Current International Update
Volume 44, Issue 20
A proposed coal mine near the border of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, the oldest protected wilderness in Africa, may endanger the already at-risk rhino population. Rhino poaching in South Africa is on the rise, with 13 killed in 2007 and 1,004 killed last year, and critics fear that the 14,615 hectare coal mine will worsen the problem, in addition to displacing local communities and polluting the air and rivers. According to one community member, the mine would make it easier for poachers to enter the park and access the threatened species.
Last Thursday, Australia's senate voted 39 to 32 to repeal the carbon tax, a measure established under the previous Labor government that imposed a levy on the country’s biggest polluters. Prime Minister Tony Abbott had long opposed the tax, arguing that it cost jobs and caused energy prices to rise, and had made its repeal part of his election campaign.
A co-developer of the massive HidroAysen hydropower project in Chile said last week that the project will not move forward in its current state. The controversial project—a joint effort between companies Endesa Chile and Colburn involving the construction of dams on two of Patagonia’s rivers—had come to a halt in June, when a Chilean ministerial committee cancelled the permit that would have allowed construction to move forward.