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Agronoticias: Agriculture News from Latin America and the Caribbean
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Rethinking agroforestry systems to build resilience in Cuba

The FAO is supporting the implementation of a new project for the capacity building of rural communities in Cuba through the restoration of agroforestry landscapes.

Climate change is having increasingly extreme effects on weather events in the Caribbean, which is putting the staying power of agricultural systems to the test. Furthermore, the salinization of certain regions of Cuba has led to a reduction in the country’s cultivable areas, thereby causing losses for producers. In order to address this growing problem, Cuba is faced with the prospect of a potential project that would help establish a more sustainable, resilient production model. FAO representatives in Cuba have requested the FAO Investment Centre’s support to prepare a climate change vulnerability assessment of the rural communities in the affected areas, which would study exposure, awareness, adaptive capacity, and the impact of climate change on the livelihoods of the local population. This assessment would ultimately serve as the basis for the project’s design development.

If this project comes to fruition, it would potentially improve the way in which agroforestry systems are managed, thereby ensuring more responsible, sustainable management of resources such as forests, water basins, and areas affected by drought. Seven types of field interventions are being considered, all in accordance with the Cuban government’s policies and the FAO’s regulations. Some of the most important aspects include support for resilience and conservation by implementing intensive, sustainable production systems; preserving environmentally valuable spaces such as forests and swamps; adopting sustainable, ecological energy measures; and creating early warning systems for major weather events. The project is also intended to improve the regulatory framework through capacity building of producers, which would consequently help protect and revitalize value chains.

Although the project’s strategic lines have already been defined, the Cuban Government and the FAO are currently working on the funding proposal, which will be submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) this year. If approved, it is estimated that the project design will take approximately 10 months to develop.

Author: Jordi Vaqué
Photo Credit: Reno Massola (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5)

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