12 communities and ejidos in the eastern Valle de México Unite in a community forestry enterprise
4 julio, 2019
We are pleased to share that on July 2, 2019, the Unión para el Desarrollo Forestal y Agropecuario Del Valle de México (UDEFAM) was presented. It is a community forestry enterprise composed of twelve communities and ejidos in the Los Volcanes area. This initiative will benefit around three thousand families in the region by promoting productive projects that contribute to economic and social development.
In order to address issues such as illegal logging, poaching, forest fires, insecurity, and improper waste management, which had caused significant economic losses in the region, twelve communities and ejidos in the eastern Valle de México presented the formation of the Unión para el Desarrollo Forestal y Agropecuario Del Valle de México (UDEFAM). The goal is to mitigate forest-related issues, enhance the marketing of forest products, and conserve biodiversity for the benefit of 2,757 families.
The presentation of UDEFAM took place in Ejido San Cristóbal Poxtla, in the municipality of Ayapango, State of Mexico. It was attended by the Director General of the National Forestry Commission, Engineer León Jorge Castaños, and representatives of the communities and ejidos: Bienes Comunales Amecameca, Bienes Comunales San Miguel Atlautla, Bienes Comunales Santa Isabel Chalma, Bienes Comunales Santiago Cuautenco, Ejido San Martín Cuautlalpan, Bienes Comunales San Pedro Ecatzingo, Ejido Río Frío, Ejido San Cristóbal Poxtla, Ejido Coatepec, Ejido San Antonio La Rinconada or Tlaltecahuacan, Ejido Santa María Huexoculco, and Ejido San Francisco Zentlalpan.
During his participation, León Jorge Castaños, Director General of the National Forestry Commission, mentioned that UDEFAM must take a leap in its learning curve and suggested doing so with the support of organizations like Reforestamos México and Probosque. He also offered the support of CONAFOR.
“I suggest that you invite me next year to see your progress,” León Jorge Castaños said.
Daniel Rayón Flores, President of UDEFAM, shared that the initiative dates back to the collaboration that began in the Los Volcanes Zone with Reforestamos México and UNOFOC, with the financial support of Grupo Santander. This collaboration aimed at the sustainable reconstruction of homes after the earthquake in September 2017. He emphasized that the community forestry enterprise seeks to maintain the forests and biodiversity of the region for better forest utilization, providing a better quality of life for the inhabitants of 32,044 hectares. “Only by organizing can we achieve regional development; this is the beginning of a great project.”
“This is the beginning of a great project,” Daniel Rayón Flores said.
Ernesto Herrera Guerra, Director of Reforestamos México, recalled that the collaboration in the area began after the earthquake in September 2017, as the eastern region of the Valle de los Volcanes was severely affected. Together, they took forest actions to support the Bienes Comunales San Pedro Ecatzingo in reviving the local economy and strengthening the territory. “With donations from Grupo Santander’s ATM users and with the support of UNOFOC, we began to strengthen exchanges between the ejidos and communities in this area in favor of sustainable forest management.”
“We seek positive impacts in environmental and social terms,” Ernesto Herrera Guerra said.
He also invited new communities and ejidos to join in strengthening the region, which, after more than a year of work, led to the formation of the community forestry enterprise. “We seek to strengthen UDEFAM so that eventually communities offer finished wood products that are commercially viable and have positive impacts in environmental and social terms.”
Edgar Conzuelo Contreras, Director General of Probosque, emphasized the need for dialogue and invited the twelve ejidos and communities to work towards their mission. “What a great idea to produce and transform wood, and look out for tourism in the Los Volcanes area.”
“What a great idea to produce and transform wood, and look out for tourism in the Los Volcanes area,” Edgar Conzuelo Contreras said.
Marco Antonio Ruiz, President of the National Chamber of the Timber Industry, State of Mexico delegation, highlighted the need to preserve natural resources. He mentioned that alliances like UDEFAM allow the strengthening and safeguarding of forests. “Without forests, there is no society, no healthy industry. From the Chamber of the Timber Industry, you will have support for your businesses.”
José Juan Villanueva, Technical Coordinator of UNOFOC, noted that the path to creating UDEFAM has not been easy, as each ejido and community has different interests and opinions. However, with the addition of wills, they will ensure that the Los Volcanes region, with its potential for wood production and ecotourism, has better living conditions for its inhabitants.
“We will ensure that the Los Volcanes region has better living conditions for its inhabitants,” José Juan Villanueva said.
Marcela Espinosa Macías, Director of Sustainability at Banco Santander México, explained that “The protection of forests and the conservation of biodiversity are key to sustainable development. As a Responsible Bank, we have joined Reforestamos México’s efforts to support these nearly three thousand families through contributions from users of our ATMs.”
Yamel Anaya, Director of FSC® Supply Chains at Reforestamos México, mentioned that the organization will continue to collaborate with UDEFAM to provide advice to the communities and ejidos that make it up. Training has already been provided on topics such as social empowerment through local governance, business development, ecotourism, legal and tax advice, as well as international certification of forest management and chain of custody under the international standard of the Forest Stewardship Council®. The goal is to improve the quality of life for the communities and ejidos.