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International Update Volume 45, Issue 4

CARIBBEAN SUMMIT HIGHLIGHTS MOVE TOWARD RENEWABLE ENERGY

Caribbean

Caribbean nations and organizational partners issued a joint statement calling for the adoption of "necessary and specific reforms" in Caribbean energy policy at the first-ever Caribbean Energy Security Summit, hosted by the Obama administration in Washington, D.C. The statement specifically addressed sustainable and clean energy production. The United States also announced a $90 million investment in Jamaican wind power through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

CHINA TO BAN COMMERCIAL LOGGING IN TIMBER-RICH HEILONGJIANG PROVINCE

China

China is imposing a complete ban on commercial logging of state-owned forests in its Heilongjiang province, a major timber producer. The government sees the restriction as a trial program to allow the forests to regenerate, while refocusing the timber industry on forest management. Funds have been allocated to support forestry workers for the next 5 years, and programs will encourage them to become forest rangers or take up sustainable agriculture. Observers see the ban as part of China's larger shift from an extraction-heavy economy to one focused more on sustainability.

FRANCE DELAYS PESTICIDE REDUCTION GOALS, IMPOSES BINDING CUTS ON SUPPLIERS

France

France's farm minister has announced the country will delay pesticide reduction goals after failing to curb use of the chemicals as the original 2018 deadline approaches. The new target will be a 25% reduction in pesticide use by 2020 and a 50% reduction by 2025. Though reductions are voluntary, the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry hopes to add 1,000 farming operations to its network of 2,000 farms using technology and biological controls to decrease conventional pesticide use.