Major vulnerabilities in the Colombian Caribbean coast
DAPA recently presented results of our climate change research for Colombia in two important fora in Colombia. On the 21st May we presented the latest results in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an IICA-organised event to take stock of the latest knowledge about climate change and Colombian agriculture as a run-up to the country’s preparations for COP-16 in Mexico City. The DAPA presentation is available below.
The major progress made by national institutions in deepening our knowledge of the implications of climate change for agriculture and livestock in Colombia was very encouraging. In just 18 months the science has made major progress, and we now have a much better idea of the likely changes for Colombia, the most likely impacts on agriculture and livestock, and a number of institutions are now analysing specific adaptation needs and priorities. The collection of presentations made at the meeting are available on the IICA website here. One of the key conclusions from the meeting was the need for greater investment in science and technology related to climate change – the current national-level funding for climate change science is near null.
One other key conclusion that cut across most institutions evaluations of climate change vulnerability highlights the major threat that climate change poses to the Caribbean coast. This was the subject of a second presentation made by DAPA in Barranquilla on the 27th May to ASOGAN Norte, an association of livestock (meat and milk) producers for the Caribbean coast. The presentation outlines some general apsects of climate change and agriculture in Colombia, then details some possible priority adaptation options. These include:
- Improvement of forage species planted, including the possible use of new CIAT varieties of Brachearia with both waterlogging and drought tolerance
- Investment in greater irrigation infrastructure in the region
- Use of resistant multi-purpose breeds
- Rehabilitation of degraded lands, increasing soil carbon and reducing soil compaction
- Use of hay for dry season feeding
- Investment in silvo-pastoral systems, which include planting of shade-trees to offset temperature increases
The presentation made is available below.