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                        EARTH DAY UPDATE 

This is #3 of a series of informal newsletters to share information here 

and abroad on activities in support of Earth Day 25 and ongoing efforts 

for global stewardship of the environment.

Focus Abroad: Central America & The Caribbean

Embassy San Jose (Dalton) plans to do an Earth Day display at the at the 

Costa Rican Children‚s museum as well as an effort to green the radio 

stations Cina and San Carlos.  Post will highlight the Concausa 

Agreement, signed at the Summit of the Americas by President Clinton and 

the Central American presidents.

Embassy Port Au Prince (CLO - Bell) will hold a calendar contest with 

secondary schools. Participating students will be judged on the 

creativity and practicality of their suggestions of how to best preserve 

the environment in Haiti; schools will receive prizes such as vegetable 

seeds for each student that enters the contest as well as more 

substantial rewards for the special performances.  Post is organizing 

this special event in coordination with the team of U.S. overseas 

representatives, multi-national parties, government ministries - 

including education, environment, agriculture, and tourism - and non-

governmental organizations.

Among the many posts in the region planning Worldnet interactives - 

including Managua, Santo Domingo, and Belize  - Panama (Johnson) plans 

to focus on „Sustainable Marketplace: Connections between Ecology, 

Commerce and Communityš.  Post cites two examples of challenges that 

Panama will face: whether to extract the rich mineral resources located 

in the preserved virgin tropical forest and to cut through national 

parks in the building of a highway from Panama City to Colon.  Post 

reports, „economies throughout Central America...will increasingly 

confront problems such as these.  They will find the best 

balance between economic development and environmental protection...and 

to understand how the environment underpins the economic growth and 

social well being of society as a wholeš.

Service for the Environment -

As an educational initiative to commemorate the 25th Earth Day, the U.S. 

is encouraging schools around the world to dedicate an annual week of 

environmental service involving young people in volunteerism for the 

environment.  The idea is to have American and local schools (primary, 

secondary and college level) overseas carry out environmental service 

projects appropriate for their local communities - such as cleaning up 

urban areas, parks or beaches.  The week of service would take place 

April 15-22(Earth Day) or in some cases May 30-June 5(World Environment 

Day).  The participating schools would then write about their 

experiences and share lessons learned on an Internet „scrap bookš 

fostering distance learning about global environmental activity.  A 

message of encouragement, a packet of environmental materials and 

Internet address link will be sent out in early April. The State 

Department is heading the initiative involving the overseas American 

International Schools, the Department of Defense Overseas Schools 

Program and in coordination with many other agencies and organizations 

such as Peace Corps, AID, GLOBE, National Geographic Society, Campus 

Green Vote and the National Education and Training Foundation.

How is Washington DC Celebrating Earth Day?

More Special Events on the Mall: 

EarthFair - exhibits by grassroots groups, corporations and government 

agencies (Joe Libertelli, Metro DC Environmental Network, Tel 202-544-

5125, Fax 202-544-7058).

Building a Better World - 1500 students of schools around the country 

will, through bike power, raise a forty two foot geodesic dome of the 

earth (Tom Grimm, Skyline Displays, Tel 612-895-6360).

Kids Flag - a 200x100ft. earth flag made from children across the Nation 

will be unveiled (Glen Gaskins, Earth Force, Tel 703-807-2826)

March for the Parks - the Mall is the end point of a two-mile march to 

raise funds for parks and green spaces (Soren Jensen, NPCA, Tel 202-223-


U.S. Government Efforts:

NASA/Global Change - a three hour Earth Day teleconference for American 

schools and universities on April 21 will feature - via satellite links 

- children from GLOBE schools in the U.S. and Russia interviewing 

astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the Russian Mir Space Station.(Lynn 

Mortenson, Global Change Program, Tel 202-401-0990)

United States Postal Service - four stamps issued to commemorate the 

25th anniversary of Earth Day will be unveiled at a kids ceremony.  The 

stamps were chosen from among 150,000 entries of a nationwide design 

contest (Linda Hennekill, USPS, Tel 202-268-2428)

Smithsonian - the Smithsonian Institution will feature the opening of 

the major „Ocean Planetš Exhibit at the Natural History Museum and hold 

an Earth Day conference on biodiversity April 21-22 (Sarah Boren, Tel 

202-357-4797, Fax 202-786-2304, Internet:

Department of Energy - DOE plans to highlight the clean-up and 

sustainability of urban parks nationwide by holding a groundbreaking 

ceremony on their own grounds (Penny Adams, Tel 202-586-5806, Fax 202-


Contact Michael Schneider or Robb Hirsch in the Office of Global Affairs 

at the Department of State for more information: Tel. (202) 647-6240 

Fax. (202) 647-0753.  Internet:  (Internally, 

use:„Global Issuesš as the unclassified e-mail address.  Send messages 

to this address if you know others who want to be included on 

distribution list for updates).
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