In the wake of Hurricane Mitch, new interest is growing in Central America in environmentally sound land-management practices. Some farmers took note of the fact that communities with protected forest areas held up much better during the hurricane than communities where most trees had been felled. Still, development workers say it’s a tough challenge to promote new, sustainable practices in communities stricken by poverty and accustomed to land clearing and seasonal burning. People are more receptive to messages about sustainability if they can see a successful local example.

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