Nicaragua: Local and regional environmental management for the management of natural resources and provision of environmental services


Nicaragua's Bosawas Biosphere Reserve is Central America's largest rainforest and part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. The Joint Programme's aim was to improve management of the protected area, increase access to water and sanitation, provide renewable energy and promote agroforestry as a means to boost incomes. 

The Programme was composed of activities around five interrelated components:

  1. Basin management that focused on risk management, a conceptual framework, and at the same time incorporated each of the other components;
  2. Equal access to potable water and sanitation;
  3. Provision of renewable energy to rural communities by means of participation and empowerment processes for men and women;
  4. Promotion of productive agroforestry systems which are appropriate for the ecosystems of the area and generating income; and
  5. Research, training, and communication.

The cross-cutting themes of strengthening local institutions, political participation, and gender equality was taken into consideration.

Main achievements included:

  • 3,511 km2 of land in the three microbasins of the Wawa, Kukalaya, and Waspuk Rivers are being administered through management plans developed in a participatory manner and approved by authorities.
  • 5,561 people, including 2,361 school-age children, have access to safe, potable drinking water and sanitation, thanks to water and sanitation works supported by the programme.
  • 4,428 inhabitants of selected microbasins are benefiting from renewable energy sources set up by the programme. 
  • Communities are managing and maintaining their water systems, and a monitoring program was set up that includes water quality risk indicators. 
  • Frameworks were established to develop research, communication, community participation and environmental education for sustainable development of the Bosawás Reserve. The municipalities obtained the means, equipment and trained staff for sustainable development of the reserve.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Nicaragua (in Spanish).





The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 20 Aug 2008 - 18 Apr 2012
Net funded amount $4,498,410
Participating UN agencies PAHO / WHO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIDO, WFP
National partners Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos Naturales –MARENA, Ministerio Agropecuario y Forestal –MAGFOR, Fondo de Inversión Social y Emergencia – FISE, Ministerio de Energía y Minas – MEM. Ministerio de Salud -MINSA, Gobierno Regional de la RAAN – GRAAN
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