Living Reference Work Entry

Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance

pp 1-9

Date: Latest Version

Environmental Policy in Latin America

  • Raul ORyanAffiliated withUniversidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Engineering and Sciences FacultyCenter for Climate and Resilience Research (CR)2, Universidad de Chile Email author 
  • , Cecilia IbarraAffiliated withCenter for Climate and Resilience Research (CR)2, Universidad de Chile


Environmental governance; Government instruments


Environmental public policy is a government action to guide and regulate a sector or a region, regarding the use of natural resources and the quality of the environment.


Environmental policy in Latin America has been evolving to include the region’s diversity and better cope with the different and more complex problems faced. Most countries are highly urbanized – Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay exceed 90% of urban population – and almost all countries are above the world average of 52%. A common characteristic of Latin American countries is their natural resource abundance as well as their economic dependence upon primary exports. The region has an important part of the world’s tropical forest, freshwater, and cultivable land as well as mineral resource reserves. Consequently, there are two main areas of environmental policy concern: environmental quality, in particular air and water pollution relating to urban ...

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