MEXICO CITY, (Tierramérica).- Seasonal fires are devastating the forests of Mexico, and officials should declare a national emergency, says the non-governmental Network of Peasant Forestry Organizations.
In the week of Mar 21-27 alone, fires wiped out more than 30,000 hectares of vegetation. Every year, from January to May, fires smolder in Mexico due to the hot, arid weather.
The Network says the government is not taking adequate measures to combat the fires, which affect an average of 200,000 hectares of forested areas annually.
Environmental officials say they have an appropriate plan for handling the situation. Mexico loses an average of 1.1 million hectares to fire and logging each year.
Digging Up Banned Pesticide
BUENOS AIRES, (Tierramérica).- A New Zealand firm, with the backing of the Argentine Chamber of Chemical and Petrochemical Industries, is beginning this week to dig up 30 tons of the toxic Gamexane, buried clandestinely 13 years ago in a northwestern province of Argentin
Tredi New Zealand is working in a pit in the town of Aguirre, in the province of Santiago del Estero.
The chemical company ICI-Duperial reportedly shipped 1,990 plastic bags of Gamexane (lindane), saying it was bird feed.
ICI-Duperial’s actions are under legal investigation. Lindane is an organic chloride, one of the 12 components of “persistent organic pollutants” controlled or banned by international convention due to their toxic effects on human health and the environment.
Streamlining Environmental Paperwork
BOGOTA, (Tierramérica).- Environmental officials in the Colombian capital recently launched a program to shorten by up to 40 percent the timeframes for evaluation and follow-up for licenses, permits, concessions, authorizations and other instruments used in ecological controls.
“To streamline the paperwork and services for the users, the Environmental Administrative Department set up a special group of professionals who will assess and orient petitioners on the necessary steps,” said director Julia Miranda Londońo.
“The idea is that users of the system will see a 40-percent reduction in the time needed to complete the required process,” she said. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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