Ecological restoration as a tool to increase resilience to climate change: Learning with small farmers of the Colombian Andean-Amazon Piedmont

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Silvia Vejarano

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The Colombian Andean-Amazon Piedmont is one of the richest ecosystems on the Planet and also one of the most endangered. Deforestation of river basins and micro-catchments in the upper reaches has local consequences, but also affects the flow and dynamics of major tributaries. Therefore, WWF Colombia started working towards maintaining key attributes of several micro-catchments based on the results of climate change vulnerability analyses. Traditional farm systems in the area are based on small scale cattle ranching, which depends on clearing forests and using water sources irrationally. WWF used Ecosystems-Based-Adaptation theory and Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) as tools to develop actions towards increasing the sustainability of local production systems. The main difficulty in the process was to show farmers the significance of being part of the project, for which it was necessary to make them realize the increasing necessity of adapting to climate change. The main lessons derived from the process were: Translate the scientific climate-change jargon into concepts the locals understand. Permanent and fluent communication between all implementation partners, technicians conducting the analyses, local field officers, local technicians and farmers and their families is essential. Validating with locals all aspects of the methodology including definitions, actions on the farms and the development of climate change indicators, among others. Assessing the risks and threats at the farm level with the local technical teams before validating them with the spatial analyses.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration