At a time when Environmental groups in Panama are protesting the easing of restrictions on mining exploration, a UN report has strongly criticised development policies in Latin America.
The report, titled "The Environment Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean," said that economic growth in the region is based on unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. It adds that development has also negatively impacted the social fabric of the region.
U.N. official Mara Murillo said that one major problem is that governments implement regulations that often allow unlimited extraction of natural resources, particularly those for export. A lack of planning makes this problem even worse.
The report presents a series of actions to be taken, such as ecological zoning and promoting sustainable tourism. Murillo said that document only makes recommendations, and it is up to individual governments to make their own decisions.