HAVANA, Sep 24 (Tierramérica).- Hundreds of people in Cuba took part in the campaign "To Clean the World", sponsored by the United Nations Environment Program, reforesting and cleaning up coastal areas.
The project, Sep. 14-16, included the clean-up of some five kilometers of beach, planting seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera L.) and posting of signs and garbage cans with ecological messages in the Ciénaga de Zapata Biosphere Reserve, in the south of the western province of Matanzas.
Julio Haedo, a local expert in environmental education, told Tierramérica that among the activities, which also drew the participation of tourists, there were community seminars on beach ecosystems, contests and art exhibits.
In Havana, the campaign took place with the collaboration of the Cuban Federation of Underwater Activities, among other organizations.
Mapuches Denounce Government at the UN
SANTIAGO, Sep 24 (Tierramérica).- The Chilean government should turn in the report about the denunciation presented by ecologists and Mapuche Indians of the central region of Araucanía "if it wants to hold a post in 2008 on the UN Human Rights Council."
That is what Alejandra Parra, of the Action Network for Environmental Rights, told Tierramérica.
The groups and communities filed a complaint in January about racism and socio-environmental discrimination based on the construction of 18 garbage dumps and sewage treatment plants on their lands or within one kilometer.
The Mapuches want the Chilean government to comply with its obligation to send that report before Nov. 30, requested by the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
A Plan to Save the Amphibians
CARACAS, Sep 24 (Tierramérica).- Scientific and environmental institutions drafted a plan to protect the 320 species of toads, frogs and salamanders (five percent of the world's total) that live in Venezuela.
Many of them are on the way to extinction in the deteriorated habitats -- forests and bodies of water -- where they are endemic.
"Although concrete reasons are unknown for the disappearance of species like the harlequin frog (Atelopus cruciger) and others among the so-called striped toads 888, it is related with the global decline of amphibians, blamed on environmental degradation, Jon Paul Rodríguez, co-editor of the Red Book of Venezuelan Fauna, told Tierramérica.
The Ministry of Environment is reviewing the plan, which calls for an amphibian conservation laboratory, tracking of species, educational campaigns and the inclusion of herpetology in the training of biologists, says Celsa Señaris, of the La Salle Natural Science Foundation. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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