Overview & Resources for GP-2000 Research Groups:

Overview:
During the final weeks of the year, we will be examining specific, current global issues. Time in and outside of class will be spent conducting research related to the effects of international trade on the global environment. Topics in this area important to four nations used as "case studies"--the United States, Japan, Brazil, and Italy--will be the focus of that research. Ultimately a report will be created by groups within the Ellis 8th grade class which will be posted on the Internet for use by our consortium of schools, as well as the general public.

Procedures:
Phase One--Each of the four groups (assigned by case study nations United States, Japan, Brazil, and Italy) collect general economic and trade information about their nation, as well as information related to the following specific assigned topics:
a. the inadvertent introduction of biological invaders via trade
b. trade's effects on the use and conservation of water
c. trade's effects on deforestation
d. the impact of WTO and GATT on environments
NOTE: Groups may decide to replace any ONE of these topics with one of their own choosing, but each group must address FOUR topics
(weeks of April 24, May 1)

Phase Two--Each group develops questions to be asked at Japanese & Brazilian embassy briefings:
NOTE: ALL groups will participate in this phase
(weeks of May 1, 8)

Phase Three--Students attend embassy briefings:
students ask embassy officials pre-selected questions from Ellis 8th grade and students from the GP-2000 consortium
(May 10)

Phase Four--Ellis students draft sections of essay
(week of May 15)

Phase Five--Essay is posted on the GP-2000 web site
(week of May 22)

 

Grading Criteria:
Students will be evaluated in three areas:
a. effectiveness of group participation (10 points--individually assessed)
b. quality, presentation of questions (10 points--assessed as a group)
c. quality, presentation of essay section* (50 points--assessed as a group)
*essay sections will be evaluated as follows: 40 points for content (coverage of four topics assigned in Phase One) AND 10 points for form

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(Click here for more resource links)

Brazil

Title: South America Trade & Environment Issues
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/HP22.HTM

Title: Ben and Jerry and Brazil
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/BEN.HTM

Title: Brazil Deforestation and Logging
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/BRAZIL.HTM

Title: Itaipu Dam (Brazil)
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/ITAIPU.HTM

Title: Brazilian Rubber and Environment
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/RUBBER.HTM

Title: Patanal Wildlife Trade (Brazil)
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/PATANAL.HTM

Title: Yacyreta--Argentinean-Paraguayan Dam
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/YACYRETA.HTM

Temperate Rainforests--topics include ecology, geography, natural resource management, remote imaging, and more
URL: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/temprain/temprain.html

Italy

Title: Mediterranean On the Rocks (transcript of PBS Special)
URL: http://www.pbs.org/saf/8_resources/83_transcript_1004.html

Title: MEDNET--Environmental Network for the Knowledge and Management of the Marine and
Coastal Territory within the Mediterranean Sea

URL: http://sit.iuav.unive.it/mednet/homepage2.html

Japan

Title: Basic Environmental Law--Japan
URL: http://www.eic.or.jp/eanet/e/blaw/blaw-e.html

Title: Japanese Cedar Trees and Timber Trade
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/JAPCEDAR.HTM

Title: Japan Plutonium Imports
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/JAPANPL.HTM

Title: Japan Sea Contamination
URL: http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/JAPANSEA.HTM

 

U.S. (Water & Wetlands)

Title: Great Lakes Commission--Aquatic Nuisance Species Feature
URL: http://www.glc.org/docs/advisor/96/v9n4ans.html

Title: EPA--Wetlands Resources
URL: http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/wetlands/scinfo.html#Information

Title: Water Quality--review of water's importance, the water cycle, pollution, and more
URL: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/waterq/waterq.html

 

General Biological Invaders

Title: Weeds Gone Wild--Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas
URL: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/

Title: Invasive Species
URL: http://www.nbii.gov/invasive/index.html

Title: Causes of Endangerment
URL: http://www.amnh.org/Exhibition/Expedition/Endangered/causes.html

Title: About.com--Biological Invaders
URL: http://ecology.about.com/education/ecology/library/specie/blbioindex.htm

Title: Biological Invasions in New Zealand
URL: http://www.gcrio.org/ASPEN/science/eoc94/EOC3/EOC3-3.html

Title: Science Daily article--Striking Back At Biological Invaders
URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990917081740.htm

Title: USGS--Invasive Species
URL: http://www.nbs.gov/cro/invasive.htm

 

WTO, GATT, etc.

Title: WTO--Environment
URL: http://www.wto.org/wto/environ/environm.htm

Title: WTO--Integrating Environmental Priorities into Trade
URL: http://www.usia.gov/wto/pp0214c.htm

Project leaders: try to get reactions from other countries to this Reuters article dated 4/10/00:

Cuba Says Third World Will Pursue 'Seattle Revolt'

By Jason Webb

HAVANA (Reuters) - Third World leaders at a summit in Havana will continue the "Rebellion of Seattle" against rich countries' attempts to hijack the World Trade Organization for their own interests, host nation Cuba said on Monday.

About 60 leaders from the 133 member nations of the Group of 77 -- so-called because of the group's 1964 founding with 77 members -- were expected in Havana to attend the five-day "South Summit" hosted by Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Host country Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said representatives of 80 percent of the world's population were forging a unified voice to carry on the struggle for their rights from the 1999 chaotic WTO meeting in Seattle.

"This is coming after the rebellion of Seattle. I don't mean just the rebellion in the streets but also the rebellion inside the conference center against attempts to carry out an event that was not transparent and favored the interests of the few and not the majority," Perez told a news conference.

The Havana meeting, chaired by Nigeria, will be the first full presidential summit of the G77's history -- reflecting the importance given to finding a joint position to stand up to the rich on trade issues.

"We need a North-South dialogue in which the North listens to our opinions," said Perez, who added that the richest 20 percent of the world's population earned 82 times more than the poorest 80 percent -- up from 30 times more in 1964.

In Seattle U.S. activists caused havoc on the streets as they called for trade agreements to insist on environmental and labor standards.

Many of the activists, who were often supported by U.S. labor unions worried about competition from low-wage countries, claimed to speak for Third World workers. But poor-country delegates argued fiercely they could not afford First World wages or pollution standards.

"We firmly oppose any linkage between trade and labor standards. We are also against the use of environmental standards as a new form of protectionism," read a draft declaration which will be debated by South Summit leaders.

The document, seen by lower-ranking officials on Monday, will be discussed by foreign ministers starting on Tuesday, and then by heads of state for the summit's final three days.

The draft declaration also called for a "durable solution" to the external debt problems of poorer nations, and made special mention of the dire economic situation in Africa.

It rejected the right to "humanitarian intervention" invoked by the United States and other Western nations when they forced Serbia out of Kosovo in 1999. It called for Israel to withdraw from the "Occupied Palestinian Territory" and for an end to international sanctions against Libya.

The document called on rich countries to share the explosive growth in information technology. Ironically, in the host country Cuba access to Internet is restricted and allowed only with government permission.

Most of the top names billed at the summit, like Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Pakistan's military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Palestinian President Yassar Arafat and South Africa's Thabo Mbeke, were due later in the week.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was expected to fly into Havana on Monday night. Some presidents, including from Vietnam and Nigeria, had already arrived.

Mbeke particularly will have more on his mind than the G77. Mbeke planned a private meeting with Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe in which he was expected to express concern over the occupation of white-owned farms in South Africa's smaller neighbor.

Although the summit is taking place in Cuba, it has been largely ignored by major Latin American countries which are mainly sending low-powered delegations. Brazil and Argentina are G77 members but in recent years have preferred to concentrate their energies on their free trade bloc Mercosur.

An exception is Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, an admirer and sometime baseball opponent of Cuban ruler Castro.

Cuba's veteran communist leader Castro, 73, always generates huge media attention at international events. He was hosting his third major international event in as many years.