Alliances for integrated landscape management in the Nevado de Colima-Sierra de Manatlán Corridor
16 agosto, 2022
Reforestamos México has been promoting integrated landscape management in biological corridors in western Mexico for just over three years through partnerships with the private sector, government institutions, local civil organizations, ejidos (communally owned lands), communities, and landowners, who work the land and make daily decisions. The goal is to increase ecological connectivity, promote the adoption of sustainable practices in agroforestry production systems by peasant communities, and conserve biodiversity.
One of these corridors is located in Jalisco, within the municipality of Zapotitlán de Vadillo, and extends from the Nevado de Colima Volcanic Complex towards the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve (Fig. 1).
This corridor is relevant in terms of ecological function for umbrella species, i.e., species at the top of the food chain that are indicators of ecosystem health, such as felids. It is also important for the ecosystem services it provides to local populations, such as water for human consumption and for the development of agroforestry activities (shade-grown coffee, honey, and wild agave distillates), silvopastoral systems for meat and milk production, and ecotourism activities.
Reforestamos México, together with the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve Directorate, the Jalisco Secretary of the Environment, the Intermunicipal Board of the Ayuquila River, as well as other strategic allies in the territory such as the Nevado de Colima Board, the civil association MILPA, the Trust of the State Forestry Development Program – FIPRODEFO, and researchers from the University Center of the South Coast – UdeG, have developed collaborative actions to strengthen these productive systems and monitor key species groups that provide information for decision-making and indicators regarding conservation, restoration, and productive management in the corridor.
The first project that Reforestamos promoted, in collaboration with the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve Directorate and with the participation of the aforementioned allies, involved implementing conservation actions for key species and ecosystem restoration in the corridor through social participation schemes. This was part of the international Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative – FERI, promoted by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, with support from the Korean government, between 2019 and 2021.
For the first half of this year 2022, thanks to the support of Soriana Foundation with its partner Nivea, another project was developed to strengthen some family enterprises in shade-grown coffee agroforestry systems, which contribute to the conservation of cloud forests, exceptional ecosystems due to their high diversity of flora and fauna. This project also aimed to strengthen the production and management of wild agaves for the production of distillates, as well as to continue monitoring fauna and reforesting in biological corridors in the Zapotlán Lagoon sub-basin in coordination with the Nevado de Colima Board and the company Driscoll’s. Additionally, a first exchange of experiences took place between producers and managers of agave/mezcal in Zapotitlán de Vadillo and the Cañada del Agua community, Indaparapeo, Michoacán, thanks to the support of Santander and the
collaboration of the civil association Comprehensive and Local Management of Agroforestry Products – MILPA.