4, July, 2012

Spotlight on Organisations: Climate Change Adaptation in Mountain Environments

A wide range of organisations are working in climate change adaptation across Latin America, however only a few focus their efforts on mountain ecosystems. The following document provides information on the expertise and activities of these Latin American and international actors and describes what they can offer to stakeholders in different regions.

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The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza - CATIE)

Link: http://www.catie.ac.cr/magazin_ENG.asp?CodIdioma=ENG
Areas of Expertise: Water resources (watershed management, water storage, water distribution infrastructure), agriculture and food security (irrigation, fertilisation, animal and crop selection), land ecosystems (creation of parks and corridors for species migration, animal raising and resettlement plans), health, human settlements
Key Activities: Education, capacity building, post-graduate academic courses, scientific research, programme implementation and dissemination of results, promotion of multi-stakeholder dialogue, technical assistance, publications, software and tools
Based in Costa Rica, CAITE is a regional centre working alongside more than 200 public and private partners in 14 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The organisation’s Climate Change Programme aims to facilitate the implementation of international protocols through impact analysis and support for national policy design. CAITE is currently coordinating a regional project entitled Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Forest Ecosystems in Latin American Mountain Ranges and Adaptation Management Tools (CLIMIFORAD) that also involves institutions from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Spain. The Climate Change Programme website provides a database of CAITE activities, information on training and events, and useful links, as well as resources such as books, theses, annual reports and journals, some of which are available in English.

The Mountain Institute, Andean Programme

Link: http://www.mountain.org/andes
Areas of Expertise: Climate change in mountain ecosystems, sustainable use and conservation of natural resources
Key Activities: Programme implementation, research, impact analysis, community-based approaches, awareness raising, public policy recommendations
Working on national projects in Peru, and on regional initiatives with partners in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, the Mountain Institute is an international organisation focused on protecting mountain ecosystems and promoting sustainable livelihoods amongst local populations. They also manage programmes in the Himalayan Mountains. The website in English contains project information and publications such as reports, newsletters and brochures, while the Spanish-language website of the Andean programme contains more detailed project data including methodology and lessons learned.

The National Institute of Ecology (El Instituto Nacional de Ecologia - INE)

Link: http://cambio_climatico.ine.gob.mx/
Areas of Expertise: Disaster risk reduction, water resources, renewable energy, biodiversity, livestock, fishery, forestry
Key Activities: Project implementation, vulnerability analysis, communication strategy development, capacity building, national strategy design, technical assistance, research and results dissemination
The INE is a research institute of the Mexican government’s Department for Environment and Natural Resources tasked with both generating scientific and technical information relating to environmental challenges and with building capacity for improved environmental protection and sustainable resource use. Activities relating to Mexico’s sub-humid mountain areas include impact assessments and adaptation strategies in forest and water resource management. The website contains links to publications and National Adaptation strategies, though the majority are not in English, as well as some audios and videos from INE conferences.

Institute for Hydrology, Meterology and Environmental Studies (Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales - IDEAM)

Link: http://www.cambioclimatico.gov.co/jsp/index.jsf
Areas of Expertise: Environmental indicators such as in climate, hydrology, and meteorology, sustainable development, interfaces between society and nature, climate change vulnerability and impacts, international conventions and national policy, mountain ecosystems
Key Activities: Processing and disseminating information, scientific and technical research, modelling, information service for climate predictions and alerts, production of protocols, guides and government reports, environmental laboratory certification, capacity building
IDEAM sits within Colombia’s Ministry for Environment and Sustainable Development and is responsible for generating information and knowledge to guide decision making and planning for climate change. Current projects include a pilot programme for adaptation to climate change in high mountain ecosystems (El Programa Piloto Nacional Integrado de Adaptación al Cambio Climático - INAP). Information available on the website includes national and international publications (available in English), presentations, e-fora, blogs and an events calendar.

Consortium for Sustainable Development in the Andean Ecoregion (Consorcio para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Ecoregión Andina - CONDESAN)

Link: http://www.condesan.org/portal/panorama/cambio-climatico-en-los-andes-tropicales
Areas of Expertise: Climate change impacts, vulnerability assessment, biodiversity, ecosystems, water and watersheds, sustainable livelihoods
Key Activities: Implementation of projects and research, dissemination of results, promotion of dialogue platforms, public policy recommendations
CONDESAN is a consortium of national and international research institutes, universities, international development agencies, local and national governments, private sector actors and NGOs focused on promoting the sustainable use of natural resources in the Andean region (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela). The website contains publications, videos and access to e-fora including expert presentations and open debates on selected themes, though most resources are in Spanish.

Latin America Regional Office of the International Union for Conservancy and Nature (UICN-Sur)

Link: http://www.iucn.org/es/que/climatico/
Areas of Expertise: Biodiversity, sustainable management of ecosystems (including the tropical Andes mountains), transboundary water resource management, genetic resources, indigenous knowledge
Key Activities: Research and programme implementation, technical advice to governments, non-governmental organisations and the United Nations, policy recommendations
Based in Ecuador, UICN-Sur undertakes climate change adaptation projects throughout the Andean region, as well as multi-country studies, such as the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation in Mountain Ecosystems project, which covers Peru, Uganda and Nepal and involves the UNEP and UNDP as key partners. An extensive publications catalogue, the IUCN World Conservation Magazine, conservation tools, multimedia, project information and online discussion portals are all available from the website, with many of the resources published in English.

Libélula, Peru

Link: http://www.libelula.com.pe/en/climatechange.html
Areas of Expertise: Climate change impacts in the Andes, glaciers, international protocols and national policy
Key Activities: Communications and marketing strategy design, capacity building, social and environmental responsibility assessments, report production
Libélula is a private consultancy firm specialising in climate change and sustainable development. The consultancy is made up of a network of national and international experts and has worked with a range of international development agencies, national government, universities, NGOs and the private sector. Their key work relating to mountainous zones is the production of reports on the current and potential impacts of climate change particularly in relation to glacial retreat. The website contains links to publications and videos, though all are in Spanish.

PROINPA Foundation (Fundación PROINPA)

Link: http://www.proinpa.org
Areas of Expertise: Conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources, food sovereignty and security, agro-biodiversity, integrated crop management
Key Activities: Research and programme implementation, generation and dissemination of technologies
PROINPA works in the high mountain areas of Bolivia. Its work in climate change adaptation focuses on two key projects, one looking at adaptive capacity amongst indigenous communities, and the other at genetic diversity of potatoes as an adaptation measure. A basic version of the website is available in English and provides links to Spanish-language resources, including national campaigns materials, publications, audio-visual and radio bites, working papers and information on training opportunities.

Research Centre for Disaster Prevention (Centro de Estudios y Prevención de Desastres - PREDES)

Link: http://www.predes.org.pe/predes/predes_ingles.htm
Areas of Expertise: Sociology, engineering, architecture, geology, education, communications, risk prevention, climate change adaptation
Key Activities: Education, training and project evaluation, technical assessments, research and dissemination, production of educational materials, capacity building, policy recommendations
PREDES is a Peruvian NGO best known for its work on disaster prevention, though its recent projects combine risk reduction and climate change adaptation approaches to build the resilience of rural mountain communities and assist local and regional governments with planning and implementation. A basic version of the website is available in English. Links are also available to publications in Spanish, such as manuals, brochures, audio and video materials, technical reports and bulletins, as well as PREDES’ Prevención magazine.

International Potato Center (Centro Internacional de la Papa - CIP)

Link: http://www.cipotato.org
Areas of Expertise: Conservation and agro-biodiversity, impacts of climate variability on potato varieties
Key Activities: Research and innovation in science, technology, capacity strengthening
CIP is part of the 15-centre research alliance known as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). CIP is an international centre with its headquarters in Lima, Peru and offices in 30 developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The website is available in English and contains publications, databases and software, a library, and information on courses and training.

National Service for Territorial Studies (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales - SNET)

Link: http://www.snet.gob.sv/
Areas of Expertise: Meteorology, hydrology, geology, risk analysis
Key Activities: Impact assessment and monitoring of natural disasters, the environment and society, climate forecasting, satellite imaging, territorial risk analysis, water resource monitoring, information technologies, early warning systems
SNET is an agency within the El Salvador government that works in coordination with universities, professional unions and NGOs, with the aim of preventing and reducing the risk of natural disasters in El Salvador, including focusing on the country’s two mountain ranges. The website provides access to technical studies and research reports, bulletins, inventories, methodologies, recent news articles, maps, videos and education materials, though primarily available only in Spanish.

Water Centre for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC)

Link: http://www.cathalac.org/en/
Areas of Expertise: Integrated watershed management, environmental impact analysis and modeling, disaster risk management, natural resource management, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), land planning, climate scenarios, information and communication networks
Key Activities: International education programmes in climate change and sustainable development, technology transfer, research, technical assistance
Based in Panama, CATHALAC is an international organisation working throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, including in the region’s mountainous zones. CATHALAC’s climate change programme is focused on providing hard data, development of information and monitoring tools, as well as promoting social networks for knowledge sharing. The organisation also runs a Master’s degree in Climate Change. Information available on the website includes videos, news articles, publications, and an area dedicated to children’s learning activities. All materials are available in English.

Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)

Link: http://www.iica.int/Eng/Programs/NaturalResources/Pages/default.aspx
Areas of Expertise: Adapting agriculture to climate change, agricultural production with environmental responsibility, efficient and integrated management of natural resources, food security
Key Activities: Technological innovation, design, analysis and evaluation of public policies and strategies, strengthening and modernisation of institutions, capacity building, knowledge management, technical support, investment projects
The IICA is a specialized technical agency working in 34 countries, principally in coordination with the ministries of agriculture. The website, available in English, includes audio recordings, videos, news articles, a digital library, agriculture related indicators, events, activities in member countries, and Agronet, its technical information web portal.

Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), Division for Sustainable Development and Human Settlements (DDSAH)

Link: http://www.cepal.org/ddsah/
Areas of Expertise: Climate change and development; climate change variability and impacts; socio-economic impacts of climate change, environmental policy
Key Activities: Research, regional and international conferences, publications, networking, inter-governmental coordination, training
Headquartered in Santiago, Chile, ECLAC is one of the UN’s five regional commissions, and works in 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Sub-regional offices are located in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay. The Division for Sustainable Development and Human Settlements (DDSAH) is currently running a project, The Economics of Climate Change in Latin America, which includes research into the socio-economic impacts of climate change as well as adaptation policy and financial planning. The project and DSSAH’s technical reports cover the region’s mountainous zones. On DSSAH’s site, readers can access statistical databases, an online library, project information, conferences and seminars, training opportunities and links. The DSSAH website is only available in Spanish, while the ECLAC site has English, French and Portuguese versions.

Centre for Coordination for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (Centro de Coordinación para la Prevención de los Desastres Naturales en América Central - CEPREDENAC)

Link: http://www.sica.int/cepredenac/index.aspx?IdEnt=22&Idm=1&IdmStyle=1
Areas of Expertise: Disaster prevention, mitigation and response
Key Activities: Capacity building, knowledge exchange, information systems, technical assistance, programme and research implementation
CEPREDENAC is a regional, inter-governmental agency operating in eight Central American states (Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama). Its work on issues of preventing disasters includes a strong focus on Central America’s mountain areas. The website provides access to news bulletins, satellite climate images, emergency alerts and publications.

Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices (Red Iberoamericana de Oficinas de Cambio Climático - RIOCC)

Link: http://www.lariocc.es/
Areas of Expertise: International climate change frameworks, adaptation technologies, climate change impacts and vulnerability, sustainable forest management
Key Activities: Capacity building, technology transfer, technical assistance for climate change adaptation strategy and national policy, research and dissemination, regional integration building, promotion of knowledge exchange
Created by the Environment Ministries from 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries, the network provides a platform for dialogue as well as opportunities for joint initiatives and face-to-face meetings to exchange and evaluate experiences. Their work includes a focus on the region’s mountains areas. The RIOCC website provides information on network meetings and access to documents and project information (all in Spanish).

Regional Centre for Information on Disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean (Centro Regional de Información sobre Desastres América Latina y El Caribe - CRID)

Link: http://cambioclimatico.cridlac.org/
Areas of Expertise: Disaster risk reduction, climate change information gathering and exchange
Key Activities: Knowledge management, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), capacity building
CRID is a knowledge management, generation and exchange initiative led by the Pan-American Health Organization, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat, the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Response in Costa Rica, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, CEPREDENAC (see entry above) and the US National Library of Medicine. Its focus on disaster risk reduction includes the mountain ecosystems of the Latin America region. The website, also available in English, provides access to an extensive range of more than 18,000 documents, including technical reports, case studies, national strategies and plans, maps, databases of projects and regional stakeholders, and multimedia such as presentations, audio, videos and infograms.

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