In Short

Published: Thursday 15 December 2005

INDIANS ELECTED: Two Indian scientists, Goverdhan Mehta and Anupam Varma, have been elected to the International Council for Science (ICSU) regional committee for Asia and the Pacific. Mehta, former director of the Indian Institute of Science and vice chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, has been elected president of the ICSU committee. Anupam Varma, former professor at the Advanced Centre for Plant Virology at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, was elected chairperson.

REVISED NEP: The revised draft National Environment Policy 2004 has activists protesting against the lack of transparency in its drafting and exclusion of local communities from the consultation process. The Union ministry of environment and forest, however, said both these points were considered and said the draft was prepared "in house" with some technical inputs from The Energy and Resource Institute.

BACK TO FIREWOOD: Haiti had adopted a World Bank-assisted programme to introduce gas stoves to alleviate pressure on the forest. But high gas prices have forced the poor to give up cooking gas and kerosene and revert to charcoal and firewood eating into Haiti's green cover.

MANILA CLEANS UP: Philippines is stepping up emission enforcement measures to control the high levels of air pollution in Manila, Cebu, Davao and Baguio. Diesel-run public transport vehicles cause 70-80 per cent of the smog while the remaining are caused by factories and construction works.

GALAPAGOS SURVIVES: Volcanic eruptions threaten biodiversity, specially a native tree species Scalesia cordata in Galapagos Islands. Fears of risk to the famous giant tortoises found near volcanic craters, which give the islands its name, have been laid to rest.

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