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Latin America continues to be one of the most biodiverse regions in the world

6 latin nations are on the list of the most biodiverse countries in the world .

Waterfalls in a forest

We tell you which are the countries that belong to the list of the 17 most biodiverse countries on the planet. Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Latinoamérica continúa siendo una de las regiones más biodiversas del mundo

Recently the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released a list of the 17 most biodiverse countries on the planet . The complete list in order is as follows:

  1. Australia

  2. Brazil

  3. China

  4. Colombia

  5. Ecuador

  6. U.S

  7. Philippines

  8. India

  9. Indonesia

  10. Madagascar

  11. Malaysia

  12. Mexico

  13. Papua New Guinea

  14. Peru

  15. Democratic Republic of Congo

  16. South Africa

  17. Venezuela

As it is shown, 6 of the countries on the list belong to Latin America . This region is known for hosting the so-called "lung of the world", the Amazon. This is one of the areas in the world with the largest number of natural reserves, and it is also distributed throughout eight Latin American countries: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Suriname and Guyana . In this tropical forest, approximately 20% of the global plant species are found and this ecosystem is also home to the largest number of bird species in the world. In total, the Amazon is home to around 10% of the world's biodiversity .

According to UNEP and other international environmental organizations, approximately 60% of terrestrial and marine life, both salt and fresh water, is found in the Latin American region . In addition to having the Amazon rainforest, Latin America has many other ecosystems: Patagonia, the Chihuahuan Desert, the Atacama Desert, the Andes mountain range, and coral reefs throughout Central America, which allows the region to have diverse climates.

Unfortunately, Latin America is not only known because it is home to a large part of the world's biodiversity, but also because it is one of the regions with the most environmental threats on the planet. Deforestation is one of the biggest threats; According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), in Latin America there are 9 of the 24 largest deforestation fronts in the world , heading the regions on the list. Livestock, large-scale agriculture, mining, transportation infrastructure, and wildfires are among the biggest drivers of this.

Also read: Deforestation: a constant threat to Latin America

Likewise, impending climate change and economic pressure from mining, hydroelectric dams, and poorly planned road and river projects constantly threaten the region's biodiversity. Although some of the governments of Latin American countries have sought to change the rules of the game to protect this region from such threats, they continue to fall short when it comes to taking actions and implementing policies that are consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 of the Paris Agreement, to which several of the countries in the region are signatories.

UNEP has drawn attention to the need for governments to pay more attention to regenerating and caring for the biodiversity of the region that stands out in the world, but is also constantly threatened.