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CATIE and SICA discuss initiatives of joint interest
- Members of both bodies met and discussed funding for CATIE germplasm collections, food security and regional initiatives
May 14, 2020. During May 14, members of CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) and the Central American Integration System (SICA, its Spanish acronym) met virtually and discussed topics of joint interest for the Central American region.
Jorge Cabrera, environmental advisor to the Secretary General, and Patricia Palma, food security and nutrition advisor to the Secretary General, participated on behalf of SICA, while CATIE was represented by Muhammad Ibrahim, Director General, and Juan Carlos Méndez, Assistant Director General.
As a first point, they discussed the importance of seeking funding for the maintenance of CATIE's germplasm collections (coffee, cocoa and others), due to the impact they have at the global level and particularly in the SICA region.
They also pointed out the issue of food security as being of vital importance, due to the current crisis of COVID-19, since agri-food chains have largely broken down. They therefore agreed to jointly seek the interest of donors in addressing this issue at the regional level.
In this regard, CATIE indicated that it is interested in proposing a regional initiative with the same purpose, including the idea of setting up a regional system of food banks.
Finally, as part of the virtual meeting, regional initiatives proposed by the multilateral banks (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and Central American Bank for Economic Integration) in the SICA region were discussed. CATIE has a particular interest in this topic and SICA will probably have an integrating and coordinating role, as well as the follow-up to other initiatives that exist between SICA and CATIE, for example with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, the Gulf of Fonseca and Trifinio, among others.
Juan Carlos Méndez
Karla Salazar Leiva
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