- Catatumbo Barí National Natural Park protects the unique, remote rainforest in northeastern Colombia.
- Satellite data show the park lost 6.2% of its tree cover between 2001 and 2019, with several months of unusually high deforestation in 2020.
- Sources say illegal coca cultivation is rapidly expanding in and around Catatumbo Barí and is driving deforestation as farmers move in and clear forest to grow the illicit crop, which is used to make cocaine.
- Area residents say armed groups are controlling the trade of coca in and out of the region, and are largely operating in an atmosphere of impunity.
The Catatumbo River originates in northeastern Colombia's Norte de Santander Department and flows to Venezuelan Lake Maracaibo. For generations, it has provided passage for fishermen and small farmers; but increasingly, it is being used to transport illegal good like weapons, timber and coca crops, from which cocaine is produced.
Recently cleared land in Catatumbo Barí National Natural Park. Colombian Army Vulcano Task Force<p>In addition to a threatening environment for local communities, the illegal cultivation of coca and its manufacture into cocaine appears to be coming at the cost of the region's forests. Even areas given the highest level of protection are not immune – including Catatumbo Barí National Natural Park, where satellites are detecting <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/deforestation">deforestation</a> creeping deeper and deeper into the park's old-growth rainforest.</p>
The Rise of Coca<p>Today Pablo cultivates legal crops, but until a few years ago he was a coca grower. He said he has watched as coca fields have expanded to the edges of the roads and banks of the Catatumbo River with total impunity, thus breaking with the old practice of growers cultivating coca in more remote, hidden areas.</p><p>"Now people burn pastures to cultivate coca that used to be destined for livestock or growing fruit … They don't respect anything, not even the river," Pablo said.</p><p>Pablo says that since the arrival of coca in 1997, the region has not been the same and that the situation deteriorated further after the signing of the FARC peace agreement in 2016.</p><p>"There are almost no trees left and the wells in the creeks and river where I bathed when I was a child no longer exist because of the landslides," said Pablo, who has lived more than 50 years in the same region.</p>
Increasing Deforestation<p><span>Catatumbo Barí National Natural Park is nestled in the foothills of the eastern mountain range in the department of Norte de Santander and covers 158,125 hectares (390,735 acres) with elevations ranging from 70 to 2,000 meters (230 to 6,562 feet) above sea level. Orchids, bromeliads, lianas and heliconias predominate in the park, as well as trees over 45 meters (148 feet) tall. It harbors part of the Catatumbo Moist Forest ecoregion, which is the only area north of the Andes inhabited by Amazonian plants and animals – and which has been heavily degraded by agriculture and oil extraction.</span></p>
Much of the forest of the Catatumbo region has been fragmented. Colombian Army Vulcano Task Force<p>Catatumbo Barí is more than six hours from Cúcuta, the capital of Norte de Santander Department, and there is little, if any, passable road access. The best way to get there is by boat with the help of the Barí, the Indigenous group that occupies a sector of the park across two reservations: Motilón Barí which comprises 108,900 hectares (269,097 acres) and Gabarra-Catalaura of 13,300 hectares (32,865 acres).</p><p>Along the way to the park, fields of coca crops are easy to see.</p><p>"The crops are reaching Cúcuta," said an inhabitant of the region.</p><p>Tibú is one of the municipalities that has jurisdiction over the park. It's also the municipality with the highest deforestation rate in Norte de Santander. According to the latest report from the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Ideam), 7,103 hectares (17,551 acres) were cleared in Tibú in 2019, representing 72% of its area.</p><p>According to the United Nations' Integrated Illicit Crops Monitoring System (SIMCI), 41,711 hectares (103,070 acres) of coca crops were cultivated across the region in 2019, an increase of more than 76% over 2016 when SIMCI recorded 24,831 hectares (61,358 acres) of coca cultivation.</p><p>Norte de Santander lost 11% of its tree cover between 2001 and 2019, according to satellite data from the University of Maryland (UMD), while Catatumbo Barí National Natural Park <a href="https://www.globalforestwatch.org/map/aoi/5ff740a7cb55fc001ba83567/?category=summary&gladAlerts=eyJ3ZWVrcyI6NTJ9&mainMap=eyJzaG93QW5hbHlzaXMiOnRydWV9&map=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%3D&mapMenu=eyJtZW51U2VjdGlvbiI6Im15LWdmdyJ9%27" target="_blank">lost 6.2%</a>. In both areas, preliminary UMD data for 2020 showing several spikes of deforestation that were "<a href="https://www.globalforestwatch.org/dashboards/country/COL/22/?category=summary&gladAlerts=eyJ3ZWVrcyI6NTJ9&location=WyJjb3VudHJ5IiwiQ09MIiwiMjIiXQ%3D%3D&mainMap=eyJzaG93QW5hbHlzaXMiOnRydWV9&map=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&mapMenu=eyJkYXRhc2V0Q2F0ZWdvcnkiOiJsYW5kQ292ZXIifQ%3D%3D" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">unusually high</a>" compared to years past.</p>
Catatumbo Barí National Natural Park protects some of the last primary rainforest in the region. But satellite data show deforestation continued to whittle it away in 2020 — including inside the park.<p><span>National Natural Parks of Colombia (PNN) is the environmental authority that oversees Catatumbo Barí. The areas outside the park are overseen by the Regional Autonomous Corporation of the Northeast Frontier (Corponor), which manages renewable natural resources in Norte de Santander. Sandra Gómez, deputy director of Corponor, explains that high deforestation rates outside the park are due largely to the expansion of the agricultural frontier, illicit crops, illegal mining and timber trafficking.</span></p><p>"Entering is difficult and inaccessible because of (the lack of) roads, the ongoing conflict and security issues. All this makes illegal activities easier," Gómez said.</p><p>The latest report from SIMCI found 1,448 hectares (3,578 acres) of coca cultivation inside Catatumbo Barí in 2019, representing 15% of the area deforested between 2001 and 2019 and a 60% jump over 2018. However, this may pale in comparison to 2020; according to a government source who studies the area, and who spoke on condition of anonymity, 90% of the deforested land in Catatumbo Barí has now been planted with coca crops, with the remaining 10% used as cropland for plantains and yucca, or as livestock pasture.</p><p>According to SIMCI figures, coca crops had reached two indigenous reservations within Catatumbo Barí as of 2019, with 411 hectares cultivated in the Motilón Barí reservation and 43 hectares in the Gabarra-Catalaura reservation. Totaling 454 hectares (1,121 acres), this marks a 66% increase in coca cultivation in the two reservations compared to 2018.</p><p>Juan Carlos Quintero, president of the Catatumbo Small Farmers Association (Ascamcat), said that coca cultivation, as well as the expansion of large-scale oil palm plantations, is worrying. He added that the departure of government oversight after the signing of the 2016 FARC peace deal has created an atmosphere of impunity in the region.</p><p>"The national government is only present with the army," Quintero said, adding that armed groups soon invaded territory left vacant by the FARC and unprotected by the government.</p>
Long-Term Consequences<p>Catatumbo Barí National Natural Park has untouched areas of rainforest that are still unstudied by the scientific community. Carlos Herney Cáceres Martínez, a biologist who has done research in various Colombian parks, has tried to enter the protected area for years to conduct genetic sampling of the Andean bear (<em>Tremarctos ornatus</em>). The project aims to characterize the connectivity of Andean bear populations in Colombia, and from the eight different regions where its presence has been registered, Catatumbo Barí is the only area where sampling has not been yet possible due to the difficulty of accessing the park.</p>
The Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus), also called the spectacled bear, is the last remaining species of short-faced bear. It is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Futureman1199 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0<p>Cáceres said deforestation like that which is happening in and around Catatumbo Barí has cascading repercussions that can ripple through ecosystems and the human communities that depend on them.</p><p>"When a humid forest is affected, everything is affected: the capture of carbon dioxide, oxygen leveling, water regulation, erosive processes (…) Not only are plants or animals lost, as a society we are losing a free service that the planet offers us to have a healthy life," Cáceres said. He added that fire – which is often used to clear land – can be particularly destructive to the region's forest.</p><p>"We know that it is very difficult for them to return to their natural state," he said. "For [a forest] to recover 50% they need at least 100 years."</p><p><em>This </em><em>is a translated and adapted version of a story that was </em><em><a href="https://es.mongabay.com/2020/12/cultivos-ilegales-y-deforestacion-asfixian-al-parque-nacional-catatumbo-bari-en-colombia/" target="_blank">first published by Mongabay Latam</a> </em><em>on Dec. 2, 2020.</em></p><p><em><strong>Editor's note:</strong> This story was powered by <a href="https://blog.globalforestwatch.org/places-to-watch" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Places to Watch</a>, a Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative designed to quickly identify concerning forest loss around the world and catalyze further investigation of these areas. Places to Watch draws on a combination of near-real-time satellite data, automated algorithms and field intelligence to identify new areas on a monthly basis. In partnership with Mongabay, GFW is supporting data-driven journalism by providing data and maps generated by Places to Watch. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data</em>.<br></p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://news.mongabay.com/2021/01/cocaine-production-driving-deforestation-into-colombian-national-park/" target="_blank">Mongabay</a>.</em></p>
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The future of the world's largest rainforest looks bleak. A new report for Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development concluded that the Amazon rainforest will collapse and largely become a dry, shrubby plain by 2064. Development, deforestation and the climate crisis are to blame, study author and University of Florida geologist Robert Toovey Walker found, UPI reported.
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For many people, the holidays are rich with time-honored traditions like decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, caroling, cookie baking, and sipping from the unity cup. But there's another unofficial, official holiday tradition that spans all ages and beliefs and gives people across the world hope for a better tomorrow: the New Year's resolution.
Benefits of Chamomile Tea<p><strong>Sleep More Soundly</strong></p><p>Pick your grandmother's brain about the best way to fall asleep, and she might tell you to down a nice glass of warm milk. But if you consult with science, research shows that chamomile might be a better option. That's because it contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia and other sleep problems</a>.</p><p>Two research studies even confirmed the power of chamomile throughout the day and before bed. In one of those studies, postpartum women who drank chamomile for two weeks <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26483209" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">experienced better sleep quality than the control group who didn't</a>. Another research effort measured how fast people could fall asleep. Those results illustrated that participants who consumed 270 milligrams of chamomile extract twice daily for 28 days <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198755/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">fell asleep 15 minutes faster than the control</a>. The chamomile group also had considerably fewer sleep disruptions. </p><p><strong>May Be Able to Keep Your Gut Healthy</strong></p><p>Though the following studies used rats as the subjects, research shows that chamomile can potentially play a beneficial role in digestive health. According to that research, the anti-inflammatory properties in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24463157" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">chamomile extract may be able to protect against diarrhea</a>. Additionally, chamomile may be an effective way to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4177631/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stop the growth of bacteria in our stomachs that contribute to ulcers</a>.</p><p><strong>Reduces Stress and Anxiety</strong></p><p>Few things are more relaxing than curling up with a good cup of tea, so it's logical that chamomile tea can serve a stress reducer. While it lacks the potency of a pharmaceutical drug, long-term use of chamomile has been shown to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27912875" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">"significantly" reduce general anxiety disorders</a>. In general, chamomile can act almost like a sedative, and many people enjoy the tea because it puts them in a calm and relaxed state almost immediately. </p><p><strong>Boosts Immune Health</strong></p><p>Vitamin C and zinc are common over-the-counter supplements that people often turn to when they're hoping to avoid becoming sick. While scientists admit that more research must take place to prove chamomile's impact on preventing ailments like the common cold, the existing studies do show promise in this area. </p><p>One study had 14 participants drink five cups of the tea every day for two consecutive weeks. Throughout the study, researchers collected daily urine samples and tested the contents before and after the consumption of the tea. Drinking chamomile resulted in a significant increase in the levels of hippurate and glycine, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">both of which are known to increase antibacterial activity</a>. Inhaling steam from a pot of freshly brewed chamomile tea may also ease the symptoms of nasal congestion.</p><p><strong>Minimizes Menstrual Cramps</strong></p><p>This one may come as a surprise, particularly to readers who have tried every possible over-the-counter treatment to reduce period pain. Several research studies have proven that chamomile tea may be able to minimize the pain and cramps that occur during menstruation. Women in that same study also dealt with lower levels of anxiety that they typically felt because of menstrual cramps.</p><p><strong>Help Diabetes and Lower Blood Sugar</strong></p><p>For people with diabetes, regulating blood sugar levels can be a matter of life or death. And while chamomile will never replace prescription-strength drugs, it's believed that it can prevent an increase in blood sugar. A 2008 study on rats showed that chamomile could have a <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf8014365" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">moderate impact on the long-term risk of diabetes</a>.</p><p><strong>Might Improve Your Skin</strong></p><p>Ever wondered why there's been an influx of chamomile-infused cosmetic products? The reason why so many manufacturers now include chamomile in their lotions, soaps, and creams is because it <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074766/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">acts as an anti-inflammatory on our skin</a>. That means it may be able to soothe the puffiness that plagues us as we age. Those same anti-inflammatory properties can be vital in restoring skin health after we've received a sunburn. </p><p>Before discarding your used chamomile tea bags, try chilling them and placing them over your eyes. Not only will this help with the puffiness, but it can drastically light the skin color around the eye.</p><p><strong>Help With Heart Health</strong></p><p>Some of the most beneficial antioxidants we put into our bodies are what are known as flavones, and chamomile tea is chock full of them. Flavones have the potential to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which, when elevated, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4814348/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">can lead to heart disease</a>.</p>
Why Everyone Is Drinking Chamomile Tea<p>Now that you know so much about the wonders of chamomile, it shouldn't come as a surprise why the tea is so popular with people of all ages. In addition to tasting great, chamomile offers up benefits that boost the health of body parts both inside and out. As you ponder your own New Year's resolutions, think about how healthy and natural vitamins, supplements, plants, and oils can help guide you on your own personal path to improvement. Happy New Year!</p>
By Georgina Kenyon
Earlier this year, the term "bat tornado" started appearing in the Australian and international media. It all started with a BBC report from the town of Ingham in the northeastern state of Queensland, where the population of flying fox bats had apparently "exploded" over the last two years, leaving residents fed up with their noise and smell.
Travelers in Search of Wood and Water<p>The Australian mainland has four species of flying fox — also known as <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/zambia-incredible-flight-of-the-fruit-bats/a-36825859" target="_blank">fruit bats</a> — two of which are listed as nationally protected species. Some can reach a wingspan of 1.5 meters.</p><p>Flying fox camps have been likened to railway stations, where crowds of the animals come and go each day. They may travel up to 50 kilometers (30 miles) in a single night, and 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) seasonally, depending on food availability. </p><p>They also need a good source of water, drinking small amounts frequently to stay hydrated without weighing themselves down in flight. Susan Island, located in the middle of the Clarence River that runs through the city of Grafton, has become an ideal congregation spot. </p><p>But climate change and deforestation are making their movements less predictable. As their habitat is lost or water sources dry up, <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/australia-heat-wave-brain-frying-bats/a-42078045" target="_blank">they seek refuge</a> in urban or suburban areas. "They're being forced into areas they would not normally be," said Tim Pearson, an ecologist and chair of the NGO Sydney Bats. </p><p>And while some Australian towns may be seeing an influx of flying foxes, nationally, their numbers have dropped significantly. </p>
Perishing in the Heat<p>Extreme temperatures over recent years have wiped out thousands — sometimes even tens of thousands — of animals at a time, with media reports showing heaps of corpses where they have fallen from trees suffering extreme heat stress.</p><p>Australia experienced the hottest November on record this year, with temperatures reaching the mid-40 degrees Celsius in some regions.</p><p>And bats are more exposed to heat in towns and suburbs where they don't have the protection of thick forest. </p><p>"This latest catastrophe to befall some of Australia's largest bat species is a symptom of a much larger problem — Australia's deforestation crisis," said Matt Brennan, head of Tasmania-based Wilderness Society. "Eastern Australia is now a designated global deforestation hotspot, alongside places like the Amazon, the Congo and Borneo." </p>
Extending a Helping Hand<p>Some towns are trying to help them. Yarra City council in Melbourne has installed sprinkler systems where flying foxes come to breed in huge colonies on the Yarra River, to try and keep them cool. </p><p>And along the Parramatta River in Sydney, the New South Wales state government has helped fund a project to plant trees to provide the bats with more habitat and shade.</p><p>However, these well-intentioned interventions don't always hit the mark. Pearson says sprinklers can startle heat-exhausted animals, increasing their stress levels. And ultimately, making urban environments more hospitable to bats is no substitute for preserving the forests where they are naturally at home.</p><p>"You can plant trees to give the flying foxes more habitat, but the real problem is climate change and ongoing deforestation," said Pearson. </p>
Bats Need Forests, and Forests Need Bats<p>While flying foxes suffer from loss of trees, loss of fruit bats is, in turn, bad news for trees. As flying foxes pop their heads into flowers to feed on nectar, or consume fruit and excrete the seeds, they help eucalypts, melaleucas, banksias and many species of rainforest trees and vines, to reproduce.</p><p>Pearson warns that if we don't address climate change and halt deforestation, Australia's flying fox numbers will fall so low within the next few decades, they will no longer be able perform this vital role.</p><p>"I think they will survive in some pockets along the coast where there is food and water," he said, "but they will not be acting as the pollinators and seed dispersers that are so necessary for our forests to survive." </p>
Learning to Love Our Winged Neighbors<p>Pearson is among the flying fox's fiercest defenders. He's studying their vocalizations and says the din their human neighbors complain about is actually the highly developed communication of an intelligent and intensely social species. </p><p>He wants the public to stop seeing them as disease-carrying invaders and start appreciating fruit bats for the extraordinary animals they are: "It's through educating people, raising awareness about how important these flying foxes are for ecosystem health that we may be able to save them."</p><p>In Grafton, spectators now sometimes gather to watch them on their nightly search for food. </p><p>"When I realized people were coming from around Australia just to see the bats here out of curiosity, I started to find out more about them, appreciate them," said Taylor. "People actually row out to the island to see them!" </p><p>"I guess the bats are kind of funky," she admits.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/flying-foxes-australias-love-hate-relationship-with-fruit-bats/a-55949095" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649780401#/" target="_self"></a></p>
"Industrial meat production is not only responsible for precarious working conditions, it also pushes people off their land, leads to deforestation, biodiversity loss and the use of pesticides — and is also one of the main drivers of the climate crisis."
Such were the words of Barbara Unmüssig of green think tank, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, at the Berlin presentation of the so-called "Meat Atlas 2021."
Germany Plays Leading Role in the Meat Industry<p><span>Olaf Bandt, chairman of BUND, says policymakers must take account of society's desire to </span><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/can-you-be-a-good-christian-and-eat-meat/a-55410685" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">restructure the sector</a><span>. "This requires far-reaching political realignment of agricultural policy," he said. "But there can be no agricultural transition without a food transition."</span></p><p>Bandt describes Germany as a key player in the production of pork and milk, with a 20% share of the EU market. </p><p>"Huge amounts of meat are exported," he said, adding that this reliance on international markets is having a detrimental effect on the environment, livestock and farms. "More and more animals live on ever fewer farms, further exacerbating the pollution of groundwater in those regions." </p>
Meat Devours Rainforest<p>Global population and economic growth are the drivers behind increasing demand for meat. In 1960, the planet was home to just 3 billion people and, according to the report, meat consumption at that time was around 70 million metric tons. That equated to an annual per capita global average of 23 kilograms.</p><p><span></span>By 2018, however, when the population had grown to 7.6 billion people, meat consumption had risen seven-fold to around 350 million metric tons — or a global average of 46 kilograms per person annually.</p><p>A key problem with this trend is that <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/eating-meat-is-no-longer-a-private-matter/a-55515722" target="_blank">meat production</a> requires vast areas of land. According to the German Environment Agency (UBA), the country's central environment authority, 71% of global arable land is currently used for livestock feed. That is four times the amount required for direct food growth (18%) or other raw materials such as cotton (7%) and energy crops like corn for biogas (4%). </p>
The Problem With Pesticides<p>Besides revealing the power and global impact of the international meat industry, authors of the "Meat Atlas" also illustrate links to the global chemical industry. They write that dangerous and sometimes banned pesticides are exported by large chemical companies. Among the producers and exporters of such chemicals are European players, Bayer Crop Science, BASF, and Syngenta, as well as U.S. companies Corteva and FMS. </p>
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Tens of thousands of children in Indonesia and Malaysia work to harvest the palm oil that ends up in several beloved Western snacks, including Girl Scout cookies.
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A lungless worm salamander, an armored slug and a critically endangered monkey were a few of 503 new species identified this year by scientists at London's National History Museum.
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By John C. Cannon
Books have provided a welcome refuge in 2020. The global pandemic has, in many cases, turned even routine travel into a risk not worth taking, and it has left many longing for the day when we will once again set off for a new destination. At the same time, this year has also been a time to reflect on the sense of place and what home means to each of us.
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In an era of extreme political polarization, opportunities for bipartisan efforts on climate change may seem impossible, but a recent introduction of rare climate legislation, authored by Republican and Democratic senators, could pioneer future agreements.
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Human made stuff now outweighs life on Earth.
That's the finding of a new study published in Nature Wednesday that sought to bring home the full weight of what human activity has done to the planet.
By Stuart Braun
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the dire threat of climate change Wednesday in a speech on the state of the planet delivered at Columbia University in New York.
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Eat Just's cultured chicken has been approved for sale in Singapore as an ingredient in chicken bites. Eat Just
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