Forest and Water Sustain Communities

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inter-american foundation
Two smiling women collect water from a stream in sports bottles.

International Day of Forests and World Water Day

This week we observed two days declared by the United Nations in support of sustainable development: International Day of Forests (March 21) and World Water Day (March 22). 

Almost 900 million people worldwide use wood to fuel cooking, heating and other personal or commercial energy purposes. More than 663 million people live without access to a safe water supply. 

At the Inter-American Foundation, 36% of our community projects portfolio focuses on environmental conservation efforts to safeguard these resources. 

Our grantee­ partners work to protect forests and watersheds while reducing the use of wood as fuel. They develop better techniques to manage waste water. They find ways to live with drought through methods such as using gray water for gardens and small agricultural plots.

You can learn much more about the ways our grantee partners build resilience to environmental challenges in the most recent issue of our journal Grassroots Development.

Read Grassroots Development 

Current Projects Protecting
Forest and Water Resources


Local Communities Managing Natural Resources

Our grantee partner Fundación Comunitaria Puca in Honduras aims to protect watersheds and reduce water contamination. The organization works with local communities, the Honduran Forestry Department, local water administration agencies and volunteer forest rangers to collectively manage the Puca Mountain Range Wildlife Refuge. 

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Renewable Resources from the Mayan Biosphere Reserve

The Guatemalan Asociación de Comunidades Forestales de Petén brings together local communities and facilitates the sustainable harvest of renewable resources from the Mayan Biosphere Reserve. It creates strategies to secure authorizations in support of environmentally responsible economic activities in protected areas.

 Learn more


Traditional Practices Among Indigenous Communities for Sustainability

In Colombia, leaders of the Asociación de Mujeres Indígenas "La Chagra de la Vida" work among members of five indigenous communities, representing the Inga, Kamentsá, Siona, Kofán and Koreguaje ethnicities. They draw upon proven traditional farming practices to improve livelihoods, to protect tradition and to preserve the natural environment.

Learn more

Our Recent Blogs  

Lessons from the Continued Response to Hurricane Matthew 

In an effort to improve relief efforts to deadly events such as hurricanes, it is very appropriate to ask questions such as: Were donor responses and financial resources adequate? Here's what we learned. Read more...

Making Connections During Peace Corp Week 

From February 26 to March 4, 2017 we celebrated Peace Corps Week. We share a long history with the Peace Corps because of similar goals and serve as a virtual magnet for former volunteers and staff. Read more...

The Global Reach of Community Philanthropy 

A recent global summit in South Africa served as a good reminder of our own institutional history in funding community philanthropy in Latin America. Read more...