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    International project extends coastal rehabilitation in Cuba

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    Extiende proyecto internacional la rehabilitación costera en Cuba

    In extension of actions carried out by the international project Coastal Resilience on the central north coast of Cuba to confront climate change, the global initiative “Mi Costa” becomes, by considering the rehabilitation and protection of two stretches of riverbanks in the south of the Island.

    With a time of eight years of investment and 22 of maintenance, it will intervene in the provinces of Pinar del Río, Artemisa and Mayabeque (Section One) and Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Las Tunas and Granma (Section Two), Alejandro González Díaz, coordinator of that project in the province of Ciego de Ávila, highlighted.

    He meant that Mi Costa addresses the main elements of the Cuban State Plan for Confronting Climate Change (Life Task), by conceiving actions aimed at improving water quality, health and well-being of communities.

    It responds to the interest in protecting the coastal zone and achieving adaptation to climate change in the most vulnerable municipalities of the southern coast of Cuba, he said.

    Extiende proyecto internacional la rehabilitación costera en Cuba

    Around 1.3 million people, residing in seven coastal settlements and 24 municipalities, will benefit from this program, which aims to increase resilience to the effects of climate change in coastal communities and ecosystems, by implementing ecosystem-based adaptation (ABE ), he detailed.

    Other purposes are the creation of capacities in the inhabitants of the communities to temper themselves to the prevailing environmental conditions on the planet and the integration of the ABE into national and local planning for coastal management, he added.

    In this case, he clarified, the ABE consists of the recovery and strengthening of coastal wetland services (fundamentally mangroves and swamp forests) that will allow the energy of extreme waves and strong winds to be dissipated.

    This principle will help restore the functionality of these environments that provide protection services against natural disasters, while the training of the factors that interact in the area and the consolidation of control measures will ensure the sustainability and continuity of the process, he insisted.

    Extiende proyecto internacional la rehabilitación costera en Cuba

    It will make it possible to improve the availability and quality of water, reducing the risks associated with this resource (droughts, floods and salinization of the vital liquid and the soil), he expressed.

    The impacts of the rehabilitation actions will be identified through comprehensive monitoring of the quality of drinking and ocean waters, and the surrounding marine and coastal ecosystems (seagrasses and reefs), he said.

    González Díaz defined as fundamental pillars of the project the recovery and conservation of the habitats that protect the coast, the preparation of local governments and inhabitants of the communities, and the strengthening of the regulatory system.

    In Ciego de Ávila, direct interventions will be carried out in the Júcaro settlement, in the municipality of Venezuela, and are based on the rehabilitation of wetlands, restoration of strips of mangroves, recovery of grasslands and swamp forests around the community, and saline intrusion monitoring, he said.

    The performance of the local government and subordinate entities (provincial and municipal representations of Hydraulic Resources, Aqueduct and Sewage, Agriculture, Science, Technology and Environment) will be oriented towards rehabilitating coastal hydrology through the maintenance and rearrangement of ditches and canals, and the elimination of micro dumps.

    Access to climate and environmental information will be facilitated to promote active participation by the community and local authorities in decision-making, so that local governments can use the results to face the threats of climate change.

    With financing from the Cuban government and the Green Climate Fund, Mi Costa addresses the main elements of the Cuban State Plan to Confront Climate Change (Life Task).