CAN General Secretariat and World Bank sign agreement
to launch program of adaptation to glacier retreat in the subregion

Lima, July 11, 2008.  The World Bank Regional Director, Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, and the Secretary General of the Andean Community, Freddy Ehlers, today, at the CAN’s headquarters in Lima, signed the Legal Agreement on the Adaptation to the Impact of Rapid Glacier Retreat in the Tropical Andes Project (PAR).

This project aims to support the Andean countries in adapting to the impact of rapid glacier retreat in the Bolivian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian Andes and, in this way, to help build up local ecosystems and the economies affected by this phenomenon, by carrying out pilot activities that will illustrate the costs and benefits of the adaptation measures.   

After signing the Agreement, the World Bank Regional Director indicated that this project constitutes an initial institutional collaboration between the CAN General Secretariat and the World Bank on an issue of the greatest importance, which is climate change.  He went on to state that this is a matter of utmost concern to his institution because Latin America, particularly the Andean Community countries, is experiencing the effects of global warming.   

“This project will help the Andean countries monitor the evolution of the tropical glaciers and implement pilot measures for adapting to it,” Jaramillo added.

The CAN Secretary General, for his part, drew attention to the World Bank’s interest in working jointly with the Andean organization on a matter of priority for the subregion.   

The Andean authority explained that the four CAN countries account for 10 percent of the world’s supply of fresh water and that that is why this project is so important, which seeks to sound a warning about glacier retreat and its effects on Amazon tropical forests and  access to drinking water in the cities and for agriculture.

This project reinforces the activities the CAN is implementing in the context of its Andean Environmental Agenda and is also part of the World Bank’s strategy of helping countries in the region face the consequences of climate change.