(3 October 2012) Today, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, and the Director of the South America Department of the German Agency for International Cooperation (or GIZ, because of its name in German), Sabine Müller, signed the contract to implement the cooperation programme known as "Promoting low-carbon development and social cohesion in Latin America and the Caribbean". The ceremony was also attended by Jürgen Klenk, Resident Director of GIZ in Chile.
The programme was agreed by ECLAC and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) - with GIZ as the implementing agency - on 18 November 2011. It began on 1 July 2012 and will end on 30 June 2014.
The main aim of this joint initiative is to identify the possibilities arising from the challenges of climate change, in order to promote low-carbon growth with social inclusion in Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The implementation contract signed today sets out the services and activities covered by two components and six projects. The two main components are called "Climate change: opportunities for low-carbon development paths" and "The new relationship between State, market and society for equality and environmental sustainability".
The first component covers four projects: "REDD (Reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) and low-carbon development paths"; "Fiscal policy and climate change"; "Innovation in the context of climate change: development of SMEs"; and "Sustainable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean".
The projects from the second component are "Fiscal covenant for growth with equality" and "Social covenant for more inclusive social protection".
Over the last few decades, ECLAC and the BMZ have built a strategic alliance based on shared values and a common interest in contributing to the development of Latin America and the Caribbean.
On 9 January 2012, BMZ Minister, Dirk Niebel, visited ECLAC to strengthen the strategic relationship between the two institutions. This aim was demonstrated in the signing of a joint declaration and the publication of the document ECLAC-BMZ: A model of cooperation for the twenty-first century.
During his visit, Mr. Niebel took part in the round table discussion on Opportunities and challenges of climate change for economic and social development in Latin America, along with the Executive Secretary of ECLAC.
The strengthening of the strategic relationship also resulted in a significant rise in funding for the ECLAC-BMZ/GIZ cooperation programme. A sum of 4,725,000 euros has been allocated for the activities of the 2012-2014 programme.
According to the document that explains the cooperation model that joins the institutions, "cooperation between ECLAC and BMZ thus seeks to bolster the management capacity of the States so that, in partnership with civil society and the private sector, they can tackle and resolve these complex challenges and gradually shift their development strategies", while adding that ECLAC and BMZ complement each other as strategic allies.
The text states that "ECLAC provides a platform for policy dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean generates knowledge and provides economic, social and environmental public policy recommendations to the countries. And BMZ does more than support ECLAC with its own wide-ranging network and expertise: it draws on expertise and recommendations from ECLAC as feedback for its bilateral projects".
In her visit to Chile, Sabine Müller also took part in the High-level Forum on South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized by the Chilean Agency for International Cooperation (AGCI) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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