El Salvador has emerged as a global center for discussion on the effects of climate change and the presentation of action proposals to counter its impact on the most vulnerable populations through a human rights lens. As the host of the International Seminar on National Human Rights Institutions, the country aims to shed light on the far-reaching consequences of climate change and promote awareness among citizens and decision-makers alike.
Raquel de Guevara, the head of the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office (PDDH), explained on Wednesday that the effects of climate change manifest in various ways, such as floods and droughts that significantly impact agriculture and fishing—the livelihoods of thousands of families that the institution supports. “Every individual has an obligation to contribute towards mitigating the impact of climate change. Through seminars like this, which bring together global human rights institutions, our aim is to foster reflection and raise awareness among the general public,” stated the official.
The seminar also seeks to sensitize decision-makers in each country to pay greater attention to the exploitation of natural resources, as well as the industry and use of agrochemicals. This event marks the first time that a world-class conference on climate consciousness has taken place in the Americas. “It is a great honor for the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office of El Salvador to host this seminar, as it will enable us to engage global decision-makers effectively,” added De Guevara.
During Wednesday’s session, Wilfredo Castellanos, the Executive Delegate of the National Human Rights Commission of Honduras, highlighted the adverse effects of climate change. “Urgent decisions must be made to prevent an environmental disaster of enormous proportions. Human rights institutions must play a pivotal role from our institutional positions to safeguard the rights to life, a healthy environment, and sustainable development,” expressed Castellanos.
The seminar serves as a platform for experts and practitioners to share experiences, research findings, and best practices in addressing climate change from a human rights perspective. By facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchange, El Salvador aims to galvanize global efforts in combating climate change and ensuring the protection of vulnerable communities.
As the world grapples with the growing urgency of climate action, El Salvador’s leadership in organizing this seminar underscores the country’s commitment to championing environmental consciousness and promoting human rights as inseparable components of sustainable development. It sets a precedent for future international events that integrate environmental concerns into the broader human rights agenda, forging a path towards a more resilient and equitable future for all.