The Yoro Biological Corridor is a public/private sector initiative of the Honduran Forest, Park and Wildlife Services (Forest Conservation Institute) and the 11 municipalities of the Department of Yoro, Honduras. The initiative includes the partnership of the Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI), the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), and the University of Massachusetts. Designed to promote sustainable development in a region experiencing rapid deforestation of cloud forests due primarily to increasing coffee production in the mountainous regions surrounding four national parks.
The Yoro Biological Corridor enjoys broad support. The 11 mayors and governor of the Department of Yoro recently signed a letter of endorsement calling on the region’s principle development bank (Inter-American Development Bank) to fund the implementation of the Yoro Biological Corridor and its education and market scale-up activities. The Mayors are at the front lines of the impact of climate change and impact of deforestation on their cities and towns.
A translation of the letter follows:
We, the mayors of the Department of Yoro, Honduras, wish to convey our strongest support for the Yoro Biological Corridor Initiative. We urge you to act favorably and expeditiously on the proposed $45 million, 10-year proposal presented to the Inter-American Development Bank, entitled:
“The Yoro Biological Corridor Initiative: Renewable Energy Technology for Coffee Processing and Export & Forest-Friendly Production in Yoro, Honduras: the “Yoro Model”
The proposal addresses key urgent concerns impacting our rapidly diminishing cloud forests, national parks and watersheds facing destruction, and the critical services they provide our municipalities, particularly: drinking water, erosion control, electric power, and sustainable communities resilient to the increasingly extreme precipitation and storm events.
The Yoro Biological Corridor seeks to provide the tools, training, and markets required to transition coffee and other agroforesty systems to enterprises (production and processing) in harmony with our threatened national parks and cloud forests.
In addition, the Yoro Biological Corridor will engage our youth in training and education to allow them to be at the forefront of carbon neutral coffee production and processing by scaling up the Off-Grid grid processing that was introduced as a model for the worldwide coffee industry in Yoro, Honduras in 2012. We look with great anticipation to having a local and rural presence of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) and the introduction of carbon trading based on the collaborative research of Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI), UNAH, and the University of Massachusetts.
[Signed by the 11 Mayors and Governor of the Department of Yoro. These municipalities have legal jurisdiction within the Yoro Biological Corridor]
The Yoro Biological Corridor is also endorsed by the following Honduran entities:
- National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH)
- The Institute for Forest Conservation (ICF)
- The Finance Ministry (SEFIN)
- The National Electric Generation Company (ENEE)
- The National Council for Sustainable Development (CONADES)
- Coffee producers of Yoro, Cooperative COMISUYL, Yoro, Honduras (Co-Managers of Pico Pijol National Park)
And in the US by:
- US Forest Service
- University of Massachusetts
- Cornell University
- The American Bird Conservancy
- Partners in Flight
- The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat