After more than a year of public hearings, the federal government unveiled its new and improved environmental assessment legislation in February 2018 with much ado.
But the new rules — designed to restore public trust in Canada’s process for reviewing major projects — didn’t contain any details on what kinds of projects would trigger a review under the new legislation.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna skirted the issue, saying her ministry was still evaluating what kinds of activities would show up on a yet-to-be-released “project list” that was pending further consultation with Canadians.
But when pressed on the issue, McKenna told reporters she didn’t believe oilsands projects developed via in-situ methods should be included. McKenna reasoned that because Alberta already has a hard cap on emissions, future oilsands projects would be exempt from federal environmental review.
The implications of excluding new oilsands projects because of a provincial emissions cap (which is controversial) weren’t lost on Adam Scott, senior advisor with Oil Change International.
“It’s just appalling,” Scott told DeSmog Canada in an interview. “There’s no other way to say it.”
Southeast Asia has one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world, but overfishing and destructive fishing threaten its sustained existence. Across the region, 64 percent of the fisheries’ resource base is at a medium to high risk from overfishing, with Cambodia and the Philippines among the most heavily affected. Common methods of destructive fishing include poison fishing, which has become a pervasive commercial fishing method for live reef fish, using sodium cyanide to stun fish and make them easier to capture. Another method is blast fishing, which uses dynamite or grenades to indiscriminately kill fish in the immediate vicinity by rupturing their internal organs. While both practices are illegal in most Southeast Asian countries, they are still widely used where enforcement is limited.”
“Reefs are especially vulnerable to this ocean acidification, because their skeletons are constructed by accreting calcium carbonate, a process called calcification. As the surrounding water becomes more acidic, calcification becomes more difficult.”
“Last month, the Chinese government said it would try to make around 90 per cent of its contaminated farmland safe for crops by the end of 2020.A 2013 survey showed about 3.33 million hectares of Chinese farmland – about the size of Belgium – was considered too polluted to grow crops, with estimated clean-up costs amounting to 1 trillion yuan (S$208 billion).“