The experience of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex with the use of the Integrated Management Effectiveness tool. An integrated vision of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex, consisting of the parks of Bouba Ndjidda, in Cameroon, and Sena Oura, in Chad, fol-lowed by a critical analysis of the state of the sites, allowed eﬃ nition of tai-lor-made interventions.
Mystery deepens over animal source of coronavirus - Nature
Pangolins are a prime suspect, but a slew of genetic analyses has yet to find conclusive proof.
Scientists are racing to identify the source of the coronavirus that is causing havoc around the world. Three weeks ago, Chinese scientists suggested, on the basis of genetic analyses, that the scaly, ant-eating pangolin was the prime suspect. But scientists have now examined those data — along with three other pangolin coronavirus genome studies released last week — and say that although the animal is still a contender, the mystery is far from solved.
Public-health officials want to pin down the virus’s source so they can prevent new outbreaks. Scientists assume that the pathogen jumped to people from an animal, as has been seen with other coronaviruses; for example, the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is thought to have jumped to humans from civets in 2002. Dozens of people infected early in the current outbreak worked in a live-animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but tests of coronavirus samples found at the market have yet to identify a source.
Three separate Chinese teams are trying to trace the origin of the coronavirus, including a group from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and one from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Researchers at the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou suggested pangolins as the animal source at a press conference on 7 February. Pangolins are highly sought-after in China for their meat and their scales; the latter are used in traditional medicine. Although sales of the animal are forbidden in China as part of a worldwide ban, they are still smuggled in from a handful of southeast Asian and African countries. The researchers said they had found a coronavirus in smuggled pangolins that was a 99% genetic match to the virus circulating in people.
But the result did not actually refer to the entire genome. In fact, it related to a specific site known as the receptor-binding domain (RBD), say the study’s authors, who posted their analysis1 on the biomedical preprint server bioRxiv on 20 February. The press-conference report was the result of an “embarrassing miscommunication between the bioinformatics group and the lab group of the study”, explains Xiao Lihua, a parasitologist at the South China Agricultural University and a co-author of the paper. A whole-genome comparison found that the pangolin and human viruses share 90.3% of their DNA.
The RBD is a crucial part of coronaviruses, which allows them to latch on to and enter a cell. Even a 99% similarity between the RBDs of the two viruses is not necessarily enough to link them, says Linfa Wang, a virologist at Duke–National University of Singapore Medical School who was part of the team that found the origin of the SARS virus.
Not close enough
Three similar comparison studies were posted on bioRxiv last week. One of those papers — by an international research group , posted on 18 February — found2 that coronaviruses in frozen cell samples from illegally trafficked pangolins shared between 85.5% and 92.4% of their DNA with the virus found in humans.
Two other papers published on 20 February, from groups in China, also studied coronaviruses from smuggled pangolins. The viruses were 90.23%3 and 91.02%4 similar, respectively, to the virus that causes COVID-19.
The genetic similarity should be higher than reported in these studies before the host can be identified, says Arinjay Banerjee, who studies coronaviruses at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. He notes that the SARS virus shared 99.8% of its genome with a civet coronavirus, which is why civets were considered the source. If pangolins are the origin of the current outbreak, says Banerjee, it is not the pangolins in these studies.
So far, the closest match to the human coronavirus has been found in a bat in China’s Yunnan province. A study5 published on 3 February found that the bat coronavirus shared 96% of its genetic material with the virus that causes COVID-19. Bats could have passed the virus to humans, but there are key differences between the RBD sites in the two viruses. This suggests that this specific bat coronavirus did not directly infect people, but could have been transmitted it to people through an intermediate host, say researchers.
The papers raise more questions than they answer, says Jiang Zhigang, an ecologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Zoology in Beijing. He asks, if pangolins are the source of the virus, and they came from another country, why haven’t there been reports of people being infected in that location?
Following its Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests in 2019, the European Commission has finally opened a questionnaire-based consultation on policies needed to reduce deforestation and forest degradation associated with EU consumption of forest-risk commodities.
This online course organized by IFED in partnership with Queen's University of Canada will be delivered by high level lecturers. Professionals with positive experiences on REDD++ management and PES will also share their experiences you learners. Please also see hereafter the poster which summarizes the articulations of this training that scheduled from 05 to 09 October 2020.
Forests and Finance - The banks and investors exposed to deforestation risks in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa and in Brazil.
Top 10 Lenders & Underwriters (2016-2020 April): See the 10 banks and investors with the highest financial exposure in loans and underwriting to forest-risk sector companies in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa and Brazil. These findings are based on research carried out by forestsandfinance.org using this methodology to identify corporate loans, credit and underwriting facilities provided to the selected companies.
DAKAR (Reuters) - Cameroon has backtracked on a decision to allow industrial logging in one of the region’s least exploited rainforests, home to rare gorillas, tool-wielding chimpanzees and giant frogs.
I have been following with keen interest the ongoing debate on Ebo Forest. It represents the struggle of a country trying to balance developmental aspirations with ecological and cultural identity.
Global and African Leaders Welcome Launch of GCA Africa as “Historic Moment to Accelerate Adaptation” on the Continent – AFDB
The Global Center on Adaptation today announced the launch of its regional office in Côte d’Ivoire. Hosted by the African Development Bank at its headquarters in the Ivorian capital Abidjan, GCA Africa will work with partners across the continent to scale and accelerate adaptation action that protects African communities from the impacts of climate change.
In view of the sanitary situation associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, France and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have decided to postpone the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which was to be held in January 2021 in Marseille. New dates for the event will be announced in due course.
FOREST EDUCATION here is related to FORESTS, TREES OUTSIDE FORESTS, AND OTHER WOODED LAND (i.e., natural forests, forest plantations, woodlands, agroforestry systems and urban forests). It includes education delivered through programmes of forestry and forest sciences as well as programmes of broader scope, (e.g., natural resource management, environmental sciences).
The Legacy Landscapes Fund -Safeguarding outstanding biodiversity for humanity – the next level of conservation
The Strategy -Halting the dramatic loss of biodiversity requires a bold new approach for protected areas in terms of scope, structure, accountability and financing. As an instrument to serve this strategy we introduce the Legacy Landscapes Fund.
Following a negotiation process which was begun at the G7 Biarritz summit, then at the United Nations General Assembly, and spearheaded by our country, France and its partners, countries in the Amazon Basin, Congo Basin and South-East Asia, and European donor countries agreed on the text of a Charter establishing the Alliance for Rainforests.
RFUK: PRESS RELEASE: UN plan to protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030 could displace hundreds of millions, NGOs and experts warn
One hundred twenty-eight environmental and human rights NGOs and experts today warn that a United Nations drive to increase global protected areas such as national parks could lead to severe human rights violations and cause irreversible social harm for some of the world’s poorest people.
To read: ATIBT welcomes RIFFEAC !; Deforestation is a political choice, but not a goal; PARTNERSHIP MFLS FOREZIENNE AND ISELI; ATIBT is relaying two EU public consultations including one on the EUTR. You can answer until November 26, 2020…
Bending the curve of terrestrial biodiversity needs an integrated Bending the curve of terrestrial biodiversity needs an integrated strategy – Nature
Increased efforts are required to prevent further losses to terrestrial biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it provides1,2. Ambitious targets have been proposed, such as reversing the declining trends in biodiversity3; however, just feeding the growing human population will make this a challenge4.
Wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in less than 50 years, according to a major report by the conservation group WWF. The report says this "catastrophic decline" shows no sign of slowing.
To read: ITTO Fellowship Programme is open for applications; Nominations open for 2021 Wangari Maathai award; Air your views on future of forest education—deadline extended to participate in global survey…
´The science is clear, and the world’s top economic authorities agree: To safeguard human civilization as we know it, we must fundamentally change the way our societies and economies operate´.
To read: A new report from EcoAgriculture Partners reviews models of integrated landscape finance; Leaders of 1000 Landscapes Hold Strategy Workshop; Using Integrated Landscape Management to Scale Agroforestry: Examples from Ecuador.
Already in the late 1970s, EcoAgriculture Partners´ Sara Scherr and Louise Buck experienced the promise that agroforestry holds: improving livelihood security for smallholders, especially women and children. As they were working with the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry’ (ICRAF) in Kenya, they were studying and promoting agroforestry as an approach to farming that integrates production and conservation functions.
To read: WFC 2021 in Seoul : Building a green, healthy and resilient future with forests; Gabon : Inauguration of the new Precious Woods CEB factory by Minister Lee White; Important update - Study Overview of the private sector in the Republic of Congo…
There is less than a month to go before the UN General Assembly High-Level week which will, for the first time in history, be largely online. The UN Global Compact is inviting our entire network to attend Uniting Business LIVE, an online gathering of global business and sustainability leaders on the sidelines of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly from 21–23 September.
To read : Implementation of FLEGT REDD CERTIFICATION project activities in the DRC; Continuation of TRACER-DR project Communication in Gabon with FRMI and BRAINFOREST; ATIBT publishes its study on the impact of COVID-19 on the forest sector in the Republic of Congo…
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, 17th August 2020—Congolese artisanal fishers are increasingly turning to shark fishing because of increased scarcity of other stocks overfished by industrial fisheries: urgent legislative and management improvements are needed to prevent a collapse of shark fishing and protect local livelihoods finds a new TRAFFIC report.
Enrico Celio is a senior scientist with the chair “Planning of Landscape and Urban Systems” at ETH Zürich, and was a visiting fellow at EcoAgriculture Partners in 2018 in Washington, DC. He is interested in understanding how landscapes can be developed and managed in an inclusive and process-oriented way.
To read: Wildlife- We observed an unusual inter-group interaction between the Makumba and Mata habituated gorilla groups in Bai Hokou during which Mio, a young male from the Mata group spent all the time playing with Inguka, one of the twins in the Makumba group.
Some countries simply get it right. They understand that we don't own the world we live in and we are sharing the planet with other occupants. They know that wildlife conservation isn't just an ethical discourse but a necessary step to ensuring human being's survival.
The study expands the scope of reporting for the first time to all countries with multilateral development bank operations. It now provides data on MDB climate finance commitments beyond those directed solely at developing and emerging economies, but with the focus remaining on low- and middle-income countries.
"The consequences of the pandemic could be long-lasting", stated Ambassador Smail Chergui, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, adding that "the AU will continue to support governments to make extremely difficult choices to address the impact of COVID-19 across the continent".
Ebo forest is home to hundreds of rare species including Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees. A Cameroonian government decree allowing logging in a forest that is home to some of the world’s most endangered species has sparked outrage among local communities and conservation groups.
We are extremely proud and happy with our achievements this month. After more than 10 months of hard work at the Limbe Wildlife Centre, we have made a great step to further bridge the gap between animal welfare and conservation actions by inaugurating the first soft-release of endangered African grey parrot in Cameroon’s history.
The fifteenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF15) had been expected to adopt a resolution on several important issues including the UNFF Quadrennial Programme of Work (4POW) for 2021-2024.
In light of the continued COVID-19 global pandemic, the 42nd meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (OEWG 42) convened three identical, online technical sessions, in different time zones, from 14-16 July 2020.
G20 Meetings Review Responses to Pandemic, Discuss Role of Digital Technologies in Accelerating Recovery – IISD
Following virtual meetings in July 2020, the Group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors issued a communiqué that acknowledges global economic activity is expected to contract sharply in 2020 due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic...
H.E. Amb. Josefa Leonel Correia SACKO Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture On the occasion of The Launching of the Inaugural Africa Biennial Report on Disaster Risk Reduction – AU
My fellow Africans! I am pleased to issue this press briefing at the launch of the Inaugural Africa Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. As you might be aware, disasters have become a recurrent phenomenon in Africa and the Africa Union wants to ensure that countries prepared to minimize...
Communiqué of the 36th extraordinary assembly of IGAD heads of state and government held online via videoconference 14th july 2020 - IGAD
The 36th Extraordinary Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government was held on 14th July 2020 via videoconference, chaired by H.E. Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan.