IFAD is beginning implementation of a sustainable forest management project in Mexico that will benefi t 18,000 rural families dependant on forest resources. The Communitybased Forestry Development Project in Southern States (Campeche, Chiapas and Oaxaca) will strengthen the capacity of indigenous peoples, who represent 76 per cent of the target population, and other local foresters in these states to better manage their natural resources, enhancing conservation practices and providing sustainable income options for the most disadvantaged groups. The project is based on ejidos and comunidades, two communal forms of land ownership, and will help consolidate the organizational and planning capacities of the benefi ciary population for participatory management of their common natural resources.
With support from GEF, the project will also pilot ways for the government and communities to contribute to climate change mitigation through better land and forest use, and to access carbon fi nance as part of the new Mexican Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) strategy. The project will reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon sequestration though improved forest management and production techniques, while generating subsistence alternatives and other benefi ts. Sustainable forest management pilot activities are expected to generate nearly 18 tons C02 (e.g. through carbon sequestration of emissions avoided). The project will also assist the government in testing communal measurement, reporting and verifi cation activities, contributing in this way to strengthening national capacities on climate change at the local level.