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Saving Honduras' Pico Bonito

Todd Shapera | Honduras

A girl drinks from a new water tap introduced into every hut in her village bordering Pico Bonito National Park, Honduras. The taps draw from a waterfall in the rainforest 1.5 kilometers above their hut. They were built with community labor, and technical and financial support from EcoLogic Develompent Fund and the European Union. Each family was required to give thirty days labor towards construction of the tank and pipes. Families also pay about $2 a month for chlorine and maintenance. The fresh water has dramatically improved community health. It also has given villagers incentive to help preserve the forested watershed.

In Honduras, one-third of forests disappeared between 1990 and 2005, among the worst deforestation rates in Latin America.

The problem stems from poverty -- slash and burn agriculture by subsistence farmers, clearing for cattle pastures, and fuel wood collection – as well as mining, timber harvesting, and fires.

Honduras’ Pico Bonito National Park is a 265,000 acre mountain rainforest of spectacular beauty and fragile mega-biodiversity.  It’s 19 watersheds supply drinking water to more than 500,000 people living in surrounding communities and cities.  Over 200 poor communities living in the park’s buffer zone present complex conservation and sustainability challenges. Boston-based EcoLogic Development Fund, with local partner, The Pico Bonito Foundation, have introduced community projects focusing on watershed management, reforestation for conservation and small scale agro-forestry, and promoting sustainable livelihoods. The innovative conservation work was recognized with an Energy Globe National Award for Honduras in 2007.

Ecologic Development Fund - www.ecologic.org

Todd Shapera

Pocantico Hills, New York


email:  Todds@cloud9.net

web: www.toddshapera.com


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