Search Gate World News

by Stephen Hurrell. Published Thu 27 Aug 2009 16:34, Last updated: 2009-08-27
World News

A brief round-up of environmental news from around the globe.

Australia: A massive $42 billion natural gas project in a nature reserve off the west coast has been approved despite conservationists' protests.

The facility on Barrow Island will supply 15 million metric tonnes of gas each year to Asia, creating up to 6,000 jobs. However, campaigners believe the plant could endanger wildlife on the island.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said: "I've considered it very carefully; I don't believe that there'll be unacceptable impacts.”

India: The first ever Indian Green Party is to be launched by environmental activist Subhas Dutta. The party, focusing on environment protection and sustainable development, will be based on similar political parties in the UK, US and Australia.

Dutta said: "I have been fighting for environment protection for years. Most of the battles have been in courtrooms. I believe it is now time to step out into the streets and turn it into a mass movement that can bring about change in policies.

“Being a pressure group is not enough. There's a need to be part of the decision-making process because environment remains a marginal concern in Indian politics. Our endeavour will be to ensure that environment is at the heart of all policies and decisions."

USA: An environmental group has filed a lawsuit against the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) over the destruction of 200 mature trees to make way for a housing development at Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada.

The Sierra Colina Village project was approved by the TRPA in June but it will now be challenged after a lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Reno by the League to Save Lake Tahoe.

TRPA spokesman Dennis Oliver said in a statement: “This is part of an emerging pattern among Tahoe Basin conservation groups. When they don't get their way about something, they sue in order to take the decision-making out of the public realm and into a backroom where lawyers call the shots in secret.”

Brazil: A Brazilian environmental organisation is asking the public to urinate in the shower to stop water waste and protect the environment.

SOS Mata Atlantica have issued videos as part of a campaign called 'Xixi no Banho', or ‘Pee in the Shower’.

The adverts state: "The environment is happy about the amount of water saved. Every flush of the loo uses around 12 litres of water. Flushing just once a day makes a total of 4,380 litres per year."

South Africa: The African Development Bank has added R100 million to a fund for alternative energy and eco projects. The fund, called Evolution One, has now raised R500 million towards sustainable technology.

The fund gives a minimum of R10 million in each investment to developing companies with innovative sustainable ideas.

"We are single-mindedly focusing on building strategic partnerships and on sourcing proprietary and appropriate technologies for application within the SADC [Southern African Development Community] region across a variety of investment projects," said Dr Zuko Kubukeli, Executive Director of Inspired Evolution.

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