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EditPhoto Title:Mexico
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EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_83267269.jpg
EditImage Description:Sheep herding inside the Water Forest, Grazing can turn into a key conservation tool.
EditPhoto Credit:© Jürgen Hoth
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Mexico is one of the five most biologically and culturally diverse countries in the world — but it also has one of the highest deforestation rates. With a little help, we can turn it around.

From chili peppers and avocados to coffee and agave, Mexico is famous for a host of flavors, colors and scents enjoyed by people around the world. But did you know that small-scale farmers manage most of the agricultural sector in Mexico? By improving the sustainability of these farms, we protect vital forests, fresh water and biodiversity that is key to human well-being.

Why is Mexico important?

Food We Eat

Mexico is a major producer and exporter of many diverse crops, including coffee, vanilla, mangos and corn.

Jobs and Prosperity

Mexico’s agro-forest systems support communities by offering diverse ways of making a living, increasing available jobs and improving livelihoods. In addition to their main crops, farmers also produce dairy products, crafts, flowers and more.

Climate Stability

With its large agricultural sector, Mexico can have a big impact on world climate. Food produced with sustainable practices supports healthy forests and rivers, a stable global climate and protection against extreme weather events.

Urban Sustainability

As one of the largest cities in the world, Mexico City offers a unique opportunity to develop a better understanding of the link between ecosystem health and sustainability of urban areas.

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EditSection TitleWhat are the issues?
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EditCircle color:fact--brown    
EditCircle icon:C3Aicn-coffeebeans
EditResult value:32%
EditResult field:of coffee production lost

Climate change
Extreme weather is the number one threat to small-scale coffee producers in Chiapas. A year’s harvest can be completely wiped out by torrential rains or hurricanes. In 2014, leaf rust, which blocks sunlight to leaves and kills coffee plants, wiped out 32% of coffee production.


EditCircle color:fact--blue    
EditCircle icon:C3Aicn-water
EditResult value:70%
EditResult field:of water from threatened forest

More than 70% of Mexico City’s water comes from the nearby forest. The rest is transported from distant watersheds through costly infrastructure. Although water from forest-fed aquifers is more efficient and cost-effective, the recharge is increasingly reduced as urbanization takes over forested areas.


EditCircle color:fact--green    
EditCircle icon:icon-food
EditResult value:2x
EditResult field:food production needed by 2050

Population growth
Mexico will need to double its food production in order to feed every mouth by 2050. The additional land needed for agriculture is also the land that provides water for agriculture. More sustainable means of production will ease this pressure and reduce food waste.

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CI’s solutions

In Mexico, CI is helping improve governance and increase cooperation between urban and rural areas. We work to empower local landowners and help local people and small businesses thrive in a rapidly changing society. We provide farmers with sustainable agriculture techniques and help calculate the value of farms not only in terms of food production, but also in terms of carbon stored, fresh water provided and local species preserved.

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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_41766530.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Forest in mist. Chiapas, Mexico
EditCaption Title:Improving livelihoods in Chiapas
EditCaption Description: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.
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/projects/Pages/improving-livelihoods-in-chiapas-mexico.aspx[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_29780970.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Lagunas de Zempoala National Park, Mexico
EditCaption Title:Protecting Mexico’s valuable water forest
EditCaption Description:Mexico’s Bosque de Agua — or Water Forest — provides 70% of the water needs for more than 23 million people. It is vitally important, but it’s under threat.
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/projects/pages/protecting-mexicos-valuable-water-forest.aspx[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_13357980.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Farmer holding healthy cocoa plant that has been organically raised.
EditCaption Title:Producing native cacao in Mexico
EditCaption Description:Chocolate, made from cacao seeds, originated Mexico, but the country has lost nearly half of its cacao production during the last decade, resulting in deforestation across Tabasco and Chiapas — and the loss of valuable traditional knowledge of many communities.
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/projects/pages/producing-native-cacao-in-mexico.aspx[Optional]
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EditModule Title:What can you do?
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EditSection Title:Eat sustainably
EditSection subtitle:Not all food is created equal. Choose to eat sustainably. This will protect forests, maintain biodiversity, provide water and preserve our culture.
EditButton link:/pages/what-you-can-do-tips.aspx#drink-shade-grown-coffee
EditButton text:Learn more
EditBackground image:/sitecollectionimages/ci_91972033.jpg
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Video Section

EditSection Title:Watch
EditSection subtitle:Sandie Fournier explains carbon markets in Chiapas, Mexico
EditVideo ID:CiFDI4XdZ2I
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EditNewsletter Title:Keep in touch
EditNewsletter Message:Get the latest updates on CI’s work in Mexico — and on the rest of our conservation projects — delivered to your inbox.
EditNewsletter Confirmation Message Title:Thank you for joining
EditNewsletter Confirmation Message Text:We can't protect the planet without your support​
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EditDonate Title:Donate
EditDonate Message:​​​Donate to CI to protect all the parts of nature we can’t live without.​​
EditDonate Button Text:Give now
EditDonate Button Link:/donate
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More of Our Work Links

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Images Rows

First Image

EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada
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Second Image

EditTitle:Science and Innovation
EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond
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Third Image

EditTitle:The Ocean
EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse
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