MOSEF: Protecting Honduran forests and wildlife
In Honduras, the State has traditionally had exclusive decision power on how forests were managed. This eventually resulted in intricate bureaucracy, corruption problems, and land tenure disputes. But, with the rise of international competition in the timber industry, Honduras soon felt the need to modernise its forestry and promote better governance. That’s when the country launched a legislative reform process and the Forest Conservation Institute (ICF) was created. In this context, the 6-year, EU-funded ‘Modernisation of Honduras forest sector’ (MOSEF) project was launched to support the government’s push for good governance and help solve the socio-economic issues generated by decades of mismanagement.
The MOSEF project helped the ICF boost competitiveness and reorganise forestry management, protected areas, and wildlife sector by strengthening inter-institutional coordination.
- Legal action was taken against illegal forestry and to clarify the status of hectares of forests.
- Guidelines were published on how to elaborate land management plans and 8 such plans were successfully launched.
- A ‘Municipal territorial information system’ was launched in 24 pilot cities, to facilitate information sharing and coordination between villages, along a ‘National forest information system’.
- 68 consultative forest councils were created, which influence locally the protection of forest resources.
- The ICF offices and communication capacities were supported and improved.
Environment and human health protection
- 21 municipalities tangibly improved their planning and management of natural resources.
- 12 coordination plans were established between municipalities, to protect nearly 200,000 ha of forests.
- 41 water collection systems were built in 6 villages, to improve the quality and quantity of water available for human consumption and further actions were taken to better protect watersheds.
- 123 solar panels were installed at local level and 1,654 families benefitted from clean energy systems, thereby curbing deforestation and improving health conditions.
Competitiveness and poverty reduction
- 2,201 rural families were encouraged to take part in sustainable production activities and, consequently, improved their revenues.
- Support was provided to 156 forestry micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to reinforce their competitiveness.
Awareness and education
- 827 people working in forestry received training on better resource management and environmental protection.
- A ‘virtual campus’ was set up to develop the skills of institutional staff dealing with forests, protected areas, and wildlife ̶ 224 people benefitted from such training.
- 12 environmental communication and education networks were set up among community leaders.
These measures combined have indirectly benefitted 319,470 people and brought the following long-term benefits:
- The project strengthened the operational capacity of the ICF to optimise the management of the Forestry Sector-APVS.
- It developed and reinforced the institutional capacity of the local governments to assume the administration and management of the forest resources of their territories.
- It promoted and supported the social initiatives of production and conservation of forest resources.
- It designed a complementary programme to MOSEF.