of first phase:
15, 1998 to
July 31 2001
M.Sc. Jacobo Sánchez
M.Sc. Roduel Rodríguez
M.Sc. Maritza Guido
The Gulf of Fonseca is an important coastal formation
on the Central American Pacific, shared by El Salvador, Honduras
and Nicaragua. It covers an aquatic area of 20,15 km2, including
409 km of coastline. The 19 coastal townships in the three countries
total 7,740 km2 and shelter a population of 750,000 inhabitants.
Major problems in this area are the following:
- Poor populations have been relegated to areas with very few
resources and sub-human conditions (hillsides and the coastal
region) with the expansion of commercial farming, cattle ranching
and recently, shrimp cultivation. To survive, this population
uses natural resources in different environments unwisely.
- The illiteracy rate is over 35 %.
- Public heath services are inadequate due to deficiencies in
equipment, human resources and medicines.
- More than 15% of the children born in this area do not survive
past five years of age. Child labor is a major cause for dropping
out of school and leaving home.
- Rivers and marshes are highly polluted due to dumping of organic
waste, agrochemicals, sewage water effluent, livestock activity,
industrial gas emissions and discharge of industrial toxic waste.
More than 90% of local inhabitants throw their garbage into
rivers and marshes.
- Over 50% of the population defecate in the open air.
- Most communities have no sanitary landfills or garbage dumps.
- Deforestation is caused by migratory farming, shrimp cultivation,
and use of firewood as the source of energy. Mangrove extraction
supports productive activities such as tanneries, saltworks,
shrimp cultivation and housing construction.
- There is a notable loss of biodiversity, especially marine,
due to the use of toxic substances for eliminating the fauna
that accompany shrimp larvae. Mollusk and crustacean populations
are also shrinking as a result of the unwise use and reduction
of the mangrove.
following strengths have been identified:
- Forest resources and productive soils supporting
various uses still persist, generating wealth for many producers.
- There are important water resources associated
with rivers, streams, and springs. These are worth protecting
and conserving in order to produce energy and water for drinking
- There is a wide range of sites with natural
beauty that could be considered for ecotourism development.
The information available indicates that ordering
plans are needed for a considerable number of activities if sustainable
development goals in coastal communities are to be promoted. The
most critical of these activities are:
- Ranching in plains areas
- Intensive farming on the flatlands
- Shrimp cultivation in wetlands
- Artisanal fishing in sea waters
- Extraction of firewood from mangroves
- Protected areas in different ecosystems
- Urbanization of islands and other areas with tourism potential
- Management of waste from human and productive activity
- There are important water resources associated with rivers,
streams, and springs. These are worth protecting and conserving
in order to produce energy and water for drinking and irrigation.
- Development of road infrastructure
- Agro-sylvipasture systems on the hillsides
actions of importance include the following:
- Establish official seasons for collecting larvae in the wild,
taking into consideration patterns of rainfall and the reproductive
behavior of the different species of shrimp and other ecologically
and commercially important species;
- Construct post-larval cultivation areas outside of the Gulf
of Fonseca region in order to ensure that water quality is adequate
for this purpose; and
- Place the few remaining areas of tropical dry forest under
management to conserve biodiversity
- Set up a management plan for the Gulf of Fonsecas 62,000
ha of mangroves under a multiple-use system.
recommend the following:
- Promote the breeding and raising of species
such as ctenosaur, iguana, alligator, rabbit, parakeet, parrot,
deer, ducks, and other types of animals;
- Create and support wildlife refuge reserves;
- Design and implement environmental education
- Fishing and aquaculture activities should
not be expanded without first performing environmental impact
assessments and a study on carrying capacity;
- Conserve and protect threatened systems
as a means of conserving the ecosystem and species, improving
water quality, reducing soil erosion, and ordering the use of
resources with commercial value
- State control of illegal fishing devices
and methods, with participation by the communities and competent
- Promote community participation in natural
resource conservation, particularly organization on behalf of
conservation, training in natural resource management, nature
courses and coordination and information with respect to resource
management. Communities should also be granted the authority
to carry out surveillance and control activities.
- Strengthen the presence of institutions
with jurisdiction over natural resource management