BUENOS AIRES, Dec 2 (Tierramérica).- The Foundation for the Defense of the Environment (FUNAM) has called for requiring new construction in Argentina to install double-discharge toilets and plumbing systems that make the most efficient use of water.
Raúl Montenegro, president of FUNAM, explained to Tierramérica that a traditional toilet consumes 10 to 16 liters with each flush. But the double-discharge toilets have two positions: one for urination, which uses two to four liters, and another for bowel movements, which uses three to eight liters.
The foundation presented the initiative to the Secretariat of Public Works of the central Argentine city of Córdoba, but suggested that the measure apply to the entire country.
According to FUNAM, each of the 1.1 million residents of Córdoba consumes 353 liters of water a day, more than twice the per capita use in cities in Spain like Barcelona, Madrid or Seville.
Film Expedition to Benefit Wildlife
BOGOTÁ, Dec 2 (Tierramérica).- The Yaguarundí Expedition, made up of researchers and filmmakers, will travel through the Colombian Caribbean beginning in January 2007 to produce documentaries about endangered species and ecosystems.
This television project includes the participation of the private channel RCN and the company Eco Films Colombia. The team will spend one year in the area collecting material for the documentaries.
Luis Gutiérrez de Piñeres, executive director of Eco Films, told Tierramérica that the project will promote widespread community participation in an issue of national interest -- the environment -- in a more social, active and participatory way.
He added that during the research they will produce four mass media campaigns to encourage conservation schemes and to halt trafficking, possession and marketing of wild species in all of Colombia.
Final Touches on Ecotourism Plan for Amazonia
RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 2 (Tierramérica).- After five years of preparation, the Brazilian government is putting the final touches on the plan for ecotourism in Amazonia, which will be ready in six months, environmental official Alan Milhomens told Tierramérica.
"The strategy combines the attraction of interesting locations and the demand and profile of national and international tourists interested in the region," said Milhomens, coordinator of Proecotur, the program for development of ecotourism in Amazonia.
"Among the potential tourists, the Amazon trademark is disassociated from Brazil, as something unique that must be preserved, which indicates the need for sustainable tourism," he said.
According to a study by the Ministry of Environment, released on Nov. 30, the Amazon region could interest 52 percent of the European tourism market and 40 percent of the U.S. and Asian markets
Benefit of the Doubt for New Environment Minister
MEXICO CITY, Dec 2 (Tierramérica).- Activists say they are satisfied with the naming of Juan Elvira as the environment minister for the new government of Mexico, but that his stated intention of making the environment a central issue of public policy will be difficult.
President Felipe Calderón, who began his six-year term on Dec. 1, asked Elvira, 48, a former official with the Federal Prosecutor for Environmental Protection, to work towards Mexico achieving sustainable development.
"We know Elvira, who has served in environmental posts as someone open to dialogue. He is a good choice, but we are worried that he won't have sufficient power within the government, where there are those who respond to particular economic interests and who see the environment as a bother," Cecilia Navarro, spokeswoman for Greenpeace, told Tierramérica.
Seeds to Be Imported for Biodiesel
TEGUCIGALPA, Dec 2 (Tierramérica).- In the first quarter of 2007 Honduras will import from Malaysia 1.5 million sacks of hybrid seed to plant some 7,200 hectares of African palm (Elaeis guineensis J.). The aim is to produce biodiesel fuel.
Héctor Hernández, the Honduran minister of agriculture, told Tierramérica that the plant will be cultivated in the northern departments of Atlántida, Colón and Yoro, and involve farmer and business groups that are interested "in a new economic approach that contributes to producing fuel based on clean technologies."
The government hopes to generate some 760 million liters of biodiesel in five yeas. The Central American Economic Integration Bank (BCIE) granted a loan of four million dollars to import the seeds. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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