Conservation partnerships with private sector

Published: 14 November 2015
Last edited: 05 January 2017
We search for companies that show an active interest in making socio-environmental investments in the forests of our country. Working with responsible companies allows us to carry out conservation and restoration activities in the forests, and enables companies to engage their employees as volunteers in reforestation or maintenance initiatives. We also engage with the ejidos and commmunities -- the actual owners of the land -- in which we will be working. They participate in restoration activities and act as a local forest brigade to monitor the actions performed by corporate volunteers in order to achieve forest conservation. We have a win-win vision: the NPAs benefit because forests are preserved and restored; companies benefit because they develop a stronger socially responsible strategy; and communities and ejidos win because they find new sources of employment and alternatives that enable the sustainability of their forests.

Classifications

Category
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
National

Enabling factors

The solutions to environmental problems, mainly deforestation, can’t be imposed to forest owners. Communities in Mexico are willing to identify their needs and establish solutions to preserve and restore the forests of Mexico and the private sector is a pretty effective ally. Private sector is willing to invest in reforestation and maintenance events, and also invest in productive projects in order to make them grow.

Lessons learned

Some companies do plant trees, but most them lack policies to avoid buying illegal forest products so they obliviously give illegal loggers incentives to cut trees in the NPA. With our methodology reforestation events are great opportunities to engage employees to integrate forests into the company’s sustainability goals. It also provides opportunities to integrate people from key departments (example: procurement or public affairs) as part of the strategy. The core of our success does not lie in the mere quantity of reforested areas or planted trees, but in the establishment of long-lasting alliances and in the creation of a framework that allows future sustainable initiatives to be developed. Corporate volunteers become forests “spokepersons” in their daily lives.