Aceh Peace Process May Help Settle Papua Conflict

Damien Kingsbury, a former advisor to the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), writes that the outcome of the Aceh peace process has important implications for reaching a satisfactory settlement in Papua, where calls for independence from Indonesia may trigger a violent backlash from the Indonesian military and nationalist legislators in Jakarta who are determined not to allow Papua to secede.

Class and Wealth Playing Important Role in Deciding which Parts of New Orleans Will be Rebuilt and which Abandoned

Ostensibly, the rebuilding plan puts all neighborhoods on the same footing. Neighborhoods are responsible for determining who is moving back to the community and to make collective decisions about the community’s future.

Tit-for-Tat Violence Inches Sri Lanka Back to Civil War

In retaliation for a suicide bomb attack on the headquarters of Sri Lanka’s army, the military launched air attacks on Tamil Tiger targets in the northeast of the country, causing thousands of people to seek safety in the jungle.

Acehnese Villagers Oppose Oxfam Presence

Frustrated with the mismatch between rebuilding promises and actual performance of international aid groups, villagers in Pasi, Aceh, told Oxfam they no longer want the agency to operate there.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fishery at Risk of Collapse; Campaign Needed to Save Species

Bluefin TunaOn July 5, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a report documenting the illegal overfishing of bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

An Advisory Board Has Been Named to the UN's New Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)

Tapping emergency relief experts from governments and NGOs, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the appointment of twelve members to an Advisory Group for the Central Emergency Response Fund.  CERF is designed to bring faster relief to disaster victims.

Sri Lankan Voters Support Peace Talks in Local Council Elections

The election results are a setback to parties that have taken a hardline stance against peace talks between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Oil Sands: The Costs of Alberta's "Black Gold"

Oil DrumsDuring a June 28 visit to Washington, D.C., Ralph Klein, the premier of Canada’s western province of Alberta, spoke about the vast energy potential in his region and reassured U.S. government officials that Alberta’s oil reserves are secure. The following day, two leading North American environmental organizations, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Canada’s Pembina Institute, hosted a panel discussion in Washington to provide what they considered to be a more complete picture of Albertan oil development.

Aceh Anti-Corruption Movement Calculates that 30 to 40 Percent of Aid Funds Have Been Tainted

Funds have been frozen and projects are on hold while audits are being undertaken. To date, only 10.4 percent of the funds allocated by the government have actually been spent.

UN Advisor Recommends Disaster-Prone Countries Turn to Insurance Policies, Not Rely on International Aid

UN Adviser Jeffrey Sachs has recommended that countries at risk for frequent hurricanes consider purchasing national insurance policies to prepare in advance for disaster relief needs, rather than rely on international aid appeals to help residents after a disaster strikes.
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