CENTRAL AMERICA: Tribunal in Defense
SAN JOSE - The Central American Water
Tribunal is conducting its second session of hearings Mar.
15-19 in the Costa Rican capital to debate nine cases involving
the countries of the region.
The Tribunal is a civil society organization that seeks moral
condemnation of individuals and institutions responsible for
jeopardizing water resources, biologist Ricardo Valverde,
the group's technical advisor, told Tierramérica.
Among the cases to be heard is one involving the Minerales
de Occidente company, which engages in open pit mining in
Honduras, and another about excessive exploitation of water
resources in northern Costa Rica.
The debate will also take up the issue of contamination from
radioactive material in the Panama Canal, harm caused by highway
construction in El Salvador, and the potential negative consequences
for Lake Nicaragua of a tilapia fish farm.
GUATEMALA: Fish as Alternative
GUATEMALA CITY - The Guatemalan Ministry
of Agriculture and Livestock is promoting tilapia fish farming
as a productive alternative for communities that have been
hit hard by the coffee crisis, especially along the southern
"In Guatemala the conditions exist for raising tilapia, a
fast-growing fish. It only requires that the fish farm is
not above an altitude of 1,500 meters and that average temperatures
are maintained at 26 to 28 degrees (Celsius)," deputy agriculture
minister Ramiro Pérez told Tierramérica.
On Mar. 5, with technical support from the government of Taiwan,
the ministry set up the Sabana Grande National Center for
Aquiculture Production and Training, in the southern department
The center will serve as a platform for expanding tilapia
production, and will sell three varieties of this popular
fish, brought from San Luis Potosí, Mexico
HONDURAS: Out of Firefighting
TEGUCIGALPA - The national government
has left the forestry development agency COHDEFOR without
funds for preventing and fighting forest fires, denounced
the entity's director, Gustavo Morales.
He said he expects the officials to amend the error, but that
for new he is seeking help from the U.S. Agency for International
Development and other potential donors.
On Mar. 10, an official commission, including COHDEFOR, firefighting
services and the armed forces, met to draft a plan to combat
the ongoing problem of forest fires.
Each year, an average of 55,000 hectares of forest are destroyed
by fires, many of which are intentionally set, especially
during the summer months, according to COHDEFOR.
The agency is pressing landowners to implement fire prevention
measures, or face lawsuits for crimes against the environment,
Morales told Tierramérica.