Addressing disaster risk at the local level is essential to confronting climate change in Latin America

Workshop organised by ECLAC under the EUROCLIMA+ framework

Santiago de Chile, December 19, 2018.- Promoting the incorporation of climate change and disasters in the design of public policies in Latin America was one of the main objectives of the regional workshop “The experience of Colombia in the construction of the Municipal Disaster Risk Index adjusted for Capacities and the analysis of vulnerability and risk due to climate change”, held on December 18 and 19 at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago de Chile .

“In Latin America and the Caribbean, we have an economic vulnerability that leads us to commit between 1 and 5% of the annual Gross Domestic Product in the event of inaction against climate change, and we also have evidence that investing in adaptation is always less costly than mitigating the impacts associated with climate change”, commented Joseluis Samaniego, Director of the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC

Susana Agüero, International Cooperation and Development Official of the European Union Delegation in Chile, indicated that “In the face of the increase of the extreme weather phenomena, the European Union gives immediate support, for example, from the Civil Protection and European Humanitarian Aid Operations programme, but at the same time it also encourages medium and long-term adaptation actions that reduce the risk of disasters and enhance climate resilience.”

Experts from Colombia’s National Unit for Disaster Risk Management and the Planning Department presented the development and implementation process for the Municipal Disaster Risk Index adjusted by Capacities, which measures risk at the municipal level to hydrometeorological events associated with increased rainfall and the capacities of territorial entities to manage them. “This index helps orient national public policy priorities in disaster risk management in a differentiated way,” explained Lina Ibatá of the National Planning Department.

For his part, Javier Mendoza of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) delved into the design and application of the Vulnerability and Risk Analysis for Climate Change. “All the municipalities in Colombia present some kind of risk, with Bogotá being one of the cities that leads the ranking of vulnerability to climate change,” he said.

The workshop also gathered the experience of the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) of Chile’s Ministry of the Interior and Public Security in the definition of the underlying risk factors at the municipal level, through a participatory process, and the Ministry of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment of Uruguay in constructing an index of socio-environmental vulnerability to floods.

Finally, speakers and attendees in work tables reflected on key issues that should be considered when designing and implementing risk indexes, such as institutional and coordination aspects, regulations and policies, availability of information, and technological capabilities.


EUROCLIMA+ is a programme funded by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), French Development Agency (AFD), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and UN Environment.


General press contact for the EUROCLIMA+ Programme
Alexandra Cortés. EUROCLIMA+ Programme: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ECLAC press contact for EUROCLIMA+
Nicole Tondreau. ECLAC: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Euroclima 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. 
© 2023 | Euroclima All rights reserved. | Legal Notice