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1- Argentina - La nube de cenizas del Chaitén se esparce por siete provincias

2- Brasil - Lula anuncia un plan de desarrollo amazónico y defiende a los indios que están en el conflicto

3 - México, preparado ante la fuerte alza en precios de alimentos

4- Panamá – Descargas químicas envenenan los ríos

5- Republica Dominicana - Crisis alimentos hará que gobiernos miren al campo



I English


1- Brazil - Brazil warns EU on green biofuel controls


05 – 09 - 08


Brazilia, Brazil - Brazil will contest any attempt by the European Union to place limits on biofuel exports because of environmental concerns, a senior Brazilian official said on Friday.

The European Union's environment chief said last month that biofuels, which Brazil hopes to export to the EU, must meet certain criteria regarding potential harm to the environment and social conditions. It is now discussing guidelines.

"If the criteria were trade-distorting we will appeal," Andre Aranha Correa do Lago, head of the Foreign Ministry's energy department, told reporters.

Brazil is the world's largest exporter of ethanol, which it derives from sugar cane.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has rejected most criticism of Brazilian biofuels as an attempt by international competitors to protect trade.

Correa said further studies were required to see if ethanol production was displacing other crops and cattle in the Amazon forest. Brazil also needs to step up its controls of working conditions on cane plantations, he said.

Most of Brazil's cane production has no social or environmental problems, he said.

Brazil is eager to discuss the EU criteria, Correa said.

"If Brazil wants to export ethanol to the EU, it is the first to want the EU to consider it sustainable," he said.

As part of a diplomatic offensive to counter criticism, Brazil will hold an international conference on biofuels, including a ministerial-level meeting, in November.


Other measures may include bringing a case against the United States to the WTO if proposed ethanol tax rules are approved as part of a new U.S. farm bill, Brazil's chief trade negotiator, Roberto Azevedo, said on Thursday.


The proposed new farm bill would extend an import tariff of 54 cents per gallon for two more years and reduce an ethanol blenders' tax credit to 45 cents per gallon from 51 cents. Brazilian producers say the rules would distort prices and discourage imports or sugar cane-based ethanol.


Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSN0949004920080509?sp=true


2- Brazil - Sugarcane Alcohol Tarnished by U.S. Maize Ethanol


05 – 09 – 08


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- Recent efforts by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to clearly mark the difference between Brazilian ethanol and the agrofuels produced by the United States are an admission that signing an agreement with Washington to promote a global bioethanol market was a serious political mistake, say analysts.

Brazilian fuel alcohol, distilled from sugarcane, has been used as a partial substitute for gasoline in the country for 30 years, and makes an acknowledged contribution to mitigating global warming because it emits less greenhouse gases than fossil fuels.

However, in recent months a flood of criticism has engulfed all biofuels, because of their role in helping to drive up food prices. Jean Ziegler, former United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, called the conversion of food crops into biofuels "a crime against humanity."

A memorandum of understanding, signed in March 2007, for cooperation between Brazil and the United States in promoting ethanol production in tropical countries, as well as technology transfer and definition of technical standards, united the biofuels of both countries in terms of their international image.

Negative global perceptions of President George W. Bush and his government’s war in Iraq may have contributed to the unpopularity of U.S. ethanol, with Brazil’s alcohol being tarred with the same brush.


In January 2007, Bush announced a bold plan to cut gasoline consumption by 20 percent in the United States within 10 years, through the use of substitutes, mainly ethanol.

Dire food shortages that began last year have sparked violent protests in dozens of poor countries, and have led to widespread accusations that ethanol and biodiesel are worsening the food crisis.

Previously such allegations had only been made by environmentalists and political leaders like Cuban President Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

On a visit to Ghana last month, where Brazil is providing technological support for ethanol projects, Lula said that the only mistake in the promotion of biofuels was "the U.S. decision to produce alcohol from maize." Since then he has constantly underlined the differences between the Brazilian and U.S. ethanol programmes.

Brazilian ethanol, referred to as alcohol, is derived from sugarcane as part of a process that is much more efficient at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and much cheaper, than producing it from maize. The U.S. market has not been flooded with alcohol from Brazil thanks to high tariff barriers and subsidies that cut the cost of local ethanol for consumers.

The agreement with the United States was a mistake, according to a growing chorus of Brazilian analysts and members of the business community, such as Rubens Ricúpero, former finance minister and ex secretary-general of the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

But others disagree. "I don’t think the memorandum of understanding between Brazil and the United States can be blamed for the criticism of Brazilian alcohol," countered André Nassar, head of the Institute for International Trade Negotiations (ICONE).

It is inevitable that public opinion should find it difficult to distinguish between Brazilian and U.S. ethanol, even without the explicit alliance between the two countries, which is limited to technical issues, cooperation and investment in third countries, Nassar told IPS.


"The main problem is the model implemented by the United States," he said.

The impact of maize ethanol on food prices would be much lower without the high tariffs and the subsidies which protect U.S. production, and many people are already able to discern the difference between Brazilian and U.S. ethanol, so that it is just "a matter of time," Nassar said.

"It was a mistake, but not an irreversible one," according to Roberto Kishinami, an expert in renewable energies and an adviser to the Environment Ministry. Nevertheless, restoring the prestige of Brazilian alcohol "will be a Herculean task," he told IPS.

Brazil must "create a brand identity" for its alcohol, because the sugarcane sector is also poisoned by the negative image of its colonial and slave-owning past, and by present-day sugar mill owners who continue their illegal practices, violating the rights of their workers and damaging the environment, said Kishinami, formerly the head of Greenpeace Brazil.

The creation of that brand identity must involve distancing the fuel from the image of the sugar mill owners and adopting exemplary labour relations and social and environmental responsibility in its production, he said.

The entire production chain should benefit from the huge profits resulting from the fact that producing alcohol in Brazil costs less than half the price of gasoline, Kishinami said.

Sugarcane alcohol will continue to cost less than ethanol derived from cellulose, regarded as a second generation biofuel. The technology to improve cellulose ethanol feasibility is being developed mainly in the United States, but also in Brazil, he said.

There is no doubt that sugarcane ethanol is better than maize ethanol from the environmental point of view, because maize ethanol produces nearly the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as gasoline, while if sugarcane is used, 87 percent of these greenhouse gases are avoided, he said.


U.S. ethanol is less efficient and caused food prices to skyrocket, but Brazilian alcohol "is not entirely innocent" and has also contributed to the problem, University of Brasilia professor of international relations Argemiro Procópio told IPS.

"Ziegler is right," because sugarcane has also displaced crops like rice, beans and soybeans, exerting pressure to expand the agricultural frontier and indirectly exacerbating deforestation of the Amazon jungle, said Procópio, the author of "Subdesenvolvimento sustentável" (Sustainable Underdevelopment), a recent book on this and other problems ailing Brazil.

According to Procópio, promoting ethanol on a global scale has tarnished Lula’s shining reputation, earned when he began his presidential term in 2003 with a "brilliant" campaign against hunger in Brazil and in the world.


Source: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42312


3- Brazil - Controversy over Indigenous Land and Biofuels


05 – 08 – 08


Brasilia, Brazil - The legal status of an indigenous territory in the far north of Brazil, and biofuels, are two hot potatoes at the Third National Conference on the Environment being held in the capital city, which is focusing on climate change.

The indigenous reserve at Raposa Serra do Sol poses a "dilemma for civilisation," and it would be a "backward step" if the Supreme Court fails to confirm its demarcation, "courageously" decided by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, said Environment Minister Marina Silva at the inauguration of the conference, attended by 3000 people.

The 1.7-million hectare indigenous reserve in the state of Roraima is on the borders with Guyana and Venezuela. Part of it is occupied by rice-growing estate owners who are resisting leaving the land, as required by law.


What is at stake is whether the reserve, that was declared to be one unbroken whole, which means the non-indigenous farmers must go, is instead broken up and reduced in size so that the rice farmers and a small town can remain where they are.

Faced with the possibility of violent conflicts, the Supreme Federal Court (STF) suspended a police operation to evict the rice plantation owners in April. But on Sunday, 10 indigenous people were wounded by gunshots fired by estate workers, which further heated things up.

The military commander of the country’s Amazon region, General Augusto Heleno, stirred things up further, saying that the demarcation of indigenous lands on the border is a threat to national sovereignty. His remarks were echoed by other military officers.

Environment Minister Silva wants the Supreme Court judges to take a "civilised view" of the conflict, which they must settle soon. Rice can be grown on any fertile land, but the indigenous people’s ancestral land ensures their physical and cultural survival and is an important "point of reference" in their lives, she argued.

In addition, demarcating indigenous lands is "the greatest possible contribution to preserving the environment," and poses no risk to sovereignty, she said, adding that on the contrary, indigenous people are "allies" in monitoring the border.

Before Silva’s speech on Wednesday night, Temístocles Marcelos, a representative of social and environmental movements, accused the judicial branch of being "backward and élitist" for holding up the effective demarcation of indigenous lands. He specifically mentioned Raposa Serra do Sol, and supported the police action to remove the rice growers.

With respect to biofuels, the minister said they represent an opportunity to "mitigate and adapt to" climate change, as well as being a tool for "solidarity with developing countries," which could use them for "clean energy" and, at the same time, reduce poverty.


This is the position held by the entire leftwing Lula administration, which particularly defends ethanol from sugarcane as a means of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and promoting rural development in poor tropical countries.

Silva emphasised that over the last 30 years, Brazilian ethanol has already saved 600 million tonnes of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere. And Brazil has 50 million hectares of arable land lying fallow, which could be used to expand ethanol production, so that "not a single tree need be felled in any part of the country," she said.

This area is almost equivalent to the whole of that devoted so far to grain cultivation in Brazil, and is at least 14 times greater than the amount of land used to grow sugarcane for ethanol production.

But biofuels are a divisive topic for delegates at the Brasilia conference, who come from all of the country’s 27 states. Many environmentalists fear that the expansion of agrofuels, as they prefer to call them, will result in more deforestation, including in the Amazon, and create domestic food shortages.

The conference is in greater danger of being diverted from its purpose by the indigenous land question, which could catapult it into insoluble differences, than by the bioenergy debate, which is directly related to climate change, warned Ulisses Crepaldi, a delegate from Sao Paulo who runs a small-scale environmental management business.

Some delegates from Amazonia are against the conference supporting the demarcation of Raposa Serra do Sol as a "continuous" reserve, and instead want the native territory to be cut down in size to preserve the rights of the farmers who have lived in the area for decades. Crepaldi agreed with them.

On climate change, Silva said that "Brazil cannot avoid its responsibility," even though under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, it is not obliged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. One way forward would be to diversify clean energy sources, by developing wind and solar energy, for example, she said.


Oil and natural gas profits will be used to create a fund to finance programmes to mitigate, adapt to and reduce vulnerability to climate change, according to a draft law that the Environment Ministry will be sending to parliament in the near future, she announced.

"Zero illegal deforestation" and targets to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the productive sector were proposals defended by the head of the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS), Fernando Almeida, who represented the private sector at the conference.

During preparations for this week’s National Conference on the Environment, 5,132 proposals were presented, which are to be collated and selected during the three days of debate. Nearly 2,000 delegates and guests are participating in that process.

The secretary general of the presidency, Luiz Dulci, said that "more than three million Brazilians have participated" in conferences on the environment since the president took office in 2003, helping to formulate public policies to protect the environment.


Source: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42297


4- Chile - Volcano's impact seen hundreds of miles away


05 – 08 – 08


Puerto Montt, Chile: Nearly a week after a volcano erupted in Chaiten, Chile, disgorging its contents across a wide area of the Andes Mountains, authorities finished evacuating the area most affected.

Though the eruption has been continuous, it increased at midnight Wednesday, powered by a massive explosion, then returned to its steady discharge of ash, officials said.

Overnight, authorities armed with a court order evacuated the last of the holdouts -- many of whom had sought to remain to care for their cattle -- among the approximately 5,000 residents inside the 30-kilometer (18-mile) exclusion zone, said Carmen Fernandez, director of Chile's Office of Emergency.

By Thursday morning, about 100 people -- primarily police, military and journalists -- remained in the immediate vicinity of the volcano, she said.

In Bariloche, 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the volcano, Chilean Minister of Defense Jose Goni met Thursday with Argentine Vice President Julio Cobos to coordinate the transfer of the cows in the affected zone to Argentine territory, 60 kilometers (37 miles) away.

Many of Bariloche's residents clutched handkerchiefs to their faces or wore cloth masks -- handed out by the government -- as they went about their business. Even with the masks, breathing could be difficult.

Thick layers of ash covered everything like freshly fallen snow.

Bariloche's airport and other regional airports were shut Thursday after satellite photos revealed that the air over the provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Rio Negro, Neuquen and Chubut was filled with ash.


The most dense clouds of the material were seen over Chubut and Rio Negro, with lesser amounts in the other provinces. In all, clouds of ash covered nearly a third of Argentina, the country's meteorological service said.

As of noon Thursday, ash could be seen in the sky above Buenos Aires and its suburbs, it said. "The sky appears gray, products of the presence of ashes that are moving from west to east at an altitude of about 3,500 meters," the service said.


"Fortunately, the composition of the ash, air and smoke that is coming out of the volcano isn't highly toxic," said Mirta Roses, director of the Pan American Health Organization.

But, she said, children, older people and people with allergies or asthma are at highest risk and should make extra efforts to avoid it.

Many of the evacuees were taken to Puerto Montt, a port city in southern Chile about 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Chaiten.

The volcano, which is about 1210 kilometers (752 miles) south of the Chilean capital, Santiago, began erupting early Friday, raining gray ash onto Chaiten. The small city is on the Corcovado Gulf, in southern Chile.


The volcano last erupted around 7,420 B.C., according to the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Project.

Chile contains a large number of active volcanoes, including Llaima, which erupted in January, sending lava and smoke down a snow-covered mountain


Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/05/08/volcano.chili/index.html


5- Costa Rica – Endangered parrots born in captivity reproduce in wild


05 – 08 - 08


La Garita de Alajuela, Costa Rica: Endangered scarlet macaws born in captivity are reproducing in the wild for the first time on Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast.

The ZooAve Center for the Rescue of Endangered Species has released 100 of the birds into the wild in the past decade. But biologists didn't spot offspring until last year, biologist Laura Fournier said.


Since then, they have recorded 22 chicks born in the wild, and four more scarlet macaw couples have laid eggs, Fournier said.

The parrots once occupied all of Costa Rica. But hunting and poaching dramatically cut their population, and they are now found only in two national parks along the coast.

The biologists' goal is for 200 birds to populate an isolated coastal area.


Chicks are hatched at the ZooAve center in La Garita, northwest of Costa Rica's capital, San Jose. At 6 months, they take a 200-mile trip to the southern city of Golfito and then travel by boat to a beach and finally the isolated San Josecito conservation center, far from human settlements. There, they spend up to three months in captivity before being released.

The parrots, which live up to 80 years, can start reproducing at age 7. Of ZooAve's 86 scarlet macaws, 54 are in the reproduction program.

Many parrots in the breeding program were confiscated by environmental authorities or turned in by their former owners. Some can't leave the sanctuary because they don't know how to survive in the wild.


"Many don't even know how to feed themselves," Fournier said.


Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/05/08/bird.rescue.ap/index.html


6- Jamaica - T&T PM calls for region to unite on tourism


05 – 09 -08


Port-of-Apain, Trinidad: Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, has called on Caribbean countries to foster greater collaboration in promoting the region's history, culture and natural environment, in order to strengthen its appeal as a tourist destination.


"We must therefore infuse our tourism industry with as much as possible of the full authentic Caribbean experience. We therefore need to bring the Caribbean history and culture as well as more of our natural environment to the fore in our tourism development plans," Manning said.

"Our historical sites, landmark buildings, museums, forests, rivers and natural wonders and cultural arts must be made prominent and prepared for the fullest possible deployment in the development of the unique product."


Opening ceremony

Manning made his comments on Tuesday evening during his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC), currently under way in Port-of-Spain.

He added that the region must be mindful that new destinations - some of which offer the tropical experience and have the advantage of being closer to our major markets - have entered the market during the final quarter of the last century.

"Our industry has been traditionally based on our favourable climate, hospitable people, outstanding scenic beauty, proximity to major travel markets and political and social stability," Manning said. "Global travellers continue to be interested in the region as a destination of choice. But we must strengthen the regional brand. This is the way forward."

Improvement possible

He said if regional cooperation were intensified, service levels, quality, standards marketing and sustainable development efforts could be improved. The head of government said, as a consequence, CARICOM member states have set aside an entire day at the upcoming Heads of Government Conference in July, to focus on a comprehensive examination of the tourism industry and to consider the possibility of creating a sustainable economic commission on tourism.


"We must put our heads together in the public and private sectors to deal with the various issues, including air travel, intra-regional tourism, multi-destination marketing, the linkages of tourism to the local and regional economies, the benefits and impact of cruise tourism on the industry as a whole, safety and security, cultural issues and environmental matters, including the impact of global warming on the island developing nations of the world," he said.


"I am of the view that there is already an awareness of what needs to be done. Caribbean collaboration will intensify the resolve."

Close to 500 delegates have been registered for the 12th staging of the CHTIC, the highest in its history. The event, which is held annually, is being staged for the first time in the twin-island republic, and is aimed at improving tourism investment in the Caribbean and stimulating a continuous flow of equity and loan capital into the region.


Source: http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20080509/news/news4.html


7- Regional - Food Summit Declares Regional Emergency


05 – 08 – 08

Managua, Nicaragua - The presidential summit on "Food for Life", held in Nicaragua, has ended with 16 Latin American countries agreeing to produce more food and sell it at low prices through strategic alliances, amid criticisms of free markets and capitalism.


The summit on regional food sovereignty and security was convened by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to debate the global crisis caused by food shortages and to seek regional solutions.

Presidents Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, Óscar Arias of Costa Rica, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Evo Morales of Bolivia and René Préval of Haiti attended the summit meeting on Wednesday.

Delegations from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, Belize, Panama, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Dominican Republic and Cuba also took part.

Representatives of United Nations agencies, the Organisation of American States (OAS), the European Union, international financial institutions and the business world were present as observers.

Ortega, as host, chaired the discussions, and during breaks between speakers he wasted no opportunity to condemn the "empire", meaning the United States, and "neoliberal policies imposed by the international financial institutions."

The presidents of Haiti, Bolivia, Ecuador and even Costa Rica joined Ortega in blaming the world’s most developed countries for the global food crisis.
According to statistics from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO), over the last year the international price of maize increased by 31 percent, rice by 74 percent, vegetable oils 60 percent, dairy products 83 percent, soybeans 87 percent, and wheat 130 percent.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) warned in late April that "the steep and persistent rise in international food prices is hitting particularly hard on the poorest in Latin America and the Caribbean."

To illustrate, Cuban Vice President Esteban Lazo said that in 2005, his government paid the equivalent of 250 dollars for a ton of imported rice in 2005, while "it now costs us 1,050 dollars -- four times as much."

"The food crisis is exacerbated by the high price of oil, which is a result of the war being waged in Iraq, climate change, and neoliberal policies in the United States and Europe," Lazo added.


Ecuadorean President Correa said that "the enormous difference about world poverty in the 21st century is that it is not due to shortages, but to unequal distribution" of resources.

Like the rest of the participants, Correa stressed the urgent need to step up agricultural production in Latin America and abandon neoliberal food import policies which, he said, the international financial institutions recommended to developing countries in recent years with the backing of the United States.

Morales declared his opposition to the use of food crops for making biofuels, and berated the industrialised countries.

"Unlimited industrialisation is the drug of planet Earth, and capitalism is synonymous with death," he said.

Following the autonomy referendum held Sunday in the eastern Bolivian province of Santa Cruz, which the government regards as illegal, Zelaya called on the countries present to support Morales, who received an ovation.

At Ortega’s request, Préval described the dire situation in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas.

"What is happening in my country is a catastrophe," said Préval. Food shortages led to violent disturbances in April that left at least six people dead and several people injured, while shopkeepers incurred damages as a result of looting.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was not at the meeting due to illness.

The surprise of the day came from Costa Rican President Arias, who harshly criticised the United States and European countries. According to Arias, the present state of affairs is the result of "the hypocrisy of the United States and Europe when dealing with the most important issues on the international agenda."

The United States has offered only one billion dollars in food aid to the world’s poorest countries, "the same amount they spend in half a week on the war in Iraq," Arias said.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s Doha Round of talks, aimed at freeing up trade in agriculture and other areas, "is an example of hypocrisy on the part of developed countries, that continue to subsidise farm goods," he said.


Another "great monument to hypocrisy" is the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, Arias said, "because rich countries, having polluted the planet in order to enrich themselves, are now asking us not to do so."

After a session of speeches lasting four hours, Ortega gave the floor over to Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro, who made the only formal proposal received by the meeting, consisting of seven points.

Venezuela offered to set up an agricultural fund of 100 million dollars to finance concrete plans arising from the summit.

Maduro also proposed a special plan within Petrocaribe -- an oil cooperation scheme between Venezuela and Caribbean nations -- to finance agricultural production and make fuel available for food production at low prices.

In exchange, beneficiary countries would join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), a regional integration initiative led by Chávez.

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinoza said she was not in favour of including the Venezuelan initiative in the final summit declaration, as it was only a proposal, and recommended that it be discussed later on. A meeting of technical experts in Mexico in late May was proposed for that purpose.

However, the final document did include the Venezuelan agricultural fund proposal.

President Arias, who withheld his signature from the final document, said "there are some value judgements, concepts that I don’t agree with."

The final statement, signed by all the countries at the summit except El Salvador and Costa Rica, declared a regional food "emergency" and urged the 63rd U.N. General Assembly to address the world food crisis when it meets in September.

It also called on Latin American and Caribbean governments to increase investment in agriculture, and suggested that private banks in the region invest up to 10 percent of their assets in agricultural development.

The document called for a draft plan of action within 30 days to boost local food production in the region and establish a system of "fair trade within and between the countries that results in fair prices for producers and consumers," and urged the international community to "significantly" boost cooperation to ease the crisis.


Source: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42294


8- Regional - Energy Part of SouthAm Integration


05 – 09 – 08


Caracas, Venezuela: The integration process in South America has Friday an essential energy element, capable of becoming a key feature of the union among regional countries.

The First South American Energy Council, carried out in Venezuela, defined strategic guidelines corresponding to the Energy Security Treaty of the region.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez stated that as for security, the meeting analyzed aspects linked to supply, strengthening of infrastructure, industrialization and development of the sector.

Also on the list is the efficient use of energy, promotion of renewable sources, transference of technology, bilateral accords and convergence of respective policies on this matter.

The official said that the action plan includes the fundamental point of the treaty, among them oil, natural gas, electric energy, carbon, nuclear and biofuels.

The aim, the minister noted, is the regional union, in addition of guaranteeing energy security, and industrial and social development of the peoples.


Source: http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID={A31AB32C-58D9-4925-B4CD-9A8990283F58})&language=EN




II Spanish

1- Argentina - La nube de cenizas del Chaitén se esparce por siete provincias

09 – 05 - 08

Las partículas provenientes de la erupción del volcán chileno se sienten con intensidad en Chubut y Río Negro. Además, empujadas por los vientos, llegaron a Neuquén, La Pampa, Mendoza, San Luis, Buenos Aires y la Capital. El Servicio Meteorológico Nacional informó que se mantendrán durante toda la jornada en la misma región.


Una semana después de que el Chaitén entrara en erupción, la nube de cenizas se esparce por siete provincias: Chubut, Río Negro, Neuquén, La Pampa, Mendoza, San Luis, Buenos Aires y también en la Capital Federal. El Servicio Metereológico Nacional (SMN) informó que las partículas provenientes del volcán chileno se mantendrán hoy sobre esa misma región, suspendidas en la atmósfera.

El SMN explicó que "debido a la poca variación en la dirección de los vientos" se prevé que en las próximas horas "se continúe observando ceniza volcánica sobre Chubut, Río Negro, Neuquén, La Pampa, Mendoza (sur), San Luis (sur), Buenos Aires y la Capital".

La nube de cenizas, señala el ente en su informe, será más densa en las regiones cercanas al volcán. En especial, en el centro y norte de Chubut y en el sur de Río Negro, donde las partículas permanecerán suspendidas "en niveles bajos y medios de la atmósfera".

En tanto, en la provincia de Buenos Aires, la Capital Federal, Neuquén, La Pampa, Mendoza y San Luis las cenizas se mantendrán en los niveles medios y altos de la atmósfera, por lo que aseguran que no causarán efectos adversos sobre la población.

En tanto, los vuelos que parten desde el aeroparque Jorge Newbery hacia la región patagónica están operando con normalidad, a excepción de los que se dirigen a la zona de Esquel. Es que el aeropuerto de esa localidad se encuentra cerrado debido a la nube de cenizas.

Fuentes de Aerolíneas Argentinas precisaron a la agencia Télam que los vuelos previstos para la jornada a Bariloche, Trelew, Usuhaia, Viedma y Río Gallegos no presentan inconvenientes.

Si bien las cenizas no representan un riesgo en el área metropolitana, las compañías aéreas norteamericanas American Airlines y United volvieron a cancelar esta mañana vuelos que tenían previstos hacia Miami, Nueva York, Chicago y Dallas.

Fuente: http://www.clarin.com.ar


2- Brasil - Lula anuncia un plan de desarrollo amazónico y defiende a los indios que están en el conflicto

08 – 05 - 08

El presidente brasileño, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, anunció hoy un plan para el desarrollo sustentable de la Amazonía y defendió a tribus de indios del norte del país que están en conflicto por posesión de tierras con empresarios del arroz.

Explicó que los planes para el desarrollo sustentable suponen una necesaria defensa de la biodiversidad, pues se trata de una 'ventaja comparativa para los productos que Brasil quiera venderle a otros países'.

Este plan incluye inversiones en el área de infraestructura, sobre todo en carreteras, y la promoción de actividades económicas dirigidas a aprovechar el potencial específico de cada región de la Amazonía brasileña, con unas férreas limitaciones ambientales.

También propone apoyo crediticio a los gobiernos regionales para la construcción de escuelas y proyectos de inclusión social en una región habitada por cerca de 24 millones de personas, en su mayoría de las clases sociales más bajas.

Según el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, todos los programas que se incluyan en esta iniciativa serán negociados con los nueve estados que conforman la región amazónica, cuyos gobernadores asistieron al acto celebrado hoy en el palacio presidencial de Planalto.

Fuentes de ese despacho dijeron que la estrategia de desarrollo se dirigirá a la generación de empleo, la reducción de los abismos sociales, el fomento de actividades económicas con cuidado ambiental y el uso sustentable de los recursos naturales, con preservación de los ecosistemas.

Al tratar el tema indígena el jefe de Estado señaló: '¿Quién osa decir que nuestros indios están poniendo en riesgo la soberanía del país?', preguntó Lula a un nutrido auditorio, en un claro mensaje a sectores del Ejército que han criticado abiertamente la creación de una enorme reserva en la frontera con Venezuela.


En esa reserva, conocida como Raposa Serra do Sol, indios de diversas etnias están en pie de lucha contra empresarios arroceros que se niegan a abandonar sus plantaciones, incluidas dentro del área que el Gobierno ha preservado para los indígenas.

Según Lula, el conflicto está movido por 'la ignorancia' o 'la falta de información' y la creación de esa reserva indígena es una prueba de que 'en Brasil se está asumiendo la Amazonía no solo en el discurso'.

La reserva 'Raposa Serra do Sol' ocupa 1,6 millones de hectáreas, que equivalen al 7,7 por ciento del estado de Roraima, y alberga a unos 18.000 miembros de las etnias Macuxí, Taurepang, Wapixana, Ingarikó y Patamona, que estuvieron representadas en el acto de hoy.

Lula consideró que la creación de reservas indígenas que impulsa su Gobierno es equiparable a la construcción de infraestructuras en las barriadas populares de las grandes ciudades del país.

'Obviamente, si un indio no recibe nada del Estado, será tan rebelde como un ciudadano de una favela de Río de Janeiro que no tiene agua potable ni saneamiento', declaró el presidente.

Lula insistió, como ha hecho en otras ocasiones, que Brasil 'sabe cuidar solo' de la Amazonía y no necesita 'consejos' de Gobiernos u organismos extranjeros preocupados con las tasas de deforestación.

'Hay gente que cree que la Amazonía es de la Humanidad y nosotros también lo creemos, pero debemos decir en alta y buena voz que quien cuida de la Amazonía es Brasil y quien decide qué hacer en la Amazonía es Brasil', sostuvo.

Según Lula, Brasil 'no está en condiciones de explotar todavía ni el 10 por ciento de la fauna, la flora y la biodiversidad de la Amazonía', por lo que el mundo 'puede estar tranquilo'.

Fuente: http://es.noticias.yahoo.com/efe/20080508/tsc-lula-anuncia-un-plan-de-desarrollo-a-23e7ce8.html


 

3- México, preparado ante la fuerte alza en precios de alimentos

Reglamentar uso del maíz para biocombustibles, plantea la Cepal
08-05-08

Guadalajara, México. Fernando Sánchez Albavera, director de la División de Recursos Naturales e Infraestructura de la Comisión Económica para América Latina (Cepal), propuso establecer un acuerdo internacional entre los países productores de biocombustibles en la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) para regular la utilización del maíz en la elaboración de bioenergéticos.

Entrevistado en el primer Congreso Internacional de Biocombustibles, estimó que la actual crisis por la escalda de precios en los alimentos podría tener una duración de entre tres y 10 años, de acuerdo con previsiones de analistas.

Algunos, dijo, están hablando de que esto sería un ciclo largo de entre cinco y 10 años, otros estiman que durará tres años, pero “es muy difícil establecer previsiones”.

Los países de América Latina, aseguró, “no estamos afectando la demanda de granos; los países emergentes de la región somos víctimas de una presión de demanda internacional, y bien valdría la pena tratar el tema en los organismos internacionales” para ver en qué manera se podría regular el uso del maíz para la producción de etanol.

“En la Cepal coincidimos en las preocupación de diversos organismos internacionales como el Banco Mundial, la FAO, el Fondo Monetario Internacional y la secretaría de Naciones Unidas, que han llamado la atención sobre este problema que afectará a un porcentaje significativo de la población, sobre todo de los países que tienen menor grado de desarrollo y mayores índices de pobreza”, destacó.

Explicó que el alza en los precios de los alimentos se debe a diversos factores como el incremento de las importaciones de granos básicos de China, la elaboración de etanol en Estados Unidos con base en el maíz, y la demanda de aceites como producto alimenticio y para producir biodiesel, en un entorno de inestabilidad financiera y debilidad del dólar.


Adicionalmente juega la intervención de inversionistas, que quieren cubrirse de los riesgos financieros a través de operaciones en los mercados de futuros de materias primas en las principales bolsas del mundo.

“Hay una mezcla de presiones de demanda por factores especulativos, de inestabilidad monetaria, que están presionando al alza los precios de los alimentos”, afirmó.

Sin embargo, consideró que México está preparado para enfrentar la fuerte alza en los precios internacionales de los alimentos.

El representante de la Cepal sostuvo que sólo 6 por ciento de las importaciones totales de mercancías de México corresponden a alimentos. Señaló que una buena proporción de países de América Latina son importadores de aceite, trigo y maíz, y en ese sentido van a verse afectados porque en promedio sus importaciones de alimentos son de 10 por ciento del total.

“Un país como México tiene condiciones para enfrentar sus problemas de alimentación de manera sostenible, de tal manera que si bien afectan los factores externos, no cabe duda que hay una fuerte dosis de eficacia de las políticas internas que son muy importantes para este problema”, añadió.

Fuente: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2008/05/09/index.php?section=economia&article=028n2eco

 

4- Panamá – Descargas químicas envenenan los ríos

09 – 05 - 08

Solo dos ríos de la ciudad, Tocumen y Pacora, tienen buena calidad de agua en su cuenca alta.

La Anam analizará qué sustancia fue vertida al río Tapia para investigar si hay una infracción ambiental.

Funcionarios de la Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (Anam) realizarán hoy una inspección en el río Tapia, en Pedregal, para determinar si lo que se está derramando en su cauce amerita iniciar una investigación ambiental.


Desde hace varios días y proveniente de un desagüe ubicado en una de sus orillas, una sustancia blancuzca desconocida tiñe el agua del río.

Lizandro Arias, director de la región metropolitana de la Anam, destacó que de los seis ríos que cruzan la ciudad (Pacora, Tapia, Juan Díaz, Matías Hernández, Río Abajo, Curundú y Tocumen), solo dos –Pacora y Tocumen– presentan buenas condiciones de agua en su cuenca alta. "Los demás tienen síntomas altos de contaminación", agregó.

Análisis realizados por la Anam en 2005 y 2007 muestran un deterioro en la calidad del agua del río, de acuerdo con parámetros como oxígeno disuelto, coliformes fecales, sólidos totales y temperatura, entre otros.

Fuente: www.prensa.com

 

5- Republica Dominicana - Crisis alimentos hará que gobiernos miren al campo

09 – 05 - 08

Santo Domingo.- La crisis económica que afecta al mundo es hoy mucho más compleja. Se trata de un problema global que ataca desde varios frentes, lo que hace que la búsqueda de una solución pronta y efectiva también sea más compleja en opinión del economista mexicano René Villarreal, quien piensa que en el actual momento se impone una planeación estratégica basada fundamentalmente en la fuente primaria, es decir, prestarle atención al sector agrícola.

“Ha llegado el momento de mirar hacia el campo”, dijo el experto, en vista de que la crisis ofrece la oportunidad a los gobiernos de reorientar sus políticas hacia la agropecuaria como visión de negocios y alto valor agregado.

Villarreal participó como invitado en el encuentro “LISTÍN DIARIO en la Globalización”, que coordina el economista Juan Guilliani Cury para la sección EL Dinero.

El economista mexicano es el presidente de la firma consultora privada Centro de Capital Intelectual y Competitividad, con sede en México. Trabaja en la actualidad como asesor del Poder Ejecutivo en materia de competitividad sistémica, y estuvo acompañado ayer de David Pimentel, dominicano que dirige el centro en el país.


Diferente al pasado

En opinión del experto la crisis global actual tiene una característica distinta a las del pasado y por tanto el análisis y la solución es más compleja. La economía global, dijo, tiene tres grandes áreas de impulso y son la globalización mundial, el cambio de la naturaleza del cambio y la nueva era del conocimiento.

Villarreal afirma que en la época actual el mercado financiero, la información tecnológica y el mercado de bienes y servicios están globalizados y hoy en el mundo todo cambia al mismo tiempo. Puso como ejemplo que hoy día la crisis se da en el área petrolera y energética, lo cual ha incidido en la crisis alimentaria.

Aduce que para los próximos años la política y programas de gobiernos será tomar en cuenta la crisis alimentaria. Sostuvo que hay que estar alerta y asumir el reto de acelerar las exportaciones para generar divisas hacia lo interno de la economía, ya que todos los países van a ser afectados. En ese contexto consideró que la petición del presidente Leonel Fernández a la ONU y al Banco Mundial sobre asistencia para la producción es fundamental porque se trata de un problema sistémico.

El especialista en competitividad sistémica entiende que la política agropecuaria ha sido descuidada por todos los países y por tanto cree que es el momento de enfocarla hacia la producción agropecuaria con un enfoque de agronegocios.

Observa que ha faltado integrar la cadena de valor a la innovación e investigación en productos agropecuarios y se requiere complementar la estrategia con “clusters” (conjuntos de desarrollo productivo), en productos como el arroz, mangos, aguacates y productos orgánicos en los que el país ha resultado exitoso y hacer contrataciones conjuntas de barcos para exportar hacia otros mercados. Puso de ejemplo que Chile ha aprovechado ese tipo de logística.

“Lo positivo de las crisis alimentarias es revalorar el sector primario y ver al campo como un sector rentable con la incorporación de la innovación y la tecnología”, dijo al señalar el papel que puede jugar en el Caribe el financiamiento del Banco Mundial a la producción, porque este país tiene tierra y capacidad de producción, aunque requiere un enfoque integral. Villarreal afirma que este país también puede ser la Irlanda del Caribe en materia prudictiva.


SOBRE SU ESPERIENCIA

René Villarreal es doctor en economía de la Universidad de Yale. Obtuvo el Premio Nacional de Economía en 1976 con su tesis (hoy libro del Fondo de Cultura Económica), en su quinta edición ampliada, titulado “Industrialización, Competitividad y Desequilibrio Externo en México: Un Enfoque Macroindustrial y Financiero 1929-2010”.

Fue subsecretario de Industria y Comercio en México (1982-1985),

Subsecretario de Reconversión Industrial de la Secretaría de Energía, Minas e Industria Paraestatal, director de Finanzas Internacionales de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, presidente y director general del Grupo Industrial y Comercial productora e Importadora de Papel.

Autor de varios libros sobre la economía mexicana e industrialización, una de sus más recientes publicaciones es “El Secreto de China: Estrategia de Competitividad”. Villarreal es consultor y conferencista internacional de empresas y gobiernos en temas de competitividad.

Fuente: www.listin.com.do


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ROWA Media Update

11 May 2008

Bahrain

Greens to hunt for treasure

ADHARI Park will play host to the fifth annual Coca-Cola Environmental Treasure Hunt 2008 on May 23.

The one-day event is organised by Eventscom Bahrain and held under the patronage of Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife head Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

It will include various games, said public commission representative Fatma Al Shurooqi.

Eventscom Bahrain chief executive officer and founder Zahra'a Taher said that the event creates an ideal platform for corporate team building by boosting team spirit.


Coca Cola Middle East public affairs and communication manager Fatima Al A'ali said that Coca Cola has always felt strongly about inspiring the community, particularly the youth.

First place winners in the Treasure Hunt will receive $1,000 (BD377) cash prize.

Second and third prize winners will be presented with various prizes in addition to spot prizes and incentives for all participants.

Teams are urged to register before the 40-team slots are filled.

Fee for a corporate team of four people is BD250, non-profit organisations and a non-corporate team of four people is BD120.

The event, which will also feature various entertainment programmes, is open to the public from 9am to 3pm.

Coca Cola Middle East is the title sponsor and Standard Chartered Bank is the Bronze sponsor.

For more information or registration, contact 17226775 or e-mail khulood@eventscom.net

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/story.asp?Article=216964&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=31052


UAE



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