Copyright: Centro Naturaleza

Climate protection: Substantial successes in GreenWatersheds project

The project GreenWatersheds which is active in Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, is intended to strengthen the natural capabilities of forest ecosystems in order to reduce the effects of, or ideally even prevent, extreme weather events.

Image: Copyright © Centro Naturaleza

A host of successes, despite adverse conditions

Mexico, the Caribbean region of Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic have been particularly hard-hit by COVID. In many cases, training could only be given by video, and not all planned activities could actually be implemented. Nevertheless, the results from the past several months are impressive.

Mexico

In Mexico for example, local fire brigades were provided with essential equipment. With these resources at their disposal, the firefighters can now safely do their important work. In addition, the funding was used to subtitle several videos (Verlinkung auf Video) that raise awareness for firefighting and the important work done by the members of the “Heros Brigadistas” brigade – who risk their lives to fight fires. Moreover, three cisterns were installed, helping to ensure a water supply for local communities even in times of drought.

Heros Brigadistas
The videos of the "Heros Brigadistas" campaign were produced by Pronatura Méxiko as part of the WaterForest project and translated and subtitled with the help of the donation from Munich Re and ERGO. Copyright © Pronatura Méxiko

Presentation of the Brigadisten Francisco Perea:

YouTube-Video

Copyright: Defensores de la Naturaleza

Guatemala

At five sites across Guatemala, agroforestry systems, i.e. forest gardens with a range of plants, have been seeded and maintained. Before the seedlings could be planted, the ground had to be tilled and terraces constructed, since the area is quite steep and topsoil erosion was to be prevented. To ensure that the agroforestry systems would produce good and reliable crop yields, the farming families had to first receive comprehensive training. In addition, 32 vegetable gardens were planted and further measures like afforestation were implemented that protect the local populace and the forest alike from the effects of climate change. There were also a variety of environmental education measures.

Image: The owner of a home garden in Guatemala with seeds for her garden. Copyright © Defensores de la Naturaleza 

Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, eight agroforestry and forest-and-pasture landscapes were created, along with five vegetable gardens and family gardens. In seven communities, workshops were provided on climate-adapted terraced farming, and participants received answers to their questions on new planting and farming methods. In addition, three afforestation measures were implemented.

Project management

Torsten Klimpel

Torsten Klimpel, project manager at OroVerde, accompanies these efforts on site: “We can look back on an eventful year. In our project countries Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated in some cases very strict contact restrictions and lockdowns, and led to supply bottlenecks. Accordingly, we’re all the happier to say that there have only been minor delays in implementing the measures made possible by donations from Munich Re and ERGO. This is especially thanks to the tireless dedication of our local staff, who even in difficult times constantly found new ways to carry out the planned measures despite the restrictions.”

Image: Torsten Klimpel heads the OroVerde project. Copyright © OroVerde

About OroVerde

OroVerde has been working to protect tropical rainforests for over 30 years. The charity focuses on long-term projects that not only protect the forest, but also give local people better prospects. Over the next two years, Munich Re and ERGO will continue to support OroVerde’s efforts. The funding will be used to restore and protect forests, to implement soil-regenerating measures, to support local farmers, and to provide training for local residents.

(As of: March 2022)

Impressions