TEGUCIGALPA, Feb 27 (Tierramérica).- The Law on Forests, Protected Areas and Wildlife of Honduras, adopted in 2008, is not effectively implemented and has not stopped illegal logging. Representatives of the justice system, activists and local governments are working together on strategies to ensure that it is genuinely enforced.
There is awareness among the stakeholders involved that measures to protect the environment need to be more effective, because a lack of knowledge around the law allows for a great deal of impunity, National Human Rights Commissioner Ramón Custodio, who is heading up the multi-stakeholder initiative, told Tierramérica.
One of the areas where impunity is most marked is illegal deforestation, which continues without adequate state control, as well as deliberately set forest fires, said Custodio.
It is estimated that Honduras loses around 58,000 hectares of forest every year, primarily through illegal logging, which costs the country roughly 55 million dollars in losses annually, according to the National Institute for Conservation and Development of Forests, Protected Areas and Wildlife, a government agency.
Plastic Bottles Transformed into Varnish
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 27 (Tierramérica).- ) A technique developed by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro makes it possible to recycle plastic bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to produce varnish.
The process, which has already been patented, helps reduce the consumption of other petroleum derivatives. The bottles are crushed and subjected to a degradation process that alters their molecular weight. The resulting substance then passes through other chemical processes until it becomes a powder that is added to the varnish formula.
"The process needs to be perfected, since problems still occasionally arise, such as the formation of bubbles and an overly hard consistency. We are studying ways of improving the malleability of the varnish," chemist Antonio Alves da Silva, who is heading up the project, told Tierramérica.
"There has been no date set for launching the product on the market. The varnish will not be sold until these problems are ironed out," he added.
Caravan Against Open-Pit Mining Planned
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 27 (Tierramérica).- Artists and residents of the southern Argentine province of Chubut are preparing for a 400-kilometer march to protest open-pit mining projects that involve the use of cyanide.
The Poets and Artists March will set out on Mar. 3 from the southeastern city of Trelew, near the Atlantic coast, and arrive on Mar. 10 at the city of Esquel in the westernmost area of Chubut, at the foot of the Andes Mountains.
"We want to create awareness by shining a spotlight throughout the entire week on the issue of this type of mining, which pollutes the soil, water and air," Luis Carranza, one of the caravan’s organizers, told Tierramérica.
The protesters will be divided in groups who will march in relay, with each covering a stretch of 60 kilometers. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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