Healthy ecosystems are essential for human health and prosperity, yet they are also under pressure from unsustainable development.
Toward Pandemic Recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean—Exploring New Dimensions of Japan-US-LAC Interregional Cooperation
On December 16, the Inter-American Dialogue, in partnership with the Japan Association of Latin America and the Caribbean, held a public meeting titled “Toward Pandemic Recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean—Exploring New Dimensions of Japan-US-LAC Interregional Cooperation,” to consider prospects for enhanced Latin American, Caribbean, Japanese, and US collaboration in support of regional recovery and sustainable development.
Deforestation rates in the Amazon River Basin have risen to near-record levels in recent years, threatening biodiversity and indigenous lands as well as global climate change efforts and weather patterns in the Amazon region and beyond. The lack of governance across Amazonian nations is a primary factor behind countries’ failure to stem forest loss, said experts at an event launching a new Inter-American Dialogue report on May 29.
Under President Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian government has vastly expanded protected areas, creating new national parks and providing land titles to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in the Amazon, Chocó and other important forest regions. However, many challenges remain. National parks and indigenous and Afro-Colombian lands continue to be threatened by illegal occupation, coca cultivation and illegal gold mining.
As Colombia begins the multi-year process of implementing last year’s peace accord, it is vital to balance environmental conservation with the need for sustainable economic development.
Ecuador may well play a decisive role in the outcome of the global tension between economic development and environmental conservation.