EUROCLIMA+ projects in Central America strengthen synergies

Central America, 23 July - In order to facilitate the exchange of best practices that have built synergies between implementing organisations of the projects for Resilient Food Production (RFP)

and Forest and Biodiversity and Ecosystems (FBE) of the EUROCLIMA+ Programme in Central America and to identify future cooperation to scale them up in the region, the 2021 Virtual Meeting of EUROCLIMA+ projects of the Synergies group in Central America: Lessons learned and future cooperation, was held on 22-23 July.

 The Synergies group is made up of the technical teams of the projects supported by the EUROCLIMA+ programme in the Resilient Food Production (RFP) and Forests, Biodiversity and Ecosystems (FBE) sectors, which implement actions in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In this space, topics of common interest have been identified among the executors, which - among others - have led to a series of discussions, reflections and exchanges between the technical teams of the member projects of the group, sharing experiences, and contributing to the scaling up and enhancement of impacts, with a focus on South-South cooperation.

The meeting identified the success factors and challenges for building synergies between organisations in virtual environments, the entry points, achievements and challenges, and the likelihood of future cooperation resulting from the building of these synergies.

As a result, a preliminary Action Plan was drawn up for the coming months, which among other actions proposes the holding of a joint scaling-up event with the projects in Central America in the RFP and FBE sectors; the holding of exchanges on the following topics: carbon market, experience with seed banks and entrepreneurship, cooperation for the telemetric network, soil fertility and plant nutrition, and the holding of a workshop to finalise the institutional framework of the Synergies group, among others.

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Douglas Benavidez, Coordinator of the AFCIPRA Climate-Smart Family Farming Project and the Synergies group, highlighted that the initiative emerged in December 2019, given that the projects in the Central American region start from common socio-cultural, economic and environmental contexts. Since March 2020, this context was considerably altered by the pandemic and the Iota and Eta hurricanes, the need to create synergies to address this common context became more visible, by generating learning in the process to recover livelihoods, and an enabling environment in the region to identify and operationalise complementarities and synergies between actions allowed the enhancement of the impacts and facilitated the scaling up of experiences. Finally, he stressed that it is important to mention that the support of the Technical Assistance team of Expertise France (EF) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the implementing agencies of the sectors involved, which provided spaces and technical and methodological support throughout the process, was also key.

Benavidez indicated that among the first tasks they carried out as a Synergies group was a matrix to identify collaborations between actions, and concrete themes were identified that resulted in seven discussions of lessons learned and best practices. The biggest challenge to overcome was the need to move from face-to-face actions to the virtual world and to admit that virtual media facilitate cooperation at the technical level, but cannot replace face-to-face interactions at the community level, and creating an environment of trust is key to fostering cooperation that results in gains for all.

"The actions of the Synergy group have enriched the work of the organisations because new knowledge and solutions are being obtained, and a greater impact is being achieved in the territories. It is also hoped that these synergies built will continue beyond the implementation of the projects, given that synergies are already evident at the level of organisations that can lead to future cooperation for the implementation of new projects," said Benavidez.  

The meeting was attended by some 50 people representing local authorities linked to the nine projects, staff of implementing bodies, strategic partners, and political counterparts of the projects, among others.

The meeting was organised by the Netherlands Development Cooperation Service (SNV), the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE), the Sotz'il Association, the Trinational Border Community of the Lempa River (MTFRL), ICCO Cooperation, the International Committee for the Development of Peoples (Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli, CISP) with the support and facilitation of Technical Assistance from GIZ and Expertise France.


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View the presentation of "Synergies Group History 2021"

View the presentation of Daniel Gallegos (CISP)

View the presentation of Ramiro Batzin (Sotzil)

View the presentation of Douglas Benavidez

View the presentation of Gabriela Jimenez

View the solutions of SNVIHCAFE, IICA, Sotzil, ICCO, CISP, Pur Projet.

More information:

Synergies Group of projects of EC+ of CA, Douglas Benavidez, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Editor: Judit Vanegas, Communication Specialist AFCIPRA This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo captions: Slides from the virtual meeting on 22 and 23 July

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