World Bank Provides Update on Indigenous Community Climate Change Planning Project

World Bank29 November 2012: The World Bank has provided an update of a Bank-supported project in Colombia that assists indigenous communities in the Putumayo Department plan for adaptation to climate change. The project won a small grant in 2009 during the Bank's annual "Development Marketplace" competition.

The project sought to combine community organization and participation, traditional knowledge and modern technology to survey and inventory natural systems within their territories and prepare adaptation plans tailored to their traditions and taking into account their need to fish, hunt, plant food crops and drink clean water. The indigenous communities formed their own working groups and performed most of the documentation work on foot after attending workshops to sensitize them to the importance of planning for climate change adaptation, and being equipped and trained in the use of GPS devices, basic cartography and the use of satellite images.

As a result of this work, the indigenous groups produced plant species registries and 44 maps that mark where various flora and fauna can be found and where indigenous people hunt. These in turn formed the core data for plans formulated by the communities. The communities have presented their plans in a workshop organized by the World Bank and attended by representatives of Colombia's Environment Ministry, and are now seeking support for the implementation phase. [World Bank Press Release]