Project Watershelds Copyright OroVerde


More frequent and severe droughts, heavy rains, floods and cyclones illustrate the extreme effects of climate change. OroVerde's project regions in the Caribbean and Central America are particularly threatened, as the World Risk Index shows. However, there are measures to adapt to climate change based on the conservation, sustainable use and restoration of ecosystems. In this way, they mitigate the regional impacts of climate change and thus contribute to securing the livelihoods of local people.

The GreenWatersheds project works in four countries over a period of five years with the following approach: In four watersheds in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Cuba and Mexico, OroVerde and project partners are analysing and developing measures for ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change together with the local population. The project also carries out an economic assessment of the ecosystem "services", develops innovative financing instruments to implement the measures, establishes partnerships with relevant actors and disseminates experience from local to international levels.

Aim of the project

The project contributes to the protection of 210,588 hectares of forest in Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Cuba (short description as PDF).
Preparation and implementation of plans for ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change in 4 watersheds. Building on this:

  • reforestation of at least 208 hectares of forest in the watersheds,
  • Measures for natural regeneration and soil protection in endangered areas on at least 330 hectares,
  • Implementation of 261 agricultural modules by communities in watersheds, including agroforestry systems, diversification of existing farmland, "Chinampas" - floating gardens on rafts in Mexico, installation of cocoa, coffee and fruit processing facilities for improved incomes,
  • Development of governance mechanisms for financing and management of watersheds,
  • Ecosystem service assessments and cost-benefit analysis of ecosystem-based adaptation,
  • Awareness-raising campaigns for economic and political actors in water-dependent sectors.

Your donation makes a difference!

Your donation helps to implement ecosystem-based adaptation measures and innovative financing mechanisms in watersheds together with local partner organisations.

The project is implemented in four protected areas in Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic and thus makes an important contribution to the conservation of forests and unique biodiversity.


1800 Euro

for the restoration and planting of a floating garden "Chinampa" in Mexico.

390 Euro

for a surveillance camera for biological monitoring in Guatemala.

70 Euro

for a tool set and equipment for tree refinement and pruning in agroforestry systems in Cuba.

This is ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change:

Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is about long-term preservation of the ecosystem services required for human needs in spite of climate change. This includes cushioning the consequences of climate change (e.g. droughts, heat waves, but also heavier rainfall and more frequent flooding). Measures to maintain sustainable use and the restoration of ecosystems can thus help the local population to adapt to climate change. It is therefore a question of using biological diversity and ecosystem services to adapt to climate change. Such measures are usually much cheaper than "grey infrastructure" and often have further positive effects.

Here are a few examples:

  • Mangrove forests protect coasts from storms and floods - and that is much cheaper than building dikes. In addition, the mangroves increase biological diversity and provide habitat for fish and shrimps, which in turn improve the nutrition and income of local people.
  • Well-forested slopes can protect roads and other infrastructure from erosion and landslides.
  • Agroforestry systems can protect soils and reduce the risk of crop failure by increasing the diversity of species. Preserving a greater diversity of species and different genes in natural and agroecosystems acts as a natural insurance in the process of adaptation to changing climatic conditions.
Project partners

Guatemala: Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza (FDN)

The FDN is a private foundation for sustainable development and nature conservation in Guatemala. It specialises in developing forest management and protection plans, as well as advising and supporting the local population in reforestation and forestry.

Cuba: Unidad Presupuestada de Servicios Ambientales (UPSA)

The UPSA is the representative of the national authority for protected areas CNAP in the province of Guantánamo in Cuba. It is in charge of the management and scientific investigations of the Alexander von Humboldt National Park and other protected areas in the province.

Mexico: Pronatura México

Pronatura Mexico is a nationally recognized organization dedicated to rebuilding priority ecosystems, working with the private sector, government institutions at various levels, and local communities.

Dominican Republic: Centro Naturaleza

Centro Naturaleza has been working for almost 30 years in the field of sustainable agriculture, watershed management, environmental education and sustainable development projects in the Dominican Republic.


This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

Questions about the project?

Torsten Klimpel
Team International projects
Phone: 0049228 24290-22