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David Luke, coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre, stressed that African producers do not lack preferential market access: at least 51 countries outside Africa offer preferential trade agreements with African countries, while within the African Regional Economic Community (ECN), agreements and soon the African Continental AfCFTA (AfCFTA) offer preferences to producers. He stressed, however, that African producers face considerable challenges in accessing these privileged market access opportunities, as evidenced by the generous “half-exploited” preferences of the European Banking Authority (EBA) regime of the European Union (EU). In 2015, EGILAT members reached consensus on a landmark document that clearly defines the scope of illegal logging and associated trade (APEC Common Understanding of the Scope of Illegal Logging and Associated Trade). The Energy and Raw Materials (ECM) chapters have recently been added to the trade agreements that appear for the first time in the EU-Ukraine agreement, but only really take shape in the TTIP negotiations and subsequent agreements such as the EU and Indonesia. The objective of the chapter is to facilitate trade in energy goods and raw materials of strategic interest and to remove barriers to trade in order to reduce the cost of importing them into the European market. T&D is closely following the ongoing negotiations on free trade agreements and is working to modernize and green the chapters of the exchange rate mechanism. While the European Commission is advancing the chapters of the ERM, there is no overview and strategy on what these chapters need to achieve and how, totally, in the European debate. The study, which was discussed at the expert meeting, is part of a larger project to contribute to strengthening intra-African trade and Africa`s share of global trade through inclusive, sustainable and development-friendly trade reforms. Financially supported by the European Union, TradeCom II – ACP Trade Capacity Building Programme, the European Court works on capacity building and training workshops with the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), the Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (trapca) and the Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa (tralac). Particular attention will be paid to the inclusion of women and young people. The expert meeting will examine the role of value chains at the interface between response measures and trade.

The outcome of the meeting will contribute to the work of the Forum on Response Measures. Part of the political discussion will be presented at a UNFCCC event at COP 23 in Bonn next November. These economists discuss the economic impact of current trade issues, present their own analyses and papers, and exchange knowledge. Members meet twice a year for one-day meetings. Finally, the focus was on the EU-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement due to the controversial inclusion of palm oil in the agreement. In 2017, 51% of the palm oil used in Europe was burned in our cars. The environmental impact of palm oil is devastating. From a climate perspective, palm oil biodiesel is three times worse than fossil oil. EU lawmakers recognised the problem and agreed on 13 June 2018 to reform the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) by ending the binding target for food-based biofuels and agreeing to limit and eliminate high-emission biotic fuels such as palm oil and soybean oil as renewable transport fuels by 2030 at the latest. . . .

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Healing the Inner Goddess is an all inclusive retreat that offers a unique opportunity for women to move beyond healing from trauma. Many women who have experienced trauma spend their entire lives burdened by symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Their personal relationships suffer and they have diminished capacity for happiness. Many women self-medicate and end up with alcohol and/or chemical dependency issues. Residential and out-patient substance abuse treatment programs, 12-step groups and psychotherapy offer support and structure in which sobriety may be obtained. Many women are able to reach this important milestone, yet continue to feel burdened by past trauma, which may make maintaining their clean and sober for life. Healing the Inner Goddess Retreat is a wonderful opportunity for the woman who has obtained a state of sobriety and is ready for Recovery Treatment Aftercare. This inner healing retreat, led by Laurie Monroe, who is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, provides a rare opportunity to LET GO OF THE TRAUMA and RECLAIM OUR POWER!

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