TEGUCIGALPA, Sep 15 (Tierramérica).- The much-criticized Honduran forestry development agency, Cohdefor, officially halted operations on Monday, Sep. 15, after more than three decades, and ceding the way for the new governmental body, the Forest Conservation Institute (IFC).
The news came from the new IFC director, Suyapa Otero, who is entrusted with developing a national policy for the country's forests and preserving wildlife and protected areas, as part of the functions detailed in the new law on forestry, approved a year ago.
The creation of the IFC came about as a result of pressure from civil society and environmental groups who reacted against the repeated charges of corruption against Cohdefor related to illegal logging and the granting of permits to lumber interests without due process.
Amazon Boat Runs on Solar Power
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sep 15 (Tierramérica).- The first solar-powered boat is already navigating rivers in the Brazilian Amazon. Weighing 250 kilograms and a capacity to carry four people, the Siesuí 1 serves a hotel on the Araçá River in the northwestern state of Amazonas.
In November, it will be replaced by the Seisuí 2, which can carry 10 people.
"The benefits are in the fuel savings and the elimination of carbon dioxide emissions," Fernando Garcia, the inventor and builder of the boats, told Tierramérica.
These watercraft travel at 25 kilometers per hour, like the usual motor boats used in the region, but are quieter and lighter because of their aluminum shell.
The system, which includes an electric motor, stores solar energy to be able to navigate at night or on cloudy days. If the motor fails, the Seisuí has a small backup that runs on alcohol.
Progress on Native Forest Law
SANTIAGO, Sep 15 (Tierramérica).- Chile's Ministry of Agriculture opened the registration period until Sep. 29 to run for a post on the Consultative Council of the Law on Native Forest Recovery, published in the Official Newspaper of Jul. 30.
Those invited to participate are environmental non-governmental organizations, universities, labor groups. cooperatives of small, medium and large landowners, and associations of owners of Private Protected Wild Areas.
The president of the Association of Forestry Engineers for Native Forests, Carlos Poblete, applauded that there is compliance with the dateline set by the law. "It is an urgent issue. We have waited 15 years for the law to be passed," he told Tierramérica.
The members of the Council will serve three years and will not be paid, and their duties include issuing decisions on how the law is carried out, among other areas.
Transit and Garbage on the Electoral Agenda
CARACAS, Sep 15 (Tierramérica).- The combined problem of garbage and transit in Caracas awaits solutions in the final stretch of municipal and regional elections to take place in November across Venezuela.
"On environmental problem, traffic, leads to another, the threat to health from garbage. It is essential that the mayors and the different municipalities act together, leaving aside their political differences, Diego Díaz, of the environmental group Vitalis (which is drafting a set of "environmental commandments" for the candidates), told Tierramérica.
Traffic is so congested in the valley where the capital city lies -- with five million people and two million vehicles -- that the garbage trucks that carry the waste from a dump in the east to the transfer station in the southwest take five hours for a round trip.
In the initial holding site, 50,000 tons of garbage have accumulated since August, rising several meters about the containing wall. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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