Community-Based Adaptation: Guatemala

Introduction

Climate change risks to Guatemala include intensification of many historically familiar climate risks, threating rural livelihoods and ecosystems. Climate change pressures are likely to include:

  • Increasingly intense cyclones 
  • Decreasing precipitation and increasing water stress 
  • Increased landslide risks from increasingly intense rainfall events 
  • Changing ecology and hydrology, affecting farmers and agro-ecosystems

Community-Based Adaptation projects will focus on community-based natural disaster risk reduction activities in rural communities in globally important ecosystems and watersheds, focusing on the management of natural resource management to increase resilience to climate change impacts.  Activities will be guided by the Guatemala CBA Country Programme Strategy (English abstract).

All CBA projects involve non-governmental organizations (NGO) at the local and national levels. In addition, the UN Volunteers is a project partner in seven (7) out of the ten (10) CBA countries:  Bolivia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Morocco, Niger, Namibia, and Samoa. In addition to the Adaptation & Volunteerism Specialist overseeing the seven (7) countries, a national UNV officer in Guatemala is fully dedicated to the CBA projects at the local level.  The partnership began in June 2009.

The CBA portfolio in Guatemala consists of four (4) projects:

1. Soil Recovery with Organic Crop and Soil Conservation Structures in Pin Pin Canton

2. Adapting to Climate Change through the Application of Green Forest Borders (ODICH)

3. Reforestation and Soil Conservation to Improve Tree Nurseries for Adaptation

4. Tree Nursery Activities for Reforestation in the Taltimiche Plain (APRODIC)

Guatemala is one of ten (10) countries implementing projects as part of UNDP's "Community-Based Adaptation" programme. *

Project Details

Climate change will have severe impacts on the ecosystems and communities of Western Guatemala, leading to cascading and interrelated impacts on livelihoods, biodiversity, and socioeconomic development in the region.  Weposition: form-data; name="field_project_results_outputs[und][0][value]"

The CBA project in Guatemala will build community-level capacity to adapt to climate change by integrating climate change risk management practices into community management of agro-ecosystems, forest ecosystems, and river basins.  CBA in Guatemala will partner with IUCN, and adopt an integrated area-based watershed management approach – working with communities to collaboratively manage landscape-level ecological processes to reduce climate change risks.  CBA projects will be developed in different eco-regions within the Suchaite and Naranjo river basins, and will be designed to ensure complimentarity between upstream and downstream interventions.

Within this framework, CBA projects will focus on integrating climate change risk management into activities within the water and agriculture sectors.

Level of Intervention: 
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The GEF Small Grants Programme
UN Volunteers
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
$89,772 (approximate, as detailed Aug. 2012)
Co-Financing Total: 
$70, 712 (approximate, as detailed Aug. 2012)

Key Results and Outputs

The CBA project in Guatemala will build community-level capacity to adapt to climate change by integrating climate change risk management practices into community management of agro-ecosystems, forest ecosystems, and river basins.  CBA in Guatemala will partner with IUCN, and adopt an integrated area-based watershed management approach – working with communities to collaboratively manage landscape-level ecological processes to reduce climate change risks.  CBA projects will be developed in different eco-regions within the Suchaite and Naranjo river basins, and will be designed to ensure complimentarity between upstream and downstream interventions.

Within this framework, CBA projects will focus on integrating climate change risk management into activities within the water and agriculture sectors.

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
GEF Small Grants Programme
Ms. Liseth Martinez
Officer-In-Charge
UN Volunteers
Fredy Soto
National UN Volunteer