South Asia

Published: Wednesday 15 October 2008

PASHMINA is Kashmiri: India granted, on September 12, the Geographical Indicat-ion (GI) status to Pashmina yarn, produced in th Kashmir valley by Tahfuz (a body of all Kashmiri handicraft artisans). Islamabad filed an objection claiming that the fine wool is also produced in Pakistan. A consultative committee of the Geographical Indication Registry of India rejected Pakistan's objections. A GI status ensures that a name can only be used by produce from a particular geographical region, not anywhere else. Example: Darjeeling tea, Champagne. Every country has its own GI registry and once awarded, it is recognized around the world. Wildlife groups have been pushing for Pashmina's GI status to promote the cashmere and wean weavers from shahtoosh. This move will ease poaching pressure on the endangered Tibetan antelope, says Wildlife Trust of India.

NO TOXICS PLEASE: Bangladesh's high court has ruled that even a ship that is reported to carry hazardous substances cannot be dismantled on its coast. New Atlantia, imported under the name of Mt Enterprise, has been described by Greenpeace as hazardous in its global list of toxic ships. It was banned last month, but the decision was reversed after a government inspection did not find any excessive amounts of hazardous materials. Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association then filed a petition in the high court seeking the ban to stay in place, which was upheld on September 17.

FISH IMPORT: Sri Lankan government has lifted the tax imposed on importing several fish varieties with immediate effect. The measure has been taken to curb the high fish prices currently experienced by consumers in the island country. The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will handle the importation directly. However, the fishing industry has expressed concern over the decision. With imported fish being sold at lower prices, it may directly impact their livelihood, they fear.

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