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Peru Resources


Peru
Peru

Peru’s biodiversity is tremendous: The country contains over three-quarters of all the types of life zones found on Earth. Human impact on the environment is severe in places, however, and some key habitats are endangered—particularly the tropical and temperate coastal deserts and the puña, a type of high-elevation grassland. The spectacled bear, the giant otter, and the jaguar are just three species of Peru’s vast animal life that are considered threatened.

The rapidly growing population of Peru is unevenly distributed, concentrated in the mountains and in coastal areas. Water pollution and air pollution are problems in urban areas. Human health is a major concern, and access to safe water and basic facilities is poor in rural areas. Outbreaks of cholera occur periodically.

National parks and other reserves cover more than 10 percent of Peru’s land. UNESCO has designated three national parks in Peru as World Heritage Sites and established three biosphere reserves under its Man and the Biosphere Program. New environmental laws in Peru provide for limited sustainable resource use in place of earlier policies that encouraged aggressive industrial development in the Amazon Basin.

The spread of agriculture, especially the widespread cultivation of coca, is a major threat to fragile protected environments.

Coca plantations are frequently hacked out of delicate vegetation and treated with fertilizers and pesticides that ultimately contaminate streams. Soil erosion is also widespread due to intensive cultivation and livestock overgrazing. Desertification is consuming significant amounts of once-productive land. Peru has ratified the Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, the Antarctic Treaty, and international conservation agreements concerning biodiversity, climate change, desertification, endangered species, hazardous wastes, nuclear test ban, ozone layer, ship pollution, tropical timber, and wetlands. Regionally, Peru participates in several international agreements on conservation and sustainable land use in the Amazon Basin. "Peru" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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