29 de octubre del 2000
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Waste as Fuel

HAVANA - The use of waste from the sugar industry as a source of renewable low-cost energy is the topic of discussion for experts from 15 countries meeting in Cuba in early November.

The agenda includes an analysis of energy efficiency in the process of producing sugar and other derivatives, the study of sugarcane biomass as fuel to generate heat and electricity, and its impact on the environment.

The generation of energy from the waste produced by the sugar agro-industry is important in promoting activities that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.


Cleaning Up the Sea Bottom

BOGOTA - Nearly three tons of garbage were pulled up from the bottom of the ocean during the fourth Underwater and Beach Cleanup Day held at a nature reserve along Colombia's Caribbean coast in October.

Some 200 professional and amateur scuba divers participated in the effort on the islands of Rosario, with the support of private companies, the Marine Conservation Center and the Ministry of Environment.

Pollution of these waters has been reduced since 1997 and 1998, when divers pulled out five and four tons of waste, respectively, said Carlos Fajardo, a member of the dive team.

The Underwater and Beach Cleanup Day is held annually in nearly 90 countries. In 1999, volunteers worldwide collected a combined total of 1,600 tons of waste.


Awaiting the Seal of Quality

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina hopes that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will declare the San Fernando delta, an area of islands covering 900 square km near the capital, a ''biosphere reserve'' in November.

The islands located where the Paraná River joins the Río de la Plata (River Plate) are a mosaic of marshes, providing habitat for approximately 700 species of animals and plants - with half of the plant species suitable for food or medicine production.

A representative of the UNESCO ''Man and the Biosphere'' program visited the San Fernando delta, noting that its scant population is concerned about the natural environment.

Argentina so far is home to seven biosphere reserves. The delta must compete for the distinction with 367 other areas found in 90 countries.

* Source: Inter Press Service

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