bay dredging gets a go-ahead: A controversial plan to deepen the Port Phillip Bay in the Australian city of Melbourne will go ahead after project opponents lost a legal challenge in the federal court. The project by the Port of Melbourne Corporation plans to dredge 23 million cubic metres of sand, rock and toxic sediment from the bay's shipping channels to allow larger ships to access Melbourne docks. A coalition of environmental groups had said that the project plan has changed dramatically since it was first referred to the environment ministry in 2002. Deepening the channels by five metres will cause a permanent rise in the bay's high tides, said the coalition.
philippines gets green courts: The Philippine supreme court has set up 117 environmental courts across the country to speed up a backlog of environmental cases and ensure that polluters are penalized for breaking laws. Designated as 'green courts', they will handle all environmental cases like those involving illegal activities in fishing, logging, mining, and dumping of toxic wastes. Forty-five of these courts will handle only forest-related issues. The move is to show that environmental cases are being prioritized, said the court.
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