Forests and Human Rights in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
12 mayo, 2022
Since its inception, Reforestamos México has promoted initiatives that enhance forest culture. In 2003, Reforestamos joined the efforts of Pronatura México to promote the Acorn Collection Contest. This initiative allowed for the collection of up to 13 tons of seeds to produce plants in a strengthened nursery with the aim of reforesting the ecological park of Mexico City.
Later, upon identifying an excess of seeds, the possibility of germinating them was considered. Thus, in 2005, the Germination Contest – Create Forests and Jungles was born. From 2005 to 2009, Reforestamos set up mini-nurseries in 272 schools in 10 states in Mexico. This activity allowed for the restoration and conservation of forests.
The crisis of 2008-2009 limited Reforestamos’ ability to obtain resources for these school nurseries. Therefore, the goal shifted from educating children to influencing a strategy that motivated more teachers to improve the way they educate. Thanks to this change in focus, Maestro Ambientalista (Environmental Teacher) was born in 2009, with the aim of involving and motivating teachers to disseminate environmental culture and promote behaviors harmonious with forests and jungles.
“If we wanted to reach more schools and more students, we wouldn’t achieve it by installing more nurseries that required time, money, and personnel. But we could do it through a triggering element that had more impact: the teachers of public and private primary schools, as they are the ones who truly operate the educational part and foster love for nature,” said Atzin Calvillo, former member of Reforestamos México.
Through Maestro Ambientalista, Reforestamos wove networks and managed to bring together two secretariats to work for the forests of our country: the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), represented through the Center for Education and Training for Sustainable Development (CECADESU), and the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP). The initiative involved public and private schools from preschool, primary, secondary, telesecondary, indigenous education schools, multigrade schools, both in rural and urban areas. Each school year, around 200 teachers presented their initiatives to participate in this competition.
In 2012, with the start of the new presidential term in Mexico and due to the complex political environment generated by the education reform, Reforestamos decided to concentrate its efforts and strengthen the educational agenda in schools that teach forest entrepreneurship topics to accelerate the development of forest companies. All the experience derived from the Maestro Ambientalista competition was shared with Telar Social México, which provided follow-up and allowed the birth of the Red Maestro Ambientalista, a participatory multi- actor working network that sought to contribute to the national education model through advocacy in public policies. It achieved the recognition of education for sustainability as a complement to free and mandatory public education in Mexico.
In parallel, Reforestamos worked directly in forestry and agronomy schools in Mexico to begin incorporating topics associated with forest entrepreneurship. In this regard, Reforestamos created the Forest Entrepreneurship Guide, a document that synthesizes the experiences, learnings, and tools obtained in more than seven years of work with young people. This manual is currently a reference for individuals and organizations in Mexico and Latin America, and due to its relevance, it was also translated into English