“In San Lorenzo they cut down the jungle to plant African oil palms. The only reason they didn’t expand more was that indigenous people managed to curb the spread,” Ecuadorean activist Santiago Levy said during the World Conservation Congress.
When the communities living in the Tatamá y Serranía de los Paraguas Natural National Park in the west of Colombia organised in 1996 to defend their land and preserve the ecosystem, they were fighting deforestation, soil degradation and poaching.
“You don't convert your own house in a tourist site,” said Oussou Lio Appolinaire, an activist from Benin, wearing a traditional outfit in vivid yellows and greens. He was referring to opening up to tourists places that are sacred to indigenous people.
"Why don’t the authorities put themselves in our shoes?” asked Cándido Mezúa, an indigenous man from Panama, with respect to native peoples’ participation in conservation policies and the sharing of benefits from the protection of forests.
In July 2015, the Mexican government granted a U.S. corporation permission for the use of genetic material obtained in Mexican territory for commercial and non-commercial purposes, in one of the cases that has fuelled concern in Latin America about the profit-oriented approach to biodiversity.
Germany has been undergoing an energy transition for over 20 years, and it can offer valuable lessons to Latin America with regard to promoting renewable energy and moving towards a low-carbon economy.
Immerath, 90 km away from the German city of Cologne, has become a ghost town. The local church bells no longer ring and no children are seen in the streets riding their bicycles. Its former residents have even carried off their dead from its cemetery.
The declaration that will be presented for approval at the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in October has again sparked conflict between the opposing positions taken by the industrial North and the developing South.
Civil society organisations from Chile, Mexico and Peru are pressing their legislatures and those of other countries not to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Although it violates the international conventions that regulate the wildlife trade, it is possible to go online and find websites to buy, for example, axolotl salamanders (Ambystoma mexicanum) or spiny softshell turtles (Trionyx spiniferus).
In a clay pot, Araceli Márquez mixes tiny Mexican freshwater fish known as charales with herbs and a sauce made of chili peppers, green tomatoes and prickly pear cactus fruit, preparing a dish called mixmole.
A recent explosion at a petrochemical plant in southeast Mexico highlighted the need to strengthen monitoring of hazardous substances, step up inspections of factories and update regulations in this country.
In 1976, the construction of a hydroelectric dam destroyed farmland in the rural municipality of Chicoasén in southern Mexico. Forty years later, part of the local population is fighting a second dam, which would deprive them of more land.
David Jiménez grows two kinds of lettuce and other fresh produce on his “chinampa” or artificial island just under one hectare in size in San Gregorio Atlapulco, on the south side of Mexico City.
“We want Pope Francis’ message to come true…We want the rights of indigenous people to be supported, respected and strengthened,” Yuam Pravia, a representative of the Misquito native people, said in this city in southern Mexico.
The Mexican government’s decision to grant humanitarian visas to Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica contrasts sharply with the poor treatment received by the tens of thousands of Central American migrants who face myriad risks as they make their way through this country on their long journey to the United States, social organisations and activists complain.
Mexico’s hydrocarbons law stipulates that oil contracts must include a social impact assessment. But this has not been done in the case of the oilfields granted to the country’s former oil monopoly, Pemex, or to private companies since the industry was opened up to private investment.
Every day in the wee hours of the morning Verónica Reyes’ extended family grinds corn to make the dough they use in the tacos they sell from their food truck in Mexico City.
Infrared thermometer in hand, Nelson Pérez checks the water temperature in the trays where dozens of small lettuce plants are growing in a nutrient-rich liquid in this vertical farm in Panama.
Open data policies in Latin America have not yet enabled communities to exercise their right to access to information, consultation and participation with regard to mining or infrastructure projects that affect their surroundings and way of life.
“This plant heals 150 ailments, like diabetes, high blood pressure and gastritis. It's prepared as an infusion or blended with water, and you take it every day," says Clemente Calixto, a traditional indigenous healer in Mexico, holding up a green leafy branch.