Agriculture accounts for 10-14% of Colombia’s gross domestic product and nearly 20% of their employment. Top commodities include bananas, sugar, and green coffee. Of their agricultural products, 25 of the most important crops and 83% of their agricultural lands are threatened by climate change. The Upper Cauca River Basin is in particular danger as it is involved in the production chain for most of Colombia’s exported agricultural products.
The Agricultural Vulnerability and Adaptation (AVA) project was launched in 2011 to help address climate risks. The AVA began as a partnership between universities, agricultural, and industry organizations. The project seeks to establish methods to monitor, model, and disseminate climate risk information. Unique to this project is the four-dimensional modeling tools under development that include biophysical, political-institutional, economic-productive, and socio-cultural factors. Part of AVA was to develop a tool accessible to many stakeholders. The program faced many challenges that produced lessons learned that are applicable to other research groups trying to provide actionable information to a diverse set of stakeholders, many of whom are very poor. Lessons learned include: