Extracto del informe "Estado del Futuro 2013-2014", Millennium Project.
"Y el Millennium Project desde hace años que muestra como la sociedad global evoluciona a través del estudio de 30 variables que tienen respaldo en bases de datos de 20 años y que se proyectan para los próximos 10 años. En la síntesis del estudio “Estado del Futuro 2013-2014” se lee: “La situación mundial de la Humanidad sigue mejorando en general, pero a expensas del medio ambiente. Las personas en todo el mundo son cada vez más saludables, más ricas, mejor educadas, más pacíficas, y cada vez están más conectadas, y viven más tiempo. La tasa de mortalidad infantil se ha reducido un 47% desde 1990, la pobreza extrema en el mundo en desarrollo se redujo del 50% en 1981 al 21% en 2010, la tasa de finalización de la escuela primaria aumentó de 81% en 1990 al 91% en 2011, se produjo sólo una guerra transfronteriza en 2013, casi el 40% de la Humanidad está conectada a través de Internet, y la esperanza de vida ha aumentado 10 años en los últimos 20 hasta alcanzar los 70.5 años en la actualidad.
Sin embargo, los niveles de los mantos freáticos descienden en todos los continentes, los conflictos internos y el número de refugiados está aumentando, los glaciares se están derritiendo, las diferencias de ingresos son cada vez más vergonzosas, los arrecifes de coral están muriendo, la acidez de los océanos está aumentando, cada década las zonas muertas del océano se han duplicado desde la década de 1960, la mitad de la tierra vegetal en el mundo se ha destruido, el desempleo juvenil ha alcanzado proporciones peligrosas, los congestionamientos viales y la contaminación atmosférica estrangulan a las ciudades, de $ 1,000 a 1,600 millones de dólares se pagaron en sobornos, el crimen organizado obtiene por año el doble del dinero de todos los presupuestos militares combinados, las libertades civiles están cada vez más amenazadas, y la mitad del mundo es potencialmente inestable.
Las transiciones masivas de la agricultura aislada de subsistencia y de las economías industriales a una civilización pluralista conectada al emergente Internet global, se están produciendo a una velocidad e incertidumbres sin precedentes. El monitoreo de los principales indicadores del progreso desde la salud y la educación hasta el agua y la energía muestran que estamos ganando más de lo que estamos perdiendo, sin embargo, en donde estamos perdiendo resulta siendo muy grave.
Después de 17 años de monitoreo continuo del cambio global como se documenta en los informes anuales del Estado del Futuro, está claro que la Humanidad tiene las ideas y recursos para hacer frente a sus desafíos globales, pero no ha demostrado aún el liderazgo, las políticas y la gestión a la escala necesaria para garantizar un futuro mejor. También se desprende de la investigación de futuros globales de The Millennium Project en todos estos años, que hay un mayor acuerdo acerca de cómo construir un futuro mejor que el que los medios de comunicación muestran evidentemente en un solo sentido para mantener al público en una tragedia de desacuerdos, que refuerzan la polarización. Si tenemos en cuenta las muchas decisiones equivocadas que se toman y las buenas decisiones no tomadas, día tras día y año tras año en todo el mundo, es increíble que todavía estemos haciendo tantos progresos”
The Millennium Project 15 Global Challenges. Regional Considerations: Latin America. Last Updated: May 6th, 2015
Challenge 1: How can sustainable development be achieved for all while addressing global climate change?
Latin America: The region faces a $100 billion annual loss by 2050 if the global temperature rises 2°C over pre-industrial levels. South America has 40% of the planet’s biodiversity and about half of the world's carbon stored in tropical forests. Brazil has the world's largest total biocapacity reserve (about 9.6 gha per capita), but unless more environmentally-friendly policies, it could cross into deficit within the next 50 years. Deforestation rate in Brazil went down for several years, but the annual deforestation rates increased 28% for the period August 2012-July 2013. The demand for hydropower and biofuels may reduce Latin America’s forests as a carbon sink. The dieback of the southern part of the Amazon rainforest is expected to be greater than expected because the forest is drying faster than the IPCC models assumed. 40% of Brazilian businesses reported emission reduction targets in 2012. Recycling in Brazil generates $2 billion a year while avoiding 10 million tons of GHG emissions. According to IICA, Latin America holds 43% of the world’s potential for agricultural growth. It is rapidly expanding this potential while trying not to damage vital ecosystem services. Mexico’s new climate change law sets legally binding emission reduction goals: 30% below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 50% below 2000 levels by 2050. In Peru, more than 50% of forest cover on the coast was already lost, and more than 150,000 hectares of forest are lost annually by agriculture and mining.
Challenge 2: How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict?
Latin America: Latin America has 26% of the world’s fresh water and 6% of its population, yet two-thirds of the region is arid or semiarid, including large areas of central and northern Mexico, northeastern Brazil, northwestern Argentina, northern Chile, and parts of Bolivia and Peru. About 25% of the population (over 100 million) lives in water-stressed areas, mainly in Mexico, Argentina, and the countries along the west coast. Some 125 million lack sanitation services. Over 70% of water used in the region returns to rivers without treatment. Meanwhile, Brazil wastes nearly 40% of its treated water according to UNESCO. Mexico performs 85% below the OECD average for water quality but has increased investments in water systems and the “2030 Water Agenda” for universal water access and wastewater treatment. About 120 million people in Latin America lack access to improved sanitation. Meanwhile, countries in the region lose nearly $6 billion every year due to delinquencies, over-employment in the industry and water loss caused by misused or broken pipes. Suffering from the worst drought in 70 years, Mexican farmers have lost 2.2 million acres of crops. Costa Rica needs to invest $2.4 billion to improve water and sanitation conditions by 2030. El Salvador will be hit hardest by water shortages in Central America. Ice is melting in the Andes, affecting hydroelectric dams, agriculture, and urban water supplies; 68% of the region’s electricity is from hydroelectric sources. Water crises might occur in megacities within a generation unless new water supplies are generated, lessons from both successful and unsuccessful approaches to privatization are applied, and legislation is updated for more reliable, transparent, and consistent integrated water resources management. The region’s water demand could increase 300% by 2050. Peru will be one of the Latin American countries that will suffer more water shortages, due to over 60% of its population (about 18 million) live in its coastal desert region, which receives water from the glaciers of the mountains, which have already lost more than 40% of their volume; it is expected that in 2030 there will be glaciers only at altitudes above 5,000 meters above sea level.
Challenge 3: How can population growth and resources be brought into balance?
Latin America: Of the world, the LAC region has about 12% of the arable land, 8.5% of the population, 33% of the fresh water resources, 21% of the natural forests, and substantial mineral resources. About 85% of the region will be urban by 2030, requiring massive urban and agricultural infrastructural investments. About 47 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition, down from 53 million in 2010. Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua have approved food security laws to ensure local agricultural products are primarily used to feed their own populations and not for export; nine more countries are planning the same. Mexico's National Crusade Against Hunger has reduced the number of people suffering of extreme hunger by 43% in only one year, to some 4 million people compared to 7 million in 2012. Latin America’s share of population 60 years or over is likely to increase from 10% in 2012 to 25% in 2050. In Mexico, by 2050, half of the population will be older than 43, with an 18-year increase in median age. As fertility rates fall in Brazil and longevity increases by 50% over the next 20 years, the ability to meet financial needs for the elderly will diminish; hence, the concept of retirement will have to change, and social inclusion will have to improve to avoid future intergenerational conflicts. With about 12% of the world's arable land and a third of the fresh water reserves, and 8.5% of the world’s population, the region has great potential for food production. Peru keeps a 10-year moratorium on imports of GMO products; Peru is one of the world’s leading exporters of organic food (coffee, cocoa, quinoa, banana), with $3 billion in potential annual revenue. LAC region possesses a substantial part of the most important non-renewable mineral reserves; CELAC is contemplating new strategies for increasing the exercise of sovereignty over natural resources for raising countries' benefits and improving the living standard of the local population.
Challenge 4: How can genuine democracy emerge from authoritarian regimes?
Latin America: Freedom House rated 22 countries in the region “free,” 10 “partly free,” and only Cuba (1% of the region's population) as “not free.” The big challenges for the region are the institutional weakness for addressing social and political demands of people, as well as the interlinkages of organized crime, businesses, and government corruption. The “war” against the drug cartels and their internal wars, mainly in Mexico, caused thousands of victims and internally displaced persons and reduced civil liberty, while only 2% of the crimes and human rights violations reported to the authorities end up in a conviction. However, a sense of solidarity of the people and increased influence of civil society organizations, constitutional reforms supported by the majority of the population in Bolivia and Ecuador for strengthening the rights of indigenous peoples, as well as examples of democratic governance set by Chile and Brazil are helping to strengthen democratic processes. Organized crime the major impediment to development and democracy in Central America. Many left-leaning or populous governments in South America such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela have been re-elected due to their focus on the poor majority. Cuba began easing state surveillance, access to the internet, and political discussions, as well as opening access to foreign travel and self-employment. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States continues to foster Latin American integration as a strategy for the region's future peace and prosperity.
Challenge 5: How can decisionmaking be enhanced by integrating improved global foresight during unprecedented accelerating change?
Latin America: The Inter-American Dialogue has documented the growing interest in futures research in the region (See Why and How Latin America Should Think About the Future ) such as Brazil 2022, Visión Nacional 2030 (Mexico), México 2042, Chile 2025, Surfeando Hacia el Futuro: Chile en el Horizonte 2025, Latinoamérica 2030 (The Millennnium Project Latin American Nodes), América Latina 2040 (CAF), Plan Perú 2021, Visión Colombia 2019, Estrategia Nacional 2010/2025 (Ecuador), Estrategia Nacional de Desarrollo 2030 (Dominican Republic), Un Viaje de Transformación Hacia un País Mejor, 2030 (Dominican Republic) and Estrategia Nacional de Desarrollo 2030 (Dominican Republic). The Millennium Project’s Latin Ameriocan Nodes and others have formed RIBER (Red IBERoamericana de Prospectiva). Venezuela has the Sembrar el Futuro prize for students' futures thinking, and Mexico initiated the Global Millennium Prize for students' ideas for addressing global challenges. Since the average age in Latin America is only 24, it is fundamental to incorporate the visions of the next generation via social networks and apps.
To reduce political conflicts, the Mexican government got political parties to agree to the “Mexican Pact” on basic long-term reforms prior to submitting legislation. Chile is pioneering e-government systems that can be models for other countries in the region. For e-government to increase transparency, reduce corruption, and improve decisions, Internet access beyond the wealthiest 20% is necessary. The remaining 80% suffer from inefficient service, difficult access locations, restricted operating hours, and nontransparent processes. Latin America has to improve citizen participation and public education for political awareness.
Challenge 6: How can the global convergence of information and communications technologies work for everyone?
Latin America: About 40% of the region has Internet access (up from 34% in 2011). About 30 million of the region’s children are expected to have Internet access by 2015. Uruguay is the first country to provide all primary students with their own Internet-connected laptop, followed by Costa Rica. Fulfilling the promise of these tools will require more serious attention to training. Peru's construction of a fiber optic backbone is planned to begin at the end of 2013 and to be completed in 2016. Although fiber optic cable has been laid between Cuba and Venezuela, connecting their governments, Cubans still have the slowest access in Latin America. Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Venezuela have had more mobile phones that population since population. Brazil and Colombia have plans in place to bring affordable broadband to more households. The goal of Brazil’s Programa Nacional de Banda Larga is to bring broadband access to 40 million of the country’s households by 2014, in particular in rural areas, in cooperation with Brazilian operators. Colombia’s Vive Digital aims to connect 50% of the country’s households to the Internet by 2014.
Challenge 7: How can ethical market economies be encouraged to help reduce the gap between rich and poor?
Latin America: Even though the region's middle class has grown 50% in the last ten years, it remains a highly unequal society, with the richest 10%receiving about 48% of total income while the poorest 10% captures only 1.8%. Nevertheless, during the 2000s, inequality declined considerably, including between rural and urban incomes. Yet, a World Economic Forum survey has found that on average, 64% of Latin Americans think that their country's economic system favors the wealthy, with the rates varying from 86% in Chile, to 32% in Venezuela. Chile is one of the countries with the highest rate of social inequality. In Brazil and Mexico is at the lowest level since the 1960s when data records started. Some 40% of social inequality reduction is due to lower wage inequality, increasing skilled workers, and increased minimum wages, while another 13%-20% is due to more progressive government transfers. Decreasing inequality also accounts for 33%-50% of the poverty reduction in the region. The share of people living below $1.25/day dropped from approximately 12% for the last two decades of the 20th century to 6% now, and unemployment decreased from 6.4% in 2011 to 6.2% in 2013 according to ECLAC. Brazil reduced the number of people living in poverty from 41 million in 2002 to 15.7 million in 2013; the middle class increased by 42 million people since 2003, and income per capita grew by 78%; it pledges to continue creating an investment-friendly economic environment and to use its rich natural resources to improve living standards sustainably. Peru has reduced its poverty rate from 59% in 2004 to 28% in 2012. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States pledged to continue the efforts for poverty eradication and reduction of inequalities by increasing regional economic, social, and political integration. Regional economic growth is expected to increase from 2.6% in 2013 to 3.2% in 2014. According to OECD, less than 4% of state revenue is generated by personal income taxes, compared with 27% in industrialized countries, while VAT is placing an additional burden on poor customers. The “shadow economy” is estimated to be about 40% relative to the formal one. Remittance inflows reached an estimated $62 billion in 2012, of which Mexico receives 37%. Although in South America FDI increased 12%, the region's total FDI inflows decreased 2% in 2012 compared to 2011, to a total $244 billion (about half going to Brazil), due to a decline in Central America and the Caribbean. China became an important player in the region, with its loan commitmentsof $37 billion in 2010 overpassing those of the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and U.S. Export-Import Bank combined. Fiscal and economic reforms are improving stability, although country and regional policies increasingly focused on national interests and ethical behavior might affect future foreign investments.
Challenge 8: How can the threat of new and reemerging diseases and immune micro-organisms be reduced?
Latin America: The region has the highest life expectancy among developing regions and the highest rates of antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS of any WHO region, along with levels of vaccination coverage that are among the highest in the world. While Haiti’s HIV rate has fallen from 6% to 2.2% over the last 10 years, the earthquake in 2010 devastated medical systems and brought on a cholera outbreak of a half-million cases and perhaps 250,000 more, as the cholera strain is evolving, spreading to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and may become endemic. Some 100,000 Haitians are expected to be vaccinated against cholera this year. The HIV/ AIDS epidemic remains stable throughout Latin America. Brazil has shown that free ART has since 1996 dramatically cut AIDS mortality, extended survival time, saved $2 billion in hospital costs, and keeps prevalence to 0.6%. Neglected tropical diseases affect 200 million people in Latin America (intestinal worms, Chagas, schistosomiasis, trachoma, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, and onchocerciasis).
Challenge 9: How can education make humanity more intelligent, knowledgeable, and wise enough to address its global challenges?
Latin America UNESCO is losing its influence in the region due to shrinking budgets. Educational systems in more socialist countries prefer not to have international standards and testing, while those more market-oriented are seeking them. Free inquiry and pursuit of new insights and truth may be reduced by this ideological tug-of-war over the education of the next generation. Capital flight and shrinking state budgets are reducing education budgets per student. Training is needed to better use the new Internet-based learning systems. Uruguay is working to give all children Internet access. Adult literacy has improved from 86% in 1990 to 92% in 2011, while youth literacy (aged 15-24 years) has grown from 93% in 1990 to 97% in 2011.
Challenge 10: How can shared values and new security strategies reduce ethnic conflicts, terrorism, and the use of weapons of mass destruction?
Latin America: Drug wars in Mexico caused more deaths than Afghanistan and Iraq. Although national wars are rare in the region, internal violence from organized crime, paramilitaries, and amalgams of the two groups continues to be fueled in some areas by corrupt government officials, military, police, and national and international corporations. More than 60,000 people were killed in Mexican drug violence in 2006-2012; and 2,200 deaths were reported in December 2012 - January 2013. To eliminate criminal gangs, Latin America should address inequality and develop educational systems that meet the requirements of the knowledge economy. Recent political changes have begun to improve opportunities for indigenous peoples in some parts of the region, while political polarization over policies to address poverty and development persists. The Failed States Index shows that since 2008, stability improved in most countries of the region. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States adopted a Proclamation of Latin America and Caribbean as a zone of peace and is increasing regional integration and solidarity for defense of national sovereignty. The International Court in the Hague has become the most widely used mechanism by Latin American countries to peacefully resolve conflicts; e.g.; Nicaragua and Colombia; Peru and Chile; Bolivia and Chile. Brazil proceeds on its path toward world power status. Argentina is resuming a more aggressive stance toward the Falklands question. Violence is impeding development in Central America, a region with one of the highest crime and homicide rates in the world.
Challenge 11: How can the changing status of women help improve the human condition?
Latin America: Women's participation in Latin American parliaments improved due to the introduction of quotas in many countries. Some of the most successful countries in the region, Argentina, Brasil, Costa Rica, and Chile, elected women heads of state. Of the Central American Parliament, 21.6% are women. In Mexico, 36.8% of Congress members are women and the President's reform initiative includes that 50% of all political parties' candidates for popular positions should be women. The 2013 Global Gender Gap indicates that the region has closed 70% of its overall gender gap with Nicaragua (10), Cuba (15), and Ecuador (25) being the region's highest ranked, while Guatemala (114), Suriname (110), and Chile (which in 2013 dropped to 91 from 64 in 2009), are among the lowest ranked. More women than men attain tertiary education across the region, but wage discrepancies persist. Despite economic and political progress, women’s well-being continues to be hindered by the machismo structures. Women are victims of organized crime in various forms, but they also represent an increasingly important force fighting it. Rural and indigenous women work at least 16 hours a day, mostly not paid. As a result of restrictive legislation, one in three maternal deaths is due to abortion, and the lifetime risk of maternal death is 0.4%. Femicide is a regional problem; thousands of women are killed by their husbands and relatives in Latin America with impunity.
Challenge 12: How can transnational organized crime networks be stopped from becoming more powerful and sophisticated global enterprises?
Latin America: Uruguay is the first nation in the region to legalize marijuana. The OAS has held discussions around change drug laws. Because Mexico and Colombia are succeeding against organized crime, criminals are migrating to other countries in Latin America from these two countries. More than 60,000 people were killed in Mexican drug violence in 2006-2012; and 2,200 deaths were reported in December 2012 - January 2013. Mexico’s cartels receive more money (an estimated $25–$40 billion) from smuggling drugs to the U.S. than Mexico earns from oil exports. Mexican drug cartels are rapidly moving south, into Central America, and are branching out, with La Familia exporting $42 million worth of stolen iron ore from Michoacán in a year. Heavy police crackdowns in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have only made the gangs better organized and more violent. UNODC says crime is the single largest issue impeding Central American stability. Some Latin American countries say its time to legalize drugs, considering the cost/benefit and as a strategy to curb gangs violence. Colombia’s government passed a bill for decriminalizing the cultivation of “drug plants,” while drugs’ processing and trafficking remain criminal. Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize marijuana. These are part of Latin America’s strategy for curbing drug trafficking. Brazil has instituted a $2.2 billion plan to combat crack trafficking and abuse nationwide, and UNODC and the federal government have begun a program to promote protective family relationships. The drug gangs have largely replaced the paramilitaries. Ecuador has become an important drug route, with its drug trade being controlled by foreign organizations. Mexican cartels control cocaine production in Peru generating more than $22 billion per year. Production is up a little in Peru, but down 12% in Bolivia, and 25% in Colombia. The “war on drugs” in Latin America is hindered by the lack of joint strategy among the governments of North and Latin America. It is also complicated by Latin America's being a major locale for the phenomenon of "criminal diaspora" - criminals being driven to adjoining countries by law enforcement or seeing more opportunities for profit in the territory just over the border. UNODC has published a report, Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean: A Threat Assessment. The Caribbean has 27% of the world’s murders, including gang-related killings, with only 8.5% of world’s population.
Challenge 13: How can growing energy demands be met safely and efficiently?
Latin America: The region increased its share of the world's clean energy investments from 5.7% in 2011 to 6% in 2012. Brazil has been the cheapest biofuel producer for years, but it is losing its competitiveness due to the real’s rise against the dollar and the high price of sugar. Brazil imported 70m liters of U.S. ethanol in 2010, up from just 1 million in 2009. Its first commercial-scale plant of second-generation biofuel (cellulosic ethanol) will start production in December 2013. Some 90% of the automobiles produced in Brazil are flex-fuel. Argentina is the world’s second largest producer of biodiesel, with 13.1% of the market. Geothermal, solar, and wind are vast untapped resources for the region, as are gains from efficiencies. Ecuador announced that it would refrain from drilling for oil in the Amazon rainforest reserve in return for up to $3.6 billion in payments from industrial countries. Venezuela’s Orinoco heavy oil reserves (requiring advanced production technology) are larger than Saudi Arabia’s reserves. Cuba plans to increase its renewable energy production by 12% by 2020.The Spanish-owned electric grid company was nationalized in Bolivia. Peru is promoting the use of natural gas from its new reserves discovered in the Camisea field.
Challenge 14: How can scientific and technological breakthroughs be accelerated to improve the human condition?
Latin America: Mexico’s National Center for Genetic Resources is a leader for genetic resources for developing countries in agriculture, livestock, aquaculture, forestry, and microbial research. OECD, UNESCO, EU, the U.S., and China are helping countries in the region with innovation systems. Chile has started a scientific news network for Latin America in order to reverse some of the lagging indicators in the region. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico account for almost 90% of university science in the region, and half of the 500 higher education institutes produce no scientific research. University S&T courses could be required to focus some attention on helping the poorest communities. Mexico is leading the Innovation Network for Latin American and the Caribbean. Peru's R&D support has grown over $300 million, mainly led by companies, with support from its local universities and research centers.
Challenge 15: How can ethical considerations become more routinely incorporated into global decisions?
Latin America: The Mexican government has recently enacted an Anti-corruption Federal Law on public procurement to punish individuals and companies for unethical behavior. The Walmart Mexican subsidiary's $24 million bribery of government officials and cover-up throughout the country is being investigated for criminal prosecution by both the U.S. and Mexico. Problems such as lack of personal security, limited access to education and health services, lack of faith in politics, badly damaged institutions that do not fulfill their role (such as the justice system and police), and the accelerated environmental degradation in some countries are aspects of a serious lack of ethical values. Five countries make up nearly half of the world's ecological footprint: China, US, India, Brazil and Russia. The prevalence of legal formality in other countries does not guarantee equal rights, as large sections of the population remain excluded from the promised protections. It also manifests as a serious lack of ethical standards in the mass media. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States pledges to address corruption and unethical practices by a cross-Latin-American integrated strategy and application of the rule of law.