From August 21st. until the 28th. two binational workshops were held, the first of them in Yucatan, Merida, Mexico and the second one in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. The purpose of both workshops was to gather all key actors who participate in the Smart Coasts Project and present the progress of this project, as well as present and receive feedback on the results of the climate change analysis and the ecosystem services analysis.
During the workshops strategies or preliminary adaptation actions were identified as well as sites to be implemented. Another reached result was the knowledge strengthening about the methodologies to identify and map ecosystem services and apply basic methods and tools to prioritize climate change adaptation options.
Officers from the government, academy, non-government organizations who are working in the field and the Smart Coasts project’s core team, including representatives from Columbia University, Stanford University and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) actively participated.
During the activities of the Smart Coasts Project, 5 training of trainers workshops have been conducted which is a way to strengthen capacities of technical staff of organizations who are participating in the Project to be able to use the InVEST coastal vulnerability modeling tool. InVEST is a suite of free, open-source software models used to map and value the goods and services from nature that sustain and fulfill human life.
The InVEST Coastal Vulnerability model uses geophysical and natural habitat characteristics of coastal landscapes to compare their exposure to erosion and flooding in severe weather. It was developed as part of the Natural Capital Project of Stanford University, who are also participating in the Smart Coasts project.
The purpose of these workshops is to train the participants with all the necessary capacities to later act as trainers in the use of InVEST in the coming future and thus build capacities of peers, colleagues and other actors.
The University of Columbia, through the Center for Climate System Research from the University of Columbia, and the Natural Capital Project of the University of Stanford are the academic entities which are part of the Smart Coasts Project and who are in charge of generating science-based information for climate change adaptation in the coastal areas identified in the Project.
The University of Columbia has progressed on the construction of climate change models and the University of Stanford has advanced on the ecosystem services analysis, both for the sites prioritized by the Smart Coasts Project.
Climate models are computer simulations of Earth’s Climate and they present future scenarios for climate change impacts, in this case for the areas where the Project is working within the Mesoamerican Reef System, while the ecosystem services analysis focuses on performing an evaluation of the ecosystem services and benefits for people, as well as the climate change impacts that are foreseen for them.
The progress that has been achieved so far was presented during the binational workshops that were recently carried out in Mexico and Honduras, for key actors and partners to consider them.