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Project assistance completion report: Regional environmental and natural resources management project (RENARM)

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 12:08 PM
Contributors: RENARM, USAID/G-CAP

KEYWORD: Community-based Natural Forest Management, Central America. Belize, Central America, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, ecotourism, environmental values, incentives, sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry, agroforestry, buffer zone, conservation, deforestation, extension, institutional collaboration, international agreements, NGO, policy, research, community participation, environmental education, gender, lessons learned, project report. SUMMARY: The goal of RENARM was to understand and reverse the deterioration of Central America's natural resources by introducing economically attractive activities that support wise resource use. Projects involved coordination of NGO\rquote s from Central America and the U.S., and public sector and national institutions. Three categories of projects were undertaken: 1) policy initiatives and technical support, 2) environmental education and conservation, 3) sustainable agriculture and forestry. The projects included identification of and assistance for stakeholders, development of conservation-development models such as eco-tourism areas, support of the biological corridors and buffer zones in land and marine environments, environmental education, terracing and agro-conservation, promotion of rational use of pesticides, reforestation, and multiple initiatives to foster partnerships and develop extensions. Women were involved in program management and as participants in projects. Successes of two kinds were achieved: many project goals were reached, and USAID experienced profound change in understanding motivations that underlie conservation issues in the region, such as policies and coordination among stakeholders. Monitoring has shown that people are employing sustainable land use practices due to the projects, which is considered a major achievement. Much of RENARM's impact was accomplished through research, education, advocacy, and extension organizations. It was learned that identifying the motivations of stakeholders reveals effective ways to focus conservation efforts. Lack of synergism among activities was seen as limiting to the overall impact of RENARM. More coordination is needed in project goals and in management of NGO consortia in order to foster synergy. Above all else, it was noted that coordination requires participation from a critical mass of parties, who need to be identified and their motivations need to be recognized.

Author(s): RENARM , USAID/G-CAP

Publication Date: 1996

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