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IICA Forum Examines Agriculture-Environment Synergies in the Face of Climate Change

15 November 2012: The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) recently held a technical forum discussing five case studies from Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries on climate change and agriculture.

The forum was held at IICA headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica, but was also webcast so that officials and experts throughout the hemisphere could benefit from the discussion.

The case studies are from a project in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay to promote cooperation and synergies between Agriculture and Environment Ministries to reduce the vulnerability of the agricultural sector to climate change while promoting both adaptation and mitigation. The project is financed by IICA's Competitive Fund for Technical Cooperation (FonTC).

During the forum, an official from Uruguay's Agriculture Ministry (MGAP) described a project working with livestock producers and small farmers to protect forest cover and proper use of pasture lands as a means of carbon sequestration. An official from Costa Rica's Agriculture Ministry (MAG) discussed MAG's work with the coffee sector to prepare nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs).

A researcher from the Dominican Republic's Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC) explained how Dominican universities are working with multiple ministries on measures to reduce the agricultural sector's vulnerability to climate change. Citing a project in Yaque del Norte river basin, she explained that: the Environment Ministry is creating a payment for environmental services (PES) system for water; the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology is designing the water rate system; and the Agriculture Ministry monitors agro-ecosystem management in the region.

An official of Mexico's National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), which works with small communities in places such as the state of Chiapas, underscored the importance of integrating communities in agricultural mitigation and adaptation strategies. An official of Ecuador's Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries Ministry (MAGP) described its project with the Housing Ministry to promote family food production through "agro-ecological kitchens," which alos aims to contribute to greenhouse gas (GGHG) mitigation. [IICA Press Release]