Heavy downpours triggered floods and caused roofs to collapse in Pakistan, killing at least 50 people, Xinhua reported. The report suggests that heavy rainfall late in the monsoon season has become more common in Pakistan over the past few years.
The growing production of chemical pesticides in developing countries poses significant threats to human health and the environment, according to a new United Nations report, the Guardian reported. Chemical production in Africa is expected to increase 40 percent by 2020, and pesticide-related illnesses could cost sub-Saharan Africa $US 90 billion between 2005 and 2020.
The Chinese government will spend $US 5.9 billion this year to improve farmland and boost agricultural productivity, Xinhua reported. Projects will include installing and upgrading irrigation systems for 1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres) of land.
The construction of a “mega-dam” on Colombia’s Cauca River could jeopardize the habitat of a newly discovered bird species and a threatened macaw, according to a press release from the American Bird Conservancy. The 2400-megawatt Pescadero-Ituango hydroelectric dam will flood 39 square kilometers (15 square miles) of habitat.
China’s Nuozhadu hydroelectric station, the largest station on the Lancang (Mekong) River, began operating for the first time yesterday, Xinhua reported. The dam at the new station is the highest in Asia, and is one of 7 hydropower dams China has planned for the Lancang.
A report commissioned by the German Environment Ministry recommends that Germany ban hydraulic fracturing near water reservoirs and springs to avoid environmental damage, Bloomberg News reported.