| KITCHEN ON THE GAS FIELD
Flames once again emerged from under the ground in Pamekasan village in East Java in Indonesia on October 29. Villagers said, like the ancestors, they used the natural gas for cooking. Indoensia has some of the worlds largest deposits of natural gas that erupts at certain faults from time to time.
The European Commiss-ion warned the auto industry to stop selling gas-guzzling vans and minibuses in the EU by 2016 or face fines. It also directed to cut carbon emissions from each van by 14 per cent to 175gm for a km between 2014 and 2016.
Concerned over tough greenhouse gas emissions regulations, the association of European non-ferrous metal producers, Euromet-aux, said they may move to countries where environmental rule is less stringent.
Environmental group Greenpeace won a court case in Romania that could force the government to make public a list of potential locations for the construction of a nuclear power plant. The countrys second nuclear power plant, it is expected to start by 2020.
Ocean Power Technolog-ies said it successfully tested the feasibility of setting up wave power substations underwater and linking them to grids on land for onward transmission.
Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline is conducting the final clinical trial for malaria vaccine candidate, RTS,S, in seven African countries. It would be ready for use in about five years. Earlier clinical trials had showed about 53 per cent efficacy.
Human rights groups are lobbying members of the Kimberley Process, which regulates trade in rough diamonds, to ban exports from Zimbabwe following allegations that soldiers killed 200 people at Marange diamond fields early this year.
Snow cover on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africas tallest peak, is shrinking rapidly and could vanish in 20 years, said a US study.
South Africa and Mozambique jointly created Africas largest marine protected area that extends 300km from Cape St Lucia in South Africa to Maputo Bay in Mozambique. It is the breeding ground of leather-back and loggerhead turtles.
Typhoon Mariana hit the Philippines in the last week of October killing at least seven and evacuating 115,000 people. It is the fourth storm to hit the archipelago in a month. It later battered Vietnam killing 40.
Vietnam reported the re-emergence of bird flu among its poultry after six months. The outbreak was reported in mountainous Dien Bien province in the last week of October. Health workers culled 2,200 poultry to contain the outbreak.
Indonesia said it would hand over peatland to companies for palm oil plantations. Neighbouring nations and green groups oppose the plan as burning peats pump large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and cause a haze across the region during dry season.
The Maldivian government has started work on a 75MW wind farm as part of its efforts to make the low-lying archipelago carbon neutral by 2020. It would supply over half the nations electricity needs.
As drought persists in central and southern China, a dam (proposed) on the countrys largest freshwater lake, Poyang, could endanger the finless porpoise and baiji river dolphins, scientists urged the government.
Iran signed a deal with the British Petroleum and the China National Petroleum Corporation to develop its giant Rumalia oilfield. The oilfield is expected to triple the countrys output.
Russia said it would quadruple excise duty on beer by 2012 following a report that half the premature deaths in the country are linked to alcoholism. It has no intention to hike the duty of its traditional drink vodka or other hard drinks.
Nicaragua signed deals with two Canadian companies to develop its geothermal energy. The government said energy trapped in volcanic mountains along the Pacific Coast can solve the countrys energy crisis.
The US government said it would now regulate mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants from November 2011. It is also considering labelling coal ash as toxic waste.