For months we have been working on a new contract between Naturefund and the Asociación Patuca. During many discussions, we composed a contract concerning our collaboration over the next three years, and also talked about our dreams and visions for the park.
Deforestation and purchasingIn doing so we came back to two important points again and again which we have now incorporated into the new contract: firstly, in the future we will not only reforest, but also „purchase“ woodland areas. The Patuca National Park is itself protected by law, therefor the buying or selling of the land is, in principle not possible.
However, covering an area of 3.775 km² the park is huge. The number of state-financed workers employed to protect the land is very small. As a result, during the last years it has become the trend to occupy and clear areas within the National Park and sell them to cattle farmers, for example. It is a little bit like the Wild West.
Open minded people and communitiesHowever, covering an area of 3.775 km² the park is huge. The number of state-financed workers employed to protect the land is very small. As a result, during the last years it has become the trend to occupy and clear areas within the National Park and sell them to cattle farmers, for example. It is a little bit like the Wild West.
Due to Naturefunds limited financial resources and size there is very little it can do to prevent this, but still there are other areas of woodland within the park where we work with Asociación Patuca, with people and communities who are more open to the idea of protection.
Forest garden methodTogether with the communities, we want to develop a protection concept for these islands of woodland. One idea for example is to reforest the areas around these islands using the forest garden method.
With this method primary forests can form while at the same time the area can be utilised for agricultural production, which leads to the second important point we touched upon during our talks: in the future, local communities living in the National Park will play an important role in our effort to protect the land. This is why we have incorporated them as partners in the contract.
Of course, each community can decide whether they want to take part or not, however, last january and february when we presented them with the new contract, and proposed their possible roles, the reaction was very positive. This was the first time that the communities and people had been offered the possibility of participating in such a project.
Ideas in videosSince then, there has been an explosion of creative ideas. In the future we will not only send reports, but also publicise videos in which the inhabitants can present their ideas and visions concerning the National Park.
The first little video is already online, in which Candy Alvarado, the head of reforestation shows the viewer around the office of the Asociación Patuca in the capitol city of Tegucigalpa. Nelly Paz, the director of the Asociación shot the footage. As a result it is a little shaky and not quite James Cameron's „Titanic“:
Video, Candy Alvarado introduces the Asociación Patcua
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The Naturefund team
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