Practices, resources and concrete ideas for creating a more Climate Change Resilent Monteverde.
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
8:00am to 2:00pm
Monteverde - Cerro Plano - Cañitas
by Selena Avendaño L.
A Movement Commences. In September, Monteverde stood up and joined more than 2,500 groups around the World to create awareness on Climate Change. That march became, for many, a voice that said our world and community want to pursue a more sustainable path. Many have listened.
Learning Together. As a way to strengthen these voices, the Monteverde Community Fund joined the Monteverde 350 initiative (www.350.org) and organized an event involving 27 community representatives with the purpose of exposing participants to regional climate change issues and solutions through a local field trip. The experience also allowed participants to learn more about current and future opportunities for reaching carbon neutrality.
Learning Tour. The day-long event started with an introduction to the main sources of greenhouse gases in Monteverde, the impacts of Climate Change on a local and national scale, including adverse effects on our biodiversity, a decrease in local water production and an increase in the intensity of climate patterns. Even though statistics are alarming, the guests were able to see signs of positive changes in local practices. From here, participants took to the field.
Solar Energy. The first stop was at the home of Paul Smith, a community member who has recently installed and tested solar panels. This part of the tour was important because it helped create an understanding that if we truly want there to be change we must we must all be participants, person by person and house by house. The stop was also key in sharing information about several government programs, such as the solar electricity credit by the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) and the green finance program by state banks. In order to learn more about ICE’s projects for generating electricity in businesses and homes you can visit the following website here.
Practices in the Tourism Sector. The next stops were at Cabañas y Jardines Los Pinos and Don Juan Coffee Tours, two local businesses that have already taken significant steps toward making their operations more sustainable. Featured examples included building designs that take advantage of passive solar lighting, solid waste management and wastewater treatment, among others. According to Rafael Eduardo Arguedas, General Manager of Los Pinos, “businesses must re-invent themselves continuously” because, he says, “if we do not seek a differentiation that also benefits Monteverde, we will not endure in time”. José Cruz of Don Juan Coffee Tours emphasized that the search for sustainability is not only something that is positive, it is now a necessity. Looking to the future of tourism, he proposes that “businesses will start to build a supply chain where they only recommend those who have the best sustainability practices”.
Carbon Sequestration. Afterwards, we continued on to Finca Rodríguez (Los Llanos), where the Costa Rican Conservation Foundation (FCC) has a reforestation and research site. Here we met with three representatives: Debra, Lorenzo and Rodrigo. Thanks to the efforts of this organization during the past 10 years, more than 170,000 native trees have been planted, including 90 species and 40 families. Debra also explained the importance the FCC has had in creating habitat connectivity throughout the Bellbird Biological Corridor, which connects forest patches between Monteverde to the Golf of Nicoya, and how tropical forests have a particularly important role in sequestering Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
Adaptable Farms. Our final destination was Finca Life Monteverde, where participants learned about myriad practices used by this integrated farm to prepare for the effects of climate change. These include both mitigation and adaptation strategies such as biodigestors for energy production, integrated food production and organic fertilizers, studies in organic coffee growth and low-consumption irrigation systems. The farm has also received recognition by the Ecological Blue Flag certification program, overseen by the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture, for its voluntary implementation of adaptation strategies. To conclude, participants worked in groups to develop recommendations for how Monteverde can begin to reduce the impact from transportation, the main source of greenhouse gases in our area.
We hope the participants of this field trip will share and replicate what they have seen within our community. The Monteverde Community Fund also benefited from the ideas and recommendations expressed by the participants, and will incorporate them into future efforts designed to channel more resources to our region for combating climate change.
To get more information on the places we visited and the themes we talked about you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (506) +2645-6967.
+506 2645 6967
Plaza Comercial, Oficina #6, Santa Elena de Monteverde, Puntarenas
Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8:30am-5:00pm CST, Costa Rica