Snow Leopard Photographs Cheer Wildlife Conservationists in Kashmir

Wildlife conservationists are heartened by a rare sighting of a snow leopard in what they say is the first member of the endangered species to be captured on camera in Indian-administered Kashmir.
The adult animal was identified from images taken last month using infrared camera traps in a remote region some 3,500 to 3,800 meters above sea level. The trap was installed earlier this year in an effort by the Jammu and Kashmir government to determine how many of the cats exist in the territory.
“In coming days more such findings from the ongoing surveys are expected from these landscapes,” said Munib Sajad Khanyari, high altitude program manager of India’s Nature Conservation Foundation, who explained that the enigmatic animals can serve as a “flagship” for the promotion of conservation and development programs.
“The camera trapping exercise also revealed other important and rare species such as Asiatic ibex, brown bear and Kashmir musk deer, besides incredible information regarding other biodiversity components of such habitats, interactions and threats [which] will be documented in the shape of a final report,” he said.
Snow leopards, weighing up to 75 kilograms, favor the solitude of the snowy Himalayan highlands, making sightings highly uncommon. With their thick, silky, gray coats ringed with black patches, they blend with the granite habitat, contributing to their air of mystery.
Estimates of their total population range from 4,080 to 6,590 spread across 12 countries and nearly 100,000 square kilometers. The entire Indian Himalayas are believed to support only about 500 snow leopards.
“We know very little about the number of snow leopards in Kashmir,” Khanyari said. “From our initial understanding, there are likely to only be a handful of individuals here.”
Intesar Suhail, wildlife warden in the Kashmir Valley’s southern Shopian district, said there have been periodic sightings of snow leopards in the region but until now there had been no photographic evidence of their presence.
“Confirmation in itself is a significant development,” he told VOA. “Till now there were records, but this time we have photographic evidence. In the long run it will help in the conservation effort and protection of its habitat.”
Suhail added that conservation efforts “will be focused around this species as it is a flagship species.”
Khursheed Ahmad, head of the Division of Wildlife Sciences at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, said there is a dire need to better assess the occupancy and population status of snow leopards in order to ensure their survival.
Among the threats facing the creatures are poaching, habitat fragmentation, increased human interference in its habitat and killings by herders concerned about leopard attacks on their livestock.
Global climate change is also putting pressure on the animals, which thrive in the glacial heights of the Himalayas and feed on other animals such as ibex, with in turn feed on plants requiring the same cold climate.
“The climate change is having its impact globally so [this holds] true for Kashmir and needs to be mitigated,” Suhail said. “The snow leopard is an indicator of climate change. Its permanent habitat is in glacier areas and is a very cold area.”
The good news, he said, is that data emerging from the current snow leopard census taking place across India will make it possible to better understand how climate change is affecting their population.
Khanyari, from the National Conservation Foundation, made a similar point based on his personal experience of closely observing a blue sheep, or bharal, and later finding its partially eaten carcass in a cave.
“It really shows you two things — that it is hard to survive in nature and that life and death are a part of nature,” he said. “Also, it shows us how things are interconnected: Without the blue sheep, the snow leopards can’t exist and without the grass, the blue sheep can’t exist. We are all connected.”

Source: Voice of America

Last-Minute Objections Threaten Historic UN Climate Deal

A last-minute fight over emissions cutting and the overall climate change goal is delaying a potentially historic deal that would create a fund for compensating poor nations that are victims of extreme weather worsened by rich countries’ carbon pollution.
“We are extremely on overtime. There were some good spirits earlier today. I think more people are more frustrated about the lack of progress,” Norwegian climate change minister Espen Barth Eide told The Associated Press. He said it came down to getting tougher on fossil fuel emissions and retaining the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times as was agreed in last year’s climate summit in Glasgow.
“Some of us are trying to say that we actually have to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees and that requires some action. We have to reduce our use of fossil fuels, for instance,” Eide said. “But there’s a very strong fossil fuel lobby … trying to block any language that we produce. So that’s quite clear.”
Several cabinet ministers from across the globe told the AP earlier Saturday that agreement was reached on a fund for what negotiators call loss and damage. It would be a big win for poorer nations that have long called for cash — sometimes viewed as reparations — because they are often the victims of climate disasters despite having contributed little to the pollution that heats up the globe.
However, the other issues are seemingly delaying any action. A meeting to approve an overall agreement has been pushed back more than two-and-a-half hours with little sign of diplomats getting together for a formal plenary to approve something. Eide said he had no idea when that would be.
Concerns about emissions proposals
The loss and damage deal was a high point earlier in the day.
“This is how a 30-year-old journey of ours has finally, we hope, found fruition today,” said Pakistan Climate Minister Sherry Rehman, who often took the lead for the world’s poorest nations. One-third of her nation was submerged this summer by a devastating flood and she and other officials used the motto: “What went on in Pakistan will not stay in Pakistan.”
The United States, which in the past has been reluctant to even talk about the issue of loss and damage, “is working to sign on,” said an official close to negotiations.
If an agreement is accepted, it still needs to be approved unanimously late into Saturday evening. But other parts of a deal, outlined in a package of proposals put out earlier in the day by the Egyptian chairs of the talks, are still being hammered out as negotiators head into what they hope is their final session.
There was strong concern among both developed and developing countries about proposals on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, known as mitigation. Officials said the language put forward by Egypt backtracked on some of the commitments made in Glasgow aimed at keeping alive the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times. The world has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid 19th century.
Some of the Egyptian language on mitigation seemingly reverted to the 2015 Paris agreement, which was before scientists knew how crucial the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold was and heavily mentioned a weaker 2-degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) goal, which is why scientists and Europeans are afraid of backtracking, said climate scientist Maarten van Aalst of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center.
Ireland’s Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan said: “We need to get a deal on 1.5 degrees. We need strong wording on mitigation and that’s what we’re going to push.”
‘Hope to the vulnerable’
Still, the attention centered around the compensation fund, which has also been called a justice issue.
“There is an agreement on loss and damage,” Maldives Environment Minister Aminath Shauna told the AP early Saturday afternoon after a meeting with other delegations. “That means for countries like ours we will have the mosaic of solutions that we have been advocating for.”
New Zealand Climate Minister James Shaw said both the poor countries that would get the money and the rich ones that would give it are on board with the proposed deal.
It’s a reflection of what can be done when the poorest nations remain unified, said Alex Scott, a climate diplomacy expert at the think tank E3G.
“I think this is huge to have governments coming together to actually work out at least the first step of … how to deal with the issue of loss and damage,” Scott said. But like all climate financials, it is one thing to create a fund, it’s another to get money flowing in and out, she said. The developed world still has not kept its 2009 pledge to spend $100 billion a year on other climate aid — designed to help poor nations develop green energy and adapt to future warming.
“The draft decision on loss and damage finance offers hope to the vulnerable people that they will get help to recover from climate disasters and rebuild their lives,” said Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International.
The Chinese lead negotiator would not comment on a possible deal. European negotiators said they were ready to back the deal but declined to say so publicly until the entire package was approved.

The Egyptian presidency, which had been under criticism by all sides, proposed a new loss and damage deal Saturday afternoon and within a couple hours an agreement was struck but Norway’s climate and environment minister Espen Barth Eide said it was not so much the Egyptians but countries working together.
According to the latest draft, the fund would initially draw on contributions from developed countries and other private and public sources such as international financial institutions. While major emerging economies such as China would not initially be required to contribute, that option remains on the table and will be negotiated over the coming years. This is a key demand by the European Union and the United States, who argue that China and other large polluters currently classified as developing countries have the financial clout and responsibility to pay their way.
The planned fund would be largely aimed at the most vulnerable nations, though there would be room for middle-income countries that are severely battered by climate disasters to get aid.
An overarching decision that sums up the outcomes of the climate talks doesn’t include India’s call to phase down oil and natural gas, in addition to last year’s agreement to wean the world from “unabated” coal.
Several rich and developing nations called Saturday for a last-minute push to step up emissions cuts, warning that the outcome barely builds on what was agreed in Glasgow last year.
It also doesn’t require developing countries such as China and India to submit any new targets before 2030. Experts say these are needed to achieve the more ambitious 1.5 degrees Celsius goal that would prevent some of the more extreme effects of climate change.
Youth say ‘keep fighting’
Throughout the climate summit, the American, Chinese, Indian and Saudi Arabian delegations have kept a low public profile, while European, African, Pakistan and small island nations have been more vocal.
Many of the more than 40,000 attendees have left town, and workers started packing up the vast pavilions in the sprawling conference zone.
At the youth pavilion, a gathering spot for young activists, a pile of handwritten postcards from children to negotiators was left on a table.
“Dear COP27 negotiators,” read one card. “Keep fighting for a good planet.”

Source: Voice of America

OKX’s Haider Rafique Honoured as Most Influential CMO in Blockchain & Crypto 2022 Award

Middle East Blockchain Awards

OKX’s Haider Rafique Honoured as Most Influential CMO in Blockchain & Crypto 2022 Award

VICTORIA, Seychelles, Nov. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OKX, the world-leading cryptocurrency exchange, is proud to announce that its Global Chief Marketing Officer, Haider Rafique, has received the Most Influential CMO in Blockchain & Crypto 2022 Award at the Middle East Blockchain Awards (MEBA), which was held in Abu Dhabi on November 18 and concludes Abu Dhabi Finance Week.

Established to recognise and reward outstanding efforts within blockchain and Web 3.0 innovation, MEBA was hosted by Abu Dhabi Finance Week in association with Hoko Agency Middle East, The Middle East, Africa and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association and Arabian Business Magazine.

Rafique was honoured with the Most Influential CMO in Blockchain & Crypto 2022 Award for his outstanding efforts in bringing OKX into the mainstream and expanding its customer base beyond Asia.

In working towards this goal, January saw Rafique undertake a complete overhaul of the OKX brand identity from OKEx to reflect the change of paradigm from a centralised exchange to a one-stop platform for CeFi, DeFi and Web3. This rebrand set the stage for the partnerships, events and campaigns that would follow:

  • In February 2022, Rafique signed a multi-year deal with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
  • In May 2022, Rafique signed another multi-year deal naming OKX the primary partner of McLaren Racing. In September 2022, McLaren and OKX unveiled a bespoke celebration livery carried on the MCL36 F1 cars at the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix and 2022 Japanese Grand Prix.
  • In June 2022, OKX became the first cryptocurrency partner and sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival.
  • In July 2022, hot on the heels of the Manchester City training kit reveal, OKX continued to grow its sports partnerships by teaming up with legendary English golfer Ian Poulter.

In September 2022, Rafique launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign with the aim of ‘introducing’ OKX to the world. With less than 15% of traders outside of Asia familiar with OKX, the company introduced itself to the greater global market as one of the most powerful crypto trading apps in a series of videos featuring its partners.

The Middle East Blockchain Awards winners were chosen by a panel of prestigious expert judges, including Dr Marwan Al Zarouni, CEO of Dubai Blockchain Centre; Jehanzeb Awan, Board Member of MEAACBA, Founding Partner and CEO of J. Awan and Partners; Miriam Kiwan, Former Head of Digital Assets at ADGM, Board Member at BlackOack Global; Misha Hanin, co-founder and Futurist at Bedu; Saqr Ereiqat, Co-Founder and CCO of Crypto Oasis, and Matthew Amlot, Managing Editor of Arabian Business.

For more information on OKX, please visit

For further information, please contact:

About OKX
OKX is the second biggest global crypto exchange by trading volume and a leading web3 ecosystem. Trusted by more than 20 million global customers, OKX is known for being the fastest and most reliable crypto trading app for investors and professional traders everywhere.

Beyond OKX’s exchange, the OKX Wallet is the platform’s latest offering for people looking to explore the world of NFTs and the metaverse while trading GameFi and DeFi tokens.

To learn more about OKX, download our app or visit:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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Coliving Startup Cohabs Joins Forces With Leading Real Estate Investors to Accelerate Growth

With the ambition to reach 5.000 bedrooms across 11 cities by the end of 2026, Cohabs looks to initiate the next step in expansion through increased institutional support.

Dining room

Dining room

BRUSSELS, Nov. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cohabs, a Brussels-based company specializing in coliving, announces the entry into its capital of three new institutional investors: global real estate investor Ivanhoé Cambridge, Belfius Insurance, and the real estate arm of the Belgian Sovereign Fund (SFPIM – Real Estate). All the founders and historical shareholders AG Real Estate and Alphastone remain on board to fuel the growth of the company.

Founded in 2016 by four Belgian entrepreneurs — Youri Dauber, François Samyn, Malik Dauber, and Lionel Jadot — Cohabs is a fully integrated coliving platform that both owns and operates its real estate assets. They provide a unique shared housing experience through fully furnished, premium accommodations. The 50-person company has a current portfolio of 1.550 bedrooms across five cities (Brussels, Paris, New York, Madrid, and Luxembourg), with the majority of its team and assets based in Brussels.

Driven by a community-first approach, Cohabs prioritizes the experience of its members through a tech-centric and flexible process. The company is committed to limiting its impact on the environment by focusing on a global, sustainable approach. From a social standpoint, Cohabs is committed to maintaining 5% of the Belgium portfolio as solidarity bedrooms with 50% reduced rent to ensure coliving is accessible for all.

With the ambition to reach 5.000 bedrooms across 11 cities by the end of 2026, Cohabs looks to initiate the next step in expansion through increased institutional support.

This equity investment will allow investors to assist Cohabs in terms of structuring, financing, and operational growth due to their extensive resources and experience in developing high-quality real estate around the world. This will significantly strengthen Cohabs’ capital structure and increase its capacity to position itself as a major player with a focus on a sustainable coliving experience that always puts its members first.

With that in mind, this step forward is not just a win for one organization, but a major step forward for the institutionalization of the coliving industry.

Cohabs was advised on this transaction by Natixis Partners & Tandem Capital Advisors.

From the very first meeting with Ivanhoé Cambridge, it was clear we were a good fit. They immediately understood our vision of coliving and shared our fundamental values. They have the experience, resources, and drive to help us reach the next level. Combine this dynamic with the belief and support from our historical Belgian investors and our ambition has all the fuel necessary for us to accomplish our goals. Our mission will remain the same: be the most qualitative, sustainable, and member-centric coliving company in the world.

Youri Dauber, Founder & CEO of Cohabs.

Cohabs offers everything we are looking for in terms of an innovative concept in an alternative asset class, which aligns with a strong and growing trend in the living sector, and we are confident the company will grow further internationally. This operation is another demonstration of Ivanhoé Cambridge’s ability to successfully close complex private equity deals, and to diversify its portfolio with alternative asset classes.

Arnaud Malbos, Head of Investments Europe for Ivanhoé Cambridge. 

We are delighted with this important step in the life of Cohabs, which we have supported with conviction since its inception. Flexibility, agility, service and quality in addition to a strong local Belgian base: these are all assets that have undoubtedly attracted Ivanhoé Cambridge. As a top-tier financial and strategic partner, AG Real Estate is convinced that such a pool of investors can only ensure the growth and sustainability of Cohabs! Congratulations to the teams for this new milestone in their history.

Amand-Benoît D’Hondt, Chief Alternative Investments & Sustainability Officer at AG Real Estate.

Contact Information:
Seonaid​ Strachan (Headland)
+44 (0)78 2655 0796

Roxane Decraemer
+32 2 609 67 37

Melanie Keegan
Content Manager

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Dining room of Cohabs home in New York.

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Cohabs team in HQ

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The world’s favourite private aviation brand achieves a Guinness World Records™ title in celebration of football’s greatest show on Earth.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Jetex, an award-winning global leader in executive aviation, sets a new Guinness World Records™ title at its private terminal in Dubai, where it unveiled the world’s largest fiberglass sculpture of a sphere (supported) which resembles a giant football.

The flagship Jetex VIP Terminal is buzzing with fans from all over the globe who use match day private jet shuttle service between Dubai and Doha. Seen from afar, the iconic 10-meter-high football structure welcomes international travelers as they drive up to the terminal.

“Together with fans from all over the world, we share the excitement and thrill of football. Over the past months, we witnessed tremendous demand for private jet travel between Dubai and Doha, which prompted us to go above and beyond to ensure that all fans enjoy a spectacular football-themed travel experience, which starts well in advance of the actual game,” said Adel Mardini, Founder & CEO of Jetex.

 Jetex VIP Terminal also houses the world’s most fascinating pop-up football field right in the heart of the terminal, where all travelers can practice their skills and create unique memories with their families and friends. Customer experience has also been adjusted with football fans in mind, with Jetex brand ambassadors wearing distinctive football uniforms and surprising travelers with football-inspired souvenirs.

The record was validated by Guinness World Records officials at Jetex VIP Terminal, Dubai.

The giant football installation will remain at Jetex VIP Terminal until late December. After that, it will be either presented to one of the local football clubs or sustainably recycled.

About Jetex:

An award-winning global leader in executive aviation, Jetex is recognized for delivering flexible, best-in-class trip support solutions to customers worldwide. Jetex provides exceptional private terminals (FBOs), aircraft fueling, ground handling and global trip planning. The company caters to both owners and operators of business jets for corporate, commercial and personal air travel. To find out more about Jetex, visit and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Press Enquiries:
Oleg Kafarov
Director of Portfolio Development & Corporate Communications
T: +971 4 212 4900   Email:


Oleg Kafarov - Director of Portfolio Development & Corporate Communications
+971 4 212 4900

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