In Guatemala, EcoLogic has recently established four plots of land that will be used to grow and cultivate Inga edulis seeds, and increase farmers’ access to the plant, which is used in agroforestry. Agroforestry is a method of agriculture that integrates trees and shrubs with crops like corn, beans, and coffee. By taking advantage of the natural benefits of trees, small-scale farmers can use agroforestry to produce more using less land, easing their burden while improving their lands.
Though tropical forests are often destroyed for agriculture, EcoLogic is helping small farmers to reap the rewards forests offer by reintroducing trees onto their lands. By integrating Inga trees into agriculture, farmers can reduce erosion, provide a source of organic fertilizer, maintain a healthy climate for crops, and increase yield thus reducing the need to clear more forests for agricultural lands.
Local farmers’ use of Inga for agroforestry is one way in which EcoLogic is working with communities to promote alternatives to the ecological destruction of slash and burn cultivation, while also increasing crop yields.
We believe that in order to save forests and water sources, we must work with communities to provide the tools and training they need to sustainably manage their natural resources. Inga is one of the tools we use and an integral part of that solution.
Forest guards are working to protect and conserve over 85 hectares of land in Huehuetengango, Guatemala. EcoLogic helps train, educate, and promote the work of volunteer guards for the protection of precious forest resources. And, there is still more to be done! The city and municipality of Huehuetenango has over 32,750 hectares of community forests alone and over 200,000 people rely on the resources of this communal forest. EcoLogic is working with Northern Border Municipalities Alliance (MFN), emphasizing the importance of forest protection and conservation.
To strengthen the effectiveness of forest conservation, EcoLogic has teamed up with Heifer International Foundation to double our impact. In partnership with Heifer, the forest guard program has recently adopted the “pass on the gift” methodology, which means spreading the lessons we have learned together to other villages, communities, provinces, and countries.
EcoLogic is holding ongoing training sessions on leadership, soil conservation, and forestry management as part of the project to spread the word. So far this year we have trained 73 forest guards in three communities, bringing the total number of guards to 276.
With your support – and the continued interest of the community - we will be able to recruit and train more guards and ensure greater protection of the forest!
EcoLogic is working with community members to not only reforest the centuries-old Totonicapán forest, but to prevent deforestation in the future. As part of the project, EcoLogic, along with local partners, recently launched “Green Week” in coordination with non-profit, ArtCorps that uses art to strengthen understanding of culture and environmental conservation.
Traditional Mayan ceremonies, recycling contests, music, poetry, and puppet plays were all part of the week-long drive to promote ecological traditional memory through the arts and the preservation of the forest. Also, local artists and community organizations sponsored drawing and poetry contests aimed to show children the importance of conservation. All these activities were communicated to the communities through television and radio programs.
Read the blog by ArtCorps Fellow Isabel Carrió about her time working with youth in the area on art projects related to conservation. http://ecoblogic.blogspot.com/2012/05/illustrating-history.html