Tuesday January 22, 2019
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ID cards for trees in Bengal municipality

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Kolkata: In a move that will help educate people about the significance of going green in the wake of climate change, a West Bengal suburb has probably become India’s first municipality to assign identity cards to trees, an official said.

In Konnagar, a town in the Hooghly district, as many as 28 species of trees were mapped for their ability to sequester carbon dioxide.

Following this, around 3,000 trees belonging to these species were issued ID cards that display the common name, scientific name, the geographical location and the amount of carbon dioxide they can absorb.

“The identity cards are hung on the trees. This way the children will develop an understanding about the importance of each variety. We will extend this to as many trees as possible,” said Konnangar municipality chairman Bappaditya Chatterjee.

Scientist Abhijit Mitra is leading the project which will be extended to map other species. Some of the common species in the area are ‘neem’, ‘krishnachuda’ and ‘peepal’, said Chatterjee.

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Chatterjee claimed this is the first such venture in India and informed a database is being created on these trees which will be uploaded online soon.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Australia Serious About Tackling Climate Change: Prime Minister Morrison

Pacific nations have debts of about $4 billion. Creditors include the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, while $1 billion is owed to China.

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Australia, Climate
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is presented with a gift as he arrives in Port Vila, Vanuatu, Jan. 16, 2019. VOA

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has wrapped up a three-day trip to the South Pacific to reassure vulnerable island nations that Canberra is serious about tackling climate change.

Morrison told Pacific Island leaders that Australia would meet its international obligations to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris climate change agreement.

Many low-lying communities fear that rising sea levels will force them from their homes. In Samoa, coastal villages are already making plans to relocate to higher ground in the nation’s volcanic interior.

Morrison’s three-day trip to Vanuatu and Fiji has been described by foreign policy experts as mostly a success.

great barrier reef, Climate
A large piece of coral can be seen in the lagoon on Lady Elliot Island, on the Great Barrier Reef, northeast of Bundaberg town in Queensland, Australia. VOA

Coal a sticking point

But climate change remains a source of friction between Australia and its smaller neighbors. Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama criticized Canberra for not doing more to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the economy’s reliance on coal. Australia has some of the world’s highest per capita rates of carbon pollution.

Australia is also eager to counter China’s growing strategic influence in the South Pacific, although Morrison insists all countries should work together.

“We are here because we are for the independent sovereignty and prosperity of Vanuatu because they are our Pacific neighbors and family. That is why we are here,” he said. “Our objectives and our motives here, I think, are very transparent to our family and friends here in the Pacific, particularly here in Vanuatu. This question is put to me all the time. I mean, we do not have to choose. We just have to work cooperatively together.”

Australia, Meat free,Hurricane, climate change, economic
Tire tracks left by a truck can be seen in a drought-stricken paddock on Kahmoo Station property, located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

Australia has also mended a previously fraught relationship with Fiji. Prime Minister Bainimarama is a former commander of the Fijian military who deposed an elected government in 2006. Democracy was restored to Fiji, an archipelago of about 900,000 people, in 2014.

Also Read: Australia’s Maribyrnong Detention Center Gets Closed

Countering China

Pacific nations have debts of about $4 billion. Creditors include the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, while $1 billion is owed to China.

Experts say that some South Pacific countries have preferred to take out loans from China rather than accept grants from Australia because the process was simpler and less bureaucratic. (VOA)