Colombia paves the way from adaptation planning to local implementation in five agricultural subsectors – Colombia

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February 2023 – Colombia has ideal growing conditions for agricultural production, but is also threatened by climate-driven weather events such as La Niña. Colombia is her third most populous country in Latin America, with rural smallholder farmers making up 31.8% of her population. Small farmers are engaged in various activities such as coffee production, cereals (rice and corn), cocoa, bananas and sugar cane. The agricultural sector absorbs 23% of the country’s climate-related losses and damages.

According to Colombia’s 2020 updated National Contribution (NDC), Colombia contributes only 0.4% of global emissions and 71.3% of domestic greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and land use. Thing. To scale up its response to climate change, Colombia partnered with FAO and UNDP to scale up climate targets for land use and agriculture through its NDCs and National Adaptation Plan (SCALA) program. Local level to implement the priorities outlined in the national climate plan.

Following last year’s inaugural workshop in Colombia, the SCALA program Mr Nelson Lozanothe focal point of the programme, the Ministry of Agriculture, national, sectoral and regional priorities for combating climate change, and the activities being carried out over the course of the programme.

What are the key adaptation and mitigation priorities in agriculture and land use outlined in your country’s NDCs?

Mr Nelson Lozano: As communicated in the updated NDC, Colombia is promoting a low-carbon and climate-resilient development approach in the country with specific targets and measures in various sectors and regions. Colombia aims to incorporate climate change considerations into its agricultural sector planning tools and implement innovative adaptation actions. The country is focused on improving the capacity of 10 agricultural subsectors (rice, maize, palm, potato, beef, dairy, cocoa, banana, coffee and sugar cane) to adapt to climate change.

In addition to the goals outlined in the NDC, provide agricultural producers with high-quality climate information through a participatory space and the joint construction of a capacity-building platform called the Mesas Técnicas Agroclimáticas – MTA. Action is being taken to ) at the national level and he five regions with the greatest agricultural potential.

What are Colombia’s main barriers to achieving its adaptation and mitigation goals?

Mr Nelson Lozano: Colombia has made considerable efforts to mainstream adaptation and mitigation priorities into national development plans. However, in parallel, local capacities need to be strengthened. We are strengthening local capacity by improving climate information and tools and improving adaptation management through the implementation of current planning instruments at sector and regional levels. Colombia and its five regions have a multicultural and diverse background. That is why it is important to strengthen capacity at all levels of society. Furthermore, the most important barrier for the agricultural sector is directing investment towards implementing climate adaptation and mitigation. Also, given the country’s geographical heterogeneity, more technical and financial support is needed to strengthen the resilience of production systems.

Where do you see the SCALA program adding value in overcoming these obstacles and achieving these priorities?

Mr Nelson Lozano: The SCALA program approach addresses intervention actions at different levels in Colombia. At the national level, SCALA is designed to strengthen the integrated management of the Comprehensive Plan for Climate Change Management in the Agriculture Sector (PIGCC-Ag).

At sectoral level, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, SCALA is strengthening cooperation with the private sector. Private sector engagement will strengthen dialogue on adaptation and implement voluntary consensus processes. It can also enable new opportunities for climate financing and implement practical tools for regional analysis of sectoral risks and vulnerabilities. The resulting analysis is distributed through a virtual platform. The country will also develop a codification route that preserves 15 traditional indigenous knowledge practices towards climate adaptation in her five regions of Colombia.

At the local level, SCALA focuses on climate change considerations when planning measures for the agricultural sector. The program is implementing local adaptation actions and developing actions with transformative potential in five agricultural subsectors: rice, maize, cattle and dairy, sugarcane and cocoa. In this context, a certification scheme has been developed and is being piloted for small and medium-sized producers who voluntarily adopt climate adaptation measures on their farms.

And finally, two scalable experiences will be developed at the local level in the wasteland ecosystem to increase sector productivity while maintaining nature-based solutions. This activity aims to have a real impact on local producers through territorial research and observatory strategies that facilitate the scaling up of these actions.

SCALA efforts should be integrated with existing or ongoing programs and projects in the country, such as the ProNDC GIZ. The project will implement climate adaptation actions in maize, dairy and meat agriculture in the Sucre and Cordoba regions and will be replicated in other regions. Another domestic project is the Biocarbon Fund project, which is expected to start in 2023 and will work with the corn, cattle and cocoa value chains.

This approach enables the SCALA program to join forces, work together and contribute to reducing identified gaps and barriers in the agricultural sector, especially for small and medium-sized producers, and to work with local, sectoral and national authorities. Working together to make Colombia’s agricultural sector more resilient to climate change and protect the livelihoods of family farmers and businesses.

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