DELIVERING MULTIPLE BENEFITS FROM OUR LAND: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN PRACTICE

imageDELIVERING MULTIPLE BENEFITS FROM OUR LAND: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN PRACTICE
Wann 15.04.2014 00:00 bis 16.04.2014 00:00
Wo Edinburgh
Name SRUC: Scotland’s Rural College | J F Niven Building | Auchincruive | Ayr KA6 5HW | United Kingdom
Kontakt-E-Mail [email protected]

Registration is now open for the SRUC and SEPA Biennial Conference 2014. To register, please complete the registration form which can be downloaded from the conference website http://www.sruc.ac.uk/srucsepaconf or contact the Conference Administrator (details below). Bookings made before 24 January 2014 qualify for our early booking rate.

The need to deliver multiple benefits from our land will mean decisions having to be taken about a wide range of land management issues. For example:

image• how can an ecosystem approach be applied to all land use planning decisions?;
• how best to address climate change issues while maintaining food and energy security?;
• how can rural renewable energy sources help meet energy demands?;
• how can farming and forestry systems contribute to increased ecosystem service delivery?;
• how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rural land uses while maintaining profitable agriculture and forestry sectors?

This conference will seek to present the best possible scientific understanding of the complexities associated with meeting such potentially competing demands. It will also provide a forum to discuss how researchers and policy makers can help support land managers deliver multiple benefits within a thriving rural economy and thereby ensure that sustainable development is achievable. The conference will be relevant to members of all three of these target audiences.

imageConference Programme and Keynote Speakers
The Conference Programme shows the range of platform presentations being given under the four conference themes:

1. What do we need to know in order to incorporate the delivery of multiple benefits into planning and policies?
Policy Keynote Presentation: Title tbc. The Scottish Government’s land use strategy and the aspirations therein. Bob McIntosh, Scottish Government.
Science Keynote Presentation: Science for future landscapes. Richard Aspinall, Editor, Journal of Land Use Science.

2. What do we need to do to deliver integrated land management planning and policies on the ground?
Policy Keynote Presentation: tbc.
Science Keynote Presentation: Managing natural capital. Rosie Hails, CEH.

3. What opportunities are there to develop a low carbon economy as well as maintain multiple benefits from our land?
Policy Keynote Presentation: tbc.
Science Keynote Presentation: Land as a source of rural development opportunity: can government pull the right levers? Richard Wakeford, Birmingham City University.

image4. What type of information and advisory systems do we need to deliver integrated land management in practice?
Policy Keynote Presentation: Title tbc. Pille Koorberg, Agricultural Research Centre, Estonia.
Science Keynote Presentation: Integrated farm forestry needs integrated advisory systems: a stakeholder-based appraisal of options in Scotland. Anna Lawrence, Forest Research.

For further details on each of the keynotes please see http://www.sruc.ac.uk/srucsepaconf

Venue, Costs and Accommodation
The Conference will take place in the John McIntyre Conference Centre of the University of Edinburgh on 15 and 16 April 2014. Details of Costs and Accommodation can be found in the attached booking form or at http://www.sruc.ac.uk/srucsepaconf

European Court of Human Rights: Discours prononcé par S.A.R. le Grand-Duc lors de la Session Solennelle de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme

Discours de Son Altesse Royale le Grand-Duc prononcé à l’occasion de la Session Solennelle de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme, le 27 mars 2014
Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Ministre, Mesdames et Messieurs les Juges, Excellences, Mesdames et Messieurs,
C’est avec beaucoup de gratitude que la Grande-Duchesse et moi-même avons accueilli vos paroles de bienvenue et votre initiative de nous inviter dans cette prestigieuse salle d’audience, où sont rendus la plupart des grands arrêts sur les droits de l’homme.

European Court of Human Rights

European Court of Human Rights

Notre rencontre d’aujourd’hui aurait dû avoir lieu plus tôt, il y a quelques mois. Le décès de M. Nelson Mandela l’a empêchée. J’ai regretté ce rendez-vous manqué, mais comme je me retrouve devant une haute assemblée composée de juges bienveillants, j’espère que vous nous accorderez des circonstances atténuantes pour notre désistement inopiné.
Je crois que l’hommage à Nelson Mandela auquel j’ai choisi de participer avec tant de chefs d’État le 10 décembre dernier ne pouvait vous laisser insensible, tant cette personnalité incarnait ce qui est au cœur de votre action quotidienne, c’est-à-dire la lutte pour la dignité humaine et des droits égaux entre les hommes. Cette qualité déjà insigne de M. Mandela fut encore dépassée par des valeurs morales exceptionnelles, comme la force du pardon et de la réconciliation. Quand le combat pour le droit s’allie à de telles vertus, le respect s’impose à tous. Pour dire un dernier mot du Président Mandela, je vous citerai une phrase tirée de son autobiographie que je trouve très belle: „Personne ne naît en haïssant une autre personne à cause de la couleur de sa peau, ou de son passé, ou de sa religion. Les gens doivent apprendre à haïr, et s’ils peuvent apprendre à haïr, on peut leur enseigner aussi à aimer, car l’amour naît plus naturellement dans le cœur de l’homme que son contraire“.
Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Ministre,
Mesdames et Messieurs les Juges, Excellences,
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Le privilège qui m’est donné de m’exprimer dans cette enceinte est un motif de fierté pour les Luxembourgeois dans leur ensemble. Je voudrais naturellement rendre hommage à mon compatriote M. Dean Spielmann, qui préside cette Cour avec autorité et compétence depuis novembre 2012.
imageVotre parcours, Monsieur le Président, comme avocat spécialiste des droits de l’homme, puis votre action comme juge ici-même, vous ont valu une reconnaissance des plus enviables. L’élection par vos pairs en est la plus belle consécration.
Permettez-moi de profiter de l’occasion pour saluer également une autre compatriote en la personne de Mme Anne Brasseur, qui préside aux destinées de l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe depuis quelques semaines. Soyez rassurés, Mesdames et Messieurs, que cette situation rare, où un État membre de dimension modeste cumule de telles responsabilités au sein d’une organisation internationale de première importance n’est pas le résultat d’une volonté hégémonique du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg sur les institutions du Conseil de l’Europe.
Cette situation est bien le fruit de circonstances. Mais elle est aussi le reflet d’une appétence de mon pays pour les valeurs qui fondent la coopération au sein du Conseil de l’Europe depuis ses débuts, notamment le respect des droits de l’homme, le renforcement de la démocratie et la prééminence du droit.
Les épreuves traversées par un petit État coincé entre deux grandes puissances européennes, pire, les menaces directes pour sa survie pendant des décennies l’ont imprégné d’une sensibilité particulière à tout ce qui touche au respect du droit, qu’il concerne les États ou bien les personnes privées.
Il était naturel dès lors que le Luxembourg, un des membres fondateurs du Conseil de l’Europe, fût un allié de premier ordre de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme dès sa naissance. Symboliquement c’est le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg qui a été le 10ème État à déposer auprès du Conseil de l’Europe l’instrument de ratification de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme, permettant ainsi son entrée en vigueur. J’aime à rappeler que c’est ma grand-mère, la Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, qui a posé sa signature sous la loi d’approbation. Ce faisant, était exprimé l’engagement du Luxembourg pour une union des Européens „par le développement des droits de l’homme et des libertés fondamentales“.
Mesdames et Messieurs,
imageSur les relations étroites et intimes entre la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme et le Luxembourg, il y aurait tant à dire. Je me bornerai cependant à citer quelques exemples qui soulignent cette proximité. „Mir gin elo op Strossbuerg fir Recht ze kreien …“ „Nous allons maintenant à Strasbourg pour obtenir justice“ est devenue une locution si commune dans mon pays qu’elle est comprise par tous, bien au-delà des cercles initiés de la justice. Parce qu’elle sait parler d’elle-même lorsqu’elle l’estime nécessaire, la presse luxembourgeoise a donné beaucoup de relief aux recours dont elle était partie prenante, il y a une dizaine d’années.
Cette médiatisation des affaires aidant, le rôle de la Cour de Strasbourg a été maintes fois explicité à mes concitoyens. Ses arrêts ont conduit le législateur à moderniser le droit de la presse qui datait du XIXème siècle.

Même si leurs connaissances sur les modalités de saisine peuvent beaucoup varier, il demeure remarquable que les Luxembourgeois aient parfaitement conscience de ce droit de recours individuel qu’ils partagent avec 800 millions de ressortissants de 47 États membres, lorsqu’ils estiment que leurs droits sont enfreints.
L’autre exemple que je voudrais mettre en avant tient aux effets des arrêts de la Cour sur la législation ou sur les pratiques administratives et judiciaires nationales. Les rares fois où le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg a été condamné pour violation des dispositions de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme, le gouvernement s’est empressé de répondre avec diligence aux griefs qui lui étaient adressés et surtout d’y trouver une réponse adéquate. Parfois ces réponses sont de portée fondamentale et initient des bouleversements institutionnels, comme lors de l’arrêt Procola en 1995.
J’ai des souvenirs très précis de cette période, où moi-même étant jeune membre du Conseil d’État, la séparation de ses fonctions consultatives et juridictionnelles s’imposa comme une nécessité. La refondation d’un ordre administratif séparé a constitué une des réformes institutionnelles les plus abouties au cours des dernières décennies. Chacun se félicite aujourd’hui de cette réforme de fond bien plus respectueuse de la séparation des pouvoirs.
Une autre innovation d’importance dans le cadre plus large de la protection des droits a trait à la mise en place en 2000 d’une Commission consultative des droits de l’homme, sur le modèle de la commission française créée par René Cassin. Cette commission examine, dans une sorte de contrôle ex-ante, les procédures mises en place afin de réaliser une protection effective des droits fondamentaux dans l’ordre juridique luxembourgeois. Il est important à nos yeux que chaque État membre se dote des institutions adéquates pour prévenir les violations de la Convention européenne et pour garantir la conformité de son ordre juridique aux droits fondamentaux. Cela permettra aussi de réduire le flot de recours dont votre Cour est saisi.

image

European Court Experts presents European Court of Human Rights News

Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Ministre, Mesdames et Messieurs les Juges, Excellences, Mesdames et Messieurs,
Depuis les années 1990, avec l’élargissement du Conseil de l’Europe à l’ensemble du continent, la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme a connu une évolution des plus spectaculaires. Grâce à l’introduction d’une cour permanente en 1998, elle a gagné en notoriété et en efficacité. Non seulement, elle constitue un organe de contrôle écouté, mais elle dispose aussi des moyens de pression efficaces pour faire appliquer ses jugements.
L’adhésion prochaine de l’Union européenne à la Convention des droits de l’homme, telle qu’elle est prévue par le traité de Lisbonne, annonce une nouvelle étape essentielle, même si quelques obstacles juridiques se dressent encore sur la route. La volonté politique est pourtant clairement affichée et l’importance de la Cour de Strasbourg en sera encore renforcée.
Certains commentateurs avisés ont comparé son rôle à celui de la Cour suprême des États-Unis : un corpus de droits fondamentaux intangibles interprétés par une juridiction qui vit dans son siècle et façonne par sa jurisprudence l’évolution des mentalités et la conception des droits de l’homme sur tout un continent. Lorsque l’on connaît le poids de l’institution américaine, la comparaison est des plus flatteuses.
J’ajouterai de mon côté que la pleine conscience de ce rôle invite surtout à l’humilité, parce que les droits de l’homme sont indissociables de la vie réelle et qu’ils ne peuvent donc être appréhendés uniquement de façon abstraite. Droits de l’homme et progrès vont de pair. Ils appellent de notre part à tous une démarche sans cesse renouvelée.
C’est à vous, Mesdames et Messieurs les juges, de faire en sorte que la dignité de l’homme soit respectée dans sa globalité afin que notre continent puisse vivre dans le respect des uns et des autres, conditio sine qua non d’une paix durable.

David Cameron sets out agenda for EU reform

David Cameron

David Cameron

David Cameron is to demand that Britain should no longer be bound by a commitment to an „ever closer union“ in Europe as part of his renegotiation of the UK’s membership of the EU.

The prime minister said he was determined to scotch fears that Britain could be sucked into a United States of Europe against its will, claiming the concerns have seen democratic consent for its membership „worn wafer thin“.

Cameron is committed to renegotiating the terms of Britain’s membership then putting the results to the country in a straight in/out referendum by the end of 2017.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Cameron has for the first time set out his key priorities for change in a seven-point plan. They are:

• Powers flowing away from Brussels, not always to it.

• National parliaments able to work together to block unwanted European legislation.

image• Businesses liberated from red tape and benefiting from the strength of the EU’s own market to open up greater free trade with North America and Asia.

• UK police forces and justice systems able to protect British citizens, unencumbered by unnecessary interference from the European institutions, including the European court of human rights.

• Free movement to take up work, not free benefits.

• Support for the continued enlargement of the EU to new members but with new mechanisms in place to prevent vast migrations across the continent.

• Ensuring Britain is no longer subject to the concept of „ever closer union“, enshrined in the treaty signed by every EU country.

Cameron set out his proposals as a ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror suggested the UK Independence party (Ukip) is set to top the vote in May’s elections to the European parliament with the Tories trailing third behind Labour.

In his article, the prime minister said he „completely understands and shares people’s concerns“ about the European Union, which is why he is seeking to reset the relationship.

„Our businesses value the single market. But they find the degree of European interference in our everyday life excessive. People are worried that Britain is being sucked into a United States of Europe; that may be what some others want, but it is not for us,“ he said.

 

European Union

European Union

„They see decisions being taken far away, rather than by their elected representatives in parliament. And they worry that European rules have allowed people to claim benefits without ever working here. As a result, democratic consent for Britain’s membership has worn wafer thin.“

Cameron said he was putting forward „an ambitious agenda for a new European Union“, which would transform Britain’s relationship with the 28-nation bloc.

„Delivering it will take time and patience, as well as strong relationships with our key allies and goodwill –not shouting from the sidelines,“ he said.

„It will require a negotiation with our European partners. Some changes will best be achieved by alterations to the European treaties – others can be achieved by different means.“

However, he insisted it was ultimately achievable and dismissed the „many defeatists“ who said it could not be done.

„They include Ukip, who offer no serious plan and simply can’t deliver on anything they promise; and Labour and the Liberal Democrats who won’t stand up for Britain and refuse to give people a choice in a referendum. Neither course is in our national interest,“ Cameron said.

Wall Street News

Market Flash: Market Up
From The Trading Floor: Stocks are trading well into the green this morning, poised for a weekly gain ahead of some select index rebalancing and a quad witch expiration that is expected to be large

Wall Street Impressions presented by European Court Experts

Wall Street Impressions presented by European Court Experts

Fitch has raised the U.S.’s outlook to „stable“ while affirming the country’s AAA rating, citing the suspension of the debt limit last month and strong fiscal consolidation as reasons for the move.
29 of 30 Banks passed the most recent stress tests with Zions Bancorp falling a bit short
Nike’s FQ3 earnings beat consensus as the company enjoyed rising sales in China and Western Europe, while it also said orders have soared ahead of this summer’s soccer World Cup. Guidance has them trading down this morning.
The cost of implementing the Volcker Rule could vary from $413M to $4.3B for banks supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an OCC study calculates, as the regulations force banks to sell restricted investments at a loss.
Today is a quad witch expiration day which is the simultaneous expiration of futures on stock indexes and individual stocks, and stock and stock index options. It is also a quarterly rebalance on some S&P and Nasdaq indexes
Russia’s Micex stock index was down this morning after the U.S. threatened sanctions against vital parts of the country’s economy, including the financial-services, energy and mining sectors. The U.S. also imposed asset freezes and visa bans on senior Russian officials and businessmen close to Vladimir Putin.
Italian industrial orders jumped 4.8% on month in January after sinking 4.8% in December, while industrial sales rose 1.2% vs -0.3%. The figures add to better-than-expected output in January and suggest that Italy’s fragile recovery may be taking hold.
Resistance today looks to be 1880 / 1883 with support at 1867 / 1870
Market Flash:Market Mixed / Positive
From The Trading Floor: Equities are trading mixed to positive this morning as the effects of Janet Yellen’s suggestion of a sooner-than-expected rate hike the prior session is measured against economic reports on employment and housing.

imageThe number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits last week increased by 5000 to 320,000
The Fed is due to release the results of its annual stress test on 30 banks today, with most expected to pass
Americans were most pessimistic on the outlook for the economy in March than at any time in the past 4 months
February home sales in the U.S. fell to a 4.60 million rate
The Index of Leading Indicators rose 0.5% in February, a sign the world’s largest economy will strengthen after the weather induced slowdown
Q2 Holdings priced 7.7 million shares at $13.00. The opening print was $16.25 on 1,584,231 shares.
Ukraine plans to pull its troops out of Crimea in what is effectively a de facto acceptance of Russia’s annexation of the province.
The State Council intends to accelerate construction projects and enact other measures to expand domestic demand and stabilize growth. The plan comes amid data which suggests that the economy is softening.
From a technical standpoint, resistance looks to be 1866 / 1869 with support at 1856 / 1859
Market Flash: Market Mixed
From The Trading Floor: Markets are trading in mixed territory this morning as traders are unwilling to make bets ahead of the FOMC rate decision and Janet Yellen’s first press conference at 2:00 today.

Mortgage Applications for the week ending March 14th fell -1.2%
Current account gap fell to $81.1 billion from 96.4 billion
The FOMC rate decision is at 2:00 today. With the Fed expected to taper some more and abandon its 6.5% unemployment threshold for considering rate hikes, punters are focusing on what would push the Fed to finally raise rates.
Japan’s trade deficit narrowed to ¥800.3B ($7.9B) in February from a record ¥2.79T in January but exceeded consensus of ¥590B. Import growth slowed to 9% from 25% while exports rose 9.9%. Japan has now experienced a record 20 consecutive trade deficits, and while the figure may have peaked, few economists expect the country to turn a surplus any time soon.
From a technical perspective, resistance is at the 1877 / 1880 level with support at 1863 / 1866

European Commission: Satellite applications for emergency handling, traffic alerts, road safety and incident prevention

With supporting infrastructure and applications in place, SafeTRIP technology could allow automatic payment of road-user charges (such as road tolls or congestion charges) across Europe or give passengers the ability to look for hotels or restaurants and book them while on the move.

Getting from A to B on European roads could become an easier, safer and more entertaining experience thanks to a new mobile technology platform for vehicles demonstrated by the SafeTRIP project.
Satellite navigation is now a commonplace technology in road vehicles. But the main advantages of satellites – their ability to provide a uniform, reliable and quickly updated service across large geographical areas – provide opportunities for many other services.
imageThe SafeTRIP project demonstrated the possibilities for commercial services based around the S-band communication channel available via the Eutelsat 10A satellite. This channel is optimised for broadcast multimedia content delivery and two-way data communication via small mobile units that are ideal for vehicle applications.
“However, to realise these opportunities requires the demonstration of the concept and the development of a standardised platform, and that is essentially what SafeTRIP has achieved,” says Guy Frémont, coordinator of the project and Director of New Technologies for French autoroute operator Sanef. “We have defined the architecture of the system and also worked through the standardisation issues required to implement the technology.”
This business model – to develop an open standardised architecture for low-cost terminals – is the same as that used for other successful mobile devices, such as satellite navigation and GSM technologies. And the model allows third-party software developers to produce applications for download, initiating a new and valuable market for ‘apps’.
Opportunities for ‘apps’
The technology would also be of interest to insurance companies – for pay-as-you-drive cover or stolen-vehicle tracking – vehicle fleet managers and car manufacturers, allowing for software updates and remote-vehicle diagnostics to be implemented.
Safety applications are an important feature via an automatic emergency alert system that connects with roadside assistance services or a local garage in the event of an accident or breakdown. The technology is interoperable with the new European Commission eCall service but would offer enhanced features.

European Court Experts, European Commission, Mobile Broadband

European Court Experts, European Commission, Mobile Broadband

One unique feature is the ability to include video within an emergency call. “This would allow a roadside assistance company to be able to respond to an emergency call immediately and assess the urgency of the situation,” explains Frémont. The system could be used to provide breakdown assistance or advice remotely.
The same concept is useful for road traffic-management authorities. The ‘patrol with eyes’ concept enables data to be collected and transmitted from a variety of sensors on a patrol vehicle to a central control room to help traffic management or other tasks.
“The data might include the road condition, the state of its surface, or information on congestion,” says Frémont. “Or the patrol could help manage incidents, giving the control centre a real time view of the situation.”
Traffic management can also benefit from collected data flows, such as traffic volume, weather conditions or pollution indexes. Information on road conditions could be instantly broadcast to vehicles via a short message service or satellite navigation maps updated ‘on the fly’ to reflect road conditions or temporary road closures.
Mobile broadcasting
Other opportunities lie in the ‘broadcast’ capabilities of the satellite technology. “Passenger entertainment or ‘infotainment’ applications are of major interest. Future services could include live TV and digital radio or video on demand,” says Frémont.
imageThe DVB-SH standard available via the S-band on Eutelsat is optimised for mobile conditions – even at high vehicle speed – and would allow passengers to access programmes via their portable smartphone or tablet computer, for example. Or the output of the SafeTRIP box could be integrated into the vehicle’s audio-visual entertainment system. Such a system was demonstrated in both private cars and a Eurolines coach during the project.
In fact, during the project all aspects were successfully demonstrated on a variety of vehicles and across Europe. Feedback was very positive and the next step is commercial exploitation.
The project involved testing the concept using a PC platform. The next stage is to reduce the size of the on-board unit and look at cost reduction. There will also be a need to involve vehicle manufacturers and other players in the value chain. Five industrial partners involved with the SafeTRIP project are working on industrialisation and commercialisation plans.
“This will need significant further investment to become a commercial product,” concludes Frémont. “But in a few years it is possible that SafeTRIP units will be on the market.”
Safe TRIP was one of the EU projects winning the contest „Les Étoiles de l’Europe“ organised by the French Ministry of Innovation and Research on December 16, 2013.
The prize, at its first edition, awarded the 12 best French researchers and coordinators that excelled in the leading of innovative European projects in all domains.