Exchange of Experiences Between Honduras and Colombia

Meteorologists are earth and atmospheric scientists that use observations and information models to comprehend and predict weather. However, many meteorologists ask themselves “how useful is the information that we generate for the family farmer?” With the goal of learning about successful experiences of producers who were empowered with climate information and institutions who were provided with user information, Honduran Climate Service Officials and researchers from CIAT-Honduras participated in an international exchange between communities and institutions in Colombia.

The exchange was developed through the framework of the Resilient Central America project (ResCA), financed by the United States Department of State, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and AgroLAC 2025. The commission was formed by the Director of the Center for Atmospheric, Oceanographic, and Seismic Studies (CENAOS), and the Director of Meteorology, technicians, and researchers from the Permanent Commission for Contingencies (COPECO).

The National Framework for Climate Services

The subdirector of Meteorology of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), shared their experience with the development of the National Framework for Climate Services for Colombia. The framework is an institutional policy mechanism designed to coordinate, facilitate, and strengthen the collaboration between national institutions in order to improve sharing and utilization of forecasts and science-based climate services. In addition, the National Federation of Rice Growers (FEDEARROZ) shared their successful experiences, like increased production and efficient use of resources, and lessons learned from providing their producers with Agro-climate information.

Optimized Climate Forecasts for Honduras

In the last few years, thanks to the ResCA project, researchers from CIAT are helping CENAOS with the job of improving weather forecasts. One of the optimization strategies is to use predictive variables from the oceanic models for climate forecasts in Honduras. The advances presented in the exchange promise significant improvements for forecasting that can be scalable regionally in Central America.

Empowering Producers to Use Information

The empowerment of producers to use meteorological information, recognize the utility of data, keep registries, comprehend forecast uncertainty, and take advantage of opportunities to implement adaptative practices is evident in the communities with family agriculture in the department of Cauca. We recognize that there are cultural and socioeconomic challenges, but the adaptation evidence seen in the visited communities in the Territory of Sustainable Climate Adaptation (TeSAC) is a promising example for further implementation in the communities in the dry corridor in Honduras.

Martín Quan, the Director of CENAOS Honduras, expressed, “Seeing these empowered producers motivates us to keep working for our communities in Honduras. Then to implement these pilot experiences more broadly, we should find local leaders that will motivate their neighbors.”

ResCA will continue to work with partners from the Climate Service to help build climate resilience through strengthening institutions and inciting the local communities to use forecast information.