HONDURAS: Fires Devastate Forest
TEGUCIGALPA - Honduras lost around 2,500
hectares of pine forest in February to fires, report officials
from the government's Honduran Corporation for Forest Development.
Intentionally set fires caused the losses
incurred during the last week of February, Lucky Medina, in
charge of forest protection, told Tierramérica.
Two alleged culprits were caught with
flammable liquids in El Hatillo, a forested area that serves
as a main "lung" for the capital, where the fires
But Clarissa Vega, environmental prosecutor,
told Tierramérica that an average of 100,000 hectares
of pine forest are burned in Honduras each year, equal to
the area that is illegally logged.
The country will lose all of its
pine resources within three decades at the current rate of
destruction, she said.
NICARAGUA: New Nature Reserves
MANAGUA - The scientific community is
considering the addition of Garganta de Yukusama and San Luis
to the list of Nicaragua's protected areas and whether it
should back a bill before the legislature to expand the list
of such areas to 78.
Researcher Noel González Valdivia
proposed the initiative. He explained to Tierramérica
that these areas, in the northern municipality of Estelí,
hold "10 percent of the nation's flora as well as arid
forest, the most threatened in Latin America."
Managua hosted the first Mesoamerican
Congress on Protected Areas, Mar 10-14, which produced the
Conservation Agreement for Biodiversity and Protection of
Wildlife Areas of Central America, a regional accord that
defines 11 protected areas along border areas.
GUATEMALA: Marshes in Danger
GUATEMALA CITY - A 13,500-hectare marshland
in Guatemala, the country's largest, is threatened by increased
depredation and contamination, warns a new scientific study.
The biodiversity of Manchón Guamuchal,
a stopping point for migratory birds located southeast of
the capital near the Pacific coast, is being hurt by the destruction
of mangroves and the pollution caused by the shrimp and banana
industries, according to the research of Brazilian expert
The area "is the sole remaining
site in Guatemala where 14 duck species can be found, 12 of
which are migratory, and 20 species of herons," as well
as other birds, says the scientist.
"Manchón is the most important
area of special protection on the southwestern Guatemalan
coast and the only place in the region to host migratory birds,
which use the western corridor originating in Canada and the
United States," she writes.