Guanacaste communities benefitted by water harvesting. The project is financed by the European Union’s EUROCLIMA+ Programme.

Costa Rica. August 2019. The communities of Aguacaliente, Nueva Guatemala, and Río Naranjo, among others of Cañas and Bagaces in Guanacaste, have begun harvesting water in order to benefit many families and neighbours in the area as part of a project called Harvesting Water, which aims to implement adaptation measures to the effects of climate change.

The project is financed by the European Union’s EUROCLIMA+ Programme and it is being managed and executed in Costa Rica and also in Peru by the Expertise France cooperation agency, with implementation by the NGO AIDER and the National Fund for Forest Financing (FONAFIFO) as co-executor. In addition, the project has been adopted, articulated and implemented by the Institute for Rural Development (INDER) and the Municipalities of Cañas and Bagaces, which have allocated human and material resources for project execution.

The Ministry of Agriculture is another institution that has joined this initiative, which aims to develop a viable, short-term alternative that allows vulnerable populations to have tools to improve their ability to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 “The proposal presented by Peru and Costa Rica to EUROCLIMA+ aims to take advantage of each country's experience in matters such as water harvesting, ecosystem payment systems and the water canon for working with the communities most vulnerable to climate change and promoting actions that contribute to mitigation, adaptation and resilience,” said Eng. Gustavo Solano, Binational Coordinator of the Water Harvesting Programme.

See the interview with Gustavo Solano here.

The Guanacaste zone is precisely one of the areas most affected by drought and the scarcity of rainfall in the country, which has meant major losses for livestock producers, farmers and producers in the area, so the implementation of this project, which trains and develops with the community lagoons for water harvesting, hopes to positively impact the integrated and sustainable development of the region.

“What we are inaugurating today is a great step for our country, mainly because the project arose as a measure for adaptation to climate change. In this way, through this cooperation alliance, it will be possible to improve the resilience of the populations, and to contribute to the improvement and management of water resources,” explained Pamela Castillo Barahona, Vice Minister of the Environment.

The farmer beneficiaries of the project who have participated in this initiative recognise the difficulties that the shortage of water resources has generated in recent years, as well as the need to get involved in finding solutions for the entire community.

A project with major benefits for Guanacaste. “The ancestral knowledge that Peru has generated in harvesting water is being transmitted by indigenous Peruvians to Costa Rican farmers. The project does not use concrete materials, the material is mainly clay,” said Jorge Rodriguez, National Coordinator of the initiative in Costa Rica.

In addition, since the project is being carried out in parallel in Peru, the Bartolomé Aripaylla Association (ABA) has shared with the participants the successful techniques implemented in this country, thanks to different meetings and exchanges between the affected neighbours of Costa Rica and Peru.

According to Lic. Sidey Cortés, Territorial Advisor of INDER in the Territorial Office of Cañas, water harvesting is one of the most effective adaptation measures and several countries around the world are relying on it, in order to mitigate and better face the effects of the water deficit in their respective countries.

See the interview with Lic. Sidey Cortés Here.

Climate change has had very drastic effects in the Guanacaste area, so organisations as well as the neighbours involved in this project expect water harvesting to be replicated in other communities, to reduce the impact of climate change.

The initiative has the backing of MINAE and MINAGRI, through the Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR).

Photo gallery of the activity. 

For more information.

Didier Fernández Rodríguez
Journalist AIDER
+ 506 8310-0337

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