ECX bans CERs from big hydro projects over EU eligibility uncertainty
Le marché européen du carbone refuse les "économies
carbone" des grosses centrales hydroélectriques
Kein europäischer "Carbon Exchange" in Verbindung
largest carbon exchange will prohibit the trading of carbon
credits from hydropower projects over 20 MW amid doubts that these
reductions will be fully tradeable between countries that participate
in the EU's cap and trade scheme.
The European Carbon Exchange, which is planning to launch a futures
exchange for international carbon credits later this year, said
it had taken its
decision because of uneven guidelines on the import of credits
hydropower plants that displace fossil fuel emissions in developing
As an exchange we cant risk passing on a CER (certified
reduction) to one of our customers in a member state where this
particular type of CER isnt allowed for EU ETS compliance.
Why would you buy
something if you don't know if you can use it? said Sara
Stahl, head of business
development at London-based ECX.
We could damage our reputation as an exchange if we offered
that is riddled with regulatory uncertainty.
At present, only a handful of EU member states - France, Spain,
Netherlands and Sweden have outlined criteria for the import of
from hydropower projects, meaning that the transfer of these credits
buyer in countries such as the UK and Germany could be illegal.
Nord Pool, an Oslo-based energy exchange that trades both allowances
Europe's cap-and-trade scheme and CERs, also refuses to allow
in carbon credits from hydropower projects developed through the
protocol's clean development mechanism, also citing uncertainty
fungibility of these credits as the reason for its decision.
In the OTC market, brokers suggested that a lack of clarity and
uniformity in the primary market for CERs means credits from hydro
trading at a slight discount, perhaps around €1.00, while
few people in the
secondary market were buying these types of credits.
on the import of carbon credits, which are laid down in a
document known as the linking directive, prohibit the import of
and oblige member states to check that CERs from hydro projects
over 20 MW
comply with the World Commission on Dams.
individual countries in the EU ETS have a certain degree of leeway
in interpreting the WCD, which has led to differing guidelines
member states, according to market participants.
is said to be drawing up its own set of guidelines based on the
WCD, Spain allows the import of CERs from hydro projects if they
criteria from the 2001 report on dams and the Netherlands and
also prepared to nod through medium-to-large projects in the sector
they have embodied some of the key criteria from the commission.
other large countries in the EU, such as the UK and Germany,
have yet to approve the import of credits from large hydro, and
has been trying to clarify the issue for two years without issuing
a set of
of potential credits, hydro is one of the biggest sectors in
the CDM, and even if the sector is unable to generate carbon credits
can be used in many EU member states, the credits are still eligible
for use by
countries with targets under the Kyoto protocol.
broker suggested that funds and compliance buyers in countries
hydro CERs are not permitted may choose to sell these credits
in Japan, where there no restrictions on the types of emissions
that can be bought.
many hydro CDM projects registered by the UN have listed
participation from Japanese firms.
WCD report found that, although many hydro projects had brought
benefits to developing countries, local communities were paying
a heavy price in
terms of disruption to river flow and the forced relocation of
communities to make way for dams.
report recommended that dams should only be built with the consent
of local people, compensate them for the impact of dams and repair
environmental damage, which in many cases is not happening under
CDM, pressure groups claim.
Berkeley, California, USA
: Floods Leave Africans Without Money for Food, School
Les crues laissent les Africains sans argent pour la nourriture
Hochwasser in Afrika : kein Geld mehr für Lebensmittelsverrät
DAKAR, Senegal - Aime Assou should have started his final year
of school this week but like hundreds of thousands of farmers
across West Africa, floods have left his family without enough
money to buy food let alone pay his fees.
From cotton producers in Mali to millet growers in Mauritania,
those who work the land in some of the world's poorest nations
spent much of the year praying for rain as clear skies and bright
sunshine parched the earth.
But when the heavens opened, the downpours were some of the heaviest
for a decade, sending floodwaters swirling through mud-hut villages,
destroying homes and washing away crops from Senegal in the west
to Ethiopia in the east.
"A heavy rain hit the village and lasted eight days. Several
of our homes collapsed. Water came into our house then it took
our crops from the fields," Assou, 18, said by telephone
from near his village of Gouloko, in southwestern Benin.
The United Nations estimates 800,000 people in 13 countries across
West Africa alone have been affected by flooding, with Ghana,
Togo, Burkina Faso and Mali the hardest hit. Conservative estimates
put the number killed across Africa at some 200.
In the worst affected areas, relief agencies have battled to provide
emergency food rations, safe drinking water and mosquito nets.
But even in places where the immediate risk is lower, the long
term impact of crop failures will take a heavy toll on poor communities
long after the waters have receded.
"The effects of floods combined with those of the severe
drought which occurred in June/July have exacerbated the difficult
living conditions of vulnerable families," UN humanitarian
organisation OCHA said in its latest update.
"Market prices have doubled for most commodities. Lack of
safe drinking water remains another major concern," it said
of the situation in Ghana.
Images of flooded villages in East and West Africa have been beamed
around the world but, for many, the economic impact in the coming
months is likely to prove devastating.
The destruction of food crops and the flooding of roads have meant
what produce does make it to market is often selling at a premium
beyond the reach of many, particularly those who rely on cash
crops like cotton for their income.
Mali and Togo have both slashed their forecasts for cotton production
in recent days, putting additional strain on a sector which employs
an estimated 15 million people in West Africa and which is struggling
against tumbling world prices and market-distorting subsidies
paid to US farmers.
"The floods washed away our fields meaning we do not have
anything to sell at market," said Henriette Kedji, another
Gouloko villager. "The children were supposed to have started
back at school but they are a worry for us because there is no
money to send them to classes."
Plan, an international relief agency which works with children,
has provided tents, mosquito nets, and sacks of rice to meet short-term
needs in southwestern Benin but aid workers say such communities
will need support in the longer term.
"Thousands of children have been affected by the disaster
and it is certain that the food security situation and families'
finances will be hard hit," said Michel Kanhonou, a children's
rights co-ordinator for Plan in Benin.
Story by Nick
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: Mozambique Plans US$1.7 Bln Hydro-Electric Project
Le Mozambique projette de construire une centrale hydro-électrique
pour un coût de 1,7 milliard de $US
Mozambik : ein US$ 1,7 Milliarde Hydroprojekt
MAPUTO, Mozambique - Mozambique plans to build a US$1.7 billion
hydro-electric development on the Zambezi river in a bid to meet
industry's growing demands for power, its energy minister said
In an interview with Reuters, Salvador Namburete said construction
of a dam and other generating facilities in the northern Tete
province was expected to begin in 2009 and be completed four years
The project, which is expected to be approved by the government
shortly, would be one of the biggest hydro-electric developments
undertaken recently in Africa and significantly raise the amount
of power produced in Mozambique.
The planned output would be 1,300 megawatts.
The southern African nation currently depends on the aging Cahora
Bassa hydro-electric development to meet much of its electricity
needs, which have been stretched by lack of new capacity and a
growing manufacturing and industrial base.
"We will be building another dam close to Cahora Bassa in
order to boost mega-industry, which is currently affected by an
energy deficit," Namburete said.
"The government is interested and, therefore, would immediately
analyze and approve the project."
Funding for the project will come from China's Export-Import Bank,
Under the plan, surplus energy from the project would be exported
to South Africa and a US$2.3 billion transmission line would be
built to carry the power from Tete to the Mozambican capital Maputo.
Story by Charles
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
01.10.07 : UK : Severn barrage - environmental godsend or catastrophe?
Royaume Uni : le barrage de Severn est il une aubaine ou une catastrophe
UK : ist der Severn Staudamm für die Umwelt ein Glücksfall
oder eine Katastrophe ?
A tidal barrage in the Severn estuary could meet almost 5%
of the UK's energy needs but environmental NGOs are concerned
that the cost to habitats could be too high.
The Sustainable Development Commission, a Government-backed watchdog
headed up by celebrated environmental thinker Jonathan Porritt,
has published a report looking at the potential for tidal power
in the UK.
The mighty Severn, with one of the largest tidal ranges of any
river on Earth, features large in the report.
And while the SDC bends over backwards to stress that a barrage
should not be built without meeting the strictest environmental
criteria, pressure groups from Greenpeace to the RSPB argue that
a large number of smaller, less intrusive schemes would be more
effective and less damaging than a flagship barrage.
The SDC argues that, were a barrage to be built, public ownership
and leadership is essential to ensure the public get a fair share
of the reward rather than lining the pockets of a developer.
While its contribution to UK energy generation could be significant,
says the SDC, the barrage must not be allowed to divert Government
attention from the much wider action needed on climate change.
The fact that a barrage would damage habitat is undisputed and
EU law would require Government to take action to replace what
A habitat creation scheme on this scale would be unprecedented
in the UK.
SDC chairman Jonathon Porritt said: "The enormous potential
for a Severn barrage to help reduce our carbon emissions and improve
energy security needs to be balanced against the impact on the
estuary's unique habitat, as well as its communities and businesses.
"This is why we believe that any development must be publicly-led
as a project and publicly-owned as an asset, in order to ensure
that the Government takes full responsibility for taking a sustainable,
"The Sustainable Development Commission is issuing a challenge
to Government to embrace a new way of managing this major project,"
said Porritt. "We are excited about the contribution a Severn
Barrage could make to a more sustainable future, but not at any
"It is vitally important that all parts of Government - including
the Welsh Assembly Government and the South West Regional Development
Agency - are actively involved in the project, to ensure that
work is fully integrated into regional economic and development
The report also looks at the potential for emerging tidal technologies
in the UK.
A statement from the SDC said: "Tidal stream technologies
present exciting opportunities for low carbon energy production,
and the report cites potentially huge rewards in terms of export
potential from developing this technology.
"The commission concludes that Government should 'stay the
course' to make tidal stream technology a viable proposition,
whilst putting in place a robust regulatory framework and supporting
the research required to understand potential environmental impacts.
On tidal lagoons, it added: "there are few direct conflicts
between tidal barrages and tidal lagoons, with the exception of
claims made for large scale lagoon development in the Severn Estuary.
"Although there is little authoritative evidence available
on tidal lagoon technology, which proposes using hydropower turbines
in an offshore impoundment, lagoons could potentially be developed
in a number of shallow coastal areas with sufficient tidal range.
"The commission would like to see the Government investigating
their long-term potential by funding a demonstration project.
This would allow a full evaluation of the costs and the potential
The thought of a barrage across the Severn has ruffled feathers
at the RSPB, which fears the loss of valuable wetland habitats.
"Europe's most dynamic estuary will be destroyed by the construction
of a barrage across the Severn while other less striking measures
would cost less and could do more to cut carbon emissions,"
said a spokesperson for the NGO.
The RSPB argues that the barrage should be built as a last resort,
only once other options for renewable energy generation have been
It also flags up the significant amount of GHG emissions the construction
of such a major piece of infrastructure would entail.
Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB's conservation director, said: "Tackling
climate change is hugely important but this can be done without
destroying irreplaceable national treasures like the Severn estuary.
"We should be harnessing the power of the Severn but there
are better ways of doing this than by hauling ten miles of concrete
into the estuary.
"The government should be aiming to help, not destroy, wildlife
and that applies to proposals for green energy schemes just as
much as new supermarkets or housing estates."
Replacing lost habitat would be a mammoth task, he argued.
"It took eleven years to replace 110 hectares of mudflats
destroyed at Lappel Bank on the Medway, when the Government last
broke European law," said Dr Avery.
"Damage on the Severn would be ten, twenty or thirty times
as great. Other land is being lost to sea level rise so replicating
Severn habitats would be enormously difficult."
Greenpeace has also given proposals for a Severn barrage a frosty
reception, saying offshore wind is a more sensible solution to
the UK's energy needs.
John Sauven, executive director of the pressure group said: "Tidal
power can provide the UK with a tremendous amount of energy along
with other marine renewables like wave power.
"And, importantly, it can do so without creating dangerous
climate change emissions or nuclear waste. The Severn barrage
could be a huge resource of carbon free energy, but the jury's
still out on the best way to reap the tidal power of the river
without having huge environmental impacts on wading birds.
"Offshore wind, as a cheaper option, should also be much
higher up the government's priority list. The UK has about 40%
of Europe's wind resource which could be harnessed to meet our
demand for energy."
Source : Edie
27.09.07 : China Warns of Catastrophe from Three Gorges Dam
La Chine met en garde contre une catastrophe du barrage des Trois
China warnt vor Katastrophe durch Drei Schluchten Damm
BEIJING, China - China's huge Three Gorges Dam hydropower project
could spark environmental catastrophe unless accumulating threats
are quickly defused, senior officials and experts have warned.
The dam in southwest China, the world's biggest hydropower project,
has begun generating electricity and serving as a barrier against
seasonal flooding threatening lower reaches of the Yangtze River,
Xinhua news agency reported late on Tuesday, citing a forum of
experts and officials.
But even senior dam officials who have often defended the project
as an engineering wonder and ecological boon now warn that areas
around the dam are paying a heavy, potentially calamitous environmental
"There exist many ecological and environmental problems concerning
the Three Gorges Dam," the senior officials were quoted as
saying. "If no preventive measures are taken, the project
could lead to catastrophe."
The US$25 billion dam, whose construction flooded 116 towns and
hundreds of cultural sites, is still a work in progress, but state
media have said it could be completed by the end of 2008, just
after the Beijing Olympic Games.
Wang Xiaofeng, director of the administrative office in charge
of building the dam, told the forum that it was time to face up
to the environmental consequences of constructing the massive
concrete wall across the country's biggest river.
"We absolutely cannot relax our guard against ecological
and environmental security problems sparked by the Three Gorges
Project," Wang told the meeting, according to Xinhua.
"We cannot win passing economic prosperity at the cost of
LITANY OF THREATS
Wang cited a litany of threats, especially erosion and landslides
on steep hills around the dam, conflicts over land shortages and
"ecological deterioration caused by irrational development".
The strikingly frank acknowledgement of problems comes weeks before
a congress of the ruling Communist Party that is set to consolidate
policies giving more attention to environmental worries after
decades of unfettered industrial growth.
Wang revealed that Premier Wen Jiabao had used a cabinet meeting
earlier this year to discuss the environmental problems surrounding
Tensions over residents resettled to steep hills where good farmland
is scarce had been reduced and water quality in the dam was "generally
stable", Xinhua said.
But the officials and experts were worried about the landslides
threatening densely populated hill country.
"Regular geological disasters are a severe threat to the
lives of residents around the dam," senior engineer Huang
Xuebin told the forum.
Huang described landslides into the dam waters making waves dozens
of metres high that crashed into surrounding shores, creating
even more damage.
The dam has displaced 1.4 million people and is retaining huge
amounts of sediment and nutrients, damaging fish stocks and the
fertility of farmland downstream, researchers say.
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: Warming Shrinks Kashmir's Rivers, Streams - Report
Rapport : le réchauffement global provoque le déclin
des cours d'eau cashmiri
Erderwärmung führt zu erringerter Wasserführung
der Flüsse in Kashmir (Studie)
SRINAGAR, India - Water levels in Indian Kashmir's rivers and
streams have decreased by two-thirds as a result of global warming
which is melting most of the Himalayan region's glaciers, a voluntary
group said on Monday.
According to an ActionAid report on the impact climate change
is having in Kashmir, many small glaciers in the disputed state
have completely disappeared over the last four decades.
"The study shows that the water level in almost all the streams
and rivers in Kashmir has decreased by approximately two-thirds
during the last 40 years," said the report titled "On
The report said the average temperature in the mountainous parts
of the restive state had increased by 1.45 degrees Celsius (2.6
Fahrenheit) over the last two decades, while in the southern plains
the temperature rise was 2.32 degrees Celsius (4.2 Fahrenheit).
Scientists warn that receding Himalayan glaciers could jeopardise
water supplies for hundreds of millions of people and rising sea
levels threaten Indian cities like Mumbai and Kolkata.
Floods and droughts could become more common, diseases more rampant
and crop yields lower as temperatures rise, they add.
Kashmir is in the grip of a nearly 18-year-old insurgency that
has killed 42,000 people. Human rights groups put the toll at
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: Un site internet mondial pour la salubrité de l'eau
A global web site for water salubrity
Weltweite Website "Wasser und Gesundheit" on line
L'Académie nationale des sciences américaine et
la Global Health and Education Foundation, qui se bat pour l'amélioration
de l'accès à l'eau salubre, se sont associées
à des académies des sciences, médicales et
de l'ingénierie du monde entier. Leur but: alimenter le
site internet intitulé "L'eau salubre est essentielle"
("Safe drinking water is essential"). Cette base de
données en ligne est destinée à apporter
des informations scientifiques et techniques aux preneurs de décision
sur les solutions disponibles pour améliorer la qualité
et la disponibilité des ressources en eau potable. "De
nombreuses approches et technologies nécessaires pour améliorer
la qualité de l'eau potable existent déjà",
a déclaré le président de l'Académie
nationale des sciences américaine Ralph J. Cicerone.
Selon le communiqué des académies nationales américaines,
plus d'un milliard de personnes dans le monde n'ont pas accès
à de l'eau potable, et les maladies dues à cette
insalubrité représentent 80% des maladies rencontrées
dans les pays en développement.
Vers ce site web : http://www.drinking-water.org/flash/splash.html
Source : Journal
de l'Environnement du 25.09.2007
: Adoption de la directive sur les inondations
The European Directive on floods is adopted
EU : Annahme der Hochwasser-Richtlinie
La Commission avait proposé ce texte en janvier 2006 et
le Parlement s'est prononcé en faveur d'un compromis en
avril 2007. La directive relative à l'évaluation
et à la gestion des inondations (1) a finalement été
adoptée par le Conseil le 18 septembre. Elle impose aux
Etats-membres de mener un premier état des lieux d'ici
2011 pour identifier les zones exposées à un risque
d'inondation, d'établir des cartes de risque d'ici 2013,
et de mettre en place des plans de gestion des risques d'ici 2015.
La directive s'applique aux eaux intérieures ainsi qu'aux
eaux côtières de l'Union européenne.
le communiqué de la Commission, la directive devrait être
mise en uvre en lien avec la directive-cadre sur l'eau.
Les Etats membres prendront notamment en compte le changement
climatique dans la gestion des risques des inondations.
a connu plus de 100 inondations importantes entre 1998 et 2004,
qui ont entraîné la mort de 700 personnes, le déplacement
d'environ 500.000 personnes et au moins 25 milliards d'euros de
pertes économiques assurées.
du Parlement européen et du Conseil, du 18 janvier 2006,
relative à l'évaluation et à la gestion des
Source : Journal
de l'Environnement du 24.09.2007
: Le WWF revient sur la pollution aux PCB du Rhône
WWF is investigating the PCB pollution in the Rhône River
WWF leitet eine Untersuchung über die Rhöne PCB Verschmutzung
Le mystère de l'origine de la pollution du Rhône
aux PCB n'est pas prêt de s'éclaircir. Au moment
où le ministère de l'écologie, du développement
et de l'aménagement durables (Medad) publie le 19 septembre
une note explicative sur les dangers et l'origine de ces substances
contenues dans les transformateurs électriques, le WWF
sort les premiers résultats d'une enquête sur le
"Les PCB imprègnent les sédiments du Rhône
sur environ 300 kilomètres. Depuis 20 ans qu'on connaît
cette pollution, aucune étude sur l'impact sur la santé
n'a été faite, ni aucune mesure concernant cette
pollution n'a été prise!", s'indigne Serge
Orru, directeur général du WWF-France. Et d'évoquer
le Grenelle: "Si demain, on crée de nouvelles règles
sur l'environnement encore plus drastiques, comment peut-on croire
qu'elles seront respectées?"
affaire de pollution a émergé en 2005, mais elle
est connue par les autorités depuis les années 1980.
Marc Laimé, journaliste spécialiste des questions
de l'eau, s'en étonne. "Aujourd'hui, il y a encore
des processus de relargages atmosphériques ainsi que des
milliers de sites orphelins, qui continuent de rejeter du pyralène.
Mais les techniques de décontamination, que la Norvège
a expérimentées, demanderaient plusieurs centaines
de milliers d'euros
en 1986 que l'Institut national de recherche agronomique (Inra)
rédige un premier rapport d'alerte sur cette contamination
du Rhône, communiqué à la Direction départementale
de l'action sanitaire et sociale (Ddass) et au ministère
chargé de l'environnement. En 1987, le décret du
2 février interdit la vente des PCB (ou polychlorobiphényles,
appelés pyralène), qui seront classés parmi
12 polluants organiques persistants (POP) en 2001. En 2003, un
plan national de décontamination et d'élimination
des appareils contenant des PCB est approuvé, avec une
échéance fixée au 31 décembre 2010.
seulement en 2005 qu'une analyse de poissons réclamée
par un pêcheur met à nouveau en lumière la
contamination. S'ensuivent des arrêtés préfectoraux
interdisant la commercialisation et la consommation de poissons
du fleuve dans plusieurs départements.
une étude du Cemagref (Institut de recherche pour l'ingénierie
de l'agriculture et de l'environnement), l'origine de la pollution
serait antérieure à 1987 et due notamment à
l'usine Tredi, spécialisée dans le traitement des
déchets de transformateurs contenant des PCB. Cette usine
est une des deux seules en France habilitées à retraiter
les appareils contenant les PCB. Entre 1987 et aujourd'hui, la
quantité autorisée de PCB rejetés chaque
jour par ces usines est passée de 1,5 kilogramme à
endocriniens, les PCB, qui disparaissent de l'eau au bout de 100
ans, s'accumulent dans les graisses. "Une étude américaine
sur les Grands Lacs a montré qu'il existait un lien entre
la concentration en PCB du cordon ombilical et le développement
neurologique de l'enfant, l'apprentissage du langage, le retard
", explique André Cicolella, directeur
de l'unité d'évaluation des risques sanitaires à
l'Institut national de l'environnement industriel et des risques
(Ineris). "Il faut que des études soient menées
sur l'imprégnation de la population française, pour
avoir une idée plus précise de ces risques".
Boisneau, président des pêcheurs professionnels en
eau douce, déplore les répercussions économiques
des interdits préfectoraux: "25.000 petits pêcheurs
du Rhône vivent de la pêche à l'anguille. Aujourd'hui,
24 pêcheurs sont au chômage parce qu'ils ne peuvent
plus vendre de poisson!".
commission d'enquête parlementaire a été réclamée
par Jean-Jack Queyranne, président de Rhône-Alpes
et Michel Vauzelle, président de Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'azur,
tous deux députés. Une nécessité pour
faire le point sur les conséquences de la pollution, sur
les actions de dépollution et les mesures à prendre
en matière de restauration du milieu aquatique.
Source : Journal
De L'Environnement du 21.09.2007
20.09.07 : Les entreprises britanniques gaspillent l'eau
UK's enterprises spoil water
UK's Unternehmen verschwenden Wasser
L'agence gouvernementale de conseil en environnement Envirowise
estime que les entreprises du Royaume-Uni pourraient économiser
1.300 milliards de mètres cube d'eau par an. Selon elle,
un investissement de 25.000 livres sterling (36.000 euros) dans
la conservation de l'eau permettrait d'économiser 90.000
livres sterling (129.000 euros) par an, et de simples mesures
comme fermer les robinets sur les lieux de travail peuvent entraîner
un gain de 500 millions de livres (environ 714 millions d'euros)
par an. L'agence a organisé la semaine de l'eau au travail
du 17 au 21 septembre.
Source : Le
Journal de l'Environnement du 20.09.2007
: World Bank Loans Bengladesh US$102 Mln for Water Management
La Banque Mondiale prête 102 millions $US au Bengladesh
pour la gestion de l'eau
Die Weltbank leiht dem Bengladesh 102 Millionen $US für bessere
DHAKA, Bengladesh - The World Bank has approved a US$102 million
soft loan to support Bangladesh's efforts to improve water resources
management, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
At least 2 million households will benefit from the project, which
aims to reduce crop losses during the pre-monsoon and monsoon
periods and increase agricultural production through improved
drainage, flood control and expansion of irrigation.
Bangladesh is prone to recurring natural disasters like floods,
erosion, cyclones and tidal surges and each year up to 30 percent
of the country is inundated, flooding about 6 million hectares.
"As we have just learned from the recent devastating floods,
management of water resources is critical to mitigate the impact
of floods," said Xian Zhu, country director for the World
"This project will support rehabilitation and improvement
of existing flood control, drainage, and irrigation schemes, which
will reduce the vulnerability to future natural disasters,"
The credit from the International Development Association, the
Bank's concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year
grace period, and carries a service charge of 0.75 percent.
(US$1 = 68.70 taka)
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: Fears Mount Over More Africa Rain, Floods
Pluies et inondation en Afrique : la peur monte
Regen und Hochwasser in Afrika : Angst steigt an.
NAIROBI, Kenya - Fears mounted on Monday that downpours which
have killed dozens in Africa, uprooted hundreds of thousands and
devastated crops could continue past the end of the rainy season
and hit areas that have so far escaped floods.
"Our estimates show the floods are likely to worsen or remain
at the same level up to October or early November," said
UN World Food Programme Uganda representative Tasema Negash.
Experts say the rising waters may hit as yet unaffected areas
in the coming days, such as Uganda's central regions.
"We are calling on the international community to come to
their rescue before it is too late," said Musa Ecweru, minister
for disaster preparedness in Uganda, where 300,000 people have
already been affected and at least nine killed.
Scores have died in more than a dozen countries often ravaged
by droughts, but now inundated by torrential downpours destroying
settlements and sweeping away crops and livestock -- cornerstones
of Africa's developing economies.
Across the continent, uprooted communities shelter in abandoned
schools, churches and under plastic sheeting.
Schoolboys carrying books above their heads wade through flooded
fields, while villagers stand on the muddy wreckage of homes searching
for missing family.
Across east Africa, more than 90 people have now died from floods
and the waterborne diseases that have followed -- at least 63
in Ethiopia alone.
In west Africa, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA says floods have
affected half a million people. The International Federation of
the Red Cross says 87 people have been killed in the past two
months, mostly in Nigeria.
But those figures are rough estimates as hailstorms, mudslides
and collapsed bridges wreak havoc with relief efforts.
In Kenya, 20,000 people driven from their homes in the largely
agricultural southwest left behind a wilderness of wasted crops
and drowned livestock.
"These people affected depend their lives on agriculture
... the floods will have a huge economical impact in Kenya,"
said Elena Velilla, Medecins Sans Frontieres' head of mission.
The UN World Food Programme says it needs US$29 million in Uganda
to fight the crisis in a country already burdened by thousands
of refugees from neighbouring Congo and more than a million people
living in war displacement camps in the north.
With camps for the displaced fast swelling in countries across
the centre of the world's poorest continent, experts say the threat
of disease is mounting quickly.
"We need medicines because we expect outbreaks of diarrhoea
and cholera," Ben Brown, regional co-ordinator of Ghana's
National Disaster Management Organisation, told Reuters.
Northern Ghana has been particularly badly hit, and the authorities
there have appealed for international help to feed, clothe and
house tens of thousands uprooted by rising waters that have killed
at least 18.
"Malaria may be expected because we have stagnant waters
and mosquitoes will breed," Brown said.
Last week in neighbouring Togo, where at least 20 people have
died since last month, the authorities delayed the start of the
new academic year for a month after 46 schools were damaged.
And in already impoverished Mali and Niger, swarms of crop-eating
locusts are now feared, OCHA said. (Additional reporting by Francis
Kwera in Kampala, Orla Ryan in Accra and John Zodzi in Lome)
Story : Jeremy
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: Pesticide "Disaster" in French Caribbean - Report
Rapport : le désastre des pesticides dans les Caraïbes
Pestizid : Katastroph in der französichen Karibik
PARIS, France - Widespread use of pesticides in banana plantations
in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique has
caused a "health disaster", according to the author
of a report to be presented to parliament on Tuesday. "It
is not too much to say that there has been a real poisoning of
Martinique and Guadeloupe," Dominique Belpomme told the daily
Le Parisien on Monday.
""The situation there is extremely serious. The scientific
studies we have conducted show a health disaster in the Antilles,"
he said, referring to the islands.
French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot said Belpomme's report
still needed to be confirmed by other scientific studies but she
said she "shared his concerns".
Belpomme said the use of pesticides such as chlordecone had caused
long-term contamination of soil and groundwater. The pesticide
was banned from use in Guadeloupe and Martinique in 1993 but Belpomme
said its effects lingered.
"In Martinique, most springs are contaminated. Fruit and
root vegetables are contaminated by pesticides, some meat is as
well," he said.
He said rates of prostate cancer in the French Caribbean islands
were among the highest in the world and there was a rising incidence
of congenital deformities in babies.
"Extrapolations show that practically one man in two runs
the risk of developing prostate cancer," he said.
He said there was as yet no scientific proof linking prostate
cancer with chlordecone but he aimed to conduct further tests
later this year.
Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier told Europe 1 radio the situation
was "very serious" but he said the destruction of much
of the banana stock last month by Hurricane Dean was an opportunity
to change practices.
"When they replant, we'll have a chance to use only small
quantities of pesticides or none at all," he said.
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: Sudan Floods Death Toll Hits 131, More Rain Expected
Le tribut aux crues du Soudan s'élève à 131
morts, et davantage de pluies sont attendues
Hochwasser im Sudan : 131 Töte. Weitere Regenfälle
KHARTOUM, Sudan - The death toll from floods in Sudan has risen
to 131, from 122 a week ago, as more information comes in from
the regions of Africa's largest country, a senior government official
said on Wednesday.
The floods have cut off many villages and made at least 200,000
people homeless and more flooding may be on the way, the United
"131 people have died," Hamadallah Adam Ali, the head
of Sudan's civil defence authority, said.
The flooding has been most severe in regions where the Nile broke
its banks after heavy rains, he added.
In a statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday, the United Nations
warned of more rain.
"The flood situation remains critical. The early warning
and emergency information centre predicts further heavy rainfall
and the risk of flash floods," the UN Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
"Access to affected areas for assessments and response continues
to be difficult with roads becoming inundated and damaged and
airstrips frequently not landable by fixed wing planes,"
the statement added.
Ali said the government has used tractors to carry aid across
heavily flooded fields, as well as boats and helicopters to reach
villages isolated by the deluge.
Justin Bagirishya, head of the south Sudan office of the World
Food Programme (WFP), said some 16,000 people in remote villages
in south Sudan have no access to humanitarian aid and need immediate
"They are cut off completely. There are no usable roads or
airstrips," he told Reuters.
OCHA said 770 affected families from one town in south Sudan are
now camped on the town's airstrip to escape the waters.
It said UN and other humanitarian agencies have used boats to
deliver food and medical supplies and plastic sheeting to a number
of hard-hit areas in south Sudan.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) told Reuters some 1,281 people
have fallen ill with acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) since an outbreak
in April. Sixty-one people have died.
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: EU Halts Court Action Over French Water Pollution
L'UE met fin à une action en justice contre la France pour
pollution de l'eau
EU stoppt Klage gegen Frankreich wegen Wasserverschmutzung
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission took the unusual
step on Wednesday of seeking to suspend court action against France,
saying Paris had taken steps to tackle the problem of farm pollutants
in drinking water.
The European Commission in June asked the European Court of Justice
to fine France more than 28 million euros (US$39 million) for
ignoring a previous court ruling over water standards in the western
region of Brittany.
But on Wednesday, the Commission said France had taken measures
to ensure nitrates, caused by the use of fertilisers and manure
in agriculture, did not exceed 50 mg per litre by the end of 2009
in the remaining areas where levels are too high.
EU countries were required to meet the limits from 1987. "I
am confident that the measures now taken combined with a pro-active
response by farmers should lay the basis for more sustainable
agricultural practices in Brittany and long-term compliance with
(EU) legislation," EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas
said in a statement.
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: Flooding Leaves 3.5 Million People Homeless in India
Inde : les inondations laissent 3,5 millions de personnes sans
India : 3,5 Millionen Obdachlose nach Hochwasser
GUWAHATI, India - Soldiers in motor boats rescued thousands
of marooned people and helicopters air-dropped food as the number
of people made homeless after some of the worst flooding in years
in India's northeast rose to 3.5 million.
About 10 million people out of the 27 million population of Assam
state have been affected by flooding after rains in the past few
days. More than 2,000 villages have been completely submerged.
The second spell of flooding in less than a month has also spread
across parts of Bangladesh, forcing around a million from their
homes and leaving thousands stranded. About 850 people have died
in floods there since late July.
"The situation is grim," the chief minister of tea-
and oil-rich Assam state, Tarun Gogoi, told Reuters on Tuesday.
About 3 million people in Assam are living in temporary shelters,
government buildings and schools, officials said.
Around 400,000 hectares (one million acres) of farmland have been
Since the annual monsoon rains began in June, about 50 people
have been killed in Assam.
In the neighbouring state of Manipur, at least 55,000 people have
been rendered homeless and are staying in more than 30 relief
Road links to the tiny state of Sikkim, which borders China, remained
disrupted as a large stretch of the main highway connecting the
state with rest of the country was blocked by landslides.
The regional weather office in Guwahati - the main city in the
country's northeast -- forecast more rains in the next 48 hours.
Prices of essential commodities have shot up across the region
as landslides and flooding blocked highways at many places and
trucks carrying food and medicines were stranded.
The chief minister of Manipur, Okram Ibobi Singh, ordered officials
to release government food supplies for victims.
In Bangladesh, 10 people died overnight, including two killed
in a mudslide in Chittagong port city, officials said.
They said the latest floods had started to ebb slightly in the
country's north but deteriorated sharply in the northeast. (Additional
reporting by Azad Majumder and Ruma Paul in Dhaka).
Story : Biswajyoti
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News service
10.09.07 : Pollution d'eau au Texas: Fujicolor plaide coupable
Water pollution in Texas : Fujicolor pleads guilty
Wasserverschmutzung in Texas : Fujicolor anerkennt Schuld
Pendant trois ans, l'usine de Terrell a rejeté des quantités
excessives de déchets, produits par le process industriel
de photographie argentique, qui se sont retrouvés dans
la station d'épuration locale. D'après l'annonce
faite par le Département de justice et l'Agence de protection
de l'environnement (EPA) le 6 septembre, Fujicolor processing
doit désormais verser 200.000 dollars (146.174 euros) d'amende,
et la filiale de Fujifilm USA a plaidé coupable pour avoir
violé les conditions de prétraitement requises par
le permis de l'usine texane.
Une enquête interne a montré qu'entre 1999 et 2002,
des employés ont délibérément choisi
de transmettre à la municipalité des tests conformes
aux limites fixées par le permis. Si les échantillons
d'effluents montraient des teneurs en substances toxiques supérieures
aux limites, les employés attendaient d'obtenir des échantillons
conformes pour les envoyer aux autorités locales.
En 2002, la ville de Terrell avait déjà condamné
l'usine à une amende de 105.725 dollars (77.267 euros)
pour avoir dépassé les limites autorisées.
Depuis, Fujicolor a renvoyé les employés mis en
cause et déclare avoir tout mis en uvre pour prévenir
de telles violations.
Source : Le
Journal de l'Environnement du 10.09.2007
10.07.09 : Flood Death Toll Hits 7 in Romania, Danube Rising
7 morts suite aux crues en Roumanie, et le niveau d'eau du Danube
Hochwasser in Rumanien : 7 Tote, Donaupegel steigt weiter
BUCHAREST, Romania - The number of dead from floods in eastern
Romania rose to seven on Friday with one person still missing,
authorities said after torrential rains ceased.
Heavy rains have washed away dozens of homes in Vrancea, Bacau
and Vaslui counties since Wednesday, forcing hundreds out of their
"The death toll has risen to seven people, one is still missing
and 1,391 persons were evacuated," said deputy interior minister
Meanwhile in Austria, heavy rains that started on Wednesday swelled
some rivers feeding into the Danube. The Kleine Ybbs river in
the Lower Austria province reached its highest level in a century
and flooded 120 buildings in the town of Ybbsitz.
Firemen and soldiers piled up sandbags to protect an embankment
in the town of Lilienfeld at the Traisen river, where rain began
falling again overnight. The Traisen also flooded streets in Lower
Austria's capital St Poelten.
The Danube is expected to reach its peak level -- which will remain
well below the catastrophic floods seen in 2002 -- around midnight
near Vienna and early Saturday morning downstream near the Hungarian
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
: International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River
won the 2007 Thiess Riverprize
La Commission Internationale de Protection du Danube a remporté
le Prix Thiess 2007 pour les Rivières
Internationale Kommission zum Schutz der Donau hat den 2007 Riverprize
Le Riverprize international est doté par la Fondation Internationale
pour les Rivières (IRF), fondation créée
en 2003. Son but est de protéger et restaurer rivières
et cours d'eau dans le monde pour les générations
futures. Elle favorise pour cela les relations entre experts du
monde entier et vise à la création d'une fond de
30 millions de $ à l'horizon 2010 afin d'atteindre des
buts préalablement définis pour la protection des
Chaque année, l'IRF décerne les Prix international
et national Thiess pour les rivières. Le Prix international
Thiess, doté cette année de 300 000 AU$, récompense
un projet de restauration des rivières, qui soit novateur,
original et incitatif, sur quelque rivière que ce projet
se situe. Le Prix national Thiess (100 000 AU$) est quant à
lui décerné à un projet ou un mode de gestion
exemplaire d'une rivière australienne. Ces prix offrent
aux vainqueurs la possibilité de mettre en action leurs
idées pour sauver nos rivières patrimoniales.
EN 2007, le prix international a été remporté
par la Commission Internationale de Protection du Danube (ICPDR),
dont le but principal est de mettre en uvre la Convention
de Protection du Danube signée par 13 nations et l'Union
Européenne. Cette convention vise à promouvoir et
coordonner la gestion durable et équitable de l'eau.
Le Danube est un fleuve européen de 2780 km de long, dont
le bassin versant comprend de nombreux affluents sur une surface
de 801 463 km2. Ce bassin versant concerne 81 millions de personnes
dans 19 pays. L'Histoire n'a pas ménagé le grand
fleuve : canalisé et barré au cours des 19 et 20èmes
siècles, il a ensuite souffert des pratiques agricoles
et industrielles de l'ère soviétique, qui a laissé
un héritage environnemental lourd.
L'ICPDR a été fondée en 1998 dans le but
de catalyser la coopération internationale dans le domaine
environnemental et d'inciter des actions correctives :
> Mise en place de station d'épuration des eaux usées,
> Evolution des politiques environnementales,
> Restauration des plaines d'inondation et de leurs habitats
> Développement de technologies pour la collecte et
le traitement des informations,
> Sensibilisation et éducation à l'environnement
(Journée du Danube, magazine Danube Watch, kit éducatif
L'ICPDR est ainsi devenue une référence mondiale
de coopération en matière de gestion de rivière.
Et ce n'est pas fini : le travail continue avec une Déclaration
d'Amélioration de la Coopération en matière
de gestion de l'eau
Le prix national a quant à lui été décerné
au Groupe de Travail sur les zones humides du Murray (New South
: SOS Loire Vivante - ERN France
Sources : site web de l'International
Riversymposium and Environemtantal Flows Conference (en anglais),
site web de la Commission
Internationale de Protection du Danube
Riverprize is funded by the International River Foundation, created
in 2003. It aims to protect and restore rivers and waterways around
the world for the future generations. IRF makes easier the relations
between international experts and aims to create a AU$ 30 millions
funds in 2010 to achieve defined goals to protect the rivers.
Every year, IRF awards the International and National Thiess Riverprizes.
International Thiess Riverprize, this year allocated AU$ 300 000,
rewards a river restoration project, which is innovative, original
and incitative, on any river in the world. National Thiess Riverprize
(AU$ 100 000) is given to a project or a model of good management
of an Australian river. These prizes give winners the possibility
to implement their ideas to save our patrimonial rivers.
In 2007, International Riverprize has been won by International
Commission for the Protection of Danube River (ICPDR), whose main
goal is to implement the Convention to Protect the Danube, signed
by 13 nations and European Union. This Convention aims to promote
and coordinate the sustainable and fair management of water.
Danube is an European 2780 km long river, whose watershed includes
many tributaries on a surface of 801 463 sq km. This watershed
concerns 81 millions peoples of 19 countries. History was not
gentle with the big river : canalised and dammed during the 19th
and 20th centuries, he then suffered from the agricultural and
industrial practices of the Soviet era, which let a heavy environmental
ICPDR was founded in 1998 with aim to catalyse the international
cooperation in the environmental field and to encourage corrective
> Implementation of sewage treatment plants,
> Evolution of the environmental policies,
> Restoration of the flood plains and their natural habitats,
> Development of technologies to collect and treat the information
> Awareness raising and environmental education (Danube Day,
Danube Watch magazine, Danube Box : an educative tool kit
ICPDR thus became a worldwide reference for cooperation in the
river management field. And this is not the end : a Declaration
of Improving the Cooperation in the field of water management
is currently being discussed
As for the National Riverprize, it was awarded to the Work Group
for Murray Wetlands, in the New South Wales (Australia).
Author : SOS
Loire Vivante - ERN France
Sources : web site of the International
Riversymposium and Environemtantal Flows Conference, website
of the International
Commission for the Protection of Danube River
05.09.07 : At Least 87 Dead in West Africa Floods - Red Cross
Au moins 87 morts dans les crues d'Afrique de l'Ouest, selon la
Hochwasser in Westafrika fordert gemäss dem Roten Kreuz mindestens
GENEVA, Switzerland - Severe floods across West Africa have
killed at least 87 people, most of them in Nigeria, over the past
two months, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies said on Tuesday.
Weather conditions worsened considerably in August, with areas
of hard-hit northern Togo difficult to reach because bridges were
swept away by heavy rains, the world's largest disaster relief
At least 68 people have died in Nigeria, 17 in Togo and at least
2 in Mauritania, it said in a statement. More than 100,000 people
have been affected in 10 countries across the region, home to
some of the world's poorest countries.
"Torrential rains have destroyed homes, leaving thousands
homeless. They damaged roads and devastated crops in areas where
food security has been a problem before so we need to carefully
monitor the situation," said Niels Scott, the Federation's
operations coordinator for Africa.
The Geneva-based Federation has released 553,750 Swiss francs
(US$456,800) to help national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies
cover immediate needs in West Africa.
Source : Planet
Ark and Reuters News Service
03.09.07 : As Greek Fires Rage, EU Debates Fighting Drought
Tandis que le feu fait rage en Grèce, l'UE débat
de la lutte contre la sécheresse
EU Debatte zur Dürrebekämpfung während der Grossfeuer
LISBON, Portugal - European Union ministers called on Saturday
for more EU action to prevent forest fires in the wake of deadly
blazes in Greece, while debating strategies to combat drought
and water scarcity in the 27-nation bloc.
Portuguese Environment Minister Francisco Nunes Correia, whose
country holds the EU presidency, said environment ministers expressed
sympathy to Greece at a meeting in Lisbon after eight days of
fires killed 63 people.
"Many delegations expressed their solidarity with Greece,
which is suffering devastating damage now, and they recognised
the need in this context to further develop European policies,"
he told a news conference.
Correia said ministers called on the executive European Commission
to review ways to strengthen the EU's capacity to prevent such
disasters and to increase "preparedness and the ability to
respond and support recovery".
But ministers were divided on the need for new EU legislation
on drought and water scarcity.
Northern countries, concerned about costs and increased bureaucracy,
expressed scepticism, while southern nations sought new rules
to address the issue, one official said.
"Everyone was agreed that we have to be more careful in how
we use water," he said. The disagreement lay in "how
far to take that".
Portugal's Correia said such legislation could require EU governments
to identify drought risk areas and draw up contingency plans,
but he recognised that not all states supported the idea and said
the focus now would be on implementing existing EU water policies.
The European Commission released a report on Friday that said
the bloc could reduce its water use by 40 percent.
Meanwhile authorities in Greece said they expected fires there
would burn for at least four more days, reinvigorated by strong
The Commission, which has coordinated help for Greece from EU
governments, warned that similar disasters were likely to take
place again in the future.
"Due to climate change, due to drought and to a number of
other phenomena, we must expect similar events to occur in the
years to come,"said Peter Mogens Carl, head of the Commission's
Story by Jeff
Source : Planet Ark and Reuters News Service