Building Adaptive Capacity and Resilience to Climate Change in Toledo, Southern Belize
group of males and females of diverse ages, standing around a water well

Agriculture is the principal source of income for many rural communities in Southern Belize and so the effects of climate change may have serious implications for current livelihoods there. To effectively respond to increased climate risks, transformational change is necessary and with the support of the Caribbean Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF)  which is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, the Farmers’ Club model has proven to be useful in promoting behaviour change while expanding the reach of adaptation interventions. Notably, the relationship between human systems and the physical environment can help the agriculture sector to become more resilient, especially where local community vulnerability resilience and ability to cope with climate hazards is assessed (IPCC 2014).

This case study highlights climate change adaptation strategies employed by communities in Toledo District, Southern Belize. Key to the success of these strategies is an emphasis on gender’s role in building resilience, contributing to poverty reduction and driving transformational change in vulnerable rural communities. Group engagement strategies such as the Farmer’s club model and the “Pass On” loan system has helped to secure the livelihoods of a larger group of beneficiaries.