Around the Region

Tighter oversight seen from new mining agency in Brazil

Brazilian President Michel Temer this month signed two measures that overhaul the mining code, one to boost royalties and the other to create a new agency that green advocates say could strengthen environmental regulation and enforcement in the sector. Temer, who proposed the overhaul, signed one of the measures into law on Dec. 18th and the other on Dec. 27th following their approval by Brazil’s Congress in November. Both took effect immediately upon their signing. The more relevant of the two measures from an environmental standpoint-—the one Temer signed on Dec. 27—replaces the current mining-oversight authority, the National Department of Mineral Production (DNPM), with the more autonomous and powerful National Mining Agency (ANM). The new agency—which, like the DNPM, will operate...

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Paraguayan citizen is foiled in electronic-waste project

Two decades ago, Rubén Figueredo resolved to address Paraguay’s failure to provide for the proper disposal of batteries, fluorescent tubes and other environmentally harmful electronic waste. He created a foundation called Itá Enramada, named for his southern Asunción neighborhood, with the aim of helping the public understand the pollution and human health risks caused when such waste is not separated from the solid-waste stream. "We started by going to community centers and schools,” Figueredo told EcoAméricas last month. “People listened with interest, but quickly they asked us what to do with this type of waste. We went to the authorities, and they didn’t know what to tell us. So we began to collect the [electronic] waste ourselves.” Thus began the Itá Enramada Foundation program...

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Animals released in Argentina’s Esteros de Iberá wetland region

Wildlife experts this month moved 44 animals from the central-west Argentine province of Mendoza to the northeast province of Corrientes as part of an effort to reintroduce species that have gone extinct in a vast wetland that makes up 15% of Corrientes’ land area. The reintroduction, involving 40 collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu), two South American tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) and two red-and-green macaws (Ara chloropterus), occurred in the Esteros del Iberá, a vast wetland that covers 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres) in Corrientes. It is the latest effort by the Conservation Land Trust, a nonprofit founded by the late entrepreneur and conservationist Douglas Tompkins of the United States, to restore animal species to the Esteros. Since 2007, the trust, which bought up...

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