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Items filtered by date: July 2016
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 18:39

The Music Scene In & Around The Beach

Fort Myers Beach is a place
where you'll constantly be filled
with things to do.

Published in General/Features
Saturday, 27 August 2016 11:00

Zika Virus Scare. Real or Not?

Nothing that is going on with the Zika Virus is making any sense

Published in General/Features
Saturday, 27 August 2016 10:57

Goben Cars-Closed

Just weeks after opening the Car Dealership, Don Goben has decided to ship all his car inventory back to Michigan. 

Published in Business
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 09:25

Cops Alone Can't Stop Terrorism

Statistically, the odds of
being caught up in a terrorist attack
in Europe are still vanishingly
small. But the Bastille Day killings
in Nice, the attack in Ansbach, and
the brutal slaying of an elderly
French priest in his church near
Rouen have punctured any remaining
sense that the threat from terrorism
is remote or receding.
Saturday's machete attack on two
female police officers in Charleroi,
Belgium only adds to that sense of
vulnerability.
London's police chief,
Bernard Hogan-Howe, wrote in a
blog post last week that an attack
in Britain is a question of "when
not if." So far, the response seems
to be to throw a staggering amount
of armor at the problem.
Last week saw a new 600-
man counter-terrorist police force
introduced to the streets of London.
From their gray Kevlar body
armor to their high-speed BMW
motorbikes, London's new police
are a long way from the traditional
gunless British bobbies: Their arsenal
includes a Glock 17 pistol and
a Sig Sauer MCX carbine gun.
Trained to operate on water and abseil
down buildings, they are
equipped with battering rams and
special ballistic shields.
Britain isn't the only country
arming itself to the teeth to
fight the terrorist threat. In Germany,
the government has ended a
national taboo that dates to World
War II by ordering soldiers to prepare
to join counter-terrorist efforts,
while France is quickly
becoming the kind of police state
Donald Trump can only dream of.
From the beaches of St. Tropez to
London's shop-lined Oxford Street,
combat boots and assault rifles are
mixing in with flip-flops and beach
bags.
All of this armament is understandable.
But there is another
approach that deserves more attention
too.
Programs to detect and prevent
radicalization work further
upstream. Hundreds of such efforts
are now in progress in cities all
over the world, deploying a wide
range of tools and strategies. They
will increasingly be required to
counter what French philosopher
Bernard-Henri Levy recently called
"the uberization of opportunistic
mass terrorism."
If policing is about finding
a needle in a haystack, these efforts
are all about the haystack. "We
tend to think that this is such a
unique, new and exotic challenge
and in some ways it is -- the ideological
component especially -- but
actually what a lot of people at the
municipal level say is that this is
another social challenge that can be
mainstreamed into our social work
and our work with young people,"
says Jonathan Birdwell, head of
policy and research at the Londonbased
Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
Such programs have been
around for years. They vary in
scale, approach and even how they
define the problem, and so it has
been difficult to get a handle on
what works and doesn't. That is
starting to change.
In May, more than 200 delegates
met in Antalya, Turkey, as
part of the Strong Cities Network,
which connects local officials
fighting violence and provides a
database of programs and best
practices. This includes information
on city-wide approaches such
as Rotterdam’s Anti-Radicalisation
Approach or the Montgomery
County Model, but also training resources
for initiatives such as Montreal’s
Center for the Prevention of
Radicalization Leading to Violence
and resources for front line practitioners
such as the UK’s Prevent
Training Catalogue.
Inspiration and guidance
sometimes comes from the unlikeliest
of places. Dr. Seiny Boiukar
Lamine, the mayor of Kolofata, in
northern Cameroon, spent 50 days
in captivity after being abducted by
Boko Haram. He escaped and devoted
himself to helping his community
build defenses against the
group, setting up "vigilance committees"
in towns and villages, establishing
links between local
committees and government forces
and seeking international support.
In the Colombian city of
Medellin, once known as the
world's most dangerous city, local
authorities reduced the homicide
rate by 90 percent -- also through
creative community engagement
and in part by building libraries
and transport links and tackling
poverty and isolation in areas
where the drug cartels had found
easy pickings.
The idea that Cameroon
and Medellin havesomething to teach Colorado and
Manchester may seem a stretch,
but those working in counter-extremism
say there are some broad
lessons to be applied.
First, city-led programs are
often better than nationally led
ones. "If there's anything we
learned," says Strong Cities Network
manager Rebecca Skellett,
"it's that initiative is about being
locally designed, locally owned
and locally led."
While Britain's much-criticized
Prevent program was ahead
of the curve in some ways, it discouraged
local innovation. It also
blurred the line between security
intervention and community engagement,
leading to criticism that
it was discriminatory and counterproductive.
That speaks to the second
lesson: "Soft state" functions
should as much as possible be separate
from security services. "If
you are trying to build the trust of
the community and running programs
with young people as a way
of giving them something positive
to do and a safe place to talk about
these issues, you don't want one of
the facilitators to be MI5," Birdwell
says, referring to Britain's internal
security services.
In a recent survey of youth
activists involved in countering extremist
messages, less than half
thought that law enforcement
should be included. While many of
those targeted by these programs
have little confidence in local or
national government, engaging in
the community through sports, cultural
events, educational programs
and peer-to-peer groups is seen as
highly effective.
A third lesson is the importance
of a multi-agency approach,
involving community leaders,
schools, religious leaders and nongovernmental
organizations. The
pioneer in this has been Denmark,
which has produced more foreign
fighters per capita than any other
European country except Belgium.
The so-called Aarhus model,
named after its second city, engaged
community police, social
services, youth workers, therapists,
and, crucially, returning fighters
and former radicals who became
trained mentors, to dramatically reduce
the number of foreign fighters
and extremists. The approach has
also been adopted in the capital,
Copenhagen.
"To me, it is not a question
of emphasizing either policing and
intelligence or the local or municipal
effort. It is about mutually reinforcing
the two where it makes
sense," Frank Jensen, the lord
mayor of Copenhagen, told me in
an e-mail.
A fourth lesson is the importance
of social media in disseminating
counter-narratives,
something most Western governments
do poorly if at all. Islamic
State is a multi-channel social
media powerhouse; Western governments
are nowhere in their response.
The Institute for Strategic
Dialogue just published results of a
year-long pilot study on the impact
of counter-narratives. Researchers
tracked the impact of 15 videos by
three nongovernmental organizations
-- in Somalia, the U.S. and
Pakistan -- to discourage engagement
with violent or extremist
groups. The content, approach and
target audiences varied, but the
slick counter-narrative videos
proved powerful, receiving over
378,000 video views and 20,000
total engagements. A handful of respondents
in the study asked for
help to leave their extremist group.
These programs have a
long way to go and remain underfunded.
The most comprehensive
counter-extremism programs seek
not only to prevent radicalization,
but also to reintegrate radicalized
individuals with exit programs, especially
important as increasing
numbers of younger offenders are
spending time in prison. Cities
should never underestimate the
power of mentors and former jihadis
in getting the message across
to young people, as programs in
Denmark, Britain and elsewhere
have shown.
These efforts can't replace
the new robo-cops policing our
streets, but they may ultimately do
more to make us safer.
This column does not necessarily
reflect the opinion of the editorial
board or Bloomberg LP, The Sun
Bay Paper and its owners.
Therese Raphael

Published in General/Features

The Army's Training and
Doctrine commander challenged
military, industry and academic
leaders attending the Mad Scientist
Conference, Monday, Aug. 8 and
Tuesday, Aug. 9, to think differently
about the future.
"There's a preoccupation
with trying to predict the future,"
said Gen. David G. Perkins,
TRADOC commander. He challenged
the group assembled at
Georgetown University to describe
the future --
not predict it.
"That sounds like a nuance,
but actually it's a significant nuance,"
Perkins said. He explained
that describing the future requires
having a well-rounded understanding
of the environment. It means
understanding the changing variables
and not "hardwiring" a solution.
During the conference,
these "mad scientists" are tasked
with describe the strategic security
environment in 2050. The Mad
Scientist initiative is co-sponsored
by the Chief of Staff of the Army's
Strategic Studies Group,
TRADOC, and the Georgetown
University Center for Security
Studies.
This is the second year a
group has met in Georgetown for
this ongoing intelligence initiative.
Speakers include Chief of Staff of
the Army Gen. Mark Milley, along
with the editor of Popular Science
Magazine, the president of FutureScout
LLC, the director of the
Australian War Research Center
and representatives from universities
across the country.
Perkins told the group that
he's not looking for innovative
ideas. What he wants is innovation,
which he defined that as turning
critical thinking "into valued outcome."
The Army has no lack of
innovative thinking, he said, but
because of bureaucracy and an allor-
nothing mentality, it's often difficult
to follow through on
innovative ideas. In business, many
companies with innovative ideas
have gone bankrupt, he said, because
they couldn't bring those
ideas to market.
One of the things that characterize
innovative companies is a
high rate of collaboration, he said.
That's what the conference is all
about.
The military often has an
"obsessive-compulsive nature to
get everything digital," he said.
"What happens is we miss opportunities
to shape the future. We get
consumed with responding to the
future."
A different way of approaching
the future would be to
ask the question, "What puts the
U.S. Army at an advantage?"
"We don't do as good a job
thinking two moves ahead, especially
if we're successful," Perkins
said about the military. He said
success tends to hardwire a tactic
or technique and make it permanent.
But the enemy adapts.
For instance, he said the
U.S. has the best targeting capabilities
in the world. So enemies decide
not to be a target. They don't
wear uniforms; they don't assemble
in large formations; they blend in
with the population; and they go
subterranean.
Any technical innovation is
only temporary, Perkins reminded
his audience. The enemy will soon
adapt.
"Technology has become
the most transferrable of our capabilities,"
he said. Years ago, stealing
a trade secret required taking
blueprints and reams of documents.
"Now all you need is a thumb
drive."
As an armor officer,
Perkins said he has long appreciated
the protection afforded by the
M1 tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
"I'm used to getting my protection
from tons and tons of
armor," he said.
Advanced protection for
combat vehicles is one of the capabilities
that TRADOC leaders believe
will be critical in 2050.
"The problem we're seeing
now is, with the proliferation of
ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles),
chemical-energy munitions,
shaped charges … is that the cost
curve as well as the physics (are)
working against us," Perkins said.
"It's much easier to develop new
ways to penetrate the armor."
Changing penetrating
charges is relatively inexpensive
compared to producing new armored
vehicles, he said. The adversary
can update more quickly and
at lesser expense. The old paradigm
of "more and more armor"
may be outdated, he said.
"Better think of a different
way to protect," he said. What's
needed are capabilities, rather than
things, he said. He challenged the
group to avoid some of the "traps"
that discussions of the future often
fall into.
Army News Service

Published in General/Features

Climate change warnings
poignantly made during the
Olympic Games opening ceremony
on Friday are likely to resonate
with athletes as they struggle to
train and compete in Brazil’s tropical
heat.
Marathon runners, swimmers,
volleyball players and even
soccer referees will succumb to extreme
temperatures and lose concentration
during the games, in
some cases risking their lives to
heatstroke, according to a report
released Monday by Observatorio
do Clima, a Brazilian civil society
group.
“Because of warming, sport
will never be the same again,” and
fewer records than in previous
games are likely to fall as a result,
the report said.
Global warming was a key theme
of the opening ceremony, featuring
maps, charts and graphics of rising
global temperatures, melting polar
ice caps and rising sea levels encroaching
on cities from Amsterdam
to Shanghai.
Brazil heated up faster than
the global average, warming 1 degrees
Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit)
in the last 54 years, and four
cities smashed new heat records in
2015, according to the report. If
countries don’t deliver on goals to
limit global temperature rises to
“well below” 2 degrees Celsius, 12
Brazilian cities may have to limit
play in similar games by the end of
the decade, it said.
Rising Heat
Sharply higher temperatures
so far haven’t impacted this
year’s Olympiad, according to Jose
Marengo, a climate scientist at the
Brazilian government’s National
Center for Monitoring Warning of
Natural Disasters. Temperatures in
Rio could climb to about 30 degrees
Celsius on Aug. 15 from
about about 24 degrees Celsius on
Monday, according to Accuweather.
com.
Even though the games are
taking place during Brazil’s winter,
the heat may still impede performance,
particularly in the marathon
where Olympic records have only
been broken in temperatures below
12 degrees Celsius. Runners perform
best between 8 degrees and
11 degrees, well below the level
expected this month in Brazil, the
report said.
Over the coming years, athletes
are likely to “give into fatigue
earlier on, even if they remain in
the competition until the end,” according
to the report.
‘Fade Out’
The next Olympic Games
in Tokyo in 2020 could more heatwaves
because climate change
tends to create hotter summers and
colder winters, Marengo said. Temperatures
in the Japanese capital
may top 36 degrees Celsius this
week, according to AccuWeather.
“Temperatures are getting
higher and heatwaves are getting
more frequent,” Marengo said.
“We don’t see many studies showing
how this heat stress will impact
people working outdoors.”
Jessica Shankleman
Bloomberg

Published in Environment

As a teenaged cashier seeing
how food stamps were used by
so-called disadvantaged people, I
changed my mind about the Democratic
Party. I also learned how
people gamed the welfare system.
They’d buy two dozen packs of
soda with food stamps and then
sell them at a discount for cash.
They’d ring up their orders
separately, buying food with food
stamps, and beer, wine, and cigarettes
with cash. They’d regularly
go through the checkout line
speaking on their cell phones. I
could never understand why our
lives felt like a struggle while
those living off of government
largesse enjoyed trinkets that I
only dreamed about. . . .
Every two weeks, I’d get a
small paycheck and notice the line
where federal and state income
taxes were deducted from my
wages. At least as often, our drugaddict
neighbor would buy T-bone
steaks, which I was too poor to
buy for myself but was forced by
Uncle Sam to buy for someone
else. This was my mindset when I
was seventeen, and though I’m far
less angry today than I was then, it
was my first indication that the
policies of Mamaw’s “party of the
working man”—the Democrats—
weren’t all they were cracked up
to be.
Political scientists have
spent millions of words trying to
explain how Appalachia and the
South went from staunchly Democratic
to staunchly Republican in
less than a generation.
Some blame race relations
and the Democratic Party’s embrace
of the civil rights movement.
Others cite religious faith and the
hold that social conservatism has
on evangelicals in that region.
A big part of the explanation
lies in the fact that many in
the white working class saw precisely
what I did, working at Dillmans.
Nobody likes to feel like a
sucker.
Glen Reynolds

Published in General/Features
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 12:12

Tallahassee's Chemical Roulette

The state Environmental
Regulation Commission has voted
to increase allowable levels of cancer-
causing chemicals in Florida
waters.
And Rick Scott wonders
why Floridians distrust his administration.
“Trust us; we’re experts,”
the governor would have us believe.
In a spasm of linguistic absurdity,
his environmental protection
chief tells us this decision will
enable DEP “to provide better public
health protection for our state.”
Think about it: “Protection”
means to safeguard from injury or
harm. Do you believe that more
poison in your water will improve
your health? Tallahassee is the
town where up is down, black is
white, and science is searching for
its soul.
There’s only one reason
DEP would play chemical roulette
with our waters: The governor values
private profits more than public
health.
This is what we see: Money
begets influence, which begets
power, which begets money. The
circle is unbroken.
Wake up, Florida. We are called to
look under the hood of democracy.
It’s time for deep change.
—John Moran, Gainesville

Published in Environment
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 12:06

Walking The Waters Edge

Fort Myers Beach has been
facing an ongoing problem with
our water quality issue and anyone
who lives here has witnessed our
alluring beach go from a crystal
blue to a murky brown. Residents
and tourists alike have noticed the
smell and almost slimy sand along
the beach. As you walk the beach
you will notice when the water
breaks on shore it carries an almost
black soot that settles at the shoreline.
What is this going to do for
our community considering our
economy is based on the constant
flow of tourists coming in and out?
“People here today realize that
we're 100 percent tourism based as
a community and an economy.”
John Heim stated, Fort Myers resident
who is a representative for the
Southwest Florida Clean Water
Movement. “They know without
clean water, we’ll lose our billion
dollar tourism industry.”
There is a network of optical
water quality sensors distributed
throughout the Caloosahatchee
river and estuary to provide
real-time, water quality data
to scientists, policy makers, and
the general public. The River Estuary
and Coastal Observing Network
known as RECON has high
quality autonomous sensors that
can detect the presence of algal
blooms and nutrient hotspots.
We have been experiencing record
rainfall this year and the water that
goes into Lake has to go somewhere
so it seems the real argument
is where the water should go.
The 4,400 square miles of Lake
“O” contributes tothe water that flows into the
Caloosahatchee estuary and the
Gulf of Mexico. Overtime, these
watersheds have changed from
low-nutrient loading marshes and
wetlands to high loading urban and
agricultural land uses. These nutrients
increase turbidity and decrease
concentrations of dissolved oxygen
also fueling nuisance algal blooms.
People who frequently come
to Fort Myers as their preferred vacation
spot have commented on the
decline of our pristine water.
Diane C. of Missouri, a frequent
visitor to our very own Pink Shell
Resort said, “We love the ocean
but we were so disappointed when
we saw it. The water was brown
and murky; it felt like we were
swimming in the Mississippi River
instead of the Gulf Coast. It makes
me wonder what it’s doing to the
people who swim in it considering
it harms the fish and wildlife.”
The sea grasses that have
washed up on the beach lately in
shear force are low-nutrient
adapted communities that have
been affected in this crisis. These
sea grasses in turn directly affect
the fish, crustaceans, and marine
mammals. “The state of Florida
needs to fix this otherwise people
will be opting to spend their money
elsewhere” said Diane. “When I
think of the Gulf Coast of Florida I
think of white sandy beaches and
blue ocean water, unfortunately
that’s not what we got during our
stay.” Instead, the water on FortMyers Beach is murky and gray
much like cement mixing water.
Some local environmentalists
were pointing fingers at US
Sugar. John Heim said “The sugar
Industry is guilty of back pumping
into the lake.” The water management
report says that 10 inches is
from rainfall the rest is back-pumping
because all the public lands by
Lake “O” are filled with water and
it has to go somewhere. Flood
control laws state that when water
reaches a certain level, it must be
pumped into Lake “O”. Water experts
would like to remind us that
this was once the Everglades. It
was drained so more than a million
people could live here and the
water is creeping back up and managing
it can be difficult. “There
are certainly a number of other
sources that are also feeding into
the water quality problems,” said
Jennifer Hecker of the Conservancy
of Southwest Florida.
Hecker blames much of the polluted
waters from residential runoff
between the lake and Fort Myers.
The issue we’ve been experiencing
is something we should all
be knowledgeable of due to the
fact it directly affects us as a community.
The problem is not going
away anytime soon as a matter fact
it has continuously gotten worse
over the summer months. We
should all know where we stand on
this before it’s too late.
Colin Conley

Published in Environment

United Nations Headquarters
was bustling with activity on Monday,
full beyond capacity as island dwellers
from around the world gathered for
the Multi-Stakeholder Partnership in
the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable
Development Goals, to chart
the progress of Small Island Developing
States (SIDS).
In December 2015, the General
Assembly adopted a resolution establishing
the Small Island
Developing States (SIDS) Partnership
Framework in line with the priorities
of island nations.
The SIDS Partnership Framework
empowered the UN Secretariat
to organize an annual, action-oriented,
results-focused Global Multi-stakeholder
SIDS Partnership Dialogue.
This third annual event provided
an opportunity for the reviewing
the progress made by existing partnerships,
sharing of best practices, lessons
learned, and challenges faced in
implementation.
Sareer
Permanent Representative of Maldives
to the UN and Ambassador of Maldives
to the United States Ahmed Sareer
(Photo by IISD)
Sebastiano Cardi, Ambassador
of Italy co-chaired the Steering Committee
on Partnerships for SIDS with
Permanent Representative of Maldives
to the UN and Ambassador of Maldives
to the United States Ahmed Sareer.
They and the delegates took
stock of the two-year journey since
the multi-stakeholder partnerships
began. Much progress has been made
with more than 300 partnerships now
established.
An online reporting template,
the SIDS Action Platform, has helped
track specific measurable results of
the partnerships.
The SIDS partnerships started
with a focus on the Pacific Region,
and the program is now expanding to
other islands around the world.
In an attempt to control the
vast quantities of plastic litter, discarded
fishing nets and other waste,
the Global Partnership on Marine Litter
mechanism was born in 2012 at the
UN’s environmental Rio+20 summit.
Samoa
A beach surrounded by pristine Pacific
waters in Western Samoa Dec. 2011
(Photo by Dave Lonsdale)
This partnership’s core goals
are reducing the levels and impacts of
land-based litter and solid waste in the
aquatic environment and, at the same
time, reducing levels and impact of
sea-based sources of marine debris –
solid waste, lost cargo, abandoned,
lost or discarded fishing gear, and
abandoned vessels.
The Samoan Islands archipelago
in the central South Pacific has
two governments separated by 64 km
of ocean – the independent country of
Samoa in the western half of the island
chain, and the territory of American
Samoa covering the islands to the east
New ways of cleaning up rubbish
and marine debris are being introduced
on many of the islands, as is
separating garbage for recycling.
Samoa now has an active waste-separation
program, and Samoan residents
have started distributing rubbish bins
to hotels with multi-stakeholder partners.
A locally produced film clip
from Samoa shown at the conference
illustrated some approaches to reducing
levels and impacts of accumulated
marine debris on shorelines, aquatic
habitats, and biodiversity.
Manatees
These West Indian manatees,
Trichechus manatus, belong to a
species listed as Endangered by the
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Photo
by USFWS)
One of the challenges the
multi-stakeholder partnerships have
had to overcome is the building of
trust between public and private sectors,
and with civil society.
Climate change, sustainable
energy and ocean preservation have
taken priority, but other areas of partnership
development also are needed,
especially around alternative transportation
and endangered species.
The World Bank has invested
in The Partnership Meeting the climate
challenge: Briefing on the Small
Island State Resilience Initiative
(SISRI) with US$800 million a year
for SIDS.
Knowledge is connected in
the three pillars: institutional, operational,
technical-early warning detection
of natural disasters.
Dedicated World Bank Team
SIDS specialists shared knowledge
from many organizations on the resilience
of coral reefs, and for risk assessment
with road maps in flood zones.
The collaborations are valuable
as a common theme of the partnerships
was the synergy of teams,
and the goal of transparency about results
and process through partnerships.
The Samoa–Samoa Pathway
has 69 partnerships, of which 17 have
implemented solutions, explained Peseta
Noumea Simi, CEO of the Governments
of Samoa’s Ministry of
Foreign Trade.
“The challenges are to address
ocean acidity and use a common
framework, improvement and establish
endurable partnership, there are
trust and accountability as well as
equal,” she explained.
A joint partnership with Italy
and Japan set up a Pacific Regional
Center for Climate Change. This looks
to be a win/win for all involved in the
multi-level partnership, Capacity
building and the gathering of greater
resources to cope with climate change
than those available to island states
alone are the goals.
At Monday’s meeting, the International
Civil Aviation Organization’s
air transportation partnership
with Small Island States was praised
as helpful as it, “promotes understanding
and security through cooperative
aviation regulation.”
For the small island states the
ICAO joint partnership is a lifeline to
ecological and social development, as
the airlines can offer help in crisis,
support for public health, protection
for ecosystems and climate change.
Tourism is the most important
industry for the fragile and beautiful
small island states. Yet for all the billions
of dollars spent each year on
travel to and tourism in island countries,
many islands still lack sustainable
transportation, and quality
aviation infrastructure. More framework
coding, policy, safety, and regulations
are needed along with adequate
funding for aviation, the partners
agreed.
The Small Island Developing
States are communities that live close
to nature, with lives centered
Although they have what is left of a
natural paradise, these islands now are
confronted with many threats – rising
sea levels, and increasing catastrophic
disasters, multiplying due to humancaused
climate change from the industrialized
developed countries.
Climate refugee numbers are
increasing daily, and people are losing
their land and homes due to climate
change, and related severe storms.
These partnerships for SIDS
with the 17 Sustainable Development
goals are potential life savers, not just
for humans, but also for the ocean and
ocean species.
Small Island States offer one
of the last frontiers where people can
discover a better balance with nature,
participants agreed. Partnerships are
key, to unite more than nations, to
reach people, and engender respect for
the planet.
© Environment News Service (ENS)
2016. All rights reserved.
www.ens-newswire.com
New Partnerships Shield Vulnerable Small Island States
Page 18 The Sun Bay Paper July 28, 2016 - August 10, 2016
Environmental News
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Permanent Representative of
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Ahmed Sareer (Photo by IISD)

Published in Environment
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