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International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.

Current International Update

Volume 45, Issue 12

INDONESIA, THAILAND CREATE JOINT TASK FORCE TO COMBAT ILLEGAL FISHING

Country: Thailand

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha announced the formation of a joint task force to crack down on illegal fishing operations in the wake of revelations concerning the use of slaves on Thai boats fishing in Indonesian waters. The announcement came two days after the European Union threatened an import ban if Thailand does not address the problem within six months. Representatives of the Thai fishing industry are skeptical about meeting that deadline, saying there are about 2,000 unlicensed fishing boats in Thailand.

EUROPEAN UNION APPROVES 12 NEW GMOS, FIRST SINCE 2013

Country: EU

For the first time since November 2013, the European Union (EU) has approved for import 12 genetically modified organisms (GMOs), 10 crops and 2 flowers. The corn, soybean, cotton, and rapeseed varieties are produced by Monsanto, BASF, and Bayer CropScience, and will be used primarily as livestock feed. Sixty-eight GMO crops are now approved for import into the EU, but a recent proposal would allow individual countries to restrict imports despite the approval of the bloc.

AUSTRALIAN COURT OVERTURNS COMPANY’S DRILLING SUSPENSION

Country: Australia

The Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia, overturned a license suspension that has prohibited the energy company Metgasco from proceeding with a major gas-drilling project on the state's northern coast since May 2014. The suspension, issued by the Office of Coal Seam Gas, was declared unlawful due in part to the office's consideration of negative responses during the company's community consultation process. The court said the office should have considered the quality of the consultation process itself, not its outcome.