CarbonPlus for Community-Led Rainforest Management

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The Lacandon jungle is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Mexico. Located in the Cojolita mountain range in Chiapas, it serves as a biological corridor between a national park in Mexico and another in Guatemala. In 2012, EcoLogic launched a REDD+ project to provide a source of revenue for the three Mayan communities that share the communal reserve, and thus also create an incentive to keep a 35,000-hectare area of forest standing and healthy. Our work includes a number of activities to promote the full participation of these local Mayan communities, to enable them to make free and informed decisions about the project, and to ensure they reap the benefits of participation in international carbon-credit markets. The ultimate goal—with EcoLogic’s support and technical guidance—is for these Mayan communities to sell independently verified and validated carbon credits on international markets to help sustain the conservation of the forest.

Local Advisor: Secretary of the Environment and Natural History (SEMAHN)

Year Project Began: 2012

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Abelino Flores (standing left), community coordinator for EcoLogic's REDD+ project in Chiapas, Mexico, at FPIC workshop.

Abelino Flores (standing left), community coordinator for EcoLogic’s REDD+ project in Chiapas, Mexico, at FPIC workshop.

Recent project highlights:

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Country: Mexico

Year Project Began: 2012

Partners: Secretary of the Environment and Natural History (SEMAHN)

Size of Project Site: 35,410 hectares 

Population of Project Site: 16,151 in three communities

Languages Spoken: Spanish, Jach-t’aan, Tzeltal, and Chol

Peoples: Lacandon, Tzeltal, Chol, Spanish descent, mestizo

Sources of Income: Farming, cattle ranching, strip mining

Unique Environmental and Geographic Features: Abundant rain supports a large number of small rivers and streams, many of which are fast moving and have waterfalls, such as the Agua Azul and the Lacanja waterfalls. The Lacandon jungle covers approximately 1.9 million hectares, extending from Chiapas into the southern Yucatan Peninsula and northern Guatemala. One of the most biologically diverse regions in Mexico, it serves as a biological corridor between national parks in Mexico and Guatemala.

Ecosystems: Tropical wet forest

Endangered Species: At least 31

Solutions: CarbonPlus, rewards for ecosystem services and stewardship (RESS)

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Mexican agouti

Mexican agouti

Select species at this project site:

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CarbonPlus_workshopSelect progress made by EcoLogic and local partners in 2012-2013:

  • Conducted a series of Free, Prior and Informed Consent workshops with each of the three indigenous communities at the project site.
  • By invitation, EcoLogic joined the Governor’s Climate and Forest Task Force (GCF), attending its annual meeting in the fall of 2012 in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, along with 6 community leaders from Cojolita. The GCF is a multi-jurisdictional collaborative effort between 19 states and provinces from Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, and the US that focuses on developing comprehensive REDD+ programs.