Coastal conservation in Central America

Geographical location:

Latin America/Caribbean > Central America

Latin America/Caribbean > Central America > El Salvador
Latin America/Caribbean > Central America > Honduras
Latin America/Caribbean > Central America > Nicaragua

Kemp's Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). Mexico.
© WWF-Canon / Carlos DREWS

Summary

Stretching inward from the Pacific Ocean along the borders of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, the coastal areas of the Gulf of Fonseca is marked by a seemingly endless series of winding lagoons and mangrove swamps. The Miskito Coast, stretching along the Atlantic coast of Honduras and Nicaragua, has hundreds of kilometres of untouched beaches and rainforests.

WWF is working to improve conservation management specifically designed to reduce marine and coastal threats in both of these unique Central American regions.

Background

PROARCA/Costas is part of a regional initiative developed in direct response to the Alliance for Sustainable Development for Central America and CONCAUSA (Central American-United States Joint Accord). These 1994 agreements provide a regional policy declaration and strategic framework, endorsed at the highest political levels, for the PROARCA project. PROARCA is being carried out in partnership with the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

PROARCA/Costas is being implemented by a team comprised of 3 main partners -The Nature Conservancy (TNC), WWF, and the University of Rhode Islands (URI) Coastal Resources Center - and local NGOs in each of the 4 countries. Under WWF, the Biodiversity Support Program (BSP) also provides short-term technical assistance.

Objectives

Improve the management and protection of coastal and marine resources at 2 sites:

- The Miskito Coast (encompassing Nicaragua and Honduras on the Atlantic Coast).

- The Gulf of Fonseca (encompassing El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua on the Pacific Coast).

Solution

1. Develop local, national and regional policy recommendations, based on field activities, in support of sustainable development and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems in Central America.

2. Strengthen local, national and regional capacity towards the conservation and sustainable development of critical coastal and marine ecosystems, in government organizations, NGOs and local communities.

3. Improve the availability and accuracy of baseline information for marine and coastal resource management in Central America.

4. Develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation system specifically designed to measure reduction in threat to critical marine and coastal ecosystems in Central America.

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