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Climate change impacts on biodiversity in the tropical Andes: climate risks, vulnerability and decision making tools for the planning of conservation (2011-2013)

Human societies living in the tropical Andes depend in many aspects on the different goods and services provided by ecosystems. The integrity and species diversity of these ecosystems are seriously threatened by climate change and land use changes. Both factors are expected to have profound impacts on the survival, geographic distribution and ecologic interactions of Andean species. This is why new conservation and adaptation strategies are so important in the tropical Andes. This new IAI project, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has great potential to contribute significantly to vulnerability and adaptation analyses in the region and to the development of new conservation strategies.

Several institutions in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and the US will participate in the project and work with the IAI in the development of the activities.

Overall goal

To provide tropical Andean countries with a standard methodology for estimating climate change risks for biodiversity at local scales that can be used to design adaptation measures tailored to particular conditions.

Case studies will be conducted during three years (2011 - 2013) on short- to medium-term climate change trends , biodiversity patterns and gradients and the vulnerability of species and ecosystems to climate and land use changes in two cross-border areas: a) the Pacific slope of the Northern Andes, in the border region of Colombia (Nariño department) and Ecuador (Carchi province ) b) the Amazonian slope of the Central Andes, in the border region of Bolivia and Peru (protected areas Madidi and Apolobamba in Bolivia, Bahuaja-Sonene and Tambopata in Peru).