NICARAGUA: Better Forestry Practices
MANAGUA - The World Wildlife Fund is
promoting voluntary certification programs in Nicaragua for
lumber processors and furniture factories committed to sustainable
development of forests.
Of 700,000 hectares of certified forests in Central America,
Nicaragua holds at least 20,000, and the WWF considers it
a priority to improve the situation, Steve, Gretsinger, the
fund's regional forestry director, told Tierramérica.
Certifying products come from properly managed forests is
a mechanism for halting deforestation and offers concrete
benefits, such as more sales and broader acceptance on the
market, he said.
The WWF has set up its second forestry business network in
the region, known as Jagwood+, and has already certified four
companies that produce or process lumber.
The Nicaraguan government is supporting the initiative through
related laws and in the search for markets so that more companies
will apply for certification.
VENEZUELA: Stolen Flamingoes
CARACAS - Hundreds of pink flamingo (Phoenicopterus
ruber) chicks -- perhaps as many as 1,500 -- have been stolen
during the past few weeks from Los Olivitos Marsh wildlife
refuge, near the Caribbean and Maracaibo Lake, in northwest
The authorities were tipped off by anonymous reports.
Los Olivitos Marsh covers more than 25,000 hectares and is
home to some 20,000 flamingoes, more than half the population
of these birds in the country, according to projections based
on the censuses conducted in 1996 and 1998.
These colorful, long-legged birds leave the marsh in March
and return in July, and "there are still some 2,000 females
nesting," says Beatriz Nava, of the environmental group Azul,
which is demanding closer monitoring and protection of the
Officials searched 95 fishing boats and 22 small cargo vessels
without finding any trace of the stolen birds. Experts from
governmental Institute of Parks normally places identification
rings on the flamingo chicks.
HONDURAS: Ban on Building Near
TEGUCIGALPA - The Honduran Environmental
Prosecutor and the Secretariat of Natural Resources are to
issue a new regulation on Feb. 13 that bans construction near
the dams and reservoirs that supply water to the capital.
The problems affecting the potable water system in Tegucigalpa
are in part the result of "severe deforestation of its main
watersheds, to the point that it is believed that one of them
has only five years of useful life left," environmental prosecutor
Mario Chinchilla told Tierramérica.
"We are running out of water sources and the city is growing
rapidly and uncontrollably. Entire hills have been cleared
in order to build homes. We must urgently prohibit construction,"
Chinchilla announced that the new regulation would eventually
apply to the entire country. Every summer, to attend to the
higher demand, Tegucigalpa must ration its potable water six
to 10 hours a day.