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Thailand: Ban on Smoking on Beaches

(Oct. 26, 2017) It was reported on October 11, 2017, that the Thai government will ban smoking on 20 of the country’s popular tourist beaches beginning in November. (Thailand Bans Smoking on Beaches, THAI LAW FORUM (Oct. 11, 2017); Smoking Ban Planned at 20 Popular Beaches, BANGKOK POST (Oct. 10, 2017).)  The maximum punishment for […]

Iran: Law to Protect Wetlands

(July 10, 2017) In an effort to counteract the combined effects of climate change, water crises, and human activities that have turned Iran’s once-thriving wetlands into sources of dust and sand storms, the Iranian Parliament has passed the Law to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Country’s Wetlands (Wetlands Protection Law). (Law on Wetlands Protection Ready, […]

Kenya: Notice Outlawing Plastic Bags Issued

(Mar. 31, 2017) The Kenyan government recently announced that it will soon institute a national ban on plastic bags.  In a notice in the country’s official gazette dated February 28, 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judi W. Wakhungu, announced a ban on “the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used […]

New Zealand: Bill Establishing River as Having Own Legal Personality Passed

(Mar. 22, 2017) On March 14, 2017, the New Zealand Parliament voted to pass the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River) Claims Settlement Bill (the Bill). (Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River) Claims Settlement Bill, Government Bill 129-2, as reported by the Māori Affairs Committee, New Zealand Legislation website.) The Bill “gives effect to the Whanganui River Deed […]

Indonesia: Promotion of Measures to Protect Caves

(Jan. 21, 2016) On January 18, 2016, the President of Indonesia’s Speleological Society, Cahyo Rahmadi, urged the country’s government to adopt national standards to protect caves. Rahmadi stated, “[t]he government has not yet issued a guideline on cave management, even though caves have become tourist sites.”  (Bambang Muryanto, Government Urged to Protect Caves for Ecotourism, […]

New Zealand: Ocean Sanctuary Announced

(Sept. 30, 2015) On September 28, 2015, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced that a new, fully-protected ocean sanctuary in the Kermadec region will be established by legislation to be enacted next year. The sanctuary will cover about 620,000 square kilometers (about 385,250 square miles) […]

Kenya: Implementation of New Wildlife Law Expedited

(Apr. 24, 2014) In early April 2014, it was reported that a special unit of prosecutors, the Wildlife Crimes Prosecution Unit, recently formed to combat wildlife-related crimes in Kenya, has already had some promising results. The Unit, which consists of 35 prosecutors who have undergone special training, is said to have successfully prosecuted 26 cases […]