Local college’s tree nursery for reforestation of mangroves on lagoon shore. Photo: Steve Collins
by Judith Collins.
In the past, the way in which people living in the Mosquitia region of Honduras used their natural resources had little lasting impact on the area’s vast expanses of forests and wetlands. However, rapid population growth, the influx of new colonists and a gradual move from subsistence to a market economy are all putting pressure on the area’s fragile ecosystems. Current problems include deforestation, over-fishing, over-hunting, erosion, and soil and water pollution.
Community identification of the problem
For a long time, local leaders had recognized that the over-use of natural resources was threatening the health, welfare and even the survival of their communities. However, a series of work shops, facilitated by Tearfund partner MOPAWI, helped the communities to work out for themselves what the nature and scale of the threat was.
Men, women and children from 15 different communities – as well as representatives from local organisations and authorities – worked together to develop an action plan for the rational use and conservation of their shared natural resources. They used the six steps shown on pages 8–9.
Since the workshops, various community groups have carried out different aspects of the plan. For example:
It is important to have:
See pages 8 –9 (Develop a community action
plan for shared natural resources) for the process, which you can adapt and use in your community.
A free digital and print magazine for community development workers. Covering a diverse range of topics, it is published three times a year.Sign up now