LIMA, (Tierramérica).- Environmental activists and volunteers collected more than 17,000 plastic bottles left by tourists during the last Southern Hemisphere summer at Peru's Paracas Nature Reserve, a 335,000-hectare sanctuary on the Pacific coast.
The non-governmental organization Ecoplayas launched a program to educate visitors about the dangers that plastic waste poses for the mammals inhabiting the reserve, which is located in the southwestern department of Ica, 285 km from Lima.
The information tourists receive lists precedents in other areas of the world, such as the Midway Islands, where 90 percent of the albatross and 70 percent of other bird species tested were found to have ingested plastic material.
Marine Vaquita Endangered
MEXICO CITY, (Tierramérica).- Environmental organizations are working to prevent the extinction of the marine 'vaquita', a mammal similar to the dolphin and unique to Mexico. The population has dwindled to fewer than 600.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare will carry out a study of the species from its ship-laboratory. The vaquita can measure 0.7 to 1.5 meters long. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is also preparing to take part in the rescue plan.
Some 85 vaquitas are killed each year, trapped accidentally in the nets of the fishing vessels that work the Gulf of California along the northwestern coast of the country, the only habitat of this species.
The WWF strategy is to replace a certain type of net used in fishing and to improve techniques to foment sustainable fishing and to protect the vaquita. The authorities in the area must also step up monitoring efforts.
Even with these efforts, admit the environmentalists, it will be difficult to prevent the extinction of the vaquita.
In Search of Clean Energy
BOGOTA, (Tierramérica).- Two Colombian companies have presented clean energy generating projects to the World Bank, which has invited companies from Japan and the Netherlands to finance clean development mechanisms in the countries of the developing South.
These mechanisms, described in the Kyoto Protocol for reducing climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, are aimed at promoting alternative sources of energy to replace the burning of fossil fuels.
Public Enterprises of Medellín (EPM), based in that western Colombian city, propose generating electricity using wind energy in the department of La Guajira, along the Caribbean coast.
The company Generadora Unión, meanwhile, has a project for the World Bank initiative to build a hydroelectric dam on the central Chaparral River that would have a generating capacity of 75 megawatts. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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