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Work Approach

What do we do and what are our work areas?

We conduct projects for research and development, technical assistance, and training and mentoring professionals. The latter is carried out through CATIE’s graduate school and doctoral programs offered together with other universities.

Our work is organized around the following topics:

Land-use change

Historical analysis of land-use change, deforestation and forest degradation through the use of remote sensing and geographic information systems. Modeling land-use and land cover change using diverse techniques to study the determinants of land-use change and generate future scenarios of deforestation and associated emissions.

We emphasize approaches that quantify uncertainties and analysis adjusted to the objectives of the study. These products can be used for the design and implementation of methodologies to develop systems for measuring, monitoring and establishing reference levels for projects or national or sub-national REDD+ programs.

Climate change and biodiversity

Evaluation of the impacts of climate change on the distribution of terrestrial animals and plants and freshwater species (fish and macro-invertebrates) at species, ecosystem and biomass scales. Development of studies, information and tools to support conservation planning at national and regional scales, for example, identification of priorities for present and future biodiversity conservation, and the development of connectivity networks for the prioritization of biological corridors.

Ecosystem services and climate

Analysis of the impacts of climate change on ecosystem services. At the regional scale we use soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer models that simulate ecosystem functions on regional scales using different time frames to study the relationship between the climate and its variability with respect to services such as biomass, carbon and water. We develop analyses at watershed, national or regional scales using tools adjusted to each scale. At the local and national levels we develop methodologies for prioritizing areas for the conservation of ecosystem services based on the classification of demand and ecosystems according to a range of ecosystem services as a tool for land-use planning.

Climate change mitigation

Mitigation-Adaptation Synergies – We explore options for maximizing the benefits of both response strategies to climate change by designing tools and analyzing barriers. We develop timely interventions at the production landscape level and we support the scaling up of lessons learned for their strategic incorporation into national and regional policies for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Climate change adaptation

The tools and studies related to land-use change, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and climate change adaptation and mitigation are integrated with the development of tools and analysis for planning development to face the challenges of global change in sectors such as conservation, agriculture and water. We study vulnerability and characterize livelihoods that are dependent on agriculture, water, coastal and protected area sectors in different regions of the developing world.

To implement these studies we develop methodologies adapted to each sector and study scale, related to mapping and adaptive capacity analysis of different livelihoods, impacts of climate change and their synergies with the priorities for the conservation of ecosystem services (for example, by including carbon and water). These analyses serve as inputs for the development of adaptation strategies at local (communities) or national scales that integrate actions of the agriculture, forestry and biodiversity conservation sectors.

Training and teaching

Support for courses regularly offered by CATIE’s training program, such as the following:

  • Tools for monitoring carbon sequestration in land-use systems
  • International course on Protected Areas and Biological Corridors
  • International course on climate change adaptation: the role of ecosystem services
  • International course on Geographic Information Systems applied to Landscape Ecology with an emphasis on Biological Corridors
  • Diploma in the Monitoring of Ecosystem Services with an emphasis on Climate Change Mitigation

In addition, we conduct teaching activities in the CATIE graduate school to support the existing master’s programs and participate on committees for directing the master’s and doctoral theses.

comités de dirección de tesis de maestría y doctorado.