Ministers of the Southern Agricultural Council (CAS) share joint position at meeting of agriculture of the Americas in Costa Rica

In attendance at the meeting were Ariel Martinez, on behalf of the Minister of Argentina, Juan Jose Bahillo; Santiago Bertoni, Minister of Agriculture of Paraguay; Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA; Fernando Mattos, Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries of Uruguay; Lloyd Day, Deputy Director General of IICA; Esteban Valenzuela, Minister of Agriculture of Chile; and Gabriel Delgado, Technical Secretary of the CAS and IICA Regional Coordinator.

San Jose, 23 September 2022 (IICA) – The ministers and secretaries of Agriculture of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, which comprise the Southern Agricultural Council (CAS), shared a joint position at the meeting of Agriculture of the Americas, which was held in Costa Rica and brought together representatives from 32 countries.

This joint position was reached during a recent meeting of the CAS in Montevideo, during which the countries that form part of the Southern Cone region of the Americas noted that their countries’ production systems adopt practices to protect natural resources and produce “more with less”. They also called on developed nations to fulfill their responsibility to provide developing countries with financial resources for climate change mitigation and adaptation, pursuant to the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Minister Mattos, pro tempore President of the Council, distributed the document that presents the joint position of the CAS to his colleagues from the Americas and to the rest of the delegations in attendance at the meeting in Costa Rica.

During the meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica, the ministers of Agriculture of the Americas discussed their joint position with respect to global climate negotiations and called for placing the spotlight on the agriculture sector at COP27.

The CAS ministers who participated in the meeting in San Jose were Santiago Bertoni, Minister of Agriculture of Paraguay; Esteban Valenzuela, Minister of Agriculture of Chile; Fernando Mattos, Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries of Uruguay; and Marcos Montes, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil. Senior official Ariel Martínez participated on behalf of Juan José Bahillo, Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina.
The CAS is the ministerial forum for consultation on and coordination of regional actions.  It is comprised of the ministers and secretaries of Agriculture of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Its purpose is to define the priorities of the agricultural agenda and adopt joint positions on issues of regional interest.

Gabriel Delgado, Technical Secretary of the CAS and IICA Regional Coordinator, was also in attendance.

In their joint statement, the ministers noted that the agriculture sector in Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the world’s leading food producers and is highly vulnerable to climate change. They expressed their concern regarding “certain arbitrary and unjustified initiatives and proposals put forward by some countries or blocs, which, far from resolving the issues we currently face, will only exacerbate the vulnerability of the poorest populations to climate change, reducing production and international trade in raw materials and healthy, safe, nutritious and sustainable food”.

The ministers also expressed the need to intensify efforts to develop a common vision for the agriculture sector of the Americas with respect to climate change mitigation and adaptation ahead of the UN conference (COP 27), which will be held in November in Egypt.

“Despite not being the primary contributors to climate change, CAS countries contribute significantly to global food security. This has been possible because the agriculture sector has achieved progress in developing the necessary state and private institutional frameworks for innovation and for the development of agricultural technologies, as well as its human capital, which is prepared to address the new challenges imposed by climate change”, they stated.

About IICA

IICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.

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