Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Ecuador.


In 2009, the Government of Ecuador, through Executive Decree 1815, declared that climate change adaptation and mitigation are a national priority and that the Ministry of Environment is responsible for formulating and implementing a national strategy and plan. Ecuador has defined its National Climate Change Strategy 2012-2025 (ENCC for its abbreviation in Spanish) that establishes the strategic and institutional bases for the generation of national climate change plans in prioritized sectors for mitigation and adaptation and aims at building capacities. At present, Ecuador is working on the development of the National Climate Change Plan, with the main objective of streamlining and institutionalizing climate change into the different activities that sectorial agendas. The National Climate Change Plan (PNCC) for 2015-2018 prioritizes the following sectors: agriculture and other land uses, water, ecosystems, energy, risk management and capacity building.

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Implement agro-ecological zoning and suitable seasons for sowing and harvesting.
  • Introduce higher-yield varieties to reduce the need for expansion of the agricultural frontier and the deforestation rate.
  • Implement irrigation systems.
  • Implement and educate on suitable use of fertilizers.
  • Implement pest and disease control systems.
  • Develop research, systems, techniques, and other procedures for crop and livestock production that facilitate adaptation to climate change.
  • Implement technical assistance programs, capacity building, and financing of adaptation measures in the agricultural sector, through intra-sectoral, multi-sectoral coordination and public, private, and community cooperation.
  • Develop community production activities to obtain non-timber products in the remaining dry forests of the canton of El Carmen.
  • Implement sustainable management of forest plantations in the provinces of Cotopaxi y Tungurahua.
  • Integrate rural development in micro watersheds in the province of Loja.
  • Implement sustainable management of the sierra moorlands of El Cajas.
  • Develop protection plantations in the province of El Oro.
  • Establish community agroforestry systems in the province of Tungurahua.
  • Establish woodland/grazing land systems in the rural cattle areas of the province of Manabí.
  • Develop forest fire protection methods in the green belts of the metropolitan area of the city of Quito.
  • Create comprehensive anti-desertification programs in areas that are vulnerable to climate change.
  • Establish a climate change biophysical and surveillance program.
  • Reconfigure sewage and clean water systems for the city of Guayaquil.
  • Support mangrove preservation and reforestation.
  • Reorganize shrimp-farming activities.
  • Establish withdrawal lines, buffer zones, and urban protection borders.
  • Reconfigure road drainage systems. 
  • Adopt adaptation programs and policies that include research on production capacity and ecological needs, climate change impact assessments, monitoring and surveillance mechanisms, financing policies and economic incentives for marine conservation. 

Gaps and Needs

  • Poor resolution and lack of thematic and interdisciplinary approach of the Climate Observation System.
  • Limited territorial scope of the observation network.
  • Insufficient adaptation measures at the sectoral level.
  • Vulnerability assessments need to be undertaken for sectors such as health, fishing and fragile ecosystems, including mountain zones and those with erosion problems and droughts. Further assessments are suggested for agriculture and coastal areas, and an extension of the adaptation analysis to the water sector is proposed.
  • Economic, institutional, human (technical) constraints and limitations related to the current observation network system, climate analysis and information dissemination. The Climate Observation System of Ecuador was established in 1961. It is under the National Meteorology and Hydrology Institute (INAMH) and has 260 meteorological stations. However, the system lacks the necessary resources to operate and update hydrometeorological instruments.
  • Lack of community climate adaptation planning to increase the resilience of vulnerable and indigenous populations.
  • Climate change adaptation needs to be better mainstreamed into national and sectoral planning.
  • Insufficient institutional capacity at national and local level.
  • Establishment of a biophysical monitoring and climate change surveillance program needed.
  • Lack of information related to climate change and variability in the country at all levels.
  • Lack of vulnerability and risk assessments.
  • Limited capacity to store and electronically disseminate information.