Project : Adaptation plan for Cartagena de Indias and its islands

Project : Adaptation plan for Cartagena de Indias and its islands

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Project detail:
Status: Completed

Context: According to the Institute of Marine and Coastal Research (INVEMAR) Cartagena is one of Colombia’s top five cities most vulnerable to climate change. Like numerous other coastal cities in the world and throughout the country, the historic Caribbean city, its population and economy, suffer the consequences of a changing climate and extreme environmental phenomena. This situation required a shift to turn these threats into opportunities for development in order to benefit the population and economic sectors of Cartagena.

Overview: Cities that plan and prepare for future climate changes will be more competitive than those that do not. Taking measures now to prepare and adapt to future climate conditions will be much more cost effective than waiting until poorly planned emergency measures are necessary. In addition, adaptation can give the city an array of possibilities for growth.  A greener Cartagena will mean using its natural resources, like beaches, mangroves and wetlands, more efficiently. It will have clean water and coastal wetlands with regenerated fish populations. This will lead to increasing numbers of tourists who appreciate natural beauty and quality of life, which will in turn promote job creation and a sustained economic growth for the entire city.


The objective of the project was to develop an Action Plan for Cartagena to adapt to climate change, which included an analysis of vulnerabilities and guidelines for adaptation for island territories, with the goal of strengthening competitiveness and sectoral development in the city and in the surrounding islands.

Specific objectives

  • To formulate financially feasible project proposals to apply for international and national funding.
  • To define an operative, political, institutional and financial framework for the implementation of an Adaptation Plan.
  • Produce a methodological guide and document of lessons learned for the construction of adaptation plans in coastal urban areas that can be scaled nationally.
  • Identify and analyse climate vulnerability in island territories of Cartagena.
  • Formulate guidelines for adaptation of island territories of Cartagena.
  • Create greater awareness about climate change among institutions, sectors and communities in Cartagena and in the island territories through participatory processes.

Principal Outcomes

  • Outcome 1: Adaptation Plan for Cartagena, including an analysis of vulnerability and policy guidelines for adaptation for island territories.
  • Outcome 2: Two financially viable projects.
  • Other outcomes: Methodological guides and lessons learned in adaptation to climate change in urban coastal areas.


  • Direct Beneficiaries: Public institutions in Cartagena, principal business associations in the city, island communities and the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.
  • Indirect Beneficiaries: National authorities, communities in Cartagena and academia and research centres.

Project Funding: £421,771

Executing agency: Institute for Marine and Coastal Research – INVEMAR

Final products of the project:

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