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Barbados to organise meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean

The XXII Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean will take place on 18-19 January 2021, and will address the pressing environmental issues of the region, opportunities for green recovery, and urgent actions for nature in the next decade to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing restrictions to prevent the further transmission of the virus, the regional gathering will be held in a virtual format for the first time, and will be organized by Barbados, the current president of the forum, and the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“This pandemic has proved that the equilibrium of our ecosystems is impacted by the way we use our natural resources. We can still build a sustainable future for Latin America and the Caribbean, and I call on the Ministers of the region to support the bold commitments we need to ensure just that”, said the Hon. Adrian Forde, Minister of Environment and National Beautification of Barbados, who chairs the XXII Meeting of the Forum.

The Ministers will discuss pressing issues for the region, including the transition to a circular economy, the agenda on the closure of open dumpsites, air pollution, climate action, environmental justice and governance, gender and environment, the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and the importance of building back better and greener in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The XXII Meeting of the Forum will also consider the restructuring of the Inter-Agency Technical Committee and a Latin America and Caribbean Action Plan for the Implementation of the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration as integral dimensions of the Green Recovery to COVID-19.

“The world is facing a defining moment. While countries all over the world are preparing recovery plans, we are entering a new, critical decade in which we must deliver a final push to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and a new and ambitious biodiversity framework,” said Leo Heileman, UNEP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “I trust that this regional meeting will be a step forward in the path towards a brighter and sustainable future”.

The Forum of Ministers will also prepare the contributions of the region to the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, which will take place in 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”.

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.

For more information, please contact:

María Amparo Lasso, Head of Communication for Latin America and the Caribbean, UNEP. maria.lasso@un.org.

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