November 30, 2011

Nie movie po polsku.... by now :P

#Polska, May 2009: i was going back to Poland from Slovakia and i got to meet a very and adorable lady working as inspector on the train it took. When she saw my route she recommend me another way to arrive to my destination (Częstochowa), and because my polish was very limitated i had to improvise in order to understand (if i ever succeed)... i could say "good morning", "thanks"... and no much more, of course that was not enough to coordinate with the instructor on a proper linguistic-articulated-language.

#Polska, September 2011: got myself into an introductory polish course, 15 hours with guys from the Erasmus Program and lead by Pani Brygida to be able to improve the few words i already knew. Now i am able to ask "how much is... [something]?" and got some interesting and usefull expresions like "i don't understand". If u want to catch me on polish... here i leave you some phrases, and maybe u will get better than me.

Dzień dobry = Buenos días = Good morning
Cześć = Hola = Hi
Do zobaczenia = Nos vemos = See you
Proszę = Por favor = Please
Dziękuję = Gracias = Thank you
Proszę = De nada = You're welcome
Przepraszam = Perdón = I'm sorry

and my favorite...
Nie rozumien = No entiendo = I don't understand

...and some more words with spanish translation
algunas palabras más, si las pueden leer...

Well, just so u know... i decided to take it seriously and become a polish speaker. I'm gonna be more than 1,5 years here so i have enough time to because a pro and rock the language and have a completely different video soon. I am happy some friends around are really up to help me with that... :) ...and hopefully i'll say "thanks" to the authors of the book "Speak polish in 4 weeks".

Polish Preparation Course - Group #5
Eschange Students Programme, Sept 2011

teraz, to jest wszystko
do zobaczenia!

November 20, 2011

Reduction of the Amazon rainforest

Reduction of the Amazon rain forest
(Essay for my course of International Protection of the Environment)
by @fonchobaggins

Overhead view of clear-cutting for slash-and-burn agriculture in the Peruvian Amazon
Location: Southeastern Peru; from Cuzco to Boca Manu
Source: Mongobay - Deforestation in the Amazon

Some trees on the street may look nice, especially when autumn or spring are going on, both for taking pictures and to have some kind of internal cheer up because there is some nature around. A trip to a rainforest may not be, necessarily, a life-changing experience but surely will give a lot of perspective to a person who still finds a couple of trees as part of a “green city” (or at least a “green street”). These trees on the street are a good source to transform carbon dioxide into oxygen thanks to the magic (rather “chemical process”) of the photosynthesis, and to appreciate this we can picture the reaction of a person breathing deeply right next to a car exhaust system or at the beach, at the top of a mountain or in the middle of a forest (excluding the chance of carbon dioxide sources being around). As part of the global carbon cycle, the presence of forests all around the world have a direct impact on (the reduction of) Global Warming, which is not just a factor of carbon emissions but also the reduction of the earth’s capacity to take emitted carbon out of the atmosphere (1). The Amazon rainforest is a massive carbon extractor from the atmosphere, representing over half of the global rainforest area. Thus, the preservation of the amazon rainforest turns into a global issue, even when the “Amazonia” is shared mainly by Brazil and Peru, both sharing over 73% of the total forest area . The reduction of the Amazon rainforest goes due to the conversion for other land uses, mainly agriculture and infrastructure; and because of degradation from fires, illegal and unsustainable logging, fuel wood harvesting, and climate change. Since 1970, over 600 000 km2 of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed. In 2001 the Amazon was approximately 5,4 million km2, which is only 87% of the Amazon’s original state.

The effects of the reduction of the amazon rainforest also involve the reduction of biodiversity, the release of greenhouse gas emissions, drought and soil erosion and negative impact on the people who depends on the rainforest to live. When forest cover is removed, wildlife is deprived of habitat and becomes more vulnerable to hunting. Considering that about 80% of the world's documented species can be found in tropical rainforests, deforestation puts at risk a majority of the Earth’s biodiversity. Deforestation causes 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Of these, carbon dioxide emissions represent up to one-third of total carbon dioxide emissions released because of human causes. As a result of deforestation, trees no longer evaporate groundwater, which can cause the local climate to be much drier, increasing soil erosion. Furthermore, millions of people rely directly on forests, through small-scale agriculture, hunting and gathering, and by harvesting forest products. The reduction of the amazon rainforest lead to severe social problems, sometimes turning into a violent conflict (2).

Now it is clear that, for the wealth of the global environment, South American governments that are part of the integral Amazonian region have to take care of it for the whole rest of nations. This feature is set on the Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation, where it specifies that the Republics of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela undertake joint actions in order to develop their respective Amazonian territories. We can see here that property is set under the State Property regime (3). Among the questions we can start setting for this perspective we have to include the role of these other nations that have no sovereignty over the territory where the Amazon rainforest is located, how to involve them into its preservation and get some profit from it, considering that “preserving the global equilibrium” is not so profitable for not-top economies. In order to so, there is the need to change the State Property regime into a Common property one, where the nations on the globe will benefit directly. Because of the need of preserving the biodiversity, the people and stop the deforestation, the Amazon rainforest cannot be either private or open property.

Even when the Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation states the role of the governments into the search of development, no formal delimitation of the Amazonia or even the Amazon basin is taking into consideration. Thus we find small farmers who own land and base their agriculture techniques on slash-and-burn and are loyal to corporations investing on crops in the area. Therefore, Private Property doesn’t assure the preservation, no matter the conditions or contract this private entity may sign; and, even when Open Property may look like an interesting option due to the complexity of controlling the area in regards of its nature and extension, the need of preservation was already set, so the Amazonia cannot be helpless against any threat.

In regards of the transaction costs, to have a positive effect on the economic performance we need low transaction costs and high incentives (4). Nevertheless, this concept seems to be intricate when approaching to each production factor. We can mention, grosso modo, the need of setting [physically] the boundary of the Amazon rainforest in order to control de access, monitoring the area and assure no illegal activities are held, the management of international funds, reallocation or alternatives for the employment for the farmers and its respective induction on this new activities, meetings to empower environmental knowledge and coordinate actions, among others. We find the transaction costs are high, so there is the need of locate or develop strong incentives in order to achieve this positive effect. But, due to the complexity and magnitude of the transaction costs, it is important to focus on the factor that has the largest influence and thus, we need to review among labor, capital and land. After all the facts reviewed at the beginning of the paper, we can see that it is the Land that turns into the most important, due to it is directly what we want, need and have to protect.

Goals that are pursuit buy the countries that share the amazon rainforest area are, regarding the social dimension: to preserve the native population on their own environment, to increase the global and local aware of the importance of the amazon and to develop institutions for Amazonia governance, considering the need of a common supranational property. Knowledge for Amazonia conservation should be a target too, so local population can avoid being manipulated by not-precise-information from community outsiders. On the economical dimension, agriculture and wood exploitation should be corrected into a sustainable model, thus both timber and soy can keep being important exports. Here there should be a special effort from the government to redistribute the income and preserve the area and its native population and biodiversity. The provision of fresh water can be assured if there are incentives for sustainable projects that may involve local labor force. Consider also, that keeping nature alive can increase the touristic flow.

Certifications for timber and soy, in exchange of the compromise of maintain 80% of the forest on its own property. Thus, consumers can prefer the products from the companies holding such certification (5), but a previous condition is to have the boundary of the amazon rainforest well set and controlled. Carbon stocks markets that allow funds flow for the preservation of the amazon rainforest are also an opportunity for privates to invest in the Amazonia preservation. Permission for R&D for the pharmaceutical market, in exchange of a percentage of their profit on the new medicines related to products found on the Amazonia (thanks to the biodiversity). Local labor force can switch from slash-and-burn agriculture into hydrological services personnel.

As it was mentioned before, the transaction costs for the sustainable management of the amazon rainforest are high, and so the incentives should be. Due to the strong opposition of the local population to let the government or any external observer, the slow rhythm of the initiatives taken, the cumulative damage that the amazon rainforest already got and the not-so-strong incentives for private companies nor governments this problem just look to keep on its track. Between 1991 and 2000, the total area of Amazon Rainforest cleared for farming and infrastructure goes between 415 000 km² and 587 000 km² and year deforestation keeps on track (6). There is the need of a massive intervention to have control over it and avoid private interest to keep destroying biodiversity, but according to the numbers there is no real or feasible solution.

(1) A. L. Smith, Oxford dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology, 1997
(2) - Rainforests facts
(3) Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation, 1978.
(4) J. Platje, Institutional change and Poland’s Economic performance since the 1970s, 2004
(5) Pita Verweij and others, Keeping the Amazon forest standing: a matter of values, 2009.
(6) Wikipedia - Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest

Websites (i used more than this, but i think it's enough for further reading)
The Economist online, Chopping down the Amazon
The Amazon Fund, homepage
The Amazon Conservation Team, homepage
Greenpeace – Amazon
Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, homepage
The nature conservancy, Rainforest
US Department of State, background note: Brazil
...and of course u have to check Wikipedia :p

November 11, 2011

Mazurek Dąbrowskiego [Hymn Polski]

Today, 11.11 is Poland's Independe day and i already saw many people around walking with polish scarfs... i always knew they were very patriotic here. Well, i was told there are some nationalistic stuff going around with some people that are not exactly very foreigners-friendly, so i am not do more than get into the Poland-Italy football game today... and i'll drink some polish vodka later! Hoy (11.11) es el día de la Independencia de Polonia y he visto a varias personas caminar con bufandas polacas... siempre supe que eran muy patriotas aquí. Bueno, me dijeron que hay algunas actvs. nacionalistas a donde van algunas personas que no son precisamente muy amigablesextranjeros, así que no haré más que ir al partido Polonia-Italia de fútbol de hoy ... y voy a beber un poco de vodka polaco más tarde!

Mazurek Dąbrowskiego
Za twoim przewodem
Złączym się z narodem.

Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła,
Kiedy my żyjemy.
Co nam obca przemoc wzięła,
Szablą odbierzemy.

Marsz, marsz, Dąbrowski,
Z ziemi włoskiej do Polski.
Za twoim przewodem
Złączym się z narodem.

Przejdziem Wisłę, przejdziem Wartę,
Będziem Polakami.
Dał nam przykład Bonaparte,
Jak zwyciężać mamy.

Marsz, marsz...

Jak Czarniecki do Poznania
Po szwedzkim zaborze,
Dla ojczyzny ratowania
Wrócim się przez morze.

Marsz, marsz...

Już tam ojciec do swej Basi
Mówi zapłakany
Słuchaj jeno, pono nasi
Biją w tarabany.

Marsz, marsz...

Poland Is Not Yet Lost (English translation) ♪

Poland has not yet perished,
So long as we still live.
What the alien force has taken from us,
We shall retrieve with a sabre.

March, march, Dąbrowski,
From the Italian land to Poland.
Under your command
We shall rejoin the nation.

We'll cross the Vistula and the Warta,
We shall be Polish.
Bonaparte has given us the example
Of how we should prevail.

March, march...

Like Czarniecki to Poznań
After the Swedish occupation,
To save our homeland,
We shall return across the sea.

March, march...

A father, in tears,
Says to his Basia
Listen, our boys are said
To be beating the tarabans.

March, march...

Kocham Polska ♥

November 8, 2011

F n Kaliningrad, Russia

After spending some marvellous days in Gdansk i was forced to leave the Shengen Zone for... well, stuff that happens (but i didn't commit any crime,i swear!). I was lucky that somehow, we peruvians don't need visa to enter Russia... and there was a small part of Russia just above Poland (Kaliningrad). I got myself very enthusiastic about getting there and the place didn't fail me :) i have to add that i was received and taking care by Anka who was a lovely and caring host n i am sooo greatful! (Anka, thanks once more!). Well, here some pics! :) Después de pasar unos días maravillosos en Gdansk me vi obligado a abandonar la zona Shengen... bueno, son cosas que pasan (pero que no cometí ningún delito, lo juro!). De alguna forma los peruanos no necesitamos visa para viajar a Rusia (desde el 21 de junio de este año, qué suerte, no?) ...y justo había una pequeña parte de Rusia encima de Polonia (Kaliningrado). Tenía muchas ganas de darme una vuelta por ahí y el lugar no me falló :) Tengo que añadir que fue recibido y atendido por Anka que fue una anfitriona encantadora y muy cuidadosa, estoy muuuuy agradecido! (Anka, gracias una vez más!). Bueno, aquí algunas fotos...

No way to get the 1st bus...
No hay forma que tome el 1er bus

(and it has drawings! ...y tiene dibujitos)

2011 Kaliningrad - Fighting Bisons / Bisontes peleando

2011 Kaliningrad - Main Square / Plaza Central

Kaliningrad 2011 - Train Station / Estación de Tren

2011 Kaliningrad - F & Lenin

2011 Kaliningrad - Immanuel Kant's Tomb

2011 Kaliningrad - Pregolya River & Cathedral / Río Pregolya y Catedral

Kaliningrad 2011 - House of the soviets / Casa de los soviéticos

these are sooo going to my bus tickets collection
(yeah, i know... what a loser)
estos van de frente a mi colección de boletos

2011 Kaliningrad - Bunker Museum / Museo del Búnker

2011 Kaliningrad - King's Gate / Portón del Rey

2011 Kaliningrad - Memorial to Guardsmen of the 11th army
(1st memorial in Russia after the WWII)

Lots of monuments, lots of history... and very nice people around :)
Kaliningrad was totally worthy... thanks Polish Embassy for forcing me to get there! :P
Well... now it's time to head to Wroclaw (well, i'm already here but i'm updating my blog, and in my blog's chronology... i'm still in Kaliningrad, but departing to Poland to start my studies).
Poland, here i go! (again)
Gran cantidad de monumentos, mucha historia ... y la gente es muy agradable en todo:)
La ciudad de Kaliningrado vale la pena de ser visitada ... Embajada de Polonia gracias por obligarme a llegar hasta allí! : P
Bueno ... ahora es tiempo de ir a Breslavia (bueno, ya estoy ahí, pero estoy actualizando mi blog, y en su cronología ... todavía estoy en Kaliningrado, pero ya salgo para Polonia para iniciar mis estudios).
Polonia, aquí voy! (otra vez)

November 5, 2011

F n Gdansk, Poland

after the amazing Jamboree in Sweden i went to visit some friends in both Sweden and Norway. Bergen was a lot of fun, so as the other places, but arriving to Poland felt pretty close to feel at home, even when i still don't speak polish (any hope for that?) and it was my 1st time in Gdansk. Anyway, i manage to have some relaxing and amazing days (thanks!) both walking around the city and at the beach. Sad i didn't go to Sopot or Gdynia... but i can go later in life, right? :P después del increíble Jamboree en Suecia, fui a visitar a unos amigos en Suecia y en Noruega. Bergen estuvo entretenido, así como los otros lugares, pero al llegar a Polonia me sentí casi como en casa, aun cuando todavía no hablo polaco (alguna esperanza de que?) y que era mi primera vez en Gdansk. De todos modos, me las arreglé para tener unos días de descanso y caminar por la ciudad y en la playa. Es triste que no haya ido a Sopot o Gdynia ... pero puedo ir más adelante en la vida, ¿verdad?

Beach in Gdansk... i think it is Brzezno
Yendo a la playa en Setiembre... inusual.

Poles on the Baltic... at Brzezno
Polacos en la Playa Brzezno.

Gdansk's Coat of arms on a building
Escudo de la ciudad en uno de los edificios

Joining the lion for some tongue-show

Visiting "The Crane"... the only museum i went to :P
El único museo al que fui es el llamado "La Grúa"

F n Neptune - mandatory picture in Gdansk
Con la estatua de Neptuno, básico en Gdansk!

That waffle was unnecesary big...
Luego de la playita... un waffle innecesariamente grande

and here is the soundtrack for these days at Gdansk, the top3: 
1. Pitbull - Give Me Everything ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer
2. Los no sé quién y los no sé cuántos - Los patos y las patas
3. Ingrid - Tu es foutu

here u see my pictures, but if u want to see more of the place (beyond google for more), u can check this website that got my tweet: Imagine Poland - Tricity. i also have to say that the touristic office is very good, we got maps and they speak good english... and there are plenty of hostels and night life, great place to go! kocham Polska! ♥

i'll love love u tonight... ♫
give me eeeeverything tonigh ♪