Promotion of Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Local Economic Development in Honduras
Title: Promotion of Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Local Economic Development in Honduras (PRORENA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Secretaría Técnica de Planificación y Cooperación Externa (SEPLAN)
Overall term: 2005 to 2013
The Honduran forestry law and the national forest programme have created the framework for the sustainable management of ecosystems. The local actors are working to protect natural resources, but they have limited implementation and management capacities. The national institutions are not strong enough to support the local actors. Consequently, the country loses two per cent of its forests every year. This is accompanied by reductions in the fertility of the soil, biodiversity and the benefits that the ecosystem provides, for instance water regulation and carbon storage. The population is more vulnerable to natural disasters, climate change adaptation is becoming more difficult and greenhouse gas emissions are increasing as a result of deforestation.
Rural communities and local actors are preserving the ecosystems and using the natural resources sustainably.
The programme is promoting the national institute for forest and nature conservation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, their decentralised services, municipalities and community associations, together with their technical units and environmental agencies. The municipalities are being supported in environmental management, the sustainable use of natural resources and local economic development. The programme is placing a particular emphasis on the participation of women in local decisions.
The programme has three components:
- Political support
The national institute for forest and nature conservation is receiving support in coordination with other donors to help restructure and expand the community forest management scheme.
- Promotion of the sustainable management of resources and the local economy in Olancho Department and in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve
Local actors are improving their skills in the sustainable management of natural resources, particularly the sustainable management of water and the resources in the buffer zones of protected areas. They are learning to use these skills to encourage local economic development.
- Advice on action on climate change
Strategies to combat climate change and preserve biodiversity are being further developed and provide a foundation for concepts relating to the use of ecosystem services. The programme supports the cooperation of the institute for forest and nature conservation and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and their links with other actors.
Results achieved so far
- In 2010/2011 the implementation provisions for the forestry and nature conservation law were published.
- In the Olancho region and the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, 2,100 families are undertaking community forestry management on 158,000 hectares of land. In various parts of the country 25 communities with 1,800 families have applied to manage 310,000 hectares sustainably.
- In 2009 the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) awarded the community forestry management programme in Gualaco the label “Best Practice”.
- The institutional framework for the co-management of the Celaque nature conservation area has been protected in law and serves as a model for other conservation areas.
- The national strategy for adapting to climate change has been revised and was presented at the Climate Change Conference in Mexico in 2010.
- The partner institutions have institutionalised the dialogue on developing policies and strategies and on the coordination of donors.
- In 2011 the government broke up an illegal settlement in the southern core zone of the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve, as a result of which 2,000 hectares of forest had been destroyed.
- Between 2000 and 2011 the annual deforestation rate in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve decreased by more than half to 0.25 per cent.
- Over 600 drainage basins are being sustainably protected by local user groups on 121,000 hectares of land. More than 350,000 people now receive better drinking water.
- The economy in the buffer zones of the nature conservation areas is developing: quality standards and certification systems for coffee, cocoa and non-wood products have been introduced and productivity has increased. Small producers receive a higher income because they form producer organisations and sell greater quantities.
- The participation of women in decision-making processes has improved. In the project region, a third of the executive roles in the community development councils and almost 40% of such roles in farmers’ organisations are held by women.