Latin America is home to many areas with a high concentration of
agrobiodiversity, especially in its mountain ecosystems. Increasing
frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as droughts and
frosts, is reducing agrobiodiversity in mountain regions due to the
inability of plants, animals and entire ecosystems to adapt to
unprecedented climatic variability. In turn, this is having negative
impacts on agricultural production and food security. This Brief begins
by describing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and food
production in Latin America’s mountainous areas. It then provides
examples of how Latin Americans are capitalising on traditional and
scientific knowledge to develop locally-appropriate initiatives aimed at
strengthening agrobiodiversity and facilitating adaptation. Finally,
this Brief identifies ongoing challenges for Latin America and describes
key contextual factors that have facilitated development of climate
change adaptation strategies that preserve and promote agrobiodiversity.
•Preserving and promoting agrobiodiversity is a key climate change
adaptation strategy in mountain ecosystems across Latin America where it
has improved food security amongst vulnerable populations.
•Traditional mountain cultures of Latin America provide an essential
source of knowledge on local agrobiodiversity and biodiverse farming
practices that can facilitate adaptation to climate change.
•At the same time, due to the unprecedented nature of climatic change
impacts in mountain regions across Latin America, scientific research
and development has played a key role in generating innovative
adaptation strategies to face this challenge.
•Technical and institutional capacity for integrating agrobiodiversity
into climate change adaptation strategies for mountain ecosystems can be
built by strengthening information flows and implementing regional
Torres, J.; Frías, C. ELLA Policy Brief: Strengthening Agrobiodiversity: A Key Adaptation Strategy for Latin America&#8217;s Mountain Ecosystems. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2012) 4 pp.