Mexican forest project highlights how global initiatives have profound local impacts

November 19, 2014

San Juan Lachao project also illustrates strong support and success for cross-border collaboration on environmental initiatives between Mexico and California

LOS ANGELES, CA – A small community on the southern tip of Oaxaca, Mexico is highlighting not only how global activities to address climate change can have profound local impacts but also the success of cross-border environmental initiatives between California and Mexico. The community of San Juan Lachao has launched a forest offset project under the Climate Action Reserve’s Mexico Forest Protocol with support from Mexico environmental nonprofit Pronatura and The Walt Disney Company.

The project will improve the management of the forests and will be life changing for the native community of San Juan Lachao. The forests, which include cloud forests and pine/oak forests, contain diverse ecosystems. Historically, they have been grazed and have been left in poor conditions with an increased risk of wildfire and reduced water quality. The project will help provide clean water, an improved standard of living and improved habitat and future hunting value. Additionally, the community will receive financial revenue from the offset credits to support forest management and protection. Because of these benefits, the San Juan Lachao community should expect an overall improved standard of living that is compatible with its community values.

“The San Juan Lachao forest carbon project is the result of the collaboration of numerous stakeholders, including an international, a national and a local NGO, the private sector and an indigenous community. For Pronatura it is truly inspiring to see young men and women implementing a carbon project, from inventory development to the implementation of forest management activities. By developing capacities among community members the project will have not only environmental, but also important social impacts. Pronatura expects to develop numerous projects likes this in the future since it is an example of how we can fight climate change from the bottom up and foster sustainable development in indigenous communities,” said Adolfo Alaniz, General Director of Pronatura México A.C.

On a global level, the San Juan Lachao forest project illustrates the success of cross-border environmental initiatives between California and Mexico. Both have signaled their support of working together to achieve climate change goals, and activities like the San Juan Lachao forest project are expected to generate attention for bottom-up actions that can start generating results while climate negotiations are taking form leading up to COP 20 in Lima and COP 21 in Paris.

“California and Mexico have a strong history of collaborating together and now one of the most critical challenges we must face together is addressing climate change. Initiatives like the San Juan Lachao forest project show how we can continue working together to generate real results. This project will benefit the lives of the people of San Juan Lachao, a rural community from Chatino origin in the coast of Oaxaca, as well as the lives of citizens around the globe,” said Carlos Sada, Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles.

The San Juan Lachao forest project also illustrates the value of nonprofit-corporate collaboration on climate change initiatives. While participation from all involved parties has been necessary to make this project a reality, Disney’s contribution helped get the project off the ground.

“Investing in nature is one of the most powerful tools we have to curb climate change,” said Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Disney Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation. “The work we do with dedicated environmental stewards, including Climate Action Reserve and Pronatura, helps maximize our investment, protecting forest ecosystems and creating jobs for the community of San Juan Lachao.”

“The San Juan Lachao forest project is truly symbolic of the international, collaborative approach the global community needs to take to address climate change and reach mitigation goals. It’s also a model for how global initiatives can have profound local impacts. The project is life changing in many respects and to many people. We hope to see many more projects like this follow the same path,” said Linda Adams, former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and Chair of the Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors.


The Climate Action Reserve is the most experienced, trusted and efficient offset registry to serve the carbon markets. With deep roots in California and a reach across North America, the Reserve encourages actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and works to ensure environmental benefit, integrity and transparency in market-based solutions to address global climate change. It operates the largest accredited registry for the California compliance market and has played an integral role in the development and administration of the state’s cap-and-trade program. For the voluntary market, the Reserve establishes high quality standards for carbon offset projects, oversees independent third-party verification bodies and issues and tracks the transaction of carbon credits (Climate Reserve Tonnes) generated from such projects in a transparent, publicly-accessible system. The Reserve program promotes immediate environmental and health benefits to local communities and brings credibility and value to the carbon market. The Climate Action Reserve is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, California. For more information, please visit

Pronatura is a nonprofit organization created in 1981. Its mission is the conservation of the fauna, flora and priority ecosystem of Mexico always considering society’s development. The Climate Change area was created to implement mitigation and adaptation projects. Its main program, called Neutralizate (carbon neutral), was created in 2008 and is aimed at promoting the voluntary forest carbon market. The program achieves its objectives by developing GHG inventories for companies, organizations and individuals and offsetting their carbon footprint through carbon emission reductions from forest carbon projects in Mexico.

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