Economic crisis and government neglect put biodiversity at risk in Venezuela

Um homem oferece serviços de limpeza de carros em Caracas, em fevereiro de 2022: crise econômica afeta biodiversidade do país

A man offers car cleaning services in Caracas in February

: economic crisis affects the country’s biodiversity| Photo: EFE/ Miguel Gutiérrez

Biodiversity in Venezuela is in rapid loss and one of the reasons is the humanitarian and economic crisis that the country is going through. The conclusion is from the Venezuelan Observatory for Environmental Human Rights (OVDHA), which presented this Wednesday (18) a report detailing the ecological disaster.

Under the title “Humanitarian Emergency in Venezuela and Wildlife: Biological Diversity Besieged by the Crisis”, the experts warned of the risk of this biological loss leading to the violation of the fundamental guarantees of rural and indigenous populations.

“For decades, wild fauna has been suffering a process of continuous loss that seems to have worsened in recent years, as a result of of the economic crisis. This crisis has pushed some population groups to consume wild fauna as a means of subsistence”, pointed out geographer and professor at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), Antonio De Lisio, one of the spokespersons for the report’s presentation.

According to the OVDHA, the situation may favor er the growth of illegal trafficking of species by people who use animals to solve individual economic problems and also by organized crime groups.

Venezuela lags behind neighboring countries, such as Brazil19085640

De Lisio also compared the situation in Venezuela with neighboring countries, including Brazil, which is often criticized in relation to care for the environment. According to the observatory’s analysis, conditions on Venezuelan territory are much more worrying. “In the country, we are far behind in terms of biodiversity and in complying with international agreements. This is because there is no will on the part of the State, much less progress. Unlike other countries in the region”, the professor warned.

Studies show that, due to the crisis, teachers and environmental managers are leaving their positions in the universities and even leaving the country. The researchers alerted the authorities about the importance of valuing public universities and environmental education as a whole.

The general coordinator of Climate05, an organization that links environmental and human rights in the country, Alejandro Álvarez called for immediate government action. “It is urgent to put an end to the lack of access to environmental information generated by government opacity, together with the institutional weakness of the Venezuelan State on environmental issues and the progressive dismantling of Venezuelan public universities and research centers”, complained Álvarez.

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