In Central America, smallholder farmers are the heart of the agriculture sector — and they are among the people most vulnerable to climate change.
In fact, these farmers represent the majority of the farming population — and account for a significant portion of agricultural production. They are also particularly vulnerable to climate change given their small land holdings, high dependence on nature for services such as fresh water and pollination, limited capacity to adapt to changes and high dependence on rain-fed crops. But research shows that climate change will likely reduce crop yields, change pest and disease outbreaks and have significant negative impacts on farmer livelihoods.
To help smallholder farmers in Central America, Conservation International has partnered with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). Together, through the CASCADE project, we are identifying and testing ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) strategies — such as restoring and protecting forests to ensure future water supply and prevent landslides — that use nature as a tool to help smallholder farming communities adapt to climate change. We are supporting the implementation of these strategies in Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala.