Channel 5 News and Channel 7 News carry stories today indicating that significant numbers of Guatemalan’s are illegally panning for gold in the Ceibo Chico region of the southern Chiquibul. Raphael Manzanero, the Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development is obviously very concerned about the environmental damage that is resulting from the illegal panning and settlement. FCD have been monitoring the situation since last October but with few resources and a delicate political problem there is little they can do other than try and gain support for action through the media.
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’.