Monday, May 26, 2008

[BurmaSolidarity] Myanmar to allow foreign help for Cyclone victims

from: Salong
reply-to: burmasolidarity@googlegroups.com
date: Sat, May 24, 2008 at 8:24 PM
subject: [BurmaSolidarity] Myanmar to allow foreign help for Cyclone victims


News Headlines

1. Myanmar to allow foreign help for Cyclone victims

2. China to give $10 million for Myanmar aid 29 minutes ago

3. Over 45 Nations, Groups To Attend Myanmar Aid Conference

4. Mercy Corps loads relief supplies for China, Myanmar

5. Myanmar votes across cyclone zone

6. Western navy help unwanted by Myanmar

7. Myanmar: Human rights lawyer recognised

8. Dubai Cares assists Save the Children in helping children in
Myanmar cope with deadly cyclone

9. EU official welcomes Myanmar's willingness to accept aid workers

10. Canada to increase aid to Myanmar

11. Ask AP: Helping Myanmar; India and China's cars

12. RAAF plane to ferry helicopters for aid in Myanmar

13. Manila parishes to have 2nd collection for Myanmar

14. Restoring natural habitats in Myanmar a priority

15. News Minute: Clinton's RFK flap...Ban in China...Myanmar relief
==============================
=======

Myanmar to allow foreign help for Cyclone victims

Associated Press - May 24, 2008 1:53 AM ET

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) - Myanmar's military government has agreed to
let foreign aid workers and commercial ships help survivors in the
country's cyclone-ravaged delta region. But it's still refusing to
accept aid from U.S., French and British military ships.

Those ships have been anchored off the coast for a week or more and
would be able to provide a huge boost in the aid effort because they
can send helicopters to hard-to-reach spots devastated by the cyclone
three weeks ago.

Myanmar's ruling general Friday told U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon (bahn kee-moon) that he will allow aid workers to travel to
the Irrawaddy Delta, on condition that it's clear what they're doing
and how long they'll stay.

The government has kept the delta virtually off-limits to foreign aid workers.

An estimated 2.5 million people remain in dire straights. The U.N.
says only about a-quarter of the survivors have received any kind of
aid.

The official death toll in Myanmar stands at about 78,000, with
another 56,000 people missing.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.katc.com/global/story.asp?s=8374748.

==============================
=======

China to give $10 million for Myanmar aid 29 minutes ago

YINGXIU, China - Premier Wen Jiabao says China will pledge $10 million
for Myanmar aid at an international donor conference.

Wen's announcement Saturday came as he and United Nations
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited earthquake-hit areas of China.

Donor governments plan to meet Sunday in the Myanmar capital of Yangon
to pledge aid for survivors of the country's devastating cyclone.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080524/ap_on_re_as/china_myanmar_aid_2

==============================
=======

Over 45 Nations, Groups To Attend Myanmar Aid Conference

(RTTNews) - Friday, the United Nations said more than 45 countries and
regional organizations have agreed to attend Sunday's donors
conference in Myanmar to mobilize funds for immediate humanitarian
assistance for the survivors of Cyclone Nargis.
The U.N. and Association of Southeast Asian Nations-ASEAN are jointly
sponsoring the conference in Myanmar's commercial capital, Yangon.
The United Nations launched an emergency appeal for US$187 million on
May 9 and then subsequently raised the amount to US$201 million. The
figure is likely to go up further once disaster relief experts are
able to gauge the full extent of the devastation after surveying the
hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta.
ASEAN has taken the lead in organizing the distribution of aid to an
estimated 2.5 million people urgently in need of relief following the
devastating storm on May 2-3.
U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said Friday though the conference
will focus on immediate aid but at the same time will also start
looking into medium-term and long-term needs of the cyclone survivors.
For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com

http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20080524%5cACQRTT200805240126RTTRADERUSEQUITY_0004.htm&&mypage=newsheadlines&title=Over%2045%20Nations,%20Groups%20To%20Attend%20Myanmar%20Aid%20Conference

==============================
=====

Mercy Corps loads relief supplies for China, Myanmar

PORTLAND (AP) — Portland-based Mercy Corps will send 17 pallets of
emergency supplies to help survivors in China's earthquake and
Myanmar's cyclone.

The pallets will be loaded onto a truck in Portland to fly out of
Seattle Thursday.

Mercy Corps staff in Bangkok, including a Portland-based aid worker,
will manage distribution of the supplies, valued at $300,000.

The shipment includes thousands of pairs of work gloves, rubber boots
and solar-powered flashlights.

It also includes soccer balls donated by Nike to help Chinese children
regain a sense of normal life.
DH Reader Comments

http://www.democratherald.com/articles/2008/05/24/news/local/4loc11_mercycorps.txt

==============================
=====

Myanmar votes across cyclone zone

Agence France-Presse
Saturday, May 24, 2008 (Yangon)
Myanmar voters in cyclone-hit regions went to the polls on Saturday
for a referendum on a new constitution, which the ruling junta says
was overwhelmingly approved in a first round of voting.

The regime opened polls at 6:00 am (0500IST) across the main city of
Yangon and the southern Irrawaddy Delta, where entire villages were
washed away by Cyclone Nargis three weeks ago.

The military says the constitution will pave the way for democratic
elections in 2010, but democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party has
deplored the vote.

Her National League for Democracy says the constitution will enshrine
military rule, and has denounced the regime for focusing on its
referendum rather than on delivering aid to cyclone victims.

Some 2.4 million people remain in desperate need of food, shelter and
medicine in the wake of the storm.

About five million people are eligible to cast their ballot, but their
votes will have no effect on the outcome, after the military announced
a 92.4 per cent in the first round held on May 10 in regions spared by
the storm.

In Yangon, voters have complained of intimidation, saying that
military officers forced them to cast advance ballots, and to tick
their papers while officials watched.

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080050807&ch=5/24/2008%2010:08:00%20AM

=================================

Western navy help unwanted by Myanmar
Sat May 24, 2008

By The Associated Press
YANGON, Myanmar — With their history of xenophobia, no one expected
Myanmar's generals to welcome a flotilla of warships trying to help
bring relief to millions affected by Cyclone Nargis.

As a half-dozen military ships from the U.S., France and Britain laden
with aid and helicopters capable of reaching hard-hit areas waited
offshore, Myanmar said they were not needed or welcome.
Although the junta agreed Friday it would let commercial ships and
foreign aid workers help survivors of the May 2-3 cyclone, the
military — a major factor in relief after the 2004 tsunami — was
forced to sit on the sidelines.
"The strings attached to the relief supplies carried by warships and
military helicopters are not acceptable to the Myanmar people," the
New Light of Myanmar newspaper, a mouthpiece for the ruling generals,
said this week.
It did not say what strings were attached, and U.S. military officials
have repeatedly said there were none.
"This is purely a humanitarian mission," said Lt. Col. Douglas Powell,
a spokesman for the stalled Operation Caring Response. "We have no
ulterior motive other than to assist the Burmese people."
What's the concern?The media report hinted that Myanmar's real fear is
that the U.S. would use the disaster as a pretext to invade and take
control of the country's oil reserves. U.S. officials flatly deny any
such intent.
The junta appears particularly wary about allowing U.S. helicopters
into hard-hit areas because that would highlight the American effort
to the common people, who have been taught to see the U.S. as a
hostile aggressor.
In the meantime, U.S. military airlifts from Thailand continued.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Friday there have been 50 U.S.
C-130 transport plane flights into Yangon, carrying more than 485 tons
of relief supplies.

http://newsok.com/western-navy-help-unwanted-by-myanmar/article/3248141

=======================================

Myanmar: Human rights lawyer recognised

A lawyer in Myanmar has been awarded a prestigious human rights award
in recognition of his struggle for labour rights under extremely
adverse conditions. U Aye Myint, who has set up a legal aid group in
Myanmar to handle cases of forced labour, illegal land confiscation
and workers' rights, was awarded the European Bar's Ludovic-Trarieux
Prize for 2008. He has twice been imprisoned over cases that he has
brought to the courts and to the ILO, and has had his licence to
practice illegally revoked. On at least one occasion he suffered cruel
and inhuman treatment by being kept hooded, handcuffed and unfed for
days while detained, says this report.

http://csr-asia.com/index.php?id=11838

======================================

Source: Save the Children Alliance
Date: 23 May 2008
Print E-mail Save
Dubai Cares assists Save the Children in helping children in Myanmar
cope with deadly cyclone

Westport, Conn. (May 23, 2008) — Dubai Cares, a new charity based in
the United Arab Emirates, is helping Save the Children bring immediate
aid to thousands of children and families affected by the devastation
of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.
Launched in September 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid
Al Maktoum, Dubai Cares is the world's largest foundation devoted to
improving primary education in developing countries.
In Myanmar, Dubai Cares has donated 200 tents large enough to create
temporary schools and sheltered play areas for children as well as
10,000 school kits for children who have lost all of their school
supplies.
In addition, Dubai Cares has provided thousands of LifeStraws —
individual water purifying devices that make standing water drinkable
— for cyclone survivors. The materials are being distributed by Save
the Children staffers in the hardest-hit areas of the delta region.
The donation to the Cyclone Nagris relief effort marks the second time
in a year that Dubai Cares has contributed to Save the Children
programs. In April, Dubai Cares pledged $16.6 million to provide
high-quality education for children in Sudan.
'Once again the people of Dubai have demonstrated their generosity in
helping children who are in critical need of support. This gift will
greatly assist our efforts in helping children cope with the enormous
tragedy that continues to unfold in Myanmar,' said Charles MacCormack,
president and CEO of Save the Children, based in Westport, Conn.
'Our objective is to offer immediate aid to ensure that the children
could be placed on the path of recovery by helping them begin their
rehabilitation process, following the trauma suffered from the
devastating cyclone,' said Her Excellency Reem Al-Hashimy, chairperson
of the Dubai Cares board of directors.
The death toll from the disaster continues to rise. Unofficial
estimates from the United Nations suggest that as many as 102,000
people have died, and up to 1.9 million people have been affected.
Authorities have declared five regions — with an estimated total
population of 24 million — to be in a state of emergency, including
Yangon Division, Pegu Division, Mon State, Karen State and the
Irrawaddy Division.
With the support of partners such as Dubai Cares, Save the Children
has reached more than 160,000 survivors, including about 50,000
children with food, water, hygiene kits, and other basic necessities.
The donated supplies from Dubai Cares will help provide temporary
schools and 'safe spaces' for thousands of homeless children.
Throughout the delta region, more than 3,000 schools have been
damaged, and many children have been separated from their families.


With the exception of public UN sources, reproduction or
redistribution of the above text, in whole, part or in any form,
requires the prior consent of the original source. The opinions
expressed in the documents carried by this site are those of the
authors and are not necessarily shared by UN OCHA or ReliefWeb.

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/MUMA-7EX7P9?OpenDocument

==============================

EU official welcomes Myanmar's willingness to accept aid workers
, May 24, 2008

EU official welcomes Myanmar's willingness to accept aid workers Louis
Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid,
welcomed here on Friday the announcement that the Myanmar authorities
plan to allow international humanitarian workers into the country.

"I am relieved by this decision from the Myanmar authorities," said
Michel in a statement.

"This means that the international humanitarian aid community can
finally provide the relief and assistance so badly needed to the
hundreds of thousands of people affected by the devastating Cyclone
Nargis," he added.

He urged the Myanmar authorities to immediately provide the
international community with the practical details of the agreement.

The Myanmar authorities made the announcement to allow international
aid workers to get into the country to help victims of a devastating
cyclone that killed tens of thousands of people following talks with
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Source: Xinhua

http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90856/6417484.html

==============================
====

Canada to increase aid to Myanmar
Friday, May 23, 2008 - 10:35 PM
By: 680News staff with reports from The Canadian Press

Canada's International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda announced, Friday,
that the federal government will increase aid and provide an
additional $12-million in support to the Myanmar cyclone victims.
Canada has already pledged $2 million, plus has matched all Canadian
donations to registered charities, but Oda said that given the scope
of the disaster in Myanmar, it wasn't enough.
A Canadian Forces plane delivered supplies, including 2,000 emergency
kits to the region last week.
Meanwhile, there has been a breakthrough in Myanmar, where military
rulers agreed to accept all foreign aid workers.
Three weeks after the devastating storm, United Nation's Sec.-Gen. Ban
Ki-Moon, persuaded the country to finally issue visas to all foreign
aid workers who want to help save and shelter the estimated 2.5
million people left homeless by Cyclone Nargis.
Ban met with the junta leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the country's
most powerful figure on Friday morning for the crucial meeting. Shwe,
is known as "the bulldog" for his stubbornness, had originally refused
to speak with Ban.
Some people are concerned that this is too late for relief. The UN
said cyclone survivors face hunger, homelessness and potential
outbreaks of deadly diseases, especially in the lower-lying areas of
the Irrawaddy delta close to the sea. It estimated that aid has
reached only about 25 per cent of them.

http://www.680news.com/news/local/article.jsp?content=20080523_222558_4144

==============================
======

Ask AP: Helping Myanmar; India and China's cars

Email|Print|Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.| Text size – + By
The Associated Press
May 23, 2008
They're hungry. They're homeless. And the U.N. says only about a
quarter of them have received any aid.
more stories like this
Survivors of the devastating cyclone that hit Myanmar nearly three
weeks ago are in desperate need of help. And until Friday, when U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the country's rulers agreed to let
in "all aid workers," the country's reclusive regime had been
unwilling to allow more than a few such workers into the country.
So why hasn't the U.S. just been flying over the hardest hit areas and
air-dropping supplies?
That's one of three questions in this edition of "Ask AP," a weekly
Q&A column where AP journalists respond to readers' questions about
the news.
If you have your own news-related question that you'd like to see
answered by an AP reporter or editor, send it to newsquestions@ap.org,
with "Ask AP" in the subject line. And please include your full name
and hometown so they can be published with your question.
------
Why are China and India suddenly huge players in the oil market? Did
the Chinese all go out and buy cars in one month and make oil jump
through the roof?
Andrew Guenther
Palm Harbor, Fla.
------
Actually, oil demand from China and India has grown steadily for
several years as their middle classes have expanded. So while that
demand is contributing to surging oil prices, it isn't the only
factor.
Also at play are worries about future supplies, production disruptions
and geopolitical concerns, like unrest in Nigeria, a major oil
producer. The dollar's decline has also encouraged some traders to buy
oil contracts, betting that future gains will offset weakness in the
dollar -- and greater demand for oil contracts pushes prices up
further.
Oil production has barely been able to keep up with consumption from
the United States, Europe and Japan, so supplies are strained when
newcomers like China and India jump in.
With their vast populations, even small changes in spending in China
and India can dramatically increase thirst for oil. General Motors
Corp. says 10 million Chinese families already can afford a car, and
that will rise to 75 million by 2015 -- an eye-popping number, and
still just a fraction of the total population of 1.3 billion people.
India trails China by a few years but is following the same trend.
Chinese oil producers are trying to increase total global supplies by
investing billions to develop oil and gas sources in Africa, Central
Asia and elsewhere that others consider too difficult or expensive.
Joe McDonald
AP Business Writer, Beijing
and
Malcolm Foster
AP Asia Business Editor, Bangkok, Thailand
------
Why didn't the U.S. just do a massive air drop of storm relief
supplies directly to the remote areas of Myanmar to reach the people
most in need? Were we really concerned about how the military regime
of Myanmar might react?Continued...
Elaine Burke
Baton Rouge, La.
------
Pentagon officials are wary of air-dropping supplies without
permission from the closed regime because that could be considered an
invasion. They need permission to fly into a country's air space, U.S.
officials say, because they respect sovereignty, whether it's on the
ground or in the air.
Officials also say unauthorized air drops are often inefficient,
especially if there are no experts on the ground to monitor the
distribution of aid. Desperate people could riot over the assistance,
and there is the possibility that security forces might confiscate it
and keep it out of the hands of the needy.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he couldn't imagine
air-dropping aid without permission from the military regime.
Christine Simmons
Associated Press Writer, Washington
------
When I was in college in the early 1960s, my business professor told
our class that 5 percent unemployment is considered full employment.
Now I read that 5 percent unemployment is considered bad times. What
happened? How come 5 percent in the '60s was great and 5 percent in
2008 is bad?
Robert Evans
Sacramento, Calif.
------
Today's 5 percent unemployment rate is equivalent to about a 7 percent
jobless rate 30 years ago, economists say. Here's why:
There was a big influx of young people and women into the work force a
generation ago, but today's labor force is older and more settled into
jobs, and female participation has leveled off. Labor force growth in
the '70s was close to 3 percent; now it is closer to 1 percent,
analysts say. That slowdown in growth has caused the unemployment rate
to be lower than it otherwise would be.
That said, economists look at a range of things -- besides the
unemployment rate -- to gauge the labor market's health. Employers
have been cutting jobs and trimming hours, and inflation-adjusted
wages are falling. And one of the reasons the jobless rate dipped to 5
percent in April was because there was a sharp increase in the number
of people holding part-time jobs.
Jeannine Aversa
AP Economics Writer, Washington
------
Have questions of your own? Send them to newsquestions@ap.org.
(c) Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Pentagon officials are wary of air-dropping supplies without
permission from the closed regime because that could be considered an
invasion. They need permission to fly into a country's air space, U.S.
officials say, because they respect sovereignty, whether it's on the
ground or in the air.
Officials also say unauthorized air drops are often inefficient,
especially if there are no experts on the ground to monitor the
distribution of aid. Desperate people could riot over the assistance,
and there is the possibility that security forces might confiscate it
and keep it out of the hands of the needy.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he couldn't imagine
air-dropping aid without permission from the military regime.
Christine Simmons
Associated Press Writer, Washington
------
When I was in college in the early 1960s, my business professor told
our class that 5 percent unemployment is considered full employment.
Now I read that 5 percent unemployment is considered bad times. What
happened? How come 5 percent in the '60s was great and 5 percent in
2008 is bad?
Robert Evans
Sacramento, Calif.
------
Today's 5 percent unemployment rate is equivalent to about a 7 percent
jobless rate 30 years ago, economists say. Here's why:
There was a big influx of young people and women into the work force a
generation ago, but today's labor force is older and more settled into
jobs, and female participation has leveled off. Labor force growth in
the '70s was close to 3 percent; now it is closer to 1 percent,
analysts say. That slowdown in growth has caused the unemployment rate
to be lower than it otherwise would be.
That said, economists look at a range of things -- besides the
unemployment rate -- to gauge the labor market's health. Employers
have been cutting jobs and trimming hours, and inflation-adjusted
wages are falling. And one of the reasons the jobless rate dipped to 5
percent in April was because there was a sharp increase in the number
of people holding part-time jobs.
Jeannine Aversa
AP Economics Writer, Washington
------
Have questions of your own? Send them to newsquestions@ap.org.
(c) Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/05/23/ask_ap_helping_myanmar_india_and_chinas_cars/

==============================
======

RAAF plane to ferry helicopters for aid in Myanmar

21:52, May 23, 2008

Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said here on Friday night
that an Australian military aircraft will take part in the effort to
help Burma's cyclone victims.

Fitzgibbon said in a statement the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
C-17 Globemaster plane would transport helicopters from South Africa
to Thailand, to be used for relief work in Myanmar.

The helicopters would help get aid and humanitarian assistance into
remote cyclone-affected areas.

"The World Food Program requested immediate support from a small
number of countries as commercial aircraft were not available in a
suitable timeframe," Fitzgibbon said.

"The ADF has the knowledge and experience to make an immediate and
positive contribution to this humanitarian assistance effort," he
said.

Source: Xinhua

http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/6417366.html

============================

Manila parishes to have 2nd collection for Myanmar

05/24/2008 | 07:27 AM
Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. | Error! Hyperlink reference not
valid. | Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. | MANILA Philippines -
Churches in the Archdiocese of Manila will conduct a second collection
during Masses on Sunday for the victims of a cyclone that hit Myanmar
earlier this month')" target=_blank title="Digg this story"Digg this |
MANILA Philippines - Churches in the Archdiocese of Manila will
conduct a second collection during Masses on Sunday for the victims of
a cyclone that hit Myanmar earlier this month')" target=_blank
title="Add to del.icio.us"Add to del.icio.us MANILA, Philippines -
Churches in the Archdiocese of Manila will conduct a second collection
during Masses on Sunday for the victims of a cyclone that hit Myanmar
earlier this month.

The collection was ordered through a circular by Archdiocese
chancellor Msgr. Roberto Canlas addressed to parish priests in the
archdiocese.

In his circular, Canlas also called for prayers from the faithful for
the victims of the cyclone.

"Aware of the tragic event that happened to our brothers and sisters
in Myanmar, we request that a second collection be made at all Masses
in the parishes, shrines and the communities in the Archdiocese of
Manila this coming Sunday, May 25, 2008, for the victims of the
devastating cyclone," he said.

In his circular, Canlas also requested that all the collections be
remitted to the Treasury Department immediately "so we can send them
to the proper authorities."

"Let us continue to pray for our suffering brothers and sisters," he
added. - GMANews.TV

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/97107/Manila-parishes-to-have-2nd-collection-for-Myanmar

==============================

Restoring natural habitats in Myanmar a priority
Saturday, 24 May 2008, 11:14 am
Press Release: IUCN
Restoring natural habitats in Myanmar a reconstruction priority, says IUCN
Gland, Switzerland, May 23, 2008 (IUCN) – IUCN (International Union
for Conservation of Nature) offers to share its broad environmental
experience to help with the reconstruction efforts in Myanmar. A vital
long-term environmental need is to restore coastal ecosystems,
following the catastrophic damage caused by the recent cyclone.
"While we, like the rest of the world, are worried about the pace of
the relief effort, we also believe we have to take a longer view as
the planning for reconstruction starts." says Julia Marton-Lefèvre,
Director General of IUCN. "We believe that restoring healthy
ecosystems, particularly mangroves, should be on top of the
reconstruction priority list."

Flooding in open Delta flood plains is inevitable, but the buffering
effect of healthy ecosystems disappears when natural barriers such as
mangroves, lagoons, coral reefs, beaches and strand forests are
destroyed or degraded.
Â
In order to avoid further problems later on, special attention should
also be paid to environmental issues in the immediate relief phase, as
disposal of debris and waste resulting from infrastructure
reconstruction efforts can lead to more difficult and costly longer
term environmental restoration. By approaching the reconstruction with
due consideration for the natural environment, disasters such as this
can be better mitigated in the future. IUCN strongly believes that
restoring mangroves and other coastal ecosystems is an important
investment to make for the future.
"Destruction of coastal systems, especially mangrove forests in
Myanmar, left coastal areas exposed to the devastating force of the
cyclone," says Aban Kabraji, IUCN's Regional Director for Asia .
"Especially in river deltas, mangroves prevent waves from damaging the
more productive land that are further inland from the sea. Restoring
mangroves should be a priority for all involved."
IUCN and UNDP are lead partners in the regional Mangroves for the
Future (MFF) initiative which promotes investment in coastal
ecosystems to protect people when natural disasters strike and to
ensure sustainable use of coastal resources in normal times. In
addition, the Mangroves for the Future initiative, created in response
to the 2004 tsunami, has already established a forum for dialogue
among several coastal countries of the Indian Ocean. This network
could be vital to supporting the longer term restoration and
reconstruction efforts in Myanmar.
"Climate change and habitat destruction are making natural phenomena
like cyclones and floods more frequent and severe," says Marcia Kran,
Head of Policy and Programmes, UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok. "To
avoid the catastrophic loss of lives and livelihoods we have witnessed
in Myanmar, it is crucial that we restore and protect the coastal
ecosystems that act as a natural barriers when tidal waves strike;
healthy coastal ecosystems also provide other valuable goods and
services essential to sustain livelihoods."
UNDP has requested IUCN to advise on the rehabilitation of damaged
coastal areas, and to provide guidance on environmental safeguards for
post-disaster relief operations, in Myanmar. Working through the UN
system, IUCN and UNDP in their capacity as MFF co-chairs together with
the other MFF partners, bring a wealth of knowledge from the
post-tsunami experience in addressing coastal ecosystem restoration
needs, particularly with respect to the role of mangroves in providing
buffers to future natural disasters.
IUCN is fully aware that the first priority must be to get emergency
help to those still in need. Once this is done, however, the
government and international aid agencies should give priority to
restoring healthy mangroves forests in the Irrawaddy Delta. Investing
in coastal ecosystems is fundamental to sustainable socio-economic
development in the region, besides reducing the vulnerability of
coastal people to extreme events such as cyclones.
ends

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0805/S00340.htm

=============================

News Minute: Clinton's RFK flap...Ban in China...Myanmar relief
KVOA.com, AZ - 1 hour ago
AP - May 24, 2008 1:03 AM ET SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) - Hillary Clinton
says she intended no offense when she referenced the 1968
assassination of Robert ...

Associated Press - May 24, 2008 2:03 AM ET
NEW YORK (AP) - Millions of Americans are hitting the road this
holiday weekend, despite gas prices that are up 20% over what they
were a year ago. The average price of a gallon of regular has hit
$3.88, and one energy consultant says "we could go significantly
above" $4 a gallon.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Hillary Clinton is apologizing for referring
to the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy in defending her decision
to stay in the race. Clinton had alluded to RFK's death while he was
campaigning in June of '68 in explaining why she can't understand why
some Democrats are calling for her to drop out of the race now.
YINGXIU, China (AP) - China's premier says the country's earthquake
death toll has passed 60,000 and could surpass 80,000. Saturday's
estimate is up from the 55,000 deaths the government had reported as
of Friday.
NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) - Myanmar's rulers have agreed to let all
foreign aid workers into the country's cyclone-ravaged delta region.
But they're still barring military ships from the U.S., France and
Britain from assisting in the relief effort.
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A minor leaguer is on his way from Calgary,
Canada, to Texas after being traded this week for the unlikely price
of a bag of bats. John Odom is headed to the Laredo Broncos who got
him from the Calgary Vipers for 10 maple-wood bats. Odom says he
"doesn't really care" about his small price. And he says it'll make a
better story if he makes it to the big leagues.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=278911&nav=HMO5Z8jn

===========================

Mr. Salong
Coordinator
News Desk
Shwe Gas Movement- India

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