As you know, last year EcoLogic joined forces with Rainforest2Reef (R2R). While R2R has ceased its operations, its spirit and mission live on through our work, and David and Sandra continue to be a part of the EcoLogic family. Like R2R, EcoLogic applies a holistic approach to environmental conservation and sustainable development working with communities to find solutions that protect and restore biodiversity, natural resources and critical habitat.
As David observed, “R2R demonstrated that you don’t have to be wealthy to have an impact. You can work with the local people and if you help them figure out why they need to conserve the jungle and how to do it, then you have a chance of having a real and lasting impact. R2R understood this, and so does EcoLogic.”
Earlier this year, EcoLogic delivered payment to Ejido Yohaltun as part of a conservation easement agreement to protect vital jaguar habitat in Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. The arrangement lets the land owners maintain ownership of their forest lands but requires them to refrain from engaging in logging and other destructive activities. In return, the ejido or community receives annual compensation equivalent to 2.5 times what they would get paid from a logging company. The people get a better payment for the living trees, refrain from logging, and conserve this threatened habitat.
The Calakmul project is a natural extension of EcoLogic’s commitment to empower rural people to restore and protect tropical ecosystems. We look forward to sharing more with you about our projects throughout Mexico and Central America. For example, we are currently working in the Gulf of San Miguel in Panama with local communities to put in place effective community-based management of the area’s natural resources including the protection of precious mangrove forests.
Mangroves are critical “nurseries” where an estimated third of all fish and marine species are born and grow as juveniles, protected from large predators. And the mangroves of San Miguel are important habitat for many species that we in the US also know and appreciate including birds, and sea turtles that migrate between the two countries. One key activity Ecologic has undertaken is helping the communities obtain protected area status for the Gulf of San Miguel. This will establish necessary legal safeguards that will help ensure this place continues to thrive. Stay tuned for more information about EcoLogic’s work in Panama!