Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 302

Posts Tagged ‘funds’

Sweden commits funds to IFAD to help avert COVID-19 food crisis

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 13 settembre 2020

Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), has pledged funds to help avert a potential food crisis in some of the world’s most vulnerable rural communities in the wake of COVID-19, the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced. SEK 50 million (approximately US$5.7 million) will be committed to IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility which was launched in April by IFAD’s Goodwill Ambassadors, Idris and Sabrina Elba. The Facility is supporting small-scale farmers and rural producers to continue to grow and sell food despite COVID-19 restrictions in movement and trade, by providing timely access to agricultural inputs, information, markets and liquidity. Sweden also committed SEK 40 million (approximately $4.6 million) to IFAD’s Financing Facility for Remittances. This will help maximize the impact of remittances and diaspora investment on rural development, accelerate the transformation of remittance markets through new technologies, and promote financial inclusion so that families receiving remittances use their funds productively.Remittance flows, often a lifeline for rural families in the developing world, are projected to decline by about 20 percent this year due to migrant workers’ loss of employment worldwide, and reduced access to transfer operators caused by the COVID-19 restrictions. About 80 percent of the world’s poorest and most food-insecure people live in rural areas. Around 135 million people were recently categorised as facing acute food insecurity and malnutrition. It is estimated that this number could nearly double before the end of the year due to the impacts of COVID-19. Movement restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus left many small-scale producers without access markets to sell produce or to buy seeds or fertilizer. Transport and border closures adversely affected rural areas and disrupted food systems. The most vulnerable include daily labourers, small businesses and informal workers, mostly women and young people. Sweden is a founding member of IFAD and is one of the 36 members of IFAD’s Executive Board. It has committed more than $471 million to the Fund. With a specific focus on helping small-scale farmers adapt to climate change, Sweden has contributed substantially to building the resilience of more 30 million rural people.

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Subsidy ceilings to protect EU funds from oligarchs

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 febbraio 2020

To avoid fraud and an unfair distribution of EU subsidies, the Commission should propose a maximum amount of direct payment per natural person, making it impossible to receive subsidies of hundreds of millions of Euros in one MFF-period. The Commission should also come up with rules to disclose who benefits from agricultural funds.Quoting recent cases in Italy and Slovakia, the committee wants an EU complaint mechanism enabling farmers to inform the Commission when land-grabbing malpractices, misconduct of national authorities, pressure from organised crime and forced labour occur.MEPs ask the Commission to table guidelines to fight conflicts of interest of high-profile politicians and ask the Council to adopt common ethical standards in this regard.
The committee stresses that the newly created EU Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) needs at least 76 additional posts and EUR 8 Million in order to deal with an estimated 3000 cases per year.The committee insists that adopting the regulation enabling EU funds for EU countries to be restricted when the rule of law is violated should be prioritised – this regulation is currently blocked in the Council.
MEPs are especially concerned about the situation in Czechia and ask the Commission to supervise payments to companies directly and indirectly owned by the Czech Prime Minister or other members of the Czech Government.“One of the most worrying issues observed in some Member States is land grabbing or the misuse of EU funds by organised crime. The discharge report we voted on today includes a call to establish a mechanism whereby farmers can issue complaints directly. Furthermore, we ask for a fairer distribution of EU subsidies. It is unacceptable that individual beneficiaries can receive up to three-digit million sums. We also call for EU-wide rules to avoid conflicts of interests of high-level politicians and emphasise the need for common ethical standards”, said the rapporteur for the Commission discharge Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE).The Commission discharge, along with the other EU bodies, has to be backed by the full Parliament, with a vote scheduled during the March II session.

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CurePSP Funds Mount Sinai’s Friedman Brain Institute Research Scholars Partnership in Honor of Karen Cook

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 27 dicembre 2019

CurePSP, the nonprofit advocacy organization for prime of life neurodegenerative diseases, has provided a $50,000 grant to Mount Sinai Health System for the 2020 Karen Strauss Cook Research Scholar Award.The funds, made possible through the generosity of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, will support early-stage investigation into brain function and disease as part of Mount Sinai’s Friedman Brain Institute Research Scholars Partnership. The program is open to Mount Sinai faculty including early to mid-career investigators who seek to form new collaborations with colleagues in other disciplines and senior scientists who wish to undertake a project outside of their usual area of investigation. Projects are designed with the goal of generating the preliminary data needed to secure external funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other sources.Lawrence I. Golbe, MD, CurePSP’s Director of Scientific Affairs, said, “We are very pleased to be supporting this initiative. The Mount Sinai program fits well with our own Venture Grants program, which provides seed funding to early career investigators who want to test innovative ideas. With success, these projects may lead to larger sources of funding to expand the research.”
Karen Strauss Cook was a Wall Street pioneer who was the first woman hired as a trader in the equities division at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York and the third female finance professional at the firm. Later, she served as Chief Investment Officer at Steinhardt Partners, New York. Karen passed away in 2013 at age 61 from the effects of corticobasal degeneration (CBD), a rare neurodegenerative disease that is a focus of CurePSP-funded research.David Kemp, President of CurePSP, said, “CurePSP is pleased to be honoring Karen’s memory in this meaningful way. Karen would have been very pleased to know that we are supporting Mount Sinai’s innovative research program.”

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Local leaders call for fresh start in communication on EU funds

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 10 ottobre 2019

With 60% of Europeans not aware of EU-funded projects in their regions, raising awareness about the EU’s commitment to local communities is a key priority when it comes to relaunching the European project. The Committee demands stable funding, better coordination of actors, messages and strategies, as well as more attention being paid to citizens’ engagement.According to a Eurobarometer survey presented during the European Week of Regions and Cities, only 40% of Europeans are aware of EU-funded projects in their regions. Even though this share rises to 60% in nine countries (with Poland reaching 82%), there is clearly a need to increase the visibility of the European Structural Investment (ESI) funds and contribute, in this way, to strengthening citizens’ confidence in the European project. This is why the European Committee of the Regions decided to draw up an opinion on Better Communication for Cohesion Policy, led by Adrian Ovidiu Teban (RO/EPP), mayor of Cugir.While cohesion policy is Europe’s most powerful investment tool, accounting for one third of the EU budget, communication about it is still poor and the sources of information are not sufficiently diversified to reach citizens in their everyday lives.According to the Committee, better communication requires greater clarity on funding and requirements. The 2021-2027 regulation, which will be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in the next few months, should therefore introduce a specific financial framework for communication within the technical assistance budget line and increase the number of mandatory publicity and information requirements for cohesion policy projects.The new rules should also require effective cooperation between EU, national and local authorities. The managing authorities of operational programmes for ESI funds play a key role in communicating goals, funding opportunities and the results of supported projects, linking them to the specific local agenda and stakeholders.
Local leaders also want cohesion policy communication to be more diversified, with clear strategies for the different targets, ranging from wider audiences to sectoral stakeholders. With this in mind, the Committee asks the European Commission to involve political representatives from regions and cities in the newly established network of managing authorities’ communicators, in order to test new forms of communication. Local and regional authorities, as well as beneficiaries, constitute the most effective and closest interlocutors for citizens.In this context, building on the experience developed with the #CohesionAlliance and the campaign on the Future of Europe, local leaders propose permanent dialogues with citizens and local stakeholders to better involve them in decision-making related to EU funds. This would ensure stronger accountability and legitimacy for the implementation of investment plans.”Better communication of cohesion policy is a shared responsibility following multilevel governance. Consequently, we, mayors and local governments, should play a fundamental role in implementing cohesion policy and in ensuring the visibility of the projects funded by this policy. The European institutions alone cannot be the only driving force behind this challenge”, concluded the rapporteur, Mr Teban.

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Cross border territorial cooperation is key to manage disasters and deserves more funds

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 luglio 2019

Local and regional elected representatives call on the Commission to provide more incentives at local and regional level to promote cross-border cooperation on risk reduction. The opinion of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), adopted today in Brussels, comes in the context of the increasingly serious and frequent natural disasters that many European regions have experienced in recent years. Local authorities have expressed support for a greater culture of prevention to increase citizens’ resilience and reduce risks related to natural hazards.The document highlights the key role of local actors and their responsibility to decrease the risks associated with natural hazards and build resilience. Local and regional authorities are in the best position to know the weak points of local communities and it is up to them to conduct information campaigns to inform people about the risks and how to protect themselves.The rapporteur of the opinion Cross-border dimension of disaster risk reduction, Roberto Ciambetti (ECR/IT), highlighted the need for preventive action. “Environmental emergencies and natural disasters do not recognise borders: we must create more harmonious and organic cross-border and transregional coordination and we must create effective civil protection structures in cross-border areas which, let’s not forget, are where 37.5% of the EU’s population live.”Every year, around 90 000 people die in disasters caused by natural hazards and almost 160 million are affected worldwide. Between 1980 and 2016, disasters caused by weather and climate-related conditions accounted for about 83% of financial losses in the EU Member States.”More coordinated interventions and procedures help to optimise the response and thereby reduce the social, environmental and economic costs. There needs to be a more effective multi-level governance approach in addition to the existing EU instruments – the Civil Protection Mechanism and the Solidarity Fund,” the President and Member of the Veneto Regional Council stated. The Sendai Framework for 2015-2030 (SFDRR) can be implemented more effectively through cross-border cooperation, particularly in regards to civil protection policy.The document also highlights the importance of existing initiatives to reduce the risks related to natural disasters at the local level, such as the Making Cities Resilient campaign by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.According to the European Committee of the Regions, risk prevention and management plans should cover risk scenarios at an interregional level. The opinion also reiterates the need to integrate capacity to significantly reduce the effects of disasters into all EU investment policies. Disaster risk assessment should be a prerequisite for implementing infrastructure projects funded by the EU.Local and regional elected representatives underscored the need to promote a common, standardised cross-border alert system and called for standardised communication on prevention as well as common procedures for operating in case of an emergency. They also called on Member States to recognise and certify professional posts (“disaster risk managers”) with multidisciplinary and cross-cutting knowledge, skills and competences who would assist local and regional administrators and planners in emergency situations.

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MEPs want more EU funds for NGOs promoting rule of law and fundamental rights

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 dicembre 2018

The Civil Liberties Committee backed on Monday a budget of 1.834 billion euro for the Rights and Values Programme for the period 2021-2027, way over the 642 million proposed by the European Commission. The draft report prepared by Bodil Valero (Greens/EFA, SE) was passed with 25 votes to 6 and 1 abstention.With a general objective of protecting and promoting the rights and values enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty through support to civil society organisations at local, regional, national and transnational level, the Programme seeks to promote equality and non-discrimination, encourage citizens engagement and participation in the democratic process, and fight violence.MEPs decided to specifically mention the protection and promotion of democracy and the rule of law as the first aim, as these are a prerequisite for the protection of fundamental rights and for ensuring mutual trust among member states and of citizens in the Union, says the text.Regarding the activities to be funded with EU money, the Committee proposes, among others, awareness campaigns on European core values and the rights and obligations derived from Union citizenship, initiatives to reflect on the causes of totalitarian regimes and to commemorate their victims, town-twinning projects, support to human rights defenders and whistle-blowers, measures countering hate-speech and misinformation, and protection of victims of violence.MEPs agreed that, in exceptional cases, when there is a serious and rapid deterioration of the situation in a member state and the founding values are at risk, the Commission may open a call for proposals, under a fast-track procedure, for funding civil society organisations to facilitate and support the democratic dialogue in the country.Funds allocated to a member state under shared management could also be transferred to the Programme if the Commission activates the EU rule of law framework, or if there is a formal proposal by the Commission, the Parliament or a third of the member states to trigger Article 7 of the Treaty against that country.

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Over 5,000 Baron Funds’ Shareholders Attend 27th Annual Baron Investment Conference

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 12 novembre 2018

The 27th Annual Baron Investment Conference drew over 5,000 Baron Funds’ shareholders today at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City.Shareholders of the 17 Baron Funds were invited to the all-day conference, which included presentations from four CEOs of businesses in which the funds have invested (see below) and concurrent Q&A sessions Baron Funds’ portfolio managers.The afternoon session kicked off with a panel discussion by Baron Funds’ portfolio managers, and was followed by remarks from Baron Capital Group President Linda Martinson. Baron Capital Group Chairman and CEO Ron Baron the gave a presentation, followed by a Q&A with conference attendees.Baron Capital Group, at its own expense, presents the event to Baron Funds shareholders in recognition for their support of the Baron investment team and process, and provides entertainment in appreciation. This year’s surprise performer was Billy Crystal, following performances earlier in the day by the legendary Mel Brooks, as well as ‘Women of Comedy’: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kate McKinnon and Men of Comedy: Seth Meyers, Michael Che, Keenan Thompson, Darrell Hammond.”At Baron, we exhaustively research the companies we invest in for long term growth–and we mean long term: we’ve held some of our investments for 25-30 years. We want Baron fund investors to better understand the funds they’re investing in,” said Mr. Baron. “For 27 years Baron Funds shareholders have attended this conference to hear directly from Baron fund managers and CEOs of the companies in which we invest, so our shareholders can get a taste of what we do. We’re delighted to treat shareholders to first-class entertainment, but for me, interacting with Baron funds’ shareholders is the real highlight. We look forward to seeing everyone back next year for the 28th annual conference.”

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EI Sturdza Investment Funds lancia lo Strategic Japan Opportunities Fund con Rheos Capital Works

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 8 aprile 2017

city of londonLONDRA/PRNewswire/ I mercati giapponesi sono stati volatili dal 2003 al 2012, soprattutto per quanto riguarda le azioni delle società ad elevata capitalizzazione dell’indice TOPIX Core 30. Durante questo decennio, il 66% delle aziende giapponesi quotate (1.705) ha fatto registrare una crescita, con un rendimento medio del 110%. Si è trattato per la maggior parte di società a capitalizzazione medio-piccola (escluso il settore finanziario).
Dall’introduzione dell’Abenomics nel 2012, l’85% delle società giapponesi quotate (2.646) ha fatto registrare una crescita (escluso il settore finanziario) con un rendimento medio del 99%.EI Sturdza Investment Funds (“EI Sturdza”) annuncia il lancio di EI Sturdza Strategic Japan Opportunities Fund (il “Fondo”), gestito da esperti di primo piano quali Mitsuhiro Yuasa e Hideto Fujino, co-fondatori di Rheos Capital Works Inc. (“Rheos”) con sede a Tokyo, consulente per gli investimenti del Fondo.Il Fondo investirà in titoli di soggetti giapponesi caratterizzati da performance elevate: società growth che fanno registrare una crescita coerente dei ricavi/utili e vantano una lunga tradizione di capacità manageriali indipendentemente dalle dimensioni, dalla storia, dal marchio o dalla capitalizzazione di mercato, per produrre alfa con una performance superiore all’indice TOPIX TR (JPY) nel lungo periodo.Nell’attuale situazione macroeconomica di tassi d’interesse USA comparativamente elevati e di forza della moneta statunitense, il mercato azionario giapponese è ben posizionato grazie alla revisione al rialzo delle aspettative degli utili e ai rendimenti obbligazionari nazionali estremamente bassi nel lungo periodo.Per poter individuare società con una crescita potenziale, i gestori adottano un approccio disciplinato di tipo bottom-up, abbinato ad un approccio macroeconomico, senza sacrificare flessibilità e dinamismo per poter garantire che il portafoglio di investimenti sia posizionato in modo da poter sfruttare le opportunità di mercato del momento e in divenire.Mitsuhiro Yuasa, gestore di portafoglio di EI Sturdza Strategic Japan Opportunities Fund, ha dichiarato:”Cerchiamo di investire in aziende con una visione chiara e con personale che dispone del tempo, delle energie e dell’entusiasmo necessari per raggiungere gli obiettivi. Stiamo ricercando ed investendo in aziende di questo tipo sul mercato giapponese da 14 anni e siamo convinti che vi siano ancora su questo mercato numerose aziende con forti potenzialità di crescita che offrono interessanti opportunità di investimento.”In prospettiva, il governo Abe è attualmente il più stabile e il più solido tra quelli dei paesi principali. Grazie ad un governo forte, il settore pubblico e quello privato aspirano alla crescita finanziaria, sostenuta da politiche attuate dal governo negli ultimi anni. Le società giapponesi si stanno impegnando per migliorare la loro produttività e, di conseguenza, la redditività, ed il settore aziendale giapponese è alla costante ricerca di miglioramento della produttività, aumento dei posti di lavoro e degli investimenti, con il risultato finale della crescita del PIL. In sostanza, intendiamo investire in aziende in grado di supportare tali politiche e di crescere per realizzare profitti a medio-lungo termine”.

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Artists Donate Works to Raise Funds for Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 febbraio 2017

el-anatsuiLondon, 8 March 2017 Christie’s will present work by some of the world’s leading international contemporary artists, donated to benefit Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the first major contemporary art museum in Africa, which will open in Cape Town during September 2017. Fourteen artists including El Anatsui, Roger Ballen, Yto Barrada, Peter Beard, Eamonn Doyle & Niall Sweeney, Frances Goodman, Kendell Geers, Antony Gormley, Rashid Johnson, Isaac Julien, Harland Miller, Athi-Patra Ruga, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Pascale Marthine Tayou, will be offered in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction on the 8 March. The proceeds will be used towards Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment to ensure the long-term sustainability of the museum. The works will be exhibited in London from 3 to 7 March 2017 as part of 20th-Century at Christie’s, a series of auctions that take place in London from 28 February to 10 March 2017.
Mark Coetzee, Executive Director and Chief Curator: “Zeitz MOCAA is dedicated to creating a platform for artists from Africa and the world, and providing Access for all to our exhibitions and programming. The extraordinary generosity of artists from around the world in donating to this fundraising auction will guarantee that we fulfil our mission for years to come.” (photo: El Anatsui)

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Catella: EUR 850 million invested in sustainable real estate funds in Europe by mid-2016

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 3 settembre 2015

Banca europea per gli investimentiSustainability has become much more prominent in Europe’s real estate sector over the past decade, and green issues are today an integral part of the business. It should therefore come as no surprise that green funds are growing in importance in the property investment market.In its Market Tracker for September, entitled Sustainable Real Estate Funds, Catella addresses the question of why these particular investments have grown slowly in recent years.“The sustainable investments segment is booming worldwide, and European volume in 2014 was EUR 5.2 trillion. In the same period, sustainably designed and managed real estate funds achieved just EUR 495 million,” says Dr. Thomas Beyerle, Head of Group Research at Catella. Why is this, when investors are increasingly seeking out responsible investments and when corporate governance rules and reporting requirements have tightened significantly?“This is partly due to the almost granular number of new builds in Europe in recent years. The mass of buildings is simply missing. On the other hand for refurbishments of the existing stock more questions occur than answers can be given. Another problem is a lack of uniform standards in building assessment and certification; there is neither a universal seal of approval for sustainable real estate funds nor a benchmark for peer-group comparisons, which are absolute prerequisites to kindle the competition,” says Dr. Beyerle.In spite of these shortcomings on the structural side, Catella expects positive developments in the next three quarters. Pressure is increasing significantly from institutional investors for sustainably designed and managed real estate funds, and the process of transformation from conventional buildings towards a reorganised energy-efficient portfolio is a billion-dollar business in Europe alone. Furthermore, sustainable review criteria have been introduced into due diligence processes and transaction standards. A detailed comparison of the pros and cons can be found in the attached report.“We anticipate a volume in Europe of some EUR 850 million by mid-2016 finding its way into newly-designed sustainable real estate funds. A key factor is that many existing properties have potential for optimisation, and a large part of the portfolio properties are in exposed locations. It will be crucial for funds relying on sustainability to structure their investments well, especially because not all sustainable investments can provide returns in the short term. In addition, there is the risk of over-investment in sustainability from regulatory policy incentives, such as for solar, the latest to join the segment,” says Dr. Beyerle.

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European Structural and Investment Funds: Commission establishes a High Level Group on simplification

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 13 luglio 2015

commissione europeaThis morning the Commission adopted the decision setting up the High Level Group of Independent Experts on Monitoring Simplification for Beneficiaries of the European Structural and Investment Funds, which creation was announced by Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu on 9 June. The group’s purpose is to assess the uptake by the Member States of simplification opportunities to access and use the Funds, in order to reduce the administrative burden for beneficiaries. The call for applications for membership is open from today until 10 August. The group shall consist of a maximum of twelve members appointed in a personal capacity and will be chaired by Former Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas. It will hold its first meeting on 20 October in Brussels. Commissioner Crețu said: “I am pleased to see this High Level Group see the light of day. It should deliver its first recommendations as early as the end of this year, as its work should be relevant for the implementation of the current programming period and in the perspective of the post-2020 framework.”

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Movie screening and debate on how home affairs funds are spent in migration

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 luglio 2015

labour-migrationThe Civil Liberties Committee will hold the sixth debate on the strategic own-initiative report on migration on Thursday 2 July, from 9.00 to 10.30. The way home affairs funds are spent in migration and development context, including emergency funds, is the topic to be addressed in this meeting.A series of debates on the portrayal of migration through cinema will also take place in the framework of the preparation of this report, followed by a sequence of screenings focussing on this topic. The third movie will be shown in room Altiero Spinelli (ASP) 1G3 on Wednesday 1 July, from 19.00: “Like a man on earth”.Invited speakers for the debate in the Civil Liberties Committee on 2 JulyTopic: How home affairs funds are spent in migration and development context, including emergency funds Speakers:
Jörg Monar, Rector of the College of Europe, Bruges
H. J. Koller, Head of Responsible Authority Unit, Dutch Ministry for Security and Justice
Gabriel Barbatei, Head of the Programme Implementation Unit within the General Inspectorate for Immigration
The debate will take place on Thursday 2 July, from 9.00 to 10.30, in room Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) 3C050, in Brussels. It will be webstreamed on EP Live.
The next session on the strategic report on migration is scheduled for the meeting of 6 July, in Strasbourg. These discussions will feed into the report that is being prepared by Roberta Metsola (EPP, Malta) and Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, Italy).

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For international forest protection funds

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 26 ottobre 2010

Nagoya. Today, at the meeting of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) being held in Japan, Greenpeace Asia-Pacific released a report explaining why the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is in no fit state to receive international funds under a global deal to stop deforestation and mitigate climate change. Greenpeace also presented the Government of PNG with a ‘Golden Chainsaw’ award for demanding unconditional, fast-track money to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) from the international community, even though it continues to destroy rainforests.
Sam Moko, Greenpeace Asia-Pacific Forests Campaigner from PNG, who is in Nagoya to launch the report and announce the award, said:  “The Government of PNG is hungry for international forest protection funds but has no plans to stop destroying its rainforests or to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Under the current direction of this Government, PNG is not ready for REDD.” The new report, ‘PNG not ready for REDD’, recommends that PNG only receives funding when it has enforced a moratorium on all deforestation, tackling both corruption and illegal logging. It also urges donor countries to put strict preconditions on any REDD funds they give PNG, to ensure stringent safeguards are in place to protect biodiversity as well as indigenous peoples’.
At the last REDD+ Partnership meeting in Tianjin, China, PNG was criticised for trying to derail progress on the REDD deal for its own ends. With only weeks until the UN climate summit in Cancun, efforts to fast-track forest protection funds could come to nothing if PNG continues to use its position as co-chair of the negotiations to undermine efforts to ensure the funds are spent effectively.

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2,000th Transportation Project Under Economic Recovery Act

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 14 aprile 2009

Washington, DC – President Barack Obama today announced funding for the 2,000th transportation project under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), only six weeks after approving the first project.  The President made the remarks at the U.S. Department of Transportation with Vice President Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The 2,000th project is in Kalamazoo County, Michigan.  The $68 million project involves widening of I-94 from two lanes both east and westbound to three lanes in each direction.  The project will improve safety and ease congestion by providing a more efficient interchange.  State departments of transportation around the country have reported to FHWA intense competition by contractors for ARRA projects.  Bids have been roughly 15 to 20 percent lower on average, and as much as 30 percent lower in some cases, than engineers anticipated.  For example, in Colorado, the state’s first five ARRA transportation projects announced on April 2 were 12 percent lower than anticipated.   In Maine, one bridge project was 20 percent lower than estimated.  In Oregon, during February and March 2009, bids have averaged 30 percent lower than expected. President Obama secured passage of the ARRA and signed it into law on February 17, less than one month after taking office.  Less than two weeks later, on March 3, the President, Vice President Biden and Secretary LaHood released the first funding to the states and localities for highways, roads and bridge projects.  That release of funds came eight days earlier than required by law.  ARRA provides a total of $48.1 billion for transportation infrastructure projects to be administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Of that $27.5 billion is for highways and bridges, $8.4 billion is for transit, $8 billion is for high speed rail, $1.3 billion is for Amtrak, $1.5 billion is for discretionary infrastructure grants $1.3 billion is for airports and Federal Aviation Administration facilities and equipment and $100 million for shipyards.  In early February, prior to the passage of the ARRA, Secretary LaHood established within the U.S. Department of Transportation the TIGER (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery) team to ensure that economic recovery dollars for transportation infrastructure projects is rapidly made available and that project spending is monitored and transparent.  On March 3, the President unveiled a TIGER logo, as well as an ARRA logo, that will be placed on construction signs across the country, to mark projects being built and jobs created with Recovery Act funds.

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