first_imgportmetrovancouver, March 17, 2014 zoom Vancouver—Port Metro Vancouver has welcomed the announcement of a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea.The agreement, which will significantly strengthen the trading relationship between both countries, is an important development for Port Metro Vancouver, which serves as a key link in the Asia-Pacific Gateway.“This is an important step forward in the growing trade relationship between our two countries. South Korea is our port’s third-largest trading partner in Asia, with trade through Vancouver of more than 200,000 containers per year including commodities like grain from the Prairies and natural resources from British Columbia,” said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver.South Korea is a key market for Canada’s resources, which come from provinces across the country. The top five export commodities to South Korea are thermal and metallurgical coal, wood pulp, lumber, ores and concentrates.Through Port Metro Vancouver, which is the country’s largest and busiest port, Canada also imports the goods and commodities that Canadians rely upon throughout their daily lives. From construction materials and metals to household goods, vehicles and parts, Canadians will benefit from this new chapter in the trading relationship between the two countries.According to Mr. Silvester, “This trade liberalization agreement will further increase the $10 billion in annual two-way trade between Canada and South Korea, creating jobs and driving economic growth across Canada”.The trade agreement also complements Port Metro Vancouver’s future growth plans such as the proposed Terminal 2 expansion at Roberts Bank. The project, once complete, will provide an additional 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU) of capacity to Port Metro Vancouver—placing the region in a prime position to seize the growing movement of trade to and from the Asia-Pacific region.last_img read more

16 March 2008With global glaciers – a vital water source for millions, or even billions, of people worldwide – melting at a record rate, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) urged countries to agree on a new emissions reduction pact. With global glaciers – a vital water source for millions, or even billions, of people worldwide – melting at a record rate, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) urged countries to agree on a new emissions reduction pact.According to the UNEP-backed World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), data from nearly 30 reference glaciers in nine mountain ranges indicate that between the years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, the average rate of melting and thinning more than doubled.The centre, based at Switzerland’s University of Zurich, has been tracking glaciers for more than one century, and has noted that while between 1980-1999 average ice loss had been 0.3 meters per year compared to 0.5 meters after the start of the new millennium.“The latest figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight,” said Wilfried Haeberli, WGMS Director.On average, one meter water equivalent corresponds to 1.1 metre in ice thickness, which suggests a further shrinking in 2006 of 1.5 actual meters and since 1980 a total reduction in thickness of ice of just over 11.5 meters, or nearly 38 feet. “There are many canaries emerging in the climate change coal mine,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director. “The glaciers are perhaps among those making the most noise and it is absolutely essential that everyone sits up and takes notice.”2009 will be a crucial year, with the “litmus test” coming in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the negotiations process for a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol is scheduled to conclude, he said. “Here governments must agree on a decisive new emissions reduction and adaptation-focused regime. Otherwise, and like the glaciers, our room for manoeuvre and the opportunity to act may simply melt away.”The WGMS research found that some of the most dramatic glacier shrinking has occurred in Europe with Norway’s Breidalblikkbrea glacier thinning by close to 3.1 meters during 2006 compared with a thinning of 0.3 meter in the previous year.However, some glaciers – such as Echaurren Norte in Chile – posted increases. read more

The U.S. Government recently awarded over $3million to three organizations supporting resettling communities in the Mullaitivu and Killinochchi districts.The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance awarded funding to ZOA Refugee Care, Sewalanka, and Practical Action to provide the basic needs that many Sri Lankans urgently require. The United States (US) has expressed concerns over the rushed resettlement of the final IDPs to close the Menik Farm camp.A statement by the U.S Embassy in Colombo today said that United States welcomes the work by the Government of Sri Lanka to quickly resettle the large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) following the 26-year conflict. “However, we remain concerned about the rushed resettlement of the final IDPs to close the Menik Farm camp.  Many of the most vulnerable families of the war-affected population in the North have been placed on land hastily cleared without adequate shelter, water and sanitation, or provisions to continue their livelihoods,” the US Embassy said. The Embassy also said that many long term IDPs remain unable to return home or access basic services from the Government of Sri Lanka. The support will provide help to nearly 50,000 Sri Lankans with basic services such as adequate shelter, access to potable water and proper sanitation, and food security.  The programs will also put these individuals on the road to a sustainable future, with support to start generating needed income, and connect farmers and fishermen with markets.Through its assistance, the United States is helping resettled people move towards a better future and the U.S. Embassy looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Sri Lanka provide the services and care Sri Lankans need. read more