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    Mandatory Independent Monitoring of Ecopetrol’s Discharges

    Friday, September 21st, 2007

    Synopsis in English: Colombia's Environment Ministry (MAVDT) recently announced that the nation's public energy firm, Ecopetrol, will have its all its discharges into the Orotoy and Guamal Rivers permanently monitored and verified by an independent specialist company to check that they comply fully with environmental norms.  Audits will be published periodically. 
    Ecopetrol has also been […]

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    Lozano: Environment Institutions Need to be Accountable

    Thursday, September 20th, 2007

    Synopsis in English: Last month Colombia's Environment Minister, Juan Lozano Ramírez, signed a Standard Internal Control Model (MECI) agreement between his Ministry (MAVDT) and the Comptroller General to signal his intention to have the Ministry utilize internal controls and audits to ensure proper handling of the resources under its purview. 
    He took the occasion to […]

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    Brazilian Industry Attitudes About Environmental Regulation

    Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

    In a recent post I discussed the results for the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina (SC) of a special survey about industry’s environmental concerns conducted by the National Confederation of Industries (CNI). I’ve gotten my hands on the national level results for the survey, and thought I would pass them along.
    The survey updated […]

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    Now That’s Quick Reform!

    Monday, September 17th, 2007

    When proposing new environmental governing machinery, it helps to have old friends in the legislature. It also helps when people have agreed for years that the machinery urgently needs an overhaul.
    The State Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (ALERJ) has approved in record time the executive branch’s recently proposed reform. The force behind the […]

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    The Changing Face of Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

    Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

    With much fanfare a collection of Brazil’s Ministers — Environment (MMA), Agrarian Development (MDA), Agriculture (MAPA) — and the chief of President Lula’s Civil Cabinet held a joint press conference a few weeks ago to announce the latest deforestation data and projections for the Brazilian Amazon (“Amazônia Legal” as Brazil calls it, comprises 9 states […]

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    Digitizing Monitoring and Enforcement of Protected Areas

    Monday, September 10th, 2007

    In a prior post I discussed how the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (MG) is digitizing its environmental enforcement efforts, and in one of my “Combating Deforestation” series posts I discussed a World Bank report that recommended, among other things, recruiting the help of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and indigenous and local communities in deforestation frontiers […]

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    Santa Catarina Industry Concerned About the Environment

    Friday, August 10th, 2007

    Recently the industry federation of the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina (SC) released the results of a special survey about SC-based industry’s environmental concerns conducted with the help of the National Confederation of Industries (CNI). The survey updated one done in 2005 on the same issues. 131 companies responded to the 2007 survey.
    Among […]

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    Chile Reforms Its EIA System

    Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

    Synopsis in English: Last week in a joint press conference featuring the Chilean Ministers of Environment, Treasury, Economy, Energy and Mining presented a package of measures intended to make the national Environment Impact Assessment System (Sistema de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental – SEIA) more “efficient” and “agile.” The measures were mostly drafted by the […]

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    Gold Mining in Guyana (Re)visited

    Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

    In an earlier post I examined a diagnosis of the environmental and health problems posed by current practice in small- and medium-scale gold mining in Guyana and the recommendations for addressing those problems and improving the policing of mining practices.
    Guyana’s official news service, GINA, reports that last week Cabinet members ventured out to see if […]

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    Digitizing Environmental Enforcement

    Saturday, August 4th, 2007

    Minas Gerais is moving to accomplish something no other Brazilian state — or probably any Latin American/ Caribbean (LAC) nation, for that matter — has yet done: digitize its environmental inspection and enforcement.
    Currently Minas is winding up a pilot project in which its 21 waste and sanitation inspectors do much of their work utilizing palmtop […]

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