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International Update Volume 45, Issue 28

ZIMBABWE TO BAN ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS AND REQUIRE SOLAR POWER

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe plans to prohibit the use of electric water heaters and require new properties to use solar power in order to curb the electricity shortages that have plagued the country. Before new houses can connect to the power grid, they will be required to attain a solar water heater. Zimbabwe suffers from severe black outs, and 60% of the population does not have access to electricity.

NEW ZEALAND TO CREATE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN SANCTUARY

Australia, China, New Zealand, Russia

New Zealand announced that it plans to create the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, set to be one of the world’s largest, through a full ban on fishing and mining. The sanctuary will be 239,000 square miles, an area roughly the size of France. The area is currently home to endangered species such as dolphins, turtles, and whales. The announcement came as a surprise to New Zealand’s seafood industry and mining firms because it will preclude companies from gaining rights in the protected area.

CONGO BASIN STATES AGREE TO PLAN TO PROTECT TROPICAL FORESTS

Republic of the Congo

Five Congo River states--the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon--agreed with donor states on a plan to protect the tropical forests in the Congo River basin. The Congo River basin is the world's second largest after the Amazon. The project aims to reduce illegal logging and burning in forests in order to protect endangered species such as gorillas and bonobos. This could also contribute to more stable farming conditions for locals.