Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Colombia.


The Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development (MAVDT) is the national authority on the environment, supervising Colombia’s commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and is the Designated National Authority (DNA) on climate change. With the progress of National Adaptation Plan to Climate Change (PNACC), Colombia focuses its adaptation efforts to build climate resilience in 100 percent of the country's territory by 2030. It outlines 10 priority actions in 6 prioritized sectors, including transport, energy, agriculture, housing, tourism and industry. The country aims to identify potential co-benefits and build synergies between mitigation and adaptation. The government of Colombia has initiated a number of studies and assessments to improve local responses to climate change.

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Considering many people in rural areas derive their livelihoods from agriculture, crop diversification and alternative food sources should be developed to ensure food security.
  • Use El Nino Southern Oscillation-based climate forecasts as a tool for agricultural planning production strategies and adaptive measures.
  • Adopt lessons learned from the Adaptive Land-Use Planning Project carried out under Colombia's Integrated National Adaptation Plan (INAP) for the Paramo Las Hermosas Massif, which seeks to reduce impacts from climate change on land degradation through the use of climate forecasts to guide crop selection and planting schedules.
  • Develop special management plans for agricultural ecosystems in dry zones that include information on water resources and forecasts on La Niña events.
  • Conduct an analysis of the climatic variability and yields for the main intensive crops to determine vulnerability.
  • Implement detailed research and monitoring programs to quantify the local surface energy balance and requirements.
  • Implement adaptation measures including integrated water management and watershed protection around the glacial areas of the Andean inter-tropical glaciers.
  • Identify current wetland boundaries and distinguish likely changes in hydrology and vegetative cover.
  • Improve response measures, early warning systems, and increase municipality expenditures for fumigation campaigns.
  • Implement vector-control methods adapted to local ecological and social circumstances.
  • Expand the Integrated Malaria and Dengue Surveillance and Control System (IMDSCS).
  • Improve the recovery and resiliency of coastal systems to facilitate natural adaptation to sea level rise.
  • Implement a program of “integrated coastal zone management” that emphasizes preservation of wetlands and other species to prevent coastal erosion and flooding and support the production of fisheries.
  • Perform susceptibility analyses about biophysical aspects in each vulnerable areas.
  • Conduct deeper analysis and study of ecosystem functions and critical environmental services at all territorial levels to better design conservation and adaption programs.
  • Integrate payment for ecosystem services into adaption measures to better communicate the environmental goods and services provided by these habitats (for example water supply, basin regulation and watershed protection).

Gaps and Needs

  • Recommended adaption measures and information for different ecosystems and sectors are insufficient and require further multidisciplinary research.
  • More emphasis is needed on adaptive measures for internally displaced people and those below the poverty line, as climate change will impact them more than any other group.
  • Discrepancies exist regarding the long-term effects of climate change on the El Niño and La Niña events. Since these weather trends have such high impact on people, commerce, and ecosystems, it is crucial to better estimate possible fluctuations in intensity.
  • Better watershed protection measures need to be researched and developed for the Northern tropical Andean Glacial area as the estimates of their complete disappearance are very alarming.
  • Creating knowledge among key decision makers and citizens at local levels, which is critical for improving urban planning processes for sustainable development and adaptation efforts while also discouraging informal settlements that worsen climate vulnerability.
  • Increasing awareness and resilience at local levels, mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in priority sectors, and institutionalizing extreme events risk financing.
  • Gaps in programming appear to exist with respect to human settlements, energy, the gender dimensions of climate change, and ecosystem conservation.
  • Insufficient or contradictory data on recent and future climate trends for the varying regional and climatic zones.
  • There is insufficient information in regards to droughts or adaptive measures to prevent it, even though it is considered a serious threat in some areas and could increase in magnitude.
  • Studies are needed on the adaptability of the ethno-cultural groups that live in each zone and region, as different groups will require different adaptation measures.
  • Considering that such a high percentage of the rural population relies on agriculture, more research on alterative livelihoods, food sources, and crop susceptibility is needed.