Latin America and the Caribbean
Since June, 2018, Mayesse Da Silva, Soil Scientist at CIAT, has been working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and USDA-FAS on the characterization and detailed mapping of cacao soils in Colombia under the “Cacao for Peace (CfP)” program.
CIAT is proud! Jefferson Valencia, young scientist from the Agroecosystems and Sustainable Landscapes (ASL) area at CIAT, was awarded a Borlaug fellowship and will attend Purdue University in Indiana, United States, to pursue an internship to implement a hydrological assessment based on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to optimize cacao production in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia.
“We are receiving a free subsidy from nature, but it will not continue indefinitely” – Louis Verchot
“Many findings are important for us and for policy makers around the world. The report shows that land is both a source and a sink of greenhouse gases. Currently, land absorbs 22% of our greenhouse gas emissions and such absorption has increased as our emissions have increased. Therefore, we are receiving a free subsidy from nature as the land is reducing the negative climate impacts of our own actions. The report also shows that this subsidy will not go on indefinitely, and the continuous land and soil degradation are major threats to the biosphere and the continued absorption of carbon dioxide.”
After four years at CIAT as the leader of the Rice Program, Fernando Correa passes the baton to María Fernanda Álvarez, the new leader, as of August 12. Here is a piece of his story…
Meat and dairy products are central to the Latin American diet, and livestock is a source of income for over 600 million people living on less than US $1 per day around the world. Historically, a lack of quality forage crops has restricted production and increased the environmental impact of livestock farming, with poor-quality grazing areas being created through deforestation.
Three new areas of investigation related to diets, nutrition and sustainability, starting with short-term projects led by visiting student researchers Sandra Aronson, Lisa Gerbal and Anna Whitton.
As noted in a previous blog, a study conducted by CIAT confirms that cacao production is not a main cause of forest loss in Colombia, unlike in several countries in Africa and Asia. Instead, cacao cultivation forms part of strategies to reduce conflict and save forests in the Latin American country.
What could be the impact of climate change on cocoa in the Central America and Caribbean region? In the atlas “Climate Change Impact on Cocoa Production in Central America and the Caribbean,” developed by CIAT in collaboration with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and Rikolto, we answer this question by using “machine learning” models such as Random Forests.
Jefferson Valencia, research hydrologist at CIAT, is a champion of science for advancing the development of technologies to facilitate the proper handling and management of water resources in Honduras, especially in areas affected by recurring droughts.
The Terra-i tool enables stakeholders to use the data at different levels to take action in natural resource management and create synergies between national and local institutions for protecting and conserving natural resources, as well as enhancing related governance processes, at national and subnational scales.
CIAT in Latin America
Through our work in one of the most ecologically and agriculturally diverse regions on the planet, we aim to ensure that the whole world benefits from agricultural innovations developed in Latin America and the Caribbean.
With its wealth of natural resources, wide pool of human talent, and strong record of technological innovation, the region has great potential for restoring degraded lands, achieving sustainable agricultural development, and strengthening global food security.
South America and the Caribbean Regional Coordinator
Central America Coordinator (Managua)