NAP-Ag in Uruguay supports development of loss and damage estimation protocol
5 June 2018 - Uruguay´s Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP–Ag) project is providing support to develop a systematic protocol for estimations of loss and damage in agriculture due to climate events. Methodical estimations of loss and damage are important for effective climate risk management, to support policies and programs in reducing the impact of climate change in agriculture and promote adaptation.
On 28 February 2018, the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) of Uruguay declared a state of emergency due to drought conditions in large regions of the country. The Agricultural Emergency Fund was deployed with credits for livestock family farmers to purchase feed for cattle in an effort to reduce the losses. Summer crops were also compromised and lack of rainfall during the growing season resulted in yield losses especially in soybean.
The Office of Agricultural Programing and Policies (OPYPA) of the Ministry of Agriculture with support of the NAP-Ag Programme met on 17 May to discuss estimates of losses due to this drought. During the presentation Claudio Hernandez, NAP Consultant, highlighted the need for disaggregated data to be able to measure accurately the direct losses due to the 2018 drought. Moreover, the losses in livestock production are hard to estimate because they have a longer-term impact on fertility, weaning rate and beef production.
Ángela Cortelezzi, an Agronomist from OPYPA, highlighted the impact of a yield reduction due to drought conditions on the overall economy of the country. More than 70% of Uruguay´s exports are agricultural products with beef, soy and cellulose being the three main products.
In the past estimations for climate events such as drought, flooding and extreme storms were done on an ad hoc basis. With support from the UNDP-FAO Integrating Agriculture in NAPs programme (NAP-Ag) the goal is to have a systematic and sustainable system for monitoring loss and damage in the agricultural sectors. This effort is supported at regional level by the Southern Agricultural Council (CAS) and at national level through the National System of Response to Climate Change.