Restoring Mexican mangrove forests creates opportunities for social development
As of: October 2021
Mangrove forests have a wide range of ecological functions. They are also economically significant, since they are a source of food (fishing) and firewood for local populations, which also use them for other purposes and coastal Mexican communities are often economically dependent on mangroves. The project aims to conserve and restore the Alvarado lagoon system in Mexico. The mangrove forests are being put to sustainable use, while continuing to offer economic development opportunities for local communities. Within the framework of management plans, the project establishes usage that is also oriented on the growth rates of the mangroves. It is also tackling the restoration processes that convert degraded areas into production zones, and producing market studies & marketing strategies for mangrove wood products. /
State of implementation/results
- As of October 2020, 2,753 ha of mangroves were declared as Ecological Reserve of the Municipality of Acula. 201 hectares of mangrove have been restored while adapting the ancient Mesoamerican technique of "chinampas".
- To improve connectivity and strengthen restoration progress: 7,086 m of lagoon feeding channels have been unblocked, 1,000 m of firebreaks were implemented, more than 25 km of barbed wire fencing were implemented to protect restored and conservation areas.
- 198 persons from local communities have been temporarily employed.
- The project has strengthened four Management Units for Wildlife Conservation (UMA in Spanish), as a figure for legal and sustainable forest management of mangroves by local communities (more than 424 ha).
- The "Diploma Course on Ecological Restoration and Silvicultural Management of Mangroves" in 2017 included 58 experts’ conferences from 15 different countries and 34 practitioners participating from Mexico, El Salvador, and Colombia.
- The capacity-building strategy at the community level has included more than 233 participants (from 3 ejidos, 2 private landowners and municipal authorities), technicians, young women and men, teachers and authorities in the Ramsar site.
- The project has created and operated a monitoring system for biodiversity. The monitoring system provides data and reports which allow us to generate guidelines for the conservation of biodiversity in mangroves under forestry management. The guidelines will be validated by national leading institutions in Mexico (CONAFOR / CONABIO).