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International Update Volume 45, Issue 25

ECUADOR FIGHTS TO CLAIM ASSESTS FROM CHEVRON IN CANADIAN COURTS

Ecuador

The Canadian Supreme Court ruled to allow a group of Ecuadorians to attempt to collect billions of dollars in environmental damages in a Canadian court. Ecuador has been embroiled in a 13-year legal battle with the company over the contamination of a rainforest in Ecuador, where Texaco operated. Chevron, which bought Texaco, has yet to pay the $9.5 billion judgment, arguing that the pollution was caused by the Ecuadorian national oil company and that the judgment was a product of corruption. The Ecuadorians will attempt to seize the assets of Chevron's subsidiary in an Ontario court.

CHINA TO INVESTIGATE ILLEGAL GMO CROPS

China

China's agricultural ministry plans to launch a nationwide investigation of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops after an official financial newspaper reported that illegal GMO soybeans have been discovered in the Heilongjiang province. Although China is the world's top buyer of GMO soybeans, domestic cultivation is prohibited. The ministry revised regulations earlier this year to tighten supervision of biotech products under development, and port authorities have cracked down on the illegal sale of GMO varieties to food companies.

FIVE AFRICAN COUNTRIES SIGN AGREEMENT TO COMBAT ILLEGAL TIMBER TRADE

Africa

The governments of Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda signed the Zanzibar Declaration at the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa, this week. The declaration aims to curb illegal trade in timber in Eastern and Southern Africa countries and to encourage member states to promote cooperation among their national forest agencies in information and intelligence sharing. Additionally, the declaration requests that member states implement bans on log exports and create monitoring and reporting systems for their timber industries.