RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 24 (Tierramérica).- When questioned in a recent survey about Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in 2012, two decades after the historic Earth Summit held in the same city, a mere 11 percent of Brazilians knew what it was.
The survey, conducted by the Vitae Civilis Institute and the research firm Market Analysis, was aimed at measuring the Brazilian public’s knowledge of and interest in Rio+20.
Of the people interviewed, 92 percent said they believed that global warming is a serious problem, and 73 percent said they were interested in the issues that will be discussed in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.
But with regard to the conference itself, 19 percent said they had little knowledge about it, and two out of three admitted that they had never heard of Rio+20.
"Closer analysis of the data reveals that knowledge about the conference is concentrated among the highest income and educational levels. More needs to be done for the general public to perceive Rio+20 as an event of international importance," Aron Belinky, the coordinator of Vitae Civilis, told Tierramérica.
The High Cost of Environmental Vulnerability
TEGUCIGALPA,, Oct 24 (Tierramérica).- Honduras devotes around 30 million dollars a year to confronting disasters caused by its environmental vulnerability and assisting their victims.
But these disasters - floods, landslides and destruction of roads - could be prevented, according to specialists attending a forum on environmental vulnerability.
The country’s fragility could be mitigated by implementing prevention plans. In this way it could avoid having to rebuild infrastructure that is designed to last 50 years but is destroyed in the first three.
If Honduras were to reduce the risk of disasters, "the expenditure over the next few years would probably be less than the 30 million dollars a year now spent on dealing with emergencies," risk management expert Juan Ferrando of the United Nations Development Programme’s Environmental Unit told Tierramérica.
The country’s vulnerability grows more acute every year, and the magnitude of the challenge posed by natural disasters and the effects of climate change will be so great that the time has come to stress prevention, he added.
Manatee Born in Captivity
CARACAS, Oct 24 (Tierramérica).- A manatee (Trichechus manatus) that has been living since Oct. 13 at the Bararida Park Zoo in Barquisimeto, in west-central Venezuela, is the third member of this endangered species to be born in captivity in South America.
Two of the three have been born in Venezuela, and the third in Brazil. There are a number of specimens now living in captivity in Mexico.
Manatees, sometimes called sea cows, are large herbivorous marine mammals that can weigh up to 600 kilos. They are considered an endangered species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
"This is an important achievement considering our modest resources, and the fact that this sea mammal that lives on the coasts and in large rivers in the American tropics has been listed as an endangered species by CITES since 1992," Esmeralda Mujica, the president of the Venezuelan Association of Zoos and Aquariums, told Tierramérica.
Two centuries ago, Alexander von Humboldt described the abundance of manatees in the rivers of the Orinoco and Amazon basins. Today they have been reduced to small groups. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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