Contents Characterization

Dialogue on Water and Climate

Coping with Climate Variability in a Transboundary 

Basin in Central America

The San Juan River Basin
(Costa Rica and Nicaragua)

Characterization of the Climate, Climate Variability, and Socio-Economic Conditions in the San Juan River Basin


During the second half of 2002, the Ministries of Environment of the governments of Costa Rica and Nicaragua initiated activities in the San Juan River Basin to identify and describe the coping strategies of the government institutions, communities and households of this area when confronted with the negative aspects of climate variability. The work was performed with the technical assistance of the OAS Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment (OAS/OSDE) and the financial support of the Government of the Netherlands through the International Secretariat of the Dialogue on Water and Climate (IS/DWC). It is one of eighteen global projects under the IS/DWC underway at the basin, national and regional levels. The SJRB was chosen as a basin level case because of the PROCUENCA-SAN JUAN project experience in this transboundary river basin. Established in 1995, the PROCUENCA-SAN JUAN has an on-going dialogue with some 250 institutions including  government, NGOsS, schools and universities as well as farmer and producer associations among others, which execute demonstration projects and studies designed to support the SAP.

As a part of the IS/DWC project, a characterization of the climate, climate variability, and socio-economic conditions in the SJRB was made. It is the first of three important activities in the project (a field investigation and bi-national workshop are the other two) and is an important preliminary step required to identify and describe the successful international, national, municipal, and household coping mechanisms used in the basin. This report is the English summary of the finding of that characterization.