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    LAC Environmental Trivia, Revisited

    By Keith R | June 19, 2008

    Topics: Environmental Protection | No Comments »

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    The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recently published the latest edition (covering up to 2007) of its annual statistical yearbook for the region. As in recent years, one section covers natural resources and the environment.

    If you are seeking a basic set of comparative environmental data for the region, this is not a bad place to start.

    It has its limitations, though. The data on forest cover, for example, duplicates that of the FAO’s 2006 Global Forest Resources Assessment. The data on greenhouse gas emissions is mostly from the 1990s and just repeats data from the LAC climate change communications. The data on pesticide use ends at 2001, and thus is the same as ECLAC has published in prior year (why keep publishing the same data, instead of that actually updated since the last edition? Doesn’t this duplication consume more resources?). Fertilizer use data, and agricultural and arable land area figures were finally updated to 2005 in this year’s edition, but I have to wonder why all this data is still two years behind. The data for consumption of ozone-depleting substances only includes 13 nations, and is missing 2006 data for Belize, Brazil, El Salvador, Paraguay and Peru. Data on protected areas is only provided for 13 nations (but up from the eight covered in last year’s edition) and still omits Argentina. Figures on the size of motor vehicle fleets thankfully has been expanded to 14 nations (vs. 10 in the prior year’s edition), with the most recent data missing for five of these (Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela), and the curious omission of Argentina.

    That said, there are some interesting charts providing some unexpected insights. These include:

    What Eco-Data Would You Like to See Added to Future ECLAC Statistical Yearbooks? (you can pick up to 3)

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