Uruguay advances in adaptation measures for its coastal zone with the help of Spanish Cooperation in the framework of EUROCLIMA+

On 5 April, the project "Implementation of adaptation measures in the coastal area of Uruguay was launched 

in the framework of the NAP coasts", which is part of the EUROCLIMA+ programme. It was attended by the Minister of Environment, Adrián Peña; the Director of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation; Mariano Berro, the Ambassador of the European Union in Uruguay; Paolo Berizzi and the Ambassador of Spain in Uruguay, José Javier Gómez-Llera y García-Nava. 

 7 April 2022, Montevideo, Uruguay.  

On April 5, the launch of the project "Implementation of adaptation measures in the coastal zone of Uruguay in the framework of the NAP coasts", which is part of the EUROCLIMA+ programme, took place. It was attended by the Minister of Environment, Adrián Peña; the Director of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation; Mariano Berro, the Ambassador of the European Union in Uruguay; Paolo Berizzi and the Ambassador of Spain in Uruguay, José Javier Gómez-Llera y García-Nava.  

In Uruguay, the environmental strategy has a systemic character and it is implemented through the National System of Response to Climate Change, integrated by various institutions of the country, since the environment is a cross-cutting issue. Within the system, the Coordination Group for Adaptation in the coastal zone prioritised a series of measures included in the National Adaptation Plan for the coastal zone (NAP costas), which was launched on this occasion.  

In the words of the European Union Ambassador Paolo Berizzi, during the launch of this project "it is necessary to face the challenges of Climate Change through global commitment",  

The objective of NAP coasts is to carry out vulnerability and risk assessment studies to analyse the consequences and costs of inaction under different climate change scenarios.  

These measures, prioritised in the "NAP costas", were shared through the Country Dialogue between Uruguay and the EUROCLIMA+ programme and were materialised in the project we are inaugurating today, financed by the European Union, through Delegated Cooperation, with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) as the implementing agency.  

This project promotes the development of interventions in different stretches of the Atlantic coast of Uruguay (Colonia del Sacramento, Colonia, La Paloma in Rocha, Piriápolis in Maldonado, Playa Cerro in Montevideo, Atlántida in Canelones), with the combination of different adaptation strategies. Given the complexity of choosing the most appropriate measures, it will be implemented through specific plans discussed and agreed with technical staff of each municipal government, to address the uncertainty in the evolution and accumulation of impacts associated with Climate Change.   

This process of co-creation of knowledge for the implementation of innovative local interventions will strengthen environmental governance to prevent disasters and promote informed decision-making by authorities. It will also ensure the participation of civil society in the process, which will contribute to improving public policy and the Uruguayan government's effort to align its strategy with the 2030 Agenda for a sustainable environment. 

During the opening of the launch, the Executive Director of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation, Mariano Berro, stressed that cooperation should be at the service of public policy, not only to address specific issues, but also to support areas that the government is committed to strengthening.

In this line, the Minister of Environment, Adrián Peña, said that the development of this plan is key, since Uruguay has 670 km of coastline where 70% of the total population, 71% of private households and about 72% of homes in Uruguay are concentrated. He added that Climate Change affects everyone, but particularly the most vulnerable people, and this plan will allow the implementation of adaptation measures that minimise future damage and incorporate the social dimension that addresses the needs of those most affected, he emphasised.

For his part, the Spanish Ambassador, José Javier Gómez-Llera y García-Nava, emphasised that Spanish Cooperation, through its Fifth Master Plan, is aware of this commitment of the international development agenda, and incorporates in its strategic planning a global focus on reducing vulnerabilities to the effects of Climate Change and consideration of the planet's biophysical limits. The target on which the CE is working as a priority is Target 13.2, which seeks to incorporate measures related to Climate Change in national policies, strategies and plans, as in the case of the project in question.

The 2030 Agenda highlights the central role of protecting ecosystems and combating climate change in promoting sustainable development and tackling inequality. This project specifically contributes to SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Water and Sanitation), SDG 15 (Life of Terrestrial Ecosystems) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for achieving the targets).

 

It should also be recalled that this project has as background the products obtained in another previous initiative, started in 2017 and financed by the Arauclima programme of the AECID: "Strengthening the capacities of Uruguay for adaptation to the effects of Climate Change in the coastal zone", in which the Institute of Environmental Hydrology of the University of Cantabria played an important role.   

Within the framework of this intervention, activities were carried out that resulted in the strengthening of the capacities of the different institutions with competence in the coastal zone, which participated in the definition of the National Climate Change Policy with a focus on adaptation to climate change and variability.  It also promoted the training of specialised human resources and their articulation and coordination with R+D+i initiatives to increase the level of resilience and adaptation. 

The set of activities foreseen in the NAP coastal interventions will result in increasing the resilience of the Uruguayan coastal zone to average sea level rise and extreme events by incorporating hybrid solutions based on rigid engineering infrastructures together with innovative nature-based solutions to preserve public and private assets, which will also serve as demonstration pilots that can be replicated in other parts of the Atlantic coast of Uruguay and other neighbouring countries in the region. 

EUROCLIMA+ sector Water management with an urban resilience perspective 

Through this sector of the EUROCLIMA+ programme implemented by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the French Development Agency (AFD), a total of seven projects will be implemented. For more information on each project, please visit: https://www.euroclima.org/agua

About EUROCLIMA+ 

EUROCLIMA+ is a programme funded by the European Union and co-financed by the German federal government through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as by the governments of France and Spain through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.

The Programme's mission is to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, promoting mitigation, adaptation, resilience and climate investment. It is implemented according to the "Spirit of Team Europe" under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), the International and Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH, and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

 

EUROCLIMA letra blanca peqEUROCLIMA+ is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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