Climate Risk, Perceptions and Development in El Salvador

E. Lisa F. Schipper International Water Management Institute Colombo, Sri Lanka October 2006

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Working Paper 93

Climate Risk, Perceptions and Development in El Salvador

E. Lisa F. Schipper International Water Management Institute Colombo, Sri Lanka Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research & School of Environmental Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ Email: Tyndall Centre Working Paper 93 October 2006

Please note that Tyndall working papers are "work in progress". Whilst they are commented on by Tyndall researchers, they have not been subject to a full peer review. The accuracy of this work and the conclusions reached are the responsibility of the author(s) alone and not the Tyndall Centre.

Manuscript has also been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal


Summary Development is undermined by disasters originating from natural hazards, but disasters are often the result of faulty development, as demonstrated by recent events worldwide. The key to ending this vicious cycle lies in the factors that determine why groups are vulnerable to hazards. This study examines vulnerability in El Salvador in order to understand how development can drive a process of vulnerability reduction, and vice versa. The main challenges in El Salvador have to do with stagnation in the agriculture sector and rural economy, mistrust in government institutions, dependency, misinterpreted frameworks for risk management and differing understandings and beliefs. It concludes that a more holistic and integrated approach is necessary to address these challenges from both above and below. 1 Introduction Recent studies have stressed the inverse correlation between disasters and development (DfID, 2005; UNDP, 2004). Development is often undermined by disasters, which are caused by hazards colliding with highly vulnerable populations, frequently vulnerable because they lack the ability to protect themselves from the hazards, through lack of rights and access to resources, and have little real influence over their own state of development (Schipper and Pelling, 2006). Outcomes at the UN’s 2005 World Conference on Disaster Reduction underscored that disasters will affect the least developed most adversely – not in absolute financial terms, but in relative terms vis-à-vis possessions, livelihoods and the opportunity to recover and move ahead. Therefore, the key to ending this vicious cycle lies in the factors that actually determine lack of development to allow societies to be more resilient to hazards and changes in the hazard dynamics. But addressing these factors presents an enormous challenge, because they are often profoundly linked with much larger cultural and political drivers. On closer inspection, however, it becomes apparent that to begin to overcome the compounding impact of disasters on development, it is vital to approach development from a vulnerability-reduction perspective. This paper presents a study of rural agrarian communities in eastern El Salvador to examine their vulnerability to climate change and variability in order to gain an understanding of the relationship between development and disasters, and what sort of framework is required to ensure a process of adaptation to hazards and changes in hazard dynamics. The study explores to what extent development can drive a process of vulnerability reduction, and vice versa. It indicates that perceptions of risk and vulnerability play a fundamental role in determining how at risk people in El Salvador actually are. This has significant implications for the development process, because perceptions can hinder groups and individuals from embracing poverty reduction strategies. Interestingly, the study also indicates that the factors that initially may have appeared to be instrumental in determining risk, i.e. the actual climate hazards, have only a minor role to play in determining the risk. Thus, the integration of climate risk issues within development should not be cast aside simply under the rubric of scientific uncertainty regarding future climate change: the role of climate risk in hampering development must be addressed now, because it is already a major player. Factors constraining vulnerability reduction and development are clearly related, and frequently identical. This offers hope for an ability to come closer to alleviating global poverty and vulnerability to climate change efficiently and effectively, through concerted and integrated efforts. The degree to which individuals or societies are able to remain unaffected by climate change and variability is not based solely on the technologies and knowledge possessed. As found in El Salvador, the manner in which the impacts of climate variability are experienced is also determined by a wide range of socio-economic factors that are related to poverty, employment, ideological beliefs, dependency, institutions and competing knowledges about management of risks. Other studies have indicated that the extent to which climate variables


determine risk is difficult to isolate from the other causes of risk, for example in Bangladesh (Hutton and Haque, 2004). In El Salvador, however, it appears that climate variability is of minor importance in determining risk when compared with those factors causing vulnerability. This is based on the understanding that risk is the product of the interaction between hazard and vulnerability to that hazard, represented by the conceptual equation Risk = Hazard + Vulnerability (Wisner et al., 2004). Although climate variability is inherent in the Salvadoran society, this does not guarantee that the people in question are well-adapted to their environment. Since it is relatively certain that climate hazards will increase in frequency or magnitude, or both, as a result of climate change, risk to residents in the case study area can only be reduced if the hazard increase is more than offset by a reduction in vulnerability to these hazards. It is in choices regarding their livelihoods where individuals and societies are able to have the greatest affect on their vulnerability. But the empirical evidence indicates that macro-level causes stand in the way of individuals being able to make these choices in the case study area. These factors are often difficult for small communities to influence. These challenges indicate that to pursue adaptation to climate variability and change, a holistic and inclusive approach must be employed, whereby features of national governance structures are taken into account. To promote an adaptation process in El Salvador, it will be necessary to tackle numerous issues, including regional agricultural trade, as well as issues of perception. 2. Natural Hazards and Perceptions of Risk in El Salvador El Salvador is one of the most resource-depleted and environmentally damaged countries in Latin America (Acevedo et al., 1995), as well as the most densely populated. Its high birth rate and small territory place additional pressure on the environment and natural resources, as well as on economic and social aspects of life, particularly affecting rural livelihoods. Social and physical vulnerability to the numerous and frequent natural hazards, including floods, droughts and hurricanes and associated events such as land-slides, is significant among all classes of the population (Helfrich, 2001), and consequently Salvadorans face high risk on a daily basis. Two major events in the last ten years have been catalysts for calls to reduce this risk: Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and two consecutive earthquakes in 2001. These events indicated both to citizens and outside observers that El Salvador must take action to reduce the impacts of hazard exposure in order for economic growth since the 1992 end of the civil war not to be eradicated. Simultaneously, the message that ‘disasters are not natural’ has been propagated (Ibarra Turcios and Jarquín, 2000), leading some organizations, including national and local government bodies, bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, NGOs and research organizations, to shift to a ‘risk management’ strategy in their approach to supporting development in El Salvador. What this actually implies, however, is not clear. The empirical analysis in this study shows that interpretation of the concept ‘risk management’ varies considerably in El Salvador, and even policies to emphasize preventive measures may not remove the previous misconceptions associated with attributing disasters to nature, and the subsequent defeatist attitude that is widely evident. Similarly, despite institutional changes in risk monitoring, which appear to be relatively successful in terms of communication and awareness-raising, the civil war ending in 1992 left a legacy of political mistrust over land tenure and other issues, brought high unemployment and contributed to the marginalization of the agriculture sector. While the agriculture sector is also highly sensitive to climate variability, field evidence indicates that climate variability is only one of many factors contributing to its deterioration and continued decline. This is because the root causes of social vulnerability in El Salvador stem mostly from its current development strategies and history of political violence, including subordination by US agricultural and military policies. Even if risk management is integrated institutionally in El Salvador, addressing the root causes of social vulnerability remains a challenge. In part, this is because a “deep economic


cleavage divides Salvadoran society” (Ulloa et al., 2000: 6), which creates inequity not only in purchasing power but also in terms of access to resources and influence over political development. Implicit as well as explicit attribution of climate vulnerability to macro-level development policies of the Government of El Salvador is commonplace, and yet as a result of the tense political atmosphere in the country, the voices of some sectors of society are rarely heard. Not surprisingly, they are the ones who are the most vulnerable to natural hazards. Effective responses to climate hazards by these vulnerable groups in El Salvador are therefore expected to be conditional upon the extent to which root causes of vulnerability can be overcome. But this assumes many things about the responses, and cannot be confirmed without empirical evidence. By looking at examples of whether and how people respond, it is possible to assess to what extent these responses may be influenced by the macro-level policies that are also contributing to vulnerability. Ultimately this should provide evidence of whether and how a process of adaptation to climate change is taking place in El Salvador, and indicate what sort of challenges may be confronting this process. Analysis in this paper is based on key informant interviews on the national and local levels with government representatives, non-governmental activists, researchers and thinkers, locallevel leaders and key figures, as well as extensive open-ended interviews in two communities in the lower valley of the Lempa river in eastern El Salvador, hereafter referred to as Bajo Lempa, namely Amando López and Taura. Several informal contacts have also contributed information, which has primarily been used as background information. 3. Bajo Lempa, El Salvador – Ex-Combatants and Poverty This land here that we have has cost the blood of so many people and families who have given their lives so that we could have some land. - farmer in Amando López, July 2002 Located in the eastern part of El Salvador, the Bajo Lempa is framed by the Pacific coastline and the highway linking the country’s capital city, San Salvador, with the eastern part of the country and Honduras. It is characterized by the Lempa river, which divides the area in two. The highway runs across the only bridge linking these territories. The area is approximately 870 km2 in area (Medina et al., 2002) and is characterized as a low-lying flood plain area. The population is estimated between 30-40,000 persons residing in almost 90 communities (Lavell, 2004). The multi-national Lempa river basin extends into Honduras and Guatemala, as well as El Salvador. The Lempa originates in Guatemala, extending 422 km to the Pacific Ocean. Until the 1980s, Bajo Lempa consisted mainly of forests interspersed with open landscape and pasture land (Medina et al., 2002). There are three hydroelectric dams in place along the upper parts of the river, which sees an elevation shift within El Salvador from around 360 meters above sea level, down to the Pacific Ocean. i The roots of the current environmental and social conditions in Bajo Lempa lie deep in the history of El Salvador. The Bajo Lempa, a flood zone, was sparsely inhabited for agricultural purposes until the civil war (1980-1992), and is now populated with ex-combatants whose main livelihood is subsistence agriculture. These ex-combatants from both military and guerrilla were given land as a result of the peace accords in 1992, but some groups had actually come to settle in the area before peace had been agreed. In summing up the current situation, Lavell comments that “ex-combatants are to be found living in poverty in one of the most potentially productive areas of Central America” (2004: 70). Few people inhabited Bajo Lempa before the war, due to a high prevalence of dengue fever and malaria, and hence there were very few records of ‘disasters’. Nevertheless, the area was referred to as the “breadbasket” of El Salvador until the end of the 1970s because of highly productive cotton and sugar industries (Cuéllar et al., 2002; Lavell, 2004: 69). During the civil war, however, the region served as a combat zone and was considered too dangerous so


that many inhabitants who had previously been employed by the large farms decided to evacuate. Many of the large land-holdings had already been broken up by the agrarian reform of 1980 (Lavell, 2004), and the 1983 constitution which established a ceiling of 245 hectares on the amount of land owned by an individual (Brockett, 1990). A number of Bajo Lempa interviewees commented that floods had not occurred in the area before the arrival of the excombatants at the beginning of the 1990s, and they connected this with their suspicion that the Government of El Salvador instigated the floods in an effort to get the inhabitants to leave again, however, records show that flood events did actually take place while the large farms were there ii (Moisa, 1996; Romano, 1996). It appears that during that period, more effective land management, well maintained drainage systems, and dikes further from the river banks allowed the Lempa to flood naturally without adversely affecting the crops. Furthermore, one of the attractions of the area for the farmers previously had been the high fertility of the soils due to the nutrients brought by floods (Medina et al., 2002; Sudmeier-Rieux et al., 2006) Although Walker and Jodha note that in general “farmers in agriculturally risky environments have evolved several measures to deal with production risk” (1986: 18), the inhabitants in Bajo Lempa have not been exposed to their present conditions for longer than eleven years, since the earliest settlers came in the end of 1991, and the beginning of 1992. In general, it appears that the Bajo Lempa inhabitants had not had sufficient experience in the environment in which they are living, because more than 80% were accustomed to different environmental conditions for cultivation (Medina et al., 2002). Some people came from urban areas and had no experience working in agriculture (Lavell, 2004). Those who are not familiar with the riparian environment rely on the Government of El Salvador and NGOs to control the Lempa River physically, although the dynamics of the river are such that it floods on a regular basis. This suggests that the Bajo Lempa inhabitants are in a process of adaptation to the new conditions, hence presenting an ideal location to study adaptation to change in climate. 4. Responses to Risk In examining responses to climate risk in Bajo Lempa, it becomes clear that there is high awareness of the risks posed by both floods and droughts in the region. However, there are varying levels of interest in taking action to reduce the impacts. The reasons range from cultural beliefs to dependency issues, and are explored below. Tables 1 and 2 present a summary of responses to floods and droughts in El Salvador emerging from the interviews. Similar findings were identified by Lavell (1994) in Costa Rica, Moisa (1996) in El Salvador and Eakin (2005) in Mexico. Different types of responses are evident on the individual and community levels. Whereas responses to floods and droughts appear associated with organization on a community level, on an individual level, a greater variety of options were identified.


Table 1. Summary of individual responses
Responses to Climate Risk in Bajo Lempa Suggested Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Evident Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Unknown Done by outside organisations Yes Unknown* Yes Yes Yes Limited Yes

Storing grains in silos Building shelves for elevating belongings Planting a second crop Planting in summer with an irrigation system Using an irrigation system in a dry winter Wait until rains come to plant Harvest before heavy rains are expected Change to other crops Drain land Raising houses up (building on raised platforms)

Keep fewer animals, or sell before winter and buy again in summer Yes Work harder Yes Rely on assistance from family members elsewhere Yes Working in co-operatives Yes Abandon the practice of cultivating and look for other business Yes Migration Yes Wait for food assistance Yes * “Harder” Is a relative term and difficult to asses without a comparative study.

Table 2. Summary of community-level responses
Responses to Climate Risk in Bajo Lempa Suggested Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Evident Yes Yes (but only limited access) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Construction of dikes along river banks Construction of refuge houses Creation of emergency committees Creation of other committees and groups to respond collectively Mistrust of Government of El Salvador Blame agents outside community for impacts Anger at CEL (Hydroelectric company)

As can be seen in Table 1, the majority of the individual responses are related to agricultural practices and individual decisions about how to organize the planting season, including when to begin sowing seeds. Other responses are clearly related to poverty issues; particularly migration stands out as it is a common option throughout Salvadoran society, to attempt to escape poverty and unemployment. Dependency on outside organizations is another way to respond to uncertain climatic conditions. Eventually, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) will stop providing ‘emergency relief’ to El Salvador, and those dependent on the food aid will need to find new strategies for food security. The sense of victimization associated with the relief assistance may also act as a barrier to self-empowerment, constraining peoples’ abilities to identify opportunities for employment and survival. Although an ex-combatant attitude is evident among the Bajo Lempa inhabitants, which reinforces the view that it is possible to attain goals through persistence and dedication by violent or non-violent struggle, frustration over constant risk presented by poverty and floods and droughts immediately following twelve years of civil war may be sufficient for individuals to feel like victims.


Thus, attitudes and motivation appear to play an important role in the process of adapting to the new climatic conditions. On the community level, as shown in Table 2, responses include infrastructural adjustments, organizational elements which build social networks, and attitudinal reactions. To a certain extent, these responses reflect both preventive and reactive actions. The construction of dikes and refuge homes is a response to known flood risk, but also a preventive measure taken to minimize the risk presented by future floods. The organizational elements are designed in the same mindset. The mistrust, blame and anger are reactions that stem from past experiences, also during the war. These responses may have implications for future actions, for example such that inhabitants will not heed advice from government bodies because these are not considered trustworthy. From the perspective of the inhabitants, such attitudes could be understood as preventive measures, because it will ensure that they are not taken advantage of by those they do not trust. Although the sustainability or effectiveness of these responses was not explicitly evaluated, it is clear that there are strengths and weaknesses associated with each. In particular the case of the dikes is one where the flaws in its construction must be recognized, considering that these may impart a false sense of security to the inhabitants that is maladaptive. It is possible that those locations where the construction is particularly fragile will collapse if large quantities of water have to be released from the hydropower dams on short notice. If inhabitants feel confident about the dikes, they will consider cultivating closer to the dike than previously, and consequently these crops will be affected if the dike does collapse. Considering that inhabitants in Bajo Lempa are currently learning about the climatic conditions there, it is clear that some responses will not be sustainable, and may eventually be abandoned for others. Thus, the tables demonstrate that responses to climate hazards exist in Bajo Lempa, although they may not always be sustainable or effective. Apart from not conveying whether the responses are successful, the data do not either indicate the constraints posed to these responses and other responses that may have been attempted, but have not transpired. Throughout the interviews, it was clear that macro-level policies appear to influence the ability of the rural farmers to respond successfully to the risks associated with floods and droughts. Coupled with the attitudes and perceptions surrounding risk, an examination of the constraints becomes an elemental part of the picture. Although the consequences of these constraints were examined a local level, they primarily play out on a national level. 5. Constraints to Responses Although there is clearly some capacity at the local level in Bajo Lempa, primarily related to social networks and organization, conflicting national or regional strategies or policies can override local decisions and plans. This implies that a locally-driven adaptation process could be threatened or reversed by events or actions on the national level. One of the most striking cases is in the agriculture sector throughout El Salvador. In the context of both climate change and development, agriculture is a key sector, where variability in climate is transmitted through impacts on food, livelihood, income and nutrition security. Evidence from Bajo Lempa indicates that farmers are making adjustments to the cultivating season; however the lack of market for their products and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with the United States will have consequences for agricultural practices of the rural farmers as well. As noted already, agricultural vulnerability is determined by numerous factors but it appears that climate is not the most decisive factor in generating risk to the inhabitants in Bajo Lempa. Other factors play a greater role in determining the vulnerability, as can be seen in Table 3. These factors affect the ability of the inhabitants to carry out adequate responses to climate hazards, including policies and attitudes toward addressing risks and vulnerability to floods and droughts evidenced in El Salvador. Of particular significance is how disaster management is defined vis-à-vis risk management, and the role and impact of assistance agencies, most notably NGOs and international aid


organizations, in addressing vulnerability, risk and disaster. Also of interest is the role of competing knowledges and understandings, most importantly religion, for how individuals and communities adopt precautionary and adaptive behaviour. Table 3 also indicates that mistrust in the Government of El Salvador is an important factor when it comes to responding to floods and droughts.
Table 3. Factors influencing the process of adaptation in El Salvador
Factor Stagnation in agriculture sector and rural economy Issues Emphasis on growth in nonagricultural sectors, CAFTA/FTAA Directly affected by climate change Legacy of war Consequences Marginalisation of agriculture sector Loss of livelihoods for rural subsistence farmers Migration Ideological differences Attachment to land in Bajo Lempa as “prize” from fighting Blame “others” Lack of sense of responsibility to take action No precautionary measures Risk management confused with disaster management Perception of El Salvador as being in a “permanent state of emergency” Religious fatalism regarding causes of and responses to floods and droughts. Lack of understanding of causes of floods and droughts Secondary Impacts Poverty “Double exposure” of agriculture sector Increased vulnerability of inhabitants to impacts of floods and droughts Mistrust in weather forecasts Mistrust in motivations of CEL, large multilateral organisations (IADB) Feeling of victimisation “Wait and see” attitude toward precautionary action Increased vulnerability in the long run Conflicts between disaster relief and sustainable development efforts Lack of unity within communities for taking action. Increased vulnerability to floods and droughts

Mistrust in Government Institutions

Dependency and the NGO sector Government frameworks for risk management

Large NGO and donor presence Emphasis on disaster relief rather than precautionary measures Religion Awareness and understanding of climate change

Differing understandings and beliefs

This section discusses each of these factors, based on evidence from the community and national-level interviews, supplemented by scholarly literature and other documents, including newspaper articles and materials used by Salvadoran non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to campaign against globalization and other government policies. The outcomes of this study have significant implications for our understanding of the relationship between risk reduction and development. They indicate the necessity of sustainable development – i.e. development without major negative impacts on social, environmental and local economics issues – to be underway in order for an adaptation process to be possible, and demonstrate the importance of scale in considering how to facilitate adaptation, particularly between the community and government levels. Furthermore, the outcomes show how challenging a generic approach to adaptation policy would be, particularly when considering that factors discussed below are unique to El Salvador and Bajo Lempa, and that each country will have its own national circumstances. Agriculture and Rural Economy As the most significant for the rural livelihoods in El Salvador, agriculture also stands at the centre of the political conflict of the 1980s. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change will have the greatest impact on the livelihoods of poor smallholders in the tropics and subtropics (Watson et al., 1998). This includes El Salvador, and evidence from the study in Bajo Lempa indicates that the most vulnerable aspects of life along the Lempa river include food security due to the loss of crops during


floods and droughts. To this end, various aspects of this sector were found to be of significance for determining the vulnerability of the rural farmers to climate change. As is also noted by Eakin (2005) for Mexico, the most effective way for smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change appears to lie outside the agriculture sector. Decline of the Agriculture Sector In an effort to create stronger links with the United States, and generate the conditions necessary for the 2005 entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) and CAFTA, El Salvador shifted its export and economic policies to focus on the service sector. This has brought the development of the maquilas, foreign-owned textile factories, creating products that are exported under a duty free policy, mostly to the United States. Weinberg notes that in maquilas, “strikes are outlawed and foreign corporations can operate exempt from taxation and minimum wage laws” (1991: 61). While maquila exports have grown since 1989, traditional exports, which include coffee, cotton, sugar and shrimp, have decreased both in value, and as a share of total exports (World Bank, 1998). In general, the agriculture sector has lost out to the maquilas, which are more profitable and provide a guaranteed, albeit low, salary iii. This section concentrates on the agriculture sector, because it is still important for the majority of rural Salvadorans, including the inhabitants in Bajo Lempa. Despite progress in research by institutions such as the National Centre for Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry Technology (CENTA), Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), momentum for resurgence of the agriculture sector is considered necessary to ensure renewed growth and confidence, in turn affecting the sustainable development of rural populations. The Social Investment Fund for Local Development in El Salvador (FISDL) highlights the decline in the agriculture sector as one of three main causes of poverty in El Salvador. As reasons for this decline, FISDL points to low growth of the agriculture sector, low levels of productivity due to limited management capacity, reduced access to technology, poor services and conditions of natural resources, low levels of investment, the poor state of infrastructure, macroeconomic policies biased against agriculture and rural sectors, and insufficient sectoral policies. To date, the agriculture sector in El Salvador is diminishing in importance, both with respect to its importance to the national economy, and to its role in providing food security for subsistence farmers. The sector suffered severely during the war because little was invested in agricultural technology or knowledge building during that time (Acevedo et al., 1995). Conversion to the dollar as the official currency iv also appears to have affected prices of products and wages of producers, but these outcomes are primarily relevant for large-scale farmers producing crops for export. The percentage of contribution by the agriculture and livestock sector to GDP has decreased steadily since 1993. In a report by the World Bank on rural development in El Salvador, the authors note that “agriculture is the only sector showing negative growth over the past twenty years (1975-95), and has averaged the lowest growth during the post-war period (1990-95)” (World Bank, 1998: 2). Interviewees suggested that the agriculture sector is linked with other sectors with greater importance to the Salvadoran economy, for example decline of the agriculture sector will affect industry, as 60% of this is based on agricultural activities. There are two types of actors in the agriculture sector that are considered here: the rural smallholders whose activities are mostly for subsistence purposes, and the larger-scale commercial farmers whose products are mainly exported, and who cultivate 75% of the land in the country (World Bank, 1998). Although not in direct competition, their situation is likely to be linked to the same factors, however some issues appear to affect the large-scale farmers more directly than the smallholders. For instance, large-scale coffee growers have been affected by the current decline in global coffee prices. Blame for difficulties in the large-scale agriculture sector in general is often directed at the global coffee price slump. Other reasons mentioned include El Salvador’s relative disadvantage with respect to its


neighbors. Compared with the much larger Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, El Salvador has less land area available for cultivation. Although Guatemala has permanent and seasonal agriculture on 16% of its land, and El Salvador 40%, this means that Guatemala cultivates over 16,000 km2, whereas El Salvador cultivates just over 8,000 km2 (CIA, 2003). Furthermore, products in the neighboring countries are often cheaper to produce, and in some cases may be imported into El Salvador, even though Salvadoran farmers are also producing these. Although it was argued that the agriculture sector in general was suffering, the smallscale farmer receives the least support in El Salvador. On the community-level, impacts of adjustments such as migration are felt directly, because this reduces the number of willing farmers. Boyce (1995) notes that it was in fact the growth of the coffee sector towards the second half of the 19th century created the conditions that eventually led to war in El Salvador. He says that evicting indigenous communities from the property desired for coffee-growing resulted in what “was among the most inequitable patterns of land distribution in the world” (Boyce, 1995: 2072). In return, the war also had an impact on the sector, as fighting took place mostly in rural areas, and warfare practices included crop burning. Lack of personal security led to “abandonment of agricultural production, physical losses and deterioration of infrastructure” (World Bank, 1998: 2). Recovery after the war was challenging, due also to agricultural development outside El Salvador in the period from 1980 to 1992, which meant that “incredible technology, advanced communications, biotechnology” left El Salvador without “specialization, competitiveness, quality, food security” according to interviewees. Other detrimental policies include the 1980 agrarian reform, whose effects have been “devastating”, particularly because a quarter of the high quality land was handed over to collective cooperatives, despite a lack of market for the products: the Government of El Salvador was renting warehouses for placing cashews and cardamom production because they were being produced without any targeted market. Research in the 1970s and 80s pointed to technological innovation in El Salvador to reduce agricultural risk, such as through the use of hybrid maize and storage silos by small-scale farmers, but stressed “increasing population pressure on land, an inactive land market” (Walker and Jodha, 1986: 25). The agriculture sector is also declining through the elimination and weakening of support entities, such as extension services. In identifying what would be needed to adapt to climate change, the lack of access to credit, insufficient technology, promotion, technical assistance and training to Salvadoran rural farmers pose considerable constraints. Activities such as biotechnology and technical assistance have been undertaken by various entities in El Salvador (CENTA, FAO, MAG). However, there are few support organizations to assist small-scale farmers. Insufficient research is being conducted to provide alternatives and technologies to the sector. Various support mechanisms have been created, but these have either been eliminated, or their functions have been reduced or altered, as described below. It was the view of several interviewees that such mechanisms would be necessary to facilitate a process of adaptation to the climatic conditions in Bajo Lempa. To this end, interviewees highlighted the potentially important role of biotechnology for creating flood-resistant maize types, and the ways in which technical assistance could educate inhabitants about different cultivating techniques. Lack of Market for Traditional Products A number of those interviewed in Bajo Lempa noted the lack of market opportunities for their products as a reason for their poverty. On the one hand, there is no physical marketplace for such activities in the Bajo Lempa, and on the other there are no formal arrangements for such a market. Interviewees said they cultivate only for the purpose of personal consumption, although a few mentioned that they attempt to sell any surplus products. In order to do this, either they travel to one of the larger communities in Bajo Lempa, or they wait for someone to come to the communities to purchase their products directly from them. In both situations,


the seller is at a disadvantage because the maize is bought at a low value compared to the price at which these later are sold. In part, this is due to the ‘middle man’, the individual whose living is based on purchasing grains cheaply from the producer and selling them for a higher price to the consumer. However, in times of flood or drought, the inhabitants in Bajo Lempa who may have lost their crops are forced to purchase the grains at a higher price, which may sometimes be more inflated due to high demand. Interest in generating opportunities to sell their products directly to the consumer was expressed. Currently, if rural families produce enough for them and are not interested in selling the surplus, it is sometimes distributed to members beyond the immediate family, or in some cases left to rot. The inequitable market is not only a problem for traditional products, such as maize and beans. Two key informant interviewees noted that the research carried out on new crops will also fall victim to this problem, because the new products will not have a market either. Mistrust in Government Institutions Although the war ended over ten years ago, lingering tensions are evident from the ideological conflict between the rural farmers and the elite upper class, and the growing middle class may also be added to those whose views differ from those of the rural farmers. Clearly, many of the issues raised in this chapter have their roots in the conflict, or even earlier, indicating that issues of contention were not sufficiently resolved despite bloodshed. Of particular relevance is the agriculture sector and issues related to land tenure. The reason for this could be the protracted peace process, during which fundamental aspects of the conflict were not settled. In this sense the end of the civil war did not indicate victory for either side, and may have come about as a result of the end of the Cold War (Boyce, 1995). Boyce (1995) observes that the 1992 Peace Accords were a result of military stalemate, and therefore the conflict continues, albeit without violence. In particular, the key issues of land reform and agriculture were not settled (Acevedo et al., 1995). Fundamental political differences remain, and appear to be of great significance. Such circumstances may have implications for national or local efforts to adapt to climate variability and climate change, particularly efforts that may need co-ordination between local, municipal or national levels. Examples described below highlight the residual tensions that influence how adaptation to climate change occurs in El Salvador. There was a delay in the land distribution process (the PTT) inscribed in the Peace Accords, which is attributed to lack of political will (Wood and Segovia, 1995). The policy of land distribution after the war in El Salvador is considered to have been a response to unsatisfied rural farmers, rather than part of a plan for “agricultural development for the betterment of the rural people” (Baumeister, 2001: 71). In previous attempts, redistribution of land in El Salvador had been “bitterly opposed by many owners, and fervently desired by many among the poor” (Acevedo et al., 1995: 2153), which generated much of the momentum for the war. Continuing in this vein, the original plans for the PTT only provided for 47,500 beneficiaries, despite that over 400,000 adults at the time were landless (Acevedo et al., 1995). Because the “agro-export oligarchy” had traditionally held the largest proportion of the land (Brockett, 1990: 145), this aspect of the Peace Accords was crucial to the continued peace, but clearly the poor still feel that the Government of El Salvador is regretful of having transferred land to them. The Bajo Lempa inhabitants continue to hold feelings of resentment against the Government of El Salvador, intertwined with fears about being expelled from the land. Part of the frustration expressed in interviews in Bajo Lempa comes from the management of the dam ‘15 de Septiembre’ by the originally state-owned v hydro-electric company CEL, which manages four dams along the Lempa. These hydroelectric dams are considered by the inhabitants of Bajo Lempa to be used to create deliberate floods in order to encourage the inhabitants to abandon their land. As perceived by one farmer: “if we didn’t have dams, we wouldn’t have floods”. Romano (1996) claims that the presence of the dams creates conditions that increase the likelihood of floods downstream, and have high economic and


social costs. He notes, however, that on paper the dams are partly justified by their ability to control floods, but that in reality they contribute to destruction of natural resources vi and are even unable to fulfill their main task, retaining enough water to generate energy during the dry season (Romano, 1996). The dams along the Lempa supply approximately a third of El Salvador’s energy vii, although their sensitivity to drought means that this figure varies (Romano, 2004). The dam ‘15 de Septiembre’ is the one causing greatest concern to the inhabitants of Bajo Lempa, as it is the final dam before the river flows into the area, and into the Pacific Ocean. According to CEL, the capacity for power generation by the ‘15 de Septiembre’ is 180 MW. In contrast, two dams further upstream only have the capacity to generate 60 MW and 82 MW, respectively (CEL Website, 2004). The reduction of subsidies for electricity initiated a campaign aimed at raising attractiveness of the enterprises for private investment (Romano, 1996). The process of privatization is taking place in other sectors in El Salvador, most notably those of health and water. Decentralization of services constitutes a characteristic of the neoliberal political approach, which is embraced by the ruling political party. To some, this has created inadequate communication networks, particularly those living in Bajo Lempa. Romano (1996) believes that there is a correlation between the release of water from ‘15 de Septiembre’ and impacts of floods in Bajo Lempa, which have taken place despite announcements that the sluice gates would be opened, due to the lack of trust that the rural farmers have in these announcements. Because ‘15 de Septiembre’ is affected by the amount of water that is released from the upstream dams, as well as the quantity of water in tributaries of the Lempa, inflows and storage capacity volumes can be estimated some time before storage reaches levels which would rupture the dam. However, these warnings are often sent only a few hours before the water is released, not leaving much time for Bajo Lempa inhabitants to take action to protect themselves, their crops or homes. This was the case during hurricane Mitch in 1998, which caused the largest volume of water thus far released. CEL was ordered to pay 10 million viii Salvadoran colónes (US$1,142,857) in compensation to three farmers and one organization for loss of crops and property as a result of the discharge on 31 October 1998 (Grimaldi, 2003). Many inhabitants lost crops, livestock, homes and personal belongings, but only three individuals were compensated. The president of CEL announced a refusal to pay the compensation, and the case was decided in late 2004 in favor of CEL (Rivera Bolaños, 2005). Furthermore, other accused employees have argued that if the water had not been released on 31 October 1998, a much larger amount (380 million m3) of water would eventually have been released later on (El Diario de Hoy, 2003). The Bajo Lempa inhabitants believe that CEL is responsible for the floods in the area, and hence associate CEL with the Government of El Salvador. Described as ‘anti-government’, Bajo Lempa inhabitants are well known for being vocally critical of the Government of El Salvador, particularly on certain issues such as assistance during and after emergencies. Answers to the question “Is politics important in your life?” indicated that the politics of the war are still very much present in the communities. Out of the 58 interviewees in Bajo Lempa, half explicitly noted that politics were important in their lives. Many of those who denied the importance of politics in their lives nevertheless reflected strong political views in their answers, for example: “No, because they do not try to help the poor”, “The way the [government] party is running their politics in this region, they are not serving the poor rural farmer”, “We are being used”, and “Politicians only manipulate us”. Those who answered affirmatively also noted their frustration toward the governing party: “They promise us things and don’t deliver”. Another farmer noted that: When I was in the war my view was that we are poor and have to fight for the poor people so we have to tell the Government that we also have rights and the right to a dignified life and should not be marginalized and should be allowed to be free. Now it is different from war we want to work and have our own lives, but we [still] fight for our freedom which we don’t have.


Another indication of the residual tensions is found in the disputes between the inhabitants on either side of the Lempa River. This conflict is mainly manifest in the disagreements between the local base organizations. Divisions between the inhabitants on either side of the river is based on previous membership in different sub-groups of the guerrilla fraction – the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), all of which were eventually amalgamated under the FMLN, but political beliefs still differ ix. Lavell characterizes this conflict as “symbolic of many of the outstanding conflicts in Salvadoran post-war society” (2004: 70). Differences between the FMLN and the national ruling party create obstacles for co-operation between local, often FMLN-ruled constituencies, and the national government. Dependency and the NGO sector Existence of organizations within communities, in the form of organizational frameworks and institutions, appears to assure many Salvadorans that capacity is also present. The presence of institutions and entities appears to indicate the state of being organized, and therefore the two are closely linked in the responses given. Presence of organizations is considered equivalent to proof of capacity according to many local-level interviewees in Bajo Lempa. When asked whether the communities could maintain capacity to respond to droughts and floods without the presence of the organizations, only two individuals in Bajo Lempa said yes, and for one this was only the case for responding to floods. This confirms the strongly held confidence in organizations. Without action or capacity to take action, however, we may ask how the mere presence of organizations can be useful in responding to floods and droughts. For Bajo Lempa residents, therefore, the presence of organizations indicates social capital. The reasoning behind the trust in organizations in El Salvador is partially based in the history of the rural farmer mobilizations prior to and during the civil war, but may also have been reinforced by the multitude of NGOs, donor agencies, and base organizations present throughout the country during and since the war. During the war, many non-rightist NGOs were active in supporting the FMLN (Tedesco, 1999). NGOs play an increasingly important role in the development of many countries. NGOs are now often financed directly through the multilateral and regional banks (Kaimowitz, 1993). Bilateral and multilateral agencies often advocate the participation of NGOs, favoring them over government offices as executing agencies for projects. Tedesco notes that in Latin America, the State remains the promoter of development, “but is no longer the principal ‘doer’ of development” (1999: 136). In El Salvador, the work of NGOs has recently been particularly focused in certain geographical areas and on certain issues, such as the war and disaster recovery. There is a strong presence of base organizations, international agencies and NGOs in Bajo Lempa, and has been so for some time (Medina et al., 2002). However, NGOs worldwide have been criticized for their lack of long-term solutions in times of disaster, as relief interventions have been found to leave victims more vulnerable than before (Anderson and Woodrow, 1998). One example of poor planning on behalf of a major bilateral agency in Bajo Lempa is the construction of 1000 houses in the region after hurricane Mitch. The next time a flood came, the new homes were inundated because they were built on recessed plots. Anderson and Woodrow note that “much of so-called ‘development’ actually increases vulnerabilities” (1998: 11), and say that relief aid may “subvert or undermine” long-term development (1998: 2). This Samaritan’s Dilemma x has been examined widely (Schipper and Pelling, 2005), but still perseveres regularly. One of the main reasons why short-term relief can increase vulnerability to hazards is that people become dependent on the relief interventions. This serves to undermine people’s creativity and incentive to respond to the hazard events, resulting in a ‘dependency syndrome’.


Dependency has been described as “a complex political, economic, and social phenomenon that serves to block the human development of the majority in certain privilege-dominated Third World countries where the economies are heavily externally oriented” (Booth and Walker, 1999: 15). The type of dependency considered here is one created by external entities, such as NGOs and relief agencies. In the case of Bajo Lempa, although the intentions of the external agencies may be benign, the secondary effect of such assistance, which can be spontaneous and temporary depending on circumstances, is that capacity is not built in a consistent manner, or even at all. Thus, the presence of the organizations in El Salvador not only negates the need for communities’ own institutions and sense of responsibility, but it has also followed the neoliberal model where the State moves away from taking the main lead in development, and as a consequence, NGOs have assumed many responsibilities for implementing development programmes that were previously the responsibility of the Government of El Salvador, as noted above. There is insufficient evidence to indicate whether NGOs are replacing these functions successfully (Bradshaw et al., 2002), but there are indications that capacity may not be built even within NGOs to address situations that recur (Wisner, 2001). In addressing the question of capacity in El Salvador for adapting to climate change, one therefore has to address the role of the NGOs in supporting, as well as undermining this capacity. Two aspects are relevant to examine: the extent to which NGOs are filling roles that should otherwise be held by local entities of stakeholders, and the extent to which donor response to disasters in El Salvador is creating dependency on external aid. The ultimate question is whether the assistance that is provided by NGOs and aid agencies hinders longterm, sustainable adjustment to climate variability. In short, are NGOs and aid agencies increasing the vulnerability of El Salvador to climate hazards, simply by denying stakeholders the chance to build their own response and adaptation mechanisms? A key informant noted problems with one base organization in Bajo Lempa, and said such organizations “keep the communities dependent on them” by “protecting and isolating the target groups” from other organizations or projects. This experience came from an attempt to collaborate with this organization. He stressed that this was “increasing the vulnerability of the people in Bajo Lempa”. Another informant noted that adaptive capacity in Bajo Lempa exists only in terms of the organizations working there. Of the inhabitants, she said “they know someone will help them”. Thus, organizations represent links to external agencies and the chance to receive help in times of need, but cannot equally be considered to indicate concrete social capital in the community. Instead, their presence appears to be contributing to breaking down existing social capital. The consequences of relief aid responses after hurricane Mitch serve as a useful example to illustrate the influence of NGOs. According to Wisner (2001), the heavy impacts during the 2001 earthquakes are evidence of the failure of El Salvador to learn lessons about risk after hurricane Mitch. He says few efforts were given to resettle people who had been displaced by hurricane Mitch, noting the “highly politicized and controversial nature of land tenure in El Salvador” (Wisner, 2001: 257). Thus, ‘temporary’ housing built after hurricane Mitch in 1998 had become ‘permanent’ by 2001, simply because no other housing alternatives had been offered. Because these houses had been built as temporary shelter, they were not adapted to the seismic conditions in Central America, and collapsed during the 2001 earthquakes (Wisner, 2001). Although NGOs are not entirely to blame for setting up temporary housing and not ensuring that these were later converted into proper permanent housing, it is clear that without the involvement of these organizations, there will be little involvement by the state. On the other hand, the poor quality of the houses placed an additional risk on their inhabitants, and when the earthquakes came, this had increased risk to these people. Lavell has also observed that “many schemes implemented [in Bajo Lempa] post-hurricane Mitch were ecologically, structurally and socially flawed” (2004: 80). His research in the area confirms that “many local actors in fact identified external actors as a major ‘hazard’, whilst the incapacity to negotiate and demand adequate solutions was seen to


be a major vulnerability in the zone” (Lavell, 2004: 80). Thus, NGO interventions may be prolonging unsustainable systems by preventing their complete collapse, although this moment “when nature is going to take its toll” may be necessary for progress. According to another informant, without NGOs and bilateral and multilateral agencies, El Salvador “would be 50 years behind what it is today”. Competing Frameworks for Risk Management Risk management is now most commonly defined as interventions to reduce the vulnerability to hazards, given that many hazards cannot be controlled only avoided, and with an understanding that it is human vulnerability to these hazards that generates risk (Wisner et al, 2004). Recent academic interest in vulnerability has clearly influenced thinking in El Salvador as well. That disasters are not natural is an agreed understanding among a range of stakeholders in El Salvador. Nevertheless, disaster management implemented by the Government of El Salvador and other organizations does not appear to recognize this entirely, and evidence suggests that a non-integrated approach still exists with respect to disaster relief and risk management in El Salvador. Disaster management is commonly used to describe the activities following a disaster, but risk management incorporates preventive actions and looks at the bigger picture of causes and triggers. Defining risk management as a more integrated, encompassing and sustainable form of disaster management in El Salvador remains a challenge, and there appears to be some misinterpretation of the meaning of the concepts among all levels of stakeholders. Some interviewees viewed disaster relief aid as a form of adaptation to climate change – which is normally associated with a long-term, sustainable adjustment to changes, rather than with immediate responses to extreme events. Evidence from interviews indicates the importance placed on external assistance by both the Government of El Salvador and the community inhabitants, but reliance on relief as a coping strategy may be both unsustainable and maladaptive, as addressed above. Key informants have indicated that, at least in part, lack of preparation for responding to floods and droughts in El Salvador is based on a belief that taking no action will result in external assistance in the form of relief aid, and because of this the Government of El Salvador does not have to be responsible for meeting the costs of reconstruction. The question of what risk management entails appeared directly and indirectly in numerous instances during data collection. In particular, there was evidence that the concept was being misused by the Government of El Salvador, and possibly other agencies that play an important role in the existing preparedness and response arrangements. It is possible that conflicts between the National Emergency Committee (COEN) and the National System for Territorial Studies (SNET) – an entity comprising of meteorology, hydrology, seismology and risk management units – may be based in competing understandings of risk management. Defining the concept not only has consequences for planning, but also implicates the question of what sort of development is taking place in El Salvador. Wisner has noted that “whether development leads to disaster risk reduction depends on what kind of ‘development’” (2001: 261). This view is echoed in a comment by one key informant: “I don’t have confidence in [SNET]. What is their objective? If they don’t question [the development model in El Salvador] then they are not really going to address risk management”. Again, organization and presence of organizations concerned with risk was stressed also on the national level as a feature of a “good level of preparation”. Similarly, proof of organization was considered knowing what to do in the moment of an emergency. For this reason, risk maps were highlighted, as these are supposed to inform rural people where to go to be exposed to the least degree of risk, for example in the case of a flood. The idea of a risk map is considered part of risk management, although some informants noted that no policy is in place for how these maps are utilized. Risk maps could potentially create a false sense of security in the most risk prone areas. Clearly, a common understanding of what risk management encompasses would be helpful in order for policies and efforts to complement each other, and also be used effectively.


According to the definitions on SNET’s Website xi, risk management is defined as “a complex social process which encourages planning and application of policies, strategies, instruments and measures oriented at preventing, reducing, predicting and controlling the adverse effects of dangerous phenomena on humans, goods, services and the environment” and “integrated actions of risk reduction through preventive activities, mitigation, preparation for emergencies, and emergency attention and recovery post impact” (SNET Website, 2006). Note that the latter definition includes post-event activities as well. Disaster is defined as “a situation or social process triggered by the manifestation of a phenomenon of natural or technological origin, or provoked by man, causing intense, serious and extended alterations to normal livelihoods of a community, in combination with high vulnerability”. SNET is aware of the difference between the traditional philosophy of hazard-center understandings of risk and the ‘new’ philosophy on risk management focused on vulnerability. They reject the old view, where risk management is equated with emergency attention. COEN defines hazard as “latent danger representing the possible manifestation of a phenomenon of natural, socionatural or anthropogenic origin that could produce adverse effects on people, production, infrastructure, goods and services and the environment, within a period of time and in a particular location. It is…expressed as the probability that an event occurs with certain intensity, in a specific location, and within a defined timeframe” (COEN Website, 2003). Because their task includes emergency attention, their understanding of risk management is that it is disaster management. Co-ordination and collaboration between bodies with different capacity is considered a form of risk management also in El Salvador, but some obstacles to such streamlining are evident. The greatest challenge may be in overcoming the differing emphasis placed on precautionary, preventive action (SNET), with that on post-event attention (COEN). Among the interviewees, it was noted that the Government of El Salvador “doesn’t have a strategy [for risk management], they do emergency response”. Therefore, risk management appears to have a greater focus on emergency response than on preventive measures and this is reflected in aid agencies and NGO views as well. As a result, it has been noted that there exists a “constant state of emergency in the country”. This idea is potentially harmful in that it reinforces a view of self-victimization that is also apparent on the local level, and indicates a psychological cause of vulnerability. To consider that such a thing as a permanent state of emergency exists also reflects ambiguity in the goals of development and vulnerability reduction. Differing Understandings and Beliefs Awareness of Climate Patterns A general lack of understanding of the relationship between the climate hazards and the impacts, particularly in the context of vulnerability and poverty, was clear in the interviews in Bajo Lempa. Awareness-raising is considered part of a solution towards adapting to the climate variability. A question about the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern was put to the Bajo Lempa inhabitants, in order to understand to what extent the inhabitants were aware of this climate variability phenomenon. Two sets of questions were also asked in order to identify their understanding of drought and flood: the causes of these (“what causes floods/drought in Bajo Lempa?”), and their manifestation in Bajo Lempa (“what do(es) floods/drought mean in Bajo Lempa?”). Some individuals in Bajo Lempa indicated that they had heard about El Niño over the radio, or seen a report on television. Only very few had not heard of El Niño, although the majority of respondents did not know what El Niño was. A large number said that El Niño was drought. Some interviewees said it was a form of variability, although mostly by noting that they were unsure what form El Niño could take: “drought or a hurricane”. Other answers


include: hurricane, flood, a storm, climate change, the result of maltreatment of nature and the disappearance of fish. One interviewee said El Niño was propaganda by the Government of El Salvador: “They are trying to scare us”. In answers to the questions “What causes drought?” and “What causes flood?”, a number of reasons were given, although two predominant causes were identified for each. For drought, reasons included environmental destruction, deforestation, pollution, and lack of rain. Other reasons given were: “phenomena”, such as hurricane Mitch, El Niño, God, “nature” and population growth. A fifth of the respondents said that they were unaware of what causes droughts in Bajo Lempa. For floods, a greater range of reasons was given, although the majority of individuals identified the dams as the cause for floods in their communities, or copious amounts of rain. Other causes identified include: the river, a broken dike, a storm, “nature”, humans, God, deforestation, lack of drainage systems, lack of care, and “phenomena”, such as hurricane Mitch. Several interviewees said they did not know what causes floods. Religious Faith Although only a few respondents directly attributed floods and droughts to God, the importance of religion in motivating response was clear. Related to education and awareness, as well as the perception of the ‘naturalness’ of disasters, religious faith is another factor that has implications for motivation to respond to risk in El Salvador. God is seen as a protector against the impacts of floods and droughts: “If God doesn’t want the water to come over the dike, it won’t”. Some respondents view God as the cause of droughts, as seen above, and this is the case for floods as well. Some individuals who held a fatalistic view of the causes of the climatic events also associate the impacts with a divine power rather than with other causes of vulnerability: “These are things caused by God…. I think these are signals from God. There are many other signs, like war, earthquakes”. Ibarra Turcios et al. note a high incidence of individuals in El Salvador who believe natural hazards and disasters are a product of “supernatural forces” sent to castigate the people, and are associated with “divine will” and “diabolical and uncontrollable” powers (2002: 31). From her study of Bajo Lempa, Moisa concludes that the expressions of fatalism and resignation when faced with floods indicate a “high level of individual ideological vulnerability” (1996: 28). Religious faith appears to influence the degree to which individuals take action to respond to climatic events in two ways: first, individuals may hold that events are ‘sent’ by some force, such as God, and may not question why impacts occur; and second, individuals may believe that, due to this ‘supernatural force’, precautionary efforts cannot influence the actual events. As expressed by one farmer: “For droughts we cannot do anything, only God can help us”. Upon examination, it appears that the decisive factor for motivation to respond to floods and droughts in the context of religion is whether individuals belong to either the Catholic Church or the evangelical Protestant Church, where the Catholics are more proactive xii, and the Protestant evangelicals more fatalistic. Many of the base organizations that have been working in El Salvador during and since the war have religious affiliations, primarily Catholic. This stems from the activist role encouraged through raised social awareness in the Catholic Church in the 1960s (Haggarty, 1988) which taught that suffering was not caused by God, but rather by other factors part of “the system” (Brockett, 1990: 150). This was influenced by an aim to improve living conditions of the lower classes, a religious philosophy known as liberation theology xiii, which encourages social justice, grass-roots clergy, and lay organizations to call for “changes in social and political structures and encouraged the laity to take an active role in bringing them about” (Haggarty, 1988). The spreading of the message raised awareness among the Salvadoran rural farmers and poor about the “unjust nature of the Salvadoran political and economic system” (Booth and Walker, 1999: 42). As a result, also the “radical Christian groups” in El Salvador initiated peasant mobilization leading up to the war (Baumeister,


2001: 69). In the 1970s, violence by right-wing groups took place against individuals involved in this Catholic grass-roots work, claiming that “assisting the poor constituted subversive activity” against the state (Haggarty, 1988). The activist movement became all the more politicized, and Oscar Romero’s selection as San Salvador’s Archbishop contributed to this further. Romero’s strong statements to the poor in El Salvador reflected, among other things, his belief in the Church’s involvement in addressing the plight of the people, and his dislike for the military and Government of El Salvador tactics.. While the belief that floods and droughts may be caused by God is not exclusive to evangelicals, the perceptions about whether these are sent to chastise humans or not, and to what extent the impacts of such events may be influenced appears to be related to religious groups. Moisa’s (1996) findings support the findings in this study. Fatalism acts as a constraint, because individuals who believe that precautionary action cannot influence the impacts of floods and droughts, as they are ‘God’s will’, may not be inclined to take measures to adapt to these climatic conditions xiv. Evangelicals take this a step further, and believe that the impacts are also caused by God, so therefore nothing can be done in response, apart from having greater faith in God. This therefore has implications for community-level organization and initiatives to address the impacts of floods and droughts. To this end, researchers in the area found that predominantly evangelical communities more often resisted significant participation in awareness-raising projects with the purpose of minimizing the impacts of floods and droughts (cf. Williams and Peterson, 1996). Furthermore, the concept of organization does not appear to represent the same importance for evangelicals as it appears to do for Catholics, although some ex-guerrilla combatants may continue to have faith in the concept of organization, regardless of religion, as this factor was so important during the war. Some may also have converted religion after the war. It is not clear to what extent the division of Catholic/Protestant can still be associated with the division guerrilla/military or Government supporter during the war, although a number of upper-class Salvadorans have converted to evangelical Protestantism (Haggarty, 1988), and clearly the Catholic Church remains on the side of the poor. Nonetheless, Gómez notes that churches in El Salvador now emphasize “quality of life issues” over structural problems in the country (1999: 54), and focus on issues related to the renewal of Salvadorans’ identity after the war. Despite this shift in the role of the Catholic Church, the legacy of war implies that the tensions have not been settled entirely, and religion appears to be another feature of this legacy. Faith could possibly also been seen as an asset to adaptive capacity, in that it provides a sense of unity among community members, and offers emotional relief – but such positive effects may not outweigh negative influences in some cases. 6. Discussion & Conclusions The issues discussed above have been presented as challenges to effective risk reduction in El Salvador, which is a prerequisite for a process of adaptation to climate change. This is because vulnerability reduction – a key component of risk reduction – is also the underlying requirement in adaptation. The study of Bajo Lempa indicates that there is a strong correlation between reducing vulnerability and a path of sustainable development. Thus, major development challenges – such as marginalization of the agriculture sector – also represent major challenges to risk reduction. To this end, Wisner underscores that one of the ways to ensure greater disaster preparedness is to initiate national discussions “concerning the nature and trajectory of ‘development’ in El Salvador” (2001: 265). The discussed factors represent those that are most apparent and liable to be most important in affecting adaptive capacity in El Salvador. These factors are unlikely to be unique to El Salvador, and evidence suggests that similar circumstances can be found in other Latin American countries (Eakin, 2005; Vásquez-León et al., 2003; Liverman, 1999; Lavell, 1994). In El Salvador, post-war recovery has led to a fracturing of support networks and belief systems that would otherwise facilitate adaptation. One informant suggested that recurrence


of natural hazards will eventually lead people to discover that “the situation needs to be changed”, implying that losses will eventually elicit adjustments. Similarly, Adger and Brooks (2003) have observed that while impacts of climate change may increase vulnerability in the short-term, in the medium to long-term, the incidence of hazards may encourage adaptation. However, it is questionable to what extent adaptation could be expected in Bajo Lempa, as the constraining factors identified challenge even simple changes in rural livelihoods. On the macro-policy level, the Government of El Salvador may need to initiate policy modifications in order to allow autonomous adaptation to take place, which may counteract other government policies for economic development, and would therefore not be desirable. Under this surface of challenging policies appear characteristics that are likely to contribute capacity to an adaptive process, but these cannot be successful without accompanying adjustments in policy. At the moment, it appears that many of these strategies are also associated with related weaknesses that act as hindrances to attaining sustainable adjustments to environmental circumstances. Organization as a strength has been examined by others in numerous countries and situations, particularly in the context of social capital and as a positive feature for adaptation processes (Berkhout et al., 2004; Pelling, 2003b), but it is appropriate here to question to what extent organization is truly an asset in El Salvador for responding to climate change and supportive of adaptive capacity. Links are drawn between the role of social networks and organizations in contributing to the positive, capacity-enforcing aspect of organization, and their role in creating and reinforcing dependency on formal structures and outside actors in Bajo Lempa. A dependency syndrome is suggested also as a constraint to self-motivated action, and can be related to a lack of responsibility for the impacts of the hazards, including disasters such as hurricane Mitch, and even the earthquakes of 2001. Added to the general mistrust of the Government of El Salvador conveyed in many interviews, dependency on organization and outside assistance and the general lack of preparedness for floods and droughts evokes a sense of victimization that is evident throughout the local level, but also on the national level. The identification of certain vulnerable groups as “victims” – by themselves (“self-victimization”) and by others – could been identified as a “conceptual constraint” to vulnerability reduction (Bankoff, 2001: 31), but can also be recognized as a consequence of the rising popularity of the vulnerability approach to development, promoted not only by academics, but also by policy-makers and development agencies. Use of the concept as a characteristic, as in “I am vulnerable”, encourages the process of self-victimization among those who feel marginalized and lack access to opportunities to challenge the forces that determine their vulnerability. The Bajo Lempa inhabitants’ perceptions of their vulnerability and the risks they are exposed to also contribute to how risk management is understood. Underpinning such issues are profound ideological differences, supported by powerful influences that have been present in El Salvador and elsewhere since the beginning of the twentieth century. This is in turn coupled with questions about the description of El Salvador as being “in a permanent state of emergency” noted by at least one interviewee, but implied by many others. Clearly the sense of victimization in Bajo Lempa can also be linked with the frustration evident among interviewees regarding being granted land that they consider is deliberately being flooded by the Government of El Salvador. One of the main characteristics of the inhabitants of Bajo Lempa is that they are emotionally attached to their land, as a result of the PTT and the social conflict that remains a legacy of the war. The earliest lands were settled in 1991, before the official land redistribution process took place. As described, the land is exposed to numerous meteorological and geological hazards, which create risks for the inhabitants since they are poorly prepared for the impacts of these hazards. Studies have identified that “transformation in consciousness levels on risk and risk reduction, and a fuller understanding of risk construction processes” is necessary in Bajo Lempa, specifically because people are recent migrants and have little experience with tropical lowland environments and agriculture (Lavell, 2004: 80). The context of newly settled communities is important when addressing responses to hazards, because the communities in question are not


well accustomed to the conditions of the land as a result of not having spent their lives in such climatic circumstances – this includes the conditions for cultivating, as well as the sociocultural aspects of being exposed to risk. Another important feature is that the communities are made up of individuals from different parts of El Salvador, and some had spent most of their lives in Honduras. In response to the question of whether the land in Bajo Lempa is better or worse than in their previous locations, answers reflect that upon settling in Bajo Lempa the majority of individuals were familiar with more arid land, and not with land prone to frequent flooding. Because these families are new to the combination of hazards presented by inhabiting Bajo Lempa, they have not had sufficient time to develop adequate coping strategies. An examination of their responses indicates attempts at coping, but without situation-specific knowledge based on experience with living in a flood plain to guide them. This is characterized as a process of adaptation. To some, this is viewed as an opportunity to learn and develop in a more sustainable way (Medina et al., 2002). But the questions still remain germane as to whether it is appropriate for these settlers to inhabit a flood plain at all, and whether, as options suggested by local NGOs, irrigation systems and flood-resistant crops are the answer to achieving sustainable livelihoods in Bajo Lempa. Underlying these proposals is a question about adapting to such extreme conditions, considering that evidence points to the areas in Bajo Lempa directly along the Lempa River, where most communities are located, as having been a flood plain at least since the early 1900s. Unlike a crop such as rice, the crops grown in Bajo Lempa are not dependent on floods, but are instead harmed by them, although floods are also associated with increasing soil nutrient levels. The appropriateness and feasibility of adaptation and responses in this situation can be questioned. The appropriateness of adapting to these conditions is relevant to address from an engineering perspective (i.e. whether it is worth the investment to build physical structure such as refuge houses) and also from a development perspective (i.e. whether the Bajo Lempa inhabitants will be sacrificing other aspects of their livelihoods in order to adapt to the climatic conditions). The feasibility of such adaptation must be addressed structurally (i.e. physical adjustments to housing and other infrastructure necessary for livelihoods), but also from a development perspective: to what extent is inhabiting a flood plain sustainable, particularly when this is not part of the traditional livelihood? Whether it is desirable would clearly produce different reactions according to who is asked. It appears that it would be desirable for those living in Bajo Lempa to adapt to climate variability, because that is the only land to which they have rights. In the interviews, it is clear that other factors such as employment opportunities and political struggles take greater priority. Seen from the perspective that vulnerability reduction requires the overcoming of major development challenges, however, such factors would be included. Agriculture is sensitive to variations in climate (Bhandari, 2003; Jones and Thornton, 2003; Watson and Ackermann, 2000; Watson et al., 1998), and has been an important indicator of climate change for scientists, both natural and social (IPCC, 2001). Two key variables examined for assessing the impacts of climate change on agriculture are water resources and food security (Watson et al., 1998), which are also considered key issues in development. Agriculture is also sensitive to the impacts of globalization, the source of some of the constraining factors identified in El Salvador. This complex set of forces affecting agriculture has been described by O’Brien and Leichenko as “double exposure” (2000) and will generate “double losers” in affected sectors. With respect to Salvadoran subsistence farmers, who have a small role to play in the regional market, if at all, the concept of “double exposure” is appropriate, particularly in the context of the looming CAFTA and FTAA. Based on a study in Mexico, O’Brien and Leichenko have observed that climate change adaptation strategies in the agriculture sector “may be counteracted or rendered ineffective by outcomes associated with economic globalization” (2000: 230). Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, and it is generally considered that most small farmers in Mexico initially lost out as a result (Eakin, 2005; Green, 1999). This example may therefore have important implications for El Salvador. As the different layers in Table 3 indicate, a


process which enables adaptation in the agriculture sector would have to address numerous issues of different origins, including consequences of regional trade frameworks and lacking support and extension services. The results of neoliberalism in Latin America include increased poverty and other social impacts, and the benefits of structural adjustment have yet to be evidenced. If there are no prospects for growth in the market or subsidization of the small-scale farmer and no reinforcement of the technical support units, the outlook for this climate-sensitive sector is not encouraging. The consequences of the absence of such factors will be amplified by globalization, where the less expensive neighboring countries’ products will be more affordable to Salvadorans than their own. The difficulty posed by lack of access to irrigation systems and inappropriate crop types may be worsened by climate change; a national emphasis on non-farm labor and exports will not simplify access to, or encourage, better irrigation systems for subsistence farmers. Success in addressing the climate change impacts before addressing the other factors is therefore uncertain. These findings raise also questions about the importance of social institutions in determining adaptive capacity. In the case of Bajo Lempa, social institutions have been defined as organizations and social networks. Studies in other regions have found that social institutions, including networks in India and Nepal (Moench and Dixit, 2004) and structures and organizations influencing resource allocation in Vietnam (Adger, 2000b) play a clear role in determining the adaptive capacity of vulnerable societies. Informal social networks, including relationships based on kinship or friendship, have also been observed to play a role in reducing vulnerability in other Latin American societies, and support policy trends to increase involvement of local actors in disaster mitigation (Pelling, 2002). As noted by Adger, however, institutions can both “constrain and facilitate adaptation to social and environmental change” (2000b: 754). In El Salvador it appears that the role of both informal and formal institutions, such as community organizations, is primarily a psychological support. The importance of organizations in reducing vulnerability appears to be based in the extent to which these institutions are able to build trust among community members, rather than in practical steps taken to reduce or address risk. While it may be true in El Salvador that local actors possess the capacity to respond to social structures that expose them to environmental risk, ideological barriers noted in Table 3 are constraining the capitalization of this capacity among the people resident in Bajo Lempa, but also in the country in general. As such, emphasis on building adaptive capacity without these constraints being addressed – and modified – will not ensure reduction in risk in El Salvador. Furthermore, the existence of institutions creates awareness resulting in a dependency syndrome that may outweigh any positive aspects, and in El Salvador this dependency represents a considerable constraint to reduction of vulnerability. On a national level, the role of the SNET had not been sufficiently tested at the time of study. It is possible that the institutional structures that have been built will strengthen the capacity of all levels, local through national, not only to respond to risks through a more effective early warning system, but also to prevent risk through dissemination of research results on various aspects of the hydrology, meteorology and seismology of El Salvador. Again, the question remains as to whether capacity of institutions will be sufficient for reducing vulnerability to climate hazards, when more dominant challenges are present in political and social structures. Adger speaks about institutional adaptation, which he defines as “the net outcome of the evolution of institutions within the wider social environment along with institutional inertia” (2000b: 738). He notes that not only individuals, but also institutions will need to adapt, in this case referring to formal, rather than informal, institutions (Adger, 1999). Ultimately, this appears to be the sort of adjustment that will be necessary across the board in El Salvador – in governing structures and institutions related to economic growth, religious beliefs, relationships between NGOs and other organizations and local communities and the Government of El Salvador, and interpretations and implementation of risk management. The legacy of war is not easily affected, and will possibly require time to enable the different views to be reconciled. It is unlikely that the buffering of such a superficial characteristic as


adaptive capacity will result in long-term, sustainable changes to the levels of risk, as this will not address the core causes of vulnerability. In sum, key factors are identified in El Salvador that pose as obstacles to adapting to climate change and climate variability, and that instead contribute to increasing vulnerability to climate change and may not easily be addressed by focusing on increasing adaptive capacity. As is clear in the concept of “double exposure” applied in the case of the agriculture sector, the factors here are not simply obstacles to adapting to climate change, but also obstacles to development. Clearly, differences between the requirements for sustainable development and adaptation are minor. Nevertheless, this does not imply that adaptation is not a useful concept for guiding policy actions to address risk from climate change. Rather, adaptation has a unique and rapidly expanding niche within the discourses on climate change, risk and development that will enable adaptation discussions to find greater authority beyond the existing global policy process on climate change. The relationships between these three discourses is also gaining attention (UNDP, 2004), but the intellectual communities require merging, so that lessons learnt in one discipline can inform others. It is apparent that a vast amount of literature informing adaptation to climate change stems from the risk and hazards discourse. It is also evident that there is interest within these intellectual communities to share their knowledge among each other (UNDP, 2002), as well as desire within the development assistance community to incorporate aspects of adaptation to climate change (AfDB et al., 2003). The empirical evidence from El Salvador indicates that the merger of these three fields may also be necessary in order to facilitate adaptation in reality. In this position, adaptation to climate change can be seen as a uniting concept that could draw together policy objectives of reducing vulnerability and risk and promoting sustainable development. Acknowledgements This research was funded through a Ph.D. studentship from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (TRS01), the UK Overseas Research Studentship Award (ORS/2001013003), and a contribution from the Overseas Development Group of the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia. Institutional support was provided by the University of El Salvador, and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in El Salvador. The author would like to thank Kate Brown, Declan Conway, Mike Hulme, Mark Pelling, Mike Mortimore, Allan Lavell, Ben Wisner and Ian Burton, among many others, for their invaluable comments on this work.


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The dam ‘5 de Noviembre’, at an elevation of 180m, was built in 1954 and thereby represents the first dam to be built along the Lempa River. The dam ‘Cerrón Grande’ (elevation 243m) was installed in 1977, and ‘15 de Septiembre’, built in 1983, was the final dam to be constructed on the Lempa River, at an elevation of 49m. ii Floods recorded before the first dam was built on the River were in 1931, 1934 and 1936 (Romano, 1996). iii According to PROESA, an organization promoting investment in El Salvador, wages in El Salvador are “one of the most competitive in Latin America”, with wages at US$ 0.60/hour. Labour costs are estimated at US$ 1.06/hour, compared with US$2.70 in Costa Rica, and US$0.88 in Nicaragua ( iv Dollarisation in El Salvador took place in 2001. The United States Dollar is the official unit of currency, along with the Salvadoran colón, at a rate of 1US$ = ¢ 8.75. v Since 1998, distribution of electricity has been privatised, according to a 1996 law. Several companies have been created to take over the responsibilities of distributing electricity. The thermal energy generation units are owned and operated separately from the hydroelectricity units (, July 28, 2003). vi The subject of dams is controversial globally; they are associated with environmental destruction, but also with creating problems between upstream and downstream stakeholders, among other things. vii Other major energy sources include thermal and geothermal sources (IEA, 2003). viii This has also been reported as 11 million or 18 million colónes in articles in El Diario de Hoy. ix The groups that made up the leftist party were: Central American Workers' Revolutionary Party (PRTC), People's Revolutionary Army (ERP), Farabundo Martí Popular Liberation Forces (FPL), Armed Forces of National Resistance (FARN), and the Communist Party of El Salvador's Armed Forces of Liberation (FAL). x Samaritan’s Dilemma is a variant of moral hazard and describes how disaster relief and reconstruction can work as a negative incentive for governments not to invest in disaster risk reduction. xi xii Although Catholics may also believe in the influence of a divine power. An example of belief in divine powers, and yet a proactive attitude is: “During droughts we do not have any options. We just have to overcome what God sends us. But during floods, the dike makes us feel safe. We have built this second floor to put the most necessary there.” xiii “Belief that the Christian Gospel demands ‘a preferential option for the poor’, and that the church should be involved in the struggle for economic and political justice in the contemporary world – particularly in the Third World. Dating to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and the Second Latin American Bishops Conference, held in Medellin, Colombia (1968), the movement brought poor people together in base communities, or Christian-based communities, to study the Bible and to fight for social justice. Since the 1980s, the church hierarchy, led by Pope John Paul II , has criticized liberation theology and its advocates, accusing them of wrongly supporting violent revolution and Marxist class Columbia struggle.” (,, Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition) xiv This may be relevant to recovery after an event as well: those who believe that events are caused by God may rebuild their houses in the same high risk location as before .



The trans-disciplinary Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research undertakes integrated research into the long-term consequences of climate change for society and into the development of sustainable responses that governments, business-leaders and decision-makers can evaluate and implement. Achieving these objectives brings together UK climate scientists, social scientists, engineers and economists in a unique collaborative research effort. Research at the Tyndall Centre is organised into seven research programmes that collectively contribute to all aspects of the climate change issue: International Climate Policy; Energy Futures; Adaptation and Resilience; International Development; Coasts, Cities and Integrated Modelling. All programmes address a clear question posed to society by climate change, and will generate results to guide the strategic development of climate change policies at local, national and global scales. The Tyndall Centre is named after the 19th century UK scientist John Tyndall, who was the first to prove the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect and suggested that slight changes in atmospheric composition could bring about climate variations. In addition, he was committed to improving the quality of science education and knowledge. The Tyndall Centre is a partnership of the following institutions: University of East Anglia Manchester University SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research (University of Sussex) Southampton Oceanography Centre University of Southampton University of Cambridge University of Newcastle University of Oxford Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds The Centre is core funded by the UK Research Councils: Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) For more information, visit the Tyndall Centre Web site ( or contact: Communications Manager Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK Phone: +44 (0) 1603 59 3900; Fax: +44 (0) 1603 59 3901 Email:

Tyndall Working Paper series 2000 - 2006
The Tyndall Centre working paper series presents results from research which are mature enough to be submitted to a refereed journal, to a sponsor, to a major conference or to the editor of a book. The intention is to enhance the early public availability of research undertaken by the Tyndall family of researchers, students and visitors. They can be downloaded from the Tyndall Website at: The accuracy of working papers and the conclusions reached are the responsibility of the author(s) alone and not the Tyndall Centre.

Papers available in this series are:

• Few R., Brown K, Tompkins E. L, (2006) Public participation and climate change adaptation, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 95 • Corbera E., Kosoy N, Martinez Tuna M, (2006) Marketing ecosystem services through protected areas and rural communities in Meso-America: Implications for economic efficiency, equity and political legitimacy, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 94 • Schipper E. Lisa, (2006) Climate Risk, Perceptions and Development in El Salvador, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 93 • Tompkins E. L, Amundsen H, (2005) Perceptions of the effectiveness of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in prompting behavioural change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 92 • Warren R., Hope C, Mastrandrea M, Tol R S J, Adger W. N., Lorenzoni I., (2006) Spotlighting the impacts functions in integrated assessments. Research Report Prepared for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 91 • Warren R., Arnell A, Nicholls R., Levy P E, Price J, (2006) Understanding the regional impacts of climate change: Research Report Prepared for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 90

• Barker T., Qureshi M, Kohler J., (2006) The Costs of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation with Induced Technological Change: A Meta-Analysis of Estimates in the Literature, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 89 • Kuang C, Stansby P, (2006) Sandbanks for coastal protection: implications of sea-level rise. Part 3: wave modelling, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 88 • Kuang C, Stansby P, (2006) Sandbanks for coastal protection: implications of sea-level rise. Part 2: current and morphological modelling, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 87 • Stansby P, Kuang C, Laurence D, Launder B, (2006) Sandbanks for coastal protection: implications of sea-level rise. Part 1: application to East Anglia, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 86 • Bentham M, (2006) An assessment of carbon sequestration potential in the UK – Southern North Sea case study: Tyndall Centre Working Paper 85 • Anderson K., Bows A., Upham P., (2006) Growth scenarios for EU & UK aviation: contradictions with climate policy, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 84 • Williamson M., Lenton T., Shepherd J., Edwards N, (2006) An efficient numerical terrestrial scheme (ENTS) for fast earth system modelling, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 83

Tyndall Working Papers

2000 - 2006

• Bows, A., and Anderson, K. (2005) An analysis of a post-Kyoto climate policy model, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 82 • Sorrell, S., (2005) The economics of energy service contracts, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 81 • Wittneben, B., Haxeltine, A., Kjellen, B., Köhler, J., Turnpenny, J., and Warren, R., (2005) A framework for assessing the political economy of post-2012 global climate regime, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 80 • Ingham, I., Ma, J., and Ulph, A. M. (2005) Can adaptation and mitigation be complements?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 79 • Agnolucci,. P (2005) Opportunism and competition in the non-fossil fuel obligation market, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 78 • Barker, T., Pan, H., Köhler, J., Warren., R and Winne, S. (2005) Avoiding dangerous climate change by inducing technological progress: scenarios using a large-scale econometric model, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 77 • Agnolucci,. P (2005) The role of political uncertainty in the Danish renewable energy market, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 76 • Fu, G., Hall, J. W. and Lawry, J. (2005) Beyond probability: new methods for representing uncertainty in projections of future climate, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 75 • Ingham, I., Ma, J., and Ulph, A. M. (2005) How do the costs of adaptation affect optimal mitigation when there is uncertainty, irreversibility and learning?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 74 • Walkden, M. (2005) Coastal process simulator scoping study, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 73 • Lowe, T., Brown, K., Suraje Dessai, S., Doria, M., Haynes, K. and Vincent., K (2005) Does tomorrow ever come? Disaster narrative and public perceptions of climate change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 72 • Boyd, E. Gutierrez, M. and Chang, M. (2005) Adapting small-scale CDM sinks projects to
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low-income communities, Working Paper 71



• Abu-Sharkh, S., Li, R., Markvart, T., Ross, N., Wilson, P., Yao, R., Steemers, K., Kohler, J. and Arnold, R. (2005) Can Migrogrids Make a Major Contribution to UK Energy Supply?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 70 • Tompkins, E. L. and Hurlston, L. A. (2005) Natural hazards and climate change: what knowledge is transferable?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 69 • Bleda, M. and Shackley, S. (2005) The formation of belief in climate change in business organisations: a dynamic simulation model, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 68 • Turnpenny, J., Haxeltine, A. and O’Riordan, T., (2005) Developing regional and local scenarios for climate change mitigation and adaptation: Part 2: Scenario creation, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 67 • Turnpenny, J., Haxeltine, A., Lorenzoni, I., O’Riordan, T., and Jones, M., (2005) Mapping actors involved in climate change policy networks in the UK, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 66 • Adger, W. N., Brown, K. and Tompkins, E. L. (2004) Why do resource managers make links to stakeholders at other scales?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 65 • Peters, M.D. and Powell, J.C. (2004) Fuel Cells for a Sustainable Future II, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 64 • Few, R., Ahern, M., Matthies, F. and Kovats, S. (2004) Floods, health and climate change: a strategic review, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 63 • Barker, T. (2004) Economic theory and the transition to sustainability: a comparison of approaches, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 62 • Brooks, N. (2004) Drought in the African Sahel: long term perspectives and future prospects, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 61 • Few, R., Brown, K. and Tompkins, E.L. (2004) Scaling adaptation: climate change response and coastal management in the UK, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 60 • Anderson, D and Winne, S. (2004) Modelling Innovation and Threshold Effects
2000 - 2006

In Climate Change Mitigation, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 59 • Bray, D and Shackley, S. (2004) The Social Simulation of The Public Perceptions of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 58 • Shackley, S., Reiche, A. and Mander, S Public Perceptions of (2004) The Underground Coal Gasification (UCG): A Pilot Study, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 57 • Vincent, K. (2004) Creating an index of social vulnerability to climate change for Africa, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 56 • Mitchell, T.D. Carter, T.R., Jones, .P.D, Hulme, M. and New, M. (2004) A comprehensive set of high-resolution grids of monthly climate for Europe and the globe: the observed record (1901-2000) and 16 scenarios (2001-2100), Tyndall Centre Working Paper 55 • Turnpenny, J., Carney, S., Haxeltine, A., and O’Riordan, T. (2004) Developing regional and local scenarios for climate change mitigation and adaptation Part 1: A framing of the East of England Tyndall Centre Working Paper 54 • Agnolucci, P. and Ekins, P. (2004) The Announcement Effect And Environmental Taxation Tyndall Centre Working Paper 53 • Agnolucci, P. (2004) Ex Post Evaluations of CO2 –Based Taxes: A Survey Tyndall Centre Working Paper 52 • Agnolucci, P., Barker, T. and Ekins, P. (2004) Hysteresis and Energy Demand: the Announcement Effects and the effects of the UK Climate Change Levy Tyndall Centre Working Paper 51 • Powell, J.C., Peters, M.D., Ruddell, A. and Halliday, J. (2004) Fuel Cells for a Sustainable Future? Tyndall Centre Working Paper 50 • Awerbuch, S. (2004) Restructuring our electricity networks to promote decarbonisation, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 49 • Pan, H. (2004) The evolution of economic structure under technological
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development, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 48 • Berkhout, F., Hertin, J. and Gann, D. M., (2004) Learning to adapt: Organisational adaptation to climate change impacts, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 47 • Watson, J., Tetteh, A., Dutton, G., Bristow, A., Kelly, C., Page, M. and Pridmore, A., (2004) UK Hydrogen Futures to 2050, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 46 • Purdy, R and Macrory, R. (2004) Geological carbon sequestration: critical legal issues, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 45 • Shackley, S., McLachlan, C. and Gough, C. (2004) The Public Perceptions of Carbon Capture and Storage, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 44 • Anderson, D. and Winne, S. (2003) Innovation and Threshold Effects in Technology Responses to Climate Change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 43 • Kim, J. (2003) Sustainable Development and the CDM: A South African Case Study, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 42 • Watson, J. (2003), UK Electricity Scenarios for 2050, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 41 Klein, R.J.T., Lisa Schipper, E. and Dessai, • S. (2003), Integrating mitigation and adaptation into climate and development policy: three research questions, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 40 Tompkins, E. and Adger, W.N. (2003). • Defining response capacity to enhance climate change policy, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 39 Brooks, N. (2003). Vulnerability, risk • and adaptation: a conceptual framework, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 38 Ingham, A. and Ulph, A. (2003) • Uncertainty, Irreversibility, Precaution and the Social Cost of Carbon, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 37 Kröger, K. Fergusson, M. and Skinner, I. • (2003). Critical Issues in Decarbonising Transport: The Role of Technologies, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 36

2000 - 2006

• Tompkins E. L and Hurlston, L. (2003). Report to the Cayman Islands’ Government. Adaptation lessons learned from responding to tropical cyclones by the Cayman Islands’ Government, 1988 – 2002, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 35 Dessai, S., Hulme, M (2003). Does • climate policy need probabilities?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 34 Pridmore, A., Bristow, A.L., May, A. D. and • Tight, M.R. (2003). Climate Change, Impacts, Future Scenarios and the Role of Transport, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 33 Xueguang Wu, Jenkins, N. and Strbac, G. • (2003). Integrating Renewables and CHP into the UK Electricity System: Investigation of the impact of network faults on the stability of large offshore wind farms, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 32 Turnpenny, J., Haxeltine A. and O’Riordan, • T. (2003). A scoping study of UK user needs for managing climate futures. Part 1 of the pilot-phase interactive integrated assessment process (Aurion Project), Tyndall Centre Working Paper 31 Hulme, M. (2003). Abrupt climate • change: can society cope?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 30 Brown, K. and Corbera, E. (2003). A • Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework for Carbon-Mitigation Projects: Putting “development” in the centre of decisionmaking, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 29 Dessai, S., Adger, W.N., Hulme, M., • Köhler, J.H., Turnpenny, J. and Warren, R. (2003). Defining and experiencing dangerous climate change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 28 Tompkins, E.L. and Adger, W.N. (2003). • Building resilience to climate change through adaptive management of natural resources, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 27 Brooks, N. and Adger W.N. (2003). • Country level risk measures of climaterelated natural disasters and implications for adaptation to climate change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 26 Xueguang Wu, Mutale, J., Jenkins, N. and • Strbac, G. (2003). An investigation of
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Network Splitting for Fault Level Reduction, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 25 Xueguang Wu, Jenkins, N. and Strbac, G. • (2002). Impact of Integrating Renewables and CHP into the UK Transmission Network, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 24 Paavola, J. and Adger, W.N. (2002). • Justice and adaptation to climate change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 23 Watson, W.J., Hertin, J., Randall, T., • Gough, C. (2002). Renewable Energy and Combined Heat and Power Resources in the UK, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 22 Watson, W. J. (2002). Renewables and • CHP Deployment in the UK to 2020, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 21 Turnpenny, J. (2002). Reviewing • organisational use of scenarios: Case study - evaluating UK energy policy options, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 20 Pridmore, A. and Bristow, A., (2002). The • role of hydrogen in powering road transport, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 19 Watson, J. (2002). The development of • large technical systems: implications for hydrogen, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 18 Dutton, G., (2002). Hydrogen Energy • Technology, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 17 Adger, W.N., Huq, S., Brown, K., Conway, • D. and Hulme, M. (2002). Adaptation to climate change: Setting the Agenda for Development Policy and Research, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 16 Köhler, J.H., (2002). Long run technical • change in an energy-environment-economy (E3) model for an IA system: A model of Kondratiev waves, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 15 Shackley, S. and Gough, C., (2002). The • Use of Integrated Assessment: An Institutional Analysis Perspective, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 14 Dewick, P., Green K., Miozzo, M., (2002). • Technological Change, Industry Structure and the Environment, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 13 Dessai, S., (2001). The climate regime • from The Hague to Marrakech: Saving or
2000 - 2006

sinking the Kyoto Protocol?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 12 Barker, T. (2001). Representing the • Integrated Assessment of Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 11 Gough, C., Taylor, I. and Shackley, S. • (2001). Burying Carbon under the Sea: An Initial Exploration of Public Opinions, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 10 Barnett, J. and Adger, W. N. (2001). • Climate Dangers and Atoll Countries, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 9 Adger, W. N. (2001). Social Capital and • Climate Change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 8 Barnett, J. (2001). Security and Climate • Change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 7 Goodess, C.M., Hulme, M. and Osborn, T. • (2001). The identification and evaluation of suitable scenario development methods for the estimation of future probabilities of extreme weather events, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 6

Barnett, J. (2001). The issue of 'Adverse • Effects and the Impacts of Response Measures' in the UNFCCC, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 5 Barker, T. and Ekins, P. (2001). How High • are the Costs of Kyoto for the US Economy?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 4 Berkhout, F, Hertin, J. and Jordan, A. J. • (2001). Socio-economic futures in climate change impact assessment: using scenarios as 'learning machines', Tyndall Centre Working Paper 3 Hulme, M. (2001). Integrated • Assessment Models, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 2 Mitchell, T. and Hulme, M. (2000). A • Country-by-Country Analysis of Past and Future Warming Rates, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 1
© Copyright 2006

For further information please contact Javier Delgado-Esteban

Tyndall Working Papers

2000 - 2006