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Latin American Environment Ministers Meet to Fast-Track Action on Climate Change, Deforestation, Air Pollution

Gearing up for the 2nd UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2), ministers to define regional approaches to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Cartagena de Indias, 30 March 2016 - Ministers of Environment and representatives of 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean will agree this week a set of common actions to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals, including tackling climate change, deforestation and air pollution.

The 20th Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean comes at a crucial moment as the region determines its climate change and sustainable development priorities ahead of the second UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) - the highest-level international decision making body on the environment.

Opening the Forum, Gabriel Vallejo López, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, said: "The 2030 Agenda is a clear roadmap towards achieving prosperity, peace and inclusion, without disregarding the planet's ecological boundaries - nearly 86 of the 169 targets for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are related to environmental sustainability."

Delivering on the promise of Paris to limit global warming to 2°C this century will top the ministers' agenda as they address deforestation and the emissions of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) to fast-track the achievement of their climate pledges.

The ministers are also expected to follow up on their ambitious Action Plan to tackle air pollution, adopted at the 19th Forum two years ago. The plan details the climate benefits of improving air quality by reducing the emissions of SLCPs, such as methane and hydrofluorocarbons. Furthermore, the ministers will discuss South-South cooperation on achieving the 2030 Agenda, protection of biodiversity, and the linkages between health and environment. They are expected to adopt an updated Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative for Sustainable Development, which underscores the need to foster fast, ambitious and integrated action.

The outcomes of the meeting will contribute to UNEA-2, which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23rd to 27th May 2016 and which will be chaired by a representative of Latin America and the Caribbean region.

For more information please contact María Amparo Lasso, UNEP Regional Communications Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean,, (+507) 68523459.

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