Mexico is emerging as one of the world’s leading open-air laboratories (IFAD)

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Mexico Going Green

Posted by Greg Benchwick

When looking at the remarkably complex world of carbon offset, REDD+, sustainable forestry and natural resource management, Mexico is emerging as one of the world’s leading open-air laboratories.

After all, this is a place where the tides of revolution have become institutional realities, where large organizations like the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) are pioneering new ways to bring REDD+ into the mainstream. It is a place with a complex and nuanced socio-economic context, where the poorest 40 per cent of the rural population live on just US$652 a year (despite a national average of nearly US$9000), and where deforestation, vulnerability to climate change and natural resource management issues are making it to the front burner of the national agenda.

With all this in mind – and with an eye on building our collective wisdom that will advance the new Community Forestry Project in the Southern States of Campeche, Chiapas and Oaxaca – we brought thought leaders from CONAFOR and the Tropical Center for Agricultural Investigation and Education (CATIE) to IFAD headquarters for a meeting tackling contemporary issues on sustainable forestry management. The goal was simple – learn from the lessons of Mexico and see if we can’t apply them elsewhere – the outcomes were far more complex.

What is a REDD+ and how do I get one?


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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