CATHALAC holds regional expert meeting on modeling biodiversity and climate change

Published: May 07 2008

The Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean held a regional expert meeting in Panama City, Panama, on the 21st and 22nd of April, 2008, on Modeling Biodiversity Vulnerability to Climate Change.

The objectives of the workshop were to review results of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) research conducted by CATHALAC in assessing the vulnerability of the region’s biodiversity to climate change, and to solicit feedback from environmental ministries in Mexico, Central America, and the Dominican Republic. Possible impacts of climate change on each species vary greatly; for example, an increase of two degrees in certain areas could lead to an overpopulation of one species, while leading to the extinction of another. Given this challenge, CATHALAC facilitated dialogue between experts in both fields, and as a result, an improved framework for decision-makers is being drafted.

Nineteen participants represented the biodiversity and climate change focal points from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. CATHALAC also granted two scholarships for students from the Technological University of Panama. This workshop was held under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-sponsored project, Mainstreaming Climate Indices and Weather Derivatives into Decision-Making for Adaptation to Climate Change in Central America, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, which is jointly implemented with NASA, the University of Alabama-Huntsville, Cable & Wireless-Panama and the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). A brief report on the modeling work and results of the workshop will be available in May 2008. As part of the same project, a follow-up workshop on weather monitoring tools developed by the University of Alabama-Huntsville is being planned for August 2008.

Related Articles