Detecting critical patterns of change in socio-ecological systems based on agroforestry in Equatorial America.

Project: Research Project

Project Details


More than 300 million hectares in Latin America are covered by agroforestry systems where the impacts of El Niño droughts, climate change, institutional weakness and the volatility of prices of agroforestry products are very strong.

For more than 30 years, Latin American agroforestry systems have been abandoned by livestock farming or simply by migration from the countryside to the city.

In this sense, the abandonment of agroforestry systems can be considered a critical transition of a socio-ecological system.

In this case, we chose to examine the combined effects of these impacts in two pilot areas: the central Andes of Colombia, where the institutional presence is strong but incomplete, and the foothills of the Amazon in Ecuador, where the indigenous population manages risks in a context different culture.

The project is divided into 5 complementary working groups that will collect time series of productivity data in the study areas using files and satellite images.

These data will be used to correlate with El Niño-induced variations and to develop prediction models.

In parallel, an institutional analysis will be carried out to understand how actors in Colombia and Ecuador acquire (or do not) knowledge about climate and economic risks.

Special attention will be paid to a pioneering FAO program that channels meteorological information to producers, including the risks of El Niño conditions, which has been deployed in several locations in Colombia.

Through workshops, the project will co-construct scenarios of the different potential combined effects of climate risks, commodity prices and institutional risks to lay the foundations for an early warning system of unfavorable conditions that may lead to land abandonment in target countries.

Translation done with the free version of the translator


El Niño Oscillation; Teleconnections; Agroforestry; climate change.

Commitments / Obligations

Attendance at Workshops, Thesis guidance/participation in publication of the doctoral student.
Short titleD-CRITICAL
Effective start/end date1/1/2112/31/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Main Funding Source

  • International


  • Bogotá D.C.


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