The importance of forest conservation and restoration in El Salvador

One of the most significant challenges in environmental education is, beyond teaching concepts and definitions, conveying scientific knowledge for people to understand the ecosystem in which they live. 

Among the goals of the Suma Un Bosque project is to find solutions to the environmental problems faced by the Lomas del Tecana community in El Salvador. Usually, these are the result of misinformation and lack of interest on the part of key actors to guarantee that people acknowledge their right to a healthy environment.

For this reason, on 1 October 2022, with the organization Un PulmĂłn Más, we held our first workshop for the Lomas del Tecana Intersectoral Committee: “Let’s talk about the importance of forest conservation and restoration.” During the activity, we exchanged knowledge and experiences:

After addressing the central theme, in working groups, we discussed what we can contribute or do better, and what they can do to make it possible, based on questions that helped us learn what the members think about our project in their community. These were their answers: 

What are the current environmental issues in the community?  

  • Forest fires  
  • Solid waste pollution  
  • Landslides and mudslides 
  • Unmanaged crops  
  • Harassment of wildlife  
  • Soil erosion  
  • Temperature increase 

Why is it important to plant trees in Cerro Tecana?  

  • They provide oxygen and water  
  • Generate a pleasant climate  
  • Improve the soil   
  • Prevent landslides and mudslides  
  • Provide a home for wildlife  
  • Provide resources and food 

How can the community support the Suma Un Bosque project?  

Learning how to protect and restore their home, teaching others about the importance of the forest, and attending tree planting activities with enthusiasm–It’s a win-win for everyone. 

How can Un PulmĂłn Más contribute to the rescue of Cerro Tecana?  

  • Improving communication with the community and working hand in hand.  
  • Providing accompaniment and advice for farmers and people who want to join the initiative.  
  • Giving continuity to the project.  
  • Providing materials and human resources to support reforestation activities. 

In short, getting to know the community is the first step in carrying out environmental projects; they interact with their environment daily and can be agents of change with every action they take to care for the forest. Sharing our organization’s knowledge is essential for our work to prosper in this wonderful forest. Without education, there is no future. 

Learn about nature-based solutions on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) website

Lomas del Tecana Community

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Supporting partners

The Restoration Stewards program provides funding, mentorship and training to deepen the impact of youth-led restoration projects. The year-long program is run by the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) under the banner of Generation Restoration to support and highlight the work of eight young restoration practitioners and their teams in 2023.

During the program, the Restoration Stewards and their teams are  supported to further develop their project and serve as ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards share their journeys in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges and participate in different international events to showcase their work. Locally, they are sparking a restoration movement, mobilizing local communities and creating pathways to connect, share, learn, and act for livelihoods and landscapes.