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EditPhoto Title:Improving Livelihoods in Chiapas, Mexico
EditPhoto Description:Protecting landscapes that provide food, water and income
EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_41766530.jpg
EditImage Description:Forest in mist. Chiapas, Mexico
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Miguel Ángel de la Cueva
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Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico, provides 30% of the country’s fresh water. But poor production practices and deforestation contaminate water and make Chiapas’ communities more vulnerable to extreme weather.


Conservation International is working in the Sierra Madre and coast of Chiapas with more than 18,000 producers, 19 municipalities and the national and federal government to coordinate efforts so their activities are developed in harmony with their natural landscapes.



Our role

CI helps landowners better understand their territory in terms of water, biodiversity and carbon storage. We support them with new skills to manage their natural resources sustainably and in a coordinated manner; and we help make direct linkages between producers and markets that appreciate organic and sustainable foods like coffee, cocoa, honey, dairy, fish, nuts, herbs, fruits, vegetables, maize and beans as well as ecotourism activities. We help align and monitor efforts and report progress.


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Edit Item Title:Protect valuable forests
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Edit Item Text:We are helping manage forests in a way that will continue to provide protection against extreme weather, floods and diseases to communities. Healthy forests also provide water, oxygen, food and beautiful landscapes to enjoy.
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Edit Item Title:Manage resources sustainably
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Edit Item Text:By using traditional knowledge in combination with new science, we are helping communities better manage their forest resources so they are more productive and remain healthy for generations to come. That includes making sure that activities upstream do not contaminate or adversely affect downstream areas.
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Edit Item Title:Help communities thrive
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Edit Item Text:CI is working to make sure that communities have healthy environments that provide access to food, fresh water and protection against climate impacts today and for generations to come. One important component is securing a direct link with consumers so these communities can sell their products and maintain an economically sustainable future.
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EditImage Alt Text:Farmer in Chiapas, Mexico
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:18,000 producers
EditText:We are working with more than 18,000 producers, combining their traditional knowledge with new skills to protect forests and mangroves, maintain water sources and produce healthy foods.
EditPhoto Credit:© Jessica Scranton
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      EditSection Title:Local organic farmers market in Tapachula, Chiapas
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        Groups of producers of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas gathered to ask the municipality of Tapachula to support a monthly organic market. They were given a free monthly spot to sell and promote organic products.

        For the first time, these small-scale producers, who each own about 1 hectare of land and live in remote areas of Chiapas, have a place in the city of Tapachula to have a direct connection with consumers. This helps them diversify their markets and position their products: coffee, cocoa, cheese, honey, nuts and herbs. Tapachula is an important city in the southernmost part of Mexico close to the border with Guatemala, with one of the largest ports in Mexico. Sales provide additional income for families while increasing awareness about these healthy foods that also contribute to healthy forests.

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        EditPhoto Credit:© Jessica Scranton
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          EditSection Title:Chefs with a cause
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            Edit Image Description: Chiapas´ producers and goods at the Club.
            EditText: CI has helped producers connect with well-known restaurants, hotels, chefs and students from culinary schools through food expos and tasting events. These events have raised awareness with chefs and students about the advantages of cooking with local, organic products from small-scale producers, as they are fresher, more diverse and of higher quality, and also support rural families and the environment. Producers, who are paid fair prices for their products, then have new channels to sell their goods and feel motivated because their efforts are valued. During these events, culinary students compete in “Sustainable Kitchen,” where they have to use these products to create innovate menus within a very limited time. Judges are internationally recognized Mexican chefs. This is an inspired effort that has resulted in new commercial transactions between restaurants and hotels with small-scale producers.
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            EditPhoto Credit:© Jürgen Hoth
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            EditQuote Text (Do not add quotation marks):We can now say that we are having success as an enterprise thanks to the commercial agreements made through this Food Expo.
            EditQuote Attribution:Roman Hernandez Paz, Producer, Sustainable Fishing Cooperative
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            More of Our Work Links

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            First Image

            EditTitle:Climate
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            EditLink:/what/Pages/Climate.aspx
            EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

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            EditTitle:Science and Innovation
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            EditLink:/how/pages/science-and-innovation.aspx
            EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

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            EditTitle:The Ocean
            EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_16084886.jpg
            EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
            EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse