EcoLogic’s local partners are critically important to us as collaborators in our work to address the natural resource and conservation needs of local communities. We work side-by-side with these locally-founded and locally-led organizations, and together provide technical assistance, resources, and know-how to the people who live in the area. This is one way we work to ensure that communities gain the necessary expertise and institutional strengthening they need to take the lead in the sustainable management of their natural resources and the surrounding ecosystems.
Sometimes a community in need does not have a strong community governance structure or nonprofit organization to support these efforts. In these cases, EcoLogic helps the community or communities create an organization that fits their needs. See APROSARSTUN and SATIIM as examples.
Our Local Partners:
- Mayan Association for Well-Being in the Sarstun Region (APROSARSTUN)
- The Natural Resource Council of the Mayors of the 48 Cantons of Totonicapan
- The Northern Border Municipalities Alliance (MFN)
- Association of Water Committees of the Southern Sector of Pico Bonito National Park (AJAASSPIB)
- Municipalities of the Central Atlantida Department (MAMUCA)
- Municipality of Olanchito (MACO)
Mission: This association of 27 village water committees located in the southern buffer zone of Pico Bonito National Park in Honduras oversees the management of microwatersheds and trains the local community in reforestation, conservation, and the application of environmentally friendly technologies.
The Association of Water Committees of the Southern Sector of Pico Bonito National Park (AJAASSPIB) was founded in 2003 with assistance from EcoLogic and the Foundation for Pico Bonito National Park (FUPNAPIB). AJAASSPIB sets up and maintains volunteer-run water councils in each member village to oversee microwatershed management activities, maintain water delivery systems, and administer finances and levy fees at the local level. Households in each of the 28 member-committees pay community-determined user fees to their local water council, with funds administered by an elected treasurer. With EcoLogic’s support and facilitation, water councils have directed a portion of their revenues to environmental funds to support reforestation and conservation and patrol of water catchments. Together, we conduct reforestation, install fuel-efficient cookstoves, run environmental awareness campaigns and learning exchanges, and protect the region’s watersheds.
AJAASSPIB’s success has led to acknowledgement by Swiss Re, the international reinsurer. Swiss Re named the AJAASSPIB-EcoLogic partnership the runner-up recipient for its 2011 Swiss Re ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management and awarded a cash prize to EcoLogic which was put toward program activities there. AJAASSPIB was also selected as one of 25 winners of the 2012 Equator Prize sponsored by the United Nations Development Program.
Project Site: Communities Organizing for Watersheds
Mission: The Environmental Fund of the Chinantla Region of Oaxaca (FARCO) facilitates the coordination and cooperation of government, academia, and civil society to further advance social and environmental development of the region.
FARCO works to promote environmental development and conservation through the participation of government, academia, and civil society in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. EcoLogic has partnered with this organization to address the environmental threats that the Oaxaca Chinantla region faces today. While the region is full of rich and diverse trees, plants insects, animals, and freshwater sources, its deforestation rates have also increased drastically since the 1970s. EcoLogic and FARCO work together to protect this region and increase its designated conservation area to stop the trend of deforestation, along with implementing comprehensive watershed management. The project focuses on introducing alternative sustainable livelihoods, such as agroforestry, reforestation efforts, watershed clean-up campaigns, and widespread outreach and awareness programs promoting environmental stewardship.
Mission: The Mayan Association for Well-Being in the Sarstun Region (APROSARSTUN) aims to improve livelihoods in the 16 communities that make up the Sarstun watershed region, while simultaneously preserving the environment.
In 2005, the Mayan school of Ak’Tenamit asked EcoLogic for help in the creation of a local nonprofit to develop jobs for its graduates via conservation and sustainable livelihood projects. Founded in 2007, APROSARSTUN is run entirely by Ak’Tenamit graduates, who have extensive training in community development and sustainable tourism. APROSARSTUN carries out its mission through training and workshops for local communities, reforestation, installation of fuel-efficient cookstoves and composting latrines, fisheries management, and other livelihoods projects. Through this partnership, EcoLogic is strengthening APROSARSTUN’s ability to successfully protect forests and watersheds and manage natural resources to achieve better management in this nationally declared protected area. We are also working together to increase the capacity and impact of the Barra Sarstun Fisherfolk Association and to promote resource management cooperation between Guatemala and Belize.
Mission: Municipalities of the Central Atlantida Department (MAMUCA) works in five municipalities in the realms of infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, institutional strengthening, public property protection, environment, health, education, and employment creation.
Founded in 2001, MAMUCA is headquartered in the municipality of Masica, on the north coast of Honduras. Since 2007, EcoLogic has partnered with MAMUCA to manage and work toward official recognition as a biodiversity corridor for the 35,000-ha partially forested stretch of habitat between Pico Bonito National Park and the 15,900-ha Texiguat Wildlife Refuge, 30 kilometers west of the park. Many of the rural MAMUCA communities are situated within this area, which also is known as the PIBOTEX corridor. Together, we have focused on community microwatershed management, reforestation of degraded areas, and agroforestry. We have also worked to improve access to, distribution of, and governance of potable water and forested watershed areas.
Project Site: Towns for Environmental Corridors and Communities
Mission: The joint environmental management agreement of the Municipality of Olanchito (MACO) aims to restore and protect the Uchapa y Pimienta watershed for the wellbeing of the environment and the people of Olanchito.
Thanks to the success of our Communities Organizing for Watersheds project where we have been helping communities sustainably manage their water sources and unite to secure local financing for natural resource management and protection, the Municipality of Olanchito reached out to AJAASSPIB and EcoLogic to accomplish a similar feat on a larger scale. Officials from the municipality wanted help forging agreements and establishing environmental funds for conservation of the 6,500-ha Uchapa and Pimienta watershed, which supplies water to more than 40,000 people. In March 2011, EcoLogic, AJAASSPIB and the municipality of Olanchito signed the Agreement on Joint Environmental Management or MACO.
Project Site: Communities Organizing for Watersheds.
Mission: To safeguard the ecological integrity of the Sarstoon-Temash region and employ its resources in an environmentally sound manner for the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual well-being of its indigenous people.
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) operates out of Punta Gorda in the Toledo district of southern Belize. Founded in 1997, the organization collaborates with the indigenous communities of the area to protect and sustainably manage the 17,000 hectares of wetlands and mangrove forests of the Sarstoon Temash National Park. EcoLogic provided technical assistance in 1996 to help Gregory Ch’oc, a K’ekchi Maya from San Miguel, Toledo, establish SATIIM as a legally recognized organization. Greg served as its executive director from 2001 until 2014. SATIIM’s work has focused on biodiversity conservation and management of the park, marine management on the Sarstoon River that borders it, environmental education and awareness campaigns, and the development of environmentally sustainable and long-term income sources for the local population.
Project Site: Cross-Border Alliance for Healthy Fisheries
Mission: The mission of the natural resource council of the association of mayors of the 48 Cantons of Totonicapan is to care for, protect, and conserve of the natural resources and—in particular—the communal forest of the Totonicapan municipality.
EcoLogic has been working with the 48 Cantons of Totonicapan since 2002, first in collaboration with the locally founded nonprofit Ulew Che’ Ja, and then, beginning in 2009, directly with the Natural Resource Council of the Mayors of the 48 Cantons. The 48 Cantons of Totonicapan is a traditional K’iche governance authority that has represented and served local villages for approximately 800 years. They govern an area now known as the Communal Forest of Los Altos de San Miguel or Kachelaj in K’iche, and it is home to the largest remaining stand of conifer forest in Guatemala, as well as the largest remaining concentration of the endangered Guatemalan fir tree (Abies guatemalensis), known locally as Pinabete.
The 48 Cantons co-manages the forest with the Guatemalan National Park Service (CONAP) and the municipal forestry office of Totonicapan. For the K’iche’ Maya of Totonicapan, the forest is not only a vital source of freshwater, it is revered as the spiritual source of life and the foundation of their community.
Together, we pursue a three-pronged strategy to conserve and restore forest and water resources: a) reforesting native trees, including Pinabete, b) reducing pressures on the habitat, including illegal and unsustainable logging and grazing, and c) building long-term local capacity for sustainable forest management within the framework of ancestral practices.
Project Site: Forest of the Water Spirit
Mission: The mission of the Northern Border Municipalities Alliance (MFN) is to encourage the protection and sustainable management of natural resources in the region.
Since 2005 EcoLogic has partnered with the MFN across a vast area of Guatemala, from the Huehuetenango highland region to the lowlands of Quiche. The Cuchumatanes Mountains and municipal forests are known hotspots for biological diversity, yet lack any kind of federal protected areas. Ecologic has worked with the MFN on watershed protection, reforestation, natural restoration and regrowth, and agroforestry projects. We have helped women’s groups cultivate seedlings in rooftop and village nurseries, mapped watersheds and community forest boundaries, helped locals access incentive programs for forest conservation and sustainable agriculture, and nurtured a network of over 100 forest guards. (Dedicated community change agents, forest guards protect and patrol forest resources in their villages, teach villagers new techniques, and share information between communities, while advocating their neighbors’ needs.)