Armond Tag Archive


Worlds fastest animal in race for survival to get added UNbacked protection

The cheetah, which reaches speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour but is now racing against extinction with only about 10,000 adults surviving, is among some 30 endangered land and marine animals on the agenda of the 9th conference of parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). “Species that migrate across countries and continents are facing ever greater hurdles from loss of habitat and feeding grounds to unsustainable use and the unfolding and often complex threats emerging from climate change,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) which administers the CMS. “Indeed the world is currently facing a sixth wave of extinctions mainly as a result of human impacts. Urgent and accelerated action is needed to ensure that a healthy, productive and functioning planet is handed on to the next generation,” he added. More than 100 government representatives at the five-day conference, beginning Monday in Rome, will consider proposals to strengthen conservation by putting the animals on CMS appendix I, listing them as in danger of extinction, or appendix II, listing them as suffering from unfavourable conservation status and in need of international cooperation. Some of these animals are important economically, providing a significant source of tourism revenue. Proposed steps range from tackling over-hunting to removing physical obstacles on the animals’ migratory paths such as border fences to calling for regional agreements for protection. Migratory animals to be considered include: The cheetah, which has suffered a dramatic 90 per cent decline over the past century, becoming extinct in 18 countries of its original range, with less than 10,000 adults surviving in Africa and a meagre 50 in Asia, mainly around Iran’s Kavir desert, due to severe habitat loss, over-hunting and poor breeding in captivity. The Saiga antelope, which used to roam the Eurasian steppes but is now on the brink of extinction for the second time in just 100 years. After being nearly exterminated in the 1920s, numbers went up to 2 million thanks to Soviet conservation efforts, but have now shrunk to just 50,000 due to hunting and obstacles on migration routes. Today they are confined to isolated pockets in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia. Barbary sheep, agile climbers of the Sahara and Sahel region of Africa, are now also threatened by unsustainable and illegal hunting. The species is proposed for appendix I, committing all parties to prohibit hunting and removing obstacles to their migration like fences or habitat conversion. The African Wild Dog has been eradicated from Western and most of Central Africa, with fewer than 8,000 estimated to survive due to conflict with humans and other animals, as well as infectious diseases. Fences on migration paths also endanger them. The proposed Appendix II listing would call on nations to establish regional agreements for their protection. Other animals include seven species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, such as the reclusive Irrawaddy dolphins which used to inhabit coastal areas and estuaries throughout south-east Asia. Today, habitat loss, live capture, entanglement in fishing nets, electrocution and boat collisions put the survival of the remaining small populations at risk. The Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphin, unique to one of the most degraded marine environments in the world, has also suffered from uncontrolled hunting and by-catch, despite the ban on cetacean fishery in the sea since 1983, while the West African Manatee, one of the world’s most camera-shy species, has been endangered by their only significant threat, humankind, due to poaching, habitat loss and other environmental impacts. Other animals on the agenda include three shark species, spiny dogfish, and seven birds, such as the Saker falcon, prized as hunting companions by royalty and the aristocracy in Central Asia; the Egyptian vulture, poisoned by feeding on carcasses of feral animals laced with pesticides; and the Peruvian tern, threatened by disturbance in its breeding grounds from human activity. “The Convention on Migratory Species is an important part of our international cooperative response to such challenges. It reflects the shared responsibility of nations for these species as each year they attempt their epic journeys across continents and oceans,” Mr. Steiner said. Robert Hepworth, Executive Secretary of UNEP-CMS, added: “Many migratory species are now important parts of the local and international economy, generating income and supporting livelihoods via industries such as tourism. For example, an estimated 150,000 people visit the Serengeti (in Tanzania and Kenya) annually in order to see its famous wildlife. Based on 2003 figures, the park generates income of $5.5 million from tourists.” 28 November 2008The critically endangered cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal, is set to obtain added international protection next week at a United Nations-backed conference seeking to strengthen conservation of species that often cross national borders. read more

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UN court rules for Cambodia in Preah Vihear temple dispute with Thailand

Following Cambodia’s independence, Thailand occupied the 900-year-old Hindu temple in 1954. The temple and its vicinity have long been a bone of contention between the neighbours and have in recent years led to deadly clashes between them.In a June 1962 judgment, the ICJ found that the temple is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia, and that Thailand is under an obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, stationed at the Temple or in its vicinity on Cambodian territory.In April 2011, Cambodia requested the ICJ to interpret the 1962 Judgment, arguing that while Thailand recognizes Cambodia’s sovereignty over the temple itself, it does not appear to recognize the sovereignty of Cambodia over the vicinity of the temple.In its decision today, the Court declared unanimously that the 1962 Judgement decided that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear, and that Thailand is obligated to withdraw its forces from that territory.It also affirmed that the temple, which was inscribed in 2008 on the World Heritage List drawn up by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is a site of religious and cultural significance for the peoples of the region. In this respect, the Court recalled that Cambodia and Thailand – which are both parties to the World Heritage Convention – must cooperate in the protection of the site as a world heritage. In addition, each State is under an obligation not to “take any deliberate measures which might damage directly or indirectly” such heritage. Established in 1945 under the UN Charter, the ICJ – sometimes referred to as the World Court – settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by authorized UN organs or specialized agencies. read more

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New Amsterdam man accused of murdering wife remanded

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWife dies days after alleged beating, husband in custodySeptember 23, 2017In “Crime”Suspects who confessed to raping, killing Berbice teen for court MondaySeptember 24, 2017In “Crime”Man who allegedly stabbed wife fifteen times remanded on murder chargeJanuary 4, 2017In “Man who allegedly stabbed wife fifteen times remanded on murder charge” A Smithfield, New Amsterdam resident was remanded to prison on Monday when he appeared at the New Amsterdam’s Magistrates’ Court to answer to a murder charge.Randolph Tahal, 58, was not required to plead to the indictable charge when it was read to him by Magistrate Alex Moore.The court heard that Tahal is accused of murdering his wife. The charge alleges that between September 17 and September 19 2017, the 58-year-old man and his wife, Janet Tahal, were involved in a verbal altercation when he picked up a piece of wood and dealt the now deceased woman several blows across her face.A family friend reportedly saw the woman bleeding profusely and she was subsequently rushed to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital where she later succumbed.Tahal was arrested following the outcome of the post mortem examination.He is expected to return to court on October 27. read more

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