…seek to increase quality in construction and manufacturingThe Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) in collaboration with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) on Thursday hosted a lecture at the Pegasus hotel to inform stakeholders on the importance of codes and standards as it relates to the construction industry.The discussion, which was held under the theme ‘Sustainable Construction’ saw students from eight tertiary institutions across Guyana, who participated in the discussion which was aimed at promoting the use and importance of standards.Executive Director of the Guyana National Bureau of Standards GNBS, Candelle Walcott-Botswick shared her remarks among the gathering of stakeholders and encouraged all to promote the use of standards in society while respecting its value.“We believe that in order for the transition of our culture in Guyana, from one where price takes precedence over quality. We’d like to move Guyana to aJim Olshefskystandard driven society,” she noted.Further she stated that “As students, you must be sensitised on the benefits of standards and conformity assessment which is required for us to build a sustainable and resilient construction sector in Guyana.”Meanwhile, a representative of ASTM International, Jim Olshefsky, also highlighted the importance of standards as it relates to safety and construction.“It’s a great opportunity for us to highlight the longstanding relationship with our partners and focus on standards and codes for a sustainable construction or the foundation for quality, safety and sustainability in construction projects,” Olshefsky related.In the past few days, the lectures were conducted in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.Thursday’s lecture completes one of four activities for the promotion of codes and standards in Guyana.Consumers are also urged to purchase products that are recognised by the GNBS since it is established that those products are of good quality. Currently in Guyana, there are only two manufacturers whose products are conformed to the ASTM standards. These are Gafsons and the Guyana Thermaplastics Limited.ASTM is a body which is responsible for the harmonisation of standards across the length and breadth of the Caribbean Community.
25 July 2013 A report released by South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs has recommended legalising and regulating the rhino horn trade while creating a national fund for increased intelligence, security and awareness to combat rhino poaching in the country. The Rhino Issue Management report was compiled by a team led by former South African National Parks CEO Mavuso Msimang, following a wide-ranging series of workshops and consultations with non-governmental organisations, communities, traders, professional hunters, ecologists, resource economists and ordinary citizens.Trade proposal for CITES 2016 The report states “that there is support to include commercial international trade in rhino horn as an integral part of South Africa’s comprehensive response strategy to address the continued illegal killing of rhinos,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday. “This recommendation has formed part of the decision by the Cabinet that South Africa prepares and submits a rhino trade proposal for consideration at the 17th Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2016.” The report’s recommendations had also helped the Department of Environmental Affairs to review and update its rhino response strategy, the department said on Wednesday, adding that it was key to the report’s findings that “there is no single solution to the rhino poaching scourge. “From this, it is quite clear that our efforts will pragmatically require the employment of a range of strategies along several fronts.”Security review The report recommends a review of the country’s existing rhino security strategy, including a serious upgrade of security on the South African border with Mozambique, backed up by agreements to be negotiated with both Mozambique and Zimbabwe that provide for the protection of wildlife in the Kruger National Park. According to the latest figures from the Department of Environmental Affairs, more than 500 rhinos have been killed for their horn in South Africa since the beginning of the year. The Kruger National Park continues to be the hardest hit, with 321 rhinos poached there since January. Over the same period, 129 suspected poachers have been arrested, while a number of others have already been sentenced and are serving prison terms. Last year, 135 poaching-related arrests were made. The government has put a number of initiatives in place to curb poaching, including signing agreements with Asian countries, including Vietnam, where rhino horns are in high demand because of their supposed medicinal qualities.National rhino fund plan The Cabinet is also backing the report’s proposal to create a national rhino fund to help attract uniform funding for security, awareness and increasing the number of rangers at South Africa’s conservation parks. South African National Parks (SANParks) spokesman Paul Daphne, speaking at the release of the report on Wednesday, said SANParks, which had been given R75-million to address rhino poaching this financial year, planned to recruit 150 extra rangers for the Kruger Park National. So far, 72 had been hired. Fundisile Mketeni, a deputy director-general in the Department of Environmental Affairs, said that while the situation was extremely serious, the rhino species was not about to become extinct. “The death rate has not yet surpassed the birth rate,” Mketeni said. “But the indicator of success for South Africans and the world will be less rhinos killed. We will continue to improve on our strategies to achieve that. “We understand this is an emotive issue, you are angry as South Africans,” Mketeni said. “But we can do more with your interventions. We appeal to you to read our strategies and participate. We are in this thing together.” Mketeni said a national fund would allow civil society, the corporate sector and international funders to make financial contributions to save the rhino. He said there were currently more than 4 000 organisations that collected donations purported to address rhino poaching. “This is not working; we need to have one central funding mechanism,” he said.Centralised permit system Mketeni said the government was doing all it could to combat rhino poaching, but agreed that a lot still needed to be done to clean up the system, including improving security at the country’s borders and dealing with corruption. Other recommendations in the report include the creation of a centralised permit system and database for live rhino sales, rhino horn sales and rhino hunts. Presently, professional hunters, hunting outfitters and trainers only register in individual provinces, and if they are non-compliant in one province they can apply to operate in another province. Legislation strengthening regulation and enforcement in order to prevent abuse of the hunting permit system will soon be passed in Parliament. The draft law will mean that a person who is involved in an illegal restricted activity, but who does not physically carry out the activity, can also be found guilty of an offence. SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.za
Sunny Deol, BJP Parliamentarian from Punjab’s Gurdaspur, has stoked a controversy by appointing a “representative” to attend meetings and follow up important matters on his behalf. Opposition parties have termed the move an insult to voters. The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party criticised Mr. Deol’s decision on Tuesday, accusing him of making a “mockery of democracy.”Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar said in a democracy the voter is always right. “It’s their choice. One has to accept it. Even his voters knew they had it coming. Actually, they perhaps never expected anything more than a selfie with him,” said Mr. Jakhar. “What more can be expected of him? He himself admitted during canvassing that he didn’t know anything about politics. His voters probably never expected him to shift his base to Gurdaspur. You reap what you sow,” he told, The Hindu.AAP’s Harpal Singh Cheema, leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, said it was absurd for a “public representative” to appoint a “representative.”“It’s an insult to democracy. Mr. Deol’s decision goes to show his lack of seriousness towards the people of his constituency. He is trying to delegate his powers, but he needs to understand this is not the way things work in a democracy. Why did he contest election if he cannot serve his constituency?” wondered Mr. Cheema. “People have elected Sunny Deol and not someone he would like to appoint,” he said.Mr. Deol had recently issued a statement on his official letter-head, appointing his close aide Gurpreet Singh Palheri as his representative. “I hereby appoint Gurpreet Singh Palheri, son of Supinder Singh, resident of village Palheri, district Mohali, Punjab, as my representative to attend meetings and follow important matters pertaining to my Parliamentary constituency, Gurdaspur (Punjab), with concerned authorities,” read the letter dated June 26.‘A non-issue’The actor-turned-politician, meanwhile, said it was unfortunate that a controversy being created out of a non-issue. “I have appointed a personal assistant to represent my office in Gurdaspur. This appointment has been made to ensure smooth flow of work whenever I am out of Gurdaspur to attend Parliament or travelling on work. The intention is merely to ensure that no work is disrupted or delayed due to any reason whatsoever and to keep myself updated on a daily basis,” he tweeted from his official Twitter handle.He added that as an MP he was genuinely committed to the cause of Gurdaspur.
International Cricket Council announced on Tuesday that David Richardson will be stepping down as ICC chief executive once his contract expires after the 2019 World Cup.Richardson, who became the first person to hold the position of ICC General Manager Cricket in 2002, was promoted to chief executive in 2012.”The hardest thing as a cricketer is knowing when the time is right to retire. But for me, the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup next year is about right,” Richardson said in a media release.The ICC said they would begin a global recruitment process to identify Richardson’s successor.”I have enjoyed my time at the ICC and I am pleased with what we have achieved in creating greater context for all formats of the game and securing increased opportunities and clear pathways for all members to play at the highest level,” Richardson added.”I will do all I can over the next 12 months to ensure that we complete our work on the new global strategy aimed at growing the game both in our traditional and new markets, and, in particular put on a World Cup that does the game proud.”ICC chairman Shashank Manohar thanked the former South Africa wicketkeeper for his contribution at the helm.”On behalf of the ICC board, I would like to thank David for his service and commitment to cricket over the past 16 years and, particularly, over the last six years as CEO.””His achievements speak for themselves, but in recent history the commercial success of the sport, his leadership of the ICC team and establishing greater context for international cricket are of particular note.advertisement”David will be missed by everyone in the game, but this is an opportunity for the ICC to drive forward our new global growth strategy, which David has played an integral part in developing, under new leadership. A global recruitment process will now get underway to identify the right person to lead the ICC,” Manohar added.(With inputs from Reuters)