La Ceiba is known as the “Bride of Honduras”. It is a beautiful city confined between a mountain range of dense tropical forest and the Caribbean Sea in the northern coast of Honduras. “Ceibeños” are known to be warm and cheerful people, who could easily find reasons to celebrate. However, La Ceiba, as many other cities in the country, is subject to great environmental pressure from population growth, land use changes, poverty, and hydro climatic-associated risks. Some of the current issues include urban flooding, coastal erosion, saline intrusion and an increase in vector-borne diseases, among many others. Facing those challenges requires great investments, but also requires the political will, determination to take actions and public awareness.
Climate change is still perceived by the majority of the population as a long term issue, linked only to temperature increase and unrelated to the daily life of ordinary citizens. A few municipal officers understand the importance of climate change and take the opportunity of the City Links exchange to have a better understanding of this issue and to convince others that the list of tasks for La Ceiba to adapt to climate change is long overdue.
As an initiative of the technicians participating in the exchange, I was asked to provide two trainings on Climate Change and to present the projections for La Ceiba to representatives of the Municipal Corporation, to representatives of NGO´s, other government institutions and even the private sector. The projections were prepared by UCCRN experts as a support for this process and were key in raising awareness among the participants. What I initially believed was going to be just another training in an environmental topic, turned out to be of great interest to my audience. Participants were truly engaged and thankful for the learning experience, which was very rewarding and encouraging.
Knowing more about this issue and the projected risks for La Ceiba I think is a great first step towards adaptation. Certainly, the positive attitude of “Ceibeños” is an asset when facing the challenges that come with climate change, so I see this as another reason for La Ceiba to celebrate!