Una ventana se abre a un futuro en que las ciudades se pueblan de verde, las cuencas y los bosques se fortalecen, protegidos, junto a los animales y plantas que lo habitan, en que los escombros dejan de marchitar el paisaje y en que la siembra de un árbol se convierte en un evento cumbre y recurrente de unión comunitaria.
Desde esa óptica verde, organizaciones sin fines de lucro, instituciones educativas, municipios y agencias gubernamentales podrán someter propuestas para recibir ayuda técnica y financiera en proyectos de forestación urbana y en la creación de empleos verdes que promuevan el manejo responsable de ecosistemas urbanos.
Las propuestas seleccionadas por el Consejo Asesor para la Forestación Urbana y de Comunidades de Puerto Rico Inc. (CAFUCPR), el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (DRNA) y el Instituto Internacional de Dasonomía Tropical del Servicio Forestal del Departamento de Agricultura federal, dispondrán de fondos provenientes de una partida de $100,585 de fondos federales administrados por el Programa de Forestación Urbana y de Comunidades (PFUC).
Las propuestas deberán fluctuar en el rango de $5 mil a $20 mil dólares para concretar los planes de un papel en una realidad tangible que modifique positivamente la ciudad gris y protega incisivamente los ecosistemas. Estos deberán cumplir con alguna de las tres prioridades programáticas del PFUC: proyectos de restauración en áreas costeras, obras de infraestructura para la protección de cuencas urbanas y utilizar el recurso del bosque urbano para fortalecer la salud comunitaria. No se aceptarán propuestas de investigaciones.
Entre los proyectos de restauración en áreas costeras, se considerarán iniciativas de reintroducción de especies, limpieza de escombros, siembra en áreas que han sido impactadas como los manglares, y actividades de limpieza en bosques de humedales o áreas verdes costeras con grupos comunitarios. Para impactar más allá de la labor concreta, se fomentará la presencia de algún elemento educativo que incentive el trabajo ambiental desde las bases.
Entre los proyectos de infraestructura verde para la protección de cuencas urbanas, podrán figurar el desarrollo de drenajes o zanjas verdes (bio-swales), los corredores de conexión (rain gardens), veredas y las comunidades portales.
En la categoría de proyectos prioritarios que utilizen el recurso del bosque urbano para revitalizar la salud comunitaria, se velará por que las propuestas impacten a lapoblación de todos los géneros y edades, y que atiendan la salud mental y a personas con diversidad funcional.
La fecha límite para entrega de las propuestas es el martes 30 de junio de 2015 a las 3:00 pm. Debe presentarse la propuesta en documento original y tres copias a la mano en la Oficina de Secretaría del DRNA o a través de correo postal dirigido al Apartado 366147, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936, a la atención de la Sra. Rosamaría Quiles, coordinadora del PFUC.
El próximo viernes 29 de mayo de 2015 y sábado 30 de mayo de 2015 se realizará un taller de orientación libre de costo sobre la Guía para la preparación de propuestas. Ambas orientaciones se realizarán de 9:00 a.m. a 12:00 del mediodía.
El taller del viernes 29 de mayo se ofrecerá en el Centro de Visitantes de la Reserva Nacional de Investigación Estuarina Bahía de Jobos, que ubica en la carretera PR-705, Km. 2.3 en el Poblado de Aguirre, Salinas.
El taller del sábado 30 de mayo será en la biblioteca del edificio de agencias ambientales Cruz A. Matos, en la carretera 8838, Km. 6.3 en el Sector El Cinco en Río Piedras.
Para quiene las personas interesadas en someter propuestas que no puedan asistir a las orientaciones, pueden guiarse por las recomendaciones del documento “Puerto Rico State-wide Assesment and Strategies for Forest Resources” para justificar cómo el proyecto sometido adelanta o es cónsono con las prioridades del PFUC. El documento está disponible aquí.
A su vez, pueden obtener más información en la Guía para la preparación de propuestas, un documento que está disponible en la Oficina de la Secretaria del DRNA, en el edificio de agencias ambientales Dr. Cruz A. Matos, en la carretera PR-8838, Km. 6.3, sector El Cinco, en Río Piedras. La Guía se puede acceder también en la página del DRNA: o se puede recibir orientación por teléfono con la coordinadora del PFUC, Rosamaría Quiles, llamando al número: 787-999-2200, extensión 2257 o 2696.
La secretaria del DRNA, Carmen Guerrero Pérez, aseguró que en el pasado se ha logrado crear proyectos exitosos a través de los fondos asignados al PFUC en iniciativas desarrolladas por la escuela Montessori Niños Uniendo al Mundo, en Caguas; el Comité Caborrojeños Pro Salud y Ambiente, en Cabo Rojo; el Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio mejor conocido como PECES, en Humacao; así como varias iniciativas de municipios como Caguas y Trujillo Alto.
Además, proyectos promovidos por universidades públicas y privadas como el Centro de Acción Urbana Comunitaria y Empresarial del Recinto de Río Piedras de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (CAUCE), han recibido fondos para desarrollar programas que incidan positivamente en la salud ambiental y social de las poblaciones que atienden.
El PFUC, administrado por el DRNA, se creó para fomentar la participación de comunidades en el manejo y conservación de los ecosistemas urbanos, dándole prioridad a proyectos formulados por grupos comunitarios. En coordinación con el Instituto Internacional de Dasonomía Tropical y el asesoramiento del CAFUCPR, el organismo fue creado por disposición de la Ley federal de Asistencia para Forestación Cooperativa de 1978 para recomendar al DRNA las prioridades programáticas que deben ser atendidas por el mencionado programa y que colabora en el proceso de notificar la disponibilidad de fondos y evaluación de las propuestas sometidas.
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