New typhoon experiment begins

New typhoon experiment begins

ing the Wolong and Baoxing reserves to locate any other species of bamboo that may be acceptable as a substitute food; monthly sampling of flowering a...

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ing the Wolong and Baoxing reserves to locate any other species of bamboo that may be acceptable as a substitute food; monthly sampling of flowering arrow bamboo for nutritional content and samplings of panda droppings to determine how much nutrition the animals are receiving. Plans should be made to trap a few pandas for release in other areas and for supplementary food supplies to be left for the animals. Arrow bamboo seeds should be planted in areas where the forest has been cut down. "If absolutely essential", Schaller wrote to WWF headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, "some pandas might be taken into captivity:., and released back into the wild once the bamboo has regenerated". WWF has already provided three lightweight, collapsible carrying cages to transport pandas. Six animals have been fitted with radio collars for tracking. In the mid-1970s, 138 giants pandas starved to death in an area where the bamboo flowering cycle occurred,

according to Chinese authorities. There are thought to be no more than 1000 pandas left in all of China. The animal has become the symbol of endangered species everywhere as the emblem of the World Wildlife Fund. In the past, pandas simply moved to another hillside when the bamboo bloomed. Nowadays, human habitation has so encroachedon panda habitats that the reserves are like islands to which the animals are confined and where they must live off what they can forage. WWF has pledged 1 million dollars to the construction of a research and conservation centre for the giant panda in the Wolong Nature Reserve. The Chinese government is contributing some 2 million dollars for this purpose. WWF expects to contribute approximately another million dollars toward the cooperative project including field research, training, experts' missions and the provision of laboratory and other equipment not available in China.

CITES Asks China to Tighten Curbs on Trade in Panda Skins* China has been urged to tighten international controls in the sale of giant pandas and panda skins by the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In a letter to the Ministry of Forestry in Beijing, on August 12, CITES noted it was 'deeply concerned' about reports that three panda skins have been offered for sale by a company in Taiwan. It recommended that China ask to place giant pandas on Appendix III of the Convention. This would require the 81 member nations to refuse importation of pandas or skins not accompanied by valid export permits--a virtual impossibility, since China, the only source of pandas, fully protects them as a natural treasure. China attempted to place pandas on Appendix I, which bans all commercial trade of live animals or their products, when CITES met in Botswana in April. The request was Vol. 4, No. 1 (1984)

not filed soon enough, however, and was not considered at the meeting. The panda, a symbol of endangered species everywhere, is not now protected by the Convention. CITES is not implemented in Taiwan. The suggestion to China from the CITES Secretariat in Gland, Switzerland, is an interim measure to "provide a temporary means of halting the illegal trade in skins" the CITES letter said. The Secretariat reminded China it could move toward a total ban by placing the Appendix I proposal before members in a postal vote. The next CITES general meeting is in 1985. CITES Assistant Secretary General Jacques Berney said the Secretariat had received information that a panda skin "was purchased recently for US $50000 and imported into Japan". Other skins "currently being offered for US $25 000 each" are perhaps ten years old and apparently *Courtesy IUCN News Release.

have the marks of traps on the legs, Berney reported. There are only an estimated 1000 pandas living in the wild, most of them in protected reserves in western China. A peasant caught with the remains of a panda that had been radio-collared by a China-World Wildlife Fund research project in Szechuan Province was given the maximum sentence of two years in jail in April. This panda had fallen into an illegal snare set for deer.

New Typhoon Experiment Begins* A major phase of the Typhoon Operational Experiment--usually known as TOPEX--began on 1 August 1983. On that day, scientists of the International Experiment Centre in Tokyo and at eight national centres in Asia initiated a two-and-a-half month programme of cooperative action designed to give people and their property greater protection from typhoons. Preparations for TOPEX began in 1979, with a pre-experiment being conducted in 1981. Last year, the First Operational Experiment was conducted with a high degree of success. The 1983 Second Operational Experiment (SOE) will build upon the experience gained in 1982 and test different aspects of the forecasting and warning system. A new network of strategic upper-air stations has been designed, so that the impact of more frequent observations upon forecasting accuracy can be determined. At least four typhoons will be selected and monitored during the period from 1 August to 15 October 1983. Once again, operations will be guided by the International Experiment Centre under its Director, M. I. Shimizu, of the Japan Meteorological Agency where the centre is housed. It will be manned by scientists seconded specially for the experiment by each of the participating *Courtesy World MeteorologicalOrganization. 71

members of the Typhoon Committee**. Although the SOE constitutes the final operational phase of TOPEX, emphasis will then move to the Subexperiment in which the same countries will continue their cooperation in conducting studies and research work on the mass of data accumulated during the experimental periods. The main thrust of this work will be towards a better understanding of the structure of typhoons and an improved ability to predict their movement and intensity. In parallel with these meteorological activities, the months ahead will also bring special programmes in hydrology and in disaster prevention **China, Democratic Kampuchea, Hong Kong, Japan, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam.

and preparedness, both being equally vital parts of the total forecasting and warning system. TOPEX forms part of the broader Tropical Cyclone Programme of the World Meteorological Organization. The general component of this programme aims mainly at providing guidance and assistance to developing cyclone-prone countries in upgrading their warning and protection systems. The regional component is carried out through four regional tropical cyclone bodies which are contributing to the development of operational plans as a means of strengthening their warning systems in the various regions concerned through close regional cooperation. TOPEX is a major activity in this respect and its results are expected to have both direct and indirect applications in other tropical cyclone areas.

Population and Natural Resources In November 1983 the Council of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Members' Assembly of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)

approved an historic Statement on Population and Natural Resources. This Statement, published here in full for the first time, was drawn up at a meeting of experts from the IUCN Commission on Ecology and

The wild cassava (Manihot glaziovii) (left) is the only known source of resistance to the two most serious cassava diseases in Africa. Transfer of its genes to cultivated cassava (right) has increased yields of new cultivarsby up to eighteen times. 72

IPPF held at Oxford University earlier in the year. It marks the partnership which now exists between the world's leading environmental body and the leading non-governmental organization concerned with population and family planning. This paper was prepared in collaboration with People Magazine, the IPPF Journal. Introduction The World Conservation Strategy provides a guide to sustainable development through the careful use of natural resources. However, it does not explore the complex inter-relationships between populations, natural resources and social and economic conditions. This statement attempts to make good that omission and suggests appropriate action. People everywhere share basic needs for food, water, fuel and shelter. Among the poorest groups, even these are far from adequately met at present. Frequently, rapid growth or maldistribution of population undercuts efforts to meet elementary needs. But a high quality of life entails much more than the simple provision of physical necessities. Continuing rapid population growth may force societies to take measures that limit social and environmental options, thus reducing the quality of human existence. The links between human numbers and natural resources, then, must be analysed in terms of overall social goals--what type of society do people want, and what natural environment is needed to support it? Neither population policies nor resource conservation strategies are ends in themselves. Population and conservation policies must be part of broader efforts to evolve ecologically sustainable patterns of development in countries at all economic levels. Population Trends World population doubled three times between 1650 and 1975 when it approached 4 billion, and is projected to double again by 2025 to over 8 billion. It will increase by about 80 million in 1983 and, according to United Nations projections (1), this annual increase will itself keep growing until it peaks at close to 90 million--roughly equal to the The Environmentalist