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Cablegate: South America Esth News, Number 98

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 15 BRASILIA 001463

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS USAID TO LAC/RSD, LAC/SAM, G/ENV, PPC/ENV
TREASURY FOR USED IBRD AND IDB AND INTL/MDB
USDA FOR FOREST SERVICE: LIZ MAHEW
INTERIOR FOR DIR INT AFFAIRS: K WASHBURN
INTERIOR FOR FWS: TOM RILEY
INTERIOR FOR NPS: JONATHAN PUTNAM
INTERIOR PASS USGS FOR INTERNATIONAL: J WEAVER
JUSTICE FOR ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES: JWEBB
EPA FOR INTERNATIONAL: CAM HILL-MACON
USDA FOR ARS/INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH: G FLANLEY
NSF FOR INTERNATIONAL: HAROLD STOLBERG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAGR EAID TBIO ECON SOCI XR BR
SUBJECT: SOUTH AMERICA ESTH NEWS, NUMBER 98

BRASILIA 00001463 001.2 OF 015


1. The following is the ninety-eighth 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
stonerla@state.gov. The e-mail version also contains a calendar of
upcoming ESTH events in the region. NOTE: THE NEWSLETTER IS NOW
ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE BRASILIA INTRANET PAGE, BY CLICKING ON THE
'HUB' LINK.

2. Table of Contents

Health
--(3)Abbott Laboratories and Brazil Reach Agreement on Cost of AIDS
Drug

Forests
--(4)Uruguay Attracts Expanding Chilean Forestry Companies
--(5)Small Communities Key To Preserving World's Remaining Forests,
Report Says
--(6)Guyana Considering Modern Sawmill Proposal

Fishing & Marine Conservation
--(7)Brazil Fishermen Caught Killing Dolphins

Protected Areas
--(8)Oil Plan Casts Shadow on Bolivia Park

Science & Technology
--(9)Colombia: New Center of Excellence in Genomics

Pollution
--(10)Mercury Threat from Mining Seen In Guyana
--(11)Argentine Ombudsman Joins Oilfield Lawsuit

Climate Change
--(12)Guyana Gets Climate Change Grant
--(13)Lake Disappearance in Chile Linked to Global Warming
--(14)Guyana: Climate Change Affecting Sea Turtle Nesting Habits

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Energy
--(15)Chile: Matte Creates Fund for Renewable Energy
--(16)Brazil to Revive Nuclear Project
--(17)Chile Focuses on Long-Term Energy Strategy
--(18)Colombia: President Inaugurates First Biodiesel Plant; Issues
20 Percent Blending Mandate
--(19)Brazil Gives Preliminary OK to Amazon Dams Criticized by
Environmentalists
--(20)Ecuador: Biofuel Efforts Attract Organized Opposition
--(21)Brazil to Certify Sustainable Production of Ethanol
--(22)Brazil To Ban Sugarcane Crops In The Amazon

General
--(23)Green Safeguards Bolstered in Three Trade Deals
--(24)Nazca Lines Affected by 'Informal' Gold Mining
--(25)Colombia, Ecuador launch Regional Fundacion Natura
--(26)WTO Decision on Retreads Buoys Both Sides in Dispute

Update on Avian Influenza
--(27)SOUTHCOM Preparedness Workshop for Central and South America

------
Health
------

3. Abbott Laboratories and Brazil Reach Agreement on Cost of AIDS
Drug

JULY 4, 2007 - The Brazilian government and Abbott Laboratories have
agreed to reduce the price of an anti-AIDS drug by nearly 30 percent
this year, and even more next year, the Health Ministry and the
company said. The agreement with the U.S.-based company lowers the
price of each Kaletra pill to US$0.73 from US$1.04 until the end of
the year. In 2008, each pill will cost US$0.68, or "US$1,000 per
patient per year," the Health Ministry said.
Kaletra, a protease inhibitor, is one of the most commonly used
anti-AIDS drugs in Brazil, which provides free AIDS drugs to anyone
who needs them. Brazil manufactures generic versions of several
drugs that were in production before the country enacted an
intellectual property law in 1997 to join the World Trade
Organization.

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Source - International Herald Tribune

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Forests
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4. Uruguay Attracts Expanding Chilean Forestry Companies

JULY 24, 2007 - Chile's relatively small concentration of fertile
land has forced its forestry companies to look closely at other
Latin American countries for expansion. Forestry companies have
started to set their sights on a host of other countries, including
Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Venezuela. A recent report by
PriceWaterHouse about the world forestry industry indicated that
Brazil was the most attractive country to invest in during 2006.
The report also identified Uruguay as having high potential for
planting and installing processing plants. As a result, Chilean
companies are seriously considering Brazil and Uruguay. "The
governments of those countries are giving important support for
development of the forestry sector. Because of that Arauco and CMPC
have begun investing in those countries, and there are also many
others who are interesting in entering," according to Ricardo
Arrani, a consultant at PriceWaterHouse.

Source - MercoPress

5. Small Communities Key To Preserving World's Remaining Forests,
Report Says

JULY 16, 2007 - Supporting communities who earn their livelihoods
from forests, rather than creating national parks, may represent the
best hope for preserving the world's remaining wilderness. That's
according to Andy White, a coordinator of the Washington D.C. -based
Rights and Resources Initiative, who presented a review of
forest-based businesses from around the world to a conference in the
Amazon. Some 110 million people around the world are involved in
forest enterprises harvesting wood, bamboo, rattan, fibers, nuts,
resins, medicinal herbs, honey and other natural products, White
said, and granting land rights to these small communities working in
sustainable forest industries is especially urgent now as a boom in
biofuels drives land speculation. "The evidence from around the

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world, not only here in the Amazon, is that once their rights are
recognized, forest communities are more effective at protecting
forests than national parks," White said. White spoke by telephone
from Rio Branco, capital of the western Amazon state of Acre, which
hosted a weeklong conference uniting 250 community forest
entrepreneurs and policy makers from Africa, Asia, Central and South
America.

Source - International Herald Tribune

NOTE FROM THE HUB: A member of the HUB staff was present at this
event. Please refer to BRASILIA 1425.

6. Guyana Considering Modern Sawmill Proposal

JULY 11, 2007 - A cabinet sub-committee is currently reviewing the
proposal of a US company seeking approval to begin value adding in
the wood sector and which says that there is too much wastage in the
sawmilling process in Guyana. Simon and Shock International Inc
(SSI) is promising a modern sawmill operation unlike anything seen
in any of the tropical forests in the world. The company said that
it would have a recovery rate of close to 70 per cent and over and
the little waste it produces will be used to power its kiln-drying
plant. This means that logs will be 100 percent utilized. The
company plans to invest over US$26M in three years.

Source - Stabroeknews

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Fishing & Marine Conservation
-----------------------------

7. Brazil Fishermen Caugt Killing Dolphins

JULY 17, 2007 - A crew of Brzilian fishermen was captured on video
killing 8 dolphins and joking about their illegal haul, accrding
to Brazil's Ibama environmental protection agency.
The video obtained by an Ibama researcherand broadcast by Globo TV
showed the fishermen ntting the dolphins, which suffocated because
the could not surface to breathe. The dead dolphins ere then
hauled from the sea and piled on the boat's deck. Fishermen on board
are seen laughing after someone said, ''Everyone's going to jail

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after this filming!'' International dolphin advocates who saw the
video said they were appalled and Ibama announced it will try to
impose fishing restrictions along parts of Brazil's coast where
dolphins are common. The researcher had been contracted by the
agency to monitor catches of other fish in the area where the
dolphin kill took place off the coast of Amapa state, near where the
Amazon River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. No one has been charged
or fined because authorities were still trying to identify the
fishermen on video, Ibama said in a statement.

Source - New York Times

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Protected Areas
---------------

8. Oil Plan Casts Shadow on Bolivia Park

JULY 11, 2007 - Despite being a symbol of biodiversity in Bolivia,
some feel that protected areas like Madidi [National Park] could
deliver more for the country's poor. In May, 80 farmers armed
themselves and seized a part of the national park. They wanted land
to cultivate crops, a road to run through Madidi and the immediate
exploitation of its oil. The farmers have now drawn back and the
government is promising a military post to defend Madidi and its
resources. But Evo Morales, the Bolivian president, recently
visited Madidi to highlight the existence of natural resources in
traditionally less productive regions. The government agrees that
ecotourism has potential; but it does not see it as a panacea. "The
protected areas belong to the people. There is no logic in having
protected areas that marginalize the population," says Juan Pablo
Ramos Morales, the vice-minister who has been leading discussions on
Madidi. "The protected areas should provide opportunities for local
communities. Conservation makes no sense if it does not generate
benefits for society as a whole. We need more analysis. It may be
that some areas allow for this kind of hydrocarbons activity and
others do not."

Source - BBC

--------------------
Science & Technology

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--------------------

9. Colombia: New Center of Excellence in Genomics

JULY 14, 2007 - Colombia has a new center for research on genomics
and bioinformatics, launched on June 27. The Colombian Center for
Genomics and Bioinformatics in Extreme Environments (GeBiX) will
receive funding from Colombian Institute for Science and Technology
Development (Colciencias) and the National Learning Service (Sena),
which will allocate USD1.5 million for research over the next two
years. GeBiX will work on the elaboration of a metagenomics and
bioinformatics platform in order to identify and use genetic
resources in extreme environments. The Center will carry out
bioprospection of microorganisms in the Nevados National Park, which
has an area of 58,300 hectares, and altitudes ranging from 400 up to
5,300 meters above sea level.

Source - SciDev

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Pollution
---------

10. Mercury Threat from Mining Seen In Guyana

JULY 12, 2007 - There is a threat of mercury contamination from
mining in three villages in the North West District, a study has
found, and many persons in those communities are unaware of the
risks. According to results of the assessment, which was conducted
in 2005, there were "significant levels of mercury contamination
among the population examined in the three communities since many
individuals had mercury levels within them that were above the
guideline value for mercury levels in humans". The study utilized
the guideline value set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for
humans stated as 10 parts per million (ppm). The results were
presented at an Institute of Applied Science and Technology
(IAST)/World Wildlife Fund (WWF) workshop held at the Demerara
Mutual Insurance Company boardroom on the Mercury Impact Assessment
on Gold Mining Activities. The objectives of the study were to
determine the level of mercury poisoning and contamination within
the human population and the environment and also to improve
educational awareness among the population as it regards mercury

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pollution. It was conducted in three communities namely Arakaka,
Port Kaituma and Matthew's Ridge in the North West District.

Source - Stabroeknews

11. Argentine Ombudsman Joins Oilfield Lawsuit

JULY 2007 - Argentina's National Ombudsman has asked the country's
Supreme Court to order Spain's Repsol YPF, Brazil's Petrobras and 15
other companies to clean up the Neuqun oilfields, traditionally one
of Argentina's most productive oil- and natural-gas-producing areas.
Filed in support of a landholders' suit against the oil companies,
the petition resembles one that preceded a Supreme Court order last
year that polluters plan a cleanup of the notoriously polluted
Riachuelo River in Buenos Aires. But it could set the stage for the
cleanup of areas beyond the Neuqun oil basin, which embraces
two-thirds of the Patagonian province of Neuqun as well as portions
of Mendoza, La Pampa and Ro Negro provinces. That's because a
ruling against the oil companies could serve as a precedent for
similar legal action against oil companies tapping four other
Argentine oil basins.

Source - EcoAmericas (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete
article)

--------------
Climate Change
--------------

12. Guyana Gets Climate Change Grant


JULY 11, 2007 - The Government of Guyana and the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP) signed an agreement for a grant of
US$455,000 to assist in Guyana meeting its obligations under the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). This
new three-year project between the UNDP and the Government will
assist in the preparation of the Second National Communication to
the Conference of the Parties. Among the main components of the
project are an inventory of greenhouse gases, programs containing
measures to facilitate adequate adaptation and mitigation to climate
change and collecting essential information related to the

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implementation of the Convention, including technology needs
assessment, public awareness and information related to integration
of climate change into local and regional policies. The project will
be implemented through the Climate Change Unit of the Ministry of
Agriculture with the guidance of the National Climate Change
Committee and the involvement of several sector agencies and line
ministries.

Source - Stabroeknews

13. Lake Disappearance in Chile Linked to Global Warming

JULY 4, 2007 - Experts from Chile's National Forestry Service
(CONAF) and the Valdivia Center for Scientific Studies (Cecs) have
linked the May disappearance of a glacial lake in far southern Chile
to global warming. The team made these claims after a series of
visits to the site of the lost lake, and noted there is a
possibility that the lake could reform. Residents of the extremely
remote area blame the 6.2 magnitude earthquake which hit the
neighboring Aysen region last April and caused over 50 landslides.
They suggest that a rift opened up and drained the lake's water.
But Chilean glaciologist Gino Casassa, one of the 63 experts who
participated in the second UN report on global warming, told the La
Tercera newspaper that he believes the lake disappeared due to a
relatively common glacial phenomenon: a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood
(GLOF). A GLOF is a sudden increase in a lake's volume due to one
of various possible causes, including a volcanic eruption, an
earthquake, an avalanche, or a portion of a glacier falling into the
lake. Casassa speculated that the GLOF broke open a tunnel of ice
below the lake, which drained the water to the ocean. "In this zone
in particular... we have evidence that, in general, the lakes are
filling up as the glaciers melt," said Casassa. Global warming is
most likely responsible for this process, as well as for the
increase in GLOFs, he added.

Source - Santiago Times (no link)

14. Guyana: Climate Change Affecting Sea Turtle Nesting Habits

JUNE 25, 2007 - The changing nesting patterns of endangered sea
turtles in Guyana, is alerting environmentalists to the impact of
climate change on these marine animals. The shell beaches in Region

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One have hosted thousands of nesting turtles over the years, and
conservationists have been endeavoring to protect the turtles from
heavy domestic use and from being traded. Usually sea turtles nest
in Guyana from March to August every year. However, for the last
three to four years, says Michelle Kalamandeen, Project Coordinator
of the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society (GMTCS), the
nesting pattern has shifted from mid-January to mid-July. This may
have a significant impact on the hatchlings as food availability may
be an issue for them.

Source - Stabroek News

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Energy
------

15. Chile: Matte Creates Fund for Renewable Energy

JULY 25, 2007 - The Matte group has started to seek out
non-conventional sources of renewable energy. The business
conglomerate joined with the Independence Investment Fund to create
a fund that seeks to raise US$ 100 million which will be devoted to
renewable energy projects. The Independence Fund will administrate
the finances of the new fund, which is expected to operate for 10
years. The Matte group will also invest US$120 million in new
projects concerning renewable energy sources, which will bring over
100 MW to the Interconnected Central System. The system is expected
to operate between 2008 and 2012.

Source - Santiago Times (no link)

NOTE FROM THE HUB: Matte group is involved in the construction of
the controversial Aysen Dam.

16. Brazil to Revive Nuclear Project

JULY 11, 2007 - Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said hundreds of millions
of extra dollars would be made available for the project over the
next eight years. Work on the third reactor for uranium enrichment
stopped in the 1980s over security fears and lack of funds.
Brazil's has two operating nuclear reactors - Angra 1 and Angra 2.
Brazil's Angra 1 and Angra 2 - located in the same region - have an

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installed capacity of about 2,000 megawatts, and Angra 3 would
increase capacity to 3,000 megawatts. Angra 3 would require an
investment of about $3.7billion with construction due to be
completed by 2013, according to Energy and Mines Minister Nelson
Hubner. Brazil, which is heavily dependent on hydro-electricity,
could face energy shortages in a couple of years if generating
capacity is not increased, analysts say. A severe drought in 2001
led the authorities to introduce energy rationing.

Source - BBC

17. Chile Focuses on Long-Term Energy Strategy

JULY 23, 2007 - Chile's impending energy crisis, sharpened by
diplomatic tensions with Argentina and one of the coldest winters on
record, was the theme of a seminar held in Valparaiso's Congress
building. New Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman Ramos, Environment
Minister Ana Lyn Uriarte and various members of Congress spoke at
the event, which was titled "Energy Policy in Chile: A Challenge."
In a country that currently imports 74 percent of its energy, the
prospect that one of its principal suppliers - Argentina - may stop
providing gas is a worrying one. And, "we have to say it like it
is. Argentine gas is going to stop coming some day. We have to
forget about it," said Dep. Francisco Encina at the seminar's
opening.
Many of the speakers urged that to deal with this reality Chile must
figure out a way to supply its own energy, though not at the cost of
destroying its environment. Minister Uriarte spoke of the
importance of diversifying Chile's energy supply, and of making a
gradual transition to "clean" and/or renewable energy sources such
as wind, hydrothermal power and bio-gas.
Speakers also examined the other side of the coin - reducing energy
demand.

Source - Santiago Times (no link)

18. Colombia: President Inaugurates First Biodiesel Plant; Issues 20
Percent Blending Mandate

JULY 11, 2007 - On July 8, President Uribe opened Colombia's first
biodiesel plant. The facility, which is owned by former Agriculture
Minister Carlos Murgas, is the first of at least five biodiesel

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projects expected to come online by mid-2008. The growth of the
biodiesel industry follows the implementation of a series of
government incentives since 2003 to promote biofuels development.
The opening of Colombia's first biodiesel plant coincided with the
July 7 announcement of a GOC decree to raise the biodiesel blending
mandate from five percent to 20 percent by 2012.

Source - BOGOTA 4956

19. Brazil Gives Preliminary OK to Amazon Dams Criticized by
Environmentalists

JULY 9, 2007- The government has granted a preliminary green light
to a massive Amazon dam project intended to prevent possible energy
shortages, but also criticized as a potential environmental
disaster. The approval from Brazil's environmental protection
agency, Ibama, opens the door to bidding on the construction of
multiple dams that would generate electricity and permit barges to
navigate 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) to upstream tributaries in
Peru and Bolivia. Other permits must still be obtained before the
estimated US$10 billion-US$14.7 billion project gets under way, but
the decision was a key step and is sure to prompt interest from big
construction companies. The government hopes to complete the Santo
Antonio and Jirau dams on the Madeira River, a major Amazon
tributary, by 2012. They are expected to produce 6,450 megawatts,
or 8 percent of current electricity demand in Latin America's
largest nation and economy.

Source - International Herald Tribune

NOTE FROM THE HUB: The Government of Bolivia was apparently "caught
by surprise" with the news and requested a high level emergency
meeting with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Brazilian
Foreign Affairs Minister Celso Amorim reportedly replied saying they
were welcome to come to Brasilia anytime between July 23-27 for a
technical - and not political - meeting

20. Ecuador: Biofuel Efforts Attract Organized Opposition

JULY 2007 - A gathering of non-governmental groups in Quito,
Ecuador, in June underscored how biofuels production, the objective
of some green advocates, has begun drawing organized environmental

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scrutiny. Some 250 attendees representing dozens of Latin American,
Asian and African organizations drafted strategies aimed at
pressuring international agencies and national governments currently
promoting biofuels production as an environmentally sustainable
alternative to fossil fuels. The meeting highlighted questions
about the justification and impacts of biofuels. Participants
agreed to take joint action to influence biofuels policies of the
United Nations, World Bank, development agencies and governments.

Source - EcoAmerica (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete
article)

21. Brazil to Certify Sustainable Production of Ethanol

JULY 05, 2007 - Brazil will create its own biofuel certificate to
show that Brazilian ethanol is produced in a sustainable way,
protecting the environment. The announcement was be made by
President Lula during the first International Conference on Biofuels
in Brussels. According to one media article, the EU has been
showing signs of imposing restrictions on Brazilian ethanol due to
the need for a process of certification of the producing companies.
One Brazilian daily published an op-ed by President Lula titled:
"The alternative of biofuels" in which he states that the
responsibility of developed countries in the control of greenhouse
emissions should be maintained. Brazil is the largest ethanol
producer with a production of about 13 million tons in 2005,
followed by the United States with a production of 11.8 million
tons.

Source - Public Affairs US Embassy Brasilia

22. Brazil To Ban Sugarcane Crops In The Amazon

JULY 18, 2007 - The Government of Brazil announced it will start
controlling the expansion of sugar cane crops throughout the country
to avoid accusations of environmental degradation and to reduce
pressure on areas dedicated to food crops. "A map of restrictions
will forbid sugar cane planting in the Amazon, Pantanal and other
areas that we are still studying, but that we won't announce at the
moment," said Agriculture Minister Reinhold Stephanes. Ministry
officials say that there are currently 10 million hectares of
degraded cattle raising grounds in Mato Grosso do Sul that could

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receive government incentives to be converted to sugar cane
production to reduce the pressure on valuable ecosystems.

Source - Public Affairs US Embassy Brasilia

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General
-------

23. Green Safeguards Bolstered in Three Trade Deals

JULY 2007 - The Bush administration has signed three revised free
trade agreements with Peru, Panama and Colombia that include
significantly stronger labor and environmental protections. The
agreements, signed June 25 with Peru and June 28 with Panama and
Colombia, incorporate not only new guarantees of labor rights, but
mandatory compliance with several environmental treaties and tough
new measures on illegal logging as demanded by the Democratic
majority in May. Analysts say that as a result, the U.S. Congress
is likely to approve the pacts with Panama and Peru this fall,
knocking down tariffs on about 90% of trade between the United
States and the two countries. Last year the United States carried
out US$9 billion in trade with Peru and $3 billion with Panama.
Approval of a similar agreement with Colombia is considered unlikely
this year because of violence against trade unionists and
revelations that Colombian government allies have been collaborating
with death squads. Although U.S. and Andean green groups have their
criticisms towards the agreements, they say the accords do give
green considerations greater weight in dispute settlement and
require signatories to comply with several environmental treaties
already signed by the United States and Colombia, Panama and Peru.

Source - EcoAmericas (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete
article)

24. Nazca Lines Affected by 'Informal' Gold Mining

JULY 22, 2007 - Three "informal" gold mining plants, two of which do
not have a license to operate, have been installed in the region of
Nazca and Palpa and are affecting the region known for its
historical and cultural importance. In one of the plants, the Nazca
lines are being used as improvised roads for the transportation of

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material. The media report goes on to point that many of these
trucks leave debris along the "roads."

Source - El Comercio

25. Colombia, Ecuador launch Regional Fundacion Natura

JULY 12, 2007 - July 12 marked the launching of "Fundacion Natura
Regional", a joint effort of the two Fundacion Natura organizations
in Colombia and Ecuador. They decided to work jointly on the
protection of bilateral watersheds and the creation of a carbon bank
to fund GHG reduction projects. The efforts are just starting, but
the eventual goal is to expand the work of the organization to the
Andean and South American level.

Source - US Embassy Bogota

26. WTO Decision on Retreads Buoys Both Sides in Dispute

JULY 2007 - After a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruled June
12 on the dispute between the European Union and Brazil over
Brazil's import ban on retreaded tires, both sides declared victory.
Though the WTO panel supported the EU's view that the ban violated
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), it recognized the
measure's health and environmental rationale. The EU set the WTO
battle in motion two years ago, when it filed a complaint portraying
Brazil's 2000 ban on retread imports as an unfair restraint on
trade. Though the import ban also covered used-tire imports, the EU
focused its case on retread imports. Brazil argued that since
retreads have a shorter lifespan than new tires, widespread use of
them boosts the number of discarded tires clogging landfills and
littering the countryside. That, the government contended, poses a
public health threat by creating more habitat for malaria and
dengue-fever-carrying mosquitoes. It was the first time a
developing country had used such health and environment arguments to
defend itself in a WTO dispute, a foreign ministry official says.

Source - EcoAmericas (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete
article)

-------------------------
Update on Avian Influenza

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------------------------

27. SOUTHCOM Preparedness Wrkshop for Central and South America

JULY 24, 207 - SOUTHCOM and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation or
Military Medicine sponsored a workshop on pandemic influenza July
10-12 in Panama that brought together military, police, health, and
agriculture officials from Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and
Uruguay. The first two days featured presentations and discussions
by representatives of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO),
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA),
Gorgas Institute, SOUTHCOM, Naval Medical Research Center
Detachment-PERU (NMRDC-Peru), Bureau of Medicine (BUMED), Navy
Environmental Preventive Medicine (NEPMU-2), U.S. Army Medical
Institute for Infectious Diseases, DoD Global Emerging Infections
Surveillance and Response System (GEIS), Center for Disaster and
Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM), G/AIAG, USAID, and
Martin-Blanck and Associates. The third day was devoted to a desktop
exercise on a pandemic outbreak. Participants shared information on
preparations to date and explored what a pandemic influenza could
mean for their countries and the region. Several of them said that
their national medical facilities were already stretched to the
limit and that it was clear they would look for external assistance
during a pandemic and in the recovery phrase. A similar meeting for
the Caribbean countries is planned for September 11-13.

Source - AIAG daily bulletin

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