United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Improving livelihoods through the recognition of standing forest value using market mechanisms.


    The project is designed to use the Mexican Forestal Protocol of the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), which is well known and has a very important market in America. The project is based on two components. The first one is based on field works, to enhance local schemes of forest governance, implementing the CAR Protocol and generating and selling carbon credits. The second one is based on the creation of public policies, norms, laws, institutional protocols and facilitation of the regulated carbon market implementation in Mexico.


    USAID, Ponatura and WRI Mexico designed the largest carbon capture project in Mexico. Its objective is to create technical, institutional, financial and political capacities, to higher the mexican forests value using market mechanisms. The project aims to transfer technical capacities to communities who are forest owners, in order to conserve the forests and enhance their ability to capture CO2. Furthermore, the growth of the forests, measured from a base line before the implementation of the project, represent the surplus of carbon capture. This is converted to carbon credits that Pronatura sells in order to generate additional, sustainable sources of income for the communities.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The CAR Protocol enhances local economic, social and environmental development, in which the forest owners maintain their legitimacy as the main actors in the conservation and protection of forests. The communities maintain and improve their carbon inventories, they manage native species and they commit to not diminish the coverage outside the activity area. They also carry out reforestations, and improve their forestal management incorporating silvo-pastoral and agro-forestal management. They commit to the project for at least 30 years, in which they carry out activities to improve CO2 capture in their forests. This means that the project is based on a sustainable line, which assures long-term efficiency. They also carry out an inventory of CO2 remotions, in which they base their accreditation and emission of their carbon credits. For this, Pronatura implements theoretical and technical trainings.

    Implementation methodologies

    Pronatura has carried out remote and on-field trainings through webinars, workshops, field practices and experiential exchanges. With this, it has developed a baseline of the forest and a project report. The generation of the verification and registration of the carbon credits in the platform has taken place. Also, the carbon credits sales and distribution of resources has begun. Private sector investors have bought the majority of carbon credits due to the project duration. In the same way, the monitoring of parcels for sustainable forest management has been implemented, as well as their annual verifications.


    Pronatura has carried out trainings to 242 people in 22 communities, in 4 different states in Mexico. The project is taking place on an overall surface of 35,978.14 ha, in which the activity area is 13,382.07 ha long. The project has generated 68,431 carbon credits and has worked jointly with 4 involved organizations. Sustainable cities and communities: The project seeks to transform the economic activities of the communities into long-term sustainable activities that maintain forest cover, ecological regeneration and the provision of natural resources. Climate action: With the conservation of forests, the forest layer grows and improves in quality, and therefore, in its capacity to sequester carbon dioxide and regulate climate temperature. Life on land: Forest conservation encourages the preservation of forest ecosystems, also considering the flora and fauna that maintain ecosystem viability. Peace, justice and strong institutions: According to the WRI, community forest management in Mexico goes beyond local economy and environmental sustainability. This form of management of the territory and its resources favors the establishment of governance institutions that allow communities to decide the type of development they want, generate greater social resilience and promote a more equitable distribution of the benefits derived from the use of the territory. Community governance facilitates the work of governments to generate well-being in rural regions of the country. Partnerships for the goals: This project was achieved thanks to the joint efforts of the World Resources Institute Mexico as well as 8 local NGOs to work on the ground.

    Factors and Constraints

    Trainings Linebase calculation Inventary generation Tools calculation Project implementation agreement Verification and emission of forest credits

    Sustainability and replicability

    A verification body was hired to carry out the third party verification. The personnel trained during the inventory survey participated in the tours, route planning and remediation of trees. The contract with the verifier was legally signed through the legal representative of the project, the President of the Commissariat ejidal. The project enhances sustainability issues and it assures its replicability because of the process that took place: First, the eligibility of the communities was defined based on their clear documented land tenure, their law-accomplishments and for not having conflicts in the activity areas. Then, the environmental safeguards were accomplished, such as the analysis of the soil coverage. Furthermore, the project development panorama was created alongside the theoretical and practical trainings.

    COVID-19 Impact

    According to the WRI, physical activity restrictions affect forest production and, consequently, the income of producer communities that depend on forests for their subsistence. The situation due to COVID-19 has also had a negative impact in terms of loss of forest cover. The deforestation rate increased, forest surveillance decreased by the authorities in natural areas and indigenous territories as a result of orders to stay at home, a situation that criminal organizations and illegal loggers use for their benefit.

    Contact Name
    Pronatura México
    Geographical coverage

    Pronatura Mexico works in the Center-West region of Mexico, but this project is also being implemented in Veracruz, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Durango and the State of Mexico.

    01 August 2019 (start date)
    15 June 2024 (date of completion)
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