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first_imgPresident David Granger committed to ensuring that Guyana preserved its land assets and promoted more efficient mining and logging practices at a signing ceremony for a US$15 million project for the implementation of a four-year Sustainable Land Development and Management Programme (SLDMP).The sum was acquired by the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Ministry of the Presidency, under the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), which is a fund for the financing of activities identified under the Low Carbon DevelopmentMinister of State, Joseph Harmon; Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Reuben Robinson and Finance Minister Winston Jordan sign the Project document as Commissioner Trevor Benn and staff of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) look onStrategy (LCDS). The fund receives money from Norway based on an independent verification of Guyana’s deforestation and forest degradation rates and progress on REDD+ enabling activities.The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), with support from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Guyana, will be the executing agency.In his remarks to the heads of agencies and other Government and non-governmental functionaries gathered in the Baridi Benab at State House, President Granger said that Guyana’s land-based natural capital must be managed sustainably if present and future generations were to enjoy the ‘good life’. He noted that Guyana has made progress on the crafting of its Framework Document of the Green State Development Strategy in order to ensure sustainable development. Sustainable land development is essential to protecting the nation’s natural patrimony and ensuring economic development.President Granger noted that the increased demand for land for farming, logging and mining has increased the threats to the country’s natural capital and was the main cause of deforestation. Small-scale mining alone accounted for 89 per cent of deforestation over the past three years while river mining was polluting the waterways on which many hinterland residents still depended for bathing, drinking purposes, fishing and washing, the Head of State said.The President said that Guyana’s green development agenda demanded the fulfilment of these environmental obligations and the adoption of practices to better manage land resources and the augmentation of institutional capacity to improve monitoring and verification of land use.Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who signed the document on behalf of the Government of Guyana, in his remarks, said that the Government welcomed the project, which has been designed to ensure that the productivity and economic potential of land were maintained even as the natural resources were used to streamline and develop the ‘green’ economy.Head of the PMO, Marlon Bristol said that the GRIF has taken keen interest in projects that reduce emissions from degradation and deforestation. It is with this mandate, he said, that the GRIF funds have been allocated for sustainable land management. “In this context, putting to use degraded lands provides a great opportunity and impetus for the establishment of a ‘green’ state,” he said.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Wall Street Journal reports that, as long as companies offer at least one plan that complies with the health law’s requirements, they are free to also offer employees choices that don’t. Also in the news, Obama administration data analysts are watching health care habits and patterns, and other health companies are seeing business opportunities in sharing the information they collect, too. The Wall Street Journal: Bare-Bones Health Plans Survive Through Quirk In LawThe health-care overhaul was supposed to eliminate insurance plans that offer skimpy coverage at cut rates. But a quirk in the law stands to help some companies keep them going for years to come. AlliedBarton Security Services … has offered a modestly updated version of its so-called mini-med plan to employees this year and it intends to do so in 2015 as well, even though the cheap coverage fails to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act. What makes the no-frills plan attractive is that it will save money for AlliedBarton and for its security-guard employees who don’t incur substantial medical bills, many of whom want a low-cost option, according to the company. What makes it possible under the health law: As long as companies offer at least one plan that complies with the law’s requirements, they are free to keep offering ones that don’t (Francis, 1/16).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Obama Data Analysts Study Health-Care Habits Under ObamacareA group of data analysts who helped President Barack Obama win two terms in the White House are now partnering with a coalition of health-care providers in Camden, N.J., to study how people’s consumption habits change under the new health law. BlueLabs, a company formed last year by members of the Obama data team, is partnering with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers to compile information tracking the treatment patterns of people who enroll in Medicaid or the new insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. For example, the team will gather data on how frequently the newly insured go emergency rooms or outpatient health centers and compare that with their previous behavior (O’Connor, 1/15).Kaiser Health News: Check Your Blood Pressure, (Unwittingly) Sell Your Contact InformationHealth insurance companies are on the prowl for more customers. There are still three months to go for people to enroll in health plans under the Affordable Care Act, but insurers don’t want to rely solely on state or federal websites to find them. Some are finding a path to new customers by partnering with companies that operate health-screening kiosks –- those machines in supermarkets and drug stores where people check their blood pressure or weight (Dembosky, 1/15).  Companies Find Ways To Keep Offering ‘No Frills’ Health Plans To Employees This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more