The Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program

Adapting to Change in the Andean Highlands:

Practices and Strategies to Address Climate and Market Risks in Vulnerable Agro-ecosystems


Transitioning to Climate Resilient Development

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Climate, economic and social changes are threatening Andean small holder production systems. This research explores ways to increase the resiliency of these social-ecosystems by working with farmers to increase their capacity to adapt to change and build resilient livelihood systems. Team researchers and farmers in peasant communities develop a common understanding of the factors leading to increased vulnerability and less diversity in these systems. The project is a research and development collaboration between rural communities in the Altiplano and high valleys of Bolivia and Peru, universities and non governmental organizations in the region and the US, and institutions that formulate policy. It will strengthen the capacity of these communities and institutions to conduct research and to develop strategies to adapt to change, to reduce vulnerability and enhance biodiversity of their agro-ecosystems. A common understanding of how livelihood strategies develop in response to risks will create new knowledge aimed at increasing the ability of people and their environment to recover from shocks and stresses. Specific interventions envisioned include in situ conservation of cultivars and native plants, new markets for traditional crops, introduction of technologies and varieties to mitigate weather related risks, and the development of strategies to enhance soil organic matter.

Our Goal is to achieve food security and biodiversity in vulnerable rural communities of Andean Agro-ecosystems by building capacities and capabilities to adapt to change. This project develops knowledge, practices and strategies to build resilient livelihoods and ecosystems, in response to changes in climate, markets and socio political conditions. We will like to identify and/or develop knowledge and practices that contribute to simultanously reduce vulnerability through production and income generating opportunities, while valuing biodiversity, and building the natural capital. Inform decisions to support strategies that build resilient livelihoods, and enhance capabilities to adapt to market and climate driven changes.