Environment and Biodiversity: Priorities for Protecting Natural Capital and Competitiviness in Latin America and the Caribbean

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May 2016
This work is divided in three parts. The first is an assessment of thepresent state of performance in the management of the environment and the natural capital of the region. This section will identify the primary
threats to sustainability and the challenges that the region faces in order to overcome them. In the second section, we will analyze the policies that
are necessary to achieve high environmental performance with a focus on governance, multisector mainstreaming, the participation of the private
sector, and social inclusion. The study reviews the debate on trade offs between economic growth and the environment, showing that investing
in physical infrastructure and economic development, while conserving the environment and natural capital, is a viable and smart sustainable
development strategy. In fact, it is argued that the natural capital is itself a form of "ecological infrastructure" generating valuable goods and services
that contribute to economic competitiveness, income generation, and better quality of life, especially for vulnerable groups. The study ends with a short
section of conclusions.