Concept & Methods
The high Andean region is difficult to access and there is almost no information on historical climate or ecosystem processes above 1000 m of elevation (Vuille et al., 2015; Nauditt et al., 2016b). Adaptation to climate change impacts, however, is only possible based on the knowledge about this particular environment with steep elevation ranges, low precipitation rates, a strong climatic seasonality and the Pacific Humboldt current influence.
In the extratropical Andes, EbA measures are still not sufficiently addressed in planning strategies. Although there is a treasure of indigenous knowledge from regions worldwide where large scale infrastructural development has not yet implemented, there is a lack of systematic information on the available EbA methods and strategies to be provided to the decision makers who have to react fast to the increasing frequency of hydro-meteorological extremes causing droughts, floods and landslides.
Experts from academic and research institutions have recognized the need to collaborate in an interdisciplinary way to be able to develop adequate adaption measures in the extratropical Andes. In the frame of the ERANET-LAC call, a joint proposal was submitted addressing the topic “Ecosystem based adaptation measures (EbA) to increase resilience against hydro-meteorological hazards in the extratropical Central Andes”.
The following figure gives an overview of the Andean EbA project:
We look at the central Andean “high elevation ecosystems”, “agro-ecosystems” and “rural socio-ecological systems” in Chile, Argentina and Peru and to develop EbA measures for hydro-meteorological hazards. A systematic vulnerability and resilience assessment is applied to the case study river basins looking at climate change and variability, pacific oscillation phenomena, the catchment scale water cycle, ecosystem services and species endemism as well as human impacts. Based on the findings appropriate EbA measures are developed for each ecosystem, while considering existing indigenous and international experiences. The work will be done in close collaboration with national and regional stakeholders (i.e. beneficiaries).
The results of the project are aimed to benefit the Andean societies and the scientific community. The main results are a catalogue of site appropriate Andean EbA measures, improved meteorological drought monitoring, climate change impact assessment, and calibrated hydrological models for regionalization studies, calculation of spatio-temporal system thresholds for droughts and floods to design EbA measure sizes. The results are distributed through scientific publications, national partners and stakeholder meetings.