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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Microcosms of challenges and opportunities in the Andes

This week DAPA is present in the workshop on Vulnerabilidad, Adaptación y Mitigación de los Efectos del Cambio Climático en los Andes Tropicales, being held in the Comunidad Andina in Lima, Peru.  The workshop forms part of the process towards developing the project Panorama Andina, an ambitious project looking to identify the state of research, development and governance on climate change across the Andean countries.  The project is being lead by DAPA’s long standing partner CONDESAN and the Comunidad Andina, with participation from a number of other organisations across the region.

DAPA’s role is to develop some of the baseline climate scenarios for the region, and take a lead role in diagnosing the major vulnerabilities in production systems across the region.  We already blogged about some of the work on developing the baseline scenarios and the issue of uncertainty.  Today I delivered a keynote presentation on this and specific impacts on agricultural production systems, and now participants are discussing some of the adaptation options available to confront such changes.

Something worth highlighting are the fascinating research questions and development challenges that the Andes face – I coined it “microcosms of challenges and opportunities”.  This is due to the following characteristics:

  • A gradient from wet to dry from northern to southern Andes
  • Constant climatic variability brought about by erratic El Nino and la Nina cycles
  • A gradient of expected changes going from expected increases in rainfall in the northern Andes through to slight reductions in the south
  • Increasing certainty in the climate scenarios as you move northwards through the Andes
  • A highly heterogeneous physical, natural, cultural and economic environment

This is quite a unique set of conditions that complicates any adaptation actions, and urges a number of research initiatives to better understand how best to develop policies and development actions under such a complex setting of microcosms.

The Panorama Andina project runs through the rest of the year, and we hope to deliver a side-event in the upcoming COP10 CBD in Japan in November.  We’ll keep providing updates from our blog.

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