Uruguay launches National Adaptation Plan for the agricultural sector

23 September 2019, Uruguay - To cope with the impacts of climate change faced by the agriculture sector, Uruguay developed a new plan for climate action that was launched on 18 September 2019. 

The Uruguayan National Adaptation Plan to Climate Variability and Change for the Agricultural Sector  (PNA-Agro) is a strategic instrument that will help the country achieve the national adaptation and mitigation commitments established in their first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), under the Paris Agreement, as well as contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The PNA-Agro (or also known as NAP-Agro) proposes a strategy for 2050 and an action plan for 2025, with adaptation measures in four dimensions: production systems, ecosystems and natural resources, livelihoods and institutional capacities. It aims to increase the adaptive capacity, build resilience and improve the livelihoods of rural populations through the adoption of sustainable animal and plant production systems, development and transfer of technology, information systems, climate insurance, resilient infrastructure, promotion of best practices, support of networks and organizations of farmers, and strengthening of institutional capacities for adaptation.

During the launch, the UNDP Resident Representative in Uruguay, Stefan Liller, expressed that the “NAP-Agro will contribute to a profound change towards a more resilient and more adapted model", while the Officer in Charge of the FAO Representation in Uruguay, Vicente Plata, emphasised that the document contains "a series of recommendations on the challenges that need to be addressed, based on scientific evidence and institutional knowledge and capacity, so that the Uruguayan agricultural sector can adapt to climate variability and change."

In Uruguay, the prioritization of adaptation to climate variability and change in the agricultural sector does not begin with the PNA-Agro. In fact, the national commitments established in the NDC, reflect the strategies that were defined in 2010 by MGAP and have since been implemented. The formulation of the PNA-Agro was carried out on the basis of more than a decade of national studies and research that contribute to better decision-making regarding adaptation actions, such as “Clima de cambios. Nuevos desafíos de adaptación en Uruguay” (FAO, 2013).

Moreover, a series of additional studies were carried out in the framework of the NAP-Ag Program with the purpose of generating relevant evidence for the formulation of the national plan:

-          Uruguay case study: Safeguarding livelihoods and promoting resilience through National Adaptation Plans

-          Making the case for gender-responsive adaptation planning in Uruguay: The importance of sex-disaggregated data

-          Guide on Cost-benefit Analysis applied to adaptation measures in agriculture

-          Guide for estimating damages and losses due to extreme climatic events in agriculture,

-          Study on gender and adaptation to climate change in agriculture

-          Study on climate projections through statistical downscaling   

As underlined during the launch, by the National Coordinator of the NAP-Ag Program, Cecilia Jones, the NAP-Agro is the consolidation of a three-year participatory process, which aimed to identify, order and prioritize climate actions. During 2017, a consultation process was carried out through a series of Adaptation Dialogues, in which more than 200 people from the private, public, academia and civil society sectors participated. These dialogues identified the main impacts of climate variability and change and key priority adaptation strategies focusing on the different productive systems, rural women and family farming. In addition, a series of workshops on adaptation were carried out in agricultural high schools across the country, in which nearly 450 young people participated. In July 2019, the content of the PNA-Agro was shared, discussed and validated in a meeting with actors from public agricultural institutions, subnational governments, civil society, farmer organizations and academia. Throughout the entire process of elaboration of the strategy, more than 950 people were involved.

The process was led by the Unit of Sustainability and Climate Change within the Office of Agricultural Programming and Policy (OPYPA) of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP), in coordination with the National System of Response to Climate Change and Variability (SNRCC), with the technical support of UNDP and FAO, under the Integrating Agriculture into National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag) Program funded by the German BMU.

Links to other articles:

Uruguay launches NAP for agricultural sector

Links to the Spanish articles and video of the conference: 

Article in Spanish: Autoridades presentaron el Plan Nacional de Adaptación al Cambio Climático para el agro

Links to Spanish videos about the NAP-Ag process:  

Walter Oyhantcabal on Uruguay’s national adaptation plan for agriculture

Adaptation Dialogues

Rural Women´s view

New generations