This report contains papers from fourteen countries and a Central American organization representing seven countries in a regional study. The participating countries have all signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Convention's commitments for all Parties include to develop, periodically update, publish and make available to the Conference of the Parties, national inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases (GHG), using comparable methodologies. The Convention also commits parties to formulate, and implement national programs containing measures to mitigate climate change and to help developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

The papers in this report describe these countries' efforts to address their commitments by preparing inventories of GHG emissions, evaluating mitigation options, and assessing climate change vulnerability and adaptation strategies. These assessments have been conducted within the framework of the U.S. Country Studies Program and the Global Environmental Fund/United Nations Environmental Programme (GEF/UNEP) Case Studies.

The Convention commits all developed country Parties to take all practicable steps to promote, facilitate and finance the transfer of, or access to, environmentally sound technologies and know-how to developing country Parties, and to provide new and additional financial resources needed by developing countries in complying with their obligations.

We believe that the U.S. Country Study Program is helping the participating countries in complying with the commitments of the UNFCCC. Even though the established time for developing countries to fulfill their commitments is within three years from the entry of force of the Convention, the current studies give countries a chance to validate initial data and conduct additional research on national or regional emission factors and on mitigation and adaptation measures to submit an improved communication by the deadline. The training of experts at technical workshops and through continuous technical assistance has helped to improve the understanding of the scientific base of climate change issues and to strengthen endogenous capacity.

The U.S. Country Studies Program and similar programs supported by other donors have proven to be of paramount importance in helping the participating countries to outline their national plans to mitigate or reduce GHG emissions and also to develop measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Preparation of these national plans must be accompanied by education of the people and dissemination of country study results as the only effective way to solve the important problem of climate change.

Martha Perdomo, Venezuela