Published: Wednesday 15 November 2000

Fauna and Flora International and the United Nations Environmental Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, have jointly launched a Global Trees Campaign programme in an attempt to save more than 8,000 tree species, which are on the verge of becoming extinct. One in ten of all tree species are in danger of extinction, the international conservation groups stated. The endangered species include birch, cedar, magnolia, mahogany, maple, oak and pine species. A major focus of the Global Trees Campaign will be medicinal trees. The work of the campaign will involve finding out information about various tree species and collecting their seed for breeding stock.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) has started working on evolving a new law, which will make it binding for companies to declare their emissions. The new legislation is expected to require countries to develop pollution inventories known as pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTR's). " PRTR s are powerful and cost-effective tools for systematically bringing information on emissions into the public domain," said Kaj Barlaund, director of the UN/ECE Environment and Human Settlements Division.

PRTRs have already been successfully taken up in the US and during its first decade, many companies reduced their emissions by one half, preventing the release of over 600,000 tonnes of toxic chemicals into the environment, according to the UN/ECE.

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