The socioecological complexity of ecological restoration in Mexico
Eliane Ceccon, José I. Barrera-Cataño, James Aronson, Cristina Martínez-Garza
Restoration Ecology - doi: 10.1111/rec.12228
Almost half ofMexican territory has been classified as environmentally degraded. The main response for the last 60 years has been reforestation to combat soil erosion and loss of forest cover, mostly carried out on private lands where negotiations with local stakeholders were critical. Despite four legal instruments referring to ecological restoration, no specific instrument that defines basic concepts, criteria and standards, required actions, or regulations to implement and evaluate ecological restoration exists. The Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources is now solely in charge of restoration and only recently have external scientists been invited to be part of the process. Following important national and international events in Latin America and the Caribbean region, the First Mexican Symposium on Ecological Restoration was held in November, 2014. This historic event was the first action undertaken in Mexico to meet Objective 3 of the Global Strategy of Plant Conservation, coordinated inMexico by the National Council for the Use and Knowledge of Biodiversity. Although mangrove ecosystems are the most endangered ecosystem type in Mexico, they were not well represented at the symposium. In contrast, several other ecosystem types, such as tropical dry forest and islands, have received increased attention. Overall, while the Symposium and above-cited policy initiatives are important steps, Mexico needs to increase its institutional capacities and social organization of the rural sector with regard to ecological restoration. Better integration of social and natural scientists and increased participation of Mexico internationally is also needed.
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