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International Update Volume 48, Issue 13

CAPE TOWN SAVED FROM RUNNING OUT OF WATER—FOR NOW

South Africa

Late last year, the South African government announced “Day Zero,” the threshold when dam levels would be so low that they would turn off taps and send Cape Town residents to communal water collection points. While this tactic was deemed risky and “apocalyptic,” it ultimately proved effective. The aggressive campaign galvanized citizens into action. Water use is limited to 50 liters/person/day, and those exceeding the limit were subject to heavy fines or having meters installed that shut off water after the limit is surpassed.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR INDONESIA’S STALLED INDIGENOUS RIGHTS BILL?

Indonesia

Indonesia's long-awaited indigenous rights bill to solidify the government's duty to protect indigenous collective rights is further delayed with the Indonesian Ministry of Home Affairs, suggesting the bill is not considered essential.

AUSTRALIA TO INVEST $379 MILLION TO PROTECT THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

Australia

Representing the single largest investment for reef conservation and management in Australia’s history, the Australian Government announced more than 500 million Australian dollars ($379M USD) to fund Great Barrier Reef protection. The funding will target some of the threats to coral reefs including warming waters from climate change, agricultural runoff, and outbreaks from crown-of-thorns starfish, a natural predator of coral. Some criticism of the funding is that it emphasizes tactics that have already been tried and proven less successful than desired.