BRAZIL: Kyoto, Remedy
RIO DE JANEIRO - Big garbage
dumps will no longer be a serious socio-environmental
problem in Brazil, turning into an energy source instead,
thanks to the clean development mechanism (CDM) of
the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, say officials.
The solution, promoted by the ministries of Environment
and Cities, involves taking advantage of the methane
gas produced by organic waste to generate electricity
and also what are known as carbon credits (which would
cover a portion of the high costs), granted for reducing
emissions of greenhouse gases.
Brazil has already approved to projects of this kind,
and hopes to multiply them through a program that
would initially select 30 municipalities with appropriate
dumps or landfills, Claudio Langone, executive secretary
of the Environment Ministry, told Tierramérica.
The selection will take place before June amongst
cities of more than 118,000 people, which concentrate
half of the population and 64 percent of the country's
solid waste. A study found that urban waste could
generate up to 389.5 megawatts by 2010, and 440.7
megawatts by 2015.
CUBA: Plans to Halt Coastal
HAVANA - A project backed by
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization) aims to halt erosion along
the southern strip of coastline of Havana province
The plan covers Mayabeque beach, where cement structures
are being placed to prevent sand from being washed
out to sea, an environmental phenomenon with serious
consequences for coastal ecosystems.
Fara Carena, head of the Melena del Sur municipal
planning department and coordinator of the project
''Confronting erosion on Mayabeque Beach'', told Tierramérica
that 20 to 100 cm of sand on the province's southern
coast are lost annually.
Coastal erosion and climate changes endanger the residents
of these areas, due to the gradual increase in sea
level and sudden incursions of ocean water from tropical
GUATEMALA: Certified Lumber
for Sale Soon
GUATEMALA CITY - Seven processed
wood companies from various countries agreed to purchase
certified lumber from the northern Guatemalan department
of Petén to foment sustainable forest management.
The companies are based in Australia, Germany, Guatemala,
United States and the Caribbean, José Román Carrera,
regional coordinator for the Forest Alliance, told
The trade agreements were signed by representatives
of 11 communities and two private companies, which
in total handle forestry concessions covering 461,000
hectares in northern Petén, he said.
Agreed was the purchase of nearly 1.5 million board
feet of certified lumber, worth around 3.1 million
The Forest Alliance certifies forest management practices
in Petén through a program that demands forest use
that maintains natural balance and good social conditions,
as well as providing technical support to the communities
and companies that have been certified, says Carrera.
CHILE: Tracking Glacier
SANTIAGO - For the first time
in Chile's history there will be a systematic process
for monitoring an important glacier in the country's
southern region, as a means to measure melting that
could be associated with global warming.
Francisco Riestra, water director for the Ministry
of Public Works in the southern region of Aysén, told
Tierramérica last week that the study is possible
thanks to cooperation between the Chilean government,
the French Development Research Institute and the
Center for Scientific Studies, in the Chilean city
Every six months, technical teams will turn in information
about the flow volume of the Nef River in the watershed
of Campos de Hielo Norte (icefields), a vast formation
That data will complement the information normally
provided by 10 satellite reception stations, and another
20 stations that monitor water resources, all part
of the Ministry of Public Works.
VENEZUELA: Emergency at
CARACAS - Lake Valencia, covering
375 square km and the second largest in Venezuela,
is in a state of emergency because of the contamination
resulting from the sewage water reaching the lake
via rivers, and the imminent increase in incoming
water as rainy season expands those rivers.
The watershed of the lake covers 3,140 square km (0.3
percent of Venezuelan territory) and is home to 2.8
million people (13 percent of the population), and
to numerous manufacturing industries.
''Based on the water and sewage services, we will
calculate how many families living along the shores
and riverbanks should be relocated,'' Luis Carlos
Rodríguez, environmental director of Aragua state,
which holds part of the water body, told Tierramérica.
The Environment Ministry announced that it will invest
40 million dollars over the coming years in a lake
HONDURAS: Aerodrome Construction
Threatens Maya Ruins
TEGUCIGALPA - The Association
of Non-Governmental Organizations of Honduras (ASONOG)
denounced to the Cultural Heritage and Environment
prosecutors offices that the government's intention
to build an aerodrome in Amarillo River valley, in
the department of Copán, could harm the environment
and Maya ruins and threaten the Maya-Chortí peoples
who live there.
ASONOG director Francisco Machado told Tierramérica
that the authorities, in their zeal to promote tourism,
announced the construction even though UNESCO (United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)
has said the project would hurt the foundations of
Maya ruins in the area.
According to Machado, UNESCO has conducted three impact
studies and recommended building the aerodrome in
a different location.