In the Colombian village of Pasifueres music is in the air. Girls and boys compose songs from a young age. The lyrics show a passion for their region, La Mojana, and for their village that they’ve seen grow over the years.
One such singer is Jennys Jiménez, a passionate climate activist and community organizer whose songs about climate change are being sung across her beloved La Mojana.
“Since I can remember, I’ve been singing. And yes, it’s cool that people are starting to recognize one of these songs because of the lyrics and verses, but my objective is that they get to know the Mojana region, and its efforts to adapt to climate change and build community resilience,” she says.
Pasifueres is a community of less than 1,000. In 2010 the village flooded. Part of the problem was that the wetlands, which should have acted like a giant natural sponge during floods, were decimated. Agricultural production had left them bone dry and the waters were polluted. Without this natural buffer, lives and livelihoods were put at risk.
Jennys decided to do something about it. She became one of 115 rural climate change adaptation promoters through a local association of farmers, producers, rangers, aqua-culturalists and ecologists (known locally as ASOPASFU).
With support from the Reducing risk and vulnerability to climate change in the region of La Depresión Momposina in Colombia project, Jennys and her organization began the ecological restoration of 900 hectares of wetlands in Chinchorro, Cecilia y Mata de Caña. The project was implemented by the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Territorial Development and UNDP with support from the Adaptation Fund.
Nurseries were a fundamental tool in the restoration of the wetlands, with entire families participating in their care and maintenance.
It was truly a grassroots effort. In less than a year, ASOPASFU had experts in horticulture, gathering native seeds, and the planting and maintenance of the species they would use to restore ecological balance.