Colombia’s Minister of the Environment visits PIK

02/18/2014 - Glaciers are melting in the Andes and the rain forest of the Amazon is threatened – Colombia knows the risks of global warming. The Minister of the Environment Luz Helena Sarmiento Villamizar together with her vice minister and other high-ranking representatives of the South American country came to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for discussions about the research on climate impacts and countermeasures. The end of the internal armed conflicts of many years leads to increased forest clearing – the pressure on the ecosystems is thus increasing from all sides, according to the Minister. Therefore, she is urgently seeking scientific support.
Colombia’s Minister of the Environment visits PIK
Colombias Minister of the Environment Luz Helena Sarmiento Villamizar at PIK, sided by Jürgen Kropp and Ingo Bräuer. Photo: PIK

“We are already concretely discussing a joint project between PIK, Peru and Colombia in which sustainable development options – especially land use alter­natives – in Ama­zonia should be sounded out to improve the reduction of greenhouse gases and the adaptation to climate change,” says Jürgen Kropp from PIK´s research domain Climate Impacts & Vulnerabilities. Within the framework of a project funded by the EU on climate-friendly urban develop­ment, a concrete cooperation with the capital Bogotà is already prepared. The city depends on Andean glaciers that supply large parts of the freshwater. If they disappear, water is likely to get scarce.

PIK scientist Fanny Langerwisch talked with the Minister specifically about the devel­opment of the stock of trees in the Amazon rain forest. “Maybe our com­puter simula­tions can help the authorities of the country to identify the tree species that are most resistant to climate change and to protect biodiversity at the same time,” said Langerwisch. She is working in PIK´s research domain Earth System Analysis, with a focus on the stability of ecosystems.

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