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More trees, less water stress in El Salvador

Restoring ecosystems replenishes vital water sources in the Central American Dry Corridor

Picture patches of tropical, dry forest separated by agricultural land stretched across the surface of six countries at the heart of the American continent. This is the Central American Dry Corridor, a 1 600-kilometre-long expanse through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama – home to 11.5 million rural people, who largely depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Known for its erratic rainfall patterns, the Dry Corridor is one of the world’s most exposed and vulnerable regions to climate change. For over a decade, warming temperatures and severe drought – coupled with deforestation and land degradation – have led to a water-thirsty agriculture sector and threatened food security for its inhabitants.

Located in the midst of this Dry Corridor is El Salvador, one of the most vulnerable countries to climate risks in the world. At present, El Salvador’s per capita availability of freshwater is well below the critical threshold, and there are projected increases in the variability of rainfall, temperature and occurrence of extreme weather.


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Photo credit ©FAO/Javier Orellana