Monday, July 24, 2017

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast Pools Efforts Against Climate Change

Biologist Julio Barquero looks at palm trees planted in Puerto Vargas to strengthen the shoreline against the rising sea levels of the Caribbean Sea, which threaten the area with erosion, in Cahuita, in the southeastern Costa Rican province of Limón. (Credit: Diego Arguedas Ortiz / IPS) Click to Enlarge.
In Hone Creek, more than 200 km southeast of the capital, civil society organizations from Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastal region, grouped in the ACBTC, are joining forces against climate change.

As in the rest of the Caribbean region, this municipality in Costa Rica is suffering coastal erosion due to a rise in the sea level, which jeopardises the sandy beaches as well as the tourism-based economy of coastal areas.

At a regional level, the Association of Caribbean States is carrying out a project to adapt to the new climate change scenario, in small highly vulnerable island nations as well as mainland countries, which have in common fragile economies and vulnerable communities.

In Honduras, local communities are reporting changes in the geography of the coastline, and in Cuba scientists are racing against time to protect the country’s sandy beaches.

It is a recurring pattern among Central American countries and each country is seeking its solutions.

“While we work at a global level and expect international agreements to be respected, we have to start locally,“ biologist Julio Barquero, who also works with the ACBTC, explained to IPS.

With a 200,000-dollar budget, provided by the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change Adaptation Fund, the ACBTC promotes a vision of a ”biological corridor” from the forested mountains to the sandy beaches.

It encourages farmers in hilly areas in the municipality to incorporate their forest lands to the Payments for Environmental Services programme, by which the Costa Rican government provides economic compensation for protecting the forest cover.

Under this programme, 478 hectares have been protected in the key Carbón River basin, which brings benefits to the communitiesalong the lower stretch of the river.

“When it rains a lot in a short period of time and there is no vegetation cover, the water does not filter down into the ground but washes the surface away,“ explained Barquero.

Read more at Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast Pools Efforts Against Climate Change

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