Honduras: The Latin American Mangrove Network is born

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Thirty delegates from 10 Latin American countries met at Choluteca, Honduras, from 27 to 30 August to establish the REDMANGLAR (Mangrove Network). Its main objective is to defend mangroves and coastal ecosystems, to guarantee their vitality and that of the populations who relate with them, from hazards and impacts of activities, mainly industrial, likely to degrade the environment.

The REDMANGLAR has the following objectives:

1.- To halt the expansion of inappropriate economic industrial activities in coastal ecosystems as they are considered to be destructive.

2.- To strengthen the overall development of local communities and their grass-roots organizations and promote exchange, knowledge and experience.

3.- To restore remaining mangrove areas and degraded coastal ecosystems, abandoned or illegally occupied by industries, and reincorporate them for community use, management and custody.

4.- To denounce and halt attempts to legalise and internationally fund industrial aquaculture, tourist industries and others.

5.- To ensure strict compliance by States, governments and companies with the laws and compensation for damage caused to communities and ecosystems.

6.- To demand that governments adopt policies and issue laws and other legal instruments, complying with them in conformity with international treaties to enable the conservation of mangroves and coastal ecosystems.

7.- To disseminate, promote and link local efforts in defence of natural resources and local communities.

8.- To implement awareness and training programmes on the value of mangroves and coastal ecosystems at national and international levels.

9.- To promote international solidarity in support of REDMANGLAR objectives as a principle and strategy.

10.- To denounce those industrial activities which are presently strongly affecting mangrove and coastal ecosystems, mainly shrimp farming and industrial tourism.