FEATURE: Presentation of the “Guidelines for Adaptation to Climate Change in Cartagena de Indias”
The “Guidelines for Adaptation to Climate Change in Cartagena de Indias” (Lineamientos de adaptación al cambio climático para Cartagena de Indias) document was recently published in Cartagena, Colombia under the auspices of the CDKN-funded project “Integrating adaptation to climate change into local planning and sectoral management in Cartagena”. This Spanish-language publication provides decision makers and civil society actors with a timely practical guide for adaptation planning in the coastal Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias—a complex urban setting in which thousands of poor inhabitants have already been displaced by recent extreme weather events. The application of this planning tool promises to not only set Cartagena on a path toward concretely addressing its vulnerabilities to climate change, but it offers an opportunity for the city to strengthen its competitiveness and become a model for other coastal cities around the world which face similar risks and impacts.
Authored principally by Colombia’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Research (INVEMAR), this publication represents a pioneering effort by local institutions, private and public sector actors, and civil society to identify and raise the profile of the challenges and opportunities that climate change vulnerability and adaptation present for Cartagena. Based on scientific research, technical criteria, and the inputs of a wide range of stakeholders, this document provides a synthesis of critical issues and the basic framework for the development of Cartagena’s plan for climate change adaptation. It summarizes the most strategic climate and development issues facing Cartagena in the short, medium, and long term. These notably include the loss of economically significant beaches to coastal erosion, deterioration of environmental services and resilience, declining fisheries, proliferation of tropical diseases, and the impacts of flooding on housing, industry, infrastructure, and the city’s iconic colonial center.
The publication was launched in Cartagena on June 28th at an event which was well attended by a wide range of local and national stakeholders, including the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Chamber of Commerce of Cartagena, Secretariat of Planning of the Mayor’s Office of Cartagena, District Secretariat of Planning, Port of Cartagena, and local non-governmental organizations. With continuing support from CDKN, the next step for Cartagena is the development of the city’s climate change adaptation plan which will include specific adaptation measures and projects.