Blog

What’s Missing from Joe Biden’s “Plan for Central America”?

Central America’s local people and invaluable natural resources must be included in any sustainable plan for the future of this critical, beautiful region.

By Devyn Powell, EcoLogic’s Communications Officer

We were excited to see the national spotlight turned to Central America with Vice President Joe Biden’s New York Times op-ed on January 29, “A Plan for Central America.” Central America—and Guatemala and Honduras, two countries the Vice President named in his piece, in particular—is a region we at EcoLogic have worked in over the past 21 years, since we launched our first project in Guatemala in 1993. That year, we worked in an area called Punta de Manabique to help the community meet urgent needs for their healthcare and education while promoting natural resource conservation.

Daniel and Carlos planting seedlings

EcoLogic field technician Daniel Escobar (left) and commmunity leader Carlos Cruz (right) plant seedlings as part of a reforestation project in Honduras

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Honduran Communities Organizing for Watersheds Partnership Honored by the International Society of Tropical Foresters

Zumilda Duarte Sandoval

Doña Zumilda Duarte Sandoval, a leader of EcoLogic’s local partner AJAASSPIB, will accept the ISTF Innovation Award on AJAASSPIB’s behalf at Yale University on January 30

EcoLogic is proud to announce that the Yale University chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) honored our local partner in northern Honduras, the Association of Water Councils of Pico Bonito National Park’s Southern Sector (AJAASSPIB in Spanish), as the winner of the 2015 ISTF Innovation Prize. For “outstanding initiatives in biodiversity conservation at the landscape level,” the prize recognizes the collaborative effort between AJAASSPIB, EcoLogic, and the Municipality of Olanchito to scale up AJAASSPIB’s successful model of rural community-led conservation to a larger watershed that feeds an urban area. Doña Zumilda Duarte Sandoval, a founding leader of AJAASSPIB who has been instrumental in MACO’s progress, traveled to Yale University for the ISTF Conference to receive the Innovation Award on January 30th.

Read more about this award-winning Honduran partnership

“Balu Wala” and Collective Momentum for Landscape-level Conservation

By Dave Kramer, EcoLogic’s Senior Manager for Impact, Learning, and Innovation

Dave Kramer in Honduras

Dave Kramer in beautiful Pico Bonito National Park in Honduras, near where EcoLogic is building our first large-scale regional landscape conservation project (Photo: Kathrin Winkler)

With this week’s Winter Storm Juno packing a wallop and reports of crippling drought across Central America, climate change is once again top of mind here at EcoLogic and across much of the world. I was fortunate enough to travel to Lima, Peru, last December, during COP20—but I was actually there to attend a fantastic side event, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), organized by the Center for International Forestry (CIFOR) and two UN agencies (FAO and UNEP).

Read more reflections on climate change and landscapes!

Thinking like a Landscape

By Matthew Fagan, Ph.D. This article was originally posted on Dr. Fagan’s blog, The Earth From Above, on December 28, 2014. Cross-posted here at EcoBlogic with permission.

Dave Kramer, our Senior Manager for Impact, Learning, and Innovation, attended the Global Landscapes Forum in Lima, Peru, at the end of 2014. The Forum provided EcoLogic with a big dose of inspiration for our own landscape-level conservation work. Read more about how EcoLogic is working on scaling up our impact from the community level to the landscape by clicking here! In this piece, Dr. Fagan shares his own reflections about the GLF and the importance of landscape-level conservation and land use planning.

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.).

Read more about what it means to “think like a landscape”!

NEID Pathways to Change Series Presents: EcoLogic and Charles River Watershed Association

Thursday, December 11
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
LASPAU, 25 Mt Auburn St, Suite 300, Cambridge, MA

By approximately 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in water-scarce regions

Humans are drawing down groundwater reserves at an alarming pace, leaving communities thirsty and landscapes parched. Contamination of lakes and rivers is epidemic worldwide, with high-volume water uses such as fracking leaving many water consumers uneasy about where their next glass of clean water will come from. One in eight people worldwide do not have access to improved sources of drinking water. Despite UN passage of the human right to water and sanitation, over 1 billion people do not have adequate sanitation. Approximately 3.5 million people die each year due to inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene—and nearly all of these preventable deaths occur in the developing world.

The water crisis is not merely an environmental issue. Rather, it is a multidimensional problem that has far-reaching implications for human rights, global health and economic development.

So what are the solutions to these problems—and what is the role of funders in supporting them?

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Holiday Recipe: Champurrado (Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate)

From our kitchen to yours, let this traditional Mexican drink warm you up on a cold winter day!

Champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate)

This thick hot chocolate is delicious served with pan dulce, Mexican sweet rolls

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1 3-oz disk of Mexican Chocolate (we recommend Somerville, MA-based Taza Chocolate!)
  • 6 oz. piloncillo, whole cane sugar, or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of masa harina (corn flour)
  • 2 sticks of Mexican cinnamon
  • 1 star anise (optional)

Recipe:

In a large pot, whisk the masa harina into the warm water until thoroughly combined. Add milk, chocolate, piloncillo or sugar, and anise (if using). Let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a whisk (or a traditional molinillo!), until your champurrado has thickened to the consistency of gravy. Serve hot with pan dulce, and enjoy!

Serves 6-8.

We originally shared this recipe in our November 2014 eNews. Read the stories here!