EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions for Latin America

4 to 7 May, several countries - 150 participants from 15 countries, key players in the EUROCLIMA+ programme, took part in the virtual meeting EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions for Latin America, which aimed to make the programme's first "green" solutions visible.

EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions are the product of the systematisation in the sectors of Resilient Food Production (PRA) and Forests, Biodiversity and Ecosystems (FBE), of results, best practices and lessons learned that can be scaled up and replicated in other contexts, which have the potential to contribute to the green recovery of countries. The Regional Meeting EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions for Latin America has responded to the double objective of making this knowledge visible in the form of the first 18 EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions and by opening spaces for dialogue to explore the possibilities of replication or scaling up towards public policies in the beneficiary countries of the EUROCLIMA+ programme. 

Maria Jarvio, Programme Assistant at the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Partnerships, gave the welcome for the event and stressed the importance of capitalising on the wealth of knowledge generated in the framework of the EUROCLIMA+ programme and making it accessible to its main actors, in particular decision-makers.

EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions: question and answers

During the meeting, the participants saw the Green Solutions in detail and investigated which aspects to explore more deeply, as well as how to take them back to their own contexts and how to maintain the spirit of collaboration generated over the four days: "it is important we do not become islands and tack along-hemming and hawing-hilvanar, weaving webs like spiders", said Gustavo Solano from the Association for Integrated Research and Development -- AIDER.

The starting point was the presentation, in the voice of the protagonists, of the solutions. Afterwards, with very participatory dynamics, there were spaces for dialogue and reflection on these Green Solutions, organised around six major themes:


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                                                                                                                        The six major topics of Green Solutions

Territorial Governance 

Territorial actions are related to climate change adaptation and mitigation processes. But do the examples presented strengthen participatory and inclusive community leadership?  After the presentations it became clear that in the governance of a territory "broadly participatory, multi-stakeholder and multi-level processes and the alliance with territorial actors are key to carrying out sustainable processes", as confirmed by Claudia Cordero (the German Society for International Cooperation - GIZ), EUROCLIMA+ advisor for the Resilient Food Production sector.

Adaptation based on vulnerability variables

The solutions based on a climate vulnerability analysis favour populations with a high dependence on natural resources and limited capacity to adapt to climate change. Edurne Battista (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria - INTA), stressed that it is also necessary to differentiate scales to work on and that with the three solutions presented, three are identified: family, municipality and public policies. "Being able to see the range of possibilities was very interesting”.

Solutions based on Nature

This block discussed how nature-based solutions are aimed at protecting, managing and restoring natural or modified ecosystems in a sustainable way, providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits. Rebeca Dávila, from the Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO), also highlighted that there are complementarities between solutions, especially in regions, in this case Central America, where there are similar climatic situations. A solution related to reforestation and carbon sequestration can feed on the lessons learned from a solution related to water reservoirs, for example.

Virtual Cooperation

How have projects used creativity to adapt to new systems of virtual cooperation work, accelerated by pandemic times? It has been important to discuss how we see the future and how the virtual and the face-to-face will be reconciled, summarises Marcello Rachetti (National Commission for Rural Development - CNFR): "contact cannot be lost, especially in field activities with farming families and producers". Moreover, virtual cooperation could lead to inequalities, due to the technological gap.

Information systems

Are we incorporating technology in a transparent way that helps decision-making? Marlen Espinoza (Helvetas, Honduras) believes that it is important to institutionalise information systems to make them official in view of the Nationally Determined Contributions to the 2015 Paris Agreement (NDCs). Information systems help to strengthen data and involve other actors, from local to national levels. In addition, it is essential to link technology with traditional systems.

Indigenous knowledge

Are the solutions really a reflection of the indigenous worldview and do they promote policies in favour of their rights in the long term? The potential of indigenous knowledge is indisputable, comments Ramiro Batzin, Sotz'il, Guatemala, "I have walked through all the 'thematic rooms' [of the solutions] and it is always present. It is transversal.

All in all, the Regional meeting EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions for Latin America made it clear that "each of the solutions brings with it a hopeful message for our territories and shows that citizen participation is the basis for success", said Oscar Rojas (Fondo de Manejo de Páramos y Lucha contra la Pobreza Tungurahua - FMPLPT, Ecuador).



                                                                                                                 Restitution drawing of the meeting

Networking in the marketplace of ideas

The event was also notable for its participatory and flexible nature. Thus, the marketplace of ideas is a tool through which participants generate their own agenda based on the selection of topics, in this case, the possibilities of replicating or scaling up one or more green solutions and what is needed to do so. The guiding question was: from what I have experienced these days, what do I want to explore in order to take it back to my context? The reflections were systematised around eight strategies for action; all of them fostering collaboration and communication flows between actors and sectors and, ultimately, weaving networks, is present.

Articulation of networks for the continuity of synergies that contribute to the closing and opening of EUROCLIMA+ projects. Promoters: Douglas Benavidez (Netherlands Development Cooperation Service - SNV, Honduras), Gabriela Tallarico (INTA, Argentina), Julio Escobar (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture - IICA, Panama) and Manuel Bonilla (PRONATURA, Mexico).

Faced with the challenge of sustainability of results beyond the life cycle of the projects, this proposal focuses on clarifying the capacity for replicability, scalability and adaptability of solutions from one territory to another. For this, it is necessary to socialise the experiences in the environment of the implementation of a solution through the generation of new networks or support in existing networks, which require commitment and a person with the role of coordinator.


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                                                                                            Some participants in the event

 Generation of inclusive information systems at local, national and regional levels. Promoters: Marlen Espinoza, Helvetas, Honduras and Ingrid Villanova, INTA, Argentina

In the face of a very present "top-down" governance, the proposal envisages elevator-type work: from the information of the local upwards so that this experience is translated into governance and back down again to the territory as a norm. For this to happen, it will be imperative that information systems are accurate, timely and formalised. Links between the scientific and the local are also necessary.

Carbon credits as a resource management mechanism for implementing projects.. Promoter: Odilia Ávila, Forests, Biodiversity and Community Development Project, strengthening the national management of protected areas in Guatemala and Honduras.

To understand and exploit the full potential of community forests and plots in relation to the benefits of carbon credits, project technicians and communities need to be trained within the framework of municipal development strategies. The group proposes to stay in contact (weaving the network) and to have the voice of thematic experts.

Indigenous peoples' participation in climate governance. Promoters: Edwin Camacho (Verdens Skove, Bolivia), Omar García (Helvetas, Honduras) and Pablo Rossendy (Swisscontact, Bolivia)

Inclusive climate governance requires recognition of natural resource use, management and conservation systems, traditional knowledge and practices, and that indigenous peoples are taken into account in climate change decisions. The capacities of the beneficiaries themselves need to be strengthened, and the exchange scenarios in which indigenous peoples are already organised need to be used.

Strategic partnerships for climate finance mechanisms. Promoters: Oscar Rojas (FMPLPT, Ecuador) and Manuel Pitre (IICA, Panama)

The scarcity of both public and private funding for "green" projects and the short-termism of funding highlight the need for inclusive, permanent and long-term financing. Within a network of key EUROCLIMA+ actors it is possible to share initiatives - such as a project exchange to promote local projects -, strengthen capacities in financing and establish alliances to join efforts with a win-win vision.

Multi-sectoral climate change information and knowledge management and dissemination platform in support of NDC implementation. Promoter: David Salvador (Fundación ACRA, Ecuador)

The development of a consistent knowledge management platform aims to safeguard and make accessible quality climate information in an organised manner. Robustness, flexibility, valuable content, variety, and timeliness are characteristics of this proposal, which also proposes to work across sectors, actors and different levels, starting from a small experience to its replication, with support from existing initiatives.

Strengthening participatory vulnerability analysis. Promoter: Luis Arteaga, Conservación Amazónica, Bolivia

Vulnerability analysis, which is key in the forest and food sectors, requires taking into account the local with a territorial and cultural approach and not only climate. Several EUROCLIMA+ projects have already drawn up vulnerability or risk baselines and are assessing the initial effects of the measures implemented. Rescuing and systematising these experiences is key.

Technical training school. Promoters: Julio Rocas, INTA, Paraguay) and Ingrid Villanova, INTA Argentina

Harmonising knowledge on issues related to climate change and training professionals with a view to achieving a greater impact are the objectives of setting up a technical training school. It requires assessing the existing offer of courses and trainers and adapting didactic tools according to the target population. An educational platform is recommended under the EUROCLIMA+ framework.


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                                                                                                                     "What energy am I leaving with today?": Mentimeter

Final Reflections

The closing of the EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions for Latin America meeting was in the hands of a panel of experts from the EUROCLIMA+ Programme, who reflected on issues such as the scalability and replicability of the solutions and the role of partner countries, implementing agencies and the European Commission in the next steps.

Thus, Arnoldo Pineda (Climate Finance and Governance Advisor - Climate Plus Honduras, Presidential Climate Change Office of Honduras) summarised that, for countries like his own, the issues discussed are fundamental: "We are vulnerable countries, with climate and other problems, and we can learn a lot from each other," he said. "It is essential that climate action go hand in hand with how to accompany socio-economic improvement as well. Otherwise, at the end of the project, the benefit could be lost.

For her part, Iris Barth, from INTA, considered that the most striking thing was the sharing of similar issues and problems between countries. If "the pandemic brought fear and the idea that many things would be paralysed, these types of solutions show that work can continue". She also considered the solutions to be interesting not only because of the subject matter itself, but also because of their format: "The systematisation model is simple, direct, and this is important. Then we have to see how they can really be replicated, where there is common ground”.

In the same vein, Bernhard Zymla, German Society for International Cooperation - GIZ, GIZ Coordinator for EUROCLIMA+, endorsed that "in the face of a negative situation, solutions to problems are sought, which creates another mentality, another spirit to combat the problems of climate change together". Regarding the replication of solutions in other contexts, he said that "we want to approach EUROCLIMA+ as a programme that solves and our partners are solution providers".

Closing the panel, Murielle Gurtner, Expertise France, Colombia stressed that the important thing is to have a broad, systemic vision and to see the links between each project. She also insisted above all what was said about networks and platforms and how to move forward and how what is binding is the local and the human factor.


EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions for Latin America was organised by the EUROCLIMA+ programme's Resilient Food Production (PRA) and Forests, Biodiversity and Ecosystems (FBE) sectors through the teams of their implementing agencies, Expertise France (EF) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The event would not have been possible without the invaluable involvement of the teams involved in 16 of the 19 green sector projects, which brought the first EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions to the table. A wide range of stakeholders also participated, including representatives of project implementing organisations, their strategic partners and political counterparts, and other EUROCLIMA+ implementing agencies.

From here, and in the spirit of continued networking, we would like to remind you that the event will include a forum of experts a space for dialogue and reflection on different aspects of the solutions and the next steps. You are invited.


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Photo caption 1: Illustrated agenda of the event

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