Projects - International Climate Initiative (IKI)

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As of: September 2016

Ecosystem-based Adaptation for Subsistence Farmers, Smallholder Farmers, and Coffee Growers in Communities of Central America

Objective and activities

The overall objective of the project is 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. The project explores the vulnerability of Central America ecosystems and farming systems to climate change, documents how smallholder farmers are being impacted by climate,and examines how farmers are adapting their farming strategies in response to climate change. The project identifies successful ecosystem-based adaptation strategies that can help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change, and works closely with local and regional institutions and policies to further promote the use of EbA by smallholder farmers, In addition, the project aims 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 are planned for 2016 and 2017.
  • 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 50 scientific presentations, 14 posters, six scientific publications and five policy briefs. Additionally, the project organized a a regional expert workshop and will be releasing a special edition of the journal Climatic Change later this year that summarizes the state of knowledge on climate change impacts on agriculture in the region.
  • Publication of Paper "Ecosystem-based adaptation for smallholder farmers: Definitions, opportunities and constraints"

Project data

Central and South America, Caribbean supraregional: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras

Partner institution:

Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) and CIRAD (The French agricultural research and international cooperation organization) 

Implementing organisation:

Conservation International Foundation

BMUB grant:
€ 2,999,970

04/2012 till 12/2017


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

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