In Colombia, a high percentage of the rural poor are considered vulnerable, as drought, flooding, rains, fire and soil damages caused by climate change affect their lives and deepen their disadvantaged situation.
Bancamía (the BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s entity in Colombia), UN Environment and the ICAM College (Institute of Agroindustrial Sciences and the Environment) signed an agreement to activate a ‘Demonstration Farm’ inside the College’s facility, located at Ubaté (Cundinamarca). 11 measures for adaptation to climate change have been installed in the designated area and beginning today, technical assistance will be given to the region’s small farmers. The aim is to increase the farmers’ capacity to overcome risky situations in the face of adversities caused by climate change: all of this corresponding with the launching of the program Microfinance for Ecosystems-based Adaptation (MEbA).
“In Bancamía we want to help cut down the productive risk, through support that facilitates access to financial products and services, to pave a path towards investment in EbA alternatives”
Among the 11 adaptation measures that were formulated, one can find agricultural terraces, green houses, family orchards or solar dehydrators. Bancamía’s work is behind all of them, targeting to create awareness and strengthen clients’ capacity to invest in activities that would allow them to adapt to climate’s fluctuations.
“In Bancamía, we want to help cut down the productive risk through support that facilitates access to financial products and services, to pave a path towards investment in EbA (Ecosystem-based Adaptation) alternatives. This way, the inaugurated ‘Demonstration Farm’ was conceived in order to perpetuate, strengthen, extend and complement the financing services offered by the entity to small farmers, aside from the free technical assistance on the implementation of adaptation measures to reduce their vulnerability in the face of climate change effects”, explained Miguel Ángel Charria, the president of the Colombian entity.
The idea is to make weekly visits with groups of farmers to introduce them to such measures, for them to learn about implementation and costs, and also to discover how Bancamía could offer them financing. In this project, students and professors from ICAM have actively participated in the design of the adaptation measures.
In so doing, three institutions are able to motivate the initiation of environmentally responsible projects, increase the social and economic resilience in vulnerable populations facing possible effects of climate change and facilitate financing of the implementation of the said measures.
Miguel Charria further added that with this, “Bancamía reinforces its commitment to offer financial solutions that contribute to the planet’s conservation, through a credit line called ‘CrediVerde’ (Green Credit), where financing for adaptation measures is included, as well as funding for microentrepreneurs’ projects that come with acquisition of eco-efficient technologies.”