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Several Pacific Countries Announce Bans on Single-Use Plastic Bags

(July 18, 2018) On July 11, 2018, it was reported that Niue was the latest Pacific Island country to announce a ban on single-use plastic bags, following the implementation of a similar ban in Vanuatu, and related announcements by Samoa and Papua New Guinea. (Niue Joins Growing Pacific Movement to Ban Plastics, RNZ (July 11, […]

Italy: New Consolidated Forestry and Forest Supply-Chain Law Takes Effect

(May 11, 2018) On May 5, 2018, a new law on forestry and forest supply chains came into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 34 of April 3, 2018, Consolidated Text on Forests and Supply Chains) (L.D. No. 34), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.) Apr. 20, 2018 (in Italian), G.U. website.) General Purpose of the New Legislation […]

Norway: Supreme Court: Finnmark Estate Agency Has Right to Regulate Fishery, Hunting and Use of Natural Resources in Finnmark

(Mar. 30, 2018) On March 9, 2018, the Norwegian Supreme Court issued a unanimous judgment in a dispute regarding who may regulate fishing, hunting, and the use of natural resources in the Nesseby municipality in Finnmark (part of the Sápmi region in the northern part of Norway, inhabited by the Sami people).  (Supreme Court Case, […]

Sweden: Appellate Court Grants Sami Village “Better Right” to Hunting Rights, but Not Control over Them

(Mar. 8, 2018) On January 23, 2018, the Appeals Court for Upper Norrland (Hovrätten for Övre Norrland) decided that the Sami village Girjas has a “better right” to fishing and hunting rights in its reindeer-grazing area than the Swedish state, concluding that the state has no right to fishing or hunting in that area. The […]

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 […]

Luxembourg: Law on Use of Resources in Space Adopted

(Aug. 22, 2017) The Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies adopted a law on the exploration of space and the use of space resources on July 13, 2017; the Grand Duke signed the law on July 20, 2017. (Loi du 20 juillet 2017 sur l’exploration et l’utilisation des ressources de l’espace [Law of 20 July 2017 on the […]

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 […]

Germany: Unconventional Fracking Prohibited

(Mar. 8, 2017) On February 11, 2017, an act to prohibit unconventional fracking entered into force in Germany. The Act forms part of a package of laws and regulations that regulate various aspects of fracking and related mining, water, and environmental law issues.  (Gesetz zur Änderung wasser- und naturschutzrechtlicher Vorschriften zur Untersagung und zur Risikominimierung […]