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The State of Biodiversity in Latin America and the Caribbean

December 21, 2016 |


This report is a product of UNEP-WCMC

“Global Biodiversity Outlook-4, the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, provided a global assessment of progress towards the attainment of the Plan’s global biodiversity goals and associated Aichi Biodiversity Targets, but contained limited regional information. This report builds on and complements the global GBO-4 assessment. It is the second edition of the State of Biodiversity in the Latin America and the Caribbean report and serves as a near mid-term review of progress towards the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 for the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

This report draws on a set of regional indicators, information from fifth national reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), other national and regional reports, case studies and published literature, to provide a target-by-target review of progress towards the twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets. As much as possible, global indicators for Aichi Biodiversity Targets have been broken down to regional level and some additional analyses of existing global information have been undertaken with key national institutions in the region. However, limitations in data have meant that some datasets, which do not extend past 2011, have been included to illustrate that relevant information exists, but further efforts to update this information are needed.

Tracking regional progress can help identify where regional and national efforts are most needed to enhance and accelerate progress towards the attainment of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Responding to the opportunities and challenges requires a collaborative effort so this report has been produced to help inform regional and national dialogue across governments and many stakeholders throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region, and the promotion of co-operation and actions especially through legal and policy frameworks at different scales.

The key messages about the state of biodiversity in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and the pressures upon it, which have emerged from this assessment are:

  • Declines in species abundance and high risks of species extinctions continue.
  • Rates of habitat loss in Latin America and the Caribbean have slowed but remain high.
  • Certain pressures associated with rapid economic growth and social inequities are impacting the region’s natural resources.
  • Agricultural expansion and intensification to increase both livestock, arable and commodities production continue.
  • The region is undergoing major infrastructure development of dams and roads.
  • The impacts on biodiversity of high concentrations of population in urban areas are particularly significant within the region.
  • Country economies within the region are very highly dependent on natural resources.
  • Resource extraction for minerals and hydrocarbons has, in some cases, led to locally devastating direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity such as vegetation removal, water and soil pollution and contamination.
  • Transboundary and local air pollution is now recognised as an environmental factor in human health in the region.
  • Climate change induced impacts on coral reefs and montane habitats within the region are now being observed…”

Download the report here.

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