Monday 5
Dialogue on Climate-resilient Farming Practices, Agroecology and Food Sovereignty
Jean-MArc Touzard, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Laifolo Dakishoni, Sieglinde Snapp
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› Murviel-lès-Montpellier
Mesoamerican tropical agriculture and climate change adaptation: evaluating the resilience of coffee cooperatives in south-eastern Mexico
Antoine Libert Amico  1@  
1 : Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana - Unidad Xochimilco  (UAM)  -  Website
Posgrado en Desarrollo Rural - Edificio A Calzada del Hueso 1100 Col. Villa Quíetud, C.P. 04960. Coyoacán, México D.F. Mexico -  Mexique

This paper addresses ongoing discussions on climate change adaptation by bringing to the forefront experiences in sustainable landscape management on behalf of coffee cooperatives in biodiversity hotspots of Mesoamerica.

If climate change adaptation is only recently coming to be recognized as a crucial part of sustainable development, the transition from emphasizing climate change mitigation to increasing social-ecological systems' resilience to climate change has faced numerous barriers. Public policies that aim to facilitate adaptation to climate change represent a relatively young and complex policy sphere.

What innovations are local groups putting into practice in order to strengthen their resilience in a constantly changing environment? How can we evaluate ongoing climate change adaptation strategies, in light of the complexity of the social and ecological systems which implement them and the uncertainty of the future?

In Mexico, institutional actors discussing climate change have focused their discourses on mitigation efforts so as to set the bases for the implementation of the program REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). This paper seeks to contribute to ongoing debates on the need to complement mitigation with adaptation strategies in strengthening social and ecological systems' resilience to future climate risks.

The paper discusses the agricultural techniques, market innovations, and social adaptations coffee producers of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas are implementing in light of the negative effects of climate change. Climate change decreases coffee quality and production, while making coffee plants more vulnerable to disease. A variety of adaptations are available to help farmers adjust to global climate change, ranging from adopting shade-grown coffee plantations to appealing to new markets.

Coffee producers in this region have focused on improving the quality and certifications of their organic coffee. At the same time, the coffee sector seeks to improve its competitiveness by instituting greenhouse gas mitigation measures which also generate a series of social, economic and environmental co-benefits that are also conducive to the adaptation of agricultural systems to climate change.

In an alliance between environmental NGOs, academia, and small-scale coffee producers, participative processes of land-use management are currently being facilitated based on an interdisciplinary framework which mobilizes concepts of adaptability and flexibility in order to understand the resilience of social-ecological systems.

In this sense, this paper proposes to bring to the Resilience 2014 conference experiences in innovative research and practice on contemporary strategies of climate change adaptation in the south-eastern state of Chiapas, Mexico. In light of the popularity the concept of resilience has accumulated in recent times, this presentation seeks to ground ongoing debates on resilience by discussing the initiatives coffee producers in Mesoamerica are enabling in order transform in the face of crisis.

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