Conservation of the Papaloapan River Watershed in La Chinantla, Oaxaca

Barbara with FARCO in Oaxaca, Mexico

EcoLogic’s Executive Director Barbara Vallarino (second from right) with representatives from FARCO, our local partner in Chinantla, Oaxaca, Mexico

In April 2013, EcoLogic signed an agreement to formalize our working relationship with the Regional Environmental Collaborative for the Chinantla Region of Oaxaca, Mexico (FARCO). Created to foster cooperation between the three levels of government, academia and civil society, FARCO is an organization that works to advance sustainable social and economic development in the region of Oaxaca, Mexico.

The state of Oaxaca is home to the highest concentration of biodiversity in Mexico. The Chinantla region, which is the northern part of the state, is the third-largest rainforest in Mexico, and is also home to some of the last remaining standing cloud forest in the country. The Mexican government has designated Chinantla as a Priority Conservation Area and an Area of Importance for Bird Conservation. It is home to hundreds of plant and animal species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species. Livestock and industrial monoculture farming of sugarcane, pineapples, and rubber are some of the primary economic activities in the area, but pose significant threats to the health of the ecosystem.

EcoLogic is working with FARCO to take a fundamentally community-based approach to conservation, with a focus on strengthening the capacity of local institutions. Community members in Chinantla are highly motivated by the possibility of receiving payment for conserving watersheds and biodiversity. Based on this feedback, we are planning to train local farmers to build their capacity to access funds through existing government rewards for ecosystem services and stewardship (RESS) programs. The communities in Chinantla have already built strong foundations for community organization. With this project, we hope to build on those foundations to develop strong principles of community-based conservation in one of the most highly biodiverse and critical ecosystems in not only Mexico, but the world.

Highlighted Project Goals:

The rainforest in La Chinantla

The rainforest in La Chinantla

  • Work with 80 local farmers to establish 50 acres of agroforestry
  • Develop a demonstration site that models sustainable livestock raising
  • Train 200 individuals as forest guardians
  • Reforest 960 acres with native tree species
  • Conduct stakeholder meetings to unite efforts in a landscape-level conservation approach and a RESS scheme with local municipalities, Mexican government agencies, conservation NGOs, and other relevant actors
  • Increase interest and involvement of the community in conservation by running education campaigns with youth and community leaders about the importance of habitat conservation

Local Partner: Regional Environmental Collaborative for the Chinantla Region of Oaxaca, Mexico (FARCO)

Year Project Began: 2013

More information about our newest project will be coming soon!