IFAD signs US$5 million loan for ‘Community Forestry Development’ in Southern Mexico

18,000 poor rural families in Campeche, Chiapas and Oaxaca will benefit from natural resource management project

Rome, 1 March 2011 – Representatives from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the Mexican National Forestry Commission signed a US$5 million loan this week that will help some 18,000 poor rural families to make more money and protect their natural environment.  

The US$18.5 million Community Forestry Development Project in the Southern States will be implemented by the National Forestry Commission, and includes a US$7 million contribution from the Mexican government and US$1.5 million from the project beneficiaries themselves.

"The project will focus on providing poor rural people in the region with the training and institutions they need to better manage their natural resources and build new businesses," said Josefina Stubbs, Director of IFAD's Latin America and the Caribbean Division.

Leveraging US$5 million in earmarked grants from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the project will also focus on reducing greenhouse emissions and will provide project participants with the skills and resources they need to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

"We will do this by helping project participants find new Earth-friendly alternatives to make more money and by facilitating access to public resources," Stubbs said.

The Community Forestry Development project focuses on poor rural people living in the marginalized communities of the region. Approximately 75 per cent of the project beneficiaries are indigenous peoples.

The project also seeks to strengthen public institutions and improve their ability to work with rural communities in the region.

IFAD has funded rural poverty reduction projects in Mexico for 30 years with around US$150 million in total funding. An estimated US$13 million in GEF grants is slated to benefit IFAD-funded projects in Latin America.

Press release No.: IFAD/16/2011

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested over US$12.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries, empowering more than 370 million people to break out of poverty. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the UN's food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 167 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).