GROWING NATURAL LEADERS
EcoLogic Development Fund • Annual Report 2013–2014
EcoLogic Development Fund’s mission is to empower
rural and indigenous people to restore and protect tropical
ecosystems in Central America and Mexico.
A boat docked on the Sarstún
River, which forms part of the
border between Guatemala and
Belize. EcoLogic works with
artisanal fisherfolk on both
sides of the border to facilitate
cross-border cooperation for
© Lee Shane
EcoLogic currently has nine
active projects in five countries:
two projects in Mexico, three in
Guatemala, two in Honduras,
one in Panama, and one
cross-border project that
brings together communities
in Belize and Guatemala.
WE’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A FEW OF OUR HEROES
Dear Friends and Supporters,
When I write about EcoLogic’s work, I often focus on the big picture: we work in Mexico and Central
America because the region holds tremendous biological diversity, yet its rural communities are vulnerable
and underserved. But at its core, our work is about individuals: extraordinary people who effect change from
the ground up, working tirelessly to make our shared goal of large-scale, landscape-level conservation a
reality. Nature and people depend on each other—not only to survive, but to thrive.
Our work is urgent. As the pressure on our planet increases and we grapple with climate change, EcoLogic’s
model of community-based, collaborative conservation becomes even more critical.
Since 1993, EcoLogic has worked in more than 600 communities, inspiring and training local leaders who
bring our vision forward.
In this annual report, we proudly honor three shining examples of local leadership: Bestalina Martínez,
whose work empowers communities across Atlántida, Honduras, to turn environmental protection into
economic opportunity; Nolverto Troches, a devoted grandfather in San Juan, Guatemala, who is piloting
conservation solutions for the sake of future generations; and Isabela Alonzo Martín, a young Maya Chuj
advocate for both the environment and indigenous women’s rights in San Mateo Ixtatán, Guatemala.
Thanks to your support, Nolverto started an agroforestry plot in his backyard. Bestalina implemented
an innovative recycling program that is protecting our planet while helping rural communities. Isabela
has connected dozens of women with the opportunity to have a meaningful role in their community by
protecting the forest. They have the vision, drive, and inspiration to lead their communities in protecting
the ecosystems upon which we all depend.
What EcoLogic does best is to give local people what they need to achieve their dreams of a brighter, more
just, and more sustainable future for their communities—and we couldn’t do this without you.
(left), with EcoLogic’s
accepts the EcoLogic
Innovation Award at
our 2014 annual benefit.
Growing Natural Leaders • Annual Report 2013–2014 3
HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR WORK IN 2013
G U AT E M A L A
Piloting Better Fuel-Efficient Stoves
Fuel-efficient stoves are an important part of EcoLogic’s menu of community-based approaches to
conservation and sustainable development. Over the past few years, we have worked on expanding
and improving our stove program. In July 2013, a group of EcoLogic regional staff attended the Global
Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’ stakeholder consultation in Antigua, Guatemala. Based on information
from the workshop and research conducted by several interns, we piloted a new, more fuel-efficient
model of stove in Guatemala. The model was selected for its durability, likelihood of cultural accep-
tance, indoor air-pollution and fuel-efficiency ratings, safety, and cost, among other factors. In August,
we installed 25 test stoves with our partner, the 48 Cantones of Totonicapán, and provided training and
guidance to community members on how to use and maintain the stoves. As we expand our stove pro-
gram, we are developing tools to evaluate which stove models best fit the cultural and environmental
needs of the communities we serve.
4 EcoLogic Development Fund • Annual Report 2013–2014
Ana Mateo Francisco with
her new fuel-efficient stove in
© Dan Grossman
EcoLogic’s Expanding Agroforestry Work
Connects Farmers to National Incentives Program
EcoLogic boasts more than 10 years’ experience using agroforestry, a technique of planting trees
alongside crops to preserve biodiversity and enrich soil, as an alternative method to environmentally
destructive slash-and-burn farming in Guatemala. In 2013, we focused on strategically expanding and
scaling up our agroforestry work to reach more farmers. We are proud that EcoLogic’s agroforestry
work in Ixcán, Guatemala, has helped communities leverage additional support through the national
Program of Incentives to Small Landowners with Agroforestry or Forest Vocations (PINPEP in
Spanish), which compensates farmers in cash for sustainably managing their land. By the end of 2013,
EcoLogic helped farmers in Ixcán earn $106,300 for the reforestation of 112 acres of degraded land,
$26,055 for implementing 55 acres of agroforestry, and $10,247 for the protection of forest resources.
These funds have directly benefitted 174 families!
H O N D U R A S
EcoLogic Chosen as Solution Search Award Finalist
for Watershed Work
EcoLogic was chosen as one of the top 10 finalists for the Solution Search: Adapting to a Changing
Climate contest, sponsored by the Nature Conservancy and Rare! We were nominated for our work in
watershed management through our Communities Organizing for Watersheds project with our partner,
the Association of Water Councils in the Southern Sector of Pico Bonito National Park (AJAASSPIB in
Spanish). The International Solution Search Award recognizes innovative conservation successes for
communities where the need is greatest. The contest received 85 entries from 37 countries around the
world. EcoLogic is proud to have made it to the top 10!
Rewarding Community-Led Innovation
In November 2013, EcoLogic held a competition among our partner organizations to encourage the
development of innovative solutions to the issues we tackle together: natural resource conservation
and improving the livelihoods of local populations. A panel of four expert judges selected our Honduran
partner, the Alliance of Municipalities of Central Atlántida (MAMUCA), as the recipient of the very
first EcoLogic Innovation Award, a $10,000 prize generously provided in part by the Kendeda Fund.
The cash award is being used to help MAMUCA develop a business plan for and expand a program
of local community stores where people can use recyclable materials, such as aluminum cans and
plastic bags, to “purchase” food and other household items. This economically and environmentally
sustainable project is reducing solid waste in the forests and waterways around Pico Bonito National
Park while providing a valuable new source of income for local community members who participate.
MAMUCA currently operates two stores in two communities and hopes to build more in the future!
Growing Natural Leaders • Annual Report 2013–2014 5
6 EcoLogic Development Fund • Annual Report 2013–2014
(Left to right) Field
(second from left),
Regional Director of
and Senior Program
Officer for Institutional
the FARCO team in
November 2013 for the
launch of EcoLogic’s
new project in the
Chinantla region of
M E X I C O
Building an Exciting New Partnership in Oaxaca
EcoLogic is excited to be developing a second project in Mexico with our newest partner, Fondo
Ambiental Regional de la Chinantla (FARCO) in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca. FARCO is a com-
munity-based organization that coordinates cooperation among civil society, academia, and the
government to advance the region’s social and environmental development. The goals of this new
project are to reforest degraded sections of forest in the Papaloapan River basin to create a 20,000-
acre community reserve; to build the capacity of local communities to conserve and live sustainably
through environmental education and technical training; and to introduce sustainable sources of
income for communities to reduce poverty while protecting the environment. We have begun training
and capacity-building workshops and are working on a plan to incentivize rural and indigenous com-
munities to reforest degraded areas within the Papaloapan River watershed. We are confident that by
working together with FARCO on this new project, we will make significant progress toward conserv-
ing approximately 30,000 acres of critical forest habitat in the Chinantla region.
New Funding Moves CarbonPlus Project Forward in Chiapas
In 2012, EcoLogic launched a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)
project in the Lacandón Jungle region of the Cojolita mountain range of Chiapas, Mexico. The ultimate
goal—with EcoLogic’s support and technical guidance—is for local Mayan communities to be compen-
sated for their efforts to conserve the rainforest by gaining access to carbon markets. In 2013, EcoLogic
was awarded a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which allowe