addition to supporting local economic development, the ELLAS Initiave
supported a range of activities that, over time, will improve the health
of La Flor Wildlife Refuge. For example, the project helped reactivate
the collaborative management committee at the wildlife refuge, enabling
greater participation from communities within the buffer zone of the
reserve. It also brought in experts to help design new interpretive
signs for the reserve, recommend ways to reduce human impact on sea
turtle nesting habitat, and monitor waterways and reefs to track
project activities spurred innovation in conservation, including the
design of a financing mechanism for sea turtle conservation that relies
on ecosystem markets and allows for greater accountability through
third-party audits of conservation impact. Another exciting contribution
was the technical assistance provided to the Ostional oyster
cooperative, which is now supported through The Waitt Foundation
but which received matching technical assistance from FOMIN that
enabled the women to form a cooperative for their shellfish business.
Paso Pacifico expects to see local geotourism continue to increase and benefit local economies.
We also hope to see biodiversity increase; we expect the number of
turtle hatchlings increase by fifty percent in the long term. When geotourism is a major component of local household incomes, community members are more invested in protecting wildlife. With our partners, we will continue working to educate youth, support conservation, and support the community.