Scaling up climate resilient water management practices for vulnerable communities in La Mojana, Colombia

UNDP Colombia
Publié: 12 novembre 2021
Dernière modification: 21 février 2023
remove_red_eye 2408 Vues


Intense flooding and prolonged dry seasons due to shifts in precipitation patterns have caused significant impacts to the population in the La Mojana region with climate projections expecting these to become more frequent and intense. Impacts include loss of crops, changes to ecosystems and their capacity to provide water management services and adverse impacts from longer dry periods. These impacts provide additional pressures to overstressed water sources, affecting both supply and quality. The solution presented adopts a long-term climate change risk informed disaster risk reduction strategy for drought and flooding. It is based not solely on water supply infrastructure but also on restoring ecosystem services for adapted regional water management and enhancing the capacity for climate resilient and ecosystem compatible rural livelihoods with an impact on household food and water security.


Amérique du Sud
Ampleur de la mise en œuvre
Terres cultivées
Zones humide (marécage, marais, tourbière)
Écosystème agricole
Écosystèmes d'eau douce
Acteurs locaux
Adaptation au changement climatique
Connaissances traditionnelles
Distribution d'eau et gestion des ressources en eau
Gestion des inondations et des incendies
Moyens d'existence durables
Réduction des risques de catastrophes
Services écosystèmiques
Gestion des risques urbains et de catastrophes
Resilience and disaster risk management
Hausse des températures
Utilisations conflictuelles / impacts cumulatifs
Perte de l'écosystème
Manque de capacités techniques
Manque de sensibilisation du public et des décideurs
Manque de sécurité alimentaire
Objectifs de développement durable
ODD 2 - Faim "zéro"
ODD 5 - Égalité entre les sexes
ODD 6 - Eau propre et assainissement
ODD 13 - Mesures relatives à la lutte contre les changements climatiques
Objectifs d’Aichi
Objectif 1: Sensibilisation accrue de la biodiversité
Objectif 2: Valeurs de la biodiversité intégrées
Objectif 4: Production et consommation durables
Objectif 7: Agriculture, aquaculture et sylviculture durable
Objectif 10: Ecosystèmes vulnérables au changement climatique
Objectif 14: Services des écosystèmes
Objectif 15: Restauration et la résilience des écosystèmes
Objectif 18: Connaissances traditionnelles
Cadre de Sendai
2: Réduire nettement, d’ici à 2030, le nombre de personnes touchées par des catastrophes.
3: Réduire, d’ici à 2030, les pertes économiques directes dues aux catastrophes en proportion du produit intérieur brut (PIB).
5: Augmenter nettement, d’ici à 2020, le nombre de pays dotés de stratégies nationales et locales de réduction des risques de catastrophe.
7: Améliorer nettement, d’ici à 2030, l’accès des populations aux dispositifs d’alerte rapide multirisque et aux informations et évaluations relatives aux risques de catastrophe.
Approches pour l’engagement des entreprises
Engagement direct avec des associations


Ayapel, Córdoba, Colombia | Municipalities of Ayapel, San Marcos, Caimito, Sen Benito Abad, Sucre, Majagual, Guaranda, San Jacinto del Cauca, Nechi, Aichi, Magangue


Climate projections state that most of La Mojana will see a reduction of total precipitation levels coupled with higher temperatures. Data shows that average dry periods (days with no rain) could be extended by 12-30 days.


La Mojana is extremely vulnerable to climate variability and highly sensitive to the impacts of floods and extended dry periods that have resulted in crop loss. Unsustainable agricultural activity affects the natural water flow dynamics in the region’s wetland ecosystem that provides services in the form of natural flood protection, water and sediment purification and water supply as well as their economic value through agroproductive use.


Climate change has increased the community’s reliance on these services as water has become scarcer due to prolonged dry periods that have overtaxed the existing water infrastructure. On the other hand, flooding will become more frequent, increasing the need for the wetlands to act as a buffer.


203, 918 people benefit directly through increased water supply, food security and enhanced livelihoods. Indirect beneficiaries include 201, 707 people benefiting from early warning alerts. A special focus was laid on women and indigenous populations.

Comment les blocs constitutifs interagissent-ils entre eux dans la solution?

The building blocks address not only barriers but work throughout the key inputs for water management including information on the aquifer’s capacity for infiltration (building block 1), providing access to water supply (building block 2), adjusting agricultural production in line with climate projections in terms of drought (building block 4 and 5) and by restoring a main source of water management which is the wetland ecosystem itself (building block 3). More importantly it does so by empowering communities and local organizations for long term project sustainability. This is provided not only by access to improved climate information systems but also in capacity on how to use them for correct planning at various levels (local planning and productivity).


This allows the project to enhance resilience by working with the ecosystem (rather than against it) to manage climate impacts. This is an important departure from past risk approach mechanisms introduced in the region that looked to contain flooding rather than manage it as part of the region’s natural hydrological process. The work with community livelihoods has in a sense allowed communities to rescue traditional livelihoods that had been lost.


The project funded by the Green Climate Fund has already and will develop further impacts from its community and ecosystem-based approach to adaptation. To date the project has enhanced the capacities for local forecasting while providing climate information through agro alerts and bulletins. It has worked with indigenous communities to develop a rural extension training module with the support of indigenous universities. Project investments have provided  gardening kits and capacity training to establish agrodiverse home gardens and rain water harvesting systems while enhancing the water management capacity and institutional strengthening of local water boards. These initial investments allowed communities to better manage the COVID pandemic as well as recent flooding events.


Ultimately 40, 000 ha of wetlands will be restored through the productive landscape approach while 203, 918 people will benefit directly from this intervention through increased water supply access, food security and enhanced livelihoods. 201, 707 people will be indirectly benefited through early warning alerts. Impacts will include economic opportunities for people residing in the restoration areas through adapted livelihoods options and practices; locally appropriate research on adaptive productive techniques in the face of climate change for medium and small (household) producers.


UNDP Colombia

Luz Mary Ordoñez did not know what to expect when she learned about the Government of Colombia’s measures to deal with the COVID-19 crisis in a newscast. She was struck by the fear of uncertainty. This isn’t something new for Luz Mary. She has experienced this many times before. For many communities like Las Palmas, where Luz Mary lives, the future has been uncertain for years going from extreme flooding to profound water crisis as a result of extreme events. 


One of the strategies promoted by the project is the implementation of biodiverse agroecosystems to mitigate climate change in this region. The biodiverse agroecosystem approach integrates varied and sustainable crop use and incorporates risk management in the face of adverse climatic events, aiming to guarantee food supply for families throughout the year. Today, agroecosystem approaches adapted to the changing climate are reducing the impacts of COVID-19 on the communities of La Mojana. 


Thanks to the climate-resilient farming practices and enhanced production, they will have healthy and nutritious food for the coming months, along with extra emergency funds from surplus produce sold in local markets. These supports will also help protect these communities from the shocks of increasingly intense storms and floods. This way, when other crises hit, the families of La Mojana will not be forced to migrate or to lose their farms and their livelihoods.


“Through the project I have learned many things. One is how to take care of the agroecosystem. This has impacted my life, and thanks to this I have rediscovered my love for nature. Today we received the materials and supplies, and most of us did not know what to do during this quarantine, but now we are going to take advantage of the time since we are at home and working in the community agroecosystem to prepare for winter.   This helps us a lot and keeps the family united. We will plant our vegetables and crops, in addition to using the water tank that we need so much during this drought, and we are deeply committed to going forward and getting through this.”


Full story:

Contribué par

Portrait de montserrat.xilotl_41296

Montserrat Xilotl United Nations Development Programme

Autres contributeurs

UNDP Colombia