During its ten years of existence, the Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices (RIOCC, according to its Spanish initials) has contributed to supporting the fight against climate change by promoting cooperation and coordination among its 21 member countries, senior government officials from the region said during a special event that was held on December 11 in the framework of the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20), which is taking place in Lima, Peru.
Participants in the gathering—which celebrated the RIOCC’s 10th anniversary—included Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina; the Director of the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Joseluis Samaniego; the Coordinator of Uruguay’s National System to Respond to Climate Change, Ignacio Lorenzo; and Mexico’s Undersecretary for Environmental Planning and Policy, Rodolfo Lacy.
Minister Isabel Tejerina said that the RIOCC (available only in Spanish) has become “one of the most important regional initiatives on climate change.” She added that Spain was “proud to have supported this project over the last ten years through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).”
The Director of ECLAC’s Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division highlighted that the RIOCC has promoted dialogue among Ibero-American countries in the last decade to identify their main challenges in terms of climate change, and it has strengthened their capabilities and the transfer of technology both for adaptation and mitigation.
Joseluis Samaniego presented the report Effects of Climate Change on the Coasts of Latin America and the Caribbean: Vulnerability and Exposure (only available in Spanish), and he emphasized that ECLAC’s studies show that the cost of inaction could range between 1 and 5 percent of the region’s current Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “For this reason, it is important to generate knowledge that guides us toward public policies aimed at achieving low-carbon development, with equality,” he said.
The creation of this Network was agreed upon in 2004 during the IV Ibero-American Forum of Environment Ministers held in Portugal, and its objectives include promoting the implementation of the decisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The countries that belong to the RIOCC are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.