The Stream, January 18: Commercial Agriculture Displaces Ethiopians

The Ethiopian government is relocating thousands of people from the country’s Gambella region in order to make way for commercial agriculture, the Guardian reported, citing a report from Human Rights Watch. The report argues that citizens are not getting proper compensation for the land, and that relocation threatens their food security.

A new government program will give U.S. farmers financial and technical support in exchange for a commitment to use land management practices that protect streams, rivers and groundwater, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

A $17 million investment is allowing SG Biofuels to develop drought and insect-resistant strains of Jatropha, a non-edible shrub that can be used to create biodiesel and jet fuel, according to Bloomberg News. The company plans to plant crops of Jatropha in India and Brazil.

Shale and Oil Exploration
Bulgaria will not allow Chevron to use hydraulic fracturing to search for shale gas, revoking a permit given to the energy company in June, Reuters reported. Bulgaria is debating a complete ban on fracking, which uses large amounts of water to break rock and release underground gas deposits.

A labor shortage is leaving hundreds of oil wells un-fracked in North Dakota, where mild winter weather is allowing energy companies to continue work in the Bakken shale region, Bloomberg News reported.

Denmark appointed a permanent Arctic ambassador to promote the country’s interests in the region, Xinhua reported. The Arctic is thought to hold 30 percent of the world’s unproven gas reserves and 10 percent of its unproven oil reserves, and decreasing Arctic ice may make some of these reserves recoverable.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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