Latin American Experts Discuss Adaptation and Development in Mountain Regions

Mountain Partnership3 November 2011: Experts from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru recently convened to explore how best to address evidence of climate change impacts on mountain regions in international discussions. Participants discussed the impacts of climate change in Latin America's mountain zones, developed recommendations to meet the challenges and elaborated strategies to ensure that the issue of mountains is adequately addressed in international processes.

The meeting on "Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Development in Mountain Regions," which took place from 26-28 October 2011, in Santiago, Chile, was organized by the Chilean Government, the Regional Office for Latin America and Caribbean of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, with the support of the World Bank Development Grant Facility.

Meeting participants recommended, inter alia: enhancing exchanges on technical and policy matters related to mountain ecosystems; including mountain ecosystems in national documents submitted in international forums; promoting research on aspects associated with mountains, such as studies of ecosystem services or baseline assessments, and sharing the outputs and lessons learned with a view to providing inputs to decision making; and building national institutions concerned with mountain issues.

Participants urged the Mountain Partnership, FAO and Latin American Governments to: facilitate technical meetings in the region, as well as special events during international climate change meetings; promote the creation of national decision makers' forums on mountain issues; and promote the creation of specific financing windows in multilateral funds for activities related to environmental protection and climate change.

Participants visited Cajón del Maipo, a canyon in the Andes mountains surrounding Santiago where the upper basin of the Maipo River is found, which supplies nearly 75% of the Chilean capital's water.

The meeting is the first of a series of three regional meetings on adaptation and development in mountain regions hosted by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. The meeting for the Central Asia region will take place from 9-11 November 2011, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and the meeting for the African region will be held in Mbale, Uganda, from 16-18 November 2011. [Mountain Partnership Meeting Website] [Meeting Conclusions] [UN Press Release (Spanish)] [FAO Press Release (Spanish)]