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A Land of Nature and Adventure

Region: Central America, Honduras, Latin America
Author: Aire Puro
Consortium Member: Red de Desarrollo Sostenible de Honduras
Status: Partially Funded Budget: $1149 Collected: $766 Needs: $383
Goal: To raise local interest in and accessibility to three main protected areas in Honduras.
Comment: Each $383 donation supports a project to protect one biodiversity-rich ecosystem.



Context: Honduras is proud of its more than 100 protected areas, several containing fragile and unique ecosystems such as cloud forests. The five categories of protected areas in Honduras include: Cloud Forests, Wildlife Reserves, Marine Reserves, "Biospheres" and Anthropological Reserves. Among those is the last Humid Tropical Forest north of the Amazon, which has been declared "Heritage of Humanity" by the UNESCO.
However, because Honduras is one of the most impoverished countries of the Americas, the government does not provide sufficient resources to ensure the adequate protection of these biodiversity paradises. As a result, non-governmental organizations were put in charge of the management of several protected areas and their work is crucial in preserving valuable endangered habitats.
Unfortunately, these organizations also do not have access to enough resources to carry out their conservation mission or to develop basic access and tourist infrastructure. Another major problem is the lack of organized information on protected areas: location, access, available infrastructure, activities, attractions, etc. For that reason, the majority of Honduran people are not aware of the important biological, ethnic and historical resources present in their country. We wish to present to our people, and especially to our youth who will inherit and protect our nature, tools that will enable them to discover and preserve their natural heritage.

Objective: To raise Honduran people's interest in and access to 3 protected areas by making relevant information accessible to the public.

Organization: Aire Puro, a group of young volunteers, has been involved in several environmental projects and awareness campaigns over the past years, including a campaign to phase out leaded gasoline.

Work Plan: A group of 3 volunteers will make site visits to 3 protected areas. They will gather information and material about the ecological features of the site, infrastructure, access, possible activities, etc. This information will subsequently be used to produce informative articles to be published in the weekly newspaper "Tiempos del Mundo." A volunteer from the American Field Service (AFS) will assist the group with this project. In order to ensure the continuation of this project in the long term, Aire Puro plans to approach the private sector to obtain support to cover the costs of publishing.


A larger vision:
This project will take place in the framework of a wider strategy to promote awareness of the importance of protected areas and their potential for ecotourism. Aire Puro will work in collaboration with the Department of Protected Areas (AFE-COHDEFOR) to prepare an inventory of protected areas and visit those that are most easily accessible from the 3 biggest cities in the country: Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. Site visits and investigation will lead to the creation of informative material on: ecosystems, biological diversity, available infrastructure, activities that can be carried out (trekking, camping, photography, astronomical observation, group activities, etc), waste disposal and security guidelines, etc. This information will be shared with the public and tourism agencies and be made available on a web page. Moreover, volunteer biologists will study the flora and fauna, make recommendations and propose alternatives to improve the management of ecosystems.









Budget

Local Contribution:Aire Puro will provide photographic and camping material to the volunteers.

Requested

 

Transportation to Protected Area (for 3 persons)

$ 20

Meals (for 3 persons)

$ 46

Entrance Fee and Stay in Protected Area

$ 24

Material and equipment

$ 14

Telephone/Internet/Fax

$ 7

Publishing one page in Newspaper Tiempos del Mundo

$ 237

VF Administrative Cost (10%)

$ 35

Total for 1 protected area

$ 383

Total Requested from VF for 3 protected areas

$ 1149