The U.N. General Assembly voted last week to take a first step toward establishing a Global Pact for the Environment, a decision the United States opposed. The 193-member world body approved the resolution on a vote of 143-5 with seven abstentions. The United States was joined in voting against the resolution by Russia, Turkey, Syria and the Philippines.
Citizens and nongovernmental organizations in Turkey's Black Sea region are growing increasingly concerned about the environmental impacts of hydroelectric development projects in the region and the lack of civil society participation in the process. The region is mostly rural and contains some of Turkey's most biologically diverse landscapes, but in recent decades it has faced rapid industrial encroachment. Dozens of small hydroelectric projects are planned for multiple valleys in the region, as well as mines and factories.