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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 46, Issue 12

SOUTH AFRICA WILL NOT SEEK TO LIFT BAN ON RHINO HORN TRADE

Country: South Africa

South Africa said it will not seek to lift the global ban on rhino horn trading and will retain its current policy of stockpiling the commodity. Poachers in South Africa kill thousands of rhinos for their horns, which are valuable in Asian markets. South Africa had considered trading rhino horns globally as a tactic to combat poaching activities, but ultimately decided to retain the current policy of keeping the rhino horns rather than selling them.

FRENCH COURT RULING FAVORS GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN

Country: EU, France

The top administrative court in France overturned a 2014 ban on genetically modified (GM) corn earlier this month. The April 15, 2016, ruling overturned a March 2014 decree that prohibited Monsanto's MON 810 corn, stating that the corn did not demonstrate serious health or environmental risks, as required by the European Union's rules for withdrawing a GM crop already approved by the EU. But the ruling was largely symbolic, as France has already legislatively banned the growing of any GM corn.

EL SALVADOR DECLARES FIRST-EVER DROUGHT EMERGENCY

Country: El Salvador

On April 14, 2016, El Salvador declared its first water shortage emergency in history. The president of El Salvador cited the effects of El Niño and climate change as reasons for the shortage. Rainfall in El Salvador has decreased significantly in the past four years, leading to the current situation where water reserve levels are at a critical state. In the past couple of weeks, the Central American country has seen protests among neighborhood residents from the outskirts of San Salvador, the capital city, against the water shortages in their communities.