Friday, August 31, 2012

Experts Assess Future of Renewable Energy in Central America

Experts Assess Future of Renewable Energy in Central America

Washington, D.C.—-The Worldwatch Institute ( and the INCAE Business School’s Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) are co-hosting two workshops on “The Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Central America” in Managua, Nicaragua and Alajuela, Costa Rica tomorrow and on September 3, respectively. The participative dialogues aim to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences among a select group of experts from regional institutions, civil society organizations, energy sector companies, and government agencies. The workshops will focus on the role of renewable technologies in broadening access to modern energy services and achieving regional development goals.
The Central American countries of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama rely heavily on large hydropower, imported petroleum and traditional biomass for their energy supply. This dependence on conventional energy sources has had wide-ranging and adverse social, environmental, and economic impacts, hampering sustained and sustainable development in the region. Energy needs, particularly of marginalized and low-income communities, have not been sufficiently met. Although Central American governments have embraced various policies to promote renewable energy—-and recent trends in geothermal, wind and solar energy have been encouraging—-the region still faces many challenges in advancing renewables to their full potential.
With support from the Climate Development Knowledge Network and the Energy and Environment Partnership with Central America, Worldwatch and the INCAE Business School are partnering to design “Sustainable Energy Roadmaps” that help decision makers in the region implement an improved transitional strategy toward an energy system that is socially, environmentally, and economically superior to the one that currently exists. The goal is to help Central America continue to harness its immense potential to utilize renewable energy sources such as wind, geothermal, solar, biomass, and small-scale hydropower.
During the workshops, Worldwatch and INCAE experts will present and discuss initial findings of the roadmap project, enabling completion of Phase 1 of the project. The goals of this first phase are: to scope existing market trends, given investment conditions and implemented policies; to identify renewable energy success stories that can be replicated elsewhere in the region and discuss what is needed for their scale-up; and to analyze the technical, socio-economic, and political/financial “cold spots” where future data gathering and analysis can add to the information needed to make successful policy choices. In Phase 2, the project team will propose concrete steps toward rapidly expanding the adoption of renewable energy technologies in Central America, and communicate these to key decision makers.
Experts from a range of renewable energy and policy professions, including representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Nicaragua; the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America; and Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications; among others, will present best-practice case studies as well as recommendations on how to replicate such examples. Participants will discuss individual suggestions in break-out groups or ‘action labs’ during the workshops. The involvement of leading thinkers in the project will extend beyond the workshops through ongoing participation in the project’s future activities as well as a moderated online forum, enabling the formation of a community of experts committed to advancing renewable energy in Central America.
“This project is a joint effort aimed at speeding the development of renewables in Central America,” said Alexander Ochs, Director of Worldwatch’s Climate and Energy Program. “Key energy experts will gather in one room to discuss the region’s challenges and opportunities in embracing renewables, discussing state-of-the-art reforms as well as areas of local, national, and regional best practices.”
“It’s not just that all countries will need to contribute to mitigating and adapting to global climate change.” continued Ochs. “Central America can become a real leader on renewables, given the high price it pays for its current energy system—-some countries spend 10 percent or more of their GDP on importing fossil fuels. The region has also had exciting early experiences with adopting new, unconventional renewable technologies, including geothermal, solar, biomass, and wind technologies.”
The first workshop will take place at the INCAE Business School’s Managua campus from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, 2012.
The second workshop will take place at the INCAE Business School’s Alajuela campus from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 3, 2012.

Modi’s response to a question on malnutrition in an interview with Wall Street Journal

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s response to a question on malnutrition in an interview with Wall Street Journal
During an interview with Wall Street Journal Chief Minister Narendra Modi gave elaborate answer to a question regarding malnutrition.
Mr Modi said, “We are the first state in the country to raise the issue of malnutrition. It came to our mind that Gujarat is by and large a vegetarian state. And secondly, Gujarat is also a middle-class state. The middle class is more beauty conscious than health conscious – that is a challenge. If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they’ll have a fight. She’ll tell her mother, ‘I won’t drink milk. I’ll get fat.’ They have money but she’s beauty conscious, she’s not health conscious. So being a middle-class state is also a problem for me. A large segment of the population in my state is middle-class. Second is vegetarianism.
“So a lot needs to be explained to both the beauty conscious and the health conscious. We have to request to them that there should be a good nutritional situation. We gave a budget of 700 crore rupees ($126 million). But these things are such that you see a sudden change in a child after the age of 13-14 years. They grow up so fast – from zero to 13 you don’t come to know how they got so big. So we are going through that stage.” he said.
“Even after a lot of improvement – we still have to measure (malnutrition), conduct surveys. Until that is done, this perception will remain. But I’m quite confident. We will try to get a drastic change in this. Just as we’ve become a model in the electricity sector, Gujarat is going to come up as a model in this also. I can’t make any big claims, because I don’t have a survey in front of me yet”, he added.
It is noteworthy that Gujarat government is taking a range of measures to tackle malnutrition problems, including ramping up spending on rural health workers, modernizing nutrition centers, and trying to better track young pregnant women.


Edit Published August 31, 2012 by sagarmedia
Dr. Veerappa Moily in his inaugural address complimented the Institute of Company Secretaries of India for this initiative and said that ICSI has always demonstrated its commitment to corporate governance and is playing a leaders role in promoting good corporate governance practices amongst corporate India . Dr. Moily said that governance is the character and corporate civilisation will face disaster if there is lack of good governance as “Good Governance is effective leadership, transparency & accountability.”
He further added that reputation of corporates contributes 75% to success of Good Governance . Dr. Moily briefed about the National Policy on Corporate Governance which is being drafted by committee headed by Mr. Adi Godrej and Mr. Nesar Ahmad ,President, The Institute of Company secretaries of India is the convener & member secretary .
Dr. Moily ensured that the New Companies Bill 2011 will be passed soon and will be instrumental in enlightening the regulator environment for better sustainability . He once again stressed on the need for economic stability & progress intertwined with Corporate Social Responsibility .
Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, Joint Managing Director ,Hero Motorcorp Ltd, while delivering his key note address complimented ICSI for initiative to observe the ICSI Corporate Governance Week 2012 and observed that there is no single individual who can work without honouring the environment .He said that governance of Countries, Families and Societies is a reflection of accepted norms. He added that a Company Secretary is a conscience keeper not just to the corporate but also to themselves. He expressed that there is need build ability and trust and in this there is need to create simple rules that are easy to understand and simple to follow . He said that people are the best asset of an organisation which appreciates with experience & exposure and the people include not just people within the organisation but also around the company. He concluded that sustainability is the collective responsibility of all of us.
Mr. U Venkataraman ,CEO –Currency Derivatives Segment and Whole Time Director ,MCX Stock Exchange delivered the Special Address and said that the Role of Stock Exchanges and institutional investors is vital in ensuring good governance . Institutional investors can act as whistle-blower, he said. He emphasised that the industry’s best practices should be showcased at the same time deterrents and penalties should be placed for misgovernance. He emphasised on striking a balance of mere compliance and earnest disclosure.”
CS Nesar Ahmad , President ,The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) informed that ICSI has been actively engaged in its commitment to Corporate Governance and has played a pivotal role in bringing about awareness on various issues impinging upon Corporate Governance . He also informed that Good Governance has intensified as an international movement . He expressed that India has Corporate Governance from the Vedic Ages and now what is needed is a hybrid approach where international practices need to be integrated with our vedic heritage. Mr. Ahamd once again emphasised that Good Governance is a Culture and a climate of Consistency, Responsibility, Accountability , Fairness, Transparency and effectiveness that is deployed throughout the business organization . He stressed upon that the essence of Corporate governance lies in promoting and maintaining integrity ,transparency and accountability in the higher echelons of management
CS P K Mittal, Council Member, The ICSI emphasised on the Role of Company Secretary in Good Governance . He reiterated that , Company Secretaries, over a period of time, have developed themselves as professionals having core competence in corporate governance , As a part of 2nd ICSI Corporate Governance Week , the Institute organised Five Mega Programmes at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata & New Delhi.
CS Rajiv Bajaj , Chairman Northern India Regional Council , while introducing the Theme of the 2nd ICSI Corporate Governance week 2012 said that, Good Governance for Sustainability has assumed considerable significance in domain of Corporate governance. Good Governance is vital for sustainability of nations, corporate and even families . Today the concerns with regard to environment, inclusive growth and the challenges posed by globalisation have brought to fore several emerging issues of corporate governance which need to be addressed.
CS N K Jain, Secretary & CEO, The ICSI, delivered the Vote of thanks and informed about the Institute’s prestigious publications released on the occasion of the 2nd ICSI Corporate Governance at the hands of Hon’ble Union Minister for Corporate Affairs , Dr. M Veerappa Moily which are as follows:
Ø Good Governance for Sustainability
Ø Role of Company Secretaries in Good Governance
Ø Sustainability Reporting for Sustainable Future
Ø Gender Diversity in Board Rooms
Ø Responsibly Managing e-waste
He Informed that ,in addition, a number of other programmes were organized on corporate governance, sustainability & sustainability reporting, integrated reporting, responsible investment, gender diversity, waste management, whistle blowing, risk management & governance, and Good Corporate Citizenship as well as furthering “Go Green” initiatives throughout the length and breadth of the country by the Regional Councils and Chapters of ICSI.

Sharath Gayakwad Opens Campaign at Paralympics Games 2012

Sharath Gayakwad Opens Campaign at Paralympics Games 2012

Sets a personal best time of 1:07.12 in his maiden event, the 100m Butterfly

30th August 2012, London: India's sole entry to the London Paralympic Games in Swimming, Sharath Gayakwad began his campaign today. Swimming the qualifying event of the 100m Butterfly, this young PACE Scholar finished 4th in his heat with a personal best time of 1:07.12, which was 0.58 seconds slower than the qualification time for the finals.

Commenting on his performance, having shaved off 5 seconds from his Olympic qualification time, the 21 year old satisfied Sharath Gayakwad said, "I am really proud of my performance today. It's disheartening to have missed the finals by such a small margin, but I could not have gone any faster."

Sharath, who is to participate in four events at the Paralympic Games - 100m Butterfly, 100m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle and 200m IM - has just returned from a high-performance training camp at the University of Western Australia, Perth. There, he trained under the watchful eye of the highly respected Mel Tantrum, a Gold Licensed high-performance swimming coach, a program funded by the GoSports Foundation and its network.

Sharath will next swim the 100m Breaststroke, his pet event, on the 1st of September, 2012.
Water reaches up to chin level of Oustees !!!
Oustees of Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dam fighting for their rights and life need your support
Oustees standing in dam water for last 7 days

Dear Friends,

The oustees of the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dam in the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh, who are fighting for their rights and their life are in the need of your urgent support. The Government and the company NHDC Limited which has built these dams are illegally and in violation of the Orders of the High Court and Supreme Court raising the water level in these dams, causing submergence of lands and houses of thousands of oustees without rehabilitation. 34 oustees of Omkareshwar dam along with senior activist of Narmada Bachao Andolan Chittaroopa Palit have been on “Jal-Satyagraha” and are standing in the Omkareshwar dam water for last 7 days. Many of these jal satyagrahies have developed blisters in their feet.Water has now reached up to their chin level & even a little more rise in the water level would be fatal. Water in some of the villages affected by Indira Sagar Dam has completely submerged the houses & fields.


In May 2011, the Apex Court ruled that the authorities are obliged to allot a land for land and a minimum of 2 ha. of land, well in advance of the completion of dam construction. However, although an entire year has passed since the judgment, the State has failed to allot land to the over 2500 land-holder families. It may noted that recently even the Grievance Redressal Authority has said in its orders that the rehabilitation policy has not been followed and all the oustees of Omkareshwar dam should be given land in lieu of land. Over 1000 families remain to be allotted even house-plots. Various other entitlements remain to be provided.

Yet, the State Government and the project authorities have announced that they intend to raise the water level of the Omkareshwar dam to 193 meters from the earlier level of 189 meters and on 25th August, 2012 when the authorities raised the level of the reservoir by 1.5 meters, the oustees started Jal Satyagraha and since then they are standing in the water of Omkareshwar dam.

Similarly, in the Indira Sagar dam area also thousands of oustees are yet to be given land and other rehabilitation entitlements. There are orders of Supreme Court and High Court that the water level in Indira Sagar dam cannot be raised beyond level of 260 meters. In spite of this, the government has started raising the water level beyond 260 meters. In protest, Jal Satyagraha has started today at three places in the Indira Sagar dam submergence areas in villages Khardana, Badgaon Mal and Badkhaliya of Districts Harda and Khandwa.

The oustees of the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dam urgently need your support.

We request you to :
  1. Write to Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh and Collector, Khandwa asking him to bring the water level down to 189 meters in Omkareshwar dam and 260 meters in Indira Sagar dam and to rehabilitate all the oustees by giving them land and other rehabilitation entitlements.(Petitions are attached below, pl. send e-mail, and fax)
  2. Come to the Narmada Valley and join the Jal Satyagraha of the oustees.
  3. Hold demonstration/other programmes in support of Jal Satyagraha.

Thank you for your support,
In solidarity,
Alok Agarwal, Radheshyam Tirole, Sakubai, Radhabai

Note : Khandwa is on Delhi-Mumbai, Howrah- Mumbai rail line. 3 hrs by road from Indore, 4 hrs by train from Bhopal

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