On 25 October 2023, in Panama City, ministers of Central American countries, and regional and international representatives celebrated the creation of a new hub aiming at building capacity for climate transparency within the eight countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA): Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
As part of their efforts to fight climate change and meet their sustainable development objectives, the SICA countries are joining the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) through the creation of a hub of countries to address climate change in the region. The launch of the ICAT hub marks an important step towards promoting effective and coordinated climate action in the subregion. The hub will be hosted by the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD), which is SICA’s specialized environmental body. It will operate through a centre based in Belize and build a network of transparency experts across the region. CCAD assumes the responsibility of coordinating the Hub aimed at supporting climate action transparency in the SICA countries.
More specifically, the hub is expected to support the following goals, critical for climate action in Central America and Dominican Republic:
● Provide support to institutions and technical actors in the region, leading to the establishment of robust transparency frameworks;
● Enable the SICA countries to participate effectively in the Paris Agreement, for example, through effective measurement, reporting and verification frameworks, climate policy assessments, and structures to facilitate the mobilization of finance;
● Build capacity among transparency practitioners, creating a network of experts in the
● Promote collaboration between SICA member countries and facilitate the sharing of knowledge.
The official launch event was held on the margins of the 2023 Regional Climate Week for Latin America and the Caribbean. It provided an opportunity to present the objectives, structure and operating model of the hub, and begin a constructive dialogue. The launch event was attended by ministers and high-level officials from the eight SICA countries, as well as representatives of CCAD and ICAT, who highlighted the potential of the hub to elevate the countries of Central America to leading actors and an example to follow in the global fight against climate change.
“The establishment of the Hub for our SICA region makes valuable technical tools available to our countries to strengthen their national climate transparency processes, according to their particular needs”, said the Executive Secretary of the CCAD, Jair Urriola Quiroz.
Strong transparency frameworks support national climate policy decision-making processes with quality data on emissions, actions and impacts. They can also accelerate and multiply the mobilization of the financial resources needed to implement climate policies, programmes and actions. Transparency is essential in ensuring successful mitigation and adaptation actions and in enabling countries to meet the reporting requirements set out in the Paris Agreement, the main international instrument guiding the global effort against climate change.
“The world is not on track towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, but the Paris Agreement remains the only functioning mechanism to address climate change on a global scale. Transparency is the backbone of the Paris Agreement, and therefore transparency needs an unprecedented level of support. This regional hub will support countries to enhance their transparency efforts, and to learn from one another in doing so,” said Henning Wuester, ICAT Director.
This is the third ICAT hub to be created, following the successful establishment of transparency hubs for the countries of Central Africa and Central Asia. In the coming period, the detailed work plan of the hub will be developed and implemented, focusing on the regional needs and priorities of the SICA countries.
Read more about ICAT’s Climate Action Transparency hubs here.
Photo by Chema Photo on Unsplash
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