15 November 2010

Mangrove protection, El SalvadorThe project "Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Resources in "Vuelta Redonda" and in the Estuary "La Cruz" promotes community-based alternative strategies to rehabilitate populations of endemic species in the Jiquilisco Bay. Jiquilisco Bay is the largest expanse of brackish water and salty forest of El Salvador. Given its characteristics, the Jiquilisco Bay is home to most coastal marine birds in the country. It is the only nesting place and destination passage of waterfowl and migration home to boas, iguanas, turtles, crocodiles, white-tailed deer, spider monkeys, and parrots.

The GEF provided US$25,000.00 of funding through the Small Grants Programme, and the community raised US$38,099.50 in co-financing. The project is directly executed by the allies of the Asociación de Desarrollo Comunal Rayos de Esperanza located in Colonia Las Flores, Municipality and Department of Usulután in El Salvador; and implemented by UNDP during the GEF Operational Phase Four.

Mangrove protection, El SalvadorThe project's two main objectives are the sustainable use of biodiversity and the strengthening of local infrastructure for the development of ecotourism in Jiquilisco Bay (Vuelta Redonda) and the "Rayos de Esperanza Community". Key local actions include the reforestation of 14 hectares of mangroves with Rhizophora mangle, planting 16 mangle seeds (propagules) per square meter, which directly lead to the improvement of the livelihoods of the 21 families involved in this initiative. This reforestation and improved mangrove protection further lead to enhanced income opportunities for all the 90 families in the community as the mangrove ecosystem provides the necessary conditions to grow fish, shells, shrimp, and other species that are essential for these families as their source of living.

Further activities to preserve biodiversity include the sustainable use of a 3.5 hectares ark shell nursery (Anadara símilis), the sustainable use of 20 units of artisanal fisheries as well as training in sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems, ark shell nurseries, and artisanal fisheries.

The project benefits the community in multiple aspects regarding their income. With the sustainable use of artisanal fisheries of the species Pargo, Robalo, Roncón and Pargueta, each of the 8 families of the Fishing Committee now generate additional income of US$3 per day on average. Additionally, with the sustainable use of the 3.5 hectares ark shell nursery (Anadara símilis) and related sales as well as ecotourism activities, the 12 families of the Shell Committee increased their average daily income to US$2.68 from the US$2 per day prior to the project. Lastly, the incipient Ecotourism generates an average of US$0.71 per day for each of the 6 families of the Ecotourism Committee.

Eco-tourism for mangrove protection, El SalvadorThrough this community-based initiative, capacities were also developed in the neighboring communities of "La Paniagua" and "El Botoncillo", benefitting additional 49 families.

The exchange of experiences and results obtained from the three years of project implementation has enabled other communities to replicate these practices of mangrove reforestation and sustainable use of artisanal fisheries on a smaller scale. These efforts are expected to be scaled to influence the design of policies aimed at sustainable utilization and management of mangrove ecosystems to ensure the sustainable use and management of marine coastal resources for current and future generations.

Activities of this project have generated global and environmental benefits through local actions in the "Xirigualtique Biosphere", an UNESCO World Heritage. Many species of fish that breed in these mangroves of the biosphere are fish that roam in international waters. The sustainable management of these mangrove ecosystems is essential to stabilize fish stocks for the future and adapt consumption to natural cycles of reproduction. At the regional level, such initiatives allow small-scale display that can influence local actions in order to obtain global benefits.



Juan René Guzman Arbaiza, National Coordinator, GEF SGP, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.