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Posts Tagged ‘venezuela and environment’

The world’s first Census of Marine Life is making a splash, and it is doing so with some help from Venezuela.

The census is an enormous effort to take stock of the past, present, and future of marine life with the participation of seventy nations over the course of ten years. The fourth progress report on its findings was given yesterday in Valencia, Spain.

Patricia Miloslavich, Professor of Marine Biology at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, is co-Senior Scientist and coordinator for the areas of the Caribbean and Coastal South America.

Professor Miloslavich is also the curator of the mollusk collection at the Museo de Ciencias Naturales of the Universidad Simón Bolívar.

Miloslavich is quoted in a BBC article on the Census of Marine Life. She points out that the study could help contribute to knowledge about the effects of global warming: “Over the past few years, there has been huge public interest in biodiversity because there is a legitimate concern about the changes being caused by humans.”

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If you can’t go see the wonders of Venezuela’s “lost world” in Canaima National Park yourself, do the next best thing: watch this video from Public Television’s “Wild Chronicles.”

The five-minute documentary follows a group of Venezuelan biologists and researchers to one of the most delicate and diverse parts of the world to collect specimens. Along the way, they discover a new species of catfish, climb up into the forest canopy to check out plants, and delve into the dark world of bats.

All of this is part of a multi-disciplinary attempt to measure local biodiversity and use that knowledge to create policies for environmental preservation. Venezuela’s wild spaces are home to a vast amount of flora and fauna, a natural patrimony that is definitely worth saving.

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An innovative form of eco-friendly housing is taking off in Venezuela.

“Petrocasas” is the name given to a new kind of house built with waste generated by oil production. A plastic derived from the process of refining crude oil is filled with concrete to create durable homes with a high degree of flexibility of design, not to mention a very low environmental impact.

As the world’s fifth-largest exporter of oil — over 3 million barrels per day! — Venezuela faces unique challenges with regard to achieving environmental sustainability. Part of the solution is being found in initiatives like the government-funded “Petrocasas” project, which helps low-income Venezuelans begin to prosper by replacing the precarious homes found in poor barrios with eco-friendly ones that last longer and cost less.

On Sunday, 459 “Petrocasas” were granted to families in the coastal state of Carabobo. There are plans to build 60,000 of these economical and environmentally benign dwellings. This is all part of Venezuela’s “Energy Revolution,” a plan to to develop new industries around the processing of raw materials like oil. Read more about this program here.

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