Climate Change and Water Governance project promotes ecosystem-based adaptation in Mesoamerica

 September 2010, San José, Costa Rica. Strengthening local and national capacities to manage water and ecosystems may be a crucial key to adapt to climate change.

 “The Good Water Governance for Adaptation project represents an opportunity for the Mesoamerica region to provide inputs for creating institutional infrastructure and strengthening civil society in decision-making over water and transboundary river issues” says Rocío Córdoba, IUCN Mesoamerica Water Coordinator.


The project is financed by the International Climate Initiative[1] and executed by IUCN with the assistance of key local stakeholders in the region.


Dr. Alejandro Iza, Director of the IUCN Environmental Law Center, predicts this project not only has the capacity of generating reforms in water governance, but also in developing local level capacities where the norms, policies and adaptation strategies will be implemented.


Water is a basic necessity but also a resource most affected by the impacts of climate change. From a sustainable development perspective, countries’ actions to guarantee sufficient water quality and quantity helps local communities reduce their vulnerability to climate change. This can be through less severe floods, better drought-response capacities and improved protection from extreme weather events.


The project includes two guidelines for action: one focused on decision takers at the national level, and one for local and community leaders. The first is based on knowledge and capacity building towards promoting sound decisions on the use of water and ecosystems. The second focuses on the strengthening and empowerment of local stakeholders.


What will the project do?

The project will build capacities for the effective management of water with an ecosystem-based approach, generating knowledge locally and promoting the development of public policies.


It will implement adaptation measures based on ecosystems adaptation against climate change for the watersheds of the Lempa, Paz, Sixaola, Coatán and Cahoacán rivers (see attached map).

Some of the proposed actions deal with maintenance and restoration of water springs and aquifer recharge, rain harvesting, sustainable soil management, reforestation and awareness-raising campaigns.


For more information contact:

Rocío Córdoba, MSc.           


Water Management Unit

IUCN Mesoamerica       

Tel: (506) 22 83 84 49

Alejandro Iza, PhD.


Environmental Law CenterIUCN

Tel: (49) 228 2692 238                                            

[1] The International Climate Initiative is driven by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Security of Germany and supported by the German Federal Parliament. Bundestag.

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