Pilot site: Buena Vista microwatershed
The micro watershed feeds Buena Vista upper Rio Coatán Basin. It includes part of the hydrologic region 23 of the coast of Chiapas, Mexico. At the territorial level, the micro basin is located in the municipality of Cacahoatan and adjoins the border of Guatemala. Complies for 3 “ejidos” with altitudes between 1,100 and 1,500 meters: El Águila, La Azteca and El Progreso. The micro watershed is an important part of the Biosphere Reserve in Tacana volcano inhabited by a great diversity of endemic and endangered species.
Buena Vista has an approximate area of 1,139 hectares, where vegetation predominates cloud forest and jungle subperenifólia. Rural communities that make the micro basin remain mostly in rainfed agriculture. These lands, suitable for coffee production are worked by descendants of Mam culture that mostly devoted to marketing products locally. Corn production is also important for subsistence and families´ livelihoods.
The value of the micro basin Buena Vista in addition to its rich culture and agricultural use is its ability to infiltration and deep percolation to recharge the aquifers and maintain surface flow of the tributaries that originate in the area.
Impacts of climate change on livelihoods
Extreme weather events such as Stan in 2005 significantly affected the region. During this storm missed a lot of coffee and corn production, the main source of livelihood in the microwatershed. The soils damaged by the high impact of intensive agriculture show overexploitation of natural resources and increase the possibility of risk to extreme climatic events.
Although the population subsists mostly of agricultural production, there is great technological backwardness, causing low productivity and poor performance in both coffee as in corn. The conditions in the region are seriously affecting the livelihoods of families that depend mostly of these agricultural products.
Climate change projections made by state institutions say that the average temperature will increase to 1.6 ° C by 2050. By 2020 changes in rainfall in the area will be maximized. These differences seriously affect the rhythms of planting and harvesting. Experts say the chances of intense pests and diseases in plantation are high. The sum of these factors results in effects on the economy of families dependent on agriculture in watershed micro Buena Vista.
Adaptation measures and implementation strategy
- Establishment of local agreements for good water governance through the establishment of a microwatershed committee
- Diversification of agricultural activities through a pilot greenhouse in place and operating in the Buena Vista microwatershed