Do you know how much the governments of five of the most mega-diverse countries invest in taking care of the environment? Here we tell you
Latin America and the Caribbean is a region of great natural beauty, possessing an enormous diversity of species and ecosystems. According to the annual report of the international organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the region has 40% of all species in the world, more than 25% of forests, 30% of freshwater, and the second largest reef of the planet: the Mesoamerican Reef. In addition, only in Latin America there are six of the ten countries with the greatest biodiversity: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and Ecuador.
However, for some years now this region has been facing different problems that threaten the environment, as a result of human activity. Water, air and land pollution, deforestation, habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, increased carbon footprint, and drought as a result of climate change are some examples.
Latin America is a "superpower in biodiversity", which has six of the most mega-diverse countries in the world. However, how much money do the governments of these countries invest for the conservation and protection of the environment?
If one compares the approved budget of 2018 with that of previous years, it is possible to see a considerable decrease in environmental investment
According to the report on public environmental financing of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Brazil, in 2018, authorized expenditures are R $ 3.7 billion (Brazilian reais). The expenses were awarded to the Ministry of the Environment and its autarchies: the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), the Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio), the National Water Agency (ANA), and the Brazilian Forest Service.
Now, of these resources:
- R $ 182,175 are destined to the conservation of the species
- R $ 110,248,630 to deforestation
- R $ 19,864,828 to the management of the sustainable use of biodiversity
- R $ 7,313,119 to climate change
- R $ 136,277,860 to water resources
- R $ 236,453,988 to the conservation units
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According to the monthly budget calendar 2018 published by the Official Gazette of the Mexican government, the money allocated to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) for 2018, for the care and protection of the environment, is MXN $ 37,580 billion (Mexican pesos). "The original budget assigned to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (...) was increased by 535 million pesos," says the newspaper La Jornada, which was foreseen in the draft Budget of Expenditures of the Federation 2018.
Of these resources:
- MXN $1,132 billion are allocated to the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas
- MXN $989 million to the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection
- MXN $ 3,991 billion to the National Forestry Commission
- MXN $614 million to the National Agency for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Hydrocarbons Sector
- MXN $256 million to the Mexican Institute of Water Technology
- MXN $221 million to the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change
According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Ecuador on the General State Budget of the Annual Investment Program, only the current authorized expenditure for the Ministry of the Environment is USD $58 million. If the money is added to the rest of the entities that make up the Sectoral Council of Habitat and Environment, the budget is USD $ 177 million. To this is added the budget allocated to the Institute for the eco-development of the Amazon region, which is USD $ 1 million, and the National Institute of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which is USD $ 413 thousand.
In 2018, 154 million soles were allocated in Peru to the "supervision and environmental supervision of mining, hydrocarbons, electric and industrial companies", as explained in a report on the Budget Law of 2018 of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. In addition, the budget allocated to the environment is 379 million soles for the realization of 296 projects.
According to a report on the Guidelines for the Formulation of Projects of Public Investment in Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services, these projects are characterized as Public Investment Projects (PIPs) that have as their objective the service of water regulation and erosion control of soils, and the goods: species of flora and fauna, and ecosystems.
Currently, the public budget that the coffee country allocates to the management of its biodiversity is USD $ 238 million per year, according to a study by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Colombia. 35.4% of this is invested "in restoration, 38% in protection, 13% in coordination with other sectors, 9% in sustainable use strategies, 6% in research, and about 1% in processes of participation".
Those that invest more in the protection of the environment of the country are the autonomous regional corporations, followed by the municipalities, the national natural parks, the Ministry of Environment, the research institutes, and finally the departments. This is exposed in a study of the Initiative for the Financing of Biodiversity (BIOFIN).
In these five countries, a significant public investment can be observed for the care of the environment. However, while this is a step in the right direction towards the preservation of the vast Latin American territory, ecosystems and species of the world, it is still not enough. On the one hand, if we compare the approved budget of 2018 with that of previous years, we can observe a considerable decrease in investment for the preservation of the enormous biodiversity that these mega-diverse Latin American countries possess.
In Brazil, for example, authorized expenditures for 2013 were R $ 5,056 billion. In Mexico, the 2018 budget is half of what was invested in 2015: MXN $ 67,975 billion, according to the monthly budget calendar for 2015. Likewise, in Colombia there was a large budget cut for the management of the environment in 2018 with respect to the previous year, according to Semana magazine.
However, the budget allocated to the environment is important and necessary, as is the creation of stricter policies that ensure the protection of the biodiversity of these countries whose deterioration affects us all. Although the truth is only with public investment is not enough to protect ecosystems and species that still persist in the world, the contribution of each person who lives in it is also required.
Latin American Post | Diana Rojas
Translated from “Conozca cuánto invierten estos países latinoamericanos en medio ambiente”