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.

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