Tag Archives: rural

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


There are many ways to improve the state of the planet and it is all about the decisions we make, our habits, what we spend on, use and throw away, and what we talk about.

The Sierra Gorda´s alliance of grassroots organizations help carry out thousands of activities every year with hundreds of communities and thousands of local community members and more and more often students, teachers, local citizens and government authorities are taking the initiaitve to do more that will help protect and guarantee a sustainable future for the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve and surrounding areas.

There have been thousands of volunteers, donors and patrons contributing to saving this valuable green island in the heart of Mexico, some quite traditonal and others quite the contrary, daring to make a stand for wilderness and change.

WLT UK is Donor and partner to the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda -- CLICK HERE to see their donate an acre program.

Have you ever considered a carbon neutral fishing tackle? Or renting a carbon neutral vehicle for your next road trip (past post Renting Verde)?

According to Carbon Balanced, a project of the World Land Trust, “The key element in this project is that the carbon sequestration work is just one part of an entire network of mutually reinforcing environmental programmes, held together by Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda and its sister organisations. Supporting one aspect automatically supports all, including the issue closest to the WLT mission – protection of the best remaining examples of the special cloud forest habitats of this area.”

WLT UK helps by putting out news and updates about the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda´s work in the Biosphere Reserve and its importance as a wildlife sanctuary with photos of jaguar, roadrunners, great currassow, pumas, margay, a curious tayra and and brilliant military macaw.  If you want to learn more about the biodiversity, you must visit the Wild Sierra Gorda gallery and blog.

Then there are the friends of friends, like Enviro Mall.  Enviro Mall and WLT UK created a fun case study of Sierra Gorda in a teacher pack for Rainforest Education (it is almost 8MB), to raise awareness, concern and action for protecting wildlife and habitat.  Taking action a step further WLT announced:

Carbon Balanced Paper:
A new and simple way to
reduce your carbon footprint.

But Sierra Gorda needs more donors, more partners and a lot more, so keeping the faith and a good sense of humor, here is a call to those willing to move mountains together.