South American countries join forces in disaster risk management initiative

March 11, 2024

The first South American Meeting of National Authorities in Disaster Risk Management

The South American region has taken a significant step in strengthening disaster risk management.

On March 6, 2024, the Minister of the National Emergency Secretariat, Arsenio Zárate, participated in the inaugural South American Meeting of National Authorities in Disaster Risk Management held in Lima, Peru.

This landmark event saw the participation of ten countries, focusing on a collective and coordinated response to potential disasters in the subcontinent.

Regional collaboration for disaster preparedness

During this crucial gathering, the attending authorities discussed various topics such as the El Niño phenomenon, disaster risk management, and climate change.

A pivotal outcome of the meeting was the signing of the Lima Declaration, titled “A South America United in Disaster Prevention and Response.”

This declaration marks a new era of regional collaboration in disaster management.

Formation of a new South American Working Group

A significant development from the meeting was the establishment of the “South American Working Group for Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management.”

The group aims to build a network among government agencies responsible for disaster management and humanitarian assistance across the subregion.

It also seeks to integrate networks of authorities responsible for CAPRADE and RMAGIR/MERCOSUR, under the new “South American Network for Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management.”

A first of its kind meeting post-Brasilia Consensus

This gathering of disaster risk management authorities is notably the first of its kind following the Brasilia Consensus and the First South American Dialogue Meeting between Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs, held in Brazil in May and November 2023, respectively.

Widespread participation across the continent

In addition to the host country Peru, other participating nations included Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The event also saw the attendance of various other dignitaries such as the Minister of Defense of Bolivia, Edmundo Novillo; the Chilean ambassador, Constanza Figuera; and heads of national disaster management agencies like INDECI and CENEPRED.

FSJA Comment

The First South American Meeting of National Authorities in Disaster Risk Management represents a vital step forward in the region’s approach to handling natural disasters.

The establishment of the South American Working Group for Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management is a noteworthy move towards a more unified and efficient approach to managing natural disasters in the region.

This collaborative effort is a proactive response to the increasing challenges posed by climate change and other environmental factors affecting South America.

As these nations face the shared threat of natural disasters, their united front in disaster management exemplifies a commendable commitment to safeguarding their populations and resources.

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