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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Environmental News Network News Summary (1st-14th August)

Environmental News Network News Summary (1st-14th August)

Date : 14th August 2002, Source : ENN



1st August 2002

NORWEGIAN PLEADS GUILTY TO KEEPING FALSE LOGS, AGREES TO PAY $1.5 MILLION FOR CRUISE POLLUTION

The world's fourth-largest cruise line agreed Wednesday to pay a $1.5 million penalty for dumping oily waste into the ocean and keeping false logs to cover it up. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. pleaded guilty to keeping a false log book in April 2000 and admitted the company lied to the Coast Guard for three years about illegal discharges from its 2,030-passenger Norway liner.

Source: Associated Press


CAMBODIA DECLARES PRISTINE MOUNTAIN FOREST PROTECTED AREA

The Cambodian government has declared a forest in the central Cardamom Mountains a protected area, which will help prevent rampant poaching and logging, an environmental group said. Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a decree this week providing "permanent" protection to the 402,000 hectares (1 million acres) of pristine wilderness in southwestern Cambodia, Conservation International said in a statement.

Source: Associated Press


2nd August 2002

ROMANIA CRUDE OIL SPILL FLOWS TOWARD DANUBE

Scores of tons of crude oil that spilled from a flood-damaged pipe in southeastern Romania Thursday were threatening to pollute the river Danube, a government minister said. "We've built, so far, six (floating) dams on the Prahova River, but unfortunately, the water has a very high speed, with a flow of 200 cubic metres (7,060 cubic feet) per second.... the operation is extremely difficult,'' Environment Minister Petru Lificiu told private television Antena 1.

Source: Reuters


6th August 2002

U.N. WARNS AGAINST FEASTS IN MIDST OF FAMINE

With millions facing starvation in southern Africa, the United Nations warned its top managers Monday against ostentatious entertaining at an environmental summit later this month in Johannesburg. "We must keep in mind that this conference is taking place in the midst of a major food crisis in southern Africa, affecting 13 million people," S. Iqbal Riza, chief of staff to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, wrote top U.N. managers. "It would be wise to refrain from excessive levels of hospitality, and any event sponsored by the United Nations should be of modest, even frugal, dimensions," Riza said in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Source: Reuters


FLOODS TURN BANGLADESHI FARMERS INTO NOMADS

Momena Begum sits clutching her younger brother as their mother pushes their raft made of lashed together banana trees through waist-deep water in Bagutia village. Momena's family is one of hundreds displaced by Bangladesh's worst floods in four years — but a fact of life in villages like Bagutia, where flood waters have forced inhabitants to relocate at least three times in the past 14 years.

Source: Reuters


7th August 2002

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.

Source: Associated Press


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.

Source: Reuters


WEST NILE KILLS FIFTH PERSON IN LOUISIANA

The West Nile virus has killed a fifth person in Louisiana and roughly a dozen more have contracted the disease, making the state's outbreak the largest ever in the United States, state health officials said Tuesday. Officials said a 76-year-old woman was the fifth fatality from the disease, which has infected 71 people in the state. Since there are three more months left in swampy Louisiana's hot season, officials said they expected more infections.

Source: Reuters


8th August 2002

ENVIRONMENTALISTS SUE TO BLOCK NAVY SONAR, SAYING IT KILLS WHALES

Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to stop the Navy from using a powerful new sonar system for detecting enemy submarines, saying the intense underwater sounds can harm whales and dolphins. The coalition, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council, sued the Navy and the National Marine Fisheries Service on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to block the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar.

Source: Associated Press


AUSTRALIA CHARGES SHIP OWNERS FOR DAMAGING REEF

Australian authorities charged the owners of a Greek bulk carrier that ran aground near the Great Barrier Reef with causing environmental damage on Wednesday and could fine them up to A$1.1 million (US$600,000). Virginia Chadwick, head of the Great barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the body responsible for protecting the world's largest living organism, said the 225-meter, coal-carrying Doric Chariot had left a 50-m-by-30-m gash in Piper Reef.

Source: Reuters


THOUSANDS FIGHT FOREST FIRES IN NORTHERN CHINA

Up to 5,000 firefighters are battling fierce blazes in China's northeastern forests near the site of one of the country's worst fires 15 years ago, state media said on Wednesday. The wildfires are devouring forests in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, which stretch for 1,200 km (730 miles) through the northern region of Inner Mongolia, the Xinhua news agency said.

Source: Reuters


U.S. PLEDGES INCREASED AID FOR GLOBAL GREEN FUND

The Bush Administration on Wednesday pledged increased participation in a global fund aimed at cleaning up environmental problems in poor countries. The Treasury Department said the United States had pledged $500 million over the next four years to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which emerged from the 1992 Earth Summit. The United States was one of 32 donor nations that agreed to pour in a total of $2.92 billion over the next four years.

Source: Reuters


9th August 2002

ECO-JARGON THE LINGUA FRANCA AT JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT

The 50,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries set to throng the Johannesburg summit this month will have no problem finding a common language to thrash out a strategy for sustainable development. They'll be immersed in the eco-jargon that splits experts from the lay community, most of whom have no idea what the broad, vague phrase "sustainable development" actually means.

Source: Reuters


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.

Source: Reuters


13th August 2002

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.

Source: Associated Press


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–sponsored 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.

Source: Reuters


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.

Source: Reuters


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.

Source: Associated Press


STUDY FINDS RAINFOREST LOSS SLOWER THAN THOUGHT

A European study has found the world's tropical rainforests are disappearing more slowly than previously thought, though the rate of destruction is still alarming, a magazine reported. The study by a team at the European Union's Joint Research Center found the area of rainforest destroyed between 1990 and 1997 to be 23 percent smaller than the generally accepted figure.

Source: Reuters


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.

Source: Associated Press


14th August 2002

WESTERN WILDFIRES STOKE POLITICAL TENSIONS OVER FOREST POLICY

The spate of wildfires this summer is inflaming more than just the Western landscape. Longtime allies are turning into adversaries as the fires stoke tensions between environmentalists and some normally supportive Democrats in Congress. Environmentalists who had long sought a bill to protect old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest are now vowing to oppose it, accusing Senate Democrats of undercutting conservation in the name of wildfire prevention.

Source: Associated Press


EARTH SUMMIT MUST ADDRESS THE FOOD AND WATER SHORTAGES, U.N. REPORT SAYS

More than 100 world leaders attending this month's Earth Summit must tackle the double threat of widespread poverty and increasing environmental devastation that has left billions of people facing food and water shortages, a new U.N. report said Tuesday. The report reviews the most authoritative data from U.N. and international organizations about the use of natural resources and presents a sobering assessment of a planet in peril and in need of a massive global commitment to secure the future for the world's children.

Source: Associated Press


WILDFIRES BRING MORE PERIL THAN FLAMES; FIREFIGHTING ITSELF CAN HARM THE FOREST

Fire isn't the only thing threatening fragile forests this summer; firefighting itself can threaten endangered plants or spread plant diseases. The Lemmingsworth Gulch Research Natural Area would be a wonderful place to cut a fire line to block a huge blaze in southwestern Oregon. It's wet and flat, without many trees. But when fire officials suggested doing that through the 818-acre site, Forest Service ecologist Tom Atzet urged them to look elsewhere.

Source: Associated Press


EXTREME WEATHER BOOSTS CALLS FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE

The storm clouds massed over Europe that are causing some of the worst floods in decades may have a silver lining for the continent's environmentalists as the battle lines are drawn for the Johannesburg Earth Summit. While floods threatened historic buildings and crops across Europe and hundreds drowned after torrential rain in Nepal, Iran, and the Philippines this week, drought has shriveled harvests in southern Africa, Vietnam, Australia, and the United States.

Source: Reuters


POACHERS SAID TO BE PUSHING ASIAN RHINOS TO EXTINCTION

The already endangered Asian rhino is being pushed toward extinction by a boom in poaching to feed the trade in so-called traditional medicines, the conservation organization WWF-International said Wednesday. Latest surveys show there are only 2,900 of the horned animals left in their one-time extensive range, from Pakistan across northern India and down through Southeast Asia into Vietnam and Indonesia, the body said.

Source: Reuters


AUSTRALIA CHARGES JAPANESE CHEMICAL SHIP OVER SPILL

Australian authorities said on Tuesday they had charged the Japanese owners of a Panama-registered chemical tanker with causing an oil spill near the Great Barrier Reef and fleeing without reporting the incident. The charges, which carry a A$1.1 million (US$600,000) fine, were brought against Japanese shipowners Abo Shotun and the master of the Botany Trust after a two-year international hunt for the culprit behind the oil spill.

Source: Reuters





Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011

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