Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Natural Resources. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Natural Resources. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2014

No need for NATO presence in Arctic (Lavrov)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday he sees no need of NATO presence in the Arctic.
“We firmly believe that there are no problems in the Arctic which demand NATO participation, moreover, there are no problems there which demand military decisions,” the minister said during a public lecture on Russia’s foreign policy.
According to Lavrov, long before the Ukrainian crisis, NATO said and continues saying that the military factor in the Arctic will increase amid the escalation of the fight for the resources.

“The Arctic is a territory of dialogue,” the minister stressed. “We use this slogan for regular forums in Russia, and the work of the Arctic Council, to a large extent, is drawn up in this way,” he said.

The eight members of the Arctic Council are Russia, Denmark, Canada, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and the United States.

There is a common understanding among the Arctic states that all of them are interdependent and have joint tasks, namely the ecology and the need to ensure the safety of transport routes of the Northern Sea Route, he said.
“We are jointly interested in cooperating in defending our bids to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf,” Lavrov said.
en.itar-tass.com
20/10/14
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Τετάρτη, 1 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Arctic Council Needs Russia, to Continue Working With It

WASHINGTON, October 1  - The Arctic Council needs Russia, and is supportive of Moscow's continued engagement in its work, said Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., US Special Representative to the Arctic said during the conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
"We work with Russia now. We expect to continue to work with Russia," Papp, who will take over the Arctic Council chairmanship in 2015, said Tuesday.
US Representative to the Arctic noted that Ambassador Bolton just came back from Vladivostok where he worked on fisheries agreements.

"The commander of the Coast Guard was in San-Francisco two weeks ago for the North Pacific Coast Guard forum, in which Russia took part, and he met with his counterpart," he added.
"And in general, as a sailor, I have learned to be pretty optimistic guy. Even in the worst of storms at some points it's going to be better," Papp said, emphasizing that they will continue working with Russians. "We really need them as a part of the Arctic Council."
The opinion that the Arctic Council needs Russia's participation in its work was expressed by many senior officials and experts at the conference.
Vincent Rigby, the chair of the Senior Arctic Officials underlined that up until now there has been a high level cooperation between the Arctic Council members including Russia, and stressed that Russia's participation in an Arctic Council ministerial in Iqaluit next spring is expected.
"The cooperation between the Arctic Council states, including Russia has continued to operate at a very very high level," Rigby claimed, adding that in Dealing with his Russian counterpart up to this point he has received nothing but positive messages with respect to Moscow's commitment to making the Arctic Council work.
"We are certainly supportive of Russia's continued engagement in the Arctic Council. And we are going to try to make this work over the coming months," he stated.
"It is a plan right now to hopefully have an Arctic Council ministerial in Iqaluit that's going to be fully representative," senior Arctic official concluded.
Dr. Andrea Charron, professor at the University of Manitoba said that the future of the Arctic Council would be compromised if Russia is kicked out or leaves it.
"If for some reason Russia is kicked out, or any of the members decide to leave the Arctic Council, the continuation of the Arctic Council will definitely be up for debate," Charron stressed.
"Russia particularly, because it is such a large Arctic player on many fronts," she added.
 (Ria Novosti)
1/10/14
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Κυριακή, 7 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Russia dispatches naval force to reopen Arctic base

MOSCOW: Russia on Saturday (Sep 6) sent six ships carrying personnel and equipment to a Soviet-era military base in the Arctic that it is reopening to bolster its presence in the region, Russian news agencies reported. Moscow is ramping up its military presence in the pristine but energy-rich region as other countries such as Canada and Norway are also staking claims to access its resources.

President Vladimir Putin last year ordered the military to return to a base on the far-Northern New Siberian Islands that was abandoned in 1993. On Saturday, a fleet of six ships including two large landing ships set off from the port of Severomorsk in northern Russia, a spokesman for the Western military district, Vadim Serga, told ITAR-TASS news agency. The ships will be accompanied by several icebreakers.

"The main task of the latest expedition by a number of Northern Fleet ships to the Arctic is to deliver staff, equipment and supplies to the taskforce that from this year will serve on the New Siberian islands on a permanent basis," said the northern fleet's commander, Admiral Vladimir Korolyov.

Last year, ten ships went to the New Siberian Islands in September to deliver the first equipment and supplies to rebuild the base on an archipelago where temperatures can fall to -50°C (-58°F).

Παρασκευή, 8 Αυγούστου 2014

Arctique: Washington souhaite coopérer avec Moscou

Washington souhaite coopérer avec Moscou dans l'exploration de l'Arctique malgré sa décision de boycotter la 4e réunion du Conseil de l'Arctique qui s'est tenue les 6-7 août en Russie, a déclaré vendredi le secrétaire du Conseil de sécurité de Russie Nikolaï Patrouchev.

"Les Américains n'ont pas expliqué leur absence, mais ils se disent prêts à coopérer en Arctique lors de contacts bilatéraux", a indiqué M.Patrouchev dans une interview à RIA Novosti.
Les Etats-Unis sont le seul pays à ne pas envoyer leur délégation à la 4e réunion du Conseil de l'Arctique à Narian Mar, dans la république autonome des Nenets. Elle a porté sur les moyens de garantir la sécurité en Arctique, la création d'une infrastructure des transports arctiques, le développement de la Voie maritime du Nord, la production de ressources minières et biologiques, la protection de l'environnement arctique et le développement des peuples autochtones du Grand Nord.
  • La prochaine réunion du Conseil aura lieu en 2015 dans la ville russe d'Arkhangelsk.
Créé en 1996, le Conseil de l'Arctique regroupe les huit Etats riverains de l'Arctique (Canada, Danemark, Etats-Unis, Finlande, Islande, Norvège, Russie et Suède) et six organisations des peuples autochtones de l'Arctique. Douze pays ont le statut d'observateurs (Allemagne, Espagne, Chine, Corée du Sud, France, Grande-Bretagne, Inde, Italie, Japon, Pays-Bas, Pologne et Singapour).http://fr.ria.ru/world/20140808/202084255.html
8/8/14
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Τρίτη, 3 Ιουνίου 2014

We need a new revolution (Janez Potočnik)

European Commission, New Environmentalism Summit, Brussels, 3 June 2014:
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment: 
"Good afternoon everyone, thank you James.
I hope you all agree it has been a fascinating day with really excellent speakers.
Recently I gave a TED talk which had the title 'New Environmentalism and the Circular Economy'. Some of you may have watched it on YouTube so I will try not to repeat too much of what I have said before but some of the points I made in that talk are highly relevant to this one and need to be repeated.

First, though: How did I become interested in environmental issues?
I was born and grew up in Slovenia, a country rich in nature and biodiversity. I am a farmer's son and spent my childhood in close contact with nature. We are proud of nature in our country and we place enormous value on our forests, lakes, mountains and coastline. In fact more than 37% of Slovenia is covered by Natura 2000 –the highest percentage in the EU.
Although my background is in economics and politics, I am also a citizen of the world and a father of 2 sons. I've always been aware of environmental issues, whether global ones such as nuclear power, acid rain, pollution, deforestation, species extinction and so on, or more local issues such as property development or motorway routes.
However, I must admit that it was not until I became Commissioner for Environment that I began to fully realise the extent of some of the challenges we face in the 21st Century. Any alien falling to Earth in our times would be struck by the convergence of a number of environmental crises, to all of which we humans seem to be taking an extraordinarily long time to respond adequately:
  1. Our world is warming in a way which, if unchecked, risks bringing global catastrophe
  2. Our consumption of finite resources is skyrocketing
  3. The ecosystems on which we depend are being degraded
  4. Emblematic species are threatened with extinction
It's not as if we are not aware of these things. It's not as though nobody cares or nobody has been actively campaigning. We have heard enough warnings, read enough papers, seen enough documentaries and protests, and the public largely agrees that something needs to be done. And yet we seem to be stuck in a kind of paralysis which prevents us from making progress on things on which any alien would think we should easily agree, since we need to make very urgent progress.

Why?
For the answers I think we have to look at two elements in particular: Individual behaviour and governance.
There is a good quote from the Polar explorer, Robert Swan. He said "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”. And he's right. Yes, some individuals believe their actions can change the world, and we all know that if 7 billion of us took collective action we could certainly change it, but I think we all know that is not going to happen without some external force directing, or even obliging us.
The vast majority of individuals make choices based on what seems to be best for them. Businesses are similar - if left to their own devices the vast majority will naturally try to make as much profit as possible.
This is normal human behaviour. No matter how aware they may be about environmental impact, an individual will still tend to buy a house, car, washing machine, smartphone, TV and other modern conveniences if they feel they can afford it. As long as each item generates a profit, a business will try to produce as much as possible.
  • Each individual choice is motivated by what will make life better for them personally (and I am just as guilty as the next person by the way). If there are 7 billion people on the planet who all think the same way then the implications for resource use, climate change and biodiversity are staggering. And don't forget that by 2045 we will be 9 billion.
  • Let's dwell on that for a second: The global population rises by more than 200.000 every day. That's a city the size of Brussels every 6 days. Or a new Germany every year. With all the demand that places on land, water, food, feed, fibre, raw materials and energy. Not to mention the emissions, pollution and waste generated.
If we carry on with business as usual, by 2050 we will need three times more resources than we currently use. And the demand for food, feed and fibre will rise by 70 per cent. Yet more than half the ecosystems these resources depend on are already degraded, or are being used beyond their natural limits. And I have not even mentioned global warming.
We can talk all we like about the importance of education; about individuals taking responsibility for the environmental consequences of their actions; about corporate responsibility. However, it is difficult to overcome human nature and I do not believe that 9 billion people are going to change their behaviour voluntarily.
Which brings me to governance (and regulation). We need national and international policies and agreements which restrict individuals' and companies' behaviour. Without it, the environment will always suffer.
And here we come to what is so frustrating for environmentalists: How do we get governments around the globe to take the action needed?
Here I must confess I am very familiar with this particular problem. I am not letting you in on any secrets if I tell you that within the European Commission it has proven very difficult to push through environmental measures during these times of economic crisis. It has proven difficult to integrate environmental considerations into other policy areas. And I suspect almost every Environment Minister in the world will tell you the same thing.
We face constantly the same refrain: times are hard, unemployment is high, job creation and growth must be the priority, not the environment.
Governments are in a position to remove environmentally harmful subsidies. They are in a position to redirect taxes from labour to resource use or pollution. But for a variety of reasons they don't.
Meanwhile, at international level, faith in the UN multilateral negotiating system has taken a battering, in particular after the Copenhagen climate conference. I am well aware from personal experience how difficult, time-consuming and downright tedious some of these negotiations are. I am only too well aware of the 'I won't move unless you do', or 'I won't act unless you pay for it' negotiating tactics. And in the meantime, Rome burns.
So far, so bad.
We can do it!
It was Confucius who said "when it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps".
So far maybe I have sounded like one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That is often the case for environmentalists. But I'm not here to talk about the end of times. My message today is - yes we can, if I can borrow that expression from the current US President. But to do it, we have to get past "it's the economy, stupid" in the words of a previous US President. 

As a "new environmentalist" I believe that there is reason for hope, because basically the path to economic wellbeing and environmental sustainability are the same.
Why am I hopeful? Because of our capacity for creativity and innovation, and because so many of the inefficiencies that we see all around us today can so obviously be tackled by channelling that creativity and innovation. For example:
  1. turning coal into light is still only 3 % efficient,
  2. only 15 % of the energy you put in your petrol tank is used to actually move your car down the road,
  3. 80 % of what we produce is used once and discarded,
  4. Only 1 % of the valuable rare earths that we use in products are recycled at the end of the products life.
Not to mention the fact that the sun produces enough energy in one day to power the world for a year.
Just as in the face of rising labour prices we made miraculous increases in labour productivity I believe that in the face of resource scarcities and rising prices we will be able to perform miracles in raising resource productivity. 
  • To do that we will have to break out of our habits. We are locked-in to our resource intensive ways, to our old industrial patterns of production and consumption.
Everything from our infrastructure to our financial systems, from our consumer habits to our business models are inherited from the industrial revolution. Today we need a new revolution.
Mankind's challenge is to turn the creativity and innovation that so successfully exploited natural resources to provide us with health and prosperity, to rolling out those benefits to billions more people, in ways that exploit resources less and cause less environmental pressure and damage.
To get there we will not only need technological development and innovation; we will also need new business models that decrease impact across the whole life cycle of products. We must share, re-use, update, repair and recycle. We must move from a linear economic model, where we extract, produce, use and throw away, to a circular economy model, where waste from one stream becomes the raw materials for another
To do that, we need governments, businesses and investors on board.
Using markets
To some environmentalists the words 'businesses' and 'investors' are dirty words, symbolic of greed, corruption, inequality and injustice. However, like it or not, we live in market economies and I firmly believe the role of the market will be essential to solving our environmental problems. It is the best means we have, but it is very clear that a free market alone is not enough to bring about the kind of changes we need to see.
The market cannot ensure efficiency in the allocation and use of resources if:
  1. prices do not reflect the true value and costs of resources. And today they don't.
  2. if rewards to capital are disproportionate to other inputs. And today they are.
  3. if managers on annual contracts are induced to make short term investment decisions. And today they are.
  4. if directors' business decisions are overly influenced by bonuses based on short-term share price. And today they are.
As the situation is today, market forces are too slow and imperfect; the financial, business and economic world takes a too short-term view; and politicians tend to work too tightly only around electoral cycles.
We have to address the prevailing short term logic which is built into all our systems, be it political or economic:
  1. Do you know of a politician that has been re-elected because she or he was defending longer term interests over the short term ones?
  2. Do you know a manager who was rewarded because the profits of his or her company were lower that year, but more sustainable in the longer term?
It is imperative that we built more long term logic into our data collection, reporting systems, rewarding mechanisms, decision making processes. We cannot manage the world of the 21st Century without taking into account the longer term picture and consequences. 

Conclusion
My friend Achim Steiner, who you heard earlier, said the following after the Rio+20 Summit:
"We have failed to turn things round in the past 20 years, but underneath that failure there is an extraordinary array of activity and innovation"…. "Twenty years ago, we agreed what to do, now we have the tools to do it. If we do not go into the heart of economic policy, we will meet here at Rio+40 even more culpable. Markets are social constructs. They are not a force like gravity. They can be governed."
I agree with him.
But let me be very clear on one thing: We absolutely need environmental lobbying. We need NGOs and individuals who will bring direct action to the streets and to the wilderness. We need awareness raising campaigns, petitions and protests. The 'old' environmentalism is certainly not dead. It is not even remotely redundant. But to succeed, it needs to be accompanied by a 'new' environmentalism which aims at harnessing the power of both business and government and turning them in the right direction.
Old and New Environmentalism need to go hand in hand in the same way that the economy and the environment need to go hand in hand.
Together we need to make our governments– and yes, the EU also – realise that it's not just the economy, stupid.
If we can succeed in that then maybe the alien observer will be less surprised by our human behaviour.
Thank you."
[europa.eu]
3/6/14


Τρίτη, 22 Απριλίου 2014

Russia to create united naval base system for ships, subs in Arctic

A united system of naval bases for ships and next-generation submarines will be created in the Arctic to defend Russia’s interests in the region, President Vladimir Putin said.
He urged the government to provide full state funding for the socio-economic development of the Russian Arctic through 2017-20.
Putin said that a separate state agency should be created to implement Russian policy in the Arctic and to improve the quality of governance and decision-making in this area.
“We do not need a bulky bureaucratic body, but a flexible operational structure, which will help better coordinate the activities of ministries and departments, regions and businesses,” he said.

At a Russian Security Council meeting Tuesday, the president said that suggested “strengthening of the naval component of the Federal Security Service (FSB) border guard group.”
“At the same time, we should strengthen the military infrastructure. Specifically, I’m referring to the creation of a united system of naval bases for ships and next-generation submarines in our part of the Arctic,” he added.
Putin emphasized that even the smallest aspects of the integrated security system in the Russian Arctic needed attention.
“All security issues should be thoroughly worked out during multiagency exercises and training sessions, in which the units of the Defense Ministry, Emergencies Ministry and other structures should take part on a regular basis,” Putin said.
“Russian oil and gas production facilities, loading terminals and pipelines in the Arctic must be protected from terrorists and other potential threats,” he added.
"It makes sense to create a body similar in status to the state commission with broad authority, as it was previously done for the Russian Far East," the president said, adding that he would await specific proposals from the government.
The president urged Russian experts to “be active in bilateral and multilateral consultations with governments of the Arctic states and assert every piece of the continental shelf of the Russian Arctic marine areas.”
Putin said that Russia is already successful in this field, as the country managed to come up with a strong argument to prove its indisputable right to a piece of land in the Sea of Okhotsk.
During the 33rd session of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in March, Russia staked a claim for the area of “52,000 square kilometers in Sea of Okhotsk, which is a continuation of Russia’s continental shelf,” he said.
The problem of establishing the international legal border of the Russian continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean requires urgent and careful attention, the president said.
Putin said that the construction of new nuclear and diesel icebreakers should be accelerated to develop an effective economic model for the Northern Sea Route.

“The turnover of the Northern Sea Route must be at 4 million tons by 2015,”
he said.

The president urged the speedy completion of modern navigation infrastructure, communications, technical services and emergency care to be established along the Northern Sea Route – from Russia’s Far East to Murmansk on the Barents Sea.

“We need to make sure that it would be profitable and convenient for shipping companies to operate under the Russian flag, so that the majority of transport in the Arctic would be carried out by vessels under our jurisdiction,” he stressed. 

[rt.com]
22/4/14
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Πέμπτη, 10 Απριλίου 2014

Environment: Experts meet to discuss how to better fight wildlife trafficking in the EU and globally

wildlife trafficing AFRICA
European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 10 April 2014 -
Following an invitation by the European Commission, 170 experts met today in Brussels to discuss how the EU can better fight wildlife trafficking.
The conference marked the end of a public consultation which was launched on 7 February with a Communication by the Commission (COM (2014) 64 final). The background of the Commission's initiative is the surge in wildlife trafficking globally over the last years which has reached a level that threatens the survival of some endangered species and undermines good governance and sustainable development. Organised crime is significantly involved in this lucrative business, also within the EU.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik who opened the conference said: "The damages caused by wildlife trafficking are enormous, and the efforts we undertake to combat it effectively will have to match the gravity of the situation." He also conveyed a message from the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström: "Wildlife trafficking can be a very profitable business where risks of detection and sanctions are lower than for example drug trafficking. We need to strengthen our fight against this environmental crime."
Discussions focused on how to strengthen enforcement within the EU, how to better fight organised wildlife crime and how to ensure a more strategic diplomatic and development support role for the EU against wildlife crime.
Participants of the conference, which will continue tomorrow with dedicated workshops, came from 26 Member States, and from source and market countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Key international organisations such as Europol, Eurojust, Interpol, different part of the UN system and the World Bank were also represented. Civil society was actively participating through more than twenty different organisations. The European Parliament reiterated its call for an EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking.
It was the first time representatives from all parts of government concerned (foreign affairs, development, environment, home affairs and justice) came together with practitioners from the entire enforcement chain, reflecting the need to develop a more comprehensive approach to what has become a major and complex organized crime problem and a threat to sustainable development.
Experts highlighted a number of problems for enforcement at EU level such as lack of resources, insufficient cooperation between agencies, in some Member States non-deterrent sanction levels and the lack of reliable data to analyse the scope of the problem. It was also discussed how cooperation between Member States in cross-border cases could be further strengthened. Regarding organized crime, the need to also follow the trail of the illegal revenues generated through wildlife trafficking was highlighted.
For better supporting global efforts against wildlife trafficking, experts stressed the need for improved enforcement of existing international rules and the importance of high level diplomatic actions towards countries affected by wildlife trafficking. They also discussed how to maximise international cooperation to investigate and sanction transnational organised networks and how to best integrate wildlife crime among the donor's priorities for development cooperation assistance.
The Commission will analyse carefully all the recommendations provided by the experts in the consultation and at the conference today and will on this basis review existing policies and measures. 
[europa.eu]
10/4/14
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Σάββατο, 15 Μαρτίου 2014

UN Commission recognises Sea of Okhotsk enclave part of Russia

The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has recognized the Sea of Okhotsk enclave with an area of 52,000 sq.km part of the Russian continental shelf, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Sergey Donskoy told Russian journalists today.


He said that the ministry has received a formal certificate from the UN Commission satisfying Russia’s appeal to recognize the enclave in the Sea of Okhotsk part of the Russian shelf. This is an actually acknowledged fact and I can congratulate everyone, the minister said.

Answering an Itar-Tass correspondent’s question, the minister stressed that the decision on the enclave is final and not subject to revision. Now the enclave is fully under Russia’s jurisdiction, the minister said.

According to geologists’ estimates, the total volume of oil and gas fields prospected in that area exceeds a billion tons.
  • UN sub-commission recognizes Sea of Okhotsk enclave as part of Russia's continental shelf

A UN sub-commission has agreed with the arguments presented by Russia and has recognized a 52,000-square-kilometer enclave in the middle of the Sea of Okhotsk as a part of Russia's continental shelf, the Russian Natural Resources Ministry said in a press release.

The UN sub-commission will now draw up appropriate recommendations for the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and present them at the next, 33rd, session of the commission in February-March 2014.

The judicial procedures confirming the enclave's belonging to the Russian continental shelf will be finalized after the commission's board endorses these recommendations, the ministry said.

The inclusion of the Sea of Okhotsk enclave in Russia's continental shelf will establish Russia's exclusive rights to the enclave's subsoil resources and seabed.

The territory of the enclave, which is still legally a part of the world ocean, will be regulated by Russian laws concerning the continental shelf.

  • It means that the Sea of Okhotsk will be fully recognized by the international community as Russia's internal sea, to which Russian requirements for fishing, security and environmental protection will be applied.

Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi was quoted as saying by the press release that "it took Russia many years to achieve this success."

"Thanks to recognition of this enclave as a part of the Russian continental shelf, our country will gain more reserves of valuable minerals and other natural resources.

  • This 52,000-square-kilometer territory is a real Ali Baba's cave in terms of resources. Access to it will open up enormous opportunities and prospects for the Russian economy," the minister said.

Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news

15/3/14
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Less is More: We Need a Global Strategy to End Fishing Overcapacity

The global ocean, from the coast to the high seas, is facing multiple threats. We rely on the ocean for food, for transport, for the very air we breathe, but the current systems in place for governing and managing its resources are not fit for purpose. As a result, fish stocks are being depleted, rich biodiversity is at risk and illegal fishing vessels threaten the food security of whole nations. It is our economies that suffer -- depletion of fish stocks alone costs the global economy an estimated $50 billion per year.

The root of the problem is fishing overcapacity: too many boats chasing too few fish. Most problematic are the thousands of powerful, modern boats, equipped with high-tech tools able to find fish almost anywhere. But the more fish these boats take out, the fewer fish there are that can reproduce, and the more fishers must turn to potent tools to find them.

To break this vicious circle, since the 1990s the EU has shifted away from expanding the EU fishing fleet and is instead focusing support in the opposite direction -- adapting it to natural resources. The EU's fleet has been reduced by 25 percent since 2000.

Fishing less can be economically smarter. Reducing pressure on fish populations enables them to recover and thrive, making fishing easier and increasing the industry's profits as well as the welfare of coastal communities. Europe badly needs smart economics like this right now, just as it needs a stable supply of fresh and healthy seafood. Globally, with 83 percent of high seas fishing being carried out by developed countries, the principle of the freedom of the high seas is manifestly inequitable.

Of course, scrapping fishing vessels is not the only, or even the best, way to reduce capacity. The solution must be a well-designed mix of structural and conservation tools, rights-based management systems, tighter controls and, especially, incentives for diversification. After all, boats that go out fishing can also go out collecting litter or be put to good use for tourism.

Nor can overcapacity be reversed without specifically dealing with the vast subsidies that have driven it -- both globally and in the EU. Global fisheries subsidies are estimated at approximately $35 billion a year, over $20 billion of which are capacity-enhancing. Without this distortion, many fishing enterprises would simply not be profitable, and other industries and jobs would emerge in their stead.

The recent reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy addresses all these issues and will help eradicate the remaining pockets of overcapacity in the European fleet. Subsidies have been redesigned to promote sustainable fisheries and prohibit any support that risks increasing capacity. The reform will also ensure that when European vessels fish outside EU waters they only fish within scientifically safe margins and only after the needs of nearby coastal state fleets have been met.

The EU is putting a stop to fishing overcapacity. Now this needs to happen at a global level. To achieve the right balance between fishing power and natural resources, all global actors need to pull together. International rules and processes exist but -- all too often -- only on paper and not in practice. These glaring gaps in ocean governance, especially on the high seas, were the motivation behind the creation of the Global Ocean Commission in 2013.

Some battles are being won, with annual quotas and capacity limits for Bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean now set in accordance with scientific advice, or the capacity freeze on tropical tunas in the Pacific. Other struggles persist, such as monitoring better compliance. With a third of all commercial fish stocks over-exploited and a further half fully exploited, it is disheartening to watch while some nations still heavily subsidize their vessel and processing capacity or continue to expand their fleets.

There is no shortage of rules and guidance: we have an FAO International Plan of Action on overcapacity; we have joint recommendations by regional organisations managing tuna on how to reduce and transfer capacity; and the World Trade Organization also has a mandate to negotiate rules to prevent harmful subsidies. But we badly need a stronger political thrust for these plans to be systematically enforced, for words on paper to be translated into action. The Global Ocean Commission is currently developing a set of cost-effective, pragmatic and politically feasible proposals for strengthening ocean governance and enforcement, and building a coalition able to act on them.

Action means using advanced technology to assess and monitor worldwide capacity, like a global record of all vessels based on a mandatory single system of vessel identification; it means official agreements and systems for enforcement able to impose strict sanctions; it can also mean voluntary and joint efforts by major fishing nations like the ones set up to combat illegal fishing.

Above all, we need a coherent and global approach to ocean governance and management that also encompasses development and trade policy.

It is high time the world addressed excessive global fishing power. This is why the European Commission is inviting Fisheries Ministers from around the globe to meet in Thessaloniki on 13 and 14 March 2014: to ride the momentum of the reforms in the EU and drive the international debate forward. Let's work together to make both our ecosystems and our economies sustainable.
 http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/less-is-more-we-need-a-global-strategy-to-end-fishing-overcapacity/
13/3/14
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Παρασκευή, 14 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

More than 40 countries sign declaration on fighting with illegal trade in wildlife

LONDON, February 14, (ITAR-TASS/. Officials from 46 countries, including Russia, on Thursday signed an intergovernmental declaration on fighting with illegal trade in wildlife.
The Russian delegation to the conference at Lancaster House where the declaration was signed was led by Natural Resources Minister Vladimir Kirillov.
The document outlines the practical steps towards curbing the illegal trade in wild animals and wildlife artifacts, including rhino horns and elephant tusks. It envisions amendments in the national legislations of signatory countries that will toughen the punishment for poachers, step up cross-border coordination and improve information exchange.

World Wildlife fund says the damage inflicted by poaching annually is estimated at $ 9.83 billion. Illicit production of rhino’s horns jumped up by a factor of 75 in the period of 2007 through 2013.
The horns are a widely used ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine and they surface more and more often on the black markets in Asia.
Apart from this, wildlife artifacts are often purchased by wealthy customers in Asian countries as trophies.
Experts point out the risk of extinction looming over rhinos, elephants and tigers, as tens of thousands of these animals fall victim to poaching every year.
The next conference on prevention of illegal trade in wildlife will be held in Botswana in 2015.
 http://en.itar-tass.com/world/719150?utm_medium=rss20
14/2/14
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Κυριακή, 22 Δεκεμβρίου 2013

Japan's largest oil companies set to explore the Arctic

Japan's largest oil companies Inpex and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration are getting ready to carry out geological exploration of the Arctic.
If they are successful, these companies will become the first Japanese corporations to produce oil in this region.

The geological survey will be carried out on the territory of Greenland.



For Japan, which has almost no natural resources of its own, exploration and production of oil in the Arctic will help the country to lower its dependency on other countries for energy resources.

At present, almost all the oil consumed in Japan is imported from other countries, with 80% of the imports from the Middle East alone.
 http://indian.ruvr.ru/news/2013_12_22/Japans-largest-oil-companies-set-to-explore-the-Arctic-1610/

22/12/13
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