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Japan: PCB Special Measures Act Amended

(July 25, 2016) An amendment to the Act on Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) (PCB Special Measures Act) was promulgated by the Japanese government on May 2, 2016. (Act No. 34 of 2016, OFFICIAL GAZETTE (in Japanese).) PCBs, which are ”man-made organic chemicals consisting of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine atoms,” have been shown “to cause […]

United Nations: Agreement on Illegal Fishing

(July 22, 2016) In a July 1, 2016, statement, the Director-General of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, lauded an agreement on illegal fishing which, although concluded on November 22, 2009, just came into force on June 5, 2016. The Director-General stated that “[g]enerations to come will recognize the importance […]

South Africa: Moratorium on Domestic Trade in Rhino Horn Temporarily Re-Instituted

On June 6, 2016, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) effectively, if only temporarily, re-instituted a 2009 ban on domestic trade in rhino horn and products derived from it.   This was due to the DEA appealing to the Constitutional Court a prior Supreme Court of Appeal ruling affirming a 2015 decision of the High Court […]

Sierra Leone: Changes to the 1991 Constitution Proposed

(Feb. 29, 2016) On February 16, 2016, Sierra Leone’s Constitutional Review Committee (an 80-member body established in 2013 to review the 1991 Constitution and a 2008 report proposing changes to it) published an abridged draft report of its findings.  (Ibrahim Tarawallie, New Chapters Proposed in New Constitution, CONCORD TIMES (Feb. 17, 2016).)   The draft report, which took two years […]

Italy: Comprehensive Legislation on the “Green Economy”

(Feb. 24, 2016) On December 28, 2015, Italy passed historic and wide-ranging legislation for the promotion of the “green economy.” Law No. 221 entered into effect on February 2, 2016.  (Law No. 221 of December 28, 2015, Provisions on the Environment to Promote the Green Economy and to Restrict the Excessive Use of Natural Resources […]

Indonesia: Promotion of Measures to Protect Caves

(Jan. 21, 2016) On January 18, 2016, the President of Indonesia’s Speleological Society, Cahyo Rahmadi, urged the country’s government to adopt national standards to protect caves. Rahmadi stated, “[t]he government has not yet issued a guideline on cave management, even though caves have become tourist sites.”  (Bambang Muryanto, Government Urged to Protect Caves for Ecotourism, […]

South Africa: Carbon-Tax Legislation Proposed

(Nov. 9, 2015) On November 2, 2015, the South African National Treasury published for public comment the Draft Carbon Tax Bill, 2015, which seeks to “price carbon by obliging the polluter to internalize the external costs of emitting carbon, and contribute towards addressing the harm caused by such pollution.”  (Press Release, Republic of South Africa […]

New Zealand: Ocean Sanctuary Announced

(Sept. 30, 2015) On September 28, 2015, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced that a new, fully-protected ocean sanctuary in the Kermadec region will be established by legislation to be enacted next year. The sanctuary will cover about 620,000 square kilometers (about 385,250 square miles) […]

China: Environmental Tax

(June 23, 2015) On June 10, 2015, the Legislative Affairs Office of China’s State Council issued a draft environmental tax law for the purpose of solicitating opinions from the public. The draft law was prepared by the Ministry of Finance, the State Administration of Taxation, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The government units concerned […]

Indonesia: West Papua to Be a Conservation Province

(Apr. 15, 2015) The local government in West Papua, an Indonesian province located on the western end of the island of New Guinea, is planning a bylaw that would make the area a conservation province. The Governor, Abraham Atururi, stated that West Papua should have that status in order to better protect its natural resources. […]