This region contains an enormous diversity of ecosystems, flora, and fauna within a relatively small land area. While the human population in Central Americais heavily concentrated in urban areas, enormous loss of forest cover and other environmental damage has been occurring throughout the region. Only a small fraction of the region’s solid waste is properly treated and degradation of rivers and coastal areas is compounded by the discharge of fertilizer and industrial chemicals.
La Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (CCAD) works to promote sustainable development in Central America, includng by strengthening cooperation and integration arrangements for environmental management.
The islands of the Caribbean are densely populated, with significant strains on coastal environments and fast-disappearing local habitats and endemic species. Untreated sewage and agricultural runoff have been a major source of pollution of coastal marine habitats, with severe damage to coral reefs and mangrove swamps.
Critical environmental concerns in Central America and the Caribbean include:
- Urban-industrial pollution;
- Deterioration of biodiversity;
- Destruction of coastal mangrove habitat and marine ecosystems;
- Illegal disposal of pesticides and other hazardous substances; and
- Discharge of fertilizer and sewage into coastal waters.
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