The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) finished in Lima, Peru today. I am excited about their continued development of the integrated landscapes approach. Supported by a wide variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations, the GLF seeks to break down the silos that exist among land-use specialists (fun Q: Why don’t foresters talk to agricultural economists or water managers very often? A: They go to different meetings and publish in different journals.).
“A community’s richest resource is its people,” says Bestalina Martínez, Executive Director of the Municipalities of the Central Atlántida Department (MAMUCA), a community organization in northern Honduras that EcoLogic has worked with since 2007.
MAMUCA is an association that brings together towns and communities from across Atlántida, Honduras, to work toward reducing poverty and improving local livelihoods while conserving the environment. “If we don’t protect our natural resources, then we destroy our quality of life,” she says emphatically. Bestalina understands that people cannot thrive without helping the Earth to thrive as well—and under her leadership, MAMUCA and EcoLogic have brought that value of interconnectedness to all of our collaborative projects.
“People told us we couldn’t participate, that we couldn’t work, because we were women.” But Isabela Alonzo Martín set out to prove them wrong.
A young Maya Chuj just 21 years old, Isabela has already made a name for herself as a passionate and articulate advocate for women’s rights and environmental conservation in and around the town of San Mateo Ixtatán in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Since 2012, she has been the Coordinator of the Municipal Office of Women—a local initiative organized to bring greater rights and opportunities to the indigenous women of San Mateo Ixtatán and the surrounding communities.