Water as a human right, disaster risk reduction, food sovereignty, biodiversity, climate change – all these and many other issues were debated when over 100 Nicaraguan CSO representatives from local communities and a range of national organisations met in the forum “Vulnerable Nicaragua – United for Life” in Managua on June 11-12th.
“For six years we have alerted local and national authorities and citizens in the country to the importance of the climate crisis” says Dennis Meléndez, from the National Board for Risk Management (MNGR) “in 2015 we must assess the results of these efforts – in the light of 20 years negotiations in the UNFCCC climate convention”.
Adaptation to climate change was one of the key area discussed, as it is of particular concern that Nicaragua still has not developed a National Adaptation Plan, nor a national climate change law.
Joint Principles and social audit
The organisers of the Forum find it is key that the process of developing an adaptation plan becomes inclusive – involving all levels – from the local to the municipal, regional and national.
“The Joint Principles for Adaptation – in the Spanish translation - provided useful input” says Carlos Mendez, from the climate network ANACC and SusWatch,“the principles were very helpful for us in the Forum's working group on adaptation, and several JPA ideas are reflected among the adaptation priorities in the position paper – adapted to the context of Nicaragua”
Among the key priorities listed in the position paper from the meeting are (consider to present as box)
- Planning mechanisms must be adaptive both in local and national policies and norms
- The society must be empowered in the area of adaptation – using mechanisms of social audit based on the Joint Principles for Adaptation
- Increasing resilience to climate change of communities by reducing physical, social and economic risks
- Ecosystems must be restored to protect vulnerable groups
Central America and the 2015 agenda
The Forum held in Nicaragua - promoted by the MNGR, ANACC, SusWatch and Action by Churches Together – feeds into a larger regional process.
The position paper prepared by the Nicaraguan forum – will be presented to a Forum in El Salvador including civil society from all over the region - the sixth forum “Vulnerable Central America – United for Life” to be held the 25-26th of June.
Based on similar inputs from other countries a joint position will be developed to bring together the contributions, needs, demands and visions of the most vulnerable communities in all the Central American countries. It will address both domestic issues and the key international agendas in 2015: The adoption at the UN General Assembly of the Sustainable Development Goals, the COP21 in Paris etc.
A key recommendation from Nicaragua is that “Central America should be recognized as a region highly vulnerable to climate change – and in need of adaptation actions to address the particular needs of the Central American dry corridor”.