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Climate Change News

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Phuket’s environment will be destroyed and the island “totally ruined” within 10 to 20 years, the senior director of Thailand Environment Institutes (TEI) said yesterday.

Chamniern Paul Vorratnchaiphan – who is also the Rockefeller Foundation’s Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) project director for TEI – made the comments at a one-day ACCCRN seminar organized by the TEI and chaired by Vice Governor Nivit Aroonrat at the Phuket Merlin Hotel.

Read more: Climate change: fatal for Phuket

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Singapore, October 6 – Businesses should view climate change not just as a challenge but also an opportunity and a chance for economies to move into sustainable growth, said a Singapore official at the International Singapore Compact CSR Summit today.

Mr. Andrew Tan, chief executive of Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) told the conference that economic uncertainty could further cloud this picture. “The debate over how to tackle climate change comes at a time when many countries, especially in the West, are recovering from a severe economic crisis,” he said. “In Asia, notwithstanding climate change, two big issues facing countries are political stability and economic growth,” Mr. Tan said.

Read more: Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change

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VIENTIANE - With Pakistan suffering from unprecedented deforestation-driven flooding, are once forested, now denuded Southeast Asian countries the next natural disasters in waiting? The collusion between government, military and illegal loggers largely responsible for Pakistan's humanitarian crisis has taken a similarly severe toll on Southeast Asia's crucial upland forests. 

The widespread destruction of the forests of Malaysia and Indonesia to make way for biofuel, palm-oil, rubber and paper-pulp plantations has been well-documented, and witnessed in the smog that frequently floats over the region from slash-and-burn deforestation. Now, the impact from years of unregulated logging in Laos, often presumed to be one of the last bastions of old forest in the region, is coming into sharper view. 

The fact that the Laotian military maintains both legal and illegal logging operations is an open secret here; what is less known are the details of the profit-sharing agreements the military has with neighboring Vietnam and how these deals have contributed to massive deforestation in recent years. The Vietnamese army is widely believed to be extracting payment in timber along the border for the costs it incurs to help defend Laotian territory. 

Read more: A tree falls in Laos

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25 September 2010 – Timorese President José Ramos-Horta today exhorted his fellow Asians to take the lead on tackling climate change, telling the General Assembly that his continent needs a common agenda to promote sustainable development, environmental protection and better land and water management.Mr. Ramos-Horta told the third day of the Assembly’s high-level debate that almost a year after countries failed to reach lasting agreement at a major summit in Copenhagen, there was a danger that no meaningful action will be taken and the planet’s health will deteriorate rapidly.

“If we don’t act now, in a few decades many hundreds of millions of fellow Asians will be uprooted and become climate refugees exacerbating existing tensions and conflicts,” he said.

Read more: Timorese leader, at UN, calls on Asia to lead the way on climate change

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The FINANCIAL -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to help finance a major upgrade of rural roads in some of Cambodia’s poorest provinces as part of a project that will also address growing road safety and climate change challenges.

"A loan of $35 million equivalent for the Rural Roads Improvement Project will be used to help pave over 500 kilometers of roads in seven provinces located mostly around the Tonle Sap Basin, where a large number of the country’s rural poor live. Cofinancing is being provided by Korea Eximbank, owned by the Government of Korea, and the Nordic Development Fund, which is supporting climate change adaptation measures," ADB informs. 

Read more: ADB to Help Cambodia Improve Rural Roads, Address Safety, Climate Concerns

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Singapore, September 14 - The inability of Governments to reach a binding agreement on emissions targets at last year’s climate change talks has delivered the building industry with the perfect platform to assume leadership in reducing emissions, said the World Green Building Council (WGBC) chairman Tony Arnel on Monday.

Speaking at the opening of the WGBC Congress held in Singpaore this week, Mr Arnel said the building sector will be the key catalyst for change, especially in the Asia Pacific - the world’s fastest growing region.

Read more: Building sector key to reducing emissions

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India and China should join hands for drawing a road map to combat climate change and tackle extreme poverty without waiting for western assistance, East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta said on Thursday.

Asia had the resources and capability to address the challenge. “The question is whether we have the vision and political will power.”

“Scientists, scholars and technocrats in Asia should take steps and do ‘what they can do' without looking to the West for assistance,” he said. “Fifty years back, Asia was poor. Today, however, it can lead the world.”

Read more: ‘Without looking to West, Asia can take on climate change, poverty'

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Environment-friendly architecture and construction gaining momentum but certification a challenge.

Growing awareness of climate change and stricter environmental regulation have given major impetus to the movement to promote green building by governments and businesses alike, says Asst Prof Dr Atch Sreshthaputra, a board member of the Thai Green Building Institute.

Read more: The green building boom

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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 30 (PTI) About 400 delegates from 20 countries would participate in a three-day conference on 'climate change secular spirituality' to be organised by the Santhigiri Ashram here from September 9.

The meet, in collaboration with UNESCO, The American centre, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, will be inaugurated by East Timor President and the 1996 Nobel Peace laureate Jose Ramos Manuel-Horta, a release from the ashram said. Being held as part of the 'Parnasala (hermitage) dedication celebrations' at the spiritual retreat, the conference will focus on promoting a life vision and lifestyle compatible with both nature and development. It will help administrators, policy-makers, scientists, social scientists and activists to come together and devise action programmes and policies to promote a sustainable way of life and development pattern, the release said.

Read more: East Timor President to open meet on climate change at Santhigiri

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Plaudits for cutting carbon emissions 10%

In an attempt to accelerate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is collaborating with environmental institutes and private companies on carbon reduction certification for buildings.

The government and the private sector plan to use the certification to reward buildings that cut emissions to a certain level.

The campaign was officially kicked off at a seminar in Bangkok yesterday entitled "Cutting Carbon, Cutting Global Warming".

Recipients will be notified by Egat, the Thailand Green House Gas Management Organisation (TGO), the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) and the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Read more: Rewarding 'green' buildings

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