UNEP Report Highlights Environmental Degradation in Amazon
18 February 2009: The findings of a report supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), entitled “Environment Outlook in the Amazonia: GEO Amazonia,” reveal the variety of environmental degradation occurring in the Amazon region of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The publication is part of UNEP's Global Environment Outlook (GEO) series and highlights population growth, urbanization and expanded economic activity, and the resulting deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change impacts in the region.
The authors underline the interrelatedness of these problems, noting that as deforestation increases, rainfall decreases, producing a vicious circle that results in deforestation due to fires, further decreases in rainfall, and increased greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the experts involved in the production of the report call for an integrated environmental vision for Amazonia, harmonization of regionally relevant environmental policies, regional strategies for sustainable utilization of Amazonia ecosystems and promotion of studies on the economic value of Amazonian environmental services, and increased focus on risk management and on production and dissemination of environmental information. [UNEP Press Release] [UN Press Release] [The Report]