At CATIE, we have completed four projects that have provided significant contributions to climate change.
- Tropical Forest and Adaptation to Climate Change (TroFCCA)
Financing: European Commission
TroFCCA (2005–2009) was a global project coordinated by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). It was carried out in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change in Southeast Asia, central and western Africa and Latin America. Each study area represented different aspects of vulnerability, socioeconomic aspects and challenges in adaptive management of different forests. The project studied the impacts of climate change and extreme events in forests in order to understand and strengthen the capacity of tropical forests to respond to adverse effects of climate change, analyzing the impacts, adaptation costs, and criteria and indicators for management of forests and other natural resources to augment their resilience.
In Central America, the project developed an adaptation approach based on ecosystems that concentrated on the study of hydric services of these ecosystems, with regional, national and local analysis of watersheds. In addition, it contributed to strengthening abilities in the subject (adaptation and the role of ecosystems) and to regional dialogue. The lessons learned and the methods developed during the projects have promoted initiatives in the region, including the first Mesoamerican Adaptation Fund project for management of priority watersheds for the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa; technical service support to entities of the United Nations, World Bank and national and local governments; and new research projects such as EcoAdapt (www.ecoadapt.eu) and CASCADE (a CATIE joint project with Conservation International financed by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMU).
- Cooperative Project on Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change in Sustainable Forest Management in Latin America (MIA)
Financing: CIFOR-INIA Spain
objective of the MIA project (2008–2011) was to generate new information and strengthen research institutions in the topic of forests and climate change (adaptation and mitigation) in Ibero-America. Financed by the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA) and co-implemented with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Madrid Polytechnic University, the project supported several research projects on adaptation and mitigation to climate change.
It also contributed to international and regional dialogue about adaptation and mitigation of forests and people to climate change and promoted participation of young researchers in different courses on forests and climate change in the region.
Financing: CIFOR-INIA Spain
FORMA developed and tested tools and methodologies as well as technical and scientific information useful for the design and implementation of Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMs) in the areas of afforestation, reforestation and bioenergy. It supported 10 projects with preparation of proposals for CDM application (baseline, additionality, allometric and growth models, emission factors).
It also developed tools to calculate emissions (e.g., TARAM, Maia y participated en CO2Fix) and took part in evaluations of social and environmental impacts and in the development of international standards and methodologies.
- REDD-Net: Building Southern Civil Society Capacity to Champion the Pro-Poor Dimensions of Avoided Deforestation
Financing: NORAD, coordinated by ODI (UK)
This project, developed between 2009 and 2012, proposed strengthening REDD+ capacities through interchanges among members of a network of implementers about their experiences in pilot activities and in development of tools to aid participation of civil society in formation of REDD+ policies and strategies at national and global levels. The project was coordinated by Overseas Development Institute (ODI) of the United Kingdom and implemented by CATIE’s Latin American Chair in Environmental Decisions, the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) in Asia and University of California San Diego (UCSD) in Africa. In Latin America it has supported initiatives directed to promote opportunities for discussion about REDD+ (such as the Latin American Forum on Model Forests) or the capacities of civil society to participate in discussions about REDD+ (e.g., scholarships for representatives of Model Forests for the course Forest Governance and REDD+). It also contributed research directed to analysis and dissemination of lessons learned in case studies covering the Latin American region or countries in Latin America and in different contexts, including degradation of forests in buffer zones to natural parks (Nicaragua), active frontiers of deforestation (Nicaragua), indigenous territories (Costa Rica, Peru, Nicaragua) or resettlements associated with conservation projects (Brazil).
- Contribution to the policy for payment for hydrological services for the hydroelectric sector in Costa Rica from a perspective of adaptation to climate change
Financing: Environmental Research and Advocacy Fund of UICN DANIDA
To encourage debate on the role of ecosystem services in the energy sector, the project has analyzed an especially important case in the Reventazón River watershed. In this region, the Reventazón produces about 277 MW/h, which represents 38% of hydroelectric energy in Costa Rica, via three dams: Rio Macho, Cachi and Angostura. Inadequate agricultural practices and deforestation have resulted in generation of sediment, which can increase due to events of extreme rainfall. This has become a significant environmental and economic problem for the Angostura dam; the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) calculates the arrival of 2 million tons of sediment annually, with high costs associated with cleaning and the need to buy other sources of energy that amount to several million US dollars each year. Social science research (analysis of perception, preference and stakeholder knowledge) and biophysical research (alternative land-use scenarios under different incentive schemes) have promoted a discussion about necessary strategies and institutional mechanisms.
- Support to the process of defining strategies for sustainable land use and its relation to water resources in dry tropical areas of Costa Rica
Financing: Environmental Research and Advocacy Fund of IUCN DANIDA
Conservation of hydrological conditions in the Potrero-Caimital subwatersheds is of vital importance to the water supply for communities in the canton of Nicoya and in a part of Hojancha, tied to the socioeconomic development of several economic sectors that involve more than 20,000 people. The watersheds are highly vulnerable to reduced water supply (in quantity, quality and continuity) due to biophysical and anthropogenic factors (GEF, PNUD 2005), with little capacity to maintain superficial water flows and recharge of aquifers because of the conditions in this dry area of Costa Rica. The scarcity of hydrogeological data, uncertainty related to occurrence of rainfall, and pressure related to socioeconomic development and settlement make this an area of potential inter- and intra-sectorial conflicts over water resources. This small initiative has generated a greater understanding of the socio-institutional context (analysis of perceptions and governance across scales and over the course of the hydrological cycle) and of the more strategic studies to help in organization of collective responses and, finally, prevent water conflicts. A result has been the identification, design and approval of the FuturAgua project financed by the Belmont Forum and G8 Heads of Research Councils (G8-HORCs) (www.futuragua.ca), which lasts until 2017 in this region.