World Smart Energy Week 2018 : World's Leading Comprehensive Smart Energy Trade Show
 
Feb 15, 2018
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Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd. will be holding the Japan’s largest comprehensive show for smart and renewable energy - World Smart Energy Week 2018 from February 28 - March 2 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan. The show aims to provide a platform for professionals from across Japan, Asia, and the world to negotiate and network for the future of smart and renewable energy business. It will consist of 8 exhibitions and world-class conference sessions filling up Tokyo Big Sight - the largest exhibition center of the country. The show ranges from power generation, storage, saving, transmission to distribution technologies. The comprehensive business event is expected to welcome 1,580 exhibitors and 70,000 professional visitors.


The show will commence with a ribbon-cutting ceremony inviting 60 energy industry leaders from Japan and overseas as dignitaries. Ambassadors from Denmark and Norway, and senior representatives from major companies in Japan, such as Toshiba Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and Panasonic Corp., many others will celebrate the opening of World Smart Energy Week 2018.

Date & Time: Feb. 28 (Wed) 9:30 am -
Venue: In front of Reception Counter, East 5 Hall

Also, Executive Party will be held on the first day to facilitate networking among executives of smart energy industries 800 executives from exhibiting and visiting firms, organisations, speakers from keynotes, and other conference sessions will be attending the reception party. A perfect opportunity to meet and carry out interviews with great influencers.
Date & Time: Feb. 28 (Wed) 12:30 pm -
Venue: Reception Hall, 1st floor of Conference Tower


During the show period, keynote and technical conference sessions will be held in parallel to the exhibitions at the Conference Tower of Tokyo Big Sight. Distinguished industry leaders from the 8 energy sectors share the outlook for their industries, the latest technologies, market trends, national and international energy policies, and various strategies for business and national/international energy policies. Throughout the show period, 220 sessions will be held in 2018. These will include a World Smart Energy Week keynote session led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), U.S. Department of Energy to discuss “Japan & US Smart Energy Strategies and Future Outlook” Many more interesting sessions you don’t want to miss in this year are published. Please check the details of all sessions via the following link.

Press Registration>>>http://www.wsew.jp/en/shuzai/?fm=preshow
Invitation Ticket Request (Free) >>>http://www.wsew.jp/en/inv/?fm=preshow
Exhibiting Information Inquiries >>>wsew@reedexpo.co.jp

The show has been expanding its scale and the profile of the show by attracting increasing attention from smart and renewable energy related professionals year by year. World Smart Energy Week 2018 is the best place to keep up with the changing conditions of the industry.

Conference Details:http://www.wsew.jp/en/seminar/?fm=preshow

The show has been expanding its scale and the profile of the show by attracting increasing attention from smart and renewable energy related professionals year by year. World Smart Energy Week 2018 is the best place to keep up with the changing conditions of the industry

World Smart Energy Week 2018
Dates: February 28 - March 2, 2018
Time: 10:00 – 18:00 (10:00 – 17:00 on March 2, 2018)
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Japan (Tokyo International Exhibition Center)
Organised by: Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd.
Website:http://www.wsew.jp/en/

Held inside World Smart Energy Week 2018:
FC EXPO 2018 - 14th Int'l Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Expo
PV EXPO 2018 - 11th Int’l Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo
PV SYSTEM EXPO 2018 - 9th Int’l Photovoltaic Power Generation System Expo
BATTERY JAPAN 2018 - 8th Int'l Rechargeable Battery Expo
8th INT’L SMART GRIDEXPO
WIND EXPO 2018 – 6th Int’l Wind Energy Expo & Conference
3rd INT’L BIOMASS EXPO
THERMAL POWER EXPO – 2nd Next-generation Thermal Power Generation Expo

Co-organised by:
Hydrogen Energy Systems Society of Japan (HESS) [FC EXPO]
Fuel Cell Development Information Center (FCDIC) [FC EXPO]
Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) [WIND EXPO]
Japan Woody Bioenergy Association / Japan Organics Recycling Association [INT’L BIOMASS EXPO]
Thermal and Nuclear Power Engineering Society [THERMAL POWER EXPO]

--------CONTACT INFORMATION----------------------------------------------------------------------

World Smart Energy Week Show Management
Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd.
18F Shinjuku-Nomura Bldg.,1-26-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-0570, Japan
TEL : +81-3-3349-8576 FAX : +81-3-3349-8535
PressInquiries:
Email: pr-eng.wsew@reedexpo.co.jp

Chifeng WANG (Mr.)
Visiting Inquiries:
Email: visitor-eng.wsew@reedexpo.co.jp

Manami OGAWA (Ms.)
Exhibiting Inquiries:
Email: wsew@reedexpo.co.jp

Yasu MUROTA (Mr.), Mitsuru TAKAZAWA (Mr.),
Seungjoon BAEK (Mr.), Chifeng WANG (Mr.), Ryo MATSUBARA (Mr.)

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ADB, China Everbright International Facilitate Clean Waste-to-Energy PPP in Viet Nam
 
Feb 01, 2018
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HONG KONG, CHINA (2 February 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $100 million loan facility agreement with China Everbright International Limited (CEIL) to help a series of municipal waste-to-energy (WTE) plants in primary and secondary cities in the Mekong Delta. This initiative will be the first municipal WTE public-private partnership (PPP) project in the country.

“The agreement signed today will be a new model to improve solid waste management in cities, and also mitigate climate change by reducing methane and increasing energy generation from renewable sources,” said Christopher Thieme, Deputy Director General of the Private Sector Operations Department at ADB.

Viet Nam generates more than 27.8 million tons of waste annually. Most of the waste collected are disposed in landfills in an unhygienic manner. This poses a significant health threat to nearby communities, mostly urban poor. One of the most effective ways to treat and manage this increasing quantity of municipal solid waste is through WTE, which can reduce waste volume by 90% and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, while also producing energy from the heat of the waste during incineration.

ADB’s assistance will support the construction and operation of a series of WTE plants with advanced clean technologies in multiple municipalities in Viet Nam. Each WTE plant will treat municipal solid waste and supply electricity to the local electricity grid. CEIL will develop and invest in WTE subprojects in Viet Nam to facilitate the harmless treatment, reduction, and reuse of household waste in the cities and produce clean electricity.

CEIL is one of the world’s leading integrated environmental protection companies with environmental protection projects spanning 18 provinces and municipalities in the People’s Republic of China. As of end of 2017, CEIL had 43 WTE projects in operation with a combined processing capacity of 39,100 tons per day and generation capacity of about 4,300 gigawatt-hours per year.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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New Beach Bin Could Help Tackle Waste on Beaches
 
Jan 22, 2018
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Popular beaches in West Sussex, and perhaps more widely across the UK, could become cleaner, thanks to an innovative waste bin designed by a student at the University of East London (UEL).

The BinForGreenSeas project, organised by the GreenSeas Trust (www.greenseas.org) and supported by Arun District Council and its waste contractor Biffa, saw 9 students create designs for an iconic beach waste bin that could help reduce seaside waste by reminding visitors to dispose of their litter carefully. Judging to select a winning design took place at the university.

Winning Design

The students, all in their first year of their product design course, showcased innovate and forward thinking designs using 3D models, accompanied by their presentations.

The winning design, produced by 19 year old, Laura Monica Carusato, takes its inspiration from the ventilation shafts of the majestic passenger liners of a bygone era. “It’s designed so people don’t just place or drop plastic waste in the bin, they throw it in, so it becomes fun, something children and adults can enjoy, like playing basketball.”

The judging panel comprised of Fazilette Khan, founding trustee of the GreenSeas Trust, who presented the winner’s trophy; Edina Seiben, GreenSeas Trust project coordinator; Biffa business development manager Karen Sherwood; and Darren Wingrove, project manager at Logoplaste Innovation Lab.

They assessed the designs for originality in the design, form and use of materials; effectiveness in attracting attention; potential to carry educational messages; practicality (function and ease of use); serviceability (ease of emptying); and manufacture (production cost, sustainability and durability).

"We are very excited to have reached this milestone and chosen the winning bin design, said Fazilette Khan. "Changing behaviour to stop people leaving their litter on beaches or discarding it into waterways is challenging. We are optimistic this bin design will help do just that,"

Dispose Of Litter Properly

Karen Sherwood commented: “All of the designs submitted showed that a lot of thought had gone into them. Laura’s prototype won for its originality of design, ease of use, and because it would be practical to clean and empty. Every year, Biffa’s cleaning staff collects and disposes of many tonnes of waste that are so thoughtlessly left on Arun’s beaches.”

A spokesperson Arun Council said, "It’s vital that our beaches and seas are kept as clean as possible. The winning design is eye-catching and we hope to see the design in production and in use. We are hopeful that Laura's design will help influence beach-goers to put their rubbish into nearby bins so that it can be recycled or disposed of properly."

According to Andrew Wright, UEL senior lecturer in product design, the project aimed to encourage thoughtfulness through design. “Our enthusiastic students used design thinking to combat the ecological plight of the sea, aiming to change human behaviour using their creative skills."

Beach Study

Last October, 20 students from the UEL’s design faculty, and accompanied by representatives of the GreenSeas Trust, Arun District Council and Biffa, collected and analysed litter from the shore line of Littlehampton Beach.

Their study, which included waste composition analysis and use of high tech GPS equipment, helped identify waste materials found at different areas of the beach. This data informed the potential design of a new waste bin, as well as the best locations for bins.

-ends-

Press enquires:
press@greenseas.org

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EXPOTURAL is introduced to the tourism industry at FITUR
 
Jan 18, 2018
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The Community of Madrid stand will bring the main players in the sector together to find out what the only Spanish trade fair with a commitment to sustainability, the climate and nature has to offer

The Nature, Climate and Sustainable Tourism Fair presents its main courses of action in the area of corporate social responsibility

Madrid.- 18 January 2018.- EXPOTURAL, the Nature, Climate and Sustainable Tourism Fair, was introduced to the main players in the tourism sector at the Community of Madrid stand at FITUR. Carlos González, Sales Director of IFEMA; Stephan Labarrieri, CEO of Abeo; José Manuel Vilanova, promoter of Expotural, and Alfonso Polvorinos, Technical Director of Expotural, explained the key aspects of this event, which has returned to Madrid reinvigorated, with a clear international ambition and a programme of events and content that make it the biggest forum in terms of experience and knowledge about the environment.

The fair, which is organised by IFEMA, will be held from 1 to 4 November 2018. It will present its main courses of action in the area of corporate social responsibility, as it is the only fair in Spain that is firmly committed to sustainability, climate and nature in three ways:

- By making a direct financial contribution to a reforestation project (directly benefiting biodiversity conservation and indirectly benefiting the climate), which will come from a percentage of the entry fee.

- By contributing to fighting climate change and promoting sustainability. The aim is to be a carbon-neutral fair by offsetting the carbon generated during the fair through carbon offsets or credits (Kyoto Protocol CERs)

- By taking part in the 2018 events of the international association “Respect The Mountains”, an international project of the UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation), which will take place all over the world throughout the year. The UIAA will include Expotural among its 2018 events.

In the first edition of this new era, EXPOTURAL, which will be held on 1-4 November 2018, will feature more than 10,000 square metres of exhibition space dedicated to rural, nature and adventure tourism, and a richly varied national and international selection of mountain destinations around the world.

The new project will therefore include a broad cross-section of mountain sports, natural spaces, protected national parks, ornithological tourism, climbing as a new Olympic sport and adventure sports, segments that will also be extensively developed in the programme of lectures that will accompany the professional and commercial activity of EXPOTURAL.

The major milestones of this edition include, firstly, the organisation, for the first time at a trade fair, of the final stage of the Spanish Lead Climbing Cup, arranged by Entre-Prises and ABEO, for which a large xxx-metre-high rockodrome, representing Mount Everest, will tower over the centre of the fair.
Secondly, in the area of information and knowledge, for the first time in Spain, the 1st Congress on Ornithological Tourism will be held, a meeting underpinned by Spain's having 10 natural spaces for birding, with almost 600 SPAs and 450 nomadic and migratory species, in addition to the first Madrid Conference on Sustainable Tourism and Climate Change.

There will be a series of one-day events that will also address active tourism and adventure sports, involving companies dedicated to rafting, trekking, hiking and other activities related to active tourism and nature-based tourism.

These events will also feature companies, entities and participating institutions, so they can present their own projects and experiences based around two major thematic areas: “National Parks and Protected Natural Areas”, a key element in a country like Spain that has the largest natural protected area inthe European Union, and “Mountains and their Ecosystems”, which will act as the focal points of the fair.

A final theme will be rural gastronomy as an important distinguishing feature of rural tourism, with talks on the Mediterranean diet and the main types of rural gastronomy from the different autonomous communities that will have a presence at the fair.

This intense and attractive programme is open to the citizens of Madrid who are interested in learning about and enjoying nature and mountain tourism – always with the common denominator of the impact of climate change and from the perspective of responsibility for the protection of the environment.

In Spain today, tourism is one of the economic sectors with the most relevance and weight in GDP and job creation. Caring for the natural surroundings is therefore a very important factor of the tourism products on offer in this country, as any change in the conditions of these spaces could have a very significant impact on the future of nature tourism.

More information
Marta Cacho Dalda, Head of Media Relations at IFEMA | mcacho@ifema.es

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​NTU and Volvo to jointly develop autonomous electric buses in Singapore
 
Jan 17, 2018
Category:

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Volvo Buses announced today that they will begin testing autonomous electric passenger buses in Singapore in 2019.

For Volvo, this will be its first autonomous application in public transportation anywhere in the world and it has chosen NTU Singapore as its partner in this endeavour. Volvo has already demonstrated its autonomous technology in mining, quarry and refuse collection operations.

The 12-metre Volvo 7900 Electric bus is already in service around the world, providing a quiet and emission-free operation, and requiring 80 per cent less energy than an equivalent sized diesel bus.

The 40-seater buses to be deployed in Singapore will be equipped with autonomous driving technologies. These include GPS and LIDAR laser technology systems for charting, positioning and detecting obstacles around the vehicle, and an integrated navigation system that includes automated steering, gear changing, and speed throttling technologies.

The buses will be tested from early 2019 at the Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous vehicles at NTU (CETRAN). The autonomous vehicle test circuit, which is modelled after real road conditions in Singapore, provides a safe and controlled environment to test autonomous vehicles.

The NTU and Volvo partnership is also part of the collaboration between NTU and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) under the university’s living lab platform announced in October 2016. The living lab platform assesses technology maturity and road-worthiness, including the certification of the technologies for deployment on public roads.

The NTU-Volvo programme will be supported by SMRT and ABB, which will be assessing the vehicles’ roadworthiness and charging systems.

“We are seeing fast-growing interest in both autonomous and electric vehicles in cities all over the world. Together with NTU, one of the world’s leading universities of technology, we now have the possibility of testing various solutions under realistic conditions in a major city that has high ambitions for its public transport,” said Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses.

He added: “We consider Singapore and NTU as excellent partners for Volvo, offering an enabling environment and complete ecosystem of research, development and implementation of new solutions. The technology developed in Singapore can contribute to future autonomous applications by Volvo Buses.”

NTU President Professor Subra Suresh, said, “We have a vision to transform NTU into a smart campus that embraces technology to improve everyday life, and ensures the sustainability of resources. This partnership with Volvo on electric autonomous buses is part of the roadmap of the Smart Campus initiative. We hope that the solutions created out of this programme will contribute significantly to Singapore's ambition of adopting autonomous vehicle technologies and enhancing public transportation.”

LTA’s Chief Innovation and Technology Officer Mr Lam Wee Shann said, “The Land Transport Authority fully supports innovation and cutting edge technology that will ultimately benefit commuters. The agreement to develop and trial electric autonomous buses is a significant milestone in our journey to make this a reality in Singapore’s public bus network.”

Comprehensive research and rigorous testing

The autonomous electric buses will be tested on campus at CETRAN, which replicates different elements of Singapore’s roads, with common traffic schemes, road infrastructure, and traffic rules.

The circuit features a rain simulator and flood zone to test autonomous vehicles’ navigation abilities under tropical weather conditions. It also helps improve overall safety and efficiency by allowing researchers to assess the vehicles’ interaction with pedestrians.

Håkan Agnevall said, “Our electric buses already make it possible for cities to improve their air quality and reduce noise levels. With our system approach to electromobility we, in addition, open up new ways for urban planning. When developing autonomous solutions for public transport we can really leverage the Volvo Group expertise in this rapidly developing technology field.”

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Vice President for Research, said, “NTU fosters a culture of research excellence centred around translational research, accelerating ideas nurtured at the lab into practical and industry-relevant innovations for society. Our partnership with Volvo, a world leader in public transportation which explored hybrid and electromobility solutions as early as 2010, will set a new milestone in this era of disruption, automation and artificial intelligence.”

Singapore’s public transport operator SMRT will also play a critical role in determining the roadworthiness of autonomous vehicles and assist in operational trials.

One of the buses will undergo tests at a local bus depot managed by SMRT. This would test the vehicle’s capabilities to autonomously navigate into vehicle washing bays and park safely at charging areas.

Mr Desmond Kuek, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, SMRT Corporation, said, “Our goal is to stay future-ready with the latest urban mobility solutions to provide safe, efficient and comfortable journeys in Singapore’s unique operational setting. This MOU paves the way for SMRT, working with our partners, to host operational trials for autonomous buses, and test out the command & control system required for operating such smart vehicles. Our engineers will be part of the joint effort to lead the proof of concept in Sweden, before moving the trials to Singapore. We will leverage on our extensive experience operating and maintaining buses to support the eventual deployment of autonomous vehicles safely on our roads in the future.”

For the development and deployment of fast-charging stations based on the OppCharge interface, Volvo and NTU will be partnering ABB, a global leader in charging solutions for electric vehicles.

The charging station is capable of providing 300kW of charging power in three to six minutes, during the layover times at the bus route’s end points.

Commenting on the initiative, Tarak Mehta, President of ABB’s Electrification Products division said: “ABB has long been at the forefront of developing greener solutions. With this project, we reaffirm our intent to develop the Electric Vehicle industry in the Asia Pacific region. Our high-quality electric charging systems, combined with our cloud-based connected platform ABB Ability™, are paving the way for vehicles to become cleaner, more efficient and cost effective than ever before.”

Volvo Buses is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electrified buses and has sold more than 3,800 hybrid buses, electric hybrid buses and all-electric buses.

* * * END * * *

For further information, please contact:

Nur Amin Shah, Corporate Communications
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore)
Email: aminshah(a.t.)ntu.edu.sg

Helena Lind, Manager Media Relations, Volvo Bus Corporation
Email: helena.lind(a.t.)volvo.com

About Volvo Buses

Volvo Buses is one of the world’s leading bus manufacturers, with a strong focus on vehicles and systems for long-term sustainable public transport. The product range includes complete transport solutions, city buses, intercity buses and tourist coaches, as well as services in financing, vehicle servicing, vehicle diagnostics and traffic information. Volvo Buses is part of Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction machines as well as drive systems for marine and industrial applications. Volvo Group also provides complete financing solutions. For more information visithttp://www.volvobuses.com

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world’s top young university for the last four years running. The University’s main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg

SOURCE / NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

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Students’ Innovative Bin Designs to Change our Disposable Culture
 
Jan 14, 2018
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Students from the University of East London (UEL) will be presenting their final submissions for the BinForGreenSeas Project next Wednesday 17th January at 1130 hrs at the Knowledge Dock kd.1.27, at the UEL campus, University Way, London E16 2RD.

The 11 designs submitted by the year 1 Product Design Students are part of a collaboration with the charity GreenSeas Trust, to help reduce the mountain of an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic debris which enters our oceans each year. The design objective was to create a bin that is not only functional but also a work of art to change people's attitudes towards litter, particularly plastics.

Andrew Wright, Senior Lecturer at UEL said, "We wanted to encourage thoughtfulness through design. To use design thinking to combat the ecological plight of the sea, and aim to change human behaviour using their creative skills."

The judging criteria will be on originality, effectiveness, educational, practicality, serviceability and scalability.

Fazilette Khan, Founding Trustee of the charity said, "We are very excited to reach this milestone on the final bin designs. Changing behavioural attitudes towards marine litter and plastics in particular is a challenging undertaking. We are certain that one of these unconventional designs will tick all the boxes and in a visual way influence beach goers to put their rubbish in the bins and recycle whenever possible."

Arun District Council and Biffa, whose municipal division handles local waste, are supporting the project. GreenSeas Trust is seeking sponsorship to produce these specially designed bins for the beaches around the UK coast.

GreenSeas Trust has worked on other projects at home and abroad to reduce plastic pollution in the sea and raise awareness about the issue. More information herehttp://www.greenseas.org/

GreenSeas Trust was established in memory of Haida Khan who loved the sea with a passion. Fazilette Khan, her daughter was until recently, a seafarer and feel passionate about protecting oceans and marine life within it.

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ADB 2017 Operations Reach $28.9 Billion
 
Jan 13, 2018
Category:

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (12 January 2018) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) operations—comprising approvals of loans and grants, technical assistance (TA), and cofinancing—reached $28.9 billion in 2017 in its continued efforts to help meet Asia and the Pacific’s development needs, according to preliminary figures released today.

Approvals of loans and grants from ADB’s own resources reached a record $19.1 billion, representing a 9% increase from the $17.5 billion seen in 2016. This puts ADB well on its way to meet its $20 billion target by 2020. Of the total, nonsovereign (primarily private sector) operations accounted for $3.2 billion, a 26% increase from $2.5 billion in 2016. TA, meanwhile, increased by about 22% to $205 million from $169 million in the previous year.

Commitments (the amount of loans and grants signed)—ADB’s new performance measure—reached $20.1 billion. This is a significant increase from $13.3 billion in 2016, reflecting the signing of large projects approved in 2016 and 2017.

“The strong figures for ADB operations in the past year were supported by the successful merger of ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund lending operations with the Ordinary Capital Resources balance sheet—which took effect at the start of 2017,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said. “This will allow us to deliver a much higher level of assistance to our developing member countries for years to come without seeking a capital increase.”

A highlight of ADB’s operational figures for 2017 is climate financing, which reached a record $4.5 billion (comprising mitigation $3.6 billion and adaptation $0.9 billion), a 21% increase from 2016. This puts ADB in a good position to achieve its $6 billion climate financing target by 2020.

Cofinancing approvals declined to $9.5 billion in 2017 from the $13.9 billion recorded in 2016, partly due to the delay of large expected cofinanced projects. Disbursements were $11.7 billion in 2017, compared to $12.7 billion in 2016. This is because of lower approvals, and hence disbursements, of policy-based lending and counter-cyclical support facility, among other factors.

“Disbursements are essential to make a difference on the ground. Cofinancing and catalyzation is a much-discussed strategy in the international community to realize the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr. Nakao. “ADB will come up with additional concrete measures to increase disbursements and cofinancing, building on the new procurement policy approved in April 2017 and ongoing efforts to leverage resources.”

Among ADB’s other operational highlights were projects that combine finance with innovative approaches to development, including satellite data and remote sensing to improve irrigation in Indonesia and Pakistan, pilot testing of climate-smart agriculture practices in Bangladesh, and supporting social welfare reforms in Mongolia to promote human development.

An innovative $100 million TA loan to the Philippines, approved in October 2017, will help the government prepare and deliver infrastructure projects under its Build Build Build program.

On the funding side, ADB offered new and innovative thematic products such as the health bond and gender bond. This is on top of increased efforts to raise local currency funding to meet the growing demand for nonsovereign local currency loans. ADB’s Indonesian rupiah bond in December was the first bond issued from a multilateral development bank of which Indonesia is a shareholder.

ADB launched three high-impact publications in 2017. Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs estimated Asia and the Pacific’s annual infrastructure needs at $1.7 trillion per year until 2030. A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific put forward scenarios of the devastating effects of climate change. The ADB history book, Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific focused on the region’s economic development, the evolution of the international development agenda, and the story of ADB over 50 years.

To scale up the bank’s operations with quality, the ADB Board approved the 2018 budget totaling $672.3 million, an increase of 3.9% over 2017, comprising 2.2% price growth and 1.7% volume growth. This budget supports the ongoing investments in IT reforms and organizational resilience. ADB continues to make its utmost efforts at staff optimization and efficiency measures.

A key priority for ADB in 2018 is to finalize its new corporate strategy, Strategy 2030. ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors will be held in Manila again in May after 6 years. Strategy 2030, the impact of technological change and globalization on jobs, aging and longevity dividends, role of women entrepreneurs, and private sector participation in infrastructure development will be among the topics discussed. ADB expects more than 3,000 participants to attend the meeting.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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Thailand Boosts Organic Farming
 
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Jan 10, 2018
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Thailand made another step forward in its aim to increase the share of organic farming in its agriculture sector as 20 northeastern provinces signed by signing three memorandums of understanding with relevant agencies to cooperate in developing organic agriculture, mainly involving the cultivation of organic tapioca, watermelons and herbal plants.

The move is part of the Thai government’s efforts of implementing a plan on organic agriculture in the Northeast from 2017 to 2021. The plan seeks to designate planting areas for organic farming, raise farmers’ awareness about chemical-free agriculture and set standards for organic products.

It also focuses on organic farming on large farmland plots, where farmers work in an integrated manner. Pilot provinces under this plan include Yasothon, Maha Sarakham, and Si Sa Ket. Major crops to be emphasised include rice, tapioca, sugar cane and soybean. Markets for organic products in various areas will be linked together.

“The government attaches great importance to promoting organic farming,” says deputy prime minister Prajin Juntong.

“We call on all sectors of society to translate the organic agriculture policy into action. The National Organic Agriculture Development Committee has been formed, along with subcommittees at the regional level and working groups at the provincial level, to mobilise efforts to implement this policy,” he adds,

The Thai Cabinet last year approved the National Organic Agriculture Development Strategy, 2017-2021 as a framework to develop organic agriculture. The five-year strategy seeks to increase organic agricultural productivity and establish them on both local and international consumer markets.

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New UN agency projects to boost farming practices, improve farm animal health
 
Dec 31, 2017
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29 December 2017 – People around the world, especially poor farmers in developing Asian countries, will benefit through the use of nuclear techniques in combatting diseases affecting farm animals and improve water management practices, the United Nations atomic energy agency has said.

“Improved farming practices, healthier animals and – ultimately – increased food security will be the outcomes,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Thursday.

Supported by a $600,000 grant by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID), the IAEA initiative aims to contribute to strengthen the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 2 on ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Producing more rice
About two-thirds of the grant will be used to help rice farmers better cope with the effects of climate change in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Nepal.

Countries in Asia – which produce 90 per cent of the world's rice – have seen fluctuating yields in recent years due to rising temperatures that bring new plant diseases and insect pests, extreme floods and droughts as well as a rise in sea levels leading to increased soil salinity and lower soil fertility in coastal areas.

“By using nuclear and isotopic techniques, scientists can help farmers improve water management practices and optimize the use of fertilizer for best yields at the lowest cost,” said the UN agency.

The increased productivity from these improved practices is expected to lead to higher volumes of high-quality, affordable rice, increasing the food security of the rural population in target countries. The improved technologies will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rice production.

Fighting animal diseases
The other part of the funds will go towards the application of nuclear-related techniques for the diagnosis of foot-and-mouth disease and other fast-spreading highly contagious diseases impacting cattle in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

“Early and rapid detection of animal pathogen is key to halting the spread of the diseases,” said IAEA, adding that while conventional methods can detect the viruses, they take a long time and cannot determine their behaviour or genetic character – which is required for a rapid response.

Under the grant, the IAEA, in cooperation with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will train veterinarians from the four countries in the diagnosis and control of the diseases.

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Sea turtle conservation project to launch
 
Viet Nam News
Dec 30, 2017
Category:

Viet Nam News LÝ SƠN ISLAND — The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) plans to launch a communication campaign to promote the non-use of plastic bags as a prelude to its sea turtle conservation programme on Lý Sơn Island in 2018.

IUCN’s Marine and Coastal resource programme co-ordinator Bùi Thị Thu Hiền told Việt Nam News that the communication campaign aims to raise awareness among islanders and tourists of the need to create clean and safe marine areas for sea turtles returning to the island in the near future.

Hiền said on Tuesday other activities related to marine environment cleaning and protection would be launched beginning next year to boost sea turtle conservation in the area where turtles had laid their eggs in the past decades.

According to IUCN’s research, the sea turtle population in central coastal areas has seriously declined in recent years.

Quảng Ngãi beaches, including areas in Bình Sơn District on Lý Sơn Island, witnessed 200 sea turtles regularly approaching the beaches to lay their eggs in 1980s.

However, the figure dropped by 90 per cent between 1980 and 2000 due to rapid urbanisation, over-fishing and the construction of buildings and concrete dykes.

According to IUCN Việt Nam, only eight out of 16 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Việt Nam offer sea turtle conservation.

Hiền said MPA in Lý Sơn Island still struggles with a lack of investment and human resources for sea turtle conservation.

Beaches in Quảng Ngãi were home to species including green turtles (Chelonia mydas), hawkbills (Eretmochelis imbricate) and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea).

According to Lê Xuân Ái, a sea turtle conservationist, beaches in Quảng Ngãi, Quảng Nam, Bình Định, Phú Yên and Bình Thuận provinces were favourite sites for sea turtles to lay their eggs.

Ái succeeded last year in releasing nearly 900 baby turtles into the sea in a pilot programme for ex-situ sea turtle conservation in the Chàm Islands, off the coast of Quảng Nam Province.

Sea turtle eggs, which had been laid 40 days earlier on Côn Đảo Island, were brought to hatch in sand nests on the Chàm Islands’ beaches before the baby sea turtles made their way into the sea.

Last year, IUCN, in co-operation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, started a marine environment protection communications programme for sea turtle conservation on An Bình Islet, three miles off Lý Sơn Island.

Paintings of ocean life and species were created on the walls of households in An Bình Islet, calling on local islanders and tourists to join hands to protect the marine environment and sea turtles. — VNS

Photo caption/ Concrete dykes and rapid urbanisation in Lý Sơn Island prevent the return of sea turtles for egg laying on warm and quiet beaches. — VNS Photo Công Thành

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