One With the Earth

Universal Symbol for Environmental Awareness

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Environmental News Snippets

January to August 2002


Both of these excellent news services offer daily email briefs with links back to their sites for the full story.  Both sites have much to offer in addition to these news briefs.
(ENN) ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE  
(ENS) Environmental News Network Inc. 


Environmental News Briefs Jan 1, 2002 thru Aug 18. 2002
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GLOBAL WARMING THREATENS OCEAN ECOSYSTEMS WASHINGTON, DC, August 14, 2002 (ENS) - Climate change will create increasing challenges to U.S. coastal and marine ecosystems over the next century, warns a new report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Temperature changes, altered patterns of rain and snowfall, and rising sea level are expected to upset the delicate balance of fragile coastal ecosystems.
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LAWSUIT SEEKS PROTECTIONS FOR MARINE MAMMALS
SAN FRANCISCO, California, August 14, 2002 (ENS) - A coalition of conservation groups has filed suit in federal court against the National Marine Fisheries Service, charging the agency with failing to protect marine mammals from the effects of commercial fishing operations. The groups say the agency must enforce the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, and take steps to reduce marine mammal deaths.
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TOP JUDGES TO FORTIFY ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 16, 2002 - Criminals in many parts of the world are getting away with trade in illegal timber, endangered species and hazardous wastes mainly as a result of the lax way in which national and international laws covering these and other environmental crimes are implemented and enforced.
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ACID RAIN LEADS TO SONGBIRD DECLINES ITHACA, New York, August 16, 2002 (ENS) - Acid rain may be responsible for the decline of the wood thrush, a songbird, across its North American breeding range. A new large scale study by researchers at Cornell University suggests that the acidic precipitation may be depleting calcium from the birds' food sources.
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THE FIGHT AGAINST TOXIC MERCURY IN THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT The late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro loved to eat tuna fish. An avid environmentalist, she was shocked to hear that her favorite food was contaminated with the toxic heavy metal mercury, and she expressed her anger in a song. "I'm young enough, I'm old enough in the city machine / Where industries fill the fish full of mercury (it's tax free)." ------------------------
EARTH SUMMIT TO BOOST ACTION ON UKRAINE'S BLIGHT Chernobyl, rusting industrial relics of the Soviet era, heavy pollution, and mountains of waste: Ukraine has one of the world's bleakest environmental landscapes. But Environment Minister Serhiy Kurykin said on Thursday he hoped the Johannesburg Earth Summit later this month would bring changes to the ex-Soviet state by helping Ukraine fight widespread public indifference towards environmental issues.
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FAMISHED AUSTRALIAN EMUS INVADE DROUGHT-HIT FARMS Flocks of starving emus pose the next threat to Australia's struggling, drought-hit farmers, as the big flightless birds flee parched outback tracts to forage for dwindling food stocks on farms. Farmers say hungry kangaroos are also on the move into farming country, but they say the ungainly emus, which look like ostriches and can grow up to 1.6 meters (5-foot-2-inches) tall, are more destructive and compete head-on with stock.
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MILD WINTERS, DUST, AND FLOODS IN NEW PLACES: CHINA GETS A YEAR OF EXTREME WEATHER The rains came to China this year as they do almost every summer, starting their destruction in the south and spreading northward as the season heated up. Lakes swelled. Deadly torrents were unleashed. Hundreds died. But something different was happening: The places being flooded were part of China's arid belt, regions unaccustomed to dealing with so much water at once. Residents, many of them deeply poor, were blindsided.
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SINKING PACIFIC STATES SLAM U.S. OVER SEA LEVELS Pacific island nations, those most at risk of sinking beneath rising sea levels, chided the United States on Thursday for not signing the Kyoto Protocol and urged big aid donor Australia to do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Six island states met at the start of the annual Pacific Islands Forum and expressed their grave concern about climate change. The former leader of one of the islands, Tuvalu, predicted the Pacific would submerge his country in 50 years. *****************************
THE FIGHT AGAINST TOXIC MERCURY IN THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT The late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro loved to eat tuna fish. An avid environmentalist, she was shocked to hear that her favorite food was contaminated with the toxic heavy metal mercury, and she expressed her anger in a song. "I'm young enough, I'm old enough in the city machine / Where industries fill the fish full of mercury (it's tax free)."
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U.N. ENVIRONMENTAL CHIEF CALLS FOR ACTION TO PREVENT GLOBAL WATER CRISIS A top United Nations official on Monday called for world leaders to move "from declarations to action and implementation" in helping developing countries manage scarce water resources. U.N. Environment Program head Klaus Toepfer said 1.1 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.
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ASIAN SMOG IMPACT NEEDS 5 YEARS STUDY, SAYS U.N. BODY CHIEF The chief of a U.N. panel on climate change said on Monday a thick cloud of pollution over South Asia was a matter of concern, but it would take up to five years to know if its impact would be serious or negligible. A United Nations&#150sponsored study says the three-km (two-mile) cloud of ash, acids, aerosols, and other particles put millions at risk from drought and flooding as rainfall patterns were radically altered, with dire implications for economic growth and health.
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DRUG SMUGGLERS JUMP INTO ENDANGERED SPECIES TRADE Global drug dealers are earning billions of dollars from trade in endangered species and toxic waste, environmental law experts said Monday. "Drug traffickers feeling the heat from the law are ... using their existing illicit smuggling infrastructures to trade in endangered species, precious minerals, and toxic waste," said the the organizers of the Envirolaw 2002 conference hosted by South Africa later this month.
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FISHING INDUSTRY REELING FROM DROUGHT AS FALLING WATER LEVELS KILL FISH Drought and searing summer heat have dropped rivers and reservoirs to dangerously low levels, dealing a serious blow to fish populations and forcing wildlife officials to order anglers off rivers. Officials say the situation will only get worse if there isn't enough snow and rain before next summer.
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DROUGHT HITS CENTRAL VIETNAM Nearly half a million people in central Vietnam are suffering from water shortages caused by a two-month drought, state-controlled media reported Monday. The drought has hit 84,000 hectares (207,500 acres), or nearly one-third, of the rice fields in the central region, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Vietnam (Vietnam Economic Times) quoted Nguyen Dinh Ninh, deputy director of the Water and Irrigation Projects Management Department, as saying. 
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DEADLY WATER STRESS TO BE ADDRESSED AT SUMMIT NEW YORK, New York, August 13, 2002 (ENS) - Global water use has increased six-fold over the last century, twice the rate of population growth, and agriculture represents 70 percent of this consumption, the United Nations reports in advance of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). People across the world are dying from hunger as drought shrivels crops again this year. 
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WILDLIFE STUDIES SUGGEST CHEMICAL THREAT TO HUMANS WASHINGTON, DC, August 13, 2002 (ENS) - Exposure to certain endocrine disrupting environmental contaminants is harming wildlife, concludes a new report from the International Program on Chemical Safety. But the report, which assesses what science already knows about the effects of these compounds, finds scant evidence that endocrine disruptors are harming humans.
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Asian Smog Cloud Threatens Millions, Says U.N. Sun Aug 11, 2:43 PM ET By Jeremy Lovell LONDON (Reuters) - A two-mile-thick cloud of pollution shrouding southern Asia is threatening the lives of millions of people in the region and could have an impact much further afield, according to a U.N.-sponsored study.

It said the cloud, a toxic cocktail of ash, acids, aerosols and other particles, was damaging agriculture and changing rainfall patterns across the region which stretches from Afghanistan ( news - web sites) to Sri Lanka.

The lives of millions of people were at risk from drought and flooding as rainfall patterns were radically altered, with dire implications for economic growth and health.

Klaus Toepfer (U.N Environment Program chief ) said the cloud was the result of forest fires, the burning of agricultural wastes, dramatic increases in the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, industries and power stations and emissions from millions of inefficient cookers. "There are also global implications not least because a pollution parcel like this, which stretches three km high, can travel half way round the globe in a week."
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Study: Jet Exhaust Affects Weather Thu Aug 8, 4:25 PM ET By The Associated Press 
The wispy trails of exhaust that jetliners spew high in the sky form cirrus clouds that have a small, but potentially important effect on ground temperatures, scientists report. 
When commercial jet traffic was halted by last fall's terrorist attacks, researchers seized upon the unique opportunity to compare the climate data for the clear skies on Sept. 11-14 against days of normal air traffic when jets streak the heavens with contrails. 
Their conclusion: Without jets or contrails, the clear skies boosted the temperature swing between daytime highs and nighttime lows by about 3 degrees nationwide.  ****************************** 
HUMANITY LOSES $250 BILLION A YEAR IN WILD HABITAT  WASHINGTON, DC, August 9, 2002 (ENS) - The economic value of wild ecosystems far outweighs the value of converting these areas to cropland, housing or other human uses. A study in today's issue of the journal "Science" says habitat destruction costs the world the equivalent of about $250 billion each year. 
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ILLEGAL LOGGERS INVADE PRIMORDIAL PERUVIAN NATIVES By Mary Powers LIMA, Peru, August 9, 2002 (ENS) - Mahogany loggers have invaded a reserve area for non-contacted native groups in Peru's southeastern jungle to illegally extract the highly prized lumber. They have clashed with tribes in the area, activists and a leader of an indigenous federation said. 
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AGENCIES ORDERED TO OBEY ALTERNATIVE VEHICLE LAW  SAN FRANCISCO, California, August 8, 2002 (ENS) - Almost every cabinet level agency in the federal government has violated the Energy Policy Act of 1992 by failing to buy or lease the legally required percentages of alternative fuel vehicles for their federal fleets, a judge ruled Wednesday. The ruling could force 15 federal agencies to step up purchases of vehicles powered by fuel cells, natural gas, biodiesel, and other alternative fuels.  *******************************
REPLACING GRASS WITH TREES MAY RELEASE CARBON  WASHINGTON, DC, August 8, 2002 (ENS) - Previous estimates of the amount of carbon stored by trees and shrubs may have been too high, suggests a new study released today. The research could force climate experts to recalculate the benefits of growing trees as a way to offset human caused emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming.
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AUSTRALIANS DEVELOP MINE-WASTE-GUZZLING TURBINE Australia started a turbine designed to generate electricity from waste coal and methane on Thursday that could slash greenhouse gas emissions and save money for coal mining firms. The government-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said the turbines were developed over three years as part of a project to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines by 75 percent over the next 20 years.
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JAPAN FINDS HIGH-LEVEL POLLUTION IN WHALE BLUBBER Authorities found dangerous levels of a suspected cancer-causing agent in the blubber of minke whales caught by the Japanese fleet last year, and processors were told to boil the fat before selling it. Japan is one of the world's largest consumers of whale meat, a delicacy served in the nation's gourmet restaurants. Despite a global ban on commercial whaling, the government kills hundreds of whales each year as part of its research program. 
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NEW HEAD OF U.N. CLIMATE BODY VOWS INDEPENDENCE The new chief of a U.N. panel probing the effects of greenhouse gases on the global climate said Thursday it would consult the oil and coal industries, but pledged that its advice would be independent. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also said that the panel's reports would put more emphasis on assessing regional impacts of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere. 
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ISRAEL-TURKEY STRIKE 20-YEAR WATER DEAL Israel agreed Tuesday to buy 50 million cubic meters (1.75 billion cubic feet) of water from Turkey every year for the next 20 years to try to solve its water shortage and ensure the success of an arms deal, Israeli officials said. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Turkey's Energy Minister Zeki Cakan reached the deal at a meeting in Jerusalem. The final price hasn't been reached, but a joint committee was set up "to discuss and finalize the issue of water transportation from Turkey to Israel," said a joint statement released after the talks.
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FREE WILLY STAR KEIKO HEEDS CALL OF THE WILD -- Keiko the whale, star of the hit film Free Willy, is adjusting to life in the wild after years in captivity and now lives with a school of killer whales off Iceland's south coast, scientists said Tuesday. "We are very excited and optimistic about Keiko's chances of surviving in the wild," said Hallur Hallsson, spokesman for the Ocean Futures Society, which monitors Keiko's adaptation to the open seas. 
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MAHATHIR DARES SINGAPORE TO STOP BUYING WATER FROM MALAYSIA Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday challenged Singapore to stop buying water from Malaysia and try to survive on processed sea water. Mahathir said Malaysia was losing money by selling water to the island city-state at prices that have remained stagnant since the early 1960s.
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BLUE CRAB DECLINE MAY HERALD SALT MARSH LOSS 
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, August 7, 2002 (ENS) - Overharvesting of blue crabs may be triggering a massive die off of salt marshes now in progress across the southeastern United States, warns a new study by two Brown University biologists. The team says without blue crabs to control snail populations, the vegetation that anchors fragile salt marsh habitats is quickly eaten away.
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LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN TO SEEK RELIEF AT SUMMIT By Susana Guzman 
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, August 7, 2002 (ENS) - Deforestation, loss of biodiversity, unplanned urbanization and vulnerability to natural disasters, along with the growth population and poverty, are the problems facing Latin America and the Caribbean, concludes a new UN regional assessment launched here Tuesday. Mexican President Vicente Fox will address these issues at the World Summit on Sustainable Development later this month, Mexico's top environment official said.
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GLOBAL WARMING IS CHANGING TROPICAL FORESTS 
PANAMA CITY, Panama, August 7, 2002 (ENS) - Human activities are changing the global climate, and these changes are having far reaching effects on tropical forests, according to scientists from around the world gathered here last week for the Association for Tropical Biology annual meeting. 
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EPA, ENVIROS DISAGREE ON PESTICIDE REASSESSMENT 
WASHINGTON, DC, August 5, 2002 (ENS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claimed on Friday that it has met a Congressionally mandated deadline to reassess the safety of pesticides. But the Natural Resources Defense Council, which sued the agency over its pesticide reviews and won a settlement setting a new deadline for reevaluating the chemicals, says the EPA has failed to act on the most toxic and highest priority pesticides. 

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BRITAIN SETS TOUGH NEW TARGETS FOR CLEANER AIR 
LONDON, UK, August 5, 2002 (ENS) - Tougher new targets to cut levels of four key air pollutants in England were announced today by Environment Minister Michael Meacher. Benzene, carbon monoxide, and particles will be controlled to reduce adverse effects on human health. For the first time, a target limit has been set for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). 
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OCEAN WATER TEMPERATURE RECORD Thursday, Aug 1. Phila. TV News reported a record high of 83 degrees for the ocean water off the coast of NJ. 
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11 AFRICAN COUNTRIES UNITE TO CURB BEACH EROSION  PARIS, France, August 1, 2002 (ENS) - Large parts of the African coastline are receding rapidly, according to newly issued reports by 11 African nations. The seafront of Grand-Bassam, the colonial capital of Côte d'Ivoire, is in danger of crumbling into the Atlantic Ocean. Sections of the Nigerian coastline are disappearing at the rapid rate of up to 30 metres (97 feet) a year. 
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UN ATLAS OF BIODIVERSITY MAPS HUMAN IMPACT

CAMBRIDGE, England, August 1, 2002 (ENS) - Plants are vanishing so quickly that the Earth is losing one major drug to extinction every two years, according to a new atlas of biodiversity released today by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. http://ens-news.com/ens/aug2002/2002-08-01-01.asp

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NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE FINED FOR POLLUTING  WASHINGTON, DC, August 1, 2002 (ENS) - Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. will pay $1.5 million in fines and restitution for dumping untreated wastewater into the ocean. The world's fourth largest cruise line admitted to falsifying record books aboard the SS Norway and at least one other ship to hide the fact that oily bilgewater was being dumped directly into the sea.
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NEW YORK, NY, Jul. 30 -/E-Wire/-- Earthtimes--a not-for-profit publication--plans to produce 10 daily newspaper editions in print and on the Web, and a special print magazine edition, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, August 26 to September 4. The summit--which is expected to involve nearly 100 nations, is expected to be the largest international conference held by the United Nations.
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POLITICAL CLIMATE COOLS FOR FIGHT ON GLOBAL WARMING The world woke up to global warming at the 1992 Rio Earth summit, but 10 years on, what some consider the planet's biggest environmental danger has fallen off the agenda of a major follow-up conference. Next month's summit of world leaders in Johannesburg will focus on poverty, not pollution &#151 a worry for some environmentalists who say the poor will suffer first if climate change is not stopped.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07312002/reu_47992.asp

e of fuel cells is they produce almost no pollution.

Source: Associated Press

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NEW HYDROGEN TANK MOVES FUEL CELL VEHICLES CLOSER TO REALITY An arbiter of certain auto industy standards has certified a high-pressure hydrogen storage tank large enough to make fuel cells a viable power source for vehicles, General Motors Corp. said Tuesday. Creating storage tanks that can hold enough hydrogen to provide a sufficient driving range while being lightweight and safe enough to withstand collisions has been a key challenge to bringing hydrogen-fed fuel cell vehicles to market. The lure of fuel cells is they produce almost no pollution.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07312002/ap_47998.asp

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CAMBODIA PASSES LONG-AWAITED LAW TO CURB LOGGING Cambodia's parliament on Tuesday set a penalty for illegal logging of up to 10 years in jail, but critics expressed doubts that it will save the country's forests from further destruction. Violators of the new anti-logging legislation can also be fined up to 100 million riel (US$25,600).

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07312002/reu_48004.asp

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BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO EXAMINE TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES Bush administration officials agreed Tuesday to look at extending the time frame for prosecuting environmental crimes and toughening the law to punish would-be polluters even if no harm occurs. Members of a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee chaired by Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., raised the idea with top environmental law enforcement officials at the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07312002/ap_47997.asp

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NORWAY IN TALKS WITH JAPAN ON WHALE EXPORTS Norway and Japan began talks Tuesday on resuming trade in whale products, despite a global ban and renewed outrage from environmentalists. Norway, which began exports to Iceland this month for the first time in 14 years, said it was optimistic that it would expand the business to the huge Japanese market even though some testing remained.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07312002/reu_47991.asp

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DROUGHT-STRICKEN COLORADO TARGETS WATER ABUSERS Jim Hoaglin stops his van and kills the engine to listen for the ch-ch-ch of a sprinkler. Hoaglin, a city water cop, is also looking for water-stained gutters, hose-soaked gardens, and other signs that someone has broken tough new water restrictions in this drought-stricken Denver suburb. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07302002/ap_47982.asp

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U.S. PROPOSES POLLUTION CUTS FOR MOTORCYCLES, BOATS The Bush administration has proposed a 50 percent cut in polluting air emissions produced by motorcycles and an 80 percent reduction for gasoline-fueled recreational boats. The standards, which were announced late on Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency, would take effect in 2006 for new motorcycles and in 2008 for boats.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07302002/reu_47969.asp

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ENVOY SAYS EARTH SUMMIT BACK FROM THE BRINK Frenetic behind the scenes work has rescued next month's "Earth summit" from the brink of failure, but negotiators would achieve even more if President Bush attended, a special U.N. envoy said Monday. "President Bush cannot afford not to be there. Nobody will understand if he doesn't show up," said Jan Pronk, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07302002/reu_47970.as

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STATE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES FACE BUDGET CUTS

WASHINGTON, DC, July 29, 2002 (ENS) - State environmental agencies around the United States are facing a second straight year of budget cuts, finds a new study by the Environmental Council of the States. Seventy-five percent of the states responding to the group's survey reported a drop in funding for programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting clean air and water. http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-29-06.asp

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JORDAN SEEKS COOPERATION WITH ISRAEL TO SAVE THE DEAD SEA Despite regional tension, Jordan is seeking to revive cooperation with Israel on a project to boost the receding water level of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, officials and an Israeli diplomat said Monday. The surface level of the saltiest water in the world has been receding 1 meter (3.3 feet) every year for at least the past 20 years, said Zafer Alem, secretary-general of the Jordan Valley Authority. If it continues, he said, the Dead Sea and its ecosystem will be gone in 50 years.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07232002/s_47922.asp

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ASIAN OFFICIALS MULL SHIFT TO CLEAN ENERGY SOURCES Energy officials from across Asia gathered Monday in Thailand to study ways to reduce air pollution that leads to global warming, a U.N. official said. Climate experts from the Asian Development Bank are advising participants on how to shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, said Pranesh Saha, energy chief for the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Some 50 participants from countries across the region are taking part in the five-day workshop that ends Friday. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07232002/s_47921.asp

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NEPAL'S NEW WEAPON AGAINST ILLICT WILDLIFE TRADE By Deepak Gajurel

KATHMANDU, Nepal, July 25, 2002 (ENS) - Many species of endangered birds are for sale in the open markets of Kathmandu. Street vendors can be seen carrying cages displaying their rare birds. Of small or medium size, brightly colored, they are fascinating, and the traders do a brisk business.

For full text and graphics visit: http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-25-02.asp

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REPORTS OF BEACH POLLUTION ON THE RISE

WASHINGTON, DC, July 25, 2002 (ENS) - Beach closures and water quality advisories increased by 19 percent in 2001 over the previous year, finds an annual beach report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. The conservation group says some city and regional authorities are trying to stem the flow of pollution to beaches, but more needs to be done locally and nationally to address the pollution problem.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-25-06.asp

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WATER RUNNING TO WASTE DOWN UNDER

SYDNEY, Australia, July 25, 2002 (ENS) - Australia, the world's driest continent, currently wastes 92 percent of its city runoff and 86 percent of its effluent water. a prominent water scientist has warned. It is time to develop a national approach to re-use of water, says Dr. Peter Dillon, from the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), a government agency. http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-25-03.asp

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ALASKAN GLACIER MELT ACCELERATES SEA LEVEL RISE By Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, DC, July 19, 2002 (ENS) - In one more piece of evidence that the Earth's climate is warming rapidly, a new study published today in "Science" magazine has found that Alaska's glaciers are melting more quickly than previously believed. http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-19-01.asp

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NAVY OKd FOR SONAR BLASTS THAT COULD HARM WHALES

WASHINGTON, DC, July 17, 2002 (ENS) - The U.S. Navy has been given permission to "harass marine mammals" in the course of operating low frequency sonar used to detect submarines while remaining outside the range of their onboard weapons. The Navy has been approved to deploy two ships that use the sonar system in spite of continuing controversy over whether the loud signals it emits cause injury to whales, dolphins and seals.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-17-02.asp

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PESTICIDES, PARASITES SPELL DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR FROGS

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania, July 9, 2002 (ENS) - Scientists at Penn State may have resolved the conflicting evidence regarding why so many frogs and other amphibians are developing deformities. Their research shows that a combination of infection by parasites and exposure to pesticides, rather than either problem alone, leads to the most deformities. http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-09-06.asp

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AWARD WINNERS RESTORE WETLANDS IN DANGER

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 9, 2002 (ENS) - A private winemaker in Australia, a government agency in India, and a consortium of nongovernmental organizations in Central Europe have been named as the 2002 Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award winners for their outstanding conservation of wetlands.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-09-02.asp

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WWF: HUMANS RUNNING AN OVERDRAFT WITH THE EARTH

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 9, 2002 (ENS) - A report issued today by the environmental group WWF predicts that global living standards will fall rapidly from 2030 unless urgent action is taken to address unsustainable consumption patterns. "Significant" efforts to improve resource efficiency could stave off this doomsday scenario and limit the world's huge resource consumption "overdraft," WWF says. http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-09-03.asp

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WORLD SEEN FACING SLUMP AS NATURAL RESOURCES RUN OUT Humanity is heading for a sharp drop in living standards by the middle of the century unless it stops its massive depletion of the Earth's natural resources, according to a report issued Tuesday. The main culprits are the rich powers &#151 the United States, Canada, 19 countries of Western Europe, and Japan &#151 said the study from the respected Swiss-based conservation body WWF International.http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/07/07102002/reu_47786.asp

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IN THE WEST, BATTLE RAGES AGAINST THE INVASIVE SALT CEDAR An army of water-sucking soldiers is marching along the banks of nearly every waterway in the West. The soldiers &#151 with their skinny leaves and nonnutritious seeds &#151 have invaded more than 1 million acres of river and stream banks in New Mexico, Texas, and more than a dozen other arid states. They have pushed out native plants, birds, and other wildlife and sucked dry already dwindling water supplies.
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WIND ENERGY TURNS KINTYRE ECONOMY AROUND  GLASGOW, Scotland, July 8, 2002 (ENS) - Originally an area known best for its fishing fleet, its music festival, and the distillation of whisky, the Kintyre Peninsula is now host to the UK's most efficient windfarm, which officially opened today. The 46 wind turbines on the peninsula's highest hill will deliver an output of 30 megawatts, enough to supply electricity to 25,000 homes. Scottish Power's £21 million (US$32.4 million) wind energy project is able to produce its power so efficiently because the Kintyre Peninsula is one of the windiest spots in Europe. Minister for Energy Brian Wilson said, "This project shows that the technology is now available to produce not only clean but also efficient electricity from wind power."
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UNESCO proclamation [excepts] -- The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization solemnly proclaims on this twelfth day of November 1997 this Declaration on the Responsibilities of the Present Generations Towards Future Generations-... at this point in history, the very existence of humankind and its environment are threatened, ...The present generations have the responsibility of ensuring that the needs and interests of present and future generations are fully safeguarded. ...The present generations have the responsibility to bequeath to future generations an Earth which will not one day be irreversibly damaged by human activity. Each generation inheriting the Earth temporarily should take care to use natural resources reasonably and ensure that life is not prejudiced by harmful modifications of the ecosystems and that scientific and technological progress in all fields does not harm life on Earth.
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10 November, 01- In a statement at the outset of the General Assembly's annual high-level debate, Secretary-General Kofi Annan. 
"I take very seriously the pledge given, in the Millennium Declaration, to spare our children and grandchildren from the threat of living on a planet irredeemably spoilt by human activities, and whose resources would no longer be sufficient for their needs. We must put the issue of sustainability where it belongs, in the center of the policymaking process."
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"To put this in context, you must remember that estimates of the long-term carrying capacity of Earth with relatively optimistic assumptions about consumption, technologies, and equity (A x T), are in the vicinity of two billion people. Today's population cannot be sustained on the 'interest' generated by natural ecosystems, but is consuming its vast supply of natural capital -- especially deep, rich agricultural soils, 'fossil' groundwater, and biodiversity -- accumulated over centuries to eons. In some places soils, which are generated on a time scale of centimeters per century are disappearing at rates of centimeters per year. Some aquifers are being depleted at dozens of times their recharge rates, and we have embarked on the greatest extinction episode in 65 million years." -Paul Ehrlich (Sept. 25, 1998)  
"Every increment of added population and each added increment of affluence invariably destroy an increment of the remaining environment." -- Albert Bartlett U 
Eating Elephants and Apes: Whole populations of gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, antelopes and elephants are being eaten up. These endangered and threatened animals are disappearing quickly, and forest communities that have traditionally depended on them for food are caught in what international authorities are calling a bushmeat crisis. ============= = = 
OCEANS SPECIES DISAPPEARING FAST: Looking at the state of our oceans today, it's hard to imagine what they were like just a few hundred years ago. Back then, the seas literally teemed with life. Herds of tens of thousands of dugongs (sea cows) grazed off the coast of Australia. Oyster reefs grew so large that they were a hazard for ship navigation. And huge sea turtles numbering in the tens of millions flourished in the Caribbean. Today, many of these species are ecologically extinct from their former ranges, and large mammals are absent from most coastal ecosystems. Once-abundant fisheries have collapsed, and two-thirds of those that are still harvested are at risk.
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Associated Press; June 6, 2001; DATELINE: BANGKOK, Thailand U.N. WARNS OF RUNAWAY URBANIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS IN ASIA 
The United Nations warned Wednesday that a catastrophic deterioration of the environment in rural areas could force some 800 million people in Asia to migrate to cities in the next 20 years. 
Vast numbers of rural dwellers are relocating because of poverty and the disappearance and disturbance of ecosystems, according to a new report issued by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, or ESCAP. 
The urban population of the region has doubled in the last two decades to 1.4 billion in 2000, out of a total population of 3.7 billion that includes about two-thirds of the world's poorest people. 
ESCAP chief Kim Hak-Su said the prospective urban growth was equivalent to setting up a new city of 150,000 people every day for the next 15 years.
"The alarm bells are already sounding, calling for urgent attention of the international community," he said in a statement.
ESCAP's State of the Environment Report in Asia and the Pacific 2000 said that globalization has had serious impacts on the environment, as countries have sacrificed forests and biodiversity in the drive to maximize export earnings.
The situation was worsened by the 1997-98 Asian economic crisis, causing cuts in environmental spending and less investment on conservation and development of clean technologies, it said. 
The report estimated annual losses due to worsening land degradation and desertification at $10 billion in South Asia alone. Water quality also has deteriorated steadily due to uncontrolled discharge of sewage, industrial waste, agricultural chemicals and human excreta.
Kim said that without immediate action, "the environment will continue to deteriorate at a catastrophic rate."
The report acknowledged that the environmental conditions in Asia and the Pacific have actually deteriorated since the landmark U.N. Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.
The ESCAP report estimated that if current standards are maintained, provision of infrastructure and utilities in urban areas like water supply, sanitation, energy and transport will cost around 10 trillion dollars in the next 25 to 30 years.
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TIBETAN ANTELOPE FACES EXTINCTION DESPITE WOOL BAN
Poachers still shoot 20,000 Tibetan antelopes each year, threatening the animals with extinction despite a worldwide ban on trade in their wool, wildlife protection groups said. They said super-fine shahtoosh wool is smuggled through Nepal to India, where an industry of 40,000 people in the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir weave it into shawls.
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EPA TO ALLOW LOUISIANA TO USE BIRD KILLING PESTICIDE Public Has Until July 2 to Help Stop This From Happening! 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was moving, without any public input, to allow a request by Louisiana rice growers to combat rice weevils by using 1,500 pounds of granular carbofuran - one of the world's most potent bird-killing pesticides -- on 10,000 acres of rice fields. An additional 4,500 pounds of the deadly pesticide may be produced to meet the rice growers' demands.
After pressure from Audubon and other groups, EPA has reduced the initial application of granular carbofuran to cover 2,500 acres, and have opened a five-day public comment period, beginning Thursday, June 27 and ending July 2, before they decide whether to authorize carbofuran use, and give the green light for more bird-poison production, on the remaining 7,500 acres. With this unusually short period, it is essential that we act quickly!
One tiny granule can kill a songbird, and more than fifty species, including Bald and Golden Eagle, Eastern Bluebird, Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Pintail, and Blue-winged Teal, have been documented as having died from carbofuran poisoning. EPA estimated that prior to cancellation of the granular formulation, up to two million birds were killed each year by carbofuran. No other substance listed under the EPA 's Ecological Incident Investigation System has killed more birds. In October 1999, for example, nearly 27,000 migratory birds, including red-winged blackbirds and horned larks, were killed on a 13-acre plot when a farmer illegally applied carbofuran to wheat seed and spread it between rows of wheat crop intentionally as bait for the birds.
Scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stated that "there are no known conditions under which carbofuran can be used without killing migratory birds. Many of these die-off incidents followed applications of carbofuran that were made with extraordinary care." A single exposure to the deadly pesticide of a large group of Buff-breasted Sandpipers or Short-billed Dowitchers, for example, could wipe out a globally significant number of their remaining population. Both species are listed on Audubon's WatchList of birds that could be headed for extinction, and would be migrating through southwest Louisiana at the time the pesticides would be applied. 
There are alternatives! Four pesticides are registered for use against the rice water weevil that are not nearly the potent bird-killer that carbofuran has proven to be. According to Louisiana State University, these pesticides work as well or better than carbofuran and for equal or lesser cost.
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GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST INCINERATORS TARGETS TOXICS 
LONDON, UK, June 18, 2002 (ENS) - On Monday, some 125 environmental and citizen groups from 54 countries launched the first Global Day of Action Against Waste Incineration. Events around the world continue throughout the week.
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LAND FOR WOMEN ANSWER TO HUNGER, FOOD SUMMIT TOLD Giving women more land and an equal footing with men is the single best way to end hunger in the world, experts told a World Food Summit Wednesday. Yet women own only about 1 percent of land in the world, delegates told the U.N.-organized event, and in too many countries land distribution and land rights remain weighted toward men either by law or tradition.
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ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN URGES RELIGIONS TO SAVE PLANET The spiritual head of the world's Orthodox Christians urged religious leaders on Wednesday to do more to protect the environment, saying time was running short to save what they view as God's creation. "We are losing time, and the longer we wait the more difficult and irreparable the damage," Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew told a news conference in Oslo, where he received a $100,000 environment prize.
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CANADA IMPOSES NEW MINING RULES TO BENEFIT FISH  OTTAWA, June 19, 2002 (ENS) - Canada will implement new environmental regulations to reduce pollution entering waterways from metal mines across the country, Environment Minister David Anderson announced today. The new rules impose limits on releases of cyanide, metals, and suspended solids, and prohibit the discharge of effluent that is lethal to fish. **************************************
PACIFIC ROCKFISH IN GRIM SHAPE AND OTHER STORIES Pacific rockfish populations have dropped to alarmingly low levels, according to a new report issued by government fishery biologists. The findings are likely to result in a ban of most bottom fishing off the continental shelf of the West Coast. Known on menus as rock cod or red snapper, the 60 or so species of long-lived fish are declining catastrophically due to a combination of habitat destruction and overfishing. Source: California Academy of Sciences  ***********************************************************************

RESTORE OUR DAMAGED OCEANS, COMMISSION URGED

SEATTLE, Washington, June 13, 2002 (ENS) - "We have long thought of the oceans' bounty as limitless, and of the oceans' capacity to absorb waste as infinite. We were wrong. Today, the oceans are in serious trouble," Denis Hayes told the U.S. Commission on Oceans during its Northwest regional meeting today in Seattle.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2002/2002-06-13-02.asp

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EPA PROPOSAL COULD UNDERMINE CLEAN AIR ACT

WASHINGTON, DC, June 13, 2002 (ENS) - The Bush administration today unveiled its long awaited, and much criticized, plan to weaken the new source review provisions of the federal Clean Air Act. The proposal, which includes lower emissions standards and higher trigger points for emissions control requirements, drew instant condemnation from conservation and public health groups.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2002/2002-06-13-06.asp

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On our crowded planet there are no longer any internal affairs! -- Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Prize winning novelist.

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. -- Martin Luther

The supreme reality of our time is...the vulnerability of our planet. -- John F. Kennedy, June 1963

The encounter of God and man in nature is...conceived in Judaism as a seamless web with man as the leader, and custodian, of the natural world.... It is our Jewish responsibility to put the defense of the whole of nature at the very center of our concern. -- Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, Vice President, World Jewish Congress
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BRAZIL'S AMAZON DESTRUCTION DOWN BUT STILL ALARMING The rate of forest destruction of Brazil's treasured Amazon jungle fell 13.4 percent last year from a five-year peak in 2000, figures showed Tuesday, but it is still a pace that deeply troubles environmentalists. The Amazon is a generous source of medicines for humankind and a home to up to 30 percent of the world's animal and plant life. As the world's largest rainforest, it helps sustain regional weather patterns upon which society now depends, scientists say.
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EARTH SUMMIT RISKS FAILURE WITH VAPID PLEDGES An Earth Summit in South Africa in August is in danger of collapsing into vapid pledges to curb poverty and save the environment with time fast running out for any meaningful action. Hopes for the Johannesburg summit, seeking ways to halve the number of people living in poverty by 2015 while curbing pollution, faded last week after 120 ministers failed to agree a 158-point action plan at a meeting in Indonesia.
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CONTROL WATER POLLUTION WITH YOUR OWN RAIN GARDEN Although it comes as a surprise to many homeowners, the suburban neighborhood is a leading source of water pollution. Residential streets and driveways are inundated with oils and metals from cars and trucks, while lawns and gardens release fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides and pets deposit waste along curbsides. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, stormwater runoff from urban areas is the leading pollutant of rivers and lakes.  Source: E/The Environmental Magazine 
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URBANIZATION THREATENS EGYPT FARM LAND, SAYS GEOLOGIST A prominent geologist warned on Sunday there would be no agricultural land left in already overpopulated Egypt in 60 years time if building continues at current rates. "Recent satellite pictures showed that 32 percent of Egyptian agricultural land has been covered with buildings, factories, roads, and streets," said Farouk al-Baz, director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University in the United States. "If this rate of development goes on there won't be one inch of agricultural land left in 60 years time," he told reporters.

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NORTH AMERICA SHIFTS POLLUTION FROM AIR TO LAND  MONTREAL, Canada, May 31, 2002 (ENS) - Factories, electric utilities, hazardous waste management facilities and coal mines in the United States and Canada generated almost 3.4 million metric tonnes of toxic chemical waste in 1999, shows an annual report from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America. The wastes included 269,000 tonnes of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive problems. 
The report, "Taking Stock" is based on reports submitted to the national pollutant release and transfer registers of Canada and the U.S. by industry, and includes data on 210 chemical substances. This year, the study also presents the first five year analysis of pollution releases and management. 
The five year trend shows a slight overall change in the total of toxic chemicals generated, but big changes in how those pollutants are handled. The North American manufacturing sector's 25 percent (153,000 tonnes) reduction in releases to air was offset by a 25 percent (33,000 tonnes) increase in on site releases to land and a 35 percent (58,000 tonnes) increase in off site releases, mostly to landfills. Releases to lakes, rivers and streams also increased during this period by 26 percent (24,000 tonnes). 
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U.S
. REPORT LINKS HUMAN ACTIONS TO GLOBAL WARMING  WASHINGTON, DC, June 3, 2002 (ENS) - For the first time, the Bush administration has linked an increase in global warming to human activities in the United States, but maintains it will not participate in the international treaty to limit global warming, the Kyoto Protocol.
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U.S. AIR POLLUTION BOOSTS CANCER RISK  WASHINGTON, DC, June 3, 2002 (ENS) - Breathing toxic chemicals in the outdoor air exposes all Americans to a lifetime cancer risk at least 10 times greater than the level considered acceptable under federal law, shows new data released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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ORGANIC FARMING YIELDS FRINGE BENEFITS  WASHINGTON, DC, June 3, 2002 (ENS) - A 21 year comparison of farming methods has shown that organic farming produces crops that average about 20 percent smaller than crops produced using conventional methods. The study by Swiss scientists also found that organic farmers use land far more efficiently and with less environmental impact than other modern farmers. 
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NEW CENTER A BREATH OF FRESH AIR FOR MEXICO CITY  MEXICO CITY, Mexico, June 3, 2002 (ENS) - Mexico City and the World Resources Institute have established the Center for Sustainable Transport for Mexico City to find solutions to the transport and air pollution problems in the world's second largest megacity.
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U.S. GOVERNMENT REPORT BLAMES HUMANS FOR GLOBAL WARMING The Bush administration acknowledged for the first time that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions will increase significantly over the next two decades due mostly to human activities &#151 but again rejected an international treaty to slow global warming. A report quietly released last week by the Environmental Protection Agency gave a surprising endorsement to what many scientists have long argued: that oil refining, power plants, and auto emissions are important causes of global warming.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/06/06042002/reu_47411.asp

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CALIFORNIA SEEKS FLORIDA-STYLE DEAL ON OFFSHORE DRILLING Following a federal deal that blocks new drilling off the Florida coast, California Gov. Gray Davis recently asked the Bush Administration to extend the same protections to his state now fighting to halt more offshore oil drilling along its famous coastline. President Bush said Wednesday the U.S. government would pay about $235 million to buy mineral rights near the Everglades and parts of the Florida coast, blocking unpopular new drilling plans and handing his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an election-year political bonanza.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/06/06042002/reu_47418.asp

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ANDES DEFORESTATION THREATENS COLOMBIA'S WATER Deforestation and other human activity is gnawing away at Colombia's fragile high mountain ecosystems, which could reduce the nation's abundant supplies of fresh water by 40 percent over the next half century, a government scientist said recently. Damage by poor farmers to the vegetation of Andean mountain moorland &#151 known as paramo &#151 reduces the ability of the soil to act as a natural reservoir gradually feeding lowland rivers, said Carlos Castano, director of Colombia's Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/06/06042002/reu_47420.asp

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POROUS PAVING, GREEN ROOFS CAN EASE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT ON WATER SUPPLIES A roof that sprouts plants and a parking lot that drains rainwater like a sieve may not be signs that some maintenance work is needed. Instead, you might be looking at the latest in groundwater conservation. Vegetation to hold water on rooftops and pavement that lets it percolate into the ground instead of racing away through storm drains are some of the latest ways environmental engineers are trying to combat sprawling development and save water tables.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/06/06042002/ap_47426.asp

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ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP PETITIONS EPA TO TAKE WEEDKILLER ATRAZINE OFF THE MARKET An environmental group asked the government Monday to ban the use of atrazine, a weedkiller commonly sprayed on cornfields and lawns. The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition asking the EPA to take the chemical off the market, charging its leading manufacturer did not properly disclose that 17 workers had developed prostate cancer. The group also said the chemical had been linked to deformities in frogs.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/06/06042002/ap_47422.asp

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NEGOTIATORS TRY TO WRAP UP EARTH SUMMIT PLAN Negotiators hunkered down in Indonesia on Monday, trying to bridge differences and agree to a plan for a U.N. summit that aims to drag millions out of poverty while protecting the environment. Critics have predicted the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August would be a flop unless the current Bali meeting revamped a draft agenda, which they say doesn't go far enough to help the world's 1.2 billion people living in poverty.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/06/06042002/reu_47414.asp

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MOST OIL POLLUTING THE OCEANS COMES FROM RUNOFF, RIVERS, SMALL BOATS, NOT TANKER SPILLS Leaking oil tankers produce dramatic photos, but a new study says the vast majority of the human-related petroleum released into U.S. coastal waters comes from consumers, not the ships that carry the oil. The National Research Council reported Thursday that about 29 million gallons of oil enters the oceans around North America each year as a result of human activities. Of that, the largest share, 15.6 million gallons, comes from rivers and runoff, largely from such things as street runoff, industrial waste, municipal wastewater, and wastewater from refineries. Source: Associated Press <http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/05/05242002/ap_47342.asp>

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BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO REOPEN TO MINING AREA CONSIDERED FOR NATIONAL MONUMENT The Bush administration will open most of the 1.2 million acres of federal land in southwestern Oregon to mining claims, drawing the ire of environmentalists who say the action threatens salmon and steelhead protected by the Endangered Species Act. The area covers about 90 percent of the 1.2 million acres of Siskiyou National Forest and 152,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. In the waning days of the Clinton administration, then&#150Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt had imposed a two-year moratorium on new mining claims on the land; the Bush administration canceled that ban this week. Source: Associated Press <http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/05/05242002/ap_47346.asp>

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EPA SAYS BIGGEST POLLUTERS ARE HARD-ROCK MINING COMPANIES AND COAL-BURNING POWER PLANTS Hard-rock mining companies and coal-burning power plants are America's largest toxic polluters, responsible for nearly two-thirds of the poisonous contaminants in the nation's air and water, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. In its most comprehensive inventory of pollution and its sources, the EPA said mining of hard-rock minerals &#151 gold, silver, uranium, copper, lead, zinc, and molybdenum &#151 was responsible for 3.4 billion pounds of toxic pollutants in 2000. Coal-burning electric generating plants were responsible for another 1.2 billion pounds. Source: Associated Press <http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/05/05242002/ap_47341.asp>

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SWEDEN SAYS CUT SUBSIDIES ENDANGERING ENVIRONMENT State support to coal mining and large-scale farming poses a major threat to the environment and should be cut, both in Europe and worldwide, Sweden's environment minister said on Thursday. Sweden, often in the lead on environmental and development issues, wants the Johannesburg summit on sustainable development in late August to tackle subsidies and set clear targets on issues such as clean water, bio-diversity, and poverty reduction. Source: Reuters <http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/05/05242002/reu_47335.asp>

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PACIFIC TOO HOT FOR CORALS OF WORLD'S LARGEST REEF TOWNSVILLE, Queensland, Australia, May 23, 2002 (ENS) - Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park may be the worst on record, scientists said today after the most comprehensive aerial survey ever conducted. The survey was aimed at helping unravel the implications of global warming for reef management. For full text and graphics visit: <http://ens-news.com/ens/may2002/2002L-05-23-01.html> ***********************************************************************

PACIFIC TOO HOT FOR CORALS OF WORLD'S LARGEST REEF

TOWNSVILLE, Queensland, Australia, May 23, 2002 (ENS) - Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park may be the worst on record, scientists said today after the most comprehensive aerial survey ever conducted. The survey was aimed at helping unravel the implications of global warming for reef management.

http://ens-news.com/ens/may2002/2002L-05-23-01.html

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WORLD FACES CRITICAL CHOICES ON ENVIRONMENT The world is at an environmental crossroads, where the choice between greed and humanity will decide the fate of millions of people for decades to come, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said on Wednesday. "Fundamental changes are possible and required," UNEP executive director Klaus Toepfer told a news conference, presenting the third Global Environment Outlook report. "It would be a disaster to sit back and ignore the picture painted."

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/05/05232002/reu_47311.asp

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THIN POLAR BEARS CALLED SIGN OF GLOBAL WARMING

WASHINGTON, DC, May 16, 2002 (ENS) - Hungry polar bears are one of the early signs that global warming is impacting Arctic habitat, suggests a new study from World Wildlife Fund. The report reviews the threats faced by the world's 22,000 polar bears and highlights growing evidence that human induced climate change is the number one long term threat to the survival of the world's largest land based carnivores. http://ens-news.com/ens/may2002/2002L-05-16-07.html

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DRY RIO GRANDE POINT OF U.S./MEXICO FRICTION

SILVER CITY, New Mexico, May 17, 2002 (ENS) - The Rio Grande, the river dividing the United States from Mexico, no longer reaches the Gulf of Mexico into which it has emptied for millions of years. The water has stopped flowing due to a sandbar formed by several years of low water levels plus high water usage in drought stricken northern Mexico.
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OTTAWA UNVEILS KYOTO PLAN, HINTS AT WITHDRAWAL Canada unveiled proposals Wednesday on how to ratify the Kyoto climate change protocol without crippling the economy and dropped a large hint that it could follow Washington's lead and abandon the treaty. The federal government, already deeply split over Kyoto, is under heavy pressure from energy producers and business groups to ditch what they say would be a ruinously expensive treaty. Source: Reuters
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INDUSTRY STILL FAILING ON ENVIRONMENT, SAYS U.N. REPORT Despite the best efforts of a minority of firms, world industry as a whole is failing to pull its weight on protecting the environment, a United Nations report concluded on Wednesday. Advances in the recycling of key materials and in car efficiency were still being outweighed by the effects of increased consumption, including a trend toward disposable products, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found. Source: Reuters
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ANTARCTIC ICE MELT POSES WORLDWIDE THREAT The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are cracking up, and on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago. The breakup of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs &#151 some the size of major cities &#151 is alarming scientists, who blame global warming. Source: Reuters
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SANDSTORM-SWEPT CHINA TO SPEND BILLIONS ON TREES China will spend several hundred billion yuan in the next 10 years to protect forests and plant green belts as it combats blinding sandstorms, illegal logging, and rapid soil erosion, a top forestry official said on Tuesday. Lei Jiafu, deputy chief of the State Forestry Administration, brushed aside concerns that millions of the country's struggling farmers would be forced to sacrifice their cropland and receive little in return as part of the massive forestation scheme. Source: Reuters
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U.S. SUBSIDIES RING ALARM BELLS FOR AFRICA FARMERS African commentators blasted a new law to protect the U.S. farm industry Tuesday, saying the measure made a mockery of Washington's calls for the continent to embrace free trade. President Bush signed a law boosting crop and dairy subsidies by 67 percent Monday, a move African farmers fear will prove a major hurdle in their quest to find badly needed overseas markets. "This is terrible and it is scaring us," said Zambian Agriculture Minister Mundia Sikatana in Lusaka. "They are the same people who tell us not to subsidize production but are doing exactly that." Source: Reuters
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LANDMARK CALIFORNIA AUTO EMISSIONS BILL MAY STALL A landmark bill that would make California the first state in the nation to regulate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions may run out of gas this week as a number of lawmakers drop support for the measure, officials said Tuesday. The bill, which would set new emissions standards that auto industry representatives say could drive sport utility vehicles, pick-up trucks, and minivans off the road, is expected to go to the state Assembly for a final vote Thursday &#151 its last stop before heading to Gov. Gray Davis, who has not taken a position on it. Source: Reuters
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POACHERS KILL RWANDAN ENDANGERED MOUNTAIN GORILLAS Poachers in Rwanda have killed two of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas, a highly endangered species, in an attempt to capture and sell their young, Rwandan wildlife conservation officials said. "With just some 350 of them remaining, the population is so fragile that every individual lost is significant in terms of the viability of the mountain gorilla," said Katie Fawcett, director of the Karisoke Research Centre in the northwestern town of Ruhengeri.
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ANNAN URGES WORLD SUMMIT TO REHABILITATE THE EARTH NEW YORK, New York, May 14, 2002 (ENS) - United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is looking ahead three months to August 26 when the World Summit on Sustainable Development opens in Johannesburg, South Africa. Intended as a 10 year reinvigoration of Agenda 21 agreed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, Annan sees the gathering as a means to rehabilitate the Earth.
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ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES AT RISK FROM MISMANAGED OCEANS, EXPERTS SAY Poor management of the world's seas is destroying ecosystems and threatening the sustainability of fisheries, international marine experts said Monday. "The degradation of the environment is worsening, so many of our marine ecosystems are not functioning very well," said Chua Thia Eng, regional program director of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia, which comprises scientists from 11 nations. Source: Associated Press
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THOUSANDS OF UNDERGROUND FUEL TANKS LEAK UNSEEN  WASHINGTON DC, May 9, 2002 (ENS), More than 76,000 leaking underground storage tanks across the country are polluting the nation's groundwater, while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can do little to solve the problem.
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BREAKAWAY BERGS DISRUPT ANTARCTIC ECOSYSTEM  WASHINGTON, DC, May 9, 2002 (ENS) - Another large iceberg has newly calved from the Ross Ice Shelf, the National Ice Center has confirmed. Iceberg C-18 is the latest in a series of bergs to break away from the warming Antarctic ice mass.
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UN: POLLUTION KILLS THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN  NEW YORK, New York, May 10, 2002 (ENS) - About 5,500 children die each day around the world from diseases caused by polluted air, water and food, concludes a new study released Thursday by three United Nations agencies. The report details the deadly threat that environmental degradation poses to the Earth's most vulnerable citizens. 
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BID TO END FISH SUBSIDIES HITS OPPOSITION AT WTO A bid by eight countries including the United States for a World Trade Organization (WTO) pact to cut back fishing subsidies is facing tough opposition from Japan and South Korea, trade sources said Tuesday. The eight &#151 ranging from Iceland in the North Atlantic to the Philippines, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand in the Pacific Basin &#151 argue the subsidies have led to overfishing and massive depletion of a major food resource.
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EAT NO SEA BASS CAMPAIGN A HIT IN NATION'S CAPITAL WASHINGTON, DC, May 8, 2002 (ENS) - Chilean sea bass is tender and delicious, a high value item on restaurant menus, but the fish is facing commercial extinction within the next five years unless pirate fishing is ended. 
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XEROX SAVED $2 BILLION THROUGH ECO-DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING The Xerox Corporation has announced that its efforts to design environmentally friendly products and manufacturing processes over the past ten years have resulted in more than $2 billion in costs saved or avoided, and the equivalent of 1.8 million printers and copiers reused or recycled. "In 1991 we pledged to be an environmentally responsible corporate citizen, and designing for the environment became fundamental to the way we do business," said Jack C. Azar, Xerox vice president of environment, health & safety. Source: GreenBiz.com
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MOST AMERICANS BREATHE POLLUTED AIR, SAYS SURVEY More than half of all Americans breathe polluted air that can damage their health because the government doesn't fully enforce clean air laws, the American Lung Association said Wednesday. Standards are in place to cut back pollution, but since they are not being enforced, nearly 400 counties in the United States have smog levels above the legal limits, the group said.
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CONFERENCE HOPES TO REVERSE SEA TURTLE EXTINCTION TREND Leatherback sea turtles have outlived dinosaurs, but they may not survive humans, scientists warned Tuesday. The ancient giants, once plentiful in the Pacific Ocean, have plummeted in numbers over the last 13 years from the hundreds of thousands to an estimated 40,000 worldwide.
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NEW YORK'S PROPOSED RECYCLING HALT ANGERS ENVIRONMENTALISTS The nation's recycling movement has been steadily expanding for three decades --; so much that it has become almost standard practice for people to separate their paper, plastic and glass. But in the nation's biggest city --; and the one that produces the most garbage &#8211; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to temporarily do away with most recycling in an effort to close a nearly $5 billion budget gap.
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POWER PLANT EMISSIONS BLAMED FOR PREMATURE DEATHS

WASHINGTON, DC, April 18, 2002 (ENS) - Almost 6,000 premature deaths can be blamed each year on pollution from 80 power plants in the Midwest and Southeast, charges a report released by a consulting firm and a former enforcement officer from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The study looked at the emissions from plants run by eight utility companies cited by the Justice Department in 1999 and 2000 for violating the Clean Air Act.
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GLOBAL WARMING FILLS GLACIAL LAKES TO BURSTING

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 18, 2002 (ENS) - At least 44 glacial lakes high in the Himalayas are filling so rapidly they could burst their banks in as little as five years, an international team of scientists has found 
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OFFSHORE WIND FARM APPROVED FOR WINDIEST COUNTRY IN EUROPE  LONDON, United Kingdom, April 18, 2002 (ENS) - The single largest offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom won approval Wednesday from Minister for Energy, Brian Wilson.
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NEW HAMPSHIRE PASSES NATION'S FIRST CO2 CAP  CONCORD, New Hampshire, April 22, 2002 (ENS) - New Hampshire has become the first state to pass legislation aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the so called greenhouse gases linked to global warming. State officials said they hope that other states, and the federal government, will follow New Hampshire's example and take action to curb climate change. 
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G-8 ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS SPLIT OVER GLOBAL WARMING  BANFF, Alberta, Canada, April 15, 2002 (ENS) - "The state of the environment worldwide continues to degrade," environment ministers from the G-8 industrial countries concluded after their annual meeting which wound up here on Sunday. In their two day closed door meeting, the ministers wrestled with the increasingly complex and urgent problem of global warming and the Kyoto climate protocol.

 

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COMMONLY USED PESTICIDE BLAMED FOR MUTATIONS IN FROGS Male frogs exposed to even very low doses of a common weed killer can develop multiple sex organs &#151 sometimes both male and female &#151 researchers in California have discovered. "I was very much surprised," at the impact of atrazine on developing frogs, said Tyrone B. Hayes of the University of California at Berkeley.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04162002/ap_46942.asp

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AUTHORITIES ESTIMATE MORE THAN 10,000 GALLONS OF OIL SPILLED INTO MICHIGAN RIVER A mysterious spill has sent more than 10,000 gallons of oil into the Rouge River near Detroit in the last five days, baffling officials who have been unsuccessful in pinpointing its source. The spill has gotten bigger each day since it was discovered last week. The oil is believed to be industrial-grade waste oil. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04162002/ap_46946.asp

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GREENPEACE PROTESTERS ATTACH THEMSELVES TO SHIP DOORS IN FOREST PROTEST Five protesters from the environmental group Greenpeace attached themselves on Monday to the doors of a ship carrying wood they said was from an ancient African rain forest. They vowed not to come down until authorities agree to return the timber to Cameroon. The protesters fastened themselves to the top of the 100-foot-(30-meter-) high stern doors of the ship Roxane Delmas shortly after it arrived in this southeastern English port. Police urged them to come down. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04162002/ap_46943.asp

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CANBERRA, Australia, April 15, 2002 (ENS) - The latest scientific research has cast "a disturbing light" on the Japanese Whaling Association's push to encourage young people to eat more whale meat, says Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for the Antarctic, Dr. Sharman Stone.

Japanese officials distributed the whale meat in Tokyo's youth fashion district on National Whale Day April 9, to stimulate support for a resumption of commercial whaling. Hundreds of people lined up to taste the free whale meat samples, usually a costly delicacy.

"Unfortunately," said Dr. Stone, "what these unsuspecting consumers probably received was a cocktail of toxins and contaminants that have made their way into our seas and oceans, particularly during the last 50 years." Dr. Roger Payne at the Whale Conservation Institute, who has led over 100 expeditions to all oceans and studied every species of whale in the world, has warned that the highest concentration of endocrine disrupting compounds ever found in any animal came recently from a minke whale, the species presented for free tasting to Tokyo lunchtime shoppers. http://ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-15-02.html

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DWINDLING WATER SUPPLIES ARE THE WORLD'S BIGGEST CHALLENGE A lack of clean water will be the biggest issue facing the world in the next 50 years, and governments and business are failing to face up to the challenge, a senior Australian researcher said on Monday. Graham Harris of the state-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) told an environment conference in Melbourne that business needed to understand its dependence on the environment and create a new economic framework that focused on longer-term returns.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04092002/reu_46873.asp

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TRADE IN ANIMAL PARTS BIGGEST THREAT TO WILDLIFE IN ASIA, SAYS STUDY A rampant trade in animal parts such as rhino horns and bear paws for use in medicines and gourmet food is the single greatest threat to wildlife in Asia, an international conservation group warned Tuesday. The extinction of species hunted for their parts or captured by traffickers in exotic animals is "a real, not theoretical problem," said a statement by Wildlife Conservation Society, which is based at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04102002/ap_46903.asp

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SCHOOLS CLOSED, COMMUTERS STRANDED AS COURT ORDERS POLLUTING BUSES OFF ROADS Schools were closed and commuters stranded Tuesday as nearly half of New Delhi's public buses were ordered off the roads by the Supreme Court for failing to switch to cleaner fuel. The court has ordered all public buses in the Indian capital to modify their polluting diesel engines to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), whose emissions are less noxious. Only about half of New Delhi's 12,000 buses have switched to CNG during the three-year deadline the court set in 1998. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04102002/ap_46902.asp

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POACHERS PREY ON RHINOS IN NEPAL'S ROYAL CHITWAN PARK By Deepak Gajurel

KATHMANDU, Nepal, April 8, 2002 (ENS) - Conservationists here are shocked to learn that 39 endangered one-horned rhinoceros have been found dead during past 12 months in Royal Chitwan National Park. The majority were killed by poachers, new information released by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) reveals. http://ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-08-02.html

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WORLD SHARK CONSERVATION SINKING IN SEA OF APATHY

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, April 8, 2002 (ENS) - Sharks of the world are at risk, but only 16 of the dozens of nations with shark fisheries are working towards shark conservation, the international organization responsible for trade in endangered species will be told this week. http://ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-08-01.html

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TIMBER HARVEST DESTROYING MEXICAN BUTTERFLY FOREST

WASHINGTON, DC, April 3, 2002 (ENS) - Logging in the Mexican cloud belt forests in which hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies spend the winter has increased, despite decades of legal protection for the forests and the insects. A new study warns that if the timber harvest continues unchecked, most of the monarch's overwintering habitat will be gone within decades. http://ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-03-06.html

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MOST U.S. COASTAL WATERS POLLUTED WASHINGTON, DC, April 2, 2002 (ENS) - Almost half the nation's coastal waters are so polluted that their usefulness to humans and their ability to support aquatic life are impaired, finds a new report by a quartet of federal agencies. The study, the first environmental report card on the condition of the nation's coastal waters, rates the quality of these resources as fair to poor.

http://click.topica.com/maaajQ4aaRG69a379zib/

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DIVERTED, POLLUTED, DAMMED: AMERICA'S RIVERS IN JEOPARDY-- WASHINGTON, DC, April 2, 2002 (ENS) - The longest river in North America is the most endangered. The Missouri River tops the annual America's Most Endangered Rivers list issued today by the conservation group American Rivers.

http://click.topica.com/maaajQ4aaRG7ba379zib/

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CHINA INVESTS IN ELECTRIC CARS TO COMBAT POLLUTION China plans to invest 880 million yuan (US$106 million) to develop electric vehicles to combat air pollution, state media said on Tuesday. Domestic companies would be funded by the government over the next few years to develop vehicles that run on electricity or other power sources, the China Daily newspaper said. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04032002/reu_46837.asp

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EPA CHIEF CHRISTIE WHITMAN ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CLEAN UP THE GREAT LAKES Christie Whitman, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, visited this Lake Michigan city on Tuesday to announce a Bush administration plan to clean up and restore the Great Lakes. She said the plan addresses the most serious problems facing the five lakes, including sediment contamination, the proliferation of nonnative species, loss of habitat, and the production of fish unsafe for eating. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04032002/ap_46842.asp

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U.S. GOVERNMENT STUDY SAYS ALASKA DRILLING IS HARMFUL Opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling could harm caribou, snow geese, and other wildlife, a new U.S. government study said Friday, despite the Bush administration's assurances that oil exploration would have little impact. The report, written by the Interior Department's U.S. Geological Survey, was published 10 days before the U.S. Senate is due to launch a contentious debate on whether to allow drilling in the pristine refuge on Alaska's northern coast.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04022002/reu_46823.asp

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Beauty Aids Contaminating Waterways Wed Mar 13,12:15 AM ET By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA, AP Science Writer A government analysis shows the nation's waterways are awash in traces of chemicals used in beauty aids, medications, cleaners and foods. Scientists say that the problem is that these substances largely escape regulation and defy municipal wastewater treatment. The compounds are sold on supermarket shelves and found in virtually every medicine cabinet and broom closet, as well as farms and factories. And they are flushed or rinsed down the drain every day. But they do not disappear, researchers warn.

"Compounds that we use in households or even consume can persist though wastewater treatment and affect resources on a pretty broad scale," said Herb Buxton, USGS coordinator of the USGS toxic substances hydrology program.

For example, many scientists suspect the widespread use of anti-bacterial agents in human medicines, household cleaners and veterinary medicines has encouraged the development of germs that are resistant to antibiotics.

Exposure to even tiny amounts may result in cumulative risks, they said, especially when the compounds combine in unanticipated ways.

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JURY FINDS MONSANTO LIABLE FOR PCB POLLUTION

ANNISTON, Alabama, February 25, 2002 (ENS) - Chemical giant Monsanto is responsible for polluting the town of Anniston, Alabama, with tons of toxic PCBs, a jury ruled Friday. The ruling is a major victory for residents of the contaminated town, who have sued the company over damage to their property, to their health, and to their emotional well being. http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-25-06.html

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HIGH TECH U.S. TRASH FLOODS ASIA By Cat Lazaroff

SEATTLE, Washington, February 26, 2002 (ENS) - Huge quantities of hazardous electronic wastes are being exported to China, Pakistan and India where they are processed in operations that are extremely harmful to human health and the environment, charges a new report by an international coalition of environmental organizations. http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-26-07.html

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JAMAICA'S DREAM OF UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO WATER EVAPORATES By Zadie Neufville

KINSGTON, Jamaica, March 27, 2002 (ENS) - The head of Jamaica's water protection agency the Underground Water Authority (UWA) says despite deterioration of watersheds across the island, water shortages are largely due to government's inability to develop available water sources. http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-27-03.html

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By the middle of the 21st Century, the Arctic could be Ice free in the middle of the summer. Since the 1950's there's been a 40% reduction in thickness of the Summer Polar ice.

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MEXICAN POWER PLANTS PLAN TO AVOID U.S. REGULATIONS

SAN DIEGO, California, March 20, 2002 (ENS) - Two planned power plants are stirring controversy along the U.S.-Mexico border in southern California. Conservation groups have filed suit against the U.S. government challenging permits granted to utilities for electrical transmission lines that would carry power from the electrical generation plants being built three miles inside of Mexico to homes and businesses in the United States.http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-20-06.html

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NORTH SEA MARINE LIFE TRASHED, WWF WARNS MINISTERS

BERGEN, Norway, March 20, 2002 (ENS) - European environment ministers were confronted by a giant set of scales outside their meeting here today symbolizing the tons of marine creatures that are accidentally caught only to be thrown back dead or dying into the North Sea. http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-20-03.html

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SANDSTORMS HIT CHINA, THREATEN GREEN OLYMPICS DREAM Sandstorms enveloped Beijing in an apocalyptic orange sky on Wednesday, casting a pall of doubt over whether the host of the 2008 Olympics can fight off the onslaught of choking desertification. The skies of the famously polluted Chinese capital, which pinned its winning pitch for the games on the concept of a "Green Olympics," turned from gray to yellow to orange.http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03212002/ap_46738.asp

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NEW HAMPSHIRE DROUGHT PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON WATER RIGHTS, WATER BOTTLER'S PLANS New Hampshire's worst drought in 37 years is spurring a debate over who controls underground water &#151 and an outcry over a bottled water company's hopes to draw water from aquifers. The debate is loudest in Nottingham and Barrington, small towns in southeastern New Hampshire where USA Springs of Pelham proposes building a water bottling plant that would withdraw up to 439,000 gallons a day from the ground. That's enough water to supply 2,200 homes a day.http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03212002/reu_46725.asp

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TRAWLER BAN NEEDED NOW, SCIENCE PANEL REPORTS

WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2002 (ENS) - Bottom trawling, a method of fishing that drags big, heavy nets across the sea floor, is killing vast numbers of marine animals, warns a new report from the National Academy of Sciences. The panel responsible for the report recommends that the government close some areas to all trawlers, and limit trawler access to other regions. http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-19-06.html

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GLOBAL WARMING SHATTERS GIANT ANTARCTIC ICE SHELF An Antarctic ice shelf the size of a small country has disintegrated under the impact of global warming, scientists said on Tuesday. Although scientists at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) predicted four years ago the eventual disintegration of the giant Larsen B ice shelf &#151 3,250 square kilometers (1,255 square mile) and 200 meters (655 feet) deep &#151 they were astounded by the speed of the break up.http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03202002/reu_46711.asp

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DESERTIFICATION SEEN RAVAGING FARMING AND WILDLIFE Desertification is devastating farm production and the variety of plant and animal life in many parts of the world, adding to pressure to produce food more efficiently, delegates at a conference said on Sunday. "We continue to lose good land to desertification through wind and water erosion, salinity, urbanization, and unsuitable farming practices," said Adel El-Beltagy, director-general of the Syria-based International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA). http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03192002/reu_46703.asp

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RFK JR. WARNS ALBERTA AGAINST HOG INDUSTRY EXPANSION Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warned Alberta Monday that policies aimed at expanding its C$600 million (US$380 million) hog industry would lead to an influx of huge "factory farms" that would poison the Canadian province's water supply and squeeze out family operations. Kennedy, an environmental activist, said the multinational pork sector has targeted Alberta as its next beachhead after many industry practices &#151 spreading waste from tens of thousands of pigs on agricultural land or into lagoons, for instance &#151 have been declared illegal in the United States.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03192002/reu_46700.asp

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Desertification Seen Ravaging Farming and Wildlife Sun Mar 17, 1:23 PM ET By David Brough ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Reuters) - Desertification is devastating farm production and the variety of plant and animal life in many parts of the world, adding to pressure to produce food more efficiently, delegates at a conference said Sunday.

"We continue to lose good land to desertification through wind and water erosion, salinity, urbanization and unsuitable farming practices," said Adel El-Beltagy, director-general of the Syria-based International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).

Brian Johnson, a leading British geneticist, said intensive farming methods, such as over-grazing, were degrading soils at an alarming rate and cutting their capacity to hold water.

"Drought is the worst enemy of the poor," he told the conference entitled "Biotechnology and sustainable development: Voices of the South and North."

He estimated that one billion people live in the world's dry areas, which for the most part stretch across Central and West Asia and North Africa, from Kazakhstan to Mauritania.

Johnson told delegates about 40 percent of the world's agricultural land was severely degraded, destroying the habitats of animal and plant life. "Bird populations are under siege worldwide," he said.

Desertification withdraws the water and nutrients from the soil needed to maintain diversity of plant and animal life, threatening earth's fragile eco-system, delegates said.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020317/sc_nm/food_biotech_desertification_dc_1&cid=585

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POPE ASKED TO HELP SAVE SEA TURTLES, LOS ANGELES, California, March 15, 2002 (ENS) - A California based conservation group has written to the Vatican asking that turtle meat be declared red meat, and therefore off limits to practicing Catholics during Lent. The group says that consumption of illegally caught turtles is one of the major threats to sea turtles in southern California and Mexico. http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-15-07.html

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AUSTRALIA'S PROMOTION OF LOGGING PAPUA NEW GUINEA CONDEMNED, By Bob Burton

CANBERRA, Australia, March 15, 2002 (ENS) - Support by an Australian government agency for a Papua New Guinea (PNG) trade fair promoting the logging industry has angered environmentalists but been welcomed by the timber industry's peak lobby group. http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-15-02.html

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CLIMATE CHANGE SPREADS DROUGHT ACROSS AUSTRALIA , PERTH, Australia, March 14, 2002 (ENS) - The southwestern part of Australia has been bone dry for 27 years, and Australian government scientists say the lengthy drought could be a foretaste of future experiences across the nation due to the greenhouse effect.

http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-14-03.html

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NON-PERMITTED POLLUTERS GIVEN SECRET FREE RIDE, WASHINGTON, DC, March 11, 2002 (ENS) - New England is the worst and the Rocky Mountain region is the best, but across the country nearly one third of all factories, power plants and other major sources of air pollution do not have permits required under the Clean Air Act. The poor rate of compliance was detailed in agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-11-11.html

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CONSERVATIONISTS ARRESTED AS LOGGER MOVE ON GOOLENGOOK FOREST

MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia, March 11, 2002 (ENS) - Logging and woodchipping in the old growth Goolengook forest in East Gippsland began in two areas Saturday over the loud protests of conservationists. They have tried for years to safeguard the remote area, six hours from the nearest city, Canberra.

http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-11-10.html

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SINGAPORE'S LAST UNIQUE ANIMALS FACE EXTINCTION Singapore's only unique wild animals (one of the world's largest squirrels and a monkey that lives high in the forest canopy) are perilously close to extinction, a researcher said on Thursday. Peter Ng, the director of a museum on biodiversity at the National University of Singapore, said the cream-colored giant squirrel and the banded leaf monkey have fallen victim to urbanization and shrinking forests.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04192002/reu_46977.asp

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COMMON HERBICIDE LINKED TO SEXUAL SIDE EFFECTS IN FROGS

BERKELEY, California, April 16, 2002 (ENS) - Atrazine, the top selling weed killer in the United States, disrupts the sexual development of frogs at concentrations 30 times lower than levels allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The researchers who uncovered the problem join environmentalists in expressing concern about heavy use of the herbicide on corn, soybeans and other crops in the U.S. Midwest and around the world.

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POWER COMPANY BUYS OHIO RIVER VILLAGE PLAGUED BY ACID CLOUDS A power company agreed Tuesday to pay $20 million to buy an Ohio River village that was plagued last summer by blue clouds of sulfuric acid gas from the utility's nearby coal-burning plant. The 221 residents of Cheshire will have to move. "Relocation will not be easy, especially for some whose families have lived in Cheshire for generations," said Tom Reese, mayor of the hamlet 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Columbus. "It will be sad indeed to see our village disappear."

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04172002/ap_46954.asp

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GLOBAL WARMING THREATENS MAJOR FLOODING IN THE HIMALAYAS, SAYS U.N. Nearly 50 high Himalayan lakes could flood their banks in the next 5 to 10 years, sending water crashing down the mountains and threatening thousands of lives, the United Nations said Tuesday. Tests carried out in Nepal and Bhutan found that the temperature has risen by almost one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid-1970s, causing snowfields and glaciers to melt and fill the lakes. Source: Associated Press

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04/03/2002 - Updated 03:15 AM ET EPA gives coast waters generally low grades By Traci Watson, USA TODAY Endangered rivers • Missouri River named most endangered - again.

WASHINGTON - A groundbreaking federal report card on the waters off America's coasts concludes that the best have earned only a grade of "fair," while many deserve a grade of "poor" because of continued pollution. The report, the first of its kind from the Environmental Protection Agency, concludes that 44% of coastal waters are so damaged that they can't fully support aquatic life, human activities such as fishing, or both. Farming, industry, runoff from development and more have contributed to unhealthy plant and animal populations, polluted mud and unnaturally high levels of plant nutrients along the nation's coasts, according to the report. "What it's saying is there are significant problems with most of our coastal waters," said Robert Wayland, director of wetlands, oceans and watersheds for the EPA. "The message here for the public is not to take these valuable resources for granted." The EPA released the study, the National Coastal Condition Report, in late March. To calculate grades for the water in coastal areas, scientists looked to estuaries, bodies where fresh water and salt water mix. These bodies of water, which include the Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound, filter pollution and shelter wildlife. Researchers collected data on estuaries from a host of federal agencies. Then they looked at seven common factors that indicate estuary health to decide how coastal waters stacked up. The report doesn't consider the waters off Alaska and Hawaii because not enough data are available. The report found the sickest coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, which suffers from ills ranging from major loss of wetlands to contaminated fish. Wayland attributed the gulf's low standing in part to the vast acreage from which it collects water. More than 40% of the land mass of the continental USA discharges water to the gulf, he said. The highest marks went to the waters off the Carolinas, Georgia and the east coast of Florida, which scored well on most measures. Their lowest scores were on wetlands loss and the health of bottom-dwelling creatures. The biggest problem for coastal waters is the pollution from countless farm fields, lawns, construction sites, roads and other sources. And that makes the problem harder to solve. "It's a much more difficult challenge when you're trying to inform and motivate millions of landowners," Wayland said.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04172002/ap_46955.asp

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SCIENTISTS, ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS ASK BUSH TO END LOGGING ON NATIONAL FORESTS More than 200 scientists around the United States have asked President George W. Bush to halt commercial logging on the national forests and to begin restoring damaged habitat and native species. "Logging has caused devastating impacts on the ability of our national forests to provide wildlife habitat and economically valuable goods and services," said the letter, sent to the White House this week. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04172002/ap_46953.asp

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MORE THAN 100 LANDOWNERS SUE DUPONT, FILE CLAIM AGAINST BLM More than 100 Idaho farmers and ranchers sued E.I. duPont de Nemours and Co. on Tuesday, seeking potentially hundreds of millions of dollars for crop damage allegedly done by the herbicide Oust. Aerial and ground applicators of the DuPont chemical also were named in the 5th District Court lawsuit, and a claim raising the same allegations was filed against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/04/04172002/ap_46951.asp

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JAMAICA'S DREAM OF UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO WATER EVAPORATES By Zadie Neufville

KINSGTON, Jamaica, March 27, 2002 (ENS) - The head of Jamaica's water protection agency the Underground Water Authority (UWA) says despite deterioration of watersheds across the island, water shortages are largely due to government's inability to develop available water sources. http://ens-news.com

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ON ALMOST EVERY BATTLE, ENVIRONMENTALISTS COME OUT LOSERS IN SENATE'S ENERGY BILL --The Senate was where environmentalists hoped to make their stand on energy policy. But after two weeks of votes and horse-trading, an emerging Democratic energy bill appears to be anything but green. Environmentalists lost in their bid to boost automobile fuel economy and on a string of lesser issues: from provisions helping the nuclear industry to one that would allow small trees in national forests to be processed as biomass for electricity generation.
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ADVOCACY GROUP RANKS 10 'MOST ENDANGERED NATIONAL PARKS' Mountain views in some of the country's signature national parks are clouded by air pollution, while historical monuments are crumbling for lack of cash, a park advocacy group says. The National Parks Conservation Association on Monday released its annual list of America's Ten Most Endangered National Parks." --Associated Press
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EUROPE REJECTS BRAZILIAN MAHOGANY IMPORTS AMSTERDAM,

The Netherlands, March 29, 2002 (ENS) - The long battle Greenpeace has waged against the illegal logging and trade of Brazilian mahogany is bearing fruit. http://ens-news.com/

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EFFECTS OF CLIMATE WARMING ALREADY IN EVIDENCE-- WASHINGTON, DC, March 29, 2002 (ENS) -

Ecosystems around the globe are showing the effects of global warming. Earlier arrival of migrant birds, earlier appearance of butterflies, earlier spawning in amphibians, earlier flowering of plants - spring has been coming sooner every year since the 1960s, researchers reported Wednesday. http://ens-news.com/

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U.S. SETS NET FOR POACHERS OF CHILEAN SEA BASS-- WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2002 (ENS) -

The Chilean sea bass, a deep water fish that lives in the cold waters of Antarctica, is in such great demand for the world's specialty markets and luxury restaurants that illegal overfishing is endangering the species. http://ens-news.com

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OIL WILL DOMINATE GROWING ENERGY DEMAND-- WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2002 (ENS) -

World demand for energy is expected to rise by 60 percent over the next two decades, predicts a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency says the increased energy consumption, led largely by oil, will boost releases of carbon dioxide by as much as 3.8 billion metric tons per year in 2020. http://ens-news.com

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GLOBAL WARMING HITS SPECIES ALL OVER WORLD, SAYS STUDY--

From dying coral reefs to later autumns and endangered male painted turtles, global warming has started to affect plant and animal life across the planet, scientists said Wednesday. The world's mean temperature increased by around 0.6 degrees Celsius in the 20th century (most of the rise came in the last 30 years) and its impact is already being felt by flora and fauna from the equator to the poles. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03282002/reu_46789.asp

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MOST OF SOUTHEAST ASIA'S REEFS AT RISK FROM OVERFISHING, POLLUTION, SAYS U.S. GROUP--

About 88 percent of Southeast Asia's coral reefs, which are among the world's most rich and extensive, face destruction from overfishing and pollution, a U.S.-based environmental group said Wednesday. The reefs are important to the economic and social fabric of the region, "yet they are the most threatened reefs in the world," researcher Lauretta Burke of the Washington-based World Resources Institute said in a statement issued in Malaysia.

Associated Press http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03282002/ap_46801.asp

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NEW ZEALAND TO BAN PET FERRETS TO PROTECT BIRDLIFE--

They stink, eat New Zealand's national icon the kiwi, and raid the burrows of other native animals. Fed up with the carnage, the New Zealand government plans to ban pet ferrets to try to protect native wildlife.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03292002/reu_46808.asp

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U.S. GROUP MAKES CHEAP PLASTIC SOLAR-ENERGY CELLS-- Cheap, plastic solar cells that can be painted onto just about any surface could provide power for a range of portable and even wearable electronic devices, scientists said Thursday. A team at the University of California Berkeley said they had come up with a first generation of plastic solar cells, which could someday replace the bulky and expensive silicon-based cells used widely now.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03292002/reu_46811.asp

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FALLING COFFEE PRICES AND DROUGHT LEAVE 30,000 HONDURANS HUNGRY--

Falling coffee prices and an ongoing drought have left at least 30,000 people in western Honduras suffering from hunger, the United Nations World Food Program announced Monday. Hundreds of children have become so malnourished, they have had to be hospitalized and can no longer attend school, Ricardo Rivera, a spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program, told a news conference. Associated Press http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03262002/ap_46760.asp

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WORLD SECURITY DEPENDS ON AVERTING WATER WARS-- NEW YORK, New York, March 22, 2002 (ENS) -

More than five million people die each year from water related diseases - 10 times the number killed in wars. Today, on World Water Day, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned, "Fierce national competition over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of violent conflict."

http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-22-01.html

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http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-13-01.html

Roe Herring Trade Leaves Little for Whales, Fish, Birds VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada, March 13, 2002 (ENS) -

The roe herring fishery is big business in British Columbia, but not nearly as big as it once was. The fishery takes place as the the herring gather to spawn which occurs in late February to early March in southern B.C., and mid-March to mid-April in the northern part of the province.

Less than 30 years ago, large herring spawns occurred continuously for many weeks in many more areas of the Georgia Strait than they do today, allowing salmon, whales, herons, gulls and other sea birds to eat their fill and leave plenty for the fishermen. This year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has set what the agency considers a small allowable catch limit because the herring runs are way down as they have been for years.

Critics are calling for a moratorium on commercial herring fishing, at least in the Strait of Georgia, an inshore body of water that provides critical rearing habitat for salmon. They maintain that herring are more valuable in the water, feeding the salmon, than they are being killed so their eggs can go to sushi bars of Japan.

Fisheries critic Dave Ellis says the catch of 8,953 tons allowed March 7 and 8 is way too much even though it was taken in the most abundant herring area around Hornby Island and Denman Island in the center of the Georgia Strait.

Calling the quota "a very large tonnage of herring," Ellis says killer whales, marbled murrelets, and chinook and coho salmon, are endangered or threatened species that are very heavily affected by the loss of this much herring at the most critical time in their breeding cycle.

Many species that are clearly headed for the endangered list, such as great blue heron, are also affected," Ellis said.

Ellis says a study is needed to assess the loss of potential recreational revenues from activities such as bird watching due to the present level of exploitation of the roe herring fishery. The sight of eagles feasting on herring would draw many birders to the Georgia Strait, he believes.

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AIR POLLUTION CONSTRICTS HEALTHY BLOOD VESSELS

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, March 12, 2002 (ENS) - For the first time, researchers have shown that air pollution can harm the blood vessels of healthy humans. The study provides further evidence that everyone - not just people without heart disease or other health problems - may be at risk from breathing polluted air.

http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-12-07.html

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ADMINISTRATION CITES DEFENSE NEEDS IN OPPOSING $20 BILLION FOR WASTEWATER FACILITIES The Bush administration said Wednesday it opposes a House plan to make billions more available to help states with clean water projects because defense spending must take priority. Legislation would set aside $20 billion over five years for Clean Water Act projects to improve sewage treatment systems and reduce stormwater runoff.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03142002/ap_46670.asp

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MALAYSIAN STATE BEGINS WATER RATIONING AMID DRY SPELL Hundreds of thousands of Malaysians in a southern state stocked up on water Wednesday as officials imposed rationing amid a water shortage caused by weeks of drought.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03142002/ap_46675.asp

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EPA CHIEF DEFENDS HALVING TOXIC WASTE CLEANUPS AS SUPERFUND MONEY NEARS DEPLETION EPA chief Christie Whitman on Tuesday defended cutting by half the toxic waste sites being cleaned up around the nation. The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency said the fewer sites arise from having to spread the same amount of money each year for more costly, more complex, and larger sites. At the same time, Congress and the Bush administration have been reluctant to reimpose a Superfund tax on polluters and other businesses.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03132002/ap_46657.asp

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MEXICAN ENVIRONMENTALIST SPEAKS ABOUT SAVING FORESTS IN HIS HOMELAND Environmentalism in Mexico has a dim future unless young people are taught to be more aware of their world, said Rodolfo Montiel, a Mexican environmentalist who was released from prison late last year. "I actually see (the future) rather poorly. From what I know, there's not a large scale of activism," he said this week. "We need to change our culture and way of life and look for ways to raise our young people in a culture that has a greater awareness of the environment."

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03132002/ap_46658.asp

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NATURAL PLACES THREATENED BY BUSH ENERGY PLAN

WASHINGTON, DC, March 7, 2002 (ENS) - The Bush administration's plans to increase energy exploration on public lands threatens to permanently damage many of America's natural places, charges a new report released today by The Wilderness Society. The Senate is now debating a bill which would implement parts of that energy plan.

http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-07-07.html

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March 1, 2002 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/01/opinion/01BROW.html?todaysheadlines

Polluters Should Have to Pay By CAROL M. BROWNER

WASHINGTON - In 1980, after Love Canal entered the public's consciousness, Congress made an important commitment to Americans who found themselves living on toxic dump sites, exposed to deadly carcinogens and chemicals that threatened their health and lives. As a nation we said we would clean up toxic sites - and the polluters, not the American people, would pay.

For more than 20 years, the "polluter pays" principle has been a cornerstone of environmental policy. Not only has the principle made possible the cleanup of hundreds of the worst toxic waste dumps across the country, it also caused private industry to better manage its pollution and waste.

Remarkably, that principle is now under attack. The Bush administration has announced that it will not seek reauthorization of the taxes levied on oil and chemical companies that go into the Superfund trust fund that is used to pay for cleanup of toxic waste sites.

The original Superfund law established three ways to pay the costs of cleanups: those responsible for creating the site could clean up the site; the Environmental Protection Agency could perform the cleanup with money from the trust fund and recoup the costs from the responsible party later; for those sites where no responsible party could be found, the cleanup would be paid for out of the trust fund.

The very existence of the fund, in addition to financing cleanups, has given the E.P.A. crucial leverage in getting reluctant parties to move forward with cleanups on their own. A healthy trust fund enables the E.P.A. to say to polluters: clean up your site or we will use trust fund money to do it. And it will cost you more if we do it - you will have to pay for the cleanup plus additional penalties.

The 1980 law imposed a tax on the oil and chemical industries to finance the trust fund. In return, the oil industry was relieved of most of its liability for petroleum contamination. While the oil industry is covered by other environmental laws like the Clean Air Act, it is the only industry to receive special treatment under the Superfund act.

Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton all collected these Superfund taxes and sought their extension. Congress, however, allowed the taxes to expire at the end of 1995, despite the Clinton administration's annual requests that they be extended. In 1993, 1994 and 1995, these Superfund taxes generated more than $2 billion a year.

The administration's decision not to seek an extension means that the Superfund trust fund will be out of money by 2004. Yet the end of the tax does not alter the limit on liability that the oil industry continues to enjoy under the Superfund law. Failure to collect the taxes amounts to an enormous windfall for the oil and chemical industries.

Without the tax, the administration has only two choices: force taxpayers to pay for more cleanups or clean up fewer sites. Given budget constraints, it seems very likely that we will see far fewer cleanups in coming years.

That result would turn back the clock on the substantial progress made during the past decade. In its early days, the Superfund program was inefficient and slow. In fact, after the first 12 years of its existence, only 155 sites had been cleaned up.

During the Clinton administration, the E.P.A. carried out an aggressive set of reforms that helped reduce litigation delays over how cleanups would be conducted. The administration also introduced a more flexible process for reaching agreements with the polluters. With these reforms, 602 cleanups were completed in eight years - with an average of 85 sites being cleaned each year in the administration's final four years.

In addition, the Clinton administration created a new program to clean up and redevelop less contaminated brownfield sites with a mix of public and private funds. The E.P.A. also became more involved in helping cities turn blighted and toxic sites into productive parts of a community: a world-class golf course in Montana; soccer practice fields in Virginia; and numerous commercial developments.

Weakening the Superfund program, as the administration's plan would do, would seriously compromise the health of our cities and neighborhoods. There is no reason why any community with a toxic waste site should have to wait for cleanup or why the pace of cleanup for the hundreds of Superfund sites now awaiting action should slow down. There is no reason why oil companies should not pay their fair share. And there is no reason why the "polluter pays" principle that has worked so well should be abandoned and more of the financial burden shifted onto average taxpayers.

Carol M. Browner was administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1993 to 2001.

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WOMEN NEED MORE PROTECTION FROM MERCURY IN FISH

WASHINGTON, DC, March 1, 2002 (ENS) - The Food and Drug Administration is failing in its public health obligation to protect pregnant women and the developing fetus from the toxic effects of mercury, charges the Environmental Working Group. The conservation group warns that fish consumption advisories issued by the agency do not reflect the true danger posed by mercury in fish. http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-01-07.html

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JAPAN PLANS TO HUNT ENDANGERED SEI WHALES

TOKYO, Japan, March 1, 2002 (ENS) - Japan intends to expand its whaling operations to hunt the endangered sei whale in the North Pacific. Japan plans to target 50 of this endangered species in the 2002 season between June and October.

http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-01-02.html

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LEAD EXPOSURE LINKED TO ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR

CINCINNATI, Ohio, March 1, 2002 (ENS) - Exposure to lead in childhood could lead to antisocial or even criminal behavior in adults, a new study suggests. The first comprehensive lead study to track children over a period of time found that both prenatal and postnatal exposure to lead were associated with antisocial behavior in children and adolescents.

http://ens-news.com/ens/mar2002/2002L-03-01-06.html

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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS ARE ALARMED BY A PLAN TO PUT RIVER WATER IN BAGS People who live near the muddy banks of the Albion River laughed when they first heard about a plan to pump some of its water into colossal bags and tow them down the coast to thirsty Southern California. Then they got mad.

Associated Press http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/03/03012002/ap_46558.asp

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CORPS OPPOSES BREACHING SNAKE RIVER DAMS

WALLA WALLA, Washington, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - As expected, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers final report on improving salmon passage through the lower Snake River dams recommends against dam breaching. Conservation groups warn that leaving the dams intact could lead to the extinction of the Snake River's salmon and steelhead runs. http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-21-07.html

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WORLD'S 10 RICHEST REEFS HAMMERED BY HUMANS

WASHINGTON, DC, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - Fishing with explosives and poison, overfishing, sedimentation and pollution from activities on land are wiping out the world's coral reefs, according to two new reports presented this week by conservation organizations based in Washington. Pressure on the reefs is most intense in the coral triangle formed by Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and southern Japan.

http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-21-01.html

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NEW SOLUTIONS NEEDED TO MANAGE FISHERIES SUSTAINABLY Overfishing and overuse of coastal regions have severely damaged marine habitats. New socioeconomic and ecological strategies are urgently needed to manage fisheries sustainably and to preserve marine resources, Stanford scientists say. Only such action can ensure the long-term survival of marine ecosystems and the profitability of fisheries. "Reserves should set aside at least 30 percent of the habitat of a given species to have any serious assurance of long-term profitability as well as to guard against risk of extinction," said Stanford professor Joan Roughgarden, an ecologist who presented her model for sustainability of marine resources Feb. 15 during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston.

Stanford News Service http://enn.com/news/enn-stories/2002/02/02222002/s_46446.asp

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LAST THREE MONTHS WARMEST ON U.S. RECORD BOOKS, SAYS NOAA The last three months were the warmest on U.S. record books, and January was the balmiest in the 123 years temperatures for the month have been recorded globally, government scientists said on Thursday. Green groups cast the report as still more evidence of human-caused global warming. "The results underline the need to start cutting pollution that scientists say is causing global warming," said Jon Coifman, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Source: Reuters http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/02/02222002/reu_46469.asp

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HONG KONG DISNEY SITE POSES ECOLOGICAL THREAT, SAY EXPERTS Preparation for a site housing Hong Kong's future Disney theme park could seriously threaten ecological systems nearby, according to an independent environmental study released on Thursday. The findings appear to be the most alarming to date about the US$1.8 billion project, which Hong Kong is banking on to rejuvenate its mature tourism industry but environmentalists have slammed as one of nature's biggest nightmares.

Source: Reuters http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/02/02222002/reu_46471.asp

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THAILAND BRACES FOR WORST DROUGHT IN YEARS Tropical Thailand, the world's top rice exporter, appears to be on the verge of its worst drought in several years, which could force thirsty farmers to cut rice production, officials said on Thursday. This year at least 36 of Thailand's 73 provinces have already been touched by drought triggered by the El Ni&#241;o weather phenomenon, Thai officials said.

Source: Reuters http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/02/02222002/reu_46468.asp

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PRIMATE, CARNIVORE DIVERSITY AT RISK By Cat Lazaroff

WASHINGTON, DC, February 20, 2002 (ENS) - Scientists have discovered that the greatest concentration of all primate and carnivore evolutionary history exists within those species found in just 25 biodiversity hotspots. About 55 percent of the world's primates and 22 percent of carnivores are found only within biodiversity hotspots - and yet they represent 70 percent of the evolutionary history for the entire species.

http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-20-06.html

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BOLIVIA BATTERED BY WORST STORM IN 500 YEARS

LA PAZ, Bolivia, February 20, 2002 (ENS) - A violent storm that swept through the Bolivian capital Tuesday has claimed 48 lives police officials said today. The storm brought the worst floods and hailstorms in the 500 year history of the city. There is concern that the deadly storm and others in neighboring Peru could herald another El Nino year.

http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-20-02.html

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BRAZIL RECOVERS $25 MILLION OF ILLEGALLY CUT MAHOGANY Brazil's environmental agency, Ibama, has seized 220,000 square feet of mahogany and is floating the wood down the rivers of the Amazon jungle as part of its biggest ever operation to hit illegal loggers, the agency said Wednesday. Helped by the army and local police, Ibama officials recovered the wood deep in the Amazon at a site where they found 28 trucks, two tractors, and two airplanes used by the gang of illegal loggers who cut down the mahogany for its high value.

Source: Reuters http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/02/02212002/reu_46458.asp

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GREENHOUSE GAS TREATY HAS ECONOMIC BENEFITS- Not content with merely pulling out of the Kyoto agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. government has now decided not to reduce emissions at all and is apparently trying to convince other countries to do the same. It is a slap in the face of the scientific community and shows the lobbying power of big industry groups. Last week, the United States finally delivered its long-awaited "alternative" to Kyoto which, believe it or not, requires no cuts in American emissions. This comes five years after the United States initially agreed to Kyoto and 10 years after President Bush Sr.'s original commitment to stabilize its global warming emissions which add up to one-quarter of the world's total.

http://enn.com/news/enn-stories/2002/02/02202002/s_46390.asp

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U.N. CONFERENCE ADDRESSES DROUGHT, CREEPING DESERTS, AND POVERTY Drought, poverty, creeping deserts, and scarce drinking water headline a U.N.-sponsored conference on global development and the environment this week. Delegates from 50 African, Caribbean, and Latin American countries were evaluating the 1994 U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification, which has been ratified by 180 countries but has spurred few to act.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/02/02202002/ap_46436.asp

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GLOBAL WARMING EFFECTS ON SEA LEVEL UNDERESTIMATED

BOSTON, Massachusetts, February 19, 2002 (ENS) - Global sea levels could rise eight inches by the end of this century, more than the rise predicted last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Melting glaciers and collapsing Antarctic ice sheets, such as the 58 square mile iceberg that calved from the Matusevich Glacier Tongue earlier this month, foreshadow the problems to come. http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-19-07.html

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HIGH TECH METHODS DECIMATING FISH POPULATIONS

BOSTON, Massachusetts, February 18, 2002 (ENS) - New fishing methods based on military technology are accelerating the decline of commercial fish populations, a new study suggests. Despite increased fishing efforts, catches continue to decline in the North Atlantic and other prime U.S. fishing grounds, shows research detailed this week at a scientific conference in Boston. http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-18-06.html

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PUBLIC COMPANIES TWEAK ACCOUNTING TO HIDE ENVIRONMENTAL DEBT By Donald Sutherland

WASHINGTON, DC, February 18, 2002 (ENS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a national campaign in January 2001 to get publicly traded companies to disclose their environmental debts to shareholders as required by regulation. Now, more than a year later a majority of public companies that have violated federal environmental laws still do not make those disclosures. http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-18-02.html

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DUGONGS DISAPPEARING WORLDWIDE DUE TO HUMAN OVERLOAD

CARTAGENA, Colombia, February 13, 2002 (ENS) - The dugong, a marine species that is a key indicator of coastal health, is vanishing in the 37 countries and territories, environment ministers from around the world meeting here were told today. Where dugongs cannot thrive, coastal environments will soon fail to support people as well, the new report warns.

Results of the first global study of the dugong, also known as the sea cow, were presented at the seventh special session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Ministerial Environment Forum taking place in this northern seaside city.

The list of human threats to dugong survival is long - polluted runoff from the land, coastal developments, boat traffic and fishermens' nets, hunting for meat, amulets and trophies. Port developments and dredging are destroying dugong habitat and the seagrass beds on which they graze. Results of the first global study of the dugong, also known as the sea cow, were presented at the seventh special session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Ministerial Environment Forum taking place in this northern seaside city.

The list of human threats to dugong survival is long - polluted runoff from the land, coastal developments, boat traffic and fishermens' nets, hunting for meat, amulets and trophies. Port developments and dredging are destroying dugong habitat and the seagrass beds on which they graze.

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CALIFORNIA TO BE FIRST STATE TO REGULATE CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS California could become the first state to try easing global warming by limiting carbon dioxide emissions from cars if a bill approved this week by the state Assembly becomes law. The bill would give the Air Resources Board until January 2004 to adopt regulations that achieve the "maximum feasible and cost-effective reduction" of carbon dioxide from cars and light trucks.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/02/02012002/ap_co2_46285.asp

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RISE IN ANGLO-GERMAN CO2 EMISSIONS ACCELERATES

LONDON, UK, February 4, 2002 (ENS) - German and British carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose in 2001 for the second year running, and in both countries by more than in 2000, according to independent forecasters.

http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-04-02.html

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OLD SEWAGE SYSTEMS SPEWING RAW SEWAGE INTO WATERWAYS EACH YEAR, EPA SAYS

More than 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage pours into waterways each year from aging sewer systems designed to overflow when it rains, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. Two-thirds of the 772 communities that rely on these systems don't comply with minimum federal standards, prompting "serious public health and water concerns," the EPA said in a report required by Congress under a 2000 law. Cities with newer systems are designed to treat all sewage.

http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/01/01302002/ap_sewage_46265.asp

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FLAME-RETARDANT CHEMICAL COULD PROVE AS SERIOUS A POLLUTANT AS PCBS OR DDT A chemical flame retardant commonly used in foam furniture padding is accumulating so rapidly in the breast milk of nursing mothers that environmentalists and some scientists are calling for a ban on it. Little is known about the toxic nature of polybrominated diphenyl ether, commonly known by the acronym PBDE. Early studies show it poses some of the same dangers as PCBs and DDT. Those two chemicals were banned in the United States decades ago for their myriad detrimental effects on animal and human health.http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/01/01302002/ap_retardent_46266.asp

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SENATORS, EPA, ENERGY DEPT. AT ODDS OVER AIR POLLUTION, GLOBAL WARMING Lawmakers who are working to reduce emissions from coal-burning power plants are frustrated by the Bush administration's determination to craft separate policies to deal with air pollution and climate change. "The administration ought to get moving," Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, told Bush's top official for fossil energy at a Senate hearing Tuesday. "We've been waiting and waiting and waiting." http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/01/01302002/ap_power_46267.asp

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U.S. ECOSYSTEMS ALTERED BY NITROGEN POLLUTION

WASHINGTON, DC, January 25, 2002 (ENS) - Much of the nitrogen in ecosystems throughout the United States comes not, as previously believed, from natural sources, but from acid rain and agricultural fertilizers. A study of ancient and unpolluted South American forests promises to upend longstanding beliefs about ecosystems and the effects of pollution in the Northern Hemisphere. http://ens-news.com/ens/jan2002/2002L-01-25-06.htm

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TOMS RIVER CANCER CLUSTER SETTLEMENT TOTALS MORE THAN $13.2 MILLION Sixty-nine families whose children were stricken with cancer they blame on water pollution will share at least $13.27 million from two chemical companies and a water company, a newspaper reported this week. The figure was tallied from court records that became public under a state law that requires settlements with minors to be approved by a judge, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The actual figure is likely millions of dollars more but may never be made public because of a confidentiality agreement the families signed, the newspaper said. http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/01/01252002/ap_46239.asp

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KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE GOES BROKE, ELEPHANTS AT RISK By Jennifer Wanjiru

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 17, 2002 (ENS) - Elephant poaching has resumed in Kenya, senior Kenya Wildlife Service officials admit. At the same time, government officials say that the Kenya Wildlife Service, responsible for managing the country's wildlife, is in the red and is relying on government handouts to operate.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jan2002/2002L-01-17-03.html

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TIMBER PIRATES RAID ZAMBIA'S FOREST TREASURES By Singy Hanyona

LUSAKA, Zambia, January 18, 2002 (ENS) - The lack of political will for sustainability in developing Zambia's forestry resources has led to sabotage of the forest sector, according to a new report by the African Friendship Fund. The grassroots nonprofit organization says foreign investors have come into the country to exploit timber, and have managed to evade paying taxes. http://ens-news.com/ens/jan2002/2002L-01-18-02.html

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NAFTA REPORT DEMONSTRATES NEED FOR SOLUTIONS "The monarch butterfly, and the rest of us, can't wait much longer for practical measures on endangered species and other critical environmental issues." Uh oh, there I go again- Dr. Doom and Gloom, ranting about the shoddy state of the world. Only those words aren't mine. They belong to the editors of the business-oriented newspaper The Globe and Mail. They're from a Jan. 7 editorial responding to a new report by an environmental commission set up through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to monitor the impact of human activity on North America's ecosystems. Source: Environmental News Network <http://enn.com/news/enn-stories/2002/01/01182002/s_46153.asp>

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JAPAN SPENDING MILLIONS TO BUY SUPPORT FOR WHALING MELBOURNE, Australia, January 16, 2002 (ENS) - The Japanese Government has spent over $US320 million since 1987 on buying a return to commercial whaling, said Greenpeace today after its expedition ship MV Arctic Sunrise docked in Melbourne. For full text and graphics visit: <http://ens-news.com/ens/jan2002/2002L-01-16-05.html>

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NEPAL TO ESTABLISH POLLUTION CONTROL STANDARDS By Deepak Gajurel KATHMANDU, Nepal, January 11, 2002 (ENS) - In response to public concerns about increasing environmental contamination, the government of Nepal is preparing to set national standards for air, water and noise pollution.

<http://ens-news.com/ens/jan2002/2002L-01-11-01.html>

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DRY YEAR PUTS WYOMING ANTELOPE AND DEER AT RISK With meager winter forage and reduced hay stocks, big game managers are echoing the same sentiments across much of the state. Declining habitat availability and productivity, not just from drought, but also from urban growth and energy development, is having an adverse impact on deer and antelope, wildlife managers say. The shrubs that traditionally sustain deer and antelope through the winter are stunted, and in some parts of the state these species are short of fat reserves.

http://enn.com/news/enn-stories/2001/12/12312001/wyoming_45961.asp

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MARYLAND CUTS BLUE CRAB QUOTAS A YEAR EARLY Fewer and fewer blue crabs are found in the Chesapeake and coastal bays of Maryland, and crabbing, once a cherished way of life here, is vanishing with the crabs. Worried state officials say Maryland will implement regulations that aim to achieve a 15 percent reduction in the blue crab harvest one year early, in 2002.

http://enn.com/news/enn-stories/2001/12/12312001/crab_45962.asp

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ECOSYSTEM CRISIS LOOMS OVER NORTH AMERICA

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada, January 9, 2002 (ENS) - North America's natural environments face a "widespread crisis" due to vanishing biodiversity, says a new report by the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jan2002/2002L-01-09-01.html

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LACK OF SNOW EVAPORATES HOPES OF RAISING GREAT LAKES' WATER LEVELS The Great Lakes are at their lowest point in 35 years, and experts say the water levels are likely to drop even more because of the unusually warm winter weather. Solid ice sheets are only now spreading over the bays and inlets of Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Great Lakes and usually frozen by late December.
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CFC GAS SMUGGLING IN POOR NATIONS POSES THREAT TO OZONE LAYER Tons of gases that eat away at the Earth's ozone layer are smuggled into India and other developing nations each year in an illegal trade that threatens a landmark treaty to phase out the harmful chemicals by the end of the decade, environmentalists say. The gases, mainly chlorofluorocarbons, (CFCs) are used in air conditioning and refrigerators. Environmentalists say their continued use, particularly in populous developing countries, could undo efforts to replenish the ozone layer under the 1987 Montreal Protocol.