- Written by ECOCLUB.com Team
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MANAGUA, Nov 03 (IPS) - The international scientific community's fears about the damage that will be caused by Nicaragua's future interoceanic canal have been reinforced by the environmental impact assessment, which warns of serious environmental threats posed by the megaproject.
The report "Canal de Nicaragua: Executive Summary of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment" was carried out by the British consulting firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and commissioned by the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development (HKDN Group), the Chinese company that won the bid to build the canal.
The 113-page executive summary sums up the study, whose unabridged version has not been made publicly available by the government, ERM or HKND.
In the study, ERM says the megaproject could be of great benefit to the country as long as best international practices on the environmental, economic and social fronts are incorporated at the design, construction and operational stages, for which it makes a number of recommendations.
But it spells out specific risks and threats to the environment in this impoverished Central American country of 6.1 million people with a territory of 129,429 square kilometers.
- Written by Marianela Jarroud
- Hits: 167
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, Chile, Sep 22 (IPS) - Chile's Altiplano or high plateau region, pounded by the sun of the Atacama desert, the driest place in the world, is home to dozens of indigenous communities struggling for subsistence by means of sustainable tourism initiatives that are not always that far removed from out-of-control capitalism.
"Here, money talks," Víctor Arque, a tourist guide in San Pedro de Atacama, told Tierramérica. "If you don't have money, no one's interested in you."
San Pedro de Atacama, the capital of tourism, archaeology and astronomy in northern Chile, is home to 4,800 people, 61 percent of whom belong to the Atacameño indigenous group, who refer to themselves as Lickantay in their Kunza tongue.
But during tourist season, hundreds of thousands of visitors come through the town, especially people from other countries drawn by the mysteries of the desert, its volcanoes and geysers.
The desert also offers some of the clearest night skies on the planet, and in the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array or ALMA Observatory, scientists are working to decipher enigmas of the night sky.
- Written by Fabiana Frayssinet
- Hits: 82
LUJÁN DE CUYO, Argentina, Oct 20 (IPS) - The region of Cuyo in west-central Argentina is famous for its vineyards. But it is one of the areas in the country hit hardest by the effects of climate change, such as desertification and the melting of mountain top snow. And local winegrowers have come up with their own way to fight global warming.
In the cup, malbec, Argentina's flagship red wine, still has the same intense flavour and colour.
But behind the production process is a new environmental reconversion, which began four years ago in the arid province of Mendoza, where vineyards bloom in the midst of oases created by human hands.
Only 4.8 percent of the desert province of Mendoza is green; 3.5 percent is dedicated to agricultural production, which uses 90 percent of the water consumed, and the rest is urban areas.
"We are trying to maintain the same production levels, using less water and less energy, reducing waste, reusing waste products, and creating less pollution," the provincial coordinator of the Federal Programme for Cleaner Production, Germán Micic, told Tierramérica.
- Written by José Adán Silva
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ALTAGRACIA, Nicaragua, Sep 07 (IPS) - A group of poor women from Ometepe, a beautiful tropical island in the centre of Lake Nicaragua, decided to dedicate themselves to recycling garbage as part of an initiative that did not bring the hoped-for economic results but inspired the entire community to keep this biosphere reserve clean.
It all began in 2007. María del Rosario Gutiérrez remembers her initial interest was piqued when she saw people who scavenged for waste in Managua's garbage dumps fighting over the contents of bags full of plastic bottles, glass and metal.