August 2013: Reforestation, Birds & Butterflies

Conservation in ACTION

Last year, Paso Pacífico and Man & Nature launched the Paso del Istmo Reforestation Partnership to support conservation through sustainable economic development.

In the Paso del Istmo, communities are reliant on traditional agriculture and fishing practices, and residents are generally eager to help protect biodiversity and improve natural resource management. After land use assessments and meetings with community members, we decided to focus our efforts on the Río Ostayo and Río La Flor watersheds where we now:
  • monitor water quality in rivers and streams
  • develop tree nurseries and kitchen gardens
  • target key reforestation areas for watershed restoration
  • map land use and household participation
  • invest in agroforestry and meliponiculture
Man & Nature is a French NGO dedicated to biodiversity conservation and community empowerment. Their expertise in the sustainable harvest of natural resources and knowledge of the market for botanicals in medicine and cosmetics are proving extremely beneficial to the communities where we work.

Thanks to Man and Nature's support, we expect to see improved river health, greater forest connectivity, and increasing populations of: The map above shows our target areas of reforestation (oranges) and watershed restoration (greens). Read about this project in further detail and see more maps on our website.
Paso Pacífico in the News

Conservation & Sustainable Tourism Program: Featured in our July newsletter, this FHI360 & USAID project, was designed to bolster Nicaragua's eco-tourism sector, alleviate poverty, and conserve biodiversity.

Press: This week, La Prensa ran a piece (in Spanish, screenshot above) about the program and its student outreach project, designed to encourage environmental conservation and gender equality.

Watermen's Ball: With help from our friends at CHICABRAVA, who generously donated a weeklong surf camp in San Juan del Sur, the 24th annual Waterman's Weekend, which took place earlier this month, raised over $400,000 for the SIMA Environmental Fund. Above, surfboards are lined up for auction. (Photo courtesy of Teresa Lang.)

Press: Peruse all the Waterman's Weekend coverage on our blog.

Partnerships make it possible

Each year, we work with ecologist Jean-Michel Maes and the Museo Entomológico de León to monitor butterflies in the Paso del Istmo.

Jean-Michel, the museum, and its international network of entomologists are dedicated to cataloguing the entomological fauna of Nicaragua. They have identified over 10,000 species and chronicle their work in the Nicaraguan Entomology Review.

Butterflies, among many other insects, are not just important for biodiversity. With Jean-Michel's expertise, we're collecting data specific to our biological corridor, allowing us to determine species distribution, assess insects' ecological impact, and estimate their economic contribution to agricultural practices. This work is made possible, in part, with funding from the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry.

Keep up with our pollinator research and sustainable agriculture work by following our Birds, Bats & Bugs blogposts.

Team member spotlight

Francisco Vanegas has been a Paso Pacífico forest ranger since February 2011. A farmer from Cárdenas, Francisco's warm smile, keen sense of humor, and knowledge of other languages make him an excellent host for visitors from other countries.

In addition to helping us with our reforestation and spider monkey monitoring programs, Francisco tends a nursery as part of our Man and Nature project. This year, he is also working with our visiting fish researcher to establish protocol for monitoring streams, water quality, and fish populations.

We're glad to have the very reliable and knowledgeable Francisco on our team.

This week, Paso Pacífico's Environmental Education Coordinator, Julie Martinez, is presenting our Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative at the International Partners in Flight Conference.

Your donation today will support this program.

PuraKai's Billion Baby Turtle t-shirts allow SEETurtles and WIDECAST to save five baby sea turtles for every shirt sold. Support the Billion Baby Turtles project, in style.

This month, we were pleased to meet Deborah Goldstein, who visited Nicaragua to help monitor sea turtle nesting beaches.

After volunteering with SEETurtles in Padre Ramos, Deborah joined us in the Paso del Istmo, where she spent her nights patrolling the beaches at Brasilon and La Flor, and her days working with the landowners participating in our reforestation project with Man and Nature.

Deborah is dedicated to marine conservation and runs the philanthropic advising company Enlightened Philanthropy.

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