Conservación con un rostro humano

PARIS – El mundo está viviendo una drástica reducción de su capital natural. Las especies vegetales y animales se están extinguiendo a una velocidad sin precedentes: 100 a 1000 veces el ritmo de extinción natural.

Los ecosistemas que más en peligro se encuentran están en los países en desarrollo, por lo que dependen para su preservación de algunas de las comunidades más necesitadas del mundo. A la inversa, los pobres son los primeros en sufrir con el deterioro de su ambiente natural. Sin embargo, en el mundo en desarrollo a menudo las necesidades económicas cobran prioridad por sobre los imperativos de largo plazo, y proteger un ambiente frágil rara vez es una prioridad a nivel nacional.

La biodiversidad que albergan las naciones en desarrollo del mundo brinda servicios tanto locales como globales. Locales, porque con frecuencia las comunidades más frágiles dependen para su supervivencia de los recursos biológicos que las rodean, lo que constituye una preciosa fuente de alimentos, energía e ingresos. El Banco Mundial estima que el capital natural constituye un cuarto de la riqueza total de los países de bajos recursos, en comparación con el 3% en las economías altamente desarrolladas. Globales, porque la gama de servicios que proveen los ecosistemas naturales, como aire puro y agua limpia, benefician a personas mucho más allá de las fronteras naturales.

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