The campaign achieved several milestones over the past several months that demonstrate the level of success achieved.
In late April, a press conference was held in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez on the “Campaign for the Integrated Management of Fire.” The press conference was well attended by news outlets such as Televisa, Cable 7, Channel 5, and the Journal of Chiapas. The event lasted about 45 minutes and dealt mostly with the goals of the campaign, the dangers of burning forest, and the methodology employed by Rare. Afterward, news of the press conference spread to other newspapers, local radio, TV stations, and the official website of CONANP. Overall, the press conference was just the sort of thing needed to raise the message and visibility of the campaign.
A new facility at the Center for Conservation of Culture was opened in early June to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the reserve. The facility uses pictures to give a historical narrative outlining the many successes of the reserve. To celebrate the occasion, government and local leaders were greeted by Tito the Tapir and received a tour of the facilities. Attendees were also treated to a presentation on the Pride campaign currently at work. The combination of the new facility and presentation served to expand awareness of the plight of the forest.
While many goals have been reached, we still need your help to ensure the continued protection of the forest reserve.
Alejandro’s campaign is progressing right on schedule. As the Rare Pride Campaign Manager for La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve, he has completed the first university phase of Rare’s training curriculum at the University of Guadalajara, one of the largest and most respected institutions of higher learning in Mexico. Participants in this program come from all over Latin America.
This phase included nine weeks of classroom training and hands-on activities that prepared Alejandro to build a comprehensive project plan, including use of concept models, threat ranking, and stake-holder engagement strategies.
Alejandro is now back in the field in the communities of La Sepultura for his Pride campaign planning phase. He has facilitated the stakeholder meeting and threat ranking, produced a draft barrier removal analysis, and is now starting his community survey where he will survey nearly 1,000 people (and a control group) on their knowledge, attitudes, and behavior about forest fires and their agricultural practices- many of which have been passed down from generation to generation. This information will help Alejandro form specific conservation objectives for the campaign.
He will then return to Guadalajara on June 2nd, where he will participate in the Rare alumni event – a first time celebration of the Rare Pride campaign manager alumni network that emphasizes supporting and mentoring fellow conservationists for long term conservation sustainability worldwide. Afterward, Alejandro will start five weeks of training in the second university phase before returning to the field where he will implement his campaign.
Here’s a brief recap of Alejandro’s campaign and goals for preserving natural resources in La Sepultura:
To reduce pine-oak forest being destroyed by uncontrolled forest fires La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve, local farmers and producers will be trained and mentored to implement fire management practices (burning calendars, firebreaks, community plans, natural fences etc) along with sustainable productive alternatives (organic agriculture, agrosilvopastoral systems, sustainable grass production). Producers will learn about of the effects of forest fires and the environmental and production benefits that can be obtained through these alternative practices. CONANP along with other agriculture related entities will provide technical assistance and financing. The Pride Campaign will be deemed successful if 50% of annual hectares (ha) damaged by forest fires is reduced by 2012 (2500 ha instead of 5000 ha).
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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