Manabí and Santa Elena are two neighbouring provinces out of the 24 Provincial Autonomous Decentralised Governments (GADs by its Spanish acronym) in Ecuador. Located within the coastal region, they are not only facing the impacts caused by the El Niño phenomenon, but they also already feel the impacts of climate change. That is why the two provinces, together with a third one, Guayas, started working together on the project “Tackling Climate Change in the Coastal Mountain Range”, which was presented to the European Union, jointly by the Natura Foundation and the International Centre for the Investigation of the El Niño Phenomenon (CIIFEN), in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Nature Conservancy in 2011. The project was carried out in thirteen cantons of the provinces of Manabí, Santa Elena and Guayas, having as axis the Coastal Mountain Range. It allowed them to develop and implement joint mechanisms and integrated responses to face the negative impacts of climate change, both on the population and the local ecosystems, by reducing their vulnerability and contributing to limit GHG emissions.
The focus areas of the project were:
As the implementation of successful adaptation measures at the territorial level is only possible with capacity-building actions, the project placed special emphasis on training processes that generate new knowledge, learning abilities and skills in the beneficiaries. These processes include:
The actions undertaken by the project were built by the proactive and constructive interaction of a group of people (women, men, youth and children) that make up the communes, communities and associations where the adaptation measures are implemented; hence the appropriate mechanisms for adequate communication, organisation and decision making of its members is of importance. In this sense, the project maintained a direct line of organisational strengthening and frequently performed the following activities, in its area of intervention:
Parallel to this project, the participating governments worked on an institutional approach to drive forward the efforts to jointly address the impacts of climate change in the Coastal Mountain Range.
Consortium to Tackle Climate Change in the Coastal Mountain Range
The Consortium to Tackle Climate Change in the Coastal Mountain Range (CECCCCO by its Spanish acronym) was derived from the aforementioned project but was only legally established in 2018 through the signing of the consortium agreement. The consortium is a public institution with legal, administrative and financial capacities which groups the provincial governments of Manabí, Santa Elena and Guayas, as well as municipal and parish governments. These governments have common interests and territorial competences, both exclusive and shared, in the fields of mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The CECCCO has an initial term of duration of 10 years with the possibility of renewal. It is the first consortium of its kind nationwide, created by different levels of government for environmental issues with its main focus on sustainable development and the preservation of natural resources with the aim to address climate change impacts. The CECCCO is co-financed by its members, with the provinces contributing $15,000, the cantons contributing $10,000 and the parishes contributing $5,000. It is covered amongst others by the Constitution of the Republic, in its article 243, which establishes that “two or more regions, provinces, contiguous cantons or parishes will be able to group and form associations, with the purpose of improving the management of their competences and favouring their integration processes.”
The consortium institutionalises the efforts of the provinces, municipalities and parishes to manage internal and external cooperation through agreements, contributions and loans to develop a series of projects on conservation, preservation, education and productive projects in 25 communities settled on 699,000ha of territory. The consortium builds organisational processes with the participation of other institutions and citizens to realise the programmes and projects developed by the consortium. The creation of the consortium should also give impetus to new options for preservation by involving different actors and creating other entrepreneurship opportunities that benefit family farmers.
The specific goals of the Consortium are:
To attain these goals, the Consortium proposes to:
Website of the project: http://cordilleracostera.org/portal/