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International Update Volume 48, Issue 16

MAJOR SOYBEAN COMPANIES HIT WITH FINES FOLLOWING "OPERATION SOY SAUCE"

Brazil

At the end of May, five transnational grain trading companies, along with dozens of their supplying farmers, were issued fines totaling 105.7 million Brazilian reais (US $29 million) by IBAMA, the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources. The fines are part of “Operation Soy Sauce” carried out since April by IBAMA and federal prosecutors in the Matopiba region in Brazil’s Cerrado savannah.

INDONESIA FISHERIES MINISTRY PROPOSES TO STRENGTHEN 2009 FISHERIES ACT

Indonesia

Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries submitted to parliament a bill of amendments aimed at strengthening the 2009 Fisheries Act through more stringent provisions, reported Mongabay. Among other things, the amendments include bans on foreign fishing vessels and crews, the transshipment of fish catches between vessels at sea, and foreign investment in the capture fisheries sector.

CONVICTION OF MADAGASCAR FARMER/ACTIVIST UPHELD

Madagascar

On May 22, a Madagascar appeals court announced its decision to uphold the conviction of a farmer turned environmental activist who was convicted on criminal charges after questioning a mining company about its permits. The case began last September, when the farmer, who goes by the name Raleva, confronted representatives from Mac Lai Sima Gianna, a Chinese-Malagasy gold mining company, during a meeting in his village of Vohilava. Raleva asked to see the company’s permits, which had not in fact been granted.