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Finnish paper mill to open in Uruguay despite Argentina's protests

The river on left side forms the border with Argentine and Uruguay. NASA satellite image.
by Staff Writers
Montevideo (AFP) Nov 9, 2007
Uruguay Friday shut one of three main border crossings to prevent Argentine protestors from entering the country to protest the opening of a paper pulp plant they fear will pollute the river along their shared border.

"The decision was taken in the afternoon as a precautionary measure given the sensitivity of the situation," said an official of the defense ministry, which controls the frontier.

Finnish paper giant Botnia was preparing to start operating the plant in Fray Bentos Friday, management sources told AFP on the sidelines of the Ibero-American Summit in Chile.

The company obtained an environmental permit for the mill from authorities in Uruguay in February 2005, but Argentine environmentalists have fought to block its startup, saying it will pollute the environment in a region dependent on agriculture and tourism, and harm the livlihoods of many who live along the river.

Uruguay argues the mill would cause little harm to the environment, and would revive the area's economy.

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Greenpeace urges Indonesia to stop burning forest
Singapore (AFP) Nov 8, 2007
Greenpeace urged Indonesia on Thursday to stop its "reckless" destruction of rain forests to plant palm oil in the archipelago, which will host a global climate summit next month.

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