December 18, 2017
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Collection:
INTERAMER
Number: 67
Year: 1999
Author: Eloísa Trellez Solís and Gustavo Wilches Chaux
Title: Education for a Sustainable Future in the Americas

North America: Less Biodiversity

In the North, where ecological systems tend to be younger and therefore less complex,19 and where indigenous groups tend to be extremely small and dispersed, political pressure is building to roll back policies designed to preserve an already reduced spectrum of plant and animal life and protect disappearing indigenous cultures. Mounting pressure results from the growing scale of production and the pursuit of low-cost natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable.

Ecological disturbance is compounded in the hemisphere, by the emphasis on free trade arrangements. originating in the North. These agreements have made the South increasingly vulnerable to the negative consequences of the ad hoc, a posteriori regulatory climate in the North. While these pacts promote increasing trade flows, they can also facilitate the export of hazardous production processes, unsafe consumer goods, and toxic waste to the South where environmental standards and health and safety regulations are weaker or more difficult to enforce.20

Challenge for the Future
  • To strengthen measures designed to protect fragile ecosystems from commercial development;
  • To maximize the benefits of experience and knowledge from diverse cultures in advancing education for sustainability.