Saturday, March 31, 2012

Suu Kyi set to make her way through Sunday vote

Many polling stations in the 45 constituencies spread across the country were already set up for the Sunday vote, which the Nobel laureate is contesting despite criticising it as not "genuinely free and fair".
Suu Kyi was set to make her way later today to her rural constituency of Kawhmu, about two hours drive from Yangon.The participation of "The Lady", as she is known, and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party has fuelled an explosion in the number of T-shirt vendors in the main commercial city of Yangon, with an every-increasing variety of styles, all of which would have been taboo just a year ago.
"We must win," states the latest design, a red shirt with Suu Kyi's face printed in black.
A carnival atmosphere pervaded in Mingalar Taung Nyunt township, one of six constituencies up for grabs in Yangon, on the last day of campaigning yesterday.
Large flatbed trucks crammed with people, from young children to the elderly, travelled through the streets blaring music, including the popular campaign song about Suu Kyi "Our mom is back".
There was obvious glee at being able to display political allegiance freely.
Many supporters, wearing red NLD bandanas and T-shirts, had plastered their faces with stickers of the party logo - a red background with a yellow fighting peacock and a white star.
"We have done a lot of preparation for April 1. We have polling station representatives and people to provide information, because we want to know what's going on. The result will match people's desires. The NLD must win," local NLD candidate Phyu Phyu Thin told the news agency.
NLD supporters Saturday erected a giant LED screen outside the party headquarters in Yangon to broadcast the results as they come in.
In the city's Mayangone constituency, officials set out tables and labelled ballot boxes at a polling station in a high school.
"Authorities sent us a blueprint of how to prepare the polling station and we have laid it out exactly as they instructed," said school teacher Myint Ngwe, who was in charge of the preparations.
Suu Kyi yesterday renewed complaints of irregularities in the run up to the by-elections, including vandalism of party posters and "intimidation"
Tibetan self immolations: Why isn't the world listening?
IANS India Private LimitedBy Vijay Kranti | IANS India Private Limited – 52 minutes ago
Until he became a burning sensation in the international media, the story of Jamphel Yeshi, 27, was no different from the few million Tibetans who live today in what Chinese leaders call a Socialist Haven or China's Tibet. He was one of those 10,000 odd young Tibetans who could smuggle themselves out of Tibet in recent years in search of better education or to find some breathing space for their suffocated souls.
Like most of his fellow young compatriots in occupied Tibet, Jamphel too had never seen the Dalai Lama nor lived under what China brands the 'feudal' rule of the 'Dalai clique' that was dethroned by Mao's army 36 years before Jamphel was born.
Like his father, he too was educated and brought up on a daily overdose of Communist indoctrination which hopes to convert Tibetan and children of other 55 'national minorities' of China into 'patriotic' citizens of the 'great motherland'.
He too was told by his class teacher in school that the Dalai Lama was a 'wolf in the robes of a monk' and hence deserved their hatred for being a 'splitist' and the 'worst enemy' of their Chinese motherland.
However, when he entered his teens and started becoming aware of his ethnic identity, he too began feeling suffocated and lost amidst a new flood of Han settlers (the majority community in China) in his traditionally Khampa Tibetan town of Tawu which was assimilated into neighbouring Sichuan province after Tibet lost its freedom.
Jamphel quietly crossed over to India in 2007 and was going through a computer course in Delhi on the day he decided to take the extreme step of immolating himself during an anti-China, anti-Hu Jintao Tibetan rally near the Indian parliament.
Hu is especially despised by Tibetan masses as the 'Butcher of Lhasa'. As the governor of Tibet, Hu used army tanks and armoured vehicles to effectively crush the Tibetan uprising in Lhasa in 1989. Three months later, it was the same 'Lhasa Model' that was used by his seniors in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush the Chinese youth's uprising against the Communist system.
Jamphel was the 32nd in a chain of self immolations inside and outside Tibet in past one year. On Wednesday, he became the 18th among the confirmed Tibetan deaths. The fate of the other 13 is known only to Chinese authorities. Following Jamphel's death, the government in New Delhi has, for obvious reasons, decided to further tighten measures to ensure a comfortable stay for Hu Jintao.
Hu will soon return to China and the stink raised by the immolation is most likely to melt away in the flood of other important news. But Jamphel's moving inferno leaves behind some issues which may haunt a world community that expresses faith in democracy and civilised conduct.
Just a few issues to ponder over:
A long chain of self immolations by Tibetan youths, a majority of them monks and nuns, negates the oft repeated Chinese claims that everything is fine inside Tibet. Or that Tibetans love Chinese rule and despise the 'feudal' Dalai Lama.
One burning and dying immolator after another shouting for 'rangzen' (Tibetan freedom) and return of Dalai Lama to Tibet has exposed another face of Tibetan reality to the millions of YouTube watchers across the world as opposed to what Chinese government claims.
At least 32 cases of self immolation by Tibetan youths and not a single case of stabbing, shooting, bombing or hostage taking against their colonial masters underlines the Tibetan people's deep faith in their leader Dalai Lama and his commitment to 'ahimsa' or Gandhian non-violence.
It also makes a laughing stock of Chinese leadership when they desperately try to paint Dalai Lama as Hitler and a Nazi collaborator of the US.
It establishes beyond doubt that resistance inside Tibet is alive and widespread even 61 years after the Chinese takeover and that the Dalai Lama is, perhaps, more popular that he was on the escape day to exile in 1959.
It also proves that the Communist indoctrination of six decades has failed to cool down the national aspirations of Tibetan masses. And that Tibetan masses today feel pushed to desperation.
Each of the 32 immolations occurred in the erstwhile Tibetan provinces of Kham and Amdo, now parts of Sichuan, Yunnan, Quinghai and Ganzu - this challenges Chinese assertion that these areas are not Tibet or that only Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is the 'Real Tibet'.
In most events of these self immolations, the manner in which the Chinese PSB police and agents kicked the man on flames or the local Han bystanders pelted stones over the dying young Tibetan only reflects the deep divide between the Tibetan and the Chinese settlers in Tibetan areas.
In a world where a single self immolation by a Tunisian vegetable vendor can invoke world support and revolution in 15 countries, the absence of any reaction or measure on the part of the UN and governments towards an unending chain of immolations compel sceptics to think the real triggers of world sympathy lie somewhere else rather than in commitment to human and democratic values.
They might start wondering loudly if the world community has not arrived a stage where world opinion is more influenced by economic power of a single government than the collective moral power of the world at large.
And above all, Jamphel Yeshi has left the world community with a question: have we arrived at a stage where thousands of struggling communities across the world might lose faith in the efficacy of democratic and non-violent expression as a valid tool of conflict resolution?
(Vijay Kranti is a senior journalist and a Tibetologist. He can be contacted at v.kranti@gmail.com)

POSCO Judgment of National Green Tribunal

on March 31, 2012
On March 30, 2012, the National Green Tribunal held in Prafulla Samantra and Anr. vs Union of India and Ors. that the 31.1.2011 final order of the Environment Ministry – permitting the POSCO project to go ahead with certain conditions – should be suspended until a full review of the project can be undertaken (by specialists with fresh terms of reference). The NGT Bench consisted of Justice C.V. Ramulu, Judicial Member, and Dr. Devendra Kumar Agarwal, Expert Member.
The tribunal has observed that, “A close scrutiny of the entire scheme … reveals that a project of this magnitude particularly in partnership with a foreign country has been dealt with casually, without there being any comprehensive scientific data regarding the possible environmental impacts. No meticulous scientific study was made on each and every aspect of the matter leaving lingering and threatening environmental and ecological doubts un-answered.” (para 7, page 22)
It has also seriously questioned the appointment of Ms. Meena Gupta as the chairperson of the review committee which was set up by the MoEF in 2010. The judgement states that Ms. Gupta’s appointment was “definitely hit by personal / official / departmental bias, in other words, she supported the decision made by her earlier. This is in gross violation of principles of natural justice.” (para 6.9 page 22)
Key Directions of the Green Tribunal
The Tribunal has directed a “fresh review of the Project” (para 8.1) that has to look at the problems noted in this judgment as well as the majority and minority reports of the earlier Enquiry Committee (see list of dates), etc. In particular it has to look at:
Land and infrastructure: The clearance was given for a 4 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) steel plant, but the land, water etc. were allocated for a 12 MTPA project (which has been POSCO’s stated plan). The judgment directs MoEF to “consider optimizing the total land requirement for 4 MTPA steel plant proportionately.”(para 8.5) Moreover, the impacts of other infrastructure for the plant have not been assessed at all, even though they were planned for a 12 MTPA plant.
Issues that should have been done now, but which MoEF left for future studies: On several points highlighted by the review committee, the MoEF just said future studies should be done and ignored the issue. The Tribunal finds this deeply unsatisfactory, and notes the following among other issues:
Water: The Tribunal said that “We are all aware that … the drinking water is becoming scarce commodity and at every level precaution needs to be taken for protecting the drinking water supply to human habitation and preventing from utilizing such water for industrial use … alternative water source for the present project, like creating/ constructing a small barrage or augmenting any other existing source at the cost of project proponent to avoid the utilizing the water meant for Cuttack city… could be examined.” (para 7.4, page 29)
Pollution: The plant’s discharge was also left for future study by MoEF. The Tribunal says this is a “serious environmental concern.” (para 7.4, page 30)
Impact on surrounding wetlands and mangroves, as well as cyclone risk: This was left for vague future studies without any time frame or modus operandi. In addition, the Ministry has to frame a policy to ensure large projects are assessed in full for a single clearance (rather than being allowed to get piecemeal clearances for each component, as in this case) and for their full capacity at the start (paras 8.7,8.9). It also has to do a strategic assessment of the ports in Orissa. (para 8.8)
POSCO and the government sought to argue that the case cannot be filed as the original clearances were given in 2007 (and, incidentally, will expire in May/July this year). The Tribunal held that the 2011 order can still be looked at even if the 2007 ones cannot be; it therefore directed review and suspension of the 2011 order.
POSCO and/or the government can appeal this decision in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, MoEF has to constitute a review committee of subject specialists (para 8.3), define timelines for compliance with conditions (para 8.4), establish a committee for monitoring compliance with these conditions (para 8.4). No work can start on the project until the review process is over.
The case was argued by Sr. Adv. Raj Punjwani, Adv. Ritwick Dutta and Adv. Rahul Choudhary for the petitioners.
Key Events
  • June 2005: POSCO, Orissa government sign MoU for 12 million tonne steel plant, private port and captive iron ore mines. Protests begin in steel plant area and area is cordoned off by peaceful protesters.
  • May 2007: Environmental clearance for port granted by Environment Ministry, then under A. Raja.
  • July 2007: Environmental clearance for plant granted by Environment Ministry, then under PM. Secretary is Meena Gupta. Protests continue in the face of violent attacks and numerous arrests.
  • December 2009: Forest clearance granted for taking over forest land by Environment Ministry, then under Jairam Ramesh.
  • August 2010: Forest clearance suspended following complaints of violations of law, and Enquiry Committee constituted under Meena Gupta.
  • October 2010: Three member majority of enquiry committee gives report saying environmental and forest clearances illegal. Meena Gupta dissents, holds clearances legal but recommends additional study and time to ensure compliance.
  • January 31, 2011: Environment Ministry disregards both majority and minority reports, upholds environment and forest clearances, while prescribing some additional conditions (mostly consisting of additional studies to be done in future).
  • June 2011: Prafulla Samantray challenges final order in National Green Tribunal.
  • March 31, 2012: Green Tribunal judgment.
For further information:
Prafulla Samantray, activist and petitioner in this case, 09437259005
Prashant Paikray, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, 09437571547
Kanchi Kohli, activist, 9811903112, kanchikohli@gmail.com
Shankar Gopalakrishnan, Campaign for Survival and Dignity, 9873657844, shankargopal@myfastmail.com

Friday, March 30, 2012

80,000MW, 50Maf Storage Indus Basin Joint Development(C)
March30, 2012

I am campaign on water issues since 1978, recent weeks are special yesterday former Secretary Water Resources admitted to my campaign that ‘Indus Water Treaty is the Worst In The World’ and ‘Columbia Water Treaty is ideal for Joint River Basins Development and Regulation of Dams’, honorable Minister Shri Anand Sharma in Pakistan advocated development of $300b South Asia Grid with 200,000MW of Hydro Power and over 500 BCM Dam Storages.

Storage Dams Generate Power, Provides Flood Control, Irrigation, House Boats, Shipping, Rail-Road Bridge, Water for Municipal Supply, Mining, Industries, Aquaculture, Tourism = HUGE LIFETIME ECONOMIC GAINS.

Indus Water Treaty is so bad that Pakistan business delegation led by Honorable Deputy Chairman of Pakistan Planning Commission at FICCI 2008 concurred with my observations readily. Building Dams cost less than Losses in 2010 Floods.

If India builds 20 maf storage dams in Indian Kashmir, India get only power -

- Pakistan will get 20 maf of additional storage Free of cost,

- Flood Protection to 5 million hectares Free of Cost,

- Additional regulated irrigation releases of 20 maf during monsoon, Free of Cost,

- Clean blue water releases of Indus Waters to Pakistan Free of Cost,

- Double or Triple the life of Mangla and Tarbela Dams, generate 30% to 40% more power in downstream dams in Pakistan- Pakistan will get everything FREE.

India was building ‘High Cost Useless ROR Dams Without Storage and any of above benefits in Kashmir.’ The following is comparison of Storage Dams (Bhakra and Tehri) vs ROR projects (SJVNL and Chamera-I) – while storage dams continue to perform well even in winter – there is sharp decline in power generation of ROR projects and are least suitable for base load operations.

Generation in Billion Units

Bhakra
Tehri
SJVNL
Chamera-I
Jan2010
357.97
268.15
198.45
49.19
Sep2010
843.60
693.05
1118.02
323.50

Out of 7000 BCM of Dam Storages in the world India and Pakistan have just about 212 BCM and 20 BCM storages or 3% and 0.3% which is too inadequate for 17% & 3% of World’s Population respectively. India should Jointly Develop Dams in Indus, Ganga and Brahamputra River Basins.

Ravinder Singh,
Inventor & Consultant
INNOVATIVE TECHNONLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, NewDelhi-110016, India.


With demand of milk outstripping supply among aspiring middle classes in China, Asia and Latin America, the Fonterra company has formulated a strategy to invest overseas to expand its footprint. Sharing details of its "Group Strategy Refresh", which aims to grow volumes and value by focusing more tightly on emerging markets and products that meet growing consumer demand for dairy nutrition, Spierings said.

"Strong economic and population growth in emerging markets is driving a situation where global demand for milk is forecast to grow by more than 100 billion litres by 2020, with New Zealand expected to contribute only 5 billion litres of additional supply by that date," he said.

Stressing on raising volumes to protect its position as the world's leading dairy exporter, the company has charted over 100 projects - many of which are already underway. World's largest dairy exporter Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. is planning overseas expansion to focus more strongly on fast growing markets in China, ASEAN, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. Fonterra already has established businesses in these regions, so it is a case of really building on these and driving growth with greater intensity, Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said Thursday releasing the interim results.

Spierings said global dairy prices remained relatively strong despite a recent slide as more milk production by rivals reached markets.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

India for avoiding political disruptions that hit trade flow


India has pitched for avoiding political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets affecting trade flow as the BRICS Summit began in New Delhi to discuss ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situation in the region.

Addressing the fourth BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also said that the grouping has agreed to examine in "greater detail" a proposal to set up a South-South Development bank, funded and managed by BRICS and other developing countries.
He also urged member countries to speak in one voice on key issues such as UNSC reforms.
The Summit is being attended by Brazilian president Dilma Roussef, Chinese president Hu Jintao, South African president Jacob Zuma and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev besides Singh.
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) represent over 40 per cent of the world's population and the leaders of the five countries discussed ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situation in the region.
"We must avoid political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets and affect trade flow... We must ensure policy coordination to revive economic growth," he said.
On UNSC reforms, Dr. Singh suggested that BRICS countries should speak in one voice on issues such as reforms of the international body.
He also said in their restricted session, the grouping also discussed the ongoing turmoil in West Asia and agreed to work together for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
Touching upon the issue of terrorism, Dr. Singh said the countries should enhance cooperation against terrorism and other developing threats such as piracy, particularly emanating from Somalia.
Emphasising that the global situation presents a mixed picture, Dr. Singh said responses to these challenges by different countries may be different, "but there is much common interest that binds us together".
"We are all affected by the global economic slowdown, the volatility in food and energy prices, the challenge of reconciling growth with environmental objectives, the political uncertainty in West Asia and the rise of terrorism and extremism."
“Our responses to these challenges may be different, but there is much common interest that binds us together," he said.
He cited ten specific issues which he believed concerned all the member countries including creating jobs, energy and food security, revival of global growth, breathing life to Doha round of trade negotitions and facilitation of funds for infrastructure development.
Commenting on India's need to generate 8-10 million jobs every year in the next decade, Dr. Singh said India would like to learn from the experiences of other BRICS countries on how they are dealing with these problems.
He also sought "room to cooperate internationally" on issues like energy, food and water security, saying "it is clear that constraints such as the availability of energy and food for countries that account for more than 40% of the world population can impede the entire story."
"Water is another critical area of scarcity which needs much greater attention than it has received thus far. We have much to learn from each other in how to handle these problems, and there is also room to cooperate internationally," Dr. Singh said.
He also urged the member countries as members of G-20 that they must together ensure that appropriate solutions are found to help Europe help itself and to ensure policy coordination that can revive global growth.
"As large and diverse economies, we should make a special effort to find ways to exploit intra-BRICS complementarities. We should promote greater interaction amongst our business communities. Issues such as easier business visas must be prioritised. As large trading countries, BRICS have a strong interest in removing barriers to trade and investment flows and avoiding protectionist measures," Dr. Singh said.
"To revive global demand and growth, developing countries need access to capital, particularly for infrastructure development. We must address the important issue of expanding the capital base of the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks to enable these institutions to perform their appropriate role in financing infrastructure development," Dr. Singh said.
Seeking improvement in global governance, the Prime Minister said BRICS should speak with one voice on important issues such as the reform of the UN Security Council.
"BRICS countries must also work together to address deficiencies in global governance. Institutions of global political and economic governance created more than six decades ago have not kept pace with the changing world. While some progress has been made in international financial institutions, there is lack of movement on the political side," Dr. Singh said.
He emphasised on the need to reduce energy intensity of GDP by promoting energy efficiency and developing clean energy sources.
This calls for greater investments in research and development, sharing of best practices, and encouraging transfer of technology, he said.
The BRICS nations had during their last summit in Sanya in China signed a framework agreement to enable them to grant credit in local currencies.
Though the BRICS countries have sharply varying political systems, they share some common geopolitical, economic and trading interests.
BRICS has no fixed agenda, but on certain issues like reform of the United Nations; greater representation in Bretton Woods institutions; managing global financial crisis and boosting intra-BRICS trade and cooperation, they mostly have common positions.
BRICS account for 26 per cent of the world's landmass and 42 per cent of the global population, including India and China, two of the world's most populous countries.
It accounts for 40 per cent of global GDP (USD 18.486 trillion) and its proportion is rapidly increasing.
The first BRICS Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia (2009), followed by Brasilia (2010) and Sanya, China (2011).

Carmakers eye sales at Thai Motor Show

Carmakers from around the world are showcasing their latest models at Thailand’s annual motor show.25 carmakers are taking part in the 10-day event, which opened in the outskirts of Bangkok on Wednesday. Competition for eco-friendly compacts is expected to be particularly intense.
Mitsubishi and Suzuki have unveiled compact cars they began selling in Thailand on Wednesday, to coincide with the start of the motor show.
Toyota’s natural-gas pickup truck gained a lot of attention amid soaring gasoline prices.
Floods in Thailand last year forced Japanese carmakers to suspend operations in the country.Production fully resumed only after Honda restored its production lines this week, the last Japanese carmaker to get back on its feet.The makers are anxious to bounce back.The motor show is expected to bring a record 2 million visitors.

EU to send election observers to Myanmar

 European Union is sending 5 observers to Myanmar's parliamentary by-elections next month following an invitation from the country's government.

The by-elections for both chambers of parliament and regional assemblies will take place on April 1st. Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is among the candidates.

Myanmar has already promised to accept observers from the United States and ASEAN member countries. The EU observers will join them.

The EU regards the by-elections as the first opportunity to fundamentally review the policies towards the country. EU Foreign Ministers are expected to meet on April 23rd and likely to start discussing the lifting of economic sanctions on the country, which have been in place for nearly 3 decades.

Syria accepts Annan's six-point proposal to end violence

Syria has accepted joint UN- Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace proposal to end the violence, a move which the former UN chief described as an "important initial step" to begin an inclusive process of political dialogue in the country hit by deadly protests.

"The Syrian government has written to the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan accepting his six point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council," Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.
Annan in turn has written to President Bashar Al-Assad urging the Syrian government to put its commitments into immediate effect.
Annan "views this as an important initial step that could bring an end to the violence and the bloodshed, provide aid to the suffering, and create an environment conducive to a political dialogue that would fulfil the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people," his spokesman added.
Last week, the UN Security Council had supported Annan's six-point proposal, which he had submitted during his visit to Damascus earlier this month, and had called on both Syria's government and opposition to immediately implement it.
The proposal seeks to stop the violence and the killing, give access to humanitarian agencies, release detainees, and start an inclusive political dialogue to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.
Annan has stressed that implementation of the proposal will be key, not only for the Syrian people who are caught in the middle of the crisis, but also for the region and the international community.
"As the Syrian government acts on its commitments, Annan will move urgently to work with all parties to secure implementation of the plan at all levels," the spokesman said
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Research in Real TimeNewsletter_Mar2...Madagascar  

Dear Naresh,   

Today, the Worldwatch Institute released Vital Signs 2012, a compendium of all the Vital Signs trends we posted online over the last year from our Vital Signs Online. From organic farming to global meat production and consumptionVital Signs 2012 documents 24 trends that are shaping our future in concise analysis and clear tables and graphs. Click here to purchase a copy today.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, roughly a third of all food produced for human consumption----approximately 1.3 billion tons----is lost or wasted each year. With nearly 1 billion people suffering from hunger, this amount of wastage is unacceptable. 

Luckily, organizations, such as Love Food, Hate Waste and Practical Action, are working with consumers and farmers to reduce that waste. But we want to know, what you are doing to reduce food waste? What are steps that we all can take to reduce food waste? Email me and let me know your thoughts! We will highlight some of your suggestions on Nourishing the Planet. 
All the best,
Danielle Nierenberg
Nourishing the Planet Project Director
Worldwatch Institute
www.nourishingtheplanet.org
Please connect with us on Facebook
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Here are some highlights from the week:

Our Nourishing the Planet TV episode this week discusses a program that is helping farmers in Tanzania work together to increase their incomes, while healing the land. CARE International's Equitable Payment for Watershed Management program encourages, and works closely with, smallholder farmers to use intercropping and terraces to help restore soil.
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The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) and Italian energy company Enel are teaming up in an effort to address food security and climate change by providing green cook stoves and solar panels to communities. Enel Trade has committed support to WFP's Safe Access to Firewood and Alternative Energy in Humanitarian Settings Initiative, which provides high-efficiency cooking stoves to schools, community centers, and poor households for use in cooking WFP food rations.  
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In this guest post, Marketing Communication and Multi-media Specialist with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Jerome Bossuet discusses a new pilot project in the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh. Led by the Water and Agriculture Working Group and run by ICRISAT, the project seeks to scale up the adoption of water-saving irrigation practices via the development of a simple, farmer-friendly irrigation decision-making tool. The project is developing a Simple Water Impact Calculator for farmers, which estimates the impact of their current practices on water conservation, and explores ways to use water more efficiently. 
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In this post, we discussedFirst Peoples Worldwide (FPW), an indigenous-led organization that aims to strengthen indigenous communities through the restoration of control over their assets. FPW advocates on behalf of Indigenous Peoples with governments, economic development institutions, and funders. It calls for U.S. and foreign governments to work directly with Indigenous Peoples in establishing mutually beneficial agreements. 
 
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In this TedxManhattan talk, "Raising Pigs & Problems: Saying No to Antibiotics in Animal Feed," the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. Wallinga explains that producers in the large-scale meat production industry often incorporate antibiotics into their animal feed in an attempt to ward off disease, which can spread rapidly among animals kept confined in close quarters. But widespread use of antibiotics can actually create antibiotic resistance, making it harder to fight illness among animals and humans alike. Antibiotics that are present in animal waste leach into the environment and contaminate water and food crops, posing a serious threat to public health.   
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In this guest post, Agro-Insight Director, Paul Van Mele discussed his organization's partnership with theInternational Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropicsto create a comprehensive series of 10 farmer-to-farmer videos to combat Striga, one of the world's most troublesome weeds. The "Fighting Striga" videos have been shown in farmer exchange visits and discussed at open-air evening screenings. They are effective because they are made according to the zooming-in, zooming-out (ZIZO) method, which relies on strong interactions with farmers. The ZIZO method results in regionally relevant and locally appropriate farmer-to-farmer training videos and can be applied to many topics.  
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Check out this National Geographic article, written by Worldwatch senior fellow and Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, Sandra Postel, which discusses a new study on humanity's water consumption, or its water footprint. Many everyday items contain surprisingly high water footprints----it takes 2,700 liters (713 gallons) to make a cotton t-shirt and 2,400 liters (634 gallons) to make a hamburger. The study alerts consumers and producers to areas where they can contribute to decreasing our global water footprint.  
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The Worldwatch Institute's 16th Annual State of the World Symposium will take place on April 11 and will be hosted at the Woman's National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C. Worldwatch President Robert Engelman and senior researchers Michael Renner and Erik Assadourian will speak at the event, where they will officially release State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable ProsperityState of the World 2012 includes sustainability discussions that range from agriculture to biodiversity, green jobs to economic degrowth, communications technologies to sustainable buildings, and local politics to global governance. Click here for more information and here if you would like to register for the event. 
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What did you think of this newsletter? Please give us your feedback...we will use your comments to constantly improve our work. Write Danielle Nierenberg, Senior Researcher and Project Director of Nourishing the Planet, at dnierenberg@worldwatch.org.

CABINET CLEARS AIR INDIA DISINVESTMENT: JUNE 28, 2017 LEAVE A COMMENT ON CABINET CLEARS AIR INDIA DISINVESTMENT: The Union cabinet to...