Sinergias Group: Indigenous and community systems generate development in times of COVID-19 in a context of climate change

EUROCLIMA+ Programme projects in Central America share experience on economic empowerment of indigenous peoples and community-based organisations.

October 12, Central America: The third virtual conference of the Synergies group of Projects of the EUROCLIMA+ Programme in Central America concluded that economic empowerment actions and financial mechanisms at the local level are sources of income generation for Mayan indigenous peoples, community-based organisations and producers in Guatemala and El Salvador. They thus contribute to food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Sotz'il, the main executor of the EUROCLIMA+ project "Strengthening of indigenous systems for sustainable food production, as measures resilient to climate change in Central America" presented the Strengthening of indigenous systems of sustainable food production, as measures resilient to climate change in Central America.

Mrs. Graciela Coy Maas, President of Ak' Tenamit, a partner organisation of Sotz'il, presented the experience of Ütz K'aslemal or model of indigenous life, which is based on the education of an average of 847 young people, children, and indigenous men and women, in boarding schools in the jungle where they are trained in the basic subjects: Rural Welfare, Community Development and Sustainable Tourism. "Upon graduation, these young indigenous people achieve 87% job insertion after completing three months of professional practices in hotels, NGOs and companies.

Coy reported that they also implement actions in health, green jobs for the conservation of natural resources, community rural tourism network, community crafts and the sale of services. The indigenous model, she added, is based on the ancestral knowledge and practices of the Mayan people of Guatemala, demonstrating how they can contribute to creating conditions conducive to Inclusive Climate Financing, the sustainability of actions in the context of climate change, and the post- COVID19 pandemic.  

"During the pandemic we have participated in several virtual fairs, we have community tourism maps, we have strengthened our biosecurity protocols, in promotion at the virtual level, and we are making infrastructure improvements for when face-to-face tourism opens," Coy stressed.

For her part, Architect Rebeca Davila Dada, Project Coordinator for ICCO Cooperation in El Salvador and Coordinator of Institutional Relations for Central America, the main executor of the EUROCLIMA+ project "Communities, Forests and Biodiversity: Promoting dialogue, exchange and forest value chains to adapt to and mitigate climate change", presented the experience of the reforestation process for carbon capture purposes in El Salvador. This project benefits not only the producers in the diversification of economic income from timber and non-timber products, it also contributes to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the country.

The project has a technological component, through the FARMTRACE platform, whose purpose is to monitor carbon capture for the placement of carbon credits in the voluntary market. 



                                                                        Image of the FARMTRACE platform


“It is a traceability platform that reveals the sustainable impacts of agriculture. It works by combining information from mobile phones, satellite images and automatic learning to create rigorous independent reports in almost real time on thousands of farms. This report helps farmers increase yields, and access new markets focused on sustainability while shedding light on the impacts of the programme as a whole," said Randoplh Castellón, FARM-TRACE Information Director.

Douglas Benavidez, coordinator of the Sinergias group, concluded that the experiences presented methodologies, implementation results, and potential for scaling up, considering aspects that facilitate or limit their implementation.

The talk was held as part of the commemoration of the 528th anniversary of the arrival of the Spanish in America (October 12). "Recently and in the framework of the demands of the indigenous peoples, it has been proposed as the Day for the Dignification of Indigenous Peoples for the recognition of their individual and collective rights and to acknowledge the great contribution that the "new world" has received in different fields such as culture, economy, science and technology among others" said Mr. Marvin Chirix, from Sotz'il.

                                                                      Foto3erConversatorio Sinergia .jpg                                                            

                                                                        Image of the Sinergias group in the conversation


The Synergies group is made up of the Actions being carried out under the different thematic lines of the EUROCLIMA+ Programme. In this space, themes of common interest have been identified among the executors, which - among others - are leading to a series of conversations to share experiences (best practices and lessons learned). This cross-sectoral cooperation paves the way for the scaling up and enhancement of impacts, with a South-South cooperation approach.

The agriculture, forestry and other land use sector (AFOLU) is the focus of the group. There is also cooperation between the projects, beyond the talks.

More information:

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

Resilient Food Production Sector: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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