Inspiring, enabling and mobilizing action to restore vitality to degraded landscapes and forests around the globe.
Supporting the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems by quantifying their economic value.
Raising awareness of threats to coral reefs and providing information and tools to manage coastal habitats more effectively.
UPDATE, 4/19/13: Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries adopted an ambitious Plan of Action to improve access rights on April 17, 2013. Read WRI's press release for more details about the Plan of Action for the LAC Principle 10 Regional Declaration.
Without the right laws and safeguards in place, development can come at the expense of the environment and local communities. This point is especially evident in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Newspapers across the region regularly document conflicts over land and natural resource use, hydroelectric power development, oil exploitation, expansion of agriculture into virgin forests, and the disruption of indigenous practices.
Many of these conflicts occur because countries lack strong laws and practices that encourage the public’s access to information and early participation in government decision-making. Without these laws in place, citizens can’t legally obtain information on projects like proposed oil wells or highways—or engage in the decision-making processes about developing and approving these projects. Governments can then make decisions without considering the impact on local citizens. The resulting social, environmental, or health costs often fall disproportionately on the affected communities. (See our video, "Sunita," for more information on the need for access to information laws).
But the situation in the LAC region could be poised to change, depending on what happens at a meeting this week. Representatives from 13 countries and two observer countries will meet with civil society groups in Guadalajara, Mexico, to finalize a two-year action plan on implementing the LAC Principle 10 Regional Declaration. If attendees come up with a strong plan, several LAC countries will come closer to adopting a plan for improving environmental justice and public participation rights across the region.
Enabling Conditions and Lessons Learned
This paper assesses the policy influence of previous coastal ecosystem economic valuations in the Caribbean and identifies the key “enabling conditions” for valuations to influence policy, management, or investment decisions. These findings will inform WRI's and our partners’ efforts to...
This analysis includes a valuation of coral reef-associated fisheries, potential losses to tourism due to beach erosion, and examines the role of coral reefs in reducing coastal flooding during storms. In addition, we provide a literature review of 16 coral reef valuations conducted in Jamaica...
A new economic valuation shows what Jamaica’s economy stands to lose if its coral reefs decline further.
Coral reefs provide significant value to the Jamaican economy, including tourism, fisheries and shoreline protection, according to new analysis released today.
More than 75 percent of the coral reefs in the Atlantic region are at risk from local threats (i.e., coastal development, overfishing/destructive fishing, marine-based pollution, and/or watershed-base
This working paper looks at the benefits that coastal ecosystems provide to the Dominican Republic. The studies highlight the contribution of coastal ecosystems to the economy and the need for greater investment in protecting coastal and marine ecosystems, including better management of marine...