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Rapid Assessment of Anthropogenic Impacts on Select ...

PROJECT FOR THE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE

OF THE MESOAMERICAN BARRIER REEF SYSTEM

(MBRS)

Belize – Guatemala – Honduras - México

ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> ong>Anthropogenicong> ong>Impactsong> on

Select Transboundary Watersheds

ong>ofong> the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems (MBRS) Region

A Collaborative Effort between the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems (MBRS)

Project, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and

Tufts University

May 2007

Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Project

Project Coordination Unit

Coastal Zone Multi-Complex Building

Princess Margaret Drive

Belize City, Belize.


ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> ong>Anthropogenicong> ong>Impactsong> on

Select Transboundary Watersheds

ong>ofong> the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS) Region

A Collaborative Effort between the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems (MBRS)

Project, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and

Tufts University

May 2007

Editors: Melissa Bailey, Jan Meerman, Marydelene Vasquez and Abigail Parish

Hydrology/Land Use section authors:

Melissa Bailey (Tufts University)

Paul H. Kirshen, Ph. D. (Tufts University)

Edward Spang (Tufts University)

Socioeconomic section authors:

Steve Morrison (NOAA)

Carolina Pizarro (NOAA Intern)

Georgia Kayser (Tufts University)

Legal and Institutional section authors:

Gonzalo Cid, Ph. D. (NOAA)

Abigail Parish (Tufts University)

Maps prepared by:

Marydelene Vasquez (MBRS Project)

Emil Cherrington (formerly ong>ofong> Coastal Zone Management Institute)


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Acknowledgements

Executive Summary

vi

viii

xiii

A. INTRODUCTION xiv

B. WATERSHED PROFILES

1. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Quintana Roo

Subterranean Drainage Systems:

a. Introduction 1

b. Hydrology and Land Use 1

c. Socioeconomic Findings 5

i.) Demographics 5

ii.) Economic Welfare 5

iii.) Sanitation and Health 6

iv.) Community Perceptions 7

2. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Hondo Watershed:

a. Introduction 8

b. Hydrology and Land Use 8

c. Socioeconomic Findings 12

i.) Demographics 12

ii.) Economic Welfare 12

iii.) Sanitation and Health 13

iv.) Community Perceptions 15

3. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Belize River Watershed:

a. Introduction 16

b. Hydrology and Land Use 16

c. Socioeconomic Findings 19

i.) Demographics 19

ii.) Economic Welfare 19

iii.) Sanitation and Health 20

iv.) Community Perceptions 20

4. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Temash River

Watershed:

a. Introduction 22

b. Hydrology and Land Use 22

c. Socioeconomic Findings 24

i.) Demographics 24

ii.) Economic Welfare 25

iii.) Sanitation and Health 25

iv.) Community Perceptions 26

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5. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Sarstún River

Watershed:

a. Introduction 28

b. Hydrology and Land Use 28

c. Socioeconomic Findings 30

i.) Demographics 30

ii.) Economic Welfare 31

iii.) Sanitation and Health 32

iv.) Community Perceptions 33

6. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Dulce Watershed:

a. Introduction 34

b. Hydrology and Land Use 34

c. Socioeconomic Findings 36

i.) Demographics 36

ii.) Economic Welfare 37

iii.) Sanitation and Health 37

iv.) Community Perceptions 39

7. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Motagua Watershed:

a. Introduction 40

b. Hydrology and Land Use 40

c. Socioeconomic Findings 44

i.) Demographics 44

ii.) Economic Welfare 45

iii.) Sanitation and Health 45

iv.) Community Perceptions 46

8. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Chamelecón

Watershed:

a. Introduction 48

b. Hydrology and Land Use 48

c. Socioeconomic Findings 51

i.) Demographics 51

ii.) Economic Welfare 52

iii.) Sanitation and Health 52

iv.) Community Perceptions 53

9. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Ulúa Watershed:

a. Introduction 54

b. Hydrology and Land Use 54

c. Socioeconomic Findings 56

i.) Demographics 56

ii.) Economic Welfare 57

iii.) Sanitation and Health 57

iv.) Community Perceptions 59

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C. LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE TRANSBOUNDARY

WATERSHEDS IN THE MESOAMERICAN BARRIER REEF SYSTEMS AREA

a. Summary 60

b. Introduction 60

c. Methodology and Justification 61

1. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS FROM INTERVIEWS AND SECONDARY SOURCES

ON THE NATIONAL LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES

1. Mexico: 63

a. Institutions 63

b. Laws 63

c. Interviews 64

d. Jurisdiction and Population Densities 64

e. Principal Problems Associated with Environmental Legislation 64

2. Belize: 65

a. Institutions 65

b. Laws 65

c. Interviews 66

d. Jurisdiction and Population Densities 66

e. Principal Problems Associated with Environmental Legislation 67

3. Guatemala: 67

a. Institutions 67

b. Laws 68

c. Interviews 68

d. Jurisdiction and Population Densities 68

e. Principal Problems Associated with Environmental Legislation 69

4. Honduras: 69

a. Institutions 69

b. Laws 70

c. Interviews 70

d. Jurisdiction and Population Densities 71

e. Principal Problems Associated with Environmental Legislation 71

2. SUMMARY OF INTERVIEWS 72

3. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE 74

4. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INTERVENTION 75

D. BIBLIOGRAPHY 82

___________________________________________________________________________

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ANNEXES

Annex 1. List ong>ofong> Institutions Interviewed by Country A1

Annex 2. Belize: List ong>ofong> Relevant Environmental Legislation A2

Annex 3. Guatemala: List ong>ofong> Relevant Environmental Legislation A6

Annex 4. Honduras: List ong>ofong> Relevant Environmental Legislation A13

Annex 5. Mexico: List ong>ofong> Relevant Environmental Legislation A18

Annex 6. Status ong>ofong> International Legal Framework in the MBRS Countries A26

Annex 7. List ong>ofong> Relevant Non-binding Instruments A27

Annex 8. Legal and Institutional Recommendation from Consultation Meetings

Annex 9.

(Chetumal and Puerto Barrios, November 2005)

A29

Questionnaire Used by Interviewers as Reference for the In-person

Interviews to Government Agencies Representatives in the MBRS Region

A35

MAPS

Map 1: Land Cover and Land Use in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems Region

Map 2: Population Density in Watershed Studied

Map 3: Protected Areas and Watersheds Studied

A38

A39

A40

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1 Quintana Roo State: Monthly Precipitation 2

Figure 2 Quintana Roo State: Ratios ong>ofong> Water Use vs. Availability 3

Figure 3 Quintana Roo State: Land Cover Distribution 4

Figure 4 Río Hondo: 2004 Data on DO and % Saturation 9

Figure 5 Rio Hondo: 2004 Data on Phosphate Concentration 10

Figure 6 Rio Hondo Watershed: Land Cover Distribution 11

Figure 7 Belize River: Belize City: Monthly Precipitation 17

Figure 8 Belize River Watershed: Land Cover Distribution 17

Figure 9 Temash River: Punta Gorda Monthly precipitation 23

Figure 10 Temash River Watershed: Land Cover Distribution 24

Figure 11 Sarstún River: Punta Gorda Monthly Precipitation 29

Figure 12 Sarstún River Watershed: Land Cover Distribution 30

Figure 13 Rio Dulce: Livingston-Izabal: Average Monthly Precipitation 35

Figure 14 Rio Dulce: Land Cover Distribution 35

Figure 15 Motagua: Ratios ong>ofong> Water Use vs. Availability 41

Figure 16 Rio Motagua: 2003 Lead Concentration Data 42

Figure 17 Rio Motagua: 2003 Phosphorous Concentration Data 42

Figure 18 Rio Motagua: 2003 TDS Graph 42

Figure 19 Rio Motagua: 2003 Turbidity Graph 42

Figure 20 Rio Motagua: Land Cover Distribution 43

Figure 21 Rio Chamelecón: 2003 Monthly Precipitation 48

Figure 22 Rio Chamelecón: Monthly Stream Flow Averaged 1972-1992 49

Figure 23 Rio Chamelecón: Ratios ong>ofong> Water Use vs. Availability 49

Figure 24 Rio Chamelecón: Land Cover Distribution 50

Figure 25 Rio Ulua: Ratios ong>ofong> Water Use vs. Availability 55

Figure 26 Rio Ulua: Land Cover Distribution 55

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Summary Table: Issues and Perspectives on Legal and Institutional Aspects

from National Agencies Representatives 72

Table 2: Recommendations for Intervention 76

___________________________________________________________________________

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ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

Institutions

Acronym Country Institution

ABRE Honduras Áreas Bajo Régimen Especial

AMARSURLI Guatemala Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca y del

Lago de Izabal y Río Dulce

BERDS Belize Biodiversity and Environmental Resource Data System

BWS Belize Belize Water Services

CALAS Guatemala Centro de Acción Legal – Ambiental y Social de

Guatemala

CCAD Regional Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo

CESCCO Honduras Centro de Estudios y Control de Contaminantes

CEVS Honduras Comisión del Valle de Sula

CICY Mexico Centro de Investigaciones Científicas de Yucatán

CILA Mexico Comisión Internacional de Límites y Aguas

CNA Mexico Comisión Nacional de Agua

COHDEFOR Honduras Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo Forestal

CONAGUA Mexico Comisión Nacional del Agua (Previously CNA)

CONANP Mexico Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas

CONAP Guatemala Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas

DECA Honduras Dirección de Evaluación y Control Ambiental

DIMA Honduras División Municipal de Aguas (San Pedro Sula)

CSO Belize Central Statistics Office

DOE Belize Department ong>ofong> the Environment

FUNDAECO Guatemala Fundación para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación

GPA Regional UNEP Global Programme ong>ofong> Action for the Protection ong>ofong>

the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities

IHT Honduras Instituto Hondureño de Turismo

IMTA Mexico Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua

INAB Guatemala Instituto Nacional de Bosques

INSIVUMEH Guatemala Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología,

Meteorología y Hidrológica

LBS Regional 1999 Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based

Sources and Activities in the Wider Caribbean Region ong>ofong>

the Cartagena Convention

LGAP Honduras Ley General de Administración Publica

MAGA Guatemala Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación

MARN Guatemala Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales

MBRS Regional Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Project

NOAA United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

PROFEPA Mexico Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente

SAG Honduras Secretaría de Agricultura y Ganadería

SATIIM Belize Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management

SEMAR Mexico Secretaria de la Marina

SEMARNAT Mexico Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales

SERNA Honduras Secretaría de de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente

SGJ Honduras Secretaria de Gobernación y Justicia

UNEP United States United Nations Environment Program

USAID United States United States Agency for International Development

WASA Belize Belize Water and Sewage Authority (Now BWS)

___________________________________________________________________________

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ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS (continued)

General

BMP

BOD

COD

DEM

DO

EIA

IWRM

MCM

NGO

NPA

NPK

RWS

SUIBA

TDS

UMA

WASA

WC

mg

L

Km

P

Bz $

US $

Qz.

2,4-D

best management practices

biological oxygen demand

chemical oxygen demand

Digital Elevation Model

dissolved oxygen

Environmental Impact ong>Assessmentong>

Integrated Water and Resources Management

million cubic meters

non-governmental organization

National Programme ong>ofong> Action

commercial fertilizer: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium

rudimentary water system

Unified System for Basic Data on Water

Total Disolved Solids

Unidad Municipal Ambiental, Honduras (Municipal Environmental Unit)

Belize Water and Sewage Authority

water closet

milligram

Liter

Kilometer

Phosphorus

Belize Dollar

American Dollar

Quetzal

2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (herbicide)

___________________________________________________________________________

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Technical Team:

MBRS Project: Noel Jacobs, Alejandro Arrivillaga, Marydelene Vasquez

Tufts University: Melissa Bailey, Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, Paul Kirshen

NOAA: Ed Kruse, Steve Morrisson, Gonzalo Cid, Leah Bunce, John Parks

Tufts University, Medford, MA, U.S.A. provided technical expertise and student research

assistance in the completion ong>ofong> this transboundary watershed assessment. Tufts'

contribution to this work was made through a collaboration between two ong>ofong> its environmental

programs:

The Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) Ph.D. and MA/MS Program, a universitywide

program that trains graduate students on the interdisciplinary perspectives and tools

needed to manage complex water related problems. Dr. Paul Kirshen, Director ong>ofong> WSSS

and member ong>ofong> the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, consulted on and

contributed text to the hydrological and watershed assessment sections ong>ofong> this report. Dr.

John Durant ong>ofong> the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and WSSS Faculty

member consulted on the water quality analyses. Mr. Edward Spang and Ms. Georgia

Kayser, both 2006 Masters degree recipients at The Fletcher School and current WSSS

PhD students, served as field surveyors and research associates for the hydrological and

socioeconomic analyses.

The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) at Tufts' Fletcher

School ong>ofong> Law and Diplomacy, a combined academic-research institute that integrates

emerging science and engineering with more traditional subjects such as economics,

international law and policy, negotiation, diplomacy, resource management and governance

systems. Ms. Melissa Bailey, M.S., former CIERP Assistant Director and current PhD

student at Tufts in Agriculture and Environmental Policy and WSSS student, consulted on

the land-use, agricultural and GIS components ong>ofong> this report and was a co-editor ong>ofong> the final

report. Mr. Paul Campbell and Ms. Abigail Parish, both 2006 Masters degree recipients at

The Fletcher School, served as field surveyors and research associates for the land-use and

legal/institutional analyses.

Tufts also worked in conjunction with MBRS's GIS staff through the Tufts University GIS

Center. Dr. Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, who served on Tufts' faculty through 2006,

worked with Tufts GIS research assistant Ms. Michelle Loquine to prepare maps and spatial

analysis for this study.

The International Program Office (IPO) ong>ofong> NOAA’s National Ocean Service provided

technical and logistic expertise for completion ong>ofong> this study. IPO staff contributed in the

initial stages ong>ofong> the design ong>ofong> the study, involvement ong>ofong> experts in the different phases ong>ofong>

research, and completion ong>ofong> the socioeconomic and the legal and institutional analysis ong>ofong> the

study. IPO also contributed financially to support the Tulum+8 MBRS consultation meeting.

A training course for the research staff on the Nonpoint Source Pollution and Erosion

Comparison Tool (N-SPECT) at the NOAA Coastal Services center in Charleston, North

Carolina, was an additional NOAA contribution to the study coordinated by IPO.

Dr. Clement Lewsey coordinated IPO staff activities and contributions to the project. In

addition Ed Kruse, Steve Morrison, and Dr. Gonzalo Cid were operational point ong>ofong> contact

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for project implementation activities on legal, institutional and socioeconomic analyses. An

IPO intern, Carolina Pizarro, supported the socioeconomic and legal working groups. At the

early stages ong>ofong> the study, former IPO staff members Dr. Leah Bunce and John Parks

contributed in the design and student training for the socioeconomic and environmental

areas ong>ofong> the study.

Watershed Communities:

Belize: Barranco, Belize City, Benque Viejo, Bermudan Landing, Blue Creek, Crique Sarco,

Crooked Tree, Ladyville, Maya Mopan, Midway, San Narciso, San Felipe, Santa Cruz,

Spanish Lookout, Teakettle, and Valley ong>ofong> Peace.

Mexico: Allende, Álvaro Obregón, Bacalar, Cancún, Chetumal, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, José

María Morelos, José Narciso Rovirosa, La Unión, Majahual, Playa del Carmen, Tulum

Guatemala: Livingston, Rio Dulce, Mariscos, Izabal, El Estor, Chichicastenango, San

Agustín Acasaguatrian, Teculutan, Morales, Entre Rios, Puerto Barrios, Modesto Méndez,

Sarstún, Gracias a Dios

Honduras: Copan Ruinas, Omoa, Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Villanueva, Santa Bárbara,

Trinidad, El Progreso, San Pedro Sula, La Entrada, Quimistán, Puerto Cortes

Legal/ Institutional Interviews:

Belize: Belize Audubon Society, Department ong>ofong> the Environment, Geology and Petroleum

Department, Meteorology Department, Former Belize River Keeper, Health Department,

Pesticide Control Board.

Guatemala:

CALAS, INSIVUMEH, Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos Naturales- Proyectos y

Convenios Internacionales, Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales- Unidad de

Recursos Hidricos y Cuencas

Honduras:

Comisión Ejecutiva Valle de Sula (CEVS), DIMA- Unidad Cuencas Hidrograficas, CESCCO

-SERNA, CODEHFOR- Areas Protegidas, Instituto Hondureño deTurismo, SERNA-UPEG,

Secretaria de Gobernacion y Justicia- Direccion General de Ordenamiento Territorial,

Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (SERNA), Dirección de Evaluación y Control

Ambiental (DECA).

México:

Amigos de Sian Ka'an, CONAGUA Chetumal, CONANP, SEMAR, Pronatura, SEMARNAT,

Proyecto Rio Hondo - Comisión Internacional de Limites y Aguas (CILA).

Additional help (including donated information, contacts, etc)

Belize:

Belize Water Services

Coastal Zone Management Institute

Department ong>ofong> Geology and Petroleum

Department ong>ofong> the Environment

Fisheries Department

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Meteorology Department

Pesticide Control Board

PIAS = Regional Plan for Investment in the Environment and Health

Public Health Bureau, Ministry ong>ofong> Health

SATIIM = Sarstoon Temash Institute ong>ofong> Indigenous Management

The Substantive Laws ong>ofong> Belize, Revised Edition 2000

Guatemala:

AMARSURLI = Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca del Lago de Izabal y Rio

Dulce (Authority for the Sustainable Management ong>ofong> the Izabal Lake and Dulce River

Watershed)

CALAS = Centro de Acción Legal-Ambiental y Social

CONAMA = Comision Nacional de Medio Ambiente (National Environmental Commision)

Fundacion Defensores de la Naturaleza

FUNDAECO = Fundación para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación (Foundation for

Ecodevelopment and Conservation)

FUNDARY = Fundacion Mario Dary (Mario Dary Foundation)

IGN = Instituto Geografica Nacional (National Institute ong>ofong> Geography)

INAB = Instituto Nacional de Bosques (National Forestry Institute)

INE = Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (National Statistics Institute)

INSIVUMEH = Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrologia

(National Institute ong>ofong> Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology)

Instituto Nacional de Bosques (INAB),

Juan Francisco Perez Sabino

Livingston Health Center

MAGA = Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganaderia y Alimentacion (Agriculture, Livestock and

Nutrition Ministry)

MARN = Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Environment and Natural Resources

Ministry)

Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Puerto Barrios),

Municipalidad de Puerto Barrios

Oficinista de Departamento Estadistic,

PNUD = Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (United Nations Program for

Development)

SEGEPLAN = Secretaría de Planificación y Programación de la Presidencia

Honduras:

AFE-COHDEFOR = Administracion Forestal del Estado, Corporacion Hondurena de

Desarollo Forestal (State Forest Administration, Honduran Forest Development

Corporation)

AMUPROLAGO = La Asociación de Municipios para la Protección del Lago de Yojoa

(Municipal Association for the Protection ong>ofong> Lake Yojoa)

BID = Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (Interamerican Development Bank)

CEVS = Comision Ejecutiva Valle de Sula

COPECO = Comisión Permanente de Contingencias

Cuerpos de Conservacion Omoa

DGRH = Direccion General de Recursos Hidricos (General Management ong>ofong> Water

Resources)

DIMA = Division Municipal de Aqua (Municipal Water Division)

INE = Instituto Nacional Estadistica (National Statistics Institute)

Instituto Hondureño deTurismo

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JICA = Japan International Cooperation Agency

Municipalidad de Puerto Cortes, BID

Municipio de Santa Barbara, S.B.

PAAR = Proyecto Administracion de Areas Rurales (Rural Areas Administration Project)

PMAIB = Bay Islands Environmental Management Program

PMDN = Prevencion y Mitigacion de Desastres Naturales

PROARCA = Programa Ambiental Regional para Centro America (Regional Environmental

Program for Central America)

PROARCA Costas, PROLANSATE

PRODEMHON = Programa Fortelecemiento Municipal y Desarollo Local (Municipal

Strengthening and Local Development Program)

PROLANSATE = La Fundacion para la Proteccion de Lancetilla, Punta Sal y Texiguat

(Foundation for the Protection ong>ofong> Lancetilla, Punta Sal and Texiguat)

PRONAFOR = Progama Nacional Forestal (National Forest Program)

Republica de Honduras, DIMA

SAG = Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia (Agriculture and Livestock Secretariat)

SECOPT = Secretaría de Comunicaciones, Obras Públicas y Transporte

Secretaria de Salud

SERNA = Secretaria de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (Natural Resources and

Environment Secretariat)

SFH = Society for Family Health

SINIA = Sistema Nacional de Información Ambiental (National Environmental Information

System)

UNDP = United Nations Development Program

USAID Honduras = United States Agency for International Development

Mexico:

Amigos de Sian Ka'an

CAPA = Comision de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado (Potable Water Commission)

CINVESTAV = Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados

CNA = Comision Nacional del Agua (National Water Commision)

CONAP = Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas

DIF = Desarrollo Integral de La Familia

Francisco Imadero

INEGI = Instituto Nacional Estadistica, Geografia y Informatica

Instituto de Oceanografía del Caribe

L. Ortiz-Lozano, et. al.

Pronatura

Secretaria de Ganaderia, Agricultura y Pescas (SAGARPA).

Secretaria de Salud, Honduras

SEDE = Secretaria de Desarrollo Economico,

SEMARNAT = Secretaría de medio ambiente y recursos naturales

State Government ong>ofong> Quintana Roo - Health Services

SUIBA = Sistema Unificado de Informacion Basica del Agua (Unified System for Basic

Information on Water)

Collectors ong>ofong> information:

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Travelled, collected information and conducted interviews for the report: Josue Ake,

Paul Campbell, Renata Ferrari, Georgia Kayser, Abigail Parish, Ada Marina Perez, Addiel

Perez, Chantal Rodriguez and Edward Spang.

Provided transportation and logistical support: Aroldo Santos, Fernando de Leon, Rene,

Joel Torres, Alberto Urbina, Hugo Hidalgo, Romeo Leiva.

Research and data analysis from main ong>ofong>fices: Emil Cherrington and Marydelene

Vasquez (Belize City), Carolina Pizarro (Washington, DC), Michelle Loquine, Dr. Yelena

Ogneva-Himmelberger (Medford MA).

Final edits: Melissa Bailey, Marydelene Vasquez, Abigail Parish, Jan Meerman.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A rapid assessment ong>ofong> the anthropogenic impacts on nine transboundary watersheds

draining onto the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS), which extends across the

coastal waters ong>ofong> Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, was carried out by gathering

and analyzing available data. To determine the anthropogenic impacts affecting the area ong>ofong>

study, two major factors were taken into consideration, to wit: (a) hydrology and land use

and (b) the socioeconomic status ong>ofong> the communities. The nine watersheds studied were:

a. Quintana Roo Subterranean Drainage Systems

b. Rio Hondo Watershed

c. Belize River Watershed

d. Temash River watershed

e. Sarstún River Watershed

f. Rio Dulce Watershed

g. Rio Motagua Watershed

h. Rio Chamelecón Watershed

i. Rio Ulúa Watershed

With the exception ong>ofong> the Quintana Roo Subterranean Drainage Systems, all ong>ofong> these

watersheds are predominantly surface water systems that are highly prone to human

impacts.

The hydrology and land use ong>ofong> each watershed was analyzed to determine the amount ong>ofong>

water that enters the system and how it being used by local communities. Land use was

taken into consideration in order identify the human impacts being faced by the watersheds.

Other aspects that were considered under land use were the vegetation cover and the

economic activities employed in each ong>ofong> the watersheds. By analyzing the economic

activities ong>ofong> the communities it was possible to assess the extent ong>ofong> damage that could

potentially be caused to the systems. This analysis also allowed for the identification ong>ofong>

improved management solutions for the sustainable use and protection ong>ofong> the watersheds.

The purpose ong>ofong> the socioeconomic assessment was to develop a basic understanding ong>ofong> the

socioeconomic context ong>ofong> the nine target watersheds. The methodology used to undertake

this assessment was to analyze primary and secondary data that was available for the

communities found within the watersheds ong>ofong> interest. The data analyzed consisted ong>ofong>

databases, social statistics, published and unpublished literature as well as interviews

conducted with key informants. Factors such as demographics, economic welfare, material

lifestyle, health, water safety and community perceptions were taken into consideration.

A legal and institutional analysis ong>ofong> the transboundary watersheds in the MBRS region was

conducted with the primary objectives ong>ofong> (i) identifying those institutions with a relevant role

in watershed and/or coastal resources management in each country, (ii) obtaining

information on the institutional interactions, mandates and issues, and (iii) identifying the

legal framework and issues associated with its implementation.

Belize is the only country ong>ofong> the MBRS region with a parliamentary system, where each

electoral district is represented at the national Assembly. Mexico is the only federation ong>ofong>

states with some authority and decision-making devolved to the state-level administration.

Guatemala and Honduras are presidential republics with centralized decision-making

structures. In spite ong>ofong> their institutional differences, all four countries have divided the

administrative roles for land, freshwater, and ocean resources among different institutions or

among divisions ong>ofong> the same organization.

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The largest ong>ofong> the nine transboundary watershed studied is the Yucatán Peninsula

Subterranean Watershed. This watershed is unique in itself because as compared to the

others under investigation its water sources are mainly subterranean and it covers most ong>ofong>

the state ong>ofong> Quintana Roo in Mexico. It covers an approximate area ong>ofong> 31,175 km 2. . As was

the case for all watersheds investigated during this project, in the Yucatán Peninsula

Subterranean Watershed there are no processes in place to deal with disposal ong>ofong>

agricultural wastewater or mitigation measures (e.g. fencing cattle out ong>ofong> drainage areas) to

explicitly prevent agricultural contamination ong>ofong> surface water runong>ofong>f and/or or groundwater.

The smallest watershed ong>ofong> the study area is the Temash watershed located in sparsely

populated southern Belize and eastern Guatemala; it covers an area ong>ofong> approximately 420

km 2 . The majority ong>ofong> the watershed population (95%) is located in Belize. 1 The watershed

also contains the smallest population in the study area with an estimated 1,200 residents. 2

The Temash watershed is located within the poorest region ong>ofong> Belize and the majority ong>ofong>

residents are engaged in subsistence agriculture activities. Most residents in the Temash

basin do not have adequate sanitation facilities thus they may be negatively impacting water

quality through improper sewage disposal. However, Incidence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases are

low in the Temash area and in Belize overall. Community members noted lack ong>ofong>

employment opportunities as the most important social issue facing them.

Although the studied watersheds appear quite diverse, they share common obstacles to

improved management such as the lack ong>ofong> sufficient water quality data and monitoring. Also,

agricultural activities are carried out on unsuitable soils, thus increasing the negative

impacts on the watersheds. Most ong>ofong> the studied watersheds, with the exception ong>ofong> the Rio

Dulce watershed, do not seem to have problems with invasive flora. In the Rio Dulce

watershed one particular invasive species (the aquatic plant Hydrilla verticillata) has sparked

great concern among local people.

The legal and institutional assessment ong>ofong> the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System region

was developed with the objective ong>ofong> identifying the most important institutions and legal

bodies addressing watershed and coastal management in the four MBRS countries.

Information was gathered from primary sources through interviews with government

representatives, and from secondary sources provided by agencies and organizations in

each country or on-line. Many commonalities among the countries were found in the

assessment, including centralized decision-making and priority setting for natural resource

management, the weak but potentially important role ong>ofong> local or sub-national governments,

the lack ong>ofong> financial and prong>ofong>essional capacity ong>ofong> many agencies to fully implement the legal

framework on natural resource management, and the overlapping and/or ineffective legal

framework or mandate ong>ofong> environmental agencies.

There are differences among the MBRS country members such as in the capacity ong>ofong> and

investment in the public sector and legislative framework addressing watershed and/or

coastal resource management issues. Mexico plays a leading role regionally in institutional

structures, legislation and budgeted resources.

1

This summary only included residents in Belize and not Guatemala. Only one community lies on the river in Guatemala.

2

Calculated with MBRS GIS watershed area calculations and Belize CSO Census 2000 data.

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A. INTRODUCTION

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS) extends from the southern half ong>ofong> the

Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay Islands ong>ofong> Honduras and includes the second longest barrier

reef in the world. It is unique in the Western hemisphere due to its length, composition ong>ofong>

reef types, and diverse assemblage ong>ofong> corals and related species. The MBRS contributes to

the stabilization and protection ong>ofong> coastal landscapes, maintenance ong>ofong> coastal water quality,

and serves as breeding and feeding grounds for marine mammals, reptiles, fish and

invertebrates, many ong>ofong> which are ong>ofong> commercial importance. The MBRS is also ong>ofong> immense

socio-economic significance providing employment and a source ong>ofong> income to an estimated

one million people living in adjacent coastal areas.

The goal ong>ofong> the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Project is to enhance protection ong>ofong>

the unique and vulnerable marine ecosystems comprising the MBRS, and to assist the

countries ong>ofong> Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras to strengthen and coordinate

regional policies, regulations, and institutional arrangements for the conservation and

sustainable use ong>ofong> this global public good.

The step from barrier reef to inland watersheds seems an unlikely one. But for some time

now the MBRS Project has realized that proper reef management is not possible without

taking terrestrial influences into account. While activities such as fishing and recreation on

the reef itself are easy to observe and quantify, land based activities ong>ofong>ten have a more

insidious relation to what happens to the reef. Natural processes and above all, human

activities on the land ultimately may influence reef processes through siltation, nutrification

and toxification. Tied in to this are factors such as natural vegetation cover, land use,

population density and socio-economic aspects.

With this realization comes the need for a proper understanding ong>ofong> these land based factors

and as rivers are in so many cases the conduits by which the reef is impacted and since

rivers can be delineated by describing their watersheds, watersheds thus become

management units for land based stresses on the reef. And the MBRS Project has decided

there is an urgent need for more information on these anthropogenic impacts on the

watersheds affecting the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

While the link between watersheds and reef is now obvious, the practical implications are

less straightforward. One major issue is the actual delineation ong>ofong> “watershed”. Watersheds,

although essentially natural entities, are not at all easy to demarcate. Typically, watersheds

are identified using Digital Elevation Models (DEM) based on remote sensing products.

While a proven technique, DEM’s are plagued by resolution issues, gaps and vegetation

cover all affecting their accuracy. Not surprisingly, the resulting watershed boundaries are

not always as well defined as one would hope. Many institutions have attempted to

establish watershed boundary maps for the area which includes the MBRS region and the

result is a plethora ong>ofong> maps which entirely fail to agree. It was not unusual for watersheds to

differ up to 100% in size depending on the watershed map used. Improvement ong>ofong> base line

materials and improvement ong>ofong> techniques have remedied this to some extend but there still

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remains a lot ong>ofong> room for improvement 3 . For this document the MBRS Project selected the

SOURCE map as general baseline.

Even when taking the above into account, the Yucatán Peninsula, part ong>ofong> which forms a

huge portion ong>ofong> the MBRS region does not have any rivers at all! The karstic nature ong>ofong> this

area does not favor the formation ong>ofong> surface rivers and surface water drains directly into

underground aquifers which are ong>ofong> uncertain delineation. For this reason, this subterranean

system has been lumped into one management unit in lieu ong>ofong> an actual watershed.

For this first rapid assessment, 9 watersheds have been selected for analysis. Most

importantly, trans-boundary watersheds were included (Rio Hondo, Belize River, Temash,

Sarstún and Motagua). With the MBRS project having a multi-national focus and the impacts

on the rivers and the reef being irrespective ong>ofong> political boundaries, it was considered

important to compare these trans-boundary watersheds and identify cross-boundary

similarities and disparities to identify cross-boundary management opportunities. While

these trans-boundary watersheds form the initial focus ong>ofong> the study, it was decided to

include a number ong>ofong> large and/or otherwise significant watersheds in the study in order to

come to a more complete picture. Thus the Quintana Roo Subterranean Drainage System,

the Rio Dulce, the Rio Chamelecón and the Rio Ulúa were added.

A critical component ong>ofong> this study is the socioeconomic assessment was to develop a basic

understanding ong>ofong> the socioeconomic context ong>ofong> the nine target MBRS watersheds. To do

this, approximately four to nine communities were selected for study in each watershed to

provide a representative sample ong>ofong> communities within each watershed. This did not,

however, provide a statistically significant sample size to estimate watershed-wide

conditions. In addition to collecting data on these communities, data were also collected at

the sub-national and national level. These data were used when community-level data were

unobtainable and for comparison to conditions in the individual watershed communities

visited. Data were collected on 12 priority indicators in the following categories:

demographics, economic welfare, material style ong>ofong> life, health and water safety and

community perceptions:

Priority indicators:

• Population

• Population growth rate

• Per capita income

• Employment per economic activity

• Presence and prevalence ong>ofong> waterborne disease

• Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

• Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

• Water sources

• Water disposal

• Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

• Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

• Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or should)

be available to people in the community

3 Map sources include CCAD Mapoteca http://www.ccad.ws/documentos/mapas.html for National Boundaries, Watersheds and

Ecosystems. In the case ong>ofong> Belize, updated information was used derived from BERDS: http://www.biodiversity.bz/mapping/warehouse/.

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Data were collected from existing (secondary) sources for the identified indicators. These

sources included existing databases, particularly government public records and social

statistics; existing literature (published and unpublished, government and non-government)

on the watersheds and communities located within them; and to a lesser extent, existing

‘gray’ literature, such as socioeconomic studies conducted in the area that had relevance to

the data being collected. Where secondary data was not available, primary data was

obtained through key informant interviews conducted in the selected communities and with

government ong>ofong>ficials. The accepted methods and standards for administering key informant

interviews (structured and semi-structured) are detailed within pages 96 through 112 in

Bunce et al. (2000) and thus will not be outlined here.

The resulting document as before you provides us with a wealth ong>ofong> information on the issues

affecting the watersheds MBRS region. This is only a first step. This document will show you

that data is not always available in a uniform format, but it also recognizes commonalities

and makes important suggestions for follow up work.

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B. WATERSHED PROFILES

B.1. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Quintana Roo

Subterranean Drainage Systems 1

B.1.a. Introduction

The Quintana Roo Subterranean Drainage Systems 2 , although probably not a single

watershed in the traditional sense is treated here as such for practical purposes. The area

is part ong>ofong> the Yucatán Peninsula and as such should be considered part ong>ofong> a Yucatán

Peninsula Subterranean Drainage System. Virtually the entire Yucatán Peninsula consists ong>ofong>

highly karstified limestone with virtually no permanent rivers (at least not on the surface).

The Subterranean Drainage system is poorly understood and for the purposes ong>ofong> this study

it is best treated as a single system. As such the system has the largest area and is the

fourth largest in population when compared to the other watersheds studied. It is

undergoing extreme population growth to support its thriving tourism industry. This industry

has led to higher wages than Mexican averages, but has fueled unsustainable urban growth.

This growth has outpaced infrastructural capacity to provide adequate urban wastewater

treatment and this is having adverse effects on water quality. Further, the combination ong>ofong> a

low water table and pollution from anthropogenic sources, such as agriculture and the

injection ong>ofong> sewage and industrial wastewater is contaminating the peninsula’s complex

interconnected underwater river system. The need for wastewater disposal infrastructure for

septic tanks, cruise boats and public sewage systems is currently greater than can be met

by municipal means. Waterborne disease is rare within the Yucatan, but this is due primarily

to the chlorination and treatment ong>ofong> drinking water. Community members’ perceptions ong>ofong>

social problems reflect their concern for issues such as alcohol and drug abuse,

poverty/unemployment and lack ong>ofong> social services. Regarding environmental concerns,

individuals were most concerned with garbage collection and water pollution from sewage.

Expanding municipal treatment in tourist areas, increasing infrastructure and enhancing

awareness ong>ofong> the issue were noted as key solutions to these problems.

B.1.b. Hydrology & Land Use

As outlined above, due to practical limitations, only the portion ong>ofong> the Yucatan subterranean

water system which lies within the State ong>ofong> Quintana Roo was analysed in this study. This

Quintana Roo Subterranean Drainage Systems.is unique among the watersheds in the

region due to it being predominantly ground water resources and flow instead ong>ofong> surface

water. The State/Watershed Area is approximately 38,100 km 2 with an average annual

rainfall ong>ofong> 1,258 mm distributed throughout the year as shown in Figure 1. A water balance

prepared by “Sinopsis Geohidrologia del Estado de Quintana Roo, Secretaria de Agricultura

y Recursos Hidraulicos, Comision Nacional de Agua CNA” (1988) indicates that most ong>ofong> the

precipitation on the watershed (60,000 million cubic meters (MCM)/year) exits as

evapotranspiration (52,800 MCM/year) and that the largest discharge is from groundwater

(5,850 MCM/year), not surface water (1,500 MCM/year). Annual extraction reported in 1998

was 350 MM/year. There is also a very small amount ong>ofong> surface runong>ofong>f entering from Belize

and Guatemala (500 MCM/year).

1

Communities selected for study were: Tulum, Mahahual, Bacalar, Cancun, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Chetumal.

2

The state ong>ofong> Quintana Roo, minus the Mexican part ong>ofong> the Rio Hondo watershed, can be used as a close proxy for the

drainage system, as the state boundaries are approximate to the watershed drainage to the east coast ong>ofong> the Yucatan

Peninsula and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.

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Figure 1. Quintana Roo State: Monthly Precipitation

250

Average Precipitation (mm)

200

150

100

50

0

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Month

Source: Adapted from Statistics: Water in Mexico, Edición 2004, Unified System for Basic Data on

Water (SUIBA), SEMARNAT, CONAGUA.

The ratio ong>ofong> annual water withdrawals to annual surface and ground water flows is a

commonly used indicator ong>ofong> water stress in a region. Raskin et al. (1995) report on the work

ong>ofong> others that found that ratios above twenty percent can result in significant national

economic consequences and that values less than five percent mean that water problems

can be managed without serious consequences. The values ong>ofong> the ratios for the study

region were taken from a global study done by Vorosmarty et al (2000) at a scale ong>ofong> 0.5

degree grids using globally available data sets on water uses and discharges; thus the

results are only estimates ong>ofong> actual conditions. They are, however, still useful to view overall

stress conditions in the watersheds. As can be seen in Figure 2, in most ong>ofong> the Quintana

Roo State, the stress ratio is below 10 percent.

Mexico invested in a major water quality monitoring redesign in 2002 to collect information

on primary and secondary water networks as well as the groundwater system. The primary

network has 362 permanent monitoring stations: 205 for surface water, 44 for coastal waters

and 113 for aquifers. The secondary network consists ong>ofong> 276 mobile monitoring stations:

231 for surface water, 17 for coastal waters and 28 for aquifers. The groundwater monitoring

system is comprised ong>ofong> 104 additional stations explicitly to collect data on subterranean flow.

Based upon the monitoring results reported by SEMARNAT (2004) 3 , the aquifers in

Quintana Roo State are not overexploited, and there is no significant salt-water intrusion,

soil salinization or brackish groundwater. SEMARNAT also summarizes surface water

conditions as below:

3 Statistics: Water in Mexico, Edición 2004, Unified System for Basic Data on Water (SUIBA), SEMARNAT, CONAGUA, p. 44,

p. 35.

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Figure 2. Quintana Roo State: Ratios ong>ofong> Water Use vs. Availability

Modified from following: Vorosmarty, C. J., P. Green, J. Salisbury and R. B. Lammers. 2000.

Global water resources: vulnerability from climate change and population

Growth. Science, 289: 284-288.

• Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD): 100% ong>ofong> Yucatán peninsula stations

show “unpolluted” with BOD less than 6mg/L (typical ong>ofong> natural water)

• Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD): 86.6% ong>ofong> Yucatán stations show

unpolluted COD (less than 20 mg/L, typical ong>ofong> natural waters), 6.7% show

“good quality” (20mg/L


Technical Document No. 29

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dominant land cover was mapped, i.e. broadleaf forest resulting in an under-representation

ong>ofong> agriculture as a land use. This under presentation is probably quite severe but could not

be quantified without original research. Through this project’s key informant interviews, the

agriculture that is present in this watershed is a small amount ong>ofong> crop production and cattle

ranching in the community ong>ofong> Bacalar and some aquaculture along the Caribbean coastline

near Cancun. Water sourcing for agriculture and aquaculture demands is mainly from

subterranean flow. Similar to all watersheds investigated during this project, there is no

method ong>ofong> disposal in place for agricultural wastewater or mitigation (e.g. fencing cattle out

ong>ofong> drainage areas) measures taken to explicitly prevent agricultural contamination in surface

water runong>ofong>f or groundwater flow.

Figure 3. Quintana Roo State: Land Cover Distribution

Wetlands

5%

Other

2%

Agriculture

3%

Scrub/shrub

14%

Mangrove

6%

Agriculture

Broadleaf forest

Mangrove

Scrub/shrub

Wetlands

Other

Broadleaf forest

70%

Other includes Savanna, Sparse or No Vegetation, Urban, and Water Body.

This watershed has a mixture ong>ofong> federally protected and state protected areas. Of the total

watershed area, 17% (6,329 km 2 ) falls under Federal protection and 4% (1,491 km 2 ) is held

specifically under Sub-national protections. Some ong>ofong> the guiding legislation and regulations

associated with each ong>ofong> these protected area types is described in the legal and institutional

section ong>ofong> this report.

Given the hydrological resource demands and constraints, and land cover and use patterns,

regional findings and stresses include:

• Sufficient water quantity to meet needs

• Presently there are minimal overall water quality problems

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• Potential exists for future water quality problems from point (e.g. urban waste

discharge) and non-point source threats such us deforestation ong>ofong> tracts ong>ofong> broadleaf

forest, especially in light ong>ofong> the urban development and population growth resulting

from rapid tourism development.

Future management interventions include:

• Continue and expand water quantity and quality monitoring programs

• Manage land use to respond to potential water quality threats

• Ensure effective management ong>ofong> wastewater

B.1.c. Socioeconomic Findings 4 5

B.1.c.i. Demographics

Population

In 2000, Quintana Roo’s population was measured at 875,000, which was 0.9% ong>ofong> Mexico’s

total population ong>ofong> 97.5 million people. Census surveys from 2004 indicate that Quintana

Roo’s population grew to 1.1 million 6 , which comprised 1.1% ong>ofong> Mexico’s total in that year.

The watershed’s population is concentrated in coastal communities and overall it has a

sparse population density ong>ofong> 22 persons/km 2 . 7 Of the selected communities, Cancun is the

largest with 397,000 residents and Tulum is the smallest with 6,700 residents.

Population growth rate

The population growth rate in Quintana Roo has been explosive in recent years measured

at 6.4% per year on average for 2000-2004 and 5.9% per year from 1990 to 2000. This is

much greater than the national growth rate ong>ofong> 1.9% for 1990 to 2000. Migration from other

Mexican states and other nations has largely accounted for this increase--which is

concentrated in the tourist areas ong>ofong> Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen and has

contributed to the doubling ong>ofong> the population ong>ofong> Cancun between 2000 and 2005 and a 28%

increase in Playa del Carmen.

B.1.c.ii. Economic Welfare

Per capita income

Residents in Quintana Roo, on average, have a higher per capita income than those in other

watersheds studied and other Mexican citizens. In 2000, the average annual per capita

income in Quintana Roo was 22,343.5 pesos (US $2,362.08), which was 48% greater than

the national average ong>ofong> 15,117 pesos (US $1598.12). Of the five selected communities,

those with a large tourism industry (Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen) had the highest

per capita income with an average ong>ofong> 23,580 pesos/year (US $2,492.79). The communities

with low rates ong>ofong> tourism (Bacalar and Felipe Carillo Puerto) had an average ong>ofong> 5,140

pesos/year (US $543.38) in 2000, demonstrating the importance ong>ofong> tourism to the economy

in the Quintana Roo Subterranean Drainage System.

Employment per economic activity

The major economic activities in the Quintana Roo Subterranean Drainage System are

commercial services, largely in support ong>ofong> tourism. This sector comprised 45.3% ong>ofong>

4

Key informants from Chetumal, Allende, La Union, Jose Narciso Rovirosa, and Alvaro Obregon. July 2005. Interviews

conducted by Renata Ferrari, Abigail Parish, and Paul Campbell.

5

Estados Unidos Mexicano Perfil Sociodemografico XII Censo General de Poblacion V, Vivienda 2000.

6

Encuesta Nacional de Empleo 2004. STPS-INEGI

7

Based on a state size ong>ofong> 50,212 km 2 , and the stated 2004 population figure.

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Quintana Roo’s labor force in 2000. In the selected communities, commercial services

employed an average ong>ofong> 76.3% ong>ofong> residents with a range between 67.5% (Bacalar) and

83.1% (Cancun). These statistics were confirmed by key informants in each community who

listed tourism as the number one employer in their communities. In contrast, the industrial

sector only employs an average ong>ofong> 19.3% ong>ofong> the population in the selected communities with

a range between 16.3% (Cancun) to 21.3% (Bacalar). Finally, farming, fishing and livestock

employed 1.1% from the selected communities with a range from 0.6% (Benito Juarez) to

11.2% (Bacalar).

B.1.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

Key informant data indicated varying types ong>ofong> toilet facilities within the watershed. One

urban planning key informant stated that 80% ong>ofong> households in Cancun had a flush toilet

with connection to treated sewage. However, a Cancun health prong>ofong>essional stated that only

30% ong>ofong> households had this type ong>ofong> service and the remainder used outhouses/latrines. He

also stated that most latrines allow filtration ong>ofong> sewage into groundwater, as they are not

lined. This with the combination ong>ofong> the state’s low water table makes well water particularly

susceptible to contamination. Key informants further noted that 60% ong>ofong> households in

Mahahual and all households in Playa del Carmen had their water piped to treatment

facilities. However, the remainder ong>ofong> selected communities had little or no access to sewage

treatment and instead relied on septic systems or latrines. A key informant in Cancun

reported that in some cases, waste is being discharged secretly in lake waters. This

individual also stated that there was not enough capacity in the hotel zone to treat tourist

hotel wastewater and that it is now overflowing into the lake. In sum, the need for

wastewater disposal infrastructure from septic tanks, cruise boats and public sewage

systems is greater than can be met by municipal means. Furthermore, the fourteen

wastewater treatment plants in Quintana Roo, provide coverage to a very small percentage

ong>ofong> the total population and not all are functioning properly.

Water disposal

91.8% ong>ofong> the selected watershed communities have access to sanitary services compared

with 85.9% nationally to dispose ong>ofong> sewage. 86.5% ong>ofong> these communities have water

drainage systems to dispose ong>ofong> non-sewage water waste. The range for the communities

was 70.6% (Felipe Carrillo Puerto) to 97.7% (Cancun). In comparison, the national average

for drained water systems was 78.1% in 2000. Key informant data from the communities

revealed that 80% ong>ofong> households in Cancun, 60% ong>ofong> households in Mahahual, 33% ong>ofong>

households in Chetumal, and all households in Playa del Carmen had their non-sewage

water waste piped to treatment facilities. However, 100% ong>ofong> water waste was disposed ong>ofong>

on land in Tulum and Bacalar.

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

The expansion ong>ofong> tourism and subsequent population growth places stresses on providing

potable water in the watershed. Through key informant interviews, watershed inhabitants

reported that publicly provided potable water is easy to obtain, but generally people buy

bottled water for drinking because ong>ofong> its quality. In Cancun, a planning ong>ofong>ficial indicated that:

“the potable water in most ong>ofong> Mexico is chlorinated so that it does not have bacteria or

parasites, but it is extremely hard water with high mineral content and is not really drinkable,

so most people buy drinking water or boil the tap water.” Interviews found that communities

had varying degrees ong>ofong> accessibility to potable water and individuals noted that obtaining

water is relatively easy, but potable water can be more difficult to acquire. The cost ong>ofong> water

was also varied among the selected communities. Piped water cost varies from 3-4 pesos

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(US $0.28 to $0.37) per cubic meter in Felipe Carillo Puerto and Playa del Carmen to 30-50

pesos (US $2.75 to $4.59) per cubic meter in Tulum, Mahahual, and Bacalar.

Presence and prevalence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases and illnesses

Overall, treatment ong>ofong> drinking water is higher in Mexico than in other countries in the region,

and explains why waterborne diseases were relatively uncommon compared to the other

studied watersheds. Diarrhea was the most common illness reported by key informants--

noted by six ong>ofong> six individuals interviewed. Further, children were at greater risk to this

condition and according to a health specialist in Cancun, 60% ong>ofong> children under five in

Cancun had diarrhea in the last year. However, drinking water was not thought to be the

source ong>ofong> diarrhea experienced in the watershed as health prong>ofong>essionals attributed the large

majority ong>ofong> these cases to poor hygiene. Incidence ong>ofong> malaria, dengue fever and typhoid

fever were noted to be non-existent or occur in 1% ong>ofong> the population per year in most ong>ofong> the

selected communities with the exception ong>ofong> Cancun, in which one health ong>ofong>ficial stated that,

“75% ong>ofong> the population has had dengue fever at least once in their life,” and Playa del

Carmen in which a health ong>ofong>ficial noted that 9% ong>ofong> its population had malaria in 2005. Skin

rashes were noted to occur in some communities (3-4% in Mahahual and 150 cases in 2005

in Bacalar). In Bacalar, the health ong>ofong>ficial interviewed noted this was mostly caused by

jellyfish and a waterborne bug that causes rashes upon contact with skin.

B.1.c.iv. Community perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

The most important social issue for the watershed, based on the key informant interviews in

the selected communities, was alcoholism and drug addiction, which was listed by ten ong>ofong>

twenty interviewees. Nine key informants noted economic problems, poverty or

unemployment as an important issue. And seven key informants noted lack ong>ofong> municipal and

social services. Lack ong>ofong> an educational system and low levels ong>ofong> education were noted by

six key informants. Disintegration ong>ofong> family and safety concerns were also issues noted by

five key informants.

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

Improper garbage disposal was the most frequently identified environmental issue/ threat

identified by key informants in the watershed listed by nine ong>ofong> twenty individuals. Solutions

to this issue included increasing education on proper garbage disposal, encouraging

recycling, and/or building garbage processing facilities. The second most important issue

was water pollution from lack ong>ofong> sewage treatment or pollution from septic tank seepage

(seven key informant responses). Suggested solutions to this issue included forcing hotels

and other polluting industries to pay to have their disposal systems linked to municipal

treatment facilities, increasing infrastructure to better cope with sewage-especially in areas

with high tourism, and expanding education on the issue. The lack ong>ofong> awareness and

education ong>ofong> environmental problems was the third most important environmental threat,

noted by six key informants. Natural disasters (especially hurricanes) and disorganized

development were also noted by four key informants each.

Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

Key informants responded with a wide variety ong>ofong> livelihood options, but the most frequent

response was tourism, which was listed by six ong>ofong> thirteen respondents. Other options

mentioned included basic business services, construction and transportation suggest a need

for new livelihoods to better serve the communities.

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B.2. Hydrological, Land Use and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Hondo

Watershed 8

B.2.a. Introduction

The Rio Hondo watershed is one ong>ofong> the smallest ong>ofong> the studied watersheds in surface area;

however, its residents have a large impact on river and ong>ofong>fshore water quality. The river

forms the border between Mexico and Belize and the watershed drains from Belize, Mexico

and Guatemala (this study however, only included communities in Belize and Mexico).

Population is concentrated in the Mexican city ong>ofong> Chetumal, which includes 91% ong>ofong>

watershed inhabitants. Inhabitants in the Mexican part ong>ofong> the watershed are extremely poor

with an average per capita income only half the national average. The economic welfare ong>ofong>

Belize residents is similar to Belizean national standards and they are predominantly

agriculture-based, indicating a dependence on the watershed. Because ong>ofong> Chetumal’s large

population, the watershed’s labor force is predominantly “commercial and service” oriented.

However, outside ong>ofong> Chetumal, the sugar industry is the most important industry in both

Mexico and Belize. In Mexico, the communities are severely impacting the watershed

through sewage contamination. There is little to no sewage treatment in the metropolis ong>ofong>

Chetumal. Treatment facilities are either inoperative or too stressed to effectively treat

sewage. Upriver in Mexico, there is no sewage treatment. In Belize, most households use

septic systems or latrines, which produce little sewage pollution in the watershed.

Community members’ perceptions ong>ofong> their social problems suggest that the watershed is a

concern with regard to the lack ong>ofong> water systems and municipal garbage disposal in Belize.

However, the most frequent social issues noted were lack ong>ofong> employment, poverty,

alcoholism, and crime. There was also concern in Mexico as well as in Belize about the

economic dependency on sugar production, a single agriculture crop. Community members

noted unsanitary garbage disposal as the primary environmental concern followed by land

clearing, pesticide usage, water pollution, and air pollution from sugar production.

Enforcement ong>ofong> existing regulations and education were noted as the critical solutions to

these problems.

B.2.b. Hydrology & Land Use

The Rio Hondo watershed is located in the countries ong>ofong> Mexico, Belize, Guatemala with a

total area ong>ofong> approximately 13,600 km 2 (Mexico: 8,160 km 2 , Belize: 2,780 km 2 , Guatemala:

2,660 km 2 ). Average annual precipitation is 1,574 mm. The actual river length ong>ofong> the Rio

Hondo itself is 205 km. 9 This river has a distinct peak flow season in late summer and early

fall. As shown in Figure 2 ong>ofong> the section on the Yucatan Peninsula, the use to resource ratio

in the Rio Hondo region is less than 5 percent along the entire watershed. Therefore the

watershed is not stressed in terms ong>ofong> supply and demand.

Limited water quality data for 2004 were available from one water quality station at the

mouth ong>ofong> the river and are given in Figures 4 and 5. While one year ong>ofong> data is not sufficient

to make strong conclusions on water quality in the river and the health ong>ofong> the watershed in

general, these data are suggestive ong>ofong> certain environmental conditions. It is generally

accepted that 5 mg/l is the minimum dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration for healthy

aquatic ecosystems; however, Figure 4 shows that DO levels were low (below 50%

saturation) during most ong>ofong> 2004, particularly during the summer high flow season. This may

8

Communities selected for study were: Mexico: Chetumal, Allende, La Union, Jose Narcisco Riborosa, Alvaro Obregon.

Belize: San Felipe, Santa Cruz, Chan Chen.

9 SEMARNAT, 2004

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be due to high organic loads entering the river during the high runong>ofong>f season. More specific

targeted data collection and analysis is required to determine the specific source(s) ong>ofong>

organic loads flowing into this water system.

Figure 4. Río Hondo: 2004 Data on DO and % Saturation

5.5

90

5.0

80

Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L)

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.0

Dissolved Saturation %

70

60

50

40

2.5

30

2.0

01-Feb-04

01-Apr-04

01-Jun-04

01-Aug-04

01-Oct-04

01-Dec-04

01-Feb-04

01-Apr-04

01-Jun-04

01-Aug-04

01-Oct-04

01-Dec-04

20

Sampling Date

Sampling Date

Source: Monitoreo De La Contaminación Marina En La Bahía De Chetumal, Reporte Anual 2003 and

2004, Secretaria De Marina - Armada De México, Sector Naval Yukalpeten, Dirección General

Adjunta De Oceanografía, Estación De Investigación Oceanográfica Progreso, Yuc.

High levels ong>ofong> the nutrient phosphate (P) cause plant growth in water bodies which can lead

to euthrophication, a condition that can cause excessive plant growth in water bodies and

eventually low DO. Phosphorous is a common constituent ong>ofong> agricultural fertilizers, manure

and organic wastes in sewage and industrial effluent. As shown in Figure 5, during the low

flow season, the P levels exceed the level ong>ofong> 0.05 mg/l that can cause eutrophication in

water bodies. During the higher flow season, the levels are less, most likely because ong>ofong>

dilution from rainwater.

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Figure 5. Rio Hondo: 2004 Data on Phosphate Concentration

0.16

0.14

Phosphate-P (mg/L)

0.12

0.10

0.08

0.06

0.04

Eutrophic (0.05 mg/L)

0.02

01-Feb-04

01-Apr-04

01-Jun-04

01-Aug-04

01-Oct-04

01-Dec-04

0.00

Sampling Date

Source: Monitoreo De La Contaminación Marina En La Bahía De Chetumal, Reporte Anual 2003 and

2004, Secretaria De Marina - Armada De Mexico, Sector Naval Yukalpeten, Dirección General

Adjunta De Oceanografía, Estación De Investigación Oceanográfica Progreso, Yuc.

Figure 6 shows that the predominant land cover and use in the Rio Hondo watershed is a

combination ong>ofong> broadleaf forest (62%) and scrub/shrub land (25%). Human use ong>ofong> land is

includes moderate agricultural production (11%) and urban areas (


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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

The Belize portion ong>ofong> the watershed is dominated by a large “sugar belt” area and some

livestock production. It is difficult to assess the impact ong>ofong> either ong>ofong> these industries without

more in-depth investigation ong>ofong> their production and processing practices. For example, the

method ong>ofong> disposal for sugar waste and the scale ong>ofong> livestock production require more

specific data. Without knowing these details, it is impossible to infer what the impact ong>ofong>

farming is on water quality (i.e. if livestock not being rotated, there are problems with

overtaxed pasture and reduced water infiltration from compaction ong>ofong> soils).

Figure 6. Río Hondo: Land Cover Distribution

Other

4%

Agriculture

11%

Scrub/shrub

24%

Agriculture

Broadleaf forest

Scrub/shrub

Other

Broadleaf forest

61%

Other includes Mangrove, Savanna, Urban, Water Body, and Wetlands.

This watershed has a high percentage ong>ofong> protected area in comparison to the other

watersheds studied during this assessment. Of the total Rio Hondo watershed area, 39%

(5,310 km 2 ) has been designated with some form ong>ofong> legislation or regulation to protect its

land cover and ecosystems.

In conclusion, regional findings and stresses include:

• Sufficient water quantity to meet needs

• Currently a significant lack ong>ofong> both quantity and water quality data

• Potential for future water quality problems from point and non-point source threats

• Peak rainfall conducive to high levels ong>ofong> erosion

• Qualitative data show that chemical fertilizers (NPK and urea) and pesticides (in

particular, Paraquat and 2,4-D) are common. The actually appropriateness and

amount ong>ofong> fertilizer and pesticide applied would require a more rigorous survey ong>ofong>

agriculture in the region

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Future management interventions include:

• Develop effective water quantity and quality monitoring programs

• Expansion ong>ofong> agricultural data sets to include crop and livestock scale and practices

at the watershed level (e.g. this could be accomplished through transnational

extension service work)

• Manage land use to respond to potential water quality threats

• Ensure effective management ong>ofong> wastewater

• Improve coordination for transboundary watershed management

Some ong>ofong> these challenges may be addressed in the ongoing project “Diagnostic for

Sustainable Water Management in the International Río Hondo Watershed, Mexico-Belize,

2025”.

B.2.c. Socioeconomic Findings

10 11 12 13 14

B.2.c.i. Demographics

Population

The Rio Hondo watershed has a relatively low population, estimated at approximately

180,000 with approximately 25,000 residents in Belize 15 , a little more than 600 in Guatemala

and the remainder in Mexico. Of those that live in Mexico the vast majority, 121,600, reside

in Chetumal at the mouth ong>ofong> the Rio Hondo. Population density is low with about six

persons/km 2 in Mexico and four people/km 2 in Belize. 16 The selected communities in the

watershed range in population from 249 (Santa Cruz, Belize) to 121,600 (Chetumal).

Population growth rate

Population growth rates for Corozal and Orange Walk Districts in Belize were 14.9% and

26.8% respectively from 1991 to 2000 (or approximately 1.7% and 3.0% annually) compared

with 26.8% (or 3.0% per annum) for Belize nationally. In Mexico, the population growth rate

for the municipality ong>ofong> Othón P. Blanco was 1.91% per year for the years 1990-2000. Key

informants also indicated that population growth is low in the watershed, except in

Chetumal, which has been experiencing higher growth rates compared with other watershed

communities (at approximately 2.9% per year from 1990-2000) and continues to grow

rapidly.

B.2.c.ii. Economic Welfare

Per capita income

In Belize, Rio Hondo residents live at or slightly above the national economic welfare

average, whereas in Mexico, Rio Hondo residents are far below the national average for

income. In Belize, 26.1% ong>ofong> Corozal and 34.9% ong>ofong> Orange Walk District residents were

defined as ‘poor’ in 2000, meaning they cannot meet their basic food or non-food costs. In

comparison, the national average ong>ofong> poverty is 33.5%. 6.2% ong>ofong> the Corozal and 7.1% ong>ofong>

Orange Walk District residents were considered ‘indigent’, meaning they cannot meet their

10 Indicadores seleccionados de la población por municipio, Census 2000, INEGI.

11

Belize Central Statistics Office. “Abstracts ong>ofong> Statistics.” 2000

12

GOB/Belize National Human Development Advisory Committee. “2002 Poverty ong>Assessmentong> Report.” 2002.

13

Key informants from Chetumal, Allende, La Union, Jose Narciso Rovirosa, and Alvaro Obregon. July 2005. Interviews

conducted by Renata Ferrari, Abigail Parish, and Paul Campbell.

14

Key informants from San Felipe, Santa Cruz and Chan Chen. July 2005. Interviews conducted by Addiel Perez.

15

Determined from Belize CSO Census 2000 figures and GIS watershed boundary maps at MBRS.

16

Watershed area calculated by MBRS GIS data.

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basic food costs, compared to the national average ong>ofong> 10.8%. The poverty gap, which

measures the average distance between the poor and the poverty line, is 7.0% and 9.3% in

Corozal and Orange Walk respectively, compared to the national average ong>ofong> 11.1%.

In Mexico, income data collected at the municipal level for Othón P. Blanco (the municipality

containing the selected communities) revealed a per capita income ong>ofong> 7,640 pesos (US

$807.67) per year. This is approximately half the Mexican national average ong>ofong> 15,117 pesos

(US $1,598.12) for the year 2000.

Employment per economic activity

In Belize, the largest source ong>ofong> employment in the watershed in 2000 was agriculture,

specifically the sugar industry. The sugar industry accounted for 28.7% ong>ofong> employment in

Corozal and 23.3% in Orange Walk. Wholesale/retail trade accounted for 17.2% ong>ofong>

employment in Corozal and 16.9% in Orange Walk and agriculture (other than sugar, citrus,

or banana) accounted for 12.1% and 11.7% respectively. In the selected communities on

the Mexican side ong>ofong> the watershed, 78.4% ong>ofong> individuals were employed in the ‘commercial

and services’ sector ong>ofong> the economy, 18.5% in the ‘industrial’ sector and 3.1% in ‘agriculture,

forestry, fishing and mining’ sector. As most Mexican residents live in Chetumal, the

commercial and services sector comprised the largest percentage ong>ofong> employment. However,

upriver Mexican communities in the watershed are also heavily dependent on the sugar

industry and other agriculture. Four ong>ofong> four key informants interviewed in the watershed (not

including Chetumal) listed agriculture as the number one employer.

B.2.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

In the selected communities ong>ofong> Belize, only 1.2% ong>ofong> residents had no toilet facilities in their

households and sewage treatment does not appear to be adversely affecting water quality.

The range ong>ofong> Belize communities with no treatment was 0 - 2.7%. In Blue Creek, 35.5% ong>ofong>

households had a WC (water closet) linked to a septic system while that statistic was 7.7%

for Chan Chen, 4% for San Felipe and 0.4% for Santa Cruz. The remainder ong>ofong> households

with toilets in these communities had some type ong>ofong> pit latrine system. Key informant

interviews generally supported this data, noting that most households in these communities

use latrines and only a small percentage (estimated at 5% for Santa Cruz, 15% in San

Felipe) have a septic tank.

According to census data, 95.7% ong>ofong> the selected communities in Mexico had exclusive

sanitary service compared with 85.9% nationally. However, key informant data for the

communities was more revealing, indicating a severe problem ong>ofong> sewage contamination in

the watershed. According to key informants, only houses in Chetumal had their sewage

treated (33% ong>ofong> households); the other sampled communities had no sewage treatment.

Even in Chetumal however, treatment facilities are either inoperative or over-stressed to

effectively treat sewage. In the other selected communities, 90%-100% ong>ofong> homes use a

septic system or latrine with below ground composting. However, because ong>ofong> soil only

construction ong>ofong> pits, there is sewage leakage to the watercourse.

Water disposal

Water disposal in the watershed varied from Belize to Mexico. In Belize, key informants in

San Felipe and Santa Cruz indicated that 100% ong>ofong> non-toilet wastewater is composted

above ground. In Mexico, secondary data indicated that 94.4% ong>ofong> households in the

selected communities had some type ong>ofong> drainage. This is high compared to the national

average ong>ofong> 78.1%. While this drainage includes sewage system and septic tanks, it also

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includes drainage into the watercourse (stream, river, lake, etc.)—however, the percentage

to each is unknown. These numbers were highest in Chetumal (96.6%) and Subteniente

Lopez (89.9%), but were much lower in Alvaro Obregon (25.6%) and Jose N. Rovirosa

(24.0%). The remainder ong>ofong> the households had no drainage at all. Key informant data also

revealed that only Chetumal had non-sewage waste piped to treatment. This type ong>ofong>

disposal accounted for 33% ong>ofong> households there. The remaining 67% ong>ofong> households in

Chetumal and communities disposed ong>ofong> their water waste on land.

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

Access to potable water varied throughout the watershed and was generally lower than

national averages. In the Belize community ong>ofong> San Felipe, a health prong>ofong>essional key

informant noted that, “…potable water constantly is not available. There are times that there

is not water for two days, and they have to use the wells.” In Santa Cruz, a water truck

delivers water to the community reservoir every three days and in Chan Chen, residents

hand pump water ong>ofong> poor quality so they rely primarily on bottled water. In San Felipe and

Santa Cruz, the cost ong>ofong> water was noted to be approximately BZ$7.00 (US $3.5) and

BZ$8.00 (US $4) per month, respectively. Five gallon bottles ong>ofong> water cost BZ$4.50 (US

$2.25) in Chan Chen and between BZ$3.00-BZ$4.75 (US $1.50 to $2.38) in San Felipe and

Santa Cruz.

On the Mexican side ong>ofong> the river, all Chetumal residents have access to publicly-supplied

potable water. Cost ong>ofong> this water was noted as 50 pesos (US $4.59) for a home and 100

pesos (US $9.18) for a commercial business per month. In Allende, 15% ong>ofong> the

townspeople do not have access to potable water because the town’s population has grown

and new residents are not connected to the town’s water system. Those without access to

potable water spend 15 minutes per day getting water during the dry season. For the 85%

that do have public access, the cost is 26 pesos (US $2.39) per month. In La Union, Jose

N. Rovirosa, and Alvaro Obregon, well water is used to varying degrees, but does not meet

all necessary water needs, so households spend an average ong>ofong> 120 pesos (US $11.02) per

month on bottled water.

Presence and prevalence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases and illnesses

Occurrence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases and illnesses were low in Belize in general, afflicting

less than 1% ong>ofong> the national population from 1993 to 2003. The occurrence ong>ofong> diarrhea and

other diseases and illnesses are higher in Mexico and are more prevalent generally during

wet seasons. In Belize, there has not been a case ong>ofong> cholera since 1999 and only between

3 and 41 cases ong>ofong> dengue fever were reported each year from 1999 to 2003. Key informant

health experts from each ong>ofong> the selected communities supported these statistics noting that

there were no reports ong>ofong> most diseases and diarrhea was reported as “not common” in San

Felipe. Diarrhea incidence reported among children in Santa Cruz, was “common with

children due to hygiene.”

In the selected Mexican watershed communities, diarrhea was noted to occur in 20%-30%

ong>ofong> residents in Chetumal and 40% ong>ofong> residents in Alvaro Obregon in 2005. 70% ong>ofong> these

cases in Alvaro Obregon were in children aged 5 to 12 years. In Allende, gastrointestinal

infections (salmonelosis/tifoidea and parasitosis - helmintos/amibiasis) afflicted 80% ong>ofong>

inhabitants in 2005 and 13.5% were diagnosed with dengue fever and paludismo (yellow

fever). Key informants in Chetumal and La Union noted that waterborne diseases were

more prevalent during the rainy season, while in Alvaro Obregon key informants noted that

the hot season increased risk ong>ofong> diarrhea.

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B.2.c.iv. Community perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

In Belize, key informants listed a variety ong>ofong> social/economic/ cultural issues ong>ofong> concern for

their communities. While there was no clear majority, individuals listed health access and

information, lack ong>ofong> water system, garbage disposal, lack ong>ofong> jobs/ business centers, border

issues, lack ong>ofong> infrastructure, low level ong>ofong> primary education and deterioration ong>ofong> the political

structure and civil unrest.

In the selected Mexican communities, alcoholism was noted by five ong>ofong> nine key informants

interviewed who indicated that this problem was either staying the same, or getting worse in

all cases. Three key informants listed unemployment as the most important issue and tied it

to laborers that immigrate to work in sugar cane cultivation. When there is no cultivationdriven

employment, these individuals do not find work - which leads to other social

problems, such as crime and delinquency. In addition, a lack ong>ofong> a proper education system

was noted by three key informants. Two ong>ofong> these individuals said that the situation was

improving, while one said it was getting worse.

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

In the Belize communities, two ong>ofong> the six key informants interviewed indicated that

unsanitary garbage disposal was the most important environmental issue. Litter is thrown

into the watercourse or left on land instead ong>ofong> placed in a dumpsite. Key informants stated

that education on proper waste disposal and the location ong>ofong> dumpsites would help alleviate

this problem. Other environmental issues identified were clearing the land ong>ofong> vegetation and

use ong>ofong> pesticides or fertilizers spread on rice fields by airplane.

Garbage disposal and a lack ong>ofong> education on proper garbage disposal was the number one

concern in the Mexican communities ong>ofong> the Rio Hondo watershed with four key informants

noting this problem. Pollution ong>ofong> the air and water from sugar cane production was noted

specifically by two individuals and general water pollution from wastewater and animals was

noted twice as well. Two key informants noted that water conservation and the value ong>ofong>

water were the most important issue. 90% ong>ofong> key informants said that these issues/threats

should be addressed either though better enforcement ong>ofong> current statutes and increasing

government action or through better education ong>ofong> residents ong>ofong> the communities.

Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

Key informants from Belize listed various livelihood options for community members. These

included: pineapple or other factory work, ‘vocational’ jobs, construction and carpentry work.

Key informants in the Mexican communities listed nine alternative livelihood options:

ecotourism, clothing manufacturing, scientific fields, technical careers, rubber production,

agriculture, cattle farming, transportation, and food processing. Ecotourism was noted by

two individuals who also stated that little to no opportunity currently exists for this livelihood.

Clothing manufacturing was also given by two key informants who were conflicted on

whether there was currently an opportunity to develop this livelihood. All other livelihood

options listed above were stated by one key informant each. One key informant from Alvaro

Obregon noted that “there is a great need to produce and process the basic goods for the

community, we only produce sugar cane, we need to diversify and explore new branches.”

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B.3. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Belize River

Watershed 17

B.3.a. Introduction

The Belize River watershed is located in central Belize and northeastern Guatemala. This

study however, only includes communities in Belize and does not assess conditions in

Guatemala, which comprises approximately one-third ong>ofong> the watershed area. The Belize

watershed is the fifth largest ong>ofong> the watersheds in the study area and has a population ong>ofong>

approximately 125,098 individuals. Its population density ong>ofong> sparse at 12 people per km 2

and almost half ong>ofong> the population is centered in Belize City. In Belize City, wholesale and

retail trade account for the largest sector ong>ofong> the workforce, but in the communities further up

the river, agriculture and cattle dominate the economic landscape. Over half ong>ofong> Belize City’s

households are linked to a sewage treatment system. However, all other communities in the

watershed (and country) do not have a sewer system and rely on septic tanks, latrines or, in

some cases, have no toilet facility. Watershed residents listed lack ong>ofong> education and few job

opportunities as the major social issues and drainage and waste disposal were the most

frequently noted environmental concern.

B.3.b. Hydrology & Land Use

The Belize River watershed is Belize’s largest watershed and reaches well into the Petén

department ong>ofong> Guatemala. The topography is mixed and broadly divided between a lower

plain section below 100 m with slopes less than 1 degree, and upper, highly dissected

mountain basins and plateaus with slopes over 25-30 degrees and elevations to 1000 m.

The watershed is approximately 10,500 km 2 ong>ofong> which approximately 7,200 within Belize. The

average annual rainfall is approximately 2,000 mm in the east at Belize City (Figure 7) but

diminishes towards the west. Rainfall in San Ignacio near the Belize/Guatemala border is

only 1540 mm per annum. Virtually no rainfall figures exist for the higher elevations which

make up a substantial part ong>ofong> the watershed.

The average daily discharge ong>ofong> the Belize River into the Ocean is thought to be 155 m 3 /s 18

with peak flows in the range ong>ofong> 550-600 m 3 /s and low flows down to 10-20 m 3 /s. The

Guatemalan branch ong>ofong> the River (Mopan) contributes an average flow ong>ofong> approximately 30

m 3 /s with peaks ong>ofong> to 275 m 3 /s.

Background chemistry depends on flood stage and timing but general alkalinity and

hardness ong>ofong> baseflows are high. High sulphate levels have been measured. Pollution

sources are largely domestic and agricultural sources. Cattle rearing and domestic runong>ofong>f

could be sources ong>ofong> BOD and pathogens. There are limited small scale industrial inputs,

particularly at San Ignacio, Spanish Lookout, Belmopan and Belize City.

Water use includes urban uses all along the river and main branches. There is some

irrigation, both in Guatemala and Belize. Within Belize, the Macal branch has 2 hydryelectrical

facilities with associated storage facilities (Mollejon and Chalillo). The Chalillo dam

which was commissioned in 2005 has major consequences for flow distribution.

17

Communities selected for study were: Benque Viejo, Belize City, Bermudan Landing, Crooked Tree, Ladyville, Mayamopan,

Spanish Lookout, Teakettle, Valley ong>ofong> Peace

18

Environmental Water Quality Monitoring Program, NARMAP/GOB 1995.

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Figure 7. Belize River: Belize City: Monthly Precipitation

350

300

Average Precipitation (mm)

250

200

150

100

50

0

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Month

Source: Meteorology Department.

Figure 8. Belize River Watershed: Land Cover Distribution

Needleleaf forest

2%

Scrub/shrub

4%

Savanna

5%

Other

4%

Agriculture

25%

Agriculture

Broadleaf forest

Needleleaf forest

Savanna

Scrub/shrub

Other

Broadleaf forest

60%

Other includes Aquaculture or Saltpan, Coastal Vegetation,

Mangrove, Mixed Forest, Urban, Water Body, and Wetlands.

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Figure 8 shows the predominant land cover and use in the Belize River Watershed.

A large proportion (84%) ong>ofong> the Belize River Watershed is covered by protected areas ong>ofong>

various levels, both in Guatemala (3,200 km 2) and in Belize (5,700 km 2). .

Given the hydrological resource demands and constraints and land cover and use patterns,

regional findings and stresses include:

• Water quality problems exist

• Commission ong>ofong> hydro-facilities appears to have affected water chemistry.

• Potential exists for increase ong>ofong> water quality problem from point (e.g. urban waste

discharge) and non-point source threats such as deforestation ong>ofong> tracts ong>ofong> broadleaf

forest

Future management interventions include:

• Continue and expand water quantity and quality monitoring programs

• Manage land use to respond to potential water quality threats

• Ensure effective management ong>ofong> wastewater

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19 20

B.3.c. Socioeconomic Findings

B.3.c.i. Demographics

Population

The Belize River Watershed is the largest watershed in Belize, with a surface area ong>ofong>

approximately 10,500 km 2 21 and drains over one quarter ong>ofong> the nation’s total land area. 22 As

such it is also the most heavily populated watershed in Belize with an estimated population

ong>ofong> 125,098. 23 This accounts for nearly half (44%) ong>ofong> Belize’s total population. It also contains

the largest city (Belize City, 59,400 individuals) as well as the nation’s capital (Belmopan,

12,300 individuals). Half (48%) ong>ofong> the total population ong>ofong> the watershed lives at the mouth ong>ofong>

the Belize River, in Belize City. The next highest concentration ong>ofong> people occurs towards

the western source ong>ofong> the watershed in San Ignacio (13%). Belmopan, the next largest

concentration ong>ofong> individuals, is located near the confluence ong>ofong> multiple tributaries, and

represents 10% ong>ofong> total watershed population.

A rough estimation ong>ofong> the population size in Guatemala can be determined from municipallevel

data, which indicates that 99,404 people live in the five municipalities (San José,

Flores, Melchor de Menchos, Santa Ana, Dolores) that intersect geographically with the

watershed boundary.

Population density ong>ofong> the watershed is approximately 12 people per km 2 . This density is

slightly higher compared to the two national Districts represented through this watershed

(Belize District at 16 persons/km 2 and Cayo District at 10 persons/km 2 ).

Population growth rate

According to census data, between 1980 and 1991, the population ong>ofong> Belize grew

approximately 1.3%. From 1990 to 2000, the population grew another 1.3% and from 2000-

2004 it grew an additional 1.5%. Assuming the rate over the last five years continues, the

projected growth for 2000-2010 would be roughly 3.0%.

The population growth rates ong>ofong> the two districts in which the watershed lies is estimated to

be 1.7% in the 1980s and 1.4% in the 1990s for the Cayo District and 1.1% and 1.2% for the

Belize District for these decades. The current estimated rates for both Districts (both 1.2%

from 2000-2004) is slightly less than the estimated national rate.

B.3.c.ii. Economic Welfare

Per capita income

Per capita income data were collected on the national level. According to census data, the

mean income in Belize is Bz $835 per month (or US $417.50), which is an increase from the

Bz $628 per month (or US $314) measured in 1991. Income varied in urban/ rural

communities as only 1% ong>ofong> individuals earned less than Bz $1,440 (US $720) in urban areas

compared to 6% in rural areas.

19

Belize Central Statistics Office. Population Census 2000: Major Findings.

20

Key informant interviews. Conducted in Maya Mopan, Benque Viejo, Crooked Tree, Valley ong>ofong> Peace, Bermuda Landing. July

2005.

21

Calculated by MBRS GIS data.

22

CIA Factbook, 2004.

23

Population estimate based on recalculation ong>ofong> all Belize River Watershed settlements with a population greater than 1,500

individuals: using updated population data as per 2004 Mid-year Population Estimates by CSO.

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On a District level, Belize District had the lowest number ong>ofong> individuals earning less than Bz

$1,440 (US $720) per month and the highest percentage that earned over Bz $34,560 (US

$17,280).

Employment per economic activity

According to CSO Census 2000 data, approximately 25% ong>ofong> the employed population is

engaged in agriculture and forestry activities on a national level. This is a decrease from

30% that was measured in 1991. Wholesale and retail trade accounts for 16% ong>ofong> the

employed population in Belize and is the second leading industry measured by employment.

In Belize District, wholesale and retail trade comprises the largest percentage ong>ofong> employed

individuals (19.3%) while general government services accounts for employment ong>ofong> 18% ong>ofong>

Cayo’s population.

B.3.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

The most common type ong>ofong> toilet facility in the selected communities is WC linked to Belize

Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) sewer system (41.4%). However, Belize City is the

only community with this type ong>ofong> facility. (In Belize City, this accounted for 55% ong>ofong> all toilet

facilities.) The next most prevalent type ong>ofong> toilet facility is WC linked to septic tank (37.8%

for all communities). This type accounts for the greatest percentage ong>ofong> toilet facility in

Ladyville (79%) and Spanish Lookout (80%). Various types ong>ofong> pit latrines accounted for 14%

ong>ofong> toilet facilities throughout the nine communities in the watershed and were most common

in Bermuda Landing and Valley ong>ofong> Peace.

Water disposal

Key informant data collected revealed that with a few exceptions, most water was disposed

on land. In the communities surveyed, only Maya Mopan (30%) and Benque Viejo (5%)

reported disposing ong>ofong> water into the watercourse. The Maya Mopan statistic was

contradicted by another key informant who stated that all water was disposed on land,

however.

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

Access to potable water varied in the selected communities ong>ofong> the watershed. Key

informants in Crooked Tree, a community with no access to piped water, noted the most

difficulty in obtaining potable water when compared to the other communities surveyed.

Piped water was noted as costing BZ$13 (US $6.50) a month in Maya Mopan, BZ$14 (US

$7) a month in Benque Viejo and BZ$5 (US $2.50) a month in Valley ong>ofong> Peace. Key

informants stated that bottled water costs BZ$4.50 (US $2.25) to BZ$5.00 (US $2.50) a

gallon.

Presence and prevalence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases and illnesses

No data collected.

B.3.c.iv. Community perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

Key informants listed education and the lack ong>ofong> job opportunities as the most important

social issues facing their communities. These issues were each noted by five ong>ofong> twelve

interviewees. Lack ong>ofong> drinking water, especially during the dry season, was listed by four ong>ofong>

twelve key informants located in Maya Mopan and Crooked Tree. All three key informants in

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Crooked Tree listed stray cattle in the community as the most important threat. Other issues

noted were poverty, politics, drugs and lack ong>ofong> health services.

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

Perception data on household views regarding the most important environmental issues or

threats was obtained from Census 2000 data for the nine communities, Belize and Cayo

Districts and nationally.

In the nine selected communities ong>ofong> the watershed, over 76% ong>ofong> respondents were

concerned about at least one environmental problem. The concerns with the highest

response rates were: drainage (25.2%), waste disposal (17.1%) and air pollution (9.6%).

The top household concerns at the district level, according to CSO Census 2000, were

similar. The greatest environmental concerns ong>ofong> households in Belize and Cayo Districts

were drainage (Belize 23.6%; Cayo 15.5%) and waste disposal (Belize 17.5%; Cayo

18.6%), which is indicative ong>ofong> households in urban areas.

Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

No data collected.

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B.4. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Temash River

Watershed 24

B.4.a. Introduction

The Temash watershed is located in sparsely populated southern Belize and eastern

Guatemala. The majority ong>ofong> the watershed population (95%) lies in Belize. 25 The Temash

watershed is the smallest in surface area ong>ofong> the studied watersheds, totaling approximately

420 km 2 . The watershed also contains the smallest population in the study area with an

estimated 1,200 residents. 26 Temash lies within the poorest region ong>ofong> Belize and the

majority ong>ofong> residents are engaged in agriculture and forestry activities. Many residents in the

Temash basin do not have adequate sanitation facilities and, while the population is small,

they may be negatively impacting water quality through improper sewage disposal.

Incidence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases are low in the Temash area and in Belize overall.

Community members noted unemployment and lack ong>ofong> employment opportunities as the

most important social issue facing them.

B.4.b. Hydrology & Land Use

Although being the smallest watershed in the study area both in land cover and in the

population it support it is ong>ofong> much interest as the others. The system extends into Guatemala

through the Toledo foothills. In Belize the watershed’s terrain is below 100 meters in

elevation with approximately 90% ong>ofong> the slopes below 1 degree. In Belize the system

covers an area ong>ofong> 359.6 Km 2 out ong>ofong> the total 420 Km 2 it has in land area. The main channel

meanders a lot through the terrain. Due to its meandering characteristic its waters are slow

moving contributing to a silt-filled main channel. The feeder tributaries ong>ofong> this watershed are

numerous, small and winding through sloppy terrains giving rise to fast flowing waters

contributing to a very complicated arraying ong>ofong> small channels that resemble those ong>ofong> a large

mud flat. The main channel ong>ofong> the watershed has marshy banks that are subject to flooding.

The watershed on the Belizean territory receives an average precipitation ong>ofong> 3,500mm

annually.

Due to the anthropogenic activities that are being performed on this watershed the regional

findings and stresses include:

• Lack ong>ofong> water quality data

• Lack ong>ofong> scientific information on how the anthropogenic activities are affecting the

watershed.

• Lack ong>ofong> information on how both countries are managing the system.

• Minimal treats are present

Future management interventions may include:

• Developing a co management plan between the two countries

• Continue monitoring ong>ofong> water quality and how it is being affected by anthropogenic

activities.

24

Communities selected for study were: Barranco, Crique Sarco and Midway.

25

This summary only included residents in Belize and not Guatemala. Only one community lies on the river in Guatemala.

26

Calculated with MBRS GIS watershed area calculations and Belize CSO Census 2000 data.

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Figure 9. Temash River: Punta Gorda Monthly precipitation.

800

700

600

Average Precipitation in mm

500

400

300

200

100

0

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Month

Source: Metrology Department

Due to the low population ong>ofong> only 1,209 residents that the system supports the natural state

ong>ofong> the watershed is being minimally affected. The total area ong>ofong> land that is used for

agricultural purposes is approximately 19,000 hectares along with 18 ha ong>ofong> residential area.

The combined agricultural and residential land use ong>ofong> the catchment area makes

approximately 45% ong>ofong> the total area covered by the watershed that is facing anthropogenic

activities. The predominant land use is milpa farming and forestry. This type ong>ofong> land use is

associated with the method ong>ofong> farming that is termed as slash and burn milpa faming. This

practice lead to deforestation ong>ofong> small areas ong>ofong> land that are burned and use to plant crops

especially corn for a few years and then left to regenerate back and a new area ong>ofong> forest is

cleared. Residents also clear land for rice plantations. This is done on flat, low lying

terrains marshy terrains.

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Figure 10. Temash River: Land Cover Distribution

Mangrove

2%

Other

2%

Agriculture

45%

Broadleaf forest

51%

Agriculture

Broadleaf forest

Mangrove

Other

Other includes Scrub/Shrub, Urban, Water Body, and Wetlands.

B.4.c. Socioeconomic Findings

27 28 29 30

B.4.c.i. Demographics

Population

The Temash watershed has the smallest population ong>ofong> the watersheds in the study area,

which is not surprising given that it is the smallest watershed in area and consists ong>ofong>

relatively few rural communities. The population for the entire watershed is 1,200, 31 and its

population density is extremely low, estimated approximately 3 people/km 2 .

Population growth rate

Population growth can be relatively measured by the population growth in Toledo Districtthe

district in which the watershed lies. The population ong>ofong> the Toledo District grew a total ong>ofong>

33.6% from 1991-2000. This averages at approximately 3.7% per year for those nine years.

This is greater than the national rate ong>ofong> 26.8% from 1991-2000 or 3.0% per year.

27

Key informants from Barranco, Crique Sarco, Midway. July 2005.

28

Belize Central Statistics Office, 2000. “Population Census 2000: Major Findings.”

29

Ministry ong>ofong> Health, as cited in Abstract ong>ofong> Statistics, Belize Central Statistics Office. 2004.

30

Belize National Human Development Advisory Committee, June 2004. “Poverty ong>Assessmentong> Report.”

31

Calculated with MBRS GIS watershed area calculations and Belize CSO Census 2000 data.

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B.4.c.ii. Economic Welfare

Per capita income

The Temash watershed, as reflected by the data on the Toledo District, lies within the

poorest region ong>ofong> Belize. 79% ong>ofong> the population is considered poor, meaning they cannot

meet their basic food or non-food costs. 56% are considered indigent, meaning they cannot

meet their basic food costs. In comparison, at the national level, 33.5% are poor and 10.8%

are indigent. The poverty gap, which is the average distance ong>ofong> poor to the poverty line is

44%, compared to the national average ong>ofong> 11.1%. However, the Toledo District has the

most equitable distribution ong>ofong> wealth in Belize. The Gini coefficient, 32 which indicates the

level ong>ofong> income equity across the population, is 0.2 for the Toledo District compared with the

national average ong>ofong> 0.4 (0-indicates complete equity, while 1-indicates all wealth in the

hands ong>ofong> one person).

Employment per economic activity

Based on data collected at the district level, the largest source ong>ofong> employment in the

Temash watershed for 2004 was agriculture and forestry activities with 52.3% ong>ofong> individuals

employed. This is a decrease from 62.5% in 1991. Banana production was the most

significant type ong>ofong> agriculture in the district (accounting for 9.7% ong>ofong> employment). In

comparison, at the national level, one quarter ong>ofong> the employed population is engaged in

agriculture and forestry activities, which is a decrease from 30% in 1991. The second and

third highest sources ong>ofong> employment in the Toledo District are general government services

(9.5%) and wholesale trade (9% ong>ofong> employment) compared with 4.4% wholesale trade

employment and 7.5% public administration nationally.

B.4.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

Access to toilet facilities varies throughout the watershed communities with Barranco having

by far the greatest access followed by Crique Sarco and Midway. According to the Belize

census data for Barranco, 100% ong>ofong> community members have access to toilet facilities with

65% ong>ofong> households using pit latrines and 35% using a system linked to a septic tank.

However, key informant interviews indicated 95% ong>ofong> households in Barranco use an

outhouse or latrine and the remaining 5% have a septic system. In Crique Sarco, key

informants reported 75% did not have toilet facilities and 25% used outhouses compared to

the Census report that 70% did not have facilities and 20% used pit latrines. In Midway,

census data indicate that 99% ong>ofong> people do not have facilities, which was confirmed by one

key informant and contradicted by a second who stated only 50% lacked access while the

remainder used outhouses.

In comparison, according to national level data, less than 3.5% ong>ofong> households in Belize lack

any type ong>ofong> toilet facilities while 55% and 40% ong>ofong> households have water closets and pit

latrines, respectively. These findings further illustrate the severe poverty level in the

selected Temash communities compared to national poverty levels and the communities’

impact on water quality through sewage contamination.

Water disposal

Key informant interviews reported that 100% ong>ofong> households in Barranco and Crique Sarco

disposed ong>ofong> their water on land. Further, one key informant noted that most ong>ofong> this water is

not absorbed into the land, but flows into drainage ditches and out to the ocean. In Midway,

32

The Gini coefficient indicates the level ong>ofong> income equity across a population whereby 0 indicates complete equity and 1

indicates all wealth lies with one person.

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key informants provided conflicting reports, one noting that 100% ong>ofong> households dispose ong>ofong>

their water on land and another claiming that 50% disposed ong>ofong> it on land, while the other

50% have it piped into a nearby creek.

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

Based on the key informant interviews in the three selected communities, individuals spend

10-20 minutes a day on average collecting water from the wells. In Barranco and Midway

the cost ong>ofong> publicly provided water was reported as BZ$10/month (US $5.00). However,

Barranco has a rudimentary water system (RWS) in place, constructed by the residents and

run by the community water board. The RWSs in Belize are financed by small grants.

Communities contribute labor to their construction and maintenance, and elect water boards

from among the community members to monitor and chlorinate the water in the tank. The

water piped from the RWSs is free, but the communities are responsible for upkeep. These

systems usually consist ong>ofong> a well with an electric submersible pump that discharges into an

elevated tank and a pipe distribution network. 33 A RWS for Crique Sarco was being

constructed during the summer ong>ofong> 2005 by residents.

Presence and prevalence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases and illnesses

At the national level, incidence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases occurred in less than 1% ong>ofong> the

population from 1999 to 2003. During that time period both malaria and diarrhea declined

from .762% to .482% and from .399% to .177%, respectively. There has not been a case ong>ofong>

cholera since 1999 and dengue has only been reported in between 3 and 41 cases from

1999 to 2003. Key informant data for the watershed communities support these findings

indicating that dengue and cholera are extremely rare and incidences ong>ofong> malaria and

diarrhea are uncommon as well.

B.4.c.iv. Community perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

Unemployment was the most noted social concern for the watershed communities--listed by

four out ong>ofong> five ong>ofong> the key informants. Key informants noted problems in particular with the

lack ong>ofong> job opportunities, poor work ethics, lack ong>ofong> markets and people’s unwillingness to try

new jobs. Poor education facilities was noted by three ong>ofong> the key informants as a priority

issue. Poor infrastructure, including lack ong>ofong> roads and street lights, was also a concern noted

by two ong>ofong> the informants. Similarly, lack ong>ofong> agricultural productivity was highlighted by two ong>ofong>

the five informants.

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

The major environmental issues identified by the key informants were improper disposal ong>ofong>

solid wastes and destructive practices by neighboring communities in Guatemala and

Honduras (each was noted by four ong>ofong> the six key informants). The neighboring destructive

practices included fish poisoning, illegal forestry, and water pollution. Key informants stated

that to address these problems, there should be more public education on trash disposal

and better coordination with neighboring governments to harmonize practices.

Forestry/logging activities were highlighted by three key informants as important issues as

were the impacts ong>ofong> latrines and toilet systems. Runong>ofong>f from agriculture was noted twice as

an important impact and mosquitoes, water supply and poor soil quality were each noted

once. All ong>ofong> the issues noted by the key informants were said to be getting worse or staying

the same.

33

Belize Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation ong>Assessmentong> 2000, and key informants from Barranco and Crique Sarco, July

2005.

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Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

Key informant responses to this question were varied with two responses each for

promoting tourism in the communities and agriculture. One key informant in Barranco noted

that most individuals within the community wanted a sustainable abundance ong>ofong> fish, trees

and other natural resources to feed themselves and to sell some food for extra income to

purchase things that they could not harvest themselves.

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B.5. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Sarstún River

Watershed 34

B.5.a. Introduction

The Sarstún Watershed is located in northeastern Guatemala and southern Belize forming

the border between the two countries. The majority ong>ofong> the watershed, approximately 94%,

lies within Guatemala and the land area that is in Belize contains few inhabitants. Thus, this

study will focus primarily on the communities in Guatemala. The watershed encompasses

the Guatemalan departments ong>ofong> Izabal, Alta Verapaz, Los Amates, Petén, El Progreso, and

a small portion ong>ofong> the district ong>ofong> Toledo in Belize. The watershed is the second smallest in

area ong>ofong> the studied watersheds, comprising 2,100km 2 , and has an estimated total population

ong>ofong> 261,600. The watershed has a high degree ong>ofong> agricultural activity and that sector

comprises the largest source ong>ofong> employment. There is a high incidence rate ong>ofong> some

waterborne disease (e.g., diarrhea) suggesting water quality impairments. Lack ong>ofong>

education tops the list ong>ofong> social concerns in the watershed and garbage disposal and

deforestation were the most noted environmental issues.

B.5.b. Hydrology & Land Use

Most ong>ofong> the catchment area ong>ofong> this watershed is situated in Guatemala; out ong>ofong> the 2,100Km 2

that it covers only 194Km 2 are located in Belizean territory. The Belizean portion ong>ofong> the

system has an elevation ong>ofong> about 100m and about 98% ong>ofong> its slopes are below 1 degree.

Most ong>ofong> the soil is composed ong>ofong> costal sediments extending into Jurassic and tertiary

limestones.

The main channel ong>ofong> the system meanders through marshy coastal plains. The meandering

characteristic ong>ofong> the main channel leads to slow flowing waters that are loaded with

sediments giving rise to a silt filled channel bottom. It has minor, largely non-branching

tributaries at periodic intervals that drain the broad flat coastal plains. The system produces

a total discharge ong>ofong> 160 m3/s 35 ong>ofong> water and a sediment discharge ong>ofong> 6,912 ton/day 36 . On

Belizean territory the system receives an average rainfall ong>ofong> 4,000mm annually.

In the Guatemalan territory ong>ofong> the watershed the major land uses are agriculture, which

include crop farming and life stock raising, and the extraction ong>ofong> forestry products coupled

with hunting and fishing. On Belizean territory the major land use is predominantly forestry

with some milpa farming and rice production, especially on the marshy flats.

The regional findings and stresses that the system is facing include

• Lack ong>ofong> water quality monitoring and water quality data

• Agricultural activities are the major treat to the system especially on Guatemalan

terrain.

• The Belizean portion ong>ofong> the system is well covered with natural vegetation

34

Communities selected in the study area were: Modesto Mendez, Gracias a Dios, and Sarstún.

35

Heyman & Kjerfve, 1999

36

Abt Associates, 2003

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Figure 11. Sarstún River: Punta Gorda Monthly Precipitation.

800

700

600

Average Precipitation in mm

500

400

300

200

100

0

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Month

Source: Metrology Department

Future interventions for the proper management ong>ofong> the system may include

• Proper water quality monitoring and data collection

• Co management between Belize and Guatemala for the protection ong>ofong> the watershed.

• Studying to what degree and how the agricultural activities are affecting the quality ong>ofong>

this system.

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Figure 12. Sarstún River: Land Cover Distribution

Other

2%

Agriculture

37%

Broadleaf forest

61%

Agriculture

Broadleaf forest

Other

Other includes Mangrove, Scrub/Shrub, Water Body, and Wetlands.

B.5.c. Socioeconomic Findings

37 38 39

B.5.c.i. Demographics

Population

The total population ong>ofong> the Guatemalan municipalities that the watershed lies within is

261,200 40 and Belize is estimated to have 355 individuals living within the watershed for a

total watershed population ong>ofong> 261,600. These populations correspond to 3% and 0.1% ong>ofong>

the total country population ong>ofong> Guatemala and Belize respectively. Population density varies

in the different Guatemalan municipalities. The highest densities are in the municipalities ong>ofong>

Lanquín, 70 people/km 2 (the lowest total population ong>ofong> all municipalities), Cahabón, 56

people/km 2 and Los Amates with 54 people/km 2 . The lowest population densities are

located in Toledo district, San Luis and El Estor with a corresponding density ong>ofong> 5.4, 16, and

27 people/km 2 . It is important to mention that the municipalities ong>ofong> Lanquín and El Estor

have only a small percentage ong>ofong> their territory within the watershed, and the areas that do

37

Census, Instituto Nactional Estadistica, INE, Guatemala, 2002 (XI Censo Nacional de Población y VI Censo Nacional

de Habitación).

38

Key informant interviews. July 2005. Surveyed communities: Modesto Mendez, Gracias a Dios, Sarstún. Conducted by Paul

Campbell and Abigail Parish.

39

Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos Familiares (ENIGFAM), INE, 1999

40

This figure is an over-estimate as it includes population figures for Lanquin and El Estor municipalities for which there are

likely only a small percentage ong>ofong> the population that lie within the watershed boundary.

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fall within the watershed do not have much population with some agricultural activity in the

municipality ong>ofong> El Estor. The selected communities populations are Modesto Mendez (158

people), Sarstún (538) and Gracias a Dios (202 people).

Population Growth Rate

From the year 1990 to 2002, population growth in the municipalities ong>ofong> Livingston (containing

the communities ong>ofong> Modesto Mendez and Sarstún) and Los Amates (containing the

communities ong>ofong> Gracias a Dios) was -0.24% and 1.62% per year respectively. Of the total

population increase in the country, 1.76% corresponded to the department ong>ofong> Izabal. 41

Unfortunately there are no specific values ong>ofong> population growth in each ong>ofong> the communities.

However, according to community leaders in Sarstún, over the last 20 years the population

has increased by 80%, ong>ofong> which 40% is due to immigration.

B.5.c.ii. Economic welfare

Per capita income

In Guatemala, the national per capita income ong>ofong> 2004 was $US 2,174 with a yearly increase

ong>ofong> 7.1% over the last 4 years. 42 According to 1999 data, the average national per-capita

income was Quetzal 609.6 (US $79.58) per month, corresponding to Qz977.2 (US $127.57)

in urban areas and Qz368.0 (US $48.04) per month in rural areas. To compare income

across municipalities, they are arranged by regions in census data: the north region (which

includes the departments ong>ofong> Alta and Baja Verapaz), northeast region (including the

departments ong>ofong> Zacapa, El Progreso, Izabal and Chiquimula), and Peten region. In general,

the lowest per capita income is in Petén. Comparing urban and rural areas, the urban

areas in the northeast region had the highest per capita income followed by Petén and the

lowest were in the north region. In rural areas the highest incomes were found in the north

region followed by northeast and Petén region. In the community ong>ofong> Sarstún, community

leaders indicated the different sources ong>ofong> income among which were fishing (1,000Qz to

2,000Qz per month, or US $130.87 to $261.75 per month), agriculture (1,000 to 2,000Qz

per month) and family livestock (3,000Qz per month, or US $392.62).

Employment per economic activity

The main source ong>ofong> employment in the three communities is the primary sector (agriculture,

hunting, forestry and fishing) comprising 47% in Modesto Mendez, 88% in Sarstún and 97%

ong>ofong> the workforce in Gracias a Dios. In Modesto Mendez, the second source ong>ofong> employment

is the commercial sector (major commerce, restaurants and hotels) with 23.3%. The

remainder ong>ofong> Sarstún’s workforce is employed in industry, commercial sector, community

and social services each with less than 4%. In Gracias a Dios the commercial sector

comprises the remainder ong>ofong> the workforce (3%). At the national level, 42% ong>ofong> the population

work in the primary sector (agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing). This is not surprising

considering this sector alone contributed to 22% ong>ofong> the national gross domestic product in

2004. The second largest area ong>ofong> employment is commercial services with 16.5% ong>ofong> the

employed population and third is industry with 13.4% ong>ofong> the employed population.

Key informant data confirmed the census data. Interviewees stated that the main source ong>ofong>

employment in the selected communities was agriculture (fishing and livestock) and

commercial services. In Modesto Mendez, half ong>ofong> the population is engaged in livestock,

100% in fishing, and 5% in agriculture. These percentages have decreased or stayed the

41

Growth rate value was calculated using population increase from 1990 (from "Estimaciones de Poblacion por municipio,

1990-2005 Ambos Sexos" faxed information) to 2002 (INE values)

42

World Development Indicators, 2005

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

same over the last 20 years. In the community ong>ofong> Sarstún, 95 to 100% ong>ofong> the population are

said to be engaged on fishing, 50% in family livestock, and 5 to 70% (the two responses

given by interviewees) in agriculture. Except for fishing, the number ong>ofong> people involved in

these activities has increased over the past 20 years with the percentage working in

livestock only limited by land availability. Finally, in the community ong>ofong> Gracias a Dios the

number ong>ofong> people involved in small commercial enterprises (stores and restaurants) has

increased to include a total ong>ofong> nine households, while a total ong>ofong> three households work in

agriculture and livestock.

B.5.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

According to the 2002 census, the percentage ong>ofong> households with access to toilet facilities

varied in the three communities, the highest in Modesto Mendez (72.7%) followed by 48.4%

in Sarstún and only 18.2% in Gracias a Dios. In the three communities, the houses with

toilet facilities were mostly private (88% to 100%). The type ong>ofong> toilet varied between

communities. In Modesto Mendez, 81% use latrines or pits, followed by a 19% using

washable toilets. In Sarstún, washable toilets were the most common type used (51%)

followed by 33% using latrine/pit, 9% using septic tanks and 7% to drainage line. In the

community ong>ofong> Gracias a Dios, all ong>ofong> the households with toilet facility used latrine/pit.

According to key informants, latrines are used in 100% ong>ofong> households in Modesto Mendez.

In Sarstún a low number ong>ofong> houses are connected to septic tanks (only 2 to 3 houses). The

remaining residents either use latrines (99% according to one interviewee) or are divided

between 40% using latrines and 60% with no access at all (according to a second

interviewee). In the community ong>ofong> Gracias a Dios, a low number ong>ofong> households use latrines

(3 ong>ofong> 12 households) while the remaining (8 ong>ofong> 12 households) have no access to a toilet

facility.

Water disposal

Four key informants were interviewed regarding water disposal: one individual each residing

in Modesto Mendez and Gracias a Dios and two individuals resided in the community ong>ofong>

Sarstún. The two interviewees from Sarstún provided conflicting responses, one stating that

100% ong>ofong> households dispose ong>ofong> water on land and the other stating that 100% ong>ofong> households

dispose ong>ofong> water by piping it directly into the river or streams. Both key informants from

Modesto Mendez and Gracias a Dios stated that 100% ong>ofong> households dispose their water on

land.

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

In all communities, key informants rated access to safe drinking water as poor. There is no

cost for water and the time spent obtaining the water each day varies from one to three

hours (Modesto Mendez) to 10 to 15 minutes (Sarstún and Gracias a Dios). In Sarstún

when water is obtained from the well instead ong>ofong> cistern, the time spent increases to one hour

each day. In Gracias a Dios, a key informant said that there are two public wells in the

community, but the chlorine taste ong>ofong> the water forces those who can afford to buy their

water. Water is sourced from the river for cooking and washing and is cleanest in the

morning.

The number ong>ofong> households that have access to water through piped water varies between

the communities. In Sarstún it is high (82.8%), and low in Modesto Mendez (3%) and

Gracias a Dios (6.1%). Well water is used by 42.4% ong>ofong> households in Modesto Mendez,

7.5% in Sarstún, and 3% in Gracias a Dios. River, lake or spring is also highly used as a

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

direct water source in the communities ong>ofong> Modesto Mendez (51.5%) and Gracias a Dios

(87.9%). In Sarstún, however, this number is only 5.4%. The use ong>ofong> truck or barrel is not

very common (less than 3%).

Presence & prevalence ong>ofong> diseases and illnesses

In selected communities in the watershed, the most common diseases affecting the

population are diarrhea and malaria. Cases ong>ofong> severe diarrhea are frequent and it affects a

high number ong>ofong> the population every year. Malaria cases occur in the communities ong>ofong>

Modesto Mendez (5% ong>ofong> population infected) and Sarstún (300 cases over a six month

period). Gracias a Dios had no cases ong>ofong> malaria; however approximately nine people get

infected with dengue fever every year (each rainy season). While no cases ong>ofong> dengue are

registered in Modesto Mendez or Sarstún. Skin rashes were mentioned in the communities

ong>ofong> Sarstún (most adults have skin fungus problems) and Gracias a Dios (during rainy

season). Another disease mentioned by a health worker from Sarstún was river blindness.

No cases ong>ofong> cholera were registered in any ong>ofong> the communities in more than six years.

B.5.c.iv. Community Perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

The top social issue given by key informants was the need for better education, provided by

five ong>ofong> five interviewees. Alcoholism was the next highest, noted by three ong>ofong> five

interviewees. Other social issues mentioned by interviewees were poverty, unemployment,

lack ong>ofong> health services and water quality. In general all key informants said these problems

were either getting worse or staying the same. In the communities ong>ofong> Modesto Mendez and

Gracias a Dios, interviewees mentioned a decrease in fish population (and so fishing is

becoming less ong>ofong> a possible source ong>ofong> work).

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

In regard to the environment, the most important issues were garbage disposal/littering and

deforestation, each listed by three ong>ofong> five interviewees. Other issues, stated by two ong>ofong> five

key informants each, were the decrease in fish population, water quality, lack ong>ofong> potable

water, and lack ong>ofong> latrines.

Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

In Modesto Mendez, the options mentioned were construction (producing concrete blocks,

etc.) and more livestock opportunities. In Sarstún, the options mentioned were tourism and

a gas station. (Currently the closest sources ong>ofong> gas are Livingston in Guatemala and Punta

Gorda in Belize.) More important to the interviewees than alternative livelihoods was their

current needs, such as more fishing equipment, access to more land to be used for farming,

and the formation ong>ofong> a fishermen association. Finally in Gracias a Dios, the alternative

livelihoods stated were ownership ong>ofong> small commercial business and fishing.

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

B.6. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Dulce

Watershed 43

B.6.a. Introduction

The Rio Dulce watershed encompasses the Guatemalan departments ong>ofong> Izabal, Alta

Verapaz, Baja Verapaz and El Progreso, although most ong>ofong> the watershed is located in the

department ong>ofong> Izabal. It has an estimated population ong>ofong> 1,038,937 and has a high density ong>ofong>

302 people/km 2 . Adequate sewage treatment is a major problem in the watershed and has

led to high incidence ong>ofong> waterborne disease, which affects the many low-income residents at

a higher rate than those with higher incomes. Key informants noted health issues as the

major social problem in the watershed and this could be linked to water contamination, as

that was listed as the top environmental issue.

B.6.b. Hydrology & Land Use

The Rio Dulce Watershed is considered to be one ong>ofong> the larger systems in Guatemala. It

covers a total area ong>ofong> approximately 8,750 Km 2 and its major tributary is Rio Dulce that

empties into Lake Izabal. It has an estimated discharge 300 m3/s 44 and a sediment

discharge ong>ofong> 12,960 ton/day 45

Supporting a large population ong>ofong> people it is facing many environmental problems

associated with the anthropogenic activities being carried on this terrain. The major land

uses ong>ofong> the system include extensive crop faming and cattle ranching. Many ong>ofong> these

practices are performed on sloppy terrains increasing the negative effects on this vital

system. It has been estimated that about 1,958 Km 2 ong>ofong> land have been cleared on soils that

are not suitable for agriculture. These anthropogenic activities have lead to large scale

deforestation ong>ofong> the area that has trigger interest in reforestation ong>ofong> crucial areas ong>ofong> the

watershed. Other parts ong>ofong> the watershed are still covered with pine forests, mix forest,

secondary growth forest and broad leaf forest.

Lake Izabal being a major tourist destination in Guatemala has triggered people to the use

ong>ofong> Rio Dulce and the lake itself as a channel for the passage ong>ofong> water vessels that lead to

water pollution.

An environmental issue that has sparked both local and national interest in this watershed is

the presence ong>ofong> the invasive aquatic plant Hydrilla verticillata. It has been reported that

approximately 5,000 acres ong>ofong> the 170,000 lake are know covered with this plant 46 . Presently

it does not presents major problems but if the plant continues to spread it will cause

problems to the local fishing community and to water transportation on the two major water

bodies ong>ofong> this watershed.

43

Communities surveyed were: Mariscos, Izabal, El Estor, Livingston, Rio Dulce/Fronteras

44

Comision ejecutiva Valle de Sula, 2002.

45

Abt Associates, 2003.

46 http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu/aq-w02-5.html

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Figure 13. Rio Dulce: Livingston, Izabal: Average Monthly Precipitation.

250

200

Average Precipitation (mm)

150

100

50

0

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Month

Figure 14. Río Dulce: Land Cover Distribution

Water body

8%

Wetlands

2%

Mixed forest

15%

Agriculture

48%

Broadleaf forest

27%

Agriculture

Broadleaf forest

Mixed forest

Water body

Wetlands

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

In conclusion regional findings include:

• Agricultural activities on unsuitable soils posse a threat to the health ong>ofong> the

watershed.

• The aquatic plant H. verticillata will place a threat to the system if no proper

measures are taken to control its spread

• The majority ong>ofong> the population on this system depends on it for obtaining food (fish)

and for tourism base activities.

Future management activities may include:

• A close and constant monitoring on the status ong>ofong> H. verticillata and how it is affecting

the overall health ong>ofong> the watershed.

• Continued monitoring ong>ofong> water quality and how it is being affected by agricultural

activities.

47 48 49

B.6.c. Socioeconomic Findings

B.6.c.i. Demographics

Population

Total watershed population was estimated by summing populations ong>ofong> the municipalities that

lie within the Rio Dulce watershed boundary. However, these municipalities correspond to a

small percentage ong>ofong> the total watershed population (less than 3% in each municipality). The

total was calculated at 1,038,937 and comprises approximately 9.25% ong>ofong> Guatemala’s total

population. Population is highest in the municipalities ong>ofong> Cobán, San Pedro Carchá

(Department ong>ofong> Alta Verapaz) and Morales (Department ong>ofong> Izabal) corresponding to 14%,

14.3% and 8.2% ong>ofong> watershed inhabitants, respectively. The highest population densities

are located in the municipalities ong>ofong> Santa Cruz Verapaz (244 people/km 2 ), Tactic (211

people/km 2 ), and San Juan Chamelco (208 people/km 2 ) in the Department ong>ofong> Alta Verapaz.

However, these municipalities correspond to a small percentage ong>ofong> the total watershed

population (less than 3% in each municipality).

The selected communities for the study with the highest population are Livingston (4,481

people) and Rio Dulce (3,974 people). The lowest populations are located in the

communities ong>ofong> Izabal (673 people) and Mariscos (736 people). The watershed’s area is

8,750 km 2 , 50 and has an estimated population density ong>ofong> 302 people/km 2 .

Population Growth Rate

Population growth in the region varies according to municipality. Although El Estor has the

lowest population in the region, it is the one with highest population increase (an average ong>ofong>

3.65% every year) compared to a national average increase ong>ofong> 2.37% per year. The

47

Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos Familiares (ENIGFAM), INE, 1999

48

Census, Instituto Nactional Estadistica, INE, Guatemala, 2002 (XI Censo Nacional de Población y VI Censo Nacional

de Habitación).

49

All Perception Data is from Key Informant Interviews in Honduras and Guatemala, July and August 2005.

50

Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Volcanologia, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

municipalities ong>ofong> Los Amates and Livingston have a much lower average growth rate per

year (-0.24% and 1.62% respectively). 51

B.6.c.ii. Economic welfare

Per capita income

Nationally, Guatemala’s per capita income in 2004 was US$ 2,173 with a yearly increase ong>ofong>

7.1% over the last 4 years. 52 Data from 1999 show a national per-capita income ong>ofong> Qz609.6

(or US $79.58) per month, corresponding to Qz977.2 (US $127.57) in urban areas and

Qz368.0 (US $48.04) per month in rural areas. Total per capita income varies among

watershed municipalities and communities. Income in the departments ong>ofong> Zacapa, El

Progreso, Izabal and Chiquimula (northeast region) is 5% higher than in Alta and Baja

Verapaz (north region). In urban areas this difference increases to almost 50% (Qz546.3

and Qz818.2 per month, or US $71.32 and $106.81 per month, in the north and northeast

respectively). However, in the rural areas income per capita in the north region is 10%

higher than the northeast region (Qz474 and Qz422 per month respectively, or US $61.88

and $55.09).

Key informant interviews revealed various sources ong>ofong> income in the communities. Fishing

was noted to provide an income ong>ofong> Qz40 to Qz120 per day (US $5.23 to $15.70), or to

provide for subsistence. In Mariscos, key informants reported that the commercial sector

provided an income ong>ofong> Qz50 to 500 per day (or US $6.54 to $65.44) and income for teaching

was said to be Qz3,000 (US $392.62) per month.

Employment per economic activity

At the national level, 42% ong>ofong> the population work in the primary sector (agriculture, hunting,

forestry and fishing). This is not surprising considering this sector alone contributed to 22%

ong>ofong> the national gross domestic product in 2004. The second largest area ong>ofong> employment is

commercial services with 16.5% ong>ofong> the employed population and the third largest area ong>ofong>

employment is industry with 13.4% ong>ofong> the employed population. For the communities

included in the study, the main source ong>ofong> employment is also the primary sector followed by

commercial services. The exceptions were in the communities ong>ofong> Livingston and Rio Dulce

where the commercial sector was first, followed by the agricultural sector, and the

community ong>ofong> Izabal where the percentage ong>ofong> the population employed in the commercial

sector was only 0.5% (agriculture was the main source ong>ofong> employment with 87% ong>ofong>

population). Other sources ong>ofong> employment in the region are a mix ong>ofong> industry, construction,

and community, social and personal services. According to key informants, the population

is mainly engaged in the primary and tertiary sector. A key informant noted that fishing has

decreased or stayed the same over the years and the commercial activity has increased.

B.6.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

The percentage ong>ofong> households with access to toilet facilities in the watershed ranges

between 82.6% to 93% compared to national value ong>ofong> 85.5%. Of the households with toilet

facilities, most are private (79% to 100%) and few are shared (21% in Mariscos, and all

others less than 5%). Most households have latrine or pits (51-81%) with the exception ong>ofong>

Rio Dulce (21%) and Mariscos (6%). A high percentage ong>ofong> households in the watershed

51

Growth rate value was calculated using population increase from 1990 (from "Estimaciones de Poblacion por municipio,

1990-2005 Ambos Sexos" faxed information) to 2002 (INE values)

52

World Development Indicators, 2005

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

have their toilets connected to septic tanks: 53% in Rio Dulce, 88% in Mariscos, and from

11% to 34% in the other communities. There were also households with washable toilets

(2% to 20% in all communities). Of the private toilets, less than 7% are connected to a

drainage line (wastewater treatment facility).

According to the key informants, no toilet is connected to drainage in Mariscos, Izabal, El

Estor, and Rio Dulce with the exception ong>ofong> 5% in the community ong>ofong> Livingston. Information

given by key informants on toilet type and connection varied between communities and even

between key informants in the same community. In Mariscos, one individual said 40% ong>ofong>

households use latrines and the other 60% has no toilet facility while another interviewee

said 50% are connected to septic tanks and the other 50% have latrines. In Izabal, two

interviewees said 50% households have septic tanks and the other 50% have latrines.

While another interviewee said only 10% have septic tank, 80% have latrines, and 10%

have none. In the municipality ong>ofong> El Estor, the interviewee said in urban areas only 60% are

connected to septic tank. Latrines are used by 40% in urban and 50% in rural areas while

25% have no toilet access in rural areas. In Livingston, a key informant said 60% are

connected to septic tank and 25% ong>ofong> households have latrines. Finally, in Rio Dulce, a key

informant said 47% ong>ofong> households have latrines and 49% have no access to toilet facilities.

None ong>ofong> the interviewees in any ong>ofong> the communities said there were households with treated

sewage. For waste disposal, the interviewees in the communities ong>ofong> Mariscos and

Livingston said 100% ong>ofong> those with latrines deposit sewage waste into a river or stream.

While in El Estor and Rio Dulce, 25% (with compost toilets) and 4% composted their sewage

waste.

Water disposal

According to key informant interviews in the selected communities, only urban households in

the municipality ong>ofong> El Estor are connected to water treatment (60%). In the other

communities, the interviewees mentioned that most households dispose their water either

directly into a river or stream (70% to 100% in Mariscos, 100% in Rio Dulce) or dispose

directly on land (30% in Mariscos, 100% in Izabal and 100% in El Estor).

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

According to key informants in Mariscos, access to potable water is not regular but the water

is safe to drink. In the community ong>ofong> Izabal, access to potable water is regular to good. As

stated by an education key informant, access to water is regular, but quality varies during

the year, being ong>ofong> lower quality in the winter period. In the municipality ong>ofong> El Estor, there is

good accessibility to water but it is not safe to drink. As indicated by one ong>ofong> the informants,

during the dry months (winter period), water may not be accessible for 2-3 days and there

are many cases ong>ofong> infected individuals (cases ong>ofong> amebas, diarrheas and diseases related to

fecal contamination). In Livingston, according to a key informant, there is poor access to

potable water, and if water from public wells is needed, it takes about 20-30 minutes to

obtain it per day. The cost ong>ofong> drinking water in these communities varies from Qz27 to Qz60

(US $3.53 to $7.85) per year.

Households in the watershed had various types ong>ofong> water services. 73% to 96% ong>ofong>

households in the selected communities were connected to a pipe compared to a national

percentage ong>ofong> 74.6%. In the community ong>ofong> Livingston, 22.1% ong>ofong> households use well water

as their water source compared 15.3% at the national level. In the municipality ong>ofong> El Estor,

23.5% ong>ofong> households get their water from a river/lake or spring (compared to less than 5% in

the other communities). Water sources from trucks or barrels are uncommon in these

communities as percentages were all less than 1%.

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Presence & prevalence ong>ofong> diseases and illnesses

In Guatemala, diarrhea is the second leading cause ong>ofong> death 53 and especially affects the

poor, children under five and the malnourished 54 . The presence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases

varied in the selected communities. Across all communities, key informants noted that there

has not been a case ong>ofong> cholera since 1990. In the El Estor municipality, as indicated by a

health ong>ofong>ficial, cases ong>ofong> diarrhea are very common (100% ong>ofong> individuals affected).

Incidences ong>ofong> diarrhea in the Mariscos and Izabal are much lower, with 7.3% and 30% ong>ofong>

individuals infected, respectively. Cases ong>ofong> malaria were also high in El Estor with 70% ong>ofong>

individuals infected. In Mariscos there were 29 malaria cases in 2003 but none reported

since then and no cases were reported in Izabal. Cases ong>ofong> dengue fever were reported in El

Estor (70% individuals infected). There were known cases in Izabal (but not a specific

number) and no cases in Mariscos. Cases ong>ofong> skin rashes were also reported in all

communities, with 17% ong>ofong> individuals infected in Mariscos (cases mentioned were

escambiosis, micosis, piodermitis, and dermatitis), 70% in El Estor, and in Izabal cases were

reported but no specific number was given. As suggested by health ong>ofong>ficial in El Estor, skin

rashes might not be related to water, but rather poor hygiene. In general, the health ong>ofong>ficial

in Mariscos said that 47% patients suffer from general parasite problems, and 25% take

preventative treatment for parasites.

B.6.c.iv. Community Perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

The top social issue listed by six ong>ofong> ten key informants was health issues/health services.

Unemployment and lack ong>ofong> education was next, given by five ong>ofong> ten key informants. Other

social issues mentioned by interviewees were poverty, alcoholism, and lack ong>ofong> safety and

security. In general, the key informants all stated these problems were either getting worse

or staying the same. Two ong>ofong> the interviewees also mentioned a lack ong>ofong> water treatment

plants, drainage systems in town and decreasing fish populations in the river, which is

considered a former source ong>ofong> employment and livelihood for the people. In El Estor, a key

informant stated that not all people have legal ownership ong>ofong> the land they live in and large

agricultural businesses are coming in and claiming rights for those lands.

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

In regard to the environment, the most important issue was water pollution (river and

lake)/water quality noted by eight ong>ofong> ten interviewees. Four ong>ofong> ten key informants stated

contaminated drinking water, deforestation (especially near the river), garbage disposal and

the spread ong>ofong> the aquatic plant Hydrilla verticillata in the river as important issues. One

interviewee from Rio Dulce mentioned farming techniques as a source ong>ofong> pollution. Another

problem that was indicated in the department ong>ofong> El Estor is nickel mining and the pollution

caused by it.

Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

Some ong>ofong> the responses ong>ofong> the interviewees for alternative livelihoods were factories, manual

labor, faming, boat services and prong>ofong>essional jobs. Responses were also the same activities

people are involved in now, except they hope to get better incomes for their work.

53

PanAmerican Health Organization. 2005. Country Prong>ofong>ile: Guatemala. website:

http://www.paho.org/english/dd/ais/be_v25n2-perfil-guatemala.htm (Sept, 2005)

54

WHO. 2005. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/diarrohea/en

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B.7. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Motagua

Watershed 55

B.7.a. Introduction

Encompassing approximately 18,000 km 2 ong>ofong> land, the Motagua River Watershed is the third

largest watershed in the study area, straddling Guatemala and Honduras. It is a highly

populated watershed with an estimated five million residents, home to over one-third ong>ofong>

Guatemala’s population and one-sixth ong>ofong> the population ong>ofong> Honduras. Over half (56.7%) ong>ofong>

Guatemala’s and two-thirds (66.6%) ong>ofong> Honduras’s population live in poverty. Agriculture is

the largest source ong>ofong> employment for Motagua residents and provides the primary source ong>ofong>

income for the majority ong>ofong> households in the watershed. Despite being home to some ong>ofong> the

region’s most agriculturally productive land, as a consequence ong>ofong> its high population size

and density and lack ong>ofong> wastewater treatment, the Motagua watershed is the only one ong>ofong>

those surveyed where water quality models indicate that nitrogen loads from wastewater are

greater than those from agriculture. Diarrhea and gastrointestinal disease, strongly

correlated with water quality, are a major social concern and principal cause ong>ofong> morbidity in

watershed communities and the second and third leading cause ong>ofong> death for infants in

Guatemala and Honduras, respectively. Sanitation facilities vary throughout the watershed,

while untreated wastewater is ong>ofong>ten drained or piped directly into watercourses, adjacent

swamps, or the ocean. Unemployment, health, disease and poor educational opportunities

are the top social concerns ong>ofong> the Motagua communities surveyed. Deforestation and soil

erosion are seen as the largest environmental threats, while lack ong>ofong> garbage collection,

wastewater pollution ong>ofong> the rivers, and unsafe drinking water (due to the pollution) are also

top concerns.

B.7.b. Hydrology & Land Use

The Rio Motagua watershed is shared by Guatemala (±15,000 km 2 ) and Honduras (±3,000

km 2 ). Its length is 487 km, average annual precipitation is 1,400 mm, and its average

discharge is 530m 3 /sec. Like other rivers in the region, it has a distinct peak flow season in

late summer and early fall.

In Figure 15, the water use to resource demands ratios for the Rio Motagua are generally

five percent or less. The exception to this is in the northeast section where it is shown to

exceed five percent. This is because ong>ofong> the high water demand in nearby San Pedro Sula,

the industrial capital ong>ofong> Honduras. Additionally, south ong>ofong> the Motagua watershed, a resources

ratio exceeding twenty percent demonstrates the high water demand in the region

surrounding Guatemala City.

55

Communities selected for study were: Chichicastenango, Teculutan, Morales, San Agustín Acasaguastrián, Puerto Barrios,

Entre Rios, Copan and Omoa

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Figure 15. Rio Motagua: Ratios ong>ofong> Water Use vs. Availability

Modified from following: Vorosmarty, C. J., P. Green, J. Salisbury and R. B. Lammers. 2000.

Global water resources: vulnerability from climate change and population

Growth. Science, 289: 284-288.

Water quality data for this watershed were available from 2003 for the basin at Gualán and

upstream at Puente Orellana. As shown in Figure 16, the concentration ong>ofong> lead at both the

Gualan and Puente Orellana monitoring stations is in excess ong>ofong> United States drinking water

quality standards. This high lead concentration is potentially concerning for both human and

wildlife sourcing water from the Motagua and its origin should be further investigated to

determine possible mitigation practices.

In addition, the Gualan and Puente Orellana monitoring sites show phosphorous

concentrations (Figure 17) that fluctuate over the transition from wet to dry season,

however, are always higher than the 0.05 mg/l threshold level for moving from a healthy

state to a eutrophic water system.

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Figure 16 & 17. Rio Motagua: 2003 Lead and Phosphorus Concentration Data

0.6

1.8

Lead (mg/L)

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

Gualan

Puente Orellana

Phosphate-P (mg P/L)

1.6

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

Gualan

Puente Orellana

0.1

Drinking Water Quality Standard (USA)

0.2

0.0

Eutrophic (0.05 mg/L)

04-Feb-03

07-Mar-03

08-Apr-03

06-May-03

06-Jun-03

08-Jul-03

05-Aug-03

02-Sep-03

10-Oct-03

04-Feb-03

07-Mar-03

08-Apr-03

06-May-03

06-Jun-03

08-Jul-03

05-Aug-03

02-Sep-03

10-Oct-03

Sampling Date

Sampling Date

Source: Adapted from “Calidad de Agua de los Rios de La Republica de Guatemala”

(December 2003), INSIVUMEH, Guatemala

Figures 18 & 19. Rio Motagua: 2003 TDS and Turbidity Graphs

350

7000

Total Dissolved Solids (mg/L)

300

250

200

150

Weak untreated

domestic wastewater

Gualan

Puente Orellana

100

04-Feb-03

07-Mar-03

08-Apr-03

06-May-03

06-Jun-03

08-Jul-03

05-Aug-03

02-Sep-03

10-Oct-03

04-Feb-03

07-Mar-03

08-Apr-03

06-May-03

06-Jun-03

08-Jul-03

05-Aug-03

02-Sep-03

10-Oct-03

Turbidity (NTU)

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0

Gualan

Puente Orellana

Chronic ecosystem

effects threshold

Sampling Date

Sampling Date

Sources: adapted from “Calidad de Agua de los Rios de La Republica de Guatemala”

(December 2003), INSIVUMEH, Guatemala

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Total dissolved solids (TDS) are high (Figure 18) during the dry season when water flow is

low and untreated domestic wastewater continues at its regular discharge into the river and

tributaries. TDS decreases during the wet season as rain helps dilute the concentration ong>ofong>

solids in the water system.

As expected, Figure 19 shows that turbidity is very high during the wet season as rainwater

stirs up sediment and suspends particles in the water column.

The land coverage ong>ofong> the Rio Motagua watershed is 18,000 km 2 in area and is dominated by

agricultural use (49%) and Mixed Forest (27%)(Figure 20). The land cover percentages for

the Motagua were compiled from the data available from CCAD and CONANP.

Figure 20. Río Motagua: Land Cover Distribution

Scrub/shrub

11%

Other

3%

Mixed forest

27%

Agriculture

49%

Broadleaf forest

10%

Agriculture

Broadleaf forest

Mixed forest

Scrub/shrub

Other

Other includes Coastal Vegetation, Needleleaf Forest, Urban, Water Body, and Wetlands

Much ong>ofong> the watershed (2,400 km 2 or 13% ong>ofong> the total) is under some form ong>ofong> protection

through national legislation. Agriculture in the Guatemalan portion ong>ofong> the watershed is

characterized by more diversified crop production (such as cong>ofong>fee, corn, beans, tomatoes

and tree fruits) higher in watershed and more intensive, monocrop agriculture such as

African palm and banana toward the coast. For example, in the Puerto Barrios municipality,

African Palm coverage is 11,000 hectares versus banana at just 1,800 hectares. The

implication ong>ofong> these crops on watershed health varies with farm practice. Again in Puerto

Barrios, the African palm is being fertilized with NPK commercial fertilizer, whereas the

banana trees are being fertilized with manure at a rate ong>ofong> 500 kg/year/hectare. Commercial

fertilizer can have direct human health impacts if it is not applied properly with the use ong>ofong> soil

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testing. Also, manure can also impact water quality and health if it is not composted as it can

pass bacteria and other pathogens into runong>ofong>f waters or groundwater.

In the Honduras portion ong>ofong> the Motagua watershed, the main crops include corn, beans, rice

and minor crops ong>ofong> tree fruits, banana, yucca and cacao. Slash and burn agriculture was

said to be common. Pesticide application for crops include Tamaron, pyrethroides (2.8-3.6

liters/hectare ong>ofong> both, 4-6 applications/year). Fertilizer use on crops in the Motagua includes

nitrogen/urea and NPK for corn, beans and rice and ammonium sulfate for citrus and

bananas; 120-128 kg/hectare/season. Key informants throughout the Motagua stated that

there is no method ong>ofong> disposal ong>ofong> water used in livestock farming or other agricultural

activities. Therefore, all ong>ofong> the water that has been subject to fertilizer, pesticides and

manure is likely entering the Rio Motagua untreated. In addition, it was said that agricultural

extension service in both countries is limited in its ability to reach out to individual farmers

and address water quality issues.

In conclusion, regional findings and stresses include:

• Sufficient water quantity to meet needs

• Peak rainfall conducive to high levels ong>ofong> erosion

• Even the limited water quality shows water quality stress and the value ong>ofong> water quality

sampling

• Potential exists for future water quality problems from point and non-point source threats

• Agricultural land use makes up a significant portion ong>ofong> the watershed and its impacts

vary with crop types and fertilizer, pesticide and manure management practices

Future management interventions include:

• Expand water quantity and quality monitoring

• Increase the agricultural data available and expand agricultural extension programs that

focus on mitigation ong>ofong> farming practices to improve water quality and health

• Manage land use to respond to present and potential water quality threats

• Ensure effective management ong>ofong> wastewater

• Harmonization ong>ofong> transboundary water management

56 57 58

B.7.c. Socioeconomic Findings

B.7.c.i. Demographics

Population

Encompassing approximately 18,000 km 2 ong>ofong> land, the Motagua River Watershed is the third

largest watershed in the study area, straddling Guatemala and Honduras. It is also one ong>ofong>

the region’s most populated watersheds, with an estimated five million residents. Half ong>ofong> all

ong>ofong> Guatemala’s districts lie within the watershed’s boundaries, including four ong>ofong> the top five

with the highest population densities. The population in the communities surveyed range

56

Census, Instituto Nactional Estadistica, INE, 2002. “Lugares Poblados y Viviendo XI Censo Nacional de Pobalcion y VI de

Habitacion 2002.

57

INE. Honduras.

58

Key informant interviews – Honduras and Guatemala. July and August 2005.

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from 2,471 in Entre Rios, a Guatemalan border town, to 107,193 in Chichicastenango, a

large tourist destination in Guatemala.

Population growth rate

Based on the field survey ong>ofong> eight communities within both countries, the population growth

in the watershed is estimated at 2% annually, compared to the national rates ong>ofong> 4% and

2.8% for Guatemala and Honduras, respectively.

B.7.c.ii. Economic Welfare

Per capita income

No data collected.

Employment per economic activity

According to key informant interviews in the selected Guatemalan and Honduran

communities, agriculture is the largest source ong>ofong> employment for Motagua residents.

Interviewees estimated that between 30% to 80% ong>ofong> the population relies on agriculture

(principally corn, beans, tobacco and fruits) for their primary source ong>ofong> income compared to

42.1% nationally in Guatemala and 36.3% in Honduras. Slash and burn practices are

perceived as a major environmental and water safety threat to these communities. Logging

and commercial services are also important sources ong>ofong> income in some communities.

B.7.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

Access to toilet facilities varies throughout the watershed communities surveyed. In

Honduras, wastewater treatment in both Copan and Omoa covered only a small percentage

ong>ofong> the households there. In Copan, 46% ong>ofong> the households did not have any toilet facility,

25% ong>ofong> households have either drainage to sewage ponds or a septic service and 3% ong>ofong>

households state that their wastewater is flushed directly into the river. In Omoa, 13% ong>ofong> the

households report no sanitation service in their household and 82% ong>ofong> households have

either drainage to ponds or septic system service for their household sewage. Honduran

national level census data reveals that 50% ong>ofong> households have either septic systems or are

connected to drainage systems which are seldom connected to treatment plants, but ong>ofong>ten

empty into sewage ponds, while 25% have latrines, 22% do not have any service and 2%

flush directly into the river.

National level census data in Guatemala tells a slightly different story and divides the data

according to rural and urban locals. In Guatemala, 65% ong>ofong> urban households are connected

to drainage systems and 6.7% to septic systems, 33% to latrines and 5% have no toilet

facility. In rural households in Guatemala, 5.7% ong>ofong> households are connected to drainage

systems and 5.8% to septic systems, 65% use latrines and 24% have no sanitation facility. 59

Of the communities surveyed in Guatemala, census information reveals that in

Chichicastenango, the closest ong>ofong> the communities surveyed to the source ong>ofong> the watershed,

76% ong>ofong> the households have latrines, 10% are connected to drainage systems and 11% do

not have any toilet facility. Government ong>ofong>ficials and educators in Chichicastenango, San

Agustín Acasaguastrián and Puerto Barrios stated that all drainage systems piped untreated

waste into the river or the ocean. Key informants in Chichicastenango stated that many ong>ofong>

the latrines also drained directly into the river.

59

UNDP Guatemala. 2003. Desarollo Humano y Ruralidad Conpendio Estadistico 2004.

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Water disposal

No data collected.

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

Based on the key informant interviews in the eight communities, those that must collect

water from a place outside ong>ofong> their own home spend between 20 minutes (San Agustín

Acasaguastrián) and one hour a day (Chichicastenango), on average, collecting water from

the wells or the river. The range in costs ong>ofong> piped water ong>ofong> those communities surveyed

along the Motagua was between 10 Quetzals (US $1.31) per month in San Agustín

Acasaguastrián and Qz30 (US $3.93) per month in Puerto Barrios. Key informants in Puerto

Barrios, the port at the mouth ong>ofong> the Motagua, stated that ong>ofong> those living in Puerto Barrios,

35% have regular access to water while the other 65% ong>ofong> the population do not have

constant and regular water in their homes. An estimated 90% ong>ofong> households buy water in

Puerto Barrios, the last city on the watershed because ong>ofong> poor quality and problems ong>ofong>

scarcity, especially during the dry season. Key informants in Omoa estimate 9% ong>ofong> the

population must walk to the stream to collect water while an estimated 95% ong>ofong> the

population buys water because ong>ofong> the poor quality potable water available.

Presence and prevalence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases and illnesses

Diarrhea and gastrointestinal waterborne diseases are a major social concern and principal

cause ong>ofong> morbidity in watershed communities. Diarrhea is the second and third leading

cause ong>ofong> death in infants born in Guatemala 60 and Honduras, respectively. One health

ong>ofong>ficial interviewed in 2005 estimated that up to 85% ong>ofong> the local population will visit the

health center for severe diarrhea, while others report up to 80% morbidity from diarrhea in

some communities. Malaria cases are principally observed along the Honduras coast.

B.7.c.iv. Community perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

Unemployment was the most common social concern ong>ofong> the key informants interviewed in

the communities along the Rio Motagua. Nine ong>ofong> the eleven key informants stated that

unemployment is an important community issue while all eleven key informants noted

poverty or unemployment as a major social problem in their community. Five ong>ofong> the eleven

key informants in nine communities on the Rio Motagua noted that health/disease and

sickness was an important community issue. Poor quality education and educational

opportunity was noted by five ong>ofong> the key informants as a community problem. Finally, lack ong>ofong>

agricultural productivity was a concern for two ong>ofong> the eleven key informants.

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

Deforestation and soil erosion were the most significant environmental threats noted by 13

ong>ofong> the 15 key informants interviewed along the Motagua watershed. Pollution ong>ofong> the Rio

Motagua by wastewater was noted by nine ong>ofong> the 15 key informants as a major threat to the

environment. Five ong>ofong> the nine key informants determined that pollution by wastewater was

affecting the health or the drinking water ong>ofong> the community. Ten ong>ofong> the key informants stated

that the lack ong>ofong> garbage collection and proper disposal was a major environmental threat in

their community.

To improve these problems, the key informants determined that there should be more public

campaigns and education about deforestation. Proper wastewater treatment was noted by

60

PanAmerican Health Organization. 2005. Country Prong>ofong>ile: Guatemala. website:

http://www.paho.org/english/dd/ais/be_v25n2-perfil-guatemala.htm (Sept, 2005)

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four ong>ofong> the key informants as a solution to the pollution ong>ofong> the Rio Motagua, its tributaries and

their own drinking water. 100% ong>ofong> the environmental threats noted by the key informants

were said to be getting worse or staying the same.

Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

No data collected.

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B.8. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Río Chamelecón

Watershed

B.8.a. Introduction 61

The Chamelecón watershed in Honduras is the third smallest (Approximately 4,000 km 2 ) ong>ofong>

the studied watersheds in surface area but contains an estimated population ong>ofong>

approximately 1.25 million, 62 or 313 individuals per km 2 . 63 The watershed’s growing

population is concentrated in the municipality ong>ofong> San Pedro Sula, which contains an

estimated 41% ong>ofong> the watershed’s population. The population ong>ofong> San Pedro Sula is growing

at an estimated rate ong>ofong> 3.7% per year (measured from 1990-2000). The national economic

condition ong>ofong> Honduras reveals that 53% ong>ofong> its population lives in poverty (measured in 1993),

28.5% are unemployed (2004 estimate), and there is extreme income inequality (Gini

coefficient ong>ofong> 56.3, in 1998) 64 San Pedro Sula is an important economic center for Honduras

and includes a large industrial sector where textiles, clothing, lumber and food products are

manufactured and packaged for local consumption and export. While population growth in

the watershed is focused in San Pedro Sula and most homes there have sanitation facilities

that pipe wastewater into treatment facilities, unsanitary disposal and ineffective treatment ong>ofong>

household sewage prevails in other areas ong>ofong> the watershed. Agriculture is another large

source ong>ofong> pollution in the watershed as it dominates the large rural areas that surround the

urban centers. Poor water quality and the lack ong>ofong> drinking water treatment have led to the

spread ong>ofong> waterborne disease throughout the watershed. Interviews with community

members along the watershed illustrate that water quality is a major concern within the

watershed.

B.8.b. Hydrology and Land Use

Figure 21. Rio Chamelecón: 2003 Monthly Precipitation

250

Average Precipitation (mm)

200

150

100

50

0

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Month

Source: Adapted from GIS Data Disc Provided By Secretaría de Agricultura (SAG), Honduras

61

Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (INE) Honduras. Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2001

http://www.ine-hn.org/

62

As calculated by MBRS using Honduras INE Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2001 and based on municipality

populations.

63

As calculated by MBRS with aforementioned INE data and watershed boundary area GIS projection.

64

CIA World Factbook. 2005. The Gini coefficient indicates the level ong>ofong> income equity across a population whereby 0 indicates

complete equity and 1 indicates all wealth lies with one person.

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This watershed in Honduras has an area ong>ofong> approximately 4,000 km 2 , average annual

precipitation ong>ofong> 1,445 mm/yr, and average discharge ong>ofong> 370m 3 /sec. Monthly precipitation

averaged over the entire watershed and stream flow as measured at the hydrologic station

ong>ofong> Chamelecón in Puente are shown in Figures 21 and 22. Periods ong>ofong> record for stream flow

are 1972-1992.

600.00

Figure 22. Rio Chamelecón: Monthly Stream Flow Averaged 1972-1992

Average Flow (m^3/s)

500.00

400.00

300.00

200.00

100.00

Motagua

Chamelecon

Ulua

0.00

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Month

Chamelecon Source: Secretaria de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (SERNA), Direccion General de

Recursos Hidricos, Departamento de Servicios Hidrologicos y Climatologicos (1972-1992)

Figure 23. Rio Chamelecón: Ratios ong>ofong> Water Use vs. Availability

Modified from : Vorosmarty,et al. 2000.

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As shown in Figure 23, the water use to resource ratio in the majority ong>ofong> the Chamelecón is

5 percent or less. There are a few exceptions to this where the ratio demonstrates higher

stress on the watershed’s resources: near the mouth by coastal town ong>ofong> Puerto Cortes and

between 10 and 20 percent in the region surrounding San Pedro Sula. There are no water

quality data available for this basin.

The Chamelecón watershed land cover is predominantly under agricultural use (74%)

followed in % coverage by a variety ong>ofong> forest types (needleleaf (10%), broadleaf (5%) and

mixed (2%) for a total forest cover ong>ofong> 17%). The wetland coverage (5%) is the highest

percentage among the watersheds studied in this project; this should be seen as an asset

and a possible mitigation tool for water pollutants due to wetland filtration capacity.

Figure 24. Río Chamelecón: Land Cover Distribution

Broadleaf forest

5%

Needleleaf forest

10%

Mixed forest

2%

Wetlands

Urban 5%

2%

Other

1%

Agriculture

Broadleaf forest

Mixed forest

Needleleaf forest

Urban

Wetlands

Other

Agriculture

75%

Other includes Coastal Vegetation, Mangrove, Scrub/Shrub, and Water Body.

Along Puerto Cortes, bananas and African palm plantations dominate agricultural land use.

This resource use is different for inland communities such as La Entrada and Quimistan

where corn, beans and sugar cane are the common crops. Gramaxone, 2,4-D, Tamaron

and Round-Up are common chemical pest- and herbicides in all communities surveyed. For

Gramaxone, reported usage ranged from roughly 2 liters/hectare to 1 kg/hectare/8 days

depending upon need and season. The average NPK fertilizer use was reported to be 740

kg/hectare/year (divided into 2 applications) for most crops. The exception to this regimen

was sugar cane as it takes much more NPK for worthwhile production; fertilizer for cane was

applied at 9,662 kg/hectare/year (divided into 3 applications).

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The amount ong>ofong> protected area within the Chamelecón watershed in comparatively low with

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B.8.c.ii. Economic Welfare

Per capita income

According to national census data, Honduras has the lowest per capita income in the study

area and in 1993, 53% ong>ofong> the population was living in poverty. Furthermore, the Ginicoefficient

69 ong>ofong> .56 depicts a highly unequal distribution ong>ofong> income for Honduras. 70

Employment per economic activity

In 2003, ‘services’ was the largest sector ong>ofong> the Honduran economy, accounting for 41.9% ong>ofong>

the occupied population. Agriculture was second at 36.3% and industry third at 21.8%. This

represents a shift in the economy from 1990, when agriculture employed the greatest

percent ong>ofong> residents at 42.0%, then services at 38.2% and industry at 19.7%. The

development ong>ofong> the Honduras maquiladora industry (where products assembled for export to

U.S. markets) has helped the Honduran economy recover from the devastation resulting

from Hurricane Mitch in 1998. This has also had a significant impact on the Chamelecón

watershed, as Honduran industry is concentrated in San Pedro Sula and is a major producer

ong>ofong> processed food, textiles, clothing, lumber and wood products for local consumption and

export.

B.8.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

Sewage treatment is greatest in the major population centers ong>ofong> San Pedro Sula while

smaller communities and rural areas have significantly less treatment. Overall in the

Chamelecón watershed, the majority ong>ofong> households (60.4%) have a flush toilet linked to a

wastewater treatment facility, which is high compared to the national average ong>ofong> 28.2%. The

occurrence ong>ofong> this system ranged from 7.5% in Puerto Cortes to 72.9% in San Pedro Sula,

the largest community sampled in this watershed. Further, another 20.5% ong>ofong> households

employ a flush toilet to a septic system. According to the census, only 1.9% ong>ofong> households

in the watershed flush their sewage directly to the river (this is similar with the national

average ong>ofong> 1.7%) and 6.8% ong>ofong> households had no toilet system (compared with 22.8%

nationally). However, key informant public ong>ofong>ficials who live in the watershed stated that

latrines and septic tanks, which are defined as treatment, ong>ofong>ten allow sewage to seep into

the water table and sewage ponds frequently overflow in the rainy season. The key

informant data affirmed the census statistics on sewage. For instance, a health ong>ofong>ficial in

Puerto Cortes stated that 65-70% ong>ofong> households had a flush toilet system and another key

informant in Quimistan noted that 50% ong>ofong> households in urban areas ong>ofong> the municipality had

flush toilet systems. However in rural areas ong>ofong> Quimistan, 70% ong>ofong> households used latrines

and 30% had no toilet. In both ong>ofong> these municipalities, Puerto Cortes and Quimistan, key

informants stated that latrines and septic tanks allow sewage to seep into the water table.

Further, in Quimistan sewage ponds hold household sewage and these overflow in the rainy

season.

Water disposal

A health ong>ofong>ficial key informant from Puerto Cortes stated that 70% ong>ofong> residents there had

their non-sewage water piped to a water treatment facility while the remaining 30% piped

their water directly to a river or stream.

69

The Gini coefficient indicates the level ong>ofong> income equity across a population whereby 0 indicates complete equity and 1

indicates all wealth lies with one person.

70

CIA World Factbook. 2005.

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ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

Drinking water treatment is very common in the large urban centers ong>ofong> San Pedro Sula and

Puerto Cortez; however, rural communities ong>ofong>ten suffer from lack ong>ofong> chlorination or drinking

water treatment. Key informant interviews found that communities had varying degrees ong>ofong>

accessibility to potable water. A health ong>ofong>ficial from La Entrada noted that potable water was

difficult to obtain in his community. A health ong>ofong>ficial from Puerto Cortes indicated that water

was relatively easy to obtain and further noted that, “water from the Tulian is good to drink

from the tap; the other smaller systems have questionable quality.” Cost ong>ofong> potable water

varied between 40-100 lempiras (US $2.13 to $ 5.31) per month in Puerto Cortes to 850

lempiras (US $ 45.16) per month in La Entrada. In San Pedro Sula, 88.6% residents

received their water from a piped public or private source. This statistic was 86.8% for all

the selected municipalities and 73.6% nationally. 20.2% ong>ofong> Quimistan’s residents got their

water from a spring or river, compared with 3.3% for the selected communities and 12.4%

nationally.

Presence and prevalence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases and illnesses

Health ong>ofong>ficial key informants 71 reported that diarrhea was the most common illness reported

in Puerto Cortes and La Entrada. In Puerto Cortes, there were 3,227 reported cases (or

roughly 3.5% ong>ofong> the population) and 80 cases reported in La Entrada. There were also

2,186 skin rashes reported in Puerto Cortes (or 2.4% ong>ofong> total population) and the health

prong>ofong>essional key informant from La Entrada noted various afflictions ong>ofong> the skin and some

irritation due to bathing in polluted water. There were also cases ong>ofong> dengue fever reported:

215 in Puerto Cortes and 8 in La Entrada, and malaria: 23 in Puerto Cortes and three to four

cases a year in La Entrada.

B.8.c.iv. Community perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

Key informants listed a variety ong>ofong> issues that are currently facing communities in the

watershed. Two ong>ofong> the four individuals interviewed noted security, corruption, economic

concerns and a lack ong>ofong> action on planning for community development. Other issues noted

by key informants included lack ong>ofong> wastewater treatment, insufficient incentive for

conservation, lack ong>ofong> environmental education and health.

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

Lack ong>ofong> enforcement ong>ofong> environmental laws or regulations and water contamination were

each noted by three ong>ofong> five key informants. Lack ong>ofong> law enforcement was the most important

environmental issue in the watershed, which was noted a total ong>ofong> four times. This included

what some key informants saw as abuse by the government in changing regulations to

exploit the land as they see fit. Water contamination was the second most important

environmental issue and key informants noted that contamination was from wastewater and

agriculture. Two key informants noted soil erosion as a major concern, which was also

impacting water quality. Other issues stated by key informants included deforestation solid

waste pollution and population growth. All key informants said that each environmental

issue was getting worse.

Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

No data collected.

71

Key informant data existed only for Puerto Cortes and La Entrada.

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B.9. Hydrological, Land Use, and Socioeconomic Findings for the Rio Ulúa

Watershed 72

B.9.a. Introduction

The Ulúa watershed lies in north central Honduras and is the most populated watershed in

the study area with a population ong>ofong> approximately 3 million people. Encompassing

approximately 21,400 km 2 ong>ofong> land, the watershed is also the second largest watershed in

size in the study area. The Ulúa watershed encompasses portions ong>ofong> 11 ong>ofong> Honduras’s 18

departments and almost one-half ong>ofong> the Honduran population lives in the watershed. Of the

six communities surveyed in the Ulúa watershed, annual population growth rates were an

average ong>ofong> 7.1%, compared the national rate ong>ofong> 2.2% between 1990 and 2004. Nationally

over half ong>ofong> Honduras’ population lives in poverty. Agriculture and livestock production

dominate the watershed’s landscape and maintain the livelihoods ong>ofong> those who live there

and is a source ong>ofong> much ong>ofong> the country’s food. As a result ong>ofong> the agriculture and livestock

production in the watershed, nitrogen and biological oxygen demand (BOD) loads from

agriculture and animal waste exceed that ong>ofong> any other watershed by at least twong>ofong>old.

Waterborne disease is a primary concern ong>ofong> those living in the watershed and diarrhea is the

third leading cause ong>ofong> death in children under five and the tenth leading cause ong>ofong> morbidity in

Honduras. Contaminated water sources are an important cause ong>ofong> diarrhea; yet, water

treatment and proper hygiene are important measures ong>ofong> prevention. In the watershed,

however, 35.8% ong>ofong> the population lives without adequate sanitation and 19.7% live without a

private or public source ong>ofong> piped drinking water. Of the rural inhabitants in Honduras (the

predominant demographic ong>ofong> Ulúa watershed residents), 58.1% do not have a toilet facility

and 47% do not have a public or private piped water source. Pollution and related health

effects from the lack ong>ofong> wastewater treatment was the second most noted environmental

threat in the communities surveyed on the Ulúa while deforestation and soil erosion were

the primary environmental concerns ong>ofong> the communities surveyed on the watershed.

B.9.b. Hydrology and Land Use

This watershed has an area ong>ofong> approximately 21,400 km 2 , average annual precipitation ong>ofong>

1,510 mm/yr, length ong>ofong> 358 km, and an average annual discharge ong>ofong> approximately 690

m 3 /sec. The watershed is completely within the national borders ong>ofong> Honduras. Ulúa’s pattern

ong>ofong> precipitation is similar to that ong>ofong> the Rio Chamelecón.

Figure 25, conveys that in the western portion ong>ofong> the watershed, the use to resource ratio is

less than 5 percent. In the eastern portion, the ratio in some grid areas is greater than 10 or

20 percent because ong>ofong> high water demand around the capital city ong>ofong> Tegucigalpa. The

capital is actually NOT within the Ulua watershed, however, the data is only available at 5

degree grids and this particular grid straddles the watershed boundary. Therefore, while it

appears to be water stressed in Figure 25, this is an artifact ong>ofong> the data being too broad and

including Tegucigalpa. Lastly, water quality data was not made available for comment in the

Ulua watershed.

Similar to Chamelecon, the Ulua watershed land cover is dominated by agricultural use

(76%) and with forest cover again being second in area (needleleaf (13%), mixed (6%) and

broadleaf (4%) for a total forested area ong>ofong> 23%).

72

Communities selected for study were: Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Villanueva, Santa Barbara, Trinidad, El Progresso.

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Figure 25. Rio Ulúa: Ratios ong>ofong> Water Use vs. Availability

Modified from: Vorosmarty et al. 2000.

Other includes Coastal Vegetation, Savanna, Scrub/Shrub,

Sparse or No Vegetation, Urban, Water Body, and Wetlands.

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As in the Chamelecón watershed, inland communities grow corn, beans and sugar cane as

their most common crops. Banana and African palm are more common on the coast, hence

heavier pesticide and fertilizer use near the marine ecosystem. Most ong>ofong> the communities

surveyed in the Ulua (including El Progreso, Trinidad, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz de

Yojoa) reported some plantations ong>ofong> cong>ofong>fee. For crops that required pesticides, Gramaxone

was applied at the rate ong>ofong> 1.4 liter/hectare at three times year. The fertilizers used were

typical commercial NPK and urea at the rate ong>ofong> 92 kg/hectare for most. The exception was

high fertilizer demand ong>ofong> 46,000 kg N/year for banana.

The total acreage ong>ofong> protected areas in the Ulúa is 1,526 km 2 or just over 7% ong>ofong> the total

watershed area.

In conclusion, regional findings and stresses include:

• Sufficient water quantity to meet needs in most areas

• Significant lack ong>ofong> water quality data (or access to data)

• Potential exists for future water quality problems from point and non-point source

threats

• Peak rainfall conducive to high levels ong>ofong> erosion

• Crops grown near the marine ecosystems on the coast are high in relative demand

for pesticides and fertilizer application

• The shape ong>ofong> this watershed lends itself to a bottleneck effect at the discharge point,

making sedimentation near the coastal border much more likely than higher in the

watershed

Future management interventions include:

• Plan for potential supply/demand imbalance in eastern portion ong>ofong> the watershed

• Develop effective water quality monitoring programs

• Maintain consistent water quantity monitoring

• Manage land use to respond to potential water quality threats

• Ensure effective management ong>ofong> wastewater

73 74 75

B.9.c. Socioeconomic Findings

B.9.c.i. Demographics

Population

The Ulúa watershed is heavily populated with a total ong>ofong> three million inhabitants and is the

second most populated watershed in the study area. Encompassing 21,408km 2 ong>ofong> land, the

Ulúa watershed is the second largest in area and has a population density ong>ofong> 140

people/km 2 . The Ulúa lies in north central Honduras and 11 ong>ofong> 18 ong>ofong> Honduras’s

73

INE Honduras - Census: Censo Nacional de Poblacion y Vivienda. 2001. http://www.ine-hn.org/

74

INE Honduras: Censo Nacional de Poblacion y Vivienda 2001; Population Division ong>ofong> the Department ong>ofong> Economic and

Social Affairs ong>ofong> the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision and World Urbanization

Prospects: The 2003 Revision, http://esa.un.org/unpp,

75

Key Informant Interviews –Honduras. August 2005. Surveyed communities: Trinidad, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz de Yojoa,

El Progresso, Villanueva.

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departments lie with in the watershed, which contain approximately one-half ong>ofong> the

population ong>ofong> Honduras. The population ong>ofong> the communities surveyed range from 17,238 in

Trinidad to 165,616 in El Progresso.

Population growth rate

Of the six communities surveyed in the Ulúa watershed, on average, annual population

growth rates were at 7.1% per year while the national annual growth rates were calculated

at 2.2% between 1990 and 2004. According to national figures, 53.6% ong>ofong> the Honduran

population lives in rural areas and maintain their livelihoods by the natural resources in

those rural areas.

B.9.c.ii. Economic Welfare

Per capita income

Eleven ong>ofong> Honduras’s departments lie within the boundaries ong>ofong> the Ulúa watershed and

within these departments, on average, 63.6% ong>ofong> the population lives in poverty, meaning

they cannot meet their basic food or non-food costs. This compares to 66.5% at the national

level. For the six communities surveyed, the average gross domestic product per-capita is

US $2,241 per year. The Gini coefficient, 76 which indicates the level ong>ofong> income equity across

the population, is 58.2 in Honduras, revealing a highly unequal distribution ong>ofong> income.

Employment per economic activity

According to land use data, over 90% ong>ofong> the land in the Ulúa watershed is covered with

agriculture and it is also the largest source ong>ofong> employment in the watershed. A preliminary

transboundary water quality analysis ong>ofong> the nine rivers found that the Ulúa produces more

nitrogen loads 77 from agriculture than any other activity (wastewater, industrial discharges,

urban runong>ofong>f) while animal waste and wastewater contribute significant biological oxygen

demand (BOD) to the watershed. 78

B.9.c.iii. Sanitation and health

Type ong>ofong> toilet facility

The quality ong>ofong> the sanitation available to the population living in the watershed varies.

National level data reports that on average, 81.5% ong>ofong> urban households have sanitation;

households in rural areas are less likely to have access to sanitation; and 58.1% ong>ofong> rural

inhabitants have no toilet facility ong>ofong> any sort. 79 The absence ong>ofong> enforceable rules and

regulations in regard to the construction ong>ofong> latrines, septic tanks and drainage systems has

led to a variety ong>ofong> methods for wastewater disposal in the watershed. Of the five

communities visited along the Ulúa watershed, only one community, according to key

informant interviews, maintained a wastewater treatment plant. According to national level

data, the entire country has 34 wastewater treatment plants either completed or in

construction. 80 There are still communities who live without access to any form ong>ofong> sanitation

facility however. Within the watershed, on average, 19.8% ong>ofong> the population lacks piped

public or private water and 35.2% ong>ofong> the inhabitants live without sanitation. 81 In the Ulúa

76

The Gini-coefficient is a measure ong>ofong> inequality in a country, the relative income in a country. The range ong>ofong> the Gini-coefficient

is from 0 (perfect equality) to 1(perfect inequality) (Perkins, et al, 2001).

77

Nitrogen loads contribute to eutrophication in coastal marine environments. The excess nutrients increases plant growth

which simultaneously reduces the amount ong>ofong> oxygen in the water needed by fish and other organisms.

78

GEF-IBD. 2003. Gulf ong>ofong> Honduras, Preliminary Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis.

http://www.gefweb.org/Documents/Council_Documents/GEF_C24/IW_-_Regional_-Gulf_ong>ofong>_Honduras_-_Annex_II.pdf

79

World Health Organization. 2004. Joint Monitorgin Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. wssinfo.org (Rural

communities were difficult to access with the limited time allotted for the rapid watershed assessment)

80

Analysis ong>ofong> the Water Sector in Honduras. Analisis Sectoral de Agua Potable en Honduras.

81

INE-Honduras. 2003. Viviendas con Necesidades Basicas Insatisfechas. http://www.ine-hn.org

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watershed, the department with the greatest percentage ong>ofong> the population living without

sanitation is the department ong>ofong> Lempira in the southwest ong>ofong> Honduras with 49.9%. The

closest departments to the Bay ong>ofong> Honduras and the reef, Cortes and Yoro, have the lowest

percentages ong>ofong> the population living without sanitation (Cortes has 28.9% and Yoro has

15.1%). Of those who have sanitation coverage, the type ong>ofong> wastewater treatment varied

across the communities surveyed and although treatment is generally lacking, the larger

urban centers use a variety ong>ofong> treatment mechanisms, from oxidation ponds to septic tanks.

Oxidation tanks were maintained in two ong>ofong> the six communities, with an estimated coverage

ong>ofong> 90% ong>ofong> those with sanitation in Trinidad and 65% ong>ofong> those with sanitation in Villanueva. 82

In Santa Cruz de Yojoa, an estimated 85% ong>ofong> the population maintains septic tanks,

according to key informants. In El Progresso, one ong>ofong> the communities surveyed, key

informants stated that the 50% who are not connected to the municipal sewage systems

have septic tanks or pipe their sewage directly into the river.

Water disposal

No data collected.

Potability and cost ong>ofong> drinking water

National level census data reveals that 73.5% ong>ofong> households in Honduras have a private or

public source ong>ofong> piped drinking water. National data states that 47% ong>ofong> the rural population

does not have a household water connection while 11% do not in urban areas. 83 Of the

eleven departments in the Ulúa watershed, on average, 19.8% ong>ofong> the population lives

without access to piped public or private water. The range in the communities ong>ofong> those living

without access to a public or private piped water source is between 32.1% in Intibucu, a

South Central department in the watershed and 7.8% in Cortes, the department furthest

from the source on the coast ong>ofong> Honduras. According to key informant interviews in the

communities surveyed, the drinking water that is piped onto public or private

land/households does not taste good or is perceived as unsafe to drink and thus an

estimated 30- 70% ong>ofong> households buy their water. This is a fee that is above and beyond the

cost ong>ofong> the water that is piped into their households. In Santa Cruz de Yojoa, key informants

stated that all ong>ofong> the drinking water was treated. In El Progresso, 30% ong>ofong> water projects

received treated while the other 60% ong>ofong> water systems are maintained by local governments

and community members and according to health ong>ofong>ficials, they do not treat the water

consistently. In Trinidad, a health ong>ofong>ficial stated that although an estimated 90% ong>ofong>

households have piped water, the taste ong>ofong> the water after chlorination is disliked and so

those in charge ong>ofong> treatment ong>ofong>ten do not treat the system.

Presence and prevalence ong>ofong> waterborne diseases and illnesses

In the Ulúa watershed, diarrhea, a water-related disease associated with contaminated

water from municipal sewage, septic tanks, and animal feces as well as poor personal

hygiene is life threatening especially amongst the poor, children under five and the

malnourished. 84 National Health data in Honduras reveals that incidences ong>ofong> waterborne

disease such as diarrhea and gastrointestinal are principle causes ong>ofong> death and morbidity.

National Health level statistics state that diarrhea is the third leading cause ong>ofong> death in

infants and the tenth leading cause ong>ofong> morbidity in the population at large. Community level

surveys with health prong>ofong>essionals led to similar results. In Santa Barbara, health statistics for

2002 revealed that intestinal parasites were the second most frequent reason for which the

82

Key Informant Interviews –Honduras. August 2005. Villanueva and Trinidad.

83

World Health Data. 2004. Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation - Honduras. wssinfo.org.

84

World Health Organization. 2005. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/diarrohea/en

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population sought medical consultation and diarrhea was the fifth most common reason for

medical consultation. According to a health ong>ofong>ficial in Trinidad, “the towns ong>ofong> La Union,

Corozal, Diviso, and Las Huertas have the worst water in the municipality. They also have

the worst incidence ong>ofong> related diseases -- diarrhea, parasites, and skin diseases. Their water

has high levels ong>ofong> fecal chlorong>ofong>orms.” A Santa Cruz de Yojoa health ong>ofong>ficial also stated that

there were 2,722 visits to the health center in 2004 because ong>ofong> severe diarrhea, four cases

ong>ofong> child mortality from diarrhea, 2,584 cases ong>ofong> skin rashes and in 2002, there were 59

cases ong>ofong> malaria out ong>ofong> a total town population ong>ofong> 70,818. In Progresso, according to the

municipal health director, there were 1,223 cases ong>ofong> diarrhea, 324 cases ong>ofong> malaria and 709

cases ong>ofong> skin disease in 2004. In Villanueva, 685 cases ong>ofong> intestinal parasites were reported,

138 cases ong>ofong> diarrhea all for children under the age ong>ofong> 14 and 402 cases ong>ofong> skin disease.

B.9.c.iv. Community perceptions

Perceptions regarding most important social/ economic/ cultural community issues

Unemployment and lack ong>ofong> job opportunities were the most common social concerns for the

key informants interviewed in the surveyed communities. The second most common

concern, noted by four ong>ofong> the eight key informants in six communities, was crime and

violence.

Perceptions regarding most important environmental issues/ threats

Deforestation and soil erosion were the most significant environmental threats noted by five

ong>ofong> the eight key informants who responded to the question. Pollution and related health

effects from the lack ong>ofong> wastewater treatment was the second most noted environmental

issue recognized by four ong>ofong> the eight key informants on the Ulúa. To better these problems,

the key informants determined that there should be public campaigns and increased

education about the environmental threats ong>ofong> deforestation and the importance ong>ofong> land

management. One key informant, an ong>ofong>ficial from the UMA (Unidad Municipal Ambiental, or

the Environment Unit ong>ofong> the Municipality), stated that this deforestation was causing soil

erosion that is filling the tributaries ong>ofong> the Ulúa and reducing flow and water levels in the

largest watershed in Honduras. Uncontrolled pesticide use in agriculture and slash and burn

agricultural practices were recognized as environmental threats by five key informants.

Enforcement ong>ofong> the existing environmental laws was the solution ong>ofong>fered for these

environmental threats by four ong>ofong> the eight key informants, community leaders, health

prong>ofong>essionals and agriculturalists in the communities surveyed while education campaigns

was also noted by four ong>ofong> the eight key informants as a possible solution to the

environmental threats. Of the environmental threats noted by the key informants, 96% were

said to be getting worse or staying the same.

Perceptions regarding most important alternative livelihood options that are (or

should) be available to people in the community

No data collected.

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C. LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE TRANSBOUNDARY

WATERSHEDS IN THE MESOAMERICAN BARRIER REEF SYSTEM AREA

C.a. Summary

The legal and institutional assessment ong>ofong> the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System was

developed with the objective ong>ofong> identifying the most important institutions and legal bodies

addressing watershed and coastal management in the MBRS member countries.

Information was gathered from primary sources, through interviews ong>ofong> government

representatives, and from secondary sources provided by agencies and organizations in

each country or on-line. Twenty eight agencies in the four countries and more than thirty

government representatives were interviewed to obtain information and their opinions and

perspectives on the existing institutional and legal framework for watershed management,

as well as existing issues and constraints for watershed resources management in each

country. Many commonalities among the countries were found in the assessment, including

centralized decision making and priority setting for natural resource management, the weak

but potentially important role ong>ofong> local or sub-national governments, the lack ong>ofong> financial and

prong>ofong>essional capacity ong>ofong> many agencies to fully implement the legal framework on natural

resource management, and the overlapping and/or ineffective legal framework or mandate

ong>ofong> environmental agencies.

C.b. Introduction

Politically and institutionally speaking, among the MBRS member countries there are major

differences in the capacity and investment in the public sector and legislative framework

addressing watershed and/or coastal resource management issues. Mexico plays a leading

role regionally in institutional structures, legislation and budgeted resources. Despite the fact

that Mexico is not a member ong>ofong> the Central America cooperation system, its leadership is

recognized among peers in the region as Mexico cooperates and has an active and

important role within the MBRS system. In terms ong>ofong> government structure, the four countries

share similar centralized decision-making systems with weak or null natural resources

administration structures at the local or municipal level. The lack ong>ofong> integration, in some

cases, ong>ofong> sub -national interest into the administrative system ong>ofong> the country is recognized by

representatives ong>ofong> different government agencies.

Belize is the only country ong>ofong> the MBRS region with a parliamentary system, where each

district is represented at the national Parliament. Mexico is the only Federated state with

local authorities and decision-making in certain areas ong>ofong> the state’s administration.

Guatemala and Honduras have traditional presidential systems with centralized decisionmaking

structures. In spite ong>ofong> their institutional differences, all four countries have divided

administrative roles for land, freshwater, and ocean resources among different institutions or

among divisions ong>ofong> the same organization. This, as noted by representatives ong>ofong> these

agencies, has caused a very difficult integration (if any) ong>ofong> policies and actions on natural

resource management. An integrated vision for watershed and coastal management,

involving physical, biological, socioeconomic, and governance issues is a new concept in

many institutions and a very difficult one to implement due to the specific and separate role

that each agency plays on specific resources.

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The MBRS region, as part ong>ofong> the Wider Caribbean, falls under the framework ong>ofong> regional and

international agreements ong>ofong> both binding and voluntary natures. The most relevant for the

watershed impact on the oceans is the 1983 Cartagena Convention for the Protection ong>ofong> the

Marine Environment ong>ofong> the Wider Caribbean Region, which is under the UNEP system. This

Convention, as shown in the table ong>ofong> Annex 6, has developed a specific protocol to target

land-based sources ong>ofong> marine pollution, which is based in the guidelines and principles ong>ofong>

the UNEP Global Programme ong>ofong> Action (GPA). Unfortunately, as ong>ofong> today, the protocol has

not yet been fully enacted; only two countries in the Caribbean have ratified it.

The main objective ong>ofong> this part ong>ofong> the transboundary watershed assessment was to identify

those institutions with a relevant role in watershed and/or coastal resources management in

each country ong>ofong> the MBRS region and obtain information on the institutional interactions,

mandates and issues, as well as identifying the key legal framework and issues associated

with its implementation. The methodology used to obtain information from primary and

secondary sources is described in the section on methodology below. The information

provided in this report is a summary ong>ofong> major findings from interviews with government

ong>ofong>ficials and from two stakeholder review meetings (see Annex 8), where the summary

information provided here was presented and reviewed by the participants.

This report has a summary broken down by country on institutional and legal issues and

some general recommendations for actions. It also includes a summary table ong>ofong> the most

important issues identified by interviewees on the institutional and legal framework for

watershed management. A list ong>ofong> the most relevant environmental legislation framework by

country and international binding and non-biding agreements is also presented to

complement the information. Finally, a summary ong>ofong> the most important issues and

interventions proposed regarding the legal and institutional aspects obtained from

participants at the two stakeholder meetings is included in Annex 8.

C. c. Methodology and Justification

The objective ong>ofong> the legal and institutional study was to obtain a general understanding ong>ofong>

the current status ong>ofong> national and regional-wide aspects ong>ofong> the legal frameworks and

government institutions ong>ofong> the four countries, based primarily on a rapid assessment ong>ofong>

stakeholder perceptions ong>ofong> major issues in watershed management and land-based impacts

on watershed and coastal resources in the MBRS region.

The centralized government systems ong>ofong> the MBRS member countries and the national

scope ong>ofong> major legislation made it important to conduct a national-level assessment ong>ofong> legal

and institutional frameworks instead ong>ofong> an analysis by watershed. With the support ong>ofong> the

MBRS staff, national agencies and key informants were selected in each country to gather

information from two major sources: 1) in-person semi-structured interviews (based on

Bernard, 1995) with key informants from governmental agencies based on a questionnaire

(see Annex 9), which was adapted to each interviewee, and 2) secondary sources ong>ofong>

information provided by the informants in each country or found during the research ong>ofong>

ong>ofong>ficial legal and technical information on watershed and coastal resources management in

each country.

The in-person interviews targeted four major aspects ong>ofong> governance structures (including

institutions and resources covered): institutional capacity and integration, existing legislation

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and policies at national or local level, protected areas, and identified constraints or

limitations on watershed and coastal resource management.

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C. 1. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS FROM INTERVIEWS AND SECONDARY SOURCES

ON THE NATIONAL LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES

C.1.1. Mexico

C.1.1.a. Institutions

Unlike the other three countries in this study, in Mexico, federal level institutions hold the

main responsibility for the country’s natural resource and watershed and coastal

management. Some ong>ofong> these institutions are also represented in ong>ofong>fices at the state level.

The “Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales” (SEMARNAT, the Secretariat ong>ofong>

the Environment and Natural Resources) is responsible for recommending new legislation,

project proposals, policies and regulations on watershed management. Among its

objectives, SEMARNAT’s primary role is the administration and preservation ong>ofong> national

waters, in conjunction with citizen participation, to achieve the sustainable use ong>ofong> these

resources.

The “Comisión Nacional del Agua” (CONAGUA, the National Water Commission), a

decentralized agency under SEMARNAT, is responsible for the management ong>ofong> all national

freshwater. The “Secretaria de Marina” (consisting ong>ofong> military and port authorities) is

responsible for the administration and monitoring ong>ofong> coastal and marine waters and all

navigable rivers that run to the ocean.

Other institutions involved in water management at the national level are the “Instituto

Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua” (IMTA, the Mexican Institute ong>ofong> Water Technology),

independent from SEMARNAT and responsible for the technological and training

development, and the “Instituto Meteorológico Nacional” (the National Meteorological

Institute), which is part ong>ofong> CONAGUA and responsible for the monitoring and climate

database.

At the sub-national level, the “Centro de Investigaciones Científicas de Yucatán” (CICY, the

Center ong>ofong> Scientific Research in the Yucatan) is responsible for scientific and technological

research and prong>ofong>essional training for natural resources management. Under the

CONAGUA structure, there are Watershed Councils with representation and participation ong>ofong>

the local communities for the coordination ong>ofong> actions for environmental protection.

The Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP, the National Commission

ong>ofong> Natural Protected Areas) is responsible for the administration and monitoring ong>ofong> protected

areas. In cooperation with CONANP, many protected areas are managed by NGOs, such

as Amigos de Sian Ka’an and The Nature Conservancy.

C.1.1.b. Laws

Based on interviews with different institutional representatives (state and national level

government), the three most important laws are “La Nueva Ley de Aguas” (1992, revised

2004), “Ley de Bienes Nacionales” (2004) and “Ley General de Equilibrio Ecológico y la

Protección al Ambiente” (1988, revised 2005). See the table in Annex 5 with a summary ong>ofong>

these and other relevant national environmental laws.

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C.1.1.c. Interviews

Seven governmental representatives ong>ofong> the following agencies were interviewed:

CONAGUA, SEMARNAT, CONANP, “Secretaria de la Marina” (SECMAR) and

“Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente” (PROFEPA). Also, informal interviews

were carried out with two NGOs: Pronatura and Amigos de Sian Ka’an.

Unlike representatives from the other three countries in the report, government interviewees

from Mexico mentioned that due to recent efforts for reorganizing the administration ong>ofong>

national waters and coastlines, no major conflicts could be identified between institutions in

regard to their functions and mandates. Nor did they identify a need to create new

institutions or promulgate new legislations.

Central problems that were identified include a lack ong>ofong> coordination ong>ofong> activity between the

different institutions and the regulation and monitoring ong>ofong> the existing laws. Institutions

based in the Yucatan Peninsula and the state ong>ofong> Quintana Roo identified a need to invest in

the coordination ong>ofong> action, particularly in monitoring and environmental control. Currently,

there is considerable overlap in activities and, in many cases, duplication ong>ofong> efforts.

According to several interviewees, coordination could take place through the Watershed

Councils, but so far, some ong>ofong> these committees have not been implemented, or do not have

the expected role and necessary independence for the successful coordination ong>ofong> activities.

Perhaps the most important problem identified by the interviewees is a lack ong>ofong> personnel (in

numbers and in training) among the institutions responsible for natural resources. Each ong>ofong>

the environmental institutions are assigned limited funds and there is frequent turnover ong>ofong>

trained personnel due to the lack ong>ofong> incentives and/or remunerations.

C.1.1.d. Jurisdictions and Population Densities

The jurisdictional area considered in Mexico was limited to the state which impacts the

Caribbean, Quintana Roo. It is divided into eight municipalities with a total estimated

population ong>ofong> 875,000 people according to the 2002 national census. The municipality ong>ofong>

Benito Juárez has the highest density with half ong>ofong> the state’s population and is followed by

the Othón Blanco municipality with less than one forth ong>ofong> the state population. Quintana

Roo is among the states with the highest population growth in Mexico, with a 75% potential

labor force (15-64 years old) and 66% ong>ofong> the population entitled to vote (≥20 years old).

C.1.1.e. Principle problems associated with environmental legislation

Interviews with government representatives did not reveal significant concerns regarding

problems with the legislative framework that regulates watershed and coastal area

resources. However, at the national level there was concern regarding the lack ong>ofong>

enforcement and consistency with some internationally binding environmental laws. Yet

another problem identified by the government representatives is the lack ong>ofong> coordination

between different governments to solve transboundary problems, especially in the Río

Hondo watershed along the Southern border with Belize.

Interviewees also identified a lack ong>ofong> legislation for specific regional/local problems. This

relates to another concern regarding centralized legislation, which is a lack ong>ofong> consideration

for the unique characteristics ong>ofong> the local or state socioeconomic, political and environmental

problems. In the Yucatan Peninsula, for example, there is concern for the lack ong>ofong> legal

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protection for the cenotes, which are unique to the area, and all associated resources

affected by economic activities around them.

C.1.2. Belize

C.1.2.a. Institutions

Responsibility for natural resources and freshwater and coastal resources, in Belize, is

primarily concentrated at the national level. The Department ong>ofong> the Environment (DOE),

under the Ministry for Tourism and the Environment, is responsible for inter-ministerial

cooperation on the use and management ong>ofong> Belize’s natural resources and control ong>ofong>

pollution ong>ofong> the natural environment. Coastal resources are specifically managed by the

Coastal Zone Management Authority under the Ministry ong>ofong> Agriculture and Fisheries, which

is responsible for implementing and monitoring policies that govern the use and

development ong>ofong> the coastal zone in Belize. The Forest Department, under the Ministry ong>ofong>

Natural Resources, administers the Forest Act, National Parks Systems Act and Wildlife

Protection Act, and is responsible for land use planning and allocation through

implementation ong>ofong> the National Lands Act and Lands Utilization Act.

Other government institutions that have some responsibility for natural resources, primarily

in the area ong>ofong> monitoring and permit granting for land and resource use, are the Department

ong>ofong> Geology and Petroleum (under the Ministry ong>ofong> Natural Resources) and the Fisheries

Department and Pesticide Control Board (under the Ministry ong>ofong> Agriculture and Fisheries).

The Ministry ong>ofong> Health’s Environmental Health Program conducts some water quality

monitoring related to public health, and the National Service ong>ofong> Meteorology (under the

Ministry ong>ofong> Energy and Communications) is responsible for monitoring water level, quality,

and quantity ong>ofong> surface water, brackish water and freshwater in Belize.

There is very little authority for resource management at a municipal or village level. In

2000, legal recognition was given to village water boards for management ong>ofong> community

rudimentary water systems, but decision-making and enforcement power lies with the

central government. 85

NGOs also play a large role in the management ong>ofong> natural resources through the

administration ong>ofong> specific protected areas and community coordination. While responsibility

for protected areas falls under the mandate ong>ofong> the Forestry Department, other departments

(i.e. the Fisheries Department and Archaeology Department) and NGOs manage a large

number ong>ofong> them. Examples ong>ofong> these organizations include the Belize Audubon Society

(management ong>ofong> some resources along the New River), SATIIM (management and

monitoring ong>ofong> the Sarstoon-Temash National Park), and the “Belize River Keepers”

(previously worked on the Belize River, especially near the Guatemalan border).

C.1.2.b. Laws

Three ong>ofong> the most important Belizean laws which establish management ong>ofong> natural resource

use in watersheds are (i) the Environmental Protection Act (1992) including Environmental

Impact ong>Assessmentong> (EIA) Regulations and Effluent Regulations, (ii) the Land Utilization Act

(1981), and (iii) the National Lands Act which includes a regulation against development

85 Belize Water and Sewerage Act, Chapter 222, (2000). Also: Belize Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation

ong>Assessmentong> 2000. Prepared by PAHO/WHO and the Ministry ong>ofong> Health, Belize. February 18, 2000.

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within 66 feet ong>ofong> river banks (1992). A summary ong>ofong> other important laws which address

some aspect ong>ofong> management ong>ofong> natural resources within watersheds can be found in the

table ong>ofong> Annex 2.

C.1.2.c. Interviews

The legal and institutional interviews in Belize were conducted with ong>ofong>ficials or employees

from seven different institutions: the Department ong>ofong> the Environment, the Former Belize

River Keeper from the Friends for Conservation and Development River Conservation

Program, the Ministry ong>ofong> Health, the Pesticide Control Board, the Belize Audubon Society,

the Department ong>ofong> Geology and Petroleum, and the Meteorology Department.

Three principal concerns were raised by a number ong>ofong> the interviewees. The first ong>ofong> these

addressed insufficient inter-ministerial or inter-institutional coordination and a lack ong>ofong>

information sharing, which leads to conflicting policies and decisions that may have a

negative environmental impact. DOE specifically expressed the concern that each ong>ofong> the

departments were ong>ofong>ten working without the help or concern ong>ofong> other departments. The

second most commonly expressed concern was a lack ong>ofong> financial resources for both

national natural resource management and for individual institutions. This issue was brought

up by NGOs and government institutions alike.

Lack ong>ofong> enforcement ong>ofong> environmental laws, policies, and regulations was the third important

concern most frequently raised in the interviews. Some said more resources were needed

for enforcement and others said that the institution responsible for enforcement lacked the

authority to do so. Several also stated that monitoring and oversight was lacking, and that

there should especially be more monitoring between transboundary watersheds.

Interviewees were also concerned about conflicts among departments and ministries on

permit granting.

Another concern raised in the interviews relates to poor relations with Guatemala and poor

international cooperation, with both Guatemala and Mexico, ong>ofong> institutions and legislation on

natural resource management.

C.1.2.d. Jurisdictions and Population Densities

The Rio Hondo watershed area is shared among Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Local

jurisdictions in Belize differ from the country’s regional neighbors. Belize is divided into six

districts, which are functionally different from the municipal jurisdictions found in the other

three countries in this study. In Belize, local authorities have limited administrative and

political powers. For political and voting purposes the country is currently divided into 31

electoral divisions and each one elects one representative for the legislative branch, the

House ong>ofong> the Representatives.

The Rio Hondo in Belize covers a portion ong>ofong> two Districts (Corozal and Orange Walk) and

five electoral divisions (Corozal Bay, Corozal North, Corozal South West, Orange Walk

North, and Orange Walk South). According to the 2000 census, the total estimated

population ong>ofong> this area is 25,000 inhabitants and as ong>ofong> September 2005 the total registered

voters ong>ofong> these five electoral divisions is 12,442, almost equally divided among the divisions.

The general area has a low population density with major concentrations in settlements

such as Corozal (7,900 people) and San Narciso (2,100 people).

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C.1.2.e. Principal problems associated with environmental legislation

Several ong>ofong> the interviewees mentioned that legislation on water and coastal resource

management needs to be updated and strengthened. Unlike the other three countries in

this study, Belize does not have a comprehensive national water law. Interviewees

identified a need for a comprehensive national law addressing the use, management, and

monitoring ong>ofong> water resources. For example, the Hydrology Unit ong>ofong> the National

Meteorological Service does not have a law guiding its responsibilities. Also, there was

concern that the regulation protecting land 66 feet from river banks from development

included in the National Lands Act (1992) does not have legal force and should be

strengthened.

An interviewee also expressed concern that citizens are unable to bring class action suits to

court and that legal action and lawsuits on environmental violations such as pollution are

difficult to pursue.

C.1.3. Guatemala

C.1.3.a. Institutions

Natural resource management in Guatemala is not confined to any specific institution or

agency but it is divided among different organizations. As is the case in other countries in

the region, responsibility for watershed resources is primarily concentrated at the national

level (central government). However, there are some aspects ong>ofong> the administration that fall

on the local level (municipal government).

At the central government level, the “Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales” (or

MARN, the Ministry ong>ofong> the Environment and Natural Resources), the “Instituto Nacional de

Bosques” (or INAB, the National Forest Institute) and the “Consejo Nacional de Áreas

Protegidas” (or CONAP, the National Advisory for Protected Areas) are the three institutions

responsible for the administration ong>ofong> natural resources within the watershed areas. MARN is

in charge ong>ofong> environmental quality control and the development ong>ofong> policies within

environmental and natural resource conservation, protection and improvement. INAB, an

independent state institution, is responsible for designating lands as suitable forest lands,

forest concessions, and forest protections. CONAP’s main objective is the conservation ong>ofong>

natural protected areas and biodiversity. It reports directly to the Office ong>ofong> the President.

The “Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación” (or MAGA, the Ministry ong>ofong>

Agriculture and Livestock) also has an important role in the administration ong>ofong> natural

resources. MAGA’s primary responsibility is to formulate and implement the policies ong>ofong>

agricultural development and the sustainable use ong>ofong> renewable natural resources.

There are other institutions created for the management ong>ofong> specific watersheds. For

example, the “Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca y del Lago de Izabal y

Río Dulce” (AMARSURLI) is a regional government institution responsible for monitoring

and coordinating activities ong>ofong> the public and private sector in the preservation and

development ong>ofong> the Lago de Izabal y Río Dulce ecosystems and watershed.

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Management ong>ofong> protected areas in Guatemala is ong>ofong>ten assigned to NGOs working in

collaboration with CONAP. Some ong>ofong> these NGOs include FUNDAECO and “Defensores de

la Naturaleza.”

C.1.3.b. Laws

With the creation ong>ofong> the new “Ley de Aguas” in 2005, an important change is expected in the

country’s watershed management. Once the “Ley de Aguas” comes into effect, several

gaps in the legislation ong>ofong> water resource management are expected to be filled. Other

relevant laws are the “Ley de protección y mejoramiento del medio ambiente” (1986), the

“Ley de creación del Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos Naturales” (2000) and its

regulations, and the “Ley de áreas protegidas” (1989) and its regulations. A descriptive

summary ong>ofong> these and other laws is attached in Annex 3.

C.1.3.c. Interviews

The legal and institutional interviews in Guatemala were conducted with ong>ofong>ficials or

employees from CONAP, “Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología y

Hidrológica” (INSIVUMEH), MARN, AMARSURLI, and the NGO FUNDAECO. An informal

interview was conducted with the NGO “Centro de Acción Legal – Ambiental y Social de

Guatemala,” or CALAS.

A number ong>ofong> different problems in watershed management in Guatemala were emphasized

during the interviews. The main problem emphasized by the interviewees is lack ong>ofong> a clear

definition or interpretation ong>ofong> the legal instruments that give the agencies jurisdiction and

difficulty in implementation ong>ofong> institutional mandates. Some government agencies take

action outside ong>ofong> their jurisdictions or mandates, overlapping with the jurisdiction or mandate

ong>ofong> other agencies. This problem leads to conflicting personal interests and authority

regarding a particular area or resource. Specific examples ong>ofong> overlap are the permanent

conflicts among central national and municipal governments on land use planning and

permit concessions.

Other problems include lack ong>ofong> funds for environmental management and monitoring and

implementation ong>ofong> the national environmental laws. As a common denominator in the

region, many interviewees mentioned that a lack ong>ofong> financial resources is a limiting factor for

the agencies in charge ong>ofong> natural resource management, which lowers their capacity to meet

enforcement and administrative obligations. In addition, lack ong>ofong> regulatory control is

attributed to the very different priorities set by each agency responsible for monitoring and

law enforcement activities and a shortage ong>ofong> skilled technicians and personnel.

According to interviewees, a lack ong>ofong> agency coordination and communication is another

problem due to limited willingness to participate with, and the lack ong>ofong> interaction among,

authorities, departments and ministries. This leads to redundancies and duplication ong>ofong>

efforts, scattered information among technical agencies and increased bureaucracy.

C.1.3.d. Jurisdictions and Population Densities

Of the three watersheds evaluated along the border between Guatemala and Honduras,

most ong>ofong> the Río Motagua watershed falls within Guatemalan territory. The Motagua

watershed includes the jurisdiction (partial or total) ong>ofong> 85 municipalities within 14

departments. According to the 2000 Guatemalan census, the estimated population in this

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area is 4.12 million (almost one third ong>ofong> the national population). The greatest population

densities in the watershed fall in the municipalities ong>ofong> Guatemala (Guatemala), Mixto

(Guatemala), Chichicastenango (Quiche), and Jalapa (Jalapa) with 28%, 10%, 2.6%, and

2.6% ong>ofong> the watershed population respectively.

C.1.3.e. Principle problems associated with environmental legislation

In 2005, Guatemala approved the country’s first National Water Law, “Ley de Aguas.” While

it is too early to determine its effectiveness and the impacts ong>ofong> its implementation, there are

some problems identified by the interviewees which are important to include here. In

general, problems identified within the Guatemalan environmental legal framework include a

need for filling technical and policy gaps in the administration ong>ofong> resources and a failure to

implement already existing legislation. According to the interviewees, CONAP, the

institution responsible for the protection ong>ofong> endangered species (especially key species) and

protected areas, needs to be extended. Also, the existing legal body for the protection ong>ofong>

priority areas for conservation needs to be strengthened. Finally, a legal framework that

covers the protection ong>ofong> watersheds is needed.

C.1.4. Honduras

C.1.4.a. Institutions

As is the case in Guatemala, natural resource management in Honduras is divided among

different organizations, and responsibility for watershed resources is primarily concentrated

at the national level with some aspects ong>ofong> administration managed at the municipal level. In

1996, Honduras adopted the “Ley General de Administración Publica” (LGAP, The General

Law ong>ofong> Public Administration) which established, among other things, the framework for

environmental management at the national level. The “Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y

Ambientales” (SERNA, the Secretariat ong>ofong> Natural Resources and Environment) and the

“Secretaría de Agricultura y Ganadería” (SAG, the Secretariat ong>ofong> Agriculture and Livestock)

are the two primary institutions responsible for the administration ong>ofong> natural resources. In

addition, the Instituto Hondureño de Turismo (IHT) is responsible for tourist areas ong>ofong>

environmental significance.

At a higher administrative level, the “Secretaria de Gobernación y Justicia” (SGJ, the

Secretariat ong>ofong> Governance and Justice) is responsible for land use and development at the

national level. The “Consejo Nacional de Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial” (the National

Advisory for Land Use Planning), headed by the SGJ, is responsible for the coordination

and development ong>ofong> activities. This is the top national-level body for decision-making among

the major institutions responsible for environmental management. Administration ong>ofong>

protected areas in Honduras is the responsibility ong>ofong> the “Administración Forestal del Estado,

Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo Forestal” (COHDEFOR, the Honduran Corporation ong>ofong>

Forest Development).

The municipalities are also considered an important governance structure for decisionmaking

and power for enforcement ong>ofong> land use management, with municipalities having a

potential role in the protection ong>ofong> natural resources at the local level.

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C.1.4.b. Laws

The interviewees, from different institutions in Honduras and a separate comparative study

ong>ofong> environmental legislation ong>ofong> the country (Cordero & Carabaguias, 2004), identified the

following legal bodies (along with their associated laws) as responsible for watershed and

coastal natural resource management: the “Constitución Nacional” (1982), the “Ley General

de Medio Ambiente” (1989), the “Ley Forestal” (1971) and the “Ley de Aprovechamiento de

Aguas Nacionales” (1927).

In general, several ong>ofong> the laws responsible for natural resource management in Honduras

are regarded as obsolete, and within the legislative framework, there is a lack ong>ofong> integration

and objectives between the different laws. In particular, the Ley de Aguas Nacionales is an

outdated law which does not adequately regulate Honduras’ water resources. See Annex 4

for a summary ong>ofong> relevant national legislation.

C.1.4.c. Interviews

Representatives from different levels within seven government agencies were interviewed.

These agencies included the “Dirección de Evaluación y Control Ambiental” (DECA), the

“División Municipal de Aguas de San Pedro Sula” (DECA), the “Comisión del Valle de Sula”

(CEVS), SERNA, IHT, COHDEFOR, and SGJ.

Almost all the interviewees in Honduras indicated the existence ong>ofong> conflicts and legal gaps

due to the weak coordination between groups, regarding natural resource management ong>ofong>

watersheds and coastal areas. The main recommendation to emerge from the interviews is

the need to integrate the efforts ong>ofong> the different institutions and harmonize the tools for

management (including laws, plans, projects, etc.). Half ong>ofong> the interviewees explained that

the sources ong>ofong> many problems are the overlapping ong>ofong> agencies’ mandates, a lack ong>ofong>

economic resources and a lack ong>ofong> management capacity within each ong>ofong> the government

institutions, caused by little training and frequent turnover ong>ofong> permanent personnel.

One ong>ofong> the most highlighted problems is the lack ong>ofong> regulations and norms for enforcement

ong>ofong> environmental legislation in the country’s watershed and coastal area. In many cases,

there are conflicts generated among agencies over differing institutional objectives in the

implementation ong>ofong> territorial management plans, permit approval for the use ong>ofong> watershed

resources and the lack ong>ofong> monitoring activities and monitoring.

One inter-institutional problem frequently mentioned is the coordination ong>ofong> actions with

similar objectives among agencies. One case in particular involves the overlapping ong>ofong>

administration and development plans between SERNA and COHDEFOR. Local

government roles are seen as weak and there is a need to clarify and strengthen their

involvement and capacity in watershed resource management. Some initiatives, such as

the creation ong>ofong> the “Áreas Bajo Régimen Especial” (ABRE), have targeted management

which focuses mostly on a single-activity objective (i.e. tourism) to promote the coordination

between the different institutions and protect the corresponding region. Specifically, the

ABRE ong>ofong> Tela was mentioned as a prospective model for environmental management with a

tourism objective.

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C.1.4.d. Jurisdictions y Population Densities

The watersheds studied within the Honduran territory include Chamelecón, Motagua and

Ulúa rivers. The Chamelecón watershed includes the jurisdiction ong>ofong> 31 municipalities within

three departments (Copán, Cortés, y Santa Bárbara). The estimated population in

Honduras living in this area is 1.25 million people. The highest population is concentrated in

the area including San Pedro Sula (Cortés) and Choloma (Cortés) with 41% and 12% ong>ofong> the

population ong>ofong> the watershed living in these cities respectively.

The sector ong>ofong> the Motagua watershed within Honduras has an estimated population ong>ofong> 1.063

million people and includes 24 municipalities within four departments (Copán, Cortés,

Ocotepeque y Santa Barbara). As in the case above, the populations from San Pedro Sula

and Choloma have a strong impact over the total population in the watershed area (about

48% and 14%, respectively). Other municipalities with an important contribution to the total

population ong>ofong> the watershed include Puerto Cortés (8.5%) and Santa Rosa de Copán

(3.5%).

The area ong>ofong> the Ulúa watershed has an estimated population ong>ofong> more than 3 million people

(approximately 46% ong>ofong> the country population). This watershed falls within the jurisdiction ong>ofong>

122 municipalities from 11 departments (Atlántida, Comayagua, Copán, Cortes, Francisco

Morazán, Intibuca, La Paz, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Santa Bárbara, and Yoro). The greatest

population concentrations in the watershed are in the municipalities ong>ofong> Distrito Central

(28%), Choloma (5%), El Progreso (4.9%), Chomaya (2.9%) and Tela (2.7%).

C.1.4.e. Principle problems associated with environmental legislation

Interviews with Honduran ong>ofong>ficials highlighted several common, general criticisms ong>ofong> the

environmental legislative framework. These include the obsolete nature ong>ofong> certain key laws,

weak application ong>ofong> national law, a lack ong>ofong> specific technical legislation, and the need for

clearer definitions ong>ofong> institutional responsibilities.

In recent years the Honduran legislative framework has been undergoing a series ong>ofong>

revisions, including reviews ong>ofong> out-dated laws in the environmental legislative framework,

such as the Ley de Aguas (1927) and the Ley Forestal (1971). 86 Concerns with the current

drafts ong>ofong> these laws are that they will not resolve institutional conflicts ong>ofong> mandate or provide

mechanisms for resolving conflicts between the institutions managing the country’s

protected areas. Several institutions also raised the concern that the current environmental

legislative framework lacks specific technical legislation or norms that can be applied in

particular cases. In many cases where there are gaps in Honduran legislation, government

agencies rely on standards and laws from international institutions or other countries which

are not tailored to the Honduran context.

Other institutions pointed out that the laws do not clearly or adequately define institutional

responsibilities and do not provide good definitions ong>ofong> administrative boundaries. For

example, municipalities have legal ownership ong>ofong> the minerals within their borders, but

SERNA-FOMIN is responsible for granting permits for their use.

86 World Bank project “Public Sector Modernization Structural Adjustment Credit”, 1996 – 2001.

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C.2. SUMMARY OF INTERVIEWS

Table 1 shows a summary ong>ofong> the principal issues identified on both the legal and institutional

aspects ong>ofong> watershed management by the interviewees in the four countries. Many ong>ofong> the

issues identified were also highlighted by the participants at the stakeholder review

meetings (see Annex 8). Some important common issues include the lack ong>ofong> implementation

and enforcement, lack ong>ofong> coordination among agencies, the centralized decision making

system, and the weak role ong>ofong> the local governments. At the stakeholder meeting, several

actions were proposed to target these specific issues, some ong>ofong> which involve improving

inter-agency coordination and empowering the role ong>ofong> the local governments (see Annex 8).

Table 1. Summary Table: Issues and Perspectives on Legal and Institutional

Aspects from National Agencies Representatives

Country

Mexico

Belize

Management and Institutional

Aspects

• The role ong>ofong> national institutions is

well defined and there are no

identified major issues in overlapping

mandates for watershed

management.

• Both the key institutions for water

management and decision-making

processes are centralized.

• Water resource management

coordination among local-level

institutions is weak.

• Top-down information flow is slow

and it becomes difficult to generate

local government level coordination.

• Monitoring and enforcement

institutions have very limited

capacities (e.g. personnel, training,

financing).

• Lack ong>ofong> inter-institutional coordination

(among ministries) on management

action and information exchange.

• Conflicts due to lack ong>ofong> coordination

in decision making among technical

institutions (e.g. granting permits for

land-use).

• Natural resource management has a

low budget allocation and many

activities conducted in the country

rely on external funding

• Lack ong>ofong> environmental legislation

enforcement.

• Lack ong>ofong> standards for transboundary

water quality.

Legal Framework

• Most ong>ofong> the legal framework is

national and it does not necessarily

reflect the needs or special

characteristics ong>ofong> local level

environmental concerns.

• There is a lack ong>ofong> regulation on

economic activities and resource

protection associated with cenotes.

• There are not enough management

plans for transboundary water

management, specifically along the

Southern border.

• The existing legal framework is

enough. Concerns are primarily

centered on implementation and

enforcement capacity.

• It is necessary to evaluate (or

establish the evaluating mechanisms)

the effectiveness ong>ofong> the new

watershed councils established under

the 2004 National Water Act.

• The current national environmental

legislation framework for watershed

and coastal resources needs to be

updated.

• It is difficult to implement

environmental laws, in particular

taking to court environmental law

violation cases.

• There is almost no implementation ong>ofong>

national legislation to regulate public

property around water sources and

flows (National Land Act, 2003).

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Country

Guatemala

Honduras

Management and Institutional

Aspects

• National institutional mandates are

unclear and ong>ofong>ten overlap with other

institutions, which leads to conflicts

between institutions in the

administration ong>ofong> the same type ong>ofong>

resources.

• Inter-institutional coordination is

weak and needs to be improved.

• Difficult access to information

generated by government

institutions, which can lead to

duplication ong>ofong> efforts.

• Enforcement capacity at

environmental institutions is weak

due to lack ong>ofong> financial and human

resources.

• There are conflicts among the central

and municipal governments for landuse

decision making.

• The mandate for water resource

management is divided among

several institutions and there is a

need to integrate these efforts.

• Lack ong>ofong> inter-agency coordination

and duplication ong>ofong> management

efforts (e.g. resource use permits

and management plans design).

• The “áreas bajo régimen especial”

(ABRE) are considered a potential

tool for inter-institutional

coordination.

• Some institutions already consider

ABRES as management tools for

specific activities at regional level

(e.g. tourism).

• Local, or municipal, governments

have a weak role in watershed

management planning. Their

mandates should be strengthened.

Legal Framework

• It is expected that the 2005 Water Act

will change the administrative

structure and fill legal gaps for the

management ong>ofong> water resources.

• Currently, in some national

institutions, the order ong>ofong> importance ong>ofong>

the existing legislation is not clear,

generating overlap ong>ofong> some resource

management.

• The Ministry ong>ofong> the Environment has

limited capacity to pursue legal action

against environmental violations, and

there are different priorities (such as

drug trafficking) within the

organization that has this capacity,

the “Ministerio Público.”

• There are many problems

implementing environmental

legislation, including the few

watershed-related regulations.

• The current legislative framework for

water management is widely

recognized as obsolete. The National

Water Law was enacted in 1927.

• The national legal framework must be

updated to incorporate technical,

socioeconomic, and ecological

components.

• It was ong>ofong>ten stated that there is no

need for further environmental

legislation. In addition to the obsolete

legislation, the main problem is a

failing in the current level ong>ofong>

implementation and enforcement.

• The 1971 Forest Law establishes a

150 meter land buffer for protection ong>ofong>

river banks. This law was identified as

a potential instrument for watershed

management.

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C.3. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Annex Tables 6 and 7 show a summary ong>ofong> the ratification status ong>ofong> relevant

watershed/coastal binding regional and international agreements and the objective ong>ofong> some

relevant non-binding agreements, respectively. Out ong>ofong> Table 6, the 1999 Protocol

Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities in the Wider Caribbean

Region (LBS Protocol) ong>ofong> the Cartagena Convention is the most relevant regional instrument

involving watershed management and the impact on coastal areas. This instrument

establishes the general obligation to promote institutional cooperation and structures, create

a scientific and advisory council, and set water quality standards. As ong>ofong> today, none ong>ofong> the

MBRS members has either signed or ratified the protocol, which could set the basis for

integrated cooperation, not just among the MBRS, but at the regional level. It is

recommended for the MBRS region to review the protocol and consider, according to the

country needs, ratifying it. This could set a common denominator to establish the minimal

requirement for cooperation among government institutions in the region.

Another international instrument relevant for watershed management and not yet ratified by

the MBRS member countries is the 1999 Basel Protocol on Liability and Compensation ong>ofong>

the Basel Convention. The protocol’s objective is “to provide for a comprehensive regime for

liability as well as adequate and prompt compensation for damage resulting from the

transboundary movement ong>ofong> hazardous wastes and other wastes, including incidents

occurring due to illegal traffic in those wastes.” The Protocol addresses who is financially

responsible in the event ong>ofong> an incident. Each phase ong>ofong> a transboundary movement, from the

point at which the wastes are loaded on the means ong>ofong> transport to their export, international

transit, import, and final disposal, is considered.

Probably the most relevant non-binding guidelines instrument for the integrated

management ong>ofong> watershed and coastal resources is the 1995 Global Programme ong>ofong> Action

for the Protection ong>ofong> the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP-GPA). The

GPA is designed to assist States in taking action and invites governments to assess their

respective problems, identify priorities for action, develop strategies, monitor implementation

and set as their common goal sustained and effective action to deal with all land-based

impacts upon the marine environment, specifically those resulting from the nine pollutant

source categories (sewage, persistent organic pollutants, radioactive substances, heavy

metals, hydrocarbons, nutrients, sediment mobilization, litter, and the physical alteration and

destruction ong>ofong> habitats).

In order to achieve its objective, the GPA promotes the development ong>ofong> National

Programmes ong>ofong> Action (NPAs), which are instruments to be designed by each country to

provide a comprehensive and flexible framework to preserve and protect the marine

environment from the major GPA pollution categories. The NPAs are instruments that can

help countries to strengthen institutional capacities and identify national priorities and key

activities for watershed and coastal management. It is created based on the existing

capacities, legislation and institutional framework.

As ong>ofong> today, the Yucatan Peninsula, with the support ong>ofong> Mexico’s Secretary ong>ofong> Environment

and the three state governments is the only area ong>ofong> the MBRS region developing an NPA,

with help from the GPA and NOAA and participation ong>ofong> stakeholders from different

government agencies and NGOs.

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C.4. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INTERVENTIONS

Stakeholder consultation workshops held in Chetumal, Mexico (November 7-8, 2005) and

Puerto Barrios, Guatemala (November 10-11, 2005). During these meetings a number ong>ofong>

intervention recommendations were proposed (Annex 8).

These recommendations, together with intervention recommendations from the various

working groups are synthesized in table 2, grouping them by subjects such as agricultural

interventions, deforestation interventions, waste water/sanitation interventions and

management interventions.

Based on the major issues highlighted, a number ong>ofong> more general recommendations for

priority interventions can be reached at. This short list is complementary to the intervention

recommendations defined at the stakeholder meetings (Annex 8).

1. Harmonize trans-boundary water management standards and/or norms among countries

in the region.

2. Harmonize transboundary watershed-related resources management and use through a

“Multinational Management Unit,” which will regulate, for instance, permits for using

renewable and non-renewable resources.

3. Since the water management legal framework in the region is currently under

development and, in some cases, obsolete or non-existent as in the case ong>ofong> Belize, a

priority first step toward the development ong>ofong> future legal frameworks is to establish clear

inter-institutional coordination for decision making at national and regional levels.

4. As a way to harmonize legislation, standards and actions at the regional level, the four

countries should consider signing and/or ratifying the Land-based source ong>ofong> Pollution

(LBS) Protocol ong>ofong> the Cartagena Convention. The consideration ong>ofong> other non-binding

agreements such as the methodology and recommendations ong>ofong> the UNEP-Global

Programme ong>ofong> Action (GPA) can help in harmonizing the management action in one or

more transboundary watersheds.

5. For planning purposes, watersheds should be considered environmental units.

However, for their administration, a coordinating “coalitionong>ofong> sub-national jurisdictional

administrative units (municipalities or similar units) should be established for watershed

management decision-making. This implies granting municipalities a major role and

instruments for watershed management decisions.

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Agricultural Interventions

Table 2: Recommendations for Interventions

Intervention Goals Instruments Timeline

Surface and

Groundwater

Monitoring:

Better Water Quality

Data for Decision-

Making

utilize existing

national

capacities – build

- Sedimentation

on existing

- Harmonize

Indicators, units,

measurement

schedule

infrastructure

Refine and Expand

Agriculture Data

Regionally:

-farm practices: (ex.

Irrigation info, crop

rotation, grazing

practice, etc).

-spatial data

-land use change over

time

Implement Integrated

Crop Management in

Belize and Use as

Model for transboundary

watersheds

Harmonize Pesticide

Regulation & Present

Alternatives Replacing

pesticide Use (e.g.

Integrated Pest

Management) Fiscal

Incentives and “polluter

pays” policy

Evaluate the success

ong>ofong> interventions over

time and advise

appropriate targeted

areas (sub-basins)

requiring unique

watershed level

interventions

Collect and

harmonize transboundary

information

to advise best

management practice

for water resources

Guides regional use

ong>ofong> pesticides and

improves water

quality - can serve as

“education

opportunity for

farmers

understanding ong>ofong> how

to manage watershed

Reduce

unnecessary/overuse

ong>ofong> pesticides &

residue impacting

water quality

MBRS coastal

monitoring

program as

framework

-NGO’s

-Universities

-Farmer to

Farmer training

Short-term:

coordination

meeting across the

countries to

harmonize

monitoring program

Short-term: rapid

water quality

assessment (2 yrs)

Medium term

Medium term

Short-term:

coordination for

pesticide regulation

and appropriate

use, participatory

meeting with the

users to establish

norms

Long term:

implementation

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Table 2 (continued): Recommendations for Interventions

Intervention Goals Instruments Timeline

Technical assistance for

appropriate pesticide

use and management,

potential for organic

production

Reduce

unnecessary/overuse

ong>ofong> pesticides &

residue impacting

water quality

-NGO’s

-Universities

Short Term

Train farmers in

watershed management

Reduce erosion and

water depletion

-NGO’s

-Universities

-Farmer to

Farmer training

Introduced Terracing Reduce soil erosion -NGO’s

-Universities

-Farmer to

Farmer training

Export certification for

large-scale farmers

monitoring

opportunity

-NGO’s

Government

Consumer

organizations

Short – long term

Short – long term

Short term

Deforestation Interventions

Intervention Goals Instruments Timeline

Develop a forestry

payment/ incentive

program or regime

based upon the

hydrologic and

associated

environmental benefit it

provides

Preserves economic

development without

such high costs to

environment &

encourages

participation and

compliance

Long term

Inventory ong>ofong> Forest

resources

Raise social awareness

for protection ong>ofong> forests

Develop

incentive/guidelines for

best development

practices for urban

growth (e.g. maintain

certain area ong>ofong> riparian

buffer zone or loss ong>ofong>

mangroves)

Social acceptance ong>ofong>

important role ong>ofong>

forests

Social acceptance ong>ofong>

important role ong>ofong>

forests

Recognizes the

eminent expansion

(especially ong>ofong> tourist

areas) & ensures

prudent use/

preservation under

development

pressure

Leverage action

through the

harmonized EIA

processes

Medium term

Short term -

continuous

Medium term

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Table 2 (continued): Recommendations for Interventions

Intervention Goals Instruments Timeline

Consult with Forest

Services to investigate

feasibility ong>ofong> “no net

loss” forestry (forestry

while maintaining

comparable

environmental services)

Answers the

question: Should

forest “trading” be

pursued to limit/

mitigate

deforestation?

Short term

Prioritize existing forest

cover within watersheds

for conservation

Reforestation ong>ofong>

degraded mangroves

Create nurseries ong>ofong>

native species for

reforestation programs

Create incentives for

reforestation,

sustainable logging and

carbon sequestration

programs

Introduction ong>ofong> fastgrowing

trees for

fuelwood

Alternative livelihoods

for loggers: tourism

handicrafts, bakeries

Increase protection ong>ofong>

forests through legal

efforts, declaration ong>ofong>

protected areas and

even purchase

Proactively conserve

areas that will

maintain water

quality and services,

as well as for tourism

and protection ong>ofong>

biodiversity (e.g.

biological corridors)

Improve riparian

filtration and reduce

erosion

Prevention ong>ofong>

invasive species

Reversal ong>ofong>

deforestation

Prevent depletion ong>ofong>

forests

Break economic

cycle ong>ofong> deforestation

Reversal ong>ofong>

deforestation trend

Medium/long term

Medium term

Medium term

Long term

Short term

Medium term

Long term

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Table 2 (continued): Recommendations for Interventions

Wastewater Sanitation Interventions

Intervention Goals Instruments Timeline

Educate water users/

communities:

-how watershed works

-how sanitation systems

should work & its

maintenance

Community buy-in

Reduces

contamination

Short term

Inventory and map ong>ofong>

present and planned

wastewater treatment:

domestic, municipal and

industrial

Monitoring ong>ofong> users

Programs to enforce

existing legislation

Explore modified waste

treatment systems or

new versions ong>ofong> septic

tanks, composting

toilets, gray water

disposal appropriate for

specific

watersheds/communities

Institute proper end

disposal ong>ofong> septage and

the infrastructure

required (e.g. oxidation

ponds)

Improved solid waste

disposal infrastructure

and increased

awareness ong>ofong> proper

waste disposal

Guide future planning

by identifying

underserved areas

and areas at risk for

point source pollution

Stay on top ong>ofong>

changes

Prevent polution

Make sanitation

economically viable

and culturally

relevant; mitigate

damage from human

waste contaminants

Same as above

Potential tax

credit?

Short term

Medium – Long

term

Long term

Medium - Long

term

Long term

Medium - Long

term

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Table 2 (continued): Recommendations for Interventions

Interventions to Achieve Integrated Watershed Management

Intervention Goals Instruments Timeline

Survey existing models

ong>ofong> trans-boundary

watershed commissions

and evaluate for

relevance to our

watersheds ong>ofong> interest

Informs design ong>ofong>

Intervention below

Short term

Plan, manage and

monitor land use within

the watersheds

Promote appropriate

land uses and

respond to potential

water quality threats

Fiscal incentives,

compensation

programs

Long term

Management ong>ofong>

watersheds at the subwatershed

level may be

appropriate in many

cases

Plan for potential

supply/demand

imbalances

Establish multi-sector,

multidisciplinary

watershed commissions

that allow community

water users & water

prong>ofong>essionals to jointly

advise

municipalities/states on

context ong>ofong> their

watershed

Policies and Laws

should come from

central government, but

local government and

local groups should

manage the watershed

directly

Implement payment for

Environmental Services

schemes

Link to other important

issues such as public

health, economic

sustainability to guide

holistic approach

Allow for point-source

intervention and

involvement ong>ofong>

regional bodies

Prevent future water

shortages

Effective IWRM

-multi-sector

-multi-discipline

Local groups can

mobilize around

sense ong>ofong> ownership,

role for education

and training

Valuate resources

Incentive for

participation by

parties relevant

IWRM

Medium term

Long term

Medium term

Long term

Long term

Long term

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Intervention Goals Instruments Timeline

Continue appropriate Important for local

Long term

protection ong>ofong> the

environment, local

customs and livelihoods

ecotourism, farming

and fishing

operations

Respect the soil Effective IWRM

Short - Long term

capacity and slope

Urbanization: need to Effective IWRM

Short – Long term

enforce housing and

zoning codes

Address problem ong>ofong> Effective IWRM

Short – Long term

slash and burn

agriculture

Respect natural river Effective IWRM

Short – Long term

conditions for

infrastructure

development

landslides, floods, etc.

Public education Awareness. Create a

Short term

programs

“water culture”

Education program for Effective IWRM

Short – Long term

disaster awareness:

Responsible

management ong>ofong> tourism

industry to respect

carrying capacity and

cultural values ong>ofong> local

areas

Effective IWRM

Planning,

Specific taxes

Short – Long term

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D. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abt Associates/Woods Hole Group, 2003. Gulf ong>ofong> Honduras Preliminary Transboundary

Diagnostic Analyses

Analysis ong>ofong> the Water Sector in Honduras. Análisis Sectorial de Agua Potable en Honduras.

BERDS – Biodiversity and Environmental Resource Data System for Belize: Spatial Data

Warehouse: http://www.biodiversity.bz/mapping/warehouse/

Bernard, H.R. 1995. Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative

approaches. Second Edition. AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, California). 585 p.

Bunce, Leah, Phil Townsley, Richard Pollnac, and Robert Pomeroy. 2000. Socioeconomic

Manual for Coral Reef & Management. The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network

and the Australian Institute ong>ofong> Marine Science. Townsville, Australia. 251 + xi

pages.

CCAD - Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (CCAD) Mapoteca:

http://www.ccad.ws/documentos/mapas.html

CIA Factbook, 2004. http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/wong>ofong>act2004/index.html

Cordero, P.M. and Carabaguias, C.M. 2004. Report on Honduran Environmental Laws and

their Real or Potential Impact on the Intermediate Result "Improved Management

and Conservation ong>ofong> Critical Watershed" and the Central America Free Trade

Agreement (CAFTA) Related Activities. SOLIDAR report submitted to the USAID,

project’s reference number 522-0432-3-03044. 102 pp.

CSO. Belize Central Statistics Office. 2001. Abstracts ong>ofong> Statistics: 2000

CSO., 2005. Belize Central Statistics Office. 2005. Abstract ong>ofong> Statistics, 2004

GEF- IBD. 2003. Gulf ong>ofong> Honduras, Preliminary Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis.

http://www.gefweb.org/Documents/Council_Documents/GEF_C24/IW_-

_Regional_-Gulf_ong>ofong>_Honduras_-_Annex_II.pdf

GOB - Government ong>ofong> Belize, National Human Development Advisory Committee Belize.

2002, Living Standards Measurement Survey Report (Poverty ong>Assessmentong>

Report). 94 pp.

Heyman, W., and B. Kjerfve. 1999. Hydrological and oceanographic considerations for

INE – Honduras (Instituto Nacional de Estadística), 2002. Encuesta Permanente de

Hogares. http://www.ine-hn.org/

INE – Honduras (Instituto Nacional de Estadística), 2003. Viviendas con Necesidades

Basicas Insatisfechas. http://www.ine-hn.org

INE - Honduras (Instituto Nacional de Estadística). 2001. Census 2001. http://www.inehn.org/

INE - Instituto Nacional Estadística, Guatemala, 2002 (XI Censo Nacional de Población

y VI Censo Nacional de Habitación). Cuadro A0

INE, 1999 Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos Familiares (ENIGFAM),

INE, 1999. Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos Familiares (ENIGFAM),

INEGI - Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática, 2000. XII Censo General

de Población y Vivienda, http://www.inegi.gob.mx/inegi/

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INSIVUMEH - Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Volcanologia, Meteorología e Hidrología,

2005. Calidad de Agua de los Ríos de La Republica de Guatemala”

Integrated coastal zone management in southern Belize. Environmental

Management. Vol. 24, No.2, 229-245.

NARMAP - GOB. 1995. Environmental Water Quality Monitoring Program. 172 pp + 6

annexes.

PAHO – Pan American Health Organization. 2005. Country Prong>ofong>ile: Guatemala. website:

http://www.paho.org/english/dd/ais/be_v25n2-perfil-guatemala.htm (Sept, 2005)

PAHO/WHO and the Ministry ong>ofong> Health, Belize. February 18, 2000. Belize Drinking Water

Supply and Sanitation ong>Assessmentong> 2000.

Raskin, P., Hansen, E. & Mongolis, R. (1995) Water and Sustainability: Global Outlook. No.

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SEMARNAT – CONAGUA, 2004. Statistics: Water in Mexico, Edición 2004, Unified System

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Vivienda, V. 2000. Estados Unidos Mexicanos Perfil Sociodemográfico XII Censo General

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Vivienda, V. 2001.; Population Division ong>ofong> the Department ong>ofong> Economic and Social Affairs ong>ofong>

the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision

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Vorosmarty, C. J., P. Green, J. Salisbury and R. B. Lammers. 2000. Global water resources:

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REA Transboundary Watersheds

ANNEXES

ANNEX 1. LIST OF INSTITUTIONS INTERVIEWED BY COUNTRY

Country Institutions Secondary Institutions (*)

• Department ong>ofong> Environment

• Ministry ong>ofong> Health

• Pesticide Control Board

Belize

• Belize Audubon Society

• SATIIM

• Department ong>ofong> Geology and Petroleum

• Meteorology Department

• Belize River Keeper

• Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales

• CALAS

• Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas

Guatemala

• Defensores de la Naturaleza

• INSIVUMEH

• FUNDAECO

• AMARSURLI

Honduras

Mexico

• Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y

Ambiente

• Dir. de Evaluación y Control Ambiental

• Secretaría de Gobernación y Justicia

• Instituto Hondureño de Turismo

• COHDEFOR

• División Municipal de Aguas (DIMA)

San Pedro Sula

• Comisión del Valle de Sula (CEVS)

• SEMARNAT

• CONAGUA

• SECMAR

• CONANP

• Geo Consult S.A.

• USAID Honduras

• PRONATURA

• Amigos de Sian Ka’an

• Comisión Internacional de

Limites y Aguas (CILA)

• PROFEPA

(*) Non-structured interviews conducted to obtain information on secondary sources ong>ofong> information

and opinions

___________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 1


1

2

3

Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

ANNEX 2. BELIZE: LIST OF RELEVANT ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION

# Policy Brief Description

Environmental Protection

Act (1992, revised 2000)

Land Development

Authority Act. Chapter

181 (revised 2000)

Coastal Zone

Management Act. Chapter

329 (1998, revised 2000)

Requires certain development projects conduct

Environmental Impact ong>Assessmentong>s prior to project

implementation, regulates the prevention and control ong>ofong>

environmental pollution, establishes prohibitions on

dumping, and outlines the investigation, procedures and

General Penalties for ong>ofong>fences. It also established the

Department ong>ofong> the Environment to carry out the act and

conduct a broad range ong>ofong> activities related to Natural

Resource Conservation and Management. Subsidiary

legislation passed under this Act are:

- Environmental Impact ong>Assessmentong> Regulations, 1995

- Effluent Limitation Regulations, 1996,

- Pollution Regulations, 1996

Establishes a body corporate with perpetual succession

and a common seal and shall have capacity to purchase,

take, hold and dispose ong>ofong> land and other property ong>ofong>

whatever kind, to enter into contracts, to sue and be sued

in the said name and to do all things necessary for the

purpose ong>ofong> this Act.

Established as an autonomous institution governed by the

provisions ong>ofong> this Act. The Authority may exercise any ong>ofong>

the functions entrusted to it by or in accordance with the

provisions ong>ofong> this Act or any regulations made there under

and may exercise any other duties incidental or ancillary

to, or consequential upon, the performance ong>ofong> its functions.

Natural Area or Issue

Covered

To control and regulate

the use ong>ofong> natural

resources.

To acquire, develop and

improve land (including

drainage and irrigation)

To acquire, hold and

dispose ong>ofong> property and

do all things necessary

for the fulfillment ong>ofong> its

objectives. The functions

ong>ofong> the Authority shall be to

advise the Minister ong>ofong>

Agriculture and Fisheries

in relation to the

development and

utilization ong>ofong> the

resources ong>ofong> the coastal

zone in an orderly and

sustainable fashion.

Implementing Agency

Department ong>ofong> the

Environment

Belize Land Development

Authority

Coastal Zone

Management Authority

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 2


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Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

Fisheries Act. Chapter

210 (2000, revised

edition)

Forests Act

Chapter 213 (revised

edition 2000)

High Seas Fishing Act

Chapter 210:01 (revised

edition 2003)

Maritime Areas Act

Chapter 11(revised

edition 2000)

National Lands Act

Chapter 191(revised

edition 2003)

This Act shall extend and apply to the whole ong>ofong> Belize.

The Minister may make regulations generally for all

matters connected with the control and regulation ong>ofong>

marine reserves, ong>ofong> fishing and the proper carrying out ong>ofong>

the provisions ong>ofong> this Act.

The Minister may by Order declare an area to be a forest

reserve and may from time to time alter, vary or revoke

such Order. The Minister may make regulations, either ong>ofong>

general application or confined to particular forest reserves

or other areas ong>ofong> national land, or ong>ofong> private land to which it

has been decided to apply any ong>ofong> the provisions ong>ofong> this Act

for the protection ong>ofong> trees and forest produce being in or

upon such reserve or other area.

The Fisheries Administrator shall be responsible for

maintaining a record ong>ofong> all fishing vessels in respect ong>ofong>

which high seas fishing licenses have been issued under

this Act, and such record shall include all information

provided by the applicant

The territorial sea ong>ofong> Belize comprises those areas ong>ofong> the

sea having, as their inner limits, the baseline ong>ofong> the

territorial sea and, as their outer limits, a line measured

seaward from that baseline, every point ong>ofong> which is 12

nautical miles from the nearest point ong>ofong> that baseline.

National lands means all lands and sea bed, other than

reserved forest within the meaning ong>ofong> the Forests Act,

including cayes and parts thereong>ofong> not already located or

granted, and includes any land which has been, or may

hereafter become, escheated to or otherwise acquired by

the Government ong>ofong> Belize

Regulate commercial and

personal fishing and

protect marine areas ong>ofong>

Belize

The Minister may apply

any ong>ofong> the provisions ong>ofong>

this Act or ong>ofong> any

regulations made there

under to any area or tract

ong>ofong> private land and may

from time to time vary,

alter or revoke such

Order.

Notwithstanding any

provisions in any other

Act, no Belize fishing

vessel shall fish on the

high seas without a valid

license issued under this

Act

Establishment ong>ofong> the

maritime areas and

internal waters ong>ofong> Belize

and sovereignty and

regulations in respect to

these areas

Rules and regulations in

relation to land properties

Fishery ong>ofong>ficer appointed

by the minister ong>ofong>

Agriculture, Fisheries and

Cooperatives

Chief Forest ong>ofong>ficer

appointed by or under the

control ong>ofong> the Governor-

General or Minister

This Act shall be enforced

by the Registrar ong>ofong> Ships

and/or

the Director-General and

Senior Deputy Registrar ong>ofong>

IMMARBE (International

Merchant Marine Registry

ong>ofong> Belize) and authorized

ong>ofong>ficers

Minister responsible for

foreign affairs

“The Minister for the time

being responsible for

lands.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 3


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Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

National Parks System

Act Chapter 215 (1981

revised edition 2000)

Protected Areas

Conservation Trust Act

Chapter 218 (1995,

revised edition 2003)

Wildlife Protection Act

Chapter 220 (1981

revised edition 2000)

Registered Land Act

(2000, revised 2003)

Macal River Hydroelectric

Act (2000, revised 2003)

To provide for the preservation and protection ong>ofong> highly

important natural and cultural features, for the regulation ong>ofong>

the scientific, educational and recreational use ong>ofong> the same

and for all other matters connected therewith or incidental

thereto

To establish a trust for the protection, conservation and

enhancement ong>ofong> the natural and cultural resources ong>ofong>

Belize; to establish a Trust Fund for the Trust; to establish

a board ong>ofong> Directors to control and manage the affairs ong>ofong>

the trust; and to provide for matters connected therewith or

incidental thereto

To provide the conservation, restoration and development

ong>ofong> wildlife, for the regulation ong>ofong> its use and for all other

matters connected therewith. It is established within this

act all regulations and restrictions related to hunting and

the penalties for violating the Act

Establishes regulations for land registration and a Land

Registry,

Delegates authority for the design, financing, construction

and operation ong>ofong> the Chalillo Project to the Belize Electric

Company Limited and Belize Electricity Limited.

Includes all national

parks, nature reserves,

wildlife

sanctuaries and natural

monuments in the

country.

This act applies to the

whole country.

This regulation applies to

any area in Belize.

This act “shall apply to

any area declared by the

Minister… to be a

compulsory registration

area.”

The Chalillo Project, a

water storage facility in an

area on the Macal River

upstream ong>ofong> the Mollejon

Hydroelectric Plant

The Public Services

Commission may appoint

an Administrator and park

ong>ofong>ficers as required by the

Minister responsible for

National Park Services.

The Chief Forest Officer

shall be responsible for the

administration ong>ofong> this Act.

Board ong>ofong> directors

composed ong>ofong> eleven

members, ong>ofong> which five are

appointed by the minister

responsible for Natural

Resources

“Game ranger” (or Game

Warden) appointed by the

Public Services

Commission has the

authority to enforce

regulations in this act.

Responsibility is also

under the minister

responsible for wildlife

protection

Commissioner ong>ofong> Lands

and Surveys

Belize Electric Company

Limited and Belize

Electricity Limited

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 4


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

14 Private Forest

Conservation Act (revised

2000)

15

16

17

18

19

Water Industry Act

(revised 2000, 2003)

Mines and Minerals Act

(revised 2000 and 2003)

Pesticide Control Act

(revised 2003)

Dangerous Goods Act

(revised 2000)

Land Utilization Act

(revised 2000 and 2003)

20 Solid Waste Management

Authority Act (revised

2000 and 2003)

21

Water and Sewerage Act

(revised 2003)

(*) Indicates a State/Municipal-level legislation

Regulates tree clearing or “felling” on private lands. Privately held forests. Forestry Department

Addresses the regulation and provision ong>ofong> water and

sewerage services, water abstraction and use, licenses,

water pollution control, permits for discharge, and ong>ofong>fenses

and penalties.

Regulates the extraction ong>ofong> all non-renewable resources in

Belize. Of interest to water resources management are its

control ong>ofong> dredging and quarrying activities.

Regulates and controls the sale and use ong>ofong> pesticides. It

establishes a Pesticides Control Board to set standards for

the monitoring pesticides, which falls under the

responsibility ong>ofong> the Ministry ong>ofong> Agriculture.

Regulates the use, transport, storage, and monitoring ong>ofong>

dangerous goods, such as liquefied petroleum gas,

gunpowder, and explosives.

Controls the subdivision ong>ofong> any public or private land in

Belize. It establishes the Lands Utilization Authority which

makes recommendations on subdivision applications. It

also establishes Special Development Areas which limit

the types ong>ofong> development permissible within these zones.

Governs the collection and disposal ong>ofong> solid waste in

Belize. Solid waste.

Governs the monitoring and use ong>ofong> drinking water and

sewerage disposal. It establishes a Water and Sewerage

Authority (WASA) which falls under the control ong>ofong> the

Ministry ong>ofong> Natural Resources.

National water services.

Addresses mining and

mineral use in the

country.

Pesticide use in nationwide

agriculture.

Dangerous goods within

Belize borders.

Land registration,

subdivision, and

utilization.

Water utilities and

sewerage.

The Public Utilities

Commission and Water

and Sewerage Authority

(WASA), under the

Ministry ong>ofong> Natural

Resources

Ministry ong>ofong> Science,

Technology and Transport

(subject to change)

Pesticides Control Board,

under the Ministry ong>ofong>

Agriculture and Fisheries

Ministry ong>ofong> Home Affairs

(subject to change)

Ministry ong>ofong> Natural

Resources, through the

Lands Utilization Authority

Minister ong>ofong> Natural

Resources and the

Ennvironment

Water and Sewerage

Authority (WASA), under

the Ministry ong>ofong> Natural

Resources

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 5


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Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

ANNEX 3. GUATEMALA: LIST OF RELEVANT ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION

# Ley Descripción

Ley de protección y

mejoramiento del medio

ambiente (decreto No. 68-

86)

Ley de creación del

Ministerio del Ambiente y

Recursos Naturales

(decreto No. 90-2000)

1. Reglamento orgánico

interno del Ministerio

de Ambiente y

Recursos Naturales

El Estado, las municipalidades y los habitantes

del territorio nacional, propiciaran el desarrollo

social, económico, científico y tecnológico que

prevenga la contaminación del medio ambiente

y mantenga el equilibrio ecológico. Por lo

tanto, la utilización y el aprovechamiento de la

fauna, de la flora, suelo, subsuelo y el agua,

deberán realizarse racionalmente.

A este ministerio le corresponde formular y

ejecutar las políticas relativas a su ramo:

cumplir y hacer que se cumpla el régimen

concerniente a la conservación, protección,

sostenibilidad y mejoramiento del ambiente y

los recursos naturales en el país y el derecho

humano a un ambiente saludable y

ecológicamente equilibrado, debiendo prevenir

la contaminación del ambiente, disminuir el

deterioro ambiental y la perdida del patrimonio

natural.

Este reglamento regulara la estructura interna

del Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales y asigna las atribuciones a

competencias de sus dependencias. Sus

normas son de observancia general para sus

funcionarios y empleados.

Sectores implicados o Temas

invocados

Protección, conservación y

mejoramiento de los recursos

naturales, prevención del deterioro

del medio ambiente

Queda bajo al cargo de este

ministerio funciones como controlar

la calidad ambiental, elaborar la

política de conservación, protección

y mejoramiento del ambiente y de los

recursos naturales

Se establece los cargos que le

corresponden al ministerio de

Ambiente y Recursos Naturales y

como se dividirá la estructura

administrativa de tal ministerio

Agencia Reguladora

Aplicación de esta ley y de

sus reglamentos compete

al Organismo Ejecutivo, a

través del Ministerio de

Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales

El Organismo Ejecutivo

deberá elaborar y poner en

vigencia el Reglamento

Orgánico Interno del

Ministerio de Ambiente y

Recursos Naturales

Ministerio de Ambiente y

Recursos Naturales

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 6


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Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

2. Reglamento de

evaluación, control y

seguimiento ambiental

3. Normativa sobre la

política marco de

gestión ambiental

Código de Salud (decreto

No. 90-97) Capitulo IV

Salud y Ambiente

Ley que crea la Autoridad

para el manejo de la

Cuenca del Lago de Izabal

y Río Dulce (AMASURLI)

(decreto No. 10-98)

Se establece el Sistema de Evaluación,

Control y Seguimiento Ambiental como el

conjunto de entidades, procedimientos e

instrumentos técnicos y operativos cuya

organización permite el desarrollo de los

procesos de evaluación, control y seguimiento

ambiental de los proyectos, obras, industrias o

actividades que pueden producir deterioro a

los recursos naturales, o introducir

modificaciones al paisaje y a los recursos

culturales del patrimonio nacional.

La política Marco tiene como finalidad

promover acciones para mejorar la calidad

ambiental y la conservación del patrimonio

natural de la nación, así como el resguardo del

equilibrio ecológico necesario para toda forma

de vida a manera de garantizar el acceso a

sus beneficios para el bienestar económico,

social y cultural de las generaciones actuales y

futuras.

El Ministerio de Salud, en colaboración con la

Comisión Nacional del Medio Ambiente, las

Municipalidades y la comunidad organizada,

proveerán un ambiente saludable que

favorezca el desarrollo pleno de los individuos,

familias y comunidades

Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la

Cuenca Hidrográfica del Lago de Izabal y del

Río Dulce, con el propósito de planificar,

coordinar y ejecutar todas las medidas y

acciones del sector publico y privado

necesarias para conservar, preservar,

resguardar y desarrollar el ecosistema de

dicha cuenca hidrográfica

Este reglamento norma los

procedimientos para el proceso de

Evaluación, Control y Seguimiento

Ambiental, de acuerdo a lo

establecido en la ley de la materia

Los objetivos específicos son

promover la gestión sostenible y la

protección y desarrollo del patrimonio

natural y fortalecer la gestión de la

calidad ambiental

Establecerán un sistema de

vigilancia de la calidad ambiental

sustentado en los limites permisibles

de exposición

Encargada de elaborar el plan

especifico de protección,

conservación y desarrollo de la

Cuenca, definir políticas de

conservación de recursos naturales y

culturales, desarrollar actividades de

monitoreo, control y vigilancia en la

cuenca

Compete al Ministerio de

Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales, por conducto de

la Dirección General de

Gestión Ambiental y

Recursos Naturales, la

aplicación de este

Reglamento

Se instruye a todos

funcionarios de gobierno

que al tomar acciones

laborales lo hagan

tomando en consideración

lo preceptuado en esta

política marco

El Ministerio de Salud

La Autoridad actuara al

más alto nivel,

dependiendo directamente

de la Comisión Nacional

del Medio Ambiente y

respondiendo al Plan de

Manejo de Cuencas

Hidrográficas.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 7


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

5

Ley de áreas protegidas

(decreto No. 4-89)

Reglamento de la ley de

áreas protegidas (acuerdo

gubernativo No. 759-90)

Decreto Presidencial del

26 de mayo de 1955 que

declara los parques

nacionales: Río Dulce

(Izabal)

Acuerdo Presidencial del

21 de junio de 1956 que

declara Bahia Santo

Tomas (Izabal) una zona

de veda definitiva

Acuerdo Presidencial de

fecha 30 de agosto de

1961que declara el

Parque Nacional Cuevas

de Silvino en Izabal

Se crea el Sistema Guatemalteco de Áreas

Protegidas (SIGAP), integrado por todas las

áreas protegidas y entidades que las

administran, cuya organización y

características establece esta ley, a fin de

lograr los objetivos de la misma en pro de la

conservación, rehabilitación, mejoramiento y

protección de los recursos naturales del país, y

la diversidad biológica.

Se establece el reglamento general de la ley

para lograr su efectiva aplicación. Áreas son

declaradas protegidas por medio de un

Decreto del Congreso de la Republica.

Parque Nacional Río Dulce, que comprende la

cuenca de dicho río, desde su desembocadura

en el océano Atlántico, golfete y cuenca del

lago Izabal, hasta donde se encuentran las

ruinas del castillo de San Felipe, en el

departamento de Izabal

Se declara zona de veda definitiva la Bahía de

Santo Tomas, ubicada en el municipio del

mismo nombre del departamento de Izabal con

una extensión de 1,500 metros en su contorno

Se declara Parque Nacional “Las Cuevas de

Silvino”, ubicadas en el parcelamiento de

Navajoa, Municipio de Morales, departamento

de Izabal, cin una extensión de ocho

hectáreas, donde se encuentran dos pequeñas

lagunetas denominadas “Laguneta Larga” y “

La Gaviota”

La ley es de aplicación general en

todo el territorio. Los Consejos de

Desarrollo Urbano y Rural y las

Municipalidades coadyuvaran en la

identificación, estudio, proposición y

desarrollo de áreas protegidas.

Áreas protegidas son las que tienen

por objeto la conservación, el manejo

racional y la restauración de la flora y

la fauna silvestre.

Se establece este reglamento para la

ordenanza de la ley de áreas

protegidas

Tiene por objeto de conservar y

proteger la flora y fauna que existen

dentro de ellas

Se declara veda forestal definitiva

con objeto de protección del área

Se definen las delimitaciones del

área donde se encuentran tales

lagunetas con el objeto de conservar

y proteger su flora y fauna

El Consejo Nacional de

Áreas Protegidas (CONAP)

con personalidad jurídica

que depende directamente

de la Presidencia de la

Republica como el órgano

máximo de dirección y

coordinación del SIGAP

con jurisdicción en todo el

territorio nacional sus

costas marítimas y su

espacio aéreo.

Consejo Nacional de Áreas

Protegidas (CONAP)

Ministerio de Agricultura

junto a la Dirección

General Forestal

Dirección General Forestal

El ministerio de Agricultura,

por conducto de la

Dirección Forestal

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 8


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

6

Acuerdo Gubernativo de

fecha 23 de agosto de

1968 que delimita el área

del Parque Nacional Río

Dulce

Reglamento de

zonificación, uso y manejo

del área protegida Río

Dulce

Ley que declara área

protegida el refugio de

vida silvestre a Bocas de

Polochic en el Estor,

Izabal (decreto No. 38-96)

7 Ley que declara área

protegida la reserva

protectora de manantiales

Cerro San Gil en Izabal

(decreto No. 129-96)

Queda establecida y delimitada el área del

parque nacional “Río Dulce”, en una faja de 1

kilómetro de ancho medido de ambas riveras

desde su desembocadura, siguiendo los

contornos del río Golfete y cuenca, hasta el

castillo de San Felipe

En este reglamento se delimitan el sector que

abarca el Área Protegida Río Dulce y se

reglamentan todos los aspectos concernientes

a su administración, zonificación, concesión y

contrataciones

Se declara Área Protegida las Bocas del

Polochic, ubicadas en el municipio de El estor,

del departamento de Izabal, con una superficie

aproximada de 20,760 hectáreas, divididas en

14,360 ha de superficie terrestre y 6,400 ha de

superficie cubiertas por agua.

Se declara Área Protegida la Reserva

Protectora de Manantiales de Cerro San Gil,

ubicada en el departamento de Izabal, con una

superficie aproximada de 47,428 hectáreas.

Quedan definidas el área de

delimitación que corresponde al

parque nacional Río Dulce

Se regularizan la zonificación, uso y

manejo del Área Protegida Río Dulce

La administración queda facultada

para aplicar las medidas previstas y

proceder de acuerdo con la

legislación vigente a fin de evitar el

funcionamiento de industrias o

actividades potencialmente

contaminantes; el ejercicio de

actividades que amenacen extinguir

o afectar cualesquiera de las

especies de flora y fauna del área,

así como las que puedan provocar

una sensible alteración de las

condiciones ecológicas e hídricas

locales y regionales

Se establece el manejo y

zonificación del área con el objetivo

de proteger sus fuentes de agua y

especies de flora y fauna de especial

importancia

La Dirección General de

Recursos Naturales

Renovables

Dirección General de

Bosques y Vida Silvestre

(DIGEBOS) y el Centro de

Estudios

Conservacionistas

(CECON)

La administración,

inspección, y control sobre

el área protegida la

realizara el CONAP en

forma continua y como

entidad administradora del

área protegida.

La Secretaria Ejecutiva del

CONAP junto a un ente

administrador

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 9


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Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

Ley general de pesca y

acuicultura (decreto No.

80-2002)

Ley reguladora de las

áreas de reservas

territoriales del Estado de

Guatemala (decreto No.

126-97)

Reglamento de la Ley

reguladora de áreas de

reservas territoriales del

Estado de Guatemala

La presente Ley tiene por objeto regular la

pesca y la acuicultura, normar las actividades

pesqueras y acuícolas a efecto de

armonizarlas con los adelantos de la ciencia,

ajustándolas con métodos y procedimientos

adecuados para el uso y aprovechamiento

racional de los recursos hidrológicos en aguas

de dominio publico

Son áreas de reserva territoriales del Estado

de Guatemala, las áreas contenidas en la faja

terrestre de tres kilómetros a lo largo de los

océanos, contadas a partir de la línea superior

de las mareas; de 200 metros alrededor de las

orillas de los lagos; e 100 metros a cada lado

de las riberas de los ríos navegables; de 150

metros alrededor de las fuentes y manantiales

donde las aguas surtan a las poblaciones

Este Reglamento establece las disposiciones

orgánicas de la Oficina e Control de Áreas de

Reserva del Estado, y de los procedimientos

para el ejercicio de los derechos que sobre

áreas de reserva establece la Ley

Esta ley tendrá aplicación dentro del

territorio nacional, tanto en aguas

marítimas, interiores e internas o

continentales y en todo lugar en

donde el Estado ejerza soberanía o

jurisdicción conforme la Constitución

Política de la Republica. También se

aplicara a embarcaciones extranjeras

y embarcaciones que enarbolen

bandera guatemalteca, que ejerzan

actividades pesqueras, en Alta Mar o

en Aguas de Terceros Estados, en

amplia relación con acuerdos,

convenios o tratados regionales o

internacionales suscritos y ratificados

por el Estado de Guatemala.

Se establecen los mecanismos de

coordinación, determinando las

delimitacines y los derechos en

cuanto a posesion, uso y

aprovechamiento de las zonas,

regulando la forma de contratación

de las areas de reserva asi como el

desarrollo sostenible y sustentable

de las mismas

Este reglamento define la

organización administrativa y las

funciones de cada ente para el

cumplimiento de la ley

El MAGA (Ministerio de

Agricultura, Ganadería y

Alimentación) es el ente

rector de la política, la

normativa y la planificación

de la ordenación y

promoción de la pesca y la

acuicultura

El Organismo Ejecutivo por

medio del Ministerio de

Agricultura, Ganadería y

Alimentación, y a través de

la Oficina de Control de

Áreas de Reserva del

Estado “OCRET”

Oficina de Control de las

Áreas de Reserva del

Estado

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 10


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Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

Ley de sanidad vegetal y

animal (decreto No. 36-98)

Reglamento de la ley de

sanidad vegetal y animal

Ley de los consejos de

desarrollo urbano y rural

(decreto No. 13-2002)

Reglamento de la ley de

los consejos de desarrollo

urbano y rural

Ley de fomento de la

educación ambiental

(decreto o. 74-96)

Ley de fomento a la

difusión de la conciencia

ambiental (decreto No.

116-96)

La presente ley tiene como objetivo velar por la

protección y sanidad de los vegetales,

animales, especies forestales e

hidrobiológicas. La preservación de sus

productos y subproductos no procesados

contra la acción perjudicial de las plagas y

enfermedades de importancia económica y

cuarentenaria, sin perjuicio para la salud

humana y el ambiente

El objeto del presente reglamento es

desarrollar las disposiciones contenidas en la

Ley de Sanidad Vegetal y Animal

El Sistema de Consejos de Desarrollo es el

medio principal de participación maya, xinca y

garifuna y la no indígena, en la gestión publica

para llevar a cabo el proceso de planificación

democrática del desarrollo, tomando en cuenta

principios de unidad nacional, multiétnica,

pluricultural y multilingüe de la nación

guatemalteca

El presente reglamento desarrolla los

procedimientos y funcionamiento del Sistema

de Consejos de Desarrollo, de conformidad

con la Constitución Política de la Republica y

la Ley de los Consejos de Desarrollo Urbano y

Rural

Promover la educación ambiental en el sector

publico y privado y en los diferentes niveles y

ciclos de enseñanza del sistema educativo

nacional

Promover la difusión de la educación y

conciencia ambiental, en forma permanente, a

través de los medios de comunicación del país

y motivar a todos los sectores a difundir tales

programas de educación

La presente ley es de observancia

general en todo el territorio nacional,

incluyendo la zona económica

exclusiva y tiene por objeto fijar las

bases para la prevención, el

diagnostico, control y erradicación de

las enfermedades y plagas de los

animales, vegetales, especies

forestales e hidrobiológicos. Sus

disposiciones son de orden publico y

de interés social

Se establecen normas claras y

estables para el cumplimiento y

aplicación correcta de la Ley

Organizar y coordinar la

administración publica mediante la

formulación de políticas de

desarrollo, planes y programas

presupuestarios y el impulso de la

coordinación interinstitucional,

publica y privada

Se establecen las normas para el

funcionamiento del consejo y se

definen las funciones de los distintos

grupos que la forman

Desarrollar planes de estudio para

formar recurso humano en las

ciencias ambientales o en el campo

de los recursos naturales renovables

Impulsar y promover la conciencia

ambiental a través de programas de

educación, coadyuvar a que sean

bien recibidas por la población las

políticas ambientales

El Ministerio de Agricultura,

Ganadería y Alimentación

(MAGA) es la entidad

responsable

El Ministerio de Agricultura,

Ganadería y Alimentación

(MAGA)

El consejo es liderado por

el presidente, quien asigna

representantes a distintos

cargos

Presidente de la Republica

Ministerio de Educación

Ministerio del Medio

Ambiente junto al

Ministerio de Educación,

Comunicaciones,

Transporte y Obras Publ.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 11


14

15

Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

Ley forestal (decreto No.

101-96)

Reglamento de la ley

forestal

Ley de minería (decreto

No. 48-97)

Reglamento de la ley de

minería

Reglamento de Requisitos

Mínimos y Sus Limites

Máximos permisibles de

contaminación para la

descarga de aguas

servidas

Esta ley tiene por objeto la reforestación y la

conservación de los bosques, para lo cual se

propiciara el desarrollo forestal y su manejo

sostenible

Objeto de dictar las normas para la adecuada

aplicación de la Ley Forestal

La presente ley norma toda actividad de

reconocimiento, explotación y, en general, las

operaciones mineras

El objeto de este reglamento es de desarrollar

los preceptos establecidos en la Ley de

Minería

Objeto de establecer los limites de

contaminación permisibles para las descargas

de aguas servidas o de desecho procedentes

de las industrias, explotaciones agropecuarias

y municipalidades del país en los cuerpos

receptores de aguas superficiales,

subterráneas o costeras

Reducir la deforestación, promover la

reforestación, incrementar la

productividad, apoyar inversión

publica y privada en actividades

forestales, conservar ecosistemas

forestales y propiciar el mejoramiento

del nivel de vida

Se definen normas de gerencia

administrativa, y reglas para la

calificación de tierras de vocación

forestal, concesiones forestales,

protección forestal y los

requerimientos para que sean

declaradas de tal manera. Se

establece la

Dentro de la ley de minería se

establece la obligación de un estudio

de impacto ambiental previo a la

aprobación de una licencia de

explotación. El estudio es

presentado y analizado por la

Comisión Nacional de Medio

Ambiente, o al Consejo Nacional de

Áreas Protegidas caso este en

dichas áreas.

Se establecen las reglas para

explotación, y reglamento de

solicitudes y notificaciones y

prohibiciones y sanciones

Reglamentación de someter aguas

contaminadas a un proceso

purificador para eliminar su efecto

contaminante

Instituto Nacional de

Bosques (INAB)

Instituto Nacional de

Bosques (INAB)

Ministerio de Energía y

Minas

Ministerio de Energía y

Minas

Comisión Nacional del

Medio Ambiente

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 12


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

ANNEX 4. HONDURAS: LIST OF RELEVANT ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION

1

2

3

# Ley Descripción

La Constitución Política

de Honduras (1982)

Ley General del Ambiente

(1993)

Ley Forestal, o Decreto

#85 (1971)

La Constitución establece que los acuerdos

internacionales, aprobados por el Congreso

Nacional y ratificado por el Poder Ejecutivo,

tengan menos poder que la Constitución y

más que las leyes nacionales. La

Constitución tiene una orientación social y no

incluye referencia específica al derecho de

tener un medio ambiente libre de

contaminación.

Es la principal ley que regla los impactos

previsibles de las operaciones comerciales

sobre el ambiente. Sus objetos generales

son la protección del ambiente natural, la

conservación y el uso racional de los

recursos naturales, que se definen en forma

amplia para incluir recursos culturales,

históricos y sociales, y la prohibición de

contaminar. Establece el marco para

designar, administrar y controlar de las áreas

protegidas incluyendo los parques

nacionales.

Esta ley fue la primera que incorporo los

principios de rendimiento sostenible. El

objetivo de esta ley es lograr y perpetuar los

máximos beneficios directos e indirectos de

los recursos de áreas forestales.

Sectores implicados o Temas

invocados

Agencia Reguladora

Todo el país. El Gobierno Hondureño

Flora y fauna silvestres, bosques,

suelos, áreas agrícolas, áreas

urbanas, recursos marinos y

costeros, la atmósfera, minerales e

hidrocarburos, desechos orgánicos

y sólidos, agroquímicos,

contaminantes tóxicos y peligrosos

y recursos históricos, culturales y

turísticos. (Títulos II a IV)

Flora, fauna, aguas y suelos en las

áreas forestales. Se definen las

áreas dentro de la ley.

Secretaría de Recursos

Naturales y Ambiente

(SERNA)

SERNA y la Corporación

Hondureña de Desarrollo

Forestal

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 13


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

4

5

Reglamento a la Ley

forestal (Acuerdo

Presidencial #634) (1984)

Ley de Aprovechamiento

de Aguas Nacionales

(1927)

Ley para la

modernización y

desarrollo del sector

Agrícola (1992)

El reglamento aclara aún más las

definiciones, autoridad y responsabilidades

institucionales. Abarca parques nacionales y

otros sitios naturales protegidos.

Responsabilizan a COHDEFOR por la

administración de los parques nacionales y

para lograr esta meta la entidad debe

coordinar sus funciones de conservación,

promoción y administración de parques

nacionales con el gobierno central a través

otras agencias.

Adjudica al Estado el domino de las aguas y

la facultad de regular su aprovechamiento.

Regula los trámites sobre concesiones o

contratos de agua. Establece regulaciones

sobre el aprovechamiento de las aguas del

Estado para servicio domestico, agrícola y

fabril.

Promueve el desarrollo del sector agrícola y

el incremento de la producción para

comercio nacional e internacional. También

promueve el uso sustentable de recursos

renovables. El Artículo 73 establece

incentivos para la reforestación y protección

de bosques naturales mediante incentivos

para involucrar al sector privado en

conservación.

Flora, fauna, aguas y suelos en las

áreas forestales y áreas

protegidas.

Todas las aguas de los mares

territoriales, de los lagos, lagunas

esteros, ríos y riachuelos, y las

aguas pluviales que discurren por

terrenos nacionales y las aguas

subterráneas en estos.

Bosque nacional y plantaciones.

Corporación Hondureña

de Desarrollo Forestal

(COHDEFOR)

El Gobierno Hondureño y

la Secretaria de

Agricultura y Ganadería

Consejo de Desarrollo

Agrícola (CODA),

formada de SERNA y

otras agencias

gubernamentales

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 14


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

6

7

Ley de incentivos a la

forestación, reforestación

y protección del bosque

(1993)

Ley de la Corporación

Hondureña de Desarrollo

Forestal (1974)

Pretendía establecer incentives para

promover la incorporación del sector privado

en las actividades forestales como

plantaciones o conservación y el uso

sustentable de los recursos naturales. Se

establecían incentivos a la reforestación, a la

protección del bosque natural, a la protección

de cuencas hidrográficas, a las plantaciones

para la producción de leña, a las

plantaciones para materia prima industrial.

Sin embargo, esta ley no ha sido aplicada

puesto que no se le ha dado el contenido

financiero para iniciar el programa.

Constituye la Corporación Hondureña de

Desarrollo Forestal (COHDEFOR) como una

institución semiautonoma con personalidad

jurídica y patrimonio propio. Su objetivo es

hacer un óptimo aprovechamiento de los

recursos forestales, asegurar la protección,

mejora, conservación e incremento de los

mismos y generar fondos para el

financiamiento de programas estatales, a fin

de acelerar el proceso de desarrollo

económico y social de la nación.

Bosques, plantaciones, y cuencas

hidrográficas.

Bosques

Corporación Hondureña

de Desarrollo Forestal

(COHDEFOR)

Corporación Hondureña

de Desarrollo Forestal

(COHDEFOR)

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 15


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

8

9

10

Ley Marco del sector

Agua Potable y

Saneamiento (Decreto

#118, 2003)

Ley de Pesca (Decreto

#154/59)

Ley General de

Ordenamiento Territorial y

de Asentamientos

Humanos para el

Desarrollo Sostenible

La ley tiene los objetivos de promover la

cobertura de los servicios de agua potable y

saneamiento; asegurar la calidad de agua y

su potabilidad; y promover la participación de

los ciudadanos por medio de las juntas

administradoras de agua y otras formas

organizativas en la prestación de los

servicios, ejecución de obras y en la

expansión de sistemas de agua potable y

saneamiento. La ley también crea el

Consejo Nacional de Agua Potable y

Saneamiento (CONASA) como un órgano de

consultas, coordinación, formulación y

dirección de políticas nacionales de agua

potable y saneamiento.

El principal objetivo de esta Ley es la

conservación y propagación de la fauna y

flora de los ríos, lagos y océanos del país.

Establece que no se permite construcciones

o cultivar productos agrícolas en un área de

50 metros desde la playa. Se prohíbe arrojar

sustancias contaminantes que puedan

perjudicar a las pesquerías. Prohíbe talar

manglares y otros árboles que se encuentran

en las orillas de los ríos y áreas sensibles

que sirven como pesquerías.

Esta Ley crea una serie de Consejos de

Zonificación a diversos niveles de gobierno

(nacional, estatal y municipal) y les da

responsabilidades generales por las

decisiones de desarrollo y formulación de

políticas respeto al uso de la tierra en su

jurisdicción. La ley requiere que las

autoridades a todo nivel elaboren políticas de

uso de la tierra de acuerdo con las

características ambientales con las fronteras

ecológicas.

Sistemas de agua potable y

saneamiento en el país.

La Ley se aplica a todas las

actividades referentes a la

extracción, conservación y uso de

los elementos biológicos que viven

en el agua.

Consejos de Zonificación

Municipalidades, Servicio

Autónomo Nacional de

Agua Potable y

Alcantarillados (SANAA),

Consejo Nacional de

Agua Potable y

Saneamiento (CONASA)

Dirección de Pesca y

Acuicultura

(DIGEPESCA), dentro de

la Secretaria de

Agricultura

Gobierno municipio,

estatal, y nacional

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 16


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

11

12

Ley de Ordenamiento

Territorial (Decreto 180-

2003)

Código de Salud (1999)

El objetivo es brindar una política nacional de

ordenamiento territorial que incorporando la

planificación nacional, promueve la gestión

integral, estratégica y eficiente de todos los

recursos de la Nación. Promueve la

aplicación de políticas, estrategias y planes

efectivos que aseguren el desarrollo humano

en forma dinámica, homogénea, equitativa

en igualdad de oportunidades y sostenible.

Establece que el diseño, construcción y

operación de todo sistema de tratamiento de

agua para consumo humano, se regirá por

las normas establecidas por la Secretaria de

Salud y que los entes administradores del

sistema de acueductos, coordinados por el

Servicio Autónomo Nacional de Agua

Potable y Alcantarillados (SANAA) deberán

periódicamente comprobar las condiciones

sanitarias del sistema, deberán velar por la

conservación y control de la cuenca y de la

fuente de abastecimiento, vigilara por el

cumplimiento de las medidas higiénicas

ordenadas para evitar la contaminación de

aguas subterráneas.

13

La ley aumento la capacidad de los

municipios para recaudar y administrar sus

propios recursos. Esta ley contiene

disposiciones que dan a las municipalidades

y a las comunidades, una mayor

participación en la defensa, protección y

Ley de Municipalidades

mejoramiento de sus recursos naturales. La

(Decreto 134-91) (1991)

ley faculta a los municipios para asociarse

bajo cualquier forma entre si o con otras

entidades nacionales o extranjeras, para el

mejor cumplimiento de sus objetivos. (Se

requiere del voto afirmativo de los dos

tercios.)

Source: Honduras’ Environmental Policy Analysis (SOLIDAR & USAID, 2004)

Todo el país.

Sistemas de drenaje y tratamiento

de agua.

Municipios.

Consejo Nacional de

Ordenamiento Territorial

(CONOT) y la Secretaria

de Gobernación y Justicia

Servicio Autónomo

Nacional de Agua Potable

y Alcantarillados (SANAA)

y la Secretaria de Salud

Municipalidades,

Asociación de Municipios

de Honduras (AMHON)

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 17


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

ANNEX 5. MEXICO: LIST OF RELEVANT ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION

1

# Policy Brief Description Natural Area or Issue Covered Implementing Agency

Ley de Aguas Nacionales

(1992; revisada 2004)

2 Reglamento para

Prevenir y Controlar la

Contaminación del Mar

por Vertimiento del

Desechos y Otras

Materias

(1979)

3

4

Ley General de

Desarrollo Forestal

Sustentable (1992,

revisada 2003)

Ley de Pesca (1992,

ultima reforma 2001)

Esta ley tiene por objeto regular la

explotación, uso o aprovechamiento de las

aguas nacionales, su distribución y control,

así como la preservación de su cantidad y

calidad para lograr su desarrollo integral

sustentable

El presente reglamento se aplicará a los

vertimientos deliberados de materias,

sustancias o desechos en aguas marítimas

jurisdiccionales mexicanas

Esta ley tiene por objeto regular y fomentar

la conservación, protección, restauración,

producción, ordenación, el cultivo, manejo y

aprovechamiento de los ecosistemas

forestales del país y sus recursos con el fin

de propiciar el desarrollo forestal

sustentable

La presente Ley tiene por objeto garantizar

la conservación, la preservación y el

aprovechamiento racional de los recursos

pesqueros y establecer las bases para su

adecuado fomento y administración.

Las disposiciones de esta Ley son

aplicables a todas las aguas

nacionales, sean superficiales o del

subsuelo. Estas disposiciones

también son aplicables a los bienes

nacionales señalados en esta Ley

Prohibición del vertimiento

deliberado sin la previa autorización

expedida por la Secretaría de Marina

Definir criterios de la política forestal,

regular la protección, conservación y

restauración de los ecosistemas y

recursos forestales, ampliar la

participación de la producción forestal

en el crecimiento económico nacional

Las disposiciones de esta Ley

tendrán aplicación en las aguas de

jurisdicción federal y en las

embarcaciones de bandera mexicana

que realicen actividades pesqueras

en alta mar o en aguas de jurisdicción

extranjera, al amparo de

concesiones, permisos,

autorizaciones que haya otorgado

algún gobierno extranjero a México o

a sus nacionales.

Ejecutivo Federal quien la

ejercerá directamente o la

Comisión Nacional del

Agua (Órgano

Administrativo de la

Secretaría de Medio

Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales)

Secretaría de Marina, a

través de la Armada de

México y de las

direcciones

especializadas de la

propia Secretaría

Corresponderá a la

Federación aplicar esta

ley en el ámbito local,

coordinándose con las

autoridades estatales, el

Servicio Nacional Forestal

y a la Secretaría de

Medio Ambiente y

Recursos Naturales

La aplicación de la

presente Ley corresponde

a la Secretaría de Pesca

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 18


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

5

6

Ley Federal del Mar

(1986)

Ley General para la

Prevención y Gestión

Integral de los Residuos

(2003)

La presente Ley es de jurisdicción federal,

rige en las zonas marinas que forman parte

del territorio nacional y, en lo aplicable, más

allá de éste en las zonas marinas donde la

Nación ejerce derechos de soberanía,

jurisdicciones y otros derechos. Sus

disposiciones son de orden público, en el

marco del sistema nacional de planeación

democrática.

Esta ley tiene por objeto garantizar el

derecho de toda persona al medio ambiente

adecuado y propiciar el desarrollo

sustentable a través de la prevención de la

generación, la valorización y la gestión

integral de los residuos peligrosos, de los

residuos sólidos urbanos y de manejo

especial; prevenir la contaminación de sitios

con estos residuos y llevar a cabo su

remediación

Las zonas marinas mexicanas son

establecidas, las cuales se dividen en

el mar territorial, las aguas marinas

interiores, la zona contigua, la zona

económica exclusiva, la plataforma

continental y las plataformas

insulares, y cualquier otra permitida

por el derecho internacional.

Se establecen las bases para el

manejo integral de residuos para

prevenir y controlar la contaminación

del medio ambiente y la protección de

la salud humana. Se establecen

medidas de control y de seguridad así

como la regulación por la generación

y manejo de residuos peligrosos y las

responsabilidades de los productores,

importadores, exportadores,

comerciantes, consumidores y

autoridades de los diferentes niveles

de gobierno, así como de los

prestadores de servicios en el manejo

integral de los residuos. También se

definen criterios a los que se sujetará

la remediación de residuos

Corresponde al Poder

Ejecutivo Federal la

aplicación de esta Ley, a

través de las distintas

dependencias de la

Administración Pública

Federal.

Las atribuciones que esta

Ley confiere a la

Federación, serán

ejercidas por el Ejecutivo

Federal, a través de la

Secretaría de Medio

Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 19


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

7

8

Ley General de Vida

Silvestre (2000)

Ley General de Bienes

Nacionales (2004)

Establecer la concurrencia del Gobierno

Federal, de los gobiernos de los Estados y

de los Municipios, en el ámbito de sus

respectivas competencias, relativa a la

conservación y aprovechamiento

sustentable de la vida silvestre y su hábitat

en el territorio de la República Mexicana y

en las zonas en donde la Nación ejerce su

jurisdicción. El aprovechamiento

sustentable de los recursos forestales y de

las especies cuyo medio de vida total sea el

agua, será regulado por las leyes forestal y

de pesca, respectivamente, salvo que se

trate de especies o poblaciones en riesgo

La presente Ley tiene por objeto establecer

los bienes que constituyen el patrimonio de

la Nación y las normas para la adquisición,

titulación, administración, control, vigilancia

y enajenación de los inmuebles federales y

los de propiedad de las entidades, con

excepción de aquéllos regulados por leyes

especiales

Es deber de todos los habitantes del

país conservar la vida silvestre;

queda prohibido cualquier acto que

implique su destrucción, daño o

perturbación, en perjuicio de los

intereses de la Nación. Los

propietarios o legítimos poseedores

de los predios en donde se distribuye

la vida silvestre, tendrán derechos de

aprovechamiento sustentable sobre

sus ejemplares, partes y derivados en

los términos prescritos en la presente

Ley

En esta ley se definen los bienes

nacionales bajo distintas categorías.

Queda establecido que los inmuebles

federales considerados como

monumentos arqueológicos,

históricos o artísticos que se

encuentren dentro de la zona federal

marítimo terrestre, de los terrenos

ganados al mar, de las áreas

naturales protegidas o de cualquiera

otra zona, quedan bajo la jurisdicción

de la Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y

Recursos Naturales en coordinación

con otros organismos

correspondientes (la Secretaría de

Educación Pública)

La aplicación de la

política nacional en

materia de vida silvestre y

su hábitat corresponderá

a los Municipios, a los

gobiernos de los Estados

y del Distrito Federal, así

como al Gobierno Federal

(La Secretaría de Medio

Ambiente, Recursos

Naturales y Pesca)

Secretaría de la Función

Pública (junto a la

Secretaría de Medio

Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales siempre

cuando

formen parte de las áreas

naturales protegidas

federales)

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 20


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

9

10

Ley General del Equilibrio

Ecológico y la Protección

al Ambiente (1988,

revisada 2005)

Reglamento para el uso y

aprovechamiento del mar

territorial, vías

navegables, playas, zona

federal marítimo terrestre

y terrenos ganados al

mar (1991)

La presente ley se refiere a la preservación

y restauración del equilibrio ecológico, así

como a la protección al ambiente, en el

territorio nacional y las zonas sobre las que

la nación ejerce su soberanía y jurisdicción.

Sus disposiciones tienen por objeto

propiciar el desarrollo sustentable. En todo

lo no previsto en la presente Ley, se

aplicarán las disposiciones contenidas en

otras leyes relacionadas con las materias

que regula este ordenamiento.

Este reglamento tiene por objeto proveer el

cumplimiento de las Leyes General de

Bienes Nacionales, de Navegación y

Comercio Marítimos y de Vías Generales

de Comunicación en lo que se refiere al

uso, aprovechamiento, control,

administración, inspección y vigilancia de

las playas, zona federal marítimo terrestre y

terrenos ganados al mar o a cualquier otro

depósito que se forme con aguas marítimas

y de los bienes que formen parte de los

recintos portuarios que estén destinados

para instalaciones y obras marítimo

portuarias.

Se establece las bases para

garantizar el derecho de toda persona

a vivir en un medio ambiente

adecuado y se define los principios

de la política ambiental y los

instrumentos para su aplicación. Se

habla de temas como la preservación,

restauración y mejoramiento del

ambiente, protección de la

biodiversidad, así como el

establecimiento y administración de

las áreas naturales protegidas.

También se tocan temas como el

control de la contaminación del aire,

agua y suelo

Se define la zona federal marítimo

terrestre del territorio nacional (zona

costeras y ríos). Se establece que

las playas, la zona federal marítimo

terrestre y los terrenos ganados al

mar, o a cualquier otro depósito que

se forme con aguas marítimas, son

bienes de dominio público de la

Federación, inalienables e

imprescriptibles, mientras no varíe su

situación jurídica. Para un debido

uso, explotación y administración de

estas zonas se considerarán sus

características y uso turístico,

industrial, agrícola o acuícola, en

congruencia con los programas

maestros de control y

aprovechamiento de tales bienes.

Las atribuciones de esta

ley serán ejercidas por el

Poder Ejecutivo Federal a

través de la Secretaría de

Medio Ambiente,

Recursos Naturales y

Pesca

Corresponde a la

Secretaría de Desarrollo

Urbano y Ecología

poseer, administrar,

controlar y vigilar los

bienes referentes en este

reglamento, con

excepción de aquellos

que se localicen dentro

del recinto portuario. En

tal caso, le corresponde a

la Secretaría de

Comunicaciones y

Transportes

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 21


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

11

Reglamento de la Ley

General del Equilibrio

Ecológico y la Protección

al Ambiente en Materia

de Áreas Naturales

Protegidas (2000, ultima

reforma 2004)

12 Decreto por el que se

expide el reglamento de

la ley General del

Equilibrio Ecológico y la

Protección al Ambiente

en Materia de Registro

de Emisiones y

Transferencia de

Contaminantes y se

Adiciona y Reforma el

Reglamento de la Ley

General del Equilibrio

Ecológico y la Protección

al Ambiente en Materia

de Prevención y Control

de la Contaminación de

la Atmósfera (2004)

El presente ordenamiento es de

observancia general en todo el territorio

nacional y en las zonas donde la Nación

ejerce su soberanía y jurisdicción, y tiene

por objeto reglamentar la Ley General del

Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al

Ambiente, en lo relativo al establecimiento,

administración y manejo de las áreas

naturales protegidas de competencia de la

Federación.

Tiene por objeto reglamentar la Ley

General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la

Protección al Ambiente en lo que se refiere

al Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia

de Contaminantes.

Se determinan las características

necesarias para que un sector sea

considerado al Sistema Nacional de

Áreas Naturales Protegidas. La

administración de estas áreas se

efectuará de acuerdo a su categoría

de manejo, de conformidad con lo

establecido en la Ley General del

Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al

Ambiente y se deberán adoptar

lineamientos, mecanismos

institucionales, programas, políticas y

acciones destinadas a la

conservación, preservación,

protección y restauración de los

ecosistemas el uso y

aprovechamiento sustentable de los

recursos naturales.

Quedan reglamentadas las

restricciones para contaminantes y

las reglas que cada industria que

cuenten con licencia deberán seguir.

La aplicación de este

reglamento corresponde

al Ejecutivo Federal, por

conducto de la Secretaría

de Medio Ambiente,

Recursos Naturales y

Pesca y a través de la

Comisión Nacional de

Áreas Naturales

Protegidas

La aplicación

corresponde al Ejecutivo

Federal, por conducto de

la Secretaría de Medio

Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 22


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

13

14

15

Reglas de Organización y

Operación del Registro

Público de Derechos de

Agua (2002)

Reglamento de la Ley

General de Desarrollo

Forestal Sustentable

(2005)

Reglamento de la Ley de

Pesca (1999, ultima

reforma 2004)

Las presentes Reglas tienen por objeto

establecer las bases de organización y

operación de los servicios que presta el

Registro Público de Derechos de Agua,

determinar los actos que son susceptibles

de inscripción conforme a la Ley de Aguas

Nacionales y su Reglamento, y establecer

los requisitos necesarios para su registro.

El presente ordenamiento tiene por objeto

reglamentar la Ley General de Desarrollo

Forestal Sustentable en el ámbito de

competencia federal, en materia de

instrumentos de política forestal, manejo y

aprovechamiento sustentable de los

ecosistemas forestales del país y de sus

recursos, así como su conservación,

protección y restauración.

El presente ordenamiento tiene por objeto

reglamentar la Ley de Pesca.

Estas reglas proporcionarán

seguridad jurídica a los usuarios de

“Aguas Nacionales” y sus “Bienes

Públicos Inherentes”. Las

constancias de su inscripción serán

medio de prueba de la existencia de

la titularidad y de la situación de los

respectivos títulos de concesión o

asignación.

Quedan establecidas las zonas

forestales que se califican en zonas

de conservación y aprovechamiento

restringido o prohibido, zonas de

producción y zonas de restauración.

Un inventario será realizado cada 5

años por la Comisión para una debida

actualización la cual se hará

conforme a los lineamientos técnicos

y la metodología que emita la

Secretaría. La Secretaría y la

Comisión establecerán la

metodología, criterios y

procedimientos para la integración y

actualización de la zonificación

forestal.

Promover el aprovechamiento

racional y la protección de los

hábitats de los recursos pesqueros,

con el propósito de garantizar la

sustentabilidad en la actividad. Para

tal fin, se elaborará normas que

regulen las pesquerías, la talla o peso

mínimo, artes y métodos de pesca,

sistemas de acopio y otros de la

misma naturaleza.

La Comisión Nacional del

Agua, Órgano

Desconcentrado de la

Secretaría de Medio

Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales

Secretaría de Medio

Ambiente y Recursos

Naturales y la Comisión

La Comisión Nacional

Forestal

La aplicación

corresponde al Ejecutivo

Federal, por conducto de

la Secretaría de Medio

Ambiente, Recursos

Naturales

y Pesca.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 23


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

16

17

18

Ley Federal de Turismo

(1992, revised on 2000)

Reglamento de la Ley

General del Equilibrio

Ecológico y la Protección

al Ambiente en Materia

de Evaluación del

Impacto Ambiental (2000)

Ley de Desarrollo Rural

Sustentable (2001)

La presente Ley es de interés público y

observancia general en toda la República,

correspondiendo su aplicación e

interpretación en el ámbito administrativo, al

Ejecutivo Federal, a través de la Secretaría

de Turismo.

El presente ordenamiento es de

observancia general en todo el territorio

nacional y en las zonas donde la Nación

ejerce su jurisdicción; tiene por objeto

reglamentar la Ley General del Equilibrio

Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente, en

materia de evaluación del impacto

ambiental a nivel federal.

Esta ley está dirigida a promover el

desarrollo rural sustentable del país y

propiciar un medio ambiente adecuado. El

desarrollo rural sustentable incluye la

planeación y organización de la producción

agropecuaria, su industrialización y

comercialización, y de los demás bienes y

servicios, y todas aquellas acciones

tendientes a la elevación de la calidad de

vida de la población rural

Determinar los mecanismos

necesarios para la creación,

conservación, mejoramiento,

protección, promoción y

aprovechamiento de los recursos y

atractivos turísticos nacionales,

preservando el equilibrio ecológico y

social de los lugares de que se trate

Evaluar el impacto ambiental y emitir

las resoluciones para la realización

de proyectos de obras; Formular,

publicar y poner a disposición las

guías para la presentación del

informe preventivo, la manifestación

de impacto ambiental en sus diversas

modalidades y el estudio de riesgo;

Vigilar el cumplimiento de las

disposiciones de este reglamento, así

como la observancia de las

resoluciones previstas en el mismo

Son sujetos de esta Ley toda persona

que, de manera individual o colectiva,

realice preponderantemente

actividades en el medio rural. Tiene

por objetivo promover el bienestar

social y económico, corregir

disparidades de desarrollo regional,

contribuir a la soberanía y seguridad

alimentaria de la nación, y fomentar la

conservación de la biodiversidad y el

mejoramiento de la calidad de los

recursos naturales mediante su

aprovechamiento sustentable.

La Secretaría de Turismo

La aplicación de este

reglamento compete al

Ejecutivo Federal, por

conducto de la Secretaría

de Medio Ambiente,

Recursos Naturales y

Pesca, de conformidad

con las disposiciones

legales y reglamentarias

en la materia.

El Estado, a través del

Gobierno Federal y en

coordinación con los

gobiernos de las

entidades federativas y

municipales, impulsará

políticas, acciones y

programas en el medio

rural que serán

considerados prioritarios

para el desarrollo del país

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 24


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

19

20

Ley General de

Asentamiento Humano

Reglamento de la ley de

Desarrollo Rural

Sustentable en Materia

de Organismos,

Instancias de

Representación,

Sistemas y Servicios

Especializados (2004)

Esta ley tiene por objeto establecer la

ordenación y regulación de los

asentamientos humanos y fijar las normas

para planear y regular el ordenamiento

territorial de los asentamientos humanos

El presente ordenamiento tiene por objeto

reglamentar la Ley de Desarrollo Rural

Sustentable en materia de organismos,

instancias de representación, sistemas y

servicios especializados, con pleno respeto

a los ámbitos de competencia de los tres

órdenes de gobierno.

Regulación de los asentamientos

humanos en el territorio nacional

Este reglamento tiene como objetivo

coordinar y dar seguimiento a los

programas sectoriales y especiales

para impulsar un proceso de

transformación social y económica,

que conduzca al mejoramiento

sostenido y sustentable de las

condiciones de vida de la población

rural, así como para propiciar un

medio ambiente adecuado, garantizar

la rectoría del Estado y promover la

equidad.

Federación, entidades

federativas y municipios

La interpretación del

presente Reglamento

corresponde a las

dependencias que

integran la Comisión

Intersecretarial para el

Desarrollo Rural

Sustentable

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 25


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

ANNEX 6. STATUS OF INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK IN THE MBRS COUNTRIES (AS OF SEPTEMBER 2005)

Agreement, Protocols, Sub-agreements

Law ong>ofong> the Sea

Agreement on Implementation Part XI

Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks

Convention for the Protection and

Development ong>ofong> the Marine Environment ong>ofong> the

Wider Caribbean Region

Oil Spills Protocol

SPAW Protocol

LBS Protocol

Conversion on Biological Diversity

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Belize Guatemala Honduras Mexico

Signed Ratified Signed Ratified Signed Ratified Signed Ratified

---

---

---

No

No

1992

---

1983

1994

2005

1999

1999

No

No

1993

2004

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands 1998 1990 1993 1986

Convention on International Trade in

1981

1979 1985 1991

Endangered Species ong>ofong> Wild Fauna and Flora

(CITES)

(1986)DS

Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) --- 1998 --- 1998 1995 1997 1994 1995

Basel Convention on the Control ong>ofong>

Transboundary Movements ong>ofong> Hazardous

1997 1989 1995

1995 1989 1991

No

No

No

No

Wastes and their Disposal

Basel Protocol on Liability and Compensation

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic

Pollutants

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed

Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous

Chemicals and Pesticides in International

Trade

DS: Declaration ong>ofong> Succession

---

1983

1983

1990

No

1992

---

1997

1997

No

1989

1989

No

No

1995

2004

---

1983

1983

No

No

1992

2000

1993

2003

No

No

No

No

No

1995

No

---

1983

1983

1990

No

1992

2000

1983

2003

No

1985

1985

No

No

1993

2002

2002 No 2002 No 2002 2005 2001 2003

2005 No No 2005

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 26


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

ANNEX 7. LIST OF RELEVANT NON-BINDING INSTRUMENTS

Instrument Objective / Definition

Global Programme ong>ofong> Action for the

Protection ong>ofong> the Marine Environment from

Land-based Activities (GPA) (1995)

Code ong>ofong> Ethics on the International Trade in

Chemicals (1994)

UN Agenda 21 (1992)

London Guidelines for the Exchange ong>ofong>

Information on Chemicals in International

Trade (1989)

The GPA is a conceptual and practical guidance for national and/or regional authorities

for devising and implementing sustained action to prevent, reduce, control and/or

eliminate marine degradation from land-based activities. The GPA recommends a

framework by which the States identify the source and nature ong>ofong> the pollution, establish

priorities ong>ofong> action, set management objectives and priorities, select strategies to address

these objectives, and develop criteria and measures to evaluate the actions taken.

The objective ong>ofong> this code is to set forth principles and guidance for private sector

parties, governing standards ong>ofong> conduct in the production and management ong>ofong> chemicals

in international trade, taking into account their entire life cycle, with the purpose ong>ofong>

reducing risks to human health and the environment which might be posed by such

chemicals.

The areas ong>ofong> the Agenda areas are described in terms ong>ofong> the basis for action, objectives,

activities and means ong>ofong> implementation. The Agenda will be carried out by the various

actors according to the different situations, capacities and priorities ong>ofong> countries and

regions in full respect ong>ofong> all the principles contained in the Rio Declaration on

Environment and Development (1992). The Agenda’s relevant areas (Chapters) on

watershed and coastal areas include: (8) Integrating environment and development in

decision-making; (10) Integrated approach to the planning and management ong>ofong> land

resources; (11) Combating deforestation; and (17) Protection ong>ofong> the oceans, all kinds ong>ofong>

seas, including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection,

rational use and development ong>ofong> their living resources.

The Guidelines are general in nature and are aimed at enhancing the sound

management ong>ofong> chemicals through the exchange ong>ofong> scientific, technical, economic and

legal information. They provide a mechanism for importing countries to formally record

and disseminate their decisions regarding the future importation ong>ofong> chemicals which have

been banned or severely restricted and outline the shared responsibilities ong>ofong> importing

and exporting countries and exporting industries in ensuring that these decisions are

heeded.

The importance ong>ofong> technical and financial assistance to enhance decision-making and

training in the safe use ong>ofong> chemicals is recognized by the Guidelines.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 27


Technical Document No. 29 REA Transboundary Watersheds

UNEP Montreal Guidelines for the

Protection ong>ofong> the Marine Environment

against pollution from Land-based Sources

(1985)

The objective ong>ofong> these guidelines is to assist governments in the process ong>ofong> developing

bi- and multi-lateral agreements and national legislation for the protection ong>ofong> the marine

environment from pollution produced by land-based activities.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annexes page 28


Technical Document No. 29

ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

ANNEX 8. LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL RECOMMENDATION FROM CONSULTATION

MEETINGS (CHETUMAL AND PUERTO BARRIOS, NOVEMBER 2005)

This section summarizes the answers and opinions from the legal and institutional working

group participants during the consultation stakeholder workshops held in Chetumal, Mexico

(November 7-8, 2005) and Puerto Barrios, Guatemala (November 10-11, 2005). The

information provided is classified and listed under each one ong>ofong> the questions that drove the

working group discussion. Examples are provided as provide during the workshops. After

each question there is a table that list ong>ofong> proposed interventions to implement the

recommendations in each one ong>ofong> the questions. It was asked the participants to identified

the feasibility (VD: very difficult; D: difficult; F: feasible) and the term (L: long; M: medium; S:

short) to implement their recommendations, which is also shown in the tables.

See table 2 for an intervention matrix combining the inputs from all meetings and separate

working groups.

1) Based upon the presentation given today, do you believe that the watershed

approach is the appropriate approach for management? If not, what do you

recommend?

• Watershed in the most appropriate focus for land and environmental planning

purposes.

• In some cases, the sub-watershed level is the most appropriate. This level ong>ofong>

management unit can attract more political will and stakeholder support. For

instance, in the case ong>ofong> Rio Hondo, the Blue Creek should be managed separately

under a special program.

• In the case ong>ofong> the Yucatan Peninsula, underground water flows toward north with a

wide rage ong>ofong> impacts, so for planning purposes, the underground watershed vision in

the area should consider the entire Peninsula.

• Watershed as a management unit requires a common unifying objective and an

integrated management approach.

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Detailed assessment and analysis ong>ofong> the national legislations

F

S

on water management

As necessary, promote the sub-watershed approach within an

D

M

integrated management framework

2) How important is the watershed and the resources to your livelihood and other

activities?

• Watersheds have an economic and social value. An important component ong>ofong> this is

the esthetic, visual, and hedonic values.

• Watersheds can sustain important economic activities such as regional tourism, so

they should be consider ong>ofong> national interest and be managed under a an integrated

management framework.

• Watershed health is important for water-depending activities such as fisheries,

tourism, sanitation and potable water)

• Example: Downstream in Sierra de las Minas (Guatemala), endemic forests are

adversely being affected by industrial; and agricultural activities upstream.

___________________________________________________________________________

Annexes, page 29


Technical Document No. 29

ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

3) Do you believe that your livelihood has an impact on watershed resources? If yes,

what do you understand your impacts to be? If no, why not?

• Many social and economic activities (some ong>ofong> them associated to inherited conducts)

that take place in the watershed area have a direct negative impact on the water and

associates ecosystems

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Public education programs targeting the impacts ong>ofong> certain

activities on the watershed and changing traditional conducts ong>ofong> D

M

water use and sanitation

Incentives for reforestation (E.g. Similar to PINFOR in

Guatemala)

F

S

4A) Do you believe that agriculture has an impact on watershed resources? If yes,

what should be done about it? If no, why not?

• Agriculture does have impact on the watersheds, mostly pollution from pesticides

and fertilizers used on the fields.

• Agriculture put pressure on the ecosystems by replacing native flora with plantations

and impoverishment ong>ofong> soils with permanent monocultures.

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Promote organic agriculture D M

Promote alternate-rotation agriculture and other agricultural

best practices

D

M

Control importation and use ong>ofong> agrochemicals D L

Reinforce enforcement and monitoring programs D L

Incentives to develop communitarian monitoring programs F S

4B) Do you believe that deforestation has an impact on watershed resources? If yes,

what should be done about it? If no, why not?

• Deforestation does affect water resources. It causes erosion, mud slides, loss ong>ofong>

fertile soils, loss ong>ofong> soil permeability, and increase river sedimentation runong>ofong>f.

• Deforestation in the region is caused mostly by lack ong>ofong> implementation ong>ofong> existing

legislation and poverty and lack ong>ofong> social opportunities.

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Create incentives for forestation programs and/or make

forestation an obligatory requisite for certain economic activities

D M/L

Promote a “pay-per-environmental-services” program VD L

Clearly define areas for forestry activities and national

parks/protection areas

D

M

Increase land-ownership programs and land-purchase-forconservation

programs

F

M

4C) Do you believe that wastewater/sanitation has an impact on watershed

resources? If yes, what should be done about it? If no, why not?

• Sanitary issues do have an impact on watersheds. Domestic and industrial uses are

the major sources ong>ofong> water pollution.

___________________________________________________________________________

Annexes, page 30


Technical Document No. 29

ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

• Wastewater disposal in aquifers causes increase point concentration ong>ofong> pollutant ong>ofong>

underground water.

• Downstream problems associated wastewater disposal includes: pollution to lower

watershed and coastal zones (including aquifer diffusion to the coasts), loss ong>ofong>

coastal ecosystems and associated economic impact for recreational uses, and

human health from organic pollution.

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Harmonize environmental standards among countries in the

region (especially on water quality and permit for water use)

D

M

Study and define the carrying capacity ong>ofong> the aquifers in the

Yucatan Peninsula

VD

L

Develop case-specific indicators to monitor watershed water

quality

D

L

Develop programs to strengthen the law enforcement capacity D L

Develop, as appropriate, specific regalement to national

legislation on wastewater disposal/discharge

F

M

Capacity building programs for enforcement authorities F S

4D) Do you believe that development/change in land-use has an impact on

watershed resources? If yes, what should be done about it? If no, why not?

• Land-use change impact will depend on the change imposed.

• One ong>ofong> the major impacts for land-use change is due to urbanization and

industrialization ong>ofong> coastal and watershed areas. It generates migratory pressures

and increase on service demands (ej. Agriculture development, land fills, wastewater

treatment)

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Develop regulatory development plans identifying the (possible

or permitted) uses ong>ofong> watershed

D

L

Subsidies or tax incentives to conservation or good practices on

watershed areas

D

M

Preventive compensation systems integrated to management

plans ong>ofong> land use

VD

L

Increase investment in treatment plants and sanitary systems F M

Develop investment administration system and private

concessions control

D

M

Improve inter-institutional coordination for granting land-use

permits

D

S

___________________________________________________________________________

Annexes, page 31


Technical Document No. 29

ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

4E) Do you believe that tourism has an impact on watershed resources? If yes, what

should be done about it? If no, why not?

• Tourism activities cause an impact by increasing demand on natural resources (e.g.,

water) and services. Urbanization on coastal areas and increase ong>ofong> solid and liquid

wastes are the major identified problems caused by tourism

• Lack ong>ofong> long-term planning is the most important source ong>ofong> stress on the environment

caused by tourism

• It is recognized that, in some cases, well-planned tourism could be beneficial to

preserve some essential habitats

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Where applicable, develop a tax program for water use to

foreign tourism

D

M

Develop a program to control new investment on tourism D M

Promote sustainable tourism programs F S

Develop national water management plans (consistent with

national legal frameworks)

VD

L

Develop incentives to the participation ong>ofong> local governments on

sustainable tourism (considering public benefit and national

programs)

F

S

5) Do you believe watersheds should be managed by the central or local

governments?

• Local government participation is essential, especially at the sub-watershed

management level. Local efforts should be developed under a national program

umbrella

• Example: In the case ong>ofong> Belize, watershed management must be implemented by the

central government since local governments do not have the mandate. However

local communities should be represented.

• Example: In the case ong>ofong> Mexico, the watershed management is a national-level

mandate. However, local governments should and have some planning instruments

to participate in watershed planning

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Develop watershed management national guidelines and/or an

integrated legal framework (based in regional examples such

F

S

as ALIDES and CCAD)

Improve the management capacity ong>ofong> local governments for

watershed planning

F

M

6) Do you believe that shared and/or transboundary watersheds should be jointly

managed? If yes, how do you propose this be done? If no, why not?

• Transboundary watershed must have a joint management program

___________________________________________________________________________

Annexes, page 32


Technical Document No. 29

ong>Rapidong> ong>Assessmentong> ong>ofong> Transboundary Watersheds

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Create multinational councils headed by the central

governments

D

L

Harmonize environmental norms and standards among

countries

D

M

Establish continuous and comparable monitoring programs D M

Review and, as appropriate, signed or ratified binational,

regional or international environmental agreements to

VD

L

strengthen any joint collaborative framework

Use, in some cases, existing bilateral agreements as watershed

management tools (e.g., Omoa-Manabique Corridor, and

F

S

Temash-Sarstoon agreements)

Prioritize key watersheds for joint administration and propose a

management system through the MBRS Executive Council

F

S

Creation coordinating or consulting council for specific

watersheds with the participation ong>ofong> the governments

(national/local) and stakeholders (community/private)

representatives. Defining operational goals and objectives is

essential for the council functions.

D

M

7) Do you think that local governments have institutional capacity, mandate, and

legal framework to carry out the recommended interventions? If yes, why? If no,

why not?

• Currently, local governments do not have the capacity to carry out watershed

management programs

• At the local government, level there are planning instruments that can be used to

support watershed management national efforts

• Local governments can support activities such as data gathering, monitoring, and

infrastructure development

Proposed Interventions Feasibility Term

Promote the decentralization ong>ofong> norms and regulations, based

on the needs ong>ofong> local governments and consistent with national D

M

policies

Strengthen the legal framework, mandate, and planning role ong>ofong>

local governments on watershed management issues

VD

L

Establish watershed councils with participation ong>ofong> local

governments

F

S

Use local government structures to promote the representation

ong>ofong> local representatives and NGOs (e.g., UMA and UTM)

F

S

Example: In Mexico, role ong>ofong> local governments should be

strengthen through the Watershed Councils

D

M

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8) What do you see the role ong>ofong> NGOs and local communities in the helping in the

implementation ong>ofong> interventions?

• NGOs and community representatives should be an essential component for

participation, discussion, and decision-making

• NGOs have the capacity to access national and international funds to implement

programs that can be ong>ofong> local and/or national interest

• NGOs have an easier access to communities, and they can help as vectors to

implement programs ong>ofong> national interest or supported by the national/local

government

• Some NGOs have technical capacities and can support public education, capacity

building and monitoring programs

• NGOs should conduct public consultations and their activities should be more

consistent with national policies

• Communities must have the sense ong>ofong> ownership ong>ofong> watershed protection and

management initiatives

9) What do you see the role/obligation ong>ofong> the private sector to be in the

implementation ong>ofong> the interventions?

• The private sector must have a role on coordination and consulting groups for

watershed management programs

• Private sector can generate resources for watershed management programs, such

as generation ong>ofong> technical studies and information

• Regulation and adoption ong>ofong> clean technologies must be a priority for the private

sector participating in watershed management programs

• Open participation and transparency are expected in the private sector involvement

in watershed management programs

• In some cases, the private sector is responsible for providing services to treat

wastewater and public sanitation, so its role is essential.

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ANNEX 9. QUESTIONNAIRE USED BY INTERVIEWERS AS REFERENCE FOR THE IN-

PERSON INTERVIEWS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES’ REPRESENTATIVES IN THE

MBRS REGION

Protocol for the Interviewer

Name ong>ofong> the Interviewer

Name ong>ofong> the Interviewee (*)

Agency

Date

Time

Place

Language (**)

(*) Whether the interviewee is a public ong>ofong>ficer or not, ask for permission to use the name as

a source ong>ofong> information. State that the answers will be used for research purposes only and

they will be confidential if permission to use the name ong>ofong> the interviewee is denied.

(**) Interviews conducted in Spanish/English – record the answers in the language they

were given.

Recording answers

• This is a semi-structured interview; the questions are a guide on the topics that need

to be covered. The sentences in italics are for your support only (try to get this

information from the interviewee), and they are not part ong>ofong> the question.

• Due to time limitations, focus on the question to be asked. If necessary, repeat part ong>ofong>

the question to cover any missed important points or information from the question.

• Take notes on the key points for each ong>ofong> the answers (pay attention to the interviewee

and do not try to transcribe everything literally).

• After the interview (hopefully the same day), type your notes into a Word file following

the numbers ong>ofong> each ong>ofong> the following questions).

Note

All the questions may not be pertinent for all selected institutions and people to be

interviewed. Skip any specific question that may not be relevant to the mandate ong>ofong> the

agency.

Questions

Local/provincial governance structures

1. Could you tell me what is the role or mandate ong>ofong> your ong>ofong>fice in the management or

regulation ong>ofong> watershed resources or coastal resources? (Specify if the role is

enforcement, regulation, authority, decision maker, policy maker, permit granter, etc.)

2. What are the legal instruments that give your institution that mandate? (Specify which

law, policy, decree, etc)

3. Specifically, what [watershed and coastal] resources does your institution oversee?

(Specify what living resources, minerals, areas, land use, coastal zone, fresh/marine

water.)

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4. What is the geographic area covered by your institution’s mandate? (Specify geographic

coverage on rivers, land, ocean, distance from river side or coast line, etc.)

5. Could you identify other groups or structures with regulatory/protection mandate in the

area? (Specify advisory committees, advocacy groups, conflict resolution groups,

intergovernmental or multinational committees.)

Capacity and integration

6. In your opinion, what are the most important conflicts ong>ofong> authority/mandate with other

governmental agencies at the local or central government level on watershed or coastal

resources management? (specify level ong>ofong> integration in decision-making, funds allocation,

geographic and thematic area under authority, duplication ong>ofong> efforts, competing for

resources.)

7. In your opinion, what are the most important limitations for your institution’s planning

capacity for watershed (and marine, if applicable) resource management? (Specify

aspects such as staff capacity and training, budget, enforcement, monitoring/research

programs, etc.)

Existing legislation, and national and/or provincial policies or management plans

8. In your opinion, what are the major issues associated with the legislative framework

associated to watershed and/or coastal resources? (Specify complying level and

enforcement capacity, overlap and/or gaps.)

9. What are the most common regulations for private (and public) use ong>ofong> resources along

watersheds or coastal zones? (Specify aspects such as agricultural practices, tourism

regulation, construction norms, water use/withdraw, taxation, permits.)

10. Very briefly, what are the procedures required ong>ofong>/for new and current development

investments to perform environmental impact assessments? Are there basic standards

and norms to be complied with?

11. Is your institution complying with international legislation or international

agreements? Which ones, and how are they internalized in the national/local norms and

activities? If not, in your opinion, which are the most important ones to be considered?

Protected and sensitive areas

12. What are the basic criteria (if any) to define the boundaries ong>ofong> protected areas

(marine or terrestrial)? How are they defined? Who defines the criteria and how? (Specify

arbitrary criteria, ecosystem criteria, jurisdictional criteria.)

13. In your opinion, is there any area that, given its characteristics, needs to be

considered as a sensitive area for protection, which is currently under no legal protected

status? Why? (Specify any terrestrial and coastal/marine area associated to the

watershed.)

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Limitations ong>ofong> watershed and coastal regulations

Finally, in your opinion, what are the most important current constraints or limitations (if any)

ong>ofong> the following aspects to address integrated watershed resources management:

• Existing international cooperation programs

• Capacity building, education, training, outreach and/or awareness programs (public

and private) developed in the area

• Conflicts (bi-national or regional) derived from trans-boundary or common resources,

or limits (boundaries), or among economic sectors

• Conflicts in common marine areas

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