By Thelma Mejía* Inter Press Service
TEGUCIGALPA, Feb 17, 2010 (Tierramérica) – The effects of climate change in Honduras have a local accomplice. Not only are forests suffering from global warming; they are also the victim of illegal logging.
More than three-quarters of Honduras is mountainous, and over 50 percent of the territory is wooded.
Government reports indicate that forests are the most valuable natural resource for development of this Central American country. They could generate more than 25 percent of GDP, estimated at 12.7 billion dollars following the crisis triggered by the Jun. 28, 2009 coup d’état that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya.
However, currently the forest sector contributes just five percent of GDP.
The decline of the country’s forests has four main causes: changes in land use, consumption of firewood, fires and illegal logging, according to a report by the independent forest monitoring unit of the ombudsman’s office.