SMPO Releases CP01 Disposable Pod Kit With Multiple Flavors And Large Capacity

GUANGZHOU, China, Jan. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SMPO Vape, a leading e–cigarette brand, recently released a new series of CP01 disposable pod kits. With over 7 years in the e–cigarette industry, SMPO Vape has always been committed to producing quality vaping equipment for its international customers. The new product CP01 offers an unrivaled soft and smooth vaping experience, rich in flavors combined with a large capacity.

Outstanding features based on Stylish Design
The stylish pen–style CP01 has a slender and smooth body and gradient colors. Additionally, in order to provide users with a softer and smoother vaping experience, SMPO vape applies a 0.8resistor design. The unique airway design of the Pod of CP01 allows customers to smoothly rotate the Pod to enjoy both the 1:1 Cig–type vaping experience and Shisha vaping performance.

Long–lasting power
The CP01 has a built–in 750mAh large–capacity battery and is equipped with a type–C charging adapter. The product has an extremely fast charging time, only charging for 30 minutes to meet the use from day to night, helping customers get rid of low–power anxiety and enjoy vaping with long–lasting power.

Large–capacity and multi–flavor pods
The SMPO's CP01 is equipped with a 10ml large–capacity pod. Both its disposable pod kit and its CP pod can be sold separately. Moreover, there are a total of 8 flavors of CP01customers can benefit from more choices for satisfying their taste buds.

Eliminate oil leakage
E–liquid leakage has always been a problem that plagues many customers. In this regard, SMPO Vape specially designed the pre–filled cotton coil to prevent leakage. CP pods use mesh coils to help vape and provide a pure and silky taste.

About SMPO
SMPO Vape is a trusted e–cigarette brand that belongs to SHENZHEN YUEZHITU COMMERCIAL CO.LTD. SMPO's business covers 14 countries, spacing from R&D to manufacturing and wholesale of vaping products. The brand's products have been awarded more than 90 patents and have passed the certification of CE, ROHS, KC, and other international certificates.

Media Contact
Address: Room 503, Xinggang Tongchuanghui Tianquan Building, No. 6099 Baoan Avenue, Xinhe Community, Fuhai Street, Baoan District, Shenzhen,GuangDong Prov.China
Telephone: +86 15989315227

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Innovations improve field productivity and subcontractor management for better cost and schedule certainty

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Jan. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — InEight Inc., a global leader in construction capital project management software, has announced its latest suite of software innovations, which are designed to increase forecasting accuracy, field productivity, and subcontractor management.

These latest updates provide contractors with a higher level of forecasting accuracy based on up–to–date project progress, including subcontractor activity. This allows for quick reactions to financial and productivity challenges, providing greater confidence to project owners.

Uncertain economic conditions and disruptions in the construction supply chain are putting increased pressure on contractors and owner/operators to produce accurate project forecasts. InEight is building on its already strong legacy in cost forecasting with significant new capabilities in the areas of time–phased forecasting, custom forecasting methods, and resource–based forecasts.

In addition to out–of–the–box forecast methods, InEight users can now configure the best equations to automate forecast calculations for the different types of work through different stages of completion. "There is no one–size–fits–all approach when it comes to forecasting, even within a single project," says John Upton, Director Project Cost Management at InEight. "InEight helps contractors and owners better capture field data and measure progress,"

The platform enhancements also drive increased productivity through more efficient collaboration between the office and the field. Scope and quantities, productivity goals, and more are easily communicated in daily digital plans to field crews and subcontractors. Controlled transparency allows teams to identify and troubleshoot challenges. This leads to a higher level of profitability potential.

Additionally, InEight made it easier to get full visibility into subcontractor costs. With line of sight to both committed and uncommitted costs, users can compare the variance between the planned cost and the actual costs.

"Our goal is to connect scope, cost, and schedule on a single platform, giving project stakeholders the ability to collaborate effectively and deliver projects with predictable results," comments Brad Barth, Chief Product Officer at InEight.

About InEight

InEight provides field–tested project management software for the owners, contractors, engineers and designers who are building the world around us. Over 575,000 users and more than 850 customers worldwide rely on InEight for real–time insights that help manage risk and keep projects on schedule and under budget across the entire life cycle.

From pre–planning to design, from estimating to scheduling, and from field execution to turnover, InEight has powered more than $1 trillion in projects globally across infrastructure, public sector, energy and power, oil, gas and chemical, mining, and commercial. For more information, follow InEight on LinkedIn or visit

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on the image or link below:

InEight Innovations Introduction: Brad Barth, Chief Product Officer at InEight, talks why constant innovation is core to our software solutions

Media Contact:

Linda Coy, Global Marketing Director, InEight

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8739155)

Senior UN Leaders Show Their Support to Afghan Women and Girls, Urge Taliban to Reverse Their Bans

Women receive food rations at a food distribution site in Herat, Afghanistan. Credit: UNICEF/Sayed Bidel

Women receive food rations at a food distribution site in Herat, Afghanistan. Credit: UNICEF/Sayed Bidel

By Naureen Hossain
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 2023 – Recent visits to Afghanistan by senior-led UN delegations underscore the urgency to protect the rights of women and girls, including their access to humanitarian aid and their right to work.

The first delegation was led by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who called for the Taliban to reverse its decisions that have limited women’s and girls’ rights.

The delegation, led on behalf of the Secretary-General, also included senior leaders from the UN; Executive Director of UN-Women, Sima Bahous; and the Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Political, Peacebuilding Affairs, and Peace Operations, Khaled Khiari.

The delegation completed a four-day visit to Afghanistan to appraise the current situation and to engage with Taliban authorities. This visit followed the recent decree by the Taliban to ban women from working in national and international non-governmental organizations. This is among the latest in a series of decrees that have further stripped women and girls of the rights and means to actively participate in society.

In this mission, Mohammed and Bahous met with affected communities, humanitarian actors, and civil society in the cities of Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat.

“My message was very clear: while we recognize the important exemptions made, these restrictions present Afghan women and girls with a future that confines them in their own homes, violating their rights and depriving the communities of their services,” Mohammed said.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed called for the Taliban to reverse its decisions that have limited women’s and girls’ rights. CREDIT: UN

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed called for the Taliban to reverse its decisions that have limited women’s and girls’ rights. CREDIT: UN

Mohammed later told Al-Jazeera that some work had been resumed by three NGOs in Afghanistan, particularly in the health sector. “I think that’s because the international community, and particularly the partners who are funding this, were able to show the implications and the impact of woman-to-woman services, particularly childbirth,” she said.

“What is happening in Afghanistan is a grave women’s rights crisis and is a wake-up call for the international community,” Bahous said. “It shows how quickly decades of progress on women’s rights can be reversed in a matter of days. UN-Women stands with all Afghan women and girls and will continue to amplify their voices to regain all their rights.”

The recent bans on women working in NGOs have forced these organizations to temporarily suspend their operations, which can no longer be delivered safely or meaningfully.

“The effective delivery of humanitarian assistance is predicated on principles that require full, safe, and unhindered access for all aid workers, including women,” said Mohammed in the UN’s official statement.

On the other hand, statements from Taliban spokespersons and senior government officials have stated that the current authorities would respond to issues according to the principles of Islamic law, so they claim.

“The international community, countries, and involved parties should also respect the principles, traditions, and spirituality of our country,” said Bilal Kamiri, a deputy spokesperson for the Taliban following the DSG’s meeting.

The de facto authorities in Afghanistan have acknowledged that they are reliant on international aid in order to revitalize a country where over 28 million, more than half of their population, are in need. These authorities must, therefore, also be aware that this aid would come with the basic stipulation that all the people of Afghanistan must have their rights and dignities respected, including women and girls.

How the UN will proceed in its ongoing negotiations with the Taliban will remain to be seen while they continue to reiterate their solidarity with the women and girls of Afghanistan.

The UN delegation led by the Deputy Secretary-General also met with its partners, civil society, and Government leaders, including the leadership of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Islamic Development Bank.

It was understood between partners and countries that the UN’s efforts must continue and be intensified to reflect the urgency of the situation and the immense pressure that humanitarian aid workers already face.

On Tuesday, UNESCO dedicated the International Day of Education to the women and girls of Afghanistan. In a statement, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay noted the international community’s responsibility to ensure the restoration of their rights immediately. “The decisions made by the de facto authorities of Afghanistan threaten to wipe out the development gains made over the past twenty years,” she said in an official statement.

Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator for OCHA was in Afghanistan meeting with Taliban authorities to reconsider the edict to ban Afghan from working in NGOs.

In an interview with the BBC, Griffiths shared that he was receiving “encouraging responses” from Taliban ministers, stating that there was “a consistent pattern of Taliban leaders presenting us with exceptions, exemptions, and authorizations for women to work.”

“I think they’re listening, and they told me they will be issuing new guidelines in due course, which I hope will help us reinforce the role of women,” he said.

He added, “If women do not work in humanitarian operations, we do not reach, we do not count, the women and girls we need to listen to. In all humanitarian operations around the world, women and girls are the most vulnerable.”

The sentiments from UN officials and those publicly shared by the Taliban are at clear odds with one another. Meanwhile, humanitarian aid organizations have been prevented from providing the full capacity of their services, leaving millions of Afghans more vulnerable than before. Meanwhile, women and girls cannot openly protest or object to the loss of their basic right to education without risking violence and imprisonment.

The UN and the international community must continue to listen to and amplify the voices of the vulnerable communities and prioritize them in the coming weeks and proposed meetings. For these promised countermeasures, let us hope they do not wait for the next ban on women to put them into action.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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No More Impunity for Journalists’ Murders — CPJ

Équinoxe TV is running a YouTube campaign for justice for Martinez Zogo counting the hours since his brutal murder. Credit: YouTube

Équinoxe TV is running a YouTube campaign for justice for Martinez Zogo counting the hours since his brutal murder. Credit: YouTube

By Joyce Chimbi
NAIROBI, Jan 31 2023 – The new year brought bad news for press freedom on the African continent with the brutal murder of one journalist and the suspicious death of another.

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Africa program head Angela Quintal said that to start the year with the death of at least two top journalists in one week was very bad news and is hopefully not an ominous sign for the year ahead.

“The brutal murder of Cameroonian journalist Martinez Zogo who was abducted, tortured, and killed in the capital, Yaounde, and the suspicious death in a road accident of John Williams Ntwali, the independent and outspoken Rwandan journalist in Kigali, has left the media community reeling, I feel punch-drunk, and it’s only the start of the year,” said Quintal.

The CPJ has asked for a full investigation of journalist John Williams Ntwali’s death in Kigali. Ntwali was an outspoken journalist who exposed human rights abuses in Rwanda and had spoken out about threats to his life. Credit: CPJ for Screenshot: YouTube/Al-Jazeera

The CPJ has asked for a full investigation of journalist John Williams Ntwali’s death in Kigali. Ntwali was an outspoken journalist who exposed human rights abuses in Rwanda and spoke out about threats to his life. Credit: CPJ/Screenshot: YouTube/Al-Jazeera

The African Editors Forum (TAEF) also expressed shock, anger, and outrage over these deaths and planned to make representations to the governments of Rwanda and Cameroon to “demand full public reports on the circumstances leading to their deaths.”

Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents. In 2022 alone, CPJ documented at least six journalists killed in sub-Saharan Africa and confirmed that four of them, Ahmed Mohamed Shukur and Mohamed Isse Hassan in Somalia and Evariste Djailoramdji and Narcisse Oredje in Chad, were killed in connection to their work.

“In these four cases, the journalists were killed either on dangerous assignments or crossfire in relation to their work. We continue to investigate the death in Kenya of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif and Jean Saint-Clair Maka Gbossokotto in the Central African Republic to determine whether their deaths are in connection to their journalism,” Quintal said.

Quintal said Somalia continues to top CPJ’s Global Impunity Index as the worst country where “the killers of journalists invariably walk free, and there is no accountability or justice for their deaths.”

In 2022, six journalists were killed in connection to their work: Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled and Jamal Farah Adan in Somalia, David Beriain and Roberto Fraile in Burkina Faso, Joel Mumbere Musavuli in DRC, and Sisay Fida in Ethiopia. This is the same number of journalists killed in 2021.

Quintal said Sisay’s death was the first confirmed case since 1998 that a journalist was killed in Ethiopia. CPJ continues to investigate the death of Dawit Kebede Araya in Ethiopia in 2021 to determine whether it was related to journalism.

“By far, most journalists who have been killed are local reporters. Of the six in 2021, two Russian journalists were murdered in Burkina Faso, and we continue to investigate the killing last year in Kenya of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sha to determine whether the motive was related to journalism,” Quintal added.

“The years 2022 and 2021 saw the most journalists killed annually since 2015 when CPJ documented at least 11 killed, and I pray that we not going to see a return to the dark days of double-digit killings. One journalist killed is one journalist too many.”

The levels of impunity and the failure of governments to ensure justice for the majority of killed journalists and their families is a trend mirrored elsewhere in the world, says the CPJ. Credit: Joyce Chimbi/IP

The levels of impunity and the failure of governments to ensure justice for the majority of killed journalists and their families is a trend mirrored elsewhere in the world, says the CPJ. Credit: Joyce Chimbi/IPS

Quintal decries the levels of impunity and the failure of governments to ensure justice for the majority of killed journalists and their families—a trend mirrored elsewhere in the world.”

Globally, according to CPJ’s 2022 annual report, the killings of journalists rose nearly 50 percent amid lawlessness and war, and in 80 percent of these, there has been complete impunity.

“This illustrates a steep decline in press freedom globally, something that we also see in terms of record figures in the number of jailed journalists globally. The year 2022 saw the highest number of jailed journalists around the world in 30 years. With a record-breaking 363 journalists behind bars as of December 1, 2022,” Quintal stresses.

CPJ’s editorial director Arlene Getz notes, “in a year marked by conflict and repression, authoritarian leaders double down on their criminalization of independent reporting, deploying increasing cruelty to stifle dissenting voices and undermine press freedom.”

Against this chilling backdrop, Quintal tells IPS that short-term solutions include the political will from governments, matched by the necessary financial and human resources, to arrest, prosecute and convict those guilty of crimes against journalists.

“It is time governments walk the talk … This would send a clear signal that there will be consequences for harming a journalist.”

There is also an urgent need to invest in safety training for both physical and digital journalists and emergency visas for journalists in distress.

“This is where the international community can play an important role. Diplomatic missions in countries where journalists are threatened by those in power, for example, can assist local journalists who need to relocate in an emergency,” she said.

“Governments must carry out thorough, independent investigations to stem violence against journalists, and there must be political and economic consequences for those who fail to carry out proper investigations that meet international standards.”

Long-term solutions, she adds, include countries establishing and investing resources in special mechanisms to protect journalists, such as those in places like Mexico. But she warns that they have not lived up to their promise, largely because of a lack of resources, capacity, and political will.

Governments must also prioritize protection, credible investigations, and justice. Where local governments fail, “foreign states should also look at universal jurisdiction to pursue those accused of murdering journalists — in the same way Germany is prosecuting a member of former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad responsible for the assassination of The Point editor Dedya Hydara.”

TAEF continues to mourn these deaths, mount pressure on relevant governments to answer the growing list of journalists killed, and deliver justice for the affected in promoting press freedom.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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Environmental Accountability, Justice & Reconstruction in Russian War on Ukraine

The Ukrainian Carpathians. Credit: Muhlynin/Shutterstock

By Jiavi Zhou and Ian Anthony
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan 31 2023 – Next month (February 24) will mark one year since Russia began its full-scale war on Ukraine. This large-scale land invasion has had repercussions across the geopolitical, humanitarian, financial, and even food and energy domains. It has also had devastating ecological impacts.

Measurable environmental damage—valued by Ukrainian authorities at an estimated US$46 billion and still rising—includes direct war damage to air, forests, soil and water; remnants and pollution from the use of weapons and military equipment; and contamination from the shelling of thousands of facilities holding toxic and hazardous materials.

The longer-term costs for Ukraine with regard to lost ecosystem services are much harder to quantify. On top of this, the war effort has directed government attention and resources away from environmental governance and climate action, posing additional risks for national, regional and global sustainable development.

However, as this SIPRI Topical Backgrounder sets out, Ukrainian authorities, civil society and international partners are responding vigorously to these challenges, not only by drawing attention to the ecological impacts of the war but also by recording and measuring those impacts, pursuing accountability and restitution, and laying the groundwork for a green reconstruction.

All this dovetails with efforts already under way to strengthen the international normative and legal framework for the protection of the environment in the context of armed conflict.

As well as benefiting Ukraine itself, all this could set positive precedents for and strengthen international mechanisms to account for, remediate and perhaps even prevent environmental crimes and damage related to armed conflict.

Hence, although the war appears to have its origins in the most rigid of traditional, state-centric and zero-sum considerations, its fallout may help to propagate a more integrated and holistic understanding of security, and the consideration and protection of the shared natural environment in all phases of the conflict cycle.

The environment as a casualty of the war

The environmental impacts and risks associated with the war in Ukraine include, but also go far beyond, direct physical damage to and contamination of natural habitats from, for example, munitions, materiel and troop movements.

Another set of risks is posed by pollution from industrial facilities and infrastructure that are damaged or cannot be properly managed due to the fighting. Ukraine’s industrial base includes many mines, chemical plants and factories that hold potentially hazardous substances.

These, along with infrastructure including nuclear power stations, have frequently been incidentally damaged or even deliberately targeted during a conflict that has been active in Ukraine’s east since 2014. Russia has also been accused of deliberately targeting hydropower dams in order to cause flooding since the earliest days of the war.

According to one estimate, there were more than 1100 incidents of disruption to or destruction of industrial facilities and critical infrastructure in Ukraine between February and December 2022.

The implications of damage and toxic contamination from fighting are especially grave given that Ukraine is home to 35 per cent of Europe’s biodiversity and around a quarter of the earth’s chernozem, a rich, highly fertile soil type.

Hundreds of protected areas are or have been under occupation, including up to 23 national parks and nature and biosphere reserves. There has also been considerable attention paid to the war’s large carbon footprint, as is discussed below.

The ecological consequences of conflict have periodically come into focus in the past, particularly in relation to the Second Indochina War and the first Gulf War. Even so, the war in Ukraine stands out in terms of the amount of attention being given to ecological damage during an ongoing conflict.

Shortly after the February 2022 invasion, international civil society groups raised the issue at the United Nations Environment Assembly. This was quickly followed by a high-profile open letter signed by hundreds of scholars, peacebuilders and organizations and a joint statement from an international alliance of parliamentarians, both condemning the environmental damage and risks caused by military activity.

The Ukrainian government has been proactive in highlighting the environment as a key casualty of Russian aggression. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeals to international partners regularly refer to the environmental dimensions of the conflict.

This includes recent speeches at the COP27 climate summit in November 2022 and at the G20 summit a week later, where protection of the environment featured as one element of Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan.

Recording and assessing the environmental damage

Another reason for the degree of international attention on the environmental dimensions of the war is certainly the ‘unprecedented’ volume of data that has been gathered and made publicly available by Ukrainian authorities, society and international partners.

Open-source data collection, including by a range of civil society actors and citizen scientists, has played a particularly important role in this. Several online platforms present data on environmental damage and risks due to the war, and some, such as SaveEcoBot, allow users to report instances of environmental damage or suspected environmental crime.

The Ecodozor platform—developed by the Zoï Environment Network, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the REACH Humanitarian Initiative—recorded over 29 000 reported cases of ‘damage or disruption due to military activities’ between February and December 2022, affecting critical infrastructure, industrial facilities, farmland and settlements.

Locally based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as EcoAction and Environment People Law are also at the frontlines of this data collection, complementing efforts by Ukrainian authorities.

As of 18 January 2023, the Ukrainian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources’ EcoZagroza platform claimed to have verified 2215 reports of alleged environmental crimes by ‘occupiers of the Russian Federation’ since the start of the conflict, based on the work of more than 16 000 Ukrainian citizens, along with ecological experts, NGOs and others.

EcoZagroza also gives estimates of the damage due to these alleged environmental crimes calculated by the State Environmental Inspectorate, expressed in Ukraine’s hryvnia currency.

There is currently no international standard for measuring ecological damage from conflict. However, since the February 2022 invasion the Ukrainian environment ministry has been developing methodologies for determining damage and losses in the areas of land, water, air, forest, subsoil resources and nature reserves, and continues to refine them.

This approach—focused as it is on quantifying damage in discrete sectors—is a rough indicator that does not fully capture the complexity of ecosystems and the non-tangible services they provide, including in terms of cultural value and heritage.

Nevertheless, it has benefited Ukraine’s environmental messaging around the war, drawing attention to the scale of environmental destruction. In addition, it helps to underpin calls for accountability and justice.

The war in Ukraine has also resulted in the first emissions estimate for an active conflict: 97 million tCO2e of war-related greenhouse gas emissions between February and September 2022, with around half linked to the future repair or replacement of civilian infrastructure damaged by the war.

All of the work to develop these assessment methodologies that has been prompted by the war may eventually have much wider international applicability, or at least help to unify current approaches.

The pursuit of accountability, justice and reparations

Several avenues are being explored by Ukraine and its international partners for ensuring that Russia is held to account, sanctioned and made to compensate Ukraine for the consequences of its aggression. Since 2001 the Ukrainian criminal code has included the crime of ecocide, defined as the ‘mass destruction of flora and fauna, poisoning of air or water resources, and also any other actions that may cause an environmental disaster’, punishable by imprisonment.

In the hope of bringing a degree of accountability for Russia that reflects the scale of the destruction, as well as seeking commensurate levels of compensation, Ukrainian and other legal experts have also been considering how a case could be brought at the international level.

The International Criminal Court does not currently recognize ecocide as an international crime under the Rome Statute, although there is growing pressure in that direction. International humanitarian law does prohibit the employment of ‘methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment’. However, the lack of specific thresholds for these criteria makes it difficult to build cases using this provision.

Ukraine also has a clear goal of making Russia pay reparations, including for environmental damage due to the war. This has been a consistent feature of Ukrainian preconditions for entering peace negotiations with Russia. Avenues for extracting reparations seem to be opening up through seized Russian assets in specific national contexts.

There is also precedent for compensation mechanisms at the international level. In 1991 the UN Security Council established a Compensation Commission that bound Iraq to pay reparations for damage during its invasion of Kuwait, including environmental damage and the depletion of natural resources.

Russia’s veto power in the Security Council effectively rules this option out in the case of the present war. However, in November 2022 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution ES-11/5 ‘Furtherance of remedy and reparation for aggression against Ukraine’.

The resolution recommends the creation of an international register of ‘evidence and claims information on damage, loss or injury to all natural and legal persons concerned, as well as the state of Ukraine’. While the register does not itself create a mechanism for reparations, it coordinates evidence gathering in that direction and helps to promote justice and accountability.

The war in Ukraine comes at a time when work is under way to develop a more robust international normative and legal framework for the protection of the environment in armed conflict. In 2020 the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released updated guidelines on the protection of the natural environment in armed conflict, to clarify existing rules and promote their application.

In December 2022 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that included 27 principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict (PERAC), which had been developed by the International Law Commission. Other resolutions on the topic were adopted in the UN Environment Assembly in 2016 and 2017. The 2016 resolution, ‘Protection of the environment in areas affected by armed conflict’, was tabled by Ukraine.

Although in some cases they reflect binding treaty law, both the ICRC guidelines and the PERAC principles are dependent on voluntary state implementation. They also, of course, cannot reduce the harm already inflicted on Ukraine’s natural environment. However, they still provide reference points to help to identify and characterize the environmental damage inflicted by Russia, and to build a stronger case for restitution.

Whether bids to sanction Russian individuals or the Russian state ultimately succeed, Ukrainian efforts nonetheless serve to strengthen the normative grounds and help to clarify the legal avenues for environmental justice and accountability in the context of armed conflict.

Prospects for green reconstruction

Another environmental dimension to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is that it has set back, and in some cases reversed, Ukraine’s pre-war efforts towards environmental reform and green transition. Ukraine has long been one of the world’s most energy-intensive economies, with outdated infrastructure and low energy efficiency—a fact that was even acknowledged in Ukraine’s 2020 National Security Strategy as a matter of strategic concern.

The war has threatened progress Ukraine was making in these areas, including towards its goal of increasing the share of renewables in the national energy mix to 12 per cent by 2025. Russia has reportedly destroyed much of Ukraine’s renewable energy infrastructure, which is concentrated in occupied areas or zones of active conflict.

Of course there are now more immediate concerns related to the deliberate attacks by Russian forces on critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine, which have deprived residents of heat, power, water and other basic services in the depths of winter.

In other respects, however, the war may serve to accelerate the green transition in and beyond Ukraine. Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction is likely to see some of the most emissions-intensive and polluting assets that have been destroyed, particularly in heavy industry, replaced with greener alternatives.

Clear imperatives for decarbonization come from not only the obvious need to achieve greater energy security and independence, but also the requirements for accession to the European Union, following Ukraine’s acceptance as a candidate state in June 2022.

Both Ukraine and its likely partners have committed to building the country back ‘better’, and greener, than previously. The outcome document of the Ukraine Recovery Conference held in Lugano, Switzerland, in July 2022 incorporates sustainability as one of seven core principles for rebuilding, and commits to alignment with the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a green transition more broadly.

Ukraine’s current draft recovery plan for the energy sector includes decarbonization, modernization and increasing energy efficiency as core tasks. Updating the housing stock and infrastructure represents the best and fastest route to improving energy efficiency, and indeed this constitutes one of the main components of the draft recovery plan. It is also the focus of the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), a multi-donor fund that has earmarked €175 million for Ukraine.

Further challenges and reflections

International recognition of the key role of a healthy environment in sustaining peace and human security has never been greater. The war in Ukraine has only driven the point home more forcefully. Nevertheless, the eventual success of the efforts outlined above—in protecting Ukraine’s natural environment and supporting the green transition, and in holding Russia to account—depend on many factors.

Not the least of these, the environmental damage and risks continue to grow with each day of the war. Public resources and priorities have already shifted from environmental conservation, governance and monitoring towards war efforts, and many scientific personnel have left the country or joined the fighting.

In addition, although the amount of data already gathered is impressive, war conditions and the Russian occupation of large swathes of Ukraine make full monitoring and assessment extremely difficult.

The collected data will also need careful independent verification, attribution and matching against baselines that may not be available, especially if it is to be used in legal cases, domestically or internationally, or to demand compensation.

Holding Russia to account for the enormous and growing environmental damage caused by the war will be tremendously challenging. There are currently no viable international legal avenues for seeking reparations and, perhaps more importantly, no willingness on Russia’s side to consider these demands, even as part of negotiations.

Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction will come at a high financial cost, and even if it results in a greener Ukrainian economy in the long run will also have a carbon footprint of its own. Furthermore, to create the conditions for recovery, it will be necessary to mitigate the risks posed by toxic and hazardous materials, such as rocket fuel, as well as the explosive remnants of war, such as unexploded ordnance and landmines.

External actors such as the Halo Trust have expanded their activities in Ukraine in order to assist, but it will still be difficult when Ukrainian resources are stretched thin. Arrangements for financing, capacity building, coordination and governance for reconstruction projects remain to be worked out—and ambitions for turning Ukraine into a green and clean energy hub are largely declarative for now.

Nevertheless, the efforts of Ukraine’s authorities and citizens are invaluable in setting precedents and serving as a positive example of how to understand and respond to environmental damage in armed conflict.

In previous cases such as the first Gulf War and the second Indochina War, large-scale environmental destruction has led to the creation of new international mechanisms and even treaties geared towards prevention.

The war in Ukraine could perhaps serve as another such watershed moment in international security governance—even if those changes come too late to remedy the impacts that Ukraine has already suffered.

Dr Jiayi Zhou is a Researcher in the Conflict, Peace and Security research area at SIPRI; Dr Ian Anthony is the Director of the European Security Programme.

The authors offer their sincere thanks to the participants in the recent SIPRI event ‘Beyond War Ecologies: Green Ways Forward for Ukraine’, whose insights are included in this topical backgrounder.

IPS UN Bureau


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Management of Protected Areas Is a Latin American Priority for 2023

Deforestation, along with fires, reduces the region's forests, expands the agricultural frontier, shrinks the habitat of indigenous peoples and wildlife, destroys water sources, and brings more diseases to populated areas. CREDIT: Serfor Peru

Deforestation, along with fires, reduces the region’s forests, expands the agricultural frontier, shrinks the habitat of indigenous peoples and wildlife, destroys water sources, and brings more diseases to populated areas. CREDIT: Serfor Peru

By Humberto Márquez
CARACAS, Jan 31 2023 – The environmental priority for South America in 2023 can be summed up in the management of its terrestrial and marine protected areas, together with the challenges of the extractivist economy and the transition to a green economy with priority attention to the most vulnerable populations.

This management “must be effective, participatory, and based on environmental and climate justice, with protection for the environment and environmental and indigenous activists,” biologist Vilisa Morón, president of the Venezuelan Ecology Society, told IPS.

Latin America and the Caribbean is home to almost half of the world’s biodiversity and 60 percent of terrestrial life, and has more than 8.8 million square kilometers of protected areas, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

It is thus the most protected region in the world, with the combined protected area greater than the total area of ​​Brazil or the sum of the territories of Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Paraguay, from largest to smallest. The leaders in percentage of protected territory are the French overseas departments and Venezuela.

The second great environmental challenge in the region for 2023 and the following years lies in the extractivist economies, which run counter to the region’s responsibility to the planet as a major reserve of biodiversity.

The extractivist economy involves the mining of metals in the Andes region, the Guyanese massif and the Amazon rainforest, and the exploitation of fossil fuels in most South American countries and Mexico.

Extractivism, plus the pollution in urban areas and in rivers and other sources of fresh water, weighs like a stone on the region’s transition towards a green economy that would rethink the management of these areas as a challenge, says Morón.

Other difficulties for the defense of the environment in the region are the destruction of the habitat, livelihoods and cultures of indigenous peoples, and the murders of environmental leaders and activists.


A view of a gold mining camp next to a river in the territory of the Yanomami, an ancient people who live in the extreme south of Venezuela and north of Brazil. Extractivism in search of precious minerals and hydrocarbons is a severe problem in the Amazon rainforest. CREDIT: Rogério Assis/Socio-Environmental Institute

A view of a gold mining camp next to a river in the territory of the Yanomami, an ancient people who live in the extreme south of Venezuela and north of Brazil. Extractivism in search of precious minerals and hydrocarbons is a severe problem in the Amazon rainforest. CREDIT: Rogério Assis/Socio-Environmental Institute


Deforestation, a key issue

A major problem in Latin America, and particularly in South America, is deforestation of land for agriculture and livestock, or as a consequence of mining.

According to the report “Amazonia Viva 2022” by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), 18 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been completely lost, another 17 percent is degraded, and in the first half of 2022 the damage continued to grow.

The loss of the Amazon jungle can directly affect the livelihoods of 47 million people who live in that ecosystem which forms part of eight nations, including 511 different indigenous groups (totalling more than one million individuals), as well as 10 percent of the biodiversity of the planet, said the WWF.

At the fifth Amazon Summit of Indigenous Peoples, held in September 2022 in Lima, the Amazon Network of Georeferenced Socio-environmental Information (RAISG) presented “Amazonia against the clock: A Regional Assessment on Where and How to Protect 80% by 2025”.

Brazil is the main focus of the deforestation, because 62 percent of the Amazon is located in that country, where the jungle is rapidly being cleared for agriculture and livestock, as well as the devastation caused by fires.

Indigenous people protest in the state of Pará, in northern Brazil, against companies that expand the agricultural frontier to produce biofuels, to the detriment of the lands that have been occupied by native peoples from ancient times. CREDIT: Karina Iliescu/Global Witness

Indigenous people protest in the state of Pará, in northern Brazil, against companies that expand the agricultural frontier to produce biofuels, to the detriment of the lands that have been occupied by native peoples from ancient times. CREDIT: Karina Iliescu/Global Witness

For this reason, environmentalists around the world breathed a sigh of relief on Jan. 1, when moderate leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took over as president from the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, who turned a deaf ear to calls to curb deforestation and favored the expansion of the agricultural frontier.

Brazil “has shown that it is possible to reduce deforestation by implementing clear policies,” said researcher Paulo Barreto, co-founder of the Amazon Institute of Man and the Environment (IMAZON), based in the northern city of Belém do Pará, from which he spoke to IPS.

Barreto has faith in the environment minister appointed by Lula, Marina Silva, who already held that position when Lula was president, between 2003 and 2008.

Among the necessary policies that challenge the environmental agenda, according to Barreto, is the application of protective laws and, at the same time, addressing the social and economic issue represented by half a million smallholders in the Amazon and the Cerrado ecosystem.

The Cerrado is a more open forest, extending over 1.9 million square kilometers to the east of the Amazon basin.

According to the expert, policies aimed at reforestation and forest recovery “can be part of the solution in generating jobs and income, if, for example, payment is made for avoiding deforestation,” an initiative that he sees as positive in terms of bringing in foreign aid.

Barreto welcomed Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s launch of a new fund and new cooperation programs in the region to save the Amazon rainforest, based on extensive accumulated experience.

Peasant farmers from Peru’s Andes highlands engage in reforestation work and care for local fauna and water sources while expressing their native cultural traditions. CREDIT: Ecoan

Peasant farmers from Peru’s Andes highlands engage in reforestation work and care for local fauna and water sources while expressing their native cultural traditions. CREDIT: Ecoan


Words and mining

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) says the restoration of 20 million hectares of degraded ecosystems in the region could generate 23 billion dollars in benefits over 50 years.

Peruvian biologist Constantino Aucca said that “In our countries and in general in the world there is a lack of political will to protect and recover our natural areas. More action is needed and fewer words,” he told IPS from New York, where he is staying temporarily.

In November Aucca received the Champions of the Earth award, the highest environmental honor given by the United Nations, in recognition of 35 years of work to restore the high Andean forests in 15 nature reserves in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

The Association of Andean Ecosystems that he heads has led the planting of three million trees in Peru and as many in neighboring countries, but Aucca insists that “much more is needed. Climate change is coming hard and fast and the Andes are already facing severe problems.”

“Enough egos, we need honest leaders who do not allow their heads to be turned by power. In some countries in our region a mining permit is granted in three weeks while studies for a protected natural area take five years,” he complained.

Unregulated illegal gold mining in southern Venezuela, eastern Colombia and northern Brazil is another major environmental challenge in the region, which combines the destruction of the natural environment – the habitat of native peoples – with the contamination of water and soil, Morón said.

Another problem is the presence of irregular armed actors, such as groups of garimpeiros (illegal miners) from Brazil, criminal “syndicates” from Venezuela or remnants of the guerrillas and other illegal armed groups from Colombia.

Morón stressed that illegal mining, bolstered by weak institutions in the region, as well as the oil industry that is active in most South American nations, is a constant source of environmental and social liabilities.

The harassment and murder of environmental defenders is another pending issue on the human rights agenda in Latin America. The Escazú Agreement, adopted by 25 countries in the region, is seen as a step forward in establishing policies and regulations for their protection. CREDIT: Diego Pérez/Oxfam

The harassment and murder of environmental defenders is another pending issue on the human rights agenda in Latin America. The Escazú Agreement, adopted by 25 countries in the region, is seen as a step forward in establishing policies and regulations for their protection. CREDIT: Diego Pérez/Oxfam


Drought, crime and indigenous people

In Argentina, three years of drought in most of the country have severely hit the indebted economy and public accounts, along with more than 6,700 fires that affected some 2.3 million hectares in the same period.

It is an urgent issue for Argentina, a global agricultural powerhouse whose economy depends on food exports to its clients, mainly Brazil, the United States and East Asia.

In addition, a serious regional problem is the murder of human rights defenders, including activists for the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Of the 1,733 murders of environmental activists documented between 2012 and 2021 around the world, 68 percent were committed in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Colombia was the most dangerous country for them between 2020 and 2021, accounting for 33 of the 200 murders documented in that period by the Global Witness organization.

In this sense, the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, known as the Escazú Agreement because it was adopted in that Costa Rican city in March 2018, has a key role to play.

The agreement, signed by 25 countries and ratified by 14, seeks to ensure “adequate and effective measures to recognize, protect and promote all the rights of human rights defenders in environmental matters, including their right to life, personal integrity, freedom of opinion and expression.”

The sources interviewed also agreed on the need to give priority to indigenous peoples and local communities in all pending environmental management in the region, since their habitat is directly at stake in the short term.

The Escazú Agreement also provides an effective way of taking care of the territory and paying attention to the social debt that has accompanied the many decades of environmental degradation.

Overcoming the Currency Mismatch to Finance Clean Energy in Developing Countries

A wind energy generation plant located in Loiyangalani in northwestern Kenya. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

By External Source
WASHINGTON DC, Jan 31 2023 – Meeting our climate change goals will require massive investments in clean energy projects, in both advanced economies and across the Global South.  But financing projects in the latter group of countries requires an increase in foreign capital inflows that will be constrained by currency exchange rate risk. Creating an innovative Exchange Rate Coverage Facility can help to overcome this constraint.

Over the coming two decades, annual energy emissions across the Global South (not counting China) are currently projected to grow by 5 Gt.  Analysis by the International Energy Agency, the World Economic Forum and the World Bank shows that reversing this dynamic so as to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, while also supporting the development needs of these countries, will require a four- to seven-fold increase in clean energy investments by 2030 from the current level of $150 billion.

If this currency risk cannot be overcome, it will be impossible to mobilize the level of foreign capital inflows that developing countries require to grow their energy systems with a low-emissions trajectory. This poses risks for both rich and poorer countries in the global effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions

Significantly, most of the needed clean energy projects provide domestic-oriented services (such as power from solar or wind power plants, public transit systems, building efficiency retrofit campaigns, electric vehicle charging stations). These generate local currency revenues.

Although much of the funding for these projects will come from domestic resources, the sheer magnitude of the required investment will necessitate significant amounts of foreign capital, potentially $180 billion or more per year by 2030.

Exchange rate risk (i.e., the potential that the local currency devalues relative to the foreign currency loan or other investment) is a major impediment to mobilizing large foreign capital flows for these projects (albeit, not the only one).

This risk translates into many problematic impacts. Notably, it increases the cost of capital, raises the financial liabilities of domestic stakeholders as their local currency depreciates, and, perhaps most significantly, constrains the level of foreign investment.

While currency hedging and other options exist (including specialized programs for developing countries), they can be expensive and are lacking for many Global South currencies, particularly at the long tenors, low cost and large scale required to support many clean energy investments.

If this currency risk cannot be overcome, it will be impossible to mobilize the level of foreign capital inflows that developing countries require to grow their energy systems with a low-emissions trajectory. This poses risks for both rich and poorer countries in the global effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

What to do to address this impediment? We propose an Exchange Rate Coverage Facility (ERCF), a blended-finance vehicle that would be funded by a combination of host country stakeholders, multilateral/bilateral development and climate agencies, and climate-engaged international capital.

The ERCF would be established as an offshore facility to absorb currency exchange risk on its balance sheet. It would issue guarantees protecting international lenders against this risk (see figure 1), while in parallel helping to insulate domestic sponsors from it. The Facility would pay any and all shortfalls between the value of contracted local currency (LC) payments and foreign currency (FC) debt repayments if the local currency (LC)depreciates relative to pre-defined  exchange rate .


Figure 1: Clean Energy Exchange Rate Coverage Facility Model


Under our proposed financing structure, the Facility would be a “blended finance” vehicle funded by the following :

(i) carbon credits generated by the clean energy project that are assigned to the Facility, which would cover “first loss”;

(ii) multilateral development banks (including guarantees counter-guaranteed by host countries), development finance institutions and other development/climate agencies, providing funding for defined subsequent losses; and

(iii) international capital, including philanthropies, sovereign wealth funds, and interested private institutions, covering “third loss”.

A fuller description of this facility is set out in the report: “Scaling Clean Energy Through Climate Finance Innovation: Structure of an Exchange Rate Coverage Facility for Developing Countries.”


Figure 2: The “Ladder” of Coverage for Local Currency Depreciation in the ERCF


The Facility could generate multiple benefits:

(i) catalyzing additional foreign financing for clean energy projects in developing countries;

(ii) lowering exposure of local project stakeholders to currency exchange rate shifts, thereby reducing prospect of tariff increases if the LC depreciates;

(iii) reducing the cost of foreign financing to clean energy projects;

(iv) facilitating scalability of coverage;

(v) supporting the growth of carbon credits projects and markets;

(vi) enabling funders to leverage financial impact through blended-finance structure; and

(vii) flexibility to include specialized windows (e.g., country-specific programs, including under the Just Energy Transition Partnerships being discussed with South Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam and others).

To mobilize international capital flows in the magnitude required to achieve the dual objectives of sustained development and low emissions, there is a need for new financial tools.

The proposed blended-finance ERCF is being incubated as a solution to address currency exchange risk as part of the initiative on Mobilizing Investments for Clean Energy in Emerging Economies. Its proponents welcome interested organizations and individual experts to join forces on the implementation of a pilot Facility to facilitate increased funding for the global clean energy transition.


Authors: Philippe Benoit, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University; Jonathan Elkind, Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University; Justine Roche, Energy Initiative Lead, World Economic Forum

This piece was first published by the World Economic Forum

Korean Jazz Singer Youn Sun Nah Talks Art and Soul

Youn Sun Nah in Brussels (photo by A.M.)

BRUSSELS, Jan 31 2023 – When the parents of Korean jazz singer Youn Sun Nah realized that the COVID-19 pandemic had begun, they called and urged her to return to Seoul from New York, where she was based at the time.

“They said buy the ticket immediately,” the singer recalls. “There’ll be a total lockdown and you might never be able to come home. When I watched television and heard that borders would be closed, I packed my bags and I got the last ticket. I thought I would come back in three months, but not a year.”

In Korea, under travel restrictions like most of the world, Sun Nah wondered how she could fight the blues that threatened to overwhelm her. She began writing lyrics and composing music for what would become the extraordinary Waking World (Warner Music), her 11th album, released in 2022.

The songs are an exploration of the life of an artist, confronting angst and despair, and their haunting beauty – as well as experimental range of styles – may help Sun Nah to broaden her already substantial international audience, as she embarks on a “Spring Tour” beginning in March. With the memorable track Don’t Get Me Wrong, the album also contains a message about the dangers of spreading misinformation and hate, the “other” ills of the pandemic.

Born in Seoul to musician parents (and named Na Yoon-sun), Youn Sun Nah learned to play the piano as a child but grew up focusing on the usual curriculum at school. She graduated from university in 1992 with an arts degree, having studied literature, and she thought this would be her career direction. She didn’t want to pursue music, she says, because she had seen her parents – a choir director and a musical actress – work too hard.

Still, when the Korean Symphony Orchestra invited her to sing gospel songs in 1993, she began taking her first steps in the world of performing and recording, eventually moving to France to study music, as she relates. In Paris, she followed courses in traditional French chanson and enrolled at the prestigious CIM School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, where she had to overcome certain artistic challenges.

In the years since then, she has performed worldwide, sung at the closing ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, contributed to a Nina Simone tribute album, and taken part in the 2017 International Jazz Day concert which was held in Havana, Cuba. (International Jazz Day is an initiative of legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO.) In addition, she has received the Officier des Arts et des Lettres award from the French Ministry of Culture, the Sejong Culture Award from Korea, and a host of other music prizes and accolades.

In an interview with SWAN before a recent concert in Brussels, Youn Sun Nah spoke of her career with self-deprecating humour, discussing the effects of the pandemic on her art and the meanings behind the songs on Waking World. She shed light, too, on the experience of being a jazz singer amidst the global Korean pop music phenomenon. The edited interview follows.

SWAN: How would you describe yourself?

Youn Sun Nah: I’m a jazz singer from Korea. I studied jazz in France, and I travel around the world, and I’m kind of all mixed up, but I’m very happy with that.

SWAN: Are you now based in France?

YSN: No, I used to live in Paris for a long time, but actually, I don’t have a place to stay in France now. Every time I go there, it’s just for the tour, so I go to different places. I could say I live in Korea, but it’s a nomadic life.

SWAN: Let’s speak about Waking World, which was released last January. You’re doing a tour to promote it now, as that wasn’t possible earlier, during the pandemic.

YSN: Yes, we couldn’t really do the promotion thing, but c’est la vie. My manager called in 2021 to say: now you can come, you can take the plane now. So, I quickly bought the ticket, came back to France and recorded the album in Paris, and then I did some shows.

SWAN: A lot of artists have had to find ways to keep going during the pandemic, and it’s been especially difficult for many musicians who couldn’t tour, couldn’t be on the road. Has that been the case for you too?

YSN: As you know, jazz is really live music, and I think most jazz musicians feel the same way. You want to do as many gigs as possible. I don’t know if people listen to my music on platforms like Spotify or iTunes, but I feel very lucky to perform live music. More than 400 jazz festivals exist in France, so it’s a privilege.

SWAN: How did Waking World come about, and what does it mean for your fans, for you?

YSN: When I went back to Korea at the start of the pandemic, I was kind of optimistic that things wouldn’t last long. Everyone was wearing masks, but we could move around, just not take the plane. Then … six months, seven months, eight months. From that moment, I got really depressed, and I thought that maybe I should change my job, that maybe I would never be able to go back to Europe and perform. What can I do, I thought. All the musicians I played with were in Europe because I studied jazz in France, and I don’t know that many jazz musicians in Korea. So, I had a kind of homesickness even though I was home. But in Korea, we never lose hope, so I think that’s in my DNA. I told myself: you should wake up, and you should do something else; you can’t disappoint the people who’ve supported you for a long time, you should have something to present to your audience. So, I started writing some new tunes. Without the musicians I usually work with, I had to do it all by myself.

SWAN: But you’re used to singing in English?

YSN: Yes, after I started studying jazz. You know, when I came to France, I didn’t know what jazz was. If I’d known, I would definitely have gone to the States. I was so naïve … and maybe stupid? One day I’d asked one of my musician friends in Korea what kind of music I should study to become a good singer, and he’d said: do jazz. What is jazz, I asked him. And he said: jazz is original pop music, so if you learn how to sing jazz, you can sing anything. And I said: oh, it sounds great!

I’m a huge fan of French chanson, so he said one of the oldest jazz schools in Europe is located in Paris, so go there. Oh, great! I arrived there, and what you learn at school is American standards, and everything was in English. I actually studied in four different schools at the same time because, well, I’m Asian, and I’m used to that education system where you don’t have to have any free time for yourself! When I had only six hours of lessons, I thought: what am I gonna do with the other eighteen hours? (Laughter.)

SWAN: That kind of approach must have helped with the album?

YSN: Well, I didn’t know when I could record this album, so I just kept writing and composing. And arranging by myself, as I had a lot of time. But, as you know, jazz is like … we should gather together and arrange in the moment. When I could finally fly to France, I just gave all the material to the musicians. And they said, oh, we’ll respect your scores. And I said, no, no, do what you want. But they played exactly what I wrote, every single note. I’m embarrassed.

SWAN: Tell us about the inspiration behind some of tracks, such as Bird On The Ground, the first song, which has the refrain “I want to fly. I want to fly. I want to fly.”

YSN: Well, “bird on the ground” – that’s me during the pandemic.

SWAN: Don’t Get Me Wrong, the second track, has an infectious melody, but the message is clear: the world “has no chance with those who lie and lie”. Tell us more.

YSN: During the pandemic, I could only watch TV or go on the internet to know what was happening. But sometimes the information wasn’t true, and even though it’s a lie you end up believing everything. Yeah, so I thought the world has no chance with people who lie.

SWAN: The sixth track has an intriguing title – My Mother. (Lyrics include the line: “How can you keep drying my eyes every time, my mother?”) What’s the story behind it?

YSN: With the touring, I usually don’t spend that much time at home. But with the pandemic, I was home for a whole year, and I spent a lot of time with my mother, and I really had the chance to talk about everything, about her life and what she experienced. She’s my best friend, and we became even closer.

SWAN: And the title song Waking World?

YSN: I wanted this to be a dream and not real, but at the same time this is the reality, so it was kind of ambiguous for me. Where am I? Am I dreaming? No, you’re wide awake.

SWAN: Tangled Soul, track eight?

YSN: My soul was completely tangled. (Laughter.) And then one day, I felt: it’s okay, everything will be all right.

SWAN: Speaking about music in general, K-pop has become a global phenomenon. Are you in the wrong field? (Laughter.) More to the point, are you affected by the huge interest?

YSN: At every show, I’m really shocked or surprised because the audience says “hello” and “thank you” in Korean. Unbelievable! There are many people who’ve told me about their experience in Korea, too, saying they’ve spent a month or six months there. It’s something that my parents’ generation couldn’t have expected because the country was destroyed during the war – it’s not that long ago – and they had to build a completely new country. They worked so hard, and because of them, we have this era. People know Korea through K-pop, through Netflix.

SWAN: Then there’s this Korean jazz singer – you. When listeners hear your work, the “soul” comes through. Can you talk about that?

YSN: When I arrived in Paris, not knowing what jazz was, as I mentioned, I told my parents: Oh, I’m gonna study jazz for three years, and I think I can master it, and then I’ll come back to Korea and maybe teach. And afterwards, I felt so stupid, and so bad because I can’t swing, and I don’t have a voice like Ella Fitzgerald, and I could barely learn one standard song. So, I tried everything. On Honeysuckle Rose, I think I wrote down every moment that Ella breathed in, breathed out. But … I couldn’t sing like her, it sounded so fake. So, I said: No, I’ll never be able to sing jazz, this is not for me. After a year, I told my professors that, sorry, I made a wrong choice, I’m going to go back home. And they laughed at me. They said: What? Youn, you can do your own jazz with your own voice. And I said, no, I can’t. Then they recommended some jazz albums of European jazz singers, such as Norma Winstone, who’s an English singer, and my idol. She has a kind of soprano voice like me, and when she interprets, it’s like a whole new tune. And I said, oh, we can call this jazz too? I didn’t know.

So, I learned to try with my own voice and my own soul, with my Korean background, and the more I used my own voice, the more I did things my own way, the more I felt accepted.

SWAN: What is next for you?

YSN: Well, everyone has told me that this album is not jazz, but that’s what I wanted to do. Herbie Hancock always said that jazz is the human soul, it’s not appearances, so you can do whatever you want to do. We’ll see. It’s been a while that I’ve wanted to do an album of jazz standards, so we’ll continue this tour in 2023 and then we’ll see. – A.M. / SWAN


Youn Sun Nah’s Spring Tour runs March 9 to May 26, 2023, and includes concerts in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group Announces Expansion of Service for Middle East and Northern Africa

TEMECULA, Calif., Jan. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group ("Group"), a part of the Nikkiso Co., Ltd (Japan) group of companies, is proud to announce yet another expansion of their manufacturing and service capabilities for the Middle East and Northern Africa markets. With this expansion, they will be providing pump and turboexpander aftermarket repairs of their full line, including J.C. Carter pumps. Their new state–of–the–art service center will allow repairs to be made locally rather than the need to ship elsewhere.

The new facility, based in the Sharjah Free Zone, was established to provide expanded support for the Middle East and Northern Africa markets. They have added field service support, and shop technicians specifically trained to support Marine, J.C. Carter, Nikkiso Cryogenic Pumps (ACD and Nikkiso Cryo) and Turboexpanders. In addition to in–shop and on–site repairs, they will provide aftermarket service.

"With this facility, we will be able to respond more quickly to our customer's needs, providing individual support and solutions expansion. Nikkiso CE&IG will now be able to provide greater service and support to our customers with our local presence," according to Jim Estes, President of Nikkiso Cryogenic Services.

This expansion represents their commitment to and support of the growth of the Middle Eastern and North African market.

Cryogenic Industries, Inc. (now a member of Nikkiso Co., Ltd.) member companies manufacture and service engineered cryogenic gas processing equipment (pumps, turboexpanders, heat exchangers, etc.) and process plants for Industrial Gases, and Natural Gas Liquefaction (LNG), Hydrogen Liquefaction (LH2) and Organic Rankine Cycle for Waste Heat Recovery. Founded over 50 years ago, Cryogenic Industries is the parent company of ACD, Nikkiso Cryo, Nikkiso Integrated Cryogenic Solutions, Cosmodyne and Cryoquip and a commonly controlled group of 20 operating entities.

For more information, please visit and

Anna Quigley

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at:–6550–4069–9f74–4f531a3eae7d

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Cellebrite and The Exodus Road Continue Combatting Human Trafficking in Brazil

PETAH TIKVA, Israel and TYSONS CORNER, Va. and COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cellebrite DI Ltd. (Nasdaq: CLBT), a global leader in Digital Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors, and The Exodus Road, an international nonprofit organization specializing in disrupting human trafficking, today announced the impact of their collaboration in 2022 in Brazil.

As a result of Cellebrite's collaboration alongside The Exodus Road in Brazil with Brazil leading law enforcement organizations, nine successful operations were performed separately by the Brazil Federal Police, Border Police, and the Ministry of Public Labor in 2022.

The nine cases led to the direct intervention of 152 survivors of human trafficking and 20 perpetrators being held accountable. Despite the magnitude of this victory, the individual stories must not be overlooked. These individuals are people from all walks of life, ranging in age and nationality, who have been enslaved, exploited sexually, trafficked or forced into begging. The results from 2022 are a stark and vivid reminder that the fight against human trafficking is far from over. Cellebrite and The Exodus Road are committed to the mission of ending human trafficking in all forms.

"We are pleased to see our partnership with The Exodus Road have a significant impact in Brazil's efforts to combat human trafficking," said Marque Teegardin, President of Cellebrite Americas. "Cellebrite is committed to providing The Exodus Road with funding and in–kind solutions and services that support the growth of The Exodus Road's training programs and play an important role in the fight against human trafficking."

"In these cases and others, Cellebrite's contributions have empowered law enforcement, through the use of training curriculum and technology, in critical points of case development," commented Matt Parker, Co–founder and Chief Strategist at The Exodus Road. "The Exodus Road is grateful to have such a committed and robust partnership on the front lines of our work to disrupt human–trafficking crime."

About Cellebrite

Cellebrite's (Nasdaq: CLBT) mission is to enable its customers to protect and save lives, accelerate justice, and preserve privacy in communities around the world. We are a global leader in Digital Intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, empowering organizations in mastering the complexities of legally sanctioned digital investigations by streamlining intelligence processes. Trusted by thousands of leading agencies and companies worldwide, Cellebrite's Digital Intelligence platform and solutions transform how customers collect, review, analyze and manage data in legally sanctioned investigations. To learn more visit us at,, or follow us on Twitter at @Cellebrite.

About The Exodus Road
The Exodus Road is a global nonprofit disrupting the darkness of modern–day slavery by partnering with law enforcement to fight human–trafficking crime, equipping communities to protect the vulnerable and empowering survivors as they walk into freedom. Working side–by–side with local staff, NGO partners and law enforcement around the world, The Exodus Road fights to liberate trafficked individuals, arrest traffickers, and provide restorative care for survivors. Since its founding in 2012, the organization has assisted police in the rescue of more than 1900 survivors and the arrests of 1000 offenders, numbers that grow almost daily. The Exodus Road's approach to freedom incorporates intervention, training and education, and aftercare efforts.

In September 2021, The Exodus Road launched TraffickWatch Academy: U.S., a free, online, multimedia training module that unpacks the complexities of human trafficking and educates viewers with methods for identifying signs of trafficking and how to intervene. The organization is also launching a similar training throughout Brazil designed specifically for law enforcement partners. In November, the nonprofit opened Freedom Home in Thailand to house survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Exodus Road combats human trafficking in the U.S., Thailand, Brazil, the Philippines, India and in another Latin American country, undisclosed for security reasons.

For additional information on what you can do to help stop trafficking, please visit The Exodus Road's website at, or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Cellebrite Contacts

Victor Cooper
Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director
+1 404.804.5910


Investor Relations

The Exodus Road Contacts

Mackenzie Spillane
Director of Media Relations
+1 719–648–4291

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