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      Software Upgrade and Possible "Profile Update Needed" Notification   07/23/2017

      The software that drives our Chiriqui.Life website underwent an upgrade earlier this afternoon. This upgrade includes several functionality enhancements that are being scheduled for roll-out in the future. Additionally, there are some cosmetic changes that may become apparent to our regular CL members. For instance, you may now see more details about who and why someone "liked" something that you have posted. One undesired side effect of this software upgrade is that some CL members may see a message when first logging onto CL to the effect that their profile is only partially complete, and that it needs to be completed. Here is one version of that dialogue -- note the part that is highlighted in read. There are two ways to get rid of this dialog. One is to complete your profile, which basically means to provide information in the text box that is "About Me". The other method is to click on the "Dismiss" link, which is not prominently displayed but visible in the upper right area of the message that is highlighted in red. Either method will work. We regret if this is an inconvenience, but it is something over which we have no control.   To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.  
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      Enhanced Reputation ("Like" and "Dislike") Functionality Here on CL   07/24/2017

      With the recent software upgrade, CL now has a slightly enhanced and more descriptive "reputation" functionality. The reputation is what CL members can click in the lower right corner of each posting (forums, blogs, calendar events, etc.) to indicate their "like' or "dislike" of that posting. This functionality, previously known as a member's "reputation", has been enhanced and is now known as a member's "reaction". Instead of having only two choices ("like" or "dislike", represented by a +1 or -1), there now are seven different "reactions" that a member can express, including the simple "Like" and "Dislike". As was the case previously with reputations, Administrators of this website cannot be given reputation/reaction, however Moderators can, just as all regular members can. Here in graphic form is the complete list of options in word and emoji form, along with the associated numeric value: The "Like" and the "Upvote" and the "Downvote" are essentially the same as the prior "like" and "dislike" reputation. Those are similar to what is available on some of the larger social media, such as Facebook. As in the past with reputation, the use of reactions is optional. Reputations (now "reactions") are not favored by everyone. Prior feedback indicates approximately 30% of CL's members prefer that "reputation" [and now "reactions"] be disabled. However, the majority of CL's members prefer having the ability to indicate their "like" or "dislike" of a posting. The new, enhanced functionality means simply that CL members have more granularity as to what they can indicate to the viewers. If anyone would like to see additional "reactions", please contact CL management, and include a short discussion of what you would like to see and perhaps an emoji to suggest that reaction. Two new reactions that have already been suggested are "I agree" and "I disagree", which might be expressed respectively with green check mark (or thumbs up) and red X-mark (or thumbs down) style emoji. The reactions functionality is currently configured to display who expressed that reaction. If there is sufficient feedback, we can hide the member's Display Name, and show only the cumulative reactions.           To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.  
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Indigenous people walled off from protecting forests

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ENVIRONMENT: “Indigenous people walled off from protecting forests

Posted on December 17, 2016 in Latin America

Post Views: 104

A NEW  study released in Mexico, reveals that governments in Central America, including Panama  often with the support of donor nations and conservation organizations, are using protected areas to wall off indigenous peoples from their traditional territories in the name of protecting biodiversity.

At a biodiversity conference in Cancun, negotiators admitted they are not on track to reach their goals for slowing the destruction of the planet’s remaining store of unique plants and other forms of wildlife.

“Our findings mirror a global trend documented in a recent report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Andrew Davis, study author and a researcher with the Prisma Foundation in El Salvador.

“Commitments to Indigenous Peoples look good on paper, but when you travel to the protected areas in some countries, you see government agencies using the threat of arrest and sometimes even intimidation to prevent indigenous peoples from harvesting and using resources on lands they have been conserving for hundreds of years.”

Prisma’s analysis of five conservation initiatives suggests that governments, often in collaboration with conservation organizations and donor nations, continue to stifle and even undermine the rights of Indigenous Peoples in some of the most biodiverse areas of Central America—despite compelling evidence that Indigenous Peoples and local communities, armed with strong rights to their territories—regularly outperform both public and private management of forests and other natural resources.

Indigenous Peoples and local communities have legally recognized rights to approximately 65 percent of  the forests in Mesoamerica, far exceeding any other region in the world.

Prisma’s study reports that government agencies, often backed by funding from multilateral banks and European donors, have persistently overlooked these groups in creating conservation areas designed to protect and preserve tropical forests and the wealth of biodiversity they hold—from rare medicinal plants to endangered animal species.

“Much like the wall Mr. Trump envisions for Mexico, a wall has effectively grown up around many protected areas, shutting out the people who depend on the forests for their survival,” Davis said.

“And, just as the U.S. is likely to discover, the dependence goes both ways.”

In addition to revealing a trend toward excluding indigenous peoples from planning and implementing efforts to conserve the region’s treasured plant and wildlife, the findings also suggest local communitieshave been fundamental to the region’s success in preventing the destruction of forests and protecting

biodiversity on their traditional lands.

Covering a region that stretches from the Yucatan in southern Mexico to the rainforests of Darien in Panama, the case studies suggest that protecting remote regions from poaching, illegal logging and reaching other conservation goals can only be accomplished by granting and reinforcing strong rights of local peoples to their traditional territories.

“Mexico and the countries of Central America have become an inadvertent testing ground for approaches to conservation,” Davis said.

“When done right, indigenous people are allowed to do what they do best: protect the biodiversity of the forests and other lands they and their forefathers have inhabited, sometimes for millennia

. In Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and beyond, we found conclusive evidence that supporting and securing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities serves as a tool that can be put to work immediately by governments that are serious about protecting biodiversity.”

The region’s major biosphere parks were created without input from local communities. These include the

Montes Azules in Mexico, the Mayan Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, and, the Darien National Park in Panama,”

Worldwide, “protected areas” cost the globe 12.1 billion U.S. dollars annually to maintain, despite evidence that shows 50 to 80 percent of the areas remain poorly managed or underfunded. And the protected areas continue to lose biodiversity, currently at almost half the rate of unprotected areas.


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