Central America

From HFA-PEDIA

Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Introduction

Central America, with an area of approximately 592,000 kilometres squared, is a narrow isthmus extending from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico southeastward to the Isthmus of Panama where it connects to the Colombian Pacific Lowlands in northwestern South America. Alternatively, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt delimits the region on the north. The Pacific Ocean lies to the southwest, the Caribbean Sea lies to the northeast, and the Gulf of Mexico lies to the north.


Most of Central America rests atop the Caribbean Plate. The region is geologically active, with volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring from time to time.

The countries that makeup the Central American region are: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.


In 1991 Central America obtained integration through the creation of the Central American Integration System - SICA (Sistema para la Integración Centroamericana). The SICA provided a clear legal base to avoid discrepancies between the member states. SICA membership includes the 7 countries of Central America as well as the Dominican Republic (in the Caribbean).

.

Disaster reduction and risk management in Central America

The main agency for disaster risk reduction in Central America, one of the ISDR partners in action, is CEPREDENAC.

Established in 1988, the Coordinating Centre for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America, CEPREDENAC (http://www.cepredenac.org) is the specialized institution of the Central American Integration System (SICA) for natural disaster prevention, mitigation and response. The Governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama are active members, while Belize and Dominican Republic are in the process of becoming members. CEPREDENAC's inter-sectoral agenda is harmonized with other specialized regional entities in such areas as hydrological resources, agriculture, nutrition and food security.


Strategic Framework for Education on Disaster Risk Reduction

Ministers and education authorities of Central America and the Dominican Republic adopted the Strategic Framework for Education on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Within the ordinary session of the Central American Educational and Cultural Coordination Organisation (CECC), Ministers and education authorities of Central America and the Dominican Republic (members of SICA), held on May 9th 2008 in Panama, approved the Strategic Framework for Education on Disaster Risk Reduction. This innovative Framework serves to strengthen the commitment of Ministries of Education dependencies to define more appropriate policies and actions on Disaster Risk Reduction.

.

European Union cooperation in Central America

The European Union Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO)’s programme for investing in disaster preparedness – DIPECHO - is a programme aimed at improving the capacities of communities at risk to better prepare and protect themselves from disasters.


The Regional Programme for Reducing Environmental Vulnerability and Degradation (PREVDA) aims at consolidating regional institutional and policy integration for risk management - in particular, the Regional Disaster Reduction Plan (PRRD), the Central American Action Plan for the Integrated Management of Water Resources (PACADIRH) and the Central American Regional Environmental Plan (PARCA).


PREVDA brings together three areas of work through three respective secretariats of the Central American Integration System (SICA):

. Environmental management through the Central American Commission on Environment & Development (CCAD);
ii. The integrated management of water resources with the Regional Committee on Hydraulic Resources (CRRH); and
iii. Risk management through CEPREDENAC


Also important is the EU – Central American Strategy for Cooperation as agreed upon with the Central American Integration System (SICA) for 2002-2006, its evaluation and the 2007-2012 proposal. The main areas of work for the 2002 – 2006 period were: 1) good governance (strengthening regional and national institutions), 2) democratic participation (facilitating the participation of civil society through public consultations and contributions to specific activities) and, 3) environmental security which encompasses the proposals and actions aimed at risk management and disaster risk reduction specifically.

Other

Integrated Multi-Risk Management System and Early Warning for Urban Areas of Central America

A project of the Italo-Latino Americano Institute surrounding a prototype of a Mulit-Risk Early Warning System.

Personal tools