NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Adapting to Climate Change in Bolivian Andean Communities Depending on Tropical Glaciers [NDF C3 B2]

8.06.2013
The aim is to implement a participatory and differentiated strategy of adaptation to the effects of climate change in the Bolivian highlands, with emphasis on the retraction of glaciers in the Sajama National Park and the Mururata and Illimani glaciers.

Bolivia
Adapting to Climate Change in Bolivian Andean Communities Depending on Tropical Glaciers
Ref: NDF C3 B2

Nordic Partner: Diakonia (Sweden)
Local Partner: Agua Sustentable
Other Partner: n/a
Total Project Cost: EUR 865,812
NCF Financing: EUR 496,951
Agreement Signed: 18 November 2010
Project Type: Climate change adaptation
Duration: 31 months (completed)

Project Objective

To implement a participatory and differentiated strategy of adaptation to the effects of climate change in the highlands of Bolivia, with emphasis on the retraction of tropical glaciers in the Sajama National Park and the Mururata and Illimani glaciers having impact on the municipalities of Turco, Curahuara de Carangas and Palca.

Description 

Bolivian tropical glaciers are essential water resources in the Andes, acting as a buffer resource in the water cycle especially during the dry season. Rising temperatures due to climate change can lead to glaciers retreat negatively affecting downstream communities. The effects of the melting glaciers on the communities in the highlands are: reduced water availability, strong seasonal water deficit and impacts on farmers’ livelihood, which are likely to be gender differentiated. Two different glacier dependent Andean areas have been examined in the project to evaluate the vulnerability to climate stresses and climate change between and within the communities in the areas. The objective was to get a complete depiction of gender specific differences and similarities behind the increased or reduced vulnerability, and to identify the efficiency of already taken autonomous adaptation strategies in both areas.

The project’s main results include: i) development of a cross-cutting multidisciplinary knowledge base determining the differentiated vulnerability and resilience of men, women and children in the glacier dependent communities, especially related to water use and availability; ii) participatory Adaptation Plans for both areas; and iii) formulation and dissemination of a Framework for Differentiated Vulnerability Evaluation and Adaptation Actions for the two areas. The project activities reached, through participation of the four target communities in the studies and 18 pilot projects related to water resources, some 7,500 people directly and 23,000 indirectly.

Relevance for Climate Change

Trends, forecasts and scenario analysis suggest that climate-related pressures have increased and will continue to increase in the Andes due to climate change, and therefore there is an urgent need for adaptation plans and strategies to deal with expected climate change impacts. Glaciers in the Andean highlands have lost more than 20% of their volume in the past 30 years, which is critical for major cities like La Paz and Quito since they derive significant parts of their annual water supply from glacier melt.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The project has combined  natural science, local knowledge, social participation, social science and public policy including research, Adaptation Plans, pilot and full scale projects, elaboration of an Evaluation Framework, and advocacy and dissemination, makes the project innovative. Furthermore, the differentiated approach, analysing the areas separately and individually, is also innovative. The project has enhanced knowledge transfer as the lessons learnt and the knowledge gained have been used to create climate change adaptation strategies and policies in the country, and to replicate and scale up this type of project in other Andean areas.

For more information

Diakonia
Agua Sustentable
Agua Sustentable Cambio Climatico (video)