HAVANA, Aug 18 (Tierramérica).- Experts from Cuba's Plant Sciences Research Institute have created a new biological product for fighting rodents that attack crops, institute scientist Pedro Pablo Mora told Tierramérica.
"This rodenticide has been tested with very good results," said Mora. The poison was made from leaves of the bush Lantana camara, harvested during flowering during the afternoon hours and dried at room temperature for four days.
To the compound were added 10 percent corn flour, 10 percent rice heads, five percent grated and roasted coconut and 10 percent paraffin.
Mora said this natural toxin is in the testing phase and being standardized with existing rodent poisons.
Cuba already has a biological rodenticide, Biorat, from Labiofam SA.
Edible Oil Waste to Fuel Buses
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 18 (Tierramérica).- Biodiesel distilled from edible oil waste from restaurants and households will fuel 18 buses in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, whose transportation system is an international model and award winner.
The project of the municipal agency Urbanization of Curitiba (URBS) will consume 2,000 liters a day of oil used for frying to power 12 vehicles initially, to begin running in October on the Green Line, which crosses 10 neighborhoods in an exclusive lane for articulated buses. The city produces 800,000 liters per month of waste edible oil.
The edible alternative B100 (100 percent biodiesel) generates "pollution similar to mineral gasoline, but will have environmental benefits because it will re-use the oil that would have been thrown in the garbage," URBS president Paulo Afonso Schmidt told Tierramérica.
Depending on the project's results, the experience could be extended to more bus lines, he said.
Preparing First Fisheries and Aquiculture Census
SANTIAGO, Aug 18 (Tierramérica).- From September 2008 to April 2009, Chile will conduct its first national fisheries and aquiculture census. The results will be ready by the end of next year.
Thanks to a pre-census carried out in May and June, some of the sector's traits have been revealed, such as its mobility and seasonality, Mariana Schkolnik, director of the National Institute of Statistics, told Tierramérica.
The goal is to provide updated economic, social and demographic statistics for this important segment of the Chilean economy, which will allow better policy decisions and facilitate the development of new studies in universities and research centers, she said.
Thousands of Children in Eco-Games
CARACAS, Aug 18 (Tierramérica).- Some 15,000 children headed to 50 parks and zoos in Venezuela to start the 30th Ecological Games, which combine recreational activities with environmental education during two weeks of school vacation.
The Games "allow children to explore flora, fauna, hydrography and relief maps, developing skills to participate in solving environmental problems," said Vilealdo Medina, who headed the activities in the northern city of Maracay.
The governmental Institute of Parks covered the costs of previous years, some 100 dollars per participant, and increased the rolls from 3,500 to 15,000.
"It's fun to learn about animals, plants and rivers, and to make new friends," nine-year-old participant Luis Omaña told Tierramérica. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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