Can we learn from Nicaragua’s eco-soldiers?

Over the weekend I saw a very interesting article on the BBCs on-line site about Nicaragua’s eco-soldiers and their bid to stop illegal logging and deforestation. Please click on the link to view the full article – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17062806

Protected areas all over Central America and indeed the tropics are facing huge threats and economic losses from illegal logging. Nicaragua has understood that small NGOs and small rural communities cannot stand up to the firepower and threat posed by these illegal timber traffickers and have launched ‘Operation Green Gold’.

Personally I’d like to see this approach in the Chiquibul Forest. I know that the situation in Nicaragua is different than the issues Belize and Chiquibul Forest faces. Nicaragua’s problems are mainly ‘domestic’ whereas Belize’s are external, with the threat coming from Guatemala.

However, if we don’t take urgent action to preserve the ‘Green Gold’ of the Maya Mountain Massif and Chiquibul Forest then the ‘Blue Gold’ (clean, fresh water) will be threatened by the deforestation and our biodiversity will irreparably damaged. Nicaragua sees their forests as the future for energy production and declining forest cover will seriously impact electricity generated via hydroelectricity in the region. Belize needs to see the preservation of the Chiquibul and the Maya Mountain Massif as the future for a range of high value ecosystem services.

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