Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change

Educating for changes in climate: Support for food and water security in rural communities.

Paula Hernandez on her farm in front of her new irrigation system
Paula Hernandez on her farm in front of her new irrigation system

According to data from the Regional Strategy for Climate Change, a project of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), it is believed that in Central America the average temperature will rise between 1 and 1 ½ degrees Celsius by the year 2030. Rainfall is estimated to decrease between 11 and 14 percent by that year, between 16 and 21 percent by 2050, and between 30 and 36 percent by 2100.

The scarcity of water will be worse in the Pacific zone, where populations are greater in number, and farming is the traditional occupation for more than 50% of the population. There will be less water for people and animals, for irrigating crops and producing food, and for generating hydroelectric power.

Advancing climate change mitigation:
Faced with these environmental challenges, ViviendasLeón promotes through the Food and Nutrition Program, strategies for environmental restoration, adaptation and mitigation to climate change where rural communities exist. During the month of October materials for the construction of drip irrigation systems was implemented. The project involves elevated water storage tanks and plastic tubing for the irrigation of vegetables in the dry period of summer.

Paula Hernandez:
''Thanks to ViviendasLeón today I am receiving materials so my family can build our water system to be able to irrigate our vegetables in the summer months (January - May). Before I didn’t have enough well water or systems, or any other alternative that would allow me to harvest and maintain my vegetable crops in summer. With these flexible plastic pipes and a water storage tank, plus my improved well, I now have a way to irrigate vegetables so they will thrive in the months when it does not rain, and all year round.''

The growing threats created by climate change require governments, organizations and other agencies to develop strategic plans and financing mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation in rural areas throughout Central America. ViviendasLeon has given rural communities in Nicaragua and Guatemala a head start on this process, by training communities and implementing food and water security projects that are designed to mitigate the effects of climate change, and transform rural populations into sustainable and resilient communities.

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As climate change progresses and we are seeing its impacts on a global scale, the most affected are marginalized, traditional, rural populations in developing countries, and who make up the largest percentage of migrants in the Western Hemisphere.

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