Mayors must assume adaptation to climate change in an urgent manner, according to experts
Regional seminar debate on financing opportunities for actions and the need to prioritize these issues on the municipal political agenda, with speakers from Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic
SANTO DOMINGO. - Actions to adapt to climate change must be included as an “urgent” and “urgent” way in the political agenda of the mayors, as considered by the representatives of national, provincial and municipal governments of Latin America and the Caribbean who spoke at the first session of the regional seminar "Resilient Municipalities".
The event was called by the project “Inclusion of Adaptation to Climate Change in Local Planning in the Dominican Republic”, implemented by the National Council for Climate Change (CNCCMDL), the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPYD) and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources together with Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), the Dominican Federation of Municipalities (FEDOMU) and the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability network, with the support of the French Development Agency (AFD) and Expertise France, through the Adapt'Action Facility.
When delivering the opening remarks of the first session, Max Puig, vice president of the National Climate Change Council, emphasized that “with each passing year, adapting becomes more urgent, because the faster the climate changes and adaptation efforts are postponed, the more difficult and costly the consequences will be ”.
He recalled that “countries and communities are obliged to develop and implement adaptation solutions to respond effectively to the impacts of climate change that we already experience, which threaten to exacerbate the vulnerability of millions of people, with serious repercussions on local economies. . For this, local governments are decisive ”.
Indhira De Jesús, coordinator in the country of the aforementioned project that INTEC promotes with the support of French cooperation in the National District, Santiago, San Pedro de Macorís, Las Terrenas and Barahona, on Inclusion of Adaptation to Climate Change, specified that “ the most important thing is that we manage to sensitize the key actors so that the adaptation issue is a priority on the local and national political agenda ”.
He added that “the work of adaptation to climate change must necessarily start with the communities, regardless of their level of political demarcation (region, province, municipality, municipal district, etc.), because it is in them where the impacts and it is also from these territories where the resilience of each country can be better built ”.
Reynaldo Peguero, executive director of the Council for Strategic Development (CDES) of Santiago de los Caballeros, presented the vision of the municipality and highlighted that among the lessons learned are prioritizing community integration.
Regional dialogue to strengthen municipal capacities
Access to financing for the actions was cited by Melody Sánchez, director of Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development of Villahermosa (Tabasco, Mexico) as the main limitation to advance in adaptation from the municipalities. Sánchez detailed the investment in infrastructure and water sanitation works that have allowed Villahermosa to advance in adapting to climate change.
In addition, they presented Jesús Rey, Director of Projects of the Provincial Council of Cienfuegos (Cuba); Diana Porlles, in charge of the Deputy Management of Environmental Strategy and Climate Change, presented the case of the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima (Peru), under the moderation of Rosalía Duval, of the National Council on Climate Change.
On Wednesday, June 23, there was a debate on the role of regional networks of local governments as ICLEI for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to promote multilevel governance in adaptation at the local level. For them, the cases of the Puuc Intermunicipal Biocultural Board (JIBIOPUUC), which represents five Mexican municipalities, will be presented; the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley in Colombia, the Dominican Resilient Cities Coalition, as well as the Latin American side of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM-LAC) and UN-Habitat, which promotes a climate action campaign to cities with local governments of some countries.
In the last session, institutions linked to the financing of adaptation to climate change, such as the Green Climate Fund, the Global Fund for the Development of Cities, the MEPyD, of the Dominican Republic, the Financing of Territorial Development (FINDETER) of Colombia, and the case of Puerto Cortés (Honduras).