San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico: On Tuesday 25th September, Dr. Richard Tipper, Executive Chairman of Ecometrica, and Jorge Fernandez, Coordinator of Planning and Information of the National Forestry Commission of Mexico, signed an agreement for cooperation in forest monitoring within the framework of Forests 2020 and beyond.
CONAFOR is currently working together with local partners such as Pronatura Sur, ECOSUR, AMBIO and FIRPODEFO through Forests 2020 supported by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnerships Programme (IPP), to evaluate and improve forest change detection methods for Mexico, map forest degradation, map deforestation and fire risk and facilitate information flows between the national and state level. Forest monitoring is vital for reporting on policies for the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) to the UNFCCC and World Bank, which the UK supports, and applying for new payment for results programs such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world; however, approximately 90,000 hectares of forest are lost every year. Improved forest monitoring will generate more accurate estimations of emissions from deforestation and degradation, as it will enable authorities to detect deforestation more quickly and identify those areas most at risk. The Ecometrica Earth Observation (EO) Lab is also helping communicate these improved maps to authorities and stakeholders in Mexico at the state level to better act on it. The EO Lab also facilitates analysis and evaluation of conservation and agricultural expansion policies and programs which sometimes contradict each other in the same areas.
The Directors of Ecometrica met with Magdalena Ruiz Mejia, Minister of Environment and Territorial Development of Jalisco, and Gabriela Lopez Damian, the Director of the Public Trust Fund for the Administration of the Forestry Fund (FIPRODEFO) who explained the importance of Forests 2020 for providing continuity in forest monitoring programs across government administration change-over, which happens at the end of 2018. The Public Trust Fund for the Administration of the Forestry Program in Jalisco (FIPRODEFO) are mapping avocado plantation growth in Jalisco (estimated at 27,623 ha from 2003 – 2017) and supporting efforts to certify avocado plantations that have not contributed to deforestation.
The visit was carried out as part of Ecometrica’s 10 year anniversary celebrations. The Directors of Ecometrica met with Forests 2020 partners in Chiapas and Jalisco, who are advancing the mapping of deforestation, degradation, risk of deforestation at the state level to monitor the growth of Palm Oil, GEF projects, Scolel Te Carbon Credit Program and Emissions Reduction Initiative (FCPF) of the World Bank. They also visited emblematic historic,cultural and natural sites, including Lake Tziscao in Chiapas where Ecometrica’s coffee is grown as part of Plan Vivo’s carbon offsetting scheme.
For more information on the work carried out in Mexico in the framework of the Forests 2020 project please see the following EO Lab applications:
Chiapas window areas: http://areasventanamexico.forest2020-mx.ourecosystem.com
Jalisco mapping: http://2fiprodefo.forest2020-mx.ourecosystem.com
Palm oil mapping and land use zoning: https://pronatura-sur-chiapas.forest2020-mx.ourecosystem.com/interface/