Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change
In a bid to combat climate change, US President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on Monday, marking the first time power plants have been targeted by mandatory regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in the US.
Google: Earthday 2013

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How important is gender in conservation?

Could paying greater attention to gender roles help save the environment? Ever more environmental groups believe it can. Some examples from practice - like reforestation in Malawi - indicate this is indeed the case.

Deutsche Welle, 7 April 2015

Collecting firewood is typically a woman's task in Malawi (Photo: Seline Meijer)

When local farmers in Malawi plant trees, a separation of labor is clear: While the farmer plants the small seedlings, his wife takes care of older trees, sweeps away old leaves from the ground, collects firewood for cooking and harvests the fruit.

Gender obviously plays a huge role in life - and also for conservation. Scientists and environmental organizations are now starting to paying attention to exactly what makes up these differences.

What's emerging is not only important for conservation - it's also a bit surprising.

Gender matters

Conservation International recently even created a job position dedicated to looking at gender aspects in conservation. Kame Westerman, advisor for gender and conservation, is convinced that gender is key - especially in conservation projects that take place on a grassroots, community level.

"Men and women use natural resources differently," Westerman told DW. "That's due to roles and responsibilities, and the different things that men and women do in their lives."

The main issue: Although women in local communities do take over crucial tasks relating to conservation, they are easily overlooked in the decision-making process, Westerman says.

In many communities women might not traditionally be included in the decision-making elite of a community - yet it's usually these leaders that outside environmental organizations and researchers first address.

Trees as far as the eye can see - a successfully reforested site in northern Malawi

Failure is easy

Ignoring women or not considering gender roles is the easiest way to let a project run to ruin, Westerman thinks.

By way of example, she refers to a conservation organization that tried to reduce deforestation in a community where men were in charge of harvesting trees. The conservationists tried to find another source of income for men to stop the deforestation, so men were taught how to farm and harvest vanilla instead.

But it didn't work out - after several bad harvests, the reason became clear: Traditionally in this community, women had been in charge of small-scale agriculture. But they'd never been asked, nor trained on vanilla cultivation.

So the women likely ended up with a double burden of work. As the men sat around doing nothing, women deliberately plucked off vanilla flowers to prevent pollination, in order to reduce their workload.

To avoid pitfalls like these, large conservation organizations ranging from IUCN, the Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International to WWF have all started issuing guidelines on how to deal with gender roles in conservation.

Digging deep brings success

Meijer conducted extensive fieldwork
in Malawi
Seline Meijer, a postdoctoral researcher at University College Dublin, based her most recent research project in a gender approach. The research, which was carried out in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) looked at if, how and why local farmers plant new trees in Malawi. Deforestation is a major problem in Malawi: 30 percent of its forests have disappeared in the last 10 years.

"It gives you a better understanding of what the situation is like on the ground," Meijer told DW. "There is a big difference in gender roles, and the benefits that people get from projects," she added.

In Malawi, tree-planting typically would fall to men. But when Meijer looked at gender roles and the impact women have, she was surprised to find that in the south of the country, more trees are being planted than in the north - due to different gender dynamics there.

In the north, households are traditionally led by men, and the decision on whether to plant trees is up to them. However, in the south women often head the household and family structures are traditionally matrilineal.

Even though the actual physical task of planting trees is carried out by men as in the north, the decision to plant trees is made differently in the south: It's either up to the women alone; or women and men make the decision together. In the end, this results in more trees being planted.

In this case, women can have a concrete impact on reforestation. This research finding was recently published in the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security. It will for example be helpful when setting up large-scale reforestation projects in Malawi.

Good for nature - and women

Thinking about gender when implementing conservation projects is not only beneficial for the environment, said Westerman - it also protects the women. "Each project will impact men and women differently," she pointed out.

Including a female-dominated discussion round on tree-planting could
increase the project's chances for success

So how could a gender-sensitive project look? The first step, according to Westerman, is to understand gender dynamics - to understand whom is tasked with what, and how the community makes decisions.

To enable women participation in a project, it might also be necessary to organize childcare, provide additional education to women, or run workshops for men and women separately. "These are already small things we can do to help women participate," Westerman said.

Men still vital

"Sometimes when programs talk about gender, it almost becomes synonymous with 'women,' Meijer said. But it's crucial both genders continue to play a role, she added.

Westerman agrees, as men are important advocates: "At the end of the day, in many of these traditional cultures, unless men are on board, [the project] really won't go anywhere."

When being asked whether women would be better conservationists than men, if given more power, Westerman laughed out loud. She responded: "Women and men both have the potential to be amazing conservationists - our job is to ensure that both have the ability to be the best conservationists possible."

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