Mar 29

Past Event

The Challenges of Climate Change and Natural Disasters in Central America


Brookings Multimedia content requires JavaScript. Your browser either doesn't have JavaScript or doesn't have it enabled.

Instructions to enable JavaScript.


In recent years, Central America has suffered several large-scale natural disasters that have left behind a legacy of death and destruction. The disruption of economic activity and costly reconstruction efforts create a heavy burden of social exclusion and debt. Given the region’s propensity for natural disasters—which are likely to increase due to changing climate patterns— there is a need for better regional cooperation in risk management.

On March 29, the Latin America Initiative at Brookings and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration hosted a discussion on the challenges and implications of climate change for the Central American isthmus and the role that the public and private sectors can play in mitigating and adapting to risks. A panel of experts examined these issues, followed by a keynote address by José María Figueres, former president of Costa Rica. Brookings Senior Fellow Katherine Sierra moderated the discussion.

After the program, panelists took audience questions.

Event Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Moderator

  • Keynote Address

    • The Honorable José María Figueres

      Chief Executive Officer, Concordia21

      Former President of Costa Rica

  • Panelists

    • Juan José Daboub

      Founding Chief Executive Officer

      Global Adaptation Institute

    • Luis Alberto Ferraté

      Senior Advisor

      Instituto Privado de Investigación del Cambio Climático – Guatemala

    • Pascal Girot

      Senior Climate Change Advisor, Latin America and the Caribbean

      CARE International

    • Walter Wintzer

      Coordinator, Preparedness and Response Program

      Center for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America


March 29, 2012

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105