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Improving Climate Change Resilience in the Sinu River Basin

In spite of contributing only a tiny percentage (0.37%) of the world-wide emissions of greenhouse gases, Colombia nevertheless has to confront global climate change impacts of the highest magnitude. Climate-change driven extreme hydro-meteorological events combine with extreme economic inequality, persistent poverty and resultant food insecurity to create a situation of risk which puts Colombia among the most vulnerable countries in the world. Climate change threatens all social sectors in Colombia, but none is more susceptible than the rural agriculture sector where the impacts are immediate and the consequences catastrophic. For this reason, adopting climate smart agriculture is the most important challenge for Colombia’s rural communities, especially those located in highly environmentally sensitive areas such as the Lower Sinu River watershed on Colombia´s Caribbean coast.


Over hundreds of years the communities of fishers and agriculturalists in the Lower Sinu watershed have developed sustainable livelihoods well adapted to the complex environmental patterns of the ecosystem in which they live. Nevertheless during the last two decades, these rural communities have confronted a series of significant climate changes which are detrimentally impacting their centuries-old lifestyles.

Among the principal changes affecting are more frequent and more intense flood events, more intense droughts, increase in median annual temperature, increasing salt-water intrusion in aquifers, and more damaging windstorms. This project will help families become more resilient to these changes by protecting existing livelihoods, diversifying incomes and changing subsistence strategies which are no longer sustainable.


Families and communities in the Lower Sinu River ecosystem are resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Objective #1

Rural agriculturalists and fisher families in the Lower Sinu watershed have production systems resistant to the effects of climate change.

  • High dikes to protect production
  • Forested riparian buffers
  • Appropriate soil and water conservation technologies

Objective #2

Local authorities create climate risk management plans responsive to their specific vulnerabilities.

  • Strengthen ASPROCIG as a local climate adaptation resource
  • Create regional climate adaptation advocacy plan
  • Environmental and climate education for local authorities