2. Economic Expansion and human activity has created massive environmental destruction. Our insatiable need for resources has led to destruction of natural habitats, resource depletion, and unsustainability- That’s Ostfeld and Keesing 13
4. Loss of Biodiversity is an imminent threat to Human Survival, that’s Raj 12
General Biodiversity Impact
Biodiversity key to human survival, its loss is more threatening than global warming; and the two together will catalyze the rate of human extinction. Biodiversity gives humans the necessities of life from oxygen and water, to energy and waste disposal. This outweighs on magnitude. Timeframe and probability do not matter. A biodiversity collapse in Latin American nations would uniquely lead to human extinction. Without biodiversity we’d have no food, water, oxygen or shelter; the four most important modes of survival - That’s Raj 12.
Global Warming Food Security
Deforestation has massive effects on climate change, it represents 75 percent of brazil’s emissions, and Forests like the amazon are some of the world’s largest carbon store. That’s Greenpeace no date.
Offshore oil drilling leads to Greenhouse gas emissions, which compound to cause global warming. That’s Eyre 12.
And, global warming leads to food scarcity, thereby leading to increased prices, that’s World watch Institute 7/27. And, Climate change poses a threat to food security because it puts a brake on yield improvements. That’s Oxfam 12. Now is key to gain consciousness of the impacts of global warming, the Chilean model proves. That’s Speiser 9. And, Climate change will cause wars due to resource scarcity. That’s Science Codex 9. And, Climate change leads to quesitions of sovereignty and resource wars. That’s Mayoral 11. And, resource wars lead to extinction, that’s Lendman 7.
Health and Development
Destroying biodiversity riding civilization of the promise that Undiscovered creatures and plants could hold in terms of disease prevention and treatment- That’s doyle 5. And, destroying natural compounds could mean the destruction of potentially life saving drugs. That’s Hong-Fang 9. Biodiversity helps reduce impacts of disease on crop production, and lessens the transmission of deadly viruses. Less Biodiversity means more disease, less resources, and less goods. That’s Ostfeld and Keesing 13. And, with lack of new ways to thwart pandemics, they could destroy the entire population, that’s Morag 12. This is a guaranteed extinction scenario, as disease spreads, so will deaths. That’s DJUS 9. Eventually until the entire human race is exposed.
The oceans account for 70 percent of the earth and 75 percent of our food source. When the US engages with other countries, it causes environmental collapse. Marine Ecosystems are uniquely key to prevent a global food security threat - That’s Worm 6. Without action the crisis will just increase and eventually spillover - That’s Annan 11. That spillover causes a global food crisis and a resource war. - That's brown 11. Lastly, when countries fight over resources, smaller groups will acquire the weapons and expertise, causing nuclear prolif. That’s Klare 6. Prolif causes an all out arms race in which. miscalc may occur leading to an escalation up to a third World War pulling int every major power in the world. That’s Hermann 1.
A UN report stated that Biodiversity loss is expensive, hitting the global economy harder than climate change. The economic invisibility of nature’s flows into the economy is a significant contributor to the degradation of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity. Its plain and simple, loss of resources leads to less profit. That’s open Knowledge 11. Humans are dependent on the services of ecosystems, and they are of huge importance economically. That’s Edwards and Abivardi 98. Also, people in developing countries and economies depend on biodiversity for their economic and social survival, that’s Christie 12. And, Watts 10 states that declines in biodiversity would cause severe losses to businesses. Foster 2K says that environmental degradation is the root cause of all conflict, and Royal 10 explains that this decline can cause war. This exploitation is unsustainable, and makes collapse imminent leading to an escalation up to a third World War pulling int every major power in the world.
Cuba is key to global ecosystems AND relations are critical to solving global environmental collapse
Conell 9 (Christina Conell Council on Hemispheric Affairs Research Associate, "The U.S. and Cuba: an Environmental Duo?", Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Scoop, June 15, 2009, PAS) www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0906/S00198.htm)The U.S. and Cuba: Destined to be an Environmental Duo?Cuba’s abundant natural resources need to be protected with heightened vigilance Lifting the trade embargo would open up the possibility for a constructive partnership between Cuba and the U.S. by developing compatible and sustainable environmental policies¶ •With the support of the U.S., Cuba could become a model for sustainable preservation and environmental protection on a global scale¶ Through accidents of geography and history, Cuba is a priceless ecological resource. The United States should capitalize on its proximity to this resource-rich island nation by moving to normalize relations and establishing a framework for environmental cooperation and joint initiatives throughout the Americas. Cuba is the most biologically diverse of all the Caribbean Islands. Since it lies just 90 miles south of the Florida Keys, where the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico intersect, the U.S. could play a key role in environmental conservation as well as the region in general. However, when it comes to environmental preservation, the Obama administration is obstructing progress and hindering any meaningful cooperation with its current U.S.- Cuba policy.¶ Climate change and environmental degradation are two of the most pressing contemporary issues. If President Obama is sincerely committed to environmental sustainability, he must forge international partnerships to implement this objective. Where better to begin than in the U.S.’s own backyard, where Cuba has a huge presence. Only then can Cuba and the United States move forward to find joint solutions to environmental challenges.¶ Environmental Riches and Implications¶ Cuba’s glittering white sand beaches, extensive coral reefs, endemic fauna and diverse populations of fish compose the Caribbean’s most biologically diverse island. Based on a per hectare sampling when compared to the U.S. plus Canada, Cuba has 12 times more mammal species, 29 times as many amphibian and reptile species, 39 times more bird species, and 27 times as many vascular plant species. Equally important, adjacent ocean currents and the island nation’s close proximity, carry fish larvae into U.S. waters, making protection of Cuba’s coastal ecosystems vital to replenishing the U.S.’s ailing fisheries. Therefore, preserving the marine resources of Cuba is critical to the economic health of North America’s Atlantic coastal communities.¶ The U.S. and Cuba also share an ancient deepwater coral system that stretches up to North Carolina. The island’s 4,200 islets and keys support important commercial reef fish species such as snapper and grouper as well as other marine life including sea turtles, dolphins and manatees in both countries. Fifty percent of its flora and 41 percent of its fauna are endemic, signifying the importance of protecting the island’s resources in order to safeguard the paradisiacal vision that Christopher Columbus observed when landing on the island in 1492.¶ Oro Negro and Dinero¶ The recent discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the Florida straits in Cuban waters has attracted foreign oil exploration from China and India, both eager to begin extraction. Offshore oil and gas development could threaten Cuba’s and Florida’s environmental riches. Together, Cuba and the U.S. can develop policies to combat the negative results coming from the exploitation of these resources. The increased extraction and refining of oil in Cuba could have detrimental effects on the environment. Offshore drilling is likely to increase with the discovery of
Cuba’s environment is very healthy – it’s been protected from pollution by the embargo.
Lovgren 6 (Stefan winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, “Castro the Conservationist? By Default or Design, Cuba Largely Pristine,” National Geographic, August 4, Online: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060804-castro-legacy.html) Isolated in part because of the U.S. trade embargo against the island, Cuba has been excluded from much of the economic globalization that has taken its toll on the environment in many other parts of the world. "The healthy status of much of the wetlands and forests of Cuba is due not to political influence as much as the lack of foreign exchange with which to make the investments to convert lands and introduce petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers," Pearl said. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Cuban factories and agricultural fields have sat dormant. The island has had to become self-sufficient, turning to low-energy organic farming. It has had to scrap most of its fishing fleet because it can't afford to maintain the ships. Population pressure has also been a nonissue, with many Cubans fleeing the country for economic and political reasons.
Cuba is home to one of the most protected environments in the world
Lovgren 6 (Stefan , winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award“Castro the Conservationist? By Default or Design, Cuba Largely Pristine,” National Geographic, August 4, Online: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060804-castro-legacy.html) Though Cuba is economically destitute, it has the richest biodiversity in the Caribbean. Resorts blanket many of its neighbors, but Cuba remains largely undeveloped, with large tracts of untouched rain forest and unspoiled reefs. The country has signed numerous international conservation treaties and set aside vast areas of land for government protection. But others say Cuba's economic underdevelopment has played just as large a role. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union—its main financial benefactor—Cuba has had to rely mostly on its own limited resources. It has embraced organic farming and low-energy agriculture because it can't afford to do anything else. And once Castro is gone, the experts say, a boom in tourism and foreign investment could destroy Cuba's pristine landscapes.
Cuban biodiversity as high as it will ever be – American embargo preserves Cuban environment
PBS 10 (Public Broadcasting Service, “Cuba: The Accidental Eden A Brief Environmental History”, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/cuba-the-accidental-eden/a-brief-environmental-history/5830/, MS) Cuba has been called the “Accidental Eden” for its exceptional biodiversity and unique historical development. The island nation and its archipelagos supports thousands of plant and animal species, many of which are endemic, making Cuba the most naturally diverse Caribbean nation and a destination for biological scientists and ecotourists.¶ Cuba’s natural blessings are the result of a manifold historical trajectory. The American trade and tourism embargo and the collapse of the Soviet Union have both made “accidental” contributions to the survival of Cuban wildlife. Cuba’s low population density (about 102 people per square kilometer) and relative land isolation as an island have afforded it moderately low levels of environmental destruction and high levels of endemism. And Cuba remains biologically diverse, but it has seen its share of loss.
Another Reason to keep the embargo: Environmental Protection
Claver-Carone 8 (Mauricio Claver-Carone, Writer for the New York Times, “How the Cuban Embargo Protects the Enviroment”, , July, 25, 2008, www.nytimes.com/2008/07/25/opinion/25iht-edcarone.1.14793496.html?_r=0)
The energy debate in the United States introduces one more powerful argument in support of current U.S. policy toward Cuba: environmental protection. For years the Castro brothers have been courting foreign oil companies, and in recent years none have been courted more assiduously than China's Sinopec. Why Sinopec?¶ The answer is simple: If the Chinese were to start drilling in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Cuba - so very close to the coast of Florida - it would send a "red scare" through the halls of the U.S. Congress, creating a new and otherwise improbable coalition for unilaterally lifting the current embargo. Longtime advocates of lifting trade sanctions against Cuba would join with conservative Republicans, who, though they now support the trade embargo, are strong advocates for allowing U.S. companies to drill offshore, and with liberal environmentalists who would rather have strictly regulated U.S. companies drilling than unregulated Chinese companies. In Cuba that looks like a winning trifecta for changing U.S. policy.¶ As early as 2006, the Reuters news bureau in Cuba was reporting: "Havana is eager to see American oil companies join forces with the anti-embargo lobby led by U.S. farmers who have been selling food to Cuba for four years."¶ In recent weeks this strategy has taken center stage in Washington with political and public opinion leaders openly discussing the irony of "the Chinese drilling 60 miles from Florida's coast," while U.S. law prevents American companies from doing the same along the outer continental shelf.¶ The premise of the argument, however, is just not true. Chinese companies are not drilling in Cuba's offshore waters. Nor do the Chinese have any lease agreements with Cuba's state-owned oil company, Cupet, to do so. As a matter of fact, the last drilling for oil off Cuba's coast took place in 2004 and was led by the Spanish-Argentine consortium Repsol YPF. It found oil but not in any commercially viable quantity. Inactivity since suggests that Repsol YPF is not eager to follow up with the required investment in Castro's Cupet.¶ For almost a decade now, the Castro regime has been lauding offshore lease agreements. It has tried Norway's StatoilHydro, India's state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Malaysia's Petronas and Canada's Sherritt International. Yet, there is no current drilling activity off Cuba's coasts. The Cuban government has announced plans to drill, then followed with postponements in 2006, 2007 and this year.¶ Clearly, foreign oil companies anticipate political changes in Cuba and are trying to position themselves accordingly. It is equally clear they are encountering legal and logistical obstacles preventing oil and gas exploration and development. Among the impediments are well-founded reservations as to how any new discovery can be turned into product. Cuba has very limited refining capacity, and the U.S. embargo prevents sending Cuban crude oil to American refineries. Neither is it financially or logistically viable for partners of the current Cuban regime to undertake deep-water exploration without access to U.S. technology, which the embargo prohibits transferring to Cuba. The prohibitions exist for good reason. Fidel Castro expropriated U.S. oil company assets after taking control of Cuba and has never provided compensation.¶ Equally important, foreign companies trying to do business with Cuba still face a lot of expenses and political risks. If, or when, the Cuban regime decides again to expropriate the assets of these companies, there is no legal recourse in Cuba.¶ Frankly, it is bewildering why some seem to believe that U.S. companies partnering with one more anti-American dictatorship to explore and develop oil fields will somehow reduce fuel costs for American consumers and contribute to U.S. energy independence. One needs only to look at the reaction of the international oil markets when Hugo Chávez of Venezuela nationalized assets of U.S.-based ConocoPhillips and Chevron.¶ What message would the United States be sending to oil-rich, tyrannical regimes around the world about the consequences of expropriation if we were now to lift the embargo that was imposed after Fidel Castro expropriated the assets of Esso, Shell and Texaco?¶ For many years the U.S. embargo has served to protect America's national security interests; today it is also serving to prevent Cuba's regime from drilling near U.S. shores. And that's good for the environment.
Cuba is working towards economic and environmental compatibility and US economic engagement causes subordination of environmental concern
Whittle 6 (Daniel Whittle, “Protecting Cuba’s Environment: Efforts to Design and Implement Effective Environmental Laws and Policies in Cuba,” J.D., University of Colorado. BA, economics and German, Vanderbilt University. Adjunct Law Professor of Environmental Law, Wake Forest University Law School (2002); Senior Policy Advisor, North Carolina Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources (1995-1997); Associate Attorney, Van Ness, Feldman & Curtis, P.C. (1991-1993). http://www.upress.pitt.edu/htmlSourceFiles/pdfs/9780822942917exr.pdf) The future of Cuba’s environment, and its prospects for developing its economy in a manner compatible with environmental quality and natural resources conservation, is at the center of a growing international debate among academics, scientists, government officials, conservation organizations, and others. Few dispute the richness of Cuba’s natural environment or the challenges associated with reversing a long history of environmental neglect. 6 The present debate instead focuses on whether Cuba will be able to achieve meaningful levels of environmental protection while it is still hurting economically and isolated politically. The Cuban government has developed a modern and sophisticated plan for environmental protection and sustainable development and has started using it. The question now is whether government leaders can and will do what it takes to put the plan on the ground. Or, in spite of the country’s new, far-reaching environmental laws, will Cuba instead subordinate environmental protection goals to economic development priorities like so many other developing countries have done?
Mexico’s biodiversity is high
Rhoda-Burton 10 (Richard Rhoda and Tony Burton, “Geo-Mexico; the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico,” 2010, http://geo-mexico.com/?p=2765, Dr. Richard Rhoda has a PhD in Geography from the University of Iowa and Tony Burton has an MA in Geography from Cambridge University and a teaching qualification from the University of London) People from elsewhere generally think of Mexico as an arid country with lots of cacti. The general impression is that Mexico has relatively little biodiversity in comparison with equator-hugging tropical countries such as Brazil and Indonesia. These impressions could not be farther from the truth. While northern Mexico is indeed arid, many areas in southern Mexico receive over 2,000 mm (80 inches) of annual precipitation, almost entirely in the form of rainfall. The rainiest place in Mexico— Tenango, Oaxaca—receives 5,000 mm (16.4 feet) of rain annually. Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Mexico is a world leader in terms of climate and ecosystem diversity. It is one of the only countries on earth with arid deserts, dry scrublands, temperate forests, high altitude alpine areas, subtropical forests, tropical rainforests and extensive coral reefs. The multitude of ecosystems in Mexico supports a very wide range of biodiversity. Mexico’s Environmental Ministry (SEMARNAT) indicates that there are over 200,000 different species in Mexico. This is about 10% – 12% of all the species on the planet. About half of all Mexico’s species are endemic; they exist only in Mexico. An unknown number of endemic species were forced to extinction by the intended and unintended importation of Old World species by the Spaniards. The U.N. Environment Programme has identified 17 “megadiverse” countries. The list includes Mexico, the USA, Australia, five South American countries, three African countries, and six Asian counties. Actually, Mexico is among the upper third of this group along with Brazil, Colombia, China, Indonesia and DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The other countries on the list are: the USA, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa, Malagasy Republic, India, Malaysia, The Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Australia.
Enormous Mexican biodiversity- ranked as the 11th most biologically diverse country in the world
Wall 8 (Allan Wall resided in Mexico for a decade and a half, where he worked as an English teacher in various schools and at various levels. Allan was able to meet and associate with Mexicans of various sectors and socioeconomic levels and to travel to different parts of the country. MexiData.info columnist, Mexican Biodiversity and Six Species in Peril, March 24, 2008, http://mexidata.info/id1765.html¶ Mexico has a great variety of plant and animal life, the country’s collection of flora and fauna being among the most diverse in the world. ¶ UNEP (the United Nations Environment Program) has designated Mexico and 16 other nations as “megadiverse,” these countries being home to the majority of living species on the planet. ¶ Besides Mexico, the other megadiverse nations are Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Kinshasa-Congo (formerly Zaire), Kenya, South Africa, Madagascar, China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Australia .¶ It’s estimated that Mexico is home to over 200,000 species which would account for 10-12% of the entire planet’s biodiversity, making Mexico the world’s 11th most biologically diverse country.¶ Mexico has the world’s most diverse collection of reptiles, with 717 known reptile species. Of those 717 species, 574 of them are only found in Mexico.¶ Mexico is the #2 country in the world in diversity of mammals, with 502 species, and #4 in amphibians, with 290 known species. ¶ Mexico is home to 290 bird species, with 1,150 avian varieties.¶ As far as plants go, Mexico is #4 worldwide in flora, with 26,000 known species.¶ This is all very impressive, but, as everywhere, there are conservation problems in Mexico that put various species in peril of extinction.¶ Legally speaking, there are 2,500 species specifically protected by Mexican law. “Protected Natural Areas” cover 170,000 square kilometers. These territories include 34 biosphere reserves, 64 national parks, 4 natural monuments, 26 areas of protected flora and fauna, 4 natural resource protection areas, and 17 species-rich diversity sanctuaries.¶ But just establishing protected areas is not enough; they must be enforced, which requires game rangers to protect the protected areas.¶ In order to publicize the danger to some of Mexico’s diverse species, the Mexican conservation organization Pronatura has chosen six at-risk species to publicize. Not that these six are the only species in peril of extinction, but they’ve been selected to highlight, in a concrete fashion, the plight of endangered species in Mexico.¶ Let’s take a brief look at each species.¶ The golden eagle is one of the world’s biggest birds of prey, with a wingspan sometimes extending past two meters. This majestic bird is Mexico’s national symbol, but although it’s more common in other parts of the world, nowadays it is rarely seen in Mexico.¶
Mexican BioD high now
Biodiversidad Mexicana 9 (National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, The Mexican Biodiversity portal information is the product of many years of collaboration of a large number of research institutions of civil society organizations and government agencies. It is also the result of the work of all employees of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, “Mexican Biodiversity”, http://www.biodiversidad.gob.mx/v_ingles/country/pdf/naturalWealth.pdf The location, complex topography, climate and¶ evolutionary history of our country have resulted in a¶ great richness of environment, fauna and flora, and this¶ has put us among the top five places in the world. This¶ great natural diversity has been presented to us and offers¶ many development opportunities while giving us a great¶ responsibility as custodians of nature.¶ Hotspots. Mexico contains¶ portions of three of the 34¶ “hotspots” on the planet.¶ These hotspots are regions¶ with at least 1500 endemic¶ species of vascular¶ flowering plants (more¶ than 0.5 percent of the¶ total species in the world)¶ which have lost at least¶ 70% of the original extent¶ of their habitat. “Hotspots” have some features of isolation¶ that differentiates them from their neighbouring regions.¶ n Mexico the “hotspots” are: the Pine-Oak Forests of¶ the Sierra Madre (including the Sierra Madre del Sur and¶ the Neovolcanic axis); Mesoamerica (including Southeast¶ Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the Balsas¶ river basin); and the southern portion of the California¶ Floristic Province.¶ Wilderness areas. Mexico has three of the 37 “Wilderness¶ Areas” of the planet. These areas retain 70% or more of¶ their original habitat in good condition, and cover at least¶ 10,000 km2 with a density of less than 5 inhabitants per¶ square kilometre.¶ The wilderness areas of Mexico are: The Chihuahuan¶ Desert, which covers part of the states of Chihuahua,¶ Coahuila and Nuevo Leon; the Sonora Desert, which¶ occupies Sonora State and the Baja Californian Desert,¶ located in both states of the peninsula.¶ Centres of Plant Diversity. Along with Brazil, Mexico is¶ the American country with the largest number of Centres¶ of Plant Diversity . These centres were selected due to their¶ great diversity of plant species, high number of endemic¶ species, high diversity of habitats, high proportion of species¶ adapted to special conditions of soil, and also because of¶ the degree of threat of deterioration.
Mexican Environment on a downhill slope
Agence France Presse 9 (Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French news agency, the oldest one in the world, and one of the three largest with Associated Press and Reuters. It is also the largest French news agency, “Mexico plants trees, loses forests: Greenpeace” June 3, 2009, http://www.lexisnexis.com.turing.library.northwestern.edu/hottopics/lnacademic/) Mexico is failing to stop deforestation, despite planting millions of trees, Greenpeace said here Wednesday, two days before the country hosts the UN World Environment Day .Mexico is fifth in the world for species diversity, but also fifth in the world for deforestation, the lobby group said."We call on the government of (President) Felipe Calderon to be coherent. It's not possible to extol Mexico as an example in defending the environment ... whilst systematically destroying ecosystems with environment policies which do not stop deforestation," a statement said.Mexico loses around 600,000 hectares (almost 1.5 million acres) of trees and jungle each year, which is equivalent to four times the size of the country's sprawling capital of some 20 million people, the group said. Environmental policy under Calderon -- who will host World Environment Day on Mexico's Caribbean coast -- has not changed, Greenpeace said." Mexico even has one of the highest rates of environmental degradation in the world," it added. Greenpeace said that bad practice in tourism -- one of Mexico's main sources of foreign income -- had accelerated the destruction of the environment. Mexico has so far planted 537 million trees and is a "leading partner" in a plan to plant seven billion trees worldwide by the end of 2009, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).The UN-sponsored World Environment Day began 37 years ago and takes place annually on June 5.This year's event will focus on combating climate change, one of the top priorities of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Mexican Biodiversity is among the highest in the world
Natura, No Date (Viva Natura, an online source of information on Biodiversity of Mexico founded in 2001. Recently a small publishing house dealing with the topics relevant to natural heritage of Mexico and its conservation, “Mexican Biodiversity”, http://www.vivanatura.org/Biodiversity.html, MS) There are more than 170 countries in the World. Out of these 12 alone harbor in between 60 and 70% of the total biodiversity of the planet and thus earn the privilege to be called megadiverse. Mexico is one of them.¶ You can find Mexico, together with Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia, on the very top of the list taking up the first place in reptile diversity, second in mammals, fourth in amphibians and vascular plants and tenth in birds. In general terms, it is estimated that more than 10% of all world's species live in this country. Up to date around 65.000 species have been described, although more than 200.000 are believed to exist here.
Mexico has incredible biodiversity
Evans 13 (Dan Evans, 13, Peace Corps Mexico Director, Peace Corps México, “About Mexico”, http://mexico.peacecorps.gov/about/mexico.php) Mexico is one of the 18 megadiverse countries of the world. With over 200,000 different species, Mexico is home of 10–12% of the world's biodiversity. Mexico ranks first in biodiversity in reptiles with 707 known species, second in mammals with 438 species, fourth in amphibians with 290 species, and fourth in flora, with 26,000 different species. Mexico is also considered the second most diverse country in the world in ecosystems and fourth in overall species. Approximately 2,500 species are protected by Mexican legislation. In Mexico, 170,000 square kilometres are considered "Protected Natural Areas." These include 34 reserve biospheres, 64 national parks, 4 natural monuments, 26 areas of protected flora and fauna, 4 areas for natural resource protection and 17 sanctuaries.¶ The discovery of the Americas brought to the rest of the world many widely used food crops and edible plants. Some of Mexico's native culinary ingredients include: chocolate, tomato, maize, vanilla, avocado, guava, chayote, epazote, camote, jícama, nopal, tejocote, huitlacoche, sapote, mamey sapote, many varieties of beans, and an even greater variety of chiles, such as the Habanero. Most of these names are in indigenous languages like Nahuatl.
Venezuela Biodiversity highest in the world
Miloslavich et. al. 3 (Patricia Miloslavich, Eduardo Klein, Edgard Yerena and Alberto Martin, Jounrnalists at the Department of Environmental Studies, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela and The Institute of Marine Science and Technology (INTECMAR), “MARINE BIODIVERSITY IN VENEZUELA: STATUS AND PERSPECTIVES”,http://www.scielo.cl/pdf/gayana/v67n2/Miloslavich%202.pdf, MS ) Venezuela is among the ten countries with the highest biodiversity in the world, both in the terrestrial and the¶ marine environment. Due to its bio geographical position, Venezuelan marine flora and fauna are composed of¶ species from very different marine bioregions such as the Caribbean and the Orinoco Delta. The ecosystems in¶ the Caribbean have received considerable attention but now, due to the tremendous impact of human activities¶ such as tourism, over-exploitation of marine resources, physical alteration, the oil industry, and pollution,¶ these environments are under great risk and their biodiversity highly threatened. The most representative ecosystems¶ of this region include sandy beaches, rocky shores, seagrass beds, coral reefs, soft bottom communities,¶ and mangrove forests. The Orinoco Delta is a complex group of freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems;¶ the habitats are very diverse but poorly known. This paper summarizes the known, which is all of the¶ information available in Venezuela about research into biodiversity, the different ecosystems and the knowledge¶ that has become available in different types of publications, biological collections, the importance and¶ extents of the Protected Areas as biodiversity reserves, and the legal institutional framework aimed at their¶ protection and sustainable use. As the unknown, research priorities are
proposed: a complete survey of the area,¶ the completion of a species list, and an assessment of the health status of the main ecosystems on a broad¶ national scale. This new information must be integrated and summarized in nationwide Geographic Information¶ Systems (GIS) databases, accessible to the scientific community as well as to the management agencies. In¶ the long term, a genetic inventory must be included in order to provide more detailed knowledge of the biological¶ resources. Future projects at the local (Venezuela), regional (Southern Caribbean: Colombia, Venezuela, and the Netherlands Antilles), and global (South America) scales are recommended.
Venezuelan resource development is responsible now
Political Affairs 8 (Political Affairs is an online magazine of the theories, ideas, politics and culture of the socialist and democratic traditions and visions of the United States – from a working-class point of view. We are partisan to the rise of working people's wealth and culture as the foundation for the rise of the whole people toward a more just, prosperous, and peaceful nation, “Venezuela and the Environment: Can an Oil Country Go Green?”, April 5 2008, http://www.politicalaffairs.net/venezuela-and-the-environment-can-an-oil-country-go-green/) BC Venezuela is best known for being a major oil producer – the world's fifth-largest, and with reserves of crude larger than those of any other nation outside the Middle East. Few are aware, though, that it also boasts a level of biodiversity that is unmatched in most other parts of the world. Venezuela, a country of 26 million people that is about twice the size of California, ranks 10th on the global stage for its level of biodiversity. This fact would suggest that the environment ought to form a vital part of the national agenda. However, until Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez was elected in 1999, no Venezuelan head of state had ever addressed the issue. Shortly after President Chávez entered the executive office, Venezuela developed a new constitution which includes the country’s very first environmental protection policies. In an entire chapter of the 1999 Constitution dedicated to the environment, sustainable development is established as a national mandate. This goal of creating a model of sustainable development to address the excesses of capitalism is based on the principle that natural resources are essential for development, and must be used in a rational way that maintains the ecological equilibrium. The 1999 Constitution of Venezuela also recognizes that eliminating poverty and raising the standard of living for all Venezuelans requires a healthy and protected environment. For these reasons, the right of individuals to a clean environment is given the same inalienable status in Venezuela’s constitutional framework as are the right to life, health and education. The constitution also stipulates that environmental protections must be developed in cooperation with local communities and civic groups. The new laws also require environmental education at all levels of schooling in Venezuela. Now, for the first time, Venezuela is investing in and implementing environmentally-friendly models of growth. One example is the decision made in 2005 by the Chávez administration and Venezuelan oil company PDVSA to eliminate lead-based gasoline. Since then, PDVSA has begun recuperating green areas, reducing emissions, and cleaning up rivers and lakes. A clear sign of progress came in 2007, when President Chávez proudly announced: “You should all know that the gasoline produced in Venezuela is now ‘green’ gasoline, we don’t use lead anymore.” That same year, a presidential decree banned the opening of new coal mines in the state of Zulia, and expansions of the Guasare and Paso Diablo mines were rejected. THE GREEN REVOLUTION With 43 national parks and 36 natural monuments, Venezuela has the largest proportion of protected lands in all of Latin America. Just over 55 percent of its territory is protected. A similar portion of the country -- about half of national lands – is covered by forests and jungles. Venezuela is home about 20,000 species of plants and 5,711 types of animals, including birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and fish. These very high levels of biodiversity make environmental protection a critical issue. Due to changes in the last decade, environmental policy in Venezuela is now crafted through increased consultation with local communities who help identify environmental challenges and indicate the best use of local natural resources. A number of mechanisms for citizen participation have emerged, such as Water and Energy Committees, Conservation Committees, and farming cooperatives. Venezuela has also signed 14 international conventions on environmental protection and sustainable development, while taking steps to protect and preserve the country’s domestic natural wealth. 2004,Venezuela ratified the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supported special measures applying to developing countries. Misión Arbol (Tree Mission) One of the most noteworthy and productive efforts so far, Mision Arbol, is combating deforestation by protecting river basins and promoting the sustainable use of Venezuela’s forests through collaboration with local communities. Nearly 2,000 reforestation projects have been completed by citizens who have organized themselves into Conservation Committees. According to Misión Arbol statistics, 2,330 of these committees have been established nationwide, resulting in the planting of 33 million forest and fruit plants. In 2006 and 2007 alone, 13,524 hectares of land were reforested. Misión Energía (Energy Mission) Most of Venezuela’s population is concentrated in the many cities that dot the northern coastal area of the country, while the interior is taken up by vast, grassy plains and thick jungles. The cities use most of the energy and generate the bulk of pollution. Nonetheless, Venezuela’s “energy revolution” is touching all parts of the country, not just urban areas. New programs creating eco-friendly housing using building materials derived from waste generated during oil production have plans to build 60,000 “petrocasas.” The first such community was inaugurated in the state of Carabobo on March 30, 2008. Initiatives like the “petrocasas” bring economic development to low-income areas while avoiding taking a high toll on the environment. Though over 70 percent of Venezuela’s electricity comes from hydroelectric plants that produce very little pollution, efforts are still being made to reduce the country’s carbon output. To that end, Venezuela has begun replacing all incandescent light bulbs throughout the nation with energy-saving bulbs that last longer. The program aims to replace 52 million bulbs during its first phase. President Chávez has also announced plans for a windmill farm to generate electricity on the Caribbean coast and is exploring more uses for cleaner-burning natural gas and ways to reduce the need for oil-fired power plants. Clean and Potable Water Access to clean drinking water has also been a major issue for much of Venezuela’s population. However, this problem is beginning to be addressed through the recent construction of aqueducts, dams, pipes, and reservoirs. In 2006, two new aqueducts were built in different areas of the country, 65 miles of pipes were laid to connect water storage areas, and maintenance work was completed on 45 percent of Venezuela’s 85 reservoirs. Venezuela also initiated a process to help keep its rivers, lakes, and beaches clean through the construction of sewage treatment plants. Among the most ambitious projects is the restoration of the Guaire River, which serves as the main sewage disposal location for the city of Caracas. This long-term project will extend over about a decade, and includes the reforestation of shorelines, relocation of housing settlements, installation of sewage collectors, and construction of treatment plants along the tributaries of the river. CONLCUSION Although in the past it was difficult to evaluate Venezuela’s environmental policy due to the fact that oil production dominates the economy, government attitudes on the issue have become clarified in recent years. In fact, they have taken a marked turn. Adherence to international standards and efforts to reduce energy consumption, lessen pollution, and combat deforestation indicate an increased respect for the environment on the part of the Chávez administration. President Chávez has himself made this position clear, saying: “Venezuela is one of the countries that least contaminates the environment, but nevertheless we want to give an example and be at the vanguard.”
Venezuela’s harbors high biodiversity
McManis 7 (Professor Charles R. McManis is a nationally and internationally known expert on intellectual property. He is the past director of the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Program and the founder, former director and co-director of Washington University in St. Louis law school’s Center on Law, Innovation & Economic Growth. Co-author of a book on licensing intellectual property, Professor McManis is also the editor of an intellectual property book on biotechnology and author of a nutshell on intellectual property and unfair competition, now in its sixth edition., “Biodiversity and the Law: Intellectual Property, Biotechnology and Traditional Knowledge”, http://books.google.com/books?id=Nqofy1JSHM4C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false, 2007) Proportionate to its size, Venezuela is regarded as harbouring outstandingly high biodiversity, being ranked among the top 20 countries in the world for plant, amphibian, bird and reptile species (Table 8.1). major portion of the biodiversity in the country, including an estimated 75 per cent of plant species, is lovated in the southern Guayana region (Amazonas, Bolivar and Delta Amacuro States) (Figure 8.1). Different types of deciduous, semi-deciduous and evergreen forests cover approximately 83 per cent of the surface of this region, amounting to over 375,000km2 of forested land area (Huber, 1995), making this one of the largest continuous blocks of frontier forest existing in the world today (Miranda et al, 1998).
Biodiversity high – Especially in the Amazon
USAID 5 (United States Agency for International Development, “CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY IN THE AMAZON BASIN CONTEXT AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR USAID” May 2005, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADF441.pdf, MS)
The Amazon Basin’s biological diversity is staggering. It holds the largest area of contiguous and relatively intact tropical forest in the world. While these biological assets could provide a sound foundation for regional development, they are instead threatened by unsustainable resource uses that are associated with agriculture, ranching, logging, mining, petroleum exploration, and fishing. These threats, in turn, are provoked by forces such as population growth, infrastructure development, expanding commodity markets, insecure land and natural resources tenure, and distorted policy incentives.
The Amazon is key to global environment
WWF 13 (World Wildlife Fund, First overall fundraising organization for wildlife safety, “AMAZON”, 2013, http://worldwildlife.org/places/amazon, MS) The Amazon is a vast region that spans across eight rapidly developing countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, an overseas territory of France.¶ The landscape contains:¶ One in ten known species on Earth¶ •1.4 billion acres of dense forests, half of the planet's remaining tropical forests¶ •4,100 miles of winding rivers¶ •2.6 million square miles in the Amazon basin, about 40 percent of South America¶ There is a clear link between the health of the Amazon and the health of the planet. The rain forests, which contain 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, help stabilize local and global climate. Deforestation may release significant amounts of this carbon, which could have catastrophic consequences around the world.¶
WWF 13 (World Wildlife Fund, First overall fundraising organization for wildlife safety, “AMAZON”, 2013, http://worldwildlife.org/places/amazon, MS) The Amazon contains millions of species, most of them still undescribed, and some of the world's most unusual wildlife. It is one of Earth's last refuges for jaguars, harpy eagles and pink dolphins, and home to thousands of birds and butterflies. Tree-dwelling species include southern two-toed sloths, pygmy marmosets, saddleback and emperor tamarins, and Goeldi's monkeys. The diversity of the region is staggering:¶ •40,000 plant species 3,000 freshwater fish species¶ •more than 370 types of reptiles
Venezuela is working towards environmental sustainability now, but capitalism pushes it over the brink
AVN 9 (Henrik Bratfeldt, Agencia Venezolana de Noticias. “Venezuela-Capitalism puts the world on the brink of ecocide” December 27 2009, http://www.turismo-venezuela.com/travel-news/45-top-headlines/1055-venezuela-capitalism-puts-the-world-on-the-brink-of-ecocide, Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN) is the national news agency of Venezuela. It is part of the Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI), but run as an autonomous service. It reports on national and regional issues, as well as on Latin America in general.)"Those who are putting us on the brink of ecocide are unthinkable. The causes of climate change must be forced to assume their responsibilities," stressed the President of the Republic, Hugo Chávez. In his usual lines Chavez, published Sunday and titled “Happy New Year, Happy 2010!” the Venezuelan president said that before the United Nations Organization (UNO) and the countries of the world was clearly the position of countries developed that cause climate change, as to further ensure their own interests over global welfare. "(...) Has become clear the position of the industrialized countries, since relative and jeopardize the functioning of the UN as a global organization function effectively in defending the principle of equality among nations. At the Summit on Climate Change, held between 7 and 18 December in Copenhagen, Denmark, President Chavez urged people everywhere to stay in the struggle against capitalism, the main culprit of climate crisis that affects the planet today, mainly to underdeveloped countries and weaker. The Head of State also called for reducing the inequalities gap between rich and poor countries and the signing of a document which commits industrialized nations to take their huge share of responsibility in the effects produced at the rate of climate change and as to reduce the emission of polluting gases. In this same line of ideas are the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), and the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, who proposed holding another summit as an alternative to lackluster climate meeting in Copenhagen on 19 April in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Among the main topics discussed at the event included the right of mother earth and how to ensure a world referendum on the damage to the environment.