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Pilar Angelica, Gomez Ruiz, Mariana Cote, Raul Alejendro
Ecosystem restoration is an essential activity to recover degraded areas, improve human well-being, and preserve biological diversity, particularly in countries with major socio-environmental challenges like Mexico. As a strategy to mitigate climate change effects, the objective of this project was to restore 50 hectares of mangroves inside a natural protected area, Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve (PCBR). A participatory restoration process was developed with two local communities (El Palmar and Tembladeras) that inhabit PCBR. This process involved three main phases: planning, implementation, and monitoring. During planning, the communities’ restoration interests and needs were identified, a socio-ecological diagnosis was made, and actions to be developed were defined among all actors involved. In the implementation phase, 20,5 ha in El Palmar was reforested with 17,000 Rhizophora mangle propagules to increase vegetation coverage in natural channels, and hydrological rehabilitation was performed in 4900 meters of different segments of natural channels in Tembladeras. Simultaneously, training workshops were conducted with both communities, focusing on mangrove ecosystem services, the methodological sequence of restoration processes, and some monitoring techniques. During the monitoring phase, communities supported evaluation activities that produced results indicating that both actions were generating the expected benefits for them. Survival of mangrove propagules was high (74%) and hydrological rehabilitation effectively recovered the functionality of natural channels for fishing activity. Workshops reinforced the community involvement and strengthened local capacities for conserving and managing mangroves. The project has demonstrated that social participation is fundamental to ensure continuity in restoration processes and to increase their probability of success.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program