Governments have approved programmes and projects worth almost $1 billion to tackle growing threats to the natural world - and to help some of the Earth's most vulnerable people adapt to climate change - at two consecutive Global Environment Facility (GEF) meetings in Washington DC this week.
They range from an ambitious $232 million integrated programme aimed at a “transformational shift in the agriculture and land use systems that are major drivers of environmental degradation around the world” to helping fishing people in Timor-Leste, improving the management of soils in Caribbean islands, and tackling the illegal world wildlife trade.
Goundar Shipping Limited's (GSL) Director, George Goundar, is outraged that not all his vessels will not be able to sail out today, as ordered by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF).
Speaking to Fiji Sun from Japan, Mr Goundar said he was not pleased that MSAF had singled them out from the other shipping companies.
MSAF has ordered that GSL will not operate from today until it complies with the Maritime (Safe Ships Management) Regulations 2014. The regulation was introduced in 2014, and comes into effect today. The order means that hundreds of employees, and business operations will be affected and passengers who love to travel with GSL will need to make new arrangements with other local shipping companies.
Roberto Azevêdo, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), recently went on record about the importance of completing by year-end the WTO negotiations for the elimination of fisheries subsidies that contribute to illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, overfishing and the overcapacity of fishing fleets and infrastructures. I could not agree with him more.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), 33% of the world’s fish populations are overfished, 60% are being fished to their sustainable limit, and there is a margin for growth in catches of only 7% of the entire world’s fish populations (the so-called “underfished stocks”). And fisheries subsidies are considered to be the main driver of overfishing. For example, economists have shown that some fisheries in the high seas (the area beyond the 200-mile national jurisdiction) simply would not be economically feasible in the absence of government support, given the high fuel costs for long distance travel.
The Bonn Climate Change Conference was expected to advance work on several issues to facilitate implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement, due for completion at the Santiago Climate Change Conference in December 2019. Delegates made progress on a number of issues, including: