You are here
Venezuela enforces laws to protect environment
Maria Marcano, Ambassador of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a neighbouring country situated in the northern coast of South America, is today’s guest columnist on Cleaning Up The mess. From Marcano we learn how adherence and enforcement of a strong legislative framework combined with a powerful political will reflected in their constitution, allows sustainable development in countries such as ours. Venezuela’s territorial diversity is reflected in a variety of climates, directly related to the landscapes, and is also an expression of its biological diversity.
The differences in landscape, climate and topography give rise to a huge variety of plant and animal species, present in the cloud forests of the coastal ranges and the Andes. In the mountains there are wood species, several species of orchids and palms, as well as a variety of fauna, including mammals characteristic of the tropics and many species of birds, reptiles and insects. The importance of these resources for the Venezuelan state has led to the protection of 36.6 percent of their territories, under the legal umbrella that makes up the National System of Protected Areas.
The success of our environmental preservation is based on two factors. The first is strong legislative framework which is strictly enforced. The second is our rigid adherence as signatories to regional and international environmental treaties, such as the 1997 International Tropical Timber Agreement and the 2000 Cartagena Protocol on Bio safety to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Our legal foundation for protecting biological diversity runs deep. Even before signing the Convention on Biological Diversity, our legal tools, including the Forest Act in 1966, Soil and Water and the Protection of Wildlife Act in 1970, in accordance with the 1961 Constitution, ensured the protection of our environment.
The high value we place on environmental preservation and sustainable development is also apparent in the National Constitution of 1999, which lists not just the spaces over which we exercise sovereignty and existing resources, but also categorically states the obligation of the state to protect biological diversity. The Biological Diversity Act which supports the constitution, and the 2011 national Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan guides our policies for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity through strategic lines. As far back as October 12, 1940, Venezuela signed the Convention for the protection of Flora, Fauna and Natural Scenic Beauty of the Americas. With this we agreed to develop policies and laws aimed at the protection and conservation of the natural environment, flora and fauna species. This included migratory birds, as well as landscapes and geological formations of aesthetic, historical and scientific interest as well as primitive areas.
Over the past 60 years—using our strong legislative tools and regional and international treaties as a guide—Venezuela has created a series of national parks, reserves and natural monuments, which form a system of protected areas, accompanied by a legislative framework among which are protection laws of wildlife and forest soils and waters. After signing the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife in Kingston in 1990, we have been taking special care to protect our rare and fragile ecosystems and endangered habitats of the marine environment. In 1992 with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, we began pushing for the sustainable, fair and equitable sharing of benefits from genetic resources, through access and transfer of technology, while being aware of the rights to those resources and technologies.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.