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)
|"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
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.
version of the book
|"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 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
The following hyperlink will connect
you to the web page of the Global
Environment Outlook 3 document in pdf format.
Practices and Policies for Sustainability"
(Megan Wood, UNEP publications,
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
will be adding more book summaries
to this page on a regular basis