RESOURCES AND RIGHTS: Even as the debate over access and benefit sharing of genetic resources rages on in the world, plans for a legally binding protocol have begun to take shape in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). A recent meet of the Conference of Parties to the CBD at Montreal, Canada saw discussions on complex issues including intellectual property rights, sovereignty over natural resources, protection of traditional knowledge and indigenous participation in benefit sharing.
NO RINDERPEST THREAT: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has declared Pakistan "provisionally free' from rinderpest: the deadly cattle disease. In fact, according to the UN body, currently this viral plague does not pose a risk to any part of Asia.Rinderpest was earlier responsible for wiping out entire cattle populations.
CLOSURE ORDERED: The Central Pollution Control Board has directed four factories in Yamunanagar, Haryana, to close down and stop discharging any more effluents in the Western Yamuna Canal. As per the directive, these industries will be remain shut till they have made arrangements for zero discharge of effluents.
LAUNCH POSTPONED: To meet EU norms for bottled water, the railways has deferred the launch of its packaged water brand, Rail Neer, to the end of this month. M N Chopra, managing director, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, said that in tune with the Bureau of Indian Standards' revision of stipulations, the railways was also modifying its water standards.
AT A SNAIL'S PACE: A recent World Bank (WB) report points out that the world economy is likely to grow at a slower rate than expected. While in January 2003, the WB estimated that the world economy would grow at the rate of 2.5 per cent in 2003, its recent report forecasts a growth of 2.3 per cent. But it paints a more positive picture for 2004 by revising the estimated growth to 3.2 per cent from 3.1 per cent projected in January.
ROAD PLAN RESENTED: The Karnataka government's plan to build roads in Kudremukh National Park has come under fire from environmentalists. The greens have urged the state government to declare the park's region as India's first roadless forest.