Farming to empower people and conserve ecosystem services

Fondo para la Paz
Published: 10 January 2018
Last edited: 11 January 2018
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Summary

Fondo para la Paz (FPP) works with indigenous rural communities' in 5 States of Mexico. One line is farming as part of development process with the goal to empower community organization and strengthen them through activities that could conserve environmental services (ES) and biodiversity, and promoting development skills and abilities at the community. With the FPP facilitation communities are working with coffee (Veracruz) and maize (Oaxaca) inside agroecological schemes. These projects help them increasing profits and switch old paradigms about conservation and farming. We work with people, sensitize them about being responsible and main actors about their development, their environment and their actions for a long time: farming is just the way, development is the ultimate goal. We work with each community up to 10 - 15 years, seeking development and people with the vision to achieve mature communities, self-administrated and with social cohesion.

Classifications

Region
North America
Ecosystem
Agro-ecosystem
Agroforestry
Forest ecosystems
Orchard
Temperate evergreen forest
Theme
Ecosystem services
Erosion prevention
Food security
Gender mainstreaming
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Health and human wellbeing
Indigenous people
Land management
Restoration
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational

Location

Mexico | Mixteca-Oaxaca, Huasteca- San Luis Potosí, and Sierra Zongolica- Veracruz

Challenges

  •  Farming with an ecological vision, which permits produce and conserve environmental services as soil, biodiversity, water and landscape.
  • Cultural management that permits reverse deforestation and foment reforestation areas with local trees and make barriers to conserve soil, nutrients and water.
  • Farming focuses in high quality and yields, and also permits families to have secondary products as wild plants and mushrooms for food, timber, honey, etc.
  • Increasing social cohesion promoting organization, trust links, good communication and nets to achieve communitarian goals. 
  • Facilitating the process of development in each community we work, forming a regional and sustainable vision which permits every family to have an opportunity in their community.
  • Involving children, youth and adults within the community to make them responsible of their development.
  • High yields and accurate market channels, which bring families above the poverty line and dream a future for their children.

Beneficiaries

Indigenous people from three regions of Mexico: Tenek-families from Huasteca Potosina which work with Vanilla; Mixteca-families from Oaxaca, which reforest Mixteca;  and and Nahuatl-families from Sierra Zongolica Veracruzana which work with coffee.

 

How do the building blocks interact?

The three blocks proposed aim at reaching cohesive, self-managed communities with a vision of development, over a period of 10 to 15 years by FPP works.

To see communities as an integrated system from the environment and their ecosystem services allows community organization, knowledge sharing and well-being as the lines within which we will achieve a single community. Besides this, we have to promote the grounds on which the community will be able to generate the economic resources that allow them to face challenges, generate a better quality of life, social cohesion and an opportunity for the new generations.

Having a production system based on social requirements and thought since the perspective that preserves ecosystem and social services could strengthen the social integration and generating profitable economic activities that allow incorporate traditional knowledge and practices that are part of the local culture.

This could be the base for community development.

Impacts

Fondo para la Paz (FPP) works with indigenous rural communities' in 5 States from Mexico. One line is farming as part of development process with the goal to empower community organization and strengthen them through activities that could conserve environmental services (ES) and biodiversity, and promoting development skills and abilities at the community. With the FPP facilitation the communities are working with coffee (Veracruz) and maize (Oaxaca) inside agroecological schemes. These projects help them to increase profits and switch old paradigms about conservation and farming. We work with people, sensitize them about being responsible and main actors about their development, their environment and their actions for long time: farming is just the way, development is the ultimate goal. We work with each community to 10 - 15 years, seeking development and people with the vision to achieve mature communities, self-administrated and with social cohesion.

Story

Fondo para la Paz

Indigenous communities in Mexico are guardians of the forest, they take care of the beauty, biodiversity and environmental services, which is offered by natural areas. The Mixtecas and Nahuas farmers in Mexico are taking care of their natural areas since their vision and love for the land, keeping environment and doing agricultural activities in order to achieve economic security and conserve their lands and culture.

 

Mixtecas in Oaxaca work on food security with maize crops in milpas, milpas are traditional agricultural schemes that includes maize as main crop, but also beans, chili-peppers, food plants, mushrooms and other products (according to the region); and also, are incorporating trees in the structure; this scheme permits them to improve the nutrition for families and reintegrate traditions from their community. Nowadays people have more variety of food and also are conserving their land. Another work in Mixteca is reforesting degradation land and soil practices to conserve water and soil resources, with 30 ha reforested.

 

Nahuas in Sierra Zongolica, Veracruz works with coffee farms producing high quality coffee and keeping their lands with an agricultural scheme looking for conserve land and water, and also other environmental services offered by farms as food, timber, biodiversity, and others. Now, farmers are producing speciality parchment coffee and fortifying their communities, this coffee is promoting the empowerment of participants, gender equality and generational joint with a vision of development and the future for them. Today 18 communities from Sierra Zongolica work like nurseries to produce their plant until parchment coffee, now we are working with them to improve other abilities in order to identify the best links inside the coffee value chain.

 

The Mixtecas and Nahuas people have been demonstrated that based on their knowledge and including their culture, environment and participation, they can achieve better results and a real social impact for their communities based on the respect for land and people. Nowadays people have a dream for their communities and they identify options for their people.

Contributed by

Liliana Zaragoza

Fondo para la Paz

 

Fondo para la Paz is a non-governmental organization which Works since 1994 in Mexico, improving wellbeing in indigenous rural communities with high poverty in Mexico. Development is the ultimate goal that we are looking for communities in which ones we work, beyond wellbeing and infrastructure, we want to strengthen organization and focus on improve skills and abilities that achieve an organized and empower communities. We seek strengthening their cultural values, recognizing their languages, providing especially trainings that helps them and fortify their leadership, promoting an economic project to improve their lives and the opportunities for their children.

Contributors

Fondo para la Paz
Fondo para la Paz
Fondo para la Paz