Latin America Regional Resilience Dialogue

Building urban and rural resilience to mobilize efforts in Latin America to recover from the pandemic


Latin America Regional Resilience Dialogue Programme (Spanish)
Latin America Regional Resilience Dialogue Programme (English)


Watch the recording of the webinar on Fundación Avina’s Facebook page.
The webinar is in SPANISH with English translation.

Outcome Document

Latin America Regional Resilience Dialogue Outcome Document


Scale of the urban and rural resilience challenge post COVID. Latin America is a region highly exposed to climate change and variability, with high levels of vulnerability both in urban and rural environments. With persistent poverty and inequality persist in both urban and rural settings, the region is now facing the challenge of post-Covid economic recovery while building climate resilience and transformative adaptation.

Some 111 million urban dwellers live in informal settlements that are highly vulnerable to disasters. What is more, 80% of the impacts of disasters, including climate related, in the region are felt in the cities, affecting the poorest populations hardest. Between 1970 and 2009, nearly 130,000 people lost their lives as a result of disasters across the region. Economic damages reached $356 billion, and of those, more than 60% were due to weather-related events, partly related to climate change. What is more, over 80% of losses caused by disasters in Latin America were produced in urban areas.

Food production, in turn, is a key economic sector in the region, with significant shares of exports in many countries. Smallholder farmers produce about 60% of the food produced in Latin America and yet are the most affected by both climate variability and the pandemic. The climate crisis affects this sector across scales, with especially negative impacts on small and mid-size farmers. In addition, agriculture is an important driver of ecosystem change in the region, affecting forests, wetlands, rivers and marine ecosystems. However, agriculture can also provide solutions to the climate crisis that result simultaneously in improved food security, adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation. Providing mechanisms for farmers and the agricultural sector at large to become more resilient, sustainable, and productive remains one of the cornerstones of the response to climate change.

With the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19 intensifying economic hardship, hunger and poverty in rural and urban settings in Latin America now is the time to take action, and support this by building climate resilience to mobilise efforts to recover for the pandemic.

Transformational changes are needed to scale up actions and investments in climate resilience. Scaling up transformative adaptation and climate resilience to improve resilience in urban environments and reduce vulnerability in production systems require significant investment, among other, in climate smart infrastructure, better governance arrangements, private and community initiative, technical capacity to implement nature based solutions, access to risk management instruments, and adequate and accessible financing to facilitate climate action by mid- and small- scale farmers. It also requires the acknowledgement of the full spectrum of benefits of improved adaptation and resilience – avoided losses, economic, social and environmental. 

In sum, the current juncture finds Latin America facing hard socioeconomic and environmental challenges, but highly mobilized to address them.

Overview of Agenda

Setting the Scene

  1. Gonzalo Muñoz, High Level Climate Champion, Chile
  2. Julio Berdegué, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean
  3. Raul Salazar, Head of UNDRR Regional Office, Latin America

Panel 1 Transformative Actions to Build Urban Climate Resilience at Scale Across Latin America

  1. David Jacome, Chief Resilience Officer, Quito, Ecuador
  2. Marcela Mondino, Regional Initiative for Resilient Cities, Fundación Avina
  3. Carolina Berrazueta, Ecoeficiencia/Simbiosis Industrial en el polígono industrial de Quito
  4. Vivian Argueta, EAFIT University – Educational Resilience, former Chief Resilience Officer Cali, Colombia

Moderated by: Mauricio Rodas, Senior Fellow Adrienne Arsht – Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at Atlantic Council, former Mayor of Quito

Panel 2: Transforming agriculture and food systems in Latin America to build rural resilience post COVID-19

  1. Juan Carlos Pereira, Founder, Addvalue
  2. Ana María Loboguerrero, Research Director of Climate Action for the Alliance of Bioversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and Head of Global Policy Research for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS),
  3. Pablo R. Valdivia Zelaya, Agriculture Insurance & Risk Management, World Bank
  4. Edgar Lemus, Manager, ASORECH (Rural community association of Guatemala)
  5. Eduard Muller, University for International Cooperation (UCI)

Moderated by: Veronica Arias, Executive Director, Capital Cities of the Americas facing Climate Change Secretariat

Objectives of the regional dialogue

The dialogue will highlight the climate resilience needs and priorities of the NPS, especially those most impacted by climate change and variability in Latin America focusing on urban and rural resilience, as well as on how NPS can reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate change and variability, and how nature based solutions can build resilience to these impacts. The dialogue has three objectives:

  • Gather insights on narratives of climate resilience and transformative actions in Latin American cities and how these can be taken to scale post COVID19;
  • Identify the transformative adaptation tracks (including NBS solutions) that effectively build sustainable resilience in agriculture and food systems in Latin America; and
  • Recommend actions that can be undertaken by HLCs to support climate resilience.

Series & Organisers

This dialogue is part of a wider series of dialogues being convened by the Global Resilience Partnership together with Climate Resilience Network of the UNFCCC Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA) with the support of the Chile and UK High Level Champions (HLCs), Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping.

The Latin America Regional Resilience Dialogue is co-led by: Alianza para la Resiliencia Climática Rural en América Latina (ARC LATAM)Alliance of Bioversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)Atlantic Council Adrienne Arsht – Rockefeller Foundation Resilience CenterCGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)Climate Heritage NetworkFAOFundación AvinaResilient Cities NetworkStockholm Environment InstituteStockholm Resilience Centre, and WFP

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