Images of Guatemala (6) – Some Impacts of Agriculture

21 Nov

Picture1a

(Credit: Geology for Global Development, 2014)

This truck load of sugar cane was one of many observed on this stretch of road from Antigua leading to a volcanic observatory around the volcano Fuego. Agriculture – notably sugar and coffee – in Guatemala is highly significant in many respects, bringing benefits such as exports and jobs. There are however other more hidden impacts, relating to the overall hazardscape of the region, exposure and vulnerability.

Many of the large-scale sugar plantations are on the flat coastal plains, between the Central American volcanic chain and the Pacific Ocean. Also on this land are many of the water courses taking precipitation from the highlands to the Ocean, water courses that are subject to regular flooding for two reasons, (i) the addition of large amounts of sediment as lahars are mobilised and enter the rivers, and (ii) uncontrolled river engineering programmes by industry. The latter was repeatedly noted in interviews to be of concern when it comes to flooding events.

With exposure (being the number of ‘assets’ or people at risk), agriculture also is a contributing factor. The location of coffee plantations on the slopes of volcanoes results in many people living close-by and even more travelling to the area during the day to work. Informal interviews suggested at harvest times, adults will bring children to assist in the picking of coffee as they are paid by weight. The more people in the immediate vicinity of the volcano, the higher the exposure if an eruption, pyroclastic density current or lahar were to occur.

Finally, the agriculture sector can drive increases or reductions in vulnerability. It gives people an income, enabling them to acquire food, healthcare or shelter thus increasing their capacity to cope with extreme events. There is, also, a clear opportunity through small and large scale agriculture to invest in reducing community vulnerability – through improved preparedness, education, fair wages and good working conditions.

—-

Every Friday we are publishing an image from Guatemala to promote our ‘100 x 100′ fundraising campaign. We are working with students, recent graduates and others in the UK to raise money to support efforts to reduce the impact of volcanic hazards in Guatemala.

Find out more: www.gfgd.org/guatemala

Register your interest: Submit your information here

#EGU15 – Natural Hazards Education, Communications and Science-Policy-Practice Interface

10 Nov

Below we’ve listed details of a session that will be of interest to many of you at the EGU General Assembly, in Vienna, next spring. Many postgraduates and academic staff from across the UK and beyond attend this event, sharing details of the latest research they have been doing. The convenors of this session, including GfGD Director Joel Gill and GfGD Leeds Ambassador Ekbal Hussain, are keen to gather those interested in natural hazards to share experiences relating to education, communications and policy/practice. If you’re planning on attending EGU, why not submit an extra poster and get involved in what will be a lively and interactive session.

“Natural Hazards Education, Communications and Science-Policy-Practice Interface”

Conveners: Bruce D. Malamud, Joel Gill, Ekbal Hussain, Marie Charrière, Solmaz Mohadjer, Faith Taylor

Teaching Landslide Dynamics in Ladakh (India).  Credit: Geology for Global Development

Teaching Landslide Dynamics in Ladakh (India).
Credit: Geology for Global Development

This session addresses how we communicate and educate students, the public, policy makers, and practitioners about natural hazards. Although we welcome all contributions in this topic, we are particularly interested in:

  1. Approaches that address barriers and bridges in the science-policy-practice interface that hinder and support application of hazard-related knowledge.
  2. The communication (by scientists, engineers, the press, civil protection, government agencies, and a multitude other agencies) of natural hazards risk and uncertainty to the general public and other government officials.
  3. The teaching of natural hazards to university and lower-level students, using innovative techniques to promote understanding.

We also are specifically interested in distance education courses on themes related to hazard and risk assessment, and disaster risk management, and in programmes for training in developing countries. We therefore solicit abstracts, particularly dynamic posters, on all aspects of how we communicate and educate the better understanding of natural hazards.

The ability to have graphic screens at poster sessions is available (if pre-ordered through EGU), as is a location to put hands-on demonstrations or other material. We are initially planning poster (or a PICO) session, combined with opportunity for those who want to orally present to the rest of the group, and ample time for discussion.

Details and Abstract Submission: http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2015/session/18749

Images of Guatemala (5) – Lake Atitlan

7 Nov

Picture1
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

A picture we’ve shared on this blog before – but well worth including in our Images from Guatemala series. Taken from Panajachel, and looking across to the volcanoes of Atitlan (right) and Toliman (left). The small mound in front of Toliman is known as Cerro de  Oro.

The lake fills a significant caldera (volcanic crater), formed from an eruption known as the Los Chocoyos Eruption, dispersing volcanic material as far as Florida in the north and Ecuador in the south. The water level is currently rising, as evident from the many flooded houses and submerged trees along the shoreline (see next weeks images!)

(Credit: Geology for Global Development, 2014)

—-

Every Friday we are publishing an image from Guatemala to promote our ‘100 x 100′ fundraising campaign. We are working with students, recent graduates and others in the UK to raise money to support efforts to reduce the impact of volcanic hazards in Guatemala.

Find out more: www.gfgd.org/guatemala

Register your interest: Submit your information here

Images of Guatemala (4) – Fiesta at Lake Atitlan

31 Oct

Fiesta at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

Guatemala is a country with many volcanic hazards, as shown in some of the previous images in this series, but also a country rich in culture and traditions. The image above was taken at the annual fiesta in San Pablo, a small town on the edge of Lake Atitlan. During the fiesta a religious procession goes through the streets, with firecrackers being lit in front of it. The volcano in the background is San Pedro, standing at just over 3000 metres in height. The volcano is a favourite for tourists to climb and provides excellent soil for the coffee growers around the lake. Although not active, it is associated with mass movement hazards. In 2010, during Tropical Storm Agatha, a mudslide was triggered that impacted the town at the base of the volcano, also called San Pedro.

(Credit: Geology for Global Development, 2014)

—-

Every Friday we are publishing an image from Guatemala to promote our ‘100 x 100′ fundraising campaign. We are working with students, recent graduates and others in the UK to raise money to support efforts to reduce the impact of volcanic hazards in Guatemala.

Find out more: www.gfgd.org/guatemala

Register your interest: Submit your information here

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: