Aldi boost for Welsh bakery

first_imgCae Groes Bakery in North Wales hopes to double its turn-over as business with super-market chain Aldi takes off.The bakery, which makes bread, morning goods and cakes, has been supplying Aldi for 18 months and won a new contract to supply cakes to the supermarket in autumn 2009. It now supplies Welsh cakes, Victoria sponges, chocolate indulgence cakes and a range of sliced cakes to 47 Aldi stores.The bakery has met rising demand with help from an £80,000 asset-based lending (ABL) facility from Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance. This enabled the company to start production for the new contract within one week.last_img read more

Speech: Defence Secretary speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore

first_imgYour Excellencies, fellow ministers, distinguished guests; it’s a privilege to be with you today.Thank you, IISS for organizing an exceptional event. And thank you, Singapore for your kind and generous hospitality.As your prime minister reminded us yesterday, as he set the tone for this dialogue. 200 years ago, Stamford Raffles’ decision to create a free port, won out over other ideas. His concept succeeded because it was a benefit to all.And as we contemplate the challenges in the region. And the tensions globally. We should remember that lasting success depends on that, win-win approach.Although new to this role, it has been my privilege to work with many nations across the region, whether it’s delivering developmental or humanitarian programs to increase prosperity and combat the major shared challenges we face, from the protection of forests of biodiversity, to job creation to combating illicit financial flows and organized crime or building capacity by promoting ease of doing business and business integrity, and the transparency of financial transactions, working together for the common good.To our 50 diplomatic missions across the region we’ve added new ones, new posts and a trade commissioner. The challenges we are working on are increasingly interlinked and transnational. Mutual benefit is what the UK stands for. Just like our hosts, Singapore, we are a win-win nation.We want all to be able to thrive and every human being, and every nation, to be able to reach its full potential. Our peace and prosperity are bound to yours.But our collective security is under threat. Threats that have the potential to impact growth and trade or our health and food security, whether from terrorism or organised crime or threats to privacy, malicious cyber activity or threats to regional stability from North Korea’s illegal nuclear weapons program, or from proxies blurring the boundaries between normal, and hostile activity.That is why we work to strengthen and protect the rules based order. And those multilaterals which enable the focus and close working needed to meet the challenges we all face.We need cooperation, and we need partnership.Our vision is for a prosperous and stable region, where we all act together for the common good.And we need rules that are there for the whole of humanity, not just the benefit of some.It is for those nations to decide if they wish to challenge those international norms and rules or choose to gain all the benefits that cooperation brings.And I think we should all choose a future where those standards, whether they are in the maritime environment, in cyberspace, or in human rights law, drive the success and growth of this region.I am optimistic though about the future, and I want to tell you why.Four years ago as Minister of State for the Armed Forces, I’ve seen our nations working together to tackle Ebola in Sierra Leone.We were driven by our common humanity but it was in all our interests that we were there.Because those of us who commit the men and women of our armed forces to UN peacekeeping efforts know that conflict perpetuated harms us all.Because those of us that ratified the Paris climate change agreement, recognize the collective action was needed to tackle that existential threat to us all.And because as a former disability minister, I worked with all nations in the region. As we together enabled millions of excluded people to have the chance of a new stake in life.And because of our work together through multilateral forums to make smart investments in human capital and infrastructure.I’m optimistic because I have seen that partnership, that commitment, and that contribution.The UK knows that to be a reliable global partner, we can have no half-hearted measures. And we are committed to being a reliable partner to you all.And that is why our engagement across the region is underpinned by our support for fundamental global values, human rights, democracy and respect for the rules based international order.Because seizing the opportunities present in this region demands the enforcement of rules and standards. Standards that have raised people from poverty, standards that have delivered peace and prosperity, freedom and trade, standards that have made significant progress to preserve our shared environment, our climate, our air, our green spaces.And for Global Britain, that means, first and foremost, that we need to be present. And that our presence must be persistent, not opportunistic.And that is why we have seen the Royal Navy, maintain an almost unbroken presence in the region over the last 12 months. And why that will continue in the future, and will include our new flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, in one of her first operational deployments in a couple of years’ time, and we will deepen relationships, and we will forge new ones.Building on our cooperation with ASEAN, which has done so much to promote vital regional dialogue, through our drive to expand the regional jungle warfare symposium with Brunei, building and sharing regional understanding, capability and capacity to tackle the growing challenge posed by non-traditional security threats.Through our work to deepen alliances with other regional partners like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and India, to continue to commit, and to exercise with FPDA. And shortly to deploy to Thailand for Exercise Panther Gold, using the 2000 Gurkhas and armed forces personnel, based in Brunei and the region.So my message today to you all, is a simple one.I look forward to working with you. The UK is a partner that you can rely on. And the UK, will rely on and defend those values and norms, upon which the fulfilment of the tremendous opportunities this region has depends.Global Britain stands ready. And we are optimistic about the future.Thank you.last_img read more

KNOWER Gets Hyped Before Red Rocks Show With Vulfpeck Tonight

first_imgIt’s time to get on the KNOWER train if you aren’t already on it. The Los Angeles-based group led by Louis Cole and Genevieve Artadi is currently spearheading a new musical movement and is known for their use of hard-hitting funk, cool chords, and deep melodies. Another career started on the Internet, specifically YouTube, the “indietronica” duo was featured on Snarky Puppy‘s Family Dinner Vol. 2 in 2015, expanded to a five-person live act in 2016, and opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in four major European cities in 2017.An entirely “Do It Yourself” act since their formation in 2010, KNOWER’s viral videos, discography, and live visual experience have become an international internet phenomenon. Clocking millions of views, their live “band house sesh” hit over 3.5 million views in just one week. Quincy Jones best sums up why you can’t miss them, “KNOWER WILL BE LEAVIN’ YA’LL ON YOUR KNEES, BEGGIN’ FOR MORE.” Positioned for enormous success in 2018, KNOWER is a band/sound/feeling that can’t be stopped.Knower – “Time Traveler” (Live Band Sesh) – 2017And so, on Friday, April 27, KNOWER will open up for Vulfpeck and Kamasi Washington at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Members of Vulfpeck and KNOWER have a reliable history of collaboration, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed to see it happen again on the big stage. Ahead of the performance, we caught up with the band to see how they were doing.Live For Live Music: In the current moment of the DIY movement, we’re seeing bands like Vulfpeck and guys like Ty Segall take their career into their own hands by taking out the middleman and going directly to their fans. Was Knower’s decision to take this approach intentional? Was it out of necessity?KNOWER: Both… We always loved that we could do whatever we wanted creatively and broadcast/send it directly to people on the Internet. We welcomed the thought of getting help from people with that kind of power to help us get heard on a larger scale, and didn’t get much. Maybe we would have if our music and videos were more commercially accessible but that wouldn’t have happened because we like total freedom.L4LM: How has Knower’s music evolved in the two years since the last album? What were the driving influences then? Now? KNOWER: Our goal since the beginning has been to only make things we feel have maximum impact, and to go as hard as possible until we reach that point. Aesthetically that has taken different forms from album to album, song to song. The last album was made with a hugeness mindset. Since then, Louis and I have both been working on solo albums and doing Knower live band tours more than ever, so who knows if that will propel us deeper into the epic aesthetic or if we’ll go more punky or funky or something, I guess we’ll know once we lock ourselves back up.L4LM: What do you want people to learn about your band, other than that you exist?KNOWER: How much we care about making the best music we can, and that we hope to put love into the world.L4LM: How does it feel to be a small band that’s starting to grow, starting to get some attention, and now getting to do things like open for RHCP, and play Red Rocks?KNOWER: Feels like the boulder we’ve been pushing is rolling now.L4LM: You’re coming off an international tour, and have a slew of headlining U.S. dates coming up this spring/summer. As a band that originally got attention on Facebook and Youtube, how is the transition to a touring live band?KNOWER: We’ve all been performing for a long time, so it’s pretty smooth. Mostly a matter of coming up with ways to make it fun—onstage snacking, shirt ripping, etc.L4LM: If your music was a donut, what donut would it be and why?KNOWER: A 50-foot-radius glazed donut, because it’s huge and classic.Tickets for Vulfpeck with Kamasi Washington and KNOWER are currently on-sale here. Head to the event’s Facebook page to stay up to date with show details here.last_img read more

Trey Anastasio Unearths “Glide II”, Proclaims “Un-Fuck Kale” On First Night In Boulder [Full Audio/Photos]

first_imgLoad remaining images On Friday night, Trey Anastasio headed to Colorado for his first of two nights at Macky Auditorium Concert Hall in Boulder, CO.To start off his only multi-night run of the tour, Trey dusted off “Snowflakes In The Sand”, a staple of his 1999 hybrid acoustic/full band solo tour that had gone unplayed since the end of that run nearly 20 years ago. “Sleep” came next, followed by some reflections on the beautiful venue for the evening. “This is beautiful, I love this room,” he mused. “I don’t know why, I’m feeling kind of misty tonight… Because I’m old [crowd laughs]. It means a lot to me, so much. Thank you for welcoming me back.” He went on to note how Colorado was the first place Phish used to travel as they began to break out from their Vermont hometown.“We drove out there in this big box truck the first time. We were so excited we were gonna go to Telluride. … It was our first tour, we had never left Burlington for any reason. We got this weird little box truck, and there was a compartment in the back of this thing, no windows. The rest of us would sit in the back on piles of blankets. … [The guy that brought us out] said we were supposed to have seven shows, and we came all the way out here and we found out that this guy was full of shit, and we had one gig in Telluride. … We went through all these adventures on our first trip. And then we ran out of money, we didn’t get paid, we were flat broke. Everybody pooled their quarters, and we had to make the drive back to Burlington. We didn’t have any food, we had enough money set aside for gas. We went to this grocery store—this is the memory I had—it was like, Mike [Gordon] and Page [McConnell] and the guys in the band…debating what food sustenance would get us from Colorado to Burlington for the whole drive. We ended up buying a turkey ham. It’s an actual thing. I think, somehow, we thought that it was two things in one [laughs] … We climbed in the truck with this turkey ham and just ate it all the way back…”After the trip down memory land, Trey continued with “Mountains in the Mist”, “Sample In A Jar”, and  Kasvot Växt Halloween debut-turned-acoustic tour staple “Turtle In The Clouds”. “Free” got the call next, before storytime continued with more crowd-prompted discussion of the aforementioned “turkey ham.” That tangent prompted Anastasio to reference last weekend’s performance in Oakland, when he declared his hatred for kale. “You guys like kale? You kale fans?” he asked. “I have to say, I did, a couple shows ago, pronounce ‘fuck kale,’ and then sang ‘fuck kale’ ‘cus I was sick of kale. I was over this whole kale thing. Fuck kale! Fuckin’ kale. That was, like, two shows ago. And then last night, I had the best kale salad [laughs]. It was so good! Had like blackberries in it, some really good dressing. I started feeling really guilty about the whole thing. I was so mean to kale. … So tonight, I’m officially pronouncing ‘un-fuck kale!’ Kale is back! Go kale. Un-fuck kale. That’d be a good t-shirt. Next acoustic tour, that’s the merchandise. Un-fuck kale.” Clearly amused by the thought, Trey would go on to pepper in his “un-fuck kale” rallying cry throughout the remainder of the show.He went on to relate a thought he forgot to mention during his recent show in L.A.: “Shawshank Redemption is not the best movie of all time. OK? Can we just end that one right now, too? [laughs] OK? Unfuck kale, and Shawshank Redemption is not the best movie of all time. It’s fine. It’s a fine movie.”Before moving into the next tune, Trey had one more thought he felt the need to share. “Oh my god…I just realized. I think we spelled ‘Phish’ wrong! Fuck. I’m so sorry! [laughs] I’m, like, settling all family business right now. We officially apologize for that mistake [laughs]. I think it’s spelled wrong. Really sorry about that.”After finishing with the “family business,” Trey continued into “Brian and Robert”, followed closely by “If I Could” and a well-received “The Lizards”. Another instrumental staple, “The Inlaw Josie Wales”, came next, followed by “Set Your Soul Free”, “Frost”, “Sand” and “Back on the Train”, and a sparse, sing-along “Ghost”.After some appreciative banter about monitor engineer, Bruno—”the most important part of Phish being able to improvise”—while adjustments were made, Trey moved into “Till We Meet Again”. Following the instrumental, with his microphone now in working order, Trey told an amusing story about how a miscommunication with an old monitor engineer led Trey to fall through a hole in the stage, ending with the advice, “Don’t smoke crack, kids. [laughs] That’s the lesson for today! Eat your kale…un-fuck kale!“From there, he moved straight back into the music with Kasvot tune “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” While he played, he relayed to the audience that he had another layer to the song that he didn’t sing on Halloween, instructing them to sing the chorus while he added the missing part. The crowd obliged, making for a satisfying performer-fan collaboration to finish the song.“Waste” came next, followed by “Strange Design” and “Bouncing Around The Room”. “Thank you guys so much for welcoming me…” Trey said as he pondered his next number. “These songs do bring back a lot of memories, and we really have been coming here for so long.” Seeming to latch onto a new idea, Trey noted, “I haven’t played this in a really long time” before moving into “Glide II” (also known as “Flip”). Trey wasn’t exaggerating: The song, only played once, is a lost relic of Phish’s 1995 Voter’s Choice show that also marked the introductions of “Theme From The Bottom”, “Free”, “Ha Ha Ha”, “Strange Design”, and the still-elusive “Spock’s Brain”.Trey Anastasio – “Glide II” Following the second-ever performance of the rarity, Trey moved into “Blaze On”, which in turn flowed into “Backwards Down The Number Line”. Finally, “Chalkdust Torture” made a late-show acoustic appearance, once again serving as the bread for a sandwich with a “Harry Hood” jam in the middle. Finally, Trey returned to the stage for a four-song encore of “Shade”, “Water In The Sky”, “Pebbles and Marbles”, and “Bathtub Gin”.You can download a full audience recording of Trey Anastasio’s first of two Boulder acoustic shows here via taper sloppyart, or stream the audio below on YouTube. You can also view a beautiful gallery of photos from the show via photographer C.B. Klein.Trey Anastasio Solo Acoustic – 12/14/18 – Full Audio[Video: Fatah Ruark’s Live Music Archive]Trey Anastasio will close out his solo acoustic swing with his second performance in Boulder tonight, Saturday, December 15th. From there, the guitarist will switch back into Phish mode as the band prepares to return to Madison Square Garden for their annual four-night New Year’s run at the end of the month.Setlist: Trey Anastasio Solo Acoustic | Macky Auditorium Concert Hall | Boulder, CO | 12/15/18Set: Snowflakes in the Sand, Sleep, Mountains in the Mist, Sample in a Jar, Turtle in the Clouds, Free, Brian and Robert, If I Could, The Lizards, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Set Your Soul Free, Frost, Sand, Back on the Train, Ghost, Till We Meet Again, Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S, Waste, Strange Design, Bouncing Around the Room, Glide II, Blaze On > Backwards Down The Numberline > Chalkdust Torture > Harry Hood Jam > Chalkdust TortureEncore: Shade, Water in the Sky, Pebbles and Marbles, Bathtub GinTrey Anastasio Solo Acoustic | Macky Auditorium Concert Hall | Boulder, CO | Photos: C.B. Kleinlast_img read more

Months after Chile’s quake, the relief effort toils on

first_img 27Juan Correa (center), president of Campamento Ebenezer, explains how the roofs of the wooden emergency homes are a new version of the traditional fanolas made with cardboard sheets soaked in tar to make them water-resistant. Unfortunately, water seeps through the roofs and the wind has also carried them away. Correa explains how not only are neighbors having their few belongings ruined or destroyed because of the rain, but many have contracted severe respiratory illnesses. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 33A view of Tomé in Concepción, an area greatly affected by the earthquake. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 31Night falls on Campamento Ebenezer. In the campamento, 43 families that lost their homes are now working with EPES on a plan to replace the leaking roofs of their emergency homes, furnish the small community center with tables and chairs, and start a series of health education workshops. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 25A rainbow appears above the winterized homes in Villa Bosquemar. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 10Lautaro Lopez, a physician and director of the EPES center in Concepción, is pictured at the University of Concepción School of Medicine, where he graduated. Lopez, who has been with EPES for more than 20 years, led the recovery response to the earthquake and tsunami in Concepción. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 36Dichato’s beach had long been one of the region’s favorite spots for sunbathing and water sports. Eighty percent of the village was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 20Sandra Rita Mora (right), of Villa Bosquemar, hugs Anderson, who, along with EPES, has helped winterize many temporary homes with material support. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 8A colorful EPES mural against domestic violence is painted outside a public primary health clinic called Santa Laura in Santiago. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 37Sandra Castaneda (from left) and Maritza Provoste from EPES Concepción Center travel throughout the region to reach communities through workshops such as Comfort for Kids. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 13During the earthquake, some new buildings suffered substantial damage. One of the best known cases is that of Alto Rio, the 15-floor apartment building in Concepción that fell onto its back, killing eight people (79 other residents had to be rescued). Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 23Most families in Penco (seen here) draw their sustenance from the sea. Even before the catastrophe, one in five residents were living in poverty, by government estimate. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 35A woman walking along the shoreline in Dichato speaks of the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunami. Dichato is a town along the coast of Chile, part of the municipality of Tomé in a northern part of Greater Concepción. At the 2002 census it had 3,057 residents. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 12The Bio Bio riverfront in Concepción, a region hit hard by the earthquake, looks foggy and desolate. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 14Campamento Villa Bosquemar, a housing settlement in Penco, demonstrates the conditions in which families have lived under since the earthquake and tsunami. Lopez (left) speaks with Nuvia Villegas, one of the residents of the campamento. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 30Victor Novoa from Campamento Villa Bosquemar listens to the stories of residents from Campamento Ebenezer. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 15With cold winter temperatures and damp conditions, families struggle to keep warm inside their temporary houses. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 21The Villa Bosquemar resettlement camp in Penco is home to 50 families that once lived along the shore and depended on the sea. These independent people, low on schooling and income, are now living in one-room government-issued wooden shelters that lack running water, sharing communal latrines, and using cold-water showers. Constanza Ramirez Villegas (from left), Lopez, Provoste, Nuvia Villegas (Constanza’s mother), and Anderson speak in the campamento. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 17Lopez (center) makes rounds in Villa Bosquemar. Zunilda Barrales (right) lives with her 105-year-old grandmother, Maria Luisa Calfuqueo (left), and possesses unmatched strength in the face of the disaster that swept her family off the coastal strip and into an emergency camp. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 24Lopez wades through an area in Santa Clara affected by the tsunami. “This catastrophe overturned many of our assumptions and also brought us, as EPES, back to our roots,” observed Lopez. “In southern Chile, we carry earthquakes in our blood. So it wasn’t the buckling of the earth, the power of the sea, that most surprised us. It was the absence of the state, the void, and the chaos.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 40A sculpture titled “The Spirit That Dances Between Us” resides at the EPES Concepción Center and represents the philosophy held by EPES in their historic work of building from the ground up, fostering and regenerating spaces for participation and collective action. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 28Lopez visits families in the campamento and lifts their spirits with his support and special sense of humor and care. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 11At EPES headquarters in Concepción, the staff, including Maritza Provoste (from left) and Virginia Norambuena, regularly lunches together under this spectacular mural depicting the paths to women’s empowerment. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 1This yellow stucco facade houses the community public health organization Educación Popular en Salud (EPES), which was founded in Santiago, Chile, in 1982 by Karen Anderson, a 1999 graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health. EPES was one of the first organizations to respond to the deadly 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile on Feb. 27. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 7The Andes hang in the background of an anti-violence banner suspended between street posts. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 32Lopez (pictured) walks along the beach at Penco where the tsunami destroyed this coastal village following the earthquake. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 22Lopez (from left) and Anderson speak inside the Villa Bosquemar Community Center. The EPES donated the furnishing, insulation, and painting of the center. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer A massive earthquake rumbled through Chile last Feb. 27, killing more than 500 people, destroying tens of thousands of homes, and unleashing a tsunami that further devastated the southern coast. Karen Anderson, a graduate of the Harvard School for Public Health, responded to the 8.8 magnitude quake through her aid organization EPES (Educación Popular en Salud), the community public health agency she founded in 1982. Months later, EPES is still assisting the damaged communities.  The full story can be found on the Harvard School of Public Health’s site. 38More than 1,000 youths in five cities are participating in EPES-led workshops based on the Mercy Corps Comfort for Kids model. In this workshop, children write and draw their feelings in a “My Earthquake/Tsunami Story” notebook. Health educator Sandra Castaneda (right) from the EPES center in Concepción conducts the session. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 6Martinez (right) and a collection of women from the community paint a mural for the EPES-led anti-violence campaign “For Me, For You, No + Violence” in the El Bosque neighborhood. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 29A stray dog roams in Campamento Ebenezer. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 2Started under Augusto Pinochet’s oppressive regime as part of the broad social movement to restore Chilean democracy, EPES is still committed to collective leadership. Here, Anderson shares a photograph of the early days: the EPES leadership team (Rosario Castillo, Anderson, and Maria Eugenia Calvin) at a summer retreat for community health promoters and their families. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 18Anderson (from left) and Lopez listen to Barrales share stories and concerns regarding the health of her family and the cold winter conditions faced by the community in Villa Bosquemar. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 3Today, Calvin (from left), Anderson, and Castillo continue as part of the EPES leadership team. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 34Eighty-two-year-old fisherman Facundo Andrade told of losing his sister who was visiting from the north of Chile. He is one of the few people who are still living by the sea in Dichato. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 9A woman passes through the rain in Concepción, where EPES has continued its community health work after the earthquake and tsunami. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 5Lunch at the EPES center is a communal gathering and a time to share stories. Calvin (from left), her daughter Isidora Martinez, and Maria Teresa Fuentealba exchange news from the day over a hearty meal accompanied by Chilean breads and wine. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 4At EPES headquarters, staffers meet and discuss the country’s most pressing health care issues such as domestic violence, HIV protection and awareness, tobacco control, early breast cancer detection, and environmental health. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 19Eleven-month-old Darlene Anis Villegas (from left), Natalia Shendiz, and Luis Archivalas Villegas sit inside their temporary Villa Bosquemar home. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 26Lopez and Anderson visit with Pamela Del Carmen Monsalve (right) in the emergency Campamento Ebenezer, in the Fundo Coihueco in Penco. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 39For the final session of the three-month program, this group celebrated with snacks and then each child received a diploma and a backpack with pencils, eraser, a stuffed animal, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a flashlight. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 16Two-year-old Brittany Garrido Chacamo and her mother, Paulima Chacamo Guatardo, who is five months pregnant, are pictured in their house in Campamento Santa Clara. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographerlast_img read more

Taking stock of sustainability efforts

first_imgAfter years of toiling to increase the efficiency and lessen the environmental impact of campus operations, it’s time for university sustainability workers to step back, examine broader goals, and make sure their efforts are aligned to achieve them.That’s the advice of William Clark, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development, and a co-director of the Sustainability Science Program. Campus sustainability initiatives have, for many years, been on the cutting edge, promoting efficiency, influencing institutional practices, encouraging new construction and major renovations, and changing behavior among students, faculty, and staff.In fact, Clark said, he and other specialists in sustainability have learned from the efforts of Harvard and other institutions. Still, he said, campus leaders should take a look at the broader picture before plunging ahead once again.“We’ve been taking for granted that you recognize sustainable development if you saw it,” Clark said. “What are we trying to promote? It certainly isn’t just reductions in emissions.”Clark posed the question Tuesday to a Cambridge gathering of representatives from universities and nonprofit organizations across 34 countries. The gathering was part of the eighth annual conference of the International Sustainability Campus Network (ISCN), which was jointly hosted by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.The conference, held at Harvard’s Boylston Hall and at MIT’s Media Lab, included discussions about innovation, collaboration, scalability, and metrics. Heather Henriksen, director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, on Monday delivered introductory remarks together with Bernd Kasemir of ISCN and Julie Newman of MIT.“The challenges we face are too complex, interwoven, and global. We can’t solve them on our individual campuses,” Henriksen said. “We hope you leave with a renewed sense of purpose.”Davis Bookhart, senior manager for sustainability at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, welcomed the chance to trade ideas with counterparts from other institutions. Most campus sustainability offices, he said, are small, with just a few people generating ideas and programs. Sustainability is such a new field, he said, that they’re often making it up as they go along.“You don’t always have people to bounce ideas off of,” Bookhart said.Clark led a panel discussion on innovation at MIT’s Media Lab that also featured Gordon Jones from Harvard’s Innovation Lab, who outlined the i-lab’s mission and operations; Jason Jay of MIT; Tom Kelly of the University of New Hampshire; and Christine Bratrich of ETH Zurich. In his comments, Clark said that innovation efforts related to sustainability shouldn’t focus entirely on university outputs — like greenhouse gas emissions — to the global environment and climate system.Sustainability, he said, should promote human well-being in a long list of areas — housing, work, education, health, and community among them. Further, he said, sustainable development ensures that well-being is shaped in a way that is not purchased at the cost of other people elsewhere in the world or, in the case of long-term environmental degradation, at the expense of future generations.The focus of university efforts shouldn’t just be on the flow of goods and services to and from campus, Clark said, but should also ensure that the development of other important assets — the built environment, knowledge passed on to students, social capital created on campus, and even the natural environment — are handled sustainably.“On your campus, what are the specific capital assets most relevant to enhancing the inclusive well-being of your community, both locally, surrounding, and through the world?” Clark asked. “How well do you monitor and report the size and quality of those asset stocks, not just the flows in and out of them — greenhouse gas emissions, waste recycling rates and so on. [Those are] all hugely relevant, but not about the stock of assets we are, or are going to, pass on to the future.”last_img read more

Water Laboratory.

first_imgCamilla, Ga. — The C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park will become Georgia’s laboratory to study, learn and teach Georgia farmers and citizens how to better use water, said Gov. Roy Barnes.The park will provide the tools scientists need “to discover the best ways we can understand and make sure there is an adequate supply of water and an adequate supply of jobs in the future,” Barnes told those who attended the dedication of the park here May 11.The 133 acres of land used for the park was donated to Mitchell County by C.M. Stripling, whom Barnes honored for his contribution to the future of Georgia agriculture. Mitchell County leases the land to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to use for the park.Blessed”We don’t realize how blessed we are by God with so much water (in Georgia),” Barnes said. “Unless we make sure we are good stewards of water both for agriculture and industry, we have no future.”Barnes said the park shows Georgia’s commitment to water conservation and will help the state in the current water negotiations with Florida and Alabama, who have sued the state over water.”We have been able to point in those negotiations to this center and to the other research in (Georgia) conserving water,” Barnes said. “We can develop methods for agriculture to fully irrigate in a more effective and efficient way — therefore, quit suing us and get off our backs.”Answers to CrisisBarnes added that agriculture and rural Georgia are in a critical state.”Agriculture is under attack in the United States. It’s under attack because of the globalization of trade,” he said.But he said rural Georgia can still grow.”We have the recipe for a successful rural renaissance in Georgia . . . economic development, better educated and better trained workers and more effective and more efficient agriculture with a value-added element,” he said. “This (research park) is a cornerstone in that effort.”Science ReadyThe CAES has “never had the kind of (water research) facility we have here to let us do the things we feel like are so important,” said CAES Dean and Director Gale Buchanan.”The kinds of things we’ll be doing at this site will have benefits certainly for this area, for farmers, and certainly for agriculture. But the beneficiary is all of the people in the state of Georgia,” Buchanan said.”Water, very often,” he said, “decides profit or loss in agriculture, the success of our state and the economy.”Farmers can learn the best techniques for irrigating in Georgia from the research at the park, said Mitchell County farmer Murray Campbell.”Agriculture is a very large user of water in the state,” said Campbell, who chairs the park’s advisory committee. “And we need to learn how to use it wisely and judiciously.”last_img read more

Flashpoint: Wilderness Under Assault

first_img David Saville, who works with the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and was a major player in the decade-plus effort to get that land declared wilderness, says the project was meticulously planned, he said, with contingencies to address forestry, timber, wildlife, state agencies, and concerns of various user groups, including mountain bikers. The wilderness coalition, for example, had looked closely at both Canaan Mountain and Gauley Mountain as potential wildernesses that met many of the group’s metrics. “How is an ultimatum of a threat to close all of our best local Forest Service riding areas turned into an ‘olive branch’?”  says Marcus. “They came to us…telling us to support them closing Dolly Sods and all the other acreage to bicycles, because they weren’t going to close Canaan and Gauley Mountain. Those areas would never have made the Forest Service list of proposed Wilderness in the first place. What was the nature of the so-called negotiations? There were none. That is called an ultimatum. No deals were offered.”The Dolly Sods expansion illustrates how outdoor groups can splinter amid tension over wilderness areas. With public lands under assault by elected officials, that’s a large part of why HR 1349 is so alarming to wilderness groups and to the IMBA.“We need to be in lockstep in protecting public lands, whether a wilderness area or a national recreation area that’s open to bikes,” said the Wilderness Society’s Carroll. “The wedges being driven into these communities are a big concern for us. That being said, I hope that folks can take a step back and look at what IMBA is doing. They are an unbelievable partner and advocate for protected public lands in this country. They have worked with the wilderness community, local conservationists, and others to develop proposals that work for wilderness and mountain bikers and others.”Supporters of the bill see it as a chance to build a new coalition and rally more support behind public wildlands.“We have the opportunity here I think to build an entirely new army of supporters of our wild places,” said Fisch. “We’ve got lots of backcountry cyclists who are right-leaning and just generally vote straight Republican tickets, and also like to ride their bikes in the woods. If we’re really interested in strengthening the coalitions of Americans to support our wild places, there’s no better way to do that than to bring more people to our wild places. As long as we arbitrarily restrict bikes from wild places, that is what is keeping a lot of people from getting excited about defending national monuments, wilderness areas, or the like.”Carroll counters that the STC is oversimplifying the issue in an attempt to muddy the waters.“It’s a simple argument to say, ‘For it or against it?’” Carroll said. “STC is manipulating that. People are busy. It’s hard to go through the nuances of all of this. McClintock and the people at STC are taking advantage of the desire for an easy fix to discredit good, positive-thinking conservation organizations. Whether mountain biking, hiking, or old-school environmentalist groups, we need to stand together with the understanding that these are bedrock conservation laws we all need to protect.”It appears that HR 1349 has a difficult road to passage. A similar but more nuanced bill was introduced in the Senate last term, but failed to clear committee. Its sponsors didn’t even bother to re-introduce it this term. Even if HR 1349 is passed by the full House, its chances in the Senate appear slim at best. But in 2018, no public wildlands are safe from federal lawmakers. “The first thing we did after we completed our inventory was to approach the mountain biking businesses and communities around those two sites and say, ‘We know you all use this mountain, so we’re going to take it out of our proposal. Even though these are two of the biggest and best areas, we’re not going to include it in our proposal because it’s important to the mountain biking community and your businesses,’” explains Saville.The move was intended as an olive branch to mountain bikers, he says. Meanwhile, the coalition was ready to negotiate further.“We had back-up plans in our pocket,” Saville said. “To be honest with you, we were skeptical that Dolly Sods would make it into the bill because it had a mountain biking constituency. We thought the mountain biking community would push back much harder than it did.”“We have the opportunity here I think to build an entirely new army of supporters of our wild places.”Matt Marcus says that events unfolded much differently than Saville portrays them. The mountain biking community stood united in opposition to the ultimatum given by Saville, who was a paid employee of The Wilderness Society at the time. The threat of proposing Canaan Mountain and Gauley Mountain as Wilderness was a bluff, says Marcus, who was the IMBA representative for West Virginia at the time, and he called Saville’s bluff. Canaan and Gauley were never put into the proposal.At the last minute, after the bill had been introduced to the House by then- U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), a deal was made with Gil Willis, Elk River Touring Center, to do $30,000 of trail work on a trail leading to his business in Pocahontas County, in exchange for his testimony before Congress as a mountain biker in favor of the Wilderness bill. The bill had no effect on mountain bike trails in Pocahontas County or anywhere near his business, says Marcus. Other than Willis, mountain bikers remained as a single voice against the closure of Dolly Sods to bicycles.center_img A GOP bid to allow bikes in wilderness threatens to crack a conservation coalition.In mid-November, the House Committee on Natural Resources voted 22-18 to add the following lines to the Wilderness Act: “Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized bicycles, strollers, wheelbarrows, survey wheels, measuring wheels, or game carts within any wilderness area.”It’s only a single sentence, but embedded within those phrases is a concept that is roiling the membership of the International Mountain Bicycling Association and which threatens to splinter the coalition of outdoor recreation user groups who support the country’s bedrock environmental and public lands laws.The Wilderness Act was signed into law in 1964, with a succinct definition: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”Congress has recognized 765 wilderness areas, comprising more than 109 million acres of federal public lands. Mechanized activities are prohibited in wilderness areas—hikers and horses are in, bikes and automobiles are out—and therein lies the conflict that HR 1349 seeks to rectify. Those in favor of allowing bikes into wilderness argue that mechanized activities are already allowed in wilderness areas—cross-country skis and certain kinds of snowshoes are allowed, for instance. They say that HR 1349 would simply extend that exception to mountain bikes.Wilderness advocates, however, stridently oppose the bill. They oppose allowing mountain bikes into wilderness areas because mechanized technology allows people to go farther in a short amount of time than they say was ever envisioned for wilderness.Nantahala Pisgah 15 year plan“We’ve basically dubbed this the wheels over wilderness bill because it prioritizes bikes over every other use of wilderness. It gives them domain,” said Michael Carroll, senior director for the People Outdoors program for the Wilderness Society. “We think it’s a complete rewrite of the Wilderness Act.”Opponents are also skeptical of the bill’s congressional support. Its sponsor, U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican, received a 0 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters in 2016, and his lifetime score is only 4 percent. He regularly votes in favor of extractive industries and against protections for public lands and endangered species.“Right now, wilderness is under siege like never before,” said George Nickas, executive director of Wilderness Watch, which in December sent a statement signed by 133 conservation groups opposing HR 1349. “There are people in charge who have for years wanted to undermine the Wilderness Act. They now have the best opportunity they’ve ever had, so they’re going for it. The fact that you have this very weird political dynamic with extremely right-wing Republicans forming an alliance with the mountain-biking community shows how unprincipled they are and how far they’re willing to go after the Wilderness Act.”The legislation has placed the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) in a tenuous position. The organization often opposes designation of new wilderness areas that affect established bike trails and “revered riding opportunities,” according to its statement to a congressional subcommittee on HR 1349. In the same statement, however, IMBA affirmed that it did not support the legislation, largely because of the power of the larger conservation coalition.“Wilderness is under siege like never before…Extremely right-wing Republicans are forming an alliance with part of the mountain-biking community to go after the Wilderness Act.”—George Nickas “As part of our commitment to trail access and public land stewardship, we have been involved in discussions about Wilderness and other forms of legislatively driven protections for public lands for decades,” IMBA’s statement said. “We find that when mountain bikers are given a seat at the table in these discussions, we can protect important trails while finding common ground with those who are looking to create new conservation designations.” Yet some of IMBA’s membership disagrees with the stance. In response to an interview request, IMBA spokeswoman Eleanor Blick wrote, “We’ve stepped back from speaking much on HR 1349 because (as you have probably noticed) the discourse has gotten pretty nasty in the mountain bike community.”The crack in the coalition that wilderness advocates fear is, to some extent, already happening. Some mountain bikers clearly see HR 1349 as an opportunity to explore, or in some cases re-discover, wilderness trails. The legislation is backed by Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC), a political advocacy group that has taken a different approach than IMBA.“HR 1349 flies in the face of IMBA’s strategy,” said STC Director John Fisch. “They’ve said, ‘We’re trying to play nicely. Anything that rocks the boat we are not going to support.’ Our position is, hey we love your advocacy efforts. But the problem is we’ve lost quality singletrack in the last five years. Their strategy doesn’t seem to be working.”These advocates argue that wilderness advocates trying to keep bikes out are those who are dividing the coalition.“That’s the greatest travesty and sadness I have surrounding the whole issue of mountain bikes in wilderness areas,” said Greg Heil, editor of Singletracks.com. “A lot of these gung-ho wilderness advocates are painting us as people who want to pillage the wilderness and tear things up. That’s not the case at all. Pretty much all the mountain bikers I know are conservationists. We love our wild lands. We don’t want to see our lands developed for resource extraction; I don’t even want to see new trails built in wilderness areas. We just want to enjoy some of the trails already there on our bicycles in a low-impact way.”In eastern West Virginia, the debate over HR 1349 has ripped the scabs from old wounds that stem from past disagreements over bikes on public wildlands. Take the Dolly Sods Wilderness in Monongahela National Forest, which stands out for its rocky, high-altitude plateau characterized by wind-swept boulders and stunted trees. The wilderness area began as a 650-acre parcel, but has grown to encompass 17,371 acres of Forest Service land. The most recent expansion came in 2009, as part of a broader bill that reclassified 39,000 acres in West Virginia as wilderness. Dolly Sods Wilderness expanded by 7,215 acres.Local mountain bikers, who regularly rode Blackbird Knob and other trails, fought against wilderness expansion and remain bitterly disappointed in the outcome.“In Dolly Sods wilderness, 25 miles of trails were closed to bikes,” said Matt Marcus, an IMBA member, former owner of Blackwater Bikes, and a founding member of the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA). “Now it’s like Disney World up there. It’s overrun with people, with forest fires starting, people getting lost. The rescue squad has to go in all the time. To me, the whole idea of making it wilderness backfired. It was supposed to protect that property, but instead opened it up and made it a hugely popular, nutty place. On summer weekends, everyone around here avoids it.”last_img read more

VanLife Rally Online Tour from Apres Day with Upslope Brewery

first_imgOver the weekend, the van community of Colorado met for the day at Upslope Brewery. Getting together with the tribe is always invigorating and rejuvenating. We got to tour all the vans and chat a bit with their owners. Take a look below at the awesome rigs that showed up! Click the photos to head to personal social media pages or more info on the company building out the vans.Masyn Moyer brought her beautifully decorated tiny bus.Tyler Miller brought his 2007 Chevy ExpressIan with Onsight Resoles joined with his mobile repair van.Inside Onsight Resoles mobile repair vanTitan Vans showed off two of their models Weston Snowboards brought their tiny home, plenty of room here!@expandingexplorers showed off his built out vanTimbr Basecamps brought a beautiful model for attendees to lounge inScott Woerner brought his van AND motorcycle that fits inside it.Of course, we ran a successful raffle and got to hang out at Upslope all day! Can’t wait for next year. There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors that make this happen: Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to winlast_img read more

Navies of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru Join Forces to Fight Drug Trafficking

first_imgPhase two will take place from July 31 to August 5 with the departure from the city of Iquitos down the Amazon River, arriving at the Tri-Border point, where naval participants will conduct a trilateral river-based enforcement exercise. Officials from the three navies met to plan the operation at the Amazon Coast Guard Command in the port city of Leticia, Colombia. The operational chiefs of the Colombian Navy’s Southern Naval Force, the Brazilian Navy’s Ninth District, and the Peruvian Navy’s Amazon Region and Fifth Naval Zone General Operations Command participated in the gathering. “The naval operation is aimed at developing interoperability through joint tactical exercises and at increasing the capabilities of the Brazilian Navy, the Colombian National Navy, and the Peruvian Navy in the fight against criminal organizations in the Amazon region,” said Peruvian Navy retired Rear Admiral Juan Rodríguez Kelley. Bracolper encourages international Military cooperation “The Amazonian Trapezoid is an ideal area for drug traffickers working with criminal gangs or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC),” Rodríguez Kelley said. Bracolper will have three phases In this regard, the Bracolper operations “acquire significance, not only in terms of security cooperation, but also in sharing and exchanging blueprints for contributing to sustainable development in the region,” Rodríguez Kelley said. Organized crime groups engage in other criminal enterprises in the region, such as illegal mining, smuggling flora and fauna, and unauthorized logging. Organized crime groups engage in other criminal enterprises in the region, such as illegal mining, smuggling flora and fauna, and unauthorized logging. Drug trafficking complicates border situation In the last few decades, drug traffickers have increased their activities in the Tri-Border Area, often by transporting drugs through neighboring countries. The Bracolper exercises are scheduled to begin on July 24 in Leticia, after a series of ceremonial events to help the ships’ crews learn about the cultures and customs of each participating country. “Bracolper is unique among operations because it takes place in an Amazonian environment; the largest benefit falls to the three navies, it is cooperation, and the high degree of mutual trust the three navies have achieved,” Rodríguez Kelley said. Following the ceremonial activities, Bracolper will proceed in three distinct phases, involving exercises involving river gunboats, barges, rapid interdiction boats, helicopters, and Marine battalions, Rodríguez Kelley said. Officials from the three navies met to plan the operation at the Amazon Coast Guard Command in the port city of Leticia, Colombia. The operational chiefs of the Colombian Navy’s Southern Naval Force, the Brazilian Navy’s Ninth District, and the Peruvian Navy’s Amazon Region and Fifth Naval Zone General Operations Command participated in the gathering. In this regard, the Bracolper operations “acquire significance, not only in terms of security cooperation, but also in sharing and exchanging blueprints for contributing to sustainable development in the region,” Rodríguez Kelley said. “These dynamics in violation of the constitutional framework of each country are a general threat, keeping in mind the close relationship between the local populations and the consequences of these offenses,” Rodríguez Kelley explained. Fighting drug trafficking and other illegal enterprises helps protect the environment of the Amazonian Tri-Border area, which encompasses the largest water basin in the world, covers over a third of the Southern hemisphere’s land mass, and is home to Earth’s most diverse ecosystems, species, and gene pools. The area is also a repository for significant hydroelectric, petroleum, and mineral resources. From September 9-15 the Bracolper Naval Operation will depart Manaus, and travel up the Rio Negro and the Amazon River until arriving at the Tri-Border point. “Bracolper is designed to be a significant naval operation that strengthens the bonds of brotherhood among neighboring countries working in the river areas under their responsibility with the common goal of closing off spaces from drug trafficking,” according to the Colombian Navy on a video from July 2014. International drug trafficking groups operate in the Tri-Border Area between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, a region which is also known as the Amazonian Trapezoid. International drug trafficking groups operate in the Tri-Border Area between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, a region which is also known as the Amazonian Trapezoid. “The yearly increase in the complexity of these operations clearly shows the high degree of professionalism and commitment each Navy has towards executing the naval exercised.” Phase three will unfold in two stages: from August 26 to September 5, where naval forces will meet at the Tri-Border point, then travel down the Amazon River until they reach the Rio Negro, culminating in their arrival at the Rio Negro Naval Station in the city of Manaus, Brazil. Bracolper encourages international Military cooperation By Dialogo May 29, 2015 Bracolper will have three phases Outside the framework of the Bracolper operations, bilateral operations between Peru and Brazil on the Yavarí River as well as bilateral operations between Colombia and Peru on the Putumayo River “contribute effectively and continually to the fight against new threats.” These operations include humanitarian aid, medical Brigades, maintenance work, and improvements to public infrastructure. Bracolper aims to fight these illegal activities by encouraging the navies to cooperate in the fight against organized crime in the Tri-Border Area. The operation will strengthen “the friendly ties between the institutions responsible for protecting and safeguarding the network of water ways in the Amazonian Trapezoid,” the Colombian Navy said in a statement after the 2015 Naval Operation planning meeting. “The naval operation is aimed at developing interoperability through joint tactical exercises and at increasing the capabilities of the Brazilian Navy, the Colombian National Navy, and the Peruvian Navy in the fight against criminal organizations in the Amazon region,” said Peruvian Navy retired Rear Admiral Juan Rodríguez Kelley. Fighting drug trafficking and other illegal enterprises helps protect the environment of the Amazonian Tri-Border area, which encompasses the largest water basin in the world, covers over a third of the Southern hemisphere’s land mass, and is home to Earth’s most diverse ecosystems, species, and gene pools. The area is also a repository for significant hydroelectric, petroleum, and mineral resources. The first phase will take place from July 24-27, in the Tri-Border Area, traveling up the Amazon River toward Iquitos. Phase two will take place from July 31 to August 5 with the departure from the city of Iquitos down the Amazon River, arriving at the Tri-Border point, where naval participants will conduct a trilateral river-based enforcement exercise. Following the ceremonial activities, Bracolper will proceed in three distinct phases, involving exercises involving river gunboats, barges, rapid interdiction boats, helicopters, and Marine battalions, Rodríguez Kelley said. “These dynamics in violation of the constitutional framework of each country are a general threat, keeping in mind the close relationship between the local populations and the consequences of these offenses,” Rodríguez Kelley explained. The first phase will take place from July 24-27, in the Tri-Border Area, traveling up the Amazon River toward Iquitos. Bracolper aims to fight these illegal activities by encouraging the navies to cooperate in the fight against organized crime in the Tri-Border Area. The operation will strengthen “the friendly ties between the institutions responsible for protecting and safeguarding the network of water ways in the Amazonian Trapezoid,” the Colombian Navy said in a statement after the 2015 Naval Operation planning meeting. The navies of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru will join efforts in Bracolper Naval 2015, a military operation to combat transnational criminal activities in the Amazon region shared by the three countries. The navies of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru will join efforts in Bracolper Naval 2015, a military operation to combat transnational criminal activities in the Amazon region shared by the three countries. International drug trafficking organizations operate in the the Amazonian Trapezoid to try to take advantage of two large rivers, the Putumayo and the Marañón, which flow from coca-producing valleys in Colombia and Peru to the Atlantic Ocean. Drug trafficking organizations use fishing boats and other vessels to transport drugs on these rivers. “The yearly increase in the complexity of these operations clearly shows the high degree of professionalism and commitment each Navy has towards executing the naval exercised.” This initiative began in 1974 as a result of a sense of brotherhood and fraternity among Brazil, Colombia, and Peru; it began with the ceremonial visit of Brazilian river vessels to the city of Iquitos in Peru, and later to Leticia. This initiative began in 1974 as a result of a sense of brotherhood and fraternity among Brazil, Colombia, and Peru; it began with the ceremonial visit of Brazilian river vessels to the city of Iquitos in Peru, and later to Leticia. Drug trafficking complicates border situation During these voyages, the ships will conduct practical exercises in communications, formations, semaphore (sending signals by holding flags in certain positions), light cargo transfers, and rapid response, among other exercises that will help bolster the ships’ operational abilities. “Bracolper is unique among operations because it takes place in an Amazonian environment; the largest benefit falls to the three navies, it is cooperation, and the high degree of mutual trust the three navies have achieved,” Rodríguez Kelley said. International drug trafficking organizations operate in the the Amazonian Trapezoid to try to take advantage of two large rivers, the Putumayo and the Marañón, which flow from coca-producing valleys in Colombia and Peru to the Atlantic Ocean. Drug trafficking organizations use fishing boats and other vessels to transport drugs on these rivers. Outside the framework of the Bracolper operations, bilateral operations between Peru and Brazil on the Yavarí River as well as bilateral operations between Colombia and Peru on the Putumayo River “contribute effectively and continually to the fight against new threats.” These operations include humanitarian aid, medical Brigades, maintenance work, and improvements to public infrastructure. The only strategy is to block drug trafficking in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and this can be done only with the participation of Central American countries. Drugs are the blood of the drug traffickers and the FARC. Without this element, their financial support drowns. Behind them are the weapons traffickers, who live off of violence. Mexico from one day to the next inundated with AK 47 rifles. The Bracolper exercises are scheduled to begin on July 24 in Leticia, after a series of ceremonial events to help the ships’ crews learn about the cultures and customs of each participating country. Phase three will unfold in two stages: from August 26 to September 5, where naval forces will meet at the Tri-Border point, then travel down the Amazon River until they reach the Rio Negro, culminating in their arrival at the Rio Negro Naval Station in the city of Manaus, Brazil. In the last few decades, drug traffickers have increased their activities in the Tri-Border Area, often by transporting drugs through neighboring countries. “Bracolper is designed to be a significant naval operation that strengthens the bonds of brotherhood among neighboring countries working in the river areas under their responsibility with the common goal of closing off spaces from drug trafficking,” according to the Colombian Navy on a video from July 2014. “The Amazonian Trapezoid is an ideal area for drug traffickers working with criminal gangs or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC),” Rodríguez Kelley said. From September 9-15 the Bracolper Naval Operation will depart Manaus, and travel up the Rio Negro and the Amazon River until arriving at the Tri-Border point. During these voyages, the ships will conduct practical exercises in communications, formations, semaphore (sending signals by holding flags in certain positions), light cargo transfers, and rapid response, among other exercises that will help bolster the ships’ operational abilities. last_img read more