January 31, 2011

TRAFFIC: South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network Launched in Bhutan

Filed under: Asia, biodiversity — inece @ 4:15 pm

TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, reported that a South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) was formally launched at an inter-governmental meeting hosted by the Royal Government of Bhutan on 30 January 2011.  From the press release:

Image credit Peter HarrisonIllegal wildlife trade is a form of trans-national organized crime that threatens many iconic species across the world. South Asia, home to a diverse network of natural ecosystems and varied biodiversity, is especially vulnerable to such threats. Apart from key species such as tigers, elephants and rhinos, there are a variety of medicinal plants, timber, marine species, birds and reptiles are threatened by illegal exploitation and trafficking.

To counter such threats, the eight countries of South Asia [Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka] have come together to establish an organized and co-ordinated body— the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN). …

The critical points decided by the Experts Group during the meeting were:-

  • An agreed action-oriented work plan for joint activities, some of which will begin immediately and which will continue to develop further as the network gathers strength;
  • Establishing a SAWEN Secretariat, which will be hosted by the Government of Nepal;
  • An agreed governance and operational structure for SAWEN;
  • The need for strategic collaboration on communications and fundraising.

…“With the formal operation of SAWEN beginning henceforth, the countries of the region have now reached a milestone in their efforts to counter the spectre of illegal wildlife trade,” said Samir Sinha, TRAFFIC’s programme head in India. “This is an essential piece of a collective effort to conserve a region of outstanding biological richness and diversity.”

January 28, 2011

Nigeria Workshop Explores Role of Civil Society in Environmental Governance

Filed under: Africa, Environmental Crime — Tags: — inece @ 4:35 pm

From The Nation

The Director-General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr. Ngeri Benebo, has said addressing environmental degradation requires collective efforts.

She stated this at the zonal workshop for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and NESREA Green Corps (NGCs) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Benebo noted that the people’s actions and inactions could bring about series of environmental degradation, ranging from pollution of air, land, water, to loss of biodiversity, stressing that the people were both culprits and victims of the situation.

She said: “As government, private sector, NGOs, civil society, individuals and the general public, we all have responsibility in protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable development. The government cannot tackle these problems alone. Everyone of us, irrespective of our gender, class or creed, is a stakeholder in our national efforts to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development.”

Benebo stressed that civil society organisations could meaningfully contribute to environmental governance by focusing attention on issues which would inform and alert citizens on environmental crimes, thereby improving the quality of public compliance to environmental policies and regulations.

She noted that at state, federal and international levels, the civil society organisations had played key roles in the protection of the environment and in the promotion of sustainable development.

Full article: The Nation

January 20, 2011

9th INECE Conference to Explore Mechanisms for Enforcement Cooperation

Filed under: 9th Conference, INECE Secretariat — inece @ 1:48 am

Environmental compliance and enforcement experts from around the world will convene in British Columbia, Canada, on 20-24 June 2011, to identify concrete individual and collective actions to advance the global agenda of strengthening environmental compliance and enforcement at all levels of governance.

Convened under the theme of  “Enforcement Cooperation: Strengthening Environmental Governance,” the Conference will demonstrate how enforcement cooperation at all levels is essential for achieving sustainable development objectives. The Conference will feature action-oriented thematic workshops, distinguished keynote speakers, and networking opportunities for more than 150 invited participants, and will include a day for field visits to sites of innovative environmental enforcement initiatives in British Columbia. Prior to the formal opening of the Conference, INECE will sponsor two days dedicated to capacity building and networking events, with a particular focus on advancing and sustaining regional environmental compliance and enforcement networks.

Past INECE conference participants have recognized the great value of the week-long gathering as an exceptional forum for “collective learning among compliance and enforcement professionals” that generated a “clear picture of what needs to be done to achieve effective enforcement.”


January 18, 2011

NRDC Report Reviews Tools for Effective Environmental Governance in India

Filed under: Asia, Chemicals & Waste, Compliance Training — Tags: — inece @ 6:45 pm

A new brief by NRDC reviews tools for effective environmental governance in India, with the goal of supporting Indian civil society and the Indian environment ministry in their work to improve India’s existing structures to enforce environmental laws, particularly in the context of pollution.

To access the information brief, visit  http://www.nrdc.org/international/india/files/governance-fs.pdf.

January 13, 2011

Vietnam Reports Increase in Environmental Violations

Filed under: Asia, Chemicals & Waste, Environmental Crime — Tags: — inece @ 8:57 am

An article in the Viet Nam news published on 10 January 2011 summarizes findings from a report on detections made by the environmental crime police in 2010.

The number of violations of environmental law increased by 43 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The Environmental Crime Prevention and Fighting Police Department said there were more than 6,500 violations of the Environmental Law nationwide, and 88 of them resulted in lawsuits.

Areas for concern highlighted in the article included discharged untreated wastewater and hazardous gas (22% of all violations), rubbish treatment dump areas, and the import of  industrial waste from other countries. The article reports that “[i]n Hai Phong alone, authorities have discovered hundreds of containers of imported garbage, including radioactive materials. Collection and transport, as well as illegal treatment of hazardous waste, such as old lead batteries, waste sludge and waste from metal ore, have occurred in some localities.”

The article reports that “total fines were more than VND52 billion (US$2.6 million)” and that “[a]ccording to department leaders, violators’ methods have become more and more sophisticated, causing difficulties in enforcement.”

The full article is available from the website of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment.

January 11, 2011

Ghana EPA Launches Environmental Performance Rating Disclosure Programme

Filed under: Africa — Tags: , — inece @ 9:56 pm

On 25 November 2010, an Environmental Performance Rating Disclosure (EPRD) Programme was launched after five years of work between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and mining and manufacturing companies. The first disclosure covered 11 mining and 49 manufacturing companies.

The EPRD is dubbed the AKOBEN Programme, which won a poster session at IAIA09. AKOBEN is a local Adinkra symbol which stands for vigilance and wariness. It also signifies alertness and readiness to serve a good cause. The program is an initiative of the Ghana EPA to assess performance of companies to ensure compliance with environmental standards and implementation of commitments made in the environmental impact statements (EIS) and EIA follow-up. It uses a five-color rating scheme —  gold, green, blue, orange, and red — which indicate environmental performance ranging from excellent to poor.

The programme uses seven criteria: legal requirements; hazardous toxic waste on-site management, spills and accidents; compliance with environmental quality standards (toxic and non-toxic and noise pollution); environmental monitoring and reporting; best practices environmental management; complaints management and community relations; and corporate social responsibility.

The launch was performed on behalf of the Vice President, Mr. John Dramani  Mahama, by Ms. Victoria Addy, a Member of the Council of State who stated: ”we must ensure that our economic move does not happen at the cost of environmental degradation that will deprive our future generations of environmental and natural resource assets.”

The Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Ms. Sherry Ayittey,  said “the aim of the ratings is to encourage companies to adopt prudent environment management practices in their operations and combat environment pollution in the country.”

For details, see http://www.epaghanaakoben.org/.

Article submitted by Jonathan Allotey, Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana.

January 4, 2011

EU Explores Possibility for Enhanced Oversight for the European Carbon Market

Filed under: climate — inece @ 11:10 pm

On 21 December 2010, the European Commission published a Communication (pdf) on carbon market oversight. This Communication provides a first assessment of the current level of protection of the carbon market from market abuse and similar problems. It concludes that a major part of the carbon market is subject to appropriate oversight, but that more may be needed in the so-called “spot market.”

According to the EU press release,

“The carbon market in Europe has developed well since the launch of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in January 2005. From a market oversight perspective, it can be concluded that a major part of the carbon market is subject to appropriate market regulation already, namely the trading in derivatives of allowances and other units that can be used for compliance in the EU ETS (currently CERs and ERUs), which largely falls under financial markets regulation. However, the spot trading in emission allowances is currently not regulated at EU level, while a handful of Member States have decided individually to extend rules applicable to trading in financial instruments to such allowances when traded on spot markets established within their jurisdictions. The spot market is relatively limited and represented no more than 20-25% of the total trading volume in the European carbon market in 2009.”

The Commission will convene an internet-based stakeholder consultation during the first half of 2011 to solicit advice on how best to enhance the level of market oversight and ensure the continued integrity of the carbon market.

The Commission will evaluate the costs and benefits of a number of options for enhancing the carbon market oversight framework. These options include:

  • “the inclusion of the European carbon market under financial markets legislation, e.g. by replacing the currently existing spot trade by trade in “spot futures” admitted to trading in regulated markets.”
  • “the option to define EU ETS compliance units as financial instruments will also be explored, with particular focus on the suitability and proportionality of such an approach.”
  • “bringing spot transactions in EU ETS compliance units – as instruments in their own right – under the ambit of rules set out in the Market Abuse Directive and/or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive as well as any other financial markets legislation necessary for the efficiency and integrity of the carbon market.”

For more information, see the Commission’s Communication on carbon market oversight or visit the “oversight” section of the EU Commission on Climate Action’s website at http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ets/oversight_en.htm.

For more on INECE’s work on integrity and accountability in emissions markets, see http://www.inece.org/climate/.

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