The project is comprised of five transversal components including comprehensive disaster risk management, climate change, gender inclusion, poverty reduction and applied research.
With the technical and financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and a counterpart from Zamorano University, the implementation of the project “Strengthening University Management in the face of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction” has been launched. This project seeks to strengthen the capacities of the 21 Honduran universities that make up the Inter-institutional Committee for Environmental Sciences (CICA), through teaching and research processes in Adaptation to Climate Change (ACC) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) of climatic, socioeconomic and epidemiological origin.
The project will promote applied research at a scientific level on CICA and DRR issues, with lines of research in agro-ecology, ecosystem services, environmental management in productive landscapes and the reactivation of the local economy post COVID-19. Activities include (1) a competition aimed at universities to develop research towards finding solutions to local problems in 2021; (2) a graduate course for CICA university teachers on the curricular mainstreaming of ACC and DRR in the university study plan, and finally (3) the creation of a network of researchers among the CICA member universities.
In order to manage learning on ACC and DRR issues, a virtual training program will be developed which will be made available through a free-access platform. This will
facilitate the exchange of documents, research results, and training strategies for technicians and producer families as environmental managers. In addition, it will widely disseminated video conferences. On the platform, infographics, images and instructional videos will be developed on prioritized topics for the ACC and RDD, among others.
For training purposes, the Santa Inés micro-basin in the Zamorano Valley will be used. It is an innovative model as a pedagogical micro-basin for the management and monitoring of water resources, as well as the regulation of ecosystem services in water recharge areas. In order to strengthen this space and contribute to the resiliency of the communities so they can improve their capacities to face the adverse effects of climate change, four educational centers will participate in training and environmental education activities.
The project will promote activities within the “Centro Zamorano de Enseñanza en Agro-ecología” as a space for training and community work, which will be available to CICA.
This is a physical space that has been prepared as a training center for agro-ecological production systems and conservation of eco-systemic services, in which producers, extension technicians, teachers and students will be trained in agro-ecological production and ACC and DRR strategies.
As part of the response to COVID-19, the project has supported more than 100 families who have received food supplies and biosecurity kits. In addition, at least 50 families are being supported in the rehabilitation of their livelihoods to guarantee food security in the area.
For the promoters of the project, the academy plays an important role in the search for solutions to the country’s problems. The recent hurricanes ETA and IOTA revealed once again the vulnerability of Honduras in prevention, management and reconstruction associated with natural hazards. This project is committed to strengthening the capacities of teachers at all universities in Honduras, in addition to conducting applied research and developing micro-watershed management models that can be applied in different parts of the country.