MEXICO CITY, (Tierramérica).- Experts from North America are meeting Mar 10-11 in Mexico to evaluate how well bird conservation programs in the region are tackling the threats of habitat degradation.
The meet is part of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, created in 1999 by the intergovernmental Commission for Environmental Cooperation, and this year will receive an investment of 200,000 dollars.
Some 235 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians of Canada, Mexico and the United States are endangered.
The CEC was established by the parallel accords of the North American Free Trade Agreement, in force since 1994.
Cleaning La Oroya
LIMA, (Tierramérica).- Peruvian authorities have pledged to help a U.S.-based metal manufacturer, Doe Run Resources, in cleaning up the contamination that has affected the central city of La Oroya for the past two decades.
Pastures were ruined and livestock of the nearby indigenous communities died as a result of the smoke coming from the foundry. The Cerro de Pasco Corporation established the foundry in 1922, and was succeeded by Centromin, created by the Peruvian government in the 1970s.
Doe Run Resources took on the clean-up obligation upon acquiring Centromin in 1997. The company reports it has so far invested 32 million dollars in the effort.
Restoring the Magdalena River
BOGOTA, (Tierramérica).- - Restoring the environment and navigation capacity of the Magdalena River, Colombia's largest, is being studied this week by representatives of the government, and of the transportation and industrial sectors in the capital.
An international conference is planned for the northern city of Cartagena, where the results of the study are to be presented.
The Magdalena provides three-quarters of the country's hydroelectric energy, and the river basin is home to several endangered species, including monkeys, parrots and alligators.
Return of the 'Pejerrey' Fish
BUENOS AIRES, (Tierramérica).- - Japan will assist in restoring the population of pejerrey fish in an Argentine lake, the same from which Japanese producers extracted embryos of the species in 1966 to raise -- successfully -- in their own country.
The pejerrey, a smelt fish native to the Chascomús lagoon 200 km south of Buenos Aires, adapted and reproduced without problems in Japan. Pejerrey farming has become a successful business in the Asian country.
But the Chascomús meanwhile has suffered the effects of sewage and industrial run-off and other contaminants, which affect fish reproduction.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency has contributed 300,000 dollars for a joint effort with Argentine academic institutions to repopulate the lake with pejerrey fish.
Book Boat Cannot Dump Garbage at Sea
GUATEMALA CITY, (Tierramérica).- The "book boat" Logos II will not be allowed to dump solid waste in the waters of Quetzal port, on the Pacific. The ship is to anchor there Mar 18 to Apr 7 to sell books, Lourdes Gálvez, Guatemala's environment ministry spokeswoman, told Tierramérica.
The ship, more than 109 meters long, is traveling with a crew of 400 people who, along with the public, produce a great deal of garbage every day, says Miriam de León, of Transmares, the firm representing Logos II.
This giant floating bookstore carries more than 4,000 titles, particularly books related to evangelical Christianity.
Guatemalan law prohibits the introduction of human, chemical, bacterial or other waste in Quetzal because the country does not have the means to process and dispose of it, explained Gálvez.
More Education for Bosawas Reserve
MANAGUA, (Tierramérica).- - The Central American Economic Integration Bank granted the Nicaraguan government a loan of 1.7 million dollars to expand educational services in the northern biosphere reserve of Bosawas and to improve the living conditions of the local population.
The funds will be aimed at strengthening school infrastructure and adapting the educational content to the needs of the indigenous peoples who live in the area.
The Bosawas Human Capital Training Project will be carried out by the ministry of education, culture and sports over the next five years, and has backing form the government of Taiwan and from the Organization of American States.
Costly Elimination of Outdated Herbicide
SAN SALVADOR, (Tierramérica).- - Transporting and incinerating 92 barrels of old toxaphene herbicide in the eastern Salvadoran city of San Miguel will cost around 50,000 dollars, a government source told Tierramérica.
Officials are inspecting a one-hectare plot, looking for more buried barrels of pesticides, said Italo Córdova, an official with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
According to the initial investigations, the problem was limited to 92 barrels containing toxaphene, found in February, said Córdova.
After the assessment, in which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took part, the toxic substances will be repackaged and incinerated in some country in Europe, says the source. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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