New horizons for Latin America

New edition of Rural Perspectives focuses in on sustainable approaches
By Josefina Stubbs

It’s been a wonderful year. And as we roll into the final quarter of 2011, it’s important to take stock of our successes over the year, and the challenges that we face ahead.

In this issue of Rural Perspectives, we look at a series of new poverty reduction projects in Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico. These new projects were built from the ground up with sustainability, responsibility and lasting results in mind. And while the regional contexts vary greatly, the projects share some common themes, looking toward ever-green approaches and new technologies, market access, value-chain strengthening and participatory practices to increase incomes and build better lives for poor rural people living on the margins of society throughout Latin America.

There are important interviews from members of IFAD’s Evaluation Committee that highlight their reflections on their recent visit to the Dom Hélder Câmara Project in Brazil. We also highlight a new knowledge-management project in Brazil that will help replicate the lessons learned in Dom Helder and bring them to other poor parts of Brazil’s northeast. A new video gives us insight into how age-old traditions are blending with new techniques and technologies to help weavers in Guatemala make more money from their craft. We also take in-depth looks at our current funding in Haiti, IFAD’s new policy on environment and natural resource management and how its implementation will affect the Latin America region, and how competition is creating new possibilities for peace and prosperity in Colombia.

This September, IFAD’s Executive Board approved new poverty reduction projects in Honduras, Ecuador and Argentina. These projects leverage co-financing from the Spanish Food Security Cofinancing Facility Trust Fund, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, local governments and project beneficiaries, allowing us to scale-up the breadth, depth and effectiveness of IFAD’s poverty reduction efforts in the region.

It’s also a time to celebrate new publications and new milestones. We have a video interview with IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze, in which he reflects on his recent mission to Argentina. There’s also a new publication on The Issue of Land in Argentina, and a review from the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and IFAD on Mexico’s emerging legal frameworks to address climate change. We look toward the successes of the Paraguay Rural Project at its mid-term review, and how Peru is leveraging information and communications technologies to build better opportunities for rural poor people.

The next several months will bring myriad and diverse challenges, along with new opportunities. By fostering a culture of collaboration and cooperation, we hope to continue our leading trend in creating innovative, sustainable and results-oriented projects across Latin America and the Caribbean. These projects are not only yielding tangible results in terms of poverty reduction, responsible natural resource management, policy dialogue and rural empowerment, but they are also essential in our efforts to safeguard peace, stability and progress across the region.


Josefina Stubbs
Director Latin America and the Caribbean Division

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