|WIT's World Ecology Report - Vol. 10, No. 4 - Critical Issues in Health and the Environment (WIT, 1998, 16 pages)|
· A significant decline in birth rates in South Asia is credited to the governments of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India and their success in intensive family planning programs which include women's education, contraceptives and advice about health. Another trigger for the transition is microcredit, an idea pioneered by Bangladesh economist Muhammed Yunus and his Grameen Bank of Bangladesh that has been making loans to poor rural women. One of the requirements for loans is to have small families.
SOURCE: Scientific American, December
· The International Center for Biosciences and its Kenya-based partners have reportedly developed a fungal-based, insecticide, free of powerful synthetic chemicals, to control locusts and grasshoppers. About 13 million liters of potent man-made chemicals such as malathion and fenitrothion were used in Africa between 1986 and 1989 to control the ravenous insects. The new insecticide, known as "green muscle," consists of naturally occurring strain of the metarhiziurin anisopliae fungus. Once applied, it takes six to 21 days to kill targeted locusts and grasshoppers. The center says the product kills locusts and grasshoppers only while being non-toxic to humans and other organisms. The insecticide was first used in South Africa in March 1998 and is being recommended for use by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. The center expects the insecticide to be on the market sometime this year.
SOURCE: Greenwire Environmental News Bulletin,
Jan. 6, 1999, (from PanAfrican News Agency, 1/4/99)
· The Government of Norway and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have signed an agreement on a UNEP project: "Strategies and Mechanisms for Promoting Cleaner Production Investments in Developing Countries". The total project cost of approximately US$5.6 million over three years, will be funded by the Norwegian Government. It is expected that the project will contribute to pollution prevention, eco-efficiency and resource productivity. It will be coordinated by UNEP's Technology, Industry and Economics Division in Paris in five selected developing countries: Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. For more information, contact: Tore J. Brevik, Director of Information and Public Affairs, Tel. (254-2) 62-3292, Fax (254-2)62-3927; email firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: UNEP News Release Dec. 11,
· The center-left German government has decided to phase out its use of nuclear energy. Bonn has begun talks with France and Britain on how its plan to abandon nuclear energy will affect contracts with them for recycling nuclear wastes, according to a spokesman for the German Environment Ministry. German Chancellor Schroeder said that the country's exit from nuclear energy will take quite a bit longer than his junior coalition partners, the Greens, expect and noted that there was no deadline. Germany's plans to discontinue its reliance on nuclear energy comes at a time that the sole remaining functioning reactor at Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, is to be shut down for safety checks and repairs.
SOURCE: Energy Central News, Jan 28,
SOURCE: UNICEF, The State of the World's
· In addition to the phase out of nuclear energy in Germany, the use of wind powered electricity continues to grow. The Environmental Defense Fund (USA) has switched to a wind powered electricity provider, choosing Green Mountain Energy Resources to power its Oakland, California office.
SOURCE: Energy Central News, |an. 18,
· The Brazilian government officially recognized Raposa/Serra do Sol as the traditional land of the Ingarico, Macuxi, Wapixana and Taurepang peoples on December 11, 1998. However, there are indications that Roraima politicians and a group of ranchers who invaded Raposa/Serra do Sol are inciting violence against indigenous communities and provoking divisions among them, in order to paralyse the land demarcation process. For further information, contact Jeronimo Pereira da Silva, General Coordinator, Conselho Indigena de Roraima-CIR, Av. Sebastiao Diniz, 1672 - Bairro Sao Vicente CEP: 69.303-120 - Boa Vista - RR - Brasil, Tel/Fax: 005595224 5761, email: email@example.com
SOURCE: Environmental Defense Fund, on-line
"Action Alert," 1 /13/99
· In a population that's neither growing nor shrinking and has no migration, couples will average two children each, or enough to replence themselves. Of the world's 192 nations, 67 now have fertility rates at or below replacement levels. Because of the youthfulness of the developing world-one-third of which is under 15-even if the entire globe has reached replacement levels in 1995, the population would still grow by two-thirds before leveling off. Though the global fertility rate is still well above replacement level, the average fertility rate in developing countries has dropped from more than 6 children per women in 1950 to 3.3 in 1998 and is still falling. More than half all developing fertility rates.
SOURCE: National Geographic Society,