Conserving Nicaragua’s Ometepe Islands
The unique volcanic island of Ometepe rises out of Lake Nicaragua. It is characterised by forested mountain slopes, teeming with birds, monkeys and other wildlife. The island is popular with increasing numbers of hikers and kayakers, who come to enjoy its idyllic beaches, wildlife, ancient petroglyphs and trails up the volcanic slopes. However, unregulated agricultural expansion and external development is causing deforestation, depleting soils and increasing the vulnerability of people and natural habitats to dangerous landslides. Without rapid action, irreparable damage will be caused. This project will work with 60 farmers to encourage the reforestation of areas of their land and engage in environmentally-friendly agricultural practices. 12,000 saplings will be planted over 40 hectares on the slopes of the volcano. Local communities will be encouraged in the long term sustainable use of resources via workshops with community organisations and leaders, training for young people and radio broadcasts to disseminate important information.