[acn-l] THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER Vol. 4, No. 30, August 4,

PETER.UNMACK at asu.edu
Tue, 08 Aug 2000 17:21:40 -0700 (MST)

Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 18:00:30 -0400
To: gtgallon at videotron.ca
From: <ggallon at pcstarnet.com>
Subject: Mexico's New President Position on Environment

506 Victoria Ave., Montreal, Quebec H3Y 2R5
Ph. (514) 369- 0230, Fax (514) 369- 3282
Email cibe at web.net
Vol. 4, No. 30, August 4, 2000



Robert Collier of the Houston Chronicle wrote that the President
Elect of Mexico, Vincente Fox, has repeated and expanded on his
pledges to end Mexico's severe problems with air and water pollution,
making mention of the issues in nearly every speech and interview.
The small but vocal Green Ecologist Party had joined with Fox's
National Action Party (PAN) to form the Alliance for Change that
swept him to victory. The Green Party's leader, Jorge Gonzalez Torres,
has long been controversial among Mexico's small yet vocal
environmental community, and speculation that Fox might anoint
him czar of Mexico's environmental ministry disturbs some.
Fox also advocates a substantial increase in funding and new
policing powers for PROFEPA, the agency that investigates
and enforces pollution laws in Mexico. Fox advocates a sharp
reduction in logging of old-growth forests, and an increase in
commercial reforestation; inclusion of pollution as a negative
cost when calculating economic growth; and, special tax breaks to
industry for installing environmental controls. "We will make
Mexico's environment, its water and forests, a national-security issue",
Fox said. Adding that, "we will turn around the concept of development
to include the environment as a factor in economic and social decisions,
not as a separate sector, but as an essential element in creating
sustainable economic and social progress." Source, "Controversial
Adviser Puts Ecology on Agenda," by Robert Collier, Houston
Chronicle Staff Writer Thursday, July 6, 2000. Visit the website
at http://www.chron.com/



The US $3.0 billion North American Development Bank (NADBank)
provides funding for major environmental clean up projects on the
border between Mexico and the United States. Its funding decisions are
reviewed and approved by the Border Environment Cooperation
Commission (BECC). BECC was created by the Governments of
Mexico and the United States in November 1993, to assist communities
on both sides of the border in coordinating and carrying out environmental
infrastructure projects. The new agreement furthers the goals of the
North American Free Trade Agreement and the North American
Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. BECC is headquartered
in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, México. The NADBank, with headquarters
in San Antonio, Texas, provides new financing to supplement existing
sources of funds and foster the expanded participation of private capital.

The Texas Center for Policy Studies has completed a study entitled,
"Expanding the Mandate, Should the BECC and NADBank Move
Beyond Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Management Projects
and How Should They Get There?". The position paper discusses
NADBank's proposal to expand the priorities of the two institutions
and is in response to the NADBank's document entitled, "Utilizing
the Lending Capacity of the NADB". For more information contact
Cyrus Reed, Project Director, Border Trade & Environment Project,
Texas Center for Policy Studies, 44 East Ave., Austin, Texas 78701,
ph. 512-474-0811, fax 512-474-7846, email cr at texascenter.org .
You can download the Texas Center report from its website at
http:www.texascenter.org/btep, Visit the NADBank website at
Visit BECC at website http://www.cocef.org/englishbecc.html



During the annual public meeting of the North American
Development Bank, held on July 11, 2000, BECC announced
its release of the report entitled, "Maximizing the Lending
Capacity of the NADB". The document discusses the possibility
of expanding both the sector's of the Bank's mandate, beyond
water pollution, wastewater and municipal solid waste
management, and the geographical area eligible for financing from
100 kilomters to 300 kilometers from the US-Mexico border.
The BECC report is available on NADBANK's website



Paul Orum with the Working Group on Community Right-to-
Know also reported that, "Mexico's pollutant release reporting
program remains voluntary. Only some 5 percent of industries
actually reported release data for 1997, the most recent year for
which even limited data are available." In another instance, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of California
separately requested TRI-equivalent data from U.S.-owned facilities
that operate in Mexico; they received almost no response, despite
the stature of the government behind the request. As a result, the US
EPA had to use its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act
to subpoena 95 U.S.-based companies in Mexico to submit the
environmental information. For more information contact
Paul Orum, Working Group on Community Right-to-Know, 218 D
Street, SE; Washington, DC 20003, ph. (202) 544-9586, fax (202)
546-2461, email paul_orum at yahoo.com



Paul Orum with the Working Group on Community Right-to-
Know, based in Washington, D.C., reported that voluntary
right-to-know initiatives regularly fail. He stated that,
"community right-to-know about toxic chemical pollution is
an essential tenet of social justice and environmental protection."
He stated that, "nonetheless, chemical-using industries have
sought consistently to undermine and defeat legally enforceable
disclosure requirements", added that, "a well-known opposition
tactic is to call for voluntary disclosure". However, the voluntary
right-to-know initiatives failed. When non-governmental organizations
and governments alike have sought unilateral disclosure of pollutant
releases through voluntary reporting initiatives, most companies have
refused to provide data.

Orum cited another example of voluntary failure wherein, "the Public
Data Project requested chemical release data from 40 international
companies that operate facilities in Europe; only six gave information.
(Source, Public Data Project, Toxic Releases from Multinational
Corporations, 1992). During the first four reporting cycles (1987-
1990), the U.S. EPA's Toxics Release Inventory contained a
voluntary section in which firms could report source reduction
activities to reduce toxic waste. Less than 10 percent of firms
used this voluntary part of the form. For more information contact
Paul Orum, Working Group on Community Right-to-Know, 218 D
Street, SE; Washington, DC 20003, ph. (202) 544-9586, fax (202)
546-2461, email paul_orum at yahoo.com



NAFTA's Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)
provided grants up to US$25,000 to sixteen community-based
environmental projects in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
This year's disbursement of the CEC's North American Fund
for Environmental Cooperation (NAFEC) amounted to US$387,000.
Some 400 proposals were received by the CEC seeking funds
in this year's round of grants. To date it has issued 142 grants
totalling US$5.4 million. The following are some of the grants

o $20,000 to the New Mexico Wolf Tourism Project (US)
Southwest Environmental Center, New Mexico,

o $24,000 to the Ecotourism Program in the Indigenous
Community of Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico

o $25,000 for the North American Guide Exchange Project,
To strengthen Communities Through Sustainable Tourism
to the Saskatchewan Wetland Conservation Corporation,

o $25,000 for assisting the Transition to a Conservation Based
Approach to the Forests and Economy in Canada, provided to
the Sierra Club of British Columbia,

o $25,000 for strengthening community capacity-strengthening for
sustainable forest management in the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua,
Mexico, provided to the Comision de Solidaridad y Defensa de los
Derechos Humanos, A.C. (COSYDDHAC), Chihuahua, México

o $25,000 to Great Lakes United for Clean production project for
the Great Lakes Basin communities in Canada and the US

o $25,000 to the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy
(CIELAP), Toronto, Canada for Strengthening Community Level Use
of PRTR (Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry) Data in North

o $25,000 to Programa La Neta, S.C., México D.F., México for a virtual
Forum for the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry in Mexico

For more information contact the Commission for Environmental
Cooperation (CEC), 393, rue Saint-Jacques Ouest, Bureau 200,
Montréal (Québec), H2Y 1N9, Tel. (514) 350-4300, Fax (514)
350-4314, email: email info at ccemtl.org, See all of the grants on
the CEC website at http://www.cec.org



The Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN)
is an inter-governmental network whose mission is to foster
global environmental change research in the Asia-Pacific region,
increase developing country participation in that research, and
strengthen interactions between the science community and
policy makers. The APN is inviting proposals for funding
beginning in April 2001 and is able to provide a limited
amount of financial support (normally up to US$100,000
per project per annum) for research and workshop activities
that fall within its areas of interest. The APN is prepared to
support activities in the field of global environmental change
relating to - capacity building and networking; planning and
scoping workshops; synthesis and analysis of existing research
and new research which addresses knowledge gaps in key areas;
and the development of policy products such as integrated
assessments, impact assessments, climate models, etc.

The APN is primarily concerned with global environmental
change issues that involve the integration of natural science
with social and economic factors. The Human Dimensions
of Global Change is therefore central to the APN Research
Framework. Proposals must directly address (1) Climate
Change & Variability; (2) Changes In Coastal Zones &
Inland Waters; (3) Changes In Atmospheric Composition;
and, (4) Changes In Terrestrial Ecosystems & Biodiversity.
The deadline for full proposals is midnight 30 September
2000 (Japanese time). For further information contact
Dr. Gerhard Breulmann, Programme Manager, APN
Secretariat, IHD Centre Building 5F, 1-5-1 Wakinohama
Kaigan Dori, Chuo-Ku, Kobe 651-0073, Japan, Tel.
+81-78-230-8017 Fax: +81-78-230-8018, Email
info at apn.gr.jp Obtain guidelines for proposals from
the APN website at http://www.apn.gr.jp



The World Business Council for Sustainable Development
(WBCSD) has released the report entitled, "Eco-efficiency:
A Guide to Reporting Company Performance". It provides
a common environmental measurement framework that can
be adopted by all companies, from multinationals to small
family-run businesses, regardless of their sector or location.
It sets out a common set of definitions, principles, and indicators
flexible enough to be widely used and interpreted across all
industries. The report defines two indicator categories: "Generally
applicable indicators," valid for virtually all businesses; and
"business specific indicators," intended to fit the particular
context of individual companies. These indicators, says WBCSD,
"provide a strategic tool for business managers, enabling them
to assess, measure, and increase eco-efficiency performance
and improve decision-making." Contact WBCSD at ph.
+41-22-839-314, fax 41-22-839-3131, email ammirati at wbcsd.org ,
Copies of the report can be downloaded from the
website http://www.greenbiz.com/toolbox/tools_third.cfm?LinkAdvID=5702, or



For hundreds of years, up until the 1990's, there were substantial
amounts of exotic hardwoods and tropical timber for furniture
making and sustainable wood use. However, the supply has
been over harvested and the supply is diminishing. Also the ability
of forests to regenerate the supply is diminishing. A whole new
economic phenomena has evolved to protect and sustain the small
bits of remaining high quality trees in the disappearing tropical forests.
Greenpeace is being funded by people around the world to take
unusual actions to expose illegal logging and the questionable purchases
of illegally harvested wood. Like the DEA (US Drug Enforcement
Agency) tracking and stopping the cocaine trade, environmental
groups are beginning to track and halt the trade in illegal wood.

Most recently Greenpeace as exposed two major Asian illegal forestry
companies operating in the Amazon Basin of Brazil. One company is
Amaplac Inc., a subsidiary of the Malaysian company WTK. The other
is the Japanese forest giant called Eidai Co. Both are trying to side step
Brazilian environmental law and have been dodging Brazil's environment
ministry IBAMA inspectors. The Brazilian government reckons 80 per
cent of logging in the Amazon is illegal, but is unable to control the
trade because of the huge profits involved. The official environmental
inspectors, IBAMA, have just one inspector for an area of forest, each
the size of Switzerland. In comes Greenpeace with public funding from
donations around the world. It established a green "secret service" working
with Brazilian IBAMA officials to track the exact route of illegal wood
out of Brazil. Already, IBAMA had caught and fined the companies for
previous illegal logging efforts, the latest being Eidia which was fined
US$1.8 million. Greenpeace used volunteer "spies", boats,
airplanes, and invisible paint to track the logs out of Brazil
to the ultimate overseas purchasers. To their surprise, they found
that much of the wood was being purchased "legally" by U.K.
companies. Three U.K. companies were identified, Lawsons,
Lathams, and Jewsons. When Greenpeace revealed that they were
buyers of illegal tropical wood, they first denied it saying that the
wood they used was from legal sources. But when further pressed
the companies agreed to immediately stop buying the tropical
Brazilian wood. The economic boycott by the businesses set in.
More than 1,400 tonnes of plywood from the Amazon is exported
to Britain each month. John Sauven, director of forestry at
Greenpeace, said: 'All the companies have glowing sustainable
development policies on using proper wood, but when it comes
to reality they don't know what they are doing".

An employee of Eidai was caught trying to bribe an IBAMA official
at Brasilia airport, after handing over a suitcase with almost US
$300,000 in cash. And Amaplac has a large plywood plant in Brazil
sending three quarters of its product to England on B & F German ships.
Expect more of this type of illegal trade investigation not only by
Greenpeace but by regular government agencies such as MI 5 and
the CIA. For more information go to the website http://www.greenpeace.org/



An international conference entitled "Economic Development
and Sustainability, The Environmental and Cultural Tourism
As New Occupation Opportunity" will be held in Anacapri, Italy
on November 2 to 5, 2000. The event is organised by the
University of Sannio, Italy, in cooperation with the Government
of Italy, with speakers from the European Commission, the
European Parliament and various Italian government and non-
government agencies A special feature of the event will be the links
between sustainable tourism and economic stability, focusing
on the subject matter of employment, among others. Papers are
now invited. For further information, please contact Prof.ssa
Eugenia Aloj Totàro, Facoltà di Economia, Università del
Sannio, Paiazza Guerrazzi, 1 - BENEVENTO, Italy, email
aloje at complab.com or email ecolab at inwind.it,
fax 0824/61365 - 081/666117.



As the forest fire season rages in Indonesia, a report from the
Washington, D.C., based, World Resources Institute (WRI)
warns that these fires will continue to occur unless the government
makes drastic changes on how to manage the country's remaining forests.
"Current Indonesian forest policies have provided powerful legal
incentives for 'cut-and-run' resource extraction," said Dr. Charles
V. Barber, one of the authors of the report entitled, "Trial by Fire,
Forest Fires and Forestry Policy in Indonesia's Era of Crisis and
Reform". WRI found that Indonesia has failed to create effective
mechanisms for enforcing even minimum standards of forest
resource stewardship. The report, co-published by the World Wide
Fund (WWF) for Nature-Indonesia and Telapak Indonesia Foundation,
examines the destruction and systematic plunder of Asia's greatest
rainforests under former Indonesian president Suharto. During his
32-year rule, Indonesia lost at least 40 million hectares of forests,
equivalent to the combined size of Germany and the Netherlands.

WRI found that the Indonesian forests were granted as timber
concessions to Suharto's friends and family. Poorly thought out
government funded projects also ruined the forests. For example,
there was the Suharto family project to convert one million hectares
of peat swamp forests in Central Kalimantan into rice fields. And
again in the 1990s, oil palm and timber plantations were planted in
clearcut areas that ruined millions of hectares of forest. Illegal logging,
often carried out by corrupt military officials became become so prevalent
that it accounted for an estimated half of the annual wood production.
For more information contact Adlai J. Amor, Media Director, World
Resources Institute, 10 G Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, Tel:
(+202) 729 7736 * Fax: (+202) 729 7707, Email aamor at wri.org
Visit WRI's Website at http://www.wri.org/media/



The Regional Office of the US Forest Service in Missoula,
Idaho, reversed the Clearwater Forest Supervisor's decision
to approve a controversial logging plan in a a wild region of
the Clearwater country, near the only remaining roadless portion
of the historic Lewis and Clark Trail. The plan would have
logged over 8,000 acres total. Over 3,000 acres of logging
in the North Lochsa Slope Roadless Area was proposed in the
plan including a 1,000 acre clearcut. Jennifer Ferenstein from
the Sierra Club said, "The Regional Office of the Forest Service
has recognized that it is a serious mistake to clearcut near
the last undeveloped portion of the historic Lewis and Clark trail.
The economic natural and recreational values of the trail corridor
and the Lochsa River can't be overstated." For more information
contact Kristin Ruether, Friends of the Clearwater ph.208-882-9755
and Jennifer Ferenstein, Sierra Club ph. 406-728-5733

Friends of the Clearwater, PO Box 9241, Moscow, Idaho 83843
email foc at wildrockies.org, Visit the website at



The GreenBiz internet information companies has provided
its website with a wealth of free information to help companies
align environmental responsibility with business success.
GreenBiz.website is produced by the nonprofit Green Business
Network. It features a wide range of information, tools,
reports, news, and other resources. It has a "Government
Gateway", featuring descriptions of more than 300 government
programs that help companies improve their environmental
and economic performance. It has a "Mentor Center", a
database of more than 250 companies, agencies, and
other organizations offering hands-on technical assistance on
environmental issues to large and small companies.
For more information contact: Joel Makower, President, Green
Business Network, ph. 510-451-1300, or email
makower at greenbiz.com Visit the website
at http://www.GreenBiz.com



A conference will be held on the "Conservation of Biodiversity in
the Andes and Amazon Basin, Linking Science, NGOs, and
Indigenous People", September 24 to 28, 2001, in Cusco, Peru.
This international interdisciplinary congress will focus on the
countries of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia and their ecosystems
ranging from deserts to tropical forests, to mangroves, lowland
forests in the Amazon basin, tropical dry forests, relicts of
Andean forests and scrub formations in the Paramo region.
For more information contact Sigrun Lange, INKA e.V,
International network for the conservation of cultural and
biological diversity, Gravelottestr. 6, 81667 Munich, Germany
at fax ++49 - 89 -45 91 19 20, email Sigrun.Lange at inka-ev.de
Visit the website at http://www.inka-ev.de



Anti-dam and river protection organizations in East and S.E.
Asia have united to form a regional network to fight dams and
protect rivers in East and SE Asia. At the First East and SE
Asia Regional Meeting on Dams, Rivers and People, held in
Kong Jiam, Ubon Ratchathani Province from June 28-July 2,
2000, more than 60 participants from fourteen countries
announced their intention to "unite our struggle at the local,
national and international level so as to stop the funding of
dam projects in East and SE Asia and to restore rivers to the
communities who depend on them." Participants included
dam-affected people from Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, the
Philippines, Taiwan and Cambodia. They produced the
Pak Mun Declaration, which calls for: a moratorium on
large dam construction until the problems created by existing
dams have been rectified and reparations made to affected
communities. It asks for an immediate stop to the financing
of dam projects by bilateral and multilateral organizations,
particularly the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and
Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Participants visited
Pak Mun and Rasi Salai dams in Thailand, where villagers
have occupied the dams and are demanding the permanent
opening of the gates. For more information contact the Southeast
Asia Rivers Network (SEARIN), 25/5 Moo 2, Soi Sukhapiban 27,
Changkhien-Jed yod Rd., Chang Phuek, Chiang Mai 50300,
Thailand, Tel&Fax: (66) 53-221157, Email searin at chmai.loxinfo.co.th



The International Water History Association (IWHA), will host
its second conference entitled, "The Role of Water in History
and Development", August 10 and 12, 2001, in University of
Bergen, Norway. The conference will bring together researchers
from different disciplines who all study the character and role of
freshwater in history and development. The conference will
explore these variations in man/water relations in time and space,
and examine why some societies have apparently succeeded, while
others have failed to secure a sound management system of their
fresh water. The conference will have two main aims to present
different empirical research findings and to create a forum for
theoretical discussions on how the relationship between man and
water can be analysed and understood in the most fruitful ways;
and, to produce relevant input into present day debates about
issues including the control and ownership of water, water conflicts
and water pollution. It is inviting papers on the themes of the politics
of ownership and control of water; the history of hydrology and
water control; the engineering of water systems; and, the relationship
between water and humans. To provide a paper or to attend contact
Alv Terje Fotland, Centre for Development Studies, University of
Bergen, Stromgaten 54, N-5007 Bergen, Norway fax + 47 55 58 98 92,
email Alv.Fotland at sfu.uib.no



The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional
Office for Africa organized the First Meeting of the Inter Agency
Technical Committee (IATC) of the African Ministerial
Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) here at UNEP
headquarters in Nairobi from 12-14 July 2000. The meeting
produced a biennial programme budget comprising priorities
of the medium-term programme that were approved by the
First Meeting of the Inter Sessional Committee of AMCEN
as well as other priorities of the medium-term programme.
The total budget for the priorities of the medium-term
programme that were approved by the First Meeting of
the Inter Sessional Committee amounted to US$4,568,270,
while the other priorities amounted to US$2,450,000.
For more information please contact: James Kamara, UNEP
Regional Office for Africa, tel: +254-2-624288, fax
254-2-623928, email Anne.Kanithi at unep.org



On July 19-20, 2000, the United States Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) held its annual WebWorld Internet Conference
exploring the EPA's current and future uses of the Internet for
environmental protection purposes. Participating in the conference
were stakeholders from environmental organizations, academia and
the regulated community. The agenda included information security
and integration, privacy, public participation in government information
dissemination, extracting federal information for community use,
expanded ways of using government information and international
views of environmental information. The conference was held in the
amphitheatre of the International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave.,
N.W., Washington, D.C. Further information is available at:



The Tenth Annual conference entitled, "Congress Water Berlin 2000"
will be held October 23 to 27, 2000 will be held in Berlin, Germany.
It will focus on water politics in Europe; privatization; managing water
for sustainable development; and, flood protection. There will be a
trade show and associated workshops. For more information contact
by email wasser at messe-berlin.de



Island Press (Washington D.C.) is proud to announce the publication of
The second volume of report entitled, "The World's Water,
The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources", written by
Peter H. Gleick has just been released by Island Press (Washington
D.C.). The World's Water provides a comprehensive examination
of issues surrounding freshwater resources and their use. It
offers analysis of the most significant trends worldwide along
with the most current data available on a variety of water-related
topics. It covers issues including supplies and flows of fresh water,
international watersheds and water-related conflicts, water reclamation/
recycling, and the removal of dams. The Executive Summary and a
large array of datasets from The World's Water 1998-1999 are available
on our water website: http://www.worldwater.org. Order online at
http://www.islandpress.org, Send e-mail orders to
orders at islandpress.org

Copyright (c) 2000
Canadian Institute for Business and the
Environment, Montreal & Toronto
All rights reserved.

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