Year 2017 Mexico

Purpose

Reduce the impacts of drought and frost on community agricultural systems.

 

Local Climate Threats

Community members from Santa Maria Yucuhiti report the following impacts:

Declining crop yields

due to intensifying frosts and drought

Relocation of Crops

to the forest edge, where they are protected from cold winds

Deforestation

due to slash-and-burn agricultural techniques near forests

Mexico-Fog Catcher-02
Mexico-Fog Catcher Report in Weather-03

Activities

Stakeholder Consultation:

Introductory meetings were held with local indigenous authorities to present the project and collect baseline information (land use maps, soil type, agriculture techniques used, crop type, production and productivity).

Site Selection:

Treatment and control plots were selected based on suitability of the land, willingness of owners to participate, and suggestions made by municipal authorities.

Technical Design:

Fog catchers and water channel systems were designed based on consultations with experts in soil health, agriculture and engineering.

Fog Catcher Installation:

EECO conducted a workshop with selected farmers to introduce the project, provide training on installing fog catchers, and complete installation.

Water Channel Construction:

A second workshop was held on water channel construction.

Monitoring and Evaluation

EECO monitored the functioning of water channels and fog catchers and compared crop survival in treatment plots to control plots

project outcomes

Four fog catchers and ten artificial waterways constructed

20 volunteers from the local community trained on fog catcher and water channel construction

95% plant survival rate on treated plots, compared to just 25% on control plots

project design

Farmers in Santa Maria Yucahiti were sowing crops on the edge of nearby forests, which offered protection from worsening drought and cold snaps that had decimated crops in recent years. However, the use of “slash and burn” farming near forests resulted in two fires that went out of control, damaging close to 40 acres of primary forest. To improve crop survival and reduce adverse impacts on forests, WWF funded an innovative project in partnership with Espacio de Encuentro de Culturas Orinarias (EECO), a local NGO, to install fog catchers and artificial water channels surrounding crops. Fog catchers collect water from the atmosphere during periods of drought and feed into the water channels, which in turn, create a micro-climate that reduces frost related crop damage and maintains soil moisture

Fog catchers collect and transfer water to water troughs