Honduras to restore 295,000 hectares of protected land

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Tegucigalpa, Sep 30 (EFE) .- Honduras to restore 295,000 hectares of protected land thanks to a nearly $ 10 million project funded by the Global Environment Facility and supported by the United Nations.

An agreement was signed Thursday in Tegucigalpa by the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MiAmbiente), Liliam Rivera, and the resident representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Richard Barathe.

The document was also signed by the Honduran Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation and Promotion, Karen Najarro, and the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Dennis Latimer .

The Recover program is funded by more than $ 9.8 million from the Global Environment Facility and will be managed by UNDP and FAO.

Barathe told Efe that Recover seeks over the next seven years to “restore, protect and conserve” 295,000 hectares of forests, which represents at least a third of Honduras’s commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement.

The project, which will cover the equivalent of around 70,000 football fields, will directly benefit 26,000 people in Atlántida department, he said.

UNDP will support “green” economic development models in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism, among other areas.

Although Honduras contributes only marginally to global greenhouse gas emissions, it is a country “most vulnerable to natural disasters,” said Barathe.

The program will be carried out in Jeannette Kawas National Park, Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge and Pico Bonito National Park, among others, which are threatened by population growth, subsistence needs and intensive production sectors, according to authorities.

Latimer told Efe that the program is “very ambitious” and has “several very important elements in reclaiming degraded soils, connecting protected areas and protecting biodiversity in national parks.”

The initiative aims to make the livelihoods of at least 26,000 people “more sustainable” and environmentally friendly, he added.

“As a country, we must be able to move forward, preserving our natural resources, and this project will support a large part to achieve these goals,” he said.

Under the program, FAO will work with associations and communities in the livestock sector to rehabilitate systems that have been degraded by poor agricultural practices.

The MiAmbiente chief said Honduras has “great natural wealth” in protected areas, but is also “very vulnerable” to the effects of climate change due to its geographic location.

However, Rivera stressed that “needs and conflicts emerge and these protected areas suddenly start to be lost”.

The Recover project seeks to care for the environment by placing the individual at the center to be “a beneficiary of the attributes and management of the environment,” she said.

The program will start in the last quarter of 2021. EFE

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