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Agrometeorology in Bolivia

Last modified December 14, 2020 11:41

Agrometeorology in Bolivia

Bolivia is one of South America’s most natural disaster-prone nations. Deforestation and erosion have exasperated the country’s vulnerability to droughts and floods. Climate change is also accelerating glacial melting in the Andes and the consequent water runoff is threatening the livelihoods of remote indigenous communities. There is eagerness in BoliviaBolivia to bring in drones to complement climate change adaption initiatives already happening on the ground. Hugo Mamani Ticona, an agrometeorologist and climate analyst for non-government organization Prosuco, works with bio indicators and local observers to compile information on animal behaviour. Merging local knowledge and bio indicators into the Bolivian Government’s early warning system is at the heart of a joint project implemented by the Vice Ministry of Civil Defence (VIDECI) and the World Food Programme (WFP), funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Directorate General (ECHO). The project, centred around the Municipality of Curahuara de Carangas, south west of La Paz, aims to bolster emergency preparedness activities to safeguard the livelihoods of local communities. Bolivia’s geography and arid topography make it easy for large amounts of water to accumulate in many areas during rainy season, causing landslides and floods, and endangering crops as well as livestock. Summer droughts and heavy winter snowfalls make it an arduous task to ensure that local farmers and llama herds have access to water and adequate grazing fields. Drones are being used in some communities to help farmers pinpoint water access for their livestock. Drones are giving Bolivia a cost-effective, timely and accurate tool to gather decision-making data and strengthen its national capacity to assess, plan and prepare for climate-related events of the future. With its capacity to synthesize modern and traditional sources of knowledge for use in early warning systems, UAS technology is elevating disaster management in Bolivia to new heights.

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