Video On Demand

Environmental Degradation in Venezuela

October 25, 2021 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm EDT

Please join the CSIS Americas Program for a livestream discussion on environmental degradation in Venezuela under the Maduro regime.

Venezuela is among the top 10 most biodiverse countries in the world, and boasts many environmentally protected areas. However, under the Maduro regime, the country’s environmental policies and practices have contributed to a growing environmental catastrophe for Venezuela and the region. The Maduro regime’s environmental degradation ranges from complicity in unregulated mining and other illicit activity in the Orinoco Mining Arc, which cuts straight through Venezuela’s southern Amazon region, to lack of oversight and accountability and overall corruption at the state-run oil company PDVSA. The results are mass deforestation, toxic mercury pollution throughout the Amazon River Basin, oil flaring to the tune of 10 million cubic meters of methane per day, and an increase in illicit activity in lawless mining areas.

This event analyzes environmental degradation under the Maduro regime, as well as related impacts such as pollution from mining and the oil industry and the spread of organized crime. Panelists will share their insights on sustainability, governance, and corruption related to the present environmental degradation in Venezuela and will provide specific policy recommendations for how the international community can shine a spotlight on the Maduro regime’s environmental negligence.

This event was made possible thanks to the generous support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Director, Center for Conservation and Sustainability at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the National Zoo
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Studies at Simon Bolívar University
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau, USAID