Tag Archives: Holistic Management

Happy New Year from Sierra Gorda

HELP US PROTECT VITAL HABITAT

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The Sierra Gorda Alliance is working to protect the natural habitat of some of Mexico’s most threatened species, including the stunning Margay. The country’s cloud forests, home to thousands of animal species, have dwindled to just 2% of their original coverage. By working with local communities to protect – not plunder – these natural resources we can continue to protect vital habitats. Help here 

Mexican government agencies join efforts to mitigate climate change

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Sierra Gorda is a Savory Hub, replicating holistic land management in Central Mexico

At a meeting on January 21st 2014, with representatives from associations, government authorities and organizations, such as Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, the general coordinator of Livestock, Francisco Gurría Treviño, announced that a Mexican methodology governed by SAGARPA and SEMARNAT, will be created to measure soil carbon and quantify the value of carbon offsets per ton.

Gurría said that the Livestock Environment Programme will include lines of action to maintain and regenerate soil and rangelands through the holistic management of cattle. It will also emphasise capacity building, replication programs and support farmers in using these new technologies. We hope that with these efforts Mexico will be able to reverse the effects of desertification.

A new season of Earth Festivals

This new year, we have organized 45 Earth festivals, throughout all the municipalities of the Sierra Gorda and also in the nearby states of Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí. The Earth Festivals play an important role in promoting and strengthening the local  traditions and customs, and pay tribute to Mother Earth and the cultural roots of the region. Each year, our Environmental Education team performs a  play about nature. This year’s play will focus on the need to reverse the effects of desertification and to protect birds.

Regional schools, parents and the general public are all involved in the celebrations. The audience also participates by preparing songs, dances, plays, poems and typical regional dishes in order to highlight local traditions. These Earth Festivals act as agents of learning and integration, and strengthen the exchange of knowledge. For our educators, it’s both a pleasure and responsibility to help raise environmental awareness in the local schools and communities, and a way of building generational change to ensure greater protection of our natural resources.

SUPPORT FAMILY ORGANIC GARDENS

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You can help us establish 25 family vegetable gardens for women who are concerned about their family’s diet. They have already been trained in organic production, they now need equipment to increase production so that they can also sell their produce and improve their quality of life. Support here

Don’t waste our reserve!


A living biosphere home to more than 600 communities, the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve relies on community and local government participation in keeping the reserve healthy. Poor waste and water management can have detrimental impacts on the biodiversity and beauty of the region. As such, we recently held a meeting with SEMARNAT (the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources) SEDESU (the Ministry of Sustainable Development) and other local bodies, to deal with these and other environmental issues facing the region. As a result, we have commitment to developing a regional plan for solid waste management, which – among other things – will determine how home and business waste is separated and disposed of, ensure waste is collected separately address the issue of landfills.

We also discussed the need to regulate tourism activities, so that they have less impact on the environment and better respect communities in the region. We aim to develop a scheme that really has economic impact in the region, which will require developing better tourism infrastructure and suitable conditions for visitors.

15% discount on Ecotourism packages to the Sierra Gorda!

Now’s the time to visit our beautiful biosphere! “Like” our Sierra Gorda Ecotours page on Facebook to receive 15% discount on Ecotours packages to the Sierra Gorda. Reserve now

Photo of the month

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The low temperatures that the cold fronts are bringing are vital for the health of temperate forests because they help to control forest pests and insect infestations. The presence of frost and ice in this conifer forest in Pinal de Amoles on 9th January was fleeting and as a result, it took perseverance and luck to hunt down images like this one. 

 

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News from October 2013

Mexico’s green economy – a model for the global south?

Development leaders and policy-makers from various countries came together last week in the world’s first UN Global South-South Development Expo. Among them was Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo, recent UNEP Champion of the Earth winner and Mexican representative, who gave a TEDxNairobi talk and was a keynote speaker at the event’s SEED Symposium.

The Expo aimed to harness the ever growing number of solutions that address both existing and emerging development challenges head-on. And for the first time, the Expo was held in the global South under the overarching theme ‘Building Inclusive Green Economies: South-South Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication’.  (Read more) Ms Ruiz Corzo, director of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, demonstrated the success of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve’s green economy.

The SEED Symposium and 2013 SEED International Awards Ceremony took place on Thursday, 31st October 2013 at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya. Hosted by UNEP, these events were organized in the framework of the Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo). The SEED Symposium was a forum to foster the Green Economy and encourage the growth of socio-environmental entrepreneurship.

Youths mobilize for a better Mexico

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Last month Martha “Pati” Ruiz Corzo was invited as a keynote speaker to the “Un Millón de Jóvenes por México” summit in Querétaro. The event celebrated a nationwide network of young change-makers, who are in talks with the Government about the many challenges facing Mexico’s youth today and, and how youth can play a role in creating positive social change.

One of the summit’s special guests was prestigious environmental ambassador from the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al Nuaimi, more commonly known as “The Green Sheikh”. We were very lucky to have the opportunity to take him to the Sierra Gorda following the event, and showcase some of the community conservation activities and private nature reserves we support. He was so impressed by the Sierra Gorda projects, that he’s now planning to return next year with a group of youth people from his country so that they can learn about the participative conservation management we promote. It was a great honor to be able to introduce the “Green Sheikh” to the “Green Jewel” of central Mexico, and to be able to call him a friend and ally.

Seeds hope for ending desertification

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The federal government has announced it will work with civil society organizations on a series of national pilots to combat desertification.  The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) visited the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve this month to witness first-hand the positive impacts that Holistic Management and soil regeneration activities were having in the region. (Read More)

Following the summit, Francisco José Gurría Treviño, General Livestock Coordinator at SAGARPA, indicated he would support the extension of these activities through pilot plots, farms, ranches and eijdos throughout Northern and Central Mexico. Should they continue to prove successful, such programs could be replicated across the entire country to reverse the effects of desertification.


The Dirt on Soil Regeneration

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This October, 18 people from 5 different states in Mexico joined us in the Sierra Gorda for Bosque Sustentable’s Soil Regeneration workshop. Participants learned about Holistic Management, which represents a logical approach to understanding and working with nature, and included training on regenerative grazing; low-cost organic fertilizing techniques; Keyline design; how to biologically monitor their land; organic agriculture techniques and healthy eating.

Read more

Quad biking threatens delicate balance

Quad bikes are becoming a major issue for tourism activities in the Sierra Gorda, with local residents concerned that the biking groups are ripping through their small communities without any appreciation of the negative impacts such activities have on their environment and quality of life. In addition, some quad biking is occurring on pristine riverbeds, which not only causes major damage to local flora and fauna, but is also illegal under Mexico’s environmental laws.  (Read more) Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has carried out an environmental and socioeconomic impact study of the area affected by quad bike tourism. It found that “the only people who are earning money from this activity do not live in the area, are not from the area and do not care about the social and environmental impact they are having”, according to the study’s consultant, Juan Carlos Ibarra.

Photo of the month by Roberto Pedraza Ruiz

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Every year, the western side of the Sierra Gorda that looks towards the semi-desert bursts into a yellow bloom of wild cempasúchiles. This year is especially spectacular thanks to the abundant rainfall, creating a stunning if fleeting view.