RIO DE JANEIRO, (Tierramérica).- Bees without stingers are abundant in the Amazon. They play an important role in preserving the forests and biodiversity because they are responsible for pollinating numerous plant species. But they are quickly disappearing because the local human populations destroy their hives to extract the honey.
To prevent the extinction of the stinger-less bees, Brazil's National Amazonian Research Institute (INPA) is training the inhabitants of the region in bee-keeping techniques.
Largely out of ignorance, many Brazilian beekeepers work with stinging bees - of European or African origins - shunning the 300 national species, which are as productive as any others, but with out the threat of the sting, says INPA director Warwick Kerr.
Unique Fate for Used Batteries
LIMA, (Tierramérica).- The municipality of Surca, a residential district of the Peruvian capital, is promoting a battery collection program as a source of material to be used as filler in urban construction projects.
The campaign, conducted in schools and neighborhoods, urges children and adolescents to collect used batteries and turn them in at specially designated sites. From there, the city authorities take them to be mixed in the concrete used in construction projects.
"The lime and the cement in the mix neutralize the highly toxic mercury and acids found in batteries, so we came up with the idea of using them in the floors of the recreational centers and in the park benches we are building," said Surco's mayor, Carlos Dargent.
Sustainability Convention Targets Corporations
NEW YORK, (Tierramérica).- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participating in a preparatory meeting for the Sustainable Development Summit (Rio+10) proposed a convention on corporate responsibility to society and the environment.
Daniel Miller, spokesman for Friends of the Earth, said the groups are working on a legally binding convention for corporations to sign at the Aug 26-Sep 4 Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The preparatory meeting in New York, known as "Prepcom II", took place Jan 28-Feb 8. Two more meetings of this type are slated prior to the Summit.
BUENOS AIRES, (Tierramérica).- The environmental organization Greenpeace sent the lawmakers of the Argentine capital a calendar illustrated with statues found throughout Buenos Aires. The unique twist is that in the photos the faces of the historic figures are covered with gas masks.
Greenpeace used this unconventional approach to underscore its rejection of the incineration of public hospital waste, a task carried out by private companies.
The burning of the syringes, latex gloves, bandages and other hospital items releases dioxins into the air, increasing the incidence of cancer among the population, says the group. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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