Biological and cultural diversity: keys to climate change adaptation

Biological and cultural diversity: keys to climate change adaptation

Colombia - 19 December, 2012

Climate change adaptation seen from various perspectives such as the one of ethnic and peasants groups, the academy, communities and the institutions can contribute to the development of local productive projects that address the threats of climate change, or to the recognition of traditional knowledge as a means to adapt. This was the main issue during the multi-stakeholder dialogue: “Biological and cultural diversity: keys to climate change adaptation”, which was held on 8 and 9 November 2012 and organized by Tropenbos International Colombia under the framework of the project “The climate is changing and you can too” developed in cooperation with IUCN and SPDA.

The event counted with the participation of 35 people that are working on climate change adaptation in various regions of the country. The exchange of experiences allowed a fluid dialogue on key elements for understanding climate change, monitoring of these changes and the most effective strategies or practices to adapt.

Hernando Castro and Iris Andoque, local researchers of Tropenbos International Colombia, presented the case study from Araracuara Colombia: “The diversity as a strategy for adaptation to climate change”. This study describes in detail the local climate indicators and consequences of their variation on the ecosystem. As well as the three chagras system: chagras in three types of terrain, vega (floodplain forests), monte firme (mature forest) and rastrojo, which currently takes place in the region in order to preserve the wide variety of seeds that still exist in this territory. The most important conclusion of this case is the importance of maintaining the variety of seeds as a strategy to climate change adaptation.

Given the involvement of experts as Klaus Schultze (District Department of Environment), Astrid Ulloa (National University of Colombia), César Ortiz (Universidad Javeriana) and Andrew Avella (Fundación Natura), the event provided attendees with a broad view on the subject climate change and it created an awareness of the challenge of treasuring traditional knowledge in this context.