Sustainability in El Salvador
What the country's doing to improve its sustainability.
It’s well-known that implementing sustainable actions where possible is the best option to ensure the longevity of the planet. In light of this, it’s encouraging to see countries stepping up and taking responsibility for their carbon footprint, to help the cause as much as possible. El Salvador is one of the countries that is making a concerted effort towards sustainability, and it’s one of the reasons that all of us at CEFINCO are proud to call the country home.
RENEWABLES & NATURAL RESOURCES
With the use of fossil fuels contributing so much to the climate crisis, it’s obvious that renewable energy needs to be used as much as possible. Traditionally, renewable energy sources have been significantly more expensive than non-renewable resources, but prices are coming down everyday, making them more affordable than ever before.
Thanks to its wealth of natural resources, El Salvador is fortunate to benefit from ready access to hydro, solar, wind, and geothermal energy. With such resources available on the country’s doorstep, the government has prioritized investments in renewable energy.
This preference towards renewables is nothing new for El Salvador. Previously the country had relied upon imports of fossil fuels for energy sources, but in 2010 the government implemented the National Energy Policy which initiated the switch to renewables. In this area of sustainability, the country has been ahead of the crowd for years.
Continuing its pledge towards the use of renewable energy sources, earlier this year El Salvador signed an agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), to work to reduce the country’s carbon footprint to support the efforts being made against climate change.
The agreement makes El Salvador a key player in the push towards renewable energy sources in Central America, and it is expected to contribute to the further development of geothermal energy within El Salvador itself.
SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENTS
From homes to education centers, warehouses to retail stores, buildings are needed for everyday life. However, this need should not come at the cost of the planet. The property development sector is a culprit for mass carbon emissions, contributing hugely to the climate crisis.
Hand-in-hand with the country’s emphasis on renewable energy resources is its push towards encouraging sustainable building practices. Take, for example, a recently built research center at Don Bosco University, San Salvador. This new building was constructed following LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) guidelines, with sustainable environmental practices at the forefront of the design. As well, the annex building of the same complex won a Sustainable Construction Award.
The university is just one example of the country taking a more conscious stance towards sustainability in urban developments, and it’s exciting to think about where the El Salvador property development sector will be in another five or ten years’ time.
A loss of natural landscapes means a loss in biodiversity, which in turn results in land lacking in sustainability. Whether the landscape destruction has been caused by humans or not, there are steps that we can take to reverse the impact, and regain sustainable ecosystems.
One such example of this is the mangrove restoration being carried out in El Salvador. EcoViva – a company supporting community-led sustainable initiatives – has implemented a new mode of restoring mangroves in El Salvador, using a technique called Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR). The aim of EMR is to look at the root causes of why the mangroves have died, and address these, rather than simply replanting seeds and propagated trees, as was previously being done.
Due to the depth of investigation that is carried out into why the mangroves died in the first place, the EMR method is likely to result in greater long-term success in repopulating mangroves in El Salvador, positively contributing to the country’s sustainability.
It’s a huge challenge to reverse, or even just control, the damage that has been done to the planet and the environment by global warming, but everyone doing something is better than a few doing everything. These steps are not quick fixes, but rather long-term solutions for local actions. It’s the longevity of their nature that allows them to have the greatest impact upon climate change, and truly work to revert the damage. These steps that are already being taken are setting a solid foundation for sustainability in El Salvador moving forward.
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