MEXICO CITY, Apr 30 (Tierramérica).- International experts will test new protocols in Barbados in May to investigate damage to coral reefs, an ecosystem that is home to a quarter of all marine life, and to bring to justice those responsible for the harm.
The hope is that the protocols will be recognized by national and international courts, Patricia Ramírez told Tierramérica. The Mexican expert is involved in the project Coral Crime Scene Investigation, created in 2005 and involving scientists from 12 countries.
The experience in Barbados will be part of a program for training officials, students and scientists in rapid-response efforts for any type of harm done to coral reefs.
The greatest threats to the reefs are grounding of boats, illegal fishing and the introduction of species foreign to the ecosystem, home to more than 4,000 kinds of fish and hundreds of plants, said Ramírez, an expert in aquatic toxicology.
"Our group, which defined the investigation protocols, is the only initiative of its kind in the world," she said.
Promoting a World Social Forum in Amazonia
RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr 30 (Tierramérica).- The World Social Forum could be held in South America's Amazon region if the candidacy of the northern Brazilian city of Belém to host the massive civil society event is successful.
The proposal is included in a document addressed to the WSF International Council, set to meet in June in Berlin to choose the site of the 2009 event.
"We want Belém to be the point of convergence of the nine Amazonian countries," Adilson Vieira, secretary of the Amazonian Working Group, a network of 623 organizations and social movements, told Tierramérica.
Its geographical location and its role in the global climate, as well as its great biological and social diversity make the Amazon an ideal place for the Forum, says Salete Camba, representative of the Paulo Freire Institute in the WSF Council.
Food Aid for Drought Zones
TEGUCIGALPA, Apr 30 (Tierramérica).- The World Food Program will deliver 1,400 tons of food to the people of three Honduran departments that lost their entire crops to drought blamed on the climate phenomenon known as El Niño, say officials.
The departments of Valle and Choluteca, in the south, and El Paraíso, in the east, have lost all basic grain crops (maize, rice and beans), and some 8,300 families are living in a critical situation, disaster commissioner Juan Carlos Elvir told Tierramérica.
The WFP will mobilize in the next two weeks with food aid in these areas, where six of every 10 children suffer some degree of malnutrition, according to official figures.
Cities in Search of Lost Identity
BUENOS AIRES, Apr 30 (Tierramérica).- Recuperating the landscape, smells, colors and other distinctive aspects of cities, which have become hidden in part by the consumer market, is the aim of a May 3-5 meeting in the northeastern Argentine city of Paraná.
The idea is to think about how to "'reveal' our cities, hidden by a globalization process that makes everything look the same, and how to recuperate identity based on the landscape the uniqueness lost," Elvira Díaz, director of the non-governmental Ecologist Forum of Paraná, told Tierramérica.
The "cities to fall in love with" meeting will include the participation of experts, NGOs, academics and the public, invited to discuss how to recover the identity of otherwise homogenized cities, she said. *Source: Inter Press Service.
up for Tierramerica's free weekly newsletter!