Edition: May 2010
Conservation in ACTION

Tropical forests store a fifth of the world’s carbon emissions, making Paso Pacífico’s conservation efforts in Central America a particularly important climate change solution.

On April 29th, Paso Pacífico and the Nicaraguan NGO FUNDENIC co-hosted a well-attended forum on the Climate Change-related Challenges and Opportunities for Biodiversity in Nicaragua. The forum was held in Managua and included leaders from local non-governmental organizations and the public sector. Speakers included Paso Pacífico’s Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Otterstrom, who presented on “Components for Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts,” Tim Lattimer, the State Department’s Environmental Director for Central America, Tito Sequeira, from the Coalition of Rainforest Nations, and Dr. Jaime Incer Barquero of Fondo Natura and FUNDENIC. The roundtable culminated in an active participatory discussion on the future direction of conservation and adaptation solutions in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is already vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, and the frequency and severity of extreme storms is likely to increase with climate change in coming years. In fact, Nicaragua is considered the third most vulnerable country globally to extreme weather events, according to the 2009 Global Climate Risk Index, thus the need to protect the country's natural resources is becoming ever more critical. Forums such as this are important for increasing dialogue and developing adaptive responses to climate change impacts.

Paso Pacífico in the News

Paso Pacífico made news recently for receiving an important grant from the Neotropical Migratory Bird (NMB) Conservation Act Program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Our project, one of 37 selected, aims to protect Neotropical Migratory Birds and their habitats across private reserves in the Paso del Istmo Biological Corridor through reforestation, habitat restoration, and education. This grant will be used to broaden our Binocular for Slingshot Exchange program which, in partnership with Optics for the Tropics, lowers bird mortality rates by encouraging rural children to trade in their slingshots for new binoculars and opens children to the wonders of Neotropical Migratory Birds. The grant will also support our long-term bird monitoring program, established in 2009 in partnership with scientist Dr. Wayne Arendt and the USFS International Institute for Tropical Forestry. Paso Pacífico will partner with private reserves to develop Bird Lists and management recommendations for protecting bird habitat and promoting birding in their eco-tourism programs.

Partnerships make it possible

A long-time partner of Paso Pacífico, Nicadev helps to preserve the environment of Nicaragua by combining forward-thinking and eco-friendly business practices with committed reforestation and conservation efforts. As part of the Return to Forest Project, Nicadev has planted 90,000 native trees on the Las Fincas Reserve, a critically important dry-forest protected area which forms a core area of the Paso del Istmo Biological Corridor. The Las Fincas Reserve also provides key monitoring sites for Paso Pacífico and the US Forestry Service’s International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) Biodiversity Monitoring program. The reserve area is proving to be a hot-spot for dry forest conservation. For example, a Rufous-Vented Ground Cuckoo was recently sighted at Las Fincas, the first reported on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast.

In addition to setting aside a significant land area for conservation, the Nicadev Company provides a model for sustainability by supporting employees in eco-tourism guide and ranger trainings, investing in local health clinics and sports recreation facilities, and by requiring eco-friendly technologies in their development projects.


Team member spotlight

Cortney Vargas, our US Office Administrator extraordinaire, has played an indispensable role in maintaining the US office and keeping staff in Nicaragua well-equipped since she joined Paso Pacífico in 2008. Cortney is returning to school this August to finish a degree in Wildlife Biology. Though we will miss Cortney, she leaves behind a significant and lasting legacy, most recently by designing the Karen Warren and Susan White Spider Monkey Sanctuary and Education Center located at the Domitila Reserve. Best of luck to you, Cortney!

To watch as baby sea turtles hatch and scramble to the ocean is an incredible experience, one which Paso Pacífico wants to be able to share with communities in Nicaragua and the world. Please act now to help us purchase eight Flip Video Cameras to film and share such extraordinary events in the future. Donations can be made directly to Paso Pacífico, in the form of checks, a camera, or via an online donation.

Jerry Bauer of the USFS International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) has been an invaluable partner to Paso Pacífico, playing an instrumental role in strengthening many of our conservation programs. As Director of IITF's International Cooperation Unit, Bauer has provided support and technical expertise in public outreach, interpretive design for eco-tourism, and in training modules for local guides and Paso Pacífico rangers. Bauer works tirelessly to support the development of young professionals in the region, and it's due to Bauer’s coordination that IITF is supporting a regional nature photography contest to help biologists better communicate their message.

Mission | Website | Partners

© 2006 Paso Pacífico
USA Address: PO Box 1244 • Ventura, CA 93002-1244 • Phone: 1-805-643-7044
Nicaragua Address: Km 15 Carretera Ticuantepe, Centro Comercial MercoCentro, Modulo #5
Ticuantepe, Nicaragua • Phone: +505-2279-7258