Apr 5, 2011

March Madness

You gotta love the underdog, right? VCU, Butler, EcoLogic. Yep, we were in our own little competition and came out runner-up! 

A water source under a protected
structure maintained by AJAASSPIB
EcoLogic was named Runner-Up for the ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management, out of 194 entries. The ReSource Award is an internationally recognized prize acknowledging leadership in sustainable watershed management. What's a watershed? Think of it like an enormous funnel - it's an area of land where water flows toward a single point, based on the land's contour. Rivers and streams are located within watersheds, bringing water to communities. So they're important, wouldn't you agree? We were chosen as runner-up for our work with AJAASSPIB in northern Honduras. AJAASSPIB is an association of volunteer-run water committees located in rural villages to the south of Pico Bonito National Park in Honduras. EcoLogic supports this group with the protection and management of the forested watershed that brings water to their villages. It's not just about have a water tank and pipes; it's also about having a healthy ecosystem that's responsible for producing and regulating the flow of water through those pipes and in that tank. Otherwise, rural people have to buy bottled water shipped in from who knows where. And that's not self-reliant, cost-effective, or sustainable.

A meeting of the AJAASSPIB
in northern Honduras.

I was fortunate enough visit some of the AJAASSPIB member villages last summer and I met some of the protagonists. It truly was inspiring to know that local people have proactively taken the lead to secure water for their communities - not waiting for the government, a massive water project, or a miracle. What would you do if your water supply cut out tomorrow? If nothing's wrong with your plumbing, but there's no water flowing through the pipes. If you're in the States and not far off in a rural area, you'd probably just sit tight and wait for it to get fixed by someone you'll never meet. We're fortunate to know that these things sort of magically happen for us. But in rural Honduras, as in many rural areas on our planet, things don't fix themselves so easily (not to say that whoever the wonderful person that fixes it for us in the States has it easy. I do appreciate you!). In these more marginalized places, you have to organize your community, take leadership, be creative, take action. The folks of AJAASSPIB with whom we work are creating solutions themselves, and EcoLogic is there to support them. In all honesty, this recognition is awesome. Not only for EcoLogic, but for these community volunteers who lead their communities in protecting their water sources.

So this is big news, and EcoLogic is really proud - proud of ourselves, but even more of AJAASSPIB. And we certainly hope that if you're someone who has supported us in any way, that you too share with us this pride.

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