Cabañueleros: Local climate observer serving the poorest in the Dominican Republic
Eduardo JULIA (Dominican Republic)
Fundación Sur Futuro, Dominican Republic
Sur Futuro is an organization working with rural mountain regions of the Dominican Republic. Their approach is participatory, promoting local capacities and skills as tools for progress. Since 2009 Sur Futuro is the only organization of civil society of the Dominican Republic with the status of observer to the UNFCCC. This is so because the organization identified climate change as an important threat for maintaining and achievements new development goals. In the course of our work with communities we identified a popular character who develops the practice known as Cabañuelas. This person, known as cabañuelero, who is actually an experienced climate observer has a strong authority in their community. The cabañuelero has a ritual running the last day of the year and the first 24 days of January every year by which predicts weather patterns for the rest of the year. He gives advice on the planting dates and crops. It is noteworthy that this person does not charge for their advice, and it usually does it in the public park. Climate change threatens this intangible capital, both in personal terms as loss of self-esteem, and the impacts on producers for the loss of confidence in cabañuelero’s climate predictions. In Sur Futuro we are very concerned about the impact of climate change on this valuable human capital and the loss of its authority as local climate observer and adviser in the rural communities of the Dominican Republic.
My job is coordinator of climate change and renewable energy in the Sur Futuro Foundation. I am an architect and certified environmental auditor.