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Spatial information can be used to indicate the condition of the agricultural system at national or regional scale using concepts of indicators of vulnerability.

For further information contact: GIS Communications

This information is valuable to strategic planners to identify opportunities, demands, and impact within the region. The World Bank Indicators for Latin America Project was finalized early in the year with the launch of a Spanish version. Over 100 stakeholders received a package containing self-unpacking maps of indicators for the region, with associated manual and case studies. Additional tools were developed from this study, including the Accessibility Wizard, which quantifies the constraints to flow to any point within an area based on location, path, and quality of path. This tool is currently being used to identify the accessibility constraints to the development of the milk products industry as part of the TROPILECHE study (Agroenterprises). Indicator concepts are also being applied to the Value of Biodiversity (ASB) Project to identify potential "hotspots" of conflict that threaten the forest biodiversity resources of Central America.

After Hurricane Mitch swept through Central America in 1998, the world became more conscious of the high costs brought about by natural disasters, not only in economic and human loss, but also in the environmental impact, both at national and regional level. We need to move from dealing with the consequences of the phenomenon to anticipating the causes and mitigating their effects.

At present, we are compiling, on maps, information of environmental vulnerability, population, social aspects, and infrastructure, so that based on this information an index of vulnerability can be developed for Central America. The challenge for the project is in showing that the new methodology permits working with geographic information systems (GIS) in countries or zones where specific information is available.


Related Web Sites
Environmental and Sustainability Indicators
Accessibility Analyst

Vulnerability to Natural Disasters in Honduras
(in Spanish)


Farming Futures: Modeling the effects of climate change on agriculture

Global warming is coming; there is now no question about it. The consequences are still to be determined in detail, but agriculture will undoubtedly be changed over the next 20 years.

Agricultural research has a long lead-time. A recent breakthrough in drought tolerance for beans at CIAT, although not costing more than a few million dollars, took nearly 25 years to deliver the goods. This means that scarce research resources have to be targeted with great care. This has never been easy, but with the moving goalposts of Global Climate Change upon us, the job has become much more difficult. We need to know what will be needed, and where it will be needed, now, to plan the next 25 years of research.

We are obviously in an area where experience is of little use beyond our knowledge of the theory of plant growth and development. We have never seen the sort of changes that are coming and so we are reduced to guessing or modeling. Guessing is never a good idea.


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Farming Features: Modeling the effects of climate change on agriculture

Applying spatial interaction models to the dairy sector in Colombia

Test the hypothesis that the profitability and adoption of new technologies in the dairy sector of Colombia is positively related to the access to markets and center of innovation.


Applying spatial interaction models to the dairy sector in Colombia

Training and capacity building on Rural Sustainability Indicators for Central America

Indicator tools can transform data into information, and information into actions, and thus help people and institutions make better decisions. As a result of the Rural Sustainability Indicators for Central America Project (a CIAT-World Bank- UNEP collaboration), a series of products were produced with the aim of helping and improving decision-making processes, and the monitoring of the development process. However, the tools by themselves will not make better decisions. Neither is it enough to provide only tools to the relevant institutions. Instead, real capabilities need to be created on how to produce and use the information and the tools for decision making. The way to create these capabilities is to train the personnel of the institutions on how to use and develop indicators and information tools.


Training and capacity building on Rural Sustainability Indicators
for Central America

Quantifying impacts of cassava-based hillside land uses on system resilience to environmental disturbance

To understand the potential impacts of cassava-based land use systems on resilience of hillside agro-ecosystems to perturbations

Quantifying impacts of cassava-based hillside land uses on system
resilience to environmental disturbance

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