News snippets

 
Published: Thursday 15 January 2004

The Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria, has awarded (Nigerian dollar) N1.4 billion (Rs 45 crore) to three communities in the country's Bayelsa and Rivers States as ecological damages, resulting from the 1998 crude oil spillage from Mobil Nigeria Limited's pipeline in Akwa-Ibom State. The communities had instituted separate actions against the American oil giant and its Nigerian subsidiary.

Eight Timaini-Wayeli clans of the Anawae tribe, in the Enga province of the highlands of Papua New Guinea, have petitioned the Pacific island nation's mining minister not to issue a dumping license to a gold mining company -- Porgera Joint Venture, of which the Enga provincial government and landowners own only 5 per cent -- until the clans sort out the issue. Presenting a copy of the clans' petition to the government, landowner chairperson Kensary Lawaipa said the company was already dumping 30 million-50 million tonnes of waste -- it discharges waste directly into river Porgera, containing toxic cyanide used to remove gold from the ore -- per day. He said the waste was destroying food gardens, cash crops and the environment. The clans had not thought of the future effects, he said, when they had earlier agreed to allow such dumping.

Thailand will not accept projects involving reforestation and afforestation in exchange for carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism. On December 8, 2003 natural resources and environment minister Prapat Panyachatrak made it clear that the question of carbon sinks, as the projects are called, involved an issue of national sovereignty. "Allowing foreign countries or firms to run such projects would dictate what we can and can't do where the projects take place," he said.

Latest research carried out by the Canada-based Uranium Medical Reasearch Centre shows that civilians in southern Iraq are at risk from 'alarmingly high' levels of radioactivity, the source being depleted uranium shells. Based on a two-week field study, the research points out that water and milk being used by locals in Basra ought to be monitored. Analysis of biological and soil samples from battle zones found the highest concentrations of radioactive source points in the Basra suburb of Abu Khasib.

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