CARACAS, Jan 17 (Tierramérica).- In the period of late December 2010 to early January 2011, all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts caused severe damage in the Canaima National Park, an area of 30,000 square kilometers in southeast Venezuela.
These "rustiqueros," as they are known here, with varying cross-country capabilities, "damaged paths to waterfalls and other green areas in at least six areas of the park," Ingrid Martínez, of the government's Institute of Parks, told Tierramérica.
In the park's La Piscina sector, a group of people with eight vehicles was detained by the National Guard, and the state prosecutor could charge them with criminal violation of environmental laws.
Canaima encompasses the Great Savannah (Gran Sabana), declared a natural Heritage of Humanity site in 1994 for its unique tepuy geography, the tabletop mountains with beautiful cascades.
Environmentalists have reported similar vandalism in natural areas of the Venezuelan plains and Andes Mountains.
Ethanol Also Comes from Eucalyptus Bark
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 17 (Tierramérica).- The great volume of industrial waste from the paper pulp industry -- eucalyptus bark -- can be made into raw material for ethanol, according to a study by the Luiz de Queiroz Agricultural School at Brazil's University of São Paulo.
The soluble sugars of the eucalyptus bark, like glucose, fructose and sucrose, ferment in contact with yeast and produce ethanol.
"The cellulose (paper pulp) industry throws out huge quantities of this waste each month. Each ton can generate 200 kilograms of sugars, enough to produce 100 liters of biofuel," chemist Juliano Bragatto, head of the project, explained to Tierramérica.
"Breaking (the structure of) the cellulose, we can obtain 94 additional liters. The research will continue, and we'll test different varieties of eucalyptus," he said.
Migratory Birds Studied in Guanahacabibes
HAVANA, Jan 17 (Tierramérica).- Cuban scientists will delve deeper this year into the characteristics and provenance of the birds they find on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, one of the major corridors for migratory species in Cuba.
In March and April, they will study the winter phase of migration; in May and June, the summer phase; and in October and November, the autumn phase, biologist Alina Pérez told Tierramérica.
Because of its location, this region in the far west of the island nation is favored by numerous types of birds in their north-south migrations.
The species coming from the United States are the most abundant, arriving in Guanahacabibes beginning in September.
Research at this biosphere reserve is part of an international project for managing protected marine and coastal areas in the southern Cuban archipelagos, financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Plans for Law on Garbage Incineration
TEGUCIGALPA, Jan 17 (Tierramérica).- The Honduran authorities are seeking legislation on different approaches to solid waste management. Of the country's 298 municipalities, 260 do not have any waste treatment system, and the other 38 utilize incineration -- and most are poorly managed.
"The incinerators are very poorly run, and we can't fight pollution if nearly all of the country's garbage ends up in riverbeds or are burned without appropriate oversight," said Rigoberto Cuéllar, minister of natural resources and environment.
The planned law would include provisions for building appropriate incinerators across the country, he said. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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