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Photo Story: Creating A Protected Area Plan For Indio Maíz

By Global Wildlife Conservation on November 16, 2017   duration 2 min read

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Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) changed its name to Re:wild in 2021

Over the past month members of the GWC team have been working with local people on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua to create a community-driven, protected area management plan for Indio Maíz Biological Reserve.

Indio Maíz Biological Reserve

The reserve forms part of one of the five biggest forests remaining in Central America and is home to Baird’s Tapir, Jaguar, macaws, anteater and a host of other fantastic wildlife–such as this King Vulture the team was excited to spot.

Rama indigenous people

The reserve is also home to the Rama indigenous people of the Indian River community.

Rama indigenous people

As well as two afro-descendant Kriol communities, Corn River and Greytown.

Members of the government of the Rama and Kriol and Global Wildlife Conservation

Members of the government of the Rama and Kriol and Global Wildlife Conservation met with communities in Greytown, Corn River and Indian River (above) to gather input for the plan.

Members of the government of the Rama and Kriol and Global Wildlife Conservation

Communities identified values, threats and actions for Indio Maíz.

importance of biodiversity

Many discussed the importance of biodiversity, as well as ecosystem benefits such as clean air and water, as very valuable.

importance of biodiversity

Indio Maíz faces many threats, particularly from ‘colonos’–cattle-ranching settlers who illegally come into the reserve. Related to colonos’ presence are other major threats such as the use of chemicals for fishing, illegal hunting and deforestation.

indio maiz

People were keen to get their ideas down at each community meeting, suggesting actions and identifying who needs to do what to address the threats.

women’s group discussing actions at the Corn River community meeting

The women’s group discussing actions at the Corn River community meeting.

The women’s group discussing actions at the Corn River community meeting.

Every meeting had a swirl of activity going on around it: curious onlookers, rambunctious kids, barking dogs and laughing babies.

Following the community meetings, topic-focused working groups further discussed and detailed actions for the plan.

Following the community meetings, topic-focused working groups further discussed and detailed actions for the plan.

Following the community meetings, topic-focused working groups further discussed and detailed actions for the plan.

Next steps: compile all the information generated by the communities and working groups into a visual plan.

Ariel view of Indio Maiz, Nicaragua. (Photo by Nick Hawkins) Ariel view of Indio Maiz, Nicaragua. (Photo by Nick Hawkins)

The team moving toward a secure future for Indio Maiz–with a baby Baird’s Tapir.

The team moving toward a secure future for Indio Maiz–with a baby Baird’s Tapir.

(All photos courtesy of Global Wildlife Conservation unless otherwise specified)

About the author

Global Wildlife Conservation

GWC conserves the diversity of life on Earth by safeguarding wildlands, protecting wildlife and supporting guardians. We maximize our impact through scientific research, biodiversity exploration, habitat conservation, protected area management, wildlife crime prevention, endangered species recovery, and conservation leadership cultivation.

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