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
Recent project highlights:
- Joined the REDD Sur Coalition, made up of non-profits and academic institutions in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas and entered into discussions about activities and issues in the region.
- Built collaborative relationships with Mexican government institutions such as the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) and our partner the Secretary of the Environment and Natural History (SEMAHN).
- Completed an analysis of the drivers of deforestation in the project area.
- eNews: Free, Prior, and Informed Consent
- eNews: EcoLogic Staffer Contributes to Conference on Vulnerable Communities
- Blog: Cojolita Conversations
- Blog: Painting the Town REDD
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
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
Select species at this project site:
- American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)
- Big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)
- Black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra)
- Black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)
- Central American river turtle (Dermatemys mawii)
- Crested-tailed deer mouse (Habromys lophurus)
- Dary’s burrowing snake (Adelphicos daryi)
- Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
- Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra)
- Mexican agouti (Dasyprocta mexicana)
- Mexican long-tongued bat (Choeronycteris mexicana)
- Mexican spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)
- Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata)
- Thomas’ sac-winged bat (Balantiopteryx io)
- Van Gelder’s bat (Bauerus dubiaquercus)
Select 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.