SICA focusing on food security, climate change, and disaster risk management
Two critical challenges the Central American and Caribbean regions face are food security and climate change, the latter having a profound impact on the former. As Minister Eamon Courtenay explained, food security is one of Belize’s priorities as holds the presidency of the Central American Integration System. When asked about how to make the region climate resilient, SICA Secretary General Werner Vargas explained that addressing these challenges requires a cross-border border, inter-ministerial approach.
Werner Vargas, Secretary General, SICA: “The Pro Tempore Presidency has established climate change disaster risk management and food security as key areas of priority. How we combine these efforts is something we’re trying to address through this framework with the advice of the Central American Agriculture Sector, the advice from the Ministry of the Environment and Development and these entities responsible for disaster prevention. The union of presidents was instructed to construct a tool that would facilitate the joint purchase of agricultural products. This would enable us to reduce prices and also allow an exchange of technology that would bolster our productive capacities. Our Central American countries are imminently agriculture based, they have the capability to satisfy food demand but we need to improve the quality, quantity and distribution so as to strengthen this impact. On the scope of integration we have an economic reaction plan that was developed with the finance ministers, the ministers of the environment, the ministers of health and the ministers of agriculture. That economic reaction plan permits us to act effectively in each of these sectors to ensure maximum resiliency.”