Tag Archives: community

Bioregional security in a Biosphere Reserve in the heart of Mexico

I met Kevin Jones last year, presenting Sierra Gorda as a model for Biosphere Reserves and protecting natural heritage through widespread civil participation.  We talked about bioregional security and the wild lands that are disappearing, and the on-going activities to create solutions for the future.

Kevin met with Pati Ruiz Corzo and I in the HUB located in the Brower Center in Berkeley, California, on the recommendation of John Knox at Earth Island Institute.  Pati Ruiz Corzo and I gave a detailed description of the on-going symphony of activities taking place in the largest protected area under community management, the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, and all of the sophisticated rural responses to the global emergencies of increasing poverty and the destruction of Nature.  The Sierra Gorda is a living laboratory for the interactions of local citizens in the second most-populated natural protected area in Mexico and how they collectively benefit nature: 24 years of community-based environmental education, 120 recycling center managed by ecology representatives (primarily women) in the remote communities, organized community wide clean-up campaigns and meetings, training for skills in 20 local microenterprises and new holistic practices for ranchers and farmers, support in quality control and commercializing regional crafts and products (predominantly women from the local community), and new models for a robust, green, rural economy –  products and services from healthy ecosystems, such as carbon dioxide reductions through forestry management and holistic livestock management, rainwater infiltration and reductions in soil erosion,  biodiversity and habitat, and climate regulation.

That interview led to attending the SOCAP Europe.

Sierra Gorda presents its model to Princess Maxima of the Netherlands

Princess Máxima of Holland visiting the Sierra Gorda stand in the Innovation Showcase during SOCAP Europe

If we want the planet to be healed, it´s time to get beyond the rhetoric to creating financing and taking action.  Sierra Gorda has accumulated experience over the last quarter century to help many civil organizations in developing countries jump the learning curve based on the lessons learned, as well as effective strategies to share with willing allies in the private and public sectors that are interested in the alternatives and overcoming the imaginary risks posed by breaking old paradigms.  Perhaps this is the meeting we have been preparing for in order to have in hand a robust portfolio of sound action plans and growing enthusiasm from the rural poverty communities to participate in a fair market for real solutions.

Posted May 28 2011 in the SOCAP Europe Blog, by: Laura Pérez-Arce

The wild territories of Sierra Gorda and Alta California

There is a historic connection between California and the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, which is one more reason Viva Sierra Gorda speaks on behalf of this little known region in the heart of Mexico.

Click on the Google Map for Ecotourists in the Sierra Gorda

There are five indigenous-baroque 18th century missions in Queretaro State, Mexico from the 1750´s.  Since 2003 all five missions were recognized as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage and have received global attention and national  significance.  Today Jalpan de Serra is a Magic Town according to Mexico´s Tourism Ministry.

Fray Junipero Serra also founded the stoic adobe missions of the California coast.

Viva Sierra Gorda believes that the accumulated experience of hundreds of committed communities in the heart of Mexico can change the destiny of rural poverty regions in high biodiversity regions.  Today, the bottom-up approach is moving mountains. The spirit of survival of local and native  peoples and Nature in both territories resurges almost 4 centuries later, rekindling our kinship with the ecosystems we depend on, from microorganisms, to jaguars, to primary forests.