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Milenio Ambiental  
"Milenio Ambiental"


The public monopolies for potable water and sanitation systems developed a basic infrastructure in Latin America that was unprecedented, writes Abel Mejía Betancourt in his article for the new magazine "Milenio Ambiental".

Mejía, World Bank manager of the environmental division for Latin America and the Caribbean, adds that in spite of its benefits, this development model has been showing signs of exhaustion since the early 1990s, with difficulties in controlling costs, inefficiency, wastage, excess staff, low investment and an inability to extend water and sanitation services to the poorest populations.
Mejía and other authors, including Christof Kuecheman and David Brooks, have contributed articles to this first issue of Milenio Ambiental, a biannual publication of the International Development Research Center (IDRC), produced with the collaboration of Inter Press Service and Tierramérica.

Download the PDF file (3043KB)

Perspectivas del Medio Ambiente Mundial 2002  
"Climate Change and Development Case Book"

(René Castro and Sarah Cordero, eds. UNDP, INCAE, CCAD)

Latin America reached the 20th century with many hopes, but marked by poverty, economic crisis and environmental deterioration, say the editors in their introduction to "Climate Change and Development Case Book", a book that explores the region's potential for tackling a phenomenon that will surely mark its future.

Changes in the earth's climate resulting from human economic development have been a reality for the better part of a century, but it wasn't until the 1990s that scientists around the world sounded the alarm about the intensity of the phenomenon, caused mostly by the accumulation of what are known as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to a rise in the planet's average temperatures.

Because of the predictions for an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events triggered by these changes, the book's editors René Castro and Sarah Cordero stress that it is essential to invest in adaptation and prevention measures to confront them. Neither the governments nor the peoples of Latin America are prepared for a situation of continued reconstruct as intense as the challenge created by climate change, they write.

The Case Book includes a series of overviews of Latin American situations from a new perspective: projects already underway or being planned, initiatives that contribute to counteracting or curbing the effects of climate change.

They are initiatives that underscore the region's capacity for participating in the nascent global market, under the Clean Development Mechanism, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The result of an effort of more than two years, involving more than 30 experts, the book contains 18 studies of initiatives carried out in 14 LatinAmerican countries, presented in terms that are accessible to the general public.

Internet version of the book

Perspectivas del Medio Ambiente Mundial 2002  
"Global Environment Outlook 3 - 2002"

(United Nations Environment Program, UNEP, 425 p.)

In the lead-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg Aug. 26-Sep. 4, 2002, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) published a report reviewing the advances made in the past 30 years and predicting what could happen over the next 30.

In "Global Environment Outlook 3", released just weeks before the Summit, the UNEP warns that there are two possible scenarios for the future, one is positive -- in which sustainable development becomes a reality -- and the other is negative -- with the market being the determining force, as occurs today.

If the current market system continues, the greenhouse effect will worsen, but with a sustainability strategy, by 2050 we would be seeing positive results in reversing the phenomenon.

The first part of the book takes a look at the past, what has happened since the first global conference on the environment, in Stockholm in 1972, through the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, up to the Johannesburg Summit in 2002, also known as Rio+10.

The final chapters, meanwhile, tackle the different scenarios for the future and the alternatives for action.

The following hyperlink will connect you to the web page of the Global Environment Outlook 3 document in pdf format.

Ecoturismo: principios, prácticas y políticas para su sostenibilidad  
"Ecotourism: Principles, Practices and Policies for Sustainability"

(Megan Wood, UNEP publications, 64 p.)

The ecotourism phenomenon saw major expansion in the past two decades, with the potential to generate positive social and environmental impacts. But if ecotourism is not practiced appropriately it can be as harmful as the usual massive tourism, says this book, published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

The book was presented in 2002 as a preparatory document for the World Summit on Ecotourism, which took place in Canada in May. It provides an overview of this attempt at environmentally friendly economic activity today and its trends in the future.

Author Megan Wood, director of the International Ecotourism Society, provides a look at lessons learned in recent years, and lays out the challenges for an "industry" that is able to mobilize billions of dollars in travel business.

The book begins with an analysis of the concept of ecotourism, outlines the way this activity has been practiced to date, and defines the components that are essential to ensure that it is truly sustainable -- and beneficial to the local communities and ecosystems involved.

"Ecotourism" is available free at this UNEP web site.

Tierramérica will be adding more book summaries
to this page on a regular basis

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