Climate change adaptation and better use of natural resources
Policies for resilient agriculture: Colombia’s Sustainable Livestock Group, the technical forums for the bio-input sector created in Ecuador and Colombia, and the agreement that the Institute signed in Peru with the National Agricultural Health Service (SENASA), the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service (SENAMHI) and the National Coffee Board are examples of IICA cooperation aimed at working with the authorities in those countries to generate consensus-building and coordination mechanisms to support decision making and the development, implementation and management of public policies for resilient agriculture.
Plantations with an agroecological approach: nine procedures for the integrated management of avocado, potato, and tomato crops, including fertilization, soil and water practices, pruning and grafting, demonstrated the capacity of the PRIICA beneficiary countries in Central America to care for the environment and protect the health of their producers. In the Central Region, 1625 beneficiaries applied good agricultural practices.
Forestry innovations: in the Andean Region, IICA strengthened farmers’ knowledge of the sustainable use of biodiversity through a course that drew on the experience of the Sustainable Forest Management Programme financed by Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The course material is available online at www.mfsandina.net.
Biotechnology and biosafety in Guatemala and Honduras: in Honduras, cooperation from IICA facilitated a review of the biosafety regulatory framework and the drafting of proposals for the use of living modified organisms. In Guatemala, 24 government spokespersons and members of the press crops received training in biotechnology and biosafety.
Improved handling of breeding material in the Caribbean Region: as part of the EU-funded Agriculture Policy Programme, IICA worked with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) to improve germplasm management facilities in eight countries and animal reproduction facilities in three. These actions facilitated wider distribution of materials throughout the Caribbean.
Integrated risk management plans: with cooperation from IICA, several countries were able to enhance their capabilities for the design and participatory management of public policies and strategies for the integrated management of health risks associated with climate change. Cases in point are the national plan formulated in Costa Rica to handle emergencies in the poultry and hog sectors, the Action Plan of Brazil’s Animal Welfare Commission, and the preparation of a manual on the implementation of good crop and livestock production practices for resilient agriculture, which has already been used by 389 technical officers in ten countries.
Water harvesting in El Salvador: The National Council on Environmental Sustainability and Vulnerability (CONASAV) received horizontal cooperation to harvest and collect water using reservoirs and roofs, as is done in the Paraguayan Chaco region. Use of fertilizing irrigation system was also promoted among Salvadoran producers, who were able to reduce their water consumption.
Water management strategies in Venezuela: In the Agua Negra community, 300 horticultural producers are implementing a comprehensive water management strategy that was designed in a participatory manner by the mayor’s office of the Jiménez municipality, the Ministry of Popular Power for Ecosocialism and Water, and IICA. A total of 320 stakeholders from the Lara, Mérida and Trujillo states strengthened their capabilities in water conservation and harvesting, irrigation systems and watershed management.
Restoration of degraded soils: In the Caribbean, IICA validated a regional training module on management of degraded soils, which included the participation of 40 extension workers from Haiti, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname and Guyana. The Institute also held virtual forums in which 1,383 participants interacted, and offered several courses taught by specialists in soil management and efficient water use, enabling 575 participants to strengthen their capacities in those topics.
Sustainable soil use in Antigua and Barbuda: Public and private sector authorities responsible for soil management improved their technical capabilities related to climate change adaptation in agriculture. Soil samples were sent to the United States for analysis.
Efficient water use in production: Two studies and two virtual courses on the water footprint methodology, which benefited over 3,000 persons in 28 countries, allowed for promoting the use of indicators to assess the quality and quantity of water used in agriculture
Development of tools for digitally analyzing soils: IICA member countries now have access to instruments that facilitate the operation of national soil information systems, data digitalization, the prioritization of actions and the creation of strategies for sustainable soil and water management. These instruments include a digital soil map for Costa Rica, a document on good practices for the preparation of digital soil maps, and procedures for the creation of water erosion maps.
Agricultural planning and climate change: Over 60 institutions in IICA member countries are now better able to develop plans for climate change adaptation in agriculture, thanks to the participation of 450 technical specialists in training sessions on integrating climate change adaptation into agricultural planning processes. Most notably, 13 technical specialists from Chile, Argentina and Paraguay enabled those countries to validate the integration methodology and define follow-up actions that involve extension services.
Agriculture and Climate Platform: : Under the leadership of CAC, authorities in Central American countries were informed in a timely manner of the outlook for climate, the evolution of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and other topics, such as climate change, climatic variability and risk management.
Risk maps: National strategies for the preparation and use of ago-climatic risk maps were developed in Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay and made available to ministry of agriculture departments responsible for this topic. Additionally, in Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and Guyana, 60 officers from public entities, including the ministries of agriculture, as well as private entities, received training in the creation and use of disaster risk maps as well as communication of those risks.
Platform for discussing climate-smart agriculture: For the third year in a row, the Caribbean Forum on Climate-Smart Agriculture was held, allowing 150 Caribbean technical specialists to share information on the Paris Agreement, nationally determined contributions of Caribbean countries, access to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), integrated management of water resources, and success stories related to resilient agricultural systems in the region. The forum succeeded in attracting new partners, such as the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the embassies of Mexico and Morocco in Saint Lucia. The forum also facilitated the creation of an inventory of policies and actions related to climate change in the Caribbean.
Community of Practice on Climate Change Adaptation in Mesoamerican Agriculture: With support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), this virtual platform led by IICA increased the sharing of information on climate change adaptation in agriculture. A total of 667 users registered on the platform, six seminars with an average of 100 participants were organized, and a specialized library was made available to users.
Ago-meteorological network for Costa Rican sugar: IICA assisted the Sugar Cane Industry Association (LAICA) in setting up an agro-meteorological network, which provides sugarcane producers with new criteria that enables them to become more resilient.
Knowledge management related to agricultural risks and insurance: The establishment of the Risk Management and Agricultural Insurance Observatory of the Americas, an effort undertaken together with the Latin American Association for the Development of Agricultural Insurance (ALASA) and the Inter-American Federation of Insurance Companies (FIDES), has allowed for collecting, analyzing and disseminating relevant information, instruments and indicators related to management of agricultural risks. Additionally, 150 professionals from 15 LAC countries received training through a long-distance course on risk management and agricultural insurance, which included the participation of ALASA, the National University of the Littoral (UNL) of Argentina, the Research Center for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks (CEIGRAM) of Spain, the Study Group on Insurance and Risks (GESER) of the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil, the National University (UNAL) of Colombia and the World Bank, among other organizations.
Intensive climate change training program: Over 4,000 professionals from public and private institutions, and producers from 29 countries, increased their knowledge of the development and implementation of climate change adaptation plans, good livestock practices for addressing climate change, management and restoration of organic material in soils, water management, biogas use and production, efficient use of water and soil resources at a small scale, greenhouses, irrigation and fertilizing irrigations systems, and compost production and use, among other topics.
Use of bio-inputs in the production of raw materials: In Ecuador, technical specialists of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIAP) and the Ecuadorian Agency for Quality Assurance in Agriculture (AGROCALIDAD) received training in methodologies for the use of bio-inputs, in order to utilize wastes to produce raw materials.
Germplasm exchange and preservation of agro-biodiversity: Within the framework of the Genetic Resources Network of the Cooperative Program for Agricultural Research, Development and Innovation in the South American Tropics (PROCITROPICOS), program members, personnel from various institutions and stakeholders from countries in that region were trained in plant germplasm use and exchange, as a way of fostering the sustainable preservation of agro-biodiversity. Specifically, the Latin American Network for the Implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (LANIIT), an initiative led by FAO and IICA and implemented in Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to improve food security, contributed to increasing knowledge of new strategies for utilizing and exchanging plant germplasm, with the aim of sustainably preserving agro-biodiversity.
Global climate change discussions: IICA continued its participation in four global initiatives on climate change within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): the Technology Executive Committee, the NAP Expo (Bonn, Germany), COP22 (Morocco) and the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA). The latter event provided an opportunity for IICA member countries to share the problems they face as a result of climate change as well as their outlook on this topic, and also increased IICA’s visibility, in order to take better advantage of technical and financial opportunities in this area.