MEXICO CITY, Jun 14 (Tierramérica).- Farmers organizations and academics from three public universities in Mexico created an alliance to promote native maize and to reject the introduction of genetically modified varieties of this crop.
"The cornfield is a millennial inheritance of the indigenous and rural communities of our country, which offers a sustainable option for safe and diverse food production," Antonio Hernández, leader of the Union of Peoples of Morelos, told Tierramérica.
The alliance, which includes the Autonomous National, the Autonomous Metropolitan and the Autonomous Mexico City Universities of Mexico, is creating a catalogue of the initiatives for protecting the crops and developing social, economic and technological research to benefit the maize farmers.
The government of President Felipe Calderón, from October 2009 to January 2010 granted 24 permits to various companies for experimental cultivation of genetically modified maize. Mexico is considered a cradle of this essential grain.
Sanitation Begins in the Kitchen
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 14 (Tierramérica).- Recycling kitchen oils to produce biodiesel has the advantage of protecting the sewer system, as well as preventing soil and water contamination.
In the Săo Paulo neighborhood of Cerqueira Cesar, oil recycling resulting in a 50-percent reduction in the need to unclog pipes in the 1,500 buildings that since 2008 have participated in program, according to the local sanitation company. The oil is sent to biodiesel conversion plants.
This reinforces projects like Biofrito, of the government's agricultural research agency Embrapa, which is developing the technology and a plant to be opened this year. The aim is to produce 5,000 liters per day for diesel engines, from used oils.
"Getting the community to participate in recycling -- including schoolchildren, housewives and businesses -- is essential for success," project coordinator José Dilcio Rocha told Tierramérica.
Reducing emissions of greenhouse-effect gases is another of the project's major benefits, he said.
Patagonia Ecologists for Clean Energy
BUENOS AIRES, Jun 14 (Tierramérica).- A dozen environmental organizations from the southern Argentina region of Patagonia signed a declaration on energy that opposes expansion of nuclear, hydroelectric and coal-based projects.
"In terms of energy, the situation in Argentina is unstable and dangerous," states the Energy Declaration of the Argentine Patagonia, released this month. "It relies on a matrix that is not diversified and is highly dependent on petroleum and natural gas."
Alejandro Yanniello, of the Piuké Ecologist Association, one of the signing entities, told Tierramérica that the document "calls attention to the advance of the dominant energy model based on production and consumption" and promotes the development of renewable sources like wind.
"We don't want Patagonia to be sued to feed a market that is always asking for more and squanders what is generated," he said. "With the advance of nuclear energy, the threat of hydroelectric megaprojects or coal-fired power plants, we are saying 'No'."
Forest Planting Begins
TEGUCIGALPA, Jun 14 (Tierramérica).- The Honduran authorities have launched a plan to recover 25,000 hectares of forest, with an emphasis on areas degraded by fires and illegal logging.
The campaign began with the planting of the first 1.5 million tree seedlings in the western provinces of La Paz and Intibucá and in the northeastern Olancho, which have most of the country's environmentally protected areas.
Trinidad Suazo, director of the government's Forest Conservation Institute (ICF), told Tierramérica that those areas also hold the rivers that supply water to El Cajón hydroelectric dam, which provides more than 30 percent of the electricity consumed in Honduras.
The strategy, which also includes community and business participation, is to last two months, with the goal of recuperating the principal protected areas that have suffered destruction. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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