PBI-Honduras accompanied National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC) supports call for a massive reforestation plan

Published by Brent Patterson on

The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project has posted a new article titled: The deforestation behind hurricane devastation.

Hurricanes Eta and Iota brought widespread flooding to Honduras and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

PBI-Honduras notes: “The massive amounts of rainfall brought to the country by Hurricanes Eta and Iota caused the Chamelecón and Ulúa Rivers to burst their banks.”

It then highlights: “Experts increasingly point to deforestation as one of the main causal factors for such massive floods. …Over the past two decades alone, Honduras has lost between 23,000 and 58,000 hectares of woodland per year.”

Between 1990 and 2005, Honduras lost 37 per cent of its forest cover, and between 2007 and 2011 the deforestation rate tripled in Honduras. This deforestation worsened the disaster by contributing to landslides in various parts of the country.

Miriam Miranda of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) says: “We must demand that these predatory companies that are destroying nature stop at once. How will these rivers ever stop flooding, when in the highlands, where the water sources are, there are not only people but also megaprojects that are destroying our forests?”

Juan Mejía of the Wide Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ) also points to businesses practices such as large-scale construction projects in fragile environments, mining, and hydroelectric dams and the diversion of rivers that are “connected to an economic model that impoverishes and kills anyone who opposes these practices.”

And Felicita López of the Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz (MILPAH), says: “The Forest Conservation Institute [a Honduran government agency] grants the concessions without consulting the affected communities and without investigating the environmental impact these projects will have on the communities’ water sources.”

López has spent years defending natural heritage from hydroelectric interests with ties to a Deputy in the National Congress of Honduras as well as working to prevent the 26 logging concessions and environmental permits that currently threaten the area.

The PBI-Honduras article concludes by noting that the National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC) and Via Campesina presented a draft Emergency Law this past February that includes the call for “a massive reforestation plan.”

The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project began accompanying the National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC) in May 2018.

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