Current International Update
International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.
Volume 44, Issue 35
The Supreme Court of Yukon recently ruled against the territorial government for its attempt to override a negotiated land use plan for the Peel watershed region. Elections in 2011 gave the Yukon Party a majority government in the territory, which officials viewed as a mandate to revisit the plan negotiated with indigenous leaders. The government's new plan would have protected only 29% of the watershed from mining while the original plan prevented new development in 80% of the region.
The provincial government of Aceh, Indonesia, has adopted a new spatial plan, Qanun 19/2014, that critics worry will have severe consequences for the important Leuser Ecosystem and natural disaster mitigation. The plan makes no mention of the specially protected Leuser Ecosystem, despite the fact that the provincial government gained authority over the area's management in 2006. The plan also ignores rules prohibiting development on slopes graded steeper than 40%, which are intended to protect soils and prevent destructive landslides.
The European Union's Juncker Commission named job creation, debt reduction, and increasing industrial competitiveness as top priorities while threatening to abandon support for major environmental legislation in a recently leaked draft workplan. There has already been opposition to scaling back air quality legislation that would establish national emission limits for six toxic air pollutants, but lack of executive support means plans for a massive waste reduction program are more uncertain.