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最新世界环境资讯

观察报》报道,越来越多的证据显示,气候变化正对喜马拉雅地区产生着巨大的影响,连海拔8000米以上的区域都难以幸免。科学家们在努力寻求切实可行的解决办法,以面对冰川融化形成的湖泊带来的高海拔洪水灾害和威胁。珠穆朗玛峰南坡冰融化的迹象,或使登山者将来无冰攀登世界最高峰成为可能。

路透消息,面临长达一个月的抗议游行和警方对示威者的镇压,玻利维亚总统莫拉莱斯停止了亚马逊一条高速公路的兴建工作。莫拉莱斯说,除非两省公民投票同意建设高速公路连接两省,否则这一工程是不会恢复开工的。英国广播公司报道,该国国防部长迫于对镇压的抗议而下台,而内政部长则因大量的针对政府暴力的批评而辞职。

卫报》报道,创纪录的黄金价格以及美国和欧洲不景气的经济让投资者们把亚马逊视为一个避风港,开始对该地区的黄金进行争夺。这一热潮导致巴西、圭亚那、秘鲁、玻利维亚、哥伦比亚和委内瑞拉等矿产资源丰富的热带雨林地区暴力、疾病和冲突不断。

联合国大会最新宣布将投入5350万美元以保护厄瓜多尔亚苏尼国家公园地下石油的计划。亚苏尼国家公园是世界上生物多样性最丰富的生态系统之一。决定这一计划成功与否的一个关键因素在于,由联合国发展计划署管理的亚苏尼- ITT公司信托基金需要在今年年底前筹集到1亿美元作为初始资金。该基金接受任何数量的捐赠。

卫报》报道,英国Cuadrilla能源公司表示他们在英国海滨城市布莱克浦附近发现了一个储量为5.6万亿立方米的页岩天然气矿。一些地质学家认为基于两个勘探井的估测值是可信的。但可靠的估值需要至少对上百个探井的测试。页岩气不容易提取,用压裂法采气一直倍受争议。

法新社,印度东部奥里萨邦严重的洪涝灾害已致使79人死亡。另据路透社报道,与此同时,台风尼莎在菲律宾造成至少21人死亡后,已经推进到中国南海地区。

据《独立报》,在沙特阿拉伯,穆斯林圣城麦加和麦地那的重要历史和文化古迹被摧毁而改建摩天大楼,豪华酒店和商场。批评者说,麦加已成为一个富人的场所。(见图表。)

旺加里·马塔伊,肯尼亚著名的环保人士和非洲的第一位女性诺贝尔奖获得者,于9月25日去世。她对世界的可持续发展,民主与和平做出了杰出的贡献 。她因领导著名的基层群众运动--绿色带运动而闻名,《非洲评论》认为她的“文化,政治,经济和环境之间互联互通学说”是环保界的一个突破。

A global environmental update

Growing anecdotal evidence suggests that climate change is making a strong impact in the Himalayas, even well above the 8,000-metre line, The Observer reported. Scientists are seeking practical solutions to the threat of catastrophic high-altitude flooding from lakes forming at the foot of melting glaciers. Signs of ice melt on the southern approach to Mount Everest have led climbers to ponder the possibility of future ice-free ascents of the world’s highest peak.

Bolivian president Evo Morales halted work on a highway being built in the Amazon, Reuters said, after a month-long protest march and a police crackdown on demonstrators. Work would not resume, Morales said, unless approved in a referendum in the two provinces the highway was to link. The country’s defence minister stepped down in protest against the crackdown, while the interior minister later resigned after being heavily criticised over the violence, the BBC said.

Across the Amazon, record gold prices -- the result of investors seeking a safe haven from US and European economic woes -- are aggravating a jungle scramble for gold, according to The Guardian. The rush has brought violence, disease and conflict to the mineral-rich rain forests of Brazil, Guyana, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela.

Some US$53.3 million in commitments to support Ecuador’s proposal to keep oil underground in Yasuní National Park -- one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems -- was announced at a United Nations meeting. The Yasuní-ITT Trust Fund, managed by the UN Development Programme, needs to raise an initial US$100 million by the end of this year – a key factor in determining the viability of the initiative. The fund accepts donations of any size.

A UK energy company, Cuadrilla Resources, said it has discovered a shale-gas reserve near the English coastal city of Blackpool that could be as big as 5.6 trillion cubic metres, The Guardian reported. Some geologists say the claim, based on two exploration wells, is just about possible, but reliable estimates require hundreds of wells. Shale gas – reached by the controversial “fracking” method -- is not easily extracted.

The death toll from severe flooding in the eastern Indian state of Orissa has risen to 79, Agence France-Presse said. Meanwhile, typhoon Nesat moved over the South China Sea after killing at least 21 people in the Philippines, Reuters reported.

In Saudi Arabia, according to The Independent, historic and culturally important landmarks in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina are being destroyed to make way for skyscrapers, luxury hotels and shopping malls. Critics say Mecca has become a playground for the rich. (See graphic here.)

Wangari Maathai, Kenya’s foremost environmental conservationist and Africa’s first female Nobel laureate – for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace – died on September 25. Best known for starting the grass-roots Green Belt Movement, her illustration of “the interconnectedness between culture, politics, economics and environment has been a ground-breaking approach to conservation”, Africa Review said.

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