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Eco-Briefs

 MEXICO 
 
 Solidarity Economy Legislation Under Study


MEXICO, Mar 7 (Tierramérica).- Draft legislation to foster the development of a solidarity economy is under study in two Mexican states and could promote more environmentally friendly food production, its supporters say.

In the western state of Michoacán and the northern state of Chihuahua, draft laws that could be passed this year by their respective state legislatures would promote alternatives like local and family farming and bartering and exchange systems. Countries like the Dominican Republic and Ecuador have already adopted similar legal frameworks.

“These laws would foster other kinds of production and distribution models,” including ecological farming methods, activist Altagracia Villareal of the Espacio Economía Solidaria México, founded in 2003, told Tierramérica.


 BRAZIL 
 
 Cheaper and Cleaner Desalination


RIO DE JANEIRO, Mar 7 (Tierramérica).- An engineer from Cape Verde working at the University of São Paulo Polytechnic School in Brazil has developed a system to transform saltwater into drinking water that is both cheaper than current methods and less harmful for the environment.

The system, known as a “desalination column”, uses wind energy harnessed with turbines. Saltwater is pumped into the upper part of a cylindrical column. The weight of the water pushes a piston which pressures the air inside the lower chamber of the system. This air exerts force on another compartment, pushing the water through a membrane that acts as a filter and makes the water safe to drink.

Juvenal Rocha Dias, the engineer, was inspired by the drinking water shortage in his homeland. “I wanted to create a desalination alternative for less developed countries. Conventional methods use fossil fuel energy, which makes them more expensive and creates pollution,” he told Tierramérica.


 ARGENTINA 
 
 Regulations for Glacier Protection Law Criticised


BUENOS AIRES, Mar 7 (Tierramérica).- The regulations adopted to enforce Argentina’s new glacier protection law do not guarantee the urgently needed protection of sensitive areas where mining activities are already taking place, warn environmental activists.

Environmental organisations had been pushing for the establishment of regulations for the law. But the regulations adopted through an executive branch decree do not define priority areas where mining projects should be monitored, a shortcoming criticised by Greenpeace, the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation, Friends of the Earth and other organisations.

The decree “does not guarantee sufficient protection of glaciers,” Greenpeace activist Hernán Giardini told Tierramérica. Moreover, “there has been a delay in the review of mining projects,” he added, referring to the massive Veladero and Pascua-Lama deposits in the western Argentine province of San Juan.


*Source: Inter Press Service.
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