Govt lobbying UK to lift greenheart ban

first_imgA ministerial team will be heading to the United Kingdom early next year to engage in talks with the hopes of having the ban on Guyana’s greenheart timber reversed.Natural Resources Minister Raphael TrotmanThis was disclosed by Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman during a press conference on Friday. According to Trotman, Government is concerned about the situation and a national response will be undertaken to have the restriction lifted.“Right now we are very interested in restoring the free trade and lifting the ban. We have had communications with the British High Commission. Early in the next year, a delegation at the ministerial level will travel to the UK to press our case… Our concern of course is that this ban, if left (alone), could see its way almost like a virus, spreading itself into Europe and elsewhere,” the Minister said.He noted that Cabinet has been appraised about the matter, with the Ministries of Business, Foreign Affairs and Natural Resources working assiduously on the matter.The Natural Resources Minister posited that greenheart is the heart and soul of Guyana’s timber industry and represents, in a sense, the strength of the country; as such, Government needs to ensure that its products are not tainted on the world market.Moreover, he also pointed out that those who produce logs for export need to be given the markets they desire, which is in the UK.“So we are very close in terms of working with the EU (European Union) and the EU First Log Governance system and so for us, this is a national issue and it will receive a national response,” he assured.Furthermore, the Natural Resources Minister outlined that a number of events led to the UK’s restriction, including the practices of the controversial Chinese logging company – BaiShanLin.“There are many antidotal reasons given and I believe it was a combination of many events including the sense that our forests were being managed or mismanaged in a perilous manner. I believe it may have had some critical aspects attending to it,” he stated.Trotman continued, “Of course, there was also international lobbying by other countries that produce, not greenheart, but other species that could be used for some of the same applications. So it’s a combination of us being, I believe, outmanoeuvred.”Coincidentally, the Minister added that the ban was imposed in May last year, when relations between Guyana and Great Britain were at an all-time low.The decision by a major United Kingdom buyer to stop procuring Guyana’s greenheart lumber has since resulted in the overall export of wood products to that country being cut by almost 65 per cent.The May 2015 advisory by the Environment Agency (EA), which effected the ban on greenheart exports from Guyana to the UK, saw a dramatic slump in exports to that country, moving from US$3.2 million in 2014 to US$1 million last year; hence, local stakeholders partnered with government to launch a serious lobby to reverse the decision.EA is one of UK’s biggest buyers of lumber for State projects in that country and Guyana’s Greenheart, until a year ago, was widely used in sea defence projects by UK contractors.Only last week, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) labelled the ban “unfair”, calling for a review.The GMSA, in a strongly-worded missive over the weekend, said the “UK agency essentially pronounced on the sustainability of forest management practices in our forests of origin with absolutely no communication or consultation with any local industry stakeholders.”It was pointed out by the GMSA that given that the markets for tropical forest products were declining and proving challenging: “Incorrect labelling of our forest management practices in this negative way can only be detrimental to the future lives and livelihoods of the 25,000 people directly employed in this industry.”The GMSA maintains too that available statistics highlight the great efforts that both the industry and the Government have made to ensure “sustainable forest management of our forests for our future generations and that in an ecological sense, our forests are being sustainably managed, an effort clearly verified through abundant, independent, third-party analysis and certification.”last_img read more

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Region 6 admin to write Govt on hijacking of agriculture budget

first_img…after Cabinet instructs $$$ be handed over to NDIAThe Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) administration has taken a decision to write Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan on its disappointment by moves by the Agriculture Ministry to have the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) take over the agriculture budget for that region.Regional Chairman David ArmoganThe decision was made at a special sitting of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) on Wednesday.Regional Chairman David Armogan told the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) that it was a Cabinet decision to have the $114 million from the capital budget transferred to the NDIA.The Region has a capital budget of $221 million for agriculture and of that amount $106 million will be spent to purchase a bulldozer.Armogan also noted that a further $108 million, which represents the current budget, is also to be transferred to the NDIA. The entire agriculture budget for the region is $370 million.He said the administration was informed by a letter from the NDIA of the situation. However, there was no memorandum from Cabinet.Councillor Zamal HussainHe explained that the Region has 18 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and many could not adequately provide all the needed services for residents and as such, the regional administration would include in its budget projects for those NDCs.“These works would have entailed the continuation of the primary drainage system as well as the sluices and other structures that are related to drainage and irrigation. So it is not only clearing of the primary system, it also has to do with sluices…”Armogan also noted that the regional administration has responsibility for drainage and irrigation, outside the declared NDIA cultivation areas.No consultationAddressing the issue, Councillor Zamal Hussain argued that there was no consultation with the RDC on the issue nor was any approval given by the RDC for its budget to be handed over to the NDIA.“It (RDC) is the second-tier government of the governance of this country. It is being constituted by an election with voters from the Region. The people of this region have mandated the Regional Democratic Council to make decisions for them at any level. In any democracy, there should be respect for an elected council,” he noted.He said the NDIA has not been performing as expected in Region Six, adding that several pieces of equipment have been out of service for several months.“The mini-excavators – they have 12 and only one is working. The large excavators, they have six and most of them are down,” Hussain added.He said if the NDIA is allowed to have the regional agriculture budget, hundreds would lose their jobs. These, he added, are persons in the Region who work on the maintenance of canals utilising funds from the current budget.“It is a political move. The RDC needs to wake up and enforce the law.”Hussain added that the RDC would welcome the NDIA to monitor its work, but it must respect the RDC.Cabinet’s decisionAnother Councillor Haseef Yusuf, weighing in on the issue, pointed out that the National Budget was approved in December 2018 and questioned when Cabinet made such a decision, noting that such a decision was in violation of Article 9 of the Constitution.He also quoted President David Granger, who at the National Congress of Local Democratic Organs in July 2018, said that RDCs and NDCs were bound by the Constitution to provide certain services, which include drainage and irrigation.He called on Cabinet to withdraw its decision.“They are trying to hijack the sovereignty of the people of Region Six,” he said.Prime Minister Regional Representative Gobin Harbhajan, in his capacity as a Regional Councillor, told the RDC that he communicated with the Agriculture Minister and the Head of the NDIA, Frederick Flatts prior to the meeting.He said he was told by Flatts that there was a consultation in the Region with the Regional Executive Officer (REO).“I don’t know how it was done … Minister told me that a committee was set up headed by the Minister of Communities, the Minister of Public Works and (Agriculture) Minister (Noel) Holder.”He said the committee came up with two proposals – 1) to have the RDC take care of the entire D&I system or 2) to have the NDIA and Central Government handle the regional D&I system.Both proposals Harbhajan said were presented to Cabinet.Vice Chairman Dennis DeRoop explained that in 2018, the NDIA was unable to give the two Water Users Associations their subventions and as such, it was the RDC that had to chip in.He also noted that the NDIA did not clear any of the three outfall channels along the Corentyne Coast last year, forcing the Region to utilise its savings to undertake that project.Following the debate, a decision was then taken to first pen a letter to the Communities Minister. The RDC has also agreed to write the Agriculture Minister on the issue.last_img read more

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Hunter Pence savoring what might be his final week with the Giants

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Pence won’t come right out and concede this is his final week as a member of the Giants, but the popular outfielder plans to soak in the coming days.“I’ve really, thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Really love working for this organization, this team, this city,” Pence said before Monday night’s game against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park.“Everything about it has been an absolute delight for me, getting to play the game I love around such incredible individuals and …last_img

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Three trade proposals for the Raiders ahead of the NFL trade deadline

first_imgI don’t see that move on the horizon — as much as Gruden … Click HERE if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.The Raiders are having a pre-move liquidation sale where simply EVERYTHING MUST GO!Yes, the Raiders are open for business, having already traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper for three first-round draft picks.And the scuttlebutt around the league is that coach Jon Gruden would be open to moving quarterback Derek Carr for another first-round pick.last_img

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‘What’s in the brief, Willie Cauley-Stein?’ New Warrior out to prove he’s all business

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — As Willie Cauley-Stein stopped for gas at the Flying J in Dodge City, Kan., this summer, he peered through the store window and spotted a silver briefcase. It reminded him of a certain British secret agent.“I thought it was tough as a kid when I watched James Bond and he’s got the brief full of cash. It seemed like some business-like [expletive],” Cauley-Stein said. “I’m like ‘That thing’s tough. I’m going to get it.’”So the Kansas native bought the pit-stop accessory that …last_img

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US visit ‘important for SA economy’

first_img27 June 2013United States President Barack Obama’s visit to South Africa will not only help strengthen ties between the two countries but will also serve as an important showcase for the economy, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.Briefing journalists in Pretoria on Wednesday, Davies said South Africa would use the opportunity to showcase to external trade partners that the country, and the rest of Africa, had growth prospects that could rope in investments, especially in infrastructure, trade and development.“The reality is that Africa is turning around … We are looking at partnerships that will strengthen our economy,” Davies said, adding that for this to happen, South Africa had to focus on integrating African countries into the global economy through infrastructure development on the continent.Obama arrives in South Africa for an official working visit on Friday evening. The visit forms part of a three-country African tour, consisting of South Africa, Senegal and Tanzania.President Jacob Zuma will hold talks with Obama in Pretoria on Saturday.US, African relationsThe White House said Obama would use his visits to reinforce the importance that the US places on growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and would “underscore the President’s commitment to broadening and deepening cooperation between the United States and the people of sub-Saharan Africa to advance regional and global peace and prosperity”.Davies said the US was a major player from whom South Africa could benefit. The two countries enjoy good trade relations, which Davies acknowledged could be improved upon.“Our trade has been characterised by a proportion of value-added products coming from South Africa, which makes it of strategic significance to us.”The United States continues to feature high on the list of South Africa’s trade and investment partners. It is a major export market for South African products and an important source of foreign direct investment.There are currently about 600 US companies trading in SA, which provide more than 120 000 local jobs while contributing about 30 percent of their profits to local corporate social projects.South Africa’s total trade with the US was in excess of R130-billion in 2011, with SA enjoying a trade surplus of approximately R18-billion, a 14.4% increase over 2010. South Africa is also the US’s biggest market in Africa, accounting for $7.3-billion of American exports.African Growth and Opportunity ActDavies said South Africa would also use the visit to highlight the importance of the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).Agoa, which allows southern African countries to ship certain products to the United States tariff-free, expires in 2015, but African countries are pushing for its extension.“Our message is that we would like to see a rollover, an extension of the Agoa for a reasonable period of time, along more or less the architecture of Agoa at the moment,” Davies said.Some in the US congress are questioning whether South Africa should be allowed to continue to be included in Agoa because they think the country is developed. Davies said it would be detrimental for the American market if SA were excluded.“South Africa has been a beneficiary of Agoa, but we also think that Agoa is a very significant instrument to benefit the US, not least because it is a widely appreciated measure by the US, which builds the US a high degree of goodwill in its relations with other countries on the African continent.”Around 43% of SA exports, totalling to about $4.6-billion, have entered the US under the Agoa programme and this, according to Davies, has helped support the development of the economy, notably in manufacturing.Sasol aims to go big in LouisianaAlso speaking at Wednesday’s briefing was Sasol group executive Maurice Radebe, who agreed that Agoa had played a major role in stimulating exports to the US, consolidating the high-tech industry in South Africa and creating local supply chains.Sasol announced in December that was beginning the front-end engineering and design phase for a gas-to-liquids plant it is planning to build in Lake Charles, southwest Louisiana in the United States.The project would allow for the beneficiation of US gas reserves by leveraging Sasol’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) experience and technology.The facility would be the first of its kind in the US, producing four-million tons annually or 96 000 barrels per day of high-quality transportation fuel, including GTL diesel and other chemical products.Radebe emphasised the positive impact that the project – the largest single manufacturing investment in the history of Louisiana – would have on both countries.“The benefits of these projects also extend back at home. It is a game-changing partnership and it is a compelling example of how bilateral trade can yield substantial foreign direct investment – which represents a win-win for both the USA and SA economies.”CEO of the Ford Motor Company and president of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Nemeth, told Wednesday’s briefing that Obama’s visit would highlight the fact that the US has been a major investor in South Africa over the years.“The visit shows that the USA sees SA as a major trading partner … The fact that he is travelling here during his tour shows the strategic importance of South Africa,” Nemeth said.Nemeth also highlighted the importance of Agoa and the benefits it has on South African companies gaining access to American markets.Given the current economic climate, Nemeth said the African continent was the best place to invest in, as evidenced by the high returns it had given foreign direct investors over the last three years. Taking that into consideration, and the fact that the US was looking for a place to invest money in, Obama’s visit was highly significant, Nemeth said.Obama’s itineraryObama will meet Zuma on Saturday and later hold a “town hall” event with young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus. He will also hold talks with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission.US First Lady Michelle Obama, meanwhile, will have tea with Zuma’s wife, Thobeka Zuma. The Obamas will then attend an official dinner hosted by Zuma.On Sunday, they will fly to Cape Town to visit the prison museum on Robben Island. Obama will then join retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu for a stop at a community centre focused on healthcare. He will go on to give a speech at the University of Cape Town.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) and the beef producer

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As of Jan. 1, 2017, all “medically important” antibiotics used in feed will fall into the FDA’s Veterinary Feed Directive Program. This will mean that to obtain and use these drugs in feed, you will need a written Veterinary Directive (VFD) from your veterinarian, who must be licensed in the state of Ohio.A VFD is a written (by hand or electronically) statement from your veterinarian, authorizing you to feed a medically important antibiotic, for a period of up to 6 months. This must be delivered to the feed mill prior to purchasing a VFD feed.What are the “medically important” antibiotics? These include tetracycline, penicillin, neomycin and tylosin, to name a few.This VFD rule eliminates the use of medically important drugs for feed efficiency or growth-promotion claims. VFD drugs may only be used to treat, prevent or cure disease.This new regulation does not require a VFD for feed containing ionophores such as Bovatec or Rumensin, or any drug used to treat/prevent coccidia, such as Decox. However, if you feed an ionophore in combination with a medically important drug (i.e. oxytetracycline + Rumensin). you will need a VFD.Water soluble drugs (sulfadimethoxine, for example) will become prescription products (not VFD), and should be available through your veterinarian like any other prescription product.Injectable over-the-counter antibiotics, such as LA-200 (tetracycline) are not affected by this rule. Mineral preparations and salt blocks containing medically important antibiotics will also be included in the VFD regulation. How does a producer obtain VFD feed?You must have a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship to legally obtain a VFD feed. (A VCPR) This means for you to receive a valid VFD, you need to have a veterinarian that works on your cattle operation, has enough knowledge to help make clinical judgments for your animals, and is available for follow-up. How long do you keep VFD records?You as the producer, your veterinarian and your feed mill must keep copies of each VFD for two years. A VFD must be available for inspection by FDA officials on demand.The VFD document contain vital information, such as drug name, concentration, label requirements, expiration and slaughter withdrawal.A VFD cannot be issued for an extra-label use. This means, for instance, if Tylan is labeled for feeding at 100 grams per ton for control of liver abscesses in feedlot cattle for 30 days, you cannot feed 200 grams per ton, feed for 60 days, or change the directions in any way that are different from what the label says. Are there expiration dates for a VFD?If a VFD expires before all of the medicated feed has been fed, then a new VFD will need to be issued.It is important for beef producers to contact their veterinarian to discuss drugs they are using on their operations and how the Veterinary Feed Directive impacts them.If your operation does not have a veterinarian providing care for your cattle, advice and oversight of your use of medications, it is highly recommended that you establish one.Producers can get more information on the new VFD rule from the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/ucm455413.htmlast_img read more

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Seizure Action Plans for Schools

first_imgRuss SA, Larson K, Halfon N. A national profile of childhood epilepsy and seizure disorder. Pediatrics. 2012; 129(2):256-264 Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diagnoses, with nearly 1% of U.S. children having a lifetime prevalence of epilepsy.2   The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990, and Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004, abled the majority of children with epilepsy to attend school outside of the home.The goal of the clinical report “Rescue Medicine for Epilepsy in Education Settings” is to help prescribing professionals become more aware of issues school personnel may face who care for a student diagnosed with epilepsy.Action plans are often written by the school nurse based off of the prescribing physician’s medical orders, with the intention of having school personnel educated in how to appropriately react when a student has a seizure. Although school personnel are often trained in basic first aid including what to do when someone has a seizure, an action plan needs to be created for students with epilepsy so that personnel respond effectively to that particular child’s needs.Because every student is different, every action plan can be different and might include information about a prescribed seizure rescue medication. Prescribing physicians have multiple options for prescription medication to stop a seizure, however, there are conditions with the medications that could prevent school staff from feeling comfortable administering the medication in the event of a child having a seizure. For instance, Rectal Diazepam Gel is one of the most widely used seizure rescue medications however it requires the patient to be partially undressed, which could present a problem for school personnel. With other medications administering the medication can be oral or buccal administration. Although these methods would most likely be more comfortable for school personnel, there are still factors the administrator would need to take into consideration before administering the seizure rescue medication such as clenched teeth, copious secretions, and emesis during  the seizure.For more information about creating an action plan for school, and seizure rescue medication options, read “Rescue Medicine for Epilepsy in Education Settings” from the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you would like to know more about Epilepsy check out some of the following resources:Epilepsy FoundationMayo ClinicNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeAmerican Epilepsy Society References:Hartman AL, Di Laura Devore C. Rescue medicine for epilepsy in Education Settings. Pediatrics. 2016; 137(1):e20153876last_img read more

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Punjab Assembly condemns terror attack in Pulwama, House adjourned for the day

first_imgThe Punjab Assembly on Friday strongly condemned the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in which at least 37 CRPF personnel were killed and passed a resolution for adjournment of the proceedings of the House for the day. Members of the House, cutting across party lines, paid tributes to the CRPF personnel killed in a one of deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, and observed two-minutes silence in their memory. Moving the resolution seeking adjournment of the House, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said “enough is enough” and urged the Centre to give a befitting reply to the “dastardly act of Pakistan”. “It is the time to teach (them) a lesson. Pakistan PM speaks peace and the General speaks war,” he said. As the Zero Hour commenced on the fourth day the Budget session of the Punjab Assembly, SAD MLA Bikram Singh Majithia sought adjournment of the House in the wake of terror attack in Pulwama. Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Parliamentary Affairs minister Brahm Mohindra supported Majithia’s call for the adjournment. “It is the worst ever terror attack… It has been strongly condemned world over. We should understand the gravity of the situation. The nation is in the mourning and we should adjourn the House,” Mr. Majithia said.last_img read more

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Traditional techniques stare at extinction

first_imgKeeping a close eye on the earthen pot, Manglem P. is heedful of the last drop that may plop through the hole at its bottom any second. As soon as it does, he springs forth towards a frame set on a throne under a canopy. And nimbly prods to one end a pierced Kang seed, eight of them dangling from a thread taut between a wooden female idol and a male one. Then, at his gesture, a player standing next to him strikes a drum once with a whack, signalling the passage of an hour. But now, the timekeeping method practised by Manipuri rulers for centuries, Tanyeishang, requiring a priest and a drummer to man three devices round the clock, has given way to a much simpler, convenient and economical alternative — the mechanical clock.Patronised by kingsPatronised by the rulers of Manipurs and practised in palaces for centuries, the demanding method is now confined to the Meitei New Year celebration in April. And the setting of its devices — an earthen vessel, two pots, a frame and a drum — has become a place of worship in Imphal East district. On the occasion of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on Friday, villagers from across States, including Manipur, demonstrated the workings of such traditional technologies, staring at extinction due to mechanisation and low demand, at installations at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya here.“Tribals and villagers are not only close to nature, they still negotiate their lives using these elementary technologies. They have survived using these for hundreds of years. But gradually, these are getting wiped out from the collective societal base,” Sarit K. Chaudhuri, director of the museum. At another installation, Sakuntala boils saline water extracted from a tree trunk for three-four hours, scoops out salty froth and spatters it over a cloth to let it dry. “Many back in Manipur have given up this method of making salt. A 100 gm of it sells for ₹20 and 1 kg of packed iodised salt sells for the same amount. Therefore, people buy it only on rare occasions like marriages and rituals,” she said.last_img read more

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