Monday, March 24, 2014

Young Environmentalists - Jovenes Ambientalistas

There is a wildlife migration corridor from BOSAWAS to the coast and going south on the coast of RAAN which will be disrupted by either a canal or a rail line.
Jose Manzanares is the director.  We met with Braxis Alverez and German Areas.

Welcome, we are very willing to share information with you.  The youth and environment movement has been going on for 18years and we have two programs – the National Earth Fair and the list of 40 most endangered species.  June 5 is the National Day of the Environment.  We get private funds.  In the fair, we have talks by students of all ages and by environmentally friendly companies like CEFA, CICFA, USN, IUCN, International Conservation of Nature?  CIFCA is part of IUCN, who helped with the endangered species of Nicaragua book, the first of its type published in Central America.

The iguanas of Dario are endangered but not as bad as the ones in the book.

CICFA is giving talks on climate change and figuring out what to do with solid, dangerous waste.
This is like a club – we invite youth to come and we talk about nature and the environment.
This organization is not partisan.  We worked with the liberal government; they were not very interested in the environment, but were easier to access.  This current government has guard a da ramco (a bird), but they are weak in science – they lack thought of consequences.

The bird group has more access to funds to get a plane to Rio San Juan to plant and re-forest.  We sometimes give talks to them.

Last year, the fair was in La Porita in Chinandega, which is forested with precious wood and fruit trees, so the people would have something to eat.

There are many problems in the BOSAWAS – putting order in the territory.  The indigenous are not destroying BOSAWAS, they are trying to conserve it.  The Mayangnas live there but do not endanger it.   

Problems –
·         extracting precious wood – Managua gives permission without being careful
·         poverty has improved, but rural poor people are coming in with hopes of a better life
·         water, biodiversity, as well as wood.

·         Less than 290 people are administering BOSAWAS, which had been managed by Inafor and was just moved to under the President.

Charley – suggestion – in defense of the environment, with your help, we would like to get the word out that it is not good for outsiders to come to indigenous land right now.  The government needs time to do its job on the saneamiento.  It’s the outsiders that are causing the environmental problems.
Response – yes, the Mestizos are cutting wood and bring in cattle – even worse are the logging concessions.
In Costa Rica, certain woods cannot be cut, but it can be gotten from Nicaragua – it’s like a wood mafia.
It’s not important how many guards there are – it’s important what happens in Managua, giving the concessions.

Is INAFOR corrupt?  To talk about the government is complicated.  There are people that think this change could be positive, but others think the president will benefit its own businesses.

Charley – step 5 would bring order, but it is not being followed and seen through.  It would help stop the mafia of lumber.  One of the ways to stop the Mestizos is to reduce their poverty here on the Pacific side, or where they currently live.  Part of the problem is that the Indigenous Territorial Governments need training in budgeting and how to work with the national government.  Some Mestizos may know how to take care of the environment, but they are very poor and don’t know any other way to use the land.  Land brokers are a problem, for example the Tomas Lopez Lopez case.

German responded – it’s hard to change the situation.  I still think the problem is the concessions.  Twice an indigenous person has come to this office to ask for help, but he was violent, so we broke off relations.
Kathy – Mayangna Sauni As are burning houses.

German – We are open to helping, but this guy was swearing and very violent.  There is a special ombudsman for the environment that you might meet with.  We have a campaign with some media spots to put out the information about the red list of endangered species.  The magazine Vocero Environmentalista (Voice of Environment) attacks problems directly and they don’t soft pedal it – if the government needs to change, they say so.

Why not television spots telling the campesinos not to go to the Atlantic side?  That is difficult because they are desperate.  The bono productive (zero hunger program) is not getting to some places and people don’t have enough food.  Also, some must pay for emergencies or can’t feed the chickens what they are used to eating, so they die.

(Our impression of the Young Environmentalists is that they have their 2 – 3 projects and aren’t willing to listen to us about the problem, nor get involved with a public service announcement project.  It seemed to me like we were talking about apples and they were talking about oranges.)

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