SEWS-D Countries

 

Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean island La Española. Due to its location, it is normally exposed to hurricanes and tropical storms, and to a lesser degree to earthquakes and landslides, as it is located at the border between the Central American and the North American tectonic plates. While droughts have affected specific regions of the Dominican Republic, in 2015, the effects of droughts were more severe.

UN-SPIDER conducted a technical advisory mission to the Dominican Republic in January 2010, and has conducted additional missions in 2011 and 2013. At the recommendation of UN-SPIDER, the National Emergency Commission of the Dominican Republic implemented EIGEO as an inter-institutional team composed of professional and specialists from different ministries, government agencies and universities who focus their efforts in the areas of remote sensing and geographical information systems.

VCI and SVI maps have been generated for the Dominican Republic by the experts at the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil (UFSM) as part of their contribution to the SEWS-D project. The EIGEO has been analyzing the maps and has recently elaborated a drought hazard map for the country.

 

El Salvador
El Salvador is one of the Central American countries and is exposed to tropical storms and hurricanes, as well as to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides triggered by earthquakes and excessive rainfall. Volcanic activity and earthquakes in El Salvador, as in the case of other Central American countries result from the interaction of the Cocos and the Central American tectonic plates. Droughts have also affected El Salvador in recent decades, particularly the northern and Eastern regions.

UN-SPIDER conducted a technical advisory mission to El Salvador in April 2014 with the support of experts from CRECTEALC, IGAC, UFSM, and CATHALAC. As in the case of the Dominican Republic, UN-SPIDER recommended the establishment of an an inter-institutional team composed of professional and specialists from different ministries, government agencies and universities who focus their efforts in the areas of remote sensing and geographical information systems.

In the context of the SEWS-D project, the main institutions involved in this project are the Civil Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Interior and the Environmental Observatory of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Efforts are underway to incorporate the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Geographic Institute. Maps depicting the VCI were generated by UN-SPIDER for El Salvador and SVI maps were generated by UFSM of Brazil. These maps are being assessed by the institutions if El Salvador with the support of the University of El Salvador.

 

Guatemala
Guatemala is the western-most country in Central America and borders with Mexico. As other Central American countries, Guatemala exposed to tropical storms and hurricanes, as well as to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides triggered by earthquakes and excessive rainfall. Volcanic activity and earthquakes stem from the interaction of the Cocos and the Central American tectonic plates. Droughts have also affected Guatemala in recent decades, forcing the government to declare National States of Calamity in 2001 and 2009 as a way to deal with the impacts of such droughts, particularly in the Dry Corridor. A National Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SESAN) was established in 2005 as a way to oversee efforts conducted by the government in case of droughts.

UN-SPIDER conducted a technical advisory mission to Guatemala in October 2010 with the support of experts from CRECTEALC, CONAE, CATHALAC, and OAS. As in the case of the Dominican Republic, the National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) established an inter-institutional team with SEGEPLAN, INSIVUMEH, IGN and RIC in 2011. Efforts to support Guatemala in case of drought were initiated by UN-SPIDER in the beginning of 2010. UN-SPIDER has supported CONRED in the activation of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters in case of volcanic eruptions and floods in May and June 2010, as a result of the earthquake in Nov. 2011; and in 2015 due to a massive landslide in one of the municipal districts of the greater metropolitan area of Guatemala City.

In the context of the SEWS-D project, the main institutions involved in this project are CONRED, the National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH), and the Ministry of Agriculture. Maps depicting the VCI were generated by UN-SPIDER for Guatemala and SVI maps were generated by UFSM of Brazil. The maps are being reviewed by professionals from these government agencies.

 

Honduras
Honduras is the second largest country in Central America and is also exposed to hurricanes, tropical storms, and landslides; and earthquakes to a lesser degree. Floods are the most frequent events and in case of large hurricanes, such as Fifi in 1974 and Mitch in 1998, many urban and rural communities have been affected. At the end of 2014, Honduras began to experience severe droughts and in 2015 it established an Inter Agency Drought Commission and an Inter Agency Drought Panel. While the commission is more policy-oriented, the panel is more technical and is making use of remote sensing applications to develop a drought indicator. In addition, since several years ago, the government of Honduras established a National Commission for Geo-Spatial Data (CIDES). CIDES is designing and will implement the Honduras National Spatial Data Infrastructure as a way to facilitate the sharing and use of geospatial data.

UN-SPIDER conducted a technical advisory mission to Honduras in July 2015 with experts from IGAC, UFSM, AEM, and CATHALAC; and was able to meet with members of the Inter Agency Drought Commission and an Inter Agency Drought Panel. The mission concluded with a one-day training on the use of the Recommended Practice on the generation of VCI maps.

In the context of the SEWS-D project, the main institutions involved in this project are COPECO, CIDES and the Forestry Conservation Institute of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Maps depicting the VCI were generated by UN-SPIDER for Guatemala and SVI maps were generated by UFSM of Brazil. The maps are being reviewed by professionals from these government agencies.

 

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