Radio Spot Development Agreement

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					The All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development

        Overseas Media Monitor 26th November – 2nd December 2009


                North Korean radio reports leader visits goat farm
            Norway Increases Emergency Relief to the Horn of Africa
                        World Food Programme in Somalia
  Somali farmers welcome Al-Shabab order urging WFP to buy food internally
Russian paper interviews Azeri deputy foreign minister on Caspian developments
            North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visits military-run farms
                       Fiji targets more foreign fishing fleets
    Jordanian trade union official calls for boycotting Israeli fruits, vegetables
        Beijing plans to raise water price by 24 per cent amid shortages
        Over 100,000 face drinking water shortages in central China city
      Angola, World Bank sign 30m-dollar agricultural finance agreement
       China stresses environmental protection in water diversion project
Zimbabwe finance minister reportedly makes U-turn; asks for frozen IMF funding
     Kenya: Climate change continues to affect Lake Victoria's water levels
     WFP says to continue with Somalia operations despite Islamist threat
       Food exports grow steadily in South China's Guangdong province
                 Mongolian cabinet plans charges for water use
           Minister outlines agricultural development of western China
    China: Agreement signed to safeguard Macao's long-term water supply
                 Radio station launches for India's Hisar farmers
        Private guards on Spanish fishing boat drive back Somali pirates
     Jordan's PM, visiting Turkish president launch "strategic" water project
 35 Million People Out of Food Security Despite Surplus Production Bangladesh
           Kenya: "Big names" next target in evictions from forest land
           Chinese firms keen to invest in Liberia's agriculture sector
      South Korea's food prices grow faster than major global economies
                    Global warming affecting Uganda's climate
    Caribbean slams planned EU banana deal with Latin American countries
      Imports Account for 70% of Food Products Consumed in Venezuela
        Venezuelan Tuna Boats Required To Unload 80% of Total Catch



                                  Clerk: James Birch
       Room 311 Star Chamber Court, Houses of Parliament, Westminster, SW1A 0AA.
                        Tel: 020 7219 5472 Fax: 020 7219 1770
                              Email: birchj@parliament.uk
    Mali gets over 31m dollars in aid from Netherlands for health, agriculture
        UN said cuts by half humanitarian appeal for Zimbabwe in 2010
   Chinese minister: Concluding Doha Round trade talks in 20120 "tough job"
         Asian bank allocates 60m-dollar loan for Uzbek water projects
            PM says Bangladesh "worst sufferer" of global warming
           Israel shells agricultural fields in northern Gaza Strip 2 Dec
Moldova to receive US, EU loans to renovate roads, modernize agricultural sector
                    Fiji seaweed farmers eye Chinese market
               Indonesia launches environmental research centre
 Cambodian senate chairman supports Japan's investment in agriculture sector
           Kenya: MPs urge premier, agriculture minister to reconcile
  Niger, Arab bank sign over 6m dollar loan accord for agricultural development
                Kenyan paper backs premier on forest evictions
      Oromo rebel group warns foreign firms buying farmlands in Ethiopia
                Syrian denies reports on renting Jordanian land
       China to exempt rural students from vocational school tuition fees




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                                       North Korean radio reports leader visits goat farm
Text       of        report       by        state-run      North      Korean         radio            on        28       November

Korean People's Army [KPA] Supreme Commander Comrade Kim Jong Il [Kim Cho'ng-il] gave on-the-spot guidance to the
goat farm affiliated with KPA Guard Seoul 105 Ryu Kyo'ng-su Tank Division [Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division]
and the cotton farm affiliated with KPA Unit 1596. Great leader [ryo'ngdoja] of our party and our people Comrade Kim Jong Il,
who is general secretary of the Korean Workers' Party [KWP], chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission [NDC],
and KPA supreme commander, gave on-the-spot guidance to the goat farm affiliated with KPA Guard Seoul 105 Ryu Kyo'ng-
su Tank Division [Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division] and the cotton farm affiliated with KPA Unit 1596.
Leading commanding officers of the army, including KPA Vice Marshal Comrade Kim Yong Joon [Kim Yo'ng-jun], DPRK NDC
vice chairman and minister of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces, KPA General Comrade Kim Cho'ng-gak [Kim Jong
Gak], DPRK NDC member and first vice director of the KPA General Political Department, and Comrade Ri Yo'ng-ho [Ri Yong
Ho], chief of the KPA General Staff, accompanied him. Respected and beloved Supreme Commander Comrade Kim Jong Il
was met on the spot by commanding officers of the units and senior functionaries of the goat farm and the cotton farm.
Respected and beloved Supreme Commander Comrade Kim Jong Il first gave on-the-spot guidance to the goat farm that
KPA Guard Seoul 105 Ryu Kyo'ng-su Tank Division has newly built. This modern goat farm, which is equipped with state-of-
the-art facilities, is the benevolent gift of love that the respected and beloved general has bestowed on the soldiers of the 105
Tank Division. Upholding the lofty intent of the fatherly general, who is always anxious to provide better conditions for the
warriors' diet by raising many herbivorous domestic animals, soldier builders have performed a dazzling miracle of having
excellently built the modern goat farm in the brief span of seven months. The farm has only recently begun production, but
the employees of the farm are already contributing to improving the soldiers' diet by producing goat milk and processed milk
products in large quantities. After being briefed in front of a large drawing showing a panoramic view of the farm, Comrade
Kim Jong Il made the rounds of many places of the farm, including the milk processing room and the products storage, and
acquainted himself in detail with the course of the construction, the state of technology and equipment, and the status of
raising and management. Watching the cheese, butter, yogurt, and all sorts of other processed milk products being churned
out from each production process, neatly and hygienically built, Comrade Kim Jong Il expressed his great satisfaction over the
fact that the soldier builders, by highly displaying the revolutionary soldier spirit, have excellently built the modern goat farm in
a brief span of time and highly assessed the feat performed by the soldier builders. Comrade Kim Jong Il praised the efforts
exerted by the employees of the farm and was extremely pleased about the fact that they are increasing milk products by
raising domestic animals such as goats and cows, by supplying fodder, and by carrying out the veterinary and anti-epizootic
work according to high-level scientific and technological requirements. Comrade Kim Jong Il visited the house of comrades
Song Ch'o'l-ryong and Kwak U'n-ju, a couple of discharged soldiers working for the farm as employees, specifically taking
warm care of their home economy as their own parents would do and acquainted himself in detail with the status of raising
goats at home separately from the farm. Comrade Kim Jong Il kindly inspired and encouraged the couple, praising them for
being faithful in fulfilling their revolutionary duty and meticulously managing their economy with the same spirit they displayed
when they were serving in the army. Overlooking the entire view of the farm district where goat pens have been erected in
rows in the serene mountain valleys and the dwellings have been elegantly built at the foot of a mountain, Comrade Kim Jong
Il - while saying that this livestock farm is located in a good place, the quality of its construction has been guaranteed at the
highest level, and thus it is a model farm that is based on the newest technology - was unable to hold back his pleasure about
the fact that another modern livestock farm has been built for the soldiers. Remarking that many units have built modern
livestock farms, such as goat, cattle, and rabbit farms, in different parts of the country in recent years in line with the
demands of the new century and are producing a lot of milk and meat, Comrade Kim Jong Il said that the army is taking the
lead in brilliantly putting into practice the great leader's teaching on obtaining meat from grass as well. Saying that it is
possible to make every place of our country seethe with herds of goats, if the spirit of being absolute and unconditional is
displayed in implementing the party policy, as in the people's army, Comrade Kim Jong Il stressed that the examples set by
the people's army should be actively followed, and thus a mass campaign should be vigorously waged to raise goats. Saying
that the role of the livestock farm is very important in improving the unit soldiers' diet, Comrade Kim Jong Il set forth the
programmatic tasks to be accomplished for the management and operation of the livestock farm. Saying that selecting good
species is important in raising domestic animals such as goats, Comrade Kim Jong Il pointed out that more of the high-grade
species, which yield a lot of milk and which are viable, should be bred, and at the same time a scientific raising system should
be strictly established. Saying that it is good that the unit, in addition to livestock farming, has established a system of
producing organic fertilizers with domestic animal excretions in a forward-looking manner and has thus laid a solid groundwork
for increasing grain production at the fodder base, Comrade Kim Jong Il pointed out that all other units, too, by effectively
making the best of a loop-style, recycling production system as [is the case] at this unit, should increase organic fertilizer
production and should thereby successfully resolve the grain fodder problem on their own. Comrade Kim Jong Il pointed out
that the rate of the utilization of equipment and facilities such as milking machines should be increased to the maximum in
order to easily carry out the work such as milking, which requires so much effort, in the situation in which the number of goats
is rapidly increasing. Comrade Kim Jong Il said that suitable packs and receptacles should be sufficiently supplied, and a
measure for transport, too, should be specifically worked out, if mass-produced processed milk products such as milk, butter,
cheese, and yogurt are to be supplied in a timely manner. Comrade Kim Jong Il expressed his high expectation and conviction
that all of the party members and working people of the livestock farm, in the future as well, will bring about an even greater
upsurge in production with ardent love for the soldiers and will thus actively contribute to improving the soldiers' diet. Then,
respected and beloved Supreme Commander Comrade Kim Jong Il gave on-the-spot guidance to the cotton farm affiliated

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with KPA Unit 1596. Vigorously waging a struggle to implement the party's policy on agricultural revolution, the employees of
the cotton farm have achieved many accomplishments in cotton production this year. In particular, the cotton farm, by
intensifying the research aimed at breeding the species and establishing a cultivation system suitable for our country's climatic
and soil conditions, has laid a solid technological groundwork for epochally increasing cotton production. After being briefed
on the cotton cultivation on an experimental basis, Comrade Kim Jong Il made the rounds of a vast expanse of cotton fields
and acquainted himself in detail with the status of farming. Gazing at the entire view of the impressive cotton fields
reminiscent of a sea of fully bloomed white cotton clusters, Comrade Kim Jong Il expressed his great satisfaction over the fact
that the functionaries and working people of the farm have reaped an unprecedentedly rich cotton harvest by scientifically and
technologically doing farming as required by the juche farming method. Saying that the party members and working people
of the farm have systematically increased production every year and have gained a lot of the experiences required for a
scientific cotton farming by making a tenacious effort with a patriotic single mind to provide the country with more industrial
raw materials, Comrade Kim Jong Il highly assessed the accomplishments they have achieved. Saying that increasing the
production of cotton - major raw materials for textile industry - takes up an important place in resolving the clothing problem,
Comrade Kim Jong Il set forth the tasks for properly carrying out cotton farming. Comrade Kim Jong Il stressed that primary
attention should be directed to implementing the policy on seed revolution, since the problem of species is a basic thing in
cotton farming as well. Saying that the experience of this farm, which has remarkably increased cotton yield through the
active introduction of high-grade species, once again clearly shows the correctness of our party's policy on seed revolution,
Comrade Kim Jong Il pointed out that the stress should be continuously laid on research to breed the high-grade species that
grows fast and yields a lot. Saying that constantly improving soil fertility, too, is one of the important methods of increasing
cotton production, Comrade Kim Jong Il pointed out that quality organic fertilizers should be sufficiently supplied, and at the
same time strict measures should be worked out to improve soil fertility. Saying that cotton farming requires so much effort,
and its cultivation method, too, is complicated, but it is possible to successfully carry out all the farming work required for each
farming process on time, if varieties of useful farm implements are invented and introduced as [is the case] at this farm,
Comrade Kim Jong Il pointed out the need for the mechanization of cotton farming. Saying that only when farming is done
scientifically and technologically according to the needs of biological engineering is it possible to increase yield while still
consuming fewer supplies and [less] manpower, Comrade Kim Jong Il pointed out that our own style of cultivation system
should be rounded off, and at the same time, advanced farming methods should be actively introduced. Comrade Kim Jong Il
was unable to hold back his pleasure, while saying that the cotton problem, too, is now finally going to be resolved thanks to
the devoted effort of the people's army soldiers who are afire with ardent patriotism. Remarking that the people's army
soldiers, who are the defenders of the fatherland and the creators of the people's happiness, have built innumerable
monumental structures of creation for the people everywhere, Comrade Kim Jong Il said that such proud feats, which they
have performed for the construction of a wealthy and powerful fatherland, eloquently show that our army, which is the
standard-bearer and shock brigade of the military-first revolution, is excellently playing a role as a forerunner in the socialist
construction as well. Remarking that at present our people's zeal is very high in resolutely carrying out the final charge to open
the gate of a powerful state, Comrade Kim Jong Il pleaded with all guidance functionaries to accordingly adhere to the work of
organizing, doggedly carry out the work with a revolutionary fighting spirit as the commanding officers of the people's army do,
and thereby allow our people to live a more affluent life at an early date. All party members and working people of the goat
farm and the cotton farm overflowed with a resolve of loyalty to brilliantly implement the far-reaching plan of the fatherly
general - who is continuing the long march of devotion day and night for making the fatherland wealthy and powerful, for its
development, and for the people's happiness - and thereby actively contribute to the country's prosperity and development
and               to           improving              the              people's            standard             of             living.



                              "Norway Increases Emergency Relief to the Horn of Africa"
          The Norway Post in English 28 Nov 09 [NRK (Norwegian Radio) press release of report by Rolleiv Solholm

Norway has decided to increase emergency relief to Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia because of the drought. - At the
same time it is important to increase food security, Development Minister Erik Solheim says. More than 20 million people are
suffering from hunger as a result of the severe drought and conflicts in this densely populated region. Norway is now
allocating NOK 40 million in emergency relief to victims of the drought. "I am deeply concerned about the civilian population,
who are severely affected," said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim. "The situation is
acute. Nearly half of the world's food aid goes to the Horn of Africa today. At the same time we must focus on finding lasting
political solutions to the conflicts in the region." The Norwegian allocation has already been disbursed, most of it through the
World Food Program (WFP).It is vital to increase food security in the region. In Somalia, the security situation of aid workers
is so precarious that it is affecting the distribution of emergency aid. Kenya and Ethiopia are in a position to feed their own
populations, but food aid undermines local food production and the people's ability to help themselves. This creates new
crises. Norway is one of the largest donors to the Horn of Africa. Total Norwegian assistance to Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and
Ethiopia in 2009 will total approximately NOK 270 million. WFP says to continue with Somalia operations despite Islamist
threat




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                                             World Food Programme in Somalia
                   Text of report by Somali pro-Puntland government Puntlandpost website on 27 November

World Food Programme has responded to accusations by Al-Shabab in which the group accused it of importing food from
foreign nations right around the time when Somali farmers are harvesting their crops and thus placing major obstacles in their
way. A spokesman for the World Food Programme has said they have been importing food from countries outside Somalia
because the food grown in the country is not enough to sustain the demand. "We will continue with our operations because
our food aid is relied upon by 3.7 million people across the country," said the WFP. The movement for the Al-Shabab has
asked the organization to empty its warehouses by distributing the food to the needy by the beginning of 2010 and from then
on purchase food from Somali farmers so that they can financially benefit from it. Independent contractors working with WFP
have also been asked to end their contracts with WFP by the end of this year. The United Nations has said serious food
shortage in Somalia has been caused by the nonstop fighting and the prolonged droughts that have hit the country, adding
that because of all of these, they will not stop their operations.



                         Somali farmers welcome Al-Shabab order urging WFP to buy food internally
Text     of     report     by     Somali   pro-Puntland  government     Puntlandpost    website                 on     29 November

Farmers in Lower Shabelle Region [southern Somalia] have welcomed recent statement by Al-Shabab in which the group
urged World Food Programme to purchase the food aid it is giving to displaced people in the country from Somali farmers.
Some of the farmers in Lower Shabelle have said they are pleased by the decision that Al-Shabab has taken and called upon
the World Food Programme to comply with the orders given by Al-Shabab. The farmers have said World Food Programme
have been a hindrance to their efforts as they have been importing food from abroad and bringing it into the country in the
form of food aid to be given to displaced people in the country. "We would like thank Al-Shabab for the decisions they have
made, that the food aid being distributed should be bought from Somali farmers as it will boost their morale," said Muse
Ma'ow who is among farmers in the Region. World Food Programme has been recently ordered to distribute the food aid in
warehouse before the end of this year and as from next year buy aid meant for displaced people from Somali farmers. World
Food Programme Officials have dismissed the calls saying that the reason they have been importing food from abroad is
because the food harvested in the country is not enough for the number of people starving n the country. Farmers in Lower
Shabelle are the ones to welcome the decision by Al-Shabab which has also been supported by Somali businessmen.



                       Russian paper interviews Azeri deputy foreign minister on Caspian developments
Text    of    report     by the website of pro-government Russian newspaper Izvestiya on                               26 November

[Oleg Tsyganov, Shamil Medzhdov, Aleksandr Kagavayev interview with Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov,
time and place not given: "Sea of new possibilities - Having surmounted differences and mistrust, Caspian countries may
make joint breakthrough into the future"] Over thousands of years of human history, the Caspian Sea has seen the rise and
fall of many leaders, superpowers and states - from Asia to Europe. A qualitatively new stage has now begun: due to the
existence of contemporary technological capabilities, the huge economic potential of the sea may serve as a powerful platform
for the unprecedented prosperity of the region. And a peaceful and universal prosperity, without prejudice to any of the
countries. For two empires - of Russia and Iran (Persia) - the Caspian has since the middle of the 19th century been a
distinctive and inexhaustible base for their external development. But there has perhaps not yet been a period when this
region - a historic meeting-place of the civilizations, when their hinterland has literally been of interest to the entire world. Such
is the level of the inter-penetration of interests today, the level of globalization. People in the West often debate the Caspian
basin in terms of geo-political categories, it is seen as the northern boundary of the Larger Near East, quite stable and
developing. But the Caspian is not only the focus point of outside interests. First and foremost, it is a home and a yard, and is
frequently also the breadbasket for the peoples and states, which have direct access to the shores of this sea. This is
particularly true for Azerbaijan. It faces open sea with the widest (longest) stretch of coastline proportionate to other Caspian
countries. The development of the country and the capital Baku is directly dependent on the state of marine resources, the
legal terms governing activities, and the safety levels on this stretch of water. In the article published, we will try to talk not
only about Azerbaijan's tasks on the Caspian Sea, but also about other development strategies, inherent in the other countries
of the Caspian "five". We will show how issues relating to the legal status and sectoral division of the sea are being resolved;
tasks related to the development of transport communications; matters of military development and security; and finally, we
will consider the problems of ecology and describe the potential for tourist business. We talked to Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign
Minister Khalaf Khalafov. He kindly agreed to answer our questions. We have illustrated this article with our questions and his
answers.

I.      Legal           status     of       Delimiting        the       Subsurface          and        the       Water         Areas

There are no ordinary problems in world politics, but the situation surrounding the settlement of the legal status of the Caspian

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Sea looks particularly complicated since several dimensions are present here simultaneously. On the one hand, the problem
is quite new, that is, it was born of the collapse of the Soviet Union and is part of the process of dividing up the Soviet legacy.
Each of the participants in this process is fumbling to find their path and naturally wants to get the most they can. On the other
hand, while the former Soviet republics are in general agreeing to make concessions to one another (many issues have been
settled between Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan), the position of Iran, which is aiming to get compensation for past
restrictions on its economic activities in the Caspian during the Soviet period, is more rigid.

[Interviewer] Negotiations on defining the legal status of the Caspian Sea have been underway, it might be said, since the
moment the Soviet Union collapsed and the new independent states emerged. What, in your opinion, is the basic essence of
this process and can we assume that the countries on the shore are now much closer to the resolution of the Caspian
problems,                         than                         10-15                    years                        ago?

[Khalaf Khalafov] The negotiations process has a solid base. A permanent special working group at the level of deputy foreign
ministers was set up at a foreign ministers' meeting in Ashgabat in 1996, and from the very first days of its operation it started
to draw up a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The 26th session of the working group took place at the start
of November this year also in Ashgabat. Over the past 13 years the positions of the sides have moved closer on many
aspects of the legal status. The signing of an agreement between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia on the delimitation of
the Caspian seabed represented significant progress and a new stage in the negotiations process. It laid the foundation for
regulatory and legal consolidation of the sectoral delimitation of the Caspian Sea between the states on its shores.

A framework convention for the protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea has been adopted. We are now
working on the adoption of additional protocols to this convention in various spheres of environmental protection. The
countries on the Caspian's shores are cooperating on the basis of the convention and solving the corresponding problems
associated with the ecology of the Caspian Sea. Alongside this, bilateral negotiations are becoming conducted between the
countries on the Caspian shore regarding the continued delimitation of the Caspian seabed between Azerbaijan and
Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan and Iran. I think that both the bilateral and the multilateral negotiations are, on the whole,
directed towards achieving general accords on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. If we compare the current situation with
the start of the negotiations process, we can see a significant difference in terms of agreeing common approaches to resolving
Caspian problems and determining the main parameters on which the coastal states must achieve specific accords.
Moreover, I cannot help but note that the Ashgabat Summit in 2002 and the Tehran summit in 2007 created a good basis for
the negotiations process to be sustained and intensified. I would particularly like to single out the results of the Tehran summit,
which facilitated an even greater convergence of positions and the agreement of common approaches on a number of
fundamental elements concerning the use of the water surface, the drawing up of new proposals on cooperation between the
relevant structures in the sphere of security and combating new challenges and threats, as well as the development of
economic cooperation between the countries on the shore. It is also clear that the other Caspian countries will not revise
accords reached to the detriment of their own interests for the sake of compromise with Iran. The process of dividing up the
resource territories is not simple in itself, but in the Caspian, it is accompanied by restrictions and concessions between
neighbours. Macro-economic factors should be added to this, after all an area and minerals with an estimated value of billions
of dollars are being divided up. Hence the complexity of the legal definition of the parameters of economic activity (on the
seabed, on the water surface and on the subsurface) -the global interest in ecology, fishing, transport, and in any other
sphere of activity. These are subordinate first and foremost to the national interests of each country. And matters of monitoring
safety and military use, to which each country is free to respond in their own way and has every right to do so, also ensue
from these same interests. The solution of many Caspian problems is part of a series of issues related to settling the sea's
legal status. Working groups of the governments of the five countries have been working on this difficult legal problem for over
a decade. The Caspian states are striving to decide as quickly as possible on the legal affiliation of the resources extracted on
the shelf, since the lack of systemic legal accords is to a certain extent holding back the development of the Caspian region.
Holding back but not stopping. There is an accord on the need to sign a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea
between the five Caspian Sea states -Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Sooner or later it will be
signed. Until this new document enters into force, the Soviet-Iranian treaties of 26 February 1921 and 25 March 1940 will
continue to operate. They regulate the operating conditions for free shipping and fishing in the sea. But questions of
subsurface use and environmental protection activities are not regulated by these treaties. Modern principles for dividing up
the Caspian Sea are recorded in the documents regulating subsurface use in the northern part of the sea, and they have been
concluded between Russia and Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan, and on a trilateral level between Russia, Azerbaijan and
Kazakhstan. In the long-term, these agreements will enable a compromise to be achieved with regard to all the sea's waters.
The current agenda on the question of the Caspian Sea's legal status was delineated during the second summit of the heads
of the Caspian states, which took place in Tehran on 16 October 2007. The main points in this position that are still relevant
today                                                                                                                          are:

-Dividing the Caspian Sea waters into domestic waters, territorial waters extending to at least 12 nautical miles, fishing
zones extending to 25-30 nautical miles, and common waters. The proposal was based on individual clauses in the 1982 UN
Convention                on                 the             Law                 of               the                 Sea;
-The designation of the state border line between the Caspian states along the external boundaries of the territorial sea.
Within this boundary, each state on the shore should have exclusive jurisdiction and have complete authority in the

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corresponding                    zone                   of                   the                   Caspian                    Sea;

-Granting rights to free shipping and fishing on the basis of agreed catch quotas and the licensing of fishing to all the
Caspian       littoral     states     within     the      framework      of     a      common         water       space;

-The legal documentation of cooperation between the Caspian littoral states in the sphere of using, protecting and replacing
bio-resources in the Caspian Sea, by way of signing a corresponding five-party agreement for these purposes. In particular, it
is proposed that the allocation of quotas for sturgeon fishing be established, under which Iran gets 45 per cent, Russia 27 per
cent,     the      remaining       three     states     28     per     cent      of    the      total    permissible     catch;

-Enshrining in the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea the right of landlocked Caspian states to freedom of
transit, using all means of transport, and access to other seas and the ocean, stipulated in a number of universal international
treaties.

Now for more detail about how the parties have moved to meet one another halfway. An important step in the new
interpretation of the division of the sea was the signing by Kazakhstan and Russia in July 1998 of an agreement on the
delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea to enable sovereign rights to subsurface use to be exercised. Relations
between Moscow and Baku became tangibly closer after a visit to Azerbaijan by President Putin in January 2001. The general
agreement between Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia on the point of convergence for the delimitation lines of contiguous
sections of the Caspian Sea bed, reached on 14 May 2003, crowned the three countries' efforts. After that, Baku's main efforts
were directed towards reaching an agreement with Iran and Turkmenistan. Bilateral commissions to coordinate positions were
formed. There has not yet been any success in making serious breakthroughs with Iran. But with the change of leadership in
Turkmenistan, Baku and Ashgabat have begun more active consultations on a systematic basis. Negotiations at an inter-
departmental level have begun, and the ferry route between Baku and Turkmenbashi gained fresh impetus. Various options
for     exporting      Turkmen        gas    via     the    territory   of      Azerbaijan     are      being      discussed.

[Interviewer] How likely is it that Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan who hold a common position on the sectoral division of
the Caspian Sea based on the median line, taking into account the universally recognized principles of international law, will
be able to convince Iran, which is insisting on the equal division of the water surface (20 per cent each), and Turkmenistan of
the legitimacy, expediency and rationality of the approach they are taking? And how do you see the future of the Caspian
region,        if        Tehran           and        Ashgabat           stick       to        their       own        opinions?

[Khalafov] Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia, by agreeing and signing an agreement on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea,
have laid a good basis for continuing negotiations between countries on the Caspian shore. The delimitation of the seabed
between Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan has been carried out on the basis of the median line, taking into account
universally recognized norms of international law. This principle serves as the basis for reaching accords with Tehran and
Ashgabat. You have noted that Iran was in favour of dividing the water surface on the terms of equal shares of 20 per cent
each. I can state that the division of the seabed on terms of equal shares is not being discussed either within a bilateral or a
multilateral negotiations format. We are negotiating with Iran on the basis of the principles and norms of international law, and
universally accepted methods for delimiting such water areas. In all these methods the median line principle is fundamental.
As for the negotiations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, they are regular in nature. We hope that the potential
accumulated during the negotiations will enable us to achieve mutually acceptable accords on the delimitation of the Caspian
Sea between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Well, and as for the future, we see the Caspian region as a zone of peace,
stability, security, mutual trust and cooperation. I am sure that the positions of all five Caspian Sea states coincide on this.

Proposals on the joint development of disputed hydrocarbon fields (Kyapaz) were made during Azerbaijani President Ilham
Aliyev's visit to Ashgabat in November 2008. Despite the fact that Kyapaz was part of the Azerbaijani section of the sea on the
Soviet technical charts, Baku unilaterally renounced the development of this field until relations with Turkmenistan had been
defined. It is expected that in the future, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will learn from the experience of their northern
neighbours        -Russia     and   Kazakhstan      -who       split   disputed     fields      on    a     "fifty-fifty" basis.

Baku                                                      currently                                                      supports:

-splitting the waters on the basis of a sectoral division along the median line, but without the formation of "internal seas" so
that        the     borders      of       sectors       can       be     considered        to       be      state       borders;

-Kazakhstan's proposal to legally recognize the rights of the littoral states to free vehicular transit via the internal waters of
Russia               to                other                 seas                   and                 the                ocean;
-Kazakhstan's proposal on the routes of underwater pipelines being agreed only by those countries over whose territory they
may                                                                                                                          pass.

Iran's position is the stumbling block for all the Caspian countries. Initially, Tehran agreed with Russia's proposal that only the
45-mile coastal zone should be declared the property of each state, and the rest of the waters should be left in joint use. But

                                                                7
after the conclusion of the accords between Russia and Kazakhstan in 1998 on splitting the Caspian into national sectors, the
positions of Iran and Russia on this issue diverged. Iranian finally decided on an independent stance opposing the division of
the Caspian Sea into national sectors, since it considered that the energy resources of the sea should be developed on an
equal             basis           by           all           the            states         on           its           shores.

For Azerbaijan, Iran has become the most serious opponent to the advancement of the idea of a sectoral division of the
Caspian Sea. However, contradictions exist in the position of official Tehran, which are enabling Azerbaijan to maintain the
vector of its previous policies. After refusing to join the consortium developing the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) group of
fields, Iran agreed several years later to a 10 per cent stake for its national oil company NIOC to take part in developing the
Shah Deniz gas structure, which is also located in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. In July 2001, the first and so far
the last armed incident between two Caspian states took place on the Caspian. Iranian warships prevented the
implementation of a project by an international consortium led by Britain's BP to develop the promising structures of Alov, Araz
and Sharq, located in the southern part of the Caspian Sea in the vicinity of the maritime border of Azerbaijan and Iran. Since
that time, research at the Araz-Alov-Sharq group, with approximate gas reserves of 700 billion cubic meters, has been
suspended, and the international consortium made up of Azerbaijan's SOCAR, Britain's BP, the US Exxon Mobil, Norway's
Statoil, Turkey's TPAO, and Canada's Alberta Energy, has frozen its activities. At the current moment, according to official
statements by representatives of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, there can be no question of developing these fields without
the borders of the Caspian being agreed. Iran is insisting on the sea being divided on the principle of equal shares (20 per
cent each). In this case, Iran's national sector will be larger than if the border is established by a division following the median
line. This would, of course, give rise to new problems, such as limiting the freedom of navigation. According to the principle of
dividing the Caspian into national sectors using the median line method, Azerbaijan will get a little more than 19 per cent, Iran
gets 14 per cent, Russia up to 19 per cent, Kazakhstan more than 29 per cent, and Turkmenistan slightly more than 19 per
cent.

2.                          Aspects                           of                          military                         security

Moscow is suggesting integrated forms of cooperation between the Caspian states to monitor security and coordinate military
planning, implying that the presence of non-regional armed forces is not permissible. Here we are moving beyond the
framework of purely Caspian issues. To be more precise, regional security issues are closely intertwined with topical issues in
world politics, such as Iran's nuclear programme and a possible military response to this programme by the United States and
its military allies. All the Caspian states are unanimously opposed to a military solution to this problem. There is already
enough information both in open and specialized publications about the alignment of naval forces in the Caspian states, the
nature of plans to update them, plans for their development, and cooperation with external players. Let us just note the
general features. It is obvious that the militarization of the Caspian is to a certain extent a journalistic myth. The level of
military power of all the flotillas of the five states barely reaches half the capacity of the former USSR Caspian Flotilla
(according to some estimates, one-third). Some of the flotillas cannot even be called independent forces within the national
armed forces. The Russian and Iranian flotillas have the greatest military capabilities. They include missile ships,
minesweepers, destroyers, landing ships, and impressive support from their Air Forces. Russia still has a significant military
advantage over everyone. The remaining flotillas can be called developing structures providing armed support for the border
forces (and structurally they are actually subordinate to the border guards). But with regard to the trajectory of the
development of second-level flotillas -(in terms of the composition and number of ships they are distributed as follows:
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan) -certain conclusions can be drawn. It is clear that the process of optimizing and
modernizing the forces will be continued. Turkmenistan, which has only patrol boats, is planning to buy two small missile
ships. And to build a base by 2015. Azerbaijan got the main base of the Caspian flotilla in the Bay of Baku when Soviet
property was allocated. However, only those items that the Russian seamen were unable to remove, that is essentially scrap
metal, remained of the substantial components of the "inherited" flotilla. Over time, the situation has changed. More or less the
entire complement of forces was brought into play in the largest-scale exercises by the Azerbaijani border guards (22-25
September 2009): 29 ships, three helicopters, a certain number of artillery and armoured vehicles, as well as around 2,000
troops. The first meeting of the Caspian states dedicated to security issues took place in Baku at the end of October. During
this, representatives of the five Caspian states agreed that coordination action was needed both within the military structures
and         within         the      civilian      forces,       in       particular        the       Emergencies        Ministry.

[Interviewer] A meeting of the deputy foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea states took place in Baku recently on matters of
ensuring regional security. All the five countries were unanimous that the Caspian should remain a zone of peace, stability
and good-neighbourliness. How then can you comment on the statement by Turkmenistan that it is establishing a naval base
on the Caspian Sea and Iran's intention to form a sea defence command of the Islamic Republic?

[Khalafov] Caspian security issues are an important element of the sea's legal status. A draft agreement on cooperation in the
security sphere via the border and customs services, the transportation structures, and structures for emergency situations,
and the internal affairs bodies and other relevant departments was considered at the meeting in Baku. The main purpose of
the agreement is to establish a framework for cooperation between the relevant state structures in combating international
terrorism, organized crime, smuggling, human trafficking, illicit arms and drug trafficking and other contemporary challenges
and threats. This area of cooperation is part of the security issues. Military-political aspects of ensuring security in the Caspian

                                                                   8
are being discussed separately within the framework of the draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. We think
that we must first achieve fundamental accords (within the framework of the legal status) relating to military activities in the
Caspian. In connection with this, the discussion of the idea of demilitarization and matters of regulating the presence of armed
forces in the Caspian will serve to draw up common approaches for the countries on its shores. A key element in this sphere
is, in our view, ensuring equal security conditions for the Caspian states. As for the second part of your question, in my
opinion, as long as the Caspian Sea is considered a zone of peace, stability and security by all the countries on its shores, we
must proceed from the common vested interest of the Caspian states in military activity in the Caspian not being increased.

3.              Transportation               advantages                 of              the                 Caspian             Sea

As a result of the increase in global interest in the Caspian Sea, the amount of foreign investment in the reconstruction of the
port economies of Baku, Aktau and Turkmenbashi has increased substantially. This has been reflected in an increase in
transit traffic in the region in an East-West direction. In particular, the volume of cargo at the port of Baku has increased by 25
per cent over the past three years. It is expected that interest in the ferry crossing from Baku to the port of Aktau (Kazakhstan)
and Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan), formerly known as Krasnovodsk, will increase sharply. Today the governments of
Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are striving to expand the functions of this crossing within the framework of the TRACECA
programme. There are plans to turn it from a rail crossing into a multi-purpose crossing for transporting cars and passengers.
The quadripartite agreement signed by the presidents of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in May 1996 on
the functioning of a corridor connecting the four states, provides the Central Asian countries with the shortest access to the
Black Sea. The agreement envisages not only restoring transit cargo, but also creating most favoured status for cargo flows
on this route, the introduction of preferential tariffs, and establishing coordination in the system for protecting goods in transit.
At the current time, up to eight vessels can leave on the Baku-Turkmenbashi route if there is any cargo. Each vessel can take
on board 28 rail cars and 200 passengers. The distance between Baku and Turkmenbashi, which are actually on the same
latitude, is 306 km. This distance can be covered in 12 hours by ferry. By way of comparison -the normal time taken for cargo
to reach Ashgabat from Baku, bypassing the Caspian Sea and taking rail routes in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, is
more than a week. Now for the more traditional freight for the region. With the start of oil production at the Kashagan field in
Kazakhstan (after 2010-2011), it is envisaged that some of the oil, around 25 million tonnes, will be shipped by tanker to the
Baku-Ceyhan pipeline system. The Kazakh Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources forecasts that in 2015 oil production in
the country will reach 140 million tonnes, and in 2020 it could reach 180 million tonnes. Azerbaijan will be among the key
export routes for Kazakh oil. SOCAR and the company KazMunaiGaz have signed an agreement on strategic cooperation and
the joint implementation of the Trans-Caspian project, composed of oil-loading terminals on the Kazakh shore of the Caspian
(Yeskene-Kuryk oil pipeline), tankers and vessels, oil-loading terminals on the Azerbaijani shore and connecting facilities to
the Baku-Ceyhan system. The trans-Caspian system will be part of planned Kazakhstani Caspian Transportation System
(KCTS). This project is the next stage in major transnational investment in the Caspian. The companies Agip KCO and the
Tengizchevroil joint venture are among the KCTS shareholders, in addition to KazMinaiGaz and SOCAR. The initial cost of
the investment in the oil route is put at around three billion dollars. To end, let us note the importance of Caspian trade for
Russia. In 2008 Russia's trade turnover with this group of countries amounted to 26.7 billion dollars (an increase by
comparison               with          the            previous            year          of          21           per           cent).

4.               Ecology                -               resources                 of               future               generations

An agreed draft document on the conservation and use of bio-resources, in line with which the waters were recognized as a
unique natural entity under inter-state use was the first major document signed by all the countries of the Caspian (30 January
-2 February 1995 in Ashgabat). The Tehran Convention -the only document in a five-party format which defines the
parameters for ecological safety -was signed in 2003 and came into force in August 2006. According to the framework
convention, the Caspian states should unite their efforts to restore the natural environment of the Caspian and guarantee its
ecological                                                                                                               safety.

[Interviewer] Russia has come forward with an initiative to establish a Caspian Economic Cooperation Organization. What is
the attitude of Azerbaijan to the prospects for interaction between the five Caspian countries within the framework of a
regional      organization    along    the      lines      of      the    Black    Sea     community      -the     BSEC?

[Khalafov] The decision was taken after the Tehran summit to hold an economic forum in Astrakhan with all the Caspian
states taking part. We were active participants in this meeting. Many of our countries' economic structures were represented
at it. We discussed issues of cooperation in the spheres of energy, transport, ecology and many others. In general, as far as
the cooperation mechanism is concerned, they may be different and, naturally, real economic relations and the discussion of
these     issues     will   show     what      form     the    Caspian     countries     will  prefer     in   the    future.

In the future, the parties to the convention will more or less annually coordinate events in the area of environmental monitoring
and cooperation. For example, the convention budget for 2009 totalled 360,000 dollars in equal shares from each country.
The Caspian Sea is a kind of terminal for a very large internal drainage area, which covers industrial and mining regions of
Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, and this also characterizes the scale of the pollution. A total of 130 large
and small rivers flow into the sea, bringing with them industrial and domestic waste collected from the entire body of water.

                                                                 9
Another source of pollution is oil. Just ten grams of "black gold" in one cubic meter of water is enough to make it unfit for life.
Given that there are very significant percentages for oil losses in the oil industry during production and transportation, it is
possible to state confidently that the poorly planned development of oil and gas extraction in the Caspian Sea may soon
destroy the fragile ecosystem of the closed water body and make it dangerous for the fish and mammals living there, and
ultimately for the population on its shores. Leading experts, environmentalists, representatives of international organizations
and a number of well-known foreign oil companies are trying to develop a new environmental project, which envisages
drawing up an action plan for the high pollution zones of the Caspian Sea. It is designed to bring about more active
cooperation at a regional level and to provide the parties with the necessary technical assistance and resources. One of the
most important aspects of the project is assessing the extent of the pollution of the Caspian Sea and determining its sources,
as well as the zones to which it has spread, and the composition of organic pollutants with adverse effects on the marine
environment and that pose a risk to human health. To that end, a number of scientific marine expeditions are being carried out
today, which will analyse the key trans-border pollutants of the water and sediment in the entire coastal zone of the Caspian.
Public organizations are notably active. The Centre for Regional Development in conjunction with the Ministry of the
Environment and Natural Resources plans to hold a Caspian Day. This event is planned in conjunction with organizations in
Makhachkala, activists will try to recruit the public, especially young people, to clean up the shores of the Caspian. It has
become obvious that the Caspian countries will need at least 10-15 years to restore sturgeon stocks. This goal can be
achieved if all five Caspian states declare a moratorium on sturgeon fishing and abide by it. Poaching in the Caspian needs
to be definitively destroyed and, of course, active work needs to be done on breeding starlet, sturgeon and beluga.
Last year, Azerbaijan for the first time turned down commercial quotas for beluga fishing at a meeting of the Commission for
the Biological Resources of the Caspian in Ashgabat (keeping just a small quota for research purposes), and there has not
been any ship sturgeon fishing since 1979 - since this rare breed of fish was entered in the Red Book. The 30th session of
the inter-departmental commission on the aquatic bio-resources of the Caspian took place in the Iranian city of Anzali in July
2009. Representatives of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan were able to reach agreement on several
important issues on which differences have been observed over the last few years -setting quotas for fishing sturgeon
species. This year, Azerbaijan gained the right to catch sturgeon amounting to 90 tonnes. Turkmenistan, which has no river
access to the Caspian, was indirectly permitted to catch 62 tonnes. For Iran, Russia and Kazakhstan the quotas comprised
440 tonnes, 286.5 tonnes and 182.5 tonnes respectively. Quotas for the export of the flesh of sturgeon species must remain at
50         per        cent        of        the       national        quota       for       the       Caspian         countries.

[Interviewer] The conservation of its unique biological resources is of vital importance for the future of the Caspian Sea and
the adjacent regions. What practical steps have been taken in recent years and are planned in the future by the Caspian
states          to          protect           the           ecology            of         our            common           sea?

[Khalafov] Environmental issues are a priority for us. I am sure that the other Caspian states take the same position. I have
noted above that the adoption of the convention to protect the marine environment was one of the achievements on Caspian
Sea matters. Of course, biological resources are a treasure of world importance. Sturgeon fish species are protected by the
CITES international convention. And we must make more effort in this regard to preserve unique species of sturgeon in the
Caspian Sea. In this sense, the adoption of an agreement on the protection and conservation of the biological resources of the
Caspian Sea is considered an important priority. However, some elements of this agreement are linked to points in the
convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which have not been agreed. We are trying to complete the agreement of
fundamental elements within the framework of the convention that has been drawn up to arrive at the conclusion of an
agreement     on     the    conservation     and    the    use     of    the    bio-resources    of   the    Caspian     Sea.

I would like to note that the specific steps taken to protect the sea's bio-resources in Azerbaijan include the restoration of
existing plants to breed sturgeon species, the commissioning of a new modern plant with a capacity of 15 million young fish a
year, the carrying out of regular research expeditions to study the state of bio-resources in the Caspian Sea, and the
tightening up of measures to combat poaching. In addition, work is being done to dredge the estuary mouth of the river Kura
to increase the possibility of free passage for people who produce sturgeon on natural spawning grounds. Tourism is
becoming one of the new economic activities on the Caspian Sea with great development prospects. Not only expensive
yachts and hotels are appearing on the Caspian, but also tourist attractions for the masses. The construction of the Zire Island
tourist attraction will start on the island of Beyuk Zire in the Bay of Baku in the near future. A total of four billion dollars will be
directed towards the construction of 10 hotels, villas, parks, and entertainment facilities. Turkmenistan has got a bit further
forward in this matter. The construction of five comfortable hotels has already been completed at the Avaza national tourist
zone extending over 16 km, they will be able to receive over one thousand people at the same time. The development plan
envisages the construction of about 60 hotels, four modern health and leisure centres for children, as well as major sports
facilities. At the current time, the total cost of tourist facilities being built on Turkmenistan's Caspian shore already exceeds 1.5
billion dollars. The construction of a new airport, highways, a powerful gas-turbine power station, and desalination and water
treatment plants is already underway. Water parks, yacht clubs, an artificial navigable river and other facilities will appear here
within          the       framework          of        the          second          phase      of       the      Avaza          project.

[Interviewer] Is the next, third summit of leaders of the Caspian states expected to be held in Baku in the near future? What
results                do                you                expect               from               this               forum?

                                                                  10
[Khalafov] The decision to hold a third summit in Baku was taken as a result of the Tehran summit. We are proceeding from
the fact that a summit is a significant event in the life of Caspian countries. So we think that the preparation for it must be done
very thoroughly to ensure that countries come to this important forum with significant progress in agreeing important elements
relating to the legal status of the Caspian Sea. We are committed to carrying out productive preparatory work, involving all our
partners. The recent meeting between deputy foreign ministers on security issues and the beginning of the process of
agreeing on the draft agreement in the sphere of security should also be one of the important issues at the Baku summit. If we
can bring the positions of the sides closer together, the summit may also table other important issues, on which a fundamental
decision can successfully be taken. The gradual re-orientation of the Caspian away from oil and gas to the tourist industry will
be the most successful and correct from the point of view of ecology and quality of life for the people of the region. Azerbaijan
is in favour of such a long-term strategy. Thus, the most brilliant prospects are opening up in front of the Caspian states today.
On the basis of today's technology, by attracting a large influx of foreign investment (the Caspian region is one of the most
attractive in the world), the Caspian countries may approach the use of the resources of the sea at a qualitatively new level.
Do what hundreds of generations of people who lived before us dreamt of doing, but were unable to do because too much
time and effort was spent on wars, disputes, overcoming poverty, and too much time was lived in underdevelopment and
oblivion. These new opportunities that are opening up should serve as a powerful incentive for all the Caspian states to finally
overcome their differences and the distrust that still remains among some of them -and make a leap into the future together.



                                 North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visits military-run farms
                                                                                                                    th
Text   of   report   in   English    by   state-run    North   Korean     news    agency     KCNA      website    28     November

[Pyongyang Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) in Korean carried the following during its 2100 gmt 28 November
newscast; Kim Jong Il's last reported public appearance was his inspection of the Command of KPA Navy Combined Unit 587;
KCNA headline: "KCNA: Kim Jong Il Provides Field Guidance to Goat Farm And Cotton Farm of KPA"]
Pyongyang, November 28 (KCNA) - Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army Kim Jong Il [Kim Cho'ng-il], general
secretary of the Korean Workers' Party and chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, provided field
guidance to the goat farm of Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the KPA and the cotton farm under KPA Unit
1596. The first leg of his guidance was the newly built goat farm of Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the
KPA. After being briefed on the farm before a large map showing its panoramic view, he went round the milk processing room
and other places of the farm to acquaint himself in detail with its construction and technical equipment and the raising of
goats. He watched cheese, butter, yogurt and other varieties of processed milk products churning out from each production
process and expressed great satisfaction over the fact that soldier-builders have successfully built the modern goat farm in a
brief span of time by giving full play to the revolutionary soldier spirit. And he highly appreciated their feats. He praised the
employees of the farm for their efforts, very pleased to learn that they have raised goats, milch cows and other domestic
animals, fed them and conducted the anti-epizootic work to meet the high scientific and technological requirements, thus
increasing the milk products. He visited the house of Song Chol Ryong and Kwak Un Ju, a couple of ex-soldiers working at
the farm, to take care of their living and give a warm pep talk to them. In recent years various units have built goat, cattle and
rabbit farms and other modern farms in different parts of the country as required by the new century to produce a lot of milk
and meat, he said, adding that the army is taking the lead in the drive to successfully implement the instruction of President
Kim Il Sung [Kim Il-so'ng] to obtain meat from grass, too. He stressed the need to actively follow the example of the People's
Army to widely breed goats as a mass movement. The next leg of his guidance was the cotton farm under KPA Unit 1596.
After being briefed on the cotton cultivation on an experimental basis, he made the rounds of a vast expanse of cotton fields to
learn about the cotton cultivation. He was greatly satisfied with an unprecedentedly rich cotton harvest reaped by the officials
and other working people of the farm. Noting that the Party members and other working people of the farm have
systematically increased the production every year and accumulated a wealth of experience in putting the cotton farming on a
scientific basis, he highly appreciated their achievements. He noted with great joy that thanks to the devoted efforts of the
servicepersons of the KPA, their hearts burning with ardent patriotism, it has become possible to settle the problem of cotton,
too. The servicepersons of the KPA, the defenders of the country and creators of the people's happiness, have built a lot of
monumental structures for the people in various places, he said, adding that these laudable feats performed by them in
building a rich and powerful country eloquently prove that the KPA is creditably playing a pioneer's role in socialist
construction, too. Pointing out that very high is the enthusiasm of the Korean people dynamically waging a final charge to fling
open the gate to a thriving nation, he earnestly called on all the leading officials to minutely organize work as required by their
zeal and push ahead with it in the same revolutionary work style as done by the commanding officers of the KPA and thus
provide the people with a more affluent life as early as possible. He was accompanied by Vice Marshal of the KPA Kim Yong
Chun [Kim Yo'ng-Ch'un], vice-chairman of the NDC of the DPRK and minister of the People's Armed Forces, KPA General
Kim Jong Gak, member of the NDC of the DPRK and first vice -director of the General Political Bureau of the KPA, Ri Yong
Ho,     chief   of   the    General      Staff   of    the   KPA,     and    other     commanding      officers  of    the   KPA.




                                                                11
                                            Fiji targets more foreign fishing fleets
Text        of       report        by        news         portal      Fijilive      website           on        1        December

Fiji wants to attract some 300 fishing vessels a year to dock at its ports and offload their catches in fish processing factories.
This aim, said Permanent Secretary for Fisheries Viliame Naupoto, is one of the ministry's pet projects as it embarks on a
drive to revamp the fisheries sector. "One of our pet projects next year has to do with the management of by-catch. By-catch
is the species that fishing vessels catch alongside the target species, which is tuna. We have six fish processing factories
here and these by-catches are the raw materials for their factories. The fishing boats come in and offload, the factories
process the fish and export, so next year that's an area we are targeting," Naupoto said. He said the number of fishing
vessels docking on Fiji ports had declined over the years and efforts would be put into bringing that back on track. "There are
around 1,500 vessels fishing in Pacific waters. Fiji is very centrally located and if we can attract them to come to Fiji, offload
their fish here and we provide the services - fuel, water, good connecting flights and our shipping lane - if we can attract 300
vessels in a year, they should bring in enough raw materials to feed our fish processors that would boost our fish exports,"
Naupoto said. He said among the reasons why there has been a decline in the number of fishing vessels docking in Fiji was
the lack of attractiveness in what Fiji had to offer. "It's in how we go and buy the by-catch, it's about the issuing of the licences
to those that are processing, to allow them to offload the by-catch so I think we just need to manage that policy a little bit
better. "Our central location is the big attraction. We just have to provide the necessary attraction and I think if we give the
licences to the processors, they will drive the price of the by-catch up. Because they will compete for the ships to buy from,
and when the price goes up, I am sure the message is going to go out and the fishing vessels are going to come in," Naupoto
said.



                        Jordanian trade union official calls for boycotting Israeli fruits, vegetables
                                Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1246 gmt 27 Nov 09

Doha Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel Television in Arabic - independent television station financed by the Qatari Government -
at 1246 gmt on 27 November carries live an interview with Engineer Maysarah Malas, member of the Jordanian Anti-
Normalization Committee, via satellite from Amman, by anchorwoman Luna al-Shibl and anchorman Hasan Jammul, in the
studio.

Al-Shibl begins by saying: "Dozens of Jordanian trade unionists staged a sit-in about five months ago to protest merchants
importing Israeli fruits and vegetables and clashed with Jordanian security forces, which used force to disperse the
protesters."

Jammul says: "Jordanian trade unionist Siyaj al-Majali, who was beaten up during the protests, wonders why the sit-in was
broken up and why merchants still import Israeli fruits and vegetables." Following the protests, he says, "the Jordanian
Government promised to notify consumers of the origins of agricultural products entering the country."
Television correspondent Hasan al-Shubaki in Amman says: "Jordanian trade unions staged a sit-in in front of the Jordanian
Ministry of Agriculture to protest the importing of Israeli fruits and vegetables. A nearby street witnessed fierce clashes in
which a number of trade unionists were wounded. Dozens of trade unionists assembled in front of the Jordanian Ministry of
Agriculture to express their rejection of importing fruits and vegetables from Israeli settlements. But the scene turned into
bloody clashes, in which trade union activist Siyaj al-Majali was wounded. As a result, the Jordanian minister of agriculture
promised to give information on agricultural products, including fruits and vegetables, coming into the country from Israel."
Jordanian Minister of Agriculture Sa'id al-Masri is seen telling television correspondents that "we have asked them [the
Israelis] to give information on Jordan's imports from Israel so that we can make sure that they are not produced in areas we
have previously named. I would like to confirm that we refuse to import anything produced in settlements, simply because we
do not recognize them as legitimate." Some dozens of Jordanian citizens are seen chanting slogans against "pro-
normalization people, agents, and the cowardly."

Al-Shubaki notes that "citizens continue their anti-normalization campaign to stop merchants from importing Israeli
agricultural products." He says: "Jordan imported about 3,000 tonnes of Israeli vegetables and fruits during the first nine
months of this year, according to official statements." Trade union activist Siyaj al-Majali, he says, "has stated that the
government              has            not            kept           its            promises             so            far."

Al-Majali tells a television correspondent that "the minister of agriculture has not kept his promise to point to Israeli products,"
confirming that "most of the Jordanians refuse to buy Israeli products." He also says: "Israeli products are protected by the
government while Jordanian products are not," warning that "the prices of these vegetables and fruits are turned into weapons
used against Palestinian children." Although the Israeli colonies are illegitimate, "Jordan imports fruits and vegetables from
them," he says, describing this "as extremely serious." A Jordanian citizen says some buy Israeli goods and some others
refuse                                       to                                      by                                       them.



                                                                 12
Al-Shubaki also says: "Only few merchants import Israeli fruits and vegetables to the Jordanian market with the support of the
government, according to anti-normalization circles. As long as the country continues to import Israeli fruits and vegetables,
anti-normalization   efforts   will go     on,    according      to   Siyaj   al-Majali    and   other     trade    unionists."

Asked by Al-Shibl if Israeli fruits and vegetables are still imported, five months after the said protests, Malas says: "Statistics
conducted in October show that the amounts of the imported Zionist fruits and vegetables have dropped to 175 tonnes from
300 tonnes a month." Now that imports have been restricted only to Kaka and Mango, he says, "Jordanians are urged not to
buy these two kinds of fruits so that we can put an end to dealing with the Zionist entity." He also says that "following the
campaign that began with sit-ins near the vegetable market and the Ministry of Agriculture and ended with trade unionists
beaten up in violation of the law and the constitution, Jordanian citizens began examining vegetables and fruits before buying
them." He says that "the Ministry of Agriculture, under pressure from the Jordanian Trade Unions and the Agriculture
Engineers Union, has set up a committee to make sure of the origin of fruits and vegetables," stressing that "only a few
merchants              are             still         dealing               with           the            Zionist           entity."

Jammul         notes        that       Jordanian         official        circles     support        trade        with       Israel.

Malas says: "A recent report shows that fruit and vegetable dealers now refuse to deal with the Zionist entity, thanks to the
anti-normalization campaign." He says that "only three or four merchants, who have sold their nation and dignity, still import
goods from the Zionist entity to enable it to purchase more weapons to kill Palestinians, keep the Gaza Strip under the
blockade, and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque." He also notes that "these merchants do not express the position of the Jordanian
street."



                         Beijing plans to raise water price by 24 per cent amid shortages
                                                                                          nd
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 2   December

[Xinhua:        "Beijing      Plans     To      Raise       Water      Price      by      24      Pct      Amid     Shortages"]
Beijing, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) - Beijing is planning to raise water price by about 24 per cent to discourage residents from wasting
water and ease shortages. The price of water for residential use will rise from 3.7 yuan (54 US cents) to 4.6 yuan (67 US
cents), according to a proposed plan by the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission. The government would
offer subsidies to low-income families to ensure their living standard not to be affected by the hike, a commission spokesman
said Wednesday. A public hearing would be held on Dec. 16 to solicit opinions from the citizens, the spokesman said.
Beijing, a city of 17 million, has been grappling with water shortage over recent years. The city has been plagued by droughts
in nine consecutive years in the past decade. Government data show that the per capita water availability is only 300 cubic
meters, far less than the internationally recognized warning line of 1,000 cubic meters. Over the past five years, Beijing has
invested more than 4 billion yuan in the conservation of water resources and construction of water supply projects. Last
month, the city raised the price of water for non-residential use by up to 48.6 per cent.



                         Over 100,000 face drinking water shortages in central China city
                                                                                           th
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 26 November

[Xinhua:       "100,000        Face       Drinking       Water       Shortages       in       Central        China       City"]
CHANGSHA, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) - The decline of water level in the Xiangjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze River, has
affected the drinking water supply for more than 100,000 people in central China's Xiangtan City. The water level at the
Xiangtan section of the river went below 27 meters Wednesday and was approaching the record low of 26.86 meters, which
caused serious water shortages in the city proper. Drinking water supplies to some residential areas in the city have been cut
off and were only available in some other parts during lunch and dinner hours. A number of enterprises were forced to
suspend or limit production. The Xiangtan municipal government were distributing water to affected residents with fire engines
and    water     tanks.    It   was    also    mending     a   cofferdam     in  the    river    to    raise    water    level.



                            Angola, World Bank sign 30m-dollar agricultural finance agreement
Text    of   report    by    Angolan   government    newspaper    Jornal    de    Angola  website             on    27 November

The Government and the World Bank, via the International Development Association (IDA), signed an agreement in Luanda to
finance a market-centred family farming project. The credit is being co-financed by the World Bank, which provided $30
million, the Angolan Government which has put in $4.2 million, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
with $8.2 million and Japan which has given four million dollars. The agreement was signed by Planning Minister Ana Dias
Lourenco and the new World Bank representative in Angola, Elio Codato, and witnessed by Agriculture Minister Afonso

                                                                    13
Pedro Canga and Japan's ambassador to Angola, Kazuhiko Koshikawa. The project, which will be implemented over a six-
year period, aims to increase agricultural production and improved market access by providing better service to small rural
farmers in the Bie, Huambo and Malanje provinces. 126,000 families, the majority of which carry out subsistence farming, will
benefit from the project. The project will allow small-scale farmers to increase their production capacity, creating greater
surplus so as to augment their household income. The planning minister said that the "project will give some relief to the
Agricultural Ministry programme." The agriculture minister thanked the institutions that co-financed the project, including the
Japanese Government, stating that this will allow farmers in the selected provinces to produce enough to become self-
sufficient and to supply the market. World Bank representative, Elio Cordato, stated that the agreement will strengthen the
relationship between the World Bank and the Angolan Government. He explained that the project will give technical
assistance in rural expansion processes to farming families that that they may learn new techniques and perfect cultivations
techniques in the aims of improving production. The farmers will also receive support through the construction of small-scale
infrastructure to support the production and sale of agricultural produce. Ambassador Koshikawa welcomed the signing of
the agreement, saying that the project will contribute to the improved organization among small-scaled farmers in the selected
provinces. According to him, the agricultural sector can become one of the main drivers of economic development in Angola
and as the largest importer of agricultural products, Japan would, in future, like to import agricultural products from Angola.



                       China stresses environmental protection in water diversion project
                                                                                          nd
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 2   December

[Xinhua:     "Chinese     Vice    Premier     Stresses      Environmental    Protection    in    Water      Diversion     Project"]
BEIJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) - Chinese vice premier Li Keqiang has called for efforts to build the South-to-North Water Diversion
Project into a water-efficient and environment-friendly project. Li made the remarks at a meeting held by the State Council on
Tuesday, saying the government should stick to policies regarding resource-conservation and environment-protection in the
construction work. Li ordered relevant departments to intensify their efforts on pollution control and eco-environment
protection in both the water source area and areas along the project in the course of construction. Li, who is also a member of
the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stressed that a good job
on the resettlement of residents is essential. Addressing the meeting, vice premier Hui Liangyu ordered attaching great
importance to quality and safety, strengthening pollution treatment and properly resettling local residents. Launched in 2002,
the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, consisting of eastern, middle and western routes, is designed to divert water from
the water-rich south of the country, mainly the Yangtze River, to the dry north. By the end of October, the government has
invested 34 billion yuan (or 4.98 billion US dollars) in the eastern and middle routes, and part of the project has contributed to
alleviate                   the                    water                    strain                    in                   Beijing.



                   Zimbabwe finance minister reportedly makes U-turn; asks for frozen IMF funding
Text of report by Mabasa Sasa entitled "Biti makes IMF funds U-turn" published by state-owned Harare-based Zimbabwean
newspaper                The                  Herald               website                on              27 November

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has finally asked the IMF to urgently release US$50 million of the over US$500 million allocation
to Zimbabwe to buy agricultural inputs for the 2009/10 cropping season. Minister Biti has also outlined how he wants the rest
of the money used; a formula similar to that proposed by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono about two
months ago. The IMF in August allocated Zimbabwe US$510 million as part of the institution's efforts to assist member-states
weather the global financial crisis that was triggered by a credit crunch in the United States last year. However, the money
was frozen in an IMF account after Minister Biti instructed the organization not to release any money in what was widely
viewed as a personal battle with Dr Gono. Dr Gono had said the money be used for, among other things, agricultural sector
support and gave a directive to that effect in his capacity as central bank chief and custodian of such funds. On November 25,
2009, Minister Biti wrote to the IMF saying the money should now be released for the purchase of inputs, though Government
sources yesterday said the action is "too little too late". Earlier in the month, he wrote another letter to the IMF saying the
funds should be unfrozen and gave them a breakdown of how the money would be used. The first letter, written on November
13, was directed to IMF finance director Mr Andrew Tweedie while the second was addressed to the Bretton Woods
institution's Zimbabwe mission chief Mr Vitaliy Kramarenko. It is understood that Minister Biti wrote the second letter, which
specifically calls for a quick disbursement of US$50 million, after pressure mounted to demonstrate that he was genuine in his
claims of supporting the agricultural sector. He wrote: "Reference is made to my letter dated 13 November 2009 to Mr A.
Tweedie, director finance department, wherein I advised of the approved proposal by Government on the utilisation of the
country's SDRs and requested the IMF to convert and disburse SDR equivalent of US$50 million for the purchase of
agricultural inputs for the 2009/2010 cropping season." He instructed that the money be deposited in the ministry's National
Development Fund account with FBC Bank. "In line with our policies, all Government account balances are not subject to
statutory reserve requirements . . . I am, therefore, kindly requesting the IMF to convert and disburse SDR equivalent of
US$50 million for the immediate purchase of agricultural inputs for the 2009/2010 cropping programme."
The letter is copied to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda; IMF director for the Africa

                                                                14
department Ms Sayeh Antoinette; and IMF executive director for Africa Group 1 constituency Mr Samuel Itam.
SDRs are special drawing rights, the IMF currency. In his letter of November 13, Minister Biti gave the following breakdown of
how the money would be used: l US$250 million to clear certain IMF arrears, demonetisation, and other 2010 National Budget
projects l US$105 million for rehabilitation of Hwange, Zesa, National Railways, hospitals, the education sector, roads, water
and sanitation projects, and lighting l US$50 million for grain procurement lines of credit l US$100 million for manufacturing,
mining, agro-processing, construction, transport and ICT lines of credit The total was US$505 million and he did not say what
would happen with the balance of US$5 million. Dr Gono in September proposed that the SDRs be converted and used for
mining, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, public utilities and clearance of IMF arrears. Minister Biti said the money would
only be allocated in the Budget but this past month suddenly saw the urgency of financing inputs procurement when many
farmers have already lost hope of getting meaningful yields from the summer season. "The challenge that Government is
facing is mobilisation of resources for fina ncing the 2009/2010 agriculture season. "Therefore, with respect to (grain
procurement), an agricultural inputs procurement allocation of US$50 million will be made in the 2010 National Budget. "It will
be appreciated if the Fund can immediately convert and disburse SDR equivalent of US$50 million for the purpose of
purchasing agricultural inputs for the 2009/2010 agricultural season as well as approve the other proposed allocations of
the SDRs." Yesterday, Government sources said: "There has been a sustained and growing campaign to make Minister Biti
realise the urgency of the matter. "It has finally paid off, but it is a case of too little too late. By the time that money comes we
could be well into January and who is going to be buying seed then?" The sources said the provision of inputs had occupied
centre stage in Tuesday's Cabinet meeting after which Minister Biti dispatched the second letter to the IMF.



                      Kenya: Climate change continues to affect Lake Victoria's water levels
Text of report by D Malingha Doya entitled "Lake Victoria meeting fails to address key resource concerns" by Kenyan
newspaper               The              EastAfrican              website               on              30 November

Despite talks to jointly harness shared resources for regional economic development, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are yet to
resolve key issues surrounding the management of Lake Victoria. Water excavation, overfishing and the Migingo question
continue to pose a challenge even as the region celebrates 10 years of cooperation. The resources impact on the health of
the lake, foreign exchange, security and territorial integrity of each country. And at a recent stakeholders meeting in Kisumu,
each government allegedly instructed its delegates to limit debate on these issues due to parallel attempts to resolve the
matter. The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) believes the unilateral actions by partner states are depleting the water
resource. The commission told The EastAfrican that remedies to these concerns are in the pipeline. They include formulation
of a policy for extraction of water from the lake, legislation to regulate transportation and fishing in the lake and a joint survey
to resolve the Migingo territorial feud between Uganda and Kenya. The meeting was meant to detail new projects on the lake:
the second phase of an environmental project aimed at sustainable rehabilitation of the lake's ecosystem; a project aimed at
achieving the Millennium Development Goals on water and sanitation; a communication facility to reduce accidents on the
lake; a Mt. Elgon conservation project; an HIV reduction project; and a Mara River basin conservation initiative.

Ill-prepared

But the delegates only gave a brief description of the projects, saying the region was ill-prepared to put up a strong case at
next month's climate change meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Nile Basin negotiations where Egypt and Sudan
have become their stalemate factor. The meeting however discussed at length the fears of implementing the new regional
laws on transportation on the lake, and the HIV problem among communities living within the basin. Uganda has often been
accused of releasing excess water into River Nile in order to turn turbines for electricity generation. A hydrologist and LVBC's
focal point officer in Uganda, Joel Okonga, said: "Professional analysis shows that 90 per cent of the drop in water levels of
the lake was caused by climate change, while extra-release at Jinja accounted for only 10 per cent." Kenya is accused of
depleting the lake through overfishing, with fishing vessels reportedly having increased six-fold in 2000 from 10,000 in the
1980s and the catch per vessel rising. Tanzania, too, has an ambitious two million-hectare irrigation programme that uses
water                                     from                                      the                                     lake.



                          WFP says to continue with Somalia operations despite Islamist threat
Text     of    report     by  Somali     pro-Puntland  government      Puntlandpost     website                on     27 November

World Food Programme has responded to accusations by Al-Shabab in which the group accused it of importing food from
foreign nations right around the time when Somali farmers are harvesting their crops and thus placing major obstacles in their
way. A spokesman for the World Food Programme has said they have been importing food from countries outside Somalia
because the food grown in the country is not enough to sustain the demand. "We will continue with our operations because
our food aid is relied upon by 3.7 million people across the country," said the WFP. The movement for the Al-Shabab has
asked the organization to empty its warehouses by distributing the food to the needy by the beginning of 2010 and from then
on purchase food from Somali farmers so that they can financially benefit from it. Independent contractors working with WFP

                                                                 15
have also been asked to end their contracts with WFP by the end of this year. The United Nations has said serious food
shortage in Somalia has been caused by the nonstop fighting and the prolonged droughts that have hit the country, adding
that      because      of      all      of      these,     they       will     not      stop      their      operations.



                        Food exports grow steadily in South China's Guangdong province
                                                                                           th
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 29 November

[Xinhua:       "Food       Exports         Grow       Steadily       in     S.       China's       Guangdong           Province"]
GUANGZHOU, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) - The economically developed Guangdong province in southern China witnessed a stable
growth in food exports in the first 10 months, thanks partly to the nation's tax rebate policy for exports, according to local
customs. Between January and October, Guangdong exported 3.59 billion US dollars worth of food products, up 2.7 per cent
over the same period of last year. In October, the province's food exports were valued at 400 million US dollars, up 0.7 per
cent, increasing year-on-year for the fourth month in a row. Local customs said the tax rebate policy that took effect as of June
1 had somehow offset cost rise, in part resulting from appreciation of the Chinese currency, for exporters. Foods products
made up around 50 per cent of export products covered by the tax rebate policy. However, the local customs said fears about
food security and trade barriers still hampered China's food exports. As a major foreign trade base, Guangdong accounted
for 27.5 per cent of China's total import and export volume in the first 10 months of this year.



                                        Mongolian cabinet plans charges for water use
                                                                                                                 th
Text    of    report    in    English     by    Mongolian    news    agency     Montsame          website     26      November

[By D. Bilgee] Ulaanbaatar: At their regular meeting held Wednesday [25 November], the cabinet resolved to give a 50,000
tugrik [approx US] bonus for every tonne of food wheat that is supplied to the state or flour mills by farmers or legal persons.
A matter was touched upon and decided thus to issue a related governmental resolution on renovating a percentage and
amount of payment for water use. Minister of nature and tourism was tasked to renovate a ecology-economical estimation of
water resources and to have it discussed by the cabinet meeting in third quarter of 2010. The sectors differ in using water
resources, for example an irrigated land farming uses 12 per cent out of total water resources, animal husbandry - 16 per
cent, population - 16 per cent, mining sphere - 22 per cent, energy sector - 25 per cent, light industry - 12 per cent, tourism -
one per cent. It was newly resolved to free from the payment for the water use population, pasturing livestock, animals,
private vegetables gardens, but to have a water distributor deal with and charge entities, organizations and citizens. The
ministers considered as impossible to back an initiated by several MPs parliament draft resolution on "Buying livestock
through issuing money from Mongolia's development fund". About it the initiators will be informed soon. The cabinet discussed
ways of renewing the Mongolian side part that will hold negotiations on renewing an intergovernmental agreement of the year
1949 on founding the jointly-invested Mongolia-Soviet "Ulaanbaatar Railway" society. Accordingly, a related order will be
issued                                    by                                    the                                      premier.



                               Minister outlines agricultural development of western China
                                Source: Renmin Ribao website, Beijing, in Chinese 26 Nov 09

Renmin Ribao, a daily newspaper of the CCP Central Committee, on 26 November carries an interview with Vice-Minister of
Agriculture Wei Chaoan regarding the development of Western China. During the interview, Wei outlined major tasks under
the strategy for the development of the western region in China, including the implementation of natural grassland protection
projects and the strengthening of the building of grain bases. Wei also reviewed the main achievements in the western
region's agricultural and rural economic development over the past decade. He pointed out that the strategic emphasis of
future effort to further promote the western region's modern agricultural development will be on improving a rural market and
agricultural service system, speeding up restructuring to build a modern agricultural industrial system with the
characteristics of the western region, strengthening the development and protection of the resources environment, and
improving       production     conditions    to    raise   the    comprehensive      agricultural     production    capacity.



                     China: Agreement signed to safeguard Macao's long-term water supply
                                                                                           th
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 26 November

MACAO, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) - Officials from Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Ministry of Water Resources of
the central government signed a formal agreement here on Thursday to financially support Datengxia Hydroelectric Project in
China's southwest Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, aiming to safeguard Macao's water supply in the long term.

                                                               16
Edmund Ho Hau Wah, chief executive of Macao SAR, and Jiao yong, vice-minister of the Ministry of Water Resources of the
central government, attended the signing ceremony. According to the agreement, Macao SAR will provide 800 million RMB to
support the project, which would be mainly used for the relocation of residents and for the soil and water conservation in the
affected areas due to the construction. Macao has been threatened by the salinity problem in recent years due to drought
upriver. Although Macao's water supply has been ensured every year thanks to the relieving measures of neighbouring
province and the support of central government, it is of vital importance to fundamentally solve such a problem. Lau Si Io,
Secretary for Transport and Public of the SAR, said at the signing ceremony that Datengxia Hydroelectric Project, which costs
a total of 25 billion RMB and is going to take nine years to complete, is the long-term solution.



                                          Radio station launches for India's Hisar farmers
Text        of       report       by     Indian    newspaper      The       Economic       Times        on       29        November

Thousand of farmers in the Hisar district of Haryana will now be able to tune in to the first Community Radio Station (CRS) on
FM 91.2 setup at Haryana Agricultural University. Apart from informing and educating farmers about agriculture and best
practices in technology, seed, soil, weather, climate, it will also bring to focus important social issues and different government
schemes for them. Set up at a cost of Rs 25 lakh, the state government now targets to set one such CRS in each district.
Currently it has got clearance by the Central government and approval of funding for two more such radio stations. According
to government officials the government plans to engage NGOs, universities and schools to popularise the concept in the state.
Also, the government is contemplating to give radio sets to farmers at subsidised rates. "In north India this is first community
radio station for farmers and the programmes on agriculture and animal husbandry will be broadcast. Initially we will be
broadcasting news for 8 hours in a day but we plan to extend it to 18 hours in the coming days, "Haryana Agriculture
University ,vice-chancellor, Dr K.S.Khokhar. The programmes will be made in local language and will also relay success
stories of farmers to attract more farmers The country's first community radio station for farmers was set up in Dharwad in
Karnataka in 2007. Similar stations have been launched across the country to disseminate information on issues related to
agriculture to farmers. The broadcasting of the programmes began on Sunday and the station would transmit to a radius of
around 30 km. Hisar is the hub of commodities like cotton, mustard, guar and wheat and dairy sector. Community radio is
expected to play a positive role in enhancing agriculture development in Haryana. "It will tell farmers how to cope with
weather calamities, management of land, water and pesticides in farming and to adopt new methods to increase their
earning," said Dr Khokhar. According to the agriculture department , nearly 70 per cent of the state's population live in
villages           and           depend             directly             or           indirectly           on           agriculture.



                                  Private guards on Spanish fishing boat drive back Somali pirates
Text                 of              report          by             Spanish           news                   agency             Efe

Madrid, 29 November: The fishing boat Oturbe Berria has driven back an attack by pirates in the Indian Ocean, thanks to the
private security team travelling on board, who had to use their weapons, the Defence Ministry has said.
In a written statement, the ministry led by Carme Chacon added that the attack occurred at about 0537 hours - Spanish time -
when the Spanish-registered fishing vessel was attacked by two skiffs 230 nautical miles southwest of the Seychelles. The
attack was confirmed by telephone by the skipper of the Oturbe Berria, after the fishing boat Intertuna III informed the
maritime surveillance unit's operations centre of it. The fishing boat's skipper said the pirates shot at them with light weapons
and a rocket-propelled grenade and after a 30-minute chase the attack was driven back by the private security team on board,
who made use of their weapons. Following the incidents, the fishing boat - on which nobody was hurt and no damage was
done - is moving away freely towards the south of the area. The commander of Operation Atalanta [EU anti-piracy operation]
(TF465) sent the Portuguese frigate Alvarez Cabral and the maritime patrol plane based in the Seychelles to the area.
Atalanta's command chose not to assign the mission to the [Spanish] frigate Canarias, which is 600 miles northeast of the
scene                                      of                                    the                                     incidents.



                               Jordan's PM, visiting Turkish president launch "strategic" water project
                                                                                                                      nd
Text   of        report   in     English by official Jordanian news agency Petra-JNA website                      2        December

["Prime Minister, Turkish President Inaugurate Construction Works of Disi Project" - Petra News Agency Headline]
Amman, Dec. 2 (Petra) - Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Nader Dahabi [Nadir Dahabi] inaugurated on
Wednesday [2 December] the construction works of Disi project, which will supply Amman with 100 million cubic meter of
water every year. The project would be carried out by Turkish firm Gama. Gul delivered a speech at the inauguration
ceremony in which he said he was happy to attend the inauguration of this important and strategic project for Jordan. He
thanked His Majesty King Abdallah II and the Jordanian government for their trust in the Turkish firm, expressing confidence in
the company's ability to execute the project in time. Executing such huge project and securing more than $1 billion to finance it

                                                                 17
was a difficult thing, especially in light of the global financial crisis, he added. On his part, Minister of Water and Irrigation
Raed Abu Saud [Raid Abu-Sa'ud] highlighted the importance of the project, which will achieve water security to Jordan. He
added that the project would be carried out applying the BOT (build, operate and transfer) formula. The Disi project, which is
expected to be completed by 2012, is one of the strategic projects in the Kingdom, which would help address water shortage
and                        increase                           water                       supply                       efficiency.



                    35 Million People Out of Food Security Despite Surplus Production – Bangladesh
                                            OSC report in English 01 Dec 2009

The Dainik Janakantha publishes a report by Zafar Ahmed entitled "35 Million People Remain Out of Food Security for Four
Months Every Year." The report says that an imbalance in the distribution of food has created discrimination in society, which
threw more than 35 million people out of food security every year. Quoting concerned sources, the report says that the
country produced a total of 33.3 million metric tonne of food grains this year against the requirement of 28 million metric tonne
leaving a surplus of 5.2 million tonne. According to the report, nearly 35 million people are now suffering from food deficiency
despite the surplus production. The report says day laborers and marginal farmers are the worst victims of the imbalanced
distribution. [Dhaka Dainik Janakantha in Bengali -- Lone multiedition Bengali daily, with an estimated circulation of 100,000.
Pro-Awami       League     and      known     for    critical   investigative     reports   on    radical     Islamic    groups.]



                               Kenya: "Big names" next target in evictions from forest land
Text    of    report    by     Kenyan   privately-owned   newspaper      Daily   Nation    website             on    29 November

An inter-ministerial committee has given its approval for the dispossession of powerful individuals who own land in the Mau
complex. The decision sets the stage for a politically loaded round of dispossession expected to begin as soon as the cabinet
meets to discuss the plan, which could happen as early as Thursday [3 December]. The big shots are targeted in the next
phase of dispossession and evictions from the complex that will focus on a number of areas, including the Maasai Mau. The
list of landowners set to lose their holdings when the exercise begins is a compilation of the most powerful political figures in
the country over the last two decades. Among the properties slotted for expropriation are the Kiptagich Tea Estates, widely
believed to be owned by the family of former President Moi. Also in line for dispossession is the former president's last-born
son, Gideon. According to the names compiled by the government's task force on the conservation of the Mau Forest complex
seen by the Sunday Nation, Mr Gideon Moi owns parcel 46 of the Nakuru/Olenguruone/Kiptagich extension of the forest. His
holding in this section is 44.7 hectares, according to the report. Former powerful internal security permanent secretary and
serving MP for Kuresoi Zakayo Cheruiyot is listed as one of the biggest landowners in the forest complex which
environmentalists say is one of the most critical environmental assets in the country. The report says he was allocated 1,955
hectares. Another prominent figure in the Moi regime, former State House Comptroller John Lokorio, is named in the report as
owning 23.5 hectares in the forest, the same holding as that listed for former lands commissioner Sammy Mwaita.
Other prominent figures on the list are a one-time Kanu official Hosea Kiplagat and cabinet minister Franklin Bett, who has
been a vocal opponent of the proposed evictions. Mr Hassan Noor, the coordinator of the secretariat that is handling the
process, declined to be drawn on how soon the evictions will start, saying he did not want to issue a statement after Prime
Minister Raila Odinga had already made government policy on the matter clear. "The big statement has already been issued,
so I do not want to chip in with smaller statements," he said. Mr Odinga on Friday said the government would not relent in its
efforts to conserve the vital water catchment. The expropriation of property in the hands of powerful and well-known members
of the political elite would be a historic development. It would be the first time senior politicians are dispossessed of their land
in a government-driven exercise, a departure from established political tradition where poor people are often the victims of
forced removals. The decision to go ahead with Phase 3 of the removal process was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting
chaired by Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday, according to sources who spoke to the Sunday Nation. Among those in
attendance were cabinet ministers George Saitoti (Internal Security), James Orengo (Lands), Naomi Shaaban (Special
Programmes). Water minister Charity Ngilu and her Environment counterpart John Michuki were represented by the
permanent secretaries in their ministries. During the meeting, a representative of the Mau secretariat presented a briefing on
the progress that has been made in the last few weeks. He said they had begun with squatters who do not hold titles in hopes
that the big shots, who own large tracts of land, would voluntarily surrender their holdings once it became clear the evictions
were going ahead. This has not happened, and the secretariat suggested that it should be given the green light to proceed
with the dispossession, according to a source familiar with the proceedings who requested anonymity because he was not
authorised to speak to the press. Mr Odinga is said to have spoken out strongly in support of continuing the process. "The PM
[prime minister] said turning back now would be disastrous because it would indicate the government is not serious about
conservation. He also argued that it would be difficult for donors to take the country seriously when it keeps issuing
emergency food appeals while the country is continuing to destroy its main sources of water," said the official. In an effort to
avoid embarrassing confrontations with political heavyweights, officials from the secretariat and the Forestry Ministry have
begun an initiative to reach out to former President Moi and other senior officials so they can engage in negotiations with the
government on ways of handing over the land, the Sunday Nation learnt. "The hope is that they can send politicians and civil

                                                                18
servants who were close to Mr Moi with one message from the government: can we talk on the Mau? The names that have
been mentioned are (ministers) William Ntimama and Henry Kosgey, while another name that has come up is that of Hussein
Dado, a former long-serving DC [district commissioner] of Baringo (Mr Moi's home district)," the source said. The negotiations
are lent greater urgency because the dispossession of the prominent political figures will be more complex than the removal of
squatters from the southwestern Mau. Many of those targeted in the next phase have papers proving ownership, although the
Ndungu commission of inquiry into land allocations found that the allocation of land to politically well connected figures was
illegal. The inter-ministerial committee is expected to present a memo to the cabinet outlining how Phases 3, 4 and 5 of the
reclamation of the forest will be conducted. The memo will outline proposals for the compensation package to be offered as
well as offer recommendations on what to do with those who refuse to surrender or sell back land they own, according to a
source who attended the committee's most recent meeting. Valuers have also been dispatched to the places targeted in
Phase 3 and have reported that the value of the land has fallen sharply because there are few buyers, indicating the cost of
buying back the land will not be as steep as initially feared. One of the thorny issues will be arriving at decisions on what to do
with the land registered in the names of a number of companies believed to be connected to former senior government
officials. These include four companies whose files the Sunday Nation could not trace at the Registrar of Companies - Kelewa
Enterprises, Kapkembu Tea Factory, Kaptagich Tea Estates and Ololarusi Investment Farm. Records indicate they hold a
combined 18,102 hectares. Writing in the Saturday Nation, Mr Odinga accused "well-to-do leaders masquerading as the
peoples' champions" and said their selfish interests were driving the efforts to oppose evictions. "Many of these well-
connected leaders illegally acquired large tracts of land in the forest even though they now profess a commitment to the
environment and have now discovered the importance of squatter interests." The Mau Forest complex is the largest of
Kenya's water towers. The 400,000- square hectare area is the size of the Mt Kenya and Aberdares water catchment areas
combined. Water flowing from the Mau Forest feeds numerous lakes including several that are key tourist attractions such as
Lake Victoria, Turkana, Baringo, Nakuru, Natron and Naivasha. Victoria, Turkana and Natron straddle several countries.
Large-scale occupation in the complex began in earnest when former President Moi de-gazetted sections of the forest in
2001. The destruction intensified in 2005 when President Kibaki gave title deeds to thousands of people who claimed land in
the forest. The decision to evict people from the Mau was taken in July 2008. But the saga has turned into a political battle
between Mr Odinga, who backs the evictions, and Agriculture Minister William Ruto, who is critical of the way the evictions
are being conducted. The seizure of land claimed by key figures in the Moi regime may further widen the divisions over the
exercise.



                                 Chinese firms keen to invest in Liberia's agriculture sector
Text     of     report      by     Liberian     non-state    station     Star     Radio     website           on        1 December

[Report     by     Hilary     Vasco    Wiagbe:      "Chinese    Companies       Eye     Liberia's    Agriculture      Sector"]
Assistant Commerce Minister for Industry, Sei Gahn says several Chinese companies have expressed interest in investing in
Liberia's agriculture Sector. Assistant Minister Gahn said the Chinese are mainly interested in processing cassava one of
Liberia's cash crops. He said the Chinese companies expressed the interest when a Commerce Ministry delegation headed by
Minister Miatta Beyslew visited China recently. According to him the companies reached the decision following the
presentation of a true picture of Liberia's Cassava Sector by the Commerce Ministry delegation. Although Minister Gahn
declined to name the companies, he said they requested government to furnish them with a comprehensive data of the sector.
Mr Gahn added the Ministries of Commerce and Agriculture are in the process of compiling the necessary data. He spoke to
Star Radio Tuesday at the start of a two-day Cassava Sector Strategy Development Workshop taking place in Monrovia. The
workshop is organized by the Agriculture Ministry in collaboration with its international partners including the International
Trade Centre. Over fifty farmers, processors, representatives of national and international Non-governmental organizations,
among                     others                are                attending                   the                 workshop.



                            South Korea's food prices grow faster than major global economies
                                                                                                                   nd
Text     of     report     in    English    by     South    Korean     news     agency    Yonhap                2        December

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) - South Korea's food prices grew at a relatively faster pace than other major economies in October,
a report showed Wednesday. According to the report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, South
Korea's consumer prices for food jumped 4.7 per cent in October from the same month a year earlier. It marked the fifth-
biggest gain among the member countries of the Paris-based organization. Iceland topped the list with food prices rising 12.7
per cent, followed by Mexico with 7.8 per cent, New Zealand and Turkey with 5.8 per cent each, the report showed. South
Korea's food price growth is much higher than the OECD average of negative 1 per cent.




                                                                19
                                      Global warming affecting Uganda's climate
Text of report entitled by Raymond Baguma "Uganda's temperature to rise by 1.5 degrees" by state-owned, mass-circulation
Ugandan              daily        The         New           Vision           website           on         27 November

Uganda's average temperature will increase by up to 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 20 years as a result of global warming,
according to the State of the Uganda Population Report, released yesterday by finance minister Syda Bbumba. "Climate
change is likely to increase average temperatures in Uganda by up to 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 20 years and by up to
4.3 degrees Celsius by the 2080s," the report, authored by the Population Secretariat, says. "Such rates of increase are
unprecedented," the study added. In addition, climate change in Uganda will lead to more erratic weather patterns. The report
predicts an increase in rainfall but unevenly distributed, with more intense and more frequent showers, leading to floods and
landslides, as well as more severe and longer spells of drought. The changes in temperature are likely to have a significant
impact on water resources, food security, health and infrastructure, the study says. In terms of water resources, it notes that
River Rwizi in Mbarara and River Nyamwamba in Kasese are already drying up, while the water levels of Lake Wamala, Lake
Kyoga and Lake Victoria are going down. "Since Lake Victoria receives 80 per cent of its water from direct rainfall and 20 per
cent from basin discharge, climatic contributions cannot be ignored," the report says, noting that water levels dropped to
alarmingly low levels in December 2005. Climate change will also impact on agriculture and food security. The study projects
a loss in agricultural productivity in Uganda of between 15 per cent and 25 per cent. It also predicts a shift in the viability of
coffee- growing areas, potentially wiping out 266m dollars or 40 per cent of export revenue. "The food crisis in the country
threatens to reach alarming levels," the report notes, estimating that currently 40 per cent of deaths among children in Uganda
are due to malnutrition. "Given that Uganda's annual population growth rate is 3.2 per cent, while the annual growth rate of
food        production     is     only      about     1.5      per      cent,     the      food      crisis   is       worsening."
In terms of health, temperature increase has extended the habitats of mosquitoes, with highland areas that were historically
malaria-free, such as Kabale, Kisoro and Rukungiri, now also experiencing epidemics. The report shows an increase in the
cases of malaria in the last 10 years ranging from 23 per cent in Rukungiri to 135 per cent in Mbarara. In addition, it says
"rising temperatures help mosquitoes breed more, bite more and live longer." The study lists several other diseases, affecting
people, animals and plants, that are on the rise as a result of climate change, such as cholera and dysentery caused by floods
and respiratory diseases caused by prolonged dry spells. The tsetse fly belt has expanded, resulting into increased cases of
sleeping sickness, nagana and the associated drug resistance. In Katakwi, grasshopper epidemics in 2005 destroyed all
cereals, the main source of food security in Usuk county. Also, army worms have been reported in Wakiso, Tororo and Pallisa
districts, while Newcastle disease epidemics in poultry have been more frequent in Rakai and Soroti. The weather changes
will also trigger migrations and competition for strategic resources, leading to regional insecurity, according to the study. It
calls for the implementation of regulations aimed at preserving the environment, such as dealing decisively with encroachers
and illegal timber loggers. It also recommends erecting more boreholes, protecting water resources, and setting up early
warning systems and seasonal forecasts to allow farmers adjust to the changing weather conditions. "It is necessary to
strengthen the capacity of the Department of Meteorology to enable it provide efficient, timely and reliable weather and climate
information." The report also calls for the involvement of women in measures to mitigate the effects of climate change. "In
urban areas, women are capable of implementing energy efficient programmes at the household level, while women in rural
areas      can    be   trained    to    use    biomass     and     biogas     in  addition    to   promoting     solar    energy."



                        Caribbean slams planned EU banana deal with Latin American countries
Text    of    report    by    Caribbean    Media   Corporation  news      agency    website  on                  2     December

Geneva: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries Wednesday criticised the European Union over its planned deal with
Latin American countries to end along running banana trade war, saying that the Caribbean banana industry could be
severely affected by the new accord. The new accord is expected to be signed this week and slashes import taxes on
bananas from Latin America, from Euro 176 Euros (US262 dollars) a tonne to Euro 114(US170 dollars) over the next seven
years. Trinidad and Tobago's Trade and Industry Minister, speaking at a news conference here, said that the fact remains that
the resolution of this long-standing trade dispute will result in the decline of a major CARICOM export. But he said the
Caribbean was willing to agree to the conclusion of this dispute provided the following element, including that the outcome on
bananas cannot be divorced from the treatment of other preference erosion products and that there is a package, carefully
crafted among African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP),the European Commission and the Most Favoured Nations (MFN)
suppliers that addresses the treatment of 62 agricultural products, were favourably addressed. "CARICOM considers this to
be a final package and will therefore not accept any attempts to alter its provisions, in particular with respect to major
CARICOM export products, such as rum and sugar," said Browne, speaking on behalf of CARICOM and the Caribbean Forum
(CARIFORUM) countries. Browne, speaking ahead of the closing session of the Seventh World Trade Organization (WTO)
Ministerial Conference, said that CARICOM was also demanding that the EC-funded Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM)
should be at an appropriate level for the budget period 2010-2013. "The CARICOM demand for financial compensation is
also based on Para. 150 of the draft Agriculture modalities that calls for preference granting countries to provide adjustment
measures to mitigate preference erosion in affected developing countries. "We welcome the EC acceptance of a review
clause of the effectiveness of the BAM in addressing its objectives of enhanced competitiveness and supporting
diversification. CARICOM views this review clause as an opportunity to secure additional funding beyond the current EC

                                                               20
budget cycle. "However, CARICOM insists that the review should be conducted by both the EC and ACP banana exporting
countries," Browne said, noting that the way in which the banana dispute has been handled typifies one of the "systemic
concerns on the functioning of the multilateral trading system". "For while we are prepared to accept this package on
agricultural preferences, we remain concern that the implementation of the Banana Agreement will result in the decline of a
major Caribbean export industry. We therefore remain convinced that the multilateral trading system must offer additional
trading opportunities for these small, vulnerable, preference-dependent members." Browne said that in addition, the affected
CARICOM states "deeply regret that they have been unable to fully participate in the negotiations on an issue of vital
economic importance. "Our experience with bananas demonstrates the critical need for the current round of WTO
negotiations to result in a balanced, fair and development-supportive outcome, particularly for countries such as ours," Browne
said. He told reporters that CARICOM was also calling on the WTO to ensure that there is a global trading system that would
allow for real benefits to all members "through a genuinely inclusive, transparent and multilateral process". "Our sense of the
meeting is that the centrality of development as the core objective of the Doha Agenda has been re-affirmed. We sense a
determination to re-energise the negotiations and hope that this is translated into real engagement in the coming weeks and
months in order to achieve the collected wish to conclude in 2010." Brown said that the region is of the view that the global
economic crisis has reinforced the need for a rules based multilateral trading system that generates benefits for all members,
but more so countries such as ours that are small and vulnerable. "For us in the Caribbean, a pro-development outcome of the
DDA must address our fundamental interests and that entails rebalancing of the multilateral trading system in a manner that
promotes the sustainable development of developing countries. "From our perspective, that means securing a number of
elements that address the fundamental constraints faced by Small Vulnerable Economies such as ours. This includes
appropriate flexibilities in Agriculture and Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA), Fisheries Subsidies and Trade
Facilitation." Browne told reporters that of particular interest to CARICOM is the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) that
must be simple, operational, effective and non-burdensome and offer enhanced flexibilities for small vulnerable economies
(SVEs).He said the adoption of such an SSM remains pivotal to the cardinal pursuits of food security, promotion of rural
development and poverty alleviation. "Of particular importance to CARICOM is that the WTO should been trusted with the role
of mobilising additional Aid For Trade (AFT) resources and monitoring its impact. It has been established that Small
Vulnerable Economies can take advantage of trade openings only when these are complemented by a sustained programme
of trade capacity building measures." The Trinidad and Tobago trade minister said that the fast-tracking of AfT support
programmes in CARICOM assumes even greater importance in light of the loss of long-standing preferences on major
agricultural commodities. He told reporters that one of the major issues in the Caribbean is the fact that "we have not
received a fair share of AfT resources because of the perception that poverty is not a major concern.



                           Imports Account for 70% of Food Products Consumed in Venezuela

Caracas El Universal Online on 27 November reports that according to the National Federation of Agricultural-Livestock
Producers (Fedeagro), about 70% of all food products consumed in Venezuela are imported. These include staples such as
rice, corn, coffee, sunflower seeds, soybeans, pulses and grains, vegetables, oilseeds, and sorghum. Imports of basic staples
increased this year by 25% compared to 45% in 2008. For the first time in years, the Venezuelan Government authorized
imports of coffee, sugar, rice, and cotton this year to offset falling production and supply shortages caused by unfavorable
weather conditions. Fedeagro predicts that the outlook for 2010 will be no different than the current situation since the
government will have to import products such as white corn, rice, and coffee to meet consumer demand. [Caracas El
Universal Online in Spanish -- Website of conservative, pro-opposition morning daily with an average daily run of over 80,000
copies Monday through Saturday and 200,000 on Sundays. Founded in 1909. President Dr. Andres Mata Osorio; URL:
http://www.eluniversal.com[1]]

                                             Food Shortages Jump 17% in Oct

Caracas El Universal Online on 27 November reports that food shortages in Venezuela jumped 17% in October from 13.5%
the previous month, according Luis Vicente Leon, head of the Caracas-based research firm Datanalisis. Leon attributed the
situation to excess government controls. He noted that 50% of products bought by consumers are not their first choice. Leon
also pointed out that consumer confidence in 2009 stood at 46% compared to 80% a year ago.
Venezuelan Tuna Boats Required To Unload 80% of Total Catch -- Caracas Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias on 26 November
reports that Venezuelan tuna boats will be required to unload 80% of their total catch at local ports, according to a resolution
by the Agriculture and Lands Ministry published in Official Gazette No. 39,314 dated 25 November 2009. The measure is
being taken to protect domestic food security and the local fishing industry. [Caracas Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias in
Spanish -- Website of the official Venezuelan News Agency also known by acronym ABN; URL: http://www.abn.info.ve[2]]




                                                              21
                       Mali gets over 31m dollars in aid from Netherlands for health, agriculture
Excerpt from report by L. Diarra entitled "Mali-Netherlands cooperation: Over 14bn CFA francs for health and agriculture"
published      by       Malian         state-owned       newspaper        L'Essor     website       on       1 December

The friendship ties which link our country to the Netherlands is marked by diversity. After the priority sectors such as education
and water supply, it is the turn of health and agriculture to benefit from two financing agreements of over 14bn CFA francs
[approximately 31,448,700 dollars] from the Netherlands. Amsterdam gave our at the same occasion an amendment meant
for the "Helen" Project (harmonisation of the management efficiency of the Niger Office) the financing of which is 1.7bn CFA
francs [approximately 3,818,770 dollars]. The documents for these various agreements were signed this Monday [30
November] by the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Moctar Ouane, and the Dutch ambassador to our
country, Ellen van der Laan. The ceremony which took place at the Ministry of Foreign affairs saw the presence of the
secretary of state for the integrated development of the Niger Office Zone, Abou Sow, and several officials of the concerned
ministries. By these agreements, the Netherlands is helping to accelerate the growth inscribed in the Millennium Development
Goals (ODG) in its Article 5 and the attainment of food security thanks to the intervention capacity building of the Niger Office.
The whole of it is for a total sum of 14.9bn CFA francs [approximately 33,470,400 dollars]. With over 11bn CFA francs
[approximately 24,709,700 dollars], the first intervention is meant for the funding of the "Netherlands Support Programme for
the acceleration of the achievement of the fifth aim of the Millennium Development Goals". This financial assistance hopes to
reduce by 2012 the ratio of maternal mortality in our country, lower the 464 mortality rate to a lower level or equal to 344 in a
thousand live births through the building of three New Reference Hospitals (CSREF) in Sefeto, Niena and Kalabancoro. Other
projects involved in this financing, namely the rehabilitation of eight CSREF already existing at Diema, Yelimane, Dioila,
Markala, Macina, Koro, Djenne and Niafunke and the equipping of the community health centres (CSCOM). The Batavian
financial assistance will make it possible, also, to improve the system of reference of obstetrical evacuation and the boosting
of family planning through the strengthening of the awareness creation and support to the human resources. This specific
support is added to the sector budgetary aid which our country gets from the Netherlands. It came out, however, from a sum
of a little over 1bn CF francs [approximately 2,246,330 dollars] released for the second phase of the Health and Social
Development Programme (PRODESS II). This sum is the second tranche of an annual donation of 2.6bn CFA francs
[approximately 5,840,470 dollars] to the PRODESS budget. The second agreement is to the benefit of agricultural economic
development for which the Netherlands released over 3.1bn CFA francs [approximately 6,963,630 dollars]. This money is
going to fund the "2008-2012 Contract Plan Support Programme of the Niger Office". The latter allies the priority activities
through studies, rehabilitation and extension works, a network maintenance improvement effort. This programme exemplifies
an already existing cooperation (30 years) between the office and the Netherlands. [Passage omitted].



                          UN said cuts by half humanitarian appeal for Zimbabwe in 2010
Text of report by Never Chanda entitled "UN halves Zim humanitarian appeal" published by The Zimbabwean Online on
30 November

Harare -The United Nations has halved the humanitarian appeal for Zimbabwe in 2010 from the US$718 million sought this
year but cautioned against continued "structural problems" faced by the southern African country still recovering from a
decade of political strife and economic meltdown. Zimbabwe's appeal is half as large in dollar terms as in 2009 when the UN
asked for US$718 million "because a generally good harvest has reduced the number of severely food-insecure
Zimbabweans". According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), early recovery (ER) support
would be a key priority for the 2010 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for Zimbabwe as aid agencies seek to consolidate
recent humanitarian achievements and to ensure that results are maintained. "Direct restoration of basic social services,
infrastructure and livelihood opportunities will not be able to get off the ground without support for the CAP's ER strategy," the
UN arm said. The UN agency said priority would be given to rehabilitation of water facilities in urban and rural areas where an
estimated six million people have no access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Attention would also shift towards provision of livelihood support to vulnerable groups -including female and child-headed
households, people with disabilities, internally displaced persons and people living with HIV/AIDS -to reduce their dependency
on humanitarian assistance. "Without transitional recovery activities in place, populations risk becoming increasingly
dependent on emergency aid, losing self-reliance and the capacity to manage their own development in the future," the UN
agency said yesterday during the launch of the humanitarian appeal. It said more than 1.9 million people in Zimbabwe are
likely to remain food-insecure in 2010 while about 650,000 communal farmers would require agricultural inputs. Without
these inputs, there will be little chance of reducing reliance on outside food assistance. Zimbabwe is experiencing a gradual
shift from humanitarian crisis to recovery following political changes that positively affected socio-economic conditions.
Following the economic downturn and political polarization that culminated in the protracted elections of 2008, an Inclusive
Government was formed in February 2009. This development led to greater cooperation between the international
humanitarian community and the Zimbabwean authorities, improvement in the country's socio-economic and humanitarian
situation, and improved humanitarian access to vulnerable populations. The world body warned that while the improvement of
general conditions in Zimbabwe has improved following the formation of the coalition government in February, the donor
community was still approaching the country's humanitarian situation with "cautious optimism". "It should not distract from
Zimbabwe's structural problems," the agency cautioned. An estimated six million vulnerable people would continue to feel the

                                                               22
impact of the erosion of basic services and livelihoods over the past years. Cholera re-emerged in October, raising fears of the
resurgence of last year's outbreak that affected 55 out of the country's 62 districts, with 98,531 cases and 4,282 deaths
recorded. Despite improvements in food security, the country still faces a substantial national cereal deficit and an estimated
1.9 million people will need food assistance at the peak of the 2010 hunger season from January to March. The country has
the fourth-highest crude mortality rate in Africa. Child malnutrition is a significant challenge to child survival and development.
More than a third of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished while seven per cent suffer from acute
malnutrition. The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is one of the highest in the world, despite a recent drop to 13.7 per cent. Some 1.2
million people live with the virus and 343 600 adults plus 35 200 chil dren under age 15 urgently need anti-retroviral treatment.
The      education     sector    is   characterised     by   severe       shortages      of   essential    supplies,    high   staff
turnover and sporadic teachers' strikes. This particularly affects Zimbabwe's 1.6 million orphaned and vulnerable children,
including more than 100 000 child-headed households. "The need to support 'humanitarian plus' or early recovery
programmes is highlighted by the deterioration in existing infrastructure and loss of employment opportunities," OCHA said.



                   Chinese minister: Concluding Doha Round trade talks in 20120 "tough job"
                                                                                            nd
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 2     December

[Xinhua "Interview": "Tough Job Ahead To Conclude Doha Round Trade Talks in 2010: Chinese Commerce Minister "]
Geneva, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) - It remains very difficult to conclude the Doha Round of global trade talks in 2010, Chinese
Commerce Minister Chen Deming said here Tuesday at a ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"The new deadline of 2010 is a political commitment made by world leaders at the two G20 summits this year. It is supported
by all 153 members of the WTO, including China. But it can only be realized through substantive negotiations," Chen said in
an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the conference. Chen said China is open to the endgame negotiations at an
appropriate time, but each WTO member has to look forward and show more flexibility. "It remains very difficult to complete
the Doha Round in 2010," he warned. Launched in 2001, the Doha Round of world trade talks has been deadlocked in the
past eight years due to differences between developed and developing countries over access to agricultural and non-
agricultural markets. A series of deadlines had been missed, which cast doubt on the latest one. Chen said WTO members
are mulling a plan to relaunch negotiations at a time next year, but there are two preconditions. "New texts on agricultural
and non-agricultural trade have to be available, which should be based on what has been agreed by the end of 2008. And
the endgame negotiations have to be proceeded with talks among major members," he said. Chen said there have been no
timetable for the negotiations, but a preliminary plan is to finish the preparation of new texts by the spring of next year and to
convene a mini-ministerial meeting among major members. WTO members started to bargain on the new texts in September,
but Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said on Monday that negotiations over the past three months had been
confined to peripheral issues. Due to lack of progress, the WTO ministerial conference which kicked off on Monday was
defined as a "talking," not a "negotiating" session on the Doha Round, but serious division between developing and developed
countries were exposed in ministers' speeches. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk on Monday urged emerging economies to
make more concession in opening their markets for industrial goods, but Sharma said rich countries should temper their
demands. Chen said the Doha Round should fulfil its original goal of helping the development in poor countries. "The Doha
Round is a development round. It should look at how to help developing countries under the new global trade rules," he said.
Chen insisted future negotiations should be based on what had been agreed and any bilateral contact should be no substitute
to multilateral negotiations. "Although about 80 per cent has been agreed, the remaining will be the most difficult part," he
said.



                              Asian bank allocates 60m-dollar loan for Uzbek water projects
Excerpt           from           report         by         Gazeta.uz          website                    on            2 December

The Asian Development Bank [ADB] has allocated a 60m-dollar loan to Uzbekistan to implement a project to improve drinking
water supply in three regions. ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda and Uzbek First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister
Rustam Azimov signed a loan agreement in Manila on 1 December. The loan has been allocated by the Asian Development
Bank and is the first tranche of the ADB's multi-tranche investment programme worth 300m dollars, which are reserved for
Uzbekistan. The ADB loans were given for 32 years, including an eight-year grace period, with an annual interest rate of 1 per
cent during the grace period and that of 1.5 per cent after it ends. [Passage omitted: in September 2009, the ADB made a
decision to allocate loans worth 300m dollars to Uzbekistan; the loans will be used to improve water supply systems in central
and                                                     southern                                                      regions]




                                                                23
                               PM says Bangladesh "worst sufferer" of global warming
Text of report headlined "PM demands separate climate fund for Bangladesh" published by Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily
Star                        website                       on                         29                      November

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina demanded separate financial assistance for Bangladesh-like Most Vulnerable Countries (MVC)s
to face the risks of global climate change. Hasina made the demand while addressing the executive and retreat sessions of
Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM)-2009 at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain,
capital of Caribbean island country Trinidad and Tobago Friday [27 November] afternoon. The premier attended the
Commonwealth meeting as the only female head of the government. After the opening ceremony of the CHOGM, Hasina
attended the executive and retreat sessions. In her speech, the prime minister reminded the world leaders about the
disastrous impacts of the global warming in Bangladesh with no fault of its own. "Our contribution to the greenhouse gas
emission is negligible, but the fact is that we are the worst sufferer of the global warming," she said. She categorically said all
financial assistances to be provided to the MVCs must be distinct from the ODA (Official Development Assistance). Hasina
explained the global leaders how climate change has serious negative impacts on food production. It would be very difficult to
achieve world food security unless the people and the economy are protected from the adverse impacts of the climate
change, she added. "Climate change is affecting agriculture, food production and thus affecting the initiatives of attaining
the food security," Hasina said. Hasina said Bangladesh and other developing and least developed countries need financial
assistances from the international community, particularly from the developed countries for overcoming the challenges of the
global warming. The prime minister further laid emphasis on mitigation process for safeguarding the existence of the globe.
She also called for transfer of environment-friendly technology to the developing and LDCs from the developed nations in a
bid to protect the environment of these countries from pollution and consequences of the increasing warming. Hasina also
called for taking special care of women and children regarding facing the climate change challenges as what she said they are
the worst sufferers of the natural hazards caused by the climate change impacts. Prime Minister's Press Secretary Abul
Kalam Azad briefed newsmen after the meeting. Earlier, Hasina attended the opening ceremony of the CHOGM with other
heads of state and government and official representatives attending the three-day commonwealth meet. On her arrival at the
CHOGM venue, Hasina was received by prime minister of Trinidad Patrick Manning. Hasina with the world leaders including
Queen       Elizabeth   II   also     took    part   in    the   photo     session    at   the    opening   of   the    CHOGM.
Late, she attended the joint reception hosted by Trinidad Prime Minister and Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh
Sharma. Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin, Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United
Kingdom Dr M Sayeedur Rahman Khan and Tulip Siddique, daughter of Sheikh Rehana, the youngest daughter of Father of
the     Nation      Bangabandhu         Sheikh     Mujibur     Rahman       were      present    in    the   CHOGM         venue.



                                Israel shells agricultural fields in northern Gaza Strip 2 Dec
Excerpt     from    report     by    pro-Hamas      Palestinian      Information  Centre    website        on     2     December

[Unattributed report: "Occupation Shells Agricultural Lands North East of Gaza Strip, No Injuries"]
Gaza - This evening, Zionist occupation forces, deployed northeast of the Gaza Strip, conducted random shelling of
Palestinian farm lands east of Bayt Hanun. No casualties were inflicted.A Palestinian Information Centre correspondent noted
that "the Zionist enemy's tanks fired a shell at the agricultural lands east of Bayt Hanun, causing material damage." [Passage
omitted]



                   Moldova to receive US, EU loans to renovate roads, modernize agricultural sector
                          Source: Infotag news agency, Chisinau, in Russian 0900 gmt 2 Dec 09

During the next five years, the US government will give Moldova 262m dollars under the Compact programme, the Moldovan
news agency Infotag reported on 2 December. Speaking at a briefing held jointly with Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat, US
ambassador to Moldova Asif J. Chaudhry said that 133m would be used to renovate roads and 102m dollars to implement
modern irrigation systems in the agricultural sector. The grant will be given in tranches during the next five years, Infotag
added. In another report released at 0922 on 2 December, Infotag reported that the EU has given Moldova the first 15m-euro
tranche from a 45m-euro loan which is to be received by Moldova in 2009-12. The funds will be used to implement water
supply                 and                 sewerage                   projects,               Infotag                 added.




                                                                24
                                          Fiji seaweed farmers eye Chinese market
Text        of        report       by        news        portal     Fijilive   website               on         2        December

Fiji's seaweed farmers could be striking it big next year with a major new market secured in China, according to the Ministry of
Primary Industries. Permanent Secretary Viliame Naupoto told Fijilive seaweed farming would be one of the ministry's two pet
projects next year as a market had been found in China. "We have already started seaweed farming around Viti Levu; the
outer islands too will be coming on board. It's a lucrative business. Seaweed is already fetching around 800 dollars [approx
420 US] a tonne to the farmers. It's a six-week crop, short-term, so it's better than sugar and dalo [taro]," Naupoto said. He
said the market for Fiji seaweed had been secured in China and the ministry would work together with farmers to try and
supply the demand. "The demand is about 7,000 tonnes a month. We can't supply that right now but we will drive towards it.
So we have the market, we just need to try to get our production up," Naupoto said. He said local seaweed farming had
peaked in the 1980s but Fiji only managed to produce around 800 metric tons a year at the most, so improvements were
needed. "We will target our assistance a little bit better, get the money right down to the farmers on time and I'm sure we can
get                     our                     production                     up,"                  he                    said.



                              Indonesia launches environmental research centre
Excerpt from report in English by Indonesian Jakarta Globe website thejakartaglobe.com on 27 November

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has launched an interdisciplinary research centre that will focus on environmental
issues in collaboration with overseas universities, mostly in Germany and the Netherlands. LIPI Chairman Umar Anggara
Jenie said on Wednesday [25 Nov 09] that the International Centre for Interdisciplinary and Advanced Research (ICIAR)
would tackle research topics under six clusters, including disaster risk management; coastline sustainability; health, food and
biomedicine; inter-cultural conflict; and assessment management. [A 17 November 2009 Tempointeractive article entitled 'LIPI
Forms International Centre for Interdisciplinary Research' reported that the centre was to be officially opened on 25 November
2009. ICIAR's six areas of research over the next five years include disaster risk management and climate change;
surveillance of coastal communities; crisis and conflict management, inter-cultural studies; bio-geo-dynamics and sustainable
development; food, health, and bio-medical research; and environmentally-friendly advanced materials.] "The centre is an
initiative aimed at developing joint research. It will involve about 70 LIPI professors, as well as senior and junior researchers
from here and overseas," Jenie said. "LIPI's laboratories will be used by the researchers." Aart Schrevel, a senior researcher
with Holland's Wageningen University and Research Centre, said there would be joint projects in several fields, including
lowland development in Sumatra, South Sulawesi, South Kalimantan and Papua. He said that a master plan for water
management in peatland regions and assisting low-income people in those areas would be drafted soon. "We will also accept
post doctoral students, where senior ICIAR researchers will be sent to the Netherlands to do in-depth research," he said. LIPI
Deputy Chairman Lukman Hakim said the institute would represent a paradigm shift in examining and solving some of the
country's complex problems, especially those related to health, food and the environment, which could no longer be solved
using old methods. "Currently, most institutions work on these issues on their own," he said, "but it's now time to engage these
universities, to turn them from just teaching and towards research." Nizam, Secretary of the Higher Education Council at the
Department of Education, hailed the new research centre and said that all Indonesian universities -both state-owned and
private -were ready to participate. [passage omitted] "The collaboration between universities and the centre is very vital. I
expect that ICIAR will serve as a melting pot, bringing together local and foreign researchers." Other universities involved in
ICIAR include the United Nations University's Institute of Environment and Human Security in Bonn and Gottingen University,
both        in      Germany;         and      SENSE          Research       School       located      in      Delft,     Holland.



                      Cambodian senate chairman supports Japan's investment in agriculture sector
                                                                                                                    st
Text   of    report    in English by Cambodian state news agency AKP email service                                  1    December

Phnom Penh, December 1, 2009 AKP - Senate President Samdech Akka Moha Thamma Pothisal Chea Sim has expressed
his support to the Japanese investment in Cambodia's agricultural sector. During a meeting here on Nov. 29 with a
delegation of Japanese investors led by Mr Takei Nobuyuki, president of JC Food Company, Samdech Chea Sim encouraged
and supported JC Food's investment in the rice growing in the province of Battambang, Mrs Pheng Kunthea Borei, head of
protocol of Samdech Chea Sim, told reporters after the talks. "The Japanese investment constituted a bridge towards the
expansion of Cambodia-Japan cooperation," said the Senate president. For his parts, Mr Takei Nobuyuki said his company,
which brought along high techniques to Cambodia, has cultivated 230 ha of rice in Battambang province in order to produce
rice for export. He is also committed to attract other investors to invest in Cambodia, especially in the field of health. - AKP (By
SOKMOM                                                                                                                        Nimul)




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                                Kenya: MPs urge premier, agriculture minister to reconcile
Text    of   report    by    state-owned   Kenya   Broadcasting     Corporation    (KBC)          website     on    1 December

The Parliamentary Caucus for Reforms on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Agriculture Minister William Ruto
to bury their differences. The legislators said the war of words between the two is likely polarize the country. Led by Garsen
MP Danson Mungatana, the MPs called for consensus between the two leaders saying that their political differences were
likely to derail the constitution making process which is at a crucial stage. Addressing the press at parliament buildings, the
legislators said the political differences between Raila and Ruto have overshadowed the crucial draft constitution debate
period. At the same time the leaders, dismissed calls for a censure motion against the prime minister by a section of Rift
Valley MPs saying that it was unjustified since Raila was just executing a government policy. Elsewhere, analysts dismissed
the censure motion as diversionary tactics. Governance and Public Policy analyst Joseph Sikekha says majority of those
pushing for the motion are the major illegal beneficiaries of the Mau forest land. Speaking to KBC, Simekha said the move
was just aimed at settling political scores. He said the motion would be defeated once it comes to the floor of the house. He
said it was unfortunate that a section of political leaders were derailing peace efforts made so far after the 2007-2008 post
election violence. The PM has been at loggerheads with Rift Valley MPs allied to Ruto over the ongoing eviction of Mau forest
settlers. Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo has dismissed threats by the MPs to censure Raila saying the move would destabilize
the coalition. The PM who has vowed to ensure illegal settlers leave the forest has defended himself against accusations his
actions                 in               Mau                depicted               him                as               dictator.



                    Niger, Arab bank sign over 6m dollar loan accord for agricultural development
Excerpt from unattributed report entitled "Ministry of Economy and Finance: Signing of a loan agreement with BADEA and
successful completion of first short term issue of the obligations of Niger public treasury" published on Niger state-owned
newspaper               Le                Sahel              website              on               27             November

The minister of economy and finance, Mr Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, made a working visit to Cairo, the Egyptian HQ of the
Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), said a press statement released last Wednesday [25 November].
During the visit, the minister signed on 23 November 2009 an agreement for a loan of 6.2m dollars, which is the equivalent of
2,800,000,000 CFA francs, for the financing of the Agriculture Strengthening Support Project (PASA) Phase III, the same
source disclosed. The project, which takes follows immediately after PASA I, aims mainly at the construction of water
infrastructures, namely the construction of dams and the development of village zones etc. the communique disclosed that the
minister stressed the relevance of the project which aims at increasing the possibility of national production.
 He expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between BADEA and our country and discussed with the senior officials of
this institution the questions related to the strengthening of this cooperation through namely the preparation and financing of
new programmes and projects to cover the whole country, the communique concluded. [Passage omitted].



                                        Kenyan paper backs premier on forest evictions
 Text of editorial entitled "Raila shouldn't give up on Mau" published by privately-owned Kenyan daily newspaper The Star on
                                                           28 November

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is understandably demoralized over how he has been demonized because of the Mau Forest
eviction. The cabinet, including Agriculture Minister William Ruto, decided in July that around 34,000 households should be
evicted from the Mau by the end of 2010. The cabinet decided that they should all be compensated except squatters without
land titles. Mau is the main water tower for Kenya. Millions of farmers and pastoralists will be thrust into abject poverty if it
dries up any further. Tourism could collapse. Nairobi could run out of water. This is a matter of life-and-death for Kenya. That
is why cabinet decided that evictions were necessary. It is deeply depressing, not just for Raila, that politicians have turned
the evictions into a political football. Obviously people suffer when they have to leave their homes, even if government has
found alternative land for them.But the cabinet knew that. It took the right decision, the principled decision. And that is why
Raila should not give up on preserving Mau Forest, even if it costs him his political career. He is doing the right thing. And he
should      realize   that      the     vast   majority    of    Kenyans    support      his   leadership      in     the    Mau.



                        Oromo rebel group warns foreign firms buying farmlands in Ethiopia
Text of statement issued by Ethiopian opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) on 29 November; published in English by
official                OLF                   website                 on                1                  December

As the Oromo Liberation Front has repeatedly stressed, the current Ethiopian regime has, since it came to power in 1991,
dispossessed, displaced and disenfranchised tens of thousands of the Oromo people. TPLF's [Tigray People's Liberation
Front, reference to the incumbent Ethiopian government] policies of dispossession and marginalization of the Oromo nation

                                                               26
have remained at the root of today's underdevelopment and the spectacle of mass starvation that has been witnessed
throughout Oromiya [Regional State] in recent years. Now, the TPLF/EPRDF [Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic
Front, ruling coalition] regime is doubling down on its policies of dispossession and disenfranchisement of the Oromo people
by engaging in an adventurous and even more reckless policy of leasing the Oromo farmlands to third parties, both
governments and private businesses from Asia, Europe and the Middle East. It is worth noting that: The leases are being
offered by the TPLF/EPRDF, a government that is not democratically elected in a free and fair election. The Oromo nation, the
true owner of the farmlands, is not a party to the farmland transactions between the TLPF/EPRDF and the third parties. The
local Oromo populace is neither consulted nor compensated for giving up these lands; The leases are being offered on a long
term basis, for a period of 40 to 99 years, and the third parties are entering into these unconscionable business contracts with
the objective of profit-making, as well as securing food supply to their own citizens in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East
through exports from Ethiopia; The lease policy will undoubtedly further displace and impoverish the Oromo nation, forcing
millions of smallholder Oromo farmers to give up their land and work as labourers on these farmlands. The policy will throw
back many Oromos to the old days of the "Gabar" system, where peasants toiled only to enrich the landlords, failing to eke out
a decent living. The only difference is that, this time, the landlords are coming from afar, from Asia, the Middle East and
possibly other corners of the world. The medium to long-term negative ecological impact of the lease policy will be irreversible.
The flower farms in Oromiya have already demonstrated just what to expect in terms of the ecological and social disasters of
unregulated large scale commercial farming intended for exports, the use of chemical pesticides that are detrimental to the
environment; pollution that causes a variety of health problems for the local populace; and poor working conditions and lack of
decent working rights. The land lease policy will only further exacerbate these ecological and social ills throughout Oromiya.
The OLF unequivocally condemns this reckless land lease policy of the TPLF/EPRDF government, which further
disenfranchises and impoverishes the Oromo people. The land transaction between the TPLF regime and the third parties
displaces the rightful owners of the land, the Oromo people, subjecting millions to further poverty, starvation and death. As
such, it is a crime against humanity. The OLF warns the third parties to the Oromo land deals that their contracts are null and
void as far as the Oromo nation and the OLF are concerned. We stress that they are entering into these contracts with a
government that is not accountable to the people, a government that has continued to trample on the human and political
rights of the voiceless Oromo people. Indeed, we consider them accomplices to the TPLF's crime against humanity
perpetrated against the Oromo nation. We counsel the third parties to immediately cease and desist from participation in the
land deals and transactions. To the Oromo people: You have endured subjugation for more than hundred years under a
succession of alien rules, massacre and extrajudicial killings, loss of freedom and dignity, political disenfranchisement,
violations of your fundamental human rights, and poverty and famine. The TPLF/EPRDF regime is only a continuation of this
rule, and the current Oromo farmland transaction between the TPLF regime and third parties is a continuation of the serfdom
you have been subjected to for more than a hundred years. Your oppression and disenfranchisement cannot stop on its own
or at the mercy of the rulers. We the Oromo people need to stand up and defend our land and dignity. We call on you, the
Oromo people, to stand up in unison against the TPLF's sell of the Oromo farmland. The national liberation struggle shall
continue until we win back our freedom and dignity, the right to influence our destiny including on our vital assets such as
land,         and          a       decent        chance          at        escaping         starvation       and        poverty.
Victory                           to                         the                          Oromo                          people!



                                     Syrian denies reports on renting Jordanian land
Text         of         report        by        Syria        News          website              on          2         December

[Report by Haytham Judiyah: "The Foreign Ministry to Syria News: Media Reports on Syrian Request To Rent Jordanian Land
Are Untrue"] The Foreign Ministry denied on Wednesday [2 December] to Syria News Arab media reports on that Syria has
submitted a request to rent Jordanian land, the ownership of which has not been settled with Syria. A source at the Foreign
Ministry, who preferred not to disclose his name, told Syria News that the media reports - on that Syria has submitted a
request to rent Jordanian land, the ownership of which has not been settled between the two countries, provided that Syria
should recognize Jordan's sovereignty over it - are untrue." The source did not give any further details.
Earlier, media outlets cited informed Jordanian sources as saying that the Jordanian Interior Ministry is studying a Syrian
request to rent Jordanian land, the ownership of which has not been settled with Syria, for a period of 50 or 90 years provided
that Syria should recognize Jordanian sovereignty over this land for the sake of the demarcation of borders. Syria and Jordan
agreed at the end of September to close the files of water and border demarcation between them before the end of 2009, and
they erected border markers between them in preparation for signing an agreement on border demarcation.



                        China to exempt rural students from vocational school tuition fees
                                                                                           nd
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 2    December

[Xinhua:      "China      To    Lift      Tuition    for     Rural      Students      in    Vocational     Schools"]
Beijing, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) - The Chinese government planned to exempt needy rural students from paying the tuition in
government-funded vocational schools, said a statement issued by the State Council here Wednesday. The policy will be

                                                               27
implemented step by step nationwide from autumn semester this year, said the statement issued after a State Council
meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao. Schools will receive government subsidies to compensate their financial loss
caused by the policy, the statement said. They are also encouraged to work with enterprises to increase their revenue, it
added. Students who study in vocational programmes related to agriculture will also enjoy the policy. In addition, the qualified
students in private vocational schools will receive subsidies from the government though they will not be exempted from
tuition. This is another major move to ensure the equal access to education after the country cancelled tuition and other fees
in the nine-year compulsory education programme (in primary and junior middle schools), the statement said. Since 2007, the
country has provided subsidies for vocational school students from rural areas, each 1,500 yuan (220 US dollars) annually.
Now the programme has covered 90 per cent of vocational school students in their first and second year, the statement said.
In China, students can continue studying in high schools or go to vocational schools after they graduate from junior middle
schools.




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