Honduras – Nicaragua Border Has Hope

Ignacia Matute looks back nostalgically on the days when the hills around her home in northwestern Nicaragua were blanketed in green, and she woke every morning to the sounds of birds singing in the treetops and the rushing waters of the nearly Coco River.

Her present day surroundings are a far cry from this idyllic memory: the river is severely depleted and its waters are dangerously polluted along some stretches of its original course, while the forests have been decimated by fires and years of indiscriminate logging to supply furniture manufacturers and provide firewood for local homes.

But the future holds new promise for Matute, deputy mayor of Ocotal, the capital of the department of Nueva Segovia. She and the other residents of her community have learned that it is possible to restore the river to its former levels through responsible and integrated management of the watershed area along the border with Honduras.

Matute is participating in a binational project for the recovery and sustainable use of natural resources and the waterways that feed the Coco River, the longest in Central America, which winds along the border between Nicaragua and Honduras.

The river flows northeast along a stretch of 822 km until flowing into the Caribbean Sea, and forms a natural border between the two countries

The project, “Strengthening local capacities for integrated management of water resources from the Coco River Basin between Honduras and Nicaragua”, is being implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) with funding from the European Union, in collaboration with local government authorities, civil society organizations, national authorities and other UN agencies.

Based in the area around the upper middle stretch of the river basin, specifically in the municipalities that make up Nueva Segovia in Nicaragua and El Paraíso in Honduras, the project is aimed at teaching local communities and authorities how to best cultivate and manage this watershed area, subjected to uncontrolled depredation over the last two decades.

Continue NICARAGUA – HONDURAS: Re-Greening the Border
By José Adán Silva for TierraAmerica

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