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International Update Volume 46, Issue 10

CHINA ORDERS TRANSMISSION COMPANIES TO CONNECT RENEWABLE ENERGY

China

China ordered power transmission companies to ensure that there is grid connectivity for all renewable power generation sources. The National Energy Administration (NEA) explained that the grid companies are now required to plug in all renewable power sources that are in compliance with technical standards. China is the biggest user of wind and solar energy in the world, but so far a huge amount of renewable power has not been included in the national grid because transmission capabilities are lagging generating capacity by three to five years.

FRENCH POLYNESIA PROPOSES WORLD'S LARGEST PROTECTED NATURAL AREA

France

The creation of a marine reserve around the Austral Islands, originally proposed in 2014 by the municipal councils of the region, is close to becoming reality. On March 30, inhabitants of the Austral Islands submitted the proposal to the government of French Polynesia. If the project is approved, it will be the largest natural reserve in the world. It would span 1 million square kilometers—an area larger than Texas and Nevada combined.

FOUR MEN CONVICTED FOR MURDERING COSTA RICAN CONSERVATIONIST

Costa Rica

On March 29, a Costa Rican court sentenced four men for the murder of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval and the kidnapping of his volunteers. Three other defendants were acquitted due to lack of evidence. Jairo Mora Sandoval and four female volunteers were kidnapped on May 30, 2013. Sandoval died of asphyxiation after being beaten, tied up, and dragged along the beach. Sandoval’s conservation work was the primary motive for his murder. Sea turtle eggs, considered an aphrodisiac, are linked to drug trafficking in Costa Rica.