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D. Strategies for Preservation

The above means that there is necessarily a more intense interaction with the communities that live in those areas and which are the owners of the land where the ecosystems to be preserved lie. It implies that it is necessary to resort to means of conservation that take centrally into account the needs of livelihood of the owners of the land. I think this is the only viable way to the conservation of the biological riches of the country; it certainly means that maybe a number of species may be lost, but the basic ecosystemic functions of the natural areas will be basically preserved together with the services that those ecosystems provide to people.

Another one of the important things is that you have to find different ways of preserving things. Purchasing land and devoting it to untouched preservation, which is a usual procedure in certain countries, does not work in countries like Mexico. Not only does one need to find economic incentives for the owners of the land, but in my opinion it is necessary to involve them as active participants in the process of conservation through utilization of their natural resources in a sustainable fashion. You cannot ignore that there are people living there and having to earn a living from the area.

One of the very important products that serve to establish the natural protected land area for Mexico was the production of this map that has the priority ingredients for conservation of Mexico. This was the result of the information that we have so far in terms of different eco-regions, different vegetation crops, areas of high density or areas which have species which are under threat, etc. which produce these maps for conservation of natural areas in Mexico.


The strategy has to go together with what the map is telling us to do. Obviously the first one is to give owners of the forest the maximum economic benefit from the use of the resources. It's not only a forest, but other ecosystems as well. We must incorporate criteria for the preservation of ecosystem functions in the management of the forest. There is no way that you are going to keep forests pristine, untouched, if you are going to manage them. You are going to preserve them. So, what you want to do is really keep those basic ecosystem functions.

The other points that I've mentioned are the diversification of the use of forest products and the development of markets. One very important thing for Mexico is the elimination of subsidies due to lack of production. This is the most important avenue of disturbance for the forests. The other one that effects all the country is to reduce the demand for pure wood. Forty seven percent of the domestic energy requirement is satisfied by wood. It's still a very large proportion of that used. Naturally ecosystems are a very important source of wood.


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