Capacity development and innovative communication

J. L. Urrea (CCAFS)

Summer school spearheads network to tackle climate change

Latin America

Mitigating climate change on small scale farms requires a coordinated approach using the best available technologies. Developing such an approach was the rationale behind a summer school, held by CCAFS and Latin American partner organizations in August 2015, to promote climate change mitigation in smallholder crop and livestock systems in the region.

The summer school was a leading event of the Latin America Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Network (LAMNET) – a wider network promoting innovation in climate change mitigation in Latin America. Forty-nine people attended the course, including PhD students and representatives of farmer associations, non-government organizations, research institutions and government ministries. Hosted at the headquarters of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia, the course looked at new ways of measuring greenhouse gases released from agriculture and strategies for reducing these emissions.

“We not only talked about science, we had a very valuable interaction between a diversity of stakeholders in order to make science have an impact on society." R Belfon, PhD student at the University of West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

The summer school involved a team of skilled facilitators from a number of different organisations.

J. L. Urrea (CCAFS)

Participants took part in workshops relating to the release and absorption of greenhouse gases in agricultural systems, including sources and sinks of greenhouse gases; laboratory and field methods for measuring emissions; computer tools and models for estimating wide-scale and future emissions; and strategies for reducing greenhouse emissions from agricultural systems.

“It was an excellent experience, because we took a wide outlook and approach to the new methodologies available and all the current research related to greenhouse gases. We also set up an experiments network in Latin America, in which I have the pleasure to participate, and I hope the results will be very promising.” Carolina Alvarez, National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA) Argentina, and PhD student, National University of Cordoba in Argentina

The summer school culminated with the design of a joint experiment, where participants devised methods to measure greenhouse gas emissions from livestock urine on improved and degraded pasture. The aim was that PhD students attending the course should finalize the experiment in their respective countries of Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago, and provide key data for validating computer simulation models.