PROCAMBIO – sustainable management of resources
Programme title: Sustainable management of resources in the focus of climate change
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores y Cooperación Internacional de Honduras
Overall term: 2016 to 2020
Agriculture plays a considerable role in Honduras. It not only generates a substantial proportion of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), but also provides employment for around one third of the population. Many food crops are grown, such as maize and beans, but coffee is the main cash crop: it is produced for the market, not for self-sufficiency. Honduras is one of the world’s largest coffee exporters.
Honduras is among the countries most affected by severe weather events. Droughts, hurricanes, floods and landslides frequently destroy crops and cause food shortages, meaning that the livelihoods of the poorest population groups, such as smallholder farmers and indigenous communities, are constantly in jeopardy. The growing of monocultures, uncontrolled forest fires and extreme weather events, whose severity and frequency are worsening as a result of climate change, are causing natural resource degradation, water shortages, deforestation and, ultimately, a decline in biodiversity. The western part of the country, which includes the UNESCO-designated Cacique Lempira Señor de las Montañas Biosphere Reserve, is particularly affected by the changing climatic conditions. The area has a population of more than 150,000 people, including many indigenous Lenca communities, which are mainly engaged in traditional farming.
Honduras produced a national climate change strategy in 2010, which was integrated into climate change legislation adopted in 2014. However, national and regional coordination must be improved in order to ensure that it is implemented effectively, including at the local level.
National, regional and local stakeholders implement the protection and sustainable use of natural resources, with a particular focus on climate change adaptation in the region of the Cacique Lempira Señor de las Montañas Biosphere Reserve.
GIZ works closely with the Honduran authorities in order to support the successful implementation of sustainable natural resource management strategies. Responsibility for the management and implementation of these processes lies with a new national committee and a regional committee. As well as helping to improve national and regional coordination of key ministries, such as the Ministry of the Environment, the project encourages the integration and participation of local institutions and organisations, e.g. farmers’ organisations and indigenous communities, in decision-making and practical implementation.
The conservation and sustainable management of natural resources will not only improve living conditions. It will also mitigate climate risks and support the conservation of biological diversity in accordance with international conventions.
The conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, especially given the worsening impacts of climate change, is now a high priority at all levels. GIZ has identified key national and regional stakeholders and is encouraging them to engage in networking – essential for successful project implementation.
Local communities are already deriving long-term benefits from the project. They are receiving training in climate change adaptation and sustainable resource management and are involved in decision-making. Moreover, with GIZ’s support, they have identified alternative sources of income for themselves, such as honey, wild blackberries and balsam from the American sweet gum tree.