Sunday, May 24, 2009

23rd May, 2009.

A day's opportunities completely spoilt by weather with mist and rain, with some quite heavy showers, and then the sun eventually appearing very late in the day!.

It provided a chance to watch Gillingham and Shrewsbury battle it out in a soccer play-off final where it was a shame one team had to win. A brilliant match!! Equally the Rugby Union European Final between Leicester and Leinster saw the latter victorious after a tremendous game with Sexton and O'Driscoll shining stars!!

So, no direct birding other than of a near virtual kind!! In Venezuela things go from bad to worse. Whilst there has been no known new initiatives at Hato de Pineiro, new areas at El Frio and Cedral have been designated for rice cultivation. However, the newest threat would appear to be within the Canaima National Park, a World Heritage site that has already seen a powerline forced through its midst following the current Government assuming power. On that occasion indigenous peoples dismantled several towers using home made spanners!. Despite these indigenous residents protestations UNESCO undermined the process by visiting the site and issuing a flawed declaration that was interpreted as support and the scheme proceeded!! New initiatives are now occurring again, plus serious deforestation has also taken place on the Sierra de Lema. That this Government has no empathy with the natural environment is abundantly clear and an absolute tradgedy about which more international protest should arise. Thus far, as with the Llanos, even critical commentary from conservation agencies has been noteworthy only by its absence!!

But it doesn't end there! Critical reaction to the Malaysian Federal Land Agency's initiative to establish 100,000 hectares of palm oil plantations in the Brazilian Amazon ( yes, you read it right!! )has alledgedly resulted in all references to the action on the Governments internet servers being removed. Apparently all E-mails referring to the problem routed through Streamyx, the monopoly internet service provider in Malaysia, are not being delivered. Who says Government intervention isn't alive and well!! After Malaysian timber companies raped the Asia Pacific and decimated rainforest, it now seems a new era has dawned with equally damaging developments on another continent.

It's time to start letter writing. folks, and set the cosy "taking an interest" stance aside. We all support organizations which are involved in conservation in one way or another. A single letter from each to respective country Ambassadors would flag out the problem, to then be followed by as many similar approaches from individuals as can be mustered, otherwise we're selling our supposed "interest" short.
If you want an example of how a three hundred year old tradition can be affected by disclosure and public reaction turn to the events in the UK in the last three weeks, and we're certainly not seen as revolutionaries!!!

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