LAS TUNAS, Cuba, Sep 9 (ACN) The identification of beneficiary entities and individuals who will work in more than 15,000 hectares of land in southern Las Tunas province marks the first steps of Project IRES, aimed at increasing the resilience of vulnerable rural communities.
Through the rehabilitation of productive agroforestry landscapes, the initiative, designed in Cuba since the late 2020, seeks to ensure food security through ecosystem services improved through agroforestry, silvopastoral plans, reforestation and assisted natural forest regeneration.
Yoandry Avila Igarza, president of the Association of Agricultural and Forestry Technicians in the province, told ACN that almost 700 people in several municipalities will benefit from this effort.
To this end, eleven facilities in the countryside will become training centers based on the concept of "learning by doing", although COVID-19 makes it imperative to rely on virtual education, he pointed out.
“These and other municipalities across Cuba will be in charge of replacing traditional production practices with other more suitable ones in response to climate change, taking into account two key elements such as mitigation and adaptation,” he added. “Work is under way to make the most of the available water sources and spaces to set up nurseries intended to meet local needs.”
IRES focused on some of the 78 Cuban municipalities worst hit by periods of agricultural drought which usually last more 50 days a year, a fact that classifies Cuba as a "high-risk" country according to the Index of Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The project is a significant contribution to Cuba's State Plan to tackle climate change, known as Task Vida, hence the contribution provided by the Green Climate Fund in association with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture.