Archive for June, 2011

Wildlife Crime Officer

About ENV
Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) was established in 2000 as Vietnam’s first non-governmental organization focused on conservation of nature and the environment through education. Their mission is to foster greater understanding amongst the Vietnamese public about environmental issues of local, national and global significance, ranging from protection of wildlife and natural ecosystems to climate change.
ENV’s Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) was established in 2005 to facilitate and motivate public involvement in efforts to combat wildlife trade, and to improve the effectiveness of front line law enforcement agencies. The WCU administers a public toll-free national hotline 1800-1522 for reporting wildlife crimes. Information reported through the hotline is passed on to the appropriate authorities. ENV then works closely with law enforcement agencies, tracking each case through to conclusion, and documenting the results on ENV’s Wildlife Crime Database. The WCU strives to achieve a successful outcome for each case, helping coordinate placement of animals, providing advice to the authorities, and encouraging bold action that would serve to deter future crime.
For more details about what they do, visit their website:
English language: www.envietnam.org
Vietnamese language: www.thiennhien.org
Positions available
Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) is currently looking for the position of Wildlife Crime Case Officer (01 open position in Ha Noi)

Main Responsibilities
- Monitor and track wildlife crime cases
- Answer the ENV Wildlife Crime Hotline telephone
- Participate in wildlife trade surveys, campaigns, and other activities
- Complete English and Vietnamese language reports summarizing case results
- Maintain accurate and complete records of all case developments
- Ensure ongoing communication with WCU Manager for case updates, report new developments, redefine objectives and response methods.
- Provide weekly updates to the database on the status of all followed cases
- Other duties as needed or required

Requirements:
- University degree required
- Solid Vietnamese writing skills
- Fluent verbal and written English
- Excellent communications skills and an ability to communicate and work with government partners
- Computer literacy: Word, Excel, Internet
- Ability to work independently, take initiative, and pay close attention to details

Terms and Benefits:
Long-term contract will be provided following evaluation period
- Opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge
- Mixed English-speaking environment
- Opportunity to work closely with international and national experts
- Friendly and creative working environment, competitive benefits
- Salary based on experience and performance

Applications
Interested candidates are invited to send their application and cover letter to the following address before July 15, 2011 by email or by correspondence.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy
Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV)
No. 5 Lane 192, Thai Thinh street, Hanoi
Phone: (04) 3514-8850
Email: trinitytrang.env@gmail.com, thanhthuy82.env@gmail.com
Please note “Application for the Position of Case Officer” in the subject.
Priority will be given to candidates applying soon

Job Details

Article source: http://www.ngocentre.org.vn/jobs/wildlife-crime-officer-0

Tractor causes 1.5-million-liter jet fuel spill in Negev

A tractor struck a portion of the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline during pipe rehabilitation work on Wednesday morning, causing over 1.5 million liters of jet fuel oil to spill into Nahal Zin and the surrounding Negev nature reserve.

Experts said the cleanup of the area could take weeks.

“This is one of the largest soil contaminations to occur in the last year in Israel,” Guy Samet, manager of the Environmental Protection Ministry’s southern district, told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s not just typical soil pollution – it’s in a very sensitive area.”

Dozens of inspectors from the Nature and Parks Authority and the Environmental Protection Ministry were still assessing the extent of the damage caused at the end of the day. Amounts of spilled oil that the former deemed “severe pollution” will require a “Sisyphean” amount of work to fully extract, according to a statement.

After the tractor hit the pipeline, an “outburst of jet fuel oil” flowed into the Nahal Zin and the mountainside, a leak that emergency crews only succeeded in plugging about four or five hours after the incident, the Nature and Parks Authority said.

Other workers began the process of cleaning the pollution, and a tanker from the Eilat- Ashkelon Pipeline Company was shuttled in to pump the remaining puddles of fuel oil from the ground.

“We see the event as extremely severe, particularly regarding the damage caused to natural treasures in the reserve,” said Eli Amitai, director of Nature and Parks Authority, in a statement. “As soon as we heard news of the leak and its severity we summoned dozens of inspectors and officials into the area.”

These workers, he explained, rushed in to help close the area to hikers and then begin carrying out preliminary operations for cleaning up the mess.

“We are preparing to treat the damage in an optimal way in order to reduce the damage in nature to a minimum, but according to preliminary estimates it will be difficult work, taking days, perhaps weeks,” Amitai said.

Raviv Shapira, director of the southern district of the Nature and Parks Authority, added: “The damage is tremendous – beyond the contamination on the surface and in the burrows of wildlife in the area, a big part of the fuel seeped into the ravine, and the Environmental Protection Ministry has already begun to assess the damage and the extent of rehabilitation necessary. It is also investigating the circumstances of this grave event.”

The next step – beginning on Thursday – will be transferring large amounts of polluted soil from the area to a nearby treatment center, officials said.

“Tomorrow they are supposed to take the first segment, and after we conduct the treatment, there will be another shipment,” Samet told the Post, noting that the Environmental Protection Ministry did not yet know the exact amount of soil to be transported, as the workers are still taking measurements.

“We’re now starting to investigate everything that’s happening there,” he said.

This oil slick follows two spills that hit the shores of Eilat just this past weekend, and environmental activists slammed the government for not taking measures necessary to prevent such crises.

“This seems like a severe ecological disaster,” said Hila Krupsky, Greenpeace spokeswoman, in a statement. “Greenpeace calls upon the Environmental Protection Ministry and all the authorities involved to minimize the damage and treat this immediately.”

Krupsky added that this incident is a “large, black flag that the State of Israel must address” and called for people to “wean” themselves off the “addiction to oil” and instead turn to renewable energy.

“The oil accident today is an additional red light indicating the necessity of change in the approach to environmental protection in the oil field,” said MK Dov Henin (Hadash), chairman of the Environment and Health Committee, in a statement. “The National Infrastructures minister, who is trying to thwart the modern Petroleum Law that I recommended, insists upon being the only blameworthy party in a future state inquiry commission. It is essential that the next oil catastrophe be prevented.”

Green Movement co-chairman Prof. Alon Tal of Ben-Gurion University of
the Negev agreed, admonishing the Ministerial Committee for rejecting on
June 19 amendments to the 1952 Petroleum Law, which would require
updated environmental standards regarding oil and gas drilling in
Israel.

“This is a real lesson,” he told the Post on Wednesday evening.

“An oil spill in the Mediterranean could be disastrous,” he continued,
referring to the new drilling beginning in the Tamar and Leviathan
natural gas basins. “At present, there are insufficient measures
dedicated to averting a marine ecological disaster associated with a
spill. We still have time to get our act together.”

Tal stressed that the government must learn from Wednesday’s Nahal Zin
crisis and enact new environmental regulations with respect to oil and
gas drilling before such an event hits an even larger area.

“Before we start our new venture in the Mediterranean, it would be well
worth it to find the expertise needed and develop a protocol, so as not
to find ourselves in a similar situation in the Mediterranean, where the
damage could be disastrous,” he said.

Article source: http://www.jpost.com/Sci-Tech/Article.aspx?id=227219

John Janzen Nature Centre reopens after improvements

EDMONTON — The John Janzen Nature Centre opened its doors for the first time in over a year Saturday to unveil a brand new play place for kids in the Edmonton area.

The centre, which hadn’t been updated since it first opened in 1976, received approximately $2.45-million in funding to renovate the space in February 2010. Some of the additions include a play centre with a beaver dam, bee hive and prairie dog tunnels. Kids can go inside the man-made habitats and explore an animal’s environment as it would be in the river valley.

“It’s brought a whole new dynamic to the centre,” said Juanita Spence, a program supervisor for the centre. “Kids are learning without even realizing it.”

“The top of the dam is covered with snow and that’s how they learn that beavers are still active during the winter.”

Spence said the project was meant to help children age 10 and under connect with nature and stay active. Children can collect acorns and leaves inside the prairie dog tunnels or dam up the beaver lodge with running water.

Some of the day’s activities included a composting demonstration, face-painting and arts and craft projects. The event was free to all community members.

Rebekka Burtt, a mother of three, brought her kids to the opening and said she was very impressed with the new centre. Her three-year-old son, Ben, told his mom he thought the new facility was ‘cool.’ “It’s really amazing. I’ve actually never considered getting a pass for this place until now,” Burtt said.

Burtt said the centre didn’t have a lot to offer before the renovation. “It was interactive but it wasn’t worth coming back over and over again,” she said.

Now it is a great place to take the kids on a rainy day, she added.

Before the renovations, the centre’s annual attendance was 30,000 and Spence said she thinks the upgrade will attract more families.

The centre has been promoting the new facility with billboards, newsletters and on the city’s website.

On top of the Discover Zone play place, the centre still offers regular programming. It hosts a variety of drop-in programs as well as ones for schools, birthday parties and summer camps. Some of the programs include nature walks, animal encounters and feedings and nature exhibits.

The centre is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The cost it $10 a day per family or parents can buy the multi-facility pass for $270 per year, which grants access to the Valley Zoo, Fort Edmonton Park, the Muttart Conservatory and the John Janzen Nature Centre.

cwilson@edmontonjournal.com

Article source: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/john-janzen-nature-centre-reopens-improvements-215534706.html

New requirement alters the nature of environmental education in Maryland

New requirement alters the nature of environmental education in Maryland
Jessica Gould

June 27, 2011 – Students are studying the life cycle of salamanders at the Audubon Society’s Camp Woodend in Maryland.

An educational requirement will promotes environmental awareness, and it encourage hands-on learning that makes all lessons come alive.
Courtesy of: Audubon Society


View more images from this gallery.

Under a new environmental education requirement in the state, students must be able to understand matter and energy, and study the significance of sustainability — or, as 7-year-old Scott Holland says, why it’s important to protect the environment and all of its creatures.

“Some people just pick a bunch of leaves off trees and grab bugs like this and squeeze them and it’s not nice,” he says.

Karen Vernon, director of the camp at the Audubon Society, helped lobby for the new requirement. She says the requirement not only promotes environmental awareness, but it encourages the kind of learning that makes all lessons come alive.

“I think that a lot of kids find that this natural environment gives them an opportunity to express themselves in a way that they’re not able to inside the classroom,” she says.

Still, Vernon sees some challenges.

“Schools have a lot of mandates that they are asked to fulfill and for teachers in the classroom it can be challenging,” she says.

Plus, she says, there’s no additional funding, so it could be difficult for teachers to get the training they need.

“And that’s an issue for the teachers, how comfortable are they talking about environmental sciences. And truly, how comfortable are they going outside their classroom with their kids?” she asks.

But Maryland State Department of Education spokesperson Bill Reinhard says the requirement doesn’t need additional funding because many schools already offer environmental education, and the topics will be integrated into existing subjects.

“It’s not a separate course,” he says. “But we think it’s important that students have this as part of their high school education.”

And, when it comes to environmental education, getting by with finite resources is all part of the lesson.

Article source: http://wamu.org/news/11/06/27/new_requirement_alters_the_nature_of_environmental_education_in_maryland.php

Scott McNutt: Mother Nature to facilitate hillside development accord

In a recent workshop of the Knoxville City Council and Knox County Commission, members agreed to form a committee of the two panels to arrive at a Ridgetop and Hillside Protection Plan that both people and the ecosystem could live with. It was announced this week that Mother Nature has been chosen to guide the group’s work.

The current plan calls for regulation of development on slopes beginning 15 percent. Housing densities would remain the same for slopes up to 40 percent, and no development would be allowed on slopes of 50 percent or greater. The plan has divided the community, with tree-huggers for and tree-haters against it. Knoxville Vice Mayor Joe Bailey expressed hope that enlisting Mother Nature would mend some of the divisiveness.

“Hopefully, with Mother Nature’s assistance, we’ll craft something that’s beneficial for the community and the environment,” he said. “It wasn’t what I wanted, because I hate troubling her to facilitate us when we were elected to work out this sort of thing ourselves. Everybody knows the old saw about it not being nice to fool with Mother Nature.”

Bailey added that he hoped to resolve some sticking points before involving Mother Nature to minimize her annoyance, because “She gets testy when annoyed – the weather around here lately proves it.”

Knox County Commission Chairman Mike Hammond cited Mother Nature’s experience in the area of hillsides and ridgetops, her nurturing character and her indifference to monetary considerations as qualifications for her role as group facilitator.

“As Whoopi Goldberg said, Mother Nature doesn’t care what economic bracket you’re in – she’s going to treat everyone equally,” Hammond said. “And she has an extensive background with this sort of thing. I guess you could say she’s been doing it all her life. Plus, we sort of owe our existence to her, so maybe we’ll listen better to her than we do to each other.”

However, Hammond also said he would warn Mother Nature against being too pro-tree, stream, air or other natural things.

“We have developers who have to develop and builders who have to build, and nature mustn’t get in the way of that,” he said, adding that if agreement cannot be reached, it would be up to Mother Nature to conform nature to people’s expectations.

“We hope to compromise, but ultimately, nature must learn to live with humans,” he observed.

County Commissioner Tony Norman, who co-chaired the committee that developed the Ridgetop and Hillside Protection Plan after a series of meetings over three years, said he was pleased Mother Nature would guide the joint panel, but expressed concern over Hammond’s statements.

“This is the most important land use issue we’ve ever faced, and giving Mother Nature ultimatums is starting out on the wrong foot,” he said. “I think we ought to treat this more like a first date – you know, pitch woo at her.”

Councilman Charles “Charlie” Thomas, whose 5th District has frequent problems with flooding, was eager to work with Mother Nature, saying he was worried what might happen if the facilitation process failed.

“The people in my district prefer working with Ms. Nature to working against her,” he said. “If we defy Mother Nature, she might call up Mother Earth, and then we could have the mother of all fights on our hands.”

Developer Noah Diaz had a different view. He said he would take his developments and go home if the panel compromised with Mother Nature.

“Developers create jobs, sales taxes and property taxes,” he said. “Mother Nature creates chiggers, platypuses and catastrophes that destroy our buildings. There’s no compromising with that.”

Nature said she had received threats since agreeing to facilitate the panel, but shrugged it off as part of the job.

“People have been clear-cutting me, bulldozing me, burning me, polluting me and such like since Father Time was knee-high to an hourglass,” she noted philosophically. “If they do me in, they do themselves in, so I don’t let it bother me.”

Humorist Scott McNutt may be reached at scott@scottmcnutt.com.

Article source: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/jun/26/mother-nature-to-facilitate-hillside-development/?partner=yahoo_feeds

Birds capitalise on collapse of Communism

The white-tailed eagle floated effortlessly, on wings spanning more than 8ft, above the deserted woods and fields of what was once a state-run Communist collective farm. The enormous raptor, known in Britain as “the flying barn door”, is the most visible evidence of a remarkable ornithological success story that has occurred in eastern Germany after the collapse of Communism more than two decades ago.

Since then, nearly two million of the east’s 18 million inhabitants have left in search of better employment opportunities in the west. Into this vacuum have come birds. A survey published on behalf of Germany’s official Atlas of Breeding Birds has shown that the former Communist east attracted almost twice as many breeding species as those found in western Germany each year. The types of birds found in the east in large numbers included species that have either disappeared from the west completely or are threatened with extinction: cranes, black storks, greenish warblers, great bustards and lesser spotted eagles.

In the east of Germany, the number of breeding white-tailed eagle pairs has increased from 185 in 1990 to 575 pairs. By 1993 the increase in breeding rates meant that the birds could be taken off the endangered species list. And the destruction of the former Communist state’s collective farms after reunification led to a fifth of its farmland being left fallow. The untilled fields rapidly turned into nature reserves of their own – oases where wild flowers, grasses and weeds grow with abandon. They in turn attract insects, small field mammals and, perhaps most strikingly, birds. Ulf Bähker, a field guide for Germany’s NABU nature conservancy trust who showed The Independent on Sunday the well-populated skies above Mecklenburg, said: “As soon as these bits of land were left to themselves, we saw big increases in small birds like winchats and corn buntings.”

But eastern Germany is also blessed with its own wild and largely unpopulated regions that were natural bird sanctuaries well before Communism’s collapse. One of the most important is the Oder river delta, which forms the border between Poland and Germany. It covers 25,000 acres and attracts more than two-thirds of the world’s population of migrating bean goose each year. The boggy marshland surrounding the river was formally turned into one of Europe’s largest nature reserves in 1995 and now acts as a breeding ground for rare species.

Germany’s nature conservancy organisations have been acquiring vacant, formerly state-owned areas and slowly turning them into new nature reserves. Some, such as Griever Holz, 500 acres of woodland and grass meadow in Mecklenburg, are home to some of the rarest of east Germany’s bird species, including the lesser spotted eagle.

More than 200 years ago, the birds bred all over Germany and other parts of western Europe. But they were routinely hunted down and shot, and by the end of the 19th century they had become virtually extinct in the west. Today, the majority are to be found in eastern Europe, where they arrive in the spring to breed after completing a 10,000km migratory flight from their wintering grounds in southern and eastern Africa.

The birds need a varied and near pristine natural environment; they require wetlands surrounded by woods and grass meadows to find their food, which consists mainly of voles, field mice, frogs and small birds. As a result the lesser spotted eagle finds itself at the top of nature’s pyramid in eastern Germany. “If the birds breed successfully, we know we are doing the right things,” Mr Bähker said.


Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/birds-capitalise-on-collapse-of-communism-2302867.html

Southern Wildlife Crime Team Leader

About ENV
Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) was established in 2000 as Vietnam’s first non-governmental organization focused on conservation of nature and the environment through education. Our mission is to foster greater understanding amongst the Vietnamese public about environmental issues of local, national and global significance, ranging from protection of wildlife and natural ecosystems to climate change. ENV’s Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) was established in 2005 to facilitate and motivate public involvement in efforts to combat wildlife trade, and to improve the effectiveness of front line law enforcement agencies. The WCU administers a public toll-free national hotline 1800-1522 for reporting wildlife crimes. Information reported through the hotline is passed on to the appropriate authorities. ENV then works closely with law enforcement agencies, tracking each case through to conclusion, and documenting the results on ENV’s Wildlife Crime Database. The WCU strives to achieve a successful outcome for each case, helping coordinate placement of animals, providing advice to the authorities, and encouraging bold action that would serve to deter future crime.
For more details about what they do, visit their website:
English language: www.envietnam.org
Vietnamese language: www.thiennhien.org

Positions available:
Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) is currently looking for candidate for the position of Team Leader for operations in Southern Vietnam – Based in Ho Chi Minh

Description of position
The ENV Southern Wildlife Crime Team Leader is responsible for coordinating his team to execute baseline wildlife trade and hunting surveys in five provinces of Southern Viet Nam, as well as organizing, helping recruit and coordinating volunteers to carry out regular monitoring of violating establishments in urban centers where wildlife crime have been documented.
The team leader works closely with Ha Noi- based ENV Wildlife Crime Unit to coordinate and conduct investigations on crimes in the Southern of Viet Nam and supervises one staff member.

Main Responsibilities
The team leader is responsible for coordinating operations of the ENV’s Southern Vietnam field office tasked with reducing consumption and demand of wildlife amongst consumers and aggressively working to eliminate illegal hunting and trade of wildlife in Southern Vietnam.
- Carry out awareness activities: Work closely with the program manager and Hanoi-based Mobile Wildlife Awareness Unit as well as other departments within ENV to carry out awareness activities in
the Southern region. Activities include public events, radio shows, media interviews, development and distribution of awareness resources, stakeholder meetings, and other activities.
- Conduct priority monitoring: Work closely with the Hanoi-based Wildlife Crime Unit to conduct priority monitoring of business establishments to ensure compliance with wildlife protection laws.
- Coordinate enforcement operations with local authorities: Liaise with local authorities in the Southern region to address specific crimes reported to the WCU, and build cooperative relationships with local authorities that yield proven results in ENV’s efforts to combat wildlife crime.
- Conduct field investigations: Carry out regular inspections and investigations of major wildlife trade operations including public zoos and wildlife farms in close cooperation with the Major Crimes Unit of
ENV.
- Administer field office operations: Help develop and supervise a ENV satellite office including all relevant administrative duties associated with running a small office. Meet all administrative requirements of ENV including regular communications and reporting, processing of finances, etc.

Other duties:
- Assist with Wildlife Protection Network: Assist in training of volunteers from ENV’s Wildlife Protection Network, involve volunteers in awareness activities, and liaise with the National Wildlife Volunteer Coordinator on all issues relating to volunteer activities.
- Stakeholder meetings: Provide critical support planning, organizing, and executing local stakeholder meetings on wildlife trade in the Southern Vietnam region.
- Additional assignments: Complete other duties and assignments as specified by ENV managers

Qualifications
- College degree required
- Excellent survey and investigation skills
- Excellent management communications skills
- Good knowledge of commonly traded wildlife identification
- Strong Vietnamese writing skills
- Good verbal and written English
- Computer literacy: Word, Excel, Internet
- Ability to work independently, take initiative, and pay close attention to details

Terms and Benefits
- Long-term contract will be provided following evaluation period
- Opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge
- Mixed English-speaking environment
- Opportunity to work closely with international and national experts
- Friendly and creative working environment, competitive benefits
- Salary based on experience and performance

Applications
Interested candidates are invited to send their application and cover letter to the following address before
June 30, 2011 by email or by correspondence.
Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV)
No. 5 Lane 192, Thai Thinh street, Hanoi
Phone: (04) 3514-8850
Email: nhanhien.env@gmail.com
Your applications will be treated on “First come, first serve” basic.
Only short-listed candidates will be notified

Job Details

Article source: http://www.ngocentre.org.vn/jobs/southern-wildlife-crime-team-leader-0