The Indigenous Tourism Network of Mexico (RITA) - Red Indígena De Turismo De México - (http://www.rita.com.mx/index.html) promotes indigenous community development by raising awareness about biodiversity using a collaborative and participatory approach. The Network mobilizes indigenous communities to overcome economic marginalization by developing sustainable ecotourism projects and natural resource based micro-enterprises.
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Countries often face situations where biodiversity is not positioned on the national agenda and, in that scenario, developing financial mechanisms or mobilizing resources will be much more difficult than when biodiversity is in the mainstream of the country. Safeguarding diverse ecosystems ensures invaluable services essential for sustainable development and improvements in human wellbeing.
In the Colombian Amazon, indigenous groups, women's organizations, the Sinchi Amazon Institute of Scientific Research, and the Ministry of Environment, implement Chagra’s Fairs (local name given to Agrobiodiversity Fairs) to empower initiatives based on principles of solidarity economy and traditional knowledge as an alternative to extractive economies that have historically operated in the region.
Historically, Mexico’s natural resources have benefited all the population by bringing essential goods in the form of food, construction materials and traditional medicine among others. But in recent decades, a growing economic activity based on heavy extraction of such resources and a lack of coordination among public policies have caused an increased pressure over the country’s biodiversity.
Financial mechanisms allow private sector to participate in conservation of biodiversity through corporate responsibility programs and corporate image positioning and complementing the financial sustainability for Protected Areas Systems. Private sector shows an interest in contributing to the development of programs of corporate social responsibility that focus either on social or environmental fields. However, there is still a need for coordination with the National Authorities for Protected Areas.
Reforestamos México developed a solution that allows Natural Protected Areas (NPAs) located near big cities to become a center point that brings alliances, hands and financial resources together in order to plant trees in degraded forests, improve the livelihood of local communities and increase forest awareness among urban people, which derives in better private and public political will to develop initiatives for the benefit of protected and unprotected forests. Our solution is based on the involvement of the civil society, the public and the private sectors.
Protected areas, and the ecosystems and biodiversity within, provide many benefits for people. This includes protecting biodiversity’s intrinsic values, but also safeguarding the benefits people gain from them, such as the provision and regulation of water sources, and the climate benefits of stored carbon. Consequently, protected areas are now acknowledged as an important component of sustainable development. It is imperative to track and monitor networks of protected areas and their surroundings to ensure sustainable management of landscapes and seascapes.