It’s Climate Week for Latin America and the Caribbean
Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week, hosted by the Dominican Republic and organized by UN Climate Change, explores the region’s resilience against climate risks, the transition to a low-emission economy and partnerships to solve pressing challenges.
The week is an important stop on the road to COP27 in Egypt in November and an opportunity for regional stakeholders to address social inequalities and invest in economic development that is good for humanity and nature.
According to the latest IPCC Report, the effects of the climate crisis will deepen in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region due to irreversible impacts exacerbated by the region’s social and economic conditions, including high levels of poverty, inequality and instability.
Moreover, climate change-induced extreme weather events such as heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, sea-level rise, coastal erosion and decrease in water supply, will heavily impact agricultural production, consequently worsening food security. Nearly 30 per cent of the region’s population lives in coastal areas, including in the Caribbean, and faces destructive coastal hazards.
In his recent visit to Suriname, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the Caribbean ‘ground zero’ for the global climate emergency, noting damages along the coast and interior of the country due to deforestation and climate change. He also saw first-hand the commitment of the Surinamese people to protect their natural treasures and ancestral knowledge.
Despite the challenges, the LAC region is also home to one of the world’s most important terrestrial carbon reserves – the Amazon basin. In fact, region contains approximately 57 per cent of the world’s remaining primary forests – storing an estimated 104 gigatons of carbon, and hosting up to 50 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and one third of all plant species.
Let’s look at what people in the region are doing to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate – from protecting wildlife, restoring corals, planting mangroves, renovating 18th century aqueducts, collecting climate data and launching public awareness campaigns.
Photo courtesy of geralt.