In the San Marcos department of Northwestern Guatemala, the indigenous people (Mayan Mam) of the Chocabj community are faced with climate change variability that threaten their existence and the ecosystems they rely on. Erratic rainfall and droughts cause water shortage for human consumption and agriculture irrigation and the torrential rains cause landslides that put people’s lives in danger and natural resources in peril. Along with the rest of the Guatemala and other countries in Central America, the communities are still coping with damages from Hurricane Stan that have affected infrastructure, crops and water resources. With the continuous climate change impacts, the communities need to learn sustainable adaptive solutions to make them, and the ecosystems they rely on, resilient.
Another challenge in the project sites are the low literacy rate of the Mayan Mam people and the lack of gender equality. As reported by UNDP, the Mayan Mam has a literacy rate of 49.4% as compared to the national level rate of 69.1%. Mayan Mam men have a 61.7% literacy rate and the women, a 38.5% rate. The community members do not understand climate change, but do acknowledge that they need to cope with its impacts in a sustainable manner. Additionally, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Carribean (ECLAC), life expectancy for women is higher by 10% than that of a man with 67.2 years for women and 61.4 years for men. With marginalized women representing 52% of the community’s population, the current and future generations are highly vulnerable to climate change adverse impacts.
In this regard, the Community-Based Adaptation project aims to reduce the community’s vulnerability to climate change by through awareness-raising and capacity building workshops. Through a participatory approach, an action plan on sustainable natural resource management (reforestation, soil conservation, terracing) and biodiversity conservation are developed and executed by the communities themselves with technical support and advice from UNDP and its partners including the implementing NGO. Gender mainstreaming, volunteerism and social inclusion are big focuses of the project. Irrespective of age, gender and physical and mental abilities, every member of the community has a voice and a role in the project as they contribute critical knowledge to the project. Best practices and lessons learned from the project are disseminated and replicated in other communities to help them adapt to climate change. Additionally, the project’s successes are upscaled and aimed to influence policies at the local and national levels.
There are no related resources for this project.