Ecosystem-based Adaptation for Smallholder Subsistence and Coffee Farming Communities in Central America - Internationale Climate Initiative (IKI)
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Ecosystem-based Adaptation for Smallholder Subsistence and Coffee Farming Communities in Central America

As of: January 2022

The overall aim of the project was to identify and promote Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) options that increase the resilience of smallholder subsistence and coffee farmers to the impacts of climate change (CC). The project explored the vulnerability of Central American ecosystems and farming systems to CC, documented how smallholder farmers are being impacted by climate and examined how farmers are adapting their farming strategies in response to CC. The project identified successful EbA strategies that can help smallholder farmers adapt to CC, and worked closely with local and regional institutions and policies to further promote the use of EbA by smallholder farmers. In addition, the project aimed to strengthen the capacity of key organizations to support implementation of EbA with smallholder farmers, by providing training to technicians across the region, and to promote the incorporation of EbA approaches in national and regional adaptation strategies and associated policies.

State of implementation/results

  • Completion of detailed field work on 300 farms, and over 900 household surveys, in the three project countries to understand the impacts of climate change on smallholder farming systems and how farmers are adapting to these changes. In addition, detailed information has been collected on the use of EbA options by farmers and the barriers that prevent widespread use of EbA. The results from this work have been widely disseminated to technical, scientific, and political audiences through scientific articles, policy briefs and presentations in key scientific and policy events.
  • Project members have participated in 5 national, regional and international policy events (including participation in UNFCCC sessions) and have co-organized three national policy workshops on agriculture and climate change. The project has also contributed to technical support to the development of capacity building efforts for Costa Rica’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions for coffee (NAMA-café), reaching more than 160 technicians with information on Ecosystem based Adaptation. Additional training events were conducted, for example together with IHCAFE in Honduras, with CATIE’s Mesoamerican Agro-environmental Program (MAP) in Guatemala and Honduras, and with the climate change unit of ANACAFE in Guatemala.
  • The project has had significant outreach to policy makers, practitioners and scientists both within the Central American region and globally. To date, members of the CASCADE project have delivered over 79 scientific presentations, 17 posters, 20 scientific publications, five policy briefs and four technical training modules on climate change and EbA. Additionally, the project organized a regional expert workshop and has released a special edition of the journal “Climatic Change” that summarizes the state of knowledge on climate change impacts on agriculture in the region. Furthermore, CASCADE collaborates with nine local associations who conducted training of trainers for 2100 technicians and farm leaders.

Project data

Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras

Implementing organisation:
Conservation International - Europe

Political partner(s):
  • Asociación Nacional del Café (Anacafé) - Guatemala
  • Comité Regional de Café (CORECAFE) - Honduras
  • Instituto del Café de Costa Rica

Implementing partner(s):
  • Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) - Costa Rica

BMU grant:
3.129.488,00 €

04/2012  till  06/2018


CASCADE: Ecosystem-based Adaptation Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica

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