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FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Mexico and FAO create fund for climate change adaptation and resilience in the Caribbean

The fund - which involves US $ 4.3 million from Mexico - was made official today during the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean.

FAO will support Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to access much need financing.

8th of March, Montego Bay, Jamaica – Mexico and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will work together to improve climate change adaptation and resilience in the Caribbean.

Mexico will allocate US $ 4.3 million - over the next five years - to create a cooperation fund that will work with the 20 member and associated countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and with Mesoamerican nations in matters of climate change.

Agustín García-López, Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXID) and FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, signed a letter of intent today in Montego Bay, Jamaica, during FAO’s Regional Conference.

Under the agreement, Mexico and FAO will support the design and implementation of projects to obtain resources from sources such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other sources. of resources, which are urgently needed.

"With these funds from Mexico, FAO will be able to prepare projects immediately and mobilize resources. The multiplying nature of this fund is very important, since each dollar invested multiplies. I think we can mobilize up to 300 million dollars for the Caribbean countries," explained FAO's Director-General.

"Mexico, based on its own experience, and hand in hand with a strategic, multilateral partner such as FAO, has set as one of its priorities to cooperate to strengthen sustainable agricultural development and resilience to climate change and disasters in all the countries of the Caribbean and of the Mesoamerican subregion," said the Executive Director of AMEXID.

FAO and Mexico will also work together to strengthen Caribbean government agencies and institutions involved in climate change adaptation and resilience, promoting south-south cooperation with other countries of the region.

Greater funding needed to face climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean

Climate change is one of the three main topics of FAO’s Regional Conference. According to FAO, the countries of the region are financing climate change adaptation and mitigation mostly with their own resources, covering close to 90 % of the cost.

But these are insufficient: by 2050, there is a need for an additional USD 100 billion dollars for climate change adaptation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

FAO’s Director-General called on governments to invest in ambitious and large-scale interventions to fight climate change at the closure of FAO’s Regional Conference.

“All countries have both the right and urgent need to access all available funds, regardless of their level of development. Climate change is a worldwide challenge, and international cooperation is the only way to face it,” said José Graziano da Silva.

FAO’s Director-General called on the international community to support innovative projects coming from Latin America and the Caribbean, such as Paraguay’s Poverty, Reforestation, Energy and Climate Change (PROEZA), which recently received USD 25 million dollars from the Green Climate Fund.

“PROEZA is the first FAO-supported initiative to access resources to fight negative effects of climate change, and we hope many will follow”, said Graziano da Silva.

Large-scale interventions needed to face climate threats

Graziano da Silva stressed the need for governments to move from small to large-scale interventions, capable of making a difference in the lives of millions of people living in poverty and food insecurity.

FAO is helping multiple countries develop proposals to obtain much needed funding for large-scale projects, such as El Salvador’s RECLIMA proposal for the Green Climate Fund (GFC), which seek to upscale climate resilience measures in the agroecosystems of the Central American dry corridor.

Eighteen countries of the region are working with FAO to develop 45 Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects, while seven are creating ambitious funding proposals for the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

No time to wait for Small Island Developing States

Climate change related challenges are exacerbated for Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean, because of their small geographical area, isolation and exposure.

“For SIDS in the Caribbean there is no time to waste to face climate change. For them, climate change is a matter of life and death”, said FAO’s Director General.

FAO is currently assisting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean to integrate the agricultural sector into climate change priorities and nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

The Climate Change Adaptation of the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector Project, funded with USD 5.5 million from GEF, is working in 7 countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).

The project is building capacities of fisherfolk while improving fisheries governance and introducing climate change adaptation measures in this sector, key to Caribbean food security.

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