Programme Package SIAPAZ

Sustainable use of the Nicaraguan rainforest and integrated rural development

  • Sectors: Preservation and ecological use of rain forests, Integrated rural development
  • Duration: 12/1992 – 02/1998
  • Volume: 2.6 Mill. Euro
  • Persons/ Months: 76
  • Client: Austrian Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vienna
  • Partner: Nitlapán, Instituto de Investigacion y Desarollo Alternativo de la Universidad Centro-americana, Managua

The rainforest in the Reserva Indio Maíz, located in the south of Nicaragua, is increasingly endangered by the extension of areas used for agricultural purposes. The SIAPAZ programme aims to stabilise the frontera agrícola by promoting sustainable use of the forest as a natural resource. It includes the following measures:

  • Rehabilitation of the existing oil-palm plantings and organisation of cooperatives,
  • Sustainable forest management and product transformation,
  • Propagation of alternative cultures to decrease the dependency on wood exports,
  • Studies on opportunities of alternative income generation.

Whereas the rehabilitation of the oil-palm project was carried out in order to increase productivity and to strengthen the cooperatives, the other projects were innovative experiments to generate new income opportunities for the population living in the forest. In cooperation with the University Centroamericana in Managua, innovative plans for using the forest were elaborated and discussed with the population in the course of educational trainings.
In addition, a saw mill was rehabilitated, and technical improvements regarding wood cutting and transportation were achieved.

Austroprojekt supported the project by contributing long-term experts in different disciplines, and by studies and participatory surveys. During the oil-palm project, a merger of different cooperatives could be achieved, strengthening the former cooperatives- position vis-à-vis the purchasers. In the course of the wood project, the technical and administrative conditions for a cooperative steering of the main project were established.

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