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									                        THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                                     Thursday, 20 July 2006


          UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

         Un appel international en faveur de la biodiversité (Le Figaro)
         Érosion de la biodiversité : les experts lancent un cri d'alarme (Agence France
          Presse)

         Greenhouse Pollution Drops in China, India Thanks to Low-Tech Fixes
          (National Geographic)
         Vers le développement du solaire thermique en Tunisie (Tunisia Online)
         Solar And Wind Energy Provided For Displaced (Suna News Agency)
         Weltweit erstes Öko-TV sendet übers Internet (Sonnenseite.com)



               Other Environment News

       Earth facing 'catastrophic' loss of species (The Guardian)
       A Numbers Game: Managing Elephants in Southern Africa (Environment News
        Service)
       Ours polaires en prison climatisée (Le Figaro)
       Dam project threatens living fossil (Nature)
       Plan for 'credit cards' to ration individuals' carbon use (The Independent)
       Simulator could predict weather up to 30 years into the future (People's Daily Online)
       China Pollution Causes at Least $2.5 Bln in Annual Grain Losses (Bloomberg)
       Where corn is king, a new fuel is prince (Christian Science Monitor)
       Reluctantly Adjusting to Oil Cost (New York Times)
       Britain's Solar Boat a Scientific Advance (Associated Press)
       Secrets of ocean birth laid bare (BBC)
       Beach Bacteria Sicken Over a Million Annually (Los Angeles Times)

               Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

       ROAP
       ROLAC
       ROWA


               Other UN News

       UN Daily News of 19 July 2006
       S.G.’s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 19 July 2006



                  Communications and Public Information, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya
    Tel: (254-2) 623292/93, Fax: [254-2] 62 3927/623692, Email:cpiinfo@unep.org, http://www.unep.org
Le Figaro: Un appel international en faveur de la biodiversité
Caroline de Malet
20.7.2006



LA TERRE est «au seuil d'une crise majeure» ! C'est en ces termes que dix-neuf scientifiques
issus de treize pays lancent un appel à la communauté scientifique mondiale, en l'exhortant à
parler d'une même voix pour orienter les politiques mondiales de la biodiversité. Publiée
aujourd'hui dans la revue Nature (1), leur déclaration exige que soit «comblé de toute urgence le
fossé entre les sciences de la biodiversité et les politiques». Car, soulignent les auteurs de cet
appel, «la quasi-totalité des domaines concernés est en forte régression et de nombreuses
populations ou espèces risquent de disparaître au cours du siècle. Malgré cette évidence, la
biodiversité reste largement sous-évaluée et insuffisamment prise en compte par les politiques
publiques comme par les entreprises». Des conseils aux politiques Et de rappeler que près de
12% des espèces d'oiseaux, 23% des mammifères, 25% des conifères et 32% des amphibiens
sont actuellement menacés de disparition. Sans compter que, soulignent les auteurs, «à lui seul,
le climat pourrait augmenter de 15% à 37% les chiffres de l'extinction prématurée des espèces
vivantes au cours des cinquante prochaines années». Les signataires de cette déclaration
proposent donc que soit mise sur pied une instance qui fédère le point de vue de la communauté
scientifique et oriente les décisions politiques.

Leur modèle est le Giec (Groupe intergouvernemental d'experts sur le climat, IPCC en Anglais),
mis en place en 1988 par l'Organisation météorologique mondiale et le Programme des Nations
unies pour l'environnement (PNUE). Parmi les signataires figurent notamment l'ancien directeur
du Giec Robert Watson, actuellement conseiller scientifique au département de l'environnement
de la Banque mondiale, et des spécialistes de la biodiversité, notamment les Français Michel
Loreau, de l'université McGill au Canada, et Robert Barbault, directeur du département
d'écologie et gestion de la biodiversité au Muséum national d'histoire naturelle. Cette idée fait
son chemin depuis quelque temps, sans pour autant faire l'unanimité. Elle a été lancée par
Jacques Chirac dans le cadre de la conférence internationale sur la biodiversité qui s'est tenue en
janvier 2005 à Paris à l'Unesco. «Ce qui est en cause, c'est la capacité de nos sociétés à intégrer
dans les comportements et les choix individuels ou collectifs leurs conséquences écologiques et
la responsabilité à l'égard des générations futures», avait alors lancé le président de la
République. La France, qui joue un rôle moteur sur le sujet, a poussé cette idée à la conférence
sur la biodiversité qui s'est tenue à Curitiba, au Brésil, en mars dernier. Un comité international
de pilotage pour la création d'un Imoseb (International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on
Biodiversity) a été mis en place et sa première réunion à Paris, en février dernier, a lancé une
consultation de dix-huit mois nécessaire à sa création effective. «Il a existé des réticences à ce
concept, mais les États-Unis, qui y étaient opposés au départ, se sont montrés, à Curitiba,
ouverts au dialogue», relate Anne Larigauderie, directrice exécutive de l'antenne française du
programme de recherches international sur la biodiversité Divertas. Les opposants à cette idée
estiment qu'une superposition des instances internationales ne réglera pas le problème, arguant
du fait qu'il existe déjà une Convention sur la biodiversité (CDB). Adoptée à Rio en 1992 et
ratifiée par cent quatre-vingt-huit pays, celle-ci s'est toutefois révélée impuissante à stopper
l'érosion de la biodiversité avant 2010, comme s'y étaient engagés, voici trois ans, ses
signataires. (1) Nature, 20 juillet 2006.
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Agence France Presse: Érosion de la biodiversité : les experts lancent un cri d'alarme
Emmanuel Angleys
19.7.2006
[appears in Cyberpresse, Canada]
Un groupe de scientifiques tire la sonnette d'alarme sur l'érosion de la biodiversité et estime que
la planète est au bord d'une «crise majeure». «La biodiversité, c'est le tissu vivant de la planète»,
explique à l'AFP Robert Barbault, directeur du département d'écologie et de gestion de la
biodiversité au Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Paris, cosignataire d'un appel international en
faveur de la biodiversité à paraître jeudi dans la revue scientifique Nature.

Et «quand une espèce disparaît, c'est comme quand une maille saute : cela n'empêche pas le
tissu de tenir. Et puis, deux, trois, quatre mailles sautent et tout d'un coup, tout s'effiloche»,
ajoute-t-il. Or, «il est certain qu'il y a, actuellement, une érosion globale d'une grande partie des
espèces animales et végétales, aussi bien sauvages que domestiques. Donc on parle d'érosion de
la biodiversité», fait-il observer.

Selon les signataires de cet appel - 19 experts de 13 pays - près de 12 % de toutes les espèces
d'oiseaux, 23 % des mammifères et 32 % des amphibiens sont, entre autres, menacées de
disparition. Et le réchauffement climatique pourrait causer une augmentation supplémentaire de
15 à 37 % des chiffres de l'extinction prématurée des espèces existantes au cours des 50
prochaines années.


Quand une espèce disparaît, même si l'événement passe totalement inaperçu dans le grand
public, «c'est un signal qui nous dit que le tissu vivant de la planète se dégrade, que les milieux
dans lequel on vit, sont en train de se dégrader, et c'est notre cadre de vie qui est en cause»,
déclare Robert Barbault.

«L'extinction des espèces est un phénomène normal mais ce qui est en cause, c'est une
disparition accélérée qui n'est pas compensée à la même vitesse par la production de nouvelles
espèces», observe-t-il.

Par exemple, le rythme de disparition actuel des vertébrés est de 100 à 1000 fois plus élevé que
leur taux d'extinction normal, précise-t-il, se référant à des chiffres de l'Union mondiale pour la
nature (UICN).

«Les espèces les plus menacées sont celles qui sont directement en concurrence avec l'espèce
humaine pour l'utilisation de l'espace et des ressources, en particulier celles qui ont besoin de
beaucoup d'espace, les mammifères, les oiseaux, les plantes supérieures», précise cet expert,
auteur d'un essai publié aux éditions du Seuil, Un éléphant dans un jeu de quilles : l'homme
dans la biodiversité.

Mais la problématique de la biodiversité est complexe et elle ne mobilise ni le grand public, ni
les hommes politiques, déplore-t-il.

«On continue d'avoir l'impression que le message ne passe pas et la raison en est simple : plus
on en parle, plus on donne une impression de multiplicité de petits événements - disparition




                                                                                                      3
d'une espèce de papillon ou de grenouille - sans voir le lien qu'il y a entre tout cela», ajoute-t-il.

De, plus on manque d'indicateurs pour mesurer l'érosion de la biodiversité, à l'instar du dioxyde
de carbone (CO2) et de ses effets sur le réchauffement climatique. Mais «on peut en trouver»,
s'insurge Robert Barbault qui exhorte les scientifiques à parler d'une même voix pour orienter
les politiques mondiales.

Les experts, cosignataires de l'appel paru dans Nature, demandent la création d'un mécanisme
de coordination mondial, représentatif des sciences de la biodiversité, afin d'éclairer les
décisions qui seront prises par les dirigeants politiques, à l'instar de ce qui a été fait pour le
réchauffement climatique avec le Groupe intergouvernemental sur l'évolution climatique (Giec).
_____________________________________________________________________________

National Geographic: Greenhouse Pollution Drops in China, India Thanks to Low-Tech
Fixes
Mark Anderson
19.7.2006
Dramatically reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in the developing world could be as simple as
installing new boilers and fluorescent lights, according to a new study by the United Nations
and the World Bank.
The UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Bank recently released their final report
on a pilot energy-efficiency project in the developing world's three leading economies: Brazil,
China, and India.
The report reveals that energy use in these countries can be slashed by 25 percent using simple,
low-tech innovations.
This reduction could translate to a substantial cut in both greenhouse-gas emissions and air
pollution, because coal-fired power plants provide much of the electricity in these countries, the
report stated.
The Three Country Energy Efficiency Project, conducted from December 2002 until May 2006,
collaborated with Chinese, Brazilian, and Indian energy consulting firms to help owners of local
mills, factories, and office parks to cut their power use by as much as a third.
The project tapped the World Bank to help these regional firms—called Energy Service
Companies, or ESCOs—buy equipment such as energy-efficient air conditioning units and
steam boilers.
These quick fixes have resulted in prompt payoffs in terms of energy reduction, according to
Mark Radka, head of UNEP's Energy Branch.
"There are very good potential investments in energy efficiency—replacing boilers, upgrading
lighting systems," he said.
"Just like if you bought a compact fluorescent bulb. You shell out a little more money than you
might for an incandescent bulb, but it pays for itself relatively quickly."
India Energy Savings
At the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, India, for instance, the project helped New Delhi
company DSCL Energy Services install new lighting and air conditioning that cut the hospital's
energy bill by 25 percent.
DSCL also worked with three Indian companies to upgrade boilers and pumping systems,
netting energy savings of 15 to 38 percent.
Every energy-efficiency project that DSCL worked on decreased its client's energy bill enough
to pay for itself within two years, says company CEO G.C. Datta Roy.




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The Three Country Energy Efficiency Project, he said, was instrumental in making local banks
recognize the soundness of such investments.
The project, Datta Roy noted via email, "enable[d] us to work in a collaborative model [with
banks] rather than an adversarial way, as was happening earlier."
"Starved for Money"
DSCL is just one of many ESCOs the project worked with that simply needed some initial
capital to prime the financial pump.
"That's why this project was critical, because the ESCOs in these countries were often very
technically capable—staffed with good engineers and such. But they were, in a sense, starved
for money," UNEP's Radka said.
"Banks are often quite cautious to enter a new area," he added.
"No one really wants to be the first. … So often it's a matter of getting the first couple [of loans]
going."
Each country involved in the project called for a different approach, said World Bank consultant
Jeremy Levin, who worked on the project.
"In China, where the banking sector is undergoing reform and restructuring, there was a very
high risk-aversion from the banks," he said.
Because Chinese commercial banks were wary of making any investments that weren't
practically guaranteed, the World Bank effectively co-signed the loans from Chinese banks to
Chinese ESCOs for up to 90 percent of the loan amounts, Levin explained.
In the end, the World Bank guaranteed U.S. $36.4 million in loans over 52 projects, which
resulted in energy savings that cut 102,700 tons (93,100 metric tons) of Chinese carbon dioxide
emissions per year.
This reduction is approximately equivalent to 24,000 SUV owners switching to hybrid cars.
(See a National Geographic magazine feature onChina's growing environmental problems.)
Developing Countries and the Future
Jamais Cascio is the founder of the environmental and global-development blogs
worldchanging.com and openthefuture.com. He says he hopes that ESCOs can take the quest for
improved energy efficiency to the vast residential markets of the three countries.
"[The ESCOs] could achieve more things by focusing on homes … [and] getting individual
domestic changes, such as improved lighting and improved cooking tools," he said.
He added that future projects could use a kind of development called leapfrogging, in which a
region's lack of infrastructure may actually work to its benefit.
"Because you don't have the existing base of legacy equipment [such as an electric grid] that
you have to slowly grind through a replacement, you can make wholesale changes that can have
pretty dramatic results," he said.
Cascio cites the example of a grassroots solar-power movement emerging from the Barefoot
College in Rajasthan, India.
"There's the Barefoot Solar Engineer movement, which is basically training illiterate women in
Indian villages to be solar-power engineers, to be able to install and repair solar-power systems
to provide power to communities that are off the grid," Cascio said.
____________________________________________________________________________

Tunisia Online (Tunis): Vers le développement du solaire thermique en Tunisie
19 Juillet 2006
La conception de mécanismes de financement permettant le développement, en Tunisie, de
l'utilisation à grande échelle des énergies renouvelables, notamment dans le domaine du solaire
thermique, tel est le thème de la journée d'information tuniso-italienne tenue mercredi à Tunis.




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Organisée par l'agence de coopération italo-méditerranéenne (Apreime), conjointement avec le
ministère de l'industrie, de l'énergie et des PME, le programme des nations unies pour
l'environnement (Pnue) et l'agence tunisienne pour la maîtrise de l'énergie (Anme), cette
rencontre technique a pour objectif d'établir un partenariat entre les entreprises italiennes et
tunisiennes dans le domaine de la commercialisation, de l'assemblage et de la fabrication des
chauffe-eau solaires en Tunisie, et de créer un marché durable à travers la mobilisation des
acteurs concernés.
Elle vise également à présenter le centre méditerranéen des Energies Renouvelables (Medrec),
crée en 2004 à Tunis, dans le cadre d'une initiative lancée par le ministère italien de
l'environnement et du territoire. L'objectif de ce centre est de développer des projets pilotes,
moyennant la conception de mécanismes de financement visant l'utilisation à grande échelle des
énergies renouvelables.
Ce mécanisme de financement (Prosol) a permis à la Tunisie , de réaliser en 2005, environ 23
mille mètres carrés de chauffe-eau solaires dans le secteur résidentiel. L'objectif pour 2006 est
de parvenir à 45 mille mètres carrés.
Un deuxième mécanisme est en cours de réalisation, avec pour ambition de créer un marche des
chauffe-eau solaires en Tunisie et d'atteindre un parc cumulé d'installations de l'ordre de 500
mille mètres carrés à la fin 2009, dans le secteur résidentiel et tertiaire, ce qui représenterait
environ 45 mille mètres carrés de capteurs solaires pour mille habitants. IL s'agit ainsi de
réaliser 95 mètres carrés pour mille habitants en 2015.
M. Ridha Ben Mosbah, secrétaire d'état, chargé de l'énergie renouvelable et des industries
alimentaires, a souligné, à l'ouverture des travaux de cette rencontre, l'importance que la Tunisie
accorde au secteur de l'énergie, le but étant de faire face à une conjoncture caractérisée par un
déficit au niveau du bilan énergétique au plan national et une hausse irréversible des cours
internationaux du pétrole.
La Tunisie , a souligné m. Ben Mosbah a mis en place un programme national triennal
(2005/2008), dont l'objectif est de réaliser des économies d'énergie de l'ordre de 1,25 millions
de tonnes équivalents pétrole (TEP), et d'éviter ainsi une subvention de l'état pour les produits
énergétiques d'environ 220 millions de dinars, tout en s'activant à mobiliser son potentiel
important de valorisation des énergies renouvelables, afin d'améliorer l'apport de ces énergies
dans le bilan énergétique du pays.
____________________________________________________________________________

Suna News Agency Solar And Wind Energy Provided For Displaced

19.7.2006
- The Ministry of Environment and Urban Development has signed agreements with the World
Bank, the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah and the UN Environment Programme to draw
up a complete study to provide solar and wind energy to the displaced villages in South Sudan,
Darfur and the east..

This was revealed to SUNA by Minister of Environment and Urban Development Dr. Ahmed
Babiker Ahmed Nahar who explained that the study includes the avoidance of injudicious
cutting of tree and lightening schools, hospitals and police centers..

Nahar also said the study aims ensure training for cadres and set up an environmental lab to




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detect the effects of refuse on the environment..

The Minister added that the UN Programme agreed to finance the re-habilitation of Al-Dinder
National Park so that it becomes attractive to Jourists..

The Dutch Government also announced its agreement to train cadres and restore the vegetation
cover by planting trees to protect the environment in the country..
_____________________________________________________________________________


Sonnenseite.com: Weltweit erstes Öko-TV sendet übers Internet
"Green.tv" hat eine neue Fernsehsparte eröffnet: Es ist der weltweit erste TV-Kanal, der sich
auf ökologische Themen spezialisiert hat.
Die Filme von "green.tv" kann man sich im Streaming-Verfahren auf der Homepage des
Senders anschauen oder als Podcast für das Programm "iTunes" herunterladen. Das Programm
wurde mit Unterstützung des Öko-Programms der Vereinten Nationen (UNEP) entwickelt.
"Green.tv ist ein wirklich innovatives Projekt, das bei Ökoforschern und -filmern zweifellos
einiges bewirken wird", sagt UNEP-Sprecher Eric Falt. Der neue TV-Kanal könnte bald die
wichtigste Adresse sein, für jeden, der sich einen Überblick über das weltweite Angebot an
Filmproduktionen zu ökologischen Themen verschaffen will.

"Green.tv wird ein grünes Google für grüne Filme werden", verspricht sein Erfinder, der
Filmregisseur und -produzent Ade Thomas. "Wer Nachrichten über den Klimawandel, einen
Kinderfilm über Pinguine oder einen Bericht über Windenergie sehen will, kann jetzt "green.tv"
aufrufen und sich neue Anstöße durch Umwelt-Filme geben lassen - und das in einer Zeit, in der
ein größeres Verständnis und mehr Aufmerksamkeit für solche Themen dringend nötig ist."
_____________________________________________________________________________
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                                    Other Environment News

The Guardian: Earth facing 'catastrophic' loss of species
Ian Sample, science correspondent
20.7.2006
· Scientists call for action in biodiversity crisis
· Warning that world faces next mass extinction

 The Earth is on the brink of "major biodiversity crisis" fuelled by the steady destruction of
ecosystems, a group of the world's most distinguished scientists and policy experts warn today.
Nineteen leading specialists in the field of biodiversity, including Robert Watson, chief scientist
at the World Bank, and Professor Georgina Mace, director of the Institute of Zoology, are
calling for the urgent creation of a global body of scientists to offer advice and urge
governments to halt what they call a potentially "catastrophic loss of species".
Destruction of natural habitats and the effects of climate change are causing species to die out at
100 to 1,000 times faster than the natural rate, leading some scientists to warn we are facing the
next mass extinction.
Nearly one-quarter of the world's mammals, one-third of amphibians and more than one-tenth of
bird species are threatened with extinction. Climate change alone is expected to force a further
15%- 37% of species to the brink of extinction within the next 50 years.
Writing in the journal Nature today, the experts from 13 nations urge for the new body, the
international mechanism of scientific expertise on biodiversity (Imoseb), to be set up to force
better biodiversity policies around the world.
"We are on the verge of a major biodiversity crisis. Virtually all aspects of diversity are in steep
decline and a large number of populations and species are likely to become extinct this century.
Despite this evidence, biodiversity is still consistently undervalued and given inadequate weight
in both private and public decisions," the authors say.
The new body will be modelled loosely on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), a collection of the world's top climate scientists that is convened to assess the latest
research on climate change and its potential implications. Because the IPCC is funded by
governments, it carries sufficient clout to influence international and regional policy.
Dr Watson, a former chairman of the IPCC, said the Imoseb may face a tougher task than the
IPCC because biodiversity is often more complex than climate change. An 18-month
consultation is under way to agree how the body will accumulate scientific evidence, identify
causes of damage and recommend ways to limit or reverse them.
In May, the World Conservation Union said the number of known threatened species stood at
16,119. Polar bears, desert gazelles and sharks were all added to the list of species facing
extinction. Melting ice caps, hunting and over-fishing were identified as the culprits.
"Whether it's forests, marine systems, grasslands, you name it, they are in disrepair," said Dr
Watson. "For the sake of the planet, the biodiversity science community has to create a way to




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get organised, to coordinate its work across disciplines, and together with one clear voice advise
governments on steps to halt the potentially catastrophic loss of species already occurring."

In danger
· Great white shark populations have decreased by up to 95% in the past 50 years
· Polar bears are expected to suffer a population decline of 30% in the next 45 years
· Unregulated hunting and habitat degradation in the Sahara desert have caused an 80% drop in
the dama gazelle population
· A quarter of freshwater fish in Africa is threatened by human activity
_______________________________________________________________

Environment News Service: A Numbers Game: Managing Elephants in Southern Africa
By Mark Schulman
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, South Africa, July 19, 2006 (ENS) - Southern Africa just had
one of the wettest summers on record, turning its usual adobe brown sun-burnt landscapes into
verdant green paradises. In South Africa's Kruger National Park, vegetation has grown thick and
dried riverbeds have flooded. Wildlife haven't had to wander too far in search of food or water.
That's great for the wildlife, but not necessarily for the 1.2 million tourists who come to the
world famous park each year expecting to spot the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and
buffalo - that in leaner times are easily found congregating in the open around sparse
waterholes.
But even in the best of conditions one can't miss the elephants. Not only because they are the
largest animal foraging around the park - not to mention the largest terrestrial land animal on the
planet - but because they are numerous. In fact, within the first few minutes of entering Kruger's
main gate, a large male bull is easily spotted foraging among the trees without blinking an eye
at the herds of gawking holidaymakers - an indication of their high visibility and high densities
in the park.
"Elephants are such large and magnificent creatures," said Dr. P.J. Stephenson of WWF's
African Elephant Programme, "but they also need a lot of food and freedom if they are to
survive."
As elephants consume up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of plant matter in a single day, when
space is limited, as it usually is, they often come into conflict with other animal species, as well
as people, who are competing for many of the same, often scarce resources.

Kruger National Park covers an area of some 20,000 km2 (7,720 square miles) - about half the
size of Switzerland - but it still doesn't seem big enough to accommodate a growing elephant
population. Unlike many populations in Africa which remain endangered as a result of years of
poaching and habitat loss, elephants in Kruger are growing at a rapid rate.
Since the park stopped culling elephants about a decade ago as a result of international pressure,
numbers have gone from 7,000 to over 12,000. According to local officials, the park's habitat
can only sustain about 7,000 over a long period. Any more and it will add pressure to an already
fragile and carefully managed environment.




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"With a natural growth rate of six to eight percent a year, the population currently has the
potential to double their numbers every decade," said Dr. Hector Magome, Conservation
Services Director of South African National Parks (SANParks), the government department
responsible for managing the country's 22 national parks.
"Increasing numbers of elephants are causing major changes to the vegetation of the park,
destroying trees and reducing habitat available for other wildlife species. When elephant
numbers go up, tree numbers go down. At what point do you want to stop that?"
In the course of their foraging, elephants often strip the bark of trees of such important tall tree
species as ancient baobabs, knobthorns - where birds of prey often make their nests - and
marulas, whose fruit has an extremely high vitamin C content and is used to make jam, juices
and alcoholic beverages like the popular South African liqueur Amarula. Rare plant species,
such as the lalla palm, are also being damaged.
"Marula trees are endangered due to destructive bark stripping by elephants," said Dr. Holger
Eckhardt, an ecology specialist at Kruger National Park. "They can eliminate entire
communities of these valuable trees in a very short amount of time. Increasing elephant
numbers will cause increasing pressure on current tall tree populations."
According to aerial surveys in the park, large trees are declining by about 45 percent in
observed areas.
In addition to tree loss, elephants have been blamed for breaking the park's boundary fence and
wreaking havoc on neighboring villages, especially their crops. The broken fences also allow
species like buffalo to leave the park, some carrying foot and mouth and bovine tuberculosis
which infects livestock and have a negative impact on the local economy.
Outbreaks of foot and mouth disease to the west of Kruger National Park have increased in
recent years. Managing a recent foot and mouth outbreak cost South Africa some US$15.5
million.
About 1.5 million people live near Kruger and several hundred thousand in bordering
Mozambique. Because of these large population areas, there are increased concerns of rising
human-elephant conflicts. There have also been reports of increased elephant attacks on tourists
and personnel.
"Our obligation is to manage and conserve biodiversity," added Dr. Magome. "We have to do
something to manage the situation, both for the ecosystem, the people who live near the park
and for those who visit it."

"Ultimately, the decisions on elephant population management are all about choices of what we
want. Do we want elephants to be the main asset of the park and thus manage for elephants or
do we want to manage the parks for the entire functioning of the system?"
The African elephant once ranged across most of the African continent from the Mediterranean
coast to the southern tip. Although it is difficult to assess accurately population numbers, it is
thought there may have been three to five million African elephants in the 1930s and 1940s.
However, through heavy ivory poaching and habitat loss, elephant numbers declined sharply in
the 1970s and 1980s. Today, it is estimated that between 400,000 and 660,000 elephants survive
in Africa.
Several options are currently being considered by South Africa and other southern African
range states to tackle local over-population of elephants. These include range expansion through
the establishment of cross-border protected areas and protection of migration corridors,
translocation to under-populated areas, contraception, and perhaps the most controversial,
culling - the intentional reduction of elephant populations. Each option has its advantages and
disadvantages, each its costs and constraints.
WWF has for years been working to establish trans-frontier conservation areas in Africa to help
conserve elephant migration corridors, to reduce human-elephant conflict, and to establish




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community-based natural resource management programs. The global conservation
organization has also helped establish new protected areas at the national level, as well as
helped translocate elephants from South Africa to an under-populated trans-border park in
Mozambique.
But translocation is expensive and labor-intensive and can only help remove a limited number
of "unwanted" elephants - up to only 14 at a time, according to Kruger staff. Translocating one
elephant can cost as much as US$8,000.
Despite the price tag, many have been taken across the border to Mozambique, but the elephants
have raided the crops of communities still living in the area, and some have actually found their
way back to their traditional feeding grounds in Kruger - making the whole operation
ineffective. Contraception methods have also been employed over the years, but this has proven
to be expensive and the park's veterinarians say it can only stabilize populations, not reduce
them.
It is because of such complex challenges that elephant culling is once again being talked about
to address the problems of elephant overpopulation and insufficient space in certain parts of
southern Africa. Kruger, as well as other southern African parks, used to cull small numbers
annually to maintain populations at levels authorities considered suitable for their environment,
but stopped under strong international pressure in 1995 after populations in other parts of Africa
had been decimated by decades of systematic poaching.
The status of the species, however, still varies greatly across Africa. Some populations remain
endangered due to poaching for meat and ivory, habitat loss, and conflict with humans, while
others are secure and expanding, like in South Africa and its neighboring countries as a result of
successful management and enforcement.
"No one likes killing elephants, but we have a responsibility to maintain biodiversity," said
Kruger's Dr. Ian Whyte, an elephant specialist who has worked in the park for the past 36 years.

"This is the problem with elephant culling. You have the conservation management issue to deal
with, but there is the emotional side. A lot of people identify with elephants, they have family
structures similar to ours; they look after each other. But in terms of conservation management
of biodiversity, elephants can have a very significant impact on an environment."
"We see what happens in other parks when populations explode," he added. "We are trying to
predict well in advance before the serious damage occurs."
Anticipating an international backlash because of the sensitivity of the issue, SANParks and the
South African Environment Ministry have been debating any potential cull, taking in views
from a number of stakeholders, including top scientists, academics, conservation organizations
such as WWF, animal welfare groups, local communities bordering Kruger, neighboring
countries that also have large elephant populations, and many others. No decision has yet been
made.
"We acknowledge the challenges faced by South Africa in managing its expanding elephant
population and support the consultative process and attempt to take on board all points of view
on this very important and complex issue before making a final decision," said Dr. Susan
Lieberman, Director of WWF's Global Species Programme.
"Culling should only be considered as a last resort when all non-lethal options have been
investigated and thoroughly tried and tested," she added.
"It is also vital that African elephant range states develop long-term, large-scale national and
regional plans for elephant and land management that allow elephant populations to exist
without danger to ecosystems and local communities. These plans should also provide benefits
to local communities."




                                                                                                11
The elephant story in some of South Africa's neighboring countries is different. In Namibia's
north-eastern Caprivi Strip, where Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe all meet, there are
thousands of elephants crossing borders at any given time.
In northern Botswana alone there are an estimated 100,000-plus elephants growing at a rate of
five percent a year, and are damaging the vegetation in protected areas such as Chobe National
Park at a record pace.

Elephant numbers in this part of southern Africa far exceed the population in Kruger and are
also causing huge headaches for wildlife management and local people.
"There are definitely too many elephants here and they are causing a considerable amount of
damage to farmers' crops and even people," explained Beaven Mulani, a field coordinator with
the WWF-funded Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) in the
Caprivi Strip, which is experiencing a rise in elephant-human conflict. Beaven's grandmother
was killed by an elephant when he was only five years old and the issue is close to home.
"Something like culling would destroy a lot of elephants," he said. "If we are talking about
conservation we need to find the right balance. We must look at the needs of the communities.
The only solution here is to give hunting quotas to the conservancies. This will give the
communities more control in managing wildlife."
Conservancies are a unique conservation system in Namibia that gives local communities
responsibility and right of ownership over their natural resources and wildlife. Registered
conservancies acquire the rights to sustainable wildlife hunting quotas set by the country's
Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Wildlife, including small numbers of elephants, can
either be hunted and consumed by the community, or sold to trophy hunting companies, with
proceeds going directly to the communities.
"Communities once received nothing for the use of their resources, now they are getting paid for
it," said Chris Weaver, director of WWF Namibia.
"You can do a lot with the money, like improving education, increasing employment, and of
course, sustainably managing natural resources. The idea is for local communities to manage
the land, wildlife and natural resources so that they are profitable, and ultimately, self-
supporting."
In the Samambala Conservancy, for example, the community can earn as much as $US11,000
for an elephant. In the nearby Kasika Conservancy, there are quotas for four elephants, six
buffaloes, two hippos and two crocodiles. These quotas, if filled, have a potential worth of over
US$80,000.
"Community attitudes towards wildlife conservation have changed since the establishment of
conservancies in my region," explained Chief Joseph Tembwe Mayuni, chief of the Mafwe
tribe, which lives on the Mayuni Conservancy in Namibia's Caprivi Strip.

"As my people see that benefits are going directly to the community, they know it is in their
interest to look after wildlife."
Although communities in Namibia have become more tolerant of wildlife as a result of the
conservancies, it doesn't mean that the human-wildlife conflict has gone away. Elephants in
many places still disrupt daily life. Children in the Impalila Conservancy near the border with
Botswana are often too frightened to go to school because elephant herds are in the area. As a
result, many children's education has suffered. Sometimes the conflict ends in tragedy. On the
Kasika Conservancy in recent years, five people have died from wildlife attacks - three from
hippos, one from a crocodile, and one from an encounter with an elephant.
About 1,600 elephants come across the border from Botswana's Chobe National Park each year
from June to November to graze on the lands of the Kasika Conservancy. Elephants are also




                                                                                              12
among the main culprits behind crop raiding, easily damaging a farmer's yearly income in a
matter of minutes.
"My field has been raided several times," said Moses Maseku from the Caprivi Strip village of
Sikaunga. "This is a problem, especially as I have no other income and I get no compensation.
When one elephant comes, more are sure to follow. I am expecting more raids. There is nothing
I can do."
Elephants are not just big, but smart. They can easily knock down fences protecting crops, even
disable electric ones, and are not scared of loud noises made by farmers defending their crops.
But it seems that they have one weak spot - they don't like spicy food.
Chilli peppers have shown to be an effective elephant deterrent in Namibia, as well as other
parts of Africa experiencing elephant problems. Either mixed with engine oil on rope barriers
around the fields or mixed with dried elephant dung and burned to make "chilli bombs," the
spicy capsicum seems to work as an effective anti-elephant repellent.

Albert Stenzi, another farmer from Sikaunga, has seen his sorghum fields raided five times in
one year.
"I am going to try and use chilli techniques if I am given the chance," he said. "I will try
anything at this point to stop the raid."
Through a WWF-supported project, several conservancies are now learning to cultivate several
plots of chillies to be used for scaring off elephants that raid their crops.
"It's a simple and effective solution," said WWF's African elephant expert Dr. Stephenson.
"The success in reducing crop-raiding and increasing crop yields has made people more
enthusiastic and supportive of conservation, and has demonstrated that people can live
alongside wildlife while developing sustainable livelihoods. And that in turn should help ensure
a long future for the elephants."
In 2000, WWF launched its African Elephant Programme which aims to: increase protection
and management of elephants in Africa; build capacity within elephant range countries to
manage and mitigate conflict between humans and elephants; and control the illegal trade in
elephant products.
WWF has recently supported the IUCN Species Survival Commission African Elephant
Specialist Group to produce technical guidelines for the management of local over-population
of African elephants. This is expected to be published in early 2007 and will provide park
managers and national governments with the information they need to make informed decisions
about the options available to them.
{Mark Schulman is managing editor at WWF International, based in Switzerland.}
___________________________________________________________________________

Le Figaro: Ours polaires en prison climatisée
Ludovic Hirtzmann .
20 juillet 2006

L'été, les ours polaires qui s'aventurent trop près de Churchill, au Canada, sont capturés
et parqués dans un établissement conçu pour eux.

«CETTE PRISON a sauvé la vie d'un nombre incalculable d'ours qui autrement auraient été
tués», confie Vince Chrichton, chercheur senior du ministère de Conservation de la vie sauvage
du Manitoba. Depuis le milieu des années 1970, la recrudescence des plantigrades dans les
faubourgs de Churchill, grand port céréalier de la baie d'Hudson, constitue une gêne.




                                                                                              13
En 1980, les résidents de cet ancien poste de traite de la fourrure, fondé en 1685, ont inauguré le
Polar Bear Compound, un établissement pénitentiaire de 23 cellules, destiné à recevoir les ours
qui s'approchent trop près de la ville. Si les ours blancs sont de plus en plus familiers, ils
demeurent toujours aussi dangereux. Cette municipalité du Grand Nord a décidé de construire
cinq cellules climatisées supplémentaires pour ses invités à fourrure. «Nous rénovons la prison
afin de garder les ours en cellule jusqu'à ce que la glace se reforme sur la Baie d'Hudson puis
nous les héliporterons à bonne distance. Nous n'aimons pas les garder trop longtemps en
prison», ajoute Vince Crichton.

Lors de la fonte des glaces, au mois de juillet, les ours polaires rejoignent la terre ferme dans
l'espoir de trouver de la nourriture. Les plantigrades ont compris que les habitants de Churchill
peuvent leur servir de casse-croûte et à l'automne, lorsque les touristes viennent observer les
ours polaires, l'on ne sait d'ailleurs plus trop qui, des touristes ou des ours, observe l'autre.

Victimes du réchauffement climatique

Terrible prédateur pour l'homme, l'ours blanc est l'objet d'une surveillance intense. Les
Canadiens ont mis en place un numéro d'urgence pour signaler la présence des plantigrades,
ainsi qu'une patrouille de surveillance. Vince Crichton assure que grâce à ces mesures de
prévention, aucun humain n'a été tué par un ours blanc à Churchill. Selon les résultats d'une
étude du professeur Andrew Derocher, spécialiste des écosystèmes de l'Arctique à l'Université
de l'Alberta, les ours polaires pourraient cependant avoir disparu d'ici à un siècle. Leur taux de
natalité a chuté. Il y aurait 15 000 ours polaires dans l'ensemble du Canada pour une population
mondiale de 27 000 individus. Selon les études du Canadian Wildlife Service, au milieu des
années 1990, il y avait entre 1 200 et 1 600 ours dans la seule région de Churchill. «Leur
population a baissé et est de l'ordre de 950 animaux», révèle Vince Crichton.

Si les ours sont plus présents dans les zones urbaines et s'ils se reproduisent moins, ces
phénomènes sont dus pour l'essentiel au réchauffement climatique. Depuis les années 1980, la
glace fond trois semaines plus tôt qu'auparavant dans la région de Churchill. Ce réchauffement
force les ours à interrompre la chasse au phoque, alors qu'ils n'ont pas constitué des réserves de
graisse suffisantes pour survivre l'hiver. En 2004, les scientifiques canadiens ont observé des
cas de cannibalisme entre des ours polaires, qui, aujourd'hui ne mangent plus à leur faim.

_____________________________________________________________________

Nature: Dam project threatens living fossil

20.7.2006

Lungfish face extinction, say environmentalists.

We are about to lose a key piece of our evolutionary history, warn biologists. They are
campaigning to save the Australian lungfish, which they fear could be sent extinct by an
enormous dam planned for southeastern Queensland.

The hefty, muddy-brown fish (Neoceratodus forsteri) is thought to have survived virtually
unchanged for at least 100 million years, making it one of the oldest known vertebrate species
around and earning it the moniker of 'living fossil'. It is also one of the closest living relatives of
the ancestral fish that crawled on to land and eventually gave rise to all land vertebrates,




                                                                                                     14
including humans. Being able to study the species is important for understanding how that
transition took place.

The lungfish is now largely confined to two river systems in Queensland — among the only
places that provide the shallow, running and weedy water in which the fish likes to spawn. A
dam in one of these, the Burnett river, was completed last year in order to supply water to the
drought-stricken region. The area has the fastest growing population in the country, and
delivering water to the inhabitants is likely to be a huge problem in the future. But lungfish
researchers say that by flooding or drying them out, the dam will eventually destroy nearly half
of the lungfish spawning areas.

The Australian lung fish could shed light on the origin of all land vertebrates.

On 5 July, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie announced a decision to dam the second river, the
Mary. Partly because the Australian lungfish is listed as a threatened species, the dam must pass
a federal environmental-impact assessment before the project can proceed. But lungfish
supporters believe the second dam could be enough to drive the species to extinction.

The latest decision prompted lungfish expert Jean Joss at Macquarie University in Sydney to
step up a campaign to block the dam and persuade the federal government to intervene.

Joss has asked colleagues to e-mail Beattie and federal environment minister Ian Campbell to
tell them about the scientific importance of the fish — so far more than 100 scientists have
responded to her call. "It would be a calamitous and irreplaceable loss if this animal went
extinct," says Per Ahlberg of Uppsala University, Sweden, who collaborates with Joss and is
helping with the campaign.

There are five other species of lungfish living in South America and Africa. But the Australian
lungfish, which can live for a century and grow 1.5 metres long, is thought to most closely
resemble the last common ancestor of land vertebrates.

Biologists say that living fish can be used for genetic and embryology studies that probe how
vertebrates moved from water to land — analyses that would be impossible with preserved
specimens. Joss and Ahlberg, for example, are studying the lungfish's patterns of gene activity,
to try to work out how fins became limbs. "These things are amazingly important organisms in
the history of the Earth," says William Bemis who studies vertebrate evolution at the University
of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The Queensland government has guaranteed that the dam will include a 'fish elevator' to carry
lungfish across the dam and says that it will do whatever it takes to meet federal environmental
requirements, as it did with the last dam. But Joss says that this is not enough, because the
lungfish's old spawning grounds will still be destroyed. Lungfish lay very few eggs, and return
to the same spawning sites year after year.
Should the campaign fail, Joss says she will petition Beattie for money to set up a lungfish
breeding centre. But guaranteeing the species' survival in captivity would be tough. So far Joss
is the only researcher who has managed to breed them, using two ponds, each the size of an
Olympic swimming pool.
___________________________________________________________

The Independent (UK): Plan for 'credit cards' to ration individuals' carbon use




                                                                                               15
By Ben Russell
19 July 2006
A limit could be imposed on the carbon each person pumps into the atmosphere under proposals
being considered by the Government to combat global warming.
A credit card-style trading system would ensure that people pay for air travel, electricity, gas
and petrol with carbon rations as well as cash, under the plans to be floated today by David
Miliband, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in aspeech to the
Audit Commission.
Mr Miliband will point to the expansion of emissions trading schemes for business and the
public sector and suggest a similar system for individuals. Government estimates suggest that
individuals' use of gas, electricity and transport accounts for 44 per cent of Britain's carbon
emissions, with the average Briton responsible for around 4,000 kilograms of emissions a year.
Under the proposals, all citizens would be given a personal carbon allowance, based on national
targets for cutting CO2 emissions. People who take measures to cut the pollution they produce
could sell their surplus. Those who continue to produce pollution above their personal cap
would have to buy credits on the open market.
Mr Miliband will suggest banning products such as inefficient light bulbs and electrical
appliances which waste power while on standby. He will suggest new environmental taxes to
shift the cost of pollution on to consumers and propose that consumers might make automatic
payments to offset pollution.
He will say: "In the short term it is likely that a mixture of the above tools will be needed. But in
the long term, we should look more radically at the option of tradable personal carbon
allowances. Imagine a world where carbon becomes a new currency. We all carry carbon points
on our bank cards in the same way as we carry pounds. We pay for electricity, gas and fuel not
just with pounds but carbon points."
____________________________________________________________________________

People's Daily Online: Simulator could predict weather up to 30 years into the future
20 July 2006
People in a hurry who leave the house on a sunny morning minus their umbrella and get
drenched by an afternoon downpour will have no excuses if Japanese scientists succeed in an
ambitious quest to forecast bad weather.
The country's science ministry has unveiled plans to harness the power of the Earth Simulator,
until recently the world's fastest supercomputer, to predict the weather up to 30 years into the
future.
The ministry, which will invest a reported 10 billion yen (US$850 million) in the project in the
next five years, hopes to utilize the simulator, which occupies a warehouse the size of four
tennis courts in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, to calculate the long-term patterns, incorporating
atmospheric pressure, air temperatures, ocean currents and sea temperatures.
Scientists should be able to use the data to map the routes taken by typhoons, heatwaves and
droughts, and potentially spare millions from death and disease.
"Now we can see what areas are at risk and start thinking about what kind of measures to take,"
Tomonori Otake, of the ministry's earth environment bureau, told Reuters.
The ministry has invited bids from researchers and hopes to have the project up and running
next spring.




                                                                                                   16
The centre has made impressive advances in forecasting extreme weather patterns. It recently
predicted the formation of a typhoon five days in advance, two days earlier than the best
forecast from Japan's meteorological agency.
Introduced in 2002, the Earth Simulator was the fastest supercomputer in the world until it was
overtaken two years later by IBM's Blue Gene. However, the US$350 million Japanese
supercomputer can still perform 35.6 trillion calculations a second.
But its success will depend less on the hardware and more on the software being developed by
experts at the Earth Simulator centre. "It all depends on the simulation model," Kunihiko
Watanabe, a research programme director at the centre, told the Guardian.
"It's not really about the computer's specifications. Even if we use a much larger computer, if
the simulation code is not quite right, then the results will still be wrong."
Researchers are constantly improving the simulation model in an effort to incorporate new
factors such as social and economic change in rapidly developing countries that affect, for
example, carbon dioxide emissions, Watanabe said.
"Having said that, we are optimistic that we can make more precise predictions in a few years'
time," he added.
"If we succeed in making forecasts a few days in advance we can avoid disasters, but if we can
predict seasonal patterns and, for instance, tell farmers in the winter that they are facing an
unusually hot summer, they can prepare their crops accordingly."
___________________________________________________________________________

Bloomberg: China Pollution Causes at Least $2.5 Bln in Annual Grain Losses
July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Pollution is affecting 10 percent of China's arable land, harming the
country's grain output and causing a danger to public health, Zhou Shengxian, head of the State
Environmental Protection Administration, said.
More than 184.5 million Chinese mu (12.3 million hectares) of arable land, mostly in
prosperous regions such as the eastern Yangtze River Delta and southern Pearl River Delta, is
polluted by harmful substances or dirty water or ruined by solid waste, Zhou said in a statement
posted on the bureau's Web site yesterday. Pollutants may be absorbed by the human body and
cause diseases, the statement said.
Around 12 million tons of grain produced every year is affected by heavy metal pollutants in the
soil, involving more than 20 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) of economic losses, Zhou said.
Zhou's bureau is investing 1 billion yuan between this year and 2008 to send investigation teams
across the country to evaluate the country's land quality, he said in the statement.
See for the bureau's Web site: http: //www.zhb.gov.cn/
___________________________________________________________________________

Christian Science Monitor: Where corn is king, a new fuel is prince
An ethanol boom lifts farmers and the sagging rural Midwest.
By Amanda Paulson
19.7.2006



                                                                                                  17
For a fuel additive, it doesn't get more exciting this.
Ethanol is the darling of investors. Wall Street executives, West Coast venture capitalists, and
even Bill Gates are investing in ethanol plants. The CEOs of the Big Three automakers have
pledged to double their production of flex-fuel vehicles - which can run on either gasoline or
ethanol - by 2010. And the Midwest, which grows most of the corn that gets turned into ethanol,
is smiling.
The additive's boom not only represents an alternative to foreign oil, it is pumping big profits
into dying rural areas and creating a burgeoning market for corn farmers.
The ethanol industry "is growing much more rapidly than anybody expected," says Dan Basse,
president of AgResource, an agricultural research and forecasting firm in Chicago. "It's a gold
rush mentality."
All of which, some critics say, could eventually strain the demand on corn and raise food prices
- for a fuel that not everyone believes is even a cheaper or better alternative to traditional
gasoline.
Reasons for the boom range from the mandated phaseout of a common additive (MTBE) to high
oil prices and the current focus on renewable sources of energy. Last year, Congress included a
provision in the Energy Policy Act that triples the amount of biofuel that must be mixed with
gasoline by 2012. And President Bush further emphasized renewable fuels in his State of the
Union address as a way to wean the US off foreign oil.
"I didn't expect the oil companies to convert to ethanol as fast as they have," says Allen Baker,
an agricultural economist with the US Department of Agriculture.
Supply slow to catch up with demand
While demand is booming, supply has been slow to catch up, Mr. Baker adds. That's because of
a transportation bottleneck. Ethanol can't be sent through existing pipelines, and the railroads
weren't prepared to haul so much.
Those factors have driven up ethanol's price rapidly. Its price has at least doubled from six
months ago, often reaching more than $4 a gallon.
That's bad news for drivers, but yet another reason for the growing interest from investors.
There are 101 ethanol plants operating, mostly in the Midwest, and more than 30 under
construction. Far more have been proposed.
That's rapid growth for an industry that has languished since a brief boom during the energy
crisis of the 1970s. Archer Daniels Midland operated nearly all the early plants, until farmers
began cooperatives in the 1990s. Nearly half of today's plants are farmer-owned, but the new
ones are more likely to be started by distant investors, says Brian Jennings, director of the
American Coalition for Ethanol.
"We knew the ethanol industry was going to grow and expand, but it's fair to say we've been
surprised by some of the interest we've seen," says Mr. Jennings.
But he and others say the ethanol boom is benefiting parts of the Midwest far beyond the actual
investors, especially in small rural towns that have been losing population and income sources
for years.




                                                                                               18
"The jobs at the plants are relatively good jobs," says Chuck Hassebrook at the Center for Rural
Affairs in Lyons, Neb. There's also a small local boost in grain prices near ethanol plants, he
says, and there's a big advantage for livestock producers in the area who can use one of the
ethanol byproducts to feed their cattle.
"You're seeing a resurgence of family farms doing cattle feeding in eastern Iowa" because of the
ethanol production, says Mr. Hassebrook.
That's been one benefit for Bill Couser, a farmer in Nevada, Iowa, who grows corn, raises cattle,
and is an investor in Lincoln-way Energy, an ethanol plant in his town that started operating six
weeks ago.
"Before I had two options - I could feed the corn to my cattle or sell it to the grain co-op," says
Mr. Couser. "Now I can take it to the ethanol plant, and then haul back the distiller's grain to the
feedlot and give it to the cattle. We're taking advantage of everything [corn] has to offer in our
community. There's nothing being sent out of the state that's not a final product."
The plant also employs 42 people, almost all of whom are from Nevada, and Couser says local
businesses he's been tracking have seen a 20 to 35 percent increase in profits because of the
plant. "You just can't believe what this has done for a small community," he says.
Others are even more worried that too much reliance on ethanol could have long-term
consequences for the nation's food prices - as livestock producers compete with ethanol plants
for the corn.
"There's a concern that it's growing faster than what the US corn availability will be in coming
years," says Mr. Basse of AgResource.
As more plants come online, demand will only increase, he says, putting pressure on the corn
supply. "I think this will require planting 10 million more acres of corn in the next four years
[beyond the 80 million acres currently planted], and it's going to cut into the arable land for
crops like wheat and soybeans."
Corn uses energy but makes more
Another challenge: It takes energy to produce this energy, although it still is a net plus, experts
say.
"One of the major misconceptions out there is that we have to use more oil to grow corn and
convert it to ethanol than we capture from ethanol in the end, " says Nathanael Greene, a senior
policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council. In reality, ethanol produces about 20
to 40 percent more energy than it uses, he adds, and a gallon of ethanol reduces oil use by about
95 percent.
Still, corn ethanol is just the first step, he emphasizes.
"People get excited about biofuels and see the potential, but they forget you have to get to the
advanced technology for it to become a major part of the oil solution."
______________________________________________________________

New York Times: Reluctantly Adjusting to Oil Cost
By LOUIS UCHITELLE
20.7.2006




                                                                                                 19
Every Monday morning Dean England, chief executive of a family-owned trucking company,
logs onto the Energy Department’s Web site and checks the latest average cost of a gallon of
diesel fuel. If it is up enough, he raises the charge to haul produce across the country in his
tractor-trailers.
A formula has evolved. For every 5-cent rise in the price of fuel, Mr. England’s company, C. R.
England Inc., based in Salt Lake City, adds 1 percent to its freight rates. Since 2003, those rates
are up 37 percent, yet demand has not slackened. The company’s 2,800 trucks are constantly on
the road.
“The market has been good to us,” Mr. England said. “But ultimately the extra cost of hauling
food has to fall on the consumer.”
Demand is similarly strong at other energy-dependent operations, notably railroads, airlines and
chemical companies. They, too, are raising prices to recapture as much as they can of the run-up
in oil prices.
That is gradually adding to the inflation rate and appears to be contributing to a slowdown in
growth — but it has not crippled the economy.
“As oil prices rise, a noose does tighten around the expansion,” said Nigel Gault, chief domestic
economist for Global Insight.
Mr. Gault estimates that rising energy prices are currently shaving 1 to 1.5 percentage points
from the economy’s annual growth rate, which is one reason that he expects the rate to slow
from the robust 5.6 percent of the first quarter to roughly 3 percent for the rest of the year.
“I’m guessing that if oil gets to $100 a barrel, that could provoke a recession,” Mr. Gault said,
“but even then it depends on how quickly we get there. We do seem to be adjusting to gradual
increases.”
The $8 run-up last week, to $78 a barrel, as violence spread in the Middle East was hardly
gradual. But prices did fall this week, to under $73, and the Energy Department forecasts that
West Texas intermediate crude oil, a benchmark grade, will finish the year at $73.50 a barrel, up
$8 from January.
Whatever the energy costs, many companies have managed to absorb much of the price shock
and preserve profits, which have risen to record levels recently as a share of national income.
The companies have done this by raising prices and instituting efficiencies that reduce the use
of petroleum and natural gas.
Consumers have not fared as well. Rising gasoline prices constitute what economists sometimes
describe as a consumption tax. When such a tax is imposed on millions of workers whose
incomes have not kept up with inflation in recent years, those consumers eventually cut back on
spending. That is one reason that economists see a slowdown coming.
The consumption tax is likely to be $100 billion higher this year than last year, Mr. Gault
estimates.
The increased caution in spending is evident in the weekly consumer surveys conducted by the
University of Michigan. Those surveyed seem to be losing faith that oil prices can be checked,
now that the average price of a gallon of gasoline reached $3.03 this week, up 75 cents since
January.
“For a long time people anticipated that gas prices would fall back, so they ran up more debt to
cover their higher expenses without cutting back on purchases,” said Richard T. Curtin, director
of the Michigan surveys. “And now they have reluctantly concluded, in the past three or four
months, that gasoline prices are not going to go down.”
But cutbacks in spending have been concentrated among households with less than $50,000 in
annual income, according to Mr. Curtin’s surveys. That is roughly half of all households. Most
of those with incomes above $50,000, which contribute to the bulk of consumer spending, are
still managing to absorb the higher energy costs without cutting back much elsewhere. “Rising




                                                                                                 20
gasoline prices are really driving a wedge between lower- and higher-income households,” Mr.
Curtin said.
Companies often have more room to maneuver than average consumers. Railroads, for example,
are operating at high levels of capacity, mostly in transporting ever greater amounts of coal to
electric utilities. That has given them the leverage to raise rates enough to cover 75 percent of
their increased cost of diesel fuel, says Philip Baggaley, a managing director and transportation
analyst at Standard & Poor’s.
The airlines, through surcharges and fare increases, are also covering three-quarters of the
increase in their fuel costs, Mr. Baggaley said. After years of having to keep fares low, the big
airlines have achieved a turnaround by shrinking their fleets and flying planes “jammed with
people,’’ as Mr. Baggaley put it.
Even food companies are getting into the act as energy costs work through the food chain.
Kellogg will raise cereal prices by about 2 percent in September, the first increase since July
2004, said Neal Goldner, director of investor relations.
On the other hand, chemical companies are getting a break on natural gas. Petroleum and
natural gas are often interchangeable feedstocks in the production of the chemical ingredients
that go into foam for cushions, solvents for dry cleaning and plastic for bottles, as well as glues,
synthetic rubber, electronic circuit boards and a host of other products.
While oil prices have remained high, natural gas has become cheaper. That is mainly because a
milder-than-expected winter left the nation with huge unsold inventories of natural gas that
cannot easily be shipped around the world, as oil is.
Dow Chemical takes advantage of the natural gas price drop in its American operations. But the
real gain is overseas, says John Dearborn, Dow’s vice president for energy. While natural gas is
about $6 per one million B.T.U.’s here, it is only $1 in various Middle East countries.
“At Dow, our production is about 50 percent in the United States and 50 percent elsewhere,”
Mr. Dearborn said, “but our preferential investment is elsewhere.”
Even so, Dow’s feedstock costs were $22 billion last year, up from $8 billion in 2003. “If we
are going to survive, we have to get our prices up,” he said. With the global economy booming,
prices on all Dow products are up 44 percent on average since 2001, the company reports.
Thousands of companies have shaved fuel costs by using less but getting the same result. Dean
England, for example, has installed heaters that run on their own fuel canisters in his company’s
2,800 truck cabs. Engines no longer have to idle to generate heat while drivers rest, a more
expensive option. He is testing a similar air-conditioning unit.
“Our drivers can be cool in the summer and warm in the winter,’’ he said, “and we won’t have
to have any engine idling.”
____________________________________________________________

Associated Press: Britain's Solar Boat a Scientific Advance
By Laura-Claire Corson
19.7. 2006
LONDON — It is slow and travels only a short distance, but builders of the Serpentine Solar
Shuttle say it's the most advanced passenger ferry on British waters. Britain's biggest solar-
powered boat debuted Tuesday on a lake in London's Hyde Park, opening what its developers
hope is a door to the future of solar-powered transportation.

The Serpentine Solar Shuttle -- powered entirely by the sun -- cruises at 5 mph and carries 42
passengers.




                                                                                                 21
Beginning Saturday, operators will offer one-way tickets for the half-mile cruise at $2.75, per
child and $5.50 for adults.

"This is the most technologically advanced shuttle in the world right now," said designer
Christoph Behling, who also designed the world's largest solar boat in Hamburg, Germany.

"It is made of entirely stainless steel which means it never gets old. It will pave the way for
future boats and trains and other means of transportation," Behling said.

The 48-foot-long shuttle has 27 solar panels on its roof, and the energy generated by the sun is
enough to keep the boat running.

Its maximum journey distance is 82 miles.

Almost no pollutants are given off during the trip because the shuttle has two silent engines --
meaning there are no carbon emissions and it is also charged fully by the sun.

Even on those dark, rainy days everyone associates with London, Behling said there will be
enough sun to keep the ship running.

 It is expected the boat will save nearly 5,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide per year, compared with
a diesel boat of a similar size, according to Gavin Gomes, a spokesman for Sputnik
Communications, a London-based energy company.

When the ferry is idle, surplus electricity generated by the solar panels will be fed back into the
national transmission network.

The Serpentine Solar Shuttle cost $421,000 to build -- 20 percent more than a diesel boat of a
comparable size, Behling said.

He is now working on a 300-passenger solar-powered ferry to run on the Thames, and hopes it
could be ready in 2008. A 60-passenger solar-powered train for London's Battersea Park is also
in the works.
___________________________________________________________________________

BBC: Secrets of ocean birth laid bare
By Helen Briggs
19.7.2006
The largest tear in the Earth's crust seen in decades, if not centuries, could carve out a new
ocean in Africa, according to satellite data.




                                                                                                   22
Geologists say a crack that opened up last year may eventually reach the Red Sea, isolating
much of Ethiopia and Eritrea from the rest of Africa.
The 60km-long rift was initially sparked by an earthquake in September.
Follow-up observations reported in the journal Nature suggest the split is growing at an
unprecedented rate.
It betrays events deep beneath the ground, where some of the tectonic plates that form Africa
are gradually moving apart from the Arabian plate, causing the crust to stretch and thin.
As rifts appear, molten rock bubbles up from beneath the surface, hardening to form a new strip
of ocean floor.
Dr Tim Wright from the University of Oxford, UK, said if the ripping of the crust continued, the
horn of Africa would eventually split off from the rest of the continent, in about a million years.
"We think if these processes continue, a new ocean will eventually form," he told the BBC
News website. "It will connect to the Red Sea and the ocean will flow in."

Fundamental processes
Dr Wright is a member of a team from the UK and Ethiopia that has been monitoring the
creation of the new ocean basin; a rare event on dry land.
They used sensitive seismic instruments, field measurements and satellite images from the
European Space Agency's Envisat spacecraft to study what is happening beneath the ground.
"We've been able to work up all the satellite data and get a very precise map," said Dr Wright.
"It's the biggest rifting episode at least since the 1970s and possibly in hundreds of years.
"It's the first time we've been able to use satellite images to investigate the fundamental
processes behind rifting."
The shift in the Earth's plates has been happening gradually over the course of two million years
but every now and again earthquakes and volcanic eruptions herald sudden break-ups.

Space techniques
One such event took place in September last year, opening up a 60km-long (37 mile) stretch of
a fault-line that runs from Ethiopia to the southern edge of the Red Sea.
"It's amazing," said Cindy Ebinger, from Royal Holloway, University of London.
"It's the first large event we have seen like this in a rift zone since the advent of some of the
space-based techniques we're now using.
"These techniques give us a resolution and a detail to see what's really going on and how the
Earth processes work."
Scientists have calculated that 2.5 cubic km (0.6 cubic mile) of magma has flowed up through
the crack in the Earth's crust.
It is enough to fill London's Wembley stadium 2,000 times or smother the area within the
capital's M25 orbital motorway with molten rock to a depth of 1m (1 yard).
____________________________________________________________________________



                                                                                                    23
Los Angeles Times: Beach Bacteria Sicken Over a Million Annually
  By Gary Polakovic
  17 July 2006

  Bacteria pollution at many Southern California beaches is responsible for illnesses in up to
  1.5 million swimmers and bathers annually as well as tens of millions of dollars in
  healthcare and other related costs, a new study shows.

  Previous studies have linked health problems to contaminated surf at individual beaches,
  but the report is the first to examine the health impacts at beaches spanning 100 miles of
  waterfront from San Clemente to the Ventura County line.

  Researchers at UCLA and Stanford conducted the study and their findings were posted
  today on the website of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

  The findings show that between 627,800 and 1,479,200 excess gastrointestinal illnesses
  occur annually at the Los Angeles and Orange County beaches surveyed. Such illnesses
  include diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms. The estimated health effects are somewhat
  conservative because they do not include eye, ear and nose infections or other illnesses
  associated with polluted water.

  Researchers estimated that healthcare costs for beach pollution illnesses ranged from $21
  million to $414 million. Those estimates included not only direct losses, such as lost time
  at work, costs for medical treatment or doctor visits, but also hypothetical costs that
  beachgoers would be willing to pay to avoid getting sick.

  Linwood Pendleton, a UCLA environmental economist and an author of the study, said the
  findings demonstrated the magnitude of savings that could be realized if Southern
  California cities were held to stringent discharge limits that would prevent exceeding the
  fecal coli standards at beaches. Such limits were scheduled to take effect July 15 under a
  court settlement, but state water quality officials missed the deadline.

  "There are many days when the beach is posted, but not closed, when bacterial counts are
  elevated and there are many days when bacterial counts are not high, but high enough to
  cause excess illness," Pendleton said.

  The study focused specifically on 28 beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties during
  2000, including Santa Monica, Zuma and Newport beaches. Researchers used bacteria
  measurements from surf as well as beach attendance estimates and extrapolated the health
  effects using two computer models based on wet and dry seasons.

  Between 150 million and 400 million visits are made to California beaches annually,
  generating billions of dollars in expenditures by tourists, swimmers and surfers.
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________




                                                                                                 24
                               ROAP Media Update 5 April 2006
                                 UN or UNEP in the news

Saving the Pacific’s foress
Dr Jimmie Rodgers says the big challenge for Pacific countries is to unlock the economic
potential of land while not threatening traditional ownership rights.
He has a message for Solomon Islands. He says the country must ban logging immediately, or
risk losing its forest reserves altogether.
He joins Graeme Dobell.
Also on the Mat today, another environmental concern in the Pacific: Global warming.
A new United Nations report highlights the danger posed by rising sea levels to a plant that
plays a critical role in the region’s ecosystems -- native mangroves.
The report published by the UN environment program says American Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu and
the Federated States of Micronesia could lose more than half their mangroves.
Even if those countries can't do much to stop climate change, the report says they can help by
limiting coastal development, reducing pollution and restoring mangrove wetlands that have
been damaged.
Vainuupo Jungblut from the Pacific Regional Environment Programme SPREP is one of the
authors of the report. He's joining Marion MacGregor on the Mat.
When to Listen: Tuesday, 18 July 2006
http://www.abc.net.au/ra/pacbeat/onthemat/stories/s1689654.htm

Nutrient recycling on humanity’s menu
On Line opinion, Australia - By Julian Cribb - posted Thursday, 20 July 2006
The ability of humanity to feed itself through the steepest increase in food demand in history
lies in something most communities throw away: nutrients.
In the next 40 years, according to the UN Environment Program, world food output must rise
110 per cent to meet the demands of population growth and improving diets in places such as
China, India and Latin America.
This will require more food yearly than has so far been produced in the whole of history. Yet
ponder the following of Australia's situation:
Of all the nutrients applied on our farms, up to half are wasted, in that they do not go to crops or
pastures but are lost to soil lock-up, weeds, erosion, leaching or run-off. The industry that
processes our food spends $750 million a year just to dispose of its waste. One-third to one-half
of all the food that enters our shops, supermarkets, restaurants and homes is thrown away. Our
cities waste 97 per cent of their sewage effluent and its nutrients.
If these estimates are sound, in theory it is possible to feed an extra 30 million to 60 million
people on an Australian diet with the nutrients we presently chuck into landfills and the ocean.
Recent drought has made Australians more conscious of the need to be sparing in our use of
water, but there is hardly public discussion of reusing that which supports all life: nutrients.
We are the most prodigal generation there has been. Our great-grandparents, who carefully
forked their compost heaps and manured their fields, would consider a society that buys new
nutrients each year, then throws them away, to have lost its reason.
The world supply of nutrients is not yet critical, so why worry? In the past 30 years, the price of
fertiliser has risen by an average 1,000 per cent: about twice the rate of oil price increases.
What's going to happen in the next 40 years when world food output has to more than double?
Nutrients may become expensive and even scarce commodities, especially as some of them are
being used to grow transport fuels and therefore replace oil.




                                                                                                  25
Australia has an excellent record in learning to manage nutrients on farms. The dairy industry in
particular has done much pioneering work on the nutrient cycle to minimise the loss of nutrients
down the creek. CSIRO has done good work on the reuse of sewage nutrients to grow things,
and Melbourne Water likewise, yet most of our nutrients are still trashed.
Work on recycling food waste from processing, retailing or end consumers has hardly begun.
US environmental scientist Peter Raven recently remarked that humans use or destroy 45 per
cent of all terrestrial bioproductivity. If he's even close to right, there is going to be colossal
demand for nutrients in the coming decades.
Australia, a lean and hungry continent, could distinguish itself by becoming the first nation to
seriously attempt to close the nutrient loop, to reuse our nutrients again and again before they
finally make their way to the deep ocean.
Some ways we could do this:
A national strategy for capturing and recycling nutrients in urban sewage treatment plants into
fertilisers and soil amendments,
A campaign to recycle or compost waste food in the catering industry and homes and a ban on
sending food to landfill,
The development of algae farms and other advanced bioprocessing techniques for reprocessing
waste into fertilisers, biofuels, stockfeed, fine chemicals, bioplastics and so on,
Wider on-farm use of perennial crops, deep-rooted crops, agroforestry and strip-farming
techniques to intercept nutrients in groundwater and recycle them into timber, particle board,
fruit, charcoal, flowers, bio-pharmaceuticals, fodder and stockfeed, electricity and biofuels,
Use of instream aquaculture and algae culture to harvest nutrients in rivers, reservoirs and
lagoons,
The creation of farmable wetlands to harvest nutrients from surface run-off and convert them to
aquatic crops of economic value,
Design standards for farms, roads, buildings, urban developments and so on that minimise
nutrient losses and allow for capture and reuse,
Strategies for remobilising or phyto-mining nutrients trapped in aquatic sediments,
Bio-farming using tailored suites of soil micro-flora and micro-fauna to mobilise trapped
nutrients and increase their availability to crops and pastures,
Harvesting of algal blooms in lagoons and estuaries and reprocessing them,
Breeding of less nutrient-dependent crop and pasture cultivars,
Research into organic farming methods to identify those with proven potential to conserve,
recycle and mobilise nutrients,
Development of extensive marine grazing systems that enable sustainable wild harvest of fish,
shellfish and algae inshore to recapture nutrients, and
Public education on the importance of nutrient conservation.
Above all, we need a national scientific plan and an attitudinal shift from our culture of waste.
We recycle aluminium cans, steel cars, plastic containers, glass and paper. Why do we hardly
reuse nutrients? To do so would undoubtedly save and make money. The additional food
exports alone could earn an extra $25 billion to $50 billion a year.
There is an epic scientific challenge in this and Australian scientists - strong in agriculture, soil
science, biotechnology and natural resource management - are well equipped to tackle it.
Solve the challenge of nutrient reuse and Australia may just help humanity pass the population
peak into a managed decline instead of the catastrophic collapse that is the usual fate of species
whose populations have outrun their resources.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=4695

Climate change threatens important mangroves
Sea level rise is threatening mangrove forests, say scientists




                                                                                                   26
Nguyen Dang Vu Long, 18 July 2006, Source: SciDev.Net
[HANOI] Rising sea levels linked to global warming threaten economically, ecologically and
culturally important mangrove forests in Pacific island states.
The warning comes in a study published today (18 July) by the UN Environment Programme
(UNEP), which says some of the region's islands could lose half of their mangroves by 2100.
The report predicts that American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji and Tuvalu
will be worst hit.
Mangroves grow along coasts throughout the tropics and subtropics. They occupy the boundary
between land and sea and are semi-submerged during high tides.
Many species of commercially important fish breed and raise their young among mangrove
roots, and studies have shown that when mangroves are cut down local fish catches decline.
Mangroves also provide a range of 'ecological goods and services' for coastal communities.
They are sources of timber and medicines, and they protect shorelines from storms and tidal
surges.
The UNEP study shows that up to 13 per cent of the Pacific region's mangroves could disappear
as sea levels rise because the forests' natural response — to retreat further inland — is blocked
by natural features and man-made obstructions, such as sea walls and settlements.
The report recommends limiting coastal development and allowing mangrove forests to spread
inland. It urges policymakers to rehabilitate former mangrove areas by planting young trees, and
to create new mangrove habitat.
Phan Nguyen Hong, head of the Mangrove Ecosystem Research Division of the Vietnam
National University, agrees that rising sea levels and mangrove loss are a concern. But he points
out that direct human action — such as conversion of mangroves to shrimp farms — has already
had a massive impact.
He points to recent figures from Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that
show the country has just 165,000 hectares of mangroves compared to 408,500 hectares before
1945.
"But now the government has considered the problem seriously and decided to restore the
mangroves," Hong told SciDev.Net. "It is because recent storms caused much more severe
damage for people in areas where the mangroves have disappeared."
He says replanting mangrove forests could help to limit the effects of rising sea levels and
increase local catches of marine products.
The UNEP report says the annual economic value of products and services that mangroves
provide is between US$200,000 and US$900,000 per hectare.
Achim Steiner, UNEP's executive director, said that there is "an urgent need to help vulnerable
communities adapt to the sea level rise which is already underway."
"This report provides sensible and sound advice on management regimes needed to boost the
health and resilience of coastal zones and coastal ecosystems — like mangroves — in the face
of current and future threats," he said.
http://www.scidev.net/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=readnews&itemid=2991&language=1

Greenhouse Pollution Drops in China, India Thanks to Low-Tech Fixes
Mark Anderson, for National Geographic News, July 19, 2006
Dramatically reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in the developing world could be as simple as
installing new boilers and fluorescent lights, according to a new study by the United Nations
and the World Bank.
The UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Bank recently released their final report
on a pilot energy-efficiency project in the developing world's three leading economies: Brazil,
China, and India.




                                                                                              27
The report reveals that energy use in these countries can be slashed by 25 percent using simple,
low-tech innovations.
This reduction could translate to a substantial cut in both greenhouse-gas emissions and air
pollution, because coal-fired power plants provide much of the electricity in these countries, the
report stated.
The Three Country Energy Efficiency Project, conducted from December 2002 until May 2006,
collaborated with Chinese, Brazilian, and Indian energy consulting firms to help owners of local
mills, factories, and office parks to cut their power use by as much as a third.
The project tapped the World Bank to help these regional firms—called Energy Service
Companies, or ESCOs—buy equipment such as energy-efficient air conditioning units and
steam boilers.
These quick fixes have resulted in prompt payoffs in terms of energy reduction, according to
Mark Radka, head of UNEP's Energy Branch.
"There are very good potential investments in energy efficiency—replacing boilers, upgrading
lighting systems," he said.
"Just like if you bought a compact fluorescent bulb. You shell out a little more money than you
might for an incandescent bulb, but it pays for itself relatively quickly."
India Energy Savings
At the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, India, for instance, the project helped New Delhi
company DSCL Energy Services install new lighting and air conditioning that cut the hospital's
energy bill by 25 percent.
DSCL also worked with three Indian companies to upgrade boilers and pumping systems,
netting energy savings of 15 to 38 percent.
Every energy-efficiency project that DSCL worked on decreased its client's energy bill enough
to pay for itself within two years, says company CEO G.C. Datta Roy.
The Three Country Energy Efficiency Project, he said, was instrumental in making local banks
recognize the soundness of such investments.
The project, Datta Roy noted via email, "enable[d] us to work in a collaborative model [with
banks] rather than an adversarial way, as was happening earlier."
"Starved for Money"
DSCL is just one of many ESCOs the project worked with that simply needed some initial
capital to prime the financial pump.
"That's why this project was critical, because the ESCOs in these countries were often very
technically capable—staffed with good engineers and such. But they were, in a sense, starved
for money," UNEP's Radka said.
"Banks are often quite cautious to enter a new area," he added.
"No one really wants to be the first. … So often it's a matter of getting the first couple [of loans]
going."
Each country involved in the project called for a different approach, said World Bank consultant
Jeremy Levin, who worked on the project.
"In China, where the banking sector is undergoing reform and restructuring, there was a very
high risk-aversion from the banks," he said.
Because Chinese commercial banks were wary of making any investments that weren't
practically guaranteed, the World Bank effectively co-signed the loans from Chinese banks to
Chinese ESCOs for up to 90 percent of the loan amounts, Levin explained.
In the end, the World Bank guaranteed U.S. $36.4 million in loans over 52 projects, which
resulted in energy savings that cut 102,700 tons (93,100 metric tons) of Chinese carbon dioxide
emissions per year.
This reduction is approximately equivalent to 24,000 SUV owners switching to hybrid cars.
(See a National Geographic magazine feature onChina's growing environmental problems.)




                                                                                                   28
Developing Countries and the Future
Jamais Cascio is the founder of the environmental and global-development blogs
worldchanging.com and openthefuture.com. He says he hopes that ESCOs can take the quest for
improved energy efficiency to the vast residential markets of the three countries.
"[The ESCOs] could achieve more things by focusing on homes … [and] getting individual
domestic changes, such as improved lighting and improved cooking tools," he said.
He added that future projects could use a kind of development called leapfrogging, in which a
region's lack of infrastructure may actually work to its benefit.
"Because you don't have the existing base of legacy equipment [such as an electric grid] that
you have to slowly grind through a replacement, you can make wholesale changes that can have
pretty dramatic results," he said.
Cascio cites the example of a grassroots solar-power movement emerging from the Barefoot
College in Rajasthan, India.
"There's the Barefoot Solar Engineer movement, which is basically training illiterate women in
Indian villages to be solar-power engineers, to be able to install and repair solar-power systems
to provide power to communities that are off the grid," Cascio said.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/07/060719-energy.html

Pacific mangroves disappearing
The report, released yesterday, found that island nations could lose more than half their
mangroves by the end of the century.
The Age/ Pacnew, Tue, 18 Jul 2006

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA ---- Global warming could lead to the destruction of more than half
the mangrove wetlands of some Pacific islands, wiping out or reducing marine breeding
grounds that support multi-million dollar fisheries, a UN report says.

A UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report looking at the impact of rising seas on
mangroves in 16 Pacific nations found the worst hit-islands would be American Samoa, Fiji,
Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia.

The report, released yesterday, found that these island nations could lose more than half their
mangroves by the end of the century.

“The true economic value of ecosystems like mangroves is now starting to emerge,” said report
coordinator Kitty Simonds.

“Mangroves are important nurseries for fish, act to filter coastal pollution and are important
sources of timber and construction materials for local communities,” she said.

“Pacific islanders also harvest dyes from mangroves to treat textiles, nets and fish traps.”

The report said goods and services generated by mangroves may be worth an average of
US$900,000 per square km, depending on their location and uses.

An estimated 75 percent of commercially caught prawns in Australia's tropical state of
Queensland depend on mangroves. In Malaysia, a 400 sq km managed mangrove forest in
Matang supports a fishery worth US$100 million a year.

Mangroves also protect islands from flooding during storms, with mangroves estimated to




                                                                                                  29
reduce wave energy by 75 percent, said the report.

For example, mangroves proved crucial in limiting damage to some sections of coast during the
2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The report called for a reduction in pollution from land-based sources to make existing
mangroves more healthy and resilient to rising seas caused by a warming atmosphere.

Most scientists say burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas is leading to a rapid rise in
greenhouse gases that are warming the atmosphere, melting glaciers and causing oceans to
expand. Global warming is also expected to lead to more extreme weather, including stronger
cyclones in the Pacific.

The report said roughly half the world's mangroves have been lost since 1900 as a result of
clearing for development.

“There are many compelling reasons for fighting climate change - the threats to mangroves in
the Pacific underline yet another reason to act,” said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner in
a statement.
http://islandsbusiness.com/news/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=MiddleMiddle/focu
sModuleID=130/focusContentID=5399/tableName=mediaRelease/overideSkinName=newsArti
cle-full.tpl

********************


                                  General Environment News

Tremors Spark Fear as Java Tsunami Toll Hits 550
PANGANDARAN, Indonesia - An aftershock in Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged region and a new
tremor off the southwestern Java coast sowed fear on Wednesday as the toll from Monday's
disaster climbed to 550.
Rescuers pulled bodies from the debris and aid trickled into worst-hit Pangandaran town while a
search continued for about 275 people still missing after the tsunami smashed into a 300-km
(185 mile) stretch of coast along southern Java.
A light aftershock that shook Pangandaran beach sent some people running, while others headed
inland on motorcycles and cars as rumours circulated of a fresh tsunami.
Hours later, tall buildings swayed as an earthquake struck the Indonesian capital Jakarta and
nearby parts of Java island, prompting people in several areas to flee from high-rise offices and
homes.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The quake's strength was 6.2 at its
epicentre at the Indian Ocean end of the Sunda Strait off the southwestern tip of Java, said
Fauzi, an official at the national earthquake centre.
Wednesday's quake was felt in many areas of western Java, but the Hawaii-based Pacific
Tsunami Warning Center said it posed no risk of a tsunami. The authoritative United States
Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.0 on its Web site.
Indonesian media questioned why there was no warning ahead of Monday's killer waves despite
regional efforts to set up early alert systems after the massive Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.
The Jakarta Post said in an editorial the disaster agency had done "nothing of note to increase
people's preparedness for disasters".




                                                                                                   30
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla told reporters the government would build an early
warning system in Java and other areas in Indonesia in three years.
Along the coastline, heavy equipment was deployed to help in the search for bodies left under
the rubble when the waves rolled in after a 7.7-magnitude undersea earthquake.

MISSING FISHERMEN
Five bodies were found on beaches in the Pangandaran area alone early on Wednesday, Red
Cross official Mehmet Selamat said.
"There are many fishermen missing." he told Reuters.
Search and rescue official Hadi Tugiman said he expected the search effort to continue until at
least the weekend.
Government officials said as many as 54,000 people were displaced from wrecked fishing
villages, farms and beach resorts, adding to the rehabilitation headache for authorities after an
earthquake that killed more than 5,700 people in central Java less than two months earlier.
Trucks started to arrive with aid for the thousands who lost their homes or who, fearing further
tsunamis, had fled to hills above the coast.
More than a dozen corpses in yellow body bags lay in a makeshift morgue near the devastated
Pangandaran beach, a popular tourist spot known for its black-sand shore and barbecue seafood.
A man wailed as he held the arm of a dead woman.
At the end of a cemetery on the shoreline, soldiers operated two bulldozers to create a mass
grave for 30 bodies, while a crowd gathered to watch.
Officals said four foreigners, including a Dutch national, a Swede, a Japanese and a Belgian,
were known killed in the quake.
"I saw a house coming towards me, but I couldn't run. It stopped 20 metres from me," Anne-
Marie Kingmans, a Dutch tourist who survived, told Reuters.
"We heard no warning. People just came running," she said, adding that the waves washed a
boat into the lobby of her hotel.
More than 4,000 people were staying in refugee camps in the hills above Pangandaran, Red
Cross official Waar Soewardi said.
Others found refuge under homemade shelters or stayed inside mosques at Pangandaran and
nearby Cilacap port, among the hardest-hit spots.

WRONG PREDICTION
No tsunami warning system was set up for the southern coast of Java after the 2004 Indian
Ocean tsunami that left 230,000 killed or missing, including 170,000 in Indonesia.
Some officials considered the area, about 270 km (170 miles) southeast of Jakarta, less likely to
be hit by a tsunami than others in Indonesia.
"It turned out that our prediction was wrong," the Jakarta Post quoted Surono, a senior official
of the country's earthquake agency, as saying. "Now, we believe that there are no tsunami-free
areas along the southern coast of Java."
Indonesia's 17,000 islands sprawl along a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity, part of
what is called the "Pacific Ring of Fire". (Additional reporting by Diyan Jari and Achmad
Sukarsono)
Story by Ed Davies
Story Date: 20/7/2006
http://www.planetark.com/avantgo/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=37347

Undertakers to get training
Bangkok Post, 20 July 2006 - PIYAPORN WONGRUANG
Undertakers nationwide will get training in environmentally-friendly cremation. Natural




                                                                                                31
Resources and Environment Minister Yongyuth Tiyapairat said proper crematoria, equipped
with high temperature incinerators, are needed to reduce cancer-causing carcinogens such as
dioxin and furans from the incineration process.
However, most temples, particularly those upcountry, did not have them.
In Bangkok, 300 temples of the more than 400 running, have installed environmentally-friendly
crematoria, he said.
The training programme is part of the ministry's plan to manage persistent organic pollutants
(POPs), as required under the Stockholm Convention. The country ratified the pact last year and
was given two years to fully adopt it.
POPs are chemicals which remain intact in the environment for a long period of time, and can
pose hazards to human health. Altogether 12 chemical substances, including the pest-spray
DDT used on farms, are on the POPs list.
Some state agencies, such as the Agriculture Department, still have DDT in their stocks even
though the chemical is banned. Mr Yongyuth said the ministry wants to get rid of the chemical,
as well as create a database of POPs.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/20Jul2006_news13.php

Storms hit Japan and Korean Reninsula
People’s Daily Online, 20 July 2006
Heavy rain in Japan triggered floods and mudslides yesterday that swallowed houses and
destroyed roads, with at least 11 people killed and 12 missing since the start of the rainy season.
The rain has also been devastating in the neighbouring Korean Peninsula. At least 150 people
there are believed dead or missing, mostly in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
(DPRK), according to officials and aid workers.
From western to central Japan, residents evacuated houses for shelters as muddy water
swamped city streets and mudslides tore up highways.
The weather temporarily caused Shinkansen bullet trains to stop as the weather agency warned
of more to come.
"We believed we were living on firm ground. So this is very shocking," a middle-aged woman
told Fuji television after a landslide in central Fukui prefecture.
As much as 500 millimetres of rain has drenched parts of Japan since Saturday, the Japan
Meteorological Agency said.
Heavy rain was expected to continue from western to central Japan with "continued risks of
serious disasters," an agency advisory said. "Strong caution is needed for landslides and rising
rivers causing floods."
Four people died in central Nagano prefecture including a 75-year-old man whose body was
found inside a house that was shoved back some 50 metres by a flash flood, officials said.
At least six others went missing in the mountainous province including one rescuer. Nagano
authorities piled sandbags to protect residential areas after banks of the major Tenryu river
collapsed.
In western Shimane prefecture, a 15-year-old was found dead on flooded farmland after he fled
for shelter with his grandparents, police said. "We are yet to learn the whereabouts of his
grandparents," a local police officer said.
Rescuers in Shimane also dug an unconscious 69-year-old woman out of her house that was
levelled by a mudslide. She was declared dead as paramedics transported her to a hospital,
police said.
Her 67-year-old husband managed to dig himself out shortly after the mudslide with only minor
injurie.
A 66-year-old man in Yamanashi near Mount Fuji died after falling into a swollen river,
according to the fire and disaster management agency.




                                                                                                 32
Thirty-two people have been injured, four of them seriously, the agency said. Sections of
highways were closed by mudslides or cave-ins.
A total of 12 people remained unaccounted for across Japan, according to prefectural officials.
DPRK suffers 'tremendous losses'
In the Korean Peninsula, the DPRK's official media acknowledged that the harsh weather had
caused "tremendous losses."
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said heavy rains last
week and this week caused flash floods that totally or partially destroyed 11,524 houses, leaving
more than 9,000 families homeless.
More than 100 people were dead or missing, the group said in a statement, without giving
further details. The damage has cut off telephone connections, making collecting reliable
information difficult to obtain, it said.
"A lot of people have been displaced. They are trying to find out who is actually missing," said
Jaap Timmer, head of the International Red Cross in Pyongyang.
"Heavy rains have hit some areas, causing tremendous losses in various sectors of the national
economy," the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency said yesterday. Railway bridges have
been destroyed, forcing suspension of operations, and roads and communications have been cut
off, according to KCNA.
Relief operations in affected areas were under way, KCNA reported.
The International Red Cross said the weather could also affect food supplies in the country.
"Extensive areas of arable fields have been inundated, wiping out much of the anticipated
harvest," it said.
The Red Cross said it was providing blankets, kitchen sets, plastic sheeting, water containers
and purification tablets to families whose homes were destroyed.
Timmer said the Red Cross was considering launching an international emergency appeal, and
representatives were negotiating with the government to get access to affected areas to survey
what was needed.
The Republic of Korea also has suffered from the effects of the downpour on the peninsula,
with at least 25 deaths and 24 people missing as of yesterday, according to the National
Emergency Management Agency.
Source: China Daily
http://english.people.com.cn/200607/20/eng20060720_284980.html

Vietnam to clean dioxin in hot spots
Vietnam will carry out detoxification of dioxin in several “hot spots,” especially former US
military bases that had stored chemical defoliants used during the Vietnam War, heard a
conference last week.
The Vietnamese Defense Ministry would be in charge of the task, which would begin late this
year, according to the conference on the consequences of US poisonous chemicals used during
the war.
US forces used several toxic defoliants, mostly Agent Orange, in southern Vietnam during the
war to deprive the Vietnamese liberation forces of forest cover and destroy food crops.
Those defoliants contained dioxin, an extremely stable carcinogen and toxic environmental
pollutant.
Vietnamese scientist especially have pointed out three areas that have “high or very high”
concentration of dioxin, all of them former US air bases – the Bien Hoa Airport in southern
Vietnam, and the Danang and Phu Cat airports in central Vietnam.
The budget for detoxification of the Bien Hoa and Danang airports, which were contaminated
more seriously, could reach some US$10 million each, according to the conference.




                                                                                               33
The government would pay for the mission in Bien Hoa and call for financial assistance for
international organizations and governmental and non-governmental organizations in cleaning
the environment of the other two spots.
Vietnam blames the US dioxin-contained defoliants for widespread health problems and birth
defects, a claim backed by physicians and military veterans' groups from several countries
including the US.
Vietnam says that between 1961 and 1971 the US military dropped more than 100,000 tons of
toxic chemicals on southern Vietnam, exposing between 2.1 million and 4.8 million people
many of whom, together with their progeny, suffer from a range of illnesses and birth defects.
According to a study presented at the conference, those exposed to dioxin were 14 times likelier
to see birth defects in their children.
The study on 47,893 Vietnamese veterans and their families revealed that 2.95 percent of
children and 2.69 percent of grandchildren of the veterans who had been exposed to dioxin
suffered from birth defects.
Up to 16.14 percent of these children suffered from multiple disabilities, the study by the
Vietnam Army Medical Institution also said.
The government has earmarked some VND23 billion ($1.43 million) on a birth consulting
project for victims of Agent Orange/dioxin, according to the conference.
A New York court last year rejected a Vietnamese lawsuit against US chemical companies
Monsanto and Dow Chemical who manufactured the herbicide during the war. The Vietnamese
side has appealed.
In April visiting US Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Nicholson was pressed by Vietnamese
journalists on why the US compensated its own veterans for health defects linked to the
chemical, but not Vietnam's.
US veterans who claim health disorders caused by Agent Orange won a victory in 1984 when
chemical companies paid $180 million into a veterans' fund without admitting any liability.
In January this year, a Republic of Korea court ordered Dow Chemical and Monsanto, US
manufacturers which had supplied the herbicide for the US army, to pay 6,800 Vietnam War
veterans about $65 million.
Story from Thanh Nien News
Published: 19 July, 2006, 12:12:16 (GMT+7)
Copyright Thanh Nien News Source: Phap Luat Vietnam, Lao Dong – Translated by The Vinh
http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=17869

Vietnam consider plans for floods prevention
With major flooding and damage in northern regions of Vietnam, central and local authorities
are taking into serious consideration plans to mitigate the natural disasters and help provide
relief.
Heavy rains, floods, and landslides this week ravaged the northern mountainous provinces of
Bac Can, Lang Son, Cao Bang, Lai Chau, and Tuyen Quang, Phu Tho, and Lao Cai, central and
local authorities worked out measures to help people reduce the damage.
On Wednesday, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
issued directives to the Central Steering Committee for Flood Control and Prevention and local
provincial people’s committees to swiftly deploy necessary measures to combat floods and get
relief to those who need it.
An initial survey of the damage revealed that the series of natural calamity has left 12 people
dead or missing, over 400 houses collapsed or damaged, and 53 hectares of crops ruined.
Floods swept away streets and other public construction sites, causing traffic jams and damage
to irrigation networks throughout the northern region.




                                                                                              34
With more storms to come, the Southern Hydrometeorology Station Wednesday reported a
tropical storm (Typhoon Kaemi) is forming over Filipino waters and is moving westward
toward Vietnam.
It could possibly make landfall in Vietnam’s northern region and southern China, said the
weather station.
With another storm on the way, fishing boats have been warned to avoid the Truong Sa
(Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos, and northern regions of the East Sea.
Reported by Dan Hung, M.Vong – Translated by Minh Phat
http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=17886


Vietnam warning system to be built to counter tsunamis
A Vietnamese science institute said it was finalizing a distant early warning system to protect
the nation’s 3,000km of coastline from tsunamis caused by earthquakes in the East Sea.
Nguyen Ngoc Thuy, Director of National Institute of Global Physics (IGP), said his
organization was finalizing the network for quakes of over 6.5 on the Richter scale, to be
submitted to government in August for approval.
Associate Professor Pham Van Thuc, who has long been studying earthquake impacts in the
East Sea, said that it would take a tsunami 2 hours 12 minutes to reach the shores of Nha Trang,
and 5 hours 30 minutes to reach the Red River Delta in the north.
Little risk
A source from IGP said that Vietnam’s location at the South East flank of Asia continent was
exposed to an average risk of in terms of earthquakes.
But the risk of quakes in Vietnamese waters is about one-twentieth of that in the East Sea.
A previous study by Vietnamese scientists also confirmed that the lack of fault lines in the
Vietnam seabed is unlikely to cause tsunamis.
In the past century, there were only three earthquakes in Vietnam, the most recent of which was
in 2005.
A series of 4.5-5.1 Richter scale quakes took place in August, October and November offshore
southern coastal provinces of Vung Tau and Phan Thiet, shaking buildings and causing panic in
Ho Chi Minh City.
Scientists also warned that human’s activities like petroleum exploiting, injecting fluid into
deep wells, in limited circumstances, may also spark quake activity.
The main source of earthquakes in the East Sea stems from some geologic faults in the West of
Philippines, far from Vietnam’s shores.
Earthquakes in these faults happen at the rate: from 5-5.5 Richter scale on every 3 years, 5.5-6
for every 7 years, 6-6.5 for every 20 years and above 6.5 on every 60 years.
The maximum magnitude of earthquake in the East Sea is predicted at 7 Richter scale.
Though there has been no record of tsunamis caused by these faults, Vietnam remains cautious
of the risk to its massive shoreline.
A study by IGP at 33 places along the seashore of Vietnam said that storms can cause waves as
high as 10 m, but average at about 5-8 m, capable of damaging dykes and destroying houses.
Several tsunamis have been recorded over the last century due to volcanoes and inclement
weather offshore of Vietnam and Philippines, but the risk of recurrence is unlikely.
Source: Thanh Nien, Tuoi Tre – Compiled by Thanh Tuan
http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=17864

Flood continues rampage in northern Vietnam
The flood raging northern Vietnam in recent days has reportedly killed eight people and
damaged some 200 houses and 53 hectares of crop fields in the northern Bac Kan province.




                                                                                              35
The fate of villager Luc Van Vien in Bac Kan province’s Phuong Vien commune has cast a
bleak cloud over the worn-out village.
Vien, along with his son and his daughter-in-law, had been found dead, buried in a landslide.
In addition, the flood capsized a boat carrying 10 people from a local preliminary school,
washing three people away.
During the past two days, local authorities have mobilized all available resources to scour
victims swept away by the flood.
However, rescuing efforts have faced a lot of setbacks due to the remaining high water level as
well difficult-to-traverse terrain.
Bac Kan’s People Committee has provided families of flood-ravaged victims VND2 million
(US$125) each.
“There is no sign that the rain will cease,” Trieu Van Phung, a local Cho Don district authority
said. “The water level still remains high and traffic is stopped.”
Emergency declared
The Lo and Hong rivers are continuing to rise as the flood continues, the central meteorology
center reported.
In Tuyen Quang province, the water lever of the Lo River is expected to peak at 26.2m late
Tuesday, 0.2m higher against the emergency level three, meteorologists forecast.
Thus, mountainous provinces of Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Tuyen
Quang, Phu Tho, and Ha Giang are likely to suffer more floods and landslides.
The Central Steering Committee for Flood Control and Prevention issued Tuesday an
emergency directive asking affected provinces and cities and relevant agencies to swiftly deploy
necessary measures to combat the floods.
According to the directive, people who are living and working in flood-prone areas must be
warned about the forthcoming floods in order to adopt suitable protection measures.
Reported by Thanh Nien reporters – Translated by An Dien
http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=17842
____________________________________________________________________________

                          ROLAC Media Update 19 July 2006
      MERCOSUR Seeks People Participation
      Ecuador Volcano Unpredictable
      GUATEMALA: First Map of Land Use
      MEXICO: Collecting Funds to Protect Jaguar


http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID={C56CFCD6-B3BA-4290-9268-
F09CB03C5A5C}&language=EN

MERCOSUR Seeks People Participation

Cordoba, Argentina, Jul 19 (Prensa Latina) The governments of the five MERCOSUR member
countries meeting here will be seeking higher participation from civil society and social
organizations in the integration process of South America´s largest commercial bloc.
The meeting "For a Productive and Social MERCOSUR" will be sessioning today at the
Cordoba Trade Complex, where a MERCOSUR presidential summit will be held within two
days.
It will be the first time in the bloc´s history that an activity organized by the governments will
be held parallel to an event with representatives from unions, small and middle enterprises, the
rural sector, and universities.



                                                                                               36
The idea to hold such forums in the framework of the MERCOSUR summits was proposed by
Argentina, which will transfer the bloc´s temporary presidency chairmanship to Brazil Friday.
The forum is promoted by the "Somos MERCOSUR" Program, inaugurated in 2005 by
Uruguayan authorities to involve populations and civil social organizations in the South
American integrationist process.
Productive and Social MERCOSUR, Youth, New Technologies, and Natural Resources are
some of the issues to be discussed there, with emphasis on an integral vision of MERCOSUR.


http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID={4CD1803B-D47E-4F75-99F9-
E314E3DE9737}&language=EN

Ecuador Volcano Unpredictable

Quito, Jul 19 (Prensa Latina) The Ecuadorian volcano Tungurahua has reduced activity but its
pyroclastic explosions with flow of magma and ashes make it unpredictable, so the alert
remains in force.
Hugo Yepez, director of the local Geophysics Institute, says its irregularity impedes gauging its
energy but Friday's activity has been the strongest since it woke up seven years ago.
The GI has registered 26 explosions in the past 24 hours, 101 tremors, and the column of ashes
extends nearly two miles above its 3.11928 mile-high crater, forcing relocatation of over 5,000
people.
Ashes and lava issued since Friday have buried several villages from Tungurahua and
Chimborazo provinces, destroying 61,775 acres of plantation and pastures some claim will take
10 years to recover.
After touring the affected areas, President Alfredo Palacio ordered to assist the evacuees with
five million dollars apart from donations from other institutions.
The Public Health Ministry sent 16 mobile units to the affected areas with medication to cope
with allergies and burns, 20,000 gallons of water and 80,000 masks.
In addition to Tungurahua, Ecuador has over 100 volcanoes, among them Guagua Pichincha,
Cayambe, Sangay, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo and Reventador.


http://tierramerica.net/english/2006/0715/iecobreves.shtml

GUATEMALA: First Map of Land Use

GUATEMALA CITY - Technicians at Guatemala's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock,
along with the National Geographic Institute and other national entities, have drawn up the first
Map of Vegetation Coverage and Land Use, for better planning of productive projects and to
monitor deforestation.

The map, which collects information gathered between 2003 and 2005 and is based on satellite
photos, cost 665,000 dollars, financed by the Inter-American Development Bank.

Released on July 5, it is part of a package that will include another map of land ownership, and
another of the country's infrastructure, ministry official José Miguel Duro told Tierramérica.

The study shows that Guatemala is 37.26 percent forest, 27.53 percent farmland, 1.84 percent
wetland, 1.59 percent water bodies, and 1.08 percent infrastructure.




                                                                                                37
http://tierramerica.net/english/2006/0715/iecobreves.shtml

MEXICO: Collecting Funds to Protect Jaguar

MEXICO CITY - The Mexican environmental group Naturalia launched a national fundraising
effort last weekend to expand the 4,000-hectare protected area of the jaguar (Panthera onca) set
aside in the northern state of Sonora in 2003.

Donations will be collected at all of the country's zoos, which receive 25 million visitors
annually, Oscar Moctezuma, Naturalia director and member of an Environment Ministry
consultative committee, told Tierramérica.

"The jaguar will be the first species of our campaign. Next year we will begin a new campaign
to support the preservation of another endangered species," he added, as the protected area is
home to other types of animals as well.

There are about 150 jaguars in northwestern Mexico, said Moctezuma, but there are no figures
available about the population of this big cat in the rest of the country.

_____________________________________________________________________________

                               ROWA Media Update 21 July 2006

UN
Around 600 UN staff seek shelter in Jordan
AMMAN — Around 600 non-essential United Nations staff and their families have arrived in
Jordan after being evacuated from Lebanon as a result of the Israeli bombardment, UN
spokeswoman Amal Tartir said on Wednesday.
The staff and their families, who are currently staying in hotels throughout the country, will
remain here until the UN headquarters decides their fate, Tartir told The Jordan Times.
“We still have a number of officials working in Lebanon and they will remain there as long as
the UN thinks it is safe for them to do so,” she added.
The evacuation of UN staff began last Saturday as Israel escalated its air and sea attacks on
Lebanon.
Tartir said that some of the organisation’s regional officials
will now operate out of Jordan while others will be moved to a third country.
None of the UN’s staff in Lebanon have been injured so far, confirmed Tartir.
The world body has 600 international staff and their dependents in Lebanon, including 280
deemed essential, along with 1,200 Lebanese staff and their dependents.
Non-essential staff are those whose work does not necessarily require them to remain in the
country.




                                                                                                 38
According to the UN, in a statement quoted by Agence France-Presse, 445 staff were
evacuated by Tuesday as another 130 have been moved to a safe area inside the country while
the international organisation monitors developments.
The statement said all staff and their dependents had been accounted for, with the exception of
one staff member and his spouse.
Foreign governments have been racing to evacuate their citizens over the past few days as the
conflict has escalated.
A cruise liner carrying 1,059 Americans left Beirut bound for Cyprus yesterday in the first
mass evacuation of US nationals since the conflict began more than a week ago.
Also yesterday, a British warship arrived in Cyprus at dawn with 175 people aboard, including
156 Britons. Others included Australians and Canadians. Another destroyer was expected in
Cyprus’ port of Limassol, with another 200 people onboard.
About 180 Belgians boarded buses in downtown Beirut yesterday headed for Aleppo, where a
Belgian aircraft was to take them out, while Denmark evacuated more than 4,000 of its citizens.
Lebanon has come under intensive Israeli air, sea and ground attacks since the capture of two
Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah in a well-planned raid last Wednesday.
http://www.jordantimes.com/thu/homenews/homenews3.htm

UNICEF and WHO seriously concerned about civilians in Palestine and Lebanon
Dubai, July 19th, 2006 (WAM)--- UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) today
expressed serious concern about civilian casualties and new risks to health from escalating
violence in Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian Territories.

In a statement, the two international organizations said civilian deaths include dozens of
children, with many more injured.

"The psychological impact is serious, as people, including children have witnessed the death or
injury of loved ones and destruction of their homes and communities", the statement said.

"In Lebanon alone, more than 200 people have been killed and more than 550 injured. Hundreds
of thousands of people are reportedly internally displaced, with more than 30,000 finding refuge
in schools and public gardens in and outside Beirut", it added.

The two organizations added that "the movement of medical supplies and ambulances to the
affected areas is seriously curtailed. Unobstructed access for humanitarian assistance is critical
to stave off needless death and suffering".

"The protection of civilians during conflict is an obligation under international humanitarian
law. Unhindered humanitarian access to health facilities for the injured, for those who need care
for chronic conditions, and for pregnant women, is equally critical to the prevention of more
civilian deaths in this crisis".

WHO and UNICEF are working with a broad range of partners in Lebanon to save lives, protect
civilians, and to support basic services such as health, water and sanitation, education and
psycho-social care. The agencies, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, are providing




                                                                                                 39
emergency medicines and supplies for acute and chronic conditions. This includes medicines
required for chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes ? both of which are
highly prevalent in Lebanon. The agencies are providing chlorine tablets in order to ensure safe
drinking water and prevent water borne diseases.

The two agencies are also ensuring distribution of fortified nutritional packs, micronutrients and
oral rehydration solutions to ensure proper child and maternal health. WHO is conducting health
assessments with national authorities to identify the most urgent health needs and gaps.
UNICEF is supporting the pre-positioning of a number of generators in key health facilities
throughout the southern parts of the country, along with sufficient levels of fuel reserves, so that
health facilities can continue functioning.

http://www.wam.org.ae/servlet/Satellite?c=WamLocEnews&cid=1153223006955&p=1135099
400124&pagename=WAM%2FWamLocEnews%2FW-T-LEN-FullNews

I
Bahrain

Students clean up Muharraq beach

A CLEAN-UP campaign was organised by Farooq Charity Society yesterday at the beach in
Muharraq near the Bahrain International Airport.
A total of 70 student volunteers along with other members of the society showed up to help
clean up the beach.
"This is a tourist spot as visitors to the Movenpick Hotel and other surrounding hotels look
directly unto the beach" said Farooq Charity Society president Ebrahim Mattar.
The Movenpick Hotel provided the society their full assistance and the society provided snacks
and refreshments for the volunteers.
http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=149907&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=29122

_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________




                                                                                                 40
                           UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE
                                   DAILY NEWS

19 July, 2006
====================================================================

ANNAN’S DEPUTY SAYS SAVING CIVILIAN LIVES SHOULD BE PRIORITY IN
LEBANON

In anticipation of tomorrow’s arrival of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, his
Lebanon envoy team and other high officials in New York, where they will
meet as part of efforts to end the spiralling Middle East violence, Mr.
Annan’s deputy said that a permanent solution to the crisis is needed but
that saving innocent life is an obvious priority.

“I think the basic point is, saving or losing life is a very simple
business,” Mark Malloch Brown, Deputy Secretary-General told reporters at
UN Headquarters. “I think we have got to just face the fact: innocent
civilians are being killed, and that is just not right. These are not
people who are party to this conflict, and the Secretary-General will go on
appealing for an end to this violence.”

Mr. Malloch Brown said that in a negotiated longer term settlement, which
could include an enhanced international force, the parties and the Security
Council would have to deal with the factors asked about by reporters such
as the disarming of militias, but this could not be achieved by force.

“I think the Middle East is littered with the results of people believing
there are military solutions to political problems in the region, and the
region has paid a heavy burden for that assumption in the past,” he said.

In regard to a proposed strengthened international peacekeeping force in
southern Lebanon, he said that “a number of leaders” told him that they
prefer a UN mission rather than a multinational force outside the UN, but
that would come out in Council negotiations. “I don’t think we’re wedded to
a particular version of this,” he added.

In response to other questions, Mr. Malloch Brown explained that the team
of envoys on the crisis, headed by Mr. Annan’s Special Advisor, Vijay
Nambiar, is on its way back to New York and could not go to Syria even if
President Bashar al-Assad agreed to receive Terje Roed-Larsen, one of the
team members, which seemed to be a matter of some contention.

He said that briefing the Security Council is now a matter of urgency for
both the team and for the Secretary-General, who left Brussels this morning
after meeting with the European Union Trade Commissioner at the end of a
three-week trip to Europe and Africa.

Condoleezza Rice, United States Secretary of State and Javier Solana,




                                                                              41
European High Commissioner are also converging on UN Headquarters tomorrow,
in an effort to consolidate “a common international position” on the
crisis, Mr. Malloch Brown said.

“There is no doubt,” he explained, “that the ability of the international
community to influence these extremely dangerous events in the region will
be enormously helped if everybody is as close to each other as possible in
terms of the messages they are delivering to the leaders of the region.”

***

SECURITY COUNCIL ‘FULLY PREPARED’ TO USE SANCTIONS ON THOSE
BLOCKING PEACE IN CôTE D’IVOIRE

Endorsing commitments made by regional leaders to advance the peace process
in Côte d’Ivoire earlier this month, the United Nations Security Council
today said it was “fully prepared” to impose sanctions against those who block that effort.

Through a statement read out by its July President, Ambassador Jean-Marc de
la Sablière of France, the Council urged all Ivorian parties to follow
through commitments on demobilization, holding of elections and other
issues that were made at a 5 July “mini-summit” organized by
Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Yamoussoukro, the capital of the country,
which has been divided between a rebel-held north and Government-controlled south since
2002.

In order to create the conditions indispensable for the holding of free,
open, fair and transparent elections by the end of October, the 15-member
body urged all Ivorian parties to accelerate progress in all these areas.

The Council threatened to impose sanctions, already authorized by a 2004
resolution, on anyone who blocked progress by inciting hatred, violating
human rights or the arms embargo, or obstructing the work of the UN mission
in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI), the French forces which support it, the High
Representative for the elections, and other international facilitators.

The Council welcomed the intention of the Secretary-General to call a meeting on the situation
in September 2006 to take stock of the situation and chart further action.

***

UN AGENCIES EXPRESS ‘SERIOUS CONCERN’ OVER CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN
LEBANON AND ISRAEL

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health
Organization (WHO) today expressed “serious concern” about civilian
casualties and new risks to health from escalating violence in Lebanon and
Israel, warning of the serious psychological impact of the conflict and
stressing the need for unobstructed access for humanitarian assistance.




                                                                                              42
“Civilian deaths include dozens of children, with many more injured. The
psychological impact is serious, as people, including children, have
witnessed the death or injury of loved ones and destruction of their homes
and communities,” UNICEF and the WHO said in a joint statement.

In Lebanon alone, more than 200 people have been killed and more than 550
injured, while hundreds of thousands of people are reportedly displaced,
with more than 30,000 finding refuge in schools and public gardens in and
outside Beirut, according to the Agencies.

“Unobstructed access for humanitarian assistance is critical to stave off
needless death and suffering. The protection of civilians during conflict
is an obligation under international humanitarian law. Unhindered
humanitarian access to health facilities for the injured, for those who
need care for chronic conditions, and for pregnant women, is equally
critical to the prevention of more civilian deaths in this crisis.”

WHO and UNICEF are working with a broad range of partners in Lebanon, to
save lives, protect civilians, and to support basic services such as
health, water and sanitation, education and psycho-social care. The
Agencies, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, are also providing
emergency medicines and supplies for acute and chronic conditions.

In addition, WHO is conducting health assessments with national authorities
to identify the most urgent health needs and UNICEF is supporting the
pre-positioning of a number of generators in key health facilities
throughout the southern parts of the country, along with sufficient levels
of fuel reserves, so that health facilities can continue functioning.

UNICEF and WHO will be part of a larger UN appeal that will be released
next week which will include funding for a whole range of humanitarian assistance.

Also on the humanitarian front, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) is despatching an emergency mobile team this week to Lebanon to
assess the situation of those displaced by the conflict which, according to
the latest UN figures, total around 500,000.

UNHCR has already carried out a preliminary assessment and with stockpiles
of relief supplies such as tents, plastic sheeting and blankets in
neighbouring Syria and Jordan, and is well placed to respond to any
immediate shelter needs, the Agency said.

Any UNHCR effort will be closely coordinated with the Lebanese authorities
as well as with international partners such as the International Committee
of the Red Cross. Initially, UNHCR will look at providing assistance to
approximately 10,000 displaced families – mainly among the groups that are
now being accommodated in community shelters, public buildings and institutions.

Reports from UNHCR staff monitoring the border between Syria and Lebanon
say the thousands leaving the country are overwhelmingly Syrian nationals




                                                                                     43
temporarily working in Lebanon. Some Lebanese are also leaving the country,
but do not need assistance. However, some third-country nationals trying to
leave without documents have been stranded and UNHCR has raised that issue
with the Syrian immigration authorities.

UNHCR is also trying to monitor the situation of some 20,000 Iraqi and
Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers within Lebanon. UNHCR has relocated 10
non-essential staff and family members outside Lebanon.

Finally, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reports that
it continues to carry out humanitarian work in coordination with the
Lebanese authorities, even as its compounds in the south are hit by
shelling, with Hezbollah continuing to fire rockets from the area and the
Israeli Defence Forces intensifying its bombardment.

It said its compound in Bint Jubayl, in the central sector, was heavily
damaged by two artillery shells, and its headquarters in Naqoura was also
hit. There were no casualties in either incident.

***

TIMOR-LESTE NEEDS ‘LONG TERM COMMITMENT’ FROM INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY: UN ENVOY

Following the recent deadly violence in Timor-Leste, in which 155,000
people were forced to flee their homes, it is important for the
international community to realize that the tiny nation needs a sustained,
long-term commitment, a United Nations envoy said today after briefing the
Security Council on his recent assessment mission to the country.

The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Timor-Leste, Ian Martin, said
that the Timorese Government’s request for increased assistance from the UN
had focused in particular on an international police force, not only in
terms of an immediate security role but also for the longer-term.

“It’s important…that the international community recognizes that the
commitment it now needs to renew to Timor-Leste has to be a sustained one,
has to be a long-term one, and I’m pleased to say that I think is the mood
of members of the Council too,” he told reporters.

“The request from the Government focused firstly on international policing
and the expectation that the United Nations will take over from the
international force’s responsibility for international police to maintain
law and order directly in the short-term and then to work again on the long
term development of the Timorese police.”

Mr. Martin said that although he could not fully anticipate the
recommendations of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s report to the Security
Council in August, which will call for an increased UN presence, it is
clear that next year’s elections need support and so too does the country’s




                                                                              44
fledgling human rights and justice system.

“And in general, support to the key institutions of Government whose
fragility has in some way been exposed by this crisis will be of great
importance,” he said, adding that while the number of personnel for such a
UN force has not yet been discussed it “will need to be substantial initially.”

The crisis in Timor-Leste erupted in late April with the firing of 600
striking soldiers, a third of the armed forces. Ensuing violence killed at
least 37 people and drove 155,000 more, 15 per cent of the population, from
their homes to seek shelter in camps or with host families. At present a
joint Task Force made up of Australian, New Zealand, Portuguese and
Malaysian forces invited in by the Government is helping to restore calm.

Last month, Mr. Annan said it was “obvious that the UN will have to go back
to Timor-Leste in a much larger form than we are at the moment,” noting
that perhaps its effort there after shepherding the nation to independence
four years ago had been drawn down too quickly. The mandate of the small UN
Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) runs until 20 August.

***

IRAQ: UN ENVOY WARNS THAT VIOLENCE THREATENS GOVERNMENT
AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE RULE OF LAW

Describing the escalating violence in Iraq as a “catastrophe and a national
tragedy”, the senior United Nations envoy to the country called today on
all Iraqis to end the vicious cycle, warning that it threatens to erode the
Government’s authority to enforce security and the rule of law, without
which no initiatives and reforms can be implemented.

In a statement released by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Ashraf Qazi said
that the violence inflicted upon the people of Mahmoudiah, Kufa, Baghdad,
Najaf and some other Iraqi cities represented the “greatest danger.”

“It threatens to erode the government’s authority to enforce security and
the rule of law without which no initiatives and no reforms can be
implemented. The emerging phenomenon of Iraqis killing Iraqis on a daily
basis is nothing less than a catastrophe and a national tragedy for the people of Iraq.”

Mr. Qazi called upon Iraqi citizens to cooperate with the legal
authorities, stressed the equal importance of “necessary restraint” in the
conduct of operations by the MNF-1 and Iraqi Security Forces to avoid
civilian casualties, and urged political, religious and community leaders
to make it their “immediate and overriding priority to search for ways to
end the spiralling violence and to address the issues that underlie it.”

***




                                                                                           45
DECENTRALIZATION TALKS ON THE UN-RUN PROVINCE OF KOSOVO HELD IN
VIENNA

In the run-up to a high-level meeting next week on the future status of the
United Nations-run province of Kosovo, delegations from Pristina and the
Serbian capital of Belgrade met today in Vienna to discuss the
decentralization process in the province, a UN spokesman said.

Yesterday the two delegations, hosted by the Special Envoy for the Kosovo
Future Status Process Martti Ahtisaari, met for discussions on the
protection of the religious and cultural heritage of Kosovo, UN spokesman
Farhan Haq told reporters.

Next Monday’s status talks, also to be hosted by Mr. Ahtisaari, will be a
chance to move the twice monthly dialogue from the technical to a political level.

Last week, Serbia’s Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and Kosovo President
Fatmir Sejdiu briefed the Security Council members in separate sessions
regarding the province’s future status. Kosovo, an Albanian-majority
Serbian province, has been run by the UN since Western forces drove out
Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid ethnic fighting.

***

UN RIGHTS CHIEF CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS AND
ACCOUNTABILITY IN MIDEAST CRISIS

Expressing grave concern at the killing and maiming of civilians in
Lebanon, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said today that the shelling of
cities was an “unacceptable targeting of civilians,” and stressed that
international law demands accountability.

The High Commissioner also emphasized that parties to any conflict have the
obligation to exercise precaution and respect the principle of
proportionality in all military operations so as to prevent unnecessary
suffering among the civilian population.

“Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and
unacceptable targeting of civilians. Similarly, the bombardment of sites
with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing
of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable”, she said in a statement.

“International humanitarian law is clear on the supreme obligation to
protect civilians during hostilities…International law demands
accountability. The scale of the killings in the region, and their
predictability, could engage the personal criminal responsibility of those
involved, particularly those in a position of command and control.”

Ms. Arbour also warned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation, in




                                                                                     46
particular in southern Lebanon, where the population is reported to be
increasingly deprived of access to basic services due to the violence.

“The situation in the south of Lebanon is alarming. A large and steadily
increasing number of persons have been forcibly displaced. The most basic
human rights of the population are at risk or are being violated, including
their rights to life, health and food.”

She also added her voice to calls for unrestricted and secure passage of
all humanitarian assistance, including rapid and unimpeded access for
humanitarian workers. According to the latest figures from the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) around 500,000 people from Lebanon have
been displaced by the recent violence.

***

NEW UN PEACEBUILDING BODY BEGINS WORK ON BURUNDI AND SIERRA
LEONE

The recently created United Nations body meant to help countries
consolidate stability and avoid relapsing back into violence started its
briefings today on the situation of Burundi and Sierra Leone, the first two situations referred to
it.

The countries, which were referred to the Commission at the opening of its
inaugural session on 23 June have made much progress in emerging from
devastating civil conflicts but continue to face great political and economic challenges.

The Peacebuilding Commission, which held its meetings behind closed doors,
was first proposed in 2004 by a panel convened by Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, and envisioned, in Mr. Annan’s 2005 reform report, as an
intergovernmental advisory body that could coordinate the resources of the
international community for reconstruction, institution-building and
sustainable development in countries emerging from conflict.

The Commission elected as its Chairman Gaspar Martins, the Ambassador of
Angola, a once war-ravaged country where the United Nations helped to
foster stability. In May, Mr. Annan named Carolyn McAskie, who until
recently was his top envoy to Burundi, as Assistant Secretary-General for
Peacebuilding Support.

***

CONDEMNING RIGHTS ABUSES, UN OFFICIAL URGES CONGOLESE AUTHORITIES
TO RESPECT LAW

Condemning recent abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),
where demonstrators have faced opposition in violation of their right to
freedom of expression, a United Nations official in the country today
called on the authorities to respect its new Constitution.




                                                                                                 47
Speaking to reporters, Fernando Castañon, Director of the Human Rights
Division of the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), cited the repression of
public freedom during the election period, including in Goma where the
Mayor asked the police to ensure that a march of the Movement du Peuple
Congolaise (MPC) did not take place.

“Such actions which prevent a march from taking place undermine the right
to self expression, and are against the law,” Mr. Castañon said.

He said public demonstrations are not subject by law to preliminary
authorization on the part of the local authorities. “The date of the march
or its proposed route can only be changed or modified by mutual agreement
with the organizers, and only if reasons of safety or law and order require it,” he stressed.

MONUC’s Human Rights Division also denounced the intimidation which
continues to plague journalists and defenders of human rights working in
DRC, where Congolese journalist Bapuwa Mwamba was slain earlier this month.

“I also wish reiterate for the umpteenth time that the agents of the ANR –
the National Intelligence Service – should not assume duties which they are
not authorized to carry out by law,” Mr. Castañon added.

Concerned by the growing number of violent incidents between members and
sympathizers of the various political parties, Mr. Castañon encouraged all
the parties to respect the Code of Good Conduct.

“Political candidates and their parties should show tolerance towards their
political adversaries. They should also desist from using children for
political purposes, such as marches in particular, or in any action that
encourages or involves the use of children in violence, or in the
commission of reprehensible acts,” he said.

The election, scheduled for 30 July, will involve an electorate of 25.5
million voters casting ballots in some 50,000 polling stations for some 33
presidential, over 9,000 national legislative and over 10,000 provincial
assembly candidates. It is their first chance to choose their own government in 45 years.

***

ANNAN ‘SADDENED’ BY TOLL OF LATEST TSUNAMI; UN AGENCY ASSESSES
WARNING SYSTEM

Expressing condolences for the hundreds killed by the latest tsunami to hit
Indonesia, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today offered humanitarian and
reconstruction assistance, as the head of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Agency (UNESCO) assessed the strengths and gaps in
the Indian Ocean warning system revealed by the event.

“The Secretary-General is saddened by the loss of life and damages provoked




                                                                                                48
by the tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Java on 17 July, and
the trauma being experienced by the survivors due to the series of
aftershocks, shaking parts of the island,” Mr. Annan’s spokesman said in a formal statement.

According to UNESCO, the Indian Ocean warning system established after the
deadly tsunami of 2004 was able to quickly alert national authorities of
the danger of giant waves following Monday’s earthquake, but hundreds of
people were still swept away because the alarm did not reach the coast in time.

“It is important to maintain the momentum of the past 18 months and to
reinforce national capacities to react effectively when such disasters
strike,” Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO Director General said, urging Indian
Ocean nations to extend the system “the final mile to the people on the coast.”

The Warning System was established by States in the region with UNESCO’s
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission after an earthquake off
Indonesia’s island of Sumatra in December 2004 generated waves that killed
more than 230,000 people in more than 12 Asian countries.

So far, 26 out of a possible 29 national tsunami warning centres, capable
of receiving and distributing tsunami advisories around the clock, have
been set up in Indian Ocean countries. The seismographic network has been
improved, with 25 new stations being deployed that will be linked in
real-time to analysis centres.

There are, UNESCO said, also three deep-ocean assessment and reporting
sensors and the Commission for the Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization
(CTBTO) is also contributing data from seismographic stations.

Yesterday, as a result of all these preparations, in Indonesia’s capital
Jakarta, the tsunami advisory was received only 19 minutes after the
earthquake, Mr Matsuura said.

“However, several hundred people still lost their lives and tens of
thousands more have lost their homes and livelihoods. The system still has
big gaps, notably in getting the warnings to coastal communities in time,” he concluded.

The Indian Ocean System constitutes a vital component of a global system,
towards which the UNESCO group has been working. To this end, warning
systems are also being established in the North East Atlantic,
Mediterranean and Adjoining Seas, and the Caribbean, while protection is
being reinforced in the Pacific and South China Sea.

***

UN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL AIMS TO STRENGTHEN RELIEF AID
COORDINATION

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), meeting in Geneva,
has adopted a resolution that would strengthen the coordination of the




                                                                                               49
world body’s humanitarian assistance.

Unanimously adopted on Tuesday, the text calls on States and the UN to
extensively draw on local resources and expertise in responding to
emergencies. It also emphasizes the need to prepare better to deal with
emergencies as well as ways to reduce the risk that disasters can cause.

To address the need of uneven funding for humanitarian crisis, the
resolution asks the international community to provide relief assistance in
proportion to needs and on the basis of assessments so there could be a
more equitable distribution of aid.

“The international community seems able to tolerate problems in some areas
which are decried in others,” Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told the Council. He
said more needs to be done to improve funding, including better appeals,
better needs assessment, better advocacy and better response “so there is
absolutely no doubt that every penny was going to real, undisputed
humanitarian needs, and that every penny would be effective.”

Egeland said there had been improvement, and that “the world is moving in
the right direction,” but cautioned that progress was not being made fast
enough. “Children are still dying of hunger, and this makes it clear that
there is something fundamentally wrong with the pace of what was being done.”

In a related development, ECSOC President Ali Hachani, Tunisia, at a press
conference Tuesday, said that the Council would remain actively involved in
pursuing the agreement reached on the main theme of this year’s ministerial
segment, attended by 30 ministers and three prime ministers, on promoting
full employment and decent work.

He said the focus on employment was particularly pertinent as 192 million
people were unemployed globally and half of the world's labour force is not
earning enough to lift itself out of poverty. “This theme is of critical
importance to all countries,” he said. “In fact, the world is facing a
structural crisis of unemployment.”

An even more critical aspect of this theme, he said, was youth employment.
While youth make up 23 per cent of the work force, some 50 per cent of them
are unemployed. “This has serious implications for the future of our
societies,” he said.

***




                                                                                50
  DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE
                        SECRETARY-GENERAL
       19 July 2006
       The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Farhan Haq,
Associate Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
       Good afternoon.
       **Secretary-General’s Travels
         The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York, ending his nearly three-week
trip to Europe and Africa. Tomorrow morning, the Secretary-General expects to discuss with
the Security Council the talks he has had in recent days concerning concrete ways to resolve the
crisis in Lebanon.
       The team headed by his Special Adviser, Vijay Nambiar, is on its way back to New
York as well, and it expects to be on hand for tomorrow’s Security Council briefing. The
Secretary-General expects to brief the Council on that mission’s findings.
       The Secretary-General left Brussels this morning after meeting with the European Union
Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson. The Secretary-General had co-chaired the pledging
conference in Brussels yesterday for the African Union mission in Darfur, which came up with
$225 million in pledges for that mission.
       **UNIFIL
         In Lebanon, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has reported a number of
incidents of firing close to UN positions in southern Lebanon, with Hizbollah continuing to fire
rockets in the south, and intensified shelling and aerial bombing by the Israeli Defense Forces.
UNIFIL reported that, within the last few hours, its compound in Bint Jubayl in the central
sector was hit by two artillery shells, and the compound sustained substantial damage, although
there were no casualties. The mission says that its headquarters in Naqoura was also hit with an
artillery shell, again causing no casualties. The mission also reports on other exchanges of fire,
as well as the humanitarian work that the peacekeepers have been doing in coordination with
the Lebanese authorities, in a press release that we have upstairs.
       **Humanitarian situation in Lebanon
       Also on the humanitarian front, UN agencies are currently on the ground in Lebanon,
working to meet the needs of the internally displaced and conflict-affected people. The World
Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, for example, in coordination with the Lebanese
Ministry of Health, are providing medicines required for chronic illnesses, such as
cardiovascular disease and diabetes, both of which are highly prevalent in Lebanon. The
agencies are also handing out chlorine tablets, in order to ensure safe drinking water and prevent
water-borne diseases.
        To maintain proper child and maternal health, WHO and UNICEF are ensuring the
distribution of fortified nutritional packs, micronutrients and oral rehydration solutions. In
addition, WHO is conducting health assessments to identify the most urgent health needs and
gaps, and UNICEF is helping to pre-position generators and fuel in key health facilities
throughout southern Lebanon, so that the facilities can continue functioning.



                                                                                                 51
       The agencies report that hundreds of thousands of people are internally displaced, with
more than 30,000 of them finding refuge in schools and public gardens in and outside Beirut.
And we have more on that upstairs.
       **Security Council
        In terms of the Security Council, today the Council was briefed in consultations this
morning by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Timor-Leste, Ian Martin, following his
recent assessment mission there. Martin told Council members of the need for long-term
engagement with Timor-Leste.
       Speaking to the press afterwards, he said that, while Timor-Leste’s immediate crisis has
been resolved, this only gains more time to address the grievances that led to it in the first
place. He also spoke of the need for sustained international commitment to Timor-Leste, and
the importance of helping prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections early next year.
       The Council also took up the issue of Côte d’Ivoire, and then, they moved on to a formal
meeting just now, in order to adopt a presidential statement on that. In that statement, Council
members said they’re fully prepared to impose targeted sanctions against those who block the
implementation of the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire.
       ** Iraq
        On Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, today
called the escalating trend of violence in many Iraqi cities the greatest danger to that country, as it
threatens to erode the Government’s authority to enforce security and the rule of law. The
emerging phenomenon of Iraqis killing Iraqis on a daily basis, he said, is nothing less than a
catastrophe and a national tragedy. Accordingly, Qazi called upon Iraq’s citizens to cooperate
with the legal authorities to ensure the removal of armed groups from the streets and to
significantly reduce current crime levels. Qazi stressed the equal importance of necessary
restraint in the conduct of security operations by the Multinational Force and Iraqi Security
Forces, in order to avoid civilian casualties. And we have a press release upstairs on that.
       ** Democratic Republic of the Congo
        Speaking today at a press briefing in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa, Fernando
Castañon, the Director of the Human Rights Division of the UN Mission in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, condemned recent human rights violations in the country, and called on
the Congolese authorities to respect the provisions of the new constitution. Citing incidents of
police brutality against demonstrators and a recent spate of attacks on the press, the Mission
official stressed that such actions undermine the freedom of expression of the Congolese
people. He urged all political parties to respect “the code of good conduct”.
       **Kosovo
        On Kosovo, the Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Kosovo Future Status Process,
Martti Ahtisaari, reports that delegations from Pristina and Belgrade are today holding a round
of direct talks in Vienna on decentralization. The delegations also met yesterday for
negotiations on the protection of religious and cultural heritage in Kosovo. And, as you know,
this Monday, Ahtisaari’s office will host a high-level meeting in Vienna on the province’s
future status.
       **General Assembly




                                                                                                   52
        The Spokesperson for the General Assembly President wanted me to inform you that the
General Assembly will hold a plenary meeting tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon to
hear statements on the question of the Security Council reform. About 30 speakers are
scheduled, and the list of speakers will be circulated by the Assembly Spokesperson when it is
available.
       **Peacebuilding Commission
        And the Peacebuilding Commission began informal briefings on the situation in Burundi
and in Sierra Leone today. The briefings began at 10 a.m. in the Economic and Social Council
Chamber, and will continue at 3 p.m.
       **Press Conferences
       Lastly, tomorrow there will be some press conferences for you. At 11 a.m., the UN
Conference on Trade and Development will be launching the “Least Developed Countries
Report 2006”. Charles Gore, the author of the report, will be here to brief you. And then, at
3:30 p.m., members of the Redesign Panel, which is made up of external and independent
experts appointed by the Secretary-General to consider the redesign of the UN system of
administration of justice, will be here to brief you on the Panel’s report.
         And lastly, I am sure you will be interested to know that Deputy Secretary-General
Mark Malloch Brown has agreed to come down to the Security Council stakeout at 1 o’clock
this afternoon, just about 50 minutes from now, to talk to you there. So if you are interested,
he’ll be available, again, at 1, at the Security Council stakeout.
       Do you have any questions?
       **Questions and Answers
       Question: What does the Secretary-General make of the fact that Syria refused to accept
one of his emissaries and, therefore, the team did not go to Damascus?
        Associate Spokesman: As we informed you yesterday, the team had already expected to
fly back today, in order to participate in these briefings concerning the Security Council and
they will be on hand, as I mentioned just now, to brief on their work.
       Question: That was not my question.
        Associate Spokesman: In terms of visiting Syria, it is not excluded that there will be
further visits to the region in the future, and I expect the Secretary-General might have
something more to say on this when he briefs the Security Council on the team’s work
tomorrow.
       Question: Can the President in Damascus dictate to the Secretary-General who will be
his emissaries?
       Associate Spokesman: Like I said, the Secretary-General might have something more to
say about this when he briefs the Security Council tomorrow.
       Question: Does the Secretary-General have an opinion on this latest report in the New
York Times that the United States and Israel have agreed to continue bombing Lebanon for the
next 10 days or so? Why should the people of Lebanon suffer and, does the Secretary-General
have an opinion?




                                                                                                  53
         Associate Spokesman: What the Secretary-General has made clear is the urgent need for
a cessation of hostilities. He has called for all sides to stop their activities -- for Hizbollah to
stop their rocket fire, for the Israeli soldiers who are held captive to be released, and for Israel to
halt its actions -- and we are certainly hoping for all of these things to happen, as soon as
possible, to spare any more civilian lives. He has been very concerned about that and, of
course, our concern remains, especially, that all attacks by all sides on civilians and civilian
infrastructures cease at once. So, that is certainly what we are calling for. I wouldn’t have any
comment about the media reports, one way or the other.
      Question: Also, on UNIFIL, how many times have the Israelis attacked UNIFIL in
Lebanon?
        Associate Spokesman: We have a press release with some information. I don’t know if
you were here when I mentioned this, but there were two recent incidents, just within the last few
hours, in which UNIFIL compounds were hit. What has been happening is that armed elements,
such as Hizbollah, have been firing near UNIFIL positions, and sometimes UNIFIL has been hit
as Israel responds to the Hizbollah actions with aerial bombardment. But certainly, UNIFIL has
made known the number of times that its own facilities have been hit. Like I said, in the two
recent incidents in the last few hours, there were no casualties.
       Question: But about five years ago, UNIFIL headquarters were hit by Israel, when they
were sheltering women and children.
        Associate Spokesman: You are talking about the incident in Qana. I don’t know
whether it was five years ago or a bit longer than that. I believe it was a bit longer than that.
One of the things we have tried to mention to people in Lebanon is that it may be safer for them
to stay in villages that are away from areas where the exchange of fire is occurring, rather than
going to UNIFIL compounds. But UNIFIL has been sheltering people and, in fact, they have
been sheltering people even in one of the compounds –- in Bint Jubayl –- that was hit within the
past few hours.
       Question: Following on Masood’s question, will the United Nations tolerate another 10
days of bombing without doing anything?
       Associate Spokesman: We are asking for an immediate cessation of hostilities. We
have been doing that for some time and, as you know, the Secretary-General and his team on
the ground, who are now returning, have been in touch with a wide range of actors, trying to do
what they can to resolve this crisis as quickly as possible, to spare civilian lives as much as we
possibly can.
       Question: What is the objective of this General Assembly debate on the expansion of
the Security Council? Is there any resolution before the Assembly?
       Associate Spokesman: I think you’d have to check with the General Assembly
Spokesperson, but this is part of the discussion on the Security Council reform that has been
ongoing and, as I said, it will take place tomorrow. For further details, please talk to Pragati
Pascale.
        [The correspondent was later informed that the meeting was called for by Member
States and is a continuation of the General Assembly’s consideration of Security Council
reform.]




                                                                                                    54
        Question: Has there been any attempt by this team to be in contact with someone from
Iran?
        Associate Spokesman: By the team? The team has not visited Iran. The Secretary-
General, of course, has had contacts and UN officials have had contacts with a wide variety of
officials from different countries, including from there.
        Question: From Iran, who has the Secretary-General been in touch with?
        Associate Spokesman: I would need to check that.
       [The Spokesman later informed the correspondent that the last contact between the
Secretary-General and Iran happened more than a week ago.]
        Question: You touched on this briefly at the beginning. In Kinshasa, in the DRC, 300
journalists were demonstrating yesterday in the streets, protesting the killing of two journalists
and the [inaudible] of several of their colleagues, and they have asked the UN to protect them.
In view of the fact that we are only two weeks away from the elections, what is the UN prepared
to do to resolve the situation?
        Associate Spokesman: You might have missed this, but…
      Question: No, I didn’t miss this, but, now, the representative of the human rights has
made an appeal…
        Associate Spokesman: And so, what we have done is we have made a call on the
Congolese authorities to respect the Constitution’s provisions, and we’ve stressed that these
actions undermine the freedom of expression of the Congolese people. And so, what we are
urging the Congolese authorities to do is to carry out the provisions of the Constitution, and
we’ll see how they abide by that as we approach the elections.
        Question: Is the UN concerned that those journalists, the 300 of them, will not cover the
elections?
       Associate Spokesman: We are concerned at any actions that would impede the freedom
of expression in the DRC.
        Question: Is the UN confirming, in fact, that the team, or members of the team, were
not allowed to enter Syria, and that they, therefore, returned to the… we know they are coming
back, but they are coming back slightly earlier?
        Associate Spokesman: I don’t have anything to say about that right now. As I believe I
said earlier, the Secretary-General will be briefing the Security Council tomorrow about the
team’s work, and he might have something to say about this at that point.
        Question: That’s tomorrow. You know, today’s today, and this happened today. Can we
get an answer today?
       Associate Spokesman: I will see whether there is anything further to say about this today,
but I would also urge you to pay attention to what the Secretary-General has to say about this.
       Question: On the North Korea missiles, the Secretary-General had nothing to say, he
said, while the Security Council was considering this. Now that they passed a resolution




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Saturday, and North Korea has said what it said in response, now does the Secretary-General
have anything to say on the topic?
        Associate Spokesman: He hasn’t said very much on North Korea. He did welcome the
resolution that was passed by the Security Council over the weekend and, of course, he
continues to urge North Korea and, indeed, all the parties, to resume the six-party talks, as soon
as possible.
         Question: Has he spoken with anyone with the North Korean Government?
        Associate Spokesman: I don’t believe he has had any discussions with North Korea
since the resolution was passed, no.
       Question: I may have missed it –- what was the reason for Mark Malloch Brown to
come to the stakeout?
       Associate Spokesman: Well, you have been asking a number of questions, in particular
involving the situation in Lebanon, and he will be prepared to take questions from you there.
       Question: Another Mark Malloch Brown question. It was earlier this week on his
schedule –- he met with Revenue Watch. Do you know what that was about? Which of the
various revenue watches it was, and what it was about?
         Associate Spokesman: I don’t know. I’d have to check on that.
         Correspondent: I mean, I’ll try to ask at the stakeout, but if not, I’d like to know.
         Question: Another question. The team is on its way to New York today. Has it gone to
Syria?
       Associate Spokesman: No, the team did not go to Syria. This morning, the team went
to Madrid. That was a stopover on its way back and, while in Madrid, they met with Foreign
Minister of Spain, Miguel Angel Moratinos. And now they are heading back to New York.
         Question: So, they went directly from Israel to Madrid?
       Associate Spokesman: As far as I am aware. I don’t have their flight schedule, but yes.
Their only stopover was Madrid.
         And if there are no further questions, have a good afternoon.




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