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VENEZUELA: Adopt-A-Shark

CARACAS - A science foundation is proposing the "adoption" of sharks as a way to raise funds for research and environmental management aimed at benefiting this fish species in Venezuela's Los Roques archipelago, one of the most important shark habitats in the Caribbean.

Those who would like to be the sponsor of a baby shark would pay the equivalent of 11 dollars a year. In exchange, "they can give the shark, which will be previously marked, whatever name they want. They will receive information about the changes in the size and weight of their adoptee," explains Rafael Tavares, coordinator of the initiative.

The Los Roques Scientific Foundation launched its shark conservation program in 1995 to broaden knowledge about the 21 species that live in the Venezuelan archipelago's waters and to control shark-fishing activities.


CHILE: Business Invests in Environment

SANTIAGO - From March to August of this year, private companies in Chile in the mining, sanitation, energy and grape/wine industries, spent 60 million dollars on developing "clean production", a sum authorities said was unprecedented.

The increase is attributed to a new law that requires incorporated entities to include in their financial reports the amount of financial resources they set aside for environmental investments.

Gianni López, head of the National Environment Commission, says Chilean spending on environmental protection and rehabilitation has reached the equivalent of one percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP): 300 million dollars from the public sector and 140 million dollars from the private sector.


COSTA RICA: IUCN Presents New Web Site

SAN JOSE - The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has created a new Internet site dedicated to promoting the incorporation of a gender focus in all sustainable development projects.

The initiative, a pioneering effort in the realm of international environmental organizations, is intended to disseminate information about how to include a focus of gender balance in projects dealing with agriculture, potable water, biodiversity, natural disaster prevention, poverty, and many other issues.

Take a look at the new web site:


REGION: Evaluating Ozone Protocol Compliance

SANTIAGO - Experts from Latin America and the Caribbean are meeting in the Chilean capital to assess the region's progress in eliminating the production and use of substances that deplete the Earth's atmospheric ozone layer.

According to the Montreal Protocol, signed by 180 countries in 1987, developing countries have until 2010 to find replacements for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons, and until 2015 to halt use of methyl bromide.

The meeting coincides with the United Nations-sponsored International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, Sep 16.

* Source: Inter Press Service.

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