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Addressing Water Issues with ‘Comunidad de Paya’

Paying a visit to this vibrant community in the Yoro region, Honduras last week. The community, called ‘Comunidad de Paya’ resides within the borders of the protected Pico Pijol National Park.

The National Park Service requested that the Yoro Biological Corridor team meet with Comunidad de Paya and discuss issues around water scarcity, trash disposal; as well as present the benefits and solutions offered by the Yoro Biological Corridor program.

110 people were in attendance, motivated by the degrading conditions of the natural water resources they rely on for survival.

The Cuyamapa River that runs through this region is drying up due to the effects of deforestation from coffee production and other agricultural encroachment on intact forest areas.
A view of the deforestation taking place in the surrounding region where the Comunidad de Paya calls home.
Meeting and presentation with ‘Comunidad de Paya’ to address water scarcity issues.
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600 Coffee Farmers Surveyed for Opinion

Coffee farmers in the Yoro region of Honduras are showing an interest in adopting reforestation on their farms.

This is indicated by the results of a recent survey of 600 coffee farmers in the region, implemented by Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI) and overseen by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

The survey was aimed at gauging farmers’ interest in adopting Integrated Open Canopy™ (IOC) coffee farming (in which they restore forest areas on their coffee farms).

The results indicate a very strong desire on the part of coffee farmers to participate in IOC™:

85.7% of farmers say they are interested in adopting IOC™ production!And of that 85.7% (54.7% indicated “definitely”; and 32%, “probably”)

The language of the survey, which deals with complex subject matter, was developed through focus groups of local farmers; both those practicing IOC™ and others who had no knowledge of IOC™; And in terms of the overall survey, 96.5% said they were confident in their choices, and 92.6% said the scenarios presented were realistic.

These are validating results illustrating that the concept of being financially rewarded for restoring forest on coffee farms is both relevant and desired by many local community members. These results also mean it’s expected that more farms will be added to the 20 existing IOC™ pilot farms. 🙌

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The Drones Have Landed

Drones are the latest addition to the Yoro Biological Corridor team, and everyone in the community is excited about them!

These drones will be used to accurately map and monitor the forest canopy on IOC coffee farms. They make it easy, efficient, and fun to collect data … Once you learn how to fly them of course!

And their first task is to provide researchers with a high-level detailed vegetation maps of 40 farms.

Off the ground and recording 🎉
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Setting Up a New Field Station

Supplies are taking off from the city of Yoro to the small rural town of Subirana; the coffee-growing lands.

And they’re arriving at a farm that’s being turned into a field research station!

This will provide a hub for researchers and community members. A place where they can gather, share/compare data, use the internet, have a meal, and even wash their clothes, which can get easily drenched depending on how the weather swings that day, rain or heat!

The internet task force!
Installing a new water system.
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Yoro Biological Corridor Central Government Meetings

Marching ahead with government support for the Yoro Biological Corridor this month.

Above: Meeting in the Central Government Office (ICF) in Yoro w/ the Honduran Forest Park & Wildlife Service … Discussing next steps with Yoro Biological Corridor.

Below: Presenting to the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Yoro Region … Building on support for Yoro Biological Corridor.

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Second Round of Soil Samples

More soil collection is underway on IOC farms in the Yoro region of Honduras!

Carried out by youth conservationists, this fieldwork is critical to accurately quantifying the carbon-sequestering capabilities of the soil on Yoro Model lands.

Yoro Biological Corridor researchers are about two-thirds of the way done taking samples now, and expect have the soil data by this fall. (The first samples were taken back in October-November of 2022).

So many samples, so little time 😉
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Yoro Biological Corridor @ Sustainable Coffee Challenge ‘All-Partners Meeting’

The Yoro Biological Corridor (YBC) had representation at the global Sustainable Coffee Challenge’s “All-Partner Meeting”.

Mesoamerican Development Institute attended the two-day (March 7-8) event in Tampa, Florida.

Also in attendance were some of the largest coffee companies in the world, including Nestle, Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee, Starbucks, Keurig Dr Pepper and many more.

The overall objective of the meeting was get coffee industry leaders together, in one place, to address sustainability issues within the industry.

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Not Your Typical Coffee Defect Analysis

As this year’s coffee harvest gets plucked from the trees, Integrated Open Canopy™ test farms are busily being studied!

A defect analysis is underway here, providing quantitative data of natural pest control (i.e. ecosystem services).

This puts a scientifically proven price on how well birds combat the coffee borer beetle, so that farmers can get adequately paid for having organic pest control on their farms.

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First Soil Samples for Carbon Analysis Collected

There’s more than just sustainable coffee in the Yoro Biological Corridor … These are the very first soil samples collected from Integrated Open Canopy™ (IOC) coffee farms!

These samples are arriving at a local lab, so that scientists can accurately quantify the carbon-sequestering capabilities of IOC coffee farms, (which are half coffee farm, half restored forest).

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Mayor of Yoro + Forest Co-Manager Meeting

A very productive meeting today between the Mayor of Yoro, Martha Puentes, and the Yoro Biological Corridor team (above).

In addition to a National Park Co-Managers meeting (below).

These meetings are part of the on-the-ground work to coordinate development of the right model for the region, which is plagued by immediate deforestation and water scarcity problems. This developing ‘Yoro Model’ leads to a fully protected forest corridor that also serves local communities.

Forest Co-Managers and organization representatives coming together to discuss ecological issues and strategies.
Sharing maps and data in order to analyze local forest size and health.