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One thousand indigenous Brazilians came together at Belem, on the banks of the Amazon estuary, on January 27 to draw attention to the critically depleted Amazon rainforests. The ninth World Social Forum provided them the platform to reach out to the world.
outbreaks have shot up across Africa in recent years; 13 cases
were reported in 2008. This could be because of climate change that has expanded mosquito breeding grounds, said who.
Chadians protested against a ban on charcoal,
which they say is their only
source of fuel. The government imposed the ban to fight desertification.
Nigeria is losing about 600 metres of arable land to desertification
year, said the country's environment ministry.
At least 40 people have died in a meningitis epidemic
in western and
northern Uganda. The government has started mass vaccination and banned public gatherings in the affected areas.
Burkina Faso has called for a new birth control policy
since its population
balance has tipped. The current population growth, 3.1 per cent a year, is cancelling out the country's economic growth, the government said.
While central Asia is experiencing unprecedented cold, Uzbekistan's capital city
Tashkent is enjoying unusual warmth.
Citizens are amazed to see dandelions flowering in winter this year.
China plans to buy clean energy vehicles
for public transport in 13 cities to
support its automobile industry develop green technology.
Japan launched the first satellite to monitor greenhouse gases
Named Ibuki, its optical sensors will measure reflected light from the Earth to determine the density of global warming emissions.
Israel's recent bombardment has further damaged Gaza's sewage system.
The city's water scarcity could get worse if there is a leak, warned its water utility.
Air pollution in Kabul kills 3,000 people
every year, said the public health
ministry. The city has turned into a centre of old vehicles that use substandard fuel.
EU initiated legal proceedings against 10 member states--Cyprus, Estonia,
Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK--for failing to comply with its air quality standards.
Iceland said it would continue killing endangered fin and minke whales
another five years. Conservationists say stocks are low after decades of over-hunting.
In a bid to lower their carbon footprints,
hospitals across the UK are cutting
meat dishes from their menu, said the National Health Service.
Germany will now tax new vehicles
according to their CO2
emissions. The EU has long been urging member countries to implement emissions-based tax systems for vehicles.
Brussels has invited the Obama administration to join its carbon trading
This, Brussels believes, would help extend the scheme to other industrialized and big developing countries and create a global
carbon market by 2020.
Soon after assuming office, US President Barack Obama announced measures to
lower the country's dependence on fossil fuels.
He also promised to tighten regulations on fuel efficiency and vehicular emissions.
A major snow storm
in the northern US and Canada lasted more than a
week, disrupting air travel and
power supply. At least 55 people have died.
Canada declared two chemicals--siloxanes D4 and siloxanes D5
lipstick and other personal care products to be toxic to the environment. It plans to set limits for the chemicals.
Guatemala established a task force for enforcing its existing environmental
The government said there are 3,500 such laws and 200 international treaties, but people and authorities are unaware of these.
Mexican farmers protested
against President Felipe Calderon's move to
freeze the price of petrol but not of diesel. Many rely on diesel to run farm equipment.
Mexico supplied sterile parasitic flies
to Uruguay to help combat the cattle
screw worm fly whose larvae feed on healthy tissues of animals and humans. The US eradicated it in 1982 using a similar bio-technique.
Global food production,
under strain from the ongoing credit crunch, must
double by 2050 to tackle mass hunger, said fao. The crisis pushed another 40 million people into hunger in 2008.
World economic growth
is set to fall to 0.5 per cent this year, its lowest rate
since World War II, said International Monetary Fund.
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