Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Global Hertitage Fund – MIRADOR

January 29, 2009

mirador_3d_6101Mirador Archaeological and Wildlife Preserve is a proposed 525,100 acre protected area located in the heart of the Maya Biosphere in northern Guatemala. Mirador is home to the earliest and largest Preclassic Maya archeological sites in Mesoamerica, including the largest pyramid in the world- La Danta. Experts describe the Mirador as the Cradle of Maya Civilization.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Maya Biosphere has lost 70% of its forests in the last ten years. Establishment of the Mirador Archaeological and Wildlife Preserve is our last chance to protect the last remaining forests of the Maya Biosphere from total environmental catastrophe (see cover showing 2000-2005 fires in red).

Global Heritage Fund (GHF) is working with the Guatemalan government, community leaders, the Foundation for Anthropological Research and Environmental Studies (FARES) and the U.S. Department of the Interior, to create an economically sustainable park based on the successful model of nearby Tikal National Park.

GHF’s primary conservation goals for Mirador are:

1. Establish a 525,100 acre archaeological and wildlife preserve
2. Secure UNESCO World Heritage designation
3. Become a sustainable protected area within 10 years

Source: GHF 

Advertisements

UTPMP Guatemala

December 17, 2008

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a volunteer in “Un techo para mi Pais” and I wanted to share my experience with you guys.

More than one hundred volunteers showed up for the event.  Our objective was to build 20 wooden houses for the people of Palencia, Guatemala. In order to achieve this we were dividend in two camps and then divided into teams of 5 to 6 persons. Each team was responsible of building their house with the new home owners, who welcome us to their ordinary house and treated us like another family member.

They shared their amazing stories about their lives, their work and their family…truly exceptional people who can teach us a great deal about life and who deserve a worthy home.

Now I want to share some gratifying moments:  

[rockyou id=128891602]

International Institute of Sustainable Development

July 17, 2008

IISD is a non-for-profit organization with a team of more than 150 people. They promote change towards sustainable development. Take a look at their Annual Report.

 

 

 

 

The Green Wall of China

May 6, 2008

Gobi DesertThe Green Wall of China or Green Great Wall is a project to plant 2,800 miles of forest strips across the northwest rim of China skirting the Gobi Desert. It is consider one of the biggest ecological projects in history. The project will take 73-years of forestation and will cost 96.2 billion over the next decade.

The Director of the State Administration of Forestry, Zhou Shenxian, said “The project will greatly reduce the sandstorm thread to Beijing, upon completion.” The Gobi Desert has been taking grassland over the year, which is a great threat to China agriculture economy. 

 

Some Examples o Environmental Engineering

1996

Italian army blows up 15,000 pounds of explosives to block lava flowing from Mount Etna to villages below.

1999
Mexico City installs 20,000 air filters on streetlights in the smog-choked central district.

US approves an $8 billion project to rechannel a river as part of reengineering the 4 million-acre Florida Everglades.

Los Angeles builds a massive ground-based sprinkler system to control dust pollution in nearby Owens Valley.

2001
New York City Transit dumps some 1,000 subway cars in the ocean off Delaware and South Carolina to serve as artificial reefs.

2002
Construction begins on Italy’s $3 billion plan to build hinged dams around Venice to keep the city from sinking.

2003
First generators go online at China’s Three Gorges Dam, a $24 billion project that will provide 18.2 million kilowatts of power by 2009.

Source: WIRED, BBC News

 

 

 

Gorlov Helical Turbine

March 3, 2008

The Gorlov Helical Turbine (GHT)developed by Alexander Gorlov, a Russian civil engineer, is a newly developed technology that provides a reliable source of electricity by extracting kinetic energy form flowing water.

 Whats most important is that GHT is not as expensive as wind or hydro turbines. Also, has great advantages:

  • No flooding from dams
  •  Minimal obstructions of water flows
  • Reliable
  • Low cost, etc.

It is a great alternative!  Take a look at this example:

picture1.jpg

 Project Goal: Use Tidal Energy to generate electricity.

Scenario: In the amazon, rural residents are not able to access power lines due to their locations. The only options available to the are solar panels and diesel generator.

 Equipment Needed:

The Helical Turbine rotates on a shaft with a pulley that runs an alternator by means of belt. The alternators chargers batteries when used off the grid.

Results:

  • Accessible Technology
    • About 90% of Tide Energy stations can be built using locally available labor, materials, and equipment.
    • Only the technically refined helical turbine blades are outside components

Benefits:

  • Sufficient to meet basic need of 10 households.

Biotech Crops

February 28, 2008

Genetic Modified crops might be a solution for world hunger, however, opposition exist that these crops are a health risk and environmental threat.

Some arguments:

  • Many GM crops are not filed tested or regulated in the U.S.
  • Most GM crops are engineered to fight pest, improve nutrition, or to prevent disease or pollution,  
  • The top arguments used by BM proponents: Gm crops will feed the worlds growing population,

cwb991.gif

 

Source: The Economist

Since genetic modified crops were first planted 10 year ago, the use worldwide has been growing at double digit rates.  It has been growing, specially, in middle-income countries such as China, India and Brazil.

gr2006011200093.gif

 

gr2006011200842.gif

 

Betting on Green

February 18, 2008

Going Green

Venture capitalists have been investing billions of dollars into green-energy start up companies. In the first nine months of last year, US venture investors invested $2.6 billion into clean-energy start ups, more than the $1.8 billion invested in such firms in all of 2006, according to the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Financial.

Some clean energy companies:

Googl.org

January 30, 2008

Google.Org 

Google.org aspires to use the power of information and technology to address the global challenges of our age: climate change, poverty and emerging disease. In collaboration with experienced partners working in each of these fields, we will invest our resources and tap the strengths of Google’s employees and global operations to advance five major initiatives.

Develop Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal (RE<C)

Create utility-scale electricity from clean renewable energy sources that is cheaper than electricity produced from coal. More information

Accelerate the Commercialization of Plug-In Vehicles (RechargeIT)

Seed innovation, demonstrate technology, inform the debate, and stimulate market demand to foster mass commercialization of plug-in vehicles. More information

Predict and Prevent

Identify “hot spots” and enable rapid response to emerging threats, such as infectious disease and climate risk. More information

Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services

Use information to empower citizens and communities, providers, and policymakers to improve the delivery of essential public services such as education, health, water and sanitation. More information

Fuel the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Increase the flow of risk capital to small and medium-sized businesses in the developing world. More information

REVA Electric Car

December 6, 2007

RAVAII

REVA Electric Car Company Private Ltd. (RECC), based in Bangalore, India, was established in 1994 as a joint venture between the Maini Group India and AEV LLC, California USA, to manufacture environment-friendly and cost-effective electric vehicles. Seven years of R&D earned the RECC recognition in the form of 10 patents and a globally accepted product. REVA, India’s first zero polluting Electric Vehicle for city mobility, was commercialized in June 2001. The success of commercializing REVA at affordable prices stems from the support it has received from The Maini Group. The Group has been committed to producing zero-pollution transportation equipment and automotive components since 1984. RECC is guided by the “zero principle” of the Maini Group. Zero defects, zero time delays, zero inefficiencies and zero pollution. This is achieved through Zero Wastage and Zero Compromises.  The vision of RECC is to establish a tradition of excellence and leadership in environment friendly urban transportation by offering the best value and highest quality electric vehicles for city mobility.

 REVA

Fondo Educativo ENA

November 27, 2007

Last week we attended the inauguration of one of the ten computer center we are donated on behalf of the Project named “Fondo Educativo Enrique Novella Alvarado para Telesecundarias, Centros de Tecnología en los Básicos por Telesecundaria del Departamento de El Progreso.” Which objectives are to improve the educational conditions in rural communities through technology. In order to be competitive in today’s world.

Unfortunately the fund can only help ten rural communities. I’m trying to get further funding in order to help additional communities and give more children the opportunity to have technology in their classrooms.

If you are interesting in donating I will gladly provide further details of the program.

Now, please enjoy some pictures of the inauguration.

[rockyou id=92783762]