Policy Brief: Guatemala’s Environmental Challenges - Vulnerabilities and Policy Solutions
Author: Carlos Martínez Ruiz
May 19, 2016
Religious actors in Guatemala, in alliance with secular development groups, have a history of productive engagement in debates about environmental challenges. At community and national levels, they have successfully advocated for action and community responses, especially around critical issues such as environmental degradation caused by extractive industries. Significant challenges remain, however, in a country facing a variety of interrelated social and environmental vulnerabilities rendered more acute by the threat of climate change. Droughts, food scarcity, pollution, and overall environmental degradation are now permanent features of the Guatemalan social and environmental landscapes. In the spirit of Pope Francis’ call to foster an ethic of care for the environment in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, this brief explores the potential for collaborative work between faith-inspired and secular development groups in search of practical policy solutions to face current and future environmental challenges in Guatemala.