Thematic Regional Paper: Latin America

2007/2008 Occasional Paper
By Conde, Cecilia; Saldana, Sergio; Magana, Victor

In context of climate change, the Fourth Assessment Report of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, WGII, 2007) stated that “increases in the frequency of droughts and floods are projected to affect local production negatively, especially in subsistence sectors at low latitudes”. Particularly, the IPCC projected –with high confidence- a decreasing productivity of some important crops in Latin American, as well as livestock production to decline, given the salinisation and desertification of agricultural land, which will lead to “adverse consequences for food security”. Also, changes in precipitation patterns and important decreases in glaciers are projected to significantly affect water availability for human basic needs, including agriculture and energy generation. Even though some countries have made major efforts to adapt, “the effectiveness of these efforts is outweighed by: lack of basic information, observation and monitoring systems; lack of capacity building and appropriate political, institutional and technological frameworks; low income; and settlements in vulnerable areas, among others.” (IPCC, WGII, 2007).