IICA Forms Mesoamerican Climate Change Adaptation Network

25 August 2011: The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has reported that it is developing a Mesoamerican scientific-technical network on climate change and agriculture aimed at developing a regional strategy for adapting agriculture to climate variability. IICA is a specialized affiliate of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The network's creation, which will include the countries of Central America, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, is a key objective of IICA's recently-formed Intergovernmental Program for Cooperation in Climate Change (PRICA) run from IICA's Mexico office, with support from Mexico's Foreign Ministry. PRICA was created at the request of the Central American Agricultural Council (CAC) to increase the capacity of the Central American agricultural  institutions to respond to climate change.

IICA is in the process of forming national committees comprising government officials, researchers, academics, producers, businessmen and others working in the field of agriculture and the environment, that will structure the national nodes of the network. So far, committees have been created in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Panama, with Guatemala slated next.

IICA aims to have all national nodes formed before its 26-28 September 2011 International Seminar on Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change, where the specific actions to be undertaken by the network are to be defined. ICCA will present the new network at the 17th session to the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled for 28 November-9 December 2011, in Durban, South Africa.

The network's development is based on the recognition that while studies on adapting agriculture to climate change exist in member countries, there is little research on cross-regional impacts and strategies. Participants in the national committees will contribute information about the impact of climate change in their countries, enabling the development of scenarios, strategies and programmes focused more on biological corridors, watersheds, etc. rather than individual countries. [IICA Press Release]