The following article came out in El Salvador’s national newspaper, “La Prensa Gráfica“, and discusses how EcoViva and its partner communities have participated in the negotiation process leading up to the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation’s 5-year, $277 million investment, which prioritizes coastal areas like the Bay of Jiquilisco. Local communities and municipalities are organizing to ensure that upcoming coastal development be sustainable and inclusive so that the Bay of Jiquilisco, and its iconic endangered sea turtle populations and internationally significant mangrove and fishery resources, remain a viable engine for rural growth in the region. Communities will continue to promote local and regional frameworks that help set the “rules of the road” to enable sustainable, long-term growth in the Bay of Jiquilisco.
MCC heeds the recommendations of environmentalists
By Hector Rivas
The MCC will include actions proposed by organizations in [the MCC’s coming investment in El Salvador]
Various organizations dedicated to the protection of the environment confirmed that the board of directors for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) included in the compact a series of recommendations to ensure that development projects in the Bay of Jiquilisco don’t affect the natural resources of the region.
Nathan Weller, director of environmental policy for the organization EcoViva, expressed that weeks ago they sent a letter to the board of directors of the MCC expressing their concerns and that they received notification that these have been included in writing.
For his part, Mike Liles, of the organization ICAPO, noted that part of the support received is the creation of committees formed by NGOs and local actors in the region of the Bay of Jiquilisco to review projects that will take place in the sector.
“We will give some technical opinions so that a given project won’t have a negative impact. We hope that they will listen to our opinions, the MCC’s decision to involve local actors is important,” said the representative from ICAPO. Liles expressed that there are four big projects that would be developed in the bay, and that civil society opinions will be taken into account in the creation of the projects is considered “a victory for the conservation of natural resources.”
Marvin Alvarado, a representative for various communities of Puerto Parada (Usulután), said that the measure is the result of the efforts of people who take the protection of the environment very seriously, in contrast to [people in] the past.
He pointed out that blast fishing and other practices that were damaging to natural resources have diminished.
He noted that 120 former blast fishermen have stopped the practice.
“It is all part of a process that has been developing develop within various communities,” he affirmed.