first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:With its growing energy demand, strong winds and bright sunshine. Egypt should be adding 2GW a year of solar and wind, but its civil service has only been given enough capacity to process one project at a time, says a senior executive at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).Harry Boyd-Carpenter, head of energy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the London-based multilateral, told the Green Investment Group’s Green Energy Conference that the North African country should be a major global player in renewables.Yet it had only installed 1.2GW of wind and 661MW of solar by the end of 2018, according to Global Wind Energy Council and SolarPower Europe figures.“Egypt is honing in on 100 million people, a fast-growing economy, a fast-growing electricity market, they have 11 metres-per-second wind resource, they have onshore wind farms with 55% capacity factors, they have close to 3,000 full load hours in solar plants, it’s just renewable-energy heaven,” said Boyd-Carpenter.“We’ve been working very closely with the government over the past few years, we’ve done a gigawatt now of renewables capacity ourselves [in Egypt]. There are four or five people at the top of the ministry and the electricity transmission company and the regulator who are brilliant — incredibly dedicated, incredibly hard-working, but they have no back-up,” he said. “[This is] frustrating, because I see in Egypt, they should be rolling out 2GW a year. But this team, these few people can only focus — even working 18 hours a day — on one project at a time.”More: ‘Renewable energy heaven’ Egypt should be 2GW annual market Development expert says Egypt has the potential to add 2GW of renewable energy annuallylast_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:The coal ministry has received valid interest for only six coal mines out of the 27 which were offered for the iron & steel, cement, and captive power plant end-use. Auction of 21 coal mines has been cancelled by the ministry as it received less than three bids for them.According to the norms of the coal auction under the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act, each mine requires minimum three bids for the government to hold auction.Jamkhani coal mine, situated in the state of Odisha, has attracted maximum bids including from companies like Vedanta, JSW, Hindalco, JSPL, Rungta Mines and Natural Resources Energy Limited.“The response to the coal auction has been subdued, mainly because of the market sentiment and also changes in policy,” said a source from the coal ministry.The auction process was incorporated in 2014, post deallocation of 214 coal mines. India has not seen a successful auction of coal mines after the first round where it auctioned 24 coal mines, out of which about 12 are now in production.More: Auction of 21 coal mines cancelled as govt sees tepid response India cancels auction for 21 coal mines due to lack of interestlast_img read more

first_imgS&P utility index tops value of troubled oil and gas sector stocks for first time FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The market value of utilities in the S&P 500 surpassed energy companies for the first time Feb. 26 as investors continue to pull their money from the fossil fuel extraction business and fears about the spreading coronavirus weigh on equities.With cases of the new coronavirus popping up outside of China, S&P Global Platts cut its 2020 outlook for oil demand growth to the lowest level since 2011. Meanwhile, American utility stocks, which are generally viewed as safe-haven assets, could be “net beneficiaries” from the virus, particularly if central bankers cut interest rates to counteract concerns about slowing economic growth, Scotia Capital (USA) Inc. analyst Andrew Weisel said.Longer term, energy companies in the S&P 500 have seen dwindling valuations and shrinking importance within the benchmark index. S&P 500 energy companies had a combined market capitalization of $914.59 billion as of Feb. 26, which is down 42% from early 2015 and accounts for just 3.54% of the overall index.The market capitalization of utilities in the S&P 500 is up 64% over the same period, closing Feb. 26 at $922.31 billion, or 3.57% of the index.Renewable energy companies have outperformed oil and gas companies that have been battered by falling oil prices and, more recently, have faced investor concerns about environmental, social and governance risks.A basket of renewable energy stocks tracked by S&P Global Market Intelligence gained 49% in 2019, outperforming the S&P 500 by 20 percentage points, while the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production index lost nearly 11% for the year.[Michael Copley, Everett Wheeler]More ($): Utilities leapfrog embattled energy companies in S&P 500last_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mercom India:The Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) auction for 1,070 MW of solar projects in Rajasthan set a record-low lowest (L1) tariff of ₹2 (~$0.0270)/kWh (Tranche-III), according to Mercom’s sources.This tariff is about 15.3% lower than SECI’s previous record low tariff of ₹2.36 (~$0.0319)/kWh discovered in its auction for 2 GW of the interstate transmission system (ISTS) connected solar projects (Tranche IX) back in June.SECI had received bids from 14 companies for a total of 4,350 MW, leaving the tender oversubscribed by 3,280 MW. Eight of the quoted tariffs were below the previous record low of ₹2.36 (~$0.0319)/kWh.The record-breaking tariff was quoted by Al jomaiah Energy and Water Company and Green Infra Wind Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Sembcorp for 200 MW and 400 MW of solar projects, respectively. NTPC Limited quoted the second-lowest bid at ₹2.01 (~$0.0272)/kWh for 600 MW of projects but were only awarded 470 MW under the bucket-filling method. Sprng Ujjvala Energy Private Limited quoted ₹2.02 (~$0.0273)/kWh for 300 MW of projects. SJVN Limited quoted ₹2.07 (~$0.0279)/kWh for 250 MW of projects.According to a lender, “Due to the pandemic, industries worldwide are looking at declining interest rates. For this auction, in particular, they are mostly eyeing 7.75% or lower rates of interest and a steep fall in module prices.” Another noteworthy point in this tender is that SECI has already identified the off-taker for these projects. This is unlike other auctions where the power sale agreements are not signed even after months of auctions being concluded.According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Rajasthan has about 5.2 GW of large-scale solar projects in operation, and approximately 8.5 GW capacity is currently under development as of September 2020.[Nithin Thomas Prasad]More: India’s new record for lowest solar tariff is ₹2/kWh Solar auction in Rajasthan nets 1,070MW of capacity at record low prices for Indialast_img read more

first_imgThrough running and racing, I continuously learn things about myself as a runner.  No matter how many times I race, I still get nervous up until gun time; coffee, oatmeal, and a banana work best for my body as a pre-race breakfast; one reason I race is for the sweet technical race shirts, so as to cut down on my running clothes budget (I mean, you pay for the joy of running, not the shirt, right?).I love standing on the podium, and I have a race-distance identity crisis.  I want to run them all: trails and road, 5ks to 50ks.  I want to be a flighty, fast 5k runner and also do ultras in remote mountains.  The problem with this is that, for most people anyway, the human body struggles to perform at a high level for vastly different distances.Most runners (yours truly included) don’t have the time and energy to hone in on the nuances of training that would allow them to focus on both without experiencing some sort of body break down (and eating my family out of house and home).  I ended up dragging this race-distance identity crisis into my 2015 running and race goals, which I set to keep me honest and hold me accountable.My first goal was to focus on mid-distance running, mostly 5ks and 10ks.  I really wanted to chase a long-standing PR goal for the 5k, and worried that too much distance training might divert my focus.  I decided that I would focus on mid-distance trail running for the first part of the year, and then transition to road over the summer with the goal of trying to PR on a fast, flat 5k course in late summer/early fall.Early in the year, I signed up for the Mountain Junkies Non-Ultra Trail Series (RNUTS) for the first time.  I ran cross-country in high school, which laid the foundation for my love of trails (in southwest Virginia the courses happened to be a lot of proper and pretty technical trails).  Since then, I have consistently run on trails for fun and as cross-training.  But besides a couple trail races last year, this was my first foray into competitive trail running.  Shortly into the series, I realized I had unintentionally handicapped myself by focusing on shorter distances, and my competitive spirit reared its head.I looked at how the point system worked (note to self, next time check this out before signing up), and decided I had to run all six races, at least one of them at the longer distance option, in order to be in contention for the top female spot in the series. I was torn.  Which goal should I focus on more intently?  Could I possibly focus on both at the same time?For the last two races I decided to run the longer option for one (Trail Nuts half marathon rather than the 10k) and the shorter distance for the very last race of the series (Conquer the Cove 25k rather than the full marathon—I said shorter, but certainly not short!).  In both races I placed second female overall, in the half by a mere four seconds.Ultimately, I was happy with my effort, considering I hadn’t properly trained for either of the last two races in the series. During both, I took some pretty hard falls, the first time ever for me running on trails. Some slick spots had something to do with the fall in the half marathon, but the falls in the 25k were results of being undertrained.Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 1.50.31 PMLesson learned, I told myself as I super-man flew down a steep downhill grade around Carvins Cove, emerging bloody and choking back tears!  I finished up the series in third place overall, and only two points separated the top three women.If I had hammered down my kick to take first place on the Trail Nuts half marathon, I could have taken first place overall in the series.  Looking back that sounds so simple. What’s four seconds in a half marathon?  But on that day I really felt that I gave it my all.  There are some amazing runners in our area, and I was honored to stand on the podium beside some fierce and talented ladies.After the Conquer the Cove 25k, I took a couple days rest and then began to refocus on my mid-distance goals.   As a runner that runs both trail and road, I have two sets of PRs.  I knew my mile splits would vary drastically, and I was intimidated making the transition from trails to the black-top.  On top of that, with pregnancies and raising babies, it’s been over 5 years since I have trained at this level and had to think this strategically, which only exasperated my anxiety around the issue.Questions arose like will my legs re-learn how to stride longer and more quickly?  Can I really cut down my mile split times by 1 minute and 15 seconds at the least (which is about the differential between my trail and road 5 mile splits)?  Will my mind be content focusing on form and monotonous pounding, when it’s been so spoiled by foliage, beautiful views, and varied terrain?  Then questions started popping up like, why do I even want to run road races again?  Can’t I just buy a yurt, live off the land, and frolick off into the wilderness on morning jaunts every day?One can dream, and clearly I was biased in my thought process, having just come off a great trail running season full of awesome people.  The weekend after the 25k, I went to the track for some speed work.  I ran 10x400s and hit my goal paces, between 1:27-1:29, but struggled.  I didn’t feel smooth or easy, more like a wild boar running for it’s life while simultaneously foraging for mushrooms (or insert any other animal with heavy legs that can still manage to somehow move it).  I regrouped, and reminded myself to trust the process.My legs still felt heavy from a hard, long race and I had to work muscles that had been more dormant than normal when I was racing on trails.  I also had to remind myself that I had accumulated so much strength and endurance from the trails, and that once I hit my track stride again, that would serve me so much better than I could imagine on that first tough day back at the track.So I kept plugging away, and over a few weeks the track work got easier.  I got my “glidey” stride back, as my husband calls it.  I not only hit my goal pace in speed work, but I actually felt fast too.   I was ready to take on a road race. I signed up for a 4-miler on July 3rd, and was very happy with my result.  The field was super fast, and my 6:34/mile pace was only good for fourth place female overall (first in my age group), but was just as good if not better than I had hoped to do in terms of pace and finish time.  I now feel like I can set the black-top jitters aside.I’m still chasing my 5k PR goal of breaking 20 minutes, and definitely feel as if all the time on the trails is serving me well.  I believe in a varied routine and cross-training, so in the midst of my focus on tempos and speed work, I still try to run completely untethered from my GPS/watch on a technical trail at least once a week.  It keeps me mentally strong and content, and reminds me of the other side of my runner identity.  I don’t know when I’ll sign up for my first ultra, but you can bet that I’ll work hard to make the road/short distance training I’m putting in now applicable somehow to that experience too.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – After careful consideration, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt directed the National Park Service (NPS) to temporarily suspend the collection of all park entrance fees until further notice.“I’ve directed the National Park Service to waive entrance fees at parks that remain open. This small step makes it a little easier for the American public to enjoy the outdoors in our incredible National Parks,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.  Other states and municipalities have implemented similar policies waiving fees to parks in an effort to support social distancing. “Our vast public lands that are overseen by the Department offer special outdoor experiences to recreate, embrace nature and implement some social distancing.” Secretary Bernhardt continued. At a majority of park locations where it is currently possible to adhere to public health guidance, outdoor spaces remain open to the public, while many facilities will be closed. The Department of the Interior and NPS continue to urge visitors to do their part when visiting a park to follow CDC guidance by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick. Specifically, the CDC recommends high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, take extra precautions to be best protected against the spread of coronavirus.  Date: March 18, 2020Contact: [email protected] Updates about the NPS response to the coronavirus will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.  About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. www.nps.gov last_img read more

first_imgBy Dialogo May 25, 2010 *MEXICO* *Nickname*: El Tri *World Cups*: 14 (1930, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1978, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010) *Championships*: 0 *Runner-up*: 0 *Third*: 0 *How it qualified*: The Mexicans finished second in the final, six-team CONCACAF region. The squad went 6-1-3 to finish with 19 points, one behind the United States and three ahead of Honduras. *Coach*: Javier Aguirre *Projected starting lineup*: *Goalie*: Guillermo Ochoa *Defense*: Jonny Magallón; Rafael Márquez; Ricardo Osorio; Carlos Salcido *Midfield*: Giovani Dos Santos; Gerardo Torrado; Andrés Guardado; Cuauhtémoc Blanco *Forward*: Guillermo Franco; Carlos Vela *Pool Play*: Mexico, which is ranked 17th in the world by FIFA, is in Group A with 10th-ranked France, 18th-ranked Uruguay and 90th-ranked South Africa. *Schedule*: June 11 vs. South Africa at Johannesburg’s Soccer City; June 16 vs. France at Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba; June 22 vs. Uruguay at Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng *Did you know?* Mexico has qualified for the past five World Cups after it was banned from the 1990 event by FIFA for using players who were over the age limit at the 1988 Olympics. Mexico has lost in the round of 16 in each of the past five World Cups, including a heartbreaking, 2-1 loss to Argentina in Germany in 2006. Mexico has qualified for a CONCACAF-high 14 World Cups. Very few teams are entering the World Cup as hot as the Mexicans, which went 5-1-1 in their final seven CONCACAF matches, which included becoming just the second visiting national team to win in Costa Rica’s Ricardo Saprissa stadium in a decade.last_img read more

first_img “We are looking at a two-part issue,” said Guatemalan Defense Minister Juan José Ruiz. “We are still in the process of attending to citizens affected by the rains and trying to return to them to their homes, and at the same time taking preventive steps to prepare communities in the eastern part of the country for the effects of the hurricane. We will continue to collaborate with the government and emergency services to make sure we are prepared for future catastrophes.” El Salvador’s military as well as its Ministry of Defense were also called upon as rains pounded the San Salvador metropolitan area and communities on the Pacific coast. The rains, caused by a tropical depression, left more than 30 people dead in El Salvador and another 50,000 homeless. Damages are estimated at $650 million, equal to 3 percent of the country’s GDP. In the disaster’s wake, Defense Minister David Munguía and top military brass visited Bajo Lempa, a low-lying coastal region often subjected to flooding. Members of the army set up shelters in areas of higher elevation, helped flood victims evacuate and brought in truckloads of food and water to affected communities. The Air Force also assisted evacuation efforts in Bajo Lempa, bringing in several helicopters to rescue flood victims and carry them to nearby shelters. It also delivered food and supplies, as well as power generators to supply communities with power lost in the storms. “We must not forget that this is precisely the role of the Armed Forces in El Salvador and we should expect nothing less,” resident José Heriberto Ortíz wrote on the military’s website. “My sincerest thank you for the work done by our army during a time of need.” El Salvador’s emergency services reported Oct. 24 that more than 60 percent of residents had returned to their homes, and that evacuation shelters throughout the country were emptying out. National schools also reopened on Oct. 24 after nearly two weeks of closures due to rains. In Nicaragua, rains resulted in flash floods in Managua, as well as much of the northern Pacific region. In response to the flooding, 42 members of the Nicaraguan Army’s Humanitarian and Rescue Unit [Unidad Humanitaria y de Rescate, or UHR] loaded trucks with 1,400 food packets, 98 quintales of rice, 140 quintales of corn, 210 quintales of beans and 1,400 liters of cooking oil for transport to the municipality of El Jicaral, in the department of León. By Dialogo October 28, 2011 “During flooding, the most urgent operation is to get clean drinking water and basic food supplies to the communities,” said the UHR’s Col. Marco Sequeira. “In order to do so, we must deploy officers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force as quickly as possible to reduce the number of potential casualties.” After the first wave of rains flooded much of Nicaragua, military forces were sent to the Caribbean side of the country on Oct. 22 to begin evacuations of citizens as Tropical Storm Rina threatened to hit the coast. The next day, ships of the Nicaraguan Navy began evacuating residents of 23 small towns along the eastern coast. During an Oct. 23 evacuation mission, a naval ship with 27 residents from the town of Sandy Bay Norte was caught in the approaching storm. The ship and passengers were reported missing and national anxieties rose as Rina was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane. Two days later however, a fishing boat located the vessel and guided it back to shore. All the passengers were alive and in stable condition. “We have a well-trained group of sailors that know not to panic in potential crisis situations,” said Col. Danilo Blanco, chief of the Northern Nicaragua Military Command. “They were able to maneuver the ship out of the path of the most threatening storms and keep all passengers onboard and safe.” On Oct. 25, regional presidents and foreign ministry representatives met in San Salvador to discuss emergency relief efforts and seek help from countries outside Central America. “No country in this region has the financial clout to pay for the damages caused by the incessant rains, and it is essential that we bond together as an isthmus to generate relief funds and plans for recovery,” said Funes, estimating it would take $1.5 billion to repair the damages caused by the near month-long storms. “It will require everyone chipping in, which includes every nation in Central America, as well as the international community.”center_img SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica — The final month of the rainy season has pulverized Central America. Throughout the region, torrential rains have demolished roadways, swept houses from their foundations, drowned crops and killed at least 115 people in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. As the humanitarian disaster continues, Central American countries are turning to their military and security forces to assist with evacuations, deliver food supplies, transport victims to shelters and rescue citizens in life-threatening situations. “Guatemala is being battered by constant rains and the true power of Mother Nature,” said Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom in early October, shortly after the rains began. “We are in a state of emergency that will require all sectors of the government, the Congress, emergency organizations, and military and security forces to contribute to reduce the number of deaths and tragedies caused by such powerful forces of nature. Working together must be our response to this emergency.” In Guatemala, the death toll reached 38, and Colom reported that more than 500,000 citizens were affected by the rains. In response to the president’s declaration, members of the Gen. Felipe Cruz paratrooper brigade — along with the Guatemalan Air Force and Guatemalan Air Club —fanned out to deliver relief to rural regions. Hundreds of soldiers in fatigues and black berets loaded helicopters with orange bags of rice, beans, potatoes and hygienic goods and airlifted them to small towns along the Pacific Ocean, which received some of the most damaging rains. In the mountainous towns of northern Guatemala, members of the Western Inter-Institutional Force — a branch of the military — assisted in restoring the Pacific coastal highway that connects the towns to central Guatemala and transferred hundreds of residents to nearby shelters. Landslides on the highway trapped many residents in rising waters; soldiers cleared debris off the road and moved flood victims to shelters at nearby schools and churches. As October draws to a close, Guatemalan forces continue to repair damages throughout the country and help prepare communities in the event of future rains caused by Hurricane Rina, which at press time was bearing down on Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. last_img read more

first_img BOGOTÁ — The incidence of kidnapping in Colombia has dropped to the lowest level in a decade, according to figures released by the nonprofit group Fundación País Libre. The NGO said 58 people were kidnapped during the first three months of this year, down from 97 over the same period in 2012. This translates into an average 4.5 kidnappings per week, compared to eight per week in 2000. In Bogotá, the drop in kidnappings is even more dramatic: only three so far this year, down from 21 in January, February and March of 2012. But the foundation’s director, Clara Rojas, said “this figure is just a sample and it does not yet fully reveal the whole picture, since unfortunately around 75 percent of those affected do not report these crimes.” Rojas, herself a high-profile former hostage for six years, was held alongside presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt by guerrillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia [Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or FARC] from 2002 to 2008. While Colombia’s kidnapping tally is down 40 percent from last year and Bogotá’s has fallen by 86 percent, the situation remains very different elsewhere in Colombia. The departments of Cauca, Santander and Norte de Santander continue to be flashpoints for the kidnapping and extortion industry, accounting for 53 percent of all cases, said the foundation. Latest kidnapping is reported in La Guajira Kidnapping remains a key source of income for guerrilla groups and is used as political leverage; in the last 10 years, 6,880 people have been abducted throughout Colombia. The latest incident took place May 17, when two Spanish tourists were abducted in the northeastern department of La Guajira, near Colombia’s border with Venezuela. Missing are Angel Sánchez Fernández, 49, and María Concepción Marlaska Sedano, 43 — both from Spain’s Asturias region. The Colombian National Police is said to be coordinating efforts with its Spanish counterpart and has deployed officers from a special anti-kidnapping unit to La Guajira, Reuters reported. Spanish news reports said the kidnappers identified themselves as members of the FARC when they contacted the victims’ families to demand a ransom, though senior FARC leader Andrés Paris told Reuters on May 22 that “we categorically reject this new absurdity of accusing the FARC of actions of common crime.” Paris, who’s in Cuba attending the peace talks between his Marxist-supported guerrilla group and the Colombian government, added that an order by his organization’s top leaders to take no more hostages was being followed “in all of the national territory.” Common criminals now responsible for most kidnappings Yet the country has clearly made progress, said Rojas. Only a decade ago, Colombia reported 566 such cases in the first trimester of 2003 alone. Rojas attributed recent improvements to the actions of the police and the elite Colombian anti-kidnapping units (known by their Spanish acronym GAULA) as well as to an increased military presence throughout the country. The most famous rescue operation was Operation Checkmate, in which Betancourt and three American contractors were released from six years of hellish conditions in the jungles after their capture by FARC terrorists. So, who is behind the kidnappings now? Fundacion Pais Libre’s report shows that 69 percent of all cases so far this year — or 40 incidents — were related to common delinquency and extortion, while the FARC was responsible for 11 kidnappings and the rival ELN [Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional] guerrilla group for six. One kidnapping was blamed on the Bacrim, as newly formed armed groups are labelled. The FARC claims to have stopped its policy of kidnapping in May while participating in peace talks in Havana. The fact that abductions — such as those of the two Spanish tourists seized in La Guajira — continue suggests splinter factions within the group, said analysts. ELN still holds Canadian hostage The ELN, with an estimated 2,500 fighters, is clearly the smaller of the two guerrilla groups. Earlier this year, the group seized two retired German tourists, believing them to be spies or employees of a multinational mining conglomerate. Those two men are now free, but Jernoc Wobert — a Canadian employed by Geo Explorer who was taken hostage in January — remains in captivity. “This subversive group applies varied forms of struggle,” said Gen. Alejandro Navas, commander in charge of the Colombian Armed Forces, speaking about ELN rebels. “They have economic and political aims, and are calling for the government to pay them attention to start a peace dialogue.” Rojas warns against premature celebrations as long as the scourge of kidnapping continues. “We cannot yet claim victory, as the figure of 58 people is still high,” Rojas said. “Looking beyond the numbers, the phenomenon still remains, and is now a preferred method of extortion for criminal gangs who are primarily responsible for this crime.” By Dialogo June 03, 2013last_img read more

first_img The project might “benefit about 80,000 farmer families and, indirectly, up to 400,000 people” in Bolivia, European Union Development commissioner Andris Piebalgs said, in preparation to a visit to the country. Processing installations for alternative products, such as palm heart, have been open for decades in the Chapare, where Morales used to be a coca grower before he got involved in politics. EU programs “have considerably contributed to reductions in areas where coca is grown (12% reduction in 2011 and 7% in 2012),” the institution said in a newsletter. Piebalgs will arrive in Santa Cruz and the coca region of Chapare, where drug trafficking mainly operates, in addition to Oruro (southeast), where the European Union (EU) has development projects. The official will visit Bolivia for a week to evaluate the fight against drug trafficking, and will meet President Evo Morales on August 28. By Dialogo August 21, 2013 The European Union announced a cooperation line for 25 million euros to counter drug trafficking in Bolivia, by financing alternative crops to coca plantation, the main raw material for making cocaine, the international institution reported on August 19. “Our new funding will continue to improve the life of Bolivian citizens, since it will offer farmers alternatives to coca crops,” Piebalgs stated. There are intelligent solutions for all kind of situations, such as this European Union one. If all countries got united there wouldn’t be more drugs in the world.last_img read more