EPA.. International Update/EarthLink March-April 1996


The following is the March/April edition of the combined International Update/EarthLink, a bi-monthly current awareness newsletter produced by INFOTERRA/USA. International Update/EarthLink provides information on international environmental activities, publications and news of interest to EPA staff and other environmental professionals. For more information on these or other international environmental topics, contact INFOTERRA in the EPA Headquarters Library at (202) 260-9357 or e-mail library-infoterra@epamail.epa.gov.

Note: We regret any inconvenience caused to those who received the partial transmission of the combined International Update/EarthLink last week.

March/April 1996

The following is a bi-monthly update providing international environmental news of interest to EPA staff. It includes information from current news sources including journals, newsletters and other publications. All items listed are available for review in the EPA Headquarters Library. For more information on these or other international environmental topics, contact INFOTERRA in the EPA Headquarters Library at (202) 260-5917 or e-mail library-infoterra@epamail.epa.gov

**Viewpoints expressed in the following articles do not necessarily reflect EPA policy. Mention of products does not indicate endorsement.**


Why Macroeconomists And Environmentalists Need Each Other. Finance & Development, December, 1995, p.46-47.

Based upon the proceedings of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) seminar which occurred May 10-11, 1995, the article analyzes how macroeconomists and environmentalists might work together to improve some of the social, environmental, and economic difficulties of Ecotopia, an imaginary developing country. In addition to common sense solutions, such as striving for macroeconomic stability while adopting sound environmental policies, other recommendations were to explore policies which promote both environmental and economic efficiency and to develop more accurate environmental indicators which can measure intangibles such as equity, health, and culture.


Rich Nations Agree On Call For Action To Reduce Dangers Of Lead. The New York Times, February 23, 1996, p. A4.

OECD Group Agrees To Control Lead, Create Chemical Release Inventories. Daily Environment Report, February 23, 1996, pp. A-7 - 9.

The 26 member nations of the Organization for Co-operation and Economic Development (OECD), representing consumers of 65% of the world's lead, signed an agreement implementing voluntary measures to reduce the use of lead and create pollution registries in member countries. EPA Administrator Carol Browner said, "It's the first comprehensive approach to reducing the risks of lead. We now have a recognition that we can protect children from the damage of lead, a recognition that lead problems are preventable." The OECD also adopted a resolution on improving the environmental performance of the OECD and a recommendation on improving the environmental performance of governments. **Note: Text of the OECD Council Acts appear in Section E of the February 23rd Daily Environment Report.

OECD Assesses U.S. Environmentalism, Says Americans Should Pay For Resources. Daily Environment Report, February 13, 1996, p. A-7.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued its environmental performance review of the United States (US), in which it concluded that Americans could improve environmental protection by paying more taxes and user fees. The report says drinking water could be made safer and water quality improved for fishing and swimming with all costs of compliance included in the price of water. The U.S. currently has among the lowest water prices among OECD-member countries. The report recommends reducing pollution by reducing the use of private vehicles, and suggests higher fuel taxes, more mass transit, commuter encouragement and public education. Increased taxes on other forms of energy are recommended, in spite of the difficulty of winning public acceptance. The report cites the Toxic Release Inventory for successfully controlling pollution by the chemical industry. Also, the report recommends that the premanufacture notification system required by the Toxic Substances Control Act be simplified and streamlined. The report says the U.S. can make or break the success of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions depending on how successfully its own emissions are reduced. Voluntary emission controls may not be enough "to significantly modify long-established production and consumption patterns, based on abundant and cheap energy...."

How Clean Can You Get?. The Economist, February 17, 1996, p. 37.

Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) members met in Paris to discuss pollution. Briefing material prepared for the meeting includes statistics indicating that the richer, developed countries have been successful in reducing some of the worst pollution problems, and that costs associated with these gains have been small to date. For example: the production of chlorofluorocarbons has been reduced by two-thirds in the last ten years, sulphur oxide emissions have been reduced by a third since 1980, emissions of lead, soot and carbon monoxide have also fallen. While jobs have been lost in some industries, such as mining, the environmental protection industry, worth approximately $20 billion in 1990, has created jobs in the global economy. The problems which remain however, including the reduction of green house gas emissions, will be more difficult and expensive to solve.

**United Nations**

Failure To Curb Emissions Will Cause Dangerous Environmental Changes, IPCC Says. International Environment Reporter, January 10, 1996, pp. 3-4.

Climate Report Cuts Call For Strong Policies. Nature, Vol. 378, December 21-28, 1995.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its "Second Assessment Report" at the conclusion of its five day meeting in December 1995. The report acknowledges that global temperatures are not rising as rapidly as the approximately three degrees Celsius estimated in the IPCC's 1990 "First Assessment Report." Experts now estimate the rate at two degrees Celsius. Despite this, the IPCC report warns of the serious consequences of a failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and clearly links human activities to global climate change. The report also includes some policy options. Some environmental groups have complained that references to strong policy measures were removed as a result of criticism from oil exporting countries and the United States. The synthesis and report summaries are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.unep.ch/ipcc-0.html and http://www.wmo.ch/


Naturopa, No. 79, 1995.

In this issue of Naturopa, the Council of Europe has provided an opportunity for seventeen European non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to contribute articles on their organization's objectives, and methods. Contributors are the Foundation for Environmental Education, Task Force NGO Nature, EUROTER, Environment for Europe, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, the League of Austrian Nature and Mountain Surveillance Agencies, Valat Tower Biological Research Station, Herpetological Conservation Trust, Greenpeace-Italy, IUCN, WWF International Mediterranean Programme, Regional Natural Area Conservatories (France), The National Trust for Scotland, BirdLife International, Spanish Ornithological Society/BirdLife, Swiss Nature Conservation League, and Alp Action.

**US-EU Environment Conference**

Regulatory Reform Would Be On Agenda At Proposed Trans-Atlantic Conference. Daily Environment News, 5 February, 1996, p. A-1.

Although no conference agenda has yet been established for the proposed United States-European Union (EU) trans-Atlantic conference on the environment, EU Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard mentioned recently in Washington D.C. that deregulation would be among the conference topics. As preparation for the conference, currently slated for late 1997, the EU plans to arrange for an air quality management workshop to take place some time this year. Bjerregaard said that primary issues for the EU in 1996 are environmental auditing, innovative environmental protection strategies, ecolabeling, enforcement, and economic compliance incentives.

**European Union**

European Proposal Reopens Debate Over Patenting Of Human Genes. Nature, December 21-28, 1995, p. 756.

A new draft of a European Commission directive which would allow patents on human genes and on genetically altered plants and animals has been prepared under the direction of Mario Monti, the Commissioner for the Internal Market and Industrial Affairs. The European Parliament rejected a similar directive last year because of resistance to the concept of patenting human genes. Many pressure groups have reacted unfavorably to the new proposal.


Cleaning Up The River Rhine. Scientific American, January 1996, pp. 70-75.

Details the successful cooperative efforts of the governments of Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands to improve the water quality of the Rhine River. The Rhine, like the Mississippi River in the United States, is put to many uses in the surrounding communities: hydroelectric dams, drinking water, irrigation, water for industrial rinsing and cooling, as well as transportation. By the early 1970's dozens of fish species had disappeared from Rhine and use of the river as a source of drinking water was being threatened as a result of organic and inorganic pollution. Reclamation efforts began in 1953 when the five nations formed the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution (IKSR). The IKSR is responsible for monitoring pollution levels, typically at the borders between states, and coordinating clean-up and pollution prevention efforts. Discusses successful efforts to reduce inorganic contaminants, maintain dissolved oxygen levels at healthy levels, improve accident response, and monitor the river's recovery.

**United Kingdom**

Environmental Protection At Gatwick, Britain's Second Largest Airport. Warmer Bulletin, 48, February 96, pp. 8-9.

Gatwick Airport, the eighth largest airport in the world, has adopted a variety of methods of dealing with the 22 tons of waste it creates every day. These methods include increasing recycling, plans to decrease the quantity of waste going to landfill by 10% a year until 1998, recovering waste oil, and looking into improving public transportation so future passengers will be able to leave their cars at home. The airport has also implemented a wastewater treatment program using a reed bed system for water purification to handle the airport's hazardous substances, such as de-icing chemicals and aviation fuel.

Britain Goes To War Against The Car; Environmental Concerns Spark Uprising. U.S. News and World Report, 120:3 (January 22, 1996), p. 43.

There is a growing movement in Great Britain opposing new road-building projects. Controversy erupted, for example, over a proposed bypass for the town of Newbury. The protestors want to preserve the countryside, nature reserves, and historical sites. The British government has responded with a new plan to reduce spending on roads by more than 60 percent (while leaving the Newbury scheme intact). Protestors fear, however, that, in these lean times, the British government will not redirect the savings into public transportation.

**United States**

America's Trees Are Dying,. Charles E. Little. Earth Island Journal, Fall 95, pp. 24-26. (Adapted from Little's new book, The Dying of the Trees: The Pandemic in America's Forests)

The trees are dying. From the cedars of Alaska to the palms of Florida, the maples of New England to the pines of the Sierra Nevada, the epidemic is everywhere. Trees are all around us, but if one really "looks" they will see a world of dying trees. This widespread destruction is the result of pests, fungi, too much ozone in the troposphere and not enough in the stratosphere, clearcutting of neighboring trees, industry, and changing weather patterns. Even if we took significant radical measures to save the trees, such as controlling the growing population of the earth, it would take at least a century for environmental repair to occur.

On Amazon, Christopher Stands Up For Environment. The Washington Post, March 5, 1996, p. A9.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher has adopted protection of the environment as a fundamental component of U.S. foreign policy. "I am here because the United States recognizes that protecting the environment is essential to the health, security and prosperity of not only the American people but peoples all around the world," he said during a recent trip to the Amazonian rain forest in Brazil. Christopher's actions enhance President Clinton's earlier work to incorporate environmental concerns into national security issues.


Hog Heaven--And Hell; Pig Farming Has Gone High Tech, And That's Creating New Pollution Woes. U.S. News and World Report, 120:3 (January 22, 1996) pp. 55-59.

Huge, corporate hog farms are replacing small, independent, hog producers. The "hog factories" are maximizing their profits by utilizing industrial-scale operations, highly-efficient technology, and mass production methods. Swine farming on this scale, as this article points out, creates many serious environmental problems. Pollution problems include water contamination, spillage from waste lagoons, and strong, persistent odors that threaten the health of nearby residents.


Moving Forest Trees Into The Modern Genetics Era. Science,

February 9, 1996, pp. 760-761.

"Trees are uncooperative experimental organisms," according to David Neale of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Institute of Forest Genetics. Despite this, ongoing international research has produced advances in gene mapping techniques in the last five years that are enabling scientists to surmount various problems with using trees as genetic engineering subjects. Among the difficulties are the large size of a tree genome, and the lengthy generation time of trees. New procedures have been developed for identifying genetic markers, which can then be easily mapped. These procedures will also allow scientists and breeders to screen for markers at every stage of tree development to determine if desirable traits have been passed on. Eventually, the markers will allow for the identification of genes carrying desirable traits for cloning and use in genetic engineering. This research has the potential for a variety of commercial benefits including faster growing trees, improved disease, cold and drought resistance varieties, as well as improved fruit and fiber content.

**Coastal Management**

Ambio, Vol. XXIV, No. 7-8, December 1995.

This Ambio special issue on Research and Capacity Building for Sustainable Coastal Management presents the results of some of the research supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through bilateral assistance and a regional scientific program in Eastern Africa. Much of the research focuses on complex management problems related to fisheries, aquaculture, pollution, environmental degradation, and erosion.

**Environmental Education**

Current Trends In Environmental Education And Public Awareness In Guyana. Paulette Bynoe and Walter Leal Filho. Environmental Education and Information, Vol. 14 (4), Oct.-Dec. 95, pp. 351-360.

Guyana, the only English speaking country in South America, is a country of numerous natural resources. At present environmental education is being introduced at the primary and secondary levels of the education system. In 1990 the Guyana Agency for Health Science's Education, Environment and Food Policy (GAHEF) launched an environmental education program to develop greater awareness of the environment and increase community participation. Other contributors to the environmental education movement are described, but despite these, the level of environmental education and public awareness in Guyana remains quite low.

Educating For Sustainable Development: An Overview Of Environmental Education Programmes In The Caribbean. Calvin A. Howell. Environmental Education and Information, Vol. 14 (4), pp. 419-432.

Discusses some of the programs implemented in English-speaking Caribbean to promote awareness and positive behavior towards the environment. These include formal education programs as well as non-traditional approaches to promote proper management of natural resources. However, formal curricula changes to include environmental courses have not been fully accepted. Progress has been made in the non-formal sector, resulting in increasing levels of public awareness and appreciation for the environment.


The Billion-Car Accident Waiting To Happen. World Watch, January-February, 1996, pp. 24-33.

Although the world's population has doubled since the 1950s, the number of cars on the planet has increased tenfold. Current predictions estimate that within 25 years there may be one billion cars in use. "Automania" is being fueled by improving living standards in populous countries. Car ownership is commonly considered to be a symbol of wealth, even in countries where the infrastructure may not include parking lots or paved roads.

The environmental impact of maintaining so many cars could be disastrous as the air becomes more polluted and as more arable land is used for parking lots instead of agriculture. The author posits that governments should invest in mass transit instead of highways and roadways, making mobility and freedom available to citizens without requiring them to buy cars. Governments should also do all they can to make cars unaffordable, perhaps taxing cars, fuel, and highways, and should invest in urban planning schemes that allow people to conduct all the activities of a day within a short distance from home.

International Update
March/April, 1996


Notices regarding the following international conferences have been sent to INFOTERRA during the last few

months. Notification is received through the mail and over the Internet. The list below is not comprehensive; INFOTERRA maintains a fairly large file of conference announcements. If you have any questions abut the conferences listed below, or would like to consult our conference file, please contact the INFOTERRA office at (202) 260-5917 or send an email request to: library-infoterra@epamail.epa.gov.

First Annual "Environment on the Net" Conference Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Washington May 9-10, 1996

This conference is being organized by Law Seminars International and the Environmental Industry Web Site. Its purpose is to provide a forum for creative ideas for use of the Internet for environmental collaboration, outreach, and research. There is more information available at the Environmental Industry's web site: http://www.enviroindustry.com/conference

United Nations Conference on Human Settlements: HABITAT II Istanbul, Turkey
June 3-14, 1996

The purposes of HABITAT II are to promote new strategies for urban management and to underscore the investment opportunities in infrastructure and services. The involvement of local authorities in conference activities is being solicited.

Seventh International Conference on Statistical and Mathematical Models in the Environmental Sciences

Sao Paulo, Brazil
July 22-26, 1996

Organized by The International Environmetrics Society (TILES), the Institute of Mathematics, and the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Sao Paulo, the scope of this conference includes application of various statistical and mathematical methods to environmental issues such as climatic change, water and air quality, waste management, environmental economics, and education in environmetrics.

Sixteenth Symposium on Chlorinated Dioxins and Related Compounds Amsterdam, The Netherlands

August 12-16, 1996

DIOXIN '96 will focus on the necessity of further reductions in exposure to dioxins. The symposium will address well known sources of dioxin, such as chlorinated dioxins and biphenyls, but also related compounds: halogenated pesticides

and herbicides, terphenyls, naphthalenes, chlorophenols, chlorobenzenes, chlorobenzyltoluenes, and toxaphenes.

Environmental Management: Tracking Progress Linking Environment and Economy through Indicators and Accounting Systems University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia September 30-October 3, 1996

The purpose of this conference is to bring together stakeholders and experts in measuring environmental change through both biophysical and economic analysis. Conference discussions will focus on "environmental indicators and accounting techniques at national, state, regional and local levels as well as at the level of individual companies/organizations and industry sectors."

APO Conference on Green Productivity: In Pursuit of New Strategies for Better Quality of Life

Manila, Philippines
October 4-6, 1996

Organized by the Asian Productivity Organization and the Development Academy of the Philippines, some of the objectives of this conference include: clarifying the roles of various promoters of green productivity; encouraging the dissemination of cost-effective pollution prevention and control techniques, and discussing the implications of ISO14000 on green productivity.

Second International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems: ISESS 1997

Delta Whistler Resort, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
April 28-May 2, 1997

The symposium will discuss progress and trends in the development of environmental software systems. Topics will include monitoring measurement networks, applications methods, waste management remote sensing, modeling and simulation, global changes, and ecosystem research.


Biodiversity Secretariat Open for Business in Montreal --Montreal, 15 February 1996. The secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity moved in February from Jakarta to the World Trade Centre in Montreal. The secretariat is now preparing for the September 2-6 session of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and the November 4-15 meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP-3). These two meetings must try to find common ground on issues such as requiring member governments to monitor genetic resources, encouraging sound environmental technology, and determining how to measure the movement of each country toward its commitment to the treaty.

The Convention on Biological Diversity was first negotiated in 1992, and currently 139 countries and the European Union are parties to it. Other agenda items for 1996 include research into the transfer, handling, and use of biogenetically engineered organisms.

Danish Agency to Sponsor UNEP Innovative Education Programme in Asia and Pacific

--Bangkok, 20 February 1996. The Danish Cooperation Agency for Environment and Development (DANCED) is sponsoring a two-year project to encourage innovation in teaching and research on environment management (TREM) at approximately 60 universities in Thailand and Malaysia. Established through NETTLAP, UNEP's Network for Environmental Training at the Tertiary Level in Asia and the Pacific, the project's purpose is to create an inter-university TREM network in Thailand and Malaysia. NETTLAP currently links over 200 institutions active in environmental training and education in 36 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Did You Know...?

INFOTERRA supports environmental awareness programs around the world. For example, we recently provided the Flemish Centre for Best Available Technologies (BBT) with a number of EPA publications which will supplement their newly established environmental information disseminatino program.

The Flemish government established the BBT on January 1, 1995. The goal is to collect and disseminate information about currrent clean technology to both the government and industry. This three year project is being carried out by VITO, the Flemish institute for technological research. In conjunction with the Centre, VITO is also responsible for the establishment of the Energy and Environment Information System (EMIS). EMIS will collect and disseminate information about energy and environmental issues to the government, industry, and the population at large. The EMIS database is linked to the International Energy Agency's bibliographic database, the International Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDE). In addition to bibliographical references, however, EMIS will include other databases, such as Organization Profiles, Events, Legislation, Programmes, and the EMIS Bulletin Board. For more information, consult INFOTERRA's vertical file, under "Technology."

Are YOU involved in EPA's efforts to improve the global environment?

The EPA frequently responds to requests from around the world for information and expertise on all aspects of environmental protection. If your office is working with a foreign government or international organization to improve the state of the world's environment, you can publicize your activities in International Update. Send your submissions or suggestions to INFOTERRA at mail code 3404, or via e-mail to library-infoterra@epamail.epa.gov. For more information, please call (202) 260-9357.


INFOTERRA is located in the EPA Headquarters Library. We are open from 10-2, Monday through Friday. Our reference desk may be reached from 9-3, Monday through Friday, at (202) 260-5917 or by fax at (202) 260-3923. Any e-mail correspondence should be sent to library-infoterra@epamail.epa.gov.


Head Librarian: Linda Nainis

Reference Librarians: Terri King; Linda Tripp

EP3 Librarian: Joy Siegel

CONAMA Librarian (Acting): Linda Nainis

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