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UN Environmental Issues Part 2 - El Salvador

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Michael Ma

on 12 March 2013

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Transcript of UN Environmental Issues Part 2 - El Salvador

El Salvador is home to many threatened and endangered species. It is a hotspot for biodiversity as well. However, because of leaching, soil erosion and deforestation, the environment is unhealthy. Environment & Society:
Trade-offs and Decision Air Environmental Issues of El Salvador by Sadikshya Pandey and Michael Ma Location: Central America, between Guatemala and Honduras
Mostly mountains, has narrow coastal belt
Very susceptible to hurricanes
Only Central American country without a coastline on the Caribbean Sea
Country w/ highest population density (240 people per sq. km) in Central America Quick Facts Geography Online Resources http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjir/pdf/El_Salvador_%20REAL_final_v2.pdf
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080415141535AAifhok Political Policy El Salvador is an active member of the United Nations (joined 12/24/1945)
United Nations intervened in El Salvador's Civil War, aiding in a transition to peace & democracy with the Chapultepec Accord
A representative delegate of El Salvador may view current deforestation and species endangerment levels as signs of a need for environmental action
A delegate may point to current sustainable communities and environmental groups as evidence of steps towards support of the global environment's health, while also recognizing the problems currently in the environment The People's Perspective Community Education Dam of the Lempa River Hydro-electric Commission - responsible for flooding farm land and displacing inhabitants Communities such as The Mangrove Association educate citizens of the importance of sustainability, which has brought about change in farming practices - diversified farming rather than monoculture
The Peace Corps and other foreign groups are working to educate El Salvadoreans about the environment & sustainability
Concerns over wealthy plantation landowners' lack of priority for environment e.g. deforestation to expand coffee plantations
Many have recognized the detrimental effects of abusing the environment
Community Development Association works to preserve local ecosystems for future
Grassroots coalition called La Coordinadora seeks alternative lifestyles to support sustainability
Major environmental damage from sugar cane and coffee industry , which release toxic chemicals that contaminate the soil/water
Deforestation of large economic corporations causes sediment runoff All policies must first be proposed. legislative process may be initiated by 1) the deputies of the Legislative Assembly, 2) the President, through the Ministers, 3) the Supreme Court in matters relating to the judiciary and 4) the Municipal Counsels in matters related to the municipalities.
All proposed legislation must be endorsed by a majority of the Assembly to become law
The proposed legislation must then be presented to the President of the Republic within ten days for approval. Once approved, the proposed legislation must be published to become law.
If the President does not respond within 10 days of receipt, the proposed legislation is considered approved and may be published as law Water Energy Heavy areas of deforestation exist because the population relies heavily on fuel wood.
Although there are laws in place to combat deforestation, forestry laws go unenforced due to lack of funds and management.
Terrestrial habitats and marine habitats are being protected through government laws, but often, the laws go unenforced.
Non-governmental organizations, such as SalvaNatura, are working to safeguard some of the country's most important forested areas such as the Bosque El Imposible. Solid and Hazardous Waste Sustainable Cities El Salvador
has a Republic form
of government Roman
Catholicism is
the major
religion Spanish is the most spoken language and... El Salvador is a developing
country (more developed
country) due to rapid industrialization and a drop in birth rate, following a period of social and political turmoil
Poverty levels
declined 27%
between 1991
and 2002 Significant social advances include:
Mandatory school enrollment
Decline in infant and maternal mortality
Access to reproductive health and water services
El Salvador is the
41st freest country in the
2012 index El Salvador's economic growth rate is sustainable because it declined sharply in 2007-2009 but is steadily rising again. El Salvador's
economic growth
rate was about 2%
in 2012 The average ecological footprint per person is about 2 hectares This graph shows the ecological footprint of El Salvador from the 1960s onward. As the ecological footprint becomes larger, the biocapacity decreases. Citizens do not suffer from affluenza because they do not consume a lot of resources
60% of the total population lives in rural areas Wealth in
El Salvador is
held by a small
minority of coffee plantation
owners Deforestation and Protection Lawmaking Process The government of El Salvador is looking towards rectifying current conditions; however, due to lack of funds, the process has been difficult.
Instead, nonprofit organizations worldwide such as the Peace Corps, are actively educating the native population. Although Water is plentiful in El Salvador, clean water is not: over 90% of El salvador's surface water is contaminated. Groups like the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and CARE International have funded the development of underground aquifers and wells as part of efforts to build modern water systems and provide protection from surface pollution.

The Social Investment Fund (FISDL) plans and builds water supply systems in the 36 poorest municipalities of El Salvador.

Because the government has neither the money or the want to better the quality of the water resources, people are being instructed to apply solar disinfection using the no-cost method SODIS established by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. solutions: Obtaining Usable Water Dams Water Shortage Flooding Provide flood control streams and lakes: 90% of industrial wastewater is discharged to rivers and creeks without any treatment.
the highest levels of pollution are estimated to be in the basins of the Río Acelhuate and Río Sucio, an area that supplies 1/3 of the water supply of the Metropolitan area of San Salvador.
yield of a sample of springs declined by 30% due to deforestation, thus reducing the water availability for the rural population and forcing them to rely on expensive aquifers.
rivers and streams are highly contaminated with industrial runoff and fecal matter.
Lempa basin provides 63% of El Salvador's water
Boreholes with handpumps
Public standpipes to collect water from river systems and waterfalls
Wells & spring systems
- No water rights, clean water act, or enforcement of environmental laws
-All compete for ownership of water "Water belongs to everyone, and to no one" About 50% of population has public water supply, but only 25% of rural population has access to clean water supply
El Salvador has lowest overall water coverage in Central America
Experts predict supply of drinking water may be exhausted in 15 years
The ANDA (National Sewage and Water Administration) is overwhelmed by responsibility to provide water for the entire region, creating problems in management of urban/rural water supply Projection of Available Water
Approximately 67% or 11.6 km 3 of this water is surface water * * * Advantages Disadvantages Groundwater is heavily relied upon for water supply as a result of polluted surface water, and sufficient supplies of fresh groundwater are available throughout most of the country. Provide a stable water supply for drinking, agriculture, etc. Generate electricity to provide an efficient source of power Result in the loss of land and biological/cultural resources Expensive to build, operate, and maintain Liable to fail and cause flooding of communities Causes rapid changes in lake levels, interfering with spawning of wildlife High water demands may cause a drawdown of the reservoir and creation of an exposed bank area that is vulnerable to erosion El Salvador's susceptibility to hurricanes contributes to the lack of proper drinking water and causes soil erosion. groundwater and drinking water Extensive deforestation and poor farming practices have aggravated the effects of flooding
1998: Hurricane Mitch caused $400 million damage to agriculture/infrastructure
October 2011: $2 billion reconstruction bill for most recent flooding disaster: 30-40% of corn crops and 70% of bean crops destroyed Oceans Approximately 67% or 11.6 km3 of this water is surface water
Human induced pollution includes wastes and the disposal of household containers Case Study: In Colonia Ciudad Pacífico, Ahuachapán, a hundred families have water for only a brief time at midnight, and go for days without water
Case Study: In Nueva Granad, 8000 residents receive water for 2 hours, once a week, with unsanitary water with coliforms and mosquitoes Solutions UN talks for emission reductions and funding for adaptation to climate change
Water tanks installed and agriculture rehabilitation projects Situation leaks from buried tanks and pipes
leaks from water disposal sites
seepage from agricultural activities
seepage from acid rich water from mines
seepage of pesticides, herbicide nutrients, and other toxic chemicals from urban areas Groundwater Pollution runoff from industrial sites
air fallout
accidental chemical spills
leaks from surface storage tanks/pipelines
urban runoff
sediment from agricultural lands and construction sites that make their way into the water supply
metals such as chromium, manganese, iron, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead are shown to be in the water
the water also includes toxic chemicals such as methane, phosphine and ammoniac Pollution in Drinking
Water caused by: caused by: Some of the problems facing El Salvador's oceans are: chemical pollution
Pathogen pollution
trash pollution
nutrient pollution
disposal of man made products into the sea causes and effects of water pollution causes: Sewage from domestic households, factories and commercial buildings
dumping solid wastes and littering by humans in rivers, lakes, and oceans
industrial wastes from factories that carry toxic substances such as asbestos, lead, mercury and petrochemicals
oil pollution caused by oil spills
burning of fossil fuels: when the particles mix with water vapor, they form acid rain effects: Groundwater contamination from pesticides causes reproductive damage within wildlife in ecosystems.
Sewage, fertilizer, and agricultural run-off increase the growth of algae, which causes the depletion of oxygen.
Swimming in or drinking contaminated water can cause skin rashes, cancer, reproductive problems, typhoid fever and stomach sickness in humans
drinking contaminated water can cause skin rashes, cancer, reproductive problems, typhoid fever and stomach sickness in humans.
Human-produced litter of items such as plastic bags and 6-pack rings can get aquatic animals caught and killed from suffocation
Oil spills cause suffocation in fish and birds.
Actions to Combat Air Pollution air pollution
chronic diseases
irritation of the eyes
Susceptibility to respiratory infections
irritation of the lung and respiratory symptoms
neurological disorders
Eye irritation
lung damage
heavy metal poisoning
cardiovascular damage FUSADES (Foundation for Economic and Social Development) air quality laboratories to analyze air samples
BAMS-SERVIR Air Quality Model to assess Central American air quality
Mesoamerican and Caribbean Smog Blog to analyze air quality events through the use of satellite data, model output, and available ground-based monitor data
Training and educating groups to spread awareness and press for legislation Evidence of Change in Temperature/Climate Predicted Effects of a Warmer Atmosphere Actions toward Slowing Climate Change Effects of Ozone Depletion & Actions to Combat health effects El Salvador produces approximately 9 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
Transportation produces about 22% of the carbon dioxide every year.
cars run on diesel because it is cheaper than alternative fuels
bad air quality is also created by a mixture of gases, particles, pollutants, and dust.
poor urban planning also contributes to excess air pollution. Outdoor 4 million people each year, mostly women and children, dire from household pollution
Approximately 65 percent of Salvadoran households utilize firewood for energy needs
High usage of firewood, often in poorly constructed stoves, is the main contributor to indoor air pollution in the country
tobacco smoke
carbon monoxide indoor air pollution acid deposition Carbon dioxide causes acid rain.
Acid rain forms when the air pollutants in the atmosphere mix with clouds and rain droplets
burns the leaves of trees in the forests.
damages surface of buildings and artwork
eruption of volcanoes has caused acid rain, damaging local coffee plants Death of mangrove trees along Bajo Lempa shores due to rise in sea level has indicated thermal expansion and rise in temperatures
Increased frequency and intensity of storms: Hurricane Mitch in 1998, 12E tropical depression in October 2012
Catastrophic flooding has destroyed harvests Extinction of specialist species due to change in biosphere & ecosystems
Increase in disease-carrying organisms
Increased intensity/frequency of storms UNES (Environmental Movement of El Salvador) working to globalize fight for actions toward slowing global warming
CDKN working to strengthen environmental ministry (MARN) and national coordinating body (SINAMA) Increased intensity of ultraviolet radiation
Increase in skin cancer and cataracts of the eye
Diminished crop yield
Worsened health of people's immune systems
Warming of climate Actions: Effects: Worked with Central American countries to launch 2 national pilot projects to catalyze destruction of ozone-depleting substances
Working to spread global awareness of actions toward stopping ozone depletion Energy Efficiency &
Renewable Energy Improving Energy Efficiency & Waste Control Geological
Processes Solar Energy Mineral Resources Advantages Disadvantages Non-Renewable
Energy Wind Energy Biomass Energy Geothermal Energy Hydrogen Energy Advantages Disadvantages Occupy less space than power stations
Free source of energy
Efficient resource in remote locations
Powerful supply of electricity
Friendly to surrounding environment (no burning of fossil fuels) Because El Salvador lies atop of the large tectonic plates that constitute the earth's surface, earthquake and volcanic activity occurs often.
The subduction of the Cocos Plate accounts for the frequency of earthquakes near the coast.
Grinding along the North American and Caribbean Plate faults are the source of earthquakes in northernmost El Salvador.
San Salvador was destroyed in 1756 and 1854, and it suffered heavy damage in the 1919, 1982, and 1986 tremors.
The country has over twenty volcanoes, although only two (San Miguel and Izalco) have been active in recent years. Expensive to construct turbines
Unreliability factor from periodically insufficient wind strength
A turbine produces much less energy than the average fossil-fuel power station, requiring many to be built to achieve the generate energy
Noise pollution disrupts surrounding communities
Stains aesthetic qualities of countryside May be utilized in El Salvador when funding is available for the costly construction Does not emit greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming crisis
Infinite source of free energy
Decentralization of power - may be used independently by countries
Able to produce electricity off the grid
Generates many jobs, stimulating economy
Not subject to price volatility
lacks significant mineral resources
has small amounts of gold and silver, as well as limestone, gypsum, and perlite
Industrial minerals, especially limestone mined for domestic cement plants, are the primary commodities of the industry.
Commerce Group, which first acquired the San Sebastian gold mine in 1968, exposed ground chemicals that eventually contaminated the rivers and streams Relatively inefficient - solar panel efficiency is 22%
Not a constant source of energy because it doesn't work at night & is less efficient in times with little sunlight
High cost of installing panels
Bulky panels require much space May be advantageous to install due to high levels of sunlight, but must generate high costs to install panels Advantages Disadvantages Non-polluting and environmentally friendly
Can be used directly
Low cost of maintenance
Not dependent on weather conditions, unlike solar energy
Renewable source of energy
No generation of by-products Few sites are capable
Total generation potential is low
Danger of volcanic eruption
High installation cost of steam power plant
Can release toxic gases that escape through the holes drilled during construction
Most sites are far from urban areas El Salvador is one of the top 10 geothermal energy producers in the world, and geothermal energy represents 100% of total electricity production Advantages Disadvantages Readily available renewable
No harmful emissions
Non-toxic, unlike other sources of energy such as coal, nuclear energy, and gasoline
Fuel efficient; produces more energy per pound of fuel Expensive because hydrogen requires much work to free it from elements
Difficult to transport
Difficult to replace current infrastructure of gasoline sources
Highly flammable
Still dependent on non-renewable sources to separate hydrogen from oxygen Hydrogen energy is a viable option in El Salvador but is limited due o costs and difficulty in replacing current infrastructure Burns cleaner than coal
Plantations can be located in less desirable locations
Reduces impact on landfills
Renewable source of energy Deforestation
Soil erosion
70% of energy derived from burning biomass is lost
Requires water & fertilizer
Loss of wildlife habitats
Expensive transportation
Burning causes air pollution Advantages Disadvantages Biomass is a readily available source in the plant-rich El Salvador; however, deforestation is a major concern Improving Waste Control Municipal landfills can install natural gas turbines w/ bioreactors to process manure to produce methane, for an energy source
Install sophisticated membrane filters
Scrubbers to clean air
Invest in technologies that allow for anaerobic environments to allow microbes to create gas that can be used as an energy source
Mandate recycling of metals from appliances & automobiles, which can be smelted & converted to other products to reduce waste volume and prevent hazardous chemicals from entering landfills Improving Energy
Efficiency Orient houses to take advantage of solar energy
Install radiant barriers in homes to reduce summer heat gain, reducing need for air conditioning
Properly air-seal buildings to prevent undesired air infiltration
Insulation of houses to save on energy
Invest in technologies for more efficient processing and production of energy To use these resources more sustainably, we can:
1. Prohibit wastage of resources
2. Use substitutes
3. Recycle resources
4. repair and reuse the major sources of energy used are petroleum, coal, and gas
use of these products has caused large scale contamination in the country's water system and air pollution that had adversely impacted health allows Advantages/Disadvantages of Petroleum: The oil industry has been a source of much advanced technology and many new products that have changed our lives for the better.
Production of oil has much less impact and a smaller footprint on the earth surface than production of coal from strip mining
Can withstand high heats without breakdown making it useful as lubricants like motor oil and grease
Excellent source of organic molecules for building plastics,medicines, rubber, fiber, etc.
Highly compact portable source of energy used for most forms of mechanical transportation. BUT... .Oil is a carbon based fuel and the primary way it is used is to burn it, releasing more than its weight in carbon dioxide because of the added oxygen.
Much of the remaining oil in the world is in politically unstable areas including Africa, Middle East, Russia, and parts of Southeast Asia
Our consumption of oil is increasing at the same time our production is falling
Many oil producing areas are subject to severe weather and this can interrupt production
Oil contains some cancer causing compounds such as benzene
Some additives put into gasoline to improve its smog fighting qualities have leaked out of underground tanks at gas stations and polluted ground water with hazardous chemicals. This type of pollution is very hard to remove. Advantages/Disadvantages of Coal: coal is cheap to buy
serves as a fuel in industries
can be used to generate electricity
can be used as a good reducing agent (for producing iron and steel)
burns without smoke BUT... is a non-renewable resource
emits harmful gases which cause both pollution and global warming
is a bad conductor of heat and electricity
4. one of the gas emitted which is carbon monoxide, is highly poisonous and even 1% of it consumed can cause cause death
takes thousands of years to form
it cannot be recycled El Salvador's lacking mineral deposits explain the above graph in which current production is 0 USD. the fluctuations between 1976 and 1987 can explain the current levels as mineral resources have rapidly dwindled.
future projections look similar to the above graph, as the current amount of resources is already low.
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