FCMC representatives attend conference on sustainable agriculture and natural resource management

FCMC representatives attend conference on sustainable agriculture and natural resource management
As part of its support for low emissions development in Huila, Colombia, FCMC sponsored technical staff from the Huila 2050: Preparing for Climate Change project, as well as an official from Huila’s environmental authority (CAM), to attend the seventh Henry A. Wallace Conference hosted by the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Turrialba, Costa Rica.

On their website, CATIE describes the Wallace Conference as “a biannual event celebrated by CATIE since 2001. The Wallace Conferences focus on critical issues for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in the tropics to stimulate contact between CATIE community, its member countries, multiple partners, and other scientific and educational centers. The focus of this year’s seventh Wallace Conference was climate-smart territories.”

In line with the conference theme of climate-smart territories, the Huila 2050 project was selected to present accomplishments and results achieved since the project began in April, 2012. The main objective of the Huila 2050 project is to develop a climate change action plan for Huila that integrates mitigation and adaptation strategies and helps the Department of Huila transition into a climate-smart territory. Climate-smart territories are defined by CATIE as “socio-geographical spaces where the actors collaborate in the management of ecosystem services to equitably improve the wellbeing of local people, continuously optimizing agricultural and forest production as well as mitigation and adaptation to climate change”.

The Conference was a great opportunity for FCMC partners from Huila to learn about recent developments in creating climate-smart territories. It stimulated new ideas for the work in Huila and was a platform to form connections with people working on these issues around the world. It was also an important opportunity to communicate what is being done in Huila and to share lessons learned to date. A poster about the project was prepared and presented during a special session, explaining its background and importance, objectives, methodology, results, and a few early conclusions.

While at the conference, the team was able to meet with Bastian Louman, Director of Climate Change at CATIE and advisor to the project, and several experts from his team, who gave great ideas on the way forward on Huila’s climate change plan.

The event was organized in association with Biodiversity International, Ecoagriculture Partners, the French organization Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), The World Agroforestry Center, and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Presenters included Patrick Caron, General Director at CIRAD; Christine Negra, Director of Research at Ecoagriculture Partners; and Eva Muller, Director of the Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division at the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO. In addition, several representatives of Central American indigenous groups were invited to participate in a round table about territorial governance and climate change.

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