Mexico: Forest-friendly dairy farming in Chiapas

The cloud forests of Chiapas in southern Mexico have long sheltered subsistence farmers and their crops of corn and beans. But during the 1980s, there was a boom in dairy farming, which was far more profitable. Villagers let their cattle roam free in the La Sepultura Biosphere Reverse, with devastating consequences for the forest. And as the forest suffered, so did its people – from drought, and a decline in biodiversity and plants to forage.

The BioPaSOS project helps farmers to look after the forest, by adopting agrosilvopastoral techniques that mean cattle, crops and trees can thrive side-by-side. With support to fence in their animals and reforest their land, communities are able to protect their environment. And where once they sold their milk for rock-bottom prices, BioPaSOS has provided training in the manufacture of a variety of high-end cheeses, meaning profits are up.

A film by Aitor Saez




6,26 Min


Global Ideas

The television reports and documentaries of Deutsche Welle's 'Global Ideas' media project provide people all over the world with information on model projects which implement biodiversity and climate protection. The media project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative.