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Environment
Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

- Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela -
Reports
Date:  7/7/2016 
Clean and Sustainable Energy Future

At the 2015 Summit, President Obama addressed the shared challenges of energy insecurity and vulnerability to the effects of climate change by calling for ambitious action and collaboration on climate information sharing, fossil fuel subsidy reform, and non-hydro renewable energy development. The United State recognizes these complementary efforts as essential components in realizing the goal of sustainable development in each of our countries.

Environment

“Underscoring our shared concern regarding climate change, we agreed on mandates for the protection, conservation, restoration, and correct stewardship of the environment.” (Closing statement at the conclusion of the Seventh Summit of the Americas, President Juan Carlos Varela)
“To promote the exchange of information and data in the climate field, and capacity building for data collection and analysis to favor resilient development and adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change.” (Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of
Cooperation in the Americas, 2015 Mandates for Action; Environment, 5)

Regional Climate Centers

Every Western Hemisphere country is susceptible to the adverse impacts of climate change and extreme weather, yet nearly half lack the meteorological services necessary for informed decision-making and planning. Improvements and expanded access to climate services can make communities, businesses, and ecosystems more resilient. For those reasons, President Obama called on governments at the 2015 Summit of the Americas to ensure all countries in the region have access to climate information that enhance their capabilities for resilient development by 2020. The United States works actively with many partners throughout the region to increase the amount and accessibility of timely climate data. These efforts include the United States’ application to receive accreditation under the World Meteorological Organization as a Regional Climate Center (RCC) and our continued support for the establishment of additional RCCs through technical collaboration with sub-regional partners. We are strengthening national capabilities to collect, distribute, and integrate climate data into decision-making processes and helping partners understand and demonstrate the economic value of investments in climate services.

The United States also supports the development of climate modeling expertise with Caribbean partners through improved drought forecasting technologies, meteorologist and climatologist training and exchanges, and the Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) twice a year.

National and Regional Access to Climate Data and Services

USAID’s Central America Regional Climate Change program supports a regional climate change information center, Centro Clima, which provides demand-driven climate change data to end users in different sectors, including those focused on coffee, water, energy, coastal marine biodiversity, and disaster risk reduction. In the Caribbean, USAID is strengthening national and sub-national capacity for climate data collection, monitoring, and forecasting. In the Dominican Republic specifically, USAID supports the integration of climate information into land-use planning and zoning in certain municipalities. USAID’s Partnering for Adaptation and Resilience – Agua (PARA-Agua) connects U.S. climate and watershed modeling experts with watershed managers in Colombia and Peru to integrate climate data into watershed models, which will help determine priority investments for watersheds. USAID also provides technical assistance to Peru’s Ministry of Environment to incorporate climate change risk management approaches into public investment projects.

In June 2015, the United States launched the Climate Data and Information for Resilient Development public-private partnership with financial and in-kind contributions of $34 million. The partnership includes the United Kingdom’s Government Department for International Development and UK Met Office, Esri, Google, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, and the American Red Cross. The partnership is working in Colombia through the International Center for Tropical Agriculture to create a “solution space” for utilizing quality data, products, and tools to build institutional capacity and facilitate knowledge sharing.

Environmental Partnership with Cuba

The United States and Cuba signed a joint statement to facilitate and guide U.S.-Cuba cooperation on a range of environmental issues. The statement envisions cooperation – both governmental and non-governmental – on a spectrum of environmental issues, such as coastal and marine protection, the protection of biodiversity including endangered and threatened species, climate change, disaster risk reduction, and marine pollution. One of the United States and Cuba’s first steps toward environmental cooperation was the establishment of a sister marine sanctuary relationship for the purposes of conserving biodiversity, protecting cultural and natural heritage, and promoting the sustainable use of our natural marine resources. Our two countries have also signed a memorandum of understanding to improve maritime safety and protect the marine environment by exchanging cartographic, hydrographic, and geodetic information.

Preventing Marine Pollution in the Caribbean

Marine litter is a critical pollution issue for the wider Caribbean region, with nearly 65 percent of land-based generated trash directed to either open-air landfills or local waterways where there is significant potential for the litter and plastic trash to reach the ocean. The dominant source for waste in the Caribbean is from household and recreational activities. The United States has partnered with the Caribbean Environment Program to help countries in the region reduce and prevent land-based sources of trash from entering Caribbean-region waters. This effort is modeled on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Trash Free Waters effort, which uses a stakeholder-based approach to mitigate marine litter. This partnership will provide countries with tools for developing national and regional strategies that generate tangible community based solutions and directly benefit public health and the environment. The United States has launched the initial partnership with Jamaica and Panama.

Reducing Climate Change Risks to the Fishing Industry

The United States created the Caribbean Oceans and Assets Sustainability FaciliTy (COAST) – a new insurance product for the fisheries sector in the Caribbean – to reduce the risk of climate change to the fishing industry and related food security in the region. The United States has committed $5 million for this initiative and NGOs have announced aligned funding of at least $2 million. Jamaica has announced its intention to purchase the COAST insurance product.
Paragraphs: - Paragraphs VII Summit: 5

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