This early opportunity project aims to protect unique mangrove forests and empower local Indigenous communities
A UNESCO world heritage site and a Key Biodiversity Area, the Muskitia region is home to some of the most unique and continuous forests in Central America. Unfortunately, this isolated region is heavily threatened by illegal encroachment primarily from livestock farming. With few local sources of income, poverty is widespread and many households in extremely precarious situations; this is being exacerbated by increasingly frequent extreme weather events.
by strengthening local productive initiatives
through training sessions and economic opportunities
by empowering underserved Indigenous and afro-honduran communities
is protected thanks to the project
prevented from being released into the atmosphere every year
are protected including coastal nursery grounds for fish and aquatic species
Under this project, 8 Indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities in the Muskitia region are working together to protect this breathtaking landscape. Governance structures are strengthened and communal visions for the future are jointly developed with local councils to increase participation in the project and create the foundation for long-term, shared prosperity. The project develops new, sustainable income opportunities that don't depend on the forest; in particular, Indigenous women and young people are offered training on how to develop business initiatives from local sustainable industries, for example cocoa production, beekeeping, fishing and making handicrafts.
By protecting the mangroves and forest from deforestation, the project avoids significant levels of stored carbon from being released into the atmosphere. However, this is only the beginning of the myriad of benefits that this groundbreaking project brings. Healthy mangroves offer natural protection from floods, erosion and storms as well as filtering pollutants from water and acting as nursery grounds for small fish. The new sustainable initiatives help to improve local livelihoods and living conditions, aiding the preservation of Honduras’ invaluable cultural and natural heritage. Thanks to this project, communities have the resources to protect their lands for generations to come.