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Tackling adversity with diversity key to climate response, says GCF workshop participant

One of the best ways to deal with recurring droughts and floods in Argentina is to diversify land management, a government agency representative said at a recent Green Climate Fund workshop.

“When it comes to agricultural practices, we need to move away from monocultures to a varied form of land use that includes a variety of different crops and livestock management, along with forest cultivation,” said Camila Rodriguez Taylor, with Argentina’s Unit for Rural Change.

An adaptive response to infrastructure is also needed, which includes ensuring transport routes and communication lines are kept open during extreme weather events, such as floods, she added.

Ms Rodriguez Taylor said a climate approach which avoids “putting all eggs in the same basket” is increasingly necessary in Argentina, following a prevalence of extreme weather events during the past few years that have hit the country’s prominent rural sector.
The Unit for Rural Change, or Unidad Para el Cambio Rural (UCAR) as the Argentinian agency is known in Spanish, joined other GCF partners at the GCF Empowering Direct Access workshop held on 23 to 25 May. 

GCF is now taking stock of information gathered at the workshop to inform its collaboration with Accredited Entities, the Fund’s instigators of action, to drive long-lasting and transformative climate finance.

Ms Rodriguez Taylor said in Argentina’s case, a diverse climate action approach is possible by combining adaptation and mitigation measures that account for different geographic conditions. She cited the example of using solar-powered pumps to improve water management in local communities, the valuing of ecosystem services to avoid deforestation, and applying organic fertilizers produced by bio-gas plants to replace top soil dislodged by droughts and floods.

Laura Abram Alberdi, also with UCAR, said Argentinian farmers are increasingly thinking about climate change as they have been affected adversely, with drought killing a large number of livestock at the end of last year, and many soybean plots remaining underwater after unseasonably heavy rainfall during the first months of 2017.

“While these extreme climate events are devastating our country, they are raising the awareness of people about the need to do something,” she said.

UCAR’s call to action represented a small snapshot of the varied experiences exchanged by GCF partners at the workshop on how best to take climate measures that match local conditions.

Shared information by partners with GCF and their peers forms a vital part of the Fund’s underlying principle of country ownership. This ensures the climate initiatives GCF supports follow individual country needs.