Adaptation, risk management and land use planning at the local level

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  1. Adaptation actions that address land use planning processes should consider simultaneously four interconnected elements : a) the population, their rights and actions in land use, b) the conditions of the territory in the process of transformation and spatial configuration, c) climate hazards and impacts of climate variability on the territory, and d) decisions and collective agreements that are established under the assumption of raising living standards and ensure local developments
  2. It is essential to support adaptation strategies and planning in the various existing communities as it can help maintain their way of life, culture and traditional knowledge (the indigenous guard, seed custodians. These networks transmit knowledge from generation to generation ancestral knowledge, especially on local responses to extreme events (winter and summer) and are spaces for thinking and collective reflection plan local responses to the new challenges imposed climate changes.
  3. Climate production centers, using complex analysis of historical and sophisticated models, predictions of climate behavior: daily, weekly, quarterly, are difficult to understand for ordinary urban citizens. Achieving this knowledge that will be useful to local communities requires an effort of "translation" by pedagogical designs and appropriate teaching materials, to facilitate dialogue between the technical knowledge of the meteorological service and knowing the community and developers identifying climate is changing, how to record changes (community perception and weather reports) and what are the impacts on the territory.
  4. The hydrological modeling exercise of selected watersheds to project future vulnerability held in account the great importance of water resources in the process of adaptation; however, when the models are used in decision-making, it is important that the modeler is in control of the scope and treatment of the information used in the hope of avoiding errors and unreliable results.
  5. Results on risk scenarios are subject to uncertainty of hydrometeorological information used to climate projections made and the rainfall-runoff model used, however these results can be used in local planning, taking into account the current dynamics of the territory.
  6. To achieve strong commitment and active involvement by government agencies with a strong emphasis on community processes requires a clear definition of institutional participation strategy that articulates interests, build bridges with communities and non-governmental actors, through actions that contribute to strengthen governance and legitimacy of those involved in the process.

Purpose of the activity

To increase responsiveness of local stakeholders to reduce the risks associated with impacts of climate variability and incorporate adaptation processes and tools and risk management in the land scheme.

Original issue addressed by the activity

Initially in the program there was not available documentation related to risk management, but a more exhaustive search led to the discovery the "Record municipal and action plan for incorporating risk in land scheme" prepared by the Ministry of Environment in 2007. This document identified large gaps and defined the basic steps in this topic. Similarly MAVDT, a city guide for incorporating risk in the EOT available since 2005, was taken as a reference for the program.

Subsequently, during the execution of this component, the program found that five schools had made their plans for prevention and emergency care in 2008, but received support for its implementation, therefore we chose to support the central aspects thereof with the support of.

Strategy chosen to address the issue

Chosen from the results of the vulnerability analysis and the overall design of the transition path for adaptation "Water and safe food in a healthy territory", a search raised points between risk management and adaptation to climate change; the results could be carried through territorial planning instruments (land management scheme, plan risk management and early warning systems).

Maintaining knowledge dialogue strategy and "learning by doing" risk analysis, was performed in the Puracé Township. It was screened for the gathering of information about events related to hydroclimatic threats, both in frequency and intensity, the exposed elements and the identification of the population vulnerable to these impacts. On the other hand it deepened on the emergence of new product of changing climate risks, especially those related to water shortages and production losses in excess crops or water deficit.

It sought in a participatory manner, with institutions and communities , developed actions that will increase the current and future responsiveness to withstand medium-term adaptive strategies, are proposed advancing simultaneously to incorporate adaptive approach in land management plans and risk management in the Puracé Township, articulating the results went parallel with the extent of achieving adaptive management of the territory.

Implementation of the strategy / approach chosen

  1. Adjust the methodological guide setting incorporating elements of MAVDT facilitated the inclusion of threats associated with climate variability, mainly the Pacific phenomenon in stages warm and cold (known as El Niño and La Niña).
  2. Developing a methodology for conducting scenario study of Puracé Township risks that simultaneously facilitate the participation of indigenous councils, local communities and support institutions in the process as INGEOMINAS and IDEAM, which not only provided relevant information and analysis, but also how the process were guarantors.
  3. Creating a team of community advocates and local capitation tools of geographic information systems for risk assessment and for relevant territorial analysis in the process.
  4. Sharing experiences with Paez municipal of institutional and community level, collecting the best practices and lessons learned on risk management. Reflection held with delegates from the Indian guard slips Paletará, Puracé and Kokonuco.
  5. Gathering of information related to events in the territory (mud slides, flash floods and land cover), identification of items exposed and vulnerable people, building a database compatible with the systems of prevention and emergency care.
  6. Socialization of maps and analyze information through participatory councils, indigenous guards, municipal administration and technical institutions accompanying the process.
  7. Consolidation of risk results and recommendation to the planning and zoning and in the Puracé Township with specific analysis of results for each shelter. Socialization with councils, local indigenous guard and administration.
  8. Partnership with the Colombian Red Cross - Sectional CLOPAD Cauca to strengthen and improve the responsiveness of indigenous councils in the PC area.
  9. alliance with the University of Florence (Italy) and the Stones River Foundation for training / action builders and promoters of risks in the design and construction of engineering works to control naturalistic landslides.

Results and Impacts

Describe any results and/or impacts achieved, positive or negative.


What kind of supporting sources are available which attest to the lesson learned? Such evidence can be quantitative or qualitative, and come from a variety of sources, e.g. evaluation findings, program participants’ experiences, expert opinion, etc. Consider the question: what is the evidence that the lesson was actually "learnt"?

Next Steps

  • Starting the project "System of agroclimatic alerts for Stones River Basin and the Indian Reserves Puracé. Paletará and Kokonuco" together between IDEAM, Rio Piedras Foundation and the Association of Councils Genaro Sanchez.
  • Strengthen links between the Colombian Red Cross and the new administration in the Puracé Township, as well as maintaining the proper and timely early warning system.
  • Facilitate participation of community stakeholders who participated in the works of bioengineering at the graduate will be done with the support of UNDP networks project, to strengthen the knowledge and learning.
  • On behalf of the councils are expected to perform maintenance works bioengineering to prevent deterioration and ensure stability.

Potential replication / application

Describe briefly the potential application of this lesson to programming beyond the original context. How can this experience be replicated by others? Is the lesson meaningful enough to guide practice in other contexts (e.g. nationally, regionally, etc.)? Who would likely be interested in this lesson and what kind of information/evidence would they like to see?

Information products

All processes described above are well documented:

  1. Susceptibility of threats, physical vulnerability and risk scenarios associated with the hydroclimatic threats of the Puracé Municipality, Cauca. November 2010.
  2. Municipal Plan risk management Puracé municipality, Cauca Department. November 2011.
  3. Strengthening local capacity for risk management, awareness and adaptation climate change on indigenous councils located in the Cauca River basin Colombian Massif. PC - Final Report, Colombian Red Cross, July 2011.
  4. Reduced risk sliding into the Cauca River basin development and pilot testing of a participatory vulnerability in the Mill River subbasin, town of Popayan, Cauca Department. PC - final report - University of Florence - Italy. Aug. 2011.
  5. Methodology for vulnerability analysis and risk analyzes in the upper basin of the Cauca River. PC - August 2011.


Where possible, please provide photographs or other images illustrating the story above or the success of the programme.

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