According to Ambassador Murari Raj Sharma of Nepal, who launched the report at UN Headquarters in New York, the survey, especially forecasts for 2003, was based on data for the first three quarters of 2002. By early March of this year, neither the war in Iraq nor the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) had occurred.”The impact of these events on the forecast made in the survey is still a subject of considerable debate and uncertainty,” he told a press briefing on the launch of the “Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2003,” which was compiled by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The report highlights the performance of regional economies in the past year, provides a brief trend analysis and some projections for 2003.The report states that despite the weakening of the global economy, the region performed surprisingly well in 2002 – 2 per cent higher than the previous year – largely due to surging intra-regional trade, fiscal stimulus and low interest rates.While the survey had projected the 5 per cent growth to continue prior to the new domestic and global developments, it is now unclear how the economy will fare this year as it is tied to the intensity and duration of military action in Iraq and its ripple effects, particularly on energy prices. Asia-Pacific imports 40 per cent of its energy.Compounding matters further is the recent outbreak of SARS. In addition to the health challenges it is posing in the region, the illness is undermining the tourism and travel industry. Ambassador Sharma said there were fears that a prolonged outbreak could extend the damage beyond those two industries.How well Asia-Pacific withstands these stormy conditions also hinges heavily on how the economies of developed countries perform, especially the United States, Japan and the European Union, which together import half of the regions export products, Ambassador Sharma said. He also stressed that there was “no consensus on how the regional economy might be affected.”
EDMONTON — Bo Levi Mitchell has his second CFL outstanding player award.The Calgary Stampeders quarterback captured the honour Thursday night at the CFL’s awards banquet.Voting was conducted by members of the Football Reporters of Canada as well as the nine CFL head coaches. A total of 60 voters participated.It’s the second outstanding player honour for Mitchell, who also won it in 2015.Mitchell, 28, had a CFL-high — and career-best — 35 touchdown passes this season in leading Calgary to the league’s best regular-season record (13-5).The native of Katy, Tex., threw for 5,124 yards, recorded 42 completions of 30-plus yards and had a TD-to-interception ratio of 2.5, the last two being tops in the CFL.Mitchell received 47 first-place votes to become the ninth multiple MOP winner in CFL history. He’s the second-youngest to accomplish the feat as Jackie Parker won his second in 1958 at age 26.Mitchell will lead Calgary into the Grey Cup on Sunday against the Ottawa Redblacks. It’s the Stampeders’ third straight championship appearance but they lost both previous times.Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, the CFL’s second-leading passer with 5,209 yards, was the East’s finalist.Linebacker Adam Bighill of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was named the top defensive player. The five-foot-10, 230-pound Bighill received 57 first-place votes for his second honour after winning the award in 2015 with the B.C. Lions.Bighill, of Montesano, Wash., had 105 tackles, four sacks two interceptions and a CFL-high four forced fumbles in his first season with Winnipeg.Bighill anchored a defence that finished tied for first in the league with 49 takeaways, second in points allowed (23.3 per game) and tied for the second-fewest yards allowed per play (6.0). The Bombers also ended the season with a turnover ratio of plus-13.Bighill becomes the fifth Bomber to win the award and first since Jovan Johnson in 2011. He’s also the ninth player to claim multiple honours.Hamilton linebacker Larry Dean, who also recorded 105 tackles, was the finalist. The Tiger-Cats allowed the fewest offensive yards (334.3 per game) and rushing yards (110.6) in the East Division.Ottawa players captured three honours, including two for kicker Lewis Wards (rookie, special teams). Slotback Brad Sinopoli was named the top Canadian.Ward made 51-of-52 field goals (league-record 98.1 per cent), including a pro football-record 48 straight that will carry over into 2019. The native of Kingston, Ont., secured 50 first-place votes in rookie balloting and 43 for the special-teams honour.Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Jordan Williams-Lambert was the rookie finalist while B.C. Lions kicker Ty Long was the special-teams runner-up.Sinopoli, of Peterborough, Ont., earned his second top Canadian award, first winning in 2015. The Redblacks’ star had 116 catches — a single-season record for a Canadian — for 1,376 receiving yards with four TDs in helping Ottawa finish atop the East Division with an 11-7 record.Sinopoli, who received 32 first-place votes, has broken the 1,000-yard plateau the last four straight seasons. He had a CFL-best 486 yards after the catch this year.Winnipeg running back Andrew Harris, last year’s winner and the CFL’s top rusher for a second straight season, was the finalist.Bombers tackle Stanley Bryant captured the top lineman award for the second consecutive year. He registered 44 first-place votes to become the first multiple winner since Montreal’s Scott Flory (2008-09).The six-foot-five, 311-pound Bryant led another solid season for Winnipeg’s offensive line. Not only did Harris run for a league-high 1,390 yards but Bombers scored a CFL-best 53 offensive touchdowns and allowed 36 sacks, tied for third-fewest in the league.Hamilton guard Brandon Revenberg was the finalist.Chris Jones of the Saskatchewan Roughriders was named the CFL’s coach of the year. He received 41 first-place votes.In his third season with the Riders, Jones led the franchise to a 12-6 record and second-place finish in the West Division. That matched the most victories for the franchise since 1970 and also earned Saskatchewan its first home playoff game since 2013.Jones becomes the fifth Saskatchewan coach to win the honour and since Corey Chamblin in 2013.Ottawa’s Rick Campbell, the 2015 winner, was the finalist.Pierre Vercheval, a former CFL top lineman and Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee who’s now a football broadcaster, received the Commissioner’s Award for outstanding contribution to Canadian football. Wally Buono, who retired as B.C. Lions head coach at season’s end, was awarded the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership award.Buono, 68, capped a 46-year career as a player, coach, GM and league governor. The Canadian Football Hall of Famer and member of the Order of Canada captured a record 282 regular-season wins and won seven Grey Cups, including five as a coach.By Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press
CONSOL Energy has joined with Verdeo Group to develop the first project to destroy ventilation air methane (VAM) emissions at an active West Virginia coal mine. The project, which will be located at CONSOL’s McElroy mine in Marshall County, will demonstrate significant reductions of emissions of methane in a safe and proven manner, and without any impact on mine operations or production. It will use regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO) technology, which has been successfully deployed in industrial process applications for many decades.It will be the first time the technology will be deployed at an active coal mine in West Virginia, and among the largest such projects of its kind in the US to date. To date, several technology installations have been employed in the US at facilities, including a coal mine, that fall under the jurisdiction of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.“Companies will require a wide range of tools and incentives to effectively reduce GHG emissions,” said Steve Winberg, CONSOL’s Vice President of Research and Development. “CONSOL Energy has committed to utilise as much of its coal mine methane resources as possible. This project will allow us to abate a dilute source of methane that has no commercial value and would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere.”Methane gas is inherent in coal seams and is liberated during the mining process. Coal mines control underground methane emissions through the use of ventilation systems, which circulate large quantities of fresh air through the mine to dilute the methane, and then exhaust the VAM to the surface of the mine and to the atmosphere. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, VAM represents the largest source of GHG emissions from US coal mines.“Verdeo is pleased to have the opportunity to finance and co-develop this project with CONSOL,” said Jeff Liebert, Managing Director for Verdeo. “Through this collaboration, CONSOL continues to be on the cutting edge of research and new technology development, and is demonstrating its leadership in the effort to proactively reduce GHG emissions,” he added.“This project is a stepping stone to utilising this commercially available equipment on our other mines, reducing our overall methane emissions and potentially creating carbon offset credits,” Winberg added.As a result of the emergence of trading markets for GHG emission reductions, voluntary initiatives like the McElroy VAM project can generate revenue from the sale of carbon offset credits. The value of these credits enables mine operators such as CONSOL to secure capital from companies like Verdeo to pay for the RTO technology. The carbon offset credits generated from the VAM oxidation project at the McElroy mine will be registered with the Climate Action Reserve, a leading pre-compliance certification program in the US that approved a protocol for coal mine methane projects in 2009.Development efforts between CONSOL and Verdeo are actively underway. The project is expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2011. Verdeo Group is a leading developer of projects that reduce methane emissions in the mining, oil and gas sectors.