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Latin America and Caribbean

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Environment Strategy

Latin America and Caribbean


The unique and rich biodiversity resources of the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Region continue to be under threat from settlements, inappropriate agriculture, logging, and mining, as well as from inadequate protected areas management. The region continues to be plagued by persistent environmental health risks from urban air pollution, indoor air pollution, and inadequate access to improved water sources and sanitation, all of which result in higher health costs. Rising industrial pollution combined with weak monitoring and enforcement further compounds the contamination of air, water, and soil from emissions and effluent discharges. Several countries have weak environmental institutions and poor environmental governance. In many countries in LAC and in the Region as a whole, GHG emissions from the transportation and energy sectors are expected to rise in tandem with rising motorization rates. Learn More. Read the Executive Summary in Spanish.


LAC is strengthening its green agenda by undertaking analytical work to underpin the economic value of functioning ecosystems, investing in biodiversity protection, and mobilizing innovative sources of financing, including through the linkage between biodiversity and climate change. Through participation in the WAVES partnership, this work includes shifting toward greater recognition of the economic value of ecosystems and biodiversity services and of the high economic costs of their loss. It also supports the management of protected areas (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States), the integration of biodiversity conservation into productive landscapes (Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil, and Panama), and the use of payments for environmental services (Costa Rica, Mexico, and Brazil). Work will also be stepped up to meet the growing interest in forest carbon partnerships (REDD+, for example in Mexico and Costa Rica) and forest investment programs (Mexico, Peru, and Brazil) to build institutional capacity, forest governance, and information, as well as investments in forest mitigation efforts. LAC is the most urbanized region in the world, so support for countries to move toward a cleaner development path is a high priority for the region. Supporting countries like Argentina and Uruguay to strengthen their industrial pollution abatement and cleaner production processes is another key priority, while for Brazil, encouraging “green cities” by incorporating environmental considerations into urban planning and design is a key focus. LAC is increasingly addressing the need for enhanced climate resilience by boosting work in adaptation, mitigation, and disaster risk management. Learn More. Read the Executive Summary in Spanish.

Last updated: 2012-05-29

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