They appreciate the role of UNESCO sites in combating climate change

In an interview with Prensa Latina, the UNESCO expert commented on the results that led to this conclusion of a study that included 10 biosphere reserves and five global geoparks in nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and St. Kitts). Nevis and Uruguay).

One of the authors explained, regarding the presentation of the report on Tuesday, that this is the first global research that collects quantitative data on the impact of climate change in locations recorded by the organization, where until now we only had local perceptions and assessments.

The investigation revealed impacts that exceeded the expectations of the managers of these places, from rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, with consequences ranging from drought and floods in coastal and inland areas to forest fires and landslides.

According to Heckler, the study becomes a basic model for designing a methodology that can be applied elsewhere, thinking about indicators and quantitative elements such as historical trends, the current situation and, above all, expectations for the future.

He added that to select global geoparks and biosphere reserves, we take into account various aspects, including geography, geology and biodiversity, as well as the presence of urban and rural populations, in order to represent and seek a regional vision.

The Coordinator of the Man and Biosphere Program for Latin America and the Caribbean stressed the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and go further, as research has shown that there are damages that are impossible to avoid and can only be subtle. Therefore, we must minimize the consequences of climate change, focus on evidence-based adaptation, and act at the local level, both in UNESCO sites and around the world, he told Prensa Latina.

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Regarding UNESCO sites, he returned to the idea that they could function as observatories, based on the presence of multi-sectoral management committees capable of assessing the impact on tourism, agriculture, biodiversity and human life, especially the most vulnerable groups.

The research analyzed the impact of climate change on the Comarca Minera and Mixteca Alta geoparks in Mexico, as well as Araripe (Brazil), Grutas del Palacio (Uruguay), and Cotracora (Chile).

Regarding biosphere reserves, which are known as “learning places for sustainable development”, they included Calakmul (Mexico), Maya (Guatemala), Río Platano, Cacique Lempira Señor de las Montañas in Honduras and Saint Mary (Saint Christopher and Nevis).

In South America, the Choco Andino reserves of Pichincha (Ecuador), Mata Atlantica and the Green Belt of São Paulo in Brazil, Bañados del Este (Uruguay), and Andino Norpatagonica (Argentina) were studied.

“After confirming the threats of climate change and the need for action, we are considering a second phase, which will allow us to build chains of influence, with a view to expanding the study to other locations in Latin America, the Caribbean and the planet,” Heckler said. .

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