Latin America & the Caribbean

Giant Itaipú Dam and Bacteria Join Forces for Clean Energy and Environment

"It used to be complicated, I would have lunch with the flies," recalls Pedro Colombari, laughing, on his 400-hectare farm where he fattens 5,000 pigs and raises 400 cattle outside of a small town in southern Brazil.

Trinidad and Tobago Struggles to Meet its Biodiversity Targets

Trinidad and Tobago, like many other signatories to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, had made commitments in 2010, to achieve several biological diversity targets during the decade 2011 to 2020, commonly referred to as the Aichi targets. However, achieving most of those targets continues to be a work in progress.

How will COVID-19 Affect Economies of Latin America & the Caribbean?

History shows that in Latin America and the Caribbean, volatility is the norm and not the exception and that the development trajectories of their countries are not linear.

Brazil: Low on FSI but Much to Offer the South

Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of coffee, sugar, beef, soya, cotton, and ethanol but due to its environmental and water footprint it ranks low on sustainability. Brazilian agriculture’s contribution to the loss of rainforest is a case in point – the Amazon lost as much as 3,465 square miles of forest due to fires last year – triggering widespread international outrage over the lax environment policies that allowed all of this to happen. Its large commercial cattle herd is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Brazil’s challenge is to make its model of agricultural development more environment-friendly.

Slavery Modernises, Adapts to Stay Alive in Brazil

"Slave labour is not declining; it has taken on new forms and is growing; it expanded to new sectors where it did not previously exist," said Ivanete da Silva Sousa, an activist in the fight against modern-day slavery in northern Brazil.

Mexico’s Battle with Obesity

Paradoxically, when the number of people suffering from undernourishment or hunger has risen in the world, so, too, have those afflicted by overweight and obesity. Latin America’s second largest economy, Mexico, for instance, is currently battling one of the world’s largest epidemics of obesity and its success is bound to be emulated by countries of the South. The numbers involved are staggering. The director-general of the National Institute of Public Health, Dr Juan Rivera told the Financial Times that “seventy five percent of adults and 35 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese… The State has a duty to protect public health.”

A Glut of Arms: Curbing the Threat to Venezuela from Violent Groups

Power in Venezuela is slipping away from state institutions and concentrating in the hands of criminals, guerrillas and other non-state actors. Any new negotiations between government and opposition must consider how to defang these armed irregulars, who might otherwise scuttle an eventual settlement.

Belize Passes Milestone Law to Safeguard Fisheries

The Environmental Defence Fund and its partners in conservation are this month celebrating a major milestone in Belize’s efforts to safeguard its fisheries.

Why Paraguay Can Be a “Beacon State” for Forest Management

Imagine a forest that covered half of your entire country. A biodiverse forest which supports thousands of species from giant anteaters to armadillos to jaguars. A forest that is home to one the world’s last uncontacted tribes.1

Synergy with Hydropower Plants Boosts Biogas Production in Brazil

Fomenting biogas production among agricultural producers may seem at first glance to be a distraction from the purpose of Itaipu, the giant hydroelectric power plant shared by Brazil and Paraguay, but in fact it is part of their energy business strategy.

Strengthening Caribbean Regional Integration

The Caribbean economies have long recognized the value of working together. Improving regional integration—for instance, through more intraregional trade and policy coordination—can help the region’s small-size economies build greater resilience and scale, as well as enhance bargaining power on the global stage.

Venezuela: Violent Abuses in Illegal Gold Mines

Residents of Venezuela’s southern Bolívar state are suffering amputations and other horrific abuses at the hands of armed groups, including Venezuelan groups called “syndicates” in the area and Colombian armed groups operating in the region, both of which exercise control over gold mines, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, February 4.

New Challenges to Growth in Latin America & the Caribbean

Economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean stagnated in 2019, continuing with the weak growth momentum of the previous five years and adding more urgency and new challenges to reignite growth.

Leprosy Re-emerges as a Global Health Challenge

Fifteen years ago, Sattamma – a daily labourer in the Rangareddy district of southern India’s Telangana state – was abandoned by her husband after she was diagnosed with Hansen’s Disease.

Lithium and Clean Energy in Argentina: Development or Mirage?

The intense white brightness of the salt flats interrupts the arid monotony of the Puna in northwest Argentina, resembling postcards from the moon. Beneath its surface are concealed the world's largest reserves of lithium, the key mineral in the transition to clean energy, the mining of which has triggered controversy.

Solar and Biogas, the Perfect Agroenergy Duo in Brazil

"They're the ideal duo," because the combination of solar and biogas sources makes it possible to provide electricity around the clock, one during the day and the other at night, says Anelio Thomazzoni, a pig farmer who has become a producer of clean energy in southwestern Brazil.

Haiti’s Cry for Help as Climate Change is Compared to an Act of Violence against the Island Nation

Haiti’s Environment Minister Joseph Jouthe has compared the climate emergency to a violent act and appealed to the international community for help to fight climate change.

Commonwealth: Commit to Limit Global Warming or Face Irreversible Impacts

Commonwealth countries, including those in the Caribbean, continue to push for more ambition, following reports that a few very influential parties have stymied efforts to respond to the climate emergency.

South-South Cooperation Offers Solutions to Urgent Climate Challenges

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time, and developing countries are recognized as hotspots for climatic risks. Through solidarity, peer-to-peer learning and collective self-reliance, developing countries are collaborating among themselves to address the threat.

Nature-Based Climate Solutions Opportunity for Latin America

Protecting and restoring natural areas in Latin America, home to fifty percent of the planet’s biodiversity and over a quarter of its forests, is critical if the world is to avert a biodiversity and climate disaster.

Water Is Worth More than Milk in Extrema, Brazil

"They called me crazy" for fencing in the area where the cows went to drink water, said Elias Cardoso, on his 67-hectare farm in Extrema, a municipality 110 km from São Paulo, Brazil's largest metropolis.

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