Partners Come Together To Build Resilience of Belizean
Communities to Climate Change and Other Threats
A Community-Based Climate Change Adaptation workshop was held in Punta Gorda from February 27th to March 2nd. The workshop was carried out through a partnership of the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) the Belize Audubon Society (BAS), and the Belizean communities of Monkey River, Punta Negra, Sarteneja, Chunox, and Copper Bank. It was funded through the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI), and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Coral Reef Conservation Program (NOAA CRCP). Approximately 15 people attended the workshop held at the TIDE office. Participants included community facilitators from the 5 partner communities, as well as partner organizations such as TIDE, BAS, Southern Environmental Association (SEA), and Toledo Tour Guide Association (TTGA)
The aim of the workshop was:
1) to provide participants with the necessary skills to effectively communicate climate change concepts and foster adaptation planning, and
2) develop a timeline for participants to complete outreach in at least two communities within six months. The 4-day workshop included training on the use of outreach materials and participatory activities that support an understanding of various threats to natural resource and social systems including climate change.
Key messages included the causes of climate change and how there will be less negative impacts from climate change where there are fewer existing threats to natural and social systems. For example, a community with healthy mangroves will be less impacted from coastal flooding due to sea level rise than a community that has cleared mangroves. A “local climate story” can be developed through this outreach process to identify which climate change impacts the community is most concerned about and why.
Photo - Adriana Guzmán
Participants also visited Monkey River to begin discussions with community members about local planning for climate change and also to better understand non-climate threats the community is facing that could be made worse with climate change.
Photo - Adriana Guzmán
A second phase of the project will be completed within the year to work with participants to develop local early action plans in these communities. These plans will identify priority actions the community wants to take to build resilience to climate change and other threats to their social and natural systems.