Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

International Update Volume All, Issue All

GABON VOWS TO PUNISH THIEVES OF PROTECTED HARDWOOD

Gabon

On May 13, Gabon's president vowed to find and punish the people responsible for the disappearance of over 350 containers of protected kevazingo wood. Authorities had uncovered and seized illegally felled kevazingo wood in Owendo in late February and early March, but much of the wood disappeared in April. The stolen kevazingo is estimated to have a market value of at least $241 million. Forestry is a major industry for Gabon, but the kevazingo tree, which can take 500 years to grow to its full height, is protected by law.

MEXICO CITY CANCELS SCHOOL DUE TO AIR POLLUTION

Mexico

On May 16, Mexico's education ministry cancelled schools in the capital and surrounding areas due to elevated levels of air pollution. Weather conditions combined with dozens of brushfires burning in and around the city have produced a blanket of smoky haze, triggering city authorities to declare an environmental emergency earlier in the week. On May 16, the Environment Department announced that firefighters are combating an average of 100 fires a day in brush, scrub, agricultural, and forest land through the country.

JAPANESE COURT MULLS HALTING DOLPHIN HUNTING

Japan

On May 17, court hearings began on halting dolphin hunting in the western Japanese town of Taiji. Taiji has long maintained that the hunts, which involve driving hundreds of dolphins into coves and clubbing then to death, are a traditional part of its livelihood as the town has hunted dolphins and whales for thousands of years. An animal welfare group, a marine activist, and a man who grew up in Taiji filed suit, arguing that dolphins are protected under Japanese animal welfare laws, but are subjected to "extreme acts of cruelty" in these hunts.

UN RELEASES SUMMARY OF REPORT ON UNPRECEDENTED BIODIVERSITY LOSS

On May 6, the United Nation's Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a summary of its global assessment report on threats to biodiversity. According to the summary, the number of species has dwindled by an average of 20% over the past 120 years, and sensitive animal groups have been hit particularly hard, with 40% of amphibians and roughly a third each of corals and marine mammals facing possible extinction.

U.S. REFUSES TO SIGN ARCTIC ACCORD OVER CLIMATE CHANGE LANGUAGE

United States

On May 7, the United States refused to sign an agreement with seven other nations—Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden—addressing challenges in the Arctic due to climate change language. The meeting of the Arctic Council in Finland was supposed to frame a two-year agenda to balance the challenge of climate change in the region with sustainable development of mineral wealth.

NEW ZEALAND INTRODUCES CLIMATE CHANGE BILL

New Zealand

On May 8, New Zealand's government introduced legislation to tackle climate change. The bill would reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, and includes a target for cutting methane emissions from livestock by at least 10% by 2030. According to the United Nations, livestock farming alone is responsible for up to 18% of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. For the full story, see https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-newzealand-climatechange/new-zealand-t....

REPORT FINDS PESTICIDES IN BRAZIL'S WATER

Brazil

A report has found concerning levels of 27 pesticides in 1,400 towns across Brazil. Of the pesticides found, 11 are prohibited in Brazil and 21 are banned in the European Union (EU). The study was performed by a Swiss nonprofit group called Public Eye and investigative journalists from Repórter Brasil and Agência Publica. Most test results fell within loose Brazilian safety limits, but 12% of samples breached the EU's stricter regulations. For the full story, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/26/brazil-finds-worrying-leve....

SOUTH KOREA PROPOSES SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET TO FIGHT AIR POLLUTION

South Korea

On April 24, South Korea announced a $5.87 billion supplemental budget to fight unprecedented air pollution levels and boost exports. The budget includes subsidies for replacing old diesel-powered cars, buying air purifiers, and encouraging renewable energy technologies. It also proposes increasing export credit financing and creating jobs. For the full story, see https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-economy-budget/south-korea-....

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DELAYS THREATENED SPECIES ASSESSMENTS

Australia

Australia's environment minister, Melissa Price, has granted extensions sought by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee for 13 threatened species. The extensions effectively delay assessments for up to three years. The 13 species include the critically endangered Leadbeater's possum and the vulnerable Australian sea lion. Cuts to the federal environment department appear to be one reason for the extensions. For the full story, see https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/slashed-morrison-governm....

ZAMBIAN VILLAGERS CAN SUE MINING COMPANY IN ENGLISH COURTS

Zambia

On April 10, London's Supreme Court ruled that nearly 2,000 Zambian villagers have the right to sue a mining company for allegedly polluting their land. Vedanta, which delisted from London last year but maintains a legal base in Britain, appealed a lower court ruling that the villagers' case could be heard in England. But the London court dismissed the company's appeal and held that the villagers could pursue their case through the English courts.

  • 1
  •   |  2
  •   |  3
  •   |  4
  •   |  5
  • of 96
  • »