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Posts Tagged ‘Costa Rica’

Government triples funding for combating forest crime through INTERPOL

Posted by African Press International on August 10, 2013

The Norwegian Government is stepping up its efforts to combat deforestation. Around 40 % of logging in tropical forests is illegal. “The world’s “green lungs” need to be protected. The Government’s decision to triple its support for INTERPOL is a clear signal that we take the fight against illegal logging seriously,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.

The International Climate and Forest Initiative is a priority area for the Norwegian Government. Norway is now increasing its support for phase two of an international police cooperation project targeting the illegal logging industry, which is worth between NOK 240 billion and NOK 600 billion globally. The efforts that Norway is supporting have so far helped to ensure that illegal timber worth NOK 288 million has been seized.

“It is crucial that we fight the organised criminal networks that are earning huge amounts of money from deforestation. There is no point spending lots of money on rainforest conservation if criminals then simply chop the forest down,” Mr Holmås said.

Norway is also allocating NOK 15 million to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for projects targeting forest crime.

Through INTERPOLs Project LEAF, Norway is supporting training for national police authorities in investigating and taking action against illegal logging. In the most recent operation, rainforest timber equivalent to 20 000 truckloads was seized by police in Venezuela and Costa Rica. Similar operations are being planned in Asia and Africa.

Project LEAF (Law Enforcement Assistance for Forests) is a consortium initiative led by INTERPOL and the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) centre in Norway (UNEP GRID Arendal). The initiative is funded by the Government of Norway and managed by Norad (the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

 

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Obama announces nominations: Secretary of Commerce and a US Trade Representative

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2013

President Obama with Mike Froman and  Penny Pritzker in the Rose Garden, May 2, 2013.

 By Colleen Curtis, USA

President Barack Obama announces the nominations of Penny Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce, and Mike Froman as U.S. Trade Representative, in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 2, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama began a three day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica Friday, where he will meet with leaders to discuss ways the U.S. can deepen our economic and trade relationships across Latin America –- relationships that create jobs and growth here at home, and offer our businesses growing markets where they can sell more American-made goods and services abroad.

Before he left the country, the President spoke in the Rose Garden and announced his intention to nominate two “outstanding individuals” to his Cabinet.

Penny Pritzker is President Obama’s choice for Secretary of Commerce. The President praised the Chicago businesswoman, who was a member of his Jobs Council. “Penny is one of our country’s most distinguished business leaders,” he said.

She’s got more than 25 years of management experience in industries including real estate, finance, and hospitality. She’s built companies from the ground up. She knows from experience that no government program alone can take the place of a great entrepreneur. She knows that what we can do is to give every business and every worker the best possible chance to succeed by making America a magnet for good jobs.

And Penny understands that just as great companies strengthen the community around them, strong communities and skilled workers also help companies thrive.

President Obama’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet-level position, is Mike Froman, one of his top national security and economic advisors for several years. The President highlighted the work Froman has done organizing international trade summits. “He’s been a key negotiator alongside Ron Kirk on those trade agreements for South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, which support tens of thousands of American jobs,” said President Obama.

“He has won the respect of our trading partners around the world, the President continued. “He has also won a reputation as being an extraordinarily tough negotiator while doing it. He does not rest until he’s delivered the best possible deal for American businesses and American workers. He’s fought to make sure that countries that break the rules are held accountable.”

And Mike believes, just as I believe and just as Penny believes, that our workers are the most competitive in the world, so they deserve a level playing field. And Mike’s going to continue to fight for that level playing field in his new role, as he helps to move forward trade negotiations with both the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, and will also continue to advise me on a broad range of economic issues.

The President also thanked Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank and outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk for their service.

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