Materials from the event, including presentations, can be found at the bottom of this page.



Central American countries face some of the greatest vulnerability to climate change in the world, including impacts on agriculture in the region due to changes in rainfall and increased intensity and severity of extreme weather events. Food security in a region where the agricultural sector is largely composed of small holders is already tenuous, with climate change and variability increasing the challenges faced by national governments, regional organizations, and the farmers themselves.

On June 19, 2014, the Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, in coordination with USAID/El Salvador and Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (CCAD), brought together a group of experts and practitioners to discuss these issues. As part of the seminar, “Cambio Climático y Seguridad Alimentaria en América Central: Casos de Estudio de Adaptación” (Climate Change and Food Security in Central America: Case Studies in Adaptation), representatives from NGOs and government ministries in eight different countries gathered in San Salvador, El Salvador to discuss climate change adaptation and food security in Central America, including the role of women and related population dynamics challenges.

The event featured presentations by the relevant secretariats of  Sistema de Integración Centroamericana (SICA): Manuel Jiménez Umaña, of Consejo Agropecuario Centroamericano (CAC); Víctor Ramírez, of Centro de Coordinación para la Prevención de los Desastres Naturales (CEPREDENAC); Patricia Ramírez, of  Comité Regional de Recursos Hidráulicos (CRRH); and Christa Castro Varela, of Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (CCAD). Sandeep Bathala of the Wilson Center presented on women’s roles in climate change adaptation and food security, including the linkages between populations dynamics, reproductive health, and responses to climate change and food security vulnerabilities. Nancy McCarthy of Lead Analytics, who has also worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and on the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report, discussed Climate-Smart Agriculture and the importance of conservation agriculture and other sustainable practices to ensuring food security, as well as the challenges to implementing these practices. Jaime López Martínez and José Luis Arellano Monterroasas, of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias and Comisión Nacional del Agua in Mexico (respectively), offered in-depth presentations of their collaborative work on the watersheds (cuencas) of rivers in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Chiapas, Mexico.

To read full summary, see below.


A short article on the event is also posted on the SICA website: SICA apoya esfuerzos en Cambio Climático y Seguridad Alimentaria en Centroamérica


Previous events in this USAID-Wilson Center series have taken place in Bogotá, Colombia; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.


Please contact Christine Zaino ( with any questions regarding this event.