Food security in the context of climate change in La Mosquitia
Title: Food security and adaptation to climate change in La Mosquitia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores y Cooperación Internacional de Honduras (Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Honduras)
Overall term: 2017 to 2019
According to the Global Climate Risk Index (2017), Honduras is more vulnerable to the long-term effects of climate change than any other country. The population is repeatedly affected by extreme weather events such as floods, drought and storms, which have partly negated the progress made in poverty reduction over the last few years. The problem of climate change is compounded by the fact that the country is home to fragile natural ecosystems that are threatened by deforestation and harmful farming practices.
At 12 per cent, the proportion of undernourished people in Honduras is considerably higher than the average in Latin America (5.5 per cent). Food security in the country varies greatly from region to region, with people in rural areas and large parts of the indigenous population being particularly hard hit. The La Mosquitia region in eastern Honduras is home to a particularly large number of indigenous groups that primarily grow their own food, as food is expensive to buy and options are limited due to logistical challenges. As a result of climate change, conditions have become extremely difficult for high-yield cultivation and harvest losses are a frequent occurrence. This leaves the rural population in La Mosquitia particularly vulnerable.
The resilience of the largely indigenous population to the effects of climate variability on food security is enhanced in 20 communities in the municipality of Puerto Lempira.
The focus of the project is on increasing and diversifying food production, developing capacity and improving coordination between the key stakeholders concerned with food security.
The project operates at several levels to enhance skills, resources and institutional capacity. It develops the capacity of national specialists and management personnel in the agricultural sector and promotes coordination between the key stakeholders involved in food security. At local level, smallholder farmers are advised on how to adapt their cultivation methods to the negative effects of climate change. GIZ works closely with the Honduran Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and with MASTA, an umbrella organisation of the Miskitu indigenous ethnic group.
The project promotes the cultivation of cocoa. It gives priority to genetic improvements in seed quality and to the preservation of traditional and indigenous knowledge. One of the key areas of activity involves strengthening women’s groups with a view to ensuring food security and adaptation to climate change on a large scale. Special attention is paid to the rights and structures of the Miskitu people, thus helping to find viable solutions that are effective in the long term. The project also works closely with the programme on Community-Based Forest Management and Adaptation to Climate Change, which is also being implemented by GIZ in La Mosquitia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Measures can therefore be coordinated and implemented efficiently.