Ecosystem-based adaptation for smallholder farmers in agricultural landscapes in Central America: opportunities and constraints

Alpizar Francisco, Avelino Jacques, Bautista Solis Pavel, Donatti Camila I., Hannah Lee, Martinez Ruth, Rapidel Bruno, Rodriguez Carlos, Vignola Raffaele. 2014. Ecosystem-based adaptation for smallholder farmers in agricultural landscapes in Central America: opportunities and constraints. In : 7th Annual ESP Conference 2014: Local action for the common good: session Ecosystem services in healthy rural landscapes: examples and calls from local studies and international initiatives (LPFN, TEEB-AgF, WLE), San Jose, Costa Rica, 8-12 September 2014. s.l. : s.n., Résumé, 1 p. Annual ESP Conference. 7, San José, Costa Rica, 8 September 2014/12 September 2014.

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Abstract : It is increasingly recognized that climate change will have a disproportionate impact on smallholder farmers, due to their dependence on agriculture for both livelihoods and food security, their often high levels of poverty, location in remote areas and marginal lands, and lack of access to technical support and credit. Consequently, across the world, governments are developing strong adaptation policies and plans to help smallholder farmers adapt to the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and other aspects of climate change. One approach that holds great promise for smallholder farmers is the use of ecosystem-based adaptation- the use of ecosystem services and biodiversity as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. However, to date, there is little information available on what EbA options are available and feasible for farmers, how effective these are in reducing farmer vulnerability to extreme weather events and climate change, and what the opportunities and constraints are for scaling up these approaches. Using information from a detailed literature review, expert interviews, and a policy review, we will present an overview of the different types of ecosystem-based adaptation measures that are appropriate for smallholder coffee and maize/bean farmers in Central America, examine how effective these approaches are for reducing farmer vulnerability to extreme weather events, and discuss key technical, policy and financial constraints to broad scale adoption. Our study highlights the importance of systematically including Ecosystem-based adaptation in ongoing climate change policies, national adaptation plans and associated resource allocations, and the need for greater understanding of the specific mechanisms by which EbA practices deliver the ecosystem services on which people depend. (Texte intégral)

Classification Agris : P40 - Meteorology and climatology
E10 - Agricultural economics and policies
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources
E80 - Home economics, industries and crafts
F01 - Crop husbandry

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Alpizar Francisco, CATIE (CRI)
  • Avelino Jacques, CIRAD-BIOS-UPR Bioagresseurs : analyse et maîtrise du risque (CRI) ORCID: 0000-0003-1983-9431
  • Bautista Solis Pavel, CATIE (CRI)
  • Donatti Camila I., Conservation International (USA)
  • Hannah Lee, Conservation International (USA)
  • Martinez Ruth, Conservation International (USA)
  • Rapidel Bruno, CIRAD-PERSYST-UMR SYSTEM (CRI) ORCID: 0000-0003-0288-5650
  • Rodriguez Carlos
  • Vignola Raffaele, CATIE (CRI)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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