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International Update Volume 46, Issue 29

PANAMA’S INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY REJECTS ALREADY-CONSTRUCTED DAM

Panama

The Ngäbe-Bugle General Congress, the decisionmaking body of a semi-autonomous region in Panama, voted down an agreement that would have allowed the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam to start operation. Members of the Ngäbe-Bugle General Congress argue that their former leadership lacked the authority to negotiate the agreement. The Panamanian government is currently holding meetings to formalize the rejection of the dam and intends to reinitiate negotiations on the stalled project.

EU INDUSTRY COMMITTEE PROPOSES TO REFORM EU’S CARBON MARKET

EU

The European Union Industry Committee voted in favor of reforming the EU’s carbon market. The EU’s emissions trading system, a cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions, covers 45% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Companies either buy emissions allowances or are given them free of charge; fines are imposed if a company exceeds its emissions allowance.

IUCN PASSES RESOLUTIONS SUPPORTING NATURE’S RIGHT TO EXIST

The members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), comprising states, government agencies, NGOs, and academic institutions from around the world, approved two resolutions that give legitimacy to "rights of nature." Motion 89 declares a healthy environment to be a right for all humans and “all living beings,” and Motion 78 encourages increasing the attention given to environmental crimes and crimes against nature. IUCN's action is part of a larger trend to recognize these rights in individual countries and internationally.