Resilient Andes: A cross-sector dynamic to strengthen adaptation to climate change in Bolivia

The Deputy-Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, the Executive Director of the Pluri-national Authority of Mother Earth and regional representatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) attended the creation of the National Technical Committee of the Andes Resilient to Climate Change project in Bolivia, which will start work by drafting an agreed action plan for enabling vulnerable Andean family farming communities to adapt to climate change.

Climate change in the tropical Andes not only causes glacier retreat and climate events, but also threatens agricultural production due to water shortages, affects food security and leads to poverty and hunger for many communities.

On 9 October, the government set up the National Technical Committee of the “Regional Andes Resilient to Climate Change Project”, promoted by SDC’s Global Programme on Climate Change and Environment and facilitated by the HELVETAS – Avina Foundation consortium.

The Committee is composed of the Pluri-national Authority of Mother Earth (APMT), the Ministry of the Environment and Water (MMAyA), the Ministry of Rural Development and Land (MDRyT) and the Ministry of Development Planning (MPD). Their representatives reaffirmed their will and commitment to work together to guide policies and actions for assisting the climate resilience of the country’s vulnerable rural Andean communities and their livelihoods, to improve their food and water security.

The meeting approved the Committee’s regulations, the guidelines for the Action Plan of the Resilient Andes project in Bolivia moving forward, and the Operational Plan for the last quarter of 2020. These three documents are the result of dialogue, consultation and participatory formulation in over 10 meetings and workshops held since July 2020, mainly with the directors of the MPD, MMAyA, APMT and MDRyT, which laid the plans for an innovative working model for which joint action will be key.

The event was also attended by Juan Pablo de la Fuente, Deputy-Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of the MMAyA, Gisela Ulloa, Executive Director of the APMT, and Rolando Mercado, advisor to the Deputy-Minister of Rural Development and Land. They stressed the importance of working across agencies to strengthen climate change adaptation measures, because glacier retreat and climate phenomena are not its only effects in the tropical Andes; it also threatens agricultural production due to water shortages, affecting food security and dragging many communities into poverty.

“Nature has no borders. The APMT appreciates that the project will let us connect with the Andes and benefit them beyond Bolivia’s borders. We believe that if we work together the effects will be more positive and sustainable,” said Leandra Díaz, Director of the Adaptation Mechanism of the Pluri-national Authority of Mother Earth, and coordinator of the National Technical Committee of the Resilient Andes. 

Martin Jaggi, Head of Swiss Cooperation in the Andes, stressed that the ‘Andes Resilientes’ project will strengthen and accompany Bolivia’s policies to date on adaptation to climate change, because the project brings to these policies a three-pronged approach linked to agriculture, climate management and poverty.

Contact Information

María Rene Pinto | Líder Técnico Nacional en Bolivia del Proyecto Regional Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático

Tel: +(591) 69831606| maria.pinto@helvetas.org

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