The study area and project site
Te study was carried out in the Municipalities o Condega, Pueblo Nuevo (both in the Department o Estelí), and otogalpa (Department o Madriz). CIPREShas been working or more than seven years in theseareas. CIPRES is advising and accompanying smallarmers in the application o sustainable agriculturalpractices that include the improvement o their crops.Te three municipalities cover an area o .km2 and have a population o approximately ,people. Te project area is located in the NorthRegion o Nicaragua.Te Central North Macro Region has beenclassied as a Dry Zone because o its low rainall.Due to the presence o cordilleras, massis, and valleys,the local climate, has spatial and temporal distributiono precipitation. Nicaragua has a tropical savannahclimate with variations according to elevation (semi-wet in the highlands and dry in the lowlands).Nicaragua is one o the poorest countries inLatin-America, with a GDP per capita o US,compared to , in its neighbouring country CostaRica. A poor welare system, unequal distribution o wealth and resources, and decades o conict are otherreasons that have led to extreme poverty. Many amilieshave lost their livelihood assets; they have low levelso education and limited access to healthcare. Telack o inormation about sustainable agriculture hasresulted in unsustainable practices and monoculturedesigned and oriented to an external market. All thishas put strain on and deteriorated the natural resourcebase. Te break up and eventual disintegration o many amilies o migrants along with a high proportiono households run by single women (temporally orpermanently) are also expressions o the vulnerability that the communities have to deal with daily.
Climate change in Nicaragua
Te climate is unpredictable and extreme weatherhas become more common. During the course o a year, there can be both drought and hurricanes.Drought alternated with excessive rainall, makingarmers vulnerable since they are not able to beprepared or respond to such extreme weatherpatterns. Furthermore, the eects o climate changescome in addition to the degradation o the naturalresource base because o agro-chemicals, over-cultivation o soils, deorestation, slash-and-burnagriculture and deterioration o water sources.People in the countryside are no longer able topredict the weather patterns. Beore they could planagricultural activities ollowing signs rom nature butnow, local predictions are no longer eective. Boththe occurrence o drought as well as late rainy seasons,have changed the best time or planting basic grains.
Climatic risks and local vulnerabilityNicaragua (project area in green)Social dimension and people’s perception of climate change
Global warming has created many new challenges and problems allaround the world. Climate change is predominantly noticed throughchanges in weather patterns, temperatures, amount o precipitationetc. For many poor armers this has a direct impact on their livelihoods,orcing them to change their agricultural practices. This change isneither easy nor cheap, creating more insecurity or the alreadymarginalized armers.In this analysis we consider past and current climate stress by lookingat subjective experiences o climatic events. The experienced climaticvariability and change is crucial in an adaptation analysis, becausethe outcomes depend not only on the meteorological qualities o aweather pattern or extreme event, but also on contextual actors thatinfuence people’s vulnerability and their capacity to adapt. Thus, aminor drought might have serious consequences or some, while othersmay experience relatively small consequences o a serious drought.Such understanding makes it possible to design measures that supportpoor people in their own eorts and make use o existing strengths andopportunities. The analysis thereore argue that adaptation measuresneeds to move beyond climate risks and physical adaptationmeasures, to include the social context and people’s perception oclimate change, in order to build their capacity and resilience to copewith barriers and thresholds.