LatinNews Daily - 26 June 2024

In brief: EU hails new Honduras forest agreement

*The European Union (EU) and Costa Rica-based Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) have announced the signing of a new ‘Living Forests of Honduras’ agreement for the execution of approximately L436m (US$17.64m) over a six-year period. An EU statement describes the agreement as “a new milestone in the implementation of two international agreements between the European Union and Honduras: the Forest Alliance and the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Governance”. It adds that the funding will be used for activities that contribute to six areas which include: 1) forest law enforcement; 2) reforestation and restoration of at least 20,000 hectares (ha) of forest in degraded and priority areas of Francisco Morazán, Olancho and El Paraíso departments, as well as forest fire prevention in at least 10,000ha of forest; 3) development of ecotourism projects that protect forests and generate employment; 4) innovation in the forestry sector; 5) assistance in complying with new European regulations on deforestation; and 6) institutional strengthening of Honduras’ forest conservation institute (ICF) and property institute (IP), a land registry office, for “the management and titling of land for effective and sustainable governance of forest resources”. The EU press release cites data from a 2022 ICF report which shows that 56.06% of Honduras is covered by forest, equivalent to 6.3m ha. It adds that from 2005-2022, and for various reasons which it describes as “illegal logging, fires, livestock, pests, forest management, among others”, Honduras has lost 669,517ha of forest, equivalent to 10% of its total area.

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