Day 2 | Dec 7   14.15 - 15.45

Factoring climate change into local development strategies: Lessons from CATIE’s concept of Climate Smart Territories in Latin America, the Carribean and Africa

Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE)


Climate-Smart Territories (CST) means socio-geographical spaces where actors collaborate to optimize ecosystem services and agricultural production for the improvement of human well-being in the face of climate change.

The CST approach applied by CATIE has been developed over the past 20 years through its experiences of research and development in rural landscapes across Latin America. The concept started off with the innovative idea that a territory consists not only of geographical and biological factors, but has to comprise the human one as well. Bringing all sectors and actors together to design sustainable solutions under the conditions of a certain climate is the ultimate goal of the concept.

In this session we will present a strategy for the implementation of climate smart territories (CST) with examples from two sites in Central America. This will be followed by a panel discussion on barriers and opportunities for the implementation of CST considering experiences in Central America, Colombia, Nepal and Chad as well as its potential to contribute to countries’ readiness for Climate Smart Agriculture. This introduction and panel discussion will be used to involve the audience in a discussion of the benefits of this approach as well as the challenges ahead. The product will be a policy brief to inform a wider public of the lessons learned.

Key questions addressed:

  1. Why is this approach important, e.g., what are its major expected benefits compared to other approaches?
  2. What are the best mechanisms for implementation of CST?
  3. What have been the main barriers and opportunities for CST, and what are its challenges in the short and medium term?

Background reading:

(forthcoming in November) Climate Smart Territories (CST): An integrated approach to food security, ecosystem services, and climate change in rural areas

Integrated Landscape Initiatives for African Agriculture, Development, and Conservation: A Region-Wide Assessment