The Atlantic Coast of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras is known as Central America’s “hurricane corridor.” The region has endured about 65 hurricanes and tropical storms over the past 60 years, bringing devastating floods that wipe out nearby crops, landslides that damage homes and fierce winds that damage ecosystems.

Degraded landscapes only worsen these impacts. Decades of forest clearing for farms and cattle ranching have destabilized the soil, making the area more prone to landslides and flooding during heavy or constant rainfall. This puts already vulnerable communities further at risk.

Restoring these coasts can help communities adapt to the negative impacts of increasingly worse storms. By nurturing healthy riverbanks, upland forests and coastal mangroves, we can reduce landslides, prevent coastal erosion after storms and create hurricane buffers for coastal towns.

WRI and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre (CATIE) are partnering with local organizations to revitalize these vulnerable shorelines. Financed by the Adaptation Fund and with the Central American Bank for Economic Intergration (CABEI) as an implementing entity, this project aims to restore the Atlantic Coast and thus enhance communities’ resilience to extreme weather events.

Using landscape restoration as a nature-based solution, this project will target three key areas: the Monkey River Watershed in Belize; Cusuco National Park and its surrounding coastal areas in Honduras; and the Cerro San Gil Protected Reserve and Rio Dulce National Park in Guatemala. In an area home to many local and Indigenous communities like the Garifuna and Q’eqchi, these efforts will directly benefit more than 2,000 people. Over 35,000 more are expected to see indirect benefits.

With a special emphasis on supporting women and minority groups, this project aims to:

1. Incorporate Restoration in Adaptation Policy and Planning

Through workshops and government engagement, CATIE and WRI will promote ecosystem restoration among policymakers. These efforts will highlight how restoration not only benefits the environment but can also protect against the effects of climate change. By incorporating restoration into their policies and land-use plans, governments can help their communities adapt to the growing threat of tropical storms in a cost effective way.

2. Strengthen Climate Adaptation

Executing entities and their partners will conduct planning sessions with local residents to restore one landscape in each of the initiative’s three focus countries targeting ecosystem services that enhance resilience. To ensure these projects can continue long-term, they will collaborate with financial partners of Initiative 20x20 to promote investment in restoration along the Atlantic Coast. The project will also design community Early Warning Systems, better preparing local towns for oncoming floods and landslides by giving them access to time-sensitive information.

3. Build Capacity and Share Knowledge

Ensuring that the land remains healthy and apt for climate resilience requires ongoing care and investment from the people who call it home. With this in mind, the project will foster knowledge exchanges for community members to learn from each other on measures to enhance their resilience through better land use practice. Through targeted workshops, field courses and hands-on training programs, they will gain the skills they need to sustainably manage the land.

Learn more about this project on the Adaptation Fund website

Grievance Mechanism accessible through WRI at


Cover image by FUNDAECO