The Cuban Nature

More than 30 000 species are living in the Cuban archipelago at present, and the terrestrial endemism represents the 42.7 percent

By: René Tamayo

Email: internac@juventudrebelde.cu

2015-09-14 | 16:42:22 EST
More than 30 000 species are living in the Cuban archipelago at present, and the terrestrial endemism represents the 42.7 percent.More than 30 000 species are living in the Cuban archipelago at present, and the terrestrial endemism represents the 42.7 percent. Photo: Calixto N. LlanesZoom
The Cuban census for animal and plant life is incomplete, as in every place of the world. And this is good. Because it´s possible that a vast world will be waiting to be discovered through the microscope or just through naked eye. However, more than 30 000 species are living in the Cuban archipelago at present, and the terrestrial endemism represents the 42.7 percent.

This is the information given by the 2014 Cuban Statistical Yearbook (AEC-2014) in its chapter devoted to the environment. The YearBook ...is our daily book. The National office for Statics and Information (ONEI) is responsible for the Yearbook. And it can be consulted on its digital version en www.onei.cu.

The information on this topic given by the Yearbook  are  updated. However, changes on biodiversity  doesn’t occur from one moment to the other, though we are talking about something that was scientifically signed eight months and some days ago.

The book itself makes the explanation that an important part of the data used (for the chapter) are based on studies carried out by different scientific institutions, and it´s not systematically done because its cost is so expensive or just because the variability of the indicator in short-terms doesn´t deserve to carry out new assessment.

On regard to the high endemism that Cuba has, the authors of the report noted that the situation «in which a certain specie or other taxonomical group is restricted to a geographical region, is a  resource of an inestimable value  for the country.  »

However, It´s necessary to be careful, because the biological diversity is «touchable», tangible through the sight —(with or without microscope) — so, I believe authors are talking about a value that is symbolically intangible. It should be seen; but not touched, with the exception of the scientific work or those economic works that are legally authorized.

People have to take more care of the Cuban biodiversity every day. It´s the duty of every citizen, regardless of the solid State policy for its protection like the establishment and development of a strong national system of protected areas.

The AEC-2014 highlights that Cuba has six reserves of the biosphere that have been internationally recognized for the Cuban diversity and conservation degree; six wetlands that have been declared as Ramsar ´s wetlands, and two national parks that have been declared as Natural World Heritage, among other results.

In addition, the permanent effort for keeping and enlarging the Cuban natural heritage and the persistent national policy of reforestation, also contribute to this achievements. Cuba has almost no forests in 1959; however, last year, the forest surface was nearly the 30 percent (29.8 percent) of the terrestrial surface in Cuba , exceeding international commitments.

There are many successes; however we cannot be satisfied. Because, the taxonomic groups for the Cuban flora that were assessed following the categorization of International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN), showed that 402 taxonomic groups  were in critical danger in 2014, and other 399 were in danger.

The threats that hang the Cuban diversity  go from the illegal procedure of persons who have no scruples  or irresponsible persons and institutions, to  the forest fires or contamination, and many other causes. We have to be on the alert.

The chapter of the AEC-2014 devoted to the environment, highlights that the contamination load was over the 129 000 tons  of  the biochemistry demand for oxygen per year, between 2010 and 2012. However, in 2014, it increased up to 158 638 tons, for an increase of 15 percent with regard to 2013.

So, environmental strategies in the productive sector, mainly the industrial, have to be proved and reinforced at present, when the economic reactivation, especially in the manufacturing sector, is a reality.  

Translated by ESTI

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