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International Update Volume 41, Issue 20

INDONESIA RESPONDS TO FOREST PLAN CRITICISM

Indonesia

Indonesia responded to criticism of its new forest protection plan by releasing a new moratorium map, one forestry analysts say is an improvement over its predecessor. The plan, which received $1 billion in aid from Norway, includes a two-year ban on deforestation in new and existing protected areas throughout the country. However, the original map, at 1:19,000,000 scale, was immediately criticized as useless for determining which areas were and were not exempted from the moratorium. The new map is 1:250,000 scale.

CHINA'S ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS FACE CRACKDOWN

China

The movement of direct action campaigns for the environment in China, whose mantra of "public participation" was popular just a few years ago when Premier Wen Jiabao personally blocked plans to dam China's last free flowing river, may be on the decline as activists face an increasingly hostile political climate, according to an article in Yale's online environment journal.

MESA POWER SAYS ONTARIO'S GREEN ENERGY PLAN VIOLATES NAFTA

Canada

T. Boone Pickens' Texas-based renewable energy firm Mesa Power Group said on Thursday that it had initiated a complaint with Canada after "last-minute changes" to Ontario's energy plan that, it claimed, violated NAFTA. Mesa Power was unable to win contracts for wind energy projects in western Ontario in the latest round of feed-in tariff awards, which pay above-market rates for renewable energy. A spokeswoman for Ottawa's Trade Department said that the province would "vigorously defend" the nation's interests if Canada chooses to proceed with the complaint.