Panama: Parliamentarians Discuss Action Against Climate Change

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Legislators from 16 countries of the Americas and the Caribbean meet in Panama today to discuss action to curb climate change at the permanent headquarters of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (Parlatino).

The parliamentary action group will look at the best legislative practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change and discuss citizen participation in the development of strategies and resources for environmental education.

They will also look at scientific and political programs to limit the increase of global warming to 1.5 Celsius degrees.

The event, which will include the participation of experts from Panama and United Nations Program for Environment, will also develop strategies and environmental education resources with parliamentarians who preside over similar commissions in the region.

According to a report by United Nations agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization, climate change will affect crop yields, local economies and food security in the northeast of Brazil, Central America and parts of the Andean region.

Among other factors, this is due to the economic dependence that these countries have on agriculture, the low capacity for adaptation of its people and geographical location, the study pointed out.

The report, which also involved the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Latin American Integration Association, agrees that agriculture is the economic activity most affected by the phenomenon.

This sector provides five percent of the regional gross domestic product, 23 percent of exports and employs 16 percent of the population.

"The challenge for the region is considerable: how to continue the positive process of eradicating hunger as the effects of climate change are becoming more marked in their production systems," said the regional representative of the UN for Food and Agriculture, Raúl Benítez.

Climate change brings increased drought and the excessive rainfall, both harmful to the agricultural sector, which puts food security at risk.