1. Fires are ravaging Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
A huge fire has broken out on the slopes of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, presenting a terrible threat to wildlife and biodiversity in the area. Several members of the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) have been battling the inferno alongside members of the local community. The cause of the fires are unclear, however there has been considerable speculation that the blaze was caused by a fire lit to prepare food for tourists according to a spokesmen from TANAPA, Pascal Shelutete. This is the latest development in a trend that has seen devastating wildfires become more common globally, from Australia to the United States.
2. The Maldives are to outfit 732 fishing vessels with advanced technology to monitor fishing activity.
In a project designed to control fishing vessel operations in its exclusive economic zone, the Maldives will supply 732 boats with Cobham SATCOM terminals connected to Inmarsat’s Fleet One maritime broadband service. The project, known as the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), is carried out with funding from the World Bank and will allow the Maldives to improve monitoring, control, and surveillance in its key fisheries sector. This will hopefully combat illegal fishing and allow the industry to operate more sustainably, protecting fish populations. Maldives Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed said in a statement “The VMS project confirms the leadership role that the Maldives continues to play in sustainable fishing and in sustaining the blue economy long-term”.
3. Floods are devastating Telangana province in India.
Several people have been killed in India’s Telangana province as heavy floods have caused infrastructure collapses, with particular damage caused in Hyderabad, the region’s largest city. Telangana and the surrounding provinces have witnessed extremely heavy rains for the past four days due to a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal. The army has been brought in to conduct search and rescue operations. Around 1030 people have died in flood-related incidents in India between June and October this year alongside incalculable amounts of infrastructure damage.
4. Malaysia detains six Chinese fishing boats and dozens of Chinese nationals off the coast of Johor.
Six Chinese fishing boats and their crews have been detained after illegally entering and anchoring in Malaysian waters. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said the vessels were spotted on Friday south of Tanjung Setapa in Johor. The vessels are being investigated under the Fisheries Act for entering Malaysian waters without notifying the state. This is a two-pronged source of controversy. Malaysia is strengthening its border controls in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, whilst simultaneously, there are ongoing disputes with China over which parts of the South China Sea it is allowed to claim. This latest incident is likely to aggravate tensions.
5. New Zealand and Fiji Police forces begin collaborative programme to tackle transnational crime.
Work to begin a multi-million-dollar programme of collaboration between the New Zealand and Fiji police forces to tackle transnational crime is set to start next month. A conference held on Zoom this week between senior directors from both police forces and the two countries’ high commissions finalised plans for the programme to go ahead. The collaboration will centre around combatting transnational crime with a focus on preventing drug trafficking as well as enhancing forensic investigation capabilities. The government of New Zealand will invest NZ$11 Million into the program over three years.