Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Conservation, Deforestation, Palm Oil, Plantations, Protected Areas, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is widely considered the strongest certification scheme for the commodity, which is grown largely on plantations hacked out of tropical forests that are home to critically endangered species such as orangutans.A new study has found that RSPO-certified plantations perform no better than non-RSPO estates on a series of sustainability metrics, including species and habitat conservation, as well as social benefits to local communities.The researchers attributed the scheme’s shortcomings to a lack of clarity on its central objectives, as well as weak environmental safeguards.For its part, the RSPO has disputed the study’s findings, citing other reports that it says highlight a net positive impact to the environment and communities from certification. JAKARTA — Oil palm plantations that adhere to the world’s leading certification scheme for the crop show no difference in environmental, social and economic sustainability than non-certified estates, a new study has found.The study — carried out by researchers from the University of Queensland and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), both in Australia, and Borneo Futures — is one of the first to assess how effective the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is in achieving its sustainability goals by comparing certified and non-certified concessions.To do that, they created the most comprehensive map and dataset yet of RSPO-certified sites in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo. They then used the map and dataset to assess how effectively these plantations delivered on six of the eight central pillars of the RSPO’s principles and criteria: conservation of biodiversity, responsible development of new plantings, responsible consideration of communities, consideration of social impacts, economic viability, and commitment to best practice.Not very well, as it turned out. “No significant difference was found between certified and non-certified plantations for any of the sustainability metrics investigated,” the researchers wrote. In fact, the only area where RSPO certification made a positive impact was in higher yields and share prices for certified companies.“[O]ur results suggest that low confidence in the [RSPO’s] mechanisms for improving overall industry sustainability appears warranted in all but very narrow and economically-oriented interpretations of sustainability,” the researchers concluded.Global demand for products like palm oil is responsible for depleting tropical forest cover, with often grave health consequences for local communities. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Benchmarking the benchmarkThe study’s findings are notable, given that the RSPO is widely regarded as having the strongest set of requirements among existing certification schemes for edible oils and biofuels.The standard was established in 2004 in response to a growing recognition that the expansion of oil palm plantations was fueling rainforest destruction and land grabs in countries like Indonesia, where legal protections for the environment and indigenous communities were seen as weak, and enforcement of the law even weaker.Since then, the RSPO has grown to become the leading certification scheme for palm oil, with 26,500 square kilometers (10,200 square miles) of plantations and 11.65 million tons of palm oil — representing a fifth of the global production of the commodity — falling under its scope.Before this recent study, however, few investigations had been undertaken to evaluate the RSPO’s effectiveness in achieving sustainability aims, leaving decision-makers without the evidence-based answers to whether investment in RSPO is an effective means of obtaining outcomes better than business as usual.A baby orangutan in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Along with habitat loss due to mining, orangutans in both Sumatra and Borneo are threatened by fires and deforestation for oil palm and pulp plantations. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.‘No evidence’ of orangutan protectionOne of the key sustainability measures where the study found the RSPO lacking was in helping conserve biodiversity, for which the researchers looked at the fate of the critically endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus).The survival of the species depends on whether it has enough viable habitat to survive. In Indonesian Borneo, where palm plantations are taking over the rainforests that constitute the orangutans’ habitat, their prospects look dim. Coupled with this loss of habitat is the routine killing of the great apes, which are viewed by plantation workers as vermin.The study found there was no evidence that RSPO-certified plantations provided better protection for orangutans. Their populations declined in both certified and non-certified concessions between 2009 and 2014, according to CEED researcher Courtney Morgans, the lead author of the study.“Despite aims to manage plantations in a way that ‘maintains and/or enhances’ high conservation value species, our study found little evidence that RSPO plantations are improving protection of the critically endangered orangutan,” Morgans, who is also affiliated with the University of Queensland, told Mongabay in an email.The study also found that RSPO plantations usually feature extensively deforested areas, leaving little viable habitat for the orangutan. Under RSPO regulations, new plantations cannot be developed from primary forest as of November 2005. Companies gunning for certification prior to that deadline would therefore have razed much of the forested parts of their concessions in order to maximize their available land.By contrast, many non-certified plantations still contain forest patches and viable orangutan habitat, since no clearing deadlines exist for them.In all, the researchers wrote, “No evidence was found to suggest that RSPO certified plantations were able to retain populations of orangutan better than non-certified concessions.”An oil palm plantation in Indonesia burns. Photo by Rhett A. Butler‘Only small benefits’Another environmental indicator that the researchers looked at was fire incidence. Again, the findings showed little benefit from RSPO certification.“The number of fire hotspots detected within palm oil concessions increased equally in both RSPO and non-RSPO concessions between 1999-2004 and 2011-2015 with no significant difference in the number of fire hotspots in certified and non-certified concessions,” the researchers wrote.The study also found that the RSPO failed to deliver on social impacts. “There also isn’t a clear signal that RSPO is improving levels of wealth or improving access to health infrastructure for villagers neighbouring the plantations,” Morgans said. “The only small benefits we could detect were marginally higher yields and share values for certified companies.”The study suggests that RSPO certification has failed to prevent deforestation and biodiversity loss because participants have differing interpretations of its primary objective, which is to “promote sustainable palm oil.” As a result, different RSPO stakeholder groups prioritize certain criteria over others.The RSPO’s own principles and criteria — the eight central pillars — also leave much of the scheme open to interpretation through vague wording such as “maintain populations” and “promote positive impacts,” Morgans said.She suggested that these terms be replaced with something more definitive that can be quantified.“The immediate adoption of specific and measurable targets will improve RSPO’s effectiveness,” she said.Another factor is that the RSPO’s environmental safeguards may simply not be strong enough, according to a recent report by the Changing Market Foundation. The report notes that the certification scheme still allows the conversion of secondary forests and the draining of peatlands, and does not require reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases.“As this report exposes, RSPO has been at best a distraction and at worst a hindrance to efforts to improve the sustainability of palm oil,” Deborah Lapidus, campaign director for the environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth, wrote on the group’s Facebook page.Morgans said the RSPO’s failings could also be blamed on its focus on improving the sustainability of the palm oil industry at the plantation level, rather than addressing sustainability issues at a larger level. This, she said, limits its ability to deliver broad benefits.For example, the requirement to “maintain and enhance” high conservation value species ignores the biology and behavior of many species the scheme is trying to protect, such as the orangutan.“The Bornean Orangutan requires a large home range due to seasonal food availability,” Morgans said. “Effective conservation of the species, therefore, requires the conservation of large and connected forest patches, which can only be achieved with landscape level coordination.”Similarly, the aims of contributing to local sustainable development and improving the social impacts of plantation and mill operations require coordination between multiple stakeholders. As such, the study argues, the delivery of social benefits and infrastructure should be developed and implemented at a higher level rather than simply a per-concession basis.To address this weakness, the study’s authors called on the RSPO to adopt jurisdictional approaches aimed at certifying entire administration units rather than individual plantations.An oil-palm plantation with a few remaining rainforest trees in Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.RSPO respondsThe RSPO, for its part, has called into question the validity of the new findings.Stefano Savi, the RSPO’s global outreach and engagement manager, said there was ample evidence in recently published independent studies showing that RSPO-certified concessions had both reduced deforestation rates as well as the number of hotspots.One study he cited, coordinated by Borneo Futures in 2017, measured deforestation and orangutan population in 2,717 oil palm estates and concessions throughout Borneo. That study showed that RSPO-certified concessions lost 9 percent of intact and logged forest per total concession area, against 17.2 percent for non-RSPO concessions between 2000 and 2015. The authors of that study also reported that annual forest loss rates in certified concessions declined consistently after 2005, while those on non-RSPO concessions stayed consistently higher.The 2017 study also found that the rate of orangutan population decline was lower, in absolute terms, for RSPO-certified concessions as compared to non-RSPO concessions.“Overall, the data obtained from the study suggested that RSPO-certified concessions are better at working towards the protection of orangutans, as compared to non-certified concessions,” Savi told Mongabay in an email.Savi also questioned the accuracy of the modeling used by Morgans to determine the orangutan population, saying that by relying on nest counts, it might have failed to account for transient orangutans.Morgans, who was also involved in the 2017 study, noted that while RSPO-certified concessions had lost fewer orangutans than non-RSPO estates overall, the relative rate of loss was almost the same — 2.2 percent to 2.1 percent, respectively.Savi also cited another study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which found that RSPO certification reduced deforestation in Indonesian oil palm plantations by 33 percent from the business-as-usual scenario between 2001 and 2015.But that reduced deforestation mostly happened in older plantations, where much of the forest had already been cleared prior to, leaving little to deforest. As a result, the actual area of avoided deforestation was small: just 21 square kilometers (8.1 square miles).Savi said it was also not clear whether Morgans’s study had taken into account non-certified concessions that had been gazetted for oil palm plantation but were currently inactive.“Should there be such cases, it should be clearly indicated as it would not be accurate to compare active RSPO-certified areas to inactive non-certified areas,” he said.Oil palm nursery and processing facility in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Improving the schemeSavi said the RSPO management recognized there were still many areas for improvements. He said it had already commissioned studies to determine the actual performance of the certification scheme against its stated standards. Those studies indicated either a net positive impact or little negative impact for RSPO-certified sites, he said.“As part of our effort to address this issue, we have been working to strengthen our standards through a revision of the RSPO Principles & Criteria, which began last year and is currently underway,” Savi said. The RSPO’s principles and criteria are revised every five years.Savi said the RSPO would also be looking to conduct more research on the performance and impact of its strategies and interventions to identify potential gaps and help improve its standards.“Towards this end, we have published a Research Agenda, which details our priority research questions, on our website and have put aside budget to commission our own impact evaluation studies,” he said.Morgans welcomed the move. She said that despite its shortcomings, the RSPO was still an important mechanism for improving the sustainability of the palm oil industry.“Dismissing the scheme altogether does risk the advances made so far,” she said. “Instead, effort should be placed on evaluating the scheme, offering constructive criticism, and supporting stakeholders with the development, implementation and adaptive improvement of sustainable practices.”A previous version of this story incorrectly described the study as the first one to assess RSPO effectiveness by comparing certified and non-certified concessions.Banner image: Orangutans in Borneo have been seriously threatened by the oil palm industry. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored
The German player ended Serena Williams’ reign atop the rankings after picking up her second Grand Slam trophy last fall at the U.S. Open following her breakout win at last year’s Australian Open. Since then, however, her results have been pedestrian — seven tournaments, no titles and a 5-7 record against top-50 players.Her title defense in Melbourne also ended prematurely in a 6-2, 6-3 loss to American CoCo Vandeweghe in the fourth round on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“I was not feeling the ball at all tonight,” she said. “I was not playing good from the first point.”Kerber hasn’t looked at all comfortable since the year began. She lost early in her two tune-up events for the Australian Open and struggled to find her rhythm in Melbourne once the tournament began, dropping sets in each of her first two matches. DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal Against Vandeweghe, the usually aggressive Kerber was simply overpowered, hitting just seven winners to 30 for her opponent. She was up a break in the second set and looked to be regaining control of the match, but Vandeweghe came charging back with pinpoint forehand winners that Kerber just watched go by.Vandeweghe, a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist, often lacks consistency and can let her emotions and temper get the better of her, but she looked composed in the match and far looser with her groundstrokes than Kerber.After serving it out, there was no celebration from the American — she merely shrugged her shoulders.After ending 2016 on a four-match losing streak, Vandeweghe started the season with a new mindset — she wanted to project more confidence on the court and play more freely. She set a goal of making the quarterfinals at the year’s first Grand Slam — and she’s done just that.“Going out there and playing an opponent, any opponent, I go out there expecting to win,” she said. “It’s just another person that’s in front of me, whoever it may be, if it’s No. 1 in the world, No. 130 in the world, it doesn’t matter, it’s still an opponent to get in my way of achieving my goals.”ADVERTISEMENT Plea says Bastia fans racially abused teammate Balotelli Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims Germany’s Angelique Kerber makes a backhand return to United States’ Coco Vandeweghe during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. APMELBOURNE, Australia — Angelique Kerber said before the Australian Open that she wasn’t putting too much pressure on herself as the top-seeded player at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.Clearly, she is still getting used to being No. 1.ADVERTISEMENT Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town MOST READ Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member LATEST STORIES Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kerber, meanwhile, will have to find her confidence again. She could lose her No. 1 ranking if Williams wins the tournament, which may help relieve some of the pressure she’s felt as the favorite.“It’s just the beginning of the year,” she said. “I can still improve my tennis, which is good.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments
‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot Sharapova talks about drug ban and her return to tennis “I had to change our plans and it was difficult for us to do it during the game, especially on our right side,” said Gyutoku Tuesday after Nepal’s 4-1 loss to the Azkals to open the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.READ: Azkals drub 10-man Nepal to open Asian Cup qualifiersFEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnWith Nepal playing undermanned, the Philippines pounced on the opportunity and quickly racked three straight goals before Bishal Rai got one for the visitors just before the halftime break.Though the Nepalese showed a better fight in the second half, they still couldn’t stop Javier Patino from adding to the goal difference for the home team. ‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely “To lose with that score, it’s disheartening. We tried to score in the second half, but 4-1 is no good for us,” said the Japanese mentor.Despite the big loss, Gyotuku did see some positives with his squad moving forward, especially midfielder Rohit Chand.“He’s a small guy and he could play well. I used him as one of my first 11 and I hope he’ll perform better in our next matches,” he said.Nepal plays Yemen on June 13 in Qatar.ADVERTISEMENT Nepal coach Koji Gyotuku. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLosing a player early in the match against the Philippines truly threw Nepal off of its game.Nepal lost midfielder Bikram Lama in the 12th minute due to a handball at the penalty box, leaving coach Koji Gyutoku with just 10 men for the rest of the match.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu LATEST STORIES Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town View comments
Local Caymanas Park race- day broadcasts will have a modern look and feel come Saturday, December 1, as a result of a new partnership agreement between Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Ltd (SVREL) and media company, SportsMax, that will see SportsMax handling SVREL’s production needs. The revamped broadcasts will kick off on the highly anticipated Diamond Mile race day. According to Peter Green, director of marketing, SVREL, the unveiling of the new feed on the most prestigious race Day in Jamaica and the region was a deliberate move. “The Diamond Mile elevates the horseracing experience and is the perfect day for us to show the elevated look and feel of the production of our signal from here on. The new-look feed will provide punters at the track and at OTBs(off-track betting parlours) islandwide with real-time broadcasts from Caymanas Park”, he said. Green explained that in addition to improving the quality of the overall broadcast to local viewers, the new deal also comes with positive revenue implications, affording SVREL the opportunity to export its signal to other areas of the Caribbean, North America, UK, Asia, and Africa, not only opening the races to a new pool of bettors, but providing unprecedented value to sponsors to be seen in new markets.
Last year, Head of State, David Granger, described the emancipation of enslaved Africans as the most “important calendar event of the country” as he expressed the view that it “marked the start of Guyanese nationhood”.Mr Granger also expressed the view that the day should be celebrated by all Guyanese, because it not only marked the end of over 200 years of slavery, but it somehow paved the way for other watershed moments to be celebrated in Guyana, which in themselves ushered in a new wave of change and freedom.Driving home his point, the Head of State remarked that the great ‘Village Movement’, which was started in 1839 eventually led to the ‘political movement’ for civil rights and constitutional change, and to the ‘labour movement’ for the improvement of conditions of work in urban and rural areas.He insisted that “Emancipation Day, therefore, was indeed the start of the process by which the plantations became the foundation of one nation, and through which the various peoples began to live and work together in pursuit of a common destiny”.The President’s viewpoint remains sound, and today the goal of creating a unified Guyana still remains the ideal ‘goal’. While it can be argued that the lives of Africans in Guyana and further afield have improved tremendously because of the struggles overcome by this resilient group of people, enough is not being done to tackle the more serious challenges that are now threatening their peaceful and continued co-existence as well as development.The truth is, as Guyana celebrates the 180th Anniversary of the end of Chattel Slavery in all of its forms, some African Guyanese are facing an identity crisis as a result of the failure of many of their elders to do more to safeguard their rich culture and heritage. As a result, there appears to be a growing distaste creeping up among African Guyanese for the basic things that make them African and set them apart from other groups of people.As technology advances and the Western influence continues to create tidal waves within South America, the Caribbean and other parts of Western Africa, the numbers of Guyanese who lack an appreciation for the natural colour of their skin, the texture of their hair, and their ethnic make-up are vastly increasing. Advocacy organisations and lobbyists group are not doing enough to dispel the notion that black is representative of power, beauty and wisdom.They continue to take a piecemeal approach to educating the younger generations on the importance of their history and culture, with every single Afro-Guyanese advocacy group painting a vastly different picture about what it means to be “African and proud”.The country’s leaders must devise more strategies to promote entrepreneurship at the village economy level, especially within communities that are predominately Afro-Guyanese. But they must ensure that such strategies do not lead to new inequalities between the various social groups.Sadly, discussions about black empowerment and taking pride in one’s ancestral heritage only creep up on days like today, and then fade away as soon as night turns into day. All Guyanese, therefore, must look to the deeper meanings and underpinnings of emancipation, in order to achieve a new level of consciousness and freedom.For African Guyanese, Emancipation must represent a convergence of the horrors of enslavement, overcoming enslavement, and confronting the sordid and persistent legacy of enslavement after it was the most dehumanising experience in our country and the world.It should also be seen as a day of triumph over subjugation and domination, whereby the human spirit refused to give in and give up in future.Guyanese can ill afford, as a result, to view this year’s Emancipation anniversary as just a token holiday to African Guyanese. It is not, and must be viewed as a recognition and affirmation of Black and African dignity and equal worth, and a reminder that all groups have a sacred duty to guard against domination.This is a critical aspect of the Emancipation Story, as it explains the current disparity in development among countries. It was this theory that was so ably articulated by our own Dr. Walter Rodney in his famous book ‘How Europe underdeveloped Africa’.Here in Guyana, the famous uprisings of 1763 and 1823 are inscribed in our consciousness. Emancipation eventually came not through the slave masters’ change of heart, but by the persistent resistance of the enslaved.
Dear Editor,As the Alliance for Change (AFC) continues to do its master’s bidding, one is left to ponder how low the AFC will go. The latest pandering by the AFC to the PNC is its latest salvo against GAWU, wherein it seeks to place the blame for the sugar industry’s woes on GAWU.Clearly, the AFC has lost its identity, having been consumed by the PNC.Yet again, Guyanese should have seen this coming, since the AFC (upon formation) said it was not going to join with either the PPP or the PNC, yet turned around and joined with the PNC under the APNU bandwagon to oust the democratically elected PPP/C from Government. This demonstrated that the AFC was/is a political opportunist.It remains to be seen if the AFC has any real support base, after having lost credibility and supporters over the last couple of years.What makes the AFC believe that the PNC takes it seriously? Given the dwindling support base of the AFC, it is clear that the APNU+AFC Coalition will not win a fair and free general election in 2020.It is obvious that the AFC knows that it has lost its support base, hence the continued pandering to the PNC. The hope of the AFC is that the PNC will keep it in power. If history is anything to go by, then the PNC will ditch the AFC before the next general elections, as the AFC has lost many of its supporters, so there is no real need to keep the AFC in a coalition.Yours faithfully,Sean Ori
Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Dawn Hastings-Williams, on Friday delivered to Toshao Casey Hastings of Kako, in Region Seven, food and medical supplies, bed nets, potable water filters, cough syrup, cleaning detergents and other basic supplies for distribution to the residents in the aftermath of the recent flooding experienced by Regions Seven and Eight, wherein homes and livelihoodswere seriously affected.Minister Hastings-Williams originated from Kako, and she explained that sheYouths in Kako, Region Seven helping offload the suppliescoordinated the activity after she received word that the residents were in need of the items. “It saddened me to hear that a lot of families were affected by the flood, and particularly their livelihood… I came here in person to see and hear from the toshao and other residents what has been the damage, and to render whatever assistance is necessary to bring back normalcy to the village,” she explained.Toshao Hastings was very appreciative of the minister’s gesture. He praised the timely response of the Region 7 Administration in reaching out to the affected communities and residents. Speaking with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Toshao Hastings explained, “Water was very high in the community for the first time in my lifetime, and 124 households were affected.” He said that while only four homes in Kako were completely under water, the farms in the village andMinister within the Ministry of Communities Dawn Hastings-Williams and Toshao Casey Hastings outlining how the supplies will be distributed to the flood affected householdscontiguous communities have been ravaged by the flood.“Water either covered the farms or we had water coming through the soil and destroying the crops,” the toshao said. The main crop in hinterland communities is cassava, which takes almost one year to sow and reap.Toshao Hastings described Central Government and the Regional response to the crisis was as “very quick”, and he added that residents are really thankful for what has been done.“A few days ago, the Chairman of the Region and a team was here, and now the minister is here; and we are very grateful for the responses we receive,” he said.As a result of recent excessive rainfall in the highland regions of the hinterland, several villages in Region Seven — including Kako, Jawalla, Phillipai, KamarangMinister within the Ministry of Communities Dawn Hastings- Williams helps Toshao Casey Hastings in sorting out some of the suppliesand Duebamang — were flooded. But as the water recedes from the land, Government has been forwarding supplies to affected communities. The Region Seven Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has also begun to lead an effort aimed at assessing the impact of the flooding and the current high water levels in the region.This effort, supported by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), has resulted in a Forward Operating Centre (FOC) being set up in Kamarang, which Minister Hastings-Williams also visited. The FOC was created to provide an open space for coordinating delivery of the relief supplies to the affected communities, Planning and Training Assistant of the CDC, Allana Walters, pointed out.Walters, stationed at the Centre, explained: “What we have been able to do is set up one point where everybody has been able to meet and coordinate our efforts. We have boards set up with the different communities, the total population, the households, as well as the affected and tracks of what we have been able to send out and what we are expecting to go out from this room.”Walters also was in high praise of the RDC leadership and its response to the flooding. She explained that, since last year, the CDC has been working with the RDC to develop a Regional Disaster Risk Management System, and through this earlier collaboration, the two teams were able to conduct an assessment of the region, develop maps, and a plan and form a Regional Disaster Risk Management Committee, chaired by Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford. Walters said this earlier work was crucial to the effectiveness of the region’s response to the flooding.“So when they (the region) got information about what was happening in the Upper Mazaruni, the Regional Disaster Risk Management Committee was able to quickly call a meeting in Bartica, and from then they were able to make decisions and mobilise resources to come out and do assessments,” she explained.“So we are very pleased that that was able to happen, and things are rolling out in that manner consistent with how the CDC looks at disasters and responses,” she explained.The team has been asking the communities to pick up their relief supplies from the Centre. The hampers are prepared based on the information supplied to the Centre by the communities and from the assessment carried out by the joint effort. The communities are being provided with fuel to take the supplies back to their villages. Provision of the fuel is, however, a costly exercise, and the team is facing the challenge of running out of fuel.Minister Hastings-Williams has, however, committed to rectifying this situation as soon as possible. (GINA)
11 11 17. Kevin De Bruyne (attacking midfield) 11 11 Manchester City welcome Bournemouth to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with the home side aiming to remain at the top of the Premier League table as Arsenal and Manchester United sit just two points behind.And there is significant news on the Citizens’ squad.Wilfried Bony, who has described the past 12 months as ‘the worst year of my career’, is expected to lead the attack in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero. Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that the Argentine would be out for four weeks with a hamstring injury sustained on international duty.David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov too suffered a similar a similar fate for Spain and Serbia, respectively.The former injured his ankle just 10 minutes into Spain’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Luxembourg, while the latter limped off late on during Serbia’s defeat to Portugal.There is good news, however, as Vincent Kompany, who risked the wrath of his manager after playing for Belgium midweek despite not being fully fit, escaped unscathed and is poised to return to the City line up.With such changes thus expected, talkSPORT has predicted Pellegrini’s XI to face the Cherries.Take a look by clicking the yellow arrow above, right. 15. Jesus Navas (right winger) 11 5. Pablo Zabaleta (right back) 11 7. Raheem Sterling (left winger) 11 1. Joe Hart (goalkeeper) – to see our full line up, in squad number order, click the yellow arrow above! What do you think of our predicted line up? Let us know by leaving a comment below 11 42. Yaya Toure (centre midfield) 11 25. Fernandinho (centre midfield) 11 4. Vincent Kompany (centre back) 3. Bacary Sagna (left back) 30. Nicolas Otamendi (centre back) 11 14. Wilfried Bony (striker)
Jan Vertonghen insists Tottenham’s triumph over Chelsea cannot be a one-off if they want to win the Premier League title.Dele Alli’s double sealed a superb 2-0 victory for Spurs at White Hart Lane, moving them up to third in the table, while ending Chelsea’s hopes of a record-breaking 14th consecutive win.It was only the second time this season that Tottenham have beaten a side in the top six, the other coming in a 2-0 victory against Manchester City in October.They face City away in a fortnight’s time, before travelling to Liverpool next month, but take on both Arsenal and Manchester United at home during the run-in.Spurs still trail Chelsea by seven points and Vertonghen believes they will have to oust other title rivals if they are to be crowned champions.“We are building a reputation at the Lane and it feels good to beat the big teams. It’s a good sign we are progressing well,” Vertonghen said.“Maybe everyone thought at the start of the season it would be close with the other teams but you see a proper top six now.“It means you have to win against your rivals, especially at home, and we’ve done that twice now, beating City as well here.“It’s a good feeling and we’re getting stronger and stronger.”Chelsea had looked virtually unbeatable during their 13-game winning streak but Tottenham were faster, stronger and more aggressive than their London rivals.The victory is Spurs’ fifth in a row in the league and with the likes of Alli and Christian Eriksen back in form, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have underlined their ability to challenge again.“It sends a message, in a good way, we played very well, didn’t give chances away,” Vertonghen said.“We sent a message last year as well when we were challenging for the title and hopefully we can do it again now.“They look at us in a different way in the last two years. I think we are stronger than last year.“You see who came in, what they are doing for us, how strong our squad is, how strong our bench is. It’s unbelievable. Everyone is happy to play for Tottenham.”The defeat was Chelsea’s first since they were beaten by Arsenal on September 24 but the Blues remain in a commanding position at the top of the table.“There is no reason to panic,” Chelsea defender David Luiz said.“It is only January. In the Premier League, the only important thing is to be top of the table in May. I never saw anyone win the title in February or March.”The result, however, also delivers a measure of revenge for Tottenham, whose own title ambitions were ended by Chelsea last term, when a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge handed the trophy to Leicester.Luiz expects Spurs to be in the running again at the end of the season.“Do I see them as title rivals? Of course. I have seen them as title rivals since the start of the season,” Luiz added.“They have Pochettino and he is an amazing coach. He is doing a great job. This is just the beginning of a long fight for the title, so everybody can arrive there.” 1 Dele Alli’s double sealed a superb 2-0 victory for Spurs over Chelsea
Nigel Clough’s side endured large spells of pressure 1 Burton produced a defensive masterclass to deny Bristol City second place in the Sky Bet Championship with a goalless draw at Ashton Gate.Nigel Clough’s visitors were under pressure throughout but put bodies on the line all over the field to make it a hugely frustrating night for the hosts.Goalkeeper Stephen Bywater made some important early saves and Bobby Reid had a 66th-minute goal disallowed, and for long stretches City continually met a brick wall in and around the Burton box.The Robins came into the game on an 11-match unbeaten run and began purposefully. Jamie Paterson fired over from 25 yards before the first clear chance of the game fell to Reid after five minutes.His close-range shot was well saved by Bywater and the rebound fell to strike partner Famara Diedhiou, who was denied by a goal-saving tackle from Burton skipper Jake Buxton.A Paterson volley was deflected wide and Bywater denied Reid again by keeping out his angled drive at the near post as the hosts dominated the opening 15 minutes.But Burton began to grow into the game and managed to frustrate Lee Johnson’s men for the remainder of the first half.Bywater pushed a long-range effort from Josh Brownhill around a post, but his team defended with increasing belief.City suffered a major blow just before the break when midfield driving force Korey Smith was forced off by what looked a hamstring injury. Marlon Pack was introduced as his replacement.The half-time whistle was greeted with cheers by the 178 travelling Burton fans, but home fans also applauded their team for some intricate approach play without a finishing touch.It was a similar story at the start of the second period with City dominating possession. Paterson sent a 20-yard free kick over after a foul by Kyle McFadzean on Diedhiou.Johnson sent on Jonathan Leko for Niclas Eliasson after 55 minutes in a bid to find more penetration on the flanks. The young loanee from West Brom was soon threatening and had a 64th-minute shot deflected over.From the resulting corner Aden Flint fired over. Then Reid shot home from 12 yards, only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul by a team-mate on the edge of the box.Ben Turner was booked for scything down Diedhiou from behind as the visitors continued to battle to stay on level terms.Burton substitute Marvin Sordell shot wide from long distance in one of their few goal attempts. Then he almost sealed the perfect smash-and-grab performance with an 80th minute shot that was headed clear by Flint with goalkeeper Frank Fielding beaten.It was the small contingent of Burton fans who were cheering loudest at the end, while home supporters vented their frustration towards referee James Linington.