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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Overseeing the marine ecosystem
9/24/2012
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Ocean Health Index is published for the first time.

Latin America and the Caribbean are not taking good care of their marine ecosystems, revealed the Ocean Health Index, which was released in August. Dominica, Nicaragua, Peru, and Haiti, in this order, are the worst offenders of the region. Nevertheless, most of the Latin American and Caribbean nations that were evaluated did not exceed the world average, indicating that these nations do not utilize the ocean in a sustainable fashion.

A total of 171 countries — 31 Latin American and Caribbean — were evaluated with a rating between 0 and 100, with 100 being the best rating. The world average was 60.

Completed by experts of a variety of academic and environmental institutions — including Conservation International and National Geographic Society — the study defines a healthy ocean as one that “can maintain or increase benefits (food and services) in the long term, without jeopardizing the health or function of the web of life that underlies the ocean”.

The parameters used for the evaluation included coastline protection, cleaning of waters, impact of tourism, ocean biodiversity, sustainable extraction of food, and artisan fishing, among others.

“The ocean is our most valuable asset,” said the study. “It holds more than 98% of the space where life exists, 97% of the planet’s water, produces more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and regulate   s the earth’s climate.”

“The sheer number of people who use and depend on the ocean, coupled with unwise practices we adopt, have caused problems such as overharvesting of resources, reduction in biodiversity, degradation of marine habitats and risk of extinction of species, among others. We jeopardize the very ecosystems on which our survival depends,” the study addsl
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—Latinamerica Press.

LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Ocean Health Index

Country
Position
Rating
Antigua and Barbuda
8
71
Suriname
11
69
Bahamas
14
67
Saint Kitts and Nevis
26
63
Trinidad & Tobago
26
63
Brazil
35
62
Costa Rica
38
61
Guatemala
51
60
Ecuador
51
60
Chile
51
60
Dominican Republic
64
58
Guyana
76
56
Mexico
79
55
Barbados
87
53
Cuba
94
52
Colombia
94
52
Argentina
94
52
Belize
105
51
Santa Lucia
114
50
Granada
129
48
Saint Vincent and the Grenadinas
129
48
Panama
129
48
Jamaica
129
48
Uruguay
136
47
Honduras
142
46
Venezuela
142
46
El Salvador
147
45
Haiti
152
44
Peru
152
44
Dominica
157
43
Nicaragua
157
43

Fuente: Conservation International


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