MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
Alessandro Caproni; License CC BY 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cuba-17.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations; License CC BY 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fidel_Castro_2012.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Over the past 5 years Cuba has seen its population growth stabilize and begin to reverse. The fertility rate has been below replacement for over three decades and combined with emigration of approximately 14,000 residents annually, the country the last three years has seen a small overall population decline. This is good news from an ecological perspective. The current population and consumption levels are unsustainable as the country has twice as many people than it can sustain.
The New York Times reported “Cuba has taken steps to preserve its natural resources and promote sustainable development. Environmental problems remain, including overfishing and the erosion and deforestation left from earlier eras. And since 1992, when Fidel Castro denounced “the ecological destruction threatening the planet” in a speech to the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, a series of tough environmental laws has been passed, including regulations governing the management of the coastal zone. The government has designated 104 marine protected areas, though some still exist only on paper, with no administration or enforcement, and it has set a goal of conserving 25 percent of the country’s coastal waters. Cuba’s green sensitivities evolved as much out of necessity as ideology.” (1)
Contraceptive prevalence in Cuba is high, and sexuality education has expanded. But unwanted pregnancies and high abortion rates indicate gaps, particularly among young people. (2)
(1) NYT July 1, 2015.