Climate Change Adaptation in Colombia
The joint program in the upper parts of the Rio Cauca watershed (in the municipalities of Puracé y Popayán, Nacimiento del Cauca, Ríos San Andrés, San Francisco, Rio piedras) found in the Colombian Massif. This area is known, both nationally and internationally as the "River Constellation of Colombia". It presents extraordinary biodiversity, geology and cultural attributes. It is the home and sacred land forf 7 different Indigenous ethnic communities (paeces, yanaconas, guambianos, coconucos, inganos, kamzas y totoroes) whom act as farmers and guardians of its lagoons and páramos.
This area is particularly important in terms of atmosphere carbon sequestration due to its vast forests and humid soils. Climate change is affecting the region particularly in the decrease in annual precipitation (-o.e – o.3%) and increase in temperature of 0.1 – 0.2 % over 10 years. These changing conditions have a direct impact on the páramos, biodiversity, glaciers and desertification rates. Climate change adversely affects also socioeconomic and cultural aspects, for example in the loss of potable water, vulnerability due to food insecurity, loss of ancestral knowledge, putting land which was previously destined for conservation to agricultural use, and increase in diseases.
This area was selected for intervention by suggestion of local and national actors, including the municipalities of Puracé and Popayán in the department of Cauca. Hydrologically it is of strategic importance because it includes the birth of the Cauca, San Franciso, San Andres and Las Piedras rivers as well as being the watershed which supplies the 5 rural acqueducts and the urban aqueduct of Popayan (280.000 inhabitants.). The area covers approximately 40.000 has. and includes the Puracé National Park as well as autonomous indigenous territory.
The area includes 11.219 rural inhabitants with high poverty rates distributed in the indigenous reservations of the Puracé, Kokonuco, Paletará and Quintana, as well as local farmers organized in the associations known as Asocampo and Asoproquintana. Worhty of notice are the roles of mediation and natural resource management that the diverse organizations have played in this area, particularly CRIC, CRC, PNN, municipalities and the Rio Piedras Foundation)