Combatting Climate Change in the Vaca Forest Reserve
Combatting Climate Change in the Vaca Forest Reserve
The Vaca Forest Reserve comprised of over 43,000 acres has been undergoing a transformation due to the inappropriate management and utilization of the natural resources. Coupled with climate change, farmers operating in the area are at risk of losing more of the top soil, forest connectivity and water resources, thereby reducing their capacity to produce crops and maintaining a functional ecosystem.
The project has the purpose of building the capacity of local farmers to maintain and promote new technologies and innovations adapted to climate change impacts in the reserve. An improved irrigation system, reforestation along priority riparian forest, development of cover structures,
beekeeping and inclusion of women on an improved use of the forest products that promotes local economies are community identified interventions to reduce risks from climate change. Sustaining the efforts of the project is essential and FCD intends to attain this through the improvement of the Farmer Field School infrastructure staffed with a Landscape Manager, and instituting a system of community based monitoring and management of the resource base.
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Project Snapshot

Friends for Conservation and Development
Area Of Work:
Community Based Adaptation
Grant Amount:
US$ 44,123.10
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 73,191.62
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 15,780.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

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Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
Farming in the Vaca Forest Reserve is a frequent family activity. The young people will be involved directly in the planting of seedlings in the reserve. It is expected that a nursery comprising of some 4,000 seedlings will be developed and cared for in the area. Planting will primarily occur along the streams and creeks in the reserve. In addition, FCD maintains a youth arm, being that the organization was started as the Youth Environmental Action Group. Group members will assist in signage, nursery construction and planting.
Project sustainability
The evaluation revealed that without the support for the GEF SGP, it would not have been possible for FCD and FVFR to undertake the investments made. As part of its routine resource management and protection programme, FCD is in a position to continue providing technical support to the farmers. From the farmers’ perspective, the project was able to provide necessary skills and resources at a scale which now allows them to be able to generate some revenues that can be used to sustain the investments. For example, production of high quality honey allows for increased revenue for families, especially as there is market availability. It should be noted; however, that whilst the adaptation capacity of the farmers have improved, the long-term integrity of the resources in the VFR is not guaranteed due to the changing dynamics, especially governance, mentioned elsewhere in the report.
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VRA1: Vulnerability to present climate change hazards 10
VRA7: Development of adaptive capacity beyond the scope of the project intervention 10

Grantee Contact

Mr. Rafael Manzanero
Phone: 501-823-2657


San Jose Succotz
Latin America & Caribbean ,

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Leonel Requena
(501) 822-2462


UNDP Belize,3rd Floor, Lawrence Nicholas Building Complex ,P.O. Box 53,South Ring Road,
Belmopan, Central America