Projects

© WWF-US / Nikhil Advani
  • Based on findings from Climate Crowd data collection, we encourage our partners to pilot on-the-ground projects which help people and nature adapt to a changing climate. Funding may be available to support these projects.

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  • WWF also supports the testing of innovative ideas that reduce the vulnerability of species to changes in weather and climate, through the Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund.

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  • WWF FUNDED PROJECTS

Building fog catchers and artificial waterways in Mexico

In recent years, farmers in the rural town of Santa Maria Yucuhiti in Mexico’s Oaxaca state, have struggled to cope with climate change.

“Santa María Yucuhiti has never been an easy place to live, however, the last seven years have been the hardest I can recall,” Eleuterio said during a Climate Crowd interview. “We have always dealt with frosts and droughts, but now they are harder and more unpredictable; we do not know when to sow in order to avoid losing crops”

--Eleutario, Farmer

To cope with the more frequent and intense frosts, in 2016, community land owners agreed to start sowing in areas bordering communal forests where crops would be less exposed to cold winds and thereby suffer less frost damage. However, the use of “slash and burn” farming in close proximity to forests resulted in two fires that went out of control, damaging about 15 hectares of native forest. To improve crop survival without adversely impacting forests, WWF funded an innovative project in partnership with Espacio de Encuentro de Culturas Orinarias (EECO), a local NGO, to install fog catchers combined with 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. Despite a combination of frost and heat wave events in January 2018, crops in treatment plots experienced a 95% survival rate while the control plot had a 25% survival rate.

Materials

Raschel net made of propylene thread

Wooden poles to serve as support for fog catchers (~4-5 meters in length)

Drip tape

Poliduct 16mm

Terminal hose

Elbow hose

Mini valve

Couple hose

Cap polyduct

Galvanized tube ½

Galvanized elbow tube

1,100 liter water tank

Geomembrane liner

Seeds (corn, black beans, broad beans, mustard, broccoli, lettuce, chard and cabbage)

Barrier plants

Thermometers

Wheelbarrows

Padded material

Mattock

Straight shovel

Curve shovel

Pick

 

Implementation

Introductory meeting held with local indigenous authorities to present the project and collect baseline information (land use maps, type of soils, agriculture techniques used, types of crops, production and productivity).

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

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

 

Water channels designed to be 0.5 meters in depth and 0.75 meters in width, with 3 meters between each channel as shown in the above figure. Channels are protected by a geomembrane to avoid percolation of water into the highly permeable soils. Due to its dark color, the geomembrane absorbs sunlight during the day, which is then released as heat throughout the night. 

Workshop conducted in June 2017 with selected farmers to introduce the project, provide training on installation of fog catchers, and complete installation

Second workshop conducted in late summer on water channel construction, which was completed over the course of two days

Community sowed 10 treatment plots at the beginning of September 2017

All planting and construction activities completed prior to November 2017, when the first frosts of the season typically occur

Monitoring of crop survival and functioning of water channels and fog catchers

 

Important considerations

  • An unusual hail storm killed all crops in both the treatment and control plots, after which crops had to be replanted. Any adaptation project should take into account other potential hazards that may occur and take steps to avoid or reduce negative impacts. This project was designed to protect crops against frost and drought events but not hailstorms. Project participants and organizers are currently considering additional measures to take to address hail in the future.
  • Water collection potential of fog-catchers can be reduced significantly with north winds, which cause fog to move rapidly. The community should use alternative water sources to feed the channels on these occasions (ex: installation of rainwater harvest systems as a back-up)
  • Farmers interested in replicating the system should conduct a soil profile analysis of about 1m in depth to identify the right way to build the channels and proper use of materials. The length of the water channels can be adapted to plots characteristics.
  • During the hot season, water channels must be empty to avoid the proliferation of mosquitos.
  • Farmers found that water channels could be used as a water source for wildlife. Some foxes have been seen approaching the site to drink water. However, farmers discovered two had drowned after falling in. To avoid this unintended outcome, farmers placed net ladders within the channels. Since then, there have been no reported animal mortalities.
  • Due to the emergence of cyanobacteria colonies, use of channel water for human consumption or irrigation is not advised unless properly treated.

 

Indicators

Direct Outputs 

- Four fog catchers installed 

- Ten waterways constructed 

Capacity Building 

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

Outcomes

During January 2018, a combination of frost and heat wave events affected replanted crops. Nonetheless, in treatment plots, 380 plants out of 400 survived after these events (95% survival rate) while only 50 out of 200 survived in the control plots (25% survival rate)

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Implementing conservation agriculture in Tanzania to reduce vulnerability of rural farmers to climate change

In the highlands of Karatu District, farmers have experienced declining yields due to frequent drought and soil degradation, which is exacerbated by increasingly erratic rainfall. To improve farm productivity in the face of climate change, the School for Fields studies  in collaboration with the local community of Kilimatembo constructed terraces and planted trees and grasses to reduce runoff and stabilize the soil. 

Implementation

Pre-project consultation and village sensitization meetings held during which the following decisions were made:

  • Village government should formulate by-laws that will enforce implementation of soil and water conservation activities in the area as part of this project implementation.
  • Each sub-village would select 4 people to form a pegging team.
  • Each pegging team should prepare an action plan.
  • The village chairperson with assistance from village agricultural extension officer would supervise and monitor the pegging teams’ activities.
  • Each pegging team should have its own contour layout equipment.
  • Village agricultural extension officer appointed to be the project coordinator.
  • 100 farmers identified for participation in the project

Purchase and distribution of equipment

Training of sub-village pegging teams: Training of contour layout pegging team members was conducted for two days from 29 – 30 December 2016. The first day was in class for theoretical aspects of the technique and the second day was practical experience in the field.

Layout of contours/terraces: The sub-village pegging teams laid out contours on farms identified by sub-village leaders and each farm owner was responsible for construction of contour bunds and planting of vegetative materials.

Planting of vegetative materials: A total of 9700 seedlings of various tree species and 10 lorry trips of elephant grasses (Pennisetum purpureum) were distributed to and planted by farmers at Kilimatembo village. During this activity, SFS students participated in preparation of tree seedlings at the tree nursery and planting these vegetative materials in the farms as part of community services. Due to high demand of tree seedlings, additional 3700 seedlings were requested and supplied from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area nursery. The high demand for tree seedlings was due to an increase in the number of participating farmers not originally planned to participate in the pilot project.

Materials:

28 line level boards

28 spirit levels

6 manila rope bundles

13,400 tree seedlings 

10 lorry trips of elephant grasses 

Important Considerations

-Because trees planted along the contours have other benefits once they grow such as harvesting for timber, there is potential for contested ownership of the trees planted in farms owned by large families. To avoid potential family conflicts in the future, tree ownership and sharing of future benefits derived from the trees should be clearly discussed and agreed upon at the outset of the project.

-The agricultural extension officers must increase education with the farmers about the importance of trees for terrace success. Increased education and awareness will promote the planting of saplings in the correct locations along the terraces rather than around people’s homes.

-Distribution of trees to test farmers should be done with consideration of the timing of rains in order to ensure rainfall occurs shortly after the trees have been planted. 

Indicators

Ouputs

  • 47,197 meters of ground contouring applied to a total of 65 farms, comprising 199 acres of land 
  • 9,700 seedlings of various tree species were planted over the course of the project. 

Capacity building

Outcomes

Statistical analysis of yield data collected from the treatment (project) farms, control farms and sub-control farms one year after project implementation produced mixed results. Yields in the treatment farms were not found to be higher than control farm yields. However, several factors may have contributed to this outcome:

  • the average slope of treatment farms was much greater than control farms, which can impact yield
  • it was discovered later that many participating farmers planted their trees near their homes rather than along the terraces where they were intended to stablize soil
  • planted tree seedlings only achieved a 30% survival rate, further detracting from the soil stabilization effect
  • the differences in average elevation between the treatment and control plots may effect precipitation, which could impact yield
  • the small sample size may have impacted results

In order to acheive desired outcomes, the above factors should be taken into consideration in the design and implementation of future projects of this kind. 

 

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Overcoming deteriorating water resources in Hoima, Uganda

In Kihigwa, people have always depended on open springs to collect their water. During Climate Crowd interviews, community members explained that these sources have become more prone to drying up as droughts become more severe, and more susceptible to contamination from surface runoff generated by more intense storms. Local people have experienced an increase in prevalence of water-borne illnesses and an increase in the amount of time needed to fetch water during drought. In response to these challenges, the community of Kihigwa worked with a local Peace Corps volunteer to identify the most important water sources in the village. Using funds provided through Climate Crowd, four key open water springs in Kihigwa were transformed into protected shallow wells and springs. These actions have ensured that the water sources are protected from contamination at all times while also providing a stable flow of water all year round even during drought.

Materials: 

Cement (21 bags)

Polythene paper (60 meters)

Silates (3)

PVC Pipes (3)

G1 Pipes (3)

Hardcore material (12 loads)

Sand (3 loads)

Mixed Gravel (3 loads)

Clay (3 loads)

Local fencing (3 fences)

Native tree seedings (65)

Sand blocks

Pasplarlam

Implementation:

1) Community Action Planning: Immediately following a participatory rural appraisal, the community and project facilitators wrote a community action plan (CAP) to provide direction and structure to the project. This was also done to ensure that the community had a key role in the planning process in order to promote their ownership of the project.

2) Surveying of the water resources: Within the limits of Kihiwa Village there are ten springs and four shallow wells. Water resource engineers were brought to Kihigwa to survey each of the sources. This was necessary to determine (1) the usage rates of the sources, (2) the feasibility for improvement of various sources, and (3) to develop solutions for improving the sources. Surveying revealed that to fully improve all of the sources was not feasible with limited funding and resources. Consequently, a portion of the sources believed to benefit the community the most if improved were selected. All four shallow wells were selected for repairs and three key springs were selected to be protected. Partial protective measures were planned for the remaining seven springs.

3) Meetings with each water source committee and their users: Meetings were held for the committees and users of each source in order to establish management plans to ensure the physical integrity of the sources and the surrounding areas is maintained. During these meetings, fee collection systems were established or reestablished for each water source

4.) Improve water sources: 

Shallow well repairs - Repairs required the technical skills of an engineer to replace faulty or broken parts

Spring protection - Project facilitators worked with community members to discuss solutions for mitigating contamination including developing plans to move agricultural activities away from water sources, build protective barriers around the sources, plant native trees and shrubs to reduce sedimentation, physically remove silt, debris, and other contaminants from the sources, and ensure that water can flow freely to prevent stagnation.

 

Important Considerations:

For larger communities, deciding on a central location for the source (or sources) can be a sensitive topic. Some members of the community will inevitably benefit from the new source more than others based on where it is positioned. Consequently, it is important to reach a consensus with the entire community before the source is established.  

For a water infrastructure project such as this, a plan needs to be established to ensure each water point continues to function properly following  project completion. In Kihigwa, water source committees were established to develop fee collection and maintenance systems for each source. Key questions for consideration while establishing a fee-based system include: 1) who, when, and where will fees be collected?; 2) what will the fee amount be and what amount is feasible for community members with limited financial means?; and 3) how will the funds be protected (i.e. how will committees ensure fees go towards there intended use in full)? 

Indicators:

Infrastructure

  • Four open water springs transformed into protected shallow wells and springs

​Capacity building

  • Females 15-24: 10
  • Females 25 and over: 25
  • Males 15-24: 22
  • Males 25 and above: 32

Outcomes

  • Community has access to clean sources of freshwater resilient to the effects of climate change
  • Reduced time spent fetching and purifying water
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Recycling plastic bottles to build rainwater harvesting tanks

The town of Mbale in Eastern Uganda faces worsening water scarcity as droughts become more severe and rainy seasons shorter in a changing climate. In response to these challenges, WWF funded the Ichupa Upcycle project. Designed and led by former Peace Corps volunteer Michal Matejczuk, the project uses discarded plastic bottles collected from around the community as raw material for constructing a rainwater harvesting system that can store water for use during dry spells. 

Materials:

(for one 2000L-3000L Water Tank):

Plastic bottles: >600 (1.5L) or >2,100 (500mL)

Cement: 20-25

Sand: two 8ft flatbed truckloads

Chicken wire/wire mesh (three 8ft X 4 ft)

Foundation (Bricks/Cement/Aggregate/Sand – depends on ground type)

Tank lid (Plastic or Concrete – depends on preference)

Drainage pipes, taps, valves, etc. (depends on number of outlets)

Tools: spades, shovels, buckets, hoes

Implementation:

The following provides an overview of activities undertaken for the completion of this project. For a more detailed, step-by-step guidance on the construction process, click the download button located at the bottom of this page.

1. Identification of optimal locations: based on need, access, security, etc. (see manual for list of criteria)

2. Preparation of construction sites: cleared sites of weeds and debris, leveled off the land where necessary, and built bases to support the tanks

3. Procurement and preparation of plastic bottles: community clean-up day held to gather plastic bottles (with caps). Sorted bottles based on size. Children from local school helped pack bottles with dirt, small pebbles and even plastic debris.  

5. Tank construction: For each tank, bottles were arranged in a circle with the caps facing outward. Cement was applied between bottles and between each layer.  

To prevent the structure from buckling or cement from seeping out, no more than 3-4 layers were completed at a time, followed by 6-8 hours of wait time.

6. Finishing touches: Once desired height was reached, spaces were made near the bottom to accommodate a drainage pipe and spigot. Structures were allowed to dry for several days followed by application of chicken wire and additional layers of cement around the inner walls.

Spigots and drainage pipes affixed, and lids placed on top.

7. Attachment to gutters: Once tanks were completed, gutters were added to nearby buildings and attached to the tanks.

 

Key considerations:

Water must be treated by filtration, heating it to 212F/100C for three minutes, or by adding a chemical solvent. Post a sign with this information in the local language if system is publicly accessible.

Indicators:

Infrastructure

Nine (9) rainwater catchment tanks utilizing over 30,000 plastic bottles creating a holding capacity of more than 40,000L of rainwater

Capacity building

~140 men and women from the community participated in the project directly

Impact

Improved community access to water throughout the year

The Ichupa Upcycle Project is in the process of becoming a registered community-based organization allowing those involved in the project and who cared deeply in its mission to continue expanding the knowledge they gained and achieve greater impact.

 

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Rainwater harvesting in Njombe, Tanzania

In the village of Idunda in Tanzania people are experiencing increasingly unpredictable rainfall, making it all the more important for the community to manage their water resources strategically.Through a grant from WWF’s Climate Crowd program, a local volunteer teamed up with teachers, students and families from the community to construct a new hand washing station and rain capture and storage system at Idunda's primary school. 

The rain catchment system diverts roof runoff to a water storage tank and any overflow to an infiltration pond to minimize soil erosion and replenish groundwater.  The stored water is piped to the hand washing station located between the bathrooms and classrooms such that students can conveniently wash their hands before returning to class. Following construction and installation, teachers led a School Water Day, during which students participated in hands-on activities to learn about climate change, water conservation, and appropriate use of water for personal health and hygiene.

Materials

Hammer (Qty: 2)

Level (Qty: 2)

Tape measure (Qty: 2)

Plaster applicator (Qty: 4)

Trowels (Qty: 4)

Buckets - 20L (Qty: 5)

Shovels (Qty: 5)

Sand - 1200L (Qty: 1)

Bricks (Qty: 300)

Gravel and pebbles - 1200 L (Qty: 1)

Pipe cutting (Qty: 1)

Nails: Roofing (Qty: 1 kg)

Marker pens (Qty: 1 box)

Pipe connector ¾” (Qty: 2)

Masking tape (Qty: 1 roll)

PVC elbow 1.5” (Qty: 2)

Wire mesh (Qty: 1m)
Pick axe handle (Qty: 2)

Pens (Qty: 1 box)

Gypsum wood screws (Qty: 1 kg)

Nails 4” (Qty: 2kg)

Stopper nipple ¾” (Qty: 3)

Stand pipe ¾” (Qty: 1)

T-joint reducer 1” – ¾” (Qty: 1)

Color photocopying (Qty: 1)

Top-gutter (Qty: 1)

Nails 2” (Qty: 3kg)

Flipchart paper rolls (Qty: 2)

Overflow PVC 1.5” (Qty: 1)

Large 5” paint brushes (Qty: 3)

Threader tape rolls (Qty: 10)

T-joint ¾” (Qty: 4)

PVC elbow 3” (Qty: 3)

Tank connector ¾” (Qty: 2)

Gutter T (Qty: 1)

Red oil-based paint – 4L container (Qty: 1)

Boiler valve ¾” (Qty: 1)

Elbow ¾” (Qty: 1)

PVC pipe 3” (Qty: 2)

Overflow connector (Qty: 1)

Timber 2x4 (Qty: 6)

Timber 2x6 (Qty: 6)

Pick axe (Qty: 2)

PVC to metal adaptor (Qty: 16)

Gait valve ¾” (Qty: 1)

ITF standpipe ¾” (Qty: 1)

Corrugated aluminum roofing – 2m (Qty: 4)

Cement - 50kg bags (Qty: 6)

Bibcock valve ¾” (Qty: 7)

Polypipe roll class B (Qty: 1)

Oil paint for handwashing station - 4L (Qty: 4)

Face board 1x8” X 3m timber (Qty: 28)

Gutter clamps (Qty: 42)

Gutter – 6m (Qty: 14)

 

Implementation

Total completion time: 2.5 months

  • Initial project planning and design
  • Digging of waterline trenches and preparation of infiltration pond
  • Purchase and transport of construction materials
  • Rainwater gutter installation

 

  • Hand washing station construction and plumbing installation
  • Training of trainers for Itanana School "Water Day"
  • Implementation of Itanana School "Water Day"

 

Important considerations

  • Since villagers provided much of the work that went into the project at the school, it’s recommended that constructions schedules be planned jointly with the school and village committee
  • Attend local plumbing/hardware store with community counterpart with draft budget in hand to ensure expected costs are accurate
  • Ensure a plan is in place for project maintenance. Idunda Village collects an annual tax to maintain the community’s water infrastructure, which now includes any necessary improvements made to this project. School teachers have agreed to maintain the supply of soap for the handwashing station
  • Note: water is not suitable for consumption unless additional filtration and treatment is installed. Ensure proper signage is posted to alert users of this. 

Indicators

Direct outputs

  • Installation of 80 meters of rain harvesting gutters
  • Construction of an efficient 6-faucet hand washing station
  • Construction of an infiltration pond for water overflow during the rainy-season in order to prevent erosion

Capacity Building

Students trained on proper hand washing, rainwater harvesting, water sanitation, water conservation, and climate change. These skills and lessons will help keep themselves healthy and hopefully will help inform them later in life about how to conserve water and their environment. During the gutter installation many of the older students learned some basic carpentry skills as well.

  • Girls, age 14 and under: 36
  • Boys, age 14 and under: 46

Outcomes

Quizzes administered before and after the School Water Day indicate that the majority of students who participated demonstrated an improved understanding of key concepts related to climate change, water management and hygiene following the event. Children now have access to improved water access for sanitation:

  • Girls, age 14 and under: 36
  • Boys, age 14 and under: 46

 

 

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Constructing an irrigation system in Uganda to address unpredictable rainfall

Residents in and around Mayuge district have noticed especially dramatic changes in climate in recent years, including long periods of drought and excessive heat, punctuated by extreme rainfall and accompanying soil erosion. Additionally, the timing of the seasons have become much less predictable. These changes have had devastating effects in a society where nearly 90% of people make a living primarily through rain-fed agriculture.

To combat these changes, WWF partnered with a former Peace Corps volunteer, Sam Strimling, to support a community-wide effort to construct a much-needed irrigation system to support local farms.  This project provided local farmers with the materials and training needed to build storage tanks sufficient for irrigating two acres of farmland. 

 

Materials:

  • Sand
  • Wood poles
  • Wire mesh nets
  • Iron bars
  • Cement
  • Softwood planks
  • Nails
  • Binding wire
  • Bricks
  • A pipe used to capture run-off from the existing borehole (also filtering into the large harvesting tank),
  • A gas-powered water pump
  • 150-meter hose to distribute water to the crops.

 

Implementation:

Construction began at the end of the dry season to ensure the system could begin collecting rainwater soon after completion. Approximately 60 members from the community came out each day over the course of one week to assist with procurement of materials, cement mixing and transporting of bricks. Additional labor was contracted to complete more technical work including brick laying and plaster application. Watch video

   

Key considerations:

  • With any water collection project, ensure storage tank is covered to prevent mosquitos from using it as a breeding site
  • Do not use harvested water for drinking unless properly treated

Indicators:

Direct outputs:

  • 1 large (12ft x 12ft x 13ft) water storage tank,
  • 1 smaller (4ft x 3ft x 2ft) attached tank to be used for purposes of capturing run-off and filtering out sediment before flowing into the larger tank
  • Pump and hose system to transport water from tanks to crops

Capacity building

Number of individuals who received training and participated in project completion:

  • Males, 15 and older: 117
  • Females, 15 and older: 32

Impact on farming

To date, farmers have expressed their satisfaction with the system, which they've already put to use. Currently they are using irrigation made possible by the project to grow pumpkins and passion fruit during the dry season, something that was only possible during the wet season in years past. Growing these crops at this time of year also means they can fetch a higher price at market, thereby boosting household income.

Since completing this Climate Crowd project, Sam has gone on to start her own non-profit to replicate this project model at other sites in Uganda. 

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Reforestation to restore a watershed and build a wildlife corridor

In Brazil’s Pontal do Paranapanema region, a series of Climate Crowd interviews conducted by our partners from the Institute for Ecological Research (IPE) revealed that changing rainfall patterns and drought have had serious impacts on people and wildlife living in the region. To combat these changes, WWF and IPE worked together on this project to improve the resilience of a local watershed and improve habitat connectivity through community-based reforestation.

Once mature, the newly planted tropical forest will provide direct benefits to people such as water provision services, decreased damage from wind storms and protection from soil degradation and erosion. In addition to its function as a carbon sink, the new forest will also contribute to important habitat corridors for local wildlife including the endangered black lion tamarin, as well as ocelots, jaguars, monkeys, and armadillos, and create a buffer zone for the The Black Lion Tamarin Ecological Station.

Materials:

List of native species planted (sourced from local agroforestry nurseries):

Luehea divaricata

Anadenanthera macrocarpa

Anadenanthera colubrina

Lithraea molleoides

Schinus terebinthifolius

Platonia insignis

Terminalia argentea

Peltophorum dubium

Trema micrantha

Mabea fistulifera

Rapanea ferruginea

Gochnatia polimorpha

Cedrela fissilis

Copaífera langsdorfii

Poecilanthe parviflora

Lafoensia pacari

Casearia sylvestris

Cecropia pachystachya

Lonchocarpus muehlbergianus

Ficus insipida

Ficus guaranitica

Campomanesia xanthocarpa

Inga uruguensis

Inga laurina

Handroanthus chrysotrichus

Tabebuia chrysotrica

Tabebuia roseo-alba

Handroanthus impetiginosus

Handroanthus heptaphyllus

Jacaranda mimosifolia

Jaracatia spinosa

Hymenaea courbaril

Cariniana estrellensis

Mimosa bimucronata

Guazuma ulmifolia

Ceiba speciosa

Gallesia integrifolia

Heliocarpus popayanensis

Triplaris brasiliana

Cytharexyllum myrianthum

Pterocarpus violaceus

Aspidosperma polyneuruon

Eugenia uniflora

Sapindus saponaria

Croton urucurana

Maclura tinctoria

Enterolobium contortisiliquum

Dictyoloma vandellianum

  

Implementation:

Completion of 31 Climate Crowd surveys in communities living in the Pontal of Paranapanema region of Brazil’s state of Sao Paolo

Participatory planning of the area to be restored (a parcel of degraded land bordering the Black Lion Tamarin Ecological Station), including involvement of the manager of the protected area, the local communities, members of the watershed committees, local universities, schools and NGOs

    

Hiring of local contractors to conduct soil preparation using plowing, sorting and manual removal of grasses/other exotic species, soil pH monitoring and other measures in project site

Lectures and training workshops conducted in communities bordering the protected area

       

Sourcing of seeds from local nurseries

    

Planting of seedlings at the start of the rainy season through community mobilization:  Trees planted include native species and pioneers of rapid growth (50% pioneer and 50% non-pioneer species) and were spaced 2 meters apart, with 2.5 meters between each row

    

Participatory monitoring to monitor the healthy growth of planted trees, in additional to ongoing maintenance including site visits to perform ant (Atta spp.) control, prevent invasion of grasses, and replant more than 200 trees to replace those that did not survive

    

 

Important considerations

With any restoration project, continued maintenance post-planting is necessary to ensure seedlings reach maturity. A plan must be in place to manage encroachment of invasive plants and impacts from pests, for example.

Indicators:

Direct Outputs:

2000 tree seedlings (48 native species) planted

Capacity Building:

Over 600 people from local community trained on local protected area and tree planting

Outcomes:

Immediate project outcomes include:

  • Economic benefits for the local community through the contracting of labor for soil preparation, and acquisition of native tree seedlings from local nurseries
  • Increased awareness of socio-environmental issues of the region through involvement of various social segments of the local community.
  • Strengthening of partnerships with government institutions, residents, NGOs, universities, river basin committee, companies, conservation units and schools

Ongoing monitoring efforts will measure tree growth and provide further insights on project outcomes over the next several years.

 

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Teaching students how to plan and implement small scale adaptation projects

Families in Santa Lucia, Mexico are struggling to cope with hotter summer temperatures, colder winter temperatures, erratic rainfall, and pests, all of which have affected crop production. To address these growing concerns, Peace Corps Mexico has teamed up with local teachers to instruct middle and high school students and the broader community on climate science and how to develop interventions that boost local resilience to the effects of climate change including through the construction of small-scale greenhouses and xeriscaped gardens. 

Implementation

Project leaders conducted workshops on the basics of climate science for three groups of middle school students (ages 12-14) and one group of high school students (ages 17-20). Topics included the greenhouse effect, general impacts of climate change globally, and what can be done locally to help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Intervention-specific workshops were also conducted for each group explaining the environmental benefits of each intervention and why they are important in the context of climate change. Instruction was also provided on the basic steps of project planning. Students were tasked with submitting a report on their respective intervention.

Interventions:

Hoop gardens are a small-scale and inexpensive type of greenhouse. They use PVC tubing or rods and greenhouse film to cover garden beds. They help protect plants from freezing temperatures, heavy rainfall, and insects. Click here to view a manual (in Spanish) on how to construct hoop gardens. 

Xeriscape gardening is a type of landscaping technique suitable for arid climates that uses rocks and plants that require minimal water to survive.  

Eco-benches were built using ‘eco-bricks’ that reutilize plastic bottles filled with non-recyclable or non-compostable refuse from homes, schools and public spaces. Instead of using cement to hold the bricks together, a mixture called cob (a combination of soil, sand, and grass) is used. Cement was applied on the outside to create a waterproof layer. 

A  project planning workshop was held at the end to review what the students learned over the course of the project execution phase and evaluate what was accomplished. Workshops and project activities have been integrated into the school curriculum to ensure the project continues to build capacity for students in the coming years.

Materials

Eco-benches: used plastic bottles, refuse from the students’ houses and the streets, cement, concrete blocks, water, wood that served as a mold for the benches, shovel, trowel and paint

Hoop gardens: metal rods, hose, rope, greenhouse plastic, seeds, shovel, pick ax, rake

Xeriscape garden: rock, sand, cactus, cardboard, pick ax, shovel

 

Indicators

Direct outputs:

  • Teachers and students built 2 eco-benches, 2 hoop gardens and 1 xeriscape garden on school grounds
  • Students built 6 hoop gardens in their respective communities using skills learned during lectures & school projects

Capacity Building:

Number of youth who participated in lectures on climate change and project planning and implementation:

  • 79 girls
  • 76 boys 

Impact:

Improved awareness of adaptation interventions and capacity to design and implement community-driven interventions. One group of girls is already planning a reforestation project within their community and students have reported that others within the community have begun to ask questions about their hoop gardens and are interested in building some of their own in their houses. A parent of one of the middle school students approached the project lead to find out where she could purchase the plastic so she could make her own hoop garden at her house.

 

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Rainwater Harvesting System and School Garden Irrigation in Guatemala

San Antonio Ilotenango is known as the start of the dry corridor in Guatemala. The municipality receives between 1000 and 2000 millimeters of rainfall each rainy season, which is about half as much as the hotter, humid, coastal regions. After attending a Climate Crowd training in the fall of 2018, a Peace Corps volunteer working in Guatemala conducted interviews in his host community to learn about the local impacts of climate change. Interview respondents reported that in recent years the rainy season has become shorter and less predictable, the canícula (a short dry spell that occurs in the middle of the wet season in much of Central America) has grown longer, and the rains overall have become weaker. According to interviewees, these changes have led to severe crop losses. This loss extends to schools as well, which are required by law to source 50% of school meal ingredients from within the community. The Ministry of Agriculture has strived to implement school gardens, but the gardens have struggled to actually produce due to a lack of water. In response, the volunteer together with local partners established a rain catchment system, which stores up to 12,000  liters and is connected to a drip irrigation system that supplies water to a newly established school garden. To date, the garden has produced 88 pounds of produce including radishes, onions, zucchini, beets, swiss chard, carrots, and amaranth seeds. 

 

Implementation

Water capture construction:

The project began with a series of school visits to assess the feasibility of a water capture project as well as gauge interest for collaborating on said project. Once a school was selected, a meeting was held to go over the project plan with members of the community, gain their input in the planning process and make adjustments accordingly. The project team and members of the communtiy together formulated and signed a statement delegating various responsibilities related to the project.

The project team selected the design and layout of the water capture and irrigiation system based on input from experts from a local NGO called Water for People and with help from an architectural student from the University of San Carlos. Construction of the tank was completed over the course of two weeks by a local contracter who specializes in water storage systems, with help from the project team. The volunteer worked with interns from the University of San Carlos as well as the teachers from the school to install the rain gutters that feed into the tank. As a final touch, the volunteer and one of the interns painted a world map on the side of the tank.

 

School Garden Implementation:

The team of interns, teachers from the school, and the Peace Corps volunteer removed trash, debris and grass from a patch of land at the school, and tilled the the soil to ready it for planting. Once complete, project leads conducted several trainings for students: two on how to make organic compost, one on how to sow seeeds, and one on transplanting crops. 

Through these trainings, students themselves planted the vegetables in their school garden. Throughout the school year as crops ripen, the teachers harvest them for use in the school meals. Crops harvested so far include Swiss chard, Radishes, and Zucchini.

Left: Before project; Right: After project (post-harvest)

Materials

  • Seeds donated from the Ministry of Agriculture were used to plant the school garden
  • The community provided the hoes, shovels and pix-mattocks used to cultivate the land
  • Cement, iron bars, mesh, and PVC piping were used to construct the storage tank
  • Large PVC piping was used to construct the drain pipes that collect the water from the roof
  • Black plastic tubing and PVC piping was used to create the drip irrigation system
  • Organic compost was created by materials collected by the students, such as cow and chicken manure, corn stalks and husks, lime, ash, and soil

Important considerations

  • To address concerns about equity related to other schools in the area who are not currently benefiting from the project, organizers have proposed an application system for future years during which the project may be replicated
  • Proper precautions need to be taken to ensure that sensitive equipment is not damaged, particularly since this project is located on school grounds. In this case a wooden covering was built around the pump and secured with a lock to prevent students from accessing it
  • Metal rain gutters did not withstand the weather and had to be replaced with sturdier PVC piping
  • This year's rainfall prior to the start of the canícula was insufficient for obtaining the minimum amount of water for irrigation. It was not until the second half of the rainy season that the system was able to collect a substantial amount of water. Other options such as recycling greywater from schools and households that rely on groundwater may be a good alternative or supplement to rainwater harvesting. 

Indicators

Direct outputs

  • One rainwater harvesting system installed with the capacity to hold 12,000 liters of water
  • 80 sq meters of land cultivated on the school grounds 

Capacity building

Individuals who received a series of trainings on organic fertilizers, transplanting, and water capture system upkeep:

  • 7 teachers
  • 32 students

Outcomes to date

  • 88 pounds of food harvested from garden, which was used in school meals and distributed to the community during school vacations

 

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Greywater recycling systems for farmers in Guatemala

The municipality of San Bartolome Jocotenango in Guatemala's Quiche department faces many challenges. It consistently ranks as having one of the highest rates of food insecurity and chronic malnutrition in Quiche, with few reliable employment opportunities available. Moreover, climate change has greatly affected the area, which lies in what is known as the dry corridor.  Interviews with local community members indicate that yearly heat waves have become longer and more intense, and that yearly rains have become more sporadic and less reliable. These changes have led to decreased flows of local water sources, the disappearance of streams, and prolonged periods of drought making farming more difficult. 

Though most people lack access to irrigation, the municipality does provide residents with piped water for household use (i.e. cooking and cleaning). This averages out to approximately 20,000 liters per month per household that can be filtered and repurposed for drip irrigation of home gardens and farm plots. Through this project, the San Bartolome Comprehensive Agricultural Cooperative (COSABA R.L) constructed two greywater filtration systems in the community of Los Cimientos to serve as examples of sustainable climate change adaptation measures and to improve capacity in local agricultural production. Three additional systems will be constructed in Las Cuevas and  Chota’aj communities once COVID-related restrictions are lifted and work can resume. The systems consist of two concrete basins used to capture greywater, and layers of charcoal, ash, sand and rock, that serve to filter it in combination nitrogenating plants. The filtered water is collected in a large barrel and connected to a drip irrigation system on the property, where it is used to grow vegetables.

Above: farm plots before project completion

 

 

Challenges/lessons learned:

  • the initially proposed installation sites were rejected by the local community council due to concerns that not everyone within the community would equally benefit from the project, despite the requisite financial contribution by the target households.  As a result the project was moved to a different community where there was local buy-in/support
  • due to COVID, Peace Corps volunteers had to be evacuated. However, because the project was made possible through a partnership with a local cooperative and agricultural extension officers, project activities can still move forward once stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Materials

Organic matter for the development of organic pesticide, fungicide, and fertilizer

Seedlings (cucumber, tomato, chile pimiento, soy)

Cement Cinder blocks

PVC pipes/accessories

Rotoplast

 

Indicators

Direct Outputs:

  • 2 greywater filtration systems constructed
  • construction of additional 3 systems still pending

Capacity Building:

  • 2 families trained on filtration system construction and maintenance

Impact:

  • Improved access to a consistent source of water to support local livelihoods
  • This project will help the cooperative attract new members and serve as examples for other farmers in the region interested in employing greywater harvesting
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Improving water access for communities and wildlife in Mara Siana Conservancy, Kenya

Along the borders of Kenya’s famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, communities face unprecedented change. In 2016, Climate Crowd interviews with village members revealed the extent to which the recent shift towards warmer and drier conditions has hurt livelihoods, primarily livestock rearing. Reduced access to water and pasture and the resultant spike in human wildlife conflicts represent the greatest areas of concern.

Following meetings with the communities involved, during which results of past data collection efforts were presented and discussed, specific interventions were identified to: 1) improve availability of water for wildlife; and 2) improve community access to water without the need for traveling long distances into core wildlife areas where conflicts often occur. 

 

Activities:

Over the next year, WWF Kenya will work with communities to:

  • Rehabilitate a water pan – the pan will be widened & deepened, and its walls will be reinforced; a spillway will also be created. Thereafter the community will plant grass to reinforce the walls and spillway
  • Install two rainwater harvesting systems in both Isaaten and Nkineji Primary schools within the Siana conservancy to serve as models for nearby households (26)
  • Build capacity through development of a community water committee. Records will be kept on number of people drawing water, and the number of livestock and wildlife benefiting from the intervention.
  • Install a weather station in Entumuto tented camp and conduct related capacity building for the local community members to collect weather information to inform decision-making and to maintain the station.

Above left: water pan to be rehabillitated; Above right: one of two primary schools chosen for rainwater harvesting

Indicators:

Monitoring and evaluation efforts during and after the project will determine to what extent instances of human-wildlife conflicts are reduced, the amount of water collected through rainwater harvesting and the number of households who use rainwater harvesting as their primary water source

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Drip Irrigation for Smallholder Farmers in Guatemala

Santa Clara La Laguna is a mountainous town of 11,000 people living in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Most families farm for subsistence, with some farmers selling their crops to subsidize income. For the last fifteen years, many farmers have experienced more irregular rainfall patterns and increased heat, which makes growing crops increasingly difficult. To address these concerns, drip irrigation systems will be installed on three parcels of land used by fourteen families for cultivation. Compared to conventional irrigiation methods, drip irrigation delivers water much more efficiently to crops meaning less water is wasted. This system will also allow farmers to increase their crop yields by providing crops a consistent source of targeted irrigation, regardless of rainfall.

Activities

a. Train families involved on proper irrigation techniques using drip irrigation.

b. Implement systems on four plots of land using the help of the farming families.

c.  Follow up with families and inspect irrigation system functionality as well as water rate.

d. Test water levels and rates for continued monitoring. 

Due to the COVID-19 crises, the government of Guatemala has insituted a shelter-in-place ordinance. As a result, most of the project activities are currently on hold.  Materials are currently awaiting installation and the necessary trainings meant to be given to the stakeholders have been postponed. Both the installation and the trainings will commence once the local authorities give their permission and the ministry of agriculture employees return to work.

Materials:

  • 90 meters of 0.5" polyduct tubing (Qty: 10)
  • Water holding tanks 750 liter capacity (Qty: 3)
  • Water distribution tanks, 2500 liter capacity (Qty: 3)
  • 1.5" water filters (Qty: 4)
  • Tube connectors (Qty: 400)
  • Water valve 1.25" (Qty: 9)
  • PCV Tubing 1.25" (Qty: 80)
  • Drip tape roll, 8mm diameter w/15cm holes (Qty: 4)

Indicators (anticipated):

Direct outputs:

3 farms equipped with water-efficient drip irrigation technology

Capacity building:

14 families (19 women, 13 men) with access to and knowledge of how to properly use and maintain drip irrigation

Impact:

Gallons of water used following project completion compared to past years

Lbs of crops produced following project completion compared to past years

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Establishing a garden and composting system at a school in Mexico

A small community of roughly 40 families, Puerto de Santa Rosa is located in the beautiful sierra of Guanajuato, up the hill from the town center of Santa Rosa. In Climate Crowd surveys, members of the community describe a recent trend away from agriculture, a change attributed in part to a decline in rainfall. As one local woman describes, "Without as much water, as much rain, there is no harvest. [We] don't sow crops anymore."

The initial project plan inclused a series of presentations and workshops on climate change and sustainable gardening for grade school students, culminating in the creation of a new school vegetable garden and integrated compost system. High school students were also tasked with helping to establish a new garden at a nearby protected area to educate visitors. Both gardens would incorporate climate resilient techniques including careful crop selection (in consultation with an agronomy engineer), smart watering practices, use of compost to improve water retention, use of sunshades and clear documentation of plant successes and failures such that strategies can be modified and improved upon with each new planting season.

Activities

Due to COVID-19, only part of the project was able to be completed including the following:

  • one work session at the primary school with the teacher, parents, and students helping to clear space for the garden and to move donated materials.
  • twice weekly activities in the school focused on climate change and the role of plants as carbon sinks.
  • collaboration with rangers at the nearby protected area in preparing materials and constructing the keyhole garden over the course of multiple weeks including the planting of some seeds and seedlings in March.

Class lectures (below):

 

Student drawings (below):

Indicators:

Direct outputs:

Construction of 1 new educational garden. Approximately 50 square ft of land area now dedicated to crop production and environmental education.

Capacity building:

23 students have gained knowledge on the basics of climate change, though the entire planned curriculum was unable to be implemented

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Improving water access and reducing deforestation near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

In 2019, WWF partnered with staff from Greenline Africa, a local community-based organization, to conduct 44 interviews near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North province. This part of the country lies within the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area, where nearly half of Africa's elephant population reside. Prolonged drought and changes in rainfall patterns have greatly impacted the livelihoods of people living in here. Insufficient water combined with an increase in prevalence of pests has contributed to crop failure or very limited production according to roughly half of farmers surveyed, and the majority of farmers had witnessed declines in livestock health and production due in part to the lack of sufficient grazing area. In response, many farmers report turning to more resource intensive alternative livelihoods like brick-making, which can significantly impact tree cover, and are forced to compete with wildlife for increasingly scarce resources like freshwater.

In April 2019, WWF and Greenline staff met with the community to present these findings and discuss adaptation options. Based on these dicussions, water security was identified as the primary concern. Project activities will help improve water access for community members and thereby support local livelihoods impacted by drought. The rise in deforestation will also be addressed through fuel efficient stoves and tree planting efforts. 

Activities:

Over the next year, target communities together with Greenline and WWF will:

  • Install a rainwater harvesting system using plastic tanks connected to rooftop gutters at a local primary school.  Community members will be involved in installing the rainwater harvesting system, and will be trained in maintaining and managing the rainwater harvesting system, including cleaning the roof and gutters, and purification of the water as necessary.
  • Upgrade a community hand-pump borehole to a submersible, solar powered borehole. Community members will be trained on routine maintainence of the pump, and a drip irrigation system will be installed.
  • Install an automated weather station and connect it to the National Meterological authority in Zimbabwe giving farmers better weather information to plan planting and harvesting dates accordingly. 
  • Provide pre-fabricated Tsotso fuel efficient stoves as an alternative cooking method to offset the impact of alternative coping strategies on tree cover and decrease the overall time spent by women collecting resources for households, which has increased due to drought.
  • Train traditional leaders in catchment management and conduct tree planting in schools, clinics and throughout the community. 

View an interactive map of the project site to see where activities will take place!

Materials

Water tank

Gutters

Piping

Tsotso stoves (22)

Solar panels 

Pump 

Stand

Indicators (anticipated)

Direct outputs:

  • One rainwater harvesting system installed with capacity to hold 5,000 liters 
  • One borehole upgraded to solar power
  • Three 1/4 hectare gardens established
  • 1,000 trees planted throughout community
  • 22 clean stoves distributed to households in the communities
  • one weather station installed

Impact:

  • Rate of deforestation is reduced
  • Water access is improved
  • Time spent collecting water and firewood is reduced
  • Incidence of human wildlife conflict is reduced
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Building resilience of local livelihoods in western Madagascar through seaweed farming and beekeeping

In the village of Ankoba, located on Madagascar's southwestern coast, people rely on traditional farming and fishing as their primary sources of livelihood. During Climate Crowd interviews conducted in 2017, however, local people explained that a recent decline in and shift in the timing of rainfall over the last five years (described by nearly 80% of respondents) has caused sources of freshwater to dry out and crops to fail. With few alternatives available, the community has come to rely more heavily on fishing to sustain themselves, putting greater pressure on already strained fisheries. Several species of fish, for example, have disappeared from the area entirely. Follow up meetings in 2019 have further confirmed these findings.

In response, this project will support the creation of sustainable livelihood alternatives, namely seaweed farming and beekeeping, helping households diversify their income and lessen the burden on local fisheries.  Feasibility studies have already demonstrated the suitability of both interventions in Ankoba, citing the presence of nearby mangroves and dry forests as an important requirement for beekeeping. Because bees require adequate habitat to forage, the project will create an incentive for the community to protect nearby forests now and into the future. Seaweed farming will be primarily driven by local women, helping to reduce existing gender inequities including the current lack of involvement of women in income-generating activities. Local partner organizations will help to facilitate training on both activities and ensure long-term sustainability of the project.

Activities

  • Meeting with the community to introduce detailed project concept and gain input and approval

 

  • Identification of seaweed and beekeeping sites

 

  • Training of local communities on seaweed production and beekeeping techniques

 

 

  • Buying and installing materials for seaweed and beekeeping production
  • Follow up Climate Crowd interviews

Materials

Beehives:

  • recycled wooden boards to serve as frames
  • safety equipment to protect against bee stings
  • relief waxes
  • stainless steel wire
  • queen grill

Seaweed farming:

  • buoys
  • rope of various sizes and lengths

Indicators

Outputs

  • one seaweed farm constructed
  • beekeeping hives constructed

Beneficiaries (anticipated)

  • 30 households engaged in beekeeping
  • 35 households engaged in seaweed farming 

Impact (anticipated)

  • Increased household income from alternative livelihoods
  • Increased involvement of women in income-generating activities
  • Reduced pressure on fisheries

 

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