PRESS RELEASE: Experts and policymakers meet in Costa Rica to discuss climate change, water and natural resources

The goal is to identify needs for policy making and research in these three issues that are key for development in Central America.

Turrialba, Costa Rica. As the world tries to understand how to meet the challenges imposed from climate change caused by human intervention in the environment, water and natural resources are rapidly being depleted.
What is the right way to reverse this process?

What are Central American countries doing to effectively deal with this situation? With these questions in mind, scientists and decision makers will meet in Costa Rica on October 25, as part of the Policy Day, which central theme is “Research and Policy Interactions in Climate Change, Water and Natural Resource Conservation”.

This event is part of the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Environment for Development (EfD) initiative, represented in Central America by CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center).

According to Francisco Alpizar, Director at EfD Central America, having the opportunity to gather together researchers and decision makers to promote a dialogue on how to best define a path for a planet whose environment has reached a point of extreme use, is crucial.

We cannot longer continue making wrong decisions, so now more than ever we must able to communicate among each other to improve people’s well-being. This is why is in our interest to show decision makers results from our scientific research on issues such as change climate, water and natural resources, and for them to tell us how we can help,” said Alpizar.

During the event, participants will discuss about the opportunities for development from adaptation and mitigation to climate change, analyzing whether the Central American region is making the political decisions necessary for adaptation to climate change, as well as what measures can lessen the negative impacts in the region.

"Climate change is an international issue, but when it comes to adapting to climate change is essential to know how decisions are made by producers and consumers in relation to external events, climate variability and changes in temperature, hence the importance of this activity,” said Alpizar.

In addition, they will address issues such as the impact of protected areas and how is it possible to maximize the benefits they provide to foster country's development.

According to Alpizar, research findings suggest that in areas adjacent to protected areas there are low levels of unemployment and also that residents have good salaries, which shows that protected areas are not a luxury for the country, on the contrary they generate wealth and welfare from economic activities that are taking place in and outside these areas.

Furthermore, participants will examine what actions are taking place in the region in relation to water and climate change, focusing on the functionality of Water and Sewerage Systems Administrative Associations (ASADAS, by its Spanish acronym), which are responsible for providing water to most Costa Ricans living outside urban areas, and how they can improve and adapt to a changing climate. One of the main predictions on climate change has to do with the availability of water resources.

EfD centers around the world include South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, China, Sweden, United States, Chile and Central America, all work to build capacity and applied research in economics, development and environment. In Central America this initiative was established in 2007 as part of CATIE.

For further information:
Karla Salazar Leiva
Communications Office
Phone 2558 2635

Carlos L. Munoz Brenes
EfD-Central America Research Fellow
Phone 506 2558 2352

News | 20 October 2012