Delft, The Netherlands, 20 Apr 2022

Climate adaptation for coastal zones in Colombia

Colombian authorities have selected 12 projects with potential to help three maritime deltas in the country adapt to climate change and increase resilience, following a needs analysis conducted by Dutch and Colombian experts as part of an IHE Delft-led project.

Experts from the two countries worked together in the ProCAD project to identify adaptation projects in the Magdalena and Sinu delta at the Atlantic coast, and the Patia delta at the Pacific coast.

The project, led by Leonardo Alfonso, Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics at IHE Delft, analysed 31 climate adaptation project proposals developed by national, regional and local organizations and recommended the most suitable to Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (Minambiente).

Ultimately, the experts shortlisted 12 projects, including those that reduce risk, for example by mitigating flood risk in municipalities next to the Magdalena River, and projects that develop  capacity and climate change adaptation, such as studies for climate-resilient and sustainable development in the department of Narino.

The ProCAD project, which concluded in January 2022, also identified possible sources that could finance the shortlisted projects, and developed a roadmap for further cooperation.

“The partnership assisted Colombia by supporting the Ministry in collecting, analysing and short-listing projects that have been proposed by different entities in the past years but had been overlooked due to a lack of capacity to process this information,” said Alfonso. “The selected projects target pressing challenges such as climate adaptation, risk reduction and capacity development in deprived coastal areas.”

The experts involved in the project found that most of the capacity gaps were related to human and institutional capacity. They noted that there is a need to expand technical knowledge on natural resources and river basins, as well as on climate change-related challenges such as sea-level rise. Other gaps were  related to urban planning and management of natural resources.

The local stakeholders involved in the project plan to set up Communities of Practice to share knowledge and  lessons learned.

“This is a good beginning, but project findings also indicate a need to improve the interaction between different stakeholders such as local administrations, academia, communities, the private sector and social organisations,” Alfonso said. “Stakeholders’  involvement during process planning and the development of action plans could also be improved.”  

The ProCAD project was financed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).



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