1. Research Projects

Through our research we aim to strengthen the capacities of the different territorial platforms in the search of collective solutions to environmental degradation problems.


Climate Change Adaptation

- “Implementing what’s been learned: Strengthening capacities Nicoya Peninsula’s peoples to face the impacts of climate change on water resources” (2015-2018) Project:



This project consists in directing specific actions to reduce the vulnerability of three districts of Costa Rica’s dry Pacific region. This is done through capacity building and strengthening of local stakeholders to carry out actions in the productive and familiar spheres so they are enabled to use their water in the most efficient way, to reduce conflicts concerning its use, and prevent future conflicts due to water shortages. Financed by the Adaptation Fund.


- “Climate Change Adaptation Based on Ecosystem Management for Small Subsistence Agriculture Producers and Coffee Producers in Central America” CASCADA (2012-2017) Project:



Project: CLADA’s staff is involved in this project that explores already existing adaptation strategies of Guatemalan, Honduran, and Costa Rican producers in order to conduct an analysis and recommend adjustments for a more effective and efficient application. This project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in the context of the International Climate Initiative (ICI). http://www.conservation.org/projects/Pages/Ecosystem-based-Adaptation-for-smallholder-farmers-in-Central-America-CASCADE.aspx


- “Increasing Adaptation and Resilience to Drought in Socio-ecological Systems of the Arid Tropics: The case of Guanacaste” Futuragua, (2013-2016) Project:



The development of methods to carry out multi-sector climate predictions, and the strengthening of local stakeholders’ capacities in order to plan adaptation measures in response to water shortage stress. Financed by the G8 Belmont Forum Global call on Freshwater Security. http://futuragua.ca/ubc/


- “Ecosystem based strategies and innovations in water governance networks for climate change adaptation in Latin-American landscapes”. EcoAdapt (2012-2015) Project:



Capacity building in three territories of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile on the platforms of existing multiple actors, mainly for ecosystem based adaptation for climate change scenarios with water shortage stress, preventing conflicts involving natural resources and contributing to local development. Financed by EU-Fp7. http://www.ecoadapt.eu/


- “Cacao as an articulating element of community strategies of holistic risk management of extreme hydro-meteorological events and climate change adaptation: an analysis of the risks and opportunities for indigenous women dedicated to cacao cultivation in the middle region of Talamanca” Project:



The Chair has participated since June 2014 as a strategic partner of Costa Rica’s National University’s (UNA) School of Agrarian Sciences in the execution of this project. The project also forms part of the PRIDA Program, “Incorporation of Holistic Risk and Disaster Management and Climate Change Adaptation in member universities of the Central America Higher Education Council (CSUCA)”, which is driven by this latter entity. The project aims to create research, teaching, and extension capacities in the universities of the Central American region under the topic of Climate Change Adaptation. Financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE).


- Research for Impact Project: “Support to the process of sustainable use of the land and its relationship with water resources in the dry tropics strategy definition, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (2008-2010).



We worked in land use management based on water resources as a strategy for solving conflicts and increasing society’s adaptive capacity in that region. The objective was to define strategies to promote the holistic management of water resources, whilst considering the region’s particularities as far as water use and climate projections. Financed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


- “Research for Impact: Contribution to the payment for hydrological services policy for the hydroelectric sector of Costa Rica, Río Birris Watershed” (2008-2009) Project:



This project was aimed towards increasing the capacities of the Reventazón River producers to implement water and soil conservation actions. For this purpose, we designed and tested a water PES mechanism that was both effective in sediment control and efficient in distributing economic resources. Financed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


- “Tropical Forests and Climate Change Adaptation”. TroFFCA (2005-2009) Project:



This project studied the impacts of climate change and extreme events in forests with the purpose of understanding and strengthening tropical forests’ capacity to respond to the adverse effects of climate change. During the development of the project we analyzed impacts, adaptation costs, and indicators and criteria for forest and other natural resource management for increasing their resilience. Its center of study was the hydrological services of these ecosystems with local, regional, and national analyses. Our main partner was CIFOR. Financed by the European Union.





Climate Change Mitigation

- “Strengthening human capacity in indigenous territories to participate and formulate REDD” (2011-2013) Project:



In Costa Rica and Panamá we built capacities of indigenous territories to participate in the national and international debates concerning REDD+ through a process of valuing their cultural identity and empowerment throughout the training. Financed by ClimateWorks Foundation.


- “REDD-Net: Building the global South’s civil society capacities to defend the pro-poor dimension of avoided deforestation. REDD-NET” 2009-2012)



- The REDD-Net (a collaboration between ODI-UK, RECOFT-Thailand, CATIE-COSTA RICA, and UCSD-Uganda) Project



contributed to building REDD+ capacities through the exchange of experiences between members of a network of pilot activity implementers and tool developers that help for policies and strategies for REDD+ at a national and global level. Financed by NORAD. http://www.redd-net.org/