The sustainable recovery response to the COVID-19 crisis will be the focus of the XXII Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, which will take place virtually from February 1 to 2, 2021.
The meeting is being organised by the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification, in collaboration with the Regional Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Minister of Environment, Adrian Forde, is the current President of the forum.
It will bring together environmental authorities of the region’s 33 countries to discuss a roadmap for a green pandemic recovery that could boost economies, while enhancing environmental action and protection.
Under the theme The Environmental Dimension of the COVID-19 Sustainable Recovery Response for Latin America and the Caribbean, the meeting will address the most pressing environmental issues and urgent actions for nature in the next decade, with the aim of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and fighting the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
The Ministers will address a dynamic agenda on various pressing issues, including The Transition to a Circular Economy, Ecosystems Restoration, Waste and Air Pollution, and Climate Action. These areas are deemed critical to accelerating a sustainable recovery and the prevention of future pandemics.
Priority will also be given to discussions on information systems, gender equality, emergency preparedness and the sustainable development of small island developing states, as enabling conditions for recovery.
The Forum of Ministers will prepare the contributions of the region for the Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, which will take place in late February 2021.
The Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, will be held under the overarching theme Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, will deliver the welcome address on Day One of the forum, while Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley will chair a session that same day on the theme: The Environmental Dimension of the COVID-19 Sustainable Recovery Response for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean was established in 1982, and is the oldest and most relevant cooperation body for environmental authorities in the region.
Notably, this is the second time in the 39-year history of the Forum of Minister of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean that Barbados has been President of this august body, having previously taken on this role in 2000.