Adaptation in the Bío Bío region: natural and local solutions strategies to face the climate change
The implementation of the project of the UICN, Ecosystems for the Protection of Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) is on progress in Chile. Get to know the results of the Analysis of Capacity and Climatic Vulnerability, which was carried out in early September.
Throughout their history, the mountain communities had to adapt to changeable conditions; variations not only in their ecosystems, but also in their socio cultural, political and economic capacities. Therefore, they have developed strategies to improve their livelihood and to revise their visions and priorities.
On the basis of this endogenous potential of innovation, UICN has facilitated a space of learning between different actors in order to identify and to promote nature based solutions that strengthens the communities’ resilience in the Biosphere Reserve of the Biological Corridor Chillán's “Nevados de Chillán” – Laja Lagoon, Bío Bío Region in Chile.
From 2 to 6 September a workshop was held by local and external actors, under the approach of Support to Local Innovations (AIL) based on the interactive and shared learning and that relies on communication and exchange of experiences between multiple participants with different perceptions as fundamental elements. During the workshop AIL's tool was combined with the methodology of Climate vulnerability capacity analysis CARE's (CVCA), which framework offers to analyze the vulnerability to the climate change and the effective adaptation capacity at the community level.
The climatic vulnerabilities identified by the participants were:
i) the drought and its impact in the tourism,
ii) the forest fires and its impact in the forest biodiversity,
iii) the drought and its impact in the energetic infrastructure.
- To tackle them the following innovations came up:
- To make up a water users' committee that helps to regulate the sustainable use of the resource and to promote actions for its conservation.
- To promote the sustainable management of the native forests.
- To shape an agency or corporation to promote the ecotourism and the conservation of the Biosphere Reserve.
- To promote the sustainable energy consumption across rational systems of lighting, environmental friendly architectural designs and the sustainable use of the fuel wood, among others.
The Regional Ministry Secretariat of the region of the Bio bío - Marianne Hermanns - (Environmental Department), guarantees that the study of the consequences on the forest by minimizing the avalanches’ impacts in the analysis were followed by important topics such as: the suitable use of the water, the care and the subsistence of the native forest and the renewable energies, which made a part of the “Plan de Manejo de la Reserva” – a Reserve management plan in process of consolidation - and that is vital for its good care and conservation.
Radhika Murti of UICN declares - “The evaluation of the vulnerability helps the communities to identify and gather information about the changes that they observe in the climate and to define their own capacities to tackle with the challenge of the climate change adaptation. Before considering other strategies that can work in any different places, it is preferably to use the approach with local innovations due to specific conditions in the local context, this nature based solution works better than any other one”.
The participants’ melting of knowledge, in a mutual confidence ambiance, resulted in:
i) to raise awareness on the present and future climate change and the risks of it; ii) to be aware of the existing solutions by local innovations related to the production, as well as with institutional, cultural or economic topics that can be used for the adaptation to the climate change; iii) participants improve the ability to communicate among the different actors; iv) to open a new range of cooperation that allows to promote actions for the climate change adaptation from different areas.
Macarena Sperry Miranda, of the organization Vida Verde, highlighted the aptitude to bring together all the actors of the “Reserve” around a topic as the workshop main goal, “since these opportunities are shorter, it turned out to be valuable to know each other and to open a new discussion ". Another important outcome, on her point of view, is the suggestion to create a new Corporation of Biosphere Reserve, which will include all the actors interested in the conservation and the sustainable development of the above mentioned region.
Accordingly, Radhika Murti confirms that it is important that the UICN supports the actors facilitating the process to bring them together and updating them regularly, so that they can benefit from each other’s experiences. “Their commitment and take over in the implementation of the four main solutions for the adaptation is predictable, since these were identified and agreed by all ", Murti emphasized.
For the Regional Ministry Secretariat of the Bío Bío of the Environment Department the assessment of the workshop was positive. “The methodology permitted to generate a good environment of work and a network of contacts that was very necessary ".
EPIC stimulated the joint discussion of local and external actors on the sustainable management of natural resources, the climate change, the natural and different hazards. The topic of the avalanches was included in a more wide category, where the risks induced by the strong snowfalls as the isolation and the damages to the infrastructure were assembled.