Climate Change in El Salvador -- Blog Action Day
October 15 is the worldwide Blog Action Day. Thousands of blogs today are dedicated to the single global issue of climate change.
Because of its exposure to the effects of tropical storms and its low-lying coast line, El Salvador is at risk from the impacts of global climate change. The primary impacts of climate change could be temperature increases, changes in rainfall patterns, and flooding from sea level increase. A "Country Note" prepared by the World Bank looks at climate change and the agricultural sector in El Salvador and noted the following:
According to a study on adaptation strategies to climate change realized by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in collaboration with the National Service of Territorial Studies (SNET) in the coastal plains of El Salvador, between the municipalities of Zacatecoluca, Tecoluca and Jiquilisco, the following was concluded for the year 2015; i) loss of between 10 and 19% of the territory due to sea elevation of 13-55 cm, especially in the mangrove swamp area; ii) forest fires and forest plagues; iii) increased soil erosion and loss of humidity in soil and iv) diminishing productivity of corn of between US$3.1 million and US$7.5 million for the years 2025 and 2100 respectively caused by droughts.The Country Note is a useful overview of a the vulnerabilities of El Salvador's agricultural sector.
The Global Climate Risk Index constructed for the period between 1997 and 2006 and covering both human and economic impacts, ranks El Salvador 30th in the world, underscoring the country’s high vulnerability to climate related events. In recent years (between 2001 and 2005), storms and droughts have had the highest human and economic impact in the country- 400,000 people have been affected by droughts (1 event) with the cost of damages reaching US$22.4 million and 74,941 people have been affected by storms (2 events) with the cost of damages reaching US$355 million.
There are a variety of efforts going on in El Salvador to help the country address these vulnerabilities. Friends of the Earth International is working to promote advocacy and awareness at the social and governmental levels of the need for action on climate change. A project funded by the Canadian government has helped to develop micro-businesses in the Jiquilisco Bay region so that the local population will not be solely dependent on agricultural and fishing activities which can be wiped out by a drought or a flood. Oxfam is promoting flood control projects.
You can find more information on climate change and El Salvador at the website of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and at a web portal jointly run by several Central American countries.