Global, Regional and National Action is Key to Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change

August 23, 2007

Sixto Inchaustegui, Biologist at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) understands that policy measures to face the phenomenon have to be presented at different scales, in the framework of actions that drive development in each country. 

For the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) biologist, Sixto Inchaustegui, recommendations to face climate change must include the adoption of global, regional and national
actions in favor of the phenomenon’s mitigation.

During his intervention at the “Evidence of Climate Change in the Dominican Republic” seminar, the specialist included in his suggestions the imposition of transversal policy measures in national development, along with the strengthening of national capacities to better manage the issue
and monitor species and ecosystems’ populations in the long term.

He also advocates for the promotion of research in reproductive biology, community and population ecology, and population dispersion dynamics. Furthermore, he supports the strengthening of specialized institutions, which in the Dominican case should include the National Zoological Park, the National Aquarium and the National Botanical Garden among others.

Inchaustegui tackled
the issue in the context of the seminar organized by the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo and its sister organization in the U.S., Global Foundation Democracy and Development (GFDD).

In his presentation, he emphasized the impact of climate change in species and ecosystems, where it causes evident alterations. “Insofar as climate changes in latitude and altitude, species respond to it. As a consequence they move, they adapt or they become
extinct”, he stated, even though he explained that not all species react the same.

Species and Ecosystems facing CC

He referred to endangered species highlighting that they suffer indiscriminate exploitation, destruction, habitat fragmentation, and contamination, among other factors, which at the same time magnify climate change. The consequences can be summarized in the acceleration of the extinction process or
the delay in recuperating said species.

He gave specific examples to illustrate the impact on fauna: “the golden toad (bufo periglenes) has become extinct in Costa Rica’s cloudy forest”; “the harlequin frog (atelopus variius) is also extinct in different localities of its distribution area”. 

On top of this data, we can add the existence of a disease caused by fungus, which is considered an
important cause of amphibians’ global disappearance in relation to climate change.

In figure terms, his information was likewise alarming: 39% of American species are endangered species. This group represents 53% of the world’s amphibians.

In relation to ecosystems, he pointed out that they decompose and re-compose throughout time, until “they reach a climatic and ecosystem equilibrium”.

this reason, he understands that protected areas’ planning and management should take into account the potential impact of climate change.