Climate Change Adaptation in the tropical Andes
1. HYDROLOGICAL DYNAMICS OF SOUTH AMERICA
This policy brief focuses on the need to build a multi-disciplinary institutionality that reflects that cross-border dynamics from remote rural communities located in the upper bounds of the Andes and that articulates from there to the top, via the municipal structure up to national governments and agencies, as well as supra-national institutions.
2. SYNERGIES BETWEEN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND PRODUCERS' ORGANIZATIONS
The present policy brief presents the need of traditional top-down process to encounter a bottom up approach in order to develop and strengthen farmer organizations to empower poor smallholder farmers in order for them to be able to influence policy, budgetary decision-making and institutional processes.
3. RESILIENCE OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN CLIMATE CHANGE
In order to correctly manage the existing agro-ecosystems under current CC conditions, it is necessary to create the policy and institutional conditions for the permanence of these small farmers in the high tropical Andes. This policy brief argues that, besides promoting some needed structural changes at the national or regional level, the implementation of some policy interventionsare crucial also at the local level.
4. WATERSHED PERSPECTIVE
The present policy brief outlines that sustainable restoration and management of the hydrological cycle is everyone´s responsibility, from the top of the Andes to the Pacific and Atlantic coastal areas. Planning with multiple stakeholders and involving local municipal and regional governments in watershed management can be institutionalized linking watershed committees and inter-municipal commissions with an integrated watershed perspective.
5. LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SELF-FINANCED
External funds must be construed in such a way as to decentralize financial resources, in order to empower multiple organizations within the community. This policy brief uses examples of successful internal financial mechanisms in the region, including participatory budget schemes and compensation for environmental services to support this argument.
6. CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT
This policy brief dentifies the synergies between the two approaches, climate change adaptation policies are to be efficient only if built on existing DRR efforts. Likewise, DRR efforts are sustainable if these include a climate change adaptation approach.
7. PARTICIPATORY BUDGET
Participatory Budgets (PBs) empower citizens through participation in local decision-making processes, improving transparency and accountability of the elected administrations. This policy focuses on how this instrument brings institutional strengthening, as citizens become actively involved and develop a sense of ownership that unblock local inertias such as patron-client relationships and fiscal corruption.
8. PAYMENT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
The creation of such incentives needs, however, to avoid the risk of transforming them, and water in particular into a commodity, to the point where emerging private rights may be detrimental to the basic rights and livelihood opportunities of the rural populations. On the contrary, these financial schemes could play a leading role in the improvement of livelihoods of upstream smallholders, whenever they attract financial resources for an appropriate management of local watershed resources.
9. BOTTOM-UP AND TOP-DOWN APPROACHES
Empowering local citizens and community organizations in decision-making processes, not only increases efficiency, but also provides a real possibility to individuals or groups to transform their choices into desired actions and outcomes.
10. ANCESTRAL PRACTICES FOR MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
This policy brief argues how, in today´s tropical Andes, it is necessary to draw both on traditional knowledge and science-based modern technologies and practices for designing socially and environmentally appropriate solutions. The challenge, however, is how to bring together both types of knowledge and practices without substituting each other, building on their respective strengths. Local peoples' perception on climate variability is necessary to communicate scientific weather forecasts, since it follows specific language, beliefs, values and processes.