Wednesday November 21, 2018
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Indian appointed as regional director under ICC

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Paris: Abhinav Bhushan, an Indian lawyer was appointed as the regional director for South Asia in the International Arbitration Court under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The first Indian to be appointed as deputy counsel of the ICCearlier, Bhushan “will be based in its Asia offices in Singapore and will take on part of the role of the outgoing regional director, Sylvia Tee”, the ICC announced in an official statement here.

“I look forward to strengthening ICC’s presence in South Asia and am committed to further raising awareness of ICC Arbitration and other dispute resolution services,” said Bhushan.

“A foremost objective will be to develop a programme of first-rate networking and training events that will bring ICC expertise to the doorsteps of legal practitioners and dispute resolution users in the region,” he added.

The appointment of Bhushan is in continuation of ICC’s efforts to expand its on-the-ground presence in Asia.

Bhushan brings to his new role first-hand experience working on arbitrations arising out of common law jurisdictions, in particular working with parties from India, Singapore and other regions of Asia, the statement read.

Bhushan’s appointment also follows the creation of an Indian Arbitration Group of the ICC, established as part of ICC India.

Besides, Davinder Singh, a top Indian-origin lawyer in Singapore has been named Vice-Chairman of the ICC, the media reported.

The 58-year-old Chief Executive Officer of Drew & Napier Singapore’s leading law firm has been appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the ICC Commission on corporate responsibility and anti-corruption.

Singh, a Member of Singapore Parliament from 1988-2006, is appointed to the leadership of one of 13 policy commissions under the ICC, which forges international rules, mechanisms and standards used across the globe.

The Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption develops rules of conduct, best practices and advocacy for fighting corruption, among other things.

It brings together more than 300 members from 40 countries, representing multi-national companies, law firms, trade associations, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

ICC is a private sector global business organisation with a central role in world trade and commerce.

It provides a forum for businesses and other organisations to examine and better comprehend the nature and significance of the major shifts taking place in the world economy.(IANS)(image: icc.ge)

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Small Farmers in Asia Miss Out On Climate Change Resilient Seeds

East-West Seed has built a successful business focusing purely on smallholders

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pollution, seeds
Women farmers use sticks to make holes in the soil for seeds, on a farm near Pangalengan, West Java, Indonesia. VOA

Millions of smallholder farmers in South and Southeast Asia are missing out on new, resilient seeds that could improve their yields in the face of climate change, according to an index published Monday.

The 24 top seed companies fail to reach four-fifths of the region’s 170 million smallholder farmers for reasons such as poor infrastructure, high prices and lack of training, the Access to Seeds Index found.

Access to seeds bred to better withstand changing weather conditions such as higher temperatures is vital as farmers battle loss of productivity due to climate change, said Ido Verhagen, head of the Access to Seeds Foundation, which published the index.

Egypt, pollution, seeds
A farmer burns rice straw at his field in Qalyub, causing a “black cloud” of smoke that spreads across the Nile valley, near the agricultural road which leads to the capital city of Cairo, Egypt. VOA

“We see increasing demands for new varieties, because [farmers] are affected by climate change,” Verhagen told Reuters.

“If we want to feed a growing population, if we want to tackle climate change, if we want to go towards a more sustainable food system, we have to start with seeds,” he said.

Smallholder farmers managing between one to 10 hectares of land provide up to 80 percent of the food supply in Asia, said the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

 pollution, seeds
FILE – Farmer sifts wheat crop at a farm on the outskirts of western Indian city of Ahmedabad. VOA

But traditional methods of preserving seeds from harvests are not always sufficient to cope with a changing climate.

About 340 million people were hungry in 2017 in South and Southeast Asia, a number that has barely changed since 2015, according to latest figures from the United Nations.

“The question is how to get markets to provide the varieties [of seeds] that farmers want, at prices that they’re able to pay,” said Shawn McGuire, agricultural officer at the FAO.

Some smaller companies are leading the way in helping smallholders access more resilient seeds, Verhagen said, such as Thailand-based East-West Seed which topped the index ahead of global giants Bayer and Syngenta, which ranked second and third.

 pollution, seeds
Indian Farmers causing smog in Pakistan. wikimedia commons

East-West Seed has built a successful business focusing purely on smallholders, he said, while Indian companies Acsen HyVeg and Namdhari, ranked sixth and seventh respectively, have also reached small-scale farmers with seeds.

Also Read: Climate Change’s Fight Harder Than Thought: Study

The index, funded by the Dutch government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ranks companies based on seven areas including strategies to help small farmers and supporting conservation. (VOA)