, Do not relax, Its time to apply The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax CDL license Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Excise Taxes Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon) Gross Receipts Tax Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) Liquor Tax Luxury Taxes Marriage License Tax Medicare Tax Personal Property Tax Property Tax Real Estate Tax Service Charge Tax Social Security Tax Road Usage Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax Sales Tax School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Taxes Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Well Permit Tax Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What in the heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!! GO AHEAD. . . BE AN AMERICAN!!!

(The source of the email appears to be:http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/reese.asp)

Thai Days: Good news for the good guys via USAID

April 21, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s blog is pleased to pass on this Thai US embassy news.

 

US Embassy Bangkok Press Release

FREELAND FOUNDATION TO COMBAT WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING IN ASIA

Bangkok, April 8, 2011 – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has chosen the Thailand-based Freeland Foundation to lead an $8 million regional project to help Asia protect its unique biological diversity and fight against the illegal trafficking of wildlife.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, the FREELAND Foundation will work with the member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China to improve wildlife trafficking enforcement, strengthen regional cooperation and reduce consumer demand.

Illegal trade in protected plants and animals is a multi-billion dollar industry that affects every country in Asia and threatens to cause irrevocable biodiversity loss.  In 2010 alone, more than $15 million in wildlife contraband was recovered, and on March 31, 2011, Thai customs agents seized more than two tons of Africa elephant tusks, the largest seizure of illegal ivory in Thailand’s history.

If the current illegal activity continues, over 40% of Southeast Asia’s animal and plant species could disappear this century.   Wildlife plays a vital role in sustaining human life.  The illegal wildlife trade weakens natural ecosystems, supports organized crime, and increases the risk of transmitting emerging infectious diseases such as avian pandemic influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Since 2005, USAID’s support to FREELAND and other partners has helped establish the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN).  This region-wide system created dedicated national task forces in seven countries and a secretariat to coordinate their activity.   Some 2,000 officials have been trained and arrests for wildlife trafficking has increased substantially.

At the same time, a broad public education process has alerted million to the importance of protecting the region’s wildlife, and numerous public-private sector partnerships set up in support of the counter trafficking effort.  As a result, ASEAN-WEN is now a model for collaborative wildlife enforcement networking which other regions are seeking to replicate.

The new program will:

  • Strengthen the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network;
     
  • Expand the network to China, South Asia, the United States and other parts of the world;
     
  • Develop regional centers of excellence in marine enforcement, forest protection, and wildlife forensics;
     
  • Help replicate the “WEN” (Wildlife Enforcement Network) model throughout Asia;
     
  • Produce a special television series with National Geographic, which will be seen throughout Asia and help reduce demand for endangered species; and
     
  • Launch internet public awareness campaigns in China, Vietnam and Thailand and build on these to reach out elsewhere in Asia.

The program will also work with the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SA-WEN), an organization modeled after the USAID-funded ASEAN-WEN program; Global Tiger Initiative (GTI); the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity; and government agencies across Asia.  Local NGOs from Vietnam, Cambodia, China and other countries will also participate.   International partners include INTERPOL, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of State.

Don Clark, Acting Mission Director for USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia, said “This new program demonstrates the commitment of the United States Government to work through local organizations that are change agents who have the cultural knowledge and in-country expertise to ensure USAID assistance leads to real local institutions and solutions.  Wildlife trafficking affects everyone.  Through the Freeland Foundation and ASEAN-WEN, and with the support of many partners, this region has taken great strides to protect its unique biodiversity.  This new award will build upon that success, protect the region’s environment and help turn the tables on organized crime.”

#021/11

http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/news/press/2011/nrot021.html

Fractured spine: Ouch!

April 16, 2011

Hugh Paxton has repeatedly broken ribs and given the ‘hey, OK, it’s just a broken rib, no worries’  routine to visitors concerned that he won’t be able to drive a 1,000 kms safari  around Namibia.

To my regret I’ve just cracked my spine after a tumble. This is a bit more serious.

Hugh Paxton’s Blog remains cheerful, if in agony, but cannot guarantee a regular supply of posts in the next 12 days.

Advisory: Try not to fracture your spine. It really hurts!

Cheers!

Hugh

Brigitte’s Pick: New Zealand Earthquake – a cheerful story

April 15, 2011

The story begins with the rescuers finding this poor little
guy they named Ralphie. Someone had already taken him
under their wing but they weren’t equipped to adopt.

Ralphie, scared and starved, joined his rescuers..

I wouldn’t think anything could live thru this…. but we
were wrong.

This little lady also survived that wreckage.

Here she is just placed in the car – scared, but safe.
< BR>

and then..they are no longer alone!

Instant friends, they comforted each other while in the car.

Add two more beagles found after that…
the more, the merrier!

Oh boy, a new traveler to add to the mix…
(Note: the cat coming over the seat needing shelter…)
Now just how is this going to work? (and remember they
are all strange to one another )

It’s going to work just fine, thank you very much!

Wow! The things we learn from our
animal friends…
If only all of mankind could learn such
valuable lessons as this.
Lessons of instant friendship.
Of peace and harmony by way of respect
for one another — no matter one’s color
or creed.
These animals tell you… “It’s just good to
be alive and with others.”
Yes, it surely is.
So… Live, love, laugh.
“Life’s a Gift… Unwrap It!”

Rodel’s bit: An interesting Village in Afghanistan

April 15, 2011

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Thai Days: Still Not Safe To Go Out Before Midnight

April 15, 2011

Hello chaps!

Hugh Paxton Blog Travel advisory: They’re out there! Some in trucks, some in fire engines, there are the pavement snipers, bridges with bucket throwers, serious trouble makers use elephants (but only in restricted areas).

It’s Songkhran. Thai New Year. And that means deluging any passersby with water and, if the revellers are serious, a mixture of white paste.

Laptops, cameras, mobile phones, live wires – none are immune.

Thailand is poised to win the G Book of Records award for the biggest water fight in recorded history.

But the mayhem stops at midnight.

If you want to blast a policeman in the face with a jet of water do it soon. He’ll stop laughing at 00.01.

Cheers!

I’ve just filled three buckets of water and I have my hose. Somebody is going to get wetter in a minute. Must hide my electrical stuff. The water’s about to hit the fan!

Best

Hugh

Leonie’s Back. On the behalf of Britain I’d like to apologise for the Berlin elephant bombing and other stuff

April 14, 2011

Our intrepid correspondent, Leonie, throws Hugh Paxton Blog’s readers more food for thought

Let her show begin! 

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All invented by women.

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.

If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle.

If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer

The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book
most often stolen from public libraries.

Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin
look-alike contest.

Celery has negative calories. It takes more calories to eat a
piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with.

If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will
instantly go mad and sting itself to death. (Who was the sadist who
discovered this??)

The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin in World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space
because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.

Sherlock Holmes NEVER said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily!
(That explains a few mysteries….)

During the chariot scene in “Ben Hur,” a small red car can be seen
in the distance (and Heston’s wearing a watch).

A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Q. What is the only food that doesn’t spoil?
A. Honey

In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.

When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on.

Hence the phrase……… “goodnight, sleep tight.”

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding,

the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink.

Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based,

this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the “honeymoon”.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts… So in old England, when customers got unruly,

the bartender would yell at them, “Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.”

It’s where we get the phrase “mind your P’s and Q’s”

Tiger shark embroyos fight each other in their mother’s womb. The survivor is born.

It would take 1,200,000 mosquitoes, each sucking once, to completely drain the average human of blood.

315 entries in Webster’s 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.

You are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.

Robert Hershey, of Hershey Chocolate fame, died when he fell into a vat of chocolate and drowned(talk about death by chocolate).

Adolph Hitler’s mother seriously considered having an abortion but was talked out of it by her doctor.

When Mahatma Gandhi died, an autopsy revealed that his small intestine contained five gold Krugerrands.

The “@” symbol is over 500 years old.

The Good News: You are 96% more likely to a die a natural death. The Bad News: You are still going to die.

“I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language. 

Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn’t wear pants.

The electric chair was invented by a dentist.


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