Adapting to a Changing Environment

Organization: 
Asociacin Ambiente Sur

Entry Overview

General Info
Germïn Rafael
Montero
Email : 
orgullo@ambientesur.org.ar
Organization Address: 
Rivadavia 780
Carlos Gardel 389
Rïo Gallegos, 9400
Argentina
Problem
Population Impacted: 
110
Size: 

8.000 has

Major Occupations: 
-Public Administration -Petroleum Resources -Livestock
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose: 
Port activity:petroleum, coal from the Rio Turbio and livestock products. Increased oil and gas activity.Artisanal fisheries and Recreational activity: recreational activities including water sports, fishing, hiking, ecotourism etc.
Local threats to resources: 
Advancement of urbanization, urban solid waste disposal, the liquid the current and potential uses in this environment, loss of habitat and the disturbances caused by vehicle traffic (bikes, ATVs, etc.) illegal fishing and petroleum spill.
Climate Hazards: 
Wetlands are ecosystems of great importance for hydrological and ecological processes that occur in them and the biodiversity they support. Ecological functions of wetlands favor develop flood mitigation and coastal erosion, they act as cushions or mattresses hydrological protecting the coast from the city of Rio Gallegos of tides (second in the world for its range of up to 13 meters ). Furthermore, through the retention, processing and / or removal of sediment, nutrients and pollutants play a fundamental role in the cycles of matter and the quality of the water. At present the existing climate change scenarios predict an increase of two to eleven grades worldwide Celsius and sea level rise of about 1.5 meters in the next 50 years (IPCC, 1996; Stainforth et al. 2005). The rising temperatures, changes in precipitation and sea level rise are the main aspects of climate change that will affect the distribution and function of wetlands, and thus the environmental services they provide to human communities. For example: the protection of marsh area and filtering natural urban centers (gaps) protect the port city of Rio Gallegos to possible sea level rise and potential urban flooding. That's why maintaining these complex biological processes and conservation thereof, are necessary to sustain these ecosystem services and minimize potential flooding risks.
Level of exposure to these hazards: 
The IPCC (1996) estimates that sea levels will rise between 1, 5 and 9 meters in the coming decades due to the thermal expansion of ocean water and melting glaciers and ice caps. This increase would double the size of the world population threatened by storm surges (about 45 million to 90 million). Examples of particularly sensitive areas include small island states, Bangladesh and other countries in Southeast Asia, northwestern Europe, the southern part of the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico in the United States and Mexico, among other places. It is considered that coastal erosion is one of the major impacts of sea level rise (Boorman, 1990, IPCC 1996). Increased coastal flooding, loss of habitat, increased salinity of estuaries and freshwater aquifers and increased tidal range in rivers and bays, as well as the transport of sediment and nutrients and trends of pollution in coastal areas are among the main effects of coastal erosion. It is likely that higher rates of sea level rise will result in changes in species composition and reduced productivity and function of wetlands (and Niering Warren, 1993). In this context it is difficult to accurately predict if wetlands continue to function as shock absorbers to mitigate hydrological extreme events or providing other important ecological services, social and economic. Therefore, it is only possible to provide an overall assessment of the relationship between wetlands and climate change (Moya, Hernandez and Borrell, 2005)
Level of sensitivity: 
Among the threats facing wetlands is the loss and / or decrease in habitat quality, mainly due to various human activities developed in the coastal area and the natural water mirrors. The city of Rio Gallegos was growing in a disorderly manner on the coast, completely filling ecologically productive then install dwellings being exposed to possible flooding of the river Gallegos and floods in the lowlands where there are also homes in the flooded areas bordering the natural gaps , so it is considered to be found in high sensitivity state. These uses have not only adversely affected the natural habitat they depend on large numbers of birds, but have reduced the proportion of natural areas suitable for recreation and tourism, and have led to changes in coastal dynamics affecting natural processes erosion accumulation, which directly impacts the quality of life of the inhabitants of the city. Today, through the existence of the urban reserve, these practices are prevented, having continued to fill only the lots that had been awarded prior to enactment (Ferrari et al., 2008, 2010).
Level of adaptive capacity: 
The ability to adapt to climate change depends largely on the institutional capacity to develop and implement these strategies and is determined largely by the context socioeconomic, political, legal and institutional that institutions operate. It is likely that countries that invest in order to maintain and strengthen their capacity to integrate and manage uncertainty are much more able to adapt to climate change than others (Moya, Hernandez and Borrell, 2005). That's why since 2007 in Rio Gallegos, South Environment promoted citizen participation which culminated with the formal opening of the first public hearing held in 2007. Ordinance No. 6762, was banned in 2009 by the City Council of Rio Gallegos, where they settled these protected areas within the city, a fact that under a long process where you received the advice of the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation and Natural Patagonia Foundation. Both foundations collaborated in previous instances the Public Hearing and training workshops for citizen participation. Today, through the existence of the Urban Natural Reserve System (Ordinance No. 6762) and participatory management of natural area makes further preserving these environments as ecological areas of great interest for many species of wildlife. Also, this organization by the community makes resulting in ability to adapt to changes in climate that these areas suffer.
Solution
Describe Your Solution: 

The Urban Nature Reserves Systems (Order No. 6762) comes from the fruit of a citizen participation that led to the formal opening of the first public hearing held in 2007. Ordinance No. 6762, was banned in 2009 by the City Council of Rio Gallegos, where they settled these natural protected areas within the city. The System provides multiple environmental services and provide climate regulation, control soil erosion, water, carbon dioxide capture, waste treatment and also a natural barrier against tidal waves. Also, play the role as filtered natural urban centers preventing floods

Results
Ecological Costs: 
It is estimated that climate change will cause an intensification of the global hydrological cycle and could have major impacts on regional water resources. It is even possible that climate change will lead to changes in the regional distribution of wetla
Ecological Benefit: 
Having the Urban Natural Reserve System does that protects its ecological value, the need to recover sectors that were being severely degraded by the growth of the city on the coast and keep those who still had conditions suitable for wildlife (Ferrari 20
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit: 

The increased surface area of protected areas from 2001-2013, to quote will name, to the Reserva Provincial de Aves Playeras Migratorias (Ley No. 2583/01) with 3.000 has. , Reserva Costera Urbana (Ordinance No. 5356 / 04) which has approx. 1300has and Sistema de Reservas Naturales Urbnas (Ordinance No. 6762/09) with approx. 1400has.

Community/Social Cost: 
The ability to adapt to climate change depends largely also on the institutional capacity to develop and implement these strategies and is determined largely by the context socioeconomic, political, legal and institutional that institutions operate. It is likely that countries that invest in order to maintain and strengthen their capacity to integrate and manage uncertainty are much more able to adapt to climate change than others (Moya, Hernandez and Borrell, 2005). The social cost is the time spent for the design and planning of coordinated actions between civil society organizations in the community, support groups, individual residents and authorities representatives of the current government, which lead to work together the problem and have a participatory management of protected areas.
Community/Social Benefit: 
In local capacity building for participatory management of Urban Natural Reserve System, citizen participation is encouraged through the creation of local support groups (neighbors, community leaders, teachers and students) conservation. For your organization meet monthly for System Group and plenary sessions every three months, there arose some of the proposals to be presented in this project always considering the desires and perspective of support groups. These groups have been involved in various instances of the previous process, engaging in volunteer activities such as cleaning campaigns, trainings, workshops and interaction neighborhood social network Facebook. These initiatives seeks to consolidate the support group or "friends" for each of the 8 areas that integrate Urban Natural Reserve System, extending the organization in terms of monthly meetings and the Plenary Group System every 3 months, from which arise the management and operational plans, including community activities. These support groups will be coordinated by a Promoter Group, comprised of the Southern Environmental Association (leader of the initiative) and the Environment Agency (Local Management Authority).
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit: 
We can name the following indicators to measure benefit: -Increased support groups for protected areas. -Visitors Urban Coastal Reserve. - Number of visitors to the Environmental Interpretation Center. -Number of people who participate in activities from the Southern Environmental Association. -Number of participants in support groups (neighbors of Urban Natural Reserve System) -Number of children who participated in environmental play, lectures and activities for the community. -NGOs working together on the actions taken by the Association end Southern Environment.
Economic Cost: 

The estimated economic cost of the process to achieve the implementation of the solution is approximately 300 thousand USD for the last five years which include costs for: carry out the participatory process of public hearing, the implementation of the sensibility campaign pride and participatory management System of Urban Nature Reserves (SRNU).

Economic Benefit: 

The economic benefits are: -Increase Ecotourism additional income to enter these areas. -Preserve fishing

Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit: 

The economic indicators used: -Increase of tourists in protected areas. -Fishing-indices.

What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?: 

The challenges are to ensure sustainability and social policy to maintain these protected wetlands. To continue with this process, it is proposed to further increase the opportunities for citizen participation and encourage joint management between community and state.

Action
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used: 

The city of Rio Gallegos was growing in a disorderly manner on the coast, completely filling ecologically productive then install homes, or used to deposit municipal solid waste as a disposal of untreated sewage. (Ferrari et al., 2008, 2010). These uses have not only adversely affected the natural habitat caused changes in coastal dynamics that affected the natural processes of erosion build up, altering the natural centers of urban filtered (wetlands) but also decreased the habitat they depend on large numbers of birds, reducing the proportion of natural areas suitable for recreation or tourism, which directly impacts the quality of life of the inhabitants of the city. That's why from 2000 through coordination with various local, regional and international arose the need to protect these wetlands performing actions such as: conducting the assessment tool WHSRN sites, studies by the National University of Southern Patagonia since the mid-'90s, interaction with government officials of provincial and municipal order (meetings, workshops), support the Environmental Education Program carried out by the Municipality with the support of the University, the surveys and Ecopark project design, participation in the creation of two protected areas on the southern bank of the estuary: a) Provincial Reserve Migratory Shorebird (Law No. 2583/2001) and b) Urban Coastal Reserve Rio Gallegos (Ordinance No. 5356/04), the creation of the Southern Environmental Association has promoted a strong interdisciplinary and interagency achieving the Co-management of Urban Coastal Reserve Rio Gallegos, Project implementation birds children, assistance for the realization of one Public Hearing which then created the Natural Reserve System Urban Rio Gallegos (Ordinance No. No. 6762/09) *, the creation of the Reserve Natural Urban Patagonia, Implementation Pride Campaign for pride estuary of Rio Gallegos, citizen training for charter, creating the Environmental Interpretation Center in 2011 and has also been a key player for the transfer of land to the national state to create the future Patagonia National Park in 2013 . * Made it a long process framework which was advised of Environment and Natural Resources Foundation, Fundaci�n Patagonia Natural and the Avina Foundation. These foundations collaborated in previous instances the Public Hearing and training workshops for citizen participation. It also included the participation of local, neighborhood representatives, sports and culture.

Climate hazard of concern: 
Coastal flooding or storm surge
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?: 

The wetlands in the coastal area adjacent to the city were threatened by various human activities that alter natural ecosystem conditions, threatening its viability. The progress of urbanization and filling coast loss occurred more than 60% of the area of this ecosystem protecting the coastal city of tides, the second in the world for its range of up to 13 meters. The solution protects the wealth of the Firth of Chico River Gallegos which brings together ecological characteristics that favor the establishment of wildlife. The soft tidal flats, sand and / or mud, are exposed during low tides, are areas of high productivity by enabling the development of some species of fish and invertebrates of economic interest (fishing resources) and high biological value that provide the livelihood food for many species of birds, with perhaps more significant for migratory shorebirds, which are concentrated by the thousands in these rich substrates. These environments and wetlands in the upper level of the plains also provide resting areas during their seasonal movements. Species that come from the northern hemisphere (Nearctic) come to the area in mid-spring, some of them remain here throughout the summer and others continue to Tierra del Fuego, revisiting the site on your return trip. The species clearly Patagonian steppe nesting in the estuary begin to arrive in late summer and in spring semretiran. As a result of these constant movements, plus the presence of birds living in the area each year, the cast of local birdlife is varied and of different composition, depending on the season (Albrieu et al. 2004). The estuary as a whole, supports at least 10% of the global biogeographic population Patagonian species, such as the Magellanic Oystercatcher (Haematopus leucopodus) Magallanic Plover (Pluvianellus socialis), both endemic to this region, the high conservation value of species that are endangered as Maca Tobiano (Podiceps gallardoi), the Ruddy head Goose (Chloephaga rubidicps) and 3% of Nearctic species (from the Northern Hemisphere), like as the Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa), Godwit (Limosa haemastica) and White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis). This demonstrates the relevance of this environment both transcontinental Patagonian species as a scale not only locally but also globally (Ferrari et al., 2007, 2008).

How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the ecosystem affected?: 

Importantly, these wetlands and natural areas have been undervalued by the community throughout history and require strong advocacy work to reverse the problem. Also of paramount importance to the community of Rio Gallegos, as these wetlands protect the coast from the city of tides (second in the world for its range of up to 13 meters) and behave as filtered urban centers which prevents floods neighbors that are adjoining the lakes; these ecosystems improve the quality of life for residents and maintain a healthy environment for all. Currently have the Urban Natural Reserve System, not only preserves natural ecosystems but also, prevent flooding and protect the neighbors that are adjoining to these environments.

How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?: 

Protected Natural Reserves extensive tidal flats silty clay, whose importance is that they are very productive in terms of benthic communities, which constitute a rich source of food for shorebirds basically, and available for many hours a day. Provide resting and feeding sites during seasonal movements, as well as a final destination for a large number of transcontinental and Patagonian shorebirds (Ferrari et al., 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, Albrieu et al. 2004). As a result, the Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve (WHSRN), a non governmental organization based in the United States, which seeks to identify and protect critical areas that these birds use during their annual migrations, this environment recognized as a Site of International Importance. Thus, the estuary with two reserves, is part of the 6 sites in the Network Argentina, by which promotes cooperative management and protection (Ferrari et al. 2008a). Since 2005, the estuary is also recognized as AICA site (Area of Importance for the Conservation of Birds) (Ferrari et al. 2005). In areas protected from waves, fine sediment plains are covered by halophyte vegetation forming marshes, also with a high productivity. These environments to be protected can be defined as a strategy management considered to reduce the adverse effects of climate change, increasing the resilience of these vulnerable systems, and reduce the risk of climate change to cause harm to human and ecological systems. The restoration of these wetlands, can be viable alternatives to flood control efforts against the frequency of heavy rainfall thresholds above 50 mm as well as 48 hours have been increased across the Patagonian region, except in the northwest where they decreased consistently with average rainfall, possibly associated with climate change. (Barros et. Al 2006). In view of climate change, it is particularly important to protect coastal and estuarine wetlands likely to experience reductions in extent or even greater adverse effects. One of the major adaptive strategies is to avoid new pressures that reduce the ability of wetlands to respond to climate change. Reduce pollution, prevent removal of plants, and protecting biodiversity are activities to maintain and increase the resilience and adaptation of wetland ecosystems so important to continue to provide services under different climatic conditions (Kusler, and al 1999).

How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?: 

The Urban Nature Reserves Systems (Order No. 6762) comes from the fruit of a citizen participation that led to the formal opening of the first public hearing held in 2007. Ordinance No. 6762, was banned in 2009 by the City Council of Rio Gallegos, where they settled these protected areas within the city, a fact that under a long process where you received the advice of the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation and Natural Patagonia Foundation. Both foundations collaborated in previous instances the Public Hearing and training workshops for citizen participation. The progress made in recent years in conservation in the estuary require strengthening through local support, so the long-term strategy on our site is the strengthening of participatory management of protected areas with strong participation civil society, contributing to an increase in the capacity of the local community to adapt and cope with climate change.

How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?: 

Protected Natural Reserves extensive tidal flats silty clay, whose importance is that they are very productive in terms of benthic communities, which constitute a rich source of food for shorebirds basically, and available for many hours a day. Provide resting and feeding sites during seasonal movements, as well as a final destination for a large number of transcontinental and Patagonian shorebirds (Ferrari et al., 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, Albrieu et al. 2004). As a result, the Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve (WHSRN), a NGO based in the United States, which seeks to identify and protect critical areas that these birds use during their annual migrations, this environment recognized as a Site of International Importance. Thus, the estuary with two reserves, is part of the 4 sites in the Network Argentina, by which promotes cooperative management and protection (Ferrari et al. 2008a). Since 2005, the estuary is also recognized as AICA site (Area of Importance for the Conservation of Birds) (Ferrari et al. 2005). In areas protected from waves, fine sediment plains are covered by halophyte vegetation forming marshes, also with a high productivity. These environments to be protected can be defined as a strategy management considered to reduce the adverse effects of climate change, increasing the resilience of these vulnerable systems, and reduce the risk of climate change to cause harm to human and ecological systems. The restoration of these wetlands, can be viable alternatives to flood control efforts against the frequency of heavy rainfall thresholds above 50 mm as well as 48 hours have been increased across the Patagonian region, except in the northwest where they decreased consistently with average rainfall, possibly associated with climate change. (Barros et. Al 2006) In view of climate change, it is particularly important to protect coastal and estuarine wetlands likely to experience reductions in extent or even greater adverse effects. One of the major adaptive strategies is to avoid new pressures that reduce the ability of wetlands to respond to climate change. Reduce pollution, prevent removal of plants, and protecting biodiversity are activities to maintain and increase the resilience and adaptation of wetland ecosystems so important to continue to provide services under different climatic conditions (Kusler, and al, 1999).

How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?: 

The Urban Nature Reserves Systems (Order No. 6762) comes from the fruit of a citizen participation that led to the formal opening of the first public hearing held in 2007. Ordinance No. 6762, was banned in 2009 by the City Council of Rio Gallegos, where they settled these protected areas within the city, a fact that under a long process where you received the advice of the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation and Natural Patagonia Foundation. Both foundations collaborated in previous instances the Public Hearing and training workshops for citizen participation. The progress made in recent years in conservation in the estuary require strengthening through local support, so the long-term strategy on our site is the strengthening of participatory management of protected areas with strong participation civil society, which involves increasing the capacity of the local community.

Scale
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?: 

Yes, participatory management with local leaders representing academia, state and civil society. The innovative project has as the first Urban Reservations Systems Patagonia Argentina, the advantages of urban protected areas are many and fundamental, especially when you consider that 88% of our country's population lives in cities over of 2000 people and if we also consider that we are faced with the trend of urban population growth, loss of these ecosystems. Since 2007 public participation led to the formal opening of the first public hearing held in 2007. Ordinance No. 6762, was banned in 2009 by the City Council of Rio Gallegos, where they settled these protected areas within the city, a fact that under a long process where you received the advice of the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation and Natural Patagonia Foundation. Both foundations collaborated in previous instances the Public Hearing and training workshops for citizen participation. Furthermore, the project will lead an innovative and effective social marketing mix and environmental education through an awareness campaign using methodology Pride In this area there has been a coalition involving national and international actors, such as the Environment Agency Municipal the Network Hemispheric Shorebird Reserves (RHRAP_MANOMET) and Rare Conservation.

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