MEXICO CITY, Jul 2 (Tierramérica).- Non-governmental organizations and honey producers in the southern Mexican states of Yucatán and Chiapas have filed a petition with the federal court for an injunction against the government’s authorization of commercial production of genetically modified (GM) soybeans on an area of some 253,000 hectares.
This potential growing area is divided among seven Mexican states.
In addition, “because of the serious environmental, economic and health risks posed by transgenic crops, we are calling for these areas of the country to be declared GM-free zones, with a permanent ban on their cultivation in the region,” Albert Chan of the Xpujil Indigenous and Popular Council in the southern state of Campeche told Tierramérica.
In May, the Ministry of Agriculture granted authorization to the U.S. transnational Monsanto for the commercial planting of GM soybeans. The company had previously been authorized to grow transgenic cotton.
Environmentalists and scientists maintain that the GM soybean crops will threaten honey production. According to the Mexican Association of Honey Exporters, in Yucatán alone there are some 16,000 beekeepers who produce around 10,000 tons of honey annually.
South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary Could Finally Become a Reality
BUENOS AIRES, Jul 2 (Tierramérica).- Environmental and civil society organizations in Latin America, with support from other regions, feel confident that an initiative for whale conservation in the South Atlantic will finally be approved this year.
On the eve of the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, taking place Jul. 2-6 in Panama City, Latin American activists are waging the final push for the creation of the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, which they have been striving to make a reality for a decade.
Roxana Schteinbarg of the Whale Conservation Institute of Argentina told Tierramérica that in order to pass, the initiative needs 75 percent of the votes of the commission’s member countries. Up until now, pro-whaling countries have managed to obstruct the creation of the sanctuary.
Schteinbarg said that this conservation initiative is the most important issue that will be addressed in Panama, and it is hoped that Japan and the United States will not block its approval, as has happened in years past.
Despite Awareness, Water Is Still Being Wasted
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jul 2 (Tierramérica).- Brazilians recognize that water is a limited resource, but they have yet to cultivate habits to preserve it, according to a survey conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
While 82 percent of respondents said they knew that water will be scarce in the future, and 95 percent said they knew of ways to save water, 48 percent admitted they make no attempt to limit their water use, and 30 percent said they spend more than 10 minutes under the shower.
On the other hand, 81 percent of those interviewed said they were willing to cut back on their water consumption, and 58 percent approved of fees for water management. A totally of 2,002 respondents in 26 Brazilian states took part in the survey.
“People’s awareness of the problem and their behavior are out of sync. There is also little grasp of the bigger picture: for instance, only 1% of people recognize that deforestation aggravates the water problem,” Maria Cecilia Wey de Brito, president of WWF-Brazil, told Tierramérica. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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