Merger of Brazil’s agriculture and environment ministries in limbo

first_imgAgriculture, Agrochemicals, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Pesticides, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation Article published by Glenn Scherer During his campaign, presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro repeatedly called for the merger of Brazil’s Ministry of Environment (MMA) and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA). Bolsonaro strongly backs agribusiness, while seeing the work of environmentalists as undermining the Brazilian economy.However, the president elect was met in recent days by a firestorm of resistance against the merger from environmentalists, NGOs, scientists, academics, the environmental ministry itself, and from eight former environmental ministers.Even the bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby has come out against the proposal, calling it unworkable, noting that the two ministries have different, incompatible missions and agendas that would be compromised by a merger. Others note that a spirited dialogue between the two ministries is politically healthy for the nation.Bolsonaro, in response to criticism, said he will reconsider his plan, making a final decision on the merger known after taking office in January. Despite being close during the campaign to extreme right ruralists (mostly cattle ranchers), Bolsonaro has selected Tereza Cristina, a somewhat less radical ruralist, as new agriculture minister. A meeting of the ruralista group – major supporters of agribusiness – with then candidate Jair Bolsonaro at center in white shirt. Tereza Cristina, to the right of the new president, is Bolsonaro’s choice as Minister of Agriculture. The Bolsonaro administration takes office in January. Photo: FPA / Flickr.Throughout his campaign, now victorious presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro pledged that he would abolish Brazil’s Ministry of Environment (MMA) and fold its functions into the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) – a very controversial position.Two days after winning the race, the former army captain announced the fusion of the two ministries as part of a plan to reduce Brazil’s current 29 cabinet posts by half.His explanation, given in a March interview, seemed to be based on his blame of the environmental ministry for economic harm: “The MMA manages to do damage to what should not be done,” he declared. In comparison, Bolsonaro sees agribusiness as paramount to Brazil’s wellbeing, as seen in an October speech: “We need a president who will not get in the way of the rural producer. We will not have any more conflicts in that area.”Bolsonaro’s reasoning is supported by an outspoken and extreme group within the ruralist agribusiness faction – mostly cattle ranchers – represented by Luiz Antonio Nabhan Garcia, president of the Ruralista Democratic Union (UDR). Garcia was a frequent figure seen alongside the candidate during Bolsonaro’s campaign and also in the first round of official acts as president in Brasilia last week. Garcia has strongly criticized the limits put by Brazilian environmental regulations on Amazon deforestation, and also the Paris Agreement.In talks with other ruralistas, Garcia stated without offering evidence that “the world wants to take over the Brazilian Amazon,” threatening Brazil’s sovereignty. He has also referred to the Paris Agreement as toilet paper, and asked: “What benefits does the Paris Agreement bring to Brazil and us Brazilian [land]owners? Nothing!”Jair Bolsonaro, Nov. 2016. The presidential candidate strongly supported the ministry merger, but he backed off recently, saying he will make a final decision in January. Image by Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom / Agência Brasil.Bolsonaro reverses himselfOpposition to the ministry merger was swift, coming from environmentalists, NGOs, scientists, academics and the environmental ministry itself.Eight former environment ministers – Marina Silva, José Sarney Filho, Izabella Teixeira, Carlos Minc, Gustavo Krause, José Carlos Carvalho, Rubens Ricupero and José Goldemberg – published a joint article in defense of maintaining the Ministry of Environment, along with Brazil’s continued participation in the Paris Agreement. Bolsonaro proposed withdrawing from the accord during his campaign, a position from which he has since somewhat distanced himself.Perhaps surprisingly, another group within Brazilian society ­– primarily representing soy, sugarcane, paper pulp and other crop growers, but not cattlemen ­– came out strongly against fusing the ministries. Just after the first-round election in early October, 40 representatives from the bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby in Congress met with the then candidate, who was awaiting the runoff election, and urged him not to combine the ministries.After that meeting, Garcia, a big defender of the merger, told the press that Bolsonaro would review the issue.Current Minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi under president Michel Temer during the launching of the Agricultural and Livestock Plan for 2018/2019 in Brasília, in June 2018. Maggi, though a staunch ruralist, came out strongly against the fusion of the two ministries. Image by Antonio Cruz / Agência Brasil.Not a practicable ideaThe reason many ruralists balked: the unworkability and inconsistency of the proposal – MMA and MAPA have different charters and responsibilities, they said, and often take antagonistic positions.Even Blairo Maggi, Minister of Agriculture under current President Michel Temer and one of the largest soybean producers in Brazil, opposed the change: “How can a MAPA minister remark on an oil field or mineral exploration? [which are among MMA activities]. The fusion will bring losses to Brazilian agribusiness, due to demands made by European countries [for the nation’s farmers] to play a role in environmental preservation.”Tereza Cristina, president of the bancada ruralista and House deputy re-elected by Mato Grosso do Sul, also showed her doubts: “I will not say if I am for or against it, but it raises a concern to bring a ministry of that size and complexity to Agriculture.” Since making that statement, Bolsonaro selected Cristina to run the agriculture ministry, replacing Maggi. Cristina’s views in favor of agribusiness and against environmental regulation ­– especially in favor of the relaxation of pesticide rules – are seen as conservative by analysts, but less radical than those expressed by Garcia.The Ministry of Environment, posted a note on its official website, explaining problems with the proposed merger: “The two bodies are of immense national and international relevance and have their own agendas, which overlap only in a small fraction of their competencies. An example is that of the 2,782 licensing processes currently being carried out by IBAMA [the federal environmental regulatory agency], only 29 are related to agriculture… Undermining the authority represented by the Ministry of Environment, at a time when concern about the climate crisis intensifies, would be risky. The world, more than ever, expects Brazil to maintain its environmental leadership. ”Contacted by Mongabay, the environmental ministry declined to discuss the merger further.Federal House deputy for Mato Grosso do Sul Tereza Cristina in November 2017. She has been tapped by Bolsonaro to be Brazil’s next Agriculture Minister. Image by Waldemir Barreto / Agência Senado.Comings and goingsDespite the objections raised, Bolsonaro announced he would join the two ministries less than two days after his victory. But only two days later he stepped back from his decision, though in an ambiguous way. In his first press conference as president elect, he declared: “I have two months to decide, but it looks like [the ministries] will be separate.… But Jair Bolsonaro will be the one to choose the Minister of Environment. And [that appointee] will not be [nominated] by pressure from NGOs or a radical in defense of the environment.”Defending his reasoning for the merger, he said: “There has always been a struggle between the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, and [I] had to pacify it. In some countries they are only one ministry.”Others dispute Bolsonaro’s contention. According to data gathered by the Climate Observatory (OC), a network of civil society organizations that disseminates climate change data, “no major commodity producer or country” has ever advocated for this kind of ministry “junction or annexation. In the United States, India, China, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Spain, [and elsewhere] the departments or ministries are separated.”Contacted by Mongabay by email and by phone, the headquarters of Bolsonaro’s Social Liberal Party (PSL) did not respond to queries for this story.A supermarket in the United Arab Emirates (UAR) that sells Brazilian produce. Minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi and farmers held meetings with the UAR in October 2018 to improve agribusiness relations. Some experts worry a merger of the agriculture and environment ministries could jeopardize future Brazilian agriculture discussions with other nations. Image courtesy of MAPA.Bad for business and the countryCriticism of the merger has continued unabated. The potential combination of the ministries “will bring serious damage to Brazil and will pass on to consumers abroad the idea that all Brazilian agribusiness survives thanks to the destruction of forests, attracting the fury of non-tariff barriers to the disadvantage of all,” said former environmental minister and 2018 presidential candidate Marina Silva on Twitter.Alessandro Molon, a federal House deputy for Rio de Janeiro, told Mongabay that the subordination of the environmental agenda to agribusiness interests is an obsolete vision. “Not even the most expressive part of the bancada ruralista, both in terms of number of representatives and in business values, is in favor of this terrible idea.”The fusion, instead of facilitating agribusiness, as Bolsonaro believes, would be equivalent to shooting oneself in the foot, said Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of Climate Observatory. “When [agribusiness] producers go to Brussels [the EU political center], they will hear demands for sustainability requirements and will not escape from them.”Rittl told Mongabay that if the two ministries are fused, the Brazilian economy, which depends heavily on agribusiness, could face setbacks. “The country is still struggling to get out of recession, and [that] recovery [requires] the support of good agribusiness practices. We would only gain from it – the country, the science, the economy, business and the image of Brazil.”According to Angelo Costa Gurgel, professor of economics at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), the merger would create difficulties for the progress of both agendas: “A ministry that accumulates the responsibility of supervising programs, activities, and developments of both agribusiness and environment would have too many [widely divergent] challenges, making it difficult to be well managed under the coordination of one single ministry and minister. Who would be the [possible] ministers and secretaries with the profile, knowledge and experience to handle so many agendas?”IBAMA seized this mining area licensed by Altamira municipality in Pará state. The mine was found to be in noncompliance with environmental licensing requirements after the Kayapó indigenous group complained it was polluting the Curuá and Trairão rivers. Analysts note that the agriculture and environment ministries both have different and often incompatible missions and agendas, mining being just one example. Image by Felipe Werneck / IBAMA.Open questionThe controversy sparked by the potential fusion shows just how vital the Ministry of Environment is to Brazil, said OC’s Rittl, who added that: “If Bolsonaro realizes this fact, he can make decisions that will benefit the country.”In addition, Rittl noted that Brazilian ministers of agriculture and of the environment, though they may not agree, have long enjoyed a spirited and productive dialogue: “The new president talks about having less ‘ideology,’ but even ruralistas like Kátia Abreu, for instance, with all her bias, was willing to dialogue [with environmentalists] once she sat in the chair of the [Agriculture] ministry.”Brazil has the opportunity to become the largest agricultural and environmental power in the world, said Gurgel, but for that to happen, a consonance of goals is needed: “That harmony will only occur through a long-term alignment of the two agendas, respecting the competencies of each [and] of both and seeking solutions to potential conflicts.”It is worth noting, Gurgel added, that a significant portion of Brazilian agribusiness already recognizes the need to ensure an environmentally sustainable and socially fair production system. And likewise, a considerable part of the nation’s environmental movement is allied with the agribusiness sector to improve best practices and the image of the country.“In short, the commitment of the two agendas through a discussion founded on science and knowledge, and for the sake of sustainable development in Brazil, seems a better alternative than the fusion of the two ministries,” said Gurgel.However, environmentalists, ruralists and the Brazilian public will need to wait until January for Bolsonaro’s ascent to power, before learning his final decision on the matter.Banner image: Jair Bolsonaro. Fábio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

DOD Makes Progress Implementing Training Range Sustainment Plan GAO Finds

first_imgThe Marine Corps has expanded Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., significantly enhancing the service’s ability to conduct training. The Marine Corps plans to conduct the first large-scale exercise on newly acquired lands at the center in August, although the use of the new lands will be phased in over the next several years. Prior to the expansion, the Marine Corps lacked the capability to fully exercise a large Marine air-ground task force in a realistic training scenario. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) cited this update about how the military services are addressing challenges they are experiencing at their training ranges, such as encroachment, in a new report.To sustain its ranges, DOD is focusing on seven goals: (1) mitigate encroachment pressures on training activities from competing operating space; (2) mitigate electromagnetic spectrum competition; (3) meet military airspace challenges; (4) manage increasing military demand for range space; (5) address impacts from new energy infrastructure and renewable energy impacts; (6) anticipate climate change impacts; and (7) sustain excellence in environmental stewardship.The Army, for example, is developing an environmental assessment process to enhance access to restricted airspace in support of unmanned aircraft system training. The Air Force is developing a comprehensive analysis of all current missions, airspace and ranges within specific Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control centers to determine if the requirements for new missions and current operations are being met.Overall, GAO concluded that DOD’s 2016 Sustainable Ranges Report met the annual statutory reporting requirements to describe its progress addressing training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas and airspace. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Kingfisher Airlines Staff Set Deadline for Vijay Mallya Threatens to Protest

first_imgThe Kingfisher Airlines staff had set deadline for Chairman Vijay Mallya to clear all their outstanding salaries. They threatened that they would stop working and take to the streets if the airlines fail to meet their deadline, that is till 8 PM on Tuesday.This comes a day after Mallya sent letter to the staff on the salary issue in which he assured payment of salaries starting this week.However, Mallya’s letter had failed to pacify the annoyed employees who have not got salaries since December last year.After Monday’s meeting, the Kingfisher staff decided to stop working and protest if salary is not credited by Tuesday. To make their stance more evident, they have also shot off a dissent note to the Kingfisher management noting their demands.In the letter to Mallya and company, employees have said that they cannot undertake any duties owing to the mental stress caused by the serious economic crunch that could jeopardise the safety of both company and the valuable guests.Agitating employees even urged the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), a franchise of Indian Premier League that’s owned by liquor baron Mallya, to boycott the match.  The debt-ridden airlines had already scaled down its operation on a large number, which’s only flying 16 of 64 aircrafts. Meanwhile, it had completely grounded all international flights since March 25 and struggling to meet the issued schedule.last_img read more

The Queen annoyed with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry puts them in

first_imgMeghan MarkleGetty ImagesThe Queen doesn’t seem to be entertaining any of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s demands.Apparently, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have had their “wings clipped” by the Queen, as Her Majesty has not allowed them to form their own court after their split from Kensington Palace, a royal expert claims.A feud has been brewing for a while between the couple Cambridge and Sussex which has made the Queen step in. It seems that the Queen is not so keen to let Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have all that they please and run the Royal Palace and their Royal duties as they see fit.Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have divided their royal household from that of Kate Middleton and Prince William, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Kensington Palace. As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex move to Frogmore Cottage, ahead of the birth of their royal baby this spring, they have relocated their offices to Buckingham Palace. However, the pair have had their “wings clipped” by the Queen, according to a royal expert.Daily Mirror Royal Editor Russell Myers explained how Harry and Meghan have not been able to “set up their own court as they wanted.” Meghan Markle and Prince HarryGetty ImagesReportedly the pair have set up their office at Buckingham Palace, under the umbrella of the Queen and Prince Philip, instead of forming their own court around their new home at Windsor.Mr. Myers said: “It looks like they’ve had their wings clipped somewhat by the Queen, and the Queen’s senior advisors, who have said that that’s not a good idea.”He added: “They’ll fall in line with people like the Duke of York.”Meghan Markle has been trying to assert her independence for a while it seems, but it seems like the Queen is having none of it.last_img read more

Chekhov classics come alive

first_imgChekhov Republic is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s four classic stories which are deceptively simple but often end on an abrupt note. Directed by Devesh Nigam, the act was staged at Akshara Theatre on April 26. The play was an amalgation of four classic plays. The first was The Proposal is a one-act comical farce which shows the characters’ desperation for marriage. The dialogue-based action and situation based humor portrays how economic security takes precedence over romance and love. Surgery is a story of a man with a toothache and an inexperienced dental assistant who attempts his first tooth examination!  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Drowned Man is a black comedy. It’s a weird tale of a man who stages drowning act for meager sum for meeting ends . On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco is a hilarious monologue which is rarely seen on stage nowdays. A man has been commanded by his wife to give a lecture on ‘the harmful effects of tobacco,’ although he himself is a chain smoker!. He obeys but digress from the actual subject by complaining about his domineering wife. The cast of the play were  Atul, Zubair, Abhishek Mehta, Anisha, Amit Pandey, Shorya Sehgal, Satyendra Yadav, Ashish Mishra, Komal Gupta, Neelesh Bisht, Deep Singh, Rohit Shukla, Rohit Kumar. The play was a presentation of Cineaste’ group which is a Delhi based theatre group formed in 2011. The group is a bunch of passionate people, from working professionals, students to the aspirants.last_img read more

Ive been thinking about adding a Bubble Guru wwwbubblegurucom to my business

first_imgAugust 8, 2007 Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global When helping clients to determine if they need a new piece of technology, we always look at the following:1) Why they think they need it and if the answer to that question is truly a need or a want.2) Will it be easy for them/potential clients to use?3) What is the total cost of ownership? In other words, will they have to hire someone to manage that new technology and, if so, how much work that really is.4) Will this provide any measurable differentiation from other companies in the same industry?5) Could another, more simple solution work just as well if not better?Good luck!last_img read more

This MIT Grad Is Changing Medicine With a NeedleCovered Pill

first_img Register Now » While medical injections are unpleasant and inconvenient, they’re also necessary for people with illnesses like diabetes. But that might not be true for too much longer.Carl Schoellhammer, 28, has created a pill that would render syringes unnecessary. A graduate student at MIT, he recently won $15,000 at the Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize in the health-care category.  “When I received the phone call [telling me I’d won], I made them tell me three times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming,” he says.His prize-winning innovation is the Microneedle Pill (mPill), an ingestible capsule covered in microneedles — that is, needles so small that they’re measured in microns. The pill allows drugs that are typically injected to be delivered directly into the gastrointestinal tract.Image credit: Lemelson-MIT Program.Related: Google’s Next Goal: Trying to Improve Robot-Assisted Surgery“The GI tract is a dense network of blood capillaries,” Schoellhammer explains. “The outer layer is a bit of a barrier so the needles are a nice way to introduce a drug into the tissue and then it diffuses and you get systemic delivery.”  In layman’s terms: the drug gets into your system faster than it would if administered via injection.Although an image of the pill that was used in testing might remind people of a cactus or a porcupine, the plan is for the pill to be smaller and coated when it hits the market. The coating will dissolve in stomach acid, freeing the needles to introduce the medicine. Once the drugs are delivered, the capsule can pass through the body safely. In the future, though, Schoellhammer hopes he can create the needles out of crystallized sugar.The mPill took an estimated three years to go from concept to prototype, and it’ll be approximately another three to five years before the product is on the market. In the meantime, the innovation has garnered attention. Schoellhammer says that he’s in talks with with a few pharmaceutical companies about the mPill, and he hopes to market it as a diagnostic technology that can be used for a wide range of injections such as insulin and growth hormones. As it turns out, pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced this week that it’s testing similar technology through a collaboration with a startup called Rani Therapeutics.Related: The 10 Most Influential Leaders in Tech Right NowNeedle-covered pills aren’t the only thing up Schoellhammer’s sleeve. He’s working on the Ultrasound Probe (uProbe), a handheld device inserted suppository-style that uses ultrasound waves to push medicine into the tissues of the GI tract. This allows the body to absorb the medicine faster. Image credit: Lemelson-MIT Program.Schoellhammer sees this being helpful for the 1 million people in the United States who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as well as other conditions. While he wants to advance the uProbe further and conduct more animal testing, he estimates the product can be on the market in five years.This is a lot of information to digest, but don’t worry — this brilliant scientist is probably already working on a way to make it easier.Related: Meet Amelia, the AI Platform That Could Change the Future of IT 3 min read June 1, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

4 misconceptions about data wrangling

first_imgAround 80% of the time in data analysis is spent on cleaning and preparing data for analysis. This is, however, an important task, and is a prerequisite to the rest of the data analysis workflow, including visualization, analysis, and reporting. Although, being an important task given its nature, there are certain myths associated with data wrangling which developers should be cautious of. In this post, we will discuss four such misconceptions. Myth #1: Data wrangling is all about writing SQL query There was a time when data processing needed data to be presented in a relational manner so that SQL queries could be written. Today, there are many other types of data sources in addition to the classic static SQL databases, which can be analyzed. Often, an engineer has to pull data from diverse sources such as web portals, Twitter feeds, sensor fusion streams, police or hospital records. Static SQL query can help only so much in those diverse domains. A programmatic approach, which is flexible enough to interface with myriad sources and is able to parse the raw data through clever algorithmic techniques and use of fundamental data structures (trees, graphs, hash tables, heaps), will be the winner. Myth #2: Knowledge of statistics is not required for data wrangling Quick statistical tests and visualizations are always invaluable to check the ‘quality’ of the data you sourced. These tests can help detect outliers and wrong data entry, without running complex scripts. For effective data wrangling, you don’t need to have knowledge of advanced statistics. However, you must understand basic descriptive statistics and know how to execute them using built-in Python libraries. Myth #3: You have to be a machine learning expert to do great data wrangling Deep knowledge of machine learning is certainly not a pre-requisite for data wrangling. It is true that the end goal of data wrangling is often to prepare the data so that it can be used in a machine learning task downstream. As a data wrangler, you do not have to know all the nitty-gritties of your project’s machine learning pipeline. However, it is always a good idea to talk to the machine learning expert who will use your data and understand the data structure interface and format he/she needs to run the model fast and accurately. Myth #4: Deep knowledge of programming is not required for data wrangling As explained above, the diversity and complexity of data sources require that you are comfortable with deep notions of fundamental data structures and how a programming language paradigm handles them. Increasing deep knowledge of the programming framework ( Python for example) will surely help you to come up with innovative methods for dealing with data source interfacing and data cleaning issues. The speed and efficiency of your data processing pipeline can often be benefited from using advanced knowledge of basic algorithms e.g. search, sort, graph traversal, hash table building, etc. Although built-in methods in standard libraries are optimized, having this knowledge gives you an edge for any situation. You read a guest post from Tirthajyoti Sarkar and Shubhadeep Roychowdhury, the authors of Data Wrangling with Python. We hope that these misconceptions would help you realize that data wrangling is not as difficult as it seems. Have fun wrangling data! About the authors Dr. Tirthajyoti Sarkar works as a Sr. Principal Engineer in the semiconductor technology domain where he applies cutting-edge data science/machine learning techniques for design automation and predictive analytics. Shubhadeep Roychowdhury works as a Sr. Software Engineer at a Paris based Cyber Security startup. He holds a Master Degree in Computer Science from West Bengal University Of Technology and certifications in Machine Learning from Stanford. Don’t forget to check out Data Wrangling with Python to learn the essential basics of data wrangling using Python. Read Next 30 common data science terms explained Python, Tensorflow, Excel and more – Data professionals reveal their top tools How to create a strong data science project portfolio that lands you a joblast_img read more

Trafalgar and CostSaver launch new Weekly Specials

first_imgTags: CostSaver, Trafalgar Thursday, July 21, 2016 TORONTO — Another week, another travel deal, courtesy of Trafalgar and sister company CostSaver. The two companies have announced the launch of Weekly Specials, which include value-added travel deals every week.Recognizing the trend towards last-minute vacation bookings, Trafalgar and CostSaver have introduced Weekly Specials to encourage a sense of urgency and spontaneity amongst clients. Each special will last six days, 23 hours and 59 minutes.“We are always listening to our consumers and feedback from our supportive agents and our Weekly Specials were created out of inspiration from the purchasing habits of Canadians,” said Wolf Paunic, president of Trafalgar Canada. “Trafalgar’s Weekly Specials are great opportunities for agents to book clients on their dream vacations with fantastic prices.”The websites of both companies will be updated every Wednesday morning with a selection of 10-15 Weekly Specials, each offer savings of 10-15%. Specials will be themed to make it easier for agents to quickly assess if they’re relevant for their clients, with a focus on destinations such as Iberia Specials, USA & Canada Specials, or events like Christmas Market Specials.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemFor the latest Weekly Specials visit or where a live countdown timer will show how long there is left to snap up the hottest travel deals of the moment. Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Trafalgar and CostSaver launch new Weekly Specials Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more