Issue 2 - Fall 2016
Cañón del Sumidero  , Chiapas, Mexico

Cañón del Sumidero, Chiapas, Mexico

Mexico is a country of outstanding generosity, in both the spirit of its people and the wealth of its vistas. But since the Spanish colonization in the 16th century, huge stretches of the country have steadily been robbed of their native vegetation.

Recent figures from INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estadistica) suggest that Mexico has lost almost 50% of its native forests due to logging and clearance for farming and settlement. The results are visible across the country and felt most acutely by the poorest rural communities. Barren and abandoned farmlands, soil erosion, increased air pollution and water and food scarcity are all in evidence.

Since the country adopted a Special Climate Change Programme in 2009, a green wind is blowing across the country. 

Deforestation   using the ‘slash and burn’ method to make room for agriculture

Deforestation using the ‘slash and burn’ method to make room for agriculture

But all this is starting to change. In 2008 Mexico announced an aspirational goal to cut emissions by 50% by 2050. And in 2009 it adopted a Special Climate Change Program to fight climate change, promote green economic growth, improve water management and restore nature and biodiversity. Part of this program includes reforesting one million hectares of degraded land (or 18 million trees) before 2018, and success is in sight.

Data released by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) puts Mexico in an admirable 4th place worldwide for the number of trees planted since the “Billion Trees Campaign” began in 2007.

On a governmental and societal level there is a growing awareness of the myriad benefits trees bring to people and planet. New technologies and sustainable approaches to nature revitalization are embraced and collaboration between local and foreign companies encouraged. Now is the time to repair what has been lost and together grow a greener future for Mexico.