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Tiny Beam Fund;
HIGHLIGHTS: *This report or Guidance Memo is aimed at supporting cage-free egg production operations in China. It provides information regarding international best practices in relation to farm productivity and animal welfare in the context of the Chinese egg industry. *Collaborating and in consultation with local Chinese producers and animal welfare experts, and based on her surveys of cage-free farms in China, the author of this Guidance Memo offers practical information for key housing and management issues, including: Disease management; egg production; the provision of an appropriate environment; maintaining normal hen behaviors and avoiding mortality; humane killing on farm. *There is an emphasis on the importance in understanding, training and investment in key management aspects, particularly the prevention and control of severe feather pecking and infectious diseases in order to maintain a healthy flock and operate a successful and profitable production business. *This report shows compellingly that improving cage-free layer hen welfare in China is quite feasible and such improvement is hugely beneficial for producers and layer hens. Higher welfare cage-free systems are indeed increasing in China even though the vast majority of eggs in China are still produced in facilities with cages. *A Chinese translation of this Guidance Memo is available in late 2020.
Tiny Beam Fund;
Keywords: GHG emissions. Industrial-scale food animal production. Extensive animal agriculture systems. Highlights of this report or guidance memo: *Scientific literature on greenhouse gas emissions of various forms of animal agriculture systems are synthesized. *Explains the complexities of models used to generate estimates of GHGs in these scientific literature, and the reasons why they are not very robust and they contain errors that often go unreported. *Points out that high-quality measurements that do exist consistently demonstrate that industrial animal agriculture's emissions are actually higher than typically estimated. Therefore the claim held by many experts and policy-makers that intensifying animal agriculture significantly limits global GHG emissions is unjustified. *Cautions about not jumping to the conclusion that extensive, pastoral systems is the perfect answer.
Tiny Beam Fund;
KEYWORDS: Beef and dairy production systems. GHG emissions. Literature review. Science-based communication. HIGHLIGHTS: *Provides user-friendly explanation of basic concepts and terminology as well as summaries of current scientific thinking related to GHG emissions of different beef and dairy production systems around the world. The aim is to give those concerned about the negative impacts of industrial animal agriculture a clear understanding of these complex and confusing issues, and to supply them with a solid foundation on which to build their case against industrializing cattle production in low- and middle-income countries. For example, it explains the difference between "intensification" and "industrialization", and why understanding the difference is critically important. *Provides key points that are useful in countering certain prevalent claims in favor of industrialization. (One such claim is that industrialization is essential in order to reduce GHG emission because non-industrial systems generate too much greenhouse gases and do not produce enough meat and dairy to meet global demands). For example, it points out that: Animals from smallholder systems – especially those in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) – often perform many more functions than cattle on industrial farms, and this complicates the way in which emissions are divided between ("allocated to") multiple products from a farm. And farms in LMICs that have low climate footprints already exist, and it is quite possible to bring more on board.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF);
Among the six-infrastructure themes that this assessment focused on, roads seem to have the highest amount of impact on the snow leopard habitat. Experts' ranking ranged from 61% for road to 12.4% for settlement. Impact due to high density road infrastructure on snow leopard habitat ranges from 5,725km2 to 17,775km2. Prediction maps show an area (greater than 90 percentile) measuring between 525km2 and 625km2 as high impact zone in snow leopard habitat, affected by infrastructural development. The study concluded that the current cumulative effect of infrastructural development on snow leopard habitat is low. However, future impact scenario shows an increase of 50% impact area, most of which within or traversing through the core snow leopard habitats. Therefore, it is likely that snow leopard habitats would be subjected to a high degree of fragmentation, deterioration and human disturbances in the future.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW);
Perhaps the most widely accepted framework for community development and human well-being today is the United Nations' 2030 agenda, more commonly known as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Agreed to by all 193 member states of the UN, the goals outline international priorities to achieve sustainable human development. As the preeminent guidance on human development, these goals inform the policies of governments, non-governmental organizations, and the UN system.
While the SDGs are certainly more comprehensive than purely economic measures of progress such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), they place limited emphasis on the value of the natural world. Despite this, animals and their habitats are interwoven in the fate of human development. All species, big and small, imperiled and ubiquitous, have an important role to play in building a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable future for humans. This report will examine these connections and the value of animal welfare and habitat conservation in achieving each sustainable development goal. As we will see, effective animal welfare and conservation can contribute significantly to the achievement of these goals, and promoting animal welfare provides an important avenue to improve both human and animal lives. IFAW seeks to enhance awareness of the connections between animal welfare, conservation, and human development to inspire greater collaboration through which to achieve a shared goal of improving conditions for all species and the planet.
The 'Building Resilience in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Northern Kenya' project was implemented in Turkana County, in Northern Kenya, between July 2012 and April 2015. The project was designed to build the resilience of project participants to a number of shocks and stresses: droughts - which threaten the area annually - floods and outbreaks of human and animal diseases on the one hand, and anthropocentric risks on the other hand, such as fire, livestock theft, and conflicts. The project worked at different levels to try and reduce households' vulnerability to these risks, through Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) and integration of community-level plans and committees into the work of the county government. This Effectiveness Review used a quasi-experimental evaluation design to assess the impact of the project activities, at the household- and community-level. The results provide evidence that the project had had a positive impact on households' resilience capacities. This report is part of Oxfam's Effectiveness Review series.
Center for Biological Diversity;
Mexico is one of the world's most biologically rich nations, with diverse landscapes that are home to a treasure trove of wildlife, including plant and animal species found nowhere else. Sadly, in Mexico and around the world, species are becoming extinct because of human activities at rates never seen before.
In this report we highlight the threats facing Mexico's 10 most iconic endangered species to help illustrate thebroader risks confronting the country's imperiled plants and animals. These 10 species -- which in most cases are protected only on paper -- were chosen to reflect Mexico's diversity of wildlife and ecosystems and the wide range of threats to the country's biodiversity. New awareness of these unique animals and plants is critical to inspiring a nationwide demand to protect these critical components of Mexico's natural heritage.
Endangered Species Research;
Penguins are the most threatened group of seabirds after albatrosses. Although penguins are regularly captured in fishing gear, the threat to penguins as a group has not yet been assessed. We reviewed both published and grey literature to identify the fishing gear types that penguins are most frequently recorded in, the most impacted species and, for these susceptible species, the relative importance of bycatch compared to other threats. While quantitative estimates of overall bycatch levels are difficult to obtain, this review highlights that, of the world's 18 species of penguins, 14 have been recorded as bycatch in fishing gear and that gillnets, and to a lesser extent trawls, are the gear types that pose the greatest threats to penguins. Bycatch is currently of greatest concern for yellow-eyed Megadyptes antipodes(Endangered), Humboldt Spheniscus humboldti (Vulnerable) and Magellanic Spheniscus magellanicus penguins (Near Threatened). Penguins face many threats; reducing bycatch mortality in fishing gear will greatly enhance the resilience of penguin populations to threats from habitat loss and climate change that are more difficult to address in the short term. Additional data are required to quantify the true extent of penguin bycatch, particularly for the most susceptible species. In the meantime, it is crucially important to manage the fisheries operating within known penguin foraging areas to reduce the risks to this already threatened group of seabirds.
Frontiers in Marine Science;
Understanding the horizontal and vertical habitat of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), a threatened species, is critical for determining regions for protection and relevant gear modifications that may effectively reduce bycatch, the largest threat to this species. Satellite transmitters were used to determine the movement and dive behavior of 21 female olive ridley turtles tagged in Pongara National Park, Gabon during the 2012, 2013, and 2015 nesting seasons. A switching state-space model was used to filter the tracking data and categorize the internesting and post-nesting movements. Gridded utilization distribution (UD) home range analysis of tracking data revealed that the entire core habitat occurred in the Komo Estuary during the internesting period. Within the Komo Estuary, 58% of this core UD occurred in shipping lanes. Dive data from the 2015 tagging season revealed that during the internesting period, turtles spent the majority of their time resting on the estuary seabed. Approximately 20% of all dive time was spent on the bottom and all maximum dive depths corresponded to the depth of the seabed, indicating that bottom set gear during the internesting period may pose the greatest potential for fisheries interactions. National parks currently protect many of the nesting sites and the Gabon Bleu initiative has formally designated 10 new marine parks and a network of community and industrial fishing zones; this data was a layer used in determining the park and zone boundaries. Shared use of the estuary by fisheries, shipping, and olive ridley turtles creates a need for management measures to reduce interactions. Thus, the results from this study can further provide detailed information that can be used to support the development of evidence-based management plans.
Center for Biological Diversity;
Trump's border wall will be a deathblow to already endangered animals on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the impacts of construction of that wall on threatened and endangered species along the entirety of the nearly 2,000 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico. The wall and concurrent border-enforcement activities are a serious human-rights disaster, but the wall will also have severe impacts on wildlife and the environment, leading to direct and indirect habitat destruction. A wall will block movement of many wildlife species, precluding genetic exchange, population rescue and movement of species in response to climate change. This may very well lead to the extinction of the jaguar, ocelot, cactus ferruginous pygmy owl and other species in the United States.
Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS);
In March 2016, a Tanzanian government health official recommended that the Ministry of Health contact the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS), a consortium of academic and research institutions working to both modernize and democratize the early detection of epidemic prone diseases in Tanzania and beyond. The year before, SACIDS, which is headquartered at Tanzania's Sokoine University of Agriculture, had launched a new project dubbed Enhancing Community-Based Disease Outbreak Detection and Response in East and Southern Africa (DODRES), funded by Skoll Global Threats Fund. A primary goal of the project: mobilize local communities to contribute to disease detection and response— and drastically improve the scope and efficiency of infectious disease surveillance in the process.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN);
Plastic has penetrated everyday life, and the disadvantages of plastics are becoming more and more visible: large quantities of plastics leak into rivers and oceans, with adverse effects to marine ecosystems and related economic activities. This report is one of the first of its kind to quantify primary microplastics leakage and to demonstrate that these primary microplastics are globally responsible for a major source of plastics in the oceans.