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The province is investing $328,000 for upgrades at four provincial parks in HRM. “We are improving the buildings and boardwalks of these very popular parks so they can continue to serve the tens of thousands of visitors they get each year,” said Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines, today, Aug. 31, at Lawrencetown Beach. The Cole Harbour-Lawrencetown Coastal Heritage Provincial Park system includes Lawrencetown and Conrods beaches. The boardwalk and bridge at Conrods Beach will be repaired, a new set of stairs built and an old access gate replaced. Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park will get upgrades to the water system for shower and washroom facilities and the onsite canteen. Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park will get an upgrade to its wheelchair ramps to improve accessibility. Porters Lake Provincial Park will renovate washrooms and showers. The park’s water distribution system to camping areas will be enhanced and lighting at the park entrance will be upgraded for safety. The main building will also be repaired and painted. Work at Porters Lake has begun. Projects at the other parks will start after the public tenders are finished. Nova Scotia has 130 camping, day-use, and beach parks. More information about provincial parks is available at www.novascotiaparks.ca .
“An increase in extreme weather events and unprecedented natural calamities have set back Asia-Pacific economic recovery and development gains and require a joint regional response,” said Nagesh Kumar, Acting Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Representatives of 31 countries and 22 international organizations are attending the conference which will study a UN-supported report on natural disasters in the region. According to the report, the region has suffered 85 per cent of deaths and 38 per cent of global economic losses as a result of disasters from 1980 to 2009. Nearly 90 per cent of all people affected by disasters in 2010 were living in Asia. A common feature of the region is the high concentration of populations in seismically active areas. The 2009 earthquake and tsunami in Samoa, for example, derailed that Pacific island nation’s graduation to middle-income country status. “This session takes place at a time when the region is yet to fully recover from the external shocks from the global financial crisis, and disasters contribute to aggravation of the situation and undermine the region’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” Mr. Kumar said. The spate of disasters in many countries over the past year has affected the food security situation, further aggravating the rising food prices, he said. During the conference, a high-level panel of senior government delegates will share insights on emerging trends in disasters and their socio-economic, development and environmental aspects, ESCAP said. A special presentation on challenges and lessons learned in the aftermath of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in March will also be held. 29 June 2011Asia-Pacific countries must pull together to overcome natural calamities that have set back the region’s road to economic recovery, a United Nations official told the start of a three-day disaster risk reduction meeting in Bangkok today.