By Gonzalo Silva Infante/Diálogo March 06, 2018 The Peruvian Navy (MGP, in Spanish) began 2018 dealing blows to illegal mining in the Madre de Dios jungle region, in the southeast of Peru. Through the General Directorate of Captainships and Coast Guard, MGP conducted several operations on the Malinowski River, near the Tambopata national reserve, from January 8th-10th. During patrols of the river and its tributaries, coast guard units detected illegal mining activity.“We made an operations plan,” said to Diálogo MGP Lieutenant Junior Grade Jonathan Novoa Cabrera, assigned to the Coast Guard Captaincy of Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the Madre de Dios region. “We located the spots, and members of both the Navy and the Attorney General’s office entered by foot from the Malinowski River.”The operations were successful. Units destroyed a clandestine mining campsite, 15 suction pumps, 17 engines, six mining rafts, and a chainsaw.MGP reinforcementsIllegal mining in the vicinity of the Tambopata reserve dates back many years. The National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP, in Spanish)—a subordinate body of the Peruvian Ministry of Environment—detected illicit activity in the reserve in early 2000. By 2015, the criminals had invaded the reserve itself, prompting SERNANP to request MGP reinforcement.“In this scenario, and with the requirements from the Ministry of the Environment, through SERNANP, the Navy entered the Tambopata National Reserve permanently,” MGP Captain Eduardo Silva Marzuka, head of the Coast Guard Operations Command, told Diálogo. “They envisioned a two-part strategy: tackle illegal mining itself around the Malinowski River, and cut off illegal smuggling of supplies, fuel, and chemicals through the rivers.”To put the plan into action, MGP created a unit dedicated to eradicating illegal mining in the area of the Tambopata Reserve. The group, whose personnel alternates twice a month, set up at Las Palmeras base in the town of Mazuko, on the edge of the reserve. The unit also counts on the support of the Puerto Maldonado Coast Guard Captaincy.“The operations area is made up of the Inambari River and the Malinowski River,” Capt. Silva said. “It also [includes] the other Madre de Dios and Tambopata rivers, where operations against illegal mining are also carried out.”Devastating activityMGP destroys equipment used for illegal mining as soon as it is confiscated. (Photo: Peruvian Navy)Illegal mining has a huge impact on the Peruvian environment. The deforestation that results from the activity devastates the Amazon rainforest, and the use of mercury in the extraction process pollutes rivers and harms the population.According to the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), an NGO of the United States, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador, Peru lost an estimated 143,500 hectares of forest in 2017. The Madre de Dios region, the MAAP indicated, is one of the main deforestation zones.With the increase in the price of gold on the international market, illegal mining became more mechanized and industrialized. The work of MGP evolved to detect campsites and destroy equipment used, as well as monitor the transport of chemical supplies and fuel used in this activity.“In the Inambari [River], the illegal transport of fuel is something that goes from Puno [city in the southeast of Peru] to the town of Mazuko every day,” said MGP Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ronald Sierra, assigned to Las Palmeras base. Jungle operations are not only demanding, but also risky. “On one occasion there were shots from breech-loading arms,” CWO 2 Sierra said about the January operations.Successful effortsWith MGP presence, invaded areas reduced notably. Although deforestation continues in Madre de Dios, MAAP indicated that forest loss in 2017 was the lowest in five years. According to data from the Tambopata Reserve, 95 percent of the areas invaded, or 721 hectares, were recovered.In 2017, MGP destroyed 11 campsites, 431 mining rafts, 26 dredges, and more than 1,000 different pieces of equipment, such as engines, suction pumps, and generators, among others, in the Madre de Dios region. The Navy also seized more than 23,000 gallons of fuel and arrested 35 people.“This is quite a considerable effort because we have dedicated a group of people to permanently combat [illegal mining] in the Tambopata National Reserve,” Capt. Silva concluded. “That means travel expenses, equipment that we implement all year long […] because our goal is to completely free [the area] from illegal mining.”
RELATED NEWS: “We have once again confirmed the good cooperation, and Minister Shugang invited us to China this fall to be special guests of the International Tourism Fair, which is attended by representatives of 100 countries.”, Said Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli and stressed that the signing of the Memorandum clearly shows interest and a sign that both China and Croatia recognize potential cooperation, which is also the foundation on which to build future concrete activities in tourism. This is supported by the activities prepared and agreed as part of the celebration of 2019 as the “Year of Culture and Tourism of Croatia and China”. As part of the Chinese delegation’s multi-day stay on the occasion of the China + 16 summit, Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Lu Shugang and Croatian Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli signed a “Memorandum of Cooperation in the Field of Special Forms of Tourism”. After the signing of the Memorandum, at a bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Tourism, it was concluded that this, but also every next, year of tourism in China and Croatia, reports the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia. Recall, Chinese tourists in 2018 realized 234.111 arrivals and 344.083 overnight stays, or 46 percent more arrivals and 45 percent more overnight stays compared to 2017. “We will work together to promote cooperation between our countries, strive to establish stronger transport links and exchange experiences in the field of special forms of tourism. In addition, Chinese investors are interested in investing, especially in health tourism”, Cappelli pointed out and added that the Chinese market is extremely important because it is about tourists who are not motivated by holiday tourism, but by the cultural offer, gastro-eno and other special forms of tourism.
“Middle Ground” runs Tuesdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or email Josh at [email protected] Backup quarterbacks live by this mantra: It’s just a play away.Just as the vice president is a heartbeat away from the presidency, the No. 2 signal-callers are one snap away from going from relative obscurity to having all eyes looking at them.There are those who never get the chance, those that history relegates to the sidelines indefinitely. Then there are the Tom Bradys and Matt Cassels, those who prepared every game as if they were starting, so when the day came, they would be ready. And they were.There might not be a more important backup position in sports. The second-string quarterback is like an understudy who must be able to jump into the performance at any moment and not forget any of his lines. He is an insurance policy, a reliever and the most popular guy on the team — until he makes his first mistake.With junior quarterback Matt Barkley firmly in control of the starting job at USC, the battle over who is going to back him up has been one of the biggest story lines of the spring. With spring practices set to finish at the end of the week, it appears redshirt freshman Jesse Scroggins will eventually hold the No. 2 spot.USC was spoiled in recent years by often having talented quarterback waiting on the sidelines: Cassel, John David Booty, Mark Sanchez, even Mitch Mustain. Though not always a guarantee of success, having that experience coming off the bench is certainly a luxury.Scroggins, who turned 19 last month, will not have that. He’s green. He has never taken a snap in college. The two freshmen behind him, Cody Kessler and Max Wittek, are even greener.Scroggins has continued to impress coaches, but he still has a long way to go. He completed four of five passes in Saturday’s scrimmage but threw one interception.Those mistakes will happen as he continues to learn the playbook and adjust to the speed of the college game. His understanding of USC’s pro-style offense continues to grow as well.More telling, though, is that Scroggins continues to get more opportunities than Kessler or Wittek. Although USC coach Lane Kiffin probably won’t reveal the depth chart until the fall, Scroggins is the clear favorite right now.More importantly, Scroggins’ presence in the huddle appears to have improved. Last season, when he was relegated to a scout team role, Scroggins would sometimes stutter in the huddle out of nervousness as he was calling plays.Now, Scroggins is talking about getting over his shy side and asserting himself.“You’ve got to be the leader,” he told the Los Angeles Times last week. “You’ve got to be the guy that everybody likes.”He could take plenty of direction from Barkley, who made his way into the starting lineup just about as soon as the ink had dried on his letter of intent. Barkley seemed to have that presence of leadership upon arrival, whereas Scroggins is still learning.Then again, Barkley was forced into the role as a freshman. It makes more sense to ease Scroggins along at his own pace.But in the world of sports, nothing is ever guaranteed. Whether he gets his name called tomorrow or never, Scroggins still has to be prepared. After all, Barkley has missed at least one game each of the last two seasons.Even if Scroggins never plays a down this season, he has an opportunity to position himself to take over in the future if he continues to progress. That could happen as early as next season, if Barkley decides to skip his senior year and enter the draft.Like all the backups who preceded him, the key for Scroggins is to remain patient without becoming complacent. He must make the most of every rep, every film session and every walkthrough.No one knows when his time will come. But we all know how close it could be.