Last August 27th, the fourth session of the Permanent Forum of coordinators of the Global Covenant of Mayors for the Climate and Energy of Latin America and the Caribbean (GCoM LAC) took place, which had as its agenda the Local Climate Governance. On the occasion, representatives of the National Union of Local Governments (UNGL) and the National University of Costa Rica (UNA) introduced the theme and led the discussions.
Opening the dialogues, UNGL’s executive director, Karen Porras, stressed the importance of the Forum’s meeting space, which helps to “fulfill the wishes of both the executive power, local governments and academia”, according to her.
Presenting the peculiarities of Costa Rica as a centralized country that is affected by several climatic phenomena in a more intense way, the UNGL environmental manager, Eida Arce, stressed that currently “the challenge is for local governments to empower themselves as articulators of actions in territories, in favor of sustainable, inclusive and resilient development ”.
Then Vanessa Valério from UNA, presented the lessons learned in relation to climate governance in the project “Participatory Strategies for Climate Change at Local Level”. She stressed the importance of science participating in national policy making and thus helping to strengthen the capacities of local governments. Complementing the lessons learned, UNA researcher, Sérgio Molina, reinforced the need to build multilevel governance and articulate agendas, two aspects to which the Covenant brings challenges and opportunities, in its perception.
The national coordinator of Panama, Jorge Solís, who is also manager of sustainable development and mobility at the Association of Municipalities of Panama (AMUPA), participated for the first time in the Forum and highlighted the relevance of the agenda discussed.
“It is a very important issue for the development of the GCoM initiative in other countries. Involve all national and sub-national sectors that have an influence on the theme, in some way or another; it is pertinent and guarantees the success in fulfilling the objectives set. Knowing and being able to adapt the advances made by Costa Rica in this sense, will be highly valued by Panama in the short and medium term ”- emphasized Solís. For him, the space offered by the Forum provides the possibility to know the progress of other countries and their strategies, which allows reflecting on the paths to be taken and the best directions, based on the experiences already lived and which are shared.
The 5th session of the Forum should take place on September 24th and will be presented by WWF and the Association of Municipalities, both from Ecuador. The theme will be «Computer platforms and database management to support mitigation studies in the face of climate change at the municipal level.