14 December 2010

Delegations at COP 16 visit SGP Projecct-CC-Mexico-1One of the conclusions of the COP 16 to be held in Cancun is that the forests can contribute to solving the problem of climate change and SGP has several examples that highlight the role of communities in contributing to forest protection.

For this reason, visitors from 12 different countries decided to leave the COP 16 to learn how the Mayan population is combating and adapting to climate change. THe delegates visited a project on carbon sequestration in Felipe Carrillo Puerto called AC U'yool'ché. The municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, and all forest communities in the region were an example on how to manage forests sustainably.

In the visit, the community shared their vision on how they can contribute to fight climate change. Communities could use the funds of REDD + to improve its management of the forest and prevent its degradation. Throughout the area, many people are involved in forest protection activities such as beekeeping, forestry, fuelwood collection, collection of medicinal plants and palms, among others. The Mayans have managed these forests for years, and new programs such as REDD + may help to recognize and strengthen this fact.

In an interview, Dionisio Yam, mentioned that to the Mayan milpa preserves the forest, since they only cut a few hectares a year to produce food. Then the forest is left to rest for a few years, before cutting back this area. David López Merlin, president of the Cooperative Ecosystem Services of the Mayan Forest, said in turn that carbon markets or funds contributed by the industrialized countries for REDD + offer new opportunities for communities to receive new access to funds while taking care of their forest.

In the event, Julio Moure, National Coordinator of Compact, a programme of the GEF Small Grants Programme, implemented by UNDP and supported by the United Nations Foundation to help preserve biodiversity in protected areas, mentioned that the programme will support the community in order to retain technical knowledge in the area. In addition, this program will help the community to certify its carbon credits to sell to hotels and other businesses interested in offsetting their emissions of carbon dioxide (Co2).

In the end, all participants returned to the various events of the COP16 in Cancun, not without first thanking the warm welcome of the locals, and the promise to help spread the message learned: you can take care of the jungle sustainable management.

Translated and edited by Ana Maria Currea from original article appeared in Por Esto! Quintana Roo.