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THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS

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THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS

    THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS

    Monday, 24 July 2006

     UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

     ; Scientists want global body to advise on species loss (SciDev.net) ; Die Wüste kommt uns immer näher (Hamburger Abendblatt) ; Global Warming -- Signed, Sealed and Delivered (Los Angeles Times) ; RIL first oil firm in India to get UN recognition for CSR (The Press Trust of India)

    ; Business case for CSR gathers momentum in the Middle East (Khaleej Times)

    ; Corporate Social Responsibility Comes Of Age (Al Bawaba)

    ; Burning wreck raises oil spill concern (Fiji Times)

    ; Coopération tuniso-italienne pour un recours accru aux chauffe-eau solaires (La

    Presse)

    ; En la ciudad falta aún un sueño para construir el futuro (La Gaceta Tucuman)

     Other Environment News

     ; Amazon rainforest 'could become a desert' (The Independent on Sunday)

     ; Food giants to boycott illegal Amazon soya (The Guardian)

     ; Biodiversité : plantes et abeilles menacées (Nouvel Observateur)

     ; UK butterfly species down to 56 (BBC)

     ; Tiger Landscapes: New Strategy May Stave Off Extinction (Environment News Service) ; Le pillage du corail dans les DOM mobilise les douanes (Le Figaro)

    ; Transgenic Mosquitoes Enlisted in Fight Against Malaria (Inter Press Service) ; Louisiana Governor Sues Federal Agency over Offshore Environmental Damage

    (Associated Press)

    ; Shanghai company starts small with hydrogen-powered car (USA Today)

     Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

    ; ROA

    ; ROLAC

    ; ROWA

     Other UN News

; UN Daily News of 21 July 2006

    ; S.G.‘s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 21 July 2006

    Communications and Public Information, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya Tel: (254-2) 623292/93, Fax: [254-2] 62 3927/623692, Email:cpiinfo@unep.org, http://www.unep.org

SciDev.net: Scientists want global body to advise on species loss

    21.7.2006

    Leading scientists from around the world have called for the creation of an international body to advise governments on ways to avert a catastrophic loss of wild species.

    Writing in Nature today, they note that despite clear evidence of widespread decline, biodiversity is "still consistently undervalued and given inadequate weight in both private and public decisions".

    The authors include Robert Watson, the World Bank's chief scientist, and two former chairs of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD) subsidiary body for scientific, technical and technological advice: Alfred Oteng-Yeboah of Ghana and Peter Schei of Norway.

    They say the world needs an equivalent of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change so the global scientific community can inform policymakers about the implications on biodiversity loss and actions that can be taken to limit it.

    But they note that biodiversity loss is more complex than issues such as the ozone hole or climate change, and that existing bodies such as the CBD lack the means to mobilise scientific expertise across a broad range of disciplines.

    "The threat is not overestimated," says Bob Scholes an ecologist at South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, also an author of the Nature article.

    He told SciDev.Net that while there is much uncertainty about how many species will be lost, and where and when, "it is clear that the world is entering a period of species loss that is dramatic and unprecedented in human history".

    Co-author Georgina Mace, the director of science at the Institute of Zoology in the United Kingdom, says the proposed panel would not seek to replace bodies such as the CBD and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), but would strengthen scientific inputs into them.

    "The scientists' role is intended to be one of providing policy-relevant advice underpinned by the best science," she says.

    UNEP's executive director Achim Steiner says: "We clearly need an unprecedented response to this unprecedented situation. The current structures and institutions charged with managing nature's resources in a sustainable way have failed to keep pace with the challenge of continued decline and degradation.‖

    He says that the panel has the potential "to translate scientific and empirical evidence into concrete policy responses and initiatives".

    But Steiner adds that such a panel can only succeed if it has strong support from governments. _____________________________________________________________________________

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Hamburger Abendblatt: Die Wüste kommt uns immer näher

    Von Christian-A. Thiel

    22.7.2006

    2006 ist das Jahr der Wüsten - lebensfeindliche und zugleich faszinierende Landschaften, die ein Drittel der Landfläche bedecken. Daß sich die Trockengebiete ausbreiten, hat der Mensch zum großen Teil selbst zu verantworten.

    Als Allah die Welt erschaffen hatte, schaute er sie sich an. Und alles, was ihn vom Wesentlichen ablenkte, nahm er wieder heraus. So ist, glauben jedenfalls die Beduinen, die Wüste entstanden.

    Die Wüste. Für Antoine de Saint-Exupéry war sie zugleich "die schönste und traurigste Landschaft der Welt". Eine bizarre Gegend, überwältigend in ihrer Weite, faszinierend in ihrer Kargheit, aber auch bedrohlich wegen ihrer lebensfeindlichen Bedingungen. Eine Landschaft mit enormer Vielfalt: die gewaltigen Sandberge Nordafrikas, die Salzflächen in der Höhe Südamerikas, die kargen Hochtäler Asiens, die Sandsteinschluchten und Gipsdünen Nordamerikas.

    Aber genau diese Vielfalt steht auf dem Spiel. Die Wüsten sind bedroht. Die Vereinten Nationen haben 2006 zum "Internationalen Jahr der Wüsten und Wüstenbildung" erklärt, organisiert von der UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification), deren

    Sekretariat in Bonn sitzt. Im Juni haben die Vereinten Nationen den Global Deserts

    Outlookvorgelegt, düstere Szenarien über die Zukunft der Wüstengebiete. Danach wird der Klimawandel die Wüste noch stärker treffen als andere Regionen. Steigende Temperaturen und ein weiterer Rückgang der Regenfälle könnten die Wüsten noch in diesem Jahrhundert tatsächlich zu toten Landschaften machen. Die südamerikanischen Wüsten und das Hochland Tibets würden in absehbarer Zeit unbewohnbar sein, heißt es in der Studie. "Die Wüsten stehen unter dem Druck der modernen Zivilisation", sagt Shafqat Kakakhel, Direktor des UN-Umweltprogramms UNEP.

    Für viele ist die Wüste nur Sinnbild toten und eintönigen Raums ("Die Erde aber war wüst und leer"). Das französische désertund das englische desertlassen sich auf den Begriff "vom

    Menschen verlassen" zurückführen. Geographen haben sich inzwischen auf

    Niederschlagsmangel und Trockenheit als Definitionsstandard für die Wüste geeinigt. Die Nomaden Nordafrikas nennen die Wüste auch Bar bela bar,Meer ohne Wasser. Der Brockhaus

    schließlich bezeichnet jedes vegetationslose oder sehr vegetationsarme Gebiet der Erde als Wüste im weiteren Sinn. Da gibt es Sandwüsten, Steinwüsten, Salzwüsten, sogenannte edaphische Wüsten, in denen der Boden so wasserdurchlässig ist, daß Niederschläge sofort versickern, aber auch Kältewüsten, die vom Eis geprägt sind. Wie faszinierend diese Landschaften sind, stellte schon Alexander der Große bei seinen Eroberungsfeldzügen (353-323 v. Chr.) fest, als er die Wüsten Asiens und Nordafrikas durchquerte.

    Die Wüsten der Erde machen ein Drittel der gesamten Landoberfläche der Erde aus - knapp 50 Millionen Quadratkilometer. Lebewesen, ob Pflanze, Tier oder Mensch, stehen hier vor extremen Herausforderungen. Ihre Existenz ist ein Überlebenskampf in lebensfeindlichem Umfeld mit geringem Nahrungsangebot und extremem Wassermangel. Tiere müssen sich vor Überhitzung schützen und Temperaturschwankungen von 50 Grad trotzen. Einige Arten haben sich dieser Umgebung gut angepaßt. Da gibt es verblüffende Strategien. Die Palmtaube zum Beispiel fliegt bis zu 70 Kilometer täglich, nur um zu trinken. Agamen (Eidechsen) wechseln im Lauf des Tages mehrmals die Farbe, damit sie die Sonnenstrahlung jeweils am besten absorbieren. Andere Tiere leben unterirdisch oder sind nachtaktiv. Das Kamel, das Wüstenschiff, von den Beduinen auch "Gottesgabe" genannt, ist perfekt an das Leben in der Wüste angepaßt, liefert Milch, Fleisch und Wolle und ist ein ideales Transportmittel.

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    Und scheinbar fernab von jeden zivilisatorischen Annehmlichkeiten leben auch Menschen in der Wüste. Die Evolution hat ihnen, anders als Tieren und Pflanzen, nicht geholfen - außer vielleicht mit einer etwas dunkler getönten Haut. Aber die Aborigines in Australien, die Tuareg in Afrika, die Nazca in Südamerika oder die Turkmenen in Asien haben aus den Umständen das Beste gemacht. Sie wählen Kleidung, die Sonnenstrahlung abweist und vor Austrocknung schützt. Sie graben Brunnen. Sie finden schützenden Unterschlupf in Zeiten extremer Hitze. Sie wissen, wo sich in einem Radius von Hunderten von Kilometern Tiere, Pflanzen und Oasen befinden, und sie geben dieses Wissen von Generation zu Generation weiter. Manchmal zieht es die Menschen sogar freiwillig in die Wüste: in Arizona kommen reiselustige Rentner Winter für Winter mit ihren Wohnmobilen zu einer Wüstenstadt zusammen.

    Menschen, die in der Wüste leben, haben ihren Lebensraum am besten beschrieben. "Die Wege der Weisheit führen durch die Wüste", sagen die genügsamen Beduinen. Und in Israel heißt es: "Den wahren Geschmack des Wassers erkennt man erst in der Wüste."

    Informationen zum Jahr der Wüsten im Internet: www.iydd2006.de

    ___________________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles Times: Global Warming -- Signed, Sealed and Delivered

    By Naomi Oreskes

     24.07.2006

    Scientists agree: The Earth is warming, and human activities are the principal cause.

    AN OP-ED article in the Wall Street Journal a month ago claimed that a published study affirming the existence of a scientific consensus on the reality of global warming had been refuted. This charge was repeated again last week, in a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

    I am the author of that study, which appeared two years ago in the journal Science, and I'm here to tell you that the consensus stands. The argument put forward in the Wall Street Journal was based on an Internet posting; it has not appeared in a peer-reviewed journal the normal way

    to challenge an academic finding. (The Wall Street Journal didn't even get my name right!)

    My study demonstrated that there is no significant disagreement within the scientific community that the Earth is warming and that human activities are the principal cause.

    Papers that continue to rehash arguments that have already been addressed and questions that have already been answered will, of course, be rejected by scientific journals, and this explains my findings. Not a single paper in a large sample of peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 refuted the consensus position, summarized by the National Academy of Sciences, that "most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations."

    Since the 1950s, scientists have understood that greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels could have serious effects on Earth's climate. When the 1980s proved to be the hottest decade on record, and as predictions of climate models started to come true, scientists increasingly saw global warming as cause for concern.

    In 1988, the World Meteorological Assn. and the United Nations Environment Program joined forces to create the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to evaluate the state of climate science as a basis for informed policy action. The panel has issued three assessments (1990, 1995, 2001), representing the combined expertise of 2,000 scientists from more than 100

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countries, and a fourth report is due out shortly. Its conclusions global warming is occurring,

    humans have a major role in it have been ratified by scientists around the world in published scientific papers, in statements issued by professional scientific societies and in reports of the National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society and many other national and royal academies of science worldwide. Even the Bush administration accepts the fundamental findings. As President Bush's science advisor, John Marburger III, said last year in a speech: "The climate is changing; the Earth is warming."

    To be sure, there are a handful of scientists, including MIT professor Richard Lindzen, the author of the Wall Street Journal editorial, who disagree with the rest of the scientific community. To a historian of science like me, this is not surprising. In any scientific community, there are always some individuals who simply refuse to accept new ideas and evidence. This is especially true when the new evidence strikes at their core beliefs and values.

    Earth scientists long believed that humans were insignificant in comparison with the vastness of geological time and the power of geophysical forces. For this reason, many were reluctant to accept that humans had become a force of nature, and it took decades for the present understanding to be achieved. Those few who refuse to accept it are not ignorant, but they are stubborn. They are not unintelligent, but they are stuck on details that cloud the larger issue. Scientific communities include tortoises and hares, mavericks and mules.

    A historical example will help to make the point. In the 1920s, the distinguished Cambridge geophysicist Harold Jeffreys rejected the idea of continental drift on the grounds of physical impossibility. In the 1950s, geologists and geophysicists began to accumulate overwhelming evidence of the reality of continental motion, even though the physics of it was poorly understood. By the late 1960s, the theory of plate tectonics was on the road to near-universal acceptance.

    Yet Jeffreys, by then Sir Harold, stubbornly refused to accept the new evidence, repeating his old arguments about the impossibility of the thing. He was a great man, but he had become a scientific mule. For a while, journals continued to publish Jeffreys' arguments, but after a while he had nothing new to say. He died denying plate tectonics. The scientific debate was over.

    So it is with climate change today. As American geologist Harry Hess said in the 1960s about plate tectonics, one can quibble about the details, but the overall picture is clear.

    Yet some climate-change deniers insist that the observed changes might be natural, perhaps caused by variations in solar irradiance or other forces we don't yet understand. Perhaps there are other explanations for the receding glaciers. But "perhaps" is not evidence.

    The greatest scientist of all time, Isaac Newton, warned against this tendency more than three centuries ago. Writing in "Principia Mathematica" in 1687, he noted that once scientists had successfully drawn conclusions by "general induction from phenomena," then those conclusions had to be held as "accurately or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined…. "

    Climate-change deniers can imagine all the hypotheses they like, but it will not change the facts nor "the general induction from the phenomena."

None of this is to say that there are no uncertainties left there are always uncertainties in any

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    live science. Agreeing about the reality and causes of current global warming is not the same as agreeing about what will happen in the future. There is continuing debate in the scientific community over the likely rate of future change: not "whether" but "how much" and "how soon." And this is precisely why we need to act today: because the longer we wait, the worse the problem will become, and the harder it will be to solve.

    NAOMI ORESKES is a history of science professor at UC San Diego.

    _____________________________________________________________________________ The Press Trust of India: RIL first oil firm in India to get UN recognition for CSR

23.7.2006

    Corporate giant Reliance Industries has earned the distinction of becoming the first Indian oil and gas company to get a recognition from the UN Environmental Programme for Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR).

    The recognition in the form of "In Accordance" status from the Global Reporting Initiative, a collaborating centre for UNEP, is for the maiden report of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group's flagship company highlighting financial performance to social and civic responsibilities.

    "We strive to keep focused on understanding the needs of communities, conserving natural resources and preserving ecological equilibrium.

    "We have demonstrated world class operating and financial discipline, an integrated and balanced portfolio of assets, a well defined and sustainable growth plan and expanded access of great opportunities. And we continue to deliver on our promises to create superior shareholder value," Ambani said in his statement in the report.

    Terming the company as a global leader, Ambani said: "We are equally concerned about the society we live in and our environment." The group's philosophy was to pursue business that would trigger high growth and promote sustainable development.

    Presenting the report, Ambani said that year 2004-05 witnessed a remarkable performance by RIL, including strategic investments and sound management practices.

    Ambani said the company's CSR was an effort to place sustainability at the core of its business paradigm, while pointing out that there were two challenges ahead. "First is to pace up in making our business strategy geared up to sustainable development and the second is to structure our policies and programmes with a much deeper engagement with our stakeholders," he said.

    He said focus on sustainability added a new and vital dimension to the company's accounting and monitoring systems which "in my view is the essence of good governance".

    Highlighting the company's contribution in social initiatives, he said: "We have partnered with various corporations, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and trusts to undertake and implement initiatives to support education for children, organising health camps, public-private partnerships for HIV/AIDS and various infrastructure development activities." Emphasising the role of private players in social development, he said: "Our country faces huge

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    social infrastructure challenges. These cannot be met by government intervention alone.

    "As business leaders and responsible corporate citizens, we consider it our duty to form effective partnerships and address these needs." So far there have been only 162 organisations in 33 countries across the world which publish reports recognised as "In Accordance" with GRI guidelines 2002.

    RIL's report is based on GRI's internationally accepted Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines, 2002, the company said.

    ____________________________________________________________________________ Khaleej Times (UAE) Business case for CSR gathers momentum in the Middle East BY LUCIA DORE

    24 July 2006

    [also in Trade Arabia (Bahrain):

    DUBAI The 3rd Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Summit, taking place in Dubai from September 17-20, aims to raise awareness of CSR throughout the Middle East. The summit will examine and evaluate the future trends of CSR globally and the effect on companies and their financial reporting throughout the Middle East.

    There will also be workshops addressing the in-depth issues associated with designing and implementing a CSR strategy and how to add credibility to sustainability when preparing CSR reports.

    ―The business case for CSR is gathering momentum globally,‖ said summit director, rdChristianna Tsiterou. ―By supporting the 3 CSR Summit, UNEP and the World Council For

    Corporate Governance are clearly eager to create increased awareness throughout the corporate Middle East,‖ she said.

    According to industry surveys by organisations such as KPMG and Business in the Community (BITC) more than half of the world‘s 250 largest companies now issue separate corporate social responsibility reports as standard.

    Furthermore, over two thirds include some form of CSR report as a part of their financial reporting as stakeholders become as concerned with how profits were earned as they are about how much was earned.

    The importance of CSR has been underscored by the introduction of a number of sustainability indexes such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJS) and the FTSE4 Good Index. These indexes have influenced traditional environmental reporting, which has now been replaced by sustainability reporting including aspects of social, ethical, environmental and economic issues.

    The emergence of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), a strong and growing force particularly in Europe and the US, has also underpinned the strategic importance of CSR. SRI aims to balance sustainable value to both society at large and the shareholders by investing in companies who meet their exacting standards of CSR.

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    ―Aligning and integrating CSR with business strategy is the key challenge today for corporate cultures to absorb. Investors and consumers have become more enlightened and have started to demonstrate a gradual preference towards products, services and organisations that are associated with a social or environmental benefit,‖ commented Tsiterou.

    The financial sector is a leader in the CSR revolution, which has recorded a twofold increase in CSR reporting since 2002. Most likely, this interest has been prompted by several financial scandals in recent years, including the role Andersen played in the Enron scandal. As a consequence, stakeholders are now demanding more than just reports. In the future, it is likely that companies will be expected to show tangible evidence that their concerns have been raised at board-level and that a suitable response has been received.

    ―With numerous high-profile corporate scandals over the past five years, stakeholders and the media are sceptical of any company activity that claims to be driven by anything more than short-term profit and or generating superficial PR,‖ added Tsiterou.

    But CSR is not without its critics. Although it might be a way to show that company management is not motivated by corporate greed, some parties, including The Economist, have said that CSR is unnecessary and demonstrates a form of market failure, as was pointed at last year‘s summit. It was also stated: ―In order for CSR to have a future, the emphasis must not be

    on philanthropy, but rather in facilitating the creation of connections and new business models that cut across traditional boundaries.‖

    The topics and issues to be covered at this year‘s summit include: how to integrate CSR with business strategy and the increased value on investment; the effect CSR has on employee retention; the latest rules and regulations affecting CSR globally; how social and environmental responsibility can be profitable and identifying the differences between CSR and ‗feel-good

    PR.‘

    Among the international and regional speakers are: Dr Madhav Mehra, president of the World Council For Corporate Governance; Paul Clements-Hunt, head of the United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative; Dr Ola Ullsten, chairman World Council For Corporate Governance & ex- PM of Sweden; Michael Hölz, managing director of Deutsche Bank AG and Robert Hiscox, executive director, World Council For Corporate Governance. _____________________________________________________________________________ Al Bawaba: Corporate Social Responsibility Comes Of Age

23.7.2006

    According to industry surveys by organisations such as KPMG and Business in the Community (BITC) more than half of the world's 250 largest companies now issue separate corporate social responsibility reports as standard. Furthermore, over two thirds include some form of CSR report as a part of their financial reporting as stakeholders become as concerned with how profits were earned as they are about how much was earned.

    Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the 3rd CSR Summit, which takes place at the JW Marriott Hotel on 17-20 September, will examine and evaluate the future trends of CSR globally and the effect this will have on companies and their financial reporting throughout the Middle East.

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    The importance of CSR has been underscored by the introduction of a number of sustainability indexes such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJS) and the FTSE4 Good Index. These indexes have clearly influenced traditional environmental reporting, which has now been replaced by sustainability reporting including aspects of social, ethical, environmental and economic issues.

    Christianna Tsiterou, Summit Director said, "The business case for CSR is gathering momentum globally. By supporting the 3rd CSR Summit, UNEP and the World Council For Corporate Governance are clearly eager to create increased awareness throughout the corporate Middle East." The emergence of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), a strong and growing force particularly in Europe and the US, has also underpinned the strategic importance of CSR. SRI aims to balance sustainable value to both society at large and the shareholders by investing in companies who meet their exacting standards of CSR.

    "Aligning and integrating CSR with business strategy is the key challenge today for corporate cultures to absorb. Investors and consumers have become more enlightened and have started to demonstrate a gradual preference towards products, services and organisations that are associated with a social or environmental benefit," commented Tsiterou.

    Leading the CSR revolution is the financial sector, which has shown remarkable growth recording a two-fold increase in CSR reporting since 2002, no doubt mindful of the infamous role Andersen played in ENRON scandal. Indeed, stakeholders are now demanding more than just reports, it is envisaged that in future companies will be expected to show tangible evidence that their concerns have been raised at board-level and that a suitable response has been received.

    "With numerous high-profile corporate scandals over the past five years, stakeholders and the media are sceptical of any company activity that claims to be driven by anything more than short-term profit and or generating superficial PR," added Tsiterou.

    The hot topics and current issues at the summit include, how to integrate CSR with business strategy and the increased value on investment, the effect CSR has on employee retention, the latest rules and regulations affecting CSR globally, how social and environmental responsibility can be profitable and Identifying the differences between CSR and 'feel-good PR.' An impressive line-up of international and regional expert speakers has been assembled which include amongst others, Dr Madhav Mehra, President of World Council For Corporate Governance (WCFCG), Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative, Dr Ola Ullsten, Chairman World Council For Corporate Governance (WCFCG) & Ex- Prime Minister of Sweden, Michael Holz, Managing Director of Deutsche Bank AG, Gavin Graham, Vice President Business Relations, Shell Middle East, Karim Seifeddine, Head of Public Affairs for Citigroup, Ahmed Bin Ali, Manager Corporate Communications at Etisalat, Shami Nissan, Manager - Sustainable Business Solutions at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Robert Hiscox, Executive Director, World Council For Corporate Governance (WCFCG).

    Two interactive post-summit workshops have also been included in the four-day programme. These workshops will address the in-depth issues associated with designing and implementing a CSR strategy and adding credibility to sustainability when preparing CSR reports.

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    In association with Shell Middle East, the 3rd CSR Summit, the region's flagship corporate responsibility event, takes place from 17-20 September, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Dubai. The event has also attracted premium sponsors with Etisalat securing platinum sponsorship status and Al Karama Edutainment taking Silver. The event is also endorsed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative.

    _____________________________________________________________________________ Fiji Times: Burning wreck raises oil spill concern

MONIKA SINGH

    24.7.2006

    IF there is any oil spill from the burning wreckage on the reef off Suva harbour the consequences would be damaging to the marine environment, says Greenpeace Oceans team leader Nilesh Goundar.

    Director for the Environment Epeli Nasome said the ministry suspected there was a spill on Saturday night.

    Mr Goundar said if there was an oil spill it would affect marine life in the area.

    That area is home to marine organisms including small fish which are food for bigger fish. So when the big fish eat the small fish the oil and other chemicals from the burnt wreckage gets in their system and eventually the big fish end up on our plate, he said.

    Mr Goundar said the burning ship was a problem because smoke from it contributed to air pollution.

    On Saturday night smoke from the burning wreck could be seen from Queen Elizabeth Drive and it is adding to air pollution in the area, he said.

    Mr Nasome had said if necessary, he would assemble the National Oil Pollution Committee to carry out emergency procedures put in place to contain the spill.

    Assistant police spokeswoman Corporal Prashila Narayan said yesterday a police team had visited the site.

    When asked for details on whether police would allow anyone including the Environment department near the site, Cpl Narayan said it would be decided today.

    Meanwhile in relation to the conservation of marine environment and resources, a report released by United Nations Environment Program stated that global warming could lead to the destruction of more than half the mangroves in some Pacific islands including Fiji.

    The report released last Monday stated that the impact of rising seas on mangroves would be felt most in American Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia.

    Mr Goundar said if the UN report was saying that, it had to be true and should be taken seriously.

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