CARACAS, (Tierramérica).- Venezuela's National Institute of Parks, the non-governmental organization Vitalis, and other local and international groups propose creating a system to monitor and assess the natural wealth of the Canaima National Park, in the Venezuelan south.
The plan is sponsored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the United Nations Foundation, and the World Conservation Union.
The purpose is to provide effective management and conservation of the three-million-hectare park. The plan is also to train technicians in the methodologies for follow-up an evaluation in order to carry out the same efforts in other Venezuelan parks.
Promoting Solar Energy
SAN JOSE, (Tierramérica).- Costa Rica's Energy Directorate installed 662 solar panels or cells in the last three years to provide electricity to that number of poor families in rural areas.
The non-governmental Biomass Users Network of Central America (BUN-CA) has highlighted this government effort.
"Not only did it fill a social need by providing electricity to these homes, but it also improved the standard of living of the people without harming the environment," said José María Blanco, BUN-CA director.
The organization, along with the World Environment Fund and the United Nations Development Program, is engaged in 21 projects aimed at increasing electrical production in environmentally friendly ways. Three of the initiatives are in Costa Rica.
New Round of Green Negotiations Convened
RIO DE JANEIRO, (Tierramérica).- Partners in environmental protection will arise from the so-called "Partenariat 2002", a meeting of small and medium-sized companies from Mercosur (Southern Common Market) and from the European Union (EU) to take place Apr 10-12 in this Brazilian city.
The event is to include 3,500 individual meetings with the participation of 555 companies from Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), Bolivia and Chile (both associate members of Mercosur), and 100 companies from the EU. The focus areas for this year are agro-industry, energy and environment.
It is expected that this round of talks, promoted by the European Commission and organized by Brazilian business associations, will finalize deals worth 200 million euros (178 million dollars) annually in partnerships, technology transfer, sales of goods and services, trademarks and patents.
A Study of Biosphere Reserves
HAVANA -, (Tierramérica).- Experts from Cuba and other countries will gather this month in Baracoa, more than 1,000 km east of Havana, to evaluate the status of and outlook for the biosphere reserves of this Caribbean country.
The participants will also study programs and projects for research and community environmental education, and will visit the Humboldt National Park, say organizers.
Humboldt Park, declared a Natural Heritage of Humanity Site by UNESCO, covers more than half of the 127,000 hectares of the Cuchillas del Toa biosphere reserve in Cuba's extreme east.
It is one of the leading areas in terms of biodiversity and native species in the entire Antilles region. UNESCO has also declared the Sierra del Rosario, in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Río, a biosphere reserve *Source: Inter Press Service.
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