detail
04/09/2009

Workshop focuses on climate change impact on Latin America and the Caribbean region

In May 2009, a workshop on Climate Change and Land Use, and Land Use Change and Forestry, brought together renowned scientists, international financing agencies, government representatives and FAO staff, to review and identify the severity of impact on the Latin America and the Caribbean region. The workshop was jointly organized by the FAO Investment Centre Division with the World Bank, to provide a forum for exchange of climate change expertise and experience.

The participants also explored ways to mainstream climate change issues into the development of investment projects to assist countries threatened by severe climate change, to prepare for and mitigate against harm to agricultural production, and forestry and land resources. The financing institutions represented were the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The main conclusions and recommendations were: (i) serious impacts of climate change are already observable in Latin America and the Caribbean; (ii) the United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Copenhagen from 7-18 December 2009, will be the most important meeting of humankind after World War II and a critical item on the Conference agenda is agriculture; (iii) new public investments are needed to: maintain and protect ecosystems, mitigate the effects of and recover from natural disasters, capture and store water, regulate flows and control floods, strengthen public health systems to monitor and respond to outbreaks; and continue the evolution of agricultural research and extension; (iv) that policy and institutional improvements are critical to facilitate adaptation and mitigation to climate change; and (v) that sensibilization and mobilization of policymakers on climate change impacts and strategies on agriculture is a must. In addition, specific recommendations were made in relation to mitigation and adaptation strategies for the sector of agriculture, livestock and forestry.

Based on the productive outcome of the workshop, the Investment Centre and the World Bank will organize further events to address specific issues on climate change, with the aim to collect new information to assist the countries of the region in developing and implementing mitigation and adaptation actions and investments.

The Centre is also assisting other regions on climate change adaptation and control through investment projects and programmes prepared under FAO’s cooperative work programmes with the World Bank, IFAD and GEF.

For full details on the context of the May 2009 workshop and presentations and recommendations made, please see: Workshop Agenda and Workshop Presentations.

For more information on the Centre’s work in the region, see: Latin America and Caribbean reports.