HAVANA, (Tierramérica).- A 769-hectare nature park enclave on the northern Cuban coast is one of the main ecological tourism attractions this Caribbean country is promoting this year for Canadian and European visitors.
El Bagá reserve, named for a small tree that proliferates in the area, was inaugurated in late December in Cayo Coco, some 440 km east of Havana. The reserve provides a sample of the main ecosystems of the Sabana-Camaguey archipelago, an area along the coast with more than 2,500 small islands under state protection.
Among El Bagá's draws are 'jutías conga' (a native wild rodent), pink flamingos, crocodiles, iguanas and other animals. There is also a butterfly park, a platform to observe aquatic birds and a native village.
Highway Plan Re-Routed
SANTIAGO, (Tierramérica).- - An environmentalist group in southern Chile won an agreement from the authorities to change the route of a highway in order to protect areas that are valuable in terms of eco-tourism and biological conservation.
Francisco Solís, director of the Coalition for the Conservation of the Coastal Range, signed a pact on Jan 14 with Minister of Public Works Javier Etcheberry and the new executive director of the National Environment Commission, Gianni López.
Government officials agreed to alter the route of the National Coastal Highway, a 3,000-km road that is to unite the northern city of Arica with the far southern city of Puerto Montt. The resulting plan will consolidate conservation areas, protecting native forests and the lands belonging to indigenous communities.
WSF to Debate Sustainable Development
RIO DE JANEIRO, (Tierramérica).- - Sustainable development is among the thematic pillars of the World Social Forum III, which is expected to draw 100,000 people from more than 100 countries to the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, Jan 23-28.
One of the 31 panels scheduled during the Forum, promoted by social organisations, intellectuals and leftist groups, will discuss how to advance social controls and democratic management of biodiversity and water and energy rights.
The environmental and social issues related to freshwater are central to the World Social Forum, where events are slated for debate on how to prevent the privatisation of this resource and protect people's right to freshwater access. A related topic of discussion at the Forum will be "Just, Democratic and Sustainable Cities". *Source: Inter Press Service.
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