When the Colombian State presented its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in December 2020, it knew that great challenges would come. More ambitious goals to fight climate change were set out in this document, which emanates from the commitments made by Colombia in the Paris Agreement in December 2015 and which governs all the nation’s climate actions for the next 10 years.
An example of this is the work that is being implemented in agricultural chains such as corn in Cereté (Córdoba) and dual-purpose livestock (that is, for the production of meat and milk), in San Onofre (Sucre). These chains face risks associated with climate change in these municipalities, despite their economic and social relevance.
Cereté, for example, represents 14% of the corn production of the department of Córdoba, which, in turn, contributes 16% of the national production, according to Fenalce. As for dual-purpose livestock, this constitutes one of the main economic lines of Sucre and represents its greatest use of the land. In fact, only San Onofre currently has more than a thousand farms dedicated to livestock activity that house more than 89,000 cattle.
11 actions for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in Córdoba and Sucre
This work of implementation of climate actions is developed through the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture with the technical support of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) with its ProNDC Program, which supports the Government in the coordination of measures, in coordination with public and private actors.
The measures seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (those that cause global warming) and generate dynamics that help generate actions to adapt crops and cattle to the irreversible effects of climate change, contributing to the well-being of communities local.
Some of the proposed actions are the rehabilitation of pastures, rotation of pastures with electric fences, mixed forage banks and forage hedges in livestock and the optimization in the use of fertilizers, rotation with legumes and association with other crops for agriculture, among others.
With these objectives on the horizon, the ProNDC program has taken charge of analyzing the risks and potential of each value chain and each territory, through detailed studies and dialogues with local actors, both institutional and of society. civil. The result has been the agreement between actors of 11 mitigation and adaptation actions for the corn chain in Cereté and dual-purpose livestock in San Onofre, which seek to generate climate-smart and more productive agriculture and livestock.
The actions include information management for making productive decisions associated with the climate; the improvement of drainage in properties through leveling or planting density; dynamic planting associated with variations in agroclimatic forecasts; improvements in production and the quality of water resources, among others.
These actions are aimed at addressing highly localized problems along value chains, such as the impacts produced by droughts and floods on crops and livestock. For example, reduce the impacts on nature and animals caused by the transfer of livestock to spend the dry season in areas richer in water such as Mojana sucreña.
High expectations in the community and local authorities
Yolanda González begins to work when the sun has not yet risen. His routine, like that of many other peasants in the country, begins at dawn, as the land requires a lot of effort and care that does not wait. She knows this perfectly and, for this reason, she combines her work in the field with the responsibility of being president of the Association of Displaced Persons of the Montes de María of the Municipality of San Onofre, an Afro organization that benefits more than 100 families and that combats climate change.
“We have linked ourselves to government initiatives because as peasants we are the ones who suffer the most from climate change. Recently there were six summer months in which many crops were lost and many livestock died. We can not allow that. For this reason, our association seeks to educate on the need to avoid agrochemicals and to take care of water. We also carry out actions such as planting native trees and restoring water sources ”, explains Yolanda.
The woman also states that expectations are high in the community: “We do not expect to solve all the problems with this process, but we do believe that we will advance a lot and that we will become an example. We want the world to realize that there is a secluded place in Colombia plagued by violence where a group of displaced persons work judiciously for mitigation and adaptation to climate change ”.
Carmen Villalba, advisor to the Ministry of Economic Development and Environment, in charge of the meat and dairy chain in the department of Sucre, pronounces in the same sense: “80% of the department’s territory is dedicated to producing meat and milk. So
Measurements are necessary, as they will allow us to know where we are failing and where we are right to make better decisions ”.
The keys to success
There are many factors on which the success of the process depends. Carmen Villalba highlights the need for all stakeholders to commit to working together and in coordination and to “change the chip”, to adopt best practices that allow to preserve jobs and ensure competitiveness and long-term sustainability of important markets for the country.
Likewise, it is essential that the process meets the highest standards not only in terms of implementation, but also monitoring, as explained by Mauricio Cote, PhD, climate change advisor for the ProNDC program.
“It is a point in which it is also innovating, since for the first time international standards are being introduced at the local level, through the Enhanced Transparency Framework, a set of rules that respond to article 13 of the Paris Agreement and that indicate how to measure and report, with standards common to different countries, climate information ”, says Cote.
This is essential for several reasons, according to Cote, as it helps build bridges between local communities and national monitoring systems, such as the National Registry for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (RENARE) and the Integrated Information System. on Vulnerability, Risk and Adaptation (SIIVRA).
Likewise, it strengthens regional capacities so that they are applied to all value chains and, finally, it allows Colombia to have reliable information before the international community, which facilitates the flow of resources to the country to strengthen the climate action consigned. at the NDC.