Tag Archives: Savory Institute

Activities for June 2013

Plot by Plot

We participated in the Savory Institute International Conference “Transforming the Landscape with Holistic Management” in Boulder, Colorado with much enthusiasm and hope. We met many other colleagues devoted to the soil, which sustains life on dry land and home to invisible universes that contain prodigious processes which make life possible. We are very happy to have use of Holistic Management tools and learn about experiences which have been so highly developed in so many places around the planet. A pioneering effort by teacher Allan Savory, a master teacher, and I can imagine how many battles he has fought over the decades, against interests which are so contrary to the planet’s health, and against mercenaries who extenuate life, selling it for copper coins. Nowadays the Savory Institute has an impressive worldwide reach, building up to start of a viral process as a response to soil degradation, desertification and climate change.  Sierra Gorda is one of the first official Savory Hubs, operating in central Mexico and the South.

It is a pleasant surprise to find a group of people who are taking action, with a defined strategy and replication plans. During such a rich encounter and as part of the strategy to include 404,685,644 hectares (or 1 billion acres) under Holistic Management, it would be possible to reduce current atmospheric carbon concentrations as a greenhouse gas and convert those lands into organic carbon and water sinks. Through the operation of 10 Savory Hubs in different parts of the planet it has already proved to be very effective by replicating the dynamic process. Within a few years people are seeing before their eyes the conversion of inhospitable landscapes into grasslands that have recovered their vitality and biodiversity, recuperating productivity in front of people’s eyes within a few years, increasing biomass above and below the surface and therefore also healthy cattle herds. With soil productivity recovered and the CO2 and water returned to it, streams recover and erosion channels disappear, re-vegetating and recuperating biodiversity. Regenerating soils through this approach gives impressive results and is in every producer’s best interest.

I am grateful that this knowledge reached Sierra Gorda six years ago now, where we have been able to show how to recuperate productivity in pilot farms, making the most of every rain event, harvesting incredibly healthy maize and vegetables, also training many men and women to produce vegetables which are well fed with biofertilizers, reintroducing micro organisms and reintroducing minerals into the soil, carrying out Keyline design to manage runoff and make the most of rainfall infiltration, preparing the region for what is to come. These are innovative techniques that we have already adopted and are putting into practice and transferring this knowledge to our farmer partners on a local and national level.

We have been organizing training days at many different levels, mini workshops in communities, national forums, and facilitating the exchange of experiences through our Earth Center where we continuously offer these events.

So, I am reinvigorated to have been selected as one of the Savory Hubs, attending to central Mexico and South to consolidate our projects and affirm that we are doing it correctly. We are starting a new stage in which our training events will be aimed towards this change of mindset that we so urgently need to raise, adding drop by drop, parcel by parcel, and building a growing conscience among farmers. We will be joining with new groups of friends and allies; and with the experience of the Savory Institute we will be able to raise a tsunami for the Earth.

Martha “Pati” Ruiz Corzo

Director, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda I.A.P.

Local children for a clean Sierra

Local Children start recycling campaign

Under the supervision of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda I.A.P.’s environmental education team with support from community leaders, students from various schools in the Sierra Gorda have been organizing rubbish collection campaigns. The students’ commitment and enthusiasm has resulted in a substantial amount of PET plastic, glass, paper and cardboard being sent for recycling.

Many schools participated including Santa Inés, Agua Zarca, Tlaletla, Quirambal. It is always a delight to see the participation of young people as they learn new skills and good habits for the future. Rubbish collection campaigners secure a cleaner and healthier Sierra for everybody.

Energy Congress Goes Carbon Neutral

Bosque Sustentable

Every day more companies, individuals and associations take social responsibility actions by mitigating their ecological footprint with Biodiverse Carbon, a product of Bosque Sustentable A.C. In June, the organizers of the V Annual Joint Congress of Associations from the Energy Sector and the Annual Congress of the Mexican Association for Energy Economy (AMMEE) in Acapulco decided to mitigate a total of 240 tons of carbon derived from the celebration of the congress, fighting climate change, protecting biodiversity in the Sierra Gorda and compensating local forest landowners for this environmental service. Read the full article here:

You can become carbon neutral too! Mitigate your own ecological footprint!

School in Chihuahua organizes fundraising campaign for Sierra Gorda

Viva Sierra Gorda

The students of the Bilingual High School Academia Juárez decided to commemorate Earth Day by planting trees in a local school and organizing a fundraising campaign to preserve the ecosystems and species of the Sierra Gorda.

They raised a total of $100 dollars that they donated to the Wildlife Rescue Program of Viva Sierra Gorda. The money will be used to protect endemic and endangered species that inhabit this Mexican sanctuary.

Under the supervision of teacher Menry Nielsen the students researched the many conservation projects in the country and chose Sierra Gorda. They chose Sierra Gorda because of the work it has achieved in the State of Querétaro. A contribution that serves as an example of the impacts young people are capable of achieving.

Photo of the Month- Roberto Pedraza  http://www.sierragordasilvestre.netImage

The word Ajolote comes from “Axolotl”, or water monster in Náhuatl, name that these amphibians receive, that preferred as in the case of this species in the Sierra Gorda, cold water currents high in the Sierra. Their gradual disappearance due to water contamination, climate change or persecution due to myths or for the fabrication of home remedies, has put them in serious risk of extinction.

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Job opening:

Technician in Geographic Information Systems (SIG)

http://www.idealist.org/view/job/f9dBXJnDHxNp

Centro Tierra Sierra Gorda Calendar:

Low-Impact Rural Road Construction Workshop

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When: August 6th to 9th 2013

Inscription: $3,000.00 pesos with lodging, $2,500.00 without lodging

Where: Centro Tierra en Jalpan de Serra

A properly designed rural road conserves natural beauty and renders service for many years with low maintenance costs. Seize this opportunity to train with Gordon Keller, USDA Forest Service expert, with ample experience in Mexico and Latin American countries. This workshop offers the technical knowledge to design, construct and maintain a functional road with low environmental impact. It is open for personnel from different government institutions, other non-governmental organizations, natural protected areas, constructors, technical service providers and engineers.

Workshop: The ABCs of ecosystem products with Peter Donovan, founder of the Soil Carbon Coalition

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August 21st to 24th, Jalpan de Serra, Querétaro

Peter Donovan of the Soil Carbon Coalition and the Bosque Sustentable A.C team offer a unique workshop in which they share accumulated experience from the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, where ecosystem services are turning into an income for local communities. Learn about the carbon cycle, elaboration of local protocols, improved practices to increase the biomass of a forest and the organic matter in the soils, how to establish a base line and monitoring practices, with a flexible, practical and local technique.

 

Sierra Gorda in the NEWS:

Flora and Fauna in Queretaro affected for 5 years

Diario de Querétaro  17 de junio de 2013

http://www.oem.com.mx/diariodequeretaro/notas/n3020913.htm

New Evaluation Committee implemented for the allocation of resources to carbon footprint compensations

http://www.queretaro.gob.mx/documentos_interna_prensa.aspx?q=epsUWZ+4EQFumktoLwcqSA==

 

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World Environment Day, Food and Climate Crisis

This past Monday Enrique Peña Nieto, the president of Mexico, decreed the Week for the Environment to frame the World Environment Day, July 5th, which was established in 1972 by the United Nations during the Stockholm Conference. In Querétaro, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda I.A.P. has seized the occasion to launch a new institutional image and website to the public, inviting them to get to know the emblematic work that is done in regards to the environment and civil participation for a sustainable future online: http://www.sierragorda.net

http://www.boletindeprensa.com/blogs/oscquertaro/dadelmedioambienteylacrisisalimenticiayclimtica

 

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Sierra Gorda, the first Savory HUB in Mexico

After 5 years of instruction, Sierra Gorda Ecological Group will be Savory Institute´s representative in Mexico.

In a selection process of more than 25 candidate countries around the wAllan Savory with personnel from Sierra Gorda and other members of the Savory Institute based in Boulder, Colorado. orld aspiring to be a HUB for the Savory Institute, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda has been officially selected to join its international network of partners and trainers.

Picture: Allan Savory with personnel from Sierra Gorda and other members of the Savory Institute based in Boulder, Colorado.

After five years of training with Savory Institute instructors, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG), , along with its sister organization Bosque Sustentable, has been chosen representative of the Savory Institute in Mexico. Thanks to its capacity, experience and personnel, GESG will be Mexico´s main disseminator for Holistic Management concept and tools for the appropriate and integral management of land as a whole. The methodology developed by Zimbabwe biologist Allan Savory has helped to reverse desertification, poverty and numerous social problems with its emphasis on the “imitation of and work with nature”. Once converted into a Hub for Savory Institute, GESG will also be a learning center for national training under the leadership of Mario David Pedraza Ruíz, who has implemented Holistic Management in Tonatico Ranch. He has gained experience in situ and has introduced the concept and tools to local farmers with remarkable results.

This 2013, 10 hubs will be consolidated around the world; it is a substantial achievement for GESG´s project to be considered one of the lucky few. The principles of Holistic Management have been applied over more than 40 years with excellent results, particularly towards healing and improving the land after years of malpractice, mostly through the use of cattle as a tool to improve the health of the ground and to stop desertification processes. Holistic Management principles may be applied whether you are a farmer, agriculture, business entrepreneur, or office worker, for it offers decision-making tools to better understand nature and work with and not against it. 

With this approach, a few key resources, knowledge and practices are sought to dramatically improve the quality of the land, administrative processes, and health, as well as a sustainable future for the generations to come. We are also aware that only by attaining a critical number of hectares under holistic management and using cattle to regenerate the soil is it possible to capture enough carbon from the atmosphere and reinsert it into the ground, thus facing climate change in an effective manner.

At the present, under the leadership of GESG, 15 pilot ranches have been successfully involved in the planning and improvement practices; a process that in the short term begins to translate into superior performance and income for landowners and managers. As a final stage of this process, our team will receive one last training workshop in Colorado, USA, in June 2013.