EcoLogic wins International SwissRe Prize

A dam collects water, which is then delivered communities through a system of pipes.

A dam collects water, which is then delivered communities through a system of pipes.

EcoLogic Development Fund has been awarded $50,000 in recognition and support of its work in Honduras securing reliable, potable water for rural communities. The Swiss Re International ReSource Award, from insurer Swiss Re of Switzerland, is an internationally recognized prize for leadership in implementing the principles of sustainability in watershed management. The ReSource award is given to organizations that raise awareness of the ecological, social, and economic significance of water sources and watersheds in developing and emerging countries. EcoLogic beat out 194 projects to make the final round of 9 and receive the runner-up prize.

A meeting of the AJAASSPIB in northern Honduras.

A meeting of AJAASSPIB in northern Honduras.

Why Water?
The relationship between forest conservation and water provision is central to EcoLogic’s work in this region, as it is positioned at the very intersection of environmental conservation and meeting people’s needs. We have seen that conservation and restoration of forested microwatersheds—where communities rally around water sources and the forests that sustain them—is an effective catalyst for engaging local people and providing access to water. This approach of working at the most local of scales ensures that participating communities gain the technical capacity and sense of ownership vital to successful, long-term conservation.

EcoLogic has worked with 27 communities in Honduras to establish and support a regional, community-led Association of Water Committees (AJAASSPIB) that oversees the provision of clean drinking water to the residents of the communities. A key part of keeping the water sources flowing is protecting and reforesting the nearby watersheds. The project is a continuation of a decade of work by EcoLogic promoting the sustainable use of natural resources in and around Honduras’ Pico Bonito National Park.

Our Goal
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EcoLogic’s driving principle is to give local people the tools they need to become better environmental stewards of their land.  We do this by building relationships within rural communities and developing partnerships with local organizations to build trust and show a commitment to the areas in which we work.

Our goal in Honduras is two-fold.  We are looking to ensure the safe and reliable flow of water to rural communities while demonstrating that well-organized communities can serve as reliable stewards of resources to establish easily replicable model to be applied in other water-deficient, rural communities.

Over the last 18 years, EcoLogic has helped to conserve over 6 million acres of critical habitat, protect over 1,200 water sources and help over 700 communities in Latin America improve their well-being and sustainably conserve their land. SwissRE’s ReSource Award will help us continue our work supporting AJAASSPIB and securing clean, reliable drinking water for rural communities in northern Honduras.

For more information please visit http://www.resourceaward.org/node/120