Unesco Green Citizens

Alliance for the Sierra Gorda

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Project begin: 05/12/1987

To protect the Sierra Gorda, Mexico’s green jewel, local citizens decided to join forces. Alliance for the Sierra Gorda offers a new model for social and citizen participation and entrepreneurship.

Leading organisation: Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda
The country where the team is based: Mexico
Theme: Biodiversity, Education for Sustainable Development, Hydrology, Local and Indigenous Knowledge
Sub-themes: Agriculture, Climate change, Environment, Food and food security, Forests and desertification, Gender equality and women's empowerment, Natural disasters risk reduction, Natural resource management, Natural resource management, Poverty and inequality reduction, Sustainable lifestyles, Waste management, Water sanitation
Tag: #Women #Youth
Selection: 2021
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Communication strategy design
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In search of financial partners
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In 1987, this beautiful mountainous area in the heart of the Mexican state of Querétaro was under threat. Marginalised communities had no choice but to cut down trees, plant corn and hunt to survive.

Preserving the diverse biosphere

Through the untiring efforts of citizens, in particular, co-founder Martha Pati Ruiz Corzo, this alliance has revolutionised the way the local community protects its biosphere. As part of the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, members focus on promoting economic development while fostering biodiversity. How? Through educational programmes, awareness, ecotourism, financing for micro-enterprises and conservation projects.  

Today, the Sierra Gorda is part of UNESCO’s world network of biosphere reserves. Its 367,000 hectares are home to 1,718 vascular plant species and 124 species of macro mushrooms, as well as sheltering a multitude of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Sustainable development for new economic opportunities 

The Alliance for the Sierra Gorda has also contributed to the region’s economic development by supporting entrepreneurs with training, equipment, infrastructure and publicity. They also have access to community eco-tourism services and take part in projects like reforesting and building gardens. 

The Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda remunerates 64 forest landowners for environmental services. Between 2014 and 2018, carbon capture totalled 107,222 tonnes. And, in 2020 alone, more than 30,000 trees were planted. 

Although reductions in federal government funding and the Covid-19 pandemic have led to significant losses, the alliance is committed to finding solutions. Would you like to help them? 


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