"Climate Change and Biodiversity in Latin America"

Internationales DAAD Alumniseminar 2. - 8. Oktober 2016, Universidad de Talca, Chile

in the framework of the ReCALL-Alumni-Program
"Biodiversity and Climate change: Adaptation strategies of Agriculture and Forestry in Central- and South America?"


The DAAD supported RECALL-workshop took place from 02.-08.10.2016 at the Universidad de Talca. 25 Alumni from Latin America participated at the workshop with the topic "Climate change and biodiversity in Latin America: How to meet the challenges of Agriculture and food security". The participants and some invited speaker from Talca and from the Georg-August-University Göttingen reported from science and from practical experience dealing with the topic.

The topic climate change and biodiversity was discussed from different points of view (See list of presentations below):
On the one hand we discussed the impacts and implications of climate change in Latin America. There was a report form a project dealing with risk perception of Chilean berry-producer, which strongly affects their decision whether or not to invest in drip-irrigation - a technique which allows efficient water use. However, the risk perception leads to a reluctance towards this investment. Some researcher reported from a water-efficiency project at the Universidad de Talca with the name "Interdisciplinary Research Program (PIEI) - Agriculture Adaptation to Climate Change".
There were some presentations on the impacts and implications of climate change on biodiversity. There was a report from a breeding project how to improve the cocoa-seed to climate change and what are the challenges from a biodiversity perspective.
Another important topic was the adaptation strategies in agriculture. There was e.g. a report from an environmentally friendly multi-cropping-system for the production of oil palms in the Peruvian Amazonas region. There was another report of the adaptation strategies of the coffee- and livestock-production in Costa Rica. The market-links of sustainable production systems was also discussed.
The topic of water was brought up by some workshop-participants from the Universidad de Austral de Valdivia. Universidad de Austral is cooperating closely with the DAAD supported study program "SPRING - Spatial Planning for Regions in Growing Economies Master of Science (M.Sc.)", which is a regional planning program. There were several participants from this program, who presented topics related to water, which accomplished the program from this point of view.

The presentations were overall on a very high level and very diverse, so that the different dimensions of the topic were represented well.
We visited the vinery Santa Cruz, where we could discuss the implications of climate change on the vine-production on the local level. The vinery has a specific strategy to cope with the challenges of changing precipitation in the region and they orient themselves towards a more sustainable production. The vinery connects vine-production with offers for tourists in the region, which can visit the vinery. On the vinery, there was a very detailed presentation of the specific production strategies. In 2015, the rainfall was unusual for the region, so water scarcity was a problem. The vinery has built some storage capacities for rainfall.

At the end of the workshop, there was a debate on the general conclusion. The participants suggested to stay in contact and intensify the collaboration within the Recall-network on specific questions across borders. There was also a lively debate, whether a workshop should have a more specific focus or if a broad focus is a good idea since many aspects of a topic can be discussed. However, the main feedback on the workshop was very positive and many participants highlighted the interdisciplinary character of the workshop as a positive experience.

Authors: Luis de los Santos & Sebastian Lakner

Climate change and biodiversity in Latin America: How to meet the challenges of agriculture and food security?

Day 1
101. Elke Pawelzik - Adaption strategies in food production to ensure nutrition security
102. Laura Meza - Biodiversity and family farming: Policy recommendations in a changing climate
103. Adrián Rodríguez - Bioeconomy: Challenges and opportunities for agroindustry and bioenergy in the face of climate change
104. Alejandra Engler - Overview Research Program A2C2
105. César Acevedo - Research Line 1: Spatial variability in agriculture
106. Samuel Ortega - Water use optimization to adapt agriculture to future scenarios of water scarcity
107. Alejandro del Pozo - Crop adaptation to climate change
108. Roberto Jara - Economics of climate change: A brief look of our research agenda
109. Olman Quirós - NAMA- Facilities: proposals in livestock and coffee sector for adaptation to climate change

Day 2
201.Hermine Vogel - Domestication studies of Aristotelia chilensis for commercial fruit production
202. Inga Smit - Insect pollination as a key factor for strawberry fruit physiology and quality
203. Eduardo Fuentes - Global warming impact on agricultural pests phenology: Codling moth and apple production in Chile
204. Jorge Cárcamo - The role of spatial patterns and producers? risk and ambiguity preferences on small-scale agricultural technology adoption
205. Sebastián Riera - Environmental efficiency of agricultural use of groundwater in Mendoza, Argentina
206. Luciana Castro - The water and land use systems in Santa Catarina State (Brazil): measures, challenges, and learned lessons
207. Gonzalo Aguirre - Land tenure managing at Sumaco Biosphere reserve in Ecuador
208. Guillerme Araujo - Bottled-coconut water production: an alternative for small-scale farmers to cope against economic effects of the climate change in Brazilian semiarid
209. Ayme Muzo - Oil palm in the Peruvian Amazon: Assessing cooperative business models
210. Citlalli Gonzalez-Hernandez - Innovation for sustainable farming and enhanced food supply chains in wetlands of Mexico City
211. Helmut Nieves - Cacao breeding and genetics in Colombia: Challenges and opportunities

Day 3
301. Sebastian Lakner - Technical efficiency of Chilean agribusiness: Competing on the world-market or the monopolists´ quiet life?
302. Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel - Trade costs for agricultural products
303. Carlos Huenchuleo - HortEco: Horticultural food systems in Chile and Uruguay
304. Rodrigo Arias - Effects of climate change on Chilean animal production systems - Missing
305. Soraya Russi - Adoption of agroforestry practices: Ex-ante evaluation of a silvopastoral systems project in Colombia
306. Jahir Anicama - Suri or Huacaya? Climate change adaptations of South American Camelids in Perú
307. Rigoberto Rodriguez - Rainwater harvesting as an adaptation measure to climate change and food security improvement in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
308. Gustavo Salvador - Value added wood products: A way to push afforestation in Patagonia and contribute to mitigate global warming
309. Elena Mejia - Smallholder forestry in Wester Amazon: Outcomes from forest reforms and emerging policy perspective.
310. Roberto Javier Jara - Minerals macronutrients demand variation on grasslands growing in lowlands of tierra del fuego, Magallanes
311. Gustavo Shiomi - Biodiversity and climate change: Adaptation strategies of agriculture and forestry in Central and South America?
312. Vladimir González - Wetland ecosystem services under climate change conditions in Costa Rica

Day 5
501. Aurelia Guasch - Conflict between the Mapuche Lafkenche peoples and forestry industry in the Arauco Province of Chile: Analysis and recommendations towards solutions
502. Salimul Alam Shahin - Introducing an appropriate financial support system to cope with post-disaster risks in agriculture: A study in North-eastern Hoar Region, Bangladesh
503. Jilan Hosni - The tragedy of urban transformation: Small cities between the past and present

Seminar goals and concept

The Agriculture and Forestry sectors need to continue providing food and raw materials for up to ten billion people within the coming decades. Production improvement, the use of new areas and the transformation of land use systems that have been introduced in recent decades led to an increase of food production in many parts of the world. This is often accompanied with environmental damages along the entire value-added chain, ranging from the deterioration of ecosystems and biodiversity, the release of greenhouse gases, to the pollution of air, water, and soil. Even now, the use of natural resources often exceeds the regenerative capacity of the systems. The livelihoods of people who depend on natural resources become less predictable and migration may be the result. Agricultural
production is therefore subject to a higher volatility in the product availability, which then affect the world-market prices and trading.
Biodiversity plays an important role for the functionality of agricultural (and forest) ecosystems and diverse ecosystem services. Therefore, the sustainable and resource efficient management of land-use systems is a growing challenge. However, in this context the arrangement of scientific-technical, economic, social, and environmental aspects is complex and integrating analyses are still rare. The synthesis of individual studies, meta-analyses and collaborative projects should remain part of research and teaching.

These challenges find more and more international political attention (as in conventions such as CBD and UNFCCC) and are broadly discussed. In increasing number of countries is developing own national strategies for the implementation of international agreements. In this context, an expansion and stronger networking of existing political institutions could promote the development of cross-sectoral adaptation strategies. Due to the increasing interdependence of nations concerning trade relations, positive effects could be supported by free trade zones, the connection of producers of functioning local, regional or national markets, and access to information. The development of transnational strategies would also be useful in regions facing similar climatic challenges, and coordinated actions would achieve a greater effect. Although there are many individual projects concerning adaptation strategies, exchange of best practice examples, transnational comparative studies in regions with similar loading conditions and the joint preparation of recommendations / guidelines for the implementation is becoming more and
more necessary. Dialogue forums as alumni networks and linking them to current university activities in teaching and research provide the opportunity for discussion and planning of transnational activities.

Key aspects of the Alumni seminar were:
- Food security in the context of climate change
- Water management as scarce resource in the Chilean fruit and vegetable production
- Ecosystem services: contemporary significance and potentials
- Sustainable use of natural resources
- Utilization of genetic diversity/ underutilized species- solutions in the Chilean seed industry
- Economic aspects and Agro-policy

The Alumni seminar aimed to facilitate networking between the participants and with scientists and international students. By means of presentations and discussion fora, visits of regional facilities and agricultural enterprises, alumni got in touch with institutions and organizations involved in the agricultural sector. The had furthermore the opportunity to develop and exchange ideas with renowned experts during the seminar.
The alumni seminar was hosted by the University of Talca and organized in cooperation with the Centre of Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use (CBL), Section of Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture and Forestry (SeTSAF), University of Göttingen. It is offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the costs will be mainly covered by funds from the DAAD provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).