The Country Dialogue Meeting was held between Euroclima+ representatives and Uruguayan authorities, with the aim of presenting and approving the Cooperation Action Plan between Uruguay and this programme.

Montevideo, December 1,- The meeting was attended by Adrián Peña, Minister of the Ministry of the Environment (MA) of Uruguay; Gerardo Amarilla, Undersecretary of the Environment; Mariano Berro, Executive Director of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation (AUCI); Karl-Otto König, Head of the European Union Delegation (EU) in Uruguay; Felice Zaccheo, Head of Unit, EU Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development; and Natalie Pareja, Director of Climate Change of the MA and focal point for Euroclima+; technicians from the MA and AUCI, as well as members of the European implementing agencies.

Mariano Berro of AUCI, stressed that "Uruguay is called to play a key role in Latin America and in the bi-regional partnership, because of the demonstration effect that its progress can have on the development and implementation of innovative policies and processes that allow progress towards sustainable development. He added that "the European Union has been a great ally of Uruguay in strengthening the country's capacities to generate global knowledge networks that are fundamental for sustainable development".

Karl-Otto Koning from the EU, highlighted that "the creation of the Ministry of Environment by Uruguay indicates the importance that this government attaches to these issues" and added that "they can count on us to continue working together". He added that "this is a historic opportunity to build a more sustainable and resilient development model that leaves no one behind”.

Felice Zaccheo, from the EU, also "enthusiastically welcomed the creation by the Uruguayan government of the Ministry of the Environment" and highlighted "the importance of having a partner like Uruguay to tackle climate change and this pandemic that could divert priorities". Furthermore, Zaccheo added that "Uruguay is a leading country due to the advanced process it has carried out in the different phases of Euroclima+, achieving so many relevant actions".

In his presentation, Minister Adrián Peña said that "this Programme is widely valued by our country, as it has allowed us to implement actions that are part of our Nationally Determined Contribution and the National Climate Change Policy, in addition to deepening our work on issues of sustainable mobility, resilient food production, water with an urban resilience approach, education, communication and raising awareness, recording and quantifying the adverse impacts of climate change, tourism and health".

He added that "through this Country Dialogue, we hope to delve more deeply into these issues and address others that are also strategic for us, such as the elaboration of the Long Term Climate Strategy and the implementation of adaptation actions on the coast, also considering the associated impacts on the tourism sector".

After the opening remarks by the authorities, technicians from the MA and AUCI's Climate Change Directorate presented the main guidelines, actions taken and opportunities and challenges of the initiatives currently active. Beatriz García-Pozuelo, from the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP)  provided an institutional and methodological framework which allowed each of the actions to be situated.

Juan Labat and Cecilia Penego discussed in depth the Long-term Strategy for low-greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development; Lucía Cuozzi, Belén Reyes and Viviana Mezzeta presented  Strengthening education, communication, and raising awareness on climate change, a process also supported by EUROCLIMA+ through the FIIAPP; Virginia Sena presented the context for advancing measures that contribute to the process of developing the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change for the Health sector, Paola Visca shared information on the National Planning for Sustainable Mobility and the implementation of concrete mitigation measures in transport under the framework of the Project for the National Sustainable Urban Mobility Policy; and finally, Inti Carro presented the work carried out and future actions linked to the National Adaptation Plan to Climate Change for the Coastal Zone, NAP Costas, highlighting aspects linked to tourism and the role of the private sector considering the nature-based solutions (NbS) approach.

At the closing of the event, Natalie Pareja highlighted "Uruguay's leadership in the process of identifying priorities, ensuring transparent and participatory consultation processes" and in this regard, she highlighted "the fundamental role of the National Climate Change Response System as a coordination mechanism at the national level". She added that "cooperation with the European Union through Euroclima+ is becoming increasingly important in facing the various challenges, but also in addressing opportunities that arise as a result of the current context".

About EUROCLIMA+

EUROCLIMA+ is a programme financed by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH, Expertise France (EF), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), and UN Environment.

Link to the source note in the Ministry of Environment of Uruguay