Informing policies and institutions for climate-resilient food systems in Latin America

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Project description 

Latin America is at a critical point in time where many governments and well-organized sectors are developing their mitigation and adaptation strategies. CCAFS supports these processes through the excellent partnerships and ongoing climate change research across Latin America.

The project works closely with governments and research institutes to ensure the latest climate and agriculture science is used to inform climate and agriculture policies in Latin America.

In addition, the team supports and trains country negotiators attending the high-level United Nations climate negotiations throughout the year. This ensures negotiators are well prepared to represent their countries in the development of an agreement that simultaneously addresses climate change, agriculture and forestry.

The project conducts research on climate change impacts, mitigation opportunities and climate-smart agriculture, and facilitates knowledge sharing via established cross-country collaboration platforms.

Ultimately, this project is helping to build resilient food systems by improving policy development and decision-making at both regional and national levels across Latin America. Specifically, the project is achieving this by contributing to at least four Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), one National Adaptation Plan (NAP), and one sub-sector National Adaptation Plan. In addition, Latin American United Nations climate conference (COP) delegates are aware and make use of the latest scientific insights on climate, agriculture, and food security in COP negotiations.

Research on the potential of silvo-pastoral systems and improved pastures from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in 2014 helped the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development prioritize mitigation actions for the agriculture and livestock sector in its NAMA.

In 2014, the Colombian National Planning Department developed detailed sector-level adaptation plans, in part, as a result of CIAT researchers’ measurement of the economic impacts of climate change in the water, biodiversity, and livestock sectors.


Expected outputs

  • Creation of climate information systems in two additional Central American countries, based on the Guatemalan experience.
  • Study on factors explaining countries’ positions in topics related to land use, land use change, and forestry and to REDD+ and agricultural national mitigation plans.
  • A portfolio of climate-smart agriculture alternatives for preserving soil carbon stocks and mitigating carbon emissions in High Andes wetlands and natural grasslands
  • Data about land tenure, organizational status, infrastructure and security issues by region in Latin America.


The project is led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) together with Bioversity International, and the International Potato Center (CIP). Local and regional partners include the Agricultural Council of Central America (CAC), Centro Agrónomico Tropical de Investigación (CATIE), University of FloridaUniversity of Alberta, Institute de Café de Costa Rica (ICAFE), and relevant national ministries of agriculture, environment, forestry, risk, development and planning, and financial institutes in all project countries.


The climate negotiator trainings include a gender-sensitization component, ensuring gender is considered while developing equitable country-level adaptation and mitigation plans. Capacity enhancement on effective gender integration in climate change policies is also carried out together with policymakers via workshops, a regular bulletin, and focused research products. The project provides support to Ministries and Secretaries of agriculture on how to integrate gender in the development of specific policies and strategies on climate change, as well.

Further information

For further information, please contact the project leader, Peter Laderach (CIAT) at