FCMC representatives host mayors' workshop in Huila, Colombia to discuss climate change mitigation and adaptation options

FCMC representatives host mayors' workshop in Huila, Colombia to discuss climate change mitigation and adaptation options
The workshops provided a forum to discuss these results with the mayors, and used them to think about possible mitigation and adaptation options. The workshops were also an opportunity to demonstrate the project’s latest advances, involve the mayors in the process, and assess their interest in implementing climate change actions.

The first workshop took place on November 26, 2013 at the auditorium of CAM, the Regional Environmental Authority, which is the public institution leading Huila 2050. CAM, the regional Fiscal Comptroller Indira Burbano and regional Attorney General for Environmental and Agricultural Matters Diego Vivas jointly hosted the event. Several presentations were made about climate change, its possible impacts in Huila, the role of municipalities, and the vulnerability assessment. Each of the mayors received a Municipal Vulnerability Factsheet for their municipality. Each factsheet explains the methodological framework of the vulnerability assessment, shows the vulnerability level of all municipalities in Huila, presents data for the municipality in question and grades the different components of vulnerability to climate change as well as the municipality’s overall vulnerability.

After the presentation, Claudia Martinez, Director of E3 (FCMC’s partner for Huila 2050), led an open discussion. Mayors (or their representatives) from 22 of the 37 municipalities in Huila attended this first workshop.

The second workshop took place on December 16, 2013 at an auditorium in the headquarters of the Regional Government of Huila. The Governor of Huila attended the event and spoke about the importance of working on climate change. The Governor also encouraged mayors to participate in the project and take action in their municipalities.

Both events demonstrated the challenge of working with municipalities to implement climate change related actions. Municipal leaders such as mayors have not benefited from consistent information about climate change or how they need to adapt their planning processes to address climate change challenges being discussed at the national level. At present there is no a requirement for mayors to integrate climate change into their planning efforts, and given limited time, human and financial resources they voiced concerns about their ability to do so at the present time. FCMC efforts to support Huila 2050, including outreach and information to the mayors, is a critical step in raising awareness about climate change and some of the actions to be considered on the municipal level.

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