Mangrove forestry landscape restoration; an opportunity of social development in the Alvarado Lagoon System Ramsar Site, Veracruz, Mexico
As of: July 2019
Objective and activities
The project supports the sustainable use of the Alvarado Lagoon System mangroves, following the vision of restoration and economic development opportunities for local communities.The project will install "mangrove wood productive units" with management plans based on the structure and mangrove growth rates. The project includes restoration of degraded mangroves that will become new timberproducing areas as well as technical training, market studies and wood sales strategy.
State of implementation/results
- Protection goals have been exceeded in the Alvarado Lagoon System (ALS), 2,753 ha of mangroves were declared as Ecological Reserve of the Municipality of Acula; further actions are implemented to strengthen protection, such as the zoning and participatory management plan.
- While adapting the ancient Mesoamerican technique of "chinampas", mangrove restoration goals (150 ha) have also been surpassed. More than 5 km of lagoon feeding channels have been unblocked, improving connectivity in key protected wetlands and strengthening restoration progress. – Activities are being carried out in order to obtain the permit for the use of mangrove wood in 350 hectares as pilot forestry sites.
- The "Diploma Course on Ecological Restoration and Silvicultural Management of Mangroves" was developed in 2017 as an instrument for capitalizing on experiences and feedback on a national and international level (virtual and face-to-face). The course includes 58 experts’ contributions from 15 different countries and gathered 34 practitioners from Mexico, El Salvador, and Colombia. Besides the course for practitioners, a capacity building strategy is implemented targeting more than 200 men and women, including the young population, from communities directly using and managing mangroves in the ALS.
- The project has created and operated a monitoring system for biodiversity in the ALS. Hydroperiod, water quality, and fauna data have been recorded. The system provides data to generate guidelines for the conservation of biodiversity in mangroves under forestry management. A guide is under development to be validated by national leading institutions in Mexico (National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) and the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO)).
- A value chain analysis is under development to better understand the market of mangrove wood and products from sustainably managed’ mangrove forests.
- Communities have been supported to strengthen silvicultural management and to promote added value with other byproducts. In this sense, two sustainable beehive charcoal kilns were built and products are already being sold with local buyers.
- An experiences exchange event regarding ecological restoration, silvicultural management, and biodiversity conservation in mangroves will be carried out in June 2019. The event will gather 30 participants from different communities implementing projects in mangrove areas in Mexico.
- In 2019 the marketing campaign “Mundo Manglar” will be launched to disseminate the potential of mangrove wood and other products from sustainable managed mangrove forests, including catalogues, a web platform, and a package of media.