We ourselves were destroying this world, but now we have a project of environmental education, we work with all the schools and are linked to the population. Here you can breathe a healthy world.” — María Teresa, Mayabeque Province
Nature, now more than ever, needs us to pay attention to its warning signals and to take care of it, so it can take care of us. María Teresa, 54, is the administrator of the protected area of the Gulf of Batabanó, in Mayabeque, Cuba. She knows that loss and damage to mangroves makes coastal communities vulnerable. Mangroves occupy 5.1 percent of Cuba’s land area and are found on 70 percent of its coasts. “They recognize that the value of the mangrove resides not only in the benefits they obtain from it, but also represents a benchmark around which they have developed their lives, their sense of belonging and their identity,” says Juliette Díaz, Coordinator, Environment Agency
To restore Cuba’s mangroves, the ‘Reduction of vulnerability to coastal flooding through ecosystem-based adaptation in the south of Artemisa and Mayabeque Provinces’ project focusses on an 84 kilometre stretch of coastline between Punta Sucia and Punta Mora on the southern coast.
It’s backed by the Adaptation Fund and implemented by UNDP and works with Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The restoration includes comprehensive reforestation, increased monitoring and control, and detailed vulnerability assessments to better understand how climate change is affecting communities and their ecosystems.
In 2017 Cuba approved its State Plan to Face Climate Change (‘Tarea Vida’), which recognized the country’s high vulnerability to climate change. It sets strategic priorities and identifies the effects of salinization, flooding, and…