RIO DE JANEIRO, (Tierramérica).- A forest is growing in the midst of a 300,000-square meter plot that until 1995 accumulated 16 million tons of garbage in the Santo Amaro district in the southern part of the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.
The former dump, where the pile of waste reached more than 55 meters tall, is now home to trees that have already reached heights of eight meters, and the first birds are beginning to arrive. The project, begun in 1999, entailed planting 2,416 trees of 24 tropical species that could flourish in the soil that has deteriorated as a result of the solid waste.
This pioneer project was based on studies by agronomist Julio Cesar da Matta, in the postgraduate engineering program at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
Before planting, experts studied soil fertility, and emissions of gases and the presence of heavy metals at the former dump.
No to Radioactive Waste
SANTIAGO, (Tierramérica).- Greenpeace-Chile and other environmental organizations demonstrated outside the Japanese embassy in Santiago against the upcoming passage through Chilean waters of a Japanese ship carrying radioactive fuel to Great Britain.
According to press reports, the departure of a Japanese vessel is imminent. The ship is carrying 225 kilos of MOX, a mix of uranium oxide and plutonium, enough to arm 50 nuclear bombs, according to Greenpeace, an international environmental watchdog.
The potentially dangerous load is likely to pass near Cape Horn, in extreme southern Chile, which is one of the most dangerous ship routes in the world.
British Nuclear Fuel Limited was forced to pay a hefty fine and return the MOX to Britain after Japanese authorities uncovered the falsification of data about the shipment's safety.
HAVANA, (Tierramérica).- - Farmers in the central Cuban province of Ciego de Avila have begun massive cultivation of the Nim tree (Azadirachta indica) to take advantage of its qualities as a pesticide.
The plant, which comes from India, has several attributes, and with its seeds it is easy to produce an effective natural pesticide against 200 insects, including the 'bibijagua', a harmful Cuban ant that causes extensive damage to crops.
Furthermore, the rest of the seeds can be used to feed livestock and birds, while the tree's leaves are used to improve soil fertility. The Nim tree grows 20 to 25 meters tall and its wood is resistant to termites.
Several farm cooperatives in the province have planted the trees along the edges of their fields to use as windbreaks and as natural fences. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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