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PROJECT: Vulnerability and adaptation guidelines in Cartagena


Project Reference: TALA-0006


Cartagena is the most emblematic city of Colombia and has been declared a world heritage city. It is one of the poles of development of the country as it contributes significantly to economic growth (over 2,500 industries contribute 6% of its GDP) and has attracted increasing investments in port and tourism infrastructure. This has made Cartagena one of the most internationally attractive cities in Colombia. However, it is also one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change (rainfall, temperature and rising sea level), generating environmental risks (floods, landslides, increased coastal erosion, pollution and salinisation of coastal cities’ soils and water bodies), which affects human health and socio-economic development of the city, as well as its competitiveness.


Understanding the climate vulnerability of Cartagena makes adaptation to climate change an opportunity to reach a more resilient, competitive and climate-friendly city model. The development of adaptation guidelines based on rigorous analysis is an indispensable baseline for prioritising tangible strategies, measures and actions, which promotes a climate planning process and achieves climate-friendly development.


The objective of this project was to integrate adaptation into climate change in city planning and in the management of key economic sectors (ports, industrial, tourism, transport and trade).

Specific objectives

  • Incorporate the risks associated with climate change and adaptation measures in the Land Use Plan (POT).
  • Understand the impact of climate change on investments and the economic and social development of the city.
  • Integrate the main economic, governmental and civil society sectors in the process of building guidelines to adaptation, raising awareness of the effects of climate change and its impact on the sustainability and growth of the city.
  • Propose guidelines for adaptation to climate change in Cartagena.

Project approach

Understanding Cartagena’s vulnerability to climate change from an environmental, economic, social and institutional perspective was a key step in generating adaptation guidelines as well as articulating the climate issue with the existing sectoral and land planning tools. In the same way, it provided a strategic input to develop a process of climate compatible territorial planning in a participatory way.

Project funding:  £ 92,234


  • Direct Beneficiaries:public institutions of Cartagena, the main associations of the city and the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development.
  • Indirect beneficiaries:national authorities, the communities of Cartagena, academia, research centres.

Implementing organisation:  Institute of Marine and Coastal Research (INVEMAR)

Final products of the project


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