San Juan Lachao: A forest project under the spotlight of COP20

Mexico Forest Protocol

The Sierra Madre del Sur is a mountain range in southern Mexico, extending 1,000 kilometers from southern Michoacán east through Guerrero… Deep within its corners, lies a small community called San Juan Lachao in the state of Oaxaca, elevated 60 meters above sea level and mainly composed by hilly lands.

San Juan Lachao is improving its entire environment and restoring those damaged areas. Today, this community is an international reference, since it’s introducing significant changes that will gradually generate a global beneficial impact. The entire labor starts with small actions, which are definitely having a large difference.

oaxaca san juan lachao

San Juan Lachao is located near the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico, and it’s the first indigenous community to launch a forest offset project under the Mexico Forest Protocol.

This town is surrounded by pine/oak and cloud forests that belong to the Sierra Madre del Sur, and area that once produced and harvested paper, an industry that, after many years of overexploitation, left these ecosystems vulnerable to wildfire and compromised the quality of the water.

To improve the community’s situation and its surroundings, local and national NGO’s (No Governmental Organization) and even the private sector, have decided to create the San Juan Lachao Forest Carbon Project; an initiative that will generate several benefits for the entire town.

This project will provide clean and fresh water to the community; it will also improve the management and protection of the forest, actions that play an important role in minimizing the effects of climate change. How?

According to Pronatura and Climate Action Reserve (CAR) ―An NGO that developed this project― preserving local ecosystems and cleaning the air with these actions, will have ripple effects in the entire world not just in the community.

San Juan Lachao

The town will receive financial benefits from these preservation actions, also 30 directly jobs will be created plus other 150 indirect jobs. Adolfo Alaniz, General Director of Pronatura, said that each person will have a $15 USD salary per day, which is higher than the minimum wage in the area.

The San Juan Lachao Forest Project will be under the spotlight during COP20 in Lima, Peru, as an example of what rural communities can do to improve the preservation of natural areas and at the same time develop the living standard of these towns.

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