ELAFIS 2012 Medellin, Colombia

The ELAFIS workshop was held on “Prevention of disasters and rational management of the natural environment through soil physics and hydrology”, from 9-20 July 2012 in Medellin, Colombia. A set of outcomes was achieved, as foreseen in the project objectives:

1. Technical and professional training on how to manage soils to mitigate droughts

Dedicated training sessions were given to 44 professionals from 9 different countries from Latin America, specifically related to soil water management, conservation agriculture, hydrographical information systems, climate change, organic manuring to reduce drought stress, soil degradation and remediation. The participants discussed the more relevant subjects internationally approached within multiple scientific fields.

Researchers, students and teachers were brought together with a common goal to manage the soils in drylands by presenting new sustainable techniques to increase the soil water availability in drought affected areas the developing drylands.

2. Improve the capacities on soil management of researchers and technicians associated with the Latin American and Caribbean Drought Network to mitigate droughts

An important aspect of ELAFIS was the interaction/discussion with participants, lecturers and organizers. In view of this, the participants gave a short (15’) presentation (in Spanish) of their work and research activities. Selected presentations will be published in the Journal of the Colombian Soil Science Society: Suelos Ecuatoriales (with abstract in English).

3. Preparation of a soil management method guideline to mitigate droughts

As outcome of the ELAFIS workshop a ‘task force’ was proposed in order for selected participants and lecturers to describe possible soil management systems for mitigating drought in specific areas (drylands) within Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) . Attention will be given mainly to ‘agricultural’, ‘hydrological’ and ‘edafic’ droughts where ‘water scarcity’ is the main issue.

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MWAR LAC - Managing Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of Latin America and the Caribbean