SAN JOSE, (Tierramérica).- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced that it will donate 195,000 dollars to shore up Costa Rica's National Forest Development project
The FAO resources will allow the protection of forests in this country of just 51,000 square km, home to 0.5 percent of the planet's biodiversity.
Foreign Relations Minister Roberto Tovar expressed appreciation for the efforts of the UN agency and Costa Rican diplomats for achieving this agreement.
Calls for More Investment in Science
JOHANNESBURG, (Tierramérica).- The Center for Tropical Agriculture for Research and Higher Education (CATIE) urged the Central American countries present at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to step up investments in science and technology as a means to achieve their development goals.
CATIE assistant director Markku Kaninen invited the countries of the isthmus to dedicate more economic resources to their research budgets, which, he pointed out, are currently very limited.
Costa Rica and El Salvador spend only 0.37 percent and 0.08 percent of their respective gross domestic product (GDP) on science and technology, according to CATIE figures.
This stands in stark contrast to the industrialized countries, which spend an average of 2.5 percent GDP on research, according to data from 2000.
Environment Minister on Trial
GUATEMALA CITY, (Tierramérica).- Environmental organizations are demanding the resignation of Guatemala's environment minister, Carlos Cáceres Ruiz, in the wake of his appearance before the nation's Congress.
Independent lawmaker Olga Camey de Noack said the official had not even proposed any legislative bills.
"It's inconceivable that the top government representative on the environmental issue does not know anything about the ministry's policies," commented Yuri Melini, director of the Environmental Legal Action Center.
Carlos Albacete, head of Trópico Verde, another environmental group, said the country lacks a true environmental policy.
The minister responded that the ministry has drawn up several projects, such as the water act, and vehicle emissions regulation. The Executive Branch is still studying these.
The ministry is meeting with various civil society groups about a law to modify the environmental impact statements required for any industrial project, added Cáceres Ruiz. *Source: Inter Press Service.
up for Tierramerica's free weekly newsletter!