El Arenal named among top eco-tourism destinations
Global travel company Thomas Cook has designated the Cerro El Arenal natural reserve in Matagalpa as one of the top places to visit in Nicaragua. The reserve, which is part of an MPED demonstration project to foster sustainable local economic development in this region, was also certified as part of the "Best of Nicaragua" eco-tourism route.
Putting the 'local' back in local economic development
Through a variety of incentives and funding programs, Nicaragua's national government directly supports small businesses and agricultural producers, helping stimulate local economic development (LED). Ten percent of the national budget is now transferred to municipalities-up from one percent in 2000. The government is working to harmonize local and national taxation systems to promote fiscal decentralization, giving municipalities greater control over how they manage LED in their communities.
MPED initiatives in Nicaragua
In partnership with the Association of Municipalities of Nicaragua (AMUNIC), our work under the Municipal Partners for Economic Development (MPED) program is helping create LED strategies and opportunities by:
- Establishing greater links among different stakeholder groups to drive public interest and awareness in LED
- Developing more efficient public policies for advancing LED
- Establishing public-private partnerships for long-term economic sustainability
- Engaging youth and young entrepreneurs at the local level
- Encouraging urban and rural communities to take ownership over the programs and projects affecting their communities
- Integrating gender equality and environmental considerations into LED projects
- Providing training to expand or improve economic production while ensuring environmental sustainability
More information about our goals and initiatives in Nicaragua is available in our one-page factsheet.
About the Association of Municipalities of Nicaragua
Composed of the mayors of 153 member municipalities, the Association of Municipalities of Nicaragua (AMUNIC) is recognized in the Nicaraguan constitution as the only association dedicated to protecting and promoting the common interests of the country's municipalities. For more information, visit the AMUNIC website (Spanish only).