Stories about Environment from July, 2012
Ecuador: Sarayaku.org, Blogging from the Amazon
José Santi, 27, is one of the administrators of the blog Sarayaku.org. The blog contains information about the Sarayaku people, who live in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and their fight against exploitation in their territory. In this interview José tells us about the blog and the case that his people has brought to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights against the state of Ecuador.
Spain: Fighting Catalonia's Wild Fires
The terrifying fires that continue to devastate the Catalan comarca of Alt Empordà have given way to the citizens' initiative #1Català1Arbre, launched on Twitter by Oriol Puig. The goal is to "create coordination, cooperation and a strong collective consciousness until the fires are extinguished."
Ukraine: Forest Fires in Yalta, Crimea
On Facebook, Andrey Klimenko of BlackSeaNews.net posted night photos (here and here; ru) of the fire raging in the mountainous forest reserve near Yalta, Crimea. On July 31 [ru], there is smog, ashes in the air and strong northeast wind in Yalta: “Early in the morning it seemed it would...
Philippines: New Mining Policy Stirs Debate
Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino's new Executive Order 79 on mining has drawn criticism from environmentalists, church people, peasant groups, and various other sectors. The Philippines has one of the largest mineral deposits in the world
China: ‘Violent’ Pipeline Protest in Qidong
Violence that broke out during a protest against a pipeline construction project in China's Qidong province has split opinion online. The project would channel wastewater from a Japanese owned paper mill into the sea and has raised environmental concerns.
Laos: Environmental Impact of Xayaburi Dam
Kirk Herbertson explains the environmental impact as construction of the controversial Xayaburi Dam along Mekong River in Laos begins.
Peru: Environmental Journalist Detained in Cajamarca
Juan Arellano reports [es] in his blog that the “environmental journalist Jorge Chávez Ortiz, known on Twitter as @chavezwar [es], has reportedly been detained a few hours ago in Cajamarca. The young journalist from Cajamarca is also responsible for the blog Mi mina corrupta (“My corrupt mine”) [es], where he...
East Asia: Flourishing Illegal Trade in ‘Captive Bred’ Exotic Birds
According to a July 2012 report from the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC), many endangered birds that are sold as captive bred have actually been caught in the wild and smuggled out of their original habitats under cruel conditions. An ID registration scheme for captive bred parrots introduced in Taiwan enables clear identification of legally saleable birds to try and combat this problem.
Colombia: The Environmental Heritage of the Country is Threatened by Mining
Through her Facebook profile, Carla Bajonero shares her concern regarding mining in Colombia [es]. In her opinion, mining only leaves behind “pollution and laughable earnings.” She then asks: “What happens to the environmental and cultural heritage of Colombia if mining continues in this boom?” Carla also writes about this issue...
Brazil: Deported Activist Returns to Denounce Mining Company Vale
Jeremias Vunjanhe, a Mozambican journalist and activist, was prevented from entering Brazil during Rio+20. After civil society movements and organisations mobilised, Jeremias returned to the country to denounce the actions of the Brazilian company Vale.
Japan: Debate over the Preservation of a Dead Tree
Asia Sentinel reports on a controversy in Rikuzentakata, a city in Iwate, Japan over the public spending of about USD 2 millions for preservation a dead tree and turning it into a symbol of hope.
Paraguay: Citizens Reject Rio Tinto's Aluminium Smelter Project
The blog Interparaguay [es] shares several videos on a project headed by Río Tinto Alcan to build an aluminium smelter in Paraguay. In the last video, Mercedes Canese, Vice Minister of Mining and Energy during Fernando Lugo's government, answers some questions about the project and its impact on the environment.
Malaysia: Selangor State Faces Water Shortage
Selangor, Malaysia's richest state, could be facing a water shortage crisis soon after its water concessionaire announced that water rationing might be necessary because of lack of clean water reserves. The state government, however, is accusing the company of using the issue to gain more profit.
Mexico: Combating Water Crisis by Climbing Mountains
The Challenge is to raise awareness about the water and sanitation crisis all over the world and raise money to ensure safe water for people. The founder of Challenge 21, Jake Norton, means to do this by climbing the top of the 3 highest peaks in each continent. A couple of videos allow us to look into how he's doing, including the climb up Mexico's Pico de Orizaba.
Hungary: Community News Site Takes On Neglected Fire Hydrants
Faulty and out-of-order fire hydrants made it difficult to control a fire that broke out in the Kutya mountain, close to the town of Nagykovácsi in Hungary. This inspired the founder of a community news site Nagykovácsi.net Dávid Fáber to launch a community-driven data gathering initiative to document all of the town's fire hydrants through his website's registered users.
Puerto Rico: Strong Support for Land and Agriculture
Various organizations have warned about the food dependency of Puerto Rico and the urgency of revitalizing the agriculture of the country. It was with this reason that a demonstration was held to demand that the University of Puerto Rico not be forced to give part of its agricultural land to the municipality of Gurabo for the construction of infrastructure.
China: Draft Rule to Prohibit Citizens from Monitoring Air?
A draft rule on the management of environmental monitor [zh] may result in the prohibition of citizens and NGOs from monitoring the air quality in China. Charles Zhu from Tea Leaf Nation explains the background of the rule and politics at play.
Brunei: ‘Heart of Borneo’ Project
The ‘Heart of Borneo’ Project “aims to protect the ecological and cultural richness of the rainforests of Borneo.” The island, shared by Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, is the third largest in the world
Nigeria: Fury as Lagos State Government Demolishes #Makoko Slum
What is the reason behind the ruckus that has vibrated over the Nigerian social media platforms following the demolition of Makoko slum in Lagos? After all the hallmark of ‘development’ lies in substituting such 'ugly' urban spaces with more dignified habitable conditions. Our Nigerian author, Nwachukwu Egbunike, explains.
Japan: Photos of Mass Anti-Nuclear Protest
Tens of thousands Japanese citizens held a protest on July 16, 2012 urging their government to abandon nuclear power. People reportedly expressed rage over Japan's culture of obedience and the government's shirking responsibility towards worsening natural disasters. Totgazet, which is published by JVJA, a group of freelance photojournalists posted amazing photos...
Montenegro: “Foursquare For Development” Project
UNDP's Voices From Eurasia blog announces and explains the “Foursquare for Development” project, whose goal is to create Foursquare tourist routes in northern Montenegro.