Nicaragua gets sustainable forestry investment
January 19, 1999
By Environmental News Network staff
(ENN) -- Nicaragua will be the recipient of a $9-million investment from the World Bank to start reforestation and land rehabilitation activities in some of the areas most affected by Hurricane Mitch, the international lending organization has announced.
According to the bank, one of the major obstacles currently facing Nicaragua's forestry management is the lack of entrepreneurial expertise to take advantage of existing opportunities for a more effective, productive and sustainable management of forest and land resources.
"Unless a good market for forestry products can be developed, trees will continue to be looked upon as obstacles to agriculture and be cut down or burnt down, since they present no economic benefit for the landowner or shifting cultivator" said Paola Agostini, environmental economist of the World Bank and task manager of the project.
The Sustainable Forestry Investment Promotion Project will establish a basis for improved forestry management by promoting environmentally-sound private sector investments by improving the business environment and reducing the perception of risk in forestry sector activities and by helping to define forestry institutional policies and reforms through a participatory process.
Participation will build the capacity, consensus, and constituency necessary for a successful and long term implementation.
Specifically, the project will provide technical assistance:
Since 1950, forest cover in Nicaragua has fallen from 7 million hectares to an estimated 4.3 million hectares. At current rates, it is estimated that the remaining areas of productive broadleaf forests will be eliminated in only 10 to 15 years.
According to the World Bank, it is clear that deforestation caused by human development and the expansion of the agriculture frontier has increased the devastating effects of Hurricane Mitch.
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