By Carolina Contreras / Diálogo April 12, 2017 Chile’s Humanitarian Demining Plan is now in its final stretch. “By 2020, this will be a nation free from anti-personnel mines,” Colonel Rodrigo Ventura, secretary of the National Commission on Demining (CNAD, per its Spanish acronym) of the Chilean Joint Staff confirmed at the 15th Meeting of States Party to the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines. The meeting was held in Santiago, Chile, for the first time, in December 2016. Over the next three years, Chile must eliminate 35,000 anti-personnel mines that remain buried in 41 areas identified in the north and the southern tip of the country. “We are in full swing with the 2016-2020 National Demining Plan,” Col. Ventura added. As of February 2017, the Humanitarian Demining Plan showed a 78.87-percent progression, equivalent to 146,814 mines destroyed in the areas bordering Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, according to information from CNAD. The mines had been laid over 40 years ago. Chile signed on to the Ottawa Convention in 1997. Five years later, in 2002, it initiated the National Demining Plan with volunteer military personnel from the Chilean Army and Navy who comprise five Humanitarian Demining Units (UDH, per their Spanish acronym) deployed across the country. In 2017, CNAD plans to destroy 10,885 anti-personnel mines covering 13 zones and a surface area of nearly 2.8 million square meters. Personnel and training The explosives removal and elimination duties that the military units are carrying out involve a difficult and dangerous process. Added to that, they are confronted with a wide range of geographies that they have to work in, whether at 5,000 meters above sea level in the north, or at temperatures below 5° C and winds above 50 km per hour in the south. Accessing these mine-laden places is another challenge, one that is overcome through proper logistics planning, both in human resources and materials. Thus, for instance, in the case of the southern islands, extensive coordination is needed with air, land, and sea resources in order to be able to operate without difficulty and in accordance with international norms. Given these conditions, the military units in charge of the work go through exhaustive training both in Chile and abroad. Their training and accreditation is the responsibility of the Demining and Explosives Destruction Center at the Chilean Army Engineering School. The center has Chilean and foreign instructors from U.S. Southern Command and the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining in Switzerland. Technology support Demining operations are conducted in accordance with the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) imposed by the Ottawa Convention and supported by current Chilean Army and Navy regulations and manuals. IMAS covers everything from personal protective gear for each unit to the procedures and means of support for carrying out explosives elimination. “We are seeking ongoing improvement in the conditions of safety, habitability, and operational viability in demined areas,” Air Force Lieutenant General Arturo Merino, chief of the Joint Staff, told Diálogo. In its operations, CNAD uses a geographic information system with software that allows it to maintain a database with information on geopositioning locations in mined areas and the inch-by-inch progress in their operations. Additionally, they have a data-collection system that uses GPS equipment and drones to do visual inspections, taking photographs and videos of the surface areas where they suspect mines may be present. All of this “enables us to increase our safety margins even more,” Col. Ventura said. In 2009, machinery was brought into the process, specifically in mine-laden areas that have shown discrepancies with the mine registries or that have collapsed due to weather conditions. Through the Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program under the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States has provided a bulldozer and an excavator with sifting bucket. Those units are operating in the northern town of Quebrada Escritos, accompanied by a drone which provides additional information about the surface, especially in areas that the operators are not able to see. Convention in Chile In December 2016, Chile hosted the annual meeting of the States Party to the Ottawa Convention for the first time. Held annually, the event brought together 162 member nations to review the progress being made on the commitments attached to that convention, under which 132 nations are still working on the process of mine removal. Among them are five Latin American nations: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. During the meeting, forums and workshops were held on demining-related issues that leverage each nation’s effort, such as working techniques, knowledge exchange, proposals on anti-personnel mine operations, aid to victims, and education and prevention. “We are convinced that we will fulfill our promise in the period indicated,” said Lt. Gen. Merino. “We enjoy full support for this important task,” he concluded.
Employees of the Paiton coal-fired power plant and local fishermen in Probolinggo, East Java, have been rushing over the past few days to catch millions of jellyfish swarming the waters alongside the power plant and release them safely further into the ocean.The sea creatures, which have been thronging nearshore waters since last week, were seen along a 70 kilometer stretch of coastline in Probolinggo and Stiubondo regencies on Friday.More than 40 technicians from PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali (PJB), the subsidiary of state-owned electricity firm PLN that operates the facility, and 20 fishermen worked together to install three layers of nets in the area to prevent jellyfish from entering the facility’s water intake canal and water pumps. “Based on our observations, the swarms of jellyfish have been seen from Grati beach in Probolinggo to Banyu Glugur beach in Situbondo. There are more of them now than when they first started swarming here about six days ago.” PT PJB head of stakeholder management Wildan Doddy told The Jakarta Post on Friday. “We’re still trying to remove them [from the canals].”Mustofa Abdullah, the PJB general manager for units 1 and 2 of the plant, said that the three layers of nets consisted of a 300-meter-long fishing net set up in the canal entrance as the first layer, a second fishing net near the water pumps and a third in front of the water intake machines. The nets sought to prevent jellyfish from getting sucked into the power plant’s machinery.Wildan said jellyfish caught in the nets were released into open waters at night.”We’re a little bit overwhelmed since the appearance of the jellyfish swarm is unpredictable. They usually disappear during the day, but they throng again to the surface at night,” Wildan said, “Sometimes there are only a few of them, but at other times there are so many they almost cover the whole surface [of the water].” This is not the first time the phenomenon has occurred at the Paiton plant, one of the largest coal plants in Southeast Asia. There was similar occurrence in 2016, Mustofa said.”Since we experienced it in 2016, we have prepared necessary measures to handle the swarms,” he said.Tanjung Perak Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) head Taufik Hermawan said the salinity of the seawater and the onshore breeze might have contributed to the phenomenon.Rosek Nursahid, an animal observer from ProFauna Indonesia, said further study was necessary to determine the exact cause of the jellyfish swarm near the power plant.”My ProFauna colleagues said [the phenomenon] might be caused by various factors such as temperature changes, storms, large amounts of garbage [in the ocean], which could interfere with jellyfish migration, or even the decreasing population of turtles, which are natural predators of jellyfish,” Rosek said. “But we need research to determine the exact cause.” (nal)Topics :
Versailles, In. — An outdoor shed was destroyed by fire Sunday morning in the Versailles area.Firefighters from the Friendship Volunteer Fire Department found the shed that housed a furnace fully involved in the 3200 block of E Olean Road at 6:38. Approximately 1,000 gallons of water was used to extinguish the blaze.The fire is under investigation. No injuries were reported.
The Chelsea loanee scored in the 2-0 FA Cup fourth-round win over Bournemouth on Saturday as he featured for the first time since the third-round success against Oldham. The 23-year-old has made 16 appearances this season, although many of those have come as a substitute as the former Wigan man has struggled to make a major impact at Anfield, sitting behind Raheem Sterling in the pecking order for a role on the flanks. Press Association Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hinted that he could pursue a permanent deal for Victor Moses if the winger continues to improve his performances in training. “So you have to get them up to the level.” For his own part, Moses is now hoping to use his first-half strike against the Cherries as a springboard to more goals for Rodgers’ men. “It was really important,” he said. “I know I haven’t been myself for the past few weeks but I started and got a goal today. “I just want to kick on from here and try to get a few more goals in the second half of the season. It’s crucial for me and the club as well.” But Rodgers is now beginning to see an improvement in his summer signing and is hoping that the desire to star at the top level will inspire him to better things. “For Victor it is very simple,” Rodgers told various national newspapers. “He wants to remain in a position that he will remain at a big club, whether it is Chelsea or Liverpool. There is no bigger motivation than that. “In order to do that he needs to be performing day in, day out in training. “If he does really well for us there is a possibility we will want to have him permanently but ultimately it is Chelsea’s decision because he is their player. And if he has done really well, then they will want to keep him. “When you sample the life of the big institutions like Liverpool, then there’s not many that want to leave. “I have seen improvements in his training. “If the top players are training nine or 10 out of 10 every day and you have players who are five or maybe six out of 10 every day, then they are not ready to train with them, never mind play games with them.