Thursday, April 25, 2013

An update on the International Mangrove Project

Smoked clams production by a women's cooperative in Nicaragua, the economic valuation of environmental services offered by one of the national parks in Honduras, or the creation of teaching materials on mangroves in Guatemala, are just some of the fruits planted and harvested by the International Mangrove Project, which has provided economic alternatives compatible with the sustainable use of natural resources in the Caribbean coast of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The footprint of the project is more extensive, and includes the construction of trails to increase attraction surrounded by small communities based mangrove conservation, holding training courses for foresters in blue carbon measurement (the carbon stored by coastal marine ecosystems such as mangroves), and the appointment of two new Ramsar sites in Honduras.

These are some of the results achieved by the Mangrove Project, implemented by the United Nations Program for Environment (UNEP) with the ministries of Environment and Natural Resources of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, with the financial support of the Government of Spain .

On 12 and 13 April 2013, in La Ceiba, Honduras, met the project team and other special guests, including representatives of the governments of neighboring countries and the world of cooperation. The aim was to spread the achievements, experiences and lessons learned in the course of project implementation, as well as discussing the challenges that were encountered. Although the workshop marks the official closure of the project, participants will also discuss possible next steps and future opportunities to continue the Mangrove Project.

The workshop will end with a field trip, where you will appreciate the achievements of the EU project "Generating revenue through mangrove conservation, local production, fishing and tourism community in Temple Bar", in the protected area Cuero y Salado . There, a group of women has begun to produce crafts that highlight the wealth of natural resources and coastal lagoon system. Furthermore, it has trained tour guides and strengthened the capacity of the area to accommodate environmental camps and receive people who practice sport fishing. On the other hand, has created a breeding ground for several forest species, including mangroves, which are being used to restore some vulnerable areas of the protected area.

As part of the meeting, the Government of Honduras received special recognition by the appointment of two new Ramsar sites, the Wetland System Utila Island and Wetland System Cuyamel-Omoa, which this week have been formally included in List of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention, with support from the Mangrove Project. The designation of these sites has been the result of a successful collaboration between the focal point of the Convention for Honduras, the Biodiversity Directorate of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (SERNA-DiBio), and organizations that manage these sites, including Conservation Corps Omoa, the municipality of Utila and the Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA Utila).

Claudia Sanchez
International Mangrove Network

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