Putting ecosystems at the center of adaptation through climate smart village approach

Implemented in Honduras and Guatemala by the Alliance of International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and Bioversity International

Partnering with Asociación Regional Campesina Cho’rti’ (ASORECH) and Comisión de Acción Social Menonita (CASM)


Implemented in the Santa Rita and Olopa communities of Honduras and Guatemala, respectively, within the Central American Dry Corridor region, this project builds on the current evidence gleaned from Climate Smart Villages (CSV) on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), thus generating robust scientific evidence on EbA effectiveness. The project implements agricultural practices to recover agroecosystems using agroclimatic information, improving the ecosystem services of agricultural production systems. Additionally, the project informs the formulation of public policies to strengthen the cross-sectoral implementation of the EbA approach. By combining participatory methodologies, effective dialogue between science and local knowledge, bridging the gap between policy-informing scales, and contributing to knowledge exchange through collaborative research, this project further showcases the benefits of EbA in agricultural settings.

Project start date: March 2022

Duration: 24 months

Cohort: 1st (April 2021 cutoff)

Award: US$250,000

Read the full StoryMap here.

Project Status

Two participatory scientific trials were conducted in Guatemala and Honduras. In the context of participatory trials, we collaborated closely with farmers, working under typical field conditions such as degraded soils, steep slopes, and limited access to irrigation. An important finding was that the average yields of the varieties showed differences between the organic and chemical fertilizer treatments compared to the control without fertilization. Although yields were higher in the chemical fertilizer treatment, no statistically significant differences were observed between the chemical and organic treatments. 

Additionally, a total of 214 farmers have received training in the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) methodology, with 94 in Guatemala and 120 in Honduras. This innovative approach empowers farmers by equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to make informed choices in their agricultural activities, utilizing valuable agroclimatic information available. 

Up to this point, two successful complete cycles of PICSA implementation have been concluded. These cycles have focused on tackling the most urgent challenges faced by farmers in the region. Through these cycles, farmers have gained a deeper insight into how climatic conditions can impact their crops and agricultural practices. Furthermore, they have been educated on effectively utilizing climate and agroclimatic information to make well-thought-out decisions that optimize yields and minimize risks. 

This accomplishment underscores the dedication and collaboration among various stakeholders, including agricultural communities, climate experts, and training teams. The positive influence of this training goes beyond the directly involved farmers, as their informed knowledge and approaches have the potential to affect the entire agricultural community, boosting resilience and sustainability. This approach will persist in strengthening farmers’ abilities to confront evolving climate-related challenges and maximize the advantages of their agricultural endeavors. 

Header Image: © Esteban Benites on Unsplash; Footer Image: © UNEP

photography of mountains under cloudy skies

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