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International Update Volume 45, Issue 30

JAPAN REJECTS INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE JURISDICTION ON WHALING

Japan

Japan told United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in a private statement that it plans to take a comprehensive exception to the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ's) jurisdiction over whaling practices. The statement was made last August by Motohide Toshikawa, Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations, and was recently disclosed in Australian political circles.

CUBA ANNOUNCES PLAN TO PROTECT SHARK POPULATIONS

Cuba

Cuba launched a long-term plan to protect shark populations around its shores. The plan will create protected fishing areas and will require fishers to keep track of and limit their shark catches. Cuba worked on this plan with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). This plan comes at a time when shark populations have been declining rapidly due to accidental catches, overfishing, and demand for shark fins. Cuba has already banned shark fishing just for fins. Cuban waters host close to 20% of the world’s 500 species of sharks.

OSLO PLANS TO BAN CARS IN CITY CENTER BY 2019

Norway

Oslo announced its plan to ban cars from the central city by 2019 in order to reduce pollution. Norway’s capital city is set to be the first European capital city to have a comprehensive and permanent ban on cars. Oslo recently elected a new city council comprised of members of the Green Party, the Labor Party, and the Socialist Left. A lead negotiator for the Green Party explained that a car-free city will be better for pedestrians and cyclists. The city plans to build more than 37 miles of bike lanes between now and 2019.