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The present state and future prospects of the environment in Latin America and the Caribbean



Most studies of the region's economy say little or nothing about the status of its environment and natural resources; few references are made to the environmental quality of population centres or to fluctuations in natural resource stocks, especially of renewable resources, despite their crucial importance for the region's development options. The no more than moderate pace of the region's absorption of technical progress, the intensification of its international trade and the declining value of the region's products in the international marketplace have all brought increased pressure to bear on its resources. Consideration of these phenomena, in conjunction with the growth of the region's population and the expansion of domestic demand, leads to the conclusion that the region's environment and natural resources constitute the weakest link in its development strategies. These ideas are explored in detail in the following essay, together with statistical data and conceptual analyses which may help to explain why the region's prevailing development modality is so environmentally unsustainable.

Includes bibliography

Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) - Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz

Mirian Ramirez

Biblioteca CEPAL, Edificio Naciones Unidas, Av. Dag Hammarskjold 3477, Santiago, Chile

(+56-2) 2210-2337

Desarrollado por: Aikyu-Systems