Seeing the Forest for the Trees
In Puebla Mexico, the community has come together to save the forests and their future.
What it does
Mexico’s 65 million hectares of forest are disappearing at the rate of 1 million hectares a year. This project aims to mitigate environmental impacts caused by forest exploitation; restore areas with severe erosion or those affected by disease, fire, and pests; and to protect and prevent damage caused by fires, grazing, and illegal use of forest resources. Under Mexico’s complex system of rural land ownership, community members made a decision to restore and sustainably manage the forest.
How it works
Managed by the local “ejido,” the project has halted previous methods of forest management that included slash and burn agriculture with some cattle grazing. Community members have recognized the value of the forests and its opportunity for job creation. While some trees will be harvested, it will be under the strict rules of the carbon methodology and that income will contribute to the well being of the community.
Through collaboration with the project developer, meetings were held to explain the opportunity for preserving the forest, and training was conducted on the role of forests and their impact on climate. Techniques of modern forest and agricultural management were introduced, and field exercises were carried out to explain the concepts of data collection and monitoring. Carbon revenue is reinvested in the communities for clean water, education, and health care, improving local living standards. Forest destruction has become forest regeneration.
Originally established as a pilot program, it will expand to nearby communities with the support of carbon finance.
- Protection of 300 species of birds, orchids and other rare flowers, wild boars, white-tailed deer, and the puma—all dangerously threatened by deforestation.
- Model for urgently needed forest conservation throughout Mexico and South America.
- Rewards for those living closest to the forest for their management and restorative efforts while preserving the natural capital of the area.
- Sustainable management of forests with a minimal impact on the ecosystem but an extensive contribution to social and economic development.
- Forests are always at risk of fire and disease.
- Awareness of forest conservation is slow in Mexico.
- Government policies in support of forest conservation need to be more proactive.
Who it helps
Mother Earth and local populations. This project protects a beautiful and important ecosystem. And it serves as a proven model for effective forest conservation everywhere.
- This community forest is very different from that in other communities; the forest is far healthier; this community has plenty of water and in other communities, they are experiencing water scarcity. – Ana Laura, Family of 3
- I love the trees for the fact that they absorb the contamination created by humans. And, “One tree gives us shade, water, life, and oxygen. – Xochitl, Family of 6
- I’ve helped grow seedlings because the forest helps us fight climate change. I notice that some fruit trees blossom that never blossomed before and some still blossom but no longer give fruit. – Maria Salinas, Family of 4
Why we chose this project
Implementation of this project has introduced the concept of climate change to local populations in remote areas of Mexico, including principles of carbon accounting and Climate Action Reserve Protocols. Since the very beginning of the project in 2012-13, the Climate Action Reserve has helped members of the community understand topics such as climate change, the role of forests in maintaining the atmospheric balance, the voluntary forest market and specific issues of carbon projects such as biomass, additionality, and baseline etc.
Accurate data collection and monitoring over several years have helped in robust reporting, verification, and issuance of carbon emissions. We are excited to see the technical expertise and protocols developed by Climate Action Reserve (CAR) for projects primarily in the United States being extended to the neighboring countries like Mexico. Five more projects are being registered following this methodology in this region, and many more are likely to move forward in the coming years.
UN sustainable development goals
DrawdownDrawdown is the most comprehensive plan to reverse global warming; Seeing the Forest for the Trees relates to Solutions Number 15 and 17 – Afforestation and Tree Intercropping
Due diligence documents
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We go the extra mile, or kilometer, to make sure each project’s carbon-cutting is effective, and the use of funds is efficient.
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