MOPAWI (Mosquitia Pawisa Apiska, or Agency for the Development of the Mosquitia) integrates programs of sustainable agriculture, marine life and forestry in the cultural zone of the Honduras Rio Platano Bioreserve among the Miskito, Garifuna, Pech, Tawahka and Ladino indigenous communities to combat the threats of colonization, species extinction and deforestation. It collaborates cross-border with indigenous groups of Nicaragua to build a forest guard program to develop ecological guidelines defining appropriate uses of different zones of the Mesoamerican corridor, including rules for hunting, fishing and agriculture. MOPAWI educates and advocates for the communal land rights, culture and language preservation, and self-determination of the indigenous communities of La Mosquitia region. It promotes ecotourism, involving women’s participation in local economic development.
2001, 2002, 2004: Channel made grants to MOPAWI (via the fiscal sponsorship of The Nature Conservancy) to sponsor collaboration in the Rio Platano Bioreserve of Honduras for wildlife preservation and establishment of indigenous people’s land rights in La Mosquitia region. MOPAWI worked on conservation assessments, species recovery and protection projects, sustainable agriculture projects, training and capacity building of indigenous forest guards, and petitions to the Honduran government to designate communal land rights and forest management rights to the indigenous communities of La Mosquitia.
1999: Channel made a grant (via the fiscal sponsorship of Lutheran World Relief) to support MOPAWI’s community organizing, leadership training and educational outreach in the indigenous communities of La Mosquitia to fight for communal land titling and authority for forest resource management and security. The work included collective declarations of indigenous rights based on international treaties, and advocacy and negotiation with Honduran government ministries and World Trade Organization (WTO) representatives.