Mainstreaming adaptation in South American policies

Group photo

Delegation participants from Peru, Brazil and Colombia in the city center of Dresden; Photo: Oliver Hölcke

Members of various ministries from Peru, Colombia and Brazil came to Germany from 19 to 23 September to find out more about public investment and climate change. The meeting held in Berlin and Dresden marked the first key joint activity of the three South American countries. As pioneers in the region, they will incorporate climate change adaptation to a greater extent when planning publicly funded projects. The meeting was hosted by the project Adapting Public Investment to Climate Change in Latin America, which is funded through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) established by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB).

As climate risks grow, it is becoming more and more important for affected countries to take climate change adaptation into account in public investments. Publicly funded projects involving infrastructure or the provision of services are increasingly exposed to changes caused by climate change. Extreme weather events can even impair a country’s overall economic development – strong rains damage transport routes, storms destroy homes, floods and drought lead to crop losses and illness. In order to boost the sustainability and resilience of newly planned investment projects, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working with the planning and finance ministries from Brazil, Colombia and Peru to draw up guidelines on taking account of climate risks. Peru adopted a guideline in 2015 and GIZ is now providing support for its long-term implementation.
Brazil and Colombia will benefit from the experience gained by the project in Peru, helping them to mainstream this approach in the planning of public investments.

Among other things, the South American representatives used their visit to Germany to analyse commonalities and differences between investment systems. They were also given the opportunity to attend expert lectures as well as to share knowledge and network. One presentation focused on the German investment system and how financial federalism functions. In Dresden the participants learned about the city’s flood protection strategy along the Elbe River and discussed adaptation to climate change in Germany.