GEO-5 – the UN’s Most Comprehensive Study of the Global Environment - Now Available in Spanish

GEO-5 – the UN’s Most Comprehensive Study of the Global Environment - Now Available in Spanish

Sustainability targets can be met in Latin America and the Caribbean with renewed commitment, and by scaling up successful policies

Panama / Nairobi, 30 May 2013 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has today launched a Spanish version of its flagship report, the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5).
GEO-5 assessed progress towards 90 of the most important environmental goals and objectives, and found that significant progress had only been made in four. These were: elimination in the production and use of substances that deplete the ozone layer, removal of lead from gasoline, increasing access to improved water supplies, and boosting research to reduce pollution of the marine environment.
Some progress was made on 40 goals, including the expansion of protected areas and efforts to reduce deforestation.
Little or no progress was detected for 24, including climate change, fish stocks, and desertification and drought.
Further deterioration was noted for eight goals including the state of the world´s coral reefs, while no assessment was made for 14 other goals due to a lack of data.
The Latin America and Caribbean region is home to 23 per cent of the world´s forests and 31 per cent of its freshwater resources. Yet unsustainable consumption and production patterns - primarily linked to agriculture and raw material extraction - are accelerating environmental degradation.
Latin American and Caribbean countries share a number of common environmental challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, land management, degradation of coastal and marine zones, urbanization, poverty and inequality.
The region´s growing population, already largely urbanized, poses a challenge to provide clean drinking water and sanitation in expanding towns and cities.
Further challenges in the region, according to the GEO-5 report, are achieving a solid environmental governance framework, including management of natural capital, public participation, education and a culture of environmental awareness, and bridging the gap between science and policy.
GEO-5 highlights a number of examples in Latin America and the Caribbean which are leading the way towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy.
The region’s protected areas, for example, cover more than 500 million hectares in 4,400 different zones. They are considered to be one of the region’s most important policy measures for conserving biological diversity. They are also supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation, and contributing to national GDP when properly managed.
In Brazil and Colombia, initiatives to replace conventional transport networks with a bus rapid-transit system have yielded multiple environmental and social benefits, such as reduced carbon emissions, and improved mobility.
The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, established by eight Central American countries, acts as a pathway between large and important wildlife habitats. By promoting greater involvement for local residents, the corridor helps promote a greater sense of human well-being, while ensuring that the biological heritage of the region is protected.
Achieving a more sustainable model of development in the region, says GEO-5, requires improved national and regional strategies that can address environmental and economic issues simultaneously.
Improved governance, active community participation and a high level of inter-institutional cooperation are also needed. Such efforts are also crucial to address the most serious challenges faced in the region: poverty and inequality.
The GEO-5 Spanish and English versions are available at:
In addition, the following link contains some short policy briefs covering the following areas (1) agriculture, (2) biodiversity, (3) governance, (4) water and (5) climate change vulnerability:



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