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Andean System

Page history last edited by Maya Rajasekharan 14 years, 11 months ago

Visit the Andean System of Basins Website (In Spanish) 

Visit the Andes Basin Focal Project Blog 

The Andes Basin Focal Project links catchments in different parts of the Andes to examine a range of issues, especially in the upper catchments: in Ecuador the problem may be a conflict over water supply to urban centers; in Peru, irrigation; in Bolivia, protection of indigenous rights; and in Colombia, biodiversity conservation.


The basins face three major challenges: rural poverty, widespread land degradation that harms water resources, and weak institutions for regulating and managing water. The region includes areas of very high biodiversity (and agro-biodiversity), which are under intensifying pressure from land use and climatic change. Water shortages continue to plague most areas and policy and regulatory mechanisms are urgently needed to make water distribution fairer.


The Challenge Program is generating knowledge and designing technology, tools and institutional models applicable across the Andean eco region, and, in some cases, beyond. 


Research priorities include:

  • sustainable farming and natural resource management practices for water-stressed, steep-sloped areas;

  • new models for water legislation, protection of water rights, and compensation of upper watershed communities;

  • methods for organizing communities for collective action;

strategies—traditional and new— for dealing with climate-related risks in the highlands.


Andes Basin Focal Project brings together a range of experts, academics and students based in Kings College London (KCL) ,  International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT),  Consortium for Sustainable development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN ) and the National University of Colombia (UNAL) engaged in bio-physical, socio-economic and institutional analysis to identify and analyze major links between water and poverty in three major river basins within the Andean region. They are working together to provide;


•  A regional diagnosis of  the current status of water poverty, water productivity, environmental security and their institutional context

•  Maps of resource sensitivity to land use and climate change across the basins and the Andes

•  Maps of long term average water availability and trends (alpha channel depending on uncertainty) within the Andean region.

•  Maps of the sensitivity of food production to climate (variability and change) and land use change

•  Maps of the poverty outcomes of changing access to water

•  A database of institutions and intervention projects and likely outcomes of a range of these in the basin

• A summary of points of contact and types of data/information required by institutions


An innovative online tool called the Policy Support System (P.S.S)  will consolidate the research outputs and findings of the Andes Basin Focal Project with the purpose of enabling better water resource management. The P.S.S aims to engage with complex biophysical and socio-economic environment of the Andes provide a means of scenario analysis and the testing of policy interventions and in some ways ties together some of the other deliverables.


Insights on Poverty, water use, availability, productivity and institutions in the Andes System of Basins


Team Members


Other CPWF projects in the Andean Basin

  1. Quesengual Slash and Mulch Agroforestry - PN 15
  2. Acción Colectiva Sostenible que Integra Diferentes Escalas Ecológicas y Económicas (ESCALAS) - PN 20
  3. Pago por servicios ambientales como mecanismo para promover el desarrollo rural en las cuencas altas de los trópicos (PSA)- PN 22
  4. Multiple use system - PN 28
  5. Integrando el conocimiento de modelos computacionales con estructuras de gobierno multi agentes: Hacia hogares mejores y más seguros mediante herramientas mejoradas para el manejo integrado de cuencas - PN 40
  6. Small Grant 505
  7. Small Grant 510 

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