Cuba, Puerto Rico, and climate change: shared challenges in agriculture, forestry, and opportunities for collaboration.

  • Authors: Fain, Stephen J.; McGinley, Kathleen; Gould, William; Parés, Isabel K; Gonzalez, Grizelle
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
  • Source: General Technical Report


Cuba and Puerto Rico have much in common and have been referred to in a poem by Lola Rodríguez de Tío as “…son de un pájaro las dos alas” (two wings of one bird). Throughout their histories, they have faced similar challenges in maintaining food security and ecosystem health. Global climate change now threatens both islands with parallel challenges to their similar cropping systems, forests, and producer demographics. Rising temperatures and resultant shifts in climate patterns have led to an increased occurrence of drought, punctuated by tropical storms and hurricanes of increasing intensity. Both Puerto Rico and Cuba have historically found innovative ways to harness the ingenuity and resilience of their people. Building new partnerships and frameworks for technology transfer, knowledge sharing, and innovation across the Caribbean islands has the potential to enhance adaptive capacity, food security, and ecosystem services, and to ensure that the islands are prepared for climatic changes in coming decades. This report provides a brief historical overview of the agricultural and forestry sectors in Cuba, outlines regional climate projections and their expected effects on working lands in both Cuba and Puerto Rico, and broadly assesses adaptive capacity and vulnerability, making suggestions for building adaptive and resilient working lands systems.

  • Citation: Fain, Stephen J.; McGinley, Kathleen; Gould, William A.; Parés, Isabel K.; González, Grizelle. 2020. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and climate change: shared challenges in agriculture, forestry, and opportunities for collaboration. Gen. Tech. Rep. IITF-GTR-49. San Juan, PR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry. 39 p.
  • Keywords: Climate Change, Agriculture, Forestry, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Adaptive Management.
  • Posted Date: February 20, 2020
  • Modified Date: October 2, 2020
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.