Saturday, 23 October 2010

Venezuela, Europe and sustainable development

The first European competition for sustainable development in Venezuela took place recently (more in Spanish here, here). There was a prize for a research project and another one for the best successfully implemented project. Spain, Germany, Britain and France had organized this competition.

A team from the Universidad Simón Bolívar got the first prize for their research on keeping the Canaima National Park and offering sustainable solutions to the native Americans in the area (mainly Pemon). I know a bit about the research carried out there from a very good friend who recently and prematurely died, father Jesus García, a Catholic priest who had been doing a wonderful social work for the Pemon community.

A team from the Miranda government got the prize for a successful project for the Valencia Lake or Tacarigua Lake. I feel happy about this prize particularly as I come from the region and I have written a bit (in my Spanish blog) about the problems and potentials associated with this lake. I must own up I did not know anything about their work, so now I have to see how really well implemented it was.

I hope these prizes can be further discussed in the Venezuelan media, new projects start to pop up and the best ones get implemented.

I will try to look for more information on both projects and analyse it as far as I can here.

Valencia or Tacarigua Lake. The picture comes from Wikipedia, where it is upside-down.

Notice the greenish colour in the lake. That's alga bloom product of the huge pollution there coming mostly from industries and sewage from one of most densely populated areas of Venezuela. When my parents were small people could bathe in that lake. The place could become a wonderful attraction as the Chiemsee...if we wanted. The landscape is still gorgeous.

Alexander von Humboldt visited the area in early 1800 and wrote extensively about the Lake. You can read about the whole region in his magnificent Voyage to the Equinoctial Regions.

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