Recent News

From a Gentlemans’ Agreement to Effective Governance: A Retrospective on a Cross-Border Alliance leading to Healthy Fisheries in Belize and Guatemala

After six years of hard work and perseverance of Guatemalan and Belizean fishing communities, and support from the Oak Foundation, EcoLogic’s project, Cross-Border Alliance for Healthy Fisheries, has reached a series of major milestones. As we plan with our local partners, and write proposals to potential funders, we wanted to paint a picture of the important progress to date and share the successes of the project and all of the people involved.

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Traditional transportation—a family navigates the area.

This project is located in the lower Sarstoon (Sarstún) River Basin and adjacent coastal-marine area on the border between Belize and Guatemala—the Amatique Bay. There is a combined total of over 50,000 hectares of terrestrial wetland conservation areas. This incredibly unique ecosystem is imperative to biodiversity as well as to the livelihoods and cultures shared by fishing communities (Garífuna, Maya Q’eqchi’, and Mestizo) on both sides of the border. However, a decades-old international boundary dispute has created barriers to cooperation, integration, and trust among border communities.  Furthermore, both Belize’s Toledo District and Guatemala’s Izabal Department suffer from some of the highest levels of poverty and malnutrition in their respective countries.

Learn more about how EcoLogic is ensuring the sustainability of both indigenous fishing communities and marine ecosystems >>

En Respuesta/In Response: On Photography and Coexistence/Sobre la Fotografía y Convivencia

Last month, we published an eNews article titled On Photography and Coexistence with Nature, written by EcoLogic Field Technician Antonio Reyes Montejo all the way from his project site in Ixcán, Guatemala. Like we mentioned in the last article, EcoLogic is always aiming to improve how we communicate, as an organization and to our external audience, so this article is meant to be both a reply to the field staff in our region‐with whom I work closely but may not have the opportunity to speak with or see on a daily basis—as well as a visual-based introduction to me, Riley Hunter, EcoLogic’s new communications officer. This article is in English and Spanish.

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In San Francisco de la Paz, Honduras; with Don Jose (or Don Tiva), the father of the owner of the school I worked at—a man who, though he has since passed, told me many stories and taught me very much about the history of his people and his country.

Tell me how you first became involved with EcoLogic and what is your role now?

Cuénteme cómo usted se incorporó a EcoLogic y cuál es su papel?

I became involved with EcoLogic during the last semester of my master’s degree program in Communication and Development Studies. I went through a few rounds of interviews while finishing up various finals and a thesis, graduated, and moved to Boston to start working with EcoLogic, an organization that seemed to show remarkable congruence with my academic background, geographic focus, experience abroad, and way of working and understanding.

My role now, as EcoLogic’s Communication Officer, certainly reflects that compatibility. Communication for Development (C4D), which was the focus of my master’s degree, began with the focus of empowering rural communities in Latin America and has over the past 30 years been adopted on a global scale, implemented in communities with varied livelihoods, and has bridged across a diversity of fields, focuses, and scenarios. My role is to perform the duties of a traditional  communications officer—to produce and share media with EcoLogic’s stakeholders and audience in order to encourage people involved with EcoLogic to interact, take action, and support the sustainability of EcoLogic’s projects. However, due to my studies and cross-cultural communications experience as a former community-based photojournalist and communications officer, I’ve learned that I have an opportunity—a responsibility, really—to approach this position in a particular way: a way that reflects the participation and empowerment that EcoLogic seeks to advance daily within rural and indigenous communities.

Read the rest of Riley’s story >>

Featured Project: EcoLogic’s Indigenous Community Engagement in Mexico’s National MRV system gets GCFF and International Spotlight

EcoLogic was one of a handful of institutions awarded Governors’ Climate & Forests Fund’s (GCFF) financial support, to continue to make crucial headway in ensuring that rural and indigenous communities in Mexico are involved in and can benefit from emerging REDD+ strategies.

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Participants in training for forest carbon monitoring that EcoLogic has helped coordinate in Chiapas, Campeche, Jalisco, and Quintana Roo, since 2014

REDD+ strategies have a complicated history where the need for a rights-based approach has been identified and echoed across the international community. We have written a few articles on the past to explain how we approach REDD+ with indigenous communities. We’ve explained how we define and use it, and blogged about the confusion and push for clarity involved in the process. Also, we’ve recently been featured in a beautifully photographed Featured Project section on Governors’ Climate & Forests Fund’s website, which marks a proud milestone in our project due to the recognition of our success. And the publicity gives us another opportunity to direct attention to the important community-based work that we do!

Read an interview with EcoLogic’s REDD+ Senior Program Manager, Andrea Savage, about our REDD+ work in Mexico >>