Climate Change Adaptation and Population Dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean: Key Issues for Policy Makers | Wilson Center
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Climate Change Adaptation and Population Dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean: Key Issues for Policy Makers

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

Photo Credit: Neil Palmer (CIAT), Cañete basin, Peru. Contact

Global climate change trends indicate that even with mitigation efforts, our planet will continue warming into the next century, leading to more extreme climate conditions and weather events. The Latin America and Caribbean region is particularly vulnerable to some of the most challenging aspects of climate change—sea-level rise affecting coastal cities, changes in precipitation impacting agriculture, glacial melting threatening water reserves. Population trends—like migration and urbanization—can exacerbate these challenges or, in some cases, serve as methods of adaptation. Building resilience to climate change through adaptation efforts and women's empowerment are key strategies for enabling continued development across the region in climate-uncertain times.

The Wilson Center has worked closely with USAID Missions in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past two years to convene key stakeholders in the region and to explore promising tools in climate change adaptation through a series of seminars. On July 28, we bring to Washington top experts and policymakers from those seminars in Colombia, Barbados, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Peru, to further broaden the dialogue about climate adaptation and population dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean; and to encourage the development of new policy and programmatic tools that help countries of the region meet the financial, organizational, and political challenges that climate change presents.

Panel 1: 9:00 - 9:30am
Water Management and Engaging Stakeholders

Ronald Ruiz
Regional Manager of Natural Resources and Environment Management, Government of Piura, Peru

Daritza Nicodemo
General Coordinator, Centro de Estudios Urbanos y Regionales, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

Victor Guevara
Director General for Policies and Regulations, Ministerio de Construcción y Saneamiento, Vivienda

Roger-Mark DeSouza
Director, Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience, Wilson Center

Moderator: Carmen Lacambra, Consultant, Wilson Center

Panel 2: 11:15am - 12:45pm
Adaptation, Health, Agriculture, and Food Security

Sally Edwards
Advisor, Sustainable Development and Environmental Health, PAHO/WHO Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries

Jose Luis Arellano
Project Chief, Operations and Conservation, Comision Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA), Mexico

Lisa Palmer (remarks presented by Sandeep Bathala, Wilson Center)
Fellow, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)

Moderator: Steven R. Wilson, Inter-American Development Bank

Lunch Keynote: 12:45 - 2:00pm
John Furlow
U.S. Department of State

Panel 3: 2:00 - 4:00pm 
Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Mainstreaming

Patricia Ramirez (via Skype)
Executive Secretary, Comité Regional de Recursos Hidráulicos del Istmo Centroamericano (CRRH-SICA) 

Jessica Jacob
Climate Finance Expert

Paula Sierra
Research Program Coordinator, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras – INVEMAR-Colombia

Miguel Saravia
Executive Director, CONDESAN, Peru

Miguel Villazon
Senior Advisor, Mayor’s Office of Valledupar, Colombia

Moderator: Cynthia J. Arnson, Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center





  • Roger-Mark De Souza

    Global Fellow and Advisor
    Former Director of Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience
  • Lisa Palmer

    Public Policy Scholar
    Senior Fellow at SESYNC, Journalist, and Author of Hot, Hungry Planet
  • Steven Wilson

    Senior Project Manager, Multilateral Investment Fund, Inter-American Development Bank
  • John Furlow

    Climate Change Specialist, Impacts and Adaptation, USAID
  • Cynthia J. Arnson

    Director, Latin American Program