WCS Colombia

Climate Change

The Northern Andes region is no exception to the global threat posed by climate change.  General changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, as well as changes in the frequency of extreme climatic events, pose new challenges upon any new or ongoing conservation initiatives.  When dealing with systems of protected areas such as the SIRAP-EC, this issue becomes particularly relevant, since all aspects of their design and management must be reconsidered in order to take into account the potential effects that climate change might have on the ecosystems, species, and environmental services that these systems must conserve in the long term.  

Climate model resolution is rapidly improving, allowing for the prediction of effects in sites with very complex topographies, where climatic conditions tend to be highly variable even at small scales. However, the effectiveness that these models may have in guiding the adaptation of conservation initiatives is greatly dependent on the availability of the appropriate in situ collected data (both climatological and biological). 

Moreover, any attempt to employ climate models as a guide for conservation must not only consider the direct effects of climate change on the distribution of ecosystems and species, but must also take into account the indirect effects of climate change including, for example, the anthropogenic land-use changes resulting from disruption of local economies and crops.  WCS is currently evaluating the impact of climate change on water supply in the watersheds where we have already collected detailed biological information and for which several decades of historical land cover data (from aerial photographs), and hydrological and climatological data are available. Correlating the information on water supplies and the distribution of cultivated crops with changes in land cover can help us to predict the possible changes that could occur under different climate change scenarios.

In addition, the high-resolution scenarios will also be used to assess the potential direct and indirect impacts that climate change can have on rural landscapes and on the wild areas related to them.  Landscape-level predictive models for the coffee growing area is been generated using field-collected biological, socio-economic, and climatic data.


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Sede Principal (Cali):
Avenida 5 Norte # 22 N - 11 Barrio Versalles
Teléfono: +57 (2) 379 9322
Cel: +57 320 6719711

Sede Bogotá:
Cra. 7 No. 82-66 Torres San José
Torre A - Oficina 312
Teléfono: + 57 (1) 721 8116

Key Staff

Padu Franco
Colombia Country Director
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