Tuckman: Deforestation Lessons from Mexico's Experience

Mexico, the host of this year’s U.N.-backed international climate change conference, offers both positive and negative lessons that participants and the rest of the world could learn from.

Based on the country’s experience in maintaining and protecting its forests, climate change negotiators meeting in Cancun should put small communities at the center of their discussion on deforestation, among other key issues, on the summit’s agenda, Jo Tuckman shares in the Guardian.

Tuckman, a Mexico-based freelance correspondent, explains that approximately 70 percent of country’s forests are owned by communities. Those that are given consistent support have proved to be successful at adjusting their economies to accommodate practices aimed at effective carbon storage.

“If they do indeed become a focus of international attention in Cancún over the next couple of weeks, their advocates say, these small communities could provide something truly worthwhile to the global effort over climate change,” Tuckman shares.

Meanwhile, the world should veer away from emulating Mexico’s attempt to plant a lot of trees across the country. The project was supported by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who promised to be the country’s greenest president upon taking office in December 2006.

Tuckman notes that the only 10 percent of the trees planted through the effort survived and that the project diverted funds away from community-based environment management schemes.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.