Climate change resilience and good water governance in Mesoamerica

28 March 2011 | News story

A recent workshop in the Sixaola River watershed, located on the Caribbean side of the Costa Rica-Panama border, highlighted the vulnerability of communities to increasing climate change impacts.

The climatic hazards to which the communities are exposed include rainfall variation, extreme temperature fluctuations and high winds. These can result in landslides, floods, soil erosion, river sedimentation, loss of crops, damage to agricultural produce and housing infrastructure.

The recent IUCN led workshop identified the impacts of climate variability and change on communities’ livelihoods as significant, and exacerbated by poverty, limited transport access and few development options.

Within the Sixaola River watershed, a region with an estimated population of 33.500 inhabitants, the Yorkín River sub-basin was selected to take part in the implementation of CRiSTAL, a tool used to identify threats of climate change impacts on community livelihoods. The tool is aimed at empowering communities through lessons and practices at the local level in order to promote collective understanding and action to increase resilience to climate change impacts.

The Good Water Governance for Adaptation project (BMU) aims to strengthen the adaptive capacity of communities in this region by strengthening practices that preserve the ecosystem goods and services people depend on. In addition, the project will raise awareness about the need to adopt and implement frameworks for good water governance.

Based on the workshop findings, IUCN and partners are now developing a workplan and intervention strategy to promote local water governance and to reduce the communities’ vulnerability to climate change impacts.


For more information, please contact:

Ing. M. Sc. Carlos R. Rosal Del Cid
E-mail: carlos.rosal@iucn.org