Latin America at the Forefront of Biodiversity Protection: World Bank Report
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – A recent news report from the World Bank says that while climate change poses a significant threat for Latin America, the region is doing a commendable job to tackle the challenges of sustainability. The World Bank, in fact, lauds Latin America as a region that has transformed itself into a laboratory for ‘green’ innovation.
As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, Latin America is likely to experience more devastating floods and droughts. However, according Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development, it is possible to create policies and programs that help combat climate change in the most inclusive way.
One such way is to reduce urban pollution, which is a major source of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is also an area where Latin America is already leading the way, according to the World Bank. For the last 20 years, Latin America has been at the forefront of biodiversity protection. 20 percent of the region’s land has been set aside for conservation, a figure that far surpasses the 13 percent averaged by other developing regions.
Growth in the use of renewable energy resources as well as natural gas has helped Latin America reduce its dependence on oil and diesel in the last two decades. The prediction is that hydroelectricity will provide up to 50 percent of new capacity over the next two decades.
80 percent of the population in Latin America lives in urban cities. To reduce the impact of pollution caused by city transport, Bus Rapid Transport systems have been installed in key cities across the region. In Rio de Janeiro, a cable car connects residents to the city, and in Buenos Aires, an innovative bicycle-sharing scheme now makes around 5,000 journeys each day, up from a mere 100 a day in 2010.
Costa Rica, a Latin American country that has long been a green growth pioneer, has set itself an ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021. The country has recently announced new steps to preserve 340,000 hectares of forest in a bid to become the first country to negotiate the sale of forestry carbon credits. In Argentina, national parks are on the rise. About four million hectares of land is now protected by the country’s 36 parks – up by 25 percent from 2003.
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