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Eco-briefs

 
 

GLOBAL: Eco-Code of Conduct

GENOA - A code of conduct for confronting the world's ecological crisis, a document sponsored by nearly a hundred writers and Nobel laureates, was presented to the leaders of the Group of Eight during their summit in this Italian city.

Signed by notables, including Guatemalan rights activists and Nobel Peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchú, the letter to the G-8, is an appeal to the international community to adopt practices that contribute to effectively resolve worldwide environmental problems.

The G-8 Summit, which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States, coincided with a global conference on climate change in Bonn, Germany. The two-week meeting clinched an agreement among 179 nations - with the notable exception of the United States – that should result in important reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

 
 

PERU: Solar Stoves

LIMA - The Britain-based Youth Group is promoting the use of solar-powered stoves among peasant families in Peru's central sierra. The inputs to construct the stove cost approximately 10 dollars and can be assembled by local craftworkers.

The initiative is an attempt to take advantage of the intense sunlight in Mantaro Valley, 300 km from Lima, where it can be converted into 1000 watts per square meter, more than enough energy to set a pot of water boiling within 12 minutes.

The stove consists of a reflector made from an aluminum panel and mounted on a wood frame. It concentrates the sunlight, focusing it on a black metal cooking pot.

 
 

BRASIL: Biological Help for Farming

RIO DE JANEIRO - Since 1991, Brazil has imported more than 80 different species of insects, bacteria and fungi that contribute to controlling agricultural pests, and is now investing in local research projects to expand to chemical clean-up.

The Environment Center at the state-run Brazilian Agricultural Research Enterprise, in Jaguariúna, 140 km from Sao Paulo, has proved that the trichoderma fungus ingests the agro-chemicals used in the production of oranges and tomatoes, and that pseudomonas bacteria play a similar role, absorbing the herbicide Propanil, widely used on rice paddies.

Brazil now exports the pseudacteon tricuspus fly to the United States to fight ants, and mites, which are saving yucca plantations in Africa.

 
 

VENEZUELA: Dirty Waters

CARACAS - Of the waters supplying Venezuela's capital and central zone, 60 percent are contaminated, largely because the liquid waste from hog farming operations in the area is untreated before it drains into reservoirs.

This waste water constitutes a health threat for thousands of people, warned the president of the National Assembly's Environment Commission, Dianela Parra. The commission is planning to work with the owners of the hog farms to solve the problem, and to ensure that they comply with health standards.



* Source: Inter Press Service.


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