As the world's ecosystem continues to be destroyed at an "unprecedented speed," Cuba has the most sustainable model of development on the planet, the environmental group WWF said in its bi-annual "Living Planet Report 2016."
According to the report, if current levels of consumption continue by 2050 then the world's population will need the natural resources and energy produced by two planet Earths.
“Cuba, however, was found to have implemented a good — yet not perfect—combination of human development and environmental footprint, with a high level of alphabetization and a high level of life expectancy, while using little energy and natural resources,” Jonathan Loh, one of the leaders of the study, said during the presentation of the report in Beijing.
The combination of human development and the exploitation of natural resources has resulted in WWF creating an “environmental footprint” index, and Cuba was found to have the best rate in the world.
Latin America, in general, was found to be the region with the highest levels of sustainability according to the report, while Africa had low levels of energy consumption combined with lower levels of human development. The opposite was true for Europe.
“I am not sure which factor explains (Latin America's good scores in the report), but people living there seem happier, maybe because of this better balance between development and environment,” he added.
However, a separate report released by Oxfam Tuesday found that Latin America is also number one in the world for environmental activists being violently targeted and killed, a trend that has increased over recent years.
In 2015, 122 activists were killed. In 2015, between January and May, 58 were killed, according to Global Witness, including prominent Honduran environmentalists Berta Caceres, Jose Angel Flores and Silmer Dionisio Jorge.