Brazil has made significant progress toward achieving the MDGs but remains challenged in regard to a number of social issues, notably those concerned to poverty reduction in rural and isolated areas, where access to electricity services is as poor as their population. The federal government launched in 2003 the Luz para Todos program (Light for Everyone), which aims to achieve universal access by 2008 as a means of poverty alleviation and income increase. Power generation and distribution companies are responsible for providing electricity access for the population. It is natural that most of these companies make use of diesel generators in rural and isolated areas due to several economic and technical reasons regarding to conventional grid extension and renewable energy systems.
In such scenario, CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) could be seen as an alternative instrument both to mitigate climate change and to achieve sustainable development practices in the rural and isolated areas, consequently contributing to the achievement of the MDGs in Brazil. Nevertheless, CDM implementation in Brazil is still restricted to a few types of projects, mostly proposed by big national and international enterprises.
The main objectives of the article are to assess the CDM potential as a tool to promote electricity access to the poor rural people in Brazil and to analyze the main reasons why it still has not become a reality.
The coral reefs and coastal marine habitats of the Sian Ka’an United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve are of vital national and international importance, both ecologically and economically.
The three-month Sian Ka’an Coral Reef Conservation Project had four aims:
1. To apply the recently developed regional Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Synoptic Monitoring Program (MBRS SMP) for selected sites within the Ascension Bay area of the UNESCO SKBR. This will provide regional decision makers with up to date information on the biological condition of the local reefs.
2. To collect data on the status of coral mortality and diseases to submit to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) - United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Western Atlantic Coral Disease Database. Also to the interactive database - www.reefbase.org.
3. To use the collected data to develop a simple local environmental management plan for Pescdores de Vigia Chico’s snorkelling eco-tourism.
4. To provide conservation and environmental education opportunities for the local community, particularly within the four schools of Punta Allen.
Coral Cay Conservation achieved this by surveying each patch reef using methods developed by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Synoptic Monitoring Program, but introducing an advanced species list for live substrate and invertebrates to allow for more powerful statistical analysis.
Environmental security is the current and future availability of goods and services from a healthy environment for humankind and nature. The availability is reduced when there is environmental destruction. Environmental destruction leads to scarcity and scarcity triggers conflict which can develop into violence.
The target area of this study lies in the northernmost region of the Colombian Amazon. It is the Matavén Forest which is partly inhabited by indigenous communities while the larger portion is left in its pristine state. The ecosystem in this area is in such a natural state as it has little to no infrastructure and absence of the state.
Such conditions in Colombia, however, are sought out by coca farmers and armed forces for their illegal activities. Colombia is world renowned for the conflicts generated from the armed forces -- guerrilla and paramilitary. They are involved in illegal drug production and trafficking to other countries as well as the import of weapons and ammunition to fuel their internal conflicts and power struggles. The threat in the study area of the Matavén is now the advancing coca frontier, now existing up until the western border of this area but without mitigations will penetrate the indigenous territory.
If the coca growers are successful in their attempt to enter the region the result will be the same as has been observed in other regions. There will be accompanying deforestation, possible soil erosion and water sedimentation, conflicts over resources, people displacement, loss of traditional knowledge, poverty, chemical pollution of the environment from fertilizers and pesticides used in coca cultivation; chemicals used in processing the coca into cocaine; and, from herbicides used in aerial fumigation once plantations are located.
This case study attempts to describe the problems in the area and identify causal relationships among them in order to generate a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Before recommendations are made stakeholders are identified and an analysis of areas for mitigation is carried out.
Poverty intensifies environmental harms; and the political powerlessness of poor communities attracts new environmental problems. For the last decade, national studies have repeatedly documented that pollution sources are disproportionately located in low-income communities. For North Carolina, it is easy to think of land uses – landfills, hog farms, prisons – that have poured into poor, rural communities. With the exception of hog farms, it is hard to find recent strong academic documentation of these injustices. On the other hand, the national Scorecard website, affiliated with Environmental Defense, allows anyone to enter a zip code and obtain an assessment of local pollution emissions (based on the federal Toxics Release Inventory, which the Bush Administration is trying to weaken), and a comparison of the emissions data against local socio-economic data. Overall, Scorecard estimates that low-income families bear greater than average risks from hazardous air pollutant emissions in 60 North Carolina counties; releases of toxic chemicals (to water, air, and land) in 36 counties; and emissions of smog and particulates in 56 counties.
For air pollution at least, inequitable exposures cut along racial as well as class lines. Two reports by the national environmental organization Clear the Air, found that 71% of both African Americans and Latinos live in counties that violate air quality standards, compared to 58% of whites. North Carolina’s population includes roughly 2.6 million people of color. Clear the Air estimates the number of people of color living within 30 miles of each of North Carolina’s 14 coal fired power plants - that total comes to over 3 million, indicating that some residents are close to several plants. While coal-fired power plants are not the only sources of air pollution, they are among the largest sources in North Carolina, not just of such well known pollutants as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides, but also of air toxics.
The scholarly literature on poverty and the environment in Latin American cities is surprisingly thin, compared to the number of studies done on Asian cities, or on rural poverty and the environment in Latin America. Even UNEP’s 1995 publication Poverty and the Environment spent only a few pages on urban issues. In both rural and urban settings, common explanations for urban environmental degradation involve breakdown of property rights institutions, overconsumption in one part of system, or technological failure. These explanations miss the mark without historical and political appreciation of how the allocation of social goods “really works,” under what conditions rules are and are not enforced, and what political factors affect the deployment of technical capacity.
A critical issue focus is the supply and quality of freshwater. Air pollution and waste disposal also tend to affect the poor more than the wealthy, because less salubrious areas have lower property values and are more accessible. The wealthy can also more easily demand abatement measures. Polluting industries also endanger the welfare of the poor, and are growing much faster in developing countries than in developed ones.
GONAIVES, Haiti — The torrents of water that raged down upon this city, killing more people than in all other hurricanes this year, are testimony to a human-made ecological disaster fed by poverty that has transformed once-verdant hills into a moonscape of bedrock ravaged by ravines.
More than 98 percent of Haiti's forests are gone, leaving no topsoil to hold rains. Even the mango and avocado trees have started to vanish, destroying a vital food source for the poor to make way for another necessity of the impoverished: charcoal for cooking.
"The situation will continue, and other catastrophes are foreseeable," said Jean-Andre Victor, an agronomist and one of Haiti's top ecologists.
Poverty, coffee cultivation and deforestation in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest: Achieving a sustainable livelihood through education and public participation
A previous research, carried out by Watson (2000) in the Rosário da Limeira municipality, indicates that the major cause related to the Brazilian Mata Atlântica rain forest destruction has been connected to the expansion of the agricultural frontier principally for coffee cultivation. Therefore, a land management strategy has been proposed by the author to break out of the cycle of deforestation, coffee cultivation and land degradation.
It is argued throughout this paper that, in the first place, poverty is not the primary cause behind deforestation and that the main driving forces of deforestation in the Rosário da Limeira and Muriaé municipalities are the consequence of the economic pattern of development. Second, the study is concerned not only with poverty as a cause of deforestation but also with poverty in itself in order to show possible pathways towards a more sustainable livelihood. Third, the land management plan proposed by Watson (2000) is considered to be a valuable short-term strategy to slow deforestation but not sustainable in the long run.
The paper analyzes the livelihood diversification through community education as a strategy to promote economic diversification and agriculture as a sideline activity in order to reduce poverty and prevent deforestation. It is argued that education is not only a necessary requisite for livelihood diversification but also to promote and improve public participation.
The Amazon rainforest is home to 30% of all known plant and animal species making it one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. The region is populated by a variety of indigenous cultures and settlers who make their living in this seemingly inhospitable terrain. Global Vision International's Amazon expedition is set in the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforest and provides participants with a unique, first-hand experience of this extraordinary environment and its inhabitants.
GVI is partnered with the Ecuadorian Foundation for Integrated Education and Development (FUNEDESIN) which has extensive experience in Amazonian community development. FUNEDESIN recently established an innovative education centre for students from local, largely agricultural, and often poor communities.
Survivors of the earthquake that devastated Peru in August of 2007 are still desperately in need of help. There are roughly 24,000 people still living in approximately 100 camps, waiting to return to their homes.
"I'm living here at the camp with my three daughters," said Maria Pacha Chavez. "We are 40 affected families amounting to 162 people between children, the elderly, men and women."
In response to recurring health problems in shelters, a UNICEF-supported initiative is educating children about hygiene and sanitation in order to prevent disease. A group of actors known as The Kallpa Group visits the camps to perform entertaining presentations involving characters such as Mrs. Latrine and Mr. Cleanliness.
Residents of Amazonia could find that their rain forests generate more income with the trees standing than when cleared for logging or agricultural development, according to an incentive program outlined in a leading scientific journal.
“Avoided deforestation” is not only a worthwhile ecological concept, it also may be worth money to the peoples of rain-forest regions of Brazil and the Guyanas. J. Timmons Roberts, acting director of the program in Environmental Science and Policy at the College of William and Mary, is a co-author of “Climate Change, Deforestation, and the Fate of the Amazon.” The paper was published in the online version of Science on Nov. 30 and will appear in an upcoming print version.
“The concept is basically that wealthy nations would pay for the services provided by an intact rain forest,” Roberts explained. The framework for cash incentives, he said, came from the international markets in carbon emissions that followed the Kyoto Protocol. “In essence, we will be paying for carbon dioxide not released by deforestation, as well as carbon dioxide absorbed by the forest.”