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Brazil: Government Creates Amazon Council to Protect Amazon Region

(Feb. 19, 2020) On January 22, 2020, during a meeting of the Council of Government, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the creation of the Amazon Council and an Environmental Task Force to devise plans and actions for protecting, defending, and sustainably developing Brazilian forestry. Bolsonaro explained that the Council would be coordinated by Vice President […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Recognizes Sami Indigenous Group’s Exclusive Right to Confer Hunting and Fishing Rights in Sami Area

(Feb. 14, 2020) On January 23, 2020, the Swedish Supreme Court held that the Sami group “Girjas Sameby” (literally “Girjas Sami Village”) had an exclusive right to fishing and hunting in Girjas reindeer-herding areas on the basis of urminnes hävd (their presence there from time immemorial). Not only can the Sami village confer hunting and […]

Sweden: Government Announces Truth Commission at Sami Repatriation Ceremony Following Official Sami Request

(Dec. 12, 2019) On August 12, 2019, the Swedish government repatriated 25 skulls belonging to the Samis, an indigenous group living in an area known as Sápmi, which is spread over northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The skulls had been excavated during the 1950s during an archeological dig and sent to the […]

International: Negotiations Underway at WTO for Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies

(Dec. 6, 2019) On November 15, 2019, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held discussions on the difficulties they have encountered in curbing harmful fisheries subsidies through international trade negotiations, as well as on the potential ways such negotiations might be successful in the future. Underpinning this work, the WTO negotiating group has endorsed […]

China: Law on Resource Tax Passed

(Nov. 22, 2019) On August 26, 2019, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) adopted the PRC Resource Tax Law. The Law subjects 164 natural resources, including salt, crude oil, natural gas, coal, and other minerals, to the resource tax and prescribes their respective […]

Brazil: Brazilian President Signs Decree Authorizing Use of Armed Forces in Amazon Region

(Sept. 19, 2019) On August 23, 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed Decree No. 9,985 (Decreto No. 9,985, de 24 de Agosto de 2019) authorizing the use of the armed forces to assist in fighting fires in the Amazon forest. Article 1 of Decree No. 9,985 authorizes the use of the armed forces to guarantee […]

Afghanistan: Ministry of Mines and Petroleum Launches Campaign to Stop Illegal Extraction of Mineral Resources

(July 26, 2019) On June 19, 2019, Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MOMP), Narges Nehan, announced that the Ministry had begun a country-wide survey to identify and ban the illegal extraction of major metals and mineral resources, whose value, according to the Afghanistan Geological Survey, is estimated to be worth […]

Japan: Water Supply Act Amended

(Dec. 18, 2018) In an effort to counter issues faced by water supply businesses arising from both a decrease in water demand caused by Japan’s population decline and a decrease in the number of aging water facilities, the Diet (Japanese Parliament) has passed an act that amends the Water Supply Act. (Act No. 92 of […]

Several Pacific Countries Announce Bans on Single-Use Plastic Bags

(July 18, 2018) On July 11, 2018, it was reported that Niue was the latest Pacific Island country to announce a ban on single-use plastic bags, following the implementation of a similar ban in Vanuatu, and related announcements by Samoa and Papua New Guinea. (Niue Joins Growing Pacific Movement to Ban Plastics, RNZ (July 11, […]

Italy: New Consolidated Forestry and Forest Supply-Chain Law Takes Effect

(May 11, 2018) On May 5, 2018, a new law on forestry and forest supply chains came into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 34 of April 3, 2018, Consolidated Text on Forests and Supply Chains) (L.D. No. 34), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.) Apr. 20, 2018 (in Italian), G.U. website.) General Purpose of the New Legislation […]