On behalf of the Council of Representatives of the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic -CEPREDENAC-,I offer special thanks to the Government of Indonesia and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction -UNDRR-, for the realization of this important global meeting.
From CEPREDENAC we coordinate with the region's comprehensive disaster risk management and civil protection systems, to systematize and record information related to disaster prevention, mitigation, response, impact and recovery, in a dynamic, interactive and accessible way. And we have made available to the region the Central American Policy for Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management -PCGIR -harmonized with the Sendai Framework, being the maximum instrument in the region for orientation in the matter, offering great added value to the processes that currently are developed in the countries and positioning the region as the only one that has a Policy on the matter.
The preparation, updating, implementation and evaluation of compliance with Regional Policies must serve as a foundation, support and orientation for ordered, coordinated and intersectoral actions. Examples of them are the Regional Policy for Gender Equality and Equity (PRIEG), the Central American University Policy for disaster risk reduction and our PCGIR, which promote the approach of gender equality and equity as a necessary transversal axis to guarantee comprehensiveness in disaster risk management, with the different strategies developed.Its application must be ensured from the same institutional framework of the National Entities of comprehensive disaster risk management.
In recent years, it has become evident how the occurrence of extreme events or multiple events of lesser intensity in a short period of time compromise the stability and sustainability ofour countries. Central America is still affected by the pandemic and the consequences of multiple threats that have occurred in recent years, added to the expected increase in the frequency and intensity of adverse events, as climate change advances. The storms and hurricanes of 2020 in the context of COVID-19 meant significant losses and damages for all countries in the region, even those that were not directly strongly affected by the storms.
All countries suffered a significant contraction in their GDP during 2020, observing a constant GDP drop in Central America of approximately 7.4% (BCIE, 2021). Countries such as Panama, Honduras and El Salvador were the most affected and it is estimated that this contraction will mean a setback of between 2 and 8 years in terms of GDP per capita for all countries.
In this context:
- Given the magnitude of the impacts described above and the persistence of even more complex risk scenarios, the comprehensive vision of the PCGIR is essential, which understands that risk is built, but that it can also be avoided and reduced in development processes. In other words, we must build a future where development and investment decisions take risk into account and countries have a greater capacity to resist, respond and recover from extreme events.
- We recognize the importance of the processes that contribute to the development of the region and influence so that the issue of comprehensive risk management and adaptation to climate change is incorporated into the development agenda of the Central American Integration System, a commitment assumed by each of the governments with the purpose of seeking to build resilience, generate greater opportunities, reduce the effects caused by COVID-19 and the impacts of adverse weather events that have recently affected us and that have left our populations with greater exposure and greater vulnerability.
- We urge to promote, with the support of the International Community, the fulfillment of objectives and institutional goals, aimed at building a culture of prevention and disaster risk reduction to provide a coordinated and effective response accompanying regional, national and local processes, above all that allows an efficient reconstruction of different threats including biological ones.
- We emphasize the need to promote financial and technical incentives for the development of the capacities of local and national governments, to generate governance with conditions of social and inclusive, economic and environmental well-being in the territory, ensuring its resilience and adaptation.
- We will continue to make efforts through development programs and projects aimed at women, people with disabilities, the LGBTI+ community, older adults, among others, in order to strengthen their leadership and transform their situation from victims to protagonists and promote improvements in their livelihoods and in their communities.
- We reiterate our commitment to ensure that a transforming vision of development is incorporated in the Central American region and the Dominican Republic in order to direct public and private investments towards greater articulation between the various sectors. And move from disaster management to a true comprehensive risk management in all dimensions of development
Contributing to the sustainable and safe development of Central America and the Dominican Republic