IUCN’s Cahoacan and Tacaná projects selected as role models

05 November 2010 | News story

The IUCN Cahoacan and Tacaná projects in Mesoamerica were recently selected to feature in the new ECODES catalogue, profiling a distinct selection of innovative social projects implemented by organizations around the world.

The purpose of the catalogue is to disseminate and promote initiatives conducted by civil society organizations that address climate change, encourage efficiency of water use, and improve air quality and development cooperation. ECODES selected the projects from around the globe, identifying in particular those that have the capacity to be replicated in other locations.

It is an honour to have our projects featured in the ECODES catalogue, recognizing the important work IUCN and our partners have carried out in the Cahoacan and Tacaná regions,” said Rocio Cordoba, IUCN Mesoamerica Water Coordinator. “The recognition that our projects are having beneficial impacts on the ground as well as functioning as models for replication in other project areas, is a boost to our project staff as well as the communities carrying out the work.”

The main objective of the Cahoacan project is reducing the risk of disasters around hydro-meteorological impacts. Through restoration and conservation of the Cahoacan Basin watersheds, damage from excess water and severe weather impacts is prevented. The project has been carried out in 5 municipalities of Chiapas since July 2007 by IUCN and the Society of Natural History Soconusco, with the support of Fundacion Gonzalo Río Arronte I.A.P. The project is based on the creation of strategic alliances between different stakeholders. The intervention strategy began with improving the understanding of the structure and function of the basin.

Some of the outcomes of the Cahoacan project include 14 agreements linked to water for the development of Disaster Risk Management, participation of communities in civil protection, 785 ha reforested, erosion control through terraces and irrigation channels, formation of watershed committees which secured funding to implement the integrated management of water resources in the region.

The actions in Cahoacan have spread and together with other partners, IUCN is currently managing the second phase of the project.

The Tacana Project, supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Guatemala, covers the Suchiate and Coatan River basins between Mexico and Guatemala. It was also selected for inclusion for its achievements in strengthening participation of local stakeholders, creation of watershed councils and improving socio-economic conditions.

Nurseries, reforestation, livestock, greenhouse projects are but some of the active initiatives in Tacana that have taken place. Development of standards for water use, the spreading of local knowledge and expertise on watersheds, have all boosted grassroots organizations and the institutionalization of Watershed Councils. The Tacana approach has been applied in all 14 watersheds in the Suchiate and Coatan River basins.

More information on the Tacana project, please contact: ottoniel.rivera@iucn.org

More information on the Cahoacan project, please contact: cristina.yepez@iucn.org


The ECODES catalogue was launched at the Spain Pavilion during the Shanghai Expo 2010.
ECODES is a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable development. For more information on ECODES, please visit the website: www.ecodes.org