The village Taltimiche is located in the San Marcos Guatemalan Highlands. Recent years have seen an increase of the violent storm events that cause floods, mudslides, and erosion. In 2005 Hurricane Stan destroyed most of the community’s land in an extreme case. Climate change is exacerbating weather events such as torrential storms, droughts, longer summer seasons with larger temperature extremes (both hot and cold), increased erosion, water shortages, and landslides. The community began conservation practices such as planting trees and selective agriculture using their own funds. But after having deemed inefficient these practices were supplemented by the Guatemalan government.
The Guatemalan government has led successful community-based adaptation programs to deal with the local effects of climate change. Practices that enabled the success of the program included:
- Providing financial resources to the community. This can include direct subsidies for conservation practices as well as financing programs.
- Building nurseries to produce 35,000 native species trees. The nurseries also provided education in conservation practices and sustainable agriculture for the surrounding communities.
- Sharing knowledge among residents through events and outreach such as workshops to disseminate best conservation practices. Workshops focused on providing community members with information on climate change, its impacts, and adaptive solutions such as: reforestation, soil conservation, crop management, and species revitalization.
This program was found to be most successful when it was implemented on the local level with the curriculum tailored to local questions and feedback.
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