The 1980s saw a heightened awareness and concern over ecological issues. Even though Honduras is not overpopulated, its land resources have been overexploited, and there are numerous reasons for concern regarding deforestation and the prevalence of unsustainable agricultural practices. Enforcement of the few regulations already in effect is uneven.
Honduras has two major national parks. One is the Tigra Cloud Forest Park near Tegucigalpa. The other is the Copán National Park near the border with Guatemala, which houses the Mayan ruins. Honduras also has established the Río Plátano Reserve. Furthermore, the government has attempted to encourage ecotourism in the Islas de la Bahía, where biologically rich coral reefs are located.
As a consequence of the expansion of environmental consciousness, the Honduran Association of Ecology (Asociación Hondureña de la Ecología--AHE) was founded in the 1980s. Following the example set in the foundation of the AHE, many other groups formed with the stated purpose of promoting ecologically sound policies. Unfortunately, in 1993 many sources of international funding dried up following the discovery of corruption in a number of Honduran ecological groups. Despite the continued presence of many environmental problems, ecologists are encouraged by the increasing environmental consciousness among all sectors of the population. The fact that environmental concerns are part of the policies advocated by peasant organizations, labor unions, and other interest groups is a sign that the ecological movement has come to maturity.
Honduran society provides examples of the most severe problems faced by developing nations. Yet within that same society, the unique relationship between social and political forces provides potential for progress in alleviating the country's problems.
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