Cablegate: South America Esth News, Number 109

DE RUEHBR #0618/01 1301048
R 091048Z MAY 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

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1. The following is the 109th in a series of newsletters, published
by the Brasilia Regional Environmental Hub, covering environment,
science and technology, and health news in South America. The
information below was gathered from news sources from across the
region, and the views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of
the Hub office or our constituent posts. Addressees who would like
to receive a user-friendly email version of this newsletter should
contact Larissa Stoner at The e-mail version
also contains a calendar of upcoming ESTH events in the region.

2. Table of Contents

--(3)Brazil: Clean Gasoline Fuels Soybean Production
--(4)Environmentalists Praise Results of Moratorium on Growing Soy
in Brazil Amazon

--(5)U.S. Donates 50,000 Dollars Relief Funds to Victims of
Northeast Flooding
--(6)Colombian Scientists Synthesize Potential Malaria Vaccine

Water Issues
--(7)Chile: Aguas Andinas to Study Glaciers
--(8)Chile's Drinking Water Supply Guaranteed for Only 25 Years

--(9)Brazil to Rein in Foreign Groups in Amazon
--(10)Google Earth to Carry Satellite Images of Amazon

--(11)Chile Park Officials to Monitor Mountain Lion Population

Fishing & Marine Conservation
--(12)Trawl Fishing Banned in Venezuela
--(14)Catch Limit Tightened on Fishing of Argentine Hake
--(15)Argentina: Environmental Atlas of the Sea
--(16)Turbulent Times for Chilean Salmon Farms

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Science & Technology
--(17)US and Uruguay Sign Technology Cooperation Accord

Infrastructure Development
--(18)Brazil: Amazon Ghost Highway to Be Brought Back to Life
--(19)Chile: Environmentalists Defend Patagonian Wilderness from

--(20)Ecuador: Damage Estimate Filed in Amazon Oil-Pollution Trial
--(21)Two Ecuadorians Fighting against Chevron are Among 2008
Goldman Prize Winners
--(22)Peru: In Search of Less Toxic Mining

Climate Change
--(23)Marriott in Carbon Offset Deal with Brazilian State
--(24)'Green' Trash Dump in Brazil on A Road to Revenue
--(25)Brazil to Pay Amazon Residents for 'Eco-Services'
--(26)Carbon Credits Could Help Save Amazon
--(27)Carbon-Offset Business Takes Root in Brazil

--(28)Bolivia's Morales Says Biofuels Serious Problem to Poor
--(29)Argentina, Brazil Revive Binational Dam Project
--(30)Chile Mandates Renewable-Energy Targets

--(31)Chile Unveils New Indigenous Policy
--(32)Environment Prominent in Bolivia's Draft Constitution
--(33)Peru: Critics Say New Environment Ministry Will Lack
Decision-Making Powers in Key Areas
--(34)Amazon Environmentalist Gunned Down in Peru


3. Brazil: Clean Gasoline Fuels Soybean Production

Apr. 03, 2008 - The Brazilian government has decided to move up the
deadlines for obligatory addition of biofuels to gasoline and diesel
fuel, a measure that will boost the production of soybeans, the

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oilseed crop with the lowest yield and that causes the most
environmental damage. In January it was determined that two percent
of biodiesel should be added to fuels derived from crude oil, a
proportion that is to rise to three percent as of Jul. 1. Although
the National Program for Biodiesel Production and Use planned for a
five percent mixture to be introduced in 2013, Mines and Energy
Minister Edison Lobao said the target date would be brought forward
to 2010. Soybean production will benefit for many years into the
future, because it is the only crop "available in sufficient volume,
and for which the industrial structure and logistics are adequate to
provide a reliable supply to meet the demand," according to Sergio
Beltrao, the head of the Brazilian Biodiesel Union (Ubrabio), an
association of producers and researchers of biofuels. Beltrao
admitted that "a wider variety of raw materials would be desirable,
but the biofuel program cannot wait." Therefore, soybeans will be
the predominant source of biodiesel for many years, although it is
"unanimously" recognized that it is neither the most productive nor
the most energy-efficient, he said.

Source - IPS News

4. Environmentalists Praise Results of Moratorium on Growing Soy in
Brazil Amazon

MAR. 31, 2008 - A moratorium on the purchase of soybeans from newly
deforested areas of the Amazon appears to be preventing grain fields
from contributing to rain forest destruction, according to
environmentalists and an industry group. No new soybean plantations
were detected in any of the 193 areas that registered deforestation
of 100 hectares (250 acres) or more between August 2006 and August
2007, according to Greenpeace and the Brazilian Vegetable Oils
Industry Association. U.S. commodities giants Cargill, Archer
Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd., as well as France's Dreyfus and
Brazilian-owned Amaggi, are participating. The ban came in response
to protests against expanding soy plantations, which had become a
major source of rain forest destruction. There is no word on whether
the moratorium will be renewed.

Source - The Associated Press


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5. U.S. Donates 50,000 Dollars Relief Funds to Victims of Northeast

MAY 02, 2008 - The U.S. Ambassador in Brazil Clifford Sobel
authorized granting $50,000 of discretionary relief funds to victims
of flooding in Northeast Brazil. These funds will provide basic
emergency help in the form of locally purchased, locally prioritized
basic health and hygiene items to a total of 1400 vulnerable
flood-affected families in the following very hard-hit
municipalities: 500 families in Crateus (Ceara state), 500 families
in Esperantina (Piau state) and 400 families in Aparecida/Souza
(Paraiba state). On April 24, relief funds were presented by USAID
Mission Director Jennifer Adams and U.S. Consul in Recife Diana Page
to Wellington Dias, Governor of Piaui, and to the Catholic Relief
Service, in Teresina, capital of Piaui. Heavy rains since late March
2008 have resulted in severe flooding in the interior of Northeast
Brazil4s Semi-Arid Region. Damage has been most severe in 250
municipalities of six states: Ceara (26 municipalities), Maranhao
(29), Paraiba (88), Pernambuco (37), Piaui (35) and Rio Grande do
Norte (35), as well as in the states of Para and Alagoas.

Source - USAID Brazil

6. Colombian Scientists Synthesize Potential Malaria Vaccine

APR. 07, 2008 - A Colombian research group has chemically
synthesized an early-stage malaria vaccine candidate in the
laboratory. Manuel E. Patarroyo and Manuel A. Patarroyo, director
and researcher of the Colombian Institute of Immunology Foundation
respectively, chemically synthesized protein fragments of the
malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum involved in red blood cell
invasion. They adapted their structures and tested them in Aotus
monkeys until an immune response was initiated. Patarroyo's
research group has been working on the technique to chemically
synthesize vaccines for over 30 years. He says that the vaccines
will be effective against multiple microorganisms and at different
stages of the infection process. Plans indicate that batches of
vaccine produced will always be exactly the same, and will not
induce side effects. The findings are published in Accounts of
Chemical Research.

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Source - SciDev

Water Issues

7. Chile: Aguas Andinas to Study Glaciers

April 30, 2008 - Spanish-owned water purification company Aguas
Andinas announced this week it will study the impact climate change
has on the polar ice caps of Antarctica and the glaciers of Chile,
and how global warming affects the future of Chile's fresh water
reserves. The project involves testing the level of carbon monoxide
in ice samples from the glaciers and comparing these levels to the
rate of climate change. Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of the
green house affect that is behind the global warming phenomena.
Aguas Andinas is one of Chile's most important water supply and
waste water treatment companies, and is a subsidy of Spain's Aguas
Barcelona. The Aguas Andinas project will begin in 2009 and will
cost an estimated 1.5 and 2 million euros (between US$2.3 million
and US$3.1 million). The company is hoping to partner with a
national university.

Source - Santiago Times

8. Chile's Drinking Water Supply Guaranteed for Only 25 Years

APR. 01, 2008 - A Public Works Ministry (MOP) study released March
30 revealed that Chile has enough fresh drinking water to last until
2033. The MOP study also confirmed that the lion share of the
country's fresh water is consumed by industry, provoking a barrage
of criticism from leading environmentalists. The MOP said that,
taking into account all sectors of Chilean society, 677,000 liters
of drinking water are consumed nationwide every second. Of that
total, roughly 78 percent is used by Chile's forestry and
agricultural industries, followed by the 12 percent consumed by the
country's manufacturing sector, and the 4 percent consumed by mining
operations. Still, MOP officials were quick to point out that in
some areas, such as northern Chile's Region II, mines consume more
than half of the local fresh water sources. The MOP has put
together a series of proposals aimed at conserving Chile's fresh

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water, including: use of desalinated ocean water-instead of fresh
water-in northern Chile; increased monitoring and protection of
Chile's glaciers; the construction of more reservoirs; stricter
punishments for citizens or companies that extract fresh water
illegally; and artificial replenishment of Chile's underground

Source - Santiago Times


9. Brazil to Rein in Foreign Groups in Amazon

APR. 24, 2008 - Brazil's military will regulate environmental,
religious and other foreign groups working in the Amazon region
under a law being drafted to assert sovereignty over the often
lawless rainforest, the defense minister said on Thursday. "There
is this concept that the Amazon is some free place for anyone, but
the Amazon is sovereign Brazilian territory," Defense Minister
Nelson Jobim said at a media briefing. Justice Minister Tarso Genro
said that many NGOs were involved in bio-piracy and were trying to
influence Indian culture to expropriate land. The justice and
defense ministries plan to send a new Foreigners Bill to Congress in
June to curb NGOs from serving as fronts for illegal activities in
the Amazon. It would require foreign individuals and groups to get
permission from the Justice Ministry and register with the regional
military command. If the foreigners were working without approval
or in an illegal way, the Justice Ministry could revoke visas,
deport and fine individuals and groups between 5,000 and 100,000
reais (US$3,000 and US$60,000).

Source- Reuters

10. Google Earth to Carry Satellite Images of Amazon Deforestation

APR. 11, 2008 - Google is about to post on its Google Earth internet
service detailed images of Amazon jungle deforestation, according to
report. Story notes that Brazil's National Space Research Institute
(INPE) already makes available on the internet its own satellite
images of Amazon deforestation, but that they don't have sufficient

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resolution to be easily visualized by non-experts. Google Earth
director of programs Rebecca Moore said that image processing should
be completed and put on the internet this year to pressure regional
governments to take action, but did not explain what satellite
services are being used. Reportedly Google already highlights the
efforts of an indigenous leader from Cacoal, Rondonia, to protect
his tribe's lands from deforestation, noting that 11 tribal leaders
have been killed in the last five years.

Source - O Estado de Sao Paulo


11. Chile Park Officials to Monitor Mountain Lion Population

April 30, 2008 - The southern, Chile-based Conservacion Patagonica
conservation group will begin to electronically monitor part of
Region XI's mountain lion population. Officials say that the
information gathered will be used both to observe the felines'
habits and to protect local livestock from the prowling cats. The
mountain lion population is protected under Chilean law, which
classifies the species as "vulnerable." The monitoring project, the
first of its kind in Chile, will take place within the grounds of
Region XI's Estancia Chacabuco, a 76,000 square hectare stretch of
pristine steppe land owned by U.S. philanthropist Douglas Tompkins
and administered by Conservacion Patagonica. Still, Tompkins has
publicly disclosed his intentions to transfer ownership of the
territory to the Chilean government.

Source - Santiago Times

Fishing & Marine Conservation

12. Trawl Fishing Banned in Venezuela

APR. 08, 2008 - Trawl-fishing is on its way out in Venezuela, amid
positive demonstrations by artisanal fisherfolk who support the new
law as amended by President Hugo Chvez. Groups of fisherfolk have

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been organizing marches in the capital, some of them driving trucks
carrying their boats, to show their support for the Law on Fisheries
and Aquaculture, amended by Chvez in March by a decree-law banning
trawl-fishing. Before the amendment, the previous law promulgated
by Chvez in 2001 only prohibited trawling less than six miles (10
kilometers) from the mainland or less than 10 miles (16 kilometers)
from island shores. But the amended law bans trawl-fishing in all
Venezuelan waters, where Gonzalez said "Italian and Spanish ships
used to trawl, not only Venezuelan fishing vessels." The new law
provides for a one-year transition period, until March 2009, for the
trawling companies and their ships to change over to other

Source - Tierramerica

13. COMMENT FROM EMBASSY CARACAS - Venezuelan daily El Universal
reported that the fish supply dropped by 90% in some markets
immediately following the ban as fishing companies were confused
about the conditions of the ban and ceased all operations. Supply
appears to be recovering as more boats are returning to the water
after the government clarified the details of the one year
transition agreement.

14. Catch Limit Tightened on Fishing of Argentine Hake

APR. 2008 - Argentina has reduced by 20% the catch limit for
Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi), the principal target of the
country's commercial fishing industry. Moving to protect a species
that has yet to recover from years of overfishing, the Argentine
Secretariat of Agriculture, Ranching, Fishing and Food now requires
that the catch of hake, known locally as merluza, be limited to
270,000 metric tons annually for the next five years. Experts are
concerned not only about the deliberate targeting of hake, but also
about the incidental bycatch of the fish by fishing crews looking to
land other species. For instance, shrimpers operating off Chubut
and Santa Cruz provinces in Argentina's Gulf of San Jorge
accidentally net hake. Though the fish are thrown back to leave
cargo room for the far-higher-priced shrimp, the accidentally caught
hake often die in the process.

Source - EcoAmericas

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15. Argentina: Environmental Atlas of the Sea

APR. 07, 2008 - Some 50 experts from a variety of institutions and
disciplines put together an Atlas of Environmental Sensitivity of
the Argentine Coast and Sea, with data on fauna and flora, water
salinity, fishing resources, contamination, and other aspects. "The
aim was to identify sensitive areas that require attention because
of activities like fishing, shipping or exploitation of
hydrocarbons," Florencia Lemoine, of the Fundacion Vida Silvestre, a
group participating in the project, told Tierramerica. "It is a
database with reliable scientific basis, with a multidisciplinary
focus and which will serve as a tool for easy consultation and
simple language for decision makers and for society," she said. The
atlas covers 5,000 kilometers of coastline from north of Buenos
Aires to the southern extreme of Beagle Canal, and will be available
on the Internet in May.

Source - Tierramerica

16. Turbulent Times for Chilean Salmon Farms

APR. 2008 - Criticism of the environmental practices of Chilean
salmon farms has spiked once again as the industry struggles to cope
with a severe slowdown related to the outbreak last year of a
water-borne virus called infectious salmon anemia, or ISA. Since it
was detected here last July, the virus, which poses no risk to
humans, has spread rapidly among Chilean salmon farms and is causing
salmon deaths on a worrisome scale. One million infected fish were
killed as a precautionary measure after ISA was first found last
year on four salmon farms, but the virus continued making inroads.
Sernapesca, Chile's fishing agency, says that as of April 8, the
virus had affected 21 salmon farms, including three far south in
Patagonia's Aysen region. In addition, Sernapesca suspects 17 more
salmon farms have the virus; meanwhile, 39 of the farms are under
strict quarantine pending verification that the virus is no longer
present. The Pure Salmon Campaign and numerous Chilean
environmental groups charge that sea lice and ISA are consequences
of poor environmental management at salmon farms. Specifically, they
point to the continuing overproduction of salmon, lax governmental
regulation and the tendency of both government and industry to place
economic interests above environmental and social concerns. Experts
say the best long-term way to minimize environmental impacts and

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disease would be to operate salmon farms as closed-containment
systems on land. This strategy would eliminate such problems as
salmon escapes and water pollution, and would greatly reduce the
need for chemicals. Thus far, however, consensus has not developed
in the industry to embrace such a strategy across the board, with
many executives complaining that the cost of land-based,
closed-containment operations would be prohibitive.

Source - EcoAmericas (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete

Science & Technology

17. US and Uruguay Sign Technology Cooperation Accord

APR. 30, 2008 - United States and Uruguay signed on April 29 a
bilateral agreement to promote and increase cooperation in Science
and Technology. The agreement was signed by Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice and Uruguay's Foreign Affairs minister Gonzalo
Fernandez during a ceremony at the State Department. The new
agreement provides a mechanism through which the United States and
Uruguay can broaden cooperation in all scientific and technology
fields, and move forward in areas of collaboration such as energy,
health issues, science and technology education, engineering,
sustainable development, agriculture, and natural resources. It will
support government-to-government exchanges and scientific
partnerships between private, academic, and non-governmental
entities. The agreement prioritizes the study of biodiversity
through the collection, conservation, and exchange of biological and
genetic resources in cooperative projects, which are often the key
to advancing agricultural science and medicine, and understanding
the impact of climate change on the environment.

Source - MercoPress

Infrastructure Development

18. Brazil: Amazon Ghost Highway to Be Brought Back to Life

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APR. 04, 2008 - BR-319, a road blazed 35 years ago through the heart
of the Amazon jungle and now impassable due to neglect, has sparked
a new battle between environmentalists and the Brazilian
authorities, who have decided to rebuild it. The officials defend
the economic integration of the central Amazon and south-central
Brazil, saying it will bring benefits for the local population. But
environmentalists say reparations of the road will lead to further
deforestation and new waves of migration towards the northern city
of Manaus, which is already plagued by serious urban problems and
increasing conflicts over the surrounding land. The controversy has
been fuelled by a proposal to replace the highway with a railroad,
for which an economic viability study has already been conducted,
and which would mean much less deforestation, according to Virgilio
Viana, who set forth the alternative as secretary of the environment
and sustainable development in the northwestern state of Amazonas, a
post he left Mar. 3 to head the Sustainable Amazon Foundation. The
885-km road links Porto Velho, capital of Rondonia state on the
border with Bolivia, with Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, the
Brazilian state with the most extensive stretches of intact jungle.
The rebuilding and paving of the road should be complete by 2011,
says the Ministry of Transport, whose chief, Alfredo Nascimento, was
mayor of Manaus from 1997 to 2004. The estimated cost is 700 million
reals (about 400 million dollars).

Source - IPS

19. Chile: Environmentalists Defend Patagonian Wilderness from Dams

APR. 01, 2008 - Robert Kennedy, senior attorney for the U.S.-based
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), was in Chile to support
opponents of a plan for building five dams in the southern region of
Patagonia. In his half-hour meeting with President Michelle
Bachelet on March 31st, the environmentalist and son of assassinated
U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) offered the president the
NRDC's technical assistance in developing non-conventional renewable
sources of energy like wind, solar, mini-hydraulic, geothermal and
tidal energy, as well as contacts with foreign investors. If
Patagonia were in the United States, or in any other country in the
world, it would be a nature reserve protected by the state, he said,
expressing the hope that a policy decision will be taken to prevent
the building of the HidroAysn project. Environmentalists are

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awaiting the results of a study on the country's energy industry
being prepared by experts from government institutions, like the
Chilean Energy Ministry and the National Program for Energy
Efficiency (PPEE), and academics from the University of Chile and
the Federico Santa Mara Technical University. But in the meantime,
they are studying all the legal options to block the dams.

Source - IPS


20. Ecuador: Damage Estimate Filed in Amazon Oil-Pollution Trial

APR. 2008 - The trial to assess Chevron's alleged responsibility for
oilfield pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon reached a key juncture
in April when a court-appointed investigator estimated the
contamination's health and environmental impacts at US$8.02 billion.
A ruling isn't expected before next year, but analysts believe that
when one comes, it could set a precedent for oilfield pollution
litigation throughout Latin America. Plaintiffs assert reinjection
should have been used to minimize damage in the rainforest, but
Chevron has argued that at the time the technique was new and
untested in Ecuador. Participants in the case who have read the
impacts report say the $8.02 billion cost estimate attempts to take
into account environmental remediation; compensation for
pollution-related health problems; and steps needed to prevent
further contamination. The report also alleges Texpet had "unfair
earnings" of US$8.31 billion when it failed to use appropriate
technology to prevent the pollution, sources say. Ricardo Reis
Veiga, Chevron's vice president for Latin America, warns that
Chevron is willing to seek arbitration in international courts,
where he says it would invoke a bilateral U.S.-Ecuadorian
investment-protection treaty.

Source - EcoAmericas (pleas contact Larissa Stoner for complete

21. Two Ecuadorians Fighting against Chevron are Among 2008 Goldman
Prize Winners

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APR. 2008 - This year's edition of the prestigious Goldman
Environmental Prize was won by four activists from Latin America and
one each from Belgium, Mozambique and Russia for their work in
fighting corporate polluters, conserving land and advancing
sustainable development. Sometimes referred to as the
"environmental Nobel Prize," the US$150,000 award brings
international attention and clout to worthy causes,
environmentalists say. Ecuadorians Pablo Fajardo Mendoza and Luis
Yanza were awarded the prize for leading a 15-year battle to force
Texaco and its parent company Chevron to clean up millions of
gallons of crude and drilling wastewater dumped into the soils and
waterways of the Ecuadorian Amazon during 1972-92. Their efforts to
organize some 30,000 inhabitants of the Ecuadorian Amazon, including
people suffering cancers and miscarriages allegedly caused by the
oilfield pollution, prompted a landmark case now being litigated in
Ecuador. Environmentalists say the prestige of the Goldman Prize
often adds momentum to their causes. But it also can draw criticism,
as it has this year. Chevron, the defendant in the Amazon
contamination case, released a statement attacking the Ecuadorian
recipients. "Chevron regrets that the organizers of the Goldman
Environmental Prize were skillfully misled into naming Mr. Fajardo
and Mr. Yanza as prize winners," the company said. Chevron accused
Fajardo and Yanza of helping to deflect oil-pollution responsibility
from Petroecuador, the state-owned oil company, and for blocking
clean-up efforts and pursuing the case for financial gain.

Source - EcoAmericas

22. Peru: In Search of Less Toxic Mining

APR. 05, 2008 - The Peruvian government is seeking to reduce the
maximum allowable emissions of pollutants by the mining industry,
but the proposed limits are still a long way from meeting
international standards. The initiative, submitted for consultation
in December and January by the National Environment Council (CONAM),
has come under fire as insufficient for protecting the health of
residents who are exposed to poisonous gases and metals from mining
operations and foundries , including arsenic, zinc, sulfur and
cadmium. The proposed decree would approve the new "maximum
permissible limits" (MPLs) for liquid effluents and atmospheric
emissions, set in 1996 for the mining-metallurgy sector, as well as

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regulations for compliance. According to the proposal, the liquid
waste that is dumping arsenic into lakes and rivers must not have a
concentration higher than 0.5 micrograms per liter (mcg/l). That
cuts in half the current national limit of one mcg/l, but is five
times higher than what is allowed under the limits established by
the World Bank in 2007, of 0.1 mcg/l, according to Environmental Law
Alliance Worldwide (ELAW). ELAW experts believe the project should
meet global standards in order to require compliance by Doe Run.
They also recommend participation by local communities in monitoring
the measures, and want the Health Ministry to step up its
involvement in the matter.

Source - IPS News

Climate Change

23. Marriott in Carbon Offset Deal with Brazilian State

APR. 07, 2008 - Marriott International has signed a landmark deal
with the Brazilian state of Amazonas that will see the hotel group
launch a carbon offset program for its guests and invest in a fund
aimed at securing 1.4 million acres of rainforest. The company has
invested US$2 million in the fund, which aims to prevent the
deforestation of the threatened Brazilian rainforest. Marriott
guests will be invited to invest in the fund, which the company said
would offset the carbon emissions associated with their stays. The
company estimates it generates 2.9m metric tons of carbon dioxide
emissions per year. Arne Sorenson, Marriott's chief financial
officer, said the group decided to launch the scheme because its
guests and corporate customers had expressed interest in "greening"
their stays. Eduardo Braga, the governor of Amazonas, said the
Marriott agreement was "the first project on reducing emissions from
deforestation in Brazil and one of the first in the world". He added
that the deal would "make history because it demonstrates how
rainforest preservation can be used as a climate strategy".

Source - Financial Times

24. 'Green' Trash Dump in Brazil on A Road to Revenue

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APR. 06, 2008 - The methane pipelines are already in place at the
Novagerar trash dump on the outskirts of this impoverished suburb of
Rio de Janeiro. So are the legions of dump trucks that haul 2,800
tons of city trash here every day and the dozens of workers who
cover the trash with soil at day's end to prevent greenhouse gases
from escaping. This 300-acre ''green'' dump is ready to tap into a
potential carbon-credit market explosion that many developing
countries hope will pour millions of dollars into poor communities
like this one. So far, the dump, which is owned by the Brazilian
construction company Paulista, generates only 4 percent of its
revenue -- or $900,000 a year -- from selling carbon credits. That
is bound to change, said facility director Adriana Felipetto, who
predicted that annual carbon-credit sales would hit $3 million in
two years and make up a quarter of the facility's total revenue

Source - Miami Herald

25. Brazil to Pay Amazon Residents for 'Eco-Services'

APR. 06, 2008 - Brazil's government is planning to pay residents of
the Amazon money and credits for their "eco-services" in helping to
preserve the vast forested area sometimes called the "lungs of the
Earth", referring to its role in converting carbon dioxide to
oxygen. Environment Minister Marina Silva has presented the measure
as a priority and said "keeping the forest going is an important
environmental service" for the entire planet. Under the scheme,
farmers, ranchers and woodsman who use small-scale traditional
techniques in the Amazon will be rewarded with public funds, special
credits and a market that will pay more for environmentally
sustainable products. The initiative's goal is to reinforce methods
seen as doing less damage than the large-scale mechanical and
chemical methods of big commercial businesses, according to Paulo
Guilherme Cabral the director for Brazil's Agency for Sustainable
Rural Development. The Brazilian state of Amazonas recently created
a "forest fund" and Brazil is studying other countries' models,
including in Costa Rica where taxes on water and fuel are paid to
forest landowners.

Source - Yahoo News

26. Carbon Credits Could Help Save Amazon

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APR. 06, 2008 - Global carbon markets could generate billions of
dollars each year for developing countries that tackle tropical
deforestation, a major source of global warming, according to a new
study. Reducing the rate at which Amazonian rain forests are
disappearing by only 10 percent, for example, would yield 1.5 to 9.1
billion euros (2.2 to 13.5 billion dollars), depending on world
carbon emission prices, researchers calculated. That money could
then be plowed into national conservation efforts that would further
mitigate climate change, creating a virtuous circle. Slowing down
deforestation by another 20 percent, could result in an additional
45 billion dollars for the region if carbon prices reached 30 euros
per ton, said the study, one of two dozen scientific papers on the
future of the Amazon released by The Royal Society in Britain.

Source - Agence France Presse

27. Carbon-Offset Business Takes Root in Brazil

APR. 2008 - Three Sco Paulo consulting firms are working to meet
expanding demand for offsets from Brazilian companies interested in
reducing their carbon footprint. The firms- the nonprofit
Iniciativa Verde, and MaxAmbiental and Key Associados, both
for-profit-measure companies' carbon emissions and help generate
offsets through such means as planting trees. All three firms
report fast-growing business-and a mixture of motives on the part of
their clients ranging from altruism to an entrepreneurial interest
in affixing "carbon neutral" seals to their products or services.
"Brazilian companies neutralize their emissions because they want to
be more environmentally responsible, because they want to use
'carbon free' seals to boost sales, or because clients pressure them
to do so," says Francisco Maciel, the co-director of Iniciativa
Verde. "It is hard to know where their eco-responsible side ends and
where their marketing side begins."

Source - EcoAmericas (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete


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28. Bolivia's Morales Says Biofuels Serious Problem to Poor

Apr. 22, 2008 - Bolivian President Evo Morales criticized "some
South American presidents" for supporting the use of biofuels, which
he said are responsible for high food prices and global hunger.
Visiting the United Nations while fighting autonomy referendums
called by the opposition at home, the Bolivian president said the
increased use of farmland for fuel crops was causing a "tremendous
increase" in the price of food -- especially of wheat, which has
made bread more expensive. In his U.N. speech earlier, Morales
called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to
develop policies to curb the use of biofuels "in order to avoid
hunger and misery among our people".

Source - ENN

29. Argentina, Brazil Revive Binational Dam Project

APR. 2008 - Looking for ways to meet growing energy demand,
Argentina and Brazil have agreed to revive plans for a binational
hydroelectric station on the Uruguay River. The environmentally
controversial project, called Garabi, has languished in an on-again,
off-again planning limbo since the original agreement authorizing it
was signed in 1972. But new Argentine President Cristina Kirchner
and her Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, recently
gave the initiative a strong push. On Feb. 22, the pair signed an
agreement announcing their "decision" to build the facility and
authorizing two state-owned companies-Brazil's Eletrobras and
Argentina's Ebisa-to conduct technical and environmental studies.
The signing took place at an energy summit in Buenos Aires in which
Kirchner and Lula were pressing Bolivian President Evo Morales for
assurances that Bolivia would sell their countries sufficient
quantities of natural gas. The hydro station would be built on a
stretch of the Uruguay River that runs along the international
border between northern Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil and the
northern and southern portions, respectively, of Argentina's
Corrientes and Misiones provinces.

Source - EcoAmericas (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete

30. Chile Mandates Renewable-Energy Targets

BRASILIA 00000618 018.2 OF 020

APR. 2008 - Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has signed into law
a renewable-energy bill aimed at diversifying power generation in
this energy-strapped country. The congressionally approved measure,
signed by Bachelet on March 20, establishes gradual increases in the
percentage of Chile's electricity produced from renewable sources.
Although the Bachelet administration hails the new law as a
milestone, many environmentalists and legislators say it falls short
of harnessing Chile's alternative-energy capabilities. The measure
requires that by 2010, Chilean electricity producers whose annual
output is 200 megawatts or more must generate at least 5% of their
output through solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, small-scale
hydroelectric, wave or other alternative energy technologies. It
mandates an annual 0.5% increase in that quota beginning in 2015 so
that by 2024, 10% of Chile's power comes from renewables. The
measure also establishes fines for companies that do not comply with
the new regulations. Fines will be calculated according to how much
alternative-power generation the violator must add in order to meet
the law's threshold. For repeat offenders, meanwhile, fines will be

Source - EcoAmericas (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete


31. Chile Unveils New Indigenous Policy

APR. 02, 2008 - Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced a
new policy for indigenous people, which includes novel approaches to
political participation and the protection of natural resources in
the hands of the country's native groups. "Some say the problem
facing indigenous people is just poverty, and that good targeting of
subsidies would be the most appropriate policy. But we, on the other
hand, maintain that it is a matter of rights, of a collective
identity seeking expression in a multicultural society," said
Bachelet at a ceremony in the palace of La Moneda, the seat of
government. A 2006 census known by the acronym CASEN found that
1,060,786 people identified themselves as belonging to native
groups, equivalent to 6.6 percent of the Chilean population. The

BRASILIA 00000618 019.2 OF 020

largest indigenous community is the Mapuche, who make up 87.2
percent of the country's indigenous people. The new "Social Pact
for Multiculturalism" addresses three main areas: political systems,
rights and institutions; integrated development of indigenous
communities; and multiculturalism and diversity.

Source - IPS News

32. Environment Prominent in Bolivia's Draft Constitution

APR. 2008 - Environmental advocates in Bolivia are praising the
proposed Bolivian constitution, which on May 4 will be put to a
public referendum. While Bolivia's current constitution does not
include the word "environment," the new version, drafted in a
constitutional assembly that met from August 2006 to December 2007,
contains numerous environmental-protection provisions. "This
constitution exceeded our expectations by far," says Adam Zemans,
executive director of the Cochabamba, Bolivia-based Environment Las
Americas, a nonprofit that houses an environmental law clinic and an
environmental education initiative. "The question is whether any of
this will now transfer from paper to practice." Zemans, who has an
environmental law degree from Georgetown University, says perhaps
the most important achievement is the enforcement procedures
outlined in the new constitution. In particular, the constitution
includes a section called Popular Action, contained in articles 136
and 137. The section allows organizations and individuals to
initiate lawsuits. The section moreover declares that cases do not
require exhaustion of other legal avenues before they are considered
at the highest level of the Bolivian justice system-that of the
Constitutional Court. Meanwhile, the new constitution also creates
a powerful Agro-Environmental Tribunal with jurisdiction over all
environmental and agriculture cases.

Source - EcoAmericas (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete

33. Peru: Critics Say New Environment Ministry Will Lack
Decision-Making Powers in Key Areas

APR. 02, 2008 - According to critics, the Peruvian government
announced that it will create an Environment Ministry by decree,
without going through the process of a debate in civil society,

BRASILIA 00000618 020.2 OF 020

Congress and regional governments. Trade and Tourism Minister
Mercedes Araoz revealed that the new ministry will not be
responsible for inspecting mining industry activity, in spite of the
fact that 40 percent of social conflicts related to the environment
arise in the mining sector. The ministry will not have authority
over water management, either, although water shortages are already
becoming a problem due to climate change and water pollution is one
of the main causes of environmental conflict. The government wants
the Agriculture Ministry to be in charge of water, through the
recently created National Water Authority. Forestry and logging
will also come under the purview of the Agriculture Ministry. The
National Service for Protected Areas may also be excluded from the
remit of the new ministry. Critics of the government initiative
point out that the team of experts is proposing that the Environment
Ministry should only handle evaluations of environmental impact
studies for large mining and energy projects, without even defining
what qualifies as a "large" project.

Source - Tierramerica

34. Amazon Environmentalist Gunned Down in Peru

MAR.14, 2008 - After reporting a truck loaded with mahogany
illegally logged from the Amazon rainforest, Julio Gualberto Garca
Agapito, a Peruvian authority who worked to protect forests, was
gunned down by Amancion Jacinto Maque, an illegal timber operator,
on February 26, 2008. As Lieutenant Governor of the town Alerta in
the Tahuamanu Province of Madre de Dios in Peru, Don Julio dedicated
his life to conservation and building sustainable livelihoods for
the people of southwestern Peru. Development pressures are mounting
in the region due to the improvement of the Transoceanic Highway,
which links the heart of the Amazon to the Pacific. The highway will
soon serve as an artery for transporting soy and other agricultural
products to Pacific ports - the gateway to China.

Source - Mongabay


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