European Commission and UNEP Strengthen Regional Cooperation on Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean Tue, Jun 3, 2014

New agreement to provide forum for policy dialogue and cooperation on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies for LAC region

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner (L), and EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs (R), at the signing ceremony

Brussels, 3 June 2014 - A new regional cooperation agreement between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission was signed today in Brussels to support greater policy dialogue on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.

The agreement, which forms part of the EUROCLIMA programme, provides for a Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean to convene to engage in high-level policy dialogue on climate change, hosted by UNEP as the Secretariat. At the national level, climate change debate and legislation will receive greater support, and more resources will be devoted to raising public awareness of climate change issues.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "UNEP is proud to join hands with the European Commission and governments in Latin America and the Caribbean - as well as the wider development community - to help address the serious challenges posed by climate change across the LAC region. Activities under the agreement will be aligned with priorities of governments as identified by the Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Ministers of Environment."

EUROCLIMA is a regional cooperation programme between the European Union and Latin America, focused on climate change. The programme is implemented by UNEP and four other partners, and its objective is to contribute to climate change policy dialogue, governance, legislation and public awareness.

The timely agreement anticipates the United Nations first ever Environment Assembly - UNEA - which will be held on June 23 - 27 in Nairobi. During UNEA, climate change is set to top the agendas of many of the assembly's 193 member states, as the majority of member states convene to identify pathways to a more sustainable future. COP 20, which will take place in December in Lima, Peru, presents an opportunity for LAC governments to share some of the positive outcomes of the EUROCLIMA programme with a global audience.

The regional cooperation agreement also seeks to further strengthen synergies between UNEP cooperation and capacity building activities in the region, and to complement global and regional networks and initiatives, such as the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), the Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices (RIOCC), the UNEP Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA), and others.

UNEP, through its LAC Regional Office, is joining forces with other partners - Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) - to align the priorities of the region's governments with those of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The signing event can be viewed here

For more information on UNEP's work in Latin America and the Caribbean, please visit:

For more information on the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin American and Caribbean, Los Cabos-Mexico, March 2014, please visit:

For more information on EuroClima programme, please visit:

Media contacts: Alexa Froger, UNEP Brussels Office: and +32 2 213 30 59

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