$2.5 million destined for locally-led conservation initiatives in the bay
The Fund for the Initiative of the Americas, FIAES, a leading environmental funder and conservation organization in El Salvador, announced last month it would be investing $16.6 million over the next five years in the protection of seven wetland areas and nature reserves across the country.
$2.5 million of those funds are destined for conservation work in the Bay of Jiquilisco-Xirihualtique reserve in the Lower Lempa, work which will be defined and implemented by local communities.
This represents a major accomplishment for EcoViva and our partners, who have been working for over twenty years to protect crucial ecosystems and improve quality of life for rural residents of the Lower Lempa.
FIAES tapped local entities to coordinate these investments. In the Lower Lempa and Bay of Jiquilisco region, they designated the Mangrove Association alongside partners EcoViva and CATIE to convene other local actors and lead the design of a “Plan for Local Sustainable Development.” This participatory process will guide conservation efforts to preserve mangroves and fisheries, and improve land use throughout the Bay of Jiquilisco.
The Plan for Local Sustainable Development, or PDLS, will institutionalize common standards for conservation that have defined our work in El Salvador. Non-government organizations, municipal governments, and national entities will all work together toward the same set of goals, set forth by community leadership.
The PDLS will also integrate lessons learned from local experiences like the Local Sustainable Use Plan (PLAS) and Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) pioneered by the Mangrove Association in El Salvador.
National institutions are buying into our locally-led models for environmental protection. Thanks to local leadership, the future sustainability of El Salvador’s highly-valued and naturally vulnerable coastline will be defined by local people, the rural communities who live in and depend on these crucial ecosystems.