CBA Guatemala: Adapting to Climate Change through the Application of Green Forest Borders (ODICH)

Introduction

In the San Marcos department of Northwestern Guatemala, the indigenous people (Mayan Mam) of the Chocabj community are faced with climate change variability that threatens their existence and the ecosystems they rely on.  Erratic rainfall and droughts cause water shortage for human consumption and agriculture irrigation and the torrential rains cause landslides that put people’s lives in danger and natural resources in peril. Along with the rest of the Guatemala and other countries in Central America, the communities are still coping with damages from Hurricane Stan that have affected infrastructure, crops and water resources.  With the continuous climate change impacts, the communities need to learn sustainable adaptive solutions to make them, and the ecosystems they rely on, resilient.

This Community-Based Adaptation project aims to reduce the community’s vulnerability to climate change through awareness-raising and capacity building workshops. Community members will develop an action plan on sustainable natural resource management (reforestation, soil conservation, terracing) and biodiversity conservation, which will be executed by the communities themselves with technical support and advice from UNDP and its partners including the implementing NGO.

Project Details

In the San Marcos department of Northwestern Guatemala, the indigenous people (Mayan Mam) of the Chocabj community are faced with climate change variability that threaten their existence and the ecosystems they rely on.  Erratic rainfall and droughts cause water shortage for human consumption and agriculture irrigation and the torrential rains cause landslides that put people’s lives in danger and natural resources in peril. Along with the rest of the Guatemala and other countries in Central America, the communities are still coping with damages from Hurricane Stan that have affected infrastructure, crops and water resources.  With the continuous climate change impacts, the communities need to learn sustainable adaptive solutions to make them, and the ecosystems they rely on, resilient.

Another challenge in the project sites are the low literacy rate of the Mayan Mam people and the lack of gender equality.  As reported by UNDP, the Mayan Mam has a literacy rate of 49.4% as compared to the national level rate of 69.1%.  Mayan Mam men have a 61.7% literacy rate and the women, a 38.5% rate.  The community members do not understand climate change, but do acknowledge that they need to cope with its impacts in a sustainable manner.  Additionally, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Carribean (ECLAC), life expectancy for women is higher by 10% than that of a man with 67.2 years for women and 61.4 years for men. With marginalized women representing 52% of the community’s population, the current and future generations are highly vulnerable to climate change adverse impacts.

In this regard, the Community-Based Adaptation project aims to reduce the community’s vulnerability to climate change by through awareness-raising and capacity building workshops.   Through a participatory approach, an action plan on sustainable natural resource management (reforestation, soil conservation, terracing) and biodiversity conservation are developed and executed by the communities themselves with technical support and advice from UNDP and its partners including the implementing NGO.  Gender mainstreaming, volunteerism and social inclusion are big focuses of the project.   Irrespective of age, gender and physical and mental abilities, every member of the community has a voice and a role in the project as they contribute critical knowledge to the project.  Best practices and lessons learned from the project are disseminated and replicated in other communities to help them adapt to climate change.  Additionally, the project’s successes are upscaled and aimed to influence policies at the local and national levels.

Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Indigenous Peoples; Women; Vulnerable Populations
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Organización Desarrollo Integral Chocabense (ODICH)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The GEF Small Grants Programme
UN Volunteers
Project Status: 
Under Implementation
Location: 
Rural
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
$25,000
Co-Financing Total: 
$17,607.24

Key Results and Outputs

Project Objective:

Develop organized community actions, voluntary and responsible facing climate change and local impacts such as landslides, poor rainfall, reduced water sources and sudden changes in climate, which in turn allow soil conservation and species local representative, with local and global economic interests.

Outcome 1.0: The community established a community nursery and produces native species such as Pinus rudis (red pine) Pinusayachahuite (white pine), Alnus ssp. (Alder), Chiratodendrum pentadactylla (canaque) mainly.

Output 1.1: A community nursery is installed and working for the purposes stated.

Output 1.2: Are produced 10.000 trees of native species to reforest areas Chocabj community.

Outcome 2.0: 26 are constructed organic composting and help fertilize the soil structure of partners and associates.

Output 2.1: Technical training on the construction of composting to 26 partners and associates.

Output 2.2: 26 aboneras are built, they are applied to maintenance and grounds partners and associates.

Outcome 3.0: The partners and associates have built 3.5 hectares. of soil conservation structures commensurate with the status of their land as a measure of adaptation to climate change in erosion and landslides.

Output 3.1: 26 partners and members participate in a training process on soil conservation through terracing, ditches, hedgerows or dead.

Output 3.2: 26 partners and members have soil conservation by applying the knowledge gained by establishing at least 1.2 hectares.terraces and 2.4 hectares. using barriers.

Output 3.3: The soil conservation structures have established maintenance.

Outcome 4.0: The partners and associates have been trained in agricultural techniques with low environmental impact and oriented to organic production.

Output 4.1: 26 partners and associates are trained in production Creole potato (Solanum spp.).

Output 4.2: 26 members are trained in the art of producing Lumbricompost.

Output 4.3: 26 partners and associates are trained in the proper use and handling of pesticides.

Output 4.4: 26 partners and associates are trained in the production of organic fertilizers.

Output 4.5: 26 partners and associates are trained in the production of organic leaf.

Outcome 5.0: The partners and associates have planted the template produced in the nursery (reforestation), reforesting 10 hectares.purpose of protecting its watershed, obtain energy forests and protection of water sources.

Output 5.1: 26 partners and members receive training on reforestation.

Output 5.2: 10,000 trees are planted in agreement and have maintenance.

Outcome 6.0: The group has been strengthened knowledge on adaptation and mitigation of climate change and organization.

Output 6.1: Training on climate change and adaptation to climate change, led to 26 partners and associates are made.

Output 6.2: Training and marketing organization, led to 26 partners and associates are made.

Outcome 7.0: The organization has been strengthened in its administrative and operational capacity.

Output 7.1: 26 partners and members are strengthened in their capacity for monitoring and tracking.

Output 7.2: 26 partners and members are strengthened in their administration.

Output 7.3: A board is strengthened in its capabilities.

Reports and Publications

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation for community-based adaptation is a new field, and the CBA project is piloting innovative approaches to evaluating the success of locally-driven adaptation projects, and generating lessons to inform ongoing practice.

Key considerations in M&E for CBA include:

  • Grounding M&E in the local context: M&E for CBA should avoid overly rigid frameworks, recognizing community heterogeneity and maintaining local relevance
  • Capturing global lessons from local projects: CBA projects are highly contextualized, but lessons generated should be relevant to stakeholders globally
  • Incorporation of both quantitative and qualitative indicators: to ground projects in tangible changes that can be objectively evaluated, and to capture lessons and case studies for global dissemination

To these ends, the CBA project uses three indicator systems: the Vulnerability Reduction Assessment, the Small Grants Programme Impact Assessment System, and the UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Indicator Framework.

The Vulnerability Reduction Assessment (VRA)

The VRA is a question-based approach with the following aims:

  • To make M&E responsive to community priorities
  • To use M&E to make projects more accountable to local priorities
  • To make M&E capture community ideas and local knowledge
  • To gather community-level feedback to guide ongoing project management
  • To generate qualitative information
  • To capture lessons on specific issues within community-based adaptation
  • To generate case studies highlighting adaptation projects

The VRA follows UNDP's Adaptation Policy Framework, and is measured in a series of meetings with local community stakeholders. In these meetings, locally-tailored questions based on standard VRA questions/indicators are posed, and the community assigns a numerical score on a 1-10 scale for each question. Progress is evaluated through changes in scores over the course of implementation, as well as through qualitative data collected in community discussions surrounding the exercise.

UNDP has developed a Users Guide to the VRA (Espanol) (Francais) as a tool to assist practitioners to conceptualize and execute VRA measurements in the context of CBA projects.

The SGP Impact Assessment System (IAS)

The CBA, being a project of the GEF Strategic Priority on Adaptation, aims to increase the resilience of ecosystems and communities to the impacts of climate change, generating global environmental benefits, and increasing their resilience in the face of climate change impacts. To this end, the CBA projects use the SGP's impact assessment system for monitoring achievements in GEF focal areas (focusing primarily on biodiversity and sustainable land management).

The IAS is composed of a number of quantitative indicators which track biophysical ecosystem indicators, as well as policy impact, capacity development and awareness-building.

UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Indicator Framework

CBA projects also track quantitative indicators from UNDP's adaptation indicator framework, corresponding to the thematic area on natural resources management. More information on UNDP's indicator framework can be found on the UNDP climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation website.

 

This description applies to all projects implemented through UNDP's Community-Based Adaptation programme. Specific details on this project's M&E will be included here as they become available. *

Contacts

UNDP
CBA Project Management Unit