RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 24 (Tierramérica).- Brazil's rivers are increasingly polluted, according to SOS Mata Atlântica, a non-governmental organization that tested water quality of many water sources in 12 states, plus the federal district of Brasilia.
The study, released earlier this month, evaluated 43 samples collected in 2010. Of those, 70 percent showed moderate levels of contamination, 25 percent were of poor quality and the rest were terrible. SOS used indicators like the presence of fecal bacteria, larvae and worms, garbage and oxygen levels. The samples were also tested for 10 physical-chemical properties.
"The year 2010 was good for Brazil if we consider the high level of consumption and the market, but if we look at the indexes for environmental quality, the result is quite different," study coordinator Malu Ribeiro told Tierramérica.
"We need to raise society's awareness about conserving water, which is handled carelessly despite being an essential natural resource for life," she said.
Preparing for Dam Construction
TEGUCIGALPA, Jan 24 (Tierramérica).- With plans to begin construction in February, the Patuca III hydroelectric complex, in the northeastern Honduran department of Olancho, will require an investment of 250 million dollars, according to official sources.
Carlos Díaz, of the state-run National Electrical Energy Agency (ENEE) and one of the coordinators of the Patuca project, told Tierramérica that delegates from the Chinese firm Sinohydro, responsible for the construction, visited the area in mid-January to finalize details and prepare for environmental compliance measures.
Patuca III is the first of three dams that Sinohydro plans to build in the next four years and is part of the renewable energy plan promoted by the Honduran government. The total cost of the three dams is about 1.2 billion dollars.
The Patuca III is expected to begin generated 104 megawatts in three years. In order to protect the reservoir, which will cover 72 square kilometers, a forest barrier was designed.
More Endangered Flora and Fauna
MEXICO CITY, Jan 24 (Tierramérica).- The number of species in danger of extinction increased in recent years in Mexico, and the government has failed to protect them, denounce environmental groups.
They are sounding the alarm based on the latest update of regulation NOM 059, entrusted to the Secretariat (ministry) of Environment and Natural Resources, which enumerates the plants and animals that have become extinct or are in danger of doing so. The total reached 2,631, which is a 25-percent increase over the latest review, in 2001.
"NOM 059 was completed in 2006 and in the last four years dozens of species that were listed for the first time were left unprotected," Mercedes Anzures told Tierramérica. She is a spokesperson for the Mexican Marine Mammal Conservation, which joined five other organizations to analyze the new NOM 059.
The new list includes 49 species that are potentially extinct, 500 endangered, 896 threatened, and 1,186 under special protection. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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