Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda

NGO founded: 1987
Partnership formed: 2007

Organisation’s aim: To conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable management of natural resources within Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, in central Mexico.

Partner history

A small group of local residents formed the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) for the protection and preservation of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, located within the Eastern Sierra Madre mountain range. GESG has over 20 years of experience in developing programmes in environmental education, habitat restoration, training, and management of natural resources.

Partnership with WLT

In 2006, GESG attended the partners’ symposium in the Netherlands and were introduced to WLT as a potential partner in Mexico. After a site visit to investigate the feasibility of Carbon Balanced projects in the area, WLT and GESG became official partners in 2007.

Environmental Education
Children enjoying an environmental education project run by GESG. Photo © Roberto Pedraza Ruiz.

Projects with WLT

Biodiversity of Sierra Gorda, Mexico

WLT supports GESG through Buy an Acre, to help increase their network of reserves within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.

Carbon Balanced

Since 2005, GESG has been running a carbon sequestration programme in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve and WLT contributed to this programme in 2007 by purchasing carbon offsets for its Carbon Balanced programme.

Keepers of the Wild

WLT supports the on-going protection of the GESG’s network of reserves by funding rangers through the Keepers of the Wild appeal.

Other projects and activities

  • Running an environmental education programme, including school presentations, tours, craft workshops, and community work days;
  • Reforestation and watershed protection;
  • Community projects, such as recycling and helping local women develop their skills;
  • Running ecotourism to generate a sustainable income for the reserve.

Awards and achievements

As at 2014 GESG has won more than 34 national and international awards, some of which are highlighted below. See a full list and specific achievements on the GESG website.

2014: (June) GESG wins Energy Globe award for Mexico. The award recognises projects and organisations that represent exemplary, sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. In 2014 the award attracted more than 1,000 submissions from more than 120 countries

2013: GESG is one of three winners of TO DO! 2013 awards for Socially Responsible Tourism (award announced 5 March 2014)

2013: GESG Co-founder was named the UNEP Champion of the Earth for Inspiration and Action

2009: Awarded by Progreso Network for developing Sierra Gorda Products; awarded for their Environmental Education Program by Compartir Foundation

2008: Awarded for the project, Reducing the Impact of Cattle Ranching on Biodiversity, by the Competitive Fund of the World Bank; awarded for the efficient management of solid wastes by Mexico´s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic (COPARMEX)

2007: Awarded for outstanding contributions in the conservation of birds to Martha Ruiz Corzo, by the Partners in Flight Stewardship Award of the American Birding Association; awarded national winner in the Earth category for the project, Development of Ecosystem Products, by the Energy Globe Award in Sustainability

Contact details: 

Technical Officer: Roberto Pedraza

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