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20 December 2004

Mine Action Information Center Issues New Edition of "Smart Book"

Publication serves as ready reference on mitigating landmine threat

The following statement, issued December 17 by the State Department's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, announces the publication of the second edition of "The Landmine Action Smart Book" published by the Mine Action Information Center of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia:

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Office of the Spokesman
December 17, 2004


New "Landmine Action Smart Book" Educates Public About Global Landmine Problem

The Mine Action Information Center at James Madison University has released the second edition of "The Landmine Action Smart Book," a primer and reference tool on the humanitarian threat posed by persistent landmines and unexploded ordnance around the world. Publication of the Smart Book, which is designed for the general public, students and the media, was funded by the U.S. Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.

The well-illustrated 42-page Smart Book describes the global landmine threat, the nature of landmines, and the main pillars of humanitarian mine action: humanitarian demining, mine risk education for populations in mine affected areas, and landmine survivors assistance. It also provides information on the two international landmine treaties - the Amended Mines Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons to which the United States is a State Party, and the "Ottawa Convention." In addition, the Smart Book examines research and development to increase the efficiency, speed and safety of humanitarian demining, including such cutting-edge technologies as the U.S.-developed "HSTAMiDS" mine detector that combines ground-penetrating radar with a metal detector, as well as explosive-detecting bacteria, bees and giant African pouch rats that may eventually augment the deminer's "toolbox."

"The Landmine Action Smart Book" will soon be available on-line at http://maic.jmu.edu/researchtools.htm. A limited number of printed editions are also available from the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement. To receive a free copy, send an email request to GrayVC2@state.gov.

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs currently manages humanitarian mine action programs in 31 countries around the world, encourages public-private partnerships to support mine action, and also oversees efforts to reduce illegal trafficking and increase international safeguarding of small arms, light weapons and shoulder-fired surface-to-air-missiles. To learn more, visit http://www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.

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(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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