UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office located in Panama, the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama signed the Center´s host country agreement on 11 July 2012. The instrument was duly signed by His Excellency Roberto C. Henríquez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama and CATHALAC's Director General, in the presence of Francisco Álvarez De Soto, Vice Minister of Foreign affairs, at the Republic of Panama's Bolívar Palace.
The Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC), which also hosts a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office, has recently developed an automated, online tool for predicting landslide hazards in Mesoamerica, a first of its kind effort at the regional level. “The tool will provide early warning for landslide events in Mesoamerica, potentially minimizing the loss of life and property,” commented Emilio Sempris, CATHALAC’s Director. Mesoamerica is highly vulnerable to extreme meteorological events like flooding and to landslides that such events trigger.
UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office CATHALAC (Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean) published a new study about fires in Central America. The analysis was carried out in the context of SERVIR - a Regional Visualization and Monitoring System created by NASA, USAID, CATHALAC and other partners.
CATHALAC’s participation as a Regional Support Office for UN-SPIDER includes promoting the development and strengthening of national capacities in Latin American and the Caribbean countries, providing horizontal cooperation and technical assistance to the countries and organizations involved in disasterprevention and mitigation, as well as generating and sharing knowledge for the use of valuable space-based information in the decision making processes. CATHALAC implements the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System (SERVIR) in Mesoamerica in close cooperation with the environmental authorities of the region, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other members of the international scientific community.
The Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) organized a Crisis Workshop during the annual meeting of the Commissions of PAIGH. The workshop took place on 13 and 14 June 2011 in Panama.