It climbed 13 places

Chile rises to 16th place in world environmental performance ranking

The Index by two prestigious US universities highlights the country’s significant investments in environmental issues.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010  

Chile climbed 13 places in the Biannual Environmental Performance Index (EPI) published by the US universities of Yale and Columbia. This rise puts the country in an outstanding 16th place out of the 163 countries that were evaluated.


The measurement classifies countries according to their development in 25 indicators distributed in 10 categories: environmental health, air quality, water resource management, biodiversity and habitat, forestry, fisheries, agriculture and climate change.


The index highlights Chile as one of the countries with results that are significantly better than average in the group with similar levels of development, thanks to “substantial investment in environmental protection,” which earned it 73.3 points out of a maximum of 100.


Thus, in the list that is topped by Iceland - followed by Switzerland, Costa Rica and Sweden - the country easily takes the lead over developed nations like the United States and China. The top ten also include Norway, France, Austria, Cuba and Colombia.


In the Latin American context, the EPI highlights Chile as one of the countries that has bet most heavily on improving its environmental performance recently, controlling pollution and administering its natural resources.


Fishing activity key to rise


One of the sectors that most influenced the climb was fishing. While it is true that agriculture and forestry activities were the best evaluated in the measurement, the constant investments by the industry positioned it as the third best-evaluated area, with a high score of 93.6 points.


Meanwhile, the sectors where Chile needs to improve include the protection of biodiversity, water management and air pollution, areas with poorer results that bring the country’s score down.


Lastly, the text highlights the high correlation between the EPI results and respect for the rule of law, good governance, low levels of corruption and regulatory quality.


The results were presented in the context of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an event that attracts the most influential world leaders in politics, the economy, science, culture and the environment.