Tuesday, 16 October 2012 07:58

High level Latin American officials and experts debate climate change policies at regional forum Featured

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More than 40 high level officials and experts from various Latin American countries met in Lima this month to debate the importance of public policies on climate change in the region, with a particular focus on the agricultural and forestry sectors, using as its basis a report prepared by the Latin American Platform on Climate.
Peruvian Environment Minister, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, noted that public policies are an “art of cohesion and the search for consensus”, that is far from simple to achieve and which often requires small steps to be taken – steps which nonetheless prove to be significant in the long run. The Minister gave his approval of the initial findings of the Platform’s report “The State and Quality of Public Policies on Climate Change and Development in Latin America”, among which are lack of implementation of climate policies and the marginal importance that they occupy compared with other issues within government. The report, which analyses and compares the findings of national studies from 10 countries in the region, indicates that the weak link between existing climate and macroeconomic policies results in a negative effect on efforts to adapt and mitigate to climate change, especially when some development policies run counter to those required to confront climate change. The regional report represents a benchmark for the situation in Latin America regarding public policy on climate change, which in the future, will allow for the evaluation of regional progress on these issues. Yolanda Kakabadse, the former Ecuadorian Environment Minister, maintained that if public policies on climate change are not regional or intersectoral, or if they fail to be negotiated among various social actors, then they will not have the impact required to adequately confront climate change. Ms. Kakabadse also reminded delegates that climate change represents a threat to the survival of the human race ensuring that it is vital to reinforce the urgency of the message and the true scale of the issue. During the various stages of the forum, delegates were able to exchange information, knowledge and experiences focusing on the development and implementation of climate change policies, including success stories, positive experiences and important lessons, with the aim of contributing to a wider collective knowledge regarding the Latin American situation. Over the next few days, the reports from each country, along with the conclusions of the regional report, will be made available in digital format on this website. The regional forum was organised by the Latin American Platform on Climate and CDKN, with support from the Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (Ecuador) and facilitated by Fundación Cambio Democrático (Argentina). Click here to download (in Spanish) the main findings of the regional report.   Thanks to Giles Constantine for his help translating this article.
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