Partners Host Workshop on Landscape Monitoring and Transparency in El Salvador

July 30, 2018

by Rene Zamora Cristales and Luciana Gallardo Lomeli

Several partners of Initiative 20x20, including World Resources Institute, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and PRISMA, held a regional event on “Monitoring and Transparency: Tools and Cost-effective Methods to Structure a Landscape Restoration Monitoring System” in El Salvador. The events, hosted in collaboration with GIZ and the Mesoamerican Strategy for Environmental Sustainability, enabled the exchange of tools and metrics that measure the impact of restoration on landscapes.

The week started with a fieldtrip to the Apaneca-El Imposible landscape in the southwest of El Salvador and included visits to multiple mangrove restoration projects. Participants from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic discussed the strategic importance of mangrove ecosystems for watersheds across Latin America and the Caribbean. They also exchanged knowledge on how to best monitor vegetation increase and other benefits of restoration.    

El Salvador’s Minister of Environment, Lina Pohl, and high-level government officials opened the workshop in San Salvador on July 19th and welcomed both national and international participants. Officials from El Salvador presented the current state and challenges of restoration monitoring efforts in the country and explored how restoration connects with REDD+ and transparency initiatives.

International experts from Utah State University, Universidad de Puerto Rico, WRI, FAO, GIZ and CRS presented Timesync, Collect Earth, SEPAL, Global Forest Watch, GLAD Alerts and other tools that could potentially fill in the existing information gaps that make restoration monitoring difficult in Latin America. 

A follow-up workshop on Friday, July 20 allowed partner organizations and local government officials to collaborate in the design phase of a Landscape Sustainability Index for El Salvador. This innovative index would measure the health of landscapes undergoing restoration interventions. 

One of the main outcomes of the workshop was a roadmap for El Salvador that identifies strategies to fill gaps on current monitoring system and strengthen South-South cooperation. The first draft of the Landscape Sustainability Index for El Salvador will be presented in December 2018.