Lessons learnt from 15 years of watershed management and forest restoration the Copalita-Zimatan-Huatulco (CZH) landsca

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González Mora, I.D., Palmas Tenorio, M.A., Spota Diericx, G.

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The watersheds of CZH are located in the south of Mexico’s state of Oaxaca. They include 26 of the country’s 34 vegetation types, with an altitudinal range from 0 to 3,500 m. Threats to the landscape include deforestation, fire, slash and burn on steep slopes for maize cultivation, reduction in water availability, and water contamination by domestic and agricultural sources. Starting in 2004, with funding from Fundación Gonzalo Río Arronte (FGRA), WWF began work in these watersheds. Three phases can be identified. The third and current phase, also funded by corporate companies (Caudalie, AXA, and IKEA), aims to consolidate work to date and enhance restoration work for the benefit of people and nature. Over time, a continuum of restorative practices have been integrated into the communities. Seven municipalities with 29 communities are implementing activities related to sustainable water use: each year water consumption is reduced by 76,000 m3, 8,600 m3 of water are treated through biofilters, 6,200 m3 of water are re-used and 700 m3 are stored. The holistic approach for the determination of environmental flows resulted in the proposed annual allocation of 875 million m3 (62% of mean annual runoff) for ‘water for nature’. In total, reforestation covered 2,625 ha across 18 of CZH’s 20 municipalities, and 27 different tree native species were planted. These were all produced agro-ecologically. The project has reached 6,433 direct and 22,196 indirect beneficiaries improving their sustainable livelihoods. The project also favoured the emergence of sustainable rural entrepreneurship.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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