Around the Region
As UN envoy, Chile’s Lagos
is facing criticism at home
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last month picked former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos as one of three special envoys on climate change issues. But the announcement has caused a furor among Chilean green groups, which criticize Lagos’ environmental record as president and have taken to the media to express their opposition to his UN appointment.
Osa Peninsula project
showing early progress
Two years ago the U.S.-based Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation gave nearly US$8 million to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Arlington, Virginia, to promote protection of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. The funds were used partly to hire and equip 67 new employees—including 53 new park guards—and to create a 22-mile (35-km) biological corridor linking Corcovado National Park, on the western edge of the Osa Peninsula, to Piedras Blancas National Park, on the east side of the Golfo Dulce.
Clinton Foundation to promote
building retrofits in major cities
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, through his Clinton Foundation, has launched an effort to improve the energy efficiency and environmental impact of buildings in megalopolises including Mexico City and São Paulo.
The initiative, announced last month at the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in New York, is intended to cut emissions of greenhouse gasses and ozone-depleting chemicals and boost indoor-air quality in a total of 15 cities around the world.
Women’s ventures in Ecuador
and Guatemala win UN prizes
Ventures begun by women in the Galápagos and in Guatemala are among five worldwide recipients of the Equator Prize, awarded biennially by the United Nations Development Program to recognize projects that make sustainable use of biodiversity to fight poverty.
On Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, the six-member Pescado Azul Women’s Association of Isabela received the award for commercializing smoked tuna.