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Forest exploitation wreaking devastating economic and environmental toll – UN official

Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told the opening of the high-level segment of the UN Forum on Forests, meeting this month at UN Headquarters in New York, that “weak law enforcement often leads to illegal activities in the forest sector.”He said estimates showed that about $10 billion of revenue per year is lost just on public forests because of illegal logging and other activities.”This is money that would otherwise be available for public spending – for example, to alleviate poverty, housing, education and health care,” Mr. Sundaram said in an address on behalf of José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.More than 300 government officials, including some 50 ministers responsible for forests, are holding roundtables and policy dialogues over the next two days to discuss how to enhance forest protection.Mr. Sundaram stressed to the group that a healthy environment where natural resources are sustainable is essential if the world is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the set of eight targets for reducing or eliminating global ills by 2015. read more

Amazon Canada to hire additional 200 workers at Toronto office

TORONTO – Amazon Canada plans to hire 200 more workers at its headquarters in Toronto including for positions in software development, engineering, programming, marketing and sales and human resources.Tamir Bar-Haim, the country manager for the Amazon Media Group, said e-commerce, technology and the Internet are still in their infancy.“We feel there is still so much room to invent on behalf of the customer,” Bar-Haim said.“That’s how we feel about our business in Canada. There is still so much room left to grow.”Amazon employs 3,500 people across Canada at its offices and distribution centres including 600 full-time workers at its downtown Toronto headquarters.A spokesperson for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who was at the Amazon office for the announcement, said the province has not provided the company any subsidies, grants or tax breaks.Wynne told reporters following the media event that Ontario’s ability attract a company like Amazon shows that there is a large pool of highly-trained workers in the province.“There is no doubt that some of the uncertainty we’re feeling in the economy, some of the uncertainty we’re feeling globally, has to do at least in part, with technology,” she said.“But we have a choice at this point, we can either choose to be concerned and we can retrench and say we’re not going to take part in that and we’re going to have to follow those changes or we can take a leadership role. We are choosing to take a leadership role in Ontario because we have the talent, we have the capacity in our education system, we are ready to play that leadership role.”— With files from Jessica Smith CrossFollow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 20, 2017 7:37 am MDT Last Updated Jun 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Amazon Canada to hire additional 200 workers at Toronto office This Sept. 6, 2012 photo shows an Amazon logo. Technology giant Amazon Canada announced Tuesday that it will hire an additional 200 workers at its downtown Toronto office.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Reed Saxon read more