Saturday, May 14, 2011

Defend Honduran Environmental Efforts

Dear Readers

It appears the military in Honduras has taken over the functions and the funding for forest management and conservation from the country’s legally representative office of the Instituto Forestal Areas Protegidas y Vida Silvestre (ICF) (Created by order # 98–2007 (Diario “La Gaceta” # 31544 del 26 de febrero del 2008)) disqualifying those of the Armed Forces. Yet on April 12, 2011, the National Congress approved a measure to authorize the Executive Branch through the Secretary of State for National Defense, the creation of a Special Unit in the Area of Environment and Forestry consisting of two thousand (2,000) military soldiers, It is estimated that the budget to maintain this unit will exceed 150 million Lempiras per year. This sum apparently does not to exist in the coffers of the state and will need to be extracted from the impoverished Honduran people and from international environmental assistance sources as justified by the decree.

Please read the below sample letter and use it as a template or draft your own, expressing your concern that Honduras not make a mockery of its environmental efforts.

Send you email to

Estimada Sr. R. Sanchez at RSanchez@casapresidencial.gob.hn

Sample Letter to President Lobo Sosa below

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Mr. Porfirio Lobo Sosa

President of the Republic of Honduras.

Dear Mr. President off Honduras,

I am the executive director of a global network called Mangrove Action Project based in Port Angeles, Washington. We represent over 450 NGO and 300 scientists from over 60 nations, working towards conservation and restoration of our planets mangrove forests.

I am writing you now because I have read a disturbing article concerning loss of forest protection in Honduras. It appears the military in your nation has taken over the functions and the funding for forest management and conservation from your legally representative office of the Instituto Forestal Areas Protegidas y Vida Silvestre (ICF) (Created by order # 98–2007 (Diario “La Gaceta” # 31544 del 26 de febrero del 2008)).

We at MAP are urging you to re-empower the ICF so that it can do its lawful job and fulfill its intended responsibilities in protecting your country's forests and decreasing the problems of forest fires contributing to air pollution and climate change.

Although ICF was originally created to carry out work of administration, conservation, and forest management, including setting up special protected areas and wildlife reserves, their ability to function has been seriously compromised by the military takeover of their functions., one of which is the very relevant one today of prevention of and fighting against forest fires.

Because of serious lack of funds, the ICF never had the necessary budget, and some part of that intended budget was transfered to the armed forces (FFAA) for more than three years of operation. Please use your powers to ensure that the ICF is able to satisfactorily meet with its constitutional responsibilities and retrieve the budget that they have been authorized to use by the government. Please place back in the hands of the ICF these powers that the armed forces took away.

Towards a Sustainable Future,

Alfredo Quarto,
Executive Director & Co-Founder
PO Box 1854
Port Angeles, WA, 98362
USA

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