Latin America and the Caribbean: Natural Wealth and Environmental Degradation in the XXI Century

Jul 2, 2020

The Latin American and Caribbean region has exceptional natural wealth compared to other continents on the planet. At the same time, the social and economic processes of the region have also brought about processes of degradation of that natural capital that may put at risk, the possibility of a path of sustainable development for their countries.

This document reports the situation of the most relevant indicators in terms of the wealth of existing ecosystems and their degradation processes. Alluding to the ancient taxonomy of the four elements, this review will take a tour of the land, water, air and energy in the region. We will compile the most up-to-date information to date on the state of terrestrial ecosystems and land uses, inland and coastal water resources, and air quality. Next, we will analyze the energy issue and its relationship with the emissions of gases associated with climate change, given the relevance of the issue for the future of the region and its contribution to global change. Finally, we conclude with a discussion on the possible ways forward in terms of public policy.

This document is complemented by another entitled “Lessons from COVID-19 for a sustainability agenda in Latin America & the Caribbean” in this same series #COVID19 by UNDP-LAC. 

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