China’s Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) has completed its consultation on two mandatory guidelines for local authorities that explain how to investigate safety risks at chemical industry parks and hazardous chemical facilities. The guidelines for facilities not only include best practice, it also contains safety checklists. The guidelines for chemical industry parks set out the criteria for authorities to grade them. The next round of activities will focus on reviewing facilities with certain safety issues.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
In a bid to clean up China’s second largest freshwater lake, local authorities in Hunan Province will close all pulp and paper mills around Dongting Lake by the end of 2019. The c18,000 people employed in the Province's pulp and paper industry will be supported by the local authorityin to new employment. This move is part of wider water pollution controls active since 2006 in Hunan Province. They have led to closures of over 200 waste paper pulping factories and 30 pulp and paper making facilities. The efforts to restore the lake over the past 40 years have helped it extend its area by 30%, providing better flood resilience in the region.
Dozens of Chinese logging operators have petitioned local authorities in Yunnan to intervene over the arrests of more than 150 logging workers in Myanmar’s Kachin State and the seizure of equipment worth hundreds of million yuan. The petition, sent to authorities in the border county of Tengchong, was signed by 23 owners of logging firms that operate in the region. The owners claimed they had paid for logging licenses from a former member of the Kachin Independence Army who had since defected to the Myanmar government, and that they had declared all their timber to customs officials on both sides of the border.
The start-up Rainforest Connection (RFCx) has announced a partnership with a Brazilian NGO to bring its alert system to the forest homeland of the Tembé people. Rainforest Connection's system is built using a network of recycled Android smartphones, which are modified to detect specific sounds, including the audio signatures to chainsaws, gunshots, and vehicles. When the system registers one of these sounds, it sends a signal – in real-time – to local authorities, who can then potentially take action to stop illegal logging or poaching as it happens. Each RFCx device can monitor roughly three square kilometers of forest. The project has received celebrity endorsement from musician Neil Young.
The Viet Nam Administration of Forestry announced that over 13,700 violations of forest protection and timber management laws were reported in the first six months of 2012. Around 623ha of forest land have been lost in this period as a result of changes in forest use purposes, illegal logging and forest fires. Government ministries working on the issue aim to tighten controls on the wood processing industry and local authorities have been ordered to review existing forestry projects and ensure that forest protection programmes are adequately funded.