United Nations
Improved Coastal Watersheds and Livelihoods project
by International Union for Conservation of Nature, Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (IUCN-ORMACC) (Intergovernmental organization)
By 2019, the Improved Coastal Watersheds and Livelihoods project will improve natural resource management of the Goascoran lower watershed and coastal zone in order to maximize four outcomes: 1) habitat for biodiversity, 2) water-related ecosystem services, 3) climate change adaptation and mitigation, and 4) economic returns from sustainable production.

Project objectives will be achieved through three expected results:
1.Natural ecosystems and biodiversity protected and restored through climate-smart approaches
2. Sustainability of rural livelihood systems improved through climate-smart approaches
3. Effectiveness and integration of source to sea watershed governance improved

Under Result 1, IUCN protects and restores mangrove ecosystems of La Union Bay (El Salvador) and Chismuyo Bay (Honduras) in the Goascoran coastal zone. Mangrove protection is increased by updating relevant management plans, effectively integrating the private sector and local communities into area-based management mechanisms to ensure rights-based approaches to conservation, as well as improving monitoring and surveillance of mangroves and fishing through strengthened park guard programs. To improve area management, the ICWL designed and implemented an integrated biological monitoring protocol, including a coastal blue carbon methodology to determine mangrove carbon stocks and promote the integration of blue carbon quantifications in at least one REDD+ national strategy.

Under Result 2, IUCN improves rural livelihoods sustainability by identifying sustainable market opportunities as well as improved management practices for sustainable fisheries, salt and agricultural products with high biodiversity conservation, food security and gender and youth integration benefits. Rural microfinance mechanisms (cajas rurales in Spanish) complement fisheries and agricultural technical assistance by increasing access of Goascorans rural poor especially women and youth to financial resources, thus promoting entrepreneurship and diversification of household businesses, cooperatives, and broader productive value chains.

Under Result 3, IUCN improves the effectiveness and integration of source to sea watershed governance by improving legal, policy and institutional frameworks, bi-national and community-based governance mechanisms, involving multi-sectorial stakeholders. Municipalities and local communities are supported to take on a stronger role in water, waste and natural resource management. The ICWL project builds on results of other initiatives implemented by IUCN in the Goascoran watershed to integrate coastal zones into a true resource to sea watershed governance approach.

Three cross-cutting themes are included in the program:
Gender and Youth Integration: IUCN ensures that gaps that exist between the vulnerability of males, females and youth are reduced (not widened), and enhance the leadership and decision-making role of women and youth in community-based governance, as well as livelihood enhancement processes.

Communications: IUCN designed a powerful and culturally-adapted communication strategy aiming to position the objectives of the program, as well as raising awareness on best practices for conservation and sustainable management of the resources of the Goascoran watershed and Gulf of Fonseca.

Knowledge Management: IUCN manages knowledge through communities learning workshops, cross-project learning, stocktaking, increasing staff capacity for program design and adaptive management, best practice transfer and knowledge repositories (e.g., web portals, databases) to ensure the adoption of best practices.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
June 2019
At least 300 people with improved economic benefits derived from sustainable natural resource management and/or biodiversity conservation
June 2019
At least 11 laws, policies or regulations that address biodiversity conservation and/or other environmental themes officially proposed, adopted, or implemented
June 2019
At least 55 organizations implementing plans, agreements, strategies to improve sustainable management of natural resources and protection of biodiversity
June 2019
At least 500 people trained in sustainable natural resources management and/or biodiversity conservation
Financing (in USD)
3,700,000 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: July 2016 - June 2019
IUCN (Intergovernmental Organization) is working in consortium with local organizations based in Honduras and El Salvador directly in the area of intervention of the project; the Committee for Defence and Development of Flora and Fauna of the Gulf of Fonseca (CODDEFFAGOLF) (NGO), the Foundation for Rural Enterprise Development (FUNDER) (NGO), the Salvadoran Foundation for Social Promotion and Economic Development (FUNSALPRODESE)(NGO)
Ocean Basins
  • North Pacific
Beneficiary countries
El Salvador
Other beneficaries
The Improved Coastal Watersheds and Livelihoods project supports communities, grassroots organizations, community governance structures, local governments, academia and national institutions in improving natural resources management and biodiversity conservation in the Goascoran River lower basin and coastal zones in La Union Bay (SV) and Chismuyo Bay (HN) in the Gulf of Fonseca.
Contact information
Judith Beyeler, Chief of Party (COP), judith.beyeler@iucn.org, +504 3224-8420
San Jose, Costa Rica
Other SDGs
United Nations