The region of the Central American Economic Integration System (SICA) will have resources for 88.1 million to promote programmes for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency measures in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as the availability of funds for investments in local areas to improve resilience to climate change in vulnerable areas.
The Green Fund Initiative for the SICA Region will be implemented within the framework of cooperation between the European Union, the General Secretariat of SICA, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The signing ceremony of the Green Fund Initiative for the SICA Region took place this Wednesday, June 13, in Panama City, with the participation of the Director General of International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, Stefano Manservisi, the Secretary General of SICA, Vinicio Cerezo, the Minister of Environment of Panama, Emilio Sempris, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Panama, Uwe Wolfgang Heye, and the BCIE country manager for Honduras, Manuel Torres.
The initiative will have two components, the first one called Green MYPIMES Initiative II, focused on the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Central America through the generation of renewable energy and the adoption of energy efficiency measures in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MYPIMES), 14 million from the EU, a contribution from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, through the German Development Bank, KfW, of EUR 40 million in reimbursable and non-reimbursable resources of EUR 1 million and EUR 7.1 million from BCIE.
The Green MYPIMES II Initiative will be managed by KfW and implemented by BCIE.
The second component is called the Green Development Fund and will provide resources for investments in local areas to improve resilience to climate change in vulnerable areas through landscape restoration and the development of integrated ecosystems.
The resources will be managed by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), in coordination with the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), and is supported by the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) REDD+ Landscape programme, which will provide
The European Commission's Director General for International Cooperation and Development, Manservisi, said that "only a joint effort by all parties will allow us to meet the objectives we have set ourselves internationally on the environment, in particular in the Paris Agreement. I am pleased to see that our partners in the region, in this case the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD), SICA, and CABEI, are accompanying us in facing the onslaught of climate change, a common problem that we all face and that does not stop at borders".
Vinicio Cerezo, Secretary General of SICA, said: "We are working to promote actions aimed at environmental sustainability through relations with friendly countries, partners in our development to work together to achieve the purposes of integration in the framework of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
Finally, the Ambassador of Germany in Panama referred to this initiative recognizing the leadership of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development and stated the following: "I would like to congratulate CCAD and the countries of the region for their particular leadership in the framework of the Bonn Challenge initiative for the restoration of landscapes at the global level, which has established a solid basis for the implementation of the Green Development Fund in the region".
The region of the Central American Integration System, SICA, is made up of Panama, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize.
SICA countries are among the most exposed to climate change in terms of environment and development. During the last decade, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador were among the 15 most vulnerable countries in the world, with more than 8,200 people dying from causes related to natural disasters. In this period, climate change-related economic losses represented approximately USD 19 billion for the region.
The countries of the SICA region need to strengthen their resilience, increase their disaster risk preparedness and implement adaptation actions.
The Green Fund Initiative for Central America, launched today in Panama City, represents an example of the partnership between the European Union and its Member States with the SICA region to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation, within the scope of EU cooperation with the region, with a view to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.