Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Medvedev arrives at Kuril Islands

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Russia’s Far East Kuril Islands on Tuesday, some 18 months after his visit to the disputed territory sparked a diplomatic row between Moscow and Tokyo.
“Today, we planned with my colleagues, including ministers and deputy ministers, to visit the Kuril Islands…but the airport has been closed for several days because of weather so we’ll do it a bit later,” Medvedev said shortly before he set off for the Kurils.He urged the members of the government to visit the Kurils as “it is an important part of the Russian territory.”“We did it [visiting Kurils] before and this practice will definitely be continued by the new Cabinet,” the premier said.
Medvedev sparked a diplomatic row with Tokyo in November 2010 by making the first visit ever by a Russian leader to the Kuril Islands.He later said Russia would increase its military presence there. Japan’s then-prime minister, Naoto Kan, called Medvedev’s visit an “inexcusable rudeness.”
Moscow has been offering Tokyo cooperation in the region under the condition that Japan drops its territorial dispute and focuses on developing Russian-Japanese economic ties.
Russia and Japan have yet to sign a formal peace treaty ending World War II hostilities, due to the dispute over the four South Kuril Islands, former Japanese territory annexed by the Soviet Union at the end of the war.The territorial dispute over the islands, which Japan calls the Northern Territories, has clouded relations between Moscow and Tokyo for decades.
NHK reports Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has arrived on one of four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan.Russia’s state-run news agency reported that Medvedev, who’s now on a tour of the country’s Far East, landed on Kunashiri Island on Tuesday.He is expected to inspect an airport, a sea port, a power plant and other facilities.President Vladimir Putin expressed willingness to resolve decades-long territorial dispute with Japan in March, before his second term in the post.Putin and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda last month agreed to resume stalled negotiations over the islands.
The islands were seized by Soviet forces weeks after Japan’s surrender in World War 2.
Russia recognized the islands as Japan’s territory under an 1855 treaty. Japan says they are not part of the Kuril Islands that Japan renounced under the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. Moscow never signed the document.Putin says the 4 islands became Russia’s territory as a result of World War Two.
In a recent interview with international media, Putin acknowledged that the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration calls for Moscow to return 2 of the islands once a peace treaty is signed. But he said the document does not mention any other territorial demands. Putin also expressed a wish to end the territorial dispute in a way acceptable to both sides.The 1993 Tokyo Declaration calls for the 2 sides to conclude a peace treaty by resolving the issue based on past agreements and documents as well as law and justice. The declaration was signed by then Japanese prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa and then Russian president Boris Yeltsin when he visited Japan.

Singapore Water expo begins

Photo: Check out the new product of Swisspro, ProAcqua at Booth T04, Water Expo #siww
Singapore’s Water Expo is underway. The annual event is the world’s biggest trade fair, highlighting the latest technologies related to water.
About 650 companies and organizations are taking part in the event that started on Monday. Over 30 companies from Japan are displaying their products.
The firms are showcasing equipment to purify drinking water and technology to remove toxins from industrial waste water.
The Tokyo, Yokohama and 3 other Japanese local governments are also sharing the knowledge they have gained as administrators of tap water and sewage services.
Their display shows how underground leaks in water pipes can be detected with sound reflectors and how leakage can be minimized with stainless steel pipes.
There’s strong demand for water-related infrastructure, mainly in emerging economies. The global water business is expected to grow into a trillion dollar industry.
The market is now led by the so-called “water majors” in Europe that build and manage large-scale water facilities.
But Asian firms from Singapore and South Korea are also starting business overseas, making it a competitive industry.

Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, made an aerial survey of flood affected areas of Assam today. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s media statement after the aerial survey:

"Dear friends, Sonia ji and I have made an aerial survey of the flood affected areas of Jorhat, Dhemaji and Lakhimrpur districts. I have witnessed the extensive damage that the floods have caused. The people of Assam are facing one of the worst floods in recent times. These floods have led to loss of lives and have afflicted considerable damage to crops, embankments, roads, and other infrastructure. I have learnt with great sadness that 77 people have died and 5 are missing and more than 2,000 villages and over 19 lakh people have been affected.

The Central government and its agencies are working closely with the State Government and doing everything possible to provide relief to the affected people. National Disaster Response Force has deployed 16 teams comprising of 640 men along with 71 boats and flood rescue equipments. The Army has deployed 752 personnel for rescue and relief operation. Over 4,000 people have been rescued, 400 personnel have been transported and 20 tones of relief materials delivered by the Air Force. For the next two days our focus will be on rescuing people still marooned, in flood waters and on extending relief to those who have been forced to leave their home.

I am satisfied that the rescue and relief operation have been organized with speed. About 4.84 lakh people are presently sheltered in 768 relief camps and a large number of mobile health centres are being operated in flood affected areas. I have been informed that sufficient quantities of foodgrains and other essential commodities are available in the State. Already the State Government has distributed around 10,000 quintals of food items. If required the Central Government will quickly move additional quantities of essential commodities to the state.

The Railway line in Dima Hasao district has been disrupted. The Ministry of Railways is taking immediate steps for restoration of the railway line, which is necessary to keep the supply line open to Barak Valley, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram. Once we have completed rescue and relief operation, our focus will shift to restoration of the damaged infrastructure. The Central Team has reached Assam today, some members may have come today, others will be following, to make an assessment of the damage caused to crops and infrastructure like roads, including national highways, river embankments, public buildings such as schools and hospitals, water supply system. From the Prime Minister National Relief Fund an ex-gratia of Rs.1 lakh to the next-of-kin of the deceased has been announced. While the Central Government will decide on the exact amount of financial support to be provided to the State Government after the Central Team submits report, I am making a commitment to provide an ad-hoc Central support of Rs.500 cr to the State Government.

The Government of India will also extend a system for reconstruction of damaged assets and flood control works through plan scheme. We will ensure that adequate quantities of foodgrains and other essential commodities are available in the State. And that agricultural seeds of the desired varities required for replacement purposes are also available. Once the immediate relief work has taken place we will pay more adequate attention through medium and long term problems of flood relief, of flood control, control of erosion and related problems.

These are some of the things I wanted to mention through you ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much.”

Bahraini pearling site and the Mosque of Isfahan inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan © MJIB / Nomination Files/MJIB
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Pearling, testimony of an island economy (Bahrain) and the Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan (Iran) were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Saturday morning.
The World Heritage Committee, the independent 21-member responsible for the World Heritage Convention, will continue examining sites nominated for inscriptions during its afternoon session and tomorrow.
Pearling, testimony of an island economy (Bahrain), consists of 17 buildings in Murharraq city, three offshore oyster beds, part of the seashore and the Qal’at Bu Mahir fortress on the southern tip of Muharraq Island, from where boats used to set off for the oyster beds. The buildings listed include residences of wealthy merchants, shops, storehouses and a mosque. The site is the last remaining complete example of the cultural tradition of pearling and the wealth it generated at a time when the trade dominated the Gulf economy (2nd century to the 1930s when Japan developed cultured pearls). It also constitutes an outstanding example of traditional utilization of the sea’s resources and human interaction with the environment, which shaped both the economy and cultural identity of the island’s society.
Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan (Iran), located in the historical centre of Isfahan, the “Friday mosque” can be seen as a stunning illustration of the evolution of mosque architecture over 12 centuries, starting in 841 A.D. It is the oldest preserved edifice of its type in Iran and a prototype for later mosque designs throughout Central Asia. The complex, covering more than 20,000m2, is also the first Islamic building that adapted the four-courtyard layout of Sassanid palaces to Islamic religious architecture. Its double-shelled ribbed domes represent an architectural innovation that inspired builders throughout the region. The site also features remarkable decorative details representative of stylistic developments over more than a thousand years of Islamic art.

UNESCO’s World Heritage List of eight new sites

Four natural and four cultural properties added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List on Sunday

Sunday, July 1, 2012
The World Heritage Committee on Sunday inscribed eight new sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, including Chad’s first World Heritage property. Inscriptions will continue tomorrow Monday. The new sites are:
Major Mining Sites of Walonia (Belgium)The four sites of the property form a strip that is 170km long by 3 to 15 km, crossing Belgium from east to west. It consists of the best-preserved 19th- and 20th-century coal mining sites of the country. It features early examples of the utopian architecture from the early periods of the industrial era in Europe within a highly integrated, industrial and urban ensemble, notably the Grand-Hornu colliery and workers’ city designed by Bruno Renard in the first half of the 19th century. Bois-du-Luc includes numerous buildings erected from 1838 to 1909 and one of Europe’s oldest collieries dating back to the end of the 17th century. While the Walloon region had hundreds of collieries, most have lost their infrastructure, while the four components of the listed site retain a high measure of integrity.
Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland (Sweden)Seven timber houses are listed in this site located in the east of Sweden, representing the zenith of a regional timber building tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. They reflect the prosperity of independent farmers who used their wealth in the 19th century to build substantial new homes with elaborately decorated ancillary houses or suites of rooms reserved for festivities. The paintings represent a fusion of folk art with the styles favoured by the landed gentry of the time, including Baroque and Rococo. Decorated by painters, including known and unknown itinerant artists, the listed properties represent the final flowering of a long cultural tradition.
Rio de Janeiro, Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea (Brazil): The listed site consists of an exceptional urban setting rather than built heritage. It encompasses the key natural elements that have shaped and inspired the development of the city: from the highest points of the Tijuca National Park’s mountains down to the sea. They also include the Botanical Gardens, established in 1808, Corcovado Mountain with its celebrated statue of Christ and the hills around Guanabara Bay, including the extensive designed landscapes along Copacabana Bay which have contributed to the outdoor living culture of this spectacular city. Rio de Janeiro is also recognized for the artistic inspiration it has provided to musicians, landscapers and urbanists.
Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük (Turkey): Two hills form the 34-acre site on the Southern Anatolian Plateau. The taller eastern mound contains 18 levels of Neolithic occupation between 7,400 and 6,200 B.C., including wall paintings, reliefs, sculptures and other symbolic, and artistic features. Together they testify to the evolution of social organization and cultural practices as humans adapted to a sedentary life. The western mound shows the evolution of cultural practices in the Chalcolithic period from 6,200 to 5,200 B.C. Çatalhöyük provides important evidence of the transition from settled villages to urban agglomeration which was maintained in the same location for over 2,000 years. It features a unique street-less settlement of houses clustered back to back with roof access into the buildings.
Lakes of Ounianga (Chad)The site includes 18 interconnected lakes in the hyper arid Ennedi region of the Sahara Desert covering an area of 62,808 hectares. It constitutes an exceptional natural landscape of great beauty with striking colours and shapes. The saline, hyper saline and freshwater lakes are supplied by groundwater and are found in two groups 40 kilometres apart. Ounianga Kebir comprises four lakes the largest of which, Yoan, covers an area of 358 hectares and is 27 metres deep. Its highly saline waters only sustain algae and some microorganisms. The second group, Ounianga Serir, comprises 14 lakes separated by sand dunes. Floating reeds cover almost half the surface of these lakes reducing evaporation. At 436 hectares, Lake Teli has the largest surface area but is less than ten metres deep. With their high quality freshwater, some of these lakes are home to aquatic fauna, particularly fish.
Sangha Trinational (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo,)Situated in the north-western Congo Basin, where Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic meet, the site encompasses three contiguous national parks totalling more than 750,000 hectares. Much of the site is unaffected by human activity and it features a wide range of humid tropical forest ecosystems with rich flora and fauna, including Nile Crocodiles and Goliath Tigerfish, a large predator. Forest clearings support herbaceous species and Sangha is home to considerable populations of forest elephants, critically endangered Western Lowland Gorilla, and endangered chimpanzee. The site’s environment has preserved the continuation of ecological and evolutionary processes on a huge scale and great biodiversity, including many endangered animal species.
Chengjiang Fossil Site (China)A hilly 512-hectare site in Yunnan Province, Chengjiang’s fossils present the most complete record of an early Cambrian marine community with exceptionally preserved biota, displaying the anatomy of hard and soft tissues in a very wide variety of organisms, invertebrate and vertebrate. They record the early establishment of a complex marine ecosystem. The site documents at least 16 phyla and a variety of enigmatic groups as well as about 196 species, presenting exceptional testimony to the rapid diversification of life on Earth 530 million years ago, when almost all of today’s major animal groups emerged. It opens a palaeobiological window of great significance to scholarship.
Western Ghats (India): Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern. Moderating the tropical climate of the region, it presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system in the planet. The site also has an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism. It is recognized as one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity. The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere and are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.

Gujarat emerges as top tourist destination

30% rise in tourist arrival during last two years:For next quarter visitors can eye on Suputara Monsoon Festival (Aug 4 – Sept 1) &Tarnetar Fair (Sept 19-21)‘Khushboo Gujarat Ki’ is spreading all over the world and the state is making inroads into the market for tourism industry in the country. Robust growth in tourist arrival – from 1.70 crore in 2009-10 to 2.23 crore in 2011-12.
While Gujarat Tourism is making all-out efforts to maintain the momentum this year toothrough promotion of its upcoming events such as ‘Saputara Monsoon Fest’, Taranetar Fair, Navratri Festival & Rann Utsav all over the country, expected to act as a major booster for tourism infrastructure development in the state in line with the impressive growth in number of tourist arrivals.

Saputara Monsoon Festival (4 August to 1 September, 2012)
At the Southern tip of Gujarat, folded into the densely wooded hills of the Sahayadris, lies the abode of serpents- Saputara. In the picturesque Dangs district, this is a hill station with a difference, where you can immerse yourself in a timeless land that is still pretty much the way God made it. After all legend has it that Lord Rama spent 11 years of his exile in these very forests. This picturesque hill station is perched on a plateau in the Dang forest area of the Sahyadri Range. At an altitude of about 1000 m. Saputara witnesses a uniform weather throughout the year. Saputara does not experience any extreme temperature variations and is an ideal getaway for the sun-scorched souls of the plains. The monsoon rains add to the magic of Saputara. Gujarat Tourism plans to showcase this getaway monsoon destination to the nearby cities like Nagpur, Pune, Mumbai, Nasik in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is seen as the right target segment for this picturesque destination. Pune was the first in the series of cities in which Gujarat Tourism organized a road show to highlight this destination. Over the next 15 days, similar road shows will be held in other cities of Maharashtra.
The Saputara Monsoon Festival will be a month long event where variety of activities/attractions will be on offer for the tourists. Some of the events to be held as a part of the festival include water sports, adventurous activities, laser show, photography exhibition, heritage walk, cultural evenings, food festival, contests, etc. The idea is to keep the tourists engaged for the entire month through one activity or another in the best manner possible.

The Tarnetar Fair (19 to 21 September,2012)
Tarnetar Fair is one of the most happening events in Gujarat and is held at the Temple of Shiva or Trinetreshwar (three-eyed god), popularly known as Tarnetar. Popular belief associates the village with the Swayamwar (marriage) of Draupadi after Arjun performed the Mastsyavedh, an unparalleled feat of archery. Villagers from all over the state, dressed in their brilliant traditional costumes and exquisite jewellery, flock to Tarnetar. A veritable feast for the eyes is the Rasada, the captivating folk dance performed by hundreds of women moving gracefully in a single circle, dancing gaily to the accompaniment of four drums and jodjapava (double flutes). Folk music and folk dances like Hudo, Ras and Garba played by the Kodi and Maldhari dancers is the major Attraction of the fair. Village folks dressed in their typical, embroidered garments, perfectly dance to the tune of the drumbeats, which further raises the spirit of the religious fair. The TarnetarMela covers a large part of the Tarnetar village with a huge number of stalls put up selling beautiful local handicrafts unavailable elsewhere along with ethnic jewellerys, statues of deities and traditional mirror work attires.  For more details about various packages please visit our website www.gujarattourism.com

EBTC Newsletter June-July 2012, Issue-12

Web version | Download PDF Version Follow us on: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn | www.ebtc.eu
European Business and Technology Centre / Newsletter, June-July 2012
  Dear friends, supporters and colleagues,
EBTC aims to add value to all our stakeholders and as we’re growing in importance, as also evidenced by a recent visit of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), this is illustrated by EBTC becoming a key implementation platform for EU Policy initiatives. EBTC is part of the Indo-European Research and Innovation Partnership, tasked with Indian partners to implement the agenda for enhancing and synergizing the research and innovation cooperation agreed at the strategic level.
EBTC hosted a successful delegation from the EU member countries to understand the ‘Water, Wastewater and Green Building’ market in India, which paved the way for serious collaborations. In EBTC’s continuing efforts, we are expanding on the concept of integrating Europe, by creating a large European display at the EBTC Transport Flagship Mission in December.
By way of the new virtual matchmaking, this July will see the start of EBTC’s Biotechnology Mission 2012, and I encourage any interested organizations from both the EU and India to sign up for that unique virtual experience. EBTC Project Briefs are becoming part and parcel of every EBTC Mission, and have proven to be of great value, becoming an important channel for EU technologies to find Indian opportunities. A taste of some project opportunities are in this newsletter, but there are many more on the EBTC website!
Keep watching this space for another channel that allows for India and the EU to connect – EBTC as the Indian member of the Enterprise European Network (EEN) is imminent. We thank all of our readers for your continued support in our endeavours.
Poul V. Jensen – Director, EBTC

In this issue

  Project opportunities in India Contact us at projects@ebtc.eu for detailed information about these, and many other, project opportunities in biotechnology, energy, environment and transport.


Upcoming event

EBTC Biotechnology Mission 2012
EBTC Biotech Mission - 2012
For more information, Contact: swamilingiah@ebtc.eu, Web: www.ebtc.eu/events.

EBTC Insight

The burgeoning Indian biotechnology sector.

EBTC Interview

In brief conversation with Mr. Neelabh Singh, Head of Complex Cleantech Solutions at the Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster (CCC,) the interview touches upon the Danish interest in India.


EBTC launches an IPR Helpdesk.


News from each region of operation:
• Moving ahead with the Indo-European Research and Innovation Partnership
• Members of the European Parliament visit EBTC
• Research to Business (R2B) Paradigm in India
• India Urban Transport Summit 2012
• Cluster internationalization for mutual competitiveness
• EBTC participates at the 3rd EICOON 2012
• The Water, Wastewater, and Green Building Mission 2012
• EBTC and the Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster (CCC) sign a Memorandum of Cooperation
• EBTC developing opportunities in Andhra Pradesh State
• Sustainable Transport Cluster Collaboration between EU – India in the state of Karnataka
• Solar PV System Design – Hands-on Engineering Workshop
• H.E. Mr. Joao Cravinho, Ambassador & Head of Delegation of the European Union to India visits EBTC
• Workshop on Smart Grid Development

EBTC Events

EBTC’s calendar of events for 2012 has been updated and viewable here.
Join, follow, discuss and share with us @ Facebook Twitter LinkedIn delhi@ebtc.eu | www.ebtc.eu
European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) | Promoting European Clean Technologies in India & Tackling Climate Change
New Delhi | Kolkata | Bengaluru | Mumbai | Brussels Please direct Media / Information Enquiries to Ananya Roy at roy@ebtc.eu
The contents of this e-mail are the sole responsibility of the European Business and Technology Centre and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. Copyright © 2012 European Business and Technology Centre

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Indonesia's transport masterplan on 30th October at 9am.

Dear friends,

We would like to drop you a quick note to invite you to Urban Transport World Asia , held in Jakarta this October.

Mr Bambang Susantono will be doing an opening keynote address on Indonesia's transport masterplan on 30th October at 9am.

Why Indonesia? As the demand for inter-city connectivity increases, Indonesia's transport industry needs to develop even more rapidly. The conference provides a platform for authorities and operators to present their expansion plans, and at the same time, source for new innovations that will help to optimise the project management process.

The following speakers will also be here to share on project updates:

Mr Rachmadi, Chief Engineering and Project Officer, PT MRT Jakarta, Indonesia
Mr T.C. Chew, Projects Director, MTR Corporation Hong Kong
Mr Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal, CEO, Land Public Transport Commission, Malaysia
Download the programme

If you're interested to join them, and other transport authorities and operators at the event, you can contact the organiser via email or at +65 6322 2308. Alternatively, you can register online before 13 July to receive a 10% discount.

We look forward to meeting you in Jakarta this October.

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...