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Final Report. FP7 project 283163. Ecosystem-based strategies and innovations in water governance networks for adaptation to climate change in Latin American Landscapes.

Leclerc G. (ed.). 2016. s.l. : Projet Eco Adapt, 73 p..

International debates on climate change have been arguing the need to foster adaptation planning in Latin America where impacts are expected to be more significant given the vulnerable socio-economic context and reliance on natural resources. However little progress has been made both at national and at community level due to the complexity of adaptation planning in these countries, and due to the difficulty in managing socio-environmental dynamics characterized by deep uncertainties, potential tensions in cross-scale interactions among scientists, policy makers and local communities among others. This four-year project helped local communities, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and scientists in Latin America and Europe in engaging in inter-disciplinary action-research to increase their collective capacity to adapt to climate change. EcoAdapt focused on water security as a mobilizing issue that is i) critical due to climate and societal changes; ii) is linked to social tensions; iii) is key for the livelihood of local communities. EcoAdapt consortium was made of 5 CSO partners and 4 RTD partners who joined forces to address water security in ¿Model Forest¿ landscapes in Argentina (Jujuy), Bolivia (Quiquitano), and Chile (Alto Malleco). Knowledge sharing formed the backbone of the project and was done in such a way that partners develop a critical view of their own sources of knowledge, which fostered the creation of new, socially-validated knowledge. It has also provided scientists and policy-makers with an in-depth insight into local knowledge and issues, which framed the identification of knowledge gaps and the research to be done. We confirmed that adaptation to climate change goes way beyond coping and is not something that can be done in isolation by any player at any organization level. EcoAdapt developed studies, tools, training material, strategic adaptation plans for water security, and implemented several adaptation pilot projects for the benefit of marginal groups in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. These include labour and resource efficient sleeve irrigation, frost-preventing tree curtains, water harvesting, protection of ritual sites, efficient woodstoves, installation and maintenance of water pumps, and the creation of the Zapoco watershed protected area in Bolivia. The project built lasting capacity in the Model Forests to address water security in a local development perspective and the context of climate change, and capacity in scientists in developing research at the science-society interface. The EcoAdapt process, backed by a broad dissemination strategy with a presence in high-level events such as UNFCCC COP 18/19/20/21, has contributed to improve capacity for institutional coordination, awareness and prevention of water-related conflicts, and initiated various initiatives that are being scaled-out in the landscape in the region and in Europe.

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