Happy New Year!

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As we begin 2014, we at EcoLogic are excited to build on the momentum generated in 2013. First and foremost: THANK YOU! You—our supporters, volunteers, collaborators, and partners—make everything we do possible and are a critical and valued part of our team.

We have ambitious goals for 2014.

Big picture, EcoLogic seeks to bring our 20 years of expertise and proven approaches in Mexico and Central America to new areas, new partners, and new communities in the Mesoamerican region, striving to inspire and empower the next generation of local conservation leaders. More specifically, I have a few updates and forward-looking plans I’d like to share with you.

  • You did it, you helped us meet our $20,000 year-end challenge grant! An anonymous donor offered to match all gifts received as part of our end-of-year campaign. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to completely meet the challenge raising a total of $26,126.
  • In 2013, we connected with and joined key strategic partners and networks to help us connect our grassroots work to both influence and learn from existing efforts, such as the Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature Initiative, coordinated by EcoAgriculture Partners; the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) of the Organization of American States; the Clean Cookstove Alliance; and the Alliance for Capacity Building for Conservation. These alliances improve our work by bringing additional technical resources and broadening EcoLogic’s ability to share our approach.
  • EcoLogic staff members Barbara Vallarino, Margaret Doherty-Lopez, and Gabriela González (back row, left to right) with community members from the Chinantla region.

    EcoLogic staff members Barbara Vallarino, Margaret Doherty-Lopez, and Gabriela González (back row, left to right) with community members from the Chinantla region.

    In November, I had the opportunity to visit Oaxaca, Mexico, to meet with our newest partner organization, the Regional Environmental Collaborative for the Chinantla Region of Oaxaca, Mexico (FARCO). The project we are jointly crafting seeks to directly protect 11,000 hectares of tropical forest, actively involving local participation—building the capacity of eight local rural and indigenous communities to undertake the comprehensive management of two key watersheds in the Chinantla region. The region is an important water catchment, with an area of 248,186 hectares; and houses tremendous biodiversity, including over 530 bird and 260 mammal species.
  • You can also read more in about the grant we recently received from the Governor’s Climate Fund (GCF) to further our forest conservation work in Mexico. We’re energized to combine cutting-edge forest mapping technology with active community participation, with the ultimate goal of establishing lasting incentives for conservation and generating income for these communities from the sale of carbon credits.
  • In Amatique Bay, between Belize and Guatemala, with support from the Oak Foundation, we will be working with rural fisherfolk and the local grassroots organizations that support them to ensure that they play a leading role in implementing lasting marine conservation agreements. In Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama we will continue to build on our award-winning sustainable farming work—partnering directly with farmers to improve the productivity of their land and the diversity of crops they grow, while reducing the need to cut surrounding forests to establish new fields.

Our vision is that rural people who live off the land and sea—farmers, fisherfolk, ranchers, village leaders, rural and indigenous women and their families—lead in the implementation of proven strategies, and the development of new ones, that can address their priority livelihood needs, generate income, and affirm their self-sufficiency, dignity, rights, and traditions. These strategies must also align with the limits of natural ecosystems, achieving the balance needed for the long-term health and sustainability of people and nature.

To be sure, truly achieving this will not be easy—but nothing worth fighting for ever is. We have made tremendous progress in our first 20 years thanks to you. We can’t wait to share with you what 2014 holds and to have you join us on the journey. We will go farther together!

—Barbara Vallarino, Executive Director

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