Published | 22nd October 2018

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Experiences of CARE Guatemala in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Western Highlands

This executive summary has been prepared with the purpose of demonstrating the best practices that help families and communities adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. The most relevant of these are: Sustainable management of natural resources; strengthening of knowledge and local adaptive capacities; women’s empowerment; and strengthening of alliances between different actors for decision making in agroforestry, water, forests and the environment. In regards to lessons learned, the study provides input that helps to make official and strengthen new working approaches to promote a better adaptation to climate change.

Community Based Adaptation (CBA) and the Ecosystem-based Approach (EbA), constitute conceptual guidelines that model adaptation actions in the face of climate change impact, driven by CARE Guatemala in the western highlands through its projects: Integrated Forest Management, MIBOSQUE; Integrated Watershed Management, Micuenca; Water Links; and the Tropical Forest Conservation Fund, FCA, initiatives implemented in San Marcos, Quetzaltenango and Totonicapán.

From the CBA, adapting to climate change consists in the adjustment of natural or human systems, in response to current or expected impacts. This means strengthening adaptive capacity and reducing the exposure of people’s risks or sensitivity to the impacts of climate change, improving their natural environment and social structure and not, inadvertently, worsening their vulnerability. Adaptation, in the case of EbA, consists of using biodiversity and the ecosystem services, as part of a broader adaptation strategy, to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. Both approaches complement each other in an effort to increase adaptive capabilities and strengthen the resilience of the communities and those families most vulnerable to climate change.

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