Comments Off on Thursday January 10

10 January 2013

Thursday January 10

Ending hunger in Latin America, Colombia declares a new natural park, and Chile studies pollution and commuters


An individual from a rare species of armadillo was found by scientists outside Bahia Blanca, Argentina, though it died soon after discovery. The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest species of armadillo and is seldom found in the wild or outside of its burrows. The IUCN lists the species as data deficient.

    Some of Colombia’s Paramo de Santurban has been protected from mining interests Credit: ManuB via Flickr.


Commuters in Santiago who take buses are exposed to higher levels of airborne contaminants than those who drive cars, ride bikes, or take the subway, concludes a September 2012 study from the Universidad de Chile. Study participants wore backpacks with pollutant monitors between June 2011 and May 2012. Commuters driving cars were the least exposed to the contaminants MP2,5 and PUF (fine particulate matter).


Colombia has declared a new regional natural park 500 kilometers north of Bogotá. The move protects 12,300 hectares of the Páramo de Santurban, a mountainous area rich in gold, marble, feldspar, coal and copper. But local official Carlos Suarez has been quoted as saying 68,000 hectares remain unprotected and open to exploration by mining companies Eco Oro, Anglogold Ashanti, AUX Colombia, Continental Gold, Galway and other local firms.


Latin American countries have managed to reduce the amount of starving people from 53 million to 49 million people in the last eight years, reports a meeting of the initiative Latin America and the Caribbean without Hunger (ALCSH). Founded in 2005, the initiative seeks to eliminate undernourishment in the region by 2025. “In our region, it’s absolutely possible to eradicate hunger: we produce enough food to supply 746 million people while the region’s population is 597 million,” points out Raul Benitez, regional representative of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO). “To date, eight countries in the region have passed laws about food security and five have recognized the right to food in their constitutions.”


Peruvian news outlets aren’t producing enough environmental stories, concludes a new study from Peru’s environmental consulting firm Libélula and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). The study found that in just under three years, there were 33 national stories on the reduction of emissions by deforestation and degradation and 203 on climate change and forests. “We need to train journalists to be well informed on what is happening on a global, national and subnational level, not only with forest-related topics, but also climate change, adaptation, mitigation, energy efficiency, renewable energies, etc.,” study author Daniela Freundt told SciDevNet.