- This business plan will support the sustainable development of the park and the municipality of San Pedro Yepocapa
December 8, 2023. The municipality of San Pedro Yepocapa, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, has implemented planning, management, and protection processes for the Joya Grande Regional Municipal Park, given its importance as a remnant of mixed forest on the slopes of Volcán de Fuego, which is also considered a strategic refuge for flora and fauna, such as the Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) and the Cacho's turkey (Oreophasis derbianus), emblematic birds of the country. The area is also of great importance for water production, which supplies the population and various productive activities.
CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), as part of the Landscape Connectivity and Livelihoods in Four Municipalities (CATIE-Volcanoes) project, has supported the municipality of San Pedro Yepocapa in processes related to the sustainable management of the park. In this sense, a business plan has been developed with the objective of having a technical and administrative tool to conduct actions related to sustainable financial management.
In this process, lessons learned were analyzed, field information was collected, local stakeholders were consulted, and potential activities were defined to reduce the financial gap and move the municipality towards sustainable management, visualizing actions in the medium and short term, with analysis scenarios for the next 10 years.
According to Jacobo Cotto, project coordinator, the business plan is important because it contributes to the conservation and improvement of ecosystem services with environmental, social and economic impact for the sustainable development of the municipality, allowing for a healthy ecosystem with multiple benefits, such as ecotourism, bird watching, applied scientific research, biological monitoring, and water supply in quantity and quality, among others.
The business plan was developed with the active participation of the technical team of the Municipal Environmental Management Unit (UGAM), the Municipal Water and Sanitation Office (OMAS), the Municipal Women's Office, members of the Municipal Council, private landowners, and the project's technical team. Said plan was presented and discussed with the members of the Municipal Council for approval, considering 10-year projections under a reimbursable financial model to find the break-even point and return on investment.
"I appreciate the information and the work done in coordination with the municipal representatives, of which we will immediately follow up and continue with decision making to achieve the sustainable management of our territory. The road has not been easy and we have had complications, but we will continue working hard because I have a special appreciation for the natural resources and all the natural beauty of our municipality," said Bernabé Ajín Vicente, municipal mayor of San Pedro Yepocapa.
During the presentation of the plan, the results of the analysis were highlighted, indicating that in the sustainable management of the territory it is necessary to consider the Joya Grande Municipal Regional Park and its area of influence as of vital importance for the development of the municipality, as well as the scenarios and experience that lead to the considerations of greater occupation and permanence around all the tourist activities offered by the municipality, as well as the high wealth of existing water resources.
For Gerson Illu, municipal councilman of environment, the information received is of great importance to lead the actions and work synergies, manage cooperation and next steps in the new municipal administration. We have the tours and sites of interest for tourist facilities and information on water resources in our municipality. By instructions of the mayor and our commitment as Municipal Council we will follow up in the short term", said Illu.
The follow-up and implementation actions will be executed during the first semester of 2024 and will continue with the management of alternatives for the municipality to achieve the sustainable management of the Joya Grande Municipal Regional Park.
CATIE implements the CATIE-Volcanoes project within the framework of the project Promoting Sustainable and Resilient Territories in Landscapes of the Central Volcanic Chain of Guatemala, implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN).
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