In Latin America continued environmental degradation

Brazil, Mexico and Peru are among the top 10 countries of the world that contribute to environmental degradation, according to the investigation “Evaluating the Relative Environmental Impact of Countries” conducted by the University of Adelaide (Australia), Princeton University (United States) and National University of Singapore.

The study, which evaluated 171 countries, used seven environmental degradation indicators:  natural forests loss, habitat conversion, marine captures, fertilizer use, water pollution, carbon emissions and species threat.

One of the important findings is that the wealthier a country is, the greater its impact on the environment.

“We correlated rankings against three socio-economic variables (human population size, gross national income and governance quality) and found that total wealth was the most important explanatory variable; the richer a country, the greater its average environmental impact,” explained Professor Corey Bradshaw, who led the investigation that was carried out in 2010.

“There is a theory that as wealth increases, nations have more access to clean technology and become more environmentally aware so that the environmental impact starts to decline. This wasn’t supported,” he added.

However, the investigation also found that in countries with poor governance and high corruption, environmental protection policies are nonexistent or are not adequately implemented.

The document warned that “continued degradation of nature despite decades of warning, coupled with the burgeoning human population, suggest that human quality of life could decline substantially in the near future. Increasing competition for resources could therefore lead to heightened civil strife and more frequent wars. Continued environmental degradation demands that countries needing solutions be identified urgently so that they can be assisted in environmental conservation and restoration.”

Source | Latinamerica Press

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