Deforestation by invasion of settlers
The invasion of the Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve is a ongoing issue. In the communities of the towns bordering the reserve, networks of land traffickers have been formed dedicated to selecting areas within the forest and then selling them to settlers from other parts of the country, mainly from the towns El Ayote, Nueva Guinea, Rama, El Tortuguero, El Almendro, San Miguelito and Bluefields.
These land sellers have organized a network that allows them to identify groups of 20, 30 and up to 50 people who, once the transaction is agreed, are transferred from their towns to the invaded areas, the prices of land vary between C $ 800 (US $ 25) to C $ 12 thousand (US $ 380) per square block, depending on the sector and the conditions of the area.
These places are sold in batches of 25 and up to 100 blocks. With the arrival of more settlers, the seven settlements from which the invasion is directed, and increases in El Castillo, have expanded into: San José de las Brisas, La Mariposa, Sinaí, Cristo Rey, La Danta, New Samaria, and New Jerusalem.
This invasion threatens the stability of the ecosystem that justifies the management category of Biological Reserve, according to the regulations of protected areas of Nicaragua a biological reserve is “a surface that has eco-regions and unaltered representative ecosystems, ethnic values and important species, destined mainly to scientific research activities and/or ecological monitoring.”
Until a few years ago this reserve was kept in a very good state of conservation thanks to the various efforts made over the years by both institutions and environmental organizations. At present, with the different pressures exerted, its stability is in danger.