. Earth Science News .

World Bank to fund environment projects in Madagascar
by Staff Writers
Antananarivo (AFP) June 22, 2011

The World Bank said Wednesday it was loaning an extra 52 million dollars (36 million euros) to Madagascar over three years to fund environmental projects despite the unsettled political situation on the Indian Ocean island.

"The financing will help boost conservation efforts in 30 national parks and three new protected zones covering a total area of 2.7 million hectares (6.6 million acres), a bank communique said.

The decision had been hotly debated as Madagascar's transitional government is not recognized by the international community.

Noting that its program in Madagascar has been frozen since March 2009, the bank stressed "the exceptional nature of this additional funding both for environmental and humanitarian reasons."

A source familiar with the case said on condition of anonymity that the United States abstained from voting after a long debate.

"Far from signalling a re-engagement of the World Bank in Madagascar, it (the loan) rather underscores that the social and environmental costs of inaction are simply too high," said Haleh Bridi, the bank's country director for Madagascar.

"Madagascar's biodiversity is a huge resource on the world scale and an irreplaceable public asset. We have no choice but to protect it," she added.

The statement said "additional safeguards were put in place to ensure that the Madagascar government play its role in protecting national parks and respect laws which ban the illegal exploitation and export of timber."

"The bank reserves the right to suspend disbursements if the government fails to meet its commitment," it warned.

The impoverished Indian Ocean island nation has been gripped by political tensions since the ouster of ex-president Marc Ravalomanana amid violent street protests in March 2009.

His return has been a major sticking point in efforts by the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) to mediate the crisis.

The SADC has called for Madagascar's current strongman Andry Rajoelina to allow Ravalomanana to return "unconditionally", while also urging Ravalomanana to sign off on a roadmap to new elections that would make Rajoelina president of a transitional government.

But Rajoelina said Tuesday his rival would only be allowed to return when security conditions are "favourable".

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Sudan reinforces army in South Darfur ahead of split
Khartoum (AFP) June 22, 2011 - Sudan is beefing up security in areas of South Darfur close to the southern border for fear of unrest around the country's imminent partition, the state's deputy governor said on Wednesday.

"The state has started to increase security in areas on the border with south Sudan to be ready for any disturbances coinciding with separation," Abdelkarim Musa was quoted as saying by the Sudan Media Centre, a website close to the security forces.

"The state has deployed security forces so that they are ready to face the new situation in the south and to secure South Darfur from any attack that might come from the armed rebel groups," Musa added.

Tensions are running high along Sudan's porous north-south border, which runs to more than 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles), but whose demarcation the two sides have yet to fully agree on, just weeks ahead of southern independence on July 9.

Some 20 percent remains disputed, including two areas along the border with South Darfur.

The Sudan People's Liberation Army of the south accused Khartoum of deploying troops along their shared frontier last week, after the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), or northern army, shelled the southern border town of Agok.

On Wednesday, the SAF confirmed that extra troops had been deployed in parts of South Darfur, without giving details of numbers, but said the move was "normal," given the presence of Darfur rebels in those areas.

"To us as soldiers, the practice of relocating troops is normal, because we are free to move our troops where we want, when we want, and in those areas, the Darfur rebels are active," the army's spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told AFP.

The south has consistently rejected northern claims that it has been aiding the Darfur rebels.

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Somalia Islamists vow loyalty to Zawahiri
Mogadishu, Somalia (UPI) Jun 21, 2011
The al-Shabaab Islamist group has sworn allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the new leader of al-Qaida, and declared, "We await your instructions." Al-Shabaab - The Youth - is losing ground to an offensive by Somalia's Western-backed Transitional Federal Government, backed by African peacekeepers, in Mogadishu, war-battered capital of the Horn of Africa state. But with two dozen, ... read more

Haiti leader vows to tighten adoption rules

Russia finds nuclear safety faults after Fukushima

New Zealand offers to buy 5,000 quake-hit homes

Japan cleaning radioactive water, says PM aide

Stretching Old Material Yields New Results for Energy

Rare earth minerals prices skyrocket

Tablet war heats up as Asia challenges iconic iPad

Android phones to pit vampires against slayers

Court moves to suspend work on Chilean dam

Discards ban 'will boost fisheries'

'Super sand' for better purification of drinking water

Pacific's California current likened to Africa's Serengeti Plain

NASA to embark on last leg of Arctic sea study

Life Between Snowball Earths

Arctic snow harbors deadly assassin

Glaciations may have larger influence on biodiversity than current climate

Fungicides may not increase corn yields unless disease develops

Artificial light quality affects herbivore preference for seedlings

European And US Consumer Views On Cloned Products Differ

Early-season strawberry tested in high elevation conditions

Stiff sediments made 2004 Sumatra earthquake deadliest in history

Floods kill 24 as rains pound north Nigeria city

Patagonian shepherds fear Chile ash disaster

Japan lifts tsunami warning after strong quake

China's power play for Africa alarms U.S.

World Bank to fund environment projects in Madagascar

Somalia Islamists vow loyalty to Zawahiri

Sudan army 'to fight by all means' in border state

Researchers find smart decisions for changing environmental times

Can humans sense the Earth's magnetism

Walker's World: Here come the 'age wars'

Family genetic research reveals the speed of human mutation

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement