WWF, Carlos Slim Foundation And Mexican Government Launch Landmark Conservation Effort In Mexico

WWF, along with the Fundación Carlos Slim and the Mexican Federal Government, has launched an initiative that aims to establish Mexico as a global model for conservation by protecting its rich natural heritage and promoting sustainable development within six priority regions that collectively represent 30 percent of the country. 

The new alliance plans an initial investment from the Slim Foundation and other donors of US $100 million to support and significantly advance ongoing efforts at the local, national and global levels within Mexico. This work will include efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, develop comprehensive water management policies, strengthen civil society, develop innovative financial mechanisms, and invest in local sustainable economies.

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From left to right at the signing: WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts, Mexican Environment Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Mexican philanthropist Carlos Slim and Director of WWF-Mexico Omar Vidal

“Mexico is home to 10 percent of the Earth’s species and this wealth of diversity is important not only for Mexico’s ecosystems, but for the people here who depend on these resources for their social, economic and physical well-being,” said WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts.  “This alliance also underscores Mexico’s rising leadership in global negotiations on the design of new financial mechanisms to help developing nations confront and adapt to climate change.”

The goal is to support biodiversity preservation in areas of exceptional natural richness.  An assessment of the major issues and recommended actions was developed based on consultation with more than 100 government and civil society experts across the selected regions: the Gulf of California, Chihuahuan Desert, Mesoamerican Reef of Mexico, Oaxaca, Monarch Butterfly Region and Chiapas (Lacandona Forests and El Triunfo).

“Matching funds from the Slim Foundation represent the largest private financial commitment from an individual ever made in support of conservation and sustainable development in Mexico,” said Omar Vidal, director of WWF-Mexico. “This alliance between the private sector, NGOs and government is exactly the kind of partnership that WWF sees as the model for transforming the way we conserve our special places and balance the needs of people and nature around the world.”

In 2009, the alliance is working in coordination with federal, state and municipal governments, civil society organizations, local communities and academia to establish the basis for the preservation of priority protected areas within the six regions by strengthening local organizations and communities and supporting management strategies for land and water conservation, threatened species protection and climate change adaptation.