The exhibition “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation”, realized by adelphi and supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, was recently displayed in El Salvador in cooperation with the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) as part of the Climate Diplomacy initiative. The exhibition illustrates the dramatic and growing impact of global environmental changes. It was discussed among experts and visitors, continuing to support a broader dialogue on sustainability in Latin America.
The exhibition was 1) presented during the “Integration Week” at the Central American Integration System’s (SICA) premises from 16 to October 20, 2017, and 2) at the José Simeón Cañas Central American University (UCA) from October 23 to 27, 2017.
The first exhibition event was closed on 20 October with a discussion on “Challenges of the SICA member countries in the face of climate change and the support of the international community”. The Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador, Lina Pohl, gave a key note speech and was joined by four panellists. She pointed out that "climate change is a reality and more intense than expected, and we are already affected by more frequent and heavier rainfalls."
Dr. Werner Vargas, Executive Director of SICA, highlighted the importance of the topic with a look at future generations. He stressed that the importance of climate action transcends the economic and political interests that often hinder it. He added that, to face climate challenge, more sustainable household consumption and production patterns are needed, but adequate public policies need to encourage them.
The Executive Secretary of CCAD, Salvador Nieto, highlighted the challenges of adapting to climate change in Central America. He explained that, among other factors, extreme events contribute to the high vulnerability of the region. An example is the so-called “Central American Dry Corridor”, which is projected to expand. Therefore, he emphasized the importance of regional strategies that go hand in hand with national plans and the support of the international community.
The Ambassador of the European Union in El Salvador, Andreu Bassols, congratulated the Central American countries that contribute little to climate change, but suffer its harsh consequences, for their commitment to regional and international climate cooperation.
The exhibition was presented on occasion of signing a cooperation agreement between the CCAD and the UCA. On October 27, it closed with the discussion of “Dynamics of Environmental Exclusion and Degradation in El Salvador: Challenges and Opportunities”. The key note speaker Nelson Cuellar is Deputy Director of Fundación PRISMA, having just published a book on the topic.
The panellists represented academia, civil society and private sector: Dr. Francisco Chávez, Director of the Light Manufacturing Cluster of the UCA, Maydee Recinos from the Coordinating Team of the Permanent Group for Risk Management in El Salvador and Carol Simonson, Environmental Manager of FUNDEMAS, a private sector foundation for social and sustainable development. Attending the event were members of the National Council for Environmental Sustainability and Vulnerability (CONASAV), students, representatives of international organizations and of private companies, as well as public officials of El Salvador.
The touring ECC Exhibition is conceived and realized by adelphi and, as part of the Climate Diplomacy initiative, with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office. It aims to offer a space for reflection and dialogue on sustainability challenges of both the member countries of SICA and other regions. In 2016, it was exhibited at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Congress of Chile, as well as in Peru, where it welcomed the former Minister of Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal as guest speaker.
The exhibition depicts the impacts of environmental change on societies around the world. The contents concerning Latin America were developed in collaboration with the Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA) and the CCAD. The exhibition visited around 20 countries and was displayed at conferences, governmental offices, universities and other public spaces.
Please visit the online version of the exhibition here.