Strengthening the capacity to adapt to climate change in the Cundinamarca’s territories through Agroecology strategies.

Generate techniques for community work in the planting of plant materials that help mitigate the vulnerability of ecosystems.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Harold de Jesús Castilla Devoz

Initiative's representative date of birth

October 3, 1966

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Colombia

Headquarters location: city

Bogotá D.C.

Where are you making a difference?

Production of new inputs in green manure conservation for the development and improvement of the quality of life in Claraval and Chuscales in the municipality of Junín / department of Cundinamarca.

Website or social media url(s)

Date Started

July, 2012

Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan going forward)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €50k - €100k

Organization Type

  • Educational institution

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

UNIMINUTO focuses on building communities and transforming territories, knowing the importance of the rural sector in the development of society and its relationship with rural communities with lack of opportunities, which has allowed it to develop different strategies to support the importance of programs in environmental conservation through strategies such as water conservation. Due to this, the Social Innovation Science Park (PCIS) was created, generating innovative solutions through the experience of its researchers and students, focusing on strengthening the capacity of communities through science, technology and innovation.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The growing vulnerability of the ecosystems to Climate Change in the territories that supply water to the aqueduct of several municipalities in Cundinamarca, makes them increasingly fragile to face the risks that are projected in the future, with consequences for their families and their agriculture. We sought to generate participatory strategies to increase the capacity for adaptation, the conservation of ecosystems and the permanence of communities by improving their living conditions.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Identifying and prioritizing the most relevant problems due to the effect of climate change on both livestock and agricultural systems, we proceeded to georeference the optimal units for implementation, asking project users for labor and the participation of their family nucleus, implementing the participatory action of farmers in their productive, social and environmental development. Thus, short, medium and long term phenological vegetable materials were implemented, such as: Aromatics, Fruit trees, Andean Tubers and Cereals; that by means of "friendly" agro-ecological systems with the environment achieved the construction of microorganisms implemented in the fertilization of the use of compost, mycorrhizae, humus and microorganism nitrogen fixers and phosphorus solubilizers. In this way, the diet of families is enriched with the consumption of safe food, in addition to the drastic reduction in the use of chemical inputs. Also achieving that in the traditional systems the "friendly" package is applied. As an added value, the communities see themselves in the need of associating, in order to commercialize their products.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

Conservation agriculture consists of rotation with commercial crops in 3 ways: First, permanent coverage of the soil, sowing residues from pastures, stubble and crops; Second, no preparation of the soil, with minimal or no movement of the soil for sowing; and Third, rotation with green manure; this, taking into account the use of microorganisms, such as oxygenating agents, biodegraders and reactivators of ecological niches. Finally, we applied the implementation of demonstration plots of the silvopastoral and polyculture system for the care of water resources, reducing the effects caused by livestock at water points, the cost of production per animal and the effects of greenhouse gases.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

The following entities should be involved: Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca (CAR), producers' organizations, the Ministry of Environment and municipal governments of the Guavio River basin and UMATA of each of the municipalities involved. It is expected that, through the CAR, in agreement with the government and municipality and by In the middle of the UMATA, with the support of research institutions (CORPOICA) and other institutions, this technology is disseminated in the basin until there is a sufficient number of producers who apply it routinely to generate the expected social, economic and environmental benefits, strengthening these organizations by involving new users. The agreements made will allow for timely resources and the optimization of existing ones for training, purchase of inputs and machinery and technical assistance. This availability and opportunity, although limited, will facilitate the process of motivation and dissemination in the target areas.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

The population involved in the program was 640 people from the communities, and they will actively participate in the development of the participatory diagnostic activities, creation and application of the indicators, frequent monitoring of the indicators and evaluation of the research processes that are proposed. Within these communities, the largest plots of land with owners who do not have working capital for the planting of large plots are rented out to agricultural entrepreneurs. These tenants want to get the most out of the land in the shortest time possible. Planting green manure means them three to six months more rent, depending on the area, and no longer planting a cash crop.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

Within the improvement of the environmental impact, training and exchange events will be held, where the participation of directors, technicians and producers is fundamental to achieve the insertion of the proposals of the institutions; generation and sharing of technical content; application and adoption of new technologies. The motivation and training processes for the technicians is slow and expensive, besides when these are changed by others, it is necessary to begin again the process of training and the works of field stay to half a way, generating distrust and uncertainty in the producers. By this, the training will generate security inside the community, their plots and the commercialization of their agriculture.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

Through conventional agriculture, farmers are interested in strategies and new technologies that do not depend on chemical inputs, improving their agricultural production and promoting their self-sustainability. Thus, through the demonstration plots, the practice of planting is transferred to them, reducing losses due to low germination rates and effects caused by pests; which is very important, taking into account that this type of methodology is minimal and competitiveness is low in the local market; with the help of allelopathy, a biological phenomenon that produces biochemical compounds that influence the growth, survival or reproduction of other organisms.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

The Social Innovation Science Park, through its project management platform, supports the implementation of initiatives that seek to solve the problems of communities and their territories. All this through the structuring, formulation, search for funding, identification, validation and allocation of opportunities for public sector entities, private and international cooperation, and support in the implementation of projects based on Social Innovation. In addition to the team for the formulation of project proposals, the formulation includes the technical and budgetary structuring, the consolidation of requirements and the methodological support according to the requirements of the entity.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Mauricio Peralta, Civil Engineer from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Andrés Hozman, Environmental Engineer from Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas. Lizeth Herrera, Business Administrator of UNIMINUTO. Camilo Velásquez, Agricultural Engineer from the UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL. Germán Mahecha and Rubén Ortiz, Agro-ecology Engineers of UNIMINUTO. César Nieto, Business Administrator of UNIMINUTO. José Tovar, Systems Engineer from the UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine
  • Ashoka page or contact


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