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Friday, February 17, 2017

Drought, a recurring phenomenon

Drought and water scarcity have become recurring problems in Bolivia over the past decade, but the situation has been particularly alarming since 2015.

Due to its geography and terrain, the impacts of climate change in Bolivia are manifesting in the form of hotter and more frequent dry periods, rainy seasons that are shorter but more intense, and an increase in the occurrence of hailstorms and freezes. Degradation of natural resources exacerbates the impacts these climate-related changes are having.

According to FAO, to cope with the impacts of climate changes on agriculture and food security countries must make organizational and technological changes to water management that correspond to the needs of small farmers. Restoring local water cycles is particularly important area for action that is essential to ensuring that communities have access to adequate water resources.

The Green Climate fund is an international funding mechanism established at the 2010 UN Climate Conference that aims to support developing country efforts to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Countries can receive stand-alone grants for simpler projects like well or cistern construction, or loans for more complex projects like the large-scale irrigation systems, either directly from the fund or via accredited implementing agencies, such as FAO.

In the case of the Bolivia proposal, the funding would be challenged directly to that country’s national “Mi Riego” (My Irrigation) program.

The proposal is being developed by a working group comprised of FAO experts and officials from Bolivia’s Ministers for Development Planning and Environment and Water. The group was convened following President Morales request for FAO assistance made at the recently held summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

One of FAO’s key roles is to assist countries in their efforts to respond to climate change by providing technical assistance, information and data, and other tools to strengthen their adaptive capacities.

For many countries, acquiring the capacity to access and use international financing mechanism represents a critical first step towards greater resilience to climate change.

Courtesy: FAO

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