Archivo de ‘Environment’



Company will have to pay for spillage into Medellín River

Martes, enero 7th, 2014

The Metropolitan Area announced that it found the company Locería Colombiana-Corona responsible for a spill that tinted the Medellín River on September 13th of 2013, and will be fined 119’640,204 pesos. In a statement, the Metropolitan Area explained that the spillage was detected around 10:00 a.m. by its own Environmental Emergencies Unit after an alert was issued by Corantioquia.

This is the second fine imposed by the entity for issues of this nature. On December 11th, Fabricato was fined 126 million pesos for a spillage in July of 2013.

Medellín sets out to improve air quality

Lunes, noviembre 26th, 2012

As the most industrialized and populated city in the Aburrá Valley, not to mention the city with the most vehicles on the streets, Medellín also has the highest levels of pollution, especially in the downtown area.

According to an inventory of environmental contaminants, mobile sources are the biggest culprits but local authorities are determined to make changes that will improve the quality of the air.

Some of those measures include improving fuel quality, offering sustainable means of transportation as well as encouraging the use of non-motorized alternatives like bicycles; local universities and other entities will participate in monitoring air quality in nine municipalities.

El Niño won’t lead to blackout this time around

Miércoles, septiembre 19th, 2012

Colombia learned from its mistakes and this time around, the El Niño phenomenon will not cause any blackouts according to the president of the Association of Energy Generators (Acolgen), Angela Montoya.

However, for the director of the National Association of Residential Utilities, Mauricio López, it’s not such a sure thing given that annual deforestation of 350,000 hectares will make it difficult to supply water despite the cushion provided by the energy sector. “Perhaps the sector learned its lesson, but society didn’t,” he said.

The recommendation right now is to save and store water and make the effort to use resources more efficiently. The 2012-2013 phenomenon may be similar to the one in 2006, but much less severe than it was in 1997-1998.

El Niño may come, but not until 2013

Miércoles, junio 13th, 2012

Ideam, the Colombia’s Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, explained that the drought felt in some parts of the nation does not mean the El Niño phenomenon has arrived.

Ideam director, Ricardo Lozano, said the institute cannot confirm whether El Niño is coming but only that there is a 50 percent chance it will make an appearance; if it does, however, it would be early next year.

“We are coming out of the first rainy season of the year, which began in mid March and ends in mid-June,” Lozano explained, “we don’t have seasons like countries to the North and South do, we are a tropical country, so we will always have rain. Whenever I am asked when summer is coming I say never because we don’t have seasons. What the country has is a rainier season and a less rainy season. Right now we are in the transition between the rainier season and the less rainy one that comes mid-year.”

For local authorities and experts, the phenomenon is nothing new for Colombia and “we have learned some lessons”, which should assist the agricultural sectors as well as the energy and water industries in preparing to deal with a period of less rain.

Editorial: Antioquia’s Central Park is a GO

Miércoles, junio 6th, 2012

In light of World Environment Day, the green light (no pun intended) was given to the creation of Antioquia’s Central Park, an ambitious undertaking aimed at conserving and protecting the lands surrounding Medellín’s Metropolitan Area. It hopes to conserve forests and hydric resources, creating a greenbelt around the central portion of the department.

More than conservation, however, it’s a matter of human survival, given that most of the Aburrá Valley’s residents benefit from these natural resources. World Environment Day reminded citizens all over the world that climate change has concrete and damaging effects on our lives. Not only do we see changes in seasons, which have increased in intensity and duration as of late, also impacting food production; but natural disasters have also become more frequent due to the alteration of ecosystems.

Globally, little gets done to contain disasters of this nature, which is why any local or regional effort is significant and worthwhile. Backed by a number of national and regional institutions, the Governorship of Antioquia, Medellín’s Mayoral Office and 50 municipalities are now committed to working towards the conservation of 894.55 hectares and guarantee the wellbeing of all citizens and future generations. It will be a priority to recover, protect and preserve Antioquia’s natural resources through the declaration of new protected areas and stricter rules.

Authorities scramble to prevent disasters

Martes, enero 5th, 2010

colincendiosforestalesenbogota04012010Extreme temperatures have environmental authorities working non-stop in at least eight departments where frosts and forest fires are threatening to unleash emergencies. The Ideam says frosts come every year between January and February and have to do with cold fronts, but this year they could last until March. Extreme high temperatures caused by the El Niño phenomenon have also dried up the vegetative cover making it so vulnerable even a small fire could turn into a tragedy of great magnitude.

The departments of most concern are: Antioquia Boyacá, Cundinamarca, Meta and Northern Santander. As of yesterday 46 municipalities were in a state of emergency and nearly 500 hectares had been wiped out. 17 helicopters Colombian Air Force helicopters equipped with Bamby Bucket have been working on controlling the flames; the National Police has also been fighting fires in the mountains of Bogotá.

Authorities believe arson has played a part in many of these fires; Minister of the Interior, Fabio Valencia, reiterated that Law 1333 of 2009 sentences an arsonist to up to 15 years in prison and a fine of as much as 5.000 minimum wage salaries.

Minister of the Environment, Carlos Acosta, expressed concern for residents’ crops as well; the ICA confirmed that at least 58.000 hectares of flowers, vegetable and grass crops in Cundinamarca and Boyacá are at risk of being destroyed by low temperatures that could reach as low as -4.9 degrees Celsius.

Foods that save the planet

Miércoles, septiembre 16th, 2009

 

Who said only experts can save the planet? Everything, even the smallest efforts made at home, can make a difference to the environment. Gastronomy is no exception and siblings Jorge and Angela Aristizabal are well aware of it. These expert organic growers developed a line of eight soups and three complete meals that taste homemade and are prepared with fresh vegetables and organic preservers; they come in individual portions ready to heat and enjoy. “The idea is to help people eat healthy with products that are environmentally friendly”, they explain.

For Juan Manuel Barrientos, founder of El Cielo and a true gastronomical artist, protecting the environment is an issue that “concerns us all”. Dishes that create awareness like ‘The Forest Fire” and “The Oil Spill” can be ordered from the exclusive menu.

Sun will shine until September

Lunes, julio 28th, 2008

The floods and landslides that left 83 people dead and 114 wounded in 359 municipalities will finally cease, giving way to sunny days until mid-September, according to the Ideam. The Andean and Caribbean regions will have fewer clouds in the sky and less rain, which will contribute to lowering water levels in rivers.
The Ministry of the Environment now needs to prepare measures to prevent other hazards that can accompany a drier season, such as forest fires.

Humberto González, Chief of Forecasts and Alerts for Ideam, explained that Summer arrived late this year due to the ‘La Niña’ phenomenon , even though it already ceased its activity in the Pacific Ocean.  Changes having to do with lower water levels and increased intensity of the wind are already apparent in Colombia’s climate.



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