Peer Learning Cohort: Partnerships for adaptation in the Central American region

Bonn, Germany | June 16 and 17, 2023

The inaugural meeting of the Central America Peer Learning Cohort took place on June 16 and 17 in Bonn, Germany. Scientists and researchers came together with government representatives from the environment and finance ministries of Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Panama to exchange knowledge and advance the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process in the region. 

This was just the start of a 3-year process that will seek to foster an exchange of experiences and lessons learned in order to address climate change adaptation issues of common interest in the region. One issue of regional interest that has been identified is greater coordination with key actors in adaptation processes, including the science community, civil society, and the private sector. 

Under the theme Multi-stakeholder Partnerships with Academia and Researchers for National Adaptation Plan Processes in the Central American Region, the Bonn meeting focused on an exchange of experiences on how data and science can strengthen the “climate rationale” of adaptation project proposals, as these need to be developed with a strong scientific basis if they are to access different sources of funding. 

Organized by the NAP Global Network, the general objectives of the Peer Learning Cohort are to: 

  • address issues of common interest on the climate adaptation agendas of the region’s countries; 
  • incorporate the technical, relational, reflective and experiential elements of peer learning; and
  • promote the new transformative approaches that could emerge from a space of trust and mutual learning. 

“Many of the knowledge generation processes for climate change adaptation in the region tend to be based around one-off projects. The formulation of National Adaptation Plans helps to generate a national consensus around the formulation and implementation of medium- to long-term policies that go beyond specific projects.”

Mauricio Luna Rodríguez, Policy Advisor and Climate Change Adaptation Governance Expert at the NAP Global Network Secretariat

Day 1 | June 16, 2023

The first day of the meeting focused on bringing participants up-to-date on the socio-economic context of Central America, as well as on progress in the NAP processes in each of the participating countries. Following opening remarks from Mauricio Luna Rodríguez and U.S. Department of State representative Shella Biallas, the research coordinator for the State of the Region Report for Central America and Dominican Republic, Alberto Mora Román, gave a presentation on the socio-economic context of the region and its implications for effective climate change adaptation processes. “A restrictive approach to adaptation will face resistance or limited acceptance if stagnating, and sometimes even deteriorating, socio-economic conditions do not improve,” said Morán. 

Partnerships for Adaptation in the Central American Region | Mauricio Luna-Rodríguez, NAP Global Network (Spanish only)
Sustainable Human Development in Central America and Dominican Republic | Alberto Mora Román, State of the Region Report for Central America and Dominican Republic  

Day 2 | June 17, 2023

The second day of the meeting focused on the opportunities and challenges facing the generation of data and scientific research for climate change adaptation. The participants listened to a presentation from Tania Guillén Bolaños, a researcher and contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1.5°C. Her presentation considered the available science that can inform adaptation processes in the region. She also emphasized the opportunities and challenges of generating science in the region. She further demonstrated to the mostly female participants that it is possible to overcome gender and linguistic barriers and integrate oneself into the global arena, improving the representation of a region that too often remains invisible in generating the science that addresses climate change.

Sixth assessment cycle (AR6) of the IPCC. Implications for Central America | Tania Guillén Bolaños, IPCC

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Click on the image to explore the photo galleryGrupo de Aprendizaje entre Pares: Alianzas para potenciar la adaptación en región de América Central | Bonn, Alemania | 16 y 17 de junio, 2023