The use of ecosystem-based adaptation practices by smallholder farmers in Central America

Harvey Celia A., Martinez-Rodriguez Milagro, Cardenas Jose Mario, Avelino Jacques, Rapidel Bruno, Vignola Raffaele, Donatti Camila I., Vilchez Mendoza Sergio José. 2017. The use of ecosystem-based adaptation practices by smallholder farmers in Central America. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 246 : pp. 279-290.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
Published version - Anglais
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Quartile : Outlier, Sujet : AGRICULTURE, MULTIDISCIPLINARY / Quartile : Q1, Sujet : ECOLOGY / Quartile : Q1, Sujet : ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Abstract : There is growing interest in promoting the use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) practices to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change, however there is limited information on how commonly these practices are used by smallholder farmers and what factors influence their use. Using participatory mapping and field surveys, we examined the prevalence and characteristics of EbA practices on 300 smallholder coffee and maize farmers in six landscapes in Central America and explored the socioeconomic and biophysical factors associated with their use. The prevalence of individual EbA practices varied across smallholder farms. Common EbA practices included live fences, home gardens, shade trees in coffee plantations, and dispersed trees in maize fields. We found a mean of 3.8 EbA practices per farm. Factors that were correlated with the total number of EbA practices on farms included the mean area of coffee plantations, farmer age, farmer experience, the farm type and the landscape in which farms were located. Factors associated with the presence or characteristics of individual EbA practices included the size of coffee plantations, farmer experience, farmer education, land tenure, landscape and farm type. Our analysis suggests that many smallholder farmers in Central America are already using certain EbA practices, but there is still scope for greater implementation. Policy makers, donors and technicians can encourage the broader use of EbA by smallholder farmers by facilitating farmer-to-farmer exchanges to share knowledge on EbA implementation, assessing the effectiveness of EbA practices in delivering adaptation benefits, and tailoring EbA policies and programs for smallholder farmers in different socioeconomic and biophysical contexts. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Changement climatique, Petite exploitation agricole, Pratique culturale, Utilisation des terres, adaptation aux changements climatiques, Adaptation, structure agraire, Structure agricole, Agroforesterie, Coffea arabica

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Amérique centrale, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala

Classification Agris : P01 - Nature conservation and land resources
F08 - Cropping patterns and systems
P40 - Meteorology and climatology

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2014-2018) - Agriculture écologiquement intensive

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Harvey Celia A., Conservation International (USA)
  • Martinez-Rodriguez Milagro, Conservation International (USA)
  • Cardenas Jose Mario, CATIE (CRI)
  • Avelino Jacques, CIRAD-BIOS-UPR Bioagresseurs (CRI) ORCID: 0000-0003-1983-9431
  • Rapidel Bruno, CIRAD-DG-Saurs (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-0288-5650
  • Vignola Raffaele, CATIE (CRI)
  • Donatti Camila I., Conservation International (USA)
  • Vilchez Mendoza Sergio José, CATIE (CRI)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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