In global efforts to tackle climate change, the issues of climate change adaptation and mitigation are still being discussed separately and with little linkage to the context of the Andean countries. This is reflected in the scattered investments and defining strategies promoted in countries with a greater orientation to lowland forests. However, from 2011, the consensus and demand from the Andean countries to seek mechanisms to explore and strengthen comprehensive strategies in the definition of policies at different levels (local, national and global), seeking synergies between adaptation and mitigation has grown. In this sense, sustainable management of resources, particularly in fragile ecosystems, is a key aspect to define this holistic view. This will require having a better understanding of the Andean forests, and their relation to climate change, to achieve greater recognition and prioritization of the work done in mountain forests in the international debate on climate change.
The Andean Forests Programme is a regional initiative that helps the Andean population living in and around the Andean forests to reduce its vulnerability to climate change and to receive social, economic and environmental benefits from the conservation of the Andean Forests. In order to achieve this goal, information is generated and disseminated using the research conducted in the Andean forests which detects, validates and shares the existing good practices which will eventually be taken to a political level. The goal of this programme is to raise regional, national and local interest in the conservation of the Andean forests and to promote synergies between strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The Andean Forests Programme, as part of the Global Programme Climate Change of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), combines expertise, practical relevance and the establishment of regional and international guidelines on the subject. It contributes to and is based on existing successful experiences from specialized actors in international agendas on the issue of forests and climate change.