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Our newest ITL project, Climate Monitoring Action, Nicaragua focuses on equipping and supporting families on who are on the frontline of the fight against climate change. In this update we introduce those who will play a central role in the project’s success.

Blanca Isabel Lacayo Ortiz, Programme Manager, Christian Aid

'I am an Agricultural Engineer with more than 10 years of experience in climate change adaptation applied to various crops such as coffee, cocoa, honey, basic grains, livestock and forestry. On a field trip with our partner Soppexcca a couple of years ago, a group of farmers spoke about the advantages of coffee and cocoa diversification in their livelihoods, as a result of climate change…

However, they wanted to learn about climate by understanding how to measure rainfall, temperature and other variables. In Nicaragua, there are projects that include climate adaptation, however, this is a different approach, linking community climate monitoring and adaptation. Families will be able to make future farming decisions for their livelihoods by considering climate information (forecasts, early warnings, etc.) and becoming climate-resilient families.'

Introducing our partners Centro Humboldt

Christian Aid partner, Centro Humboldt has been active as a non-profit civil society organisation in Nicaragua since 1990. They work alongside communities to access clean water, reduce the impact of mining activity and reduce the risk of natural and manmade disasters, as well as carrying out studies and proposals so Nicaragua can adopt the necessary measures to face up to the challenges of climate change.

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Climate Centre, Centro Humboldt Credit: Christian Aid
Climate Centre, Centro Humboldt

Xitlali Sandino

Xitlali is Deputy Director at Christian Aid partner, Centro Humboldt. Commenting about this project she stated:

'To the extent that people can better understand how climate influences their crops and other livelihoods and how their decisions/actions also influence the climate, we can hope to improve their living conditions by gradually restoring the balance with nature, for the good of all. I would like to thank you for your trust and your commitment to such an innovative project that has people from rural communities, schools and churches as its reference points. The direct work with people, providing them with knowledge and information, is a stimulus for change towards a more responsible and environmentally conscious culture.’

Abdel Garcia

Abdel is a Climate Change Specialist at Centro Humboldt. He has more than 10 years’ experience in helping communities adapt and become more resilient to climate risks. He states:

‘Families and communities whose survival depends on coffee production are facing a variety of climatic pressures that are reducing their productivity…Reversing the consequences of climate change in local environments is a major challenge…For Centro Humboldt, CA's support has been fundamental, as it has allowed us to strengthen our capacity to work systematically, which we consider fundamental for the country and the communities we work for.’

Agustin Moreira

Agustin is a Climate Monitoring Systems Specialist at Centro Humboldt. He shares his experience in this area and his views on this project below:

‘During my university studies in agronomy and industrial studies, I began to be interested in specialising in agrometeorology as a result of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. I did an internship at the National Center of Hurricanes, in Florida, USA, where I was trained in meteorology and for 10 years have focused on agrometeorology [the study of weather and use of weather and climate information to enhance or expand agricultural crops and/or to increase crop production]. My passion for adaptation to climate change lies in the fact that I am convinced that only technical - scientific knowledge about the behavior of climatic variables and the management of the effects they exert on…productive activities contribute to the reducing the negative impacts of climate change. Your support is reaching rural families and through these actions, conditions are being created to overcome poverty and gender inequalities.’

Introducing our partner: Soppexcca

Christian Aid partner, Soppexcca was formed in 1997 by a group of 62 farmers to improve the lives of its members and their communities. It focuses on supporting small coffee farming cooperatives in Nicaragua who have been severely impacted by climate change.

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Marlon Lopez Credit: Christian Aid
Marlon Lopez

Marlon Lopez

Marlon (Adaptation and Cocoa Specialist), a technician from Soppexcca also directly involved with the CLIMA project states –

‘This project is of great importance because in the end it is expected that with technical advice and climate tools it will allow producers to have more consistent and efficient information to be prepared for the effects of climate change. They will also be able to make decisions that will make them less vulnerable to this problem…For our small producers this offers not only economic benefits, but widespread benefits since this situation of climate change directly impacts on the way of life of their families and the communities where they live.’

Fatima Ismael

Fatima is Deputy Director at Soppexcca. She shares her thoughts on the importance of this work below:

‘My background is in agricultural engineering. About fifteen years ago, when I was in the department of Jinotega...we had a pleasant climate, rivers that flowed constantly and we almost never faced problems of drought…A producer, whose name is Leonardo Valle, told me, ‘Look, there will never be a lack of rain here, we have plenty of forest.' Now we have problems with drought, lack of water in the communities, greater plagues and diseases. I consider carrying out work to revert the environmental damages caused from the green revolution and the bad practices of deforestation, is a great challenge that is needed to ensure future generations inherit a healthy earth.’

Arleen Arauz

Arlen who is Project Coordinator at Christian Aid partner, Soppexcca also comments:

‘In these difficult times that the world is facing, international cooperation provides an opportunity to support small producers in accessing information that can affect the lives of their families and bring about change to improve their quality of life.’

Moving forward

We hope you enjoyed hearing from those directly involved in delivering this project. A joint operational plan for year 1 of the project has been agreed and beneficiary training is already taking place in the field, in a way that is safe and responsible in the COVID-19 context. We are excited to continue to update you on this work over the year ahead.