Renewing our training offer

Training has been a key tool for CATIE in building capacity; the institution has versatility and a capacity to react promptly on issues related to the situation and the specific demands of the countries. However, today the subject is of strategic importance, in both classroom and virtual modes. One significant fact that has become a trend is that technicians, government officials, and private sector and civil society agents are rarely able to take leaves of absence for long-term training purposes. This makes CATIE’s training programs attractive for training qualified human resources in topics related to agriculture and the environment.

 

Therefore, in 2019, CATIE’s Training Area entered an intense process of reactivation and a new coordinator with a long history of training activities was appointed. The reactivation of the unit included both the formulation and implementation of several regulations and guidelines to reorder training activities and achieve better articulation between the different CATIE units that carry out these activities (programs, projects and representations in the countries of the region).

 

All this restructuring work allowed for important achievements in a relatively short period of time, as detailed below:

Internship program in Peru.

An internship program was established with the National Agricultural Innovation Program of the Institute for Agricultural Innovation (INIA/PINIA) of Peru to contribute to strengthening research capacities in CATIE’s areas of expertise such as agroforestry, coffee, cocoa, sustainable livestock production, climate change, biostatistics, agribusiness, watersheds, participatory research, qualitative methods, sustainable rural development, innovative agricultural technologies, forests, and biodiversity, among others. Actions implemented included starting a three-week course at CATIE’s headquarters in Turrialba, Costa Rica, with a group of 17 INIA officials who took an intensive program in topics ranging from biostatistics, data management and analysis, research, extension and innovation, climate change, inclusion and gender, value chains, as well as more specialized topics related to extension and innovation for participatory rural development, germplasm production and management, coffee and cocoa production, sustainable forest management and biodiversity management in protected areas and sustainable livestock. This program was taught using the learning by doing modality with talks by CATIE experts, field trips, practice exercises and guided readings. An individual internship program was also developed and continues to operate, whereby INIA researchers carry out internships at CATIE for one to eight months at the time of year that is most convenient to them, working on topics of common interest with different CATIE projects. To date, 12 such internships have been completed. Work also continues with 115 files for 2020.

Training program with government institutions of the Dominican Republic.

With the Ministry of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic, the development of a diploma course for 60 public and private sector professionals in integrated pest management (DiMIP) was planned, with a duration of 160 hours of attendance and composed of theoretical and practical sessions. This diploma course will be taught by CATIE and Dominican Republic teachers in this same country in 2020, with the objective of developing skills to address problems in the country’s most important agricultural production systems. Two topics of interest to the country were worked on jointly with the Dominican Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The first is a five-day, face-to-face, practical course-workshop on integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and marine spatial planning (MSP), which will be held in 2020 in three regions of the country: the Northern Region, the Southeastern Region, and the Metropolitan and Southwestern Regions, with the participation of technicians from the environmental department of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Tourism, mayors, universities and NGOs. The second is a five-day course for capacity building of stakeholders involved in land use and land use change in the Dominican Republic (REDD+). The objective is to strengthen and increase technical capacities of key actors in the livestock sector, forests and protected areas linked to the implementation of the Emissions Reduction Program (ERP) of the country’s forests, through techniques focused on the environmental sustainability of the activities they carry out, climate change mitigation, and the ERP. This course will also be held in 2020 and will cover topics such as sustainable low-carbon livestock production, sustainable forest management, natural landscape restoration, and protected area management in the context of climate change.

Training program with Nicaragua.

Cooperation between CATIE and Nicaragua’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) was established in early 2019 in the framework of the National REDD+ Strategy (ENDE-REDD+). One of the actions implemented was a 100% virtual diploma course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing applied to natural resource management, which will also be implemented in May 2020. This cooperation will strengthen the capacities of the technical teams of the National Forestry Institute (INAFOR) and the Nicaraguan Territorial Studies Institute (INETER) to introduce, strengthen and develop skills in the management of GIS and remote sensing in the capture, storage, processing and dissemination of geo-referenced information for natural resource management and administration. In addition, an online course on forest governance, socio-environmental elements and monitoring systems for REDD+ was held in late 2019 to provide knowledge and capacity on forest governance and disseminate tools for the development of processes associated with social and environmental safeguards in the context of REDD+.

Training program with the municipality of Oxapampa in Peru.

The cooperation was established in 2019 with the aim of contributing to the promotion and development of cooperative relations in the areas of forest management and conservation, biodiversity, agro-forestry, tropical agriculture and sustainable development. It began with a 10-day internship at CATIE’s campus in Turrialba, Costa Rica, with the participation of the mayor, councilmen, technicians and civil society of Oxapampa Municipality. In this internship, the subject of economic retribution for water resources was worked on. In addition, a nine-day course was held in the city of Oxapampa, Peru, where work was done on hydrological modeling.

Success story

“This internship represented a growth experience on both professional and personal levels. It was an opportunity to broaden and deepen my knowledge in value chain analysis and in the use of tools for capacity building in rural associative enterprises. Working with the indigenous women’s organization motivated me to continue focusing my skills in the search for better opportunities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development”,

Claudia María Rojas, a Peruvian who did an internship at CATIE, working with a women’s organization in a rural indigenous area of Costa Rica.