To establish a comprehensive climate change strategy and boost the more vulnerable sectors’ resilience, from 2020 to 2023 the Ministry of Agriculture drafted the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Forestry and Agricultural Sector. The plan, supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) follows the guidelines of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In Chile, as in other countries, the forestry and agricultural sector is one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This is not just determined by the serious implications it could have on domestic food security, but also by the social, cultural, and economic dependance of vulnerable groups like peasant families, rural women, and indigenous peoples on agriculture.

In this scenario, the first public consultation process called by the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture concluded a few weeks ago, representing an inclusive and democratic approach to policymaking by including the opinions, concerns, and suggestions of various parties, like farmers, environmental specialists, and civil society. Now, the ministry is analyzing their contributions to prepare the final draft of the plan.

The adaptation plan should become a comprehensive tool to tackle climate change, not only because it covers five strategic dimensions (water availability; technical-production management and technologies; access to data and risk management; infrastructure and equipment; and natural ecosystems, including the implementation of enabling conditions for its sustainability), but because it has been built together with local representatives of the forestry and agricultural sector, women, and indigenous peoples, who are the protagonists of the current climate crisis. The main issues that impact them have been collected from their personal experiences, as well as the adaptation measures and actions they have adopted.

Under the coordination of the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy, ODEPA, the plan includes 12 measures and more than 60 specific actions, such as the implementation of adaptive forestry and agricultural management practices, the construction of water management infrastructure, and the conservation of natural ecosystems. All these measures are designed to be implemented between 2024 and 2028, with both a national and territorial approach.

Sector Mitigation Plan

The Ministry of Agriculture is also developing the Sector Mitigation Plan, a mitigation strategy for greenhouse gases from the forestry and agricultural sector. On February 3, 2024, Exempt Resolution 27 was published in the Official Gazette, approving the draft plan. It is now open for comments in a consultation process that will be open to the public for 60 business days, that is, until April 16.

The bill details the measures needed to reduce sectoral greenhouse gas emissions and comply with the carbon budget allocated to the sector according to Chile’s Long-Term Climate Strategy (LTS) and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The measures include the use of nitrogen fertilizers, more sustainable slurry management, and actions to reduce livestock methane emissions, among others.

Both plans will be updated every 5 years to reflect changes in technology, costs, and the sector’s emissions, among other variables, to establish an effective strategy that is sustainable in the long term.

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