This document is a summary of the Natural Resources Outlook in Latin America and the Caribbean, a forthcoming publication which aims to raise awareness and promote debate on the role of renewable and non-renewable natural resources in the transition to a more sustainable development model.
Natural resources play an important role in the economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean. The region is home to almost 20% of the world’s oil reserves, at least 25% of its reserves of certain strategic metals and more than 30% of its primary forests. Natural-resource-based economic activities account for 12% of added value, 16% of employment and 50% of exports in the region. Renewable resources such as water and energy are key transformative vectors for economic growth with sustainable development and have great potential to create new industries and improve the well-being of local communities.
In the current context of cascading crises, it is essential to rethink the contribution of natural resources to economic recovery and structural change. The region must shift towards a more sustainable and equitable development model that incorporates this reconsidered role of natural resources.