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Environmental issues in Venezuela

Environmental issues in Venezuela include natural factors such as earthquakes, floods, rockslides, mudslides, and periodic droughts.

It ranks among the top 10 of the worlds most ecologically diverse countries. However, it has suffered great environmental degradation. Venezuela has the third-highest deforestation rate in South America at 1.1 percent. The Guri Dam, one of the worlds largest, flooded a massive forested area and is now being filled with silt deposited by runoff from deforested areas. Environmental issues include sewage pollution into Lago de Valencia, located not far to the west of Caracas; oil and urban pollution of Lake Maracaibo, located in northwestern Zulia State; deforestation; soil degradation; and urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast. Current concerns also include irresponsible mining operations that endanger the rain-forest ecosystem and indigenous peoples. Successive governments have attempted to develop environmental regulations. However, only 35 percent to 40 percent of Venezuela's land is regulated thus far, 29 percent as part of about 100 national parks.

Venezuela has ratified 14 international conventions regarding environmental protection and sustainable development, while also taking forward-looking steps internally to protect and preserve the countrys natural wealth. Venezuela has 43 national parks and 36 natural monuments, and Venezuela is the country in Latin America with the largest proportion of protected lands with over 55 percent of it total territory.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Environmental issues in Venezuela

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